May 29, 2012 0 comments
As I step off that cliff of safety into the exciting unknown of my future, I am aware there are many of you doing the same at this time. What an incredible moment this is in our collective transformation as humans! We are being challenged to trust and go to the next level of our potential, as individuals and as part of many gathering teams, tribes and circles all over the planet. As I have shared my fears and dreams, I have been hearing from you about yours. Many of us our experiencing the same processes:
Facing fears that arise over what we are being called to change and to do.
Releasing judgement about what our lives were supposed to be up to now, and surrendering attachment to what we think they should be in the future.
Intensely desiring to expand, to awaken, to live more fully despite the consequences.
Realizing that we have to let go of the illusion of control, surrender to the flow and pacing of things and allow support to come to us in many forms.
It feels like a form of spiritual healing crises for many of us, where the toxins of sabotaging myths, habits and beliefs are coming up to be cleared out in order to make room to fulfill our true potential. The cleansing itself can be anxiety producing, even painful, but the wholeness on the other side is well worth it. This collective awakening is happening all around the globe, and I want you to remember this: You are not alone. We really are on this journey together.
I want to share with you an incredible piece of writing by a bright light that was taken from this world this last Saturday in a car accident. It is well worth the read. Even though Marina Keegan was just 22, and she is speaking to her fellow graduating classmates at Yale, I read her words and I know she is speaking to all of us. She was an old soul who saw the big picture and was passionately moving forward to make great change in this world. As a prolific political activist, actor and writer, Marina spoke to the part of us that still believes it is never too late, and that we are someone who is part of something bigger than ourselves. “It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together.”
We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.
It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.
Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group-texts.
This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse – I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.
But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should haves…” “if I’d…” “wish I’d…”
Of course, there are things we wished we did: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my High School self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us.
But the thing is, we’re all like that. Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes…) We have these impossibly high standards and we’ll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that’s okay.
We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
When we came to Yale, there was this sense of possibility. This immense and indefinable potential energy – and it’s easy to feel like that’s slipped away. We never had to choose and suddenly we’ve had to. Some of us have focused ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we want and are on the path to get it; already going to med school, working at the perfect NGO, doing research. To you I say both congratulations and you suck.
For most of us, however, we’re somewhat lost in this sea of liberal arts. Not quite sure what road we’re on and whether we should have taken it. If only I had majored in biology…if only I’d gotten involved in journalism as a freshman…if only I’d thought to apply for this or for that…
What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.
In the heart of a winter Friday night my freshman year, I was dazed and confused when I got a call from my friends to meet them at EST EST EST. Dazedly and confusedly, I began trudging to SSS, probably the point on campus farthest away. Remarkably, it wasn’t until I arrived at the door that I questioned how and why exactly my friends were partying in Yale’s administrative building. Of course, they weren’t. But it was cold and my ID somehow worked so I went inside SSS to pull out my phone. It was quiet, the old wood creaking and the snow barely visible outside the stained glass. And I sat down. And I looked up. At this giant room I was in. At this place where thousands of people had sat before me. And alone, at night, in the middle of a New Haven storm, I felt so remarkably, unbelievably safe.
We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I’d say that’s how I feel at Yale. How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that.
We’re in this together, 2012. Let’s make something happen to this world.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, your fears, your dreams and stories of your journey below. Remember, your sharing allows others to share what they need to share as well.
From my grateful and never alone heart to yours,
April 5, 2012 0 comments
As I write to you, I’m here at home sitting at my love desk (Really, it is a glass table my husband Jordan bought for me that has the word “love” etched in multiple languages all over it), door wide open to blue sky, chilly breezes and birds singing ecstatically to the spring.
It’s been an interesting past 2 weeks since my birthday Equinox rituals of offering petals of forgiveness to the ocean and the planting of seed/prayers on Mt. Tham. Many of the sunflower petals I threw had to do with trust. Maybe you can relate to at least one of these:
I forgive myself for not trusting myself, my choices, my intuition, my callings in my life.
I forgive myself for not trusting the flow of my life.
I forgive myself for not trusting love, and buying into fear.
I release the thought I have to do this all alone.
I release the fear of being seeing completely, in ALL my colors.
I release the thought it is not safe to be fully awake and powerful.
