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Taking the “Red” Pill June 15, 2009

Posted by admin in : Spiritual Growth Tags:, , , , , , , , 1 comment so far

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Making a commitment to walk the spiritual path and be devoted to your higher self is like taking the red pill in the movie Matrix. Once you take it, there’s no going back. You can no longer claim blissful ignorance once you’ve been freed from the delusional reality you were once living. You have to be steadfast in your pursuit for happiness because you are no longer in the dark and have to be responsible and accountable for your actions. This often means being knee-deep in spiritual work, as you peel away layers of the proverbial onion and it’s not always pleasant and sometimes it’s downright painful, but it’s invaluable and feeds you in a way money can’t.

Spiritual work brings light and love and states of bliss that fill your entire being with such presence and divine awareness. The more work you do, the more you experience states of pure consciousness where life makes sense and you are right with the world. Being committed to a spiritual journey brings awareness and sense of self that fills your life with such peace and balance, as you are freed from the ego and the doom and gloom of being a mortal in this unjust world. Everyone has access to this joy, but unfortunately, many people are content with the blue pill because ignorance is bliss. Some just don’t care to do the work and I don’t blame them because there are definitely days I wish I could go back. 

The kind of joy you get from doing spiritual work doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a daily practice and takes perseverance, as some days are easier than others and you never quite know when life is going to throw you a lemon. You just have to be able to take the lemon and make lemonade and appreciate the gifts however they come. We create our reality through our intentions and actions so if there is something we need to learn, we subconsciously put ourselves in situations that teach us about ourselves and the world in which we live.

Whether it is a friend, a family member, a random stranger, a partner, or a colleague, relationships are opportunities to learn things about ourselves and grow both personally and professionally. Once you understand this, you begin to cultivate the seed of awareness and a shift begins to happen. The lessons begin to exponentially multiple as your consciousness expands because your able to see the bigger picture.

The more your consciousness expands, the more your self defeating limited ego tries to regain power by telling you stories that make you feel insecure and weak because the ego wants to keep you in a state of ignorance. It becomes an internal conflict and struggle that can be overwhelming because on one hand, you know you’re growing and learning something beautiful, but on the other hand, your ego makes you feel worthless and doubt what you know to be true.  

If you find yourself pointing fingers or placing blame on someone, take a step back and look within yourself to find the gift in the emotions you’re feeling because you’re just clearing stuff out and making space for more light to flow in your life. Relationships help you get rid of baggage that no longer serve you so don’t see arguments or challenging situations as a conflict. See them has opportunities to learn something new about yourself. Once you own your own stuff, clarity will follow and you will be one step closer to knowing your true essential nature.

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The Ego is not Necessarily the Enemy February 23, 2009

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There are times when life seems to be perfectly aligned with your inner purpose and everything is completely effortless, but then out of the blue, you find yourself feeling lost and totally disconnected. I spent years staggering between extremes. I was either feeling good or bad…up or down…in one direction or the other. One moment I indulged in every desire and the next I sought out simplicity and purity. I felt bipolar, as there was a part of me that loved to be wild and crazy, but then there was another part of me that liked to be settled and virtuous.

Living from one extreme to the next left me exhausted and yearning for balance. Why couldn’t I find a happy medium where both the fun wild party girl and the meditating peaceful yoga girl could live in harmony without feeling like it had to be all or nothing. It took many years of living between the two worlds before I learned how to peacefully incorporate the two. My yoga practice and commitment to spiritual growth is what brought equanimity and ease in to my life.

In finding balance and keeping my body and mind connected, I’m now aware when my ego starts to take over and pull me in a different direction because I can see the shift happening, as I find myself skipping yoga practice, being more judgmental, making excuses as to why I can’t meditate, craving sweets and partying like a rock star.  Things that don’t typically bother me start to get to me and I tend to react instead of handling conflicts more passively. A fire blazes through me, as my wild child unleashes and suddenly I become stubborn and liberated with no sense of grounding.

When these things start happening, it’s a clear indication I need to pull back the reins a bit and come back to a place of equanimity, but before I can do that, I have to look at my life and figure out what caused the shift. An imbalance usually means something isn’t working. There’s a relationship that has gone awry, a job that needs to end, or some other change that needs to happen. When something is out of sync, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in to fight or flight and I go in and hide, as the protective ego steps in to save me. I use to think the ego was bad because it took me away from my healthy yogic lifestyle, but now I see it as my body just trying to get my attention. 

