Monday, November 17, 2014

"You Matter To Me ... "

Look up, the sky is crying
Endless tears
Feels like my whole world's dying
It hurts when you're not here ... 

'Cause you matter to me and that's why
You still matter to me

You still matter to me, yes you do ...

And that's the only reason I need, ain't no lie

~ KISS ~ You Matter To Me ~
***



Life truly is beautiful and timing can be Divine even when you feel like your may be sucked down into a vortex of ... when you don’t know where to turn or who to turn, it can happen.  A message, a sign, a indication that ... everything is as it should be.


As cryptic as this may sound, today has been one of those days.  One of those days that I needed to hear it.  You know those times you wonder if you were to drop today, would it matter.  Graciously, to some it does.  And NO this is not a “victimhood ~ I feel bad ~ please feel sorry for me” situation.  This is reality, mine.  With every day, the courage we all need to face whatever life throws us ... but some moments it is just. too. hard.  And sometimes, you just. need. help.


In having one of those moments, I felt that I would receive some message, sign or indication ... that what I do matters, in this moment.  And it happened.  An call, kind words, support, love and authentic expression.  How precious for someone to be vulnerable and tell another that they matter.  Those words made my heart sing and my eyes weep ... ever so grateful for her courage and expression.


Do we say it enough ... Do we show it enough ... 
and how much is enough?  


Living a life full of regrets is a miserable existence ... and in my opinion an entire waste of the “gift” of living.  Why bother?  Taking it for granted and focusing on the lack.  It is habitual, we all do it ... even the most inspiring person you know does, albeit privately.  Because strong people are looked upon to cope, to lead and to take charge.  And sometimes they put their own hurt and exhaustion aside when other rely on them.  


“ ... show up to life each day, often with a smile on your face, 
and they’d never know how tough it is for you to keep doing that ... “


I read recently that “ ... reassurance is no substitute for healthy self-esteem, but even the healthiest of us need to hear it sometimes ... “.  So why are we so afraid of asking for it and so resistant to giving it?  

FEAR
This fear is often justified because you may be the one that is usually gives the reassurance.  So how can YOU ask for help?  You got it figured out, you seem to be okay, so why do you need help?  


And there it is  ... an image that you are holding onto.  
The image that “I’ve got my shit together”.  
So how can it be tarnished by ASKING for help?  
I mean, aren’t you the one that has this figured out already???  


Drop the self-criticism  judgement and the drama that goes with it.  And you may as well drop the cape, tight pants and mask because even with all the work you've put in, you can find yourself in a situation where you can’t get your emotions to listen to reason.  You can be your own hero, but sometimes you need a break .... and sometimes you’ve used everything in your “spiritual tool box” ... and just when you think you can't ... a friendly voice says “hey, it’s okay to let me be the strong one in this moment”.  

I am learning every day that to be strong is to show your vulnerability, your times of needing help and your times of not having it all put together.  Those are the times you can share the load, the burden ... a precious gift, because healing occurs when we are truly heard.


No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world 
~ Robin Williams




www.walkstrong.ca





Saturday, November 15, 2014

" Stuck Like Glue ... "

Absolutely no one who knows me better
No one that can make me feel so good
How did we stay so long together?
When everybody said we never would

There you go making my heart beat again
Heart beat again, heart beat again
There you go making me feel like a kid
Won't you do it, do it one time? ...

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, stuck like glue ...
Some days I don't feel like trying
Some days you know I wanna just give up
When it doesn't matter who's right ... 
Everybody want some

~ Sugarland ~ Stuck Like Glue ~
***



Stuck, stuck like glue ... stuck-ness ... finding yourself feeling disappointed, deflated, burnt out, overwhelmed and alone.  I use to think that being stuck was similar to procrastinating.  Yet what I am learning is that being stuck serves a spiritual purpose ... an opportunity for transformation.


