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We are living in a physical realm; we bathe (hopefully) and feed ourselves; we sleep and build homes in which to live. But we are spiritual beings. We are particles of Divinity, made of stardust and light. We are earth angels. Our existence is fundamentally on a physical plane, we call it the “food body” – literally the flesh. But this is not who we ARE. This is not why we’re HERE. We are transcendent, astral bodies with the capacity to access our higher Selves. Our higher minds. Our highest potential. We also have the capacity to never experience our true nature. Because to experience it, really KNOW it, we must first see it. Acknowledge its presence, and then excavate it. This process is exquisite and a gift, through and through. This Truth lies within all of us, and it is made of love. When we see it we must really see it. We must recognize it. We must carefully maneuver it out from between the flesh and the bone and embrace it…knowing full well how valuable it is and promising never to squash it between our mortal fingers. We must bottle this up and carry it in our very human minds. A reminder, each time the flesh threatens to swallow us up in its complex web of existence, humanity and life and all the accompanying chaos, that we are light. We are untouchable. Our very presence here has a purpose and is an act of great wisdom by the creator (insert the Universe, God, Goddess, the Divie Mother, the cosmos…whatever resonates within your unique spiritual matrix). We are dancing between a physical realm and the celestial sphere…the latter being home. May we always, always, ALWAYS remember our way home.

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Image cred.

Fundamental Truths

As I stood at the kitchen sink meditatively massaging the inside of a large pan with the soapy sponge, I was struck with a wave of nostalgia. I had a sudden and vivid memory of the first time I learned the difference between “pot” and “pan.” This must have been a memory from grade school, a grammar lesson, but it suddenly felt fresh in my cells. I couldn’t help but marvel at the sensation. We are students of the universe, constantly learning and ever-evolving. But the teaching of such simple knowledge? The acquisition of fundamental truths? Most of these happened early on in our sweet little lives, when we were just wee little kiddos.

I remember learning how to address an envelope in second grade, and mailing ourselves letters as practice. I recall practicing the alphabet, and later cursive, on dotted line worksheets at smooth desks poised on the edge tiny chairs. I can visualize the finger paints on my skin in preschool as I was familiarized with the color wheel, the new shades created when one puddle mixes with another.

I am stages away from finishing up my post-grad studies and will soon be a Certified Nutritionist. Just yesterday I spoke with my mom about the wonder of learning. The conversation was prompted by an experience with an acquaintance earlier that day. A man in his late forties or early fifties, I presume, someone who knows my general doings and the brushstrokes of my educational route. Yesterday he asked me my age. When I replied that I’m 26 he nodded. “I was 30 when I learned Swedish,” he said matter-of-factly, “and it was hard.” I nodded in appreciation, taking in his words.

It is harder now to make space for new, foreign information that it was at the start of college, I suppose. I couldn’t quite grasp whether there was truth to the concept for me, in this moment, at this point in my life. But upon reflection, and prompted by this sudden memory just now at the sink, I am rather amazed by the notion. When we’re children, we’re blank slates, fresh canvases. We have space and capacity for learning likely greater than our own knowing. But as we age, on both a physical and psychological level, it’s more challenging to retain new information. It’s not to say we can’t achieve phenomenal intellectual feats or become greatly educated later in life, not at all. Many of the greatest scholars, philosophers, authors and thinkers actually came into themselves later in their lives. We gain more wisdom and clarity the  more life we have in our rearview mirrors. But it’s simply a a fact that we have less “empty space” the more life we have lived, the more we have experienced, the more we have filed away in our minds.

We don’t have less capacity for learning, we just have more information cluttering the sky-high shelves of our intellect. Grammar, mathematics, locker combinations, pin numbers, passwords, names, song lyrics, directions, memories…it goes on and on. Our brains, if we could open them up and uncoil them onto the table for inspection, would provide miles and miles of fascinating, brilliant, mundane, useless and priceless information. Facts and dreams and images and ideas. We are brilliant time capsules, walking encyclopedias, sponges ever soaking up the data we are drenched in with each waking day.

