Archive for January, 2015

The lemons of life….sour is also a taste

heart in barb wire

I love conversations where I learn things. Well it goes back to my love of learning….I feel so empowered and enlightened when I learn something new. I guess this is part of the reason why I am on the spiritual path…always trying to figure out stuff and learn more stuff to become better at stuff. Stuff….its what’s in all of us.

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who is still reeling from the effects of a breakup that they clearly did not want to happen. This person (for the sake of anonymity let’s call them Susan) had a rough marriage and came out of it and jumped into a rebound relationship and then left that to float around in the dating scene (heart closed and intact) before finally getting into an emotionally rewarding relationship with a spiritually aware person.

Feeling safe, Susan allowed her guard to drop and allow this person into their life. It was wonderful…in fact she will probably tell you she lived more in that one year of relationship than she ever had in her life. It was exhilarating and exciting and she became so consumed with the person and the relationship that she started to neglect other areas in her life, including her kids, her work and herself.

We all know how this ends because at some point in our life, we have all been here. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and even though my friend Susan took a chance and risked lowering her barriers for love…it unfortunately did not work out for her. The person she was seeing was more spiritually mature than her and knew they were in her life for a lesson…to teach her things, to spend time but eventually to move on and continue on their path.

My friend is heartbroken and months after the breakup, they still are mourning the loss of the relationship and the loss of love.

I listen to my friend go over and over in her head all the things she felt the relationship brought….always adding more importance and specialness to it than it really was. She would begin to lie to herself that this person was more and brought more than they really did. How do I know she is lying? Because the story changes.every.time. First when we would talk, she would talk of their intimate moments being so…well so beyond life. But then as the months passed and time healed most wounds, my friend would come clean and mention here and there that sexually they were not as compatible and there were issues in the bedroom. I listened but said nothing.

Susan would point out how much of a soul mate this person was for her and how they had so much similarity and interest in the same things but then as time passed, Susan would remember how she could not be herself (wild and crazy) around her friends when she was with her partner because her partner was more reserved in behavior in social events. I listened and said nothing.

See the thing is, Susan couldn’t accept a fact that many people today still struggle with. It is something common I hear at the end of a relationship when I see the broken hearted struggle to make sense of it all and struggle to apply importance to what just happened.

What we can’t accept or what we have a problem accepting is this….We opened our heart and allowed someone in and it didn’t end happily ever after.

There lies the grief and the shame….the betrayal and the hurt. We loved and we lost.

It goes against everything we are taught, doesn’t it? I mean most movies these days have happy endings. We are told if we take a chance, it pays off. So we do….clutching our pearls and descending the tunnel with nothing more but a wish, a hope and a prayer. For some of us it works out (congratulations by the way!) but for most of us, we are left bewildered and wondering “WHY ME?”

Susan is at a place in her life where she met someone AMAZING but this chick is closing this person out! She is giving them a hard time, overthinking it and constantly comparing him to her past partners. We can thank Susan for her trials and tribulations because its her sorrow and distress that brought on this blog post. So enough of Susan for now. Let me explain and expound on this for those that may find themselves in this situation. You know me…I never met a bullet point I didn’t like, so here we go…..

1) We need to stay away from happy endings (trust me, I get to use this line more as a massage therapist than ever!)

The truth is, many of us are not content to be in situations where our needs (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) are not met. It is not enough. Happy endings only come if you stop pushing. Will you ever stop pushing? Absolutely! When you meet the one person or situation where your needs are met, you will absolutely stop; however, you can’t sell yourself short and stop short. You have to keep going.

If Susan had been honest with herself and her mate from the beginning about what she liked, what she didn’t like and what she wanted…the relationship would have ended earlier. The truth of Susan’s situation is they are not matched. They are not equally yoked so someone was always at a disadvantage. In addressing the differences, communication could have ended the relationship in a peaceful, quicker way and the pain Susan was feeling now would have been more manageable.

2) We cannot shut down after we opened up

That is the norm I see in people these days, after they experience a breakup they shut down and go in and refuse to let someone else in. That’s so not fair! There are a billion people in the world and a few of them have the combination to that lock on your heart! Those few people want to open up your safe and put more love in…but yet you think all everyone wants is to take and take more and to take it all. This mindset is not positive and serving your highest good in anyway.

I agree with mourning, hell I am the best mourner when things/relationships end in my life! But at some point you have to open your windows, look out at the world with hope in your heart and promise yourself you will try again. This life is meant to be lived and fortunately loving is living. Experiencing love is such a tender moment in life….it makes us feel alive and at home at the same time. Why would you want to avoid that feeling?

