Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Being in the Flow-ers - Part 4: The Lilies of the Field

There is a passage in the Bible that has been a source of contemplation and inspiration for me for years. I am reminded of that now as I have been writing about my experience at the greenhouse. It is a passage that has stayed with me since I was a child going to Sunday School and then when I worked as a lay assistant minister at the United Church of Canada. In this passage, Jesus has just given his famous teachings from The Sermon on the Mount. He speaks about anger, greed, love and anxiety. This is the passage I love:

25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them…27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself...”

 

-- English Standard Version, Matthew 6, vs 25-34

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Being in the Flow-ers - Part 3: Thich Nhat Hanh

(Continued from When Push Comes To Shove)

Here are some quotes to inspire your day from Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh:

 

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”

 

(Continues tomorrow with some teachings from Christ on "the lilies of the field")

Monday, February 27, 2012

Being in the Flow-ers- Part 2: When Push Comes To Shove

(Continued from The Sacred Garden)

 

I have been feeling low energy the last couple of weeks. Perhaps it is just the end of winter and I am a bit like a tropical flower that is challenged by the colder seasons. It is more likely that I have been working too hard, a knee-jerk reaction to feeling that I need to catch up for time I spent bedridden this past year. So I started to push rather than flow.

 

My pushing came strikingly to mind last week as I was doing my bi-weekly swim to help heal my spine. I started to feel really pumped and proud that I was swimming faster than everyone in the pool. I suddenly noticed that I could feel an acidic fluid rush through my cells with each stroke, as the reptilian part of my brain was getting fixated on how “special” I was because I was faster and therefore “better” than others.

 

Being a meditator, I took note when the constrictive consciousness arose through me and started to feed my cells with toxic ego boosters. I then returned to what feels more natural and joyful to me: to use the swim as a meditation practice flow, rather than trying to push the river. (Of note, I swim much faster, with more grace and less fatigue when I am channeling a joyful dolphin rather than a predatory shark.)

 

Yesterday, I was feeling particularly tired. I have been putting in extra hours to prepare for a mini-holiday soon, convincing myself I needed to do more now because I will rest then. But that never works. Nature has a way of reminding us that we need to live in balance.

 

So as some alarm points in my body started to flare, I shared my feelings with my partner who said to me that he knew exactly what I needed, and asked if I would trust him to bring me somewhere special as a surprise.

 

A challenge for my friends, family and partner is the fact that I am intuitive, so it’s hard to treat me to a surprise. Within seconds of his offer, a flash before my mind’s eye showed me exactly where he wanted to go. I told him that his choice felt perfect, so off we went.

 

DELIGHT OF BEING

 

Thirty minutes later I was walking into the thick, moist air of a lush, tropical greenhouse in the center of downtown Toronto. If I had fairy wings, they would have started to tingle and flutter in delight. It was as though my aura was sparkling, saying hello to all the plants. I could feel my entire being, mind, body, heart, soul, spirit come alive, just by being in the presence of vital, well cared for and happy nature. I inhaled the life force that was all around me. As every part of me started to relax, root and expand, I felt that I was home.

 

We sat for some time under a banana tree and watched the children play. One young girl, about eight years old, was helping her younger brother with Down’s Syndrome experience great excitement as he jumped off a rock a foot off the ground. You could see that for him, he was jumping off a great cliff and achieving a mighty success with each leap of faith. For her, her heart sang with the pure joy of serving the child’s obvious joy. It was a beautiful display of our human potential.

 

I watched as people walked through the doors from the concrete city and melted in wonder at the green landscape dappled in a multi-coloured floral array. Their worries seemed to float away, frowns softened, smiles opened. Delight was inevitable.

 

Tears started to well into my eyes and roll down my cheeks. It was just so beautiful. I was opening, softening, healing, just like they were. I could see myself in the faces of those who walked into the green sanctuary. I could see the way my own heaviness fell away as I walked into this world of natural beauty.

 

I also felt a grief arise in my heart due to the weight I have allowed myself to carry, the ways I get swept up into the details of life and can feel separate from my joy. It was as though I had allowed my inner flower to be squashed by the perceived heaviness of “to do’s”. With each tear, I could feel that I was laying all that weight down at the feet of the mighty flowers.

 

It is true that the urban world is also part of Nature as a whole, but the world built by man is for the most part burdened with layers of our ego, our sense of effort and separation and the drive for personal gratification. This natural sanctuary, by contrast, within the city built by us, was like a church for me and clearly for others too. Nature’s pure beingness was a reminder of our true nature, the simplicity of being, the interconnection of all things, the wisdom of life unfolding one beautiful breath at a time. How easy in the city it is to start believing in the solidity of the concrete buildings, the way they hold on, their rigidity, rather than being like the organic life we can see in a forest or garden – the organic life we are.