The visioning seeds/prayers had the same theme, of asking the universe to create the space and change in my life that allows me to really live into my highest life purpose, and a promise given that I would trust what comes my way.
Be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it. The universe has responded with a fiery “Ok, you want change? I’ll give you change.” Tuesday I got a call that upended my world and knocked me flat for a moment. Normally I would just pick myself up and begin to work like crazy to fix the problem, make things better. So I decided to do the opposite. I gave myself a gift of a full day of falling. I cried and allowed myself to feel all my feelings and to be supported by dear friends in my fear, sadness and despondency. Even though I felt “weak” I knew that in order to claim my power I needed to surrender. I cleared my calender for the week to meditate, journal, and become more present to myself, my husband and my life. Trusting my instincts, I have continued what I started a few weeks ago, clearing like crazy. Clearing out old wounds of pain. Clearing out tears I have not cried that needed to be released for my cleansing. Clearing out negative beliefs and stories. Clearing out my physical body and physical space. Clearing to make room for what is to come.
I have no idea what is to come, but I can tell you that while yesterday was a day where I just wanted to give it up and fall on the floor in a puddle of mush, today I feel filled with hope, potential and yes, trust. I wonder if this is what the caterpillar feels like just before they become what they are meant to be? Some caterpillars actually do break down into a gooey glob before their transformation into beauty.
So here is my commitment to myself and to you: I will answer the call to trust. I will allow myself the space to be me and to become even more me. I will practice trust daily, step by step, even breath by breath if I need to. Come join me. As French author Anais Nin wrote: “The day will come when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Sending you a virtual bouquet of flowers, each one reminding you of your true inner beauty and essence blossoming into life.
BTW, about the pic above: A warm Thank you! to the women who came to the first of many to come Wild Woman Circles. We shared, we cried, we danced and laughed, cleared out old stuff with the sunflower forgiveness ritual and created a safe, sacred place for our healing and growth. Powerful spirit sisters, I am so excited to see where we go! Attached is the picture from our ritual. For those who were not with us, since we could not travel to mama ocean, we brought her to us. Such a sweet release it was!
March 14, 2012 0 comments
Freed-Om – Noun. 1. A state of being derived from a deep connection with the divine, all-that-is or your “whatever,” that awakens intuition, creativity and clarity.
2. A way of life that uses living in the Now combined with What If as portals to remembering ones authentic, wild nature and life purpose. This usually leads to radical transformation for the betterment of all.
*****(BTW, to experience Freed-OM for yourself sooner as opposed to later, come to the Wild Women’s Circle Thursday Eve March 22nd or
First, here is what NOT to do to find Freed-Om:
1. Take as little “me” time as possible.
2. Don’t engage in activities you love. Doing things you love may make you joyful, and that is a temporary state, so why try?
3. Never, ever, EVER be alone.
4. Surround yourself with people who remind you that not everyone is a star and you are not meant to shine.
5. Solidify this belief by consistently comparing yourself to others and to an image of what you were or what you think you should be.
6. Surround yourself with noise, and lots of it. Non-stop and cacophonous is best.
7. Define yourself by the roles you play in others lives.
8. Better yet, live your life defined by others rules.
9. Be conventional. Follow tradition. We all know that what worked in the past worked for a reason, right?
10. Be ordinary. Drawing attention to yourself is dangerous, as it raises the risk of being fully seen.
11. When you have a dream or vision for something in your life, want it really, really badly.
12. Think about it really, really hard.
13. Repeat this mantra: “This or nothing else.”
14. Give it a time frame. When the time is up, throw a temper tantrum. That’ll show um.
15. Be a really, really good girl.
To learn what to do instead, see steps 1 – 10 for finding Freed-Om in the next 2 posts.
March 9, 2012 0 comments
My Friday wish for you: To re-connect with your authentic nature, re-claim your hearts desires, re-member your true purpose and let your inner joy of this sweet re-union with your Self burst forth in blazing color!
You need to become a pen
In the Sun´s hand.
We need for the earth to sing
Through our pores and eyes.
The body will again become restless
Until your soul paints all its beauty
Upon the sky.
Don´t tell me, dear ones,
That what Hafiz says is not true,
For when the heart tastes its glorious destiny
And you awake to our constant need
for your love
God´s lute will beg
For your hands.
