Sunday, December 21, 2014

....inner housekeeping

Dear Yogis,
This week we moved up to Ajna chakra, our third eye center.    Here we turn our gaze away from the bright lights of the fast paced tantalizing outer world and direct it toward the quiet stillness of our inner world.  Seeing what is true.

Today is the winter solstice which marks the beginning of  the season to shine the flashlight inward. Peering into the corners, clearing away any cobwebs,  getting reacquainted with me and stirring things up.

This is where meditation has so much to offer.  The daily practice of taking even 5 or 10 minutes to simply sit and observe what is happening on the inside – noticing your thoughts, feeling any places of holding, becoming aware of both the sadness and the joy, and watching the breath – begins to reveal an inner landscape that connects you to what is real.    Here we see our soul.  Here we find everything we have been longing for…..


But not everything that we see in there is comfortable.  The clearer our inner vision becomes, the more we can’t ignore those shadow parts.  The things we have labeled “wrong”, “bad” or “not allowed” or buried so deep we forgot they were there.    Everything in there parading in front of us asking to be noticed and embraced.

Last week I wrote about Phoebe and the effect her energy was having on my vibration.  I told myself I would reground, get a grip and everything would be fixed.  But the Universe clearly was not buying my act.  Phoebe’s barking and lunging at other dogs and even people on our walks continues and each time my heart races, my stomach clenches and the jitters set in.  It scares me.  Why does she have to be like this?

I finally had to admit that her acts of confrontation were bringing up parts of me that I have never developed.   I hate confrontation.  I do everything in my power to avoid it.  I never want anyone to think I am upset or angry with them and if a conflict develops between me and another, I leave feeling wounded.   I was attaching her behavior in front of others  to me.  What will the neighbors think of her?  What if no one likes her?   They must believe I am a bad owner.  Some of the very thoughts I have had of others.

But the outer world was simply mirroring something needed in my inner world.  First I had Franklin with his aggression (which I know was more than I was able to handle) and now Phoebe.  If something keeps appearing...take note.  Clearly a challenge from the Universe.  A teacher.  A gift. Why?   What is it that I am supposed to learn.

I was relaying all of this to my sister because she is coming for Christmas with……her dog.   And we will all be in the same house for 4 days.  She shared a story of an incredibly laid back woman at her park where the dogs play, that happens to own the most alpha dog in the group.  When this dog demands to lead the pack or behaves in a bossy manner, the woman sits back and allows it.  He doesn’t cause any harm, he is just dominant.  She realizes that is who he is and she is ok with that. She is strong enough in herself to let him be himself.  She isn’t trying to “fix” him.

I can see that I want to fix – and quickly!    If I just do this and this and this….she will do as I want her to do.  And it wasn’t happening on my timeline.  I also see now that I was rushing her.  Not providing her the freedom to take the time she needs to heal and find her own way to peace, with my role only to hold the safe space for that to happen.    Accepting all of the parts of her.

So…..I have work to do.  On me.   As she barks I will smile at those that pass.   I will hug her after every walk no matter how it went.  I will move toward letting her be her and not hold her hostage to being a reflection of me.    My sense is that both of us will grow from this and all will be as it should be.

  Who, me?

Seeing more clearly,
SARAH


Sunday, December 14, 2014

....out of tune

Yogis,

What note are you?  We each carry a unique vibration.  Our frequency.  The sound of “me”!

When we open the throat and allow our authentic voice to flow through, we also tune our frequency.  Similar to turning the knob back and forth on a radio to find that perfect spot where the signal is clear and strong, with all static cleared.  Hitting the perfect note.  And when we do we are in perfect harmony with the Universe around us.  Resonance. 

It’s like when you meet someone and instantly connect.  As if somehow you have known each other forever and conversation is effortless.  Sharing is quick and deep and you can finish each other’s sentences.  Their vibration and yours create a perfect chord. 

But we have other energies soaring through us which can cause our vibration to be off.  Anger, worry, sadness, fear and anxiety can cover over our inner tune when we don’t allow them to flow through unobstructed.  We become an instrument that is out of tune.  Muffled.  Disharmony with the world and everything feels more difficult.    

When we, or another is in this state and we meet, the exchange is more distant and superficial.  Less eye contact.   We aren’t resonating.  A duet where one has a head cold. 

So….meet Phoebe.


Yes, round two…..  Phoebe is a 2 yr old female who made her way to me just two weeks ago. 

She is beautiful and loving.   This week however,  it became clear that she is nervous when we are out walking.  Her vibration changes and she is on high alert – ears up and sensitive to every sound.  Anxious.  And without noticing I slowly allowed her vibration to feed into me so that I too was on high alert.  It began to filter into more of my day and I felt out of synch.    I had lost my grounded earthy frequency.  My note.  This doesn’t happen to me often and it is disconcerting.

