Thursday, December 27, 2012
One thing I don't love about winter and being cold is that I find it harder not to rush and to stay present. It has come to my attention that although I like to think that I am present each moment, in fact, I am often anticipating the next moment. It's the in-between that I have trouble with: unloading the car, waiting in line, holding for the next available operator. These moments, although they might be less satisfying than moments when I'm inside and warm or talking to the operator, are still moments that I want to be present for. It is my intention to focus my attention more in the in between.
One of my teachers taught me about a rhythm of walking meditation: "Step, sight, sound, sense." In the in-between, even though I may prefer to space out and scroll through facebook on my phone, I will try to administer the rhythm. I will look at what needs to be addressed, and if there's nothing for me to do but wait, I will enjoy the colors and shapes of the things in my surroundings. I will feel my feet underneath me, enjoy the sounds around me and tune into the physical sensations I am experiencing.
Posted by Ashleigh Beyer at 5:20 PM
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
No matter what happens tomorrow, the Winter Solstice every year is a particularly powerful day to let go, be present and prepare. Because it marks the change of season that bridges us from this year to the next, one of my teachers says, "The Winter Solstice on December 21 is an ideal time for prayers and intention setting for the coming year." The word "solstice" comes from two Latin roots: "sol," means "sun" and "sistere," means "to stand still." From the earth, it appears as though the sun comes to a stop before reversing directions. There are so many answers in stillness. Find out what you want to release and let it go and allow the additional light on the 22nd shine on your hopes.
Posted by Ashleigh Beyer at 4:03 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Last week this weird thing happened when I heard an ad on the radio for career opportunities...at the radio. Remembering that someday I want to be a radio DJ, I sent in my resume and was offered a first interview and then a second. It felt funny though because the job I was applying for wasn't for a DJ. I struggled with my actions: was I doing what I was doing to get my foot in the door or out of some kind of fear? I spoke with my teacher about it and she felt it was very natural for me to be interested in radio as a medium. She reminded me that I love words and that communicating is a skill of mine.
She then blew my mind when she reminded me of one time, years ago, when I asked her if she was ever going to write a book. She told me that words aren't her thing, so book writing wasn't in her future. The story goes, after she said that, I asked her to tell me if she ever wanted a ghost writer and she told me to go ahead and write everything I wanted to, that she didn't even want "credit." Years later, completely forgetting that conversation, here I am, every Tuesday and Thursday, writing about the things I learn, and I've learned so much from her.
I love it in songs and in church, when people say or sing "Can I get a witness?" Yesterday I went in for my second interview at the radio station and told them I wasn't their girl. A marketing career, although it might be fun, would not leave enough time for me to do what I really believe in. Now more than ever, I believe in stating my dreams out loud to people I trust. Sometimes too afraid of failure or disappointment, we can forget our dreams. I am grateful to all of my witnesses for helping me remember.
Posted by Ashleigh Beyer at 6:32 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Back when I was a teenager, I learned how to drive and did so for about a year before moving out east, where I relied on public transportation for 12 years. For a little over a year now, driving has been apart of my life again, and sometimes, I get a little nervous. The quickest route down to the big city is beautiful and I'm also not totally psyched to drive it in the ice or snow.
The other day when I was scheduled to be in Santa for a 9 am class, I took the long way. The long way is only about 10 or 15 minutes longer, but feels crazy-move-totally-way-out-of-the-way. Confession: I took it even though there wasn't ANY ice or snow.
And now I know why! A coyote, in the frosty dawn, ran across the road right in front of me. OH BOY did I need to hear what coyotes are for: "(Coyotes) remind us not to become too serious and remind us that anything is possible. Are you or those around you being too serious? Have you forgotten that play time is essential to health? Are you complicating what is really simple in some area of your life? In the tarot deck (the coyote) is The Fool card. Its energies are simplicity and trust" (Andrews, 1993, 261). You are totally right, coyote, I have been taking pretty much everything too seriously, which, actually, feels totally out of step with this time of year. Game on.
Posted by Ashleigh Beyer at 7:13 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
If you had been looking for me last night, you would have found me on the dance floor in a historic round barn on the grounds of the beautiful Ojo Caliente Hot Springs---way past my bedtime. The band was so smart a playing danceable covers that around 9:30 pm, when I was feeling tired, I couldn't help but keep grooving.
I'm a pretty good dancer, but last night around 10 pm, I noticed myself starting to feel rather unfocused and my moves seriously started to suffer. Soon I realized that in my sleepy state I had started to focus too much on the way other people were dancing. Seriously needing to turn the beat around, I zoned back in on the music and got back on the boogie.
It's not like all of a sudden I was an island onto myself, we were all still hustlin' together. But we were also all doing our own thing. Kinda like when we "om" together at the beginning or the end of yoga class. In omming, it's important to hear your voice just as much as you hear everybody else's; to achieve that balance you give voice and listen evenly and at the same time.
Posted by Ashleigh Beyer at 9:44 AM
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
So this funny thing happened last week when I decided I wanted to re-watch the movie Blue Valentine and out of the blue valentine, one of my best friends Braden texted me to say he was watching Blue Valentine. Braden and I have known each other for many years; we've clocked a lot of hours talking about movies but I'm not sure we have ever talked about Blue Valentine before. Braden is excellent about knowing his friends' tastes and has a special brand of keeping in touch that involves telling his friends about something he saw or read that he thinks they would like.
I didn't know how long this story could be so long story short, I re-watched the movie with a friend of mine who hadn't seen it before, and they REALLY DIDN'T LIKE IT. So, I spent some quality time trying to figure out why I like it....surely it's not just because it's so sad. Turns out I like it for a couple of reasons. The biggest one is that in the movie, the imbalance in the relationship is caused by the husband hinging more of his identity on the relationship than the wife. The wife has a career that feeds her; whereas, it's being a husband to his wife that feeds him.
In art and life, I feel like I see a lot more of the-other-way-around. There's a bunch research these days proving that men are better off in marriage than women. I am not a scholar on the subject, but I am a woman and can speak for myself. I feel like I have a lot to give, and I have found a lot of suffering in my intimate relationships when I give a lot---but want something in return. I challenge all of us, men and women, to notice each time we have the impulse to give--is it pure? Are we giving because we want something in return, even if it's just a "thank you," or are we giving because we want the receiver to have what we have to give?
Yogi Bhajan said something like "if you have any relationships in your life with a purpose other than compassion, you will find pain in those relationships." True that.
Posted by Ashleigh Beyer at 10:33 AM