14
Feb

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”
~Oscar Wilde

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When was the last time you actually interrupted the relentless flow of tasks, emails, texts, calls … and took a real moment for yourself, BY YOURSELF and stood in front of the mirror and had a conversation with yourself? And what if you actually made yourself turn off the bad radio inside your head, the one that is ceaselessly self-critical? And what if you stood there basking in the wonderment of who you are as a perfect, loving, whole being on this earth?

Maybe today’s the day you need to do it. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I say you do it … And this is how the conversation should go:

“Hello there, stranger. How have you been? How are you today? Right this minute? Right here, right now?  Did you know that I love you and I appreciate you? All of the little things you do for me, body and mind, to keep all of my finely-tuned involuntary systems humming along … keeping me alive so that I can stop and smell the roses and share a smile with that lovely child holding his Mother’s hand? Here I am, self, here I am spirit, saying hello and giving you some much deserved, overdue love.

I did this very thing today, and was surprised and delighted to find that when I looked at myself, I felt a sudden sense of comfort, peace and quiet. It was some kind of unexpected magic. There I was floating inside this bubble of surreal amazement, this rare opportunity that I had chosen to create, suspended in time, holding the rest of the world at bay in order to have this very important conversation … with myself.  I was suddenly no longer just a person, but an entire world unto myself– yes, that’s right, bigger than my own reality outside- no longer merely a person, a person who interacts with the world and focuses most of her energy and attention out there, but pristinely alone in this stolen, dedicated moment in time.  I was the only one alive and ready to be lavished with the love that only I knew how to give. And I smiled at myself- I felt overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to be alive, in this body, with this heart, silently pumping inside. And I gave thanks to myself, my body, my mind, my soul and I kissed myself on the forehead, the way I would tenderly kiss my child. And then, I smiled, a deep, broad smile that lit up my face- the face that was staring back at me, and inside, I could feel the new, life-giving energy that can only come from love zephyring up and down my spine and traveling to every part of my being, igniting me with inspiration and epiphany. It led me to put fingers to keyboard today and share this with all of you … that to love yourself is the only way to go. I highly recommend it, this loving of yourself, this smiling to yourself in the mirror, and I have vowed to myself, that even on my darkest days, I will perform this most sacred ritual of not just checking in with myself, but loving myself and giving myself a smile, which serves as a perfect segue to the “Inner Smile,” perhaps one of the most powerful ways to love thyself, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.
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03
Feb

Welcome, Resilient Rabbit!

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“The year of the metal rabbit is about harmony and goodwill,” as well as a time to rest and recuperate from the wild ride we all had with the Tiger … and what better way to do this than with a Yin practice?! Join me, February 19-20th at YogaWorks NYC Soho for a rejuvenating, harmonizing weekend of Waking Energy and Yin Yoga

And tonight, in honor of the delicate, elegant and peace-loving hare who brings great treasures of fortune and blessings, I am featuring this excerpt from Susan Levitt this evening … Enjoy!

THE YEAR OF THE HARE 2011

Hare year can be a nurturing time of peace, calm, leisure, and rest after the intensity of the previous Tiger year. During gentle Hare’s influence, good taste and refinement are valued, and comfort is desired. Money can be made easily, but spent easily. Dragon year 2012 will be a wild, exhausting time, so appreciate the small pleasures of Hare year as opportunities to heal, relax, and entertain. Make time for family gatherings and comfortable travel. Expect political compromise and diplomatic peacemaking on a global level. Discretion and persuasion are effective in a Hare year, whereas force does not work.

The year of the Hare begins on the new Moon of February 2, 2011 at 6:31 PM PST. This is also the date of Imbolc, or Candlemas, the cross quarter-point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Lovely Hare is a symbol of purity: fastidiously clean Hare washes its face with its front paws to look beautiful as polished jade. According to Chinese legend, a magical jade Hare lives in a palace on the Moon. The Chinese Moon Goddess Ch’ang-o allows this charming jade Hare to keep her company so she will not be lonely. The Hare is an herbalist and alchemist who peacefully mixes elixirs of immortality under a cassia tree on the Moon for the Great Mother of the West, a Chinese Goddess of death and rebirth. Hare’s Moon palace is delightful, and the company of the Moon Goddess so enjoyable, that Hare never leaves the Moon. Over time, Hare has become a yin Moon spirit.

For more from Susan Levitt: The Hare

02
Feb

On this New Moon in Aquarius eve of The Year of the Rabbit, I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to the Tiger for bringing me my new love rscn1541

and for helping me to cultivate tremendous patience … the patience to withstand the unprecedented endurance test he wielded this past year. The story below truly expresses how I feel about The Year of the Tiger that is passing tonight. Tonight, oh fearsome and elegant beast, you stalk and saunter your way into that gentle night and tomorrow, the sweet hare appears from behind the safety of the verdant bushes and hops lightly into our lives to bring us calm and peace and refuge from the storm of 2010 that was THE TIGER!


The Tiger, the Man and God

A man was being chased by a tiger. He ran as hard as he could until he was at the edge of a cliff with the tiger in hot pursuit. The man looked over the edge of the cliff and saw a branch growing out of the side of the cliff a few feet down. He jumped down and grabbed the branch just as the tiger reached the cliff. The tiger growled viciously as the man sighed a great sigh of relief.

Just then a mouse came out from a crevice and began to chew on the branch. The man looked down to what was a drop of a thousand feet and sure death and looked to the heavens and yelled out, “Dear God, if you are there, please help. I will do anything you ask but please help.”

Suddenly a voice came booming down from heaven, “You will do anything I ask?” it questioned.”

The man shocked to hear a reply to his plea yelled back, “I will gladly do anything you ask, but please save me.”

The voice from heaven then replied, “There is one way to save you but it will take courage and faith.”

The branch began to weaken from the mouse and the tiger was still growling a few feet above the man, “Please, Lord, tell me what I must do and I will do it. Your will is my will.”

The voice from heaven then said, “All right then, let go of the branch.”

The man looked down to a fall of a thousand feet and certain death. He looked up at the hungry tiger a few feet away and he looked at the mouse still chewing on the branch. Then he looked up at the heavens and yelled, “Is there anyone else up there.”
~Unknown

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