Monday, March 29, 2010

Moving On As Love

We are moving into our new home on Wednesday. I have been packing for days. As usual I am with the multidimensional shifts happening in my heart and life as well as in our world. Change is in the air.

Here are some eternal life lessons that are up for me today.

  • Let go: What a gift to reinvent ourselves in the moment and lovingly, ruthlessly stay current with what and who it is we really are. What is necessary to take on the journey? This includes objects and possessions as well as ideas, concepts and beliefs. What IS reality? And what do I really need? How can I best serve today, now? Letting go of whatever no longer fits or supports our life direction is essential, on all levels. Letting go is a gift.
  • Keep it light...Sometimes less IS really more...less stuff, less words, less emotional charge. There is enough density and heaviness already in the world. Can I keep a light heart, a lightness in my step, even with the weight of stress, packed agendas and life intensities? All the while staying grounded and engaged in cultivating the very core rhythms that truly nurture life?
  • Feel Into the Space.This morning I packed Talia's beloved stuffed animal collection. She has been creating elaborate plays, concerts and gatherings with her 30 some odd friends. She calls them "friends". Before she left for school I told her I would be doing more packing. I am sensitive to how it feels for her to have her life packed up into boxes. I keep feeling into the space to sense what will serve her to stay secure and at ease, even while her familiar home is turned inside out and recreated. "May I pack your stuffed animals", I asked? "And is there a favorite one you would like me to leave out?" She took a deep breath and said, " Well, yes Mama, you may pack whatever you want. Please leave out Kitty and Clara Beara, because they need to be with me." Her tenderness and request was so kind. It brought tears to my eyes now as it did then.
  • Gratitude as Guide: After doing a silly departure dance in the driveway, as Kenya and Talia drove away, I got to work, like a focused whirlwind of energy. Yet with everything I packed there was a palpable sensation of gratitude. I felt gratitude for every niche of our home and how this sacred space has supported us to thrive. I took down the string of lights around the mantel, leaving the sun and moon candle holders, a Buddha and prayer flags. Those will be the last items to go. They are essential space keepers. This home, even with it's sluggish plumbing, cavernous hallways and brick oven bedrooms (in the searing hot months) has been a haven. It has contained timeless moments of laughter, love, tears, affection, dance, play, rest, creative juice and celebration with family and friends. It held us through big transitions; weaning, birthdays, potty training, deaths, new beginnings, leaps of development and leaps of faith. I am grateful for every single one.
  • Move on As Love: I am equally grateful for the beautiful new house we will inhabit. I am excited to build a new nest and delight in the sanctuary that home can be. One of the simplest pieces of inner guidance that comes to me these days over and over again is to "Move on as Love." Whether we need to move on to new places, new faces, new phases, or complete relationships, agreements, projects...whether we are moving on from challenges, grudges or hiccups along the way, we can move on AS LOVE...
    We can trust the Winds of Change when we move on as love.
    I guess that comes back to today's lesson #1.
    Let go!

    Have a glorious week y'all!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dream It-Live It!

Today's post comes to you in honor of THE DREAM...Your dream, my dream, the BIG DREAM that keeps dreaming us into life.

Lately, I have been grocking the magnitude of Universal Energy available that seems to want to be put into action and manifestation. I have been witnessing both subtle and huge shifts in my own life and those of my intimates as we stretch beyond our comfort zones while living our Big Dreams. I'd like to clarify that a "Big Dream" does not have to look or be "Big". I am referring to an internal measure and inner knowing. My idea of the Big Dream is listening to and following the guidance of the Universe as it seeks to live through us, maximizing our potential. You know what I am talking is the voice of our hearts saying,

"This is what you must do...this is why you are here..."

It is from this Universal heart that I write you the following message:
  • Take Risks, Go Big, Act Boldly in Alignment with your Universal Calling.
Understand that when I refer to you and your dreams, it has a broader context. I am talking about your " Big" Self, your Universal Self rather than the "little self"(looking out for me, making sure I get what's mine). The Universal Self knows how to lovingly ask the "little me", to move out of the the driver's seat and become a devotee of life and live in service to the Universal Plan. What is this plan? A mysterious unfolding to be lived. The good news is we can live in synergistic relationship with the Universal Energy as it informs our waking and dreaming life . There is impeccable guidance and information available to us in every moment. We just need to tune in and listen...then boldly act from that place. This includes not tripping out or getting drunk (and believe me, I have) with the awe and infinite possibility at hand. Instead, harness this Kosmic Energy to be a sober ambassador of living wonder and embodiment of the bigger life that is possible-for YOU.

