Friday, May 29, 2020

June 2020 - Keep the Faith

Keep the Faith

One of my favorite quotes:

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." MLK Jr.

As I write this I actually feel as though I am in the middle of the staircase but its no ordinary one. The staircase winds up and into the clouds and to destination unknown. Will I continue the staircase and keep the faith that it is taking me somewhere beautiful and magical? Or will I hold on and cling to getting back down on to solid ground that I also can no longer see? To me the only decision is to keep climbing the stairs and keep the faith that we are ascending somewhere that we need to be. Perfect love. Perfect trust.

As I close in on the completion of my Doctor of Ministry program and having seen how everyone has chosen to work through the current life struggles, I am astounded at how many people completely lost faith or stepped away from everything that they ever believed in, that has helped them through challenges their entire life - clergy included. This is not judgment. Everyone is doing the best that they can with the situation at hand. However, I feel how for myself when I plug back in to what I truly believe in and have faith, that the energy shifts.

As many of you know, I work with Angel cards and Tarot cards, regularly, for guidance. The Angel Tarot speaks the most to me, but so does another Angel deck, the Indigo Angels. The "Pray" card keeps coming up one and over. In fact, sometimes it just flips out of the deck on my lap.

A year ago I began a daily morning prayer ritual for myself. Every day, without fail, I thank Spirit for watching over me and my family as we slept, and for giving us another new day. I give other thanks and appreciations, and I may ask for assistance in some way or another. There is more to it, but I try to do this upon waking, or as soon as I can. I find that it helps me set the right tone and intention for my day. It sets me on the right path.

Amidst the current world pandemic, this just wasn't cutting it. I found myself in early May affected negatively by the rising anger and hatred in the world. Now I do believe that we are moving through a wave of ascension energies on the planet and the we are dealing with the last days of duality, where the "sides" are duking it out. I am an optimist. I believe that we are moving somewhere beautiful, eventually. In the meantime, like a pimple that surfaces after a facial, the real junk is boiling to the top.

My morning prayers were not getting me through the day. I needed more.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my dogs for one of their usual walks. I have come to love these times when we can walk, unmasked, around the neighborhood, enjoying the lovely weather and fresh air. On this particular day I was really struggling. I needed a sign - anything! I took several deep breaths and shook some energy off my body. I began to sing "Let it Be"over and over, asking Mother Mary to come to me. In fact, I put it on replay on my iPhone. Around the block I went, singing, "...and in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me..." over and over. At one point I looked at a patch of grass and immediately say a four-leafed clover. I picked it, thinking it could be a sign from Mother Mary, but sort of dared her to show me another one if she was really there. Again, within a minute I found a second four-leafed clover right under my feet.

I really needed that sign to keep the faith that day. It got me through the week.

Recently I was reminded of the beautiful Gayatri Mantra. Well, I was not reminded of it, as much as I came across a translation of it that I had:


Aum
Bhuh Bhuvah Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat

~ The Rig Veda (10:16:3)
Translation:
“O Divine mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote illumination within us."

As I sang the Gayatri over and over I felt within me a darkness being lifted. I felt a levity to my spirit. I went from nearly crying in anguish to smiling with joy. The affects are still in me. The chanting of this sacred mantra (hymn) to the Divine helped and restored my faith.

Each time I find myself questioning the world today or whether or not God/Spirit is watching or helping, I receive a mystical sign. Often, however, I need to ask for it or watch for it. If I am busy focusing on something else of a lower vibrational level, I could miss it entirely!

I have shared many times that I was not brought up in any religious church or house of worship. My parents allowed me to discover my own belief systems, which perhaps is what propelled me to understand them most in the first place. As I sit on the precipice of finishing my seminary school and receiving my ministerial doctorate, I find that faith is probably the most important thing that I have in my life at this moment. For without it, I fall into deep despair.

Living life guided by mystical experiences, I welcome any and all faith traditions into my life that have at their core the teachings of love and Oneness. Truly "Interfaith" I derive inspiration from many sources, and continue to learn and grow and expand upon my awareness.

