Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Expand Your Perception

It's that time of year. You know what I mean. It's the time of year for expanding waistlines, more parties than you can handle, the ocean of sorrow that we are globally steeped in...it's the time of year when we are reminded of those wishes that never came true, the things we didn't accomplish last year, the deadlines we must meet....yesterday. It's that time when we miss those we have lost EVEN MORE and when we caste our hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. It's that time of year when family taunts us, haunts us and gives us gratitude. It's that time of year where the hunger and the sorrow runs even deeper. The time of year for giving... (and forgiving). It's the time of year that magnifies all of the above.

Sound familiar? Feel familiar? It's over load....isn't it? There's so much energy out there, and in here....pulling me in multiple directions. Yet, I am swimming in confusion and the inability to make a move. There are too many to make! I feel like I'm drowning in it all. Still I have hope and feel excitement. But...the details. I must stay on top of the details.

In order to gain perspective, I must expand my perception. I am imagining the inside of my mind where there is a mountain of ideas, thoughts and business. If I climb to the top of it and get some space. Claim my space, and sit. Here. I begin to breathe. I am able to feel and sense my body. My mind begins to turn off. The din in my mind becomes a faint whisper. It begins to sound more like a wind. In and out. In and out. Breathing. Breathing.

My mind becomes more of a canvas. I ask for the wisdom to paint the picture and I start to feel open and see more clearly. In times of intense excitement and stress...perhaps times when we become afraid of what we may not get or of what we may lose...it is important to settle in. I often hear and read that fear and love cannot exist at the same time. What if...the fear is there to strengthen my courage. In fact, there could be no move towards growth unless I had to muster the courage to find peace even amidst the fear.

These are the thoughts I have today. This is the idea the life has painted upon my canvas today. I don't have to force myself to feel the love. I don't have to erase the fear feeling. I can today embrace the the fear. I can love it, knowing that without it, I could not gain in strength and courage. Expansion(contraction), expansion(contraction). Inhale. Exhale. Life. Death. Repeat. Expansion. Expansion. Expansion.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Let's begin this week with a routine to support the power of release! This routine will help you to power up and generate heat in your body, while twisting and compressing to actively expel toxins that you must release and let go! 


Downward Dog
Knee to Forehead
Twisting Crescent

Separate your legs 4-5 feet wide and parallel. Place your palms on the floor, directly below your shoulders. Lift your tailbone up and press your thighs firm, to straighten your legs. Bring you left hand to below your face. Reach your right arm up towards the sky as you rotate your chest open. Keep your hips level. 5 breaths. Switch sides. Then walk your hands to the front of the mat and legs to the back of your mat for DOWNWARD FACING DOG.

Press your palms down, as if you were going to make imprints of your palms into the mat. Move your pelvis backwards and upward. Squeeze your elbows in towards one another. Press your palms and index fingers into the floor. Press the legs firm and straight. Melt the chest towards the thighs. You should look like an upside down “V.”5 breaths. 

Raise your right leg up behind you. Then shift your weight forward (shoulders over wrists) and draw the knee to the forehead, forehead to the knee. Contract your abdominal muscles. Extend your leg behind you and repeat 8 times.

Step your right foot forward in between your hands. Stay on the back toes and raise your torso, arms extending up. Front leg is lunging at a 90 degree angle. The knee is aligned directly over the ankle. Feet hip width distance, not on a single line like a tightrope. Both hips facing the front. The back leg is firm; kneecap is lifted, heel pressing back. Arms extended by the sides of the ears. Palms face each other. Breathe here. 

From this lunge, sweep the arms behind you and reach your torso to a diagonal. Keep pressing the back leg firm. Tuck the chin slightly, and imagine your neck and head as an extension of the spine. Inhale, back to Crescent, arm sweep up. Repeat 8 times.

From Crescent, bring your left hand to the floor by the inside of your right foot. Reach your right arm up towards the ceiling, as you rotate your chest open. Keep your back leg strong and continue to lengthen out through the crown of your head. 5 breaths. 

Release the twist and bring both palms to the floor on either side of your front foot. Get some spring-action in the legs and hips. In one move, jump the right leg back and the left foot forward. Again, switch. Try to move with each breath. Switch the legs 8 times.


Monday, November 9, 2015

New Moon 11-11

This week's New Moon in Scorpio occurs on 11-11. 11-11 is a portal that we may step through and make a quantum leap into a new reality. When one door closes and another opens and there is not a better sign than Scorpio for transcending one reality and letting go completely in a new one. Scorpio is symbolized by the Phoenix that rises from the ashes. All else may die, but Scorpio somehow regenerates itself and gets reborn. Another symbol is a snake shedding it's skin. The art of letting go is the mark of an evolved Scorpio. Scorpio energy has the power to transform the most base to the most enlightened. From the serpent to the eagle, Scorpio is the alchemist. 