I don’t have to run anymore, as I now honor the presence of the ego as my protector. I witness the body shutting down. I see the signs. I’m aware of being ungrounded and not centered or aligned with my higher purpose and the moment I become aware is the moment I find my way back to the mat and to the daily morning ritual of sitting in meditation. It doesn’t take much for me to remember my true essential nature and be back in touch with my higher self. I don’t have to live in extremes anymore. I can live in a place of balance without having to swing between the bipolar worlds of self and ego.

If familiar negative habits and patterns start showing up in your life, then it’s a pretty good indication you need to get back on the mat or do something to nurture yourself. The longer you wait, the longer it will take for you to get back to a place of center. It’s truly about living life more consciously and being aware of your habits so you can see shifts happening before they overcome you. Once the pendulum swings back to neutral, the things in your life that caused you to sway from your path will magically fall by the wayside. Everything in life is interconnected so listen to your body and honor yourself. It is your inner experience of self that guides you…not your thoughts or emotions, but your true higher self. The only way you’ll know when it’s time to end a relationship or change jobs or make a positive change in your life is by quieting the mind and going within to the inner sanctuary of self, which is where the rest of the world seems to fall in to place.


The Intimadated Teacher August 19, 2008

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Wow, wow, WOW!!! I’m flying high right now…blissed out of my mind!!! I just taught my first class at Peachtree Yoga Center, which is where I got certified and a highly regarded studio in the Greater Atlanta area. Peachtree offers a loving environment that supports all levels and abilities and anyone who takes a class there knows the beautiful energy that emanates from the heart of each and every teacher.

It was definitely a dream of mine to teach there, but I never thought in a million years it would happen so quickly. I mean seriously…me…working at Peachtree? No way! I’m not nearly experienced enough to teach at PEACHTREE…maybe someday after I’ve been teaching for a while, right? No, how ridiculous! I need to change these old self-defeating thought patterns. They do not serve me!!!

I was scared to death to sub the class and I came close to bailing out, but I knew the only reason I was even thinking about it was because of fear and I wasn’t about to let fear hold me back. I knew if I wanted to do this for a living I had to jump in head first and go for it, which meant not turning down any opportunities…Peachtree or otherwise. 

My stomach was in knots all day and my head was buzzing with ridiculous thoughts like, “What if I forget everything I was ever taught or come up blank when I go to speak? What if I can’t think of enough poses to do?” What if, what if, what if??? You should have heard me driving myself crazy. It was absolutely ridiculous, but it was just my ego trying to gain some momentum. 

You can imagine how elated I was to not only finish the entire class with ease, but to get positive feedback from the students. I couldn’t believe it. I did it…I really did it!!! I taught my first class at Peachtree and it was an absolute honor!!! I’ve never been more proud of myself in my entire life and I’ve never been happier as I sat there on the mat watching the last person walk out of class. I looked around the empty space feeling the beautiful energy circulating throughout the room and then nodded my head with a great big smile across my face.

I drove home singing my little heart out and giggling like a little girl. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and not just for the class, but for everything that was happening around me. My dream was unfolding right before my eyes. Although I dreamed it, there was a small part of me that didn’t think it was ever going to be possible and here I was no longer dreaming it, but living it. I was doing it…teaching yoga full time…working a flexible schedule…having independence and freedom…doing what I loved and loving what I was doing…it was everything I manifested and more.

Life just keeps getting better and better and my heart keeps feeling more and more joy. There is so much love in my heart and there is such gratitude for all the blessings in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy in my entire life. I feel so blessed and I wish this for the world…this happiness…this peace…this absolute sheer joy. Namaste!

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Pure Consciousness August 4, 2008

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What is “pure consciousness”? I’m always talking about being awake or conscious, but then it dawned on me that people may have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. What would you say if someone asked you the question, “Who are you?”  I was actually asked this question on the application for Yoga Teacher Training and my first response was, “Oh, that’s easy…I’m this…I’m that…I’m…I’m.” I had to keep starting over because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t put it in to words…it was beyond words.

