Settling In

It is good to be at my keyboard deciding what to write. I have spent the past ten days moving into an apartment less than a block from my first apartment here in Burbank. This apartment is on private property and it fell into my lap because of a tiny white dog named Pearl.

I met her people because she refused to let me walk by without stopping to visit with her, pet her, and hold her in my arms. When I met her she was about five months old and now she is a year old. Her people, Robert and Linda, and I have bonded from the heart and we know Divine Love brought us together. Unbeknownst to me, they were preparing an apartment as a rental. All of the details are unimportant but they offered it to me and were willing to keep it in my price range.

Now, I am settling in. This is a loving, sweet place and our friendship continues to grow. We are all about the same age and share similar life experiences in many ways. At the same time, our lives have been very different so we love hearing each other’s stories. And Pearl? Well, Pearl is a wild child and she is trying – sort of – to learn her manners. It is very hard for her to understand why people don’t like being jumped on. After all, she now has a little sister, Ginger, and they jump all over each other and roll around. I’m sure Pearl finds us weird.

When I am in transition, I am consistently reminded of having experienced an earthquake when I was attending the University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada, in the ’60’s. I was walking on campus when it began and I knew immediately what was happening. On Okinawa, tremors are common and I had spent my senior year in high school there. At school we would hold onto the sides of our desks, pick up our feet, and be moved around the room like game pieces. But this time the quake was larger and I was outside. I could not hold the horizon (which we normally do without awareness or effort) and I had an overwhelming urge to lay down and hold onto the grass for fear of floating off the planet! Fortunately, it stopped before I actually did that.

Transition feels like when the earth moved under my feet. Now I am down to the last small group of boxes and quietly finding where I want things to be. I am also wondering where I have put things already unpacked!

The transitions or shifts in consciousness we are experiencing are similar. I often remind myself and others that, when our consciousness expands, our human self must adjust as well. This takes a little longer but each level of human life carries a different vibration. The body is the heaviest physically and on the vibrational level. Mind and emotions have lighter vibrational patterns. Each has to adjust to the higher level of consciousness or balance will be lost. Homeostasis of body, mind, heart follows expanding consciousness and takes longer.

So, whether you are transitioning in your daily life (job, home, relationship) or on a cosmic level, please be gentle with yourself and nurture yourself on every level. Balance will be restored.

Aum shanti shanti shanti.

“Here I am, yes it’s me…”

I awoke in my new home this morning with these words, from a song recorded by Lyle Lovett, repeating in my barely conscious mind. I lay still for several moments, as I tend to do, and let the world re-enter my awareness. The light was dim and I heard a bird singing outside my window. My face smiled because I love waking up to birdsong. There it was again:  Here I am, yes it’s me…

What? I had not listened to that cd since my drive a week ago to my new home. Why so clearly this morning? I stay in the stillness and softly close my eyes, letting myself feel. It slowly becomes clear to me. Here I am in a different state, different city, different home and yet nothing has changed. It is still me, waking up in my same bed, slowly feeling the day begin, listening to a bird sing outside my window, wondering where I went during the night, feeling the anticipation of writing as a new day dawns.

“Here I am, yes it’s me…”  I have created a huge transition and I am aware of the external differences: flowers and green trees and shrubbery all around me, a much smaller home, and lots of people I haven’t met yet. I am also aware of what remains the same: my precious friends and family are still a phone call away (some are physically closer while others are farther away), mountains still surround me (though the ones here are closer and greener), and I am still me!

This is a bit difficult to communicate but here goes. This is my first major transition living at this level of mindful awareness, being more present in the moment than ever before. It feels quite different physically, mentally, and emotionally. The spirit/soul experience is a constant. Yes, I have been physically tired but I find strength and stamina that surprises me. Yes, my brain throbs keeping up with all of the details a move creates but my mind is calmer and clearer than it has been in similar past experiences. Yes, my emotions have been intense over the past few months but, at the same time, they have been simple, clear and consistent with the circumstances. Nice!

I told one of my mentors, Richard Miller, years ago that an important insight for me concerned my Aquarian nature. Structure and routine are necessary for me to remain grounded and centered. Within that I need the freedom of diversity to allow my True Self to fly high and wide. For example, when I was teaching yoga full time, I created a class schedule that gave my students consistency and me diversity: Tuesdays & Thursdays were the same (2 classes each day), Mondays and Wednesdays were the same (2 classes but different hours than T & Th), and Friday held one class. Perfect for me. Diversity within structure.

This is what I am feeling this morning. Much of my life is changing in this transition and just as much of it remains the same. This works for me.

What works for you? How can you mindfully create a flow of life that meets the needs and desires of your True Self? Where do you begin? I would suggest beginning with an exploration of your levels of awareness of your True Self? Spiritually, are you living in and from your Soul? Emotionally, are you finding what balances your emotional body while allowing you to embrace life joyfully and passionately? Mentally, what keeps you present and “on top of your game” rather than getting lost in circular thinking? Physically, are you knowledgeable of the type of diet and the level of exercise and rest that supports a strong, healthy body? Experience tells me that the same thing doesn’t work for everyone in any of these areas. Thus, my suggestion of an exploration. Try on what has worked for others but choose what ultimately works best for you.

