Feel the fear

I humbly surrender to the universe

Those days happen. When your barriers are down, vulnerabilities are laid bare, and the submerged emotions pour out of your depths weakening cracks and bursting fault lines. The heaviness of the heart seems impossible fear encroaches upon hope. Crawling into a closet and holding yourself seems like the only possible thing to do.

Law of Attraction.

We hear so often in society that positive thinking, intention setting, awareness of the quality of your energy, and the such create your environment. So I try. I try to think positively, to remain hopeful, encouraged, grateful, positive, and all of that juicy goodness. And I’m a believer, don’t get me wrong. That shift in perspective and energy has made a noticeable and has impacted my life for the better.

But some days I need to cry.

Just because I am trying to be positive doesn’t mean that I always feel that way. So often I concentrate harder on being hopeful and positive because I am battling the fear that is rising up. For me, part of the human experience is the gamut of emotions we are capable of feeling. As a result, some days I need to feel the fear. Not because I want to…but because it is inside me and denying its existence is not only futile but perhaps unhealthy. If left ignored, it has the potential to grow without you knowing it and if rendered vulnerable, could consume your very being.

Give yourself permission.

TodayI felt weird and awkward and stepped on the yoga mat with the intention of escaping those feelings. At one point, I was forced to look at the cause of the unease: fear. I’m scared. I’m taking risks I’ve never taken before, I’m struggling in ways new to me, my confidence is so easily dashed, and despite my attempts at remaining open, I am failing my expectations. And so I gave myself permission to cry. I was in my sanctuary, and so I let my guard down completely and fell down the winding hole of failure. What it feels like and what it looks like in this particular moment. It’s so fucking terrifying.

I wish I could say I got off the mat feeling refreshed and back into the positive pleasantries. But an hour wasn’t enough to feel the depths of fear dwelling within me. To see the multi-layered dimensions of that emotion. To understand it and embrace it as an aspect of myself. An hour is not enough, so I am giving myself permission, for one day, to wallow in anguish. To acknowledge it’s presence, and to recognize its incarnations in my life. I am granting myself the time to experience the possibilities of failure. I am dedicating energy to emptying myself of the damaging destruction of despair and purging myself of those debilitating diatribes.

Dance in the darkness of your shadow.

Each of us carries the opposites within us. Losing contact with the shadow self creates an internal rift. Give yourself permission when you need to experience the despair you may be battling. Don’t deny it, dance with it, and then change partners.

The antidote to despair is not to be found in the brave attempt to cheer ourselves up with happy abstracts, but in paying a profound and courageous attention to the body and the breath, independent of our imprisioning thoughts and stories…We take the first steps out of despair b taking on its full weight…despair is a difficult, beautiful necessary, a binding understanding between human beings caught in a fierce and difficult world where half of our experience is mediated by loss. ~ David White

Be compassionate.

Allow yourself to exist in a cave of despair, and curl up with a comforter of compassion, and just breathe.

Shhhh…listen…

Luke Brown Visionary Art

Yogi Bhajan said, “The greatest tool you have in your life is to listen. Why? If you listen, you will listen sensitively. And you will be shocked how fast you will become intuitive.”

 

How often do you find yourself smiling and nodding, at a loss about which the person in front of you is speaking? How often do you keep mindlessly eating without realizing you are beyond full? Have you found yourself responding to a situation out of pure habit, even though the feelings from which you are responding are long gone?

As a society immersed in constant stimulation, I have discovered that sometimes listening is a challenge. There are tons of things happening right and left and up and down and sometimes what’s present in front of me is lost. It’s sad really. It causes a disconnect not only between myself and those around me whom deserve my attention, but also between me and myself.

Luke Brown Visionary ArtOne of the things I have loved about Yoga and more recently Yoga Nidra, is that it provides the space to listen. When flowing through a vinyasa class, I am able to glide my awareness across my muscles, my skin, my joints, to discover how I physically am feeling. I can feel how deep the pain in my lower back goes, or the strength I am building in my legs. The feeling across my collarbones as I peel my shoulders back becomes a little bit sweeter, the exhale a little deeper. By listening to my body and being a sensate witness, the movements become more exhilarating and fulfilling. And when my body has been heard and I am physically feeling nurtured and satisfied, I can move into my heart space.

