35- The greatest gift is to be seen

Excerpt from the Daily Dharma Blog

Posted on May 9, 2012 by AmyRxBaker

In group session today, a topic came up that was batted around for quite some time. I kept hearing “I need to…” from this one person.

I need to exercise, but I don’t.

“I need to NOT buy bulk foods at Costco, but I don’t.”

What keeps us from doing what is ultimately better for us and ultimately the easiest thing to do? Read more….

Hold Me Sweetly

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Again, I am drinking my Yogi brand tea for Throat comfort, and again I am reminded that the best things come in small packages.

“Trust creates peace”

I have so many people mistrusting me lately for reasons based in their own fears. I realize now it was their own fears, but in the heat of the fire, I was panicked, unsure, anxious, doubting myself, which only played into their view (projection) of me. I alleviated the worst of it yesterday, and today was full of so many wonderful affirmations from professionals, friends, and strangers alike that I am the good person I thought, and not the monster these people made me out to be.

If trust creates peace, then mistrust creates hell, for everyone involved. Trust has to also include trust in yourself. Trust in yourself really requires trust in something larger than you. Call it what you want, but being able to trust that things are truly happening as they need to is not easy. It takes surrender.

I received a healing from my friend today, who used to train in Sufi healings, and it was interesting what came up. Not surprising, but interesting.  He told me to drop into my heart, and I honestly didn’t know what that meant. I still don’t, but I thought about opening, breathing into my heart, etc. At first, lights behind my eyes were billowing in and out, in the shape of a heart, and purple even. Then, I tried to envision my physical self, with the area of my heart expanding with each breath, and in my mind’s eye, that area was caved in. It just wouldn’t budge and expand.

From there, my body felt very large and heavy, like I was inside a giant rock, but it didn’t bother me, and I didn’t feel stifled. I transitioned out of that into something else…so much I forget it all. At one point, my friend told me to ‘feel completely supported’, and I was instantly brought back to one of the darkest, most challenging times in my life. It was one of the nights shortly before I gave up my dream of dance.

I had a full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School, but I didn’t have any way to support myself. My body was shutting down. My hips were so tight and painful that I sat out of many classes. I never went to anyone for help. I called up my pilates instructor one night in desperation to alleviate some of the tightness and pain so I could take class.

She had me lie down on the floor of my little basement room and put my legs up the wall. ‘Now, let the floor completely support you. You don’t have to hold yourself. Feel completely supported.’  And as the floor came to meet my body and hold me, I broke down. Like a little girl running to her mom’s embrace, I sobbed. I had been holding my pride, holding my life together, holding in my hurt and pain, and my body reflected it. I wasn’t even able to trust that the ground beneath me would support me.

Today was a reminder to trust that the world around me will hold me. I need not resist or hold or brace against anything. That is lack of trust in everything in the world, which is really all one breathing soul with limitless manifestations. How can I not trust that which is of me? When I start hurting and feeling like things aren’t going well, that somehow I am not a part of this amazing world of peace and light, I will PAUSE, FEEL the earth and the space around me, SURRENDER to the moment, and be THANKFUL for this universe that holds me so sweetly.

Warp Speed Ahead!

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To emphasize the reality of the post below….I wrote it on the 8th and just discovered my draft, 10 days later. Sigh…. I think I know now why I got sick!

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Life has been more than a little crazy lately. It’s that dang boomerang effect again. You set things in motion, wait in limbo while things are brewing, and then WHAM! It all hits you at once. Money, job, career, physical, psychological, emotional, family, more family, and it’s all on a tight schedule. Thankfully, I am not alone. Tom Lescher, a Leo astrologer I met recently, does his weekly Pele Report on YouTube. I highly recommend it. His forecast for March sounds spot on with what I am dealing with:

The month of March will be a lot easier for you if you just pretend that you have boarded the high-speed bullet train that gets you to your destination at hundreds of miles per hour (whether you are late or not!). This is a month where our nervous systems are undergoing a great cosmic cleanse. It is an opportunity to rid ourselves of all the shaky, old, outworn mental patterns that are no longer serving us. Beyond that, we will have an opportunity to purge immature emotional patterns lingering from lifetimes gone by that are preventing us from fully realizing our potential.

I love his humor, and it seems I will need it this month. All kinds of past stuff is bubbling up, and I have to find a way to let it go and redefine how I live in the world. It’s kind of like being told you have wings, being thrown off a cliff, and trusting that you will know how to fly. Like the Phoenix, I want to die and rise from the ashes anew, pure like I came into this world.

Check out this video: 

The Contest Continues! Ends March 14th

Please check out  and RATE the new designs submitted for my contest for a business logo. Contest ends March 14th. Below is some background.

CLICK HERE to vote!

