Saturday, July 20, 2019

Raga: Attachment - a Cause of Suffering

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali, who compiled this information in a concise format for yogi and yoginis to follow for years to come, mentions five kleshas, or causes of suffering. These are also referred to in the Buddhist tradition. According to Patajnali, the kleshas are thus:
1. Avidya or ignorance to our true nature
2. Asmita or egoism, which keeps us feeling separate
3. Raga, the attachments we put on people, places and things
4. Dvesa, the aversions we create when we try to ignore desires
5. Abhinidvesa, fear of change due to our attachments and aversions that the ego creates, which disconnects us from our true nature
For a practitioner of yoga, these are components of the path that we are constantly working through. We realize this early on, but stumble through it often because these are all parts of being human and our constant work here on this planet. 

For some time now I have been comforted with raga in a big way. No kidding, for each time I pulled a daily Angel card, about a third of the time it would be "Releasing." I don't recall the timeframe, but some time ago I started going through all of my possessions. I am 51 and I have accumulated a lot of things. I also somehow became the "keeper" of ancestral history and family heirlooms. In my mind, everything I had was for some reason. But in my heart, I knew that I needed to purge and release. As a yoga teacher, it was not lost to me that I had quite a few attachments - not only physical but mental as well. About two years ago a student of mine had literally sold all of his possessions, except for what would fit into his car, and took off to organic farm around the country. He had inspired me to reflect on my possessions, especially as he took one last item out of his car and handed it to me before he took off that Sunday evening. 

So, I did what I could do and I started weeding through some items that I had kept in the basement. I started with about six boxes of Christmas ornaments and items that I had not used in at least thirteen years. My sister loves Christmas and has a large garage, so I dropped a lot off to her. I still kept a few things for myself that I use frequently, but my holiday trees are getting smaller and smaller as our family traditions have changed and dwindled. So, why keep it all? I honestly had two shelves of empty boxes for wrapping presents. Why?

Recycled the boxes, and then I started going through papers. I realized that I had at least five years of old business papers that could be destroyed, so I started nightly bonfires to burn them up and let them go. This took months. As I was going through old business papers, I decided to look at my file cabinets. I had two, four-drawer, and two, two-drawer file cabinets in my office...almost all full of papers! A friend staying with me asked if I could go more digital. When she asked this, it shocked my entire system. Digital? But, I need my paper copies for back-up, I thought. I sat with that, and started to go through my files. I was able to release four file drawers, and began to burn those in nightly bonfires too. 

I thought that I was really getting somewhere, but my Angel cards kept coming up, and sometime consecutive days: "Release."

I knew that what I needed to release was a lot of physical property, but also old feelings and ways that I was holding on to as well. I began to realize that the home in which I had built with my husband and spent the last sixteen years in, needed to be released - along with everything else that it had represented. When we began to build the home, we were much younger, naive, and full of ourselves. It was a big deal for us to have a big, new house to show off and fill with possessions. My house, as one of my neighbors recently described, "is magazine worthy." It is. My cousin's husband told me a couple of years ago that it was like a museum. Each time I hear these things, my ego swells. I feel proud of myself and my accomplishments. 

But what does that really mean?

When we become obsessed with perfectionism or desire things to be a certain way, this is raga. In the beginning it feels good to attain "stuff." But then that stuff begins to control you, and you begin to worry about losing it. Fear that you will no longer be what you think without it takes over. And the next thing you know, you have completely attached to it. I had done this. I had attached to my home to the point that I had no longer equated my own identity beyond it. The fact that taxes had risen considerably, my husband and I were commuting two hours a day acquiring excessive tolls and gas, and needing to work longer and harder in order to manage everything, became a daily programming. 

We were completely suffering.

We agreed to put the house up for sale, and began to prepare it for showing. I continued to let go of possessions. I started selling items on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, then at the auction houses. After a short stint there, I just began giving things away. I gave to the Vets, Rise, Trenton Rescue Mission, family and friends. We started to have showings on our home and within six days received two bids. 

