“There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
It’s easy.File:FREE HUGS, in Hibiyakoen, Tokyo Prefecture.jpg
All you need is love, all you need is love, love is all you need.”
 – Beatles

I have been away. It’s true.

I have been a little self-involved, but not really in a terrible way; not in a hurtful, taking over the world type of way. I like to think that I left that aspect of myself somewhere behind in the shadows. Perhaps she is still in Florida – shopping.

No, I have been doing some readjustments. There really is no particular word that can define the interesting changes. Perhaps that is a good thing. I think, we tend to define things too often. We love to name things don’t we? We name our children (which I think is a good thing and a bit of a necessity). We name plants and trees with impressive scientific names and then “common” names. We name all the animals and life form on the planet with elaborate names. We even name our companion animals. I think we name things so we can make them accessible.

We see a space ship hovering over our house. We don’t know what to call it so we call it an Unidentified Flyer Object and then we call the Air Force or the Police.

We have a paranormal experience, we immediately call it a figment of our imagination and/or we call the Ghost Hunters.

We start to feel uncomfortable in our own skin and we call it a mid-life crisis.

There is a hell of a lot of name calling going on out there, isn’t there? But I think I digress.

I cannot exactly label this amazing shift that has been happening lately. If I did label it, I believe the magic of it would diminish like fairy dust. However, I can share with you the root of the magic. 

What the heck am I talking about?

Love.

It’s all around us.

It’s in everything.

It is in the people we love and even the people we don’t like.

But it is there.

I don’t mean “love” in the context of  “Oh, I love those shoes!!!” (followed by a squeal in an octave only dogs can here).

I don’t mean “love” in the way we “love” the weekends or pasta with really good pesto or fresh fruit from the garden. Though, those are all aspects.

After writing the “Who are you Arching?” blog it started me thinking. How not “arching” people really wasn’t enough. How we as spirits are so much greater than the sum of our personalities and the weight of our hang-ups and petty annoyances. I actually was affected by what I had written and I starting really paying attention to people and things and events around me. I started watching my own reaction to things and was amazed at how, for the most part, I would take things personally and then catch myself after the fact. What I started to strive to do was to stop taking all things personally first so there would be no need to “catch myself” later.

And then an amazing thing happened.

The world cracked wide open.

I really started to feel all the stuff I read, teach and write about. I don’t mean “feel it for the moment” and watch as it passes by wondering when I would see it again.

No, I mean living with my heart wide open and feeling this amazing energy all the time with almost every experience, every human interaction and every breath of my day.

It was dizzying, wonderful, freeing, amazing and VERY  scary.

It is what I am sure Rumi was feeling when he wrote poems to God or what Mother Teresa felt when she fulfilled her destiny and what the great avatars have taught since the dawn of time.

Ever since that first taste of it, I find myself trying to be this crazy thing called love every day. I try to be a yogi in love. Some days are better than others. But what I am learning is that even in the craziest, most uncomfortable situations, I can look for the Love and I will usually find it.

It is all around us, like the very air we breathe. It is in us as well, like, you guessed it, the very air we breathe. It is everywhere if you open up to it and to its possibilities. If you embrace it and make a place for it, it will always find you and you it.

Sometimes the situation or experience is so upsetting or frustrating that I can’t find it at all. But what I started to do is reach down deep inside of myself, find it there, and then send that love to the experience/personality/frustration.

Love is a healer.
Love is an elixir.
Love is more than the subject of poems or stories, more than some lofty goal we hold for ourselves and more than the sum of all the spiritual teachings.

Love is, quite simply, who we are.

Now ponder that for a moment.

First, we have to start with ourselves. We have to love ourselves so unconditionally that it might actually pain us to do it.

As a yoga teacher, I finish each class with guided relaxation and savasana. Afterwards, I gently bring the students back to the present moment and before coming up right, I ask them to lie on their sides and give themselves a hug.

Two weeks ago, I  started this in my own personal practice. I don’t know what made me do it. (I think it was the Raw and Live food diet I have been eating).

I sat up, wrapped my arms around myself and hugged tightly.

Self hugging self. Higher self hugging ego. Spirit hugging flesh.

The first time I did it, I almost cried. I whispered I love you to myself and I almost cried.

Ok, that is a weird thing to admit, but hey, it’s a blog and you all know my business anyway at this point.

But at that moment I realized that I was so detached from myself in a loving way. I profess my love to those close to me all the time. But why when I expressed it to myself, did I almost have a weird meltdown?

Perhaps it is because we grow up hearing things like “that guy/girl is so in love with him/herself;” and “you love yourself more than you love me,” “you are so narcissistic,” etc, etc, etc.

We are basically taught not to have self-love. We are conditioned to believe that to love ourselves is to be self-centered, to be conceited and /or to be self involved. Of course these are all viewed as negative personality traits.

But how on earth can we fully love others if we don’t love ourselves first?

When you embrace yourself and say “I love you,” and mean it, the world cracks open like a bright shiny metaphysical egg. All these amazing things come pouring out and all the toxicity and negativity that you may have been carrying around in your back pocket, packs its bags and heads for the hills.

That little devil on your shoulder? Yeah, he splits also, muttering something to the effect of “Holy Crap, I think s/he is starting to figure it out.”

Is love the panacea for everything? They say it is. But I am not that far along with it yet. Check back.

Right now, I am just tripping out on turning really awful things into lovely things.

I am awed by my ability to let go of the ugly and embrace the beautiful.

I am in love with love.

Because like the Beatles sang, Love is all you need!

Love, Me

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