May 3, 2013
No video again today. Have I fallen off the wagon?? I suppose so. Will I get back on? Who knows! I’m working hard not to worry about it or feel guilty. Maybe the day of going through my entire wardrobe was more draining than I realized!
I think the main problem has been time. This week I’ve begun work/playin fixed hours at the Academy, 8:30am-1:30pm every day – the first time I’ve had fixed-hour work in almost two years – AND I now have THREE websites I’m building!!! Woohoooo! I am super excited about that. I’ll share the sites here when I’m done.
So between the Academy commitment and the other projects, I wasn’t able to motivate myself to film/edit/upload video today. It’s quite labor intensive.
Oh we also had an event at the Academy tonight – an expert on Vastu came and spoke. Vastu is kinda like feng shui, but the original Indian version. It deals with architecture and energy and human alignment.
A concept I really liked was sun time vs. moon time vs. earth time. Sun time is when the sun is up; moon time is when the moon is up (which changes over the course of the waxing and waning of the moon), and earth time is when neither sun nor moon is up. The different times have different energies.
I don’t know about you but for me these past few days have been super powerful energetically. Today I had all kinds of realizations, and I am feeling super ALIVE and clear. It’s exhilarating but also challenging to contain. Contain, that’s an interesting word, a remnant from the adults yelling at the children – CONTAIN YOURSELF! Sit still! I was definitely not taught as a child how to channel the immense energy I have – I was taught to suppress it, because the adults around me didn’t know how to manage their energy either. And both of my parents had a LOT of energy.
One of my realizations today:
All my life, people have labeled me a ‘free spirit.’
At first they love it about me.
And then they get disappointed when they place their expectations on me.
Half of it is me, of course, accepting their expectations.
I no longer want other’s expectations.
I want to free others from the burden of my expectations, the burden of my choosing to feel bad and blaming it on them if my expectations aren’t met.
Instead I choose to love others exactly as they are, in the present moment, in whatever reality we happen to be interacting in.
I choose freedom for others – the freedom from being responsible for my feelings.
I choose freedom for myself – the freedom from feeling shameful, bad, or guilty.
I choose to trust that everything works out for my highest good, and for the highest good of others.
“The greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” ~Lao Tzu
May 2, 2013
“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between their work and their play; their labor and their leisure; their mind and their body; their education and their recreation. They hardly know which is which. They simply pursue their vision of excellence through whatever they are doing, and leave others to determine whether they are working or playing. To themselves, they always appear to be doing both.”
-Francoise Rene Auguste Chateaubriand
I want to live like this!!!
I’m getting closer. Today was a lovely mix of work/play. Which eventually will just be play. “Productive Play” I suppose would be a better term.
I’m still trying to upload yesterday’s video – It’s very very strange that every time I try to upload it to Youtube, it doesn’t upload the file I tell it to, it uploads Day 12′s fireside video. There must be a reason.
I’ve found in my life that there’s a good reason when technology doesn’t cooperate with me. And it’s always in my favor. I’ve been saved from purchasing something I didn’t need to/the wrong thing on a number of occasions. Like at the end of the great Road Trip of 2011 when I tried to buy a $167 Amtrak train ticket from Boston to Washington DC. I made a number of attempts, but the Amtrak site wouldn’t accept my credit card. I eventually gave up and decided to wait til the next day to try buying the $167 ticket again.
That next day, while on a whale-watching cruise with a girl from Slovenia (or Slovakia?) who I was couchsurfing with, I met a woman who was celebrating her birthday. We got to chatting and over the course of the boat ride – during which we saw about 20 amazing humpback whales – this woman mentioned that her husband, sitting next to her, was a train conductor.
For Amtrak. And…. the train he conducted… went from Boston to Washington DC.
I am not making this is#t up.
Two days later, they picked me up and put me on a train to DC with him. For free.
The woman even made me a gift package – cookies, juice, a sudoku puzzle book, a pen and a journal. These people gave from the pure kindness of their hearts. It was a beautiful, magical, heart-opening experience for me.
And the point I started with was – if technology doesn’t want me to upload that video for you, fine. I trust there’s a reason. I’ll try re-editing it tomorrow, or just moving on.
