Deeper Self Care

Feeling pleasure, experiencing beauty, and playing in freedom in our imagination is our natural state. We are creatures of bliss and peace.

I have loved and appreciated so many articles and newsletters with solid suggestions of how to stay healthy and sane during this quarantine – keep hydrated, move your body, breathe, nutrition, wash yer paws, smell exquisite things, keep busy with those long overdue projects or be gentle with yourself when hours and days slip by with nary a single productive task crossed off the to do list, and limit the intake of negative media.

Yes, to all of these.

Let’s include pleasure, beauty, gratitude, and imagination. Are you with me?

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. 
If you are anxious you are living in the future. 
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

-Lao Tzu

We are right now creating this very moment by how we interact with the moment. We can choose to be ok and even feel good. We really truly really can.

Creating positive thoughts and feelings are key to staying healthy. We know this, we call it a positive attitude. Let’s take it one step further.

Feeling pleasure, experiencing beauty, and playing in freedom in our imagination is our natural state. We are creatures of bliss and peace. Please release self-judgements and guilt for wanting and experiencing positive things. And let go of fear.

It does not mean we cannot take action. Nor does it mean we don’t care. We are not being disrespectful when we allow ourselves to feel good. We are strong & beautiful creatures with room to encompass it all.

So how to get there? The key is to move towards the yummy things. Make the intention to live in beauty. Use your imagination and step into worlds of wonder. Fill your hours with uplifting music and images whilst feeling gratitude for simple things, the beauty of bird song or a cup of warm tea. The negativity will slip away.

If you are stuck in negativity (anxiety or depression) and struggle with allowing yourself to feel good try this quick fix.

5 Minutes. Sit or lie down. Draw your awareness gently inside. Take 3 deep inhale/exhales. Now make a picture in your minds eye. See someone you love dearly, it can even be your cat or dog, see them in a beautiful place. A place that will make you and your beloved happy. Fascinate on the details of the place, colors, scents, temperature, sounds. Now see your beloved’s face in total bliss. Your beloved is sooo very happy, their fondest wish is come true and you see it in their smile and the sparkle in their eyes. Relish in their happiness. Their happiness is your happiness. Take a moment to experience how this feels in your body. Let this good feeling grow and saturate your entire being. Your physical, emotional, and energy body… your consciousness. Savor this feeling. Make an intention to bring this feeling with you. Slowly let your eyes open and take a deep breathe in and out.

This is an especially good one if you feel guilty about feeling good because (hopefully) you will get a contact high from your beloved feelin’ good. But check it out, it is all your imagination! YOU created it! Yet you still feel good!

Here’s Missy – She is my contact high. Who do you love to see blissed out?

Thank you for visiting, Gentle Reader!

I Still Believe

I still believe in you, heart.

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The heart…

Deep purple-red and regal flicking as a fire queen.  Fierce loving.  Verdant rich with honeyed ambrosia like the slip of an absinthe sylph undulating the Anahata Chakra of the Heart – green.  Full loving.  Yellow like the gleam of sunshine splashing the earth’s flora and your beloved’s flesh at day’s end.  Golden light love.  And pure like the scent of a rose, a lone and potent stalk of lavender, the crystalline lily.  The scent of love.  All these things.

I still believe in you, heart.

Over lunch my friend asks, what was the most valuable thing I learned about people from teaching drama to children for 17 plus years.  I can answer in a flash, because I cherish this lesson, what I learned.  What I saw and experienced.  It is that the heart is good and loving.

Closing eyes, and resting hand on heart, you may feel it.  Even though bruised and clumsily veiled.  It is.  Good and loving.

I’ve experienced it in children.  Witnessed it in my adult yoga students too.  I asked them to put hands on hearts, their own hearts, and saw bodies soften, auras shine.

Anyone can prove me wrong.  Sure.  Easy-peasy.  Logic slashes and shreds in endless lists of horrid misdemeanors.

But maybe…  What if…  I refuse to let my mind lead me astray with these thoughts.  Hold onto power.  Don’t give it away.  Because it really can become dreadfully veiled with dire consequences.  Just sit and feel my heart.  And watch my mind.  Keeping it on my heart.

And from there I open my eyes and go out in the world and listen and really see.

And then I act.

Yes.  I still believe in you, heart.

Will you join me?

