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.

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What is the Spirit of Maui?

Deutsch: Sonnenuntergang bei Kihei (Maui/Hawaii)

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

How would you describe or define the Maui Spirit?

We all know Maui is special and attracts many amazing people.

So, tell me please, how do you describe (in one sentence or one word) the island of Maui, no ka oi?

333/333- Coming Full Circle

With the final post of my 333 project coming up, I clicked through each and every post and was surprised at the evolution of my posts, and of my life, my focus. While riding my bike that week, I thought of all that has happened over the past two years since I started the project, and I had the complete blog all in my head. It was fabulous (or so I thought at least), but once I stopped spinning, the thoughts stopped flowing, and it wasn’t long before they trickled away. I have bits and pieces in my mind, and I scribbled down some thoughts while with a friend, but I can’t find that paper. C’est la vie. Let’s see what happens.

Beginning

I should probably talk again about what the 333 project was based on. Many friends of mine were doing 365 projects, where you post a pic a day. I liked the idea, but missed the start of the year, so I decided I could do a 333 project based on that many days in the year left, as well as 3 being my favorite number. My posts had to do with the numbers 3, 6, or 9 either literally or figuratively. If you want a quick background, please read my post HERE about the significance of the numbers. I highly recommend this, or the rest won’t make sense.

Middle

Reflecting on the number 3, and how it has played in my life since February, 2010, I see many births, beginnings, creation. Some of them were wonderful, some of them very painful. Many of them came out of loss and death, which is embodied in the number 9.

My project itself was born out of the ending of a very special relationship, which led me to focus in more on myself and start fresh and redefine myself. (Let me just add that going back and reading my old blogs is a trip!)  Here is when I made the commitment to myself.

10-17-09 symbolized for me a new beginning in my relationships with Myself and everyone I interact with. It symbolized a letting go of destructive views and behaviors and an embracing of a life based first and foremost on love.

And during my project, an old love was being rekindled and fostered. In fact, it was our third time dating since we we were 15. Heck, we even fell in love in our 15th year (1 + 5=6). Don’t they say third time is a charm?

I experienced the death of two family members, the cancellation of a very exciting trip to Nice, and received notice that I had not matched for a pharmacy residency all within two months.  The death of my grandmother brought together 3 generations of women, which was a beautiful reconnection. We all shared our love (6) while we mourned the loss of our matron (9), and this allowed us to move on and start again (3). My daughter’s father came back in the picture after 11 years, which was, and is, bittersweet. I finished up ten years of college upon graduating with my Doctor of Pharmacy, and I moved with my daughter to Maui, an island way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Talk about a big change! I was again ready to treat myself better. The relationship I had been in all this time ended, and I found myself feeling strong, but a bit lost. I started and ended a pharmacy residency, and now I am starting my own business. I also have reached a new phase in my life, which is only just beginning to unfold.

Now is when I wonder if I do a timeline or go through each category? Everything ties into itself, with 3, 6 and 9 working together in a cycle. So, I think I will just work on reflection, rather than recounting things. Let’s start with today…..

12/18/11

Reading “The Wisdom of Patanjali‘s Yoga Sutras” by Ravi Ravindra, I found myself with a deeper understanding than in prior times. Before I could comprehend the philosophy of it, but now I can say that I have embodied just the beginnings of some of the first chapters.

I feel that I have learned to let go of a lot and flow more with the cycle of death and birth, and I have accomplished this through love. When I made that commitment to myself in October of 2009 (see above), it was powerful. It started with loving myself. I had to learn to love myself first and forgive myself for any mistakes I had made. Flowing with love requires letting go of attachments. In the yoga sutras, vairagya is the concept of non-attachment and brings freedom from personal desire. “This includes desire for salvation or enlightenment, as well as the desire for great knowledge or wonderful experiences.” My journey in love and relationships has led me to deal with my attachments to certain things, and to realize the pain these attachments cause. One by one, I identify an attachment, dive into it to find the root, and pull the plug, letting the pool drain away. My motivation for this self-reflection has been freedom from the pain that I knew I was causing myself. Yet, it has taken me on a path much wider and more beautiful than I imagined, for I never viewed the path, never projected what I thought it would be like. I was going into the unknown, and I simply knew it would be better than what I had been experiencing. Life has shown me that I can’t know the future, and to project actually prevents me from experiencing the Real, which may be oh so much nicer than what I can imagine.

