On our way to the airport driving son cully who’s joining daughter Fonya in
Missoula Montana where she and her new hubby Kurt live. This is my first post using my iPhone. Testing you might say. Guess later I’ll upload some art but let’s try a photo from my phone okay? Here’s our christmas tree in St Augustine.
Archive for the ‘passion’ Category
Tags: first things first, one step at a time, one word at a time, yogic breathing
On our way to the airport driving son cully who’s joining daughter Fonya in
Tags: breath, breathe, cobra, downward dog, gentle yoga, hatha yoga, life-changing, life-giving, lunge, mountain, mountain pose, physical yoga, practice, sun salute, surya namaskar, yoga
please check out my latest update to “We Are ONE” on the “page” side of my blog, to the right. every week i’ll upload a few more pages of this picture book for you.
wow, the “brains” behind wordpress have really messed me up! somehow they’ve changed the editing format and i can’t see what i’m typing, so bear with me if things are…weird. i’ll do my best, and shoot them an e-mail to tell them of their well-intentioned, but mis-placed latest updates!
i wanted to share today, the joy of stretching. simple hatha yoga changed my life, literally. yesterday i had the pleasure of introducing a new friend to sun salutes, and today i am with you, too. if you haven’t already tried this easy-to-do, yet life-changing method of stretching-along-with-breathing, i’m encouraging you, right here, right now, to try it.
this drawing is my version of a sun salute. i drew it to illustrate how one must imagine their own “private sun” above them, because i was teaching at the time to girls in prison. even if you’re in a cell, you can bow and honor the source of all life on Earth…the sun. here’s the 12 steps (poses, called “asanas”) of a sun salute, surya namaskar, a yoga vinyasa (series of flowing poses).
and here are simple, step-by-step directions, and PLEASE, enjoy yourself!
1. go very slowly. you will increase speed as you loosen up. first poses is standing with hands folded at your heart, breathe in and out, and steady your busy mind by focusing your eyes on one spot. thank you says your body, your heart, and your mind. end on an exhale.
2. inhale and lift your arms overhead, either to the side, like opening wings, or just up and over your head. keep your legs straight and only bend over backwards if you feel like it. that can come later. on this first round of the sun salute it’s good to stay in each of the 12 poses for several breaths. up to you, but don’t rush. eventually, you will coordinate the poses with your in and out breathing, but for now…just enjoy the stretch and stay with what your body tells you (huh?) it needs, like how many breaths do you want to stretch this particular way.
3. exhale and slowly arch your back and bend forward. let your head and neck completely relax. Hang there. Hang hang hang. let gravity do some work for a change. when you’re ready to go into the next pose, engage your abs so you protect your back.
4. inhale and take your right leg backwards into a full lunge. MOST IMPORTANT here is to make sure your left knee is directly over your left ankle. place fingertips of floor, torso goes downward, as your back gently bends upward. again, enjoy the stretch for several breaths at the beginning of your practice.
5. exhale and bring your left leg back along your right and make a high arch with your butt way up in the sky, into a “downward dog” pose. let your head go completely loose. don’t worry if your feet don’t completely go flat, that will happen eventually. point here is to PUSH away from the floor with your hands (shoulder-width apart) and up with your strong legs (hip-width apart) with your hands energetically engaged with the floor, the index fingers pointing straight ahead. enjoy your breath.
6. here you have a choice! ahhhh, choices. that which makes or breaks our lives. beginnings sink to your knees now, and slowly come forward onto your belly, not moving your arms, into a “small cobra.” more seasoned stretchers, you can, with your elbows CLOSE TO YOUR BODY 9otherwise you’ll compromise your rotator cuff, in shoulder joint), “swoop” your body in an arcing motion, from a bent-knee half-bow to… a beautiful, graceful “big cobra”…with arms more fully extended, but with your pelvic bones still on or nearly on the floor. enjoy your breath. eventually, this will all be accomplished on a single exhale. really.
7. inhale and enjoy the snake pose, bhujangasana, “the cobra.” keep your pelvic bones as close or on the floor as you can, while streching the lower back muscles, gentle!
8. exhale and push yourself back into the downward dog position. check your alignment (arms shoulder-width; feet hips-width, arms pushing, butt upward…so much to remember, but hey! you’re your OWN TEACHER!!!) EMPOWERMENT…it’s YOU! right within your own self.
9. inhale and bring your right leg forward into a lunge on the oother side. you may have to “help” your leg get up there at first, so just hop it along, but make sure your right knee is directly over that right ankle. thank you.
10. exhale and push yourself into a forward bend, and fell the difference. ommygod!! you are probably fainting from sheer pleasure at this point. i know i am with each first sun salute of the day. yummmmm.
11. inhale and please engage your abs before you stretch up and over your head with your arms straight, and palms eventually touching, into a small backbend, if you wish only. with ab muscles still engaged …
12. bring yourself from the little standing backbend into your original pose, the moutain, “tadasana.” With hands at your heart give great thanks to the sun (still above you, even if only in your mind!) and the life it shines upon this gorgeous blue garden planet of ours, which grows such delicious things as you, and all the food we need to sustain ourselves.
Repeat the above with your LEFT leg back, and bringing your left leg forward at end of the vinyasa.
By learning to empower your own self, using your body to strengthen your life, center your stormy emotions, and uplift your small-things centered mental faculties, your life will automatically expand. the teacher is within you. your body is a gift. keep it strong, clean, and agile, and you will be honoring the most important teacher–YOU!!–you’ll ever have. the Great Spirit lives within us all! really!
