Day 229 to Day 236 – only love kills war

Day 229 – fight energy

Going to watch a fight is not something I would normally do but when the opportunity is presented, I consider it to be a new and exciting experience. Unfortunately, my instincts are right and watching people beat each other up does not prove entertaining. I used to love boxing training but I remember it made me really angry. It seems to fuel a certain kind of energy, a smoky, dark fire energy that ignites the ego into animalistic traits. The gym we are in suddenly feels extremely cold and I am shivering. I can’t wait for this fight to be over so we can leave. This time I am out of my comfort zone and there is no magic happening. I feel the fire around me, as though it is closing in and my own anger reflexes are sparking. I want to get out of this situation! Krystle sees me coughing. That chest infection seems to have returned. She wraps herself around me to warm me up and radiates light and love. She is excited and watches the fight with so much enthusiasm. She seems completely immune to the dark energy that I can feel. I close my eyes and visualise a white light radiating from within and enveloping my entire body. Suddenly time seems to pass faster and before I know it, the fights are over, we are in the car and driving back to my comfort zone. Perhaps if I had done the white light before leaving the house my experience would have been different. Perhaps I was just sick. Either way, the white light protected and healed. Energy is something we radiate, it is something we can change and use in any situation. It is our greatest power and yet we so easily forget about it. When I walk in my door, I feel myself stepping into a cloud of pure white light. This is home. This is sanctuary.

 

Day 230 – sunshine and the clouds

The clouds have lifted and the day is warm. I quickly change into a bikini and sprint down to the beach, but the wind is still cold and the scattered clouds gravitate towards the sun, stealing the warmth. It’s like the only cloud in the sky is working against me. It is too cold to be down at the beach with shorts on. Eventually I give up and go home. I am meditating on this when I start to look around me, feeling sunshine through the window. The light is seeking me out. I stare out the window at the blue sky and there isn’t a cloud in sight. I guess that is the irony of life. Sometimes there are clouds when you don’t want there to be. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it storms. Sometimes you find yourself warm in a blizzard and sometimes a little wind can chill you to the bone. If there is one thing that constantly reminds me of the changing nature of life it is the sky. Life is change and even in the cold, dark and stormy times, there is beauty. Warmth, like energy, like light, can come from within. The sun is always shining on the inside, so that we can reflect it back on the outside. Deep inside my true self, there are no clouds.

 

Day 231 – smile and dial

My first day of telephone calls at work. We call prospects for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. I dial the first number. Smile and dial, they say! Apparently a smile can be heard and nobody wants to hear from someone who doesn’t smile. A smile is about so much more than just the mouth, though and if you are speaking with your mouth, the smile changes anyway. I remember watching America’s Next Top Model (I know, it is my one weakness in reality television) and Tyra Banks was showing the girls how to smile with the eyes and not with the mouth. So a smile happens in the whole face. In Qi Gong, I was told to imagine the body filling up with smiling energy. As you move this energy around the body, you feel everything brighten up. So a smile happens somewhere deep in the dantian, below the belly button. It isn’t just necessary to flash your teeth when you make the call, it is also essential to find that smiling energy. People can sense over the phone what kind of person I will be and that will determine whether or not they will take time out of their day, let me into their homes to show them wine. Many of my calls are rejected, people are either not interested or they do not drink or they don’t remember filling out the survey and giving us their phone number. But many are also excited and pleased and I can feel them smiling right back. When I look around the room at the other reps, I see their own smiling energy, like a little aura of yellow around their faces. Smile and dial. “Hello, this is Elizabeth calling from Pieroth wines…”

 

Day 232 – you have what it takes to succeed

I don’t normally listen to motivational podcasts but I have found one about sales that is more of a holistic approach. Jason McClain of Personal Life Media, who records short 5-10 minute talks called Evolutionary Sales, offers a method for self hypnosis. I take out my notebook and write 3 sentences that I really need to hear, addressing myself in the second person:

1)   You have what it takes to succeed

2)   You know exactly who you are and have the courage to be your true self

3)   You are valued and respected

I then take my place in front of the mirror and stare directly into one eye (shifting between the eyes does not have the same intensity, so it is recommended to choose just one eye). I repeat each sentence five times and then notice any emotional reaction. I am supposed to do this twice a day for three days. The first round makes me feel a little bit silly but eventually I start to feel different. It is powerful to talk to oneself so directly, with such firm statements. I find my voice getting a little louder and stronger. I am more certain of the words. I feel empowered. I feel successful. I feel valued, respected, courageous. I feel me.

