How are you supported in your right to be? Can you look in the mirror and say, “I am enough?” How does it feel to know that your being alive is enough? I am proposing that for the next 30 days, every time you pass a mirror, look into your own eyes and say , “I am enough.”
“Everyone should have themselves regularly overwhelmed by Nature.” ~ George Harrison
“Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass them on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you.” ~ Miranda July
“National humiliation is long in gestation and violent in resolution.” – Roger Cohen
“The purpose of life is to be alive.” – Charlotte Kasl, If the Buddha Got Stuck
This is the fight our generation was made for. You know enough. And you can learn. If this happened in the future, there may not have been people around who lived the fight. Holocaust survivors, Vietnam and Iraq war veterans. AIDS activists. People who have seen what happens when ghouls come in and try to destroy government. We will turn their ridiculous plans into puddles as the sun comes out. ~ Matthew Kohn
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn
“The whole point of Jesus’s life was not that we should become exactly like him, but that we should become ourselves in the same way he became himself. Jesus was not the great exception but the great example.“ – Carl Jung
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” – Johann Harri
At least once a day for the next month open your arms and say, “I am open and receptive to all the good and abundance in the universe. Thank you Life.”
Notice how you feel. Make note of your general vibe the first time you do this, and then again at the end of the month.
Does it feel natural and good to open your arms and embrace the good in life?
Do you have resistance? If so, where does it stem from? Could you be willing to let the resistance go? Try a smaller step. Open your arms and say, “I am willing to beopen and receptive to all the good and abundance in the universe. Thank you Life.”
This is a simple exercise I’ve been doing recently. I learned it from the Godmother of New Age, Louise Hay.
Where does the time go? Yesterday I was so blue about all the time I spend at work – 45 hours a week. After the day is over I feel like I have nothing left. I work hard. No creative energy/stuck physical energy = no good. I have to move my body to push the sadness out.
Tom told me I’d feel better after a ride, and of course, he was right. It wasn’t too cold – we did hill repeats (I did three, he did five) up a very steep street by the railroad tracks. Endorphins and exhaustion are often good remedies for anything that ails me. My legs hurt today.
I looked at the full moon last night and thought about painting and writing, and how when I was in a band I managed to paint and write and rehearse and work and go to school – and now – I am lucky if I can squeeze out maybe an hour of writing a day, go to work, and ride my bike. (Of course, when I was capable of juggling so much, I was about twenty years younger and I lived in New York, and, I had a creative community where feedback was immediate so the work was energizing). I asked the moon to give me the strength and energy to follow through with my creative ideas while still having time for relationships and work.
When I ride I get clarity on things. Last night it became clear to me that I am afraid that if I have a career as an artist (and/or writer), I will not be able to maintain a love relationship. That fear has got to go! For me, career is part of my identity. Since last spring, I’ve stopped pushing creative work; I’ve been reevaluating what is important to me. Mostly, I’d rather cook and enjoy a shared meal, or stay in bed lying close to my man, than carve out the time for art. It’s been good to relax, though sometimes I feel like I’ve found myself in the middle of deep water with no land in sight. Maybe I am overfilling the well!
The longing to create is surfacing. “What next?” is the big question – why does it scare me? How do I make art a fun part of my life again?
Today I feel more open and hopeful. I feel alright about acknowledging the things that need balance and improvement – now I can take action. I edited the final three poems in a manuscript I’m submitting to a writing program. Two were attempts I began while taking a class with Nada Gordon at the Poetry Project, and another was from a journal entry.
And now I am taking baby steps. I came across two affirmations yesterday that are working for me:
There is always enough time for everything.
Everything happens in the right time.
I made this one up:
I surrender all fear to the healing power of love.
“What next?” is going to be fun.
Of course I can’t look ahead without looking back. I made a video a few years ago to go with some basic tracks of a song I recorded with my 90s band, The Halfbreeds. It’s a cover of Roky Erikson’s Slip Inside This House. The band was recording an album, when the project came to a halt. We never released it, nor got past basic tracks. This is a reminder that I don’t ever want to leave a creative project unfinished again.
I play all kinds of games with myself in order to remain optimistic. When I remember stuff, I usually cycle through the things that have made me sad or angry first, before I see the bright side of the situation (and I usually do see the bright side of even the darkest stuff – eventually . . .)
I came across this post byElizabeth Gilbert, it’s a great exercise in gratitude and awareness – and I can think of at least half a dozen people who could use this idea – so I am sharing.
Dear Ones –
Here it is the end of the year, and I thought it might be a good time to re-introduce to you all the concept of a Happiness Jar.
Here’s me with mine!
What is a Happiness Jar? The simplest thing in the world. You get yourself a jar (or a box, or a vessel of any kind) and every day, at the end of the day, you grab a slip of paper and write down on it the happiest moment of the day.
Even on lousy days, you do this. Because even on lousy days, there is one best moment (or at least, one least-worst moment.)
You stick that little piece of paper in the jar. Over the years, you have a record of your happiness.
