in your mind.
For just beyond
the walls of your answers
and wonder of life
the limited truth of
the sky at dusk
to an unfathomable
sea of stars.
in your mind.
For just beyond
the walls of your answers
and wonder of life
the limited truth of
the sky at dusk
to an unfathomable
sea of stars.
The moments are ripe
and life is
to step into a mystery that before
you have dared not go.
now on the brink of 1000 sorrows again,
Rest back into the arms of the infinite and
dare to go.
Game Changer Tip for Today: One thing you can do begin to align with the powerful, natural rhythm of life is to turn your glowing screens off by 8:00pm or so and be in bed and ready for sleep before 10:00pm. Sleep tight!
Universal Rhythm, Are You Aligned with the Patterns of Life?
Anxiety and depression, which are two sides of the same coin, are on the rise. By-in-large our society today is distracted, distressed, and depleted. Our constant search for more, more, more never enough has us feeling overwhelmed, under supported and unworthy. So many of the habits of our lives and the patterns of our living have us stuck in a state of contraction and dis-ease. AND, this is not the end of the story, this is not what we are stuck with, there is another way.
Have you ever noticed the amazingly graceful and majestically authentic qualities of the natural world? How the day dawns slowly, no rush in the turning of the earth that gently tucks the stars away, and allows the sun to leisurely stretch itself above the horizon giving anticipatory rise to the mystery of a new day. Have you ever noticed how the water patiently, yet powerfully, rains, seeps, mixes and carves a multitude of magnificent landscapes with the earth? How the fish swim in those rivers whose banks are sometimes wide and soft, sometimes narrow and harsh? The cheetahs and gazelles walk through the heat of their lives deeply quenched by these desert oases? The birds flock to take refuge in the arms of the lake and feast on the menu of greens, insects, fish, and... The biting wind, and long-dark nights drive life into hibernation within the silence of snow for a time? The wolves drink from the high mountain springs, which fall sharply as waterfalls, or slowly as streams, watering their brushy banks and carving the beautiful canyons in which we play? The oceans hold the tides of life and mold the earth like clay into the living masterpiece upon which we walk, of which we are a unique and essential part?
Have you ever noticed the way in which we, as humans, are living out of alignment with the universal rhythm of life? How we are spending more and more time inside of our houses, our cars, our offices, our shoes, our devices, our heads, our online realities, etc… How anxiety, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, cancer, loneliness, diabetes, and a whole host of diseases are on the rise? How a majority of people are living with a sense of lack and unworthiness? How we often feel the overwhelming need to do, fix, change and prove and so we feed the frenzy in a variety of ways? How even our yoga practice can perpetuate this cycle and fuel this fire? How we all have the capacity at any given moment to simply stop? To get close to the earth and look up at the clouds. To look in, to look up, to look out and to remember that we are a piece and a part of the great pattern of life, folding and unfolding as it has done for billions of years.
When we have the great opportunity to bare witness to the wild order and absolute interconnectedness of the natural world, we are awed into a state of humility. From here we can see more clearly the universal rhythm of life and begin to understand the innate wisdom of that pulse. We recognize and release our hubris notion that we can (or need to) perfect the pattern of life. Instead, we are invited to:
Empowering Yourself Through the Art and Science of Ayurveda
From the wisdom that lies within the natural, universal rhythm of life itself, Ayurveda was born. Often dubbed the sister science of yoga, this ancient tradition seeks to help us understand and align with the elemental patterns of life so that we live in a state of optimal health and wellness – body, mind, heart and soul. In this science, which is used in many eastern medical modalities, we use the innate qualities of the foundational elements of life: earth, water, fire, air and ether.
These 5 elements, which are considered to be the building blocks of everything that is in existence, mix to make up the 3 Doshas, the bio-rhythms that govern the flow of life. The 3 Doshas are:
Kapha: Consisting of earth and water, whose properties are stable, slow, steady, enduring, cool, heavy and moist.
Pitta: Consisting of water and fire, whose properties are motivating, focused, digestive, sharp, hot and oily.
Vata: Consisting of air and ether, whose properties are movement, creative and imaginative, uncontained, dispersive, cold, light and dry.
It is important to note that though we differentiate for deeper understanding of the building blocks and bio-rhythms of life, these all interplay with each other and are woven together on a continuum that create the diversity of life. For example, a tree has more Kapha than a butterfly, which has more Vata or a cheetah, which has more Pitta. But all of these expressions of life have a bit of the other elements and doshas within them.