Shutting down after you experienced love is saying game over. Its allowing one person to hurt you and close you off to love. It is equivalent to making a cake. To make a cake, you need several ingredients, prep time and bake time. Three steps! Loving one person and shutting down after that is like assembling all the ingredients and leaving them on the counter. You have no idea how good that cake is going to taste because you never completed the steps needed to get that taste.

If you can allow yourself to keep your heart open, trust and be vulnerable after a breakup…you are continuing on with making your cake. Yes you may be sad and it may not feel authentic but trust me when I say, you will be so glad you persevered on to the end result. The cake is delicious and hits the spot.

3) Do not use honesty as a crutch for bad behavior

Ok you are reading this article and getting some good vibes from it. You feel like maybe you can step out and step up your game. You can try love again. So you go out, meet people, mix and mingle and find someone you are interested in. You are excited but scared. Excited because this person looks good and feels good to you but scared because they excite you so much, if they were to walk away, it might cripple you worse than your previous relationship.

So what do you do? You start putting up your honesty stickers. You know what those are! They are LOUD warning labels wrapped all around you meant to educate and inform your future partner, but all it does is annoy and keep them at a distance. Love is not measured out in a measuring cup…it flows freely from the container and someone who is healthy, loving and ready for a relationship will not respond kindly to this metted out kind of love.

While I agree with being honest and explaining where you are in your process (“I just got out of a relationship, I am not ready to commit”) your actions MUST follow your words. Your words may say you are not ready, but you calling and seeing the person frequently…sleeping with them and being intimate with them….that destroys the integrity of the words.

I find with people like Susan…using the honesty stickers allow them a playground for bad behavior. Susan recently started seeing someone new and she is experiencing feelings for this person. However Susan will not give of herself fully to this new person because deep down she craves her ex…she craves what she knows not what is new. She is a creature of patterns and old paradigms.

I explained to my friend Susan this was wrong what she was doing…because in a theoretical sense, what if her ex called her back? Its not hard to imagine, people do it all the time. What if her ex called her back and they went to dinner to “talk” because as Susan says, she needs closure. What if the old feelings came back and Susan wanted to take it to another level? What would she do? She would say to this new person in her life, “I am sorry to involve you in my mess but I did tell you from the beginning that I was blah blah blah.”

Honesty is not an excuse for bad behavior. You treat people well and you do what is right despite your own selfish desires. In the grand scheme of things, how exactly will someone like Susan be rewarded if she indulged in activity like that? Lead someone new on while still wishing to be with her ex? Would it end happily or will she get a dose of her own medicine? Maybe have her ex chose someone else over her?

I don’t know. I really don’t, these are all theoretical questions and we tend to go down this path when we are confused and mixed up about our emotions. My only advice for you dear reader , is to always do the right thing, act with integrity and treat people kindly. Don’t be selfish about your emotions and your feelings and somehow, the world rewards you for your selflessness. I can say that clearly because I have experienced it and trust me, the reward comes back bigger and better than you could have imagined.

So yes the lemons of life remind us that sour is also a taste. There are six tastes and undoubtedly sour is not one of the most favorite ones…..but guess what? There are times you crave it. Too much sweet makes you sick….too much salt makes you thirsty…sometimes all we need in life is a little sour to zap our taste buds, revive our tongue and get that saliva flowing. It is all part of this world and it is a wonderful feeling when we can appreciate what is dished out to us instead of running from it.

To my friend Susan who may or may not read this….I love you, you will always be my friend and I understand what you are going through but I don’t want you to shut down or shut me out. Let me teach you how to appreciate the sourness of life so when the sweet times roll through….we can enjoy it more than we ever knew how to.

Love and light,

~Uma~

Posted on: January 27th, 2015 No Comments

Fears are meant to be conquered

ConqueringFear

Life is an illusion and as such, I too am an illusion.

Many people think I am fearless because I am so outgoing and gregarious. I do not shy away from a gathering and am more than ready to take the mic for whatever reason. However just because someone is good at something, one thing, doesn’t mean they are good at everything.

And here in my weekly blog with the whole universe, I am about to share a deep, dark secret of mine. I too have fears.

I tend not to discuss them with people (why illuminate areas of lack or insufficiency?) and instead shift focus on things I am great at, because let’s be real, who really likes to discuss their fears in an open audience? No one.

