May 11, 2013
Aaaand I’m back!!!
Day 16 of my 30-day LightLiving simplifying-minimizing-decluttering challenge!
Lots of good stuff, clarity, new plans!
Today’s Five Releases:
1. Makeup brush
2. White Buddha tank
3. Green Ganesh tank
4. Basket I made
5. Vibrams with a hole in the soles
1. Red Buddha tank
2. Patagonia Geode necklace
(Going to focus more on the letting go as I’m planning to start traveling again – watch the video!)
May 4, 2013
I’m taking a Hiatus from vlogging for a few days. Why? Because:
I’ve run out of room.
I’m halfway through a 30-day decluttering/minimizing challenge and my hard drive is so full that I can no longer download the videos from my camera.
Oh, the irony!!!*
So I’m in the process of transferring all my thousands of photos and videos to my terrabyte external drive…which is over halfway full.
I’ve been trying to manually transfer photos in batches the last few weeks, organizing them in the old labelled folder system (hey, I was on PCs from age 12 to 32 – 20 years!) and right this second iPhoto says I still have…11,656 photos and videos to go. *sigh*
With 11,656 photos to go (I think I started around 15,000) this manual thing is gonna take waaay too long.
So I’m gonna figure out how to do this the right, simple, easy way! And I’ll let you know (if you ALREADY know, you can leave me a message in the comments – help a sister out!). From a few seconds of checking with Guru Googleji it looks like I might just be able to drag-n-drop my iPhoto Library on to the eternal… but I want to have some on my computer too, and I don’t want to always have to have my eternal drive plugged in.
I was thinking about this topic earlier: I didn’t get the souped-up speakers or the extra hard drive because I allowed the men I was asking for advice to talk me out of it. “You don’t need that much storage!” “You can add memory!” “You can get some good speakers!” Wrong on #1, that’s really implausible on #2, and #3, As a nomad/aspiring minimalist I really don’t like to have to have things plugged into my computer – external hard drives OR speakers.
So, next time, I’m going big and getting my computer tricked out EXACTLY how I want it! Considering I spend hardly anything on shoes, clothing, makeup or hairstyling products, an extra grand or two once every few years on a swanky Macbook or Air seems totally reasonable to me.
I’m off to sort out the photo stuff so I can continue bringing you more videos and photos.
In the meantime check out the thunderheads we had today!
*(modern Alanis definition of irony)
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 21, 2013
In today’s video I share my Five Releases and my Three Keeps, I share some gorgeous photos of Italy, and I also share some tears. I’m quite uncomfortable expressing fear or sadness and crying in front of other people; but as it’s my fears that got me crying this morning, I figured I might as well face one right away by posting a video about it!
Following your dreams is terrifying. And by following your dreams I mean follow your intuition, your heart path, and doing what you feel called to do, even if you don’t know why. I felt called to do this challenge and to make videos. This morning someone asked me what the point was – WHY was I doing this challenge? What is the point of making videos every day? What is my goal? Ie, How is this contributing to me figuring out my life and how to make a living??
And then all the fears came flooding out. I don’t know! I don’t know what I’m doing! I don’t know what’s going to happen! I don’t know how I’m going to pay bills! I don’t have answers. I’m just trying to do what I feel is truest for me, even if it makes no rational sense.
I have so many fears that I’m trying to work through. I’m trying not to just give up, to go back to the old secure and deadening life of regular paychecks and car insurance payments. Why is that such a huge question? Why do our entire lives focus around HOW WILL YOU MAKE MONEY? Money, a completely made-up thing… funny how something that’s just a belief can upset us so much.
When I was crying this morning (before the video), I sat there breathing through the fear/pain/sadness, breathing deep and strong, almost hyperventilating, my face tingling after a few minutes. I could feel the energy moving through me, my head hurting, my neck tense. I kept gulping air. And then it began to dissolve. It came back to me how I’d been taught as a child that it was wrong and shameful to cry. Growing up I’d always gone to my room alone, put some music on my headphones, and muffled my sobs into my teddy bear. I don’t think I cried in front of any of my friends until I was into my twenties.
In the last week, a few odd things in my body have come up: My knuckle’s been hurting in an arthritis-y way for a little over a week. Three or four days ago I stubbed my pinkie toe on a rock so hard that it turned purple. I won’t subject you to a photo of my toe but let’s say that it swelled up and resembles a cherry. Or a purple grape.
