Holding on and letting go

I’ve been contemplating the state of the world lately, how it is equally important to focus on the best possible outcomes, as it is to face the tragedies. This became obvious to me today when my daughter who is visiting the east coast right now asked if she could call me and tell me about a dream she had the night before. When we talked on the phone she mentioned that she had heard about the serial cat killer in our area and she wanted to make sure our cat was ok.

She told me she had looked it up on our online newspaper where she happened to read that a woman was beaten to death outside our local pizza shop and that an innocent store clerk was stabbed in the throat multiple times by an irate customer. All in the past few days.

I have been observing this increase in violence, homelessness, and drugs. I have listened to the stories of my clients, friends, and children. The traumatic things they are witnessing in this small town. The state of the overall decline of things makes my heart ache.

My next client arrived before my daughter could tell me about her dream and even though that is why she called me, I had to get off the phone and go back to work. But she couldn’t let it go. She needed to tell her story so bad that the words started pouring out of her as fast as she could speak. In the ten steps, it took me to walk from my back porch to my desk where my client was waiting, she had described her dream in elaborate detail.

It had to do with finding an innocent bunny while the whole world became an apocalyptic scene falling apart all around her. She had to run with the bunny in her arms fleeing for safety.

Later after I finished work I started to feel the energy of my day and how it related to her dream which seemed to be informing me on some deeper level like it was an echo of the conversations I’d been having with clients, friends, and colleagues. So many events, political, personal and ecological seem to be coming to the surface like some kind of purging. Like a wound that is infected and oozing. 

My daughters’ dream has a familiar quality. It feels like it belongs as much to her as to the world in some way. I think we all know what it feels like to hold onto something innocent and vulnerable, to try to keep it safe. I have that feeling every time I hear her talk about the things she sees and has to deal with. I want to hold on to her even if I can’t outrun the world. 

I told her what I know about the power of our dreams. That it is often the thing we are trying to outrun that we need to turn and face. Usually, it is our own transformation that is chasing us.

We can’t keep outrunning ourselves. Sometimes we have to stop and ask what it is that needs to fall apart, and what it is we need to let go of personally.

And  sometimes our dreams are also telling a story about the collective.  
Our dreams are not always just our own because we do not exist alone. 
We are a part of a greater community and we dream for each other. When my daughter couldn’t help but tell me her dream, I recognized it as the kind of dream that needed to be told. That needed to be listened to, honored and shared. Some dreams are like that.

Recently there was a mother Orca near where I live who carried her dead baby for 17 days. She traveled over 1,000 miles with it. Because of her unusual behavior, and the fact that her species is endangered due to lack of food and pollution, her grieving ritual became national news. It was only a few days ago when she finally let her baby go. 

When my daughter told me about her dream, I thought about the mother whale holding her dead baby. I thought of all the mothers and the collective fatigue we feel from all the running. And I thought of the great journey that it takes to find completion around our grieving. Whether we are trying to outrun or recover from our tragedies, we are all sharing the same dream. 

I was so grateful that the public took notice of the mother whale and her dead baby. As a mother, I know that I carry my grief in much the same way. It is not something I can hide easily and I don’t think it should be hidden or let go of too soon. I think we need to be allowed to have it first. 

We need to call it what it is and have the hard conversations with our children, ourselves, our communities.  
Because we as a collective are responsible for what happens to each other. We are responsible for what happened to the Orca baby. We can’t outrun the destruction that we are creating with our pollution, our overconsumption and misuse of natural resources.

It shouldn’t be left up to each individual mother alone to protect her baby. We need to protect them all. Our own and each other’s. Every species. Without exception. We are responsible to witness this for each other and to hear and acknowledge each other’s dreams and nightmares whether they occur while we are asleep or awake. 

I am a firm believer in staying open and receptive to all the possibilities for healing that exist in the face of every kind of hardship. I am a firm believer that everything is perfect. 
It is always good to anchor the positive pole. 

But before we can get there with any integrity, we have to be brave enough to turn around and see what we are running from. We have to be willing to make the long journey, to be thorough with our grieving, to be witnessed and held in it. 

Just the other day I gashed my arm open on a rusty nail. I went to urgent care to make sure it wasn’t serious but simultaneously I knew I would be ok. I trust implicitly in the miraculous way my body knows how to heal. Sometimes a bleeding wound can be scary and painful. Sometimes it looks god awful. I had to tune into my bodies resources and ask myself what felt right. At what point did I need compression and at what point did it need fresh air?

I think all kinds of wounds are like this. All trauma needs to be held appropriately and at some point, it needs to be allowed to breathe. When it was time, I had to take off the bandage and walk around looking wounded so it could heal. I was embarrassed because it was unsightly.  I had to embrace my own vulnerability. Let myself be seen imperfectly.

I know my body knows how to heal itself if I just leave it alone and keep the wound clean. I trust this. But if I was to try to hide it, or was unwilling to acknowledge that it was there, I know it could get infected. That sometimes happens when we don’t acknowledge our wounds. When we don’t give them the attention they need to heal properly.

