Yoga: Soul-Work and Gift Boxes

Greetings to my Fellow SOULdiers!

It has been a long time since I plugged into my page and into all of you.

Taking a hiatus was a deliberate and intentional decision. Albeit a tough one in many ways.

I love connecting to my supporters, followers, friends and other soul-seekers through Facebook and Instagram, but truthfully, I wasn’t FEELING it.

On my Laughing Lotus FB page I discussed feeling a bit like I was in a chrysalis working to BEcome whatever the hell it was brewing up inside my soul. I did a LOT of soul-searching. A. LOT. Let’s be honest, that I am STILL soul-searching.

There were moments I felt a little STUCK on my path. Not exactly sure where I was going or what was happening, only that it WAS happening.

I am learning to let GO of my working to have answers and focus more on the LISTENING in.

I had to trust this process.

Let us begin.

Yoga changed my life.

One more time, YOGA CHANGED MY LIFE.

When I decided to go into a yoga certification program, I knew I would change, but not at a soul-deep level. I figured I would learn the names of poses, the appropriate and effective way to teach students in a safe manner.

What I didn’t anticipate was the type of growth and work I would do to become a teacher. When we began learning about the yoga values (or the eight-limb path for you fellow yogis out there) I didn’t anticipate it changing, well kind of, EVERYTHING.

We began down a path that felt very similar to social work and my background. As always, DO NO HARM is an essential tenet, but I loved that the first Yama is no harm, because everything from there takes form.

Meaning that every single tenet after that returns to this idea. The ideas also become more complex about how we might work to live our lives. I thought I was a thinker before this program and it became abundantly clear to me that as much as I believed I had awakenings in the last several years, that THIS. THIS MOMENT was another.

My group, my crew, my yogi peeps and fellow soul-seekers discussed these values at length. People were vulnerable, they were KIND, they were CONSCIENTIOUS and loving. We supported each other through praise, hugs and a soul-awareness of one another. There have been tears, sometimes off the mat in small discussions and through authentically asking about each other’s lives.

We’ve sweated together, laughed at our poor Sanskrit pronunciation, joked about pooping/farting and being “NAAAAADI” (which only my yogi group will get, SORRY, NOT SORRY).

We are developing a program to take into the community for a Karma Yoga project and we will begin to truly TEACH. The irony, of course, is that we have ALREADY been teaching one another.

Sometimes I think I show up a little “late to the game” with some of these things and my insight, but I am grateful nonetheless when it shows up.

During these months off I have immersed myself in my program, in the internal growth/change taking place, supporting my daughter getting back into the swing of school/swimming and trying to enjoy spare time (of which there is almost NONE) with friends and loved ones.

I celebrated my 43rd birthday this year in August and it was one of my favorites. People sent pictures, cards, memories and gave me gifts of MOMENTS and I felt really SEEN. Like people were seeing me for who I was and what was TRULY important to me.

No, I have not forgotten my yoga story. I swear I will go back…

My point here is (while it may seem rambling) is that this time is allowing me to REALLY be present to that which is growing me. I clearly needed to be on this journey and feel aligned in TOTAL with my direction.

My direction, as it has been from the moment I was born is to SERVE others. My journey has been filled with all kinds of lessons, pain, heartbreak, joy, learning, growing, losing, failing, succeeding in EPIC proportion, laughing (in even more proportion) and feeling CONNECTED.

If I had to give my soul a grade right now it would be an A. This is not my ego talking like some gruesome braggart, it is me being TOTES real about the work I have been doing. And it IS work. Sometimes soul-tired work.

You see, I needed the break. I unplugged from social media, even though I love you all and I plugged into ME. Perhaps for the first time in my life I whole-heartedly did so. I honored my soul/yoga journey and gave myself the breath of fresh air when we disconnect from technology and plug back into my life, nature and LEARNING.

My serving has often taken the form of placing other people dead-center and FIRST and I took the hits. I felt like I wanted to support people growing, learning and healing and so I did what was necessary for OTHERS to succeed, get well, feel better, but not myself.

This yoga journey was for ME. Selfish? NO. Self-CARE? YES. COMPLETELY 100%.

I know how many people WON’T get this journey.

I sound WOO-WOO. I sound like a hippie, I sound like I went to an ashram retreat for a month…I might be WEIRD, but goddamn if that doesn’t feel JUST like what I needed and where I am supposed to be.

Who knows? Maybe my tribe, my followers, supporters and communities will not be with me in this next leg. I hope they are, but I am in complete alignment with the Universe and trust that it is taking me EXCATLY where I need to go to be of the highest good for the world.

THAT, my friends, is EACH of our jobs. Not just my magical, mystical job, but ALL of our jobs.

I hope my journey, my story, will reach right into someone’s heart and give it a squeeze. I hope to give YOU permission to seek your best self. To stop riding in the rat-race and SLOW DOWN. Take a hiatus.

The best things in our lives are JUST on the other side of SILENCE my friends…

Yoga taught me that. Well, and a healthy dose of meditation if we’re being honest.

It wasn’t about the asanas (poses) or the athletic performance, although that can be amazing.

It is about the SPIRIT. The CONNECTION. The QUIET and the fucking permission I gave myself to go there. FINALLY.

It only took like 43 f’ing years to do so (imagine me patting myself on the back here and giving you a wink).

