21 Day Challenge – Day 15 – True Love

A heart shape candle surrounded by red rose petals covered in wa

It happened by accident. Really. We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend.

We had nothing in common it seemed, but we really loved spending time together. There was just that connection, you know?

I promised myself it would only be that one time.

But when I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about that time. I would smile surreptitiously lest someone become curious about my newfound zest for life. It was hard to resist telling everyone, but I’m married. Happily.

Then the next day, well, it happened again. We just fit. Maybe it’s the way I’m held. I don’t know how else to explain it. I feel strong and powerful when we’re together. Like I can do anything I put my mind to. My imagination reels at the possibilities.

But today I am alone. And a little sad. It’s all I can do to resist going back. I’ll go tomorrow. We’ll be together again. It’s just too much, too hard. My energy is sluggish, I’m starting to doubt myself. Yes, I must go back.

Not even my husband can stop me.

His birth name is Concept 2 Rowing Machine, but I call him Rowan. He is both challenging and fun. We love to play together. We lose all track of time (fortunately there’s an attachment for that). And each time I go back I fall in love a little more.

With Rowan of course, but also with myself.

 

21 Day Body Love Challenge – The Eyes Have It

little gigi

My eyes have always been my favorite feature. No matter how young or old, thin or not so, I have always been complimented on my eyes. It is an accident of birth that I have blue eyes. Everyone in my family has them. They are also shaped like everyone’s in my family which is to say, eye shaped. Not too big, not too small, just right for my head.

Eyes are the windows to the soul. At the very least they can indicate the level of life or crazy in a person. I’m sure you have looked into someone’s eyes and had the following experiences:

1. You can’t look away. There’s depth and love and you can see right through to their soul and their soul is your soul. Or perhaps you’re drunk.

2. You can’t maintain eye contact. There’s something judgmental and disapproving in their eyes and it makes you extremely uncomfortable. Or maybe you’ve been drinking.

3. You look into someone’s eyes and it’s vacant. No one is home. Energetically they have checked out. Or maybe they’re drunk.

All drinking aside, I’m sure you’ve had incredible experiences looking into another’s eyes. Felt things that you can’t explain, a familiarity, a jolt of energy, even love, even from a stranger.

If you are someone who simply cannot look another in the eye, start by looking yourself in the eye in the mirror. A person who does not make eye contact is generally thought of as untrustworthy. Maybe. I also believe there are a lot of people out there that don’t have the first clue who they are and they are scared to death they will  learn that they are bad people. This is almost never the case. So gaze deeply into your own eyes and fall in love!

I am an extremely visual person. Most people will tell you they are too. And it’s true for many, but I seem to have a keen connection between what I see and what I remember. Not photographic or eidetic memory, but certainly situational. And daily, not just big events.

It’s my super power. One of them, perhaps the most impressive.

For instance, my husband will leave his keys on my dresser, which he almost never does. I notice them there, without really paying attention. The next morning as I am journaling or maybe fresh out of the shower he will shout from the front door, “Hey,” unable to finish his sentence before I respond, “On my dresser.”

Clairvoyant? Yes, in the truest sense of the word – clear sight. I cannot predict the future, except to say I see many more opportunities to amaze my husband and some of my co-workers with the location of their lost objects.

My eyes are sensitive to light. This is true of people with light eyes. The less pigment the more sensitive. Same with skin and hair. I’m a little like Casper the Friendly Vampire. White hair, pale skin, light eyes, ghostly white, hissing at the sun until I can hide behind sunglasses.

At high noon in the middle of summer I will close my eyes against the brightness if I don’t have sunglasses. This does not bode well for the other drivers. So I must have many pairs of prescription designer sunglasses. It can be no other way. It’s a public safety issue.

As I get older my eyes are beginning to look more like my fathers. My eyelids becoming heavier, hooded making my eyes appear smaller and tired. Or like I just woke up after sleeping on my face for 12 hours. Unlike my dad, I can use a few magic wands, known as concealer and mascara to create the illusion of well rested eyes.

