Saturday, August 31, 2013

Love Belongs to Everyone

This past month has been month filled with Love. Love of practice, Love of beings, Love of life, Love of Love.  I was honored to BE in the presence of two love ceremonies, feel new love through new friendships, and cherish the embrace of the love of old all in the midst of yogis who love yoga.  It was appropriate to me that all of this occurred during this month of "Rawgust", celebrating love of raw veganism.   I have had an incredible month full of Love.  As I reflected, I thought, "wow, this feels so good, everyone deserves to feel the way I do".  Then it hit me,  everyone CAN feel this way because Love belongs to everyone.

The revelation of this brought tears to my eyes.  Leading up to the first ceremony, I had been listening to the song "Love Belongs to Everyone" by David Newman (Durga Das).  I loved the song.  It starts with the Gayatri mantra, one of the oldest and most powerful mantras for cleansing and purification.  It loosely translates "May all beings on earth reach enlightenment."   It is a mantra of unity and love of fellow man. It is comprised of three (3) parts:  praise, meditation, and prayer.

At the time, I had no idea why I was to drawn to this song.  It was on my playlist.  I knew of David briefly years before but I was not ready to receive his message.  During the first love ceremony, a four-day Bohemian Hippy Yogafest Love Ceremony, we attended a kirtan with him.  The music he and his wife brought to us was a testament and demonstration of their love.  As we sang along, it flowed through each of us.  This love now belonged to each of us.

Love Belongs to Everyone/Gayatri  David Newman©2012

Om Bhur Bhuva Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya
 Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat.
Love belongs to everyone, love belongs to everyone, love belongs to everyone…
we belong to Love.
Frame by frame, here and now, yours and mine is just a stepping stone, love will 
never let you go, it will satisfy your soul!

The Number Three

It was not lost to me that this experience felt very spiritual for this month was a month of three's:

*  3 Celebrations:  Love of friends, love of family, love of raw life 

*  The Gayatri is comprised of three parts:  praise, meditation, and prayer.  

*  It marked the beginning of the 3rd year since I decided to pledge fully to a vegan life

In Yoga, according to the Bhagavad Gita, there are 3 paths to yoga:  Karma, Bhakti, Jnana (selflessness, devotion, knowledge).  I spoke with my soul twin who also revealed that she too is attracted to the number 3.  It is significant in many religions:

Christianity - Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost)
Hindi - Trinity (Purusha, Shakti, Own/self);  3 is also the base of the sacred number 108 for mantra and prayer
Buddhism - 3 precious jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha)
Islam - 3 stages in Life/faith
Judiasm - 3 symbolizes a harmony synthesizes two opposites

Grounding and Witnessing
Honored to witness the grounding of this love

I feel grounded and embraced within these threes.  I feel free to love all and to BE demonstrative to show that we all are responsible to care for the portion of love entrusted in our care. In the span of just 3 weeks, I witnessed acts of love of those who realize their belonging:
  • the love of the childhood friend that feels like just this mmorning when it was actually 27yrs
  • the two love partners together for 19yrs who expressed their love by dancing openly for the first time
  • the anesthesiologist that loves to spread joy with her song and dance
  • the skydiver who welled up when he spoke of his love for his yogini queen
  • the holistic oncologist who illuminated her new mate in new light never before seen
  • the corporate engineer who is still just the girl from around the way with the big smile and humble heart full of love
  • the man who expressed love and honor of his friendship to the Supreme Goddess Mama
  • the man who held fast and patiently waited for his love of 29 years
  • the owner of Pump House Bed and Breakfastwho with a labor of love created a beautiful respite in the woods in the middle the mountains
  • the gentlemen from India who selflessly came to help transitioning vegans from the love of their hearts
  • the soul twin yogi sisterwho speaks as I speak, thinks as I think, feels as I feel, loves as I love and is as unconditional as unconditional can be
  • those who every day post, write, inspire, teach help support and love those whom they do not know.
  • the two yogi partners who with love, hosted our Kirtan with,Peace of Mind"
  • the Durga Das and his wife who reminds us that we all have love to share.
  • the Minstrel who found his Goddess the 4th time around
  • the photographer whose love of love captured most precious of moments and spaces
  • the niece who traveled 1100 miles by car round trip in 3 days to say goodbye to love that transitioned
  • the raw vegan now raising a calf and a goat in need of love
You Are Love

What love have you witnessed?  How have you cared for the love you've been entrusted with? As you acknowledge the love you receive? How do you share it?  As you show your love, feel the love you deserve and remember  the compassion of the threes:

Love belongs to me, I am Love

Love belongs to you, You are Love

Love belongs to everyone, We are Love.

