Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Revolution of Love

I cannot adequately explain what is happening inside me ~ except to say that I am *full* of radiant happiness, bliss, and LOVE these days!

 * * *

~ Hari OM Tat Sat ~
 The Divine Pervades Everything,  And You Are That Truth

 * * * 

Will you consider joining me for a 40-day Sadhana journey starting February 1st?

I will use this valuable resource as a guide to further deepen and expand my yoga practice (the true source of uncovering my divine bliss-filled nature) between next week and the beginning of Spring, on March 20th.

{You may recall that I had a similar pull to an intentional time of sadhana about this time last year.}

Over the weekend, I will prepare for this pilgrimage.  I've already begun journaling in regards to my vision for this upcoming time.  Although there will be specific structure laid out at the beginning (I am someone who needs a plan in order to encourage self-discipline!), I look forward to seeing the surprises, challenges, and joys that unfold along the way.

I really do hope you will join me!  (Even if that means creating a ~40-day journey of your own practices.)  It would be great to have your company.  :-)

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

* * * 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Free to Be...Me*

Perhaps you remember this from the '70's?
It was quite the star-studded cast!
(Oh my!  You can watch an episode of it over here!)

Right now I'm working on what it means to be me.  

This may sound silly, but the reinvention of myself (aligning my roles with my soul) requires ongoing revisions of what I want my life to look like.  And the trick is to realize it will only truly look like something uniquely my own.

I'm resisting the trap of comparing my ______ with others.  Claiming Freedom* as my word for the year, I am giving myself permission to be ME and have that be enough.  This is a new concept; one which the "not good enough" tribe to which I used to belong does not want me to enjoy!

When contemplating an image for this post, I decided on this flower.  It stood majestically along the shore of Lake Erie this past summer.  Embracing its own unique beauty, it had no thought or intention of being anything other than the type of flower it was created to be. 
(I want that same assurance.)

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else
is the greatest accomplishment."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the biggest realizations on my yogic path ~ and the true essence and purpose of Yoga itself ~ is this:  "you are whole, complete, perfect, beautiful, loving, blissful, and you know everything there is to know...

Transcending mind-made limitations doesn't mean you stop being yourself.  On the contrary, you become more yourself than ever before.  Clarity, freedom, strength, joy, and connectedness with all that is are effortless by-products of transcending your limitations.  Yoga is about revealing happiness...As you remove each of your resistances, fears, and negativities, you will come closer to knowing who you really are.  And this is the highest yoga practice."

~Steve Ross 
in the book Happy Yoga 
THESE are the truths I am learning to embrace as I get comfortable with what it means to be...Free to Be Me.  :-)

* * * 

HUGE gratitude to Lorilyn for crafting this amazing video blog post explaining part of her unique journey.   It's brilliant and fascinating!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On This Day

On this cold, bleak mid-winter day
I am declaring myself DONE
with the self-improvement cycle.


I don't need or want to be 'better every day'
because that implies that today I am not good enough.

I don't want to read any more books
or take any more classes or seminars.

I will not succumb to the marketing strategies
that want me to believe I am lacking.
(And profit by telling me so.)

My life is rich, magical, abundant, healthy, wealthy, worthy...just as it is.

I am taking my magic wand of happiness and waving it 
over every person/place/thing 
that wants to get in the way 
of my believing and embracing 
these truths of my being...
every single moment of every single day.

This is me,
and I am a child of the Universe,
no less than the trees and the stars.
* * * 

~ by Max Ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

*Yoga photo courtesy of World Peace Yoga Jubilee ~ October 2010

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Freedom to Choose

World Peace Yoga Conference ~ Cincinnati ~ October 2010
Seeing this photo of my happy, radiant self on Facebook this week changed my world!

I have been in a funk most of the past few months.  Looking back, I can see that it started late in the Summer when my stepfather had a stroke.  At the time,  I rallied and went into adrenaline mode.  I was calm, cool, and collected.  That lasted for almost a month.

As the situation wore on and he eventually ended up in a nursing home ~ and summer turned to Fall ~ the grief settled into my being.  It was what I have come to call sneaky grief ~ meaning that, on the surface, everything seems fine, but it really isn't.

