Good news – I made it through last night without puking! Woo hoo! Felt much better in the morning.

So for today’s keeps and releases:

Releases (all necklaces I made – either putting up for sale or gifting):

1. Lapis lazuli necklace

2. Fatima’s Eye necklace

3. Prayer Wheel necklace

4. Prayer Wheel necklace

6. Turquoise howlite necklace

Keeps:

1. Book: Barron’s Italian Verbs

2. Book: L’Italiano Perfetto

3. Panasonic Lumix camera

 

While I was cleaning out my hard drive today, trying to get enough disc space free to upload this video, I came across a PDF I’d downloaded called ‘The Soulmate Secret: Three Keys to Manifesting Your True Love.’ Speaking of soulmates, I actually really like an article I read the other day of Ram Dass’s explanation of Soulmates (“then you are left with the work to do.  And it’s the same work.   When you trade in one partner for another, you still have the same work.  You’re going to have to do it sooner or later.”)

Anyways Key #2 from the Soulmate Secret PDF: “You must let go of physical, psychic, and emotional clutter.”

Workin’ on it! (and virtual clutter too…argh!)

Happy LightLiving!

Advertisements

Love, Process, Integration

September 12, 2012

I had a powerful, experiential realization about love the other day.

Love is acceptance.

Love isn’t about helping someone, fixing someone, doing things for someone.

It’s just total, open, non-judging acceptance.

But how many of us accept ourselves? And when we don’t fully accept ourselves, how can we accept others?

Love, Unity, Oneness, Peace – can only come through acceptance.

And acceptance only comes through fully accepting oneself, integrating our rejected, repressed shadow sides.

So, integration leads to acceptance leads to love… leads to peace.

Integration comes through processing – through experiencing, through living.

Process has been coming up a lot for me lately. The journey of life.

We don’t cut a butterfly out of the cocoon; why do we cut a baby out of a human?
I was recently introduced to the theory that the skipping of the birthing process – Eden/Womb, Contraction/Fear, Struggle/Journey, and Birth/Realization – produces people who have trouble following through as adults. They didn’t get that initial blueprint for the Hero’s Journey. Makes sense to me.

I think Integration is a key word for the future of the world. Integration of the masculine/feminine, east/west, natural/human, light/dark.

I know this photo doesn’t really have anything to do with the post but I like it. Sunrise meditation at Sirolo, Italy, August 2012

Advice on how to find more happiness in my life, from my 110-year-old self, who is colorfully dressed, quirky, lives in an adorable house, has traveled the world and created joy and beauty and has a wonderfully smile-creased face. She also still does yoga and is quite limber.

31*-year-old Michelle, here is my advice to you:

Don’t worry so much. Don’t be so scared. Everything works out perfectly.

Live your own truth – protect your body and your mind – they’re the only things that will stay with you your whole life. Well, your mind might go, but you’re stuck in this body. Nothing else stays – not your spouse, children, clothing or friends, not your house or your money or your pets. Don’t drink. Don’t eat toxic crap. Don’t burn your neurons up on drugs that aren’t even that much fun.

Listen to yourself. You already know all the answers. You don’t even have to ask anyone else.

Stop sleeping with guys. It won’t give you the connection you’re looking for. Only you can give that to yourself. Save your emotional, sexual, and mental energy for someone who will reflect it back to you evenly and is committed to co-creating more of it with you. Otherwise it’s a slow leak. You’re never gonna fill your hot air balloon enough to lift you to your highest heights unless you conserve all of that precious, lovely energy you create. Look at all that emotional energy that’s been drained out of you by boys. Not their fault, they were (mostly) sweethearts, but you know you don’t need it.

Feel your feelings, mourn your sadness, and don’t be afraid of pain. You’re strong. You can take any amount of pain, and you are so wonderful and creative that you know how to catalyze that pain into growth and learning and ultimately, more happiness. So rejoice in pain. When you feel pain you know you’ve got a golden opportunity for heart and soul growth. You’re one lucky bitch.

You ARE one lucky bitch. Everything always works out in your favor. And I mean everything. The universe truly smiles on us. You are sooo lucky that you got this beautiful charmed life. Enjoy it, trust it. You are loved and supported always.

