that in i mixed with you

misty-mountain-forest
as soon as i told you
you wouldn’t let me go

touch me again
as i turn you inside out
dynamic and raw

drawn to climb into me with your eyes
smile speaking with textures, words uncovered

you know that already
you knew all along

lightly touching
our cells fuse

you know, as do i,
that in i
mixed with you
there is nothing to hide

all along we’ve been
a river containing all that we have tasted,
and verses to stories we have yet to ascend into
as mountains of a dream
that would be ours

© r.e.l. 3/7/13

also absolutely

photographer: Chris Burkard (image of surfer Peter Mendria on Chile’s West Coast)

***

as it seems… there is a you
that experiences something other
like a wave with its ocean,
or a particle of air with its vast space
as if you, the wave
join with the other, the ocean
and yet,

also absolutely
something larger
now

© r.e.l. 5/23/11

inspired by Erich Schiffmann meditations

Posted for The Thursday Post 26.5.11 on Ethereal Heights

Posted for Poetry Potluck 5/29-6/4/11 on Jingle Poetry

Featured in Vibration in Art and Verse – VaVoom! on redbubble

Featured in Nautical on their “Special Gallery – Poems and Images that Delight” on redbubble

covers of me, of time

you complete me as you rise

to fill every gap

with each perfect

complement

knowing

you truly

to be full

of cells

immersed

in your deep

as the covers of me

of time

left

basking

purely invisible


© r.e.l. 3/31/11

image “mountaintree5” by simsha

inspired by kundalini energy, induced by hatha yoga

posted for The Thursday Post on Ethereal Heights

Posted for Poetry Potluck 4/3-4/9/11 on Jingle Poetry

darkness you can find in your yoga practice: the psychology of you

Are you scared to face something within yourself? Do you sometimes feel that time is against you or that you cannot fulfill your wishes because of your fears?

You know that the answers are in your dark sides that you probably refuse to see.  Did you know that yoga has the potential to be the place to confront what’s most deep inside you?  This means, however, that you have the power to confront your darkest side of you in your yoga practice.

It’s a place only for the bold, that is for sure… But ask yourself,

“what are you scared of?”

It is true that we hide our darkest parts deep within our bodies.  The best parts stay locked up in our joints and tightest places:  hips, necks, shoulders, backs, and even feet.  When moving through yoga with deep breath, these gems–these secrets–can become free…

Seriously.

Unlocked, their messages trace through our blood as the prana moves relentlessly through us in a vibrant yoga practice.  It is the best kept secret.

As these parts of you move through you, and you encounter your difficulties, you can embrace them as gifts.  To visit them and set them free, is truly a gift.  An angel.

If you do not, these dark secrets stay below (inside your underworld), unconsciously controlling you.  They cause you to repeat ugly patterns as “a fly mindlessly beating itself to a pulp bumping against a window through which it cannot pass…attempting to escape its misery,” as put by Absolute Palaver.

Don’t be scared.  You have the power.  It is you that you are unlocking.  The true you.

Namaste.

© r.e.l. 12/30/10

Photo by Matin Demiralay of Turkey — demiralaymetin@hotmail.com

coming into wholeness

Coming into wholeness. What does that mean?  To feel yourself at peace, in love and at one with your path in life.

It is possible to find this peace from within yourself — not relying on another person or object.  Allow yourself to let go of all the impediments that make your mind over-think, fear and worry.  Without all of the excess, you are free!

You can access this freedom any time, in fact!  The truest side of who you are, undisturbed, coexists with the emotional mind…

A metaphor… Imagine 3 buckets of water.

  • one is muddy
  • one is stirred up
  • one is still and clear

The sun is shining in all 3, and they each enjoy the sun equally.

Reflection in the first bucket is dim and dull, in the second is agitated, and in the third is peaceful.

Where the sun is the Self, the water is the mind, and the reflection is the Ego (mis-identification),  we can make some conclusions.

My true self is a constant that is independent of how my mind is acting.  If I appear to reflect “muddy water” I see dullness and depression.  If I appear to reflect agitation, I will feel like I’m breaking apart in pieces.  If I appear to reflect stillness and clarity, however, I will feel a profound peacefulness with my Self and feel at one.

