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?

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Fools Rush In

I believe that people come into our lives for a reason. I have said to many friends that if I hadn’t learned the lesson in one relationship, I wouldn’t have been ready for the next one that came along. Maybe that happens alot. Maybe, you encounter people daily that, if you both are in the right time to learn your lessons, you connect. Otherwise, you don’t connect on that level.

In October, I decided to stop settling for less than what I want in my heart. I have my checklist of values in a person (the rest is material). Lo and behold, within weeks of putting in my order to the universe, my order comes in. Two months later, he has decided to move on. Okay, universe, I am listening. I put in my order, I thought I got it, and then …..it returned itself? How does that happen? I am learning lesson after lesson right now, and it’s painful. And because I still hurt, I know there is something very deeply buried to work through. Evidently, my order did not come in. I must have gotten my order in the wrong size or color. Maybe my order came in, but it was a winter outfit, and it’s summer here…. all the time. Things go wrong with rush orders. I was in a hot tub the other night with a lady who said, ‘fools rush in’. I decided that would be my new mantra.

So, I stand here, naked to the possibility of what I know deep down to be true, that I am capable of great love and there is someone willing, able and ready to accept it, nurture it, and love back. I am learning big lessons lately, so I must be on the cusp of meeting someone really wonderful, and so the cycle of life and learning continues.

Thanks Audrey

English: Cropped screenshot of Audrey Hepburn ...

Audrey Hepburn

I just saw this quote, which I have seen before, but I want to adjust it a bit:

BEFORE

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others, for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” -Audrey Hepburn

AFTER

“For beautiful eyes, SEE the DIVINE in others, for beautiful lips, speak only LOVING TRUTH; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are A DIVINE BEING.” -Amy Baker

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”.

Have You Been Vulnerable Today?

I have seen this video from TedX before, and I may have shared it before, but I felt it worth sharing again. Especially during the holidaze, when so many family issues come to the surface, this is a great reminder and eye opener. I have struggled for a long time to feel the comfort with vulnerability Brene Brown speaks of in this video. It has been a slow process. I recently hung out with a new friend who is on the cusp of a new outlook on life, one step closer to living his truth. I told him why I now feel so emotionally and mentally secure, which is because I had a nervous breakdown in 2008, and I vowed NEVER, EVER to let myself get that way again. After sharing that, I was driving away, and I was overwhelmed with the realization of how far I have come. The tears welled up, which confused me, but I realized that it’s a good thing. I am okay with me, and I am proud of how much I have let go. I have a long way to go, but I have turned my life around for the better. Enjoy this video. Share it. Digest it. Watch it as many times as you care to. Then watch the second one. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Much love, Me.

When Worlds Collide

Sometimes, serendipity works in the most amazing ways. Tonight, all my worlds collided. I have been wanting to connect with more people who practice yoga, are spiritually focused, and eat healthy…really healthy, not just making sure you get enough fruits and vegetables. I have been eating more raw foods and noticing a difference, my yoga helps ….everything, and incorporating it into my life has actually made me look visibly younger to people around me. But I digress…

So, it all started with a guy that I had randomly met at Coffee Roasters back in September I think. He seemed struck by me and asked if he could call me some time. I said yes, but to wait until my residency was over in October. Just too much going on. Well, that time came and went, and I wasn’t surprised not to hear from him. That’s a long time to wait. BUT, I saw him at the world premier of Thrive, so I made sure to say HI. Within a few days, we were in contact, and he invited me to go with him to a party in Makena. He wasn’t sure everyone that would be there, and I just decided to dress like all islanders do…casual. I made sure to not wear anything too…appealing. I wasn’t sure who I would meet, and I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea. So, he picked me up right on time, and we went out into the sunset.  It took about ten minutes to get pitch black, and we found ourselves lost in Makena. We drove all the way to La Perouse and back while he tried to remember where this place was. He had been there just once before. No worries, it was all an adventure in my mind. We finally found it, along with several others, but the gate was closed. A couple of fashionably dressed, and quite appealing, women came up and introduced themselves to me. Evidently, I could have worn whatever my heart desired that night, but it was all good. The owner came down to open the gate, and all I could see was his white shirt in the dark. Once the gate was opened, we all entered, and I tried to tell the owner that Jeff (my “date”) was getting something out of his truck, but he had quietly retreated already, as did all the others. We walked carefully up a dark driveway using my cell phone for light. I don’t have that fancy flashlight app figured out, so I had to hit the button every 10 seconds or so to turn the light back on. It was eerie and beautiful, with trees arching over us and the stars sparkling above.

