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Archive for September, 2010

Healing

Last week, I experienced the most incredibly healing week in my life and the catalyst really was the incident I shared in my previous post. It got me angry, lit a fire in my belly, and that night I made a decision: Do whatever I need to do to heal while staying respectfully silent. (First a clarification: the incident infuriated me so much because that friend was Love) What this meant was I had no intention to badmouth or gossip about the incident but to those who could help me and I could confide in, I would. No holding back, no half-truths, no secrets.. just the truth, no matter how painful or embarrassing. I was going to heal…

And it was amazing. More than I could have imagined.

It started with the great friend from my previous post who shared his battery analogy. And let me tell you, I was reallly scared to contact this person. I hadn’t seen him in nearly a year and at that time, we were feverishly working on a paradigm-shifting, business idea that we thought was exploding with potential. It was my entrepreneurial spirit (one of the biggest passions in my life though it’s usually out of the scope/context of this blog) alive and at it’s creative best. However, the imbalance in my life had finally caught up to me and I let him know I needed some time away to get my life back together. And while I know it was a tough, momentum-killing setback in our business, he wholeheartedly agreed and offered whatever support I needed. That being said, except for a few texts around the holidays, I went MIA for a year. I really couldn’t fault him if he felt a little abandoned or bitter. Knowing I might have to do a little damage control and feeling a lot of trepidation, I contacted him and asked if he had time the next day to meet for a bite to eat. I even tried apologizing for my disappearance but you know what? He didn’t care or need an apology. He basically stuck out his hand and said, “Me and (my family) have missed you. Welcome back.” After a few months of some of the friends closests to me either not caring or taking the pain and struggle I was feeling as personal faults against our friendship, it was so humbling to be welcomed with open arms. This is a guy who knows me better than most, before I had a “story”, that knows me at my absolute best… When my passion is at red line and I want nothing more than to change and set the world on fire. Could there have been a little bitterness and ego there? Definitely but he choose not to. And I appreciate that so much because there is a strength there that a great majority of people don’t understand. A lesson I’m not immune to learning (and relearning over and over again) either. Anyway, like I said in my last post, we had an awesome conversation that really left me feeling inspired and pondering a few new concepts/ideas. One tidbit I will share was the concept that words also hold/store energy. If someone tells you something (or vice versa) that sticks with you whether it be days, weeks, months, or years, every time you think about it, it gives you energy. He then reminded me of things I had shared with him long ago, some of which I didn’t even remember or think was that impactful. In particular, he shared a lesson I told him I learned on listening that completely changed the way he listens now. Wow… talk about humbling. As we continued our conversation, I was sharing a few lessons I had learned recently and when I finished, I could see the wheels turning in his head as he sat there in silence. When he finally spoke up he said, “Dude… you have no idea what you just said. You have NO IDEA how powerful your words are. Your words can change people’s lives. This is YOU at your BEST!” Whoa… now it was my turn to be speechless. But you know what? I think he’s right! And I don’t mean that in an egotistical, selfish kind of way, I just really believe that this is my purpose in life. I want nothing more than to help people live their dreams and be the best they can be. That’s MY dream!

And knowing this is just a tidbit of the conversation we had, can you imagine how synergistically powerful the entire conversation was?? Amazing, just amazing…

A few days later, I had another powerful conversation. This one was with the person who has quickly become one of my closest friends. My best, really. Over dinner, I poured out everything I had been been wanting to share for so long but was holding in. Things that I felt if my friends knew, they’d finally understand my struggle. Having held my silence for so long, there were moments when she’d say, “Just say it. Stop holding it in,” because I had become so used to conditioning my thoughts and words to what was “acceptable”.  And even with all my stumbling, pausing, and stuttering, she patiently listened to everything I needed to say.  When I finally finished, she said the one thing I’ve been waiting to hear for practically a year, “Wow.  Wow.  Just wow! …… NOW I understand.”  You have no idea how much that meant to me.  I no longer felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I just felt… at peace.  I felt, like me again.  This was easily the most important conversation I had the entire week.  I have no idea where I’d be without such an awesome friend!

