Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer of Self-Care

Nothing like the discipline of a 40-Day challenge being thrown in the mix to keep me on my game amongst parties, BBQ's, vacations and the general hedonistic feeling that accompanies the long lazy days of Summer.
The end of my challenge ended with a family wedding in Chicago, and though I did partake in festivities, the re-introduction of certain foods and drink felt different in my body--somewhat foreign and not welcome. So I believe there is a long-term shift in my consciousness around these habits--mostly because I have created new ones.
I've had new experiences with various workshops and self-enrichment. One was Qigong, an ancient form of mindfulness meditation that regulates the electrical impulse of the brain. The practice is learning to use your lungs and deeply breathe in a way we don't ordinarily. Another tool added to my cosmic tool belt.
I'm grateful to be a part of an intimate group studying with Jenn Wooten and the 'Deepening Your Practice Series" at Yoga Yoga. We've been meeting 2x/wk and studying the Doshas (Pitta, Vata, Kapha) and Dinachariya: Ayurvedic Daily Routine (I still have yet to warmed up to scrapping my tongue) as well as a more conscious yoga practice with being able to drop-in with more focus, move energy with breath and slight physical tweaks--like in plank that have shifted my practice.
I have mentioned in a previous post doing The Artist's Way continuing the theme of self-inquiry. It has affirmed what shifts can be made once you get clear about what you want, how manifestation happens from thoughts and the power behind choosing where you put your energy.
So although my 40-Day challenge is over, I remember there's always someplace to go, to evolve because the only thing we can count on for sure is change.
Congratulations to everyone that participated in the Challenge and for up-ing the ante of how you are 'being' in your life!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happiness is an Inside Job

After passing the 30-day mark and having a handful of days left in this Challenge, it just feels, well, normal.
I need to push my own envelope because abstaining from drinking, avoiding, refined flour & sugars is being imprinted
in a way that feels good in my body--and I have to say it feels good to feel good.
I'm unsure what Day #41 will look like. I think modifying my old habits for good is a take away for sure.

My friend Steven Wilson, of The World Laughter Tour says:
"Happiness, the feeling of deep-down joy of life, and feeling really good about yourself, comes not from acquiring, but by contributing. Serenity comes from getting on good terms with one's imperfection, accepting ones' limitations, and accepting what one cannot change.

Self-esteem, your true worth or value, is not measured by your financial statement, job title, or trophies on a shelf.

You are precious because you are a creation of the highest order of intelligence. If you forget the true source of your preciousness, eventually you will experience an emptiness, a gnawing hunger. There are not enough gold, jewels, cellular phones, sport-utility vehicles, big-screen TVs, or anything material to nourish the soul.
The spirit can only be filled by giving, not by getting."

This is the good type of programming we all need to be reminded of.
Part of why I show up for my yoga practice is to remember these messages and affirmations. Getting into the work of the Artist's Way has been a great companion to my process. Being present to my process--sometimes I don't want to wake up and write--in fact it feels like a chore--I don't know if or when that will change but it's part of the program. Having our intimate Artist Way group has been something I've really come to look forward to--and it's just the beginning.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Raising the Vibration Day 22/23

Happy full moon! It's the Sturgeon Moon, or Corn Moon - the first of two this month!

It's in Aquarius today--the sign of lightning and surprise inspiration. Ah the gift of breathing room--it's for a natural clearing. I'm much much more aware of moon cycle these days. It's a great time-marker for me-- for setting intentions and goals.

Today is also Lammas,where we ponder what we lost in the fire, and what will grow to nourish us: "Lammas is a festival of regrets and farewells, of harvest and preserves."
The 40-day challenge has proven to be a great reflection time.

I'm modifying behavior and seeing how I can make some real shifts after the challenge is over. Just a moon ago, I was contemplating the Yoga Yoga 40 Day challenge--I participate every time it's offered. How is this one different from the last?
How am I different? What am I up to?

Today is Day 22. One day 20, I couldn't help it--I woke up with Bon Jovi's "Half-Way There" Lyrics running though my mind.

I've gotten to the point where my clarity feels sharp like a Ginsu knife and it feels good to feel good.

I'm participating in a yoga workshop (outside YY) and next week begins "Deepening Your Practice" with Jenn Wooten. That's just the type of workshop I've always wanted because I'm interested in fine-tuning my practice and having feedback.

Day 23

Last night was incredibly liberating. I stripped down to my bra and panties and jumped into Barton Springs and howled at the moon! Usually, I am prepared with my towel and bathing suit and I am usually tentative about going in--but I was low energy and last night and Barton Springs is a great healer--I did feel cold off and energized. Thank you Rakefet for urging us to go down and howl at the moon.

