Ask me. By William Stafford

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

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diary day 6

It’s been a week. My life shifted direction a week ago but I’m not really sure how. It never really feels different since I’m still waking up with myself in the morning and the crazed chipmunks still pace outside my door in search of dried food (OK, I feed them every so often because I love their racing stripes). I’m the same but things are different. It’s up to me now to decide all terms. I have fallen out of peoples favor, I have had to tell some that I’m going to do something they don’t like or something that doesn’t involve them. I’ve had to figure out what I’m about. It’s an on-going process, of course. The moment I stop, I die.

In search of input from the universe I’ve consulted friends, relatives, doctors, gurus, therapists and an astrologer. Knowing that none of them will have an answer but I’ve been seeking a perspective that I haven’t thought of on my own. One of the big ones that I got from the astrologer is to follow the passion of healing through my yoga. Heal myself, introduce yoga to others and the abundance happens. There have been little shifts in my mindset but I’m getting it now – stop giving away the yoga. I still love teaching friends and sharing information but when it comes to teaching at studios or subbing for free, no longer. I donate in home sessions to charities as a way to give back but for it doesn’t seem worth it for people that are not really committed to it. I’ve decided to give up my Satuday outdoor garden class in exchange for doing in home private sessions. It’s a double edge sword since this takes me out of circulation and the opportunity to meet new clients. But at this point, it feels like the right thing to do. A (hopefully) steady income throughout the winter. I’ll decide what to do with the garden next spring. There’s something about practicing next to a bullfrog that can’t be beat. xoxo

BREAKING SURFACE, by Mark Nepo

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won’t let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can’t be done.

Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.

You are the only explorer.
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.

Posted by Lisa at 3:28 PM

A little bit o’ Lakshmi

Lakshmi, the Goddess of Abundance, is a great goddess to keep around. You’ve possibly met a Lakshmi or Laxmi depending on the preference of person that named her. I’ve met an accountant whose guru appropriately named her Laxmi. She is blonde and wears a little carved jade Ganesh around her neck. Ganesh being the elephant head on the baby body and known as the remover of all obstacles. Lakshmi and Ganesh are a great paring. Ganesh: get out of your own way because you’re the one that is in the way and Lakshmi: once you’re out of your own way, you experience life’s abundance. This does not represent solely monetary abundance but rather fullness. It’s the cup cup runneth over fullness that you can almost taste. It is life so full that you long for little else. When you have so much – so much love, friendship, support, sunshine and fresh air, you draw these things back to you. Aren’t we ultimately attracted to the things that make us feel abundant? It’s universal law.

Sometimes we get stuck in routines where life can feel a little gray and dulled. We feel trapped and a bit stuck with our routines. The beauty of the paring of Ganesh and Lakshmi is if we keep reminding ourselves to get out of our way (stop the thoughts that impede us) and open ourselves up to recognize how much we have, the opportunities present themselves to us. Gifts don’t always present themselves as you might hope but definitely, as the universe wants you to experience it.

With love and abundance.

First the pigeon, then the tears

When under stress most of us seek a release. Whether you smoke, drink, run, eat cookie dough or, like me, practice yoga, there’s something our mind & body tells us will do it. My practice hasn’t been enough of a release this year and I’ve needed more. Like a cutter, I needed to go deeper to feel pain and recognize that life’s rawness would come to the surface as a way to make peace with myself. We are not one dimensional beings and often in our lives we drive ourselves by what we are in a given moment. That moment is gone as quickly as it was called out. We’re always changing and growing and moving in the direction of whatever thought we are having in the moment. Back to this year’s release – I take Open level classes on a regular basis. The closest comparison of an Open level to a physical workout would be a Spinning class. It takes regular practice to comfortably take the class and there’s a required amount of knowledge and mind-body connection required to not injure yourself while continuing to deepen the practice.

Like a cyclist looking for a steeper hill, after two years of Open level, I sought a deeper practice. I emailed my teacher saying that due to the chaos in my life, I felt the need to snap my body in half. He told me to take his advanced class. So, there I was, the new kid in school and the least practiced of the 16 or so other students. It kind of felt good. It kind of felt like there was a whole lot more that I needed to do so having to stick with Open level was not the end all be all. There were lots of deep hip openers and headstands and virabadrasana I and II on our own. Unexpectantly, we were put in pigeon and asked to bend our back knee and bring our back foot forward and lift the front (bottom) foot to meet the other foot, turning our torso toward the back leg. Well, now, isn’t that interesting? Also, as a side note, I’ve been picking up the lovely habit of grinding my teeth at night. In yoga we recognize the direct correlation between the jaw and hips – new students will find that in deep hip stretches, the jaw tenses, relax the jaw and the hips tighten. So, I’m clentching my jaw, trying the pose, tell myself to relax my jaw and BAM, I’m suddenly in New York with, at the time my boyfriend, during the summer on vacation from Seattle with a perfect breeze on a perfect weekened, over looking Central Park. We walked the park, bought bagels from the corner deli, walked the city and were in love. At this point in my yoga, I returned to my breath and found myself sobbing. That vacation will always be part of me and the love I have for this person and for the city that brought us together. Times change but the experiences had do not. I will always have that emotional connection and I cherish it. I am so grateful to the yoga for helping me unleash a memory that could have easily been buried or remembered only as flashes rather than a fully sensual memory.

David Whyte to the rescue on a Friday night at home

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone.
As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings.
Surely,even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity. 
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation.
The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last.
All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves.
Everything is waiting for you.  

– David Whyte 

Osho tarot of the day

Card representing the issue: Healing
You carry your wound. With the ego, your whole being is a wound. And you carry it around. Nobody is interested in hurting you, nobody is positively waiting to hurt you; everybody is engaged in safeguarding his own wound. Who has got the energy? But still it happens, because you are so ready to be wounded, so ready, just waiting on the brink for anything.

You cannot touch a man of Tao. Why? – because there is no one to be touched. There is no wound. He is healthy, healed, whole. This word whole is beautiful. The word heal comes from the whole, and the word holy also comes from the whole. He is whole, healed, holy.

Be aware of your wound. Don’t help it to grow, let it be healed; and it will be healed only when you move to the roots. The less the head, the more the wound will heal; with no head there is no wound. Live a headless life. Move as a total being, and accept things.

Just for twenty-four hours, try it – total acceptance, whatsoever happens. Someone insults you, accept it; don’t react, and see what happens. Suddenly you will feel an energy flowing in you that you have not felt before.

Commentary:
It is a time when the deeply buried wounds of the past are coming to the surface, ready and available to be healed.

The figure in this card is naked, vulnerable, open to the loving touch of existence. The aura around his body is full of light, and the quality of relaxation, caring and love that surrounds him is dissolving his struggle and suffering. Lotuses of light appear on his physical body, and around the subtle energy bodies that healers say surround each of us. In each of these subtle layers appears a healing crystal or pattern.

When we are under the healing influence of the King of Water we are no longer hiding from ourselves or others. In this attitude of openness and acceptance we can be healed, and help others also to be healthy and whole.