This can happen to us easily.  A tough week at work, a challenging encounter, an illness.  We get pulled from center…..from middle C.   

I am realizing that my role is to vibrate “me” clearly.   That I am not nervous.  That I am relaxed, safe and in charge.  The energy of the mother.   Laying my hands on her to calm and soothe her concerns so that her “note” which is incredibly sweet, can be sung at all times and not be scrambled by the staccato rhythm of nerves. 

Keeping your authentic self in tune takes some effort.  First you must feel what that note is.  When you close your eyes and feel what it feels like to be “you”, what frequency is it?  Then you must notice when you get pulled off of it.  And when that happens, doing the things that guide you back.  For me those are slowing my breath, watching my exhales, and being out in nature. 

I am at the beach today and just took Phoebe down to watch as  thousands and thousands of snow geese lifted out of the ocean at sunset.   A thick black cloud of flapping wings passing overhead while their unique sound filled the sea air.  All of us a symphony conducted by the Universe.  All of us saying…….Here I am!

Vibrating as me,

SARAH

Sunday, December 7, 2014

....making it real

Yogis,

Shoulders rolled back and drawn away from each other.  A slight tip upward with the heart.  Turning on the light there and shining it out.  Aahhhhh…………….

The last three weeks were spent on letting go…..trusting that we are supported.  Letting go of the little things (harder than it sounds) and the big things (extremely challenging).  The beliefs, angers, memories, fears and perceptions that we each carry – whether negative or even positive, can be oh so hard to release as we sometimes define ourselves by them.   I am this way because…….I don’t do that because…….  It takes a lot of courage to let go.  It takes faith.

But once we have surrendered and dropped those heavy weights, a brand new exciting space is created.  Now we move up to the throat, and it is here that we allow.  Our place of choice and freedom. 


The throat energy.  Where we begin to make things real.  Releasing what we hear in the heart, out through the mouth.  Speaking with our authentic voice.   Taking the vision of what we desire, which we have been projecting onto the clear blank space in front of us, and putting it into words – stating our intention.  Communicating with the Universe with the vibration of words. 

Let me share with you my recent experience ……

For the past several years I have been feeling that I want to do more with my writing.  That I would like to write a book.  I have hinted about  it, given it some passing thoughts and wished it would happen.   In case you are wondering…..that wasn’t taking me very far.   The Universe has been supporting my hinting and wishing quite well.  The Universe kept hinting back with comments from friends that I should write a book.

For the last two months I have consciously moved back into flowing with the Universal laws.  I defined for myself what I wanted.  I created an image of me already having written a book, sitting at a book signing.  I have been projecting that image clearly every time I “open myself to the Universe” during my yoga practices.  Over and over and over.    I wrote it in my journal.  “I am writing a book”…..  (notice there is no try or will or hope in there).

Finally I spoke the words out loud at dinner one night.  I simply stated that “I am writing a book”.    YIKES!!!!   I had now taken that inner energy of desire and transformed it into an outward energy.  The energy of sound.   An intention.  Sent out to the Universe.  A giant step forward into the unknown.

About 3 days later I was sitting out on my rocks and thinking that I would need to take a week off in the next several months to sit, journal, walk and meditate to begin to manifest this book.  I wondered if perhaps there was some sort of workshop out there that would support this need.  Hmmmm….I will need to Google that.

Well.   That night I open my email to find an out of the blue note from a friend about a writing retreat this summer.  She said she thought of me when she saw it.   A week long women’s retreat in NM centered around creating a space for working on a project.  Yoga every day, fresh organic food, a small group, hikes, all held in Taos – a city drenched in Native American spirit.   And did I mention each day begins with wild ecstatic dancing!  Not sure what made her think of me J

I literally had goose bumps.  The Universe was answering loud and clear.  I didn’t question, analyze or worry.  Within hours I had signed up and sent my deposit.  I chose.  No thinking…..doing.

It so happens that the retreat filled within 24 hours and I am the only new person to have gotten in.  The remaining women are alumni of the retreat and most have published books.  Of course immediately my mind leapt into action…. questioning, judging and attempting to scare me.   Who was I to think I could write a book.  Have I made a mistake? Am I eloquent enough?   I don’t have their talent.  Will I be accepted?  And on and on.

Back to letting go….letting go….and letting go some more.   Heart spread open and light shining out.  Deep full breaths.  Taos, here I come!

What is it that you want?  Define it, create the vision, move toward it with baby steps, see it every single day…..and then speak the intention.    Trust the Universe to handle the details. 

