Nothing

 

Space

As in space there is no sound and in the presence of Dark Matter there is seemingly little holding the galaxy together, in life we too sometimes experience something going on in a whole lot of nothing

This notion of nothing going on has been prompted by life as of late. I’ve been experiencing a shortage of words to write and clarity on what actions to take. This is kind of a big deal, being a  doer and talker. This in no way means that there is a shortage of things happening around me. Although, it feels like nothing is really happening. When in doubt – do nothing. 

This blog site was meant to be a medium of communication, to share thoughts and ideas with the world outside of my actual grasp. Teaching used to be a day-to-day occurrence in my life. It has been 5 years since I last taught on a regular basis. I thought this would be a means of continuing the process of sharing on another level. The ideas flow into my mind, but then drift away. quickly. So, figured I’d write about the lull or rather nothingness that is occupying my space currently . I’ll keep it on the bright side. 

The Beauty behind Nothing

There are times when we find life a bit dull and quiet. It’s where nothing seems to find it’s way into our lives and we start to wonder, what the hell is going on. Tell me if any of the following resonate with you.

Life becomes more of a private affair and sharing with other’s seems like it’s not worth the time. Work takes a toll and yields little satisfaction. It not only takes a toll,  but robs us of energy to do much else. Things seem a bit lack luster and we start to lose motivation. You get the sense that this could be the best time to stop and reflect into areas of your life that may not be so comfortable or it could simply be that life is slowing down because there is a much needed shift that you have been longing for. 

What do you – should you stop and take the time to ‘go in’- BORING, right. No, it’s not – it’s an opportunity to see what’s going on in your head. More importantly, it’s about getting in touch with the feelings behind it all. If it’s about redirecting your life then you have to take the time to dig in and sit with it. The key to redirection is to use the moments of ‘nothingness’ to gain perspective and get in touch with your feelings. This can get awkward for some folks, it feels like you’re unraveling a never-ending story, which is exactly why you should do the unraveling sooner than later. If you get too tangled up it takes a lot longer to unravel the knots. 

We are constantly doing, doing, doing.  We don’t give ourselves the opportunity to ask the vital questions, like why, how did I get here, where is this going – you get it. Asking these types of questions can be scary and sometimes we can beat the heck out of ourselves when we hear the answers, but it’s necessary. I mean, if we want our lives to be meaningful and fruitful. Of course everyone has their own version of meaningful and fruitful.

There is beauty in this stillness of life and it doesn’t last forever. Life will soon enough give us a jolt and spur us into action. Hopefully this inspired action is being led by our intuition, feelings and knowing that we are moving in the right direction. By the by, meditation and relaxation are great tools to implement at this point of our lives, if you haven’t already. If you are already a meditator then hone these skills so that when your intuition speaks loudly, there will be no mistaking what comes next.

When the Nothing is Over

What happens when it’s time for inspired action. This is an individual process. I can only speak from my experience, I notice that people and circumstances start to shift rapidly as if magic were a foot. Yeah it sounds hokey, but I assure it’s real. There was a time when I had no idea what was coming next, my life had almost come to a dead halt and I was just waiting for an answer and then ‘poof’, my mentor PRT asked me for the 3rd time to move to the Himalayan Institute. Later on in life I had been wanting to move out of state I was living in and I got fired from a job. This was my cue – I was leaving. It was an exhilarating feeling. So here I am years later once again having moved through another growth spurt and I am anxious to get moving on to the next chapter.

You may find yourself in a similar situation, chomping at the bit to get things going, but the universe is telling you, wait, digest the experiences thus far, redirect, come back to your roots, make the next decision based on what’s in your heart and your greater purpose. Listen and wait for direction on how to move forward. Not just to fill the time doing, doing, doing, but to get clear on the purpose behind the action.  Enjoy the silence, get comfortable with not being in control of what’s happening , master yourself and connect with your inner guidance. It’s nice to not always be the one driving and trust that there is a force that will lead you exactly where you need to go, at exactly the right time, live in gratitude, there is still time to figure it out and this time is really affording you the time to get closer to yourself. 

Not so much Nothing after all, eh.

