Mass Hypnosis

An old one that keeps resonating in my mind…

Rising from the Abyss

Much of the world is living in a permanent state of mass hypnosis. Myself included. We look for things to amuse our senses to a point of overdrive. It’s either watching TV, listening to music, playing video games, and my personal favorite reading books. There are countless things in our environment that capture our attention- art pieces, advertisement, grafitti, songs, etc…We hardly get a moment where our senses are not being overly stimulated. I will not even talk about porn, but it is the extreme of these same patterns. How are we to ever get to know our own true selves in the middle of all this noise? At the same time, I think it is because we are lacking this knowledge of the inner self that we seek all these things that hypnotize us. We actually LIKE to get lost in a good book or film. We seek the…

View original post 736 more words

Empaths: Meet Like Minded People

I’ve come in contact with a great website to meet like-minded people. A place to express and share what it is like to lead a life of emotion:
Empath Support Community

It is starting out, so join it and contribute, it is up to us to make it a great community. The site is available thanks to Gary from http://areyouanempath.com/.
I´m curious to see how it will develop.
Smile,
Luna Sol

On empathy, feelings and responsibility for the self

Being empathic means that you feel the emotions of people around you. Sometimes as if they were your own. Identifying the source of that emotion can help bring clarity to your own sense of self. This does not mean that it is other people’s ‘fault’ if you feel sad/angry/happy, etc…What you feel is always your own responsibility.

This has taken some time to figure out. I’ll work with an example, although the experience of this has been much bigger than this circumstance.
The situation: I have a good friend, and lately I am angry and mad at her all the time. It is unlike me to be quite so angry out of nowhere, she hasn’t offended or wronged me. I finally worked out that she is very angry at herself for several reasons in her life, not related to me. I am feeling this, and getting angry at her. She’s out of shape, and dangerously overweight, and I get sooo mad at her every time she is eating junk food (which I might be eating right along with her). I get mad at her when she fails to come to our friends’ sport evenings, I get mad at her when I see she didn’t take care of her appearance that day. I get mad at her when I see her not getting her job done. Anyhow, you get the point, I seem to be angry at her all the time.
Is it her fault that I am angry at her? she is bringing it up yes, but it is not her fault that I am mad at her. My emotions are always my responsibility. She – or anyone else- is not capable of bringing up any emotion that I don’t already have in me. So, this seething anger, while not something that manifests in me very often, is something that exists. She is bringing it up, and I am allowing her to do it. It is still my responsibility. More than the emotion that is coming up, my actions and words are completely within my domain. I must take care of my words, and my actions and act with integrity with myself.
Taking a step back and looking at the situation I see the poison that this anger brings to her. She is having trouble with other people, she already had a few nasty disagreements with people around her. Her relationships are all failing. People sense this anger and react to her in the same manner. She feels like a victim, like the world is against her. And it is. In reaction to her own image of herself. She eats out of spite and anxiety, gains even more weight, and gets all the more angry. It is a nasty cycle. When I try to point it out she gets angry at me. (and I get angry back at her)
I see it, I still get angry. Although she is bringing it up, it is my responsibility to hold up my side of the friendship. I’ve been trying to not go into an argument with her, but it finally happened, it was small, but still. I tried talking to her, I told her I sense her own self loathe, she heard me but it is not going away just because I pointed it out. For now, I will take some distance to preserve the friendship, still hang out with her, but less, or in a group. Until I can work out how to get through this anger, it comes up, and it is something that I don’t know. I am figuring out how to overcome it, whether she keeps being angry at herself or not. I am responsible for how I feel, and I can take steps to deal with this anger in myself. Regardless of how my friend evolves. Similar situations to this have happened to me time and time again, it is the moment to learn the lesson. If I take responsibility for this anger, then it can show me something about myself, and I can deal with it. I am not a victim of the emotional states of people around me.
As an empath, first recognizing where things are coming from is very useful to have an understanding of the situation. Second, taking responsibility for your own emotions, words and actions, is the ultimate enabler. The emotions that others can bring up in us are a mirror of our own unconscious mind. I wasn’t aware that I had so much anger in me. Similarly, we can choose what emotions we want to bring up in people around us.
I choose to bring joy and peace, this I declare, and so be it.
**Smile**