So today, after work/playing on Academy affairs this morning, I took the rest of the day to follow blisses. It turned out to be a beautiful magical day. I feel intensely connected to myself, my soul – authentic, in-joy, in the Vortex, in the Flow. Intensely happy with life, with what I’m doing, with the Me that I’m becoming, with the open potential and possibilities of the future.
Clearing out half my clothing feels like it’s unblocked a lot of energy. OR, the energy was unblocked, enabling me to have the clarity to release so much. Chicken/egg/chicken/egg.
Also, rather unfortunately, my bedroom has been invaded by ants tonight. They’re big black and red ones, and they’re streaming in a crack in my window, crawling up my legs, across my keyboard, on my arms. I don’t want to smoosh them but I also don’t want to be bitten. So far so good. Every few minutes I’ll send one air-born from my arm or leg with a whoosh of air. I hope they don’t break legs or carapaces upon landing. Ok wait ants don’t have carapaces. Thoraxes, I suppose.
Like the Bumblebees, the Ants must have a message for me – so I went to Google Guru for answers.
Here’s the main message of Ant medicine:
“PATIENCE. Ant’s medicine is the strategy of patience.
Ant people are active, community-minded folks who see the greater future needs of their town. Ant people are planners, like Squirrel, and are content to see their dreams being built a little at a time.
If you have Ant medicine, you … are content in knowing that “what is yours will come to you.” This knowing is good medicine. It shows a trust in the Universe to provide. If Ant meandered into your spread today, it is time to show a little trust and patience in some life situation. You may have forgotten that you will always receive that which you need, at the time you need it most. It is not on the horizon or just around the next anthill, you may need to use some strategy. How can you put to use your power of creation until “it” arrives -whatever “it” means to you at this time? Ant is working for the good of the whole. Are you? If you are, be assured that the whole wants the same goodness for you, and that it will be provided.”
Well, I’m definitely working on building my dreams. And I’m definitely community-and-greater-future-minded. And Trust has been my main focus lately. Trusting that everything is working out, trusting that I don’t need to worry. And lastly, I’m definitely putting my powers of creation in, and things are shifting, things are happening…
April 30, 2013
I’m on Day 14 in my challenge to become physically/materially lighter – enlightened, if you will!
Today I was motivated to tackle my entire wardrobe. Audit time!
I didn’t choose five things to release or three things to keep – I pretty much just went through every item of clothing I own with the question:
Do I love this?
It’s pretty easy to tell if you LOVE something. If you don’t say YES, then you don’t LOVE it. Simple.
As I mention in the video, I would love to own just three of different clothing items – three long pants, three tanks, three sweaters, three long sleeve tops, etc. I edited out about half of my wardrobe and will be keeping it in a box until the end of the challenge to see if I can do without all the things I don’t love. I’ve also got a few pairs of paints that haven’t exactly been fitting for awhile, so if they don’t fit at the end of the Challenge they’re out.
In the video I promise the story of the blue dress.
It’s 2007ish. I’m on a business trip down to San Diego with my broker boss, a rather emotionally unstable recovering heroin addict (which I had no idea about at the time I took the job with him). Crazy people love me because I’m calm and I don’t abandon them; I suppose I love crazy people because I’m inspired by their grandiose visions and it makes me feel valuable to be “needed” and to be one of the few who are capable of working with them for more than three months. I’m breaking this karmic/familial pattern right now with a much more conscious visionary person I’ve been working with… Time to be my own non-crazy visionary.
Back to the recovering heroin addict.
We were down in San Diego for a meeting to negotiate the possible sale of a $350 million dollar shopping center near Disneyland. Yes, $350 million dollars. I stood to make almost $100,000 on the deal as assistant to the broker. Our buyer was the head of General Electric Acquisitions, and their main agent had taken a liking to me. This was about six months before the 2008 Great Real Estate Bust in the US; I knew it was coming a month later when our General Electric man informed us that all of GE’s purchasing activities had been frozen. Bad, bad news.
