self-love. we’re doing it wrong. (+ how to do it)

photoIt’s Valentine’s week. If your social media feed is anything like mine, you’ve been hearing a lot about capital “L” love. In particular, much leaning in toward Self Love, which is not only a prerequisite one would argue before True Love with another human, but also a more Universal angle, because regardless of whether you have another human with whom to canoodle this Friday, you most certainly have yourself. So, self love. A good thing to have, natch’.

However, a lot of what I’m seeing is defining self love as self care, and the thing is, they are not quite the same thing, darlings.

I love self-care. I am queen of self-care. What I put into, onto, against my body is by far the largest expenditure and priority of my life. I am well aware that if I do not take care of myself, I may take out my wrath out on the rest of the world. Yes, this is a form of loving myself, caring for myself, but it is not self-love.

There are 2 components to true self-love.

One is identification with the pure essence of your being. The “I AM” the Self, capital S, grand master momma divine connection to the Universe of all that has ever been, ever is and ever will be, X a bajillion.

When you are truly, super duper connected to this essence, there is no small “s” self.  ”You” vanish, and all that is happening is pure experience.

It’s quite simpler and far less “David Copperfield” than it sounds, but still profoundly beautiful.

You cannot choose this or will it or force it. It is always, there, but believe me sweetness, it is buried deep beneath loads of our own and societal bulsh**.

Every once in a while you fall into it.
You give up and it shows up.
You can’t really practice it.

We try of course. (Of course!) We set up meditations, events, practices… we journey, we excursion, we stretch… we puja, kirtan, retreat, cleanse, pray, intend, beg, breathe, beg some more, for it to be uncovered, but none of those things are a guaranteed deal.

The more we do, the better odds we have of It revealing, but it’s always sort of a happy accident when the big Self takes over. You can build it, it will come, but It decides when.

The self-love that we actually have control over is dealing with our minds, emotions, and what happens inside of us. The self-love is not reaching for this capital Self and distracting from what is inside, but LOVING WHAT IS ALREADY THERE.

Let me repeat this.

SELF LOVE IS LOVING WHAT IS ALREADY THERE.

The good, the bad and the ugly. Especially the ugly.
You don’t need to fix yourself. You just need to be with yourself.

Much of what is said about self-love is reaching for things to try to cover up these ugly sides. The jealousy, neediness, anger, hurt, comparison, judgment, selfishness.

As if these things shouldn’t be there.
As if there is something wrong with these things.

Have you ever paused to consider why these qualities are within us?  And I don’t mean in an investigative “what made me this way” way, pointing the finger to the lover, the parent, the defining moment in 1st grade when we were passed over for the popular playgroup… because of course we’ve all done that.

From a broader landscape, if we believe all that we need is within us, and that our purest core is oneness and Ultimate Love (and if you are reading this, whether or not you believe that, I know you want to believe it)… if we believe that, then WHY are we RUNNING from the ick that’s within us?

Doesn’t it stand to reason that what is within us will free us, not if we escape it, but if we embrace it?

The secret to life is when we stay with what is, it mutates. This is self-love.
THIS self-love is what leads to Self Realization, which leads to (capital S.L.) Self Love.

When anything that happens outside of us triggers us and that ugly personality pops up (for all the hearts and flowers of Valentine’s, I know I for one, have already had plenty of work with this, this week) it’s an opportunity for us to stay with it. Not to massage, manage, sweat or self care it away.

To just be.
To just be ourselves.

The second we accept it, it transmutes. And Love, capital L, Grand Master Flash Love, shows up.

This is how we clear up the unconscious charges we’ve been carrying around, well, forevs in some cases: we stay with what is. It is being with what is uncomfortable that clears the way for our bliss, not reaching for bliss that covers the uncomfortable. The former is permanent healing. The latter is a pretty, glittery, oh-so-appealing band-aid.

Oh, and you’d think this is common sense, but apparently it needs to be said: self-love is never at the expense of others. That’s just douche-baggery sweetheart. When your stuff comes up, as best you can, like the responsible adult you are—go deal in your own heart, mind and body and then return to those you love, clear and raw and willing to be real.

This week, and from here on out if you please, give yourself Self Love. The love to be yourself. Just as you are.  From my heart to yours: Happy Valentines.

a betrayal of the senses

1468803_10152019587330865_1621831181_nThis past weekend, I saw one of my favorite Pinter plays, BETRAYAL on none other than The Great White Way.  A super hot, star-studded movie-star cast upped the sparkle.

Very early into the play, the computerized set simply shut down. The stage manager’s voice immediately echoed in the dark theatre:

“Thank you everyone for your patience, we are experiencing technical difficulties and the show will resume as soon as possible.”

Having spent many years on stage myself and thereby encountering glitches from stuck stagehands toting couches, to massive barricades bringing singing revolutions to a grinding halt, I knew this could take a bit of time.

It did, about 15 minutes at the first “pause” and then subsequent delays in each scene thereafter.

