Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Life Gets So Good

Ahhhh, the anticipation is sweet when I can surrender the outcome even just a little ….  But it’s uncomfortable, almost painful when I let it take me….  this is all over good news you see.  I work for this amazing yoga company and have been working on a business proposal of sorts.  I come to find out last night that the idea is already taking shape and I can skip to step two of my development with this.  I am so excited I think I am going to jump out of my skin.  What comes next…. an insane and insatiable desire to drink or smoke or something…. “incredible” I think – my disease works so hard when there is something to celebrate.  It’s as though some part of me wants to sabotage what is appearing to be a HUGE, miraculous opportunity.  Yes, of course, that part of me is my disease and it is by it’s very nature, ultimately destructive… Staying present is key and not coming to expect…. but how?  How do you maintain composure when you see that red bicycle you have been wanting for the last 5 birthdays, being ridden down the road on the night of you birthday by a family member?   A part of me wants to succumb to my belief that I(of myself) want to be doing something to usher this thing in…. and yet I don’t even know if it is mine to be.  The hardest thing to do, is nothing at all and yet many great spiritual teachers have a told us that the highest spiritual practice is the practice of “doing” nothing.  Whether it is a practice of being and allowing or showing up just for the things that are suggested or becoming ok with the pull of inspiration as it tugs on your heart strings as a hope for things unseen…. I don’t know.  But what I do know is that if I am really the woman of faith that I believe I am, I need to demonstrate that faith by trusting implicitly that “God alone” is at the helm.  This consists of reminding myself that, hey Ash, God still has this one.  God has been at the center and the circumference of this since it first began to budd in your life.  It is the water, the light, the soil, the acorn and it is now revealing itself as an oak tree as the very life that you are living.  You do not need to do anything to make yourself grow, to promote your growth, to talk God into giving you all that you need to grow and be the full expression of life that you came to be…. Nope, God has this…. you just continue to show up and be open, forgetting about the me of the package you come in.  There is a Divine orchestration of your life occurring and you are not the director of the show.  Well, you can be…. But it hasn’t worked out all that well with you in that position anyhow…. So let it go Ash…. Trust, more now than ever before, that life has never and will never let you down.  Be totally present to the gifts of today and allow the balance of presence and grounding to keep a sweet tint to the anticipation of the waves of goodness rolling into your life. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Angels Who Dedicate Themselves to Our Truth

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who has always lived in a way that is simply inspiring to me.  She, like me, has never subscribed to the conditioning of the world.  Recently, while she was in Brazil when her father had a major hemorrhagic stroke.  With the experience of being an ABA therapist working with kids with autism all over the world, a background in spiritual studies and kick ass partner and 24 hours of traveling home – she was able to implement her faith and in the process she became a huge part of the miracle that continues to occur in her family(and beyond)’s life.  Molly decided to stay dedicated to her faith in miracles and she held her vision and awareness on the plane of the highest possibilities for her father, from the get-go.  She did not waiver from her faith…this I respect so much.  It is truly an honor to bear witness to the journey as she describes what we decided is a red carpet of miracles and her father as the Oscar winner. 

Being sober is about being present to these miracles in life.  It is about being available to the tears that welled up in my eyes as I listened to my friend’s journey over the phone as she described it from her home in Brooklyn, 3,000 miles away.  Being sober is about being a friend, a daughter, a community member, a life-giver and not a life sucker.  This happens as a result of keeping our attention and intention on the possibility of miracles when the rest of the world is believing in the doubt and the smallness of themselves and others….like Molly’s fathers nurses who repeated the trained beliefs and behavior of the western medical system….generalized inference of doubt and practices of coping instead of true healing… I wouldn’t have subscribed… and neither did Molly.  She stood true to what she believed in her heart of hearts about the health and vitality of her father and now this man is walking, talking, eating and bringing gratitude and joy to the world through a little nursing home somewhere in New Hampshire as he throws Thanksgiving feasts for himself, his roommate Chip and everyone at the rehabilitation facility. 

I believe in the Universe.  I believe in it because I see it working miracles in the lives of so many each day.  Every person sitting in a seat in the rooms today is a demonstration of these miracles.  Some days the miracles are loud and clear and sometimes they are so subtle but equally powerful…. It’s these subtle miracles that I go the extra mile in my spiritual practice to be available to.  I know they are happening all around me and yet it’s not enough to know…. I want to be a part of them experientially.  There are angels like Molly throughout the rooms who believe in our health and sanity when so many have given up on us and written us off.  I am grateful for all of my angels today.  I am grateful for your angels today.  I believe in your health and well-being so if you have forgotten – you can borrow my faith because I do believe in the Perfect Wholeness, within you. The Light of Love Burns Brightly where you are, can you feel it ;-)?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Humility Follows Humbling

“There is a Light and it never goes out…” lyrics from a song that my yoga teacher plays while we lay in Sivasana.  There is that place which is the same within you and me and all of life…. That place of Love and Freedom and Joy…. That place of Peace that passes all understanding…. That place of reprieve and restoration…. That place which seems to whisper wisdom when we need it most… that place I call God.  In today’s morning meeting we discussed humility and, in the 12 &12, humility is defined as the desire to know God’s will for us.  It occurred to me that this is an action word that requires movement, on our part, in the direction of our higher power…. God.  As a new thought student I have spent a lot of time telling God what I want and in the use of certain Spiritual Principle, I have co-created many things…. most of which I found I did not want in the end anyway.   In recent months I have discovered that my truest desire is to live God’s will and God’s will alone, for my life.  My sponsor loves to point out the quote at the bottom of p. 69 in the big book that reads “God alone” and although I had an aha moment while we were meeting the other day – something along the lines of wow, that doesn’t include me, I still sense that I haven’t had the aha that she has had around this and so…. I will keep coming back.  I realized that being humble is sexy and being the opposite, really is not!  There is a healthy radiant confidence from one who is right sized in God.  This is a shining light and does not appear anything like the false confidence of the “I did this” attitude of the ego.  My ego got a hold of the reigns last week as I resisted and resisted until finally I had been humbled so many times that I realized I had forgotten to seek God’s will for my life AND dedicate myself to the commitment of following through with the guidance given.  I was being less than open and charming with my sponsor and she did this thing that she tends to do, “love me when I wasn’t loving myself.”   What a profoundly powerful experience this continues to be. If I am not loving myself than I have no space to love others.  Another definition of humility offered this morning was not to think less of ourselves but to think of ourselves less often.  So today I claim an attitude of giving-ness of humility and helpfulness and in all earnestness I ask to know God’s will for my life.  I ask God to reveal to me how I can serve another, or many others?  I surrender my will as my ideas, thoughts, opinions and plans to the Divine idea of my life.  I allow God to be the Good Director of my show.   Today, I am experiencing welcomed humility which feels much better than the un-welcomed pain of humbling process.  Today I am pulled by inspiration, not pushed by pain. Infinite Love

