Friday, March 20, 2020

The Egg, The Sperm, The Corona, and Us

I am holding us all in a Corona of Community, Love, and Protection. This week, the meditation of the week (which is available on the Consciousness for Life Subscription for 4 weeks) recalibrate the root chakra, then moves into the 3rd chakra to cultivate a sense of cheerfulness as we remember the power of community. From that place of community and equanimity, we create a "corona" of protection. I hope you all take advantage of the amazing offerings out there right now, this being one of them!

The last share posed the idea that perhaps we just needed some “egg” time. Some of you may have started wondering what I was talking about. Here is more detailed go round about Egg and Sperm.
We are a combination, or the result, of an egg and a sperm coming together ("right now, to make me" - sing to the tune of the Beatles "Come Together.") Egg and Sperm are 2 sides to our now many sided story (#knowyourstoryknowyourworld).

The mind of the sperm is about swimming through obstacles. It’s about the outside world. "Sperm mind" gives us that competitive edge. A hierarchy. A place to go. A sense that we need to "get" somewhere - somewhere else. The mind of the sperm is goal oriented. There may be a team, similar to sports like football, where all the sperm create strategies to get the ball (egg).

The ball (Egg) just is. No attachments. No need to go anywhere. Content in itself to Be. The mind of the Egg is about the not-doing. It's about Being. It is a time of basking, nourishment, replenishing. No goals in the Egg. Egg is complete in its Self. It doesn't get Sh$t done.

We are both Egg and Sperm. Be-ers and Do-ers. And maybe the Sperm parts of ourselves have been in the spotlight for so long, that story and point of view is wearing on us. Maybe Team Sperm wants a time out. And maybe we forgot that we are also part Egg, and perhaps the Doer, the part of us that is out there getting Sh$t done, making our mark (insert visual of dog lifting leg) forgot why it was "Doing"in the first place. Maybe Team Sperm got so wrapped up in Doing it forgot what it was doing. Maybe it dropped the ball and forgot that it's goal was to get to Egg, get to a place of being able to Be, to experience the joy of Being both Egg and Sperm as a Whole Being. Unity. Oneness. 

Enter Corona Virus.

When I first heard the name “corona virus,” what immediatly resonated with me was the “corona.” Before conception, the egg has a “corona.” So perhaps the corona virus is helping us remember our egg. Quarantines are egg time. A time to be. To regroup. To give our sperm a rest. To acknowledge and remember that we have value even when we aren’t outwardly producing.

My hope is that we use this imposed “egg time” as a time to ask ourselves what’s working? Are there choices I would like to make that I haven’t? What are my values? What do I value? If I’m antsy, can I find a way to value both my sperm and egg equally? Can I see the necessity of both and not make one better than the other? Can I see how much sperm time I need to feel my joy, express my true nature, and reflect that divine essence that I am? Can I see how much egg time I need to remember who I really am, to connect with invisible forces and energies, to experience that I am more than a physical body? Can I see how both feed into the gloriousness of life here on the playground of earth? Can I see how it’s up to me to either enjoy or resist both aspects of my Self?
So stay healthy out there. And in there. And all around there. Do whatever you need to do to take care of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual/vibrational selves. And as you attend to all 4 of your bodies, feel your health evolve. Remember, sometimes things aren’t as they seem. And only you know what you need.

Perhaps this virus will help us all be more truthful about what we need and be more fearless in making choices that are in alignment with our health on all levels. Perhaps we may see the value of the unseen, of the egg, as an important player in the ebbs and flows and cycles of life. And as we ride the waves of life, may we learn to surf instead of being thrown around by what is around us, and feel the essential nature of our joy.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Humans Being, Humans Doing, the Corona Virus and me

I started writing this on Saturday March 14, 2020.  I hope this shines a light, affirms a thought, provides a distraction, or is somehow useful. 

Things have been moving rapidly, and I’ved updated quite a bit. A lot can happen in 3 days! Two additional follow COVID-19 musings coming. At the end of this email, I will summarize all the schedule changes as of 6pm this evening.

We begin the musings…
A week ago, I looked at my April-October travel schedule, got excited, then overwhelmed. I knew that in order to stay out of the fight, flight or freeze response that overwhelm can bring, I needed to digest my schedule one month at a time. 

