Tag Archives: meditation

Body Poetry is Craaazy Cool!

Lately, I’ve been writing what I call Body Poetry and it’s pretty cool. What is Body Poetry?  It’s poetry that bubbles up from the body consciousness to the mind, not the other way around as is typical with writing poems.

This is how I do it. I sit for a few minutes, close my eyes, breathe deeply into my core, and ask my body to give me sensations, feelings, or words. I invite my body to talk with me. It takes a long time for me to center and still myself long enough to hear, really hear my body, and not trample what I’m receiving with my mind. But, I’m getting better at “hearing” my body with practice. Sometimes I get physical sensations in a particular area. I then zero in on that area and ask “What do you want to say to me? I’m listening.”

The first few things that came through me were really odd, like stream-of-consciousness stuff that seemed to have little coherence or meaning to my current circumstances; here’s an example of something that recently came from the area of my chest and ribs:

yellow curl
heart-scape sealed
grab air
nothing
float
closed

My heart said these things, or “breathed” these words to me as I meditated. I had to wait a while for the words to come up from my body and settle softly in my mind. It’s hard to describe what’s actually happening when I do this, but the words flit through me really fast from way deep in my body. I didn’t understand the meaning of the words that first came through me, but I made sure to hold them, welcome them, feel each one, and live there inside of them for a few minutes. Then, when I traced the words back down into my body, they were crowding my heart area and their meaning became clear. I realized that I had been guarding my heart toward someone because I was recently offended by them. At the time, my mind had quickly and dismissively characterized the whole episode as “their problem”, but when I held the feelings and traced them deeper, I found that my heart was actually still stunned and a bit sore from the exchange between us.

So, my heart’s message was one of curling inward, yellowing, and sealing off. In looking for a connection with the other person and getting nothing in return, my heart then went away with a residue of pain and carried this pain until I asked it to tell me what was going on. And, when I held the words and asked where they were from, the person’s image loomed up in my mind and my heart constricted. Ah-ha! To get this message from my heart was profound. To see that my heart has its own code, it’s own language, and its own presence, aside from the rest of me, was so moving. And, it’s only continuing to deepen as I continue to do this kind of work.

So, I’ve been practicing this a little each day. I can tell you this: My belly wants to and likes to speak. My belly often speaks of force, strength, will, and drive. It often holds a simmering impatience and irritation. But, staying with the static from my belly longer, reveals something else inside all of that bluster and bravado; there’s a supple tenderness, a wish to protect, a yearning to be really seen and considered and loved. And, oh, my Goddess, my belly loves to be touched! She asks for it all of the time. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve found that the loudest feelings are often covering up my more gentle ones; the loud stuff is masking my vulnerability. It makes sense, but until I actually “lived there” with a deep concentration, I was missing all of this.

I have a particular person in my life, whom I adore and who is energetically in my body alot. This person gives me unending pleasure to ponder, sift, feel, and hold inside. When I dial in and ask for belly emotion, his face sometimes looms up inside of my mind, and then I feel such body joy, such pointed awareness of his physicality, his “essence”.  I get chills and radiating blue electricity inside my core and can actually feel my Chi radiating outward; it’s so pleasing. He’s incredibly tangible and physical for me. So, with the help of my belly (and some attention from my mind also), I wrote this poem:

Wanting to gently pull from youjournal_pages
a confession
softly uttered
in the stillness

of
a never-ending night

the barely audible
but steady
timbre of your voice
carrying the weight
of a thousand years
inside it
carrying me open
and down into your
body
as you bare
who you are
at that moment
in the darkness
and use your
missives
to ease the
latches of
my core places
open and
loosen points of
light
into the eaves
where they breathe
and blink above us
like night on
the mountain
whispering
your name
through me
over and over.

