Packing, unpacking, packing, unpacking. My life goes something like that. I just returned to Nicaragua from Whistler, Canada where I spent an amazing five weeks in the mountains I called home for ten years. And the first thing I did before unpacking was paddle out. But I wasn’t alone, I had two well seasoned San Diego surfers by my side to play in the waves, engage mother nature and feel the journey.

Spending the past few days with these new friends helped me apply what I learned from the Wanderlust Yoga Festival. You see, I attracted these beings into my life for a reason.

“We don't attract what we want in life. We attract what we are in life.” - Dr. Wayne

Think about that thought for a moment. And then, think about the people you have attracted into your life.

If we attract people who embody the same qualities as ourselves and we don’t like certain qualities about this person, it is here, in this space, we must realize we need to change these aspects about ourselves. The closer we become to knowing our true nature we can embrace the shadow of our self and allow these qualities to come up as a detox so they can be released from our soul.

But first, we need to have compassion for ourselves in the process. Compassion is key. Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Sure, it’s easy for me to say... but that’s why I’m saying it!

I now find compassion and warmth in the shadows of myself and others. I now understand we don’t have to suffer if someone else is suffering. The way to help someone is to open yourself to this person by allowing them to be what they are. My ego points out your ego and my shadow points out your shadow. It’s true. The light, “Heaven,” is the awareness of our oneness. When someone’s mind thinks differently it effects everyone and nothing will ever change.

When I’m surfing and I get sent through the wave washing machine, my first reaction is to panic and try to swim for the surface but if I relax and try to flow with the water and it’s intended course I resurface with ease. If I struggle and fight the ocean instead of trying to be one with it, I get tired and lose my breath swallowing lots of water making my experience an uncomfortable one. We need to stop thinking we are different from one another as though we are individually like some special sun beam coming from the sun separately, but if we look to the body of the sun, we will see we are all the same - we are all one. Connected by light.

Now, I accept and love a person’s shadow and understand that I can learn more about my own self if I bravely enter into this space with courage and an open heart. Once I opened my eyes to the beauty that this darkness holds, there was no longer room for judgement and I could change old patterns and beliefs which eventually led to more happy days filled with endless sunshine. So, be brave, open the door and say, “I’m going in there, into the darkness, to help this person but I’m not going to be rocked out of my center. I’m going to learn something about myself here.”

I’m moving through the world with this new consciousness to bring about change. Are you coming with me?

I was walking by a muddy puddle the other day and at first I saw this puddle, my ego labeled it, gave it a name, as we do: “mud puddle,” but then I took a second look softening my gaze and I could see a beautiful reflection of the mountains and the sky, and thought; “wow, how beautiful!” It was in this moment that I understood how to best align my yoga practice with the world. Everything we do is infused with the consciousness of which we do it. Our ideas grow stronger when they are shared. And it is my moral imperative, my responsibility, when I roll up my yoga mat and go out into the world to share what I know,  what I have learned and what I experience. My thoughts are an extension of compassion and love for our Universal Family and with this collective consciousness we start to bring about change.

It is important for us to know where and what our core is. It will not feel the same to everyone. It will not look the same. It will not be the same, and you will not have the same sensations, for each of our cores are different like waves at a beach break or like snowflakes falling from the sky. We all have a different design that are unique and truly our own vibration. In that vibration you create your own color and your own signature and your own signage and all the things that scream out to the rest of the Universe “This is WHO I am.” But there needs to be a... shall we say,... a kind of coming together with this new energy. You do not have to sacrifice WHO you are, for that will remain. You do, however, need to be more flexible in the way you handle the energy that is coming your way, this energy of other’s that you have attracted to you.

It is time for each of us to stop putting energy into things that do not belong to us, like another person’s problems. Rather, we need to put our energy into the who and what we are and what we are trying to create, embracing our own shadow to make change, and in doing that we will have that much more energy and love to offer others.

So here I am, extending my thoughts above my head as though they were my hands and with this offering to the universe, this exertion of energy becomes the light we seek to bring down from the heavens like sunbeams - a blanket of oneness. We feel these sunbeams enter our soul and then we feel the journey - illuminating and eventually eliminating the shadows.

Through my writing, this type of engagement allows me to be the change I wish to see in the world because that of which we can engage in our hearts we can change forever.  This is where the ocean meets the sky, the breaking waves kiss the sand, the water washes onto the shore, or for you city folks - where the rubber meets the pavement!

But, if you don’t want to listen to me, Alanis Morisett sang it best...

You see everything, you see every part, You see all my light, And you love my dark. You dig everything, of which I’m ashamed, there is not anything to which you can’t relate, and you're still here. (Listen here, you should, it will make more sense!)

Join me in Nicaragua for a spiritual journey in oneness and let’s play in the waves and dance in the sunshine of our own bright light while embracing the shadows with a compassionate hug to bring about pure joy, change, and santosha (contentment) on this journey - feeling it in our hearts every step of the way and knowing that our love for each other is the only thing we need.

I exist, because we exist, We belong to each other. If we learn to love ourselves, we learn to love everyone.

I LOVE YOUR SHADOW...

Now PACK YOUR BAGS!

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