Live beyond your fears. Squeeze every last bit of love and joy out of this sucker. What’s there to be afraid of? You’re immortal. Your fears are just psychological constructs, remnants of the lizard brain that thinks that if you make a wrong move, you’re caput. Well guess what – #1. You won’t die of ANY of the things you’re afraid of, like honesty and karaoke and vulnerability and having messy feelings and looking like an idiot fool, and #2. There are no wrong choices. So go ahead and follow your impulses – do whatever the hell it is that you want to do. It’s your life, there are no wrong choices, and NONE of the choices you make are gonna kill you.

Love more. Love more. Love more. ESPECIALLY yourself. You are gorgeous, sweet, talented, kind, intelligent, caring, trustworthy, dependable, strong, loyal. ANY person is lucky to have you in their lives, and you are lucky to have a great travelling partner like yourself. So love yourself more, every day, as much as your huge heart can.

Create. Creation is your intellect combined with attention combined with love combined with divine spirit. The things you create are as beautiful as you are, because you have a beautiful soul. So you are creating beauty and sharing it with the world – what better gift could you possibly give? Your creation is your love made manifest. And you’ve got a lot of it. The only thing that stops creation is fear. Don’t let fear win. Don’t listen to it. NONE of it is real.

Prioritize. This life is long and it is short. Spend it doing what makes you happy. Figure out what those things are and build a map for your life based on that. Otherwise you’ll end up living someone else’s version of happiness (or fear). That’s a waste of your beautiful life.

Accept the now. Be grateful for the good (and there’s a lot). Release your fears. And trust that everything will work out perfectly. It always did.

*I am now 33; I wrote this back in 2010 or 2011 while while on retreat at the Metta Forest Monastery near San Diego, CA. Apparently I meant to post it to my other blog, www.amicamore.com, but never did. I’m so glad I found it, and I’m glad to report I have taken my own advice – I stopped sleeping around and drinking since this writing.

Your Soul is Showing!!!

February 9, 2012

Today I ran across a great blog post regarding Intimacy, or “showing your soul to another.”

I have intimacy issues, but I didn’t even realize it until a few years ago.  I believe that most people do, because the way our society raises children is deeply, fundamentally wrong. When children attempt to show their souls to adults, adults generally react in one of the following ways:

1. “You shouldn’t feel like that/say that.” (Rejection)

2. “Don’t be weak.” (Protection)

3. “You don’t feel like that, you’re fine.” (Denial)

(Sure, they’re all pretty much the same, but you get my drift).

So, we stop being intimate, and we live our lives at a very shallow and unfulfilling level of interaction.

“Hey, I’m fine! How are you, fine? Great! Yeah, yesterday I did xxx, tomorrow I’m doing xxx, and god, I hate it when xxx does xxx. I’m so busy/stressed/tired, you know, so much going on! Ok love you talk to you soon bye!”

That level is safe and easy. But it sucks and it’s numbing. The shell that protects us, paradoxically, also keeps out the things that make life worth living. Ie, seeing and sharing souls.

The blog post that got me thinking about intimacy was by Beverly Golden at intentblog.com; here’s an excerpt (in which she includes an excerpt from Gaping Void) :

I recently received a daily Gaping Void email by Hugh MacLeod with the subject : Has your soul been seen lately?  Synchronistically, the topic was intimacy.  What followed was a beautiful way to end my piece:

“Intimacy isn’t strictly about romantic relationships, or even relations with family–sometimes it happens quickly, and often times in ways we hardly notice.

I’m talking about that moment when someone allows the world to see what’s inside…what they are really about. It’s about seeing someone for who and what they are and that the glimpse was offered either voluntarily or without the person’s knowledge. This is an incredible moment where our existence suddenly makes sense and all comes together in a singular place. 

For those of you who have experienced this, it’s something that never gets lost in memory or time. It’s like a little mirror we take out every now and then to remember a time when something so complex became so inconceivably simple. It’s pretty incredible.”

For me, this is the essence of what intimacy is really all about.  Dare to be vulnerable, dare to be seen.

Beautiful, no?

By hugh at gapingvoid.com

Do you allow your soul to be seen? How can you express yourself a little more authentically today?

And do you really see other’s souls when they attempt to show them to you, without trying to fix/change/judge them, or are you afraid to look, afraid to feel their pain, afraid you won’t know what to do?

