Where I Want to Be

IMG_7469When I stepped onto my own healing path, I never actually expected to heal.

Not really.

I craved it at the same time I pushed it away.

I wanted desperately to feel better and didn’t think I deserved to.

Perhaps, I wanted to punish myself. To inflict pain and suffering. I was filled with guilt.

Healing was an abstract concept somewhere outside of me – maybe in the distance or at some far out point of space or time that was unreachable – unfathomable. Not allowed.

Yet, I reached for it. I reached for the intangible mystery of a question mark that healing often is.

What made me reach?

What made me keep going every time I bumped up against something big and scary and painful?

What was it other than, somewhere, way deep down, I must have known that it was possible? The belief of the impossibility of my own healing there as a layer of protection just in case it didn’t happen. I could undeniably trust the deniable.

I still sometimes feel fingerlings of energetic tethers or surges of seemingly forgotten memories of trauma arise. Only they aren’t as frequent and they don’t run the show now.

I have healed so much.

The thing about healing is that once it becomes a way of life, it really could be endless. There are always more layers. The trick, for me, is to know when to stop ripping open a wound and carry on. How to not let healing become an addition or habit, but a tool for continued growth.

Recently I did experience a bump of things resurfacing – mainly collected and unexpressed anger. I had just found my feet when I received the news of my grandmother’s death, another dear friend’s passing, and my dad’s heart surgery all happening at once. It was a lot.

In the past, I have swallowed my grief. I let myself cry, of course, but I also set limits on it. I tried to “be strong” for others by not expressing my tears. I’ve tried to keep it in or pretend it wasn’t happening. I certainly wouldn’t let other people see it. I’ve let it get tied up with guilt to make sure I would suffer. I went numb from holding onto it. Then, for many years, I was swimming in an ocean of trauma-fueled grief that felt wild and endless, fluctuating between crashing waves, attempting to suppress it or let it out and drown. It was bigger than me during those years of feeling unreachable.

What I noticed in moving through this time was I could feel so much more in the moment than I allowed myself to in the past. I felt the acute grief of loss. I let myself cry whenever it rose up. I didn’t hold the grief back. It came, sometimes violently surging through my heart and I could be with it, completely. Often, it felt hard. Painful. Huge! I let it. I let myself feel not only the grief but sad. Stressed. Frustrated. Afraid. Confused. I didn’t hold any of it back. Not for anyone else. Not to hide from anyone else. I let them see me. I didn’t swallow my emotions, no matter how big they felt or how strong. I didn’t have a single thought of guilt, just pure love transformed into grief.

It was liberating.

A week or so after my grandma’s funeral, I started to notice myself having thoughts of feeling stuck in life – I could see an old track play through my mind of how I don’t have a romantic relationship, a house, a job, a family. That I don’t even know where to live, and if I don’t know that how can I do or have or find anything else? Over and over these thoughts repeated endlessly from morning to night for a few days, forming a pretty bow (or knot…). I started to feel completely lost and adrift. These are not new thoughts. Only this time, I saw that they were there to accomplish a few things.

In the face of death, the thoughts represented things that feel “tangible.” In the face of uncertainty, I was reaching to create something in my life that would feel real. That I could touch. At the same time showing me all of the things I was lacking in my life, underscoring loss, and letting me fall into the pattern of berating myself and trying to figure out how to “fix” it: where I should go next. Where I should live. What job I might maybe want. How to find a partner. Not finding answers, I fed the loop more and more.

The thoughts also made me feel more sad that I already was feeling – a way to tell me that I wasn’t letting myself go all the way into the emotion. Even though I thought I had expressed so much (and I had!) I was still quite sad. Of course I was sad. I was in mourning. So I let myself be. I was sad and draggy and mopey. I told people how I was feeling. They listened and understood.

Since I had let myself feel the acute grief as it arose, once I went into the sadness, and truly accepted and myself be in it, it felt safe to be there. In that safety, I remembered that all along I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be right now: at home. That’s where I wanted to be and that’s where I was. There was nothing more to figure out than that. It was the thoughts of a fictitious future that were afflicting me. As I stopped, and allowed my sadness, I heard the words, “be here now.” It was as if Ram Dass had floated down beside me. I smiled.