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Humble Pie

I am humbled by myself for the good of myself and as painful as the humbling process can be I know that It’s gifts are unparalleled.  It’s one of those things that sucks going through but once on the other side I find myself so grateful I went through it.  Thanksgiving was a HUGE opportunity to use the tools of the program and the consciousness developed on my mat and in various spiritual communities I am involved with.  I had the opportunity to look from the outside in on the disease of alcoholism and addiction.  As I watched someone I love dearly masked by substances sit with me fully believing that they were there in some capacity… I remembered what it was like to be sitting in that very seat of life.  I love her anyway and this experience does not change my love for her one bit - if anything it increases it – but I just can’t get through.  I realize in this moment that I feel alone and there are no secretes between souls.  On a soul level we know everything there is to know about another – after all we are just free flowing energy and the exchange and download is inevitable.  We have just finished Thanksgiving dinner and she is not really there and I am fumbling to figure out exactly what I need to do to take care of myself.  Out of sheer will and a “drive by prayer” I defer myself from taking action on the thought of having a cigarette and yes, even the thought(and borderline consideration) of having a glass of wine as it cruised through the crazy space of my mind.  Sugar?  No, that somehow doesn’t feel like it’s going to work.  I settle on a bath with a good book and some dedicated prayer time.  I begin to feel better and I emerge from the tub to find my loved one waiting to communicate with me.  I tell her I feel lonely and I love her and it’s just such an odd feeling to feel alone when one of the people you love most in the world is sitting right there with you.  She asked if I had wished we had more quality time growing up and I reply no, I don’t wish for the past - I want this now…. I would love this quality time now….  I get myself to a meeting and almost immediately, the weight begins to melt from my shoulders and my stress softens as I listen and share about the challenges of being sober during the holiday.  Earlier in the day I went to a Thanksgiving day yoga class where we were doing our wheel poses, one at a time, for each dish we planned to eat, - one for white turkey, one for yams and potatoes, one for pumpkin pie, one for stuffing and finally someone yelled out, one for champagne and as Scott beckoned a final “sparkling wheel” I thought to myself…. I’m doing a well for the glass of champagne that I DON’T have to have this year.  I am grateful to be sober through the holidays but it is important to recognize that the challenges of the holidays may require a slight amp up in the old program.  I can feel some resentment building inside of me and I’m observing that it is not being directed in healthy ways and in some cases at completely undeserving targets. I guess I not only had an extra slice of pumpkin pie....I feel like I am getting an extra serving of humble pie.  I open and soften myself to the guidance and love of others and I apologize where I have mis-stepped allowing myself the opportunity to re-center as many time as I need to, each day.  I am humbled with ease and grace.  Love Out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Feel It Now Baby

“Feel it!”  My assignment from my sponsor this week is to just feel things and to stop thinking so much about everything…. The wisdom from my yoga teacher today is to connect to the sensation of the moment and feel things…. So I guess the message from the Universe is ….. well, “crank up my feeling nature and turn down the incessant chatter and the overly analytical need of the organizational mind to categorize and label everything so that it fits snugly into some safe imaginary world that my ego would love to control.  As I lay in Sivasana at the end of class today, I realized or remembered that thinking is most often a faculty of the ego and feeling a faculty of the soul.  I guess I “thought” this but whatever…. I am claiming it as a breakthrough on the apparent growth that I am called into.  I had already considered myself someone who spends more time identified with her soul and less time identified with her mind and therefore more identified with spirituality and less identified with humanity, more time identified with God and less time identified with ego BUT you can’t ignore it when the megaphone of life is on loud and it’s telling you something…. the same thing… every where you go.  For me, today, this week, in the moment of now….I am guided to feel life.  What am I feeling right now…. Blessed…. I am sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops on the planet watching the rain pitter patter off the table outside, there’s a little jazz playing, I feel the after glow from yoga and as I soften my mind and bring my attention into my heart, without a thing changing in my world, my gratitude increases.  I feel present – like a sponge…. Soaking in the goodness.  Ahhh, the benefits of yoga and sobriety… so sweet indeed.  So, this week is about making the trek from my head to my heart and simply feeling everything I feel in every moment and ALLOWING all of it.  My mom was grieving the loss of my sister’s dog this morning and she said “ I don’t know Ash…”  I put my arm around her curious… “you don’t know what mom?”  She said “I’m just so sad….”  “Of course you are Mom, that is an appropriate and valid emotion for losing Boca who was like a grandchild to you….of course you feel sad…. This will pass but try not to resist this feeling…. It’s the other side of all of the joy that you feel when you feel joy.”  It’s amazing how conditioned we are to believe that sadness is bad and how we would do almost anything to escape it.  The only way through it is well, through it.  If we don’t feel something as we go through it, it gets stuffed into our own being somewhere and saved for a later date.  One of the habits of highly successful and happy people is that they “do it now.”  It works the same for feelings, be in them now.  I am committed to being present to my feelings and yours today…. They are all Good – even if they are disguised.  Much Love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Unleashing Your Call

