Snake became his staff
furrowed brow in hand.
Casting thought on River’s spine
he took the path without footsteps.
Last night, something shifted as I lay awake at 2am, listening to music. I questioned my beliefs. I thought about my attachments. There was a time when I wanted to learn what was important to me. I moved into my run down art studio – it didn’t have a kitchen or a shower and was probably 100 square feet or something. I became keenly aware of what I needed and was able to see and feel my attachments to things. Turns out I don’t need that love letter from my ex but I do want the book my grandpa read to me as a little girl. We get to choose what we keep from our past. There is something symbolic about letting the physical go – we shift the energy. We make space.
This afternoon, I cut about one foot off my hair. Thoughts of identity, labels, femininity, love crossed my mind as the scissors sheared through my attachments and released freedom. Liberation and I embraced.
The funny part – that I only realized afterward – is my mom called me two days ago. She and my brother were watching the Cowboys vs. Redskins football game. When I was 3 or so, I cut my hair EXTREMELY short when these two teams played each other. Every year, they call me to tell me to hide my scissors.
Earth waits for her lover to whisper a new season on her breast. The breeze is hinting at change; a softening of the air that graces Earth’s skin. Sky makes love to the horizon – the unattainable vision of unity out of division. Her body aches as she lay in silent breath.
Come to me, my lover. Breathe light inside me. All at once, devour me – enlighten me – frighten me – become me. My womb is your grave.
What does it mean to realize the Self? I enjoy the idea of realizing instead of finding – it lends my mind to the idea of presence. I see a look of awe on my face with my eyes slightly turned upward… a sigh as slight and soft as a lover’s touch. Sinking into the back body of feminine faith, I fall into the arms of earth and float through the air of time. Deep wisdom as I embody light. Speaking what I hear, heart opening to tears… knowing love.
How do you explain a moment – a fleeting instant of purity from a magic wand hovering in the sky? You can’t. You can’t touch what it feels like to be connected. You simply can’t explain love… though we try. And, oh my, do I TRY. My senses take in an instant in time like a Polaroid that doesn’t produce a photo. I have this obsession with recording an instant with a camera – so I can convey the beauty I see – but the moment of experience is what arrests me. Look at a photo and see what I see but you can’t smell a sound or taste the air. You can’t feel the joy bubbling from my heart that I am here…. now… That life is filled with beauty in EVERY moment.
Sunday, one of my students brought this sweet suffering baby into the studio, trying to make his last moments as comfortable as possible. We gathered around him as he seemed to be drifting in and out of consciousness, closing his eyes and tilting his head up to bring more air into his lungs. He was gripping to life.
This made me wonder what happened to bring him to this state. Chances are, he flew head-first into our windows and gave himself a concussion.
As everyone went into class, I took him outside and simply watched him breathe. As I centered into this experience of watching life struggle for life, I was reminded of how many times I have flown head-first into something… how many times I have given myself a concussion of sorts… how many times my perception of what is ahead of me has been skewed by my vision.
I thought about people in my life who are suffering and how much I want to help ease their pain.
I was certain these would be his last moments and I wanted to connect as deeply as I could. I began to breathe with him.
It is in these moments I am reminded of the incredible experience of being connected. Sometimes life gives us a concussion where we can’t connect as deeply as we want and we have to allow our loved ones to breathe with us.
Then I felt a sensation best described as a WHOOSH! as he lifted his head, came to his senses and flew up to the ledge near the window. As I celebrated his life, he flew off beyond the trees with a new lesson under his wings. I walked away from the studio inspired to spread my own wings and dance along the wind to my next life lesson. T h a n k y o u !
Alone in Creation
Banked on the river of Self Love, she splashes her face.
And then she asked of souls, “One? Two?”
Abiding Peace cleared the path in the foothills
Climb Mountain, offering life line
Stoking fire, undertaking flame.
River as perfume.
Self baptism, soak in wisdom.
Breathe in love
She asks, “Palm to palm as lovers touch, who is this?”
Then the roar came from Mountain’s core, “It’s me. It’s me.”
Mountain abides and answers her call.
Whispering in syncopated breaths, “It’s you. It’s you.”
I used to feel the ghost of people gone by.
Now my senses mate with the essence of me swallowing myself.
Raw, powerful devotion.
The sound of my body’s longing.
Goodbye to the good byes that don’t need a voice.
