Pushing ‘Reset’ For the Year

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Never someone who’s liked to make New Year’s resolutions, I prefer to practice certain life style choices, honing in tighter as the seasons change.

The beginning of a new year though, always the most significant time of reevaluation. What worked and what didn’t over the past year? Refocusing on my life’s direction and goals that I have set in all areas of my life.

This year, one of my goals is to dive deeper into the spiritual practice of yoga, following the guidance of one of my most inspiring yogis, Seane Corn. Her new book, Revolution of the Soul: Awakening To Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action, opening my eyes even wider to the power of what one person’s actions and thoughts can accomplish

It is with the 8 Limbs of Yoga, more specifically the 5 Koshas, that I reevaluate my life’s practices and disciplines.

The Physical or Food Body

From a physical viewpoint, this is our bones, muscles, joints, and  tissues. One aspect of caring for the Physical body means focusing on eating habits.

Taking in only clean, organic, earth friendly foods, I still follow my life long bodybuilding diet, which consists of high protein white meat, fish, and free-range eggs, carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, (sweet potatoes, winter squash, brown rice, ect.), a variety of green leafy vegetables, and dairy, primarily in the form of milk.

And, of course, WATER! The most essential nutrient. Something I am always trying to be more cognizant of, especially this time of year.

Food to me, also means that which my mind and spirit are ingesting. Being diligent of the negative I am exposed to in my life, cognizant of the people, thoughts, and words that I allow into my space.

Being focused on my body keeps me in the present moment, grounded in my experiences, and able to investigate what I am experiencing physically. (A key factor in events that are currently unfolding in my life.)

The Energy Body

The Physical Body covers the Energy Body, it is composed of the subtle life-force energy called prana, also known as Chi in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the vitalizing force behind every atom, cell, organ, and body system.

Prana coordinates every physiological activity, from pumping the heart to the elimination of waste. Imbalances or blocks within this energetic body greatly affect the overall functioning of the physical body.

Refocusing on the vigilance of my habits and diet, including getting more fresh air and being out in the sunshine – which is the ultimate source of prana – will help me stay sharp and focused, increasing my energy level, (keeping me sane after 33 years of having children under the age of 18, with 4 more years to go), and stabilize my mood and ability to be open and more receptive.

The Mental Body

One’s third layer of being, ones Mental Body, relates to the Central Nervous System. It corresponds to one’s mind and emotions and is expressed as one’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

One’s breathing is highly connected to one’s state of being, why Prana is vital to a person’s overall state of well being.

Something I never really gave thought to as a bodybuilder, though something I focused on every time I lifted. Yoga helped me to understand the importance in what I had been doing and helped me grow more diligent in my practice.

Asana, the yoga movements, and/or my days in the gym, help me move any agitation out of my mind and into my body so I can identify it and release. This, something definitely neglected in my life over the past several months as events had me focused in other areas. Perhaps, one of the most significant places I need to be placing my attention moving into the new year.

The Wisdom Body 

The Wisdom Body is your inner knowing. Through coordinating breath with movement one becomes more present in the moment. This synchronizes the physical, energetic, and mental bodies. Only through time and these practices have I been able to attain a more internal awareness of my Wisdom Body.

Underneath ones endless stream of thoughts, feelings, and sensations lies an inner knowing and higher intelligence.  Your intuition, conscience, and the reflective aspects of  your consciousness are all parts of your wisdom body.

Through decades of lifting, and years of yoga practice, greater awareness and deeper insight into the nature of who I am, and how I relate to the world around me, are being attained.

Another one of my bigger goals this year, to work on keeping my mind quieted to discover an even deeper sense of self, guiding me further down the road of manifesting my visions.

Through meditation and quiet reflection, I hope to engage further my wisdom body, or discerning mind. Through focusing on my breathing in and out from my heart, and reading more spiritual texts- the food that nourishes my soul- this area of my being will ever continue to expand and grow.

The Bliss Body 

This is the subtlest of the energy bodies and is connected to our awareness with our highest Self or Spirit. It is the deepest layer of our being and the core of our existence. Our bliss body is where we experience the unbounded freedom, expanse, and joyousness of our true nature.

The Bliss Body is one I tap into when I work out, when I dance, whilst writing, and any time out in nature. It’s like a coming  home. There is a sense of peace and connectedness during which time ceases to exist and consciousness expands beyond the limits of my body.

This place I may not have put words too, but I know I have found in our Oasis, the little piece of heaven we have carved out for our home. The key for me, and another of this year’s foci, to learn how to tap into and sustain this a bit longer when going out in the outside world.

Moving Forward

I have always said, if I am not growing and learning, I don’t want to be living. Moving past a place of healing, I strongly embrace the passion I hold within for life, and look forward to the adventure this year takes me on, for it will certainly take me deeper into the expanse known as Self. Excitement abounds as I move further along the road less traveled … for Revolution Begins With Me.