On bad days, I will thrust my fist in that jar and go fishing — pulling up a handful of great moments that I would have utterly forgotten, had I not documented them.
I’ve been doing this practice for years, and I love it.
If my house ever caught on fire, this would be the one material object I would grab before I ran out the door…because what’s inside this jar? THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT — the whole point of this life.
Over the years, my Happiness Jar has taught me much. What continually amazes me is what ends up on the slip of paper every day. Not awesome events, not huge achievements — usually just a small and tiny thing, a moment of awareness…that moment when you step outside and between the house and the car you get hit on the top of the head with a beam of sunlight, and suddenly feel awash with gratitude simply for being alive, and you think, “Yes. This is it.”
It’s usually something that small — and something that grand.
I know that many of you have started this practice, too — and I love seeing the pictures of your jars, and hearing how you have adapted this to your own lives. I love the woman who put one in the middle of her dining room table, and she and her kids each put an entry in there every day — what a cool family practice! And I love the woman who wrote to me last week saying that she had the hardest year of her life, but she kept her Happiness Jar practice going the whole time, and today — on the last day of the year, she’s going to pull out each piece of paper in the jar, to remind her that even now, even in hard times, there was always one good moment a day. So if anyone wants to begin this practice tomorrow, a New Year is always a great place to start!
Sending love, and, of course, wishing you all an abundance of Happy Moments in 2015!
Most of us want to improve some area of our lives, however at times this can be easier said than done. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. This is very true. Another definition could also be asking the same questions over and over again and expecting a different result. I was reflecting to myself the other day, on the importance of asking ourselves the right questions.
Truth Warrior has positive suggestion and helpful ideas. To check out the rest of the article and get suggestions on asking effective questions, go here . . .
Manipura is solar energy – located in the solar plexus. Summer is the time to absorb that energy. There is still time left! Get outside! Move your body! Declare your passions!
I’ve been rocking out this summer, flying around huge hills and single track on an amazing mountain bike, having fun with beautiful souls, and soaking up the sun. I’ve made the conscious decision to be really active during the summer, filling up my joy and creativity batteries. Winter is the time to write and paint and do yoga and enjoy the wood stove. Oh yeah, and snow bike (fat tires), and cross country ski (I will try it this year), and find ways to stay warm and snuggle.
Riding has helped me to build my self-confidence more than any thing I have ever done in my life. It’s so much fun! I never thought I’d race, but I did about a month ago – and for my category – I won 2nd place!! Whoa. And one race expanded my riding skills hugely. (When I was a performer, every performance was like having 10 rehearsals. Racing is a similar experience).
I started riding seriously about 4 months ago. I’m 43 years old. I believe I adjusted to riding so quickly because of my yoga practice, and because I have been riding a cruiser town bike as my main transportation since 2009. This is beyond cruiser riding though, there is work, and breathing – so much breathwork – and my coach/companion has talked me through breathing – slowing it down, slowing the heart rate down as I am climbing 2500 feet up a mountain. Breathing into the belly. Breathing through fear.
I have loved cycling since I was a child. It was my way to be free. Cycling will be a big part of my life for the rest of my life. I am sure of it!
What do you love to do? Are you doing it?
3rd Chakra: Manipura ~ Lustrous gem • Will • Personal Power • The Right to Act • Fire
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” ― Paulo Coelho
“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.” ―Frank Zappa
“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” ― Jon Krakauer
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” ― George Bernard Shaw
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
― Maya Angelou
“The sun shines not on us, but in us.” ~John Muir
“Creativity ignited a spark. In that moment, I saw that art is not peripheral, beauty is not optional, but a strategy for survival.” – Terry Tempest Williams
“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” — Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)
“The only way to deal with an un-free world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is
an act of rebellion.” — Albert Camus (1913-1960)
“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats
“If we don’t change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” —Reuben Snake (1937-1993), Winnebago Medicine Man
“When I am dancing, it feels like my prayer. Its’s like an offering. I offer my head back to the dance, I offer my shoulders back to the dance, my elbows, my hands, my spine, my knees, my feet, my whole self, my bones, my blood, my experience, my suffering… I offer it all back to the dance and I say: Take it, do whatever you want with me. Release me.” ~ Gabrielle Roth
“There’s always some further action to take.” ~ Pierre Boulle
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~ Alice Walker
“All of our suffering in life is from saying we want one thing and doing another.” – Debbie Ford
“Good things happen to those who hustle.” ~ Anais Nin
“Without personal power, life is a frightening and painful experience.” ~ Caroline Myss
I missed last week’s post. I was catching up with relationships and life. Sometimes you just have to nurture (and be nurtured by) the people you love in real physical life, real time, no virtual anything involved.
One of my intentions for 2014 (and the rest of my life really) is to be outside even more! I want to experience nature as much as possible, to see the natural world before it is gone. (I know, sounds gloomy, but I’ve missed so much already – and in the high desert, the environment is, well, everything. If you really want to get upset, look up uranium mining in the Grand Canyon or the “clean coal” chemical spill in West Virginia).
