Today, I pose a simple question for you. Before you read on, take a short pause. Place your left hand on your heart, and rest your right hand just below your belly. Begin to breathe very slowly… and take a moment to let this question permeate your soul:
What does it mean to live a life ON FIRE?
Notice any sensations or feelings you may be experiencing. Close your eyes and reflect. I invite you to take a moment to write down any words, thoughts, ideas, or pictures that came to your mind.
The Dreamer, the Lover and the Fighter
As a young girl, I dreamt about all the beautiful things. So many dreams were nestled inside my young girl heart. Sometimes it felt like my life was too small for the great big dreams that existed within me.
I dreamt about writing. And so, I became a writer. I wrote poetry, short stories and dramatic journal entries. Putting words to paper felt so natural for me. It felt like a safe space for me to say all the things I wanted to say. It brought out the artist and the creator within me. It made me feel alive and free. So, I wrote. No one told me I had to earn my ‘writer-hood’. All I had to do was write.
I dreamt about being a dancer and a singer. Some of my most treasured memories include bringing my sisters or the kids I babysat together and choreographing dance routines. I wanted the people I loved to be passionate about the things I loved. I became quite the dance drill sergeant. But, can I just say…our dance routines were pretty amazing! I mean, I’m kinda proud of myself. I orchestrated it all without any teaching experience. I had no fear. All I had was a sense of confidence and passion for the beautiful things in life.
I sang and danced my heart out to many a Whitney Houston or Cyndi Lauper song!
I have a vivid memory of one particular dance routine we choreographed and performed at a family camping trip to a favorite song, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. I have an ocean of memories of bringing together my siblings, cousins, neighbors and friends together. I was not afraid to gather people to watch us perform. I wanted the people I loved to be passionate about what I loved. And I loved LIFE!
I was created from love. I was raised in a home where love was present. Love was instilled in me from a very young age. I witnessed a special love between my parents. Their love was unique. I was a curious girl. I loved sneaking into my mom’s room to look at her jewelry and perfumes. Her jewelry box was filled with all sorts of treasures. One day, as I was looking through some of her things, I found a love note she had written to my dad. I do not remember the words in that letter, but I remember the way it made me feel. It was the first time I saw my mom in a new light. She wasn’t just a mom. She was a woman in love. She was a sensual, passionate woman. I did not know how to feel about it then, because it was my mom. I can now see what a gift it was to have a mother who was deeply in love. My dad was the recipient of her sweet love, and what a lucky guy! Together, they did their very best to teach me about love.
Unfortunately, we live in a culture where we receive so many mixed messages.
These messages can feel confusing and conflicting. While I had a good example of love from my parents, I felt confused about the mixed messages I was receiving from various places about love and sexuality.
I always held onto the hope that someday I’d experience a special kind of love. After all, I was a romantic at heart!
To this day, I can recite nearly all the words, slightly butchered, of any Journey or Chicago love song. I love sad songs, happy songs, and songs that make me wanna dance! I love people, I love Nature, and I love LIFE! Even during my darkest moments, love is what keeps me going. When all else feels lost, love remains.
I was a fighter. I fought for the people and the ideas I believed in. I fought with my siblings, and I fought with my friends. I had opinions and ideas, and I wanted to be heard. When someone told me I wasn’t good at something, I didn’t give up.
I kept trying. I never gave up on doing things I felt passionate about.
If I love someone or something enough, I’ll fight for it. It’s just who I am. This fight in me has carried me through cancer, the loss of my faith, the ending of my marriage, job loss, and ultimately an existential crisis.
As a young girl, I did what I wanted to do. I followed my heart. I loved hard, and I fought fiercely. My dreams became my reality.
Although I could not name this emotion back then, I lived with a deep sense of passion. This fire within my heart and soul is what inspires me to live with a sense of purpose. My passion inspires my creativity. It keeps me dreaming; it keeps me loving; and it keeps me fighting.
Passion is depicted in a painter’s work. Passion is immeshed in books & poetry. Passion is felt in every good love song.
Artists spend their lives exploring this burning feeling within. I believe that each of us has an artist within.
The artist comes alive when we live with a sense of passion.
Life becomes an experiment.
Life becomes our canvas.
PASSION IS THE FIRE & EMOTION THAT LIVES WITHIN US ALL…
We are born with it! As we mature, we learn to channel it. We rediscover it over and over again as we journey through this life. As we let go of the need for plans and live with a sense of open-heartedness, the unexpected can show up in our lives.
The realization that I am a passionate woman has allowed me to open my heart to new life and new love again. It brought me into the arms of a passionate, open-hearted man who is also a dreamer, a lover and a fighter.