How beautiful is this? This life, this capacity to learn, to know, to forget and to learn again. How nice would it be to take a clean cloth to the parts of our brains that are crammed with useless information…wiping the slate and making space to be filled with new, fresh material. I’m fascinated by this concept. Who’s to say we can’t do that?

Sure, we can’t literally take a cloth to the inside of our brains (please don’t try this at home). But what we can do is access our pineal gland, the “seat to our soul,” our third eye. We can tap into our intuition, via mediation and self-reflection (journaling, pranayama, silent time spent immersed in nature, sitting down to the sensory feast provided by the world on a moment-to-moment basis – if only we could stop and have a listen…). We have the power to harness our dreams, our waking thoughts, and embody them to their utmost capacity. As beings of light we are not just here to know pin numbers and memorize formulas and learn languages. Yes, we need to do these things too, but what if we mindfully sectioned off a portion of the brain to contain this monotony, and opened the rest up to the Divine? What if we offered all that remaining space, with fiercely beautiful intention, to the realm of creativity, passion, artistry and imagination?

What if we dropped the “what if” and just did it? What then? I think we might amaze ourselves.

We were born to be creators, passion flaming, we were born as artists, imaginations wild and unbound. The human brain is a brilliant, brilliant phenomenon. The amount of potential we have is greatly more than we actually access, on average. The human mind is another phenomenon altogether; I see the brain as the physical manifestation of the mind. The mind is much more encompassing. The mind operates outside of the brain, all the way to the fingertips, it emanates from the body via thoughts and energetic intentions. I believe the brain is exercised by fundamental truths…pot versus pan, red versus blue, 7^2 is 49, slavery was abolished in 1865. I believe the mind is exercised by tapping into magic…meditation, imagination, singing, writing, taking photographs, music, dancing, drinking in the beauty of nature, making love, laughing, delighting in colors, moving the body with breath, pranayama, deep relaxation, studying, reading, embodying utter stillness and presence, mindful intention setting, journaling, dreaming.

We’re pretty set on the brain exercises. Most of us operate on a day-to-day basis working jobs, driving cars, going to the bank, paying bills. We are bombarded by numbers, decisions, equations, formulas and details almost incessantly. Our left brain is, I dare say, chronically overstimulated. Our right brain, however, often gets shut down in order to make more space for logic, reasoning, critical thinking. But that only gets us so far. Because, while I’m grateful to have the capacity for discernment, what does it really matter if I call the pan a pan or if I call it a pot? It doesn’t matter. It will cook my vegetables nonetheless. But if I marvel at the texture of the pot pan, if I get lost in a poem about the way the food sizzles upon its surface, the way the fragrance rises, curling seductively from the stovetop, warming the kitchen while the frosty winter air clings threateningly to the outsides of the windows…that matters. That is an experience worth making space for.

My point is that there is a serene oneness between these two seemingly separate entities. The right and left brain are one. The reason and the intuition lean on one another, support one another. The structure is not sound without one or the other. So let’s work on our right brain exercises. This means: permission to daydream. Permission to make up songs, barefoot in the kitchen, while scrambling eggs in a pot and boiling soup in a pan. While drinking tea from a bowl and broth from a mug. While standing on the ceiling, steam curling upwards toward the floor. Because what’s a name without an image to match it? What’s reason without recognition? We are the creators of our own universe. We are the pilots of our own orbit and we determine whether we fly through thick fog, trusting we are flying because we’re in a plane…or soaring above the clouds, drinking in the blues and pinks of the sky, toasting in the heat of the sun and cooling in the light of the moon, taking in valleys and mountains, ocean and treetops, letting rain wash clean our exterior and humidity cleanse us from the inside out. We can know we’re flying because we see it, we feel it, we taste it and we hear it. We can know we’re flying because we have given life to the world around us.

You’re flying, didn’t you know? We are in flight, and that is the most fundamental truth that has ever been.

Awaken.

