In all this world, there is nothing more important than appreciating the preciousness of our human embodiment and doing all we can to increase health and happiness for ourselves and others - Tarthang Tulku

Monday, June 4, 2012

Oh Say Can You See: We're All Friggin Rainbows




On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. - Rev. 22:2 


O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you" - Quran 49:13

         Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
                                                         ( Exhibit A: this blog)

It is the mind that makes the body. - Sojourner Truth 

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.- Buddha

Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. - The Bhagavad Gita

Self-portrait, L.A. subway
 I was very happy to see the recent issue of The New Yorker with the rainbow columns on The White House. I happen to think everbody's gay so this made me smile. Gay, in the English, jovial sense of the word, of course. Or not. No matter. What matters is that we start realizing sooner rather than later that we're all rainbows if we're going to heal the world, make it a better place, MJ-style, and work towards World Peace. If you study the yoga, then you've heard of these chakras, the wheels of spinning  light energy along the spine. If not, well you're late for the party. And you better hurry up though because the Peace train is leaving. Well, maybe you're working 9 to 5 and taking health tips from Dr. Oz, in which case I think it's best you also consider going to see the Wizard at this point. Oz never did give nothing to the Tinman that he didn't already have, you know. We have every miracle within to heal ourselves and each other on this upside down world on fire. All we need to do is slow this train down and listen to God, to return to the natural rhythms of nature and find the heavenly harmony from which this Universal frame began. There are many ways to live. And much of our collective healing has to do with slowing down and listening. I quite conveniently keep forgetting that many people don't believe in God or don't like the word ( is Creator better? ) or don't believe their God is different from someone else's God. Minor roadblock. Keep calm and sparkle. We are One under the Sun and the Son. 


On the healing journey, we rewind and remember who it is we were created to be: made perfect in God's image, despite the fact that in the West we do a very good job feeling not good enough. When we heal, we get a renewing of our minds, hearts, and bodies, and a chance to drink from the fountain of youth and innocence. Most importantly, we are free. I love that George Clinton quote, " Free your mind, and your ass will follow." To practice yoga or any ancient healing art is to go back in Time to an ancient system of understanding our soul's purpose and bringing our mind,body, and spirit in harmony with the true Self and the principals of Nature. To follow Jesus and practice yoga, well that's the killer combination, with cheese. We learn to conquer our bodies and realize the immortal nature of our souls, camped out in this human garb to be in service to our Creator for the highest good. To study the ancient ways of healing and being is to dig in to the mythology and ancient rites and rituals from the beginning to Time that inform our sense of who we are and how we choose to work to create heaven on Earth together. 

Deepak knows all about this. Oprah knows. Donald Trump, um, doesn't know. Maybe Carlos Slim Helu could find out, which would be muy bueno con queso. Obama got the memo. And Brother Jon Stewart is about to find out so we can carry the news to all the young dudes. And dudettes, of course. All God's children are invited to the "We're all friggin Rainbows" par-tay, Monsieur Stewart. I know how much you love zee French. Consider me your Existential Correspondent.... reporting live..... from the Center of the Cosmos, or perhaps the Tunnel of Love is more accurate. What's more, I'm Jersey Fresh. 

This gun's for Hire.

And my mom and Jon Stewart's mom live two blocks away from each other in The Garden State. What a coinkydink. Cosmically speaking, Venus has center stage right now in the Astral plane so my coming out is perfectly timed. I've been working on rebirthing myself for a while now so I can help rebirth the planet and lead the healing revolution. Perhaps it is due time for a reworking of The Birth of Venus-- perhaps this go around she's a white yogi with a Zulu soul who sings show tunes and enjoys plant medicine.














In one of her recent issues,Oprahji as I like to call her, invited her readers to write a 6-word memoir. I came up with mine in a hot second: Made pilgrimage to save human race.  Tough assignment but somebody's gotta do it and who better than a girl named Holly. After all, the holly is a tall sturdy evergreen prickly tree with cheery looking red berries that The Druids used to place above their doorways to ward off evil and was possibly used in Jesus crown of thorns. It was also, the Holly, purportedly used as the wood in Merlin's wand.That works cause we're gonna need a hefty dose of magic to restore balance to this world.Hare OM and Hallelujah.When I asked my mother what her 6-word memoir would be, she said, in a  hot second, " Loud mouth bitch from New York." Alas, I came upon Namaste, Bitches honestly. 

 What's extra perfectly timed about the Rainbow connection is that ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be Rainbow Brite. I was fascinated by her superpowers. She was an orphan named "Wisp", abducted by an unknown force and brought to a colorless world and charged with the task of finding the sphere of Light. Along the way, using her smarts and her intuition to guide her, she finds a fancy color Belt, which she uses to bring color to the land. She defeats the King of Shadows and she and her magic horse Starlite live in Rainbow Land and are in charge of all the colors. Hard to resist that fantasy, so I wont. 
Me, age 5, with my girl Rainbow Brite
What I'd like to build, now that we're all coming to our senses, realizing we're all rainbows, (Sarah Palin, I'm coming for you and your Caribou too) is a Rainbow Bridge. This shouldn't be too difficult as I have engineering in my blood.  My grandfather was a brilliant engineer who worked on the Pennsylvania Railroad all the live long day. I didn't know him, but he lives in me and he must be helping me engineer this Rainbow Bridge I've been building in the air between nations, races, and places so we can understand that we are all One and find our way to World Peace. Suspend your disbelief with me now. Otherwise, the magic won't work. Jesus said, " You must first become like children before entering the Kingdom of God". And so my job is to hold on to spiritual innocence and show you what it's all about. Fairies and unicorns are real where I come from. 


