Category: Movement + Mindfulness

I Need To Thrive, Not Just Survive

The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity.”  – Carlos Castaneda

Kinship
I was talking to one of my patients this week, just holding a place of listening, as it often is such a powerful healing tool. He was sharing his recurrent, daily anxieties as of late. He earnestly wanted to get rid of them, and he couldn’t pinpoint any singular reason why he felt that way. “It’s been a whole year now, you know” he said, in reference to the pandemic.

I am really fond of this patient; he has been coming for treatment for a number of years, driving a long distance each time to do so. He represents many of us, the ones of us who are seeking to transform, to contribute, to grow our consciousness and that of the planet as a whole. He, like us, has all the right reasons to feel connected, supported, and safe, with his many friends, and so many like-minded people all over the world. Yet, he shared, he felt anxious, separated, “discombobulated”. He was having hard days, and couldn’t get his mind off negative feelings. At night, he could fall asleep, exhausted from the day, but then woke up a couple of hours later and his mind would not turn off for three hours.

Our World today
Mental illness and dis-ease is projected to skyrocket over the next 12 months, due to the conditions that we have lived in over the past year. (Continues below)

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We human beings, are hard wired to connect, from our biochemistry to our very soul, and in that connection we find meaning and place. We thrive when we believe that we belong, when the feeling of belonging is a given, a carpet underneath holding us. With that feeling, the unknown is bearable, even exciting. Without it, we loose our anchor. Isolation breeds anxiety.

Roots
Isolation comes first as a belief, that fosters a thought which then triggers emotions, like anxiety and insecurity. These feelings and images that we generate in our consciousness, then express through our brain, pump millions of chemical messengers in the form of neuropeptides, that target our innate immune system, where they bind to receptors which internalize them as commands. Anxiety and uncertainty are pervasive influencers in our immune resilience. Inner confidence, a warriors conception of confidence, is a tremendous booster to immunity. Immune strength and immune intelligence are direct corollaries of a balanced nervous system.

Gazing practice
My teacher, Carlos Castaneda, taught me that the eyes act like hooks for our perception. The eyes can “hook” onto things, grab things, and get entangled with them. We rely heavily in our visual sense to create the reality that we see. We will believe something when “we see it with our own eyes”. It can be a powerful simple practice to sit outdoors in an open space at the end of the day, just before dusk. and gaze at a patch of pure sky, even holding the hand or a book to cover anything that might be in the corner of the eye, like the contour of a building, or branches of a tree. When we remove any possible contrast from the field of vision, the eyes can’t hook onto anything and so, they can’t fix a belief onto them either. After a few minutes of doing this practice, the mind deeply relaxes in the infinite depth of a patch of pure sky. Inner silence is the perfect counter state to anxiety, fear and uncertainty.

We are direct participants in our Cure
The idea of a warrior, and of a warrior’s way, implies a certain stance that one can uphold. It is the opposite stand of a victim, in the sense that the cause of unhappiness comes from outside forces, and so does the solution or the cure for those problems. A warrior stance reclaims the power that a victim stance gives away. As a warrior, things can be absolutely challenging and their impact on us undeniable but we add to the solution and intervene within ourselves to affect change. We show up to support ourselves, and participate in our own recovery.
An example of this attitude is to touch ourselves in a therapeutic way. Our body itself is a fountain of possibilities for healing. We can come into our bodies, instead of just thinking about our body from our head, and change things. If we are restless, anxious or out of center, we can do something right there, on the spot, to direct our energy and our mind away from those feelings. Here is a tip: the area of soft skin on the inner wrist, is filled with nerve endings that when stimulated gently can elicit soothing and calming states. With the pads of the index and middle fingers, gently slide them up and down along the area, along the canal made by the two tendons that go to the fingers. Just a few moments of lovingly rubbing that inner distal forearm, just above the wrist, is like caressing our heart directly. We reconnect with ourselves, we shift how we are breathing, we remember we are here.

Be Peace
Seeing my patient, was as if I was seeing myself, all of us in the world at this time. We are looking for a reassurance that we will be ok. We are looking for inner peace. If we are in peace we are not at war. Our nervous system is in neutral mode, not in fight or flight, with a healthy PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) tone. Off-on switch buttons are amazing practical images to have in our visualization tool kit. We can self-regulate our autonomic nervous system. Our immune system has one intrinsic identity: to do surveillance of non self and to defend, if needed, to the point of all out war. But it needs to be at targeted intervals not continuously, till there is no more vitality left, and our immune strength and speed go down. With no command of the off switch, there is no game.

Right there, in front of my patient, as we wrapped up our conversation and he got ready for the physical exam, I remembered an amazing image of a moment 20 years before, while in safari in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. The gazelle I could see roaming around, unpreoccupied, grazed with a pack of lions resting nearby. Everyone was at ease, the air was at ease. Ten, suddenly, two female lions get up from the pack and walk out in hunting mode. Everything shifts. Ears point up, frozen, listening. The gazelles now are ready to flight. They run wildly. The lions chase, a young calf pulls away and is taken. The war ends and soon after, everything returns to normal. The lions eat, the gazelle graze nearby, the air is at ease. On off switch. That is the lesson to behold.