So, if I am seeing muddy water, or water that is stirred up, how do I calm it? The answer is to calm the rajas (activity, motion and irritation in the mind) and the tamas (inert and dullness in the mind), so that you can feel the sattva (the purity of the mind).  Rajas and tamas create imbalance.  Yoga, meditation or other physical activity / mental-calming activities will do the trick.

For more on dream interpretation and meditative imagery interpretation, read here.

Independent of what is reflected by the mind, the sun is always shining and I am always whole.  I just have to know it, feel it and identify with it.

© r.e.l. 9/22/10

Inspired by the teachings of Advaita Vedanta, Sankhya Yoga and the Upanishads…

can you find stillness and not stiffness?

Can you find stillness in your life and not stiffness? It is during the most challenging times in life that we test this theory out.  But we can teach ourselves to do it the right way, with softness.

Yoga is a great place to work on this.  Some yoga classes are all about moving fluidly with your watery nature, and like a dance you find your way to a place of balance.  This feels great and can also help us flow better with life, learning to move with what we are dealt and become one with it.

Life, however, deals us chaos and challenge sometimes.  A challenging yoga class can help you mimic this challenge and give you the chance to relax into it and come out ahead of the game with your head on your shoulders.

A serious Ashtanga yoga class can be a place to find stillness and calm.  When the teacher instructs with their voice or their rhythm to be serious, can you allow yourself to find softness in the strength?  This is important, especially in your neck and trapezius muscles that support your neck — a common place to hold tension.  Can you find the perfect balance between expansion and contraction of your muscles so that the end result is soft and still?  If you cannot, your yoga could be harming you.

Can you find this perfect balance in your mind?  In your spirit?  It takes a lot of patience to traverse your oceans of time…

Now, let’s talk about other activities such as surfing.  Surfing requires a lot of focus on paddling and learning how to ride nature’s gem: the ocean.  She is pure fluid.  Can you find the strength in your muscles to protect you, fuel you, and help you get the most enjoyment possible, while still remaining soft and fluid, especially in the back of your neck?

What about sitting at your computer doing a simple physical act of typing, while heavily and emotionally involved in your topic.  Are you able to sit in balance?  What if you are in the physical presence of a person who makes you feel insane?  Are you able to stay balanced, soft and supple?

Are you able to take a step back and feel your tension and then remember that the key lies in softening, not in tension that only feeds anger?  It is easier said than done. But eventually it can be a natural response.

Life is a journey.  Yoga and other mindful activities can be a container for this journey. Having said that, your yoga practice can be a spiritual/psyche container while you are on your mat, and it can be a phenomenal experience at that!  🙂   But ultimately, you CAN take your yoga into your life and really live it and be real with it……

Be real.  It is the answer.  Learn to live your life in stillness, despite chaos.

silence is a source of great strength
~ Lao Tzu ~

© r.e.l. 9/15/10

diving deep into my fears

I am now facing my fears… going off the edge to find myself in the depth of who I am.  If I am bold enough and I don’t turn back, this action will set me free.

In the dark shadows, I might sail through my depths as if a dream and find the silence I need in order to find the keys I have searched for all my life.  The best stuff is at the very bottom.

More conspicuous and offset against the darkness, the gems and secrets will be easier to see or feel.  Sometimes they will shine with luminosity like a beacon, and they have my name on them!

Maybe the bottom is a bed of soft sand which I can dig my bare feet into and feel rooted in myself like never before.  I can call it the ground of my soul.  To touch this part of me is to release all that I previously imagined was hidden.

It will then transform itself, no longer in the dark, if I invite it to be a part of my waking, conscious being.

Freedom lies in moving into those places that scare us most. We hold those fears not only in our unconscious minds;  they show up in one form or another in our bodies.

I intend to isolate the manifestation of my fears as they disguise themselves and ail me with tension.  Like an instinctual animal would, I will shake it off to get it out of me.

I will not let the ailment which arises define who I am. My blood, or my chi (Chinese medicine), should move freely and uninhibited as it bathes me with its life force.

Yoga and meditation help me.  Yoga nidra is a guided visualization that takes one into the state of “wakeful” deep sleep.  It is a sleep-like state that includes relaxation as well as the psychology of dream, sleep and yoga.  This was a helpful guide to me just today.

© r.e.l. 9/6/10

Inspired by freediver Guillaume Nery and an amazing yoga class I just took today.

a whispering of words to your soul

As yoga speaks the poetry of your body, words speak the poetry of your soul. Yoga and words go well together.  Remember that any type of activity can also be a way of living your yoga.