The power of the Rainbow as its showing up now on the World's Stage is that it is symbol of God's promise to Noah that the world would not be destroyed by floodwaters. In Norse mythology the most celebrated rainbow bridge is called Bifrost, said to connect Earth with the home of the Norse gods. The idea that the rainbow bridge to heaven is attainable by only the good or virtuous, such as warriors and royalty, is a theme repeated often in world myth. And since the Hindu Chakra system is a rainbow, then we're all Rainbows,  only many of our brothers and sisters have not a chance to realize this, for reasons that have much to do with the fact that , well, the world is burning, Western medicine is slow to change, we have an inexcusable health care crisis in America combined with fear and skepticism about spiritual and metaphysical healing. The gap between the haves and the have nots is getting bigger by the day. Oh and a lot of people don't believe in God. And think their God is better than someone else's God.  There's that minor glitch. But Faith can move mountains. And I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 


There is a massive disconnect in America between people who have access to "alternative" treatments to their chronic conditions and people who cannot afford natural, holistic healing because they are on food stamps, disability, or welfare, stuck in a system that treats symptoms, not souls. I'm talking about folks on the the bus, gus. The people. Power, healing, beauty, light, and a little luxury to the people for a change. 
My mother is one such person, who has been on disability with fybromyalgia and cannot afford to wisk herself away to a fancy healing  retreat or some other mind-body-healing experience where she would be made brand new as new in a matter of weeks. She goes to the foodbanks in Trenton, NJ.And has not yet realized that it is her mind that can heal her, along with access to natural healing, herbs, aromatherapy, things that nurture her soul. And this is the divide that desperately needs to be bridged, with the help of a global shift in consciousness, Hollywood, Deepak, Oprah, Sting, Trudy,  and whoever else wants to help find a way to funnel monies to to heal our inner cities and people who are not exactly feeling "Happier Than Ever".Lift every voice and sing-style. We shall overcome some day. 


Here's my Mama back in the day ( the dream catcher is to call her Spirit back) but now she is sick and tired of being sick and tired, can barely walk and is and fiercely resistant to healing, as many trauma-survivors are. Kinda like when Tina Turner sang, " What's Love Got to Do With It?" Except now she's a Buddhist. I'm hoping my Mama can follow that path of least resistance. 




She's holding on strong, my Mama, when really just needs to let go and be given a break--- a big break to heal and remember who she is, just like so many people in this world who are hanging on by a thread, still feeling trapped below, brused, battered, beaten up and broken down. She is also the ultimate caregiver who is not used to the idea of anyone caring for her. She's also 100% Italian, which brings with it a lot of Fire, an eternal Flame I carry on , her wayward son and daughter who must straighten up and fly right. I pray for a healing miracle for my Mother, or perhaps some fancy healing retreat would like to adopt and sponsor this out of this world Mother daughter duo. We can document the experience. And we heal the world in the process, shining a light on what healing from the inside out is really all about. My Mother used to be a T.V. Producer for Comcast's Newsmakers and for Lynne Doyle. Comcast did not recognize her "condition" as a disability and so she  has been out of work and her health has been deteriorating as a result. No matter, she can heal her life. She just is having some trouble believing this is true. It happens. But ultimately, thoughts create things and her thoughts are  not so happy these days. She's down in the dumps and is really not loving her lovely lady lumps. 





Clearly we need to collectively press play for The Course in Miracles to be made manifest for this world.  Naturally, I am having trouble getting on with my mission until my Mother is healed. Tis all apart of this heroine's journey. Today she told me I'm sick in the head and need help. So, there's that. Hurt people hurt people. It's her pain body talking. Please, God, send me a miracle for my Mother's healing. She's trapped in victim mode and won't let go. When she heals, she will help so many people who have been through what she has been through. I think she's a shaman for Jesus waiting to happen.




While yoga teachers are tweeting about their gogi berry smoothies, many people in the hood are just trying to get by on a dime. Vitamixers are $600, which is more than Mama's rent. So, you see, there is no reason why the yoga and alternative healing industry, which is filthy rich right now and ripe for a shake down, can't start giving back to people who don't read The New YorkerYoga Journal, don't shop at Whole Foods, don't do arm balance workshops in Costa Rica and don't have extra pesos to by friggin  ToeSox.  And I love me to Kathryn Budig. We went to high school together. Shared the stage. But I'm not thinking about Toesox. I'm thinking about the 67,000 homeless Veterans in this so-called land of the Free, home of the Brave? Where is the heart healing  and Hope for them? It's all upside down. 