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Convergence

This is the time to be focused on setting intentions. I mean, really putting your entire being into it. The autumnal equinox is Tuesday, closely followed by Wednesday’s new moon. This latent energy is sooo powerful and it’s just WAITING for you to tap it. What do you seek in your life? What do you wish you could change? What, if anything, would you blink into existence if you could this very moment? YOU are in control of your actions, YOU make the rules. Use this power. Harness it. Turn your eyes to the sky, open your palms and unfasten the latch of your heart … let Divinity pour in. You have the power. What are you planting?

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It is no coincidence that mama earth’s new moon cycle begins right on the heels of the autumnal equinox. This convergence of energy is pooooootent. Don’t underestimate it. A space of deep release, renewal and utmost potential – as inherent beings of Divine light we are always poised on the precipice of our highest potential, but these celestial events magnify and heighten the intentions we are setting and the vibrations of manifestation we emit into the universal frequency on a daily basis. USE this time. Don’t underestimate your innate power to create your life, down to the sweetest little pockets that are hidden from the rest of the world. Find some space this evening to retreat inward…design an image of the life you desire. Envision the energy that naturally builds (that feeling in your belly or chest that bubbles up when you really melt into the details of a fantasy of joy and contentment) emanating from your very being. Like little cell messengers floating into the abyss to do the work of the Divine. Journal your intentions, or simply state them aloud. Acknowledge the things that no longer serve you, the things you wish to release, or even scrawl them onto paper and burn them at sunset. Whatever you decide to do, give yourself the gift of intention-setting and the gift of mindful release. Then let go. Palms upward, heart open, set free everything that you wish to cultivate as well as everything that is no longer serving you. Emptying the container so as to be filled. This life is a sacred gift. May we live it to our fullest potential in every breath. Namaste <3

The equinox is just after midnight here in this realm, and the new moon is tomorrow. Join me for an #SMF (social media fast) and tap deeply into the current of energy, the conscious collective, by abstaining from all web distraction for the remainder of the equinox and new moon. Let the Divine infiltrate your cellular matrix. Be free.

Making Space at the Autumnal Equinox

I’ve written before about how to ease the body into autumn, but it’s been a couple of years and I feel it’s time to go there again, in greater depth.

What does the autumnal equinox even mean, anyway? I was asked this by a very intelligent, articulate, kind, humble and professional man yesterday after bringing it up in conversation. He said, “How did I go this long in life thinking there was only a summer and winter solstice?”

This Tuesday, September 23rd, will be the autumnal equinox (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). Unlike the solstices, which signal the days of longest and shortest daylight, respectively, the equinoxes also occur twice per year. They are known as the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. These occur when the equator passes the center of the sun, making two perfectly opposite points on the celestial sphere, though traditional and ancient translations call the equinox the day when light and dark are of equal length. This is not always the case, physically, as sunrise is often perceived at different times from year to year but, transcendentally, this is a very grounding aspect of the equinox. In essence, it is a very energetically rich time, as are the solstices.

As an Ayurvedic counselor, I suggest a gentle shift in daily practice to facilitate an easy, smooth transition from summer into fall. The same goes for moving from winter into spring, though the two are completely different metaphysically. The shift initiated by the autumnal equinox is one of slowing down, turning inward, growing more quiet, welcoming some darkness and a sense of hibernation, fostering security and restoration. Oppositely, the vernal equinox embodies the sloughing off of those layers, the shedding of that hibernation, the letting in light and warmth, liberation and energy.

So now that we’re clear on what the autumnal equinox is, how do we best prepare for this shift? I have some simple techniques I follow (and build upon) each year to make the transition as graceful, enjoyable and nourishing as possible. Here are a few:

