Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oy Vey!

Yesterday I networked at yoga, changed my address at the bank, got our car fixed, paid my taxes and struggled deeply with a decision to commit to a training program. It felt like a big day and it also happened to cost a lot of money. At sundown, my best friend put a damp dish towel over her head and lit the candles for our soul's new year. We ate apples and honey and drank wine she had blessed. As the evening came to a close I spoke with my teacher about my decision and gained clarity to release into faith. It was a step forward. But then I listened to a voicemail from the looney-but-deep-down-lovely-freaked-out-ex-boyfriend of my mom's who sold us the car. He had heard of the work that had been done on the car and assured me that I had been hood-winked. Oh no! Was it a step back? His message brought up a lot of fear in me. I lay down, listened to my breath and starting looking right into that fear. I went through the steps of the day, how I felt when I was told what was wrong with the car, (YOU GUYS! The car had been making a crazy noise! It needed to be fixed!) and how I made the decision of what needed to be addressed and what didn't. There is no reason for me to doubt myself and there is CERTAINLY no reason for me to let anybody else's fear jump into my brain. For crying out loud! The Jewish calendar totally had my back on this one! It was a perfect day to fix what no longer worked and move forward with what does! It can feel like a battle (I love you Bhagavad Gita!) a LOT of the time of fear vs faith. It has been my path and practice to keep coming back to faith so that's what I'll do. Nobody's out there to get me! We're in this thing together! Happy New Year! Today I will make a phone call and commit to that training.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Garden of the Gods

The other day I went hiking in a park called Garden of the Gods. Great name. Justice served. It was about an hour and a half before sunset. The primary landscape is giant red rocks, all different shapes and sizes, cut against blue sky and white clouds. In honor of Libra, we chose a trail called Siamese Twins.
The red. The white. The deep, distant green on further mountains that turned a pale navy. It was sooooo pretty. My mind wheels were spinning from BEAUTY. I was drawn to looking east but then I thought I had better take in west as the sun let go behind a distant pink everything. It was so gorgeous and I loved it so much that I was actually kinda stressed out!
So I stopped, sat down and closed my eyes. And the view got better. I could still sense my favorite evolution from day to night, the waning sunlight opened more softly onto my skin and my ears opened peacefully to the sound of hikers talking closer than the whir of traffic in the town below. By sitting and melting into the now of it, I more fully experienced the beauty. I lived a love poem: "The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along." -Rumi

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Road Trip Altar

"It takes discipline to be a free spirit" -Manorma

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shabooboo and #2

I've been traveling for 20 days. For the last two days, I have been in Los Angeles with some really good people and their seven cats and one dog. The cats are: Moomen, Newton, Zippy, Spooky, Applebee, Ethos and Thursday. The dog's name is Princess Shabooboo.

Fun Fact #1: When you're on holiday for 20+ days, you can do whatever you want AND there's no rush.

Fun Fact #2: I have a really big ego.

Its taken me about 19 days to make room for Fun Fact #1 and Fun Fact #2. For the longest time, I still really wanted to accomplish something everyday. Yesterday, I finally melted into vacation. I sat in traffic. I didn't get any exercise. Nope I didn't pick up the two things that I wanted from the store or see any old friends. And after doing nothing, I was done! I came back home to where I'm staying. Once home, I achieved my biggest feat of the day: I took Princess Shabooboo out. And we weren't in a hurry. She explored the different species of grass and chased her tail,
I saw this thing:

I am reminded often of the wisdom of the Tao de Ching: "There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe, a time for being in danger."

Fun Fact # 3: This is my time for being with Princess Shabooboo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Truce Card

I have many best friends. And I have one all time like woah, we do better the more time we clock, she's got my back, in-it-to-win-it, let's-do-this-thing best friend. Melissa is an Interfaith minister, an astrologer, a traveler, a tarot card reader, a writer, a documentary film maker and a vegetarian. Yesterday Melissa met her dad for the first time in 25 years. There is no way to prepare for this kind of event. Except maybe there is. Because after years of practice, abiding in faith and deep breaths, she was.

Thank you Melissa for teaching me about the Truce Card.

