The Fall Equinox represents a time for us to FALL INWARD to awaken within us our Inner Light and connect with our NAAM (our true selves). It is the season of shedding and letting go of that which we no longer have the energy to give.
Nature leads us through this time by example as we watch the last of the coastal fledglings hunt on their own and the adult birds leave their nesting grounds for the year. My coastal walks become quieter as though nature has gone back to school and I find myself reminiscing about the summer days of watching the young hatchlings in their groupings - preening, loafing and developing their skills but alas time moves on, the days grow shorter and the Redwoods thin their leaves as the forest floor thickens and plumps itself with duff to store the winter rains. It’s a palatable energy shift, a re-centering.
The Harvest Moon, the first full moon after the Equinox, marks this transition and this year it finds itself in the sign of fiery and impatient Aries! Aries takes us back to the beginning, to those days of our earliest needs, to our innocence, and to our impulse to cry out when something is the matter. So with this full moon we may find ourselves being reminded of old wounds that need healing and urge us to be honest about our pain, problems and needs. We find ourselves driven in this state to get what we perceive as missing and to seek a salve for wounds that have not yet been healed, or even recognized.
I call this state of mind the Common Cold of the Emotions and as humans we are all bound to get this bug at some point - it’s inevitable at this time of year! Symptoms include all or some of the following: mild depression, a sense of unease, frustration, anxiety, anger, impatience, fatigue, negativity and an all around feeling of loneliness tinged with being misunderstood.
Fortunately, though, the adventurous, rowdy, “me first” Aries in this Full Moon is soothed with the compassionate neutral caring of Libra (the scales, balance). Libra helps us define HOW we want to BE in relationships, including the relationship with ourselves. And, you know, Aries ain’t all that bad - I should know because I am one! and if we can use the “me first” Aries archetype in a positive way it can direct us back to ourselves consciously and utilize the head-strong Ram’s fiery spirit to encourage us to be self-reliant and to seek answers and solace in self-knowing, self-confidence, and self-nurturing. Using this positive aspect of Aries in conjunction with Libra’s desire for compromise and win-win outcomes - we can find the answers to our needs!
One way we can do this is through Kundalini Yoga and Mantra. These tools help us to get back to SELF (Naam) and support getting our needs met through self-confirming attitudes. Breath techniques and mantra are a way of sending a positive coded message to the Brain hemispheres - taking the mind off negative patterning and putting us on the track of self love, positivity and fulfillment.
It’s easy to complain, to rehash those old wounds, feel unloved or that life is unfair - because the truth is that it can be at times. But to every decision please know there is an opposite. A friend of mine from whom and with whom I studied Kundalini (kundaliniwithsheel.com) recently wrote about the karma of complaining and I loved what she had to say:
“We think these reactions are not that bad since we are not punching anyone. Sometimes we even sweep these actions under the rug by calling them “being human.”
That might have been okay in past lives, but here is a secret of Kundalini: yogis figured out that complaining creates dullness in your aura, a constant stream of low-grade karma that corrodes your connection to Spirit and other Souls over time, and diminishes the container of your life to effortlessly receive blessings and what you need to complete your mission and elevate to the Realm of Dharma. That is why there is yearning, devotion and even urgency for yogis to keep pulling the mental fluctuations back to the Naam.”
I love this! It couldn’t be said any better! And what is important to know is that this is true from any level you are willing to ponder it. You don’t have to be a yogi, an advanced yoga student or even take yoga, really. You just need to try and be vigilantly conscious, to catch yourself before going down the dark path of negativity! and mantras and breath work can help you do just this. We have used several mantra’s in class (Ong So Hung, Har Haree and others) but if you don’t understand or know a mantra in the language - use an English one, like “I am bountiful, blissful and beautiful” or “I am, I am” (thanks Sheel)
Upon completing my training my teacher gave me a spiritual name based on my birth date and what he saw in me. The name he gave me is Amrit Shakti. Amrit is the sweet, purifying nectar of the Gods which, when taken, purifies us and allows us to live from the Path of the Heart. Shakti is the ultimate feminine - I like to think of it as "potential manifested". I use the meaning of Amrit Shakti as a way to close class... to remind ourselves to live from The Path of the Heart and to ALWAYS see ourselves as potential manifested.
This past week and even just this morning... I have been struggling with a recent feeling of rejection. Something that happened recently seemed to dredge up for me the painful feelings of being unworthy and undervalued, unwated. My typical response in situations like this is to be mean, to put up the shield, to be angry and stew. It seems silly when you are outside of these emotions but the darkness of their cloud is a whole different beast! Each day I would go to the mat and practice and each day I would fall off track with the mind, falling back into bitterness and anger. But the true discipline is getting back up and to remind myself ... I am Amrit Shakti - I am the Path of the Heart, I am Potential Manifested.
And when I do I feel like myself again.