I can hear some of you sighing and thinking “Good heavens, this will take the rest of my life!” What else do you have to do with your life that is more important? The journey will be as fun as you choose to make it. It is about discovery and having a vessel that is up for whatever the game of life brings your way.

Hiking while Transitioning

Those of you who know me personally realize that I am moving to a new city and state in less than a week. For all of you that follow my blog, I appreciate your patience during these past weeks and for a few more to come. I will return to more regular entries as soon as my new internet service is up and running.

A dear friend took me on a four-hour hike recently. We peaked at 5700 feet and it was profoundly wonderful. I had never done a hike like that before and my friend proved to be a compassionate and knowledgeable coach. The sky was close, the mountains had their snow caps on and the sun on the pine needles looked like diamonds.

I am a mountain girl. Like those who long for the sea, I long to look at and visit mountains. I am restored and renewed in their presence. That day I felt the earth breathing and the rocks aware of my presence. There was a tall pine tree partially hollowed out by a fire that occurred a few years ago. The tree survived and had continued to grow. It reminded me of the redwoods of northern California. I walked quietly to the tree and gently touched the scorched bark and the exposed inner wood, tracing the lines of its rings. Then I stepped inside and closed my eyes, resting my forehead against the inside of a living tree! I prefer not to share the entire experience because it is personal to me. I will say that experiences like that one confirm to me the presence of Spirit in all things.

That day was given to me as a gift. My friend wanted to share a place that was sacred to his life and his journey. Together we felt the blessing of the Creator and the Oneness of All That Is.

The hike challenged me physically on many levels. I am grateful for my overall health, strength, and connectedness to my breath. I needed it all to complete that journey. It changed me. I am standing a bit taller and feel more confident than ever in myself. There will be challenges ahead that will cause me to remember hiking to 5700 feet. When I do, I will trust myself in whatever new challenge I am facing.

I accepted the gift of this hike to the mountain top in the middle of packing boxes, making dozens of phone calls, emotional farewells, and sleepless nights. I had reservations that I could do it because I was not at my best. It turned out that I didn’t need to be at my personal best because I was not alone.

I was reminded that when we are not at our best is the time to allow another to guide and/or help us. My friend simply believed in me and coached my breathing as the air thinned and my lungs strained. We would stop and sit and speak of prana, life force energy, and the path of life. After a few moments, renewed, we would stand and walk upward once more. I believed I could do it because he believed I could do it.

In any life transition, there are uphill journeys. So, if you are there now, believe in yourself. Be gentle with your body and remember to use your breath for strength as well as calmness. Let friends cheer you on and remind you that they believe in you. Remember that those uphill climbs will tax your strength and stamina so give yourself time to rest during and after. Acknowledge your accomplishments with gratitude toward the Divine in you and in All That Is.

I suspect I have only begun to know the shifts in energy and changes of heart and mind that my mountain hike brought me. It feels as though my inner vision is clearer as is my perception of this present moment. Gratitude will continue to flow as each gift is revealed over time.

For now, thank you Great Spirit, Mother-Father Divine, Spirit of All That Is for meeting me so profoundly on the mountain top. Namaste.

Transitional Tornadoes

The only constant in life is change.

Change can be everything from exhilirating to frightening. It can be dreams come true and it can be like a tornado tossing us into the winds. Some people thrive on change, moving through life without ever settling anywhere in particular. Others resist change in any form, wanting everything to remain the same. Most of us live somewhere between those two extremes.

Even when change is desired and planned for, the actual transition can feel like being scooped up by a tornado and tossed around, then suddenly dropped to the earth. Physically, mentally and emotionally, the energy rages and swirls as we cope with all of the logistics of transition. It is exhausting.

And it is inevitable. Human beings, by and large, resist this one constant in life. Why? We all want to feel safe and secure and, somewhere along the way, we came to believe that keeping things the same would enable us to do that. If I can control the outer circumstances of my life, I can rest in knowing what my days will be like, who my friends are, and what the future holds. This, of course, is illusion. Nothing stays the same; there are no guarantees; life changes.

How then do we learn to embrace and flow with change that we do not initiate? When you think about it, what choice do we have? When transition is thrust upon us, we must find ways to go with it, to cope and to thrive into our new normal….until that changes of course!

This is my simplest answer:   Loosen your jaw and breathe slowly and evenly all the way to your pelvic floor. Feel the breath in your rib cage, upper abdomen and belly. Stay with it until your mind clears and your emotions grow calmer.  Repeat this every time the tornadoes of transition whip up and begin to toss you around again.

To resist is exhausting and futile and, quite frankly, can take you straight to crazy town. Personally, I’ve spent some time in crazy town and have no desire to visit there any time soon, or ever. Instead, ride the zipline of life and yell wahoo!