 

My partner and I walked through the garden. As I came upon fresh spring flowers, all feeling of heaviness vanished. I felt like space, rooted, dancing, present. I was those flowers and they were me. I was nature and nature was me. I felt like the flowers spoke to me in their vibrational language and said: “Be. You are beauty. Be. You are joy. Be. I am.” Their effortless beauty and joyful presence reminded me of my true nature. How complicated we can make life! How complicated the mind can be! There were these exquisite works of art sculpted by Nature’s perfectly balanced hand, effortlessly being.

 

The flowers are. They are not trying to be. In their presence, there is healing. They are not writing about being. They are.

 

As we sit quietly with the flowers, we sense the wisdom there. The wisdom does not shout. It does not compete with the noise of the city. It is. It is confident, surrendered and eternal.

 

I leave you today with a simple request: go spend some time with flowers this week. If you live in a Northern city, there is surely a greenhouse within reach on public transit. If you live in a Southern climate (where I will be visiting soon), lucky you -- go find the flowers in the wild. However you find them, be with them. Do not wait till next week or the following. Do it now. And let your inner imagination be drawn into them.

 

The little girl in me came to life as I saw the children in the greenhouse play in a magical world of wonder. I ended up describing to my partner my ideal house, how it would be in a greenhouse. He said it would be great to have a greenhouse in the house. I said, no, the house is a greenhouse. The bedroom would be up a ladder above the trees, the living room near the wishing well, the kitchen near the tulips and my music studio near the lemon trees. Why not?

 

(Continues tomorrow with some wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Being In The Flow-ers - Part 1: The Sacred Garden

I cannot impart how important the force of nature is to me. Nature, the intelligence within it, that is expressed through form as dancing life, is the very nature of my being. It is what fuels my creative work. It is what sparks the delight in my heart. It is what reaches out to serve others. It is what connects. My meditation practice feels a though it springs from the fountain of life-force. Yoga is an expression of that interconnection that already is. We do not need to create it. We need to uncover and remember, cultivate, revere and cherish it. I would like this blog to feel like a garden: joyful, open and alive.

 

If I could share on this page the delight I feel through inner space of being, and in so doing, inspire you to cultivate that space within your self, then I will have succeeded. Too often we become like talking heads that bob about like flotsam on the deep oceans of life. I want to settle in with you, deeper, into the powerful truths of this moment. For this reason, I want to challenge myself to be more succinct in these coming entries, unlike my past entries that have been longer. I want to provide inspiration and room for contemplation. I also encourage discussion as we move forward on this journey together. So please post your responses here and help create this blog site as a sacred garden where we all feel supported being the flowers we are, so we may come into full bloom together. Let us celebrate our beingnness here together!

 

I will provide here the occasional video blog to keep our contact real and heartfelt. There is an intimacy, no doubt, to words on a page, and there is also another kind of intimacy in shared visual form.

 

I ask you to please feel free, should you feel so inspired, to send me an Ask Parvati question as it arises. Since my last post, I have received inquiries about Ask Parvati stopping. No, it is not stopping. Its regularity is changing. I want this page to be organic and flowing. So there will be the occasional Ask Parvati entry here too.

 

I will also share, over the coming weeks, more about my spiritual practice and the ways I keep rooted in the face of daily challenges. I will share contemplations on sacred texts, video exercises and written muses on meditation, yoga, nature and creativity.

 

As a beginning to this new phase, let us start with flowers:

 

My song “Flowers” was inspired from a poem I wrote a long time ago in 1996, intended more as an imaginative children’s story, in the spirit of The Little Prince, rather than an adult piece of prose. Like the Little Prince who has his own planet, in this piece, I celebrate how the whole world is really built on one big flower.

 

“Flower”


In the beginning and always, there is a flower. This is the most precious flower. From it comes all of life, and all of life is love. This flower is the life-giving flower called love.


Each day, the flower gently opens up its delicate petals to greet the glorious morning sun in all its golden strength. In the soothing new day's breeze, the sun and the petals dance with the morning dew that has rested in the flower’s heart during the coolness of the evening.


At night, the flower plays with the moon, whose shadows gently crawl over the flower’s petals.


Every day, as the sea rocks with the passing tide when the Earth moves slowly round and round, the moon walks a slightly varied path, that only people who are awake do see.


The stars coo like silver birds floating free in the sea of the milky night sky. They sing gentle, humming melodies, music that fills the dark stillness with warm welcome.


The flower is happy, and so are the people and the animals, because all see the flower’s beauty, like their own beauty, their hearts being like the playful, open flower, listening quietly, lovingly.


Let us walk together into the gentle heart of the flower that calls us, we know, in our dreams and in our days, that calls us to open our tender petal hearts to sing flower wisdom, shared sweet melodies and dance with the universe in the passing life breeze.


