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 22, 2013
Today I touched a dead man’s hand.
It was softer than I expected – not rigid and cold, but seemingly still alive.
I thanked him. Thanked him for the beauty of his vision, for what he’d created on this planet, and for all the lives he’d touched, including my own.
I’d seen him alive, for the first time, almost exactly one month ago, March 17, 2013. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when he began to speak I was moved to tears – he radiated love and joy, and as he shared simple messages of love and unity, he would himself be overcome with emotion, the power of his joy blocking his voice. Very old and slightly stooped, he mumbled his words, he told jokes, and he laughed as he looked slowly around the room. Pure love, joy, and light radiated from him.
And something inside me opened. I was suddenly aware of a deep terror within me that I’d never recognized – I was struck by the sad truth that I’ve always been afraid of stepping into my own wisdom and power. Something broke free within me, and I realized that it was time. It was time for me to become who I am.
This internal shift led quickly to a few external shifts that I’d been considering for some time beforehand – chopping off all my hair and changing my name being the two main ones.
This man was Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda and the creator of the Ananda communities worldwide. He left his body today. I’m sure he’s now joyfully reunited with the Divine, and I’m sending love to all those who will miss him.
Today I am taking the day off from the LightLiving Challenge; will begin again tomorrow.
April 14, 2013
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” -Alan Cohen
Today I picked my first ‘five to release’ and ‘three to keep’ in my 30-day Challenge. Oddly enough, I discovered that picking the five to release was easier than choosing the three to keep.
The Five Releases:
1. An old black purse from Target that I’d kept so I’d have a decent-looking black bag for ‘nice’ occasions. But I never go to ‘nice’ occasions anymore, and I have my tan Mandarin Duck bag that’s nice enough if I ever do.
2. A box that someone gave me to store/organize jewelry supplies. It was originally a chocolate-covered date box from Abu Dhabi. The idea’s nice but it’s cardboard so not really sturdy enough.
3. A book called The Spirit of Prophecy from the Land of Assisi Refuge and Salvation by Massimo Coppo. A friend met this pilgrim man who was traveling through Assisi and selling this self-published book; to be nice he bought a copy, but since my Italian friend doesn’t read English very well, he gave it to me. At first I was excited by the gift, hoping it would have some profound truths, or at least some crazy ravings. But it’s not very interesting. Here’s an excerpt, picked at random:
“Well, this is what Marcello later wrote about his retreat, in a note for which some priests had pressed him, and which he first of all submitted to his confessor (who wanted it to be given the title: Fragments of a prophetic story which the Lord is accomplishing inthe land of Assisi”): “On the 15th August 1981, the feast of the Assumption, I withdrew myself for forty days, as it were into the desert, in the former barn of a farmhouse at Rocca Sant’Angelo… I wanted to imitate Jesus, Moses and St. Francis.”
4. A book called Un Indovino Mi Disse (A Fortune Teller Told Me) by Tiziano Terzani. This book sounds much more interesting. I found it in a book swap box by Santa Chiara church in the Bosco di San Francesco (St. Francis’ Woods).
“Warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for an entire year, Tiziano Terzani—a vastly experienced Asia correspondent—took what he called “the first step into an unknown world. . . . It turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years I have ever spent: I was marked for death, and instead I was reborn.”
However, I’ve had the book since November, and though I can read Italian, it takes a bit of effort, and if I haven’t read it yet I probably won’t. So I’m going to pass it on.
5. My very favorite very comfortable pair of Teva flip flops that I absolutely love. I think I’ve had these for five years (maybe more), and though there’s an ever-growing hole in the bottom of one of them, I still kinda want to keep them, just so I have a pair of flip flops for around the house. But I’ve decided to toss them and make room for a new pair – otherwise I never really think I NEED a new pair, as I’ve still got these disintegrating ones hanging out.
The three things I love that I’m choosing to keep:
1. A journal my friend Kalyani gave me for my birthday last month.
2. A compass and hematite necklace that I made.
3. A golden Ganesh and citrine necklace that I also made.
The keepers were harder to choose than the letting go-ofs because I really only want to keep things that I LOVE. And I realized while looking around that I have a lot of items that I’m ambivalent about.
Though I’m already having doubts about what I’m releasing – What if I need a black purse? (answer: I can borrow one from someone). What if I can’t find comfortable flip flops so far from REI? (answer: I’ll be fine even if I don’t own flip flops right now). What if it turns out I do want to read ‘Un indovino mi disse’? (answer: I can get it in English via Kindle).
I opened to a random passage in another book that I’m keeping for the moment. Here’s some poignant wisdom from Paramahansa Yogananda:
“It is rare to see a truly “free” man. Most people think they aer free, while their minds are utterly fettered by psychological chains. These are harder to get rid of than ordinary chains; for in their subtlety they are difficult even to recognize, not to speak of how to destroy them! It requires a great deal of knowledge to cut those psychological restraints.”
- from Journey to Self-Realization
I’m very aware of my self-imposed limits to how free I am. I’ve freed myself from a lot these past two years, but it’s a continual process of letting go. I feel that this challenge will give me a final solid push through the paper chains of my fears. At least, I hope so!
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.