A moment of Crisis

It’s 1 am, I’ve stared at my computer today all day, I haven’t managed to get any work done. I have nothing to present at the meeting tomorrow. I know it matters, and I care, I do, but I just can’t do it.
I need to send an email, the document is ready, I just have to send the email and apologize for missing the deadline. I can’t, I just can’t, I despair…
I often get blocked like this with work. I sit down and I stare at my screen, for hours, and get nothing done. I read and re-read the same paragraph and don’t get any meaning out of it. I feel I’m late for everything, failing at everything. This has been going on for quite a while, and I’ve had entire ‘lost’ weeks. Weeks, not even days, weeks. I feel like a fraud, or a thief for taking my paycheck when I know I’ve been spacing out.
I’d like to get things done, I don’t enjoy this spacing out. I feel awful about this. Yet, I am blocked, I am right now in the frame of mind where I can’t think about what I have to do. When I do start I will regret all the lost time. I start to be afraid I might lose my job.
When I do try to start, I get this overwhelmingly sleepy feeling, it’s like a fog, I can’t avoid it, I can’t even hold a proper conversation. I can’t think or even move a lot. I don’t understand why, my job is not something strange, mostly some programming, writing and thinking. Nothing daunting or scary about it. And yet, I can’t, I’m panicking.
When I’m not spacing out, when I’m in my zone, I’m actually very good at my job. So far, it’s been enough to get by on, but this causes me a lot of stress. I only reach the zone, if at all, at the very last moment, and I never know if it will work or not.
I’ll give myself a break and admit that I’ve had a fever, on top of bruises and swelling from that bike accident, for the past two days. I had doctor’s leave yesterday, but today I should have worked. I had fever and sweats all day, I didn’t do anything. I think I’m still feverish.
Considering whether to try and do a marathon effort right now, or just give up and cancel my meeting tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get some inspiration in the next few minutes. I look at my program and I don’t understand it, it works, it’s ready, but I can’t possibly make sense out of it right now to try to explain it tomorrow.
I despair, I see this is the root of a lot of stress in my body. I just want to be able to get my job done in the appropriate hours to do it. I can’t focus, I don’t know how, I don’t remember what all these symbols mean. It’s like someone else did it. Where am I?, where is the me that wrote this program?
What is wrong with me? maybe I ought to just quit, but I decided some time ago to not make life changing decision in a moment of crisis. This is a moment of crisis, once more. It is cramped muscles, painful joints, droopy eyes…depression in its ever threatening choking embrace…
I need help with this, don’t know who to turn to…

Injury predisposition and yoga?

This weekend I had a bicycle accident which could have been serious but thankfully wasn’t. However I seem to have bruised all my usual ‘trouble’ areas during my Ashtanga yoga practice.
The accident was completely unrelated to yoga, I was riding my bicycle along a street when someone in a parked car suddenly opened the door and I attempted to ride my bike through it. I hit the door, flew over the car door and landed on the pavement. Luckily the car coming on the other side and the one behind me had enough time to break and didn’t run me over.
I walked out in good shape considering what it was. However, I bruised exactly the areas I always feel tender during practice, namely my right knee and shin, my right quad, and my right shoulder (I hit the door of the car with it). So, all my familiar little aches, are now very real aches. I didn’t even scratch my hands however, even though I used them to prevent my helmet-less face/head from falling into the pavement. My hands landed smoothly and evenly in the pavement in a sort of push up (chaturanga?) position, didn’t even feel it on the wrists, and did a nice shock absorbing job.
Perhaps I am over thinking it, but I believe that the areas that I did hurt, were hurt because they are tight, and already had a predisposition to injury. They were not able to just flow along, be soft on impact, and fall gracefully like the other parts which reacted very well.
Here I was trying to ignore the possibility that it is yoga that is being hard on those joints. Now, I think that it is my body which has tightness and weak areas and yoga is just showing them to me.
Either way, the pain I feel now seems familiar, I think a few months ago I always had inflammation in both my knees. I didn’t even notice that my knees are less puffy with fluid lately ( I didn’t even realize that my knees ‘were’ puffy with fluid some time ago, until I see the right one now). No wonder padmasana was beginning to feel less uncomfortable lately. Anyway I’ll take a few days off of Ashtanga asana practice, but I still want to wake up and dedicate that time, I’ll try to do some prana-yama.
Overall I am glad of how my body handled the situation, and I say my body because there was no thought process involved, it happened too fast. Instead of resisting the shock and plastering myself to the open car door I took the momentum and jumped/flew off the bike, and then landed semi-nicely on my hands. I also landed on my right knee, which is now hurting and a bit swollen, but seems to be healing OK. I think if I weren’t doing yoga, it would have been like olden times when every bit of stress caused my whole body to spasm and cramp painfully. The fall could have been much much worst. And the whiplash would have made my entire back and head hurt for days. Once more, a big thanks to Ashtanga, to the practice itself, to myself for having the dedication to get to the mat, and to the teachers who share the knowledge. I believe that Ashtanga has once more saved my life.

