Sunday, June 28, 2015

EMOTION OF THE OCEAN

Boat on Boat

We approach an emotional Full Moon in moody Cancer on July 2nd. Full Moons always highlight our relationship between the masculine, external, out in the world self and the feminine, internal, emotional self. The Sun is currently in maternal and moody Cancer while the Full Moon is in all-business, task-master Capricorn. All work and no play. Finding balance between home and career, personal and public are the themes during this Full Moon. Cancer is a water sign, so being near bodies of water can heal you at this time. Capricorn is the Mountain.  A good full moon ritual may integrate these opposing elements by taking a walk on a bluff. Or take a hike through a trail that has a waterfall destination. Honor your feelings, and stay the course.
As Summer flows, the ocean and more at-home time connects us with the ebb and flow of being social and coming back to the self. We are made of 80 percent water, and water in all forms is incredibly soothing. Here in Los Angeles, water has become an obvious commodity and its value is even controversial. Are you entitled to water? Water represents the emotions. Are you entitled to your emotions? It is your birthright. (So far they haven’t found a way to bottle and sell that back to us.)



Water resets me from nearly any mood: When I’m angry, I drink a glass of water and literally feel myself cool down. When I feel low, a shower or bath can lift my spirits and energize me. Water cleanses me of others people’s energies. Water can be a playmate for surfers, or an intense force to be reckoned with as in a tsunami. Be sure to take your lessons from the water. Be fluid. Go with the flow, allow things to be as they are…move around them. Practice surrender and let go of forcing. Water is the strongest element as it can change the shape of the hardest rock with its current.
Play in the water! Find a lake, river or ocean.
Cleanse yourself with salt water baths, the ocean, or a walk in a Summer storm.
Be like water, humble, seeking the lowest level. Go with the flow....

Saturday, June 13, 2015

WHAT YOU THINK, YOU BECOME

I recently read that humans have between 12,000 and 50,000 thoughts per day. Many of them the same. When you think the same thought again and again it begins to etch into the neuro-pathways of your brain and becomes easier to slip into habitual thinking.

The famous quote that many yogis use:


points to how our thinking forms our circumstances. This gives me pause to consider the meanderings of my mind, and how many of them are based on past experience, expectation and habitual thinking. How many of my thoughts are conscious, enabling me to create new pathways toward a future me? Something that is more in alignment with my maturity and the eternally changing "Self" that I am expressing is needed in order to represent my true character and to my next destination.

I have been sharing recently, and rarely, that I am going through a personal transition and transformation. Leaving behind old habitual ways of seeing myself and others, allowing what is outdated to dissolve in order to make room for the new. My thinking is more noticeable when I take the time to slow down, think before speaking, and listen to what I am hearing with a beginner's mind. This type of attention and focus is way easier without the multitude of distractions that surround me. Social media, connecting with friends, and the general business of living can send me right into automatic mode. My thoughts are on shuffle, but like my iPod, the old familiar tunes just keep coming up.

Conscious awareness is a muscle like any other. It must be trained and retrained on a consistent basis before transformation appears. Both meditation and mindfulness of the words we speak (both to ourselves in our head and to others) is well worth the attention it takes. Not only that, behind every word that is thought or spoken is a motive. Ask yourself: "When I say this, what do I mean?" "Am I trying to get something from speaking these words?" Considering these things can bring to light even older feelings and emotions that have not been dealt with. Uncovering and shedding light on these dusty old mental artifacts  can allow the release that is required in order to move forward in a fresh new way.

There is much up ahead. As we let go and see the underlying patterns, not only do we make room for new possibilities, but we can understand ourselves better and take the right action to fulfill our own true needs.

As you think right thoughts you can deeply connect to the true self and take right actions, then you become right with yourself and the world, and the world becomes right with you.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mind Over Matter: If You Don't Mind, It Doesn't Matter!

 The transition from Spring to Summer is abuzz with the busy-ness of life. Graduations, vacation planning, and the general day to day errands and local outings begins to emerge along with the sprays of flowers abloom and the sun’s warmth radiating towards us. Lets throw in a Mercury retrograde in the sign of Gemini and we’ve got some major communication going, albeit mis-communication as well! 


The aim of yoga is to loosen our grip from the trappings of the mind. The mind loves to future trip, plan, think, make connections and stay busy. The mind is a wonderful slave but an awful master. Or as they say, my mind is like a bad neighborhood, I shouldn't to go there alone. So here’s the thing: you are not going to be able to stop your monkey mind, but you can understand that you are not your mind. Once you are able to observe your mind, you will be able to move in and reframe your thoughts, and eventually settle into the seat of the witness. “Who is the one meditating?"

 The observation muscle is strengthened through meditation and concentration. We then have choices (Note the picture of me above, trying to choose between these two sets of mala beads).