Just like the natural world, everyone has a unique make-up of the elements and different amounts of each dosha. Here is a link to a good “quiz” that can point you in a more clear direction of your own unique expression. http://www.eattasteheal.com/ETH_dosha.htm To get a more accurate assessment of your make-up of the doshas, it is recommended that you see and Ayurvedic Doctor or Specialist.
Upcoming Posts for Empowering Yourself:
My heart is broken by the divide we face in this country. By the way we have stopped listening to our hearts and to each other. By the way we perpetuate the us/them paradigm and pollute the waters of this great divide with anger and fear. By the way that we have stopped trying to truly understand the views and the needs of ourselves and our neighbors. By the way the living proof our actions falls so painfully short of our heart-felt intentions. By the way, through blame, that we shed the last shreds of personal responsibility for the state of our country, the earth, this world and this great divide. My heart is broken by what we, as a collective, have all created.
And there is an unbroken place in my heart that refuses to hate, that will not lose hope in myself and ALL others. A place in my heart that will never be sucked into: “I’m right, You’re wrong, I’m good, You’re bad”, because that’s a divide where hate wins every time, and hate does not win in my heart today.
Today is a day to compassionately acknowledge where and how we stand, with true presence, courageous accountability and radical acceptance. From here we can begin again, all of us together to forge another way. Today with my whole and broken heart, I am rolling up my sleeves and digging in to do the hard and daunting work that needs to be done to begin building bridges. Bridges that are built with the trestles of unconditional love, the enduring strength of which can hold it all. Bridges that are paved with the actions of that love for myself, the earth and all others. Bridges painted with personal responsibility for the power my spirit carries in this body, mind, heart and life. Bridges that span the gap between sides, welcoming all to cross and connect with compassionate listening, true understanding and new way through this life together.
Today I am stepping outside of the paradigm of us/them, right/wrong, good/bad and humbly taking heart to build these bridges (big and small), and I need your help. But I have to tell you, the work will be very hard, and likely met with great resistance (perhaps aggression) from the current state of anger and fear. The work may be lonely, uncertain and frightening at times. But I know in my heart that it will be worth it, because I have a contract with my soul in this life to ALWAYS stand for love.
The length of my time is unknown.
So I live with my heart
on the outside.
receiving awkward glances
and the nervous ridicule
that comes when stepping
the social norm.
But I have taken the shackles off.
by the cold limits of uniformity,
I am free
to shout across the crowded streets;
“I love you”
in a way that is so
I am liberated to embrace the angry mob
with these wonderful mother’s arms of mine,
and a soft voice that whispers;
“Please let me understand the nature of your suffering.”
Excused to approach
the man begging for change,
not just with money,
but with the fullness of presence
because I want to know his name,
to carry it in my heart with me
Acquitted from acceptance,
I sing loudly with the children
and skip through the streets,
and wail giant,
when sadness overcomes.
The plague of perfection has long since
given up on me.
that allows me
to fall in love
Unchained by the irons of comfort,
I walk through my days
praying to myself,
through my fear,
my joy and my pain;
“Be brave, my darling.
Be daring, sunshine.
Live with your heart on the outside.
And when you are lost, confused,
bare and broken,
love big, sweetheart,
Just this past weekend, in an effort to feed my soul and watch the Persied Meteor Shower, I landed high in the Eastern Sierras. It was night. I was out in the mountains, under the stars, in the silence, by myself and the view got so big that my mind shorted out, my heart grew wide and my vision became clear.
We can all get so enraptured by the busy-ness of our lives, that our world becomes ever-more delicate and small. The entire universe contracted down to a tiny screen. a revolving inbox, the never-ending to-do list and the errands of day-to-day life. A world squeezed into the confines of the demands of a job, a partner, a child, a friend, a hard conversation, a tough situation, an opportunity made or missed. The expanse of a moment hijacked by a pain in the body, a heaviness of heart, a doubt, a fear, an anger, a sadness, a judgement, a joy or a challenge, a love or a loss.
In so many ordinary moments, the amplitude of the infinite fails to capture our awe and humility and the whole cosmos is reduced to me, my, mine, more, more, more and never enough. And we become a sea of stress, overwhelmed, under-supported, needing to fix it, prove it, force it or judge it, so that we can build up the semblance of a worthy life.
