meditating on bali

Bali has been on my mind for months. I find myself fantasizing about lush green landscapes, tropical flowers and fruits, Hindu deities everywhere, yoga classes galore. Sitting lotus-style in rice paddy fields, communing with the divine, a calm, serene expression on my face…

Lotus_yellow_flower

My reverie was somewhat disrupted a few days ago when my dear friend Alexandra, a gifted empath and psychic, randomly asked me: “Aleya, why do you hate meditation?” This question had come to her from my spirit guides, during one of our many powerful conversations on life, consciousness, and the Divine Feminine. Alexandra is tuned in like no other, and I laughed and laughed at my guides’ bluntness. Busted!

Do I hate meditation? I know it’s something I generally avoid doing. My monkey mind seems completely untameable and, living right in the city, I feel constantly on edge. Neighbour noise, sirens wailing, cars honking…I’m always waiting for the next sound. Tension feels normal to me.

All the more reason to meditate. I get that. It’s not about waiting for external conditions to be perfect, but finding the inner quiet in any situation.

Isn’t it funny how we shun what we most need? The thing that’s right in front of us, so simple and obvious? The thing that would change our life?

Bali represents peace, quiet, tranquility…a state I’m longing for within. I know I don’t need to travel across the globe to discover that state; I could catch a glimpse of it right where I am, spending even just five minutes a day in stillness. And, as I often remind myself, wherever you go, there you are. Bali may soothe my churning mind for a while, but it’s not a panacea.

That said…what’s stopping me from taking a month away and recharging my batteries in a completely different environment? I don’t have a family or 9-5 job depending on me. Okay, I don’t have any money either, but I could probably figure something out. Sublet my apartment. Get a couple more contract gigs so I can work remotely if needed. Sell a bunch of stuff I’m ready to get rid of.

Lotus_flowers

How do we distinguish running away from running towards? When are we escaping, and when are we being called to a new experience? Alexandra says it’s a both/and. We can be fully aware that we’re resisting our current circumstances (our experience of which is determined by our inner state), and create something new at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive. Wherever we are, self-awareness is key. Creating consciously, not through default programming and expired beliefs.

Bali also represents healing for me. I want to lay upon her earth and absorb her Divine Mother energy into every one of my cells. Recent health issues have served as a wakeup call for me, compelling me to examine how some of my darker beliefs may be playing out in my physical body. None of it is wrong. I’ve done this work before, but it’s being taken to a deeper level. The answers, I know, cannot be found solely on the material plane.

Which circles me back to meditation. Running towards myself. Whether or not I will be on Bali anytime soon remains to be seen. But I am feeling her. I am breathing her in.

you do not understand your features

you do not understand your features

susan seddon boulet, ‘venus’, with my modifications

blog? what blog?

Life looks very different than it did just a few short months ago. Since wrapping up my job in September, things seem to be changing – internally and externally – at warp speed.

I have to say that these last weeks of 2014 have been some of the most eye-opening and emotionally intense in recent years.  I completed a school program, cleaned up messes and restored integrity with loved ones (this seems to be ongoing!), had an old flame contact me after years of distance, landed part-time work in a completely new field, started my own business with a dear friend, and met some amazing people who will undoubtedly play a significant role in 2015.

In all this, blogging took a backseat. And I’ve missed it!

Image courtesy of Vaughan Lewis

Image courtesy of Vaughan Lewis.

I remember sensing that once I quit my job, other aspects of my life would also change. And I don’t mean this on a purely physical level. Giving up my easy, cushy 9-5 was telling the universe that I trusted there is something more to life than the routine I’d become so accustomed to. It was saying – ‘I may be crazy, but I’m willing to take that risk. What could life really be like?’

I won’t lie that for the first few weeks after quitting, I was seriously second-guessing my decision. I realized that I deeply missed the structure my job provided.  Not the actual work, but having somewhere to go. My walks to and from work, and the daily coffee joint with the other ‘regulars’. Socializing with my friends and colleagues. Feeling like I was contributing to something.

