Friday, July 29, 2011

It is Friday

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

We, here at the Lilypad, are anxiously awaiting the return of the Blisschick. 

The rabbits are making new coats for the event of her return.  FUR IS FLYING! 

I guess Lilly should vacuum. Maybe she could convince Toby or Tuppy to dust.  Daisy is already busy bathing herself and has no time to help with domestic tasks.

In any case, here is a video the Chick asked us to post. 

How about it? Do you like YOU, too?





Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Brief Update

HELLO! 

This is not the Blisschick.  We will repeat: This is not the Blisschick.

We are a menagerie of Animals writing from Lilypad HQ.  These sentences are wearing us out so much, that....well.......



Zzzzzzzzzz.  Snore.  Zzzzzzzzzzzz.....oh, what? 

OH, HELLO!

Now, where were we?

Oh, right-- we are a menagerie of Animals writing from Lilypad HQ to let you know that the Blisschick is Otherwise Occupied and away at Kripalu, and is too busy Learning Things to have time to really write anything.  Suffice it to say, she is learning lots and lots, and will return soon with News.

In the meantime, we are going to take a nap. 

Anyone with us?


Monday, July 25, 2011

Before Leaving to Do Something BIG, I Did Something BIGGER!


As you read this, I am sitting or moving in a classroom at Kripalu, studying the use of movement, play, and rhythm to treat and heal the effects of trauma.

Those notebooks are for this trip, because glitter helps me to remember not to take things so seriously and to have some freaking fun here and there, if only when petting said glitter notebooks -- they have the feel of a banana seat from our 1970s bicycles...do you remember?

Before I left for this trip, I did something really BIG. HUGE! 

Breakthrough level!

I filmed my first little Kundalini yoga video. It's private and only meant for my local, IRL students, but I was so damn pleased with it in so many ways that now I know I have opened the floodgates.

(Which just makes me think of "RELEASE THE RIVER!" and if you know what that refers to, you get a glitter star for geeks!)

I'll write, as usual, while away, but there won't be any photos as I will be working from my iPad and don't feel like fiddling with all of that.  So enjoy the glitter.  Even if you can't pet it. (And you know you want to.)


Friday, July 22, 2011

Increasing Light


(Lilly cat is prone to drama...)

Animals are a major source of loving and healing energy for me, and they always have been. They are fur-covered unconditional love, as we say here at the Lilypad. If we pay attention, they totally teach us how to live.

They are light, that's for sure.

Before writing yesterday's post and while contemplating content for my new (still to come!) website, I realized that I wanted to re-emphasize the good, the bright, the radiant.

Doing this is not denial.  It is not ignoring "all the bad in the world."

Oh, no, quite the opposite.

When we focus on and work with the light, we are going into battle with the dark.

We are directly confronting the dark of the world, as Spiritual Warriors, as co-creators.

Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more
helpful to ask why the light isn't as bright as it could be.


What I would love to hear from you:

Where do you find light in your life?

How do you help to increase the light in your own life and the light in the lives of others'?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Apologies & My Love to You


(I don't usually dance in a long skirt, but I was leading a special drum/Afro-Caribbean dance night and so I got a lovely elephant skirt to wear. I am in the purple top.  Then there were other lovely skirts and Marcy got some wonderful blurry dancing skirt shots, so I thought I would share.)

Oh, wow, do I have a lot on my mind.

You know, if you read here with any regularity, that I am very passionate about having overcome depression, anxiety, and a whole host of craptastic brain issues without the aid of pharmaceuticals.  I also am passionate about the intentionality of pharmaceutical companies in their efforts to pathologize human nature and get more and more of us on unnecessary drugs.

When I write about this issue, I try to be veryVERY clear that there are cases when drugs are helpful and furthermore, necessary for survival.

But recently a couple of things have brought to my attention the pain that this type of polarization is bringing to people.

Our approach to medicine has never been more polarized.  At one end, we have the extreme of television commercials aimed at patients to convince them to be their own doctors, and at the other end, we have a "natural" community that thinks you're lazy/stupid/ignorant/bad if you can't go out, pick some weeds, and heal yourself.

The result of this type of either/or, black/white, extreme thinking is that it puts well-meaning, good human beings in the middle and it squishes them.