We all have people who inspire and move us on a soul level.  The person who inspires me the most in this world is Dave Mathews.  His perspectives, revelations and clarity, expressed so beautifully as his music, inspire me on every level to be a better person.  I shuffle the 100 or so songs that I have on my iphone and simply open and listen….. as I listen, I rise and expand at the same time – it’s as if I grow metaphorical wings in response to the deep wisdom arrived at through what I believe is an honest dedication to knowing The Truth – a journey that Dave, myself and you if you are reading this, all share.  As I expand I become more available to that which is seeking to emerge in my life…. My ultimate life….. that life which I came to live…. That life which is the full expression of the gift within me; that which is unique to me.  Just as there is something that is continuously calling me, there is something calling you.  This seed within us is constantly calling us deeper and inviting us to water it with our attention and intention.  You know when you are in touch with it because you feel free in your body, in your mind and in your soul.  I think that so many of us get caught up in “the how” of it all.  For example, part of the vision for my life includes a beautiful ranch outside of Aspen and an airplane that I own and fly…. If I were to examine the facts of my life as they are now and try to make a plan of how to get there I would stop pursuing this dream immediately because it would seem impossible.  This is the difference between those who “succeed” and those who don’t -  those who sense deep down that what we are called to be and do in this world is fully supported by the Universe and it is not up to us to figure out how it is going to occur.  The acorn has the full Divine idea of the oak tree within it and it does not doubt how it will become a Big, Giant, Beautiful Oak tree… it simply says yes and allows it’s growth to occur.   Don’t stop dreaming your dream or honoring your vision for the Universe has Infinite Power and It’s ways are mysterious, magical and definite, if we would but believe. I don’t worry about “the how” anymore(those are the thoughts for the people with small lives)…. I stick with “the what” and allow myself to become fully immersed in the feeling tones of my dreams…. knowing that the more time I spend basking in the consciousness of my dreams the more available I am to their unfoldment.
I sat with an old, dear friend over coffee, grilled cheeses and organic apples for about 3 hours today. We dove in and explored Divinity and Infinite possibility and it lifted my soul in a way that leaves me feeling the “real buzz” of life.  He inspires me like Dave does, like my sponsor does, like my best friend does, like those that I love so deeply, do.  I stick with those who dedicate themselves to Truth, to Love, to Creativity and to supporting one another.  Stick with those who believe in the good life….those who inspire you…. those digging deep into their soul for the journey of a lifetime or perhaps better said…. A lifetime worth the journey.  I am sober because I believe in the call within me like I believe that this seattle sky is grey today….. it’s Truth….. I can feel it…. I can always feel it when it’s Truth and so can you.  Follow your heart, your intuition and your passion and your triumphant bliss WILL be revealed.  Don’t listen to the conditioning of the world, let your inner fire be stoked by your attention and let your sobriety be worth every moment of commitment you have dedicated AND unleash your soul, my friend!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shifting Perspective and Perception

“One day at a time” is a Perspective Principle used in the program that a lot of us have resistance to, or simply don’t understand when we first arrive in the program.  This principle shifts our perspective and makes us fully available to take care of what is directly in front of us.  This is powerful, especially in early sobriety as we walk through the stages of participating in stabilizing the systems of our lives.  Some of these systems I am referring to are relationships, finances, career, health etc.  Lately, as I chose to make a career switch to something that is in line with who I am and something to support me as I build my spiritual life coaching business, I am struggling with my finances.  Man, this can feel super scary sometimes and I have to pull myself from the thought of “what did I do wrong?”  I find myself justifying to my higher power of why I deserve to feel free financially….I haven’t smoked in 2.5 months, I haven’t had a single mind-altering substance(save sugar J) in over six months, I am not spending my money frivolously, I have full intention to be in full financial integrity and have not once taken on a bill that I have not fully intended to pay and yet like now I find myself in tears of fear for my financial health and well being. Well, there is no justification necessary Ash, I believe in a Universe where there is more than enough and it is our birthright to be fueled, fed and supplied so I let go of justifying and start trusting in my Higher Power which loves me more than I could possibly know.  I called my sister and she reminded me that if the only thing that I do today is stay sober, than I have accomplished a lot.  There are people dying this very moment of this disease and so many more that are dying inside of loneliness and isolation of this disease.  I am grateful today to be immersed in communities and practices of Love and to be present to what is so that I can also be present and available for shifts and changes in my life for the better.  This is the shake down, the meantime and the clearing work that comes with getting sober.  The key I think is to take on the perspective of taking life on “just for today.”  I get it – when we are sober we are present for the good AND the challenges.  We can’t just check out anymore and forget that this stuff is going on.  Life is indeed in session and now we have the tools (the steps, the poses) and the support (the fellowship, the teachers, the mentors) who have walked through their own “stuff,” who are here to guide us.  This is a reminder to you and to me, that even if I(you) are going through something that feels like it will never end, it will…. “this too shall pass” and once it does, if I stay sober there will be a gift waiting that is always worth every ounce of strength it took to pull through.  Today I show up, just for today and I do what has never been easy for me before…. I lean in and allow others to support me.  I allow myself to be seen through a state of vulnerability and honesty with where I am at and as a result, I come to rely upon miracles – it’s the beauty of sobriety.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flow State - Available thanks to yoga and sobriety

Sunday is my absolute favorite day of the week – there is just something so magical about it.  I personally love to celebrate The Unity that exists at the center of all of life… that presence of Love and Intelligence and Creativity.  That presence which is un-namable and un-describable and yet we can begin to sense and feel it in places like the rooms, nature or church.  I feel this presence on my mat… for example I sometimes find myself at a crux of existence when I somehow release my efforting to some energetic flow that is larger than myself.  It is this presence, which might be called flow, creativity or power in an individual.  In the Warren Miller ski film that I went to last night they stated that scientists say that those athletes who are doing things that would seem impossible to the rest of the world are in what’s called “a flow state” whereby the faster they are moving, the slower their mind is going.  I believe I have experienced this “flow state” and have fallen so in love with it’s brilliance that every day I wake and dedicated myself to deepening into it.  I believe this state was the same state that people like Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha all lived from – it is an experience of Union with the essence of the same life that lives within all of us.  I am so deeply grateful to be developing a connection with this awesome power of love through my sobriety and my yoga practice.  Because I know that this a presence that is everywhere I know that in every moment whether I know it or not I am connected to this presence.  My life now seems to be more about being conscious of my connection with this higher power.  I love Sundays because it seems that there is a much bigger collective consciousness toward becoming aware of our connection with this presence that I like to call God.  I know some people don’t like the word and I understand that and have no judgement of you, your beliefs and your path…. Simply, these are just mine and where I am currently on my path of evolution.  I refer to the Unity of Life which I have felt as Love and Intelligence and Power and Freedom and Peace, as God.  You call it whatever you want and court this in whatever way you chose if at all… you are still perfect in my eyes.  Sundays to me are about remembering that this presence is in you and me and my dog and my mom and my sponsor and in the flowers and in each falling flake of snowy perfection.  This presence is guiding, protecting and providing for me in ways that I could not do for myself…. This is referred to in the big book and it is acknowledged sometimes as the “collective consciousness” in yoga.  Whatever it is, it is far too infinite for me to ever truly have a grasp upon.  For now, I am in love with my evolving relationship with Good… with God.  So, I surrender everything I think I know for a new experience of life today.  I intend to know every area of my life as whole, perfect and complete because my intuition knows and my energetic bodies agree when I am told this by the great spiritual leaders of today.  I open myself to the 9th step promises by showing up and being my best…. I allow the rest to unfold in grace and dignity. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Awareness: A Sure Gift of Yoga and Sobriety.

