Tag: personal evolution (Page 1 of 3)

Reflection Prompt

While the moon and the sun exchange light, while one holds the other for reflection, let’s do the same. If something in these words catches your attention, sit with it. The prompt is meant to engage the iterative processes through which we create our mindscapes. This is self study (svadhyaya) in action.

We meet a Taurus full moon on October 24.

The vibe of Taurus, the archetype of the farmer, makes beautiful connection with Earth. The material world is a sensual playground. You are here to grow what feeds you. Bear witness to what makes your body feel nourished and your being in it safe.

Do you feel safe?

We’re in Libra season in a Venus retrograde. All I feel are flames: the burning systems, the patriarchy, the capitalist mentality, the encroaching mind-manipulation by the media. All of this part of the war on power and the fight that is moving toward power equality.

In the midst of it all, I don’t feel safe.

And yet, I am here. So how can I get through this experience?

Taurus

The Taurus moon has got me feeling the need to root. The need to play-pretend that I call crawl back into the womb. Leave this world behind. Honor and follow the need to feel the cool insides of Mother Earth.

As the season of fall deepens, the mornings are cool. I like to go outside early in the morning before sunrise and walk through the world. Remember that there are still things like mornings before sunrises where the wind is cold and the ground is still beneath my feet.

I feel safe for the moment.

It helps if I make these small observations of the natural world around me, connect throughout the day, come back to myself while the fire in the cultural world rages.

I am reminded, too, that all of this is a practice in being. That when I feel safe, I give up the feeling of being unsafe just for a fleeting moment. I remember that all explorations of the perception of being safe/unsafe are journies to the edge of comfort zones. All of the edges and the crossing of them are like going back and forth from the womb to the world that waits outside.

The Earth supports us, even when the culture doesn’t.

Libra

Libra

REFLECTION PROMPT: What time of day makes you feel safe?  Can you write a story around that experience?

Reflection Prompt

Like to use creative writing as part of your self care practice? Here’s a reflection prompt for you to consider. If something in these words catches your attention, sit with it. The prompt is meant to engage the iterative processes through which we create our mindscapes. These reflection prompts stimulate self study (svadhyaya).

We meet a full moon in Aries on September 25.

The vibe of Aries, the archetype of the person putting-stuff-into-action, invites the spark to get it started. Let yourself into yourself, listen inside to what your inner voice says is beginning and/or different from before.

You’ll know what it is when you hear it.

And it’s a dynamic time to listen, too. Listen while the full moon light is turned way up.

 

Libra

Libra

We are steeped in a balanced ratio of light and darkness care of the vernal equinox. Right now, the sun is fresh in Libra and themes of balance and justice are turning up. The Jewish tradition is honoring traditions of reflection and atonement around a new year. Pagan traditions are honoring harvest and abundance.

This is also the time in our zodiacal journey that we transition from working with celestial influence and energies around our selves and inner lives to energies related to others and communities. There will be more darkness than light in our physical experience (in the northern hemisphere).

So what is this full moon showing us? Rather, what can we hear that might be an extension of the seeds that were planted in the dark around the Virgo new moon two weeks ago? Now is the opportunity to see yourself in the inside and outside spaces. Bask in the brilliance of who you are and who you might be; relish potential–your own, the Earth’s and what she offers, the change in the experience of time–and align with the abundance with the bounty from six months full of sun.

Aries

Aries

REFLECTION PROMPT: What is beginning for you now? Who is inside?

September 24, 2018

Growing through fire

I didn’t realize the amount of fire I was building inside me until I was in the desert heat and I felt such peace that there was nothing to do but radiate.

Me with a post-homa glow

September 2018: As I soon as I got out of my truck and stood for the first time in Joshua Tree village, a small town in southern California where the Sonoran and Mojave deserts meet, I couldn’t tell where I stopped and the dry warm air and dusty Earth started.  It felt like the fire inside that had propelled me west all summer had fully engulfed my being.

***

As I look back over my trajectory from New York City to Los Angeles, I see how the sparks became this blaze.

They started before I left my last base camp—Kingston, NY. I had been laying on the makeshift mattress on the floor (everything in Lupe Station, my affectionately named two-bedroom space I had been living in) had been packed. It was early in the morning on my second-to-last day there. I remember relishing the way the sun entered the windows in my bedroom, moved through a teardrop-shaped crystal, cast rainbows aka colorful kisses on everything. The morning gazing ritual was something that I loved to do every day that I lived there.

And that morning, when the space was nearly empty, it  still full: I felt a kinship with the sun, the sweet energy, the strong light.

I had packed my homa fire ceremony kit, and as I laid there considering the dates I had booked to offer public ceremonies, I recognized that I was nervous at the thought of bringing it across the country. Homa is a Vedic fire ceremony for peace. It is cleansing. It is healing across dimensions. Homa involves chanting Sanskrit as ghee (clarified butter) is offered to a small fire that is created in a copper container. I wondered, too, if my teacher Ma Bha (Ma Bhaskarananda), whom I met by going to Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York (about an hour south from where I lived), would ever know just how much my life had changed by doing the ceremony that I had learned from her years ago.

