Shaminic Yoga

This past weekend I attended a day-long workshop about Shamanism and yoga.  The morning yoga routine was wonderful, and basic yoga poses were given different names.  Instead of anjaneyasana (low lunge) it was called “Earth shaman,” and utthita ashwa sanchalanasana (high lunge) was “Sky shaman,” and adho mukha svanasana (down dog) was “coyote.”  I have no idea if the ladies who did the workshop came up with those names or if it is a consistent thing in the yoga community that connects Shamanism to yoga.  But it was pretty amazing.

We had Shamanic journeys, aka meditations.  During the first journey, I realized that Harley, one of my dogs, is an Earth guide for me.  The story gets much more intricate and interesting but I’m not sure I feel like sharing it right now.  Maybe in a future post.

It was an incredibly healing and transformational day, and I definitely want to learn more.  Here is one picture from the day: the altar all of us there designed together at the start of the workshop.  I have been so lucky to meet my tribe through this personal transformational time, and during such a tumultuous time in politics.  I am part of the love revolution.

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A Profound Healing Engagement

Each time I’m faced with difficulty or the same old stuck emotions that I’ve tried to ascend from, I start to think I’ll never make it through.  I start to doubt myself and my progress, and I might become apathetic. Or I might become fervently outraged at the spiritual awakening process. Become frustrated with the “thing” that’s supposed to improve my understanding of what the hell we are doing here.  Becuase when I feel stuck in the same old bullshit, I just end up confusing myself. During these times I want to turn my back to the process, the path, this journey.  But truth is, once you get a glimpse of this perspective you can never go back.  And each time I go through a phase like that, I come out clearer. I learn more in my journey, which I started to doubt could even happen.  And this is the process of ego death, of stepping into myself as a spiritual adult.  This is the ebb and flow of a profound healing engagement.  I have made a vow in a sense, to follow this through to the end, to not turn back and attempt to shut off all lines to higher consciousness.  Every time this resistance and fight occurs, I emerge even more loving and bright. I know myself even deeper and understand others even more. The Universe and this life start to make sense, and I surrender my false sense of control. I relinquish my frustrations and anger and resentments to bring forth as much positive energy as I can soak in.  

I emerge an even more beautiful and pure version of myself. 

Honor the Process of Spiritual Growth

Don’t wait for things to change.  The change you’re waiting for will come from within you. Start to nurture yourself through each stage of your evolution, your spiritual growth.

Waiting for things to change is a tiresome, irritating process. But embracing your own emotions and growth is exciting. It can become a positive challenge that turns life into a vital, interactive process.  The moment we surrender to this process, something happens. If we feel an emotion – an old, stuck, hardened chunk of emotion or a new one that has arisen along the path, we can release it and the belief attached to it: I am unlovable. Life has to be hard. I deserve to be punished.

When we release the emotion and the belief, our body shifts. It detoxifies. Changes. A new lesson then emerges.  We discover we can choose joy, freedom, forgiveness. The lessons that can emerge are as unique as our old beliefs. We wrestle with each new lesson as it grows and appears in many different forms – on the job, in love relationships, in all the arenas of our lives.

Soon we come to a new conclusion about ourselves, about life.  I am lovable. I am creatively feeling what God and the Universe have to offer me.  I am free.  I can bring my full essence and energy before the world. Then when we change, when our beliefs change, our lives change. The change we’ve been waiting for happens, but it happens as a result of our own evolutionary process – not because we waited for something or someone in our lives outside ourselves to change.

Trust this process of change. Honor it, respect it, revere it. You no longer have to wait for something to happen.  Something is happening right now, within you. Welcome the changes that can be yours.  Let life help you, as you take an active part in creating these changes. Let the process become living, interactive, and magical. 

-Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul

by Melody Beattie

Transformational Weekend – Personal Update

“Ego – the imaginary identity of an overstimulated nervous system.  The spiritual cocoon one lives in until their consciousness is ready to wake up. One thinks they are who they are not realizing they’ve lived their whole life in a cocoon. And then as you wake up you look back and you go, ‘Oh my God look at the crazy stuff I did. I’m so sorry. I did not know I was in a cocoon.’ So what are the two aspects of ego because the way it is designed is that these two aspects of ego erode to make room for the emerging consciousness, but in order for them to erode they often clash together and they both dissolve one another.  The two aspects of ego that are destined to collide and dissolve each other so consciousness can emerge, one is the passive aspect and one the aggressive aspect.” – Matt Kahn.

This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the first full days of my yoga teacher training, and the first time I have felt inner peace in months.

My pattern of living in the past has been one of struggle and anger and resentment and frustration and anxiety and loss and grief and confusion. This is me in my unconscious state.  I am slowly waking up to a more mindful, conscious self, but this takes time and an ever-increasing awareness.  Sometimes during this process, I hit a wall.  Something that is taught from this spiritual, higher consciousness space makes no sense to me.  And sometimes applying what I’ve learned is difficult to apply to everyday life or specific, difficult situations that come up. During these times I question what I am learning. I revert back to my lower vibrational patterns of feeling stuck, frustrated, and asking myself “what is the point?!” It is not that you learn and walk the path of transformation, and you are constantly at peace with no bad things happening to you.  It is that you see things from a much deeper perspective that helps you to see the beauty in life, the learning opportunities you are presented with, and to not become so emotionally charged.  Sometimes when I struggle myself with these concepts, I get in a dark place that feels like home. An abusive home that I do not want any part of but it can overtake my senses.  For the last few months, that is the home I resided in and it was harder to see the purpose of my life. It’s like a darkness invades my mind, thoughts, emotions, and actions and at any time I try to change my perspective, my mind comes up with a million reasons why the positive path is not attainable. During the last few months, I have continued to take care of myself in attempts to raise my vibration to return to a more positive, happy, peaceful, and loving version of myself but I was struggling.  The first weekend of yoga teacher training brought me out of that, and I can now see again the purpose of my life and the deep emotional and spiritual work that I am going through.

Connecting to my true self (we all have this inside ourselves) is what helped me the most.  Just trusting, surrendering and knowing that things are where they are meant to be and will go where they need to be.  It may not always be what we want (which is where I start to revert back to my lower vibrational self and patterns) but things do happen for a reason. What I can do in these times is connect to my true self, live from my divine light as much as possible, keep immersing myself in this lifestyle, and be open to what presents itself in my life. It isn’t always easy to connect to that perspective if I am disappointed in something but as I keep bringing forth my true, divine self, the quicker it will happen.

Where I see myself really making progress, and what I need to remember, is that when I do fall into the lower vibrational space I am not there as long as I used to be.  That is where I lived day in and day out, but now I see myself staying there less and less.  The tools that I’ve learned in this awakening journey have helped me not stay there as long, and in some cases, not get in so deep. I’m assuming if I keep developing my awareness and changing my perspectives over time I will be able to even less and less find myself in a lower vibration. In the meantime I will try to accept my personal journey, not force it in any aspect, and acknowledge the growth that has happened.

Connecting the points I’ve made just now to the quote at the top of this blog post, you’ll see that if you follow the quote’s logic, my ego is clashing against itself to allow higher consciousness to come through.  Of course, the death of an ego, the eroding and collision of ego, cannot be an easy time.  It is going to be a time of questioning and frustration and confusion and it is going to be hard.  Eventually, I will be able to allow higher consciousness to truly change me for good.  I just need to keep moving forward.

Our first yoga teacher training day was Friday, January 21st, which was also the day America’s new President was inaugurated.  As some of you may know, I am not a personal fan of the new President (SEE HERE) so I had recently attempted to ignore all information about him and his transition into the White House.  I needed to unplug from that process for a little while.  To say I was elated and blessed to be surrounded by like-minded people practicing yoga and meditating all day on this unfortunate day for America is an understatement.  I was SO blessed to move through such a difficult time with such grace, love, and compassion all around me. It was no coincidence that such positive energy was being created in that yoga studio to send out into the World right now when the need is so great.