 

 

 

Kauai Flower Meditation

Kauai is a treasure trove of botanic beauty. Ever present aroma of flowers, White Ginger and Plumeria mingled with wet-green and salt-ocean welcomes.

I Asked In Meditation One Morning.

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What’s Next?

Well, how about love?  Self love.  Big love.  Unconditional love.  Love of  dark places of the psyche, and light places too.  Gracious, forgiving love.  Lover of love.  Yup, especially self-love.  Simply, right here, right now.  Loving the self so intensely it emanates from self  like the fragrance of blossoms, permeating the air with sweetness and subtly infusing beauty and more love.

As you may or may not know, I’m living a nomadic existence.  I find each place I visit  holds a theme, a special message for me.  My recent stay in Kauai was not an exception.  And the message was, and is,  love.  Right here and right now, love.

Kauai

Kauai is a treasure trove of botanic beauty.  The island is one of the wettest places on earth, receiving more than 400″ of rain per year.  The result is a florid, lush environment.  For this, Kauai is fondly known as the emerald island.

Ever present aroma of flowers, White Ginger and Plumeria mingled with wet-green and salt-ocean welcomes.  Visually stunning too, powerfully craggy and jagged, volcanic, mountainous shapes are smothered with verdant fecundity.

And something is uniquely inspiring about the quality of air and light in Kauai.  Perhaps the angle of the sun, or the moisture in the air, or the frequent rainbows.

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But for me the breezes perfumed with blossoms were the ultimate vehicle of transformation…

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 Now

I had the unbelievably fantastic fortune to be the guest of a talented landscaping designer. Flowers were everywhere.  It was  impossible to escape their intoxicating perfume.  Almost a delirium of scent.  But a delirium that does not take one away from self, but to self.  Spirit of blossoms spoke to me in scent, “Be here now, be love.”

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A Meditation

I’d like to share with you a meditation that spontaneously came to me while in Kauai.   Inspired by the overwhelming beauty and perfumed air.  I am now on the mainland and have since practiced it wearing essential oils.  Still good.

This morning I wore Rose Otto for love, Frankincense and Sandalwood for their meditative properties, and Neroli for sparkle.  You may use any scent that speaks to you.  However  I  do recommend natural floral fragrances.  In my opinion synthetic fragrances do not have equal energetic vibrancies.  (This lengthy topic is for another blog!)

Read through the meditation once, and set aside a little time to enjoy it on your own.  Just follow your memory and heart.

Before the meditation I recommend applying fragrance to the inner wrists, breast bone (heart chakra), between brows (third eye), and ear lobes (like the sufis).  If you don’t like to have it on your body, put some drips of the fragrance on a tissue or cotton ball.

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Sit in a comfortable position.   Make sure your back feels supported, and that you can line your vertebras up comfortably.  Lay down, if you won’t just snooze off.  Take some deep inhalations of your fragrance.

Now, let your breath just be however it wants to be.   Don’t try to control or shape it.   Screw the deep breathing or any other techniques you know.  Just observe breath entering and leaving the body.   Abstain from assessing or judgement.  Let it do what it naturally wants.  Observe your breath as you might observe something very dear to you.  With curiosity, compassion, love.  As you’d observe a child at play,  your lover, a kitten, a beautiful sunset.  If you find yourself pushing or becoming frustrated with yourself, (dammit!  I am not loving!) turn up the corners of your mouth into a slight smile, and send love to the part of yourself that is being harsh, judgmental, and generally a shit.  Just acknowledge it for what it is and love it anyway.

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Allow this gentle observance to continue and add a layer.  This is where you get to use imagination.

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In your mind’s eye, see a flower in your heart center.  Imagine its color(s) and the petals.  Now imagine this flower expanding and growing until it fills the entire inside of your body, so you are essentially one large blossom.  The center of the flower is your heart center.  Stay with this image for a time.

How does it feel?  Allow yourself to feel.  Explore this sensation.  It is real.  Can you perhaps feel the petals softening you?  What else do you notice?

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When you feel ready, add another layer.  See the fragrance of the flower emanating.  Allow the scent to become a visual for you.  What color is this aroma?  Can you see it swirling around inside of you?  Does it create patterns?  Does it move in waves or in a steady rhythm?

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Now let the flower and its fragrance begin to soften the boundary of your physical body from the inside, permitting your edges to soften and the essence and aroma of the flower to swirl out of your body to fill your aura.  If you are unsure of your aura, imagine your physical body is in a sort of bubble and fill this with scent.

