A Look Back at 2020 with a bit of numerology.
2020: A year that began as a hope for 20/20 vision and clarity through an open-hearted ("4") stance, powered by relationships (the "4" by way of double "2s" in "2020"). "4" relates to the heart and a balanced, neutral mind. "2" connects to the source of our creativity, our emotions, our protective energy, and relationships. (Side Note: There are people who have studied numerology far longer and in-depth so this is my personal interpretation of the numbers and, truth be told, reading their work over the years informs mine and self-interpretation allows me to embody and hold the meanings with a simplicity and clarity. I hope this lands for you-- as always, take it or leave it. Trust in yourself.)
As I reflect back the year on this day, 12/31/2020, I notice today is an "11" (1+2+3+1+2+0+2+0). A significant, yogic number that makes the Truth discoverable for all with no judgment nor limits. It is a reminder that Trust in and Surrendering to the Divine Will of the Universe will lead to Truth. Yoga is the union of our Individual Consciousness and Universal Consciousness. This Universal Consciousness is within all of us. We are all connected. As one. What affects you, impacts me. What affects me, impacts you. In allowing Truth to unfold, without judgment, we are all touched by what is Universal and Divine. And so I surrender to what unfolds today.....
Alot of yogi gobbledy-gook there. It means alot to me now but it didn't always. More in "everyday human language", I see this anticipated year of vision and clarity through open-heartedness and powered by relationships as somewhat of a twisted joke. But really, it has held to its promise. Just not the way anyone could've imagined.
Let's be honest. The year was filled with Grief: sickness, loss of loved ones, cancelled plans & celebrations, disrupted accomplishments, separations and isolation. Grief comes from change; and sadness shows us what's important. How does that bring Clarity? How DOESN'T it bring Clarity? In its seemingly backward way, the loss, separation and disruptions allowed us to value more deeply our relationships and "our work". It also allowed us to become more creative so that we can GET those things we abruptly "lost".
This year was also filled with charged polarities of light and dark-- of goodness and opposition. The extremes were so extreme that, again, we ask: How DOESN'T it bring Clarity? It does. It gave us exaggerated views that sparked strong emotions in each of us. It carried deep and loud emotions that shouted at us: "Look! Look! What Do You Think?! What Will You Do?!" It tore us apart but also brought us more together. Relationships. Clarity. Vision.
Nature got a reprieve. We spent weeks to months keeping our cars parked and planes grounded. Thanks to the entry into our Summer (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), we walked and connected with nature more and benefitted from the change in pace, along with our green friends. We had another gift......
Last but not least (and maybe there's more), the year gave us Space. Space to process, to grieve, to get clear on how we feel....even if we haven't fully formulated all of it yet. We now know what is important to us, we know we can be creative in working within self-imposed and outside-imposed boundaries, and our vision has been shaped or has begun to be more clear. Powerful. Space of time is also a message to get quiet with ourselves. In the Silence, we feel our answers. What may have been 'discomfort' becomes Gratitude. It's good to stop the noise every once in awhile-- more often and longer if possible.... daily. We can breathe. (The irony of this statement amidst the BLM movement is profound).
My teenager had this to say: "This year kinda sucked but it was also kind of necessary because everyone needs to realize they/we have major issues". Harsh and hilarious. Not untrue. Approach with self-compassion.
A Tiny Look Ahead
I think the new lens of 2020 is one we can all wear into 2021. Like a superpower.
My superpowers? Mental telepathy and cosmic empathy is strong in me-- between me and my Soul. Sounds hokey but how's your communication with your True Self? Are you rid of and/or at peace with your inner conflicts and fears? Truth is my armor, cape and sword. It's like the Force. Even the dark side has Light....once it accepts Truth.
More on 2021 in 2021. Happy New Year, Everyone!
Today is December 31, 2020. What a famously wild and unpredictable year it has been! Filled with extreme "bad" and extreme "good". The polarities of dark and light somehow converging to create a crisper picture....Vision.
