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Recently in yoga we were focusing on ‘Ajna’ – the third eye chakra, our seat of perception and command located back behind our physical eyes.

When there is a disconnect between our heart and our third eye, it is like driving around with a broken GPS. You may be moving, but without direction. As we celebrate the day/month that has come to represent love, my wish for you is radiant communion between your heart and your inner ‘GPS.’

And for those times that you feel you are floating around in a void or fog of confusion, here is a poem that may jumpstart the focus of the journey.

Spirit,

Take me beyond – wildly beyond –

my out-dated, antiquated patterns

of thinking and being…

even beyond concepts genuinely believed

to be original and expansive.

Take me to new, untrodden paths

and ways of envisioning.

Allow my journey

to be one of moment by moment

serendipitous unfoldings,

eloquently propelling me out

of my comfort zone

and hamster-wheel paradigm

Into the unexplored.

– Maureen

beach

power of spirit

I believe that freedom is a right that belongs to all Beings on this planet (and beyond for that matter).  If you live in a geographical location where you are able to voice your opinions, come and go as you choose and for the most part, follow the path that speaks to you, it is indeed a blessing.

But even these gifts can be negated if the freedom we are choosing does not stem from within.  We often find ourselves in prisons of our own making, most often due to fear:

What will people think? What if I run out of money? What if I am too old/too young/too fat/too thin, etc?  You get the picture.

I liken it to being on a journey with a backpack.  Your pack is filled to brimming with all the tools and nicknacks necessary for your trip.  Sometimes you remove something and lighten it up. But mostly you either add to it or at least replace what has been left behind.  The weight, while exhausting, is appearing to ground you, though not in stability, more in ‘stuckness.’

My advice (which I don’t take lightly and am very much interested in adhering to myself) is TAKE OFF THE PACK.  Much of what we ‘carry’ in this bag are those emotions that are holding us back (the fear, the frustration, the grief) – emotions that have not been acknowledged or fully processed and therefore have made a home in the nooks and crannies of our baggage (and heart.)

So you may need to start small.  Take a few things out and don’t replace them. Breathe deeply into the space you have created.  Allow yourself to gently begin releasing what is stale, stagnant, and done. Eventually, you won’t need the pack at all.  Ahhh… the ‘incredible lightness of Being.”

Here is an acronym to inspire you on this journey of release:

F – Fully

R – Realize

E- the Ecstasy

E – of Emptiness

Fully Realize the Ecstasy of Emptiness.

And, not to introduce a paradox here, but this ’emptiness’ is of course, not really ’empty.’  When approached from a heart-centered, grateful place,  It is a ‘magical void’ that through it’s very nature invites a constant flow of synchronicity, serendipity and courage to live your life to the fullest.

One of the mantras that I frequently use and also share in my meditation and yoga classes is “MOKSHA”.   This translates into ’emotional freedom’   I will share here a short meditation where we will add in the word “AHAM” –  I AM:   Aham Moksha – I am emotionally free.

This state of liberation awaits you.

Aham Moksha

wintersunsetweb

I was daydreaming about Christmases past and my reverie took me way back to 5 years of age, living in a town called El Cerrito in California (outside of SF) in a small home along with my mom, dad and two older brothers.

Money was a little tight those days and we had a special Christmas tradition.  On Christmas Eve we would open a few smaller gifts, some whimsical, some not quite as ‘fun’ but seen as necessities (socks, underwear, etc.)  But it was all wonderful just the same because of the holiday magic.

AND THEN there was Christmas morning.  Santa would come in the night bearing the ‘big gift’ – something he knew each of us was praying to receive.  And quite miraculously, this present would find it’s way to the end of our beds where we would discover it upon awakening.

Well, this particular year when I was 5, I remember going to bed in a state of brilliant anticipation.  And when I woke early that next morning, I peeked out from the covers to find what Santa had delivered… and much to my disappointment, saw nothing there.  Simultaneously I heard both of my brothers exclaiming with glee over the surprises found at the end of their own beds.  Not wanting to cry, I got up and prepared myself to walk out into the living room where everyone had gathered around the tree, rather martyr-like in my decision to just pretend, “It doesn’t matter. I’ve been ceremoniously abandoned here, but I will survive.” (THAT kind of wounded but stoic entrance…)

When much to my complete astonishment (and embarrassment) I found all of my family staring at me, wide-eyed, as I laid eyes on a big, blue bicycle.  I had recently outgrown the tricycle and pleaded nonstop to have a bike like my brothers… and here it was.  Mom said, “Santa couldn’t fit this at the end of your bed, Sweetie. So he had to leave it next to the tree!”