This is my belly wanting deep recognition, a confession that he feels as much as I do; it’s a sweet, soft, and pure recognition of the fact that he and I have known each other before now; it’s a longing to hear his words about that experience, our experiences together, then and now. As he speaks, my body opens and becomes his body; parts of me that are usually hidden are gently unlatched and the light of those energies is freed into the corners and eaves of the room where they blink like stars in the night, on the mountain, which has its own messages and mantra. It’s about trusting that this person, whom I’ve let into my core is gentle enough and reverent enough to know what a big deal it is for me to have him there. Few people make it into my core, so this is a significant shift in my energy paradigm. To be honest, it scares the hell out of me to have someone so inside of me like this, so deep, and so prevalent, but my belly largely dictated this reality, so I’m going with it. I’m holding the energy despite my fear.

I think I wrote about this before, but some years ago, I had the pleasure of talking with a psychic that could receive messages from a person’s body parts. She told me that my left knee was unhappy about some of the things I had been saying about it to other people. I was stunned at first and then incredibly apologetic. I begged my knee to forgive me. I simply didn’t know that the body listens to us so intently and never regarded the body as having its own code, it’s own consciousness, its own “life” outside of me, the soul and psyche operating it. Well, I learned such a valuable lesson that day. The lesson has obviously stayed with me. The body poetry work that I’m doing now is an extension of that work from so many years ago. It’s delicious.

Today. These are the words that came from my body:

Heart says: “blue haze quiet longing”

Belly says: “sifting
memories through layers
touching
edges of meaning
holding you
holding you and me”

My left knee says: “walk into future”
My lower back says: “need change need”

Interesting. So, so interesting. I have a feeling that big shifts are coming for me. My body is telling me in advance. I can feel it coming and I’m ready! What about you? You wanna try this? Please do and leave some comments about your experience; or, better yet, write a guest post. Would L<3ve that!

Becoming Empty

All of my life, I’ve been seeking something that has consistently and near-completely eluded me; it’s something that I have written about wanting, something that sent me to meditation, yoga, religion, and long bouts of solitude; it’s something that I’ve ardently chased, held in my mind as evidence of a life well-lived, and dearly craved, but it continues to elude me. As soon as I’ve gotten it in my sights, tip-toed toward it with an eager heart, and watched the light dancing off of its shiny hide, it has always bolted away with a puff of air and I’m left in a daze, wondering what the hell just happened.

What is this thing that I’ve wanted so desperately and which gets away from me every time?

PEACE.

ocean_re-size

Compliments of http://unsplash.com/

Peace has eluded me. Or, I guess, in order to take full responsibility, I ought to say that I have not chosen peace. I have not chosen rest. I have not chosen serenity in this life, all things that I claim to want. Oh, I’ve certainly had moments of peace, but largely, my life has been a sh*t-storm of activity, drive, action, fire, feeling, and momentous energy.

For example, I’ve worked 80 to 90-hour weeks for the last 24 years. I’ve started three companies and run them, single-handed. I’ve written a book and been published lots of times in magazines, newspapers, and poetry periodicals. I’ve worked two and three jobs simultaneously. Hell, I survived a horrendous childhood, went through years of therapy, and have largely eclipsed the pain and horror in which I was immersed. I’ve worked and worked and worked and worked. I’ve had little peace.

In the midst of the firestorm that is my daily existence, I have deeply yearned, begged, and wished for peace. Just a little. Peace from my relentless thoughts, my fire-temper, my passions, my ego, my intellect, my libido, my exhaustive, constant, and voracious emotions. On and on and on. But, sweet peace flits away with its serene countenance, inscrutable expression, and captivating secrets.

OK. It’s time for a deep, restful breath, time to gently wipe away the angst, draw myself up, suck in some delicious oxygen, and become empty. My ego protests: “But, HOW? You’ve never been able to do this. You can’t do it. It’s futile!” To which I smile, pat my ego on the head, and say “Relax, dear. All we’re going to do is nothing for part of each day. We’re going to sit and do nothing.”waterlilly

Becoming empty has to be the way toward peace for me because it’s the last thing my ego wants me to do and maybe the only thing that I have not tried. Granted, I’m writing all of this on the brink of taking on even more projects so this is going to be a real challenge for me, but I have to try. I have to become empty. I have to let go. This means: Work less. Push less. Do less. Share less. Grasp less. Added to this: I have to sit still. Stay centered. Stay inward. Stay silent. Stay present. Breath more. Rest more.