I love yoga not only because it gets me in great physical shape but it connects my mind, body and spirit and allows for me to be in the seat of my self which is my conscious awareness.  I am reminded in my studies this morning that when I am not centered in why awareness with that part of myself that is “watching” the monkey mind or even the quiet mind, then I am more identified with my mind.  In yoga we refer to this as “the monkey mind” and in AA we often talk about the mind being a dangerous place to be, or as those who are extreme would say… the mind is the worst enemy.  Perhaps it is time to make friends with the mind.  First we must identify with that part of ourselves which is observing the thoughts.  For example if I am thinking about my dog Sophie on my bed, I could translate this to another individual by saying, “I am thinking about Soph on my bed…”  The question then is, who is thinking about Soph on the bed?  I Am thinking about Soph…. The Subjective part of myself is observing myself thinking about my dog on my bed.  There is always a witness which is observing what our “little me’s” are currently focusing on at any given moment.  We are not what we focus on and we are not our thoughts…. We are that which can observe any of this action.  We are that within us which is not attached to any moment, person, substance or situation.  Life is a flow from one moment to the next…. What flows from one moment to the next, from one year to the next, that changeless Self of I Am of God, of Spirit of Universal Life.  This is the aspect of me which some would refer to as the soul.  I never agreed with the Buddhist theory of non-attachment because I thought then why the heck am I hear on earth to be non-attaached to anything.  But now I am finally getting it…. It’s like YES!  Enjoy the sensations of the experience – the people, the tastes, the touch, the sights, the smells the the joy, the pain…. But allow it to flow out as easily as I allowed it to flow in.  Be welcoming of the changing of the seasons of the changing of the tides which sometimes happens daily and sometimes happens hourly.  Be present with love to that which is soooo focused on what is occurring in this moment with this or that, with him or her, but remind that self that it is ALL just an experience.  Yoga brings me into touch with who and what I truly Am…. Universal Light manifesting itself in the most unique and magnificent way that has never ever been presented before like it is today in me.  I can be gentle with myself and love myself and therefore I can be gentle with you and love you for right where you are on your path.  I reach my hand out today and ask how I can serve the earth and I hear Spirit whispering back…. Be present with Love for yourself and others.  Many Blessings on this beautiful journey today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiritual Maturity

To learn to trust that there is something so good being worked out amidst a storm in your life is to reap the benefits of sobriety and yoga.  I truly believe that The Universe only creates the storms of change when we are ready to handle it.  Often times it is the first stage of a change that we have been praying for and unbenounced to us, we usually don’t recognize it as such.  Spiritual maturity has to do with recognizing it as such J  Spiritual maturity which is developed through the practices of yoga and the principles of sobriety, has to do with identifying with God within us and less with our humanity.  Spiritual maturity has to do with developing a relationship with our intuition and learning to trust this intuitive place within us.  Spiritual maturity has it’s sweet gifts and yet the wrestling between the ego and the True self can be confusing, daunting and straight up challenging at times.  I find in my moments of triumph and peace that all of the wrestling I have done with my angels and demons has been worthwhile and the very vehicle of my deepening.  I have noticed that some people are not at a place where they want to deepen…. and I have come to realize that this is ok!  It is so important that as we journey into the various realms of our being and realize how dynamic we are, certainly beyond the five senses, that we don’t attach ourselves to the idea that others need to be on our journey.  It’s so natural to want to give this feeling away.  For me, it feels like through various spiritual foundations and communities, that we indeed have the key to life.  I just want to hand everyone the keys to the kingdom.  But, what I am understanding more now is that this may not be the time in your journey to be given the keys.  I know there were people who loved me so dearly and wanted to see me succeed in my early twenties who were dying to hand me my sobriety….. well – simply – I wasn’t ready.  I thank God every day for the dominant experience of feeling ready now.  I say the “dominant” experience because there are still fleeting moments where my disease almost tricks me into believing that I’d be ok if I had a drink again.  In my previous attempts to get sober I had the reverse experience of my dominant thought patterns being identified with the idea that I would be ok if I drank again and fleeting moments of identifying with the truth that my life is a life that is best lived completely sober – I know what will happen to me if I drink.  I am grateful not to be wrestling this particular angel very often, anymore.  I am grateful to be experiencing increased freedom thanks to my time on my mat, working the steps and in the rooms.  So, if you’re like me and are wondering when the feeling of “wrestling” and resistance will pass… please just know that it will.  Breathe into the now moment of your life and trust the intuition within you.  Show up to a meeting and arrive on your mat with everything you have got and life is sure to open up in a way that you cannot now comprehend.  Life is, by it’s very nature, good.   Make this a beautiful day – after all, it’s your choice.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Swedish Pancakes and texts from strangers...the love of the program

