My Inner Mystic

reflections and insight into my healing, transformation, and journey of the heart <3

Category Archives: inspiration

Light Born OF and TO Dark

Today, December 21, is the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. Today is also my dad’s birthday. Growing up I remember my dad referring to his birthday as the “shortest day of the year.” As a kid, I thought that meant there was less time in the day. I don’t know at what point growing up or even as a young adult that I realized that the Winter Solstice has the fewest daylight hours and minutes, that the sun rises later and sets earlier on this day than any other day of the year. And now I understand that the Winter Solstice is not only the shortest day, but also the longest night.

Late this last summer I had an “ah-hah” moment, a revelation, that I am light born OF and TO dark. My dad, who passed away almost 5 years ago this coming March, was a contracted soul – he was a very angry and abusive man. He lashed out with his hands and his words. I have a fire in me that gave me courage to stand up to my dad, to look the monster in the eye when he was full of rage, and when I did, I saw hate stewing in my dad’s eyes.

My dad was a very physically strong man most of his life. He was a championship wrestler in high school, college, and for the US Navy. He was both proud of the fact that he wrestled for a spot on the US Olympic team, beating his opponent twice, and sad that his loss the third time cost him a spot on the team. My dad used his strength and formidable presence to hurt people, especially with his angry words. My dad was a scary man and I learned years later, that the kids I played with growing up were afraid of my dad. Adults were afraid of my dad too.

memorial service photos

The last 10 years or so of my dad’s life, his strength and his mind began to fade. He fought and resisted his decline, trying so hard to hold on, suffering through the nasty effects of muscular dystrophy. He died as a relatively young man at the age of 65. I feel and believe that in his passing, in his return to Source, that my dad has returned to the light and is no longer a contracted soul.

A universal teaching in many spiritual traditions says that we are made of light, that we are emanating light (measurable now through science, or so I’ve heard from my yoga teachers). I had a coca leaf reading in Peru this last summer and the wise and old Quechua healer who read my leaves said to me, “you are light.” I smiled hearing this, experiencing a moment of affirmation; I also smiled because I was hearing this familiar teaching in yet another tradition. I discovered this truth for myself, that I am light, one year ago during a light meditation when my spiritual and heart essence name, “Bright Joy,” came to me in a vision. Where my dad was dark and lived in darkness, I am light and chose to live in the light.

How do I live in the light?

I live with intention and my intentions are to be conscious and awake in my words and my actions; to be self-aware – to see my thoughts, my feelings, my words, and my actions with clarity and discernment; to speak skillfully in ways that are non-harming to others, that instead invite connection and evoke warmth; to act and be in this world in ways that are gracious and pure of heart (not selfish or greedy or jealous or resentful); to experience the world and others from a spacious place (to not judge or evaluate or condemn); to be kind and compassionate toward others and myself; to grow, expand, and deepen my capacity to love others and myself; to be generous with my love, to give without selfish motivation or expectations.

This week I’ve been reading, “Celestially Auspicious Occasions,” by Donna Henes, for inspiration for a Winter Solstice ceremony I am leading this evening. She writes, “The Winter Solstice is an anniversary celebration of creation” and represents “The Great Uterine Darkness.” At the Winter Solstice the sun stands still in its retreat in a pregnant pause and from the darkness light is birthed forth.

This idea of the sun standing still in a pregnant pause, of light being birthed from The Great Uterine Darkness, got me thinking back to my revelation that I am light born OF and TO dark. I started to think about my birth date in relation to my dad’s birth date and I began to wonder about my conception date. I had a hunch that I was very likely conceived on my dad’s birth date, on the Winter Solstice. I checked out a few websites with birth date-conception date calculators and guess what??? I WAS CONCEIVED ON THE WINTER SOLSTICE (or within days of December 21, but definitely during the pregnant pause of the sun).

