Thursday, December 29, 2011

Drive Home from Seco

Usually when I drive home from Seco, its dark and the lights of Taos guide me from their distance. I have lots of feelings on that drive. As I search through the night toward my tiny town where I landed, I can't help but think of the lights of a big city where I came from.

I'll get hit by a memory of a friend's smile or exactly how the air felt on a street corner as I rounded to a restaurant, the sirens and the laughter. For those few seconds or minutes on that drive those images will shove my heart into a sadness.
And I'll nurture that sadness. I'll let my heart fall down in it, let it sit in the car with me.

One of my teachers told me once that what's difficult about having feelings is that we think we need to do something about them. In fact, most of the time all we need to do is be okay with them. Be okay with ourselves for having them. Whatever they are. If you know the feeling you're having and you're okay to look at it, you get to watch how it changes. Just like lights in the distance. When you get closer, you'll be able to see what's really there.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Peacock Feet

Lately everywhere I go I see a peacock. There's one on my new bedspread, there's a peacock book stopper at my mom's apartment, a peacock was on the rug at the Christmas party last week. The list goes on.

According to Ted Andrews in Animal Speak, "Probably the peacock's two most outstanding features are the feathers and its eerie raucous calls. The call has a kind of laughter quality to it, as if the peacock is a reminder to laugh at life. One story I have heard in connection to its vocalizations is tied to the appearance of its feet. The peacock has ugly feet and there is a story that it screeches every time it catches sight of them." Andrews goes on to say that if the peacock is showing up for you, pay attention to your feet, their health can bring health to the rest of you.

Just the other day, I asked my mom to please start paying attention to each one of her footsteps. My mom is in transition: she just moved from her house of twelve years to a new apartment. Also, she's the boss of everybody at the Boulder Macy's and because this is her busiest season at work, she has not had time to focus on the fact it's also a busy season for her self.

In yoga, we have a lot of respect for our foundation. In this upright life, usually that's our feet. If you're in between jobs or houses or if you're traveling or even after you've arrived, its never a bad idea to meditate on your feet underneath you. Feet rule! Our steps can help us move from where we were to where we want to be. Hey thanks feet! Enjoy. Give yourself a foot rub or treat yourself to a reflexology appointment and if you don't have time, feel each foot as it steps the opposite of backward underneath you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Latter

Back when I used to live in Brooklyn, there was a church around the corner from my apartment that was for sale. It reminded me of a sign I stood under once that said, "Nothing is Sacred, Not Even You."

Sweet deal for me, now I live down the street from the famous Saint Francis Church in Ranchos.

I went for a walk over there the other day, that church is not for sale but there's a few opportunities next door just in case you're interested.

And this one.

Albert Einstein said "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." I choose the latter.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Silence in the Noise

"No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently." -Agnes de Mille

Sometimes when I'm meditating or walking to work or eating my dinner I notice myself thinking about an event in the future that I'm worried about. I'll be thinking of all of the different possible things that could go wrong or how I'm not going to be able to HANDLE it. Next thing you know I've finished my dinner without actually noticing I was eating or my meditation timer dings and I haven't even meditated yet! I spent that whole time thinking! But with my eyes closed!

One time I was talking about one of these future disasters in my head with my teacher. I was telling her all of my concerns about everything that could possibly go wrong. She listened and then said the smartest thing ever in the whole wide world. She said instead of thinking about all of the noise and action around the event, to imagine myself in that future plot in stillness or in silence. Peaceful and easy me, not crazy batting bird me. ME. I know me.

The word "handle" is funny. It reminds me of a dog handler at one of those fancy dog shows. In this metaphor, my life is a chichi dog. I don't need to HANDLE anything. All I need (and by need, I mean want) to do is show up everyday and be 100% present. And IF I can be 100% present (based on info in this TandT, easier said than done) I trust myself to do the best I can.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sea Level is for Sissies

My friend Mike and I like to joke about our difference in age. I say "When you were ten I was zero," and he says, "You just like saying you were zero." He's right.

Years ago, I got a tarot card reading I really liked. The lady reading used beautiful circle-shaped cards called Motherpeace. I liked it so much I wanted it to come true. A big part of the whole deal was the zero from the round deck, The Fool. Moving from intuition more than thought I put The Fool on my altar. Its been there ever since.

Each day in my brand new life in New Mexico I am reminded of The Fool.

Angeles Arrien says, "The Fool is the universal principle that is associated with the state of consciousness that we experience before birth and after death." I like to practice this state whenever I remember, I know of it as "the space before thought."

In the space before the beginning, anything is possible. Arrien goes on, "(The Fool) represents the creative power of giving birth to new forms from a state of wonder and anticipation, rather than from fear."