For example, I have a dear friend who just made a really smart and long thought out decision about some medicines.  She did the RIGHT THING, but she felt guilty for it.  And she feels judged.  She is a wonderful human being full of love and she should neither feel guilty nor judged by other people who have no idea what she has been through.

Another example from recently: Marcy read one of my posts about love being the cure, and she is the one who taught me that love is the cure.  But she is also smarter than me when it comes to love and she pointed a couple of things out to me.

First, Love is the Cure when it is good, nurturing, unconditional love and how many people have that?!  How many people even know what that looks like, much less where to find it.  This makes me so sad.  It makes me sadder to think I have made anyone feel badly about this lack of unconditional, helpful love in their lives.

Second, she pointed out that sometimes loving someone into a cure includes medication, because that is where there are at and unconditional love is loving people where they are.  Period.

In an ideal world, I would like to take all the people in pain and put them in love houses like they are doing in Finland. I would like to surround people with that kind of healing love and show them that it is through relationship that we heal each other and are healed.

That is the ideal world.  In which we do not live.

For now, I will extend my apologies to anyone whom I may have hurt in previous discussions of this material, and I will extend love to you all.

You are loved.

You are made of love.

You are worthy of love.

May you find and know deep, unconditional, nurturing, God-like love in this lifetime and beyond.  May you give that love to others.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Taking Care of Ourselves, 2.0


Often when we discuss the concept of taking care of ourselves, I get frustrated by the focus on surface things like taking salt baths, drinking a cup of tea, reading a book, going to the spa.

None of this sits well with me.  I have always sensed that these answers are about "treating" ourselves, which is totally necessary, but this is different than taking care.

I take salt baths, drink yummy drinks, nap, and do all those (rather luxurious) things that are more about "spoiling." Again, this is necessary to some degree, but it has not alleviated my feelings of being rushed, not having enough time, being overwhelmed, exhausted, and all those feelings/perceptions that push me to crave taking care of myself in the first place.

Taking care, I have come to figure out (at this point), means knowing yourself so well that you know exactly what you need in order to live the life you were born to live.

I am being very abstract so let's get concrete:

One of my main frustrations lately has been about getting things done.

I have dreams; I have desires; I have goals, but I am not moving toward them. So I set out looking for a "system" that will aid me in my quests. I think I need better to-do lists or an online project management application.

As soon as I start looking at these sorts of products, my stomach lurches. I know they are wrong. I know they are just more (for me) Distraction Techniques with pretty lights and flashy buttons.

So Marcy and I start to really dig into the underlying issues with me.  Why am I not moving forward?

(Realize, of course, that this a major condensing of a huge and long and frustrating process for us.)

Eventually, we (and by "we," I really mean "SHE" because she is the true brains of this operation)...eventually, we figure out that if I have a class scheduled for some point in the day, that I get rather paralyzed by waiting for that class to happen.

Then we figured out that I do not respond to time cut up into slots like they are on traditional work calendars.  Those time slots all cut up into tiny pieces make me feel like there is actually NO TIME.

Finally, Marcy (coming from a family of teachers and an education background herself) figures out that my day happens not in time slots but in activities.  She also realizes that I am a visual person and therefore need visual cues.

Ta-DA!  Like Freaking Magic, she comes up with a visual way to represent the FLOW of my days, and guess what!?  I am Getting Things Done.

HA!  THIS is what I mean by Taking Care of Ourselves, 2.0: Becoming so well acquainted with how our minds work, what our bodies need, how our spirits thrive that we can create ways of being that are unique to us. DUH!

You are not shaped like a box so why do you keep trying to shove yourself into one?!

Here's what I would love to hear from you:

How are you different from other people?

How can you work with those differences rather than against them?

If you were an exotic animal, you would know that you need certain things to live: like heat lamps or specific greens or... Guess what?! You ARE an exotic animal...so what the heck do you need that you have been denying yourself?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Dosha is on FIRE!


That picture of Daisy is pretty much what I feel like in this heat we've been having.  I am definitely dreaming of winter at this point.

On Sunday, I leave for Kripalu for a week of study and there is no air conditioning in that giant, brick, sitting on a hill in full sun monastery.  Sigh.

I may have to sop myself up and put myself in a bucket to come home.

My pitta dosha is not happy.

When I say that, do you know what I mean?  In Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medicine system of India), there are three primary types. Do you know yours?  Go here for a good quiz and lots of information.

It can be interesting.