I am a writer, (Aaahhhhh!  Did I just say that?)
SARAH

Sunday, November 30, 2014

...and more leaves

Yogis,

…….and I raked some more.

I arrived at the beach house around 9:30 on Wednesday night and noticed immediately that I had a situation.  With everyone arriving in the morning,  I saw that paths had to be created from the door to the street, from the door to the driveway, and from the door to the garage.    The leaf situation was bringing back the images I had just seen of the Buffalo snow.   Leaves blocking the doors.  Leaves up to my calves.  Leaves covering the driveway..….and rain on the way.

So at 10:00 pm I was raking.  Alone in the dark.  Alone in the quiet.  Only the sound of my rake. 

Until I heard the ocean. 
We are four blocks from the beach so don’t often hear the waves.  Maybe I am not usually quiet enough.  Maybe I am not still enough.  Perhaps it was because the leaves had all fallen creating new space.

The sound opened up gratitude.   Grateful to have all of these leaves to rake, because you know what?  That means I have a LOT of trees.  And I sure love trees.

While spending my week at Susun Weed’s, we recited a Native American poem each morning when  we woke.   Fitting for this Thanksgiving week.


Seneca Praise

Oh Great Mystery, we awaken
To another sun
Grateful for the gifts bestowed
Granted one by one.
Grateful for the greatest gift,
The precious breath of life;
Grateful for abilities
That guide us day and night.

As we walk our chosen path
Of lessons we must learn,
Spiritual peace and happiness:
Rewards of life we earn.
Thank you for our spiritual strength
And for our thoughts to praise;
Thank  you for the infinite love
That guides us through these days.

Dan a ho, Nahweh, Swenio
It has been said, we thank the Great Mystery

She didn't utter one word...she just let go,

SARAH

Sunday, November 23, 2014

.....she let go

Yogis,
A quick exercise before you read on……..

Take a long conscious breath, exhaling completely.  Roll your shoulders back and let the shoulder blades melt down the back of your body.  Draw the fronts of your shoulders away from each other, spreading the front of the chest and tip the heart upward slightly. 

Bring your awareness to the area around the heart and observe the breath as it flows through there, giving the heart more space.  Now imagine you are turning on a light inside the heart, filling the chest with its brightness.  Finally open the window in front of the heart and let the light shine out. 

Radiating heart energy….the energy of gratitude and love.  The energy of who we are!

The energy of the heart is expansive, high vibrating and boundless.  We feel it when we love someone, love our children, love our house and love nature.  But love is so much bigger than even all of that.   When we open the heart we move from loving to “being love”.  Here we love everyone, everything and especially ourselves unconditionally and always.  No longer a need for anyone or anything to trigger it.  The light shines brilliantly and lights the way for everyone in its path.

Part of tapping into this power is learning the art of surrender.  Surrender.  When you hear the word what images does it bring to mind?

Surrender is often portrayed as giving up.  Head down.  Shoulders rolled forward.  Maybe even cowardly and filled with fear.   But that is certainly not the surrender I speak of here. 

This surrender requires amazing courage.  Head high.  Shoulders back and heart lifted.  Inner strength that doesn’t waver (this is why we worked with fire first).   Complete and utter trust that the Universe does and will support you no matter what may happen on the path.   This is the surrender of …….letting go…..letting go…..letting go. 

We have uncovered our desires, formed them into visions and planted them in the infinite space in front of us that is unwritten.  We know and see what we want and are taking steps toward it.  Now in the heart it is time to let go of the reins with faith.  Releasing control.   I heard Jim Carey say this week, “Why not give faith a chance”.   Why the heck not?  We let go of hurts, angers, judgments, worry, sorrows and doubt.  Taking chances, knowing in every fiber of the body that we will be ok, no matter if we stumble or soar, ride high or sink to incredible lows.  That we are held, supported, and..…loved.  Trusting in the benevolence of the Universe.    

So how do we learn this trust in the Universe?  The same way we learn to trust anyone or anything else….we first form a deep and committed relationship.   A partnership.  We will begin working on this with the throat energy next week!

This poem appeared on my path this week.  It says this all so perfectly.

She let go.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…
    ~ 
Rev. Safire Rose
Sigh,

SARAH

Sunday, November 16, 2014

falling for fall......

Yogis,
I led “A September to Remember” with the intention of noticing the days during this transitional season of fall.  Allowing each day to be exactly as it is.  What follows are two fall reflections.

Clearing away the old
So I am one of those few holdouts when it comes to leaves.  I rake.  I don’t own a leaf blower.  I don’t hire a group of men who come and magically whisk the leaves away to some unknown place while I am out running errands.   I rake.  And rake.  And rake some more.


