Festival Yoga; Where’s Wallydo? A People-Game; festival & camp food

OMG….AumMG, or ALLMG—I can’t believe I just lost all that writing…just when you think you got the best thing you ever wrote down, just when I was beginning to think, this is cool…zap. It just suddenly dissappears. Now I have to try to recreate it…2 hours later.uugh. must try…

This is about festival yoga, not to be mistaken with a yoga festival. This is about how festivals can be yogic. I often have wonderful yogic experiences at festivals and even though it wasn’t the best Canada Day I have ever attended, tonight I was moved to share…

Thankfully, I am still fairly energized, despite it being 3 am. (and despite the lack of sleep last night too), I am energized by being with so many souls who were sharing a certain level of shared or common consciousness at the Canada Day festivities on the lawn of the legislature tonight.

Shared consciousness is an interesting thing to contemplate at festivals. I have noticed that the degree of shared or common-consciousness seems to reveal itself in the way the vast majority acts. For instance and in particular, how they respect or accept others and respect personal space and property. People walk carefully around your blankets and belongings, and no matter who they are, if you talk to them, they are friendly, open and accepting. Fortunately this characterizes most festivals, it is what makes a festival–a festival. That’s why festivals can feel magical and are prime ground for some profound yogic insights and experiences.

On Canada Day, I particularly love the way the thousands of weird, wacky and unusual, red and white outfits cut strong contrast against the perfectly deep green of the meticulously trimmed legislature lawn; it is chaos against control, it is practically surreal and lends a rare, superficial “oneness” to a rather large and disparate body of individuals. This spontaneous, voluntary and positive form, is something we don’t experience everyday.

When I look at this mass of humanity, I like to think of them as various cells of single living organism, on Canada Day there are a few random coloured ones, but the majority are red/white cells…(ironically like red & white blood cells)
As with any living organism, all these cells are ultimately made of the same stuff: food & water (earthstuff); and are driven by the same energy: life, love & breath (pranastuff). But when you look closer you can clearly see via outer manifestations, that each cell has its own individualize and unique configuration of consciousness or soulstuff. While each one clearly a unique soul, they are all momentarily and obviously being connected by a certain level of shared conscious awareness, in this case awareness of Canadianhood and festivalhood.

Oftentimes when I attend a festival, I try to practice ultimate non-judgement, trying to see all the experiences and people around me as neutral, its hard not to judge people when they are wearing and doing “crazy” things (that’s judgement right there!) It is interesting how much of people’s egos and concomitant limitations become revealed to you, when you are not judging but just observing with heightened awareness and deep compassion–you can almost sense the issues they have faced and have shaped them. Once I see this clearly, I am moved to meditate, and to gather loving energy into my heart chakra and to send out blessings to the group en-masse. Usually I do this thru dancing and visualizing the loving energy being sent out thru my arms and hands

Furthermore, I like to imagine what it would take for everyone to find and operate from an even deeper level of common consciousness. What would that be like once it happened? What if everyone suddenly saw themselves as cells of the same living organism?

Sometimes I see that feeling arise in people. It happens more near the front of the stage where people are dancing altogether. When I dance with others who really dance (and I don’t mean “look good”, I mean “giv’er good”) I get a strong sense of our individual consciousnesses aligning. This often happens at festivals; by simply letting the rhythm and message of the song penetrate our soul we feel a closer resonance with each other within the field of consciousness; it brings us into a blissful and welcomed entrainment with each other. Tonight I found myself entrained to the amazing African dancers on the stage and boy did we dance–and when they spoke in french I felt french too! Energetically echoing their shout-out, “Oui! Merci Beaucoup Victoria!!”–and when I walked away and forgot my purse among the dancers; I was not panicked, sensing somehow that it would still be safe–and it was.

The other bands did not have me dancing so much–save for Trees & Towers–whose song “I have been released” is definitely going on my yoga dance playlist. So tonight I made up a game, a people-game. Actually I might not have been the first to make-up this game–I am making no claim, but I would like to suggest some rules for a game which is not only super fun but could enhance the shared consciousness experience at any festival.

First I want to say “Hat’s Off” to the creators of what we call “Where’s Waldo” and in Australia they call “Where’s Wally”; and since my first test-players were Australians I’ll call this game “Where’s Wallydo”–its very easy to play, for any age, and needs no equipment.

One friend bows their head to count to 60 (or more) at the tens they should put a finger up–telling their buddies how far along they are…meanwhile their buddies scatter among the crowd and find new seats where they can clearly see the counter/finder-(on occasion, they may have to move to stay visible)-in other words, hide in plain sight.