Anyways, before the storm came, we had this high-profile meeting, everything at that point going very well for us. It was a beautiful sunny summer San Diego day. After the meeting, my boss, who was supposed to be sober at the time, decided we should celebrate with Mexican food and a few drinks. I was down, but was horribly, horrendously uncomfortable in the business suit and heels that I was wearing. Yes, a business suit and heels. I HATE HATE HATE business suits and heels. I don’t know that I will ever put either on my body ever again for the rest of my life. At this point I’m pretty sure it’s highly improbable.
Eager to ditch my suit and heels, we wandered into Old Town in San Diego and I grabbed the first cute dress I could find – the blue strapless dress in the video – and a pair of white flip flops.
What followed was about 8 hours of guacamole and tequila in Old Town and Gaslamp (Downtown) San Diego. I will be forever grateful to my friend Kan who let us crash in her living room, and even slept on the couch with me (my boss on the floor) as I was afraid my incredibly inebriated boss would try to make a move, as he’d already blatantly hinted at few times during the evening.
I don’t really drink anymore; if I do it’s just a glass of good wine here in Italy. Definitely no more tequila. After writing that story out and considering the energy that comes with that bue dress, I think it’s time to let go of it.
April 29, 2013
While I was living with a wise woman in Patagonia a year ago, I learned about Native American traditions and spirituality, and I learned about the meanings of animals. This wise woman had a deck of cards and book about Animal ‘Medicine’, as the Native American teachings refer to it.
I think that anything that we use to bring meaning to our lives can be helpful – it can be belief systems, astrology, religion, ‘signs’ from the Universe/god, synchronicity, even science (what we think of as modern “science” has really become more like Scientism - just another set of beliefs that makes us feel safe). Anyways, it’s all about the meaning you give to these beliefs, and if you use these ‘clues’ as part of your personal growth, development and expansion.
Twice in the past month while recording videos, I’ve been interrupted by Bumblebees.
Back on March 10, 2013, I was recording a video out in front of the Academy of Art, Creativity & Consciousness in Italy on a beautiful spring day. I was talking about life, about figuring out my calling/purpose, and about attempting to authentically follow my dreams and intuition.
Cue Bumblebee. Later that day I googled the meaning of Bumblebees and meant to blog about it, but never did.
Then again on April 18th a Bumblebee gets right up in my/your/our faces/the camera lens. Ok, ok, I’ll write about Bumblebees!
The fascinating thing is how synchronistically aligned the symbolism of the Bumblebee is with what I’d been talking about in the video, what my focus has been the last month or two (focus itself, and creativity), and the lifestyle I’m living (COMMUNITY! If you don’t know, I’m living in a spiritual community in Italy…).
Creative endeavors (hello making videos!)
The following info was gathered from various websites:
Bumble Bees are focused, industrious, powerful, loud, and proud.
Bee is the ancient symbol of good fortune, joy and harmony. In the dream world, bee comes as a gift from Spirit. He buzzes about in order to awaken us into the moment. Alert and aware, we see that life is sweet and filled with brightness, color and light. Bee also teaches us to engage fully in our creative endeavors. The key is to focus with intention and to be single-minded in purpose.
The bee symbolizes community, brightness and personal power. Follow the bee to discover your new destination.
The ancient Druids saw the bee as symbolising the sun, the Goddess, celebration, and community.
ALL bees are productive, they stay focused on whatever they are doing and do not get sidetracked from their goal.
They hold the power of service. Their movement from one plant to plant represents the interconnectedness of all living things. It’s their drive to contribute to the common good of the community that is noteworthy. The bumblebee is a messenger bringing the secrets of life and service.
If this is your power animal and your energy is scattered, the bumblebee can show you how to become focused again.
If you are stung, the message here is – WAKE UP! Follow the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Listen to your true self, your higher self. Heed your inner voice and wisdom.
Ask for bumble bee help when:
• You need help communicating with other people.
• You question if you are aligned with your goals in life.
• You wish to heed your inner voice and wisdom.
Access bumble bee power by…
• Extracting the sweetness of life.
• Being productive while the sun shines
• Pursuing your dream, no matter how great it seems.
The meaning of bees in dreams speak of:
• communication, and
• our ability to consciously choose the results we want in our lives
When we dream of bees it may be an indication that we are ready to communicate our spiritual gifts, or perhaps we should more clearly recognize the treasures that reside within us.