Yesterday, I totally ate it while climbing down a hill and skinned my knees. I’m not usually klutzy. I’ve also been binging on chocolate and bread.
I realized that all of these things were signals for the underlying emotions bubbling below – subconscious attempts at distraction, sabotage, or getting my attention.
I checked my book “Heal Your Body” by Louis Hay to find out the meanings:
PROBLEM: Joints (Knuckle)
PROBABLE CAUSE: Represent changes in direction in life and the ease of these movements.
NEW THOUGHT PATTERN: I easily flow with change. My life is Divinely guided, and I am always going in the best direction.
PROBABLE CAUSE: Represent the minor details of the future.
NEW THOUGHT PATTERN: All details take care of themselves.
PROBABLE CAUSE: Represents pride and ego.
NEW THOUGHT PATTERN: I am flexible and flowing.
Well, there you go.
So why share all this? Well, one, because it scares me, and I’m practicing doing things that scare me. And two, if you’ve ever felt afraid or alone or confused, maybe this will help remind you that you’re not alone. There is no feeling or emotion that you’ll ever have that no one else has ever felt. We’re all in this crazy life game together, here to play being sad and fearful. It’s part and parcel with the pleasure and joy of being human.
One thing I will say about all this – I’m learning how to edit videos. I’m learning how to let go of more crap. I’m learning how to ‘ship’ stuff I create – blogs and videos – every single day. I’m learning to create and share while caring less and less what others think of me.
And most importantly, I’m letting go. Of crap I don’t need, and also of some of my fear.
Thanks for joining me on this journey!
Today’s Release List:
1. Chemically shampoo
2. Sesame oil
4. Book: Raja Yoga
5. Book: The Yeast Syndrome
Today’s Keep List:
1. Turquoise & gold earrings
2. Blue crystal earrings from the Dalai Lama in Milan, 2012
3. Buddha earrings from Fern’s Garden, Belmont Shore/Long Beach (the sell Jacob’s Wind chimes, which are the BEST wind chimes EVER).
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.
April 13, 2013
Just in case you don’t already know this, Satan exists.
And its current name is Monsanto.
I’m now in a place (emotionally and spiritually) where I can hear/read about Monsanto without having a nervous breakdown (as I did in January 2011, though I probably didn’t mention it to you as it was a small one).
Why am I talking about this depressing topic? Well, the ElephantJournal article “Monsanto: The Most Evil Company in the Universe” showed up in my twitter feed today.
And you know what? I was ready. I was ready to face it. I feel strong enough in myself at this moment that I knew I wouldn’t start crying or get utterly depressed. I was ready to shift on this topic.
Though I’ve tried to avoid it the past year or two, I was actually thinking about Monsanto around the time of my birthday last month. I am doing Creative Life Coaching sessions with Lakshmi (she’s amazing) and she mentioned that the topics that upset us most can show us where our passions lie, and hence the direction to move in in our lives – our purpose for being here on the planet on this go-’round.
I wrote the word “Monsanto” in my notes; at the end of our session I copy/pasted/Skyped my responses to her questions and exercises and sent them back to her.
Lakshmi lives in Portugal; much of Portugal is GMO-Free, and Lakshmi hadn’t heard of the corporation Monsanto.
So when she saw the word she thought I was talking about the Portuguese town of Monsanto – which I, on the other hand, had never heard of, but had seen a photo of once.
Here’s some crazy synchronicity:
This town Monsanto in Portugal is pretty much THE COOLEST PLACE I HAVE EVER SEEN.
IT’S BUILD INTO/WITH BOULDERS!
You don’t even understand. Aside from living in a tree house (see my post on how I Want To Live In a Tree Boat House – yes I made it up), living in boulders is pretty much my wet dream. I’ve loved rocks since I can remember, I grew up bouldering in Southern California, and I have spent hours clamoring over and sprawled across boulders. I don’t really understand why, but I love boulders big time.
So when I saw how this heavy word, THE most upsetting word in the human language (for me anyways) could be shifted in an instant to something so unbelievably cool that I hadn’t even known had existed -
This gave me hope.
Hope that I could overcome the rage/fury/terror that would come up when I heard or saw the word Monsanto.
Because now I know a secret. That yes, Monsanto is a horrible evil life-threatening monster that is overrunning the globe and polluting nature with man’s hubristic fiddling (and the results of man’s hubristic fiddlings are never good; the Greeks knew that).