Soul Call

What are the signs of a soul call? I am learning to identify them through a situation I am in right now.
I believe I am experiencing a very strong soul call. It took me completely by surprise and it is irresistible and almost intoxicating. Just like the person issuing it. It is a guy I don’t know too well, I’ve only talked to him a handful of times. During every conversation we’ve had I felt a deep connection to him, and his questions left me thinking for days. I believe I have the same effect on him, as he was quoting things I said to him more than a year ago.

He is a strange individual, extremely charismatic, handsome and charming, men want to be like him, women want to be with him. I’ve always taken care of not getting too close to him, as people like that are like a trap for empathic sensitive people like me. He had a rough time this past year, fell in love, had a failed relationship, lost two jobs, in all he’s been reevaluating his life and has gone through severe depressions. I’ve only seen him two or three times this year, and that has been enough for him to set his mark into my awareness. I’ve been analyzing the situation, and trying to detach myself from it to be objective. At a point I thought I’ve been falling in love with him, but I just know that although I feel strongly, that is not really the case. I don’t even know him. It is hard sometimes for an empath to separate my own feelings from those of others, to even know the difference. He is in love (with his last girlfriend), and I feel his deep love as if it were mine. And it hurts.

These are the reasons why I feel I am experiencing a soul call from him:
1. I have not had too much contact with him, but in the little contact we had we talked and shared rather intense and personal conversations.
2. After seeing him only twice in the past three weeks, I can’t stop thinking about him. In an obsessive sort of way. He seems to be always on my mind, in a way not characteristic of my own thought patterns. I believe I am hearing his thought patterns and taking them on (not uncommon for me as an empath).
3. I’ve been dreaming about him, about what he needs to overcome his crisis, about being together with him, about how I can help him.
4. I can feel people, and he feels like an open wound, looking for answers, comfort, anything to soothe the hurt.
5. At random times during the day he pops into my mind, like an unexpected visitor, tugging at me for attention.
6. I had a ‘vision’ of him. Sometimes, usually when people ask me to read them, but sometimes unrequested, I can ‘see’ or feel a person’s spirit or essence. It doesn’t tend to happen if the person does not want to show it. I saw into his mind, and the beautiful expanse of the sky that is his being, a fascinating starlit night.
7. He relates himself to the figure of a phoenix that burned out, which has some meaning for me, not easy to explain just now.
8. I feel I’ve always known him, although in reality I haven’t had a lot of contact with him.

So for all these reasons, and that extra ‘je ne sais quoi’, that other sense of ‘knowingness’; I believe he has issued a soul call to me. His soul recognizes that I could help him (which is true), and it is reaching out to me. His conscious self though, isn’t really looking for me. I asked him to come do sports with me (which is mostly what I do in my free time with my friends), and he never replied to my message. I would leave it at that, but I feel a constant tugging at my awareness. Like an invisible hand always tapping my shoulder asking me to look over. I don’t really know what to do, this obsessive thinking is taking a lot of my energy, and yet, his waking self does not respond to me. I would help him, but he needs to come to me. So here my answer to the soul call:

‘Come to me and allow me to take care of you. I will help you. I know how, I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. Come to me, and let me touch your soul. I know how to help you heal yourself. I cannot do it for you, but I can soothe the way. Come to me, my door is open to you. But, if you will not come to me, freely, willingly, sincerely, and without games, then let me be. Cease your calling, get out of my awareness, respect the privacy of my dreams, and may you find your peace somewhere else.’

