The Sometimes Subtle Effect of ‘Not Letting Go’

imageIn the past 6 months I have allowed myself the opportunity to move through some changes.  It meant letting go of some things I was holding onto.  I was aware of a few, while with some others I was not, but as the clarity came, I truly wanted to make room for the new, the sustainable, for love, service and adventure, and the kind of abundance that goes soul deep.  “And I am fulfilled” is my affirmation.  I see this kind of housecleaning as a vibrational act of allowing.

I noticed that some other things were changing, dropping off, as well… mostly financial in the form of debts accumulated in the past few years while I was going through perhaps the deepest transition I have ever felt.  Not the sudden swift epiphany, but the waiting, trusting, occasionally doubting kind of patience that can be so humbling.

Much is written about letting go, it’s a good thing.

Let it go.

That relationship that hurts? Let it go.

imageThose words that upset you? Let them go.

Let the words go.

Let it all go, even the people if necessary…

I am all for that. Grieve as necessary, do the inner work, evaluate your role, make amends and set boundaries…

Get clear and then take your desire to Spirit.

Let.

That.

Shit.

Go.

It’s highly likely we don’t do nearly enough letting go. In fact I would like to suggest that we only let go when something is really uncomfortable, proven false without a doubt, or in emergencies.  For the greatest part, me included, we don’t actually pay much attention to our attachments.  We run in a sort of ‘neutral’, used to the noise and weight of our attachments like so much white noise.  They are part of ‘normal’.  But they’re not.  Attachment, it is said, is the cause of all human suffering.

imageI would now like to tell you a story. It’s a true story and it’s about the subtlety of not letting go.   It all revolves around a matted and framed trio of photos gifted to me by a former friend. The framed pictures appeared somewhere around 1998, I think… And I still have them.

This is the back story. My 2 best friends at the time, Mike and Pete decided a nice long weekend trip to Tsali Recreation Area in North Carolina would be a fun adventure. We loaded our bikes, jumped in my giant SUV and headed up from Jensen Beach. We camped, we rode mountain bikes, we did some trail running, we ate catfish while imagelistening to live bluegrass, and we even took in a local dirt track car race. I was the photographer and documentarian, as always… lugging my big ass 35mm Canon A1 and various lenses in a backpack.

On our 3rd day of riding these 3 photos were taken. it had been a typical day on the trails; lots of fun, beautiful scenery, lung scorching climbs, flowing fast downhills and catching air on some pretty big bumps. Pretty much what a mountain bike road trip should be.

It was so great, that near the end of the ride, I asked Mike to wait at the bottom with my camera, and get some motion shots with me flying through a section of whoop-te-doos… He said yes and I trudged up to the top.

imageI made the turn, clipped in, and took off! As I landed, I knew I was in trouble immediately. I thought I had cased the landing because it felt like I hit hard on the front wheel, and it felt like my arms were being ripped off the bars. Over the bars I went, pitched high and hard, landing with all of my weight on the left side of my head and the back of my left shoulder.  In terms of yoga, the pose ‘fallen angel’ comes to mind.

When I sat up, Mike asked if I was alright. I knew immediately I was not. I couldn’t quite tell what was happening, but I did recognize within my body the need to move, and the onset of shock. I had one singular focus: get back to the campsite before I pass out… My left arm felt like it was dead it was all mushy in the shoulder area.  This was not how I pictured the end of my day and now I just was running on adrenaline.

We rode the 3 miles back to the campsite and then without hesitation I jumped into the truck. Mike drove me to the ER at Bryson City, and after xrays I was given the diagnosis of a stage 3 Acromioclavicular separation. I think because that was so obvious, they never even bothered to xray the ribs or wrist… until later in an MRI it was discovered I had twig fractures in the ribs… I opted out of the ‘bone scan’ for the wrist…the treatment seemed worse that the injury, but I had to heal up some sort of wrist injury as well.

So the next 8 weeks were a real bitch for me, physically. It hurt to laugh, sneeze, cough… My orthopedic doctor suggested I get in the pool and one day at a time begin strengthening the separated shoulder by lifting up out of the pool. Gradually it strengthened, although it has never been the same. Fortunately I had a heated saltwater pool, unfortunately even with rehab this is a permanent injury.

Getting back to the story — Mike, to his credit, had actually taken photos as we had discussed.  He had no idea I was going to become injured, he was just being a great friend.  My intention was to have some shots of me catching some air on my bike, but instead the photos would document the moments leading up to the injury. In fact the cause of the flip is evident too, a perfectly placed rock catching my front wheel on an otherwise smooth trail…

image

Mike

Mike, strangely, decided to take the film from the camera, and acted very defensive about getting them developed.  I told him I wanted the film, and I would handle the developing.  But no.

Months later, I received the framed trio of pictures as a gift from Mike. They were nicely framed and matted, and it was a thoughtful gesture even if bizarre in my opinion.

I did not like them. At all. To me they were a gruesome of a serious injury and were definitely not reflective of the overall elan of the trip.  I questioned Mike as to why he would do this, and he never really answered. He isn’t a mean, nasty guy, and I am sure he wasn’t trying to teach me some lesson.  His intention was never revealed to me.

