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I Lost My Mala - Meditation 101
by livelifelit on 

I was sitting in a hot yoga hall in Mexico with 70 other meditation students.  We were lined up in perfect rows on the floor with cushions.  Women on the left, men on the right.  The ceiling fans, on high, provided the only breeze, even though the walls, were not walls, but screens.  I felt like I was in an oven or a pressure cooker.  I could see the sun sparkling like glitter on the surface of the ocean behind my teacher. 

It was my first meditation retreat.  For 10 days I vowed to not speak, look, or write to anyone.  Translated that means no internet, no email, no Facebook, no text messages, no phone calls, no eye contact, no gestures, no reading, although we could journal. 

The first 3 days were okay, I entertained myself during the breaks by having internal conversations, "Oh, that's a cute dress she's wearing.  I wonder where she got it?  What's that guy doing?  Oh look, there's a hummingbird."  And if my internal conversations weren't entertaining anymore, I would shift my focus to marveling at the girl's hair sitting directly in front of me.  Her hair was a masterpiece!  It was a intricate design of golden dreadlocks.  Some pieces fanned out before coming together more tightly.  Others wove in and out of others.  It was gorgeous.  And I declared that I loved this girl because she had amazing hair, and I would tell her as soon we could speak.

On day 4, the commentary within became irritated and angry.  On one of the breaks, my mind yelled, "THIS SUCKS!!!  Seriously?  We seriously can't talk??  I freakin lost my mala and I just want to tell someone, "Hey, I lost my mala that my dear friend made me."  I want a hug...I CANNOT BELIEVE I SIGNED UP FOR THIS.  WHY THE HELL DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS??!!!"  And with that last thought, a light turned on and I realized that anytime I had said those words, whether it was a fasting retreat, ceremony, trek, anything that pushed my comfort zones those had been the most profound and deepest experiences of my life.  That they had opened me.  Transformed me.

I knew in that moment that no matter what, this was going to be a wonderful, soul stirring experience.  And that's when things begin to shift for me.  I was able to relax into the meditations more and just accept where I was and what I was experiencing without so much internal commentary.  I was able to step back into my soul and see that the internal dialogue was just my "story" that my mind created.  I could step out of the drama of my egoic mind.  I could now see the difference between my ego and spirit instead of playing into the drama of the egoic mind.  What a huge revelation.

As the days passed, I became more and more centered in my heart.  My heart continued to open.  So much so that when my house got broken into while I was meditating and I discovered on my lunch break that they had stole my IPods and camera, I didn't really mind.  I thought, "They seem like nice thieves.  How nice they didn't take my clothes or feather earrings!  Or Linda, the big rose quartz crystal. Or my passport.  I hope they had tea...."  It really wasn't a big deal.  It felt trivial.  Another camera would come.  Other IPods.  Why did those things matter so much when I had FELT the magnificence of my soul, of the Universe?  This was just a fleeting moment.  This, too, shall pass. 

I will rise and fall with the waves of the Universe, but gain or lose, it  doesn't matter because I am the ocean. 

We are all the ocean.

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by livelifelit on 

I love my intuition: It said to check my bank account and sure enough someone used my debit card yesterday in Baltimore, MD even though I have my card in my wallet. Our intuition rocks, we all have it. It is just like a muscle, though, we have to use it. Meditation is one of the best ways to strengthen it.

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by livelifelit on 

I was driving down the highway the other day and there was an electronic sign that told me in 3 minutes I would be at a different highway. I had driven this section of highway many times in my life. I thought about the distance in my head and how far away it seemed to me. I thought, "really? it only takes 3 minutes to get there?" So, I tested it. I looked at the clock and added 3 minutes to it. As I approached the other highway, I looked at the clock again and sure enough it was 3 minutes later. I was so surprised.

The insight I received was that the passages in our lives, the transitions can go much faster than we anticipate. Especially when we are in an uncomfortable passage, we often think it will take so long to get to the next step in our life, but really it often goes by so much faster than we realize.

A stretch of highway that I would have guessed took much longer than 3 minutes to drive was just that, an easy 3 minutes. So if you are in a challenging place in life or uncomfortable with whatever growth cycle you are in, take comfort in knowing that it can pass much quicker than you think.

Passages can be easy. I love this affirmation that a friend of mine told me awhile ago, "I transition with grace and ease." Gentle and easy transitions. Take a breath and welcome it in....

My love to you ♥

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Bangkok - The birth of Live.Life.Lit.
by livelifelit on 

I'm a big believer in signs.  Messages from "the other side", from God, from our angels, spirit guides, etc.  I also believe in intuition.  I listen and pay attention.  I do my best to follow the guidance I receive. 

I was in Bangkok in August 2011, I had recently had a big transition in my life and was trying to sort through it.  I knew I wanted to lead spiritual treks to Machu Picchu and that is about all I knew.  I was in Thailand because, well, I needed a break.  I needed time away.  I needed something new and different.

I was standing outside waiting for a friend.  It was night.  I looked over my shoulder and saw a sign, it said:


It was illuminated from within.

I knew that it was a message, a literal sign, that Live.Live.Lit. would be the name of my next endeavor.  I tried to think of other names.  I questioned if it was a good name, but it was always there.  Patiently waiting for me to embrace it.

We are all meant to shine...just like that sign, lit from within.

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