Feeds:
Posts
Comments

My Light Burns For Love

A thought I just had and a thought I must remember.

For love of Self.  Family.  Friends.  Life.  Dreams.  Purpose.  My light burns for them all.  And the stronger they are, the brighter my light becomes.  And hopefully one day, my light will help brighten the world.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.  Let it shine.  Let it shine.  Let it shine.

Namaste.

Hurdle Day

Ever since making the decision to heal a few weeks ago, my life has been filled with so much light, friendship, laughter, and energy.  I’ve felt so fortunate and blessed and have wondered on many occasions, “How did I get so lucky?”   Things I had put off for so long just suddenly seemed to be falling into place.  It’s just been an amazing couple of weeks.  But I have a confession to make, yesterday was the first time since my decision that I’ve really thought about and missed her.  I know my life is exactly where and how it’s supposed to be but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss her.  I miss the person that used to be my best friend.  I miss all the things we used to do and all the time spent together.  I can’t help but wish that person was still in my life.

But alas, she’s not and for the most part I’ve come to accept that.  I’ve made much progress but there are still samaskara’s I’ve yet to burn off.   As I’ve shared before, yoga has been my biggest source of healing and I really don’t know where I’d be without it.  But that being said, it is also my biggest reminder of her and a gift I am thankful for everyday of my life.  Love and heartbreak are tough emotions to feel at the same time.  I still take the scenic route to the yoga studio, not quite strong enough to drive past her house each time.  I am still reminded more often than not that we are running on similar, parallel paths.

And then, the memories… Those are still the hardest.

But I must live in the present, not the past.  To love and appreciate my life.  To laugh, smile, and wish her the best.  There has been a big transition in my life because while I have an inner circle stronger than I’ve ever had before, I do not always see them on a regular, consistent basis.  Weeks and months can go by before I see some of them and I’m not really used to that.  I spend a lot of time alone and on my own.  Thankfully, for the most part, no longer lonely but still alone.  I see the people I once called my close friends going out, having fun, and it does hurt knowing that I am no longer included or invited but I also realize that I am at a much different point in my life now.  My energy no longer vibrates on the same level as theirs.  It still hurts but it is also for the best and the way it’s supposed to be.

So where am I going with this blog post?  I guess it was just something I felt I needed to detox from my thoughts.  My healing process has gone better than I could have imagined but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any hurdles.  Yesterday was definitely a hurdle day.  A hurdle I will no doubt face a few more times along my journey but a hurdle nonetheless.  One lesson I did learn was understanding the circumstances that brought up those feelings and now having a better understanding of correcting (or avoiding) them.  One day when I am in a similar situation, I will have alternatives.  A tough hurdle no doubt but my focus is still firmly planted in the journey not the obstacles.

Yesterday’s hurdle was met with trepidation and uncertainty but the momentum I’ve gained will hopefully have me sailing effortlessly over the next.  And when I do, I will meet it with a smile. 🙂

Namaste.

To The Edge

“Being still and doing nothing are very different things.”

-Jackie Chan, The Karate Kid

One of my yoga teachers shared a great lesson on ahimsa (non-harming/non-violence) a few days ago.  Most people, myself included, think of ahimsa as not doing the things that harm or cause violence.  To bite their tongue instead of saying an unkind word, to unclench their fist rather than fight, to walk away instead of argue, etc.  For many months, my personal struggle in living ahimsa was trying to use time to heal my wounds… to find peace in silence.  In other words, to do nothing (yet expect change).

But my teacher offered a much better view of ahimsa.  Ahimsa IS about action.  It’s about going right to the edge… and stopping.  To the edge of fear, hatred, violence, injustice, etc but rather than engage, to be still.  To go right to the edge and take a stand for what is good, whole, right, etc.  Let me share a story of Gandhi to illustrate my point.  In 1930, the British installed a salt tax in India making it illegal to produce or sell salt (thus creating a British monopoly).  Believing this new law was unjust, Gandhi wrote a letter requesting the British to remove this law.  Seeing no response, Gandhi coordinated a non-violent march in opposition to the British Salt Tax.  Gandhi and his followers even when beaten with clubs by the British, refused to fight back.  Instead, they walked right to the edge and stood still.  In the end, Gandhi achieved his goal as the British rescinded the salt tax.

Another example of practicing ahimsa comes from Mother Teresa.  Mother Teresa would never attend an anti-war rally, rather she preferred peace rallies.  Essentially, the goal was the same: Stop War.  However, the focus is drastically different.  An anti-war rally is still focused on one thing: War.  Sad to say but how many anti-war rallies end in civil disobedience and violence?  The intent is good but the focus is lacking.  But a peace rally is just about that: Peace.  It’s standing right on the edge of war but showing love rather than defiance.  That subtle change can make a world of difference.

So let me ask you a question.  Will you stand on the edge with me? For love?  Peace?  Happiness? Dreams?  Life?

