I Believe in a Working God

God only works when you do. Recently, my God has been an awkward teenager working at Burger King, who knows he’d rather be outside in the sunshine but really wants that XBox. With an extra hundred in Christmas money plus a little bit of allowance from his family, he’s starting the process of saving for his future. But then he sees a beautiful cheerleader and wants to buy her tickets to a concert, or a pony or anything she wants. 

I’m here to tell you the XBox or the girlfriend are both good choices. But the working God tells you that no matter what you choose you still have to work for it – and if what you are working for is aligned with your destiny? He’ll make it harder and easier at the same time.

I’m going to list the jobs I’ve had since graduating college in 2007: stage manager, actress, temp office worker, door to door fundraiser, waitress, event staff, discount bookstore seller, hostess, usher and box office manager, yoga studio front desk employee, hostel concierge, point of sale supervisor, retail associate, barista, catering staff and film production cooordinator.

It took me until film production coordinator to find something that I really loved and even now I realize the climb in that direction is just beginning. I’m also looking for a house that will support me – a tiny home on wheels that will allow me to travel as I need to for work. In the X Box corner we have career : the thing I need to make money and the thing I want to enjoy doing. In girlfriend corner we have art: telling stories, enjoying the moment, having adventures and seeking my spiritual fulfillment daily.

In the very first pauree of Japji, there is the evocation of the working God, or Karta Purkh. This invites God to do the work for you, all you have to do is keep up. All you have to do is keep working towards one direction and let love have no opposition in your life. Let your mind be clear and your heart be full. Empty yourself of all needs to be right, have outcomes or seek. Let love in, and more love will come.

I wish you a beautiful evocation of the working God inside you. Sat Nam. 

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Ride the Focused Float

Water is my calming element. Every time I am in it, around it, or watching it my mind instantly tunes into my organic self. I feel free, floating and alive. When I was a kid, my dad signed me up for swim team. Bad idea. I never wanted to get across the lane, I was having such a fantastic time feeling supported by this magical atmosphere. My lap time was probably close to an hour, and getting me out of the pool is exhausting. 

Today, I have things to do and a big project I am undertaking to build my own version of home. I still need to find a job, and I have to support myself. I feel the gravity of my situation as the shadow side of my freedom. Imagine that same swimming pool but filled with molasses. Or, just when you feel the most connected in the water, another kid holds your head down. Or even worse, tries to pull you out because everyone else is heading home. 

Why doesn’t the world let us stay where everything feels good? Why are we constantly encouraged to leave our freedom behind because everyone else tells you it’s time to grow up? Why is the struggle towards floating a constant FIGHT???

I dream of being a woman in balance: floating in the atmosphere of her element but so focused that even if all the water were to drain out of the pool she would still feel light – airy in her own atmosphere. Untouchable. Free. 

The mind is your focused float. Start there. Your body is your conscious balance in that float. Keep going towards that delight. Your soul will emerge from those two feeling good. Be good to them. Be good to yourself.

May you float free and focused. May you find your element. May you feel joy, always. 

Sat Nam

The Girl Asleep at a Party

When I was in college, I used to get blackout drunk. At UC Santa Barbara, that is called “Wednesday” , Certain as there was a Saturday and I didn’t have rehearsal? I’d be drinking 5-6 hard liquor or beer drinks a night and wandering into a stranger’s house to use their bathroom. 

There would always be that one girl, asleep at a party. She’s surrounded by activity, people are stacking cups on her head, and the world could light on fire – she would not wake up.

A few months ago I had a very rude awakening. The world, the planet, our lives are all short and maybe we are able to come close to our reason being here. But in the meantime happiness is the only thing worth pursuing even if it means risking the way you used to be.

I’m anxious. All the time. I don’t know minute by minute what I’m supposed to do and I’m letting others dictate that for me. I’m trying to surrender to the path, let the ride be the guide and really choose what challenges me and makes me happy to wake up every day.

Put the pursuing of that makes me want to be the girl asleep at a party. I know I won’t be able to go back to it, but I want to be her, just for an evening. 

I’ve taken a little bit of Kava-Kava, this herbal anxiety medicine that I found at the organic drugstore. It makes my lips tingle. It makes me want to eat a cookie. It makes me want a hug. It makes me want to pass out in the middle of the party.

This is the challenge of a conscious life : once you wake up, you can never go back to sleep. You must be conscious at all times even when it feels painful or scary. You must be the truth about your life if you want to get anywhere close to your joy.

I hope that I’m listening to what I truly believe is in my heart. I hope to stay awake and energized throughout the entire process of transformation. I hope I don’t get swallowed up by what I expect of myself. I hope that I don’t die before realizing infinity every day. I hope I can live in joy and happiness even when it hurts. I hope to never fall asleep again. 

