The Yoga of Motherhood

March 19, 2015 in Divine nature, Intuition, joy, Lani, Marriage, meditation, Motherhood, Pain, Parenting, Rebirth, Rites of passage, Yoga

 

Perhaps the essential purpose of all relationships is to create the laboratory in which we uncover our own divine nature and encourage theirs. -M. Catherine Thomas

In perusing the journal I wrote during my first pregnancy, I chuckled to myself when I stumbled upon these words (written September 10, 2003, just a couple of weeks before I gave birth):

Sometimes I almost wish for a trial or challenge to come so that I can be refined by its fire. . . . I almost hope that motherhood will be a challengeWell, I know that it will be a great challenge. But I hope I will look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow every day. Because I do want so much to develop and become a better, more loving and more Christ-like person.

The very next entry wasn’t until two months later, November 21. I wrote this:

I said last time I wrote that I sort of wished for a trial to come. Well, it certainly came. The first few days and weeks after my baby was born were some of the most difficult of my life. I didn’t get any real sleep until after we came home from the hospitalwhich was two days after her birth. I was exhausted and overwhelmed by the new role of mother. I was having difficulty breastfeedingwhich made everything more difficult. . . . Plus I was trying to recover from childbirth (which left me with multiple tears and lots of pain). It was hard for me to do virtually anything because it hurt to move.

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The remaining pages of that journal include a lot of venting about the challenges of caring for a very high-needs baby (who turned into a wonderful young lady, by the way). She didn’t sleep well, she didn’t eat well, she wanted to be held constantly, etc. etc. In June of 2004, I wrote down a passage from a book that helped me put things into perspective: “One of the greatest surprises, and greatest joys, comes as you realize that those have-to’s in your life actually got you where you wanted to be all along” (Emily Watts, Being the Mom). Indeed they have. My four children, and all the have-to’s that come with them, have done exactly what I hoped for as a soon-to-be mother: they have made me into a “better, more loving and more Christ-like person.”

Loveliest of the arts

Back in February I started Kundalini Yoga teacher training, so naturally I’ve got yoga on the brain. What is yoga? Here’s how Yogi Bhajan describes it:

Yoga is essentially a relationship. Consider the origin of the word “yoga.” Yoga, as we in the West understand it, has come from the biblical word, yoke. This originated from the root word in Sanskrit: jugit. They both mean “to join together,” or “to unite.” Yoga is the union of the individual’s unit consciousness with the Infinite Consciousness. The definition of a yogi is a person who has totally leaned on the Supreme Consciousness, which is God, until he or she has merged the unit self with the Infinite Self. That is all it means (The Aquarian Teacher, p. 14).

So the ultimate goal of yoga is union with God. How do we unite with God?

Last weekend in teacher training, our instructor said: “Confront your ego/shadow self until you get to I am, I Am.” After saying this, she shared a story about her early years as a yogi in Brooklyn, NY, living in the ashram. Every morning before sunrise, she went to group sadhana [daily yoga/meditation practice]. She had grown up as an only child, so it was quite an experience being with all of those people. She said that life in the ashram was: constantly having people pushing your buttons, triggering your stuff. As she said those words, I thought: sounds like a family. Isn’t that why God gave us families? To help us confront our egos, our shadow selves, until we get to I Am?

Byron Katie has said:

The people we most need are the people we’re living with now. Again and again, they will show us the truth we don’t want to see, until we see it. Our parents, our children, our spouses and our friends will continue to press every button we have, until we realize what it is that we don’t want to know about ourselves yet (qtd. in M. Catherine Thomas, Light in the Wilderness, p. 165).

And Richard Rohr has said:

So we absolutely need conflicts, relationship difficulties, moral failures, defeats to our grandiosity, even seeming enemies, or we will have no way to ever spot or track our shadow self. They [others] are our necessary mirrors (qtd. in M. Catherine Thomas, The Godseed, p. 168).

Yogi Bhajan called marriage between a man and woman the highest yoga: “Male and female make a union and this complete union is the greatest yoga” (The Master’s Touch, p. 138). Indeed, marriage provides ample opportunities for confronting our shadow selves, refining our behavior, and drawing closer to God. Perhaps it’s because I married a very kind, easy-to-live-with guy, but marriage hasn’t been my highest yoga. For me, it has been the yoga of motherhood that has tested and refined me most of all.

Yogi Bhajan taught that it was the job of a yoga teacher to “poke, provoke, confront, and elevate.” If that is the case, no one has been a greater teacher to me than my children. No spiritual practice has done more to purify my soul than motherhood. Yogi Bhajan said: “The ocean is a very calm thing, but when the winds are heavy and high, then it’s very choppy. The wind represents your egothe higher the ego, the choppier is a person’s life.” Clearly I came to this world with a whole lot of ego to process through. My teachers have had quite a job to do, and they have done it very well.

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Being a mother has required more discipline, patience, endurance, sacrifice, strength, selflessness, service, intuition, love, and reliance upon God than anything I have ever done. Mothers partner with God in a way that no one else can. I put this slideshow together as a tribute to the divine yoga of motherhood.

