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Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

I am the type of person that has a bunch of things going on at one time. I feel somewhat comfortable in creative chaos, but I find myself keeping projects in motion for a long time and taking a while to get anything accomplished. It is like I am juggling a bunch of painted eggs and I keep adding another because it is so pretty, but I never keep one in my hands long enough to let it warm and hatch.

This personality characteristic has it’s double-edged moments as a stay at home mother, too. Yes, the housework does get done, but it is never great all the time. Yes, I never get bored with my millions of hobbies, but I also have a mural half painted on my wall and I have no clue when I will feel like finishing it!

Anyway, I have begun to find a bit of a balance and I am glad for it. Everyday I have been trying to follow a schedule (gulp… I used that word that goes so against my spontaneous mind!). But I find it helping me tremendously when I follow it. I have decided to get up in the morning before the kids. This was a tough decision. I am not a morning person and I love my sleep life, but I find that when I do this I can do my morning routine in peace and start my day off well in a spiritual manner.

I like to make a magical tea for myself first thing. There are so many plants that can go into tea with magical intention. I often sprinkle cinnamon onto the stove Fire to honor the sacred flame. Then I set down my ceramic Earth pot filled with Water and set up a spiritual space for my yoga routine. Lastly, I welcome Air with incense, the steam of the tea and my breath work with each asana.

Yoga is a way for me celebrate my body and open myself up to Spirit. I do not follow any set of routines, but I try to keep the flow alive by listening and responding to how my body wants to move. Lastly, I end with a rock-tastic meditation session where I meet guides or absorb different energies I know I will need for the day.

The rest of my day falls into loosely the same type of structure: I know what I need to do, but I try to keep it spontaneous in how I do it. Okay, so housework can feel pretty repetitive, but I try to liven it up with different background music. Nightly family time could mean a walk or a game or simply laughing and wrestling together. In the afternoons while my toddler sleeps, I do something I like to do: like work on the harp, one of my art projects, this blog or chill in our backyard hammock. Okay, so sometimes I take a nap with him too! It only took almost 6 years as a mother, but I think I finally feel some balance with the everyday stuff.

I know my life won’t always be like this. By the time my youngest starts school I will be starting my career in counseling and grad school will be over (I am currently starting to go at night). But I just wanted to write this so I could look back and cherish my wonderfully abundant life that is unique to this chapter in my life. I am finding pleasure at the most simplest things with maturity. My family may not have gold lying around for us to live  exactly where we want to live and vacation whenever we want, but at least we are living how we want to live… and that is in appreciating each other and valuing the sacred gift of everyday. Many Blessings out there!

Example of one of the many artsy things I do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Awake

To that Always Burning Fire within,

        Awake in my Soul-

.

Ode to the Self

       that is infinite and unbounded.

Ode to the Self

       that has no beginning or end.

Ode to the Self

       beyond the confines of my body.

  An infinite spiral inside my Being

              constantly connecting

               and reaching back inside again.

Ode to the Self

      expansion Awake.

Ode to my Being

       ever present outside time.

    A touch of eternal flame

                an opening,

                 a quickening,

                 a truth beyond take.

Ode to the Self

       connection to Spirit made whole.

Ode to my Self

       always experiencing the movements

             but is the stillness

                  of the center

                       in my Being Awake.

                                                            ~Cicada

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I have been honoring Kali Ma for approximately 8 years. Tulie was recently interested in her so I let her borrow the book Kali’s Odiyya by Amarananda Bhairavan. After being enthralled by the nonfictional childhood account of the author regarding Kali and his initiation into Her mysteries in India, Tulie wanted to do a Kali puja (ritual) with me!

We began by taking a trip in town to the local Indian grocery store. We bought ghee (clarified butter used in cooking and as the oil for ghee lamps), wicks for the ghee lamps, kumkum powder (for the red bindi dot on the third eye), incense, henna paste and garam masala powder (just because I love this seasoning!)

Then we feasted on curries and naan at an Indian restaurant until our stomachs were full and intoxicatingly happy.

Back at home, we decorated each other using the henna paste that came out a bit like cake frosting. Lotus and swirls for her hand, dots and patterns for my hand and a kali yantra for our backs. The dye will last for weeks which will be a wonderful reminder of our night.

To start the ritual we performed homa (fire offering) to Agni (fire deity) and Ganesha by pouring ghee into the fire we built within a kund (small fire pit). We chanted and welcomed in the ancestors, also.

Then, while the fire embers cooled, we did pranayama (breath work) by doing alternate nostril breathing (“nadi shodani”) and placing the external energies within our bodies (nyasa) by means of a mudra (hand yoga position) gesture towards each chakra and a saying a mantra (sacred sound) for each one.

We honored the elements in our own way and went inside to my Kali statue to do Aarti (offering) that applied to Her Sight, Taste, Smell, Hearing, and Touch. For this we offered candle light, honey, cherries and rose flavored milk, flowers and incense, bells and singing and a water bath finished off with the placement of a bright red bindi on her and ourselves.