May you never fall asleep again. 

Sat Nam

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The Price of All That Happy

I saw an adorable but ugly dog – my favorite kind. I squealed at him and shouted, “PUPPY!”. The owner looked frightened. When I find out that my favorite band is playing near me, I’d put on displays of convivial joy while hunting down tickets online. If someone handed me a shaker of truffle salt? I would jump up and down in excitement.

Professionals stay neutral. Children stay happy. Realists stay realistic, but also can’t get hurt as easily. Where is the middle ground? Neutrality is what we seek on the spiritual journey, but also happiness. What happens when we seek to cross these both? Does it even happen?

This morning, as I wring myself out in yoga class and get rid of all the fears that surround me on a daily basis? I’m struck by the fact that we can never have a lot of happy without a lot of sad. Just as in a risk-and-reward situation, the higher you go the higher you have to fall.

Consider the wave. As it heads towards the shore it gets highest before it falls. But then it goes back and another high is reached. The water goes fast and then slow, and paces based on it’s peaks and valleys. When it’s closer to the sand, it is forced to absorb the changing landscape before it has strength to rise again.

life like this...

life like this…

But it always rises. The higher it goes the more it inspires, accumulates and moves. It takes the whole landscape with it and fills its volume with sea life. It’s majestic, joyful and moving as the way nature intended. Beautiful motion.

I realize I am in a phase of my life now that I am tentatively calling “the good happy lonely”. I’m a woman on the verge of the next phase of my life and trying to enjoy the present while all of life fills itself inside me. That makes me happy. The price of all that happy is an equal or greater amount of sadness sometimes. But I have to know deep inside me that the wave will grow strong again even when I don’t feel it will.

The price of all this happy is sometimes laying on a mattress in the middle of the floor and feeling a void. The price of all that happy is a vulnerable feeling that I’m exposed as a fraud to everyone who knows me, false as that assumption may be. The price of all that happy is some sweat, tears and pain. The price of all that happy is sacrifice. The price of all that happy is some love lost over time.

But then I see a carton of truffle salt in the grocery store and I think – the world cannot be so bad. This savory fruit of the sea exists, and just like the sea will rise with me again.

May the price of all your happy be the strength to fight for it and let things go. May the price of all your happy be presence. May you ride your life like a gentle wave and feel lighter in every step along the way. May the price of all that happy be a committed relationship to the wonderful, amazing soul that you are.

Sat Nam.

When Looking for Signs Goes Wrong – The Bunny Story

I’m trying to be a grounded spiritualist, but I’m constantly surrounded by puzzling signs. Some of them are wonderful, some of them are terrible. Here is an example of when looking for signs goes wrong, for those of us who are still waiting for that sign of destiny from the universe.

Last month I applied for a job that I truly wanted. The ache in my heart for everything this job offered : benefits, freedom, money, a mission and good healthy food on discount? My interview was on a day when the new moon was in Aries, my sun sign. For those of you unfamiliar with astrology, some of the signs in the new moon may auspiciously be supporting our causes on this planet – especially when the sign is similar to our own. The sun was shining, the interview went extremely well, even the lady at the jewelry shop next door told me the job was mine, and offered me a sublease in the area. “For WHEN you get it dear, WHEN you get it!”the kind old lady smiled at me and said.

This HAS to be a sign, I said to myself.

I failed to notice it was April Fool’s day. Got a call in the evening that they had offered the position to someone internally, but would call me at the end of the month with another job opening. Sign? Maybe not.

Fast forward to end of the month. A day astrologically auspicious to those at a crossroads. Offering balance, the grand cardinal cross was a time that signified the end of self-pity, and the beginning of an awakening into fullness.

Then I saw the bunny.

Outside the office window where I was working? The most adorable baby bunny in the world was munching on a green leaf and staring at me. I stared back at him.

bunny

“Everything is going to be as fine as I am adorable. Tee hee!!”

He was the cutest thing I had ever seen. We communicated. He stared at me and I stared at him and I felt so happy inside. This is a sign of fertility, of things moving, of freedom, of play. I felt so ready to accept what was mine : my dream of supporting myself and moving on into the next phase of my life was being supported by ADORABLE MOTHER NATURE!!

This HAS to be a sign, I said to myself.

I got the call. There was a job available, but for much less hours and much less pay than the previous job. I told the hiring manager that I had to think about it.

I felt sad. I had been waiting on baited breath for this destiny sign to make itself known to me. For the right thing to happen to me at the right time. It sucked. For about two minutes, I let the tears flow in the parking lot. Then I felt relief.

