Commitment Yes, Commitment No?

Svarun is finally home! Boy, oh boy, did I ever miss that golden, fiery, talkative boy. Today we had an amazing day together; long and full, but amazing.

But after he’s gone to bed, the things that challenged me throughout the day surfaced. The things were many. I’m in the midst of my period. My mind is scattered all over, trying to figure a way out of what I would call “a mess”. I feel cranky and tired. I feel like there are things happening against my will. And I feel everything would be just fine if there were someone here to pat me on back. If there were someone here to say “there, there” or grab the reins when I need a nap.

Basically, what I’m feeling is very sorry for myself and just realizing it now. Whoa! Hello again, you, feeling. Feeling sorry for myself used to be my dominant way of feeling. It’s what I was brought up with. It goes something like this: I’ll take it if I get to complain about it. If I get to complain, I’m not happy. Not being happy is normal, so I’m in my comfort zone. All is well.

Being in the “poor me” is the easiest thing you could do, but it brings the least joy, if any at all. As my dear teacher Sara always says: “When nothing depends upon you, you needn’t take any responsibility for your life.”  Easy? Sure. Happy? Doubt it.

For example, me and Sara were talking for quite some time today. In the meantime Svarun found a two cups’ worth of oat flakes and got the inspiration to bake something on his own. He gathered oat flakes, organic baking powder, rice syrup, and water and came asking for permission to use each of the ingredients. I was like “yeah, yeah”, trying to divide my attention between the phone call and my son. Now, this may not have been the first time he decided to bake something, but it was the first time he committed to it. His commitment to pull it off, find a baking tray, put it into the oven and wait patiently for it to be done resulted in the very first time we got to eat his cake and, more importantly, a very excited and proud young man! It’s entirely edible and beyond – it’s delicious. But for me to see that took some strength. I could have stayed in the “poor me” and stick to my moth cashew tragedy, I could. But if I did, I wouldn’t realize how big this moment was for him. Seeing the victimhood game for what it was, I could shift the focus to the present moment and commit to being happy for my son’s rite of passage.

How do we take responsibility for our lives, then? By committing.

The other day somebody was asking me about my constant frequent updates here on the blog. I was asked about commitment and I remember using physics to explain my feelings. Now, I’m not a physicist or a left-brainer per se (two of my best friends are, though), but I swear I couldn’t find a more understandable explanation of what it feels like to commit than using centrifugal and centripetal forces to illustrate. Before you commit to your calling, you’re further away from the centre of the curve. You’re in the outskirts of the curve and don’t take responsibility for your life and your being. You have a job that doesn’t fulfil you and you complain about it, but feel you can’t do anything to change it. You don’t live your life, your life lives you. Then, once you realize you can’t afford such mediocre existence in this astonishing time-space reality, you commit to do whatever it takes to feel good and be the boss of your own life. You are then stepping on a whole new frequency, my friend. You’re coming closer to the centre of the circle, the rolling circle being you, your path and your calling. The closer you get to the centre, the more centripetal force you feel. The centripetal force stands for good feelings in the inertia that result from your decision to commit: fulfilment, calmness, happiness, feeling of being taken care of, and feeling of a cooperative Universe. Once you’ve had a sip of the fulfilment that you get when you carry out your soul’s desire, you want more and more of it because it just feels good. However, the more centripetal force you feel, the more centrifugal force there is. The latter is said to result from inertia and is “the tendency of an object to resist any change in its state of rest or motion”. There we have it, the perfect explanation of … fear. Right? The more you’re giving yourself in, the more fear you are feeling. Fear accompanies every creative venture, pushing us to either give in and commit, or give up and go back to the outskirts until we decide it’s time to commit to the inertia.

What will we do? What will ye do? Can you find something to commit to?

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On Our True Essence

I held the Universe in my hands.

It was looking back at me, curiously.

I was touched by the Eternity and the Now when I held a newborn in my hands yesterday.

My best friend gave birth to Eon Vitan a week ago and upon losing my wallet, I decided to hitchhike there. I was in that “baby mood” all day yesterday and finally, when I saw him in Nika’s hands, all helpless and profound and breastfeeding, I bursted into tears. The same way I’m bursting into tears now just thinking about it. He made me think of the Universe that I had in my hands almost four years ago; the Universe that’s been in my life ever since, but my vision gets blurred so I sometimes don’t recognize it as such. It made me see how much I’ve grown over the last years. And it made me grateful for it all.

