Skip to content

Helm of the Heart

We are the ones we've been waiting for

Monthly Archives: May 2012

Photo: Maggie Lochtenberg

It has become quite clear to me over the past two weeks (no longer having my unlimited yoga membership), that I desperately miss the yoga community.  It’s not like I’m super social or that I hang out there much before or after classes, but there is an unspoken network of support that exists between the practicing yogis.

Since I am often working double days, I’ve been squeezing in yoga at home (40 minutes here, 20 there) and today I unrolled my mat and practiced for 50 minutes during my prep period. While this is lovely, and I feel rejuvenated and refreshed, there isn’t the same cocoon of love and light surrounding me. The yoga glow isn’t as powerful.

As someone who lives with a mindset that focuses on energy exchanges between all beings, it makes sense that there is a different atmosphere when you are in a class full of people. Of course, it’s quite possible that not every person is feeling like a little ball of love and light every day, but chances are the majority of people in a yoga studio are beaming positive energy. If I’m having a rough day, after entering the studio my moods shifts upward in alignment with the people in the room.

A lot of teachers have their students chant at the beginning and/or end of class. It is optional, but I always chant along, usually the sound of “OM” (the vibration of creation). I always enjoyed the feeling but didn’t fully grasp the potency until recently, when a teacher had us chant rounds of OM, over again and again while we passed a flame from person to person, lighting each individual candle. It was then that I felt the euphoria that can accompany these chants. I felt like an instrument, tuned into something that was omnipresent. My heart was vibrating with sound. It felt amazing.

Not having my teacher training last weekend (or this coming weekend) has been helpful acquiring my second job, but also tricky because I rely on my spirit siblings, Angie, and Noell to breathe life into me. We have grown so close in such a short period, it is like a family full of people who want to encourage and support each other in becoming healthier, happier, and more confident yoga practitioners.

Thankfully, my studio where I live downtown is doing a promotion (108$ for 108 days of yoga) starting June 1st, and I’m signed up. I REALLY look forward to having yoga as a priority in my daily life. Having a sacred space keeps me sane.

I learned about The Cycle of Dissolution from one of my beloved yoga teachers, Noell. She spoke about the three goddesses: Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Kali as the embodiments of each phase of the cycle: creation, abundance, destruction.

I am neither a Hindu scholar, nor a practicing Hindu. In fact, there is not a singular religion that I identify with completely. I view the ascended masters like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Kuan Yin (and many others) as teachers that we can all learn from.

When Noell spoke of the Cycle of Dissolution, I immediately resonated with the understanding that we move through different phases in both a macro and a micro level. I find that any good teaching will vibrate in harmony with you. It is not important that you identify fully with a religion or ideology, instead it is vital that you take an active role in asking questions and internalizing the answers that you are given.

Creation→ Saraswati

Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, music, arts and sciences. She is the force of creation in the universe. Her name (Saras= flow, wati= she who has) means that she is the flow of all creation. She is radiant, bright, and beautiful. She is the inspiration that flows through us in our creative pursuits. She is often depicted in pure white, seated on a white lotus, symbolizing that she is founded in absolute truth.

Abundance→ Lakshmi

Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), generosity, and the embodiment of beauty. She is the driving force within us to fight against what is evil or wrong. Her name is related to the sanskrit work (laksya= aim or goal) and represents the fulfillment of our creation. She is usually depicted wearing red (continuous activity) or gold (fulfillment),and  adorned in jewels.

Destruction/Rebirth→ Kali

Kali is probably the most misunderstood of these goddesses. Her name is derived from kāla, which means black, time, and death. She is the goddess of time and change, although she is timeless. She is not only deconstruction, but also rebirth, which means that she is the first creation before light itself.  She is often depicted with deep sapphire blue skin, a garland of skulls around her neck, standing on a pyre of bodies. Although this may seem grotesque to some,  her sword symbolizes divine knowledge and the human heads are our egos. She is usually depicted with little to no clothing, as she is outside the confines of our Maya (illusion).

