BE the light.

Quote-RumiBeing an empath is not easy. In my line of work, it is a double edged sword. It helps me to connect to my clients, understand their needs and intuitively guide them to their highest healing. Yet as a human being in the world we live in today it can be brutal to the heart. For those astrologically inclined, I’m a Pisces sun and Scorpio moon. Whenever I tell people who understand the science of astrology they usually cringe. I am beyond sensitive, and I go deep, deeper than most. Not only do I go there, that’s where I live. Sometimes I think I can feel the suffering of the hearts of the entire world. Rare is a day when I am not crying, and don’t get me wrong they are tears of joy as well, as I am witness to the amazing people in this world that continue to do kind and selfless acts. I have learned however, I cannot under any circumstances watch the news, unless I want to feel complete fear, helplessness and despair and become a blubbering mess. And what’s the point of that. Is that helping the world? No, it is not. Being compassionate and having empathy is a lot different than having sympathy. Sympathy keeps you down in the pit of despair with the negativity. Empathy raises people up. By feeling sorry for others’ suffering does help them at all. I am sure there are many people reading this now that can relate to me. If you have a heart and haven’t been fully desensitized yet, you can’t help but feeling bad and getting caught up in the atrocities and needless suffering that exists in the world. What does help then? What can we do? Well, for starters try not to dwell in it and talk about it. I know that’s hard but just as gossiping is not a virtuous trait, gossiping about the darkness in the world just keeps it alive. Everything is energy. What you focus on you create. We are powerful creative creators and we have created this mess of a world we live in. It is our job as responsible spiritual/human beings to uncreate the darkness and bring back the light. When you enter a dark room, the only thing you need to do is flip the switch and the light comes on. That is what is happening now on the planet. Individuals, communities and societies are waking up, they are switching on their light. We are waking up the the truth of who we are and how to really make a lasting change. That change has to happen with a shift in consciousness, or it won’t last. To quote big Albert, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Isn’t it about time we get that? As individuals and as a whole? It is said that when you are uplifted you uplift 30,000 people. It’s time we started uplifting each other. Miracles are possible and as a matter of fact they become a way of life when we finally wake up to who we really are and the power we truly have; and we use that power for the good of all. My task as I see it is to be as peaceful, kind and true to myself, and be the light for others. I must eradicate anger, negativity, judgment, criticism, and self betrayal from my mind and my heart… for it is a form of violence. And then I try to influence and heal others in my little corner of the Universe as best as I can. In other words: heal yourself, heal the world. From that space we can then unite our intentions, prayers and energy by sending waves of love and light to areas of the world that need it. Take Mexico for example. It was suppose to be the worst storm/hurricane that they have ever seen. But not one person was killed! That was a miracle, truly. How did that happen? People from all over the world prayed, sent their intentions and energy to Mexico. Can we make a difference? Yes we can.

“If there is peace in the heart, there will be beauty in the character If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” -Lao Tse

WE ARE ONE. ACT LIKE IT.

My father’s passing. Love never dies.

75251be60a7e2027685393fb51006387It was Saturday, September 5th, and I was on my way to fire island to work for the day. I opened my email in the morning and deleted the usual gazillion emails from my Dad, most of them silly forwards. My Dad had a stroke around 14 years ago and never fully recovered; the computer and technology were his best friend. There was one however that caught my attention: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  (Revelation 21:4) I felt so sad after reading this. One, because I had been going through a really rough time in my life recently and still struggling to heal my heart and two, because this was the scripture I put on my daughters’ fathers’ mass card when he died. All day long, even in my most favorite place in the world, I couldn’t shake this sadness. I had a new client that day with back pain and her 8 year old daughter came over to me while I was working on her Mom, put her arms around me and told me she loved me. I had to fight back the tears. Then as we were finishing up with the tab, her angel daughter kept hugging me and wouldn’t let me go. Looking back now I realize she knew I was sad and was going to need those hugs. As I was riding my bike back to my car I passed by a church with a mass happening. Funny I never knew there was a church on that street. I stopped my bike and sat outside on the front steps and listened to the mass. I thought about my father and couldn’t help feeling this terrible ache in my heart. As I was driving home across the Robert Moses Bridge I prayed to my angels to send me a friend, that I didn’t want to be alone that night. When I got home I got a text from my brother, “Dad just died.” I knew it. My Dad knew it too, he knew he was going to die that day. It was bitter sweet for me because I was never close to my father. He adopted me when I was 4 years old, and even though I lived with him when my parents got divorced, we were never close or had a good relationship. I felt sad because I wasn’t there for him and I cried because I lost a father that I never really had, and that was like a double loss. At that moment I began talking to my Dad like he was right next to me. It felt like he was with me. I said to him, “Dad if you are here can you be a father to me now and be there for me? I need help. I am struggling and I am hurt, please help me.”  I was walking my dog, Karma, as the tears were flowing down my face and within a few minutes I felt a relief within.  I felt the sadness and pain dissolve, and I could breathe deeply again. I felt light.  It was amazing. The angels had already had a call in to my friend Lisa…and she came over with sushi and chocolate and stayed till midnight talking with me. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life. I don’t know what I’d do without them. Since my Dad has passed I have had a better relationship with him now than I had when he was alive. He couldn’t help me when he was stuck in his disabled human body in Florida, but now that he is free, in his spiritual essence, he is with me and helping me everyday to heal my heart. My Dad can be with me now just as quickly as I think about him. I find peanut shells, (his nickname for me was peanut or peanup), and I see his initials FJZ on license plates all the time. In India when someone leaves their body they say they are now in their “big form.” Meaning they are now everywhere, connected to us all. It makes sense. Our true essence is soul, light, infinite consciousness. When we are in a limited human body there is only so much we can do. When we are free of the body, or the “suit” we are truly free and are everywhere.  I am amazed at this miracle and grateful to have my Dad back in my life now when I need him the most. I pray that if you have lost a loved one that you know that they are still with you in spirit and always will be. Know that they are truly free and at peace. They are home with God, surrounded by unconditional love and acceptance, and they are with you. Love is the only thing in this Universe that doesn’t die. May you be surrounded by infinite love and unconditional acceptance and peace. God bless us all.

