the new paradigm: what are we building & how????

I love the New Year & I celebrate them all:
Spring Equinox, Rosh Hashanah,
the Mexica New Year, the Chinese,
Birthdays . . . all of it.

I love beginnings.

I love the newness. The spark. I love, love, love the seed stirring in the dark.

It’s kinda my metier.

We are so lucky to be born now, in this time of all the changes, non-stop changes in all of our lives, big changes, small changes . . it seems like as soon as you conceive of something ~

it is happening already.

The word around the energetic realms is that there were 10s of 1000s of souls who wanted to be born RIGHT NOW, it was anticipated to be just that exciting, like getting tickets to a mega sold-out event . . & we were all chosen specially to be here.

I believe this to be true.

The astrology right now continues to astound & amaze ~ we had a brief respite in December, though it didn’t feel like one . . . we had been constricted for so long that when the gates opened, everything rushed in at one time, so it was hardly relaxing.

Right back at it now with Uranus squaring Pluto AGAIN soon, the big squeeze that won’t allow one ounce of self-deception OR passivity . . . back to work, taking on the Truth in whatever form you can take responsibility for in your world.

Don’t even try to fool yourself or anyone else by playing small.

Let me know if you need help figuring out what your personal Truth is, but let me assure you, every single one of us has an incredibly important piece of work to accomplish right now.

All of us need . . .
ALL OF US.

Just to be clear about that.

No one is unimportant in the scheme of things.
Do not underestimate yourself.

Back to the astrology (before I forget):
Mars is opposite Uranus (which means it is also square Pluto) (& Jupiter) making us feel more than a little bit cranky & aggressive if we don’t get our way . . like the leash is waaaaaaaaay too short & why is there a leash anyway?

Venus is just hanging around uncomfortably in retrograde in Capricorn, which is not the sexiest place to learn how to receive love but a pretty good place to learn how to ask for it.

It’s all good, really it is.
All the discomfort is pushing us to make room.
To speak.
To take decisive action.

If you need more in-depth astro info, you can check out
the Pele Report for last week, with Kaypacha

His Mantra this week:

I refuse to be frightened by the size of the task,
And commit to creating a love that will last,
Knowing that I must let go of the past.

(perfect, love you Tom & thank you)

I read a quote this week that really resonated with what I have been observing in myself, with clients, in the energetic realms, throughout the world . .

It was referring to the modern experience, to the dissolution of borders physically, spiritually, between men & women, in families, in technology, to the overwhelming newness & it’s infinite (& perhaps overwhelming) possibilities. . .

What we are all referring to as The New Paradigm (cliche only because it is so true).

Weirdly the quote was written in 1932 & yet so very accurate for today:

“We are like sailors having to rebuild our ship in the open sea,
without ever being able to take it apart in a dry dock or,
even better, to redesign each part anew”

~ Otto Neurath

Yes.

Exciting.

I am going to leave that quote with you to contemplate.

I’ll be back in a few days, just before the New Year, with some more insights on all of this & the job ahead, but for now, remember:

All of Us need All of Us.

home for the holidays

I am not going to bore you with a long anti-capitalism, hunger games speech about the consumer affluenza of the holiday season nor will I look for alternate language to describe what is going on right now.
PHEW ~ that’s a relief.

Love you.

The Solstice came. Yesterday at about noon East Coast time, the stillness arrived, the precious few moments where everything was perfect & true at a cellular level.

We are still in it.
The stillness.
A wide open space of everything.

Whatever you were doing at that moment, whether you had a moment to be reverent or not, whether you had a special ritual or whether you forgot, it happened & we were all together there in the most perfect chapel.

My family celebrates Christmas. That’s our winter holiday of choice. My kids’ dad is German & I’m Italian, so it just flows that way, & always has.

We have gone through many changes since my children were small. Wen & I split. We moved around. Many homes.
Had a lot of money. Had nothing at all. Over & Over.

We just love to Celebrate.

Like that morning after the Grinch stole everything while everyone was sleeping & there was absolutely nothing left,
except for a christmas ball rolling on the floor, sans hook, & maybe a couple of strands of tinsel ~ all the Whos down in Whoville gathering around a tree in the middle of the town singing.