I’ve been repeating that every night, it seems to help diminish the obsessive though patterns, there are gaps in my awareness of him throughout the day. It is all I can do for now, I reached out to him, extended an invitation (in actual real life), he has to answer it. I cannot, and don’t want to, chase after him, I also know that it would not serve him if I do that. I’ve extended my hand out to him, it is up to him to grab it.
I’m baffled and exhausted, If anyone has any experience with this sort of thing I will appreciate some advice.

My Ashtanga Story

Today a fellow blogger posted her story with Ashtanga in a beautiful post called ‘From Anxiety to Ashtanga my story‘; click to read it.
At the end she wrote:
Have you ever suffered from anxiety? Has yoga helped you overcome any physical or mental ailments? I love to swap stories so please feel free to reach out to me.
I meant to type a short response, but ended up writing quite a bit, so I thought I would also share it here:

Hi Amy,
What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing.
I also feel that ashtanga is saving my life, in spite of myself. For reasons that I still don’t understand my body decided to be in a permanent state of cramps since a few years ago. It seems that before starting ashtanga six months ago, every single one of my muscles was always bunched up and doing effort even when no effort was needed. This, naturally caused me a lot of pain, physical and emotional. I would go through my day drained, dragging and extremely exhausted. I began losing mobility, I could barely look over my shoulder, I lacked the flexibility to stand up straight (I felt as though I was in a deep backbend when I tried, a crunchy and pinchy back bend) and my vertebrae went out of alignment. Years of muscle knots caused some scoliosis and a slipped disc.
One day, I sat down to meditate, and was confronted by the pitiful state of my body. If you would have asked me before that I would have told you that I was a healthy person. But I couldn’t even sit for a few minutes without tremendous pain and cramps. When sitting didn’t work, I tried to lie down face up, but my back was hurting as that was too much of a back bend for my contracted muscles. I realized I couldn’t lie flat on the ground, my lower back was trying to arch up, and my shoulders were rounding up off the ground. I tried to lie face down, and my neck wouldn’t move to either side so I could rest my head. I tried bringing my arms forward to support my head, but my shoulders wouldn’t budge. Needless to say, I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in ages, my hands and legs weren’t receiving blood and I would (and still) wake up with terrible cramps, it was almost a relief to get out of bed even if I was exhausted.
I saw myself, that day, and I was heartbroken, and somehow I knew, I just knew that yoga was the answer. I looked up videos online and of course I found Kino McGregor, and I was so awed by her strength and control, that I was inspired to try ashtanga.
I decided to challenge myself to 30 days of yoga, every day, even if it was just 10 minutes a day. At first it was very very painful, but I was in pain anyway so I decided to stick to it.The first time I tried to go through primary, (following Kino’s Primary series video), I could hardly keep up, it seemed impossible, and moving my spine like that was very difficult. I gave up halfway through. Then I decided to get Kino’s introduction to ashtanga which seemed to be more feasible to understand. I got another video from another teacher (Mark Darby) and that one was a great step into the full primary, with the full primary performed by Mark, and modifications by Nicole. I stuck to that one until I learned the series (in my mind anyway).
The pain sort of morphed into an extending and healing sort of pain, instead of a cramped and pinchy sort of pain.
The pain began to diminish at around day 30, and I still remember there was one day when I was completely painless. I was lying on my side after doing yoga, I was self massaging my spine, feeling along the vertebrae, when without thinking I pushed one in and the pain dissipated. It was such a big relief, I started crying, I also realized that I didn’t know just exactly how much pain I was in until it left me. I woke up the next day just as cramped as before, but now I knew what I was working for. 30 days became 60, and 60 became a 100, and now I’m on day 182 since I began this journey. I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen off the wagon for days/weeks at a time, and I’m still in a lot of pain. But at least during the 90 minutes that I practice ashtanga, the pain goes away, and I become limber and agile. I remember myself as I should be. Slowly, slowly my cold ‘at rest flexibility’ is reaching a place where I can stand up straight most of the time without pain. I still wake up with cramps, but my hands no longer feel like they have ants in them when I sleep. I actually get rest. I see the little changes, and I am motivated to move forward. The next step is to commit to a 6 day a week full practice.
Sorry for the long answer, I guess I needed to express this right now. I’ll post it to my blog as well,
Journey on,
Luna Sol

The right teacher

I have an inner conflict and I need to vent, this is my safe haven so I’ll vent here. As I’ve written before I’m a self-study in Ashtanga, I’ve mostly learned it through videos. I do practice once a week with a group, and I like the energy of the group a lot. Lately, I have mixed feelings about the teacher.