Walking in Faith

slideshow09It’s hard to have faith when everything is uncertain. But that is the way faith is grown. You don’t need faith when everything is fine, going your way. That’s not when faith is needed. Faith is something we might not be able to see or feel or smell or touch, but somewhere in the depths of our being it calls to us. It gets you off the floor when all you want to do is lie down and die, it get you to that yoga class that you know somehow you need, it pushes you gently to keep going, no matter how hard life gets, no matter what your circumstances may be, it is the voice that says, don’t give up, you can do it, help is on the way, just please don’t give up. I know your tired and I know your scared but walk, walk with me, take one day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time, it will be ok. Faith is what puts the smile back on your face and in your heart. Faith bring out the best in us, our human spirit of perseverance and steadfast strength. Faith is knowing that no matter how bad things may seem or how awful or depressed you may feel, spring still comes, flowers still bloom, babies are still born and people still fall in love and marry.  Faith is knowing the sun will still come up in the morning and angels will lie down with you when you rest at night.

Faith brings the right people into your life at the right time, because God brings you nothing but angels.

 

My Everyday Heroes

IMG_1040webThe people that inspire me are the ones that most people wouldn’t look to for inspiration.  They haven’t done anything to merit the Noble Peace Prize, haven’t dedicated their life to saving the hungry and oppressed, don’t have a kajillion followers on Facebook, or super powers…they are just ordinary people but they have suffered extra ordinary circumstances in their lives.  While all of us, having lived a while on this earth will end up knowing the heartbreak and sadness of loss, there are people that have really known it…all too well.  I know people who have lost their spouses suddenly, their true love, their forever companions and the worst loss I believe is the loss of a child.  I look at these people in my life and wonder how they do it…how they continue on?  It amazes me that they still get up everyday and go to work with a smile on their face and… continue to be kind and helpful to others.  Having suffered my own losses; I know sometimes just getting up in the morning and getting out the door with a smile on your face is a huge task.  The holidays can be a tough time for people that have lost loved ones.  I am dedicating this blog, my thoughts and my prayers to all of you…know that your silent suffering and heartache is not in vain; know that you are not alone and your light, although dim, is still shining.  Thank you for being a true warrior and inspiration.

Gifts from my yoga students

photoOne of my yoga classes that I have been teaching for the last 4 years at a corporation has had its last hurrah. Although this was a pretty unconventional yoga class, done in the cafeteria, on a cold, hard, dirty floor with ants and loud warning bells going off in the middle of class, this was one of my favorite classes.  It wasn’t because of the stellar environment but because of the students that came every week. They truly loved and appreciated me and the yoga I was sharing with them. It changed their life.  Although I was bringing to them the gift of yoga and inner peace, week after week they showed me what true caring was.  They knew I had been going through some rough times and they were the ones ironically that were there for me.

As I was going for a run the other day, I was thinking about this particular class and how I was going to miss them.  This then brought me to another thought. I began to reminisce over the last 13 years I have been teaching yoga and how my yoga teacher, Mokshapriya, was right when she said to me when I was going through a really rough time in my life and feeling alone, “You are not alone, you have your yoga students.” At the time I really couldn’t understand that truth. It didn’t sink in, I just kind of blew it off. During my run the other day though, that truth came barreling into my mind, then into my heart and I literally had to stop running I was crying so hard.  I couldn’t believe it. What an epiphany for me. Yes, Mokshapriya, you were right. I get it now.  All these years I thought I was giving so much of myself through my yoga classes and private sessions but in fact it was and is my yoga students that give so much back to me.

I remember so many times I would be crying in my car driving to go teach a class, pull up to the studio, wiping the tears off my face and saying to myself, “Ok this is not about you right now, get it together. You have no idea who’s in that class, what they are going through and how much they might need yoga right now. Put your pain and heartache to the side, smile and show them your love.” Those were some of my most powerful classes.  Most of you don’t know this, but while you we’re in shivasana, I would sit there with you and silently cry. I went through some pretty tough times in the last decade, as many of you know.  Teaching yoga was my saving grace. My students were my saving grace. As I look back on all the emails, notes, talks, hugs, words of encouragement that have been given so freely and abundantly to me over the last 13 years I am overwhelmed with such gratitude and love that I can’t help but shed tears as I write this letter to you.
So I want to say thank you. It seems that these two words are not enough for what you have given to me, but I want you to know that all of these moments and all of your support has helped shape me and has helped me to grow and to heal. You have been an important part of my journey and I am so grateful for your presence in my life. To all of my yoga teacher friends, you too have helped me to heal and grow. Thank you for holding my hand, for holding my heart and for loving me.
I love you,
SoulFire (Stefania)