Yep, that’s us. Even when we’re just a little bit cranky. Still singing.

This morning I received a note on a prayer wall I am part of.

A friend writes:

My body is telling me it’s time to be located in one place near loved ones.

Tonight in a fiery fever, in a half dreamed state I saw a huge chasm in the land &
it seemed I needed to build a bridge across this abyss
to be able to have a home near loved ones.
The bridge building seemed to represent how most two-leggeds manifest housing
in the modern day, by lots of work, money and planning.

Spirit reminded me to be light & powerful like the Bea Guea (eagle)
& fly over this chasm to make my home a little differently than most Americans.
This was my shamanic journey induced by a very high fever.

And so, I pray for guidance and comfort . . .

I could hear him, in this holiday season, held firm by his beliefs & the land that he is steward to as a Ranger in a gorgeous National Park, held by the many, many friends that I know love him albeit virtually & long distance, searching for home.

There is nothing like a fever to remind you that you need a real place to lay your head, that you can count on, with a community that you can touch with your fingertips, & not just on the keyboard.

This morning I am laying in my daughter Jules’ bed, while she & her beloved scurry around preparing for our family
Christmas brunch. Heather has the Yule log on the TV. Coffee is brewing. There is the absolute cutest Charlie Brown Christmas tree, found on the street.

I am between apartments myself, working on my book & my priestess vocation & madly in love with it all. Utterly. Traveling light. My stuff in storage for a year now. I hate being called Gypsy for a variety of political & personal reasons but I really am the ultimate Gypsy Mama lately& my darling daughter is holding me in her
gorgeous home this morning, as an honored guest & I am so grateful.

Home is looking totally different in this moment. I do not need to make it happen. I just need to be.

There is so much to be said here, but I know this much for sure:

In 2014 there will be much to learn about coming Home.

Pay attention to what you hold dear.

Make conscious decisions & remember to Celebrate.

pause

So tell me, how is it going?

Me, I’m up in the middle of the night, as usual, surveying the universe.

It’s pretty beautiful.
Quiet.
Immense.

I would be lying to all of you if I said I wasn’t overwhelmed at times lately.

Oh, yeah, AND it’s the full moon tonight ~ The Cold Moon ~ as it is, totally NOT ironically, called.

Ayiyiyi.

The other day I fell asleep on a 5 stop subway ride, in the middle of the day, after 2 whopping cups of coffee, & I woke suddenly, bang, in time for my stop & my face was wet with tears.

A friend told me:

When you lose full awareness in a place which is filled with suffering,
the thoughts of suffering come into your consciousness.
You had a chance to burn this suffering in the oven of your heart,
& the crying was the cleaning of the heart,
which you did for the people who were riding this subway for years.
It is a service.

Ok, I can do that.

I love you.

This is the time for stillness, for introspection, for release into the unknown.

Your body knows this, your soul knows this.

As I keep saying: do not resist.

Soooooooo, how do we care for ourselves in this quiet time when the world continues to spin around us?

How do we stay open?

Pick any one of these tiny tools (or a few) ~ they only take a minute or two, I promise:

1. The Sacred Pause: stop, just do it.

2. Remember to breathe. Do this several times a day. Long slow breathing through your nose.  Make the space between the inhale & the exhale minimal, if not invisible.  Beautiful wave~like breaths.

3. The yogi smile: Just smile. For nothing. Close your eyes & bring a light attention, just a tap of your mind, to your third eye.  This shines out into the world.

4. Call someone (not text) & tell them how much you love them & WHY. The close ones or a surprise one. Especially a surprise one.

5. Buy a tiny notebook that you can carry everywhere. Take a moment to write down 3 things you are grateful for. In that moment. Oh yeah, gratitude again? Just do it.

6. Go outside. Wherever you are. Look down.  Look up.  Walk if you can. Touch something that is alive.

7. Drink some water. Drink a whole cup. Look into it. Say a little prayer. Have another cup.  Relax your throat while you are drinking all the way to your belly.

8. Slow it way down.

gifting practice


Yesterday, I was in my morning practice & I had an exceedingly grumpy moment about, yes, the holidays.

