It’s just a process: The Mandala

I haven’t written in a while. It’s not been a lack of inspiration or even time. I’ve just been going through a process. It feels like life is changing and I bounce between feeling in control and feeling purely like a witness as life swirls around me. As I sit to write, I cannot pinpoint one single idea to articulate as EVERYTHING seems possible and tangible and yet, just a finger tip away…

TODAY, September 21st, is the real 8 year anniversary of JOURNEYoga. I claim to be the owner, but JOURNEYoga is about the people and community. It does not feel good call myself the owner as I do not own the people so I will take the title “Fearless Leader”. On Saturday we created a mandala as a community however in the end, the community encouraged me to be the destroyer. In the moment, it was exciting and fun and a total rush to step into the mandala, and in reflection it was a great honor. How did the community know that I needed to have a ritual destruction? It is time to move forward!

The Mandala as representation of life:

It changes as we build it.
We change as it grows.

There it is.
Pretty and clean.

Until we step into the fire.
And it changes again.

Opportunity now that the slate is clean again.
What comes next?

Free Will. Choice. Change. Consciousness. Nothing. Everything.

And on a professional note of gratitude, Thank you to Girish for the song, Mahadeva. I used it without his permission and hope that I have his forgiveness. It is a chant to Shiva, destruction, and the great power for change in the face of fear that lives within all of us. After the destruction, shankara remains…. a peaceful state.

And to Melissa who designed and organized the mandala event!

My tongue: Out and to the left

Story time!

Kali State

Kali statue on the Parikrama walk in Vrindavan, India.

Kali is an avatar of Durga, who sprang from Durga’s third eye in order to save the world from evil… which she did! Part of her success was in stopping demon blood from toughing earth by licking it up with her tongue. This battle was a tough one however Kali was a ferocious warrior and protector who was inspired to battle for all the right reasons and liberating us from our egos!

Well, Kali was on a roll!  Swinging swords and using her giant outstretched tonge, her determination was so great, and her fight so intense, that she didn’t even notice when the fight was over and love for all things good had won! It took a dramatic intervention from Shiva to help Kali recognize that her fight was over and her mission accomplished!

How often do you fight, struggle and overcompensate after a fight has ended?  When peace and love reign in your life, do you know it and can you allow yourself to fully enjoy the benefits of your struggles?  My mom says I always choose the difficult road.  Is that because I love the fight?  I am certainly comfortable in the seat of the under-dog (or down dog) and I thrive on challenge!  But what do I do with the good, even, peaceful and loving times I struggled to create? I look for the next challenge. Sigh. Clearly this is something I need to work on.

When I struggle, I unconsciously stick my tongue out and to the left, especially when concentrating on a physical endeavor. Am I channeling my inner Kali? Loving fiercely? Am I finding union among multiple aspects of self? Am I slaying my ego one struggle at a time or am I struggling to win? I am watching myself and trying to answer many of these questions all the while feeling the Warrior Kali inside me.  I am hoping to find a moment like Kali did when Shiva intervened to help her see and feel love and then sustain that moment for as long as possible.

Think about itLook at your life objectively or maybe through the eyes of another person. Can you see love, peace and spiritually happy times in your life? I bet they exist. Look a little deeper and take time to live and frolic in the glory of the love and peace you have so valiantly won!

Hari Om, Namaste


Hanuman: The best friend EVER!

Hanuman (Monkey God)

Lord Hanuman showing Ram and Sita in his heart. (Image from the Ghats at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh India)

“It’s not so much that I dislike the new friend’s I’ve made since I moved, it’s that I miss you!” I can’t think of a sweeter sentiment from a friend. Jodi is fantastic. We started as Craig’s List roommates. Then distance friends, she got married, roommates again (with her new husband!), I got married, she had a baby, a long distance move, and another baby. Through all these major life events, we are still amazing friends!

Maybe we don’t keep in touch every day, but when we talk or see each other, it is like no time has passed! The chemistry between us is obvious.  We visited my parents (hiking and a weekend out of the urban environment) and I head my mom say, “Jodi is great! It’s like she’s always been a part of the family.”  We heard her, giggled like little girls, and responded, “We can hear you!”

What makes a good friend?  Is it chemistry? Like the unexplained chemistry of romance? Or is friendship about two people having open 4th chakras in the right place at the right time? Why do we instinctively trust or enjoy some people more than others?  I don’t know what makes people friends, but I have learned from the support of many amazing friends how to be one.

The stories of Hanuman and Lord Ram, written in both Indian epochs the Ramayana and Mahabharata, teach us about friendship.  While Lord Ram’s romance is with Sita, he still has time and love for his best friend Hanuman.  In the face of Lord Ram’s imprisonment, Ram was unfazed as he just KNEW that his friend Hanuman would save him. And Hanuman saved Ram. Ram’s consort, Sita, was kidnapped and Ram completely trusted that Hanuman would figure out how to save Sita. And Hanuman saved Sita.

Hanuman always acts out of love and service. After being given a beautiful pearl necklace of gratitude from Sita, Hanuman chewed it up! He was looking for Ram’s name and when he didn’t find the name of Ram, Hanuman opened his chest and showed Sita and the world, that Ram and Sita truly live in his heart. He declared that nothing, not even a pearl necklace, is as valuable or cherished as Ram. I would like to say that tattooing someone’s name on your skin is hardcore, but seriously tearing your heart open to show your love is intense!  Do Something!Show your love to your friends.  Take some time and reach out to important people you haven’t talked to in a while.  Live selflessly and do what your friends need, sometimes before they ask for it.  Be the friend instead of simply being in a friendship.