“Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.” — Aristotle

This post is from Wayne Dyer.  I had heard his name, but never investigated his work before he died.  Now, he seems to come to me as a guide, support and role model.  I deeply honor his process, words and how he found the unity in all traditions. 

To understand the way the ego works, you must realize that this false vision of yourself believes that earth is home. If you identify yourself as no more than an earthling, as the ego wants you to, then your happiness and fulfillment will be in the form of the physical things in the manifest world.

But there is an aspect of you that knows that these things do not provide the spiritual fulfillment that is the promise of the sacred quest. Planet earth is not your only home. What it offers you is only partially satisfactory to the invisible you within the form of your body. That inner aspect knows that this life on earth is not its ultimate destiny.


However, most of us have been convinced by the sturdy and determined ego that appearances are what life is about, and that rewards are a result of appearances. The inner self knows that this is all very fleeting because the rewards you receive for youthfulness and physical strength, for example, will diminish as those physical qualities deteriorate.

The nonphysical you is eternally observing the physical transformation of your body. This realm of the higher self is dominated by an inner self that is aware of the realities of earth and of heaven. It is immune to the pleas of the ego to focus all of its energy on the earth plane.

Here is how Nisargadatta Maharaj describes it: “The world is the abode of desires and fears. You cannot find peace in it. For peace you must go beyond the world.” And this is what heaven on earth is truly about – an experience of inner peace without the idolatry of possessions and appearances.

The insightful response to the prayer “…thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” is found in the awareness that heaven is not of this world. It is in the world of God, the realm where you have destroyed all that you have amassed and where you find the peace that Sri Nisargadatta refers.

Your higher self is beyond this world of life and death where appearances are touted as all important.

Some Ideas for Transcending Appearances

  • Take a few moments to become very still. In silence, start to release your attachment to the importance of outer impressions. You might visualize yourself building a huge bonfire and imagine tossing things into the fire. Throw in your jewelry, clothes, automobiles, trophies, everything, even your job title. With each item that goes into this imaginary fire, feel yourself being freer and freer.
  • Remove labels attached to your life. Make an attempt to describe yourself without using any labels. Write a few paragraphs in which you do not mention your age, sex, position, title, accomplishments, possessions, experiences, heritage or geographic data. Simple write a statement about who you are, independent of all appearances.
  • Look for the loving presence in others. Take a day to attempt to see the fullness of God in everyone you encounter. Rather than seeing only another physical being, tell yourself that the Christ in me is meeting the Christ in you. Or spend a day silently reciting the word “love” whenever you encounter another human being. This has such a powerful effect that you may choose to use it as a silent background mantra throughout your day.
  • Remember that you build muscle by picking up heavier objects. This applies to your spiritual weight lifting too. You will build yourself up spiritually by attempting tougher and tougher assignments. One of the toughest assignments is to disregard the ego message to evaluate yourself with the criteria of appearance and possessions. But know each time you are able to be less judgmental toward others or yourself, you are becoming stronger by having taken on the heavier spiritual weights.
  • Cultivate your calling. Make an attempt to shift your career objective from self-absorption to a calling. That’s right, a calling. Remind yourself that this is an intelligent system and that you are here to be love and have love by serving. Use your talents and special interests to fulfill your service with your calling. Your life work will take on a dramatic shift toward abundance, and you will feel on purpose and on the path of the sacred quest.


— Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Five Ways to Know It's Time to Leave Your Job

Even though you may have been excited about your job for years, when it becomes hard to find the joy, something has to change.  The following are common signs I’ve found through interviewing people who have made a significant transition from disconnection, pain, boredom to live a life they feel inspired by.   Check out these signs below and see if it might be time to do some deeper reflection on your soul's purpose.

  1. You have a nagging feeling that you are here for more than what you are currently doing.  Life is about the experience, not just making money and then becoming another medical static.  You know this.  It’s just the fear of false security that your job offers that you are afraid of letting go of.

  2. Your talents, gifts and skills are not seen or being utilized. You may be skilled at the task you are asked to do at your job, but you could care less about it.  What you do with enthusiasm and comes so easily to you doesn’t have an outlet where you are.