What was astonishing was how quickly the audience moved to not sit still.

We were just 20 minutes into the play after the 2nd scene, and at the first minor delay, iPhones, Blackberrys, smartphones lit up the theatre, just seconds after the stage manager’s announcement.

Now, this was the Saturday evening of Thanksgiving weekend. Nothing was happening. Families and individuals still in holiday mode, and unless you had a small child at home or were a doctor on call (highly unlikely if you spent $160 for your ticket) there was very little probability that anything from your life would be calling you for immediate attention that happened in the 20 minutes prior.

My companion and I took that time to chat, catch up and I was surprised to see how many people didn’t do just that.

The woman in front of us, rather than speak to her two girlfriends on either side, trolled Facebook zeroing in on pictures of her 50-something friends and their husbands.

The elderly gentleman to my left pulled out his PDA and opted to play a game rather than speak to his wife next to him.

Halfway through the play, when each delay took longer than 30 seconds, a few began to leave. This is the extent of our collective impatience.

My heart went out to the actors, who had an uphill climb between scenes: when there was more than a moment of silence or darkness, the theatre lit up with hundreds of devices, people checking to see what may have changed in the last 12 minutes on a sleepy holiday Saturday: the 1st delay had conditioned the audience to lose trust and patience.

My cohort, who is also a dedicated student and has countless times heard me lecture about media and mindfulness, not to mention bitch about how hard it is to find a Midtown or Midwestern restaurant that doesn’t have TVs blaring at the bar, mused,

“My God, it’s true. No one knows how to just ‘be’ anymore.”

All in all, the show ran about 40 minutes long. Most of those were short internal pauses.  People were free to get up, go to the bathroom, grab a sippy cup of wine if you could talk the bartender downstairs into giving you one.

40 minutes wasted on checking into a world that wasn’t there. That 40 minutes could have been time better spent getting to know your companions, sit quietly and contemplate the play you just spent a nice chunk of change to experience, or gee, just relax on a holiday Saturday.

Distraction is just distraction, or running from our suffering. Even running from boredom is running from suffering. To just sit and be where we were could have been a glorious opportunity for internal growth or sidy-by-side connection.

Oh, and look, I am just as guilty. No doubt. But each time we make the choice to lean into the presence and present of what is, it deepens the wellspring of our groundedness in Reality.  Anxiety, insomnia, any one of dozens of psychological disorders could be alleviated if we just made the conscious choice to sit still. I’m not even saying formal meditation: just shut up, and be there.

Every moment of stillness we choose is like a deposit into the bank of future clarity, bliss and auspiciousness. And every moment we distract, we burrow deeper into maya, conditioned existence. We’re literally pulling the wool over our own eyes and deadening our senses to the brilliant, True experience of Life. Not only in that moment, in future moments.

So a little challenge for us: the next time you are somewhere and you have an unexpected few minutes, in a cab, on line at the post office, that friend is late for dinner, try something revolutionary: do nothing. Just sit there.

First, notice how you grab for that phone/iPad/book when you have a second. Every. Single. Time. If you’ve ever been somewhere off the grid, or on a retreat, or even left your phone somewhere for a day, you start to realize how we have conditioned ourselves to reach for it. Remarkable, considering that mobile phones only began being widely used some 20 years ago.

Second, after you notice you are reaching for the phone, consider letting it just sit there.  Even if it’s just for a minute. Just sit there. 

If you’re not used to doing this, it will be super uncomfortable at first. So, notice how wack that is– you can’t sit still for a minute, babes. What is that??

“I mean, don’t forget the earth’s about five thousand million years old, at least. Who can afford to live in the past?” – Harold Pinter

Only when we open ourselves up to life as it is, can anything enter into the void of that stillness. If we’re constantly distracting ourselves, we leave no room for magic. That’s the true betrayal. Choose to leave room for magic. One minute at a time.

the easiest way to get over yourself

photoSaturday morning, I sat. Sleepy, sunny, with my usual yerba mate, to tend to email stuffs before heading out to a languid day of yoga and visiting holy people with friends.
(As you do.)
Thinking it was a good time to tend to digital housekeeping, I clicked the pop-up icon to download the new “Mavericks” system for my MacBook Air.

31 minutes to download.

Wait, wait, no noooooo. I didn’t think it would take that long– hey, this is my half hour of yerba mate/email/what’s happening on Facebook time so I can ignore you the rest of my languid Saturday!

But my computer, she was off and running.

So what do you do when the world (i.e. interwebs) takes itself away from you on a Saturday morning? You go in, natch’.

I turned to and pulled up the intentions of the ladies’ Mystic Mastermind group I’m leading this month. As part of our profoundly intimate deep dive into both muck and glory, we are each holding very very specific intentions for each other and have a commitment to collectively muse on them.

You can call this prayer. That word still bugs me a bit. So we’ve redefined it, made it our own and we’re calling it: the Vixen Vortex. Uber. Powerful.

