Prana Shakti, Partnership, Pregnancy, Parenthood, Preparation, Power and Pranams.

My personal Path of Practice:
Prana Shakti
(the creative & pulsating life force within me), Partnership (a love story of two people who consciously choose one another every day), Pregnancy (Grace in my belly revealing herself through this growing baby boy who lives in my womb), Parenthood (The highest calling of them all), Purification (of all self-defining labels accumulated along the way) Preparation (for a new life, a new calling and for the birthing of all this woman has yet to become, experience, learn and know), Power (to fully stand in mine as a wife, mother and creative woman) Pranams (daily gratitude and humble thanks for my beautiful life and blessings along the way).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Year At A Glance

(NOTE: Not sure why hyper links are not showing...where you see "****     ****", run your arrow over it to see the words and hyper links :)

Dear 2010,

You've been really amazing.

On January 1, 2010, myself and a few other friends

(the same group went to go see the incredibly spiritual movie, Avatar shortly after New Year's Day...just had to add this hilarious photo!)

all met for a Mt Bonnell sunrise and to have a "round table" discussion of our intentions for the year. It was there that I stated that my intention for 2010 would be to stay closely centered in my heart; to navigate in all things to and from this place. I wasn't sure what that would look like and that just a week later I would be confronted with many reasons to renig on that intention, but that's just what it was.

It's incredible how the Universe listens... and responds.

"Wherever your heart, so is your treasure"...or something like that. I always remembered that passage from the Bible. The Universe does not know "no". It only responds to energy and everything is energy...our words, our actions, thoughts...When we put our energy in "no", we are energetically saying "yes". We are giving power to the "No"...charging it.  Once we express something and put it out there into the world, we subconsciously and energetically aligning ourselves with those very things. So when I say I had a spoken intention of being a student to the heart teacher this year (hence the license plate...), that's what was fully charged and what I was aligned with even when I didn't feel like being so!

2010 would prove to be a year that would test how much heart I had and as a result will go down in the story that is my life as being a year where it all shifted. You know, those times in our lives where we can look back and see a line drawn in the sand? This year has been one of those years for me. I'll go on record and say I feel like I've really become a woman this year having connected so strongly to my heart, grace and authentic self...and it ain't over yet! ;)

From declaring my 33rd as my "power year" in February and spending my birthday with a group of gals from High School (never thought THAT would've happened!) to **** the unreal and mind gripping intensity and ultimate test of Spirit **** during Budokon Academy weekend in April, the year began with a crashing wave of questionable discomfort.

My first 3 triathlons

in a five week period of time gave me a new determination as did my time running with Rogue proving yet again, the body just follows the mind. When the mind says "I CAN" the body follows.

August would prove to be where the line was *really* drawn in the sand when every possible plan for the Summer Sadhana Retreat fell apart last minute and I ended up hosting solo rather than the intended duo. Our small yet fully ALIVE group

shared in some pretty auspicious moments that we will all cherish and for me, this **** marked the moment where I found clarity and a peace of mind I hadn't known in some several years. **** Standing at the bank with the waves rolling in clear up to my thighs as I cried when my own voice freed me in my realization "It's OK to close the door" as I struggled with personal transitions I was resisting out of "looking good, fear of looking bad" and denying my heart, the Ultimate Guru, and it's intelligence as a result. There was a freedom; a liberation felt during this time that would soon set the ball in motion to radically change my life. I'm SO grateful for August and every expected and unexpected twist, turn and tide that was a part of it...all I needed from this point forward was the courage to be totally authentic and honest, boldly stating what had become so clear and real in my heart.

It was also a very sweet month having been named one of  ****"Austin's Top 10 Fittest" by Austin Fit Magazine. ****(scroll down the page to see the Austin's Fittest people write ups)This was special to me because it meant that my community supported and believed in me...but I could not have gotten this recognition without them. I share it with you all and I am still so honored to be able to be a face for what it means to be fit in body, mind and spirit.

****Enter Landmark Forum.****

September would gift me with a completely NEW WAY OF BEING as I embarked on my first Landmark Forum experience. I have gone on record to say that with all of my yoga experiences, this was certainly something to write home about. After having fully immersed myself into the teachings on a very chilling, present day, no-excuses level, I cannot image *ever* going back to the former way of being. I really can't. Furthermore, I continue to use what I now know, what I have learned about myself on the most honest and authentic, all encompassing level in every aspect of my life and I am so grateful for honest to goodness clear seeing of myself, my life, how I was living it and how I live it today.

October would follow with a super intense dose of the Landmark Advanced curriculum where I learned just how much we really don't give a shit about other people. I know, I know...that sounds ODD if nothing else. This 36 hour weekend power punch is all about how we tend to be in it to win it for OURSELVES in many ways, subconsciously. Ultimately what I got from it was that I hadn't been empowering people the way I really want to be or am capable of and that I need to be standing for the people I love and believe in and that all of this creates one infinite circle of life. One of the biggest blessings of October was seeing what my "ACT" is in the world as they refer to it and having identified with this one distinction alone, the quality of my LIFE has taken a dramatic turn for the better. Let me repeat that...

