It's a struggle, but also, a full circle.

I really hadn’t gotten sick since my early 30s, and I’m now 51. I experience that window where I know that if I don’t take care of myself I will get sick, and if I do, it will have been just a couple days of something that’s going around that could have come on. I’m good at catching those windows and giving myself added attention through self-care.

I might still be able to argue that I haven’t gotten full blown sick… I lost my voice before Christmas, both my eyes were red for several days, and now I might be feeling a little something in my chest. Gratefully, my energy is fine, I feel steady, my body doesn’t ache, I don’t have a fever, nor a headache or stomachache, or anything that might make me feel otherwise slightly incapacitated.

But it makes me wonder what I need to attune to. It’s at the tip of my awareness, but I am not fully there.

I am currently in a transitional time in my life where both my children are seniors; my youngest will be going to college next year, and my oldest is graduating from college. Over the next few months, they will both know what city they will be living in. Maybe one will even live with me, or maybe I will have a different roommate (my boyfriend). Alas it could be both. Or neither. I haven’t lived with another adult in 17 years. Also, my studio is in transition where my business partner and I have moved from being the main teachers at the studio to giving the floor to many others. We are figuring out how to make this transition seamless (probably more emotionally than anything else) and have us all come out prosperous with the growing community that is as strong and as dynamic as ever. I get how growing a business is an incredibly spiritual practice.

We care about the world, and the world is moving fast, and the divide so intense and painful, and at the same time there are voices that speak poetry, inspire, make phenomenal change, and blur the lines of separation to bring us together as one human race. We feel so threatened by hearing the other side, trying to understand them. Working alongside them can feel like selling out, and we have trouble reconciling with that. Yet that’s what it would take to heal the world and to heal ourselves.

I feel caught in this constant reconciliation between the two sides, because I can see that everyone is doing their best. I think I’ve got it, but I realize that it will feel like effort for a while until maybe my own life transition settles down, at least in my heart if not physically. I think perhaps the intensity of our socio-political world that I am so sensitive to and the transition in my work and personal life all at once has created more internal pressure than I was aware of, and my body is telling me to step back for a moment. Check out the landscape, switch gears a little bit, and remember and reassess what I am doing and why.

As I share this, I can say with sincerity that I love where I am, and I do embrace this period where how the next phase of my life will roll out (and what the world will look like) is unknown to me. But clearly, it’s stressing me out a bit. And as I write this sentence, I laugh as I recognize that I get to go through another huge shift that I hadn’t gone through since my early 30s.

Like everyone else, I want to experience living fully.

So I’m enjoying paying attention to the ways that I don’t want to live fully; to the ways that I don’t show up. From the moment that I press the snooze button to the ease at which fear can cancel plans.

When the bed beckons, and I lie down in it for a moment, and it feels so good- what was the contrast that preceded it that opened the bed up to such a pleasureful experience?

What is that?

I’m enjoying this conversation between the two places that I’ve become conscious to. It was always there. I just hadn’t realized I was having it.

Loneliness and our need to be seen

What if our sense of belonging is directly correlated with our willingness to be (or stand by) ourselves? Can we feel like we truly belong when we become what we think others want us to be?

For those of us who might not be able to distinguish the difference, there’s a lot to unpack. But it seems totally worth it as it is that one of our essential human need is to be seen.

We work from our past

Let’s use it to our advantage. We know we look to it, and we know it shapes us. We also know that our memories are not the most accurate, and we’ve reshaped them to be what they are today. It’s the reason why my sister and I can share stories of our past, having lived in the same household, and wonder if in fact we grew up in the same household.

We tend to focus on the stuff that limit us, or where things (we, or others) went wrong. As if this is the responsible and productive thing to do. But what it does is have us believing we aren’t enough, we aren’t deserving; that we are victims, and when we come from that place, we can’t act in accordance with our higher selves, nor can we receive the gifts and joys that come our way (which they do, more frequently than one might believe), at least without feeling like they are on loan.

People that have money make it with greater ease because having it is in their reality so they don’t question it. People that didn’t have it growing up and make it don’t carry the weight of the tempting story of its unattainability, laboriousness, and the magic formula paired with the right emotions needed to make it. Nor do they question whether they should accept it. The very same goes with relationships and the company we surround ourselves in.

