Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Adjust Your Thermostat

Shift perspective… and suddenly your world is transformed!

Just recently we had the opportunity to, yet again, submerge and soak in the mineral laden waters of Wilber Hot Springs, high up in the hills of Williams, CA. Nothin’ but good things up in them thar waters - ahh, I love the smell of sulfer in the morning! But, seriously, there IS healing in those hills that spout the bubbling brew that’s mixing and mingling beneath the earth’s surface. Spewing forth its heated prescription of a remedy for whatever ails you, the waters of Wilber envelope you like the womb you were born from, and you begin to experience the dissolution of your own dis-ease as though it’s rising and evaporating from the very steam that dissipates in the air around you.

Late one night upon emerging from a long, languid soak, I wasn’t quite ready to go inside. The moon and the stars were so bright and the cold breeze that was blowing before I entered the waters was now warm and comforting. I laid my body down on a bench on the deck, flat on my back so to see the sky. All was quiet and the gentle wind blew around me and up into the trees, rustling the dry leaves making a soothing sound. It occurred to me how comfortable I was in the 35 degrees, cloaked in only a light, terry cloth robe. When I came out earlier, I was freezing! Funny, I thought, how by changing my internal temperature automatically changes the external temperature of my environment. Granted, it was still 35 degrees, but my relationship to that same 35 degrees had changed. I was no longer cold and put off by the discomfort. I was now relaxed and enjoying the experience with a completely different perspective.

So, herein lies yet another validation: simply by adjusting our core temperature (or temperament), we CAN transform the appearance of our external environment and thereby, our response to it. By relaxing into our true nature - that of peace, kindness and compassion, our experiences in the world can become more palatable, less threatening and more gratifying!

Soak it up!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Opening Day at Lulemon Annapolis

The Annapolis Lululemon girls under panties and the Lady Guru banner!

The big day came today for Lululemon Annapolis and boy those LLL girls had it ALL together. The store looks great with lots of cool stuff: work-out/dance/yoga wear, hats, yoga bags and mats (I know I'LL be heading back for that great sticky-travel mat). Janelle was there demonstrating yoga postures and tea, courtesy of Teavana, was served up with an array of scrumptious goodies. So get yourself down to Lululemon, visit those hard-working girls, and make a dent in your holiday shopping.

Sat Nam!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Latest Arrival!!

The long awaited Lady Guru Chakra Affirmation Card deck has finally emerged on to the scene!
This card deck comes neatly tucked in a colorful array of organza drawstring pouches (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo & Violet). Every card contains its own chakra related yoga pose and an inspiring, uplifting affirmation - 7 cards in 7 chakra corresponding suits. Include them in your yoga practice or simply keep them on your desk, in your purse, on your dresser, leave them by the front door and grab one on your way out. 49 cards - 49 affirmations to help set your intention for the day! - $18.00

To order, please visit LadyGuru.com.
Sat Nam!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ease in the Effort

Relax… and suddenly everything seems easier!

“You can’t always get what you want. But, if you try sometimes, you might find - you get what you need.” Jagger/Richards said this back in the 60’s and it never lost resonance for me. As a matter of fact, it holds true even more so today as I learn to give way to the circumstances and events that arise in my life – some good, some not so good.

We pine for so much, we desire so much – more than what we need, no doubt – and this makes me think of us as children wanting to eat candy all day long and stay up late, but our mother knows it’s not in our best interest. How could this be? We want it so badly, it must be the right thing. Sometimes we even act out when we don’t get what we want - when in hindsight - we can see it clearly, and how what we thought we wanted, is far from what we were supposed to have.

So, does this mean we should give up on our goals? I think not, but rather check our intentions behind these goals. What exactly is fueling our desires, our wants? Are they self-serving? Are they for the greater good? We can’t always understand why things turn out the way they do, and so oftentimes we find ourselves discouraged and defeated, concentrating our focus upon what we DIDN’T get verses what underlying jewel has been gifted to us – and sometimes, when the dust settles, maybe a day, a week, or years later, we awaken to the nature of the experience and all it’s riches to discover we have indeed, gotten exactly what we needed.

