I often find myself thrown into situations that I'm not prepared for - "graduate school for chaplaincy - no big deal!" Until I'm reading a hundred plus pages per week, squeezed toward emotional edges in process lab, and deeply investigating the mind in meditation practicum.
One of my classes is classical Tibetan debate, a form of vocal, analytical meditation. This stretches the conceptual limits of my mind - which, according to the Sautrantika school is not the brain...you can ask me about that later.
Another role I'm being thrown into, just because of my personal experiences as a person of color, is that of activist. This feels strange and so right, both at the same time. I recently attended a dharma talk by the Venerable Pannavati and she said,
"The process of activism entails sitting with oneself first, seeing tender spots and areas in in need of care. Once the concept of self is shattered, then there's room to show up as a force for change." Just some food for thought.
Being thrown into a situation or throwing oneself in requires courage and encouragement. A daily practice of meditation helps sustain us.
Online breathwork is open for registration today through midnight on Friday. We'll look at this idea of going inward as a way to serve outwardly. Thank you for listening...be well. Sign up here.
Wow! So much wow this past month I’ve really had to listen deeply to my body and what is needed from moment to moment. A powerful practice is to notice how I’m responding to stimuli. Just that. Is my belly tense? Am I taking in another person’s words? How am I responding physically to that?
You see it’s more important now than ever to be with ourselves and with each other. To deeply listen to the meaning behind words and keep in mind that each person is doing the best they can to communicate and exist in this crazy time on the planet. Ourselves included.
That is the seed of compassion.
Please have some compassion for me as I don’t have a meditation recorded for this month. With the beginning of the school year and moving to Boulder, I haven’t quite figured out the best times for recording...or how to create time for that matter!
I am offering an live online breathwork session this Saturday at 2pm CDT. I would love to see you via the interwebs and share space with you. If you need some support, I am here.
Sending you abundance and love,
P.S. Click Here to link to online healing breathwork circle
Had a tough day yesterday. With all the fallout coming from the violence in North Carolina, I felt bummed out. I’ve got to admit, I overindulged in my feelings and it turned into a pity party.
I personalized the event. Growing up in the South, I’ve been reared with one important fact in my consciousness: A white person’s life is more valuable than my own or any other person of color’s in America.
This has affected the way I act in so many ways that go unspoken because I’m just trying to live my life from the inside out - honoring and valuing myself, rather than expecting culture or society to do that for me.
But yesterday, I went back into the pain that I felt as a child when I first experienced racism. I felt shame, then anger, and then pain.
Then, my thoughts went to the aggressors. How much abuse, how much poverty in love and life have they experienced to be so enraged? In that place, a place I’ve been so many times, I can see the pain in their bloodshot eyes - feel the pain in their screams. “See me!” they say. “I want to be seen. My pain is real.” The anger and the pain underneath.
Then I thought about the people of color at that rally. How hard it must have been to be on the receiving end of all that hate, anger, and pain. The sorrow of being hated for a thing beyond your control - as arbitrary as the color of a t-shirt, though people have been killed for less. Their pain, their suffering.
Then I thought about the ripple effect throughout humanity. Everyone - white, black, and in between angry about the situation, and at the heart of it, feeling pain.
Pain is the thread running through all of us; and with that trying to figure out what to do with it. In my most desperate place yesterday, I practiced an exercise I learned from Kristin Neff’s book, Self-Compassion. It incorporates 1. awareness, 2. connectivity, 3. compassion.
I sat with my pain and said.
1. “This is hard - it’s hard to feel this way.”
2. “Feeling this way is part of being human and being alive. I’m not alone in feeling this way.”
3. “I will be kind and gentle with myself.”
This last piece of the practice incorporated watching a few movies that helped me cry. And today I woke up feeling less heavy, yet very human.
I hope you will practice self-care and self-compassion during times of cultural heaviness and pain. It’s humanity’s greatest form of social activism to take the time to process your own emotions, take responsibility for them, and own your power.
Today I want to share a meditation guaranteed to help you embrace your gifts: A guided meditation for empaths!
