Friday, March 29, 2013

I Can Change

All this stuff that's going on at the Supreme Court this week is reminding me of something I wrote back in November.

I always thought it was the Buddha who said, "The only constant is change" but after researching a little further I came to find it was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Ok, so change might be constant, but that doesn't make it easy. I'm not suggesting we do it because it's fun, I'm suggesting we do it because it's good for our health.

Louise Hay recommends, "Let's use the affirmation, 'I am willing to change.' Repeat this often. 'I am willing to change. I am willing to change.' You can touch your throat as you say this. The throat is the energy center in the body where change takes place. By touching your throat, you are acknowledging you are in the process of changing. Be willing to allow the changes to happen when they come up in your life. Be aware that where you DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE is exactly the area where you NEED to change the most. 'I am willing to change.'" (Hay, 1984, 43).

If you can't see yourself touching your throat and saying "I am willing to change:" I'm with you. But LCD Soundsystem's song "I Can Change" gets stuck in my head ALL the time. And I do agree with Ms Hay's point that "The Universal Intelligence is always responding to your thoughts and words. Things will definitely begin to change as you make these statements."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Friends at the Post Office

One time when I was in line at the post office, the post office clerk guy called up the lady in front of me. "I want my mom," she said. Turns out, her mom works at the post office. Her body language then made it clear that she was going to stand by and wait until her mom was finished with her customer. "Me too," the post office clerk guy instinctively said. "Me too," I impulsively followed. We all had a good laugh and then the lady in front of me got to go up to her mom's portion of the counter.

This feeling of wanting your mom might be one you're familiar with. I remember the first time I felt particularly aware of it as an adult; a kind of homesickness, it came upon me all of a sudden one week. I talked to my teacher Jen about it, she said it came from a desire that a lot of us have to be "taken care of." Jen has a helpful and firm way of always putting the responsibility of the feeling back on the feeler. The way we feel isn't anybody's burden but our own. Now, when I'm hit with this "I want my mom" feeling, I remember my friends at the post office who know how I feel and I GO BIG with one of my favorite pastimes: self-care.

Friday, March 22, 2013

This Problem of a Shattered Back Window

When I walked down to my car early this morning, I found that the back window of my station wagon was shattered into a gazillion pieces. It was actually kind of beautiful. For a whole bunch of reasons like: the police report, my insurance company, and Instagram making pictures so darn pretty, I was remiss in not snapping a shot. Most of my day has been dedicated to this problem of a shattered back window. At 11:30 am, after my first conversation with the insurance company, I was ready for a margarita. I am so lucky that the problem wasn't more serious, that I can still drive my car in its current condition and that I had the time in my schedule today to deal, but mostly, I've felt like running and hiding. I wanted to call this whole "today" thing off.

After my first class, I talked to the glass repair place, and realized I had a lot of the phone calling  and jimmy-rigging in my near future. I wanted to cancel, I wanted to skip and I wanted to get a sub.  It's been packed but I've found time for it all. I didn't skip anything, not even the hour of yoga I wanted so badly for myself. I didn't even skip my voice lesson today. When I'm trying and failing to tape heavy plastic to the back of my car and cutting my thumb, I am so grateful for my jobs. I love my jobs because they teach me to be present. The things that I've committed myself to, like teaching yoga and giving B.E.S.T. treatments can not be glossed over. But, actually, it's easy to be in the moment when you're in a gorgeous open studio telling people how to move and breathe at the same time. It's easy to stay positive when focusing on the positive. The 10 minutes while the insurance agent locates the wrong phone number for you to call, those minutes are harder to be present for. It's harder to stay positive when you find BBs from a BB gun amongst the shattered back window glass.  How can we not resist "what is" but also discern when the lady is being totally unhelpful and ask to speak the supervisor?

I don't know. I do know that the only thing that keeps me sane is my meditation practice. Every morning, I sit for 20 minutes and in that 20 minutes, I go out of time. My time out of time keeps me close to all that is magic about life, which, somehow, makes it easier to deal with all that is mundane.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Hare Krishna Friend

I've been thinking a lot about that one time I went on a silent retreat; it was SUCH a relief not to have access to texting, phonecalls, emails and facebooks. On my break from those things I realized just how much time I spend thinking about what I phonecalled, texted or facebooked. Words are so powerful; what I say to you and what you say to me could potentially change our realities.