  • Meditation
    There’s nothing quite like meditation to soothe uncertainty of any sort. Seasonal shifts are no different. I believe that connecting deeply to the transcendental importance of life is the single most guiding force one has. Finding space for solitude and self-inquiry, silence and stillness, truly provides a steady foundation on which to proceed. When one is rooted and grounded, no shift can be too jarring.
  • Yoga Practice
    As a yoga teacher, I am keen on individualizing one’s practice in such times as these seasonal shifts. But as a general recommendation, the autumnal and vernal equinoxes both provide a perfect time for twisting, detoxifying practices. Preparing the body for change and boosting the immune system. For spring, I add in more backbends and exhilarating postures to stimulate growth and energy. For autumn, I like to focus on more grounding postures and forward folds. Moving directionally, with the seasons, learning to fold in and promote feelings of safety during the shift into autumn, really helps soften the vulnerability that naturally arises when things outside the body begin to change. As always, longer savansans after practice and an additional restorative posture or two in the evenings are highly recommended.
  • Journaling
    There are few better ways to tap into one’s own unique experience than to journal. I am keen on gratitude journaling, list-journaling (making bullet points and going about it stream of consciousness style), self pen pal journaling (writing unabashedly in detail to oneself as though writing to a girlfriend or long distance lover). Journaling offers insight to present experiences that can heal both in the moment, and by looking back over passages to gain deeper understanding and clarity about one’s own history and intimate awareness. In terms of the seasonal shift, one’s journal can purposefully and also inadvertently capture many insightful offerings to how the transition is resonating on each subtle level.
  • Time in Nature
    Getting out in Mother Nature and really participating in her shift is the most palpable way to embed this seasonal shift into the spirit. Hydrating every cell with the pure, unadulterated nourishment of nature is an unparalleled practice any time of year. Hiking, walking, moving meditation, seated meditation, simply sitting and observing…the options are endless. I suggest combining all of these practices at least once around the equinox; making space for a yoga practice, meditation, and simple picnic with one’s journal and one’s breath, sensually tapped in, a solo adventure in nature. This is much more accessible than it may sound. This could be in the woods, at the beach, the park or even in one’s own backyard. No need to overcomplicate matters. Just get your bare feet on the earth. Bask in the sunlight, bathe in the moonlight. A few minutes can do the trick. Get out often. Breathe deeply.
  • Connecting to the Senses
    I like to begin incorporating autumnal eats into my daily cooking. Warming pumpkin spiced porridge, butternut squash soup, baked sweet potato and roasted acorn squash. I relish in treating myself to a yearly, nontoxic heirloom pumpkin candle (seriously, it’s the little pleasures in life…) that I burn each night at my altar. I decorate my home with tasteful bursts of the season; a bouquet of sunflowers, sprigs of deep red leaves, a pumpkin on the front porch, pinecones, woven wicker baskets, colors of deep orange and rich brown, a bowl of crisp, fresh-picked apples. Adorning myself each day in textures that murmur fall…soft, knit scarves, chunky-heeled boots, soft, crocheted fingerless gloves, warm, woolen socks, smart little caps. For my sisters, this is a sacred time to get in touch with the Divine Feminine. The equinox is rich with a fertile energy; this doesn’t mean you’re bound to get preggers, it just means there is latent potential for growth and rebirth, planting seeds of intention and watering them with the ripe fullness of the celestial shift. Bathe oneself in the sweet sounds of leaves crunching beneath one’s footfalls, the subtle nuances of a warm evening breeze, the smells and sounds of the crisp, ethereal shift into fall.
  • Diet
    This one’s a biggie. As an Ayurvedic counselor, I believe in using diet to shift organically into a new chapter, whether it’s a season change or any other little monthly or weekly change. Moving from summer to autumn, as well as from winter to spring, each require a finely tuned and yet very simple dietary approach. A kitchari cleanse does the trick perfectly in fall, as it is easily digestible, warming and very nourishing. A spring cleanse would look more like raw salads, cold grains, plant-based proteins and green juices/smoothies. Loads of herbal tea, warm lemon water, ginger/turmeric spiced tonics and milky herbal chais ease the body warmly into the darker, colder season. Either way, resting the digestive tract a bit and making space for the body to adjust to new environmental factors and conditions.