They will likely find, that they need to ask permission to sit next to some strangers, or at least have to explain their presence to a fellow festivaller–sharing & promoting this friendly game even more. It is a good opportunity to have a nice little chat with an erstwhile stranger, while keeping your eye on the c/finder. When the c/finder sees you they raise their hand at you, and you rejoin them and also begin the silent search for those not yet found, each person gaining points for those they find first, or gaining a point for not being found.

If you are not found, you should raise your two hands until someone sees you, proving that you were in plain sight.

Ultimately the best hiders will likely be those who can integrate themselves the best with the strangers in the crowd, in other words; the more friendly you can become, the more camouflage you will gain.

It is important for conscious people to connect as much as possible with other people, ALL people, to build and grow a bigger web of consciousness. In time, this will be the only way to shift humanity into a new paradigm of living in consciousness; we know webs are stronger than they look.

A good Festival is one where people feel strong communitas. Communitas is a Latin noun commonly referring either to an unstructured community in which people are equal, or to the very spirit of community. It also has special significance as a loanword in cultural anthropology and the social sciences.
com·mu·ni·tas
[kuh-myoo-ni-tahs]
noun from Anthropology .
The sense of sharing and intimacy that develops among persons who experience liminality as a group

Liminalty, in terms of social structure and time, is an intermediate state of being “in between” in which individuals are striped from their usual identity and their constituting social differences while being on the verge of personal or social transformation.

A great Festival is positive and prime ground for liminalty and the bringing on of a strong sense of communitas. It can provide a good, living example of personal and social transformations. Great festivals can give us a benchmark of new rules and behaviour. Rules and behaviours we might want seek to emulate in wider and normal daily life.

Since our Hugelkulture garden is going-off like crazy, my Summer Festival & Camping Food, uses plenty of organic veggies: (sorry no pictures yet)

SIMPLE CURRY FRIED POTATO HASH
onion & garlic, made translucent by frying in
coconut oil, then add
curry paste & solid coconut cream
boiled potatoes, not stirred too much so that they brown, add
chopped chard
& basil

salt & pepper, to taste.

GOOD HOT OR COLD
with or without CHUTNEY

GRILLED PESTO VEGGIE PASTA SALAD

grill a variety of veg:
zucchini, onion, eggplant, mushroom, peppers–cool and chop, add to
cooked penne pasta, add
chopped chard
plenty of purslane (if you have it)
quartered canned or marinated artichoke hearts
black olives
minced basil
feta & parmesan (or similar)
almonds slivers or pumpkin seeds

dress with:
crushed garlic in salt, with olive oil & lemon juice
add salt & pepper to taste.

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Paul Becomes a Yoga Teacher June13/2013

Windows Photo Gallery Wallpaper

So I have this photo of paul doing a standing bow pose (not very well I must confess…) on the top of mount prevost taken over 2 years ago; and then about a year ago, maybe more…I stayed up late one night and played with it on photoshop…I decided to enhance it, with rays of “sunlight” emanating from him.  I didn’t spend enough time to make it look pro…I just wanted to make it funky, put it on the desktop and use it to inspire him in his practice.

This week the photo is up on the desktop as a symbol of accomplishment. Paul has just  graduated from Ajna yoga 300hr teacher training. what a revolution!! 

Imagine, last fall i was setting up sun lotus as a yoga b&b, without an in-house teacher…sounds strange doesnt it…but i figured, we could just share our own journey and practice with others, and not neccessarily be credetialed. I figured that i know enough philosophy and theory to keep the knowlege flowing and i figured other teachers might just volunteer to stay and teach for us. but then, late last winter, we attended the victoria yoga conference–on a sunday (i havent had sundays off in the winter in several years–usually i am doing wedding viewings).

At first it was just  karla and i  going, but then paul said he wanted to come too…Ok i said, i guess i will sign you up for the last yoga class of the conference–called recovery yoga. Karla and i attended kirtan and yoga dance.  while paul was in class, karla and i perused the vendors and went for tea. When paul finished his class we said goodby to karla and jumped in the car. how was class i asked. its funny he said, i thought i wouldnt like it because it wasnt bikrams, i thought it might be too boring for me,..but i loved it, i really did, in fact i think i just love yoga all yogas!”  that was cool. i asked then if he had the chance to fill in any ballots for the draws for half-price teacher training–we had recently been tossing the idea of him taking yoga teacher training–since he is the more physical of the two of us, and with his dyslexia, a hands on, practical kinesthetic class might be right up his alley & give us both something to offer our guests–he said everything was closed when he was done. oh well i said, i filled out a few…i guess if we win, that will be a sure sign we are on the right path. he agreed.

The following monday when i woke up, i wondered to myself how long will it take for them to tell us we have won. needless to say, i was not the least bit surprised to open an email from ajna yoga to find out “one of us has won teacher training” it said one of us, because I had also put Pauls name on the ballot, to ensure that we would both qualify for the prize.