How do we know if we have grown, shed, or transformed if we don’t stop to listen? Taking a few moments to listen to my heart opens me up to understanding what lives within the realms of my anahata and to align my heart with my thoughts. What is it that I am truly feeling right now, in this moment? Am I displaying outdated habits and thought patterns, viz. is what I’m doing or thinking serving my current self or my past self? When I take the time to stop and listen to what’s happening within, I enter a space of clarity and understanding. I can see the matrix (my version of it, at any rate), and can systematically examine the quality of my body, heart, and thoughts, and I reveal my truest nature and the essence of Spirit from within.

Listening allows us to feel as an individual and finite existence while simultaneously it engages us in the vastness of consciousness and energy of the eternal. We become a witness and a purusha (Sanskrit: “one who dwells in the city of True Nature.”).

So take a few moments to listen to your body, heart, and mind. Check in with yourself and ask yourself how you truly are. When we find that place within, we become unwavering in our peace, and can extend the art of listening to those who surround us. And we bear witness for them, of their existence, and allow them to be heard.

Below is a meditation from Yogi Bhahan you can incorporate into your practice when you need to align your energies.

Hugs & Love,
Saxxy

 

Meditation Yogi Bhahan

Click the image for more information on this practice. _/\_

The small and large of it

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I recently spent some time in a space of frustration. All the little things were starting to piss me off and the irritation was growing. My hackles were raised and I was on the defense about many things. I remember going to teach a yoga class, playing through the situations in my head, hoping to dissolve some of the frustration so I wouldn’t take it on the mat with me and spread that energy while I taught. I was brimming with frustration, texting my beloved about the emotions that were surging through me,  when I felt a moment of compassion wash over me. And in texting with him I remembered what the bigger picture was.

And there was a shift in me. We truly do feed our emotions with our thoughts and that’s exactly what I was doing. I was focused on the smallest of details from the perspective of an individual. I was running the situations over and over in my head, making myself more upset. And, in that moment,  I saw the big picture from the perspective of the whole. I saw why I was in the situation, what I needed to do to grow, and of what I needed to let go to reach a better place.  For me, when I remembered what the intention (see also resolving your intentions) was I could see the small tasks in which I was involved leading to that intention. And I was able to shift my feelings toward the irritations from frustration to useful tool. I shifted myself, to align myself with the path that led to my ultimate goal, my intention, and in all honesty what I truly desired.

So take a few moments to shift through your irritations. Reflect on your day, week, year, life…and bring your awareness to the place of contention. Weave in and out of that space, shifting through the various emotions and thoughts surrounding that situation and find the source. What is it that is truly pissing you off. Take a few moments to exhale.

Take a few more…

 

 

And then paint a picture of a more rewarding situation. What does it look like? How does it make you feel? Think about it until the thought of it makes you smile.

 

 

What’s more important? Staying upset or  getting to a place where you can smile? What does an internal compromise look like?  What do you need to do in order to get to that space? Of what do you need to let go? Where is space for action on your part? Stop to consider the bigger picture. Align your energy with the ultimate intention, your truest desire, and take the steps to reach that place.

 

Hugs & Love,

Saxxy

Intending your resolutions

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Happy New Years 🙂
As we ring in 2016, we reflect on the past year and contemplate the future. We consider setting resolutions to help us achieve the idea we have of what we should be doing, who we should be, what we should look like, and what our future should entail. Take a moment to reflect…four days into the new year…what resolutions have crossed your mind?