That’s likely enough to keep us all busy through the equinox, but incase you seek more information or guidance, or simply have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I welcome the conversation. I welcome your energy into the shift. I value your presence in the cosmic consciousness. This space offers great warmth and comfort to me each year, it is a time of reflection and deep contemplation for me. The vernal equinox tends to be a more vulnerable shift, in my experience, but this is so unique to us all. There is no right way and no wrong way. There is no good or bad. There is just feeling. There is just your sweet, sacred body. There is just your own perfect, human experience. And there is your spirit, your beautiful spirit, infused with Grace and inherent wisdom, leading you along your path. May these practices nurture a healthy and stable shift from the pulsing heat and freedom of summer to the fading warmth and light of autumn.

Om Namah Shivaya.

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Look Up

I awakened this morning to a message of love, grounding and gratitude, from the heart of one of my dearest friends. It was the perfect inspiration to help give words to what I am feeling this day. In remembering the tragic and resounding loss that occurred on this day all those years ago, we are not only anchored to one another, but also to our own mortality. Masked honestly as pure sympathy and emotion, the most gut-wrenching part is truly the aching we feel for those who suffered such unfathomable loss at the hands of 9/11. It is a visceral reminder of our own mortality. The, “that could have been me,” feeling that slithers through one’s veins, silent but deadly. All too real. It is not a reaction of selfishness but one of raw, unadulterated humanity. I was reminded of a favorite quote this morning, “It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply.” It is so hard not to be a sponge for others’ pain, inadvertently absorbing their suffering in an involuntary act of unification, solidarity. It is not wrong, it is beautiful. But, as beautiful as this instinctual response is, I pose us this one pivotal question – how can we love more TODAY? The Beings of Light who returned home this day 13 years ago, the heroes who selflessly perished in acts of service, the beautiful loved ones left behind on this earth to grapple with the horror of life without them, it’s a haunting and painful truth…we shower them with love and tears, honor and remembrance. But, these sweet souls, would we have just walked past them before, on the street? Would we have felt our oneness with them if not for this tragedy, offering us a direct channel to their pain and humanness? Would we have prayed for them and held them in our arms? Would we have wept for their sorrows and held the door open for them? Would we have volunteered our seat on the train or offered a smile with our eyes and faces in passing? That’s what I hope we can take from tragedy. All tragedy. We cannot undo the horrors that have been done. But we can commit to the simple act of loving more TODAY. Loving EVERYONE more, this day and everyday. Because we never know where someone has been, or where their journey will take them. As an act of peace and living prayer, as an act of HEALING, may we commit to saturating our every day in LOVE. May we vow to love one another more NOW. Without any reason other than it is all there is really time for in this life. May we send love outward in waves. And today, may we wrap the suffering in our warm veil of support, and may we do our part to focus our intense love towards those around us. The ones we pass by everyday. Our greatest power… May we look up. May we SEE one another. May we start now. And may we never forget.

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Permission to be Human

Why do we create such high expectations for ourselves? Why do we set ourselves up for stress? We are biologically wired to thrive at a steady pace, with bursts of speed and regulating bouts of slowness. We are designed to constantly find harmony holistically, and yet we override these instincts based on standards of the intellect. Our MINDS create these bars, and raise them so high, that our poor bodies have to struggle to keep up. Think: perfectionism, overachieving, overworking, overexercising, extreme dieting, attempting to be the perfect partner, self-deprication, envy…
These unrealistic expectations manifest on a physical level, and our health declines as a result. Mental, emotional AND physical health. There is no separation. It’s all connected.
So take a moment to look at your daily life. Where can you make space? Can you recognize the patterns your own mind has created, the bars you have raised abnormally high in the pursuit of perfection? Perfection is an illusion. What you ARE is perfect. 
You have the power to identify the chattering mind as well-intentioned but not the best captain of your ship. You have the capacity to let your soul take the wheel…to softly shut your eyes, let intuition begin to guide you, easing gracefully into the slow bouts and fluidly through the fast bursts. Present and patient with every turn, but welcoming the stumbles and face plants that are an inevitable part of the human condition, the human journey. 
We do not have to live till death do us part with these high expectations, these “rules” and regulations that don’t serve our Highest potential. We can rewrite our unique commandments at any time, on any given day. We can set ourselves up for pleasure and harmony by thwacking our stress factors off at the knees. Toying with our own perfect equation as a chef would a recipe. A little more pepper, a little less salt, a few bay leaves…a little more laughter, a little less stress, a few deep breaths… 
We are the master chefs and grand captains of this thing we call life. Happiness is an inside job. Nobody can set us on a steady pace but ourselves. No one understands our inner rhythms and our intimate response to the outside world but us. WE must be the ones to instigate change. 
Give yourself permission to be human, and then get to rewriting your perfect formula…