We are not our jobs and we are not the cars we drive or the homes we live in. We are not the clothes we wear or the friends we hold. These are just identities we associate ourselves with on a day-to-day basis. There is so much more to us than life’s external identifiers, but sometimes it takes a paradigm shift to open yourself up to seeing beyond the veil and realizing there’s a duality to our existence. Do me a favor and wiggle your toes. How are your toes moving? Your body, right? Well how did your body know to wiggle your toes? Because the body heard me say it or because something beyond the physical told the body to do it?

You could psycho-analyze this to death, but these types of questions aren’t suppose to be logically thought through. They are just here to get us to think outside the box. For example, how do you think the body heals itself when it gets sick?  Don’t think about it because it’s too complex for the mind to understand. The mind wasn’t meant to grasp such refinement, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more going on just beneath the surface. People are stuck in wanting to understand from a logical perspective…they want cold hard facts…scientific proof.

Evolution can’t always be explained, but there is a beautiful higher intelligence that guides, heals, and protects us whether the mind grasps it or not. This inner intelligence is what some may refer to as our spirit or soul. This light within us is always trying to communicate with us, but we don’t always hear it because we are so distracted with life and everything going on around us.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a friend while you were at a rock concert? No, of course not. And why? Because you can’t hear each other, right? You would have to scream in order for you to talk and there’s a concert going on so why bother? Well think about what it must be like for your spirit to try and communicate to you when there’s constant noise in the background. We live in a world where people are in front of the television or listening to music or playing video games or out having fun with their friends allowing social conversations to mute the soul.

If you want to find your true essential nature, you have to step back from the distractions and allow for some quiet space in your life. Most people can’t stand to be alone or in any kind of silence because they are afraid of what they might see. The ego has done a good job in convincing you that you are not enough and it doesn’t want you to find yourself because that means you will see and feel the truth and will know that you are not the ego…you are not your thoughts…you are not your emotions. You are simply a beautiful compassionate  loving being who wants to be loved. The ego tells you love hurts and so you run from love, but you will never be able to free yourself from the ego until you learn to love yourself….your true beautiful self.

Pure consciousness is that place of divine love that rests peacefully beneath the thoughts and emotions and armor you wear. Think about a time you went up to the mountains or out to the beach and got up at dawn to see the sun rise? Think about the pervading quiet stillness. Think about the awakening dawn and all the pleasant sounds that rang out from the heart of the divine mother. Think about the sky and the marvelous colors that gave birth to new splendid hues of light. Think about the sun and the sweet peace you felt as it came up over the horizon. Think about how you felt in that moment of stillness with so much beauty surrounding you. It was pure and perfect in the unfolding moment because life was perfectly aligned. Feel in to the divine energy you felt…feel the peace and the love and all the stillness…what you are feeling is you…the real you…the soul you…the spirit you…the conscious you.

Your job…your social schedule…your house…your car….your favorite sport…your yesterday…your tomorrow……none of it truly matters in the grand scheme of things…it’s the beautiful loving “you” that truly matters. Somewhere deep within ourselves there is this yearning to be free from the ego. People who do not know themselves have this underlying unhappiness somewhere in their life and this malcontent will continue to haunt them until the day they die because they are stuck in the pattern of negative thoughts, strong emotions, and thinking they have to be this or they have to be that in order to be happy. All it takes to move through the disontent is to be fully present…without judgment or fear….give yourself the freedom of being in the here now and the beautiful conscious “you” will fully emerge from deep within the depths of your being!


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Letting go of what no longer serves you July 22, 2008

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A New Earth

At what point do you just stop and say, “enough…I’m through…I’m done…this no longer servers me?” We spend so much of our time doing stuff or making decisions that aren’t good for us. Why do we do it? We know it’s bad…it feels bad yet we continuously put ourselves through the same hurt over and over again. Whether its eating food that’s not good for us or drinking too much alcohol or consuming drugs or staying in a relationship that no longer serves us.

I don’t have the answers, but everyday I’m learning more and more how to say, “no” to what no longer serves me and “yes” to what does. How do we know what serves us? I think if it feels good in your heart than it serves you, but if it doesn’t feel good than you have to know deep down that it isn’t good for you. The problem is when something feels good, but on a superficial level. To some people drinking is fun. You forget about stress and have a good time, but the stress is still there and you wake up feeling like crap and somehow the stress feels worse.