Of course, this system was developed in India -- talk about HEAT -- and it was developed with the Indian body in mind, so take the advice with a grain of salt...keep in mind that if you are of European descent, you most likely have some different needs.

And if you are suffering from the heat, be smart and observe the cats; they totally know how to handle it.

What I would love to hear from you:

Do you know your dosha?

Did you find out anything interesting by taking the quiz?

Is this stuff accurate for you?

Do you have healing systems from other parts of the world that you find particularly helpful?


Friday, July 15, 2011

Saturation Point Reached


I am having one of those weeks when I am processing and learning a lot of stuff about my own self.  It's good, productive stuff going on inside this animal.  For example, I finally have figured out some ways to get my brain onto paper. To get my ideas somewhere where they are being held but I don't have to actively hold onto them.  Which gets brain tiring, really.

I am learning more and more about how this particular animal works.  It did not come with any kind of manual, which is annoying but, I guess, adds to the adventure.

In the meantime, when I am having learning jumps like this, the internet becomes extremely annoying to me. It all feels like empty argument and competition.

Yogis bitching about who is "really" a yogi.

Lots of people seeing nothing but negative all around them, including both ends of the political spectrum.

Lots of Shouty Mc-shoutowitzes all thinking they are right or better or smarter about something.  LOUD!

Bloggers making nothing of substance but talkin' a whole lot about how they can help you make something of substance (if you pay them, of course). What?!

So I am writing this ahead of publishing time and taking a few days to read, relax, and create, as opposed to fight, claw, and destroy.

What do you do when you feel saturated? (Besides threaten to tear down every single piece of your personal on-line landscape...which is just a demonstration of my propensity for drama.)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest Post & Music Mastery

Yesterday, I was honored to be a guest over at Magpie Girl, writing for her new series about right fit relig-ish practices. Check it out!

OH! And a quick question: what music do you listen to in the morning?

I am assuming you are not so silly as to listen to news and feed negativity into your brain upon waking, but do you dampen your energy first thing with "calm" music?

My new routine that has me rockin' my day includes Motown or other favorite attitude-izing sounds!

Remember, music can instantly change your mood so be aware.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Things Change Suddenly After So Long...


I was recently asked if, when I started to dance again at the age of 40, if it was a process or if I just dove right in and never stopped.

The short answer: I dove right in. I started dancing at that wedding and I danced the next day and the next and have pretty much not stopped since.  Two years later.

The long answer: By the time I went to that wedding and stood up and danced and was basically born again, by that time? I had spent almost 40 long years doing all the ground work.

I had spent 15 years with a loving partner dissecting every inch of my story until I understood where I had come from and what I had been through and how I could possibly now move on and be happy.

I had spent most of those 15 years studying every form of self-help known to bookstore loving woman.

I had spent most of those 15 years doing yoga, taking vitamins, walking around and around and around, thinking, processing, writing in my journal.

I had spent some of those years paralyzed by grief, barely able to leave the house.

I had spent far too many of those years stuck in my own stink.

So yes, I was born again in about three minutes but it took too many damn decades to get to that "suddenly."

Here's what I would like to hear from you:

What are you waiting for?!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Wastin' Our Time with All This Perfectionism Crap


I love the lighting in this photo. I love the framing. I love my neck and my back and the way the tutu sticks out, riding a bit away from me thanks to my strong and slightly-round dancer butt.

There is a lot I love in this photo.

Yet I almost could not bring myself to share it, because of my still-insistent perfectionism that whispered in my ear with her acidic, nasty, cutting voice: "Yeah...you think you've come a long way, but look at your upper arms..."

Well, we wouldn't want to fall too deeply in love with ourselves, now would we?

We wouldn't want to just accept our innate perfect beauty that is a physical manifestation of the Infinite in the flesh and blood now.

No. That would mean we would have tons of energy for other things. We would just move from this place of knowing that we simply deserve to be here by virtue of our existence.  We might actually then tap into the potential power that we are as conduits for all that is and will be.

No. If we accepted and loved ourselves totally unconditionally, holding nothing back, we might then radiate that love out toward everyone who comes into contact with us.

We might change the freaking world.

It is much easier to listen to Miss Nasty and hate our arms.

What I want to hear from you:

No need to reassure me about my arms; that is not the point here. This is just a story to illustrate a larger point.

Instead I would love to hear how you are loving yourself more.

