Paranoid

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Mind scattering in a myriad of directions. Heart racing to a demanding beat. Confidence crumbling. Energy deteriorating. Worry and paranoia take over and you’ve suddenly puddled into a murky, slimey, pool of human consciousness. What began as a detail has escalated into a whirlwind of outrageous possibilities and you are blinded by the fear of what could go wrong.

“All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy. Think I’ll lose my mind if I don’t find something to pacify.  Can you help me occupy my brain?” Ozzy/Black Sabbath

Not an invalid consideration. Life twists and twirls us at times, like a marionette across a stage, we are at times flung to the furthest reaches of what we think we can handle. When we are in the depths of such despair we brood, we become anxious, we concentrate on that which can go wrong. And then things start to go wrong and we spiral out of any comprehension of positivity and the shit hits the fan. Most of us have been here. We know of the trials and tribulations of being stuck in a pattern of demise. Some of us get stuck in our heads so deeply all we see is a convoluted mess of the future. But! Worry is wasted imagination.

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Our thoughts help create our reality. Not only in our perception of our companions on our journey and the events unveiling around us, but also in our moods and emotions that orbit our activities. Our thoughts influence our experiences.

Most of us are going to worry, and there is little we can do about completely letting go of the gnawing sense of dread. What we can do is shift worry into imagination. Shift the paranoia into something more productive. Shift it into the place of healthy intention. Create a mantra that resonates within you and fills you with calm. Color your thoughts with possible amazing outcomes, as surreal as they may seem, and excite your soul. Stop choosing to waste your precious time in that human suit by ruminating on the negative. Instead imagine your life the way you dream it to be, allow your beautiful mind to circulate around the amazing, and start living the life of your own design.

Resolving your intentions

Tranquility

For the first week of January, I danced in the realms of intention and resolution. I looked at the definitions, I talked in class about them, began and ended each class with the Sankalpa Mudra and flowed with it throughout our asana practice. This exploration helped me realize how they both play an important role in our lives.

The thought with which I ended, suggests that Intention is the basis of our Resolution. To me, resolutions ended up being more of a to-do list. We see a problem and we resolve to fix it. They are the details of our life. But we have to know what the whole picture is to make sure the details are appropriate. We shouldn’t be drawing palm trees if our picture is of the desert.  Aligning ourselves with our highest truth, connecting with our Dharma and walking the path of intention allows our to-do list to be acts that keep us on our path. If an aspect of my intention is to be an artist, then my resolutions need to reflect that by including art in my daily/weekly activities. In yoga, we set an intention at the beginning of class and sometimes it is soon usurped by thoughts about the postures, about the teacher, other students, how we look in our yoga clothes, and a plethora of other tangent thoughts. It’s during these times that coming back to intention is crucial. It allows us the opportunity to weed out the irrelevant and stay true on our course.

Ultimately, the union of our daily, “individual” energy and our eternal, “universal” energy allows us to vibrate at our  highest frequency. This isn’t that easy, however. If we are lucky enough to have discovered our dharma, we may still be trying to alter our lifestyle in order to live it. And even then, shit happens and then shift happens. Using a mantra with the breath can help us quiet the distractions in order to get back to our essence.

The mantra, then, is a way to experience nonlocal consciousness. Aborigines, Indians, Native Americans, and many other traditional cultures have used it for thousands of years. In every tradition mantras involve chanting to create special vibrations, sounds of the universe that create something from nothingness, that move energy from the unmanifest into the manifest.
Deepak Chopra

It’s a continual commitment to maintain an awareness of our intention. To help, there is the So Hum Mantra, recommended by Deepak Chopra for synchrodestiny. The So Hum Mantra helps us connect with pure consciousness and to tap into the space where we connect with the universal vibrations. We quiet our minds and listen only to our breath to release distractions and create a space where we can just be…we can just exist. No thoughts, no emotions, no desires, no expectations…just the So Hum of our breath and of our existence.

 

Listen to the audio version here.

Find a quiet space and a comfortable seat. Soften your quads and your hips. Make any movements you need to find comfort. Engage your core bringing your navel in toward your spine to support the lower back. Elongate through the spine, stacking each vertebral body on top of each other. Soften your shoulders back and down, chin is parallel with the floor. Bring your hands down to your lap, palms face up. Eyes are closed. Bring your attention to your breath. Listen to your cadence and the length of your inhales and the length of your exhales. Feel the breath as you inhale it in, expanding through the lungs, lifting the chest; and, feel the breath as you exhale it, drawing the chest and the core in toward the spine, as the air leaves your body. Listen to yourself for a few moments…feel your own vibrations. Listen as your inhale whispers So…..and your exhale murmurs Hum. So…Hum…Stay attuned to the So Hum until your breath quiets, and your mind quiets. If your mind starts to wander, no worries, just let go of the tangent and come back to your So…Hum…until you disappear into the space of pure vibrational consciousness and being.

