29

I turned 29 today. Technically? One of those “not a big deal before the big deal birthdays” emotionally? Crucial considering there have been multiple milestones crossed. 

I made a list of things I wanted to do today, to really set myself up for the year –

1. Something Giving – Donated 10 dollars to a food bank because I have recently become vegan and wanted to give others a nourishing plate. Discovering food as an ally has been empowering for me ever since I have given up the cow in the new year. Giving that back meant something to me. I heard a story about Yogi Bhajan, that he used to make people bring cookies on their birthday. Even if it was a new student, who raised their hand in class saying “It’s my birthday” He would tell that person to bring cookies for the class, and they all would wait. He thought it was so crucial that you started your year off gifting that he was willing to wait for you to come around.

2. Something Creative – This is my true self. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been trying to tell silly stories and make people laugh. I have fallen in with groups of people who are making things – whether that is a community, a book, a piece of art, a kid, a costume for comic-con, a song? Everything that you create and share makes you radiant and I wanted to explore that radiance within myself. I started work on a screenplay that has been stuck in my head and causing anxiety because I don’t have the words for it yet. Here we go.

3. Something with Yoga – My BOTTOM line!! Yoga has become like my religion – when times are hard I lean harder on my practice and find the strength to get through the pain. I went to a class tonight that was later than the others, but I knew was a good fit for me. I am a Kundalini Yogi but have been taking more posture based classes to learn the correct alignment in other forms. I get there, and sure enough I’m proud of my decision.

First, the teacher was older than myself. I love older yoga teachers because they have recognized the power inside them at any age goes beyond physical posture but still challenge your entire self on the mat. Gurmukh, the master teacher who taught me Kundalini Yoga? Was making me sweat in her 70’s and still makes people sweat today.

Second, the teacher reminded me what I knew was important while teaching me new things : when you take a yoga class it is never about how you bend or what you are physically capable of. It is how you handle yourself in the world when you leave class that makes you a yogi, how you interact with your friends, community, and those who need you that is your yoga. She showed me a posture that I needed to align my neck during shoulder stand, and she made me think about how I want to share intention and blessing with others. 

Third, the teacher gave me a hug at the end of class when I told her it was my birthday. Hugs are always awesome. 

4. Something involving a Friend – I spoke to a very dear friend of mine who has gone out of her way to make my day special, and shared some nice love on the phone. Then I did what I do every year : write 3 pages in my Google Drive entitled “29” and write every bit of magical thinking inside of me.That was when another friend appeared. She hadn’t been described to me in that way since I had been in therapy, but this friend became truth as soon as I wrote her. Our duality inside us is such that we have the critic and the friend – the critic saves us from making bad choices but can cut us off if we let him take over. The friend is constantly there for others but sometimes can forget to be there for himself. The friend is expansion, compassion. This year, I did something with the friend inside me : Treated her like she was a precious jewel. That God and me, me and God are one together. Friends, forever. 

May all of your birthdays be creative, prosperous, kind, generous, filled with divinity, light and love. May you have many birthdays that are better than the last, and may you be happier with each coming milestone. May you bring life and adventure as you take advantage of the gift of being human. May your light shine through your years as you do : with every intention towards truth and your inner destiny. May you be of spirit, always. 

Sat Nam

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Never Give Away Your Power

I met someone today I really admire, because she has a talent that I have never possessed in my life. She tells everyone exactly how she feels when she has those feelings, and she tells people what she needs. If you pronounce her name wrong? She corrects you. If she wants you to hold her hand, she says “Hold My Hand”. How many people do you know, including yourself, who never ask for what they need and give away all their emotional energy to maintaining the feelings and patterns of others?

This week, I’ve felt like I’ve been giving my power away – the stories I read on Facebook or the Internet, emotional boundaries that I constantly let people cross, Deadlines I’ve been meaning to meet but have given them to the time needed to devote to others. Patterns are popping up that I realize have been imprinted over YEARS.

