Discipline

I have long decided to invite more discipline into my life. Correction: I have long decided to invite more discipline into my working life. Being a mother, that means those five to six hours in the morning and early afternoon while Svarun is in kindergarten. Being a mompreneur (a mother who is an entrepreneur), that has meant: all day every day.

It’s utopian to think that I’m going to be able to do all that I want/ should/ must/ desire in a mere few hours, especially because … well, I’m a woman. I don’t do things linear; I do a little bit of this here, and a little bit of that there, and then return to this, and then continue that bit over there. Just as I’m typing this, the granola is in the oven and washed clothes can’t wait to hang out in the balcony in this hot, orange, autumn sun. But being a woman, I also posses a lot of creativity that just wants to see the light of the day. However, being a woman alone does not make me highly chaotic; what makes me such is thinking that discipline would bore me to tears.

I’m willing to shift this now.

I’m willing to see things differently.

If we take a look at the word discipline, it shares the root with the word disciple. I’m not going to go into some religious lagacy, but just consider the meaning of the word disciple or bhakta, which is how the same person is called in Hare Krishna tradition. A disciple is someone who has surrendered his will to the coach.

For me, the coach is myself … or rather the part of myself I have yet not named, but it’s a she. She is the divine feminine that is waking up inside of me. She is my primal nature; she is Nature itself. Her gift is to find wisdom within her cycles; her gift is to descend and ascend, and give to the world all the love and beauty and softness she has gathered along the way. And what she needs in order to do all of that is … inspiration.

My idea of discipline? Surrendering to the inner guidance and feed it well with a lot of inspiration.

Again, my idea of discipline? Every day I take time for things that inspire me; I take time form y yoga and meditation, I take time form my barefoot walk, I take time to spend in Nature, and as of today … I take time for my kitchen playtime. That means I take time for the new app I’ve created, called Igralnica Kuhalnica in Slovene (but coming in English as well) and for sheer plain experimenting in the kitchen. When I’m throwing things together I fill like a kid again, wide eyed, barely managing to wait what’s going to … become.

That way, I’m becoming anew every second of every day. And that, my friends, is a gift.

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Taking Responsibility

The past week has been a roller-coaster.

Do you know the feeling when you know you’re doing the right thing, but everything you keep bumping into are obstacles upon obstacles upon obstacles? I sure do. I sure know how to feel sorry for myself. My mantra used to be: »I knew something was gonna go wrong.« I really liked that mantra. For a long time, it served me, because it saved me from responsibility. I hated responsibility and I never learned how to take responsibility … for my life. What does that even mean?

I liked my mantra, although the statement wasn’t actually true. I didn’t literally know what was going to happen, but I did always happily consider everything that could go wrong before everything that could go right. I was in the state of mind that Sara, my dear teacher, calls »God’s mercy«: when you think about the obstacle and you realize you really don’t want it to happen, but you feel like there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. You feel like somebody else is navigating your boat, while you sit silently under the deck; you’re small, yet you’re safe. And if the going gets rough, it’s not your fault.

I fell into that state a few times this week. I just stopped something and launched something new. I oh-so-know that what I started is the right thing. I can feel it in my body; I feel twinkles of excitement whenever I think about this project, and rushes of excitement when new ideas unfold and upgrade and reveal. It’s so right that it scares me.

So I go on … showing up late, not handling things, manifesting Svarun’s one-night-stand diseases, spilling chamomile tea all over the car, forgetting my laptop, forgetting the essentials, buying the wrong camera that the program doesn’t accept. There were approximately a million things why I could give up. But strangely my insistence seems to override my resistance. There have been a million instances when I could simply say: »The Universe is testing my persistence.« But I know that’s not the case. And another thing I know … I am responsible for my life. I take full responsibility for my life by always being in tune with what I feel. And I know that the obstacles I created are just my inability to accept … abundance. Abundance does not have one face alone. All that happened and nearly made me cry but in the end made me crack up open, is colorful and varied and very abundant. Oh, yeah.

