A Flash of Lightning, Energies Colliding

Connecting with someone on an energetic level, reading someone’s energy and simultaneously committing their intricate matrix to your own energetic DNA, coming into contact with someone’s energy and remembering them…this can be a powerful experience and, quite frankly, transcendent.

If you’re an energy sensitive person, like I am, then you probably “get” this, straightway. But if you’re not – and that’s perfectly okay – let me try and explain this experience I had in relative terms…

Call to mind for me, if you will, a feeling. The feeling you get when you have a dream that rocks you. The best way I can describe connecting instantaneously with someone else’s energy is by having you embody the sensation you have after you’ve had an intimate dream about someone. Have you ever had a romantic, sensual or even sexual dream about another person? Particularly someone inappropriate or unsuspecting, like your boss (cringe), the next-door neighbor, an in-law (double cringe) or even someone of the same sex (assuming you’re straight and this feels like it’s out of left field). If you haven’t had this experience, you may be totally freaked out now, possibly even compelled to stop reading (ha). But persevere, bear with me please! I beseech you (can you tell I’ve been watching The Tudors on Netflix?), I promise there’s a juicy point ;)

If you’ve ever dreamt intensely about another person in this way, then you know of what I’m speaking. A person to which, in waking life, you have no real connection, no real attraction to…but, after this dream, you feel suddenly and strongly – magnetically, even – drawn to them. If you’re still with me, then you likely have experienced the ensuing energetic “attachment” that follows such a sleeping life experience. (*Note I didn’t say “real life” versus “dream state” because, inherently, there is no separation. What we experience at night is as palpably relevant to our every cell as is what happens to us in the daylight, if not more so). The weird “crush” you might develop on a person you’ve dreamt about, or the uncomfortable draw to that person in the days following the dream. Your senses tell you that it’s just a bizarre reaction to the dream and it will fade but your energy is locked in, the feeling alive in your body of wanting to think about, be near, possibly even be with said person. Am I speaking to you? The potency with which one’s psyche, spirit and heart are momentarily infiltrated by this intense passion, the senseless manner by which one’s energy is married to this other person’s, cannot easily be captured by words. It’s a feeling, through and through. There aren’t comprehensible explanations. And the feeling flutters away as quickly as it came.

The latter is where this analogy diverges. True energetic connections do not always fade or dissipate, and certainly not with the speed of a dream. They sometimes do, they often can, but it’s not a rule. Whereas the intense or inappropriate dream infatuation does fade every single time, almost certainly (thank goodness, because it’d be really awkward to see the next door neighbor every morning if that never went away…). We likely will remember the dream, but the bind had on us by the accompanying sensation slips away like grains of sand through the cracks of our fingers.

Most of us have experienced these dream-generated infatuations, and even if the dream details aren’t 100% clear, the feeling is fierce. For a couple of days – or maybe it’s only a day, maybe it’s an entire week, it depends on one’s sensitivity and the intensity of the dream as well as the parameters around the space in which that occurred – but usually it’s a few days of feeling really powerfully connected to and drawn to this person. That’s how I feel about spirit connections, energetic level connections. Where you just recognize a soul or lover from a past life, or someone who means something to you in a capacity other than just this physical realm right here right now, disengaged from the roles you play in this world and in these lives. These powerful connections that can’t be explained and must be surrendered to, allowing the sensation to fill your every cell. A sensation of familiarity, extreme comfort, provocation, intimacy, what-have-you. There aren’t any specifics that unite the experience, it’s just felt (how many more times shall I say this is a feeling? I feel I’ve made that point ad nauseum by now, ha!). I’ve had a lot of these connections and the more sensitive and open and aware I become, the deeper I go in my practice, the more it happens. The more I’m awake to it, rather.

So the point is that this happened again to me recently, and I’ve found myself thinking about this person – this perfect stranger (or so I would think) – every single day. When it occurred, they were the one to make a straight shot across the crowd to me. Like a flash of lightning, energies colliding. They felt it first and proceeded to initiate contact; a sincere hug. A hug of two souls remembering, not two strangers converging.

I admit I was a little bit overwhelmed in the moment by the whole experience, unable to truly process and digest what was happening around me, their eyes locking with mine, their enamored expression – my own likely one of puzzlement and ardor – the familiar word exchange, the warm embrace. The connection has somehow grown, despite only spending mere minutes in this person’s presence, and frankly not even fully engaging my energy just for sheer discombobulation. It’s been just over a week now. How strange for the intensity to still be heightening! I am observing it passively, and yet my instinct is to keep asking, “Why?” Why did this happen, what is the significance, why does this happen, what am I supposed to learn from it? I couldn’t help but chuckle at my persistent seeking, my inquiry, because I know deep down why it happened. Why it always happens. Why it will continue to happen. So instead I surrender to the intensity of the sensation; and I find it so interesting because, in my mystification, all I can equate the experience to is the sensation of having a dream about someone! An experience I’ve had again and again since early childhood. The process of how one slowly recalls the dream, the lack of context for how and why such dream passion should manifest physically and tangibly upon waking…but it just does. And you have to ride it out.