I went through the motions of daily living.  I enjoyed life as usual.  Only there was a heaviness that would not leave.

Grief has a way of hanging around.  It brings with it many losses from the past, too.   (WHY is this?) Ugh.

September and October were TOUGH.   November saw me feeling better and more hopeful. Then December came and it was ARDUOUS.  The first couple of weeks of January haven't been much easier.

I have been sidelined by grief ~ and the physical/emotional/spiritual toll cannot be ignored.  (Part of my need for so much rest lately, I believe.)

Through the process of allowing myself to be broken open during these past several months, I am mourning OLD losses (back to high school, really)...My father, other relatives, jobs, lovers, friends, our cats, dreams, unpleasant and hurtful realities, the many versions of how I thought my life would/should/could be...all things that were (apparently) not sufficiently dealt with at the time (For decades, I was a superstar at repressing emotions and just moving on).

Anyway, I'll skip the other details for now, as this was not my original intent for this post.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday ~ the Full Moon.  I had been feeling *really* anxious for a couple of days before it and was quite unsettled about that.  I ate a hardy breakfast and took a nap before going to work.  Then, in the afternoon, things shifted.  *Really shifted.*

I had an epiphany moment.

I want to ~ am ready to ~ be happy.  HAPPY.  HAPPY!

I thought of Bliss Chick and Marcy ~ and their recent losses and struggles.  If there are any two people I know who are great examples of choosing happiness in the midst of pain, it is these awesome women.  Their Lilypad truly is a...

It was almost like an infusion of wisdom came over me.  (In part, hearing my own words as I uttered them to a client this past week, "You know, you don't have to FEEL happy to BE happy.")

I realized I was FREE to CHOOSE happiness.   And not in some Band-Aid, pretend, count your blessings, trite, look-on-the-bright-side, unreal way.

No, this was a deliriously-in-love-with-life-no-matter-what kind of happy!  

And I recalled a book that other bloggers had worked through last year, The Happy Book.  And I went in search of it that very evening.

I found this instead:  The Happiness Project.  It immediately caught my attention.  I read through a few pages and *knew* it was my next book companion.  Today, I picked it up from the library. :-)

The good juju shift that happened on Wednesday (THANK YOU, Universe!) seems to be sticking around.    I'll be riding this wave for all it's worth, believe me.

I sense that, by dedicating myself to authenticity and healing, I have worked through yet another long round of necessary 'stuff' in order to arrive at this moment.  It is a glorious place to be....HAPPY.

Let the frivolity begin!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Permission to Nap

The beginning of health is sleep.
~Irish proverb
Fortunately, I have a cat who is a great snuggle partner!

I love to sleep.  Truly.  It is one of my very favorite things to do in the whole world!

I could be a professional sleeper!  :-)

When I was a kid, I would take long naps ~ perhaps in the (dry) bathtub surrounded by my stuffed animals ~ or in my cozy closet haven ~ or in a large cardboard box (again full of my stuffed animals).

{I think the longest I ever slept was 15 hours.  This was after returning from a high school youth group outing to Natural Bridge.}

Sleep is my sanctuary.  It is my safety zone and restoration source.   Especially this time of year, when my need and desire for sleep increase. (I average 9-10 hours per night in the winter.)

This past week found me hitting the wall again.  Yep ~  that wall of exhaustion that somehow manages to creep up on me *and* rapidly advance in my direction, both at the same time!

I knew enough from past experience that I needed to re-enter extreme self care mode.
And so I did.

I took Friday afternoon off from work.....and slept for four hours.  I took two 2-hour naps on Saturday and one 2-hour nap on Sunday.   I SO needed all of this! 

Now, I could extol the many reasons for which I think I needed a time out ~ but I will let the usual suspects slide for now.   However, in addition to chronic auto-immune issues with which I am coming to terms, I am also discovering the implications of participating in the shifts that are taking place on the planet right now.  Apparently, embarking on the path of Self Ascension and embracing the energy of soul transformation can make one very tired!  {Carol Sue Flowers lists Symptoms of Ascension on her site.}

This week is also a Full Moon ~ and, according to the Cosmic Path, a lot of intense planetary energy continues to surround us. 