However the year 2015 brings a lot of change to this girl…she is getting older and wiser and more comfortable in challenges. 2014 was filled with a lot of challenges for me and after I ultimately survived each of them, it made me realize, “What can I not do?” It reminds me of that movie “Invincible” with Bruce Willis (I hope its the right movie I am talking of!). The movie where he is a regular day super hero but he doesn’t realize it until he woke up from a train crash and he was the only surviving person. His arch nemesis Samuel Jackson knew he existed and he created suffering conditions around the world looking for this super hero. When Bruce Willis finds out he has supernatural powers to withstand anything (even death), his son and him start these little exercises to test just how invincible he was. It was cute, seeing the look of amazement on his son’s face as he kept adding more weight for Bruce to bench press and thought provoking to see the realization dawn on Bruce’s face that he was in fact invincible.

This is the feeling you get when you survive things you thought to yourself you could not survive. I experienced it several times in 2014 but at the start of 2015, I am immensely experiencing it as I come to the close of one of MY most amazing feats yet. The 10 day liquid fast.

I took on the liquid fast 9 days ago (I cannot call it the Master Cleanse fast because I learned from a friend that I was doing it wrong the entire time! My recipe was not on point) and have had nothing to eat or drink besides a lemonade mixture of lemons, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. For nine days, I have had no food.

Let me back up. I know some of you are freaking out and thinking to yourself, “Oh I could never do that!” and trust me, I understand. I was in your shoes a couple of years back when I first heard of this craziness. However, life has a way of pushing your envelope and you end up in places like this like me. Bewildered, amazed and ultimately at the successful conclusion of yet another challenge.

Because I run with the “spiritual and metaphysical” group of friends, seeing and hearing of these experiences is not new to me. I hang out with people who are 100% vegan, go on 10 day silent retreats and do all sorts of activities to continually push the envelope of normalcy to ultimately transcend the status quo. I hang out with rockstars in my eyes.

This is why we say it is important to keep note of who your company is because they can either motivate you to push past your limitations or dwell in them, you decide. My company constantly motivates me with their choices and decisions. And I am indebited, because they have motivated me to do the same.

SO that’s the background of the fast challenge. I noticed people in my circle were doing it and usually at the beginning of the new year (it is recommended to detox twice a year with one detox being at the start of the year) so with the start of this year, I too jumped in. I have to admit, I didn’t properly prepare. Well hell, I didn’t even read the book!

Apparently you are suppose to start weaning off certain foods prior to day 1 and of course I didn’t. I just jumped right in, one day I was eating regular foods and the next day I bought some lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper and I began the fast. In retrospect, I think I did it that way purposefully. If I didn’t plan for it, then I didn’t have time to back out….you feel me? 🙂

So I went in with nothing more than a hope and a prayer that I would make it through the 10 days. Well needless to say I did. It is now day 12 and I have successfully completed the fast. I learned some things though about the fast but also myself and I am using this blog as a chance to share those things. We all know I love the bullet points (hey I am a Cappy! organization and structure rules!) so here goes:

1) You never know how capable you are unless you provide situations for yourself to see that.

I wasn’t sure I could complete the fast to be honest, but I was ok with that. If I did 3 days hey it was worth it! My body got a detox, the digestive tract got a rest and my skin looked brighter than it ever has. I was not planning to complete it but I was willing to see if I could. So ask yourself, “Where in my life do I create circumstances to test my boundaries?”

Its not such a foreign concept….we allow other people to push our boundaries all the time (yes I went there) so why don’t we do it? At least when we are pushing our own boundaries, we are creating growth as opposed to creating frustration. Try it and see what comes up. If you cop out, that is ok too. At least you tried and that is better than not doing anything at all.

2) You will see your inner demons come up….they are meant to be make you, not break you!

Day 2 was my worst day. I know! not even day 6 or 7, but the second day in. I was so focused and concentrated on day 1 that it went by quickly. That aided by my early bedtime (9pm) and I was guaranteed success. However, when day 2 dawned, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that was at this point, growling, “What did I do?!” another 8 days of this? OMG! So I braved through it as best as I could but it felt like my whole mind and body were revolting against me. It felt like R. Kelly was singing in my head, “My mind is telling me NO but my body, my body is telling me YES!”

It was interesting to note how active my mind became, I forgot how flooded with thoughts it can get. I meditate everyday and that has kept the thoughts at bay for awhile but now, the floodgates opened and here they all came, screaming for my attention,

“You can eat something, no one will know.”