In a subtle act of not letting go, this framed series of 3 pictures which captured a moment I would rather let go of and move on from stayed. I never hung the photos.  They sat in a closet, in a box, stayed with me through several moves, in the garage… finally, the other day I spied the picture and took the question into my journeying practice; ‘Why am I holding onto this”…

Here’s what the answers were that came through that meditation:
1. Although you do not like the pictures, you do like and respect Mike. You were willing to put the idea of his feelings in high regard, above your own.
2. You place a value on framed art — whether it’s of value or not.
3. You have been forgetting to let it go. It’s one of a thousand tiny little rubber bands to your ‘story’ — like a tangible reason why you ‘can’t’ or why ‘you’re afraid’…

imageAnd so, there are the pictures of me removing the photos, and letting them go symbolically burning them… and then installing 3 new pictures that remind me of the beautiful adventure that is this life… Now, what remains to be seen, is will I still see those pictures when I see this frame, or will it blossom into something new… Who knows, maybe I will have to let go of the frame too.

I want to look at all things with some discernment.  Is this something I want?  Need? Is it pulling me forward, higher? Or am I using it to weigh myself down and to create a story of ‘can’t, won’t or don’t?

10 Amazing Places

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I was recently asked to list 10 Amazing Places… and I love this sort of retrospective / introspective challenge

So, as I settle in to write this I already see it will be 2 lists: Amazing Places I have Been and Amazing Places I would like to Go (or so I think).

A few years back, I radically changed my point of view about travel.  I shifted from what, to me, felt like an uninspiring log of places ‘other people have gone to which are famous’ to ‘being open to new, amazing experiences’… and let me tell you, the vibe of the 2nd intention in and of itself makes me smile. While still a novice traveler, in my own opinion, I no longer think too much about planning an adventure – I just sense it, and follow that inspiration.

I know the United States pretty well.   And parts of Canada and Central America… but I have not been to Europe, Asia, South America, or Australia. On the other hand, I have had some amazing adventures to beautiful places where I have experienced an array of memorable events.  From Yoga Festivals to Concerts, from the Concours D’Elegance to camping.  From Shamanistic retreats to Yoga retreats, to mountain bike festivals, you name it.  Well, I don’t mean you name it, because there are a lot of things I haven’t done, I just mean, the only common thread is to experience a memorable adventure with some like minded individuals.

So, first, where would I like to go / what would I like to do?

  1. Cinque Terre — with it’s colorful cliff-side dwellings and complete absence of cars…
  2. Dean’s Blue Hole — (or other Blue Holes if you have a better one) for the sun, the sand, the swimming and the yoga.
  3. Bali-Temples-1-960x340Bali — to practice yoga and explore the 11th century temples
  4. New Zealand
  5. Thailand — to immerse myself in the culture — fresh local foods, commuting on scooters, a myriad of yogis
  6. The Greek Isles — including a few days on a boat
  7. Denmark’s Inland Waterways — travelling by day on bikes, and moving through the canals at night on low boats
  8. mount-shasta-2Tim Miller’s Mt. Shasta California Ashtanga Retreat
  9. 665804b3-5c74-4d6c-941e-4f3c0b7e5f46.1Swimming with the Pigs in Exuma
  10. Rise_Festival_-_Rise_Lantern_Festival_-_2014-08-08_15Alaska, The Lavender Fields of Washington, The Rise Festival, Envision Fest,

Next, what were / are 10 of my favorite places (In no particular order)? Places that took my breath away, captivated me, or where I had life altering experiences.

  1. The Old Churches along The High Road between Santa Fe NM and Taos NM (think Santuario de Chimayo)
  2. Sedona.  Not the town so much, but the places nearby… Slide Rock, Red Rock Crossing, Amitabha Stupa,
  3. Big Sur / Esalen / Julia Pfeiffer Burns / Carmel ~ Sunset Park / Sycamore Canyon Beach
  4. Costa Rica (Anamaya Resort / Montezuma  / The Osa / Uvitta)
  5. Nicaragua (Morgan’s Rock Beach)
  6. Georgia’s Mountain Lakes… (Nottely, Blue Ridge, Burton, for example)
  7. Downtown Chicago – The Miracle Mile
  8. Glen Lake, Michigan
  9. Miami Life Center
  10. Tie! Laguna Beach / Santa Monica and the surrounding areas.

Of course compiling a list like this really is not in alignment with how I manifest adventure, so there’s not really any telling where or when I will go… I just trust that I will.

My advice is let go of the notion that you have to stay put, or that it won’t work out, or a hundred other self created obstacles.  Allow grace to enter, and your heart to soar, a smile to embrace your face as your intuition shows you exactly what adventure would be so on your soul’s purpose.

 

 

Signs You May Be In A Period of Ascension.

I recall discovering this list in 2012, written by Soul Guidance, and suddenly having the “Viola”, “Eureka” moment of epiphany…I have inserted my own observations contained within the context in green.

Ascension Symptoms

1. Abrupt loss of interest in the people and things that held your interest before.

IMG_1571When we speak of self-love, or of being intuitive, or of gaining clarity — this is a key to allowing ourselves to be moved by Spirit into Grace.  Those we have known will react… Either with love, support and compassion or with indignance, anger, or bullying.  I have to add here as well an ABRUPT interest in NEW friends, too.  During this process I have lost old friends, been viewed as a weirdo… and the funny thing is, none of that matters when I am coming from my higher heart.  I am met with a sense of inner purposefulness I wouldn’t trade.  I am also aware of the impact this may have on others, and so I am quick to use the ho’oponopono, as well as the cosmic orbit to bring me into the state of higher consciousness where healing can occur.  

2. You simply cannot do that job any longer, or tolerate that person any more. Done.
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There’s a feeling, you will know it… a pull in a new direction.  You’ll know it because your heart sings, your face smiles, or it could also be the feeling of “I just can’t anymore” or even “it’s not about the money”.  In cases like these, it is EGO, posing as rational thought, logic and intellect that will show up as parental sounding voices which will tell us ‘that’s not logical!  you have a perfectly good career!’ When you close your eyes, and think of things, what makes you smile?  Go there.

