Star Gazer

There is a universe within.  Be willing to gaze at the stars.  

There is a space between anguish and excitement.  This space is both lit by the fiery drive of the heart and darkened by the overcast shadow of my dragon.  I exist in this space.  With heart open and pupils wide, I marvel.  From here, I see so many stars.

Stars are like mirrors and spotlights, and there are so many.  They reflect and reveal.  It is as though the stars, in their own sense of Divine organization, take turns showing me the things I need, but may not want to see.  With patience, they offer.  Like tough love from a dear friend, they reveal Truth and call me out.  

Stars are like memories and projections, and there are so many.  They reflect and reveal countless past experiences and a vision of the experiences of others, to which I can't help but compare.  Serving to create a feeling, a sense that I'm not really ok.

Anguish.

I exist in this space.

Stars are like jewels, and there are so many.  Attracted to the twinkle and the mystery, there is an unyielding draw of my attention.  It is as though, the stars are eager to offer Truth.  They glimmer a light of hope to the very idea that true peace and happiness are attainable for everyone, even for me.  They invite me home and remind me that I really am ok.  

Excitement.

I exist in this space.  

For now.

Unspoken

I see the remnants of your pain and so I do not take your smile for granted. Nor do I pretend not to see the mask of falsity at times.

I feel your energy sometimes muted by the grip of demon, sometimes amped by the flow of blessings.

I receive the things you say with voice and body simply as the top layer, quietly acknowledging to myself that there's always something more.

I take your positive words and deeds along with the negative, the love and misunderstandings and I offer you metta.

I am here, humbly interested in and seeking to honor as well, that which remains unspoken.

All is Coming

Practice, practice, practice.

Practice simply, earnestly.  

Practice with sincerity.  

Sincerity in practice can mean a lot of different things to different people.  After all, we are only as noble and able as our current state of awareness allows for.  This applies to our ability to bring honesty and a sense of purpose to our daily rituals, for sure.  I'm speaking of yoga and meditation specifically, but this can simply be a statement of how important it is to bring consciousness and intention to as many of our thoughts and deeds as possible.

I think I went years without actually putting conscious intention behind my so-called practice.  I went along, going through the motions, although that was never my intent.  I didn't really know what I was doing, and for a while too, no doubt.  I've experienced malaise and bliss on the mat.  I've experienced anxiety, stillness and so much in between.  I went along, calling it a practice, calling it my yoga practice because that's what everyone around me called it.  

How easy-peasy and commonplace it is to enter the practice looking to get fit, look cute, or be a part of the boom.  Even if there's a feel-good effect, how easy is it take that without questioning exactly what feels good, or why the practice has this effect?  Sincerity in practice leads each of us to take our rightful place amongst everyone else who likes to feel good and is, to some degree or another, averse to feeling anything else.

With little regard for the opposite side of the coin, I know what it's like to want the feel-good aspects of the practice while wanting to avoid the rest.  Is it possible to have a perpetual feel-good yoga and meditation practice without experiencing the shit side?  Short answer is no.  This is where sincerity comes in.  This is where the my comes in.  

Sincerity here, leads me to the most relevant, most poignant and often times, the most difficult realizations about myself.  It prompts me to investigate what feels not-so-awesome.  It is with sincerity that I try to recognize my strengths, gifts and accomplishments, for sure.  But at the same time, I remain willing to ask: What feels in need of love and compassion?  What aspects of my being need growth or healing?  

Make no mistake, the work of the practice and the practice itself are not separate.

Sincerity, like a whisper from the soul, says: "You are good.  You are divine, but you can't be whole without growth.". 

  So, do your practice.

 

New Year's Shout Out

This has been an amazing year! 

As I reflect on 2015, my first impulse is to take a moment to offer an expression of sincerest appreciation for all of you who have supported, participated, visited and/or subscribed to my yoga, meditation, or Reiki services.  I recognize so much in the way of growth and healing, not just for myself, but for so many around me every day.  We are absolutely in this together.  I feel humble and honored. 

My second thought is to remind the loyal and suggest to the unfamiliar exactly what we are doing here.  This is healing.  This is medicine.  This is the quest for Self-realization.  

I encourage you to come along for the journey, but you should know a couple of things.  This work is not easy. I will make you feel something, perhaps venturing into discomfort routinely.  I will ask you to practice with sincerity, to be introspective, and to remain willing and open to giving and receiving.  I will ask you to cut the shit, be real with yourself, and to be on purpose.  I will ask that you seek balance and make mindful choices about every aspect your practices.  

 In 2016, I will continue to make offerings with love and devotion, with pleasure and excitement.  I hope it serves you.  

 

Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy 2016.

They Come Bearing Gifts

Think you have a soul mate?  

I've got plenty.  I would argue that you do too, and if we're lucky- one for every one of our flaws, hangups and samskaras.  Dismiss any sense of romanticism about the words soul mate.  No story-making here, soul mates can be people, friend or foe.  They can be predicaments, good and bad.  They can be practices like yoga and meditation.

With soul mates in such abundance, let's realize that like all other things around us, their presence is impermanent.  Invariably they come bearing gifts.  These gifts are not necessarily what we expect, or even think we want.  They don't come in a cute box with a bow or ribbon.  The gift is always the same.  A mirror.

The gift of soul mates is that they point us towards, and sometimes move us towards our destination, a higher realization of the Self.  They introduce us to something new, and sometimes (re)introduce us to something very old.  In one way or another, push or pull, nudge or bludgeon, soul mates extend an invitation for us to eventually move towards our heart center.  

See, soul mates, in whatever form, provide us with an opportunity to see ourselves, but with a depth no mirror can capture.  They prompt us to question, and perhaps grapple with our afflicted minds.  They remind us of our light and at times push us into our dark side.  Soul mates put us directly in touch with the things that matter most, but aren't often spoken of in that regard.  Things like: kindness, purpose, humility, compassion, and love.  This is a gift.  On the flip side, soul mates introduce us to our egos.  They point out our habits and maladaptive coping mechanisms.  They make us feel crazy at times, and often prompt us to act crazily.   This too is a gift. 

We are all on a journey.  We take an infinite number or routes to arrive at the same place.   Let us journey with a constant effort towards gratitude and grace.   The receiving of these gifts, the seeing of ourselves, has everything to do with our ability to do so.    

We attempt Grace when we open up to the flow of life in this moment, willing to forgive ourselves and others, and try to see beyond conjured up stories.  Willing to bring full acceptance to what IS right now, we have the capacity to allow the Divine within to be drawn out from our center. In this way, we experience expanded self-awareness.  

We simply take a look in the mirror.  

Grateful for any inkling of clarity, we not only recognize the mind games and tricks that leave us feeling shitty, but we also come to realize that there's much benefit to our connection with the people around us, the circumstances that perplex, and the life dilemmas may frustrate.  We come to realize that the struggle is universal .  The desire for a life of contentment is universal.  

Recognize that you are already a gift-- a mirror for a multitude of others.