Monday, October 1, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
At each moment of each day we have a choice of how we’re going to live, which thoughts we’re going to think and which path we’re going to walk. If we choose to live and think the things that are indoctrinated into us by cultural expectations or limited visions of our self we will walk a path of “just getting by.” If we choose to think elevated thoughts, to see ourselves in the divine web of perfect existence and to work towards serving and helping others we will walk on the path to our highest destiny. When we work with the Ether element we are calling up our ability to live our divinely inspired lives. Ether is lighter than air, it is the element that surrounds and infuses our bodies with the spark of life. When we invoke the qualities of Ether we invoke the spark of all creation in propelling us forward towards our own divinity.
All of this is not to say that there is some perfect image of a yogi or a person that you are striving to be. I remember a time, just after I finished teacher training, when I felt all of this pressure to be a “perfect yogi.” I felt like I was letting myself (or, maybe, God?) down by not getting up before the sun and meditating each day. Like I was missing the point of being a yoga teacher if I didn’t grow my hair or take a cold shower each day. One of the most powerful lessons I learned that helped me turn that self-shaming cycle around was this: You are not here to be the best yogi. You are here to be the best YOU. Everyone’s spiritual path is different, the gifts and limitations you bring to this life are different than anyone else’s. But everyone can develop their gifts and become even more in tune with who they really came here to be. Everyone can make the choices in each moment that bring them away from shame, sadness or contraction and bring them towards destiny, fulfillment and radiance.
I’m not saying it’s easy. Choosing a new way of being, thinking and living can be tough. It requires grit. It requires the tenacity to keep at it even if you’ve failed in the past. It required surrender. And (for me, at least) it requires the grace of God/The Universe/The Infinite. The mantra Wahe Guru taps into that ecstasy of surrendering to and allowing the divine to flow through you and bless you with the grit to walk on your highest path with each and every step.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
We are moving from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. If this is a new idea for you I highly suggest this post by Santokh Singh, which covers the philosophy and basics of the transition. I’ve been hearing people talk about this transition since my first days of practicing Kundalini Yoga. At that time it was still 10 years away…and seemed (to me) to be in the very distant future…it was something I would think about later.
Well, now it’s time to think about it. I’ve been noticing changes in people all along this 10-year journey. People becoming more aware and interested in the practice of yoga and meditation. People beginning to accept that we are all connected in subtle, complicated, beautiful ways. People opening their minds and hearts to a new way of looking at the world.
I personally felt the hugeness of this shift in the last 8 months or so. All of the sudden it was SO clear to me that the way I had been approaching my life for the first 26 years just wasn’t going to work anymore. I knew, in my bones, that everything was going to change and I could bury my head in the sand and be crushed by the wave of change….or I could blow up my inner tube and enjoy the ride.
Part of that ride was to spend the summer in New Mexico. I was working on several different events and living in the Mother Ashram. And my real intention was to practice listening to my inner voice and connecting to others who want to ride this spiritual wave. It was an amazing journey and since I’ve been home people have asked me what I learned and what I experienced there. It’s difficult to encapsulate in words but I’ll try. I feel like the lessons I learned on my personal journey at this time are really applicable to the world’s journey into the Aquarian Age. So here we go…
Nirmal’s Lessons for Riding the Wave of Change:
One- Relax. Everything is going to change. Things may not be the way I think I want them to be. Things might feel uncomfortable for a while. And if I relax about it I can find the hidden jewels and nuggets of goodness and wonder in these times. If I just find a calmness within myself I can bring that with me wherever I go or whatever happens. And in the end when I look back I always realize the new reality is exactly where I always really wanted to be.
Two- A rising tide raises all ships. When I focus on allowing myself to feel happy and content I radiate that out to the people around me. When I learn tools to find that calmness I can share those tools. And then the people around me can be more relaxed and calm. Which makes me feel more relaxed and calm. Which…you get where this is going right? This works not only for calmness, joy, wonder, and peacefulness but also for sadness, negativity and fatalism…so be very mindful of your own state. Be diligent about your own happiness. Everyone will thank you for it.