On the ground doing nothing? Or to the edge and being still?

The choice is yours.

Namaste.

Part Time Vegetarian

Food (or more accurately, my eating habits) has been an interesting journey since starting yoga.  For about 6 months, I had no desire to make any changes.  I grew up my whole life eating meat and I think especially in our society, meat is the main course of every meal and all the others dishes are a compliment to it.  A meal without meat was more like a snack.  Ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.

However, as my yogic journey evolved, I became much more conscious of my eating habits which stemmed a desire to eat healthier.  I’ve never been a big advocate of dieting or suppression, instead believing that moderation is key to change.  Especially if you wish to make drastic changes in your life, I believe in taking small steps toward a goal.  In baseball, four singles achieves the same result as a homerun… 1 run.  However, the difference is that in the first example, the bases are loaded and ready to bring in another run.  A homerun puts you back to square one.  So many people only want to hit the homerun.   They only want to be Mighty Casey….. except Mighty Casey struck out.

There is much debate about yoga and vegetarianism.  Do you HAVE to be vegetarian to be a “real” yogi?  And is vegetarian really enough or do you have to be vegan?  And for me, my honest answer is, “I don’t care.”  I’m sorry, I just really don’t.  Aren’t some of the benefits of yoga: Self-realization?  Honoring your Self?  Awareness of breath, body, mind, and spirit?

So why would I try to fit into another’s mold?  Why be similarly them instead of uniquely you?

I know my eating habits and I accept them.   There are foods I’ve naturally begun cutting out of my diet that make me feel lethargic, such as steak, which is very understandable.  However, I still love a burger and fries or slice of pizza from time to time and see no need to cut them out, at least not yet.  I know they aren’t the healthiest things for me to eat but it’s also the comfort food of my upbringing so not an easy habit to break.

However, I think the main point is not giving up the things you enjoy but rather finding new things you enjoy just as much.  For example, I love acai bowls!  There is a health bar across the street from my yoga studio that makes the best acai bowls and is the perfect ending to a yoga class.  A friend also introduced me to a small vegan eatery that opened just a few months ago that is awesome!  Everything I’ve eaten there is delicious and fulfilling.   I’ve also eaten vegetarian meals at restaurants, get together’s, etc that I thoroughly enjoy and no longer leave me “lacking”.  In fact, when I am at a restaurant I usually check for vegetarian dishes and decide if I’m in the mood for a meat or vegetarian meal.   It has become a natural progression that hardly takes any effort at all.

At least for me, that is how I’m going to make healthy, lasting changes in my life.  Will I ever be vegetarian?  Umm, I’m really not sure… But for the time being, I definitely enjoy being one part time.  And for now, I think that’s enough.

Namaste.

Tarot

Sunday I received my first Tarot Card reading and it was quite interesting.  I had only planned to watch but decided to give it a shot since it only takes a few minutes.  Feeling like I am entering a transitional period in my life, I was curious to hear what my reading would be.  The 3 cards above indicate my past, present, and future.  Here was my reading:

Past: The Temperance card says I have been going through a lot of personal changes in my life.  Very introspective and keeping to myself.  A lot of changes in life, some good some bad.  Staying quiet.  Patient.   Trying to find peace.

Present: The Empress is a maternal card.  It is about love, peace, acceptance, etc.  Things in my life are exactly as they should be and I have found peace in that.  I am there for people and very supportive.  Very loyal.  I live my life for myself and just as important, to help others.

Future: The Justice card is about karma.  Just keep doing good and working hard and my time will come.  All the things I want in life are working their way towards me.  I just need to stay patient and keep being the best me I can be.  I will get what I deserve.  Just keep doing what I’m doing and my dreams will come true.

The last thing she shared with me is if you look at the background of my cards, they are filled with bright, light colors.  The background of my past and present cards are water and earth, respectively.  These elements are very grounding, heavy, expansive, nourishing, etc.  Coincidentally, water and earth are also the elements of my dosha, kapha.  If you look at some of the qualities of a balanced kapha, they include: compassionate, patient, forgiving, gentle, emotionally stable, calm, nurturing, romantic, accepting of others, etc.  It was a very good reminder from the cards of who I am/can be when I am grounded and at my best.

Pretty interesting, huh?  As I sat there listening to my friend share my tarot reading, I wish I recorded everything she was saying.  It would have been really interesting to listen to again.  I know I missed a few things she said but it seemed like a pretty accurate reading.  My past was filled with much turmoil and confusion, my present has surrounded me with peace, love and friendship, and if I keep living the life I meant to, my future will be filled with continued happiness and success.  Seems like a formula I’m willing to follow.  It reminds me of a Zen proverb I recently learned, “Before enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water.” (I just realized something… Wood/Water = Earth/Water.  Another interesting note: One translation of my first name means “From the forest”)

Hmmm…. A lot for me to ponder on.  Very interesting… Thanks for letting me share.

Namaste.

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.

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.