3. Strange wanderlust or urge to relocate.  You may just * know * where you need to be.

IMG_1546This one is really quite amazing!  I have an image that comes across my timeline and rings like bell each time, and sets me onto another adventure.  Luckily, for me, this came as a BOOM epiphany when a bunch of friends INSISTED I take a road trip hiking in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park late one May.  Up until then for many years I was unable to do anything other than a few days off, always with family.  This trip re-awakened me to my deeper sense of a need to be looking for places and experiences that sing to my soul, and of being unafraid when that tuning fork goes off.  It is true as well, what they wrote that you may just *know* where you need to be.  I also ‘suffer’ from knowing where I am to be ‘for now’ even though I know something else is in the works, and I have to practice the inner art of allowing.

4. Inner need to simplify life. “Why the heck am I carrying around this much junk? I don’t even remember why I wanted them.” is a common sentiment. Declutter and donate your stuff to Goodwill. You may also get the urge to detox your own body.

IMG_7672There’s little to explain here, but I will try anyway.  If you sense clutter…in my experience… things start to feel like rubber bands.
Heavy rubber bands.  Even artwork.  Paintings I saw, fell in love with and had to have… they begin to look like things.  I have had to develop a somewhat ruthless attitude about disposing of items.  Catharsis. I was shocked when this call came, and as I threw things away I felt free.  And as I tried to give these cherished items away, no one wanted them.  My own sentimentality was another way of dodging spiritual growth.  In fact, I had ostensibly created a sort of comfortable prison.  With them went away my one time desire for a big fancy home, a library, etc…  Then next came a desire to start nourishing myself differently.  While I am not yet a vegetarian or vegan, I ALWAYS feel dead after consuming animal protein.  (I wish that change could’ve been the BOOM type epiphany) I sense the need to shift into this, but my mind is still running me.  

5. Sudden change in food preference.
IMG_9965As I mentioned above, this awareness came after ‘cleaning house’… And has intensified with my practice of Ashtanga Yoga.  In fact, not only have I become aware of how clean food effects prana, clarity and spiritual experience, I have been able to witness it over and over again in others.  I was given direct awareness to assist in the ascension of others by co-creating Adore — interestingly this is still my daily struggle – where old habits meet new desires… where old attachments run into clear cut evidence of a positive outcome from change… but it’s still my struggle.  With Adore, I end up being far more empowered, more often.

6. Sudden change in the taste to dress and decorate.

IMG_0762This is actually quite funny to me.  It sort of just happened.   Living in Florida for many years and being a runner and cyclist and outdoors enthusiast I had a tendency to dress to sweat, and then wore scrubs at work.  Even dress up time was casual in south Florida.  In Atlanta I soon learned that there’s a sort of dress code for men.  If you’re out of shape, you dress really lumpy, frumpy, almost slob-like… if you’re in shape, is all fitted clothes, even the jeans… As I began to move more into ascension, it corresponded with my yoga practice.  And I am here to tell you this — Yoga clothes not only fit well, they are super comfy.  I won’t even get into how my taste in interior design has changed == let’s just say it’s completely changed.  For instance on the far left is my Christmas tree, of sorts, complete with a variety of religious experiences from around the world.  And from #4 above that picture is of my clothing taste and , and what my ‘dining room’ looks like – a yoga room.

7. Some people report having a sudden “spiritual awakening,” accompanied with the feeling of clarity and empowerment.IMG_1450

Yes, I would say I am more aware on a daily basis of the presence of spirit and the voice of the God source.  And listening to this has taken me into some really amazing new places.  Probably the most startling 2 epiphanies led to my teaching at and attendingIntuitive Mastery Certificationin Sedona in November
and the other was getting back in touch with and subsequently choosing to work with a
practice management group I worked with for my practice in Florida.  During Intuitive Mastery, I was given the gift of ‘Being deliberately intuitive’, a concept that came as a real ‘spiritual awakening’.  

8. Feeling spacy and detached from the rest of the world.

a ha ha OMG that’s hilarious.  I even have an expression I use for this.  I call it ‘glazing over’… I prefer the japanese term ‘Boketto’ which is a more physical practice of gazing off and not thinking about anything.  I have always attributed my need to space out and detach to being 2 things: first an HSP (The Highly Sensitive Person) and second an empath.  Connection can feel exhausting and overwhelming.  Plus, when people say they are great, or fine and I already know they’re not, it feels like deceit.  I attribute much of my use of mood altering substances as a youth to misunderstanding this, and my relationship with food is connected to this as well.

9. Getting harder and harder to follow conventional thinking.
“What the heck do I care (to keep up with the Jones, to stay in the status, to be organized and considerate, etc.)”

IMG_1413I run into this continuously.  First I lost interest in news on TV.  Then I lost interest in sports on TV.  Then TV.  The I lost interest in Twitter.  I have lost interest in borders, political infighting, and Facebook itself gives me ample opportunity to introspect — what things that I read there feel ‘off’?  Why?  What dogma am I holding onto?  Can I promote health and healing?  How can I mentor my own children to tune into their own life’s purpose, while also not sparing them of life’s experiences?  What about homes, commuting, pollution… Who are my tribe?  How can I help to melt barriers, and bring more peace and brotherhood to this beautiful blue planet?  Who are my teachers, and what are they teaching?  Am I courageous enough to follow my own inner voice?  Am I allowing myself to engage the Hero’s Journey cycle?  Can I follow my bliss?  