Having identified clearly what my "ACT" is in the world (as taught in the Landmark Advanced I'm not a rep in any way, shape or form... it's just good stuff!), I saw a movie reel of my life flash before me revealing my life long in-authenticities in how I had been living, communicating, and existing from this false way of being. As a result, I continue to see how this has dictated my actions and has sabotaged the very things I've wanted and have deserved in my life.

"From Nothing, Right Now, What I am is the possibility of..."

****I cannot be grateful enough for my Possibility Driven Life. ****

Landmark Forum & Advanced Course; Truly NEXT LEVEL when it comes to doing the work on the personal and as I like to say in class, CONFRONTATIONAL, front. I encourage everyone I know and love and even those who I don't to consider this step of deep personal work. While our insights aren't always pretty...we have to go into the darkness of ourselves to see the burning bonfire within.

By November I had registered myself for my first ever semester of higher learning beginning in January :)) It was also a life-changing month for my family as I, for the first time in my life,**** met my big brother, Mike and realized my fullest capacity to forgive my father. ****

I'll stop at that and let you read the above not so private thoughts shared in the link. I couldn't possibly say it any better now than I did when it was fresh-fresh.

November blessings would not have been complete without the full circle Yoga moment I've felt which has given me a new relationship to both my **** teaching and studentship practices with Yoga.****

(a colorful group of teachers and Lululemon friends from the huge "Yogasm" event held earlier n the year)

Again...waves of gratitude washing over me right now.

SO many things I've learned this year....It has indeed been the year of HEART.

To New Friends...

Thank you to ****Crossfit Central**** for being one of the the best reasons to wake up on Monday and Wednesday mornings and to my longtime (of almost 2 years...Wow! Really?!) **** Coach, Crystal Mac,****

for always knowing how to hold space with such supportive intensity for us every time.

To long time friends

who continue to make me laugh (and cry); who are are true tribe members when you need them or just need a good glass of wine :)

To engagements and life celebrations of two very dear friends of mine...who both remind me of what an intimate love and partenership can look like for us all when it's right...
(holy smokes you two ladies have done so much my soul you don't even know! And to Evan "I don't think Sanieh knows ... she's SANIEH!"....Thank you SO much for sharing that with me, Lauran...THAT CHANGED ME. Love to both of you ladies and may your big day and the life that follows be the greatest expression of Love in Action with the wonderful men you've chosen.)

It's mid December as I write this entry and so many documented realizations and experiences come to mind that I am SO grateful for...

A painful yet profound realization of **** the importance of boundaries ***

***A moment of reflection ****on how far I've come and how much I've grown

And a deep knowing that ****I AM A POSSIBLITY.***

A very meditative time of year it is for me. If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to spend a few days to come up with and declare a powerful intention for the New Year transition then share it. Something very powerful happens when in the declaration and more so when we state it out loud.

To every one of you who walked beside me this year...
To those quietly and even silently watched and rooted me on whispering blessings of support, sending emails of praise, excitement, joy and even sorrow...
To the challengers, nay sayers and even haters...
To the ones whose fork came up in the road...
And To the new people in my life...
I felt you all...

And I'm closer to where ever it is I'm meant to be in my incredibly blessed life because of you.

So now is the time when I'm going deep within to align myself to the "YES" of where my energy will be put; the energy that will immediately will follow a spoken declaration for 2011. I love this time of year for this reason alone, if for no other.

With a grateful smile and waves of excitement and laugher for new beginnings in a New Year,
my heart bows to you all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Forgiveness, Love, Family & Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself feeling grateful for so many things in my life. In sharing personal stories of difficulty or pain turned triumph, my prayer is always one of intending to reach, inspire, encourage or empower someone reading these words. If putting myself out there making myself vulnerable to judgement or anything else means a payoff of someone's life taking a turn for the better, then it was worth it...every time. With that said, this is the miracle I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving.
I've always loved my father. As a matter of fact, he holds the standard and is the model of what a man is and should be in my eyes. Single handedly, I love him more than anything else that exists in my world.

I always felt close to him and always knew that he loved me more than even his most obvious loving affections could ever express in words. 

When I was a little girl, I worried so much about my father being alone during the holidays.  Somewhere I drew my own conclusion that he was so in love with my mother and never recovered after she ended things because they were in two different places in life. Not only did I spend the first part of Thanksgiving and Christmas worrying about my father being lonely and away from his family, I always had to wait for him to call me because I was told he didn't have a home phone number. This was my way of being in relation to my father and it never stopped until Oct of 2000...or was it 2001? Anyhow...

I recall the phone call that my father would be flying into Austin for a short 24 hours to speak to my brother and I...something important. At the time, I was doing a lot of acting and had actually been working on set for a month or so right up to that very night when I drove from the movie set to a hotel near the airport where I was met by my dad, brother and my brother's wife. 

