Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Field Trip to the Omega Institute

Nature is the norm at Omega.
I see the light.
Nothing reminds me of my childhood education for experiential learning more than my annual trip to the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. Omega, being the last letter of the Greek alphabet implies completion or integration and the sound:"o". "Oh"is precisely the way I feel after a weekend spent there. My mind feels wide open, my heart serenely settled, my body unwound. Yes, I am there as the leader. The teacher is really an advanced student whose learning comes from being a pioneer and leading the group, and what better setting to learn and grow than the grounds at Omega.

From one of my walks.
The acres of forest and sustainability upon which this retreat center is founded provides an open setting and environment to support any modality of study for exploration. From the lake to the nature trails, the vegetable and herb gardens, the oval stone sanctuary and the human treasures found along the way. All available as stepping stones towards a journey into the self. A journey that one can only take alone, but at Omega we do so in community. Most of the staff at Omega are volunteers, which speaks volumes for its value. These beautiful and intelligent beings facilitate all of the workshops with support in setting up the workshop rooms, making the meals from the organic fruit, herb and vegetables grown on the grounds(as well as local farmers) and keep the spartan cabins and dorms clean.
A ritual for you
Offering

Full Moon in Pisces!
Imagine my delight to be amongst the other workshop leaders like Stephen Forrest, one of my favorite astrologers, in line at the cafeteria (an experience in itself!). I attended some of the open activities that are scheduled daily during the workshop break time. I took a lovely 7am yoga class in a  mostly glass room that looks out to the woods. I practiced mindfulness meditation in the oval sanctuary. I even went to an awesome two hour demonstration of medium Lisa Williams who was teaching a workshop there as well. People from all of the workshops, Tony Horton's P90X, the Shambala Center, motivational speakers, astrology students all gathered to see if they could make contact with a relative who had passed on.

bliss by the lake
Yes
The intimate group of intelligent and curious students who I lead were a delight. In showing up for my practice, which is being open to teaching and being open to the student, I found myself with a classroom full of gifted teachers themselves. Each reflecting an aspect of me, each revealing to me more lovable parts of myself. Within this setting, we felt protected and in an intimate environment for exploration. What would we find?

The word that seemed to permeate the space and that penetrated my heart so deeply was: Gratitude.

So grateful for the opportunity to connect with you all this way. May our continued journey bring the sweetness of connection and the space for the individual. Experiential learning is just the best!


The Omega "goodbye" committee

Man and nature together. Treasures. 








Sunday, August 23, 2015

Impeccable You

The quest for perfection may not begin with the purest intentions, but may still lead to an honest path.

Many of us are working to fill ourselves up with externals or even spiritual currency in order to become invulnerable and powerful. In the end, each have limited returns. In order to find impeccability, we must examine and refine our motives. Underneath the surface, where insecurities hide and our fears or secrets lurk, we must address the original wound or hurt. The beauty of the journey is that all roads lead to the same place: the gift of exactly who you are. After all, you are only here to live and express the purest version of YOU. You are already perfect. Just as you are. In your natural state.

I had a wonderful opportunity to work with Women's Health Magazine at their first Well-thy Event. The currency of self care is true wealth and has abundant returns that last through time. I am looking forward to continuing that journey in a couple of weeks at Omega. Hope to see you there!

The Well-thy Retreat House was full! 



My students arriving for rooftop Yogalosophy.


"Love your body!"

Remember to breathe.

Opposition energy is dynamic.

Feel your way through.

You already have a perfect body.


Being interviewed on Well-th.

Just being myself. It's what I've got.



This is the ideal time to simplify your life and find that source of purity from within.  As above, so below. The best possible way to return to your natural state is to pare down on all that is unneeded. Keep what works.

Daily: 
  • meditation, 
  • hygiene, 
  • journaling, 
  • creating,
  • physical activity,
  • breath work, 
  • hydration, 
  • sustenance, 
  • service, 
  • love, 
  • work, 
  • community, 
  • relaxation 
  • play.

