It seems a perfect night with the full moon and the first mercury retrograde of 2013 to finally pay tribute to what has already been a truly brilliant start to this new year. Why perfect on the second day of mercury retrograde? Because when mercury goes in reverse, so can we. We have another opportunity to return to what has come before, to revisit and review, and on this full moon eve, the seeds we have planted on the new moon allegedly wax full, like the moon itself, coming closer to fruition tonight. It’s also a perfect night to let fly your deepest desires and truths. Tonight is that night for me. Time has accelerated and is going faster than I ever thought possible. And I’m not sure I like it so much. Every day, I am more and more aware of my mortality. It seems that just as we become mature enough to start to enjoy life, we become acutely conscious of how very ephemeral it is. Hopefully, we learn to appreciate each moment and make the most of all we experience to honor this brief stay on earth before we depart, to live in gratitude as often as we can.
And in that spirit, I was very grateful to be asked to grace the cover of American Fitness in January and share the feature “Jennifer Helps You to Tap Into Your Waking Energy.” Immediately after, the LA Times featured my Yin Yoga clip from Waking Energy, and then to top it all off, my Waking Energy practice clip premiered on Pilates Anytime.
All told, so far, it’s been an amazing year, and it’s only just begun. Each day a new opportunity to awaken new vistas both inside and out in the world. In closing, the title of my blog tonight is “It’s About Time,” and I’m sure by now, you’ve figured out that it’s a double-entendre. It’s about time that we all wake up, and it’s about time that the year of the Divine Feminine has finally arrived– lucky “13″ when everyone on the planet is given the chance to embrace yourself, to know yourself, to move into a higher consciousness, to appreciate the life we have and make the most of it, in service to ourselves and others.
What better way to say YES to this opening than with Waking Energy … what better way to return to yourself, to truly get to know yourself perhaps for the very first time than by waking up the energy and beauty that lives inside you?
I think it’s about time you do …
Happy Full Moon and Happy, Lucky 2013!
“According to Vedanta, there are only two signs of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first sign is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second sign is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous”
~Deepak Chopra, Synchrodestiny
This Winter Solstice, 2012 is unlike any other before or after it in our lifetime.
12.12.12 marks the opening of the portal through which destiny beckons us to spring forth. We are being asked to cross the bridge from darkness— from old-outmoded, inhibiting, unconscious behaviors, from FEAR to light- to the creation of a new path, a new reality, a new world where LOVE reigns supreme and each one of us embraces the universal truth that we are ONE.
From 12.12.12 until 12.21.12, you are being offered perhaps the greatest gift you will ever know- the chance to manifest miracles. The stars are aligned and at the ready, waiting for you to say “YES!” Now is the time to ask yourself the question: Do you want to reach higher heights in your life, live more fully, find the courage to open your heart and vibrate at a higher level of consciousness? This portal of 12.12.12 is a gift that is based on individual participation. It is an experience that each individual must now ask and intend for. And each and every one of us must now make the effort to learn how to live in the new paradigm. If we want to go where only Love can exist, we must learn how to become Love.
The universe is conspiring to support you on this magic carpet ride into a bright and blessed future, where you will come to know your power, your light, your divinity. Will you spread your wings and take the ride? Will you embody your soul’s purpose and become a manifestor of the miracles you deeply and instinctively know await you? Will you let yourself believe that your intention and action are one and the same and that anything you truly wish for is possible?
Here in San Diego, my childhood love of owls was rekindled by a sacred visit from a native barn owl this Fall. I was deep inside a meditation and I felt a strong pull to my left. I opened my eyes to see this magnificent and awe-inspiring beauty on the top of the morning glory wall behind my house fully illuminated by the full moon, looking directly at me it seemed. I sat there for what felt like an eternity, locked in his Strigine (that means all-things OWL) embrace.
Since his sighting, I have been utterly and completely enthralled once again by my totem animal, and can’t get enough of their grace, wisdom and power. They embody so many of the qualities I prize so highly: kindness, generosity, compassion, authenticity, loyalty, creativity, independence, beauty, spontaneity, and passion. Each time I see an image of one, or am lucky enough to experience a real-life “visit,” my heart sings. This Winter Solstice is our opportunity to BE the owl, to embrace our highest selves. Join me in spirit on this magic flight and soar into the heavens while keeping your feet firmly rooted to the earth to become the very vessel for change and new growth in your life and in the lives of each person you meet.
I have always thought of the combination of Pilates and Yoga as the perfect marriage.