Before that, we went to a Kirtan and full moon meditation. Way to ring in August! Raise the vibration. There is more this weekend. I may even "Om the Dome"(flash meditation mob at the Capitol)That is if I say "Yes!"

I'm finding it easier to just say "Yes." A 'No" is always there but a "Yes" requires more effort and courage.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Check it IN!

Day 14 Today's Angel Card: Freedom

It's not out there, in a self-help book, a weekend workshop with promises of life transformation or with some sage Guru on top of a mountain (although they can all be tools). Part of being of spiritual seeker is to recognize the big cosmic joke--the A-HA moment is much like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz ---you really don't have to look further than your own back yard. Forget about "Chekin' it out"-- "Checkin' it in" is where it's at. Especially right now, Mercury is in retrograde. What does this mean?
Well Mercury is the planet of communication, so since July 15 and through August 8, rather than signing papers, making big purchases like a laptop or moving forward in technology and communication, it's a time to review, back up files, take stock, and well, "check it in." Here's what Astrologyzone says about it:
At several points throughout the year most of us will be bombarded with the maddening effects of Mercury in retrograde. Mercury is a planet which governs all transportation and communication issues. Mercury is not an emotional planet, but rather a highly objective, truth-seeking one. It rules intelligence, education and truth. When it is in retrograde, some of its power is held back.

I call it my "Cosmic Toolbelt"--those are the things that feed, educate and nurture my journey through this beautiful life. Amongst them are my dear deep friendships, a sense of humor, yoga practice, meditation, time alone, creative artistic outlets, choosing music that rocks my soul, books, films & podcasts to feed my brain, organic produce and home cooking that fuel this body...the list goes on.

It's been a fortnight in on the 40-day challenge. 14 days of "checking it in" Seeing my determination and inconsistencies--just playing the game provides some good mental floss.
I have been setting my iPhone timer for 15 minutes in the AM to do my home practice. It is my hope that I will slowly ramp it up to 18 then 20, 25 then 30+ minutes as time allows. It is a yoga date with myself. Much like arranging an "Artist date" which is part of the work in The Artist's Way. I've owned this book since the late 90's and have flopped off somewhere around chapter 4 "Recovering a Sense of Integrity" that and the money exercises in the "Recovering a Sense of Abundance."

Last night I was part of a small group of women committing to the work of the 12-step/12 week program of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. My goal (one of them anyway) is about completion. Seeing it through. Being absolutely committed which will take us on a journey for the next 3 months. And so, the 'Morning Pages' have begun. The idea is to wake up and immediately write three pages about anything, simply transcribing your thoughts. Their purpose is not to be shared with others or even reread by yourself but simply to create awareness and to free your mind of all the chatter.We will complete the "spiritual path to higher creativity" sometime around Halloween. Boo!

"You are not too old
and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out
its own secret."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

It's going to be a juicy week. I can feel it in my bones. Stay tuned for more soon.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Want it? Give it Away

Day 5. Today's Angel Card: Balance
Back drop: Listening to the awesome sound pouring rain as I write this blog entry. I feel like today is a day out of time. My relationship to rain has completely changed since moving to Texas. Here, everyone does the happy dance--it's a rare occurrence to have serious downpours. This July has been a blessing to Austin.

A grand experience is unfolding over the next 40 days. Root out old emotional trash that no longer serves you. Raise your vibration with love. Allow the shift to happen (from the Alliance of Shamanic Women Entrepreneurs) July 15-August 22

Isn't that just perfect timing for the 40 day challenge? BTW if you're still thinking about coming aboard the 40-day challenge--pick a day! You have until the 25th.

I was feeling down the other day--for a good reason to be kinda blue & low energy. I have noticed that the endorphin high of practicing yoga everyday and eating well has lessened the severity of these very real feelings I'm processing right now. "Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on." ~Eckhart Tolle ♥ I'm re-reading "The Power of Now" it's a good companion for these days.

Last month I was in New York at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, where I did my 200 HR Teacher Training back in 2004. for a Teachers Reunion Summit weekend. We had some yoga philosophy satsangs together. I love the lesson and reminder of what I call the 'karmic boomerang.' You want love? Give it away. Give someone a hug or teach a child to blow bubbles. You want honestly? Give it away. Looking someone in the eye and being self-expressed gives them permission to mirror you. To get what you want, that's right, you must give it away.

