We are Enough

Good evening my lovebursts, happy new moon
A familiar mantra came to me this evening in meditation, “I am enough,” and prompted this little vlog. The audio is off, awkward turtle, and I can’t fix it…but the point isn’t the audio matching the video, the point is the content
WE ARE ENOUGH. Period. No qualifiers. Unconditionally enough.

Love and light, love and light, love and light.

x x

Sara

It’s Okay to Say No

What is it about the mind that so easily overrides the heart and spirit? We have a physical response to cognitive notions. An idea will register in with us not just in our brains, but also on an energetic level, in our subtle body. This is where our truth lies. The mind is fickle, it can be blown about by the winds of change, but the astral body will tell us true, if only we can tune in…tap in…actually listen.

The intuition always answers straight away for us, but it comes in a flash. It can easily be missed. For many it passes as quick as a single heartbeat, a pulse and then it’s gone. For some it lingers, especially those practiced at tapping into their intuition. It’s there, and it reverberates inside our being, but fear and intellect so often squash that intuitive knowing…thus initiating the habitual reaction of obsessive analysis (and reanalysis and reanalysis and reanalysis…). At least that’s my experience. Am I speaking to you?

This intellect versus intuition conundrum is so common, I see it all the time. I was discussing this with my hero, greatest spiritual guide, closest friend and role model (my mom) this morning and she made a really excellent point that I feel deserves a mention here. Our intuitive response to any given situation or circumstance shouldn’t necessarily make the decision for us…for example, have you ever experienced an instance where you’re offered a really exceptional opportunity that you, instinctively, feel repelled by because of its daunting, intimidating enormity? I have. In that case, my intuitive oh no that doesn’t feel safe reaction may not be what I weigh my definitive decision upon. This is when reason and intellect can be on our side, coming in with the reminder you are capable, you have accomplished great things before, you can handle a challenge. Or perhaps, as another example, an attractive acquaintance whom you are drawn to, but know is attached, confesses to harboring romantic feelings for you. Intuitively you might feel yes, this is right, this is what I want but reason and intellect will often swoop in, reminding you that it is indeed not right, moral or karmically acceptable to engage in any way. You see what I’m saying? In some circumstances, intuition should weigh in, but not necessarily make the ultimate conclusion.

That’s only a small amount of the time, though, as I’ve found. In my humble experience, the vast majority of the time we are drowning out our intuition with self-doubt, fear, obsessive analysis, “what if’s” and other standard mental chatter.

Why don’t we just decide and LISTEN to the gut response we get, then drop it? Move on?

In the past couple of days I’ve experienced several poignant moments where something has been extended to me, an offer or inquiry, to which I intuitively responded on an energetic level. I knew my answer was no. But, as a lifelong, chronic people pleaser, I immediately shift into why not? mode, questioning from every angle why I possibly would turn it down and what might or might not happen as a result. Sounds healthy, yes?

I’m going to say something and I want you to repeat it out loud. It is okay to say no. Did you get that? I mean it, say it out loud. It is okay to say NO. One more time, I like odd numbers…IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO.

It’s okay to say no, but it’s also pretty damn hard. Seriously. For many of us there’s an epidemic of “yes.” There are also many who suffer from an epidemic of “no.” Fearful and resistant to take on anything outside of the infamous comfort zone. The goal is, as ever, to find balance between the two. Knowing when to say yes with all our might, and when to listen to that gut reaction and say no. Then, most importantly, not feel bad about it!

We have to learn when and how to say no. It’s an act of self-preservation. It’s an expression of truth, a practice of honoring oneself, a daring move towards confidence and trust. I urge us to be bold. Learning how, when and why to say no is a bold, bold endeavor. It is an endeavor that nourishes us holistically, though, and one worth delving into headfirst. I mean that it nourishes us in a very literal sense. Our adrenals, endocrine system, immune system, nervous system…all of these intricate systems of our physical body are directly affected by our ability to manage stress and maintain equilibrium. Never saying no, and thereby overloading oneself, taxes all of these precious systems and threaten homeostasis. On a spiritual, energetic level, the astral body is affected deeply by ignorance towards intuition.

