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.

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?

Stay In Your Heart

My yoga teacher, when I reached out to her in a moment of weakness, said to ‘Stay in your Heart’….. I feel this is part of what she was referring to…

“On this day of your life, Amy, we believe God wants you to know … that it’s your heart that knows who loves you, not your ears or eyes.

Listen to the words, and you can be fooled. Look at the actions, and you can be fooled. Feel deeply into your heart, and then you will know the truth.

Who makes your heart soar now?

Well, what are you waiting for?”

178/333- Hot Heart

11/333

Where they tickle your heart...

Your lack of response IS your response

This applies in many situations in life, but I think it is a good gauge of where you might be in your life. I went through a period recently where I had been out of town for a month, then came back to 5 weeks of moving my daughter and myself while on my hardest rotation yet. I was pulling 16 hour days every day, and it left no time for working out or relaxing with my daughter or my dog. I was tired, and I didn’t have the drive to do much of the usual planning, research and preparation I was used to doing. I was doubting my devotion to clinical pharmacy. Why else would I not want to do what it takes to reach my goal?

At first, I panicked, but then I listened to myself and looked at my actions. My lack of direction, rather than a bad thing, was a sign that I was redirecting my life. Much like a car slowing coming into an intersection before it turns off onto another street, I was slowing down in order to redirect. When I stopped panicking and judging myself for being “non-productive”, I began the internal search of what had changed and what my needs are.

Sometimes, our bodies and our emotions have a way of trumping the mind. If that happens to you or to someone you know (as it most likely will when in a demanding situation), try and think of it as a sign from your heart that maybe it needs to take that sideroad that you had forgotten was there, or had not even seen. After about a month, I have found a new direction that fits my personality, and it still involves clinical pharmacy, infused with my strongest interests.

The opposite is true as well. When you find yourself engrossed in something that may pull you from your original path, listen to that. Explore your interest, and see if you can find a way to make it part of your career path.

NOTE: I wrote this blog for ASHP (http://ashpblog.squarespace.com/), but it started with a comment I had made to someone regarding the heart. If you start shutting someone out, or you are on the painful receiving end of someone shutting off to you, that is a message.  Listen to it, find a way to accept it, and for God’s sake …. Let the other person know what is going on! Take care of your heart and those who care about you…..

Does this path have a heart? (stolen from Adam Myerson)

Does your path have a heart?

Ever notice how some things pop up at the most opportune times? Perhaps it is just being sensitive to it, but I truly feel that the timing on this one is great.

I had a female friend Ally and my new neighbor Matt over last night. We chatted about any number of life’s issues over beer and port. Ally stayed after, and we talked about her pursuing massage therapy. I had a lot to say about it, for having devoted most of my youth and young adult life to dance, I was extremely familiar with the connection between the body, heart, and mind. It felt so good to talk about those connections between the body and emotions, and how liberating it is tap into that, work with it, help others through tough transitions via their physical (and hence emotional) health.

The human body and all it can do, both positive and negative, has always been my fascination. Speaking of a path with heart, I think being on vacation makes me wonder about all kinds of things. I am trying to plan out my next couple of years (residency) and where I need to go, how I want to live my life, what I want to be doing on a daily basis and 5 years down the line, etc.

My heart is in it, but I am also feeling a bit run-down, and I need to figure out what is wearing me down. What am I chasing in my life that isn’t fulfilling me?

While I love pharmacy and all that I will be able to do, part of me wishes I could have just gone to massage therapy school and studied those things that put my heart at ease. I have been told I am a healer, and while my family would say that is not so, I believe it’s true. I have lost touch with that, partially because I haven’t been working on healing myself first. I can’t help others without first helping myself. So, here we go….. on the path with heart. It doesn’t matter where it goes as long as it was meaningful along the way.

Tip o’ the hat to Adam Myerson for posting this:

Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is not affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition.

I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question. This question is one that only a very old person asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I do understand it.

I will tell you what it is: Does this path have a heart?

All paths are the same, they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. My benefactor’s question has meaning now. “Does this path have a heart?” One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

The trouble is nobody asks the question: and when a person finally realizes that they have taken a path without heart, the path is ready to kill them. At that point very few people stop to deliberate and leave the path.

A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.

For my part there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length.

And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly.

– Don Juan