Here is a real time example:
Kenya Masala: Energized-Entrepreneur-Consultant. (He also happens to be my hubs, favorite person in the world and is quite an incredible man.) Over the past 15 years that I have known him, he has taken many risks and followed his path of heart unwaveringly.

Last Summer a dream seed grew in him. He listened, and heard "Za Boom Ba". He visioned. He was both terrified and electrified by the enormity of the project that wanted to be born through him. With sobriety, creativity and courage, he moved forward. He visioned an amazing theatrical production with the spirit of tribal dance and global percussion, where the veil between performers and audience was broken to create a village of unity consciousness, playfulness and polyrhythmic love. He was guided to apply the culmination of skill, passion and love of his last 41 years into this production. Once he said "YES" to this calling, divine providence flooded in; and it has been unstoppable. I know, because the spirit of Za Boom Ba landed in our home and is living through us in a major way. We premiere May 7 & 9 in Tucson, AZ. Join us! Watch our latest promo video.

Going for this dream has stretched Kenya in every way possible. It has already resulted in such riches of personal/professional development and the fusion of an unbelievably talented community of over 50 cast/production team members...from dancers and musicians, to costume/set designers, sound/light tech specialists, media artists, instrument runners, and the 1000 people we expect at our two shows.

I admit, there have been times over the last many months when Kenya (and I) have felt overwhelmed and under pressure, tempted to cut corners or throw in the towel. Instead, he utilized anxiety and stress as allies to dig deeper, surrender and allow the force of the Universe to drive the project. He has continued to go Big on this Dream and let the power of it grow with and through his empowered actions and willingness to risk it all.

I know you can relate. Haven't there been times in your life when you were going for a Big Dream and had to expand to meet it? When the heat of transformation was so intense you could hardly bare the discomfort? Yet you knew that hiding out, and going for any less than 100% was not a an option. Playing it safe does not serve us. That track can quickly lead to an un-lived life.

I repeat:
  • Take Risks, Go Big, Act Boldly in Alignment with your Universal Calling.
As Lee Lozowick said, (quoted by my Kali-Kick Asana teacher of life, Darren) " me, the worse things are, the more it is useful, maybe even crucial, to shake things up, to get some action, to generate movement, to take some risks, to show the Universe that you're a player...Show the Universe that in spite of fear, in spite of appearances, you are willing to stay in the game..."'

Perhaps equally and maybe more essential than achieving the outcome of a Big Dream is going for the moment to moment process of how showing up evolves us. I keep finding that true happiness comes from a success that is not goal driven. Rather, it is a fulfillment of playing big, cultivating rich relationships and and having an intimate experience of being fully ALIVE!

I love this passage by writer Paulo Coelho, (once again brought to me by beloved Yogi, Darrenji), "When we first begin fighting for our dream, we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times. Because, once we have overcome the defeats--and we always do--we are filled by a greater sense of euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of life...If you believe yourself worthy...then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here."

Why are you here?
Dream it. Live it. The force is with you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Welcome to Your Vast, Miraculous Life!

“We do not practice zazen to attain enlightenment, but rather to express our true nature.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Shtick"1. A characteristic attribute, talent, or trait that is helpful in securing recognition or attention". In Yiddish, this funny little word means "a piece". When someone gives you their "shtick", you get just that, only a piece of who they really are. I want the real deal, the whole person, front, back and everything in between, not a crafty, charismatic, maybe funny, maybe predictable, caricature of who they believe they are or who they want me to see.

Most all of us can relate to having had a shtick at some point along our journey. You know, a mannerism or tendency we've used, that got us the acknowledgment, praise or comfort we were after. It can be a way of being in the world that through it's repetition, dulls our evolving edge and diminishes our authentic spark. A shtick can be a survival mechanism, one that allows us to form some pretense of control in a totally out of control, unknown Universe. My point, and I do have one, are that shticks are a cop out. They deny us (internally and externally) of the full potentiality of what it is to be multidimensional beings in an ever changing evolutionary process (not unlike the expanding Universe, in which we live).

Do you ever find yourself saying the same old comments, speaking or thinking the same old beliefs or ideas about how you've decided life is, reality IS? I am inviting you to think again; think something new...or maybe think about something old in a new way. Or better yet, stop thinking and just be available to sense the present moment.