Today and every day is flower day, full, open and free.


(Continues tomorrow with "When Push Comes To Shove")

 

 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Parvati Magazine - March Issue Is Live

Hello Friends,


Thank you for your continued support on this blog page. I hope you have had an excellent week.
This week, as promised, you get to revel in the wonderful articles in the March issue of Parvati Magazine, now live at www.parvatimagazine.com
Next weekend I will post something new on this blog site. Until then, enjoy the magazine articles and have an excellent family day long weekend!
Hug,
Parvati

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Epilogue: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

THANK YOU!

A really big heartfelt thank you for all the amazing feedback I received this week from those who were sincerely and deeply touched by my experience this past year, and those who were touched by my blog entries this past week called The Miracle of Nature’s Healing. Many of you shared your similar experiences as the tsunami hit Japan and as the Earth changes. What Grace that we all walk this Earth together, both similar and unique, and all seeking love and desiring fulfillment in our own way. It is to me as though we are each a ray of light from a brilliant rainbow, important in our contribution and one within the whole.

When we open to each other, we connect and we feel the love we ultimately seek. Because of this, I encourage you as we move forward on this blog site to post more comments on this page so that we may develop this community of like-minded people. I can guarantee from all the feedback I am getting, that you are by far not alone in what you are going through. So let us help each other and grow together here.

I would also like to hear from you as to what you may need from me so that I may best serve you. It is my pleasure to be of service, so please let me know in which way I can best do that for you. I am preparing something new for this blog, however, I am always open to your input and ideas.

Today I write one last hoorah for Ask Parvati, which to me is more of an epilogue than a full entry. The person’s question was lost in cyberspace over the last couple of months and just came to my attention. So as a thank you for the submission, I wanted to answer it here.

On February 17, the new issue of Parvati Magazine will be published. So next weekend, you will have all the time you need to sift through the quality articles by a bunch of my friends.

The week following will be the first publication of the new material for this blog.

Thank you so much for your continued support and readership. I look forward to growing with you.

Enjoy,
Parvati





WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HAPPY?

Dear Parvati,
Lately I have been considering what it means to be happy. For me it means pure vision and self-awareness in the literal sense of emptiness. But I'm still meditating on that. Just a thought. I would love to hear your answer to that question. Thanks.

I love this question, and what a wonderful epilogue for Ask Parvati. Is it not that we all ask this question, and are all seeking happiness in our own way? It is sort of the quintessential spiritual question that we would ask great masters like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Buddha or Amma. To honour the greats, I have shared some quotes that touch me and hopefully will inspire you as well.

But before I get into those, I would like to say that to me, happiness is not the same as bliss, unconditional love and peace. I think that most people really are more likely seeking these than happiness. Think about it. Would you not rather be in a permanent state of bliss, feeling eternally loved, rather than happy now, and perhaps sad later? When I hear the word happiness, I think of the temporal. When we are happy, we eventually become sad. But when we rest in the infinite, we rest in a state of permanent bliss. (I will let you know when I “get there”. :) )

Until such time, I practice the release of wanting to find happiness “out there”, and develop the internal quality of contentedness, which relates to non-resistance to what is. Through contentedness, I learn to remain in balanced equanimity, a steadiness of mind and of heart, which is not swayed by the ever-changing moods of the mind, the ego and individual will. Rather than being like flotsam shuffled about on ever changing tides, we become more like a quiet oak tree that is rooted in a loving, co-creative relationship with ourselves and the Earth, while our flexible branches and leaves can easily sway in the wind.

The roots of the tree are like our internal practice of faith and letting go, the knowing that we are part of a much greater whole than our limited ego or will. In this, we keep a big picture, and don’t get stuck on taking ourselves too seriously, should we feel life bristle up against us. Laughing is a really good thing! There is a reason that it is called en-LIGHT-enment and not en-heavy-ment!

The branches of the oak are like an open, clear mind that focuses on the space between things, so that there is lots of room for life to flow through, being moved by and dancing with life, but not getting swept up and carried away and falling off center.

You mention in this question that happiness relates to pure vision and self-awareness as it relates to emptiness. I agree that true contentedness comes when we are not attached, so that we may eventually experience lasting bliss. I also agree that self-awareness and a pure vision help us see our attachments and ultimately let them go. So developing pure vision and self-awareness are a part of cultivating lasting bliss.

When we become so passionate about (either by absolutely loving or absolutely hating) people, places and things, we lose sight of the whole. We become overly attached and make things into gods. We inevitably suffer. Happiness comes and goes as do all emotional states. But contentedness has the sweet fragrance of a radiant flower that is rooted and nourished. It quietly shines and is at peace with itself. It does not seek. It does not want. It is.

So perhaps, rather than seeking happiness, cultivate the state of contentedness as you practice non-resistance to what is. This moment is perfect, holding within it all the happiness we could ever want, and then some.