Why then, are we repeatedly pulled into the vortex of resisting the daily sour challenges that befall us when all we want is the sweet stuff? Perhaps we could rest in complete harmony with our experiences if we just remember that too much sugar and not enough sleep is not necessarily a good balance for us, even if it is our heart’s desire. And, that in the end, the Universe knows best and that with just the right amount of struggles amidst our repose, we will grow stronger and wiser – the Yogis call it: Sthirasukha, ease in the effort –the ability to maintain steadiness and alertness while remaining comfortable. And, it is through this practice we can open to the abundance of experiences that are to come, knowing that we are held and supported and getting exactly what we need.

Blessings and Peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

River of Knowledge

Awaken… and suddenly you have met your truth. Create your own, brighter dawn!

We tend to think that in order to feel accomplished, whether it be in our career, relationship, health, with our children or inner self, we need to be finished or done with something. This idea tends to make us feel complete… for the moment. Every time we reach another milestone, we delude ourselves in believing we have “arrived”, leaving ourselves open for disillusion and disappointment. Of course we are never finished or done. There’s a reason it’s called a “journey”. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up … over and over and over again.

As I walk this path, step by step I have come to understand that every moment is an opportunity for learning or awakening. Every action, every thought, every intention I put forth in the world, brings with it powerful potential for growth. My own Lady Guru continues to remind me over and again that we are never “finished”. The lessons cycle back to us continually until we become masters at the art of learning. Hence the phrase: “River of Knowledge”… continually flowing, and as Alan Watts says: “You cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it. Indeed, you cannot grasp it just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket. If you try to capture running water in a bucket, it is clear that you do not understand it and that you will always be disappointed, for in the bucket the water does not run. To 'have' running water you must let go of it and let it run."

Perhaps the “knowledge” is not about “having”, but about seeing, and being in the flow of the awakening, the learning in every new moment.

Sat Nam.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Creating Valuable Space

Expand… and suddenly you can’t ignore your own vastness!

Regarding mental clutter, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati said: “Without space, creation cannot take place. When you purchase a house, you purchase the space, which is surrounded by the walls. The more space, the more valuable the house. You cannot think anything if you have no space within your mind. You cannot welcome any guest in your house if you have no space within your house. You cannot receive any thought from outside if you have no space within your mind.”

I love the way this analogy really drives it home for me. I find when I look upon the times that I am feeling stuck, whether in work, relationship, or in any unfavorable reaction that may arise in a given day, I can see it relates directly from my over thinking and mental spinning. When I think of words that define a positive and receptive state of mind, it makes sense that they come to me as: “clear” and “open”. There truly is a feeling of “spaciousness” when my inner and outer worlds are in harmony.

My clutter always comes with a story. If I were to look at it clearly, I could, no doubt, trace it back to old belief patterns that try to convince me that I am right. It will tell me that I have all the information to assess whatever situation is before me and all that information is true, therefore, I need not take it further. This can show up by way of a casual conversation, planning my day, driving to the store, cooking dinner – in short, my daily life. So because of these beliefs driven by personal historical content, I become closed and unreceptive to any new perspective. But, by keeping an “open” mind, I can “clear” my mental space. In Buddhism, they call this “beginner’s mind”, which now provides room for “new guests” – even if they seem familiar – to roam or rest in the expanse I have cultivated by dropping the history. More space… more value!

Sat Nam!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Celebrating Half a Century

Be Alive… and suddenly consciousness exists in every cell of your being.

Yesterday, my body and I celebrated our 50 year anniversary together. It was a simple, albeit, significant day, a day of honoring exactly where we are together; all the aches and pains and new wrinkles, the fluctuating moods that come with perri-menopause, and not to mention the ever so slightly, but definite beginnings of the dreaded “meno-pot”. However, it was also a day of mindfully thanking and honoring the beauty, strength, resilience and grace of: these feet that have walked hundreds of miles to get me wherever I needed to go; these legs that have danced me into oblivion a countless number of times; this spine, so strong in supporting this structure in all its unlimited (and limited!) ways; these arms for all the hugs they’ve ever given AND received; these shoulders for carrying the weight of all the challenges they’ve ever had to bear; these eyes for all the beauty there is to see; these ears for experiencing the infinite vibrations of sound; this nose for all the memories it can conjure from one simple sniff; this tongue for to taste, talk, sing; and this heart… not only for keeping the blood flowing through these veins, but for the love, the compassion, the gratitude and the forgiveness as well as the sorrow and suffering that all comes from being painfully and joyfully human.

Happy Birthday to Us, and to Us a birthday EVERY day.