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The Need for Rituals

I’m not a creature of habit, and I have never really made friends with routine. If anything, I found it scary because I usually felt so comfortable with change. But one thing is change, and the other is chaos and I was definitely leaning more in the direction of the second.

My best friend once told me: “Your middle name should have been Chaos, you know!” I don’t actually have a middle name, nor do I think Chaos would sit exceptionally well beside Tamara. However, if I take into consideration the meanings of both names (Chaos and Tamara, which in Hebrew means “date”, the fruit of the date palm), I come to think that I might just be here to find the sweet spot within my thunder, the calm within the storm.

*How do I do that? Daily rituals.

I’m not necessarily only talking about the morning routine, but a night one, and maybe a midday one, and before and after meals. What I’m talking about is Sādhanā. The word comes from Sanskrit, where it means “spiritual exertion towards an intended goal”. I have witnessed Hindus make poojas several times per day, each day, but I never really thought about the whys, until recently. It’s to keep the connection with God/ the Universe/ all that is/ Earth/ yourself/ life at arms’ length. It’s just that. No matter what your religion or no religion is, everyone’s “intended goal” is to be happy, right? In other words – peaceful.

There are certainly different paths to happy. In fact, I will go thus far as to claim that there are as many ways as there are people. It’s true. Blessed be our uniqueness, blessed be our equality.

I said Sādhanā was a spiritual practice. What that means is it’s a life practice, because all of life is spiritual, even taking out the trash, washing the dishes, freaking out, crying out loud, having sex. This only goes to prove that your rituals might include a warm cup of tea drank before going to bed, a blog that you read daily right before you start working, the walk that you take over to the grocer’, a stare at a night’s sky, a massage of your breasts at dawn, listening to that song, pulling those oracle cards, looking yourself in the mirror and saying out loud how much you miss yourself, going to pick up wood for fireplace, a green smoothie, a combing of your hair, a dance to the dark goddess. It may be anything and everything. The only thing that’s important is that you recognize it, and cherish it for it’s here to aid you.

It’s not like we lose the connection if we don’t pray/ meditate/ do breathing exercises regularly. The connection is always here because we are a part of all that is and that cannot be undone. However, if we don’t keep our rituals regular, we tend to forget about the connection more easily because there’s less (no) things reminding us of the sacredness of life.

I think that is what brings us peace in the first place: seeing, and feeling, and smelling, and touching, and tasting the sacredness of life and of ourselves.

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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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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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Happy Feast Day, Everyone!

Today is the 2nd time we get to celebrate St. Mary Magdalene’s Day since Pope Francis raised her memorial last year. Once considered a prostitute by the Church, she was now proclaimed a saint. There is nothing more terrifying to men in position than an awakened woman, says Dale Allen Hoffman, who has been studying the topic of Biblical mysticism for decades now. I encountered his work a few weeks ago, and I just can’t get enough of the inspiration. He is a “civilian scholar”, mystic and energetic healer, who works with sound a lot. At the beginning of each of his events, he does the arameic (the language that Jesus and Mary Magdalene spoke) toning, because he says that us humans we can feel the sound vibration of words better then understand the meaning of them. Amazing.

I consider Mary Magdalene one of my guardians, which simply means that I keep her energy close to my heart at all times. The sacred feminine is something that I’ve been drawn to embody for the past six years, and I got in touch with Mary Magdalene’s archetype via a dear friend. As a priestess of the Temple of Isis (the ancient Egyptian virgin goddess, whose story suspiciously resembles the story of Mary, mother of Jesus), her biggest quality in my opinion is drawing together women of all colours and sizes, but with the same burning desire within their hearts and their yonis. This desire is to embrace the sacred feminine energy into our bodies, minds and souls and to live it. Mary Magdalene draws together priestesses, and this quality is highly necessary nowadays, because us women need sisterhood. We need it just as men need brotherhood, none is more important than the other. But up to this day, it has been easier for men to “join in circle” (ha, men would never say that) because in most cases women are the keepers of the home and thus … well, stuck home. Women need sisterhood not in order to survive – although this is debatable – but to thrive and grow and expand beyond the imagination of our minds and into the limitless potential of our souls. Because all we are really up to is grow and expand. Grow out of yesterday’s skin and expand through the experience of a new day. Now just imagine what it would be like if you knew that there was a circle of women, a circle of sisters standing behind you and cheering your way every time you faced a challenge?

