The week in review

Energy Musings. Here. Now

The real state of this union

Waking up to each new dawn, there is a feeling “what will this day bring?” And although this is truth each and every day regardless, right now, that inquiry has a particular tone to it.  A level of uncertainty and weariness.  We can learn to roll with the punches, so to speak; to rise about it all, so to speak; to stay centered and grounded, so to speak.  And yet the unrelenting signature of this inconsistency around us, is to wear us down over time.  In other words:  Its not that easy to escape or remove yourself from this all pervasive incertitude.  

After the state of the union address this week, I noticed a distinct  shift in my personal students.  A new level of “stress” if you will.  That stress originates from the massive disconnect between what was said in that address and what is really going on in our communities and lives right now.  This disconnect feels unprecedented in its enormity. And the disconnect creates an energetic rift in our being.  

Healing this rift, this disconnect, is what is “up” right now. 

Resisting the overwhelming tendency to either run away from it all, hide from it all or be triggered by it all is the first step in this process.  Take a deep breath in and know that you are not alone in this struggle.  It is a personal and collective strain.

We need tools intended to literally clear and work the inner landscape, like meditation (not visualization), tuning forks and Qigong.  

We don’t need “expansion” at the moment because this can be overwhelming and overstimulating to the nervous system and energetic body.  While this acceptable form of escapism might feel good in the short term (depending on your preferences), in the long run, it will contribute to the likelihood of being more triggered and less able to cope.  

The state of the union is chaotic and unpredictable.  Blanketed in deep unknowing and embedded in fear and false pride.  Thats just what is happening.  And we are all truly “in” it.  This lens we are seeing through right now is cloudy and mirky.  Just knowing that, helps to make more informed decisions and to be more centered. 

Take a deep breath in, and blow it away.  (repeat, if necessary)

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January 14, 2018

Energy Musings.  Here.  Now.

Today.

emerge. (v.) (from etymonline.com). 1560s, from Middle French émerger and directly from Latin emergere “bring forth, bring to light,” intransitively “arise out or up, come forth, come up, come out, rise,” from assimilated form of ex “out” (see ex-) + mergere “to dip, sink” (see merge). The notion is of rising from a liquid by virtue of buoyancy. Related: Emerged; emerging.

 

Imagine yourself, buoyant.  Rising from the depths of the sea.  From far below, underneath, where you have been hiding or living.  Perhaps you sank here?  Or perhaps you were born here?  Perhaps you didn’t even realize, this is where you were?  Do you even remember a time when this was not your resting place?

Look up and see the light filtering through the distant watery surface.  How far above you is that journey?  How deep in the darkness are you sleeping?  How long have you been here?

Traveling to the light always represents a birth of some form.  You already know how to do this.  The work is learning how to not resist your own natural state of bouyancy.  To be re-born, is simply to re-member.

Find the practices to integrate into your daily life that enable you to trust, soften, relax and let go.  Perhaps it is meditation, chanting, silent walking, dance, yoga.   Look to what makes your feel free and what brings you a sense of ease.  This is not a time to force effort. Not a time to work hard. Or get the endorphins chugging.

This is a time to surrender to what is your natural state of being. This is the focus and awareness necessary to float to the surface and come in to the deeper expression of your life you have been longing for.

To Emerge.

Happy 2018.

‘tools’ of the trade

Yesterday, after a quite extraordinary crystal bowl “meditation”, a student asked if I ever just sit in stillness.   It was a great question following back to back sound healing work.

The tools that I use are just that:  Tools. They are never to be mistaken for the goal, the end, or even the path itself.  They are simply helpers along the way.  Our crystal friends come from deep inside the earth to offer us their medicine. Our resident resonant tools offer vibrational healing, clearing and deep visioning. But this medicine is not “what its all about”.  What its “all about” IS stillness.  The greatest sound for healing IS silence.  If we mistake the tools for the goal, we have become lost along the way.