That moment for him was clearly stressful and upsetting and what would soon be revealed would leave me in shock for quite some time before I was able to really understand what I was about to be told.

So clearly I can see the look on his face while hearing his words "you can slap me if you want. I understand." in his shame-filled apology. Even in that moment I didn't understand. I didn't understand what I was being told, where it came from, why my dad was so sad and troubled and why he was genuinely looking at me asking me to give him what he felt he deserved. The mere thought of my father hurting like that hurts me even now.  

What actually happened (as oppose to the stories created around that truth) was this:
My father and his wife separated and there was an affair that resulted in two children. I am one of those children.

What I've spent the last several years trying to understand is how a man can love his children so much yet hide them, literally, and in such a verbally calculated way for over 36 years (I'm 33, my brother is 36). Only recently have I started to understand how shameful he must have felt considering the culture he grew up in and how my grandparents taught him yet this is a prime example of how much fear can govern our lives. Until a few weeks ago, my father had never seen his eldest son and his daughter together, ever. My father is 71. My "new" brother is 43. I am 33.

That's a long time to live in fear. Read on...

Over the course of my entire life, he was always present as much as any other set of "divorced" parents who lived in different cities/eventually different states could be. I didn't know what I didn't know. There was a step father who made an appearance and one who was there for the long haul and another who legally adopted me in a court of law after my mother was killed and I'm grateful for them all. My dad however, even though he wasn't there to make my breakfast, always made sure we knew we were loved. When he came to visit, he would stay with us at our home where he and my mother and step father all interacted peacefully and lovingly. I didn't know what I didn't know.

I didn't know, until years later, that my brother and I would be my father's greatest, life long secret ever.

And then he got caught. 

What I found out through a letter from the step mother that I never knew I had, who had been there all along even through my years of worrying about my father being alone, was that there were hints over the years and one day, she hired a private investigator and soon there after, she had proof that children were involved in the deception from decades before. 

There were two children involved, who he had hidden the existence of from his entire family including from the son he had previously before meeting my mother. My step mother made my father get on a plane and come clean with us and saw to it that he did the same with his other son, who I had never even met. In many ways, I'm sure the moment had to be a relief for him; getting caught that is...even years after the fact.

I always knew about Michael and as a matter of fact, I don't recall ever not knowing of him. My theory is that someone  must have slipped or maybe there was a photo or something I saw but it was sort of brushed off over the years until months after that short visit when I started asking questions. The woman who had loved and taken care of my father all along answered them and straightened out my confusion when she clearly stated that nobody ever even knew he had other children. 

I was a secret.

I was the object of deception.

There have been moments when I felt I was robbed of my entire Middle Eastern roots, heritage and family...and of my big brother. Furthermore, they were all robbed of knowing me and my love.

There's been a lot of internal peace made since this discovery. Strangely, while I had many questions and tears, I always forgave my father even though I never agreed or understood how it was ever even possible for him to hide such a thing. How terribly difficult it must have been to carefully compose his words and to not share what his other two kids were up to with the other people he loved. What might have filled one child's heart full of anger, filled mine with sorrow when I thought about how much he's felt he's had to hold in all of this time. As it turns out, my father had his first heart attack within a year of my birth...he was 38 or 39 when that happened. He's had a few heart attacks and a stroke and experience upper respiratory problems as well as diabetes he's had for years and his more recent fight with cancer. I find it both interesting and heartbreaking that he's held so much of his "heart stuff" in yet and it's the very part of him that seems broken. I don't find this to be coincidence.

In teaching yoga, I often talk about using the breath, the exhalation in particular, to release anything you have held onto; anything you have felt you weren't allowed to voice or express. I have no doubt the stress of holding  and hiding secrets in his heart affected and has compromised his heart. For one day in his life, my greatest wish for my father is to know what it feels like to be secret-free and to experience a full exhalation knowing how much he is loved...and forgiven. 

I met my brother Mike just a few weeks ago and it was beyond anything I could express with words. It's a moment that I wished for all of my life. I always carried him with me, he was always on my life goals list; "meet my brother, Mike" but I wasn't certain it was going to happen because it was never fully in my power to make it so. Now, he's a real living beating part of me and it made my entire year meeting him and beginning our relationship in my 30s. What's more is that he feels the same and we are all on the same page of starting TODAY; from this moment forward.

Since this recent visit, I've been gifted with knowing the possibility exists for my father to take yet another step in sharing me with those who are still alive in his family but more importantly, another step into his living freely. Too many secrets for far too long. Both my brother and beautiful step mother have sent me photos and emails expressing that never again will my photo be taken down when company comes over nor will there be an elaborate story made up of who the girl in the photo is. "You deserve to be known" they said. Should the day come that I ever meet any of my Iranian family I will consider that a blessing, but this is my father's journey now. He must find the strength and the courage. He must forgive himself and allow the love to circulate where it hadn't existed before.

