Wa g'wan me Sistas and Bruddas,
That's how you say hello on the streets of Jamaica. Ahhhh Jamaica, my sweet home away from home. Summed up in a few words...simple, raw, beauty. I see and feel simple, raw, beauty, in the land, the air, the sea, and the people. When I am there I feel waves of Om Shanti (universal peace) seeping in and flowing through from head to toe.
It’s in part my experience in Jamaica that has led me to ask myself how can I stay tuned to the raw simple beauty of life, and the peace and joy that that offers here at home where there are so many distractions. I have to take a moment to recall my steps as my feet touch down on Jamaican soil. First things first I put my phone on airplane mode, that takes care of that obvious distraction, I am transported by a car that I do not own, I have everything I need in one suitcase, I eat what grows on the island and lives in the sea, the ocean creates a rhythm of give and take as it continually washes up on the sand, and the cool breeze is blowin my cares and worries away all day long. All I really feel the need to say to a passerby is "wa g'wan me brudda/sista" and "ya mon".
I realize with some dismay that I am the one who complicates my life. My unnecessary attachment to things, thoughts, and ideas is what creates stress and unrest in my life. If I want to see a change I have to make some changes in my life. In the four months since our trip to Jamaica I find myself more determined than ever to experience that freedom and bliss (moksha) in my daily life. Through my daily meditation practice I am discovering that what lies beneath the complications and distractions that I create is in fact bliss.
Deepak Chopra stated at his recent Global Peace Meditation, "that if we can hold it in our minds we can hold it in our hands". As a way of holding the intention for complete peace, freedom, and joy, I have begun to create a vision board around Moksha. My Jamaican land is definitely a part of it and the mantra OM Shanti is at the core. Some lifestyle changes are taking place and seeds are being planted to cultivate peace. I am excited to see what's magical and beautiful and to share that with you.
PEACE - The Final Frontier
Love and Light,
Here are some simple ways to simplify your spirituality by Caroline Myss...
When your yoga teacher invites you to "set and intention" for
your practice at the beginning of class, it is for a good reason that extends
beyond your yoga mat. Intentions can play an important role in your life, often
when you are faced with difficulty. Whether you are struggling to find ease in a
pose or dealing with emotional turmoil in daily life.
Intentions are a force in nature; intentions are what create our reality. Intentions are what create the
fulfillment of our dreams. Intentions are essentially the capacity to stay in
touch with the core values that you wish to live by as you pursue your life's
goals and engage with others. Being grounded in your intention literally changes
what you perceive in a situation and how your mind interprets what you perceive:
it also affects how you act on what you perceive. Knowing what is essential to
you allows you to respond to life's ups and downs with a clear mind and an open
heart. Your intentions also support you in making choices and decisions, help
you endure anxiety, stress, and enable you to bear disappointment and difficulty
with equanimity. Of course when difficulties arise, it's easy to get swept up in
strong emotions and lose awareness of your intentions. So just like learning a
new yoga pose it takes practice to develop awareness of your intentions.
Below is an exercise that you can practice straight away, with very little effort or investment of time, that can immediately enhance your life. In order to get the most out of this exercise you must clearly visualize your
intended outcome. It can be for energy, vitality, a clearer connection with a higher power, health, joy, love. Whatever the intention it does not matter, it can be for financial stability, abundance, creative expression. Pick an intention and bring it into your heart, let it grow thru meditation. And soon you will be inspired to make choices that will allow you to step out of dependency and helplessness and into a place of inner strength and power.
Now, find a quiet place to sit or lay down where you will not be disturbed for the next few minutes...
Take a moment to get comfortable and tune into your breath. Relax.
When you have chosen the intention then put your intention in your heart and listen with your soul.
Repeat quietly to yourself, what do I want? What do I want? What do I want? What do I want?
Do not seek the answers to this question at this time, just ask the question. Ask and you shall receive.
Live with this question. Move with this question, what do I want? And soon you
will be moving into the answers, the answers will come to you as situations, as
circumstances, events, relationships, insights, and imagination.
~Now, ask yourself if you truly will make this a regular practice, a core attitude in your daily life and, if so, what it means to you.
~Engage in this practice each day.
~Throughout the day practice being mindful of your intention as you go about your various activities.
~Remind yourself throughout the day that you intend for all of your words and actions to arise from this intention.
~Notice when your attitude is one of judging yourself and consciously remind yourself of your intention.
~Be mindful of those times when you actually speak or act from this intention, and acknowledge
to yourself that you have lived out your commitment.