This is not the first time what i have pictured has come true.  One of the most significant images i have created was a painting on the door of Pauls Iguana Bus.

painted 5 weeks after knowing Paul, I stepped back and saw my future

painted 5 weeks after knowing Paul, I stepped back and saw my future

I had only known him for about 5 weeks, when he contracted me to redecorate his bus…on the door, i had this desire to leave some of the original paint show thru the new art & to attempt to break out of a habit of being so precise, so I attempted  to paint an Iguana by painting the negative space around the iguana without a contour line to work from. This created a much more abstracted iguana than i would have normally drawn, the first one turned out ok-ish, but i thought i might do better a second time, then a third…I thought  i would paint out the one’s i didnt like.  when i stood back from the painting, i saw a very clear & startling vision of paul, myself and our child represented as these 3 iguanas heading into the fire (a life of risk & adventure) how true that  has turned out!!

 

 

One day seven years ago, i had a vision of peacocks meandering around our grounds “oooh how lovely, i thought…I would love to get some peacocks” 2 weeks later a young male and female peafowl suddenly walked on to the land and stayed. Although we have gone thru an assorment of females, Mr Blue stayed with us for over 7 years. He was part of the land here, a symbol of sanctuary, beauty and peace. He was very close to us, living on our decks constantly watching us thru the windows, following us around the gardens and hanging out wherever we were settled down. It turns out of course, that peacocks are very symbolic in yoga, hinduism and many other cultures, representing rebirth, love and immortality as well as:
Glory
Vision
Royalty
Spirituality
Awakening
Refinement
Incorruptibility
Nobility
Holiness
Guidance
Protection
Watchfulness
integrity and the beauty we can achieve when we endeavor to show our true colors.
In Hinduism the Peacock is associated with Lakshmi who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.
Similar to Lakshmi, the Peacock is associated with Kwan-yin in Asian spirituality. Kwan-yin (or Quan Yin) is also an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, good-will, nurturing, and kind-heartedness. Legend tells us she chose to remain a mortal even though she could be immortal because she wished to stay behind and aid humanity in their spiritual evolution

Contemplation on the powers of the Peacock can supposedly bring you more vibrancy and vitality in your experience. The Peacock can also help you on your spiritual Path, and breath new life into your walk of faith.

The Peacock can rejuvenate self-esteem levels too. If you’re feeling “blah” and blue, imagining the glorious, techno-color display of the Peacock supposedly provides us a proper mood to embrace our own nobility.

Peacock Feathers have been used for healing for tens of thousands of years in every culture throughout time. They are said to carry Spiritual Healing Energy that can be used to assist people seeking balance and harmony in their lives. With the proper guidelines of use, they allow the individual to connect with the Universal Healing Energy and use this energy to heal people of all of their complaints, imbalances and disease.

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Well, sadly on one of Paul’s very last yoga classes, we have had to move Mr Blue to a beautiful park by the ocean. Our neighbor just couldn’t bear the thought of the damage he might do while he occassional sat on his roof–and was completly acting mental over it, and since Mr Blue had lost his last girlfriend he was lonely and crying out alot.
I miss him alot and still cry for missing him…the place isn’t the same without his stunning beauty and peaceful noble nature…he was too good to be true, we really really loved him, as did everyone else who visited here and got to know him on a personal level.

I know he must be happy at the park, with all the beautiful gardens and tourists, it must remind him of home…and now at least he has lots of new friends.

As it turns out, peacock is “my animal” on my vedic astrological chart…Mr Blue was definitely here to serve a purpose, with Paul’s Yoga teacher graduation and the opening of Sun Lotus as a yoga B&B, I guess his job was done, But I will never forget his voice…LEEE-YON…LEE-YON…PEEEK-KOK…

(at least I got my wish to finally hold and pet the lovely guy before I saw him off…we had a long cuddle in the back of the van…good by Mr Blue, I hope we meet again.)

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finding our way

This is our yoga studio, most people comment that they’ve never seen a mirror ball in a yoga studio…but when you do ecstatic dance its a nice touch…we just painted the floor–meant to be burgundy, came out fuscia…I don’t know if its the right look or feel yet…its a bit intense!

I dont even know where to begin. We are just about to say goodbye to the first 3 guests of the season at Sun Lotus, they are 3 beautiful souls from the UK and they have been here for a few weeks. I just want to cry, its all been so lovely.