There is an incredible amount of support in the world today and although we may feel so isolated at times there are communities and individuals who just cannot wait to love us, just where we are.  I’m really deepening in my understanding that life is what you bring “as you” to the table and not what you have to say, what advice you have to give, no – there is nothing to prove.  The meeting this morning was on communicating from the heart and we discussed how love is penetrating.  It penetrates all the ego’s “yeah buts,” our self loathing, our loathing of others, our resistance, our not good enough, our pride.  Love is just so incredibly powerful and it so easily shines through “the stuff.”  This state of consciousness is the one that I am so dedicated to living from…. to living “As.”  There have been moments where the Love of God shines so brightly through another individual in a time where my light was so blocked by feelings of “not being good enough” and my heart just broke open.  In those moments you realize how Good Love really is.  I’ll never forget those moments and I’ll never forget those people – they are my angels.  I want to be an angel for others.  I want to be the presence of penetrating Love that by it’s nature could never judge.  I want it to be so very natural to only see Truth wherever I go.  This I believe was the magic of Jesus the man who became known as Jesus the Christ – he simply saw as Love sees and we all have the capacity to embody this Christ consciousness, this Love consciousness.  Today Love showed it’s sweet face through my sponsor and her exuberant celebration of my half-birthday.  Yes, today is my six months and I got to bask in the love of my sponsor, my best friends and my fellowship.  I got Swedish pancakes and texts from people I barely know and you know what, it was a damn good feeling.  We can all appreciate being loved.  The best way to set ourselves up for this is to, as Gandhi says, “Be the change you want to see.”  Well, I want more people to experience what I experienced today and so therefore I need to be more Love in the world- in sobriety I believe I am on the road to just that.  Blessings of Love to each and every one of you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sobriety : Peace that Passes Understanding

I find that in my sobriety I am able to tune into life on a deeper level.  I am able to tap into a “peace which passes understanding.”  I am able to turn to the wisdom of the rooms when nothing else seems to be working.  But always, always – something works to relieve me from my mind.  I love being tapped in and tuned in to this frequency.  The frequency of life that I am experiencing in this moment is like that of a movie when leaves boasting fall colors are drifting to the ground and beautiful music is carrying the message of the seasons.  Something makes sense on a more abstract level and without needing to know or try to understand, everything feels peaceful.  In these moments we trust every ounce of the transitions of our lives.  We listen with an open heart and recognize the light at the center of another.  This is not the little me that tends to want to run the show, this is the BIG me, the God me that I am becoming more and more identified with.  I love being identified with my highest self…. It’s truly the beginning of the experience of heaven on earth.  So, I guess what I am saying is that I am getting to experience little slices of heaven pie and I am loving it.  I guess I had to eat a lot of humble pie to get to the place where I could receive the heaven pie.  Notice now that this heaven has nothing to do with being attached to something or someone in the world.  That is exactly why it is so heavenly because it is a state of Grace from within.  Do I know exactly what came together in this moment on this day to create this opening and alignment of all of my energetic bodies for the experience of heaven? No, I don’t.  But it’s so glorious that I know that I am changed on a cellular level by this experience, this day in sobriety.  When I have trekked back into the darkness I will recall this feeling in my cells and it will give me the strength to take another step forward.  My sobriety is all about learning to reveal this state of consciousness more and more, in my life and in yours.  I believe the way is Love.  Love is the penetrating force which raises us up and at the same time, roots us deep down into the earth.  Today, the love that has shined so brightly in my life, gets all of the credit for this glorious feeling of heaven.  Mmmmmm, sobriety is so so good.  May your life be penetrated by Love this day J

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Forgiveness Free's Me...

For our inner wholeness to be revealed, one must practice the releasing of the old.  The old is stagnant energy in the body which blocks the inner light from shining into the world, and so we became lopsided or dimensional less than oracle, round and full in our expression.  These are resentments or niggles that we are choosing to hang onto.  One of my favorite sayings I hear in the rooms is that “having a resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting someone else to die.”  There are preventative practices of the program that allow us to cleanse and clear ahead of time but there are also practices for us to “clean house” when we have stepped a little left of center.   Either way, the practice of forgiveness is absolutely paramount in our own health and wholeness.  Some of my favorite little practices or principles of forgiveness are 1.)  Bless them, change me.  2.)  I praise _______  and I raise _________ in the name of love X7.  3.) Forgive _____, for she knows not what she’s done.   Be fierce about this practice as it is one of the biggest gifts you can give to yourself and to the world!  My God is Pure, Infinite Love….. So so so Good.  I do not believe in a guy in the sky God.  I believe in the power and presence of Life that exists everywhere.  When I pray, when I forgive, I am aligning with a God that is Good beyond my wildest conceptions.  I am releasing myself from entanglement in the false and allowing the Truth to be revealed.  I am made of the very stuff that the person, place or situation is made and surely I can let go of a moment in time where life expressed in a way to lovingly point me toward a place within myself for healing.  From that place then I can almost begin to praise and bless the person as a teacher and as I begin to see life this way I begin to live from the perspective of truth and therefore the perspective of freedom and as I begin to string these moments of freedom and truth together I begin to step into my kingdom of heaven on earth.  Many Blessings of Pure, Penetrating Love to you this day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sobriety, sometimes a walk through the darkness

“No more struggle, no more strife, with my faith I see the Light.” – Ricki Byers Beckwith.  When we commit ourselves to a spiritual journey the road can get quite dark sometimes.  There almost always seems to be a “honeymoon” period where you literally feel like you are floating on a cloud, which is why in the program we call it “the pink cloud.” This is the feeling of being connected to your higher power. The real initiation on the path however is when it gets dark again and you begin to start walking through the valleys of your own shadowy layers of being.  This isn’t a path for the meek, this is a path for the mighty and though the mightiest may seem the most “human” as they walk the path, you can be sure that they are on it.  There is grand significance in walking through the pain, as many times at it takes and as many times as we are called into the darkness.  I almost consider it an honor when Spirit offers me yet another opportunity to face my shadow self for in it there is always the promise of healing - the revealing of my wholeness, of my spiritual perfection. This requires a series of choices…. of keeping what is truly important in perspective and not being swayed by my immediate reactivity.  I am not always good at this and being as stubborn as I am it has taken me many rounds of the same lesson presented to me in my life before I “get it.”  God this can be frustrating, especially because there have been times when I have had the tendency to go back and put my hand on the same hot burner – but hey, as we say “it takes what it takes.”  If you are experiencing the darkness, please know that there truly is light at the end of the tunnel.  Stay true and stick close to those who have walked the path before you.  Use the principles, go deep on your mat, you are walking through the darkness for a profound reason and all is being revealed in the perfect Divine time.  Don’t forget how good sobriety is.  Drinking and using as a mediocre supplement for a mediocre life.  When I was drinking, and when I think of drinking it is because there is some consideration in my mind of accepting a life that is less than what I came to live and somehow drinking seems like a good idea, and when I decide to live less than my full potential then of course I want to drink to forget that I am doing just that, living less than my potential.  Once you have really connected with the Infinite nature of God’s Love, Intelligence and Beauty, then substance really does feel like such a false substitute for what is good, for what is God.  The “high road” comes with it’s challenges but it’s rewards are, without a doubt, the only life that I am here to live.  I stay dedicated to my sobriety today and therefore the “high road.”