Taking on too much is not beneficial in any way, shape or form. Neither is taking on something that we know is not right for us. Saying yes when we mean no. It does not make us healthier, more productive, more well-liked, or even more successful. Because if we’re squashing our intuition and smothering the whispers of our soul center, what is any of it worth anyway?

The truth of the matter is this: we are going to encounter wonderful opportunities. Some will be offered to us. Some we will take. Others we will not. Some will be just outside of our grasp. Some we will have to fight for. The point is that we are not meant to take every single opportunity that is made available to us. Sometimes the not choosing it, the saying no, is what makes space for the divine to flood your life and present you with the right opportunity. We are destined for greatness. But we must learn to navigate the changing tides and the temptations that float in front of us. You’re offered one more client and the money would be great but that would mean working an hour longer every day and missing the first half of dinner with your kids…or missing your regular yoga class…or, or or…sometimes sacrifice is not worth it.

We have to sacrifice to grow, yes. But do we have to sacrifice for every passing opportunity or experience? No. In fact, it’s an act of self-preservation to stand up, arms raised high and shout HELL naw! We are not built for the emotional, psychological, physical marathon that modern life has become. We are designed to experience and thrive in short spurts of “stress” (cortisol flooding the body, the sympathetic nervous system operating seamlessly), and then relax again (think of our ancestors being chased by a saber tooth tiger and then finding safety). We are not meant to work 80 hours a week (though I don’t judge anyone who does, one must do what one must do). We are not meant to run 10 miles a day. We’re not built to handle the ever-revolving, ever-chatting threesome of guilt, jealousy and regret.

That threesome is evil, let me tell you (or I tell you why, as my Oma would say). First comes guilt. The energetic body responds with a no, I don’t want to take that on, and immediately the mind jumps in with puppy dog eyes and says, but whyyyyy? Then comes jealousy. Well, if I don’t take this opportunity, someone else will get it… attaching to something that we don’t even want, and that was never ours in the first place. Last comes hypothetical regret. If I say no then I can’t go back on my word and this’ll be passed up forever. First of all, says who? We can say no and then change our minds. It doesn’t mean the offer still stands, but then that’s what was meant to happen. Changing one’s mind is a right had by all and that should be exercised whenever appropriate. It’s not illegal or against the rules. It’s life. 

We are not made to live in harmony with this wicked trio and we are better off dumping them right at the gate. Because it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to change our minds. It’s okay to let our intuition make the executive decision and feel okay with it, right away. We don’t need to talk ourselves into why we did or didn’t do something. Because we are masters of our own universe. We are the captains to our own ships. And, as one of my favorite author’s so famously said,

“I’m not afraid of storms because I’m learning how to sail my ship.”

-Louisa May Alcott

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Earthmates

Happy Earth Day, my loves! I hope you were able to get outside, plant your feet on the earth, move your body and drink in the sweet air all around you. I’ve been celebrating joyously on the inside since I opened my eyes this morning. In all honesty, I believe we ought to celebrate our sweet Mama Earth every day…I mean, she’s a pretty rockin’ hunk of burnin’ love, after all, is she not?

I happen to be one of those hippie souls, an aspiring naturalist, earth-loving human beings. I’ve been known to hug a tree (truly), am absolutely enamored with all aspects of nature (obsessed?) and feel a bit of my heart break each time I witness damage to this sacred home of ours (tears are shed). As you can imagine, this generation has me in fits at times, and I find myself praying and meditating daily on how we, together, can heal our gorgeous planet.

What I mean by all that is that, in essence, every day is Earth Day. I mean, we live here. This is our home. When someone chooses not to reduce, reuse and recycle, it is a big deal. Not because they are not stepping on my toes, or offending me, but because they’re stepping on their own toes. They’re offending humanity. Would any of us walk into our own home, or better yet, our own mother’s home and just knock all her nice china off the table? Would we look unapologetically at the shards of porcelain and her injured face? Would we proceed to dump our trash into her lovely sitting room, shoving empty, used water bottles and garbage and things we no longer find use for till it covered every square inch of her once beautiful space? Would we walk into her bedroom and empty a bottle of toxic anti-freeze onto her bedding, so she could sleep in the poison?