Spiritual Chess

I had such an interesting moment in asana today. In one of my favorite classes, led by a brilliant and powerful yogini I’m honored to call a friend, I was geeking out (as per usual) over the layer cake sequence. As I transitioned into plank from vasisthasana, I felt my mind trying to unwind the sequence from the other side and anticipate the next transition. This is, as they say, an excellent illustration of how an asana class is never the same once you’re a teacher. You never just “take class” completely unattached from the teacher’s mind (it can be done, but not without sincere and authentic concentration), going with the flow (pun intended). It’s just natural to marvel at the sequence, try and guess the peak pose, file away awesome ideas in your mind to borrow in your own teaching, luxuriating over certain transitions and variations long after they’ve passed. It can be a whole mental process, if you don’t harness your focus! But that’s what asana is about, harnessing one’s focus. Stilling the mind. Getting into the body and the breath and scattering all the thoughts with ujjayi like a leaf blower in autumn.

As I purposefully deepened my breath in order to quiet my brain, one last thing popped up. Something of merit, though, so I let it manifest before turning up my ujjayi. It was this thought, we are spiritual chess players, always attempting to guess life’s next move.

But what of it? How are we truly benefited if we know what’s coming next? Sure, we could prepare ourselves for what’s coming. But will it be less enjoyable for having known ahead of time, for having guessed right, for having prepared? Or life, as it does, could totally throw a curve ball. What was apposed to come doesn’t come. And what’s left? Disappointment? Or maybe we anticipate life’s next move and we’re totally wrong. What then? Disappointment again? Desire for having just sat comfortably with the not knowing, wishing we’d let the current just take us where it would?

The truth is, knowing or not knowing, guessing or not guessing what comes next has no effect whatsoever on what is actually going to happen. Life is completely unmoved by our rat race minds, by our trying to figure out its next move. The grand Universe spins and swirls onward, regardless of whether or not we “guessed right.” So, I ask myself and you all simultaneously, why do we insist on the mental chess game?

It’s really mental, spiritual chess, and it’s really a game. It frankly serves no purpose. What would serve more of a purpose is to move on from chess entirely and pick up the “either/or game.” That way, if one must analyze and obsess over the possible outcomes and equations of life (as many of us do, and as all of us feel compelled towards at some point or another), at least the positive and the negative (all a matter of interpretation…) are played out in the imagination with imaginary reactions and then – here’s the catch – let go. That’s the only way the “either/or” can benefit us, is if we vow to let it go afterwards. It could be this way, or it could be that way, and I am at peace knowing that whichever way it turns out I have no control over anything but my present mind state. I am okay with that. I accept that. I embrace that.

The point is that spiritual chess is exhausting and depleting. Constantly trying to anticipate your partner (which is, ultimately, the cosmos)’s next move is useless. It’s useless and it’s draining. It’ll siphon your pranic energy reservoir faster than you can say, “Check!”

What is life worth if we’re running on fumes, wearing thin our fragile fibers, fraying our patience and fretting tirelessly over hypothetical outcomes? Life is about filling and maintaing our prana, our life-force, and being mindful about how and where we doll it out. In attempting to prepare for what’s ahead, we lose out on the now. We miss the precious moment, the very Self we embody and will never know intimately again. We are changing with every heartbeat and breath, and if we’re constantly wondering what our future Self will be up to, how are we able to cultivate a sound, secure Self in this current moment? Exactly. We can’t. We’re straddling present and future, with our fingers in both cookie jars, attempting to manipulate the two energies into one stream. How can we have purpose and passion in our futures if we haven’t ever taken the time to just be? How will we be able to react patiently, peacefully and confidently to life’s twists and turns if we haven’t spent intimate time with our thoughts, feelings and physiological state moment-to-moment? 

