IconographIC: Baji Day
June 28, 2020
WELCOME, SACRED SOUL. This beloved space is to explore concepts, and offer you teachings, useful practicals, guidance. The focus is on your best life, self-love, entrepreneurial growth, and your spiritual pathway. Daily happenings. Bad poetry. The occasional recipe.
I write here and have made a commitment to share quickly because otherwise, it hides perpetually in my notes. It's also just me writing, to keep the message intact and maintain energetic resonance and truth. DRAFT A. As such, there will be typos. Groan-worthy lines as I bring my mind to the ground, alter theories from high-flying concepts to practical ones. I will keep it light, truthful and decidedly useful, with implementable strategies.
All is alive, and wondering and thriving. I'm glad you're here.
I do not want a feeling of freedom today; I am completing. The distinction is important. Is freedom choice? Then today, I choose full-on-effort to get-things done. That doesn't feel ... free, exactly, except that I am choosing it, and that subtlety allows me to experience it as freedom; even though I am confined to a chair.
I am launching B.Grace Beauty, my new skin care line and next project, and have time limits, so that means many, many hours at the computer, after many hours in the lab, without as much movement and sun as I think I want. That also means that I've been on the go since yesterday night with the finishing touches on the B.Grace site, reviewing all the myriad of details ... working through the final edits and obsessing over the question: "How can I make the user experience comparable to anything in the world, something memorable and enticing?" I don't actually know if I have the answer to that yet, but just asking it is helping me refine. To think bigger about the work I'm doing.
Unrealistic pathway to something exceptional: Half-assed effort. "Maybe, eventually". Realistic: Full commitment to getting it done. I want this to be an extraordinary brand and company. That means I am researching, writing, crafting, comparing, blending, mixing, testing, trying out competitors, and leaving it be while I percolate, then coming back and refining to excellence. It's been a process, but a really important, thankful one.
I FEEL it. That softening, quieting, internal feeling in that says you are almost there, that sunrise moment when you say 'thank you God" and cast off the cliff, hoping wings will hold, and you go live with a vision and a dream. Sweet softness inside. 'It's done' is looming, and I am just about in the surrender.
My bum (butt?) is also very sore. Given I'm in this body, this feels just as relevant as anything else I'm writing at the moment. Those small, relatively minuscule dissatisfactions take on gargantuan proportions when we're in the discomfort of them, don't they? I can barely move I've been sitting so long. Stiff as anything. Back muscles stretched from my compliant shoulder-huddle, forming themselves into cement. I've got about 15 different chair poses. Circle-leg-up, crouched-on-chair, legs-out-askew, leg-back-leg forward still typing, leg-under-arm, leg-on-table, one-leg-straight-up-the-other-down. But the hours got me. And my but. You get it. I'm crunched up.
After all this work, a rest is critical. I balance, always (and teach my students this) these intense periods of effort with breakaway fun time. As such, I'll be off to the spa, five or so days from now, after a launch, for a deserved rest. And a massage, with the best massage-healer I know, a lady that trained in Istanbul, still one of my favorite cities on earth. I got to play lingerie model there at 22 for a friends new business, (I have not shared that before now) eat street foods, visit the blue Mosque, explore the dusty factories, get driven too fast down the freeway. Breathe the air. I am still craving to be involved with the afternoon markets again, with all the varied colors. Life lesson from that trip for me was, and remains, to appreciate the vibrant moment so wholeheartedly. I wish to be there again.
Sharing the site will be a joy. I am appreciative of your energy of support, your witnessing. Feeling - and I mean this so wholeheartedly, as often as people write this sort of thing — grateful. It just ... feels right. I feel an odd sense of... well, like a structural brick just got laid, removing a previously wobbly one. Like something in me can now rest. Like I got my company back, but a new, much more aligned one.
p.s. Mango just came over and breathed really smelly dog breath on me as I sit here at the computer, wanting a pat, and I am still — and possibly more so — grateful for this moment, after all this hard effort. Yay!
Almost there. To the reveal!
I just found this and fell in love with beauty of the garment, and thought I'd share. There is a continuity in the rituals surrounding national identity that feels incredibly grounding. It creates depth of roots. Shared history. While 'national pride' instills a separation, the identity that nationalism brings always bonds and connects too.
