Balance

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an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

I try to do yoga 4-5 times a week. Yoga is all about balance, much like life is. Often times one of my sides if off balance and I cannot get into a pose really well or hold one as long as the other.

If you are into any type of energy work or spirituality, then you know that the right side of the body represents masculine and the left side represents feminine. I am fascinated by this when people complain of aches or pains on one side of their body and I wonder where they are off balance in their thoughts, actions, and feelings.

The masculine side is characterized by logic, facts, systems, and self-interest. The feminine side uses intuition, feelings, openness, and the unselfishness of our nature. If we see them as separate, instead of embracing both qualities within us, then we are living in duality.

If both sides are in harmony, then your masculine and feminine energies are balanced and you have better health, harmony, and are conscious to all beings. You may have heard the terms divine masculine and divine feminine; this is unity within, which in turn, will foster unity without.

In order to have healthy relationships with partners, nature and everything in-between, there has to be a union of these two energies within us first. But most of us do not have this and our relationships will reflect where we are off balance.

We are currently off balance at this particular time in history. We are anxious, fearful, panicked, overwhelmed and angry. Shelves are empty and people are scared. We are ignoring one another instead of helping and staying as far away from anyone that we even perceive as a threat.

Where is the humanity in any of it? Human touch is what makes us all thrive, yet we are afraid to even look at one another.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to buy into the fear. I cannot control what happens tomorrow, nor can you. The best that I can do is be responsible, make smart choices that don’t put myself or others in danger and keep doing what I do.

I’m not wearing a mask, I don’t have any Purel, I haven’t stock-piled toilet paper, and I most certainly haven’t stopped my yoga practice or auditions. In fact, I think I might go out to eat later and enjoy a nice dinner with a glass of wine.

Call me irresponsible, call me crazy or call me ignorant. I don’t care. I’m calling it living without fear because feeding into it, only creates more hysteria and I don’t operate from that place. If I have learned one thing on this journey, it’s to respond not react; there really is a difference.

All that is being asked of you at this moment, is to remain balanced. To stay calm. Love those in your life a little more because you are being forced to be with them now and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Look at the positive and stop focusing on the negative and all of this will leave as fast as it came.

Nurture the feminine aspect of yourself and the masculine one as well. We are not at war with one another, in fact, we are in this together. This is an opportunity for us all to unite and make conscious choices that will raise the vibration of our planet, instead of ones based on fear that lower it and send us all into a tailspin.

Love, laugh, play games, share meals, talk. Everything happens for a reason-maybe this one is simply to appreciate what we have and those who are in our lives, just a little more.

In The Arms Of An Angel

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In The Arms Of An Angel

This morning at 6am I did a good thing for myself and went to yoga. Sometimes I go even when I am not feeling it, because I know that is when I need it most. It grounds me. The place I go to is a real community too and speaks all the spiritual lingo I like, which I appreciate.

But this morning when I arrived the instructor was in the room stretching to this song and I had to leave and go to the bathroom to wait for it to finish.

This song reminds me of my brother, Dean, who died at the age of 30. God, he was just a kid! I’ve gone through his things a hundred times looking for clues, and I see evidence of a young man who was sentimental, scared and feeling so despondent.

He kept cards we had all given him and ticket stubs from baseball games and the like. His life was barely getting started and my life has never been the same since his death.

As hard as I tried to get my head around the news when I first heard it, I just couldn’t accept it.

I had been out for the evening with my ex-husband. One of the only nights we took a much needed break from owning a restaurant. My sister was sitting in the back booth when I came in and simply said, “You need to call Mom.” She was so odd, I remember saying, “Did she win the lottery?”

She didn’t win the lottery, but she did have a police officer show up at her house and tell her that her son was dead.

He was found in a hotel room with copious amounts of drugs in his system. There was no note, even though my father told everyone at his funeral that he had killed himself. An investigation was done and the coroner said the cause of death was “unable to determine.”

When I think about him alone in that hotel room it makes me utterly distraught with sadness. I wonder why he didn’t call me, like he had so many other times in his life. It mattered not to me if he needed money or just wanted to tell me how hard he was working to make things right. I always had an ear for him. I thought we shared everything, but I guess he couldn’t share how utterly broken he felt with me, because he was my big brother and he felt he should be strong.