According to Lee Lozowick, (as brought to me by soul brother, Darren Rhodes) " ...when, we get out of our own way, out of the way of the dominating life-script that runs our psychology, our personalities...out of the way of the ego that has convinced us that it is who we are, that this vast, broad and deep territory, this immense storehouse of wealth, will prove to be completely available, accessible. And what then? Each of us...will need to choose to bring this gusher to life."

Now that, is living in the shtickless! It is the greatest improvisation of all. Dwelling in the radiant present moment...raw, unrehearsed and humbly aware is an art. It is a practice, and, it is our natural state, by divine birthright. Sourcing life from this fertile, infinite place, we realize we are no-thing and everything. In this space, we have full access. All we need to say, know, see, do and not do immediately drops into awareness.

Here's a couple of Shtickless goodies I have for you to grock and ponder.
  • The first, a recent Blog post by one of my fave Zen writers, Karen Maezen Miller, Who Turns?. I love how she masterfully simplifies perceptual and perspective reality shifts.
  • Another shtickless wonder,The Universe, ancient, ever fresh, spontaneous and unrehearsed. I *LOVE* the Universe. Here's an amazing wee video on the Deep Field as seen through the eyes of the Hubble Telescope. Watch it and Marvel.
  • And how about Mother Nature- Quite miraculous. Schtickless factor HIGH. No need to hook you up with You Tube here. Just go outside. Take an hour or even 5 minutes and let the natural world show you what it is to be real...unrehearsed, fresh in your response to the present moment.
As I was running the other day, I came across a glowing, bright green, robust sprout against the backdrop of mountains and brilliant blue sky. There it was unpretentiously growing out of wet black asphalt. It stopped me in my tracks. This little bold being got my heart. Nothing to prove, (as it burst through the thick asphalt, far from its brethren on the sides of the road), just life, living...and thriving in fact.


The art of living in the shtickless means being as we were intended to. We are coded and wired for being vibrantly alive and present. We are lived by the flow of raw life force. It naturally floods a current of grace into all that will hold it. How juicy is that? Straight from the heart of the Universe, a mystery, a miracle, each and every ONE. As you are, as it is, no shtick necessary.

“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, March 14, 2010

20 Quick Ways to Jumpstart Your Love of Life

Dear G,
Sometimes I feel bogged down and deadened by the mundane details of daily life doings. Any nuggets of wisdom to jump start my aliveness, inspiration and remembrance of what makes it all worth while? Fast?
Need a Boost.

Dear Need a Boost,
Thanks for your honesty. I have many a moment where I feel the ordinary, consensus reality world harshening my mellow, and dampening my inner fire. What to do? Good Question. Honoring your request for a speedy shift, I will offer you some of my faves and most effective enliveners, that are most always accessible...even with a breath and perspective alteration. First, STOP, BREATHE AND PAUSE. Always start here.
Then, choose from your sumptuous menu of delicious possibilities:
  • Marvel. Be Awe struck.
  • Grock the Mystery of life and the radical Unknown of it ALL.
  • Rejoice, Savor, Celebrate...the ways in which and reasons why are boundless. Get to it.
  • Commune with the Natural World-Merge with the frequency of the wilderness. Whether gazing at the sky in a crowded city or solo on a mountain top, the Elemental energies are everywhere. Call on them.
  • Meditate. Pray. Listen. Be.
  • Practice seeing the world through the eyes of your heart.
  • Lose yourself in beauty-nature, art, music, love. Drink it in.
  • Touch and be touched. Affection rocks. Be a love bug.
  • Hang out with a dog.
  • Run a fast mile (think wild horses).
  • Shake your Booty-Dance IS Medicine.
  • Sing. Yell. Vocalize.
  • Laugh. Goof. Play. Spend time with a child.
  • Let go of the inner grip! Yup, good ole vulnerable surrender. Always a winner.
  • Be Grateful. Make a list if you must. Generate the attitude of gratitude.
  • Serve another and get beyond yourself.
  • Root yourself in a fertile space where your environment will nurture you to grow.
  • Be Present. Go agendaless-even if just for a few moments.
  • Take an action toward fulfilling a dream.
  • Be the One Love you want to see in the world.
That's just a few of an endless list of possibilities. May they spark your own inner knowing of what makes your heart sing and your life worth living. Today's picture and video clip feature offspring, Talia, 3 1/2 and Hubs, Kenya. These two, my favorite people in the Universe, are playful ambassadors of love, enlivening every life they touch.
Carpe Diem! LeHiam! Viva!
Now and now and now.
Love Unending, G
Anyone else? How do you enliven your days? Tell me-I want to know!