Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ask and You Shall Receive....

or How I Manifested Two Gin & Tonics.

A few years ago I held a workshop on the movie and book 'The Secret'. Part of the workshop involved creating a Vision Board. Vision Boards are tools to help you manifest things you want in your life. The idea is that if you can see it with your eyes, then energetically you can pull it towards you. Might be bullshit, not sure.

On my board I had photos of the beach, healthy foods and dream homes. It was covered with sayings and quotes of uplifting messages. I pasted words like LOVE, DREAM, MONEY all over my foam board. The last thing I put on it I did so as a whim. I cut out the words 'Yoga Journal' off the cover of an old magazine and then cut out the words 'On the Cover' from the index section. I pasted those two together. I had absolutely no expectation or or even distant, hidden hope of it ever coming true. It was more of a feeling like, "How fun would that be?!?".

So every day I would look at my Vision Board in my office and try to imagine living in one of those wonderful homes on the beach, eating that healthy and delicious food with money to spare. Instead of imagining, I felt wanting. I could feel desperation and grasping. I could feel guilt about not being worthy of these things that I was trying to manifest in my life. It was a hard exercise and felt futile most of the time.

 Well, about 5 months after the 'Secret' workshop, I got a copy of YJ in the mail. (Here's a little known quirky fact about me; I read magazines from the back to front like in Japan) So I open up the magazine and in the back there were a series of advertisements for Kripalu and lo and behold one of those ads featured my name! Holy manifestation, Batman!

This was the first time that I can recall a manifested idea so clearly since I have stepped onto the spiritual path. I'm sure this has happened to me in the past, but none so blatant and exciting as this episode. Even if it wasn't 'on the cover', how many people can ever say their name was in Yoga Journal?

Of course, here is where the exploration piece steps in.....

How does this happen? How do you manifest your dreams?

The obvious key to my example is clear. When there is no longing, grasping or attachment the Universe graciously and gladly provides. When you hold something so tight in your wanting that you break it, the Universe says, "Umm, not quite yet Little Sister."

In Yoga, attachment is referred to as the Yama of 'aparigraha'. Swami Kripalu said that working with the Yamas and Niyamas was like picking a garland of roses; pick up one bud and the rest will follow. When I began Yoga many years ago, I picked up the Yama of aparigraha. I have been working on letting go of my attachments to ideas, things and people for nearly 9 years and as I loosen my grip I'm finding that I'm able to manifest ideas more swiftly and pretty precisely.

Case in point, a few months ago my cohort, KWB, and I were invited to a leadership retreat in Lake George, NY for the green energy company that we work with. Before the trip, our home office emailed us and asked if we would mind sharing a bed as all of the rooms with two beds were taken. I mean, I love this girl, we are often roommates, and there have been a few times when we have had to share a bed on business trips...but this was our first leadership retreat at a beautiful resort, COME ON! So before we left, I resolved that I was going to manifest not only a room with two beds, but a suite none-the-less. In the car on the way up there I told Kat that we were getting a suite and she readily agreed that we could manifest this blessing. When we got to the resort I went to check us in while she caught up with friends. After the front desk clerk gave me my keys, I walked up to her looking like a cat with a bird in my mouth. She looked at me not knowing what to think. I burst out, "I did it!" We ended up with a beautiful, two bedroom suite, right on the lake, with a gorgeous bathroom and kitchen to boot! Boy, did that feel good! I do have to admit that there might have been a little bit of wanting in that wish, but it really wasn't that much. It didn't matter either way and there were no feelings of unworthiness.

These are truly the keys to unlocking the manifestation doors: Do the work. Forgive yourself. Feel worthy. Be grateful for whatever you have. Don't be jealous of those who have more. Keep envisioning your dreams. Be okay with 'not now' for an answer. And spread all the Love you can around.

Last weekend as Kat and I were on our way to yet another business meeting I asked her if we were having drinks afterwards. We both decided it would be too late after the meeting and since she is cleasing (again) she couldn't drink anyway. Well, there ended up being a high school reunion in the room next to our meeting. The reunion folks kept trying to register at the table that we were working and when one guy realized his blunder, he said "Is there anything I can get you?" I replied as a joke, "Yeah, if you have an open bar in there I'll take a Tanqueray and tonic!" When he brought it over, Kat looked at me and said, "You just manifested that, you do realize?"

Ask and you shall receive, X two....

Me with my first T&T, ;-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'll Get You, My Pretty!

or, 'Surrender, Kristina!"

I had coffee with a possible future business associate a couple of weeks ago. He'd grown up in Connecticut but moved to LA and lived there for quite awhile. When he moved back he was shocked that CT still 'is the way it is'. I said, "Welcome to Puritanville...."

Growing up in New England is like growing up in a different country. There are certain things that we know as if by osmosis. For instance, we know how tobacco is dried. We know why there are spigots attached to trees at the end of winter. We know how cranberries are harvested. We know how basketball was invented. Weird, quirky trivia. Useless unless you live here.

But there are other, darker knowings that are ingrained in our cells. Anyone I know, my age or older, won't go to a circus in a tent. We're fearful of ice storms. We have nightmares of bridges collapsing under us as we drive through the night. But the biggest and darkest fear that's never, ever spoken of is being accused, especially if you are a woman, of practicing witchcraft.

Drama Queen, I know. But when you really examine it, it's true.

In February I received a 'Theta' healing from my friend and gifted healing moderator, John Odlum. He immediately tuned into my debilitating fear of 'being persecuted for standing in my full power'. This struck a cord with me and has stayed with me since.