Personally, I’ve had some of the same resolutions on my list that I’ve had for decades now. Year after year, I was staring at the same damn things in the same journal that has “Dear Diary” entries from the 90’s. It was frustrating and disappointing. Resolutions didn’t work for me and really only made me feel like a failure that I couldn’t achieve what I penned at the beginning of each year. So I let resolutions go. And it seemed that my life started to flourish in ways I didn’t imagine possible. I even started to integrate those past resolutions (now that they weren’t a glaring port of authority of what I should be doing) into my life and started to “achieve” them.

In yoga, we talk about intentions. And I believe that it is from this space that my life started to sync. Intentions has a different feel than resolutions. Compare the definitions:

Resolution

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Resolution is a solution to a conflict whereas intention is an aim or purpose. Resolution begins first with a problem. We see something in our lives we think is wrong or not good enough, and we resolve to change it. Intention guides us on our life path. It aligns us with the essence of our being and sets us on our dharmic course. Both have a place in our lives. For the times of tapping into our universal selves, and setting intentions, there is the Sankalpa Mudra.

San=connection with the highest truth
Kalpa=vow
Sankalpa Mudra=Hand gesture of intention

 

  1. Find a comfortable seat. Outstretch your arms so your elbows are parallel with your shoulders, wrists at a 90 degree, palms outstretched, facing up. Close your eyes and listen to your breath. Tap into the space of your life essence, set an intention and let it circulate in your palms.
  2. Bring your left hand in front of your heart. In this mudra, this hand symbolizes bravery and strength. We bring the hand in front of our heart to merge with our anahata energies, to infuse our blood with these qualities. Pause for a few breaths to feel bravery and strength course through your veins.
  3. Bring the left hand to the right knee, palm face up.
  4. Bring the right hand, palm face down, above the left and let it hover above the left hand. This symbolizes the grounding and manifesting of the intention. Pause for a few moments to let your intention mingle with your strength and permeate the ether.
  5. Bring the right hand to meet the left in a handshake fashion, sealing in your intention.

Namaste.

SankalpaMudra

 

Breath

I’ve spent the morning deepening my relationship with my breath. I listened, I watched, I experimented, I balanced. I took in as much as it as I could and then deflated my lungs completely. I practiced sending it to various parts of my body to soothe, energize, heal. Breath is our unique rhythm, rhythm is a dancer, it’s our souls companion (yeah, I went there). What is the quality of your breath right now?
    

 

Lift yourself

Indra

I was relaxing with my beloved the other night, just watching one of our snakes, when Indra, the piebald, started to talk to me and to show me an insight he had to share.

To me, snakes are gracefully strong creatures. They seem to be aware of every inch of their body as they maneuver through life. And Indra saw me, and started to move across his tank. It looks like such a dance of movements. If I were to relate it to the human body, I imagine it’s much like when we dance and we flow with our shoulders reaching out and exploring with our hands, and yet stabilize around and our hips, maybe they gyrate around, perhaps they are still, but they are our fulcrum as our feet root into the earth, providing a foundation upon which to move.

Indra

So he glides over to the side and looks up. And I absorb as I watch him position his body and then starts to reach up to the top. His muscle control was astounding (albeit quite natural to him) as he makes his way higher and higher, again, using only his strength. I can see the shifts in his lower body make some small movements, super small adjustments, to help him lift himself even higher.

I watched him, poised and beautiful, lift himself high. And then I saw him fall over. And I realized that what he had to show me, was that despite it all, no matter how high we lift ourselves, how aware we are, or how healthy and nurturing our choice are, we still sometimes find our edge and fall over.

Falling over didn’t even seem to make Indra flinch. It was like he gave it his all, saw what he needed to see, revealed what he needed to reveal, and that was enough. He wasn’t actually trying to touch the top (okay, maybe he was, I don’t really speak parcel tongue), but whatever he was going for, what he seemed to receive, was enough. He wasn’t upset he didn’t get all the way to the top, or that he didn’t stay there or what have you. He seemed quite content with the experience he had.

What a delightful feeling that must be…to give something your strength, your effort, your awareness, to discover your apex of ability in that unique moment, to fall, and to glide away content. Santosha, embraced.