“ ... the key to moving forward when you find yourself stuck is to allow yourself to stay painfully aware of your feeling of being stuck, because awareness is the first step in changing anything. Do whatever you need to do to break through that stuck feeling. Get help if you need it ... “


Stuck-ness is a message, loud and clear, that you need a change.  And it isn’t about waiting around for that lucky break or miracle, it is about change of ... habits, priorities, perspective and heart.  Stuck-ness invites growth and expansion.  Stuck-ness is impermanent like everything else.  


Sometimes we don’t even know we are stuck until what worked before doesn’t work anymore ... change is needed to see where we can soften and open up. 


The good news is that you are not alone.  Everyone feels stuck at some time or another because it is a part of the human life cycle giving us a message that something has to give.  So how do you get un-stuck?

Begin with unconditional acceptance.  Accept where you are today.  Not what you could do and where you where you were.  When you change your relationship to what you feel, you release your resistance to it, allowing a shift and transformation to take place.  And don’t mistake acceptance with being passive, it is the key to empowerment.  Next let go and surrender because surrendering is a door opener.  It initiates the process of letting go of our personal limitations and aligning with an intelligence that is greater than us.

And, remember to ask for support.  There are no brownie points for martyrdom, so just ASK!  Finding a strategic approach to doing things differently can be supported by like minded people.  That force in your corner, that voice that helps you see your progress as well as when you are getting off track, letting you know what you need to hear, not what to hear.  It is not about looking for perfection or feeling guilty and shame for where you are because that only once purpose ... to keep you in the muck.




www.walkstrong.ca




Friday, November 14, 2014

" Vigor ... "

“ ... start of lyrics A pebble, a bone, a sigh and such
Can all become unnerving when one is succumb 
To the vigor of fear
Reckless as, it feeds on the young

Fear, fear in myself evoking thought
Why all just seems so unfathomable

A sword in my breast, twice kissed in protest
Why all just seemed so unfathomable
Yet totally real... “


~ Alpine ~ The Vigor ~
***


The word Oja, comes from Sanskrit and means “vigor”.  Within the principles of Ayurveda, Oja is the essential energy of the body which can be equated with the “fluid of life”.  


“ ... Ojas (pronounced oh-jus) is the ultimate refined result of digestion, metabolism, absorption and assimilation. The substance that connects the mind to the body and consciousness, it is a wholesome biochemical substance that nourishes all body tissues and has a direct influence on the nature and quality of physical, mental and emotional life. Ojas’ primary location is the heart, from where it circulates to and pervades the entire body. Ojas is collected from the body’s seven tissues — plasma, blood, muscle, adipose tissue (fat), bone, bone marrow, and reproductive tissue (semen and ovum) — by the influence of enzymes (Agnis), similar to how a bee collects honey from the essence of many flowers. The purest substance in the universe and omnipresent in the human being, ojas is responsible for higher states of consciousness, purity of thoughts, perfect health, positivity in feelings, love, joy, better immunity, longevity, intelligence, creativity, memory, bliss, and thought process. When an individual’s inner consciousness awakens spontaneously, ojas increases. In a nutshell, ojas is the sap of the entire physiology and sustains the life of an individual ... “


Ojas is a type of vibrancy within you ... and can deplete in the process of life.  Ojas is spent when you are engaging in any of the five senses.  In the context of spiritual and emotional well-being, Oja is referred to as “the physiological expression of consciousness.”  Ojas is also considered the most refined by-product of digestion ... e.g. complete digestion of a meal is considered to take about 24 hours, it takes 30 days for the body to digest food and refine it enough to manufacture ojas.

***
How the Seven Body Tissues Can Deplete Ojas ...

Rasa production, which is the first nutrient fluid and eventually becomes lymph, is literally stopped by the chemistry of chronic stress. The lymphatic fluid flows best in an alkaline environment. Stress releases stress-fighting hormones that have acidic waste products. Excessive stress results in excess acidity which causes the lymph to congest. It can be stress from work, exercise, emotions, travel or digestive stress from bad food that can block rasa.

Rakta, the body’s blood, can deplete ojas when it becomes inflamed and toxic, carrying damaging inflammatory and degenerative chemicals throughout the body.

