Breaking Through the Self

I celebrate Earth Day coming from the inside out.  Like the hatchling, I break out first.  You may see it as a crack or a hole.

My specialized egg tooth is meditation; well equipped on the inside. Breathing the air deeply I ready myself to break free; the air that is within the egg.  Like the egg tooth itself, all dissolves.

Then I have to peck to break out. This takes consistent effort. Rajas – passion, energy and motion. Not just when my butt is on the cushion or the mat is rolled out; daily with self-love and discipline; striving toward my goal. The yolk that sustains me is tapas – the fire of desire.

Working in circles, using its wings for propulsion and feet to kick, the chick takes rest in between pipping. Permission to spend more time on the inside to strengthen when what is outside is hard. I cannot break out until I land.

Some chicks are preoccupied with the pecking itself…always trying to do, learn, expectations, accumulations, letting busy be a distraction.  Mistaking grace for boredom. Release and allow.

My tendency is to let the shell become armor for the Self. I will not let it harden ever again. Rest and peck the way nature intended. Too much substance breeds self-doubt. Tamas – complete darkness holding and limiting me.  Engage in outer activity. Break that shell.

Be open to the forces coming from the outside. Who breaks into me? Teachers? Loved ones? Difficult neighbors? View them all with a non-rejecting mind. They are here to help me find freedom. Agitations and affirmations coax me out equally. They peck in as I peck out.

My pecking out.  Their pecking in. They lead to the same place – life history, experiences, stories, all that is in my shell. In me, but not me.  I will break out.

Mother Earth supports transformation in spring. This chick will decide for herself when she is ready. My only goal is to break out. The final push, with no urgency to fly.

Love and Light,
Megan

Choose Love

Raw and scared and hopeless and unsure and angry and revengeful: Hatred is a result of all of these faces. There is no need to see photos of victims, know their names or hear their stories; I choose not to know so please don’t talk details.  My protective cover is on. The sensational story lines are for the primitive brain where we chose to attack or hide.  My heart already knows them as me.

Each time it happens, being alone is where I release.  How do I know how long to keep the band-aide on? As long as the wound is healing, it needs to be in the dark where all filters are off. In daylight, I walk a line between not suppressing my emotions and trying to hold space.  One morning I don’t want to leave meditation because that may be the only place all day I don’t feel guilty for smiling and not attaching to the madness.   And the next day I want to scream at the top of my voice “I am tired of all this shit you hateful pricks”.  I also cry unobstructed without needing to explain why.  “Stop your crying.  Act like a big girl.” That is the bad advice I heard the mother tell her child last week. I am a big girl and I do cry. I allow myself all this and more.  Each emotion has it’s own energy. I feel their sensations in my body and give permission to go there. I can hold myself in sacred space. And whatever they may be, I make peace with my thoughts.

Somewhere along the way, I learned it is not in my job description to tell others who I am. No matter how long or how well you know someone, you never truly know them. People are not put in my path so I can tell them about myself.  They are here to teach me about mySelf.  They expose my difficult parts so I can grow spiritually.  What makes me weak, angry, judgmental? Please push those trigger points.  I will embody a stronger vibration.  But when the world feels this broken, part of me feels the need to explain myself – that I am like a bear and my method of self-nurturing is hibernation. It doesn’t mean I don’t care or am in denial or avoidance. Solitude is where I dig deepest into my heart space beyond all that is black and dead.

“Don’t look for the light to find me, become the light.” The first glimpse is not going to come from the evening news, on social media or in an emotional discussion on current events.  I find it alone in my wounds.  If I let myself get caught up in the stories and conversation, even with the best of intentions, I stay in the dark. The wounds become universal wounds – my wounds.  Evil prevails and too much energy goes toward trying to fathom the despise in another soul. I am my thoughts.  Why do I want them to repeatedly be of hateful humans and tragedy? They want me to be scared and judgmental. Protect yourself. Don’t trust each other. Instead I will be stronger in my resolve to see myself in others; because it is not death I fear – it is a world of better people living IN fear.

Hatred is a small child throwing a tantrum.  It has limitations and will exhaust itself.  It is only satisfied when it gets attention and recognition; Enter the Aquarian Age of information where Mass Media nurtures hate.  Love knows no boundaries, has no agenda and tiptoes quietly through the human madness. The energy of the heart heals.  The mind judges.  The heart is empathetic and compassionate.  The mind wants revenge and justice.  Nothing sinks us into survival behavior faster than allowing hatred to gloat; or it sends us into an emotional upheaval that society then tells us to restrain; or into the ego where anger lives.  We are certain we are better than the perpetrator.  I tell myself my hands are not weapons of hate.  But what are the small ways that my words and thoughts harm others?