We are our own placebo
Our brains are like a console of switches, turned up and down in response to what our Consciousness is experiencing. This experience, it is not a given. It is not random and it is not outside of our purview. We are players, we are co-creators. We count, and will persevere, through our unbending intent, in finding the way to affect the change in us that we are seeking.
I glimpse of hope sparkled in my heart at the end of the treatment, when my patient came out of the room his eyes lit up again and a smile in his face. “I feel good Doc, I think it will all work out. I’m ready to fight back, for my own happiness.” Now, that is the mood of the warrior. And I salute that.

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What Carlos Castaneda Taught Me About Time

Time it is like a thought, or a wish.

Time is measured by the intensity of the moment you are living.

Time suspends when experiencing inner silence.

Time is a form of attention.

Time is not measured by the clock.

Time bends when you pay attention.

It is 5 to 12, I am running out of Time!

I am living in no Time.

I am facing the oncoming Time.

what Carlos Castaneda taught me about time

These are some of the phrases I heard Carlos Castaneda expressed from the moment I met him. He expressed his concerns about time; he re-defined his relationship with time, and he challenged the idea of time, daily.

Castaneda llegó a tiempo a cada cita; no le gustaba que otras personas lo esperaran. Y no esperaba a nadie. El tiempo, cómo manejarlo, cómo estirarlo, cómo experimentar el tiempo no lineal fue una parte intrínseca de mi formación con él.

De una manera calmada y sobria, él hablaba sobre su propia muerte como si fuera algo inminente que sucedería en cuestión de días o minutos. Y, sin embargo, se comportaba como si tuviese todo el tiempo del mundo.

He was never in a rush or hurry, relaxed at ease, enjoying his meals, there was no hurry in his mood, even when under the pressure of his books presentations or the pressure of delivering a talk in a conference to hundreds of people. He took his time to walk to the stage to deliver his thoughts, with his hands on his pockets and an open expression of ease and cool. He took his time to feel the audience laughter at his jokes and remarks, to answer questions, to engage eye to eye as if truly connecting with people.

Every day of my training with him was filled with the intensity of learning to stop unconscious habits and new ways of behaving, of being. My days felt long, as if stretched out by the intention to arrive to “enlightment” as soon as I could, before he died.

In the early mornings I went to school to learn English, then I worked at his company, then I engaged in physical training at his studio for another 3 or 4 hours, for the rest of the evening. But my routines were not regulated by time, or my time was not regulated by routines, or by the handles of my watch, as it was while living in Argentina. During my apprenticeship I had no routines, since Castaneda would change schedules often and I learned to flow with the daily events, as if facing the oncoming time.

Because I was in a new country, learning a new language, eating unfamiliar foods, and living with people I barely knew, I felt as if suspended in time.

I gave myself permission to ‘disappear’ for a while from the ‘real world,’ like some writers do to write a novel, or some people do after retiring to grow spiritually, and I relinquished my time to follow a different time.

I experienced suspension of time during the long hours of practicing sequences of movements, like martial arts, and long hours of sitting in silence. After overcoming my initial resistance, both physically with my muscles trembling and being out of breath, and mentally with self-defeating thoughts “I can’t do this’, ‘this is way too long,’ ‘I want to go home, sleep, eat tacos, etc”, I experienced states of extasis.

what Carlos Castaneda taught me about time

A rush of well being and vitality would flow through my body renewing the joy of my joints moving in unison, the happiness of my lungs fully expanding, the fresh blood oxygenated running through all the blood vessels and cells in my body, removing waste, detoxifying, revitalizing my right to belong here, in this planet at this time.

After long periods of exercises practiced in slow motion, I could experience the tasteful sweetness of calm, and the assurance that I was loved.

Later I started to experience those states when pruning the tress and working in the garden. Or when having lunch with friends, or even at the movies. Or when awakening into the morning, aware of the uniqueness of the day, gratefully aware, sitting at the edge of my bed, closed eyes, taking in the first inhalations of the day, feeling my heart beating, my skin soft and warm, some birds singing at the distance, the honk of the neighbors car, the newspaper throw of the street, the smell of toast, the children laughter passing by on the way to school, the splash of water my husband in the shower, my son at the piano playing Ode to Joy.

The experience of awaken vitality keeps flowing through me as if my teacher had create a vortex through which all experiences are one and Time is just a small part of the constant flow of life that keeps happening in and out of me.

 

Our Organs Have Their Own Consciousness And We Can Talk to Them

organs have their own consciousness

My teacher Carlos Castaneda taught me this:

Our Organs Have Their Own Consciousness And We Can Talk to Them

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the departure of my dear teacher and guide Carlos Castaneda. I met him in the mid-nineties as a young doctor looking for a deeper meaning in my path as a healer to people.

My life brought me to him without looking for it.

Not long before, as a medical resident in Bariloche, Argentina, I had wanted to go in all the way into the medical knowledge. I come from a family of doctors and scientists, where hard work and dedication to the ethics of truth was a strong value.

our organs have their own consciousnessThanks to high grades, luck and daring, I managed to get into a unique and prestigious program where I was left as the front person in charge of the ER (Emergency Room) every four nights. It was an exciting and also daunting all-in immersion into hospital life that got me dealing with all kinds of medical issues and emergencies. I practically lived in the clinic, and assisted in trauma, strokes, heart attacks or child births.

