Local Essence Dance

In an interview Barbara Marx Hubbard I was given an amazing practice.  She was being summoned for her wisdom in an interview with Ken Page, who was creating a bonus track for the students in his class.  I was gifted this soundtrack when I purchased his book, Deeper Dating.

Among her many insights as a luminary in the field of conscious evolution, Barbara suggests a simple yet profound practice of journal writing.  The distinction here is that we add a twist, and dialogue with our essence.  Simply write from your Local Self's perspective about what's going on and what is so right now.  Local Self is her sweet way of referring to our mental self or ego.  

Then ask [Dearly beloved, what does this mean?] turn off your mental mind and just write.  You will be coming from the Essential Self, which knows everything that's happening and it knows the guidance you need.  Write without thinking.  What comes to you feels like an inner knowing or guidance.  Create a dialogue between Local and Essential Self until you feel complete.  

Create a regular practice with this writing and then read a week's worth of journal entries, highlighting passages that feel like Inner Scripture.  These are the passages where your essence is being completely authentic.  Create an incorruptible communication system with your Inner Scripture.  

Reread it often, like you would (if you do this kind of thing) with poetry or spiritual text.  After you establish your flow you can even record yourself reading your Inner Scripture with your Essential Self voice.  This becomes an audio activated cellular memory of who you really Are.  By speaking in the tone of your Essential Self you inform your Inner Self with great guidance, as if you were a guru.

Marx Hubbard believes that every essence is a great guru… and that is YOU!

Even though I wanted to begin this practice right away it took me a few weeks to get started.  The sun came out after many days of May gray here in San Diego and I got inspired to take my yoga mat out onto the garden patio.  As I was checking in with my body I was moved to have a conversation with my essence... a real time version of Barbara's journaling practice.

I bent, stretched, and contorted, following where and how my body wanted to move.  Aches and pains were screaming at me and vying for my complete attention.  As I listened and followed I became acutely aware that these sensations were the voice of my ego or local self.  My body moved in  uncomfortable ways; contracting, stretching and getting stuck in the pain.  I was grunting often.  The strongest most intense pain won out over all the others, my body stopped and locked into it.

Then I remembered to ask [Dearly beloved, what does this mean?] and my essence informed my body how to move in flowing infinity sine waves, releasing the pain.  For the next hour or so (I have no idea how much linear time passed) I writhed and rolled, wiggled and shook as I listened intently, followed  and observed.  I diligently took note of every nuance and aHA as if I were being handed the Keys to Self Healing from the greatest guru of all time

When I came back to physical world reality I knew that I needed to record as much as I could remember.  I slowly ambled inside to get my phone and make a voice memo, then dictated as much as I could remember.  Essence guided me to record and dictate while I was in the conversation again with my Local and Essential Self.  I coined this the *Local Essence Dance.

This recording is classic, complete with grunts, moans, and difficult breathing as I do my best to speak intelligibly while in the *LED.  Nature brought tweeting birds, hummingbirds, and wind chimes in for background ambience.  I am now in the process of transcribing it so I can present it in digestible form here.  I tend to jump way out front of myself into the bigger vision... and I'm so excited to teach the world what I've learned about self-healing!

First things first though.  I've committed to making this my primary study.  I feel like I just entered my first class in the first semester in pursuit of a new and different degree.  I'm happy to report that in my recent discoveries I employed everything I've learned in my years of experiencing and studying myriad modalities in the alternative health complimentary care arenas.  But rather than looking outside of me for information and guidance, I found a treasure trove of inner wisdom that is individualized to me.

Perhaps I can help guide you to discover yours.

Clouds parting after mile high dust storm, Indian Wells, CA

Clouds parting after mile high dust storm, Indian Wells, CA

#localessencedance #breath #selfhealing #journaling

Solito Solace

If you ever want to be alone in the middle of a big city, go for a walk to the park while it's raining in San Diego.  This evening it was really raining.  I know this because I have lived in Maui, Oahu, and San Francisco... where it really rains.  It was so exciting I had to go out and get some!

Two blocks later I walked into the park at Morley Field and hugged the usual suspects.  As I approached each of my beloved Eucalyptus trees I was keenly aware of how many of their friends had fallen over the years.  Every winter they topple over during the rain and wind... small shallow roots giving way to loosened soil and wet top heaviness.

All of my senses were hyper-aware as I walked under their pouring heavier drops.  Although it wasn't particularly windy, one never knows when a giant tree is going to fall.  Each wet hug was extra fragrant and I noticed that a couple of my friends had foam at their base.  The ground was soft and comfy under my feet thanks to the much needed rain.  Pure bliss.

Usually during my evening walks the park is teeming with life.  Fitness freaks of all kinds use the grass, tennis courts, pool, baseball fields, velodrome, and canyon trails for their chosen favorite activities.  It's great people watching.  But this evening it was completely empty.  No one was out.  Literally.