I am constantly contemplating this for the world.

What can I do to hold space for the wounds I witness?

How can I trust the intelligence of my body, of each being, of the world to heal in its own miraculous way?

 What is the medicine that I personally have to bring to each situation that I am willing to turn and face?

How can I tend to the ugliest of wounds in a good way?

Sometimes it is important to step in and help each other feel ok about being unsightly.

Being wounded can be ok.

And sometimes it isn’t ok and we need to hold the bandage in place for one another, refusing to walk away.

When it is too late to save the ones we love we must learn from the creatures of the water how to grieve.  Like the whale who carried her baby. Not every wound is treatable, but that does not mean there isn’t healing taking place.

All we can really do in the end is hold on tight to that which we long to protect while being brave enough to face the truth, share our process, let ourselves be witnessed.

And only when it is time to let go do we let go.

 

Amanda Lux

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Taking Root (ether of the earth)




Summer in the PNW has taken root. 

Tonight on my evening walk with my dog around the neighborhood I was acutely aware of the contrast between these warm summer nights and all the long months of grey cool dampness. 

All the windows I passed were open and smells of food and the sounds of fans and televisions wafted out.
I had to watch where I stepped to avoid the splatter of fallen plumbs on the ground. 
The Queen Anne’s Lace was growing like large bushes out of the tiniest cracks in the sidewalk and I had to stop and admire their persistence and grit. 

How does one grow so well when there is barely any soil to be had? How does one thrive on practically nothing?

The hardiness and resilience of this flower reminded me of my own journey as of late. I have been spending a great deal of time contemplating the process of manifestation. How does one bring something from thought (out of the ether) into matter (earth)?

For many months I was inundated with visions and inspirations of things I wanted to create. I HAD to create. I worked hard to harness all the potential that seemed to be pouring into me from my highest channel. But I could not bring them to the earth. Completion. The problem?

Time. Space. I blamed my inability to focus or complete my projects or paintings or books or classes, on my lack of time and resources. 

Which is most likely true. 

But watching the Queen Anne’s Lace tonight, merrily reaching for the sun as though it would not take no for an answer, was inspiring to say the least. It seemed to be showing me how the lack of space or nutrients was neither here nor there. 

I wondered,  If it was bound and determined to dominate no matter the conditions, then why couldn’t I?  


But I recently took a break from the pushy, driving, fire energy that had been internally driving me for so long. I stepped back from all the doing and gathering and reaching and striving. I stepped back from my ambition and re-evaluated my roots. 

I had to keep returning to my studio in the woods to paint. I got still. I sat in the sunny spots between the branches in the forest around my studio and listened to the many different species of birds signing all around. My mother informed me that science has proven how the birds’ songs make the trees grow. They are symbiotic. I started to wonder what kind of bird songs make me grow. 
And how my own heart’s song might be of value in ways I couldn’t know. 

Rather than continuing to ask how I could bring the ether to earth (vision to manifestation), I started to wonder about the ether of the earth itself. I contemplated the ways that completion and stillness are related. Endings and beginnings, intertwined. I started to wonder how doing nothing might be the most productive thing I could possibly do. 

As I integrate this spacious quality into my life and make new relationship to my ambition, I look to the Queen Annes Lace and see it doing its thing without trying. I see its roots burrowing between the tiniest cracks, as though the cement is a lush garden. I think it may not need determination or grit. Perhaps it is optimistic. Or maybe it is simply adapting to what is available.
Or perhaps it even needs the confines, boundaries, and limitations in order to thrive. It chose to grow there, after all. 

Owning the tight spaces of life can be uncomfortable. But it can also be rewarding. I often resent the container that holds me, yet without it I would not have the need to do what I long to do. 

For me, this summer is all about this kind of thriving and I invite you to join me in learning from the Queen Anne’s Lace.
Learning how to be spacious regardless of the limitations. 
Learning how to be rooted under all conditions.  
Learning how to belong exactly where we find ourselves.
Learning how to bloom in the sun.

xoxo

Amanda Lux
Above image: Taking Root: Ether of the Earth
Acrylic on wood by Amanda Lux

When you say yes

We carry the unmanifest dreams of our ancestors within our genes… 


They wait silently in our tissues, buried deep inside our bones. 
Hopeful. Patient. Longing.


When our ideas and inspirations match these ancient yearnings, they stir within us. 
Resonance. Vibration. Reactivation.

“We want balance. We want release”, they say. “We want to be reborn in the light of day. We want to know what it is like to speak without reservation. 
To feel without fear. 
To be forgiven. 
We want to dance with wild abandon. 
We want to own property, vote, climb mountains, speak dangerously, sing loudly.  
We want to snuggle, cry, paint, fly.  
We want to grow an empire through you.” 

When we say yes to ourselves, we say yes to all who came and went before us. 
When we say yes to ourselves we save our granddaughter’s granddaughter’s
from having to do it for us. 
When we say yes to ourselves we become way showers to those around us. 
If we can do it, so can they. 

