Happy Holy Dayze

Gift giving is on everyone’s mind. A corporate driven, consumption-based holiday season is in full swing. But beyond the re-branding of Starbucks holiday cups and the repetitive holiday music flooding malls – what feeds the holiday season? The easy answer for me is that the holidays are fueled by retailers pushing gift ideas and pressuring humans to become consumers.

However, before this post continues in that direction, I want to take a step back and say: Hey! It feels good to give. So think again, what feeds the holiday season? Well, a lot of it really is the joy of making others happy. The pleasure of giving can be more fulfilling than receiving.

We live in a society filled with obsessive compulsive consumption disorder (OCCD – yes, I just made this up). Living in a First World, capitalist society there exists an interesting paradox: the emphasis on being independent and individual through consumption. All year long we are focusing on what we want, who we are and what are our priorities. This leaves our ego fired with Self. We feed our ego with ideas of Self, and we feed our Self with “stuff” (hence OCCD). We are stuffed!! It feels really good to empty.  It feels really good to give.

I recently read an interview with Manju Jois, son of Sri K Pattabhi Jois, Ashatanga Yoga Guru. Manju Jois, coming from India, was noting the large number of yoga teachers in the west. He said, “Everybody wants to be a teacher,” for Manju Jois this is not a good thing. Yet, in another light we can see Westerners are feeling a need to practice yoga to empty and let go. Many practitioners then want to share the teachings in order to feel fulfilled – in order to give the beautiful gift they’ve been given.

Capitalist society trains us to consume; but after being fed so much, we need to offer up our hearts, our coping mechanisms, our breath, our Self.

Often I hear people say the best thing they ever did was have a child or get married. We like to care for others. We take pleasure in watching loved ones enjoy life. We are (mostly) made up of love, and so much of love is generosity of spirit. Holidays are corporate driven – but they are fueled with our love for giving.

This holiday season, I won’t be gifting. I will be re-gifting. Re-packing bags of my kindly used “stuff” and giving it to friends, colleagues and family. This offering of my “stuff” will lighten my Self and seeing others smile will feel really good! Enjoy your holidays, whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate it!

Love is bound with Anxiety.
Undone with Generosity!

 

Peace and Seasonal Blessings,

Lauryn Elan Z xox

 

Who are we?

“Who are we?

We are the lifeforce power of the universe

With manual dexterity and two cognitive minds

And we have the power to choose moment-by-moment

Who and how we want to be in the World

Right here right now

I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere

Where we are – I am – the lifeforce power of the universe

I am the lifeforce power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular genuses that make up my form at one with all that is

Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere

Where I become a single individual, a solid

Separate from the flow, separate from you

… these are the We inside of me, which would you choose? Which do you choose and when?

…the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be.”

 

As much as I struggle to wear many hats, dance a thousand dances and still Be one with the Flow – I am not (especially) mad. I am one woman with two cognitive minds – just as you are.

How to balance and spread peace not irritability? Connect to the right hemisphere of your brain. Your right side is your inner-child, care-free, lalaland-lover. Hear more on the subject from a professional, and check out this powerful Ted Talks – by Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor. She can teach and reach Nirvana : )

OK, I must add…. I practice Oneness, but I never fear to sing for the ten women stirring inside of me. Allowing yourself to share feelings of contradiction (with a journal or a friend) allows you to find a place of lighthearted middle-ground. Your right brain and your left brain may always be conflicting, but it is no reason to tear yourself up. Until we find a place of harmony and peace, please SING ALONG: Ten Women between you and me

Balance and Blessings,

Lauryn Elan Z xox

U-Guru

This week has been really HEAVY (especially since I didn’t work Monday) – a lot has happened in four days. Both in work and play I feel ready to turn to the next page. When feeling “stuck” I itch to travel. Though, I just did a three week American road trip and flew to Montreal last weekend for Osheaga music festival, already I am checking out flight deals to Miami!

Waiting in court this morning (yes, I pleaded guilty on a traffic offence and they dropped my charges by more than half!), I found myself using another form of escapism – I was reading romantic poetry. Like any curious homosapien, I look to words of those who inspire me for refuge – Rumi, Hafiz, Shiva Rea, Kerouac, Ram Das, and My Mom (of course, I could go on). One thing all these brilliant leaders keep reflecting back at me is to stop looking outside myself for answers.

Rumi says, “O pure people who wander the world, amazed at the idols you see, what are you searching for out there, if you look within, you yourself are it”. 