So, snubbed by my laptop and her automatic update, I sit down into this Saturday silence of nothing to do… and the moment I turn to one of my gal’s and her intention, a tornado of grace sweeps over me.  My chakras are spinning like Avicii is all up that piece.Avicii

The fastest way to get out of your own way is to think of, or do something, for someone else.

Here’s where the mystic comes in: when we place our attention on other people, for the beneficent realization of their desires or healing, it automatically takes us out of our small self and ego mind.  Instantaneously, this call and focus toward Grace aligns us with that Universal Source + All Divine.  It’s infinitely more powerful than praying for ourselves… and the marvelous catch 22 of the entire Thing is that, because we are all just One Thing, this Selflessness is really the Ultimate selfishness­– because we are only ever intending for Our Self.

The higher in consciousness we raise, the more and more we spontaneously and naturally do this.  It’s not really useful to think of it as “good” or “bad.” Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Amma, are not better, they just had less small “self” or ego mind. The less of this we have, the more connected we are to the One Mind, or Source or World.

It’s the difference between rolling your eyes and stomping off in a harrumph when your boss, mom, lover, asks you to do something and just easily saying: “Yup, you got it!”

Before it spontaneously shows up, we gotta sprinkle it in.  So, next time you find yourself asking the Universe to help you through that pitch, that manifestation or intention, throw in a dose of a blessing for someone else in there. It super powers it.  It super powers you, baby.

Try it, promise you’ll feel better coming out than going in.

Namastes. x

the *must watch* video for all humanity

If all we ever did was what is explained in the video below, we’d unveil enlightenment in this lifetime.

That’s a pretty big statement , isn’t it?

You might have seen this Louis C.K. snippet passed around online in the last week or so.  After he goes into a bit about why his children don’t have cell phones, he launches into how distracted we are as human beings and how reaching for stimulation is keeping us away from our own happiness.

No secret there.  Instagram, Facebook, twitter, Vine, Snap Chat, TV, video, advertisements wherever you look.  I can’t enter a freaking taxi cab without need to immediately reach for the off button to turn off those pesky ads that follow us seemingly everywhere.

People go into a panic when they can’t get wifi or cell service.  We have no idea how to sit still.  When’s the last time you were waiting for a friend or on line and had some minutes to spare and just stood or sat there?…  Didn’t reach for the smartphone to check out FB or catch up on emails or text someone?  I’m going to guess in recent years it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of never.  We are programmed to distract ourselves.

Awakening is the ability to always stay with what is.  The ability to push or stuff or run or hide from our suffering, pain, boredom simply vanishes.  When we awaken there is a freedom from the mind and in turn all of those suffering rise to the surface and the furnace of our hearts + divine minds thrust the pain to burn, baby, burn.

Until that time, we practice. We notice. We become aware when we reach for the booze, the sex, the smoke, the day-dreaming, the cronut, TV, even the meditation or yoga class, to distract us.

My teachers’ main teaching is: “Anything fully experienced turns into bliss.”  I’ve seen this happen hundreds, if not thousands of times, with myself and others, and it is so spontaneously miraculous, it seems almost not possible.  It feels like magic.  And we cannot understand that until we experience it.

The brilliance is, that when we unravel these moments of boredom or pain, we sweep away our unconscious conditionings.  We don’t pave a way to bliss.  It’s already there; we are unearthing it.  When we stay, the bliss that sweeps over us, the mind that clears and sparkles is so much more beautiful a life experience than any small boost we gleam from an inspirational quote on Instagram we might read in the meanwhile.  And hey, I’m a gal who hearts Instagram, don’t get me wrong, but it’s time to embrace BOTH ways of being.

People always ask: how do I surrender?  How do I let go?  THIS IS HOW.  This practice lays the foundation to be able to do it when the bigger stuffs surface.

The biggest question I get when I’m teaching is how to do this.  And in my years, in dozens of analogies, examples and demonstrating, anything I might have ever explained falls ridiculously short of this brilliant, entertaining example from a fantastic comic.  An unlikely source; love it when the Universe is cheeky like that.  That’s my kind of Universe.

Please take 4 minutes, 51 seconds to watch this now.  If you never held a pranayama, stretched into an Adho Mukha Svanasana, cycled your sweaty soul or meditated a day in your life ever again, but JUST. DID. THIS.  you would be F O R E V E R changed.  Promise.

Namaste, yo.

 

 

prosperity mindset: money, integrity + why you should pay full price

prosperity
Every year, I wait for the biannual Uniqlo cashmere sweater sale, and hop in like a hungry little bunny, scooping up v-necks in a rainbow of colors at $59 dollars a pop.  Add skinny jeans.  This has been my luxe-y discount wardrobe for the last three NYC winters.

I’m an expert at surfing Kayak.com for airline deals, and berate my dearest who uses an old-school travel agent. They locate a seat for $100 more than any ticket I find, plus their service fee.  I berate him about it.  Every.  Time.