I think it’s safe to speak for nearly everyone here when I say ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY NOT. 

Nobody would treat someone they love, adore, admire and respect that way. I doubt many people would even treat someone they don’t love, adore, admire and respect that way…it’s just too cruel, outright malicious, carelessness personified. Point being, if we wouldn’t treat another person this way, why do we allow our Mama Earth to be treated this way? It’s not a one man job. We are all in this together. We live here together. We share one big home without walls. We may not be housemates, but we’re EARTHMATES!

Blessed are we who live on this planet, it is a gift and I fear we [all, at times] take it for granted. My wish is that we may care for sweet Mama Earth as we would ourselves, this day and everyday. She relies on us to keep her strong, may we not let her down. Her greatness, her vastness, blows me away…and yet, it is us who hold her fate in our palms. How unnerving that we, humble little beings of light, hold the fate of such a seemingly indestructible celestial body in our human hands? May we not fumble this responsibility. May we awake to the great need she has for our collective awareness. She provides us a home, may we begin to treat her as such.

I believe our prana – our life-force – is directly affected by our relationship with the earth. I believe how we treat this sacred home of ours is reflected in our pranic energy. So, if it’s not enough to care for the earth for the sake of caring for the earth, perhaps some will be convinced by the fact that their own energy is crippled when they do not care for her. We are strengthened when we extend the love and care we would to ourselves, or a family member, to this earth; we are weakened when we view her as an inanimate object, something for us to use up and discard. She is neither. Mama Earth is very much alive, very much feeling, very much endowed with an energetic pulse. Did you ever see the film Avatar? I can’t help but conjure up that imagery. The vibrant colors, the glow, the heartbeat of this planet. Thinking of the earth as a planet almost provides a bit of disconnect, perhaps the disconnect that so many cling to, veiled in ignorance. How can I save the planet? Many people think this way. The task is simply too large, the dedication too hard. But it’s not.

It’s a matter of habit, of will, of dedication. Think back over how many areas of our lives we’ve dedicated ourselves to…studied, practiced, memorized, trained…countless. We are constantly training to be better human beings, more capable human beings, in the grand school of life. Eco-consciousness is no different. We can train in earth preserving just as we would train for a race. We can create eco-friendly habits by memorization, repetition, just as we would etch math equations into our brains for an exam. It’s not rocket science, we can do this, we are capable earthlings! Recycling all the time, no exceptions…reducing our consumption (buy a stainless steel water bottle, there’s no reason to buy a plastic water bottle pretty much ever)…minimizing waste (frugality is so underrated)…reusing anything and everything we can (the resources to make new “stuff” has to come from somewhere…all those pickle and glass pasta sauce jars you dutifully recycle can be reused again! Be creative…the “reuse” step is versatile, endless and becomes almost addictive in how fun it is…).

Baby steps grow into bigger steps. What can you commit to today? Maybe it’s a vow to avoid buying in plastic (bulk items rather than prepackaged?). Perhaps it’s a newfound diligence to recycle properly (yes there’s an improper way to recycle! They don’t take caps and all containers must be washed out). It could even be a promise to detox your life of toxic, chemical-containing products (from kitchen to cleaning cupboard to beauty cabinet). Whatever it may be, take it on fully. Pick one thing or five things, and know you are not alone. All of these little habits eventually add up to a very eco-friendly lifestyle, something that is just second nature, and a planet that is healthier, more robust and fortified with longevity that would not have come to fruition without your individual efforts.

