Epiphany City: From Partier to Presence & Back

When I started on this path 11 years ago it wasn’t like I was all Zen all of a sudden. I’d party hard, go to work or an anti-war protest and then maybe head to a meditation sit.
partysusanna

One day, after about a month of this, I’d been up ‘til 4 in the morning at a club. Then I rolled into a day-long meditation sit at 8am. The instructions were great. Specific, clear, helpful. It didn’t matter a bit. All I could do was lay down on my cushion and sleep.

After a nap that lasted through two 45 minute sits, I awoke to finally meditate. It hit me over the head. Ah, I got it now. What am I running from? I wondered.

What is it I’m afraid to see when I get still that I have to be so busy and exhausted that I don’t have to look closely?
Fear of being alone, of being unworthy, of missing out, of life passing me by, of not being enough, cute, cool. Whatever. We all have these fears. And if we aren’t careful, what I saw is they can run us ragged in the name of work, fun and even service.

Back then if you can remember, or believe it, it wasn’t daily habit to have a phone on our bodies nonstop. But now, we wear them on us like protective armor. Checking our phones in social situations to cover up the anxiety we might feel. Waiting for the serotonin hit we get when our pictures get “liked.” If we aren’t careful, we have immediate access to infinite ways of checking out, covering up, disconnecting.

Meditation was then and is now my ticket to presence and peace. But it doesn’t have to be meditation. It can be anything that brings us right here, right now, into the moment. It took me a while to really get present and it’s still a dance I tango.
To really experience grace and peace, I realized the 7th chakra is our ticket to the divine unplug. It’s also our quickest hit to source and spirit. So often, now instead of getting lost in the clouds or down-loading from the cloud, I plug into the 7th chakra love cloud. Here’s a few ways to do this.

The seventh chakra is where we plug into it all. It’s about connection to spirit, connection to the present moment, and pure bliss. It’s about meditative joy and a sense of interconnectedness.
When we feel a lack of meaning in our lives, purposeless and adrift, with no sense of meaning, this is an imbalance of the seventh chakra. When we feel ourselves distracted and judgmental, skeptical and cynical, these are signs our 7th chakra is out of harmony. This is a deep, debilitating and even life-long occurrence for many of us. It is very possible to remedy imbalance.

7thchakraThis enlightening energy center is found at the crown of the head. It is connected to the pineal gland that regulates many functions in the body. Elementally, it embodies divine silence and the sound of oneness. It is where we source our faith, connection to source, divinity, transcendence and ability to be present.
If you breathe in and out and allow your awareness to float 2, 5 or 25 feet above the crown of your head, this is a powerful way to access the 7thth chakra. You can visualize its color as a radiant pure white light.

Here are 3 enlightenment and presence expanding practices.
Stop running to see what is really under it all.
That food we snack on when we aren’t hungry. That extra drink or toke we take. That hot connection that makes us feel icky. The day so full of plans you can hardly breathe. . . Why do we do that? Next time you feel run ragged, notice if the action comes from a feeling of lack. The feeling of Craving is natural. We are often uncomfortable with that feeling so we do everything we can to distract ourselves from it or immediately fill the lack. The secret to lack, is, though, it never goes away. No amount of chocolate, martinis, or conquests will fill it. When we stop running away and really look our lack in the face, acknowledge it, we have a chance at releasing ourselves from its grip. Each one of us has a slightly different cocktail of fears that manifest into different distractions. Looking at ourselves honestly, with the kind light of compassion, is the first way to gaining some peace, clarity and grace.

Invite in grace.
So we see our cravings, but we can’t control them. We want to feel more happiness, more joy and peace. We want to change, but we don’t know how.

Offer it up. This is a similar step in many recovery and spiritual traditions and it one of the quickest ways to clear out the mess and slingshot yourself right into the divine sightlines.a-childs-pose-7

Surrender. Invite in grace. Say something like, “I offer this (situation, crush, distraction) up to source. I invite in grace, happiness and ease.” Craving is sticky. You might have to keep reminding yourself to offer it up. In time, you will find and feel transformation.

Meditate.
One of the most powerful ways to find peace may not feel all that peaceful. When we sit still to meditate, the thoughts flow like a rushing river. Still, just being there, focusing on the breath, or a mantra, or whatever your object of meditation is, calms the mind. You can imagine the mind is like a snow globe after you’ve shaken it, most of the time. Meditation allows the little sparkly bits to all settle down. They are still there, sometimes still moving, but more gently and calmly. So, if you want, try it! Sit for 3, 5 or 10 minutes in the morning and evening. Pick a focus for your meditation like your breath or a white ball of light, or a mantra. However many times your mind wanders into the past, present or future, bring it back for those few minutes. Though your sit may not feel peaceful, you have balanced your 7 th chakra and filled your grace bank account!

And the bonus practice is living and feeling the power of presence.
purelight

Try doing whatever you are doing 100%. When I am with my son, after work, this is easy. I just put away distractions and give him my full attention. Often, I’m rewarded with joyful giggles or fun playtime. Sometimes it is whining and tears. Whatever I get, I work to stay committed to full presence. I also try to do this with friends, family, with trees, plants, the sky, or books. Giving full presence and attention not only causes the object of our attention to bloom like a flower, but it feeds and nourishes us immensely also.

I hope these tools and tips are helpful for you to enjoy your bliss and presence!

Now I’m inviting you to the presence party! I’m excited to announce the inauguration of our new community resource Blooming Lotus Yoga & Ayurveda in NE/LA.
moonI’ll be practicing private yoga, Ayurveda and coaching sessions here as well as hosting our now almost full Yoga Teacher Training!

I’d like to invite you to a donation based New Moon flow class to celebrate the grand opening! Please RSVP to me if you’d like to reserve your spot.

Come check it out while enjoying a 1 on 1 session or consider taking your practice to the next level in yoga teacher training with me!
In radiant light and joy,

Susanna

Susannasofa.jpg“The world is made whole
by your preciousness.
Do not rob it of your fullest expression.
Yoke yourself, like mad,
to daring exploration of your true nature.
Dive in. Share your voice. Shine your light.”

© www.healthyhotgoddess.com 2015

P.S. I’m published in an online Yoga publication!

It is a provocative article. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I’d love to hear your thoughts. This site is also an amazing resource for anyone interested in yoga today. http://www.decolonizingyoga.com/decolonize-yoga-practice/