Fascinating stuff. So I encourage you: look into those little clues that the Universe gives you. If certain animals pop up often in your life, or in your dreams, google their meaning and symbolism. These clues and synchronicities might be mirrors of what you’re seeking to learn.
P.S. Random Wiki fact: Bumblebee colonies are often placed in greenhouse tomato production, because the frequency of buzzing that a bumblebee exhibits effectively releases tomato pollen.
Is that not AMAZING??!? That a FREQUENCY can release pollen from a PLANT??????
April 26, 2013
Today was a very long day, and I did not feel like picking my 5/3.
So I didn’t.
I did, however, still record a video for you!
I mentioned a few of these things in the video, but here’s a full recap of my day:
I started the day with some of my morning rituals round 6:30am, meditation at 7:30am, then breakfast with friends out in the sunshine; over to the Academy of Art, Creativity & Consciousness to clean and translate some marketing materials for our open house in the afternoon; more cleaning and organizing and chatting with friends. Then ate a giant lunch out in the sunshine with friends again. Washed some dishes, back to the Academy for some schmoozing and translating Italian/English, enjoyed a moving classical music rehearsal, a short hike with a friend, ate some INCREDIBLE homemade cheesecake for another friend’s birthday; talked with friends some more, met some new people, schmoozed some more til dinner time. Ate dinner with friends and watched the sun set. Helped wash dishes in the kitchen for an hour and a half (with some Russians and two monks who’d flown in from India, one originally from Las Vegas and the other from Uruguay), took a little moonlit stroll and listened to Radiolab, recorded the video above, Skyped with China, chatted with my friends/roommates, edited the video above, took a shower.
It’s now 1:30am Italy time, and I’m about to head over to the Temple of Light. I signed up for a shift to sit vigil for Swamiji, who left his body on April 21st. I’ll be meditating in the temple with him from 2am-4am. Should be a beautiful experience. The moon’s full tonight, and with springtime here the weather’s slowly been warming up.
My day was busy but full of friendship and laughter and stories and hugs and deep conversations about the meaningful things in life – relationships, truth, reality, death, love, joy, creation… So grateful, so appreciative of this wonderful community and the amazing life that I have.
April 23, 2013
Things are a bit crazy here with Swamiji’s passing and the gearing up for the big weekend – they’re premiering the film about Ananda communities, called Finding Happiness, and there was already going to be a big group here for the weekend, now compounded by people flying in from all over the world for the funeral service tomorrow. Plus the Academy of Art Creativity & Consciousness has to be prepped for the visitors, along with all our marketing stuff finished…
Anyways, I’m keeping up!
Here is yesterday’s video:
And here’s today’s:
The Three Keeps:
1. Hard Tail top – I LOVE Hard Tail! Aside from Green Apple, Hard Tail make my favorite beautiful comfy yoga clothes. I would love to have a wardrobe of entirely GA & HT. I’ve had this top for a few years and it still looks great. It’s got holes that have been sewn up all over.
2. Book: La Legge dell’Attrazione e le Relazioni Affettive – The Law of Attraction and Emotional Relationships. I don’t think this book was printed in English. I found it in an Italian grocery store about a week after I was wishing I had an Abraham-Hicks book to read. AND it was on sale. Manifest!!
“Se vi abituate a cercare aspetti positivi, li troverete in voi stessi oltre che negli altri. Se siete abituati a notare gli aspetti negativi, li troverete anche in voi stessi. Non sbagliamo, quindi, quando affermiamo che chi critica gli altri non ama se stesso. Va contra la Legge. Quando vedete persone molto critiche verso gli altri, sappiate che sono individui che non si amano.”
If you’re used to looking for positive aspects, you will find them in yourself as well as in others. If you are used to noticing negative aspects, you will find those also in yourselves. We’re not mistaken, then, when we affirm that he who criticizes others doesn’t love himself. It goes against the Law. When you see people being very critical of others, you know that they are individuals who don’t love themselves.”