For the longest time, I only did things that I was already good at. But then one day I quit. And now, a most of what I do everyday is stuff that I am brand new at doing. Sometimes I get tired and sometimes I get shy, but my friendship with zero gets deeper everyday.

I used to live at sea level, back then, I thought I was in good shape. Then I moved to 7,000 feet, I went for a bike ride and I lost my breath. From up here my ego was taken down.

I am reminded of a bumper sticker on the back of my mom's car from a race that she participates in every year, it says, "Sea Level is for Sissies." I always thought it was kinda judgmental, another expression of ego. But back when I only did things all day everyday that I was already good at, I was kinda a sissy. Just sayin.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hotels in Russia

A few weeks back I was doin' some community. NOT "volunteering" but doing some community service instead of paying for a large parking ticket. I was having a ball! I decided to do my time at the local Community Against Violence Thrift Store. Man was that a good call! What a great place to work, get stuff done, meet cool people.

One of the people I met was also there doing community service. Her offense was little more serious than mine cuz boy did she had some TIME to do. She wasn't having quite as much fun as I was. Every time she finished a task she'd come and hide out by me, bide her time until 4 o'clock. I was busy cleaning the books. "How'd you get such a cool job?" she asked at one point, referring to the total slickness of me polishing every book and every bit of shelf underneath it. "I made it up," I said. Those books were dusty! She was pissed. She had been asking our superiors what tasks she should be handling and getting stuck doing totally boring things like mopping the bathroom floor.

This went on all day. She'd do something boring like move a mattress, then sink down onto the floor near the books and shoot the breeze until she got caught and then the whole thing would start over. I just kept cleaning the books. "Wow, you're weird," she told me at one point, she really thought I was going to town. "I like to do everything all the way," I said. "Yeah, that's weird." she said. And maybe she's right. But being weird has its rewards. On my last section of my last shelf, I started spiffing up a guidebook to Russia. Old as the hills that thing was in need some of my attention. Midway through my clean a piece of paper fell out. This one:

Folks, this is a magnetic key sleeve from a hotel in St. Petersburg that I stayed at when I was 15. The first hotel I stayed in outside of the United States or Mexico. Hotel Pribaltiyskaya. Say that five times fast. I love being weird.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Breath in the Winter

A couple years back, I was walking down the cement staircase of an echoey loft building in Williamsburg and I was freezing. I said something about not looking forward to being cold for the next you-do-the-math months. My companion on the steps told me that I would let that go, it was not my nature to fear something as out-of-my-control as the weather. She put a spell on me with those words. Ever since, I've loved this stuff called winter. Just like that, I changed my mind, "She's RIIIIIIGHT..." I thought as I began to love wearing two scarves a sweater and a sweatshirt. I like tea and I like boots and I love staying in under the covers.

Sometimes when I leave my house in the morning there are two or three teenagers up the hill, waiting for the school bus . Before I can really see them or even hear them talking and laughing, I can see their breath in the cold sun. When I get closer, their quiet is louder and they and click their boots together in rebellion. But from down the hill it's all poetry in the silence of their exhales.

I still wear a memento mori around my wrist. Last week I went back to the hospital to visit the gentlemen who was my dad's roommate. He's still happy to be alive. He looked over his glasses at me and told me it was good to know who his real friends are. THAT'S ME! PICK ME PICK ME PICK ME! I WIN! And I still have one or two or a million things I haven't done yet because I'm scared. But living closer to the land in winter keeps pushing me not to wait: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." -Crowfoot

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

I had a fourth grade teacher whose first name was Parthenia, we didn't get to call her that, but it was fun to know. I was really into her, "I dig her style," the fourth grader inside of my head contemplated. She had big belts, long hair and a loud voice, "Groovy," I thought.

She taught us that on the first day of every month, when you wake up, before you say anything else, say "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit," and you will have good luck for the rest of the month.

I've been doing it ever since.

And I'm a pretty lucky gal. I also like the term "blessed."

If you're reading this and you want to join me in having a lucky month but you've already said something other than "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit," no big deal. Just turn around 3 times while you say it and fortune will still know how to find you.

Think Parthenia and I are nuts?

Well, she didn't make it up, this particular folklore can be traced back as far as the 1800s. And it still happens all over the world, in places like France, where they don't even call rabbits rabbits, and from what I hear, on Cape Cod.

My Animal Speak book discusses baby rabbits: "Within one month, 28 days, the young are able to be out on their own. They can stay in the nest, but they can survive on their own. This 28 day period again reinforces the lunar connection with the rabbit."

On my drive home last night, I followed the clear glow of the crescent moon. The moon is my favorite reminder that the only constant is change. I also believe its never too late for a brand new beginning.