Trader Joe’s?  LOVE it.  Hotels tonight?  Groupon?  Costco?  Bring it on.

Hey, c’mon, I mean, who doesn’t like a bargain?

But, my loves, there are some things, for which we should always, always pay full price.

In all the hundreds + hundreds of spiritual events I’ve hosted, from two souls in an empty loft to 500 in a hotel’s convention room, there are always the people who want to pay nothing.  Come for free.  Some offer exchange of service, and some just expect a free ride.

(Although let it be said that volunteering is not the same as seva.  ~selfless service~  Volunteering in exchange for entry is just work.  Seva is sitting outside the door and not seeing the guru, or helping out when it’s free for everyone anyway, and divine goodies are gifted laters… but I digress.)

If a person or people truly cannot pay, or the exchange is made elsewhere, (of course) join us, we will work it out.

However, there is one place that I personally will never, ever skimp.  Never negotiate or ask for a discount, and that is in the realms of anything spiritual.

I’ve been to meditations in much bleaker financial times with (not kidding) under 3 figures (as in less than 100 bucks) in the bank, and still chose to give over a ten spot as an offering.

Do you know why?  Because then the message, the soul code, the vibe-y resonance my cells are singing to the Universe is:

This is the most important thing in the world to me. 

This LOVE is the greatest gift that can be shared.  

I value my Self + know this experience is a conduit to that Realization.

I have faith that this will return to me a thousand fold; I can afford to be generous, that is how rich + sparkly my own Spirit is.

I AM quality.  I got this, no problem.

It doesn’t matter if the person in front of you is guru, master, expert, or a shaky little someone, recently returned from her 1st trip to India asking for a “love offering.”

Honor the teachers that came before you. Do not discount your soul.

What you give is who you are.  If you go to an event, carting a $11 green juice or go out for $14 vodka sodas later, and leave $2 as a donation for the organizer?  Sweets, I hate to break it to you, but that is D-bag material.

There’s a scarcity mindset in spirituality that needs to be overturned.  As though authenticity always needs to be wrapped in poverty.  That’s such ridonkulous hooey.  On the other hand, we could get into a whole debate about the over-commercialization of spiritual culture, but that’s off topic.  The always fantastic Babarazzi do it so well, I will leave it to them.

The richest people I know are the most generous.  And I don’t just mean rich as in wealthy, I mean holistically rich.  Of the folks I know that make 7 or more figures, there is without a doubt a correlation between generosity and happiness.  Miser: not a great word, prolly not  a great life.  “You get what you give.” A cliché for a reason, darlins.

We are the one fabric.  The spirit and intention with which we do anything is how it resonates back to us.  That’s the Golden Rule.  You know it is!  It does not extend to one area of your life and not another.  Obvs.

Now you might mention amazing hugging Amma and how all her programs are free.  Well you know why her programs are free, sunshine?  Because there are some very abundant and not-so-abundant people who donate millions and millions of dollars to get her all over the world, and She in turn donates to small and large major disasters, builds hospitals and housing and saves stuff all around.

As tapped in to the God Stuffs as Ammaji is, I still haven’t seen any pix of rupee leaved trees at her ashram.  Money is just energy, and she’s giving so much out, it literally floods her.

Tonight we have a very wild, wonderful event and guest in Manhattan, offering a special meditation.  My teachers ask that no one working on it is paid for it; not the organizer, facilitators or anyone else.  It’s to preserve the purity of the experience, but guess what?  We’re still allowed to charge because rental lofts, cab fare, flowers, airline tickets, all cost money.

And that event may lead people who want to tap into the juju a little bit more.  The peeps organizing those events will be your friends, brothers, acquaintances, and they need to pay rent and go to yoga and drink green juice (just like you) and keep themselves going in all the sparkly ways that make you want to be near them.

Because then we’re sparkly together.  And that’s the whole darn point isn’t it?

Give more.  Not just because you can.  Give as a practice.  Give as a way of saying:
I am not sure that I can afford this, but I am willing to try.  I am willing to hold the belief that blessings will be showered elsewhere.

Because let’s face it.  As much as we all like a discount, don’t we love blessings in every shape and form, a heck of a lot more?

Om + Namaste.  Forevs. x

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if ya wanna “like” or share if ya like this, that would be rad.  thank you.

more of this in person:  (in other words, super power stuffs)
I’ll be here tonight: http://ominnyc.eventbrite.com

next weekend in nyc, awakening course:
http://margaretnichols.com/awakening-course/

super super special Vermont retreat (1st ever togetha!) w/Catherine Scherwenka:
Sept 12-15th:  Good Commons
http://margaretnichols.com/september-retreat/

 

 

 

 

 

 

hugging Amma: one of the most profound experiences of my life

amma-hugging
She enters and the Love is palpable.  Waves begin to rock my body.