This is when I became a complete emotional basket case. Because, shit got real. Here I was letting go, but my angel cards kept telling me "Release" and I had still not done so. I kept telling people that I did not want to have to move. I wanted my home to be closer to work, but I was still too attached to this particular home. We accepted one offer, but I was distraught. Then we had an issue and fell out of contract. I was completely relieved! I deceived myself by thinking we could stay, and that it was a sign form the Universe that we were supposed to stay in "our home."

And the Angel cards say, "Release."

In the next two weeks, I did a lot of soul searching and emotional connecting and releasing. It was tough. I had such pain in my body that I began going to doctors to figure out why. I realized that my attachment to my home was unhealthy, but how could I work through this? How could I not feed my illusionary thought-process and finally do what I needed to do to let the house go? 

I took some walks in the woods. I realized how much I was holding my breath. Yoga teacher, remember how to properly breathe? I took some down time and meditated, focusing on deep breathing and long holds. I put guided meditations on when I went to bed and focused in on my breath as I fell off. I scheduled all of my dental and doctor appointments and took care of my physical body. I started taking vitamins, eating more vegetables, and drinking more water. I made new energy grids with different stones and began packing my home up. And finally, I did something that I had been ignoring for a really long time: I created a ritual to let the energy go in love and light. I had been ignoring this because I knew that once I put that intention to sacred energy, it would happen. And to close it all off, after a conversation with my cousin, Gabriel, I invited Archangel Gabriel in to whisper to God, that I was ready to release the house, and to help me find a way.

A few days later we received a message that the former buyer was having second thoughts, and was still interested in the property. We agreed to the terms and within two days found a place to move to that is as perfect as we could have asked for. At the time of this writing, we have not moved yet, but I feel a sense of peace in my being that I did not have before.

Raga is difficult. We love what we love, and what we have come to feel that we need in our life to make us whole. In that process, we lose ourself, our true nature, and our peace. It struck me the other day how much suffering I had been allowing myself to live in, just to keep up with the house that I felt that I needed to be in. My Angels knew it. On the days that I didn't get "Release" I often got "Stop Worrying" or "Ask for Help." But I needed to dig into my emotional body, my mental body, and my spiritual body to discern the reasons for this attachment first. I needed to understand, in totality, why I was so attached, and why I was having so much trouble letting go. Once I got there, I was able to replace my fear with love, and the realization of the suffering came to me. Since then I have felt peace. 

We come to yoga on the mat, but the real yoga is how we work it off the mat. 

Always astounded by the lessons of this practice - even after all these years, I am still an ongoing, humble beginner. 

In Love & Light.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Reclaiming Your Personal Power

Reclaiming Your Personal Power

I used to believe that I was not susceptible to any negative energy around me, and that I had a solid source-field that protected me from energy vampires, malevolent energy workers, and narcissistic people. I was, mistaken. Well, sort of.

They say that ignorance is bliss. When I knew less, I seemed to operate on a fully charged system. The more I learned about energy and how energy leaks occur and the operational elements behind the energy on the planet, the more open I became. The more energy work that I practiced, the more open I left myself to these negative aspects. I had no idea. Even when I found myself completely depleted, in pain, and unable to notice even a glimpse of the person that I used to be, did I realize that something bigger was at play.

It's easy to make excuses - ignore the signs. It's easy to plug into the "system" and ignore the innate creator-ship within. I know this all too well. I want to tell you that there is always time to turn it around.

The first step is recognizing that you are no longer living in your light. What happened? Are you depressed? Anxious? Worried all the time, living in fear-based mindsets? Do you find your energy drained after short stints with other people or traveling outside of your comfort zone? Have you put on weight? Do you have fantom pains that medical doctors cannot figure out why they are there? Have abnormal physical symptoms started to pervade your everyday life, moving you further and further away from true joy? Have you changed your physical appearance so that you no longer even look like yourself? Did you unconsciously invite the energy in?


Yes? Then we are on to something. What can we do?

We recognize that we are being affected by negative energy. We don't have to understand where it is coming from, necessarily. But we do need to take personal responsibility for changing it and reclaiming your own personal power!

We are part of an interconnected web of energy we call Consciousness or Oneness. Everything is connected to YOU. There is a natural ebb and flow that occurs when everything is in harmony. Guess what? There is a lot not in harmony right now. In fact, it has been a really long time since we lived in any sort of harmonious environment. So instead of ebbing and flowing, we may feel pushed and pulled, yanked and smacked, tossed and beat up. I often call it "shot out."