Be here now.

And I am.

I am where I want to be.

Allowing, accepting, and sharing my sadness shifted everything. The thoughts dissipated (and haven’t returned). Even without answers, I felt instantly lighter and more at ease. The next morning I woke up feeling like I had energy for the first time since hearing all the news.

Now I can feel how the foundation of all the healing work I have done is serving me so well. Before I stepped onto this path I wouldn’t have been able to manage so many big things simultaneously and incorporate them so well. I would have (and did) let myself get lost in that drift that started to pull until it turned into a tidal wave. It’s no longer about healing that one experience that oriented so much of my work. It’s through that trauma and healing that I now have the ability to continue to heal with whatever arises. To move through it, to know that it will resurface and be triggered at moments, and to be okay with that too. I don’t need to safeguard or worry or avoid or blame, I can handle it.

There is no timeframe for healing with grief. For me, I’ve had to learn how to grieve fully so as to not let myself get stuck in any one moment. To know that it’s okay to let go.

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In the Shadow of Anger

afterglow-art-backlit-556669Can shadows be tangled? Or are they more like a web? Waves?

What is the nature of your shadow?

The recent full moon and eclipse had my shadow running wild. Like all those aspects of myself that I pretend aren’t there or don’t like, and the worst possible beliefs about myself all rising to the surface. Instead of subtly running the show from those places where I attempt to contain the shadow within, it has had more power lately.

Memories of past trauma that I had thought truly was healed arising. Fierce ancient anger populating my heart and forcing it to crack wide open day after day. A momentary day or two dip in mood and constant chatter flying fast fueling (and fueled by) all that emotion. Chatter around relationship and feelings of loneliness trying to prove to me that nothing will ever change. That I don’t know how to build relationship. That everyone will leave me. That I am not good at it. Memories of every conflict in relationship and realizing that somehow I believe once there is conflict, that person on the other side doesn’t like me anymore. The relationship, logically, needs to end. Or never even start. The collected anger built more and more strength so that it felt as though there was a massive unknown conflict in my near future and I should just stay away.

Stay quiet.

Instead of expressing the anger. Instead of yelling and screaming and throwing a fit. Instead of going back in time and telling those people who have hurt me that it wasn’t okay. Those who I hurt, saying to them, it wasn’t okay. Instead, separating myself until the intensity of emotion passes. Not bringing it up. Not saying it. Who wants to be around that much emotion? If I don’t even want to, then who else would? More thoughts devised to help be believe I’m different. I don’t belong. Separate. Others get to have relationships that are close, but not me. A stream of examples of other people and what they have and I don’t marching steadily through my mind.

I could feel the energy tearing into myself and, in the past, this would have launched me into some sort of depression or mania or both. Walking on both edges of imbalance, striving to contain it all. A bit of that did happen and, amidst the intensity I was also stable within and able to remember that none of those thoughts are true. They are just trying to tell me something in shadow-language.

I discovered a pause and all of that energy, reaching its peak and width, paused too and transformed. Instead of letting the feelings and thoughts take me over and drown me, they shifted into two intentions.

It is my intention to give and receive love.
It is my intention to forgive myself.

Underneath all that wild internal ride within the shadow of myself, this is what is being called out for.

Seeing those intentions, my heart softened. The sharp edges I had been experiencing melted away. Not denying the anger that deserves a voice, actually saying to it, I hear you. I hear you and love you. I hear all the hurt. I feel you. Let me feel you. I’m ready now.

It was the first time I could stay with the emotion, in all its intensity and watch it move through stages every day for about a week. Confusion and attempting to deny it at first (as per usual), then feeling it course through every cell of my body until I was livid, and, lastly, in a yoga practice, allowing it to transform into big sweeping tears and fall around me onto the mat. Releasing.

