Knowing your Truth vs. Knowing Your Infinity

It’s impossible for me not to get excited about things that make me happy. If you told me that there is a 50/50 possibility that an adorable puppy CPA would do my taxes for me, lick my face AND get me a refund? Even if it’s a remote possibility I’d be wagging my own tail and thinking about how amazing my life would be post-puppy CPA…whom I am prematurely naming Agent Clive Barker. 

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Let’s talk about getting you a write-off for your stamps. But first? Scratch my BELLYYYYYYY.

Which is why there is a balance between knowing the truth about yourself, and knowing the truth about the impossible things that may happen for you when you are ready for them. 

I’ve had a crazy couple of days. Yesterday, I had an interview for a puppy-CPA of a job that I was SO convinced was mine. It had everything to make my dream of a living and a life – holistic atmosphere, flexible schedule, hours, benefits and a living wage. Not only that? I was extremely qualified for the position.

My heart was set on this being a decision made for me by the divine. This was a job being given to me by the universe for the 300+ resumes I had sent out during the month of March. After the interview, I went next door to a jewelry shop and the made friends with the lady at the counter, who after I described my qualifications? Told me she was SURE I had the job, and offered me a room for rent at her house in Pacifica if I wanted. 

Signs. Signs. Signs. 

Too bad it was April Fool’s day. 

After a mini- breakdown, I realized I had another interview the next day. I was dreading it. This was a possibility that I had only considered since I was on a hot streak with interviewing. Again, qualified for the position but scared of something that might not fit my lifestyle and long term goals. I have gotten to know the truth about what I was searching for lately, and it had discovered that money and freedom are two things that I really wanted to be partners in my newfound quest for happy. Is that a CPA Puppy? Maybe. But at this point, I was willing to hope that by knowing exactly what I wanted, it would show up for me when I least expected it.

So I show up to the second interview. A start up company. Very new office, expanding, developing kind of place. Something that made me nervous but not frightened by possibility. I sit down with the staffing agent. We talk about my qualifications. It went pretty well. Honesty in shortcomings, integrity in answer, but professional and capable answers. The first thought that entered my head after the interview, I swear to the Puppy CPA? If I ever thought I quit acting because I sucked at it? Not true. That was the most honest I’ve ever been within the format of someone I’ve never been before. 

 It is so hard to carry the spiritual weight and range of the truth of who we are and the infinity of who we are meant to become. Maybe we are meant to do one kind of work, maybe another. Perhaps we have talents we haven’t discovered yet because we haven’t spent the time exploring. Knowing how to stay true to the person you are while still looking for the universal and infinite self is the battle we wage every day.

When we are confronted with this, sometimes we run. I felt like bolting the morning of. Call it nerves, call it wanting to be true to my soul, call it whatever you want. But then this amazing thing happened. The second half of the interview involved the managing members of the secretarial staff having lunch with me.

It was a really fun conversation.

The Assistant to the CEO and I found out we shared a birthday. The meeting room was called the “Charlie Chaplin Room” with a big picture of him behind us. Charlie, my interviewer, and I, were all born on April 16. I talked about my work as a production manager, all the things I enjoy doing, both in life and in work. Everything overlapped. We talked yoga, travel, Mean Girls, community, and all different things that made it fun to be there. Not only that? I sold a version of myself I didn’t know I was capable of before. A part of myself I had never considered to be functional in. 

And I made them laugh. That felt pretty good. 

I don’t know if I’ll get the job or if my next few weeks will be filled with more ups and downs. But I feel more confident now that if I can balance the truth of my infinity and the truth of myself? All will just become known with more information. 

May you know the truth of yourself and the truth of your infinity as they merge into one. May all prosperity come to you when you sit and be present with your inner light. May you be confident in your totality as you move towards balance. May truth be your identity. May that puppy I hired to look at my W2’s be as qualified as he promised he was in the interview. And if he wasn’t, may he still live a happy life rolling in the grass. 