This happens when we are not being a willing participant in our own energy exchange - in fact, we have given our will away. Perhaps you gave it away to another person. Or maybe you just left yourself open, and another energy saw that light and decided that it needed it. Does it really matter what happened? Or, do we need to focus on the solution?


Reclaiming our personal power means we have to drop back in to our body. When was the last time you practiced yoga? Meditated? Went into nature, dropped and just sat and breathed? We need to reconnect. We need to tap back into our body and the grounding energy that manifests back into the earth. How you do it is up to you. But may I suggest, get thee to your local yoga class at One Yoga Center? Either way, drop back in to your body. Reconnect.

Once you are there, what do you feel? Can you feel? Have you lost connected to feeling parts of you? Breathe into them. Feel them. Allow yourself to feel even deeper what is happening underneath them. What are the underlying emotions at play? This won't necessarily be fun - but it IS necessary!

Once you start to drop in and feel again - you need to turn up your power center. Connect to your solar plexus and start to push energy there. Work to strengthen your core - and to sit in that power center. Put your hands on your belly when you breath - or even when you walk around during the day. Get in there, love it, and honor it.

Once the energy starts to awaken in the solar plexus, temper it with love. Don't let this energy get out of hand. We don't want to "get back at" anyone or deplete their light (even if we perceive that they took some of ours). What we want to do is send love to them as well as back to ourselves. This energy is so important to cultivate. It heals all.

Once we send love, we then need to send light. We need to feel and surround ourselves with light. Calling your angels. Archangel Michael is the protector, the warrior, and the one who can call upon his legion of angels to assist you. But you have to ask for his help first. Here is a beautiful prayer:
"Dear Archangel Michael, please surround me with your royal purple light, to ward off any lower vibrations of energy. Please guide me clearly so that I may only interact with people living in truth and integrity. Amen/Aho/Blessed Be!"
Visualize a white light surrounding you like an egg, encasing and protecting you from any lower energies that may want to come in. Do NOT focus on lower energies. Focus on the light. See yourself in the light and of the light. Be the light.

At any point along this journey you could find yourself having trouble getting moving through it. A block of energy can occur. It happened to me. It took me quite a while to move the block. Remember that everything is energy and it is always changing. You may feel great and powerful one day, only to be depleted and disoriented the next. This is the way things go sometimes. But do not give up! Get back up and try again. Maybe rest for a day and replenish your energy. Or take a day off to regroup. Whatever you have to do, do it. Then get back to it.

I have personally found that certain stones and crystals have helped me. I have been working with energy grids and rituals to infuse these energies into my world and it has helped immensely.

Another thing that you can consider is removing certain people from your life. You are not required to keep anyone in your circles that damage or deplete your energy. This includes family members, who might be here with us on this lifetime only for the purpose of you to learn how to set boundaries. Decline opportunities to attend certain functions. Unfollow or delete people off your social media. When you accidentally run into them, smile and send them love, but keep it moving.

Remember that people and places are put here for us to grow and learn. But that does not mean that we need to give away our energy to them. If you have, reclaim your own power instead of blaming another energy source. Ultimately if you are having issues, it is for you to fix.

I realize that this can sound like a lot. So I want you to know that I am here for you. I have a sacred space that I have cultivated at One Yoga Center for you to come and reconnect and plug back into ouy. I have a Natural Healer store there where I sell items that may help you on this path. And, I offer public classes and private consultations in which to work with you on this path.

Reach out. I've been there. And I have reclaimed my personal power, but I understand that the journey is not easy. Call me at 609-918-0963 or email: if you want to schedule a private shopping appointment or consultation.

It's time. Reclaim Your Personal Power Now!

In Love and Light,

Monday, July 1, 2019

July's Newsletter: I UNDERSTAND - 7th Chakra

Understanding is an interesting concept. How do we know what we know? Do we blindly follow what we have been told by our teachers, our parents, the government? Or, do we seek to understand things by seeing the world and having our own experiences.