The energy from the statue became intensely comforting. We meditated briefly to feel Her presence. We chanted Her mantra: Om Krim Kalikaye Namah Om. Then we made a Kali Yantra out of rice, shells, red peppers, cilantro and flower petals.

Meditating once more, I felt her blessing our lives and leading us onto the liberating path from our own worldly attachments. I feel so blessed that Kali came to me many years ago and that I had the courage to follow Her as a Dark Goddess and Mother of All.

Here is some more information for anyone who wants to explore this Eastern Path:

Tantra-study of the macrocosm through study of the microcosm. “To weave”. Expanding awareness in all states of consciousness. Creating meaningful relationships to own inner world and outer world.

sharanya.org is a wonderful site dedicated to Kali Maa. They offer online classes (I took one a long time ago) and public rituals. They blend together the traditional Tantra and Wiccan practices.

Books I have that have helped me:

Kali’s Odiyya by Amarananda Bhairavan

Yogini: Unfolding the Goddess Within by Shambhavi Lorain Chopra

Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess by Shambhavi Lorain Chopra

Kali Puja by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Inner Tantric Yoga by David Frawley

Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine by David Kinsley

Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Tools for Tantra by Harish Johari

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This past year I have become more spacy. I find myself quickly going into trances during ritual. My dreams take me on epic journeys almost every night (wolves have been the theme lately). I can sit for hours alone doing art. I am an air sign, but lately it has been so extreme that my memory of what went on in the subconscious gets a bit foggy. A little grounding could do me well.

My body has been begging me to stretch it. I am wanting to dance. I want to move in ways that I have never before…

And then I remembered back to my nightly routine when I was eleven. With my blacklight on and CD player playing Pure Moods, I used to move my body in ways to open me up to Great Spirit. Dancing and stretching in my little bedroom, magical blanket under my feet, I used to evoked the mysterious and transcend past my daily struggles every night and go to bed buzzing.

When I was sixteen, I worked for an art museum as a multicultural dancer.  I was the only one in the program who had no training, but the teacher liked that. My body was not restricted. She taught me the importance of freeing the body.

And then, well, as I grew older I abandoned this physical freedom. I forgot how the body is spirit, too.  My mind expanded and what I knew and how open I felt emotionally matured, but I didn’t think the body was as important anymore.  I thought that it did not matter what the body did as long as one’s spirit was free. I had children and since I was always giving physically to them, I stopped moving for me. Yoga and vegetarianism were things I knew I would do some day but I wasn’t ready.

Then, over a year ago, I got sick with something that would not go away. I have had a low immune system my whole life and I was sick of it, literally. Documentaries like Food Matters and Fat, Sick and Dying inspired me. I began to eat raw as often as I could. My diet went from eating everything that man or god put out there to eating almost completely plant-based foods. I felt GREAT!

One day last May I woke up and it just naturally hit me: I don’t want to eat chicken, beef or pork anymore. No forcing, no laws to follow, I just didn’t want it anymore. I became a pescetarian cold turkey… (okay that sounds funny). At first I did crave some things (like bacon and hotdogs and cheese burgers and sausage) but if I ate something salty it sent that craving bye-bye. I began this process for the health of the planet and my body, but now I have gotten to the point where I feel extreme compassion for the animals and thinking about meat actually grosses me out. I still eat wild-caught fish, but I know that one day this too will be gone from my diet. (I suppose I need to up the compassion for the fish, too.)

So, my immune system was doing awesome, but it wasn’t enough. My body got one taste of health and it screamed at me to do more because I hadn’t been tending to my muscles. I started to run some and go bike riding and then one day it naturally hit me: I want to open my body.

My wonderful husband suggested I get a hotel room one night to have a break from the world (I was stressing out about an upcoming interview). Although I didn’t want to spend the money, I am glad I did because that night I re-established a relationship with my body. I listened to how my body wanted to be stretched and moved and in doing so I found out that I could spiritually align myself quicker.

I don’t follow any set routine because I am somewhat rebellious to authority and I prefer to be spontaneously in the moment, but I do find that how my body wants to be moved is very similar to yoga. Being precedes Doing. Now that I have been moving my body like this daily, I am getting interested in learning asanas. In addition, as I have been studying tantric disciplines for years, doing yoga smooths wonderfully into it.

I have learned from all this that nothing can be forced into action. I always knew that I wanted to do yoga and vegetarianism, but I needed my body to want it too. Once the two paired up, it has felt simply natural to develop these patterns as an outcome. I have not lost respect for people who still eat meat, but I must say I am very pleasantly surprised to learn from experience that we really don’t need it.

And today I am celebrating: a whole year as a pescetarian!   ~Cicada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

art by: above-  Cimmi Cumes(Mills) and below-nalanece at deviantArt 

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