The message we need to radiate is that no one individual is responsible for saving the planet. We are, as a collective, responsible for saving and preserving the very ground upon which we stand. We are a team. There’s no room for cosmic disconnect in that. The very soil beneath our soles, the very blades of grass between our toes, the very air that swirls about our skin…we must preserve this. Not just for ourselves and each other, but for posterity. We must treat this special place as the matriarch she is. We must nurse her, care for her, preserve her and protect her. We simply must. Because we are blessed to live here. We are blessed with the soil, flora, fauna, oxygen, sunlight, saltwater, granite, sand and rain. We are blessed with a canopy of stars. We are blessed with this holy globe that has given herself to us, trusting us to simultaneously grow in civilization whilst defending her inherent, natural purity. We must. Our home depends on it, our prana depends on it, our future generations depend on it. May we not drink up every last drop, may we never suck her dry. Instead, may we band together and nurture the precious, sweet nectar of Mama Earth.

Om Namah Shivaya.

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The Heart Beats and the Pendulum Sways

Take a moment to stop, find stillness, and then place your hands over your heart. Softly shut your eyes. Don’t clamp them shut, just let the lashes flutter gently together, quivering between open and closed. Release your jaw. Soften every muscle of your face. Then press more firmly your palms to your chest. Feel the beating beneath your hands. Feel the subtle rise and fall of your front body as you slow your breath enough to really feel the beating. Stay here for a few rounds of breath. Acknowledge the magic of this electrical system within you. Acknowledge this thread of physical sustenance that keeps you going. Acknowledge this gift of a rhythmically beating heart, pumping strong and fierce beneath your flesh. Then open your eyes, slowly, letting the light flood them and a new perspective slide over your gaze like lenses.

Gratitude. 

The heart can be thought of in many ways. The electrical pump that keeps our physical body alive. Our emotional nucleus. The passionate mess that has the capacity to rock us to our core. The bliss-station that can radiate all things wonderful and delicious. The space from which compassion and empathy flow. The center for sorrow and mourning. The most fragile part of our being when fractured; our strongest, bravest, most resistant component the rest of the time. The driving force of our dream-chasing. The most human element of our being. The place love calls home.

I could go on and on. There are many a context in which to view “the heart.” One’s description or conjured imagery depends on the day, perhaps even the hour. Certainly the mood. In this moment I’m asking you to take it all in, holistically, as one. Because it is one. I’m asking you to be grateful for your heart, in all the many hats it wears.

Your heart is what keeps you alive, in every sense of the word. Today, as I climbed a mountain with a girlfriend, I brought this up. The two of us, hiking boots lodged into the hillside, stopped to place our hands over our chests. Slack smiles and dreamy eyes, chests rising and falling as our rapid breathing came round and round. Two things that never stop, respiration and heartbeat. Just take a moment to think about that, I mean really think about it. No matter where we are, what we’re doing, whether we’re asleep or awake, happy or sad, in love or completely wrecked…this remains. Clomp clomp goes the heart, in and out goes the breath.

What a blessing. Everything in the world might feel strange and unfamiliar, but the heart beats on, the breath threads in and out of the body. We are taken care of. Whether or not we choose to emotionally, mentally and spiritually bolster ourselves with self-love, inquiry, fearlessness and passion, we still have this. We breathe in, we breathe out. The heart makes its music. We are held.

Have you ever had your heart broken? I have. It fucking kills, doesn’t it? [Pardon my French]. Like, really kills, as in sometimes you truly wonder if you’re going to make it out the other side. Heartbreak comes in many packages, love lost, lives lost, loss itself comes in many packages. But the ability to break, shatter, positively explode, showering the ground with shards of heart…that very ability to fall apart in a million pieces, that’s what makes love possible. That’s what makes it possible to be whole, plump and juicy, beating strong and fluid, emanating bliss absolute and love unconditional. There cannot be one without the other. One without the other is merely a flatline, a boring monotone, a limp and lifeless in-between. There is no duality. Heartbreak and aching love are one. To feel truly great love – I mean truly great, all-encompassing, make you want to climb onto the roof in your underwear and fall to your knees, arms flung wide in rapture, joyous tears streaming down your face great love – you must know the gloomy, lonesome, bone snappingly horrific place of total heartbreak.