“Now I don’t have to wait on them anymore”…I thought. “Now I can have some freedom in decisions that were hindered by hope and looking everywhere but now.”

It’s amazing how good it feels when you don’t have to rely on the outside anymore to bring you everything you ever wanted. When you can check yourself with who you are rather than what you need. When you can let go of the bunny and really focus on what’s right in front of you. Everything you need you already have. 

I’m not saying it doesn’t suck when you hope for something and then it doesn’t turn out. I’m not saying that the joy in finding isn’t something worth searching for. But I hope in the next week that you find that all the strength, love and prosperity you have ever wanted is not what the bunny has. It’s what you have.

I hope that every missed opportunity is a direction for you. I hope every failure is leading you towards success on a ladder you want to climb. I hope prosperity follows you as you follow your heart. I hope you let love win when you are looking, and you let love be when you know who you are. I hope you make your life a two way mirror of love : looking up and looking in front of you in the glorious dance of the present. 

Sat Nam.

“the universe is counting on our belief
that faith is more powerful than fear
and in that the shifting moment
we’ll all remember why we’re here”
-from “Awaken”at MysticMamma.com

Ways to Take Up Space

1. Say what you feel the moment you feel it. Tell the grocer he made a mistake in a very kind way. Tell your friend they are making you feel pressured, marginalized or hurt. Tell your lover that you love them and appreciate everything they do for you. Tell your parents thank you. 

2. If that makes you uncomfortable, write those feelings down and then say them later to the person. It still counts.

3. Sing loudly. In the car, in the shower, on stage, recorded or into your hairbrush. But sing with your whole body.

4. Hog the covers. If there is someone next to you at the time you attempt this, play-fight them for it. Roll around as much as possible while doing this. Wedgies are fair game. You know you are doing it right when the covers leave the bed and there are no winners. If you are single, make a fort just for you in the living room and invite in friends – or enjoy the solitude. 

5. Do some creative vandalism. Something impermanent that changes the landscape of how your space is defined. Arrange a few post-it’s so they make a smiley face on your wall. Put a ribbon on a statue. Make the outline of a heart in rocks on someone’s door. Attach a kite to the back of a garbage truck.

6. Think like an animal. Growl. Run. Chase. Fetch. Play. Find a field where you can run around and bring out your inner wolverine. Watch people be curious, and then not give a crap. Just don’t leave…traces. 🙂 

7. Reserve It – Is there a place in the park you like to go, a library, a dance studio, a street you like to run? Give yourself space to be in those spaces and give yourself time to be happy in them. For me, that is the bathtub. Mine, mine mine. 

8. Be selfish – Take care of buisiness, then do what you want. You have the right to be where you are and have that be exactly where you want to be. You get there by expressing the need from your true self, and then letting that true self take action. Take what you need, because then you acknowledge the plenty you have. 

9. Do something completely out of character – Ask someone out. Take a class you always wanted to. Travel. Eat something you are curious about. Make space for yourself to explore something new, and you will feel new space inside of you grow. 

10. Love – Love makes you big. Love makes you so big that all the issues you have to deal with become small. Love yourself so much that nothing will disturb your peace of mind, that you feel big in a land where you are taught to play small. Love your limits and go through them. Love everyone around you so the size of your love can carry you. 

May you take all the space you need, and give all the space away. May you vibrate time and space so that all may serve you.

Sat Nam

Fear is a Brave Stone

Start, and the pressure will be off. Maybe not right away, maybe you aren’t even aware of the changes that are happening. But you’ll feel much better under pressure in the right direction than stuck in an old one. 

You know how the saying goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss. Something moving has no time to atrophy. But what I’m curious about is how that stone started to roll? Was he pushed off a hill? Did he get dislocated from a spot that was formerly secure? Did he grow from a small grain of sand which over time snowballed into a bigger, stronger stone?

Any of these can happen. But here’s how life works, according to a rolling stone:

1. The first three seconds of falling are going to be the most terrifying part of your trajectory. You are going to gather unfamiliar momentum and it’s going to scare you shitless.

2. After that, you are going to keep going and it won’t be as hard. But you still won’t know what’s at the end of your race. So keep racing.

3. If parts of you break off during the fall, you are going to have to leave them behind. True story.

4. You are falling as part of an organic landscape. Everything around you, the earth, the sky, gravity and all the elements in nature are supporting you, even though you don’t feel it. 

5. When you land, you are out of momentum until the next shift. But you have changed all the landscape around you by risking your fall, brave stone. Don’t take your new role for granted, because you may have to change it just as quickly.

6. You have fallen into a better place. Actually? I can’t say this for sure. But you have fallen and you are still here. So that’s something. Be grateful. 
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“FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!”