I believe even now, some of my loved ones think I have gone around the bend. Close friends are probably waiting for me to do a ritual dance around them with my flaming stick of incense all while wearing my favorite Buddha shirt (oh wait, that could actually happen). My family may notice my differences in my being quieter, more internal and not always as chatty, maybe drinking less. My clients may notice my focus on their internal experience of life, connecting them back into their bodies and challenging their thoughts in a whole new way. My followers, subscribers and supporters note how irregularly I am on social media or haven’t had much to say.

Well, that is the way it is. BIG THINGS ARE HAPPENING.

I am struggling with BIG thoughts about life and not so much of the bullshit.

I haven’t been worried if my image “looks good” or will “catch someone’s eye” or “be bold enough to make a difference”.

The difference is ME.

Want to know the really cool thing about all of this? The REALLY cool thing?

I want it for YOU too.

I imagine myself packaging up all this wisdom, thought, energy, healing, love, laughter, joy, growth and CONNECTION and delivering it to you on your doorstep with a GAUDY ass, big red bow.

I want to see you unwrap it, jump and joy gleefully and throw your arms around it.

What I want for YOU? Is what I am GAINING.

The beauty of my process is that it does not belong to ME. It belongs to all of us. I have a story to share. That sharing connects us and binds us.

I am UNIQUE, but not SPECIAL. I don’t DESERVE my soul-awareness and joy MORE than you for some made up reason. We are the SAME. Our GOALS are the SAME. Our hearts are the SAME.

In all my years as a Clinical Social Worker I have come to see and connect with how much more we are ALIKE than DIFFERENT.

Because we ALL want security, love, health, belonging, joy, laughter, success (in whatever way that might present itself), connection, community, purpose and GROWTH.

So, this path is truly connecting me with where I am going. YOGA changed my life in a million ways and I am still counting them. I want to bring all of that to YOU.

I hope to witness you walking RIGHT into your greatness. RIGHT into your peace. RIGHT into your own alignment. RIGHT into your own awareness. RIGHT into your own SUCCESS.

RIGHT THERE??? That is the sweet spot of life. When we can join hands and hearts to make sure that each of us is ACHIEVING our SOUL-WORK.

So, I may meet you on the mat.

I may meet you on Facebook.

I may meet you in meditation.

I may meet you on Instagram.

I may meet you for tea and conversation.

I may meet you to learn.

I may meet you to TEACH.

But, I WILL meet you. I will greet your SOUL with a great big, gigantic HUG and acceptance. I will see your soul through a lens that is clear and aware.

I will not be concerned about what you LOOK like. Your outsides matter NOT. They do not APPLY in this place.

This place is like the stripped-down version of heaven where all we can see is what is INSIDE, what REALLY counts. The thin layer of BS around all of us and breaks down so we can just be REAL. Your finances don’t matter, your car doesn’t matter, your CLOTHES certainly don’t matter.

What MATTERS is that we are in this together. Fumbling around to make sense of our experience here, but knowing we will not have all the answers (and THAT is okay). We will be AUTHENTIC and speak our TRUTHS because THAT is the ONLY thing I want to know of you. Not the bullshit, not the meaningless, inane things we sometimes feel we have to present to each other to be desirable. That stripped-down, REAL version of YOU is the only one that counts.

Imagine if you will that right this very moment, I am on your doorstep with a Cheshire-like grin spreading from ear to ear with a box so full of love and light I can barely hold it. I am hopping from foot to foot in eager anticipation of seeing you REALLY see your own BEAUTY and I set the box at your feet. We both take a breath together and you pull that big gaudy bow and out SPRINGS ridiculous WONDER and AWARENESS and all at once YOU can also see what you’ve been missing. You can see the miracle and magic of even the most mundane things. You can feel your connection to every ONE and every THING. You see that there are NO accidents. That you are perfectly made just the way you are. You ARE greatness. THEN…wait for it…you wrap up a box of this gift and WE take it to the next person and do this very same joyous dance as we wait in anticipation for that gift to be opened by someone else only now we are holding hands, hugging, laughing and crying tears of deep joy to share it with yet another soul.

Do YOU FEEL ME?

See? This is that weird shit I warned you of!! Lol. This is what is in my heart.

And I am just sayin’…I am coming for you. With my box to share, full of magic and we are going to open it together. And THAT my friends, will change everything…

Do you notice how you FEEL right now?? Do you FEEL different after reading about the GIFT and the JOY and the CONNECTION? Of reading about YOUR possibility????

Yup. Me too and that is JUST the beginning. When we surround ourselves with THESE types of thoughts and feelings we EXPAND. We radiate a beautiful energy that people can FEEL like a magnetic pull.

So, tell me…do you want to drink this kool-aid??? Do you want what I have???? All the woo-woo and the weirdness and the (ahem) HAPPINESS????

If you answered yes, my soul just grew three times! This gift is open to you. It is AVAILABLE and ready for the taking. All you have to do is decide that YOU want it.

Trust me when I say that my program will come to an end. I will be a certified yoga instructor, but I have also purchased being a LEARNER for the rest of my life. For passing that on to others.

Truth be told, I am still not exactly sure what form this will all take. I may go back to the way I managed my new practice through Facebook and Instagram or I may come up with a WHOLE new direction. When that direction is ready to emerge...it will.

Connection is why I am here folks. Pure and simple. And connect I shall. I hope to SEE your soul in this work I am doing and will be doing.

Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your enemies. For they are ALL teachers and they are ALL part of our story here. We can embrace that and change EVERYTHING.

So, if you’re wondering where I have been and WHAT the hell I’ve been up to, here it is.

SOUL-WORK.

P.S. You might want to go check your front door…

With Love and Light my friends-