I quite enjoyed the solitude amidst the expanse of our amazing park, especially with the rain drumming on my barely water resistant hood.  Wet face was looking for owl.  No such luck.  It's not that I was missing companionship, but I thought it'd be quite a blessing to have owl grace me with her presence while I was solito.  I said hello anyway.

As I was wrapping up the end of the loop across the field where soccer teams are typically running drills, I was amazed at the fact that I had yet to cross another human's path.  Are San Diegans allergic to rain?  Was I the only soul who answered the call to be anointed by nature's holy water?  Apparently so... at least in that neck of the woods.

Do you ever crave finding a quiet time solito(a) surrounded by beautiful plants, trees, and flowing water?  Aquatic Bodywork is an incredibly unique opportunity to find just that in the middle of a busy city, or at a world class destination spa.  I love to serve by facilitating this transformative healing modality.  I'm blessed to have access to some of the most beautiful settings in which to float you.  Treat yourself or a loved one and come see me in Mission Hills or at Rancho la Puerta.

I thought of writing this blog as I left the park and headed home.  The gutters were overflowing.  I watched in wonder, pondering our severe drought and was baffled at how hundreds of thousands of gallons of water were rushing through the drains out to the ocean.  Isn't there an engineer who can design a catchment system, diverting all urban runoff into a reservoir where it can be treated and used?  We could fill Watsu pools and water gardens with it, and obviously so much more.

Alas, as I rounded the corner to my house I came across another human walking in the rain!  

New Year's Intention

Last night I meditated in the New Year.  This has been a practice of mine for quite a few years now.  Usually I go through my weekly planner during the evening and enter the birthdays and anniversaries in my new calendar.  In 2012 I used a calendar on my Droid so I could have the convenience of making appointments wherever I was.  It saved me from double booking, and I got pretty efficient with the technology.

I thought I would miss my ritual of reviewing my year in front of the fire, but I didn't.  Back in November I embarked upon a journey of getting my Masters in Spiritual Psychology, and have been in deep reflection ever since.  I love my Program and the University of Santa Monica where it's held.  More on this later.

What I got to do instead was to make a smoothie for dinner and soak in my garden tub under the moonlight... which is a meditation in and of itself.  By the time I got out it was time to sit in front of the fire and chant.  I have been partaking in the latest Global Sadhanas with 14,000+ people worldwide and Spirit Voyage.  Last night we finished 11 days of chanting for 11 minutes, from the Winter Solstice to New Year's Eve.  I love chanting mantras!  One of the yogis guiding us on the journey mentioned her intentions for the New Year, and I was inspired to get clear on mine.

I can't remember the last time I made a New Year's Resolution.  I never stuck to them.  I have however set very clear intentions for various situations many times in the past.  Last night after the mantra chant I sat in the quiet of my living room and meditated on what my intentions were for 2013.  It was a very potent and powerful time, and my intentions flowed freely for quite a while.  When I heard the neighborhood celebrating the New Year's arrival I was not quite done... so I got to meditate through the end of 2012, and into 2013.  Pretty sweet!

If you are inclined to want something specific, you may want to try setting intentions (if you don't already.)  The way I see it is that I can use all the help I can get, so I employ techniques that can support me!

Here's to a healthy, prosperous, light-filled, loving, adventurous, still, quiet, grounded, joyous, fun, fill-in-the-blank 2013.  Be well and enJOY!

Sunset from Mom's Back Porch, Del Cerro

Every Body is Unique

As I moved into the second half of my busy week at Rancho la Puerta the weather cooled down and it felt like autumn.  It was a welcomed change for me as I am sometimes challenged to enter a 96 degree pool for hours when the air is plus or minus 100 degrees.  This is high season at the Rancho and we do lots of Watsu and Aquatic Bodywork this time of year.

Guests love to receive Watsu when it's warm out because they get to exit the pool in comfort.  I ended the week with my record total number of sessions, 29.  That's huge for me!  I did not partake in any extra curricular activities, and spent much time in self care... stretching, rolling on my tennis ball and magnetic roller, resting on my far infrared/negative ion amethyst crystal Biomat, receiving cranio sacral therapy, napping, eating well, replacing electrolytes and fluids, etc.  It's the only way I'm able to make it through big weeks with much time in the water.  

As I continue to learn and grow with every client and experience of facilitating aquatic bodywork, I'm always amazed at how absolutely different each session is.  Every body is unique in its own ways.  Some people glide through the water fluidly, and yet feel like they were stiff and holding back.  Others hold on and are very stiff, yet feel like they've just relaxed more than ever.  There is no telling what anyone will be like in the water, nor what they will experience while receiving Watsu.  I have learned to be open to their experience, join and follow them through the water.