Who are we do dream so big…
We fear the others might say. 

But we are not responsible 
For other people’s limitations.
We are only responsible for our own.

Let them go.
So mote it be
May it be so. 

There is this thing that happens when we are used to hunching over  
(the weight of the world on our shoulders), 
that makes standing up tall seem wrong. 
The muscles that hold our necks up get weak.
The muscles that hold our shoulder blades in place get knotted and stiff.
Pinched off from lack of blood flow, they are hungry and sallow. 
When we try to hold ourselves up with good posture
It feels forced, exhausting, embarrassing, strange. 

Uncomfortable. 

Doing the thing we aren’t used to doing
Even if it is right
Even if it is making us stronger
Taller
Healthier
More visible…

Is uncomfortable. 

And there is this idea in our culture
That being uncomfortable is wrong.
We should only strive for ease. Happiness. Pleasure. 
We’ve bought into this collective numbing.
Even though it isn’t true. 

Ease, happiness and pleasure are temporary fleeting experiences
In the vast sea of experiences. 
They are not destinations. 

Do not forget your truest destinations, 
even if they take more patience than you have

And more forgiveness too.

Our truest destinations may take more work than we are used to
And possibly many lifetimes to get to. 
We might drown several times along the way. 

We must ignore the sirens of the screens
Untangle ourselves from the nets of social media  
(Comparisons,
Feeling less than,
Jealousy)

We must combat the illusion of our aloneness. 
Band together in solidarity. 
Fight for each other’s dreams instead of going to war with those we call ‘other’. 
Fight with our hearts wide open
Instead of closed off 
shut down.
Fight to stop the fighting
the hiding
the excuses. 
Replace the feelings of hopelessness with hope. 


Why not expect great things instead? 

Why not be fierce and righteous 
When you speak up for what you want. 
Be bold and courageous when you fantasize about what could be. 
You can still be humble and bare
When you declare 
That having 
Is ok.

Having anything. Having everything.
Even if you give it all away. 
Even if you keep it and use it all up.

But do not hoard your fantasies
Or hide them in secret
Only pulling them out on a rainy day. 

Throw them around and stomp them into the ground. 

Do not treat your dreams with delicate trepidation.  
Command them into being. 
Dare them to be able to withstand a beating. 

Do whatever it takes. 
Put them to the test.
Scream in the face of opposition.
Be presumptuous. 
Be haughty. 

Then sit back and watch them manifest
As though you knew it all along.
As though you were only finishing the song
That your ancestors started. 

In your own
Delicious
Harmony.





xoxoxo
Amanda Lux
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Eat right for your element

I have been a bit of a food and health fanatic for most of my adult life. It is one of my many passions. Recently, however, I have become less inspired by food than I used to be. Sometimes I have even felt downright indifferent about it until my friend Vanessa came to stay with me during her visit from Colorado. Vanessa announced shortly after her arrival that she was going on a detox. My first response was to eat some chocolate and wish her well. 

But THEN she inspired me. 

My daughter even jumped on board, so all week we have been sharing in the misery and ecstasy that is cleansing. The unexpected part? I have been having so much more fun with my food! It is funny how sometimes it takes having boundaries and restrictions to feel delighted and even free. I believe this is true for many things in life.

Whenever I endeavor to really dial in on my diet, amazing things happen. I understand that the transformative effects of how and why I eat, affect me just as much as what I eat. This is because of the energetics of nutrition.

The energetics of nutrition: a polarity perspective


The Polarity approach to nutrition is not about following a rigid diet that everyone should conform to, although there are guidelines. It is more a perspective than a prescription. As polarity aims to bring balance to the whole being, emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, it starts with the underlying principle that gives rise to it all: energy.

Food balances (and imbalances) our energy

When we go through life eating whatever is closest at hand, it is easy to lose touch with the “why” that motivates our choices and the mindset around our eating. Consequently, we often don’t realize how our food is even affecting us. 

The polarity perspective on the energetics of nutrition looks at how your food is working for (or against) you physically. But what you eat is only one part of it. The “why” you eat what you do and the consciousness around it, can often be even more important. 

The more consciousness we bring to our choices,  the more opportunities we have to use our food as medicine. 

Of course being overly obsessive is not healthy either. The aim is to find right alignment. Going with the flow while being tuned in.


For me personally, I can tell I am in balance when I know my “why” around my food choices. This means I am not just shoving things mindlessly into my mouth. 

I can eat well, but I can also take it a step further by choosing foods that will balance me elementally. When I listen to my energy and eat accordingly, my body, mind, and emotions are all being nourished equally. I can trust my intuition and cravings only when I am tuned in to the energetic qualities of my food and how they affect me. Otherwise, I have to question where the cravings are really coming from. Sometimes it is important to stray from the program and cut loose, however, in order to stay in balance. (This means that even chocolate is the best choice sometimes!) 

(…Thank goodness!)


What is the Polarity perspective on proper nutrition?