 

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

Crows and Coconuts pt. 3 It Didn’t matter

ResponsibleEnergy

So, there were crows flying around landing on branches perhaps influencing the coconuts fall to the ground, but the story didn’t end there.

It said it didn’t matter if the crow was responsible or if it was just the coconuts time to fall. It. Didn’t. Matter.

I had spent hours in my head looking for the cause and effect, looking for the reason. In a state of shock I went in search of the crows, I wanted the why behind such a life-changing incident of such magnitude…without warning, everything changed. Considering all of the why’s of the situation, I left the ground and lived in that state of surreal suspension of the coconut, of suspended gravity looking at every incident in my life as a timeless orb on Indra’s Net. The orbs are as endless as are the connections. I saw so many paths being traced, simultaneously, that brought me to the point of my father’s death and the possible effects of it. I could see the weaver of fates’ (Moirai, Norns, Shai, Gaia, Spirit, God) imprint in my web of life, that beautiful tapestry that is the graphic novel of my life.

And in that suspension I tried to read it.

My beloved gave me a gong bath where I experienced an initiation of sorts in the mysteries of the world. I journeyed through the timeless portals and tunnels of the upper chakras, connecting with the universe in all its varieties and expanses, and danced around the ancient fires of the lower ones. I entered a space of contemplation where I heard my Dad laugh at the thought of bringing my tarantula home and how much my mom was going to not like it. I literally heard him laugh and kind of poke at me to get me to laugh, and I did, I had a little giggle. I felt  love. I went to my Shaman and deepened my journey into the mysteries. I experienced lava flowing and a silent journey on the river Styx beside my dad. I went to Red Rocks shows dancing under the stars of time and experienced such a gamut of emotions. Brit Floyd got me bad as it was the music of my dad. I started to imagine where he was in his life when he was listening to Pink Floyd and imagined the soldier, the man in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Of him, skinny, bald and incorrigible.  So I got a giggle when I felt my knee bending to a beat I couldn’t really hear, but have seen my Dad rock quite frequently. It was an involuntary movement for the duration of  a song and I laughed as I realized that I was dancing the dance of my father…and then I wept when I Wished He Was Here.

I searched for crows and I searched for coconuts. I was a crow and I was a coconut. I was bathed in possible connections, I was a fly caught in a spider web. The only thing of which I was certain was that there was going to be a transformation. And that was the point of the crow and the coconut story.Be responsible for the energy you bring.

We can’t know the why. We can have an inkling and we can think we know, and maybe we’re right and maybe we’re partially right and maybe we are waaaay off base. It’s simply part of the journey of being human. We ask questions, we search for answers, we make calculations to determine what truths we think we can, we search our selves and listen to our intuition and cultivate faith in what we feel. It made me start considering the quality of my actions. And being responsible for the energy I bring. I don’t want to be angry about it. I don’t want that to be the energy I bring. I was told by a friend that the pain will never disappear, that it will always be there and I will always feel it. So during those moments in between the sadness, I want to exude trust, courage, positivity in life. I hate that he died and I still have yet to really wrap my head around it. But I don’t want to feel shitty. I have spent way too many years in the darkness and trying to drag myself out of a pit of anger. I don’t want to go back to that space, and I no longer want to bring that energy. I’m human and therefore fall into that space at times, but I try to show up with love and compassion. I try to commune with my dad’s spirit and remember the wonderful memories, and shed the tears when I miss him. It will happen for the rest of my life.

There are so many unknowns in life, and shit that happens when you just have no idea it was even yet a thought. It’s an exchange of energy. So showing up in life with awareness and conscious intention becomes what’s important. The idea that you don’t know when something small that you do may change someone else’s world. Or when something huge will transform yours.

We only ever can control our own actions. We cannot know the full effects of what we do and how others are effected by our energetic exchanges. It doesn’t really matter if the coconut fell because the crow landed on the branch. It may have made a huge difference, or no difference at all. But it’s important to have landed. To reach out to others with love and respect. To treat others with dignity and honor. Coming from a place of positive intention helps ensure that we are putting a quality of energy out there that can resonate positively. Energy and vibrations interact in subtle ways so even our thoughts are an energetic force. We need to think and speak these kindnesses. You never know when you can make someone smile during a time of tears, or when it’s your last goodbye.

You can help change the world, even if it’s the worlds time to change.