 

Reclaiming Spirit!

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This is my year! My focus, not to be on the past, but on forward movement, to reclaim all that is mine. All that is me.

Our country, our planet, is on the verge of ascending from a greatly destructive and traumatic period, not just on a physical level, but more significantly, on a spiritual one, into to a place of inner peace and self love.

Multitudes around the planet, having lived through, and survived, ruination of a “mythical” world they once lived in, are beginning to reclaim their inner beings, their souls.

A “mythical” world, as most of us have been living in a world, prescribed to us by those who believe they are in control. We have given up our inalienable rights as humans, in search of trinkets and ego-boosting existences, that have allowed our planet to head towards its demise.

There is a massive shift in consciousness happening though. People finally beginning to look within for answers, as opposed to looking to those they think are experts on matters of life and theology. Where in sincerity, we are our own true masters.

For me, waking to my own consciousness decades ago, but being surrounded by people whose self-limiting ideals and theologies brought destruction to my own life, I needed to obliterate the ignorance, and be honest with myself about any of my own self-eradicating behaviors.

A Healer by nature, the last 15 years have been focused on removing any negative energy and people that held me down. Focused on healing my then young family, I have watched them turn into strong, confident, self-aware individuals. It is now my turn to put full focus on me and the next leg of my odyssey.

The biggest, and most consequential piece of my transformation, was my unrelenting search to return my spirit to self. Not an easy task, one that took much inward focus and commitment, to look into those painful places where the deepest damage was obtained. With the help of like minded people, those who knew the journey well, for they had traveled it themselves, success was inevitable.

Entwined deeply to my youngest son on an energetic level, one who lived through much trauma in his life as a young child, I always knew we would climb out of the darkness together, one day to soar to the highest realms.

Now 23, watching him jump through multiple and seemingly endless hoops, to be allowed to join the United States Navy, (initially with the thought of becoming a Navy SEAL) great rewards were brought to him over the year. Rewards, in many facets of his young adult life.

Together we forge ahead, out of the pain and darkness of our own trauma, our Dark Nights of the Soul, moving forward with a mission to help those on a like path, looking for the Light they have lost in their own lives. Here, to testify, you can make it. You will make it! Not an easy road, but a road increasing numbers are beginning to travel.

We are living in a historical and Magical time. The war between Good and evil heightened to a crescendo. The time is ripe for those of us Awake and wanting change to step up and ban together to take our world back.

Through a mass conscious Awakening, the Shift is beginning to occur. The downward spiral halting. Momentum to be gained as we integrate on one United front. The Awakening and reclaiming of our souls and our spirits front and center in the Movement.

I take the moment to reflect on my past years growth on so many counts. Show gratitude for all that was given to me. Forgive myself where I need to. Then, embrace and fortify that which has been growing deep within my being, as I move forward into the revolution that is at hand … for the Revolution Begins With Me.

The Phoenix Is Rising

Pheonix rising

Spirit and energy, words that took on new meaning a quarter of a century ago. A time when I truly embraced the fact that I was a free spirit.  Something everyone in my young life seemed to want to stifle except for my dad who was also a free spirit.

It was the beginning of a brand-new journey, totally embarking on The Road Less Traveled. Two roads diverged in the woods and I, certainly, took the one less traveled by.

My eldest son who was two at the time helped me embrace the inquisitive spiritual side of my being. I let him take the lead and we followed his curious, creative, and highly energetic spirit down new untrekked territory. He gave me the strength to dig within, to heal wounds that needed healing, then to venture down new avenues, previously, I never before would have embarked on.

Five years later, with the birth of my second son, my spiritual sense grew even stronger. At the time, my life was in a place of total transformation, one I embraced completely and passionately.

At the time, the biggest part of this alteration was entering the gym and making the weight-room my new home. It was an environment that allowed instant transformation. I embraced the lifestyle of a bodybuilder.

I was given the gift of a friend, also a fellow bodybuilder, one who possessed a strong knowing of a deeper spiritual world. His mother had been 100% Cherokee Indian. He was raised in the beauty of the Ozark mountains and had been taught an appreciation of Mother Earth.

He spoke of the Earth’s energy. Although, I had never heard these words before, it was something I felt deep in my core. Unspoken words of my father, yet passionately, instilled within me growing up in rural Minnesota, surrounded by the magnificence of my native land.

My friend would speak to me of energy. How I possessed a strong powerful aura. How to care for and manage this gift. How to remove the Ego from my being. He would speak to me of worlds I had never known, worlds most people don’t know exist, deeper levels of consciousness.

His words were completely foreign to me, and although I couldn’t begin to grasp their enormity, I knew they held truth because I could feel it. Over time, my appreciation would grow.