But now I know that when I think of Monsanto the horror, I can ALSO think of Monsanto the Magical. Monsanto the Magical Boulder Town, which I will someday visit, I sweartogod, if not possibly live.
Anyways, what do we do when faced with the satanic behemoth monster that is called Monsanto, the one that helped make the nuclear bomb and agent orange and DMT and bovine growth hormone?
Here’s what we do:
1. We educate ourselves as to what vendors sell/products are made using Genetically Modified Organisms and we consciously choose to stop “feeding” them with our money energy (I’m sorry to tell you that Whole Foods surrendered to Monsanto back in 2011, hence my breakdown).
2. We learn to grow our own food.
3. We create local and independent seed banks to protect and share naturally-occurring heirloom seeds.
4. And we enjoy the f#@% out of our delicious, local, organic food.
And then, we all go visit Portugal.
March 19, 2013
It’s my birthday!
I’m living my dream of living in Italy. I have a community of amazingly loving and supportive friends who are like an international family. I get to breathe fresh air and be in nature every day.
I’m healthy. I’m getting back in shape after the last two years of over-eating in an imperfect attempt to ground myself while leaping into the void, trying to figure out who I am and what I want, not to mention traveling and gorging on sugar and regional delicacies (medialunas, anyone??). I’m doing yoga every morning, meditating, journaling, visualizing, and affirming.
I currently have 55€ cash, $19.23 in the bank, and about $50,000 in debt, mostly student loans, along with medical bills from the rabid bat attack of summer 2011, and the last of my credit cards, and as of right now no solid and apparent source of monetary income.
A week ago, during a life coaching session with my friend Lakshmi in Portugal, we determined that I should be a spiritual counselor, despite the terror that brings up for me. So I started the website The Divine Reminder-er. It’s under construction but I’d love your feedback.
I’m living at the Academy of Art, Creativity & Consciousness and I eat at Ananda in exchange for the work I do for the Academy – basically running it while the founder Dana’s away in the States, working on the website, organizing the calendar and communications.
Swami Kriyananda, the founder of the Ananda communities, flew in from India a few days ago, and I heard him speak for the first time on Sunday. He radiates love, joy and life. I cried through most of it. I also realized that this path, his path, Ananda’s path – with the gurus and Swami and Hong-Sau meditation and Kriya yoga – is not my path.
My path is to be as authentically me as I will allow myself to be. My path is to connect to the infinite divinity/my higher self within me, directly. My path is to follow my heart, my bliss, my excitement, my intuition. My path is to step into my own power, my own wisdom, my own divinity, and to share it with others.
That’s why I cried when I saw Swami Kriyananda. I could feel the power of my own calling. It’s been getting louder over these past years, and it terrifies me. I’m afraid of being truly me. I’m afraid of standing up, standing out. I’m afraid of being rejected, abandoned, isolated. I’m afraid of being as weird as I know I am.
Adjective: Suggesting something supernatural; uncanny; of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural: magical; of strange or extraordinary character; odd, fantastic.
Noun: fate, destiny, soothsayer.
Archaic: Of or relating to fate or the Fates.
Root: Middle English wird, werd, werde: fate, having power to control fate, from Old English wyrd, fate; akin to Old Norse urthr fate, Old English weorthan to become — word, worth.
“There is a weird power in a spoken word.” – Joseph Conrad
Today, I am the most authentic I have ever been – authentic, author, writer of my own story. I’m also physically authentic – no nail polish, no shaving or waxing my body (yes, I have hairy armpits and legs, for the first time since they began to grow in at puberty), and today I am cutting all of my dyed hair off – a practice I’ve kept up for the last 21 years, as I also started dying my hair blonde around puberty, when it went from white-blonde to ash blonde, and a brunette Jewish girlfriend introduced me to Sun-in. She ended up giving me her bottle as it only turned her hair orange.
I’m done with the violence against myself, done with the rejection and denial of who I am. I want complete and total love and acceptance for my weird, powerful, authentic self.
I feel like I’m coming to a zero point in my life, a complete destruction of the old in order to fully step into my … not my potential, as that word was used to punish me too many times when I was young, a ruler to make me feel guilty about the external expectations I wasn’t living up to. It’s in order to fully step into ME, who I truly am when in alignment with my heart/soul/authentic higher self.