Although Dr. stone, the founding father of Polarity therapy, was an avid vegetarian who deeply explored the health benefits of cleansing and fasting, the polarity perspective does not insist that everyone should be a vegetarian 100% of the time to fall into the category of balanced. There are all kinds of exceptions to all kinds of rules. However, there are certain guidelines that remain fairly consistent as far as what constitutes a healthy balanced diet energetically speaking, and these have to do with the vibrational value of what you eat.

As fresh living foods carry a higher vibration, the ratio of living to nonliving foods can often affect how much vitality you feel. Raw or steamed vegetables for instance often contain more nutritional value as well as prana or life force energy than leftover, fried, canned or processed ones. Any food that comes in a package or contains additives such as food colorings, preservatives or sugar (in any one of its many sneaky forms), is going to be vibrating at a lower frequency which means it is less life-giving than its fresh, organic counterpart. 

Meat in any form, especially if it was treated unkindly or killed brutally is going to carry the vibration of that fear or mistreatment in its flesh, just like we carry memory, emotion, and consciousness in our flesh. It is pretty simple really. When you eat things that die a sad death, you have to process that energy in your body. This just means it is of a denser vibration and takes more energy to process both physically and psychically.  

The way we process energy is the consistent factor in all aspects of health and well being. The more of your life you have processed emotionally, released, learned from, integrated and healed, the more energy you have for your evolutionary growth and self-actualization. Polarity therapy aims to help the energy process in any and all aspects through the body- our living temple. True health is reflected in all areas of our life as well as our physicality.

When we eat well and feel well, our personal energy stores are not being directed towards recovering from what we just ate. Food can either help evolve us or it can slow us down. 

Eating intentionally for good vibes 

Eating with intention is like getting into your car with a map and a clear destination. Without intention, one might be driving all over the country not really knowing where they are headed. 

Food can be powerful medicine not only for the properties it contains such as vitamins and nutrients but for how it can affect us vibrationally when we eat with intention.

When we eat to fill a hole inside us, the food will affect us very differently than when we eat out of joy and wholesome pleasure. Even if it is the same food, the properties of the food itself can be transmuted, digested, and assimilated differently depending on the emotions and circumstances that went into the preparation and consumption of the food. 

You may have noticed this in your life when you ate something in a hurry under stressful conditions and found it did not sit well in your body. Or when you ate something absolutely decadent and ‘dangerous’ in a harmonious way under positive circumstances that did not have the ill effects it might have on you normally. 

When we pay attention to the conditions around our eating, we have the opportunity to come into harmony with our food so that it works for us instead of against us. By eating intentionally, we not only choose our food more wisely for the benefit of our body, we can choose to eat foods that benefit us energetically as well. 

Eating for elemental balance


Many foods can be eaten on purpose to help balance the chakras. In some ways, this is symbolic and has more to do with your mindset than the health properties of the food itself. For example, if you need to balance your second chakra or your water element then you might eat something orange (that invokes the color of that chakra.) But other times it can be quite literal. (Need more water element in your life? Drink more water!) 

I often prescribe certain foods to my clients to help them balance a particular element in one direction or another (meaning they are excessive or deficient in a particular element).
For instance, if someone is struggling with their digestion being sluggish and slow, or they are having a hard time getting things started or making space for new things to begin or come to completion, I may discover that they have too much earth energy (root chakra). In this situation, I might suggest avoiding things of a denser vibration such as meat, dairy or processed foods. Not because I am judging these foods as less healthy, but because they are denser vibrationally and therefore serve to slow one down. 

If one was feeling flighty, ungrounded, and disconnected from the earth, however, I would say, eat the foods that feel most earthy. Eat red beats, root vegetables, eat dirt! They might be needing more earth in their diet if they can’t focus or be present if they are vibrating too quick and “blowing their circuits”. It can be helpful in this instance to eat more often and eat slower. Eat more fats and things that will anchor you to the world. This is what it means to eat for your element. 

The basic knowledge of which foods support which chakra, combined with a clear intention when choosing and ingesting them, can be tremendously powerful in shifting one’s energy. When our energy shifts, everything else begins to follow. More harmony energetically means more harmony physically, and emotionally. This could mean getting unstuck, resolving old issues and resetting old patterns. This could mean changing one’s life in a positive transformative way. 

By identifying which chakra is ruling the show, you can choose to intentionally feed your energy back into alignment. Once you get on track with a more harmonious alignment, you can trust your bodies cravings to direct you to the most balancing foods. 

Because energy is either expanding or contracting, we are always moving towards health or away from it. Life is not about attaining perfection, but adapting to and meeting the obstacles on our path. We go in and out of phases all the time and are always adjusting to the moment. 

But if you find yourself stuck in a downward spiral and are out of alignment energetically, then it may take a concerted effort to get back in touch with your bodies intuitive nutritional needs (Ahem, speaking from experience). 

We often resist what is good for us because the momentum of that lower vibrational state is going to rule over our cravings and be attracted to the foods that will perpetuate it. 