Sarah and Mandy have been the most beautifully willing students, the sacrificial lambs–they are the kind of students inspire a teacher to teach. Knowing that we are just begining to teach they have been more than eager to encourage us to spread our wings and go for it. They can be credited with legitimizing our endeavors, keeping us to our ashram schedule, and giving us sincere feedback as we needed it. Their enthusiasm has been inspiring to say the least, they whole-heartedly participated in asana, meditations, chanting, fasting and yoga dance–with virtually no prior experience. Their discipline and dedication were truly inspiring. Within the first days here they added their own pre-bedtime asana practice. For the whole time they’ve been here–even when it had been offered by others, they avoided caffeine, alcohol and meat (totally of their own accord, and apparently for the first time in their adult lives!) They turned our lounge into a study hall full of yoga books from our library, they asked questions that showed deep introspection and curiousity, they even bought their own books, they watched documentaries and before my very eyes became two truely gorgeous young yoginis.

Jody, the young fellow from the UK with an obviously old soul, is a soon to be kundalini yoga teacher. His presence has been a real blessing for all of us, he has been a true source of knowlege & inspiration on many levels. His selfless devotion and countless hours of creating a beautiful & consistent new look for Sun Lotus thru promotional materials, facebook, twitter, wordpress and website design is truly an inspirational model of karmic work. (I can only repay him with love and a deep commitment to teach yoga to all who find their way here–sat nam!) He also lovingly makes & serves wicked hot drinks (honey garden-mint, almond-milk chai latte, honey lemon etc) and inspired us all to fast on the full moon–which was a great idea and saved me one day of cooking–thank you my love!

In some magical spontaneous collaboration of spirit, Jody and I discovered a style of meditation that I will forever refer to as the “jazz of meditation”–easily moving between the two of us as facilitators, we had an unforgettable 4pm meditation sitting out on the stumps overlooking the pond listening to soft sacred music in the background. I began by suggesting that we either close our eyes or keep a drishti (soft meditative gaze) gently we began to do some small stretches for our neck, back and arms, then some breathing excersizes, from the kundalini tradition offered by Jody, we then relayed back and forth with different suggestions for contemplation or movement, each of us offering insights direct from our present experience…the girls sat in quiet cooperation, following along in our natural flow–the hour passed completely unnoticed. When we wrapped up, Sarah, who had been struggling with meditation, joyfully exclaimed “I think I like meditation now…” Jody and I both knew it had been a special kind of experience that we were not likely able to repeat, but we would now use as a benchmark and a new perspective on teaching meditation and yoga. I was truly inspired & full of gratitude; the possibility of having such a wonderful experience with a wide variety of individuals–particularily other teachers who might pass thru Sun Lotus is truly exciting…what a sharing, what a gift!

The definitive highlight of this opening season, has been the yoga dance on the full moon friday night. Without too much thought on thursday night i lay in bed and quickly put together a playlist from my limited selection of danceable sacred music and suitable pop music. At 8pm on Friday evening we cleared the studio of mats, set out water, played soft sacred music, burned inscense and carefully lit ALL the candles. I have had this incredibly strong yearning to combine dance and chant and to teach it to others as I beleive it can open the doors to heart and spirit on so many levels. However, I am still a little uncertain as to my ability to bring people along in the dance journey and this was only the third time that I facilitated an ecstatic yoga dance.

We had listened to a wide array of chant up till then but as usual the girls, like most new yogis were reluctant to actually use their voice in chant–I was hoping that now, with their previous exposure to some of the songs, combined with their previous practice, new understanding and the conduciveness of the environment, they would perhaps let go of that niggling little bit of ego that says “you look/sound weird doing this”. Conscious dance is strange for most people. Jody had experience, loves music and dance and his energy was uplifting and easy to feed off, but the girls admitted they would not normally dance unless they had a “few drinks’inem” so I was half-expecting it to be a bit of a struggle. I hoped I made the right choices in music, pacing and timing.

Here is the song list we used, and the way it came together…the list is just under 2 hours with 28 minutes of much needed savasana included:

Become like Pleasant Music 1:10 this is a nice little intro from Sadhguru Vasudev

Ganesha Mantra – Wah 4:30 invoking ganesh at the begining of any practice to help remove obstacles which may impede the path to the highest self–we began with a little kundalini breath work breathing up energy from the earth thru legs to moola chakra

Liberation Dance- Shiva Rea 5:53 perfect voice over intro into conscious dancing

To Be Free-Mike Oldfeild 4:22 spirit, melody and lyric are so beautifully matched in this lovely song that even though paul overplays it, somehow it never loses its magic…they groaned, “we know this song…but its so good anyway” this really broke the ice, we began the song with more breathwork breathing up to the sacral chakra

Ang Sang Wahe Guru–(artist needed) 3:18 this has a great voice over at the begining “the Dynamic loving energy of the infinite source of all, is dancing in every cell of my being….”–we balanced the brain-hemispheres with walking around in circle with our eyes following our swaying hands

