Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Live Your Bliss: Part Three, Live What You Love

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”   Howard Thurman

 Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”  Rumi

     I will never forget a conversation I once had with a woman about our children and their activities and interests. I told her that my two girls had inclinations toward creative pursuits like dance, art and theatre. She responded by saying that those things were nice hobbies but not good career options. She told me that kids should enjoy those things but better go to college and become doctors or lawyers. I was speechless, and later, upon reflection I felt sad for her and her kids, but not in a judgemental way because this is endemic in our current culture. We are indoctrinated into a value system based on credentials, status, and wealth and it is no easy task to go against that stream. The problem is that it is a sham, unless we value those things over health, happiness and true fulfillment, which often times and in many cases we do. In addition, even though we know it is a sham, because many of the people living at the pinnacle of these values (think famous and rich people) are deeply troubled and depressed or worse, we keep buying in.  This is not the path to bliss.

 The path of bliss lives within us. We are all born with unique gifts and talents, the things that light us up and make us come alive with joy. We are all creative beings with deep soul callings that long to be expressed. Some people are born artists, some born healers, some born lawyers or builders or chefs, and we all have multiple and evolving interests and passions. Bliss is found in the listening to and trusting the inner whisper of spirit, noticing what we find beautiful and inspiring and then creating it, birthing it in our lives. Once we start allowing space in our daily lives for an exploration of what moves us and let the creative process start to form, doors start to open, opportunities unfold. It might begin with reading an article, taking a class, starting that hobby, but who knows where it might go, how it might blossom. There are also plenty of stories out there about people who have left high power jobs and unhappy lives to do something completely different, and end up finding contentment and fulfillment off the beaten path.

If you have a desire in your heart, a dream, an inspiration it is there for you to discover and manifest. Deepak Chopra says, "Within every desire is the mechanics of its fulfillment."  Also make a commitment to try something new at least once a month or go somewhere you have not been, broaden your horizons and expand your life beyond your comfort zone."It is your job to discover your unique talents and then manifest them in your own unique way." says Debbie Ford  Indeed our happiness and impact on ourselves and those around us is our responsibility and our birthright. The currents around us might be strong but one by one we can awaken and live in a new way. Live by example and change the world!

 If you know someone who needs to hear this message then pass it on!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's Never Too Late

"It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
George Elliot

  It was forty years in the making, but no less a spectacular rush, my first time dancing on stage. No it was not Broadway by any stretch of the imagination, but in a way it was even better. This was a family affair, my two daughters and I sharing in this performance experience, bonding in the dance. To finally take a place on stage, with lights, an audience and my girls right there with me was the sweetest validation and a stepping into my becoming what I might have been, a performing artist of dance.

  I have always been a dancer, I have always danced just as I breathe and eat, but it never occurred to me in my youth that dance could be a vocation, a life pursuit. Like many young adults I stumbled around looking for my life purpose, a major in college which would then get me what everyone is "supposed" to get, a job, a career, a livelihood. All of those endeavors were really great and I traveled, explored, experienced and did some valuable growing (some of it quite painful, all of it rich). I graduated and got a job. Yet my career path, as successful as it was becoming, did not fill me up at that soul level. I did not have passion or fire as a business manager. I felt stunted and stressed, suffocated, my spirit was crying for change.

  I became a mother and left my job to enter the vocation of caring for and nurturing my family. In that role I found myself. I found myself stronger and more loving than I thought I could possibly be. I discovered a wellspring of courage and vitality, and in mothering I found the need to express, the need for channels of self discovery. I felt deeply that to be the best mother I could be I had to dig into my own growth and creative potential. I went to art school for photography, I did not finish but became skilled enough to feel I had vision and artistry. I found yoga, a true love, a calling, finally a soul aligned path, because like dance, yoga is a body and breath centered creative form rooted in spirit. I became a yoga teacher, and through that encountered yoga dance, and another gateway opened to becoming more myself , coming home and feeling complete. I became a certified Let Your Yoga Dance teacher four years ago and now assist the teacher trainings.

  So this year I turned forty and decided to take my very first formal dance class at the dance school my daughters attend. Adult Hip Hop with Ms. Bambi, known for her effective and disciplined instruction and not one to fill you up with empty compliments. I went to my first class a tangle of terror, afraid that I would find out, after all this journeying, that I did not "have it" or it would be too challenging. After a couple classes Ms. Bambi came up to me and said, "Wow, you are really good. Do your girls know how you can move?"  Another affirmation of my inner knowing and the total blissful gift of following that inner voice.  And then came the show, being on that stage was  like a rite of passage sealed with lights, glitter and applause. I follow my mantra, "Dance On!", and so it is.

I feel so very blessed to be on this path of awakening and self discovery. I am excited to see what evolves, what journey or exciting twist of fate will show up next. Everything and anything becomes possible if you just believe, "It is never to late to become what you might have been."

What is your dream, your might have been, waiting to be dusted off and breathed back to life?
What are you waiting for?          


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Channeling To My Core

  I recently graduated from a year long yoga training called The Acharya Intensive. This program brought me into a year of study, relationship and deep growth with eleven other seekers on the path, two brilliant and wise teachers, and support staff. During this year we committed to various studies and practices, we dedicated ourselves to going deep and doing it in the safe arms of our community. We shared and opened up our very souls to each other, we laughed and cried. We bore witness to each others pain and struggles as well as our brilliance and joy.

  One of the experiences we explored last week was a guided meditation and channeling. We were partnered up and took turns, one being the partner diving in, and the other holding space and being a guiding angel. We were expertly led to first feel what was behind us, all the people events and experiences that had brought us to this point in our lives. We then attuned to the present and all that currently exists in our lives. Our partner grounded us and guided us to sit, at which time we were called to feel inside and speak, with the angel partner serving as witness and scribe. This speaking was to just come, with no worry or consideration of what to say. This speaking was to come through source or spirit, what can be called channeling.

   You might think that this is total bologna or totally crazy, new age hocus pocus. Whatever, doesn't matter. What I know is that, call it what you will, there is a deeper intelligence that lives in all of us. We experience it as intuition, calling, drive, natural talent, luck, wisdom. We might be stuck in our monkey mind most of the time but that deeper space of source and connectivity does exist, and we definitely tapped into that in this experience.

 Here is what I spoke as I channeled from source.  A message for me that might just speak to you.

    " It's ok to let go. See everything that you have been through, that you have done, and see clearly that you have always been guided and supported. It is time to surrender, to receive all of who you are, and to know that even the things that seem like a burden are gifts. To trust that the places of challenge and pain and worry are showing up with great wisdom. Know that you will be alright. You have always been supported and you always will be.

   Remember who you are, and just be that, just be that. All is unfolding perfectly.

   Feel your feet on the ground and the sun on your face. Follow the song and dance in your heart.

   You don't have to be good, you just have to be who you are.

    My dearest Jyotika you are surrounded by light and love and you are light and love."

When all was done, and I read these words, I was deeply touched. All of it rang so true, so right.  This was wise advice from the deep space of soul wisdom.

From this guidance of inner voice we each created a core identification, like a personal mission statement. We also received sanskrit names as is the practice in some yoga traditions. My name is Jyotika which means light. We made pronouncements of these statements at graduation.  

"I Jyotika am here to reclaim myself, my truth. I am a soul dancer of freedom, love, and light. May it be my prayer, my offering, and a force of healing."

Jai Bhagwan