A Reflection on Boundaries
Just like any day, this day is no different. Except..... It is a largely-recognized "day to note", as are major holidays, the solstices, the equinoxes, and other specially-noted days. For me, these are days for reflection. What is the symbolic significance of this day? What does it mean to me? In a way, it sets a symbolic boundary for us. A bookend to a year of unbelievably heart-wrenching and touching stories alike.
In general, I've often struggled with overwhelm and a sense of "free floating" (not in a good way). As a creative --which, by the way, we all are-- I've come to understand that setting our own restrictions around a project, a practice, a goal, etc. is important to the process. These are not limitations of the Self but healthy boundaries that keep us rooted and stable, and from which our ideas and creations can emerge and flourish with an amazing sense of freedom.
I've also come to understand that the tools we've picked up through lessons of life-- intentionally and by chance --are part of our personal boundaries. As babies and toddlers do, we use our senses and our will to feel and test the boundaries. What are the limits? Where am I comfortable? Where do I (ad)venture to push across those lines? What do I do if what I thought was right for me, in and out of my boundary (or comfort zone), actually isn't? And when you feel yourself looking at other people's boundaries-- and/or perhaps feeling judgment on yours --breathe and honor the feeling. Then find a way to let it go. Feel your inner fire burn it up and, like a phoenix, turn the ashes into a radiant bird of self-love. Bottom line: your boundaries are personal.
I feel myself currently riding that edge as I process the revelations that have come to light this year about this transformational yoga I practice and teach. And the concepts connected to it. Like a lifeline for me and many others I know, it has given me the tools to turn judgment into birds of Empowerment, to know Truth where I used to only see lies disguised as reality, causing pain and self-deprivation. Ideas and practices that have been masterfully synthesized by a predator but, in pieces, are not his original work. I know the effectiveness and I focus on what I know has worked. Still, a process to sort through some levels of blind acceptance to get to what is real and right for me. In truth, we blindly accept in many aspects of life where we have given over our power to another-- not in a negative sense but as an awareness. For instance, to our doctors, the farmers, our government..... We can always take this power back.
Akara Numerology is one of those gray areas for me in terms of how it came to be. (Perhaps you, Reader, are familiar and can shed light for me?). In any case, it has always resonated and landed for me, better than astrology. Plus, I love numbers. It is, in fact, an effective boundary for me-- it can expand or look different beyond me but here, now, for me, it is what it is and it's enlightening. I accept its structure and meaning and use it to help me reflect on life. It can create powerful connections to make difficult situations, thoughts, and ideas palatable and, even more, divinely rich in depth and breadth. Such a wonderful tool to reflect on an insane year and contemplate what comes next.......
Aligned with the numbers of 2020, my relationships, connections, clarity on what's important to me and, of course, big open-heartedness highlighted for me "boundaries". Healthy boundaries feel like a swaddle of warmth and motherly love. Truth. A lesson from 2020.
Do you know what I love about winters?
Getting to see the sunrise later in the morning.
Observing the sunrises and sunsets are a random occurrence for me where, when caught at that moment, always put me at awe. When I lived in a high-rise building facing west many years ago, I used to watch the sunsets often. It's only now that I am beginning to seek out the rhythms and rhymes of this amazing universe. Today, a remarkable sunrise.
Did you know that the sunrise happens later and later in the Northern Hemisphere until early January? If I had to guess, I would assume that Winter Solstice was the turning point for the sun to rise earlier. Apparently it is not. The mismatch is due to the Earth's rotational axis being 23.5 degrees off from vertical to the plane of our orbit around the sun, and the Earth's eccentric orbit causing it to travel fastest in January and slowest in July. According to my source for this information, EarthSky, the exact date for the latest sunrise or sunset varies by latitude. The sequence, however, always remains the same-- holding true for both Northern and Southern hemispheres:
Earliest SunSET > Winter Solstice > Latest SunRISE
Earliest SunRISE > Summer Solstice > Latest SunSET
This morning as I watched the dark pink/purplish light on the horizon, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for its beauty and wonder. I checked the time and it was maybe quarter past 7am. Never a joyful earlybird (like the Amrit Vela time between 3am-6am-- ugh!), I appreciate the sun's later rise. At least another week perhaps until it does start to wake earlier. This may be a good week for sun salutations.
