Just a couch, just a carpet

I don’t want to sit up straight to type and think from my elongated spine, aligning my head, heart and guts. I don’t want to shift from this slouch, merging with my new dark gray sectional in my recently renovated family room, where the only family left here most of the year is my husband of 25 years. But I need to tell you about this bubbling up of truth around my being a Christ-follower. I see HIS signature mercy, grace, presence, heart-welling up everywhere and that makes me a Sufi. I don’t like labels. I do like the word eschew..but how is that pronounced anyway? I wont’ pause the quick-fingered tapping at these keys to find out though.

And yet, I know I eschew labels…restrictions on my Self or my self. I am integrating so many parts of my Self/self lately that I am in a state of allowing. Allowing this couch to swallow me up into her puffy enveloping softness. All the selves, right here, right now…melting together. This is exactly what my self needs today. I am listening as she sighs, ‘yes’ to the no effort.

So here we are…can you see us, this 5 foot 5 inch breathing thing? You can’t really differentiate the parts because they’re smooshing down and together. Getting lost in and among themselves. All except those fingers, tap tap tapping away. Inhale….Exhale.

Earlier I was a few feet away from this spot on the new area rug, all swirly with oceanic colors and flowing designs. I needed her to hold me. The ocean. The womb. The color blue.
I was falling apart and I knew she’d let me.

She wouldn’t ask me to pull myself together. She wouldn’t command me to stop my incessant crying. She’d absorb the tears into herself…making more of her, less of me. More of her…less of me. Like a mantra now. I am one with you- carpet as ocean. Ocean as womb.

I am no longer Anita the one who can’t stop the flow of pain, the flow of tears, the flow of remembering. I am in the ocean of pain, the sea of tears, the womb of comfort.


I’m doing this for you

I didn’t expect to

I was feeling heavy on this first day of 2018

I was curious and I kept making body shapes, breathing deeply and recording new podcasts

But after the sex I didnt expect what happened next

I made a hot water with a splash of Red Stag to warm my bones (it is 7 degrees out!)

But then the alcohol after just two sips, made me feel sick to my stomach

I went to my knees and prayed “Lord alive in my body’s discomfort what would you have me do?”

The answer came quickly…I promised I would obey because it wasn’t for my benefit, it was for a friend of 12 years.  I would sacrifice on her behalf, trusting this message. Trusting my heart’s desire for 2018 to be more free and to be more connected.

I think this is a universal request for us all. Would you take the time to move your body- sex, exercise, or a breath practice, then pause on your knees and ask your heart who needs your sacrifice this year and what is it in particular you are meant to do on their behalf.

But the power comes in the secret keeping. No voicing what the sacrifice is specifically or who Love places on your heart.  Keep secrets…let God’s work go deep this year.

Please comment below if you feel called to join me in this

God Bless your willingness

Separation is a LIE

Back in May 2015 I was signed up for a weekend training in NYC with Phoenix Rising Yoga therapy.

The day before I had the thought “I Love learning new things; especially about yoga!” and suddenly a new deeper thought came in– ‘This isnt about learning dear. This is about healing.”  Woah!!  What have I got to heal?  Haven’t I done enough deep work during the 8 months of yoga teacher training I completed in Novemebr?  Such a silly girl– there is ALWAYS more to heal.

Upon arrival our very first partner activity is gently placing two fingers on one another’s heart- front and back.  As Lea’s hand approached my sternum, I felt as if she had to push through a dense block to reach me.  After a few minutes of silence and breathing together, she is  instructed to slowly remove her hands from me. 

I instantly burst into tears. We have only just begun and there are two more days ahead of us.

I go home and sleep like a rock for over 10 hours, missing my alarm.  Arriving late to class, I apologize and explain that emotionally I do not feel up to partner work and will observe for awhile.  Within 45 minutes I am curled in a ball on the floor and back asleep!!

Suddenly, I am awakened crying and feeling ashamed.  I glance around the room and see everyone assisting one another in hip-openers. They are rolling and stretching one another and no one is crying.  I hear in my spirit ‘The hips hold shame. Release your shame’.  I yell in head — You are not even experiencing a hip stretch!!  How in the world are you the one releasing shame??

The crying stops. The emotion passes and we take a lunch break.  I head outside to take in the hustle and bustle of New York’s Soho neighborhood.  I find a tasty Indian spiced potato flatbread and chow hungrily.  I am awake, alive, grateful and open.

The afternoon continues uneventfully and I head back to my friend’s house on the other side of Hudson.

Sunday morning and I had almost forgotten I would awaken in a strange bed on Mother’s Day. I am filled with sadness missing my mom and my children.   But my friend had very thoughtfully been prepared this might be the case and greets me with flowers and a card!  I am verklempt. 