There is nothing wrong. There is nothing I need to fix. There is nothing I need to change. What’s up with that?
Don’t get me wrong, in the past, I could Zen myself out of any heartbreak or death but this moment is different in that I am aware of the surrender in the present moment. It is beautiful to sit in acceptance of how things are in this very moment… how things are different in this very moment.
I’ve danced between polarities of needing get to the root of my problems to denial of inner monologues as the seed of the tree of suffering from which I plucked the fruit. I am aware of the dichotomy that exists between my former and present selves. Beneath my faith that everything is exactly as it should be was always a fear that things would be better in my life ‘if only…’
Inhaling a specter
Forms dance though mind
Accepting into Being
I was exposed to death when my hero, Grandpa, died 20 years ago. He was my idea of what a man should be – strong, caring, kind, loving, funny – yet when he died, it was sudden and so easy. I still feel him around me.
I witnessed death face to face when my cat of 14 years, Ebby, died in my arms. It may sound morbid but I feel so grateful to have been there with her as she passed. Watching her take her last breath and her spirit drifting off… I will never forget how that felt.
My grandma, Grace, died on Thursday. Grace… a name so appropriate for this woman. She and I spoke openly and clearly about her death for 10 years, discussing how she was ready to let go. When I visited her the day before her passing, she was unresponsive. As we gather around her bed, surrounding her with love, she came back to life. Her speech was slow to develop but after about 10 minutes, she was talking to me as if nothing was wrong, “Trina, it is so good to be loved.” “Yes, Grandma, it is good to be loved and it is good to love. You can let go now. We will all be fine.”
Letting go – what a beautiful experience. Life is the final attachment we must relinquish and I believe it involves cutting the connection to our bodies, our loved ones, our minds and surrendering to space.
The space between the thoughts.
The source beyond knowing.
The being beyond being.
Feeling the parts of me Grandma directly impacted and pieces of my character Grandpa is directly responsible for make me think of the sum of a human life. We are the result of all our experiences and we hold pieces of loved one within ourselves. Looking back at the people who have loved me and those who I have loved, I am deeply grateful.
Yes, we all experience loss… What we do with it is what matters. Are we going to stay in the darkness of sadness, regret, and shame or are we going to move to light? I’ve lost loved ones from death, divorce, and distance. I am still in the grieving process for many of these lost loves. The process of grief is the same and we end in acceptance. My prayer is that I accept and surrender with gratitude and faith.
I just received a text message from one of my dearest chosen family members: “I bet your grandma is enjoying the view of the fireworks from the clouds.” Yes, I bet she is.
(The photo on this post is a painting I did when I found out a friend of mine lost his mother. This is my expression of the way it feels when you lose someone you love.)
So I picked up a book and I thought the man on the front cover was Patanjali himself. I thought, “OK that is what a yogi looks like… long bearded dude in robes sitting with his legs crossed… I get it. The picture seems pretty recent for this ancient system but whatever.” Through self-study, I learned Patanjali is supposed to be the father of yoga, having prescribed what is known as the 8-limbed path of Raja Yoga. Raja (or Royal) Yoga teaches about self-control and discipline as a way to master the mind and attain bliss consciousness in the waking life.
I also learned the dude on the cover wasn’t Patanjali but the man, Sri Swami Satchidananda, who translated the Sutras and gave commentary on the verses.
The first time I read Satchidananda’s translation of the Yoga Sutras, I felt as though I finally understood myself. It was as if his teachings spoke simultaneously to my heart and mind – relaying through words what I had been discovering through my yoga practice. A light bulb went off. There were hundreds of ‘ah ha!’ moments and new ways of looking at my own behaviors and patterns. I finally found a book to help me along my path!
Sat = truth
Chit = consciousness
Ananda = bliss
Yes – I agree. Now I understand why he has that name.
I’ve been looking at going to Yogaville – yes, there is a place called Yogaville – to study at the center set up by Swami Satchidananda for students to further their studies on the path. I even paid my deposit last year and opted not to go. While roaming around through the Yogaville/Integral Yoga website, I came across a documentary about Satchidananda’s life. I found out big names in health care such as Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Dean Ornish have studied Satchidananda’s teachings. Satchidananda spoke at Woodstock per suggestion of world-renowned Pop artist, Peter Max. I met Peter Max at a gallery showing of his work in 2007.