I have news for you - being highly sensitive and empathic can be fun!
When you have more sensory muscles, there’s more in life to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. There’s a trick, though, that brings the gift of sensitivity to a place of joy instead of burden.
You guessed it - a daily practice!
Alone time with yourself each day focused on getting to know your own energy gives you the power to choose what you want to give your power to.
I choose to empower myself with love. And it's a choice - meditation helps me remember that I have one.
Give this guided meditation a try and let me know how it went in the comments below!
And if you want more empathy insight, here’s a link to another blog about understanding your empathic nature
Thank you for practicing with me!
I have some exciting news to share with you!
I just found out that I got a scholarship to Naropa’s Master of Divinity Program starting this Fall! I’ll be deepening my skills in providing spiritual comfort - and receiving some too! This unexpected gift is an affirmation that I'm on the right path.
I’ve been on a spiritual path since 2002, taking trainings here and there, reaching around in the dark figuring out this part and that part of myself. This has been a process of clarifying my own personal spiritual beliefs and discovering how I can be the most potent in my service to the world.
The question of potency drove me to try, engage, and eliminate many different pathways: I created mantra albums, and realized that my heart is in the creativity not in the fundraising, booking, touring, promotion, and publicity that surrounds it.
I interned as a kundalini teacher trainer and discovered that there were truths inside my heart that were different from the teachings of the lineage. With the highest respect for the lineage, I stepped away.
I stepped into the role of pop musician, playing one of the biggest festival circuits, even opening for Wiz Khalifa, only to realize that the exhilaration of performance didn’t compare to the peace and spiritual nourishment of teaching and healing work.
After this process of elimination came the opportunity to study at Naropa, and it felt like a no-brainer. I heard my heart saying "this-a-way!"
I wanted to share all of this with you to show that there isn't one specific pathway toward realizing your inherent gifts. And it's okay to choose differently when you feel in your heart that it's time to make a change. Yeah, it's not as safe-feeling to embrace an unspoken, inner wisdom. But that's the purpose of spiritual practices and lineages - to give you a foundation to step out and express your own wisdom.
These next few weeks I’m packing up for our move to Colorado. As a seventh-generation Texan, I’m finding it hard to let go of this land, so I ask for your well wishes and prayers as I make a big change!
Thank you for the love, support, and prayers!
Is the heat starting to get the best of you? Maybe you’re feeling overheated, prone toward anger, or just damn hot!
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way to cool down and beat the heat from inside your body?
Well, there is a magical breath that does just that! It’s called sitali pranayam!
Below you’ll find a guided practice of this heat-reducing breath. Do it 5 minutes each day for one week and be amazed by your transformation!
I’d love to hear from you! Please let me know how you felt after trying this practice in the comments below!
Ever feel like your energy needs a shower? We take showers everyday, but how often do we consciously clear our energy?
Just like we pick up dirt and dust on our skin, we pick up psychic energy throughout the day.
Do you ever find yourself feeling guilty for no reason? It’s a heaviness in the belly from the thought that you could have consoled your friend more gently, not have eaten that sweet dessert, or been more kind to your child, partner, or coworker.
I find that when I’m not the model of compassion like Mother Theresa, I’m in a place of sludgy guilt. This is when I remind myself that the desire to be perfect in my compassion starts within me - with the compassion I give to myself.
What happens when your dreams seem to outweigh your resources? Well, then you reevaluate your resources! For the past few months I've been delving into audio production and sometimes it feels like I'm learning twenty instruments all at once! I've felt overwhelmed and for lack of a better word, dumb.
But, there came a time when I had to make a choice between giving up or learning how to do it myself. I chose the latter and am learning so many new skills along the way! My divine intelligence is an infinite resource.
Healing Breathwork practice for forgiveness. Reserve about 20 minutes for this practice. Lie flat on your back and cover the eyes with an eye pillow. May your heart be light. May your family be well. May you know you are enough. May your heart's wisdom be your sight. Thank you for being you!
Hi! I'm Robin - Teacher, Singer, & Author. I love creativity & sharing what I love!