He's still the most amazing man in my eyes. His love for me is so rich and after all this time and through all of growing pains into my adult years, he honors and knows where to meet me when my strong, bull-headed warrior side comes out as well as when my most tender and sensitive side, that's full of love to give, stands boldly.

I guess a daughter always loves and forgives her father. We all make mistakes but the thing is, we say we care about someone or something yet when the going gets tough, we fold our commitment, withdraw our love and turn out the light so to speak. Whatever it is within me that holds true when it's not always easy, I might owe to my mother. Where ever it comes from, I'm so grateful because it's allowed me to love my father through this entire journey and it will sustain that love if he ever finds the courage and comes clean in sharing our existance or not.

Every day gratitude.
Count your blessing.
Tell someone someone you care about how much they mean to you.
Be courageous.
Be loving.
Be forgiving.
Admit when you are wrong.
Give and accept apologies.
Be unafraid to take chances; unafraid to love.
Stand not for what's happened in the past but for what's possible today.

Love All Ways,

Monday, November 8, 2010

From Nothing, Right now

This blog, "Bold, Brave and Free", was created as a result of my Landmark Forum experience in September. Having just completed the Landmark Advanced course this past weekend, I dedicate this entry to those of you who are full of so much potential and power and forgot what you once knew. Go ahead...step into something that scares you. I dare you.

"From Nothing, Right Now"...
Ode to this past weekend's "Landmark Forum~Advanced Course" experience and to those who were there who showed me that everyone I ever knew and loved; everyone who ever had an impact on my life, stood right there across from me... in the eyes of each one of you. 

May these possibilities I've realized for myself inspire someone else's awakening to *their possibilities. Blessings on *your path towards deep and profound understanding and self-study turned action...however that make appear for you. More to come... 

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Making straight A's in college

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of

Supporting and Empowering others

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being happy, whole and complete

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being a writer for a syndicated wellness column

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Creatively sharing my expression of yoga

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being a master at seeing under who people are and into what they are

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Helping people to realize their possibilities, potential, and power

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being part of a loving, honest, inspiring, & supportive intimate relationship

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being a role model and inspiration to young women

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Meeting my brother, Michael

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Creativity and Innovation 

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Writing a book about  my life

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being a women of her word

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Love in action

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Endless possibility

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being someone who plays full out

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Helping my father and oldest brother become complete with their past

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being an exceptional aunt, sister, daughter, friend, partner, girlfriend, teacher & student

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being awake in my life

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being a leader, collaborator, and creator 

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Peace, Grace and Productivity

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Abundance and Greatness

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being present to people

From Nothing, Right now, Who I Am Is The Possibility Of
Being Bold and Living powerfully

Thursday, November 4, 2010

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

You trust your intuition rather than talk yourself out of what you already know.

You trust your instincts more and try to figure things out far less.

You understand that success is relative. 

You are past the kind of heartache that leaves you in a keening cry that has you calling into work sick (from heart break, of course) because you are no longer willing to loose yourself through the process of giving yourself.

You understand, with more love than ever, that even the deepest intimacy has call love anything less lacks self love.

You become brave, oh so brave, and willing to stop at nothing to satisfy the longing, hunger and whisper in your soul to express yourself, your creativity and your heart's wish for your life. This is true even where it means saying goodbye to what you know so well in an effort to create space for something fresh and new in the middle of it all.

You realize how liberating it is to finally trust yourself enough to be exactly who you are in the world and with the one who you chose.

You embrace yourself with kindness and compassion. You too, are only human and have always done the very best that you've known to do in each and every moment.

Your jealousy and envy ceases and you stop trying to attain the same experiences as other because one day you, finally wake up realizing that what you want isn't what they have,  it's what they feel. What you're seeking is your own internal joy through self-expression and that comes from being on your own unique the right path. You get this...then you go out and enjoy a long jog on the path of your new life...

You love your body (and you know it well). Finally.

You own, are comfortable with and embrace your sensuality and sexuality.

You honor and take care of your body in what you feed it, who you allow to experience it intimately and what thoughts and self talk you experience within it.

You put down the masks you've spent your life energy wearing.

You step into what you've spent your life energy avoiding.

You give up trying to change people.

While you're full of depth, you get that not everything has to be so deep, have an underlying meaning or that things should always have to be so serious.

You let go.

You give more.

You assume less.

You forgive more freely.

You have greater appreciation for Nature.

You have the greatest appreciation for your parents.

You become really great at honoring and enjoying a day of rest...and you are clear on what that looks like for you.

You try knew things.

When you feel scared, you stay with that sensation but proceed and do the thing anyway.

You're become more present in life and to those who occupy it with you.

And instead of that lump in your throat, or feelings of incompletion or separateness, you finally wake up with ease and clarity about who you are and where you are in your life. And with absolute certainty you know in your soul that it was all so necessary for your growth and spiritual evolution and because of that knowing, every day you bow your head to your heart in gratitude for it all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Turning the Unturned Stones, Striving & A Possibility driven life

Dave Re Photography, Copyright 2010 All rights reserved, July 2010 "Stealth Feline. Ready..." 