In the book, vairagya is “freedom from myself, the self which is constituted by all my past actions, fears, desires, ambitions. It is a dying to myself.” I feel that is what I am working toward. I was a dancer. I still am, but not in action. To call myself a dancer is to identify with certain ways of being. After 10 years of college and several years of triathlon, I have realized that movement is what moves me. It’s all a dance, an internal dance with one’s self. It is a constant meeting of doubts and insecurities, and ideally a spinning away of those feelings and thoughts, leading to a lightness, an elevation of spirit within. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of the beauty of the lifting of the soul in movement. There, right there, is an attachment to past feelings, and that’s okay, for now.

From the book on dying to myself:

“We are like

A bird in a cage.

It’s door wide open.

With no practice in flying,

sitting in the cage,

composing an ode

To freedom.”

How sad to have the ability to fly, but be so settled in what we DO know that we never try.

I have always felt there is something very powerful within me, a certain “greatness”. I never dared to say this to anyone, for it may come across as pompous. This quote from Krishnamurti, one of my favorites, explains what I have sensed all my life but denied until recently.

“To be absolutely nothing is to be beyond measure.” (Journal, p. 73)

To be empty is to be full. When you let go of what you “know”, you make room for the Real. When riding my bike that day that I planned this post, I had a feeling of being a channel of positive energy. What you put out in the world comes back to you, and what you put out in the world comes from others. When you channel positive energy, you are simply a receiver. Love moves through you. It is no longer just from you to others. It is boundless, for you accept love from others and give it freely. Like the torus, it is a constant flow, and the more you are empty and can let go of attachment to love and what you “know” love to be, the more love you have in your life. I had a day recently where the love was running so freely through me, that everything glowed. Everything was vibrant and beautiful, and my skin prickled with calm excitement. I was an open channel and would have kissed any of my dear friends and let them know how beautiful they are.

The End? No, for that is only the opening for another beginning……

“To be absolutely nothing is to be beyond measure.”

By letting go of the image I had built of myself in others’ eyes, and letting go of what I thought I once was, I am allowing myself to be me, truly me. I have been taking more yoga and putting my bike aside, for my body and mind are wanting more movement. I recently decided I want to dance again, to try any and all movement possibilities available to me. Right when I decided that, I was told of a dance class being offered just one night by some women from Phoenix. It was three classes rolled into one: classical jazz, hip-hop, and modern/contemporary. I was ecstatic to realize that my body was strong enough (thank you yoga!) to fully express and go into the movements with conviction. My training did not fail me. It’s all there. All those years of sweat, tears, dedication, and LOVE of movement are in my cells, in my heart. My energy level was so high afterward, I can’t describe the joy I felt to dance again, to truly move through the space within me and within the room. I had ideas of what I would like to do with my experience, which I will save for later.

Right now, I am letting go so that I can fly. I am learning to trust myself and let myself fly. No longer composing that ode to freedom. The door is wide open, and with the new year, I am taking that leap of faith into the beautiful unknown. Like my friend TJ Frank said, “In Faith, No Fear”.

One Year Here

Well, today was our one-year anniversary of being on the island, and it was busy. We made it! Sometimes the island picks you up, spins you around, and spits you right out. Not us! We are here and loving it.

I woke up at 4am thinking I could do the Hana ride before cleaning. Boy, was I mistaken! Thankfully, I realized the error of my thinking and started on the moving and cleaning at 5am, after some water and coffee. Then, I must have spent four hours on the kitchen. I bleached the whole inside of the frig. It was yucky! Keely wasn’t a whole lot of help. She was upset I woke her up at 8am, after I had been working for 3 hours. Getting Keely to empty out her room and actually clean anything was like trying to convince a rock it has legs. At some point later in the day, I realized I just wasn’t going to finish and have it all done well, so I contacted a cleaning service, and they said they could come tomorrow, and that I should put my feet up and relax. Just knowing that was on the horizon was such a huge relief!

Keely and I showered and decided to head out to catch the end of the Ukelele Festival, a free yearly event outside at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. We saw her close friend there, and enjoyed a relaxing 1.5 hours. Then, we headed to WalMart to see if we could find some essentials, like a coffee pot, since my portable range doesn’t boil water. I found something  better! It’s an electric kettle, and it’s amazing!

