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….

Top Searches

Okay, I just found this interesting. Top search terms that led to my blog today….

Non-Sequiturs

My last post I sent to a friend of mine. It went like this:

If you don’t count the zero, because those kinda don’t count, today is 2-1-2-1-2

His very interesting response was this:

‘That was an awesome non sequitur. I love non sequiturs.

In the base-3 numerical system, 21212 is what we’d call 636 in the base-10 system. 636 is the area code for suburban St. Louis. St. Louis was the king of France. Port-Louis, Mauritius, is also named after him and is at 20º south latitude. At 20º north latitude is…Maui.’

 

Surreality

What do vivid dreams mean? I went to TEDxMaui tonight, and I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Jacob Lieberman. He spoke with such clarity, both calm and passionate at the same time. He talked about a dream he had where he could see himself sleeping and he then saw every detail of a speech he was to give a year later. The speech happened just like in his dream, without his intervention.

It was timely, considering the night before, I had one of the weirdest dream nights ever. I was sleeping with my partner, but I remember several instances of interacting with him, and I couldn’t tell if they were real or not. Even upon waking, I couldn’t remember what was real. This is why. At one point, I was lying on my back, and he put his hand gently on the crown of my head. Under his touch, my head became hot, my mind envisioning scarlet red. I felt myself relaxing into the sensation, and then he gently put one finger on the back of my head, just behind and below the crown. I can’t describe the energy shift, but I saw the room, and I saw the glowing outline of a white flower in my field of vision. At the same time, I froze.  I went from blissful relaxation to utter panic. I couldn’t inhale, and I couldn’t move. Inside, I was crying “Help me! Help me! Oh God, please help me!”, but no movement of my body, my arms, nor my lungs to be able to say anything. Meanwhile, this white flower is forever in my vision, which couldn’t change. My eyes couldn’t move. NOTHING in my body responded to my mental orders. It lasted what seemed like an eternity. HELPLESS, lying right next to someone who had no idea what was happening, and I couldn’t move my hand the few inches it would have taken to grab his attention. HELPLESS. I was suffocating. When I thought I would pass out from lack of oxygen or outright fear, I gasped and my whole body shuddered. I felt such relief to be able to breathe, that I didn’t dwell on it. I was just so happy to be able to move and feel my lungs fill with air. I literally shook it off, and continued on my dreams, or maybe it was reality. I don’t even know if me sitting up and looking at the clock was real or not. I asked my partner the next morning if he put his hand on my head, which he said he did, but he didn’t remember me shaking my head or gasping. That sensation, that flower, the room was all too real. The panic, the inability to breathe, the absolute shudder of my soul as I was somehow released from the prison of paralysis sticks with me. It was too real.

Stress-Induced Flashbacks

So many things happening, that I didn’t even get to my work until 6pm, but by that time I had to get my daughter from swimming and cook dinner, and then relinquish my computer to her for homework. Wow! Having flashbacks to the old Calgon commercial.

“Calgon, take me away!!”

And here’s a really old one!

Spacing Out

I just reread my last post, and I could tell I was tired and rushed. I used the word “space” entirely too much. Therefore, I thought it would be good to find other ways of referring to the space I was referring to. At thesaurus.com, they list the following:

Space

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: room, scope

Synonyms: amplitude, areaarenablankbreadthcapacity,compassdistance, elbowroom,

expanse,expansionextensionextentfieldgap,headroom, headway, infinityinterval,

lacuna,leewaylocation, margin, omissionplayrange,reach, slot, spaciousness, sphere,

spotspread,stretchterritory, tract, turfvolumezone

Area is a bit bland….expanse definitely fits the bill with my place and allows me plenty of capacity for experiencing more elbowroom and expansion or extention to the extent that I am capable within my field of…….. (use your imagination here?)

Lacuna, what a great word! I don’t think I could call my place a lacuna , since it implies a gap of some sort. Although, I do intend to add an altar, so that’s missing.

Yes, my spot. I like my spot, especially since it’s bigger than my last spot. I can spread and stretch across the bed spread or the stretch of floor in any room in the house. It’s that spacious.

Mainly, I am happy to be in the zone in my zone.

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”.