“This is so pointless, what are you trying to prove anyways?”

“This is probably unhealthy, you can stop now. You did one day, that is a feat in itself!”

It was ridiculous! I felt so low and drained. I felt unworthy and unacceptable in life. It was at the point when I was lying in bed, crying myself to sleep when I finally gave in and called a friend. Thank God! My friend Rob stayed on the phone with me for three hours to get me through it. He reminded me how beneficial this exercise was in terms of discipline and self control and how much better I would feel when I accomplished it.

When you are going through these tough times, find your motivators in your inner circle. Even though they may say things to you that you already know, there is some comfort that comes about from them just saying it.

I always say, if your inner demons show up to the party then you are doing something right to rile them up so much! However don’t let them get the best of you. It is your egoic self trying to keep things safe. This is a new activity you are doing, it is out of the comfort zone so it is a protective mechanism for the ego to try to stop you from doing it. Think of the doting mother who bundles her child up to go out and play in a wintery wonderland. Even though the child is protected with four layers of clothing, she is still clinging to the door and screaming, “Don’t stay out too long! Come back if you feel cold!” It is natural and it is part of being human, so learn to accept it, hear them but pay them no attention. Hear them but do not listen.

3) When you remove distractions, you become increasingly aware of your environment.

Food is absolutely a distraction for me. I work crazy hours, I am a single mom and I love a good, social life. My busy life seldom allows me quiet time outside of my morning meditation and so when I am stressed or busy or tired or fed up, I eat. Its called emotional eating and I have absolutely done it my entire life.

What the liquid fast did was remove the food which had become my security blanket. I felt naked and I felt alone. Of course, these emotions would take me to food in the past but now I didn’t have it but a lemonade mixture I was increasingly growing sick of with each passing day. Without the distraction, I became increasingly aware of myself and other people’s behavior in this world. It was wild. I felt like an animal. I became increasingly perceptive.

I remembered I hugged a girlfriend of mine and commented on how good that roast chicken smelt on her. She was freaked out! She made it earlier in the day for her family and couldn’t believe I could still smell it on her.

Smell wasn’t the only thing that picked up…I became acutely aware of people’s intentions and would tell them in a matter of fact way. While they were surprised, I wasn’t. I felt like it was the most natural thing on earth to know the heart of another.

Without the food, the stillness developed in me and it was that stillness that allowed me to see…to really see everything around me.

 

These are just some of the things I learned, but hey! This is not a book….its a blog! I just wanted to share the three keypoints I picked up after my cleanse.

How does this help you? Hopefully you are motivated to try a fast and if not a fast, then try something new to challenge yourself.

We all want change in our life, but change will not come unless you make an effort. Start small. Pick something you can half accomplish and half fearful you may not. Start there and allow your horizons to expand. Trust me, it will be so worth it in the end when you are empowered!

 

love and light,

Uma

Posted on: January 16th, 2015 No Comments

New Year, New Me?

2015 Happy New Year Strands Line Glow Dark Background

Happy New Year! 2015 promises to be a magical year full of manifestations, abundance and prosperity for everyone….well according to Numerology that is as the #8 is the promisor of all those things and more. (2+0+1+5=8) I love the vibe and feel of the New Year as it expresses itself in new year resolutions, fresh starts and an honest effort on everyone’s part to let go of the old (whatever that may be) and be receptive to the new. If we lived this way all year, the world would be a happier place!

I know some people don’t get caught up in the whole resolutions and promises thing, but I absolutely do! I like the idea of starting over and righting wrongs. If you think like me, you will love this blog post because I intend to share some New Year habits with you that have helped me over the years. Read them and apply to your life whatever feels right, the rest you can discard.

Remember, many of the things I write about comes from my heart and have been guided to me in thought and ideas. While I am educated in most spiritual books, many of my personal spiritual practices are based on reading signs, following intuition and hearing messages clearly of what I need to do at a given point in time. As you read through, pay attention to your own signs. Does that point sound like something you should try? Do you feel like something is speaking to you? Try it out! It may be just the thing you need to take you higher!

#1-NEW YEAR, NEW DAY, NEW ENERGY

I have this funny belief that whatever you do on the first day of the New Year sets the record for the rest of your year. This message was channeled to me one year when I was in an on again off again relationship with a very seductive man. He was pretty much the “dream guy” to me at that time because as a young girl, I was attracted to his status (owned his own company), looks (beyond gorgeous) and lifestyle (think cultured and jet setting all over the world). I was seduced by the promises of what could be, but what was not really.