Once you turn the ship around, however, you will find yourself gaining momentum in the other direction. This not only applies to food, it applies to everything!


We are wired to know how and what and when to eat. It is in our DNA and it is our natural state of being. I often go through phases when I forget this and eating well feels downright complicated and time-consuming! But each time I make the effort to come into greater balance, I remember how gratifying and pleasurable it really is to nourish my whole self. Eating harmoniously can take a little effort at first, but the good feelings that follow are well worth it. Even when you have to put the chocolate away.

I promise!




Amanda Lux


What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Dancing with Dragons

How to work with resistance on the hero’s journey

“Put your ass where your heart wants to be.” Steven Pressfield. 


If there is something you wish or dream about… that you would like to start, write, paint, build or become, then you have most likely heard the call on your “hero’s journey”. It can come like a subtle whisper or a physical sensation. Or it can take over your brain and threaten to make you insane if you don’t follow through. 

Classically, the way the story goes, the hero always first refuses the call. It is too hard, too scary, too disruptive to our everyday life to go for the big dream (or even the little one). We all tend to think, “It must have been meant for someone else. Probably anyone could do it better. There isn’t enough to go around. There isn’t enough greatness in me. I am not worthy.” 

We resist because we are afraid.

There are a million excuses that come from our resistance. For as deep and valid and important as that call is, we can expect our resistance to be equally as strong. 

I know this story well. I know it so well. This past week I have listened to three audiobooks, I have listened to countless guided meditations, I have take mini-courses, met with mentors, coaches, and colleagues, I have dipped into every possible resource I can muster. 
I’ve had revelations, breakthroughs, and setbacks. It’s been a regular week for me. It has been like this for some years now. But my need for resource to meet my resistance has only escalated the closer I have come to allowing my muse to do her thing. 

It may not seem easy to say yes to the creations that want to come through us. It may feel like a struggle to face the monumental obstacles along the way, but when we are there, ease is there as well, dancing within the creative flow. I know this and yet I have still dealt with so much struggle throughout my creative process.  Then I feel bad for struggling! Because I know that if something is meant to come through me then it shouldn’t be so hard. Ease is right there if I could only get to it. 

There is a paradox here, of course, as most things that are true are paradoxical in nature. The paradox is this: Ease is our birthright and it it is meant to show us the way. But it isn’t always easy to arrive at ease. If it was easy to create from an easeful state, then the world would be full of self-actualized success stories. We would all be wandering around giving each other the benefit of the doubt- seeing the best in everyone because we have seen and realized the best in ourselves. 

But instead, most people are unhappy, confused, tired, ill, blaming everyone else for their problems. 
They’re chasing fantom dreams, hiding from their hungry ghosts. We all do this. Its human nature to do this as much as it is human nature to create. To innovate. To dream.

According to Steven Pressfield who wrote the inspiring book War of Art, (which I cannot recommend enough), our fear, resistance, and struggle are equal to the power of our potential to make or be great things. 

Pressfield compares our resistance to the dragon the hero must slay which unfortunately never goes away. All great artists, creators, and prolific inspiring figures have felt it and dealt with it. Perhaps this is why so many talented greats die young, why so many artists are “tortured”. Pressfield suggests that this is also why so many people struggle in general with addiction and depression; because they have lost the battle by continually resisting the Hero’s call. 

I believe we all have a calling within us. For some of us it is more acute than for others, but for those who don’t feel the need to rise above, dig deep or to birth some new creation from within themselves, it is probably still there hiding just under the surface. 

We are all creator beings whether we are conscious or not of our creations or our unlimited creative potential. 

Because if we were not powerful creators, to begin with, we would not have had the gumption as wise souls, to manifest this body and all of our experiences. But here we are. And here is our resistance. 

I have personally always felt the desire to create. I have certainly not always acted on it, but it has always been loud. And I have always felt resistance. Fear. Doubt. 

But for the past few years, I have chosen to engage on a whole new level with my dragon. I have battled harder than I ever thought possible. Died a thousand ego deaths. And because my dragon is still ever present, I began to question the notion that we have to be at war with ourselves always. So I have decided to look at this in a different light.

As a polarity therapist, I understand and have deeply explored the concept of “as above, so below”. I view this axis of truth more like a circle, or a spiral that is multidimensional, as opposed to a vertical line. It is on par with the Einsteinian perspective that space and time are intertwined, and the fabric of reality is curved and folded, alive and ever-present, rather than linear.  

When you let go of the concept of linearity you realize that your positive pole (your highest most realized self) being on the opposite end of the spectrum from your negative pole (your lazy, mean, egoic self), are one in the same. 

You must pass through, merge with, embody, and respect your most vilified self in order to get to your best self. 

This is the same old story, told in a million ways: we must go into our shadow in order to find our light. It is the process of alchemy. Tricky indeed. 

For me, this has been the most frightening journey imaginable. But it has also been the most exhilarating. Because I understand that the more I make my shadow something “other” than myself, the more energy I spend running from my ego,  dragon, or negative pole, the further I get from my truest self and my highest path. 