I had the experience of dealing with life and death decisions, of seeing the mystery of the body healing miraculously and the humbling presence of death in my hands. Life was fast, and surprising. Yet, I missed the touch of a larger, more encompassing view.

In many occasions, the tools I had been given as a Western MD couldn’t help me; It could only take me so far and a more holistic view became a necessity.

One such day, during my night shift, a patient died on my watch.

He was staying overnight after a minor surgery and he developed an acute pulmonary edema that led to him to going into arrest. I moved him into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and tried to resuscitate him, but I couldn’t. It later turned out that a key heart medication the patient needed had not been logged into his chart and was never given to him. He shouldn’t have died. The event caused me to deeply re-evaluate the meaning of my profession and life in general. Medical school did not give me the container for these situations. I even considered to quit medicine.

I left Argentina back to USA, my country of birth. Then, there, serendipity and fate made me meet Carlos Castaneda and everything changed in my life.

When I first met him, he invited me to lunch, at a local Cuban restaurant called The Versailles which he frequented. I remember that, when he invited me, he had said he wanted to know more about me, but I barely opened my mouth during lunch. He was very animated the whole time, and made me laugh so hard with his storytelling that my belly muscles ached badly. He had such a mesmerizing and charming presence and it absorbed me completely.

At the end, as we were walking towards the car in the parking lot, he came close and almost in a whisper said that the reason we were there that day was because I could be a bridge between the shamanism he had learnt from his teacher, don Juan Matus, and the world of health and medicine.

At the time, I had no idea what this meant, but his message of a higher intelligence and energy at play in everyday life came to fill exactly the void I had found in my regular medical life. I was hooked.

A direct apprenticeship that meant being open to new ideas.

Over time, Carlos Castaneda became a mentor and guide. He said I could not run away from my destiny and encouraged me to return to medicine. But he gave me the larger container, he opened up what was to me a new paradigm at the time, one which today, decades later, has emerged in science and in our collective understanding: that there is no such distinction between the mind and the body;

rather, that we are a network of energy and information crisscrossing in all directions between the mind and the body. Peptides and other biochemicals carry the messages of our thoughts and our emotions everywhere, perception affects behavior and behavior changes the very physicality of our brain and body, memories from our life experiences are stored in the organs and in our fascia and,

more than a defined, isolated individual, we are more like a cooperative of many voices including a majority of foreign DNA from a microbiome which gives us fundamental aspects of our identity such as our very personality traits, as a pioneering study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) recently showed.

our organs have their own consciousnessEverything in us is changing and evolving, not isolated, but in deep resonance with our environment, such as the quality of the electro-magnetic field emitted by our hearts which can cause specific changes in the brains of the people around us.

We now know that it is a fact from research we can enter deep meditation states through practice and then these states can cause definitive changes in all our major regulatory mechanisms such as telomere length (a key biomarker for cell lifespan), inflammation cascades and cell repair. These and other behaviors can change the very expression of our genome through the epigenetic landscape that we now recognize as a highly fluid pluripotential environment in which our body lives.

What my teacher Carlos Castaneda introduced me to was this same viewpoint. It used different language but its syntax carried the same implications and conclusions. It enlarged the scope of possibilities of my human experience, and that of my patients. Modern science and ancient shamanistic principles and practices came together into a similar unit of life: Our internal body-mind world.

What it means ‘I can talk to my internal organs.’

One practice that Carlos Castaneda taught me was “talking to my organs.” The idea was simple: just as there is the overall me, there are also many smaller individual aspects of that me, represented in my tissues and organs themselves. In the dynamic world of information within my body, there is a distinct consciousness in each of my organs. Our organs store memories and also contain information. And they can talk to us. The big me can go in and establish a dialogue with the different organs and tissues.

In over twenty years of teaching workshops and clinical practice, I have found this to be very accurate and of highly practical value to understand ourselves and what our bodies are experiencing.

At times, I would see Castaneda ‘talking to his liver’, for example. He would talk to it in a very kind way, thanking it for all the work it took on. He would caress his ribs right where the liver is, and also pause and take a moment to ‘listen’ to it.

More than 500 vital functions have been identified in each liver cell, 24/7. It is the organ that organizes and distributes our internal nutrients and resources. In our busy modern lives, it tends to get overburdened. It stores ‘excess’ material, not only physiologically but also in our Consciousness.

our organs have their own consciousnessOur stressors are ‘stored’ in the liver.

When our liver gets overwhelmed, it also gets tight, and interferes with other neighbor organs, such as our stomach and intestines, or our sense of calm in our heart.

Our organs can tell us a lot of things. For instance, a patient who came to treatment for severe constipation, had received standard help from doctors such as increasing fiber and exercise, stool softeners and even antidepressants, with weak results. During the consult, using guided imagery, we established a conversation ‘between his higher self and his colon’, and his colon told him that the reason it was holding its movement was because he was feeling stuck at work. He had a long term dispute with his business partner that wasn’t being resolved.

The colon was storing that emotional and perceptual component of his inner life.

He realized then that he had been very rigid in his position about the dispute and needed to move on. The day after he signed the dissolution papers he had a bowel movement and within a month he had his regular rhythm restored.