These three goddesses are further connected to the three guṇas or fundamental operating principles/tendencies in the universe. These guṇas exist in varying degrees in all beings.

  • sattva guṇa- Saraswati; creation
  • rajas guṇa- Lakshmi; preservation
  • tamasa guṇa- Kali; drestruction
  • Sattva (originally “being, existence, entity”) has been translated to mean balance, order, or purity. IndologistGeorg Feuerstein translates sattva as “lucidity“.[6]
  • Rajas (originally “atmosphere, air, firmament”) is also translated to mean change, movement or dynamism.[2][7] (Rajas is etymologically unrelated to the word raja.)
  • Tamas (originally “darkness”, “obscurity”) has been translated to mean “too inactive” or “inertia”, negative, lethargic, dull, or slow.[7] Usually it is associated with darkness, delusion, or ignorance.[8] A tamas quality also can refer to anything destructive or entropic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guna

It is helpful to think of your life as constantly flowing through these various stages. It doesn’t mean that our life has to fall apart at some point, (although that happens, too) but to grow we must constantly make room for what we wish to manifest, and to do this we must dissolve what is not serving us. When we are in the destruction phase, it can be frightening, but the knowledge that a greater understanding is being integrated can help us to look forward to our creation phase, and many of our favorites, the abundance phase. All of these are necessary, and learning to love each part of the cycle will help us to diminish our fear over what is unknown.

Currently, I’m in a destruction phase, which is usually viewed as the most frightening stage. I feel like I’ve had a cosmic flu, as if parts of me are dying off. Most likely, this is true, but I am content in knowing that while the dissolution takes place, rebirth is happening almost simultaneously. I don’t think that these phases are completely isolated; they  happen on a larger scale in our lives and they happen continuously in each moment.

During the destruction phase it is important to view what is breaking down and to learn why it is no longer needed. When creation begins, you are able to absorb the knowledge of the previous cycle and make something beautifully unique and honest. When the abundance phase is occurring, we are able to rejoice in the fruits of our efforts and celebrate with joy and generosity.

Do not become attached to one phase.  Do not dwell in the sadness of destruction, do not attach to your creation, do not cling to your bounty. They will continue to move, change and grow. The only way to maintain your bliss is to find the beauty in each moment.

♥/☼

Amanda

Every morning I have a cup of coffee with almond milk and I read The Oracle Report. It’s an energetic/cosmic/astrological analysis and I’ve found it to be very accurate. It’s a pleasant, grounding ritual to start off my day.

Here is today’s reading, just to give you an idea:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crescent Moon Phase

Today is all about what’s in the AIR. The energy motivates us to make changes, although we may not be sure which direction to take. We want to reform things. Listen to messages that are coming in around you. Look deeper within yourself for the change in direction you need. Overdramatizing situations will lead to overreactions, but doing nothing will lead to inertia. As people will want to break out of restraints, it may cause them to become argumentative or overbearing. Strength of character will be what wins out today. The position of Venus continues to ask us to get back to basics and simple pleasures. It is important to cultivate this in preparation for the upcoming Venus transit of June 5/6. Counter any complications by sticking to what you truly value. You can transform any situation by moving into your personal “center” and taking things down to the basic level and moving out from there. This will guide the directions we choose. To do this, however, we will need to slow down, especially when communicating something important. Mercury has entered Gemini, joining the Sun, Venus, and the South Node. Mercury is now contacting the last Sunday’s solar eclipse point, so communications, telecommunications (including devices) are prone to difficulties (especially for those born in the early degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces). In other words, the eclipse energy is being re-activated to a certain degree (see last weekend’s post in the archives for more information on the eclipse energy). Again, slow down and keep things as simple as possible.