To restore balance and a new order to this upside down world, much will have to be destroyed and rebuilt-- mostly our old ways of thinking and relating to each other. This is a new Time where The Divine Feminine is making a fierce comeback all over the world. The changes will happen in the minds and hearts of the people who begin to feel like there is hope, who begin to feel loved, cared for, and uplifted and not cast aside by their country, or their fellow brothers and sisters. What yoga can bring the world is a lightness of being which will foster unity and peace. It can bring heart expansion to the rich to help them feel more Oneness with all of humanity and creation.  But "yoga" must go where "yoga" has yet to travel -- from corporate board rooms to schools to our nations inner cities. "Alternative" Healing should not be a luxury in America reserved for people who can afford to take their healing into their own hands and avoid Western medicine's vicegrips. 


So, as your reading The New Yorker, on the train, on the plane, think for a moment about this idea that we're all Rainbows and nothing even matters really, except kindness, compassion, health, peace, love, happiness, harmony, and hope. And you can't take it with you, folks. There are a lot of big brains and big suits on this planet working over time, chewing on ideas, spitting them out, worrying, scurrying-- for what? Where's everybody going off too so fast? What our Souls are craving is stillness, silence, and a return to Innocence, peace, and purity, and Divine playfulness. It's a terrifying prospect for some as we've been separated from that vibration  for so long. But it's here. Live on Earth. 




What I would like to pitch to the world, out of left field, is something called PROJECT RAINBOW. Now, I researched PROJECT RAINBOW and apparently, according to the Wikkipedias, is "a name given by the CIA to a research project aimed at reducing the radar cross section of the Lockheed U-2 to reduce the chance that it would be detected and tracked by Soviet radars during its overflights of the USSR." Yeah. Whatever that means. 10-4. E.T. Phone home. Ain't gonna study war no more. 


This goaround PROJECT RAINBOW shall be an operation under The Real Deal ( like The New Deal but with  shamans, crystals, reiki, plant medicine, didgeridoos, aromatherapy, vibrational healing and singing bells) which brings spiritual, natural  and holistic heart healing to people all over the world. It is a healing revolution and it really doesn't cost too much. It's mostly just a dissemination of ancient information and sharing of resources, creating healing experiences for people all over the world. And we should be able to empower each other to use what our Souls already intuitively know, but have forgotten because our world has gone mad today and black's white today and day's night today. You know the song. Anything Goes. 

Manalive, if it wasn't for yoga, this brain would never shut off. Yoga citta vritti nerodaha, y'all. That's Sanskrit for, "Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuation of the mental chatter".  How's that workin for you, Dr. Phil? 

Thank you for bearing with a dreamer, a visionary, a friggin genie-ass, a life artist with a somewhat strange ability to work both sides of the camera. Most of these pictures I take of myself, with God, the photographer. I'm just a messenger. A way shower. A Goddess from the past with a message for the Future. Back to the Future? Is this thing on? How many mics, Gaga? Gaga and I both went to Sacred Heart schools.Born to lead, us Sacred Heart girlers. Yay! 


And so, the plan is that I will in fact stop the world and melt with you. Signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours, WORLD. Don't you worry bout a thing. I bow before the King. 

So. Here is my wish list to my heavenly Father, King of the Universe. Ask and ye shall receive. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you,and you, and you, and you. Hands across the water-style. Let's see how miracles work. The big kind. 

The hills are alive! Bang the Gong. I require some provisions, heavenly Father. Here goes nuthin' and everything all at once: 

1) A Holistic Healing retreat out West to adopt me and my Mother and sponsor our shared healing experience, STAT. She needs dry heat, shamans, raw foods, hypnotherapy, and some seriously strong medicine for her seriously strong soul that has been to hell and back. I would like to document and write about her healing, as her story is the story of many single mothers in dire straits. I'd like her healing to be the foundation for  MAMAFIRST.org, a foundation that provides funding for mothers who are in need of holistic spiritual healing from chronic pain, PTSD, depression, co-dependant abusive relationships, cycles of poverty and feelings of powerlessness.

Questions are better than answers. - Wallace Stevens
2) A spiritually minded magnanimous and musical person with a sacred heart for the suffering of humanity who wishes to invest in my ideas, experience,spiritual gifts, vision, power, and creativity for the spiritual healing Mother revolution and re birthing of the Planet. I nominate Tim Westergren. 

3)  An opportunity to teach yoga to Joseph Prince's International ministries

4)  An opportunity to talk with Obama about Project Rainbow, the WORLD Y.O.G.A. Project, Streetyoga.org, and the spiritual solutions to our world's problems. 

5) A spot on The Daily Show as the Yoga Reporter/Existential Correspondent 










OM SHANTI SHANTI OM......
Praise God from whom all Blessings flow.... 
Be Thou my Vision oh Lord of my Heart.. 


Namaste, Bitches. 
You know who you are. 
If you're being a bitch, at least be a bitch for God. 


And the beat goes on..... 


Have your people call my people.
I need some reinforcements,  y'all. 
xo 
Holly Jean Westergren 
(H.West)





Never gonna fall for Modern Love. Get's me to the church on Time... 
        




Yoga & Cheesesteaks, perfect together.