For dinner, we went to the place we went to on our first night here, one year ago today, WokStar. Love that place!!! I, of course, got my usual Indo Peanut Stir Fry w/brown rice. Then, I throw in about 1/3 of a container of that chili sauce they put out. YUM! Settling in to the new place was a bit weird. I felt pretty lonely, but I realized that was due to the change. I was sleeping in a new place, in a new bed, and the day ahead of me was unknown. In fact, the next three months are really unknown to me. I just have to take it all one day at a time, and keep on trucking!

Spinning

Lots of jumbled thoughts today, tonight, lately.

Started out my day very early, hit the snooze for too long, then jetted off to Paia around 5:15am. At Anthony’s, the girl working there showed another customer and me a counterfeit dollar bill. It looked and felt exactly like a real dollar bill, but it had Santa Claus in the middle instead of George. Just one of those fun oddities in an otherwise “normal” day. On the way to Twin Falls, the weather was bad…very wet and windy. Part of our group decided we would join a 7:30am group going out to West Maui instead. Since we had an hour to kill, we went back to Anthony’s. Yum!

It was a good group of riders that headed out. We kept the pace pretty easy, but it was hard not to with the headwinds. One thing I did notice was that people didn’t seem to understand how to draft in crosswind, which means they didn’t seem to know the best place to be when at the front of the line either. I find that on every ride with a crosswind here, the person up front tends to be on the opposite side of the shoulder they need to be on. When I thought about a windsurfer (because most of the cyclists I ride with have a windsurfing background), they don’t want to get behind another windsurfer, because they need that wind. Perhaps that thinking affects their cycling? I like to think of the peleton as a cat and its tail. The person up front is the cat, and everyone after is the tail. You need to leave room for the tail to blow with the wind in the shoulder of the road without it running off the road or into traffic where it could get run over. It would be good to have a clinic on intermediate cycling skills, such as how to ride in a pack, how to draft in a pack, in wind, etc, and tactics for races…… I know a few people who could do that. 🙂

So, the ride was brutal. The headwinds were so tough on parts that I was out of my saddle pumping uphill just to keep myself moving forward. I wasn’t able to hydrate or fuel well because I had my hands on the handlebars all the time, prepared for the next unpredictable gust of wind. We went from Paia to Lahaina, all around West Maui, then back into Paia, with a short stop at the art gallery outside of Kahakuloa.

I made myself some yummy fish tacos when I got home and proceeded to chill, but my mind was racing… I have to move stuff downstairs, and clean the whole upstairs top to bottom. I didn’t feel like moving anything or cleaning anything. I have stuff for work I need to do, but I didn’t want to get in front of the computer right away, and I had questions in my head about relationships. So, I layed on my bed, immobilized by indecision. One must not get attached. It’s that simple. Then you don’t get hurt. BUT, if you don’t let yourself get attached, you are guarding and not fully loving. So, what’s a girl to do? It’s a vicious cycle, but I saw a quote today from Dr. Seuss that pretty much sums up how I look at ANY disappointment in life:

 “I won’t cry because it’s over, I’ll smile because it happened.”

Tonight, my daughter and I fought about her schoolwork. I want her to do well, she thinks it’s boring and thus hard. She said, ” I don’t need this boring stuff for what I want to do anyway. You don’t need this for art.” HA! Little does she know. I pulled up Juilliard and Berklee College of Music to see their admission stats. The lowest GPA of people Juilliard accepted was 3.9. Berklee was not the same, but the % of people below 3.0 was very small. They must have been geniuses at music, or rich, or both.

We battled, and she spun things around, put words in my mouth, talked in circles…I kept  trying to bring her back to what I was trying to say. Then, I explained to her that I believe with all my heart she can do whatever she sets her mind to. She is a very creative, loving, bright girl with the potential to do well at many things. I wanted her to have the opportunity to be all she could be, to really explore her talents to the utmost. Then, I reminded her that I left my family when I was 16 to study ballet, and I experienced some of the most amazing things through my art because I had the opportunity to really take my dancing to the next level. I want that for her, but I can’t do it for her. She heard that, I think.

Then, I told her she had to skip swimming until her homework was done. That was the end of the quiet listening. Oh well. All in all, a good day with lots of spinning….. on my bike, in my head, and in my heart.

It’s a bunny, and it’s true..

331/333- Scratchin’

329/333

328/333

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