Monday, December 17, 2012

What to do in a Flash Flood

From the Viva Institute "May your soul guide you"
We are not only awaiting a shift that is supposed to occur on 12/21/12, we are already in it. We have been for some time now. I do not believe that this is the end of the world. But instead I look at it as the end of the world as we know it. We are in the midst of an ascension to higher consciousness and cosmic existence. This is exciting! But since we have been living at one level of consciousness and light for some time many of us are experiencing some growing pains. The Universe and our Souls are no longer just letting us live mediocre lives. We are being guided to change and growth. And with this change comes some fight and struggle. People are losing jobs that don't allow them to live up to their higher nature. Relationships that do not serve our highest good are ending. Many people are in life transitions that they are experiencing as painful. Although these situations are challenging, people are also waking up to the beauty of their souls and making changes in their lives to follow what they would refer to as a higher calling. Light is pouring onto this planet and into many of us.

With this shift it is very important, now possibly more than ever, to look inwards. To pray, to meditate, to seek communion with one's True Self. Because this shift is not really a choice. We are all a part of this Universe. And the nature of this Universe is to evolve. What we do get to decide is if our personal change is evolvement and growth or devolvement and degradation. Regardless of what we decide we do not necessarily get to choose what this process looks like. While our participation does have influence, the force of this change is much larger than just us. And we must respect our place in the greater whole.

As humans we like to know what to expect out of things. So not having control over how things evolve can be frightening. Therefore we often do what we can to resist this evolvement. We can sometimes be successful in staving it off for a while. But the Universe wins every time and change occurs. We are brought to a new place in our life for better or for worse.

Imagine a flash flood happening, sweeping away everything in its path. If you were to get swept up in the flood what should you do to fare the best? Should you try to grab on to the passing trees, fences or posts to prevent yourself from getting swept away? Or should you just ride with the current? If you try to hold on you risk the possibility of other flowing objects crashing into you. You also exhaust yourself while fighting the current, making it unlikely that you will hold on for very long. Whereas if you just flow with the river keeping your head afloat, you will conserve energy so that you may avoid obstacles better. Eventually the flow of the river will slow and even stop. It is then that you can swim your way out. You will surely be in a different place than you were before the flood. But you will have your energy to make a life. 

The shift of 2012 is like the flash flood. It is happening. The harder you try to hold on to where you are the more likely you will have occurrences crash into you and leave you pretty beat up. I am not saying that flowing with the current leaves you pristine without any scratches, but it conserves more of your essence. And when the the shift slows down you will not have lost who you are at the core. You will be able to adapt yourself to this new mysterious place.

There are a variety of ways for you to stay afloat as we ascend to a higher dimension and as the Universe takes us for a cosmic journey. Yoga, meditation, art, more rest, spending time in nature are all ways that work for me. They help distinguish between what really matters and what is just busy work or a distraction from the greater change going on. I used to be very task oriented and made lists to achieve multiple duties in a day. Not that lists are bad, but they were disconnecting me from my inner needs. Because my life allows it, now I just get done what needs to get done and anything extra is bonus. I replace my busy work with lounging. I also soak up outside time as much as possible. Being in nature helps me stay in touch with my own true nature. 

Yoga and meditation have a way of helping us clear out the junk thoughts allowing the useful thoughts to remain. They more importantly have a way of bringing us into the present moment helping to diffuse issues that we thought were much bigger than they actually are.

Take a few moments where ever you are to
take care of yourself.
This is me at the Miami airport. 
The worst thing that we can do right now is be out of touch with ourselves. Be aware of the methods that you use to distract yourself from inner work. Spend time each day recognizing your heart, your soul, your true essence. Remember that it is there. Do not allow yourself to become separated from this essence. Without it we are empty. This is when we are an open vehicle for darkness and destruction. Most people that do awful things do not choose to do these awful things at a soul level. What happens is they (unknowingly) left themselves open to be hijacked by evil to do it's bidding. This is not to say that this person is innocent. But their biggest mistake was losing touch with their true essence and giving up their divine connection to God-given power and love. I hope that you recognize that this is the main point of this blog and this discussion. Do not be apathetic. Be a voluntary part of the shift and all of the amazing things that it stands for. 

Nurture yourself, honor yourself, love yourself, and enjoy the journey! Align yourself with the beauty of your soul. Like I said before, we are not awaiting the shift. It is already here. We have been witnessing it for sometime. Now is the time to allow it in our lives. Participate in it so that you may choose the Light. And grow from it. You just might discover some amazing things about yourself if you do. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Throwing Caution to the Wind!

Me skydiving in May 2010
After a two year hiatus I decided to jump out of an airplane again. I had learned how to skydive in May 2010, jumped through the summer and into the fall, then stopped jumping that October. I really enjoyed skydiving and didn't intend to stop, but a few things coincided to keep me out of the air: A lack of gear to use, trying to save money, struggling to put in the time, and concern for how repeated jumping was treating my body (specifically neck and shoulders). I never said I quit skydiving. But as time went on the less likely it felt that I would get back into it. Something about that time off allowed fear to take over as the leading cause for not jumping. Naturally fear plays a role in such a sport and it was always present when I jumped. But as time went on between jumps it started to get the best of me.