Heading back into the Big Apple, I feel mature and excited for our final hours together.  Living in South Jersey and mostly working from home, I don’t enjoy these adventures often enough I decide.

It’s now about 5pm and we are just a few hours away from finalizing our level 1.  We are instructed while sitting cross-legged, to close our eyes and imagine being divided in half, top of head to seat.

My eyes fly open and I am filled with terror as I had felt my body violently sliced in half with a huge machete. I look around. No one else seems bothered.  I wait, feeling anxiety rising.

The teacher wraps up and asks if anyone has any feedback.  I say with a tremor in my voice what just happened.  I then begin to lose sensation in my hands so I stand up and begin shaking them, hard. 
The tears come hard and fast and I almost hyperventilate but then return to focus on deep inhales and slow exhales. I say I am ok now and retreat to the ladies room for some water and rest.

As the months have passed since that experience, I have contemplated numerous times what my body was releasing and relaying.  My birth father visited me once in the hospital Novemebr 5th 1965 and I never saw him again after that day.  I believe there was a part of my psyche that believed it had been ripped from him.

This part was integrated back that day relaying the message that I am healed, whole and fully connected.

God wants the body to function efficiently and effectively in unity. Therefore, what happens to one part, or what one part does, affects the whole. What we do does indeed make a difference because we are individual parts of a living, spiritual organism. Our actions will produce an increase of good or evil, efficiency or inefficiency in the use of spiritual resources, effectiveness or ineffectiveness. For me personally, the practice of YOGA (union, yoking) has been key in healing abandonment trauma.
To understand this, perhaps we need nothing more than a deeper awareness that, despite the way things may presently look on the surface, our worldview – how we look at life and all its jumble of events – is quite narrow compared to God’s.  We are not separate from God now or ever. Just as we cannot disconnect from our own arm, we cannot sin or feel enough shame to plunge us into eternal darkness.
Isaiah 60:19
No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the LORD your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
Once we see things from His perspective, we can see we bear a major responsibility to the body of Christ because God has included us in His great purpose.
Are you spiritually disconnected or knitted into the Body with Christ as the Head?  Actually, this would be a more accurate description –to ask your heart all the ways it has hardened from hurt and surrender to resurrected Love preparing a space in you for something new to be birthed this Christmas.

More human not less

More Human not less
If you’re anything like me, you may have spent some time and energy attempting to minimize the qualities of being human— e.g.
  • jealousy
  • distraction
  • judgment
  • frustration
  • playing victim
  • ungratefulness
  • entitlement 
Just to name a few…
I have found the practices of yoga and meditation tantamount in creating space to actually begin to witness these thoughts and emotions from a place of the witness, allowing me to respond instead of react.
Case in point:  I’m on my mat and we have a substitute teacher for my FAVORITE teacher, whom I have not seen most of the summer.  I tell myself to let go any disappointment and remain open to possibility.
I don’t actually feel that great this morning-  tired, distracted by having had nightmares, and female issues.  I don’t push myself too hard physically and as the teacher advises “take what I need”; which is lots of time in child’s pose.
I notice my desire to have her nurture me.  I notice my wishing she would run her hand down my spine, making a connection and honoring my choice.  I notice disappointment.  I breathe and let out a big, loud exhale.
I see the other women: fitter, stronger, thinner.  I notice my initial comparison and decide to let that go too. Inhaling I choose space, exhaling I choose emptiness.
We are about to enter fish pose and I go to grab for my block. The teacher unwittingly grabs it before I can and places it under her spine to demonstrate.  I notice my upset.  I grab the other block near the top of the mat and I CHOOSE to breathe into the feeling of disconnection and judgment. I lie back, open my heart and surrender into the earth. 
I tell myself to keep using my tools: pressing into earth, relying on breath, and engaging my core (the VERY CENTER of me).
If we can notice we have given our peace away, it is much easier to draw it back to us. It’s living in the space of being off-center and not recognizing our own power over the situation which leads to a downward spiral toward moodiness, anxiety, over-eating, or depression.  
What started out as me not feeling optimally could have spiraled into me having a bad day and beginning a story in my head of victimhood, woe is me.  Eventually, I would probably take this out on my unsuspecting husband.

In savasana or final rest I fully embraced nurturing MYSELF, no one else needs to do this for me.  I fully leaned into being human and having thoughts and emotions that in the past may have led me to judge myself but now I see are not the real me, they stem from a place of disconnection to my true self.  My Highest self desires peace and wholeness and that can only be embodied when I can allow plenty of space for every human emotion.  I don’t dare ever again trap my wild, flourishing & tender self in a cage of disparaging thoughts.  I am F R E E !!!!