" Our nurturing waters are represented by the Cancer full Moon, for Cancer is the sign of the Mother who births us and nurtures us."

As a Cancer, I have indeed realized in adulthood the (often challenging) duty of mothering and nurturing *myself*!

One of the great things about this time of year (which I've long referred to as my hibernation time) is the natural rhythm of living with the seasons ~ in this case, clearing off my to-do list, listening to my body, and getting the extra rest I need.

Here's a lovely little book that puts napping in a whole new (and much-needed) light.

Now, if you'll excuse me ~ the couch is calling.  :-)

"Napping should not be frowned upon at the office or make you feel guilty at home.  
It should have the same status as daily exercise."
~Dr. James B Maas (a psychologist and sleep expert at Cornell)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guess Who Showed Up in My Garden?*

*Today's post is the 2nd in my series of Word Up! Wednesdays.

My word for the year is FREEDOM.   

* * * 

Last evening I sat quietly and listened to LoriLyn's Dreaming Gateway guided visualization.  She took me on a lovely journey through a doorway (which I saw as purple), into a garden (which was lush and green, located in my backyard), and over to a small pool.  In this pool, I was to see my reflection ~ my true self/soul looking back at me.  And as I gazed deeper into the water, some sense of my souls desire and purpose was to emerge.

Well,  I got nothin'.  Nothin' at all in the water.  It was black.  And I could barely make out my reflection.   I could not see myself or anything else in the water the way she was guiding me to do.
However, let's back track a minute and I'll tell you what I DID see!
(Thus, giving me the FREEDOM to witness and embrace the unexpected!)

Immediately beyond the purple doorway, I was welcomed by *radiant*warmth* and *sunshine*.  The specific types of plants were not as important as the fact that everything was lush and green.  There were flowers and vegetables, herbs and bird feeders, benches and a swing.

Then....there was Glinda.  You know, Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz.   SHE was in my garden!!!

Albeit,  a slightly more modern version of her ~ all dressed in blue ~ and frolicking about.

In the visualization, I WAS GLINDA!  I was the one in the blue dress, frolicking about, waving my magic wand over the other folks who were present.  (Adults & children, all seeming to have a good time.)  Everyone one was happy and smiling.

Now, this all seems rather silly, no?  Yeah, that's what I thought!

But since nothing else came to me through this dreaming gateway, I decided to go with it.  (Lorilyn was kind enough to point out that we might not 'see' anything ~ and it could be a good idea to sleep on it overnight and see if anything changed.)

As I awoke this morning ~ and started my coffee and journaling time ~ I decided to reflect back on the Glinda in my garden.

What does Glinda represent?

(she waved her wand over everyone; no one was judged or excluded; everyone got their 'wish')
~someone concerned for my welfare 
~to help me find my way 'home' (back to myself)

WOW!!!  That's some powerful stuff!

(And, ultimately, ALL things I am needing (well, *craving* in my life right now.)

Interestingly enough, the Wikipedia entry about her says,

"She is the most powerful sorceress of Oz..."

"Glinda lives in a palace near the southern border of the Quadling Country, attended by fifty beautiful maidens from each country of Oz."

"She ultimately becomes the adult anchor in the Oz books, because she is never distracted or swayed, and always maintains absolute firmness of purpose - something that cannot be said for the other adult characters in the series such as the Wizard and the Shaggy Man or even the Good Witch of the North. They all fall short of Glinda's wisdom and resoluteness."

Photo from FanPop

So, there you have it!  My new 'avatar' is a version of Glinda in a blue dress with a magic wand ~ here to help me with claim my FREEDOM (power, healing, magic, goodness, light, warmth, sunshine, beauty...).

Needless to say, I'll be exploring this further in the days to come!

(Oh ~ and if you want to see the Wizard of Oz portion 
where Glinda shows up for the first time, click here.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Part of today's numerical goodness is happening over here.  I will be participating and have another post up later today or tomorrow with the results :)

Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Word Up Wednesday*

 My word for 2011 is FREEDOM.

It came to me a couple of weeks ago ~ just appearing in my consciousness ~ and I *knew* it was right.

Throughout the year I will explore what this word comes to represent as the days unfold.  Currently, I am tossing back and forth the difference between freedom 'from' and freedom 'to'.

