Lost in translation between reality and truth

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Reality and truth…aren’t they the same? Or are they opposite? My reality is quite contrary to my truth from my heart. It is filled with overwhelming stress, management of others rather than myself and a never-ending sacrifice of my being for the benefit of others. However, the reality of benefiting others somehow unites it with my truth. It is the most authentically disconnected I’ve ever been. What does that mean? Well, I feel imperfect, vulnerable, emotional; yet confident, powerful, and overly optimistic. When people say “day by day”…I finally know what that means. It means everyday, you try your hardest, maybe resulting in your definition of subpar and others, you are left empowered and inspired.

Lately though, I am not on a consistent kick of either…thankfully, not a totally depressed state of confusion nor an enlightened high of strength and validation. I am resting in an active polarity of CHANGE. I am feeling the effects of CHANGE…the confusion and the confidence. The strength and deep vulnerability, the tears and the inner brightness that turns a frown upside down. So do I fight the uncomfortability or do I accept that CHANGE = a blend of reality and truth. And do we ever end up living our truth 100 percent in reality.

Chances are in this world, NO! As people around me break my heart, make my day and confuse me simply because we are human and face indifference, I laugh internally and frown externally. My emotions are so unconsciously in flux, I can’t even control it. Therefore, I am left questioning, “what is truth and what is reality?”

And I guess I’m coming to the that truth is inherently felt and reality is the everchanging flow of external responsibilities, personal desires, work, play, and the inter-workings of relationships, existence and compassion. Do they always collaborate? In my daily life, my imperfection screams NO as the ideal from my mind retaliates with YES! A.k.a. LOST IN TRANSLATION

between the precious goodness of existence and the hardships of surviving this so-called “life” — the one we only get one of and that we should live to the fullest. And in the midst of it all, I wonder…is “living it all” also the extreme surrender to embracing difficulty just as much as extreme joy. Can they be interchanged? I have never worked so hard, yet been so happy because my purpose feels bigger and more important than ever before. So as we step through our lives, how much is the sacrifice worth it? Is it our truth or is it our reality speaking and how do we know which one is more prevalent?

Personally, I believe if we keep trying as hard as we can, keep feeling AND listening to the people and senses around us, neglecting only the negative energy that comes our way and opening to expanding love, we will rest somewhere between truth and reality. The truth is embedded in us and the reality is a daily battle…they are coexisting in each of us. However lost we all feel, we can ‘be found’ at the center of our hearts; the essence of a deep breath and closing of our eyes can save our lives (even if just for a second). I conclude with not being more clear on what reality is and what truth is, rather the fact that they are part of the CHANGE that creates who we are — the path we follow, whether a clear made trail or a field of bushes and flowers. There is still beauty in both…

Namaste!

Driving responsbility with humor — available to participate in it all

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Lately, I have been pulled by the reins of responsibility. Being a general manager in a restaurant that is both a community meeting place, as well as, an example of love, honesty, communication and teamwork, I recognize my role in being a leader to not only my staff, other businesses around Tahoe, and the customers. With the role of a leader, comes an overwhelming amount of responsibility. Now, I could walk through the job day to day without taking the amount of responsibility required to expand and connect, however, the rewards of exuding compassionate effort day after day has started to creep into my heart.

 

Yesterday, at the pinnacle of my exhaustion, I arrived at the realization that without humor, the responsibility will foster into a capsule of resistance due to the lack of lightness. So, if we invite in the willingness to approach responsibility with both effort and humor, do we in turn become more available? And by being available, how do others around us react? As a manager, it’s easy to sit back and delegate but I’ve noticed that if I step up and become available to listen, work, laugh, relate, and ultimately embrace their needs, the result is much more positive.

When we are more available from the heart, we can open up to taking on responsibility, and then, participate in more. From this place of participation, we awaken to a more expansive concept of possibility.  These opportunities are drawn to us as we begin to remain more available to facing the depths of responsibility and humor. And this is determined by how we show up.

As the relationships and expectations around me shift daily, with constant shifts, I notice that if I show up with a deep-seeded intention of resolve, the resolutions come. The trust that everything is going to resolve itself with the benefit of growth is keeping me pushing forward. And the community here continues to inspire me to keep pushing forward…but for them, not for me. This letting go of fear of the responsibility and embracing the humor in the often difficulty of actively participating makes the days unfold with more joy.

It is easy to participate when a situation brings a smile and sense of ease, but can we still participate when our limits are pushed? When things such as doubt and uncertainty spiral us to anxious thoughts of judgment. I have been pushed so deeply in the past two months. But as I break it down, I see that I’m getting through it, and as long as I wake up each day trying to honestly connect with others and try my hardest, the responsibility is actually a privilege, rather than a stress. To intertwine the workings of humor (lightness) and responsibility (heaviness), the practice of feeling both simultaneously brings a colorful balance; neither light or dark. To live in the light all the time is limiting our growth, but to live in the darkness limits our potential to exist with fulfillment. So maybe it’s more about a colorful existence of lights and darks. A brightness that is available to expand our vision of how we show up and how we participate. And although we may have a favorite color, maybe we can start to see the beauty in a multiple of colors. Can we paint a brighter picture with each day?