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Feel into the energetic essence of this flower.  If this seems strange to you.  Don’t worry about it, just go with it.  Try not to judge and again, just feel.  Perhaps folding your hands gently over your heart chakra will help you to feel or deepen the sensation.

There is such sweetness there – in your heart.

Here you may even say to yourself, out loud or internally, “I love you (your name here).”  Go ahead, repeat this several times until it is comfortable & natural.

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Linger with this sensation as long as you please.  When you are satiated, feel the energy, aroma, and the very flower get smaller until it is enshrined  in your heart.  There you may carry it everywhere and call it forward anytime you need a touch up of self loving.

It’s nice to ground yourself with a little food and drink after a journey like this.

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Kauai Favs

Other than meditating, here are some of my favorite recommendations if you are in Kauai…

Secret Beach

It’s a bit of a hike, and not really that secret (just ask a local).  Not really a swimmers beach, but it’s so beautiful and a little more secluded.  Clothing is optional.

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Mermaids Cafe in Kapaa

Get the mermaid wrap with tuna just seared.  Just do it!  They seem to be hiring.

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Kauai Juice Company (Kapaa and Kilauea)

Best juice ever.  Smoothies too.  I’m drooling…  Thursdays are free shot days.

Hanalei Farmers Market (Hanalei, Saturdays 9:30-12:00)

Fresh produce and so much more.

Cocktails at Sunset at Happy Talk Lounge

Call ahead and find out when the live Hula dancer and music is happening.  Get  reservations.  Get up and dance – I did!  (The drinks were not as wonderful as my hostess’ creations, as pictured above, but the view and music is great.)  Hey – and I noticed that most Hawaiian songs seem to be love songs for the people, land, and customs of Hawaii!

Weimea Canyon

A mini Grand Canyon.  Here the land goes from arid dessert to pine forest to lush rainforest.  The hike at the very end of the road is amazing, but incredibly muddy and rather challenging.  Bring hiking boots!  There will be mud!

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Metamorphose Yoga  Kilauea

An charming and intimate yoga studio in a picturesque stone building.  Open windows.  Ocean in view.  I took Amy Lin’s advanced flow on Friday.  A delicious, sweaty 1 hour and 45 minutes of play and spirit and good challenge.  Yum.

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Hindu Monastary

This is so worth the visit.  The grounds are amazing as are tours.  Call ahead to the monastery and find out when the tours run for they are not all that frequent.  Nearby there is a Rudraksha Grove for picnicking and collecting  brilliant blue Rudraksha seeds, or dried Rudraksha beads for malas.

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Also, “drive to the end of the road.”

There are some cool caves, fresh coconut water stands, another hiking trail, and a beautiful beach.  Then you can buy a tee-shirt in Hanalei saying “I drove to the end of the road.”  That is, if you ever come back…

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Thanks for reading!  If you try the meditation, I’d love to hear about it.  Love to you…

This post dedicated with love to my dear friends/family, Deborah, David, and Lulu.  Mahalo forever.

 

Confessions of an Undine (Mermaid)

This tail is a prelude to the perfume, Undine.

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Please let me explain. In my world under the waves, it is no ones place to forgive or judge. Merfolk simply feel and be. But now there is a bit of the human in me, through my lover, and from this human place inside of me, I offer this confession.

So, you see, under the waves there is always music. A continuous, wordless, soundpoem – not merely heard, no. The song of the seas resonates in your body. You feel the song reverberate ceaselessly in the halls and chambers of our iridescent palaces. It is a world of feeling, of emotion, and sensation. And there, in this song, you ‘know’ all manner of beings. Yes, there are fishes, octopi, and other water creatures. But also befriended are pearlescent orbs floating gently amongst quick whipping goldersnaps. We are all part of this song.

As a young undine I first visited the world of sun and air, and there, above the waves, for the first time, I smelled. Rank and fetid with salty seaweed and fresh breeze mingled with the subtle, sweet, aroma of blossoms. Momentarily, my throat choked and body racked in spasms for the intensity. In less than a moment I was seduced and overcome with its inherent pleasure. I wanted to devour the smells. Ever after, under the waves, I knew lust.

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Forgive me for I did not mean to lure my human lover under the waves with me. It was this song emanating from my beingness, this ever-present melody of the depths. My lips, so, you see, they sing mellifluent without my knowledge or intention. I only wanted to visit the world of sun and air for the briefest of time. For a sniff. Or two. And so it was that he heard my song and could not resist. He became mine to know.