Robert Frost’s Poem The Road Not Taken (see below) is not about the woes and regrets of making one decision over the other - it's about how we navigate our choices in Life that can make all the difference.
Friday’s Aquarius Full Moon Lunar Eclipse will be the longest (4 hours) this century giving us plenty of time to adjust our focus from the Sun’s glare to see what’s really been going on. This is a real eye opener of a Lunar Eclipse with Mercury and Mars retrograde where Mars will also (and very rarely) be eclipsed with the moon.
In a way, cosmically, the message of this eclipse is equivalent to being called down to the Principal’s office over the School-of-Life’s PA system ... WHAT DID YOU DO THIS TIME?
In all seriousness, it’s not about punishing ourselves for our past choices and behavior - but rather learning from our actions in order to express our energy in a more positive, productive way. Our physical body reminds us of our impermanence in this world. Understanding this and acknowledging it through our choices can help us live more soul fulfilling lives that enrich us and help us make the most beneficial decisions along the way.
So with this moon we are presented the proverbial “fork in the road”. Which one will you take to transform yourself and successfully ride the waves created from your past decisions into the future?
Rather than making choices out of the immediacy of need and fear we can seize the opportunity to see our shadow selves and transmute our "dark side" positively. Below are some questions (from GURU RATTANA’s blog) that can help us navigate the path to higher Self - to take the mystery out of the things we do and to set the foundation of courage to live fully from our heart and soul. So get out a pad of paper and a really good pen to scribe your words with integrity and answer for yourself the following questions: Side Note before you start - Contemplating these questions through the fiery, masculine energy of Mars with this Lunar event can make for a very BUMPY RIDE emotionally, stirring frustration and anger relating to where we’ve misused our energy or not been as productive, appreciated or understood as we wished. However, WE CAN channel this emotional energy positively for ourselves and give our Soul the “get out of Jail” pass it needs to continue its journey. Doing so can immediately transform our mood! GO FOR IT!
This year (2018) is all about enlightenment in this Aquarian Age of Truth & Knowing. The number of the year 2018 corresponds to 11 (2+1+8 =11) in Kundalini Tantric Numerology. This Aquarian Full Moon Lunar Eclipse is all about helping you navigate your Dharma in this lifetime.
The Dharma of number 11 is to exist in and through the grace of the non-existence. It is the highest expression of instinctive and innate spiritual wisdom. The Karma of number 11 is to be the duality. To be ever critical. To exist through denial of existence. It is the extreme expression of spiritual naivety.
As we navigate our choices in life - no matter our path and the difficulties we may face - when we listen to our existence we are never alone!
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
by Robert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
As a note to our readers:
Much of our astrology information comes from one of our favorite blogs posts from Guru Rattana here - Be sure to connect and read her work.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 27th, 2018, is the FULL MOON in Capricorn. If there ever was a time to act like YOU OWN THE BANK rather than needing a loan from it - it is NOW!
Every Wednesday in our local town I teach yoga at Gualala Dance Studio and with each class we set an intention. This Wednesday's goal is to OWN IT LIKE A BILLIONAIRE! We will be doing a set to balance the glandular system followed by a beautiful mantra meditation to open the flow of Kundalini, creating greater self awareness & authority so we can make the right choices to conquer the blemishes in life.
The influence of Saturn Retrograde makes this an emotionally weighty Full Moon and Capricorn brings into form the results of what has been churning within us on an unconscious level. But Capricorn also gives us the opportunity to grab the mountain goat by the horns and take action to release our past in order to create our future. How we handle the emotions that bubble to the surface during this full moon is strictly UP TO US! So it's time to OWN IT LIKE A BILLIONAIRE, to move away from the blame-game and to start DEFINING in life rather than whining. This is the time to not only look deeply at the Cause & Effects in your life but to CHOOSE to respond differently, to move away from unproductive patterns that leave us feeling shameful and to make the choices that place us on a more positive & beneficial path.
We can begin this process by identifying for ourselves where we need to set boundaries and take time for ourselves. Identify what drains you and write down what you are doing about it - as though it is happening in the here & now. Highlight the areas in your life that make you feel happy and timeless --- nurture these areas and remove or minimize the Debbie-Downer zones that serve only to bring you down. Lastly, speak to yourself as you would your own child or someone you deeply love. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion and treat your breath like thoughts - breathe in only good ones! So, Grab the Goat by the horns and OWN IT .... LIKE A BILLIONAIRE!
SAGITTARIUS full moon
The WHIMBREL (Above)
The LONG BILLED CURLEW (Above)
THE WHIMBREL - note the head stripes! Especially through the eye - their bill is also not as long at the Curlew
The Curlew - this is the largest of the shore birds and it doesn't have the stripes on the crown. Also note that its bill is longer than the Whimbrel!
THE MARBLED GODWIT (right) - is another that you may confuse with the above Curlew or Whimbrel… but they have a distinctive pinkish/black bill (that slopes upwards towards the heavens --- connect this hint with their name -the GODwit - and you have a clue to help you identify the species.