It’s a resonant feeling, one that you feel in your flesh and the ether of your being. That’s all I can really use to describe in terms of how it feels. As for why it happens, I gave you my inklings…past life karma, Divine intervention, fate. I truly believe to the very marrow of my being that we find our Tribe members on this path, that we remember one another and who we are to each other, who we have been to each other. I believe life is a series of these paths crossing, crossroads, these detours, and everything is Divine and these people who pass through our lives, whether it’s just someone at the market or a dear friend for life, they’re there for a reason. They are placed in our line of sight, illuminated in white light, made visible on our path, purposefully. Not always for extreme transformations, sometimes just for the most subtle, the faintest, most delicate renewal. Somewhere deep in our beings.

These opportunities litter our path. Our soul mates walk among us, disguised as mere “people,” with whom we draw innumerable contrasts, separating “them” from “us.” Protective measures against our own humanity, veils to live idly behind. A reason not to connect, not to make eye contact A reason not to be vulnerable. A space of perceived safety. A space that is, in reality, a prison. A pane of glass that energy can permeate, so why not just open the window? Why not just hang our legs over the ledge and let the air flow freely between you and I? We have the power to really connect to so many of our Kind. We have the capacity to harness this power. We have the Divine gift to come home to our Kind! So long as we remain open; open to love, open to one another. So long as we practice sensitivy to energy, our own and other, we will remain…flashes of lightning, energies colliding. Conscious collective, initiating shifts; peace rising, fog lifts.

 

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Mesh

There’s a being of light who sits beside the stoplight at the freeway onramp that I use every morning to get to work, yoga, wherever I am going…I see him often, regularly. I always wave, or throw him the peace sign. And he smiles.

I don’t have the means to give plentifully. I’ve given a few ones here, a five there, but more often than not I offer the most sacred thing I have…eye contact.

I took a class in college, a Humanities class, which focused on the sixties. My teacher was a haggardly wonderful and supremely intimidating woman. She wore tie-dye, a long, gray braid and Birkenstocks. She took no shit. One of the most haunting subjects we studied was that of the homeless population. The sheer quantity that is comprised of war veterans. Men who saw unfathomable horror, now displaced amongst society, shattered in ways no one but a fellow brother could ever imagine and wrecked in terms of achieving “normalcy” by general standards. My professor said a good number of her friends were homeless, a beautiful byproduct of volunteering at the shelter. She told us that the one thing they all had in common was that no one ever looked them in the eye.

This was haunting for me. The idea that no one would look these human beings in the eye. Even upon giving money, people would look down, or away. When walking by them on the street their eyes would be downcast, looking at phones, looking out at traffic. Anywhere but on the life that was in front of them. I realized, in this class, that it’s true. We do look away, instinctively. We do it out of a myriad of reflexive feelings; perhaps respect for their circumstances, not wanting to stare; perhaps to protect oneself from the reality of taking in what it would be like to walk in another’s shoes; perhaps out of discomfort, disgust, misunderstanding, any range of human emotion that any unique person might feel given the sight of a homeless person asking for help.

We begin to label ourselves, and them, as “this” or “that.” I just typed it myself, “homeless person.” Why not just “person?” I don’t call myself a “home-having person.” Our true home is inside us, it goes with us wherever we go, and we can never begin to understand what has happened in the layers of another’s existence to bring them to where they are right now. We can’t begin to attribute our own perceived notions to someone else’s way of living. Perhaps it’s freeing; perhaps it’s liberating in ways unknown to us who are tethered to our automobiles, mobile phones, corporate jobs and fancy homes. Perhaps it’s devastating; perhaps there’s extreme loss, tragedy, trauma and horror surrounding some’s state of homelessness. We don’t know. We can’t know, and so we can’t judge. But what we can do is give. Give of ourselves, of our humanity, we can give less and yet give so much more if our heart is behind it.

We don’t have to give money…yeah, money helps. Money buys “things.” That can’t be argued. Our society is built around money. But money, as a show of generosity especially, can be complicated. Some people don’t have extra money to give. Others do, but don’t believe in giving money to those in need, for whatever reason. Some people don’t believe in supporting anything uncertain. How can they know their hard-earned money won’t be used to buy alcohol, or something they don’t support? But the truth is this: we can never know when it comes to other beings. We can never even really know when it comes to ourselves. Some people are firmly rooted in their beliefs on the topic and I’m not here to say anything is right or wrong. We all choose for ourselves. I’m just here with the reminder that we can give so much without really giving anything…

I was given no money by this man this morning, nothing tangible to carry away from our interaction…and yet he gave me so much. He sat cross-legged, with a tiny little cardboard shred of a sign that had no words written on it. He wore a sideways smile and dirty clothes, clutching the piece of cardboard, nothing else in his hands. I pulled up to the stoplight with my window cracked about six inches. He turned his goofy grin to me and asked,

How ya doin’ sweetheart? 

I said I’m doing well, how’re you doin’? 

I’m good, I’m alive, he said. Then, I love your car, it’s a great color. I smiled and nodded.