Emotion is just energy in motion. It’s water. Even the fiery intensity of anger that I continue to learn how to be in relationship with. The more I don’t express it in relationship with others in a healthy way, the more I feel inauthentic in those relationships. The inauthenticity now feeds the loop of ending that relationship (because I start to believe the relationship is what isn’t authentic but really it’s my strong desire to deny my anger) to avoid conflict and reject the emotion because I still don’t know how to safely communicate it to others. Without fear of retribution or, what I’m realizing now, is the fear of my own ability to inflict harm with my anger. Belief in rejection has been easier, or I thought it was. Turns out that it’s not about those other people and whether they like me or not, even though that’s what my shadow likes me to believe.

It’s that years of denied, then deeply repressed anger is moving through the process of coming into the light. It knows that I have the skills to let it through. It knows I have the ability to process it now. The tools, the practices, the ability to give it the light it has always craved. That it hasn’t received because I’ve tried to keep it hidden, as I also hide myself from others instead of showing it. (Knowing now they can see and feel it anyway).

My shadow may feel like a wild ride of a wave when it surfaces with such focus and force. It may feel like it’s knocking me off my feet or down, trying to take everything away and leaving me feeling directionless and without and really, it’s quite methodical. All it needs is for me to say, I see you. I hear you. I love you.

I forgive you.

The fear of expression isn’t cutting it any more. It served me as a kid, and I’ve used it to cope, and now that elusive shadow pushing itself up to the light is saying it won’t remain locked down any more.

It wants its time to shine and I’m the only one who can let it.

Healing Creativity

IMG_7356There is this tiny, fragile, piece of me that is trying to grow.

I can feel it today, in my heart. I can feel it emerging through the process of writing a book.

The fragility of this part of me allowed it to be swept away in the past. Lost in a sea of judgment and criticism. Fearing those words and actions that harm and hurt, it shriveled up and retreated. Now it is reforming, arising and rising up. It was quiet at first because I kept denying it and telling it to stay where it was. When it wanted me to write things I was unsure of, I kept putting it back in that place where it felt like I had been keeping it safe.

Only, it doesn’t want to stay there any more. All contained and waiting. It isn’t safe there in hiding. Hiding is causing it (and me) more harm than any fear might. It wants to emerge.

It’s growth is painful. It’s intense. It also feels necessary.

I’ve shared quite a lot about my creative process and how I cut it off in the past. How I learned to fear it. How healing it has been to be immersed in it so fully for the past few months.

Necessary.

Last week I finished reviewing the first draft of my book. I read it over and cut it back, watching the word count expand and contract at first and then contract quite a bit. By the time I finished all I could see was what didn’t work. The parts that needed to go. The unsolved pieces that still remained, not working either. A part of me felt defeated because I could see how far I still had to go.

In the past this is where I stopped. I let the voices of defeat telling me “this isn’t working”  to “this will never work” win. This time I recognized that place or moment as if outside of myself looking in and back. A witness of self-study seeing a moment of choice and noticing something different.

This time there was another energy combining with defeat. Something that felt energizing. This new energy told me I could keep going. That there was more wanting to emerge and to not give in to what wasn’t working. To not give into the part of me that wanted to believe it would never work and I should just give up.

That part of me that no longer needs protecting.

After all, I had been looking for what wasn’t working on purpose. I had been looking for it to remove it or make it better. Of course that was what I was seeing – that was the whole point of reading through it.

Now, I can see that this has been the moment when I would always abandon myself.

Give up.

Only that didn’t work either. Instead, I ended up surrounded by a sea of believing nothing ever worked. All the unfinished, incompleteness of feeling like I was doing everything wrong took over and I lived there. I chose defeat over and over until I thought that was all there was. I never understood that more could emerge.

Now, with these two energies living side-by-side, I can feel the fuel of creativity balanced with the memory of defeat. I can feel them co-exist as if a new emergence of myself is tangibly floating beside the old, neither one alone and both supported.

This time, I choose to trust in my creativity.

This time, I choose to keep going.