Blessings and Sat Nam!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lighten Your Load

Purge… and suddenly you discover you have riches beyond your wildest dreams.

I’m sitting in our living room while just outside our windows, the garbage men are hauling and heaving our 30-some odd feet of curbside trash. Well, ok, I use the word “trash” loosely. As they say: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Every four months, an event called “Bulk Trash Pick-Up” occurs in Historic Annapolis. It’s a popular custom in our neighborhood to go cruising the streets, rummaging through the piles of stuff people have pulled out of their houses – some perfectly good stuff laying patiently at the street, waiting to be driven off to some far-away landfill. More than a number of times we have come across what at the time, appeared to be some “good finds”. For instance, there was that time we discovered someone was throwing away four, perfectly good movie theatre seats – what a coup! Of course they went straight to the basement and stayed there until we finally hauled them out to the street for yet another round of “finders/keepers”.

This time we purged BIG. Our attic, closets and basements had been overrun with 21 plus years of accumulated stuff. So over the weekend our dear (and brave) friends helped us (very nearly) empty our basement in preparation for a mega-yard sale, strategically planned for just prior to bulk pick-up. Translation: NOTHING goes back into the house, it moves straight out to the street.

So, watching as our belongings are tossed mindlessly into the big, trash hearse for that final resting place, I feel a sense of lightness in letting go and at the same time a sense of sadness about how much we have contributed, over our lifetimes, to the ever growing landfills. We are a culture of “conspicuous consumers”, mindlessly buying, hoarding, then ultimately eliminating. Why do we need so much STUFF?? Why do we SAVE so much stuff? What are we afraid will happen when we no longer “own” it? This brings to mind something I heard recently: an original Native American custom portrays the richest family of the tribe as the one that owns the least. It is customary to give away your belongings so that others may prosper, with the belief that you will be held and supported. THAT is faith.

So, in light of our recent purging in preparation of selling our house and letting go of what we have called home for over 13 years, I am reminded, yet again, of what I have attached myself to and identified with. It is a life-long meditation on realizing that your “stuff” does not reflect who you are, nor will it sustain you for the long haul. You truly do have everything you need - right inside your own heart, and you will be held and supported no matter how difficult it feels to let go.

Sat Nam!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dead Sharks

Relate… and suddenly you are swimming in the waters of unification.

There invariably comes a time in many of our lives when we are forced to ask ourselves what “serves us”, particularly regarding the matter of relationship. We move through our lives making friends, lovers, acquaintances, business contacts… an endless stream of meetings, greetings, connections and partings. We all have had the experience of discovering that ideal simpatico camaraderie, sharing similar likes and dislikes. There is that perfect rush of totally connecting through dynamic dialogue, mutual inspiration, and just plain being comfortable together.

But, what happens when all of that relating begins to break down - when we start to feel the threat of a history unraveling? Gradually (or suddenly, in some cases), we begin to feel things differently: maybe we’re not being heard or feeling misunderstood, there are lapses in communication and not as much time spent together… what exactly is it that moves the relationship to this next, almost inevitable, phase? Time? Personal growth? Geographical distance? Most likely, if we look more closely, we can see it has been brewing for longer than we may care to see. And it is perhaps here we see the cold, hard fact —truly: “nothing lasts forever”.

Learning to let go of relationships that no longer feed us, or contribute to our overall inner growth, is a hard nut to swallow and is perhaps even a time to grieve— as we are saying goodbye to teachers who have helped shape us into the very beings we embody today. But, to paraphrase Woody Allen: “Relationships are like sharks– they have to keep moving forward in order to survive…” And with that said, some of us may find ourselves relating to his final thought on the matter: “I think what we have here is a dead shark.”

Keep it moving forward, or move on.
Blessings and peace.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

In Your Right Mind

Expand… and suddenly you can’t ignore your own vastness.

Someone recently sent me a link to a video from the web site TED.com. (videos from “the annual conference that brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)”

The speaker that was brought to my attention is Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph. D. – a neuroanatomist (brain scientist). One morning, Taylor had the opportunity to study her own brain – from the inside out – as she realized she was having a massive stroke. She articulates her experience in great detail, giving us a first hand account of being inside a body that is experiencing the complete shut down of the left hemisphere of the brain. As most of us are aware by now, the left side of the brain is the seat of language and processes in a logical and sequential order. It’s also the part of ourselves that we use to define who we are (ego?). The right side is more visual and processes intuitively, holistically, and randomly. It is the side that experiences our feelings, sensations, the here and now (conscious awareness?). It was Taylor’s left side that experienced the blow out – leaving her to solely experience her right, or intuitive side, freely, without the input of her logical, identity-defining self: “I could no longer identify the boundaries of my body, I felt enormous and expansive. I felt at one with all the energy that was, and it was beautiful there.