Star Pose in Saint Martin. Zee French side. 


A joke is a very serious thing. - Winston Churchill 


with Mark Whitwell, the yoga Wizard of New Zealand, one of my most beloved teachers
with David Williams. i think he's my yoga dad. 



                                                  Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. 

                                                   I'll meet you there. 

                                                   When the Soul lies down in that grass, 
                                                   the world is too full to talk about. 
                                                   Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
                                                  doesn't make any sense. - Rumi 









Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dispatched by Victory

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, denizens of this Good Earth, citizens of humanity:

Please find me now at Holly Holy Love as I directed you before. My sincere apologies for all the waffling but the journey through the Labyrinth and the Looking Glass, as it were, is often riddled with confusion about who one truly is as well as more than a few distractions, delusions, contusions, and of course, the usual dangers, toils, and snares that are par for the course. The yogis have a mantra that is a quick fix for anyone trying to do the stupid thing of trying to make any sense about who one actually is. It goes: Sat Nam, which mostly means, " Truth is my identity." I've found that mantra solves a lot of existential "tussles with the wallpaper" to quote Nabokov, and other metaphysical monkey-mind meanderings that over-thinkers are prone to having, often in vain and ad naseum. The gospel equivalent to this I think is, " Be still and know that I am God."

Alas, onward and upward. His Truth is marching on. I believe in miracles. I hope you do too. We sure could use one really big one on this upside down world on Fire and just in Time for Christmas. I capitalize Time because I have no sense of it. Now, I have been asking my Father in Heaven to grant us one--- that peace, health, light, love, charity, compassion, grace, mercy, and joy will prevail against the forces of evil. We are at war with God as a human race but I believe Victory has already been won at the Cross, though as someone who has never liked to be fenced in or labeled as this or that, God in his infinite mercy knows this about me and so, likely gave me the Universal languages of yoga, dance, and music (with as side of musical theater absurdity) with which to reach ye of little Faith and those who have beef with Jesus or just don't have a taste for the G word, in general.

In that case, I offer you this Universal Truth: We are One. Rinse, lather, repeat. Let the healing begin. Let the walls come down. Let freedom ring. Or as George Clinton said, " Free your mind, and your ass will follow." Here, here! We want the funk, don't we? I'm quite sure we do. Fa la la la la la la la la.

I shall endeavor to tell you in the coming days in the advent of Christmas about my walk with God which is a story like many who have gone before of salvation, redemption, transformation and amazing grace and as Paul sings, " hope of deliverance from the darkness that surrounds us." It is also the story of the unfolding, in real Time, of the impossible dream and a journey to the East on the Raja yoga path: the royal way. I do indeed have nobility coursing through my veins, though I am by no means a stuffy Queen-- rather just a Queen with a heart for the people. I promise I won't be a drag, Gaga.Thank you for the reminder, I suppose I did have that tendency, what with my nickname in college being " Old English" on account the apparent delight I took translating Beowulf. We've come a long way, baby.

I recently had dinner with a dear friend, Dr. Paul Rockey, who holds some fancy post at the American Medical Association. He told me that were I in England at the moment, they'd likely be grooming me to be the next Lady Diana. And while I appreciated the sentiment, I thought, no, no, thank you very little, that sounds dreadful and I am quite fine just as I am and God will move me on up in glory in His perfect Time. Nice n' easy does it every Time.

I have been given what some may call an impossible dream to dream, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I have gotten by with more than a little help from my friends. And yes, high, though I don't touch the stuff anymore, I do think there is much to be said for the benefits of plant medicine on the healing journey. I have reason to believe and more than sufficient evidence for the tribunal that I'm something of a Cosmic Dancing Queen of the stone age carrying around some serious hope of deliverance and the cure for what ails us in this world gone asunder. What's more: the yogis are coming! The yogis are coming!

I do wish this Christmas that people might experience God as a much more colorful, dancy character than just some big man upstairs--for while he/she is most certainly a God to be feared, he/she is also a God of surprises. As difficult as that is for many of us to welcome in such unbridled joy in these precarious Times, we must. And as my beloved sister in Faith, Megan Livingston says, " We have no idea how hilarious God's jokes are." I think it's important to remember that a divine comedy is always ready to reveal itself to us if we're open to the possibility, the mystery, the magic, and the never ending story . As the song goes, "The Holly and the Ivy, when they are both full grown, of all the Trees that are in the wood, the Holly bears the Crown." Well then. What dreams may come....

I've recently discovered on this epic quest for the holy grail in modern times that ABBA is my Father in Heaven. It is fitting then that I am also Swedish and love the band by the same name and have been known to have dance parties wearing tin foil. Now, from where I'm perched, with my Father's eyes and sunshine as my quest, as grim as things look in many parts of the world, I have every Faith and confidence that the balance shall eventually be restored to this world, that we who are marching in the Light are on indeed on the precipice of ushering in a new culture of light, peace, harmony, health, and healing.

The solutions to our problems are all spiritual in nature and as we continue to resurrect the healing practices and arts of a simpler time, to open our hearts, purify our minds, bodies and spirits, we will see more people experiencing their own salvation and Divinity and being empowered by their own ability to heal from within and with the help of The Creator and Mother Earth. Now, if you don't believe in any God, well, it's not too late to surrender, to offer up your life to something greater than yourself, to let go and let God, to see for yourself that we're all just rainbows waiting to happen, really. And if that language is a little too gay and supernatural for your mind, we'll in that case I'd prescribe some mushroom tea and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-- anything to help you suspend your disbelief. Imagination really does decide almost everything.

We are One. And I'm pretty sure Jesus is in fact about to become a really big superstar. Again.

From heavenly Harmony, this Universal Frame began....

Thy Kingdom Come,

Holly ( a.k.a. Queen of The Fairies)

For the record, the moniker "Queen of the Fairies" was given to me or rather decoded for me by the brilliant girl wonder in the photos named Bridgette, whose mother Kimberly, my best friend and soul sister who I have known since I was 5 years old, is and forever will be, my Fortress.










Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friendly Reminder

If you write for God you will reach many men and bring them joy. If you write for men-- you may make some money and you give someone a little joy and you may make a noise in the world, for a little while. If you write only for yourself you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted you will wish that you were dead. - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Your Shining Skull



Today is All Saint's Day, one of my favorite days to go to church. Tonight there will be full choir and the music of Thomas Luis De Victoria, Bach, and Marcel Dupris at Saint Clement's in Philadelphia, which in my estimation is one of this city's most beautiful churches . My most beloved Saints who I'll be thinking about today are Saint Martin, Patron Saint of alcoholics ( always a good one to have around), Saint Cecelia, Patron Saint of Music, Saint Peter,Saint Paul, Saint Michael, and Saint Andrew. Ok, all of them, really, but the one's I've mentioned have been the heavy hitters in my life today.


My life: it is a beautiful thing to be bridging the divide between secular and non-secular worlds, between the real and the imagined Life, between East and West, black and white and all the colors of the rainbow. Now, I don't know that Rev. Gordon Reid at Saint Clement's would quite know what to make of a blog called Namaste, Bitches. It would take some explaining and I'm not sure its worth his time. Silence is indeed golden. I'll keep that one on the DL for Rev. Reid. He is Welsh and sometimes I think he smells India on me and looks at me rather quizzically at times, unless of course I'm wearing tweed. Perhaps I'll ask him if he'd like to learn the "shining skull breath" one day. We'll see how that goes over. I shall report back.


Well, since you're yogi readers, you know what this "shining skull" business is all about hows about aa quick review. The kapala bhati breath is a way of breathing that the yogis came up with to help purify the mind. It removes cobwebs and debris from the brain. The word comes from the sanskrit, Kapal meaning skull and bhati meaning, "shining or illuminating". It's a short, percussive breath of forced exhalation designed to create more space in the body for more prana, air, life force, chi, oxygen, whatever you want to call it. As a singer, I've also found thatKapala bhati works really well as a vocal warmup as well. Anyway, who doesn't want a shining skull? Just do it.

In the interest of our collective shining skulls, I came across a quote from Joanna Macy, Buddhist scholar, ecologist and founder of no small undertaking of an organization called The Council of All Beings. I find this line of thinking to be particularly potent at his point in Time:


"I believe that we have got to shift our identity out of that little prison cage of ego in order to survive. We have to find new ways to know experientialy our inter-connectedness with all forms of life on this planet. Conventional morality tells us that we should love our neighbor and ought to remember the needy just doesn't work.It's boring and we don't feel it inside ourselves. We need meditations and games an rituals that will give us space to step outside of the human identification we've been wearing for so long."

To my heart, this sentiment is particularly relevant to where things are right now for us planet and as human beings in quest -- we are longing for an older, simpler time where we can be healed by Nature but at the same time we are being pulled into this strange unknown , wired-up, wacked out Future. I pray to God that David Bowie secretly owns the world.

I've put together a little list of books I'm reading that might help increase your shine factor. These are the pages I'm getting lost in at the moment:


Every Living Thing by James Herriot


The Feminine Face of God by Sherry Ruth Anderson


The Invention of Paradise by Peter C. Bener


Uppity Women of the New World by Vicki Leon

Inward Revolution: Bringing About Radical Change in the World by J.Krishnamurti

The Power to Heal:Ancient Arts & Modern Medicine


And on this All Saints Day I will be thinking of you, dear readers, as I sit tonight in the pew (I can never get anyone to come to church with me-- has it truly gone out of fashion?) and sing and kneel and pray for the many miracles this upside down world on Fire needs. STAT, from the Latin, " statum", meaning " at once". Eight years of a dead language always served me well. Speaks Latin, my Satin doll....