January-Leap Year
 On heels of Jumpstart January, I was inspired, sliding, gliding, creating from my New Now. March blew in and I started to brace a bit. Even though I only had one weekend of travel in March (March 14-15), I felt the looming schedule of the next 6 months. In spite of the fact that everything on my travel schedule were things I wanted to do, there was something that was saying inside "too much."  I knew that I had the tools to do it, make it work, even make it fun! Yet, the part of me that has "limitless capacity chops" was also speaking. And it was voicing a bit of resistance to being pressed into service yet again. 

This was somwhere in the March 1-11 range. Then the US official position on the corona virus changed from hoax, to acknowledgment, and the cancellations began. Within 3 days, the April I had on the books, the April that was going to have me in the SF Bay area for 22 days, changed. As of today, I'll only be away from home for 3 days. And the March trip, spoiler alert, was cancelled as well. That is when I began to write down those thoughts and ideas that had been rolling around inside. 

Aside from some lost mulah due to me not purchasing travel insurance (why would I? These were Commitments! I was going! No matter what! And I booked way in advance, before there was even a whisper of COVID-19. Like most, I didn't plan for this, nor insure myself), I started to feel relieved. Relieved! I had "an excuse" to stay home, and even stay in, and not socialize, or attend functions, or anything! In fact, much of society would see me as "socially responsible" for doing so! 

So I started thinking...

Things I observed:
This is a global issue.
Sometimes crisis brings out the best in people.
Sometimes it doesn't.
Both sides are happening.
Regardless of how people are responding, this is a global issue. 

I kept coming back to "global issue." And unlike the looming issue of climate change, which I believe is happening, but its effects have yet come to a crisis level enough to force a disruption of people’s habits, values, or choices, this virus is presenting itself right here right now. It is literally in our faces. 

My personal observations and what have I been wanting, for a few years now, that I haven't really created for myself:
More introvert time.
More "egg" time.
More Human Being time and less Human Doing time.

Because it's never outside of myself -  Bringing together global and personal - in other words - did I create the Corona Virus???
What if my unwillingness or inability to make different choices for myself contributed to the creation of the corona virus? What if my essence was shouting at me to take the “egg time*,”  to “do less, be more,” and I just kept putting it off. And what if, somewhere inside of me, there was a Divine Timing that I refused to acknowledge, which resulted in me saying things like, “I’ll slow down sometime soon.” Yes, I made some changes, but not to the degree that I knew I wanted. 

But wait, there’s more!

What if I wasn't alone in those wants? What if others were also wanting to slow down, take stock, to do less and be more? To make different choices? What if others were needing some sort of "legitimate excuse" or reason to not go out, to work from home, to say no to social activities that had become obligations? And what if this desire, this want of more "Be" time (some might even call it "me" time) was brewing, bubbling, possibly festering as a Deep Desire that kept getting pushed aside or back burnered, or ignored because "how can I just stop what I'm doing?" “I have important responsibilities!” “If I don't keep going, and everyone else keeps going, I'll be behind!" "I won't be able to prove that I'm worthy to be here." "I won't produce and if I don't produce, my world will end." "I won't be able to survive unless I keep going and doing what I've been doing." "I don't have the luxury of making a different choice."

Enter COVID-19. 

Maybe the "luxury" piece got taken off the table. And now like it or not, perhpas what was a luxury has now become a necessity, from the global point of view. For the good of the Whole. And yes, we all have our own version of the personal piece, and yours may be very different from mine. But how does your personal piece dance with the global consideration?

Then I thought about how much more spacious I feel about my April schedule, not having to physically attend things. I feel like I have more time and space to be more in the Present Moment and make more Present Moment choices. I have less mind clutter around juggling and planning and "making it work." "Making it work" is a good set of chops to have, but it takes a lot of energy. What if I didn't need to keep "making it work?" Well, for me, I’m enjoying the breathing room and the time and space. I felt a bit of relief. 

So I started wondering if other people, even thought they may not be voicing it, might be feeling some relief for cancellations, format changes (#doitdifferently). Are we afraid to be grateful for the upside of the Corona Virus? Maybe the Corona Virus was created by a collective conscious or unconscious desire to explore the idea of “Humans Being” to balance the years and years and years of “Humans Doing?” Maybe our Essence, our "Corona" (the glow around the egg that signals that it's the one ready to become a physical manifestation of our consciousness) may be providing an opportunity for us to get in touch with what our consciousness really needs and wants. Maybe we just got tired of the hum, the buzz, the hamster wheel. Maybe we needed, wanted, and created a break from the routine, if only to assess and see what was working, what wasn't and then use that information to make more present and informed choices for your New Now. 