Friday, November 11, 2011

Six Aces

It doesn’t get much better than six aces.  Today is an auspicious day, especially for those of you who love the power of numbers/numerology and especially those of you who LOVE the number 11.  I know I do, it was the number on the back of most of my hockey and soccer jerseys growing up.  I wake today feeling open and available.  I am here, fully present thanks to sobriety and yoga, for all of the Divine Beauty flowing in, through and around me.  Today, I sense that it is about surrendering to the triumph of life when all things line up, like six ones in a row….. wow!  We are in the energetic flow of good today whether we like it or not.  I turn my mind on high, placing my attention and my intention on those thoughts which serve the purpose of my soul – Love.  I allow the full unleashed creativity, strength, presence, power and focus of Divinity through me.  Thank God for sobriety for this is a much simpler choice today than it would have been in the past.  Hop on, hop in to the magic of this auspicious day.  I love sobriety

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bridges of Love

There is a fine Divine Light at the center of each one of us and it seems to me that this whole business of sobriety and yoga is about getting ourselves out of our own way that our Lights might shine more brightly all the time, revealing our true colors.  Our true colors are the unique and dynamic flow of energy that we add to the tapestry of life.    Our lives are our art you see….. all of us are artists, we are the revealers of our own unique gift of Love, Light, Intelligence, Creativity, Wisdom, fill in the blank_________.  What is mine to bring to the world today?  Not, what can I suck out of life….. this is the difference in living as a sober yogi, I ask myself every day – what can I bring to the canvas of life today?  In my “being with the Dying” workshop, we were informed or reminded that it is not about what we do when we arrive to usher somebody off into the next realm of eternal life, it is about who we are.  Who are we being in any moment of life?  Who we are being is what we are bringing?  I know that who I am being is much more clear through the practice of yoga….. I can always tell who I am being in the world by who I am on my mat.  Some days I feel like taking risks and I attempt a new arm balance and like yesterday, I fell flat on my head.  I had a good giggle about it because the tools I am using, and the love of my 12 step community I have learned to love myself more deeply.  I don’t have to be perfect and I don’t have to take myself so seriously anymore.  I don’t have to hide behind humor or pride, I can just go for it and be delighted with myself no matter what the result.  When I am content with me, which I so rarely was in my days of drinking and using, I am a bridge of love for you.  In the rooms and through my practice I am learning to be an intentional and beautiful bridge for others.  That is, I am learning to get out of my own way and see more Truth everyday.  By seeing your truth I bridge your attention and awareness from being centralized in your ego to being centered in your Spiritual Perfection, your truth.  You do this for me too.  I have been so filled with gratitude for those angels who knew and saw the truth of me when I had lost sight of it for myself.  We need each other in community to participate profoundly in a heavenly evolution.  I love being sober because I get the immense opportunity to be present and to sometimes be a bridge and to be seen and to be loved for exactly who I am.  This, I think is what life is truly about….. the deep recognition of truth in one another and the celebration of the beauty of this truth as it makes it’s impression on the world as your gift and mine.  Thank you sobriety for making me available to the good life. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Communities of Love, The Group Dynamic

Hello Law,
This is Love
Here for the Planting
Thanks in Advance for receiving
Each word as a Seed
The Seeds I sow today
Are seeds of Prosperity, Clarity & Love

Here you go Law, here is my seed of Love
May Love Burst forth in it’s Power, Elegance & Brightness
In Every area of my life, Love is the
Magical ebb & flow of all of the tides of my life
My heart, mind and body aligned by the centripetal force of Love

May My life Burst forth continuous waves of Grace, Love’s Embrace
May Love have its full way with me,
Expanding and expressing me beyond my conceptions
May Love Bless me with heavenly Prosperity and
May I be the heart and mind to receive my prosperity
Graciously, Gratefully & Humbly

Have you ever noticed that when you miss a meeting for a few days you always get that free ticket to “restless, irritable and discontent.”  I definitely notice the correlation and from what I hear out of the old timers in the meetings, it doesn’t change.  There is something so powerful about the group dynamic.  I believe there is a deep call for community, honesty and love in the world right now, which put together is exactly what you get at a 12-step meeting…. this is precisely why we say we are grateful recovering __________…. Because we get this gift that in essence most people are literally “dying for.”  Yesterday I allowed the sole activity of my day to be work and simultaneously heard some of my friends participating and hanging out with each other and although I was tired and wanted my own space I found and find myself sitting with what I call, the green monster – the J word – alright, jealousy!  There, I said it, Blick! I have a tough time with this one because it drives me into emotionally draining cyclones and although much less now than ever before I still find myself caught in the cycle from time to time.  I get so worked up in my head about how “the grass is greener” somewhere else and I forget to focus on the presence of Good right where I am.  If I’m jealous about other people fellowshipping(as we call it), then I need to show up for more fellowshipping of my own and be open to connecting with new people and go through the discomforts that I find when a GIANT group of people is eating dinner together, or driving all the way across town or get over whatever false time crunch I think I am in and get myself involved.  I have to remember that my good is right here where I am standing.  I must remember that I am living connected to all of life right where I am, there is nothing missing and nothing wrong.  Today, I focus on the gifts of today, all of the beautiful people in my life who support me and love me and guide me, today.  I have a rockin’ sponsor, an amazing best friend, precious time with my mom, a great group of women in my home group and a sister and brother in-law who live in the next neighborhood, awesome new co-workers, a great job, the best coffee in the world, about a zillion meetings a day, a beautiful fall as far as Seattle goes a really bright future and so what then could there possibly be to complain about??  My perspective has become askew, perhaps it’s caused by the same thing it usually is, too many missed meetings!  Mmmmm, so I get up to write this entry before a meeting and I am already feeling lifted….. and I know that when I sit down in my seat at my home group in 32 minutes, I will feel that same familiar feeling of the weight I have been carrying dissolve right off my shoulders into the room.  I give thanks for the loving power of the rooms today!  I am truly grateful to be a member of a 12-step program today.  So, with a loving nudge, get your booty to a meeting too.  Much Love to you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Awe - A State of Humility