Forgive me for I also did not mean to love him so. It was the scent of the sea in his curly locks and his skin smelling sweetly of Jasmine and mint that drew me. The faint earthy, musky aromas lingering in places on his body (I blush to mention) from his time on solid land, when not a sailor, that bound me to him. I became insatiable.

Now as one, under the waves he basks in my song and I in his scent. For when I wrap him in my tail and pull at his hair, and we undulate in the waves, I can once again devour his scent and he my song.

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I know, so many questions! How does he breathe down there? How long have we been under the waves in our union? And just how do undines make love, hmmmm?

Ah, but I have made my confessions and thus feel absolved. These are revelations for another time.

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Dear Reader, can you imagine smelling for the very first time?     Wouldn’t you fall in love too?

Happy Fathers Day!

To all of the fathers who bring nurturing, support, joy, caring, love, laughter, and inspiration!  We celebrate you!

My Dad…

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Love and Kundalini in Chicago

Love and Kundalini In Chicago

(This blog is  part II  following Fear and Kundalini in Chicago.)

Dancing

I’ve been dancing circles around writing this blog for weeks now.  Struggling with how to express the ineffable. Waiting and hoping for a catharsis to make things clearer.  Come on Kundalini!!!

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Do you ever just feel so close to something, you know, that “thing?”  So close to an understanding, hitting a mark, or perfecting some skill?  Yet it somehow remains elusive.

I get these glimpses…

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In the world of aerial silks to execute a drop/trick, one wraps the fabric around the body.  It’s wrapped to create a lock or catch somewhere on the body to finish the drop (so you don’t splat land) and also to allow the fabric to unwind and untwist all pretty like before catching. After wrapping and before letting go into the drop there is a moment.  It’s in this moment, whilst dangling up in the air 15-30 or more feet, that a nasty thought sneaks in.

FEAR!

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“Ummm, is this a good idea? Did I wrap right?  Should I really do this?  I’m supposed to keep my legs straight, what if I forget?”  Deciding not to drop and unwrapping is usually more difficult (and traumatically humbling) then just letting go and doing the drop.

Then the drop.  The drop unfolds, body flying and twirling through space.  Holding steady physically and mentally, and opening to the experience.  Gravity/weight pulls you downward and the catch stops you from crash splatting into the earth.

Liberation is in the drop.

Expansiveness. Love.

I am writing this here blog now, despite my not feeling ready, as an act of letting go and dropping. Perhaps leading me to a catharsis.

Kundalini

In Part I, Fear And Kundalini In Chicago, I wrote a bit about what kundalini is and it’s affects on me. If you are wondering about kundalini energy, please have a look here.

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During my last six-week class at Invision School of Psychic Abilities participants met their kundalini  energy and explored it in various ways.  We invited this energy to circulate through various body systems and energetic channels, finally directing it through our chakras.

It was great doing this in a class under the careful and expert guidance of Christopher Rhodes.

For me, the kundalini seemed to melt away some fears, helping me to shift in my approach to my life.  What I felt from this shifting was an expansion of my psyche, perhaps a loosening of my constrictions and self-imposed limitations.  (I am forever a liberation seeking missile.)

Love

The most powerful kundalini experiences for me, during these six weeks, occured while running kundalini energy through my heart system (physical body system) and heart chakra (energy system).

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Sitting at dawn on my little back porch, on my funky pink alley-find chair, surrounded by my books and perfumes and project clutter. I meditated and ran kundalini through my heart system.

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Here is where it gets ineffable, and so very so close almost catharsis oh so closeish…. oooohh (major sigh) the sweetness of kundalini in the heart…

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The tenderness and depth of my heart – the kind that brings a gentle tasty tear.  There it was.  The sweetness melted throughout my chest and radiated down my arms and legs. It expanded outside of me throughout my liminal, auric body. It expanded beyond me. For an instant it melted boundaries and I felt limitless.

Yes, it’s true what is said – It’s all about love, baby. It’s all love.

Then it slipped away, but it left an imprint, I took this little pic to remember.

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This experience reminded me of another brief glimpse of oh so closeness.

Apparently at times kundalini can spontaneously arise.  For example, if a person needs special healing.  When first I practiced yoga I felt this, but didn’t know what it was.  From the base of my spine and then upwards until my entire body would tingle, inside and out.