Your emotional energy is like a free goodie bag from the drugstore. Most of it is crap, and everyone gets the same bag – fear, jealousy, anger, love, compassion, happiness. Usually the stuff you get in this bag has been handed to you based on previous emotional purchases you have made. Sometimes, you can make a really cool discovery – but beware of which drugs you wish to take and which drugs will make you break out in hives. They come in the same kind of package, and they make the same promises.

I’ve made a discovery this week that I have given a lot of my emotional power to those who are emotionally unavailable. It hurts to find this out, especially since all of these people from my past have understood me where most find me obtuse. In an effort to continue to treat myself like royalty, I have to turn my heart into the hope diamond. Keep it safe, let people admire it for what it is, but only let those who are truly qualified to handle it put their hands on it. 

Alright, now you might be thinking – well that’s HARSH. But what would be the worst part about shutting out those people who, whether they know it or not, are hurting you? I’m not saying cut off all contact or turn off every emotion you have towards someone. But limiting your exposure to the part of that person that hurts you? Might be the best thing for both of you. 

If someone toxic is calling? Don’t answer. If you know you don’t want to read something about someone you have been thinking about? Stay off Facebook. For fuck’s sake, don’t let anyone get away with making you feel like you have to do or be something you are not. If they threaten to leave you, let them.

Never give away your power. Ever. I’m not saying don’t love people, or feel things, or let people into your heart. But your heart is the Hope Diamond, more magnificent than any other gem on the planet. Let those who would admire you, admire you, and those who would try to break the glass never get in. Only let the gentle hands of the open-hearted and emotionally qualified scrub the surface of your already glorious soul.

May you stay away from all bullshit this week. That is all.

Sat Nam

 

Small Messages – Serve and Be Served

I worked as a waitress off and on for about 8 years. The work was difficult, of course, but I could always count on one member of staff really being my saving grace : making me laugh, cheering me up, helping me when I was over-sat with guests and couldn’t handle another table of sixteen.

Some places I did feel welcome and as a family, but the last place I worked I truly had trouble (as I always do) with fitting in. I’m kind of a daydreamer, I make strange comments about the way things are, and I don’t enjoy watching professional sports – trouble when you work at a sports-themed restaurant. 

But thankfully, my one person who I could count on to make me laugh was there. Truthfully, there were 3 women who I connected with, but this place had such high overturn it was hard to stay grounded. We would don voices of Jersey housewives and gossip about our fake mob husbands. Laughing so hard, fake nails would fall off, hopefully not into food.

Last week, I saw a message from this person on facebook – the scary generic kind that screams “I’m in trouble”. 

So I sent her a message. Poetry, jokes, songs. I haven’t been in contact with this person for years. Then she told me the truth : her boyfriend hit her. Hard. She moved out. Someone being tormented by someone they trust. NO ONE deserves to be treated that way by someone they love.

I’ve been sending her small messages. I’m no hero and this isn’t any kind of pride point, I just want to do what she did for me – make me smile when things really sucked and I felt alone. Sometimes, working in food service can make you feel like a servant, who is doing everything right and still getting torn apart by volume and stress. Which is why you always want to have someone like my friend on staff, they remind you that you aren’t what you do – you are who you are. 

I’m always so amazed when the person who inspires us the most to smile feels like they are undeserving of the same when they need it. I’m sometimes that person, I realize now. But what are we here except for one purpose…

We are here to serve and be served. To take care and be cared for. To love and be loved. To be grateful for it all.

I hope in the coming weeks, months, years after any kind of trauma we find the courage to leave it behind. I hope that we can help each other when we need it most. I hope all of our best intentions and prayers go into small actions – kindnesses and small messages that you are not alone. I hope that if you see something going on with a friend, no matter HOW long it has been since you talked? You speak up. I hope that you connect to people who need it, because they need you. I hope you know that love never means that things have to hurt.

I hope that your love can help others and you can be helped as well.

Sat Nam. Love one another.

Also? Here is a cool program I found. If you are considering an upgrade on your cellphone, check this out. 
http://www.verizonwireless.com/aboutus/hopeline/index.html