I don’t doubt her physical abilities, she is quite accomplished and always training to get better. I dislike her views on yoga, they feel to me very closed minded. She transmits a feeling like ashtanga is the high moral horse of yoga and everything else is rubbish. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love ashtanga, I think it is a fantastic system and it is saving my life. It is right for me at this time in my life. But I don’t think it is the only yoga style that has value. I don’t even think that yoga is the only discipline that has value and leads to a better life. Any serious athlete, be it runner, swimmer, cyclist, martial artist, etc… speaks of that special space of mind where the impossible becomes achievable.
Now, I do have respect for my teacher, and I don’t want to go into a debate over this with her. I’ve been trying to overlook it, but it comes out more and more often and it rubs me the wrong way.
I’ve come to realize that she is what I call in my mind a ‘yoga hater’; criticizing those ‘gyms’ that care about schedules and dare to ‘make up their own routines’. She criticizes online videos, she even posts and tells online teachers that they should stop calling what they do ‘yoga’. She believes that anyone who hasn’t been to India knows nothing about yoga and should not be teaching it (elitist, no?). She frowns and scowls at the mention of meat, and similarly thinks that meat-eaters cannot truly be ‘yogis’. She frowned at me for saying I started yoga due to back pain, as if that is not enough of a worthy cause to practice. She probably never experienced chronic back/joints/muscle pain, and so she cannot relate. I could go on, but I think I made my point.

Whether all of her comments and remarks are true or not is not the point of my discussion and upset over this. I am trying to discover why all of this hits a nerve with me. After all, I really really like ashtanga, and dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to it. And although I’m not there yet, I do seek peace of mind and self knowledge. Why aren’t we in the same boat?
I don’t really want to be in the same boat, as much as I appreciate this system, I do not want to close my mind to other experiences of yoga, body awareness, and self exploration. I do not want to look down on gyms that ‘sell’ yoga. I also sell the set of skills I’ve spent many years building (aka: my job). I don’t want to look down on kind teachers that share their helpful videos online, I relate more to some than to others, but still. Everyone is where they are at, and they give what they can.
In her defense, she really lives by what she preaches. She’s been teaching yoga for free, even though she studies and works as a waitress. This I appreciate very much, and I am grateful to have found the group when I did. She will now start charging for the lessons, and I think it is appropriate.

Truth is, I don’t really like her as a person. She is not a bad person, we just have different views on things. What’s more I gather that the feeling is mutual. She disagrees with my job (corporate), and life views. Although she doesn’t say it, I think she disagrees with my self-learned home ashtanga practice as well. I’m at an impasse. I feel like going to another teacher is like treachery. And also, I don’t want to kick myself out of a rather nice community, even though I feel that she cannot be my inspiration.
There. I said it. It’s a relief to get that out of my system without causing conflict in my community. ***sigh***
Any advice?

Luna’s Castles of the Soul

Another one of Luna’s stories:

I had a dream about the house of Luna, one of them anyway. It was in the dream city I see so often in my mind travels. I’m writing about it before I forget.

It was the house of Luna, the city house. It was part of a large renaissance style building in one of our modern cities, same and yet different. It had a large garden with a hill and grass, open to air and storm even at elevation in the building. The large windows showed the busy street outside. She was quite satisfied to be the keeper of the house.
It had been a temple to old gods, and later a temple to new gods, reconstructed and refitted many times. It’s location had changed throughout the ages, and now it was in a city, unknown to city dwellers. Many were asking for refuge, in the city and yet away from it. A group of monks and disciples, and a misguided young lady from the same place as Luna. And she was the keeper of the house. The storm of the passing of time raged outside in the hilled garden of the house of Luna. The interior remained a safe house.
Luna reluctantly agreed to house those who asked for refuge, the house would now be a safe haven for those who knew where to find it. She had seen the portent brought by black feathered wings and agreed to open her castle.