And sometimes, thats ok too.  Life’s diversions, like the fluctuations of the mind itself, are simply what they are.  Perhaps the path forward is clear, straight, efficient.  Perhaps it instead sends us on all sorts of detours, road blocks and obstacles.  Usually, its a bit of both.  Remember though, to gently come back to the path as soon as you notice you have become lost in a distraction.  We practice this in meditation to imprint that reflex in our whole life.

The key is to slowly, carefully and attentively become increasingly discerning.  So that, over practice and time, you learn to see clearly what is a diversion and what is, in that moment, a tool to move you forward. Everything and anything can be either one of these: distraction or valuable tool, depending on the timing and who you are, whats happening and where you are.  An authentic guide understands this and can offer tools as needed all while nudging you gently forward, encouraging a healthy detachment from any “tool” itself.

The question naturally arises:  what is the intention for your practice?  One intention of meditation & yoga as a path for example, is to bring you to a state of “thoughtless awareness”, an expansive mind in union with a clear body that allows you a perspective not based on biases, belief systems, judgement, analysis or expectations.

We become the still pond.  We are the clear blue sky.

Along the way we receive gifts, insights, benefits.  Sometimes the practice is joyful, fun and exciting: the gifts feel like blessings.  Sometimes the practice is difficult, challenging and painful: the gifts can feel like a curse.  All of it is inspiring, creative and essential,  coming from the same loving source.  All of it brings us into greater balance and understanding so that we may hear the silence and be with the stillness.

Balance. Stillness. Silence.

These are words I don’t use lightly.  I carry the depth of their authenticity deep within my  understanding.

But balance, stillness & silence are ultimately still just tools.

so, what its all about, anyway?

Where or where is “yoga”?

October 27, 2017
A conversation I had recently went something like this:
“Oh, you are doing art & meditation & sound healing, but no ‘yoga’ for the workshop?” 
 How is THIS not yoga?  How is all of THIS not yoga?  Have we forgotten what yoga IS? Did we ever know in the first place?  Everything is Yoga when Yoga is understood.  There is no separation between not yoga & yoga.  As I write, I am practicing my yoga.  As I sit, I am practicing my yoga.  As I plan my day, I am practicing my yoga.  These are not just words to say and repeat robotically. This is not just a script I have been trained to recite. This is not just a theory or exercise. This is the most profound truth I have ever known.  Yoga is “Union”. These are not words to be taken lightly. Not a phrase to be gently smiled upon as you nod in agreement.  Saying it is not enough. Reading it is not enough.  Printing it on a T-shirt, is not enough.  Telling others is not enough.
Understanding it, is everything.  Let is sink in.  Let it inform every aspect of your life. 
Yoga Is Union.
Sometimes I think studios and the studio culture has completely ruined yoga by cultivating the culture that yoga is something you can pay for.   Something you can go to and experience for an hour and then go home or back to work or wherever.  Something you can read in a book on or have printed on a bumpersticker. Something you “Do”.  Something you can call/label yourself.
Yes, I am aware of the counter arguments regarding making a living and money as an accepted and valuable form of exchange.  And I am in no way against any of that. Still, I find myself asking all the time:  What have we lost, what are we in the process of losing, as yoga becomes increasingly commodified, “studio-ified”?   Its a big question.  Perhaps it is too late.  But asking it will help us as other spiritual paths (shamanism, meditation) go mainstream and are in danger of walking this same slippery slope .
I wonder how many of us really think about this, sink our teeth into this question and engage it fully?  Really consider, 10 years out, where does this path I am paving lead?  What are the pros and cons of the choices I am making now,  to the future collective awakening of this world, this consciousness?  Am I helping, or hurting?  Can I be honest? Can I even know?  Does that make it OK?
Is Beer/Cat/Glitter/Naked (fill in the blank) Yoga truly guiding us to awakening? (assuming thats everyones goal, which is a big assumption, I know.)  If it is now, does that make it a good idea?  What even contributes to our understanding of what is a ‘good idea’ or not? Thats the bigger question.
Before I started teaching “yoga & sound”, I went first to my Yoga Guru and asked him if this pairing was in accordance with the yoga lineage that I am a part of.  I then went to my Sound Healing teacher and asked her what she thought about it as well.  Both gave me their blessings, their feedback, their assurance that this was an appropriate use of both these tools.  Only then did I design the ‘curriculum’ and start teaching “yoga & sound healing”.
When you’re not sure if your work is ultimately contributing to “the greater good”, ask your teachers, your guides, your gurus, ask the Divine.  And them be willing to listen.
I am a humble vessel for the Divine and respectfully tread very carefully anytime I create a “new offering”. This is tremendously powerful work.
  • Its time to stop being so aloof with the term “yoga” and how it is applied.
  • Its time to practice better discernment as we come up with new ideas and how to apply them.
  • Its time to not just judge whether something is a good idea or not by how many people show up or come through the door.
  • Its time to be willing to live and breathe “Eyes Wide Open” instead of just saying it.
This is my wishlist at this time.  Its a personal wishlist, not meant to be coercive, judgmental or derogatory in any way.  Just one persons vision of what is happening now and one persons dream of a better tomorrow.
“May you see clearly the path before you. May you  understand fully the path behind you.  And may you walk with Grace, truth, equanimity, compassion and focus, in the here & now.”