Then by some unspeakable grace, we either place or find ourselves out under the expanse of stars, held high in the wonder of the mountains, carried on the tides of the oceans, silenced by the simplicity and stillness, or somehow awed into the fullness of a moment and our view grows bigger than our brains can grasp. We are rendered speechless, thoughtless, motionless, humbled.
A deep wisdom rises from within and all around, blowing apart our limited notions of time and place. And we sense the ancient thread of experience that has culminated into the expanse of this moment. An instant so vast, that the starlight from 100 years ago shines out to reach it. One point in time that will be inherited by all of the hours still yet to come. A split second that holds the stories of all who are living and dying, and the echoes of all that have gone before. A drop of space that holds the hills, the oceans, the mountains, the plains and the deserts. One tick on the clock that holds the day, the night, the full-spectrum of seasons, the blanket of blue sky and storms that gives way to the infinite expanse of stars, the universe and all of eternity. This present moment holds all of this and the limitless potential for all of the come what mays that are on their way.
This magnitude is incomprehensible, yet somehow we know that we can allow this bigness to hold all of our stories of contraction, of smallness, of separation. We can let this vastness hold our doubts, love our fears, distill our stresses and carry us through. And when we catch a glimpse of this expanded view, we are invited to trust in the ever-unfolding of all things. There is an enduring sacredness in the unfolding of joy and challenge, of living and dying, of goodness and hardness, of rightness and wrongness, of my path and yours. All an essential contribution to the intricate evolution of all things.
From high on the mountain, deep within the ocean or under the stars in the nighttime sky, we can sense how it’s all connected, enfolding and unfolding in an order or chaos that our minds cannot understand. Impermanence seems the only sliver of comprehensible truth. And yet, enmeshed in the silence of the monumental landscape of now, we feel how we are not in control, yet also not separate, and our humble power returns.
So if your life is full, busy, stressful, or going way too fast and/or your world, in any way, seems small. Turn off your phone, your computer, your tv, your personal story. Go out tonight, lay on the grass, be held in the arms of the earth and look up. Allow yourself to be awed by the great universal show. Let the bigness of life hold all of your sorrows as you rest in a blanket of grace.
it takes a radical courage
to move to the edge
The edge - that place,
you to evolve your way of being,
your way of thinking,
It is easy to peer
at the edge
and shrink back.
It is easy to rush
to the edge
and crash through,
to shame, to blame, to reinforce
that primal need to be right.
To bypass evolution all together.
what would happen,
if you dared
to sidle up to the edge
To spread yourself out,
to scatter your usual thoughts,
to thaw into it,
it to melt into you?
Would a potential for understanding
a different connection
to your life,
to the others,
showing the pathway
to another way
on this earth,
all of us,
in this life
in the pursuit
Unexpectedly a moment appeared. A moment unplanned, unscheduled, untouched by expectation. A moment to simply be in the mystery. A moment that has forever changed me. It was in this moment that I saw how full my life had become. Full with details, dates, plans and goals. Personal will, achievements and schedules. Work, play, family and friendships. Phone calls, emails and facebook. Endless errands and running from here to there in a frantic rush for more, more, more and never enough.
And then it happened, this sacred pause. Plans fell through, and before my mind could twist itself around plan B, the eternal gap opened up. And in that instant it was revealed, how little space I had for unstructured play within the flow of life. How little room there was for magic; for an open, loving presence to the inevitable, uncontrollable unfolding of things. How cramped the space for trust had become, and how that had suffocated the strength of my spirit to thrive in this life. And in that moment I was deeply and truly tired.
How did this happen? I thought I had made space for it all! Couldn’t I manhandle my life so that I could meet all of my societal responsibilities, and create a sense of worthiness through all of my accomplishments? For heaven sake, I made plenty of room to be rejuvenated by the mystery of life. It was scheduled from 5-7am during my regimented yoga/meditation practice, and on my “busting-at-the-seems” with planned adventure vacations.
I realized, that living within an incomprehensibly large and powerful universe, I had forgotten the law of allowing and hubrisly thought I could single handedly make my days, my nights and live the wholehearted life of love that each and every one of us is meant.
But, as within any dictatorship, I stifled the magic of life, stunted the unimaginable, extinguished the extraordinary from my vision and silenced the mystifying awe of abundance. I noticed that I had stepped out of the great universal river and was living a little smaller than I was meant.