So I've shared about my attempts to sort of  "make up for the past" in that I was not a driven child or teen (see first entry...). I was definitely encouraged but I didn't ever have anyone sitting over my shoulder whispering in my ear that I could be or do anything I wanted in and with my life. It was always there I'm sure, it just wasn't rubbed into my consciousness on a regular basis. 

I grew up living with 3 brothers and during the summer, there were 3 step brothers who were also there so it was always a full house. I fell right in the middle and being the only girl, I suppose I got a few special privilges but with this also came some extra ass kicking for sure. I remember being in high school and having the chore of mowing the front lawn which to this day, I never quite understood given the birthing circumstances. The man who raised me, who I love dearly and have what I would say is a very beautiful and honest relationship with today, didn't so much know what to do with a little girl, and admittedly, during those years I didn't make it easy for anyone either. 

On most days, I would get in my car after sleeping in way longer than I should have to make it to class on time, go to the tanning salon (yes, I know...shameful. What's more shameful is that people actually still keep them in business!) and by the time I finished, everyone would be gone for work so I would often walk back in the door and find something to do with my day totally nonconstructive and usually inappropriate. It's seems like so long ago (because it was) but I'm pretty sure the only class I showed up for regularly in high school the last year before my mother died was choir. I loved to sing. I still do to this day.

Before I moved to Hawaii in 02, I had the great fortune of making a record quality CD that was shopped by Sony and Arista records in Dallas and listened to by a few select top execs in the industry. If I'm being completely honest, I just happen to know the right people who were well connected, believed in me, and convinced others to see their vision. Next thing I knew I was singing on the WB sponsored commercial during the September 11th Anniversary and opening for Jr. Brown at Antone's here in Austin. It was an amazing time in my life. My manager at the time shared with me just how small of a percentage I had fallen into by the opportunities I was standing in during this time.

"Most artists work their entire lives and are never even heard."

It's true. And what's crazy is that there was one specific action I took that made it all happen...well, that aside from ongoing preparation. One day, I put a blank tape (yes, tape) in my boom box, grabbed a microphone and sang "Take it to the Limit" by the Eagles A Capella. I put it in an envelope and dropped it off in the right person's mail box and everything just rolled from there.  

It's true that I have had some really incredible opportunities in my lifetime. Some that would likely have judgements slapped all over them by some people, but still incredible experiences that shaped my life and some that I can laugh at none the less.

When I think about the things I've wanted badly enough in my life, there was not a one of them that I didn't get to experience. What I've realized about myself over the course of some intense self-study this last year in particular is that there are 3 habitual patterns in my mindset that both serve and hurt the possible outcomes of experiences in my life.

1)I tend to make really big, important decisions quickly and with conviction; Unwaivering after the decision has been made.
2)I sometimes allow the smaller, more trivial decisions to take up too much of my time and energy.
3)I've been know to make quick decisions without having a backup plan, sometimes putting myself in an undesirable position (these decisions are emotional ones; sometimes serving me, sometimes not) simply to prove a point if I feel violated or pushed beyond a boundary in anyway.

Seeing and understanding this about myself has given me insight to who I am as an individual and who I show up as in the world. It's an insight that I came to on my own and so it's always there lingering, for me to call on so that I can check in to see from which place I am making a decision.

So as I explore the possibilities of many new things in my life, I've found myself in a place of questioning only those aspects within myself that tell me "I can't". Had I told myself I couldn't sing or that my way of getting my voice into an important person's hand was crazy, likely, I wouldn't have had the experiences that came with it. This way of thinking has really opened up my life on a whole new in a state of belief that it's ALL possible. It always was, I just created too many false reasons and limitations around why I felt things were not. I short changed myself. I played small with my life. So now, I'm ready to play loudly. I'm ready to get dirty. The only focused question I'm giving myself permission to dwell in now (because I know that like to try to figure things out which again, serves me sometimes and other times, not so much ) is why NOT me?!

So, here's an update of things I'm owning, doing, stepping into the possibility of... because I CAN.

~College. The most important thing in my life right now...and the preparation is intense and time consuming! Who knew you couldn't just show up and say "I'm here! I'd like to go to college now!" like I did :) I'll be legit and official on November 8th, after I register for my classes as a "new student" I'm still counting this one :) I'm MOST excited about this and it has my full attention because it will be one of the biggest accomplishments in my life.

~Being the kind of person who others feel loved, encouraged and supported by. This is innate for me (perhaps for us all...) when I'm completely out of the space of fear (fear= insecurity, intimidation, down playing, gossip, being a "hater", etc...). I want to stand so fully in being that person who is missed after she leaves...because of the way my BEING makes others feel about THEMSELVES honestly and authentically.

~Getting paid to write. I need not wait for a college degree or for someone to come running towards me with validation of my potential to make this happen. "Become by doing".