Here are some of my favourite happiness quotes that may help to inspire you living a life rooted in contentedness as you cultivate a life of permanent bliss:

“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet and philosopher


“When all your desires are distilled, you will cast just two votes:
To love more, And be happy.”
Hafiz, Persian lyric poet (read a review of Hafiz's poetry in Parvati Magazine)


“We can travel a long way and do many things, but our deepest happiness is not born from accumulating new experiences. It is born from letting go of what is unnecessary, and knowing ourselves to be always at home.”

“As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life -- delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay -- I hold this question as a guiding light: "What do I really need right now to be happy?" What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.”

Sharon Salzberg, author, Buddhist meditation teacher, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts


“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.”
Victor Hugo, French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman and human rights activist


"A spiritual person finds happiness in being loving and compassionate towards everyone, even towards those who are against him. He is like a tree that gives shade even to those who are in the act of cutting it down."
Amma, Mata Amitanandamayi Devi


“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.”

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature's Healing - Part 7: Nature's Masterful Healing

(Continued from Nature's Perfect Love)

 

Each moment, healthy or not, is constantly changing. Of that we can be sure. After this most intense year full of immense change, I am still in an ongoing healing process. My body is not the same as it was. In response to my life changes, and miraculous healing, I have had to modify my choreography in my shows. I have had to change my lifestyle and adopt new habits, ones that put my physical health at the same level of priority as my spiritual well-being. There is no doubt that before the injury, I overlooked my physical needs and took my physical vitality for granted.

 

Your question this week says, “The body was designed to be healthy.” I would agree that this is true. But it is also designed to change, grow and evolve. And our idea of health may be limited to what we think “healthy” means. When we live in balance and respect, the body changes so gracefully. Major physical changes, as I experienced, may be part of that. But the orchestration of my healing was masterful from beginning to end. I did nothing. Think about all the body did… the cellular repair and regeneration, the rewiring of the electrical system, the tissues being rebuilt, the nervous system integrating and organizing… it goes on and on! Mind-blowing.

 

Your question asks me about the power of genetics and DNA. Without the input of consciousness, I do not believe that genetics, on its own, really mean much. Cells are intelligent because of the memory they store. I would say that genetics store certain consciousness patterns that reflect what we have learned on our soul path. It is all perfect. These memories and patterns will draw to them other patterns that will support our evolution, be they painful or smooth. The painful stuff has to do with our resistances. The smoothness has to do with our willingness to surrender to a higher power.

 

We never know when we will die or when we will get sick. We do know that our true nature is eternal. We can manage our health as best we can, and be willing to see what happens in our life as a perfect teaching for what we need to learn now. If we try to figure it all out and control with our minds, we will suffer, because we cannot know the ways of the universe, until we too are fully enlightened and at one with it all. At that point, we have transcended the ego-mind and all notions of duality. We would have returned to the whole, the One, and be in flow.

 

What I do know, is that if we want to return to the One, we must be willing to let go of trying to know and trying to figure it all out. If we feel we have it figured out, then there is an “us and them”, an object/subject and we are not in a oneness state.

 

There is no such thing to me as something purely physical. All matter exists because of the play of consciousness through it. Consciousness determines form. Consciousness exists without form, but not the other way around.

 

There is always a metaphysical component to life. I saw that first-hand when my dad was taken off the life support machine, in ICU after a terrible fall down the stairs that cracked his skull and rendered him in a coma. After life support was gone, my dad’s heart pumped away, because he was an athlete, super fit, always taking great care of his body. His heart pumped for two days, without the help of the machine, before he died. Even though he was on his way out, and his heart pumped somewhat like a machine, there still was life force there. He still felt alive. But once his heart stopped, I saw his spirit – a palpable life force – float away through and out of the crown of his head. His body then lay there like pure matter without consciousness, inert, without intelligence. It was lifeless, less vital than a stone. I will never forget that image.

 

We must always see our state of health, whatever it may be, as grace. If we are breathing, even if we are ill in every other way, then life force is still present. Life force is Divine, not for us to control. The human form is visited by it. We pay it homage. We give thanks. We learn to embody it masterfully through surrendered grace. And we get on and enjoy every moment we have while in the miracle of this exquisite human form and while on this Eden we call planet Earth.

 

Again, thank you for being with me on this “Ask Parvati” blogging journey. I have felt very grateful for the opportunity to share. I will post something entirely new tomorrow for you to enjoy. Until then, be well!

 

Much love,

Parvati

 

PS: I am looking for a volunteer video editor to help create a documentary with the footage I have from the North Pole. If you know anyone, please pass this on. If you are interested, please contact me at Parvati@parvatimusic.com. Thank you!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature's Healing - Part 6: Nature's Perfect Love

(Continued from “Everything Must Die to Be Reborn”)

 

We are the planet. When the Earth cries, so do we. When she moves, so do we. We are carried by an inexplicable force that moves through our cells, that animates our souls, that literally keeps us alive.