What are you doing to radiate your beauty and love into the world?

If you weren't wasting your time being mean to yourself, what do you imagine you could accomplish?


Friday, July 8, 2011

Five Feisty & Fiery Females Friday


A new addition to my morning routine is that Marcy has started leaving a note for me with instructions to guide my day. She leaves these little gems of love in a Mary font right next to the bed, so I barely have to sit up to reach them. There is nothing like unfolding a tiny, handwritten note to start your day.

Today, I leave you with some love notes in the form of link love:

  • Lori-Lyn and I often seem to be on the same page or at least in the same chapter, and she just wrote about fears and how they end up building prisons around our hearts and spirits.
  • This quote alone will make you run right over to Megan's writing:  "We sit in our own baby pool most of the time saying to ourselves and to the world, This is who I am!  This is who I am!"
  • Regan is one of my new favorite bloggers right now. She writes with such passion and she covers her bases, that's for sure, never leaving out any body. There is also always a good dose of ass kickin' spit fire.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Announcing the Only Fast that will Truly Change Your Life


(Would love to see an opera here some time soon; they are all done in English!)

(Note: I eat gluten free because I have to or my brain does not work. Quite literally. This post is not about real, serious food allergies.)

Sometimes I eat chocolate for breakfast. You read that right. Don't go all Food Police on me, either, because I Do. Not. Care.

Yep, I am sticking my tongue out at you Food Police out there.

I am being a little silly but also very serious, and I am pretty mad right now about all of this.

Many of us (most of us?) have had problems with disordered eating, and so many of us have worked really hard to create better relationships to our eating, to food, to what should be a sensual and beautiful part of our lives -- meals and friends and wine and chat and all that surrounds taking in sustenance.

How we put food into our bodies, how we think about food is about as important as the food itself, and some would assert (and I would agree) that it is more important than the food itself.

So when I read a blog that presents itself as woman and body positive that then challenges its readers to food "fasts" of any kind, I get downright pissed off.

How dare they?

We do not need any more rules!  Rules are what got us into trouble to begin with:

Rules about what "pretty" is.

Rules about what "fit" is.

Rules about what "good" food is.

Rules about how much "exercise" you "should" get.

Rules about "burning off" celebration related calories. (UGH!)

Rules, rules, rules...I AM SICK TO DEATH OF RULES.

Here is the one rule you need: Love your body and give her what she asks for.

Period.

If she wants chocolate for breakfast now and again, so what?!  Maybe there is a deeper reason than our small brains can ever fathom.

Rules are all about control and control is about fear. When you come up against a rule that you've not noticed before, the key question to ask is: What am I afraid will happen without this rule?

And here is a Fast, I would love to see more of us participate in and I would love to hear how you plan on following the Fast.

I officially declare now and forever to be:

The Most Auspicious &
Totally Rad Fast from RULES!

Step One: Stick your tongue out at all those people out there who would have you CONTROLLING yourself rather than LOVING yourself.

Step Two: Do what you like.

Step Three: Have fun and ENJOY LIFE!


That's it.  It's that simple.  Will you join me?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is Your "Healthy" a Disguise for Control?


Within about 9 months, I dropped about 4 sizes and I have continued since then to get fitter...*

(*I tell this story so I can get to a specific and important punchline...)

When I say this, women's eyes light up and they wait for the Big Secret. They assume a Big Secret.  Or some Magic Trick.

There wasn't one.  Well, there was, but it's not some rule to follow of some fruit to eat or some vinegar to drink or any of that.  It's not about what you put in your body at all.

It's about love.

Self love. Body love. Acceptance. Joy. The whole bundle of what unconditional love really means.

This is much harder than just saying "I will give up this, this, and this, and then POOF! all my body dreams will come true!"

That is not love; that is control.

As someone who has long suffered from disordered eating and body image disorders, I know a thing or two about control and what happened to me when I started dancing two years ago (almost to the day) was about the opposite of control.

It was about love.

As soon as I started to dance seriously again, I loved my life. I learned over time to admire my body and its abilities and then I learned to love her and see her beauty. This was huge.