Sat Nam

Samsara and the After Dark Toasters

This week, I worked at the Computer History Museum in Los Altos, CA. It dawns on me that every piece in here was once a modern masterpiece. It had its premiere, use and time and then it was deemed obsolete. The military supercomputers gave way to 8 bit technology gave way to the IThing, then the IThing5, and so on and so forth. It dawned on me as a beautiful reminder.

Everything has its cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.

In Hindu and Buddhist terms, this is called Samsara. It means continuous flow. The life cycle of everything under the cosmos, including the cosmos itself. To everything, turn turn turn, there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. What we are aware of as time is a constantly changing cycle in which we are constantly a part of as living moving beings.

Take for example, the flying toaster. It’s the first exhibit that you see when you enter the museum, in reference to a screen saver called After Dark. These screensavers were popular when Apple Computer systems first came out. They exhibited an animation for your sleeping computer while you were away from the screen – flying toasters would pop toast out of their winged backs like majestic Valkyries.

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But what I learned today, was these flying toasters were inspired from an album cover. Jefferson Airplane, who has winged coasters on the cover of their album. The toasters on the cover, unlike the ones on the screen saver, have a clock face on them. Almost as if they knew their time was not quite up, that they were not quite ready to disappear into obscurity.

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So what is present in this history lesson? Passage of time on the wheel can be illusory. I’m sure those toasters on their original album cover had no idea the immortality they would achieve. The influence of their flight was not seen by anyone, least of all Jefferson Airplane, who I’m pretty sure sued the software company at one point.

What we don’t know about our passage on this wheel of time could fill volumes – we are constantly moving entities of magic and the more we grow aware of our smallness the bigger we become.

What I imagined my life would be at this point is a far million miles from the life I am living at present. I read a bio of a friend of mine, who three years ago was hoping to do something creative with her life. She is still trying that. I hear her voice, and I echo it as my own. Sometimes I feel like my creative energy is lost in translation – from what I hear we both are trying to make a living and a life.

May the wheel of Samsara prove all of the talents you thought fruitless are glorious reflections of the soul. May your cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth have echoes of your true self in all of it. May you trust the wheel knows where it is going. May you bow to the universal divine consciousness inside you and follow that no matter what the cost. May you be whole in your knowledge that you are working with time and it will never crush you. May your Samsara carry you to beautiful places you never thought possible. May you be.

Sat Nam

Onions and Sacred Meanings – Ganzheitlichkeit

I have been obsessed lately with eating large amounts of onions. Yellow, golden onions that I grill with tumeric and olive oil, the smell so warm and welcoming I lose myself in watching the alchemy. As I type this, my mouth is watering as I’m thinking of flashing on a sauce or seven on top of warm and crispy pile of those babies. 

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The health benefits of onions are many, rich in fiber they have high volumes of fiber and sulfur. Not only does it assist with blood and cholesterol levels, but also may inhibit tumor growth and colon cancer. 

But more importantly, the onion is representative of the philosophical idea of Ganzheitlichkeit, or holism. The idea that the total being is what needs help when seeking spiritual enlightenment. Physical, Psychological, Social, all total aspects add up to the total self and when they are in balance create a sense of well being. The thick layers at the top are the skin, and every single layer beneath adds to the total volume of our capacity for self. 

Last week, I found the most beautiful onion at the grocery store. Fat, with the thin skin around it ripe and delicious looking. When I got home, I found the onion had absolutely no core, but a flimsy tuber that was purple and loose inside the first three layers. 

In the Aquarian age, more people are seeking wisdom of the total self. It is normal to feel like that onion, that every exterior part of you is rich and fat and healthy, but the core feels undeveloped. The inside feels like it needs work and in truth, that is where we need to start. But where is the best place to start?

Your mind, body, spirit are layers of self mastery that take several lifetimes to achieve. Don’t be discouraged if you feel rotten at the core at first. Practice. Learn to love all the layers of yourself and explore different parts of them. As you get better, you will feel stronger. 

The discipline of peeling back the layers is a difficult journey, but the results are so worth working through it. 