I will no longer abandon myself.

Writing Dream Medicine

IMG_7166I started.

I started writing a book.

Something I have dreamed of doing my whole life and I locked away for a while, convinced of all of the “can’ts” and “shouldn’ts” and “it’s not as good as” and “I’ll nevers.

It’s made me wonder – what happens to dreams when they become trapped? The sleeping dreams that come to bring us information that we so often forget, ignore, try to get away from, or don’t pause to understand.

I’m learning that I love the language of dreams. That dreams from the night come in the spirit of healing and connection. That they can be entered into and explored and bring wisdom to integrate into life.

The waking dreams that we have and live in every day have the power to shape all that is.

What do we tell our dreams? How do we feed them? Or starve them out?

The dream is essential to the ability to create and in these last few weeks, I’ve felt it. I’ve felt some tangible yet intangible energy around me and within me.

I imagine it’s similar to what others feel too when entering into creativity or bringing dreams about. I’ve heard people describe it in their own ways. It feels to me as though it’s creative consciousness. Like some spirit of the book that wants to be brought forth working through me.

Just like in teaching or healing work, all I need to do is get out of the way and see what comes. To understand that this book is not for me to get attention or money or show others how much I know.

Let go of the outcome.

Before I could start I kept receiving the message to let go of the outcome.

Let go of the outcome. Just write.

So that’s what I started to do and I have loved every minute! It has felt like being in deep process not just with the spirit of the book and my own psychology and energy but also working with the increasing potency of energy peaking up to the Summer Solstice. The time that is ripe for manifesting on this plain. As though we were all dancing together, giving form and shape to the formless; bringing in something from another plane of existence into this one. It has felt powerful in a way that I have never truly understood or allowed power.

I’ve got to meet my inner critic. That voice that kept me from doing this all these years reared up trying to convince me that I was spending too much money on this, how could I *still* not have a job or any income. What was I thinking? That voice that struggles and writhes for my survival.

This time, perhaps because of the feeling of true power and connection I felt, I watched as the voice started to take me down familiar paths for a day or so and then, something changed. This time, I acknowledged the voice. I gave it thanks. I took it into my heart, told the voice it was right and that I loved it for trying to protect me.

Like magic, the voice disappeared. It disappeared completely!

Who knew that the key was giving it love?

These past three weeks I have felt as though there is an antennae on my crown chakra swooping around and connected to me, my third eye open and receptive, and I stayed grounded in my body. Feeling the swirl of creative consciousness above and, at the same time, a deep connection of something emerging from within. Instead of forcing it to appear, giving it patience. Committing to the practice of getting up and writing and allowing whatever wanted to emerge to come through.

It came. The story came. The characters came.

It felt like a time of great expansion and bliss. It took some time to allow myself to enjoy and then I fell into it. I wrote every day with complete focus. I’ve never had this much fuel and even fire and ability to hone it in for a sustained amount of time on one thing. I have 58K words so far and while I know most of those words will not be there whenever this book is “finished”, it’s a start.

It’s a way of getting it out.

I looked over my notes from the past short attempts at trying to write and I see that it’s the same story that keeps trying to come. It’s not here yet, not fully. There are big parts though that are known and present. They’ve arrived. Now I feel like after all of this expansion, I’m in a moment of contraction. Yesterday and today it’s stopped. For now.

It’s as though I can feel the pausing of the sun. The solstice energy now past peak and retreating and I am too. Momentarily.

There’s a lot there that is good. It has potential. There is a lot there that is not good. A former voice is trying to whisper that part to me more loudly – “this is not good – you should stop.” To which I keep hearing myself respond, “you’re right, it’s not good – yet – and it will be.” It’s in process and I then feel my heart glow and beam. A smile branches out on my face every single time.

This is, so far, the furthest I’ve been able to go and I did not and will not do it alone. I hear and receive and allow the support of those around me and their encouragement of this dream helps me keep coming back to it.

I have never felt this well. Never felt this in alignment with myself and with spirit. Or this happy. As my dream continues to get life and energy, so do I. We are merging in some way that feels beautiful and that beauty feels like power. True power.