Mamsa, the muscle tissue, most commonly depletes ojas through excessive exercise and exhaustion.

Medha, the body’s fat, will deplete ojas when it is stored and taken out of circulation due to the excesses of stress. Most toxic chemicals are fat soluble and thus are stored in times of stress.

Asthi, the body’s bone, will deplete ojas due to chronic issues such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. These conditions are extremely rare in second and third world countries where the culture of stress is not as rampant.

Majja, the nervous system, depletes ojas when it is directly affected by chronic stress and excessive activities. Excess stress stimulates the release of degenerative hormones which accelerate aging, cause chronic disease, fatigue, sleep issues and much more.

Shukra is the reproductive fluid. Excessive sex will deplete ojas.
***

We can rebuild our system with proper food, rest and attitude.  Emphasis on the attitude ... rebuild your Oja by loving others, laughing, acting on what you are passionate about, giving and serving others, practicing yoga-breath work-meditation and being one with nature.  







Wednesday, November 12, 2014

" Pranayama ... "


I'm finding my way back to sanity again
Though I don't really know what
I'm going to do when I get there
Take a breath and hold on tight
Spin around one more time
And gracefully fall back to the arms of Grace


~ Lifehouse ~ Breathing ~
***




Breathing is a necessity we dont’ really think about on a moment to moment basis.  But the more thought we do put into our breath, we can get more out of it than we realize.  Pranayama deep breathing is a way to restore imbalances within us.

Pranayama is the art and science of yogic breathing techniques ...

Our conscious life begins with our first breath and ends with our last.  We can correspond patterns of breathing with every emotional state we experience.  The word “inspiration” itself refers to both the act of breathing in as well as the state of being filled with spirit and energy.


“Pranayama” is a Sanskrit word made up of two halves, “prana” and “yama” (or “ayama”), and is most often translated to mean “mastery of the life force”, or sometimes, 
“removal of obstacles to free the flow of life force.”


In ancient times, it was believed that many dis-eases were connected to disturbed nasal breathing, as our nose is directly linked to our brain and nervous system.  And breathing from the left nostril versus the right nostril provides different benefits ... the left is for calming whereas the right is for energy.  For thousands of years, it was believed that breathing.in through your left nostril will access the right “feeling” hemisphere of your brain, and breathing in through your right nostril, will access the left “thinking” hemisphere of your brain.  Hence, alternating your breath between either nostril will  allow you to activate and access your whole brain.

“ ... in yoga, the life force, known as prana, refers to the energy that animates, controls, and permeates the world in and around us. Digesting our food, changing our heart rate in response to exercise, and fighting off infections are all highly complex and variable tasks, yet each of them happen spontaneously, effortlessly, and automatically through the functions of prana. This same force is behind great migrations, the interdependence of species, and the changing of seasons ... “


From my own experience, pranayama breathing is one of the most therapeutic calming rituals by revitalizing you, providing clarity in thoughts, cleaning lungs and organs, slowing the mind, clearing energy channels, merging of left and right brains and encouraging and overall calmer emotional state.  


Caution: Consult with your practitioner FIRST.  More advanced methods of pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) need to be practiced with an experienced practitioner.   Practicing on an empty stomach is preferred.



Incorporating a form of breath-work in your daily life ... via yoga, meditation, etc has infinite rewards.  Breath, movement and energy is life and life is breath, movement and energy.  This ancient yogic practice combines theses into an integrative experience, once tried, may become a part of your every day life too ...





Tuesday, November 11, 2014

" Suffering ... "

“ ... Let's sit back and relax and get comfortable
Now close your eyes, now make it right

I've got my mind set at ease
Don't you know it's you why you're suffering?
You're why you're suffering

I've got my reasons to live
Don't you know it's you why you're suffering?
You're why you're suffering ... “

~ Rebelution ~ Suffering ~

***


This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in a transformational event ... the Medicine Buddha Empowerment and Healing Retreat.  Bright-eyed and curious, my beautiful girlfriends and I, received empowerment by our teacher, learned how to apply the teachings of the Medicine Guru ... and prayed and chanted and prayed and chanted and prayed and ...  The retreat in itself is what you make of it ... whether those who attended were there for relief from their own mental or physical illness, or their loved ones ... our intentions were pure and our faith was fed.






And when attending a three day session like this one, you hope that one, two or more little morsels of wisdom you hear will find a place somewhere within you.  Allowing you to take the time you need to process and see if it resonates within you.  The beauty is that these morsels pop up like little clouds of inspiration, just when you need them ... our inner voice, our inner sense, our inner knowing ... 


“ ... Tibetan doctors rely on Medicine Buddha for their healings. Regular practice with the Medicine Buddha also empowers one with powers to heal others. In China and Japan, Medicine Buddha is a refuge in times of illness. Around the world, literally millions call out the name or mantra of Bhaisajyaguru (भैषज्यगुरु). It is even written in the sutras that if you speak the name of the Medicine Buddha in the ears of a dying animal or human they will be ensured good rebirth regardless of their past karma ... “


From the Buddhists perspective, illness is part of life, not the cause of your death.  Those words in themselves, for me personally, were profound.  From my own journey it is about finding the courage ... with determination ... to make a breakthrough, and I fully understand that doesn’t mean I’ll be saved from death by cancer.  

Personally it is about having a constructive attitude.  Because the cancer in this body I call mine in this lifetime has provided a doorway to give thought about my death, and to reflect on my life thus far.  I am learning that by using the “suffering” of this ill-ness, I come face to face with some of the deepest issues of life ... and death.  


“ ... Aside from visualizing and mantra recitation, a common healing practice is to chant 108 of Medicine Buddha’s mantras over a glass of water. The chanter, preferably one who has chanted the mantra in regular practice, then blows on the water and offers it to a sick person. The empowered water has healing powers. The patient can also be requested to speak the name of the Buddha 108 times, or chant the mantra, or read the sutras, or just to gaze up on a loving picture of the Medicine Buddha. Many miraculous cures have been attributed to the Medicine Buddha. Tibetan doctors tend to begin each day with Medicine Buddha practice, and when making herbal medicines chant the Mantras while working to further empower their medicinal benefits ... “


When we think of suffering, we think we must stop it, it is bad, it is painful, it is harmful.  Yet what if we view suffering as a fuel of wisdom, opening the way to happiness.  So maybe illness and suffering isn’t all that bad ... said that blogger living with cancer, who has NOT lost her mind, not just yet anyhow ;)

Putting this into perspective, how you cope with your illness will determine how well you live your life.  Rather than making excuses for what you have been “diagnosed” with ... start with ACCEPTANCE.  When you begin to accept your illness, you open yourself up to seeing what’s really on your plate, a process which takes time.


Acceptance lives in the present moment.  Little by little as you accept your illness, what IS, you cope a little better.  And then that little better gets a little more better, and a little more better, and a little more better ...


Illness, like everything in life, changes.  Whatever new effect you are facing today, different from yesterday, stretches you and your ability to adapt.  And for those that believe, this is the ripening of your negative karma, the path to enlightenment.  Perhaps an uncomfortable subject for some, others, it gives it purpose, to understand why not this suffering is happening to me.


The wake up call ... the new lease on life ... the second chance ... 


Those that suffer, really suffer, reading this may laugh at the mere concept of seeing that suffering can be a blessing.  A karmic blessing.  Because they are conditioned to see what they see ... physical distortions, mental anguish and spiritual disarray.  What have you got to lose ... to change the anger, hatred and distress towards joy, peace and clarity.  Trust not just a dream, fully possible from what I experienced this past retreat.  You see, the outcome may be what is destined to be, but the journey can be embraced with gratitude, in each and every moment ... by deciding what this suffering means to you.



I express infinite gratitude for the 
realizations, transformations and blessings shared and received ...


Medicine Buddha mantra

Tayata Om Bekanze Bekanze 
Maha Bekanze Radza 
Sumudgate Soha