Many supporters believe that wearing Hanfu brings them a strong sense of national identity. Many universities in China have a Hanfu Society whose members wear Hanfu to celebrate traditional Chinese festivals, and they use that opportunity to introduce their Hanfu garments to others.
Posted originally by Sifu Derek Frearson, prior to me capturing it and sharing it with you.
The spiritual pathway is a varied one, with teachings and lessons that sting, others that lift. One lesson I have learned is to be wary of others promoting 'evolution'. One was around a story of the ego.
So I let go of my ego. One of the first things you hear from others is how detrimental the 'ego' is. But that ego, it covers a whole lot of things. Words, thoughts, opinions, actions rooted in desires. That naughty ego, clasping and clinging. Wanting.
Sadly, letting go of mine left me entirely and completely vulnerable to people who held onto theirs, while telling me I should have no ego. I've seen this befall others too. It's quite dangerous. Money gets lost, pathways tred upon and misdirected, health risks created. We are within the world, and the world will always offer the things it is.
So having felt the sting, and lived the cost, I am currently grabbing my ego tightly, snuggling up to it, and adoring all that it offers. I am empowering it with total free will and choice to want what it wants, amidst determination of direction and the inner call of my spirit, letting desires lead the way, matched against the spirit and connection I deem as God. I am vacillating between that 'I want' feeling and the discomfort claiming and attachment to anything will inevitably bring, and inner neutrality.
I wish that level of defence wasn't required.
I wish I'd loved myself enough to know that anyone wanting you to do something that hurts you or your safety is not someone to adhere or tend to. Not someone with any valid authority. Sadly someone using words like that - unless they're intellectually clean as a whistle - is typically wanting you to direct yourself a certain way. It is often couched in spiritual terms. "You're in ego" they say, as you seek to claim something you want, which they believe is wrong. Sometimes it's well meaning. But not always.
Breaking the habit of clutching ideals, beliefs and egoic attachments is necessary, albeit, to grow. But this should never include a removal of your rights and inner freedom, assets, desires, or personal safety.
This phrase (and others designed to influence you away from inner authority) is often leveraged as a way to method to reduce status, intellectual strength or standing.
To imply that a feeling, or mood, or state, or action, while hiding it within a cloak of superior advancement, is somehow wrong is a governance none should hold or offer themselves authority to have over others. Unless that context for this has been established, is implicitly stated and mutually agreed to, such as in a session, or with a revered teacher — who also leaves the space open for questions and disagreement.
It establishes a dominant set of rules, while using the other persons language and paradigm of reality — so they're more likely to have to agree with you, having already ascribed to a part of the story. More likely to follow your will.
If you aren't quick-witted or aware of this, or in unfamiliar territory it's easy to get caught up in it. "Do you want world change"? "Well, of course I do, they answer"."Then do this _____."
Teacher says: "Alright class, we're going on this field trip. You remember how we agreed safety is important? That means that you must wear a blue poncho and hold tight to my safety rope and only speak in blue language. And only look straight ahead. And don't pick your nose. And don't tell your neighbour if I pull your pockets out, or take your money or ... and so on. And we all agreed, because safety is important". Ready class?
If you are judging another for ego, look to the mirror of your own desires for a different state of recognition. And this goes beyond 'ego'. All have the right to their choices and direction and the preference for claiming those, including the ego that leads them there. Kindly, we assess others. and that gentleness and freedom is returned. Kindly, when we allow, the world and others have a way of righting themselves. Of growing into fuller freedom.
Further: the one not in ego will never say this to you. (unless you are conciously working on ego together). They will simply observe and allow, and witness. The wasp needs his nest, the human needs his goals, the dreamer needs their visions, the heart wants its lover, we all need the desire and the opinion to make our lives happen, to flow between acceptance and choice, love or hate, apathy or excitement, moods, feelings, 'I WANT', guiding us as a directional compass. We are not a one-dimensional note, and life cannot effectively be lived that way. All exists for a purpose.