As I was holding Eon and supporting his tiny black-haired head, I remembered the oneness. I remembered we were all once as fragile as he is now. I remembered. I remembered that we were all just these shining examples of pure light and goodness, making this world a better place. We were? Excuse me, we are. Present Tense. But somehow most of us forgot along the way.

“Well, when did it go wrong? What happened?” you might be asking yourself. Life happened. The life we ourselves chose had built layers and layers of conditions upon us. Why? So that we could get to the point where we are now and look back and unlearn and unleash everything that’s not serving us. And go on happily ever after, always aware of our light, always aware of the light of others, and always shining our light into the world.

For example, I had these two guys pull over when I was hitchhiking to Nika’s place. I could see they had probably downed one or two pints and they were heading to a local fair. And I could see the way the driver was looking at me, as though the pints had unleashed the beast. He wanted me to come along to the fair, but all I ever said was: “I’m going to see a baby. Thanks, but no thanks.” We got to talking about the music that they played rather loud in the car, and the co-pilot said: “I really like Rihanna. She’s my favourite.” And I said, for the sake of curiosity: “I see. Well, I think she’s pretty, too.” The driver then said: “I could use her up. And I could use you up, too. ” He looked at me expectantly and all I could think was: “Well, that’s too bad. Whenever did the men forget how to talk to a woman?”

“I’m a lady, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said and we all shared a laugh.

And the air in the car didn’t get thicker.

And the moods didn’t get tenser.

And the road didn’t get longer.

We moved on. The reason we could move on was in my ability not to play his chauvinistic game. That ability I got from yesterday’s “baby mood”. When he said he “could use me up”, I could think to myself “what a bastard, he thinks he has the power over me to do anything” and it could lead me into saying something like: “Oh, yeah? Who do you think you are? I don’t think so”. In that case I would be fighting him and what fighting ever does is exhaust the ones who are fighting. There are much better ways to avoid conflict, but the best way must be to “love your neighbour as thyself”.

Because I love myself I was very well aware who I am, where I stand and who gets closer to me, regardless of his remark. I didn’t have to fight to show the driver that; I just rested in my knowing, while the latter made him realize it, too, the minute I replied. And because I love my neighbour, in this case the driver, I nurtured him with my complete loving understanding of why he said what he said. I didn’t hold the grudge for I knew he didn’t mean any harm – he just ddidn’t have the ability to say things in a nicer, more sensitive, more appealing way. I could see he was a good man, but even more so, I could see the harmless little baby that he was once was, that he still is … although shadowed by layers and layers of conditions.

Thank you, dear Eon, for reminding me of our true essence yesterday.

Thank you, dear Svarun, for teaching me how to cultivate that essence on a daily basis.

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Light and Dark

Life is a balance of light and dark. Everyone gets to choose how much of each he’s willing to put up with … until he or she realizes that what we call dark is really just a cry for more light.

I have always been into experimenting with the darkness. I was drawn to people with a certain shadow quality that I wanted to … experience. I fell in love with boys and men with addictive patterns of damaging themselves because I wanted to … observe it. And I was delving deep into my insecurities, fears, anger. Although I was very intrigued by the darkness, I never feared it. It thought that darkness was just a good place to hide, and so I wanted to lift the veil for everyone, including me, to come out – shamelessly, painlessly, fearlessly. I learned the hard way that I couldn’t lift the veil for others; it’s not mine to lift. That was then. That was me as a Maiden.

Now, as a woman, I came to know that darkness is not just a good place to hide, it’s also a good place to rest, to restore, to meditate, to dream, and to be. It’s a good place. As we speak I’m sinking into my menstrual mode, the time of truth. The time to face my darkness and my light; to face what tools I’ve got in my hands to work with. Menstruation is the time of barren winter fields, the time of Death. I’m lifting the veil of that, which the rest of the month doesn’t get to see.

I said that darkness was just a cry for more light. We are the ones to shine that light. Darkness is a place where your fears reside, but when you shine your light of truth upon them, they disappear. The same way as a dark room is no longer dark when you turn on the light.

That is what happens during our menstruation. We delve deep into the underworld to nest the fears and once ready, we shine the light of understanding, of experience, of knowing upon them and they become transformed. It’s called alchemy and it’s what’s calling me to face it.