So when I started this on Saturday, I was at home instead of in Detroit. I'm taking time to write, reflect, and feel the spaciousness of my new schedule. I know things are still in flux, and for now, I will continue to adjust as I ponder.

My current questions are - 
How much do I self-quarantine?
What is my comfort zone? I'm healthy, I don't fear getting the virus, but what if I'm a carrier? 
What feels socially responsible?
What lessons can I apply to my life after the “pandemic,” aka “wake up call” is over? Am I willing to be changed? Am I willing to “doitdifferently?”

I don't have answers. I love the questions. And I trust the Wholeness and the perfection of the situation. Yes, I'm a silver lining kind of person. I'm OK with that. It's not based in sugar coating, it's based in my life experience of learning from other types of "viruses" over my years on the planet. 

But today, I continue to serve the Wholeness as best I can, flow non-judgementally with the changes, and bask in some time and space as I continue to explore myself as a Human Being. 

*defined and explained in the forthcoming post “Egg, Sperm, and the Coronavirus”

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Cleaning for Inspiration

I had the best dream last night. I was commissioned to paint this really large inspiring piece for a woman. There was limitless budget. She wanted mermaids, colors, sparkles, swirls. She wanted to look at it and feel inspired.

This work was large. REALLY large. 2 large semi-circles that would connect. And I had a team. People who would be there to help me create and execute this vision.

What's not to love about that dream? As I've been spring cleaning physically, mentally, emotionally, I'm made some space. Space for vision. Space for inspiration. Space to see and know who I am now, instead of comparing myself to who I was or who I wanted to be.

So as I continue cleaning, I'm inspired to make space for inspiration! And I feel an immense sense of clarity from the dream. I'm no longer inspired to make "art for art's sake" like I was years ago. And just to be clear, I was extremely inspired ALL THE TIME doing it. But something changed when I got into creating yoga trainings and programs. That was my creation. And it was great. And different, And not creating art for art's sake.

Then I moved out of the community. One reason I moved is because I wanted space to create more. And after moving, I had the physical space I was craving,  but needed to clean out more space inside of me. I wasn't even aware of how much I had accumulated in the limitless space of me! So I kept cleaning. I started to feel more inspired. And now, here I am in a place where I still don't have a community to share my creations or offerings with, and the dream makes so much sense. I'm not into creating for creating's sake like I did in the past.

Now I want to make creations that benefit the not only myself, but others. I want to feel the support of community when it comes to these creations. I am not alone. Don't get me wrong - I'm just fine alone. I create great work alone. But what is inspiring me right now is to create not only create, but to have a place to share the creation to those who are interested, seeking, wanting the creation.

So even though I still vacuum, I know now that I don't want to create in a vacuum.  I move beyond into a new paradigm - creating that which serves the whole supports us all, and supports the creation itself.

What old paradigm can you vacuum out to see if there is a new one that serves you in this present moment?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Keeping the Retreat Alive

You’ve just spent 7 days of bliss in a magical place, enjoying great food, the perfect structure and balance between activity and reflection. You’ve nourished yourself with healthy local food. You’ve meditated, journaled or whatever it is that grounds you to your Big S self. You’ve re-prioritzed your life and are ready to make some much needed changes. You’ve Retreated! And you feel amazing!

Now what?

As you start to pack and get ready for the journey home, you may feel some waves of anxiety, nervousness. You may have already started to check your email, and experience a crushing weight of your previous life. You may feel pulled to respond to the “same old same old” in the “same old same old.”

Over the years, I’ve learned that integration and preparation for re-entry is an important aspect of the Retreat Experience. Here are some quick tips to help you smooth that transition into your “normal” life, and support your “new, post-retreat” normal. 