This week marked the beginning of my raking season.  For four days I found an open ½ hour to go out alone and rake.  Not being overly ambitious by attempting to rake the whole yard…….just raking for ½ hour, or until my body told me I was done for the day (and listening).

I noticed that unlike my corn on the cob eating technique…which is circular, going around and around the cob beginning with the larger end….my raking technique is linear.  I start at the house and rake away in a straight line, like spokes.  Clearly marking a distinct line between that which has been raked and that which has not.  I then walk back to the house to begin again.

I hear leaf blowers in the background, planes, cars and voices.  Yet somehow it seems silent as I rake.  Only noticing the steady rhythm of my trusty rake landing and then carrying the leaves, while at the same time giving the grass and the earth a nourishing back scratch.   I believe the grass loves the attention.  It appears to smile.

When I feel complete for the day I take 5 minutes to lie down on one of my rocks.  Slowing down the breath and the heartbeat while noticing the now dulled colors of the leaves against the sky.  The lines I raked already polka dotted with freshly fallen leaves as I walk back to the warm house.  That’s ok.  More chances for me to watch my thoughts.   

Being Clear
For the last few years I have shared each fall that I am trying/working on/attempting to shift my view of fall, from one of “tunnel to the darkness of winter” to one of enjoying the gifts that fall offers. Yesterday I had an “aha” moment.  Some clarity.

What I live and teach is in line with the spiritual law of attraction.  That we must feel, see and speak that which we desire with vivid clarity – in the present tense.  And then live as if it has already manifested in our lives.  I have not been doing that with this desire to embrace fall.  I have been telling the Universe that I want to love fall, am trying to love fall and am getting better at enjoying fall.  Hello!  That is therefore what the Universe is supporting.  Plenty of “wanting”, “hoping” and “trying”.

From now on……I LOVE FALL.  In fact I am going for it……. I LOVE WINTER.  I SAVOR the dark to have more time for reading.   I BATHE in the moonlight that shines unobstructed without the filter of the leaves.  I WELCOME the brisk cold air on my skin.   Moving toward that which I desire……


Learning the differences between a Raven and a Crow,
SARAH

Sunday, November 9, 2014

stoking the fire

Dear Yogis,
So I am not convinced that when we “grow up” we are supposed to lose our childlike ways…………….

This was the second week working with the energy of fire and it only intensified the feelings I was having last week.  I want to rediscover that side of fire that is fun, feisty and free. 


As children we live so freely.  Coming home from school, throwing down the books and heading out to play.   Building forts, wading in streams, climbing trees and riding our bikes with our arms high in the air.  Kids explore, move forward, grow and test each and every day.  They have yet to build their “box of rules” so can continually step out.  Effortless.

When we become adults we of course have more responsibilities, but even when our time is ours we have a tendency to spend it in the known.  Creating new to-do lists as soon as we finish the final item on the last one.  Cleaning out that next closet, going shopping or checking the internet.  The “have-tos”…… although I challenge that many of them are self-created....fill our space.   When we do decide to try something new we often over think it, plan it out, weigh out the costs and potential dangers.  We put it off….until some unknown future time. 

Where our children’s fire energy is spent in self-exploration, ours becomes bound in stress.  Both the exact same energy, simply directed in different ways. 

I was out in the mountains this weekend on a hike and group after group hiked by us carrying their backpacks, tents and sleeping bags.  I have always wanted to do that.  Since I was a child.  But I haven’t.   Why?

I have wanted to drive cross country without an agenda set in stone.  But I haven’t.  Why?

It makes me feel restless.  Fire energy needs a release.

I am sitting here in my fire circle.  Interesting that this is what my vision was earlier this year, huh?  It has gotten some wonderful use, but I realize that what I saw involved even more.  Gatherings, dancing, ritual, sharing circles, celebrations.  A place to come.  A place to let go.  A place to rekindle the childlike ways.  I hope you'll join me.

I say all of this to get you thinking.  In the element of water we uncovered our desires, what we want.  Fire is then seeing it clearly and taking the steps forward.   So…what is it that you want?  And are you moving toward it?

These don’t have to be large life changing events (although they certainly can be).  It can be diving in the ocean in late October to get the rush of sensation.  Or going for a walk in the pouring rain, and yes, letting your hair get wet.  Hiking a new trail or turning up the music when you are alone and dancing.   Try a cartwheel!

Fire…..free, fun, feisty, fresh, filling, forward.

The old buck has walked right past me 2 times as I have been writing this – so I believe I am on the right path.

I’m getting hotter,

SARAH