Another fascinating example of how our organs store information and life experiences, even highly specific and detailed stuff, was reported by Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., in his book The Heart’s Code. I heard about this account by Ron Hulnik, Ph.D., one of the founders of the prestigious program in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica, where I am so excited to be currently taking a Certification. Pearsall, a clinical neuropsychologist in the Transplant Donor Department at the University of Arizona, describes how organ recipients take in memories and personality traits from the donor. He tells the case of a girl who had received a heart transplant from another girl who had been murdered. She soon began to have dreams and flashbacks of being murdered herself that eventually became so vivid and detailed that her mother reported it and it led the police to identify the actual murderer and prove the case in court. The implication of such an unequivocal event makes it undeniable that the organs themselves, independently, are capable of storing a high level of specificity of information.

How do I talk to my organs?

There are two steps and one rule to do this. our organs have their own consciousness

The first step is doing something to quiet the mind chatter and be present. This can be one minute focusing on our breathing, or even just one breath!

The second step is to turn our attention to a particular organ with an attitude of inquiry and establish a dialogue.

The rule is that when we ask a question, we have to be direct, as if we were talking to someone right in front of us, and then pause and wait for the very first thing that comes to mind, without preconditions. It might be a thought, an image or a memory. It might be the feeling of something that could become clear at a later time.

The rule means that it is spontaneous information that formulates in our Consciousness in the pause immediately after we address the question to the organ.

Sometimes, there doesn’t need to even be a question; all that seems to be needed is to turn our attention to the organ with the intention to see it and listen to it.

The Practice.

For the next moment, close your eyes and let your attention shift from the outer world to the inner world. You can simply let your body release any tension that it doesn’t need, right now.

In one sweep from head down to toes, just scan across your whole body with your attention and let each muscle relax, let each joint soften, letting all the nerves just open, the circulation and the skin open. And let your body do this at its own pace.

Now, open your inner eyes and go with your attention to the organ you want to talk to, listen to, or just hold space for. Allow yourself to use your full imagination and live it inside of you.

Have you been having any issues with the health of this organ? Connect to these symptoms, and specifically to the emotions that these symptoms arise in you. Stay attuned to these emotions for a moment. Don’t judge them or try to change them, just be with them.

Now, begin to talk to the organ, as if it was a person you are talking to. A person that is also you, or an aspect of you. Hold an attitude of appreciation, companionship and support. This part of you has been suffering and you want to be there for it. Lovingly express to the organ your support at this time. Talk to the organ as if it was your own 5-year old kid.

Ask simple, direct questions such as:

“Why are you in pain?”

“How does this relate to my life right now?”

“How can I help for you to feel better?”

“Is there anything I can do for you to stop this symptom?”

our organs have their own consciousnessRemember, don’t prejudge or discard whatever arises when you ask. Spend a moment or as long as you feel is right in this dialogue, or simply sit in the presence of the organ, holding your Consciousness there. 

When you are ready, say thank you to your organ for being available to you. Ask permission to further dialogue in the future. Come out at your own pace and immediately take count of the experience and of any information that came from it.

I highly recommended to write down this information.

That’s it.

Simplicity itself!

Welcome 2018! How to Prepare for New Year’s Eve

“The world is unfathomable. And so are we. And so is every being that exists in this world” ~ Carlos Castaneda

What a powerful moment this is: we are crossing to a new year cycle filled with gratitude and awe for our lives. What lessons did you experience in 2017? What triumphs? What failures?

We have been recapitulating and reflecting upon our 2017 experiences and we just had a wonderful FREE ONLINE CELEBRATION last Saturday. Click here to watch the video if you missed it!  Read more here.

how to prepare for new yearsAlso, we are sending you below the NEW YEAR’s RITUAL our teacher Carlos Castaneda taught us many years ago. It is a ceremony that starts during the last days of December, and finishes when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. Castaneda would tell us that, at midnight, the light of the Spirit or Universe comes and “watches us”—a force descends upon us, and this is a very powerful moment to be present and aware—to feel it and become acquainted with it.

Practicing this ritual without failure for the last 22 years has brought a sense of direction, purpose and inspiration to unfold our goals and intentions for the New Year, as well as a sense of connection with the planetarian phenomena. We hope that the benefits ripple out through your life, your relationships, your community and the world.

The steps are these:how to prepare for new years eve

1. Clear out the old before the New Year.  From December 27 onwards and even throughout the day on December 31, clear up some space in your home. Remove clutter, donate clothing that you aren’t using anymore, clean out and organize cabinets and drawers, and vacuum your floors; clean your windows and water your plants—all with a feeling of openness and readiness. The aim is to clean your home physically and energetically. There are four essential ways to do this:

Throw things away that are not needed or that are not bringing you joy

Give things away to charity, with the intention of benefit others while freeing you of any energetic bondings to the objects

Pay your bills, including utilities, credit cards, etc. Do you best to cross to the New Cycle without pending debts

Dust off, wipe and wash your home, or at least a selected part of it, such as your kitchen, your bedroom and desk area

Rearrange things; change the placement of furniture, artwork and/or other objects to revitalize the energy flow of your space(s)

2. On December 31, before midnight, attend to your desk or writing space. Organize books and papers, and clear space so that you can comfortably sit to write a list of Intentions, projects and dreams you want to manifest in 2018.