I can say this with certainty because, well, all of us reading this made it out the other side. Right? It still hurts to remember our bouts of heartache, our encounters with tragedy and loss and sorrow. But we survived. We endured. This too shall pass. And it did. We felt joy again, love, bliss, ecstasy, wonder, hope. We found our way to the other side, and probably back again. We’ve gone coast to coast probably more times than we can count in this life.

Yin and yang, I speak of it often. All is one. Life is one grand pendulum, swinging from one end of the spectrum to the other. Back and forth and back again. Ideally swaying, with grace and ease, rather than swinging with reckless force. Swaying back and forth, lingering in the good spots, but eventually inching back in the other direction. Such is the nature of life, of gravity, of existence. Movement. Growth. Regression. More growth. Change. Evolution. And shouldn’t it be? Would we want to live in a world where the sun shone every single day, where the temperature never fluctuated, water never spilled, glass never shattered, questions remained suspended in the air because perhaps the answers aren’t always rosy? I’d never wish such a pulseless existence upon anyone. Certainly not you and I.

Wisdom is gained through experience. Physical wisdom, emotional wisdom, spiritual wisdom. What is intellect without experience? Life is where we get our hands dirty. Climbing mountains to the soundtrack of thundering heartbeats. Hummingbird pitter-patters in the two chest cavities bearing the weightlessness of a first kiss. The long, languid trickle of a heaving, splintered heart. The soaring hopscotch tune of a ride on the wild side, a fear met head on. The thunderous call of courage.

So many hats our little heart wears. So many shoes it fills, so many roles it plays. So many emotions it carries on its back, so much pressure it bears, so little credit its given. Have you ever chided yourself for loving someone too much? For being too sensitive or too giving? For running too slow or getting too excited? For being too broken or too nervous? I have. I absolutely have. But you know what? That’s complete garbage, and I will never mindfully do it again. I will never reprimand my beautiful human heart for doing exactly what it does best…beat for me. I will never take for granted the thundering in my chest when I crest a steep hill; the rain sprinkling the rooftop on a sunday morning sensation of falling in love; the aching, cavernous echo of grief; the synchronicity of one sweaty chest pressed to another, misaligned beats making perfect music like drumming in the dark. I will never, ever again take for granted the myriad of ways my heart holds me together, lets me live this life of mine in vibrant color. I promise to never see my heart as a weakness. Vulnerability is not akin to weakness. Vulnerability takes courage, heaps of it. Vulnerability is the stripping away of the layers, the veils, the coverings that hide hope, faith and trust. Weakness is the ladder on which fear climbs and waves its ugly flag. I have sold that ladder and given the proceeds to the fund of vulnerability. Translucent and ethereal, vulnerability is what makes a human heart strong. It’s what takes the power away from the pendulum. Vulnerability trumps fear.

So return your hands to your heart. Be at peace with the way life is, the way things are. Call to mind the reason(s) you’re grateful for your heart, the gifts your heart gives you, what its beating brings to your life. This is one of the simplest, rawest, most basic practices of gratitude I’ve ever encountered. Acknowledge that, through it all, regardless of circumstances or context, the beautiful mess of our heart beats on. The heart beats, the pendulum sways…and life goes on.

 

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Control is an Illusion

Tell me if I’m wrong…we as human beings focus so much energy, work so hard and give so much attention to controlling our lives. I’d actually love for you to tell me I’m wrong, that we actually just coast dreamily through life, going wherever the wind may blow us. How’s that for an image?

For the vast majority of us, life control is a constant. It’s a mistake we collectively make, believing in this false notion that we are in control of the events of our lives. We let ourselves think we are in the driver seat of what happens in the universe because, frankly, the alternative is quite terrifying. Anything could happen to me at any moment and I’m powerless to stop it? Just the thought makes my stomach flip flop.

