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”.

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Woke up with bruised knees and a deliciously sore body from dance class. Yoga felt super good today with the soreness, but I also noticed more flexibility and a renewed strength. Yeah for pushing the boundaries and going all out!

So You Think You Can Dance?

I recently decided to stop avoiding the part of my life that has always brought me joy, which is movement, especially expression through movement. I love cycling, running, etc, but there is no expression of life’s emotions through it. I don’t bring a smile or tear to anyone’s face with that, and it doesn’t give me the deep down feeling of satisfaction and freedom that dance does. SO, I took my first dance class since 2005 tonight. It started with classical jazz, very showgirl like, then transitioned over to hip-hop with lots of fun attitude, and then to a dark, angular contemporary piece. I looked and felt good. The goosebumps were flowing along with all of the adrenaline of traveling through my body and through space to great music.

I can still dance! I bounced out of that class, sweaty and happy to know that I have started on my path, but also that I never really fell off. It’s still in me, and I intend to keep exploring and expressing myself through movement.

Let It Go

While in savasana yesterday at the end of yoga class, the teacher said something I have heard many times before, but this time my body heard it. She said, “Let go of what is not serving you”, and I felt so many small tensions just melt away in my body. It became my mantra for the rest of the evening. Whenever I can, I bring myself back to that, and I simply trust the wisdom of my body to let go of that which is not serving it well.

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


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.

Making Memories

My daughter is in New Mexico with my family for Christmas, so I thought I would spend Christmas alone, but I ended up spending time with some really amazing people, which is more than I could ever ask for. We put up Christmas lights, laughed, made and ate healthy and delicious food, drank good wine, danced (wow, what great dancing!), and shared good memories while making more. Absolutely lovely!

Do You Feel It Now?

Synchronicity. Ever felt it? Some call is coincidence, some call it intuition, some call it luck. I think this website covers a lot of what synchronicity entails. I have been mentioning it a lot in my blogs, and I feel its power in my life more and more. I was talking with a friend about it, and he put it quite simply. It’s always there. You always have everything you need and want in the universe. What gets in the way of this flow is ego. When we are in our head, we are not present  and hence unaware. Synchronicity begets synchronicity. You begin to trust it more and more, and as long as you stay in the present and stay positive (you can only stay positive when the ego is out of the way), then you have all you ever need.

Let’s Dance

I keep meeting people that are on the brink of, in, or just out of a divorce. Now, maybe it’s just our society and a large portion of the population is in that limbo part of their lives. Maybe it’s because I am often in a social situation with couples where I am single, and hence the safe one to talk to regarding these things. Actually, that’s probably a lot of it.

Anyhoo, I find that many of these people talk about what they do NOT want. They take what they didn’t like about their relationship and say, “I don’t ever want to be with someone like that again” or “I don’t ever want to be in a loveless relationship again”. Defining what you don’t want is good, but it is only the first of many steps.

Step one: Break down the dance- all relationships are a dance. Anyone you encounter, each person is reacting off the other. So, look at the beginning of this relationship and figure out when things changed. Was it something hurtful that never got resolved? Was it a change in view of yourself or the other that was never clearly communicated? Maybe one of you was leading too often. Either way, at some point, the dance became incongruent and out of sync. What was your part in that? Be honest with yourself! Stop pointing fingers and look at your reactions to what happened. Look at how your reactions (or lack of) may have perpetuated things. You cannot change the other person, but you can change how you interact with your world. If you don’t look at yourself, you will make the same mistakes with someone else, and the dance starts all over again. Hopefully, you have been brutally honest with yourself by now.

Step Two: Forgive– Now that you have seen how easy it is to fall into destructive patterns, and you see how you have hurt the other person and even perpetuated things, it is easier to forgive and let go. What’s done is done. Learn the lesson and move on. We are all only human. If you hold a grudge, you will never be healthy and happy. You will take that grudge and project onto others. Shed it like a restrictive cocoon and be free like a butterfly.

Step Three: Re-choreograph your dance– Hopefully, you have learned a lot about yourself now. (BTW, this is not an overnight process. It can take one relationship, or it can take many. Feel free to practice as much as is needed!) Okay, so now, you are more ready to say what you DO want. What you do NOT want is no longer as pertinent, because you now see how you have played into that dysfunctional dance. Also, by focusing on the positive, you bring that into your life. Write down what you want and need in a relationship. Listen to your mind and redirect it to the positive phrasing as much as possible. If you have read The Secret, you probably know what I am getting at. Our mind focuses on whatever we choose. There is no positive or negative registered by the universe. If you concentrate on what you don’t want, then your mind is thinking about just that. Only focus on what you do want, and you will find yourself attracting that into your life. Defining what you want and need is not as easy as you may think. It’s easier to think “I don’t want that again”. But this is a crucial activity. Take as long as you want and need. You have your whole life, and it’s too important to not do right.

Step Four: Go out and dance– Now that you have been honest with yourself, and let go of regret and other negative emotions, and redefined your dance, you can start manifesting what you want. Take your time, be truthful and understanding. Approach each person with an understanding of their phase in life and the fact that they may be in a totally different phase than you, and THAT IS OKAY. Just like social dancing, everyone is at different levels. Sometimes, the people we dance with sweep us off of our feet, but we just aren’t ready to dance at their level. We sure learn a lot from our brief sessions though. Some people we can help get to the next level, but they aren’t quite ready for us as a dance partner. Take your time, dance as much as you need to. When the dance is done, don’t hold onto it. Take the experience for what it was, and go dance with someone else. Sometimes, you come back to people at a different level, and that is great too! Above all, be honest with people, including yourself. And enjoy the dance!

Waterfall Tree

Went on a hike up in Makawao during the rains, and on the way back, we saw this tree waterfall. I don’t know how the water was collecting, but it was amazing how it streamed down just one side of this certain type of tree.