Friday, October 30, 2015

Everything I Need to Know About How to BE, I Learned in The Redwood Forest

I was unexpectedly blessed with a trip to the magnificent Redwood Forest last weekend.  OMG. I am going to attempt to recreate and share with you my experience.  If it resonates, may you be blessed to get your Self there for your own experience.  

I don’t know about you, but Im a tree-lover, climber, hugger…have been my entire life.  I am also a lover of nature and beauty.  I see things, I can’t even help it, nor do I want to.  I’m that person that interrupts with, “Squirrel”, “Beautiful sunset!!”, “Deer!!” I have been fortunate to travel around the world and experience some of the most beautiful places on spaceship Earth.  The Redwoods are now at the top of my list.  For me, if Heaven had a vibe, it would be The Avenue of the Giants. If you are familiar with David Hawkins, Power vs. Force, you may know something about calibration (a number assigned to the energy/emotion of a particular person, event, book, etc.)  For example, shame resonates the lowest, coming in at a 20 and enlightenment at 1000, with love at 500 and peace at 700, suffice it to say, I have no doubt, this spot resonates well around 700+.  It literally feels like my conception of whatever Heaven would feel like.  

Interestingly enough, the day and evening prior, were spent in the contrast of downtown San Fransisco where we were surrounded by homeless, mental illness, great wealth, extreme poverty, crime and the smell of urine in the air.  The vibe of ‘survival of the fittest’, desperation, desire, scarcity, inauthenticity, and fear were palpable.  In fact, it was so over-whelming for our sensitive Souls, that we retired early to get an early morning jump start on our 5 hour drive to commune with the trees.  

Upon our entrance to the area, we were struck with the enormity of the trees and beauty of our simple drive.  As we pulled over and entered what was the most sacred grove of trees I’d ever been in, I literally dropped to my knees.  I was overcome with their tremendous presence.  I’m sure no less overcome than I would have been had I seen a host of heavenly angels lurking within—seriously.  The energy was so completely pure, so contrasting to the experience we’d had the prior evening in the city.  It was all-consuming, you could not walk in and come out unaffected.  

As is normal of my 5 year old inner-Self, when confronted with such a delightful sight, I get giddy, I cant stop oohing and ahhing.  My phone is in instant camera mode and I am taking pictures and snap-chatting to all of my friends, clients and loved ones, picture after picture of every tall tree, fallen tree, sunlight peeking through branches, ground-cover and moss.  I’m doing yoga on the stumps, looking for fairies, peeing in the woods, jumping off of huge logs, pulling off pieces of tree to smell, putting ferns, clover and pieces of dead wood in my pockets to carry home with me and share :)

It truly is the desire of my lil girl heart, to share the beauty of the world that I see with everyone.  A favorite saying of mine is, “Don’t miss the show!!”  What I mean by that is, EVERYTHING is a show!!  EVERYTHING wants to be seen, heard, felt and experienced;  to be known.  I believe it is the deepest desire of ourSelves, to be known by ourSelves!!! WHO ARE YOU?!?!? What beauty lies within your magnificent Soul? 

We also want to be seen by the other—to be acknowledged by another human, animal, tree or entity,  that they see the Divinity within us, that the lies and programming of our not being enough are an illusion, that we are not our past, we are not what happened to us, we are not the shitty things we may have done, we are not our addictions, short-comings, perceived failures, bad behaviors or personal appearance.  Under all of that, is the Truth of you.  You are a Divine Being of Light.  You are peace.  You are joy.  You are whole.  DON’T MISS THE SHOW!!   Its all around you…in every leave, critter, sunset, moon-rise, and in every challenge, loss, and heart-break.  There is a SHOW of beauty, of grace, and of the indomitable Spirit in every moment.

Back to the Redwoods.  After my great ‘show’ of exuberance, I finally take a deep breath.  I allow the energy to permeate my Be-ing.  I wander off by mySelf.  I walk for a while, respecting the deep quiet of this sacred space. I inhale my most favorite scent, that of the woods and pine trees.  I grew up in Maine, the Pine Tree State.  There was a row of giant pines that separated my grandparents home, from my cousins, next door.  I spent the majority of my days playing in the woods and climbing trees, not far from our back yard.  I have always felt at home in the woods; trees are my friends.  I had favorites, like I do people.  In this sacred grove, I am over come with gratitude to be experiencing this holy place, to be out of the hustle and bustle of the city, to be away from some of the personal drama in my own life and to be rejuvenating my own Soul in this majestic place.  