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Accept the Invitation

I thought I was going to write about the ego today, because I really delved deep into feeling the feels. You see, I promised my grandmother I would help her pick string beans from my parents’ garden, so we spent the whole morning together. My father’s mother is usually the first person to trigger me into reacting, but we ended up having a really nice conversation in the fields and it got me thinking what it takes to invite more flow into relationships. But since throughout the day my answer to just about everything was “I can’t say anything for I can’t find my wallet”, I just wanted to tell the Universe, here and now, that: “I accept your invitation, dude!”

You see, when Svarun was waving me goodbye, and I thought about the solo-week ahead, two things I want to in these seven days immediately came into my awareness. The first one is: “I’m not going to the grocery shop for the whole week ahead”. This doesn’t mean I was planning to starve myself, but rather to use up what I have in stock and the bounty from both mine, as well as my parents’ gardens. The second thing was: “I haven’t hitchhiked in at least four years, I want to do some hitchhiking!” Well, technically this isn’t true because me, my friend and Svarun did hitchhike in Tenerife last year. What I was probably after when the thought crossed my mind is: “I want that feeling of being open to an adventure and the feeling like I’m not rushing anywhere because I’ve got all the time in the world to get to my point B.”

The Universe said: Check. And Check.

And I say: I’ll play your game. Besides, thanks for setting this up for me. As ever.

With my wallet and my credit card being gone, I obviously cannot go to a shop or spend the money in any possible way. And with my wallet being gone, I obviously cannot drive, because I keep my driver’s licence there. So this is taken care of. Gee, thanks. I take the challenge, gladly. I’m going on a hitchhiking trip on Saturday to meet my sister at the seaside, and then I’ll turn 180° and go the other way to visit my best friend and her brand new baby boy, who was born six days ago. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?

Besides, if you’re getting worried – because I know a lot of people feel uneasy about hitchhiking – relax, please. It is perfectly safe to go hitchhiking here in Slovenia. Actually, I will go so far as to claim that it is perfectly safe to go on hitchhiking anywhere in the world, as long as you’ve tended to your mind beforehand. If you have a belief system that tells you that this world is a dangerous place, where bad things happen to people, I think you’d be better off buying that bus ticket. If your belief system is telling you that women are weaker and get hurt more easily, you’re better off staying at home. And if you think that hitchhiking is a great way to meet your next teacher in this life, I’d say sticking out that thumb is completely in order!

This reminds me of our last hitchhiking adventure in Tenerife last year. Me, my friend and Svarun went for a day trip to the other part of the island. We were showing up hitchhiking back pretty late, because Svarun had tantrums the whole day, so naturally the crying and the fussing were slowing us down. We were far up north and it was getting dark, when suddenly this dreadlock pulls over.

“Hi! We’re going to La Caleta,” we said.

“Sure, come on in,” he says.

We get to talking in the car and we were just telling him that we were staying on a beach and did fires everyday, when suddenly he stops: “Wait, which Caleta are you going to?”

“The beach, of course,” we said. He cracks up open and explains that the Caleta we are going to is in the other direction, but there is another Caleta nearby. Naturally he thought we were after the second one. He invites us to his place, where we can spend the night, he ends up cooking us dinner, and the next day he takes us all the way to our Caleta, where we spent the following couple of days camping together. And you may think that his invitation was a no-brainer, but actually I wanted to go on hitchhiking and reach our camp that same day.

I had a boyfriend over there and wanted cuddles, but then my friend said: “You can get cuddles tomorrow. I mean, look at this place, it’s amazing. And I really think this is calling for an adventure.”

I took a deep breath and said: “Yes”. I knew it was the Universe inviting. I accepted its invitation and went with the flow only to be left with feelings of gratitude, being cared for, being nourished, being loved and inspired. My acceptance turned into one of the best memories from last year’s trip.

Imagine we were accepting the things that are coming our way all the time. Well?

 

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This is him. Gabriel, thank you so much! You’re a teddy bear! Besitos a Luana.

 

 

Relax

I have a “spiritual running buddy” as Gabrielle Bernstein likes to put it. It’s a friend of mine, with whom we’ve been through a lot together. Our sisterhood started in high school, but not for the purpose of our supporting each other to be good to ourselves, so much as the exact opposite. We both had eating disorders at the time and were basically giving each other pep talks on how not to focus on eating, but exercising. Fast forward thirteen years, we found ourselves back on the same path, this time towards self-love, personal development and spiritual journey. And I couldn’t be more grateful that we are in this together.

