The Importance of Keeping a Journal

APRIORITY WHEN LIVING A MAGICAL LIFE

 Really?  How can writing down thoughts, practices and seemingly mundane occurrences in life propagate magical living?  I asked myself this same question when I was assigned the task.  The importance of a journal was taught the very first morning of study with Brian Osborn, a master in esoteric work. He launched into a lengthy discussion of journaling (as only Brian can do!)  a Magical Diary he explained is a journal to track our own progress.

The cornerstone necessary in living a magical life is to know what you want. The foundationis what are you doing to get it? What are your results?

I was amazed by my reluctance to writing a journal.  Instantly, I was resistant. I could think ofmany reasonable excuses.  I had no time,didn’t know what to write, didn’t know where to begin, knew nothing.  How important could this be, really??  Truthfully, I was scared.  I had to be brutally honest with myself.  The journal made me accountable.   

Our class was given clear directions on how to go about it.

  First get a journal that resonates with you, is esthetically pleasing, for more power design the cover yourself!  Have it be specific to one area of practice.  For example, if you are practicing dreaming have a Dream Journal.  For a meditation practice, a Meditation Journal.  Whatever spiritual practices you engage in have a specific journal for it.

         On the first page, write a prayer or intension to reveal the highest and greatest within you, for knowledge, experience, illumination and wisdom. 

         Each entry will include the date, time, and phase of moon.  For example: Monday, October 14, 2019 ~ 3:40pm ~ Full Moon (actually combust)

         From here you can describe how you are feeling before, during and after the practice.  What sensations, sights, sounds, smells were experienced.  If recording a dream, be as specific as possible recalling details including how you felt during the dream.

As with all practices, writing in a journal is only aseffective as you are.

Now for the rest of the story….  Struggling with being stuck, approaching the tipping point to action ….  Day began with my morning ritual of sitting, meditating, praying in silence with a cup of coffee letting my thoughts run as I observe restlessness take over.

Whenever I am really stuck and in need of answers I visitmy parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all “resting” in the cemetery.   From grave to grave, spending time inconversation, expressing gratitude, reflecting on things passed, finallyspilling the beans with what’s up.   I feel all their energies with me and we walk.

 We walk through a large field silently observing nature. Suddenly a large marsh hawk swoops down from above heading toward the opposite end of the field.  The raucous caw of crows grows louder until all at once unleashed from a giant maple crows take flight to fend off the hawk’s advances.  Neither the crows nor the hawk are afraid.  The hawk flies alone fearless, the crows band together as an army of fighter pilots each taking a turn to swoop on the hawk.  The hawk lands in a nearby pine. The crows eventually retreat, acutely aware of the hawk’s presence. 

I’m struck by the scene which played out before me, no doubt for my benefit.  I resonated strongly with the hawk, alone and fearless.  The hawk knows its power and strength.  The crow too is a fearless creature, although much smaller than the hawk. By working together as a group, crows defend their space.  Which one am I?

End of story……

Getting back home I needed to journal.  I picked up my journal for Magical Practices,although it may not appear as a magical practice, the mundane act of visitingdeceased family members, after morning meditation and prayers, on a Monday,while the moon is in a powerful state, is.

My journal opened to a past entry and behold, as I read, it confirmed my decision to make now, was in process two years earlier! What I entered was the result of a tarot spread I made after performing a hermetic ritual. The information I received was accurate. I needed time, life’s a process, my human self needed to catch up to my spiritual self. Amazed and thrilled I headed outside eager to contemplate my previous entry, reflect on all that has occurred taking me to this point, and write about my experience of the day.

Before I could sit a neighbor called out a hello.  I asked how her class was going.  She responded timidly, part of her assignment was to journal and was not going well.  I almost laughed!  I invited her over to chat about journaling.  She left excited and enthusiastic with knowledge and understanding of how the power of journaling assists us magically on our paths.