Radhe Bhaj Soulshine–wah! 6:20 a song about love with lots of voice over–we did breathwork up to solarplexus chakra

Give Love–MC Yogi 3:10 a very upbeat, with almost a juvenile energy, very ‘solar plexus’

Good Feeling–Flo Rida 4:30 with perfect timing Mandy finally freed her throat chakra by sqealing out “oh my god, I love this song“–it was becoming dusk, i turned on the mirror ball, hit the lights and we danced and hollered out the words to this very freeing song….(end of mirror ball experience)

Hey Diwani, Hey Diwana–Dum Dum Project 6:09 this song gave us a chance to cool down, drink water consciously recognising where the water had been before and observing it entering our body and then dancing as a body of water, dancing as a body of energy, moving our molecular bodies thru the molecules of space and recognising that we too are mostly space…

Don’t follow the Guru–Ganga Giri 6:27 this was a perfect song for third-eye chakra, it is energetic and fun, and speaks of recognizing your own inner guru, your own ability to see the truth/reality–your third eye.

Ma Chant Kali–Wah!4:22 gently energetic, lovely voice over with messages about grace etc.–I beleive this might have been when Jody introduced the idea of feeling the energy between your two hands before they touch (it feels like reverse magnets…) and we all became fascinated by this for a while…Particularily Sarah!

Ocean of Mercy (hare Krishna)Jaya Laksmi 5:53 this song is the most beautiful rendition of the maha(great) mantra “hare Krishna” the gang had heard it before and despite its deeply devotional nature its catchiness is inescapable…we all danced enthusiastically and I think I saw them chanting along…but I am willing to bet they had at least one stray thought of
what the hell am I doing, dancing around singing hare Krishna –I wonder what my friends at home would say…”
then the next song came on….such a contrast!

Dancing in The Moonlight -Toploader -3:46 this was unexpectedly received with a very vocal and critical “oh no, not this song…this was so overplayed back home” I asked “when?” because its from 1973 and these guys are only 30…but apparently it was a huge-hit in the UK being covered in 2003 by toploader…”anyway, I said, check out the moon”…by now–as if by some divine intervention, the moon had magically appeared over the pond, shining like a giant orange orb enhanced by drifting wisps of mystical blue-grey clouds…we gathered into a tight group at the doorway where it was clearly visible and re-started the song and together sang it as loud as possible–the words were a perfect fit!
…”when that moon is big and bright its a supernatural delight, everybody is dancing in the moonlight….everbody here is outa-sight, they don’t bark and they don’t bite, they keep things loose, they keep it tight…everybody feeling the moment right, its a fine and natural sight, everybody is dancing in the moonlight”…I could not have timed this better nor chosen a better song, this was obviously a divinely inspired moment~really really special….I get goosebumps just thinking about it…I was so taken away with the magic of the last moment the next few songs were a blur for me, anyway they provided ample time to cool down, bring the energy down and get ready for savasana…

Mere Govinda ✬ Jai-Jagdeesh 9:40

Sada Sat Kaur – Gobinday Mukunday 9:55

Heart Sutra 7:32 Wah!

In Sunlight by Tina Malia 5:43–we begun to pull out mats, blanket etc and lay down for savasana

Ong So Hung 22:15 The Guru Singh Experience–the nice long length of this song, enabled be to complete our session with a smudge, and a little leg/foot massage for grounding…

whilst in the throes of this dance, I had some exceptional revelations come to me; for one, I literally felt like I had become some kind of witch-doctor or shaman, then I felt I was channeling Shiva, I could see myself with arm bands on, wild hair flowing, stripes across my forehead–dancing out the old incarnation of Sun Lotus and dancing into creation the new vision, I felt very alive and very much in the flow–I felt since I had put so little time & thought into making this playlist, that It must have been inspired by something beyond myself…I felt I had come home, and merged the burning desire to teach esctatic dance with the sudden capacity to do so…I could see myself doing it over and over again, teaching it to many…It blew my mind!! It took me two days to recover.

After the long savasana, we sat up around a candle and talked about our experience, I was heartened by Mandy saying “oh my god, I could so see myself with my girlfriends dancing around our apartment like this…” I hope to inspire others to take up yoga dance…I hope to be able to host Yoga dance at Sun Lotus at least once a month!

my life is my message

We had become total mind-dwellers; disconnected from our bodies and our spirits—which leads to all kinds of neglect…

(written quite a while ago…only published now)

When Paul and I first met we were both more yogic, we both did lots of physical activity on a daily basis, he biked, I  jogged. Jogging used to be my “yoga” (I hadn’t labeled it as such)  but, I always felt really happy and alive–and totally got out of my head for a while; and while jogging I felt that I did my “mental housework”–because I always had an increased state of mental clarity following a good jog.