I spent many years not knowing my limit and would drink until I was wobbling around like Bambi. I would wake up feeling terrible…nauseous and hung-over, but it was fun at the time, right? I finally realized I didn’t want to be that person anymore. It wasn’t serving me…it wasn’t making me feel good so I made the conscious decision to change what I was doing. We all have the power within us to make the necessary changes to make us feel good inside, but that means making better decisions in our life.

I also think we do things that no longer serve us because it feels safe…its comfortable. One of the hardest things you can do is walk away from something or someone because you know somewhere deep within yourself it’s the right thing to do. It’s not what you “want” to do, but what’s “best” for you. I think it takes an incredible strength to honor yourself in that way and you have to know the Universe will support any decision you make that is for your higher good. It is so much easier to stay in a relationship than it is to walk away…to continue going out and getting annulated…to keep eating the crap that makes us gain weight and feel tired and sluggish.

Of course it’s easier…it feeds the ego and the ego is powerful…it can take complete control over you. I’ve seen it happen and it breaks my heart to know a person’s beauty…what they’re heart is capable of…to know their spirit…to know the love in their heart, but to see a completely different side…a side that is so blind to who they truly are. We’ve all had that “friend” who was in a bad relationship, but couldn’t walk away…you knew they were better than that…you knew they deserved better yet there they were going back for more…more pain…more struggle…more heartache. What is it in people that blind them from seeing the truth…from seeing who they are and what they deserve? It’s years of conditioning…it’s years of the egoic mind feeding off of so much negativity.

There comes a point in time in every one’s life where you have to make a decision. Are you going to continue down the same destructive path or are you going to make a decision to move in a different direction? You have to honor yourself…your spirit…if you are not happy you are the only person who can change it. Don’t sacrifice yourself because it’s easier to stay in a relationship…easier to drink that 10th cocktail…easier to eat the greasy burger. You are better than that and you deserve better…you deserve to be happy. Life is too short to make those kind of sacrifices.

Pay attention to the questions you hear yourself ask…questions like, “What am I doing? Why am I allowing this? I deserve better than this…how did I get here?” These are coming from your true essential nature…your spirit. Your ego is the one who comes in and tries to rationalize…convincing you to stay and continue down the path that doesn’t serve you. I wish I could describe the ego as beautifully as Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth. He is an absolutely amazing author…brilliant in his understanding of life.

He is someone who truly “gets it!” He knows the truth…he speaks the truth…he is the truth. It’s incredible how he’s able to explain the ego and the part it plays in our life. I think everyone in this world needs to read his book, but the reality is that everyone isn’t ready to read his book and so there are people who wouldn’t get what he’s trying to say even if they tried. I’m learning that people have to be ready to open their eyes to that kind of awareness and if they aren’t ready than you have to honor the place they are in and just keep being your own light. I wish I could give the gift of conscious awareness to everyone, but the hard cold truth is that I can’t.



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Another perspective June 19, 2008

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Conscious awareness is the key to a healthy relationship because it enables you to communicate through your essential nature instead of in your mind, which just conjures up ridiculous thoughts and unnecessary emotions. When we live in thought forms or the ego-driven self, we do not respond to situations from a place of love, which is why I got so mad this evening when my friend told me he was going to be late for dinner. 

We had plans to go out after my yoga, which usually gets out around 7:15-7:30. I brought a change of clothes with me since we were meeting between 7:45 and 8:00 and I wouldn’t have the time to go home first.  At 7:30 I got a text message saying he was going to be late and asked if we could meet at 8:30. I was irritated because I didn’t have the option to go home and suddenly had 45 minutes to burn. It might not have bothered me as much had he not been late the last time we got together, but making a girl wait twice is not what I call “earning brownie points” and I hate waiting…especially since I’m one of those people who is always on time.

My initial knee-jerk reaction went something like this, “What? He’s going to be late AGAIN??? I should have known !#$%^&* (that’s me cursing). Lovely…I see how important I am and what a priority our date is to him. And why is he going to be late? Because he was at the gym and didn’t realize the time? It’s rude to keep someone waiting…especially a second time! It’s inconsiderate. He knew what time we were suppose to meet…why couldn’t he schedule his time accordingly. It’s not rocket science. Now I have to sit and wait and I HATE to wait, but whatever, right? What other option do I have at this point? Be mad…tell him I don’t want to meet him anymore?”