~Being in a fulfilling "partnership" of my choosing powered by trust, love, respect and inspiration. I'm in a really great place in my life; one that has had me in an intense and realistic mode of self-study and doing the work. I have no power over anyone else or their actions but I have all the power in the world for who and what I show up as for other people I choose to have in my life. Being open and receptive to that which I've claimed and boldly stated I'm open to and ready for has been a part of peeling back layers I didn't even know were there... ultimately preparing me for readiness. My blessing is in my ability to strongly feel and endlessly love; withholding that is not an option in my life.

SO... my intention here is to boldly and bravely write more as means to continue to free my thoughts, creativity and personal expression in the world through the proverbial pen and written word. I've got a few other posts started, it just takes me some time to get them to where I want them to be before posting because it's all changing for me so quickly! It's a blessing to BE right now and I'm grateful for every person in my life new and established because they all continue to be walking, breathing, living teachers to me by simply being who they are on their own paths.

It's approaching 9am on this beautiful Fall morning and it's getting to be about that time to roll out. I'm actually excited to clean my office today, work with a few ladies in private lessons, get outside in the Nature Shala, see some familiar faces at the Dharma photo shoot, celebrate with friends at Lauran and Evan's engagement/departure party, and whatever other surprises this weekend may have in store for me :)

Today is a good day.

The inspiration that is Fall has arrived :)

All Love,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Little Joys, Unexpected Smiles and a Calm

*Waking up in the middle of the night only to realize you still have 3 hours left of priceless sleep...a gift every time

*A wilted but incredibly fragrant face of a gardenia flower left on the table...gardenias; where it all began

*Waking up in the middle of the night from his tossing and turning as he whispers "I love you" and kisses your's on its way...

*The smell and taste of Sunday morning's's just as ritualistic on Monday

*A breezy and sunny fall day... so inspiring

*The discovery of a thank you note secretly left behind to be found...and the folder you keep them in when you forget everything you need to always remember about yourself through the eyes of those around you

*The voice of a close friend on the other end of the phone calling to hear *your voice... karma plays out in the most beautiful ways sometimes

*Knowing there is at least one person who is always on the sidelines of your life; no matter how quiet they may be or seem, just waiting for you to ascend...I've been so loved and so supported

*A Sunday afternoon house cleaning moment that creates space; enough for a pause of gratitude....I have everything I need

*Accomplishment...knowing you went for it; you'r driving your own ship in this life

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How it all began...

Very recently, someone said to me "I honestly don't see how you put yourself out there, in front of all, willing to be judged, liked, loved, or even hated." . What I found most interesting about that statement was that I only recently realized just how much of myself I *don't* put out there due to those very fears. It's all perception I suppose.While it's true that the possibility exists; people will always have an opinion, certainly their own interpretation, yet all we can really be is ourselves and at the end of the day. Hopefully we rest our heads having done so in a way that's completely honesty with ourselves, never once having been held back by our own "stuff".

This title "Bold, Brave, & Free", this day, and the new goggles through which the woman who resides in this body now sees the world through stands for this very thing. From here forth, I take a personal responsibility and a strong stance for myself to look deeply and intently at whatever it is thats' held me back for so many years and address it as the illusion and story that it is so that I can get on with it and play my life FULL OUT.

A few weeks ago, I spent 12 hours a day for 3 straight days in an educational seminar called Landmark Forum. Now, I have to say, I've made an entire career; a successful one, out of self-study, inward movement and "being present". I've taken vows of silence in body, speech and mind upon entering into 10 days of silence with 11 hours of meditation a day in an effort to burn off "samskaras" or deep rooted karmic miseries held in he body. I've travel to visit ashrams and sacred temples all over the world including Indonesia, Guatemala and in South India where I even received personal embrace and blessing by the living "hugging saint", Amma-ji, believed by some to be a reincarnation of Mother Teresa.

I've paid what some would spend on a college education on my yogic studies, have chanted 108 rounds of the Hanuman Chalisa and have Gayatri mantra'd my ass off countless times. My experiential education of yoga has far surpassed the national standard set for teachers in terms of actual teacher training hours and I've made a living that's afforded me enough to maintain my debt-free status (through simple living of course), accolades, respect, dare I say "popularity" and much recognition never mind the ability to create my own schedule including travel, call my own shots etc; none of which held a candle (OK it's held a candle... but it sure as shit has shone a different depth of light!) to the insights and break throughs I was left with having attended the Landmark Forum. No exaggeration. Not to discount any of these things I've listed, I would not have "gotten" the ongoing experience in the way I have and continue to daily had I not had these other parts of what is sure to be important material for the continuum. It's just been completely different and I likely wouldn't have been able to receive any of it without the experiences of the other. What's I'm saying is, one has to be ready to receive that which is in front of them or being presented. Just  because it's there, doesn't mean we are able (or willing) to embrace it. Nor does it mean that we are even able to be witness to it's presence in front of our faces if we aren't open to possibilities of the existence of new things.

I've said it before so I mine as well go for it again... I am not, in any fashion affiliated with Landmark Education what so ever nor do I have any friends who are in affiliation with them (although I know a gang of people who have attended their seminars).