Design Brief:

I am a Medication Wellness Consultant Pharmacist offering holistic Medication Therapy Management services based around collaborative care: to individuals and physician groups via phone, in person, or video; and via speaking arrangements at conferences. In the future, I would like to work on functional, fundamental nutritional consults and workshops, so my business will not focus solely on medicine. I also have a blog, which I hope to build over time.

Theme: Helping Others Help Themselves

My target audience will include both physicians and lay people. They will be of all ages and backgrounds..

LOGO
1. professional, clean and contemporary
2. symbolizes holistic health, vitality, and Helping Others Thrive.
3. It should be simple, reduce to b/w and grayscale easily, and be easily recognizable once people have seen it a few times.
4. No cartoons

The universe is speaking. Can you see it?

Sometimes there are just too many coincidences coming together to believe that they don’t have some type of significance.

Some say coincidence is merely that. Some say that everything happens for a reason. Certainly, when you start to notice patterns, then you become attuned. Things start making sense. You follow your intuition and delight in the synchronicity of life.

Where do you stand in this debate? Are things foretold, our destiny predetermined? Are we mere pawns that some all-knowing being uses for his amusement? OR, are we all part of a divine dance of life, where sometimes you take the lead, sometimes you follow, and sometimes you sit out, hoping for a better song?

I don’t believe anymore in coincidence. I always felt that when multiple things were going wrong in my life, it was a sign that I wasn’t on the right path. I needed to engage my spiritual compass and reassess my direction. When things kept falling into place, I figured I was doing the right thing. And I don’t mean “right” by anyone else’s definition. I mean Right for You, at that time, in that space.

I am writing this because of something amusingly serendipitous. One of my biggest struggles lately is realizing and embodying my dharma. I think it’s a struggle of many, but for now it is pretty paramount with me. Also, I am realizing that my heart is not as open as I had hoped, and my body is reflecting that in not-so-subtle ways.

Saturday morning, I go into class with my beloved teacher Skeeter, and she talks about dharma. There is always an intent to each Anusara class, and Skeeter seems to speak directly to my problems each time. Of course, she is speaking of things we all battle with, but it is always so timely and pertinent. So, dharma was the theme. That afternoon, I posted a blog about this article, which talked about receiving love through our backs, behind our heart.

Today after class, my friend Amanda says that she watched this great movie Hugo, and that it is all about realizing your purpose in life. I never watch movies, but it sounded great, and it was about a kid around my daughter Keely’s age. Keely and I watched the movie tonight, and it was surreal.

The boy Hugo has this automaton that he is trying to fix, an amazing wind-up robot using only gears for motion that is supposedly able to write (the movie is set in the early 1900′s). There is something so special about this robot that it won’t work unless you have a special key. This key goes into a heart-shaped hole in the back of the robot, separate from where he gets wound up. The article, the class, the movie all seemed to reflect each other…. all within 36 hours.

So, without the heart, one cannot fulfill his purpose. With the heart engaged, we can find our way. It’s that simple, right? Yes, if you take the time to fix where you are broken, and if you have the key to unlock the heart. It’s there all the time.

The universe is speaking. Can you see it?

When the heart speaks….move

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I remember when I first started Anusara yoga, and the teacher said to ‘melt your heart.’ I really didn’t get it, and I am still in the process of “getting it.” In fact, I always will be, and that’s one of the wonderful things about yoga. Forever a student.

One of the first thoughts I had when I realized this was an actual theme in Anusara was of Gelsey Kirkland, a ballerina I idolized when my life WAS ballet. Her first book Dancing On My Grave fascinated and scared me. Her passion for dance and perfection drove her to severe anorexia and cocaine abuse. It scared me because I wanted that intensity. I wanted to let the passion overtake me and drive me, to give in completely to it and see where it took me.

Her next book The Shape of Love amazed me. In it, she was coaching a dancer in a role that she had herself danced. She was trying to get the dancer to stand up from a chair with her heart. Over and over, she told the girl to try again. I forget how long it took (over an hour), but she would not give up until the dancer initiated and continued her movement with her heart. Gelsey really strove to get to the root of things. She was obsessed, but the beauty of the purity of what she strove for changed my view of dance and ballet forever.

Now, half a lifetime later, I am again tapping into that part of myself in both yoga and dance. Some days are better than others. I am different now. I am older, stiffer, bigger (not saying much, since I was anorexic then), a mom of a teen, and a doctor of pharmacy. For years, I went against my heart, and instead went to school. I did dance for a bit during that time, but realized I had to finish my degree, so quit dance yet again.

During that long 10 years of my life, I tried to compensate by being a gym rat, running in a marathon, competing in endless triathlons, and then cycling.  When I broke my hip in 2008, I couldn’t swim or run, so I ended up sticking mostly with cycling for the next 3 years. For three years, I was bent over a book or a computer and bent over my bike, cycling ’round and ’round in a uniplanar existence. Head down, I plunged ahead toward my goal of a terminal degree, striving for excellence, pushing, pushing, pushing my limits all the time.