I had a friend a few years ago who all of a sudden became a Hare Krishna. When I asked how she was different now that she was a Hare Krishna, she said that since becoming a Hare Krishna, mostly the only thing in her head was Krishna. My Hare Krishna friend was still a productive and helpful member of society, she paid her bills, got to work on time and remembered to call her mom back, but instead of obsessing, worrying or wondering she was just thinking of Krishna, imagining him; he was her ultimate truth.

I got my tarot cards read and was told that Pisces can be obsessive. Obsessive? Me? Don't tell! When I think about what I obsess about, it's usually about words I said or wrote and how whoever I said or wrote them to took them. These days, when I catch myself doing that, I try to instead think of God. "God" doesn't work for everybody which is why my friend chose Krishna, you can choose your breath, which, in a way, is God, because it's how you're alive. You could inhale the thought "Let" and exhale the thought "go," if you're a recovering control freak like me. "Sat" on the inhale and "nam," on the exhale essentially means "truth is my identity," and is a great mantra to connect with the truth that you are and can be. Our voices are great gifts, and they have great power: try to use the voice inside your own head to be kind to yourself and others, focus on what you can change and don't torment yourself about what you can't.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tomorrow's My Birthday

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." -Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

When Doves Cry

A few weeks ago, I was over at my neighbor's house, feeling a little self-conscious. She's always so busy and she tells me a lot about everything she has to do, so I want to get out of her hair, but then she keeps telling me stuff, so I stay. As I was putting on my coat for the second or third time, she asked me if I had seen the doves. I hadn't. She was really excited about them---there had been two doves at dusk the last couple of nights in the pine tree in our backyard.

I saw them for the first time a few nights ago, and every night since and up until a few moments ago, I could hear them cooing. Animal Speak talks about the dove's song as a mourning, "The dove's song is its most distinctive characteristic. Out of its mourning, it invokes new waters of life. Its song should remind us that no matter what our life conditions, new waters and new life are still possible. Although its song is heard throughout the day, it seems more distinct at dawn and at dusk. These are the "Between Times"--a time in which there is a thinning of the veils between the physical and the spiritual, the past and the future. The dove can help you use these times to see the creation process active within your own life. The song of this totem tells you to mourn what has passed, but to awaken to the promise of the future." (Andrews, pg 134)

The word "creative" comes up a lot in my work as a positive feeling for people to feel. When it comes up, I always say to feel "the creative power that created you flowing through you freely." "To mourn what has passed but also awaken to the promise of the future" sounds like a tall order to me. No joke, the doves just showed up again in my backyard tree. They remind me that the trick is actually to just stay present, to whatever it is. Whatever it is, let it flow through you freely.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Unlimited Tomatoes

"There is an inexhaustible supply in the Universe. Begin to be aware of it. Take time to count the stars on a clear evening, or the grains of sand in one handful, the leaves on one branch of a tree, the rain drops on a windowpane, the seeds in one tomato. Each seed is capable of producing a whole vine with unlimited tomatoes on it. Be grateful for what you do have, and you will find it increases." Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Don't Drop Me in the Water

Because I work at Ojo Caliente, I have this really sweet hook-up called "I can soak there whenever I want to for free." The reason I wanted to work there so bad was for the free soaking: I LOVE it there and it costs between $14 and $30 to get in. Because it's a 45 minute drive and I go every Sunday to work, I don't often *feel inspired* to drive out there the 6 other days of the week. When I first started, I would get there as early as I could and soak as much as I could, you know, make up for all of that lost time I wasn't soaking. "This is such a good deal!" I thought, "I should be taking advantage! These waters are so healing!"

Turns out, waking up at the crack of dawn to drive in the desert to submerge myself in water over 100° for as long as I can, before teaching two yoga classes, and then driving back makes me feel tired. So I don't do it anymore. Yep, I rarely ever take advantage of my super sweet soak at Ojo for free deal.

At first I felt bad, but now, I feel good. Not every good thing, no matter how good it is, is the right thing at any given time. What works way better for me is to get there just a *little* bit early to go for a walk by the river and then head to the yurt to meditate. Ojo is a special spot, the geothermal mineral waters there have been flowing from a subterranean volcanic aquifer for thousands of years. Someday, when I don't work there anymore, I'll probably go there regularly and sit in those pools. Right now though, it's more restorative for me to stay the heck out of them.

Friday, March 1, 2013

I Love How the Movement "Up" Comes with the Verb To Wake

"Everything in our lives can wake us up or put us to sleep, and basically it's up to us to let it wake us up." --Pema Chodron