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.