  3. You have have chronic pain and/or extreme fatigue.  Our bodies hold infinite intelligence.  Contemplate for a moment the extraordinary intelligence of cell division.  Your body is trying to tell you something if you are living with chronic fatigue or pain.

  4. You no longer feel aligned with what you are being asked to do.  Your spiritual practice, dabbling in yoga, meditation and nature feels like left field from your professional life. It’s hard to see how you are making a difference and contributing to society in the way you want to.  And you might feel like you have two separate selves that aren’t integrated.  This can lead to addictive behaviors, like negative eating habits, smoking, gossip, drinking, over exercising.

  5. You’ve played by the script and now you’re waking up to marionette you’ve been.  You got the right education, landed the successful job, even took the promotion, but there’s a hollow feeling.  You’ve always done what appeared right from the outside looking in.  You’ve blindly taken what has fallen into your lap, instead of asking, “How does this feel?  What do I want most from life?”

If you any of these resonated with you, please join me Thursday May 26 for a free Virtual Training, Clarify Your Soul’s Purpose.  

Trust Walk

My 8 year old daughter and I went on a walk in our new neighborhood on Tuesday.  I had a terrible headache and had already worked a full day. We live very close to a river with sweet pocket of beach and park to explore.   As we got away from the road and closer to the river, Lulha said, "I'd like to close my eyes and walk, can you guide me?".  We spent the afternoon marveling in the mystery of this new game. We noticed the change in texture beneath our feet from gravel to grass to sand.  We guided each other away from mud and up tiny upgrades which felt like huge hills.  When we opened our eyes we were always surprised at how far we had come and the beauty of the secret spot that opened up to the river or nestled us between two trees, that the other had chosen for us.  As we sensed the changes in environment, we often got scared and needed to trust one another.   It was literally blind faith.  When we returned home I noticed my headache was completely gone and I was filled with appreciation for the lessons of our experience.

"What would happen if we respected the flow of life and used our free will to participate in what's unfolding, instead of fighting it?" says Michael A. Singer in his new book, The Surrender Experiment.  In this book, the author explains how the earth does not need our help to spin on its axis, nor does the liver require our command to perform its function.  There is a magic unfolding, which is so much greater than what we could dream up and we are given bit and pieces of the puzzle as we need them.  Intuition is the clear voice that comes as everyday little clues that guide us to greater opportunity and awakening. Getting clear to listen requires meditation.  It's as essential as brushing our teeth.  Many people ask me how and when to teach their kids to meditate.  The best way to teach is by example.  Wake up, use the bathroom, brush your teeth, drink water, meditate.  Set a timer for 15 minutes.  Do it everyday.  Those clues of opportunity will become more evident.   Faith in something other than the busy mind develops and we can learn to say, "I'd like to close my eyes and walk, can you guide me?"

Cycle through to Intuition

Self study and surrender to something greater than the ego, are tenants of the work we do together in bringing light, hope and unconditional love to this planet. Learning the inner voice is key to this process.  

Intuition is the very tool that we have been endowed with as human beings that links our physical body with the connection to the nonphysical, Source energy, the Higher Self, Buddha nature (insert your name for the ineffable here).   

We receive clues in our body as chills, goosebumps, a ringing in the ear, a twitch of the eye, a shiver up the spine, a pit in our stomach, a sense of knowing, a hunch, a voice that already knows the answer.  These subtle messages are source energy speaking through our body as intuition, “Yes! This is it!”, or “No, not in our best interest”.  

How many times have you been approached to do something and from the moment you were asked, you had a feeling in your body that said “no, this doesn’t feel right”  or “I’m over committed but I should do this for this person”?  When all is said and done, there’s a feeling of “I knew from the beginning I shouldn’t have done that!”

Have you experienced an opportunity to do something amazing when a nervous flame of excitement jumps from your belly to your throat?   In the moment do you step forward to the challenge or cower in fear or lack of feeling worthy only to see the “opportunity” when you are lying in bed trying to sleep?  Isn’t it time to close the gap between acknowledging the “knowing” after the fact?  Wouldn’t it be amazing to feel empowered in the moment to trust and act upon the intuition?  What would your life look like if you started to honor the signals in the body as a worthy guide?  What would it feel like to pause and ask your spirit filled body for guidance in making a decision?