Simple, right?

What can I learn from becoming empty? What can I hope to accomplish? What will it do for me? These questions are thrown out on their ears. It doesn’t matter. Guess what? All that matters is:

  • Sweet, suspended moments where I’m still, staying present in my body, feeling the contours of my chair or standing solidly in my legs.
  • Moments where I’m pulling in my core, not projecting myself outward to others, pulling in, pulling in, pulling in, holding, breathing, feeling the thoughts and emotions softly float through me and then not attaching to them, letting them go.
  • What matters is emptying my mind, emptying my body, draining my stress into the receiving earth, opening my rib cage, flushing energy up or down and then out.

Where will I land? Will I buy a house in Peaceville? I don’t know. But, at this moment in time. I want to want nothing. I want to want stillness. I want to want emptiness. I want peace and then, I want to stop wanting it. 🙂

Guest Post: Yoga Saved Me from Body Hatred

This is a guest post by the darling Jen at Yoga-Moods.com. Jen and I have connected deeply on our mutual love of yoga and the body. On her highly informative, wonderful, and serene blog, she writes about the precious gift that is yoga and how it is helping her and others live richer, fuller lives. So, my BBB friends, let’s show Jen some love for so bravely exploring her transformation from body-hater to body-lover.

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Hello! I’m so honored that Liz invited me to write a post for Big Body Beautiful! I hope that my words resonate with you and perhaps help someone who is searching for a way to deep self-love.

For many years, I struggled with self-hate. I didn’t realize that’s what it was at the time. It was more a feeling of the world being against me. I see it clearly now, though. I didn’t love myself enough. I was painfully shy as a kid and I felt inferior to my peers. I remember the first day of kindergarten feeling so overwhelmed by everyone around me. I felt different from the rest of them.  While they laughed and chatted freely with each other, I shrank into the background, feeling as if I didn’t fit in. My red hair and freckles set me apart. I felt ugly and cursed my uniqueness. I was uncomfortable when called on in class. I surely couldn’t have anything valuable to contribute. Anxiety exuded from me and others felt it, too. This exacerbated the problem. Kids teased me, bullied me, and sometimes simply ignored me. I felt left out and diminished. I truly believed there was something wrong with me – and it started with my looks. Thankfully, I was blessed with real friends who accepted me and celebrated my individuality. But, that wasn’t enough to change my opinion of myself. I cringe to think how much easier things could have been had I discovered then what I know now: self-love is necessary for happiness!  Cultivating self-love is crucial in order to serve your purpose and live your dreams.

I remember as a second-grader sizing myself up in a full-length mirror.  My body is OK, I thought, but my face and hair? Terrible!  When I was 12, a family member asked me why my belly wasn’t flat like my friend’s after a day at the beach. I often heard this person bemoaning her own “thunder thighs,” saying I was lucky that I took after Dad. She often talked about how many of the women in her own family thought of themselves as ugly, though most of them were quite beautiful in reality. Still, the message was that my stomach was “too flabby” at age 12. I wish I could have ignored this comment, but it cut me to the core. For years, I focused so much on that belly wishing it would shrink. I starved myself. I berated myself. I did sit-ups and crunches like there was no tomorrow! My family then worried that I was getting “too thin.”

Despite having boyfriends who were clearly attracted to me, I still compared myself to models. I was unhappy with my face, my hair, my breasts, my butt…. One time, a boyfriend remarked how sexy my “potbelly” was, and instead of taking it as a compliment, I fell further into self-destruction. Strict diets, outrageous exercise routines, and constant self-criticism ruled my life.  It didn’t get me anywhere except unhealthy. Not to mention, I was thin – talk about body dysmorphic disorder. And, I was so focused on myself I couldn’t possibly serve others, which was always my life’s goal.

