The Urban Yoga Den

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Full of Shift: 30 Days of New Energy – Week One January 4, 2013

HappyNewYear20122013(Dec12)I like to say that my personal brand slogan is “Nothing To Hide.”

In this blog, I’ve shared about addiction and recovery, violations and PTSD, yoga and non-violence, depression and celebrations, challenges and solutions.  Because I have thankfully found my way (and been helped) through a great deal of hardship in life, I like to tell my story honestly – the tough parts, the growth, the transformation and the solutions.

But there is one area of my life that I haven’t shared about here.  Because as of yet, I have not found the solution.  I have not transformed.  I am not growing.  And I am ashamed to tell you about it.  So far.

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One week ago I launched this “Full of Shift” series (for background, see “The origins of ‘Full of Shift: 30 Days of New Energy’” below).  Since writing the blogs for Days 1 & 2 last week, I’ve simply posted daily “Full of Shift” reflections on my Urban Yoga Den Facebook.  Below are those posts, plus added commentary, for Days 3 through 7 (today).

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12/30/12. Day 3.
No long blog today – just a quick check in, for the record.
FRESH!
This wind is sockin’ it to me! It’s blowing things all over the place!  While lighting my incense and chanting this morning, the message was – New Energy Is Here!

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12/31/12. Day 4.
MAKE ROOM for the unexpected.
Delights and disappointments.
Successes and failures.
In that spaciousness –
community builds,
honesty emerges,
respect deepens.
Make room.
This reflection came to me during meditation this morning, as I considered the unusually good outcome of the unexpected bad news I received on Friday.  Due to miscommunication with our yoga studio’s building owner, I found out (only 3 days in advance) that I could not use our wonderful studio space for my annual New Year’s Eve Sankalpa Vinyasa event.  Disappointing, and potentially a failure for all involved.  Stress skyrocketed – but I did what I know best!  I reached out for help, shifted into “crisis resolution” mode, and found solutions.  And now, because so much has come together – community, people, space, rhythm, creativity and more – the situation ends up being a great success and delight for all.  Happy New Year!

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01/01/13. Day 5.
After so much recent work on intention, and holding space while others dig into theirs, what came to me this morning during meditation is: I still struggle with how to make all the pieces fit together for sustainability. Ah – more information for next steps. Onward…

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01/02/13. Day 6.
Big questions arose in this morning’s meditation.  Primarily: I see clearly that I urgently need to MAKE ROOM.  But how?  First I must make room in my mind to hear the answer!  Hence this 30-day ritual.
Later, I came across this on Facebook.  I don’t know who Dr. Robert Anthony is, but I’m just going to believe him today.  “Any dream that can pass through one’s screen of logic into the Subconscious and is earnestly desired, can be obtained.  Once you give up all the “logical reasons” why something cannot work for you and allow your new dream or goal to enter your Subconscious, it’s an idea whose time has come.”  – Dr. Robert Anthony

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01/03/13. Day 7.
End of my 1st week.  Last night, at midnight, and under the waning moon, I prayed desperately to know what I need to let go of in order to make room for New Energy.  “Whatever you want me to, I will let go of it.  Take it away from me.  Anything.  Just take it.  Please.”
In an area of my life that I am ashamed to reveal, I am horribly, horribly stuck.  Last night I was pleading for answers.  And this morning, as soon as I woke up, I got them.  I think.   I scribbled:
“How do I make room for fresh energy?  By letting go of ego.  By quitting the old patterns of self-reliance, self-centered fear, old stories and negative beliefs.  Old patterns of sharing the solution for everything else and not admitting this unresolved problem.  I must take the risk of exposing myself humbly, honestly and earnestly.  I must ask for help and surrender to the care of Higher Powers (spirit, friends, community).  I am wincing as I write this.  The idea of admitting how bad it is turns my stomach.  But, what do I have to lose?”
After I wrote this, I lit my incense and chanted my 108 “Asato Ma”s.  And then I drafted a very honest letter to those I can trust.  More will be revealed.

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Thanks for reading.  OM Shanti.

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The origins of “Full of Shift: 30 Days of New Energy”

Over one month, from the Full Moon of 12/28/12 to the Full Moon of 1/26/13, I intend to awaken before dawn, light a stick of my new incense (a holiday gift, appropriately branded “New Energy”), practice Pranayama (yogic breathing) and chant 108 repetitions of the “Asato Ma” prayer (“lead me from falseness to truth, from darkness to light, from things that die off to that which is everlasting”).  As with all of my other intention “projects,” I am not trying to force a specific outcome – simply to ask how I can bring New Energy to my life, to listen to any answers, to witness the subtle yet abundant shifts of late, and to see what evolves.