How would things change if we focused on what we have? On what we love, what makes us feel good beyond the split moment, what nourishes us and makes us feel connected? How would the experiences of our relationships shift if we saw the best in all?

When we can spend more time focusing on what creates joy in our lives, we can see more of it, we necessitate more of those things to show up (because the Universe seems to make our deepest truest thoughts right), and because we don’t energy drain on the shortcomings we’ve made to be true, we don’t shackle ourselves with questions of our self worth and whether or not we are deserving. We just show up, we serve, we ask, we smile from a more cellular level, and we receive and integrate what’s coming to us without questioning that reality.

So let’s create a more wealthy, fun, and happy habit of looking to the past at what’s connected and nourished us, and what’s brought us joy. Let’s look to how the people in our lives have done the best that they could, and still do, given the tools that they’ve had. Let’s focus on those things, because those things strike cords in us that vibrate in a way that feels resonant with prosperity. We’ve got to resonate with it in order to fully receive it: the connection, abundance, good health, digestion, sleep/relaxation, the thoughtfulness and generosity of others. Let’s trust this, and call on it, with 2020 clarity.

2020 Vision

Happy New Year!

It’s a beginning of not just a new year, but a new decade.

Numerologically, we have a 4 (2+0+2+0) with 2 zeros. The 4th body is the neutral mind, and the 4th chakra is the heart center. The 0 represents Suniai, Deep Listening. Go deep into your soul, your heart center, and listen to the vibration of the Universe, Infinite Intelligence, the wisdom that lies within you. You are one and the same. This is the year you might consider honing this habit as your reference and guide so that you may become more self-referred, self-trusting, and so that you may experience a more sustainable joy from the inside out rather than the fleeting one that comes from feeding the ego or from finding momentary approval.

Now I have two questions.

Question #1: If I were to ask you to think of a habit, a commitment or responsibility, or any recurring experiences in 2019 that was a colossal waste of time, what would it be? Forget the justifications. Just listen to your impulse for a moment and observe what comes up.

Stop reading. Close your eyes for a moment. Write that down.


Question #2: If I were to ask you to think of experiences in the past year that gave you so much joy, feeling of accomplishment or celebration, brought you to a stronger sense of self, what would that/ those be? For the purpose of this exercise, leave children and being a Mom out of this and focus on those aspects that have more to do with your own person.

Write it/ them down. You may want to write it on nicer paper and decorate this one because this is where you want to place your attention, because what you pay attention to grows. Self-love and joy passes down to your children and spreads out to others, so don’t worry about that. They all benefit most from witnessing you self-care and self-love.

Put this one up. Burn the other sheet from Question 1.

May we be free from the obstacles of illusion
and be led to the shores of fulfillment.
May we know what to do, where to go, who to talk to, and what to say.
May we all be healed, loved, and fed.
May be be prosperous and joyful.
And may peace dwell in our hearts and on this planet.
Sat Nam (truth is your name).

Being self-aware can create resilience.

It can serve when trauma, or overwhelm, hits.

If you breathe quietly in your body, and you feel your bodily experience, and stuff happens to you, you notice something is happening out there, and you say, “oh this really sucks, this is really unpleasant,” but it is something that is not you, so you don’t necessarily get hijacked by unpleasant experiences.

The big issue for traumatized people is that they don’t own themselves anymore. Any loud sound, anyone insulting them, hurting them, saying bad things, can hijack them away from themselves. And so what we have learned is that what makes you resilient to trauma is to own yourself fully. And if somebody says hurtful or insulting things, you say, “Hm. Interesting that that person is saying insulting and hurtful things.”

You can separate yourself from them.

And we are really beginning to understand how human beings can learn how to do that; to observe and not react.

We have to feel safe, and it has to be a bodily perception and not a cognitive perception.

You need to actually feel that feeling. You need to know what is happening in your body. You need to know where your right toe is, where your pinky is. It’s very very basic but sorely lacking in our diagnostic system. Simple things like eating, peeing, pooping because that is the foundation of everything.

And breathing.

These are foundational things. All of which go wrong when you get traumatized. The most elementary body functions go awry when you are terrified. And so trauma treatment starts at the foundation of a body that can sleep, a body that can rest, a body that feels safe, a body that can move.

-Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, innovator in treating the effects of overwhelming experiences (trauma). Source: On Being Podcast: How Trauma Lodges in the Body