Talk about a complete U-turn in emotions!!  Then the funny thing was, not being able to afford a brand new bike, this was a used one (albeit in very good condition)and about 2 sizes too big for me.:)  But that didn’t matter.  It didn’t take long for my body to catch up and this two-wheeler remained with me for many years and many miles.

Remembering all of this brought some tears and some laughs.  It reminded me of how fixated we can become on what we think we ‘need’. It teaches me that sometimes these gifts can come in packages that we don’t quite expect or that sometimes while they might not seem to fit, they are actually the perfect size.

On that note, I wish you the biggest gift of all.  May you feel the love that surrounds you and fills you in every moment of every day.  May you share this tenderness and compassion with others and so feel its exponential effects.  And may the peace that comes from this love be a balm to Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants as we move into 2016, hearts open, and ready for a world at peace.

Blessings and Namasté.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. – Jimi Hendrix

This is a quote that I am sharing in my yoga classes as we enter the realm of Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra. This energy field represents and manifests courage, confidence and inner power.

Though to fully experience a sense of power, it must be understood that TRUE power comes from a place of inner peace, NOT force.  It comes from an understanding that each of us shoulders a burden that might not be readily apparent to the physical eye and therefore encourages patience and a sense of equanimity. It comes from a deep spirit of compassion and realization of our Oneness with ALL Beings.

It’s no coincidence that this article is being written as many the world over mourn the death of Cecil, the beloved lion who made his home in a national park in Zimbabwe. Cecil brutally lost his life to be mantled on a trophy hunter’s wall. The tears that come when I even ponder this cruelty must now be transmuted into knowing that Cecil gave his life to raise the consciousness of our world.

The number of posts around the globe, the millions who are not only saddened but horrified at this action reveals to me that the hearts of the majority of us sharing this beautiful planet are in alignment. BUT we must now come together and allow the energy to exponentially bring peace to a planet that is experiencing violence and despair at levels perhaps greater than ever before.

So what can we do? We can come into our own peaceful inner power. We can stand up for what is right. We can honor our brothers and sisters on the path – of EVERY species. Not through force, but through example.

The energy in our hearts is strong enough to move mountains. Believe in this. Believe in the quote that Jimi Hendrix shared so many years ago.

Here also is a mantra that says it all:

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Translated: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all. (jivamuktiyoga.com)

Below you can listen to the fabulous Deva Premal & Miten share this beautiful mantra.
Namasté.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/usJl7oiZPnc” target=”_blank”>Deva & Miten

Compassion

Compassion

Pivotal Moments

Has anything ever happened along your life path where you can look back and recognize that a single event, conversation or random choice completely changed the course?

One such occurrence stands out for me really strongly. I was visiting Taos, New Mexico with my ex-husband. (Well, he was still my husband at that point haha. THAT’S a whole ‘nother blog.);) Anyway, we had been living in Nashville, Tennessee and while we both liked it there, we knew it was time for a change and Taos was one of the options we had in mind. When we arrived there, as beautiful as it was, we both knew inside that this was not the place we were to relocate.

The other option that we were considering was Port Townsend, Washington. So, sitting in a café in a courtyard in the middle of the village in Taos, we both agreed – that was indeed the place for us. Just then the waitress arrived with our beverages and as she placed them in front of us, she smiled and asked where we were visiting from. We looked at one another and told her, “Well, currently we live in Nashville, but we are moving to Port Townsend, Washington. SHE says, “OH! I love Port Townsend!” We looked at each other again, thinking, “Wow, what are the odds? Here we are in Taos and she is familiar with this small town in Washington?” Then she adds, “But have you also considered Bellingham?” At that point neither of us were familiar with Bellingham but the thought was implanted and we both agreed, perhaps before making a final decision we should check it out as well. And so we did. As well as Birch Bay. AND that is where we ended up relocating.

SO. If that particular waitress had not been working that day OR we had not stopped for a drink, our entire future could have been quite different. Not to mention life stories of everyone we have met and therefore influenced in some manner along the way.

Those kind of things just blow me away. The reason I am sharing this is because we are on Third Eye chakra this week in yoga class – our seat of perception and inner guidance. Often along this path of life it may feel that certain goals and aspirations are not panning out. But if we can remain open to the ‘Inner Guidance” that can come in many forms, (like a waitress in a café in Taos), we will know that we are exactly where we are meant to be every step of the way. Even if it appears foggy and ill-defined or we have what may feel like too many options from which to choose, when we drop down into our heart and KNOW that it’s all perfect, the stepping stones will indeed appear. Messages from God and the angels can manifest in many different forms so being open to the unexpected is a very good idea. And one day you will look back and think, ” Ahhh. Now I get it.”

