Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Post-Election - Raising our Vibrations Together

I awoke yesterday, November 8th with a headache. I do not usually have headaches and at first couldn't understand where this discomfort was coming from. As I began to awaken to my day I realized it was election day and the sudden urgency that I was supposed to vote struck me - hard. I am not one to talk politics, and I sincerely will try not push a party or agenda here. I did as good a job as I could with listening to all the sides that were up for election through their debates and rallies while abstaining from listening to any news media. I listened quietly to friends and family talk of both sides - the left and the right - and I honestly thought that when the time came, I would know what to do.

I took my shower and sat down to create mala prayer beads. My dogs wanted to play. My headache raged on. I drank some water and I ate some breakfast. I stayed off of social media for a while and I did my best to think about work and what was to come later. My headache remained. Then I realized I had to leave my house in about an hour to meet my husband to go vote. And I started to freak out a little. What was going on? What was I feeling?

I reached out to one of my friends and teachers to talk about how I was feeling. I felt useless - hopeless. I felt like Arjuna from the Bhagavad Gita and I wanted to just throw down my bow and take no action at all. Because there didn't seem to be an action that felt right to me.

I went back upstairs and changed up all of my jewelry and mala beads. I took off all of the usual crystals that I had been wearing and changed them to a simple rose quartz mala and a very special rose quartz pendant that I purchased many, many years ago and I keep in a very special heart-shaped box with red velvet lining. I only take this out on special occasions - and it certainly seemed to be one of those days.

I didn't think about it because it was just something I felt compelled to do, but I was surrounding myself with loving energy. 

I took the dogs for a walk and got out in nature and found a beautiful open field right on the edge of my neighborhood that I hadn't seen in the past 13 years. I needed to plant my feet in the earth and feel. But what I was feeling was continued discord, unfortunately. So I left to meet my husband and when I got there told him that I did not think that I could vote. I knew that this idea would not go over well with him, so I was kind of on the defensive. But this was where I was. I was not like so many other people who had a firm stance on what they were doing. A vote for Trump is a vote against the system. A vote for Hillary is a vote for women. You know what? I didn't like being told that if I was this or that then I needed to vote this way or that way. None of it felt real to me. I was deeply conflicted.

I started to chant under my breath as my husband drove to the polls. I began chanting one of my favorite all time chants, that funny enough I never really chant myself: "Radhe Govinda." Maybe it was all the reading of the Bhagavad Gita I'd been doing. Maybe it was instinct. Either way, this sacred chant of the lover and the beloved came to me and I continued to chant it over and over until my husband pulled over, got out and went in to vote. With him out of the car my chant got louder and I continued to chant with Deva Premal and her enchanted version booming from my iPhone. 

I chanted for love. I chanted to raise the vibrations. And I watched person by person pull up and walk in to vote. I watched a severely overweight woman who had obvious bad knees limp in slowly. I watched a young woman with scrubs run in and out. I watched a middle aged black couple walk in hand in hand and a young blue collar worker bounce in solo. But it wasn't until I watched the old war vet walk in that it hit me. With cane in hand and his veteran's hat adorned with pins, he walked slowly in, one step at a time, half hunched over. His clothes were battered and dirty. He did his best to look ahead while walking even though his body was leaning downward. It was a painstakingly long walk, but one that he did with conviction. 

I chanted and chanted: "Radhe, Radhe, Radhe Govinda" as tears ran down my face. 

And in a flash, I knew what I must do. In one swift moment I realized that I needed to walk in and take action and vote. That regardless of the despair I was feeling or discord I was tapping into - that I needed to vote and I knew how. And so I walked in and I voted. And my headache ceased. And I felt contentment so much that I decided to offer my 6pm yoga class at no class that evening, and to simply hold the vibrations of overwhelming loving action for our community.

I stayed up with many others watching the results pour in, thinking firmly, that no matter what the results were going to be, that it was going to be a changing point in our history - one way or another. And as I woke up and saw the continued discord and apathy, I was not surprised. It was truly going to be this way no matter who won, wasn't it?

Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you cannot see the whole staircase." 

I have faith. I have faith that this is going to be the catalyst for a new coming - one way or another. I have faith that we can all come together - one way or another. I have faith that this will eventually lead to the highest good - one way or another. 

Those who are hurting, feel those emotions today. Because tomorrow, we need to act out of a place of love and come together to build the world that we truly need. A world that stands in love and unity. A world of light and Oneness. 

na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam ahah param

"Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."- Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita 

This ancient text tells us all that we really need to know and understand. Life goes on. No matter who rules the land, life goes on. And the only reality that we will ever know is that life will go on. It may change form and it may not be the type of "life" in the form of matter that we imagine now. But it will never cease to be. We are Divine. We are Energy. We are Light. 