As I meander these adorable little paths, I find a tree that looks inviting to sit on.  My exuberance has shifted to that deep stillness, reverence and awe one would feel upon encountering Christ or arriving at some great mecca. I assure you, I would feel no different in the presence of Angels.  Trees are known as ‘the great wisdom keepers’ of our planet.  These tress are thousands of years old.  ”The wisdom they must contain is immense, vast, incomprehensible”, I think to mySelf.  I no sooner have that thought, than a more true thought is inserted into my mind, “You are the same, Miss.  You too, contain the wisdom of the ages. Through all your lifetimes of study and experience, you too are everything you see and feel here. You are just like these majestic trees.”

With even more reverence, I assume my usual meditation position of half lotus and hands up to receive.  I get the memo to turn my hands over and place them below me to the tree upon which I sit.  Immediately an energy courses through my veins, and again I am overwhelmed and take a breath into, and adjust to this new frequency.  I have the thought that everything I need to know about how to BE, I can learn right here in this place. I want to absorb and embody everything I am feeling here on a cellular level such that I may recall it, presence it, be it and share it. 

Then I have the thought to do a chakra meditation and blessing of sorts to anchor in this energy in every way.  Let me say something here, I believe anyone with good intentions can bestow a blessing upon us and that we can intend a blessing for ourSelves.  I don’t believe that you have to have some ordained priest or minister lay their hands on your head, travel to India, or that you have to be a man to do so—how ludicrous. So, I begin my meditation and it goes something like this:

Beginning with my first chakra, my root, Mulhadara in Sanskrit, I presence the end of my tailbone area.  I connect with the grounding  energy of the earth beneath me and the tree on which i sit.  I feel the safety of being in the womb. I feel the protection of the enormous Redwoods.  I smell the scent of pine and earth. I say/bless, “May I be strong, stable and grounded like the roots of these trees.  May I feel the beautiful grounding connection with Mother Earth that is always present.  May I always feel the safety, protection and nurturing of this sacred grove."  (These words in parenthesis to follow, are ancient chants/mantras associated with each chakra I describe prior. Simply chanting them brings those particular chakras into alignment and resonance.) ((( LAM ))) 

Moving up to my second chakra, my sacral area, Swadishtana in Sanskrit.  I think about the feeling of this place.  I feel alive.  Every sense is heightened. I feel an energetic vibrancy rich with possibility. I can almost taste the air it is so rich with oxygen and nutrients.   I bless, “May I always treat my sexuality as sacred as this sacred grove.  If the experience is not rooted in the sacred, may I choose out.  May I honor my feelings and remember the energy of this place to transform any negativity to that of neutrality or love. May I be blessed with and open to the stream of creativity that is always flowing.  May I give birth to my most noble projects with effortless ease."  ((( VAM )))

Moving up to my third chakra, my seat of power, Manipura in Sanskrit. I connect to the tremendous strength of these sentinels that have stood for thousands of years. I sense what fortitude it would take to stick around that long. The clarity of knowing who they are and the nobility and grace that exudes. I see their beauty and authenticity.  I bless,  “May I align myself with the power and strength of these enormous trees.  May I embody the majesty and nobility exuded here, that I may lead with grace, humility and surety.  May I stand firm in my convictions, with confidence and uprightness.”   ((( RAM )))
Moving up to my fourth chakra, heart chakra, Anahata, in Sanskrit.  I think about how judgmental I can be. I notice how much my Being has revered these trees from the moment I laid eyes on them.  I think of my great exuberance and joy to be in their presence.  I am touched by the generosity of their giving; the overwhelming love and acceptance I feel. I say, “May I greet all sentient beings with the same awe, wonder and reverence that I have paid these trees.  May I see only Divinity in all beings.  May my heart be open to love and accepting of all that is.”  ((( YUM )))