Thanks, I love it too. He told me he’d had twelve bugs, and a rabbit, and that “they” had had to cut him out of the rabbit. Suddenly he was far away, still smiling, but lost in a memory. I listened, fully, giving him complete eye contact. I wondered, quietly to myself as he mumbled on, whether he’d really had twelve volkswagons. I wondered what had happened for him to have to be cut out of the last one. He interrupted my reverie by saying pointedly, look at my sign. It was about 3″ by 3″, clean cardboard, totally blank.

Fill in the blank, I said, smiling. He laughed, started to say something, and then the light turned green. I gave him the peace sign and said take care of yourself, God bless you. 

As I pulled away, he raised his peace fingers with another grin and said I love you sweetheart. 

As my car rounded the turn, his words floated into my window and into the very depths of my soul. They permeated me. How human. How real. How raw. I felt so deeply touched. I wasn’t capable of giving him anything that would have mattered more than the exchange we had just shared. What I gave him, we are all capable of giving. What he gave me, that takes a truly tender soul. To sit in one’s own skin, in one’s own human condition, and have a chat with a stranger. His cardboard sign to my yellow car. One of us dirty, the other clean. One of us a bit tipsy, the other sober. One male, one female. One asking for help, the other holding space for that. We are one and the same. For him to treat me as an equal, to talk to me candidly, to still smile and look me in the eye though I wasn’t offering him money, fills me with warmth. There’s a purity one must admire, for someone to have no airs like that. To just be. To make space for me to meet him where he is, unchanging in my position, him unchanging in his. Each of us owning where we are in the present moment. Some unspoken knowing that we are both where we need to be right this moment. Maybe he needs sunlight and fresh air and the simple conversation of passing strangers more than a shelter and government assistance and whatever else society has to offer. Maybe what has driven him to be “homeless” is bigger than any aide can ease. Maybe he’s exactly where he needs to be. Maybe eye contact and compassion will carry him and clothe him and feed him more than a wrinkled five dollar bill. Maybe love is enough, this morning.

As I drove away I thought, I love him too. It almost made me laugh, to love a stranger whose silly smile and humble ways only touch my life for moments at a time. But I do. Because he is God. He is God as I am God as you are God, and everything that happens here is Divine. No matter the container or the shell that we’re in, no matter our stories, we are here for so much more. We are here to do great work, whether it’s on the corner with a sign, or in a car with a meaningful gaze. We are here for those small moments in the light of morning with the window cracked. We are here for the stories and memories, the intangible exchanges that feed the soul even if the belly is hungry. But then again…what do I know?

I know this: the titles are just a disguise. To label someone as homeless, to label someone as successful, to label someone as wounded or healed; we’re all on this path to transformation, and we all need these little bits to hold us together. These little perceived identifications. Not because they’re who we are, but because it serves as a temporary container for who we truly are. The story serves as a container, a net really, a hammock for us to slink into, to hold us while we discover the exquisite reasons why we’re really here. The trick is seeing all the little things that we think comprise our entire lives, our entire beings, as what they really are. A container. Not even a container but a net, truly, a hammock with holes so we can see through, breathe through, so we can float bits of our souls through…and eventually someday, one would hope, break free of it altogether. Shatter the net, the webbing, or just permeate it entirely…liberation. Nothingness. A return to the stardust and bliss and space that we are made of, from which we originated.

 

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Illuminata

Some of my favorite moments are spent looking back at my past, observing what had to shift to bring me to where I am now…moments spent rooted in the present, but allowing the psyche to journey back in time; making note of circumstances, people, beliefs that once ruled my world and which now hold no weight at all; making equal note of other circumstances, people, beliefs that have persisted, held true, which still contribute to the core of my existence.
Healing and growth are constants in life, inherently circulating in nature, and yet we so often forget to heed the triumphant effects of their presence in our lives. We so often forget to give thanks for the natural rhythm with which they operate, soothe, infiltrate, embody. Like breathing and hearts beating, they move forth involuntarily, as uncontrolled as the forces that wound and stunt us. They just slip in silently, pacifying, often to our unintentional neglect. We are so wrapped up in the colors and sounds, the pain and pleasure, that this intrinsic process easily goes unnoticed. But it’s magical, it is truly a gift.
Being on the path of Awareness brings so much to light, this included, and it’s very difficult not to find oneself feeling grateful on a moment-to-moment basis. Despite the other human reactions to life that flitter to the surface, I believe this path lays gratitude as a solid foundation. It might feel far below us at times, the more raw and potent, fleshy emotions taking greater precedence on impulse, but it’s there…holding us up, the supportive structure to the very path on which we walk. Just as the yogic life brings great discomforts to the surface, it also illuminates just how miraculous the entire process truly is…how what was once broken is now mended, what was once infantile has now matured, what once was a supreme struggle has now been braided with ease…we must take notice of these shifts, we must. Because this acknowledgement is the half that makes us whole. It’s the railing on our journey upwards, onwards, downwards and upwards again. It’s the invisible ceiling as well as the ground beneath our feet.
Some of my favorite moments are spent looking back at the past and observing what had to shift to bring me to where I am now, right in this very moment…tasting every drop of the decadent gratitude that ensues, savoring it and knowing it intimately. Coming to know this self-inquiry, this observation, this panorama…is to build intimacy with the Self, to fortify the relationship with oneself. It elicits pride, not of the egoistic sense, but of fortitude; perseverance. This remembering, this knowing, is a badge of resilience, of Truth, and ultimately of Spirit. This remembering anchors us, brings us home. It is a deeply sacred practice, indulging in these moments, and it is shared with the greatest companion any of us could ever hope to walk with on this path . . . the Self <3

Wishing peace and love to all of you, this night and every night. Om Namah Shivaya.