Moon Smiling Down and the Ground Shining Up

I just had an amazing few hours with inspirational people. My friend Celeste had a house-warming party, which I knew would be full of awesome people and fun activities. Last time I was there, it was a woman-only gathering, but this time three-legged people were allowed. We brought out the hula hoops, and that was a blast! You could definitely tell right away who had danced before and who hadn’t. The conversation was great, as always, but especially since most people there were spiritually minded folk. At some point, we took part of the gathering to the beach, which was only across the street and through a little path. As Celeste and I walked along the dark path in our light-colored little dresses, I told her I felt like she, Kisha and I are like nymphs, and she immediately grabbed my hand and started skipping forward. She is like the playmate I have been missing since childhood.

What a sight to behold!  A tree arched across our view of the moonlit ocean ahead of us, and as we drew nearer, the crescent moon peered out. It was illuminated at the bottom, and looked just like a cheshire cat’s smile. The path led right up to the water’s edge, and the moon’s path of light. The ocean was calm, the waves gently lapping, and I stood with my arms cradled behind my head, taking in the stars and the feel of warm ocean at my feet, and the coarse slipperiness of the seaweed as it flowed over and around my foot, then back again into the water with the retreating of each wave.

Then, I looked down and somehow saw what looked like a little light in the sand. I thought it might just be a reflection off some glass or something, but I bent down to look closer. I swept my finger gently across this little glow that was no bigger than a few grains of sand. It seemed brighter each time I stroked it. I felt like a kid, holding this unknown beauty of nature, careful with it but curious enough to scoop it into my palm. As it sat there, the light subsided, so I stroked it and it lit again. In fact, at one point, it was pulsing, and I actually saw the light course in a circle along the outside of this little creature. I showed it to friends to make sure I wasn’t seeing things or tripping on the kombucha I drank earlier. They were amazed as well, and one of the guys said that when he lived on Molokai, they called those New Moon and they were everywhere in the water at night. You need absolute darkness to see it glow, so New Moon makes sense to me. I looked up ocean phosphorescence on Google and found this website. I couldn’t find the pdf it referenced, but I then looked at dinoflagellates, and it seems that I was holding a tiny sea creature that was most definitely responding to my touch. My guess is that I was holding a Noctiluca scintillans unica (see picture). Magical!

Noctiluca scintillans unica


Backtrack

I realized that because I was playing catch-up on my blog, it ended up being a diary of sorts. I don’t know why anyone would want to hear about my daily happenings. Some of them are fun, and I try to share that, but all of those wonderful, random thoughts and musings I have throughout a day that have little to do with what I am actually doing are the beautiful pieces of life I want to share. Thoughts to make you ponder. Thoughts to help you. Thoughts that put a smile on your face.

So, going to go back to posting daily and share what I hope will help you, make you think and make you smile.

Eclipse, Rainbows, and Hoops! Oh My!

Lunar eclipse around 4am

Today started at 4am. I decided to wake up and see the lunar eclipse, which was supposed to be at its peak around 4am. I was surprised that I actually woke up. My sleep has been so jacked up anyway, that my body doesn’t know up from down. I threw on some sweats and went out onto my driveway. The night was perfectly clear and calm, so I laid myself down on the driveway and took some pics. My tummy hurt for some reason, so I didn’t stay out too long. Some people stayed up for the whole thing, but my body was not going to cooperate with that.

My pillow embraced me upon my return to slumber. Aaaahhhh….

And then I had to get up. Again. To get Keely up for school.

No matter. I was determined to enjoy my day. I was planning on riding upcountry with a friend, but it was raining. I knew to get out and head that way anyway, since otherwise I might not have gone. I ended up seeing some great rainbows, and I had a great ride that ended in the bright sun. To top it off, my day ended on a magical note, for sure.

Around 5pm the Hoop Jam started, put on by Hoopnatyze. I had only recently learned about the hoop dancers on the island, and my new bud Celeste actually told me about the Hoop Jam. Basically, there were tons of hula hoops for people to use and live drummers, with electronic music to follow. When Keely and I showed up a bit early, Celeste was taking in the day, gently hooping while watching the expanse of sky in front of her. Such a serene scene to take in. I hadn’t hooped since I was a kid, but it was easy. BUT, doing what some of the others were doing was next to impossible at my stage. Keely did really well, and it was so nice to see her smiling. She is a beautiful young lady, especially when she smiles! I got some great pictures, so I will let them tell the story. Enjoy!

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