Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Desert

This big guy resides in the back of my sisters house.  So peaceful and such beauty.  I found myself staring at a lot of cactus, just peacefully drifting off in quiet meditation.  This was a sad yet very healing visit.  My siblings and I gathered together to say goodbye to my oldest sister.  It was a journey back in memory and a healing for the soul.  It felt good to be with my siblings, anchoring.

The dessert is a quiet place and the mind and body slow down a bit, long enough to take a look around and wonder why life moves at such a fast pace back East.  I first began to notice how harried and sickeningly fast life moves after I finished my first yoga teacher training.  I no longer wanted to be involved in city living and slowly began to extract myself from an urban lifestyle.   This has been process and at times quite difficult.  Obligation and necessity have not allowed my to fully remove myself from city life, but slowly I have managed to bring my involvement down to a minimum.  I do not live in the city and I do not work in the city full time.  I rarely go in for arts and entertainment or shopping and most of the people I know no longer live in a city, so I have little reason to travel in other than work.  The lure of life calls me elsewhere. 

Spending time in the dessert was very healing and a few things came up during my visit.  Earlier this year I ran across a colleague at work.  She looked, felt and radiated health.  She had been out West on a soul journey of sorts and made many discovery's.  One was cactus juice, she was sold on its health benefits.  This stayed with me and I decided to look for some while in the dessert.  Not so easy to find.  If anyone has used cactus juice I would love to hear your story and even where you found it.  Other holistic discoveries unfolded during this visit, caster oil packs, Mayan abdominal massage and ways of looking at my body from a health perspective I had never considered. 

It was a healing visit.   I experienced a view and appreciation of the dessert I have never had before.

Jai and shine on brothers and sisters, shine on.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


The leaves are changing and falling off the trees. Its a beautiful time of year in the Northeast to stop and take in the magnificence and splendor.  I am also reflecting on the major changes that have taken place in my personal life.  Having finally made the initial leap and re calibrated the direction I am going, the realization of how important and necessary this change has been is settling in.  These days I am filled with gratitude and hope, but not so long ago I was depleted and in a constant state of stress and exhaustion.  My health had slipped from a place of vitality to a bundle of ailments with anxiety always hovering under the surface.  I had no time to address or problem solve any issues in my daily life, no matter the size, and this continually culminated into emergency situations which could have easily been averted.   People can be very nasty, and I was surrounded by toxic attitudes, which darkened by soul and left little room for joy. 

The summer allowed me some time to rest and heal.  I was so exhausted, there was little drive for much else other than just getting a baseline of energy back.  I really had no idea how much I had beaten up my body, mind and spirit until it all finally all collapsed.  The journey back is a slow one, and it's going to take a full year to recover.  My days are now far more meaningful and slowly the grip of stress and anxiety is loosening, and with it my alignments are receding.  

This change took a good year of planning with a lot of dead end roads and hopes dashed along the way.  I have a few suggestions if you are in a situation that needs change, but seems overwhelming:
  • Consider not only what you are leaving but what meaningful piece you are planning to add.
  • Work out your finances and take some time to see someone with financial acumen about your options.  You don't have to go to a financial adviser, but if you can, it's recommended. 
  • Understand you will be living with a lot less money and will have to make changes in your lifestyle.  Once you have figured out the smallest amount you can live on, cut everything else out and see how it feels.  This was hard in the beginning, but as time has gone by I have cut out more and more.  There was a lot of waste and unnecessary spending I wasn't aware of.
  • If possible put a small stash of money away for emergency only.  I have already had two major unexpected expenses since my financial lifestyle changed.
  • If married or in a significant relationship start talking about these lifestyle changes with your partner.  The changes will affect everyone in your household, more so than you or anyone else will realize till it happens.  Talking about it not only brings awareness, but makes the initial shock understandable and less stressful.
  • Once you've set a course and have something in place, things will fall apart a little and have to be re-worked.  It all part of the process, frustrating, but not the end of the world.  Something else will present itself which is better, just have faith and keep working the problem, you will find a solution.
  • Slow down!  Make stable decisions that serve you.  A certain amount of panic occurs when you have been living with an income you have become accustomed to and it is no longer there.  Temptation for the money is always a lure.  Don't!  You'll be back in a similar situation you just worked so hard to leave behind.  
  • Network, network, network.  Every contract I have been able to secure since making this lifestyle change came from my networking circle, not from a job board.  
  • Give yourself time.  Once on the course of change things will evolve but rarely at the speed of light.  Decide on what you consider an acceptable amount of time you will need.  My change is significant, I have given myself four years. 
Be well, follow your heart and serve your highest good.