Left lying in a lonely bed — embracing abstract spontaneity

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Unheard in the fog of smoke,

Burned from the chill of ice,

Left lying in a lonely bed,

Forced to cuddle with sunken sheets.

Winds howl through the rivers of my veins,

Blood churning to the humming of my inner child,

She sings with a naïve pitch,

Gracefully ignorant to the horrors of cultural pseudo-utopia,

Where love is a number,

And laughter comes only after a tear.

Tears fall from my face,

Dreaming of the ideal reality canvassed over my world,

Mounted on my back for others to receive,

Diving faced-down, hands at my heart,

Humbly giving up the structured work of art for an abstract blend of spontaneity,

Releasing the selfish frames of arrogance,

Left lying in a lonely bed,

Soaking up the space to rest,

Listening to the sound of my own breath.

Cancer, breakups, tragedy, and a new day? Why?

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In the last two weeks, I think I’ve cried enough to last me six months. It is true that the body can only handle so much stress and trauma, emotionally or physically, before it breaks down. I am broken, but only slightly. Enough to be rebuilt and hopefully this time much stronger. Or wait? Maybe I don’t want to be stronger, I just want to be more full of love. And as I get loving advice from my support system around me, I see even more clearly that maybe I’ve been too strong for too long and the shield is thick. Granted, the shield is thick with much passion and care for the outside world, but my shield is blocking my vision. Lately, with deep pressure in my professional life and sadness in my personal life, the tears are clearing a path to seeing in a new light.

A dear friend, too young to have terminal cancer, is facing the harshest throws from the demon of stomach cancer. It is quite likely that the demon will soon suck her in, ending her positive, bright, and optimistic life on Earth. Having to accept the tragedies of life such as these unexplainable occurrences makes me not want to face another day, read another news story, build another meaningful relationship, or care so much I drive myself crazy. It makes you question what is really worth it? And when the goin’ gets tough, I believe the answer seems to be NO. But ultimately, after the tears and grief and hopelessness fade, the answer begins to evolve into YES…a grateful look at existence. But what is actually ‘really worth it’ starts to narrow and the unnecessary habits and worries of life insignificantly drop off.

So the one outlook that death and heartbreak can positively bring is a more enhanced version of how you want to live out your truth, your destiny, your happiness. And so a new day indeed becomes a gift only when we’re ready to release anger, reframe our attitude, and adopt more love to overcome the tragedy. Even in my daily life, my own breakups and heartbreaks feel like tragedy, although on a minimal level compared to death. And I guess this is an example of the different stages of life; everything is relative. And yet the growth can come by recognizing that my own breakups and heartbreaks aren’t death, therefore, making it temporary. Death is permanent, a breakup or heartbreak is not. Our mind can make it permanent, but that is a facade. The tears still mean we’re alive and learning and growing.

Cancer is not fair; it’s a horrible beast of pain that is exploiting the human population (and other species, too). These darkest and most difficult moments of life also illuminate the brightest and happiest moments…so is it worth it? Would you continue wanting to live if you knew you were going to get cancer? Would a new day seem worth the pain? We all struggle to make it through day to day and it’s important to remember that we don’t know everyone’s story. Maybe the person next to you on the bus or at the cafe is facing a similar heartbreak or an even deeper tragedy than we’ve ever faced. Keeping that in mind, that alters my outlook on relating with others. How about you? So as the crying hopefully dissipates a bit, rather than being stronger and more aggressive, I would like to maintain a balanced strength, enough to carry more love with an open heart. Because the days are truly precious and extremely temporary!

The hollow pain of suffering — breeding joy in the truest form

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After being seriously shaken by stress, fear, joy, vulnerability and the depths of conscious daily existence through struggles and smiles, I could do nothing more than write…and cry a little along the way!

There’s that pain,

That pain when you sob inside and it just sheds one tear,

The deep heart-splitting sensation where the world stops,

Your breath yields to your organs cringing at the seams,

Only coming alive again when you gasp for air and sob as you lungs expand and contract,

Against the waves of existence,

Sadness swarms the mind more than the soul,

A temporary lapse of questioning divinity, peace…truth,

Yet there is that one point when death transforms to birth,

Our tears dry and our heart balloons to life,

And as long as we are standing on Mother Earth,

The cyclical nature of yin and yang will remain,

The hollow depth that we call sadness,

Intertwines with the passionate and joyful abundance of gratitude,

And we are left always being uniquely misunderstood,

Overstretch and undermined,

Where the melody of a song ignites the soul,

The release of eyelids closing to embrace the moment,

Where darkness feels as powerful as light,

Blending the eternal extremes of depression and confidence,

Rectifying that life is about all of it,

A creative process beckoning for enlightenment added with a splash of tragedy,

Keeping it raw and un-utopic,

Far from a fairytale,

Rather a medley of unspoken truths and screams of vulnerability,

There’s that pain,

That feels so real we know we’re alive,

That pain where our core is shaken,

And a new day is a blessing.