Peace

VL

 

Illness is a Teacher

This post comes from personal experience. In addition to witnessing and sharing the journey with others on their path to balance.

For years as a personal trainer and yoga teacher/therapist my niche was working with ‘special populations’. I saw everything from post chemo/radiation, cystic fibrosis, cardiac rehab, physical rehab, post-op and emotional trauma. It was a calling. I actually enjoyed researching the origins of conditions and exploring ways that I could be of service. Each of these clients were giving me an opportunity to learn, grow and see the other side of illness – wholeness.

Through various forms of study and research it has been revealed that illness has many avenues of making its way into our lives – genetics, environment, stress, food and lack of self-awareness are just a few that come to mind. Exploring the connection between the mind and body proved the most fascinating. The concept that our thoughts and emotions could foster or hinder the development of dis-ease in our bodies is as old as time.

In my case I was a healthy specimen by all counts.  Factors leading to illness included the environment, thought perception, stress, anxiety and a constant push to be better, accepted by others and apparently my destiny were all major contributing factors. I was actually told by my neuroendocrinologist that it was my destiny to become ill. Now most of you might be thinking that this statement is absurd, but when it was spoken, I was struck. This statement rang like a clear bell in my ear. If it was indeed my destiny to be ill, then it was my responsibility to learn from it and get back into to balance.

Illness manifested in the form of a hyper active thyroid – it regulates so many things, astounding how a little gland could be responsible for so much.  Aside from its regulatory duties it’s located at the base of the throat which from an energetic standpoint is associated with creativity, healthy expression of thoughts and emotions. The thyroid is also part of the endocrine system which ties into reproductive organs. When it’s in a hyper state it can wreak havoc on the eyes, heart and lungs. In this case the results were anxiety attacks, deformed face, body riddled with edema and hyper-pigmented skin. To top it off – let’s shave off all the hair on my head to androgynize a female in conflict. There were other factors that exacerbated the situation and put things in crisis mode, but thankfully I am here to tell the tale.

Let’s sum it up – this case study makes for an interesting recipe – unresolved issues regarding femininity, attachment to being a mother and being over driven made for an imbalance. Additional thoughts and emotions relating to these factors gave way to a system in overdrive.

Healing

Believing in your ability to heal is incredibly powerful, but sometimes you need assistance. There was resistance to using allopathic medicine and I needed to get over it. This was a period of adjustment. There was plenty of research done on how the medication could affect the rest of the body and it wasn’t pretty, but fortunately the neuroendocrinologist knew how to integrate anthroposophic medicine to mitigate the effects of the medication. In addition to that there were herbs, modified diet, restorative yoga, meditation and of course the mind (the greatest tool we have) that attributed to the road to recovery.

It wasn’t about fighting the disease, it was about using all of the other tools to bring the body back into balance. If we are against something it can cause us to hinder the very parts of us that can aid in our recovery. Time to embrace the process and learn from it.

Self care took on a whole new meaning. Grooming, healthy eating, exercise, massage’s, Yoga, meditation – check, check, check these things were already in place. The true measure of self-care was now replaced with Self Love.

Having a deformed face and body was scary. At first there were screaming fits of crying, asking why it had come to this. Then there was acceptance that it could stay this way. Journaling was a great form of therapy – writing love letters to my face, thyroid, skin and the rest of my organs for having endured a major trial.

For those of us that believe that pushing to achieve a ‘goal’ is the best way to achieve happiness, think again. A great piece of advice  was passed on while in the throes of illness ‘let the world come to you’. Did that mean do nothing or be completely passive – No. Simply put, instead of going full throttle, let things happen in the best way possible, draw the attention back in, be at peace instead of being crippled with worry and angst. This kind of advice is always useful whether you are ill or not.

Lessons

It took four years to come back into balance and five years later – all systems are in balance. The details around the healing linger. The recovery took longer than it could have, primarily because the lessons were not to be missed.  Like learning how to love a face I didn’t recognize and slowly regain the confidence and resilience to live fully. The illness did not cure me of all my issues, but it did help me learn how to care for myself in more loving and accepting manner.

I made up my mind that I was going to listen very closely to my body and how it feels around thoughts, people and situations. This kind of living is about fine tuning. Tuning into how we feel is a gift to ourselves.