I can be wrong sometimes, but I don’t mean in the sense of someone’s right and I’m wrong…. I don’t play that game.  I just mean that having this human-suit on comes with times of missing the mark, of acting out of accordance with my highest self.  One of my growing edges is the need to be perfect.  In new thought we talk about everybody and everything being perfect and what we mean is that we are Spiritually perfect.  No one and no thing can take away from our souls inherent perfection.  Humanity though has it’s times of bright alignment when choices and actions are aligned with deep purpose and yet there are also times where we completely miss the mark, usually an action taken out of shear fear.  We all have experiences like these.  I think the point is admitting when we are wrong, and without even trying to justify the fear-based behavior we just say, “hey, I was wrong, I didn’t mean that, I apologize.”  Growth is contingent upon our humility, our humility is a recognition that we are infentisimal in relation to the nature of God(Higher Power) which is Infinite, so for me to walk around thinking I know what’s best for you and or to act as if “I’ve got this thing handled,”  well, you know I’m in trouble then because I have stopped tasting humility.  I think that happens a lot when people first hop on this spiritual path…. God starts doing for us what we could not do for ourselves and starts speaking through us in ways that are “impressive” to others and we start taking credit for it, as if we did it.  It’s so funny, because this attitude is the quickest way to slide right back into ego, a place, which expresses nothing sexy or appealing to the outside world.  So, I guess the question is, how do we stay “right sized” in God and make sure that we “don’t let the gifts of the program take away the gifts of the program?”  A starting place is the intention to stay in awe of the movement of life as well as to continue to forgive self and others and service.  If you can think of any others, put them in a response comment and maybe we can get a discussion going.  Tonight, I surrender to the process and allow God to be God and Ash to be Ash.  I let it be.  Much love to each of you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Empowered Through Forgiveness

I received a letter from one of the people that I love most in this world, which touched me in a place that is rarely touched.  In actuality though I am getting more time than ever before in this sweet place as a direct result of sobriety and yoga.  I love this place, it’s the place of Grace, where the hardening of life softens in such a way that it all fades away and we feel the presence of Good and realize it has been there the whole time.  In the program, in my spiritual studies and in yoga we learn about the practice of Forgiveness.  Many say that it is the absolute highest practice available and through my own practical application and the pure bliss and awe of the miracles which were a result, I am in full agreement.  It’s almost as if now when I have a resentment come up there is a bigger part of me saying “yahoo, I have an opportunity to participate in the revelation of a miracle…. there’s something good happening here,” what a shift from an old victim consciousness, which would have had me stagnant in fear and resentment for days or months, trying to be right.  Today, I am empowered through the practice of forgiveness.  In the program we look at resentments in steps 4 and 5 and 8 and 9 and both are really really rich opportunities for healing.  So, if you are embarking on these steps with your sponsor, dive in, do it fully, to the best of your ability because you get exponentially larger miracles proportionate to what you put in.  This being said, it doesn’t have to be perfect, any work at all that you do will be perfect, so dig in and let the Good stuff in life happen.  Regarding the friend that sent me the letter.  Several weeks ago, we had a mis-communication and disagreement, which hurt so deeply that I felt I was ingesting energetic poison as it occurred.  My first response was to go “tai chi” on her and send it flying back at her in anger.  Instead I used the tools that I learned in the program and “paused” for about three days, spoke with my sponsor and a few close friends, I prayed about it, I prayed for her.  The miracle – without losing any power or digging us any further into misunderstanding, I stood back and allowed the Universe to take care of it.  The Universe took care of it beautifully and I feel closer to her now than I have in years.  Grace is upon us my friend’s, we simply have to let it in.  “Let” is a three letter word that seems so simple and yet can feel so impossible when we have our ego running the show.  Join me in telling your ego this day, “hello ego, you can relax now, the spiritual nature of me is running the show, and we know that life is a flow of beauty and love and there is nothing to muscle, control or prove here.  We are perfect, right where we are supposed to be and I live in a friendly Universe which supports me, lifts me and loves me.”    Sincere Love to each of you....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

For Something and Against Nothing....