3. Next, take a pen or pencil and piece of paper, and get ready to make a list.

  • Mentally review what dreams and projects you were able to accomplish in 2017. What things stood out? What new relationships have you established? What came to a close? What new things have you learned, or insights have you gained with respect to your:
    1. Healthhow to prepare for new years eve
    2. Emotions
    3. Thoughts
    4. Your work or job
    5. Family and community
    6. Larger global community of planet Earth
  • Now list all of these on a piece of paper labeled 2017. The idea is to review and distill what 2017 brought to you, and write it down so that you can be consciously aware of these experiences going into the New Year. Notice as you write if new insights or ideas come to you.

4. Take a second piece of paper to start a new list. Name the list 2018, and write down what you want to accomplish or see unfold in this New Year. It might help to think of the categories of:

how to prepare for new years evePersonal development: What new things do I want to learn, what do I want to accept about myself, what do I want to heal in myself at the physical, mental, emotional and energetic levels?

Family and friends: What relationships do I want to commit to, what relationships do I need to let go of, what relationships do I need to heal?

Work: Am I loving what I do? What can I change in 2018 to thrive?

Health: How do I plan to take better care of myself in 2018, what specific actions will I take to restore my energy?

My legacy and contribution to the larger world: What ONE action can I do to help others in need.

5. Take a pause. You’ve cleared space, reviewed the year that’s passing and set forth dreams and goals for the year ahead. Now that you have your lists, take a little break to attend to any responsibilities or other commitments. You may want to add music to the atmosphere or dance for a while.how to prepare for new years eve

6. At around 11:30 p.m., return to your writing space (it’s almost midnight!) Sit in silence for a moment and put your attention on the things on your 2018 list—those things that you want to see unfold in the New Year. You may even want to write an outline of what you would like to do, or draw a picture of yourself getting the job of your dreams, etc. Sit with it as long as you like, making sure you feel connected with it all, with your personal life path, and with the Universe by the time the clock strikes midnight.

7. At midnight, on this first moment of the New Year, let the wave of your dreams wash over you.

how to prepare for new years eve

As we set our collective intentions, we hold best wishes for you all—for your joy and growth; for your freedom; for your daring, for your creation of new, inspiring projects; and for your kindness to all those around you. We celebrate together your becoming!

May our light and love radiate out to our friends, families, communities, and to the whole world.

Aerin and Miles

 

How I Learned To Reduce Stress By DREAMING a new TIME

“Warriors face the oncoming time. Normally we face time as it recedes from us. Only warriors can change that and face time as it advances on them.” – Carlos Castaneda

Dear Community,

Do you ever feel like time is accelerating? Like it is going super fast and running away from us? I know I do.

Last Tuesday, I was rushing through traffic to get back home. I had a full day that started early in the morning with my dance class. Throughout the day I worked at my office seeing my clients, then I picked up my son from school, and went grocery shopping. Even though I do what I love and enjoy my work very much, I found myself rushing from one activity to another without a pause.

My head was spinning with thoughts  like “Gosh, I don’t have time, I have so many things to get done!”

“I need to get back home to finish my emails and then I need to cook.”

I was caught in the groove of daily demands where “I have no time!”

As soon as I got back home, I decided to shift my state and lay down on the living room carpet and take deep breaths to release all my stress. Then, I remembered what my teacher Carlos Castaneda taught me about time. His voice came back to me clearly:

reduce stress

“You have been trained to perceive time as it recedes from you. So, you rush, puff and push things and events through according to this interpretation. You are running on imaginary time where you are a victim of daily demands…You have no voice and no decision over “time.” Time seems to be something that you cannot control. You become a victim of your own interpretation of time. I, instead, choose to perceive time as it advances on me.”

Castaneda’s interpretation of Time being something that advances on us brought a smile to my face. As I continued stretching on the floor, breathing and releasing the tightness in my joints, more memories of his talks on Time came to me:

“Time advances towards you like when you are in front of a train that is running at high speed and the landscape advances towards you. You can choose to welcome your time.”

He told me to welcome my time. To welcome myself in this time.

“Your job as a dreamer is to dream yourself in this new way. You wake up every morning and you welcome your joy, your power, your warriorship, your strength. You welcome this life that advances towards you filled with opportunities to grow, with challenges to overcome, filled with mystery to amaze us, filled with possibilities. You welcome it, instead of engaging in the nonsense of your pseudo-victimhood. Chola, don’t run away from who you really are.”

I spent the rest of the night welcoming time, taking time to make eye contact when my child needed help with his homework. When cooking and washing dishes, I embraced and welcomed time. I welcomed time when putting my child to sleep and then I welcomed sleep and dream time before closing my eyes.

What Castaneda taught me has revolutionized the way I go about my life. It allows me to be at peace even when I’m busy and it feels like my demands and responsibilities are piling up.

Lately, I have been specifically meditating and practicing this new concept of Time daily in preparation for our upcoming retreat in Schweibenalp, Switzerland, where we are going to enter into a different time to dream and manifest our purposes.

Take just 4 days off from your calendar and join us to dream a new understanding of time for you. It will allow you to accomplish your intentions and create new thought patterns.

My mantra is “I always have time for what is meaningful, joyful and uplifting.”

What’s your mantra?

Join Us in Schweibenalp, Switzerland for Our Retreat, Seven Gates to Dreaming

You too can experience the peace that comes from allowing time to advance on us! Get more information about our retreat in Schweibenalp here.