I bring all this to light because what strikes me so profoundly is not only her amazing recovery, but the gift she received through her own personal experience, to bring this important message to the world – a brilliant scientist who experienced a connection with the divine – through her own study of her massively debilitating physical trauma with her own scientific mind.

It might be easy to shrug off the radical, tarot toting, jewelry dangling, evangelistic astrologist – but, as more and more people of modern science step forward with their own stories and discoveries and awakenings, more of us in modern culture will perhaps begin to explore for ourselves the mysteries of our own deeper meaning, and perhaps lead us to expand into the vastness of wholeness and oneness and peace.


Be… in your right mind!
Sat Nam!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Unhappy Anniversary

Realign… and suddenly you are back on track.

Earlier this month, while sitting at my desk, I was overcome with sensations and emotions by way of what I refer to as “involuntary total recall”. It was all at once, disconcerting, confusing and curious. I felt as though I was re-experiencing something from my past, something that had occurred several years ago. I seemed to be instantly projected backward in time to this very difficult period. Intellectually, I knew I had traveled far from that place and was now safe inside the new growth and understanding I had come to know along the way, but emotionally, I was reliving it. I stopped what I was doing and just sat with it, allowing myself to feel it. I was marveling at how fresh and clear it felt. I became the witness. It was so strong in it’s presence, I felt compelled to check the calendar – March 2. I was stunned by the accuracy of the timing of this “visitation”. It was March 3rd, three years prior that I received news that would send me spinning off my axis for the following year!

So, was it a coincidence, that less than a week later, my lower back went out to the point where I could barely move? I couldn’t help but contemplate, yet again, the notion of cellular memory and how we are, in fact, physical blueprints of every emotion we experience. Perhaps if we can learn to really listen to our bodies with compassion and patience when they “act out”, we can get a greater understanding of what is really going on inside our Selves and realign our focus accordingly. Maybe this way, we can ultimately lessen the blows (physical AND emotional) while meeting them with dignity, divinity and grace.

Stay Well!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Coming Around Again... and Again

Float… and suddenly you are winding your way up the spiral.

Just recently, I found myself in a particular situation, that, how should I say, wasn’t anything new. This episode I was dealing with was one where I had found myself several times in the past. So, the stage was set as I agreed to come into the scene, yet again, knowing the history and arriving with preconceived ideas about how things will unfold. So, when things turned in the direction that I had expected, I found myself (yet again) impatient, annoyed and frustrated. First, it was all directed toward my nemesis of the moment, but then I began to look at what was really going on: I chose this, I understood the nature of the situation and I allowed myself to get swallowed up in the drama I was co-creating -THEN, I turned the anger and frustration towards myself for doing so –THEN, I found myself as the witness, watching it all. I continued to bounce back and forth between these perspectives all day. It has been a very interesting unfolding, and I’m still reeling in the amazement of how we continue to take things on in life, over and again, until we learn what we are supposed to learn. Is it about learning patience and acceptance or is it about boundaries and living your truth? Is it about finally closing the book on something or going deeper into it to learn more… I guess the only way to know the answers to any of these questions is to be awake and present in the midst of it all and to make our decisions based on our higher wisdom or intuition - our most useful tool for growing towards authenticity and wholeness – and trust the outcome will be exactly what it needs to be. Because, even when we feel like we’ve come full circle or “been here before” we can trust that we are climbing the upward spiral and we ARE making progress.

Sat Nam!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Effecting Change

Be BIG… and suddenly your arms are wrapping themselves around the world.

The Butterfly Effect: The idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or prevent a tornado from appearing) across the globe. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena.