10. Absolute need to rest and relax.

The advent of feeling a deep connection to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga has allowed me to give myself the chance to rest and relax.  In my immediate current past life, I once realized I was often alone.  A friend pointed out to me ‘We try to invite you to come hang out with us, but you’re always so busy’.  And she was right.  I had list upon list of things to do, places to go, people to see, miles to run.  Now it’s pretty simple.  Yoga, rest, connect with those I love, work, spend time connecting to source.

IMG_038111. Feeling younger or childlike.  In fact, your friends may notice you look younger.

I recently had someone ask me what I am doing to get younger.  And the only thing I could think was I am young at heart.  I love to jump around and play…try new things… and the sun… there was point in my “career” where I felt 20 years older than my years.  But after a series of epiphanies, within 4 years I felt 20 years younger than my age.  Also: LAUGH and go to concerts.  Wear silly clothes and costumes.

 

IMG_013112. Urge to do what you like to do.  Again, like a small kid. Being in the joy becomes increasingly important to you, replacing other priorities.

One of the more profound epiphanies was handed to me by my friend Frederick who said, and I paraphrase, “Why don’t you just do what you would’ve done had this not happened?”  And so began a wild adventure — travel, retreats, festivals, truly the beginning of a journey into respecting what I love… 

13. Change in sexual drive.

Certainly there’s a great deal more discernment and desire.  As I have felt increasingly on soul’s purpose I have also felt increasing intimacy, and knowing when something is not something I can happily continue with.  I have also gained clarity in that intimate relationships in order to be as sustainable as is possible, must be mutual and organic.  There’s just no other way.  Turns a little  boom~boom into ‘a divine alignment of each chakra and the blessed union of souls’


14. Change in sleep patterns.  
Sometimes you wake up at 3 or 4 am every night, sometimes you sleep 10 hours or take a long nap.IMG_0083

Boy is that true.

15. Physical symptoms such as ringing in the ear, change in vision (sometimes daily), or strange itching and twitching around the body.

We really covered this at great length in the Intuitive Mastery course.  There are many ways spirit gets our attention.  Clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience… and more.  Plus Angel numbers, lyrics, ‘coincidences’… Once we wake up to this the list just gets longer and longer.  One close friend gets ‘chills’ as a confirmation of spiritually on purpose.


16. And some report switching back and forth between the new way and the old way. Well, this can happen if you don’t allow yourself to be in the new way.

IMG_1435_2I want to say yes, you can ‘sort of’ be back and forth… but it’s not the same as before.  It’s go back a little and feel awkward, resistant, off purpose, even a little beat up or sad… then start moving in the intended direction again and lighten and elevate… it’s like waking up stairs that appear via faith under foot, and start disappearing below.  There’s a saying, too, that I feel is appropriate here ‘Some people aspire to a life of spirit, but for others, spirit grabs you’… I have known more than a few who said “hey, I don’t want this awareness”… and try to fight it.  That’s ultimately not going to work.  Surrender is the surest way to victory.  Dogma and attachment are the surest form of suffering.  Ignorance and resistance leads to chaos.  And it’s hard enough because chaos exists without our adding to it.  And by the way,”Pizza, you are NOT my bae.”

Each person’s sensitivity is different. These are not temporary symptoms, with Ascension soul shift, this is going to be your new way, so you are best to embrace the changes. With Ascension soul shift, your existing soul crosses over without the physical death, and you receive a new version of soul, so it’s a way of being born again. What is great is we retain the body and the knowledge we have accumulated. You are the same person, yet you are new. So the best way to go around is to embrace the new you rather than resisting it. So where are we headed to? Becoming a lightbody and achieving immortality is one possibility. Remembering the various psychic / supernatural / extrasensory abilities we possess is another. Together, we are creating the New World, or the new version of heaven on Earth.

The way to ascend, then, is:
To be open to this change, the shift of ages, the Ascension.  ALLOWING
To increase the vibration by aligning more with Divine Love, Light, Truth, Abundance and Power. ENTER THETA
To embrace the changes including Ascension soul shift. KNOW AND BE INTENTIONALLY INTUITIVE
To live in the Now.  LET GO OF THE THEN

Ascension happens in the Now, not in the future. Or more accurately, Ascension is about breaking the illusion of time. Ascension is a natural process, and you will be guided to do what you need to do. In a sense, you don’t have to try to ascend at all.
xxxx

Soul Guidance (Each One & Teach One)”

As we begin to live in this solution, we begin to feel more on purpose when we are on purpose, and we also will face things that look and feel like challenges — this is when we really need others around us to assist us in staying awake, to help us come back to truth, and also to use any tools that might assist us in making the path to the higher heart and higher self easier to access, because it is always there.

As Yoda said,”There is no try, there is only do” or something like that, I am not sure because I sort of lost interest in movies too.

Love
bk

How one dog I knew only from social media taught me about unconditional love and complete devotion

11139478_10206480524276318_1866949678_nThe other day as I was ‘listening’ through my soul’s eye to the words that came to me through instagram, my facebook feed, and my text and email (we can discuss this later) I came across a picture of a wonderful human, let’s call her Nicole, with her beloved (and recently departed ) pup let’s say her name was ‘Maizy’…

And I began to reminisce about how I had seen both photos and videos of this delightful spirit, Maizy, and how she humbly yet enthusiastically lived her life. In particular, this dog had a love affair for empty, but not cleaned, peanut butter jars.  And that’s where this story comes from.

11124577_10206480524316319_1237466483_nAt the time I would look at these images and smile, I mean really happily smile, and lose myself in what the feeling of being so lost in something you love can feel like.

The other day one of her pictures popped up again, and I was immediately transported to the joy of that pup, experiencing the depth of flavor of her beloved jar, while at the same time being present for the rest of her daily life. I reached out to Nicole and asked her if she minded sharing some pictures and a little history of Maizy with me. Nicole was so open to this, and immediately got back to me.