Years of shifting to a more meaningful and deeply-connected life, my city-girl Self longs to become more connected with nature's rhythms and lessons. One aspect of this connection is in building meaningful, spiritual rituals to celebrate the shifts in Earth's seasons, such as the Winter Solstice. Especially as a parent creating guideposts for my children, I know such connections to be a healing and magical celebration for the soul. (For this reason, I am eternally grateful to have deeply-meaningful rituals built into their school life for celebrations such as Winter Solstice).
What a wonderful year to truly hone this connection to Winter Solstice-- though perhaps coincidental to fall on the same day.....such is the year of 2020! --with a possibility of seeing the Star of Bethlehem for the first time in 400 years! My mind's eye evokes images of wise men journeying to Jerusalem following that miraculous star and finding the baby Jesus. This is a celestial event caused by the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn-- the two largest planets --appearing to shine as one brilliant star (or Christmas star), that we may be able to witness shortly after sunset, low in the southwestern sky. A bit of kismet to bring 2020 to a close and to kick-off a wondrous depth of spirit that is the Winter Solstice.
Here is my short list of ways I am honoring the Winter Solstice:
Plus, leading up to this day, the yoga studio where I teach spent 11 days guiding our clients to connect with their inner sun-energy, their warmth and extrovertedness, and their inner digestive fire. Movement along with an embodied concept of our own inner fire (through meditation) sparks the warmth and wisdom innately within each of us. "Everybody is a candle, but not everybody is lit". --Karena Virginia & Dharm Khalsa in Essential Kundalini Yoga.
Happy Winter Solstice, Friends!
I would love to hear your Winter Solstice stories and traditions. And let me know if you see the star tonight!
Much love, peace and gratitude for our amazing, natural world!
What does responsibility mean to you?
What does it mean to be responsible?
Does it differ in different areas of your life?
I keep pondering the belief --which I hold to be true-- that Freedom and Responsibility are two sides of the same coin. We all want "freedom" - to live it in our nation, to feel it in our own bodies, our own lives. The idea of freedom I will come back to. Today (and onward), I want to embody and embrace Responsibility.....whatever that means.......
Let's break it down: My ability to respond is my responsibility.
Respond to what? My life and the things that are important to me. Things that are True, that hold Integrity, and that does not harm Others. This sounds as it should be true enough for everyone:
Your responsibility is to be able to respond to your life and
the things--which are True, hold Integrity, and does not harm Others--
that are important to you.
Does that resonate for you?
What kinds of things are important to you and fit those guideposts of True, Integrity and Does No Harm? Here are 3 points of focus which can be looked at in the detail of your own life:
To live in balance with keen knowledge of MY needs, within MY means, at any given moment and to be able to respond. Technically, this IS self-care.
Self-care, living in my truth, being an example of light and meaningful expression of Truth for my family and community and on......these are the things that are important to me that are True, hold Integrity, and does not harm Others. And my ability to respond to these things, within the protective boundaries of balancing my needs, within my means, at any given moment, is the Truth I need to embrace and embody somatically in every cell of my being.
Yet still, this is all well & good but could get overwhelming where you feel you have not learned how to manage, digest, and metabolize these things. The "ability" part of it. How do you respond seemingly without the ability?
Recognizing the perceived dis-ability is the first step. Think of those who are considered to have a "disability" as is commonly known in society today. Or a "handicap". Some people need help like handrails, wheelchairs or ramps or special technological advancements to assist in speaking or seeing or some other need. Some secure tutors or nurses or other sorts of caretakers. Whatever the situation, ALL are required to look for ways to see beyond their dis-ability and acknowledge where they just need to work a little harder, where they need help and where they can creatively do things differently to balance ability with dis-ability. What are your perceived dis-abilities and how will you see beyond it?
Write it down. Assess it. Do the work. This is your RESPONSE-ABILITY.
Each of us are responsible for our own response-ability. Together, as response-able individuals, is how we create our own Freedom and how we can promote freedom in our greater world. Digging deep within is where our Truth lies. And our Truth is worth finding-- it is where our salvation thrives, and freedom and responsibility exist on the same coin.