Both are transformational, focused methods of movement that literally help you to “meet” yourself, to discover your capabilities and facilitate positive change in the body, mind and spirit. In my opinion, their differences complement one another in the best of ways. While Yoga is better known for its philosophical and spiritual components, Pilates also inspires spiritual evolution, but this aspect is not emphasized as much as the physical component; Pilates is known as a “workout,” and Yoga as a “practice,” however, the irony here, is that in order to get good at anything, we have to practice, and done correctly, both Pilates and Yoga are both a workout and a practice. And as you will see, both are worthy of your time and attention for innumerable reasons.
Here’s a cool, little-known fact for many of you out there: Joseph H. Pilates, who invented the Pilates Method, studied yoga and most of the exercises you’ll see in a Pilates workout are inspired by yoga. The poses in yoga are incredibly similar to the shapes and positions of the body in Pilates exercises; the difference is that in yoga, one holds poses longer, and in Pilates, you move at a slightly faster pace. Rather than holding a pose longer the way you would in a yoga class, staying in one position and cajoling the body into stretching more deeply through the breath, in Pilates, the practitioner dynamically extends as far as possible into a greater range of motion within a limited amount of time using self-imposed isometric resistance, core awareness and breath.
Both Pilates and yoga are intended to cultivate greater awareness and connection between the body and the mind, which in turn, enlivens the spirit.
Both help us to focus on the process, the “journey” of moving, breathing and stretching, rather than the end goal, which can be anything from a stronger, well-toned body to peace of mind.
Both encourage you to focus on the present moment and the movement itself rather than the outcome; they are each regimes that promote consciousness, evolution and self-transformation, while helping you to accrue innumerable health benefits that arise from the specific combination of connecting conscious breath to movement.
The subtle magic of Pilates and Yoga is that the work grows as you do. You rise to higher levels of challenge as your self-awareness and experience deepen. As you gain insight and as your actual physical strength increases, the work refines and redefines itself.
Both are refreshing approaches that see our physical activity as a way to restore total oneness with ourselves and create harmony with our body, mind and spirit, and under this notion, exercise becomes the means to experiencing a personal potential greater than the physical skills themselves.
There are moments in life when we are lucky enough to meet the secret places inside our own psyches, our own souls where hidden reserves of power and courage have seemed to lay in wait for just the right time.
From my earliest memory, I have been afraid of heights. At age 14, the chance of a lifetime- to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and I had to be dragged onto the elevator by a best friend who swore to me I would live with the regret of missing out for the rest of my life. So I went, and while everyone else was “oooolah lah-ing” about the “La Vue Fantastique,” I felt like I was meeting my maker early. Once, while attempting to climb a fire tower in the Adirondacks with an old flame, I may have made it up to the second landing, (the equivalent of a second story building) and already my knees were starting to buckle and I felt a panic attack coming on.
Last week, we drove to the famed Sunset Cliffs where we were going to start shooting new footage. Little did I know that in order to get to our location, I would actually have to scale one of them. And when I say cliffs, we’re not talking little hills. The photographer looked at me, knowing full well about my fear, but started to scramble down the cliff as if he didn’t. In response to my choice words of shock and anger, the most demure of which went something like this, “How the _____ could you do this to me?!” He gave me one confident, knowing smile, clearly unconcerned that this might very well be the end of our relationship, and continued down on his merry way toward the beach. I started protesting loudly and calling after him, chastising him for bringing me to this place where I would have to actually rapelle backwards with a rope, an actual ROPE! to get down. Yeah. Right.
“Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn’t know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
― Joseph Campbell
Over the course of the past 6 and a half years that I have lived in Philadelphia, (how and why that happened I may never know ..) I have not missed a single opportunity to stop and literally smell the roses. I would approach them and beckon them to me, cradle them gently in my hands and deeply inhale their scent with my entire being, a veritable world of intoxicating bliss that seemed to radically alter every cell in my body, in an instant. Each and every time, no matter what my mental state, my reality shifted dramatically, and I was transported.
Every now and again, I would be in too much of a rush to get to the nectar of the rose, and I would feel the wrath of the thorns on its stem, almost warning me to go slower, to savor the moment before I inhaled its transportive secret, almost as if to tell me that I needed to be more patient, more appreciative, more delicate. Even with the prick of the thorn, and the errant drop of bright red blood on my finger, I delighted in the reward, the almost unfathomable world of pleasure that I drowned in, and shockingly, all in that singular, tiny, divine unfolding of color and billowing, all encompassing profusion of scent. I would often think, “How was it possible that such a miracle- this potent and ethereal world of pleasure could exist in such a small blossom?”