I’m learning. I’m challenged. I’m engaged. I can feel the growth happening way down in the depths even as my brain rewires. This is not something I need to know how to do before doing it. It’s something that will continue to unfold until it is complete. As it has before, it will just keep coming and I have to listen. I need to give it space and voice.

I need to continue to trust in my creativity. To ask for help. To keep going.

This was a huge opening and now, in the moment of contraction, I get to pause. With a glow in my heart at all that has happened and knowing I’ll return to it again and again and again.

For me, this is much more than writing a book. It’s my medicine.

Giving Voice to the Heart

Heart Connection AlbumIt’s hilarious to me and I love that I can now, technically, say I’m a “recording artist”. It makes my heart smile and laugh a little bit.

Me.

The shy and quiet girl who got a C in public speaking in third grade. I still remember, my head bowed, speaking down to the tiny 3×5 cue card in my hands and shifting my weight back and forth from foot to foot. Unbeknownst to me, my legs moved further and further apart for the unbearable couple of minutes I was up there in front of the class until I was nearly in the splits.

Trying to gain ground and losing it at the same time. If I just make myself wider, more solid. More connected. Unconsciously of course.

I was terrified.

I think of the young adult who got so sick with a candida overgrowth that my throat actually closed up. I lost my voice. Over and over again.

On repeat.

I laugh at the memory of the first time I tried to lead or offer a friend in the simple chant of “Om”. We sat on the floor of my apartment facing one another.

“Okay, I’m ready,” I said. I took a deep breath in and then at the moment when the sound of Om was meant to escape from my lungs and throat and mouth. I quickly snapped my mouth shut. And we both laughed.

“I can’t,” I said.

Supportively and patiently, she waited until the sound emerged.

I think of these moments and a pattern of not giving voice to. Of not giving voice to emotion or experience. Of turning it all inward. I think of the moments of fear and now, I can send love to that former me.

Maybe I wasn’t ready.

When I started offering yoga and yoga nidra I wasn’t as afraid. Sometimes, yes. And yet, the words always seemed to flow. Even if my throat felt constricted.

A while ago I thought of the fifth chakra in relation to all the others. How whatever we give voice to – the vibration of voice – comes from so much more than the act of opening a mouth and emitting sound. That vibration and tone and quality of sound is moving through the entire physical body, energetic body, and spiritual body. What we say is as wrapped up in our psychology as how we act. For the communication channel to become more clear, the other centers need to heal too.

I can feel the reverberation of my own words through my body now. Right down into my legs (or up from them into my throat?). I notice it when I feel in resonance the most in my heart, my voice feels more soothing. Not constricted.

When I get worked up, my voice tightens. The pitch changes. Words might fly out that are more harmful than healing. That happened a lot as I was starting to learn how to not internalize so much. How to have a healthy outward expression.

About a year ago I worked up the confidence to start posting yoga nidra recordings to YouTube. I had hidden in fear for a couple years there too. Fear of having what I put out into the world not liked. That same old fear of persecution which I’m trying to let go of flaring up. Holding back any potential success or goodness because of the fear of being liked oar disliked. Dislike actually feeling tantamount to death. People with torches and pitchforks coming after me.

A tad dramatic?

Perhaps.

It was a strong enough fear to limit me and what I did. To limit my voice in the world.

When I started putting those recordings up I decided to put them up no matter what happened. They didn’t have to be “perfect”. I put them up as practice. I needed to speak and create even if I was afraid to. To share.

I needed to be okay with rejection. There has been some, yes. More often than not, people have said they find them helpful.

This Heart Connection album came through as a workshop at first and that workshop wanted to be repeated. So I started offering it over and over. In Brooklyn, New York, in Dublin, Ireland and at home in Georgetown, Ontario. Every time there was such deep transformation in the room. It was truly a privilege to witness. The heart is powerful.

I wanted to provide something to allow the people who came to the workshop the practices we worked with to do at home. That’s where the birth of this album appeared.