This is the actual website: http://oraclereport.com/index.html

There is also a facebook group that updates daily: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/groups/226589437450706/

Just thought I’d share something that I’ve found useful in approaching my day 🙂

♥/☼

Amanda

I finally got to spend some quality time practicing yoga at home today. Monday and Tuesday were 12+ hour days for me, going from teaching to my newly acquired second job.

A lot of things are happening right now (feels like pandamonium), and I’ve been pretty good about not stressing out due to a lack of funds. That is, until I couldn’t buy groceries or put gas in my car. That’s when I started to get a little perturbed.

Life has a magical way of working itself out, and thankfully I managed to get the necessities and calm down. I am very blessed to have generous friends and family that are always willing to help me when I need it.

Not having an abundance of money lately hasn’t been bothering me. I say this as a person with a home and a pretty comfortable life, so I know that it might sound kind of silly. I’ve always been privileged with a family that provides for me. It’s funny that when I was a child, I thought that I was so unfortunate because I didn’t get as many clothes as my friends or get paid for my good grades. When you are surrounded by wealth, your perspective changes. I don’t think I was ever a spoiled brat (I’m sure I had my moments) and I was raised to be appreciative and generous with material items. Yet still, I was unaware of the serious lack that is experienced by the majority of people on this planet.

Recently, my perspective on money has changed drastically. It occurred to me that the reason I haven’t had an abundance of “play money” is because I need to be cherishing, valuing and developing parts of myself that require little to no money. Buying a bunch of crap or spending money frivolously is not what I am supposed to be doing with my life at this stage. I need to be outside in nature, educating myself, and spending time with the people I love.

Of course, I am still a girl who loves her aesthetics, and I need my unlimited yoga membership! As much as I try to shy away from material pursuits, I can’t help but want, want, want.

But I’m working on just being.

Furthermore, I think that our financial system/fiat money is a complete joke. Okay… a terrible, destructive and murderous joke.

“The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships. Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.”

Full article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

I want so badly not to buy into a corrupt system that functions only to support a cabal of greedy individuals that are oppressing people and suppressing technology. We deserve technology that could improve our quality of life and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. Alternative methods of healing that work preventively, without profiting from diseases. A media that actually reports the news.

To illustrate the absurdity of the mainstream media, I give you this clip from Conan O’Brien. It’s hilarious, until you realize the implications of what it really means.

It’s easy to feel powerless, to continue functioning in a dull haze of consumerism and fear, but by educating ourselves we regain some of our power.

Oh, and the panda picture… I don’t know, it just felt right.

♥/☼

Amanda

Pincha Mayurasana (feathered peacock pose or forearm stand), Vrschikasana (Scorpion pose), and forearm wheel pose (not sure about the sanskrit name).  I’m so excited for inversions tomorrow!

Before I started writing this blog, I had to sort through a lot of fears. To some degree I still feel them every time I post something. It’s mostly a fear that I am not writing well enough or that I’m going to be perceived negatively in some way. I’m not really a writer. I’ve taken a few writing classes throughout my academic career, but I never really invested myself in sharing my writing publicly. Fear is what has always prevented me from doing so.

While I feel shaky about my abilities as a writer, I can stay with 100% confidence that I am passionate, dedicated, and voracious reader. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with anything I can read. As a toddler, I would plop a stack of books down and demand “READ A BOOK”. Thankfully, my parents are both teachers, so they always indulged me. I began memorizing stories, reading them over and over. Eventually I memorized words. I maintain to this day that the only reason I have done well in school is because I love reading so much.

However, I am not very discriminating in what I read. I definitely have my favorite stories and books, and I know good writing from emergent writing. I loved Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, the works of Gabriel García Márquez. I’ve probably read every book in the Harry Potter series at least 20 times (this served as escapism/therapy during my teenage years) and I love me some crappy Young Adult Fiction. I read cereal boxes at breakfast and shampoo bottles in the shower. If there are subtitles on a movie I’ll end up reading them and not paying attention to what’s happening on the screen.

