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Yesterday I had a vision of having truffle mushrooms. It was a brief thought, an intention set, and then I went on with my day. By the end of the day I had attracted truffle butter, truffle honey, truffle cooking sauce, truffle goat cheese and actual truffle flakes. To be clear, I did not go out and buy these items, I attracted them. They were shared with me by a friend who recently returned from Italy and who had no prior knowledge of my truffle vision from earlier in the day.

I say this to say – set an intention and then let it go. So many of us suffocate our dreams. We have a vision but we don’t trust God to carry it out. Instead we hover, attempt to control and cling tightly to every detail of how our vision will be fulfilled.

And of course when things don’t go our way, we suffer.

Don’t try to micro-manage God. ‘God is able and God will bless you exceedingly abundantly above all you could ask or think.’ (Ephesians 3:20)

Trust that and let go.

The Holy Relationship

I’m officiating a wedding tomorrow. I listened to Marianne Williamson a bit to prepare. She teaches about Love and she claims that every relationship is an assignment.

We are to love everyone, intimacy is already established because we’re all connected in Spirit. But our ego tries to protect us and keep us separated. We’ve all experienced traumas along the way that reinforce a felt need to self-protect.

So our relationships are assigned to us for our healing and re-membering. We learn in our interpersonal relationships where we have blockages to love.

And our Holy relationships- those are our life partners. When you experience chemistry with a person, that feeling of butterflies in the beginning, that is a moment of Divine enlightenment. Your soul recognizes that there is an opportunity for growth to be had in a relationship with that person. It’s not random.

Our Holy relationships are our partnerships; the containers for mutual healing. As our stuff comes up, our partnership holds the space. We grow together and remember – step by step- that we are Love.

I’ve been asking this question for years – Better to be right or be free?  Last week I asked:  ‘better to be right or be love?’ And my friend Kathleen asked:  ‘better to be right or be happy?’  It’s all the same to me – and yet even as I type, I’m convicted by my own actions.

Yesterday I was angry with my studio manager. For three weeks there has been nobody present at the front desk to check in my Saturday morning yoga class. My student who works for the studio has stepped in but that wasn’t fair to her; she’d come to take class, not to work.  When I saw my studio manager, my own manager persona kicked.  I am a director in another part of my life and I manage a team.

“Do you have a strategy for making sure that this doesn’t happen again?”  I asked her.

I sat firmly in my rightness.

But I didn’t think about the way that my energy made others feel –  those who were sitting in the lobby with no context and who are used to interacting with me differently.

In hindsight, I wished I’d communicated differently.

Where does being right ever really get us? Everything that ever will happen will happen whether we try to control it or not.  And other people always show us where we are stuck. In this way, they are our teachers.  If we open our eyes and allow our hearts to soften, we realize that all of these experiences are here to teach us.  Everyone is our teacher and our most difficult situations show us where we have blockages to love.

I am learning that I’d rather be love because it feels better.  I am learning how to communicate my needs without being unloving ~ because I want to contribute to what is good in the world.  There is enough aggression.

Join me on this return to Love?

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I had some friends over on Sunday afternoon and a topic of conversation that came up was ‘turning on the light’ in our metaphorical closets.  When I decided to turn on the light in my closet, I found something old in there that needed to be dealt with.

I have had an eating disorder since I was 15 years old.

I have not had a healthy relationship with food.

I am recovering from Bulimia.

I was living without symptoms at the age of 37, yoga helped with that.  But then I got a call from an old friend from childhood.  She’d called to tell me that we’d lost a friend to a traumatic brain injury, a high functioning star of a woman.  I’d already lost 5 other peers to untimely death, including my boyfriend Kesner.  And after my first visit to see my old friend in ICU, I left the hospital and immediately went to a burger shack and binged. I couldn’t help myself, binging was the only way that I knew how to control my emotions. Later, I purged.

About a week later I went to a baby shower where I sat down with a fierce and beautiful soul, Kristen Brunello.  I knew Kristen through yoga, she’d recovered from an eating disorder and she’d been vocal about it in the yoga community.  I told her what was going on with me and she referred me to a therapist in New Jersey who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy.  This therapist would help me learn to eat.