Too much.

Like, are you paying attention out there, we are praying for everyone right here, this is important, cut me some slack.

Ayiyiyi, Love Artist, get humble.

But then I opened an email from the always inspiring Kristin Prevallet, poet & mystical hypnotherapist, & read this:

When you are shopping for someone else you are projecting yourself
into this generous exchange of living energy in which each organism
knits itself into a complex fabric and pattern. . . .

& I remembered an invisible performance years ago, where my art BFF Sal Randolph & I had everyone sit in a circle & hold hands in the dark, silently, while one person made a present for the person sitting to their right IN THEIR MIND, YES, IN THEIR MIND . . . & when they were ready, they passed it on to their beloved & squeezed their hand.

The beloved took a few moments to receive & then made another present for the person sitting to their right, in their mind, and on it went.

It took quite a while to make all these presents & pass them on & receive, but we sat there together in the dark, breathing & focusing on love & when the lights came on, there were more than a few tears & the silence continued for a while.

We were altered molecularly.
We were together.

Make effortlessness your holiday style.
It is truly possible.

Sit with someone you love
& make a whole new world.

the quickening

Can you feel it?

The Quickening.

That feeling when everything starts to move rapidly in your life. It may feel joyful. It may feel overwhelming. It might feel like being caught in a current unexpectedly. You may feel like you need to collect yourself & your belongings, hold things close.

Do not resist. It will not be helpful, I can assure you.

Take a moment tonight to think of all of the ‘work’ you have done this year. Take a quick inventory.

And by work, I mean the questioning, the letting go, the staring into the face of insecurities & obstacles, the building of courage & faith.

It may have seemed like a series of tiny, private moments, but when you stay close to yourself, these moments add up to strength. You have set your boat on course.

Astrologically, as we head into 2014, we are finally on the downside of years (since 2009) of building tension ~ pushing us into some hard decisions, streamlining our dreams & goals, feng shuing everything from our belongings & relationships to our careers & life direction, to our faith itself, what we believe in.

Now begins a surge of pure high frequency momentum. What feels fast & maybe disorienting is actually certainty.

Inner stability is essential right now & again, do not confuse this with resistance.

A few tools/concepts for the coming months:

1. Do not focus on planetary changes & earth disruptions (extreme weather nor extreme political situations) but stay focused on your immediate environment, extending love & suspending judgement on your family & community, focusing on the best in people & in yourself & doing what you can, in the moment & in the day, to better these environments.

2. Accept things that are happening, look for the invitation for action there, the opportunity, the invitation. As I said above, keep in mind what you can actually do in the moment rather than focus on the fear.

3. Keep all of this very, very simple.

4.  Some of the symptoms of this period of intense download:

overtaxed nervous systems, strained psychic circuitry, disturbed sleep,
overactive dream states, unexplainable fatigue and exhaustion,
irrational anxiety and brain fog . . . Yikes!!

But essential to keep in mind that this is affecting everyone, do not take it personally.

5. THEREFORE: do your best to utilize extreme self-care. This includes eating clear, healthy alkaline food in regular, small portions throughout the day, getting enough sleep, clarity in your communication AND a regular prayer & meditation practice.

(Part two coming soon: PAUSE: HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS)

the princess & the dragon

I hope you are cozy tonight.  I hope you feel bright & shiny because the New Moon in Sagittarius is coming Monday & she is really, really ready for you.

We have been dragged through the darkness for months now: forced into dredging our own ocean bottom, wiping up the cobwebs of our closets, gone, gone, gone where the sun don’t shine, & you know what I mean: all of our trash, all of our psychic & spiritual toxic waste, all of the assumptions we have made about ourselves, our partners, our childhood . . . it has all risen to the surface & (hopefully) we have looked it in the eye courageously & said goodbye.

I’m not saying it was easy ~ but it is over for now. Sagittarius take the high road, the arial view. Direct, clear, expansive growth.

This new moon is the beginning of some wide open spaces, kinda like recess.

By the New Year, we should really be on a roll.