3. Canon camera – I love the colors of Canon. However my beat-up, sometimes-working Panasonic Lumix takes better video (minus the dust spots from Burning Man) and wide-angle shots. So until my next high-end camera purchase, I’ll keep both.
The Five Releases:
1. Blue gloves – handed down from a friend. Winter’s over!
2. Mystery cable – I think I came with my last camera purchase. Haven’t needed it since I bought the camera a year ago. Adios!
3. Wool skirt – Found in the attic; wore it a few times but don’t love it; throwing it back!
4. Book: Babaji – Gifted by a friend; talks more about the follower of Babaji who wrote this than actual words of Babaji. Didn’t finish it.
5. Book: The Lathe of Heaven - Great book about a man who changes the world when he dreams – but he’s the only one who notices it changing. He’s then used by a egomaniacal psychologist, whose attempts at making the world a better place always end up making it worse. An interesting commentary on reality, sanity, and courage. Highly recommended but passing it on for someone else to enjoy.
Thanks for joining me on my journey!!!
April 17, 2013
“One of the advantages of being born in an affluent society is that if one has any intelligence at all, one will realize that having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or even relationships: The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from the outside.”
-Tenzin Palmo, 1943
Clutter and confusion come down to a lack of faith, a lack of trust in something greater in yourself, a lack of belief that everything will work out perfectly for you.
Hasn’t it always worked out for you? Even when it seems something horrible happened, didn’t it have an equally beneficial flipside, of growth, learning, opening, wisdom, compassion, help from others? It has for me! And until we change our beliefs – ie whether or not the Universe is a friendly place, whether or not we’re always provided for and taken care of – we will continue to be unhappy, even if it’s just a simmering, low-grade dissatisfaction that you can’t quite explain, can’t quite put your finger on.
The Release List
1. Red dress I bought in Buenos Aires after coveting it for a few months; I wore it once and probably won’t wear it again. Luckily I don’t do that often.
2. Thermos – I wanted it do drink yerba mate out of my gourd+bombilla but it made the water taste really metallic-y. Yuck.
3. Lipstick – Bought at Whole Foods eons ago. Before I started boycotting them.
4. Nail file – I know, lipstick and nail files are piddlly things, but I’ve stll got 26 days to go!!! Gimme a break! I also want to ditch my last remaining lipsticks I’ve been carrying around as I never wear them. It’s good to start slowly.
5. Reading lamp – bulb broken, and I don’t need it anyways since my first-edition Kindle broke and I now read on my iPod touch. Backlighting’s hard on the eyes but it’s convenient.
The Keep List
1. My Macbook …
2. Deodorant! (Lucky you!)
3. Nail file, handed to me today by someone who didn’t know that my old nail file is pretty much useless. Manifest!
I did go more utilitarian on my Keeps today for some reason, and I realized that I want to stick to the LOVES instead of the NEEDS. So I’ll go back to the LOVES tomorrow. I get the feeling that I don’t have that many LOVES… interesting.
I do really enjoy how slow and non-threatening this process is. I always feel like I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff, and then overwhelm kicks in so I don’t even start the process.
Five things a day is so small, so easy, so doable. Not that it still doesn’t take me awhile to choose; it still does. But it feels much better. Less pressure. Less terror.
P.S. Here are the links from the video:
April 13, 2013
I’ve been a nomad for almost two years now and I still feel like I’ve got too much stuff.
It’s weighing me down and I’m ready to shift. Time to take clutter-clearing to the next level!
I’ve been stalking minimalist bloggers online for years – there’s the ‘100 Things‘ Challenge, where you try to get the items you own down to 100; there’s minimalist fashion, where you choose 33 clothing items to wear for 3 months.
But I’m gonna do it my own way.
I will also be recording a video every day to share the process with you, delving into the psychological reasons for clutter and holding on. (And you get to see all my junk!)
The video part will be especially challenged as I’ve never really vlogged, but China Mae Brooks is one of my vloggy inspirations and lately I’ve been feeling compelled to start vlogging. (Plus I’m living in Italy and it’s springtime and you should really enjoy it with me).
So that’s that.
I want to be lighter, freer, clearer.
Love lets go when fear wants to hold on.
I Choose to Let Go.