When we lead a life guided by source energy, there is so much less struggle, worry, fear and doubt and there is so much more abundance, love and spontaneous joy.

But you know all this, already.  The challenge in life is that we know so well what we should do, but we don’t know how to make it happen in our lives.  Here are a two awareness practices to align intuition with Source energy.

The first step is learning to trust intuition.  The next time you hear something and your body responds with goosebumps, PAUSE and say to yourself, “This is what alignment with source energy feels like.  This is my body’s response to experiencing what resonates with me in this moment as truth.”  The next time you feel a pit in your stomach or get a “bad feeling” about something, PAUSE, take a breath and ask yourself, “This doesn’t feel good, is there another option?”  (Hint: There’s always another option, but that will come in the later work).  Acknowledgement is the first step.  Learning to recognize your intuition, by pausing and giving it bit of acknowledgement will open a warm space in the heart for an ongoing friendship to be kindled.

The second step is to know your bodies cycles and rhythms.   Our body is changing in time with rhythms on earth and in the sky.   The Earth Cycle, one year,  is marked by through the solstices, equinoxes and cross quarters. The Moon Cycle, one month, is calculated by the moon phases while the Sun Cycle, one day, is noted by the rising and setting of the sun.  In each cycle, we go through a metamorphosis and require different kinds of foods, movement, stimulation and relaxation, along with nourishment on a Soul level.    

When we are attuned with the cycles in nature, we begin to notice the rhythm of our heartbeat with that of the earth, sun, moon and stars.  Conscious Charting is a way we can observe our body’s rhythm with unconditional love.   For example, to explore your body’s rhythm with the moon, each day for a month you would chart how you feel, what you crave, eat, drink, how you move, sleep, dream, bowel movements, stress levels, meditation, social outings, etc.  Nightly you look at the moon and note the its phase.   At the end of the month you do a little analysis.  When was your most active and social moon phase?  Where did you feel over committed stressed and need more rest?  The following month test it out.  Plan time to be out with friends during the moon phase you felt most social last month and put a stay at home, cook, read and nourish myself day on the calendar for next month, according to when you could  have used it last month.  

Charting hacks our life rhythm, so we can be the best knowers of ourselves.  We can then begin to trust our body as an ally, as a spiritual guide and a worthy home for Source Energy.   

 

Tracking the moon with our bodies cycles is a wonderful way to make peace with your body, display an intelligent form of self care and transcend limiting belief systems that hold us carnage to a social structure that confines personal growth.  

Empowerment means you own your mental and physical health, you are the best knower of yourself and you are in charge of your healing and growth.  There can be no effective or lasting empowerment without first developing intuition.  

If you’d like to join a month-long group of women tracking the moon, I have an online program starting in March.

The Moon For You

Perhaps I am responsible for the bragging trend of having a menstrual cycle that lines up with the new moon. Maya Tiwari touts sadhanas in her book Path of Practice, how women can align their menstruation with the new moon and ovulation with the full moon. I lived by this book for several years, even teaching these practices in yoga teacher trainings. The ladies, who have studied in the prenatal, 200 and 300 hr trainings I led, know the moon and its effect on their bodies.

I was in the height of my mothering experience and I ovulated on the full moon and menstruated on the new moon. I have seen women feel isolated and conflicted that they menstruate on the full moon. One way paths scare me and never feel right. So I dug a little deeper.

I discovered that there are many types of bleeding cycles. White Moon which is bleeds on the New Moon and symbolizes motherhood. Red Moon bleeds on the Full Moon and is the medicine woman and midwife.

Miranda Gray, author or Red Moon says, “A woman with the White Moon cycle, bleeding with the dark (new) Moon, becomes linked to the deepest levels of her awareness, reminding her that there exists more than just the world she sees, because she is the carrier of the seed of life. A woman with a Red Moon cycle, bleeding with the full moon, brings the energies and mysteries of her inner darkness out into the world around her as a gift and an offering of the depths of her learning.”

The Moon’s biggest lesson is the empowerment to trust our inner guidance system- Intuition.

To follow a system of right and wrong times to menstruate set forth by another, is not lunar wisdom. It wasn’t until I started tracking and meditating with the moon that I experienced the particular energy each moon phase has. As I move away from rigid dogmatic philosophy, it feels aligned to say that there is no right or wrong moon phase with which to menstruate. It’s about knowing one’s body as a worthy guide, that has permission to fluctuate.  