And then, something miraculous happened. I discovered yoga! It was, quite literally, as if a light shone down from the heavens! I felt as if I had found the key to life. Yoga has healed me in so many ways; I’d need to write an entire book to scratch the surface. But, the most important way yoga healed me was in allowing me to cultivate true self-love and acceptance. I got physically healthy in a gentle way, pushing myself to my limits but being kind to myself when I needed rest. I gained strength, which led to confidence. I had found a refuge – my yoga mat or my meditation cushion – where I could put everything else aside for a while and just be. All of this led to a profound self-love, which continues to grow and enhance my life today.

Jen-Yoga-Moods

Years of asana practice helped me tune in to my body’s capabilities, strengths, and needs. I discovered I could do things I never would’ve believed. When I mastered a new pose, it was an instant confidence boost. Yoga helped me finally come to peace with my body, and to actually develop that more toned stomach I always yearned for. It helped me begin to make healthier choices in my diet, my lifestyle, and with whom I surrounded myself. It helped me to accept that, as a woman, my body is constantly changing. My weight will fluctuate, I will experience break-outs, I may not always feel energized, and that’s all OK. Under it all, I am a beautiful soul, perfect and complete. When I focus on this, and my “connectedness” with others (which yoga also encourages), I am much more happy and productive. Every day I practice asana. Whether it’s a 90-minute class, a few sun salutations, or a quick break at work, it is a part of my life. If, for some reason, I can’t do my asana practice, though, I don’t worry about it. It’s not a chore; it’s a joy. I do it because I love it, and I do it for the continual benefits it brings.

Asana practice alone, however, I’m not sure would’ve done the trick. Dedicated meditation practice (also a major part of yoga, though we often think of yoga as physical) was also essential. Meditation took me to the depths of my soul and back. It was difficult, and I encountered things I’d have preferred to keep hidden. I emerged from meditation in tears on more than one occasion, but it was worth the effort. Over time, a deep, profound love developed inside of me. Love filled my entire being and overflowed into the world. Love sustains me every day and has enhanced my relationships. I confronted my deepest fears and allowed things to arise in my consciousness that I wasn’t fully aware were affecting my daily life. My self-limiting beliefs became very clear and I started working on changing them.

yoga_buddhaRegular meditation practice and checking in with myself, with love, keeps me steady, confident, and calm.  As much as possible, I wake up every day and meditate for 20 minutes.  I try to do the same when I come home from work. If I miss a day, I don’t fret, I just continue the following day. I take the meditation off the cushion, as well, engaging in mindful walks, eating, listening to music, creating art, making love….The list goes on. Just being present wherever I am. Meditation gives the gift of mindfulness that seeps into all areas of life. It trains us to bring ourselves into the present moment, the only moment during which we can act. This precludes worry and anxiety and allows us to truly enjoy living! Namaste, my friends!

Co-Creating Some Body-Love over the Airwaves

BEST INTERVIEW EVER!! Claudia Moss, my friend, sister, and gorgeous light-of-the-soul interviewed me this morning on her TalkShoe radio program and we had the best time together! We were cracking up. It’s sure to bring a smile to your heart. Claudia and I had a delicious conversation and it was literally one of the best experiences of my life. My heart is so full and happy right now.  <3<3<3

Claudia_Moss_Radio_Program

Aside from listening to me, you’ve just gotta catch this recording to get a delectable dose of Claudia. She is is so full of energy and spirit. She’s like a B-12 shot, I tell ya! It’s just very satisfying to be connected with and interviewed by such a gifted, deep-feeling, articulate, intelligent, and fully “lit-up” soul. We had the best time. Come join us, friends.

Thank you, Claudia. I love you so much, sissy!

Heaping Praises on Yourself

praise

Do you have any idea how amazing you are? No, really! Don’t roll your eyes. You are amazing. Right there, sitting there in your body, reading this post, pulling these words through your mind. No matter what your circumstances or what you have done in your life, good or bad, at your core, you are love and you are amazing. How do I know this? We all are.