11130708_10206480530796481_260617208_n“I rescued her from Philadelphia Animal Control when she was 9 months old, so she was with me for about 10 years before she died. She was a scrawny 27 lb pound pup when I rescued her and she grew up to be 75lbs. She “worked” as a therapy dog visiting the elderly once a week and going to the library every weekend where children would practice reading to her until a health issue (she broke her tail) caused us to stop going while she recovered (and then we didn’t make it back because of time issues on my end – also, she would sleep for two days after visiting the elderly – it took a lot out of her). She had the best personality. She loved people. She was friends with everyone she ever met.”

Let me give you a little more background into who I am… Obviously I am a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person – read Elaine Aron’s website http://hsperson.com/ ) and since a young age I have had experiences with things that are a tad strange and supernatural.  Honestly life could become uncomfortable enough that I wanted them to go away, and sometimes tried to make them go away. But 11131797_10206480524356320_1704846195_nas an adult, I have learned to welcome intuitive hits, soul connections, all things of a ‘tribal’ nature, of dharma and karma, and of trying to live closer to authentically on my soul’s purpose, not an easy task for a man who spent most of his adult life trying to stifle his intuitive awareness with logic and resistance.

So what is it about this pup that compelled me to write. It’s that I can actually feel the joy she is feeling. It’s expressed in a humorous, ‘dog’ manner. Seeing the pictures ‘change’ my vibration. And I can tune into that joy, and experience it for myself. And that’s what I wanted to share with you. To be right where you are, and then possibly, to tune in, and feel the shift into the complete love and devotion this wonderful spirit exhibits.  I see her and she’s ‘all love’.  I imagine her thought bubble as something like this: “I love this walk.  I love Nicole. And I love this jar.  This is the best moment ever.  No, now is.  Wait, no now!! ”  And so on.

Yes I know it’s a dog and a peanut butter jar, but my world of the spiritual, and in my experience, this is how the ‘message’ is sent to me. An unexpected messenger appears and rings a bell, a tuning fork, that is too true to ignore.

In those moments I have learned to slow down and really listen.

11120579_10206480530716479_205912695_nI am reminded that the answers are inside us. And usually the answer is to let go more, to trust more, to move away from that or those who consistently bring us pain or sorrow.  Even now, just looking at these pictures of Maizy spending her day with jar make me smile, laugh and chuckle.  They also remind me that not only is it okay to show genuine affection, but that open heartedness is a sign of our indomitable spirit… there’s a calm warm enthusiasm and confidence about it.  It’s not cold and detached or aloof.  It’s ALL IN.  Right up until the moment we fall asleep again.

So it’s not really about who said what, whether they looked at their phone, or any of that.  It’s about being a dog.  A dog with a jar.

A Lovely Bout of Introspection

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facebook-logoI like to use Facebook as my own personal newspaper. It’s like that 8th grade class where you’re learning about mass communications, and they teach you ‘Who, What, When, Where, Why and How” as the skeleton for conveying news, send you scurrying to read newspapers, and then have you mock up your own hometown blend. What I post is usually something I have resonated with, and deemed worthy of sharing for a variety of reasons.  I respect the freedom of others to do the same.

The ‘feed’ is another topic altogether. This is the reverse. This is where I am fed what other people place on their facebook page, based on whatever criteria they use to distribute information. My general rule in reading is that I need, yes need, a variety of positive streams to assist me in creating the vibration I choose to live by. I frequently use the unfollow button, when a person consistently distributes some brand of negativism. More often, however, I find hidden gems.

But there’s another side, too. Sometimes somebody posts something which gives me a glimpse inside their heart, or their mind… and I find it riveting, compelling, thought provoking and then begin the process of self-inventory to see what exactly are my beliefs in this area: what inside me has been triggered.

Recently I read one such post. I will keep the writer anonymous. Here is what she wrote:

So this is for me. A little honesty therapy I think would make me feel “cleansed.” These are MY thoughts. They don’t have to be yours. If you find what I say offensive, well it might be time for us to part our separate ways, and that’s ok. :-)
After several years of practicing yoga, going through a seriously intense yoga teacher training, and teaching for several years, I’ve come to the conclusion that Yoga is 98% bullshit. “Yogis” are in my experience the most deceitful, self-centered, non-authentic and downright nasty people that I’ve ever met despite the fact that they’d rather you think they’re peaceful, grounded, angelic like figures. You just can’t be one with the earth while wearing $120 spandex pants. I publicly acknowledge that my posing photos posted here and on Instagram were ridiculous and pretentious. I no longer wish to associate myself within that group of people. For my penance, I wish to save you $100+/month and several hours of your time… Stretch gently, and in regular ways at home daily in a non-heated, comfortable environment. Using that time, take some deep breaths, relax, and reflect about how lovely your life is. You’ll get all the benefits minus the hipster, trendy crap. You’re welcome and thank you! ”

The first thing that came to my mind when I read this was that I have learned to express my feelings from the first person. It’s unlikely that I am ever going to rail at you for being a narcissist or a hipster or something related to ” you “.  I might instead say that after intensive study, after a teacher training, after several years of teaching, that I have discovered that I do not like the yoga scene and I no longer feel that teaching yoga is a good for fit for me personally.  Or I might cite a personal issue that came up, and how I felt about it.  Or I might even just be aware that this no longer serves what I feel is my highest purpose, and I seek a change.

It’s been my own life experience that occasionally things I once thought were so important and so incredible became less so as I experienced growth and change. I have learned that it’s okay to have a change of heart, based upon new findings.