Illness was a means of learning how to love and feel from a deeper place. It also brought  the issue of death into perspective, it’s not the amount of years we are here, it’s what we do with them while we are alive.

 

 

 

 

 

Love – Life – Hope

Mahatma Gandhi quote

While I am not a holy roller – I do remember reading this quote and hearing it at practically all of the weddings I attended as a child.  It has stayed with me all of my life and a friendly reminder now and then is always helpful.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love – it’s a loaded word. Take a second to see what it conjures in your mind and body. 

Expression of Love

Expressing love comes in many forms, a kind word, a sentimental gift, an ear for listening intently, visiting a friend in need, a gentle caress on someone’s hand, a passionate kiss and sharing your body.  Accepting someone as they are is a great gesture of love. This doesn’t mean that you accept harmful actions from this person.  Expressing love ought to leave you feeling elated and renewed. If we are giving love from the vantage point of being selfless we are free from the angst of having to get something back.  Some folks have a hard time with this concept. Giving love for the sake of giving to someone in need, unconditionally can evoke the warm and fuzzies. Yes there are plenty of do-gooders in the world and some of them are truly serving the community, but there are those that use this as a mask, thinking that  good deeds  will absolve them from the past or something that may happen in the future. This is getting into an entirely different topic, but it’s worth mentioning.

Speaking of Love brings to mind the 3 types of love in greek –  Agape, Eros & PhilosAgape is that unconditional love – we give to give with no attachment to the outcome.  Eros is a physical attraction, intense sexual attraction to another which can turn into something deeper, but not necessarily. Philos is the brotherly, sisterly love that we share a special bond with.  A healthy marriage will most probably encompass all of these types of love.  Let’s face it looks and sex are one of the first things to go in a relationship if there is nothing substantial behind it, will it survive… Don’t get me wrong – sex can be an incredible healing and bonding tool in a relationship, but true commitment  requires devotion.  Anyhooch, moving right along.

Self Love

Self love is not to be confused with being narcissistic  or selfish. Sometimes it requires that we practice selfless selfishness.  At times we require a bit of self protection from things or people that do not have our best interest at heart. An example – you find yourself in a relationship (could be a friend or lover) where they hold all the cards. The conversations start or stop when they want them to, you see them when they want to, they have little regard for what you need or want. In other words you are taking a back seat to seat to their needs. If we do not speak up or stick up for ourselves it’s our own fault.  We may choose to keep these people in our lives.  The lack of reciprocity will eventually erode the bond. Self Love says I will do what I can, but will not sacrifice my well being for it.

Tough Love

There are times when we require that someone give it to us straight between the eyes. It can be delivered with a velvet glove or a full-blown sock in the face.  Accepting tough love takes a teaspoon of courage, a cup of humility and a heap of self-love. You can’t be sure when it’s going to come, but if you are asking for help with a situation you’re stuck in – be prepared. Some of us are more sensitive than others -accepting tough love requires that we trust the person dispensing it and that the delivery has some tough and love in equal measure.

Healing

If there are battle scars on your heart, join the club. Not to sound insensitive, but healing is not for wimps. True healing is one of the greatest lessons we can learn in this life. One of the biggest keys to healing is forgiveness. Forgiveness encompasses Love, honesty, awareness, letting go, assuming responsibility where one needs to and acceptance. Without these ingredients healing becomes a mire of self pity and victim hood.

Receiving

In order to receive love our hearts need to be open,  even if it’s just ajar. Our minds need to be discerning. We need a combination of courage and faith.  We must also believe that we are worthy of the love we are receiving. Which goes back to self-love.

Children are a great example of people that know how to receive love. They seek approval from their parents and those around them.  If they come from loving homes they are very discerning about who wishes to bestow love or malice. Children have the knack of giving you a hug, kiss or a smile just when you need it the most. I hope we can remember that when interacting with children – they are beacons of hope and love. Let’s make sure we nurture this beautiful part of children – they are the future.

I could go on and on –  Hope this leaves you with a glow and a little illuminated. Love is the Light of This World.

Ciao for Now

VL