I just loved him! I know my boys would have loved him, too. They would have seen what I saw in him, when the rest of the world didn’t.

I know he watches over me. He is my angel, which is pretty ironic, since he did so many devilish things when he was here. He was always into trouble. Most of my childhood was filled with his antics, but I never cared, never judged him.

When I talk about feelings, change and authenticity, I am a person who understands how really precious our time here is. My brother was my friend, my hero. He always had my back and I tried so hard to have his. He was a person who was always up for an adventure. He was a person who not only walked to the beat of another drum, he created the beat.

When I say, “What’s the worst that can happen” it’s because I know what that is.

The worst thing that can happen, is that you don’t tell the people in your life how you feel about them. How much they mean to you and how much you love them.

I never got to say goodbye to my brother. He just left. The last time I saw him was not the best of circumstance. I was at his court appearance for some trouble he had gotten into and it didn’t fare well for him.

When the Balif came and handcuffed him, he looked back at me before they lead him out another door. If I close my eyes I am back in the courtroom with that look. I felt so helpless at the time cause I was just a kid, too. I wanted to do something for him but I felt like I couldn’t. If I had the day to do over, I would have jumped over all of the benches and held him, told him how much I loved him and that nothing was so bad that he had to take his life.

Please do not take anyone in your life for granted. Do not think that you have unlimited days with them to tell them how you feel or to make things right with them.

Life really is short and often times the people we love most, are taken from us without notice. Embrace everyone that you love, everyone that you want to love and everyone that you yearn to make things right with.

 

 

You’re Fine!

“There’s no panacea, that in order to be balanced or feel closer to fine it’s okay to draw from this or to draw from that, to draw from a bunch of different sources. So it’s about being confused but looking for the answers, and in the end knowing that you’re going to be fine. No seeking just one definitive answer.” – Emily Saliers

This song came on the radio the other day and it got me thinking about a spiritual journey/awakening. When you start this path you have no idea where to turn. It can seem as if you are living in an alternate reality because people around you look at you like you’re speaking a different language when you speak outside of their beliefs, especially if they are ones you once held.

You might even try and tell them about what is happening, maybe even preach a little about what they are doing wrong, since you are now awakened to a completely different way of looking at things. This is when we veer off the path though because it’s not our job to shove our beliefs in someone’s face who isn’t ready to hear them. It’s best to start living your own truth and watch how others respond. You might lose some people along the way and it’s painful. Yeah, this journey can be a pretty lonely one. But stay the course. The rewards far outweigh the losses.

There is no end to this journey so don’t think just because you get to one place you’re done.  It keeps going. For this reason you have to take breaks. If you have a family this can be a challenge but you have to find the time to nurture yourself.
Go with the flow, do not try and control anything or anyone. Control is your ego thinking it knows what is best. When you react instead of responding to a person or situation, that is your ego at work. Respond as often as you can. There really is a difference.
When we are triggered we generally react. This is your souls way of alerting you to inner work that needs to be done. It’s not another person thing, it’s a you thing. They are just the messenger alerting you to an unhealed area you need to work on. Don’t shoot them with a sharp tongue and words that you will later regret.  Be grateful for the interaction. I’m not going to lie-this is a tough one. This has something that has kept me imprisoned in a cell of my own making called lack of self worth. But I have finally found the key and you will too if you haven’t already. Love the self.
Awake each day and say aloud the things you are grateful for. It could be as small as the new coffee you discovered or for the health of your family or for waking in the first place.
Meditate. Close your damn eyes for at least 5 minutes and breathe. The more you concentrate on hearing your breath, the less distracting all of the thoughts in your head are. Do yoga if you can. It’s another great way to listen to your breath.
I don’t breathe enough. Most of us probably don’t. I noticed the other day that I was short of breath, so now I actually sit still and force myself to breathe deeply. I know that an open heart is a healthy one, which means I can give freely of my love without holding back. I wonder how long the damn thing has been closed! Scary!
I am working hard on doing nothing. God is it hard! I have fought myself for the greater part of my life thinking I always had to do something. I was wrong. Being present in every moment is doing enough. Try it and see what I mean.
Read books from people who are on this journey and have gone through the same things. You can’t talk about this path to everyone cause if they are’t on it they might look at you like you have seven heads. It’s best to do your work and trust that you are being lead to a place of wholeness.
Think of it this way: the more you love yourself, the more you can love others. The people in your life will notice the changes in you; hopefully for the better. If someone thinks your spiritual growth is hindering their life, then you need to enforce some boundaries. It might be hard at first, but once you realize the love of yourself is vital in order for you to love anyone else, it gets easier.
My favorite author at present is Matt Kahn. I have watched his You Tube videos and have both of his books. He is absolutely impossible to watch if you’re not ready, so if you find yourself getting frustrated with what he is saying, give it some space and come back. I have actually gone back and watched him after taking a break (which is vital on this journey) and heard him in a whole new light.
Every day changes. Some days I feel like I am going backwards and haven’t evolved at all. Today is a good one. I think I am finally getting it. My job is to love myself so much that nothing and no one can rattle me. I am here to bring unconditional love not only to myself but to everyone I come in contact with.