The best way I can explain what I gained from this experience is this:

You know how Einstein's brain was studied and it was determined how much more of his brain he used compared to the next "ordinary" person? And how much of the human brain was still untouched even from the standpoint of the brilliant; more "used" mind? I so fully believe that I tapped into a part of my brain that had been dormant and not only that, but on an alchemical level, something shifted in my body (I suppose from the intense, prolonged mental and emotional shifts). How do I know this? Because even my sweat began to have a different smell during the intensity I experienced during those 3 days. Odd perhaps; but true.  As I reread that last line in laughter, my inclination is to delete it because old patters would have me caring what someone would think even though we all sweat, but it's true.

While I would have said before that I actually *live* for this kind of thing, nothing could have prepared me for what was to come. Whatever I was living wasn't to this degree of understanding and clarity. I would be lying if I didn't say that I can so totally see how something of this nature could send someone over "the edge" if they lacked any mental stability. No, I'm not exaggerating. It's that profound.

It's extremely difficult to give a play by play of what took place in that room with those people all weekend long but I'm certain we all carry a mutual respect for one another if nothing else seeing we (as one participant and old friend said to me...) "went through emotional battle together". We really are all so much alike. Our stories we tell ourselves are different but we are the same.

Late Sunday evening I had made a few phone calls, one being to a friend who had been through the Forum. I was in weeping excitement and felt liberated ready to live my life in a way that I had never been able to do before. Exhausted however; I just needed sleep and water.

I feel it important to share that this, like anything else, likely is not fun for everyone in terms of comfort level (...but what's comfort going to do for you anyway?). If you don't like internal confrontation and seeing where you play small in your life, you might not like it so much but don't confuse that with not needing it. I do believe, like great therapy, the world would be a better, happier, more productive and peaceful place if everyone (who was sane) attended Landmark Forum.

So I woke up Monday morning at 6:45am sharp and immediately felt a deep sense of terror. Terror? Yes, terror. I actually woke up feeling so fearful of the undoubted realization that *I* am so fully and completely responsible for the outcome of my life which scared the fuck out of me. I kept telling myself the terror wasn't real; that it was a lie based on years of stories I had created around things that happened yes, but not the stories I had created which created the terror (or fear on a "normal" day). There were moments of emptiness which I would later find to be an insight that the emptiness felt was that which I had clung to for dear life, years; my fear.

Finally, I was empty of my fear...
but the fear was terrorizing me...
but it wasn't fear.
It wasn't terror.

Because one cannot undo what they know and learn from such an experience, even in those very moments, I was reminding myself that the former resident was the fear, but now, it's actually it's power; empowerment.

There was no turning back on this one. This was one of the moments. I knew something on such a profound level in this moment so I had to actually coach myself on what was real and what was not. Kind of like a child convinced there's a monster in the closet only my monster was in my bones and had lived there for what seemed to be lifetimes.

I actually got myself up, made a phone call, dried the tears of terror and made myself a cup of my favorite local coffee. The only coffee I drink actually but that's besides the point (shout out to Lola Savana Pecan Maple Nut makers!) I found myself pacing my floor on yet another phone call looking the way media would have me believe some cracked out woman would look like; offee in hand thanking my lucky stars I *wasn't accountable for my dog in that moment (she was at a friend's house) since I could hardly think straight! I realized I needed to toss the coffee and grab an electrolyte and water potion instead but the problem was that I now felt a huge sense of urgency to get so many things done because all I kept thinking was "tomorrow doesn't exist". The last 36 hours had me in a mind trip and all I could come back to was the same thing; 

the present moment is right this second...what have I been putting off?!

I didn't know where to begin, I looked a mess and I was exhausted, drained and dehydrated still. But what happened next was incredible.

On Sunday evening I had sent in motion a declaration that between then and Tuesday evening (the final night of the Forum... open to guests) I would have a look at my date book at pull from weeks ahead and actually create progression and "forward movement" (as I started calling it months ago) of those things that are important in my personal and spiritual development and evolution as a woman; yet things that I lacked complete integrity with actually making time for.

I grabbed my keys, a folder with a few important paper that I had prepared the night before and headed to the South campus of ACC to begin the formal process of registering myself for the college I never intended on or planned to attend until my previous breakthrough had surfaced a month before I attended the Landmark Forum while I was hosting a yoga retreat in Mexico. Like I stated on Sunday evening, I looked at what I had  booked out in my schedule on my "to do" list and pull from it the very thing that was most important to me. I set aside all the excuses surrounding my putting it on hold and walked right into what scared me. I could not be more excited about preparing to take on a full load of classes in the Spring, expanding my well-roundedness and stepping right into that which will result in the accomplishment of one of my biggest goals yet...but more on that later :)

One of many things I realized was that when we commit ourselves to something, even if it's a few months out (which was the case in this scenario), the ball begins to roll.