I am the spark of life and light that was created by my father’s darkness in the great uterine darkness of my mother’s womb. I was born in the early afternoon on September 10 when the sun was shining high in the sky and when the moon was still bright and full. I am light born OF and TO dark. I was given the name Bobbi Jean, named after my dad, Robert Eugene.  Yet…I am BRIGHT JOY.

baby bobbi jean & dad

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HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!!! May you take time out today to honor the light within and welcome back the light without.

Loving from the Inside OUT

The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. ~ Diane von Fürstenberg

The calendar tells us that today is a day for love, a day to celebrate love, specifically romantic love.  Instead of celebrating romantic love, I am choosing to celebrate self love because I truly believe that loving others starts with loving ourselves.  The more love we give to ourselves, the more love we have to give to others and the more we love from a place of abundance.

I have been conceptualizing self love through symbols.  Last weekend I was immersed in a yoga teacher training weekend.  We were discussing The Yogic Life and one of my teachers, Bianca, drew this diagram for the group to illustrate this concept.

relationship to self

relationship to self

I was feeling a wee bit troubled that that top triangle was so small in relation to the whole, that in this diagram, the life affirming practices one does to cultivate a positive relationship with oneself was small in comparison.  Sure, our relationship with ourselves is foundational and informs how our lives unfold, but if we wish to grow positive feelings toward ourselves, I think many would agree that we certainly improve how we feel about ourselves and have a better relationship with ourselves when we increase our life affirming practices.

What do life affirming practices look like?  Yoga.  Meditation.  Mindfulness.  Time in Nature.  Sacred Ritual.  Connection and Communion with others who share our values/passions/beliefs.  Therapy (mental health, physical, massage).  A slow, leisurely walk.  Gazing at the Stars.  Enjoying a cup of tea.  Lighting a candle.  Playing with kids.  Volunteering.  Gardening.  Cooking.  Sharing a meal with loved ones.  Singing.  Dancing.  Retreat. . .

I was turning Bianca’s diagram around in my mind and re-conceptualizing it when this wave of geometrical inspiration/insight flowed through me.

BALANCE

BALANCE

I continued to play from this place of balance.  What I discovered in shifting and re-framing the diagram was a symbol for sattvic love.

sattvic love

sattvic love ❤

Sattva, the “highest” of the three gunas (strands of existence, primordial energy), is one of my favorite Sanskrit words and its meanings include tranquility, peace, and happiness.  Energetically, sattva is luminous light. Here I have to pause and marvel at my own “genius” / intuitive wisdom.  Luminous light and love…this is *exactly* what I wrote about in “Maui Magic = LOVE.”   In my symbol, I saw an energetic play of sattva; I saw balance, harmony, love.

My contemplation of symbols representing love continued throughout the weekend.  I began to think about love through the symbol for infinity.  What I saw taking shape is something I call the rebound of love, the idea that the energy we send out travels back to us.

the rebound of love <3

the rebound of love ❤

I believe our inner dynamic shapes the outer dynamics of our lives.  Do we treat ourselves with kindness and compassion?  If we have difficulty offering ourselves kindness and compassion, how can we offer this to others genuinely and from a place of authenticity?  If we are impatient and irritable with ourselves, those we interact with are likely to be met with impatience and irritability.  The laws of attraction illuminate that “like attracts like.”  If we are angry and irritable inside and out, we are likely to attract angry and irritable people into our lives.  However, if we are kind, loving, giving, and caring toward ourselves (and others), we are more likely to attract kind, loving, giving, and caring people into our lives.  This is one way we experience an energetic rebound, by attracting someone into our life that mirrors our inner and outer being.

Another way we experience an energetic rebound is to use the loving energy we have cultivated within to shift an interpersonal dynamic without.  I have seen this play out in several relationships in my life.  Over time I have cultivated love and warmth in relationships that were previously difficult and because of this difficulty I suffered.  In places where I might have acted impatiently, I slowed down inside and breathed space into the moment and moved from a place of patience and equanimity.  I began to bring lightness and humor into our interactions.  I began to sprinkle expressions of care and affection, even if these expressions were as simple as “hey, I like your orange shirt.”  I began to infuse more love into these relationships in various forms, shades, and colors.  I showed up and continue to show up differently in relationships – from a place of loving presence.  I have begun to feel the changes.  More love and warmth and care is flowing back to me which affirms for me that we have the power to shape our lives and our relationships by first loving ourselves.

