“I am wildly open to unexpected miracles,
the vastness of the Universe
and the beauty of my calling.”

I awoke New Year’s morning with this affirmation running through my mind and heart: a desire to be OPEN to the vastness of potential. Yes, have goals and dreams but realize that the Universe longs to surprise and enfold us in its generous arms.

When we become too ‘narrow’ in our aspirations, it ‘chokes’ the largest part of the lifeline – the flow of abundance in every form. By taking a 360 degree view of what is possible,- without expectation and fear-based (illusion of) control we allow that limitless potential to invite us into those arms – those wide open arms.

Also allowing ourselves to spend time in those quiet, still moments of ‘emptiness’ (that is not empty) we enter the domain where the miracles reside. See/feel yourself saying joyfully and confidently, “WOW! I had never even IMAGINED that THIS could happen. This is amazing!!” And invite serendipity to come calling.

So my main resolution – or I actually prefer the term intention – is to be more OPEN, more childlike in my witnessing the wonder of what surrounds me and longs to reveal itself to me: grateful for every breath, every heartbeat and every magical unfolding.

“I am wildly open to unexpected miracles,
the vastness of the Universe
and the beauty of my calling.”

Namasté and a miraculous 2014 to you!

She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing ‘yes’ into the sky.”
- Monique Duval

I just discovered this wonderful quote and love it – this sense of freedom that resides WITHIN us always. Not when we finally have ‘enough’ money, not when the perfect mate appears in our lives, not when we are 100% pain free… Now.

What a magical time we find ourselves in… Solstice, Christmas and dawning not only of a new year, but a new era.

Can you feel it? While on some levels it appears that chaos has taken over as we see everything from tumultuous weather patterns to eruptions of violence and greed, there is also an underlying grace that is emerging. In my heart of hearts I feel it: a recognition of unity that will (and is) melting the facade of lack and separation.

Like a candle in a dark night, may we share our radiance – and the glow we create will light up the world. We will know and experience the truth: Only Love is real. Now THAT is freedom.

Affirmation: Divinely supported, I embrace the challenge, the excitement and the wonder of the flight.
Image

A beautiful scene from the time when I was living in Germany came to me recently as I pondered the idea of trusting the process of life. I was sitting out on the balcony of the apartment we were renting on a marvelous spring day just watching the world go by.  Our place was at a 90 degree angle to the main part of the landlord’s house and thus in plain view of my spot in the sun.  What captured my attention was a mother bird and her four offspring perched on the edge of my landlord’s roof.  It appeared that it was ‘flight day’ – the time had come for these little winged creatures to learn to fly.  I watched in amazement as the mom jumped from the roof, flew in a circle and returned to her children, as if to say, “This is how you do it. Now YOU go.”  Time and again she repeated the short circular flight.  Each time the babies watched, looked as if they were going to follow, and would then retreat.  “This, Mom, is just a bit too scary”, they seemed to be saying.  “We are just fine here watching you.”  By this time I was totally intrigued.   

And then, one by one, something shifted within the little birds.  And one by one, they indeed took their leaps of faith.  I could almost hear them gleefully declaring their victory over their fears as they trusted their wings and flew, then returning to the safety of the rooftop once again. I felt quite privileged to have witnessed their maiden voyages.

The reason this was so meaningful to me just now is that in yoga class this week we were celebrating the gifts of our root chakra (Muladhara):  security, centeredness, and stability.  What occurred to me is that unless we are fully stable, we will not be able to fully push off into the next adventure of our lives.  If our feet are on shaky ground, there is no foundation from which to launch.  Or, in the other extreme, if we are so rooted to our current location that we find ourselves feeling stuck, there will be no progressing forward either.  

The perfect pairing for trusting in the process of life is a firm foundation and wings ready to soar.  

Here is a link a short meditation with this intention in mind should you feel inspired to launch into the next adventure of your journey.

AFFIRMATION:  Feet grounded, wings ready for flight, I soar now into the process of trusting life.

What we resist, persists. – Carl Jung

Isn’t THAT the truth? I have worked with the theory of Carl Jung for many years now and one of the biggest messages he shares is that we are not just ‘random’ creatures. There is order to how we perceive reality, make our decisions and express ourselves to the world.