I Love You on Wednesday Morning

I’m having a very emotional morning. Not in a bad way, just in a very…ALIVE way. That’s the only way I can describe it. I feel viscerally IN my body, IN my humanity, IN my presence. I find tears springing to my eyes at the very thought of this life. Something came to me in the space of dreams that moved me to this precipice, this understanding, in a way unlike I’ve ever before experienced. I read a page of The Work of Byron Katie this morning, as I so often do, either from her work or that of Pema Chodron, Marianne Williamson or Anodea Judith. It was subtle, about letting life live you rather than the other way around, but something in it…something about only having been awake a short spell, something about what occurred in dream land, something about the rawness of my psyche, the openness of my spirit, allowed a new sensation to permeate . . .
We are limitless, made of stardust and bone, celestial matter and flesh. We are heavenly beings not confined by, but resting in human bodies.
This is fact, this I know to my core, and yet it hits me like a pile of bricks this morning. Magic bricks, bricks of bliss; a heavy surge that, despite its wonder, hits me forcefully, knocking me to my knees . . .
It’s good to have very emotional mornings now and then. It’s good to have very emotional evenings, afternoons, pockets of space and moments and entire days. It’s so good to be connected on a holistic level, to let tears stream down both from sadness and ecstasy, fully tapped into the human experience but utterly cognizant of the angelic nature of our very being. The Truth. Embracing the mortal condition, the imperfections and total lack of control because this state does not define nor confine us but rather hold space for our Divine spirits to journey, to transform, to do their Work. It is a resting pace, this body, a means of transportation, a gift. This mind and psyche with all of its compulsions and brilliance, annoyances and irrevocability, is a tool. An instrument. We have been gifted with these interesting lives, so seemingly important on so many levels, to disguise the great purpose with which we all truly exploded into this realm . . . to heal, to draw peace, to spread love, love and more love; to just BE, to rise up, to ground down, to leave no trace but the heavenly sparkle of tenderness, of worship, of compassion.
May we not be distracted or fooled by the human diversions that are placed in our path, or created by our very own intellect. We are here with much bigger jobs than we think, the small details are not who we are nor what we are here to do. They are like stitches in the greater fabric. Minor bits that are here to hold things together, to give some semblance of structure, so we can be otherwise released, free to float and flow, flurry and flourish. So we can be open to our own soul’s transformation, the heavenly air that inflates our human lungs, the bliss of the stardust that comprises our fingers, the Divinity that infuses our eyes and lips and feet. May we awake to our True nature, may it bring us to our knees . . .

Om Namah Shivaya . . . Jai Ma! Namaste.

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Wanderlust

I have been waiting for a shift, and over the weekend the sweet Mama finally delivered. 

“Finally” implies I was waiting impatiently; I’ve left alone my exaggerated diction as it is quite frankly the truth. I was growing impatient. I felt, deep in my being, how desperately I awaited the shift. A slightly unnerving sensation, considering I didn’t know the capacity in which I would be shifted. I just knew something was coming. Something needed to come. Something had to come.

I left this past Wednesday for Wanderlust. Familiar? For those who aren’t, it’s basically Disneyland for yogis. Wanderlust is a delicious festival, a powerful conscious collective, held high in the mountains. Actually, it’s held in a handful of places throughout the nation. The festie I attend is in Squaw Valley, California. If you’ve never been to Tahoe, let me tell you that place is laced with magic. There’s a sparkle in the soil, the sky is wider there, gargantuan really. The mountainsides look like the nature scenes from movie sets, so perfect and picturesque. The air is sacred, the water healing. Squaw Valley has an air of magic that is reminiscent to that of what I experienced in Maui; though the two places are completely different. It’s just one of those spaces in which everything is held, high up in the mountains, closer to God.

So I left Wednesday, after my college internship orientation for nutrition school. I’d been planning to drive up with a friend, but close to the last minute plans changed and I discovered I was to be driving up solo. My instinctual reaction was surprising; it was fear. Fear! How would I navigate myself, alone, all the way to this far away place? Through the foothills, over the summit, into the mountains themselves? I’d been so many times in my life, but never in the driver seat. How would I get there in one piece?