So I have learned to run towards it instead. 

And in so doing I have discovered that my dragon is not as “other” as I thought it was. Rather than seeing it as a scary monster who definitely wants to destroy me, I have come to see it as another aspect of me. 

Instead of being perpetually at war within myself, trying to wrangle my resistance to the ground so I can produce something, I have decided to dance with my dragon. To invite my resistance to have its voice. Allow it to be a part of my creative process and honor the process over the product. 

Instead of trying to shut the dragon up I say to it patiently, “I see you, I hear you, I know you have needs underneath your bad behavior and I am here to love you anyway.”

I let this dragon into my heart, and I let go of trying to control, restrain or ignore it. 

This is not something you do just once and then you’re done. The hero’s journey was never meant to be easy or it wouldn’t be heroic! 
Whenever I forget to put in the effort it takes stay diligent with my soul’s work, or I start to look outside myself instead of trusting the small inner voice that knows what I am here for, my dragon takes me down.
Then I rage and cry and rail against myself. I distract myself and go off task. I create monumental hurdles and breathe fire, drown in my tears, become my fears and get stuck. This happens.

By cultivating perseverance, self-awareness, an iron will, a load of forgiveness, and tremendous resource (hello coaches, mentors, colleagues and friends), I am consistently able to show up and stay in my heart space. It is only from here that I can choose to dance instead of war. 
But when Pressfield says, “put your ass where your heart longs to be,” I am with him. The only way to really win is to show up, refuse to engage in or lose the battle, and understand that underneath the big scary vibrato, our dragons are just our egoic inner children having a tantrum. 

The only way out is in. 


If we sit down and do the work our heart longs to do, get our ass in the chair and begin, then we will be victorious no matter the outcome of our creations. 


The bravest thing we can do is make bad art. 

But if we make enough bad art, eventually we might make something great. Isn’t that the way? And if we never step onto the path, how will we know what we were capable of? How will we ever know what our heart truly has to say? 

Perhaps our ugliest parts are actually where the beauty lies. Perhaps with enough patience and persistence, we can learn to love our resistance and create anyway. 

And perhaps, there is no limit to how many people can be prolific, inspired, self-actualized, conscious co-creators. Do you think there is enough creativity to go around? Do you think there is room for you? Is it possible that you could be worthy of doing what you are uniquely here on the planet to do?
If we all attempted this, wouldn’t the world be such a fabulous place? 

Imagine that. 
And let your imagination go free. 
I dare you to dance with your dragons.
Playfully. 
love,
Amanda Lux
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Have you ever “refused the call” or experienced resistance in your life? 

Resistance can manifest in your health, relationships, or your creative process. When in the throes of resistance it can feel impossible to start or finish something you want to do, make, or become. If this resonates, then you may benefit from scheduling a polarity coaching/ intuitive healing session over the phone or making an appointment for body or energy work.  I would be so honored to support you!

The gift of presence

I heard someone say recently that the highest expression of gratitude we can give is our attention. “Giving” our attention to someone is the best way to honor their existence. This is because our presence is so precious.
 
Presence, by my definition, is all about attention…and awareness.  It is measured by the level of one’s consciousness or ability to be cognizant, embodied, available to the here and now. When we come fully into our own being, we are not wandering mentally, we are not distracted emotionally. We are attuned to all of our senses at once.
Our full presence and attention, when given to another 
is an exquisite gift to give indeed.
But what about being present to ourselves?
Learning presence is a practice, mostly of recognizing when we are not present!
 
Directing our presence inward involves a willingness to be wherever we are, doing whatever we are doing, returning continually to the experiential reality
within and around us.
It is about observing, noticing, and surrendering to that which is beyond our control. Because when we are present with what is, we are not trying to change it. We are not trying to understand it. We are just experiencing, witnessing, which opens us up to the unlimited potential of our participation.  
 
When we are fully present to ourselves, we cannot help but tap into the fact that we are infinite beings living in a finite world.
A world of impermanence where one moment ends so that the next can take over until all our moments run out and we are embodied no longer.
There is beauty in the immediacy of this truth.
 
Personally? This is what makes me want to really be here.
 
Because whenever I tune into the fleeting nature of time and life, my humanity rolls around inside itself looking for its edges.
I have to feel my boundaries, my limits, to push up against the places that define me. And then push past them to feel the vastness of eternity.
I love this.
I long for the fullest expression of my beingness possible.
I want to taste what can’t be tasted. I want to come in so fully and completely
to myself
that I have no room for doubt or hesitation.
There is no wrong move that could possibly be made.  
There is no way to disregard the magic of the moment, or not see the perfection of all things even within the imperfection of my perception.
Or (especially) my stunted attention.
 
Because presence is a high art.
 
We cannot expect ourselves to never wander into contemplation.
Or to forget who we truly are beyond the small form that peeks out at us from inside
the mirror, each other, nature.
We are made to see ourselves in everything,
and we are made to forget that it is always ourselves that we are seeing.
 