I read about this ancient Scandinavian fairy tale the other day, one of those stories where a young woman, the princess of course, is sacrificed by her parents, of course, to be bride to the dragon to save her kingdom. The reluctant princess is instructed by a wise woman to wear 10 layers of wedding dresses. On her wedding night, as she is undressing, she asks the dragon to shed a layer of his skin each time she sheds a dress.

It starts out simply, wedding regalia for groom regalia, but as the couple stand in front of each other, the going gets a little gnarly & raw for the dragon.

He is determined & she is patient & of course, of course, of course, as these things go, much time & many layers later, under all the fire breathing & scales, under all the thick & protective skin, the dragon stands revealed as a prince, & the couple and kingdom live happily ever after.

Of course.

It’s a beautiful thing, to stay where you are with no resistance, & let the magic happen.

Right now we are in it, our own version of this wedding night, with ourselves.

We stuck it out, through all the layers of vulnerability, standing in front of ourselves, & we have waited for this day, at the bottom of all our layers. Yes. Here we are.

This unveiling is perfect for the New Moon & the upcoming Solstice.

We have been so patient.
We have been so brave.
Be naked. Be free.
Fall in love with yourself.

two sleeps two sleeps

This week I have thought so much about my bed.

I have been doing my best to be social as there’s been an inordinate amount of love vibe coming my way.

What goes around, comes around.

But seriously, this early darkness is no joke. It just feels natural to draw the blinds when it gets dark & settle in for the night, bless myself & enter the dreamtime.

But it’s only 4:30, hmmmmm.

Nola & I read this article the other night about “two sleeps” ~ it seems that before we had electricity it was completely normal for peeps to go to bed when it got dark & then wake up in the middle of the night.  Seems that this was the best time for “contemplation, meditation, prayer & socializing with co-sleepers.”

I really like to pray & I love socializing with my co-sleepers.

A good friend that likes to wake up in the middle of the night always says: The Creator has more time for you while everyone else is sleeping.

Seriously.

This winter I say: bring back the 2 sleep revolution.

Why fight the dark. Let’s really really get into it.

Roll out into the deep right when we feel it ~ not keeping awake on Facebook & watching 5 episodes of whatever ~ but lay down.

Then wake up in the bliss of nothingness that is the middle of the night & pray & socialize with your co-sleepers if you have’em.

I’ll meet you there.

Here’s a great link to a Yoga Nidra video ~ just in case you need a primer on utilizing those hours for starters.

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that is known to be one of the deepest relaxations around, known to:

“facilitate lucid dreaming
assist in out of the body experiences,
expand faculties of imagination,
open the realms of the subconscious & superconscious
effectively manifest seemingly magical changes in your life
clear certain karmic debris (if you believe in Karma)
assist in reaching a state called by some enlightenment”

Meet you there, my co-sleepers.

Love you so much.

parallel love universe


Take a minute to put your hand on your heart.

Actually do it like this:

Take your left hand in front of your heart, palm facing in.
Place it in your right hand (palm also facing your heart) & place your right thumb in your left palm.
Cross your left thumb over your right.
Put your other three (or four, if you can reach) right fingers around the outside of your left hand.
Bring your hands, left palm in, to your heart.

If you can manage to touch your skin with your fingers, that would be a big bonus.

Oooops, before you get your hands in position, find some really, really beautiful music. Something that touches you. It can have words but make sure it is a bit ambient, & a lot uplifting.  Loop it if you can & sit for at least 11 minutes.

Stay with your heart: feel your fingers touching your skin. Imagine the surface of your heart being smoothed out, like beautiful linen sheets on a gorgeous bed.

The beauty in you is your spirit.

Lift off.

Technically this kundalini kriya takes away the fears of the future which have been created by your subconscious memories of the past. It will force you to deal with your Heart Center.

I have been practicing it daily for the last two weeks & what I have been experiencing is, yes, a transcendence, perhaps from fear but it feels more like a wide angle lens, an all-encompassing, expansive world view:

seeing everything
way past the physical horizons
seeing past all the mercury retrogrades
& super full moons
past all the repetitive thoughts
past all the separation
past all the waiting for something to change

You should really try it.

restraint into release

Tonight I was out on my fire escape, looking at the stars & thinking about love.