Marbled Godwit - winter plumage, upward sloping bill and long legs
Dunlin - Winter plumage - their dullish color is more uniform and they are not as bright white as the Sanderling. They are slightly larger than the Sanderling.
Sanderling - Winter plumage - Note the subtle blackish smudge on the "shoulder" along the top of the wing chord… and their head and chest are a brighter white than the Dunlin. THEY ARE EASY TO SPOT ALONG THE SHORELINE as they titter along quickly along the wave lines… their legs a blur as they follow receding waves, stabbing at the wet sands! They have a bicycle-like motion of their legs when they run quickly
Here is a great picture I found that shows the WESTERN SANDPIPER in front of a DUNLIN (in the back). Note: The bill of the DUNLIN is 2/3rds larger than the WESTERN SANDPIPER … and the Western Sandpiper is about 1/2 the body size…
In this picture below both are in winter plumage. The Eared Grebe is on the Right (back) and the Horned Grebe is on Left (front).
Eared Grebe Non-Breeding plumage ADULT
- Small, stocky waterbird with peaked crown
- Thin, pointy gray/black bill - NOTE how it almost points upwards near the tip
- Mostly dark gray with white on face, nape, and flanks - NOTE the distinction between their face and the clearly defined white vs black on the face of the Horned Grebe.
- Eared Grebe Rump/tail area often appear inflated and "fluffy"
Arena Theater Ocean Film Festival this coming Saturday, April 9th beginning at 2PM! Screenings at 2PM, 4PM and 7PM
Screenings at 2PM, 4PM & 7PM
ARENA THEATER OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL
Saturday, April 9th2:00 p.m. Family/Kids Animated Films - $5
- Ain't No Fish (4 minutes)
- The Great Wide Open (10 minutes)
- Song of the Spindle (5 minutes)
- Coralax (7 minutes)
- A Sea Turtle Story (9 minutes)
- Zoe and Her Adventures (3 minutes)
- Net Positiva (11 minutes)
- Whale Aware (8 minutes)
- TBD: Q&A with Filmmaker Lauren Gilberston (10 minutes)
- A Small Surfer Makes Big Waves (7 minutes)
- Cordell Bank: A Sound Investment (4 minutes)
- Feature: Sonic Sea (55 minutes)
- Domoic Acid Attack (3 minutes)
- Sanctuary in the Sea (18 minutes)
- The Cook, The Hunter, The Whales and Their Watchers (5 minutes)
- Feature: Of the Sea (55 minutes), includes Q&A with Filmmaker Mischa Hedges (15 minutes) Few California fishing families remain. In 1981, there were nearly 7,000 families; today there are only 1,800. To revive a fading way of life, Bay Area fishermen and entrepreneurs are exploring ways to support sustainably produced seafood.
All three screenings feature different films. Attend all with a $50 VIP Pass which includes local merchant discounts!
VIP Passes - $50 per person, Includes all screenings, discounted admission to Point Arena Lighthouse and other local merchant discounts. If purchased online before Thursday, VIP Passes may be picked up in Gualala at the Visitor's Center located at 39150 S. Hwy 1(west side) in the Forte Gualala building.
For Family & Kids: At nearby Point Arena Library, the festival will offer FREE ocean exhibits and children's activities Saturday from 11am to 4pm, with special presentations and free raffles for kids from 2:30 to 4pm.
214 Main Street
Point Arena, CA
All Saturday screening tickets are available in advance at
www.arenatheater.org or at the door.
On Saturday Evening, 215 Main Wine Bar sponsors a special Festival Reception with featured filmmakers. All Adult Festival Participants are invited to attend. Come meet the film directors. Donations are welcomed at the door and raffle tickets will be available.
On Sunday Morning, to complement the Film Festival, the Greater Farallones Association and California State Parks will conduct a naturalist-led "Wildflowers & Whales" Walk at Salt Point State Park, starting at 10:00 a.m.
Sunday Wildflower & Whale Walk*
*Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for $20 Walk tickets sold separately or call (415) 561-6625 x 315 for further information about ALL of these events.
Ocean-themed Indie Films; Festival Reception; Family Activities; Q&A with Filmmakers and Marine Life Experts; Great Raffle Prizes! Proceeds benefit the non-profit Greater Farallones Association's ocean education and science programs in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
Happy New Year! 2015 has started off with great success and our new Rack Flyers are now available!!!
The front of each flyer has our signature eye catching photo from one of our tour experiences and the backside provides wonderful overviews of our most popular tours along with testimonials from our guests.
Be a part of our progress! Contact us for your free Unbeaten Path rack flyers and let's make 2015 a year to remember!! We look forward to working with each of you!
Madge Malone in her blogging zone!
Bowling Ball Beach
Bowling Ball Beach
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Thought Of The Day