Every rose is different, uniquely beautiful in its own way — the color and shape of its petals, and the subtlety of its special floral pheromones. Tea roses, American Beauty Roses, Crimson Queens, Midas Touch Roses, Sunflare Floribundas, Tropicanas, White Meidilands, too many to name. In the 4th Street Garden near my once-upon-a-time, magical little jewelry box of a home, there is a vast variety of beauties, just waiting to be inhaled and loved. They are everywhere, thanks to Benjamin Franklin, who had a love for these gorgeous flowers and planted them strategically throughout the old part of town to frame the walkways as a respite from the din and bustle of the city.
“He that can have patience can have what he will.” ― Benjamin Franklin
There is something I have been longing for, and I want it to happen more than anything else in the world. It has nothing to do with fame or money. It is something that only the whispers of the universe will bring my way. Every wise adage seems to stare back from the page, telegraphing its message aloud: “Let go. Surrender, and you will have a much better shot at having what you long for.
But I ask you: Isn’t it so incredibly difficult to stop striving and trying and controlling when there is something in front of you, so out of reach, an ever-presence shrouded in mystery, elusive and precious?
Even as “body people,” we can work ourselves into such a frenzy, that we temporarily forsake our bodies, the very vessels that require our kindness, softness and relaxed thinking in order to make what we wish for, happen.
My thinking mind wants to address every aspect, every detail and make sure that I have covered all bases, crossed every “T” and dotted every “i.” My thinking mind thinks that if it works hard enough, it will succeed in having control over what cannot be controlled. My thinking mind believes that it will be able to alter the course of destiny, all on its own. And my thinking mind is barking up the wrong tree.
Enter the breath … enter the voice of wisdom from the body that says gently, ”go sit and place one hand on your belly and the other on your heart and just listen; listen to your soul.” Enter stillness … and then … enter a tidal wave of tears. And finally a feeling of incredible lightness and rootedness at the same time. The feeling that I have cast off a weight of more than 1,000 pounds– the feeling that I am home again, at one with the moment, so spent, so clear, so free, that I can think of little else.
”Accomplish what is in your heart!”
Happy, Prosperous New Year of The Water Dragon~ May this year be one of Great Blessings, Awakenings & Miracles~
Powerful energies are swirling around in the universe now- can you feel it? Change is happening, like water rushing over river rocks, fluid and inevitable.
Believe in yourself. Believe that anything is possible. Say YES to yourself. Say YES to your intentions, say YES and welcome it all!
May it be so~!
This morning I had a dream that I was sledding down the side of a snow-covered hill on my black Tumi backpack, and suddenly, a red-tailed hawk flew down from the sky, and came to light on my left arm. It was so unbelievable. I was so amazed. I can still feel my lips parted in awe that such a magical, spirit, such a wild, solitary, elusive bird had chosen to come to me in such a bold act of intimacy.
It was as if freedom itself had decided to come to me. And not only did it just float there on my arm, but it softly sank his beautiful talons into my flesh, gently holding on, knowing exactly how hard to press, accepting my warm breath on his beak. To see if it was real, I gently went to stroke his head, and he let me and spread his gorgeous wings of white and red in appreciation that I had chosen to reciprocate his intimate gesture with one of my own.
Even now, the feeling of lightness and warmth as big as the sky above, spreads across my chest, from deep within my heart center to his, this magnificent hawk; we were connected, united, and FREE! What a joy, what a gift that dream was! I am still celebrating it … A message from above. I am still aglow from that moment when my eyes caught him and tracked his trajectory, incredulous that he was coming toward me –when I saw his wings beating in an upward draw, slowing his descent, as he floated down from the ethers, and chose me as his landing pad, a confidant to whom he could silently transmit the message: “Believe it. You are FREE.”
Trial by fire. Oh, and it is.
When I first found this image, I wanted to kiss the earth that I had located a visual depiction that managed to encapsulate the very feeling I have had over the past month. I feel like a stuntwoman walking away from a well-played crash scene, except the “scene” isn’t staged. It’s real. Never before has this conscious awareness of contrast between incarceration and liberty been as stark, as naked as it has been for me of late. And when I say this contrast- I am referring to the battle of black vs. white, shadow vs. sun that comes to dominate the grand stage of the mind. The duel to the death that happens when we entrap ourselves in the stories that we ourselves author, when we imprison ourselves in the cells we construct, when we fashion the very shackles that keep our feet well-fettered.
Rumi said it so well, “You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?”