To Read another Blog about Time written by Aerin here

Hike To The Lake: How the 2016 Schweibenalp Retreat Helped One Woman Connect to the Joy Within

The following is a testimonial written by Barbara Vencelj, who attended our 2016 retreat in Schweibenalp, Switzerland. Barbara shares about how the retreat helped her connect with herself, nature and her community. 

During our six-day retreat in Schweibenalp in October of 2016, we had a wonderful time. We were practicing movements, breathing, witnessing exercises and learning energy passes to activate and open the body and heart and fully express heartfelt intention.

Together, we shared days in a beautiful environment in nature in the mountains above the lake, connected with the universe and earth, and with each other. We shared nourishing meals and glistened with life. My heart was singing in celebration of life. I was filled with joy seeing all the colors and thinking about the abundance that life on earth offers.

 We also shared an unforgettable walk towards the lake in the mountains. It was a bright and clear morning with a crisp, blue sky and white clouds wandering around. Mist hovered above the lake. We walked on meadows above the big lake into the woods. I remember how the sun shone through the trees. The path was nice and smooth. I walked with ease. I felt connected to the mother earth and connected in breath, with my energy body and my physical body.  Silence gently stopped my inner dialogue and I was one with the universe. 

retreat

retreatI remember walking with Aerin, holding for hands and chatting like old friends. Oh how we laughed! I was so happy. It’s such a nice feeling to hike with people you love. The air was cold and Aerin was cold. She let me borrow her green gloves! That made me even happier.

Along the path to the lake, there were many friendly wooden sculptures of people and animals that inspired and brought joy to me.

After an hour and a half, we reached the lake, the green eye of the mountain, softly reflecting the mountains and the trees, gathering the heart of the mountain spirits in the silence.

We gathered on the shore of the lake, experiencing the silence and peace. Above the lake mountains, the sun rose high above us and shined down, like a dear friend sending shiny laser-like beams through the clouds. It looked truly magical. We all felt blessed to be a part of nature and the universe so, we sang songs of joy and gratefulness, celebrating this beautiful life. 

retreatIt was truly a beautiful and unforgettable hike, and I am gratefully looking forward to returning to the mountains again.

-Barbara Vencelj

Barbara is a medical doctor, and part of an outdoor emergency rescue team in the mountains of Slovenia

 

About Our 2017 Retreat In  Schweibenalp, Switzerland

You can experience joy, peace, connection and community in Schweibenalp, Switzerland just like Barbara did. We will return to Schweibenalp for a 4-day retreat October 26th – 29th for another incredible weekend learning to unlock the seven gates to dreaming. Learn more about the retreat here! We cannot wait to connect with you.
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Four Mindfulness Exercises For Overcoming Fear

 

The first time I felt paralyzing fear was one evening after dinner, my mother and father left our apartment and went upstairs to take care of grandma. I was left with my brother, who was 7. I was five years-old.

We were in the kitchen area that was illuminated by a single light-bulb, sitting on a bench against the wall. The rest of the house was dark and it was very quiet. We looked at each other and crunched. It was the fear of the unknown, of what could happened, of feeling unprotected and unsafe. I held tightly onto my brothers’ arm, clenching my jaw and crunching my belly until my parents came back.

I felt fear many times growing up in a household with older brothers who thought waking me up in the middle of the night and holding a white sheet over their heads as they made ghost sounds was ‘funny.”

I used to lie awake until the sun came out. But, at just thirteen years old, I experienced another kind of fear. I was walking to school as I usually did one morning when I saw a solider with his gun in hand standing fearfully on the corner of the school.

Since 1974 the military army had taken over the government in Argentina and declared a “Dirty War” against terrorism. Every time I saw the soldiers I avoided them and took another street. I knew that I could get in trouble. I didn’t have an ID and I had heard that without an ID you could get detention. I also knew that many innocent students and teachers had been arrested and then “disappeared.”

I slowed down my steps and took another street, away from the school. I figured that I could go around the entire block and get to school from the opposite corner, where there were no soldiers.

The moment the soldier was out of his sight I started running as fast as I could. I didn’t want to be late for school. I did not want to go to the principal’s office.

I made it to school on time and sat down at my desk in the classroom. My classmates were looking at me silently. I didn’t notice that I was soaked from head to toe with sweat. Not only was my hair and my face wet, my entire body was drenched. I was pale, wet and fearful.

From my childhood experiences in Argentina, I learned that I can overcome the paralyzing effect of fear. That there is a strong force in me, a voice that guides me to find the best solutions and the way out when I am in danger or in distress. I learned that I can trust myself, in spite of the terror around me.

And this is what I am still doing. Cultivating and nurturing this inner force of confidence and alignment in me that guides me to make smart, healthy decisions.

As a mind-body movement educator, I share these tools and practices with my classes. I teach people how to be in tune with their bodies and use the movements I learned from Carlos Castaneda to channel their inner strength, connect with their heart, and move past whatever is holding them back in their lives.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with fear in your life, try these simple steps to ground yourself. The good news is, we can overcome fear in our lives and with practice, we can train ourselves to push past fear and into our freedom.