Hey, it’s hard to be human; it hurts to be here. We make a great sacrifice to leave our happy, soft nest of warmth on the Other Side and incarnate again. We seriously take one for the human team when we come back here and work out our dramas and karma with each other. Of course, coming back to earth over and over is how we advance as souls, so there are huge benefits to us, but we all know that being human is not for wussies. It’s a pain in the keister to be here. So, my official stance is that YOU ARE AMAZING. Just for being here. So am I. Can you feel it? I hope so. If not, I have an idea to help you address it. Read on.

After you digest this paragraph, stop, close your eyes say to yourself (for at least five minutes): “I am amazing. My body is a miracle. I am amazing. My body is a miracle. I am amazing. My body is a miracle.” Keep saying it. Repeat this to yourself so many times that the words lose their meaning. Then, open your eyes. Do you feel any different? Was this hard for you? Did you resist the exercise? Did your ego step in and tell you to stop being full of yourself? What came up for you?

At first, for me, I felt kind of silly doing this. My mind/ego immediately started poking holes in the practice and telling me that it was stupid, but I kept going. After a few minutes, my head started getting a little bit buzzy. It was so strange. I got kind of floaty and tingly. And, weirdly, it felt like it made me high. I’ll be honest with you, I liked it. I liked how I felt when I came out of the practice. I was actually calmer and more centered. I felt happier.

Heaping praises on yourself is a great daily practice that can totally alter your outlook, instantly elevate your mood, and improve your health. It’s true. People who praise themselves and others are happier and healthier. And, here’s the kicker: you don’t even have to completely believe the praises you heap on yourself at first. Obviously, it works better and faster if you find things that you really like about yourself and repeat those, but even if you do not yet believe your own words, your subconscious will and miraculous things will begin happening for you. It’s like you get a reset. Your energy  becomes softer, more pliable and others all around you register it. It’s seriously fascinating to watch this happen. Anyway, try to do this practice for at least five minutes every day (but, ideally 15) and see what happens. Go on. Heap some praises on yourself. Then, come back here and share your story with all of us.

Dripping Day, Dripping Emotions

wet_leaves

Mmmm….it’s raining in Sedona right now. A lovely, steady Sunday rain that has me feeling so philosophical, inward, and soft. I’m always grateful for these kind of drippy days, because they make me want to climb into the arms of a warm blanket, go even deeper into myself, move less, do less, feel more, and really be here, tasting my emotions, feeling my body. Rainy days force me to slow down. It’s really nice.

I’m sitting at my desk, the window open, the rain steadily sighing against the street and roof, the plants all opening themselves and receiving the precious moisture, the red earth drinking it in, my body open, receiving the rain’s messages; the world, muted, with a grey gauge on everything and the coolness, ahhhh…the delicious coolness. The air smells so alive and fresh right now. It feels like fall today, my favorite season. In other words, heaven.

I’m here and absolutely in love with everything. Love is just flowing through me right now, taking its time, spinning open inside of me and spiraling through my energy centers and then outward in thick bands of light and as they exit, they make me spin a little, dizzy and saturated; this dripping day makes me want to give myself over to poetry, to exploring the steady beat of love that I sense at the core of everything.

clouds_in_cottonwoodIt makes me think of him, the fact that we both share this earth right now, how eternally appreciative I am for knowing him, a man I would recognize anywhere. My friend. This day is for meditation, languid thoughts, and sustained feeling. It’s a day for making connections in the energy realm.

We don’t get a ton of rain in AZ, but this year has been awesome; we’ve had a great monsoon season: steady storms and above-average rainfall. Though, weather like this largely keeps me off of the bike, I’m okay with it. These are rare, precious days. This is a day for making another cup of coffee, holding its warmth in my mouth, taking it into my core….holding…holding…

So, as I push “publish” on this post, it hasn’t stopped raining for four hours, which is pretty rare in the desert. I feel so lucky to be here writing this, experiencing this dripping day and feeling these dripping, happy emotions. It’s a perfect day, a gift. I’ll take it.