The world needs women who are stepping out and into the world, to give that precious gift that only they can give to help our planet thrive. Giving is the most natural thing to women because of our innate knowledge that the well of love cannot be emptied. But if this giving is not in balance with receiving, we are left tired and unkept. So what the women who are stepping our need is to receive support and acknowledgement and respect. And if this patriarchal society won’t give it to them, then their sisterhood will. Won’t we?

If there is a women’s circle where you live or nearby, go attend, or have a girl’s night out. I’m just heading out to join women at a sweat lodge, where we’ll have a ritual. I am really looking forward to it, because there are a lot of things that are no longer serving me and I need to let go and give them to Mother Nature, trusting that she will transform them into something that serves all of us. As ever. If there is no such thing taking place, at least go listen to one of Dale’s amazing lectures and tone with him in the ancient language that cannot leave you stoic.

Happy sisterhood day, loves.

Hasta mañana.

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Invitation: Let’s Do This Together

I’m not perfect. I’m not. Quite honestly, I’m highly imperfect. You can ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you how my insecurity gets in the way of my strength and will oftentimes. Or how my fears dare me to trust. Or how the hole from a belly button in my navel literally exploded when I was pregnant with Svarun and now looks like … well, as though it had exploded. So yeah, pretty much imperfect.

I’ve been thinking about “perfect” lately. What is perfect anyway? It means separate, actually. I had a boyfriend with a golden heart, a lot of compassion and an awesomely working mind, who could make a wonderful leader one day. But because he considered himself perfect, he was always in conflict and everybody eventually ran away from him. Us humans can’t relate to perfect because being perfect as we know it is not humane. I said “as we know it” because we use the word perfect as an outside evaluation of an internal criteria. Etymologically, the word perfect comes from the Latin word perfectus, which meant “to bring to full development”. What happens when we bring something, including ourselves, to full development? The end. When we are perfect, there is nothing more for us to do or be, and when that happens, there is no aim, no inspiration, and no path for us to walk. Nothing. Perfect is the ultimate end of the road.

And being human is about the road, it really is. Just think: what happens when you get somewhere you were dreaming or you get something you really desired? There is that initial flow of excitement, sure, but after that? You want something else. And the way you are going to get it will outweigh the thing, or place, or a relationship you’re going to get. It always does.

Before I became a mother, I would turn my back and go away whenever I felt restless. I’d go somewhere else and when the initial excitement there burnt off, I was left with myself, again. And then I’d go somewhere else, but nowhere else was fine, because everywhere else would tell me the same old thing: where you really want to go is INSIDE. And at first, I was left terrified at what I may find. But I’m here now. Are you?

Are you ready to dig deeper? The way within is the way to happiness, wholeheartedness, harmony. To love, to expression. And I’m here, inviting you on this journey with me, because we’re all in this together. Haven’t you noticed that the people around you go through many similar things? The fact that we’re all so intrinsically connected so as to bring into fruition the same sort of things at present … both amazes and inspires me. And forces me to stand up and stand out and share my experience of self-discovery. Through my writing, through my songs and music, through my motherhood, through my food and movement. Through all of it and more, but right here – through my writing. Sara, whom I take for my teacher, says: “Whatever I recognize in others, it’s because I own it, too. There are pieces of me in everyone else. When I realize this, I can be free.”

So. Do you wanna grow with me? Right here, ritually, every day?

 And you know what? Let’s ditch the word perfect for true. True is being able to look at the places in us that we’ve tried to hide. I’m talking about really looking, confronting the shadows. And then alchemically transforming them into … light.

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Bathing in the sunLIGHT at the river Dragonja. Photo courtesy of my dear soul sister Anja Orian, who made the wonderful linen skirt I’m wearing. You can check out her masterpieces on https://www.etsy.com/shop/InteriorHandmade?ref=l2-shopheader-name.