And that last concept is what I would like to focus on today. Our throat chakra – Vishuddha – is all about self-expression; not just through the spoken word – though that is a huge part – but also through art, through music, through service… through whatever medium your soul chooses to shine. We all have a unique gift we came here to share. It’s rather like the Universe is one big jigsaw puzzle and if you were not here, there would be a piece missing. We ALL contribute to the bigger picture.

So what is your gift? And why do we ever resist sharing it? Resistance equals fear. And WHEN we resist, the fear grows. This can be related to any of the energy fields – whether it’s through a lack of stability, creative flow, power, connection, clarity or purpose.

Here is a series of affirmations I would like to share with you based on our chakras. These can be practiced around the release of resistance and your ability to express the ‘authentic you.’ Take a moment to think about (or FEEL about) a situation in your life where you are pushing against rather than recognizing and allowing. See what energy field seems most affected. Then proceed…

Begin by taking three deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth… A primer for releasing.

ROOT: When I am feeling secure and stable, I release resistance. I AM SECURE AND STABLE.
SACRAL: When I am in my full creative flow, I release resistance. I AM IN FULL CREATIVE FLOW.
SOLAR PLEXUS: When I embrace my personal power, I release resistance. I EMBRACE MY PERSONAL POWER.
HEART: When I live in compassionate understanding, I release resistance. I LIVE IN COMPASSIONATE UNDERSTANDING.
THROAT: When I express myself with authenticity, I release resistance. I EXPRESS MYSELF WITH AUTHENTICITY.
THIRD EYE: When I trust and follow my intuition, I release resistance. I TRUST AND FOLLOW MY INTUITION.
CROWN: When I realize my true Divine Nature, I release resistance. I REALIZE MY TRUE DIVINE NATURE.

Now breathe….allow… and repeat as necessary.:)

Blessings & Namasté.
Maureen

FLOW

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. ” -Anatole France

He came to me when he was perhaps eight weeks old. We named him Jack. I very soon thereafter added ‘the Buddha Kitty’ because I had never in my life heard a cat purr incessantly as he did… (His first trip to the vet, the doctor turned the water on to attempt to ‘scare’ him to get him to stop purring so that he could hear his heartbeat.)

And so it went, life with this gentle orange tabby, as we traveled from Nashville to our home in Birch Bay, Washington where he lived the majority of his years.
I was convinced the purring was his own way of chanting “OM” because he was indeed the most peaceful cat I had ever encountered and I have had my share of feline companions.

The morning of August 4, 2013, Jack the Buddha kitty left this earthly plane. He had walked the planet for over 16 years and perhaps he felt it was time to move on. I had kidded in the past that he was ‘my favorite’ but, truly, I love none more than the others. But Jack was incredibly special because he was indeed one of the best teachers I had ever encountered. He taught me that even in the most unfamiliar of circumstances, you can ground yourself if you just remain peaceful. He taught me that even when your brother ‘stalks’ you, gets jealous of you and is generally not real nice to you, the best thing to do is forgive and purr on. He taught me that one of the most precious gifts we can experience is to spend quiet time soaking up the rays of the sun. Oh and so much more than that did he teach me as well as he said ‘I love you” with his signature silent meow.

He’s gone now. At least from my physical reach. The tears will spill down my cheeks for a while yet. But I will do my best to remember his lessons… and breathe… and look for the good that exists in even the darkest of places as he would advise.

Jack, I will always love you.
JACK THE BUDDHA KITTY
April 1997 – August 4, 2013

Jack the Buddha Kitty

Jack the Buddha Kitty

After taking part in a beautiful mantra meditation offered by musicians Deva Premal and Miten, I was inspired to keep it going by choosing specific mantras to chant 108 times daily for a period of 21 days each. The current mantra is invoking the love and guidance of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who aids in the removal of obstacles in our lives.

I am about ten days into this one and have had some interesting revelations, the most illuminating being that sometimes the so-called obstacles we run up against are indeed the REMOVAL of an obstacle. (You may need to read that line again.) Somewhat of a paradox… but what it boils down to, I believe, is that often we think we know what is best for us and charge ahead, ignoring the clamping of our jaw, the tightness in our belly and pinball-like action taking place in our seat of intuition. “This MUST be the right decision. I’m going for it!” And when doors shut and prevent that moving forward we may initially be a bit distraught acknowledging that all the stepping stones were indeed in place. But then, maybe even simultaneously, we may experience a huge sigh of relief along with the realization that we were marching totally against the beat of our heart.

