Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Birthday Weekend - Crossing the Threshold into May and the Beltane Shakti Bhakti Blooming of Life

These buds are soaked and ready for shakti sun beams. In the Tantric Yoga Philosophy and mythic story, Shiva, the male energy, is the sun ... the powerful presence; Shakti, the female energy, is the sunbeam ... the creative essence. Shiva's the rainstorm's rainbow; Shakti's the light beaming colors of the rainbow. Basically, You need the idea of the ONE, to have the creation of the ONE.

Speaking of needs, most of this early spring I've been feeling S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) and have been eagerly awaiting more sun, some warmth and the color. I've been eager to evolve, to make some breakthroughs through my mainly self-constructed mental barriers.

, The gentle rains have been good though, and I know we need the cleansing and nourishing effects of a good downpour. And even without the rain, the shadow of a looming cloud cover can draw us inside for some deep reflection.

Keeping our internal conversations positive takes fortitude and devotion if we want to break through melancholy, depression, self-doubt or denial and instead bnurture our strengths and potential. Bhakti yoga practices celebrate Devoting ourselves to our Higher Good and to God. (Bhakti is the yoga of devotion.)

Waking up and Celebrating the 'WOW'ness of life through the Bhakti practices of japa mantra, prayer, inspirational song or kirtan/chanting, as well as practicing the physical art of asana in hatha yoga, are ways to quickly flow within the currents of the heart, which helps us lead an authentic life.

Also When we purposefully take time to pause and be mellow, to settle the mind and meditate, we can sit in a stillness that is not melancholy. Instead, like a raindrop's ripple on a placid pond, we can settle without attachment to expectations or fears, and let incite reveal waves of big ideas and happy out looks.

I celebrated my 48th birthday this weekend (April 30th) and it was a lovely day, albeit cloudy and grey. The day before and the day after were both sunny and bright, which I celebrated by meditating on the ocean wall at the Pier in Narragansett. A shout out to the magnificent sea!

April started out tough, but by my mother's birthday mid month, and the family outing of bowling and birthday wishes we shared, I was feeling the essence of a creative renewal. A turning of the tide, and the April showers and sweet sprinklings became really lovely- fun opportunities for my son and I to revel in.

My yoga practices have deepened as well, and my teachings and students are evolving beautifully. They are all so generously appreciative of my classes, which makes me feel even more opening of the heart which is especially nice after recently releasing heart stings to the man I've been in relationship with off and on for the past six and a half years. I now feel more compassion than ever for others.

My son Shane and I have been spending more quality time together than we did most of the winter when many of my days were spent stressing over needing to buy a car, dwindling finances, getting over the flu and relationship dramas.

At last, I'm over all that, and feel as if I've made it through a threshold this spring. It's beauty in the making. My son has made wonderful progress too as a student and young gentleman. He received an "OUTSTANDING EFFORT" award at the end of March and has grown physically so much too since last April 2010 and even has his two front teeth! (check out photo of us on the beach a year ago compared to him on the wetlands crossing at Trustom pond.) Wow!

How do we appreciate each day, and each moment? By savouring the preciousness of each smile, each funny remark, each amazing spark of wit and beam of wisdom, and holding it all dear without being attached to the fear of seeing it pass. It's like springs newness fleeting into the full blooms of summer.

Spring is so innocent in it's effort to be something fuller. It's the innocence of nature's potential breaking through. It's the intelligence of the Divine cycling with patterns of certainty and chaos. A windmill blowing spaciousness into currents or a raindrop pattering ripples on still water. Lovely predictability and awesome wonder. It's in us during this time, and it's all around us.

We have to wake up to it. To set intentions to live each day to our full potential; the sudden death in April of my dear friend and community farmer, Mac Hedgpath, reminded me of that. He lived with a permanent smile on his face, and stood tall to the task of teaching and feeding others. What an offering of heart. His life fulfilled such glorious dharma.

Living life as we want it to be, as our message, and being the change we want to see in this world as Ghandi said, can be living with effortful ease. I feel strongly that Fortitude and Love will help us break through the thresholds that hold us back. We must do the work, like an acorn bursting through it's hard exterior to sprout and grow into a hardy Oak.

I've been practicing Sianna Sherman's Anusara Mythic Yoga Classes this weekend in celebration of the Bhakti Beltane Tour being held outwest amongst the Anusara Yoga Kula (community). I'd love to be with my dear friend SamanthaShakti at the Shakti Yoga Shala in Boulder Creek, dancing the dance of Nataraj and May's flowering, with the fortitude of Durga and beauty of Uma, but I enjoyed being there in spirit and celebrated my bday with a lot of yoga and Thai Massage sessions- which bought me and Shane an awesome to-go TRIO chowder dinner on the wall Friday night, and a night of spirited folk music. ANd then for Saturday, a bottle of Petite Syrah (Syrah grapes are what Bradley grows at Big Basin Vineyards) and organic vegetables for a home-cooked birthday meal.
Shakti Yoga Shala above Big Basin Vineyards Winery, Boulder Creek, CA. and w

Durga riding the lion with fortitude.

Fortitude comes in the form of developing and being steadfast with practices that serve your highest purpose; for me it's my regular practices of Yoga and meditation, it's journaling for self reflection and it's chanting mantras or singing songs that make me smile, and strengthen my will to push myself to do my very best, to be a leader, to evolve.

I trust my practices will continue to support my highest intentions to be the best mother and teacher I can be. It takes steadfast courage and fortitude. The word courage comes from the french word, Coure - from the heart, and it's courage that keeps me focused on my higher purpose, aligned with the current of my heart. It takes courage and fortitude to be "out there" marketing my skills. It takes courage and fortitude to live a life of purpose and beauty and earn a living doing it. It takes courage and fortitude to maintain the practices necessary to make breakthroughs were needed.

May the threshold of spring bring this light and fire into your heart, and may your greatest dreams come true.


This takes fortitude:
"You've got to GET up every morning with a SMILE on your face
And show the WORLD ALL the LOVE in your HEART,
Then people are gonna' treat you better,
Your gonna' find, yes you will,
That your BEAUTIFUL,
As you Feel."

Carole King

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