Never gonna fall for Modern Love,

Holly















Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meditations on Kimbella: Musings on Smut

The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason. - Benjamin Franklin

It is the eye of other people that ruin us. If I were blind I would want, neither fine clothes, fine houses or fine furniture. - Benjamin Franklin

It is the mind that makes the body. - Sojurner Truth


Today as I was walking home from teaching a yoga class and having a brain storm session about the WORLD Y.O.G.A. project, a boy handed me this postcard:



Such a vibrant invitation indeed to Kimbella's birthday bash, which is purportedly a celebration of "Love & Hip Hop". Now, I know these kinds of things go on in the world, and while I have been accused of being oblivious to the world around me, my friend Josh said to me tonight, " You seem like the kind of person who worries about everything but somehow looks like you're worried about nothing." That was the greatest compliment anyone has paid me in quite some and it couldn't be more true, by some freak of nature. I'm extremely worried about how we are going to uplift humanity as a human race. I am also worried that Kimbella has perhaps never seen The Birth of Venus or listened to The Faure Requiem or read Little Women. I'm also worried that Kimbella does not have any pants.

After the boy handed me this card, I continued my walk and came upon this gargantuan head of Benjamin Franklin, which made the intersection of past, present and future even more bewildering.

Something about this photo got under my skin and so I shot this first photo in what I call, the Meditations on Kimbella series: I don't have any explanation for the origin of this particular expression. It speaks vaguely of a snow leopard lost in the concrete jungle, but mostly I think it's the expression of a being who wishes to raise the wonder higher and is perplexed that a virtually naked well-oiled bottom found its way onto a Birthday invitation. What happened to ponies and rainbows? Birds and butterflies? Unicorns and cupcakes? Fairies and flowers? Balloons and sparkles? Cake and ice cream? Sigh. Kimbella, angel, your not leaving very much to the imagination, gorgeous. We must reignite curiosity and imagination in the hearts of mankind. Haven't you ever seen Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, Kimbella, bella? I think someone needs to make an all black cast version of that movie, by the way. It's Time. Kimbella, you can play the brat who wants her golden ticket and she wants it now.

After that first photo, I sought solace in the company of some trees and tried to capture with my shoddy camera and my go-go gadget arms, some more of what I was feeling about Kimbella, Ben Franklin, The WORLD Y.O.G.A. Project, and William Penn's vision for the City of Brotherly Love as a "holy experiment." I reminded myself, gently, while people stared at me taking pictures of myself that Dr. Martin Luther King said, " Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." This propensity I have to take photos of myself will some day translate nicely into film, though for now, this is where things are. We make the best with what we have at the Time. Anyway, I don't think a photographer would be able to capture these moments as I am able to, mostly because I feel them to be my one-on-one conversations with God and because I'm a strange girl, the kind Robert Smith sings about--- " I think you come from another world", he says, and I smile.

Here is Meditations on Kimbella, No. 2 In this photo, I was praying, "Dear God, please bring Kimbella some cute skirts or pants for her birthday. Also, please allow me to meet Kimbella some day, perhaps have tea and talk about love, hip hop, and birthday parties. Also, God, please speak to Kimbella's heart about how precious her booty is, that it is not for sale and that she is more, so much more, than her body. Amen."

Meditations on Kimbella, No. 3: While I surely appreciate being "invited" to the party, I don't think I'd know what to do with myself, really. I'd feel very overdressed, I'm sure, by virtue of wearing any clothes at all, it seems. Well, after your party, though, Kimbella, I really would like to chat. Have tea? Go for a walk in the park?

Meditations on Kimbella, No. 4: There will always be smut in this world but I wonder if we as women can collectively aim higher, raise the bar and inspire our sisters to do the same. I imagine Kimbella is good at a lot of things outside the bedroom that she'd like the folks at home to know about. I'd just like to meet her for the first time, under different circumstances. Right now, I've only met her rear end. There's something troubling about that to my heart, though I realize the menfolk find that perfectly convenient.If pigs could fly...

Meditations on Kimbella, No. 5.

“Modesty is the conscience of the body.” - Honore de Balzac





Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mr. Forbes, would you make it 108? It would be so great.



Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman. Man had nothing to do with Him! - Sojurner Truth

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true. - Buddha

Better bend than break. - Scottish proverb

Forbes Magazine published the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World list not so long ago. I was sad to see Mother Earth didn't make the cut. Perhaps Gaia is too Earthy for the folks at Forbes-R-Us. I think most of us can agree by now that Mother Earth is taking back Sunday with a royal rise to stardom in this symphony of Life in the key of C: the note that corresponds to the vibrational healing of the Root Chakra. Perhaps so that we can all get on the same page around here Chakra Balancing should become part of Driver's Ed courses. Or maybe the good people of the Earth should be required to know what chakras are and how to balance them before voting. After all, the chakra system is simply a blueprint for healing with which we can learn to balance and manage our spiritual Power. At the very least, it's a fun way of thinking of yourself as a rainbow. And if that's too gay for you, well, that just goes to show you now doesn't it: everybody's gay! In the very English, jovial sense of the word, of course.

The root chakra, the Muladhara, is a red spinning ball of light located at the base of the spine and whether or not you believe in such things, oh ye of little Faith, it's there. Now, say it like Deepak for me now: Muladahara Chakra (Moo-la-dar-ha Chak-ra). This energy center governs our survival needs and instincts, our connection to Mother Earth and to our Tribe.It is the chakra that is, naturally, the most difficult to heal when one is recovering from trauma and abuse. For the menfolk especially these days, this chakra is an important one to activate and understand as it is a gateway to the Divine Feminine, something that most men seem to have a bit of trouble surrendering to. It's just societal conditioning, gentlemen. The rhythm is gonna getcha. "Seeing Red" should now, on this World's Stage, at this point in the evolution of our species, have another connotation for people far and wide: We are One.