No doubt you are no stranger to a community of poets and those who like to verbally relay their words to others.  Many have a vibrant and active lifestyle to go along with this love of words, don’t they!  The two seem to go together well…

Like the wind off a clear blue lake blows its answers to the mountains, take time to whisper the secrets to your heart, listening to every touch with your sacred ears. Sit and listen as the words write themselves onto the page. There are no mistakes here. It is all a rendition of your truth that you write down to share, so that you can touch… something other than the normal, regular you.

As you move the prana (i.e., your life force) in your body, working through the chakras and experience your purpose in the moment, your desires, your energy and your heart, you will most likely find the words of your soul whispering to you gently.

As you continue moving, whether it be in a yoga practice, a hike, or some other means of moving your body, you eventually can surrender to this energy you’ve activated as it clears out all that gets in the way of knowing your true intuitions and spirit connection. This will probably happen whether you are paying attention or not.  In fact, there is no will required for this endeavor.  Just be who you are.

If you’re really in tune with the feelings moving through you, you can see, hear, sense and know through your watchfulness that it is possible that you actually really know who you are.

Yes, it’s true.  So, don’t refuse to whisper these words. You will undoubtedly touch someone, even unsuspectingly, if not a very important person: you. Even if you only reach one person, besides yourself, this journey through words is all worth it.

And if you find that no words come to you, then receive the gift of the inability to find words. 🙂

Namaste.

© r.e.l. 8/2/10

the art of savasana

The final pose of any decent yoga practice is savasana. It is the place where you reflect upon your entire practice as if it comes before your eyes on a distant cloud.

Some yoga teachers and practitioners believe savasana is the most important pose in yoga, reflecting true peace as the culmination of your practice.

This final resting pose, otherwise known as Corpse Pose, truly is a pose in which to wrap the fruits of your labors or your joys of movement and love for your body.

After moving the precious prana within your body through movements that flow through you, twists that wring out toxins, and peaceful moments in between that take your breath away, savasana is a time to celebrate and smile within in stillness.

It’s a time to celebrate your life force that moves through you, that you may have a tendency to ignore as you move along in your busy day.

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. ~ Lao-Tzu ~

Savasana does not act alone.  It is the end result of that which came before it.  It is your consciousness in its pure state, which you can see most easily after clearing out impediments in the body, mind and heart, especially with a seasoned teacher who can lead you eloquently through it, in the right vibe.

In this way the meditative state created in the space becomes like a cloud that you can trust and call your own.  As you wind down your practice in a true state of peace, your ending rest has the power to bring you to samadhi, the 8th limb of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Samadhi is a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which you become one with all that surrounds you, and all of your thoughts connected outside of yourself, in which the mind becomes still, concentrated on one point though the person remains conscious.

If you are lucky you will feel bathed in a purple light.  The true art of savasana is to become as if a body floating in the ocean, weightless and free.

Namaste.

© r.e.l. 7/13/10

a stress free life

Do you wake in the morning and tell yourself that today will be the day that you will really take your health to another level? One idea to ponder is why you would wait. Any moment can be a time to set your intention. You might wait because you are too stressed at the idea of changing.

A healthy life makes you feel great but activities that drive our personalities can interfere with health, some of which feed addictive behaviors, stress, overindulgence or even laziness. Although we all mean well and fully intend to do what our heart tells us to do, is following every inclination at every moment actually following your heart and acting with your best health in mind?

There are many different facets included in health. Those that require motivation for some of you such as diet, exercise and mind-calming activities are part of it, but if you are stressed about the plan you have for yourself or the goal you wish to achieve, then maybe you are going about it in the wrong way for you.

If your plan is to drastically cut out all of the poison in your life all at once, and trade it for regimented goodness, and this makes you crazy in your mind, then perhaps there is a better solution for you.

We are talking about your body, mind, heart and spirit. A plan for health needs to include each or else a part of you will attack the plan, so to say, and never start, or fulfill a part of it while another part becomes detrimental to your health.

Stress can eat away at your insides and definitely shows on the outside, so you can’t hide from it and you can’t hide it from others. What is most important is your internal appearance, which if nurtured, reflects to your whole being.

How about starting out slowly to come to terms with what will truly work for you. Spend a day alone dedicated completely to yourself simply to form your plan.

