Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Passover Squirrel

Inspiration: To continue to gaze in awe of the present moment.

Sitting upon a bench right outside Riverside Park, I was gazing up at the warm Spring sun. A big smile emerges on my face and heart. Then moments later I look straight in front of me at a great big beautiful tree. What I saw was definitely a first.

A squirrel had climbed up this tall monstrosity to exactly where the bench I was sitting on was parallel to. He seemed to be eating something that had his complete attention. It was a large piece of Matzoh of all things. I was in awe. The jewish squirrel I called him. My inner and outer vibration was pulsating with child-like eyes. I thought to myself, "This would be a really cool picture to take and post on Face Book."

So I reach into my bag and take out my camera. I took a picture but my zoom was not close enough to see the Matzoh in the squirrels arms. I was disappointed. In the next moment, the squirrel dropped the Matzoh and it plummeted down to the earth. He/she followed immediately.

The lesson for me at least in this experience is this. I was fully present, engaged and ecstatic when I was one with the squirrel enjoying his feast. The moment I separated out from this experience and my ego stepped in, it was all over.

Such is with life. When we are fully present and engaged whole-heartedly, there are magnificent and magical moments all around us. The moment we separate, is when this comes to a complete standstill. So I thank you my Passover squirrel for the lesson I will hold close to my heart and soul. The gift of this present moment. The gift of breath, sight, sound and being.

With Love, Denise

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Cracked POT

Inspiration: To continue to let the mundane inconveniences pass me by with a smile.

Yesterday, I was boiling a pot of water to have some tea. I usually do this in a regular 3.5 inch sauce pan without a lid. But this time I used one. A big one at that. Upon completion of my task, I poured the boiling hot water into my cup awaiting it to simmer a bit. Then I took the over-sized lid I had used from another pan and placed it over the burner I had just turned down.

Within seconds, the heat of the simmering burner had made the lid crumble into pieces. It's glass started to separate from the middle and burn throughout. I just stood there and watched this without any emotion. Interesting I thought. Probably was not the best idea to place the worn in top over the burner I had just shut off. Note to self : Not a good idea to place anything on a hot burner after you shut it off.

During this whole episode, I was completely detached. I waited a moment for the burner to cool so I could gather the crumbled glass from upon my stove. It was like a yoga flow, from one pose to another. Being in my breath with what was transpiring without reacting. Maybe it is the yoga and the practices I do my best to implore that keep me in this state.

Well, this example was with an object. When it comes to witnessing the bigger stuff, that can be more of a challenge. But a gentle and loving reminder to myself and whoever may be reading this, that as long as we can stay present with what is, and move from that place of intention, we stay in a state of absolute presence and ease. From that space, we do what needs (or doesn't need) to be done with a sense of stillness within. There are lessons in all things. Thank you to my retired pot lid.

Have a wonderful day!
With Love, Denise

Friday, March 22, 2013

My SOUL Keeps Talking to ME

Inspiration: To do my best to listen to the VOICE.
I am having an ongoing battle with my soul. Every time I go to the gym, it is like pulling teeth. It takes me hours just to get my barrings. I know this may sound ridiculous, especially since one of the many hats I wear is personal trainer. Seventeen years to be exact.
At many times during this period, I have trained myself to the ground (metaphorically speaking) where I am completely exhausted and energetically depleted. The more I continue to "open" myself through yoga, meditation and prayer, the louder the VOICE is becoming.
"When are you going to listen to me? When are you seriously going to let go of your rigidity of having a toned physique. You say you want to be a total peace, right? Then why are you STILL not listening to ME???"
Well, what I can say is that compared to my Linda Hamilton looking, terminator two running and eight-pack abs (yes eight) I have said goodbye. The moment my abs look a bit too defined now, I invite in more softness in the form of eating and allow for the peaceful yogini to emerge. I cut back and embrace.
So for right now, I am dancing between both worlds; the world I have known for so long and the world that excites me beyond words. One day at a time, right?
What might the voice of your SOUL be trying to tell you? What is it's quality, texture and tone look and FEEL like? As long as you live with an open heart, divine intelligence will dance with you. And that is truth.
With Love, Denise

Friday, March 15, 2013

Listening To Your Intuition

Inspiration: To listen under ALL circumstances...

It was a Thursday evening. It had been some time since I took one of my favorite spiritually-infused yoga classes. I was exhausted from the week, my "cycle" and just needed a good dose of chanting, devotion, practice and meditation.

The class began with the teacher inquiring who had any injuries. Nearly the entire room made a contribution; even me but only because he asked and he already knew. His question was quite purposeful as you will soon see.