Truly my reaction is comical. It was then and it is now. I knew I could do it, it was just a matter of not knowing how that would look. How would I do it? Could I stay awake? Could I manage the directions? Could I find parking? I was amused by the time I left home. I settled cozily into a reflective state as I drove up, left foot propped against the dashboard, window cracked and a grin splitting my face like I was indeed heading to Disneyland. I felt suddenly on the very precipice of something monumental, and I hadn’t the slightest clue what was in store for me…

Needless to say I made it to Squaw in one piece. I was smiling. I even managed to stop halfway to pee and dance around and then find the freeway again without any trouble. I couldn’t help but think to myself, Who am I?! When I pulled up the parking was a laugh. Dozens of free spaces right in front of the village. By the way, we stayed in the village. Like, on top of the village. I imagine it took a whole 78 seconds to get from the condo to the cobblestones, and I’d walk out the doors directly into the festival. No transit time whatsoever. Such a prime location was likely the only thing that could make such a magical experience even more magical. 

My Tribe awaited me when I arrived. An intimate group of us shared the gorgeous condo over the ensuing four days, and debauchery of all kinds transpired…okay I’m totally joking. No debauchery of any kind went on, I just wanted to say that… ;) Well, no true debauchery at least. I never went to bed past 11:30pm, as we had early mornings every day, and had the pleasure of sharing a king sized fluffy ski chalet bed with my sista in the master bedroom. Rough life, I know!

The whole weekend was a series of laughing, cooking, eating, sleeping, practicing, practicing more, hiking, practicing more, volunteering, running to and from the room, eating and cooking more, laughing even more, occasionally showering, shopping too much, getting dirty, getting rained on, practicing more yoga, making a mess of our condo, cleaning up after one another, holding one another, dancing with one another, getting annoyed with one another, sleeping beside one another and getting to deeply know one another. It was utter bliss.

There’s always a sensation of letdown, post Lust. I had it last year. I have it again this year. But something is wildly different this year. Last year I mourned the end of our journey, I was sad to be away from the magic, as though I had to be there to experience it…as though I had to be physically living with the Tribe to be immersed in it…this year is different. Very different.

I drove home solo, which was an exquisitely appropriate bookend to this trip that was spent surrounded by anywhere from two to 2,000 people at any given time. Sharing a space with five to seven others, over the course of four nights. The time driving home was so indescribably valuable to me, I reflected and processed, mostly in the silence of my own thoughts, radio off. I had so much to sift through, so much to relive, so much to cement to memory, so much already coursing through my cellular matrix, now a part of my DNA.

I realized something, in the wake of the whirlwind that is Wanderlust. I realized that, despite being surrounded by love and lovely people for the whole of the experience, I had embarked on a profoundly intimate journey with myself. It all began with the solo drive up to the mountains. Funny how such a seemingly insignificant alteration in plans could have such a resounding effect. Something so minor as not having a passenger opened me up to this grand space of possibility. Aloneness with my Self, my own thoughts, the whisperings of my sweet mind.

So often we’re bombarded with the outpouring of the needs, wants and desires of others. Attending to this is important; we are here in large part to be of service. But in equal measure we need to attend to our own solitude, imagination, time spent conversing soul to mind. That’s what I was given, Wednesday evening, and again yesterday evening. I pulled onto the road in the misty rain left behind by a thunder storm, the very booming Grace that had chased us up the mountain on our one last hike before departing. The drive was long but, again, I spent the majority of it wrapped intimately up in my own thoughts. Like two lovers tangled in bedsheets, my mind and my spirit tousled in the Wanderlust aftermath. 

I realized I had been very mindful with my prana, my life force. I had contained my energy carefully. By this I mean I broke my routine completely, but still managed to get (close to) enough sleep, to nourish myself deeply with filtered water and home-cooked, organic, plant-based food, keep my daily practices, find space for time to breathe with just myself. I was vigilant with my energy; I chose what I wanted to do, regardless of the herd, and went for it. I made decisions based on my inner guide, my intuitive knowing, rather than being swayed by what everyone else was doing. I dressed up and walked through the village beneath the starry canopy alone some nights, smiling at strangers. I danced without regard for anything but the sacred feeling of my feet on the earth, the air on my skin, the music in my veins. I danced with my friends but not with any strangers. I politely edged away from unwanted attention and passionately engaged with the intoxicating energy of new friends and welcomed interactions. I left the nightly concerts abruptly, as though my internal alarm had chimed. I kept a key on me at all times so I could come and go as I pleased. I was free, liberated, I wanted utterly for nothing.

I spent a great deal of time with my beautiful friends, as well. We hugged and cuddled and laughed and goaded one another. I got to know some of the people I already called friends on such a deep level that they are irrevocably family to me now. My heart split wide open with love for my guru, my teachers, my fellow yogis. I participated, solo from my group, in a practice called Seeds of Change. It was led by Seane Corn and a series of other teachers and gurus. I get chills just writing about it. I very nearly (and I mean very nearly) didn’t attend; I was wanting to hike the mountain, but for fear of the thunderous, threatening sky, decided to listen to my deeper intuition and stick with my teacher, Seane Corn. I knew, intuitively, how powerful this would be; and yet, I had absolutely no idea…