Have you ever considered exactly just how BIG you really are and the impact you have on the world? Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, says: “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!” Wow, sounds like quite a responsibility. But, what I find interesting is that the road to making a difference and effecting change in the world is, initially, via the inner path, or The Heroe’s/Heroine’s Journey, as it is called. We can get ourselves so caught up in what we think is right for others, when in fact, we are ignoring our own self care, our own issues that could be having a negative effect on the world as a whole. It isn’t until we are at peace with our own truths, and in turn, trust that others are working towards the same, that we can truly effect positive change. A friend pointed out the analogy: One of the first things they tell you on an airplane regarding the oxygen masks, is that if you are seated next to a child, make sure you secure your own mask before assisting the youngster.” You get my drift. The thing is, all this can get pretty dark and ugly before it looks like anything good might be happening, but, rest assured - that’s a big part of it. And, as you gradually emerge back into the light, bringing your Heroine’s golden experience to the community, you can rest within the peace of knowing that by simply tending to your own work, you are effecting positive change in the world, no matter how small or large you may think that is.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bite The Bullet With Loving Kindness

Learn… and suddenly the teacher in you is emerging.

It’s a known fact the physical body needs applied stress to stay healthy and thrive. Our bones need gravity and weight bearing action in order stay strong enough to support us and carry us throughout our lives. Weight training induces tearing of the muscles so during the time of rest, the healing of that action can create strength. Most of us intentionally push our bodies to the limit in order to stay strong and healthy, so why do we have such a problem with life’s mentally and emotionally challenging events? Couldn’t it be, that on some level we have chosen our hardships so that we may grow and learn and be strong? The way we handle life’s early obstacles can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of our future challenges. We are who we are because of our hardships, not because of our joy, not really. As we work through our painful, lost, angry and confusing times, we can find solace in knowing that on the other side is even more strength, more resilience. Anyone of us alive can appreciate, in hindsight, the lessons learned and knowledge gained from our misfortunes.

Paul McCartney said: “…and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Perhaps, taking our lessons with a dose of loving kindness for ourselves, strengthens the love we put out.

I honor our life’s mission while here on Mother Earth - to learn and grow and connect with one another and to live a full and loving life, awake and aware with dignity, divinity and grace.

Sat Nam!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Serenity Now

Expand… and suddenly you are embracing it ALL.

I can remember when I was young, in my parent’s bedroom, hanging in a frame over the dresser mirror, was a prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
…and the wisdom to know the difference.

I had read it many times over during our years in that house, realizing, even at a young age, the power of those words and the usefulness in memorizing them. Although, I haven’t lived it verbatim everyday, the Serenity Prayer has served as a reminder throughout my life how much time we can spend being stuck, mired in our own ideas of how things are “supposed” to be, consistently leaving us open for disappointment.

A dear friend and yoga teacher, recently pointed out the benefits of “the middle way”- as the Buddhists call it - resides in the calm or contented states of being. In other words, not attaching to only joy or fighting so hard to avoid misery and pain. We must live with both in the world. Therefore, the best thing we can practice is expanding within the space between. Therein lie the serenity, courage and wisdom of complete acceptance of whatever may come.

Thank you, Dejisan, for that powerful reminder!


Monday, January 14, 2008

** News Flash**

Read all about it!


Thanks for all your support, everyone, and thank YOU Anne-Marie for bringing Lady Guru to the West Coast!
Sat Nam!

(Photo by Anne-Marie Kovacs)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Why Not?

Leap… and suddenly you realize you are the net!

We all share a common illusion: that we are in control. Of course, we do have the capability to make choices, and those choices will surely have an impact on the direction we take, but I think we can get into trouble when we become attached to the idea that those choices we make will actually bring us safety and security, when in truth, how could we possibly predict that? It really hit home in a big way, one day, when my husband and I were debating yet another scenario of polar opposite opinions. It occurred to me, neither one of us was wrong, just lobbying for our own sense of security. Isn’t that what every decision and choice we make in our life is ultimately based upon? Security, comfort? Could it be this is why we feel we sometimes need to fight so hard - to defend our fundamental sense of security and wellbeing? When, ironically, the idea of security for one person, can translate into sheer terror for another! One person can feel better talking out her issues when another may feel more secure keeping them inside; some people feel safer investing in stocks, others in real estate; and maybe some find more comfort remaining in the familiar, while others fear boredom or stagnancy and look for change.

I found had to allow myself to, yet again, grieve another major loss – the letting go of the concept of stability, safety, security – and come to a resolve and finally a comfort and liberation in letting go, to have faith I will play my part on whatever stage is set, to relax and ask “why not?” instead of “why? ”, and to be open to the newness that every moment brings while truly respecting the path of others.

Peace and many blessings.