May your inside core be fat and healthy as you pursue your path and destiny. May you feel at home in yourself first so you may serve others. May you eat well, be well, live well, love well. May you be like an onion in bloom, rich with layers of prosperity and seed wisdom. May your sens of Ganzheitlichkeit be formed from the core of who you are. May you be happy, healthy and whole. 

Sat Nam

PS – My favorite recipe for onions lately. Enjoy!

Ganzheitlichkeit Salad by Nam Joti 

1 Cup Spinach (For use as Salad Base)
1 Yellow Onion
A few spoonfuls of Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Tumeric
3 Tbsp Hummus
2 Tbsp Chopped Almonds
Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing

Cut onions into long pieces and grill with olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle tumeric over onions and cook unitil onions are grilled and golden. Remove onions from stove and pour over bed of spinach on a plate. Add hummus and almonds on top, then as much dressing as you want. YUM!!!

The Particulars of Being Spiritually Particular

Discernment. Something I’ve never been really good at until I started a job search. Every time I hear the words “work from home”, “become an entrepreneur” and “grow a client base” It hits me in the gut before the third eye: there are a lot of people out there who aren’t very particular about who they are looking for, and normally that means you are a quota they need to fill.

In my past lines of work, I have been not particular at ALL in what I’m looking for. Money. Flexibility. A Base. That was it during the period I was a working non working actor, doing 3 jobs and having no time at all for what I really loved doing. 

Then I discovered Kundalini Yoga. It was a filter for everything that wasn’t particular in my life. All the things I thought really mattered melted off me. Parts of my life got harder, but parts of my life became much more particular. For example, New York? Not the place for me. Acting? Not the job for me. 

It’s been two years since I left New York, and I have worked as a production manager for a feature film, done freelance videography, completed a 120 day sadhana (daily practice) and lost over 30 pounds. Things are getting leaner, financially, but here’s the best part about getting through the blur.

Particulars make you invincible in your pursuit of your true self.

Now I’m not saying these particulars are rigid. You know, in esscence what you really want, but the format may change. I wanted to do creative work as an actor, but at present I work in film production. Later? I may write, sing, dance, teach yoga, become a monk, inspire a startup and become a billionaire, become the next Danielle Steel, who knows? 

But as for right now, my particulars are making me more confident in my truth as a human. I am not what I do, I am what I am. I am capable, smart, and willing to do anything to follow the path that my destiny has made me. I am worth more than a general idea. I am worth more than the lump sum of what someone thinks I am capable of. I am capable of anything. 

So are you. 

In the next week, I hope that you are particular with what makes you truly soar. I hope you find a secret for yourself that makes you so happy you don’t want to share it, and then you share those particulars with those who need them. I hope you can feel from your energetic system what is good for you and what doesn’t work, and respond in an appropriate manner. I hope you realize you are one particular living soul in a system of all connected things – and you are what that universe is looking for. I hope you find truth, love, and the core of your particulars.

Sat Nam

The One Thing Wrong With You

“What IS that?” “Did a boyfriend beat you up?” “Did you grow a unicorn horn and cut it off?” “Are you the devil?”

With questions like these, it’s no wonder we have a warped view of who we truly are. I have a scar. Its dark, it’s prevalent on my forehead, and it affords others opportunity to ask because unconscious people are ready to believe you are willing to discuss every small detail about yourself that is different. When something is apparent yet subtle about someone, most are quick to assume it is a flaw rather than a piece of the puzzle about your unique and beautiful soul.

Let’s start with apparent. If something is obvious about someone, most people would choose not to point and stare unless they were jerks or had hangups about that particular transparency.
I categorize the apparent by:

A) Ethnicity B) Handicap C) Unique Dress D) Assumed Image of the Beholder.

Then there is the subtle. That which isn’t always apparent but different enough that people feel like they can bring it up in conversation without being rude. Sometimes these are a matter of choice, other times they are not.
I categorize the subtle by:

A) Hairstyle or Hair Growth B) Scars/Tattoos C) Accessories D) Symbols or Slang

Let’s group them for easier handling, and see if we can’t get a piece of this puzzle put together. Note that all of these categories could go with any other on the list, and you could make an argument for any one of these to  but for the sake of following a pattern in our culture I have generalized. Yes, I am fighting generalizing with MORE generalizing. Deal with it.