I've taught many people over the years who call themselves "Recovering Catholics" or atheist/agnostic. That's fine. I ask them to believe in the light or the sun or nature. Usually they can relate to something in that vein. As a yoga teacher, I cannot teach the practice without the discussion of Spirituality and God. Personally I do not like the word "God" as it still has old religious connotations of a white man with a white beard in the clouds. I prefer to use Spirit, Great Spirit, Eloheim, or one of the many other names in which this omnipresent higher power is represented by. I do not begrudge anyone what he or she calls the name of her Universal Presence either. I believe that as long as you have faith, there is a spiritual presence in your life. And as a yoga teacher, we cannot practice yoga without that connection.

Today where do you find your spiritual connection? What gives you faith? Who or what is helping get you through each day with grace?

I would challenge you to reconnect with the Absolute of your upbringing or ancestral lineage. If that does not work for you, then what does? Reconnect or connect in some way and make that link your own. Release dogma and allow yourself to find the relationship that is meaningful to you - today.

So for June, let us "Keep the Faith" and connection to the deep wisdom within and the Spiritual Guidance that speaks to each of us.

In Love, Service and Wisdom,
Tracey

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

the Modern Mystic Path
~ Mana Temple ~

* New Offering *



Life can be a mystical experience, leading one to his or her truest and Highest Self. The path of the mystic winds through various spiritual traditions and belief systems, implementing multi-cultural experiences and honoring the Divine in all that is. Join me for a monthly journey into the "Mana Temple" - the Polynesian spiritual life force energy permeating the Universe.

Reclaim your connection to Spirit with my new Mystical monthly offering! Whether you find yourself lost in today's world or are a continued seeker on the path of Self-Realization, this course will offer you the opportunity to find the magical and mystical in the everyday.

As an Interfaith Minister, I honor all paths and faiths. As a Mystic and Healer, I understand the need for this path now - more than ever. Whether you are struggling or thriving, my course will keep you aligned with your Highest Self, emerging connected to Source and with a deep sense of purpose. 

The monthly offerings will include:
~ Yoga Session(s) - recorded
~ Meditation (s) - recorded
~ Ritual for the month - recorded with potential live options
~ Lecture (s)/Info on the month's energies - recorded
~ Private Facebook group in which to access all of these daily, ask questions and share your personal journey

In addition, you can purchase all of the items needed for the monthly ritual through the ONE SPIRIT Metaphysical Shop, individually, or in a package that can be picked up or mailed to you.

This investment has many options:

๐Ÿ’ซThe Maiden ⤏ ๐Ÿ’œ
Basic monthly offering with access to Facebook group and all the recordings and information, billed monthly = $44/month for 12 months (13th month FREE) or $505 for the year when pre-paid.

๐Ÿ’ซThe Mother ⤐ ๐Ÿ’—
All of the monthly offerings plus the ritual items from the ONE SPIRIT Metaphysical Shop, prepaid for one year in advance or billed monthly = $77/month for 12 months (13th month FREE) - OR - $900 for the year when pre-paid. *Note that items shipped will require additional shipping & handling fees*

๐Ÿ’ซThe Crone ⤘ ๐Ÿ’–
The monthly offerings, ritual items plus a one-hour personal session each month with Tracey to be used for shamanic healing or spiritual guidance, prepaid for one year in advance = $2662 for 13 months. *Shipping & handling included*

* * * * * * * * * * *
* The Mana Temple opens July 2020 *
Register by emailing: Info@OneYogaCenter.net or visiting www.OneYogaCenter.net
Call (609) 918-0963 to discuss the program further

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Two Month Quarantine - is Time even a Relevant Thing anymore?

Well, this is most certainly a blog that I never thought I would be writing. But here we are - another month gone by and still "sheltering in place." For me the whole entire time is a blur. I cannot even remember any specific day and no moments stand out. Time feels, well, irrelevant, other than I need to be on a class at a certain time. If it were not for various appointments, I wonder if we would even need time anymore? Hmm...interesting discussion...