I remember when Dallin H. Oaks shared this story in conference:

One of our family members recently overheard a young couple on an airline flight explaining that they chose to have a dog instead of children. “Dogs are less trouble,” they declared. “Dogs don’t talk back, and we never have to ground them.”

True. Dogs are lovely companions. But we’re in this life to be refined into godliness. Yoga is the “sacred science of god-realization.” I thank heaven for my four excellent yoga teachers who “poke, provoke, confront, and elevate” me daily.

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Chainbreaking and Rebirth At Its Finest with Abe Lincoln, Joseph Smith, and More

February 12, 2014 in Felice, Rebirth, Uncategorized

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A few weeks ago I had a visit from Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln.  I was carried away in the spirit, or as I sometimes call it, the imagery state.  I was also in a lot of pain (epic headache) and I realized that they had come to bless me.  I was half delirious but clearly heard every word they said. My intuitive friend who was with me in the imagery state also witnessed every word.  Neither of us can repeat what they said. We try, but we just lose all the words.

Shortly thereafter, my migraine diminished and I was left to ponder the possible meanings of this visit. I knew the migraine was the result of an emotional contraction. I have been birthing another book/manual. It’s titled Awake As in Ancient Days: The Christ-Centered Kundalini Yoga Experience.  It has been a wonderful wild ride. Like TGOGL it has been divinely guided. But I have had much less time to write this one. (The Gift of Giving Life took 3 years and 5 authors—this one has been 5 months and 1 author, although I have had lots of help.)

This God-given time crunch has forced me to face some deep issues about time. Not long ago I healed some old issues about prosperity/lack when I embraced that my Dad (God) is rich, and have let him provide for me in miraculous ways. It would take too long to list them, but let’s just say it has been 1000x better than having a real life millionaire father. Healing my beliefs about time is the last piece of this healing.

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Time, like money, is not exactly real. But it is how we reckon things. For the most part, we travel through it linearly. But God is not bound by time. All things are present with him (ref), which means that in a way we don’t totally understand, he can see past present and future all at once, and so technically he time travel.

I’ve been totally on board with time travel for a while—obsessed actually—and I often communicate with past and future self in the imagery state.  But my obsession with time has a shadow side. The issues go back to birth and before. I was born on my due date (less then 5% of babies are!) and from my earliest memories I have always felt extreme pressure to be on time. It physically pained me to be late. I don’t mind so much anymore if others are late, but if their lateness caused me to be late, it would drive me crazy. I have ended friendships over it in the past.  All these issues started to come up as I wondered how I ever could write the kind of book God needed in such a short time.

I consciously believed God could expand time. I understood that He was infinite and that all would work out. But I had a huge burden of emotional stuff to release. The overall theme of this emotional stuff was: other people will die or suffer if I am late. I think it has a lot to do with my sacred contract, which I have always known on a soul level, even if I didn’t remember it. And I know I had some pre-mortal worries that I took into this life about fulfilling that contract in time.

Proceed forward in time now to my bedroom. I have an icepack on my head. A whole day of work on the book is lost.  Two men reach out through time and history and space and give me a metaphysical blessing. Their visit was unexpected. I have never had a visit from either of them before (that I know of). My visitors are usually ancestors. As I pondered their legacies and what they had in common I realized that both of them had huge sacred contracts. Both knew on some level what they had been foreordained to do, and that they had to do it sooner rather than later.  Some would say that they had their time “cut short.” Yet their legacy holds more than their years can explain, unless they were on God’s time.

Joseph’s contribution may be less known the world, but one day all will know that he was midwife to the rebirth of Christ’s church on the earth, and Abraham Lincoln was instrumental in the rebirth of our nation. A rebirth out of the dark age of slavery and prejudice.  Both freed people in chains, some physical, some metaphysical. Both prepared the way for the unborn to fulfill their own missions. They prepared the way for me.

My own heritage includes Mormon pioneers on my mother’s side and African American slaves on my father’s side. I am deeply indebted to them both for having the courage to do what they were inspired to do.

There is one other man of similar stature in my eyes, to whom I am indebted. The man affectionately named Yogi Bhajan. He has never visited me in his astral body, but I hear his voice in my mind often. He was the highest living Kundalini Yoga Master and the first one ever to break with tradition and not only teach it openly but to train teachers.  The secrecy of this science had kept it pure for many thousands of years, but Yogi Bhajan realized that the time had come to restore it to the world so that we could be ready for the age (right now!) that would usher in the millennium.

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Kundalini Yoga and Meditation is the ancient science of unfolding your divine potential. It is sometimes called the sacred science of God-realization. There is evidence from multiple sources now (scrolls from Tibet) that show that Jesus may have spent his “lost years” in India studying this sacred science.

I have shared a few testimonials from others before on this blog, and you can read and watch more here. All I can say is that it works. And it works fast. You can break the chains of addiction, of ancestral heritage, of Satan. You can be reborn.

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As a tribute to these men (Abe has a birthday today!), and to the idea of rebirth, I am teaching a 6-week rebirthing series that officially starts February 26, 2014. You can stream it to your computer wherever you are, whenever you are. More info is here. There is also a free e-book there and free podcast.  Enjoy! Happy rebirthing!