At that time, I frequented a small fountain on my bike path route. I’d meditate there.

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I remember once meditating there while in struggle mode – PDMLCTSD (Post-divorce-midlife-crisis-traumatic-stress-disorder.)  Yeesh, I was more than a bit of a mess.  Struggling with the fear of loosing love of all kinds.  Terrified of loving again for fear of broken heartedness or hurting anyone (think I’m not alone here.)

Then energy welling up – yup, kundalini. And with it an immense feeling of infinity and warmth and love.

I still see it now.  Everything a beautiful, fresh, impressionist painting,  I can smear and blur it with my hand if I choose. The trees, leaves, the fountain, and my image reflected in the water – all impermanent and beautiful yet unreal.  The real?  A joyful sense of connectedness to a thing beyond myself, and that thing?   Love.

Mind-blowing,  heart-splitting, soul-liberating love.

Again, it slipped away.  But again, it left its imprint.

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What would be it be like to move through life with this love?  Must be what the saints and masters do.

Would I feel too vulnerable?  Life can be so freakin’ hard – or maybe that is the catharsis that is just within reach, so close, so close, waiting to explode or implode inside of me…

Then I would look like this picture…

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Goals and Love

In Fear And Kundalini In Chicago I wrote of intention and goal. Living with intention as a way of being and opening to life.  While I’m still a fan of intention, and more of an intention person by nature, I’m reflecting on goal setting as an act of great love. It demands faith in the self and trust that you are connected.  Love!

Coming back to the silks, it requires you let go and execute the drop.  Have the faith that when you let go and release into your silks drop your wrap job and the laws of gravity and nature will catch you. An infinite cradle of love, awww. I know it’s corny but TRUE!

I’m working my way through One Spirit Medicine by Alberto Villoldo. (I highly recommend this book.) He writes of his own experience similar to my love-crisis epiphany quoting the great poet Rumi, “For I have ceased to exist, only you are here.”

Knowing I myself am love, that we are all love, we can move forward.  Set goals.  Accomplish dreams.

Signs and More

Ok, so even though I am still only close-ish I get this sense of knowing, confirmed by signs.  See, when one is moving with this energy of openness/faith/love, synchronicity happens.  For example, one ponders an idea and information presents itself.  All over the seemingly random place.  The information comes from the cash register dude when he gives you your change, or it’s written on a piece of garbage by your car door.  Hey!  Stops you in your tracks!  This has been happening like crazy to me…

Also I get this sense that after this heart bath the kundalini is moving ever upwards.  Through my (healed) throat, into my skull and hopefully up and out of my crown chakra.

I can feel it coming!

Perhaps I’ll be like one of those heart bloomed open saints – just pouring out the top of my head and enveloping me.  Then I’ll just look like this…

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Yee haw.  Imagine that climbing the silks!

Dearest Reader, I would love to hear any similar experiences you have had.  Did you move it all up and out of the crown chakra?

Love And Kundalini Prelude

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I’m almost finished with Part II of the Kundalini blog.  Read Part I here.  Whew, taking me awhile.  In the meantime, here is a little prelude.  A happy story for you!

When I taught drama in elementary school, I frequently had the kids up and dancing.  Moving and shakin’ it with wild abandon.  Or shaping dances of their own design.  They liked it plenty, but I perhaps loved watching them  even more.

In kindergarten I had an activity involving a drum.  The kids would sit on the stage floor as still as possible with eyes closed.  Very challenging for a 5 year old.  Lots of anticipation.  I would begin to play a hand drum with a slowish quiet beat and chant, “Energy’s moving in your bo-dy, energy’s moving in your FEET.  Just your feet.  Moving your feet.  Let.  Your.  Feet.  Move with the energy.”  I would then direct the energy and movement to the legs increasing the drum beat steadily.  This would go on till the drumming was frantic and loud and their entire little body was moving, eyes would fly open and the dancers would spark alive with energy busting out all over.

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After we would place our hands on our hearts and feel it beat.  We’d observe how the drum beat was like our hearts.  I’d ask them, “What does your heart feel like?”  You can imagine the utter heartbreaking sweetness of their answers.

My favorite answer ever was, “It feels like fun.”

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Dear Reader,  please close your eyes and put your hand on your heart?  What does it feel like in there?