 

Nature loves us in a way we cannot comprehend. We cannot comprehend it because it is not of our ego-mind, which knows only to divide and separate. By surrendering to Nature’s intelligence, I was called on the North Pole journey. By surrendering to Nature, I was also healed and experienced what doctors call “a miracle”.

 

To walk: we take it for granted. But it is a miracle. Through the injury, I saw how even the impulse to move is grace, a force beyond our ego. We think we are the doers, but the “me” does nothing. Grace always is, moving through us, even when we don’t see it. We think ourselves as divided, but we are literally one.

 

Healing only happens in the state of absolute surrender. When we think “we” are healing, we interfere. There is no doing. Because of the grace of free will, we can be amplifiers or sludge in Nature’s communication pathways. Nature will keep on singing, creating and evolving with or without us. It does not need our “help”. It needs our respect and service. We must reverentially get out of Nature’s way in order to fully thrive as a spiritual being in this material world.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that the body is a miracle. Life is a miracle. The very fact that we breathe – really think about it! It is miraculous.

 

I completely agree with the question sent this week that the body is designed to be healthy. But we must remember that it is not up to us to “make it” that way. We do our best. We show up and tend to its needs then get out of the way. The showing up is like going the gym and eating healthy. The getting out of the way is remaining in balance at the gym and not overdoing it, and not being attached to looking a certain way, but trusting that feeling of wholeness that is unique to each one of us.

 

What I have understood through my studies in sound healing is that the universe is fundamentally resonant and moves towards harmony. It does not move towards dissonance. (Refer to The World is Sound: Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness, by Joachim Ernst Berendt). Just as the universe seeks harmony, so does the micro-universe of the body. The body is in a perpetual state of seeking homeostasis, a form of balance in this moment, as it is. Balance may not be to us what it is to Nature. Nature holds the bigger picture. We think healing may look one way, when Nature has another plan. We do not know Nature’s plan. Perhaps what we perceive as illness is a gift. We are subject to force so much greater than our will. We cannot see the whole picture, which is why the best attitude is surrender and reverence.

 

People get sick, but it is not necessarily a “bad” thing. In a product-driven society, sickness is seen as a weakness. But I was technically sick through most of last year, yet was contributing socially and went through profound growth at all levels. I was not really “unwell”. In some ways, I was never better. Yes, I experienced immense pain and was not mobile. But my body/spirit alignment needed to be re-patterned into a new relationship. Something had to change in order for that to happen.

 

We must let go of the old to make way for the new. Death is the beginning of life, just as life ends with death. My injury was the breaking point of one way of being and the birth of a new way. At a micro level, that happens all the time in our body, cells dying, new ones being born. We are constantly shifting and evolving.

 

In a healing state, there is no judgment about what is good or bad or right or wrong. It all just is. As the bio-dynamic osteopath would say, we are being held perfectly within the whole. The illness is being held within the whole. Remain there. If we get into thinking this illness is good or bad, a punishment, a burden that we must move, change, shift… then we are playing God, thinking we can see the whole picture and becoming divided once again. We see so little. We know so little. It is not up to us to know these things. We show up and get out of the way.

 

Through my recovery, I continually returned to a knowing that to heal, “I” don't do the healing. Nor do others do the healing. Healing happens through grace and grace alone. I, or a healer I am working with, may be a vehicle for grace, but healing does not come from “me” or any person.

I also knew through my entire recovery, with absolute certainty, that reality is plastic and therefore malleable. Physical form would change if it was divine will for that to happen and if I were to get out of the way. The universe moves towards harmony and wholeness, and so does the very force of life, so why not now and in this body?

I stayed with that image of plasticity constantly. I did several focused meditations and visualizations daily, knowing that physical form is just a conglomerate of dancing molecules, held together by specific thought forms, “my” thought forms, attachments that “I” have that make up “my” karma. So physical form is not solid or fixed. If I could rest in that field of possibility, then matter could change shape and flow into fuller wholeness – however that would look.

Though the process of healing is about me being present for it, to witness its grace, it is simultaneously about getting out of the way. And beyond whatever ability “I” may have to show up or get out of the way, ultimately the Divine holds the trump card. It was all about Divine Will, what grace had in store for me.

I had to find a place in my heart and soul that knew that whatever would happen would be in my highest good - whatever. If I were meant to be the performer in a wheelchair (I told the universe that there was no way I would give up singing and performing) then so it would be. I had to be equally ok with it all, while holding the possibility, without attachment, that I would walk again.