Today, I feel grateful to have found love again and to be in a new kind of partnership. Dave loves me from the inside out. He loves all the parts of me. He holds space for all my moods and emotions. I love his passion and love for life. I feel completely free with him. I am experiencing the kind of love I dreamt about as a young girl. The dream never died.
A couple Sundays ago, Dave and I joined some dear friends for a Sunday afternoon of adventure in Sacramento. It was a beautiful day filled with synchronistic moments! We ate delicious food, met beautiful strangers, shared stories of love, and enjoyed the artistic murals of Midtown. We came upon a particular mural which really caught my eye. I was mesmerized with its beauty and what it symbolized to me.
This mural is so expressive. It depicts many emotions-fear, courage, strength, pain, purpose, and hope. To me, this beautiful piece of art represents a strong, passionate woman who seems to have a burning fire in her heart. I see a woman who is on her way to becoming free.
There is nothing more beautiful for me to witness a woman who is strong and free. A woman who is healing. A woman who knows how to stay in the fire. A strong woman who is not afraid to feel. A woman living life from a state of PASSION and PURPOSE. A woman on fire. A HUMAN on fire!
STAY IN THE FIRE
In a yoga practice, a teacher will often call the student to a difficult pose. The student is asked to breathe deeply and slowly. Awareness of the breath is what guides a student’s practice and allows them to stay in a pose. The teacher will ask the student to hold the pose.
The student will stay in the pose for a period of time, longer than they’d like to. And in this challenge, the student discovers their strength. Then, they begin to move through the rest of their practice, flowing and free.
The Body is Water
The practice of Yoga is a metaphor for life. Often, in life, we are called to do something hard. Life asks us to “stay in the fire.” When we do, we discover how strong we are. And when it is time to move, we become enveloped with passion and purpose. Life becomes a dance. We flow with the current, in a more natural way. We become like water.
Wheels keep on turnin’, turnin’
I recently finished a course in my Yoga Therapy program called Subtle Anatomy. This was a favorite course for me. I love studying the human body. It truly is miraculous. I especially loved learning about the more subtle aspects of the human body. There is a mysteriousness to the energy body.
We dove deep into the study of the chakras. Chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit and refers to energy points in the body. There are seven chakras in the body. They are thought to be like whirling, spinning wheels or vortexes of energy and light. They correspond to bundles of nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical well-being. Connected through channels that flow up and down our spines, the chakras infuse vitality to every facet of our being. The practices and modalities of Yoga help us open and energize the individual chakras.
The Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana) is the second of the seven main chakras of the body. It is located below the navel in the pelvic area. The sacral chakra is associated with emotion, creativity, sensuality and the ability to experience pleasure. Its corresponding emotion is PASSION. Those who are well balanced in this chakra have harmony in their relationships.
The element associated with this chakra is water.
Energy needs to move! People living in this chakra crave movement. When this energy center is blocked, we can feel numb, stagnant and uninspired. When this energy center is open, we feel inspired, creative, expressive, sensual and embodied. We feel alive.
We flow, like WATER.
Yoga heals us from the inside out.
Take another moment to reflect. Do you feel numb, uninspired or stuck in any way? This happens to me too. Today, I’d like to share a few of my favorite “Yoga Snacks.” These simple ideas and tips can activate your sacral chakra.
- Dance, like no one is watching. Any type of dance style that focuses on hip movements works. Put some good music on and just dance!
- Open your hips. The hips are the most powerful joints of the body. Hip openers are a great way to release blocked energy. The hips don’t lie!
- Connect with nature. Swim in the ocean, sit by the river, walk in the rain. Be like water.
- Soak it all up. Take a warm bath with some epsom salt or essential oils. Indulge your senses.
- Flowers are happiness. Walk to a flower shop or just around your neighborhood. Notice. Pick or purchase yourself some scented, colorful flowers!
- Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes. Quiet your mind. Write down words or images that come to you. Practices like the one at the beginning of this post are helpful and inspire creative thoughts. Let it flow out of you.
- Take yourself out for a sweet treat. Savor every bite. Date yourself.
- Make love. Take time to explore your sensuality with the one you love. Don’t rush it. Slow down. Feel what it feels like to be in your beautiful sensual body.
- Go outside in the sunlight. Do a simple sun salutation. Be embodied with energy and light.
- Create. Paint, draw, bake, etc. You choose. Let it be messy, and let it be fun. Unlock your creative potential within!
Finding the Fire Within
I recently had the opportunity to share my story. I share the raw and the real. When we share moments of our suffering and our joy, we feel connected with each other on a deeper level. I would be honored to have you watch or listen to this authentic and intimate conversation among friends.