What’s Your Heart Telling You?

When it comes to the things we really want but are afraid of, we often seek the counsel of our heads. We often listen to that little voice that says things like, "You could never do that!" "Oh my, what if you fail? Or What if you succeed, then you will have to keep it up." We listen to that voice until we find reason to not move forward with the things we want. While it is not always a bad thing to listen to our heads, in doing so we sometimes neglect what is truly in our hearts. For it’s in our hearts, that’s where the good stuff resides. Our hearts hold the answers and the support we need, we just have to have faith and we just have to listen.

So I dare you to listen to your heart, what is it saying to you?

Is it telling you to be bold?

Is it telling you to love like you have never loved before?

Is it telling you that you rock and are totally amazing?

Be still and listen.


Reflection on divinity

I just had an interesting experience in meditation that I wanted to share. As I was in restful awareness the word "divinity" came to me and I started to reflect, not so much on the word, but on the implications of being infused with divinity and the power contained within that essential life force. I should start by saying that I am a newbie to the quest for enlightenment and to intentblog so if what I share here is old hat or familiar to you, please allow me the indulgence of sharing because this was significant to me. 🙂

While in this reflection, I began to realize that divinity is our true nature and it permeates every aspect of our being whether we are enlivened to it or not. Thanks to the teachings of Deepak, David Simons and others I am becoming more aware of that each day. What I realized this morning is that we can call upon that divinity to help us recall who we really are and indeed allow it to assist us in that journey.

Specifically, divinity is not fearful or subject to the machinations of the ego – it has no need to recoil in fear or plot for it’s survival or need to dominate. It does not know pain as an emotion. It does not seek fulfillment through external means as it is the embodiment of fulfillment. Most importantly, divinity is always present and in fact was present before the ego and the damage, harm, hurt, fear, etc. that the ego has experienced through life; it is therefore the healing agent that the ego needs.

I therefore called upon divinity to infuse me with the awareness of it’s presence, and to be the healing balm my ego so desperately needs. I called upon divinity to suffuse the fear, resentments, anger, and pain that my ego has experienced and then infuse my ego with love, joy, peace and awareness, gently and lovingly pushing aside the prior experiences of the ego. Ego is a condition of our humanity that is ever present. It cannot be ignored or relegated to a position of subservience. It has to be treated as a partner in healing, daily living, and on the path to enlightenment. However, in order for the ego to experience partnership, it must first be healed. The awareness of divinity, which by it’s very nature is love, is the healing agent that can draw the ego into that partnership.

At one point, I wondered if when a child is newborn are they more aware of their divine nature (the true self) or their ego self? It seems to me that at the very early stages of life, since children seem to be inbued with bliss and the ego has not yet experienced pain, a sense of separation (ego separation, not physical separation) or fear, is it possible that those first few hours, days, weeks or months, the soul of that child is fully aware of their true nature?

The Sweaty Hug

I was very welcoming to Schvi Tzauritz, who was recently laid off in the Wall Street collapse. He showed up for his first yoga class and it was clear that this man was enduring tough times. He seemed sad and worn out emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As his yoga teacher, I wanted to help him. So I guided Schvi to the back corner of the room, a safe haven for beginners.

I should tell you that Schvi is a very hairy man. Hairy back, hairy chest, hairy nose, hairy ears. Note to self: Usually very hairy men sweat a lot. So I got Schvi a towel and told him to take it easy during his first class. But Schvi attacked the yoga poses like a blind man in a brothel. He slipped and slided through the ninety minutes of class and barely avoided separating his shoulder or dislocating his knee. Along with the rest of the class, he found his way into the final resting pose. Despite the odor Schvi emitted (which reminded me of garlic, soy sauce, rotten eggs, pickles, tuna, cigarettes, liquor, and a poopy diaper), I was so happy to see Schvi’s blissful expression as he rested peacefully in savasana.

Class ended and I exchanged words with a few students. Suddenly, the students’ collective expression suggested something awful, as if they saw the payload from a B-2 bomber falling from the sky. The sea of students parted to reveal Schvi Tzauritz walking right toward me. Sweat dripped from every hair on his body. I could swear he left in his wake a puddle that was not clear perspiration, but rather a brownish liquid.

Schvi looked at me as if I’d saved his life, such was his gratitude. And trust me, I felt good, but please note, if the military could bottle Schvi’s stench, wars could be won without the loss of life.

I expected to shake his hand and invite him back to class when "it" happened. Schvi threw his body up against mine and wrapped his arms around me. His bearded face chafed my neck and he went so far as to kiss my cheek. As he walked away, I felt stunned and frozen. When I realized I was still alive, I looked down to survey the damage. One puddle of Schvi’s sweat caused my shirt to stick to my right pectoral. Another puddle of his sweat left the entire left side of my shirt drenched. And my right forearm was totally drowned in Schvi. That’s right. This wasn’t mere sweat, it was something far more toxic which I now call Schvi.

After taking inventory and spotting all of my limbs, I made a slow march out of the yoga room and through the yoga studio lobby. I exited the studio and walked to the car where I saw the gardener Manuel to whom I kindly said, "Manguera yo abajo, por favor!"

Manuel took his hose and began spraying me down from head to toe. I stood there feeling the fierce stream of water shaking my manboobs while staring at the blue September sky. At that moment I realized, in these difficult times, people have a lot worse problems than being drenched in Schvi.

Given the economic crisis, our country is facing an enormous challenge. Never in my lifetime has our entire population faced such a seemingly insurmountable mountain of trouble. If you’re not feeling the economic pinch, someone you know and probably someone you love is stressed and struggling.

There are two ways to react to the "mountain." One is to freak out and hide from life. The other is to root down, duck below your fear, and deepen your connections with friends, family, and co-workers. Together, the "mountain" can be an expedition. Alone, the "mountain" can turn into an emotional and financial graveyard. We should all be ready to rise up. This is a challenge to become stronger, wiser, more efficient human beings.

Now is the time to get over fears of The Sweaty Hug, whether it means embracing Schvi, or embracing the darker issues and less fortunate people. Because God knows those who are down are really down (see the next section about Hurricane Ike).

A Chinese proverb reads, "Crisis is an opportunity riding a dangerous wind." This wind is blowing hard. The windows are shaking, the roof is rattling. The whole world is sweating. Will you open your arms?

How many banks will we have when the dust settles?

The financial forecast, as we know, is muddy waters. With WaMu, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Bros and Bear Stearns gone, and Wachovia and Citi contemplating a merger, will the banking system ultimately become one nationalized, government-backed behometh? Alexander Hamilton would be happy. How about you?

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