Day 233 – meditation creek

I wake up early for a run down to Bronte to meet a friend. When I get there, he hasn’t arrived yet so I wonder up the gully and down to a small waterfall. I sit down on the cool rocks and change from the running music to Wah!, listening to the soft chanting of Hare Krishna as I meditate on the flowing water. My eyes notice several pieces of rubbish scattered along the other side of the creek. I try to refocus on the water, knowing I can get the rubbish when I am finished, but I can’t concentrate. I step over the creek and start picking up what looked like a small amount of rubbish, but end up with a pile of plastic, foam and drink bottles that I can’t even carry. A man stops to say thank you, which I find odd for some reason. I guess if Mother Nature can’t say it herself, she sends someone who can… Rather than feeling like my meditation was interrupted, it kind of just morphed into an act of seva. I still feel the same flow of energy that I get from meditation, maybe it is just a little bit brighter.

 

Day 234 – the first swim of summer

It is hot today! Who would have thought we would already be in the ocean in mid-August! The air is soft and balmy and even though the ocean takes my breath away when I first jump in, I move around and soon feel comfortable in it. I realise it has been months since I was last in the ocean. Bali, maybe? In March. I allow the water to embrace me and I remember a poem I once wrote about the ocean being a lover. It is warm and inviting and then without warning can turn cold and uninviting, thrashing me around, rejecting me back to the shore. And obviously we always love the chase, because we keep coming back for more.

 

Day 235 – sisterhood

I have a three-hour break to go and visit my sister in law, Veronica. She is 7 months pregnant and starting to show. My four-year-old niece is playing with her cousins in the other room while we talk. It was only a month ago that they found out they were having a boy, but my niece, Bella, knew all along. She said she knows her little brother and that his name is Oscar. Veronica was once told by a psychic that they have been siblings in a past life. Even before Veronica fell pregnant, Bella would tell other children about her little brother Oscar who just “wasn’t here yet”. As soon as they found out a baby was coming, Bella was adamant that it was Oscar. Nobody could doubt her when she says it with such conviction. As we talk, he starts to stir and I get to feel the little movements this tiny life is making. Even though I can’t see him, I already feel a connection to this little boy. He is my blood, my family, waiting to be held by us, already loved by us. The miracle of life growing inside is still something I find so profound and incredible that I am not sure I will ever have the courage to do it myself. But it is still amazing to watch it happen. Can’t wait to meet you, little man…

 

Day 236 – standing up

Unfortunately, haters gonna hate.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

I know that my chronic optimism and happiness can piss people off, especially when they are stuck in their own cycle of negative thought. I know that people take an expression of kindness the wrong way and sometimes think there is malice behind a compliment. I know that not everyone understands pure love from a stranger. When a girl I barely know snaps at me and starts to say personal and spiteful words, I begin by very calmly telling her not to talk about it. I guess the Christian way to deal with this would be to just accept, know that she is simply misinformed, angry and suffering. Then again, even a spiritually evolved person can only take so much. Eventually I fire up and my anger gets thrown right back at her. Without swearing, without yelling, I tell her more than firmly that she is talking about my life, which is none of her business. In the end, the circle of friends around us has to yell at us both to shut up and I feel like I have failed. In hindsight, had I said nothing, her it might have felt better to walk away but I also feel like sometimes it is more than necessary to stand up for yourself.

Sometimes people judge, however I believe that everyone is a reflection. What is it that this situation is trying to show me about myself? Have I judged myself too harshly? Do I allow myself to criticise my own happiness? There are always two things to ask; how am I responsible and what did I learn? I am responsible for my reaction in this situation, for my anger and emotions. I learnt that I am human, I can still hurt from unkind words, and that if I can forgive the person who said them, then I can also forgive myself for being hurt by them and still send love to the person who said them for she must be hurting deep inside.