Back in 2008, when I had what I consider to be my major mid-life feminine awakening, my therapist told me, "This is the path you will walk for the rest of your life."

I was stunned by her remark and a horrified look came over my face.  (How could I *possibly* live this life of struggle, questions, longings, revelations, mysteries, defeats, emotional upheavals, worldview shatterings, for the rest of my life????)

She saw my trepidation and gently replied, "Oh.  I won't always be THIS hard, but you will never go back to sleep.  You will walk this path of womanhood for the rest of your life."

And indeed she was right.

(For what transpired over the past 2 1/2 years, you can see my original blog here.)

Fast forward to this week, when FREEDOM to continue on my healing journey is what is needed.  Freedom to heal.  Freedom to allow myself (aka: get out of my own way) to do what is necessary to take care of my physical/emotional/mental/spiritual self.

SOOOOO much healing has occurred since I commenced this intentional journey of saving my own life and unearthing my True Self.  But I am not finished.

And I need to remember that the need to heal will remain in some form or another for the rest of my life on this planet.

This month, Freedom to heal means:

~adding in more exercise (cardio and weights)
~changing up my supplements & embracing a system cleanse
~adding green smoothies back into my routine (although this is somewhat unappealing when it's 20 degrees outside!)
~supercharging the monitoring and re-directing of my monkey mind
~wearing and using various crystals (my most recent purchase is a Rainbow Tourmaline necklace)
~soaking up as much sunshine as I can get while it's available
~not watching the news or exposing myself to other forms of violence & negativity (people/places/things/conversations)
~spending more time on the yoga mat and in devotional mantra chanting

In my studies of yoga philosophy, I am struck by the meaning of Tapas ~  undertaking certain practices for cleansing the residue of daily living.  Look at that again...the residue of daily living.  Wow.

With the intensity of life on Earth right now, we are indeed collecting all manner of junk that needs to be continually cleared out in order for us to ascend.  (This marvelous woman has fantastic tools for assisting in that process!)

With just a few days of re-committing myself to this process, I can already tell a difference in the way I look and feel.  This reinforces my remembrance that healing is a personal, active, progressive, and transformative practice.

* * *

Are there areas of your life that need freedom to heal today?
Leave a comment and I'll be sure to include you in my meditations.
You can also click here to sign up for a free distance Reiki session with me!


* * *

*Word Up Wednesday will hopefully be a weekly chronicle of my FREEDOM in 2011.  
For those of you not aged enough to remember the original Word Up! song, you can see its history here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Love Loving Love

"The love you pray for is trying to reach you at every moment.
Your longing, your deep fantasies about being loved are
mere shadows
of the
melting sweetness 
that makes spirit want to love you."
~Deepak Chopra

"Love is the emotion of merging, of becoming one in the heart.
In everyday life it is mixed in the natural riot of relationships,
the biochemistry, emotions, desires, fantasies, and romantic illusions.

Bhakti yoga cultivates the spiritual heart by turning those natural impulses
into creepers that twine around the Beloved, converting them 
into a conduit to carry us toward ultimate merging.

Every form of love, every loving relationship, 
can become that conduit:
parent and child, 
lover and beloved,
student and teacher,
aspirant and religious guide,
friend and friend,
owner and pet too.

Each has within it a seed of love
that can grow into 
unconditional love.
Any of them can become
the road to the spiritual heart."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Forward Motion

 Flying home from San Francisco ~ July 2008

Have you felt an energetic shift these past few days? 

My guess is that many people are noticing a change.  And not just from the turning of the calendar to a new year.  There's some *intense* stuff happening in the celestial realm that is playing out in how we feel and behave down here.

It's great that this New Year begins with the ending of Mercury Retrograde, a New Moon, AND a Solar Eclipse (tomorrow morning at 4:03am ET).  There's A LOT going on in the skies above to help us manifest our annual resolutions!

For many years, I was not one to put much emphasis on or belief into astrology.  I might read my daily horoscope in the newspaper and chuckle if it resembled where I was that day.   I visisted psychics a few times and had a Tarot card reading once in NYC in the early '90's. 