It came through my heart and body and soul and wanted to emerge. It needed it to emerge through my voice and so, after months of wondering how to produce a recording that would be better quality than my YouTube posts, I asked for help and guidance. A friend and my brother taught me how to build a sound booth.

I got to go back to my fort-building skills as a kid. I took all of the couch cushions and pillows from my parent’s house and built a for in the laundry room. I put my mic on the edge of a hat, downloaded some sound editing software and away I went.

I’ve never had so much focus as I did that day – recording the whole album. Some other energy took over and just kept me working until it was done. There was a passion and a drive fueled by a deep heart knowing.

So, here I am. The one who couldn’t speak up or out. The one who chose not to. The one who lost her voice completely because of dis-ease within now with an album out all over the world! And I haven’t had fear lead the charge. This Heart Connection album did come from the heart. It came from a place of resonance on so many levels and of breaking out into the world in a new, supported, way.

Place Number Sixty-Six

13731718_10154361734793377_7532805467045561711_nIt’s been a year since I gave up my apartment in Brooklyn. A year of living a nomadic life which could be seen as a life “without”.

Homeless.

That was certainly a big fear of mine in the past. That I would lose everything. That any “wrong” move I made meant I’d be out on the street. Unsupported.

Maybe that was never true but I believed it to be true and so it was. That fear held me back. Limited me.

As I was working towards this nomadic existence, I started to say and believe that the places would appear when I needed them. Thanks to the generosity of spirit of so many people, it’s been true.

True and effortless.

Privileged, yes.

For me it was also a big step in letting go of a place that had kept me safe and insulated at a time when that was what I needed. Until I grew out of those needs. Shedding that past history. Moving past it. Incorporating and integrating it, yes and allowing the pieces of past destruction to become the deep rich fertilizer to catalyst into a new way of being.

A new way of living.

I’m living in my sixty-sixth place in a year.

In this past year I stayed with family and friends and complete strangers in five different countries. I’ve never been without a place. Offers of places to stay have appeared in abundance constantly and without any attempting to grasp or force them to happen. Each person or family within each place sharing a common thread of giving – like a huge flow of energy I’m tapping into.

I have had to learn how to receive.

How to receive and not limit so much generosity. That took some time to get used to. I still am.

It’s been overwhelming at times to show up to someone’s house who I had never met before and be taken into their homes and lives unconditionally. To be, sometimes, left in full trust of a house or a pet and feeling as though I’m this seemingly random person walking in off the street. Receiving that unlimited amount of blind faith and trust has been energizing and has left me awe-struck time and time again. I love it!

I am fortunate.

There seems to be a pattern with me and April. Two years ago, I left my corporate job and salary. Last year, my apartment. This year, my regular classes where I’ve taught for nearly five years. I’m constantly reducing the amount of “stuff” I have stored away.

It feels not like loss to me or even like a letting go any more. That practice has become so part of what I do now it almost needs no attention – it’s now simply a fluid way of being. Letting in and releasing. Constantly. What it’s starting to feel like instead is an opening. An opening up to something new.

The realization in letting go of so much has shown me that I already have everything I need. I never knew that or believed it until now. In looking back, I think I outright denied that concept as a possibility while at the same time starting to understand the seed of the healing view that “I am already whole”.

In past situations not having what others had – in particular family of my own – has inflicted, created, or bumped up against so much stored pain. The looking into other’s lives and comparing causing only despair. Seeing what was lacking in me and in what I had and didn’t have. The gap feeling so irreparably gigantic – like an impassible chasm. Fueled by loss, the sensations I felt created stories of longing, yearning and shedding of countless tears around that acute slicing through my heart. A reinforcing loop. Stuck.

So to arrive at a moment of feeling full. Heart-full. Feeling supported in what I’m doing and who I am becoming. Who I have been before. Understanding that I have everything.

I have absolutely everything and always have. It’s all right here within me. It always has been.

There’s nothing beyond to search for or seek.