The next day of our training there was a rally right across the street from the studio at the Capital building.  I had never been to a protest/rally before and wanted to go to the Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C. but could not because of yoga teacher training.  However, the city I live in developed their own, and boy was that incredible energy radiating from that place! During lunch, we went over and there were signs and people talking and people speaking and people all coming together for one cause – equality, love, kindness, and progression.

During those two days, my heart felt at home with the people in my class, and the people rallying.  I thought to myself “Yes, these are the people of my tribe.  This is where I belong.” I very rarely say that to myself but I felt it deeply, and it brought me to tears.  We must not stand by idly and watch hate push through our lives.

There is a wonderful YouTube video by Matt Kahn, describing how we can develop our individual higher consciousness to help impact the collective consciousness, mostly through tapping into our divine feminine.  You can watch it HERE.  At one part he talks about how the Obama administration represented hope, but people did not follow through on their part of bringing hope back into the World.  Instead of developing hope within ourselves, coming together and doing our part, we put hope in external things thinking it will solve all our problems.  And when it doesn’t happen that way, people get angry, upset, and feel betrayed.  When all along, we probably should have put the hope within ourselves in the first place.  Personal examples of this would be if someone thinks “If I find the right relationship, I’ll feel better about myself.” But we know this is not the solution to feeling better about yourself – the solution to feeling better about yourself is to turn inward. People become apathetic and disengaged from their own process, and you see this in the collective consciousness, especially in politics.

So if the Obama administration represented hope, what does Clinton and our now new President represent? Matt shared that Clinton represents “false hope” and if she were to win we would drag out this long process of change as more and more people became apathetic, frustrated, and angry. And then Matt said that our now new President represents “hate.” And at first, I was thinking, “Yes, so why would we ever want hate representing this country?! I’d rather have the “false hope” lady in there…” but then Matt when on to explain that vibrationally with this character embodying hate, it can bring a more progressive awakening instead of the slow, dragging things out, the apathetic path we would have stayed on with Clinton.  This is the only positive perspective I could ever possibly have concerning our new President, and I suppose deep down I am excited to have him as a catalyst for change. This means we are on a faster timeline to change and to higher collective consciousness.  So I suppose, thank you to our new bafoon of a President for starting that process.

I am blessed to say that I am part of the love revolution. 

Now, for some pictures!

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A little insight into yoga teacher training ❤
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The Women’s March Rally in my neck of the woods.

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Dinner the other night – maple mustard chicken and vegetables.  It was so good!
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LooLoo taking a snooze!
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After a beautiful snow storm.
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My boyfriend’s new car.  His dreams have come true 🙂
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One of my most favorite pictures with one of my most favorite people.  This is from years ago, but my friend sent this to me the other day, and boy did it warm my heart.  Love you, Lace.

Current and Recent Reads

When I was young I read constantly.  I was one of those kids who brought a book everywhere and read every chance I had, even if only for a few minutes. I loved reading so much, I wanted to write my own stories.  I remember sitting in the next room over from where I am sitting right now as a ten-year-old typing away on an old Compaq computer. Now at almost twenty-nine years old, I have no idea what my stories were about but I sure did think they were great back then!

As I grew up I started to not read as much and became obsessed with music. So instead of my nose in a book 24/7, I had headphones on 24/7. Eventually, teachers asked me to stop taking my headphones off in class because I had them on so much and still got A’s in all my subjects.

In college, my reading was purely academic and I only read a handful of books out of personal interest.  Two being “Magical Thinking” and “Running with Scissors” by Augusten Burroughs.  Other than that, I bought books here and there with intention of reading them but they all ended up dusty on the bookshelf.