 My ego wanted to be mad, but I didn’t want to be mad…what a waste of beautiful energy! I had to interrupt all the nonesense running through my mind so I took a deep breath and then thought about it from a different perspective.

The flip side went something like this, “Oh, who cares…he’s going to be late…it’s nothing new…he’s always late. He’s not really being inconsiderate or disrespecting our relationship…he’s just one of those people who gets caught up in the moment and is never really worried about planning ahead. He’s always running around at the last minute taking care of stuff…it didn’t matter if he was getting on an airplane or moving out of an apartment or an office space or going to a wedding or meeting me for dinner…he just always seemed to be on ”his” time.

Does this mean he’s wrong and I’m right because I’m always on time and he’s always late? Of course not. It just means that we are different and we have different habits and sometimes our habits conflict. It’s life and you can’t change someone just because their priorities are different than yours. Sure, I could have been mad at him, but that would have ruined our entire evening. My other option was to let it go and be at peace with what was happening.

 As it turned out, I ended up getting all turned around and got lost so had he not been late, it would have been me…either way we weren’t there by 8:00 and there was a wait anyway so what was the big deal, right? I ended up ordering myself a drink from the bar and just hanging out watching people come and go. It was a beautiful evening and the  moon was full so it was actually nice having the space to just “be!”

Had I allowed myself to get upset the evening would have been quite different and not so peaceful so I’m glad I made the choice to let it go.   It certainly takes a lot more energy to be negative so why even bother? Try it sometime. Just be aware of the next time you feel yourself starting to get upset with someone and use it as an opportunity to see things differently. You’ll be amazed at the difference in how you react. All it takes is a little self-awareness and life gets easier.

 Some critics would say, “Well it IS rude to be late and keep someone waiting and you shouldn’t let it go without speaking your truth.” I say, “Who cares? Does it really matter? He’s not going to change whether or not I get upset about it. It’s my decision whether or not to go out with him knowing he will probably be late so I only have myself to blame. I have to accept him for who he is and if I can’t then I shouldn’t make plans with him. We all have the choice to react negatively or just stay in a beautiful space. Thoughts are extremely powerful and if looking at life in a more positive way brings a sense of peace and equanimity than why waste time on being negative? It just doesn’t make sense.

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Judgments May 4, 2008

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Do you ever stop and think about the negative judgments you make towards other people? And even if you’re a Saint, you’re still human so don’t think for a second you’re above it. We all make judgments and not necessarily with malicious intent. Our minds have a way of naturally labeling people whether we like it or not. Judgments come as freely as thought and there’s a difference between judgments that surface subconsciously and those that are intentional.

We don’t want to look at ourselves or take responsibility for our imperfections so instead of looking within ourselves, we find fault and blame in others, but the things we don’t like in other people are usually things we don’t like about ourselves. It took me a really long time to realize this, but I see it more and more in my life every day.

I went out to dinner with some friends not too long ago and I found myself getting really irritated over something really stupid. One of the guys is a really good friend of mine and I respect him immensely yet I found myself judging him, as I watched him devour his own plate of food and then everyone else’s at the table. Of course he’s one of those people who is extremely lean without an ounce of fat and can eat whatever he wants so he doesn’t have to worry about it. The table even ordered a couple desserts for everyone to share, but he had more than his fair share and for some reason it annoyed me. 

Once I stopped and asked myself why it bothered me so much, I realized my jealous ego was at play. I love sugar and would eat it all the time if I could, but I can’t. I’m not one of those people who can eat whatever she wants. I have to work for my body and watch everything I eat. We all have those times where our appetite is insatiable, but not all of us can indulge. Does that give us the right to judge those who can? Absolutely not! 

I had no right to judge him and of course I didn’t mean to, but that’s the thing about judgments…they often surface from the unconcious self who I typically refer to as the “ego!” It’s usually those closest to us that offer the most insight in to ourselves so the next time you find yourself judging someone, stop for a minute and ask yourself where it’s coming from and be open to what arises.

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