Being so busy with setting up business for the last 7 years had totally made us into mind dwellers.

Here is proof that your mind can think but not be conscious—a few months ago I stepped on a scale and was blown away at my own weight, sure I knew I wasn’t as small as I used to be, but really “that weight!!!” no way, that can’t be right…Paul went thru the same scenario just recently.

How out of touch with your body  you can become when you are absorbed with the mundane of life!! Sure our minds have actually been in overdrive for years, but our consciousness had not been functioning!!

And that led to all kinds of neglect. Neglect of our own bodies, our joy, spirituality and each other.

Back when we were both more yogic;  I remembered that I thought I looked great. Yes, I was in good shape and younger–but, mostly I thought it was because I looked happy…and that happiness shone through my eyes.

Last fall I realized that  I had to get back to that—inner beauty based on happiness shining through eyes. I was becoming fearful of getting old—

My looks are going for sure, my fitness is in decline—but I recognized that true inner beauty never fades and could continue to shine if I only could spend the time to cultivate it…

I just had my 42 birthday and I am  shocked at how happy I am about it. If you told me when I turned 40 that I would be so happy on my 42 I would have found it incredibly hard to believe—at 40 and 41 I was falling prey to the mental-hazards or growing old in a visually based society where youth is paramount. Today I see it completely different.

Every 7 years, your body is renewed–every single cell has been replaced–this year I take that to heart and perceive myself as having a whole new body- I have just been born into my 7th body!! And with my spiritual awakening, I have come to realize my bigger purpose in life; with yoga-asana (postures) practice I know I can keep my body from tumbling down the steep slope of decay…instead I will just slowly pick my way down like a mule,  resisting it the whole way, thank-you!

We recently just watched “The Secret” and realized that we had already been practicing the method in most areas of our life (except a few). In fact, we realized that we had indeed manifested everything–by strong mental visualization, and by proceeding to feel the reality of our visualization coming to fruition. We have crafted our lifestyle. We have been the architects of our reality.

I realize that I, quite literally, have created the universe I live in.  Since I seem to have a handle on this skill, I want even more—bigger and better things, but not for myself…I want to change the world at large. You might think that is impossible or that I am too puny. I beg to disagree.

I am effecting changes in my small sphere and beyond. I am creating Lotutopia, more than 2000 people a year will come in close personal contact with it thru weddings, hundreds more as customers; and  how many might read this blog? Later my book?  Attend the Yoga Festival–we are hosting, or take part in the Shiva/Shaki dance phenomena, or come to our weekly neighborhood yoga class? I putting it out there in every direction possible…and the changes will happen.

Paul & I had been seeing a Chiropractor for a few years, last year I encouraged the Chiropractor to try hot yoga class…which he did for a while and enjoyed…then his attendance dropped off.  This winter after Paul started yoga, he hurt his back putting ginger in time-out. He returned to the Dr. and told him his intention to do as much yoga as he could do this winter–the doctor told him he must take a week off–but that regular practice will probably permanently cure his back issues. The following week, I saw the chiropractor back in yoga class again…I guess he needed a reminder !!

Yoga was a seed in my brain that was waiting to germinate, I always knew that yoga was my calling—even when I didnt know anything about it—literally. (I might have picked up a book on it in India 20 years ago, I must have–but, I guess I wasn’t  ready to absorb it, because I don’t really have any recollection of it …but it left a dormant seed in my brain.)

My life is my message. I know this now.  I am making history. I know I will effect change (large or small)—so recording it now is very important, because I will be able to look back and see the lessons I learned as I did it, how I did it—then I can accomplish even more change.

When I write a book from this information it will influence even more people. And make me lots of money—money isn’t evil—money is good, and it comes easily to me, when I have needed it it has always been there—from all kinds of sources—now that I need more to really manifest this huge mission, more is coming to me. Enough will always come to me because I create my own abundance through thoughts and actions that are right-actions, in harmony with who I am and my life’s purpose.

Eventually, I will build an addition on to our house which will help us, live more comfortably and be more able to concentrate, and by improving the feng shui of the interior space we will also be able to sell more weddings & influence more people..that will allow me to make more money, to do more good—to buy solar panels, develop the organic gardens, have more time to write, get completely green, and influence people even more. I will be a microcosm of what I want everyone to have, to be. How do I know that I will make history? Because I already have, and because I have the power of manifestation.

I need time and space to work on it, I need to keep picking up new books and reminding myself of my innate power, and focus my attention on the abundance of my life—which I can truthfully say is overflowing!