 

(Continued tomorrow with “Nature’s Masterful Healing”)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature's Healing - Part 5: Everything Must Die To Be Reborn

(Continued from “My Own Tsunami”)

 

What followed was a rearranging of everything I knew. On one level, I call the injury “karma fast forward”, where I was challenged to let go of that which no longer served and had to learn to absolutely trust a higher power for everything. When you realize that you may never walk again, may never even do the simplest things that we take for granted, your ego crashes and dies while something else is born. For me, what was being born was whatever that whale wanted me to become. It was all about the whale.

 

For those few months that I was immobilized in bed, I felt like the whale was taking over. I saw a blue light almost constantly, like a sphere that hovered over things, around things and within my inner eye as I closed my eyelids. I was being held by a blue bubble of light.

 

When I first realized I could not move my legs, I inwardly dove down, with my inner eye, to the root of my spine, and took a look there. I knew that whatever was preventing me from walking was at the base of my spine. My spine somehow had broken.

 

What I saw at my root was a whale, almost dead, with a heart rate I could only describe as nearly flatlining. My relationship with the whale, and its rhythm, guided my healing and all the work with the biodynamic osteopath who cared for me with unsurpassed skill and attention. All I knew is that to fully heal, whatever that meant, I needed to completely surrender to the intelligence within that whale and let it consume me.

 

As my healing progressed, I felt like that blue light, and the body of that whale, was moving up my legs towards my head. As the blue light progressed upward, I was able to wiggle my toes, then my ankles, then my legs. After a couple of months, as the light fully consumed me, I was able to roll slowly over onto my side, then my stomach. This took weeks of intensive meditative surrender and absolute trust in the higher consciousness beyond my ego. I knew nothing of what was happening, yet I knew exactly what was happening. I felt a oneness with something so much greater than “me”.  All I knew was THAT was all I needed to know. I might never walk again, but whatever was happening was totally OK.

 

With immense faith in pure consciousness and the power of that consciousness to heal, I let go. I was being challenged to surrender with absolute trust to the force of life that unconditionally loves and supports my highest good.

 

Through my healing, I also actively worked with a system called MAP: Medical Assistance Program, created by Machaelle Small Wright. It instructs us how to co-create with Nature Spirits, the Devic Realm and a group from the Cosmic Intelligence to assist and amplify our healing progress. I had been working with my MAP group for years. Now that working relationship was being taken to a whole new level.

 

As I connected to these unseen energies, I could feel that I was tapping into the very fabric of life, the vibrant intelligence that co-creates to manifest form, that weaves together the seen and unseen. I could feel Nature’s overwhelming sense of receptivity to my willingness to participate in the dance of life. It is staggering that we have at our disposal a resource of such power, all the while, Nature compassionately and patiently waits for our simple willingness to open and go there.

 

Through this process of healing, my body began to express itself as an infant’s would. An inner impulse to roll onto my tummy from my back came spontaneously from within. If ever I “tried” to move in any way, I was subjected to the most mind-altering electric shock treatment you could imagine – one I describe to my friends as “if you slowly cut off my arm, it would be less painful.”

 

The impulse then followed, once on my tummy, to gently press up on my arms and look around. Eventually I was able to press up onto all fours from my tummy. Then it was crawl, then reach up, then stand up, then walk. It was a rebirth. By June 1, 2011, I stood on my feet again for the first time.

 

In the months that followed through the summer of 2011, I had to learn to put one foot in front of the other, in a whole new way. The whale had guided me through a shamanic journey. I went from feeling at first inundated in a cosmic soup, like an ocean of consciousness, when the injury first struck. As the weeks progressed, somehow consciousness was taking a crystalline shape, like salt in the sea. I was part of those crystals. Then I became like a sea creature, like the whale in a fluid oneness with that oceanic purity. Then I became a land creature, like a lion, as I crawled around the floor as a baby would. As I grabbed onto things to pull myself up into standing, I was like a monkey. Then a new human body was born. None of this was anything I could figure out. It was a force so much greater than me. It was growing inside me, like life itself, enveloping me, consuming me, transforming my very cells. I did not understand how it was working. But it was working and that is all that mattered. And there was no bargaining with its omniscient power.

 

By the end of July, I was almost well enough to go see my spiritual teacher Amma, who was visiting from India. Not yet physically able to sit, I was able to lie in the back seat of a car, and then barely walk up to see Her. As She greeted me, I looked into Her eyes and bawled. I could not control my legs or spine. My body was a marionette controlled by a force other then my will. I saw there in the most visceral way that I am literally not the doer. This body is a beautiful and perfect vehicle for Divine Will. My job is to get out of the way and witness. Through my tears, I asked if I ever would dance and perform again. She said yes, "after some time".