All of these thoughts remind me of my favorite line from my favorite spiritual poem. And it also pretty much encapsulates how I feel about this huge transition the world is passing through right now. So I’ll leave you with these words from Guru Nanak:
“Those who meditate In the core of their being/ Who earn themselves through their hard work/Nanak, Their faces are radiant and beautiful/ And So Very many who are connected with them/Are liberated, too.”Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Lets take a vote. Is 27 the last year of your mid-twenties or the first year of your late twenties? In general I don’t think (or care) much about the exact age I am. In fact, usually when people ask me I have to take a few moments to think about it before answering. But every year around my birthday (yesterday!) is like an awakening of WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE 27!?!?!?!?
It’s silly. I know. It doesn’t MEAN anything to be 27. Just like it doesn’t MEAN anything to be 10 or 81 or 105. It’s just a chronological statement of how long I’ve been in this body, on this planet. But…still…there are these culturally indoctrinated (totally artificial) expectations for certain ages. Have I accomplished those things I am SUPPOSED to have done by age 27? Am I living up to my own (or our societies, or God’s) expectations of me?
For me the answer is, Yes. I am living my destiny. And while that may not look like our culturally projected life (husband, house, kids) …it is what’s right for this Soul’s journey. I’ve been reading a lot lately about the Saturn Return. This is a huge astrological event that happens when Saturn returns to the exact place of your birth. It officially happens around 29 but the effects start to be felt around (oh no!) 27. I’m no astrologer, but my understanding of this event is something like this.
The Saturn return is like a second adolescence a shedding of traits, characteristic or circumstances that do not truly fit the person you’re meant to be in this life. You’re Saturn Return brings you into alignment with the next phase of your life and your Authentic Destiny. And here’s the key if you fight it/try to hang on to what ‘used to be’ you’re gonna get crushed. If you relax into and embrace the new clearer more authentic version of yourself that’s trying to come through (while it may still be a challenging time) you’re going to be invigorated and enlivened by the transition.
So, here’s hoping I can enjoy the last year of my MID-twenties and ride the wave of the first year of my Saturn Return with Grace.
Friday, July 22, 2011
I’ve had more down time in the past 2 weeks than I’ve had in a long time. It has been fun and novel to make plans to do fun things, to have long lingering lunches, watch movies in the middle of the day and spend time hanging with friends.
I went to Pagosa Hot Spring, a resort town in Southern Colorado, for a few days with my dear friend Sat Jot Kaur. All we did for 3 days was soak in healing waters, hike to beautiful waterfalls and eat yummy food. After working hard, long hours and doing lots of organizing and coordinating for the past 6 weeks it was lovely to just be simple and relaxed for a few days.
Since then I’ve been trying to enjoy my down time and also really enjoy the things to enjoy in Northern New Mexico. I’ve taken naps, went to the Flea Market, spent a day at Ojo Caliente, watched the last Harry Potter movie at midnight (yes!), gone swing dancing, exchanged bodywork, spent a day shopping in Santa Fe…and lots of lounging.
I’ve been pondering the idea of companionship lately. I realize that while I am happy to spend the day solo enjoying a good book and yummy tea at a coffee shop…. And while I have amazing friends who are entertaining, insightful and loving…even with these things I still sometimes experience that nasty feeling of loneliness. I know that the infinite universe/God is with me, loving me and keeping me company in each moment. So, why does my human body/mind still feel the need for more? What is the Universal Longing to Belong really all about? In my intellectual mind I can understand the human desire to feel seen and connected to other human beings. I can understand the inner child still seeking the validation or recognition of its importance…but when that feeling creeps into your gut the harshness of it…the weight of it…still takes my breath away.
The interesting (dare I say, cool) thing now is that I can have this experience without identifying with it. I’m not sure how I can explain it other than it’s like I am both the actor having the experience and feeling those things AND the observer watching the experience without being attached to them or what they mean. And, I know that these “negative” emotions will pass….and “positive” emotions will come…and doubt will come…and joy will come…and sadness will come…and life will come. And life will keep going….and I can keep up…and enjoy the ride. When I remember that I am not the doer….God is the doer….I am the enjoyer.
I’ve been describing this time of my life as a wave of transition…often saying that I don’t know exactly where the wave is bringing me but I know I’ve got to ride it. My job is just to trust that all will be taken care of. My job is just to take each step when it is shown to me and to trust and love along the way. So that what I’ll do.
And today that step is going to see some of the beautiful works of Georgia O’Keefe at her museum in Santa Fe!