This 14th day of February, I invite you give yourself some love, to do something for yourself that is life affirming, to continue loving yourself throughout the year, and allow the love to flow / bounce back to you.

It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!
― Robert T. Kiosaki

Maui Magic = LOVE

I am shining like the Maui sun.  I am on a high.  I am in love with Maui, with my Maui pod, with life, with the stars in the sky.

I returned late Sunday night from an ePic 13 day adventure on the magical island paradise of Maui.  I spent the first week on my own and had a lot of time to contemplate the night sky and the stars.  I became curious about the stars and asked myself, “what’s a star?”  While we were watching a sunset together I asked my pod mate, Wayne, and he gave me his PhD answer which I’ll synthesize:  stars are made up of gases and the gases are drawn together by gravity.  These gases undergo an elemental transformation which produces a burst of luminous light and BAM – stars!

Last night after yoga I was sharing with my one of my favorite teachers, Denise, about my adventure in Maui.  Her theme for our classes for January and February is Heaven and Earth.  I was connecting to her theme by sharing what I had learned about the stars and BAM, a wave of insight flowed through me.

The synergy and synchronization in my Maui pod was absolutely amazing.  More than once, we’d find ourselves saying the exact same thing at the exact same time in the exact same rhythm.  I remember this happened with me and Rosh a couple of times; I remember one time we said, “I think so” in response to a query from Shayna.  We’d anticipate each other’s thoughts or after one of us shared the other would say, “I was just thinking that exact same thought!”  This happened with me and Shayna a LOT.  Talk about cosmic synchronization and subtle energy exchanges (synergy).

Chatting with Denise, I was reflecting back how stunned I was and am at the laws of attraction that were at play with our group in Maui.  I remember having this conversation with Rosh one night, expressing, “did I attract YOU or did you attract ME??”  I think he had the same answer as my teacher, Denise, “probably a bit of both.”

The whole chemistry and alchemy of the group was incredible.  I saw in each of us a reflection of each other.  Each of us is at a different place on the same spectrum of light, but clearly living in the same light.  Each of us transmits light from amazingly beautiful qualities and some of these qualities shine more brightly in some of us, but we all shine with the same light and we are all moving toward the fullness of the light and the fullness of ourselves.  That light is what brought us together, the six of us – 3 men, 3 women – just like the forces in the sky that pull the gases together to create luminous light.  The light that brought us together is LOVE ❤.

heart rock - Haleakala

RoshRosh… I love you for your larger than life personality and I am admittedly star-struck.  I love your playfulness, your ePic sense of adventure, your ballsiness, your upbeat spirit, your self-awareness, your presence, your openness, your honesty, your creativity, your passion, your hopes, your dreams, especially your dream to be a father.  I love you for the Hope you gave me.  I love you for your good vibes.  I love the cuddle bug in you and the shy, sweet guy – he’s adorable (love that guy!).  And…I love you for your fist bump! 🙂  I love you Rosh.

WayneWayne… I love the man behind the mask and veils, the guy that lets his hair down and lets loose, who has fun and smiles and laughs, the guy that allows his feelings to come to the surface and permeate his being.  I connect with that guy.  I love that you are becoming that guy more fully.  And…I love you for your generosity, your thoughtfulness, your intention, your bright mind, and for being Wayne.  I love you Wayne.

Kyra @ Coconut Glen's

Kyra… I love you for your smile, your grace and ease, your boundless energy, and your giving and loving spirit.  I love you for your strength and for your vulnerability.  I love your maturity and self-awareness.  I love the natural, gifted teacher in you.  I admire her very much.  I love you for the love you give to others, especially in the food you cook and whip up. I love you Kyra.