Embrace it, let it fill you, let it surround you, then give it graciously and freely.


Yoga:  Trikonasana - Triagle Pose

Trikonasana is said to make the sacrum feel comfortable.  The sacrum is a large triangular bone at the base of spine and houses the kundalini -the center of our power and desire to love.  Triangle pose teaches 3 lessons:  stability, grounding and expansion. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Raw Inspiration

RAWGUST (Raw + August) is here.  It's one of my favorite times of the year.  This year marks the third Rawgust anniversary for me.  As I reflect, I am grateful for growth.  While I still have much to learn, I've begun the transitional journey from student to teacher in such a short period of time.

Paying it Forward
In my initial post, Ready for Rawgust, I spoke about creativity and personal commitment.  This year, my focus is to teach, guide and inspire as many as I can.  I've been fortunate to study under those who have inspired me, whom I now consider friends.  What each of these individuals has done is to pay it forward - giving in order to give, reaching in order to reach, sharing in order to share, teaching in order to teach.

Rawgust for me this year is all about spreading inspiration  - to be a source in the same manner as those who have inspired me, to give as freely as I have received.  This year, instead of just participating, I am set to inspire with raw determination, to lead by example, to help.   I've decided to co-coach a juice cleanse and to offer free, compassionate support to anyone who wishes to replace at least one meal per day with fruit and vegetable alternatives, and to provide physical health awareness and suggestions.  With good fortunate, I do so with the assistance of a few wonderful souls who, daily, seek to positively awaken "the being within" by evoking the simplistic enormity of their hearts with humility, grace, peace and love. These kind earthlings inspire as they offer their tremendous light to all they encounter.  I am grateful for their selflessness.

Not A Gimick
Rawgust is not a gimicky play on words.  It's an opportunity to introduce the concept of incorporating and increasing whole, live foods back into daily meals.  As stated previously, it takes twenty-one days to effect change.  The true spotlight of Rawgust  provides the platform for the time needed to jump start the behavior modification process.  Rawgust is not designed to force "conversion".  It's purpose is to educate. It's more of  "try it, you will like it".  Those who try will be able to compare the differences in their lives, measure the increase in energy, the improvement in health, the overall feeling of well-being, and in some instances, the loss of weight.

Rawgust is a tool to inform and to expand knowledge bases.   If a few individual life-time converts develop along the way,  awesome!

However...if just a few people, made a few changes, for a few days, then celebration of the first step should be championed with the same zealousness for it sometimes takes more courage to take first step than to dive straight in, especially if one has had a previous negative experience with other "first steps".   First steps take conscious thought, much different from the impulsive, impromptu nature of diving in.

Try It Out

Try it out.  Join Rawgust.  Seek assistance, put together a collaborative, realistic plan - it can be as simple as replacement of an order of chips with a piece of fruit 3 days per week or a two-day juice fast jump start.  Rawgust is not just for August,  it can be anytime. Regardless of when, Rawgust is for you, Rawgust is for me, Rawgust is for everyone.


Raw Resources for Raw Inspiration:

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
Forks Over Knives

Getting Started
Cooked to Raw Conversion Chart
Getting Started Simple Meal Suggestions
5 Ways to Get Started

Physical Health/Fitness 
SuperFit Vegan

Resources and Recipes
Plant Powered Living
Raw on $10 a Day or less
Sexy Raw Food and Fitness
Young on Raw Food

Support and Assistance
Yoga Girl goes Vegan
Raw and Delicious Lifestyles
Kalavati Health-Be Alive