Kundalini energy is Scorpio energy. Death and rebirth is the Scorpio path. Control and Release are its themes. Ultimately, it is the ability to control our own response by choosing the highest path rather than the lowest that brings us to enlightenment. We have a choice. Choose wisely this full moon and watch your world transform. Our thoughts, words and the way we communicate is key, since Mercury is conjunct this Scorpio New Moon. Make a conscious effort to notice these moments of choice in your daily life. Part of the strength we develop in this lifetime comes from the power to observe our thoughts and to select our words and actions consciously. Plant the seeds for cultivating power on this new moon. Seek to bring your shadow to light. Attune your nature to it’s highest good. The highest evolution of the Scorpio energy is the dove. Having been transformed and enlightened the dove represents pure peace.

When planting seeds for the month, creating a ritual can be potent. Try Kundalini yoga or join a fire ceremony. Find places to express pent up desire and safely honor your shadow side. Dress up as your dark side. Explore breath work. Holotropic Breathing (formerly called re-birthing) is a type of breath work that could be transformative. Get your chart done. Try Pole Dancing. Be sexy. Be fierce. Be in control of your actions. Perfect challenging yoga poses: Scorpion, Eagle and Corpse Pose. Most importantly, let go. The feeling of release is actually quite pleasurable. All creation is born out of the emptiness. Be not afraid of the dark, for that is where true power lies. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Shadow and Light

"Only in darkness can you see the stars."
~Martin Luther King Jr.

As I fall back into Daylight Savings Time, and embrace the shorter days and the darkness of the night I look forward to the revelations I may have during night fall. Much is revealed when the darkness comes. I write this on Dia de los Meurtos, the day after Halloween where we come in close contact with the spirit world. The veil is very thin during this time of year. It is appropriate to become more nocturnal. Night time is a place where secrets are told. There is intimacy in the darkness. More is revealed in the in-between spaces of the night, as we come closer to the spirit world and the dream time.

 B photography, shadow and light, the body's edge. Schattenspiel
The emotionally dark times can bring us into deeper intimacy with ourselves. I have found my greatest strengths as I struggled with the despair of a loved one dying, the agony of my physical body failing me either through an injury or internally or the devastation of romantic heartbreak. It is in these moments when I stand alone and face my fears and my shadow that I stare into the void and am somehow imbued with an inner strength that seemingly comes from nowhere. It gives me faith on my journey. It reminds me that I am the heroine of my own story.

Shadow is a valuable commodity. While many selectively view themselves as positive or light, I embrace my depth and my dark. I dive into the abyss of the emptiness to explore the territory where no one has been. This is the ride I have chosen. The both/and. The shadow/light. I have seen signposts along the way telling me that this space is most fertile. I have heard that nature abhors a vacuum. Or that not-knowing is the most creative state. Time and again when I feel that I can't go on and I let go and surrender to the unknown, something new will appear. Just as when I look to the sky for that first star of the night with childhood memories of the promise that Jiminy Cricket made to me. I make my wish from that empty place of yearning and desire.

 I know that without my darkness my light will not shine as bright. I know that I must love this being fully. She longs to be known for all of who she is, not just the fruits of her labor, but the arduous journeyer that she is. Each step on the well worn path, pressed into her face and peppered throughout the strands of grey in her DNA. She wants to be seen. And she wants to see you.

Let us stand strong and watch the shadows play upon our faces as we gaze up at the stars in tonight's sky. Let us watch the shapes of dark and light that moon casts upon these well etched and hard earned wrinkles.

Oh how I love your empty spaces and your in-between places.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dive In Deep

Transformation is a long and painful process. The ability to sit in the discomfort of the nothingness, like the chrysalis in it’s cocoon requires mastery. Entering as a lowly little caterpillar and emerging as the delicate and beautiful butterfly is a major adjustment. Today crawling and tomorrow fluttering by. Nature reveals these miracles daily, and reminds us of our own slow, yet seemingly instant, transformation. The external change appears to happen in a burst, yet the process itself is wildly unglamorous.

I will speak for myself when I say, these past two years (and particularly my past year) have been a slow and grueling transformation with periods of extreme sadness, waiting in the unknown and facing fears. Life has tested me to my core. Since I am a 47 year old woman, I have had some training and practice in being tested by circumstance. I was well-prepared to sit with and face my fears in a way that I have never done before. I can humbly say that my internal strength and my faith has grown tenfold. While there is still uncertainty, I am no longer trying to gain control over any outcome.

It feels like this: I settle into my cocoon. I sit, and willingly dive deeper. Uncover more of myself. Realize that she is there. Hiding. Hiding behind her strength, her accomplishments, her projected image. Who is this she, I am yearning to know? I let her know that I love the one who is hiding. I love her. The one who thinks she has more to say, but doesn’t know what. The one who wants to give more. The one who is afraid of being seen. Now I understand the fear. The timidity. Is it because she is delicate. Because she is fluttering by wiith her many colors in her final, beautiful stage.