I could tell already that this was a very special crowd. Jeff had told me there would be movers and shakers there, but he didn’t tell me of what kind.

The house was bright and open. I left my shoes in the entry, and as soon as I entered the kitchen, there he was. Jorge, the owner of the house, very polished with his tan skin, bald head, and nicely ironed white button-down shirt. Yogi style, not the stuffy office type of shirt. I knew exactly who he was, and I was surprised at how different he looked than I remembered. I last saw him in a yoga class, but I really remembered seeing him on a beach I was frequenting. He goes there quite often, and actually lives very close to it, and he would hang out with many of the same people, playing  frisbee, or hitting a ping pong ball back and forth, or volleying a soccer ball with someone. He was playful, yet so balanced and mellow. You could tell just by looking at him that he was an influential man, and he intrigued me. I wanted to get to know more about him, and suddenly I was in his home among several of his friends. No need to describe the house, other than it was wood and tile, the walls moved to the side to open up everything to the outside, the furniture had been moved outside, and Buddha was prominently situated in the room, bigger than life. Amazingly classy, clean, romantic, elegant.

While taking my wine bottles to the table outside, I was approached by none other than Bear, whom I had met two days prior on my bike ride. Go figure! He cleaned up quite well! I knew he was special, and seeing him in this group, it was confirmed. After a bit, and more people arriving, a man with a very large salad walked in. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him. He had a playful look about him, with sparkling eyes that made you wonder what wonderful adventures he could take you on, and his hair curled out a bit on the side in a boyish way. He didn’t lack in masculinity though, quite the contrary. I approached him, and he reminded me that we met at my house a while back. He was the agent that helped my landlord buy the house I live in. I remember thinking when I met him that he, too, had something very special about him, and that I wanted to see him again.  He had picked all the salad from his garden, including the giant avocado in his hand. He was worried the salad might be too spicy, which seemed odd, as it had no dressing on it. He looked around in the salad, then picked out what looked like arugula for me to taste. It was as spicy as wasabi! I mean, this little leaf literally popped with flavor. Good think I got to try that, because the salad didn’t last long enough for me to go back and get some.

I hit it off with a girl named Petra there, who lives out past Hana and grows her own food. She literally glowed with health and vigor! What a beautiful person to be around. Eventually, I met Kevin, a naturopathic doctor. I loved hearing about what he does, and it was refreshing to talk with someone who understands the scientific lingo, as well as the problems when East meets West in medicine. He has found a way to combine the two, but most people don’t breech that. I want to, but I feel so far behind everyone else I meet. One must start somewhere. Kevin just happens to be a cyclist too, so we agreed to find a time to ride together.

I was surrounded by amazing people I resonated with, and when that happens, lights shimmer, time drifts away, eyes sparkle, and you can see and feel the energy all around you and those you come in contact with. I left that evening feeling so alive, invigorated, and ready to move on in the next phase of my life.

 

Amyism

Confusion.

I am at one of those odd points in life where so many things are going wrong, yet so many things are going right as well. It’s all about concentrating on the right things right now and going with the flow. It’s about being patient with life and the people close to me and trusting that some things will just take more time to get better.

When something is going “wrong”, I try and see it is an opening to something better. That’s the mindset I choose to have, and I trust it will work.

No matter what life throws at me, I have faith I will come out okay. That faith alone has gotten me through some very rocky times. In fact, I can honestly say it has saved my life more than once. Back in 6th grade, I called it Amyism. I believed that my strength came from within, that organized religion was a crutch and that we all are people with the power of choice. We CHOOSE to live a certain way, to see the world a certain way, and to REACT accordingly. Noone can GIVE us  the strength we need to survive the worst of the worst. It is within us all, but some require more to bring it out. Some never have the self assuredness to tap into that strength. They derive their strength from outside of themselves, hence they are ultimately weak.

…..I really don’t want to go into this too much. Someone is bound to challenge my beliefs with their faith, their religion. Who are they to challenge what I believe for MYSELF to be true? I follow no religion but my own. I condemn no one. I recruit no one.

BUT, if someone would like to have a lively discussion about religion, faith, the root of it all, etc, then I am game.

295/333

Religulous

Religulous

Image via Wikipedia

Just watched most of Religulous with Bill Maher. I never watch movies, but this one my roomie had on while I made dinner. I give it a two thumbs up. I am not going to voice my opinion, as I REALLY try and stay away from religion and politics in a public forum. I don’t like being labeled and pin-holed by people, so I just keep my beliefs to myself.

Bill Maher says some great things though, and stumps a lot of people in this movie. I LOVE it!