I think we could all do with a little more intimacy practice. It’s what makes life worth living.

Holstee Manifesto

This is comprehensive and profound. However, my advice wouldn’t be to quit your job.

My advice would be to be so honest and authentic that they have no choice but to fire you; then you sign up for unemployment to support a minimalistic lifestyle while you heal your heart and learn to hear the messages it’s been trying to tell you all these years. Preferably in another country.

As I sit here typing this post at Baraka cafe in Palermo Soho in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a Ladybug landed on my table.

I’m sitting inside. What is a Ladybug doing inside of a restaurant? Maybe waiting to order. Waiters are slow in Buenos Aires, Ladybug. Hope you’re not too hungry.

I have blogged about Ladybugs twice prior to today:

once on August 8th 2010 (the date on the blog is wrong for some reason), and

once on January 27th 2011.

At the time, my research indicated that Ladybugs are supposed to portend the arrival of true love. I’m guessing in these cases it must’ve been true love for myself, as there aren’t any men in my life (not in a sexual way, anyways), I haven’t even dated anyone since November of 2010 (!!!), but I HAVE been working diligently the past few years on allowing true self-love.

Back to the poster.

I love this bit, and I feel like I’ve been following it:

If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you once you start doing the things you love.

And here’s one I’d like to start doing:

Ask the next person you see what their passion is.

Here in Buenos Aires, you meet a lot of travelers and nomads and expats. Inevitably we ask each other, “What’s your story?” to get a summary of where they came from, how they got here, what they’re doing now, where they’re going next. It’s fascinating but does get repetitive. I think I’ll start asking “What is your passion?” instead. More fun for them to answer, and more illuminating for me.

Back to the Ladybugs.

I just found this assertion of Ladybug symbolism that has nothing to do with true love:

When ladybugs appear they are a sign from the universe that you are being protected and that you are safe as you work hard to promote yourself and your ideas. Ladybug tells you to be cheerful in your work and to share the joy of your creativity with others.

Alright. That sounds good. And more suitable for what I’ve been doing since August of 2010.

Or there’s this:

Ladybug’s medicine includes carrying the golden strand that leads to the centre of the universe, past lives, spiritual enlightenment, death and rebirth, renewal, regeneration, fearlessness, protection, good luck, wishes being fulfilled, protection.

Damn. That pretty much covers everything. Also found this:

Though small in size the ladybug is fearless. As fear cannot exist amongst joy, the ladybug brings a message of promise, for they get us back in touch with the joy of living – we must let go of our fears and go back to our roots, to love. We are also taught to restore our trust and faith in the universe, we have to get over ourselves, our egos, and allow life to take its course going with the flow.

Ladybug showing up in ones life foretells a time of luck and protection, where wishes start to become actualised. Worries will quickly disperse when ladybug appears as they shield us from our aggravations, paving the way for new found happiness – aim high, you will get what you focus on. However, ladybug also cautions us not to force things or try to hard to fulfil your wishes, go with the flow and let things take their natural course. Your wishes will come true when they do – in their own time!

Woohoo!
Finally, I’ll leave you with a GREAT mix, which I was listening to as I wrote this, by my impeccably-tasted (if that makes sense) friend Tommy B: Click here to listen some funky nudisco house and even download it for free if you’re so inclined! Legally!!!
[New update – as I’m finishing this post, I just got a text from Fernando. Not sure who Fernando is… Who knows, maybe he’s my Javier Bardem. {{Reference to my Eat Pray Love life}}] .

Love, Truth, Fear, Dreams

January 19, 2012

Photo by Iain Crockart

 

“The key is to listen to your heart and let it carry you in the direction of your dreams. I’ve learned that it’s possible to set your sights high and achieve your dreams and do it with integrity, character, and love. And each day that you’re moving toward your dreams without compromising who you are, you’re winning.”

– Michael Dell – this quote was one of the awesome daily quotes on www.TheDailyLove.com.

“It’s simple – we were sent to GIVE the Love we think we missed or that we think we aren’t getting from someone else. We see where the Love is lacking and so it’s up to us to fill that gap! The same is true for you. You were sent to give the Love that you think it missing in your life and in the world. That’s why you’re here.”