Ernest Holmes once said “find me one person who is for something and against NOTHING.” What a better world it would be if we could be really for or, better said, passionate about those things in life which, stoke our internal fires AND, truly against nothing. What a better world the place will be as more of us wake to the Truth that I am not right and you are not wrong. How much time have we really spent making somebody else wrong and wasting endless energy having to be right? In the program you often hear, “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” I love it because it is the same exact Principle that Holmes is revealing in his sermon by the sea when he writes “find me one person who is FOR something and AGAINST NOTHING.” I learned this again in a workshop I did yesterday called “Being with the Dying.” Joyce Lechuga who specializes in hospice work introduced the principle as “welcome everything, push away nothing.” Wow! Ok so when I hear things more than once, especially in three’s or more I know that the Universe is speaking to me. It seems to me that making someone else wrong has to do with grading our self worth against another and failing to realize that we are all equally, spiritually perfect and that true power is not derived out of comparison, that life is not a race. Join me in doing ourselves a favor as we STOP comparing ourselves to others. We are like a grand symphony, each here to learn to tune and play our note to the highest, cleanest vibration possible. I hope your note is different than mine otherwise we would play one, long, boring tune. There are spiritual practices throughout the traditions which are specifically for the purpose of personal clearing, cleaning and cleansing. These are essential for those of us who are passionate about being the finest instruments of the Universes_____________(fill in the blank) whatever it is you feel called to be. What did you come here to bring? What is uniquely yours? What is it that you yearn for deep down inside of your soul? That’s yours to be in the world and don’t you stop until you are in the full glorified expression of that seed! The meantime, the work, although it is always a journey and has the full array of experiential feelings and gifts that shall be soaked up along the way, has a clear purpose though and that is to cleanse you in preparation for the magnification of your soul in EVERY area of your life – your full triumphant glorification! The practice of yoga and the practices which are the foundation of the 12 step programs and those being offered by New Thought/Ancient Wisdom Communities, those of Eastern traditions such as Kirtan and many many more are what I will call, alignment practices. They are alignment practices because most of them boil down to having a shared purpose of getting out of our own way so that God may be expressed in It’s full Glory in you, through you and eventually, AS YOU! You know what I mean, because you can feel this in your soul. I am not writing anything new, I am just recalling what I re-member every time I hear it. I Am here to be more of who and what I truly am each day, in new ways, dynamic, whole, free. So are you, join me on the ride and we will walk the road of awakening and glory together. True Love bursting forth from your center today! Welcome your light and do not compare another on their journey, they may be in a valley, a shadowy place but they are surely on the road to discovering the same I AM that lives in all of us. Be a light that light’s their pathway. I Am. You are. We are One! Let the Light of Love shine Brightly all over the world today.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Embracing the Mystery

Embracing the mystery is Being Rooted, Connected, Open, Available, Alive with Vision and yet Present. It is about finding that sweet spot of showing up and allowing. All of the dedication and practice we commit to in the program and through yoga is our dedication to showing up. The allowing is the sweet spot of surrender which allows Pure Good in It’s newness to flow in a way that previously had never occurred, ever on this planet. Whether it’s taking flight from twisted chair into a crow flown only and ever by you in that way on that day or the full dynamic unleashed creativity of spontaneity through the stroke of your brush onto the canvas before you. Embracing the mystery is about life when it becomes a place where intuition lives fiery and true in our souls and we can almost taste the vision for the next step of our evolution and sometimes the veil will part and the vision for our life swims like a school of dolphins through our being. The key is to somehow stay grounded in the present moment, the present day without taking off with the tiny taste of what’s to come, for we may take off in the wrong direction if our surface mind interprets the vision slightly askew. Embracing the mystery has this sweet and powerful component of Trust, which is buoyant and filled with anticipatory excitement when embodied. Embracing the mystery is born of a deep rootedness or groundedness and yet an opening at the top. The exalted tree, just like it is symbolized and embodied in yoga. First you must root down and send your energetic roots into the loving wrapture and support of Mother God as the earth and then allow life energy to rise from the center of the Universe up through powerful energetic lines and systems in your body and as if the automatical and instinctual movement of life as growth, your arms reach out and your tree’s branches are extended, if only for a moment, your tree of life is exalted. I root down in my life and reach up with a wide open heart and allow life to flow in me, through me and as me. I am 100% open to a completely new expression of the greatest possible version of myself. I let my light shine brightly and sincerely hope that my light might brighten a dark place on your path. I know your light has been my saving grace through the dark places on mine. Together we awaken and rise. Much Love Extended to each of you this day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Discipline is like creating an opening over and over again for Divinity.

I believe diligence and discipline are doorways to bliss once built. I am imagining columns of archways built with diligence and discipline which line an old Greek garden leading to a magical and blissful place. That is why I am awake and at the key-board again, because I believe there is something to discipline. Discipline though is not to be confused with neurotic control. There is a stark difference. Discipline is like creating an opening over and over again for Divinity. Control is like closing the door on Divinity It’s simple to tell the difference, discipline feels good when completed and control feels terrible, it feels tight. What is amazing about this system of discovering what mode opperundi that you are in is that you can use it anywhere anytime, the stipulation is, you have to be IN your body if you know what I mean. This is why sobriety and yoga are so incredibly important to a harmonious life. Both require the discipline of showing up on a regular basis and through it, we wake up to our true selves. So, even when it feels like a real challenge, I stick to my discipline and show up. Suit up and show up, as they say. Some famous person once said that 90% of life, is showing up. Showing up is a discipline. As Michael Beckwith says, it’s your “Blisscipline!”

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Choice from Awareness

Awake and Devoted at the beautiful hour of 4:30am…. I say devoted because the first thing that I love the practice in the morning of turning to what is True and Real inside of me. I say “I love the practice” because it is truly a way that I have to participate in bringing heaven onto earth through my life. Truth be told I am up for a 6:00am class at my favorite yoga studio on the planet with my very favorite teacher, Scott Francis. But even on an early morning such as this where yoga is my first “in the world” activity of the day, I still love this time between God and I. In these wee hours of the morning it so much easier to re-member who and what I really am. I Am Love. I Am Integrity. I Am Prosperity! I Am Joy! I Am happy! I Am Creative! I Am deep Peace! With these declarations I am setting my sails to the winds of life which I chose to be carried by. I love the analogy that our lives are like a transistor radio, what frequency of life are we tuning ourselves into? Is it complaining? Is it judgement? Is it lack? Is it disease? Or is it Harmony, Wholeness and Strength? The beauty is that I can turn my inner dial at any moment to exactly that which I’d love to vibrate with and therefore experience. So simple and yet there is key component of life which is pre-requisite for a life of freedom and choice and that is awareness. My awareness is the key function of my mind and through the consistent practice of yoga, meditation and step work I can honestly say that I am becoming keenly aware of what is going on inside my mind. “Ah, there it is, I woke up believing in lack, that maybe there isn’t enough in the world to support me, or hey, I guess underneath the false confidence of the ego I don’t believe I am truly enough to be loved ?” Then I get to ask myself, are those things true? NO, they are not true of me and they are certainly not true of you. So today, tune in with me to Infinite Love Bursting forth as my life, in every area of my life. Tune into the heart and chose deeply with me to live from this place. Tune in with me to a quiet mind and a dedication to the True you. Life is Good, It is Magnificent, It is Wholly…. If only we chose to see Truth we will then experience Life’s Bounty…. I say yes to the good stuff of life today!