The world is in dire need of love.  So if you are reading this, then you must be on the same journey with me. Matt Kahn calls it the Love Revolution. I have embraced this path with animals for as long as I can remember, but it is now time for me to give back on an even bigger scale.
Whatever calls to your soul is the right call to answer. Remember that there are no wrong ways on the path to enlightenment. If I had to simplify it, I would liken it to being lost at sea or at least thinking that you are and then realizing you had oars in the belly of the boat the whole time that could have gotten you home, all you had to do was open your eyes and look within.
So look within! Know without a doubt that you are unique, you have something to offer and you are here to raise the vibration of our world with one act of kindness at a time. But it all begins with being kind to yourself first.
I’m tryin’ to tell you somethin’ ’bout my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
And the best thing you’ve ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
It’s only life after all, yeah
Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety ’til I sank it
I’m crawling on your shores
And I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
And I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry or see a B-Grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
Got my paper and I was free
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine, yeah
I stopped by the bar at three A.M.
To seek solace in a bottle, or possibly a friend
And I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I’d been the night before
And I went in seeking clarity
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
We go to the doctor, we go to the mountains
We look to the children, we drink from the fountain
Yeah, we go to the Bible, we go through the work out
We read up on revival, we stand up for the lookout
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine, yeah

 

Anjaneyasana

Anjaneyāsana is an asana or yoga pose. The name Anjaneya is a matronymic (personal name) for Hanuman whose mother’s name is Anjani. Hanuman is a central figure in the epic Ramayana (an ancient Indian epic poem) and an important Ista-devata (cherished divinity) in devotional worship.

But if all of that is too much of a mouthful for you, then you just call it what I do: low lunge.

I love yoga! I try to go at least 4 times a week. I love that various poses will give you various benefits but I feel the overall benefit of yoga is the way it forces you to be with yourself. Well with yourself amongst a group of people. It’s where your thoughts have to take a backseat while you remember to breath through the poses. You become so focused on your breathing that you forget everything else.    

So if all goes well and my schedule isn’t interrupted, I could quite possibly take up to 16 classes in a month trying to open my heart. And while my heart might be wide open by the time I leave, if I don’t hold the door open for someone walking in, then I have already closed it.

If I don’t say good moring to the ladies at the corner who make sure I am safe when I cross the street? – Closed heart. Roll my eyes at the new cashier because I’m in a hurry and am cursing myself for not using the self check out line? – Closed heart. I see a homeless person asking for money and I pass them by. After all, what’s my dollar going to do and why can’t that guy work? – Closed heart. I’m at an audition and my arch rival is there, too. I noticed she cut her hair and it looks sexy, but I’m not going to say anything to her. – Closed heart. I’m exhausted from that damn audition and I had a horrible read, so I’m going to sit on the subway and I don’t care who looks like they are going to keel over, I’m not getting up. – Closed heart.

In one day I have closed my heart off so many times, it’s a wonder I can breathe. And chances are, I can’t. I will bring this negative energy with me back to the house and the dog will have inevitably eaten something (probably my shoes) and the other one will have pissed. Negativity breeds negativity. I am in a foul mood, so everything and everyone I see will reflect that shit back to me.

