Do you remember Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
Who doesn't, right!?—Matthew Broderick as that lovable smart-alec who plays hooky from school and ends up crashing some parade. He cons his way through the best day of his adolescence, and has to race the clock (and a host of shenanigans) to return to his bed before getting "busted" by the principle or his parents.
I bet half of you will be pulling that movie up on Netflix tonight, because if you've never seen it, you should. And if you HAVE seen it...it's probably been a couple decades.
Those were the 80's, a time when films portrayed kids on GIGANTIC adventures of hijinx and an even bigger quest to "pull off" the entire affair in time to get home before dinner. Think: Adventures in Babysitting, Back to the Future, and the Goonies.
As a kid, I loved those movies, especially towards the end when the clock was really ticking and there was a very good chance that time would run out for our hero (or heroine). Eyes wide, and at the edge of my seat, I would silently root for the wild dash to end in victory.
Since then, I have been living like I am in one of those films.
I wait till the last minute to do things, pack my schedule beyond what's manageable and pride myself at being able to "pull it all off" in a reasonably professional manner.
I'm like a chef on one of those competition cooking shows, sweating as she juggles the pans. I try to keep my toddler's needs simmering on the front burner while making time for my husband, writing graduate school papers, building yoga teacher training modules, seeing private clients, keeping up with friends, cleaning my home, and personal hygiene, all get shuffled around the stove. It's a wild, hijinx, mad-dash adventure...
...and it's cray—cray!
It keeps me from being present to the current moment. All that stress tends to drag my awareness into the future—to an imaginary time when things will be “easier” and more “organized.”
I didn't used to think it was so crazy. It used to be fun. It was a rush of excitement (adrenaline) followed by fantastic relief when everything turned out well—when I "wowed 'em," in the end, with my spectacular meal, an A+ paper and perfectly clean hair. Whatever it was, I generally pulled it off, just like in the movies.
But I don't want to do that anymore...
I love sharing my Soulrise (birthday) week with Easter. Easter is a celebration of newness, after all. It is an opportunity to start fresh: to let something die and something new begin in its place. Our famous Western example for this is Jesus. His crucifixion and resurrection symbolize the dawning of a new day and its healing potential for the hearts, souls and psyches of everyone who hears about it.
There are other icons who mythologically share this archetypal story: Inanna, Demeter and Persephone, Dionysus, Osiris, and (of course) Shiva. Like the change of the seasons, they all symbolize both death and renewal. Both aspects of the story are integral to the message. Death is a pre-requisite to rebirth and the rebirth is the part everyone loves. I mean, if Jesus had simply died (without the Easter victory) he would not be the Savior of the Earth. He would just be another dude with an important message, who was "suppressed" before he could fully express it.
So today is an opportunity for you to die. Or rather, it is an opportunity to release that which is no longer alive within you and no longer serving you well.
It's not about setting another resolution, like the one's you've already abandoned from New Year's Eve.
It's about listening to what truly is, in this moment, and being o.k. with letting the decaying parts of your personality fall away, to make room for a new awareness. Yoga allows us to become deeply acquainted with our Selves like that.
For me, it's that adolescent way of being—caught up in the thrill of the hustle, thriving on the frantic dash to the finish. She's dying. It's just, naturally, her time to go.
When I surrender in this moment, I realize that things have changed. While I have been known for my mesmerizing juggling acts in the past; that is simply no longer my enterprise. Awakening to a new awareness that, while life force energy is Infinite, the hours in the day simply are not.
I want to live them, abundantly, one at a time...even it it means less adrenaline rush. I don't need to crash the parade anymore and I'm happy to find myself home, relaxed, long before dinner. Because, to quote Ferris: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in awhile, you might miss it."
It is the day after your birthday. You wake up, do a little yoga, drink a little tea, make some oatmeal and open your laptop. It's time to get back to work...
What do you find?
Facebook messages from people all over the world, dropping into your page, just to say:
And that is (channelling Kelso from "That 70s Show") AWESOME!
When we stop for a moment to appreciate the technology of mass communication, the ridiculously amazing gift is obvious:
The ability to organize a Festival in Goa with
Wild Yogi friends in Russia; the opportunity to giggle at reception (awkward dancing) photos from my cousin's wedding; the means to rally a campaign for the micro-finance of women in war-torn and poverty stricken communities, world-wide—these magic tricks are nothing less than miraculous.
They are (I repeat) TOTALLY AWESOME!