As you move through transformative times, have patience. Know that the burn you feel in the stillness is the alchemical process of change.

Delight in your depth. Be heavy. Sit. Be still. There is nowhere to go. That is a good thing.

Restructure your thinking. As above, so below. Nobody and nothing else is the problem. The problem is blaming outside circumstance for the way you feel. Instead, feel the way you feel. And notice your thoughts.

I wish you depth and faith!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Reflections on Navaratri

In my daily meditations I reflect and learn. To practice yoga is to seek balance. A balance of strength and flexibility in body and in mind. Conditioning  polarizes us and teaches us "good" vs. "bad." We lose our balance, trying to do "right" instead of "wrong." We seek "strength" and shun "weakness." Yet, each day, our world reflects back to us that one person's "victory" is another's "defeat." Life is balanced in this way. One needs the other, and so the wheel spins.

The path of yoga is the path of both/and. My judgment of a brother or sister is usually a reaction to a quality that I disown within myself. My sense of lack gets triggered if I forget that I too possess the beauty I may project on to another. All that I see and encounter in my world is simply reflected aspects of my Self.

What an eye-opener to entertain that I contain the compassion of Christ and the callous self-righteousness of Isis. As I open up to my own depth and complexity, I find a deeper peace with the world as I sit solidly in my center. No more hiding. No more hiding my fear, my insecurity or my rage. No more hiding behind my accomplishments. No more hiding behind my friends. No more hiding behind my opinions. No more hiding behind my history. No more hiding behind what my dad said or did. No more hiding.

Our Navaratri Altar to Goddess Durga
Auspicious seat.
The Self is the playing field of these dynamic energies. During this week, I had the opportunity to connect with the energy of Navaratri, the Hindu celebration of the Divine Mother in her many forms. She is fierce, pure, abundant, sly, life-giving, and she rides atop a tiger. Her eight limbs hold tools. I was given the tool of the malas or rosary. When I read about this tool, I was delighted to find that it contains the ability for special powers. Both the ability to become so small that one becomes invisible and large enough to encompass the universe. The ability to become so heavy that one is immovable and the power to be light as a feather. Who is this Self that can contain such extreme opposites?

In reflecting upon this vast playing field, one could contemplate that indeed we are not simply one point of focus, or even one player, but like the Divine Mother we are the field itself and the multiple players, as well as we are none of it at all. The dance itself is life. Each playing its part. Sometimes blindly. Sometimes fearlessly.

When I look at the world today, what aspects of myself might I see? When I see myself, how can I embrace her with the reverence and fierce love that comes with the naked truth. How can I be both visible and seemingly not there at all. Reflections of the many forms of truth.

My sister from the same mister. 

Which me shall I be? 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday/Moon Day

The rhythms of the planets are a cyclical dance of synchronized chaos. The moon, our fastest moving planet rules our emotions, moods and needs. If you are like me, this can change from hour to hour (that's a Gemini moon for you!) The new moon is a one month marker, of a certain energetic theme. This new moon vibrates in the sign of Libra. Partnership oriented; concerned with fairness and equality, Libra needs to relate and cooperate with/as an equal. This sign of marriage is ruled by the planet Venus. Venus is known to bring beauty, pleasure, money and love.

When looking at a new moon chart, one must read the other planets for clues. On this new moon, the planet of chaos and excitement, Uranus and the planet of transformation, death and depth, Pluto create friction. When faced with immediate change and power struggles, our needs may warrant an overhaul. Today. The planet ruling Libra: Venus, is conjunct Mars and Jupiter, making her extra physical and sexy. She is also opposite Neptune. This can be spiritual or deceptive. Another hint is that Saturn is engaged in a bit of a struggle with all of these personal planets. Many lessons to learn, many hard circumstances to work with. Inhale. Exhale. Continue.

There may be relationship issues requiring structure. Be flexible, and patient with this new moon. Tune in to what relationship means to you today. Get current with where you are. For instance, you may have wanted marriage years ago, but with a few bumps in the road and some experience under your belt, you may have decided that flying solo might work best for now. Or perhaps attraction is shifting. Perhaps what you once swooned over~ just don't seem to evoke the same visceral reaction anymore. You have arrived at a new place in your life. Outer beauty only goes so far. 

Take the time to redefine your partnership needs. It may be a good time to make that list of qualities you are looking for in a partner and take it a step further. What qualities do you want to project in a partnership? What would you like to give to another? 

Most importantly allow information to flow freely. See what sticks. 
Partnerships do require compromise. As my uncle, who is an attorney says, "A good deal is when both parties are a little disappointed." Be willing to let go of something, knowing that you will have more to gain by working "with."

New Moon Blessings!