I am guilty of spiritual chess on a regular basis. Fortunately, my yoga practice has helped me really anchor in the now and, more importantly, why the now is so sacred. So vital. My parents and yoga teachers are who brought it to the forefront of my attention, this habitual tendency to anticipate, plan, guess, manipulate…in terms of what’s to come. I’ve spent sleepless nights replaying scenes over and over in my mind. Planning every moment of the day to come when, in reality, my fear revolved around the unknown. And my staying up all night fretting not only had zero effect on how everything played out, it just sent me into the experience a complete hot mess. As a child my parents would remind me to be present, as we’d be waltzing out of Disneyland and I’d be squealing, “Where are we going next?!” My yoga teachers remind me regularly in practice, as though reading my mind sometimes, “Notice if you’re waiting for something to happen,” they say, “notice how it takes you out of the pose. Be in the pose. Be with your breath.” 

When you’re called out like that it’s hard not to think, wow, I really was waiting. I wasn’t here, I couldn’t be, because I was already 10 steps ahead, analyzing the game and attempting to peek into the future. I was almost holding my breath. How often do you do this in your life? How often are you already 10 steps ahead? How often are you dulling your senses to the present moment because you’re toying with the anticipation of what’s to come?

It’s not that this is a bad thing or that it’s done maliciously, ridden with nervousness or as a coping mechanism. Sure, it can be. But it can also be executed simply by habit. One must only do something “negative” (again, up to interpretation) a handful of times (or even once!) to form a habit (trust me, I’m speaking from experience). Whereas it takes much longer to break a habit or form a new, more beneficial habit…on the upwards of two months, according to Huffington Post. Frankly, as far as I’m concerned and at this point on my personal path, I’m okay with the chess game. I intend to pack away my players, fold up my board and donate my game at some point, making a permanent residence in the present moment…yes, that’s my intention. But, in the meantime, I’m satisfied to be hyper-aware. The veils lifted. Ignorance burned away. I’m content to notice when I’m looking around, projecting and strategizing, rather than just breathing. A living, vibrating organism whose dharma is unfolding as naturally as the tides pulling in and rushing out. A spirit whose true nature is so unconfined by the limits of this realm that the details of reality and what’s happened/will happen/won’t happen is quite meaningless. I’m completely at peace with the understanding that this tendency resides in me, in us all, and is nothing but a detriment to our wellbeing. It’s tempting, yes, very tempting and amusing and entertaining to engage in the scandalous role play of “what if,” but it’s really like running full speed ahead with your gaze fixed to the cracks in the pavement. It’s out of control, dangerous and exhilarating, and will likely end up with you flat on your face.

As Jim Elliot says, “Wherever you are, be all there.” I couldn’t have said it better. So, my lovebursts, let’s take advantage of this cusp. Shifting into a new month, almost a new season, with abundance at our fingertips. Let us challenge ourselves to be present, vividly present for our lives. Let us show up each day and notice when we try to jump ahead. May we simply observe our tendencies, and may we be kind to ourselves in the process. Our minds mean well. They’re trying to best prepare us for whatever outcome we’ll be served. But our spirits know better. They know the Universe can’t be tamed and that our sweet, albeit rat racer, minds beg to differ. Our spirits just give a grandmotherly nod as our minds spiral in circles, unraveling moments to inspect, seek out patterns and place bets, oh that’s just how they are, those silly little minds… May we harness the vaster power of our minds, our higher minds, and let the habits of the lower mind burn off. Like fog lifting as the sun wakes and stretches his rays. May we meet our behaviors with understanding, and inquire within. May we turn down the noise and tune into our breath, bolstering our life-force, and sinking easily into the trust that all will unfold exactly as it’s meant. Then, the tallest and most worthwhile order of all…may we lean back and enjoy the ride.

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