I look out at my mini universe—which is paradise by many standards—Jehovah’s Witness’s for instance, use an image which looks like my property, as their goal–when I pointed this fact out to my mom a JW–she said–“yes, but your’s doesn’t last forever” how pessimistic, how sad, how “not living in the moment”….

By living in, and staying attentive to, the present moment– I AM living in eternity—because the present is eternal—and I am alive—therefore I live in eternity…past and future are merely theoretical, they are in your mind only—you never actually live in them. Ever.

I have never held out hope for my Mom or Dad, as they are both so closed minded. My mom by way of her religion, and my Dad, by way of his Samskaras (illusions caused by the mind, which hide the reality of the blissful soul)…However, lately I have thought I might actually be able to penetrate my dad’s crust of illusions…here is an example of a conversation I had with him which highlights just a sliver of the trouble that pervades his life….a life of solitude, dwelling in the past, hatred for mankind, feeling victimized and a perception that the cards are stacked against him…I usually don’  t talk to him, its been years. But in the past couple of months I have had a couple of good conversations where I have been able to quell his nastiness and guide him to see things differently…but its difficult.

“hey Anita, I dug out this old report card of yours, from way back when, grade 2 maybe…you know what it says?” I am well aware of this notorious report card, this is my dads prized possession…he has saved it all this time and had brought it out on numerous occasions throughout my life… The teachers told him that I was such an unusually bright or exceptional child that they could exactly give me a numerical grade like the others…instead they just wrote some comments (not all of which are entirely positive I might add…) Well this just filled his ego to the brim!  Now he brings it out to show me how I have failed to live up to the potential that the teachers recognized long ago. How I have not become a brilliant and rich lawyer…how I am not a success, since I am not rich (the only definition of success in his mind)”

I guess you can see the magnitude of my challenge with him. I only hope his rage and loneliness don’t kill him before he has a chance to change.

If you have read up to here, reiterating my reponse is unnecessary.

My Life is My Message.

 

blossoming beautifully…

I can tell I wont be writing as much in the blog for the next few months with the start-up of the new season. But that’s okay, I will try to update weekly if I can…probably mostly with pictures.

In the last couple of weeks I started Yoga sutra class, and started back to kundalini dance and went to a 3 hour belly dance workshop.

I noticed belly dance benefited from the freedom & meditation in movement I gained in Kundalini class and I found an increased stamina, self esteem, confidence and concentration that I gained from hot yoga—I have this not-so-secret desire to be a great belly dancer—although I will be truly surprised if it happens because at this point I can do hip stuff, but my arms always look like I am milking a huge cow!

I am finding yoga sutra class to be too basic for me—I have done so much reading up on yoga and I was hoping for a little more intellectual challenge and more enlightening, One thing that was interesting was covering the sutra that says you have to stay with yoga…keep going…keep going…well, that struck me as a mantra that we have been using in business since we heard Donald Trump say it over and over on the apprentice.

The good thing about hearing it during class was the fact that my “massive awakening” feeling had just recently begun to subside, I thought perhaps it was because Kundalini class had ended and I hadn’t re-started yet, and that was helping me sustain that feeling…But last night in reading “Raja Yoga: conquering the internal nature” by Swami Vivekananda in which he covers the sutras…he explains that the feeling will go up and down, and that you just need to stick with it…that is the natural course to enlightenment. You must persevere.

…this past week I had to drag myself a little to go to yoga class, but I remembered this statement and believe it wholly. So I perservere.

There were many blessings that came our way this past 2 weeks, for one: we were really in need of money and We unexpectedly got paid-up for a wedding—just, when I thought all our resources had been tapped and wondered where the money would come from to pay for Yoga Sutra, Belly Dance, Waldorf School and general living…but, as we know, the universe is truly abundant and as long as the path is in your best interest, the universe will provide it—you attract it…anything that grows in nature, undisturbed by man– gets exactly what it needs to survive perfectly, and to blossom beautifully—amazing eh? I grow in nature too—so I get what i need to blossom!! nice.

The other blessings we received was the confirmation of new volunteer workers for the spring. Usually I do have quite a few lined up by now, and I did have some, but was feeling as if we needed more…the fact that we have been able to build this beautiful business is quite dependant on the fact that we have been totally blessed with amazing volunteer workers from all over the world for the past 7 years…they probably number into the hundreds by now…and to them I am eternally grateful, and hope that their life has been blessed for their good karmic works.

So there I was wondering when I would start to hear from more workers—because I do have faith that they will always come, just wondering when—and then I get two different emails, one from an older woman(65…she says, but she sure didn’t look it from the pictures) and one from a younger dutch gal of 31. Here are their mutual interests: yoga, sustainability, natural healing, reiki, massage and various body work, feng shui, organics…etc etc.