I AM MY OWN BEST ALLY, ADVOCATE, AND ACTIVIST. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
As an ally, I support me.
As an advocate, I talk me up.
As an activist, I am actively nourishing, profoundly understanding, and pounding the pavement for me.
Lest I forget, at times the vehicle does seem to sputter or breakdown, I need only remember the hotline for my AAA servicing....
I AM MY OWN BEST ALLY, ADVOCATE, AND ACTIVIST.
I AM MY OWN BEST ALLY, ADVOCATE, AND ACTIVIST.
I AM MY OWN BEST ALLY, ADVOCATE, AND ACTIVIST.
Believe in yourself. You are enough.
What's holding you back?
Something..... What's holding you back?
(Thinking.....close eyes......searching......breathing....... feeling......). Fear.
Fear of what?
Fear of my hopes, of achieving, of being of great service.
Fear of not achieving and staying in my cozy shell of "nothing happens". Predictable.
Fear of the physical, internal damage that I fear will arise by holding back, holding in.
Fear of my voice.
Fear of being misunderstood.
Fear of being found out, that I am crap, my ideas are crap....I am insignificant.
How does that feel in your body?
Like a bottle of nerves being shaken, about ready to burst. Like my cells are suffocating.
Except when numbed....
Except when a sudden burst of inspiration brings me a high wave of tide until it subsides.....sometimes to a lower plane. Then I feel sunk. Worthless.
How do you want to feel-- what is the opposite of that feeling?
Calm and rhythmic ebbs and flows with peaks (from the inspiration) and back to equalized. Steady, even through "the negatives". Well-paced.
Soothed nerves and self-assuredness and a feeling of command and acceptance. A patient "knowing" and trust in the creative process. I feel strong and courageous.
What will it take to get there?
Action. Fear subsides when I take action....steps bring me one step closer. Steps of creation and proof that "I can". Steps that inform me of what comes next. Holding the vision in my heart, but don't look too far ahead (which creates the overwhelm I know all too well).
But, I've taken many small steps and the Fear remains....... Ok, a little ongoing, bite-sized fear keeps me motivated to do my best, but.......
But...... (close eyes, breathe, feel......) it's THE step I need to take that I'm afraid of.
Ahhh, now we're getting somewhere........can you define THE step?
Ahhh, yes... I can name it and I can start to look at "the why" and "the how" of it. I just needed to see the block to begin to tear it down.
And the fear lessens. The unknown becomes known.
Ok, I got this. Thank you, Friend Fear.
You're welcome. That's what I'm here for. ❤️
I read somewhere that we are often exhausted by the things we DIDN'T DO rather than the things we did do. And honestly I can understand how this is so. When I get things done, I feel energized. When I don't, I feel an invisible pressure or weight that comes with anticipation of things awaiting my attention. Anticipation that is exhausting usually reflects fear, dread, resistance. You can feel it in your body.
Usually when there is something I want or need to get done but I feel tired, that anticipation is remedied simply by starting whatever the thing is. Once you start, then the dread and resistance stops and..... you're off! Go, girl, go! And there are essential oils to help you take that first step of starting....
In addition to my Motivate oil, I find that in this time of TRANSITION from summer to schooldays where the rhythm of the house and family shifts dramatically, I need a grounding blend like doTERRA's STEADY®. I am looooovvvving this blend. It has been a welcome alternate grounding blend to Balance®. It is a rollerbottle which includes Amyris, Balsam Fir, Coriander, and Magnolia, and fractionated coconut oil-- a blend made specifically for Kids but I love it as an adult. Give it a try!
During the summer months, our routines shift. And certainly in this time of Covid, other patterns and habits have shifted as well. We can find ourselves overwhelmed by uncertainty and thoughts of the future. We may have become lulled into the unscheduled freedoms of summer-- and that can be a very necessary and useful reboot for us. Yet, that unscheduled schedule is typically not sustainable. We are in need of new rhythms, especially as a precarious school year looms.