I could write a whole other essay on what those 90 minutes held, so for today I will just tell you it was life-altering. Gurmukh, world famous yoga teacher and guru, closed the practice with a healing meditation for world peace. It split me open. Actually, I felt the crack begin very early on, from Seane’s words alone. As Suzanne Sterling led us through a powerful dance complete with chanting and jumping, shouting “RISE UP RISE UP RISE UP” I felt the gurgle from below…the threatening of tears…Shakti alive and uncoiling. When it came time for the healing, I could barely breathe the mantra for crying. Sobbing, really. With mantra and mudra, sitting in a circle of 500 yogis, we healed those who lay in the center of the circle. Then, as it felt right, we would go and lay in the circle ourselves. There were always some of us holding space, forming the circle and repeating the healing mantra, and the vulnerability of laying in the center space, offering up whatever needed healing was so raw and unconditional that it brought me to my knees. People lay convulsing in tears, encircled by us all, their chanting brothers and sisters. We prayed for peace, for healing, for resolution and for clarity. We sent healing vibrations to one another and out into the world, pointedly and generally, round after round. I left the practice on shaky feet, needing desperately to be alone. I circled the festival, my floppy hat tugged low and my sunglasses on, needing space with my Self…to integrate and process what had just happened to my spirit.

That is where I would pin the climax of the shift as having taken place. It all began with my drive home, culminated in the tear-stained slipstream of Seeds of Change, and rested in my palms, fully complete, as I descended the wet mountain roads in the late afternoon of a rainy Sunday. I felt a bubble of joy ripple through me as I journeyed home yesterday. Butterflies. Despite the melancholy of the magic ending, I felt positively giddy to be heading home to my world, my life, my everyday, with no one to live the moment-to-moment with but my most favorite person…my unconditional, tireless companion…me.

I felt, for the very first time in my life, a new level of fervency for life with myself. Not a shred of neediness. Not a thread of clinginess. Not even an iota of needing. I felt so whole, so complete, so utterly one with myself that it was as though I’d been sailing along so far at just a fraction of an angle off…and now I’d righted my course. Sailing straight ahead. Onwards and upwards. Fearless and trusting in my ability, my intuition, my inner compass. Welcoming of company and external love, appreciative of community and the warm, adoring vibration of my Tribe, but so very solid and steady on my own. Rooted firmly, unshakeable. A new sensation, as new as the mala hanging ’round my neck. A sensation that found me as Divinely as those mala found me, calling me energetically from yards away. A sensation that crept slowly into my being, straight into the power vortex, infusing my every cell with its potency. A sensation of stability. Solitude. Singleness. An almost other-worldly acknowledgement of how sacred and vital this very moment is, this moment between me, myself and I. This moment that is no longer reliant on physically being alone, but is rather bottled up inside of me. A holy experience that I now embody, a shift so massive I could never imagine finding myself on the other side of it again, something Divine to take onwards and into all relationships I have from here on out. The sanctified relationship with myself. A gift I could never have received if not for an open heart.

So, I leave you with that. Whether you are alone, married, have a hundred children or live in a commune…whether you go to Wanderlust or Burning Man or the San Francisco Zoo…whether you’re man or woman or some exquisite combination…keep an open heart. Because an open heart will call you home. It will open the channel for God to come pouring in, for Grace and Divinity and Truth and Love and all things magical and sparkly and DELICIOUS to come seeping into your every cell. An open heart will make you a vessel for the many gifts the Mother has to offer, it will heal and it will fortify. It is the one thing no one can take away and the one thing that will transcend all. So be open. Let the love in. Let the light in. Bottle it up. It’s a sacred concoction and it’s yours to carry, sharing as you will…