My observations and experiences regarding the world of yoga here in the west have up to this point however been completely and diametrically opposed to what is written above. Just the other day I was talking to a friend about how I had received an anonymous gift in the mail and that I thought perhaps it had been sent by a person I met in California two summers ago who had started a pay it forward gift exchange. He and his friend had offered a shared ride from the Reno airport to Squaw Valley and I was lucky enough to be their passenger. They’re really two of the coolest most open hearted loving talented creative people I’ve met. Are they trendy, good-looking and hip?  Hell yes.

Yogis are not, however, without fault. On the contrary they are humans just like me with flaws and frailties with fears insecurities and also with strength encourage and tenacity.

And it turned out my anonymous gift actually was from another yogi and close friend. Just because. How nice is that?

This morning in a class it became apparent to me that Yoga may look like a purely physical practice but what they say is true – it’s much more. It’s really not about pushing your body to the point of injury. It is however about pushing back on the boundaries of comfort and finding that metaphorical edge.  Like with many physical endeavors we gain lessons in courage. We come away more aware of our weaknesses ~ the things that hold us back ~ and a newfound sense of hope and strength and support.

As a result of showing up regularly I have become aware of myself as having a positive courageous and open heart. I have become aware that I like challenges. And I have also become aware that it times I simply fall apart.

As I continue to dwell on this I think — my view on yoga is not so much who you are and what labels I can apply, but who am I and what do I bring to my mat, to the studio, and off the mat – into life. I like to think I bring sincerity. That is, I will try new things, I will listen and do what the instructor says, even if I’m unable I am mentally envisioning and sending messages to my body to give its best effort. I also like to think I bring an open heart. I am genuinely interested in the subject and in you. Lastly I like to think I have no real agenda except to be present and let this adventure unfold before me.

I am a relative newcomer to yoga at just over 2 years. My yoga adventures have lead me to 4 countries including the US and many states, as well as festivals and workshops. Overwhelmingly I have found the people I meet to be perfectly imperfect, but fascinating in that they too are following a path that is challenging and captivating. They seem for the most part to be studious, dedicated and warm hearted.

instagram-logoI’m well aware that we live in the age of the selfie, of social media, and I’m aware of the controversial gurus who have, like the golf and tennis pros and personal trainers of ill repute, fallen prey to the temptation of misusing their power as teacher with their clientele.

I’m well aware that there are clothing and fashion trends and that companies market heavily to a hungry consumer base. I heard someone say recently “Yoga: love the practice hate the scene” … And here’s what I have to say about that. If I’m uncomfortable with someone or something then I just go somewhere else. Live and let live. But live.

I make a conscious choice to expand my view and experience base rather than narrow it.  With respect to Instagram, asana selfies and yoga challenges, I have found personal growth, a sense of community and improvement in my practice because of this practice.

So it is with gratitude I conclude this rambling essay. I plan to continue my yoga practice and my hippy thoughts and wear the clothes I want and listen to the music I like… And to my anonymous, frustrated friend, I thank you for writing your thought provoking post and I look forward to my next magical yoga adventure…

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Moving Toward Joy

The other day I came upon this image:IMG_3629

I immediately began to revisit some recent conversations, and some observations about what things about other’s life trajectory that really got me feeling happy and enthusiastic, light and motivated.

A friend and I talked about her family moving to Portland, and gradually into what we call a ‘Tiny Home’ (www.tinyhomebliss.com) … I get very sunshiny when I think of relocating to the west and the subject of either artisanal unique small homes or adaptive re-use… about workmanship, and unique designs.

IMG_3614I recently talked to two men with whom I share a career and both of whom made a conscious decision to leave the profession. They talked about the emotional struggle and the years tied up in making a heartfelt shift, but ultimatelyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA their ease and joy for having done so. This too connected me to a powerful sense of well being and hope.

Everyday I see and talk to and read about my loving friends who are tapping into their intuitive, their healing, and their desire to teach others to become more powerful in their choices. I can literally picture myself doing the same.  Some are already in positions where they feel on purpose, while others are in the same process I am — sometimes it seems illogical, yet it is the next right thing.

IMG_2961When I visit organic juice stores I always study everything there with an innate desire for that knowledge. I feel myself lift, elevate and see a purpose.  I can feel myself vibrating at a different level.  I beam.

As I experience adventures – travel, retreats, festivals, concerts… yoga studios here and there, and places where I meet like minded individuals — I feel most alive and at home, among the healthy and open hearted; the open minded.

At other times however there is a much heavier, much darker awareness as I continue to pursue something I originally did with conviction and great sense of divine purpose. In the past several years, it has become a means to an ends only. At a deeper level I do still have a sense of purpose contained within regarding this, but that the way I do it has to change if I am to be on my soul’s purpose.  For instance today I spoke with my CPA who believes that by taking the time away from work to explore our hopes and dreams accepts that there are punishments for this… And while it is logical to think and say that there are consequences for each action or inaction, the very thought of this is such a negative vibration I immediately turn away from it.  I do not believe in the need to be punished for our dharma.

 

What would I do if I knew I could not fail?  I would make an abrupt change to the amount of time I spend in my office, and the thriving office would support my employees and partner, as well as cover expenses and leave me income too.

Second, I would incorporate the business idea I have, and outfit one or two bikes.  I would set up card readers on phones, and we would start delivering our product to local parks and festivals as the weather gets warmer.  I am attracting a team to assist in this healthy adventure.adore van

Third I will get underway with Yoga teacher training, for the purpose of deepening my understanding of the practice and to provide me an opportunity to teach.

Fourth I would continue to travel to new places, really focusing upon whether a place resonates with me as a primary location to reside.  I am open to relocating.