I certainly don’t mean to paint a picture of passive, limited human beings with no say in the world or our lives. We are far from that. We are, in fact, the most powerful beings on earth. We have free will. We have cognizance. We have drive, determination, perseverance. We have opposable thumbs, for goodness sake…okay that doesn’t have much to do with any of this, but somehow felt relevant 🙂

We are not limited, in fact we are limitless. We are powerful, commanding, sentient beings with the capacity to generate great change in the world. We are energy and with careful attention and surrender to the unknown, we can energetically direct our lives, drawing to us what we dream of and desire. This is different than control. We cannot predict nor can we secure the future of which we dream. There are just too many outside forces at play. That is not the problem, however. The problem lies in our expectations of ourselves.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, we seem hell bent on setting these astronomical, frankly unattainable standards. Standards most mortals simply can’t live up to, like the ability to control what does and doesn’t happen in our lives. All that we can control is ourself, our one, singular being. With practice we can control the thoughts that go on in our own minds (some of the time), we are in control of our own do’s and don’ts, and of the general functionality of our own existence. But, beyond that, we cannot control how long we’ll live, what the weather will do, who will love us back, if something will last forever, even if tomorrow will come…we are simply not in control. I don’t know about you, but that just makes me queasy.

That queasiness is what fortifies my practice. A deep, pulsing urge in my belly to be content with the not knowing, with the uncontrollable nature of life. To be still in the chaotic movement of the world, my own safe harbor amidst pandemonium. This is what strengthens my resolve to really come to know my own true nature. The yoga practice is ultimately about calming the mind, really controlling the mind. I imagine that has much to do with the inevitable fact that nature cannot be controlled, nor can it be contained. But the mind can be. We can regulate our thoughts and, ironically, the more controlled our mind practice becomes, the more apt we are for expansion.

When we draw our focus inward, harnessing that urge to control, and hone in on what we actually have a say over – our own thoughts – we have the capacity to become very powerful in manifesting our own intentions.

Sitting and fretting over whether or not something will end up as we hope is not going to change the situation’s outcome. Drawing that energy inward and fortifying the Self so that we are strong and stable no matter the outcome may not change the impending sequence of events, but it will certainly have a beneficial effect on our person, holistically. When we engage in fear, which is often the root of our urge to be in control, we leak our precious energy. When we go inside and focus steadily on what we are, releasing all need to be in control, our energy becomes like a beacon of light…a pole to which all that we are meant to seek is drawn magnetically.

Focusing on the fearful desire to control is like asking a car to drive itself cross-country. Turning attention inward and releasing the need to control is like giving that car a good, thorough, loving tune-up…so that, wherever the journey make take it, you know it’ll be running smoothly and steadily. No matter what detours might lie ahead, you’re certain it won’t break down.

That’s all we can ever really do, in this life. We are human, we can’t control the future, we can’t even control the past. We can only control our reaction to the events of our lives. But there’s something far more powerful about the latter. Life is a mystery, and we get to enjoy that. We get to luxuriate, if we so choose, in not knowing what’s going to happen. We get to be surprised. When we simply embrace this truth, we can fully dedicate ourselves to the part of our life that truly matters, our spirit. Our essence. When we stop trying in vain to manipulate powers outside of ourselves and do the work on ourselves, the work that on one else can do, we can make a very sacred home for ourselves…right here inside.

Only when we’ve nestled into this space can we really be open to hearing our souls’ deepest whisperings. I mean really hearing them. The murmurs that tell us what’s really important, the ones that remind us we are safe and secure no matter what happens outside of us. The ones that give us courage; the ones that light our fire, keep it burning. The ones that bring a quivering, vibrating stillness to our core and radiate our intentions outward. The ones that reflect to us the powerful nature of our very own being; a self-governing beam of light that is unaffected by the illusion of control. Shattering that illusion, like a billion fragments of razor sharp glass, is the release we seek. That outpouring of overwhelming truth is the satisfaction we crave, not the unattainable expectation that we could control the world in the first place. Finding a safe haven inside of ourselves, a place where no outside influence could possibly sink our ship, where expectations don’t exist and our pure, unadulterated potential can thrive and bloom without the restraint of such pressure…that’s the antidote to fear. The pacification of the urge to control. That is what we call home. That is what we are living to discover.