ResponsibleEnergy

 

Part I, Part II

Intending your intention

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I often begin a yoga class asking the students to observe their energy, see what they brought onto the mat with them that day, and to set an intention. Something they would like to cultivate during practice, whether it be remaining present, watching the breath, dedicating their class to someone, finding courage, strength, whatever is on the persons mind at that moment, to breathe that in and shift it, internalize it…to intend it. In fact, it has come up so often recently in life, manifesting intention, those small things that I was thinking about that caused a chain reaction, the many conversations I had with people hearing how they were manifesting their beliefs, that caused me to pick up a book on the subconscious.

With that in mind, let’s backtrack a bit. I can remember being in a yoga class one day following an injury. It was the first yoga class I’d been to in a long time. And it felt amazing and I couldn’t understand how I was able to go so many months without stepping onto my mat. All I could think was, Holy shit, I need to get more yoga in my life. I thought it over and over and over again and I thought it in every single yoga class I went to and during the day when I was dreaming about being on my mat. The thought was always, I need more yoga in my life. Two weeks later I had two classes that I was teaching and I had a full-time practice. It would seem that what I was thinking during all those classes manifested for me. I became a believer in intention, and started to realize all the different areas where similar thoughts had written my story’s path. I could trace the pattern of what I thought and what I intended and how it actually formed my life, on and off of the mat. And I flowed this way for years. Watching as my intentions started to form my life more and more as I became more aware of their importance. I even coined a term, Intentional Coincidence, for those moments when it seems coincidental but when you trace things backwards you can see where your past thoughts would have manifested what you were currently experiencing. I mean, let’s face it, these things are not always immediate but some take time to manifest.

When I thought about the why of it all, I thought in terms of the Law of Attraction: the quality of energy you exude is the quality of energy that surrounds you and that you experience. That which is like unto itself is drawn. Like attracts Like. Birds of a Feather Flock Together, Misery Loves Company, Two Peas in a Pod…the idea wasn’t anything new, we hear it in these adages. Add that I’m really not a science person, that I am a really trusting person (at times to a fault), and that I had limited time to think about it (I was busy intending thoughts, lol) so I had little need for the reason behind it since I had experiential knowledge of the truth in the idea. I could trace it’s presence since childhood…and I was able to just trust that if I put out the positive energy, the universe would take care of me.

And then I forgot the power of my intentions, went to a dark place and remained in a vortex of consuming negativity. And I saw my negativity manifest even more negativity…and my panic create more stress…and my fears take me deeper into the depths of this shadow. The angrier I got the more things happened in my life that pissed me off. Again. Law of Attraction. I was literally creating my own worst nightmare and yet was so blinded by anger I didn’t see that I was the one responsible for writing my story. I allowed life to happen to me. I allowed others to make my decisions. I let go of intention and was swept away…sometimes drowning, sometimes swimming upstream, sometimes gasping for air, sometimes not even knowing if I was under or above water. It was fast and furious.

 

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Years pass. Shit happened. Shift Happened. I emerged from my intimate dance with my shadow self…And a couple of weeks ago I picked up a book on the subconscious.

And here began the thinking behind what I had been experiencing. That law of attraction that manifests in all forms in life without judgement: light and shadow, brilliance and darkness, and everything in between. Maybe it’s a science. Maybe it’s psychological. Joseph Murphy seemed to have been a bit of a gypsy spiritualist with a background in religion and chemistry. (Those are my words based on his wikipedia page, so I could be wrong.) At any rate, I appreciated what he was saying and took into consideration his ideas on the relationship between the conscious mind and our subconscious mind.

All your experiences, events, conditions, and acts are the reactions of your subconscious mind to your thoughts. Remember, it is not the thing believed in, but the belief in your own mind, which brings about the result. Cease believing in the false beliefs, opinions, superstitions, and fears of mankind. Begin to believe in the eternal verities and truths of life, which never change. Then, you will move onward, upward, and Godward.
– Joseph Murphy

The idea is, that our conscious mind is our thoughts, be they fully-intended, habitual, or if we’re even really that aware that we are thinking them. It is the waking mind, the surface self, the voluntary and rational mind. Opposite of that is the subconscious mind, the sleeping mind, the deep self, the involuntary and irrational mind. By the way, here it means able to discern. The conscious mind can consider a thought, mull it over, and alter it so that it is of a quality that the thinker wants to manifest. Whereas the subconscious says, Okay Captain. Whatever you say. And our subconscious listens, without judgment, to those thoughts. It is the seat of emotions and is the creative mind. It is the builder of your body and can heal it. You’ve read, I’m sure, how you can say to yourself right before you go to bed, I want to wake up at 8am. And you will. Well, that’s the conscious mind thinking the thought, and the subconscious mind saying okay and creating the thought in life. And similarly, if you think you can’t quit that addiction or change that habit, you probably won’t.