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In the meantime I would continue to practice and add more in-studio time.  I would continue to stay close to and aware of what makes me feel alive.  I am inspired by what I am learning and feeling, and am connected to myself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Fifth, I am open to all possibilities, not just the ones that occur to me consciously, but also to those that miraculously happen.  Not just business, but in all things.

 

Today I saw this Abraham-Hicks quote,
and will remind myself that everyday will
contain myriad gifts, and I am open
to discovering them.

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Yesterday after writing most of this, I began to feel very anxious.  This happens often when I write.  I write from the heart, and the critical voices do still come up.  I felt naked, and thought perhaps I would delete this article.  However, I regained my purpose:  If my experience and observation can help even one person, then it is worth confronting my own fears.

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raising awareness of ‘lightness’

      Warning: This post is going to be very stream of conscience

 

 

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“Heaviness” has always been a part of who I am as an athlete and as a student.

Heaviness is an approach that developed, I believe, out of necessity, although I am immediately aware of the limiting belief of what I just wrote… to get things done the best way I could using what I had at the time — and that I now think of in terms of hitting things HARD… Using force… making an impact… even struggling, but persevering.  I’ve heard it referred to as ‘grinding’, powering through, muscling… There’s no implication of faith or of lightness of being or floating…

That approach helped me to achieve quite a bit in life. In fact by many I am deemed a success. See my desire, visualize the outcome, and use drive and determination to make it happen.

Digression: Beginning about 25 years ago, I began to become acquainted with the idea that letting go, having faith and trust, and not just always ‘applying myself’ can bring about miraculous change…

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Yes I said 25 years ago. I am a slow learner. Slow but when I learn something, generally I really get it.  In yoga I jokingly refer to my asana practice changing by ‘microns’, joyfully.  This contrasts with my many years of running and racing — keeping stats (distance, pace, feeling, weather…) and frequent disappointments over now always attaining a personal best.

So here is where I am at 2+ years into a fairly dedicated yoga routine… ” Instead of struggling and straining in poses (as we may do in life with the stage-play), try to find ease and comfort. Struggle builds tension and tension creates closure and blockage. We become stuck. So we must try and lighten!” (Taken from this beautifully written article: Lightness and Yoga )

Nowhere in my practice do I notice this more than in inversions like handstand and forearm balance.  Calmness is the key to lightness for me here.  This is why I do those each day. I check in with my ability to breath calmly and deeply.

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It has only been through persistent and sincere practice that I am beginning to sense this: “This can be done by finding the pose and easing into it, not bashing and crashing into it! Lift the burden of the pose and transform it upwards. This is really the key: an upward movement! Try to bring the pose from a sinking mode into a balance between ground and sky, between root and lightness. Then you will find that the body begins to feel light and open.” (Taken from the same article)

As I stated in the beginning… I have lived a lot of my life as a basher and crasher, and so, what I have felt persistently in my practice is a sense of sinking.  Recently my instructor stated “some of your postures look heavy”… and he then watched me in a series of inversions… after which he wanted to know “How did I feel”… The truth was, the power of being at a balance point feels scary to me.  And so, ‘I hold back…’ and ‘do what I need to do to get my weight back on the ground’…

I see other yogis practice, and I love the way so many float… so many move through space without momentum… just literally defying gravity – from the look of it, and I think of how I practice, and have been intrigued because the method I have been employing might not get me there, ever.  But… and this is the good part… the way I practice brought me to the awareness, once again, that I have developed mechanisms for living that once worked, but that now need to be edited, or let go of.

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I hope my experience and observation reaches some of you — and if so then this sharing has been worth writing.  If you see me bashing and crashing, come talk to me, and if I see you I’ll remind you as well.

My progress is measured in sustainability, in microns, and in gradually becoming less addicted to gravity.

Changing Directions

1796682_10151925088832011_279666958_nI have been writing for a while on the subject of how love doesn’t actually die.  I have been writing about how love lost triggers grieving, and how the grieving process transmutes the essential energy of love into another form of essential energy…through the process of emotional and spiritual sublimation.  The love never dies, just as when people pass, we recognize they’re not really gone…only their physical form… Their essence remains…

Over the course of this blog — if you go back and read through the posts, or chapters, or whatever we call them… you will see that in my grief, I took the advice of my closest friends, and chose to travel, be open to new friendships, to let a dream die, to let a person go… in spite of or better, because of how I was feeling inside.  I chose the pathway of feeling my feelings, and of anahata.

“WILLIAM, to make hard tasks easy, mountains molehills, and challenges simple, you can opt for one of two paths. You can be still, wait for guidance, and expect spontaneous enlightenment.

Or you can just roll up your sleeves and get busy doing what you can, with what you’ve got, from where you are. 

May I suggest the latter? It’s usually much faster. And it makes you a bloomin’ lightening rod for divine guidance and spontaneous enlightenment. 

Hi-ho,
The Universe”

That process, that journey has landed me into the midst of a new awareness and a new set of desires.  An awareness that just maybe I had spent the bulk of my adult life doing something and being someone… because that was what my life had become.  In essence I had simply created a large-1series of ‘jobs’ for myself… What was once so clearly a ‘soul’s purpose’ became, gradually a ‘dogma’… Strange that I learned this through the loss of a relationship or two, and the process of sublimation — the addition of new information, of clarity, of following my heart again… of trusting myself… of discovering new friends I trust…

“You do realize, WILLIAM, that your friends are just me in disguise?

Pulling out all the stops to reach you, love you, and see you. 

Tallyho,
The Universe”

I am changing directions.

“A Manifestation Tip from your friend, the Universe:

WILLIAM, feeling gratitude in advance, before you even receive, as if you already had, whether for direction or abundance or anything else, opens the floodgates. 