Our world is vastly different than it was in February. I spent nearly three weeks in blissful unawareness of any threat in Thailand only to have the Covid-19 situation break new heights of concern just prior to traveling home. When I got back we were in the throes of chaos, and under a week the yoga studio was closed by the Governor. Truth, he never said "yoga studios," but I did determine that when he said "fitness centers and gyms" that we were lumped in to that. Besides, on Monday we had 10 people in class, by Wednesday 4, Thursday 2 and then closed. So, who was coming in to the studio anyway?!

And then, in the blink of an eye, everything went digital and virtual. I didn't even have a computer at the studio. But, I did have some foresight to set up a Zoom account months ago in preparation for an upcoming training, and for someone who really tried to stay away from digital energy, I had unknowingly set myself up for virtual classes to come.

Initially we tried a Facebook account for yoga class pass holders. It was good for about a week until everyone went on Facebook and then Facebook started deleting my own videos on my own private group as spam (P.S. they have yet to get back to me about that).

So, a week later the format was moved to Zoom, where the classroom has been for two months.

Has it been an easy two months?

Hardly.

First of all, where to put the camera is a whole ordeal. Determining the best angle for all poses is difficult. I have tried putting the computer high on stools and chairs and low to the ground. I am still working on it. Each have their own good points and difficulties.

I am always astounded by the grace of the Universe that puts me into these unique experiences. Like, who knew my degree in Radio/TV/Film would come in handy so much because of Covid!?


Not being able to see everyone and their practice is a challenge for me since proper alignment and safety is high on my teacher list. Not being able to offer assists and help people improve on their practice is also quite limited with Zoom. There are many facets to teaching that are difficult in the digital format. That, and the fact that nobody knew what they were doing in the beginning ether - so many times there was NO video on at all, or I was looking at someone's ceiling. All good. I am not judging. Just relating the challenges to it all. And we've certainly come a long way since then!

And then there are my dogs: my best friends, partners in crime, and unconditional loving pups. They follow me EVERYWHERE. Now that I am home so much they've gotten even MORE attached to me. They are always nearby when I teach. Sometimes Bodhi is snoring and you can hear him. Other times Kali is on my mat in my way. And then there are the times when they are either both on my mat, vomiting just off screen, crying to go outside, and lying on the computer. Your honor, may I please submit for evidence the following:




I ask you, how am I supposed to teach with these cute distractions! My students have no idea what I do for them. It's time you all knew! HAHA

And let's talk about my amazing students. Oh my goodness. Thanks to the many folks who wanted to continue to do their yoga practice. Many said that they feel it is the only thing keeping them going. I have been so grateful to practice with you all each day. When I log into the classroom and several people are already there waiting, I get really excited! I can't wait to see who jumps in the class each day and what distractions of your own that you have going on. And yes, I've seen it all. Mostly I love your pets bothering you. But its also pretty funny when your husband walks through the room, unaware or your children decide to make lunch in the kitchen where you are practicing. Luckily we have the "mute" button! If it were not for those of you who continue to come to regular classes and support the studio, we would not have a studio to come back to. I am forever, grateful to so many of you that words cannot amply express how I feel.



I found the virtual background option and have used that a few times for us. It feels nice to sit on the beach with moving waves, but sometimes my body just disappears. Other times, I am floating on the water. Kind of cool, but more distracting I think. So I started only using the backgrounds for meditations and am finding them to be quite effective for those.



The picture above is from the High Light Resonance Booster Attunement I did virtually. It actually worked quite well.

I also have done several Angel Card readings virtually which have been very on-point and quite powerful for people. I really need thought that I would be able to convey those messages through this format, but instead they are coming through even louder and stronger.