So if you have perhaps set an intention in your own life, taken some action to establish the flow but are feeling ‘stuck in neutral’ (or even reverse) then it’s time to chill. Adopt the beautiful Taoist practice of ‘Wu Wei’. It involves following the path of least resistance, not forcing, BEING rather than doing. This, by the way, in no way supports laziness. Having goals and moving towards them is what gives our life journey meaning. But the mind is a beautiful thing until takes on a life of its own, disconnected from the heart and the ‘gut’.

If this is resonating, take a deep breath (or ten)… Turn inward. Ask for guidance. Acknowledge that if it is meant to be, it will unfold and possibly in a completely different form than you had imagined.

I share with you a poem that emerged from my own experience.

I float now
untethered.

each breath
a wave of letting go…

each heartbeat
a cosmic kiss.

Full.

Empty.

Open.

Adrift in the mystery.

I
float
now.

And to tie a pretty bow on this whole concept, an affirmation to celebrate the Wu Wei…

“I sail through life with ease as I relax and let life be.”

Blessings and may all of your paths be auspiciously guided by the light of the Divine.

Ganesha

Ganesha

As I write this essay, it is Memorial Day in the year 2013. I just read an entry on Facebook that offered gratitude to all of those past and present who have given of their time and often their lives to keep our country free. We are able to traverse the land from ‘sea to shining sea’ without having to cross a border, show a passport or be turned away because of our background.

But are we really free? The total irony of what is occurring even as I type these words is enough to send me proselytizing from every rooftop and mountain. We send our men and women to far away lands to keep us, in the United States of America, safe from the ravages of war and terrorism. And simultaneously, we are under chemical attack on this very soil at the hands of our own countrymen.

As the food we eat becomes poisoned at the hands of companies like Monsanto, Dow and their subsidiaries, every man, woman, child and animal is at risk of a multitude of physical as well as emotional repercussions. The incidence of allergies, autism, thyroid disorders, bowel disease and more are on the rise and this is no coincidence. Not a surprise when poisons have been introduced into our soil and water and our animals, not to mention Dow Chemical’s ‘brilliant’ resolution to solve the dilemma of herbicide-tolerant weeds with 2,4-D – a derivative of Agent Orange. To quote Jeffrey Smith, author of ‘Seeds of Deception’ in his conversation with John Robbins in the book ‘Voices of the Food Revolution’: Instead of going back to more sustainable programs and approaches, they are introducing these Agent Orange crops, which are guaranteed to flood our bodies and our environment with an acutely toxic substance. It is an example of the kind of skewed and profit-driven thinking of the industrial model of agriculture that completely ignores the consequences for health, environment, wildlife, and future generations.”

Deep breath here.

Two quotes from two very wise people come to mind when I think of our efforts to change our food industry from one of greed to one of compassion:

“What we resist, persists.” – Carl Jung

And Mother Teresa’s response when asked if she would march against the war in Vietnam: “No, but if you have a march for peace, I will be there.”

I abhor the current behavior of the major corporations that have poisoned the land, the animals, and our food, as well as taken a devastating toll on the livelihood of farmers everywhere. But I also realize that, as advice offered in the quotes shared above, rather than use our energy sending daggers of condemnation on what has taken place and is still taking place, what we must do now is bond together and move our cities, country and the planet in the direction of health, equanimity and oneness.

Only through our combined heart-centered efforts can we overcome the actions of those who value their own wealth above the health and wellbeing of Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants.

One more quote came to mind and I must admit that I am having a bit of a difficult time honoring the wisdom. One of the greatest leaders of all time, when hanging on a cross said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

And so I move forward in a positive direction doing what I can to influence the healing of our planet, reminding others of their innate abilities to heal themselves. I will also do my best to be compassionate with those who, out of fear, are tethered to a lifestyle that threatens our very survival. Only through love and example will transformation occur.

When we are feeling secure and grounded we are able to come in to movement, access the flow of our lives and move forward with purpose. When we are fearful, we have a tendency to resist what is which leads only to stagnation and more fear.

In the video below I would like to introduce you to a yoga flow that encourages
STABILITY… MOVEMENT… AND BALANCE.

