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! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Inner Beauty

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."— Audrey HepburnAs a  young girl I looked to my mother as the icon of beauty. I always  noticed that she was  appealing and charismatic.   Men would stop her on the street, women would start chatting with her at the  grocery store and all my friends wanted her to hang out with us.  She was really quite something.  My father,  being a bit crass gave her the nickname Audrey Heartburn. Nice. One thing that I did recognize about my mother was that she would tend to look on the bright side of things, and give others the benefit of the doubt. If I came home from a confrontation with a girl at school, she would remind me that perhaps the reason the other little girl was so cruel, was because she may not have it so good at home. It could be quite frustrating when I wanted to complain, or have her on my side. Looking back, I am happy that I had a mother that pointed out that I might look a little further into someone to find some compassion. Decades later, my mother became a  literacy teacher to children, and was quite the popular rock star. Kids would beg their parents to allow them to be tutored, even if they were doing well in school. Mom was in demand.  She played with and entertained the kids, one of them was   quite disappointed when he found out she was not his age and he would not be able to marry her.   It was a lesson she taught to a little girl ,Luah, who was not in the spotlight next to her friend who was being complimented on her beautiful dress. Luah was a little upset and asked "what about mine?" My mother noticed this and  told her that there is such a thing as "inner beauty." Did she know what that was? And proceeded to share with her about goodness. What a lovely lesson, even to this day. Inner Beauty. What is it? It is a feeling towards the world. A way of looking at the world with love. It's a way of feeling touched by the gifts of nature  that we can find in any given moment. Standing in the light of life itself , we can develop the grace to receive abundance and to take each moment thoughtfully and with poise. This requires presence of heart and mind. Taking the time to be exactly where you are and to choose light and delight. You are not alone. The best possible way to know this in your heart is to  begin a relationship with a force that walks alongside you, supports and sustains you. The best possible way to begin is with a sit. I've heard it said that prayer is how I talk to God, and meditation is   how I listen.  In each moment, as I pause through out my day , I can allow this stream of light to enter my heart. Prior to my action, I can learn to pause and see through the eyes of G-d. Which holds all in the light. To me, this is Inner Beauty.