Another fun thing we did for a couple of weeks was an adult coloring meet-up. It was fun and I miss it. I think I spent all of March coloring on Saturday nights! But with so much on-line it was starting to feel like more work and it was time to take a break. But, I am down for inviting it again soon if anyone is interested. Check out some of our art:



In the beginning I taught 11 classes for the One Yoga students. Although it doesn't sound like too much, I also had 2-3 other classes that I taught for on-site clients who wanted me to go virtual, in addition to the Special Olympics classes that I did for them virtually. Each vendor has a different virtual set-up, so learning their systems, logging in early to work out the bugs, and downloading the various software setups was a lot of time and effort. In fact, all of the set ups ate away many hours on the back end that body really saw. I made sure that when it was time for class, I was ready. But really there was a lot to do that nobody else was aware of. So what may have been 13 classes a week turned into countless hours of preparation and setup. But, I pushed through!

May came in, ushering our second month of virtual classes. I tweaked the schedule bit based on feedback that I was given. I hope this helps people to get the most out of their class experience, but also to give me a little better schedule. It is not easy without a day off. Right now I have one day off: Fridays. Before, I had no days off because we also offers the community yoga for free on Facebook every Friday night. And although I really do think this might be the better night to hold it, I just needed one day not on Zoom! I truly apologize to anyone that this schedule does not work for. But I needed to honor myself so that I could be there more for my students when it was time. I am still evaluating the schedule and if things go into June, I may done more tweaking.

One thing is for sure, I will definitely be doing virtual classes moving forward. We have people joining from Florida and North Jersey, and now Canada! Another one of the benefits of the virtual classroom is being able to connect or reconnect with students who have moved away! And, this takes One Yoga classes international so that's pretty cool too!



And when you don't see me in front of the camera teaching, I am always behind the scenes. The amazing Elina Hernandez look back her Monday evening class at 6 pm. She logs on, I check everyone in and then turn the class over to her. I am so grateful to Elina for offering this class to the community.

I also have my yoga teacher trainees: Karuna, Marilyn, Amanda, Katie and Sarah, who teach the Community yoga classes. They teach and I watch and take notes, then we talk after. Again, I may not be in front of you but I am still working and there with you.

To say that the last two months have been a blur is an understatement. Now you see why. Every time someone tells me what they accomplished, cleaned or learned in their time off I do feel a pang of jealousy. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to be busy and working, but I do need some down time. All work and no play makes Tracey a dull girl...

And that is why I created CONNIE the Covid Bunny.

She started out as a snapchat filter joke one night when I was feeling silly. My mother loved it so much that I did another one to make her laugh. She started looking forward to her daily dose of Connie just to laugh, so I continued them.

And then she got her own Facebook page because more people told me how cute it was and made them smile. Soon Connie became a reminder to remain positive and hopeful. If you haven't checked her out, seek her on Facebook "Connie the Bunny."

I've tried to share her with Ellen Degeneres. Maybe Connie will make me famous! My step-daughter hopes so. Connie hopes so too!

And that brings us almost up to date.

In addition to all this virtual classroom business I also took over control of my website and reydisnged it myself. I moved the domain name, created the content and continue to work to enhance it. For the past nearly 20 years I've had someone else do my website and had limited ability to work with it and add features. Now, I can change things on a dime and I love it! So the girl who didn't even want a computer at the yoga studio is a web designer and television producer!

The yoga studio is also in the process of a complete overhaul. I moved things around - again. I cleaned. I stocked up on new supplies for the Natural Healer Shop. And I go there now twice a week to imbibe positive energy into the space. The studio misses us! The plants miss us! The Chakra porch misses us!

So, as I write this blog it is May 13th. My birthday is exactly 11 days away. Anyone that knows me knows that is an important number to me. So, I want to leave with a prayer that by my Birthday we have good news on the front about this quarantine and the virus. That we can begin reopening, cautiously, and yes, I am praying for a miracle that erases this virus from the earth. I believe that anything is possible. I don't want a vaccine. I just want it gone...or irrelevant. That is my birthday wish. Pray it with me and I will see you soon at One Yoga Center!

In love, service and wisdom,
Tracey (a.k.a. Connie the Bunny)