March 1, 2012 2 comments
Words are escaping me today, but my imaginal mind and heart are wide awake and I would love to inspire you! I would love to see you dig in deep and find that thing inside of you that is waiting to come out roaring like a caged lion released to the wild again. Yes, even a tamed house cat has those wild kitty fits where they have to get it all out NOW!
What are you excavating? Let’s set aside the need to label this and just go for the release for now. Maybe it is stress, a suppressed emotion, a dream, a desire. Desire is not a problem here, my friend. Desire is actually a clue about where you long to go, and even deeper, maybe the desire points to a higher calling longing to be lived through you.
Here’s what you do.
~ Find a quiet spot where you can play this song below. A place where you can let loose, stomp your feet, flail your arms, make some noise.
*Important Life Tip: No, you can NOT do this awakening dance if you intend to make it look good, do it right, keep it all together, or stay in control. All truths, insights, wisdoms in life area not black and white, This OR That, but are This AND That paradoxes. Paradox: A seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true. The paradox here is that in order to wake up fully and take the steering of your life in your own hands you have to practice the art of surrender. Because really, let’s be honest, this is what you long to do anyway. To just let go. It is just way too much work to keep it so controlled and perfectly ordered. Life just keeps getting in the way of you making it what you think it should or must be.
~ Stand quietly for a moment, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths. Keep taking those breaths until your shoulders drop and your hands unclench and your jaw and face start to soften. Take a few more breaths until your belly relaxes and you can feel your heart begin to open as well.
~ Take even more deep breaths and repeat a mantra to yourself, something like “Let go.” or “Surrender” or “So sweet, so safe.” Anything that leads you to feel that floaty, easy feeling of no-struggle, of ease, of relaxed presence in your body.
~ Now, imagine the room transforming around you into a place long, long ago, a place out in nature that was wild, free and home to your ancestors. We all have ancestors and they all lived at some point close to earth and nature, so wherever that was, smell the fertile soil, earthy rocks or dry sand. Breathe in the clean air and the scents of the plants and trees around you. Hear the wild birdsong and animal calls. Feel your feet rooted into earth and your roots going back to 0.
~ Now if you pay very close attention, at the base of your spine there is a slow, steady pulsing. You might feel it further up in your belly, or heart, or neck or any place between tail bone and up to the top of your head. Go with me on this. I promise it is there. We just don’t remember it is there. We knew it was there as kids but it got tamed out of most of us, not the “it,” but the remembering of it and our deep sustaining, empowering relationship with it. I invite you to remember now. It is safe. Feel this pulsing. It is not the same thing as your heart beat. It is something even more powerful. What is “it?” It is a life force that pulses within us all the time, our connection to all living things through a torus of energy. Let’s name it for this dance Awakening.
~ With your breath deep and steady, your feet rooted in this ancient place surrounded by life, your mind empty but your body wide open, tapped into that pulsing Awakening inside of you…when you are ready, reach over and press play and let the dance begin.
Rumi said “Dance until you shatter.” So, my friend, do your Awakening dance and Shatter!
And then let me know how that goes. I really would love to hear from you.
From my awakening heart to yours,
PS: This dance and other juicy awakening activities like them are what we do in our Wild Woman Circles and Wild Woman Day Long Retreats.
PPS: Here are the lyrics to Michael Frant’s poem in this song, Passion, from the wonderful documentary 1 Giant Leap:
Last night I went to sleep as a child
Only to wake up this morning and find out I was a man
In my hands I discovered the tools and the rage of my father
And in my heart I found the love and the fears of my mother
Confrontation between the night and the day
The land and the sea
The fire and the air
The sacred and the profane
The holy and the unholy
The focused and the misdirected
The bully and the flesh
The mind and the spirit
The sound and the air
The oppressor and the resister
The brother and the sister
We are not walking the ghosts of the dead
We are alive
With the spirit of our passion
February 7, 2012 0 comments
Wonderful Woman. Can you feel it? It’s your life calling. It starts out as a soft whisper, maybe a subtle curiosity, mild discomfort or even boredom. If ignored, it grows into a tension filled restlessness, like a caged lion longing to escape. Eventually it becomes a passionate angry roar to inhabit your body and your life as the fully alive and wild woman that you really are.
Tell me. What is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
- Diving deeply into into intuition and wordless wisdom with yoga, breath and guided meditation.
