Sunday, March 20, 2011

Learning to Trust...

I want to savor this moment. This one right here.

I am learning that life is a lot like driving a motorbike in a foreign country for the first time. It is crazy, it is dangerous at times and there is a sweetness when you learn to trust yourself even with something you are unsure of and that trust flows into other areas of your life. It can be a positive experience, or it can be negative. The sweetness comes in truly trusting yourself and knowing that you can do whatever you put your mind to.

I was very scared of driving a motorbike. I had never driven one and especially not in another country where there are motorbikes all over the place and from the outside it looks like complete chaos. I was scared I would fall, scrape myself up, or run into someone and do some serious damage. It took me a week to get comfortable with the idea of driving a bike, but after riding with a friend and feeling a need for the freedom that getting on a bike gives you, I decided to go a head with the idea. The practice session went well, so I went to the shop and rented my bike. While driving I felt completely unsure of myself. I was wobbly on the bike and didn’t have the gas/break system quite down yet and nearly rear-ended a van. After a few days of driving around Ubud, Bali I began to get more and more comfortable. I felt now like I trust my driving skills, I trust myself and my ability to get me where I need to go safely. Slowly the wobbling went away and was replaced by a deep sense of trust.

I think life is a lot like that. There are times we don’t fully trust ourselves and consequently we feel out of balance, unaligned and there is a feeling like things are not really working out for us. When we can fully trust ourselves and the process of our life, to trust the flow that is always moving and changing with us right in the middle, then things begin to change. To open up and transform like never before.

When have you not trusted yourself and your process? How did this make you feel? At what times has this occurred and what was the outcome? Did anything change after you began to trust? I find that just like I felt on the motorbike, I begin to feel wobbly when I do not trust myself. I feel off balance and out of sync with the universe. I feel like I can’t find the right words, the creativity that I want to come through, or the ability to feel comfortable in my own skin. There are times that I still have to check in with myself and make sure that I am trusting myself and staying true to me. I feel like I can be a cameleon at times, something I learned at an early age to blend in wherever I go. That is a beautiful thing to be, but I come up against the challenge of truly being myself and seeing what that looks like. Sometimes it changes, I like one thing one minute and not the next, I want to wear something outrageous that I would not wear in the past, but choose to now. It is a constant evolution and I am a constant evolution, the world is a constant evolution. I just want to stay true to myself and my experience of it all through all the change. I have a deep compassion for that. But when I let go and trust the flow of life, but more importantly myself, things change. I change. I feel stronger, more solid and I feel more free. Like this is Me, I am trusting, I love myself and this process however messy and beautiful it may be.

Can we trust through the messy times, as well as those sweet, beautiful moments where everything is working in our favor? It is in the sweetness of trusting the messiness that we really dive deeper into what is, that is where the real treasure lies. To trust that there is a bigger picture than we are aware of, that this is all happening for a greater good. I choose to trust myself, even when I am feeling a bit wobbly, I choose to trust to know that I can do this, all this and more. I feel the freedom in that.

So, as I get back on the bike, day after day with this trust slowly the wobbling goes away. It is replaced by a deep sense of knowing, a strong foundation that carries me into the heart of the chaos, the heart of the beautiful messiness that are the streets of Ubud and life in general.

I begin to let go completely and trust this experience and the next with a savoring of the moment, like one might keep a really yummy dessert in their mouth to savor it for a while. I savor each moment with that kind of awareness and intention.

Love and light,


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Uluru and some alone time in the desert

Beautiful Uluru, the third chakra of the world. An astonishingly large rock in the middle of the desert outback of Australia. Nothing else around it just a towering rock. When I first arrived at this place the desert heat had its way with me and I was immediately cranky, it was so hot.

I began wondering how I was going to manage five days in this atmosphere with nothing to do but hike in the heat, sit by the pool and think. Being alone in an environment like this made it even more challenging. So needless to say the first day was pretty rough. I began questioning everything, why I thought leaving my friends, family and dog was a good idea. What was I going to do about my business that had just begun to take off? How would I ever get ahead if I decided to journey like this? Why hadn’t I done this when I was younger? The questions were non-stop running through my head like a steam train and going against all that I know I attached myself to them and let myself be carried away on the tracks headed down a deep dark road leading no where. I began feeling as mad as the Mad Hatter. Especially after the next day of hiking around the entire rock of Uluru (almost 7 miles, a 3.5 hour walk) in the scorching heat, this was when the real madness set in. I began thinking of ex boyfriends, of things I wanted to do with my life and getting upset that they hadn’t happened yet, of wanting things that I did not have, but mostly thinking what am I doing here? I also began thinking of all the places in Australia that I would rather be than right where I was, at a beautiful, sacred place that is unlike any other in the world.