There has been an interesting shift in the pre-session dialogue I have with clients.  About a year ago I started to suggest that folks visualize kelp waving in the currents, as a way to remind their bodies to be fluid during their session.  All was fine and dandy until the other day when someone said, "Ew! No kelp. Where I live the lakes have seaweed and I hate stepping on it!"  I asked what made her think of being fluid in the water... 'Mermaid'.  So I started using the Mermaid analogy until it backfired... 'Really!?!"  This other client preferred kelp, of course.  

I don't know what possessed me to think that one analogy would work with every body.  Now I ask each person what they think of when imagining fluid motion in water.  Hello! 

Take Rosy, below, for instance... I find her stunningly beautiful.  Her movement is fluid and graceful, yet many people are afraid of snakes and find them ugly.  When I took this photo she was slowly crawling right to me, and if I had not moved she would've crawled right between my feet.  I stepped aside and let her move on in peace, admiring the way her body moved over the earth, wishing I could move with as much ease and flow.  


Fluid, Graceful, Rosy Boa.

Do What You Love

When my body hurts I tend to recoil away from and against the pain.  This was the coping mechanism that I glommed onto at an early age.  For the huge majority of my life I felt like pain was a bad thing... the enemy to be gotten rid of and stopped at all costs.  I still struggle with living the philosophy that pain is my teacher, my body telling me something important.

It's easy for me to understand this concept when I'm not in pain, and it's a completely different story when I'm in it.  I am getting better at it, albeit slowly.  Quick back story: I've been living with chronic pain since I was 15, thanks to my dare devil adrenaline junky ways and high propensity for carving turns, going really fast and getting as much air as possible.  Although I was adept at the activities (skateboarding, skiing, surfing, bmx, motocross, etc.) I was also pushing my limits... so when I crashed I crashed hard!  The list of injuries and traumas is too long to list here, but suffice it to say that I've been paying for that fun ever since.

Lately I've been in more pain than usual.  One of the side effects is depression.  It's so interesting to me how I can go from feeling good physically and emotionally, to hurting and depressed almost instantly.  I simply haven't learned how to 'get over it' or pretend it's not affecting me.  Let's just say that this last week+ I've had a difficult time getting out of bed.

As things generally go in my life, when I most need a wake up call- BAM! -there it is.  Usually it's in the form of some kind of shining example of how blessed and fortunate I am... something to nudge me back to center and remind me to focus on what I want, not on what I don't want.  Yesterday it came into my inbox from my friend, Jeremy.  

Jeremy P. McGhee is one of the most amazing and inspirational people I know.  After a motorcycle accident he has been living with paraplegia.  He has the best, most upbeat and positive attitude and is on a serious mission.  Jeremy inspires folks to DO WHAT THEY LOVE. He sent me a link to his latest public speaking engagement.

At a recent TedX talk in San Diego Jeremy spoke to over 600 people about his experience of living his mission... doing what he loves.  He manifested an incredible crew of people to team up and support him in joining them atop Bloody Couloir, so he could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with them.  Bloody is a +12,000' peak in the backcountry of the Eastern Sierra Mountains.  Not only did he make it to his goal and eat PB&J's with his friends at the summit, Jeremy then skied down Bloody on his sit ski!

Did I mention Jeremy has no use of his legs?  

Even if you don't need inspiration, the TedX talk is great.  When you have 15 minutes check it out: click on the link below his picture. You can also find his website under my Favorites tab.  Click on Jeremy P. McGhee.

My pain didn't magically disappear, but I was able to say YES to my niece who asked me for a Watsu because she's been in pain.  This afternoon I was able to use the amazing energy of Jeremy to get out of my funk and be there for my loved one.  I've said it before and I still believe it... we're all in this together.


Jeremy P. McGhee, "Do What You Love."

Thunder Heads and Rain

I am feeling blessed yet again with the opportunity to be at Rancho la Puerta for a week of Watsu, music, guests and weather!  This week I've been honored and privileged to be able to serve an 80 year young grandmother and her collegiate granddaughter with Watsu sessions.  Grandma received first and had a profound experience, stating, "I have never experienced anything like that.  I can't comprehend it."

Her kind and sweet granddaughter arrived just before the session was complete with papaya smoothies for all of us.  Grandma was so pleased with her experience that she offered her loved one the gift of a session!  Aquatic Bodywork can be a very transformative experience.  'Erica' also very much enjoyed her treatment and we talked about the experience from both of our perspectives.

"I recently got certified in scuba diving, so I had the image of kelp flowing in the currents.  I felt like a mermaid!"  'Erica' was inquisitive and insightful, curious and observant in her conversation.  I very much enjoy doing my best to explain what is happening when I facilitate an Aquatic Bodywork session.  One thing I repeatedly state is that it's impossible to capture the essence of the experience with words... that words cannot do it justice.