Today is a full moon.  I choose to magnify love.

Namaste, Megan

Insider Journey -New Years Resolution

A day of resolution starts with purification. Awareness to connect to what is healthy and disconnect from what is not. How much of the path is already laid out and what can be manipulated with the mind? Desire leads to that which is changeable. Recognize unnecessary suffering. Draw old patterns out into the air and ignite them with intention. Empowerment to become.

Perception dims to where I see my reflection in others; Not in achievement but the struggles. Fear in Muladhara. Attachment in Svadisthana. Ego in Manipura. Separation and this season build upon the old framework. The false identities of Prakriti; that which is seen – constantly changing. Deep trenches of samskara trip me again.

This morning is a return to the dark where I barely sense that the pilot light is still on. Then it is about the willingness to commit. Again and again. Influence the direction of change starting with Self. There is no prescriptive pill to swallow with water. No bill. It requires determination in personal practice.

Internalize the vibration first in meditation. Heart passionately dances with each level of its being in Purusha; the seer – consciousness unchanging. Ask for an all access pass to the immovable reality; the source of all Light. This is the safe space where the energy used to resolve imbalance can now build the positive force within.

If the soul knows its purpose, who are the people planted that help to bring me to my higher self? My first partnership is with you. I want more of what you have, but this takes full surrender. Be still in seclusion with the resonance of love. The F word is faith.

Today, the journey backtracks to thoughts that form written words. Tomorrow it is a relationship with expansion.

“Love opens up the day, guides us on our way, illuminates the path we are to walk…” – Jai-Jagadeesh

Namaste New Year 2016,

Megan

Morning

At the end of this longest darkness I see you and remember who I am.

Not able to tell if the day starts with snowflakes floating or fog resting; fingers fumble to write.

The window is a stoic wall.  My heart is the window.

In the safety of this sacred space I am learning to open.

Genghis Khan no longer holds the mic.

First shaking off the astral dust of last night’s dreams.  Attempting to make sense of what remains.

A dried sea sponge in need of your salty water, I taste you. Soak me. Fill me. Expand me beyond form.

My house of mirrors is too dark to see in Brahma Muhurat. Pure fire strength only reflects light.

Follow the flame inward and know my outward appearance.

Purity comes in self practice.

Before warm colors splatter the sky always the question – how can I be better today than yesterday?

Namaste, Megan

Intentions for Fall Planting

The story starts with stepping on a freshly fallen green acorn the other morning.  The initial thought was “ ouch” and “crap, summer is ending”.  Then with the acceptance and appreciation that we can never outdo nature, a lesson formed.  The acorn in question was from a white oak tree that is approximately 25 years old.  I have been privileged enough to watch this tree grow from its own self-sewn seed. Now strong enough to support a zip line with a 300 pound weight limit and tall enough to shade the deck, it understands time as the rhythm of nature.  It also teaches the power of intention.

On an August morning that would heat up to 80+, the oak begins to drop its seeds as if it knows it will require the remaining three seasons to fulfill its potential.  What starts with just a few oak nuts being dropped will soon cover the grass. But the odds are against the acorns. Each nut contains only one seed which requires 1,000 hours of dormancy.  The potential for inhospitable weather is high – too wet or too dry; or another harsh Wisconsin winter and they won’t germinate. Additionally, due to squirrel and chipmunk all day dining, most of the seeds will never find dirt.  But the tree instinctually recognizes that the more it drops, the better its chances. And the older trees have an advantage as they produce more acorns.

Isn’t the acorn a bit like the seeds of our intentions?  They both take time – seasons even – to know if they will grow.  In the mean time, we cannot guarantee the perfect climate for growth.  Even when we put ample energy into creating a nutty idea 😉 things happen that are out of our control.  Then the decision has to be made as to which seeds we should continue to nurture. Our minds are a bit like the squirrels; we get all excited at first, but intentions are misplaced like acorns.  The squirrels get so busy hiding acorns that they can’t remember where most of them were stashed, and we get caught up in other distractions.

Masting is a phenomenon where every so often, different species of trees in a region drop an inexhaustible abundance of nuts in an effort to greatly improve the chances for growth.  The years when oak trees mast are unmistakable; walking barefoot in the yard is not recommended.   Viewed from the point of an individual tree, its ability to do this is remarkable.  What is unexplainable is the synchronicity in which it happens. Different species of trees coordinate this prodigious release over large geographical areas as if they recognize the power of the collective conscious.