I like the wrinkles around my eyes, they convey a life lived happily. When I was young I couldn’t wait to have those little lines on either side of my mouth. I thought a nice set of smile lines with a matched set of crow’s feet made people look friendly and approachable. And I could see nothing wrong with that.

Still don’t.

“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.” – Charlotte Bronte

 

21 Day Body Love Challenge – Armed and Fabulous

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I really, really want to say I love my arms, but I started shaming them into ¾ length and long sleeve shirts so long ago I don’t even know what they look like.

At some point in the recent past I realized my upper arms were not going back to where I found them in high school. They were not rock hard and sculpted. They were thicker than the business end of a baseball bat, and they had somehow acquired an apron.

So no, I don’t love what my arms LOOK like. From the elbow to the wrist they’re not too shabby. It’s the armpit to the elbow that is most troubling.

I do, however, love the capabilities of my arms. They are masters at holding stuff. Often too much stuff. I cannot leave a single bag of groceries in my trunk for a second trip, they must be stacked and strung on either arm, to the extent that my shoulders have threatened to break up with them over and over again. They pick up more than the rest of me can handle, because sometimes they like to show off. What they lack in beauty, they make up for in attitude.

But they have a softer side too. They have held many wonderful things: babies, puppies, kittens, loved ones, books, camera equipment, a yoga mat and my laptop. They have hugged the hump of a camel, the trunk of an elephant and the neck of a horse. They have do-si-doed, walked arm-in-arm and escorted a friend or two to a safe place to “sleep it off.”

They have allowed me to console and congratulate. They have surrendered blood when needed and endured the weight of my body in handstand or plank.

They’re a great place for sparkly, dangly and shiny bracelets and once upon a time they adored interesting watches. Today, they are mostly bare, teaching yoga has removed the desire to adorn them all the time, but on occasion a meaningful mala may find its way there. In India they were blessed twice and wrapped with string by a Hindu priest.

At the end of my left arm, at the wrist, I have permanently inscribed my Sanskrit name – Damini. It means lightning and when I’m feeling less than powerful it’s a reminder that I am a force of nature.

Other than that, there’s very little visible history located on my arms. A polio vaccine scar the size of nickel I received as a young child and less than a handful of tiny thin white lines here and there indicating some run in with something sharp. Overall they are mostly plain and useful.

On an energetic level, the arms are connected to the heart chakra, so any issues in the arms may be related to the inability to receive or give unconditional love. To others, as well as the self. Especially the self. Yourself.

So give yourself a big hug. Wrap those suckers around your beautiful body and squeeze. And when you’re done with that find someone else or something else to hug. It’s good for the soul. It’s good for humanity.

“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” – Victor Hugo

 

 

 

 

Use it or lose it; your life that is.

Lotus Lake IMG_6573

The other day as a friend and I were chatting, she began to tell me about her sister. They had grown up in the mid-west and her sister chose to stay there. She had picked the wrong man, stayed with him too long and had two kids in the process. She had taken a job in a factory and worked there for many years to support her children after she divorced this wrong man. She was remarried now to a nice enough guy and she was, you know, just making her way through life.

Those last six words hit me like an arrow to the heart. “Just making her way through life.” I don’t think this is why we’re here. Any of us. We all have days or even weeks we’re just trying to get through, but there are people who LIVE there.

How can that be?

Everyday I hear someone say, “I hate my job. If I could just win the lottery, I’d be set.” But that’s not true. They have chosen to play small. They probably don’t realize it, they’re held down or back by fears that aren’t even theirs. Someone in their past taught them that the responsible thing to do was to provide for their family, create security and do good work. That’s all true, but they likely framed it in such a way that meant, it doesn’t matter what your calling is, what you’re drawn to, what lights your soul on fire, there’s plenty of time for that after the life-leaching world of punch clocks and pensions.

But that’s not true either.

Every time we engage in something against our authentic selves we lose a little life force. There may be time after work, after retirement, but the spark is gone, the energy depleted. If you feel it now, now is the time.

I think this goes beyond perspective, beyond belief systems. If you feel, ever, that you’re meant for more than whatever you’re doing, and you don’t act on it, you are living out of alignment. You are ignoring your higher self. And she will come back over and over again, eventually with a vengeance until finally she either gives up, withers and dies or you have no choice but to listen.