Life would throw me many curveballs; the birth of a third son, ongoing health problems, (later to discover related to severe mercury poisoning,) divorce and alienation from family, and my father’s suicide. All I knew was to go deeper into the spirit world I had uncovered and further down the road less traveled.

I had been living in Minnesota, working as a critical care nurse in a Level 1 trauma hospital, encompassed by trauma and death on a daily basis, yet surrounded by people who would feed and nourish my spiritual quest. I was raised Catholic, but Christianity took on new meaning. God’s love more real.

Suddenly, I found myself faced with a new conundrum, the challenge to move my family to a foreign land (what some call Oklahoma). Committed to listen to the voice within, with the spiritual support from the hospital’s chaplain, Greg, someone who would become an integral part of my survival, I moved. Almost instantly, I found myself submerged in complete darkness.

Mother Earth’s rewards that fed my soul were instantly gone; the freedom that movement and exercise created, the purifying quality of the lakes from my youth, the empowerment of the greenery and environs discovered in my awakening land, and the seasons that cultivated my spirit had all vanished.

Surrounded by desert terrain, my spirit began to shrivel. My world instantly flipped upside down. All that I had learned over a lifetime, suddenly was reversed. I somehow had fallen into a dark void and could not comprehend.

Five years into a six-year sentence, at the age of 40, the negative forces won out. After a lifetime of fighting to hang onto my free-will, stay true to my spirit, I was finally broken. My spirit had been eroding away, but precipitously, it was left in ashes.

The choice was to surrender to death or commit myself wholeheartedly to a power greater than myself. Humble my physical being to the energy within, leading me into an alien world. I succumbed. The love of my children was my food source. It kept me moving, kept me focused.

One of my life’s mottos had always been, “The only way through it, is through it,” so with a stronger faith in God than ever before, onward I went.

Dark energy trying to swallow me unlike ever before, I stayed more grounded and attentive than ever before. Time would yield my reprieve. I finally received my physical freedom, allowed to move back to a land that had always felt like home, Columbia, Missouri.

In the midst of the darkness, I always heard a powerful voice telling me, “They have no idea who you are. You have no idea who you are.”

I knew at my core I possessed an imperious gift for healing. I witnessed it on countless occasions as an ICU nurse. It was my time to turn within and use those gifts on myself and my family. Time became irrelevant. The material world unfamiliar.

Far so distant, I could not recall what it felt like to possess that deep spiritual peace that so long ago had fed my soul. I would hear words or see visions and follow them. They would bring me closer, lift the dark energy. Allow forgiveness of myself and others to occur. Transcend.

Last fall the words became clear, “Free at 53”. My 53rd birthday on the horizon, I committed to a new workout regime, not rigid, but daily free-flowing. I knew exercise, nature, and music would return my freedom.

I began walking our 3 ½ acres more frequently. The land we had cleared at the bottom of our backyard hill, near the creek where a new fire pit had been put in, commenced as a sacred ground. I would walk “the stations” nature had provided for me, allowing my mystic self to unfold.

I didn’t know what would emerge. It seemed like it would magically occur on my birthday. Though a wonderful memory was created, it didn’t happen that way. I knew I was absorbing the powerful energy of my children, but time would be needed to transform.

New Year’s Day passed. Anxiety suddenly replaced the wonderful peaceful energy I had been experiencing. A few more days to ourselves before returning to school and work, we lounged around the house, trying to keep those emotions at bay.

One morning lying in bed, I felt nudged to organize some papers that had piled on my dresser. I took out the box that contained all my important files. Sorting through them, I ran across several from the dark days of my past. One of my “stations” in my sacred land was the old fire pit where I would walk by and imagine burning any negative energy that still lingered within.

With a fire blazing in the basement wood stove, I knew it was time for me to burn any remnants of my past. I immediately gathered all my painful dark memories and tossed them in the fire. It was time. It was what needed to be done.

The next morning upon waking, I called my dear friend Greg, who had become my spiritual guide over the years. We had nurtured a strong spiritual bond. I told him of my past weeks experiences and how it had commenced the prior morning. He affirmed what I had done stating, “You’ve burned all the negative energy.”

As with the frequent magic of Greg’s words, it was almost instant, an energetic shift. Any lingering negative energy resolved. I was placed in circle of peace. A place of calm. A place of love.

In my mind, I had been reflecting on the 12-year anniversary of the moment my spirit went up in smoke, left in ashes, January 5th. It was no coincidence that I had found those papers and burned them just 3 days prior.

The 5th passed with new unfamiliar emotions within my being. Peacefulness. Bliss. Harmony with the earth. Harmony with myself. I was feeling life anew. My senses were heightened. Colors more vibrant. Sounds clearer. Taste more flavorful. Touch more alive.

It instantly came to me. After decades of struggle and years of darkness my freedom had been given back. The phoenix was rising.