Monday, July 11, 2016.

 

Paschimotanasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-Mel

Energy Musings.  Here.  Now.

This Week.

The hard work of our personal and collective journeys right now requires strength, honesty, clarity, discernment, love, patience, hope, surrender,focus and creativity.  It also requires us to occasionally just have FUN, relax, be silly,  rest and let go.

I am reminded of the Yoga Asana Pashimottanasana:  Intense Forward Fold. uttana (उत्तान, uttāna) sandwiched in the center of this word implies “intense”.

For me, the secret of this pose relies in our relationship to this “intensity”.  As the back of the body and the entire connective tissue band becomes actively stretched, we have the opportunity to meet this stretch, in particular its “intensity”, consciously and with increasing levels of subtle awareness.  Relax too much in this pose and there is no intensity. You’ve missed the point (although you feel deeply relaxed and happy!)  Pull yourself too deeply in this pose, and there is too much intensity.  (and you risk harm, injury, pain and suffering)

Wherein lies the appropriate balance for YOU?  This is the question to ask and what Pashimottanasana brings to us.  Using the body as a metaphor for your life (as we know it is!!), Pashimottanasana brings balance and discernment into everything we do.  Begging the questions: Where in your life, in your world are you “backing off” too much and Where are you over extended or trying too hard?  For each of us it will be different. We have to be VERY careful not to judge others for where they are at or expect them to be where we are at.  But Pashimottanasana teaches us this as well.  If we practice in a group setting, each person is finding their own appropriate relationship to intensity and without judgement or expectations, ideally, the group understands this.  In this way we create conscious community where each person is valued for where they are at.

True Yoga Asana is like that.  Each pose teaches us well beyond the limits of the physical body. It teaches us how to live, how to be, how to relate, how to change ourselves and how to change the world.

This week consider your relationship to and your interaction with the Intensity that is swirling around us right now.  And maybe use Pashimottansana to come into your true alignment.

Yoga Pose of the Week:  Pashimottanassana:  Intense seated forward fold.

Wednesday, December 9th

Today, feel your vulnerability. Sit with it. Share tea.  Laugh with it. Eat cake together.  As we let the vulnerability in, we allow the joy and happiness to blossom.  Being vulnerable, feel your human-ness.  Not weak, not afraid, not oppressed…. just real.  Be vulnerable with your kids, your partner, your self.  Be vulnerable with a family member.

Take a chance on vulnerability today.  Find one place, one way, to honor this sacred state of being.  Consider what being vulnerable might feel like to you.   Notice where you might get stuck in your physical body as you even consider vulnerability and use your hands to run it off you.  Move it gently, but firmly.  Clearing pathways to greater awareness and being.

Yoga of the day:  Bridge Pose;  Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.  By opening the heart and the whole front of the body, we expose ourselves to vulnerability.  Use any props or supports you need to feel comfortable here and hang out for a while!

Inspiration of the day:  Vulnerability. (revisting an old ted talk! )