  1. Remember that your family and friends have had time away from you as well. Approach them from the present moment instead of expecting them to behave the same way they always do. And if you are returning to partners and/or children, know they probably missed you! 
  2. Get real with your unspoken expectations about what you want when you get back. Are you expecting your partner to have cleaned the house and made a fantastic spa meal for you? Maybe they are expecting the same from you! Communicate with each other and maybe opt to go out to dinner or get take out so no one has to cook and you can spend the time enjoying each other.
  3. Ask your partner or family what they did while you were away. You may want to share all of your amazing experiences, but you might also want to keep them private for awhile until you digest. Let the conversation be more about them.
  4. Dare to change. What one concept are you ready to incorporate into your life? Get honest with how much time you can give to this newness so you don’t feel overwhelmed. If it’s 5 minutes, then 5 minutes it is! You can stretch for 5 minutes, close your eyes and watch your breath for 5 minutes, journal, read, stare at the clouds. Let this be your new practice to connect yourself to your Self.
  5. What one thing can you do to remember how you felt? It might be “look at a flower” or “see the differences in others without judgement.” It might be “drink more tea and less coffee” or “eat fruit.” Connect to that when you start to feel overwhelmed. Choose Retreat moments as part of your day!
  6. Take the “listening” challenge. Instead of having to fix, change, or judge somethng, just listen. Then walk away. Retreat. You can always share your pearls of wisdom at another time. 

So keep your commitment to yourself! You went on a retreat for a reason. Give yourself a Retreat each day, by giving yourself the time and space to remember that you are worth the time and space of a retreat experience. Every day.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Advance to Retreat

In a world where the idea of “Advance! Advance! Advance!” is highly valued, it can be hard to justify the idea of Retreat. In many scenarios, retreat means defeat. But this programming may no longer be serving us, and it is clearly not in service of our Wholeness and Balanced Life. In our rapidly changing and tumultuous times, it is important to ask the question, “how can I recognize both masculine and feminine energies in myself and use them in a more balanced way?”

Part of the inspiration for our upcoming “Yoga for Your Heart” Bali Retreat, came from the lush Balinese land. We felt our own hearts melt as we gazed upon the beauty and asked, “What does Bali have to share with us?” We felt a strong presence of the Divine Feminine energy. Her voice, the voice of the Mother. This voice, that comes through both men and women, is a voice of nourishment, of receptivity, of listening, of waiting, of reflecting. Of Retreating. And not just because its on your “to do” list.

As a High Type A, I grew up in a family where productivity was valued and rewarded. The masculine energy was valued over the feminine. (I grew up in a family of only women, so this had nothing do with gender.) Taking breaks or time to reflect was not valued.  In fact, taking a break implied “lazy,” “unproductive,” “weak” and “less than.” I worked myself into the ground which took a toll on my health, my attitude, and my relationships. I knew there had to be another way to be in the world.

I started to ask myself, “what would happen if I did less?”  News flash. The sun came up the next day. And by “retreating,” I gave others a chance to shine. Over the years, I became more fully committed to finding ways to lead with my Divine Feminine instead of only my Divine Masculine. I felt my heart soften. I felt my creativity increase. I felt the need to do, to fix, to change diminsh. I started to re-prioritize my health, healing, and well-being, which fed every single area of my life. I began to feel a balance in my life. 

I have never once regretted going on a retreat. Retreating is a conscious carving out of time to step off of your current hamster wheel and see the world of your life through a different lens. Retreats give us an opportunity to nourish ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. During a retreat, we give ourselves the time and opportunity to digest life lessons so that we can assimilate these “nutrients” and enhance or make changes in areas of our life that need nuturing, re-evaluation, or attention. 

As we experience and embrace the softening that is more accessible during a retreat, we begin to organically build an inner strength and confidence. We are less concerned with what others think of our choices and decisions. We “retreat” inward, listening to our own inner voice of Truth. We begin to feel more comfortable with receptivity and listening. Divine Feminine. And there is a huge power in listening without needing to immediatlly act on that information. 

As we emerge from this receptive place of retreat, we are fully charged and focussed. We don’t need to mindlessly spin our energy around, “showing” others how hard we are working, and thus, how deserving we are of accolades and attention. Instead, we efficiently choose where to put our energy.  And at the end of the day, we have some left over to enjoy a time of retreat, either by our selves, with loved ones, in nature, or something else. “Retreat” is no longer  a “crash and burn” response to constantly “advancing.” “Retreat” is now part of a balanced life. We can now move from a place of balance and choice as we understand both Feminine and Masculine energies inside of us. We can both Advance and Retreat. 

Join Jean Mazzei and Brenna Geehan this October and discover more about your Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine in Yoga For Your Heart in Bali.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Just because I'm good at it...

As I am now less than a month away from changing decades, I thought to myself as I got up this morning, July 4, what does it mean for me to be free? What do I want to be free from? What keeps me in prison? And although there are many answers and levels to those questions, the answer of the moment was around self-imposed oblilgation. 