I hope you enjoy this little yoga lesson i’m sharing with you. occasionally i’ll give some tips. lordflea does love hatha yoga, the physical poses, so very much, that i want the entire world to know these ancient, but very effective moves that keep us fit, grateful, and calm (thanks to the breathing, the key to inner peace).
in the Light, lord flea singing our song of ONE
Tags: Ace Lady, art, care-taking, caregiving, dancing, lighthouse, passion, sailing, spiritual, St. Augustine, st. augustine lighthouse, writing
i’ve been sailing and motoring the inways, byways and channels around st. augustine this week! in between nursing others in my family, and attending to bizness as usual, i had to do something to blow out the steam, and … sailing, being on the water, is one of my passions, as well as laughing, dancing, being with great groovy people, traveling, learning new things, writing stories and making art. whew! so many passions.
my passions are many. some have more. some…only politics, it seems these days. whatever yours are, i hope you enjoy pursuing them. and if you haven’t, or haven’t made time to pursue them, i urge you to do that … like now!
take the owner of Ace Lady, for instance:
Priscilla is a single woman, an expert solo sailor, self confident and extremely capable, who is following her dream. priscilla puts everything she has into making sure that dream of hers comes true: owning and operating a sturdy, ocean-going sailboat. it’s not easy, what priscilla is doing, because the maintenance alone (not to mention the sailing) of such a vessel is … well, beyond comprehension to most landlubbers, such as we. but priscilla finds the time (in between a successful massage therapy business) to maintain her boat, sail it near and far, chartering it out as much as possible (see www.aceladysails.com for more info). i greatly admire people like priscilla. they defy the odds, and make sure their dreams become reality. bravo priscilla!!
this anchored boat, with its mast under repair, represents another sailor’s passion: as demonstrated by the bedazzling woodworking you see everywhere onboard, representing hundreds of hours of labor-intensive savvy!
even this boat owner’s dingys are exquisitely varnished. he was down below, no doubt, sanding or applying his loving craft to another woody surface, whistling, happy. following his passion.
and you? what’s your passion? are you at least thinking of how you’ll be able to honor that passion today? even if, like myself, some days you just can’t. but no matter how stresed or strained we are, at least we can plan on how our passions will evolve some other day, if we’re busy with other things. because, as we all know, the unfolding of our realities all start with the thoughts we hold continuously in our minds.
as for my passions: this week i’ve had to put my love (honestly, it’s an out-and-out obsession) of writing and arting to one side to make space to care-take my mom (still recovering from her T.I.A.), and also husband Carter, who didn’t do what i did when i felt “the bug” invade my body last week (we both got it). i rested, he didn’t. i’m not as sick, he’s dog-dead-in-the-ditch sick. i chose to not do as much and he’s paying the price, poor baby (guys! what is it about guys?!). for a few days i had to put my passions on hold, to heal myself. and here i am now, nurse lordflea, nursing others, making sure mom takes her meds; making chamomile tea with honey and lemon in the middle of the night for carter, and yesterday, a big pot of chicken soup bubbling on the stove, with lots of homeopathic remedies at the bedside of the sick co-captain of our ship, called relation. for the moment at least, my passion for arting (which most definitely includes writing) is put aside for the good of the bigger picture.
but…my passion of being one with the Divine…is never put on hold. THAT i can do, whether i’m busy, sick, traveling, or involved with others’ passions, projects, or peculiar personalities:
here’s another shot of the gorgeous st. augustine lighthouse, which has always been one of my passions in life, and also, in my art:
and here you can see how my passion evokes another way of “seeing” st. augustine’s lighthouse:
in this series, i take the st. augustine lighthouse, which has always been a personal icon of mine, representing a tower of strength and courage, and use it here to remind me to follow my passion, to do whatever i have to do to take my journey of searching for Truth to the next level. i use the lighthouse along with other universal, recognizable archetypes (painted in the small squares, surrounded by the matrix of space, time, and matter) as focus. these paintins are reminders, meant to evoke humankind’s aspiring to a greater good (this is MY political activism, folks!). just as we awake from a profound, prescient dream and only remember an image, a fragment of it here and there throughout the day, i attempt to portray in this series the remnants of a very real, very tangible inner remembrace: the images hint of who we really are, and where our spiritual journey (of the entire human race, mean) is taking us. we run into these reminders, always, but do we stop to notice them? bits and pieces of startling landscape, a word from a stranger, an angelic message on a bus ad, a glistening majestic river, a long road beckoning us to follow. this series is about our path. other places, other states of being-ness yet to explore. here’s another of my lighthouse series, this one depicting an altogether different landscape.
for years i used to run along st. augustine beach, and watch the lighthouse as it grew steadily more prominent. i was always eager to see it rising over the sandy, sea oats-strewn dunes. the closer i came to the lighthouse, the more excited i got. my body would shiver, my breath felt sharper. i was sure i felt the same as, and fully understood the significance of being “guided” that desperate sailors out at sea must have felt, whenever they sighted a lighthouse with the surrounding seas rough, the night dark, and the way, treacherous. that’s my inspiration behind making this series. i chose the lighthouse as my main motif, along with more recognizable totems of great impact, both spiritual and cultural, to convey a strong a message of hope to others. this particular lighthouse, the one at st. augustine, has always been a beacon of inner strength in my own life. here’s another of the series.
today, on blog lordflea, it seems to be: honor the Light Within Day!! yes, that’s a passion of mine! maybe you’ll feel the excitement i carry in my heart for the unseen Light we all carry within, by gazing at my lighthouse series. i hope you enjoy them. here’s the final in the series, as i wish you adieu, a very groovy day, enjoying whatever passion you happen to be engaged in at this very moment!
love from your pal, lord flea