Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Off to be quiet

Tomorrow morning I get on a bus to the Vipassana Meditation Center in Shelburne, MA, to begin a 10-day silent meditation retreat.

OK, people. I am a dancer and a yoga teacher. If you told me to dance for 10 days, no problem. But sit still? We are talking wake up at 4:00am and sit meditation until 10:00pm. Did I say sitting?

I am being just a touch melodramatic. I am actually looking forward to withdrawing from the world, settling into nature and simplifying my food and daily routine. This retreat is something that is very meaningful to my boyfriend, who has done it over 5 times, so it is an experience I want to share with him. I am always up for an exploration into the nature of reality and the relationship between body and mind. I am also always up for more sweet training for my mind, which, like most minds, can tend to get unruly with problem creation and problem solving and tends to forget all about the divinity in the here and now.

There is more than just a little bit of a wanna-be-monk in me. I look forward to reporting my experiences on the other end.

And after 10 days of silence, I'll surely have a lot to say about it!

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Posted by LiYana at 3:23 pm  Comments Off on Off to be quiet

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Getting To Good

Like an acme safe ala cartoonland, I recently feel like I got hit on the head with EXACTLY HOW to have my life and relationship be great, gorgeous always full of fun and delight.

Only instead of landing like a ton of steel, this landed like a drizzle of honey on a bed of feathers.

The price to earn pleasure is not pain and suffering.
The price to earn pleasure is enjoying what is already HERE.
It is pulling your head out of your own ass and looking around and acknowledging all the good that is already present.
The best place to start is approving of what is SO.
It is looking around at God's green earth and the flora and fauna and crazy wonderful humans inhabiting it, and finding it good.
The key to getting the good stuff is to start with the good stuff.
And the key to getting things to be better is to start with the good stuff.

The law of physics around having things get better is that things have to be GOOD before they can get BETTER.
If things are bad, they have to get good before they can get better. You can't get from bad to better, you have to get to good first.
The law looks something like this: bad –> good –> better.

The key is to start with good. Then, when things are good – I mean, that's pretty great, right? Could stop right there. But what if things got even better?

I have an awesome relationship. It floors me constantly and there isn't a day that goes by where I don't feel grateful and blessed for this work of art we've co-created. We've recently had one rocky point where we are not on the same page: around whether to have a child together. And a few months ago we were having a really crappy time figuring this one out, in fact we almost broke up because of how much we were suffering trying to figure it out. It was then pointed out to me that we were having a terrible time and losing big time, while we were figuring it out.

(Enter visual – safe falling on LiYana's head).

Wait a minute? What if we could we have a great time figuring this out? What would that be like?

And what has happened since then is amazing – a torrential deepening of love and appreciation, an easy clarity around what we both fear around having a child, and what would be amazing. All the while a greater sense of partnership and so much more fun and enjoying each other. We're figuring this one out, and having an even better time doing so.

We both pulled our sorry asses out of "bad" and got ourselves to "good" and it keeps getting better and better and better….

These are things I've always known, but sometimes they alternate between peeping and sleeping in me, but now they are roaring and won't shut up. Thankfully.

This is largely due to some amazing courses I have been taking this summer with Morehouse, (www.lafayettemorehouse.com). This is a collective of "Responsible Hedonists," who've been living together successfully for around 40 years, by the simple and delicious philosophies of how to live well and have rich, fun, happy and satisfying lives.

I might get this slightly wrong, but here's the essence of a great quote that sums it all up nicely:

"Your enjoyment is your blessing on God's creation."
– Vic Baranco

Posted by LiYana at 7:46 pm  | 3 Comments

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

Could it be this simple?

The day started out well, my skin waking up next to the skin of my beloved, a clear swath of time devoted to all the things in my business i haven't been able to get to. But by the early afternoon, I felt strange. Uninspired. My goals far off and remote and like I've got to slog a marathon through molasses to get to them. Internet marketing is a stretch for me. Sometimes I enjoy the learning curve and I feel proud and accomplished, like I just cut down a huge tree with only my two arms and a hand-saw. Sometimes I just want to gnaw my own leg off – anything to get out of learning this shit.

When my boyfriend got home, I stepped into the shower and responded dismally to his queries about my day. As he spoke to me through the shower steam, the fog in my head and heart cleared a little and I thought, apparently I only sleep with geniuses. Let me count the ways I love this man. Could it really be this simple? I bet you are wondering what he said to me.

He said a lot of things, but first and foremost he said, "You should just do the things that are fun for you."

Now, I know all this. And most times I live this. But not today. Today I forgot. Today I played the hide and seek game we all love to play as humans: the forgetting and remembering game. Forgetting that life is on our side all along. Remembering that if we follow what we love, if we lean toward what is most fun, like a plant leans toward the sunlight, life opens its richest heart to us.

I stepped away from the computer, made a New Mexican green chili stew, a quinoa salad with cumin and scallions and fruit and nut bars (we're both not eating sugar these days, but still have a sweet tooth!). It felt good to create something tangible, do something I love, and that I am good at! When I sat back down, I made a list of what would be most fun for me as I continue to build my business. I proceeded to write fun and inspired emails. An hour later, someone I hadn't even thought to contact wrote and asked me about creating a workshop series for her new mothers group.

In fact, yes, it really is this simple.

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine…
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination.
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Posted by LiYana at 6:13 pm  Comments Off on Could it be this simple?

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