JoshJosh… I love you for your sweet, innocent nature, for your thoughtfulness, for your kindness, for your care for others.  I love you for your brazen courage, for your curiosity, for your desire to learn and explore, for your sense of discovery, for your vivid imagination, and most of all, for the boldness and mindfulness and freedom you are cultivating in your life.  I love you Josh.

ShaynaShayna…You are soooo beautiful, inside and out.  I love you for your spaciousness, for your flexibility, for your burgeoning health, for the nourishment you give to others with your loving, affirming, and encouraging words.  I love you for your appreciation of nature, for your humility, for your mindfulness, for your openness, and for your willingness and desire to learn from others.  I love you for your love of all beings, just as they are, for your ability to meet them right where they are and your gift to help them blossom and grow into their fullest, brightest selves.  I love you Shayna.

Bright Joy

I love you Bobbi Jean, Bright Joy, for your laugh, your courage, your tenacity, your fire, your strength, your thoughtfulness, your presence, your sensitivity, your playfulness, and your child-like spirit.  I love you for your devotion, loyalty, humility, and integrity.  I love you for your insatiable curiosity and desire to learn and grow, for your willingness and eagerness to go deep, to explore the depths of your self and the depths of relationship.  I love you for your insight, for your bright spirit.  I love you most of all for your open-heartedness.  You have been through so much and yet you stand strong, heart open.  You are an amazing being, a bright, JOYful light.  You are a gift to this world and I love you.

Maui pod

to my Maui pod, with so, so, SO much LOVE ❤

Celebrate the Day!

Today is the birthday of prize winning poet, Mary Oliver.  Happy Birthday, Mary Oliver!!

I discovered the words of Mary Oliver in a bathroom of a professional building in Fremont (one of Seattle’s neighborhoods) sometime in the last few years.  Someone had printed out the poem, “Wild Geese,” and taped it to the wall by the sinks.  This line, perhaps the most famous, resonated deeply: “Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.”

My mindfulness teacher read me the poem, “Summer’s Day,” one evening last summer after I got back from my trip to France.  She was inspired to do so after hearing my tales of how I had laid in the grass in Provence watching grasshoppers, contemplating their movements, noticing how they leap forward.  Insects, – life’s little teachers.

image borrowed from Extended Yoga

image borrowed from Extended Yoga

“Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.”

Nearly a year after my introduction to “Summer’s Day,” I serendipitously stumbled (not a literal stumble, one of those cyber stumbles) across another part of this poem, a beautiful line that spoke to my heart:  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  This line became the inspiration for my post, “Vows for the Summer Solstice.”

Mary Oliver. . . prolific in her poetry, offering so much depth and insight in her craft.  And she, who was born into this world on the 10th day of September.  She, like me.

Let us celebrate Mary Oliver by celebrating some of her wise words.

“Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.”

“…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”

“But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness, when it’s done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive. ”

“So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray.”

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”

Let’s sing and dance and CELEBRATE the day, this 10th day of September.  Happy Birthday!!

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Thank you, Brian, for your inspiration!  You are a gift to me and to this world!  I remain forever grateful that our paths crossed.  Until we meet again……

Vows for the Summer Solstice

The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

My Inner Mystic ... I vow

I vow to . . .

LOVEHONOR, CHERISHTRUST

CELEBRATEPLAY

SING & DANCESTRETCH

DISCOVER

I vow to love, honor, and cherish all beings, including myself, and to trust in their innate goodness. 

I vow to celebrate the preciousness and beauty of life. 

I vow to play, sing, and dance, to use my body joyfully and harmoniously. 

I vow to stretch myself, inside and out, always. 

I vow to discover (or simply re-discover) within myself the vast wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and truth that will guide me in this life.

In celebration of my favorite day of the year, the summer solstice, I bow to the L I G H T that shines within me and within all of us, and I salute the sun!

 Namaste!