Love thy Neighbor- Gratitude is my prayer

It was Sunday morning about 7:30am, I’m lying in bed, soaking in my first morning in a long time that I can sleep in, when I heard a loud knock/pounding on my door. My first thought was, are you kidding me!?  Then I thought maybe if I don’t answer they will go away.  No such luck; the insistent knocking continued. So I begrudgingly crawled out of bed to see who was at my door. It was the aide who lives downstairs with the old man Joe, who has Parkinsons.  Apparently he was on the floor again refusing to get up.  This has been a pretty regular thing with Joe now so I am familiar with the drill. I get dressed all the while murmuring to myself not so very pleasant things, after all it was Sunday morning, my special day! I start talking to myself, saying, “Don’t let this ruin your whole day. Keep a good attitude. You have been looking forward to this peaceful day for weeks now. And if you plan on walking in your truth of loving thy neighbor, stop complaining and put a smile on your face. Love sometimes is not convenient. Think about how they must feel.”

My self-talk helped a little bit, so I muster up a little sunshine and head downstairs to find Joe stark naked on the floor with the aide very upset. We get him up after about 15 minutes of trying.  It’s no easy task to pick a 200 lb. man off the floor who isn’t helping. She thanks me and I leave, still a little annoyed I will admit, but trying hard to be kind and loving. I open my door and see a huge spider crawling very fast across my stairs. I ran outside, freaking out, thinking… great now I can’t even get back in my house because there is no way I am stepping one foot in my home with that ginormous thing running around!

Boy Karma works fast! I walk next door to my other neighbor who has helped me out many times with the spider thing and knock on their door. I am humbled at this point and  feeling like this is happening for a reason. My neighbors’ wife tells me he is in the shower, so I tell her not to bother him. Being the amazing neighbor that he is, he gets out anyway and rushes over. After a little searching he finds the spider and puts him outside. He doesn’t believe in killing anything, another reason why I love him.

My neighbor has also come over out of a nap and not feeling well to check on my dog, Karma because I was worried she had a tick.

My other neighbor watches my dog when I am at work.

And my landlord and his wife always are looking out for me and feeding me!

How many people do you know that will make a sacrifice and go out of their way to show a kindness or do a good deed for someone else? It’s amazing that I am living and surrounded by these type of wonderful people.

My reminder that Sunday morning was that love is not always convenient. There are times when you need to make sacrifices for others. And it’s important that you do it with a loving, kind heart. You never know when you will be in need.  After all Jesus’ two most important teachings are: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the second is: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Namaste.

Embrace the fire.

In yoga there are a set of guidelines for living in a harmonious, peaceful and truthful way with yourself, others and the environment.  They are called the yamas and niyamas. There are ten. Today I am focusing on the Niyama, Tapas, which loosely translates to transformation. It is the burning away of all that is holding you back, limiting you from being and living from your ultimate truth and potential. Most of the time it is our limiting thoughts and beliefs, our “story”  we have about ourselves that hold us back.  The tapas or spiritual fire is a clearing and renewal, and is a necessary part of our evolution as spiritual beings. There are many ways to purify ourselves and our thoughts and minds.  Yoga practice is one way that is very effective and efficient.  Looking at nature we can take example from the giant sequoia tree, one of the oldest trees on the planet averaging 3,500 years old. The secret to the longevity of the sequoia is the elemental power of fire. Periodic forest fires clear away everything that threatens the trees survival while ensuring their growth and regeneration. giant_sequoia4Without the fires’ heat, the sequoia cones couldn’t open and release their seeds.  Without the clearing force of fire sequoia seedlings would be overcrowded by competing shade trees and not have enough sunlight to grow.  In our own life usually looking back we can see how a perceived failure or our dreams going up in flames brought us to another phase in our life more wonderful than which we could have ever imagined.  When you are in the pit of the “fire” remember that the adversity is an opportunity to grow, to transform by letting go of the old habitual thought patterns, and to embrace more fully your innate talents and creativity. A gift resides in every moment. Let it burn!

Robert Moses Beach, my magical sanctuary

When I need peace of mind, a sanctuary and illumination I escape to Robert Moses Beach.  It’s a 20 minute drive but so worth it.  It’s my regular 3 times a week thing. Just driving over those 3 bridges is cathartic.  A few weeks ago I was really struggling with a deep hurt in my heart. As I was driving over the bridges I could actually feel the sadness leaving my heart and felt myself being filled up with this feeling of “okness” then happiness then complete joy. By magical mosesthe time I got over the third bridge I was singing and dancing in my car! It was so amazing that it happened so fast. I have heard that when your sadness or negative emotions leave you and you are filled with peace and joy that means your angels are there with you. As I was thinking those thoughts I looked up with so much love and gratitude in my heart and said “thank you Angels.”  Next thing I know a car drives past me with a license plate that says, “my angel.”  You can’t make this stuff up!  We are always surrounded by love and support, sometimes you just need to let go and tune in.

Believe in angels. Namaste.

“My fear is my only courage.” -Bob Marley

ninja-tigerWell it’s been one week days since my “coming out” of Soulfire and the launch of my new website. I have received so much support and positive feedback via email, phone calls, text, and my new contact form from my site. I am surrounded by so much love. Thank you.  “My fear is my only courage.”…one of the quotes from my site.  My fear was to make myself vulnerable to the entire world. I shared very personal things on my website that I have never shared with anyone, and brought my insides to the outside.  I did it and I didn’t die!  “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ” – Marianne Williamson

I want to take this time to thank two very special women who without their help my amazing website would not have been possible.  It’s very rare that you find not just in one, but in two people so much talent and at the same time the willingness to go the extra mile for you:  Wendy Jarva, the artist and photographer who designed my logo and captured Soulfire’s essence through her photography and Laura Peragallo, the artist and web designer who brought my vision to fruition. These two women went over and beyond for me and I am blown away by their talent, dedication, integrity and support. Thank you ladies!