I’m now appreciating the total responsibility I have for creating my entire life. It’s the first time in many years where it’s 100% up to me to plan my day.  I miss the structure of my old job? Well then, I must implement my own structure. It’s really that simple. (It’s our stories that make things complicated!)

Starting my own business has brought up a lot of stuff – excitement, fear, creativity, and doubt, to name a few.  But at this point there is no turning back. There’s a sense of urgency in the air and I know many of us are feeling it. Time is speeding up, and one year could easily turn into five.

If not now, then when? How do I want to design my life? And what am I actually doing to create that? In these last few weeks I’ve had to be really honest with myself about my procrastination tendencies…well, that’s another post. Suffice it to say that the universe supports me, but it’s not just going to pick me up and plop me into a new life without any action on my part. I need to give it something to work with! This is the power we have as creators. This is where our mettle is tested. Where I walk my talk.

***

On a different note, when I was in Bologna in 2013 I met a lovely couple from my hometown, and since we’d travelled to the same places in Italy, they kindly sent me their beautiful photos. Just recently I received a Christmas greeting from them.  I was immediately drawn to one of the pictures attached.  It was taken in Tulum, Mexico at a Catholic church on December 12, the Dìa de la Virgen de Guadaloupe.  There is a whole history behind the association of Mexican Catholicism and Aboriginal spirituality, but I personally was transfixed by the image of the mother and daughter, and the colours and feathers. To me the photo symbolizes the passing down of feminine knowledge and the role of the divine feminine on planet earth at this time. I knew there was a message for me here. And it has something to do with 2015.

With that I will say ciao – and that it’s good to be back! Wishing everyone a love-filled, creative, and inspiring new year.

 

 

 

 

the power of the women’s circle

Today is the final day of a 3-day sacred women’s circle I’m part of. I didn’t even know about the event until just a few days ago. It popped up on my Facebook wall (on the Full Moon, hmmm) and, despite my recent resolve to not spend money on retreats and workshops for the next little while, I knew immediately that I had to go. Not only would I be connecting with women in my own city, we would be learning the steps to facilitate our own women’s circles – gatherings where women come together to connect with each other deeply and authentically.

josephine wall, 'spirit of flight'

josephine wall, ‘spirit of flight’

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of leading women’s circles, so I trusted the divine timing at play and signed myself up before the doubting inner voice could talk me out of it.

After two days, what I know is this:

Few things are more powerful than women coming together in sacred circle to heal (individually and collectively).

Women can really go there when held in a trusting environment. Our emotional depth and our capacity to self-express makes my head spin (in a good way)!

It feels amazing to sit with a group of conscious women and feel truly seen and heard. Feeling that total acceptance is like coming Home. When judgment does come up, it is usually acknowledged (internally or externally), and dealt with.

-When women create sacred space with intention, magic happens. I mean real, palpable magic. The energy is electric. The power we can tap into when we are united is astounding.

I live two different lives: the one I present to the outside world, and the one in circle. In sacred space with my soul sisters (yes, even those I’ve only met two days ago!), I can relax and be truly Me, with no pretense. I can say things I would never ‘normally’ say out loud. Women can allow this for each other. It is possible. And when it happens, it is fucking amazing.

-Our society is set up such that women are often in judgment and competition with each other. It’s ingrained in most of us, and it takes constant conscious awareness to override this programming. Not an easy task when our triggers get activated and the pain runs so deep – not only in our present life experience, but in our ancestors/genes (DNA).

It is what it is for now, and it’s much more manageable when we have support and can see the bigger picture.

Women are waking up. And a lot of us really want men to be along for the ride, by our side, the Divine Masculine to our Divine Feminine. Both men and women can rise to a level of greatness that Planet Earth has not yet seen. The road to get there is not for the faint of heart…but it’s OH-SO-WORTH waiting for!)