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26

Birthdays are such funny events. Not funny “ha ha” of course, but funny as in fascinating. Interesting. Deeply mystical and intriguing. Birthdays are sacred, incredibly personal, milestones on a solo journey. Another year survived. Another year to anticipate.
I sit here writing now in the body of a 26 year old. My birthday was yesterday. July 1st. My birthday has forever been a momentous occasion in my life. I was blessed as a little girl with parents who celebrated me every single day, and my birthday was no different. It was a magical observation each year of the day I entered their lives, and there was a healthy balance of moderation whilst leaving me feeling like a complete princess. What I mean by that in simpler terms is that they spoiled me without turning me into a spoiled brat. Every small stroke was appreciated, felt fully, etched into the core of my being. Every fiber of my little birthday princess self was nourished so that I was not left wanting, but also so that I always sat in reverence of how blessed I was to have such a noteworthy recognition of my special day.
Something that has sparked my interest since becoming an adult is that one’s “birthday” is not really one’s own. It’s shared. It’s a day of unification, as well as individuality. Universal growth as well as internal growth.
It’s really quite spectacular that I, and all of us, share a birthday with millions of other human beings, billions of animals, and countless souls over the history of existence…and yet my birthday feels like the most special day of the year. There’s a magic to it. A phenomenal vibration that persists, so even when I get lost in thought or action, I come back to the reverberation of what day it is, and my heart leaps into my throat with excitement. Childish glee, to be frank.
The anniversary of life entry, the rebirth of my Awareness, the start of this sacred soul journey. I have ALWAYS adored my birthday and felt cradled by a warm light in the days preceding and following July 1st. I find that feeling, that experience, and the fact that I get to luxuriate in it every single year, to be a sincere gift. I can’t explain exactly why my birthday makes me feel this way, but it does, and for that I am grateful. Because to feel good, to feel alive, to be viscerally aware of the blessing of another year…is the best gift of all.
I have found myself in an auspicious space in the weeks preceding my birthday, and even now, the day after. My own mom has intuitively expressed numerous times how much of a “jumping off point” this birthday is. My closest family, my very best friend and even my horoscope and zen tarot reading have mirrored the same exact perception of this birthday; that it is less about a day than any before it has been, it is about the year to come. That may seem natural and obvious to some of you, which is a grand perspective to have. But so many of us focus on the day itself, rather than what it marks and the sacred next leg of the journey that ensues.
That being said, I was given another juicy message from the Divine via a deeply special soul in nutrition school with me. She, like me, is an Ayurvedic counselor and an inherent healer. She sent me a private email on my birthday with this auspicious message…
“A LONG time ago someone told me, on the Eve of my 26th birthday that, according to the ancient Tibetan calendar, your 26h birthday is your first year of life. The first 25 are just practice. That was super inspiring for me, and I put all my energy into what I wanted to do on that first year of life. I know you will do amazing things and I wish you the best!!!.”
Gasp! Does that not just cement EVERYTHING I’ve been receiving from the Uni up until now? My response was, quite evidently, to be deeply moved. It was as though a latch slid into place, something “clicked,” if you will. Of course this is to be my first year of life…it makes crystal clear sense. I can attest to that because the first 25 really (REALLY, really, really) feel as though they were practice. On deck…waiting to step up to the plate.
Another dear friend and fellow yoga teacher solidified that a bit further by telling me today that her own 26th was her “golden year.” How sacred. How special. I feel so delighted because, while I was looking forward to this new age (I have an inborn dislike for the number 5, for some odd reason, and 25 not only had a 5 but was also 5 multiplied by 5…I made peace with that in the last 6 months and found a soft spot for the number, but I was ready to hang it up for a 6), I really didn’t expect anything special out of 26. Little did I know…
Absolute magic surrounded my special day; loved ones, all of my most favorite activities (yoga, hiking, cycling, long walks, luxurious and restful sleep, hanging out with my family), pleasures of the flesh (massage, facial, pedicure, manicure, shopping, hot tubbing, presents) and the Divine gift of Awareness to appreciate it all. The Universe also gifted us all with the shift of Mercury from retrograde to direct yesterday, on my birthday of all days. I welcomed the shift with open arms, as did much of my sangha, and find it to be no accident…no accident at all.
So, as per usual, this essay is not really about me, in essence. I am the example, my life is the drawing on the chalkboard, but this is about you, us all, humanity in totality. This is permission to enjoy the CRAP out of your birthday, when it comes. Permission to enjoy the living daylight out of what it means to you to be alive every single day, what it means to celebrate (or not, if so you choose!) your sacred life anniversary each year. The beauty of what it means to share a special day with so many others, so many on this planet and so many who have come before us. It’s that delicious space of unification – a day that feels so very much our own but that, in Truth, is very much shared and One. Gratitude!
There is no separation. We are born and reborn and cycling through life and death again and again. We have the opportunity for rebirth every single day. Nothing is permanent, nothing is fixed. This is both terrifying and enlightening. It makes us want to cling and release simultaneously. It is Truth and it is liberation. So happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to the I don’t know how many other souls who share July as a birth month. Happy birthday day after day to Mother Earth, to our own sacred Awareness, to life and the sky and the sun each day when it rises. Happy happy. Because, truly, there isn’t time to be anything but.

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Flying Solo

“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” I could feasibly have that tattooed to the lenses of my eyes, I enjoy the mantra so much. I am queen of reminding us all to look just forward of where we stand, not too far ahead, but certainly not backwards. With all this fully in mind, I have found it challenged by the ever-passing nature of Father Time and the way life changes and grows with or without one’s permission.

I have had the strange experience lately of encountering nearly every ex from the past 5 years – heck, the past ever - and their new romances. I can’t count a single ex-boyfriend as not being currently attached, co-habitating, married, or divorced and remarried. Okay there’s one who’s single, but he’s a (darling) hot (super hot) mess (meant in the kindest way possible) in regards to making sound decisions about both life and mating. So why does this bother me?

It doesn’t, per se. I’m not pining over any of these relationships, actually quite the contrary. I’m so grateful for everything each one of them has taught me. I’m most grateful, though, for the past two years of aloneness. The only time I’ve had in my life, since becoming dating age, of being truly companionless. In the past two years I have dabbled in dating. A couple semi-serious beaus. A couple more potential beaus turned friends or thank-gosh-I-never-have-to-see-him-agains. Nothing I’ve experienced in the past two years has shaken me from what felt, and still feels, like a consequential, pivotal moment in my life. Intuitively I have known to remain unattached, despite opportunities and the human instinctual craving for a partner. I am unspeakably grateful that I’ve listened to this intuitive current and let it carry me along. I’ve grown and gained more in this small space of time than I could have possibly imagined from where I stood three years ago.