Discovering my past entry has reaffirmed my decision to move forward. The information I wrote almost 2 years ago needed time to manifest. I wasn’t ready then….I am now.

The Pause

Forward fold Pangon LakeOne of the final requirements I needed to fulfill the 500 hour yoga teacher certification at Kripalu was to complete “The Inner Quest Intensive”. This was a 3 day immersion program designed for participants to release the “False Self”, to shift awareness inside away from the external world of doing and connect back with the “Real Self”

Let me explain. Upon arrival at Kripalu, participants in the program were taken to a seperate registration table. We were asked to remove all jewelry, hair accoutrements, belts and shoes. We were only allowed to take in personal toiletries, a few changes of clothes, pillow and sleeping bag. Those that had physical limitations were given a mattress on the floor. All the clocks were covered. We were to remain in silence at all times unless it was our turn to speak in diades or triades. We ate as a group in silence, we slept in a large room together in silence, waiting in line during bathroom breaks, morning and evening wash times all in silence. We were all individuals yet nothing from the external world made one person stand out over another.

The goal was to strip away the Ego’s identification with external stuff and create an opportunity to enter the Silence. Silence is the only place where we can observe thoughts, sensations and emotions as they arise… to simply BE. Our ego is very powerful and believes it is in control of our experience here on earth. When we become so immersed in our external worlds the false self is created by the ego. Our beliefs, desires, habits and reactions are rooted in us by the ego. We need our egos, no doubt… they keep us safe. However, we are so much more than our beliefs, our doing, our material possessions.

We were expertly guided by a psychologist and a team of support staff to hold space for each one of us to ensure our safety. This act of silence gave each of us the opportunity to observe our thoughts. Notice sensations generated in the body when we have a thought. Observe if that sensation felt pleasant or not. Decide to hold on to that thought or change it. Consider where that thought came from. Follow it back to its roots. Was it based on a belief, on a past experience, did it come from a foundation of truth (my truth) or was it inherited from society, was it something my ego came up with so I could feel good about myself….oh so much to digest, assimilate and release!

This Corona virus is affording us all the opportunity to move into silence and begin to dissolve the ego’s controlling grip. Maybe, you will begin to embrace this “pause” as an opportunity to create a reality that feels good? In the beginning we are challenged… we don’t like to be controlled or have limitations put on us. The ego doesn’t like this and could possibly go on screaming and kicking for days. We don’t know how to be without all our doing. So many of us DO all the time we have a very challenging time with BEING.

Now is the time to make changes you’ve been longing for. Take inventory. Are you happy? Are you healthy? Are you stuck? Do you feel whole, complete, content? More to follow……

 

The Gift – Rescue in Rishikesh

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At 6 a.m. our small group makes our way up to the meditation hall for the morning sadhana. What a delight to be practicing yoga on the banks of the Ganga River. Sounds fill the humid air as the Indian sun rises awakening birds and monkeys from slumber. Morning Arti begins with clanging of bells and chanted prayers to Mother Ganga. We gently stretch our bodies and deepen our breath to accommodate all that is surrounding us and within us.

At breakfast we’re eager to eat and discuss plans for our third day as a group. We’ve already determined India has many experiences to give us. Today we’re hiking to a waterfall in the Himalayan foothills. An opportunity to experience the switchback Indian mountain roads and the natural beauty that surrounds us!

The trek is moderate and the trail is well kept. We hike up alongside a brook and cross a few walking bridges. Occasionally, goats will pass as they forage in the brush for leaves and berries. We arrive at a smaller waterfall assuming we’ve made it, only to be lead on by Vimal, our teacher and guide. Okay, so this trek was a bit more physical than we expected….we keep breathing and climbing up.

We arrive to a beautiful pool of water and the thunderous sound of the waterfall. All in for a swim! The force of the water on the body under the fall was exhilarating. After pictures, poses, laughter and drying off we’re gathered for a bowl of Momo, spicy Manchurian noodles and then….