This morning we talked about keeping that intangible connection to ourselves when the times are a-trying. She recently went travelling to this dreamy tropical destination, and being off work for three weeks, she was certain how she could really practice her presence over there. In the end what got in the way was her own mind, constantly asking: “Am I present now? Am I present now? How about now? And now?” Giving in to our thoughts is what keeps us from being in the now, right? Her mind was so obsessed with the idea of being in the moment, that she actually missed being in the moment because she was thinking about being in the moment. Absurd, isn’t it? And yet it happens to all of us.

It happens to me, too. The only difference is that I’m not pushing myself to be more present (although it might be good sometimes) but – happy. I come from a family where complaining is the norm. Complaining brings forth unacceptance of current conditions, which pushes us to fight our lives and the Universe, rather than accepting and cherishing it. We end up being cranky most of the time, and in that we forget how it is to be happy, thus accepting and cherishing of all no matter what. So I often find myself checking up on my happiness, and when I establish I’m not as happy as I could be, the very fact of not being happy as I could be makes me – unhappy. A circle, a vicious circle! This is not freedom. It’s like being anorexic and obsessively thinking about food all the time, even though you’re not eating it. That is not freedom.

Now what?  

Relax. Celebrate. I mean it.

Let’s celebrate our showing up for ourselves no matter what. The next time we find our mind being a total control freak, not letting us experience what we set out to experience, let’s thank it. Let’s really thank it, because it’s trying to help us. And then, let’s put the mind where it belongs: into a safe little nest, where it can watch over all of the experiences that enrich our soul, only speaking up when the soul gives our an S-O-S.

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Being You and really Being It!

I don’t think I have much to say today, but whatever I do, it’s going to be real. Count on it.

Being authentic is a new concept for me. I’m talking about being YOURSELF in any given moment and owning it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I was faking and trying to please others most of my days up until now. Well, almost. Well, it actually might have been … and it started out when I was a kid. A chubby one. Who loved to eat and sing and talk and read encyclopaedias (my mind was very active very early), but who also felt that chubby wasn’t what was required of her. It wasn’t ok. So she started dieting at age eleven, because she thought that being skinny would make her ok. The dieting thing turned into anorexia at seventeen and to bulimia at nineteen and followed her into young adulthood. All she ever wanted was to be ok, really. But she never was, so long as she relied upon the verdict of well-meaning others. Once she was too fat, other times she was too skinny. Because she was never quite ok, the particularly sharp rebellious spirit living in her woke up and took the reins. Sure, she was a rebel, but was fighting against herself. Not knowing yourself brings you into the position where you’re not sure whose side you’re supposed to be on. So you take the hard way, because you read or and heard it one place everywhere that if you want something, you have got to fight and suffer for it. “No pain, no game,”, right?

Eating disorders are the hard way to authenticity, self-love and self-assurance. The day that I decided I was better than my friends because I didn’t give into temptation and eat the cookie like everybody else, I could have decided differently. I could have put on my bikini (we were in Sicily for a field trip) and look at myself into the mirror and I could have decided – there and then – to see beauty and youth; to feel love and shiny golden hair falling down my shoulders; to appreciate innocence, intelligence, humour, stubbornness, beautiful singing voice, a gift for writing, or anything else I could find. That would be the easy way, wouldn’t it? Think about it, being aware of all your talents and attributes surely makes for a good day, a good life, doesn’t it? But then again – how to you come to me aware? Doesn’t awareness have much to do with disciplining your mind into focusing on what good you can find, not what bad you stumble upon? So what is in fact the easy way?

I have come to the point in life where I believe loving yourself for all that you are is the easy way. It means appreciating yourself when you’ve taken the steps to rise, and it also means appreciating yourself when you’ve done something that’s not of the highest good for all and everyone. I’m talking about being whatever I’m being at the moment, and having the nerve to be it, the nerve to speak up.