This is a good life. A good, honest life. For this moment, take only what you need. No more and no less.
Chop wood, carry water. Shine on. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

FUN IN THE SUN!


Get out your Sun Salutes, for Summer is at a peak in August. I am a bit of a Sun worshipper myself and just love being outdoors with the Sun shining in my eyes. I try to get my daily dose of Vitamin D, eat plenty of leafy greens and organic fruits and vegetables to consume the light of the sun that is contained within this manna from the heavens. I practice daily gratitude for the sun that rises and falls without my doing a thing to make that happen. I surrender fully to the wisdom of the universe and try to bring my consciousness to my actions. Surely the best possible form of gratitude is to have fun and to create just for the sake of creation. Find ways to have fun through creating:

  • Get your heart rate up by dancing or playing a game.
  • Do 108 sun salutes just for the fun of it.
  • Try a new recipe and create an edible masterpiece.
  • Sing at the top of your lungs.
  • Do something out of the ordinary.
  • Make a stranger smile.
Here is some astrological wisdom for the next couple of weeks for you: 

What a year of expansion it has been. The struggle that it has taken to see what has been hidden and to reveal our true selves and to BE SEEN. Leo is ruled by the Sun and takes center stage. Each of us is the Sun of our own Universe, playing our part as the star of our own movie. What has been revealed to you this year, about your nature? Jupiter, the planet of expansion and the guru has been expanding the sign of Leo, and we complete this journey on August 11, when Jupiter moves into the modest and health conscious sign of Virgo. This move will bring our self-care actions to the fore. Many of us will eliminate what we have found is simply excessive, yet we have the first week of August to get a last taste of indulgence. Enjoy. Celebrate what you have learned. Dance. Party. Play. Leo rules the heart, so get your heart rate up with some cardiovascular activities. Salute the Sun, and shine on.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Horizons!

 The adventure of life comes with much excitement. Today marks an astonishing moment in planetary history. We get our very first view of the far off planet Pluto. It happens to coincide with the new moon in the emotional, moody and maternal sign of Cancer (exact at 625pm Pacific July 15th). Not only is the external world experiencing its first glimpse of a new planet, but it is reminding me of the New Horizons that I may have first launched in 2006 and the images I am personally logging today.
I
Dramatic Day at Corral Canyon

 As I re-examine myself today and apply what I have learned over this advanced testing period of the last 9 years, I can honestly say there were a few times I didn't think I would make it. On some level I hit bottom and I did give up. Time and again I find myself going through a cycle of death and rebirth. Just when I am positive that this is the end, I find myself at the summit with a new perspective and a new longing for the next chapter. Something within me wants to be alive! I can once again feel that motor from within. It's alive again, revving and  reigniting my passions.

I'm not completely certain, but I may be describing the force of the planet Pluto. Pluto is a transformational planetary energy. It represents alchemy and plumbing the depths to eliminate what is no longer useful. New Horizons is the Pluto mission that was launched in 2006. It makes me think back to that time. What was I doing when I launched my 2006 mission? When I look back, I can remember relationships that were formed, partnerships and risks that I was taking. Seeds I was planting. The mountain that I was viewing from the very bottom. So majestic and glorious, if perhaps daunting and maybe even my detachment from it. All that I didn't know, somehow allowing me the strength to begin the journey. The innocence guiding me, more than the certainty. 

Today I can look at this same mountain from the top. View the New Horizon. Take a breath. Sigh it out. See the pictures and images I have stored in my mind. Understanding what I have been through, perhaps a little bit more. With this understanding comes a need to reinvent. To shift and discard. To detach and release that which no longer serves. Shadowing the lessons that I may be getting from my reflection in planet Pluto. I don't know about you, but what I am noticing most from the image of Pluto is that big heart.
New Horizons: Pluto 2015





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.