“The power of your subconscious is enormous. It inspires you, it guides you, and it reveals to you names, facts, and scenes from the storehouse of memory. your subconscious started your heartbeat, controls the circulation of your blood, and regulates your digestion, assimilation, and elimination. When you eat a piece of bread, your subconscious mind transmutes it into tissue, muscle, bone, and blood. This process is beyond the ken of the wisest man who walks the earth. Your subconscious mind controls all the vital processes and functions of your body and knows the answer to all problems.”
– Joseph Murphy

It is the place of healing and manifesting. It is designing a life you love. I believe it to be that space where the muse dances and sirens sing. Where visions are inspired by kundalini surges. Where portals are revealed when the pineal gland is touched. The psychedelic realm where vision is expanded, energy becomes united, akashic records explored, and where you have the influence to navigate the waters in which you flow through life.

As Peter Pan suggested, Think happy thoughts and you’ll fly. Again, it’s a thought we hear over and over. And it’s a powerful thought. That which we think is manifested in our life. Not necessarily the way we want it, but more the way we need it. I like to think of it as a collaboration with the universe…I’ll think general concepts, high level ideas, big picture thoughts…and I’ll trust the universe to think of the details. But it’s my responsibility to bring intention into my thoughts and to follow through with them. It’s no longer an, on-the-mat idea…it’s bigger than that. It’s in everything I do. I still struggle, I still forget…but the time is sometimes 7 hours instead of 7 years. I’ve been “intending” in my thoughts to make habits of setting intentions. When I wake up, thoughts for the day; when I get to work in my to do list; in my yoga classes, for whatever I happen to be needing. And with my students, with you, whatever you happen to be needing, in life or in the moment, craft the thought in such a way that it is uplifting. Our thoughts set the stage for the action of the Law of Attraction. What we think is what we are attracting. Be kind and gentle, loving and compassionate, think about the life you want, the dreams you have, turn them into mantra’s and meditate on them, and every so often, as you’re thinking about these things, smile, and cheers the universe.

 

 

 

But a series of moments

(via audreyhepburncomplex)

What is this thing called life? The existence we walked through day by day hour by hour minute by minute? And is it really the second by second that counts?

I often begin a yoga class, scanning myself to become aware of who I am right at that moment. Who I am emotionally spiritually and physically. But what does that really mean? I am not my goals I am not my career. Am I as transient as my emotions? As scattered as my thoughts?

I am energy. Creative and destructive.

That is so abstract I’m not sure what that means. I understand creating and destroying… But I may not understand the reason behind it. But I love where my imagination takes me. Creating and destroying, That dichotomy is infinite… And then so am I.

What is this thing called reality? Is my reality the same as your reality,

Every time I walk onto a yoga mat I’m reminded that I’m in a moment. And that moment is the only moment I will ever have like that moment. It is unique. It is an experience and an expression of who I am at that moment. I am the conglomerate of all of my experiences thoughts emotions up to that point.

I am but a series of moments.

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Syncing with the seasons

I have many times said that I am an inconsistent person. That my habits cycle as the moon does. I was discussing this with my acupuncturist/hypnotherapist last week, hoping that she could somehow help me find balance and consistency. In a nutshell, she said she could help me direct my energy there but that I must do something every day to cultivate the habit I was trying to assimilate into my life.

As I was finishing up my yoga asana this morning and about to proceed to my meditation pillow, it occurred to me how good I felt and that this should be a morning practice, that I can wake up 30 minutes early to help my body feel wonderful. And as I began my meditation outside, and felt the warmth of the sun flow across my body, it occurred to me how great the sun is and how its’ warmth helps me feel good about the day and that I should meditate for at least 10 minutes in the morning sun before going to work to help prepare me for the day. And so I sat in meditation content and placing an intention to make this routine a regular morning routine for me.

And I sat there basking in the sun.

And then it occurred to me. The idea of making this a morning routine is a great one albeit not a possible one. Well, I should say it’s not possible to make this a year round morning routine, that I could make it a summer morning routine, but I couldn’t do it in the summer. I experience four seasons. To wake up at 8:00 in the morning in the summer is to already have the sun risen but it in the winter, this has not yet happened. My routines cannot be the same because the environment I am basing my routines on is not the same. I need to tune into these seasonal changes and sync my energy.

I do not know why it took me so long to realize this. But for whatever reason it is happening now. I have long thought that my inconsistency is a bad thing, a weakness. But in reality it is simply nature, earth nature, animal nature and human nature. And it doesn’t have to control me. I can adjust myself accordingly to find balance in each season. To find consistency in change.