Sunday, May 27, 2012

Success, Joy and Abundance

Everyone has his own personal definition of success. Culturally, we tend to consider success when we receive accolade and praise from external accomplishments, like fame and fortune. For the most part, our measures of success are external. 


Some people measure their success based on an internal compass, attempting to meet their own personal best. However, often, even these seemingly internal measures are driven by attachments to external ideas of success. 


I met someone recently who asked me, puzzled: “If I don’t want to be better, how will I ever become better?” Success for her was out there, and she was tired running after it. She felt there must be another way, but was unclear what it could be. She had lived a life driven by what she felt others wanted for her rather than fueled by her own personal joy. 


Joy often seems elusive, something we will get to eventually, once we complete this task or that one, or once we have achieved this goal or that one. To me, living like this is being the proverbial donkey that chases the carrot held out on a stick in front of him. It is an impossible chase. In that situation, our impulse to move arises from what we think will make us happy ‘over there’ and from feelings of scarcity in this moment, rather than tapping into the reality of eternal abundance.


Abundance is a bit of a popular catchphrase that seems to, in itself, contain external measures of success. For many, it often relates to financial wealth, whereas for me, it expresses a life of possibility and energetic opulence that is available to all and is not conditional upon the external. When we live by abundance, we feel we have enough, no matter what the circumstances may be. The notion of ‘more’ is a possibility, an organic arising, rather than a reaching or a wanting. We don’t need more to be happy. We are open to more, should this be the expression of life and of our highest good. In a state of abundance, there is no push/pull struggle, but a dance with life, in this moment, as it is.


Joy has a lot to do with abundance. Perhaps it is why the phrase “follow your bliss and doors will open where before there were none” became so popular, thanks to the late professor Joseph Campbell. When we follow our joy, we feel an impulse to participate in life. We feel an impulse to share, because we feel connected to our inner wealth. 


We can find temporal motivation through fear, feeling “if we don’t” do a certain thing, “then we won’t” get a certain reward (such as approval). Yet joy is also a tremendous motivator. But unlike fear, joy taps into a wealth of energy that far outshines the capacity of fear. By following our joy, our impulse to act comes from a deeper, more rooted and expansive place, and brings to our lives a vital force unlike any other.


As I travel across the continent to get to my next destination on the US tour of my show YIN: Yoga In the Nightclub and my yoga workshop YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, I am thinking a lot about joy, abundance, vitality and success. I realize that for myself, my sense of success comes from the courage to travel inward to places I could easily avoid. And in this case, traveling inward has led to me traveling outward.


To me, success is about the courage to say yes to life, to joy, to all of who I am, to all that this moment brings. I do this work because it is what my joy calls of me. It is an impulse that arises from the voice of my soul and connects me to an energy far greater than my limited sense of “me”. 


As I evolve, there are aspects of my shadow that I must see in order to grow. I could choose to hide from and mask them by becoming distracted with passing pleasures. Yet it is my joy to go deeper, to go beyond the fear that says, “I can’t”. There I find the acronym for fear to be true: they are “False Expectations Appearing Real”. So I remind myself, “Be here. Be now. I have all I need. All is well. All is unfolding as it should.” This redirection of consciousness brings me to inner places that connect me to something so much greater than my ego, and my perception of the world shifts.


I don’t know what this tour will bring, but no matter what happens, I feel at some level I already have success because I am on the road to newness, I welcome possibility and I am open to the fullness of myself and of life.


May you touch your deepest expression of your version of success and may you live by it. May you follow your joy and share that light with the world.


Until next time, be well.


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Making of "YIN: Yoga in the Nightclub"

Hello Friends,


Typically, the week of a Parvati Magazine launch, I don’t write a blog entry. But I have been a bit delinquent with my entries to you. So despite the latest issue of Parvati Magazine being now live – go check it out!! – I wanted to share a bit of my heart and my creative process over the last couple of months with you here.


As you know, I have been immersed in the world of sound, creating my album “YIN: Yoga In the Nightclub”, which I hope you have had a chance to listen to, and perhaps enjoy as much as I do. If not, please take a listen to it at Yoga in the Nightclub.