Pressing, gushing, filling –

The Universe”

largeAnd I CAN get there from here.

“It is of great value for you to give your conscious attention to what you specifically want, otherwise you can be swept up by the influence of that which surrounds you. You are bombarded by the stimulation of thought. And so, unless you are setting forth the thought that is important to you, you can be stimulated by another’s thought that may or may not be important to you.

—Abraham”

It’s been particularly helpful to follow Mike Dooley, Abraham-Hicks, Rachel Brathen (who has been openly going through a grieving process)… It’s been particularly healing to have friends who have my best interests at heart, and it’s been incredibly helpful to find a pathway to clarity on a yoga mat… and in the warm sunshine… in a gentle breeze…

You can expect me to share more now about the direction I seek… The path I am now on.

Bill

We truly are all about Synergy.

 

INTERMISSION!

wfms-usability-ehr-041_0I have been gradually writing about the events of my last year or two or three or four as I have time, interest, courage & motivation to do so. Occasionally something significant happens that causes me to ‘squirrel’ or ‘bump off’ the course I was on… And this happened to me three times in the last two weeks.

And I love it!  So I am calling “Intermission” for now to tell you about it.

Three different people wrote me to inquire, challenge, discuss the subjects I write about… These subjects have varied from Practice Management Consulting to a variety of Fitness & Health topics, to Relationships, Love, and to Spirit – Soul’s Path – Dharma…

But this year’s writings were really about what happened to me in the wake of a relationship that ended and how I tried to stay open, and live well, in spite of some really dark times and painful sad feelings ~ the likes of which I’d not experienced before.

2 of the people who wrote me are people I knew in high school. I knew both superficially… and a long time ago. One, Heidi, wrote me with the question I had been HOPING without knowing I was hoping — ‘How can you have been married for 15 years, go through a divorce, and be okay with it — then be in a relationship with someone for a couple months, and be and feel so broken?’

Fucking Brilliant. I mean it sincerely. Heidi — that question is the one my soul asks… And the answer that keeps coming up is that there are times and there are people and situations that are Life Lessons, with caps. I believe that my marriage ended because we BOTH were done with it and Knew our time together was over. It wasn’t easy, and it’s not easy… but it was necessary.

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This other relationship… this short term relationship was unlike anything I have ever experienced (it’s quite unusual to have someone call, for example, and say ‘I just sensed that you are freezing cold’ — and at that moment 600 miles away, be standing shivering in the freezing rain, soaked to the skin, after running…) (And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the level of connection) My life ‘made sense’ with this person, in spite of many logistical issues… And made a lot less sense without her.

In fact it still doesn’t really make sense… just yet… but I did learn a great deal about what a relationship can be, other ways of connecting, and most importantly, about the spiritual truth that ‘attachment is the cause of all human suffering’… love is not attachment, love is about unlimited compassion… UNLIMITED.

And that’s what the next question was about … My other old friend wrote me to tell me that she, too, had been feeling a very strong pull away from a well insulated job in a corporate setting… and it had taken her a few years, but that recently she had completed a transition into something that beat strongly in her heart – much more in alignment with her soul’s purpose… She asked me and we discussed — what am I up to professionally, and what’s in my heart, and how do I plan upon moving from point A to point B… and we laughed because it’s really not that much about ‘determination’ but about ‘allowing’ and about ‘openness’ and about ‘aligning with that which is pulling us’… To simply let go a million times a second and see where the wave takes you. Don’t confuse this with ‘job dissatisfaction’ — we are talking about being aware that it’s wholly possible to keep doing what we are doing and being remunerated for it… the commonly held notion of success — we were talking much more along the lines of Joseph Campbell…

For her, it happened, and she’s never been happier. For me, I am about midway there in a 3-4 year event cycle… so I am told, and so I believe. I wish I could just rush it, but at least at this point I know that’s not possible.

Finally the third person, Ellen Smoak, a relationships expert I had hired as a ‘coach’ of my own… wrote an email about DISCERNMENT ( https://www.facebook.com/notes/ellen-smoak/the-real-d-in-dating/596850587051648 )… It was as timely as the other two letters I received and equally thought provoking… It resonated with me, and reminded me that I hold within me, a power to make a decision to ‘launch’ into something based upon any number of conditions — whether they be of the heart or the mind or both… Not to be confused with fear, hesitation, or confusion – discernment simply is a value, a decision, a choice about whether or not to invest time, energy, emotion into a relationship, a business idea, anything really… It is freedom in disguise!

This has been the intermission. This is the way ‘spirit’ works in my life… People ‘pop’ up at key moments with clear messages… and I am guided on. My conclusions were these –

1. Sometimes things don’t make sense or have a rational explanation… they just are.
2. If you have a strong sense of clarity, of purpose, intention, desire, then by all means follow it… even if the process unfolds slowly and requires intense remodeling of your life before…
3. Pause. Reflect. Sit with yourself. Listen to your heart. Do not allow others to rush your process. Practice Discernment – because you are intrinsically worthy of making decisions from that healthy place.

11b4464d9a402b1006b6e7dfcc915329Next, I will get back to telling you about the Soul’s Path Retreat in Costa Rica in April of 2013.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Bill

P.S. A 4th person wrote to ask me ‘If you could go back to your 20’s and change one thing, what would it be… and it would be ‘to pay attention to, and to follow my intuition’… Suppressing it, overriding it, intellectualizing it away, being involved in people pleasing… none of it pays off except to delay the inevitable… As my good friend Lori says — it’s like trying to hold a door closed that’s being blown open by a hurricane — eventually you get tired, you get sore, and the blows open anyway.