The 4 swords represent all you can do in any situation:
1. Show Up
2. Be Present
3. Tell the Truth
4. Don't Be Attached to Any Outcome

In every situation in life all we can do is our best. As Don Miguel Ruiz brilliantly points out in The Four Agreements, our best changes from moment to moment. That's why we KEEP STAYING PRESENT. The truth is freedom, end of story. And then the work is letting go. Inhale: LET. Exhale: GO. If you've done 1, 2 and 3, you're finished, relax.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Albuquerque Room

I've been traveling for the past 12 days and I've been on two trips. I call them Part One and Part Two. Part One was fast but we moved through it slowly. Deliberately we drove in a 16 foot truck, full of belongings from years in one time zone and two towns. We didn't spend more than one night in each place. I fell in love with every day and every person we met, each of them we knew briefly.
Part Two is deep, dark and bright in a fast car. Staying in one place (too) long sure can learn you quick. We spent 4 nights in Santa Fe and out of those nights we got: a mom with my same birthday, a ritual with fire, a Chimney Rock hike, a favorite band, a $500 parking ticket, a church service, two yoga classes, deep time with an old friend, our car fixed for free, a green juice, a pool game and mostly we got ready, ready to get out of there like you wouldn't believe. And ready to go back. We have to anyway, to contest our parking ticket.
Its good to be back on the road, staying one night in each place, last night we stayed in the Albuquerque Room with the Harvest Moon. This morning we're going hiking before we hit the road. Pam of the Lomita Motel just told me to look out for snakes and bears, she says she likes us and wants us to travel safe. The road's calling again for sure reminding us constantly what the great Tibetan Poet Milarepa says, "Never spend more than 7 nights with someone who doesn't know you can be enlightened in this lifetime"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Anymore, Kansas

Thursday September 8, 2011

The other day my best friend Melissa and I drove from Lawrence, Kansas to Boulder, Colorado. About an hour outside of Lawrence, we saw a sign for The Museum of Oz. Some decisions aren't even decisions at all. We got off the highway and drove 9 miles north to Wamego, Kansas. The entry fee was $6 with our AAA discount. We toured around looking through Judy Garland and Munchkinland memorabilia. We marveled at the moon energy we felt from L. Frank Baum. At the apex of the museum, we wandered into a little room made to feel like a theatre where they showed the movie on repeat. It was the part when she's finally on her way back to Kansas with The Wizard, she says goodbye to all of her friends, they're sad to see her go but they understand. Then suddenly Toto jumps out of the basket and The Wizard takes off without her. Spoiler alert. The Good Witch shows up and tells her that she could have gone home anytime. She gets it. She clicks her heels together (holler back root chakra!) and then she's home.
I remember being homesick once. I told my teacher Jen. She nodded knowingly and reminded me about the home we build inside ourselves. And its just like any real house that you might move into. You gotta nest. Get yourself some new candles. Stay up late one night to open those last boxes. And if you need to, stop everything, sit down, and watch The Wizard of Oz.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dennis' Karma Yoga

Tuesday September 6, 2011

Setting: The Sivananda Center in the Bahamas.

Characters: Dennis and his karma yoga partner, Al. Dennis is my new best friend, I met him in Winslow, Arkansas. Al is a giant; 6'6", 220 lbs.

Setting: Dennis is exhausted. He signed up for his stay at the ashram looking forward to spending his days in asana and meditation. He has been there for a month now, working in the kitchen, cleaning mats, taking out the trash. We meet him as he is looking forward to when the karma yoga portion of his visit is over, so he can finally get on one of those mats himself. It's late afternoon on a small motor boat. The boat is short, the length of a long coffee table. Its square shaped at the back where the motor is and comes to a very small point on the opposite end. Dennis is manning the boat. The waters are bumpy and they bounce through them quickly. They are on an errand.

Dennis: Man, I'd really love to do some yoga later.
Al: You want to do some yoga? Ok.

Al gets up from where he is stationed. He goes all the way over to the furthest, pointiest front of the boat and gets into a headstand.

Careful what you wish for.
I love you Dennis and Anne!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Beginner's Mind Again

Yesterday was my last day living in New York City. I wanted to go on one last bike ride in Prospect Park and then return my friend's bike which I have been borrowing all summer.

After my ride around the park, I headed to my friend's apartment, a point a and a point b that I have never connected before. After a few turns that I had never taken, I realized that I was lost and that I had typed the wrong address into ridethecity, whoopsies, I think I said street and its an avenue. I wasn't far from where I knew I would be found (by me!) but I wasn't exactly sure how to get there.

Have I ever told you how much I love being lost?
I love being lost!

I took a right and then a few more rights and I knew where I was again, in my friend's neighborhood, but on the other side of the park from her house. I rode down one end of the park to head up the other end and I was sure that if I took one more right, I'd see her street there on the left.

After that last right, I kept riding and riding, looking for her street, I almost stopped to ask a lady jogging in place for the light to change. When suddenly I realized, I was ON her street.

Peace out New York! THANK YOU for teaching me everything I know! Which still ain't much!