Spiritually Bananas

Life has been a bit off lately which has left me feeling a little less than inspired to write. On 1/29/16, my father passed away suddenly from a heart attack.  A week after the funeral, my uncle passed away from the same fate.  The first two months of 2016 have been a time of transition as my family and I settle into a new normal.

It’s also played havoc on my schedule.

Now that death has introduced itself — this is the first immediate family member to pass away — I’ve been trying to spend as much time with my one remaining parent.  After work, I visit my mom on a regular basis to make sure her needs are being met.  She’s been coping pretty well but sometimes I’m afraid she wants to give up.  I’ll blog about it in a later post.

My mom and I at the Wisteria Festival at Sierra Madre.

My mom and I at the Wisteria Festival at Sierra Madre.

I’m currently on Spring Break and the last two weeks have been a much needed time to regroup and recenter my spiritual practices.  I pressed into them a lot more recently and started to reflect on death a little bit more than usual.

I just finished the audio book of When Air Becomes Breath by Paul Kalanithi.  I don’t think I was ready to listen to a memoir that was left unfinished by a successful up and coming neuro surgeon who passed away from cancer.  It was a bit too early to early for me to delve fully into the subject.  I struggled my way through it and I wasn’t really actively listening while it played.  I’ll give it another try at a later time.

bpjm-square-1536Angelina is currently on Spring Break as well and is hiking and eating her way through Oregon.  Gosh, now that I’m blogging again, there’s a lot of interesting stories coming to mind that I’d like to share.  I recently started dating a guy who has really caught my attention…I believe he feels the same way too.  I’ll ask him if I can blog about our relationship.

Things are looking up as Spring Break comes to a close; with only two months left of the school year and glorious summer vacation on the horizon, I believe we’ll be posting a lot more spiritual stories in the future.

Spiritual Bahana and I at my recent book party.

Spiritual Bahana and I at my recent book party.

I’d like to close this post with pictures of my dad whom I miss terribly.

Rest in peace dad!

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That's me in the middle, hiiiii!!

That’s me in the middle, hiiiii!!

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Mantra Monday: “I Honor My Connection to the Universe.”

The crown chakra is associated with being connected to a higher power. You can choose to sub in God, the Divine, my Inner Wisdom or any word/entity that better resounds within your soul. The Universe is what makes most sense for me. I feel that it covers all beings, nature and celestial entities.

Deficiencies in the crown chakra are associated with a lack of connection, skepticism or confusion. Excess energy in the crown chakra can manifest itself in hyper-spiritualization and a lack of grounding in the real world.

Forced religiosity and a lack of questioning or exploration of spirituality can also throw the crown chakra out of alignment. For myself, I believe my crown chakra has always been seeking a type of connection, but it did not find it until I became an adult. I was not finding it in church while growing. I had so many questions and things being taught were not adding up to me. For a few years in my early adulthood, I tried to shut my crown chakra off completely and deny any connection with a higher power or spirituality. In the past few years, I have been working to re-establish that connection in new ways, which sparked the development of this blog.

I chose lotus pose (padmasana) to work on my crown chakra. Lotus pose is both grounding and lifting. Sitting in the stillness of meditation with the intent to listen and connect opens up the crown chakra. Meditation is what has helped me establish and explore my connection the Universe, the Divine, God and my Inner Wisdom.


Mantra Monday: “I Manifest My Vision”

The third eye chakra is located at the center of the forehead, between the eyebrows. It is associated with intuition, wisdom and higher knowledge. If the third chakra is off balance, illusions, anxiety and over-thinking can occur. This can manifest itself physically through vision problems and headaches.

This is my most out of control chakra. My throat chakra is the one that is naturally most closed and I have done so much work in opening. My third eye chakra is often far too open and I need to ground it back down.

I have been studying Anodea Judith’s book Eastern Body Western Mind over the past year, to slowly digest and understand the chakras. I definitely recommend this book if the chakras are of interest to you and you want more information. The thought of “illusions” felt a bit esoteric to me and I did not see how I was experiencing them in my own life. However, Judith describes illusions as the “SHOULDS” we tie to our egos. I should myself to death. I obsess, stress and become anxious of what I think I should be doing, who I think I should be or how I think I should look or act. It’s no wonder I have both vision problems and migraines.

I have also realized and prided myself in being a great judge of character, perceptive and intuitive and possessing a great degree of empathy. My impressions are generally spot on and I have a natural thirst for higher knowledge.

My third eye chakra is strong, but sometimes too strong. I need to work on grounding it down, and balancing it through meditation.

This chakra is about manifesting your visions, it’s about shifting your intuition and wisdom into action to meet goals and achieve unlimited potential. Judith discusses the notion of vision in her book by asking the readers to think about the information they take in visually. If we are seeking to manifest a certain vision, what are we feeding ourselves visually? This has been great for me to reflect upon as I think about who and how much I look at social media or choose to focus/obsess upon.

I chose eagle pose (garudasana) to work on my third eye chakra. The foot that is connected to the earth needs to be firmly planted and rooted. The legs and the arms are intertwined with their opposite limb. The breath must be flowing consciously and freely to maintain balance. The hips are sinking back, but the arms and crown of the head are lifting up. There is both the sense of grounding down and lifting up. So much focus goes into staying balanced in this pose and when my focus is on my breath and body, it isn’t on whatever petty thing it was obsessing on before I came into my practice.

If I can breath while literally being all twisted up in this pose on my yoga mat, can I do the same thing when I am off my yoga mat?

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