It really actually is all here. Within me.

I have everything I need. I am everything I need.

It’s an incredibly empowering place to be.

It’s with me wherever I go. Wherever I am. Whether I’m staying in a mansion of a house with every modern comfort or sleeping on a deflating air mattress in a friend’s living room or at the foot of a Redwood tree. I am the same person no matter where I am. I am grateful for wherever I am.

There’s nothing more I need.

Starting to understand and see this fullness or whole-ness and accepting that I’ve always been whole at every point in my process and will continue to be so contributes to so much more opening.

Yes, I still find myself comparing my life to other’s only the internal response is different. When they have something that strikes a chord with what I don’t have, I’m not caught up in painful lacking. Instead it’s more of a noticing or a thought that I can cultivate or create that too (whatever it may be). At the same time, letting go of the expectation that  I need to have certain milestones in my life to feel better or be happy.

I see myself more in the people living on the street. Those who are homeless or “don’t have” and notice that I now see the similarities between us more than the differences. I’ve had a few really meaningful exchanges lately on the streets of New York actually seeing and listening to people living without homes. Some monetary, and also actually listening to their story. Seeing the person in front of me. Feeling safe enough in myself to hear them and noticing that the fear that used to grip me at being in a similar place, I’m sure helped me not connect with these people. Every time I didn’t acknowledge them I was really saying “I’m afraid I won’t have anything too”.

Thanks to each person or family I’ve stayed with, I’m continuing to move from a mindset of lack to that of abundance. The abundance in me is starting to flow over because I have enough.

I am enough.

It’s the duality of being okay either way. The and/or of non-absolutes seem to be what give me balance. To me, being okay means discovering the things that feed me and make me feel well and then actually doing those things. And doing them over and over, no matter where I am or what excuses I may have.

A teacher once told me that discipline sets you free.

Perhaps this is a part of that. Even in all the movement from one place to another, there is this deep new understanding of stability growing within me. My portable roots are strong within my body and soul. I’m exposing myself to more ways of living, being, and creating. To needs and wants and desires. In seeing so many different paths, I’m starting to trust that each person is on their own path and we are realizing our wholeness within unique conditions or limitations. It’s not about comparing or measuring. The scales are endless and not real; they reach out into infinity if we let them.

I looked up the meaning of number sixty-six after writing this post and smiled in my heart at the definition I found:

Number 66 is comprised of the vibrations and energies of the number 6 doubled and amplified. Number 6 carries the attributes of humanitarianism, community, service to others, home and family, domesticity and social responsibility, grace, gratitude and simplicity. Number 6 also relates to material issues and provision. Number 66 is a powerful number of unconditional love, healing and faith and trust in the Divine.

Number 66 is a message from your angels to put your faith and trust in the benevolence of the Universe as your daily needs are continually met.

Number 66 also asks you to balance your physical, material and spiritual lives. Focusing on your spirituality and living a conscientious and purposeful lifestyle will ensure that your material needs are met as you serve your Divine life mission.  Give any fears or anxieties about your monetary and material issues to the angels for healing and transmutation, and trust that as you live your spiritual truths all of your needs will be provided for. Be open to receiving and accepting help and assistance from your angels, the spiritual realm and other people in your life.

In reading this definition, I’m reminded at reading this of a phrase I heard repeated in my initial healer and yoga teacher training: “set the foundation and open to grace”.

We do this in the physical body in yoga – setting the posture from the ground up. Finding your feet. Finding your roots and then allowing the rest of the body to open. As the body starts to open, energy flows. Movement becomes more fluid, less rigid. It translates off the mat as well.

I’ve gone from believing that without certain structures in place, I would be homeless to now having multiple homes. To having a solid community of support that is one of give and take without measuring what that is. With this foundation, my own ability to give has grown and is continuing to flow out into the world and towards others in new ways. I’m becoming more of a conduit or channel for energy to move through instead of staying stuck or held, rigid and paralyzed by fear and longing.