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Full of Shift: 30 Days of New Energy – Day 1 December 28, 2012

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Photo: Aashumi Shah

Day 1.  12/28/12

I awoke this morning at 5:15 in order to chant 108 repetitions of the “Asato Ma” prayer (“lead me from unreal to real; from darkness to light; from things that dies of, to that which is everlasting”) as the Full Moon peaked.

Yup, it’s that time again – time to utilize the tools of change in a very deliberate effort.  2012 was a fantastic year of becoming stronger on the inside and gentler on the outside.  For me, this shift is a welcome result of ongoing inner work.  Still, these days, my dreams, sensations and experiences are messaging me that something big is beginning to boil.  I hope to harness that “something” while it’s still simmering, so I can be in harmony with it, rather than subject to it.

I don’t know what this “something” is.  I have an inkling the shift is related to my Purpose (upper case “P”), and my related work.  I do know this: the night of the Winter Solstice, my heart exploded (see my last blog for details); days after, I had a dream that I dropped my future self on her head and she suffered horribly; and over the past week or so, I’ve been tripped up by surprising triggers.

So although the one-year period of late Fall 2011 through just weeks ago has yielded so much positive, this recent shakiness is not to be ignored.  I truly believe it could yield some major change for the better – as long as I stay aware of and present with the shift.

So this morning, yes, I set the shift in motion by awakening before dawn, lighting a stick of my new incense (a holiday gift, appropriately branded “New Energy”), practicing Pranayama and chanting.  And I plan to do this every morning for a month, until the next Full Moon.  As with all of my other intention “projects,” I am not trying to force a specific outcome – simply to bring New Energy to my life, to witness these shifts and to see what evolves.

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During this morning’s meditation, a few things came clear.

I need to make immediate amends for potentially harmful words of late.  I just need to check in with some dear ones about some tongue-in-cheek remarks.  Because I aim to be non-violent, I value accountability and I desire honest, healthy and caring relationships.  Another moment of clarity – I have fallen off the yoga wagon and need to get back on with urgency.  Because yesterday’s stream of dark consciousness on Facebook exhibits that I am off-balance.  ‘Nuff said.

And – related to that – I need to seek a hormone specialist.  (Sorry guys, just sayin’.)

Among other realizations, 2012 has been an enlightening year to observe that, as I’ve aged, a very specific, monthly, 10-day time period has evolved – during which I feel as though I do and say everything wrong – and/or I feel wronged by everything others do or say.  Hmmm…  Despite being well-aware that this time period – and its chemical propensity toward miscommunication and misunderstanding – is approaching, and despite progressively increasing precautions, such as changing my diet, taking nutritional supplements, and, promising myself to stay the heck off of Facebook and away from potentially rattling situations…without fail, the unreasonable and strangely obligatory impulse to dive in, wound and be wounded wins.  Mama mia.

So yes, it’s time to seek a hormone specialist.  Because 10 days is just too much life to lose to emotional insanity!

I’m giggling at myself while scribbling this in my journal.  Ay, ay, ay – another life lesson.  Looking forward to witnessing more and more over the next 30 days…and beyond, of course!  Indeed.  I am.  Full of shift.

OM Shanti.

 

Focus Wrap Up: Abundance January 1, 2011

You say you want a resolution?

What if,
instead of making New Year’s resolutions,
we simply decided
to make space
for whatever comes along?

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What’s the 1st thing that comes to mind when I say “Abundance?”

A lot. Having. Fullness.

And?

Less is more. Giving. Spaciousness.

Huh?

Yup.

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Great respect and admiration to all the yogis who explored the other side of Abundance in our Class Focus over December. I will wrap up reflection by re-posting a section of the 1st post on Abundance earlier in the month (below).

Happy New Year, y’all.  May your resolutions be thrown out the window! OM Shanti.

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The following quote from writer and yoga teacher Max Strom popped up on Facebook recently; and it reminded me to make space for an abundance of anything. If I cultivate space (vs. holding back or holding in or holding tight), I can see that even the unexpected or “unwanted” can bring contentment. I must remember – if happiness does not manifest immediately, more will be revealed.

“We hold back from life so much. We literally refuse happiness because we demand to have it in a certain way – and this precludes our getting it.” ~ Max Strom