The rest of the week was filled with many more fulfilling encounters.  One day I stopped to have a nice, relaxing lunch and ended up having a great conversation with a person that was my best friend in high school.  Unfortunately, we had a falling out about 8 years ago and this is really the first time we’ve had a substantial conversation (versus the standard pleasantries the few times I ran into her).   We caught up for a bit and I found out she is now happily married and doing well in her life.  I’m so happy for her and thankful for the amazing friendship and memories we once shared.  I truly wish her the best and look forward to catching up again soon.

Another day I had lunch with a friend I lost contact with about 3 years ago.  He was an unfortunate casualty when my former business partner walked out in the real estate investment I shared in a previous post.  At the time, I felt it best to disassociate myself with this group of people (even though only 1 person was involved) as I was forced to clean up this mess.  Out of the group, this friend was the one I most connected with and could relate to but at the time, I felt it was in my best interest to walk away.  Anyway, we sat down over lunch and caught up on our current lives.  Shared with him a little bit about what’s been going on with me recently and vice versa.  Eventually, he asked about the “falling out” and I was surprised to find out he didn’t know what happened.  He (nor the whole group) knew the extent of what my business partner did and left me to figure out on my own.  It was a very eye-opening conversation… In fact, one that carried over past lunch, to a nearby coffee shop, and nearly into dinner.  Just a really good conversation to reconnect with a great friend.

The week finally ended with another great talk with my best friend.  Honestly, all our conversations are awesome and I really don’t know where I’d be in my yoga practice and life without her friendship and support.  This has been the most incredibly healing week and it was so appropriate to end it in conversation with this dear friend.  I can finally and truly say that I am no longer “doing” healing but “BEING” healing.  I’m finally healing from the inside-out.  No longer lacking or filled with regrets, I feel completely at peace with myself.  I received the greatest gift that healing could ever give… ME!  My light is slowly burning brighter and brighter each day.

I am content.  I am loved.  I am Me.

What more could I ask for? My cup runneth over.  I don’t know how I got so lucky but I am thankful to be so blessed.

Namaste.

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Can I Be… A Battery?

Had an awesome talk with a great, great friend yesterday.  There are few people I feel like I really vibrate on the same frequency with but this friend is definitely one of them.  No matter the time or distance, the energy is always… off the charts.  Breakfast quickly turned into lunch and if not for prior engagements, would have easily turned into evening and dinner.  So many great topics of conversation I’m sure I’ll be contemplating over the next few days.  However, one thing that came up in conversation that I wanted to share today was the concept of energy and a battery.

I’ve blogged a few times about energy, frequency, vibration, etc.  We are all physical beings but we are also electrical beings.  If we didn’t have ______, how long would we survive?

Food… A few weeks.

Water… A few days.

Oxygen… A few minutes.

Electricity… We don’t.

Need proof? If your heart stops, how would they revive you? *rubs paddles together* CLEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Now we may not have enough current running through our body to power a light bulb but the little minute electrical pulses continuously surging throughout our body is what keeps us functioning, breathing… Alive.

We ARE energetic beings and that means everything within us vibrates at it’s own frequency.  Our body, organs, brain, thoughts, mood, personality, etc.  Of particular interest to me lately has been our mental/emotional energetic frequencies.  I think most people can relate that when we feel balanced (ie. energized), we are happy, motivated, inspired, loving, friendly, caring, etc.  However, when we are unbalanced (ie. energy deficient), we can be lazy, depressed, cynical, moody, hurtful, angry, etc.

I had an incident the other day that illustrates this example perfectly.  I was at the yoga studio and had just taken 2 back-to-back yoga classes and was feeling so calm, happy, peaceful, balanced, etc.  As class ended and I was putting away my mat, the students for the next class starting filing in and in walked a dear friend to me.  I care for this friend very much but we’ve been going through a bit of a rocky path recently.  Very cordial and respectful but not much recently in terms of substantial conversation.  However, we’ve been doing much better and things seem to be settling back into place.  And so she walked in, right past me, and said hi to the teacher.

