Saturday, February 21, 2015

Finally Friday Week Three: Nevermind the "How," I'm Going to Uluru, Australia

Uluru (Ayer's Rock) Australia
"From my experience, the "how" likes to stay hidden. It doesn't show itself until you are fully committed to what you are doing.  Once it knows you are serious, it starts to work in your favor in ways you aren't even able to fathom."—Katherine Jenkins

Well, I guess I was so excited that it was "Finally Friday" that I forgot to post. So now it's Saturday already. So much has happened since I last wrote here.

I took a leap last Wednesday. I leapt off that cliff that I'd been teetering on the edge of (see previous post). I turned around and faced that pride of lions and the Tsunami wave dissipated. It wasn't anything too extraordinary, but it was big enough.

I decided to follow my heart and take the leap, even though I spent a great deal of time dangling on that edge.

The leap was a decision to go to Australia for book research in August. I'm writing a series of fiction books based on the Earth Chakra system and I have visited all of the chakras/vortices in Book One except Uluru, otherwise known as Ayer's Rock, in Australia. This is chakra three and it is pertinent to my first book in the series.

I thought about researching the area via computer and then writing about it, but that just didn't feel quite right. I know that I need to physically be in all these places in order for the story to come alive. I need to breathe life into the words and that's not going to happen unless I am there experiencing the land itself. The narrative has come through me while I'm there.

So last Wednesday I announced via Facebook that I'm going. I was excited to find out that many of my Australian blogger friends/authors are thinking about making the trek out there with me and now it has turned into a pilgrimage of sorts.

My heart was in the right place when I took the leap.

Now I feel like the universe is realigning itself to support this decision. It's saying, "Okay stars, planets and galaxies, this is what she's decided to do, like it or not, so let's get on it!"

It doesn't mean I have it all worked out yet. One of my hesitations was finances. Flying from WA State to Australia is a costly affair. It's around $1500.....and then you've got to have funds once you get there. All the "ands," "sos," and "buts" came in trying to convince me that it's all a bad idea and I should just forget about it. Because really,

 How are you going to do that?

It's all about the "how," isn't it? And sometimes family and friends jump on the AND-SO-BUT BOAT too, and you start to second guess yourself. Now you are in your head listening to all the "voices" telling you to forget it, and you've forgotten everything about your HEART!

From my experience, the "how" likes to stay hidden. It doesn't show itself until you are fully committed to what you are doing.  Once it knows you are serious, it starts to work in your favor in ways you aren't even able to fathom.

It's not just the "how" that gets down to do too.

Ever since I made that announcement, I've been filled with so much positive energy. There's energy around this adventure. I'm excited to meet my Australian Blogger friends and it looks like it's going to turn into a pilgrimage and/or retreat. I bought a Lonely Planet Australia guidebook and a book on sacred sites around the world, I've contacted two Uluru guide companies in Australia to see if they can swing a group deal for me and the group that plans to come along, I've looked into airline tickets and places to stay. I've worked on some fundraising's full-steam ahead, friends.

And there are signs too. Right after I made this decision, Yoon and I went for a walk at a park in Washington State and somehow ended up in the Australian kidding....

Australian garden in The Seattle Arboreteum
 A section of the top of the park was dedicated to Australia and they had eucalyptus trees and shrubs and flowers all from Down Under. All that was missing was a kangaroo and a koala!

Have you ever listened to your heart and taken a leap without knowing the "how"? What did you do?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Finally Friday Week Two: Using Intuition to Change Your Life

Crocuses blooming at Greenlake
"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."—Alan Alda

I've been experimenting with intuition for a long time now...perhaps since I was born (ha!). Seriously, though, I can remember when I was a baby lying on my stomach on a blanket in the backyard in the summer. I felt the sun beat down on my bare skin as I pressed my palms into the grass to lift myself up into a mini pushup. I then took fists full of grass, testing out my grip. I remember the sensation of the green grass between my fingers, the coolness of it on a warm day, like silk on the skin. I remember thinking, "I've been here before."

Perhaps we are purest when we are that age—before conditioning sets in and we forget who we really are. We are always taking note of our surroundings and trying to fit in, adjust, follow the status quo, do what's right. Then, it takes our whole lives to remember who we were at that tender age when everything was fresh and new, when we were open vessels absorbing information.

 I now find that I have a set of beliefs, patterns and habits, but are they mine or have they just become mine and who am I anyway? As I get older, I find that I'm unraveling myself to get to the essence of my being. It's not the ego I'm after. It's not the personality either. It's the frequency or vibration. It's the place where I feel most "in tune" that I seek. I'm looking for that place of harmony. I'm getting closer.

Nature always brings me back to harmony and my essence. It reminds me that I'm part of a bigger picture and I can let go of the parameters of my human form and become part of all that I taste, touch, hear, smell and see. Anytime I start to feel contracted, I seek nature. It's my refuge. I become a child again in nature and I start to see things as if for the first time. I could stare at a leaf for several minutes. A chickadee singing its tune makes me want to sing back. Here in the Pacific Northwest, spring is upon us and it's February 13 (Friday the 13th to be exact). I like to pay a visit to the rhododendrons and check on the progress of the crocuses and daffodils (they are blooming in places right now). Even the cherry blossoms are making an appearance!

Cherry Blossoms at Carkeek Park

Rhododendrons at Llandover Woods

I find new things and discoveries every time I walk. Life is changing, pulsating, vibrating all the time. We are different every moment, so how can we really say who we are? We are free to be whomever we want to be at any given moment.