With the Gemini energy in full effect (Mercury retrograde in Gemini and the sun shining in the sign of the twins) multiplicity abounds! Get ready for communication glitches, a media onslaught, neighborhood exchanges, televisions, computers and phones on. Chatter. The mind. Gemini energy wants it all, all at once. Today’s full moon (June 2nd) is in Sagittarius and seeks adventure, expansion, to go farther, faster, longer…more more more! The Gemini/Sag polarity wants to cover a lot of territory, but there is a Neptunian energy squaring off on these two and it is requiring us to let that space be filled with spirit. We need spaciousness for our information exploration. The best possible version of this brings us back to meditation.


 Sit and allow the trappings of the mind to dissolve and embark on an inner journey deeper into the self for the supreme expression of these divergent energies. Have fun along the way! (Moon in Sag.) Make jokes! (Sun in Gemini). See all the colors of your mind and paint them out, dance them out, and be active in the physical body. As you do this, watch your mind mellow. Neighborhood workout classes or day long retreats would serve you well. Remember, it all comes down to mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Start/Stop/Yes and....

Last night's new moon in Taurus energy awakened and enlivened the senses. Perhaps you were deeply breathing into your body with yoga...or felt a sense of gratitude expanding your heart...or maybe a connection with Earth's frequency and pulse. Enjoying life's pleasures is Taurus's specialty. New moons are for beginnings. A good time to start something!  However, I would suggest that there may some false starts due to other planetary energies. Saturn opposing the moon last night indicates a foot on the brakes. Shortly after the new moon, the moon quickly entered A.D.D. multi-tasker Gemini. Gemini wants everything all at once and then forgets about all of it with the next distraction. Scattered? Yes (no!) What's more, the dreaded Mercury retrograde begins tonight, through Jun 11th. Did I mention false starts?

Key to Mercury retrograde: take your time. Leave earlier for appointments. Expect delays. Allow miscommunication to bring you back to the present moment. The beauty of this new moon is that it grounded us into our physical bodies. I personally took a barefooted walk, got comfy in the bed, took an extended epsom salt bath, and ate dessert (Coconut milk popsicle). Slowing down is almost always a good practice for me, since I was a born multi-tasker. There will still be mistakes. Make them your wake up call, your moving meditation, your conversation with spirit!

I sense the changes. It's not quite Summer, but I feel the transition. Though it's still Spring, we've had a few cloudy L.A. days. I am personally closer to the end of a project than at the beginning, but now is the time to rework, reframe, review, and revamp the book I am working on. That is exactly what Mercury retrograde is good for. So revise! and any work you can think of that starts with "re-" (relate? reveal? renegotiate? respond?)

In honor of the Taurus New Moon from last night, (I'm already looking back) I share with you a Rolling Stones video, HEAVEN that will bring you to your senses:


Smell of you baby, my senses, my senses be praised
Smell of you baby, my senses, my senses be praised
Kissing and running, kissing and running away
Kissing and running, kissing and running away
Senses be praised
Senses be praised
Your my saving grace, saving grace
Nothing will harm you
Nothing will stand in your way
Nothing, Nothing
Nothing will stop you
And nothing will stand in your way
No one will harm you
No one will stand in your way
No one will bar you
Nothing will stand in your way
Nothing
There's nothing~ The Rolling Stones

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bloom Like a Lotus Flower

Mother Nature can be so delicate and so powerfully fierce. The recent tragedy in Nepal shows us the power of Earth itself and that there is no solid ground. Our hearts have gone out to those who suffer the loss of their loved ones, belongings, and stability, yet it is a reminder to ground and earth ourselves securely in the moment. Today and this moment is what you have. With your body exactly as it is right now. Life is both tenuous and resilient.  Nature provides us with opportunities to grow and shows us that all that is physical is temporary. Each day is a gift, and it is good to remember this, by going with the forces of nature as best we can. For today, you can rejoice in the body that you have and take in all the beauty of the physical world. Today you can see nature's rainbow of colors, swim in the crashing waves of the ocean, walk barefooted on her sandy beaches. Today you can taste Mother Nature’s juicy sweetness in a bowl of blueberries, lay down in the grass and look at the starry night sky. Today you can deep deep breaths and move as best you can, celebrating all you have, while knowing it is impermanent.

The Sun is currently in the sign of Taurus, which is a sign of nature, comforts, stability and value. Last night we saw the Buddha Full Moon, wherein the Buddha auspiciously attained enlightenment. Each Full Moon brings to light the opposite sign, which indicates the pull that we feel between the conscious and sub-conscious. The polarity is represented by the sign Scorpio, the sign of deep transformation, power and desire. Scorpio energy requires the Taurus bull to awaken out of his comfortable slumber and make some changes. We have faced a lot of change over these past several years and especially the recent months. Now it is time to transform old habits, and rouse ourselves from the comfort zone. Taurus energy has the ability to keep it simple, and I suggest you do so by being out in nature. The best work outs for now are long hikes, beach walks and slow yoga. Take your time to connect with the natural elements, and stay open to change for it will be valuable to your internal stability. Graze on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables this month!