She also helped me understand binge behavior.  I could binge on anything – food, shopping, TV, alcohol.. It wasn’t the substance, as much as it was me trying to stuff something down and not feel.  Binging had become my coping mechanism and I needed to learn new behaviors.  I am still learning.

I write this today because it is eating disorder recovery week.  I am speaking in my power as I write this, there is nothing to feel bad about.  I want to help other people and this is my way.  This is my platform.

I am a Black woman who is in eating disorder recovery.  Yes – we have eating disorders in our community too.  Let’s turn on the lights. Maybe you didn’t ever have a name for it but you stuff yourself with food in order to self sooth.  Or maybe you shop, watch TV, smoke marijuana, binge drink..

Lets turn on the lights.

KB & KC

This is Kristen Brunello. She is the woman who helped me and she continues to. Today she is allowing me to teach my streaming yoga class on Sundays in her studio – The Yoga Ground. I am learning that a little bit of softness and vulnerability goes a long way. Turn on the light.  Allow yourself to break and be rebuilt.

 

 

Don’t mind me if I preach for a minute..

I was in a yoga class once when a teacher said this:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I have repeated this many times since then and I believe it to be true.  We really should not look among the branches for what should be in the root.  And the root is always LOVE. You are so unique and wonderfully different from everyone who was ever created.  God has blessed YOU with certain special gifts and a vision that, if you have the courage to pursue it, might satisfy your longing to be different.  Don’t spend time comparing your journey / process / experiences / progress to others.  This steals your joy and might even make you a downright miserable person to be around.

Don’t blame others for your misery. The journey goes down.  Root down in who you are and deepen in that. Learn to love everything about you and what you have to offer to the world. The more that you love you, the more that your capacity to love others grows. You are pure LOVE. That is the truth.

Abide in that.

The Truth

You are pure Love. That is your essential nature and it cannot be changed. Anything that you put out that is unlike love – maybe a fear based manipulation or an attack – is the ego. The ego is trying to protect you and it thinks you need to do these things in order to survive in the world. You don’t. This is learned behavior. Anything that you put out that is unlike Love makes the truth of who you are something that you need to learn to remember.

Last night as I was preparing for my Spirit Flow Yoga class, I decided to check the Revised Common Lectionary to consider the selected texts for this week.  The Gospel text was John 2:1-11, the story of Jesus turning water into wine:

Jesus was at a wedding with his mom.  His mom alerted him that the wine had run out.  He instructed servants to get six barrels and fill them to the brim with water.  By the time the servants returned to the wedding with the barrels, the water had become wine.

This story is interesting because most people know of it; even people who really don’t know much about Jesus seem to know that at some point her turned water into wine.  It’s also interesting because it doesn’t seem to have any noble purpose – no sick person is being healed.  Jesus is seemingly just keeping the party going.

I felt compelled, last night, to research this Scripture to better understand the point of it. What struck me as I was reading is that those barrels were said to have been able to hold between 30-40 gallons of water.  I never considered the size of the barrels.  I’d always envisioned a few carafes, to be honest.  But this was A LOT of water (six 30-40 gallon barrels) turned into A LOT of wine.  And the barrels were said to be filled to the brim.

What I said about it to my class this morning is that maybe this story has something to tell us about abundance.  God wants us to live abundantly.  And the thing about abundance is that its not always good.  Abundance doesn’t mean good, it means full.  We are supposed to have full lives; to learn and grow from every experience.

If things are wonderful for you right now, abide in that.  Don’t feel guilty about your happiness or do things to sabotage it because you’re used to something different.  If life is challenging in this season, let it all happen. Let yourself be done. Ask – what is this experience requiring from me?  What can I learn here? How can I grow?  If life is boring – find 100 things to be grateful for right now.  Take out a notebook and write them down.

We’re not meant to hide from any aspect of our lives.  We’re meant to live abundantly – God wants our barrels to be full.