With love,

M

It’s been a while

Open Mouth Exhale

It’s been a while. I was even a little nervous. What was it going to be like? Was it going to be hard? Was I even going to be able to make it for the entire hour? I have this crick in my neck, my back is stiff, I’m not even sure if my hips remember what it’s like to be open. But I need it, I need it bad.

And so I laid my mat out. I inhaled and told myself that whatever happened, it was going to be exactly what I needed. I set my intention on just observing. I found my way to my childspose and started to lengthen.

I lengthened out of my hips, into my spine and through my shoulders. I worked each vertebral body into alignment from my coccyx through my lumbar, up my thoracic and out my cervical spine. The power of the bone elements ignited as the flexibility of my intervertebral disks expanded. I felt the strength of my practice take hold of my energy as the class began and I started to reconnect with my self, and with my breath. And as I listened to the teacher take over the thoughts in my head and lead me through an exalted and nurturing practice, I recommitted myself to my mat.

Find a comfortable seat. Feel your ass cheeks spread across the surface. Lean forward and back, maybe make some circles with your hips. And then find stillness. Push your butt into the mat and become aware of your core strength. Engage it as you start to stack each vertebra on top of the one below it. Discover how much space you can put between your hips and your ribs. Reach the crown of the head up to the sky. Find space between your shoulders and your ears. And watch your breath.

Open Mouth Exhale

Exhale

Crows and coconuts pt 1

Crow

There’s a paradox parable of sorts in the Vastishana about a crow and a coconut. It explores the idea of timing. Not in the sense of minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day but in the more eternal sense of fate. It’s a befuddling concept that has tickled man’s mind since we discovered opposable thumbs. For me it develops into a question of a conscious universe, in some ways law of attraction, power of the unconscious. What is the nature of energy? Can we influence our future or are we subject to whatever happens…Is it a dance with Fate the way I had come to think of it?

I had just experienced a devastating occurrence of life. I was desperate for the answer to the quandary: do things happen for a reason? I sat down, picked up my Hindu Mythology book and came across the aforementioned crow and coconut story.

A crow alights a branch at the same exact time a coconut falls to the ground. Did the crows’ touch cause the coconut to fall, or was the coconut about to fall anyway?

Cause and effect is a theme in life. We learn it in school in chemistry (I think) and see it on a molecular level. It’s those scientific notions, the law of conservation of energy, law of attraction, that support the energetic exchanges our ancestors intuitively knew. I leaned toward cause and effect and started seeking the crow that caused my coconut to fall. I looked in every possible corner of my mind, heart and soul. And let me tell you, I came up with a shitload of possible crows. But in a sky of crows, I couldn’t pick out one that satisfied the overwhelming feelings of a situation that rendered me baffled. So to choose one crow that landed on that branch causing the coconut to fall was impossible. I started to wonder if it was possible to choose just one and if there was even the possibility of one…is there a why to the things that happen to us? Is there a reason? Or does shit just happen? All possible crows.

Take a deep breath in, open mouth release it out. Crow is about hugging into center, arms externally rotate and squeeze in to create a stable shelf as a foundation for your crow, your core reaches for your spine so much they fuse in fluidity, your legs squeeze together to create a lift in the lower torso, your mind wraps around your breath, funneling your awareness into being Bakasana. Fingers come down to the mat, spread the fingers nice and wide, press down under the nails. Establish your chaturanga arms and bring your knees to the back of your arms. We are traditionally not weight bearing on our arms…just get used to the idea of holding yourself on your hands. Try picking up one foot, and then the other, and then maybe both. Look about 6 inches forward, settle your gaze on a single dristi (focal point), push down into the earth with your hands and as you do that, reach the forearms in toward each other and rotate your shoulders to the outer sides and then back and down your back. Bring your knees to the back of your arms, engage the core, look forward, pick the legs up from the floor, take flight into Bakasana, Crow.