Lovingly: People who make up their mind without any context or asking the source the entire story = foolish. Also, not extending grace where nothing but grace has been given? Not just gross, completely embarrassing and losing them credibility to anyone who is paying attention. Without all the facts, you cannot help but be misinformed and reductive, leaning on 'know-it'-all' rather than understanding and clarity. Someone doing this lacks the desire to grow beyond their own inner need to take partisan sides. I think "it's like this" (to quote my landlord, who keeps trying to make up new rules for an agreement to suit his recent moods) that we need to grow, boldly, and to do so, think we need to make others less than us, rather than meeting all with inquiry and a desire to actually understand the whole story. We take comfort in the judgement. In being the "right one". In the superior position.
Half-way truths are very convenient, but they are inevitably shaky, and we end up defending a favoured, cosseted opinion, not fact. When that opinion is taken as truth (it usually is, because teaching ourselves requires us to believe the things we think), we're leading ourselves in the wrong direction. Dancing on a bandwagon. Trekking ourselves to ruin. And looking rather foolish too, but usually, truth be told, hurting people along the way.
Village criers, get the whole, entire, enticing truth. Talk to both sides. Speak up when you have the full facts. Trust that if you want to know part of the story it will lead to a clear mind and accurate assessment.
A casual script for you: "Thank you for sharing. You don't mind if I speak to the other person too, to get their perspective?".
Further: And perhaps most importantly. Always ask the agenda of the person spreading the half-story. Are they a competitor of the person they're backstabbing? Stand to profit from only a part of the story being shared? Far from this being a skeptical mind or a doubting query that pulls you from appreciation, it allows you to assess meaning, motivation and the drivers that create our reality. You can meet them neutrally, but with a clear, articulate understanding. Then decide your own truth.
And Half-Truth Rant
Remembering to be grateful
and to keep an expansive perspective at hand.
I am loved.
Repeat the following under your breathe for 7.5 minutes, wherever you find space and time for yourself. Allow yourself to see all that is good about you. Do not compete or compare; just accept your wonderful qualities. This acceptance will naturally flow towards others.
Yoga teachers: Use in class and offer credit.
Yesterday afternoon a wasp undulated past me heavy, low, his weighted body resonating with a deep summery burr as he struggled to make the climb up to the rafters, where he has situated his nest (I have painted around the nest by sticking my arm waaay out to dab at the edges around it from a ladder three feet away, and need someone else to move it).
Wasp seems a good messenger this morning.
WASP: When the wasp spirit animal comes flying into your life, you are being reminded that wishing and dreaming about your desires will not make them come true. You need more than just the wish; you need the action. In some cultures, the wasp meaning is a symbol of control over your life circumstances. It also signifies evolution, progress, development, and order.
Want easy? Do the things that come naturally to you.
See how the world aligns around THAT sacred decision. To honor nothing more than your own true callings and natural inclinations.
The thing most of us think of as freedom isn't. It is a state change, to another condition, location or belonging, and we get that thing and feel better, and think we are free. But then we lose that thing and we’re miserable. Thus, we never had freedom; we had a shifting or changing attachment.
Money. Job satisfaction. Ability to travel. These are all wonderful, necessary things, but they aren’t freedom. Can you be free, truthful, comfortable, no matter the circumstances? That is the absolute essence of freedom.
You're sitting poor, with one little ant beside you, on a cement floor, blissful, then moving into a beautiful shopping spree, on a private jet, equally comfortable. One might feel better, but if it isn't constant, it's a temporary engagement with a better experience. Fake freedom. Elusive entanglement with an ideal. Are things equal in assessment? That is a form of freedom. Negative opinion, a compliment, the same internal response? That's true freedom.
We are easily misled into believing an improved experience or better emotional feelings are freedom. They are not. They are feelings of lightness, or opportunity, or options. It is our decision about the scope of those options that offers us misery or happiness. Our freedom lies within changing our perspective, and total neutrality, no matter the story the mind is putting forth. Then, we can meet ALL that the world offers with freedom. And simply choose, but always from a totally empowered place.
Writing from aspiration and glimpses of freedom as always.
I am in practice, as you are.
I am in separation today, assessing from a singular perspective. I am very opinionated as I tear and shred my way through some recent experiences.