This makes someone as self-indulgent as myself grin with pride. But also makes me think…
-a human being can pick up only 1 billionth of all there is to percept in a space at one time
-we are therefore, in a way, choosing what we perceive
-we are recycling our perceptions of “what is” by constantly projecting inner feelings outward  
-we suffer because feeling/awareness itself is based in cravings (food, lovers, money), things we identify as leading to “happiness” or “satisfaction”
-you don’t need to read Descartes to know your perceptions can deceive you
-feeling and perceptions lay inside of us, but they trigger us to react and create our external reality

As I mentioned in my last post, it’s truly physical. But, when you feel suffering inside of you and you look outside of yourself for answers, you are playing into the notion that you are incomplete. The fixation we have with “outside things” is an epidemic in our society. When we let outside things trigger our inner self we suffer – and vice versa. Yet “suffering” is only a feeling, or a spirit, which is passing through the vessel of our Self.

One word: TRUST.
Trust that you are your best teacher. You know yourself better than anyone else. If only we looked inside ourselves as much as we fixated on other people or things – we would feel much more whole and complete.
YOU ARE YOUR GURU.
And as always, here is a poem from Me-Guru-to-U-Guru:

As breath pours
Nectar of Life
Down the spine
Awaken vertebrae
Touch is Kind
Children born
With loving eyes
Pulse is Truth
We are all Divine
As Divine a flea
As Divine my Guru-
OM-
That, which, is She
That, which, I am
That!

Namaste,

Lauryn Elan Z xox

lauryn in apartment

 

Going through a transition?

“I am just going through a transition.”

Do you notice yourself using this phrase?  Do you notice others using this phrase in conversation?

“I am just going through a transition” is a modern excuse for not feeling present/ knowing exactly what one wants. The thing is, you are and will always be going through a transition. The only constant in the world is change.

I recently had the opportunity to study Tantric philosophy and meditation with Christopher Tompkins. Tompkins discussed many heavy philosophical ideas. What hit me most was not his enlightening discussions on spirituality, materialism or ancient India, but his simple notes on modern-day dilemmas. For example: more people die on Monday morning of heart attacks than any other time – and this statistic is drastic across nations. What does this mean? That many people rather physically collapse than face another work week? The stress we induce on ourselves breaks us not just mentally or emotionally, but physically.

The routine of a society with capitalist values and structure leads us to think we must continue on a cycle of stress and consumption (work.earn.buy.work). Life is made up of cycles. Some cycles are natural (seasons, plant growth, moons etc..), while others are constructed by societies. When we stray from our natural cycles—that is our natural rhythm—our whole Self is compromised. We are constantly struggling to keep up with ourselves, our society and our peers. We don’t feel present, because these forced routines detach us from our bodies. Our society emphasizes the importance of brain intelligence, but what about heart intelligence? As soon as the rhythm of my heart gets ahead or behind the rhythm of my mind – I lose ground. Even worse, what if you don’t even sense the rhythm of your heart, your breath or your pulse? This is physical detachment. The detachment of ourselves from ourselves leads to confusion of purpose and lack of presence.

So, when will this transition end so you can finally land on your feet again? Never.  But there are coping mechanisms. Meditation, pranayama (breath) and yoga are practices I identify with. Scan your body and note – but do not judge all the feelings – let go/breathe into points of stress. When you are sitting in traffic and make your automatic right turn at the gas station on your drive to work, take a deep breath, follow your breath around that turn. Feel the tires roll over the Earth (magical right!? ; )). At your desk note your posture, release your jaw, keep your heart open (physically and metaphorically!). I know these practices may seem silly and small – but overtime they become your habits and your habits become your character! I don’t know about you, but every Sunday night before a work week I can feel my nervous system kick in and if I don’t tap into my breath and ground myself physically, I will react, physically.

This is more than just flakey yogi chatter – this is physics! Breathe and Savour. Hey, you know what else helps me center myself? POETRY…

This means the world to me!

The vibrations we release
The world comes to be
The vibrations we receive
It’s physics, its physical

Your bass notes
Your voice notes
The vibrations you put out
Your symphony
It is conducted

– c o n d u c t i n g –

 You
        The Conductor
It is physics 

Off the high hat – Ghana’s highlife
Off the highway – he holds a sign
It says “smile”
I change my face around
It’s physical 

We get in fistfights
It bleeds
Give into motion
Sweat beads

The vibrations you receive
The life you’ll live
Its physics
Get physical

: )

Peace and Love in the Flow,

Lauryn Elan Z  xo