Which is why I choose to be Snow White. Little birds floating off my shoes, as I dance with life which is nothing more than a giant adventure. Everyday goes according to how I choose it.  And I choose love. I consciously choose it. I have no other choice. When I am angry I see what that brings, so I make an effort to keep my heart open and give to others what I want in return.

It works most of the time. If it doesn’t, then I know it has nothing to do with me. Some people can’t accept love because they don’t love themselves. I don’t care if they think I’m a weirdo or some hippy chick that hugs trees. I just don’t. I know who I am, what I’m all about and I am not going to close my heart because someone has closed theirs.

But what most of us forget, is that an open heart is a broken heart. Mine has been broken many times. But I’m not going to let that stop me from loving. And I have loved greatly! A broken heart means you have loved. Which means you are capable of it.

Yeah, sometimes we take a chance and someone stomps all over our heart, but that doesn’t mean you continue to let them hurt you by closing it off to others. The right person knows what you’re bringing and honors it. They want that good stuff! That hot sugary mess! (I’m quoting AP Bio here-one of my faves).

If you close your heart, then you close your mind.  And once the mind gets involved those thoughts never stop coming. You have to feel your way with your heart. Your heart knows. It never lies. It’s that feeling you get despite what your mind tells you. It’s a surge of emotion, a giddiness, a stupid grin on your face for no reason at all and the part of you that allows yourself to dream about what the mind tells you is impossible.

Follow your heart. And if it’s not prompting you, then find a yoga studio so they can help you.

 

 

 

Namaste

I bow to the divine in you.

The place I go for yoga, Yoga Life often says, “The divine in me bows to the divine in you.” I like ending the class this way. What I don’t like is when the word is thrown around elsewhere, without people grasping what it really means.

Outside of yoga I don’t know where you would hear this term, unless you’re like me and you watch Curb Your Enthusiasm. In one episode Larry David refused to say it to a yoga teacher.  It was very fitting because he certainly says what he means and he didn’t feel like saying it. You either love him or dislike him for it. I happen to like him.

Namaste: I bow to the divinity in you. What does that even mean? Well, it’s not the candy. My mother makes them and they are quite good and I’m hoping she sends them in her cookie box which is late by the way, but this is a different kind of divinity.

Divinity is pretty obvious in some people. They are generally polite and giving and always seem happy or joyous. The light inside of them radiates like a golden sun and if you’re having a bad day and they smile at you, you might call them a weirdo, wondering what the hell is wrong with them.

And then there are those that it’s not so easy to see the divinity in. As a matter of fact you may even go on a deep excavation trying to dig for that gold and come up empty. But it’s there. It’s always there.  But it’s not as genuine when you find it. A little more satisfying when you do perhaps because none of us like to be wrong, but having to search for divinity that hard is hardly worth the search at all.

The divine in a person should always be ever present. It is our ultimate goal. To be fully engaged at all times, no matter what we are doing or who we are doing it with. To feel blessed for all that we have, even if we don’t yet have what we truly want. To be grateful and thankful for everything we can possibly think of, because it begets more of the same. To love ourselves unconditionally first, because in doing so we become the light and love we wish to see in others and then can only attract the same.

Be open to seeing the divine in others. If it’s not there at first glance then maybe just maybe your kindness will be the first wrecking ball to penetrate the wall they have created around themselves to keep others away.

As mentioned, a smile is an easy way to offer your divinity. And while some people might think you’re on drugs if they aren’t drinking the divinity kool aid, they do respond to them. It’s an effortless acknowledgement of another human being and is very contagious. Even if the person thinks you’re nuts, they will still be thinking about you after your brief encounter. Why? Because you are essentially recognizing the soul in another person. Their uniqueness, their light, their divinity. And it feels good to be acknowledged for who we really are.

But remember…a person cannot see the divinity in others without seeing it in themselves first. Honor the self, love the self and then doing so to others seems to come almost effortlessly. Your patience enhances, your heart gets bigger and you learn to see that which is divine in others much quicker than that which is not.

Namaste.