This very moment, for me? What’s up is that I feel really tired. Even without Svarun I’ve been waking up at the exact same time as I do when we wake up on weekdays (nobody ever needs a watch) and I’ve been going to bed pretty late. Besides, I feel like I spent way too much time behind the screen today, working on a project with a friend. And my stomach is complaining about the lot of cheese and rice crackers that I ate half an hour ago, not out of hunger, but because I’m gently stressed out about something I need to do tomorrow morning. But I’m happy because my and Svarun’s home looks so nice and feels so clean; I’ve been moving furniture these past few days because I feel that our home needs a change. I’m grateful because I  got to start the day with yoga, meditation, sun and breeze in my favourite place in the world, the meadow, where I’ve been going since I was a little girl. I’m grateful to receive all of the inspiration that I receive daily; I’m grateful I can see it as inspiration. I’m grateful that my fears are weaker than my calling. I’m grateful to have a week for myself, but I’m even more grateful that my son is coming home soon.

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Spirituality and Mamahood

Spirituality and mamahood. Where do they intersect?

Svarun went on a week-long holiday with my parents on Saturday. While I do believe it’s healthy and desirable that we spend 7 days out of 365 apart, I miss him a lot. And I feel guilty, too. Guilt is probably the number one emotion all mothers worldwide experience. We were conditioned with the role of a perfect mother and when we don’t live up to it, we feel guilty, all the while forgetting we’re only human with strengths and weaknesses.

On our Saturday’s sweat lodge that I talked about here, I received a very profound message.

(I say received, because I didn’t hear or read it anywhere, it just came to me formed in words, through my mind, and in into the knowing. I usually get such messages in form of words, because words are my chosen form of expression, but you may get it as a vision, a voice, a set of numbers. Receiving such messages from the Universe is what I call divine inspiration; it’s how the recipe for my synergy bars came to be. It’s as if I was reading the book of Universe that contains all that is, all that was and all that is yet to be.)

Back to the sweat lodge. When we made the fire to heat the rocks and sat down, forming half moon around the circle, the following knowing came to me:

Your task is to turn all of the conditions that your mind sees as weaknesses into your strengths; they are here to serve you.

I knew exactly what we were on about. I’m very devoted to my personal growth and spiritual practice, as I have been on and off for the past six years, but never to such an extent as now. But considering I’m a single mother who worked and raised her son at home for three and a half years until he went to kindergarten this February, I was not given much time to harness my internal peace. For three and a half years it meant either waking up really early and risking the exhaustion of my body, or the exhaustion of my mind that was craving 5 minutes of me-time. But even when I was given the five minutes, I didn’t know how to use them because I was avoiding myself and my darkness. I conceptually knew I should meditate, but never took the time to sit on the meditation pillow. As soon as Svarun finally fell asleep for his midday nap, I ran away from me and went … to the kitchen, to the internet, to clean something unnecessary, to do anything that would prevent me from facing the stillness. I lived in such frenzy that honestly, I didn’t know how I remained sane.

Now that I do all of my peace work, I still sometimes experience the contrast (that I talked about yesterday). Then my ego mind would try to come up with an excuse to set me free of the responsibility: “Well, I’m a mother. If only I had all the time in the world to invest in my spiritual journey, I would be a spiritual leader by now.” Bullshit. Nobody has 24/7 to invest in their spiritual practice. Besides, every situation we find ourselves in it’s because it is here to support us; they are not something we need to fight. Yep, even being a mompreneur and trying to meditate. I had the feeling long before Svarun was born, that I will grow with my first child. But up until now I wasn’t very good at putting that feeling into practice. For example, I would witness his reactions that were pissing me off, and I knew they were actually my reactions. They were the part of me that I didn’t want to acknowledge, so I felt the need to fight them, condition them, uproot them.

I don’t feel bad about it. But I do see now how every single circumstance is a blessing. Our children are showing us the mirror 24/7. It’s just copy-paste, copy-paste, copy-paste. They are a reflection of ourselves and when there is something in them that bothers us, it’s because we have it, too, but trying to ignore it.

And I thought I didn’t have enough time to devote to my spiritual practice?! Time is not something we have. Time is something we make.

Right now, I can either go back to trying to have the time for my meditation, yoga, and reading, or I take the time that I’m given with this precious being as devotion to my spiritual practice, such as it is. Just being with Svarun is a seminar in the very next things in and about me that must be dealt with in order to life a happier and healthier existence. The best part, thought? I know he thinks I’m fine just as I am. Children don’t have a hard time forgiving, us adults do. One time I asked Svarun why he choose me to be his mother, and he said: “Because you seemed young.” I didn’t fully understand his response then, but I know now what he wanted to say. He knew he was going to be my teacher, and he knew his mother was going to grow as she went.

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