The problems we're facing globally are spiritual in nature have only spiritual solutions. There is no problem that is too big for the Creator and miracles happen every day, we just rarely hear about the good news. And because we the people are so divided about who God is and would rather argue about whether or not God exists-- we continue to distance ourselves from the Divine instead of simply uniting and experiencing, viscerally, that we are all One and what this world needs now is love sweet love. Now this might sound too pie in the sky for the powers that Be, but I'm just reporting the facts. Don't shoot the messenger.

G.K. Chesterton said, “ If there were no God, there would be no atheists.”. I realize some people take issue with the word God, which I just find a waste of time at this point. Vell, if you don't like the word “God”, then make up a name for whoever it is you think makes the sun rise and set. Or whoever it is you think is flying this star ship enterprise. The healing this world needs is Divine healing and the prescription for restoring mind, body, and spirit already exists in our DNA. We have everything we need to heal ourselves if we just let go and let God, learn to open our minds and hearts to the suffering of others. Words like charity, pathos, mercy, grace, redemption, compassion, and forgiveness are words that we must all wake up to. It wouldn't hurt either if we could collectively work towards cultivating a daily practice of stillness, mediation, and concentration on breath.

So, Mr. Forbes, Gaia is gettin' after it. We met once, you and I did, Mr. Steve, back when the Gods dressed me up in suits and threw me to the wolves as Press Secretary for Mercer County Executive Bob Prunetti. We threw a fundraiser at Bob's house when you were running against Corzine for New Jersey Governor. These days you'd never catch me near one of those dog n' pony shows unless I had David Bowie in his Labyrinth costume there to protect me or my men in black.
Well, ho hum, here we are, Mr. Forbes. Funny how God turns tables, transforms minds, heals hearts, works miracles on the roller coaster of love- Ohio-players-style. Times they are a changin'.

Mr. Forbes, in the name of Love, light and rainbow brite, I would like to present to you with an Addendum to your 100 Most Powerful Women in the World list bringing this list to 108, which is a most auspicious number indeed. For starters, it's the number of beads on the mala prayer beads. In Ayurvedic medicine and philosophy, it's the number of pressure points on the body where consciousness and flesh intersect to give the life to the living being. It's also the number of suitors who were supposedly courting Penelope in Homer's Oddessy --- that little minx--- and well, if Stonehenge is more your speed, well, that there sculpture is 108 feet in diameter.

I present to you and your readers, eight women of power and influence, but much more importantly, of compassion, which I like to remind myself comes from the Latin, meaning “to suffer with”. These women are fiercely committed to restoring this world of walking wounded to balance, health, and harmony and ushering in a new world of light, love, unity and divine communion with the natural world.

We must stir it up a little, Mr. Forbes, for the people. Shake the Truth right out of them. That's what awakening the Divine within is all about and busting open the heart chakras on the upside down world on Fire. Bunch of liars, posers, and bona fide bullshit artists running this political circus, no? I've swam in those waters. It's almost not their fault -- we have simply forgotten who we are. I'd like to teach Wall Street how to walk on their hands-- maybe then we can empty their pockets. And Lord have mercy, I just found out Donald Trump won't shake people's hands because he's a germaphobe. Now, what's that all about? If I had my druthers, I'd assign him to some community service toilet scrubbing at an ashram in Rishikesh.

I am here, Mr. Forbes, to connect your world of movers and shakers to this network of women who work on the softer side of things--- the yogis, spiritual teachers, healers,tree people, hulahoopers, cosmic dancers, and peaceful warriors. We are a new wave of lovers, dreamers, visionaries, ushering in the heaven on Earth all beings are meant to inhabit. And so, you must not leave us out: we're a very important piece of the bye bye Miss American pie and of the prescription for the healing of this world on speed and in need. We thank you in advance for your interest in our labors of Love, our deep and abiding care for the people most in need in this wiggity wiggity wacked world of sports, Mr. Forbes.A new way of being here now, live on Earth has arrived and is here for the taking – and you can get hip to it or you can stick to the old tricks, kind Sir. But it's here and some fat cats are going to have to pony up around here. Mother Earth can't go on like this and neither can the people or the animals, or the Unicorns for that matter. Yes, the Unicorns. All creatures great and small, the Lord God loves them all. The number 108 is more better, Mr. Forbes.

Here's the lineup. Let me know if you'll consider a follow-up piece to your list. I do believe its Time you hear the Other side.

1)Amma – “The Hugging Saint.” Need I say more? She is a Saint who hugs people. Amma's world-wide charitable missions and humanitarian efforts are fueled by the wisdom in her words that, “ The one word solution to all the problems the world is facing is compassion.” In 2002, Amma was awarded the Gandhi-King award for non-violence. Amma says, “ My sole mission is to love and serve one and all.” Amma has inspired numerous humanitarian activities all over the world including free food and clothing programs, charitable hospitals, hospices, disaster relief programs, medical camps, schools, widows' pension, free legal advice, preservation of nature. The list is long and growing every day. People need to know about Amma.