Ethnicity/Hairstyle or Hair Growth

Both of these would be assumed as the organic and beautiful parts of who we are as people. Whatever transparency our race is we can’t hide the fact that we each have a crown on which our glory resides. In Kundalini Yoga tradition, the growth of a man’s hair to a long length is what is called his “Rishi Knot” or place where wisdom resides. Whether someone chooses to even show their hair, as in the tradition of the Hasidic community of Judaism, is completely their values and judgement. Whether someone wears a turban, has dreadlocks, or if a woman cuts her hair short in the Buddhist nun tradition. Different cultures have different views on what style works, and what doesn’t.

And yet I hear all the time about TSA agents requiring Sikh men to remove their turbans. I’ve heard horror stories about black people having strangers come touch their natural hair with NO respect for their space.  I go to a hair salon and ask to cut it short? The stylist asks “are you sure?” In other words “Are you sure you want to remove the thing that’s culturally feminine about you? You might lose some opportunities…”

Handicap/Scars, Tattoos

When I was a kid, my parents were ardent against tattoos for professional reasons. I brought home someone who had multiple tattoos and ear plugs, and bless both my parents they loved him too. But whenever I asked my boyfriend about his fears of cutting off his professional opportunities because of his tattoos? He told me that he did not want to work anywhere that would judge him by his modifications. When I came across more people who had these kinds of modifications, they all remarked that the tattoos and piercings made them feel more like their real selves. They were becoming who they were in essence.

People assume that when you have a scar or tattoo, there either is an emotional handicap about it or that you have dark issues you need to solve. But the truth is our scars and modifications normally have real significance for our lives. They mark passages, honor friends and show us the passage of our real time problems. My scar happened because of stressful periods in my life that caused me to break out and pull off pieces of my skin. Now I wasn’t really willing to talk to strangers about this, but now that you know are you more willing to ask?

Unique Dress/Accessories

Now this does tend to vary based on community. In big cities? Usually this doesn’t apply because everyone is celebrating the unique wave of fashion within urban culture. But picture this: a man walks into a liquor store completely dressed up in Women’s clothing. Suri Cruise wears high heels while walking in downtown SoHo. A woman wears a see-through dress and walks into a grocery store. Two fans of the cult-hit cartoon “Adventure Time” make a pact to dress up as the lead characters and traverse the countryside having adventures.

Seemingly meaningless crimes against fashion, doesn’t it? Would you be quick to devalue that person because they wanted to wear something different than anyone else? Would you take a picture of that person and post it on social media with something like “WTF? FAGGGG”. We often lose out on what we are missing when we choose to marginalize the person who shows us a different way of life. Exterior is only a part of the picture. Imagine what we could learn from someone who has absolutely no fear of being judged in the public eye. When Lady Gaga does it, we call it art. When your neighbor does it, he’s a freak.

Assumed Image of the Beholder/Symbols or Slang

Just like these categories, humans enjoy putting people into tribal groups. Hipsters, Druggies, Hippies, Shiny Happy People. We don’t have time to recognize the middle area of persona because we are too busy with our own hangups. I’m guilty of it too, I see someone with a Romney/Ryan bumper sticker and I instantly try to pass him with my Obama 2012-mobile. But in truth, I’m not passing anything but a fake symbol of a fake idea with my own fake symbol and fake idea. The image I portray is nothing compared to what kind of person I am and sometimes I forget that when dealing with opposing views.

When we see someone who has an assumed image of, let’s say “alkie”, what exactly do we mean? Do we mean it like a sorority girl does to tease someone who drinks with her at 10 in the morning before finals? Do we mean it like someone who is seeking treatment? Like someone who needs help but can’t ask for it? Like the guy we could secretly idolize who can get into a fight while still holding his beer? Like our relatives we excommunicate because of behavioral patterns? These symbols are meaningless, and yet we find ourselves getting hung up on them when we can’t figure out the minute details of that person’s life.