In the distance I heard a child crying uncontrollably.  You know the kind of tears I am talking about: big gut-wrenching sobs, a wailing so loud that it filled the night sky.  It was not a cry of pain or of abuse, it appeared to be a cry of despair & huge frustration, an open-ended cry.  I could hear other children there playing happily, so I wasn’t worried necessarily but the cry went through every cell in my body nonetheless.

I remembered a job I had a million years ago in a group home for severely traumatized teenage girls.  To say it was a highly charged environment is of course a huge understatement.  I was an Activities of Daily Living teacher, guiding the girls in hygiene, relationship skills, cooking & caring for their personal things, what it meant to be alive, which was something no one had ever taught them.

Everyone that worked at the school ~ every teacher, social worker, every custodian, cooks and aide ~ was trained in a specific kind of language with the girls.

The question most often asked, “Are you safe today?”

Safe essentially meant: Are you making good choices? Are you paying attention to the world around you? Are you taking care of yourself?

We did our best to teach them what this meant.  Since they had been neglected & abused their whole lives, this was a mammoth job.

Of course, shit happened.  It didn’t take much for things to escalate, for all taught methods of safety to go flying out the window. Violence often occurred.

As staff, we were also trained in Restraint: a technique of getting the girls to the floor, immobilized.  It wasn’t easy.  These girls were big, their anger wild. The technique we were taught had a few facets but the main thing was this ~ we would lay on top of them & press our full weight, in a nonsexual way, into them. Sometimes it took 2 or 3 of us. And we would talk to them. Repetitively.

You are safe. It’s ok. We are here.

Sometimes it took hours, but sooner or later, the thrashing broke, like a fever.

Whoosh.  Release.

Palpable. Surrender.

What had been restraint became being held.

It never ceased to bring me to tears, this moment. It brought me to tears because the wave moved through all of us.  It was all of our release.

These last couple of years has been this kind of big squeeze for me, the universe (substitute your own word here) has been pressing it’s full weight into us.

We fight back. We rail.

And then somewhere, a voice: I am here. You are safe. You are held. It’s ok.

I hear it. You hear it. It is real. It is what we have been looking for.

Coming home.

I’m not sure it needs to be as arduous as it has been, but it’s all we have, no reason to shame yourself for the struggle at this point.

Even if it feels like a lot of work, it’s worth it.

learning to see/ learning to pray

It’s snowing today in NYC.

I am holed up in my new favorite spot to write Nimba Cafe in Crown Heights, where my beloved assistant & dear friend Shelby & I like to sit around & over-caffeinate, love the present & dream about the future.

Today I am thinking about seeing.

About a month ago, I lost my last contact lens.  Those of you who wear contact lenses know that moment when you can’t get any new lenses until you get a new exam . . & being still somewhat temporarily in NYC & my eye doctor still being somewhere remote . . & being in the endless Mercury retrograde ~

I just started wearing my glasses . . sometimes . . . &, also, just going without for extended periods of time.

Kinda bizarre.

What has happened has been amazing.

I often don’t realize I can’t ‘see’ though I am seriously near-sighted. There are days where I feel like I am seeing perfectly. (Don’t worry, I am not driving).

This all reminds me of the words of the African healer/teacher Malidoma Patrice Somé. He went to a Catholic boarding school for 12 years, was sent aways from his village. When he returned home, he found it strange that although they had natural ways of making things bright at night, they would often choose not to.  He told the elders about the wonders of electricity.

What the elders answered was “We turn off the lights so we can see.”

They explained that If they lit their lights, they wouldn’t be able to see.

“You can’t see anything real in the daylight,
you can only see what you want to see.
When you turn the lights off in the night,
you can see what wants to be seen,
which is a whole other story.”

I am about to start a very special 2 week writing & meditation practice: Learning to Pray ~ 14 days of written, video or audio love prompts & calm perspective focusing on new ways of seeing ~ letting the messages of the spirit & the unknown come to you & asking for spontaneous, fluid, honest responses.

You can read more about the practice here.
Or you can just sign up here.

with Kathe Izzo