Life and “adulting” hit after college and reading definitely took a backseat.  I would try to read a book but stop a few pages in, or half-way through.  It was too hard to concentrate or make time for reading. About a year ago I decided that reading brought me happiness, and I had to make time for it in my life.  No more excuses! The first book I fully read after years and years of yo-yo reading (haha) was The Shining by Stephen King. And I was hooked again.

So as a part of this blog, I’d like to post my current and recent reads and I hope you find some great book suggestions.  I don’t want to necessarily write summaries but just brief insights about the book, so if you have any deeper questions or insights of your own, feel free to comment!

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One of the most exciting books I read as a child was the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  I only got a few books into the series, and by the time the last book came out, it was ten years later after reading the first one.  That meant I was ten years older and had different interests.  I never finished all the movies either, so I had no idea how the story ended.  One of my goals was to finally finish the series and this year I did! I can’t recommend Harry Potter enough.  It’s not only a magical story, it’s one of hope, courage, friendship, and family.  And not to mention, you’ll feel very accomplished after reading 3,407 pages!

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The Path of Transformation by Shakti Gawain is a wonderful book.  It was the first book I had to read for Yoga Teacher Training. This book helps to connect the dots between how increasing individual consciousness can impact the collective consciousness, and how walking the path of transformation and awakening can heal yourself and the World.  If you are interested in learning more about spirituality, awakening, finding peace, and changing your perceptions, this is a great book to start with.

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Over the last few weeks, I included a lot of thoughts about this book in my posts.  It is a wonderful book about letting fear go to live curiously and to express yourself creatively.  It is exactly what I needed to read as I start my journey as a writer.  And yes, even though I am “only” blogging and don’t have a huge following, I am putting myself out there.  And that’s really what this book is about – following your passions no matter the outcome. It’s about finding your voice and knowing you have a right to share it with the World.

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This. Book. I have no idea where to start. I was ordering something on Amazon one day and remember stumbling across this book.  It intrigued me so I ordered it.  And then it sat for a few months until I desperately needed a change in genre in the books I had recently been reading.  Goodreads says, “In this smart, suspenseful, and intense literary thriller, debut novelist Iain Reid explores the depths of the human psyche, questioning consciousness, free will, the value of relationships, fear, and the limitations of solitude.”  I was surprised by the ending and liked how he kept you guessing the whole time. I was worried the ending would be a let-down after such an intense build-up, but the ending did not disappoint.

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I am back to reading texts for Yoga Teacher Training.  I am not very far into this book, but basically so far it is discussing medical intuitiveness and energy medicine.  She describes how to tap into your intuitiveness, and the importance of healing yourself because “biography becomes biology.” Where I am in the book now she is going over basic principles of energy medicine, and looking forward into the book she discusses how different religions describe energy, how they all work together, and how to overcome/heal limiting beliefs that cause energy blocks in your own body. This book extensively discusses the Chakras if you are interested in learning about them, and guides you in “questions for self-examination” concerning each Chakra to initiate healing of each energy center. I’m looking forward to finishing it!

 

Role Reversal

Some days you are the one who needs to hear the inspirational, positive words you usually share.  Some days you can’t see past the cruel game you feel life is playing.  Some days you don’t want to see past it, but want to give up instead.  Check out. “Yes, I’d like to pay my bill now please. And no I won’t be returning. My stay was awful.” The continual ebb and flow of life is what will kill me. Not disease. Not a fluke accident. Not old age. But the continual ups and downs of life, slowly wearing on my spirit and on my soul. On my mind and on my body. Withering away the hope I try to instill within myself. Without hope, what do we have? It’s not that I can’t experience peace and happiness. It’s not that I can’t survive through hard times. It’s that I’m tired. I’m worn down by these waves of life and sometimes getting back to the sweet spot for such a short visit is too much. Remembering that these difficult and frustrating times are temporary is helpful. But then I remember the happy times are temporary too. Everything is temporary. And we return to the ebb and flow. The waves of life. Return to some days you just need to receive instead of give.