Screw Kevin Bacon – there are now reasons to believe there are six-degrees of separation between you and Satchidananda. That, my friend, is pretty groovy in my opinion!
What are the secrets the ancient yogis knew? How do we apply the secrets of yoga and translate that into a happier, more fulfilling life right now?
Discover how yoga supports a connection to your intuitive, Creative self. Go deeper into your practice and find a higher center of awareness and love essential to living the life of your dreams.
This workshop will give you tools to experience a direct connection to a more peaceful version of yourself.
Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Where: Gold’s Gym Plano – NE Corner of Park & Preston
We are listening to that voice inside our hearts that calls us to love and when we act from that place, we always feel better. Love is the best we can give and our highest calling. We all know we are capable of loving and deep down we know we can love all beings fully.
Forgiving is a choice. Forgiving lightens us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It aligns us with our highest self and unites us with our own infinite capacity.
Can you forgive every single person who has ever hurt you? Some people are easy to forgive because, on some level, we feel as though they earned it or deserve forgiveness, but then we have those people who wounded us so deeply we’ve been scarred. Because of the depth of the wounding, we feel it is our right, and even our duty to withhold forgiveness. It makes us feel in control, as we act as judge over someone’s moral behavior.
When we refuse to forgive someone who hurt us, we are the only ones carrying the burden. We are living each day, withholding love. Inside, we know we can act with more dignity and forgive people for their imperfections.
Where I find the practice of forgiveness most challenging and rewarding is when I practice forgiving myself. Hey, big surprise, I’m not perfect. However, there is still a voice inside my head that expects perfection, expects me to know everything, beats me up for not being good enough, etc… the list goes on and on. Aren’t we all that way?
Since we all have that voice inside our heads telling us we need to be perfect and the voice inside our hearts, telling us to love, we have a choice. In every breath we can choose to which voice we listen. That is powerful.
The things we struggle with on the yoga mat are the things we struggle with in our lives. When we approach our practice this month, let’s drop the armor and walk softly to our yoga mat and forgive. Forgive your body for being different than the person you are comparing yourself to. Forgive yourself for falling. Forgive the imperfections. Drop the judgment and open to love. See what happens.
Life is filled with endless opportunities to forgive ourselves and others; endless opportunities to feel better. I hope I see you on the mat so we can practice forgiveness and celebrate love together. Namaste.
Standing in my own shadow, reflected from the moon’s light on Eve’s eve of the full moon, I discovered I stand in my fear. Before this point of solid reflection along the path I walked tonight, I felt the importance of foundation. My lover took my hand as I reluctantly tread across lava graced by the presence of algae, making each step – hand-in-hand – something I questioned. Was this the right step to take? Am I going about this the right way? Is the lighting deceiving me? Fear after fear poured through my never-ending well of guessing to the second degree. I voiced my opinions and desire to be on solid ground – I spoke my truth. Then, in an instant we arrived to his destination and I stood in awe of the experience… standing on hardened lava, the waves rushed in and broke just beyond our vantage point. Fear had enveloped me along this path, like sand around my toes, I wanted to sift through the truth of it all. If water represents emotions, I learned that once I conquer the fear, another emotion will come to shore with a desire to be experienced. It is all the same as long as I don’t assign a label to the experience. I want to live more in the flow and watch how things come and go – they will and I have a choice.
Ever contemplate the “best” route to take when driving somewhere? Today, I dropped all ideas and listened to my intuition to guide me from point A to B. The journey led me to the house I grew up in and the pond that became my sacred place as a child.
All paths lead to the same place, but some roads are more meaningful than others.
My art studio is right off McKinney Ave in Dallas and I hear the trolleys go by every 20 minutes. The sound of the tracks rattling a bass line that knows no time and makes me grateful for now. I got a wild hair and decided to take the trolley to dinner while I reviewed a book on sacred sites around the world. I took my creative process outside and explored my neighborhood.
Some of the highlights:
Don’t get me wrong… I feel grateful to be where I am. There is so much unrealized beauty in Dallas and it is a never-ending well of inspiration.
How do we resolve conflict? I’m practicing disengagement to find my stillness and center. When we are struggling with someone or a situation, perhaps it is best to look at the struggle within. Only in quiet integrity can we approach a situation with stillness, love, acceptance and patience. My mom used to sing to us, “Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start to worry.” Amen, Momma. 🙂