I’m going camping this weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited. Deep beautiful Earth, Grand Canyon, Colorado River!! I’ve got packing to do, so I will leave you with these quotes regarding the earthy, physically manifested, first chakra.
1st Chakra: Muladhara ~ Root • Survival • Tribal Power • The Right to Have, To Be • Earth
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape-the loneliness of it-the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it-the whole story doesn’t show.” ~ Andrew Wyeth
“If anything is sacred the human body is sacred.” ~ Walt Whitman
“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.” ~ by Caroline Adams
“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” ~ Donna Farhi
“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” – Kurt Vonnegut
The next New Moon is in Capricorn on January 1st, 2014. This is the perfect time to talk about phase two of the new moon ritual, since Capricorn is a sign based in practicality, ambition, and duty – and phase two of the ritual has to do with the practical details of putting tiny steps toward your dreams into motion. It’s turning the “I wish” into the “I will”.
In the first part of the ritual, we use our imagination and our bodies to release what we don’t want, to reveal what we do want, to envision our lives as if we received exactly what we wanted, and let it go. I have found that with the somatic experience tied into the imagining, the ritual alone creates a powerful shift and focus. (Review the New Moon Magic here).
By reviewing your goals and intentions with the moon cycles, it is easier to stay on track with your progress. I find that as I evolve, it is easier to go through transition while being connected to the moon cycles, which are eternal. Sometimes change, even when it is welcome, can be unnerving, and being connected with nature’s cycles keeps me grounded and connected with, not only my purpose, but with Earth as well.
I am working through the chakras with each moon cycle. Last month, I focused on the second chakra. The second chakra is where we experience the power of relationships, pleasure, sweetness, sexuality, and the desire to create. It is about activating, inviting, and energizing sensuality in our lives. It is our emotional center, and it is linked with water. Water is constantly moving, as are our emotions. The second chakra is also ruled by the moon.
I found that as I wrote out my “three-year success party” I had a lot of gratitude in my life for experiences I have already had. I wanted to include all of those people who have been there in my life – especially my creative life – to my party. That was an amazing, uplifting feeling! And of course, I wanted to include new friends, too. My imagination wanted to integrate the old and the new, which helped me feel grounded and open at the same time.
As the work from the New Moon evolved throughout the waxing and now the waning of the cycle, my intention was to write out the practical next steps from the ritual. But something happened. I found myself feeling stuck – especially in matters pertaining to relationships. I shared this “stuckness”, this inability to imagine things differently, and my friend Terry suggested an open-ended question – a technique she learned from Richard Bartlett.
This, to me, feels like an extension of the moon ritual, almost a mini-ritual for when things seem impossible or doubtful. I would say this is:
New Moon Magic Part 1A (or simply a mind/heart opening exercise that you can do at any time) – The Tool of the Open-Ended Question.
If you find yourself feeling stuck, and focused on a problem, simply ask yourself how it would feel to have what you want.
Start with, “I wonder what it feels like . . . ”
My questions are these:
I wonder what it feels like to be in a reciprocal relationship.
I wonder what it feels like to follow through on my ideas.
I wonder what it feels like to be successful.
I wonder what it feels like to have faith in all that I can create and accomplish.
The interesting thing about asking these questions is that I have had moments, weeks, months, and years of all of these things, so I could put myself in the vibration of the feeling for a minute. Suddenly nothing seems so far out of reach. Like water flowing against a rock, the blockages of self-doubt or frustration seem to slowly dissolve. (I know I will touch back on the “open-ended question” in another post – just for now, try it).
This may be enough for you when working with the moon. But sometimes, action is required. For example, If you want to be a singer, you need to actually sing. If you want to be good, you need to practice daily, find a vocal coach, find musicians to play with. If you don’t take action, it’s just a wish. The Moon Magic part of it is to help you focus and maybe even build up the courage to take action.
I was going to say break your three-year success vision all down into doable goals, almost Franklin-Covey style, but I’m a bit in the flow of things right now and breaking it down like that is going to stop my flow – and I love goals and charts and measurable things – I’m a Capricorn after all! I’m finding that working along with the cycles of the moon, I am trusting more and having to control less. Occasionally, though, especially for specific projects, Phase II is useful.
So PHASE II is this:
Break your Three-Year Success Dream into doable steps – they can be the teeniest, tiniest doable steps along your path, or they can be big leaps. Maybe take some small steps to build up your confidence with some hops and pirouettes thrown in. Do it your own way, with your unique style. Do it in a way that is fun and where you are least likely to beat yourself up. Maybe some of those small steps become habit, and once they are established, you reach a turning point. Three years is 1095.75 days. What can you do, see, be? Can you wonder what it feels like to do, see, and be something completely new? Who can you call or enlist to help you on the way? Who and/or what can you let go of? What are 1095.75 steps you can take toward something? Can you enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination?
Start with what you’ve got and where you are. Most importantly, start.