Ma Bha at Ananda Ashram

Ma Bha at Ananda Ashram

Later that day, I got an unexpected message from Ma Bha’s son. (It wasn’t until she died [in 2016] that I realized I knew her son, who happened to be my friend and lived on the street parallel to mine in Kingston. We realized it when he had been posting pics of his mom as I posted pics of my teacher, both honoring the passing of an amazing woman.) He said he had a few things for me. I was a little confused because I didn’t know what he would be bringing, but I agreed to receive them. When he stopped by later that night, he gifted me an entire bag of her belongings, including the bag, the one that she used when she went on her own pilgrimage to India. I was moved beyond words. That’s the moment I realized how deeply I had connected to the fire and to my teacher, who showed up in this amazing synchronicity. I knew this road trip would be blessed.

It was a day later, as I drove with New York City in my rearview, a setting sun on the horizon, that I realized how the relationship that I have with fire (through the sun and actual thing and also through the creative process and metaphorical thing) is one of the most important relationships I have in my life. I often say at some point during a fire ceremony—“the light that you see in the flame is you, it is your inner light, it is your teacher”—because Ma Bha taught those words to me. So following my intuition to go west was like listening to a voice in me that said grow.

I performed a fire ceremony in June in Columbus, Ohio at the office of the Parapsychological Association (PA). This was a portent of the things to come at the PA conference I was planning to attend in August in California, where science was the framework to understand energy exchange and the interconnected nature of the material world. It was a significant experience because I was going into a space and group of people that was previously unknown to me with a ceremony that was previously unknown to them. Would they feel it, too?

Personal growth, inner life experience, sacred space is all so subjective.

When I performed fire ceremonies at Lupe Station, I did them in a room of my living space that was dedicated to energy work. I also knew many people who came to my ceremonies. I didn’t know how the fire would react to the space or the people, or me to the fire in that space. And like any other relationship—when you bring your significant other into new or different of your life, don’t you worry what might happen?

Homa at sunrise in Joshua Tree

Homa at sunrise in Joshua Tree

The fire ceremony in Columbus went well. In fact, it went really well—I saw how the power of the fire touched them, too. I’ve kept in touch with some of the folks who attended and have an offer to go back and do it again.

I went west to increase my own understanding about that, learning about my role as a facilitator of energetic exchange. I carefully selected some events and places to stay that would give me opportunities to learn and practice being in this role. My westward course led me to New Mexico, where a planned week-long stay in Albuquerque to complete a seminar at the Ayurvedic Institute turned into a month-long stop.

Ma Bha had spent years there teaching alongside Dr. Vasant Lad, whose direction, teaching, and kindness has helped make the Ayurvedic Institute an authoritative place of Ayurvedic knowledge exchange in the West. Ayurveda offers a holistic frame for the material world, where everything interacts in a series of balance, imbalance, and exchanges. Each time I mentioned that I too had studied with Ma Bha in New York, I was met with exclaims of respect and joy. I sat for several fire ceremonies while I was in Albuquerque, and I also did my first online broadcast of one—spurred by the feedback that some of previous attendees were feeling my lack of ceremonies. I remember my hand shaking as I lit the ceremonial fire in the kitchen of the apartment I had rented. I was nervous. I wondered if it would “work” over the Internet.

But again, as it did in Columbus, my friend showed up. The people who were at the online ceremony (physically across the country) felt the benefits, as if we were sitting together.

There was fire in me indeed. This simple, enriching ceremony gave (and gives) me the ability to feel the fire inside and use it to create connection to others. To invoke the teachers we all have inside. To let us be able to hear the intuition and follow that compass to things that set us a-light.

Incidentally, this is the ninth blog post this year that has been posted under “Outside the Lines,” the category that I created to share my spiritual growth process and pieces of my transformation story. Nine months is the gestation time for a human. Nine months I have been growing me. I had asked “Who am I?” after a powerful trip to Guatemala earlier this year. “Who am I in relation to others?” is something that trip asked me back. So I carefully considered what I needed to do to get those answers, and planned the summer road trip to get them.

But I hesitate to use the word “pilgrimage” although it is indeed what the road trip became. I kept referring to the time as “a blessed summer.”  I just knew I had to do it. I just knew that I didn’t want to leave the question of “Who am I?” unanswered. But saying that the trip had spiritual significance isn’t exactly what I want to remember it as; saying that I spent the summer growing the relationship I have to myself through the fire I have inside is. And now it’s time to birth the new version of who I am.

Sunrise in Joshua Tree

Sunrise in Joshua Tree

I’ve decided to stay in the desert for some time and allow for more exploring inside. I know, too, that many people spend time in the area around Joshua Tree and have profound experiences within themselves. It’s as if the sacred land is a catalyst for the power that can be unleashed inside all of us, the fire that we all have inside. And each morning, the sun wakes me up. I can feel it before it breaches the horizon. The presence calls me out of sleep to wake. By burning brightly from within, I can engage in the world in a joyful way, the way I want to be in the world.

This is the same but different version of me, lying on the floor at Lupe Station in Kingston.

Here’s a poem I wrote one morning as I laid on a bed in a furnished house I rented in Joshua Tree:

The sun woke me up today; the rays were like a friend’s skilled hand, a presence with familiarity, playing some celestial rhythm; and in the music: light waves moving through the space, dancing on my eyelids, encouraging me to open them, inviting me to another day of life n’ play… // and then I went outside. // Let’s see what happens.

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