But in order to appreciate the ecstasy of coming home, we have to do our time wandering around outside ourselves
bumping into our own shadow
curling into the pain we came here to heal and process
then unfurling the onion layers that pretend to be us.
Because we are so much more.
 
It is through presence that we learn this.
 
Through staying when we want to flee,
feeling when we want to be numb,
pinning down the monkey mind that wants to run
the show.
 
It is perhaps the most impeccable thing we can do,
to give ourselves the attention we most yearn for.
To cultivate our ability to be present, even a little bit every day.
And only then are we able to truly gift it to another anyway.
 
Amanda Lux
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Give up on giving up


I cant tell you how many people have said to me “I cannot do yoga because I am not a flexible person.” But this has never made sense to me because I am not inherently a flexible person either. Doing yoga is what makes me flexible! Even if I never look good while I’m doing it, I still do it because it feels good. It pushes me. It grows me. It makes me durable in my life.

What I have learned from my practice is that not being able to do the posture and continuing to try brings a different kind of benefit than the full posture itself. One that is even more potent than doing the posture well. This is resiliency. (Humility and patience are up there too.)

But this can be hard to remember in the moment. In fact, lately, I’ve been riding my own edge so hard in my creative endeavours that I have been ready to just give up on certain things. I want to give up so bad and then I go to yoga and I get tangled up in knots and I remember that I gave up on giving up long ago.

If it’s hard, I keep going because in yoga just as in life, I know that my limitations are my greatest initiations. They are invitations to explore my unknown depths. I have learned to stay with them. Even if it never becomes graceful, and I never overcome them. 


Do not let your inflexibility or your inability to do something well from the start, stop you from stepping onto the path.  

Failing forward means falling on your face and getting up again. And again, and again. 
It may be exhausting, frustrating as hell. But there is triumph in the minuscule adjustments and the steady growth that inevitably comes. 
It takes bravery, grit, and a strong heart to endure the long slow road. It becomes how you live. It permeates everything you do.


The illusion is, that courageous living looks graceful or powerful. 

This is only true when you look at someone else from the outside (at the right moment). 

On the inside courage is ugly. Bravery really means facing your fear and resistance, efforting through the pain and embarrassment. 
In order to live boldly, you must be willing to be bad at things, even fail miserably.

If you have a sincere desire to grow and evolve then you know that humility is your friend. It can be challenging to remember at times, which is why it is so important to have supportive people in your life who are on the path with you. But most importantly…mind the voices in your own head.

For me this week, I am working on that one big time. It’s all about being kind to myself. I’m talking kindergarten kindness. Like anything I do is enough. Anything I make is worth hanging on the refrigerator. I need this kind of gentle open-hearted self-talk in order to combat the pushy bitch that lives inside my brain. She is important too of course because she makes me stick at it and go places I would never otherwise go.

But balance is key.  Self-compassion, patience, and forgiveness require practice. Along with saying yes to your soul’s quiet yearnings even when you are afraid. Even if you think you suck.  

Only give up on giving up. The rewards for showing up are so much greater than the pain you avoid from staying home, opting out, sleeping in.

Grow where you are planted

Although I was born in the Pacific Northwest I have always struggled with the weather here. Whenever I have had the opportunity to live in sunnier dryer places, I have thrived. My introverted nature is transformed even when I visit! I feel lighter physically, emotionally, mentally, socially. It has always been difficult for me to come back home as I find myself curling back into my hermit shell involuntarily.

But last week, I was able to see this in a whole new way when I had the honour of experiencing Bill Moody’s plant spirit medicine at a small gathering in my home. He pulled out all his little bottles of plant potions and we passed them around taking a drop on our tongue without looking at the labels. Then we would watch, listen, feel and sense how each plant affected us energetically. It was such a beautiful evening and my daughter absolutely loved it, which warmed my heart.

At one point he passed around a bottle containing yarrow. Bill spoke of how he had come to this yarrow growing high up on a mountaintop where the conditions were harsh and challenging. The plants were so potent, that he harvested a little seed and planted it in his yard. This yarrow grew wildly ginormous in comparison, but it was far less potent.  Because the mountain plants they came from had endured such vastly different conditions of altitude and temperature, they stored their medicine in a more compact but powerful form.

Naturally, I could relate.

The environment we are in shapes us. Sometimes, when we are planted in conditions that feel harsh or challenging, this causes us to contract, or feel more compact. Maybe we go inwards, maybe we are forced to work much harder to survive. During times of struggle or when we feel out of place, we may not see our own growth. It might not be apparent on the outside. But it is through these very trials and hardships that we increase our personal potency. We become more powerful.

I have often thought about what my life would look like if I had stayed in California or Arizona or on the coast of Spain. Perhaps I would be more outgoing, even happier. But what gifts would I have not cultivated within me? What special powers do I possess, that I may not otherwise have had the necessity to activate?

Bill said that the stronger yarrow tincture was not better or worse than the weaker one. They have different purposes. Some people need only the tiniest amount if they are very ill perhaps and cannot handle the full strength. For them this plant is perfect. For others, the more intense plant is a better fit. There is a purpose for everything. There is a purpose for everyone. And we are all perfect wherever we are planted, however, we may grow.