As I wrote, engineered, produced, arranged and mixed the tracks (and the mix polish process with the talented sound engineer Carl Gardiner in the U.K.), I was literally brought to my knees again and again. There was something powerfully different about this particular album for me. 


At first, I thought, perhaps it was the short window of time I had to create it. But that did not feel right. Then my audio engineer friend Carl suggested that perhaps it was the typical ‘second album angst’ that seems to plague most bands and artists. But that also did not seem to really describe what I was experiencing.


Then I realized that literally a year ago from the time I was producing the album, I was flat out in bed, in agony, with a severe spinal injury. At that time, I was undergoing a deep spiritual transformation, one that required profound surrender and trust like I had never had before. From that injury, as I have shared with you, my whole world changed. 


From the onset, I knew I was creating a series of songs as a nod to the yoga community that shared my love for yoga and the Divine. But doing so at that particular time seemed to channel into this musical work much of the spiritual energy and the fruits of my inner transformation that I experienced during my injury. 


In addition, I had never recorded myself chanting in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a vibrational language geared to invoke states of consciousness through sound. So repeating phrases over and over through the recording process was, in the unseen realm, stirring up my inner consciousness pot, rearranging cells, and moving me deeply.


In addition to being face to face with the power of the inner experience I had through my injury and the power of Sanskrit, the entire album was fueled by the depth of my love for my guru, Amma, and the devotion I have to Her and the spiritual path. Cooked to the core through this recording process, I repeatedly met my ego that kept surfacing saying “I can’t”. It kept wondering how something as large as these expressions could come through this tiny body, this finite time and space, ultimately, this “little old me”. 


The answer eventually embedded itself into my being deeper than ever before: “get out of the way – you are not the doer.” I relied heavily on the knowing that reality is plastic and that nothing in this world is fixed, despite the ego wanting to think it being so. So I focused on being an instrument, as best I could, and on just taking orders from the unseen.


Through the creation of the album, I worked very diligently with my music production soil-less garden. No, I was not tending to plants. A soil-less garden is indeed a garden without soil or any ground and works with Nature’s Devas and the unseen realms on a creative project. It is a very powerful process that I recommend to anyone. You can read about it at the Perelandra website that says:


“A soil-less garden is how you apply the principles of co-creative science to every aspect of your life: business, education, the arts, the home, research, your job, personal and professional projects and goals... all those gardens in life that are not rooted in soil. It's how you work with nature to achieve any goal you wish with extraordinary efficiency and balance.”


So for hours a day, I was in my soil-less garden coning (a particular energetic configuration of Nature Devas and Cosmic Intelligence) to expand my consciousness so that I could access and download (for lack of a better term) sonic information that would best express what I was called to share. At worst, I felt like I was taking dictation. At best, I was dancing with the Divine through sound. It was an exhilarating creating process. 


As you know, the album, with its songs to the Divine Mother, was aptly launched on Mother’s Day weekend. Thanks again to those who attended. I was so glad to see you all! Since the launch, I have tweaked the music, adjusted sets, made costume fixes, redesigned lighting… generally polished the show. I am on tour through the US right through to the first week of August. I will be sleeping out of a van for the next few months, but updating this blog with photos and captions from the journey. I look forward to sharing it all with you. 


Just like when I went to the North Pole, I felt I was going with you all. So too, I feel we are all connected, so what I do, I do with you, and wherever you are, I am there too, as you are with me. Space and time are plastic, stretchable expressions of our heart’s focus and divine alignment. As I sing in my song “Shanti”, “we are one earth family”. Yes, we are!


If you have not yet picked up your copy of the album, you can get it exclusively at the Positive Possibilities store, in biodegradable packaging or in mp3 format. Your support is immensely appreciated! A percentage goes to Embracing the World.


Much peace, gratitude and joy to you!

Jai Ma!





Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sneak Preview: Yoga in the Nightclub New Tracks

Dear friends,

I am still immersed in the world of sound as I get ready for this Friday's album launch. I thought I would share with you a few of the tracks that will be on the new "YIN: Yoga in the Nightclub" album.

Yoga In The Nightclub New Tracks by ParvatiDevi

Hope to see you this Friday evening at the Yoga Sanctuary!

Jai Ma,