But in that moment, the art of allowing came rushing back to me. Trust was the only word. I was empty, open and excited for the raw potentiality of the great unknown. I dove back in to the current of life and allowed myself to be carried, it’s been a scary and wild and wonderful ride, and an absolutely tremendous gift. And I find myself now in a place in my life that is far beyond what I could ever have even dreamed possible.
So now, I do my best, and instead of making room for all of the things that I think, that I know, that I absolutely must do to succeed. I allow my precious mind to take rest upon the wings of my heart and I leave space for life to simply flow through me. Space for magic, mystery and music. Space to surrender and to be surprised. Space to say yes. Space to say no. Space to see something new. Space to explore the ordinary as an undiscovered treasure. Space for my daughter to take 15 minutes, or more, to tie her shoe. Space to go wherever the winds of the world want to take or to leave me. Space to sit with my sweetheart. Space for silence. Space to chat with a stranger. Space to help out a friend. Space to ask for support. Space for stillness. Space to understand all of the other ways of going about life. Space to be of service in what ever way the moment may call. Space to pet my doggies and kitty. Space for the impossibility of imperfection. Space to daydream. Space to snuggle. Space for blessings. Space to be awed, enchanted, uplifted and brokenhearted. Space to simply "be" as the world folds and unfolds within and all around me, leading me in the eternal dance of life. Space to????????
Definition of Retreat: from Old French retret, past participle of retrere. Meaning "to fall back from battle" is mid-15c.
Retreat by Meg McCraken
and lay the battle down.
Drop your riffles
and the razor blades of righteousness
that only serve to cut your own tongue,
blind your own vision and
dismember your own precious heart.
This ammunition of anger
strangles the light from your eyes
and steals the dreams of your unbridled spirit.
Why do you take up these weapons?
The weapons of swords and words,
of doubts and fears,
of guns and ghosts used
to shoot and shout
with all your might
at those who might
shatter the veil of your illusory worth.
Fall back from the wars you wage on yourself.
Lay down the burdens of blame
that shame you to shrink
The bully of perfection
is a beast of your imagination,
a fiend of forgetting,
a demon of disconnection,
a creature who is lost and crying,
longing for love.
And if you have the courage enough
to love that beast
it might just become the best of you.
Bless your heart.
Bless it now.
Your body is beautiful,
your mind is powerful,
your soul is divine,
your life is right on track,
so please just stop the struggle
and bless your blazing heart.
Now be brave,
bless all of the hearts.
The hearts of the 7 billion angels
that walk on this earth.
Those that love and those that hurt.
Those that remember and those that forget.
Don’t you know, that at the heart of the matter
we are all just doing the best that we can,
the best that he can,
the best that she can,
the best that I can
doing the that best you can?
As you leave the battleground
of your frantic living and forgetting,
draped in the blessings of love
recognize that resilient spark
that has always known
that you are made
by and with:
The grace of God,
The power of the Universe,
The wisdom of Mother Nature,
The miracle of Science,
The mystery of the Great Unknown….
and lay the battle down.
Retreat into the arms of this precious moment
with its full range of offerings and receive.
Rest within the expanse of your truth,
and let me remind you
just how loved
Here I sit watching snow fall, winter come and hearts close.
The radio broadcasts all of the angry, justified voices
that rise from every angle, every angle but one,
and I am tempted too.
But something in me refuses to harden to the ways of the world,
And defies the confines of taking sides.
Something in me simply will not petrify into a being of hate,
just like the snow spurns the prison of the thickening, darkening, eminent clouds,
and falls to the ground, delicate and white.
And so I soften, widen and remain
dangerously, perilously open to another way.
This unfamiliar territory is frightening and lonely,
silent and sacred,
like the frigid snow now collecting on the lawn,
growing bigger, colder and infinitely more beautiful.
In the chill of the quiet,
As I sit by myself,
watching, waiting for answers to come from another place.
no one and nothing
can ever turn me away from the sanctity of unshakable grace
that is the very nature of my unbridled spirit.
Just like the snow, no matter what, is always white,
and cold and falling to the ground.
And I wonder,
who else will get quiet and hear?
Who else will forsake the perpetuation of hate,
and dare to accept that most courageous invitation
of unconditional love?
Who else will come to understand,
that when we stand together on sacred ground,
the magnificent snow will continue to fall,
but we all stay warm when we hold each other up,
and walk each other home.
Lover of life, yogini, trail runner, climber, snow boarder, mommy, writer and loyal friend. Sometimes together, sometimes falling apart, but always inspired and empowered by love!