Crow

 

Part II, Part III

Take a Break

Open Mouth Exhale

Take a break. Just breathe. Be present for a few moments. Close your eyes if you’d like. Relax the shoulders back and down. Take a huge breath in, suspend it for a moment, and then release it out.

Open Mouth Exhale

 

Feel better?

 

It’s important for us to take the occasional break during the day, the week, the month, life. We are an on-the-go society and that’s fine. It works for most. Keeping yourself healthy and aligned during the chaos is important. And sometimes that requires us giving ourselves permission to take a break, to step away. It could be from the computer, a goal, a relationship, a job, life in general. And it could be for 30 seconds, minutes, days. And that’s not to insinuate that what we are doing is bad, we could be dedicating our energy to cultivating beauty in our lives and manifesting our dreams, and still need to take a break.

I sometimes use breaks for reflection. I like to see from where I have come, how I have grown and who I am now. I feel like we all change so much and sometimes don’t even realize it ourselves and then one day we look in the mirror and holy shit how the hell did I get here and who is this person with the green hair and tattoos looking back at me. It can definitely be a giggle. Sometimes it’s a lesson that I need to learn so I can move forward with ease. Those moments when you see your dream and you keep bumping up against the same wall, the same damn situation and how the hell do you shift in ANY direction just to experience something new and hopefully rewarding this time. And we learn how to release stuck emotions and energy patterns. And sometimes it’s those times when you look at yourself and realize you need to reconnect with yourself and love yourself again b/c you have lost your connection with your divine soul.

It’s important to listen to your intuition and to be able to read the signs that say it’s time for a break. Otherwise it’s like a tree in a Primorye winter whose sap is freezing and expanding…it expands until the tree bursts, unable to contain what was growing within. And when an explosion like that happens, there is no going back, there is no putting the tree back together, scooping up the sap and stuffing it back into the tree.

So when you start to feel a little claustrophobic, overwhelmed, a little crazy, before you get to bat shit crazy…give yourself permission to take a break. Breathe, reflect, release, do whatever you need to do to feel better. Enjoy yourself, your life, your relationships. And just exist, in the moment.

 

XOXO

 

 

Kundalini Conversation

Kundalini Surge

Not Me

And what Kindalini all about?

 

Me

Ohhhhh sweetness…It’s from where my love for snakes was born

Hard to find classes…it’s been a lot theory for me

well, and I get caught in a single location and it’s hard to break out and try new things…but apparently there is a Kundalini studio on 29th and Julian…but it’s so far and difficult to get there…

for me, the alignment of the chakra’s through pranayama and asana lead to the awakening of the Kundalini energy. That energy, they say, is stored at the base of your spine, below the Muladahara vortex, and is coiled like a sleeping snake. When the chakra’s are aligned and you are in a higher vibrational state (meditation usually), the snake uncoils and slides up your spine. I just did a Kundalini sketch last night even, lol

Not me

That sounds so cool

Me

It’s much of the caduceus symbol with the snakes riding up the Ida and Pingala

but the energy shooting out of the shushing

It’s why I love snakes and the chakras

fuck….sushumna…

So much of my practice has been gearing me for Kundalini. I’ve been doing a lot of the work to get there. Physically, it’s one of the easier practices so newbies sometimes flock to Kundalini without understanding the concept of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still fantastic and I’m glad they are doing it. You know I’m a Jung fan…well, maybe you don’t, but my intent to understand the shadow self to be able to dance with it instead of live in fear of it falls into Jungian theory a lot, so…Jung wrote, “When you succeed in awakening the Kundalini so that it starts to move out of its mere potentiality, you necessarily start a world which is totally different from our [usual] world. It is a world of eternity.”  If I were to go truly nuts…the Celestine Prophecy idea of the levels of vibration and then the supreme level that caused the Myans to disappear…to essentially turn into vibrations, could, could, be considered Kundalini…each stage working your way up your chakra system. My opinion of course. I haven’t read that anywhere for it to be real, but those are the connections I made.

Not me

It sounds wonderful, we have to go

Kundalini Surge
Kundalini Surge