But the beauty of Facebook goes deeper than its ability to connect us.
It also has the power to remind us of who we are—each one of us, as authentically differentiated individuals.
Because we are not ONLY the united pulsation of a dynamic organism of Universal consciousness, collectively influencing the health and vitality of our eco-system and social structure. We are not JUST the undivided image that satellites capture from space; or the unified Ideal of a single and Infinite awareness that transcendental theories of Yoga advance from a lofty (and often hungry) etherial state.
Our values and ideas are NOT unanimous. Each person's circumstance and adventure is totally their own, and our faces hold uniquely beautiful details that cannot be replicated by another—ever.
And that is what I Like
most about Facebook. It is a book of faces and no two are alike. My uncle writes "Happy Birthday" on my FB wall. A friend from Germany sends a poem.
Some self-proclaimed "guru" in India posts a virtual birthday cake.
A dear old family friend shares a photo of my mama pushing me in a stroller. I have never seen it before. She is absolutely radiant, with the face I remember from childhood... the face I remember from last week when we talked on Skype...the face that I will never take for granted...with its one-of-a kind beauty.
We may be part of something really HUGE; an Infinite and Universal Dynamism that connects us all.
But we are not the same.
And for that, I am eternally grateful.
One of the most precarious places to be is a pedestal. Have you been there? Standing high above your friends, afraid to look down, feeling tipsy— imbalanced—and asking yourself, in the famous words of David Byrne:
"Well... How did I get here?"
Or maybe you don't even realize that you have gotten so high, until you come crashing to the ground—hard and fast—like a hangover; or the boulder from that insane You Tube video.
Today, I received a message from an STF. She admitted that she had put me on a pedestal, and was disappointed that I had let her down. My first response was defensive. Why had she put me up there in the first place? That is one of the most predictably destructive things you can do to a friendship, after all.
But then, I examined the language that we hold around this idea: she had put me UP, but I had let her DOWN. When she imagined me tumbling to the ground, she was the one who actually fell.
When you view another as higher than you, it gives you an example to aspire to. It means that you too can become as "perfect" and "whole" as you imagine that person to be.
It also means that when she falls, you fall. Ouch.
We are all human, after all, perfect in our imperfections and an inspiration to one another. When we say, "Namaste," we are bowing to that part of us which is Infinite and Whole. That Divine beauty, however, is only recognizable because it is embedded within this human grit. What's sacred is the balance—Staying human so that we can digest our gut-level experiences, yet taking ourselves lightly so that we can fly.
Somewhere along the line, my friend had gotten the idea that it was safe to elevate her idea of me. And for that, I am truly sorry. It is my responsibility to expose my realness, my human stink and dirty feet...along with my intense love. Ultimately, it is my responsibility to be and share my true self. So let's be clear:
I am not the teacher.
The teacher is in YOU. The teacher, the healer, the guru moves through all of us by Grace. The wisdom of the Universe is pulsing through our interaction and relationship to Life. We each have ultimately infinite access to the powers of Truth and Love. Your Inner Guru speaks to you through the lessons of your authentic and individual experiences—the good ones and the shitty ones. They are all opportunities for growth. They are all opportunities to become more loving and grateful....
all of them—including the disappointing ones, like when your friends or family let you down.
Shakti, or creative power resides within each person, situation, relationship, building, business (EVERYTHING) as energy. When you learn to listen to your subtle energy body and how to fearlessly clear
blockages in its undercurrent of prana life force, you can improve your vibrancy on all levels.
You can access the messages of your higher awareness from the spirit/mind and your
deeper awareness from the heart/body. When allowed to work together, your higher
intuition and gut level wisdom become powerful tools for realizing your authentic nature.
You can gain clear vision regarding relationship agreements, business engagements and any other matter that you wish to clarify.
For more videos and to join our online discussion about the Undercurrent: Subtle Energy Body...
photo: Tim D'Antonio
You know what annoygravates me?
When I was a kid (Oh gosh, did I just write that?), things were built to last. A Lifetime Warranty was a thing. My clothes were hand-me-downs, and we actually outgrew our shoes long before they fell apart. In today's world, to maximize consumerism, everything is made to break. Everything, it seems, is considered disposable: from plastic wrap to relationships. Even the human body—the most amazing miracle—is treated like its expendable; as if we can just go in somewhere and have body parts fixed or replaced as needed. No biggie.
