Picturephoto: Third Eye Visionaries
The current challenge is to simply be truly Alive. 

What is Aliveness?
Being Authentically Human. 

—Not a normative human.
—Not an idealized human.

...but a radically authentic human, 
deeply connecting the experience of BE-ing ,
through brokenness, wholeness, suffering and joy, 

and through it all, 
or eventually, 
or never at all, 
truly realizing one's Inner Power. 

 
 
Picturephoto: D'Antonio photography
So, I am deep in the research and weaving ideas for school when my mind demands a break. Generally, my favorite diversions include an outdoor excursion and/or playtime with my kid. But Marley is gone and it happens to be raining (or is that snow?). So instead of stretching into a second yoga asana practice for the day (or eating a second breakfast), I decide to watch the latest episode of Once Upon A Time. Sometimes a good movie or television can inspire the flow of creative nectar.
  
The season finale is premised with time-travel. Our heroine, Emma Swan, gets pulled into a portal to the past and must find her way back home. It isn't long, of course, before Swan's actions trip a chain of events that radically effect her future. Dun...dun...duuuuuun!

Stories of time travel have always made me dizzy. I love the way they provoke the imagination, but they often present annoying affronts to Physical Science. Not to mention that they generally accompany a super spotty plot. Perhaps I am too geeky (or not quite geeky enough) to truly appreciate them.

And the laws of karma, well...they have often left me feeling the exact same way. Attempts to explain the phenomenon can be overly presumptuous or else they render the otherwise rich concept flat, bland and meaningless.

But this popular television show brought it all together in a way that I thought might be worth sharing.

Karma essentially is action in action. It comes from the Sanskrit root kr, which is found in words that connote "doing something." It is often confused with the law of destiny. That isn't it.
Instead, karma is simply the fact that whatever you do has a consequence.

So, imagine you fall into a time-travel portal to a situation that happened ten years ago, or even yesterday.
Whatever you do in that experience, will effect your life NOW.
If you make the slightest change, even with positive actions, it will potentially alter your current/future situation.

But the real power of karma is realized when we recognize that each of our actions in this moment effects us both now and in the future. Tomorrow is our future now. And, if you believe in reincarnation, those things that we do today effect our next life, just as if we had traveled in time to our past life, today!

Are you dizzy yet?

Even if you don't believe in reincarnation, the world will continue to spin when you are gone. The choices you make—the impressions you make
on the world—will impact the lives of our children and their children. It actually IS simple. Simple, but not meaningless. In fact, it is incredibly meaningful, and yoga calls us to enter our actions and decisions mindfully. I can see why someone might be tempted to retreat to a cave somewhere, and do "nothing," in order to preserve an untainted future.

One of my favorite lessons from the Bhagavad Gita, however, is that it is better to act than to "not act."
In fact, in this world of cause and effect, even retreating to a cave has its repercussions.


So, do stuff.
Do beautiful stuff.

Paint, dance, sing, laugh, play, rejoice, tickle, study, learn, kiss, empower, decorate, engage, eat, sleep, bathe, watch t.v., and blog about it...

and, all the while, remember that it—all of it—is contributing to the beauty of the future. 







 

Ma

05/10/2014

6 Comments

 
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Yesterday marked two years since my mama had a stroke with her subsequent cancer diagnosis and prognosis to live three months to a year.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.

Today, I celebrate my mom's resiliency and spiritual strength. After traveling 20 hours and 1300 miles to visit her last week, I feel blessed to live so close. After all, we are still on the same planet.

In fact, I am celebrating an official shift of awareness from thinking of my mom as "dying from cancer," to honoring her for "living in gratitude." She is an inspiration. Emerging into the light, I find her already there—grateful, joy-filled and unconditionally loving.

But...Sadness is certainly among the emotional sediment found in the cave of the heart, along with faith and hope. To prepare my heart-mind for loss, I had to rest in the darkness for awhile. I had to spend some time with the notion that my mom is "dying from cancer."

My mom is my first best friend and I am not ready to lose the connection we have in this human flesh. Truth be told, I am attached to the sound of her voice, the spark of her eyes and the softness of her hands. No amount of rationalization or affirmations of "the Secret" could shift my awareness before the time was right. There had to be an authentic shift that came from the depths of my heart, not the transcendence of my psyche.

No.

There are times to hold the sadness. There are times to hold pain, fear, shame, insecurity...any emotion that you might tend to judge as "un-yogic" or "non-evolved."


There are times when no amount of humanist psychology or spiritual bi-passing can truly heal the wound, and all you can do, in the honesty of sorrow, is hold these emotions as you would a vulnerable child.
Rock them. Honor them. Because they have a message for you.

Once you nurture your sorrows and fears by listening to their messages, they grow into something beautiful. For me, the lesson is gratitude...a new and deep sense of mindful appreciation for my life and my relationships. It is a call to be fully awake to the beauty in my little daughter, and to love her unconditionally until the tables are turned and she is holding me.

I am writing today to extend this Grace to you. Whatever the emotion, if there is something hard to face...look right at it. Hold it as you would a confused child. After all, we are just babies. And one of the best gifts you can give to yourself this Mother's Day (no matter who you are) is to nurture your soul with unconditional Love.

You'll get through it. You always do. ...But only when the time is right.

 
 
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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...
 
 
Picturephoto: Tim D'Antonio
You know what annoygravates me? 
Planned obsolescence.
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.

 
 
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Tadasana
Mountain Yoga


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