Women who stand in their full power are called witches and bitches. Women who stand in their power are frequently ostracized from friendships with other women. They get gossiped about. They get persecuted. Sure, we don't literally hang them anymore, but we do torture them in other ways. So what's the difference between 1692 and now?

Marley wearing one of my old t-shirts.

The more I examine my personal power and study the spiritual arts that interest me and guide me towards ascension, the more I'm aware of this fear. Case in point: Most of the healing arts that I practice could lead me to excommunication from the Catholic church. This would break my heart if it were to happen although I know it wouldn't really matter in my relationship with the Big Guy. I am fully aware that ascension is the goal, no matter how I get there. But the fear lingers. I often am mindful when I wear certain jewelry or t-shirts to church that some of it could be considered by those who are still asleep as idol worship or 'heathenistic'.

I saw the following post on Marianne Williamson's face book the other day:
The word "wand" comes from the same root as the word "want." Your wanting is your wand, as long as your want is untainted by fear."

WOW! Think about that for a moment. I have to let go of this fear in order to create my 'want' and stand in my power. What's more associated with witchcraft than a wand? 

Am I practicing some form of witchcraft?

What I practice is not witchcraft, magic or dark arts. What I delve in is Light Arts; co-creating my destiny with my Maker, using my community of other Light Workers to walk hand-in-hand toward enlightenment using whatever spiritual arts we feel will assist the process. This is not witchcraft. This is divine Manifest Destiny. 

So, even though I'm not fully free from fear of persecution, I'll continue to explore my powers. And although I don't literally carry a wand and this is not 1692, I'll still use essences from nature to make healing 'potions'. I'll forever repeat mantras to manifest abundance. I do know how to swim. I even have an antique cauldron in the fire place and a black cat....

Hold that thought for a moment, there's some folks at the door...Oh look, one of them has a pitchfork...and others have torches....

Uh-oh....Gotta fly...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Me and My Big Mouth....

"Honey, Yoga Journal called"....

Oh crap.

I was really hoping that if, and when, I ever announced the following news that it wouldn't be like this.

I've only ever written to a magazine twice. Both times it was YJ, the most well known yoga publication in the US. Both times has been to complain. The first time it was about an article they had on full sized yoga. The model was beautiful but every photo was blurry. Goddess forbid someone should see some flesh! Never heard from them about that one.

This last time was about free yoga.

The author complained that since she was strapped for funds she would take as many free classes in her city as possible to try them all out. There was not one positive thing in the entire article. She complained about the venues, the cost of the subway to get there, yada, yada... At the end of the week of free yoga, she went online and bought a pair of $98 yoga pants that she had seen in one of the studios. Ugh.

Maybe that precious article space could have been used to talk about what a blessing free yoga is or what the teachers of free yoga give up to offer that as seva? Or how about interviewing students of free yoga and ask them why they go and take these classes above bars? Or maybe about shops where you can find those high-end yoga pants on consignment? Something other than spoiled whining?

Well, me and my big mouth. I was cranky that day and apparently in quite a judgemental mood. Ahem... So I emailed YJ about this piece. And guess what? They picked it for print. Yep. I'm getting published. In YJ. Yep, a complaint. Great.

Well, I guess we'll see if I actually make it to print. Hopefully, next time I open my big mouth I'll have something nice to say. Yikes! And next time I have this news for you, it will actually be that I am getting published.

Til then I'm zipping it up.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Christmas in July

Or The Nightmare Before Christmas....

One of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time, except by me.

I can't remember if it was 4th or 5th grade, but I was selected to sing this song with three other kids at our schools Holiday Concert. We had rehearsed a few times and it sounded good, as far as I can remember. The night of the concert, in front of 300 proud parents and families, when we started singing the kid next to me, out of nowhere, sounded like Screech from 'Saved By The Bell'....

Well, guess who started laughing right in the middle of chestnuts roasting? Yep, yours truly.

I was able to reign some of it in before the end of the song, but it was too late. The music teacher, who I'd had for years and knew me well, was irate. IRATE. After the concert, back in the band room in front of the entire student body, she clenched her fists and started jumping up and down. Her face was contorted and her hair wild. She screamed at me that I had "ruined the entire concert". I tried to explain what started the fits of laughter but she wasn't amused. I didn't mean to laugh but it was one of those moments when you can't help yourself. 

This memory has stayed with me all this time and every Christmas when I hear that song the memory comes back and I beat myself up again that I ruined the concert and let all of those people down.

When we moved to our town about 8 years ago and found a church we liked I noticed this woman who looked like my old music teacher. I had totally convinced myself that it couldn't be her, not after all these years. My childhood hometown is an hour from here. I mean, what are the chances? 

Well, this is me we're talking about. The chances are pretty good.

Sure enough, this past Christmas the priest announced that 'Betty Sue' would be organizing the holiday music. When he said her name out loud and everyone turned to look at her, I knew without doubt.

She doesn't recognize me now that I'm an adult but I'm sure she would recall that eventful disaster of my youth. What she probably doesn't realize is how her adult reaction to my childish behavior has affected me all these years. I have let myself feel like a failure frequently since then. Nothing is ever good enough. My ego feeds on this memory to continue the guilt. 

The funny thing is you can't escape 'The Christmas Song'.

So I am forced to do the work since I can't escape. Let go of this memory. Forgive myself. Heal my inner child who still wants to sing along and find a way to shake hands with this woman, look her in the eye at church and say, "Peace be with you." 

And mean it.