Catch the whisper, follow the thread, see where it goes. You can do this AND have a job. For now. Maybe you’re calling is something you can do right now in your present situation. Maybe it’s outside that box. Only you can know. That’s between you and her.

I once asked a friend who was working really hard at conceiving a child, why she wanted children. She looked at me dumbfounded. It wasn’t a judgment or challenge and she didn’t take it that way, she had just never thought about why. So let me ask you this: Why, then, do you want to live? We spend millions of dollars keeping ourselves alive for what? Because we’re afraid to die?

A fear of death is simply a fear of a life unlived.

No one sits around aspiring to just exist. Marking time as if time served gets us a gold star on some universal report card.

Consider that this life was given to you, entrusted to you. Your job is to use it. How, is up to you. Maybe it’s to be a great parent, supporting and encouraging your children to become the very best, useful versions of themselves. Maybe you’re to save the lives of others through medicine, psychology or just plain old love. Maybe you are to discover the mysteries of the universe, the secrets of history or the exact location of the g-spot.

Your main purpose, I suspect is to love and uplift others. The good news here is that you can be short, tall, skinny, fat, blind, deaf, physically or mentally challenged. You can begin right now, even with your current job or situation. Your work then is to find that thing that cracks open the shell of fear gripping your heart and lets just enough light in to remind you that your only real job is to be you and you ARE love.

This is not some fancy notion. And you don’t have to walk around with a beatific smile, donning long robes, gliding a few inches above the floor. Although that could be fun. You can be sarcastic. You can swear. You can eat too much chocolate. You can smile at a stranger. You can paint. You can write. You can applaud a friend’s successes and hold the hand of a dying loved one.

Know that the organization of your cells is uniquely yours. Own that. No one else can do things exactly the way you can. And. You. Are. Needed.

You are necessary.

We need you to use your life. Declare yourself an agent for change. Even if it’s just a change in your perspective. Forget talking about people or even events, discuss the big ideas, consciousness, unconditional love, compassion, or as Marianne Williamson has suggested, “loving the world back to health.”

Don’t just exist, that’s easy. You were made special, beyond existing. You were made to love.

[Photo: The butterfly represents transformation. I believe they are so abundant because we need this constant reminder that we can transform our lives or our perspective at any time, with each breath. Look down, are you on the right path?]

Future Self

Dragonfly awesomeIMG_7743

It was sometime during the afternoon yesterday that I met my future self. Not the perfect, slim, wrinkle-free, jet-setting, rich one of my over-fertile imagination. I met the settled, comfortable in her own skin, deep smile lined, glowing with a secret, one. I much prefer her. She’s the type of person I’d like to have coffee with. She was in a word: Enchanting.

She told me a million magical things in the nanosecond she was before me. It was all familiar. I already knew it all, I had simply forgotten.

I had forgotten that the weight of the world does not depend on the tiny little decisions I make every day. That my path was strong, that I knew the way and it was okay to deviate and explore because all roads led back to that path. That I am beautiful beyond measure, not because my eyes are blue, not because I have expensive shoes but because in spite of those things there’s a radiance that, if I let it out, cannot be articulated or seen, only felt.

She reminded me that all people are made of energy so we are each the same. At times we take the energy of another; at times we give our energy to those in need and when we meet someone we resonate with on the same frequency we are shown our own magnificence and we are duty bound to recognize it. To deny one’s gifts depletes one’s energy. Embrace that which makes you shine.

Above all she reminded me to stop struggling. Allow the pendulum to rest. Bask in just being. Allow the world to enchant me. If I wait patiently a dragonfly will land on my dress, the wind will blow.

And finally she shared her deepest, fiercest, unconditional love for me, for where I am, for who I am and for who I would become. She reminded me that she is me. That without love for myself, unconditional love, it is impossible to love another unconditionally. It can be no other way.

To recall her, what she looked like, would be a struggle, but her light was undeniable. My light. She was probably somewhere in her mid to late seventies. I was. But it was not her age or any identifiable features she wanted to share with me. Her message clear.

All I have to do to get there, is be here.