So that is a classic example of what our thoughts can do to us if we attach to them and the emotion that comes with them. I was exhausted, mentally and physically and felt like I was failing in my life. Why could I not stay in one place, get a good job and settle down with a husband, kid, dog and white picket fence? Why did I constantly seek out change and adventure and knowledge of the world? Why couldn’t I just be “normal,” whatever that is? I cursed the rock, the whole experience and the fact that I was stuck in this damn desert for 5 days! I began looking for my escape root, maybe I could catch an earlier flight to Darwin and then get to Bali quicker. That was the best I could come up with, the problem being that the phone I have can only call people in Australia and the internet at this place is $1 for 6 minutes and super slow. Unless I wanted to pay a million dollars to sit there for hours switching flights and things, I was stuck. I called Kelsey back in Melbourne, who like the good friend and wise woman that she is said you are there for a reason and the things that you miss at home are good, that is what traveling does, it makes you realize the things that are most important to you and the rest, well it doesn’t matter. Soon after I said do you mind looking at tickets for me to change flights, to which she replied “absolutely not, you need to be there right now. If you are still going mad tomorrow, well maybe we can talk then.” I knew she was right and I knew the words of wisdom she gave me long before I ever picked up the phone, but the problem that comes when we attach ourselves to our thoughts and emotions is that like a wave in the ocean we get swept away by them and suddenly anything and everything we knew can go out the door, all we are is the thought and the emotion. We really are not even ourselves any more, we just become that thought and emotion. More importantly and more frightening is that we loose track of reality and the magic of the current moment we are in. We could be in one of the most stunning and beautiful places on earth and not even be enjoying it because our mind is in the driver’s seat and we are being driven crazy! This is exactly what was happening to me. I was in a beautiful place, full of sacredness and I was going mad. I think this happens to us a lot.

How many times have you been some where amazing, or out with good friends, or doing something special but you just could not fully enjoy it? Did you ever ask yourself why? What was stopping you from enjoying that experience? You were the thing stopping you from enjoying that, or anything for that matter. I was not enjoying myself and yeah I could have blamed it on the weather, being so hot, or bugs, or lack of company, but the reality is that I was stopping myself from having a good time because I was focused on the negative. I was focused on the past and was experiencing thoughts that were making me feel like I was less than what I should be in that moment, or ever. When does a thought like that make us feel good, or not suffer-the answer is Never! We will always suffer and not enjoy ourselves as long as we focus on what we don’t have, or what is wrong in our lives, or how we have been hurt, or what we didn’t get that we think we deserve. We will always suffer with any thought that keeps us separate from reality, from what is. Was I less than what I should be when I was having that thought? No. I am traveling the world and seeing incredible things that some will never have a chance to see in their life time, but in that moment seeing one of those things I felt like a failure. Why? Because I had attached to that thought and the emotion that came with it. I began to cry for my friends, family, dog, apartment, California, the ocean, you name it and I probably cried for that too. What have I done? Will I ever have a life like that again, or will I spend my time sleeping in uncomfortable beds, surrounded by strangers in a foreign land?

After talking with Kelsey I woke up a bit, back to my true self-the one that knows all, sees the bigger picture and is in tune with all that is. But I only woke up a little bit, I was still cranky and a bit sad. Then I had the brilliant idea of renting a car for a day and seeing this land on my own terms, not on some tour bus with a bunch of people and only being allowed to go to certain areas. On my own, going where ever I wanted to and seeing it all. So that is what I did. I felt moved to do it too. Like something greater than me was saying do this, it will be good. There really is not much out here, but the resort area and the rocks and lots of land. I drove to Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas. I hiked the Valley of the Winds hike, which was a 3 hour hike in over a hundred degree heat. It was magnificent. The beauty is astonishing. I also walked the Walpa Gorge, which has a beautiful view of two of the rocks that come together and form a V. I thought that is a V for victory, for over coming my madness and simply for making it this far, to this country. As I was driving out I saw two wild camels. Yes, there are wild camels in Australia, something I did not know. Brought here in the 1800’s, the population of them has grown into the millions making them a pest to many people in the area. I watched the sunset on Uluru and the many multitudes of colors that changed in the sky coupled with a double rainbow made for a fabulous end to my desert days. The rainbow was certainly a sign of blessings and good luck for the coming year. I woke up early the next day and watched the sunrise over Uluru. Another breathtaking event that brought a tear to my eye for the beauty that this world can behold. So many times I think we get down about all that is wrong with the earth and all the negative things that are going on, but what about all the beauty? It is always all around us, just look up. I finished with a short walk in Uluru called the Mala Walk. I listened to some chanting music from my dear friend and teacher Larisa Stow and the music coupled with the energy of the rock took me to an extremely blissful state. I made peace with the rock after cursing it a couple of days before. I thanked it for all of its teachings and blessings that it had given me. It was such a gift. I was reminded of the ways in which our mind can have a hold on us and I saw the areas in my life that I would like to improve upon and uplift .

All of this made me realize once again to be thankful for where I am and what I am doing. I love traveling so much and I have been given this gift, I chose then and there to appreciate every moment of this journey and not let my head get carried away with the should’s, could have’s, or if’s. This is great opportunity and I am going to take it and learn from it and expand and explore and dive deeper into the unknown and into myself. There is so much beauty and joy and it is always within our reach, but sometimes we are just too blinded by the junk to see it. Renting that car and seeing the Outback on my own was the best thing I did in the desert. It was magical and I got to see way more than I ever could on some tour bus surrounded by people with their cameras. The rock has changed me, made me put things into perspective. It is the third chakra of the world, which has to do with our dharma, or duty in this lifetime. I began thinking of the non-profit I would like to start. I began thinking of all the organizations and orphanages and places that I want to help out at. I want to see different cultures and learn new things through the people that live there, not in some travel guide or book.

I am on this journey for a reason, this I know for certain. I do not know what will come out of it, but I feel peace now for the choices that I made. The reality is that I am on it. I can’t fight reality, it just is. I choose now to be in each moment fully. To appreciate it fully. To stay tuned in and not allow myself to attach to thoughts or emotions, but to acknowledge them all. To acknowledge where I am in the moment and not judge it good or bad. To find joy in the moment. The Beatles really did have it right when they said “Love is All There Is.” Love is all there is and we can tap into it at any time, it really is that simple.

Love and light,