- Awakening our curiosity and creativity with word play, expressive painting and movement.
- Accessing our visions, power and voice through collaging, dancing and vocalizing our deepest desires and biggest dreams.
This day of retreat is your time to dream, play, create, risk and open in a safe place with other women doing the same thing. You so deserve it! You are worth it, yes, you really are! You are worthy of taking the time, this sacred pause to press the reset button on your life. Your life is calling for you. Are you ready to answer Yes!?
If you can’t make it to the day retreat for some reason, we will be having monthly evening gatherings starting in March.
To learn more about the day long retreat Create the Life You Desire! on February 18th at Hidden Villa in the Los Altos Hills, go to my retreat page.
To learn more about the monthly evening Wise Women Circles starting March 22nd at a home in the Redwood City hills, go to my Wise Women Circles page.
Please do your girlfriends and women loved ones a favor and pass this on to them as well. You and they will be so glad you did.
From my wild and happy heart to yours,
January 3, 2012 0 comments
A funny thing happened on my meditation cushion this morning. I finally saw something that had been making itself known for weeks, laughed out loud when I finally got it. It was a crystal clear reminder that sometimes I already know something, I just don’t realize I know it yet. It is with a sense of relief and chagrin I write about my intention experiment for 2012.
Each year I set an intention that is the rudder for the ship of my upcoming year. Last year was Flow, and I can honestly say that I experienced much more sweet ease sans struggling than I ever have in my life. It really does work, this intention setting thing. The year I chose Adventure was the year the universe gave me as much as I could handle – loss of my father, a new career in teaching yoga, a new circle of dear friends, new loves, new experiences I had dreamed about having for years.
Now about crazy dreams, growing veggies and intention. It all started a few weeks ago when I was contemplating my intention for this New Year; I began having dream after dream about chaos. A note about dream interpretation for my wanna be analysts: One of the most powerful ways to interpret a dream is to look at all the elements of a dream as being reflections of various aspects of the self. In other words, dreams show the relationship You have with You.
I was invited to teach a yoga class at a green conference. Great – integrating two of my top passions! The yoga class was to be held on a wild grass lawn under the sky, next to fields of abundantly growing veggies. I met the organizer, a lovely with-it older woman, who I liked and respected but thought she seemed a bit distracted. She showed me to my outdoor yoga room, and once participants arrived, I started teaching. The students were enthusiastic, open minded and fun, yet again, just a bit distracted. Eventually a man wearing a gardening hat and gloves ran into the middle of our practice, and with childlike excitement began handing out lettuces and potatoes he had grown himself. He got my yoga students so excited about his success that eventually they all left the class to sit at nearby picnic tables to amicably chat about gardening. I kept calling them back to the mat, and eventually gave up in frustration as a very kind student patted my arm saying “You know, this is not about you and your teaching gifts. Your students are just asking for boundaries.” I went in search of the conference leader to ask her assistance. I walked upon a passionate discussion by some of the leading experts of ecology in the world, who with equal passion told me the conference leader had just been interviewed on national television and had left for lunch. Unwilling to be in the middle of the interesting yet chaotic mess anymore, I wrote the conference leader a kind note asking her 3 things: 1) create more order in her conference, 2) have participants set clear schedules, goals and intentions, and 3) encourage everyone to follow through with commitments. I sincerely thanked her for her leadership, asked her to invite me again and then took my leave.
Seems clear now, but even after that spell-it-out dream I still kept wondering what my intention was for the New Year. After a series of dreams with the same theme, and still asking the same question “What is my intention?” being answered by the echo in my mind of “intention” …. The aha came. Finally. (Thank you, intuition. Sorry it took me so long to hear you.) My intention for 2012 is Intention.
How will practice Intention in 2012? By the following, but of course!:
1. Create more order in my “conference”, this day to day living and learning I am doing by…
2. Setting clear schedules, goals and intentions – hourly if need be, daily, monthly and for the year, – all the while committing to…
3. Following through with all my commitments.
I’ll call this year of 2012 My Intention Experiment. I’ll let you know how it goes.
And how about yours? What is your intention for 2012? What have your dreams been telling you? Would love to hear all about it and cheer you on in your journey.
Here’s to a year of clear intention, filled to the brim with adventures, lessons and fulfillment of dreams for all of us!