For some reason, he then proceeded to ask the young woman next to me a bizarre follow-up question."Even though you have an injury you are happy who you are, right?". He then went on to say, "Your ailment is perfect and you wouldn't want to be Denise, even though she is pretty." Her reply was no. My EGO self was annoyed because I definitely wouldn't want to be her, at least in the physical anyway.:( Our mats were quite close and this was the beginning of me not enjoying her proximity. For some strange reason, (aside from me obviously not enjoying her company) I felt like moving my mat. But I didn't. I was a good yogi and decided to stay and be with my feelings.

As the class began, her breathing was quite loud and was extremely irritating. Again, being a good yogi, I focused on my breath, my practice. As the class ebbed and flowed I was immersed in the dance and  surrender of my being. Then it came time to do inversions. There were two variations of headstand offered which are my fav's. The postures were broken down in advance. I am adept at this posture but did listen to his explicit instructions. I was in the full expression of headstand and then all of a sudden, it happened. She toppled onto me; sideways.

Not only was I startled and concerned for myself, I had to be mindful as one of my injuries resides in the shoulder and cervical spine. Thank heavens she fell on my good side and was okay. But boy was I fuming, pissed and ready to explode. But I didn't. I am a good yogi and I was okay. But my teacher needed to go further and address what had happened since her thump apparently caught the attention of the entire group. He looked at me and asked if I was okay. And knowing me well continues to say, "Recognize you have Karma between you. Accept that." To which I gave him one of my seriously, dirty looks. This takes a great deal of seething to come to the surface. He then goes on to say to the girl,"This is why I ask to follow my instructions and to not let your EGO get in the way. You shouldn't have done that." No s**t!

Why am I scribing all of this story? Because my intuition was to relocate my space.After class had begun, I was "guided" to move but didn't want to cause a disturbance and like I said, be a good yogi. So as important as it is to let these situations be a teacher, my greater teacher last night was my sixth sense. I should have listened and then I wouldn't have been pissed off. As I continue to scribe, there are lingering remnants of my fuming feelings residing within...Can you sense it?

Any way, all feelings aside, here are the bigger questions: Are you listening and following the guidance you receive? Are you taking care of you or worrying about how you will be perceived? First and foremost we have to honor ourselves no matter what. While it is considerate to be mindful of others, it is most important to stay true to YOU. Think about that for a bit....and have a blessed day!

With Love, Denise

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hello Mercury Retrograde, Bring IT!

Inspiration: To continue to move forward fearlessly regardless of what the planets are saying...

Ahhh the planet Mercury. The ruler of communication, connecting and the thinking mind. There are three to four times a year, that this distinguished planet decides to take a vacation so to speak and turn retrograde. We are now in the midst of this cycle.

From February 23 through March 17, 2013, dear Mercury is once again allowing us to retrace our steps. To review and rethink the past. Our actions and deeds. This is not particularly the best time to move forward in any new venture, relationship, business, or  to sign any contracts. Best to WAIT a bit. But as I said this is a fabulous time to review and revisit.

Me and most usually cringe at this, but for the first time (I believe anyway) I am inviting it all in. Taking a good look at what I have previously pushed away and some of the situations that have since presented themselves. So far, I can say I am having a grand time!!! The more we can welcome whatever we need to learn, transcend or discover, the more ease full our lives become. It doesn't have to be in a Mercury Retrograde pattern but then again why not.

Movement tends to be slow, communications are funky, so what else should we do? Reflect that's what.We should also begin to clean up any loose ends, the clutter, the paperwork, that long overdue phone call. So when this powerful planet begins its forward motion again, we are in a magnificent place to receive. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the dance....

And most of all, have fun!

With Love, Denise

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ten Years After

Inspiration: I am GRATEFUL for who I am now.

Today marks a decade upon my return back from Southern California. Today is also the day, a dear friend of mine decided to move there.Someone I have known for over six years. Someone I had a dalliance with last year. Strange. Karma. Who knows.

All things aside, life is funny. It did not hit me until I awoke this am that I have been back in New York City for a decade. A time filled with great change, loss, redemption and awakening. Aspects of myself I have seen drift into the distance; new parts of myself being reborn.

When we ask the powers that be for our lives to be different, what happens is that the foundation we have known is deconstructed, and a new building given shape. This structure has many rooms, many aspects that need to be fine-tuned. Just like the plumbing in a house has to flow, so it is with our energy.

When we invite in divine possibility and ask for our lives to change, we go through an intense period of rebirth. While it is challenging and extremely humbling at times, the journey into our true authentic selves is worth it. It takes great courage to step out of the known into unchartered waters.

As this is a continued process of contraction and expansion, know that when you are down in the valley, eventually you rise to the mountaintop. The choice is yours....So today, I feel that much of my karma has been released. Especially as I made peace ( in a magnificent way) with this friend whom I saw at his going away party last night. Simply divine. I couldn't have asked for a more blessed experience. I am filled with gratitude for literally coming full circle and invite in the new and wonderful; in all directions of time and space. Bring it!

Enjoy the journey; this magical ride!!!

With Love, Denise