Then we we will come into a short meditation around a Sanskrit mantra from Deepak Chopra’s ‘Seven Spiritual Laws for Success’: OM DAKSHAM NAMAH. This mantra inspires maximal reward for minimal effort meaning, when we are truly in the flow of our soul purpose, life seems to carry us along in its current. Again, when we are resisting, we push the river and the struggle ensues.

When we are living from our heart – sharing the unique gifts we have each come here to share, it will be an experience of flow and ease.

Affirmation: Stable and in the flow, I embrace my soul purpose.

But what if…
Those three words were hovering in my forebrain when I woke yesterday morning and it occurred to me how often they interrupt what may otherwise have been a seamless experience.

Think how often we here them…
“But what if I lose my job!”
“But what if I don’t get that call!”
“But what if it rains!”
and and and….

I was part of a beautiful Satsang (group meditation) on Sunday with Stephen Russell (Barefoot Doctor) where the theme was ‘Surrender to Grace’ – rather than grasping at life, letting go and relaxing into the flow of it.

The timing was perfect. (That in itself is perhaps redundant… isn’t’ it always?) We explored the yin/yang of existence… what comes up must come down (but will indeed go up again.) So the bottom line and excellent advice: LOVE IT ALL. The ins, the outs, the gray skies, the blue… it’s all part of our amazing, precious, -and limited – time on earth.

This quote from the Dalai Lama seemed appropriate here: “According to my experience, the principle characteristic of genuine happiness is peace, inner peace.”

And inner peace is found in loving this moment. And this. And this.

But what if… it’s all perfect? (It is.)

Affirmation: I inhale peace. I exhale peace. I am peace.

Ahhhh…. think we may all be familiar with this one. You are standing in a space where one chapter in the book of your life is complete but the next one is still not written (or perhaps even in outline form.) And you find yourself in the ‘Gestation Period Waiting Room’ (or what Melody Beattie, author of Language of Letting Go calls, ‘the void.’ Truth be told, I imagine we are always in that waiting room on one level or another, it’s just that sometimes the void is a bit more pronounced, shall we say.

The cool thing is that even though it may be stressful feeling as if you are straddling two ledges of existence, it can also be a wonderful time to STOP and focus on what it is that you truly desire to experience in this next stage of your life. Hence, a ‘gestation period.’ The seeds are being planted with every thought and every word and every visualization.

Here’s a little acronym I have come up with to align yourself with the BEST of outcomes, even when things are currently a bit of a blur.

B – Breathe. This step is really the easiest because luckily it is something that keeps performing whether we pay it heed or not. BUT when we DO bring our awareness to the flow of the breath, it has all sorts of wonderful benefits like reducing stress, pumping up the immune system, and bringing us into the moment. Definitely worth the effort.

E – Expect miracles. Even when the outlook is a bit bleak or even completely foggy, developing a sense of expectancy and optimism can not only bolster our spirits, but it sends a wave of positive energy into the brew. So why not?

S – Savor the moment i.e. be patient. I know, sometimes easier said than done. My Mom always said I was BORN impatient. I was due on March 10th and arrived on Valentine’s Day. (Of course, I know that I chose that day. Not so much a timing thing as a desire to be born on the day that represents love.)

T – Trust. Oh yeah. Now there’s a biggie. And how often do we hear it mentioned with that other little four-lettered word ‘just’ prior to it : “JUST trust.” OHHHH… Okay. Just like that. Would that it were so simple. But the interesting thing is that trust is a (spiritual) muscle. The more we use it, the more natural it becomes. One of the reasons I am writing this is to develop my OWN ‘faith biceps.’

SPIRIT GATE

An acupressure point that we practice quite often in our yoga class is also optimal for bringing down levels of anxiety and helping with sleeplessness should that be triggered as well. It is called the ‘spirit gate’ and is located along the heart meridian (Heart 7). If you trace a line down from your little finger with your palm facing you, just over the wrist crease about a thumb’s with toward the middle of your forearm, you will find it. Holding this spot for 30 seconds to a minute on both sides will bring a feeling of calm and inner peace. Great one to know.

So here’s hoping that the next time you find yourself in that in-between place you will at least have some activities to keep you company as you hang out in the waiting room.

Here’s to the BEST of outcomes… and remember to always let love fill in the gaps where doubt comes in to play.

Affirmation: I am cleansed, refreshed and renewed, as I move on to the next step of my journey.

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