On to my fifth chakra, my throat chakra, Vishuda in Sanskrit. I notice the abundance all around me.  There is no scarcity of trees, leaves, ground cover or fresh air.  The purity and authenticity of nature is breath-taking. There is no artifice here. I can hear the immense quiet.  I imagine, bringing any question or challenge to this space and the answer is instant. Anything that is not true and real, would fall away.  Negativity could not exist in this energy. I say/bless:  “May I stand tall like these trees and  speak my truth with conviction, grace and humility.  May I be blessed with abundance and affluence in all my creative endeavors.  May I be blessed with the gift of discernment for my greatest good and that of others. May the words from my mouth, edify and uplift all those in my presence.”  ((( HUM)))
Moving on to the sixth chakra, my sixth sense, third eye, Ajna in Sanskrit.  I notice that my intuition feels great clarity here, there is no noise to distract.  Inner-knowing is effortless and comes naturally.  My purpose is given wings to fly through vitalized vision. I bless, “May my third eye be touched by these wisdom keepers, that I may know wisdom.  May I be blessed with intuition for mySelf and those I guide.  May I be a clear channel to receive the Light that I may share it with others.  May my dreams and visions be brought from the unmanifest into material form. May I tap into the wisdom of the ages through accessing that still place within mySelf.”  ((( SHUM )))

And finally ending with the seventh chakra, crown chakra, the thousand petaled lotus, Sahaswara in Sanskrit.  I notice the stillness and consciousness present is palpable.  I feel like I am swimming in a sea of pure-potentiality, pure awareness, pure divinity.  All is possible in this place.  I notice how straight and tall these Redwoods stand and how they are always looking up and seeking the Light.  I feel their majesty and great nobility as if they are Ascended Masters incarnate. I bless, “May I remain open to the Divine and my higher-Self.  May I effortlessly access that place that is within each one of us, where we are all one and separation is but an illusion.  May my Soul be fed and nourished by the infinite cosmos. May I live in a state of grace and enlightenment.”  ((( OM )))

The Universe is always talking to us…are you listening? Everything is a show? Are you seeing? We all are beautiful, majestic, noble beings just like these angelic Redwoods.  Do you feel it? Do you know that the truth of you is beauty?  That the truth of you is peace? That the truth of you is Divine? We too, grow forever.  Our souls are ever-evolving.  Within us lies the wisdom of the ages.  All you need to do is be still, like the forest.  Go within.  Tune in.  Just be.  Listen. Be open.  Share.  And Shine-on, Shine-on, beautiful, majestic peeps!!  Tree-Huggers unite!!

~Laurie Frazier
Maven of Moksha

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

Monday, October 12, 2015

Navaratri, Celebrating the Goddess

October 13th-22nd marks yet another of my favorite ‘holy’ days.  This particular one is from India & Nepal.  It is called Navratri also known as Navarartri.  It is celebrated 4 times a year, more traditionally, two. Once in the spring and the most significant one, is in the fall, and is simply called Maha Navaratri, meaning the Great Navaratri.  It coincides with the lunar calendar, so it falls on different days each year. 

The word Navaratri means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. It is the celebration of the goddess in all of her forms.  During these nine nights, it is believed that the Divine Feminine, descends to the Earth plane and the Mother Goddess manifests herself in warrior form to destroy the dark forces that harm humans and threaten the existence of goodness and righteousness on this planet. 

In many traditions, she is not simply a vibration or frequency. She is a mega-divine female, the Mother Divine. The counterpart of God the Father, creatress of the phenomenal world. In order to access her you must remain alert, tune in, be aware. 

The ancient seers/rishis of India identified Navratri as the time for the destruction of evil forces. Each year during Navratri, the Goddess descends to awaken the Earth from a deep slumber and to destroy all types of evil. These ‘evil forces’ are known as: sickness, negativity, laziness, poverty and ignorance.  This could all sound like some cute mythological Hindu fairy-tale to us simple Westerners. Or—

What if it were a time, to be conscious and awaken yourself to your own negativity, self-sabotage, and small playing ways?  What if you could use the love and compassion of the Divine Feminine aspect to shine the Light on all of your dark places and activate the Warrior Goddess, Kali, to wield her sword of truth, to show you that which is toxic in your life? To flesh out that which is no longer serving you and simply let go of some of your own darkness?