Simply look for the moon nightly and track the rhythms of your body.  Your cycle will do what it needs to do in lining up with the direction your life has taken.    

Would you like to join a group of women in tracking the moon and investigating the energy of each phase?

The next Moon Call Series starts in March.

Healing the Fear of Going Public

There was a battle going on inside of me.  It felt like a wave of confirmation to “go public” and wake my voice from a yoga classroom to the world wide web crashed into my inner artist who always wants to reinvent the wheel. The fear of losing authenticity or even the present moment applicability feels real with writing blog posts and creating online content. The flip side, however,  is that social media and the internet can be a new form of art and healing for me to learn and love.  

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The internet has become the connective tissue of the living organism the world has become.  

I know how to balance my time between a computer screen and nature, stillness and creation.  

My biggest challenge comes down to people pleasing. My whole life I’ve worried what people of think of me, how I am perceived and letting others down.  When I think of putting work online, I worry about the trollers and the haters, I also worry that I will be judged by my closest and respected peers.

So here is my manifesto I’m going to check in with as I start offering authentic online experiences:


  1. Stop caring what people think. I’m 38.  It’s time to let that sh*t go already.

  2. Balance stillness and creation. Nature and a computer screen.

  3. Offer the vulnerable, authentic heart lessons I receive, so who ever reads might benefit.

 

Ingredients for Staying Alive

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#IngredientsForStayingAlive

A weekly swim in a body of water that can cleanse the energetic field.

Daily nourishing hugs from a little one.

Listening to the call of birds and watching them soar.

Barefeet on the grass, whenever there’s grass available.

A good talk with the fire in every season.

Scents that remind you of who you are.

Know when something is toxic and you don’t need it.

Truly believe you see and hear mermaids, starships and faeries.

Sit each morning and see the drama of the thoughts and smile.

Love each season for the gifts it brings.

Acknowledge the beauty you see when you look in the mirror.

Enjoy a cup of sarcasm when sitting with trusted friends who’ve worked on their ego recognition.

Stand tall with inner thighs back, tailbone tucked and heart lifted.

Hang with the challenging conversation.

Set your price, worth and stick to it.

Draw, paint, sing, dance to express the inside out.

Pray a big prayer everyday for the world, your family, friends and the earth herself.


from a writing prompt by the illustrious  

Caits Meissner,  check out her amazing work and courses.

Create Your Own Ritual

Wanting to mark the significance of our student’s journey through yoga teacher training, Leigh Evans and I created beautiful graduation ceremonies, with rose petals, foot baths, healing work, sweet mantras and a laying of a long stem rose across the chest of our graduates.  The allusion to a funeral harked the bittersweet moment of celebration and an ending of a period in time.  Reminiscent of savasana, the final relaxation at the end of a yoga class, translated as corpse pose, these rituals held beauty, significance and a moment outside of ordinary time that stoked my fire of desire to learn more about ceremony and ritual.

 

Blessed and mentored by a women’s ritual group from Montclair, NJ, I started celebrating earth holidays and moon cycles with a small group of women or with those on retreat and even solo.   The Woman’s Wheel of Life (Davis and Leonard), is an excellent resource guide for creating rituals and has helped me feel empowered to write my own prayers for aspects of the ritual.

 

To go beyond relative time, create sacred space and alter awareness is ritual.   Full of beauty and stimulating to the sense, ritual uses the six senses (mind being the 6th) to captivate attention, so magic can be witnessed.   Rituals can be used to mark significant periods in time, like the full moon, the passageway to motherhood, a death or birth, releasing of old ways that no longer serve, anything can be honored by a ritual.  They are like momentary pieces of art that remind us of the beauty and magic in the world.

 

Here are the seven elements to create your own ritual.  First we call in the directions.  Second the space and each individual are purified by smudging.  The intention is stated out loud. Energy is then raised, by chanting, dancing, drumming or meditating together.  Then the body of the ritual is performed, energy is grounded and the circle is open.  Afterwards, there can be time for sharing or journaling and food and drink can be enjoyed.