Coming into this ‘state of mind and heart’ is not always easy so I want to share with you a little prayer/meditation both  audio and written form called, “What If…”

Click here for audio meditation.

What if just for today
… you released worry.
… you lived your life moment by moment.
… you allowed yourself to see things through the eyes of a child.
… you knew that all is indeed well.
… you let the miracle of your breath carry you gently forward.
… you trusted that angels are surrounding you with love and guidance.
… you opened to the magic that happens when you live from your heart.
… you believed that you are a blessed child of God, more loved than you could ever imagine.

What if… you repeated these statements EVERY day.

Namasté.

A customer behind you in line at the grocery store rams their cart into your legs…
Your five year old asks you the SAME question for the hundredth time that day…
Your precious feline dumps a brand new plant off the counter, shattering in a gazillion pieces…

In normal circumstances, perhaps any of these would be met with an initial sigh followed by an ‘Oh well’ response. But when we are in adrenal overload, even the simple things can trigger a blow-out reaction.

The main goal of my writing today is to offer you a respite from the never-ending ‘to-do’ list, the build-up of tension and the ramifications of our busy lives. (So hopefully you aren’t too busy to read this. haha)

When we find our true rhythm, we come into balance. I love what Terri Guillemets has to say on this:

“‪When you dance to your own rhythm, life taps its toes to your beat.”‬
-Terri Guillemets

In a world where we are ‘on’ way more than ‘off’ and connected 24/7 to a stream of incoming information, most of us find ourselves in this state of adrenal overload, so prevalent that even this begins to sound cliché. But it’s a fact – and it leads to nervousness, irritability, insomnia and the catch-all header of ‘stress.’

The adrenals are housed just above the kidneys in our lower back region and belong to the solar plexus chakra. The emotions related to an out-of-balance solar plexus chakra are frustration, anger and inability to make decisions. When we are IN balance in this chakra, we come into our personal power, confidence and courage. We realize that this is an innate gift that springs from a connection with the truth of who we are: powerful Spiritual Beings dressed up in human clothing.

The deep realization of our inner power – and our connection to a Divine Source – helps to dispel the feelings of fear. This in turn allows the adrenals to relax and heave a sigh of relief. But how does one accomplish this?

I liken it to a dance. It takes a little time and effort to learn the steps and become conditioned to practice them daily. These steps include breathing with awareness, practicing yoga, qigong or a similar mindful form of movement, and meditation. Even a few minutes morning and evening of getting quiet within and connecting with that Source will begin to show up as an increased sense of calm. And – you can’t get it wrong. I believe many people put off meditating thinking they just don’t know how. (On that note, stay tuned – I am hoping to soon offer a weekly meditation/mindfulness gathering…)

There are also acupressure points one that will help either instill this sense of peace OR even more importantly, bring one back from the edge of panic. Two very helpful points are the following: (Make sure to breathe deeply into the point with the intention of inner peace.)

PC 6

PC 6

PC 6 (Pericardium 6) – located approximately three finger widths from the inner crease of the wrist, between the tendons. The pericardium, also known as ‘the guardian angel of the heart’ houses and protects this beautiful organ and points along this meridian help to treat disorders of the heart and spirit. Applying first gentle and then firm pressure (best with thumb) on PC 6 for between 2 and 3 minutes will begin to usher in a feeling of calm, unblock the flow of energy from the heart and from a physical perspective, help with nausea.

HT 7

HT 7

HT 7 (Heart 7) also know as the ‘Spirit Gate’ – located in the dip below wrist crease below the little finger on the palm side of the hand. This is another point that is wonderful for decreasing anxiety, helping with insomnia and bringing a sense of general well-being. As with PC 6, hold for 2 to 3 minutes.

I’d like to share a poem with you that I wrote many years ago, but still opens my heart to ‘dancing with life’.

DANCE, CHILD, DANCE

I looked up to God, ’cause I felt kinda low-
Needed some guidance on which way to go…
Thought it was all being left up to chance-
The answer I heard, was “Dance,Child, Dance.”

Your life is a dance, each day and each night,
Reach for the heavens, soar like a kite!
Let your energy flow with the wind,
And your path will find YOU, again and again.

I pondered the message, it seemed so near…
Just let go and the road would be clear?
Find that place between ‘trying and not’-
where dreams become real and the dance is taught.

So now I dance, sometimes fast, sometimes slow.
The sound of my heartbeat says which way to go-
Those elusive answers, once so out of reach
Are now dancing round me- It’s my turn to teach.