I must also highlight the other part of this equation, which is to 'want what you have'. Instead of riding the wheel of desire--the right house, the right spouse, the right car. Look at what you have already. Think about what other challenges you can take on. Not just the physical practice of yoga--but how about a openness challenge or perhaps patience, compassion or gratitude?

Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on, Get drunk. -Rumi

I am already feeling the dance of this challenge. The emotional ebbs and flows as I take on my goals and cleanse myself for this time. I'm inspired by the chaos of Shiva Nataraja--protector of conscious and unconscious, dancing with the flow of the universe. Lots of power and transformative energy.

Mostly, I need to remember--I may end up where I am heading...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Journey of 40 Days Starts Today

I know it's been a ridiculously long time since I've dedicated myself to my blog in any regular manner. I'm hereby reinvigorating it, and in this time will use my writing muscle as well as the others in this temple of mine, dedicating myself to my practice both on and off the mat--remembering the mat is a temporary rectangular playground, but it's the mindfulness of the shakti that's on it, rolling it up afterwards and walking with grace, confidence and mindfulness into the world--that's where the practice comes in.

I draw an Angel Card everyday before leaving the house. Today, I chose my very favorite word: Light. Yes, Perfect.

“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

It's on! I love the 40-Day challenge for its conscious focus in an finite amount of time. Why 40 days? Research suggests it takes 40 days to make a new habit or break an old one. Each time I've participated a "challenge" there have been insights. Mostly in what discipline can teach me.

This time around, my theme is "Shake it Up" Here are my goals:

* Dedicated home practice --15+ minutes every morning. I can be such a slacker.

* Yoga everyday--different yoga studio types including Bikram not just Yoga Yoga. I want to insert myself in different studios, teachers and experiences.

* No alcohol/bleached flour/fried foods--conscious consumption.
(For the record, I like my booze. I'll miss you mimosas, martinis & margaritas)

* Contributing to the YogaYoga blog 2x/week

* Oh, and drop 5 lbs.

Join me for what unfolds as I fold deeper into myself.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I like New York in June and Laughing Lotus--the Epicenter of my Soul

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini
I know--at the very least I should have quarterly updates. OK I will from here on out I will. Starting with the Summer Solstice time --how auspicious--everything brimming with potential--I want to live in the lush garden of possibility.

Leave it to Laughing Lotus to get me inspired to dust off my blog for a fresh entry. Yes NY in June. Thanks I needed that--a little bit of everything this trip--sweet quality family time with my Parents (celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary), Brothers, Sister in Law, Niece and Nephew, friends, a Broadway show (Porgy and Bess with Audra McDonald) and a Yoga Summit at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center. Much to be thankful for after such a roller coaster of a year with my Father's triple bypass surgery in late August combined with a Hurricane Irene on a Saturday night sleep over int he waiting room of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital...but alas I digress. Still, I love sitting around the breakfast table quipping and laughing and basking in each other's company. It's rare that we're all together--once a year at best. June is our time.

This weekend was a bit of an unexpected emotional flash-back of my journey on the yoga path. I was reminded of how I first stepped foot in LL in 2000-- was because I was filming for "Praise HA!" Well that was a life-changing happening on the Wendini timeline. You never know when those moments or people show up. But there they were --Dana & Jasmine with a small studio in the West Village above a jazz bar on Christopher street.

Now Laughing Lotus is a thriving community center on West 19th street with 3 studio spaces. I still have the indian pink/yellow fabric square that questions and the general inquiry to becoming a yoga teacher (or latest deepening the path in the 200 hour certification with Teacher Training). I mean, what yoga center has a "glitter bar" or a disco ball"? Yes I'll have a double shot of shimmer please...

Landing back in Austin with a refreshed attitude and feeling inspired by the teachers summit, and was looking forward to a date I had on the calendar for today to lead a yoga private to my friends (couple)--I was pleased to know I still got it baby! Being back in the saddle of teaching, it was a nice place to re-visit.

I considered running in a Triathlon this week . I chewed on this possibility, weighing out the pros and cons in the 2-column notepad in my mind. After attending an info meeting and seeing what is really the time/financial/energy output of it all. Finally, today, while cleaning the yoga studio, it came to me--The answer was "No." Not this time. Yes, this is on the bucket list and I would like to commit perhaps next year, but it didn't feel entirely right this go-round. And you know what Bob Dylan says: "If it ain't right, it's wrong"

I have enough to do with what I have and don't need to spread myself so thin or feel obligated to anything. I'm all for getting my ass kicked in a 1/2 Triathlon. I like the idea of working toward something bigger than myself, the power of community, collective giving and teamwork. :)

Perhaps another update soon...