 

May you be continually falling into better landscapes. May you trust the first three seconds of your fall are making the rest of your run easier. May you be truthful to your path, even when you feel pushed by it. May you fall with grace. May you land with ease. May you live with passion.

Sat Nam

Duality

Ah, the calamity of love strikes again, as I’m once again crying in my bathtub. We come to this earth and love is all around us. Then by around age 5 we go into “somebody training”, where we are taught that we are supposed to play a certain way and follow a set of rules. Then love comes in and breaks them all.

 And suddenly it’s as if we are naked for the whole world to see and we can’t understand our world anymore. We meet people and have experiences and make discoveries I call “Before/After’s”. Meaning, before you I felt this way and after you I don’t look at the world the same. 

I much prefer to have my “Before/After’s” to be experiences. A sunset, my favorite band, a piece of art – those are all things that we know aren’t supposed to last. But you look into someone’s eyes who has seen you in the worst parts of yourself and kissed those ugly places…those souls you meet who don’t let you get away with being fake or shallow. Those people who you feel like the best version of yourself around. Those kind eyes. That heart. 

I’m very conflicted in writing my feelings right now as I type this. Divinity wants me to say what is on my mind all the time, duality tells me to be soft and move like waves through the world.  But Divinity also has come to me in a vision and told me dear you are royalty. A queen who can share light to everyone she touches if she makes her love universal.

And here we are in the grey area we call humanity. Love and calamity. Queens and Chameleons. The gross and the beautiful. We are all of these things as human beings. More than ever I am praying for the strength to let all of these fake identities go. I am not one thing, I am the total of all things, God being the divine light holding it all together.

I am praying to love myself enough that I can forgive myself for being stuck in this grey area called life. I pray to forgive myself for being human, angry and base, lustful and forceful, crazy and caught in a web of fear when I let it get to me. 

I pray for those who have loved me in their own way in this lifetime. I am learning to let go of you in my own way, and I feel so ashamed by not being able to share things that I feel are hurting. I want to stop chasing what isn’t for me in this lifetime – let go of those attached feelings that mess with my head and can’t let me appreciate the selfless love inside.

I pray for those who have been in pain from a long time ago. You and all of us are filled with duality. We are no different from each other in the fact that we all are capable of doing great and horrible things. But the person inside those things is perfect. Nothing needs to change about that person but their consciousness, and nothing needs to happen but healing. Every day. Love remains when we can see the spirit of man and not the letter of his karma. Grace is learning to see that in everyone you meet, especially those you love with all your heart. 

May all of those dualities dissapear, and may the ones you live with be managed with an open heart and a trained mind. May healing happen in conflicted souls. May we all heal ourselves with love and peace in the heart. May we practice this all the days of our lucky days on this planet. 

Sat Nam

The Squeak

It sounds like a nonconformist slide whistle, which at any hour of the day will make the most annoying noise I’ve ever heard. I sit at the front desk of a lobby office, and suddenly that noise becomes my tell-tale heart. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT???

It’s the office drink refrigerator. Every time the glass moves against the opposite wall, it makes a rubbery whistle that is really irritating. A squeaky honk or a honky squeak? I can’t tell anymore. 

I sit here for 8 hours and none of it will ever go away. I can’t tell when the noise will come into my world, or when it will leave. It chooses how to present itself, it makes itself known and it comes back without my permission.

In many ways, this is how karma is processed. You never know when your bad cycles are going to appear, your old patterns that are going to pop up. I never know when I am going to feel shame, anger, fear, depression or loneliness creep up on me – but I know the vibration of those feelings the same way I feel this sound. Like, OH NO! Not THIS again. I’m sick of this fantasy/nightmare/problem that I thought I dealt with already.

The source may be the same or different, but it doesn’t matter because it seems interminable. And it’s the same sound, every time. A single noise in an otherwise noiseless world that keeps popping up, over and over again until it is all that you can think about.

We come to this planet as guests of an already perfect system, and our imperfections catch up with us. It’s only natural.

What we fail to realize when we process these sounds, feelings, vibrations, sensations? Is that we don’t need to fix any of it. We just need to let go of it the same way we let go of the noise that pops up in our heads. Every time we feel something, it doesn’t have to overtake us – they aren’t facts about our life, just information about trauma and drama not yet processed.

On this day, I hope that you find the silence in yourself when you hear only noise. I hope you recognize that in spite of your karma, you are all divine beings. I hope that you identify the source of your noise and learn how to live with it or let it go. I hope that you overcome all the squeaky sounds in your head that tell you that you aren’t worth jack. I hope that you eat your karma for breakfast so you can serve your higher purpose all day long. I hope you believe enough in yourself that the sounds don’t matter. I hope you have peace in your heart. Always.

Sat Nam.