So here’s my conclusion. The one thing wrong with you? Is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I figured out that the more gravity I give to my scar, the more people will comment. So I choose to believe that it truly is a piece of me that isn’t wrong at all but perfect and real. My apparent subtleties are beautiful, and so are yours. May you find all that is wrong with you right. May you chase the parts of you that are different and can’t be put into any of my dumb categories. May you appreciate every loose end that you have and live by them as a child of soul. May you love yourself exactly for who you are. May you be perfectly imperfect. May your differences unite. May your true self prevail.

Sat Nam.
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Flawless. 🙂

Honoring the Atypical Milestones of 2013

I don’t have a baby and I don’t intend to have one. I’m not interested in marriage until I have crossed a threshold of intimacy with someone that makes me see the joy in being someone’s twin flame. I don’t intend to die until my time. I have graduated from college and am seeking employment in a field that has led me down several paths at once, and definitely doesn’t require an office.

Here’s a question I’ve been asking over and over again : Do I have ANY milestones that are translatable? Explainable? Profitable? Are they even milestones if they don’t make sense to anyone else?

As I approach the end of 2013, I’m getting an atypical notion of what a milestone is. We teach the milestones that are most valuable to us: weddings, babies, jobs, deaths and graduations. But what about the atypical milestones that we all feel should be celebrated, or at the very least, noted?

Columnist and podcast host Dan Savage made a very interesting point about divorces. The fact is, the marriage is only deemed successful until one or both of the partners DIES without breaking the marriage. If you stuck with someone long enough that you DIED before they divorced you, then the marriage was a success.

If we apply that to other pieces of our culture, then births are only successful if the baby grows up and doesn’t commit a felony or end up on the stripper pole. Why not wait until they are 30 to REALLY celebrate their life, because when they are babies all they need to be is fed and changed. I mean, what if that baby grew up to be a total asshole, would we want to celebrate his birth before we knew anything about them?

Would a job be successful if you stayed there until you retired, although you hated it and everyone you worked for? If they fired you or you left early would it be considered a failure? What if you got a degree in finance and then left that job because you discovered you hated it? Would that not be a milestone because you were finally allowing your true self to guide your choices? There is no card for “Congratulations, you’ve realized what doesn’t work!” 

My point is, we need to start looking at the atypical achievements of our past years. Discoveries, Adventures, Obstacles Beaten and Commitments Brought to Reality are four things I’m truly interested in when it comes to marking milestones. 

Discoveries – Have you played with your inner child? Have you tried something different? Have you found something you love doing or are you attempting a discovery? Have you learned something about yourself that you never knew before? Have you discovered what you need to change, and if so, have you acted on it?

Adventures – Have you stepped out of your comfort zone? Have you seen something new? Have you immersed yourself in a book, dance, show or hobby? Have you found a process or a project that connects to an inner desire, and are you moving on that path?

Obstacles Beaten – Have you gone through a grieving process? Have you changed a habit you wanted to break? Have you blasted through an inner obstacle that you have been fighting for years? Have you beaten karma to become dharma?

Commitments Brought to Reality – Have you really loved in so deep a way that you have come to understand its true nature? Have you committed to yourself so that you can help others? Have you finished what you started? Have you continued to walk your path in spite of what other people think? Have you grown through your commitments that you truly care about?

So here are mine, for this year. I hope I have remembered all of them, but this is what I am most proud of:

DISCOVERIES:

1. I am a damn good writer and production manager. I am a horrible web designer and video editor.

2. I am part mermaid, and need to keep swimming always. I can swim 2 miles without practice in open water. Must build myself a tail.

3. I need to eat less sugar and booze and sweat and laugh more. I need to help myself first. 

4. I have found a mentor and a friend who supports me creatively, and can offer impartial advice. KEY when looking at your passions like a lost tourist with a fold out map from 1997. 

ADVENTURES:

1. I fell in love with a man who deserved it, and I told him/showed him as often as I could that it was true.

2. I saw Sigur Ros at the Fox Theatre on my birthday. 

3. I went to Wanderlust in Tahoe this year, further confirming that the yoga community is a place where I feel very much at home.