I'm terrible with rhythms. I'm more of an easygoing, flow by the seat of my pants person. But this practice is truly not easy going. I know that when I DO follow a rhythm, I can be more present because I don't need to worry about the other things I need to do; those things have their own place in my rhythm. Magically, space opens up for me in a way that seems to create more hours in my day and allows for creativity and accomplishment that wakes up my capacities for enjoyment and satisfaction in life, even while doing the seemingly mundane tasks of everyday modern living.
SOMETIMES YOU KNOW WHAT YOU NEED TO DO, BUT IT'S HARD TO GET YOURSELF TO DO IT.
Self-discipline is a conscious act. And consciously you can still need help with it. My go-to tool for helping me with this is Motivate® - an essential oil blend by doTERRA. I have a handful of top oils that help me where I need an extra bit of help to do the things I want to do. Days where I feel lazy, overwhelmed or underwhelmed, or paralyzed, I can't tell you how useful Motivate® has been for me.
It's called the "Encouraging Blend" and includes a blend of mint and citrus essential oils. For some reason, it smells like vanilla to me. It is used for enhancing feelings of confidence, courage, and positivity. For me, it just works.
How I use it: typically I use the Motivate® Touch, a roller bottle already mixed with a carrier oil, and I dab it at the pressure points on my wrists and behind my ears. I'll keep this near me to reapply as necessary. You can also choose to diffuse it in the air.
Let me know if you try it and how it works for you. Get your Motivation on and Enjoy Life!!
PS. Right now (August 2020), Motivate® Touch is 15% off. Get this from my store here-- select "Shop" at the top menu bar.
It's been a wild first half of the year.
A totally unexpected, unforeseeable view of 2020 which, in my mind, started off as a grand plan to adjust our lenses and create 20/20 vision and clarity by harnessing the gifts within us. As I consider all that's happened, how amazing that it actually HAS been a half year of eye-opening, soul-wrenching events to adjust our lenses! Certainly not how I or anyone could have imagined.
The urgency and exclamation point underneath the Universe's "vision plan" thus far has been like a rapidly burning fire continually growing underneath our feet, in the pits of our stomachs creating much discomfort, or like a huge, swift kick in the tush. "GET CLEAR NOW!" it seems to be screaming. Some of us are feeling the burns and bruises....and some of us are healing or learning how to heal by first feeling the pain deeply. Others may be hiding or fighting for status quo, nonetheless feeling something.
I won't get into the details of 2020 events but to name some of the highlights: Yogi Bhajan (for the kundalini yoga community), Covid-19/Coronavirus, Amy Cooper/Christian Cooper, George Floyd, Black Lives Matter and, subsequently coming from all this, a glaring spotlight on the dark underbelly of America's history (of white superiority and greed) which has created the conditions for a people filled with trauma, conflict, and disconnect.
This isn't a statement piece; it is about essential oils.....and the stage is set to deeply focus on Vision. Let's get clear. This is about personal Vision and a deep understanding of who we are and what we stand for.
It is called The Oil of Clarity & Vision. And frankly, I was never a big fan of this oil because it is floral-y. It is interesting though how our tastes change and I'm finding this oil to be so soothing nowadays. Perhaps I really needed it, as the oil "....can assist during a healing crisis when a drastic change of perspective is required".
As I question where I am on the issues of today and how I would like to be active in the healing process of our humanity, Clary Sage will support me on this journey. Well-known for its hormonal balance support and relieving menstrual cramps, it is one of the most health-supportive oils. Here are some of its properties:
It's great for increasing blood circulation and soothing the nerves!! Spiritually, it engages my creative, sacral energy and stimulates intuition.
How to use: I like to dab a drop behind my ears and massage a drop on my feet along with Frankincense (to enhance the penetration/absorption into the skin) and a couple drops of carrier oil.
There are other ways to use this oil as well. How do you use it?
I am the Essential Soul Mama. I am a mama, a soulful-spiritual teacher, an intentional storyteller, and a lover of stories of all kinds, in all forms. I write about parenting, natural health options, mind-body-soul connections, and anything that elevates our lives.