Picture the shore—any shore—water lapping in, over and again, but it’s not a distant shore or water, it’s your body and the waves are glittered sparklers of warmth coursing through every cell, nonstop.  It feels like drugs.

In short, it feels awesome.

I catch a glimpse of Her, and involuntary tears spring.

My eyes well, and these are not discreet, pretty tears, two-inches down my right cheekbone at a moonlit angle.  These are cannonballs; face tipped forward, puddles forming on my silky patterned pants.

Lips wobbly, I press them quiet.  Her orange clad, right hand man takes center stage, leading a meditation, urging to us go in, with a long drawn-out tone that I used to think was annoying; now its drama reads as pretty apt.

I am in the Javitz conference center in the least attractive section of midtown Manhattan, surrounded by thousands of others, and Amma, the “hugging saint,” has just entered.  She’s hugged millions around the world, given away tens of millions in money and folks travel to the ends of the earth to bask in Her Grace.  She is considered by most to be an incarnation of God in human form.

Her blessing, her Grace, is bestowed via this hug.  She sits for hours and hours on end, with no breaks to go to the bathroom or eat, take a call or stretch her legs.  This day, she sat for ten hours straight and hugged thousands.  Her resilience is inexplicable magic.

It needs to be noted that Amma is not my guru.  I have teachers of my own, coincidentally not super far from where She resides in India, but my spontaneous springing emotion is not build up from anticipation of seeing “my” Amma, per se.

I smile now as I think back to my early years of spiritual study when I was reticent to touch my Indian yoga teacher’s feet, as all the rest of the yogis so eagerly did…

Over the years, I’ve opened to the more Indian mindset of: It’s holy?  Give it to me, douse me in it, I don’t care who or what it is, any form, any blessing, I want it: stream the Shakti over me, baby.

…not the more American view of: Could you please forward me a New York Times article? (here you go)  …and some more data, tell me exactly what I am supposed to expect, I’d like a signed contract to guarantee my experience, and then, would you also be open to feedback afterwards?

It’s been 15 minutes.  I’m still heavily crying.

The tears are a form of Grace, as a result of Bhakti (devotion) and as all pure Bhakti/Grace, they are automatic, not conjured.  It is a reaction of my body and emotions, my spirit, sensing and perceiving something that that my mind could not fathom, much less understand.

In the same way a mother would reach to snap her child back from an oncoming car, my instinctual reaction knows: this is Divinity before me, cue the waterworks.

Now, to be fair, I am raw and ripe for this.  It’s been an unbelievably tumultuous week.  I quit a job that showed great promise for reasons that aren’t necessary to list here.  In the two months of having it, I ran myself into the ground and as a byproduct lost sight of everything I hold dear. Pretty much every one of my closest personal relationships is in crisis mode, for other reasons, but the timing blows all around for these things to hit at once.

And so I am on self-imposed reboot: day three of a juice cleanse, and a dedication to hug this Amma, receive her “darshan” or Presence, blessing, and wait as long as it takes—which ends up being eight hours.

If I count right, I think this is my 5th or 6th year seeing her in NYC.  If we’re going to be sticklers about it, I think there was one year in there I skipped.  But this time, it feels profoundly different.

I am riveted to my seat.  As she begins her hugs and my initial Bhakti’d breakdown settles down, I’m unable to open one of the two books I have brought.  I was perfectly fine reading one before she arrived.

The energy is electric.  It continues to course through my body.

Hours go by.  I see a couple of friends.  I have a ginger lemon tea.  I am just sitting there, letting these waves wash over my body, bathing in this Grace.

Finally it is time for me to approach and I join the line that will slowly bring me toward her, clutching my number and a garland of flowers to present.

If you haven’t been, it is an elaborate production, the likes of which are more precise per person’s movement than even the secret service.  I was able easily to get an arm around President Clinton in a procession once.  The devotees between Amma and me are dozens.

I move forward in line and am overwhelmed with gratitude for the amount of time and effort hundreds, thousands of volunteers took to make this happen.  Not just in New York, but everywhere on her tour.

Emotion joins the energy in my body—it swirls everywhere.  Places I didn’t know I had.  BEYOND the confines of my body but still connected to me.

I think: If people understood what was really happening here, every single person in the city would be in this room.

The line moves quickly in a jolt, and before I know it, I am on stage and two seats away from Amma.  I hold the flowers I have bought to offer to her.

Two chairs away, and the tears erupt again.  More violently this time, I begin to heave as my chest breathes deeply.

It’s difficult to explain this kind of reaction to Grace if you haven’t ever felt it.  The first time you do, it’s absolutely jarring—it comes out of nowhere—there is no thought that precedes it—no emotion that builds.  It’s not the friend that sends you the Facebook message he’ll be in town next week, it’s the one that rings your doorbell when he’s out in your neighborhood at an odd hour; the totally unexpected visit.

This Grace, this thief in the night, as sudden as It is in its surprise, It is equally magnificent.  They are tears of the purest joy.  Raw emotion that is crystalline in its expression, a reflection of inherent Love—impossible to hold back.