4. I salsa danced at clubs in Sacramento and Stockton, and held my own on the dance floor.

OBSTACLES BEATEN:

1. I broke it off with a man who wanted different things than I did, and I did that with grace and strength.

2. I got through the holidays without my Grandmother, and further attempted to break some karma and heal with my mother’s grief process.

3. I reconciled with a friend I haven’t talked to in years, because I was afraid of what they thought of me. I learned that true friends are genuinely happy to see you if they call, and won’t judge if you aren’t making the same choices they are. 

4. I watched my friend have her first child, held her hand through the ups and downs and confirmed that I don’t want children of my own. I managed to connect to her although her path was foreign to me, I learned to love someone through a different phase of their life and connect through the divide. 

COMMITMENTS SEEN THROUGH:

1. I finished my certificate in web development, even though I discovered I didn’t like it. I finished what I started.

2. I finished another degree that I have put off for 5 years, my undergrad degree became official in 2012.

3. I finished my first feature as a production manager for a full length feature.

4. I have done the same yoga set and meditation for 60 days, and am moving to 120. 

May you reflect on this year though all your milestones, both typical and atypical. May you honor your successes and failures with equal love and respect. May each milestone be a door and a clarity. May your open heart breathe in prosperity for the new year, as you shed old identities. May you become divine in your actions and pure in your intentions. May every step bring you closer to your truth as a living soul. 

Sat Nam.

 

 

 

Lakshmi: The Love Versus the Lack

I am overdrawn by thirty dollars. I have put the gas from our family boat into my car to keep it going. My car looks like I’m living in it as I drive a full hour to work for a minimum wage job. I’m still waiting on checks from work I did weeks ago. 

I need a prosperity intervention. Badly.

I look at a picture of Lakshmi. This Hindu Goddess represents prosperity and beauty. I look at her like I looked at the cheerleaders that went to my high school : I’ll never look like that. Surrounded by open lotus flowers, Elephants fat and healthy, and a pool of water that looks like the most serene bath I’ve ever seen. I want to dive headfirst into this picture. 

What I don’t realize is that Lakshmi is a dual-faceted goddess. On one side, she represents Bhudevi, the earthly world of material possessions. On the other, Sirdevi, which is the spiritual world or energy of the unseen realm. 

What is interesting to this picture is that Lakshmi, in her essence, is the embodiment of pure love. Prosperity is the opposite of greedy because it takes place in both the earthly and spiritual realm. Bhakti (Love), Atma (Soul) and Pakriti (Spiritual Purity) are all achieved with her blessing.

I had a talk with my father the other day about budget. Not for how to spend money or balance a checkbook, but how to give of my time and value it. I have been told by those close to me that I give away before I give to myself and that causes my crisis most often. 

“Lizzie, your mother and I seem to notice that you don’t really value your talent when it comes to getting paid. I’m a lawyer, and I do nothing but spend my time on things. You seem to be entering a place where your time is your money, and you can’t ask for what you need. Have you noticed that you don’t take care of yourself first?” 

Internally, I’m dealing with a glass ceiling that has to do with a constant feeling of lack. Self love and self loathing have been twin dragons that when pitted against each other can battle most of my demons. But I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m realizing an extremely important fact.

Your mental image of what you deserve, in the spiritual, emotional and material realm becomes the master of your self worth. 

It’s not self esteem, confidence or talent. Does the Goddess of Lakshmi set foot in the limpid pool of your heart, or does she have no beautiful waters to step in? Have you created a place for her fat Elephants to play and eat? Have you enough nutrient-rich soil in the waters of your soul to plant the lotus of good fortune?

This week, may love fill your heart where you feel only lack. May you find ways to give to yourself first before you fall apart from emotional, material or spiritual starvation. May you have the light of your soul lead you to a beautiful garden of prosperity, so that you may share that with others. May you be great and full. Grateful. Sat Nam.

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All of this could be yours, my dear…