It appears that the goddess has long been forgotten in our modern, industrial, patriarchal society and is no longer a living presence for people as it once was in ancient cultures.  The Goddess is the invisible Divine power and energy that sustains life and exists in both men and women of receptivity, nurturing, vulnerability, beauty, fertility, prosperity, joy, intuition, community. The Goddess Archetypes bring everything that is enjoyable into this world. Hindu’s believe, and I concur, that when our connection to Her is weak, we suffer financially, physically, mentally and emotionally. Makes sense to me.  When we are lacking that Feminine aspect of ourSelves, life becomes all work and doing and no play. It is harsh, opposed to the softness, made available by the feminine.  We definitely ‘suffer’ and our lives are lacking depth without it. 

I share to simply bring awareness.  To create a discussion.  To cause you to question, where have you abandoned the goddess in your life? And where have you or would you, like to embrace the goddess more?  How could embracing more of the feminine aspect in your life, wether you are male or female, benefit you and make your life richer? 

There are three primordial forms of the goddess that are embraced and embodied during Navaratri.  They are each celebrated for three nights of the nine, beginning with: 

Durga/Kali (Goddess of Protection & Strength) protection from enemies and dark forces; warrior goddess extraordinaire, complete with belt of dismembered heads. 

Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth), giver of spiritual and material wealth, as well as good fortune, beauty and health. 

Saraswati (Goddess of Intelligence & Learning) for wisdom and right knowledge. She is the goddess of the arts, intelligence, education, music and memory. 

In order to have all-round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine feminine, hence the nine nights of worship.

I like to think about what it looks like, in our modern world to embrace each of those aspects.

I’ve written a blog on the warrior goddess.  That’s an aspect I am probably all too familiar with, and that I also wouldn’t trade for anything.  As a woman, to be able to stand up for mySelf, my loved ones and those I work with, that may not be able to do so for themselves, is an invaluable trait.  It shows up in fierce loyalty to those I love, not allowing myself to be walked on, taking charge of and accountability for my life, confidence to meet whatever life brings me and competence to manage it all.
Saraswati is another favorite.  In my life-long pursuit of wisdom, learning, and education, I have often called upon her to quickly learn and retain all that I study. Along with countless chantings of the Gayatri Mantra.  Being a great appreciator of art and music, and being a writer myself, (which I consider to fall under ‘the arts’) is also embodying Saraswati. 

Lakshmi, I’ve called her my home-girl for years.  I once had an experience while meditating of her coming to me.  Another time, while in San Diego, a woman of a friend I was staying with, just randomly shared that Lakshmi was one of my ‘guides’.  Anyway, I’ve always felt a particular affinity to this goddess.  Still searching for the perfect statue of her.  She is the bestower of fortune and wealth. Not just material wealth, but spiritual wealth, which is something I have always valued.  She is often attributed as the goddess of health and beauty, as well.  I’ve been blessed with amazing health and well, as far as the beauty part, I do my best to be that inside and out. 

I believe true beauty is a result of who you are ‘being” and radiates out from within.  Outer beauty does not necessarily relate to inner beauty, however, inner beauty always finds its way out. 

I think it’s great to study whatever goddesses appeal to you.  What are their different aspects and characteristics that you most identify with and which qualities could you use more of in your life? 

Use this time of Navaratri to do your own research on any goddesses that appeal to you or take at look at some of your Divine feminine qualities and see where you could improve, where you are doing well, and what do you want to embody moving forward.  

Here is a list, my friend Merrill Chandler, came up with for high-vibration feminine traits to get you thinking: Vulnerable, Intuitive, Creative, Inspiring, Receptive, Nurturing, Interdependent, Trusting, Collaborative, Accountable.  

Some of the low-vibe feminine traits would be: Wishy-Washy, Weak, Pushover, Dreamer, Smothering, Follower, Gullible, Compromising, Victim.   

So go get your Goddess on!!  Now is the time!! Feel free to share some of your favorite goddesses, and their traits that speak to you. Post some pics of your fave goddess or better yet, as yourSelf embodying something that speaks to you.  

Shine on, shine on, beautiful peeps!!