Beliefs are flexible. Changeable. As the body and foundation of what we think is true shifts and moves it can feel scary. Once set, it’s not permanent unless it continues to serve the structure it supports. As I continue to find, release, and create foundation, I’m learning more about the adaptability of life and the ways in which we do all support one another. How we are connected and interconnected and already whole no matter where we are.

Generating Alignment

IMG_1854I remember learning a few years ago that we generate something like 10,000 new brain cells every day. That information struck me as pertinent knowledge – as though it changes everything I had been brought up to believe. If the very nature of our brain is changing then it’s a matter of where we put these new cells and how we get them to connect with others.

We have a choice – either to put them in all the same places and same ways of being or behaving as we have before or to start to discover and find new connections.

When I was growing up it was taught that there was no choice. You got what you were given and you continued down a path no matter what it was. Whether it was “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong” or if you were “trouble” or an “angel”. If you killed your brain cells, that was it – you were doomed. The brain wasn’t given a chance to shift.

Of course this is a huge simplification of the process.

What is striking me now is that there is always the possibility of new growth.

You can see it when a child is learning. It’s almost as if you can see the brain working to take in new information. To reject it or take it in. Is it something already known or not? Where does it get stuck and stored? What beliefs are formed because of the feelings that came up when learning this new information?

New generation.

I see a pattern in myself that I get focused on letting go. Focused on clearing out and releasing old energy. I tend to forget that this process also allows new energy to come in. New brain cells to be used in new ways.

Instead of seeing the world and myself as I always have, I can start to make new connections. I can start to see what serves this new version of myself and what doesn’t.

New doesn’t mean better or improved in this case. It would be totally fine if I never stepped onto this path of Self-awareness and healing. I simply chose at some point to start listening to different parts of myself. The parts that I had tucked away and ignored. The parts that were filled with the “I can’ts” or “I have tos”. The “shoulds”. The parts of pain that have been realized and surfaced. The emotions denied shifted through to repressed and (hopefully, one day soon) expressed.

It’s okay to be anywhere in this process and still be completely whole.

This is not a self-improvement exercise as there’s nothing to “fix”. For me, it’s a path of exploration, learning, and learning how to listen.

Learning how to hear what my dreams are. Learning how to put those dreams into action. Learning how to feel new energy coming in and know when I keep putting it in those same old places and knowing when there’s something new. Accepting both.

The thing is, that from this internal process, the external is starting to shift. I’ve been feeling quite stuck and as though “nothing is changing” for many years. And, in many ways, it isn’t – I’m still me and there’s no escaping that – merely accepting that. Turns out, the more I accept of myself, the more peaceful I am. The less stressed. The more I am able to make decisions based on me and what I want and envision instead of what I think others want of me.

The more secure I start to feel through this process of knowing more about myself, the more I’m able to take risks and step into the unknown because I “know” it feels right. My intuition and heart can start guiding me to make decisions. Instead of (in my case) being ignored.

Ignoring them didn’t mean they went away – it meant they screamed at me. They screamed and I spent huge amounts of energy and brain power to keep them locked down. The more safe I feel in being who I am, the less energy it takes to be someone else. That freed up energy can then be directed in new ways! Without as many limitations.

I feel as though I’m on a turning point and am starting to listen more quickly to what actions need to be taken. I know what I need to give up (and have taken action in giving up my regular classes at the studio I’ve always taught at) and what I’m not sure of yet is what new energy will come in or where it will take me. I do, however, trust in knowing when it’s time to change. Listening to myself to even start this yoga teacher and healer path was the first step, letting go of my corporate job and committing to an apprenticeship in Ireland was another, leaving my apartment, letting go again and again and every time – it’s been the exact right step for me. It’s taken me into the unknown and has kept me fully engaged along the way. Allowing new parts of my brain and Self to connect, rearrange and align.

It helps me to realize that when we step onto the mat and find alignment in the postures – alignment in the physical body allowing energy to flow more freely – we take that step towards aligning our lives. Aligning ourselves and a deep knowing of what is in alignment or not as old energy leaves and new energy arises.