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4 Keys to Keeping Your Heart Open in Challenging Times

Four Keys Keeping Your Heart Open in Challenging Times.

The past month has been a challenging time. The world economy has been at risk. The stock market has been bi-polar. The election is up for grabs. Fear is rampant in the media. In the face of all of this it is easy to have fear seep into your life and to close down your heart. I have experienced this personally and I have heard this over and over from people around me.

I don’t listen to TV or radio and seldom read the newspaper because I don’t want to be affected by the fear-mongering media. Still, I found myself slipping into a dark place and feeling a bit lost. In part, this is because of my sensitivity to the energy around me. In part, to too some healing I was doing on my inner child. In part, it was to Mercury being in retrograde. In part, I was reacting to an important relationship in my life. My mind became filled with negative thoughts and the need to figure out what was going on. My heart closed down and my inner child felt abandoned. When our heart closes down and our mind is feed by fear it is easy to get lost in the darkness.

I usually move through these kinds of challenges pretty quickly, in a few hours or a few days. This past month it took almost two weeks before I was able to see the clouds begin to part. Even as this was happening my witness was watching and seeing how stuck I was, and offered me love. As I became aware of that love I was finally able to recognize that my heart was closed. As soon as I felt into my heart and began to open it the clouds lifted and the sun shone on my face once again.

Here are four keys to keeping your heart open in challenging times:
1) Awareness is the first key. Check in with your heart every morning and night and notice if it is open or closed or somewhere in between.
2) Breathe into your heart. Rub your hands together and send love into them. When they begin to get hot place them over your heart and take the love into the cells of your body and your being. Let the love expand as you breathe it in.
3) Offer gratitude for all you have. Appreciate the abundance in your life and be generous with others less fortunate than you. Feel compassion for them and send love out to those that are homeless, hungry, sick, or in trouble.
4) Here is another practice I find helpful. It is from ancient Sanskrit prayer called the Gayatri, which I am paraphrasing here. Either go outside or imagine the sun shining into your heart and address the sun in this way:
You who are the source of light energy,
Whose rays illuminate the whole world,
Please illuminate my heart so that
I too may do Your work.

I hope you find these tools helpful.
Namaste.

The Importance of Healthy Boundaries

How do you create healthy boundaries in your relationships?

I was sharing with a friend today the about the importance of boundaries. This was a new concept to him. One of the most important things I teach in my Tantra classes is the importance of sharing your desires, fears and boundaries at the beginning of an exchange. I call this creating a bubble. Boundaries are critical because where two people’s healthy boundaries meet is where intimacy happens. Boundaries keep us present. When we know where our boundary is we can move right to the edge of it with full commitment. If we aren’t sure of our boundary then it is easy to both, play it safe or over step it. Boundaries are dynamic and change from moment to moment, so it is important to stay aware of them.

Here is an outline of the practice. For a complete description see Margot Anand’s, Art of Sexual Ecstasy.

Making a Bubble

Seated across from one another, begin with a heart salutation- the acknowledgment of the divine in each other.

Then create a bubble around yourselves to call yourselves into the present moment. Do this with your intention and by using your arms to define the bubble.

Then, take things out of the bubble that don’t serve you in this moment (past, distraction, anger etc.) Next, bring things into the bubble that will enhance your connection (love, willingness, presence etc.)

Next, offer an appreciation to the other person (I honor your heart…)

After that, share your intentions, fears and boundaries related to the practice while the other person listens without judgment or commentary.

End with a heart salutation. The bubble you’ve created allows you to feel the support of the sacred as you continue with your practice.

The 3 Secrets to Being a Juicy Woman

Giving and receiving love is what makes us juicy and the world needs more juice.”
Crystal Dawn Morris

The 3 Secrets to Being a Juicy Woman

1.) Be your own best lover and beloved. Self Pleasure at least 3 times a week; take your time – make love to yourself the way you would like your lover to make love to you. Relax in the bath and as you touch your body give each part a blessing. Appreciate your body and all that it does for you.

2.) Expand your awareness through your senses. Take 1- 2 minutes out of every hour and focus on a different sense as you let it expand. Let the wind caress your face. Smell the scent of rain, food or even garbage. Look at the world with curiosity as if you just landed on this planet for the first time. Listen to the sounds of the city or of nature. Touch the surface of your desk, chair, or a tree and image it is your lover’s body- then explore it with awe and reverence. Chew your food slowly, savoring each bite, as you might if you knew it was your last time to eat this particular dish.

3.) Offer gratitude for the miracle of life. See the world with new eyes. Imagine all buildings are temples, all people are divine beings and all sounds are mantras. Notice beauty in small unexpected places. Make an offering to the earth for nourishing you. Love life just as it is.

Presence = Better Demos and Deeper Experiences

Last weekend while teaching my Awakening the Ecstatic Body  workshop I noticed  the participants were consistently move deeper into each process. They appeared more open and vulnerable with each other. Even the students who had been in my classes before, noticed a qualitative difference and commented on it. As the weekend progressed, I began to ask what I was doing differently than in the past. As I reflected on this, what stood out to me was that I had changed the demos. In the past, I would often explain what I was doing as I was giving the demonstration. This kept me a bit detached from the process and I wasn’t as open or vulnerable as I could be. There were several reasons for this,which I won’t go into right now.

I have a new assistant, Jim Miller, who is my friend and a Sky Dancer. It is a pleasure working with a man who adds a depth and power to the demos. Jim suggested it would more effective to do the demo without interruption and do  explain the process afterwards. I immediately noticed a difference in the quality of my presence after each demo. I allowed myself to be fully in the experience instead of being half participant and half teacher. I also saw that people were deeply touched by the vulnerability they felt watching us being so open-hearted. This in turn opened them up and allowed them to go for it when they were in the process. Thank you Jim!

Awareness Resists Nothing

“Awareness resisits nothing.” I read this quote by Adyashanti yesterday and it really touched me. In Tantra we express this same understanding, by saying Yes! to what is.

Last night I gave an free introduction to the weekend I am teaching called, Awakening the Ecstatic Body, 16 people came, many were new to Tantra. Over the course of the evening, it was wonderful to watch people let go and stop resisting the moment, allowing themselves to be seen. As the evening progressed I guided a ritual, called a puja, where we move around the circle looking into each other’s eyes and acknowledging the divine in each other. I am always amazed at how this simple ritual tranforms people. By the end of the evening the room was full of sparkling energy and open hearts.

When we let go of resistance magic happens. I love teaching Tantra. It is such a gift to offer this path for awakening to others. The power of the work is so accessible and immediate. More to come…