The longest, blood curdling, hair raising scream, out of nowhere. Stunned – in silence we begin looking around. Above us on the mountain we see two people gazing down in shock with their mouths agape. Vimal and I spring to our feet and begin climbing up. Time just stops. I know as I climbed up through the bush and jagged rocks I may be unprepared for what I am heading into.

There in a narrow, rock laden gully is a young woman badly beaten from her tumble down the steep slope. She has several contusions, is unable to move her left arm and is challenged to breathe. A friend has scurried to her aid, supporting her head. They were from Egypt and their English is good.

The next several hours that pass are a gift. We need to get help fast, we are the only folks there. Cell phones don’t work… someone hikes down to call for help. Members of our group hike up with drinking water, clean her wounds and provide hope. Time passes. We need to keep her conscious and talking. We talk, pray and sing as our mutual faith in God eases the situation.

Finally, two men arrive with a cloth stretcher as others arrive to enjoy the waterfall. We recruit 5 men to carry her down. This was no easy task. The young men are from different cultures speaking different languages, we need to communicate with each other in a coordinated manner to ensure her safety and theirs as we make the trek down.

It is painstaking trying to keep her body evenly supported in the piece of cloth as they descend. Proceeding down the mountain, there is only silence – nine men focused on balance, strength and moving the stretcher along the steep, narrow, rock strewn, twisting path. The women are holding space behind them, praying. They have to take breaks to rest often…but need a flat surface, where they can move together to lay her down, shift their holds on the stretcher, care for her wounds, then in unison lift her once again from the earth.  We all share what we have with each other – water, kleenex, snacks, and clothing.

Half way down the woman on the stretcher turns her moans of pain into a song praising God …we all join her and sing. WHAT A GIFT, to be part of this experience of community, sacrifice, and gratitude to the Divine with strangers and friends alike!

I wish you all peace, health and love throughout this holiday season and always.

A little self-care during the holidays can help tremendously. Call or email me to book an appointment. When scheduling your appointment, mention this blog and receive 10% off on healing services, private yoga, and holiday gift certificates.

 

Seasonal Transitions

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As we march through October, we’re all aware of the changes nature is creating around us. And we all have a pretty good idea of what comes next! How do we take the example nature is giving to us and mirror that in our own lives?

This is a time to slow down, shift more awareness inside and begin to soften and release the energy of summer. By changing diet, going for longer walks and paying more attention to the cues from our bodies transition can be healing and energizing.

As the seasons shift, so does the energy of our bodies. Massage bodywork is a wonderful way to peel off the imprints of summer and soften to nature’s call of slowing down and going within.

Give yourself time to relax and receive a massage. It can be enlightening as well as healing. We never know until we are touched what the various parts of our body are experiencing. The adage, the squeaky wheel gets attention, is particularly true when it comes to experiencing our bodies. Our nervous system is designed to focus on the squeaky wheel leaving the rest of our body pretty much out of our conscious awareness. Massage brings in awareness. Schedule your appointment now!

Massage increases awareness, yet to really understand the cues your body is giving a practice of yoga, breath, and meditation is optimal. Many think the body is limited to the physical vehicle. That’s only the beginning! You also have a mental body, emotional body, and spiritual body. These other bodies directly effect and communicate with the physical body simultaneously!!!

A consistent yoga practice will increase your understanding of your body’s inherent wisdom. That’s why I’m offering small private yoga classes in my home studio.

Beginning on Saturday, October 22 two classes will be available at 10:30 and 3:30, each for 90 minutes. Classes are limited to 5 people. All levels are welcome. What you can expect in a class: exploring detail in postures, learning breathing techniques, and practicing meditation within a small group. During the class I will guide, adjust, and encourage you. You will receive individual attention and direction from me to improve and deepen your yoga. Introductory offer: 4 consecutive weeks $120. Contact me to join the class or to schedule a massage.