Breathe

When we feel scared, our heart sometimes feels like it’s pounding out of our chest. Suddenly we’re breathing heavier, faster or even holding our breath. When you feel your body reacting in this way, stop what you’re doing and breathe. Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths, filling your lungs with air and the slowly releasing it. Do this several times, counting your breaths until you feel your heart rate start to slow down and you begin to feel calm. Our breath is one of our most powerful tools. Learning to use breathing to check-in with your body and return to a calm state is a valuable tool you can use in many situations.

Look around and take in your surroundings

Once you’ve taken several deep breaths, open your eyes and notice your surroundings. Notice what’s in your external environment that’s contributing to your fear. Take note of anything in your external environment that’s soothing your fear. Paying attention to where you are can give you discernment about what to do next. Often times, we may be overcome with fear but when we take in our surroundings, we realize we are safe. Other times, our surroundings enhance our fear and we need to seek a safe physical place before we can move on to the next steps.

Questions your fears, questions your thoughts

Sometimes, when we’re scared, it feels like our thoughts are going a mile a minute. But, we must take control and question our thoughts. When we do this, we can figure out the root cause of our fear. Ask yourself, what am I thinking about and why does it make me feel fearful?

Be in the present moment

Mindfulness is about bringing your mind, body and consciousness into the present moment. When we bring ourselves back into the present moment, sometimes we realize that we have nothing to fear. We don’t have to be paralyzed. We can keep moving forward and trust ourselves to be able to overcome any obstacle that comes our way. The present is a beautiful place to be.

October 26th-29th we will be working on overcoming fear and unlocking the seven gates to dreaming together in Schweibenalp, Switzerland. We’ve all been paralyzed by fear at some point of our lives. Working through it and growing together with a community of people from around the world is an amazing and inspiring experience. Learn more about what to expect and how to join us here.

Quetzalcoatl – Embracing the Light and Darkness Within us

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Greetings From Our Journey to Teotihuacan!

Last March 10-12, we held a workshop in Teotihuacan, one of the largest and oldest cities from Mesoamerican culture. We started our journey at the hotel located next to the archeological site, by practicing movement and breathing techniques to renew our bodies and release stress and exhaustion. We refreshed our minds by setting clear intentions for the weekend. We then identified and acknowledged blocks and limiting ideas around the topic of money, questioned them, and updated them. In this way, we created space inside us for renew creative energies to flow and to manifest projects in our daily lives.

Early Saturday morning we walked in silence towards the pyramid of the Sun, the largest of the three pyramids in Teotihuacan, and the third largest pyramid in the World—It is 220×230 meters at the base, and 63 meters in height. This particular pyramid was built around 2,000 years ago, and more than 70,000 pieces of art have been discovered in that pyramid so far. All the time we walked in silence, we repeated our individual intentions to stay focus and open to receive teachings from the city of Teotihuacan.

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My mantra filled me with joy and calm:  “I am breathing in and out the divine fresh air of life, residing in radiant health and well being, and releasing and dissolving limiting patterns and interpretations, freeing myself fully for the highest good of all concerned.”

The night before rained and the air felt fresh and pure in our faces as we walked through the avenue of the death. I kept looking at the group participants faces bathed by the sun rays and radiating joy and vitality.

At the bottom of the Pyramid of the Sun and before climbing up, we called on our relationships with our grandfathers, our fathers, and the male lineage from our families to acknowledge and release anything that needed to be healed to clarify the male energy inside us.

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One of the participants and Being Energy Teacher, Crisólogo from Michoacan, shared that he experienced the walk as though he was walking toward his death—a part of him that he needed to acknowledge and let go in order to move forward in his work. He was ready for his fears to die and found himself crying as he walked to the pyramid. When he got to the pyramid, he realized he was ready to take the next step to fully work as a healer and instructor of Being Energy.

Energy_Life_Sciences_Institute_Teotihuacan-Tom (1)It was such a moving experience to honoring our male energies, the “doing, manifesting, outwardly” energy that is alive within us. We honored that within ourselves there and then.

From there, we walked in silence to the Pyramid of the Moon, a pyramid smaller in form, but just as significant in meaning. Some have called it Tenan, which in Nahuatl, means “mother or protective stone.” The Pyramid of the Moon covers a structure older than the Pyramid of the Sun. The structure existed prior to 200 AD. It has a large plaza with several small buildings forming a cross. Inside, we acknowledged the mother inside each of us, the female inward nurturing energies. We meditated at the top of the pyramid facing south towards the Avenue of the Dead where we meditated on acceptance,  and compassion for ourselves and the world. 

 

We walked back to the hotel to further integrate the journey of experiencing the process at the Sun and Moon Pyramids, integrating both inward and outward the complimentary forces of masculine light and feminine darkness within us. We reflected on this during the whole Saturday afternoon. In between sessions, we rested by the hotel pool, enjoying their delicious Mexican cuisine.

On Sunday, we celebrated the union of our light and dark forces by meditating at the temple of Quetzcoatl, which represented a union of the darkness and light in the form of a serpent that develops wings so that it can fly.                    

We danced and moved in the light and dark as we incorporated all we learned from our journey to the Sun and Moon Pyramids, acknowledging both forces of energy through movement.     

We closed the event on Sunday afternoon with some soul-gazing, gazing into each other’s eyes for Quetzalcoatl, for the nagual and we found it! It was a beautiful and moving way to complete the Journey in Teotihuacan and continue our journeys back at home filled with a sense of awe, gratitude and love.