I'm not trying to get on a soap-box about smoking cigarettes, eating trans-fats or consuming sugar. Although, obviously, drugs are bad, mm.k.?
I am equally annoyed with the tendency in our postmodern world to over-emphasize the psycho-spiritual quest toward transcendence. I mean, I get it. The rationalism of "the age of Enlightenment" has caused the pendulum to swing hard back toward the spiritual. We are in the midst of a mystical surge, one that calls for "rising above" the present situation—transcendence of the human state, transcendence of nature toward heaven, transcendence of self toward God. Yes, Yes, Yes. I agree. Rise, people, rise. There is no need to remain bogged down in the unnecessary limitations of the human experience.
Unless, of course, you are interested in staying human.
I am. At least for now, while I am here. Being human is the best that I can be. After all, isn't the body amazing? Isn't the Earth wonderful? Isn't the experience of being alive, right here and right now an absolutely glorious miracle? What I think—What I know—is that the guru in the cave of the heart is speaking to you right now, through your emotions, sensations and human experience. The quest for transcendence is a noble drive, as long as it doesn't pull one away from the exquisitely raw realness of being a human—essentially an angel-monkey—part transcendent spirit, part stinky feet.
When the human experience is valued as perfect, exactly as it is—with all of it's beautiful blemishes—the body is no longer just a shell for the higher Self. It is a dear and necessary aspect of the whole Being.
The Earth is the sacred home for the soul and ritual is equal to logic. Earthly possessions don't have to distract us from our Selves, but may deepen our experience of being fully alive. Every human relationship becomes an opportunity to witness the face of God. Every dark or dirty, grungy scene becomes an opportunity to be present to Love; not by lifting up and out of life, but by getting deep down in it.
I don't have to be attached. I know I am more than my body...or my mind...or my family...or my things. Transcendence, however, is for the birds (or spirits) and I'm not dead yet.
I want to get deep down in it. I want to value this life experience while I am alive. I want to value my body, cherish my relationships, appreciate my things. And I want them to last a lifetime.
Win a Year Subscription to Shakti Yogi Journal!
Instead of throwing this old table in the dumpster, Marley and I re-created it, transforming it to our new favorite devipiece. What have you transformed from trash to treasure lately? Upload a description and photos to my FB page. Be sure to tag my friends at Shakti Yogi Journal for a chance to win a year subscription!
ENTER BY APRIL 1.
1. Upload a description and photos of your transformed treasure to R.R. Shakti page on Facebook.
2. tag our friends @ Shakti Yogi Journal
3. That's it! Your entered!! I'll announce the winner on April 2.
200 hour Inner Power Yoga® Teacher Trainingpractice. grow. teach. love.
Meeting one weekend each month for six months,
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Inner Power Yoga® Teacher Training Immersion
PART ONE: THE UNDERCURRENT (100 hours)Chillasana Yoga and Surf School, Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica
This Exciting Immersion will give you the tools to create a yoga practice that is thoughtful, dynamic, and also adaptable to each individual. Students will learn how to put together exciting asana sequences and intentional class themes, as well as the essential ingredients of Inner Power Yoga® with a deep emphasis on Human Anatomy and the energetic vibration of Spanda as it animates the physical body. We will take a step beyond what has been offered in the past, so STFs with 200 hr. YWR certification may use this immersion to add 100 hours to their training experience. New STFs may begin here to build toward their 200 hr. certification.
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FEB. 19 — MAY 7, 2014
Take a dive into the Pranamaya Kosha, or Subtle Energy Body. In this comprehensive webinar series, we will explore the psychology of the chakras, and how to effectively utilize mudra, bandha, marma, spanda and pranayama practices to ignite the power of your inner fire and dance with the inner winds.
Training is appropriate for Yoga Teachers and practitioners who are interested in deepening their practice. This series is a supplement to the 100 hr. Inner Power Yoga® Undercurrent Teacher Training, which may be applied towards a 500 hr. Yoga Teacher Training registered with the Yoga Alliance.
The investment for each webinar workshop is $15.00
Or you may attend all 10 workshops for an upfront investment of $108.00
With registration to all 10 webinars, participants will also receive three 1 hr. videos which will explore: Pranayama I (An Introduction), Reading Subtle Energy, and Yoga and the Meridians.
Webinar workshops are offered live on Wednesday evenings from 6-7 p.m. MT.
Payed participants need not attend the live workshop, as they will receive a link to the recorded webinar after the live event.