However, as my spiritual path has broadened and progressed, I have come to appreciate the wisdom and insight that can be found in certain professional teachings. 

One such site I recently discovered (thanks, Liz!!!) is The Cosmic Path.  This is about as good as it gets for thorough, timely, intelligent astrological guidance.  I highly recommend you take a few minutes to check out the weekly forecast. 

(As with everything else I will mention in this forum ~ if it resonates with you, check it out ~ if not, let it go.)

Regardless of where you are the path of awakening ~ there are many tools available to assist in your ascension process.  This site is one of the best I've seen so far.  (In future posts, I'll mention others.)

"...focus on our own well-being...this is all that really matters right now. Actually, it’s all that ever really matters, because working on the Self is the key to Love and Peace on the planet. Love your Self, be kind to your Self and treat your Self as you would have others treat you. If you do, they will. We receive exactly what we put out in the world. That’s because it’s a big mirror, nothing more."
~Stephanie Azaria

In addition to her site, Stephanie had a 1-hour long call-in show yesterday, which was fabulous!  You can access a recording of it by sending an email to the proprietor of Wisdom Calls One. (Free 'til the end of the week.)

* * *

Now, all this being said, I want to encourage you to not get too caught up in the details of this stuff!  The most important thing we can do right now (and this is a message I keep getting over and over again), is to stay open and go with the flow.  It is imperative that we let go of fear and TRUST the process.  Keep doing the work you are called to do on yourself.  Especially work on keeping your heart open.  Send love and light to yourself and the world as much as possible.  Make your 'travel' plans, but don't be too attached to any particular destination.  Get rid of any unnecessary 'baggage'.  Lighten your load (physical, emotional, mental, material) and prepare for an amazing journey!

* * *

"Make your New Year's resolutions, but wait until the Solar Eclipse to plant them.   They will go through a long growing season this year, with Uranus, Jupiter and Neptune all changing signs this year.   We are in the midst of vast cosmic changes.   Go with the flow and you'll do well."
~Cathy Pagano

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And So It Begins


One is the Divine number ~ full of new beginnings ~  the basis for all creation.  Wow!

Who knows what amount of magic this year will contain?!?!

(Here's a funny article detailing some numerical significance of the date.)

This morning found us at a fantastic yoga class with my teacher Laurel and her husband Dan.  Much wisdom and good energy was shared for the first day of this New Year!

I discovered a new song during our time together, which is Baba Hanuman by Heather and Benjy Wertheimer.  In the recent past, I have heard the same song by Krishna Das ~ and cannot seem to get enough of it.

Also, it seems like Hanuman is becoming more important to me right now (read: my heart is being called in that direction) and one of my goals for 2011 is to learn the Hanuman Chalisa.  It is said there is great power in chanting it.

"Whoever recites Hanuman Chalisa (40 stanzas praising Hanuman), written by Shree Tulsi Das, for 40 mornings, will beget health, wealth, happiness, courage, valour and wisdom. Devotees reading this Chalisa 108 times will overcome all obstacles."

With my Southern Baptist upbringing, it has taken me quite some time to gain an affinity for and get comfortable with the various Hindu deities.   On the surface, 'worshiping' a monkey god seems really silly!!  However, I am now able to move out of my judging mind and see the significance of viewing the Divine in the many manifestations represented by the epic Indian stories and scriptures.

(Although even now as I see images of Hanuman, I can't help but remember the characters in Planet of the Apes ~ some of which we saw on our recent visit to the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle!)

Hanuman signifies devotion to the Lord.  Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion.  It is not necessary to have an outside source or entity to which you are devoted.  Quite the opposite ~ devotion to your own Higher Self is the key.

"The kingdom of God is within you." 
~ Jesus, as quoted in Luke 17:21

And there are as many paths to this as there are people on the planet!

So in the case of unearthing your True Self (the work of the soul), devotion to the process.

"The prize is in the process."
~Baron Baptiste

Hanuman represents that devotion.

* * * 

I am delighted to be blogging again!  For those of you who are new here....WELCOME!
And for those who knew me from other blogging incarnations...WELCOME BACK!

I have great optimism for what this New Year will bring. :-)
I hope you'll stay tuned as this space develops.


* * *