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We cannot wait for you to join us in our next adventure in the sacred mountain in Switzerland

Standing Up Courageously in the Face of Fear!

How do we stand up for ourselves and others when we are cowering in fear?

Two days ago, we started a new cycle of our series of Path With Heart classes called “Overcoming Fear,” and we already started experiencing a warm wave of courage and love running through our bodies!

Nelson Mandela said, May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears,” and that is what we are actively and daily practicing at Being Energy.

May your intention for 2017 be based on your hopes and dreams. If you already wrote your intentions for this year, hold them high up and take steps towards their fulfillment. If you didn’t write your intention yet, then READ BELOW before writing them down:

Fear is the underlying force for procrastination and postponing dreams, not finishing projects, and having meaningful relationships. Our inner fears are being fed by the outside world.

In the world today we are getting more and more negative news—the political representation of our country now seems to want to imbue us with fear, keep us paralyzed  and feeling powerless. So, what to do?

This is what we did in class last Sunday:

1-We turned on the light on fear

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2-We reminded ourselves of our Warriorship Training

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3-We identified top common fears to us all

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4- We differentiated between inspiring and paralyzing fears

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5- And we courageously stood up, breathed deeply and took an action towards overcoming fear!

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We encourage you to do the same!

We are standing up with all, embracing all feelings and facing the oncoming time!

Aerin Alexander, Tom Reavley and Miles Reid

Welcome 2017! What to Do on New Year’s Eve

“For a warrior, the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous time.” ~ Carlos Castaneda

This is a marvelous time. You have the opportunity to act from intent and create your dreams.

The following ritual is one that Castaneda gave to us many years ago, and it is something that we do at the end of each year without fail. We share it with you now to help you unfold a magical year ahead. It is a ceremony that starts during the last days of December, and finishes when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. Why not give it a try and see what happens?

We hope that the benefits ripple out through your life, your relationships, your community and the world.

The steps are these:

  1. Clear out the old before the New Year.  On December 29 and 30, and even throughout the day on December 31, clear up some space in your home. Remove clutter, donate clothing that you aren’t using anymore, clean out and organize cabinets and drawers, and vacuum your floors; clean your windows and water your plants—all with a feeling of openness and readiness. The aim is to clean your home physically and energetically. There are four essential ways to do this:
    • Throw things away that are not needed or that are not bringing you joy
    • Give things away, letting those things bring something to someone while freeing you of any associated history with the objects
    • Dust off, wipe and wash your home, or at least a selected part of it, such as your bedroom or desk area
    • Rearrange things; change the placement of furniture, artwork and/or other objects to revitalize the energy flow of your space(s)
  2. On December 31, before midnight, attend to your desk or writing space. Organize bills and papers, and clear space so that you can comfortably sit to write a list of dreams and projects for the New Year.
  3. Next, take a pen or pencil and piece of paper, and get ready to make a list.
    • Mentally review what dreams and projects you were able to accomplish in 2016. What things stood out? What new relationships have you established? What came to a close? What new things have you learned, or insights have you gained with respect to your:
      1. Health
      2. Emotions
      3. Thoughts
      4. Family and community
      5. Larger global community of planet Earth
    • Now list all of these on a piece of paper labeled 2016. The idea is to review and distill what 2016 brought to you, and write it down so that you can be consciously aware of these experiences going into the New Year. Notice as you write if new insights or ideas come to you.
  4. Take a second piece of paper to start a new list. Name the list 2017, and write down what you want to accomplish or see unfold in this New Year. It might help to think of the categories of:
    • Personal development: What new things do I want to learn, what do I want to accept about myself, what do I want to heal in myself?
    • Family and friends: What relationships do I want to commit to, what relationships do I need to let go of, what relationships do I need to heal?
    • Work: Am I loving what I do? What can I change in 2017 to thrive?
    • Health: How do I plann to take better care of myself in 2017, what specific actions will I take to restore my energy?
    • My legacy and contribution to the larger world: What ONE action can I do to help others in need?
  5. Take a pause. You’ve cleared space, reviewed the year that’s passing and set forth dreams and goals for the year ahead. Now that you have your lists, take a little break to attend to any responsibilities or other commitments.
  6. At around 11:30 p.m., return to your writing space (it’s almost midnight!) Sit in silence for a moment and put your attention on the things on your 2017 list—those things that you want to see unfold in the New Year. You may even want to write an outline of what you would like to do, or draw a picture of yourself getting the job of your dreams, etc. Sit with it as long as you like, making sure you feel connected with it all, with your personal life path, and with the Universe by the time the clock strikes midnight.
  7. At midnight, on this first moment of the New Year, let the wave of your dreams wash over you.

Carlos Castaneda would tell us that, at midnight, the light of the Spirit or Universe comes and “watches us”—a force descends upon us, and this is a very powerful moment to be present and aware—to feel it and become acquainted with it.

Mountain-Sunrise-Wallpaper-DesktopAs we set our collective intentions, we hold best wishes for you all—for your joy and growth; for your freedom; for your daring, for your creation of new, inspiring projects; and for your kindness to all those around you. We celebrate together your becoming!

May our light and love radiate out to our friends, families, communities, and to the whole world.

Aerin and Miles