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Day 215 – the magic of gratitude

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it is enough.” – Meister Eckhart

I am waiting for the call today from Pieroth Wines to tell me whether or not I was successful in the job interview. I know their office hours begin at 11am so I try not to check my phone a million times. Krystle is feeling sick with a pain in her upper thoracic. It seems her back is having a spasm from the intense workouts she has been doing at the gym. She is groaning in my car as I drive her home from school and I barely speak out of concern for my friend. When my new boss calls to offer me the position officially and tell me when to start, I am struggling between excitement and worry. I want to jump up and down and scream thank you to the heavens for this opportunity, but my best friend is writhing in pain beside me. She has been reading The Magic, the sequel to The Secret, and has been reminding me to always be grateful and to say out loud the things I am grateful for. When I put her to bed and rub her back with heat cream and place a heat pack on her, she is thanking me over and over again. I tell her not to worry, that I will be just outside if she needs anything.

As I sit down on our floor beside our small coffee table, our Moroccan style lounge with noo furniture, I observe our beautiful day and the incredible energy we have created through the words, “Thank You”. Whether it is through success or pain, the simple act of offering gratitude can make all the difference in the experience. We have both felt the extremes of life today and as we settle in to watch a movie, I know that I am forever grateful for this life, for my best friend, for the opportunities that have presented themselves to me since I began this journey of Bliss. Thank You.

Day 212 – anxiety and confidence

Teaching yoga, I find that some students really need to hear the cue to relax their shoulders and breathe into the diaphragm or the belly. They take a deep breath in and I watch their shoulders rise, the chest puff out and the whole point of the deep breath becomes null and void as the entire bottom part of the lungs remains unused. When the shoulders are tightly wrapping around the neck, we call these the waiting muscles. This is where anxiety most commonly presents itself in the body. The student I am speaking to is aware of this but admits that he needs to practice this, that he always forgets and falls back into his old habits. I tell him he can change his habits and I can see the doubt in his eyes. Only one minute a day, focus on your breath and slow it down and breathe into the belly. One minute is not a long time at all. His excuses start to fall away and as we talk, I see the breath move down. Once he is more relaxed, the tension falls out of his shoulders and he seems calm. Sometimes new students come to yoga and feel that they aren’t quite getting it, or that they aren’t doing it ‘right’. They can stress out at the time when they are supposed to be relaxing the most. I tell them not to worry too much about the alignment, it will come. I remember being there; looking around the room, trying to follow the other students and understand what the hell the teacher was on about as she spoke jibberishasana. And then one day, it was like something clicked and when I heard “Bakasana”, I found myself immediately in an arm balance. The important part is not how much you know, how high the legs go, how close you can touch the nose to the knee. The important part is how it makes you feel! It was the confidence that set me soaring into that arm balance. Despite this student’s compulsive tension and chest breathing, he tells me the class was perfect and just what he needed and he leaves with a smile on his face.

When I get home, one of my best friend’s, Luca, is already there, chatting away to Krystle as she prepares dinner. Luca is a tall, vivacious, highly intelligent Italian who I met at yoga teacher training and made the impressive comment in a room full of yogis, “Sometimes yoga is not doing yoga”. He has cut off his mop of Side-Show Bob curls and is walking like the Tin Man after running for the first time in weeks. His job keeps him in Papua New Guinea most of the year so it has been months since I last heard his infectious laugh. We are talking about work and attitude and he says that the secret to his success is confidence. “Liz, you must demand everything that you want because nobody will offer it to you. When they offered me my contract, I asked for everything to be improved upon. When I asked for more money and they said ‘No’, I knew I was pushing it but to everything else they had already said yes so it was worth a try! I know my value and I know I deserve what I ask for. I work hard.” I wonder if he walked in there doing chest breaths? I can pretty much guarantee that he did not.

I don’t know if many people in this world can say that they know their value. I think there are many people who estimate their value on their monetary gain but there is so much more to a single being than a salary. Luca is the kind of beautiful yogi who can scratch the back of his head with his toenail and then walk into a room and manage a team of eleven people in a subtropical developing country where he can’t walk in the streets due to the dangerous political climate. He is only 28 and already talking about buying property.

Going to bed, I look over my day and think about the anxiety that sometimes grips us all. Everybody, even the most conscious yogi, does a chest breath every now and again. Relax, take a deep BELLY breath, know your value and demand what you deserve from the world. Because nobody else can breathe for you. Nobody else knows your value and nobody but you will hand it to you.