 

  1. Call in the 7 Directions.  South, West, North, East, Earth, Heaven’s, Heart.

           Here is the version I use.  I would encourage you to study each direction

           and write your own prayers, ones that are meaningful to you.   When I lead rituals

           I print out a copy from the link above and cut them into strips.  I then give 1 directions

          to each person in the group to read.

 

   2.    Purification.  Smudging.  Its important to clear away worry, stress or harmful energy    

          that we bring with us to the ritual.  White sage is purifying.  Holy water, moon water or

          crystal charged water, a gong, bell or tibetan bowl could also be used for purification.

 

   3.    State Intention.  This is the reason why the group or individual has gathered and what

          the desired outcome or benefit will be from the ritual.

 

   4.    Raise the Energy.  This can be done through, chanting, drumming, dancing, meditating

          in silence together, your imagination is the limit.

 

   5.    The Body of the Ritual.  For a new mother, this may be sharing birth stories, braiding

          her hair and massaging her feet.  For a death it may be the crafting of memories into a

          shroud.  For life transition it may be tossing the old into the fire or river and releasing

          the new to the unknown.

 

   6.   Ground the Energy.  After the body of the ritual is complete, it’s important to

         come back to the earthly plane, in which we operate our day to day.  We can touch

         the earth, come into childs pose, sit quietly on the ground.  Feel our feet on the earth.

         Place a drop of vetiver essential oil on Kidney 1 point on the soles of the feet.

 

  7.    Close Sacred Space.  May the circle be open but never unbroken.  The 7 directions can

         be honored and thanked here.

 

After a ritual it is wonderful to have a little time to share, for each person to describe their experience.  Food and drink to celebrate!!  


I’d love to hear what you create:  summerquashie@gmail.com

Calling In the Seven Directions

FACE SOUTH

Oh Guardians of the South, place of the mother, of family and children. Great Serpent wrap your coils of light around us.  Teach us to shed our past as you shed your skin.  Teach us to move softly on the earth and bring sweetness to our work today.  Fill our Hearts with Love and Trust.

FACE WEST

Oh Guardians of the West, Wise Women of the west, water creatures, wise whales with your deep encoded wisdom.  Open our hearts to our soul’s journey, teach us the way of peace.  Teach us to live impeccably. Show us the way beyond death.

FACE NORTH

Spirit of the North, Grandmothers and Grandfathers, hummingbird, Ancient Ones, come warm your hands by our fire.  Whisper to us in the wind.  Let us feel our antiquity and know the truth of our work here on Earth.

FACE EAST

Oh Guardian spirits of the East, place of the maiden, springtime, hope and inspiration, place where spirit flies.  Winged ones show the way, come be with us in our circle today, illuminate our hearts, let us play and be joyful together.

TOUCH THE EARTH

Mother Earth, we’ve gathered for the healing of all your children.  The 4­legged, 2­legged, the creepy crawlers, the finned, the furred, the winged ones, all our relations.  Help us find our foundations and find hidden meaning.

RAISE HANDS TO THE SKY

Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, Skywalkers, Angels, Allies of the Vast Above we honor you.  Great Spirit you are known by a thousand names and yet you are the unnameable one. Thank you for bringing us together.

PLACE HANDS OVER THE HEART CENTER

To the center, the womb of the great Mother, safe haven within and without, home beyond home, bring us peace, bring us transformation, give us trust in the forces of growth and change.

The Saboteur

 
 

I texted a friend goodbye as I was leaving for a week of meditation in upstate NY.  She replied, “Deal with your saboteur before you go”.  My response was, “what? I don’t have a saboteur, I’ve been going on this retreat for 7 years for a month each time.  This time will be a synch, its only a week”.    And as my reactor self settled down, I realized that:

1. I am blessed with powerful spiritual women friends, whom I have prayed to have in my life- I better listen to what she says.

2. My self-sabatoge is so deeply engrained and habitual that its hard to notice.She gave me some clues into this deep work of the saboteur, all by text of course.

“Its an essential part of survival and can cause destruction to get its need met.  Its gifts are that it highlights fears of self empowerment.  Its 3rd chakra stuff.  Go deep into prayer there.  Open to where you are afraid to see. ”

“Deep and habitual? Welcome to the club… Now find the gifts”