“Ok, lights are dimmed, it’s dark, and she probably just didn’t see me. I’ll give her the benefit-of-the-doubt and go say hi to her.”

She then stood right next to me and started setting up her mat right next to where I was cleaning my stuff up so I turned towards her, tapped her on the shoulder, and said hi…

Nothing.

No acknowledgment at all.  Did I just get shunned?!? And IN the yoga studio, no less..?  I was caught so completely off-guard that all my energy dissipated in an instant.  Just 5 minutes after 2 1/2 hours of yoga, quieting the mind, and harnessing prana were gone.  I was so angry… so hurt.  A fellow yogi was trying to have a conversation with me after class but I regret to say that I was barely listening.  My mind was off in it’s own little world.  Sad to say, my bad attitude stayed with me throughout the rest of the night.

Now I share that story only to say this… I had a choice.  I let just a few seconds of pain/anger dissipate 2 1/2 hours of peace/happiness.  So much good, useful, potential energy gone in an instant.  This brings me back to the conversation I had with my friend yesterday.  He shared an interesting concept: Energetically, can we be like batteries?  Can we take our energy and store it till it can serve a useful, noble purpose?  Can we supply a steady stream of energy rather than using (or losing) it all at once?  In other words, can we regulate our energy output?  And last but not least, can we be aware when our energy is running low and take the necessary steps to recharge?

With so much energy available to us (accumulated and/or from within), doesn’t it make sense to harness it so we can use it properly?   Can I learn how to utilize my energy for good instead of wasted foolishly?  Can I learn to be… a battery?  Yes, I think I can.  In fact, I KNOW I can!

Can you?

Namaste.

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Burn Baby Burn

Because of a schedule change, I haven’t been able to take my usual Saturday morning class for the last few weeks.  Knowing I would be able to make it today, I was looking forward to it all week.  That being said, I found myself procrastinating all morning debating if I should go or just skip.  But I knew I was just being lazy so I got out of bed and went to class.  The drive there was filled with a lot of chitta (mind stuff).  Many thoughts and memories filled my mind.  I arrived at class to find a substitute teacher and as much as I enjoy this teacher, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed.  As I sat on my mat preparing for class, I still felt much chitta.  But rather than look at this in a negative light, I made a decision to use this challenge as an opportunity to generate tapas (fire) in class to burn unneeded samaskaras (past impressions, “scars”).   This was going to be a good class…

Well let me just say that these particular samaskaras didn’t really appreciate my decision.  In fact, they fought me tooth and nail continuously throughout my practice.  In every vinyasa, every asana pose these samaskaras were fighting for their life.  I definitely underestimated their power as this was one of the toughest classes I’ve had in awhile… And that’s BEFORE taking the asana practice into account (and it was a challenging one for sure!).  Even savasana was tough.  I tried keeping my attention on my breath but my mind kept wandering.  I fidgeted and fidgeted, moving my arms and legs around, trying to get comfortable and when I FINALLY felt my body settle, savasana was done.

So did I succeed in burning off my samaskaras?  Maybe not but that’s ok.  There’s a word in sanskrit called adhikara which means “to progress”.  Yoga Sutra 1.2 is “Yogas chitta vritti nirodhah” (To block the patterns of consciousness is yoga).   The point I believe Patanjali is trying to make is that yoga can help stop the fluctuations of the mind (chitta) so that we can be fully present in our lives.

Am I there yet? No.

But it’s ok, it’s fine.  Today I brought some tapas into my life and one day I will eventually burn off this samaskara.  I’m another step closer and that’s really all I can ask for.  So maybe not quite “Burn baby burn,” but nothing wrong with achieving a little adhikara. 😉

Namaste.

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Vulnerability

Over the past week, I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling a little down and struggling a bit in life. Nothing had changed so why was I feeling the way I was? And then I figured it out: backbends. In class all week we have been focused on backbends: standing backbends, cobra, upward-facing dog, bow, upward bow, camel, bridge, Warrior 1, crescent moon, dropbacks, etc. We were working all week on refining our backbends.