Now the other benefit of having an older woman is the fact that they hardly need to be asked to do the work—they just know what needs to be done –and do it—the other benefit, that we discovered last year with Anne (our first ever mature-worker) was that they serve as a temporary grandma figure for Ginger (who has none nearby) Ginger is a bit of a handful these days, I think she is a bit lonely, with Momma and Pappa working here at home leaving her to play or watch movies on her own…it nice that we are all together all winter, but we simply cannot spend all our time playing with her—and she needs more, next week she starts back to school—to Waldorf, hopefully this will help her feel more fulfilled, calm her down, and will allow her to build a relationship with her cousins who she doesn’t see much at all. Having the one-on-one with the workers will definitely help too—and then its BYEBYE tv and movies—hello sunshine & playtime!!

The other, younger Dutch worker 31 , is still mature enough that we have a good feeling about it…(there seems to be quite a difference in ability under/over 26 years old) And, get this, she is a social-pedagogue (teaching difficult, sensitive children….yeah!!!!) what better workers could we have asked for? I am loving this path…the path is good!!!

mind your mind

When we were born we had a brain, but only began to form our mind, which is a bundle of memories, programming, habits, and subsequently thoughts,  which we use to interpret stimulus.

Your mind is a slave to its upbringing.  Hence, your mind is considerably limited.

You need to know your deep-consciousness to understand that your mind is not the ultimate perfect interpreter that it pretends to be…sometimes we know this for a fact; you might have found yourself in a situation, where you say: “I don’t know where my mind was at, but…” “oh, I was just in one of those moods...” “to my mind it meant….” “I took it the wrong way…” these kind of statements usually follow a situation where you thought you understood the truth, but in fact your mind gave you a wrong message to act on….

Your mind actually does that ALL THE TIME!!

Your mind thinks, oh I should have a drink that will make me feel better. Then it doesn’t.

Your mind says, you can eat just that one little piece of cake, it wont hurt. Then you eat the whole.

Your mind says, a cigarette will calm me down–and it actually gives you a rush.

Your mind is a reactionary slave to all that it has experienced, and you are a slave to your mind–unless you practice yoga/meditation, and learn to detach from it.

Detachment from your mind is a powerful tool, that gives you superior clarity, calmness and ultimately self-control & happiness.

Magic Stardust sprinkled down on us…

What is Yoga?

It is a system of self-improvement, by which you improve not only your own character, but also your surrounding circumstances and  it also exerts a great influence on the behavior of the individuals around you. It allows you, yourself, to be the most powerful influence on the course of your life and subsequent happiness—it is forcefully taking the reins of the wild horses of your brain!!

It is a proven science. It is simply a series of practices that if you adhere to will bring you peace of mind, clarity and bliss. The main key to yoga is meditation…with the endeavor to meditate, naturally comes a deep observation of the mind…you can’t help but notice how harried the mind is when you attempt to meditate ( to clear the mind and just be consciousness, without thinking….)

Yoga postures, classically were introduced to help the adherent be able to sit in meditation and are considered but a thin slice of the Yoga Pie—I personally believe this is a limited perspective on postures (and on meditation) I see the postures themselves as an opportunity to meditated, and to teach me how to keep the skill of meditation throughout  the movements of my day.

I can meditate lying down, sitting in a car, anywhere…I can use the skills of clearing my mind from habituated thought processes, when I am confronted with a challenge–like an uncalled-for, negatively-charged, interaction with my husband.   Instead of immediately being sucked into a battle, with my meditative practice (hot yoga asana, meditation & studies) I have now learned to take pause, recognize my habituated response rising in me…and then with a clarity of thought unbeknownst to me before, I can respond in a new way that circumvents the arising problem and diffuses & disarms my husband.

This has been revolutionary.

Without a doubt, it has  saved our marriage. Paul and I were on a course bent on destruction. Both of us habituated to treating each other unkindly, both of us habituated to interpreting all interactions as a struggle for power. Neither of us truly living in the moment…when you jump down somebody’s throat over a simple statement–your response is not based on what they just said (in the present) it is based on your memory of past events–your habituated interpretation, and subsequent response proves how your feeble and distracted mind is unable to stay connected to the present moment….it takes practice to break this habit.

Yoga is that practice.

Yoga is magic star dust that has sprinkled down on our house, and into our bodies. Finding one’s centre is truly an amazing experience, it makes your heart rush as you feel an personal strength and invincibility that can only come by feeling that you finally know how it all works—you have figured out how to live life; how to escape the stuff that causes you misery, how to live much closer to perfection than you ever thought possible. It is fully energizing, enlightening, and totally, unbelievably, believable.