Now, my psoas is tight, my sciatica is flaring up, and my heart is barely peeking through it’s little house. So, I did what I always do when I need to get back to my roots. I started yoga class.

Enter Anusara Yoga into my life.

I found myself quickly emerged in a practice where the benefits carried themselves over into my life off the mat. I am learning to listen to my heart, to feel my heart, speak from my heart, and one day to move from my heart.

I bring this all up because of an article I read today titled Love As Alchemy.  It spoke of receiving love through our backs behind our heart. Our backside, the Divine, the unknown, where we build trust. The Love that is always there. I have had a painful tightness for about 2-3 weeks now right behind my heart, between my shoulder blades. I almost feel that if I bring my should blades together tightly enough, my spine would pop. Many times, I have wanted to ask someone to press on it, for it felt like if someone pushed really hard, my spine would pop and release there, and the pinching would go away. I figured it was from the kayaking I did, but I should know better. It’s my heart, which has recently been through a lot.

I had been thinking of being a channel of love, rather than collecting it behind my heart. I guess there are multiple ways to view it. You can move love through you, soaking it up to nourish your soul, then giving it your flavor and offering it back into the world. You don’t hold onto it like a material object, but it forever changes your make up. Your cells come alive and dance, and you FEEL love. Your heart swells and glows, radiates and pulsates, with the in-pouring of love. And love is all around us. When we open up, we can fill that well, nourish our cells and our soul and offer it back to the world.

It can be scary to open up our hearts, but we are only opening to divine grace, so what is there to be afraid of? Afraid of being fully me? Afraid of my own beauty and brilliance? That’s silly, and yet it happens. And so the mission to open and receive love so that we may transform ourselves and offer love back to others continues.

Whales and Dolphins Playing at Sea, And Inviting Us To Join

I truly lead a charmed life. I was helping a friend out with a retreat he coordinated, and we had about 15 or so people out on kayaks and SUP boards the other day. Most of these people were not experienced in the water, so it was good that the water was mellow. The wind was blowing us south though, so our fearless leader set us off in a northerly direction so that we would not have to fight the wind coming back in. Not only was that smart, but it happened to put us RIGHT near a mama humpback whale and her baby. I couldn’t believe how close we were, at times they surprised us about 10 yards away.

I was mesmerized, as you can imagine, paddling along on my beat up rental SUP board. At one point, they hadn’t come up for a bit, and I noticed for the first time that scattered throughout the choppy water were large circles of smooth, calm water. Wherever they surfaced, they left behind a beautiful circle of calmness. Then, I sensed to turn left when others turned right, and they surfaced very close to me. I began to paddle alongside them, traveling about the same pace. It was playful, and I felt just like a kid….romping around with the whales. Eventually, they went down, so we all paused, and I looked back toward Molokini Crater, where I thought I saw snorkelers. It seemed awfully far out for snorkelers, and then I noticed more and more black spots coming out of the water. It turned out to be dolphins! Lots of dolphins. They were to our left, behind, and in front of us. they were so playful, and it was evident they were playing with the whales that day. The whole sea was at play! As soon as I realized we were encircled by the dolphins, I turned left, and there was a breach maybe 50 yards away. Amazing! It was as if the dolphins and whales were working together. “Okay, we’re going to gather the people in while you get ready. When we signal, jump!”

The magic of Maui never ceases to amaze me. We are truly students here, with nature our teacher.

Feast of Love

Today was filled with hearts. While putting on my eye shadow, I noticed a heart shape where the bottom of the container was showing through the cake. What a great way to start my day! Then, my yoga teacher was talking, and I noticed that the way her bangs curled, combined with the curling in of her hair made a perfect heart. I almost asked her to stop so I could take a picture. To finish off my day, while driving home, it was raining and the windshield was fogging up, so I turned on the AC. It made the water condense on the outside in ….not just one, but TWO hearts, lying comfortably side by side, right in the middle of my windshield.

My life is truly blessed, for I see love all around me.

‘Women are the primary resource of the planet.’

The video below is from the woman who created the Vagina Monologues and V Day. I think there are many lessons in her video presented to ponder. She talks about security, and how by creating “security”, we are making ourselves more insecure. We harden. Strength comes from softening, allowing ourselves to be wrong, allowing ourselves to feel emotion, allowing ourselves to lean on others, allowing others to lean on us in their vulnerability and honoring their state. Appreciate how strong someone must be to ask for help, to allow themselves to fully FEEL in the company of others, or even at all.

Lastly, I love her statement at the end, and I invite you to ponder this:

‘Women are the primary resource of the planet.’ – Eve Ensler