Now, for that extra cup of coffee. 🙂

Happiest with a Big Harley Between My Legs

The title of this post is not a tawdry euphemism. LOL! One of the many awesome things that my healthy body lets me do is ride a big, heavy, 103 cubic-inch, 1690 CC, 2012 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. For those of you who ride, you understand the allure and necessity of this freedom-seeking activity without me even having to explain it, but for those of you who have never ridden, well, you’re missing out, my peeps. Riding is a perfect tool for exploring one’s spirituality and for generating happiness, lasting happiness. Following is a photo of my bike, “Anja”, or as I also call her, “my savior”:

P1030908_re-sized

She’s the reason I’m still on this planet doing ma thing. Seriously. I live for three things: riding Harleys, helping people (women, in particular) and loving animals. Fortunately, I get to live in a place where I ride 300+ days per year. Riding, for me and some one million women in this country like me, is absolute nirvana; it’s uplifting, freeing, exhilarating, and happiness-inducing. I’ve written about this quite a bit on my blog for Biker Babe Tours, but now I’m going to describe it for you, my body-loving peeps.

But, first, a little exploration of why I ride.

It might be obvious to you all by now, but I have an enormous ego and intellect. I am not bragging. These have not completely served me in this incarnation. While they have helped me survive a traumatic childhood and made me some good money (among other things), they have kept me from drilling down on my softer, intuitive, and I’ll just say it, my psychic side. They have not made me happy.

My intellect has made it very, very difficult to walk forward into my feminine faculties. The ego has kept me chained to the mind and the mind’s machinations. It has distracted me from my real work, the work that I believe I came back here to do (which is to explore and develop my psychic abilities); it has waved a large flag of academia, science, and reason at me, kept me looking back at the past or toward the future instead of staying present, and ego has taken me down paths thick with vines of a false self, the self of illusion. Check out the groundbreaking works by Echart Tolle for more on this affliction.

So, like lots of other people on this planet, the mind has kept me far away from anything that could diminish the ego’s stronghold. Meditation? “Naw, we don’t need it,” my ego says confidently. Tapping into the divine feminine? “No, that will just get you hurt”, my ego whispers severely. Showing any weakness? “Certainly not!” my ego shouts. Thus, I have gone on and on, using my mind, growing it and my ego bigger and bigger and bigger.

So, what does this have to do with riding a motorcycle? Everything. Riding a HOG is my meditation. It’s how I rest. It’s how I feel and stay present. Eyes open. Heart open. In the zone. Feeling the road and the world. Releasing myself. Riding is my means of escaping the ego and the preponderance of thought, intellectualism, analyzing, quantifying, weighing, and describing that I do everyday. Riding is my chance to step out of the mind and simply be in the moment, which is exactly what I most need.

P1030885_re-sized

Because it would be dangerous, I cannot get on the bike and process my technical work. I cannot get on the bike and process my relationships. I cannot get on the bike and think about quantum physics. I have to be present. Riding demands that one is totally, utterly available and honest about being able to be present. You have to be aware, awake, and attentive when riding. You have to watch the cars around you; you have to assume that other drivers cannot see you and thus, ride as safely as possible. You have to be totally in the moment and ready for anything.

Riding my Harley is the quickest way for me to tap into my deeper self, my soul. It’s a chance to rest my active mind and feel my body, be in my body, be in my body in the moment. I ride at least three times per week and average about eight hours of saddle time each week. In a good week, on the weekends, I’m out there both days for at least four hours per day. On weekdays, I might get a couple more hours of riding spread across a couple of days. Heaven! Nothing else feeds me like riding does. Nothing. Not even meditation. And, when I’m riding, I’m the happiest, most centered, and non-egoistic woman you’ll ever meet. Come with me, body-lovers. Let’s ride.