One of the richest realizations that I had recieved a few months before we went to India, was that “just because I’m good at something, doesn’t mean I want to do it.” And as I applied this teaching to myself, I started seeing all the ways that I would feel obligated to do X, Y, Z just because I was good at it, and hey, "if you want something done right, do it yourself! "

Wow! Living from that place was a breeding ground for resentment, and let’s just say I popped out a few litters! I dove deeper into this idea, and began to gain awareness on how subtly and not so subtly this self imposed “obligation” was a bully, a tyrant, in the country of Jean. I had to let go of the need to having it “done right.”  Also the need of having it done “on time.” Also the need of having it done at all! I had to grow a big set of Patience and allow others to learn what was “easy” for me. I had to watch them not get it right all the time. And not get it done. And I had to learn how to communicate with them through the process. All this took a lot more time and energy than if I had just done it myself. 

Or did it?

What was the price I paid for always doing something just because I was good at it? Did these things come “naturally” or had I just had more time in on the project? And was it “easy” for me? Execution may have been easy, but living in the resentment/disappointment pond was NOT!  Living in the past and future was NOT! Feeling exhausted at the end of the day because I had put all these self-imposed obligations created in the past in front of living in my New Now in the present was NOT EASY! 

As I backed away and said NO to doing the things that were “easy” for me, things that I had a habit of doing "just because," I had to back away from resentment, disappointment and stress. And when these have had your back for awhile, it can feel kind of weird to not have them holding you up. But just like a butterfly emerges from self-created confinement, drying new wings in the sun can feel pretty great. Also, as those wings are drying, pre-flight, it’s a nice feeling to not know what’s coming next. I don’t have to be good at something to want to experience it. I don’t have to get good at something to enjoy it. I don’t have to get good at something and then be stuck doing it the rest of my life. 

So one of the things I’m freeing myself from is the self-imposed obligation of having to do things just because I’m good at them. At one time, doing some of those things felt good. It gave me a sense of peace and accomplishment. It gave me a container to grow and evolve. It gave me a sense of who I was. But that's who I WAS. And look in the mirror. It's a different face now. 

Freedom for me means choice. Choosing the what’s right for me. And being OK with not knowing what that is. Freedom to discover my Self in the present moment after all these years. Being OK with where I am, right here, right now. In other words, loving myself, just as I am, without condition. That’s freedom.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Freedom Fighter

What does it mean to be a “freedom fighter?” What does it mean to “gain independence?” Do we even want independence? Maybe we want connection?

So what does it mean to be a “Freedom Fighter?” Being a freedom fighter means someone who will fight for freedom. For me, it’s not about bullying someone or some situation into submission. It’s not about showing power. It’s not about proving worth. It’s about “fighting” or overriding habits, constructs, attachments. Acknowledging that at one time, these habits, attachments, constructs were supports to that provided a “safe container”  for us to grow and evolve. And over time, like clothes, we outgrow them. The "safe container" can become a "prison."

When we feel locked inside a tyrannical container, whether it be our country’s pre-July 4, 1776 container, or the container we created for ourselves, it’s time to do what it takes to break free. Does it mean destroying the cocoon, or finding a way out of it so we can both exist? Does it mean preaching or beating someone into submission until they see you as the one who “Knows” or has “Power?”  Is my freedom based on someone else’s submission to my needs/wants/truth? 

I think Freedom is knowing yourself well enough to take responsibility for one’s choices, emotions, health, thoughts, actions, non-actions. And the freer I am, the freer we all can be, because my freedom is no longer contingent on the behavior or beliefs of someone else. And that is worth fighting for. And figuring out what it means to “fight.” As we move towards more equality and equanimity, we may still “fight” our way out of our prisons, but in the process, we will find that in order to truly be free, we may need to re-frame what it means to “fight” and understand that we are really only ever fighting ourselves. As Dennis Adams says, “It’s never outside of yourself.” And as hard as that can be to swallow or even grok, it applies. And what I’m really fighting is my own resistance to change. My own attachments. My need to have life “just so.” 

Being a freedom fighter means I am willing to see more choices. I am willing to choose another route. I am willing to wait. I am willing to act. I am willing to embrace or walk away. I am willing to say yes or no. I am willing to not know. I am willing to evolve independently of others, yet alongside of others. For me, freedom is being able to evolve myself as you evolve yourself. And one of the gifts of this freedom is that we can witness each other's evolution and learn from each other. 

Independence Day. Connection Day. Freedom is having both at the same time.