***

I didn’t know the importance of authentic connection with women, or how much I needed it, till I experienced it for the first time a few years ago. A whole new world opened up.

This is where the Divine Feminine happens – when women gather together with the intention to awaken her. She is found in the real, raw, uncomfortable, deep, soulful, exhilarating, hilarious gatherings of women in our communities, in our backyards. The effects of those gatherings ripple out and transform all.

I’m driven to do this work…it’s exhausting and out of my comfort zone, it’s messy, and it brings up a lot of unpleasant stuff. I certainly can’t say it’s fun. But I feel alive when I’m doing it. I feel I’m tapping into something so Real in the midst of a grand illusion. This stuff matters. And I want more of it in my life.

And so it is.

the healing sea

healing sea

The ocean soothes and contains me. I grew up surrounded by water and can’t imagine my life without it. It is not an ‘it’, but an alive being whose consciousness I feel more and more. She feels feminine to me. Receptive, open, pulled by the moon…

Water is my conduit to the Divine, and her expansiveness holds all my hopes, dreams, prayers, fears, tears, and desires. Today I say ‘thank you’ to the healing sea, for always holding me in her loving depth.

stoking my heart’s fire

Fire has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s partly the talk of April’s cosmic intensity, but it’s also the desire to feel my own inner fire. To have it burn so strong and steady that I don’t question myself about anything anymore.

I want my life to be fuelled by that glowing, beautiful fire within. The fire that can be trusted to stir, ignite, heat up…but never harm or burn.

My inner fire is my inner voice. My inner voice is my heart.

'harmony', by the amazing toni carmine salerno.

‘harmony’, by the amazing toni carmine salerno.

For many years, I didn’t trust my heart. Somewhere in childhood, I began to rely quite heavily on my mind, my brain. I was always the smartest in school, and this became my ‘thing’. My brain was consistent. It was my trusty friend, and it wouldn’t let me down. It delivered.

My heart, on the other hand, was not so safe and predictable. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it shut down, but I recall many incidences where it became increasingly weighed down and stifled. I think many of us can relate to this. It’s not always just one thing that closes the heart; it’s more like it gives up after a string of defeats.

When we don’t feel our heart, how can we possibly trust it?

Throughout my teens and twenties, I saw myself as someone with a weak heart. Lots of physical ‘facts’ backed this up: a slight heart murmur, my Ayurvedic constitution, a lack of vitality, weak chi. I often felt awkward around people; I was an introvert, and small talk was painful. (That last part is still true.) I was envious of friends who could so easily connect with others.

When I was told I was ‘reserved’ or ‘angry’ and advised to ‘open my heart’, this lent to my sense of inherent wrongness, that my heart was somehow deficient. I felt transparent, like everyone could see right through me.

But – awareness is a wonderful thing, and I’m now questioning all that bullshit.

Of course I have a heart, and of course it’s strong, and of course it’s giving me guidance all the freakin’ time, and of course I can hear it. It may seem to speak softly…but it’s actually roaring.

The fire I’m feeling is my heart coming alive, my inner voice and authority becoming louder and clearer.

It’s time to let my heart take the reins. To trust that it’s been there all along. It’s the one thing that can provide true solace and guidance in these times of flux and change. My brain has been in control for so long, serving and protecting me well in many ways. But I must release some of that control, on the faith that something far more vast and powerful is available to me.

My heart was never really closed or hardened, because the heart cannot be those things. It can only be obscured – ignored, forgotten – to the point where it seems inaccessible. Its fire can become dimmer and dimmer, but that original spark, no matter how small, will never completely extinguish.

I’ve been intent on leveraging April’s potent energies to create what I really want. But it’s not just about lists and goals and external manifestations. The most meaningful creation must emanate from the heart-space. And this is about how I want to feel in life, more than anything: peaceful, steady, centered, trusting, vibrant, alive, passionate – and yes, oh-so-fiery.