Any knowledge I have of grammar and spelling comes from repeated exposure to words by sight. I’m not detail-oriented. I’m a big picture type of person.

Anyway, since I started writing this blog, I have received some wonderful feedback, and I don’t think it is due to my writing ability. I think it is because I am writing honestly, exposing some of what is in my heart. As much as educated people like to criticize and pick things apart, it nice to remember that some of the most intelligent people are not educated or trained in a formal sense. I think that a lack of indoctrination can be a good thing.

My generation was force-fed the idea that we needed to go to college if we wanted a good life. And by a good life, I’m pretty sure that meant possessing money. While I will say that having enough money certainly helps, we all know that it does not equal happiness. Many of my friends graduated college with a ridiculous amount of debt looming over them, and a shit-tastic job market waiting for them. Suddenly going to college did not guarantee a stable job.

Obviously our ideas about education need to change. Currently, we are pumping out students that are experts at filling in bubbles, but lack creativity and passion. This idea that everyone needs to go to college is dysfunctional. Yes, there are plenty of people who should go to college. But we also need mechanics, plumbers, etc., and it would be great to see us actually make some products with artistry and not just consume them.

Fear drives so much of our lives. We fear that we are not successful. Often, we don’t really stop and consider what success means to us, as individuals. It isn’t the same for everyone and it shouldn’t be! What type of society functions properly with a bunch of brainwashed drones? I don’t even watch the mainstream news because the amount of fear mongering is astounding. It paralyzes us, preventing us from growing and thinking for ourselves. It causes us to cling to our identity in an “US vs THEM” mentality, making us easy to manipulate. I won’t get political here, but I’m sure you can extrapolate.

If we want to live a passionate, creative life, then we need to release our fears. Stop worrying that people aren’t going to approve or that you might look weird. I realized recently that I overuse the word “crazy” because to me, most people I admire can be “crazy” which actually means that they think outside the current paradigm. Which brings me to this:

“There is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy.”

-Henry Miller

If you are not satisfied with the current state of the world, stop allowing it to determine what you are able or unable to do. Stop worrying that you will be seen as strange. Each one of us has something beautiful and uniquely our own to share. I write this for myself as much as for anyone else, so that I will continue to honestly and openly articulate what is in my heart. The language of the heart is universal, it doesn’t matter who is speaking, love simply resonates.

♥/☼

Amanda

 (Picture/info from http://www.mysticmamma.com/new-moon-in-gemini-solar-eclipse-pleiades-alignment-may-20th-2012/)

This Sunday there will be a New Moon in Gemini, a solar eclipse, and alignment of the Earth, Moon, Sun and Pleiades.

Here is some info about the energetic shifts taking place, courtesy of Dipali Desai:

“This Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Gemini sparks up new beginnings within the mental energy field and within the mind. There may be potential new ideas forming and swirling.

A new moon phase within the lunar cycle is a wonderful time to set new intention(s), plant new seeds, create a new opportunity, or start a new routine and or habit. You must get your intention and inspired ideas set to go. It is a golden opportunity you don’t want to miss it since it is super-energized by the Solar Eclipse…

Venus is already Retrograde in Gemini at the time of the New Moon/Solar Eclipse in Gemini on May 20th. Old or past issues are prominent themes around the topics of love, values, relationships, friendships, networking and exchanging ideas. Past thoughts, ideas, or interesting opportunities surface for you to weigh out.

For some relationships, the weak spots become glaringly obvious and therefore there may be sadness or realizations occurring now. It is helpful to trim away superficial relationships and keep only those that are quality, meaningful and valuable. The retrograde phase is extremely helpful as it can help you sort resolve past issues and clean up the energy.”

(for more info visit: http://celestialspace.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/new-moon-in-geminisolar-eclipse-on-may-20th-2012-special-offer-for-you/)

♥/☼

Amanda