Your life is a dance, each day and each night,
Reach for the heavens, soar like a kite!
Let your energy flow with the wind,
And your path will find YOU, again and again.

Follow your heart.

– Maureen ©

And an affirmation to tie it all together:
Even in the face of adversity, I courageously embrace the dance of my life.

Namasté and peace to you…
Maureen

One recent night after a fitful bout of tossing and turning and patchwork dreams, I woke to the sound of the alarm just as my body was finally going, “Ahhhhhh……” and slipping into some deep sleep. As I realized that slumber was not going to happen, my mind began to review the to-do list of what seemed like an endless log of ‘shoulds’ that awaited my rising. So I stretched and urged myself to breathe and come into some joyful thoughts to send into my day ahead.

That was when I heard it. A message that was clear and precise and I just knew, a direct transmittal from the Angels. This is what they said:

“Stop. Be still. Listen. All is well.”

No mistake here, I pondered. And this directive then shifted other more pressing to-do list activities down a few notches as I realized this was a message that perhaps OTHERS could benefit from as well.

So a ‘fitting’ Pocket Guru image emerged onto paper and I went to scan it in so that I could share the words as well as the illustration – and then get on with my day. But somehow the scanner was not responding. Hmmmm, I thought. Well, turn off the machine and turn it back on. No luck. OK, unplug it and plug it back in again. Still nothing. Check the wireless connection. No connection. So now this had become a priority. I WAS SENDING OUT THIS INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE BEFORE I DID ANYTHING ELSE ON MY LIST. DAMN IT. OK. Look up number for the manufacturer. Get them on the phone. Twenty minutes of try this, try that and NOTHING. Now I know better. When this happens, get up, take a walk, get a glass of water, do SOMETHING other than try to figure it out. But, no. I kept on. Then, finally, checking out the software, I decided to re-download it from the web and see if it would help. And bingo. There it was. I was (finally) ready to roll with it.

And THAT’S when it occurred to me. And I knew the Angels were standing over my shoulder smiling and shaking their heads – when I realized that the message that I was intending to deliver was EXACTLY what I needed to hear during this whole episode in frustration. Stop. Be still. Listen. All is well.

So that is what I share with you today. If you find yourself in a conundrum of sorts, don’t chase your tail. Take a break. Breathe. And listen to angelic guidance. And know whether it appears so or not, all is indeed exactly as it should be.

Wishing you unprecedented ease and flow…

Stop. Be Still. Listen...

Stop. Be Still. Listen…

After the recent loss of my dear doggy and a health scare with my OTHER doggy I was feeling rather vulnerable in the heart area.  (Still am as a matter of fact.)  And knowing that grief is a journey that must be traveled THROUGH as opposed to taking detours of busy-ness and/or sticking fingers in our ears and covering our eyes to block out the pain, there was still a part of me struggling with the process.  I meditate daily, I do yoga at least daily, I read and listen to metaphysical texts and programs… With all of these ‘spiritual’ activities going on in my life, did I REALLY need to look OUTSIDE myself for comfort and solace?  Wasn’t that a ‘weakness’?

And then the answer became clear.  The answers are indeed always within us, directly inside our beautiful hearts.  And it is the heart light that shines its radiance OUTWARD to guide us to those people, those books, those songs or programs… to whatever will bring a balm of tenderness to the aching found within.

Divine Love is within us and around us, permeating our very existence when we open ourselves to it.  The ‘weakness’ (or perhaps better said, misunderstanding) is a belief that we should be ‘strong’ enough to do it all on our own.  No matter HOW much you meditate.

I have found sound to be a very healing gift as well, not just in musical form, but in the toning of specific sounds to tenderly smooth the jagged edges of a heart in pain.  Specifically the Taoist healing sound of “HAAAAA”  as well as the Sanskrit seed sound for Anahata (heart chakra) of YAM.  The latter sound I choose to do in a round of ‘chakra play’ that incorporates not only the Yam sound, but a breath in silence (the seed ‘sound’ of the Crown and Divine connection.)  I use hand motions as well to deepen the unfolding.  For the “Yam” sound, I place both hands (palms) on my heart space and for the silent breath of the crown, I open my palms in front of my heart, inviting in the guidance and healing of the Divine.  I usually do nine rounds of each of the ‘sounds’ followed by either total silence or an affirmation to bring closure to the session.   In this case, the affirmation might be,
“Heart open, Divinely sheltered, Healing now.”

Click here for an audio of this chakra play for the transformation and soothing of grief.

Honoring the Divine with us all.  Namasté.

“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.
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