Om Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

In Love, Service & Wisdom.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November's Theme: "TRUST"

For November we have the theme of "TRUST" put upon us. Wow, another incredible synchronistic theme I pulled from my "OM Cards" as we are about to come together as a nation and put our trust in someone to govern us. Or are we? Have we, as a nation, completely lost the ability to trust? And perhaps should we be more careful of who we put our trust in than some of the chosen ones in the past? Whatever does happen on November 8th, it is sure to be an interesting theme to look at for this month.

According to yogi Sally Kempton, "one of the deepest, mind, body, heart, transforming words is the word trust. Because so many of us don't quite trust. We don't trust ourselves, in others, in the universe, or in a higher power. We of course have many good reasons for not trusting. Most of us have experienced some form of betrayal in our life that has affected our ability to trust. But in order to enter into the experience of union, of oneness, of interconnectedness, of fearlessness, one of the core recognitions that we have to open up to is our capacity to trust."

Take a look at all the facets that Sally mentions above and ask yourself, in truth, Do I trust myself - to make the best decisions for me and for the greater good? Do I trust in others to always do the same? Do I trust that the Universe has a greater plan for me that is one of love and light and ascension? Do I trust in a higher power that has my back throughout all of life's journeys?

Most likely there are some issues related to trust that affect your everyday life. And if we do not truly trust, does that mean that we are disconnected from the union (yoga) of Oneness? 

It is interesting that the first chakra (Muldahara), which is the foundation upon which all of the other energy centers are aligned to eventually bring us to Oneness and Bliss, is anchored in the concept of trust. Well known key words for the 1st chakra are: Foundation, Grounding, Nourishment and Trust. So, in reality, if we do not work on this concept, we inevitably form the rest of our world on an unstable foundation. 

As you explore the word "trust" this month, let's see if we can work to heal some old wounds and create a more solid foundation for not only ourselves, but our country and our planet.
In Love & Light.
OYC Founder, Tracey L. Ulshafer & your OYC Teaching Staff

* * * * * * *

I have been told that I am too trusting. Truth is that I tend to see the best in people, and am sometimes let down by that - some times extremely let down. I do not see trusting as a fault or negative thing, as some people say. I do not view it as naivety either. In fact, I think of trust as a highly developed concept. It takes a lot of courage and much of being grounded to trust. 

I trust that there is a divine plan and even when things aren't seemingly going right or "good" as defined by some, I see the silver lining that there was a lesson or a reason that the event needed to occur to propel me to the next stage of my life. I also trust that I am a part of this consciousness and so the choices that I make are ultimately the right ones at that time and that place that I needed to make. 

I used to struggle a lot more with trusting others. When I was in corporate I didn't trust that anyone would get a job done as good as I would, so I burned myself out doing everything. It took a while to learn how to delegate, but also that by delegating I had to teach someone else the right way to do something and not assume that they would naturally do it as I would. This was a great lesson, and ultimately helped catapult me to a place where I could actually manage the staff that I had do the work that they should be doing - and not me doing it for them. In earlier relationships with boyfriends and even girl friends, I found myself doing all of the work too. I would be the one to initiate contact, make plans, and ensure that all parties knew what was happening where and when. Fact is that I still do a lot of that because I enjoy it. But, I have loosened up the reigns and now leave it to other people to sometimes contact me. And when they don't, I go about my day doing other things. And when we do get together, it is always magical. 

Trusting others is a highly developed thing. And I have found that one key is to surround myself with positive energy and light at all times. This way I attract more positivity. I've cleansed myself of the many people who I allowed to betray me and created a more supportive network of people so that I feel good about trusting them. I realize this does not make me impervious to potential issues, but I don't dwell on it or live in it. I simply do not have the time. I choose instead to develop a sense of trust in all things...and look at the silver linings throughout.

This past September on our trip to Peru, we found ourselves in the middle of a potential situation with a strike. We were bound to our hotel one day that we were supposed to be visiting power places and were not sure if we would be able to leave and gain access to the train to Machu Picchu the next day either. I wasn't worried about it, though. I knew that we were all in the right places, doing what we all needed to do. And, as it turned out, we had a lovely day and made it to Machu Picchu earlier than anticipated the following day, avoiding a lot of issues involved in the strike. I am a firm believer in trusting. And I have found that in more cases than not, it has brought me some very unexpected and wonderful things.  
In Love, Service & Wisdom.
Tracey L. Ulshafer,
Founder/Director, One Yoga Center