I had recently found clarity I had been needing for quite some time about my current path, role in the world or at the very least, how I identify myself and how I felt I have been identified by others in the world. I began to find understanding of where my adult drive comes from considering I wasn't a driven child or teen nor did I grow up in a regimented house hold. I didn't have a whole lot of expectation put on me and I certainly didn't put much on myself either. Don't get my wrong, this hasn't a thing to do with my parents or upbringing, I always knew I was abundantly loved and supported. This isn't at all about that.

I realized in Mexico that a part of me longed for more encouragement to "be all I could be". So when my mother was killed when I was 17, I had about one solid year of doing better than I had ever done academically before saying "fuck you, world!", dropping out of high school then straight on to a path of self destruction. For years, that decision would haunt me until I ended up going to get my GED (because I was about to go to trade school and knew I needed to have it to get in). I had to do it, I had to go through it to  find my independent nature that would later end up serving me well in many capacities (and not so much in others which I now see clearly) ultimately supporting my being successful at pretty much whatever I touched including my current career; but there's a price to pay for everything, yes? Indeed.

The price I have been paying has been suffocating. For starters, I've felt mentally brain dead for a while. I've been craving a new realm of mental stimulation for an unmeasurable amount of time. For sure i've limited myself to the perfectly square shaped container called "Sanieh the yoga teacher" as if there were nothing else I was able or ever wanted to do or become in my life. Thing is, I moved here with convictions that I would teach, for a living, no other option and that's just what I created and I'm so grateful for it all. Once I started to find peace however, that I AM so much more than just this and that I AM great at other things as well and that I DO have so many skills and talents that are surfaced and some unknown and undeveloped because I have allowed myself to be defined by the presentation I show up to the world with currently, I had the most incredible break through.

I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that while I may be really good at it, respected and well known for it; while it may be working extremely well for me in a multitude of ways, I do not in fact want to be teaching yoga for a living.

Side bar: 1) Already fear sets in as I press "publish post"..."How will that sound to a reader? A student? Will they think or perceive my words to mean I don't want to teach *at all* or that I won't be present when I do? Truth is: I am powerless over what you may think reading this or how/if you may judge, but I am SO POWERFUL in owning what's true and honest; knowing with understanding, peace and clarity exactly what I mean and intend in these words of transparency. 2) In actually coming clean, i'm finding it interesting that I'm feeling a certain level of excitement which also offers a deep sense of CALM when I think about where my personal practice will go from here seeing I've already taken an entirely new, fresh and stronger approach to the very thing that has become a very private and personal place of unapologetic, ego-less, loving and loyal refuge in my life. This possibility bleeds into that of future teaching since my breakthrough (and the ongoing insights surrounding it all) has been a way of making peace with myself. In giving myself permission to stop denying what is, the appreciation for what is ascends .

There. I said it out loud ... and I'm still breathing.

So back to the Monday morning post LMF. The fact that at 33(.5) I actually went down and registered myself for the college I never thought I wanted to attend or would ever be accepted into because my screaming stories around "I'm a high school drop out" ; regardless of my successes since then, the mere fact is absolutely a testimony to a very powerful insight I got during this recent work.

"It's not what you have (or what you do), it's who you're being"

And who I've been being hasn't been authentic because I haven't been listening to what I've known for a while. I haven't been honest with myself. I've been fighting and resisting myself in such a harsh way out of fear of how I would look or what people who think.

I mean, who wouldn't want to be running around in their jammies/Luon teaching yoga solely for a living until they die!? Who could possibly wake up feeling like there just might be something of a more fully embraced personal self-expression in the world!?

Side bar: Add in the fact that I've been so blessed (and have busted my ass from day one to make it happen of course) to have been so successful at making a living doing what I set out to do and to have done so for a good amount of time now; to some, it just might not make sense but there really is no sense making when it comes to being true to one's self now is there? 


I want to write.

There. I said that out loud now too.

For a "living", I want to be a writer.

I can't spell to save my life and I don't know the fancy terms for structuring a phenomenal paragraph or even a sentence but ask me if I give a damn. Go ahead, ask. No, I don't. I don't because my taking that bull by the horns feels like total alignment with what I feel in my heart and it's just another vehicle for creative self-expression; one that allows me to think and use my brain in an entirely different way yet it's still means for me to "reach out and touch someone" in the world.

So, this is where I am with all of it and it's just the start to my coughing up a little more integrity in my life with setting and fulfilling personal standards for the things that are important to me and claiming them in an honest and brave way. Most importantly, this is a huge, new step moving from what I've known, ignored and silenced, into a realm of clarity; a welcomed view in the direction of personal fulfillment through a more fully, self-expressed life. A fully self-expressed life is something I long for and this happening gives me my peace of mind; an acquaintance I haven't sat with for years. And nothing is more important in my life at this very moment than peace of mind.

Stay tuned, World. There's so much more to the swell before it reaches the break. For now, I'm going to do everything I can to "become by doing" in THIS moment because in a world where the present reside, this moment is IT.