 

By the end of October, 2011, I was headlining a festival in Florida, back on stage singing, dancing, in rapturous surrender. It WAS a miracle. And the cherry on top of the miracle, if there can be such a thing, was that the concert I gave was a benefit concert for Amma’s Embracing The World charity. Perfection of perfections.

 

(Continued tomorrow with “Nature’s Perfect Love”)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature's Healing - Part 4: My Own Personal Tsunami

(Continued from Prayers Are Always Answered (Just Not The Way We May Think))

 

When the tsunami devastated Japan on March 11, 2011, I was severely hit in my own way. When the earthquake actually shook on the other side of the world, I was sound asleep. However, I woke up that morning having had a turbulent night riddled with nightmares and feeling shaken to my core, yet unsure why I felt this way. I got up to walk down the stairs to my meditation room, to find that my legs were not fully responsive and felt numb. The bones in my pelvis, too, felt thrown out of balance. I was in physical pain, and felt like a mess in my head. Out of nowhere, I felt broken and ill.

 

Through that morning blur, I pushed into my day to make it to the meetings I had with music executives, as I was in the middle of promoting my music and shows at an international music conference. I went to my appointments, getting in and out of cars by lifting my legs with my hands because for some reason they would not quite work. I figured the strangeness would suddenly pass, just as it had suddenly arrived.

 

Later that day, a friend of mine told me that the tsunami had hit Japan. Being so involved in the conference, I had not heard. The news echoed through my soul. I immediately felt that the pain I was experiencing in my pelvis and legs was connected to the shift in the planet’s tectonic plates in Japan. I felt that this was part of what the whale was teaching me.

 

As the topic of the tsunami inevitably arose at the music conference, I would spontaneously burst into tears with a sense of timeless interconnection. I had little control over my spine, my legs and my tear ducts. I was a mess.

 

This strange numbness increased over the next couple of days as I moved through to the end of the conference. Then suddenly – out of nowhere, just after I returned home - mind-altering pain shot through my spine. My mind went blank from sheer trauma. I could not move my spine or my legs at all.

 

When one is assaulted by overwhelming pain, the conscious mind dissolves. I do not fully remember the details that followed. What I do remember is that a blood-curdling scream caused my partner to come running.

 

My partner took me by my arms and tried to carry me, while I was screaming in excruciating pain, to my bed. I would remain there for nearly three months, unable to get up even for the most basic things. Doctors gave a medical diagnosis and asked if I had been in a car accident. I said I had not experienced any actual physical impact. I was given a 50-50 chance of walking again, and spinal surgery was recommended for the immense trauma in my lower spine.

 

In my core, I did not believe that was the way for my healing. So I dove deeply into myself and surrendered to life force (God, Spirit, whatever you want to call it) as I had never done before. Other than a couple of friends who carried me weekly on a spine board for healing visits with a gifted biodynamic osteopath, I told no one. Deep inside my inner healing cave I went.

 

(Continued tomorrow with “Everything Must Die to Be Reborn”)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature's Healing - Part 3: Prayers Are Always Answered (Just Not The Way We May Think)

(Continued from “Following The Call to Nature Co-Creation”)

 

When I was at the top of the world, I did some shamanic healing work on the planet, while the sacred Hindu 1000 names of the Goddess were being chanted – all as a gratitude offering for the benefic bounty of our Mother Earth. Then I quietly prayed with all my heart and said to the planet herself something like, “Mother, I know you are suffering. If there is any way I can help, if I can help alleviate your burden in some way, let me know.” And that was that.

 

A shamanic ritual can be likened to a portal being opened, a window into larger sight that provides an ability to see beyond the lens of our habitual self. And seeing something larger is what I did.

 

In the months that followed the ritual, I had a very intense time trying to integrate the immensity of suffering I saw in our world: the way we resist the exquisite joy of being here; the way we hold onto pain and make it “mine”; the way millions all over the world suffer from not having very basic needs met; the way those with so much squander their gifts and take for granted the bounty. I cried for weeks, not because I was particularly “sad”. I was in shock from what I saw and felt, and I was grieving. My heart was breaking open to a whole new reality.

 

A couple of months after I returned from the Arctic, that phase of grief started to subside. I felt more integrated so I thought that my life was going to return to normal and I could resume the musical tour I had put aside for the North Pole journey. But the emotional shift I was experiencing was just the tip of a huge iceberg I had hit up against. The crack in my heart and soul and the fissure that was bringing in new information into my consciousness was just beginning to open. The whale had not completed its teachings and my prayers to help alleviate the planet’s suffering were still floating in the ethers. What happened next I would never have imagined possible.