– Mastin Kipp – author of www.TheDailyLove.com; subscribe for daily love delivered!

“Every day is a microcosm of the larger vision and macrocosm of your life. For us to really live our truth, we need to insert the activities every day that mirror our priorities and goals.”

-Ashley Turner – frequent blogger at www.TheDailyLove.com (every day, besides sending you incredibly wise quotes and his own daily blog, Mastin has THREE guest bloggers that share truth and insight).

 

How are you living love every day? Living love means doing what you love, loving what you do, AND actually being and doing love; which means giving. I’ve realized recently that love = giving. Giving attention, giving time, giving affection, giving compliments and kind words, giving energy, giving inspiration, giving another person access to your fears and dreams and truths. Love is opening, expanding, sharing, trusting. Love is the opposite of fear because fear is closing, contracting, taking, doubting.

In every moment, in every Now, we have a Choice between Love and Fear. That’s the elusive thing that separates us from animals. That ability to make a conscious choice between the two. Love or Fear.

Which are you choosing Now?

How about Now?

And Now?

Terrified of Tango

January 18, 2012

I love to dance, but I’m terrified of Tango.

Dances with Fear

Really, I’m terrified of any partner dancing. Over the course of my life, aside from sleeping and eating, the thing I’ve spent the most amount of time doing is reading. The second is probably dancing.

But I’ve always danced alone. When I was younger I thought I simply wanted the freedom to dance without having to think about matching someone else’s movements. I was also afraid of not being good at dancing with someone, and of looking like an idiot. I later realized I had unacknowledged, deeply hidden fears of intimacy and vulnerability that kept me closed off. And, JUST NOW, I realized I was also afraid of having to set boundaries with men! Much easier to not deal with them at all than to go through the discomfort of having to express my feelings/wants/needs/don’t-wants (as in, I don’t want your hand on my ass).

So, despite having taken a few swing dancing and salsa lessons in my college days, and having one singularly fantastic night swing dancing with a man who was a master at leading, I became the queen of rejection. Among my friends I was legendary for ‘The Look,” a sizzling, emasculting, medusa-like laser beam that I would turn on any man who approached me. Eventually I reached a point where I just exuded a stone wall energy, which is what I did here in Argentina the first night I went out dancing at a soul and funk club with my friend, an Argentine who warned me that men would be all over me. I knew they wouldn’t, but I didn’t say anything, and he was surprised at the end of the night that I’d been able to dance for hours without having to shake off a single drunken man.

After that night, I decided I wanted to change. I wanted to begin lowering my stone wall. I’ve always secretly dreamed of experiencing the thrill of perfectly synchronized rhythmic joy on a dance floor. I know it’s going to take practice, willingness to be crappy at it, and a letting go of my need to control, protect and defend.

For the past few weeks I’ve been planning to go to a milonga to learn to Tango. Tuesday nights at La Catedral here in Buenos Aires, or to the outdoor milonga La Glorieta de Barrancas in a park in Belgrano. But the time hadn’t felt right yet. I’ve been invited by friends at least five times, backed out of a commitment twice.

Today, as often happens to me, what I wanted came to me. Call it synchronicity, call it manifestation, call it magic. I love it.

I was treating myself to some café con leche y medialunas at my favorite café, Bardepán, and chatting with my regular waiter, Roberto. Out of the blue he asked if I knew how to Tango. I said no, not yet, but I’d been planning to learn. His Russian husband is a professional Tango dancer, and it sounds like Roberto sometimes needs someone to Tango with while his hubby is entertaining some other pro-Tango dancers who are visiting them.

So, now I’ve got a partner and a teacher!

My plan:

1. Change my story; don’t go into it with my usual storyline of “I suck at partner dancing. I love to dance but I always dance alone.” Instead: “I love dancing and I’m so excited to learn how to Tango.”

2. Let go of my fear, perfectionism and vanity; be prepared to look stupid and not be immediately good.

3. Laugh. A lot.

4. Practice.

Here’s to dancing through fear!