Are you truly loving your body or are you still trying to control your body, using "healthy" as a disguise?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dreamboards are Not for Sissies

A Freshly Pimped Back Area at the Lilypad

I adore a lot of people out there who utilize the dreamboard as a tool. I didn't get it. I just saw a lot of cut up magazines and wasted time.  Had I ever tried a dreamboard? Why, no, but that can be the way I am -- with my wonderfully uninformed opinions and my overall tendency toward, well, stubbornosity.  ((snort at self inserted here))

Just about two weeks ago, I was reading over at Jamie Ridler (one such lovely and adored person who frequently preaches the efficacy of dreamboards), and she had posted a podcast with a life coach offering a free workbook.  (And here comes some of that stubborn uninformed stuff again...)

I thought, Oh, wow...another workbook...

But I clicked over to check it out (proving that, though I am stubborn and pig headed and all sorts of other things, I am predominantly optimistic and full of hope).

First, it had good eye candy, and since I am a crow, that caught me enough to get me to download it.

Also, I was recently realizing that I was floating way too damn much and my ambitions are much bigger than floating allows for.

I decided since I had discovered my severe case of Floating-itis that I would finish the workbook. Period. I would also go one step further and take it seriously.

In one section, you are creating a visual representative of a metaphorical space that is what you want your work life (or any other part of you life) to look like.  The author does this with paints, but I am also impatient (look at all my wonderful qualities!), so I decided I would look for photos online and create my space in a collage sort of way.

Otherwise, I would make a dreamboard!

I learned some stunning things by the time I was finished with said dreamboard.

For instance, I learned that the thing I wanted to be the center of all my other creative efforts was receiving none of my time.  Like, zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Big black hole of nothingness.  So much nothingness that it was sucking in more nothingness.

You get the idea.

I thought, Okay, well, that is interesting.  I will try to work on that.

"I will try to work on that" is basically the mantra of the Already Given Up.

I did not know, though, that dreamboards, as the wise Jamie Ridler asserts (and so do many others), hold magical powers.

I hung mine in my writing space so I see it every time I sit here to write to you, dear reader.

And suddenly...

(Ah...the mark of a truly brilliant writer who excels at transitions, the "And suddenly...")

Suddenly?  Because it really does feel like suddenly?!  I am doing that thing at the center. I had major big time giant crazy-huge breakthroughs with that thing.

And then what happened?

Well, then what happened was that breakthrough exploded and bits of it landed all over the freaking place and now I understand more about all of the aspects of my work than I thought I ever would.

And the ideas!  Oh, my, the ideas!  I am no longer a black hole but a big bang of beginnings.  And thanks to Gunsinger's (there it is!) workbook, I also have the tools to work toward all of this.

P.S. By the way, I am in no way affiliated with or getting anything from Gunsinger. I am just totally geeked that her little FREE product has changed my freaking life!!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Lies that Underlie the Fear of Happy


When I am in motion like that, there is no fear; there is only the essential happy me.

And then I slow down or sit still...

And the voices of the gremlins start chattering away in my brain.

As I wrote about yesterday, I am working right now with the fear of never being enough, which is a fear based on a lie -- we are always just enough right now.

Another fear that is poking at me is this fear that if I totally relax into my current happy (which is BIG) then something bad will blind side me because I am not paying attention.

This fear is based on a cluster of lies.

Lie Number One:  Happiness is not our natural state. Quite the contrary, we are built to be happiness itself, and by happy, I don't mean some manic HIGH. By happy, I mean contentment and peace within ourselves. Happy as in knowing exactly who we are (Universe wrapped in skin) and feeling our real power (to create our lives).

Lie Number Two: The Universe/God/Divinity is cruel. Do you see that in my fear? If I am happy, there is this sense that I will be punished for it.

Lie Number Three: I do not deserve to be totally happy. This is a big one. It is tied into the issue of being enough. It is about our sense of unworthiness. That we are not "good." That we barely deserve to be here, much less to have happy or wonderful in our lives.

Lie Number Four: There are monsters waiting around every corner and you must be vigilant. The truth is there are only monsters where we see them. They are not actually there. We make them appear with our fears.

Now...when I am totally present in my body, none of this is in my mind or heart. Because when you are totally present in the body, you are totally present. Right here. Right now. And in that place, there are no monsters, there are no fears, there are none of these lies.

The solution to this does not reside in the mind. You cannot "un-think" yourself to happiness. As Gabrielle Roth says, you are not going to think yourself out of a problem that is created by the mind to begin with.

What lies and monsters does your mind generate when you give it primacy in your life?