I am aware that I am the only person, downstage center in the middle of the gigantic hangar of the Javitz center, bawling unabashedly.  There is nothing I can do to stop it, and I would never for all the world want to stop it because to me, this is proof.

This is proof of that Love that is rich and ever-present and effervescent.  The Love that connects all of us and streams through every animate and inanimate object: I know that this is not even feeling one gajillionth of a smidge of it, and even just that is so overwhelming… everything else is inconsequential.

Once you have felt this, there is no going back.
You are always trying to get back here.

I scootch a chair forward.  It’s my turn.  Her six handlers guide me.  First to kneel, but I am too short, so a chair appears at my behind.  A woman to Her right thrusts a Kleenex at my cheeks, no doubt to wipe the generous amounts of black eyeliner I most certainly have staining my face.

My arms are led to position the garland of flowers over Amma’s head and I lock with her shining eyes.  She pulls me toward her voluminous right breast in an embrace and my senses are beyond overload:  I feel my body simultaneously expanding in and out with space around me, like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix where he is breathing the world.  Yet, contrasting the wave-like energy beyond even my skin, my body feels very steadily pressed against her chest, shaking with tears, as she tells me “my Daughter my Daughter my Daughter” over and again in my ear and rocks me back and forth.

I am pulled up to my knees.  I can barely steady myself and Amma places her palm right between my breasts and flattens it there for a few moments.  The energy is radiating out from this spot, like the waves of stone’s throw, but much, much more grandiose, out beyond my breastbone and into the cavern of the Javitz.

A Hershey kiss is thrust into my palm by a devotee.  I am on a cleanse, but I am sure as sugar going to eat that later.  That shiz is blessed.

They bring me to my feet, I have no balance, and fall forward, steadying myself, absolutely ungracefully on Amma’s thigh, but her devotee crew are expert and I’m swiftly moved to the side.

I’m still sobbing.  I U-turn the corner and am allowed to kneel in front of Her for a while.  It is a very long time before I can calm myself.

A woman steps to kneel in front of me, obviously connected to someone as she’s allowed to sit in a prime spot.   She looks back at me to excuse herself, and it is a yoga teacher from the shala I have been desperate to get back to, my home of many years, from which, for various reasons,  I have been away for several months.

“How are you?”  She smiles, like an angel,  (For reals, like an angel, this woman is gorgeous; I remember someone once saying she was a model.  Not to mention, angelic from within.  Double beauty whammy.  Here she is, a touchstone…)

At the same time, I glance up and a dearest friend Kenneth is getting a hug from Amma just in front of me.  Kenneth teaches from the same lineage as I; we have taught together and joined in on countless events.

In my week of tumult, I had asked for a clear sign to bring me back to my purpose.

The odds, that out of all the thousands of people here– that these two would be here, now, at this moment of Bhakti breakdown, both at the feet of Amma, and next to myself, are staggering. 

So.  Many.  Blessings.

I’ve knelt so long in front of her, integrating, I feel guilty I’m taking too much time.  I make my way unsteadily back to my seat only to realize I am still wobbly.

Who am I kidding?, I cannot ride a bike home right now. 

I sit longer… half an hour?  Waiting for the energy streams in my body, this fantastical light show of divinity to settle in.

I have crazy, unrealistic thoughts for a moment:
I’m going to fly my mother and sister out here this weekend!
I’m going to camp out here all weekend! 

This feels so unbelievably AMAZING.  I want everyone to feel this.  I can feel it is healing things within me I have no other way of accessing.  I am internally singing gratitude for blessing New York with this massive Grace.

Here’s what I want you to know:

I never used to feel energy this way.  This was cultivated and gifted.  This is where we are going.  It is what will heal us.  It is what will make us one.

All of this is within us.  Always.  Amma travels to show us how to access it, to give us glimpses so we can get in touch.

Because the time is here for us to be this light.

To live these fireworks.

For life to be more marvelous and supernatural and beyond anything we could have ever known.

It’s real.  And it’s now.  Welcome.

******
Amma’s NYC + tour dates CLICK HERE

*bling* in the golden age

ImageThis weekend I had my mind blown at a hip hop mogul’s private gay pride party in the Hollywood Hills.  Ya know, just another Saturday afternoon.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to blog about it without disclosing who this person is, who is, needless to say, big.

The surrupticious Westward excursion was for a bestie’s surprise birthday in Palm Springs, and this was an unexpected detour.  In nearby Denver, this same weekend was the largest ever Oneness gathering in the US:  20 Oneness Meditators, over 100 awakened people, many in white, bright and shining up a conference room with blinding Light.
I wasn’t there.

I was being hit on by the (for reals) next Rihanna, while people passed poolside doobies.  Big ones.  I was the least gangsta person there, and just pretty pleased with myself that I wore my high top sneaks and three levels of gold bracelet bling.

