You Are A Goddess And A Badass

bali goddess nyepi spitiuality Mar 18, 2018

I had the huge privilege of witnessing the Balinese New Year celebration called Nyepi.

 
The energy of this place permeates my dreams and meditations. The culture is so deeply spiritual and open and friendly. For a place so invaded by tourists and western culture it feels like it maintains a purity of spirit that feels so rare.
 
We joined the small celebration in the local soccer field that had a carnival like feeling.  There were street food vendors, balloons and ice cream. The locals were so inviting to us foreigners and the celebratory mood was contagious. Each neighborhood makes effigies out of paper mâché that are so intricate and detailed they could be in museums. They range from a few feet tall made out of light foam for the children to carry to 10-12 feet tall and highly detailed.
 

They call the effigies Oga-Oga and they represent the demons of Hindu religion.

 
Each are lashed to bamboo grids that the young men use to carry them...
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Little Sad, Little Happy: A Balinese Perspective of Emotional Balance

Bali is a magical place and I am learning and experiencing so much in my time here already. The air here is thick with magic and humidity.

Here is a country which lives their spirituality.

Every morning there are offerings on the altars, in the doorways, in nooks and small places. Rice is laid out on banana leafs as offerings to the ants and other insects. Incense and flowers are everywhere. Each household has its own temple and mornings are time for prayers and meditation. Everywhere are reminders of the sacredness and playfulness of life.

Like the concept of the Dao in China, here in Bali, God is everywhere.

The local holy man explained that they believe we live in a big sea of God. There is no heaven and no hell other than that which we create here on earth. Each needing the other to survive.

In Bali the concept of Yin and Yang is alive in everything.

Balance is the key to harmony. Everyone from the holy man to the taxi driver comments that a little sin keeps one in balance....

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Turning Fear into an Ally

When I first started out on my path towards self growth, I would have regular bouts of debilitating fear and dread. When it would happen I would question my whole purpose. I began to reconsider my steps and long to go back into the safety of known discomfort.

These bouts would last for days, sometimes weeks. During that time I would end up indulging in a considerable amount of avoidant and numbing behavior. I would eventually make it back to reason and set back to work, but they left me exhausted and always doubting my path.

Now, when I wake up in that cold sweat of despair I say:

“Congratulations!”

I still feel the deep pit of dread. I still feel frozen in my own discomfort without an escape. I know, without doubt, that the terrible thing is still right around the corner. I want to throw in the towel, stop right there on the road of destiny, and sink into an oblivion of Merlot, pizza and Netflix.

So why do I now break open the streamers and strike up the brass band when...

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The Fertile Void: Living Bigger Than Your Fear

Welcome to the Void.

 
When coming from a fear based mindset, the Void can be a terrifying prospect. Our culture perpetuates fear like strands of beads from a Mardi Gras float. It is thrown at us from all directions and we are encouraged to excitedly wear it in piles around our neck like a heavy mantle of our visible worth. The more beads you have the more valuable you seem, and the heavier it is to bear.
 
Shedding the weight of imposed fear based living in an exercise in minimalism. What are we willing to release from our identity that was never really us to begin with, but we have been carrying around for so long it’s absence feels like a sacrifice. This the Void.
 

The Void is the space we create when we shed layers of our persona.

 
The masks we have been forced to wear our whole lives. When we shed the things we have inherited or have been foisted on us by peers, capitalist consumer society, social pressure, etc, we risk feeling like we don’t...
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Reparenting to Root Ourselves in Love

 

Our life runs in cycles; day and night, seasons of the year, birth to death.

Eastern philosophy divides these cycles into five stages according to the five elements Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. 
 
Each part of the cycle has strengths and weaknesses. If we know which part of a cycle we are in it can help us to harness the energy in the proper way and avoid unnecessary frustration due to trying to run against the current. 

Wood energy is the energy of new starts, fresh beginnings, spring, planning, and upward momentum.

As tenderness digs its roots deeper into the soil it sends up new shoots to gather the warmth and direction needed from the sun. This is you, the bridge between the nourishing, holding the yin and the action inducing encouragement from the yang. The fears of uncertainty give way to the bright hope for the future.
 

This part of the cycle has a particular correlation to the nurturing you got as a child.

 
Remembering to connect...
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The Wood Element and Vulnerability

The energy of the Wood element holds lessons in how to rock the power of your vulnerability.

Vulnerability is a feeling most of us try to minimize. Our culture does not hold much regard for the tender and fragile parts of ourselves. We are encouraged to show strength and resilience against all odds. But the roots of this strength lie in the very thing we try to run from, our own tenderness.

It takes tenderness to be present to my own growth.

The wood element is the upward rising energy of new growth. The manifestation of potential into form. The excitement and drive that is needed to break through the tough outer shell of our seed of potential. It is the focus and determination that uses our creative power brings forth change. It is the forward thinking determination to make things better, bring justice, create new life.
 
As I settled down into the depth of this energy, looking forward to the titillating thrill of newness, I felt instead, deep vulnerability. I felt the...
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Working With Your Shadows

What is shadow energy? 

Our shadows are the unconscious parts of ourselves. The ones we don't even know are there. They are the old patterns and beliefs running in the background of our mind influencing how we relate to the world.

Often they are formed very early in life. They become part of the fabric of who we are. It is much easier to see them acting in others. Shadows become visible when you see someone having a response that is much bigger than the stimulus necessitates. 

It shows up as self sabotage, unexplained rage, crankiness, sudden changes in mood, knee jerk reactions, addictions, uncontrolled cravings and all those things we do that don't make sense.

In essence, our shadows are the bulls in the china shop of our minds. 

Unless you are working on the feeling body, getting connected to the subconscious cues our emotions give to our physical being, this bull can seem invisible.

When the plates start flying on their own we will start to look at everyone...

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These Pains You Feel: Tapping Into the Wisdom of Emotion

Uncategorized Nov 03, 2017

These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them. -Rumi

A year ago my life was miserable.

By all appearances my life looked to be near ideal, I owned a successful business, I owned a home I loved, I had a good partner, I had recently earned a Doctorate degree which held the promise of an even more successful business, I went on exotic vacations, I was surrounded by beautiful gardens and handmade crafts I lovingly created. I was the envy of many of my friends, I appeared like I really had it together.

But inside I was consumed by unexplained grief.

My sleep was disturbed by nightmares, I woke up anxious and unrested. I felt blinded to the gifts in my life by a deep feeling that things were not right, and that something was dreadfully wrong with me.

I was exhausted, depleted, uninspired, tense, moody, irritable and would often break down in tears for apparently no reason at all. My digestion was a constant source of discomfort. I felt ungrateful and selfish that despite my...

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Why I Closed My Acupuncture Practice With No Back Up Plan

Today I am closing down my acupuncture practice, with no plan B.

I hear the many voices in my head. My family that instilled the belief that you must work hard for everything you get. My clients who tell me of my healing gifts and what it has brought to their lives. My rational mind that asks why would I leave a successful business that provides a comfortable income. This practice has brought me so much growth and development, pain and pleasure, challenges and resources over the years. I find myself now, on the cusp of a major change in my life, wondering what do I do now.

This moment was a few years in the making.

I had no intentions of retiring from this practice until a very ripe old age. Nearly two years ago now I completed my Doctorate in Medical Qi Gong, which felt like it should be the crowning glory of my career in Chinese Medicine, this medicine I have studied for over two decades now, this medicine that I continually find exciting, demanding and so full of mystery and...

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