24
Jan

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Fear. Loneliness. Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Hopelessness. Despair.

Alongside what I still believe is my life-embracing, joyful essence, and moments of uplift from my own inner flame and the love of a few dear friends and family, I’ve been surfing these treacherous waves for the past two years.

We know that Pilates is one of the finest ways to sculpt a beautiful and powerful body, but what about our spiritual selves? What about the life inside that body? What about its truly profound effects on the mind and the spirit?

When I was asked to participate in Mark Pedri’s exceptional film, A Movement of Movement a few years ago now, I spoke about how Pilates had created his method between two world wars as a means to survive life’s twists and turns and hard knocks and to rise above them and thrive. Little did I know then that I would be fighting on my own battlefield not so long after, going into one of the darkest, deepest caves of my life.

Pilates never intended for his method of physical and mental conditioning to be a vanity exercise system. He devised it to help us navigate this human life through the body. It was meant to help us evolve and appreciate ourselves, to make the most of our miraculous machines—body, mind and yes, to enliven–to literally LIFT our spirits.

Yes, undeniably, Pilates can help you to create a body you can be proud of, but in the bargain, it can also save your life.

In January, 2014, I found myself atop a slippery slope and by mid-summer, I had slid into hell. Flying solo in a new city, my mother, who had fought her brave battle with multiple myeloma long enough, decided on July 18th that it was time to leave this world.  To say that I was heartbroken and traumatized doesn’t come close. I was beside myself—literally. Exhausted from the rapid fire, cataclysmic shifts in my life,  from having to grasp how to travel this new terrain, each day, I awoke feeling like I didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other. Every rug had been pulled out from underneath me, and while I had a full toolkit, an arsenal of techniques to pull from, I had become so accustomed to sharing them with others, that in some way, it felt like I had forgotten how to redirect that rich water flow back to myself.  Read the rest of this entry »

07
Oct

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Tonight, I want to pay tribute to my friend, Maya White and her always inspiring astrological readings, by featuring her October forecast that arrived in my mailbox today, just in time for the New Moon in Libra happening tonight!

As she says in the excerpt below, this new moon is about cleaning up the past and strengthening that which is already in motion, and my day today, was completely filled with exactly that– cleaning up the past in order to make space for what I have set in motion, the star-points of my future.  This new moon in Libra is also about relationships, and commitment and integrity– the very underpinnings of what make a relationship viable and fruitful. And while we tend to think about relationships as those unions we form with others, tonight, I am thinking most especially of the relationship I have with myself, and the commitment and integrity I wish to strengthen within my own being for my own development and soul evolution, so that each relationship with another that I invite into my sphere serves the highest good in each partner.

Tonight I embrace the challenges that I faced today as I struggled with the very daunting task of wrestling with some choices I made long ago, that are playing out in my life even as I type these words onto the page. Among other things, life is a series of lessons and the choices we make that creates them. Today, I felt trapped inside my own mind, slave to negative thought patterns that kept circling back on themselves, and I was filled with regret and anger.

Then I went for a run through the forest. And things started to change. As I cleared a path through the trees, moving underbrush out of my way, I cleared a path in my mind, through to the other side, to my body, where I could start to see clearly again, because I was no longer fighting with my conscious mind; I had entered the realm of the real truth– I felt my legs moving powerfully underneath me, my arms swinging, my heart beating, the blood pulsing through my veins, new breath and chi getting pulled into my being with every new breath, and I felt my being-ness, I felt my power, I felt my feelings, the energy that has been trapped inside, stuffed down by my thinking mind that had tried in such a desperate frenzy to control the external— the uncontrollable. As I ran through the forest, dappled in end-of-day sun, I felt the hush of nature and the whisper of the nocturnal creatures starting to stir, and my problem no longer held the same weight. I had the sudden realization that in the grand scheme of things– in life, my situation was so very small and inconsequential– and that if this had been my last day on this earth, is this how I would have wanted to spend it? Fretting over something, losing vital life force over something that was soul-crushing. I realized that my “story” was temporary, that I was being presented with the opportunity to clean up this past decision and resulting upset and start anew; I could start in a more self-loving way, so that the next time I was presented with a similar decision, I would make a better one motivated by acknowledging my self-worth, not by selling myself short as I had done, betraying myself, over a year ago now, but paying the price today. And more importantly, rather than reasoning with my mind, I would go deep inside and be still; I would listen to the message of the body, the truth that always rises up inside, and I would root myself in my being, in nature–integrating body and mind, not splitting off from it, as I had learned to do as a child … and as a result, I would embrace myself — the empowered woman I am today.

Read the rest of this entry »