The end is optimistic for the White Oak. Every year, I find new baby trees in the yard.  Somehow, the energy in one nut is strong enough to make it through it all.  Or perhaps, it was a masting year and all the trees worked together for positive growth.

Like the oak tree, it is not too early to set intentions for next summer.  And plant extras.  Perhaps, following the example of Mother Nature, we can “mast” our intentions and infect the quantum field with positive change.

Happy Fall! Megan

Anniversary Blog

A Year of Gratitude
This week, BFYH starts its second year in business.  What did the first year bring? Not to keep you waiting, I will skip to the thesis statement;  Yoga brings out the best in people. Forget the physical aspects. It is the human side of the story.  The power we hold to hurt or heal each other.  In the studio this past year, it was a story of how we bring Light to each other.  A term I call Generosity of Spirit;  The idea that every interaction is the opportunity to improve the day of the person you come in contact with. Sometimes as simple as a smile.

There were unexpected twists that were not in the business manual – months of distracting train whistles, interesting neighbors and shady deals going down in the parking lot behind us, and most recently, lots of shoveling, ice and a polar vortex. (Even as a snow lover, the current temperature of -2  makes this a particularly good week to practice cultivating positive thoughts and perception – and I realize I take my chances saying that!)

Difficulty came in losing the clients, friends and family that transitioned this past year.  There need not be an agreement where they go to when they leave their bodies, only that we continue to send blessings in our own way.

I cannot express the gratitude in my heart for all you have taught me this past year, but thanks go out to:

  • The students who followed me from the Aurora Wellness Center and helped to make BFYH our new home.
  • The prayer pot that overflows with selfless thoughts and greets me each day.
  • All the intentions set by and for each of you in class.  We are energy and awareness and energy follows intention.
  • Meeting and making new friends… and meeting your support team: parents who attend with their children, couples, sisters and friends all practicing together. Keep bringing your visitors for free!
  • The teachers who are yoga students at BFYH. Thank You for taking care of yourselves because you help our kids.
  • Workshops and events with fantastic guest facilitators sharing their knowledge and energy. And for the attendees who open their minds to holistic methods of health and healing.
  • The clients who supported me during my Healing Touch certification. Next goal: making the word “chakra” a household term in Burlington!
  • Dog lovers who greet and treat Luna and Bodhi. Bodhi is starting his therapy training and appreciates your patience and affection.
  • Those who participate in, and Janine for teaching our Friday community class.  We raised $1,986 for the Transitional Living Center in 2014!
  • Lots of savasana – student or teacher, always my favorite pose 🙂
  • Mostly, Thank You for the countless hugs and for sharing your “Selves”.

As a friend wrote recently, “life is just a really big project, isn’t it”?!  A project where my hope is more things happen FOR you instead of TO you in next year.  Either way, life is a project we can work on together.

Namaste,
megan

Habits Feed the Fire of Intention

As we journey to the end of 2013, the word intention is a hot button; a hot button that often goes lukewarm in the first 30 days.  But it doesn’t have to. In setting intentions, first there needs to be an awakening – accepting yourself as you are presently and knowing what it is you want to achieve.  Then you can keep the fire lit by transforming the habits that might hold us back; free up time and energy to manifest those dreams. If the word habit has a negative connotation, consider that your current ones need some reworking.  Yes, habits can be destructive, but they can also provide reinforcement for our intentions.  Though it takes some dedicated rewiring to keep the positive circuit flowing, good habits are more powerful than bad ones. If you are ready to ignite the flame and reflect on a few of your mental habits, ask yourself the following questions (written answers are best):

Are you ok with changing your routine?  And if so, how often do you do so?

Do you believe you have choices for healthier options? Are you willing to explore them?

How often are you engaged in your thoughts of the past and enslaved with judgement?

When are you preoccupied with thoughts of the future that strengthen the worry loop?

Do you feel guilty when your healthy habits pull you away from other’s needs?

What are your attachments?  What are your aversions? And how do they each influence habitual behavior?

What/who empowers you?

And finally, have you surrounded yourself with a whole team of defenders?  Denial, victim, cynicism, sarcasm, being highly critical, rigidity, withdrawal, being too nice, endless rationalizing, and self-deprecation just to name a few.

In the end, we have a conscious choice to repeatedly grab on to something to maintain a relationship with it or release.  Sometimes life brings pain.  There is no way around it. We forget to remember or just get lazy.  But if our good habits are more clever than the bad ones, they provide the transformative fire we need to get through the cold spells.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson