Sunday, November 30, 2014

" Conditional ... "

“ ... Try to try to try to forget 
To change the things about me 
You can not accept 
Any day that you have regret 
Just let it recede 

It's conditional 
Not for free 
There are strings attached 
Tied to me 
I'll want something back 
If you agree 
To be in love with me ... “

~ Tracy Chapman ~ Conditional ~

Love, unconditionally, no matter what, for eternity.  We intend for our intimate relationships to reflect this yet what they are based on need or something deeper ... what if subconsciously, we are eroding our relationships ...

Love doesn’t have to be earned
Love doesn’t have to be proved

When you love unconditionally.  it means exactly that ... no conditions ... not based on what you do or what you’ve done ... or what they do, or what they’ve done.  It is based on who you are because authentic love is consistent.  You may express your opinions, you may disagree, but underneath it, that love never stops.  

Love means you are responsible for your own happiness ...

When we are raised with conditional love, we have this deep need to seek approval, and people pleasers are born.  But, we will always come up short because the constant strive to earn love will never end.  

Love is a grace we give one another ...

When we love others simply for who they are, we accept what is.  We love naturally, we share this gift ... it is why we are here.  Expressing unconditional love is a practice.  A practice involving reflection, empathy, forgiveness and compromise.  Life doesn’t go as planned ... people don’t behave as expected ... all we can do is adapt.

Chaos will always reveal true colours ... will they still love you unconditionally. if you don’t agree ... will they still love you unconditionally. if you choose to do something different ... will they still love you unconditionally.

To love unconditionally is to love with absolutely no boundaries, even when it hurts, because unconditional love is limitless.  This type of love looks beyond faults, struggles, and whatever pain and hardships that life may bring.  This type of love is what’s called unconditional.

Friday, November 28, 2014

" Shake It Off ... "

But I keep cruising, can't stop, won't stop moving
It's like I got this music in my body and it's gonna be alright
'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate ... 

Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
I'll never miss a beat, I'm lightning on my feet
And that's what they don't see mmm, that's what they don't see mmm ... 

I, I shake it off, I shake it off

~ Taylor Swift ~ Shake It Off ~

When you feel no need to defend your thoughts, opinions, or ideas, you can deal with life knowing that you are empowered, your faith is strong, and you are able to shake “it” off.  

Faith comes from our own ability to recognize the influence the world has around us actually comes from within us.  Rather than being driven to prove our place, we become confidant in our actions, behaviours and words.  So when life events occur, we tap into that place to manage, cope and deal.

The need to engage in confrontations or conflict, and trying to defend ourselves is no longer required.  We have confidence in the moment and secure with our personal power.  

We don’t feel the need to be right, or teach a lesson, or point out a mistake, or preach.  We learn that every one has their own journey full of successes and failures to experience.  We learn that we are in no position to judge, unless we open ourselves up to be judged.  We learn loving compassion and kindness for those that disagree with our point of view.  We find that people can have different opinions, but still respect one another.  And we learn that the we have very little control of an outcome.

For those whom don’t resonate with these ideas, subconsciously we all demonstrate faith, daily ... if we are blessed to live another day.  When catastrophes happen, we don’t fall apart, even if we think we may.  We are only as strong as we allow ourselves to be and what we believe will manifest ...

Personally, I started with developing a trustworthiness of the Universe.  I opened my mind and heart to the possibility of anything.  I detached myself from the outcome, and began to take notice along the way.  And I freed myself of others through forgiveness and listened to my heart’s deep desire.  I realized that no one is perfect and expecting myself and others to live up to a fictitious standard results in suffering.  

By living each day in a state of unshakable faith, it grows to support me when facing predicaments ... it is a practice, a practice of gratitude for what is and appreciation for whatever comes.  When you find yourself fully immersed in this space, faith is ... unshakable ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

" How ... "

There’s a time and place
For one more sweet embrace
And is time ... 

Time can come and take away the pain
But I just want my memories to remain
To hear your voice
To see your face
There’s not one moment I’d erase ... 

How can I forget your love?
How can I never see you again?

~ Regina Spektor ~ How ~

I’ve heard a lot of talk about checking things off your bucket list.  Making sure you have the experience, while you can, before you go.  And it makes sense, as I’ve myself talked about as well ... but I also believe it’s not only about checking things off your bucket list, its about being present in every moment.

Being present in every moment allows you to fully experience the now.  Sounds simple, but as most of us know by now, difficult to stay present when there are many many many things to distract you into the past or future.

So how do you live your life ... bucket list or presence?  Most will answer, presence of course.  But when was the last time you couldn’t call a friend because you were busy planning your trip, from your bucket list?  You know you’ll get to it, eventually, yet eventually sometimes doesn’t come.  And so you have all these wonderful experiences you can broadcast all over social media, to social media friends ... and completely be disconnected from society.  We’ve all either read about it, or are the one writing it at some time ...

For some, an opportunity to detach from relationships and check out LIFE.  For others, there is a quest for balance.  To be able to do what you want to do and share with those you wish to share with.  Yet life seem so busy for so many.  I hear from others how their lives are full of ... stuff.  Stuff that causes suffering.  But this suffering is familiar.  So on with the busy-ness of life.  And that is “how” most of us live ... busy planning out next experience.

But, hey you are the only judge regarding “how” you live your life ... thrive on adventure or human connections.  You have the free will, how you live your life.  But does your how bring regrets?  Regrets that you didn’t spend enough time, you didn't put enough energy into, you didn’t say what you have to say, or you didn’t do what you wanted to do ...

Is it as simple to decide in this very moment “how” you will pass each moment going forward?  Simple concept that requires moment by moment practice .

How we live our lives is an example of who we are, not what we say we are going to do, or going to be ... but how.  How we live and how we treat others.  And it is never too late ... to change how you want the rest of your life to be.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

" KickStart ... "

You want me to come over
I got an excuse
Might be holding your hand
But I'm holding it loose

Go to talk then we choke
It's like our necks in a noose
Avoid the obvious
We should be facing the truth

Start to think it could be fizzling out
Kinda shocked because I never really had any doubts
Look into your eyes, imagine life without ya

And the love kickstarts again
Starts again
And the love kickstarts again
Starts again

~ Example ~ KickStart ~ 

We all set an example by simply being.  And for those of us with the extra challenge of a health concern, it is critical.  Being Present.

We focus on the future generation and our children when leading by example, being good role models and parents.  Yet there are times when we need someone to lead us.

During times of uncertainty and darkness, 
we look to those with strength and courage to lighten the load.

During times of sadness and grief, 
we look to those with love and support to carry us through.

Personally speaking, it has been possible to still live, hold a job, take care of families & friends, and remain active in the community ... with cancer.  Now, life has more meaning, more purpose, more value.  Now, living this life is about creating an environment where others can feel comfortable in sharing what they are facing.  A calling, a purpose ... whatever it may be, regardless, it feels good to be useful.

And there is always help along he way.  Blessed to have a few in my life who inspire me every day with their passion, their zest, their spark, their wisdom, their guidance and the simple love of life ... no matter what challenge they are facing.  They motivate me to live authentically from heart and soul because they’ve taught me that perhaps this diagnosis is a part of my life and not necessarily the cause of my death.

We find ourselves in situations out of our control.  Cancer can be one of them.  It is unpredictable and it is a game.  A game to get ahead of it and neutralize it.  And just when you think you’ve got it figured out, there is another lesson to be learned.  A journey full of suffering and blessings all packaged into one.  

Acceptance ...

Leading by example implies you take responsibility and choose as what you are going to do with your challenge.  And so you have a choice ... do you let it define you or do you let it drive you?  Because either way, life is happening through you, not to you.  Choosing what you do with it determines how you live ... your example to all those around you.  The way you live, act and behave matters.  Consider what your influence, how you want to be remembered and what is your legacy.  

Because setting an example by the way you be 
is the only authentic way to positively influence your world ...

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?  

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

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.

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 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