 

(Continued tomorrow with “My Own Personal Tsunami”)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature's Healing - Part 2: Following The Call to Nature Co-Creation

(Continued from “The Secret”)

If you have been following my blog entries, you will know that I have always had a natural, strong connection to the planet Earth, to Nature as a whole and to unseen energies that are always with us – the spiritual forces that have a lot more to do with our day to day living than most people care to realize. I am by far not alone in being sensitive to such. Many people are, and are acutely aware that our planet, a living organism, is going through a healing, a shedding, a purification that is affecting us all, because we are also literally part of the planet.

During the summer of 2010, I felt I had to do more to help raise awareness of our planetary interconnection, our need for conscious awakening and our ecological responsibility. So by the fall, I was on my way to the North Pole to help raise awareness of the melting polar ice. I do not feel I so much wanted to go, as I was inwardly called to go. A voice within spoke so clearly. This is what I was meant to do. Some inner voices come from the voice of our soul, while others from spiritual guides that help mark our way. Perhaps, at some level, there is no need to distinguish between the two. Except here, I could say that I felt neither. I felt the call from the planet herself.

Without knowing, without desire and without seeking, I now understand and can admit to myself that I have walked, as a contemporary woman, the classical path of the traditional shaman, who through his own inner healing, awakens to a much larger picture of our human experience and our place within the cosmos. It is a path that rests in a co-creative relationship with a powerful force that creates all we see in Nature, of which we are an integral part. Through this journey, one that I never consciously sought, I have been guided both in the seen realm by synchronous meetings and guides appearing in many forms, and by teachings appearing in my dream space and through the unseen. Animals, dolphins and whales in particular, have also appeared, carrying teachings that I needed to learn.

A dream the night before I left for the North Pole adventure (not uncommon, but notable), was of a great blue whale below the ice at the top of the world. The whale knew I was coming. It also completely understood the message I was to carry and the work I would do there. Though I did not know it then, I could say now that it was that whale that guided my journey to the Arctic and my healing that would follow.

The Bering Strait Inuit myths say that the spirit and life force of the whale is that of a young woman. "Her home is the inside of the whale, her burning lamp its heart. As the young woman moves in and out of the house doorway, so the giant creature breathes." (History of Tattooing in the Arctic by Lars Krutak). That is how I felt: a whale inside my true nature was being born, giving voice and taking me over.

(Continued tomorrow with “Prayers Are Always Answered (Just Not The Way We May Think)”)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature's Healing - Part 1: The Secret

Before we begin this week's topic, which will be the last Ask Parvati at this time, I offer you the opportunity for you to give a little support for a cause close to my heart: I would like to introduce you to Aymeric Maudous, founder of EcoXpo in Australia.

Aymeric is launching this fall the Arcadia International Environmental Film Festival, a non-for-profit, sharing tickets proceeds with like-minded NGOs around the world to support their great efforts in protecting our planet. Make sure that you watch the festival trailer and hit “like” on their FB page.

With Grace, perhaps some of the footage from my North Pole adventure will be shown at the festival and I may be able to support by performing for some of the international events. Ok, now to answering my last Ask Parvati!

QUESTION:

Dear Parvati,

I believe that the body is designed to be healthy. It amazes me how it can repair itself when we break a leg or cut ourselves. Yet, people do get sick; the body breaks down. When we get ill or when something in the body fails to function the way it was designed, is this simply a question of genetics and DNA or is there always an underlying metaphysical origin?

ANSWER:

Wow. Deep breaths. Becoming still… Here we go…

Even though I know it and often live it, moments like these make me feel awestruck in wonder by the Grace of life. Miracles are so often made up of the small things in life.

The “Ask Parvati” blog entries began just after I finished recounting my North Pole journey and when my life was about to radically change as the tsunami hit Japan. As I now prepare to shift gears from “Ask Parvati” to a different blog format, I receive a question for my last “Ask Parvati” that encourages me to share some of the deeper healing I have experienced over the past year, since “Ask Parvati” first started. The synchronicity of it is a real delight. Thank you for trusting your intuition to send me this question.

As I faced writing my last “Ask Parvati” post this week, I wondered if, in some way, I would share what I have been going through this year, to give readers more personal insight into my answers to your many wonderful questions over the last year. And then this question arrived - a confirmation that it is time for full transparency. For this reason, your question feels very fitting for my last “Ask Parvati” entry. As I answer it, I will take the liberty to fill you in on my year, to add more depth to my answer to your timely question.

In the spirit of candour, I would like to share that in some ways I have felt this year that I have been hiding a secret from you all. As I have written these weekly blog entries, I have been simultaneously going through nothing short of huge spiritual and physical transformation. Because of that, my blogging has been therapeutic for me, a way for me to channel the insights that were concurrent with my inner changes. I have loved this vehicle to share the expansive experiences during likely the most powerful, transformative and scary period of my life, in a way that also supported others to grow: a true win-win. Thank you for your willingness to read and support the process. And now, for the reveal…

(Continued tomorrow with “Following The Call to Nature Co-Creation”)