During our conversation 'Erica' said, "You obviously love what you do."

This much I know is true.

Today two clients cancelled due to the thunder heads and rain.  Although I would've kept my appointment if I were receiving, I understand.  Me? I took the opportunity to be out in it.  My first Watsu experience was at Harbin Hot Springs; in Northern California, in the winter, at night, under very large drops of cold rain while being floated in very warm water... I LOVED it!  That experience changed my life, truly.  It was a sample, a quickie.  In under 5 minutes I relaxed more and my body let go more than I ever had on any massage table for an hour!  I knew this was it... profound, deeply transformative and effective Aquatic Bodywork.  

Why the pomegranate?  Because it's one of the beautiful things I see here at my office.   enJoy!

Early Opening, Poolside Pomegranate

Rancho la Home

It's funny how I'm more inclined to write while away from my San Diego base.  After several days at home after my friends and family trip to Minnetana I am back down south at my other home away from home.  Rancho la Puerta has turned into a most wonderful place for me to live and work.

When I was scrambling to get things done prior to coming here for a week, after being away for 2 weeks, I felt like I was running out of time.  I did my best to breathe through it and to stay calm and centered.  Doing my best, sometimes I actually felt calm... at times not at all. Driving here through the beautiful mountains, I realized that I was heading into the part of my life where I am most chill.

The warm smiles and happy hugs I give and receive here are indicative of the vibe I get to swirl in for a week.  Walking the grounds gives instant reconnection with the abundant nature, that is interrupted only minimally by brick pathways and tastefully designed buildings.  Our 6 acre organic garden/farm provides a bounty of amazing produce that our chefs and dining staff craft lovingly into incredible tasting and healthful meals.  Fresh seafood is picked up 45 minutes south in Ensenada.

Life is simple here... there are less demands on my time than in my 'life on the outside'.  My J.O.B. (Joy of Being- thank you Shaon Plache for that distinction!) here is to greet guests in our 96 degree warm water pool and float them.  Watsu is a relatively new offering here at the Rancho, and I love being able to be of service here.  Yesterday one of my clients shared with me upon completion of her session, "That was lovely.  I lost track of all time and space."

When not in the pool doing Watsu sessions I am free to enJoy all the Rancho has to offer.  Occasionally I will join one of the 6-8 fitness classes offered hourly.  I most often choose the Crystal Bowl Sound Healing or one of the many guest speakers' lectures/workshops.  Yesterday I got to sit at the pond and play guitar... then I joined other staff members for an evening hike up to Alex's Oak.

We gathered to send off Joe, who has been working here for 30 years!  Two different snakes greeted us on the trail... a Rosy Boa and a baby Rattler. Transformation, shedding skin.  Atop the mountain looking over the Rancho and Tecate with this group of souls randomly thrown together, I was once again struck with feeling blessed and in awe of life.  I don't know what it's like to be in one place for 30 years... but I do know what it's like to follow my heart.  Joe is following his heart and he departed with an air of confidence and contentment.

Until we meet again...

My Beautiful Office, Rancho la Puerta, Tecate, Baja California, Mexico

Au Revoir Sobrino

Today my nephew left the only home he's ever known to enter his Freshman year of college in Santa Barbara, CA.  After a very full summer, with a new tattoo that we co-designed, and a recent trip to Minnesota for a family reunion under his belt, he had a party last night.  His friends arrived to wrap up the summer, help send him off- and pack.  I landed at the airport, got dinner, picked up my car and went over for a quick visit.  It was a truly beautiful scene with his and his sister's friends, and their parents, there to enjoy their last night together... of this era.

My nephew has been blessed to grow up and bond with a group of boys since he was in preschool!  It's quite amazing to see these young men now after a lifetime together in school, playing sports, traveling, playing... even staying connected while attending different high schools.  There were other young men and women there as well who have come into the fold throughout the years.  I can definitely appreciate this as I am blessed with friends from as early as 4 years old, preschool, grade school, high school, etc. on up until the present!

The other nice thing is that his younger sister, who's entering her Sophomore year of high school, and he are best friends.  Their two groups of friends naturally blend into one beautiful, joyous and raucous laughter.  I love how close and loving my niece and nephew have always been with each other and trust that their bond is forever.

Things will absolutely change in the home and in the dorms.  One move and everyone is affected.    There is no telling what will happen in their family, as there is no telling what will happen in the future for anyone.  (With all due respect to the prophets and psychics out there.)  I'm excited for him because I know he is excited for himself.  He's an amazing person in so many ways and I'm very proud of him!

As I hugged him last night he had a big smile on his face.  He looked at me and said, "Thank you for everything, Tio.  I love you."  I love my 18 year old nephew and I am honored to have been able to be there for him when I could.

G Paddling Into Life