2)Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D, is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, and an internationally known author and speaker who draws from spiritual, feminist, Jungian, medical and personal wellsprings of experience. She is the author of The Tao of Psychology, Goddesses in Everywoman, Gods in Everyman, Ring of Power, Crossing to Avalon, Close to the Bone, The Millionth Circle, Goddesses in Older Women, Crones Don't Whine and Urgent Message from Mother. She is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, a past board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women and the International Transpersonal Association. She was a recipient of the Institute for Health and Healing's "Pioneers in Art, Science, and the Soul of Healing Award", and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She was in two acclaimed documentaries, the Academy-Award winning anti-nuclear proliferation film Women—For America, For the World, and the Canadian Film Board's Goddess Remembered. She is currently organizing the UN Sponsored 5th Conference on Women. Her most recent book Like A Tree: How Trees, Women, and Tree People Can Save the Planet is just brilliant. I dare Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman to read it and weep.

3)Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD is a writer, Jungian analyst, and trauma specialist. Her work in the 1960s at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Hospital in Hines, Illinois. She worked with WWI, WWI, Korean and Vietnam war soldiers who were living with quadrapalegia, incapacitated by loss of, either/or, both arms and legs. She has worked at other facilities caring for severely injured 'cast-away' children, veterans with PTSD and their families. Her book Women Who Run With Wolves:Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype should be required reading for the menfolk at this point. Dr. Estes work and mission is becoming increasingly important in our healing crisis as she provides tools for healing and recovery for those who have been deeply wounded. I see her leadership as a trauma specialist as an essential piece of the healing equation.

4)
Carolyn Myss – an American medial intuitive and mystic as well as the author of number books including five New York Times Best Sellers: Anatomy of the Spirit, Why People Don't Heal and How They Can, Sacred Contracts, Invisible Acts of Power, and Entering the Castle Her Most Recent book “ Defy Gravity” was published in 2009.As far as I can see, her message and and vision is making some big waves in the medical community. What is most powerful about Ms. Myss' message is her interfaith approach to healing and courage to challenge the dominant patriarchal paradigm. Her work offers an examination of ancient systems of communion with God and practical approaches to self-healing that are accessible even to the most skeptical of skeptics.

5) Marianne Williamson – is a spiritual activist, author, lecturer and founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation, currently before Congress to establish a United States Department of Peace. She is also the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels programs that serves home bound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. Her book A Return To Love should be required reading at this point for legislators. Ms. Williamson is a champion and leader of the recovery movement, the healing journey, and divine partnership.


6) Jill Satterfield is the founder of Vajra Yoga & Meditation, a synthesis of yoga and Buddhism that combines meditation, yoga asanas, visualization and contemplation practices. She is also the Founder and Director of the School for Compassionate Action for Communities in Need, a not-for-profit that trains teachers to offer yoga, meditation, and emotional support to at-risk youth, people suffering from chronic pain and illnesses, PTSD, and addictions. Jill is also on the Advisory Board of The Lineage Project, an effort to bring yoga and meditation practices to at-risk youth in New York City.


7) Robin Downs is certified Hatha Yoga instructor since 1996. She is also an Emmy(R) Award winner for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in News and Documentary" for ABC News magazine show 20/20 (1981). Her roots include East Indian, West Indian and Eurasian by way of the Boogie Down Bronx, New York and was an active participant in the Hip-Hop Generation. Robin’s professional journey from the media arts to the healing arts makes her the perfect guide into today’s rapidly expanding Yoga community. Robin has earned the distinction of being the first African-American female yoga instructor to have a internationally distributed Yoga DVD through Walmart, “Robin Downes’ Yoga Flava™ Volume 1: For Relaxation.” The release of the DVD in 2004 earned her the prestigious Yoga Trailblazer Award from the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers (IABYT) .

8) Holly Westergren – teacher, writer, yogi, artist, mystic, singer, performer, builder of spiritual bridges, dream weaver of the impossible dream. Holly has had a diverse professional background from barn hand to barista to Press Secretary, Editor for the NJ Office of Legislative Services, Public Relations Manager at Comcast, Literacy Instructor at the Center for Literacy in Philadelphia, Communications Consultant for Horizon House and Drexel School of Public Health. Holly attended Princeton High School and received a B.A. in English Literature and art history from Rutgers University. She received her 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training from Vibrant Living Yoga in Bali and additional training from Street Yoga.org, a non-profit working to bring yoga to homeless families and trauma survivors in undeserved communities. She is also working with the WORLD Y.O.G.A. Project to bring yoga to inner city schools in West Philadelphia. Holly's mission is to bring peace, hope, healing, and harmony into a world gone mad using as many mediums as possible. She is working on her book, Holly, Holy, Love about her spiritual journey, the discovery of her African roots in the City of Brotherly love as well as what its like, at the end of the day, to be named after a Neil Diamond song. H.WEST Productions, a creative playground/production company where all kinds of magic and maddness will happen will be up and running in January 2012.