The 7th Chakra is also an opportunity to look into your spiritual tradition. Do you follow a faith that you grew up in or have you found your own? Have your thoughts on God, the Universe, and Higher Power changed over the years as a result of what you have been through? Or, regardless of whatever happens do you hold firm to your faith?

Faith is a very personal thing to each one of us. No-one else has the right to tell you what to believe in. But, do you have belief? And are you practicing what you believe? Join us this month as we dive into these questions and more!

7th Chakra Basics:
Name: Sarasrara = Thousand-Fold
Location: Crown of the Head
Color: Violet
Element: Thought
Issues: Belief Systems, Higher Power, Union, Transcendence, Immanence
Mantra: Silent or NG NG NG
Physical Issues: Migraines, Amnesia, brain tumors, coma, cognitive delusions

Questions to Ask to see if this Chakra is in balance:
  1. Do I have a deep spiritual belief?
  2. Am I able to analyze information?
  3. Am I open-minded?
  4. Do I question?
  5. Do I have a deep mastery and world-view?
  6. Can I assimilate knowledge?
  7. Do I have any learning disabilities?
  8. Are my beliefs rigid?
  9. Am I cynical or apathetic?
  10. Do I tend to over-intellectualize?

Some things to do this month to work with this Chakra:
  1. Enter a program of study and learning
  2. Learn about other spiritual disciplines
  3. Fast for the day
  4. Go on spiritual retreat
  5. Study or learn about metaphysics
  6. Write a prayer or invocation
  7. Meditate and remove self from material world for the day
  8. Spend the day in silence
  9. Re-establish spiritual connection

So what type of things should you practice for this Chakra?

Asanas - Headstand, Standing-Straddle Bend of "A" Pose, Moon Salutations, Hare or Rabbit pose, Savasana/Corpse pose.

Sequence - Go back to basic postures with a deeper understanding of them, having practiced some time. Try new things in the poses to uncover deeper levels of awareness. Maybe work on one pose this month - one that scares you or that you find baffling.

Breathing - Central Channel Breath. Visualize a line through center of body (Central Channel). Inhale up from the bottom to the top, and exhale down from the top to the bottom. Some people like to visualize breathing up and down the spine itself.

Mantra - Silent or Ng Ng Ng

Meditation - Silence

Any of the yoga classes at One Yoga Center will help you to connect or reconnect with your Chakras. Many of our classes this month will focus on this Chakra and just being present. Dive on in!

Love & Light, Tracey & the Teachers at One Yoga & Wellness Center!

Special Message from Tracey for July...

How do you know what you know?

Personally, I am always questioning what I know and trying to learn and understand more. In school I was never considered a "smart" kid, but rather more "average." When I was older I came across what is still one of my most favorite quotes by Socrates, "The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing." I found that quite liberating and completely welcomed it. It made me feel smarter!

Each time that I have felt too strongly or firmly about something - an idea, a person, whatever - I was dealt a hand of life that made me realize how wrong I really was. I have learned to never stand too firm in any belief or idea because of this, well, other than trying to be the best person that I can be, that is.

Science is constantly discovering new realms. It will probably not be long before many of the things that we were told were untrue are found to be true in the end. I welcome this day too.

If you believe, as I do, that we are in an ascension time, when energy is expanding vastly and constantly, then you understand that there is no space for thinking small or containing ourselves. That may have worked in the past, but it no longer serves us. I am open to being proven wrong by this theory, but so far, nobody can show me an evidence to the contrary. I feel and see and know what I feel and see and know. Energy is shifting. PS Science confirms that too.

I have not told many people this, but I decided to go back to school. I am currently enrolled in a Master of Theology and Divinity program at an Interfaith Seminary. I feel called to expand myself and have alway been drawn to the vast world religions. I am trusting that the Universe, in its intelligence, is guiding me somewhere and to something. I cannot see the endgame or goal, but I am on the road and enjoying the ride.

When was the last time that you threw down your own thoughts and opened up to something bigger or unknown? Perhaps this is a good time to start your own program of study or dive into a deeper spiritual understanding. Why not?

As Socrates also said, "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life ourselves, and the world around us." Let's get out in the world this month and expand our awareness more! I'll go with you...where would you like to start?
In Love & Light,