What this time has offered me is independence; perspective; a strong foundation on which to stand. But that doesn’t mean I’m immune to the subconscious, egoistic musings of my little inner devil, hunkered on one of my shoulders, shrouded in shadows. The one that whispers my flaws into my ear when my guard is down, the one that steps up to battle with my archangel, perched gracefully on the opposite shoulder, warring over my imperfections and shortcomings in the space between my ears. That same little devil is the one who murmurs in lucid moments how interesting it is that every one of my exes have found love again. How coincidental that I have not. How amusing that I am the only one still alone.

Every once in a while I let that little devil finish a soliloquy. More often than not my archangel knocks the fool off his perch before a hurtful sentence is finished. My rational reaction is always to reiterate the first portion of this essay to myself when those thoughts pop up. But there’s bound to be a little residue of the piteous image he painted, bound to catch a glimpse of the shapes before its colors dissolve. It’s in those moments that I see myself as pathetic, alone, almost suspended in time; suspended in what it felt like to be in these relationships, what it felt like to be important to these men. That’s the strangest part and the hardest to confess. I don’t miss them, I don’t miss the relationships; what I miss is the feeling of mattering to these people. The feeling of being cared about, thought about all the time. Very egoistic, of this I’m acutely aware, and yet…it persists.

Why does it matter to me that I’m no longer on these guys’ radar? I don’t feel irritated towards their new girlfriends and wives (with the exception of one, though my spirit work is towards liberation from that; in the meantime at least my nickname for her is without a curse word). It matters because the ego says it matters. The ego, also known as the devil, is a total bastard. He (no offense, I don’t mean to attribute universal gender to this force, it just happens to appears as an ugly little bird in my mind, and just so happens to be male) tinkers with things that are perfectly well, otherwise. He whispers heinous untruths in the dark of night and glazes over the most pleasant of mood in the heat of day. But do you want to know a secret? Okay it’s completely not a secret, but one might think it’s a secret given the seeming confidentiality of what I’m about to say.

We control our little devils.

Yep. Not what you were expecting, right? Or maybe it is. Either way, it’s the truth. These little bird assholes are figments of our imagination. Elements of our own consciousness. There is no separation; the devil and the archangel are not two separate entities. They are one. It is all one.

Here’s another whopper.

This is not about my exes. This isn’t even about human relationships in general. It’s about emotions and what we let them do to us. Emotions are also figments of our imagination. Elements of our own consciousness. Bear with me…but a thought has a vibrational frequency. A thought elicits an emotion. We then attach identifications to that emotion, “good” or “bad.” But even the descriptions, the concepts, of “good” and “bad” are creations of our own mind. What’s “good” to me might be “bad” to the guy next-door. Who says what I see as and call the color blue is actually blue to you too?

Our thoughts, and subsequent decision to either believe the thought(s) or not, create our reality. Our choices to either, as Byron Katie says, “love what is” or argue with reality are occurring all day long, every single day. We are constantly having thoughts and either believing them or questioning them. When we question a thought, we liberate our reality. We liberate our Selves. When we don’t question a thought, when we just go with it mindlessly, numbly, as though we haven’t any say in the matter at all…we are bound in limitation.

The unquestioned thought is bound in limitation. The questioned thought is boundless liberation.

So no, this isn’t about feeling like a pathetic 25-year-old spinster just because my exes have moved on to other relationships and I haven’t. This isn’t even about the fact that I’ve chosen not to embark upon another relationship until I’ve thoroughly and luxuriously enjoyed the one with my very Self; until I’ve come to know Sara on a cellular level, body, mind and spirit; using this sacred time of youth and vigor to explore my life on my terms and my terms alone, with no strings attached and no one to consider by myself. This isn’t about saying their way is right and mine is wrong, or vice versa.

This is about the fact that we are all exactly where we’re meant to be. This is a solo trek, this leg of my journey. Perhaps my whole journey will be, but I find that doubtful. I am a creature that relishes the physical, spiritual and emotional coupling of another human being too much to feasibly see myself a lone rider for always. What matters is that this leg of my voyage is being flown solo, and I trust the Divine Mother and her guidance of my intuition wholly. The relationships of my past happened in realms that were absolutely perfect. I carry with me little threads of those human beings, just as they carry with them a little fiber of my own cloth. This is about loving oneself enough to not need the attention, adoration, or even interest of others, much less exes. This is about fulfilling oneself enough to not crave external validation. This is about being so whole, so totally complete, that attention, adoration, interest and validation from outside are like a cool breeze, warm sand, the caress of sun…lovely, pleasurable, even dreamy – but still totally impermanent. Because the breeze will fade, the sand will cool and the sun will set. But in the still air, evening sand and brilliant glow of sunset, we will sit in reverence with the core of unchanging nature, with the greatest companion of all; ourselves.

So I nod at my singleness. I smile sheepishly at my egoism. I sigh contentedly at my journey. Then I look lovingly at the fingers of my dearest companion, my most intimate friend, and watch them as they whirl about the keyboard, typing these words. I observe her selecting her final words and gazing at her finished essay. I feel grateful towards her, for cultivating the courage to brave this odyssey. I feel love towards her, for finding the peace to enjoy this quest so much. And finally I feel joy towards her, abundant gratitude, as she rises slowly and heads to the kitchen to brew a nice cup of tea for us. Me, myself, and I.

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