So why did that affect my emotions? Backbends are about vulnerability and facing the unknown. In a society always looking and striving to go forward, backbends have become a lost art. Backbends expose the most vulnerable areas of your body (chest, throat, pelvis, etc) and requires you to put your trust into something you can’t see. It’s scary, confusing, frustrating… Everything I’ve been feeling all week. It’s so amazing how much we emotionally hold in our physical bodies. Although it’s felt like a tough week, I’m glad I was able to cleanse my body from emotions I was obviously holding in. Progress in motion. Haba na haba hujaza kibaba.

Namaste.

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Right Here Waiting

Wow.

I just finished a powerful asana practice and it was… Wow.

Life has been good to me recently and I’m really starting to feel like I’m on the right track again.  My days are filled with more and more purpose and I really feel like i’m atoning and making amends for my mistakes.  My heart is opening more each day and my mind is enjoying more peace.  I am once again BEING the person I’m meant to be.  I feel like my life has meaning and purpose again.  However, there is still one mistake, one loss, that I may never atone for.  One blip on the radar of my life that I will probably never get another chance at.  But I do not say this in sorrow.  Rather, I say it in acceptance.  I say it in peace.  And most importantly, I say it in love.  And while this is a moment in time I will never get back, it is no longer holding me back.  I am moving forward.

Which brings me back to today’s practice…

I usually use YouTube to find new, interesting music to play during my practice.  It is usually an mantra, instrumental, or something similar to help put me in a yoga “state of mind”.  I often turn off the lights as well to minimize the distractions.  As I was clicking through links, Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting” started playing.   While it wasn’t the type of song I was looking for, it immediately called out to me.  And so trusting my gut, I started the song and began practicing Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).

And let me tell you… I felt so connected.  Every movement, every breath, every lyric were so perfectly intertwined with each other, it felt effortless.  Everything I had been feeling (written above) poured onto my mat with every move I made.  I was so in sync and in the present moment, I couldn’t help but smile as I finished.  It was everything I needed to say but words couldn’t express.

“Wherever you go,

Whatever you do,

I will be right here waiting for you.” 

But “Here” is no longer the past.  Here is the present moment.  Here I may wait, but here I’m also moving forward. 

Here, I am.

Namaste.

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Passion

In Life.  In Love.  In Dreams.  In Happiness.  In Goals.

That’s what’s been missing.  Ok maybe not missing but definitely lacking.

What am I talking about, right?  A thought on my mind recently was, “What’s missing from my life?”  For a few days, I didn’t have an answer.  Well I had answers just not one I felt truly fit.  Then the answer finally came to me… Passion! Now THAT’s something I can always use more of.

To love something/someone with every fiber of your being.  To rival the morning sunrise with the light of your smile.  To set the world on fire.  To greet life with neverending bliss.

Yes, that’s the passion I’m striving for.  One day when I am gone, I hope my friends and family remember my light and the love and passion I want to exude every single day of my life.

Lao-Tzu once said, “A journey of  a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Consider this realization as the first step.

Peace be the journey.  Passion be the light.  Love be the way.

Namaste.

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Cool Runnings

I remember this being one of my favorite movies growing up. “Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time! COOL RUNNINGS!!!” It was just a fun movie to watch. 🙂

For some reason, this movie popped into my head the other day so I took a minute to google some quotes and I found one that I didn’t even remember.  Cool Runnings means, “Peace Be The Journey”. 

Love it!

This leads me to something I’ve been thinking about recently.  My middle name has many meanings and I’m sure it was given to me because it means “first son”, which I am.  However, it also has another meaning that I have been especially drawn to since embarking on my yogic journey:

Man of Peace.

Reading my blog, it should come as no surprise that I’ve struggled with many inner battles and demons recently.  But through forgiveness, ahimsa, and staying present, I have begun finding acceptance and peace.

I have worked very hard on not only keeping my peace but spreading peace to others also.  The best way to take your attention off yourself is to focus on others instead.  In the words of Zig Ziglar, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

And the thing I want most in life right now is Peace.  For the world, for you, and for me.

I am a Man of Peace and with all the love and kindness in my heart, I wish to say to you, Cool Runnings.

May Peace Be Your Journey.

Namaste.

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