Here’s the remarkable part: just when I thought it was to be (yet another, *sigh*) poolside soiree, we are asked to go into the media room to preview said producer’s new video and said soon-to-be-famous protégée.

And here’s where:
I am blown away.
I am spellbound.

Because not only is the music off-the-hook; a remarkable merging of Beethoven and hip hop, it is the words, based on this producer/artists upcoming book that have me reeling and excitedly talking to him afterwards.

“This reminds me so much of Rumi!  Is he an influence of yours?!”  Your fave 13th century Persian poet is our conversation.  The mogul is sweet, generous and obviously proud, as he should be, but not ostentatious.  He uses the words “Oneness,” “Love,” “Universe.”

His metaphors in the video echo our violent fight of ego/mind, as the “lovers” only find peace within themselves against the violence of a cruel world.  And again echo Beethoven: “Ever thine, Ever mine, Ever ours.”  The eternal capital L love.

This song will most likely be massive.  MASSIVE.  And these dark corners where light blazes is what turns me on.

I am fascinated by him, I want to sequester him and talk his ear off about this process and his inspiration.  He shows me his book, is clearly wildly intelligent, yet at the same time I see that he is just this fantastic (jeez, I wish I could think of a less annoying word) vessel for this expression.  As are all great artists.  They intrinsically tap into this space of magic that streams through, and as I witness all his success, I can’t help but wonder if it was only to bring him here.  To this now.

And to six months from now, when people will be shakin’ it to immortal love and the oneness of all that is, because this guy will influence more peeps in more corners than any one of a dozen uber- positive, green juice swilling, 22 year-old life coaches who are super into hot yoga.  (Not that I have anything against 22 year old life coaches, if anything my kale -colored envy wishes I had been so lucky to have found All (capital “A”) so young.  Some of my best friends are uber-positive… {fill in the blank}!)

But Beethoven being blasted in clubs from coast to coast? This, this unlikeliest of places is where everyone else gets on board.

The party escalated to more debaucherous levels which is when my friend and I scooted out.  I felt blessed by this dose: nothing short of Divine Brilliance and a peek into another side.

“Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” ― Ludwig van Beethoven

Boom, Beethoven.  Cheers, my new friend… thank you.

My 100th blog. (cue the confetti)

Image“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love you.  That’s my bible.

If you are in NYC, let’s do that in person.
Thursday June 6th, 2013 + every thursday.
downtown deeksha
7:15-8:15pm @ Vikaz: 27 West 20th Street #306

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, but managed to squeeze in a half hour radio discussion with two of the fiercest women I know, Lindsay Davis + Jazz Biancci.
Check it out here as I rattle off a snap shot of where I think we are in consciousness + the quickest way to get real:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/spiralinginspiration/2013/06/02/spiraling-inspiration#.UavfarsRuhg.facebook

x mags

 

the biggest lesson of my life

centralpk
Did you think I fell off the face of the earth this week?

I did!  My Universe has been spinning with an “out of the blue” crazytown offer which I will tell y’all about later… I’m coming close to deciding, but regardless of what happens, here’s what I saw, which is maybe the biggest lesson of my life.

I have THE MOST remarkable, brilliant, steadfast support system for which a person could ever hope, wish or dream.  Someone very very close to me, who has been holding me every step of this way, even mirrored this to me one morning:
“You have the most extraordinary group of friends I have ever seen.”
The outpouring of love, advice and help, the hours and hours and hours of brainstorming and contract scouring and midnight phone calls from the brother-in-law of the best friends to my actual besties and how each person stepped up at every level has been heart wrenchingly, explodingly marvelous.
I have cried not once, but multiple times in overwhelm of gratitude.
What I teach is:  You don’t get what you want… you get who you are.
And you might think I’m arrogant when I tell you, I did not hope, wish or dream for this support system.  I cultivated it, by living a life of integrity and purpose, in a spirit of generosity.  Did I have any idea HOW amazing these people would be, and the people connected to these people would be?  Absolutely not.  No idea.
I was BLOWN away.  I am infinitely grateful.
I have been around many blocks, my peeps.  We all certainly have.  So this is to say,
Do the right thing.  
Stand for what you believe.  
BE your bestest, when it hurts, when it’s hard, when it’s uncomfortable.  
Because the love that is showered on the other side of that?  The support that comes from being that honest, true and loyal friend?
Well, please pardon my French but, Holy f***ing sh**.  
Good Lord, I am crying again as I type this.  You do not want to miss this feeling.
And I know in my cells that we are connected.  And this feeling only fuels me to want to give and love and support and extend in kind.  It pumps my gratitude towards levels of bursting beyond belief.  And THAT spirit of genuine service and love will change the world when we all operate from that space.
Even if you have no idea what I am talking about and we have not spoken this week, I adore you, and you are a part of this.  You helped in this.  You are a part of me, and I am in you and I will help you next, from this space of love.
THANK YOU.
In NYC?
come to Downtown Deeksha: Tomorrow (+ every Thursday ), 7:15-8:15pm, 27 West 20th Street #306.
Oh + I am halfway through Meggan Watterson‘s new book, Reveal… a sacred guide for getting spiritually naked, which is SO good, you just must absolutely find + read it.  She’s holding an event, this Saturday May 18th in the city, which creative rockstar badass goddesses Michelle Goldblum + Audrey Gordon of I AM. Creative. are producing.
Discount code below.  Only for the ladies, sorry bros.  That sugar’s gonna be mad divine, yo.
LOVE YOU.  Bursting with it.
x
mags