  • Drink a lot of water to hydrate and cleanse your system removing toxins.
  • Alkalinize a stressed body by nurturing yourself with foods that will increase your acidic pH such as lemon in your water, avocado, grapefruit and most greens to name a few.  This will leave you with more vibrancy and mental clarity.
  • Try to move slowly through your day paying attention to your feet on the ground as you move — preferably barefooted.
  • Yoga, pranayama breathing, meditation and music can assist you greatly in your effort.
  • Go for a walk along the beach and listen to the ocean waves soothe your soul and perhaps give you answers.

Slowly without trying you will find yourself formulating the formula for your stress free life. Keep a journal handy and write down whatever inspires you. If you’re lucky you’ll end the day with a wise mantra, a list or even a heart-opening poem. Without even knowing it you’ll probably feel a connection with your spirit and life force.

At this point, you will know what you need to do, and will do it with ease in a way which supports your life customized to you.

One final hint: don’t tell anyone your grand plan. You are doing this for yourself, not for anyone else 🙂  Others will notice the new you emanating from the old you in no time…

Namaste.

© r.e.l. 7/10/10

receive your gift

We go to yoga class. We start the class by making an intention. Then what?

Do we hold true to its energy every second of the class? No. We tuck it away in our heart and let it speak its own words to our soul.

For, the energy of a wish comes from within us and can hardly hide its wings when we are moving the prana as we move our bodies in twists and waves.

What we feel comes from within. Before the words even articulate themselves to our being, we know what it is we are trying to say.

Sometimes we are silenced. Sometimes this is a blessing. In this inability to find words, our soul is telling us to go deeper. Look into the still pond of your being. Do not always rely on words. Look to the swirling space that doesn’t want to hear your words and give it your thanks.

There is more to living.

Namaste.

© r.e.l. 6/29/10

follow the mist

I am ever-changing.  In this moment I seem to be in the middle of a silent breath between states.

I appreciate many forms of life: people, viewpoints, spirituality, yoga, words.  I notice that it is common for people to tag a style of being in the world, which then closes them off to other inspirations that could come spontaneously, from afar, from within, or sometimes right in front of their own face.

There is a misty quality to knowing you are on the right path, regardless of the unknown.

I follow the mist……..

There are as many ways to grow and evolve as to be uncountable.  We all have our own way, and to follow another’s way is to not fully engage with your own inner guidance.  I am influenced by many modes of thought but always, in the end, I follow my own truth.

listen my love,
illumination is eternal.
now is always evolving.
as there are billions of stars,
there are billions of steps.
as there are billions of souls,
there are billions of ways to grow.
~Rumi~

In fact, my yoga practice has taught me this as well.  With my many experiences with yoga styles and traditions, in the end I most enjoy the vinyasa flow style which allows me to organically lead myself to where I’m headed in that moment.  This leads me to my own way of growing.

I listen to my body as I would music, as I move and unlock the secret messages hidden within the spaces of my being.

I am listening now.  It whispers to me that the answer is to keep listening.

© r.e.l. 6/19/10

life is a journey

Life is a journey. I intend to make it worthwhile.

With regards to this journey it is not important what the venue, physical activity, or endeavor, or even the goal. What we make of our experience is what counts. What matters is the lessons that remain with us after we have completed whatever it is we do and how we integrate this knowledge in our hearts back into the society in which we live. It is a true life meditation to keep lessons we learn inside us and never let the magic die.

“Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you” (Wayne Dyer). I have found this to be true. Like the The Secret, whatever you give your power to (even mentally), you make stronger.

I emulate my life in my yoga practice. I let myself fall to see what is on the other side of that moment. I take all of the positive powerful experiences I feel as a person onto the mat with me and play them out, so to speak, to fruition. I use the power of the energy I generate there to feed my experience, using its fuel to vaporize any false stories or inhibitions I may have about myself.

I reach a point where the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything is taking place as it should be, and this fills me with trust.

I know I have a question about life and that it will unfold as I breathe. With each step I will be open for new discovery in the next moment. Moving my body will unlock the fruits of the inquiry that I cannot know until it happens.

Why do trust? Because of the mere fact that I exist. I trust everything that is happening to me in my life. I let my body guide the way. This allows my heart to shine and my mind to take a backseat.

© r.e.l. 5/8/10