When you dance tango with someone, you don’t need to know their entire history in order to get a glimpse of their more ‘raw’ self, their human warmth or lack thereof, their ability to listen and participate in a dialogue, their ability to enjoy the music, open themselves emotionally and show their vulnerable side. It’s harder to hide our ‘raw self’ if we are not able to use words to conceal.” – Bora’s Tango Journey

You are beautiful, exactly as you are. Photograph: ER Productions/© ER Productions/CORBIS

Today I tweeted:

It REALLY bothers me when spiritual teachers have had a lot of plastic surgery. Shadow check: my own unaccepted vanity and insecurity.

I’ve been reading a lot of Jung’s writing about the Shadow lately. Ie: “Whatever is wrong in the world is in yourself, and if you only learn to deal with your own shadow you have done something real for the world.”

As I started pondering how much plastic surgery bothers me and feeling into it, my eyes filled with tears. I felt the pain and fear of people aging and feeling like they needed to have SURGERY, to be CUT with KNIVES and stuck with NEEDLES to look younger and more attractive. For what? Because they think people will love them more. How tragic is that? Can you feel the fear of loss, of rejection, of loneliness that drives people to have plastic surgery? The sad belief that causes them to choose to perpetuate violence on themselves, and PAY for it, because they think if they have a few wrinkles, people will love them less, or not love them at all? I can feel those fears and that pain, because I have them too, though I have never acted on them. I too have that pain and fear of aging, the fear of not being enough, of not being loved.

I have always harshly judged women who’ve gotten breast implants, and both men and women who have gone under the knife to adjust their faces and bodies to fit the mold we are sold in advertisements and television and film. But then, part of me has never completely accepted my own nose. Part of me has always wanted to scrape a bit of it away so that I would be more “traditionally” beautiful. As I age, I see my eyelids begin to get crepey and droopy; I see lines etching into my forehead and lips.* I see my skin changing. I realize that I’m only 32, and though I hope to never get plastic surgery, who knows how I’ll feel when I’m 50? I hope to never be tempted to inject botulism into my face, millimeters from my brain, but how can I be sure of the decisions I’ll make in 20 years?

And then I look at the people I love. I think they’re beautiful, every one of them. I don’t care if they have lines around their mouths. I don’t care if they have acne scars. I don’t care if their teeth aren’t blindingly white. I don’t care if they have grey hairs. I could give a fuck about any of those things. There is nothing any of those people could do to their bodies that would make me love them a fraction more than I do.

I wish that everyone who’s ever gotten plastic surgery would realize that they’re loved, and are worthy of love, regardless of their physical appearance. And I wish that for myself too.

*Through experimentation, I’ve found that when I’m doing things that make my body happy, my skin looks noticeably happier. Things that do not make my body happy and make lines/wrinkles much more visible: eating sugar and acidic foods, smoking, drinking and stress.

Frustration/Loving Me

February 9, 2011

Sometimes I get frustrated with myself. I get frustrated at the limits I still impose on myself.

I have so many unfinished blog drafts, and things I want to write. About Vibrams and ChiRunning. About education. About our society. About the Lunar New Year. About all the shifts that have occurred in my life so far in 2011. About all the realizations I’ve had. About the amazing veggie meals I’ve been cooking. About what I’ve been learning from my friendships. About my path towards minimalism. About my progress towards financial freedom.

I feel like I never do enough.

That feeling has been with me my entire life. Never enough, never enough. I’m not going to point fingers but I know that ancestral beliefs, ways of thinking and limitations run deep. I’m working hard to shatter all those, and live an authentic life in which I express my soul. I want emotional and intellectual freedom. I want freedom from limited thinking, from fear, from destructive beliefs. I want economic freedom, artistic freedom, physical freedom.

The funny thing is that the only things that keep me from freedom are in my head.

So, I’m working with what’s in my head. I’m sorting through all the crap in there, looking at it, sitting with it, then consciously deciding what stays, and what needs to go. In the new head space I’m creating,  I’m adding new things – not things that have been imposed on me by society or parents or teachers or peers or media, but things  of my own conscious choosing.

One of the things I’m choosing – to accept myself fully, exactly as I am right  now. And to be kinder to myself. I’m practicing loving me.

I hope you are too.

 

 

*Consciousness is Contagious*

Follow me on twitter @lunasealife

Show Up and Let Go

January 18, 2011

From The Daily Love by Mastin Kipp:

The yearning I had to be with you

was truly yearning to be with my authentic self.

And in finding myself I now know

all I have to do is show up and

let go.

The shift