As the end of one year was winding down and the beginning of the new year was coming up, I started to think “I can’t possibly come into another year with this kind of drama. Something has to change!” And that is when I heard the message, Set your intention for the New Year by dedicating the first day to things you want to see more of in your life. So I did. On that first day of the New Year, I got up early and meditated and did a good yoga routine. I ate only vegetarian meals all day and didn’t go out shopping or hanging out with my friends. I spent the day quietly at home, in quiet introspection and only answered calls from loved ones who were a blessing in my life. Of course, he called me to wish me a Happy New Year but I ignored the call, and you know what? He proceeded to call back three more times. I ignored them all and felt really good about doing that.

It worked! Mr. Seductive and I ended it completely two weeks later and I went on to meet and date a beautiful soul mate who brought much learning and love into my life. The rest of the year took the energy of that first day too, it went well with more positive habits incorporated into my life and more negative ones gently leaving me. I know this article is four days late to actually do this point but we are still in the first week of the New Year! Pick a day and try for that one day to do all that you can to invite in the energy of goodness into your life. You will be surprised at how things can change around for you this year!

#2- REALIZE YOUR GOALS WITH A VISION BOARD

One of my new year priorities is the making of my vision board. I make it to set the intention for the year, of things I want to see come through in my life and also focus on specific goals to make it happen. You know what? It works absolutely. I have done the boards for three years now and at the end of the year I reflect on it and realize how many of my goals did in fact come through. Of course not all of them do come through but that is either because it wasn’t meant for me or it didn’t happen in the time frame. My first board in 2012 showed pictures of a spa setting, well that didn’t come through until 2014! I tend not to throw out my old boards (will probably update this article in 10 years when I have a surplus of boards!) because it is helpful to look back and see how far I have come in my spiritual growth as well as realize as some old goals become actualized later on.

The making of a vision board is an easy process. You get some magazines and a board to make the collage on and then you make the intention to see and pin whatever appeals to you as you do this. As you flip through the magazines, words and pictures will invariably jump out at you and that is when you cut them and add to your board. People tend to put pictures all over the place but for me, the Capricorn in me needs order. I found an online layout that worked by following the principles of the bagua in Feng Shui. They have a specific corner for love, health, travel, work, finances etc… If you do it this way you can color coordinate  the base colors before you start pinning pictures (e-g-red background for love and green for finances et..) if you are so inclined!

After you make your vision board, put it in a prominent place where you can see it and spend some time focusing on it every day. I have mine in my bedroom so when I do my morning yoga routine, I can look at it and embed all the images and words into my consciousness. I then bring it down to the study, where I can glance at it from time to time while I work.

#3- THE ART OF MAKING RESOLUTIONS

The final point I have to make here is about resolutions. I know some people shy away from these but think about, successful people have certain habits that make them successful….this would be one of them! Not necessarily have a new years resolution, but having a plan. Every year I take the time to write down goals I want to accomplish as well as new activities/behaviors to try out to challenge me to come out of my comfort zone. I am constantly pushing myself to grow and expand and resolutions offer me a chance to do so.

I am very methodical about my resolutions though, I must warn you! I don’t make them and then put them to the side until the end of the year to bring them out and then feel dejected. No! There is a plan, and this is how it works:

1) I create a list of goals under four main headings: Personal Life, Career, Home and Finances. I then list 3-4 goals I would like to achieve under each heading. These goals have to grow me in some way, so for example:

-Personal Life: make 12 new recipes this year that are either vegetarian or vegan

– Career: Move home studio into an office building

– Home: declutter home

-Finances: Contribute $1200 to savings

2) Break the goals down into smaller goals to be accomplished on a quarterly basis:

For example, let’s take the home declutter project. I have three levels so I would say January-April clean out top level, May-August clean out middle level and September-December clean out lower level.

3) I would then break that down on a month by month basis:

January-clean out my room, February-clean out bathrooms, March-clean out guest room, April-clean out kids rooms.

When you do resolutions this way, it makes the larger goal seem more attainable and it gives you a steady guideline to accomplish it. This works! The only reason I do not complete a goal for a new year is if I get sidetracked and stop checking in with my goal, not because I couldn’t accomplish it or it was too hard to do.

I hope this helps! and I hope you liked the article, because you know what one of my new year resolutions is? To write a blog every week! So stay tuned, you will be hearing plenty from me in 2015!

 

Love and light,

Uma

 

Posted on: January 6th, 2015 No Comments