~When others demand that you meet their expectations, respond from a place of inner strength and power
that has been created by your intention.
Tap into your most intuitive, intentional self.
Love and Light,
We took a trip to the Moab desert this past weekend, looking for a little sunshine and solitude. As we headed out in our Volkswagen camper I found myself feeling a little unsettled and wondering why I felt this way. I mean we are heading out of town to do two of my favorite things, camp and mountain bike, so what the heck is wrong with me anyway. We had decided to go with the flow on this trip, no exact plans, nowhere to be at any certain time, just winging it. Mmmmm! Two hours of driving later, we are getting closer to where we think we might camp our first night, we pass up what seem to be a few nice camping spots but we don't stop...I'm starting to notice that it's getting to be that time of night when I just want to relax and be done with the work but for some reason I can't seem to get the words out and so we just keep driving. So of course I start to get upset with “you know who” (doesn't like to be seen on Facebook so we will keep it anonymous), and I’m like how come we didn't check out those spots back there? You know who just looks at me and shrugs and keeps driving, to where I do not know. But in the back of my head I keep hearing Onion Creek and I had been hearing this all week but I just want to park the van now and I am wrestling with this and getting more irritated as we drive. Finally we reach the Onion Creek turn off and start heading up, up, up...every camp spot on the lower road is full, "should we turn around" you know who say's, and check out the last road we passed or should we just keep going up, up, up the road? Well we decide on the up and finally find an open spot but we don't take it?!! And as you can imagine I am even more frustrated (nice word for angry) at this point and have decided that it's you know who's fault. I mean i just wanted to camp way back at that place we passed 30 minutes ago, why didn’t we camp there? So onward and upward we go hoping that the spot we camped at last year is still available and as you can expect it is full as well. So up, up, up we go, to where? To the very top of Onion Creek, where the cannon opens up to the most incredibly peaceful meadows surrounded by red rock and the La Sal mountains in the distance, to finally find a very private beautiful camping spot. Do I appreciate it? No, I’m tired and grumpy and now I’m hungry etc., etc., but this feeling of unsettledness is really what is going on inside of me. Where is it coming from? How can I be doing my two favorite things in an incredibly beautiful place with "you know who" and still feel unsettled? So this becomes the goal of my weekend, to figure out the source of my unsettledness. What it really boils down to is this...I wanted to camp back down the road but didn't say anything and that pissed me off and then I was mad because we had to go so far to find a spot and then there is dinner and who is going to cook it and I say to you know who, why am i here? Why do i feel so unsettled, life is not what I thought it would be in this moment? I don't like this life anymore. You know who say's this, "Life is what you make it". Phooey on that, is what I thought. And so after lots of talking, bike riding, eating, sleeping, I finally sit. You know to meditate and be still, hear God, find center. And I hear “you know who's” voice "Life is what you make it" and I realize in that moment that I have been expecting life to just happen the way I want it to, in fact I am waiting for it to happen. And then being upset because it isn't turning out like I thought it would. Have you ever felt this way? Are you with me at all? Life is what you make it...so make it what you want it to be. Hearing those words felt like a cool breeze on a hot day, like a long lost friend. I can create this life, I can decide to ask for something when I need it, I can create time in my day for play or rest, or whatever it is that I need, I can eat healthy food to nourish my body. I can choose to take responsibility for my choices because my choices create my life. I can say no, or yes.
So what is it that keeps me from doing these things? Is it fear, doubt, hesitation, feelings of "am i really worth it?” past conditioning? Do I really know what the "right" thing is in this moment?
Well here's my enlightenment from the desert camp...I do know what i need, deep down inside but I am sometimes afraid to ask for it, or better yet to step into it. Why? Fear of the unknown, doubts in my ability to know, fear of "what will other's think?” thoughts of "who am I to have a gorgeous, talented, beautiful life"? Being comfortable with the old pattern's and ideas, caught in the fear of the unknown is no place to be .So I decided to open my heart to courage, or should I say “tear open my heart to courage”, because that's what it felt like. I made a list: things i need to step forward in, things that I really know I love and I gave myself permission to have that gorgeous, talented, beautiful life that I have been longing for. When we set the intention and step into it the whole Universe conspires to help us. That's huge, and it's true! Open your heart to courage and take a step toward love, I promise you will not be sorry you did it.
Love. Love. Love.
My spiritual name is Sivakami, which means... one who desires transformation and one who transforms desires. I live in Rifle, Colorado where I teach yoga, create art and love life. I would love to hear your comments.