In terms of the world at large: Be generous and give where you can. Maybe it is financial, or in prayer. Maybe you can give your time and physical effort. Or perhaps you are an observer holding space. Know your value and give from that place. Sending love and prayers to those who suffer, and celebrating those who are content.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Universal Love Notes From the Year of the Goat


Dear Everybody,



As we ring in the year of the Goat, and travel through the astrological sign of Pisces, I just wanted to say I love you. Did you hear me? Yes. I mean you. This universe is a magical and wondrous place, and as I write you this love note, I can feel into the beauty that you are. If you take a few moments each day to tap into the invisible thread that binds us together, and allow yourself to surrender to that supportive force of nature, you will feel it too. I am a goat, so I know from experience that these creatures are creative and loving, which sets the tone for the year.

We are surrounded by this dreamy universal love energy when in the pools of the sign of Pisces. Pisces rules creativity, dream time, poetry, film and dance. Astrologically speaking, we are also crashing into our final of seven squares that have been demanding radical and deep transformational change. We have each been asked to make transformational change collectively and individually since 2012 and will feel the reverberation of these aspects well into the Summer. During these "exciting times", it is wise to find ways to mellow out. I know that when I am feeling agitated or angry, it is due to my not taking the time and space I need for myself. Then I have much to give from that place. What if each being took responsibility and cared for themselves enough daily? From there, fill others with that same love. The key is to create space. Dancing and Yoga are highlighted, rather than gym workouts. Be sure to get plenty of rest, adhere to a diet that is high in water content such as fruits and vegetables. Meditation is effortless in the sea of Pisces energy, so now is an ideal time to begin a meditation practice.

Here are some ways to relax and let go: 



CALM powder at night. Magnesium will relax you into a dreamy sleep.

Meditation AM and PM. Press the reset button and listen for cues.

Legs Up Wall Pose. Forward bends will do the trick to relaxing your nervous system.

Rebounder. A great cardio activity will release excess tension. Rebounding is also great for the lymphatic system.

Paint, or find a creative activity like knitting that allows your brain to rest for a while.

Dance. Allow yourself to be fluid and expressive.


As we head into the Spring and the energy shifts, I have some exciting announcements upcoming about a Y28 mind-body makeover weight loss challenge beginning on March 25th. So stay tuned for that in the next couple of weeks. Or visit dietbet.com/mandy for a preview!

In the meantime, reset yourself and be in the love.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Break Your Own Rules

I have a confession to make. I'm an absolute task master. It's true, I'm a natural born disciplinarian. A self starter from way back in the day. It is not something that I learned, or forced myself to do. I was born this way. I make my own rules, and I always have. I came out of the womb a rule-maker. Nobody assigned me any rules to follow, but when there were guidelines I could latch on to, I loved to follow them. If there were no rules, I requested them. Mom and dad did not give me chores, so I suggested that my brother and I be assigned chores, and earn an allowance based on the work we did. Needless to say, my brother was not too thrilled about this set-up and my parents thought it was amusing. The rest is history.
I actually enjoy setting goals and following through to accomplishment. Here's a little secret though: I can get very rigid and follow rules simply for the sake of meeting the demand or hitting the mark. As I say about myself, I like to deliver. This can leave me feeling empty when I am enslaved to the very rules that I created in the first place. What once was a pleasure has become my duty, and I feel bound to it for no other reason than, I said I would. Well guess what else I am? A rule breaker. A beater of my own drum. A rebel and an inventor. Every so often, when I feel responsible to out dated ideas, or after an extended period of work work work, I like to tear off the shackles, and break away from the "same old."
For years, I can marry myself to set of habits or guidelines, and in a moment I can cut loose and run like the wind, away from my former life. Or I can stop and drop into a stillness that allows the swirl around me to slow and I get very simple and clear. I am in a renewal period like this right now. So I have released a lot of what binds me to a persona that I have, or an idea that I have of myself in order to rediscover who I am today, and who I am becoming. This includes stopping the same physical movements that I have been habitually doing and moving in other ways. Dance is the movement of choice for my break-away moment. Moving away from the same rigid and practiced asana into the more fluid and free form circular, and lateral movements of dance has been freeing and renewing. I have been unplugging from hot yoga practice, which I got into a habit of doing over the past year, and immersing myself into the elements by hiking in nature and taking my deep breaths there.
The point is: do something different!
If there is a lack of luster, or if you've lost the pep in your step, perhaps you need to break your own rules. What new movements can you make in order to embody a new aspect of yourself? What rituals and habits have lost their momentum? What new treasures can you find from within?
Have a beautiful and re-creative week!