As our heart grows stronger,

We adapt,

And continue on our journey,

Slightly overmined and understretched,

Until our being feels enough pain to gain the flexibility to find freedom in the mind,

This is why a smile brightens the soul and we connect,

feeling the rhythms of humanness,

Asking us to feel pain to feel joy,

And back again. This is it!

Dynamic algebraic equation to existence — tenderness + defensiveness

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I am less than two months into my “new” (although not so new anymore) chapter of my life. Living in South Lake Tahoe is more than beautiful in its surroundings and more than dynamic in my personal day-to-day. The positive thing about the word “dynamic” is that it includes a wide array of possibility and creative energy. However, the main reason I can only think of the word dynamic is because my life feels complex, complicated, compassionate, complete and totally unpredictable. The last time I checked, Webster’s Dictionary had a slightly different and not so descriptive definition:

Adj: marked by continuous usually productive activity or change

Well, Webster’s has it spot-on when relating to the continual change. The constant flow of new beginnings, relationships, opportunities, struggles, etc. is giving me the sensation that I’m in a tornado. I’m twirling around in a free-flowing dance somewhere between grace and chaos. But when I look hard enough through the dust, I see clear sky! The equation adds up, and the reassuring thing is that I see a great solution. I feel it within me that although I’ve subtracted a few things, I’ve multiplied in courage and now I’m dividing through fears I’ve ran from for years. Right now, each day is so dynamically random (where productive meets unpredictable), and yet I have an inherent feeling that things are evolving into divine goodness.

Due to the crazy emotional rollercoaster of taking on a huge new job, getting injured too frequently to keep up and getting comfortable in a new enviornment, I am stripped of control and left with a split between tender tears of acceptance and defensive lashes of self-identification; those moments of wanting to reassure myself I’m “ok”. In trying to add it all up, this is how I feel:

And with that, I guess dynamic feels pretty great! This is all for me to take on and feel with love…so yes, I have a vulnerable beating heart! And yes, I am definitely extremely sensitive to molding farther into the woman I am becoming, but this equation of existence has a complex, delicate solution that will come to fruition only if I work at it with, tackling as many variables as possible! This is not a 1+1 kind of problem, this is the dynamic unsolvable problem where the answer lies in my heart more than on paper. What’s your equation? Can you give it all you’ve got and be totally affected by things so that you feel love? Don’t worry, it will add up just right!

Putting the compassion in community

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It’s official…I’m going to Nairobi, Kenya in January 2013 on a women’s leadership trip. This is a dream (to-be) come true for me. I have had a special place in my heart for Africa since I was a little girl; wanting to see the diverse culture and dynamic flavors of culture there. This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Rafting, safari, school visits, leadership workshop, self-defense training, and all with a powerful group of women who have established a microloan project for Kenyan women in addition to spreading education around AIDS and anti-rape for African women.

Just one week ago, I had no idea I would be surrounded by such passionate women and getting as involved as I had intended to prior to leaving San Francisco. Moving to Tahoe was a big leap for me beyond taking on a responsibility-heavy job. I was scared I wouldn’t find the wide-variety or influential resources the city offers across numerous social services. But for living here for only one month, I have found two things to be true.

1) Small community can mean big change.

2) Intention is everything!!!

In San Francisco, getting involved takes some serious effort, but actually getting to the top of a totem pole in a social group, non-profit, volunteer project, etc. takes more luck than anything. Everyone and their mom has more connections than you and it takes years and lots of networking to be a central member of producing action on a deep, noticeable level. But in Tahoe, the community is so open and so small compared to San Francisco, I already am landing in amazing positive social circles.

This morning, I was asked to teach yoga at my favorite studio in South Tahoe because they think my knowledge would be “valued”…that definitely would not have been noticed in the city. And if it was, I would be at the bottom of some sub-list that I would most likely never get off. Because I have narrowed my playing field, my true talents are now being recognized, and that’s gratifying. What happens after this?

My confidence goes up, my heart opens more, I meet more people, and my intentions expand beyond my last ‘crazy idea’. So when we validate each other for our unique talents, be kind, and be willing to get involved, COMMUNITY BUILDS and GROWTH HAPPENS. I’m now taking what I was doing on a small scale — teaching yoga to youth in the city (very infrequently) and trying to start my own program with at-risk youth here. Because although South Tahoe is not San Francisco, there are still youth who are suffering who can benefit from yoga. Hell, we all can benefit from yoga!

As I look back to first moving here and look forward to Africa, all I can do is laugh out loud and smile with abundant gratitude because my intentions are coming to fruition. I wanted to get involved in the yoga community (check), I wanted to get involved with youth (check) and I wanted to get involved with a women’s group making larger-scale change (check). And I’ve only been here a month. I feel so blessed about the vast space for opportunity.

Whether we live in a city or a small town, discovering and embracing community enhances our quality of life. If you have it, great! HARNESS THE POWER! If you don’t, set your intention of what you are most passionate about and it will find its way into your heart and life…keep making intentions! With community we feel connected, confident, and empowered…and this helps us dream bigger!! Next stop for me — Africa! Dreams really do become reality when we believe (and believe, and believe, no matter how long it takes!).

It’s your dream to make so get to the drawing board and don’t stop!!!