“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.

What am I creating today?

For me, conscious creating is about being mindful in the moment rather than controlling how my life will unfold. Because I do not live in isolation, I can see and understand that my interactions with others brings an overlap in our life experiences, even in our karma. My karma is just that: mine. Yet there is family or bloodline karma that I am walking out as well. There is karma resulting from my participation in relationships of all kinds. So, yes there are experiences that come into my life – both blissful and highly uncomfortable – that I have not consciously created. I have agreed to them on some level, however, by entering into partnerships, either personal or professional.

Life has taught me to be very aware of who and what I am bringing into the inner circle of my experience. At times this learning journey has been profoundly painful as well as profoundly beneficial.

This mantra filled my thoughts, my being for an entire day recently:  Om Brahma Namah

Deepak Chopra translates this as: My being participates in the creation of each moment.

I appreciate his use of the verb “participates” because it reminds me that, even when I catch the edge of someone else’s karma, it is because I have somehow participated in the creation of that moment. At the very least, my participation included having that person in my life long enough to catch that edge.

So, the question becomes “What am I creating by my participation in ______ ?”  If I am unhappy with what I am experiencing, am I willing to change my participation with that person or situation? Notice I did not ask “Can I change what that person is doing or can I control that situation?” The only way to shift what I am experiencing is to evaluate my participation in that experience.

Another mantra comes to mind:  Aieem Namah

Chopra translates this one as: My True Self is playful and wise.

I love this and I am not always this, so today this will be my mantra. From now on, when I realize I am displaying the thoughts or behaviors of Miss Fussy Pants, I will ask myself this:  Am I being playful and wise?  If I am not, this mantra will be my reminder to shift thoughts, desires, behaviors so that I may return to my True Self, yes? Yes!

This I do not have to create. This I simply can remember. To live from True self is to be playful and wise. Then I can trust that my participation in the creation of each moment will be for my highest good and the highest good of all. It will also be way way fun!!

I Am Not My Story

At the dawning of the internet, I received an email that brought a delightful teacher and friend into my life. His work then shifted my awareness and my journey to mySelf took a huge leap.

Jim Dreaver sent that email to yoga teachers to introduce his book The Way of Harmony. In the introduction, Jim presents the core insight that set me free to see the reality of me. On page 4 and 5 he writes:

The core insight involves a subtle shift in the way you see yourself and your life. It is a stepping back, so to speak, and beginning to see that you are not the person you thought you were.

Specifically, you are not your “story.” The reality you’ve created inside your head about who you are – your beliefs, personal history, attitudes, identity, and self-image – is not who you are.

For many of you, this is not new information. For many of you, this is mind-blowing. I desperately needed to set myself free from all of the stories in my head. They trapped me in self-doubt and judgement. They held me back from being the manifestation of love and compassion that is my true nature. Did I make the stories up? No. They were based on human experiences from my physical life. What I did not understand was that those experiences do not define my True Self. Jim’s book was the missing piece of information I was looking for and I am forever grateful.

So who am I then? To make it very simple, I am a spiritual being learning how to be human.

So what is the problem? For me, the problem was that I believed I was a human being trying to learn how to be spiritual. I was in my body backwards for 50 years!  Actually, it may not have been a full fifty years. I have memories from young childhood of a deep connectedness with that which I could not see or articulate. When I began to turn back into mySelf later in life, I remembered.

All of my life experiences have helped me learn and grow into my own humanity. Christ was a living example of the manifestation of God, Divine Love, in human form. Christian tradition teaches that we are created in the image of God and that the world will recognize God’s children by their love. Kwan Yin is know as the Divine Giver of Compassion. She is also an example of the Divine in human form. Once I step back and see that I am God’s Love and Compassion in a physical body, I begin to relax and let go of all those stories of working to do it right, to please God, to be perfect. I can sit down into the love and peace of my Soul (True Self) and let that ooze out my pores. There is no need to create what already exists. Embrace it and let it ooze!

I live so much more peacefully now. As I walk my face smiles just because I am. It is a sweet place to be. Want to come along?

The Gift of Mantra

I am currently participating in one of Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation experiences. These are online, free opportunities to expand your meditation practice and deepen your awareness. When you participate, you also receive an occasional email from Deepak Chopra with guidance and suggestions. Today’s email was about the benefits of using a mantra.

A mantra is a word or phrase in any language that helps quiet the mind while uplifting the heart. I have lifted a quote from his email for your consideration. After  you read his thoughts, ask yourself “Who wouldn’t desire these things in their life?”  Then, discover using mantras for yourself. Approach this gently and without judgement. Remember that the goal of practice is to develop this as a natural part of your life so let it unfold and trust the process.

Namaste.

As we silently repeat the mantra during meditation, a few things happen:

  • We quiet our mind — Repetition of the mantra helps us to disconnect from our thoughts, allowing access to the meditative state where all distractions and worries drop away.
  • We access deeper awareness — Through the resonance of the mantra, a mental vibration is created that allows the mind to experience pure awareness.
  • We discover our true nature — With daily use during meditation, the mantra is a tool that helps the body, mind, and spirit relax into their true essence — pure potentiality and happiness.