I've been teaching a 5-week Intuitive Writing Class and yesterday was our last event for this session. I'm starting up a new Intuitive Writing class on February 19th. I use Penney Peirce's book The Intuitive Way in my classes. It has wonderful prompts and exercises to help one return to that place beyond the critic. That place that is free, like a child. That's where I believe our true self really lies and where I find my best writing lies. Penney just so happened to be here in Seattle for the Women of Wisdom Conference during our last class, so we all went together for the opening night. She gave a talk on The Power of Personal Vibration. It really resonated with me and I think the my class enjoyed it too! Penney wrote a guest post for my blog on January 1, 2012 here.

A quote I can relate to at the Women of Wisdom Conference

Members of my Intuitive Writing Class at the Women of Wisdom Conference

I've had dreams recently of teetering on the edge of a cliff, just barely escaping the jaws of a pride of lions, and being faced with a giant tsunami wave right before my eyes. All of these dreams seem to represent current fears I'm dealing with. Working with my intuition more deeply these days has shaken my old self up. I'm in the process of creating a new identity that is more in line with my own vibration. Change is not always an easy process. We are creatures of habit and comfort. But I know from my own experience that if I gently push myself past my comfort zone, through that mysterious doorway, an entire world awaits. If I'm really in tune with myself, I won't get eaten by lions or fall off a cliff. If I am pursuing something I'm truly passionate about, the "how" will work itself out and the uncomfortableness will lead to tremendous growth. I'm getting closer. Each conscious step I take is a step closer to the essence, harmony and light that I seek. 

Have you used your intuition lately to make any decisions about your life?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Finally Friday Week One: A New Book and A New Life Plan

"There is no such thing as a logical method of having new ideas...Every great discovery contains an irrational element of creative intuition."—Karl Popper

I'm back and I'll be blogging on Fridays for as long as I can. I missed January, but there's no time like the present. I haven't been here in a while! How are you?

What's new, you ask? Before I dive down into the deep stuff (I'll leave that for next Friday), here's a little summary of what I've been up to:

I started the Whole30 program on February 1st. I am not allowed to consume any grains, sugar, beans, or dairy on this plan. I'm not doing it to lose weight or anything like that. I'm doing it because I've had ongoing stomach issues and this is supposed to help. It has made me more conscious of what I buy, cook and eat. It's made me more aware of the entire eating process. It's forced me to slow down and actually cook my own meals and be creative and I feel healthy for it.

Today I made Tikka Masala. I ate it with a salad and my husband had it with rice. I had some roasted chicken on hand and shredded it up a little. After that, I sauteed a half onion in a wok with a little coconut oil, I added in the chicken with a can of diced organic tomatoes, a cup of canned coconut milk, two tablespoons of coconut oil, a tsp of cumin, 3 tablespoons of garam masala and salt/pepper to taste. It was delicious!

 Later I made my own saurkraut. I diced up a head of cabbage, three cloves of garlic, a Tbs. of grated fresh ginger and about a half cup of grated carrots. I put all of this into a large bowl and added in a fourth cup of kosher salt. I then used a big wooded spoon to press the salt into the cabbage. This helped release the juices. I put it all in a glass jar and pressed it down with my wooden spoon. I then poured a little spring water on top to cover the cabbage. I placed a tea cup on top on the cabbage and covered the jar with the lid and set it in my sunny, kitchen window. It will ferment there for three days and then I'll have delicious fermented kraut full of natural enzymes and probiotics. Here is a photo of my sauerkraut before fermentation:

I am also saving money with this new program because I plan my meals ahead of time. I try to buy organic and there are really good deals on whole organic fruits, veggies and meat at Costco these days, so that's where I shopped.

I have also been trying to walk everyday. If I can't walk, I'll do some other form of exercise. Today was really rainy in Washington State, so I went to a yoga class for one hour and 15 minutes. The room was heated to 85 degrees. It was kind of intense, but I felt really good afterward. I felt like many toxins were released.

So my main protocol for my health is to keep up with this Whole30 regime and keep up with daily exercise, meditation and getting a good night sleep.

In other news, after a very tumultuous two days (which I blame on the full-moon and detoxing), the complex Chinese edition of my book, Lessons from the Monk I Married, arrived on my front doorstep on Wednesday. I was about to give up on everything (my writing, health goals, etc.), until this beautiful package arrived. It made me realize that hard work does pay off, even if you can't see it right away. So now my book is out in 5 countries (USA, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Croatia) and there are now 3 different editions of my book. Here's a photo of all the different covers:

Mainland China also bought the book, so the simplified Chinese edition will be out soon! 

I am working on a trilogy of fiction books, at the moment, based on my journeys to different parts of the world. I would call the genre spiritual adventure. I hope to share more about this series of books in the coming months. I've decided to keep up this blog on Fridays because I find that writing here has been so helpful to my book writing journey. It holds me accountable for all my plans and dreams. 

I have been taking classes at a place called Psychic Awakenings in Seattle. It's helped me to tune into my intuition and feel more about what's right for me. It's also helped me make decisions more easily, inspired me to start teaching a two-part intuitive writing class, spurred me to create more yoga/writing retreats with my husband both locally and abroad and it's inspired my new series of books. Here's the link to our new yoga retreat offerings:  Yoga Retreats 

In my Intuitive Writing classes, I use Penney Perice's book called The Intuitive Way. I find it to be quite serendipitous that Penney will be at the Women Of Wisdom Conference in Seattle on our last scheduled Intuitive Writing class for this session. We will all be going to the event as a class. Can't wait!

I've really felt called to finish the first book in the trilogy. I can feel that that book wants to be completed by the end of this year and I hope to have the other two developed by then. I hope to devote two weeks in March and possibly one month in September to book writing. I will also write here and there when I have time.

Thank you for stopping by my blog again! I hope to keep up these post every Friday.

What is new with YOU?