It is a beautiful thing when we can learn to love ourselves as we are, no matter where we are or what we are going through. 

Obstacles to Allies

Do you ever have those times when all your instincts tell you to wait, hold still, stay put, but you insist on pushing forward anyway?

Then perhaps (if you are like me) it takes you a while to recognize that even though your struggle is futile, struggle you must.

Aah, such is life.

I often tend to think that if I mine deep enough for the motion I can conquer the stillness. That if I seek fervently enough, I will find a way around life’s obstructions.
And In so doing I discover that I’m not spending as much time climbing the uphill battle as I am sliding back down on my ass!

Right. Well, at least that was me this winter and I will tell you, it was awful…
until I realized that downhill isn’t always a bad thing.
What a concept!


Two months ago my washing machine broke and it became the working metaphor for my life.

I had been sitting in meditation tuning into this vision of a whirlpool in my second chakra, feeling all my creative energy spinning unproductively in place. I mused on what the image was trying to tell me about my life, my process, my creative projects (two books and multiple classes both in person and online that were overwhelming me but had come to a standstill, refusing to come to fruition).

When I emerged from my meditation I discovered that my washing machine had literally broken that morning!

Fortunately and unfortunately for me, it was under warranty which meant it was free to fix, but also meant waiting two months to have it repaired.

TWO MONTHS!

Much to my surprise, however, living with a broken washing machine while running a busy healing practice from home which requires mountains of fresh sheets and towels every week- was not the worst thing on the planet as I had thought it would be.

In fact, it ended up being a blessing in disguise when my recently retired parents offered to take my laundry, returning it to me each week washed, folded and even mended. AMAZING.

My takeaway?

Downhill sliding apparently doesn’t mean you aren’t getting anywhere- it just means your heading in a different direction than you thought. Even faster!


I knew that I was getting a lesson in surrender, in trust, in patience. But still, I had this expectation that my journey up the mountain should involve some sort of ascent. Boy was I wrong!
So now I know…

Sometimes the best views are from the valley, not the peak.
Sometimes up is actually down.
Sometimes forward looks like backward.
Sometimes our obstacles are actually our allies in disguise.

Not that I didn’t know this, but now I know it in a whole new way. I knew that once my washer was working again, I would get my groove back. I would be able to once again reach out, to share the creative adventures I’ve been slow cooking, and dance in the light of day with my community.

So this morning I turned my clocks forward and said goodbye to the darkness of the winter of my gestating creative endeavors.  And hello to the light!

To quote the late great Nina Simone, “It’s a new dawn, a new day, a new life for me”. And hell yes, I’m feeling good.

 

On being rooted

The other morning while running through the forest I stopped at my favorite Madrone tree that hangs off the edge of a cliff in a nearly horizontal reach over the water below. This tree never ceases to amaze me. I have many times meditated on this tree, with this tree, journeyed through this tree. It has served as a portal for my soul to travel to high places.

When I visit this Madrone tree I am astounded by its beautiful red peeling bark, its smooth feminine form arching out of the cliff side like it is longing for far away places. But even more astounding is the invisible root system far below the ground that makes it’s defiant relationship to gravity possible.

Despite the stunning beauty of this tree, it is its roots that compel me.

How deep must they go? How much of the cliffside is held together by their embrace?

I want to be strong and rooted like this tree. So I have learned to listen to the particular way it grows. And I have learned to listen to the particular ways that I grow.

I believe it t is only through this kind of attention that we can become sturdy enough to be so far reaching.  Owning the ground we commune with, owning the space we inhabit. To be one who thrives no matter where we are planted, knowing full well that we belong.

And yet it is not so easy to remember this when we leave the forest for the sidewalks or when our roots are flying over asphalt on four wheels. It can be disjointing, disruptive, dissatisfying and all around disastrous to go about our lives without knowing how to remain planted in and nourished by the planet that grows us.

We must learn how to cultivate our inner wildness and take it with us wherever we go. We must remember to feel into the earth that lives inside us, so we can recognize ourselves in the earth around us.

It isn’t easy to grow in precarious places, during trying times or in ways that demand we stretch beyond reasonable means. Yet each tree has a right to the land it grows within, to the height and space it takes and to whatever crazy, beautiful shape it makes.  As we all do. Regardless and in spite of our growing conditions.

Through paying attention to and understanding our own needs, through listening, and cultivating our own inner environment we can remember how to thrive beyond our circumstances. We must learn to listen to the ways we grow, to honor our roots and acknowledge how we are in communion with the land that holds us, that we hold together as well.

In order to be stewards of the land, we must be stewards of our own energy, our own body, of our own sovereignty. We must learn how to drive our roots so deep into the land that we have no doubts of our belonging. Only from this kind of depth can we safely find out just how uniquely, courageously, and magnificently we can grow.

Image credit:  Art by Jessica Gabriel