May we all have the courage to ever seek that sacred space.

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Perceived Failures

Yesterday, as I flew down a mountain on my bike, I thought to myself of all the physical risks we take as human beings. Physically speaking, the risks we face are high, every single day. The risks associated with just living, just leaving the house, venturing out into the world. Driving in a car, crossing the road, walking down a staircase, riding a bicycle, performing manual labor…Lord help us if you put a cell phone in our hands and we try to do any of the aforementioned. Truly, there’s so much room for error and so many opportunities for injury. But that’s a pessimistic way to look at life. I’m not here to be pessimistic (y’all know me). I’m here to simply draw our attention to the obvious, the statistical facts. Life can be very, very dangerous. I mean, no one gets out alive…

Har har. What I’m getting at is gratitude, as I almost always am. Awareness, gratitude, consciousness. The risks are high but yet we do it. We get out of bed, we drive on the road, we face fear and danger in the face every single day. We have done and continue to do our part; we’ve been trained in jobs, taught how to drive, to look both ways when crossing the street, to exercise common sense, pay attention to where we’re stepping, so on and so forth.

Most of us manage the physical risks of everyday life without a hiccup. Blessed. Gratitude. Acknowledge this.

But what about emotional risks? Mental, spiritual, holistic risks of the heart? Creating a business, falling in love, moving, starting a project? Those are some scary ventures. A lot scarier than descending a staircase or using a crosswalk, however dangerous those activities can turn in an instant. Emotional risks are scar-y. Mainly because we make decisions that either lead us into or away from them. Decisions of the mind, of the heart, of the soul. We have fear and doubt pulling puppet strings in the dark, dreary corners of our rational mind and, despite their back row seat, they somehow amplify their concerns so that they echo prominently throughout the brain, banging into the backs of our eyeballs and making us feel dizzy with worry. We question our intuition. We tiptoe away from the ledge. We doubt ourselves. We imagine ourselves failing…but you want to know the truth?

There is no success without failure.

They are intertwined, like two bodies; feminine and masculine, limbs wound and tangled, faces pressed together. There simply is not one without the other.

We fail to see this in ourselves, our own lives, so often because we focus on one or the other. We create a duality that doesn’t exist. Success in one corner. Failure in the other. So often we choose to see only one, the other shadowed entirely, as though nonexistent. Successes and failures, both seen and unseen, support and create one another inherently. Irrevocably.

Failure and success operate in a yin and yang balance. Anything in your life that has ever been successful was built, in some way, on an associated failure. I promise. Somewhere, whether you were cognizant of it or not, there was a perceived “failure” that led you to that present moment of success. Same goes for the opposite, though it’s a confusing concept to embrace. Anytime there’s been failure, there has been success. How, you ask?

Because anytime we fail it means we have tried. We have attempted. We have shunted fear, yet again, and given it a shot. That is a successful venture in and of itself, even if our efforts don’t go according to our vision. Success is what landed us in the position to even make an effort in the first place.

So you see, success and failure, they’re one. They’re Siva and Shakti. Light and darkness. Ida and Pingala. They need to be, as counterintuitive as this seems, in balance. Because they are one by nature, so to have an imbalance is like leaning the body all the way to the right, tipping at the waist, and expecting to walk around lopsided forever without getting a horrible neck ache and becoming muscularly deformed.

Keeping success and failure in balance is essential and is what makes for what most people would actually define as success itself. Remember, these words were defined by human beings…people, just like you and I, put meaning to words. Placed letters together in succession and awarded them a certain weight. That being said, any word, any definition, is really up to interpretation. Who says we have to see “failure” as doom just because a dictionary says so? Why can’t failure be the Divine intervention that led us down a different path, the path we were supposed to take and very nearly missed?

That’s what I believe failure means. I believe perceived “failures” are actually the Universe taking me by the hand and leading me exactly where I’m meant to go. Perceived “successes” are merely a reflection of my having intuitively listened, having gracefully let go of what wasn’t meant for me, and having moved gently in the direction of my dreams.

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