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REVEAL new promo

the one thing to remember when you’re looking for bliss

photoThe other week one of my dearests heard me say to someone else,
“Oh, Ganesh?  He’s the remover of obstacles.”

He halted all convo. So quickly, in fact, that he startled me.

Waved his arms up in the air, loudly and emphatically said,
“WHOA.  What?? Who is this??”

(This man is a Manhattan CEO, btw.)

“Ganesh.  You know.  Ganesh, the Hindu god.  The remover of obstacles. He has an elephant head.  Sits on a lotus a lot.  Yogis talk about him a lot.  Ya know, Ganesh.”

This dearest has had a particularly trying year.  One of his worst.  That’s putting it mildly.

“Why didn’t you tell me about this before?  You’ve been holding out on me?? Why didn’t you tell me there was a Guy I could ask to remove my obstacles?!”

“Um…  Haven’t you wondered what the, like, half dozen elephant statues are in my apartment?”

“No.”

“Don’t you remember me talking about Him in my awakening course?  I talk about Him all the time.  Jeez babes, you’ve taken it twice!”

“No!  I can’t believe this.  Where do I find this guy?  I need one.”  He was surprisingly lit up and resolute about it.

Needless to say, I gave him one of my mini Ganesh and we laughed about it.  I’m pretty sure he carried the little bronze Indian icon to his office in Midtown East.

A month ago I was on a panel and there was a woman who spoke up.  Now this woman was super deep, connected, in touch.  One of the highest vibing people I know.  She offered a realization, not a question:

“You know, I am just starting to see, I can’t escape the dark side, the suffering, the ugly parts.  I see that I need to let it be where it is and there is nothing I can do to affirm or move or shift it away.  I have to embrace it to transform it.”

It surprised me to hear her say this because that is the main tenet of what I teach.  It’s the core of everything.  It’s also pretty opposite to a lot of what’s out there in the spiritual marketplace, because let’s face it, that’s not really the sexy sell.  This bright, gorgeous woman had taken our course two years ago, and was a serious student of her own development, yet she was only just now understanding it on a cellular level.

Which reminded me:

It only clicks when we’re ready. 

The Universe’s truths and secrets revel themselves to us in waves and layers and tidbits.  In realizations and epiphanies, in mundane practices laying out to immeasurable landscapes of understanding and flashes of white hot divine lightening in an instant changing us forever.  You never know when or why they are coming, and this, this is why we practice.  This is why we investigate and delve and hope on.  Because we had a taste and we know Its there.

Or because there are people that came before us saying, this works.
Trust me.
It’s true.
Here take my hand.
Don’t believe me.
Just be willing to believe and come and see for yourself.

You can run, hide, cry, scream, try to tear down the work that came before you.
But it will come around.
Because your Soul his longing to know him or her Self.

And you know what that looks like?

Absolute clarity.
Glowing everything.
An end to personal suffering.
Effortless presence to you and everyone in your life.
Natural compassion + love that’s not a practice, babe.  It just becomes WHO YOU ARE.

We are restless until this Realization.
In a way, Life only begins after it.

We will still reach and expand and soar, but without craving or need.

Until then, that restlessness keeps us on our toes, so that a CEO will find himself grasping a Ganesh or being 25 years older than everyone else in a downtown hot yoga class.

We will look for that guy, that falafel, that martini, Homeland, the apartment, the newer svelter hotter bod to fill us, and it will, until it doesn’t.

So the restlessness comes again.

We will find ourselves Ohmmmming and stretching and sitting on floors and falling into dance and falling into tears and falling into Love. And it is all so beautiful and wide and never-ending, ever expanding.

Be willing to embrace uncertainty, and the heavens will open.  Even just be willing to be willing to be awkward and wrong and hurt and angry and just that awareness causes a shift.

The restlessness is there to stir you to reach.
It is kept out of reach to stir up the restlessness.

There is a perfection in this exchange.  A Supreme, Divine perfection and not a gosh darn morsel less.

*******************************************************************************************************************
If you’re in NYC this weekend, I invite you to come witness this in action.  My intention is to always have words infused with juju, but there is nothing, nothing at all that comes close to experience.

And if you have someone near the city who you think could benefit, advance thanks for sharing the info if that feels yumalish to you! xx
http://margaretnichols.com/awakening-course/