One of the things that made me realize fear's grip on me was that it was showing up in other parts of my life. It wasn't just keeping me out of the sky but it reared it's ugly head every time my husband would jump. My husband, a professional skydiver and BASE jumper, was well into these sports when I met him and I thought I was fine with it. But a few months before we married he was on a skydiving trip in Dubai and my fear began to really show up. I guess I hadn't truly processed and examined it yet and now this was game time: we were about to walk down the aisle. It was at that time that I had to decide if I was really cut out to marry an extreme sports athlete. If I freaked out as much as I was then, how would I get through future trips and projects?

Now there is a value to having fear. In fact, many people say it keeps you alert and therefore keeps you alive. But my fear was debilitating me in my own life and making me miserable while watching my husband's life. I was afraid of him being away and doing risky activities. But my other option was letting go of the love of my life. How could I reconcile this? Luckily, I could turn to my dearly respected spiritual counselor and she helped me find the right questions to ask. The first step was to be brutally honest with myself.

My husband, Jhonathan Florez, in Dubai - February 2012

Would I be happier without him and his traveling and risk taking? The thought tormented me as I dealt with feelings of its reality.


Could I live with trip after trip of feeling this fear? Then that is when it happened: Something about acknowledging the "fear" immediately diffused it.

Suddenly I was not simply in fear, but I was recognizing a lapse in my faith. Since I know that we cannot begin to understand when and why life and death occur, I had a choice: Rather than choosing to not live a life that satisfies my soul for fear that it will be taken away, I began to choose to just live in the beauty of the present moment: a moment that is made up of pure love.

This was the beginning of disarming my fear. After our wedding, I made it through a few more of his trips. My husband went to Colombia for 3 weeks and did high altitude skydives, Peru for 10 days of highly technical BASE jumps and lots of jumping in between. Each trip got better. My fear was still present, but my faith allowed me to live and let him live. Rather than being afraid, I became interested. Not necessarily in jumping, but in living. What I saw my husband doing was living a life he loved and staying very true to his inner guidance.

Acrylic on paper shopping bag. 
So my interest in living brought me to write more and paint more. I also began to meditate more. I continued to practice yoga but what I found in my practice was that I had been missing the mark. In yoga, often less is more. While I knew this, I had not applied it to my life. So I began to take less yoga classes and, in turn, practice more yoga. All of this allowed me to tap into uncharted areas of myself and I began to truly hear my inner voice.

One day, this voice urged me to skydive. I was driving home from work with the windows down. The wind blew my hair and it was then that the urge took me over. That evening my husband was doing ground training with a skydiving student and I listened in. I told my him about my desire and decided if the urge continued for a few days I would consider jumping again.

Five days passed... did the desire remain? 
I started my day with a nice breakfast and fresh juice. I meditated and spent time with Divine Spirit. I then prayed and asked Divine Spirit if skydiving that day would serve my highest good. The answer was "yes". I then heard another familiar voice. This was the voice I had listened to for the past two years. Hearing it in such close proximity to the Divine Spirit was rather revealing. They sounded so different! One pure and peaceful. The other pushy and excitable. One rooted in the divinity. The other rooted in the mind. I felt so blessed in this moment, because distinguishing between the two voices was previously a challenge for me. But in this circumstance it was clear. While knowing the difference comes natural to some, it takes practice for others. It took practice for me. And I am so grateful for that practice. It only made me more confident in my decision to jump.

After my morning meditation I drove to the dropzone. My incredibly patient husband went through some jumping and landing procedures with me then a final gear check. He told me to manifest when I was ready. Yes, that is what it is called: when you want up get on a skydive load you go to an area (like a check in desk) called "Manifest".  This is where you give them a ticket and they tell you what plane you are on. So moments later, I grabbed our tickets and manifested into a purer version of myself. No longer paralyzed by fear. Ready to throw caution to the wind!

The whole ride up was beautiful. I hadn't felt that close to God in a while. So faithful. So loved. So alive. No longer numbed by fear, but open to it. The jump went perfect. My landing was smoother than it ever was two years prior. I have jumped a few more times since. I maintain that my goal is not the jump. My goal is to know myself and to know God. For me, at least right now, jumping is a part of that.

Watch my first two jumps back below!

Video taken by my husband Jhonathan Florez - September 7, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Your Time and Your Life Are Never Wasted

We all know that change is inevitable. But the way people deal with it varies quite a bit. Sometimes people jump in to change with both feet. Other times they don't. Instead they might resist or even get frightened by the new opportunity. One of the big reasons people resist growth and change in their life is that they are afraid to face the fact that they spent so much time holding themselves back up until this point.

Growth and personal evolution show up in many forms in a person's life: quitting a job, losing weight, getting out of a relationship, pursuing a new hobby, moving, traveling... the list goes on and on. When someone experiences change on the inside they begin to feel the urge to make changes on the outside. This inner growth spurs an external result.  Sometimes even when the person does not sense the internal shifts, their soul is beckoning a change and the changes show up in their life without their conscious permission. They might lose their job, begin a new relationship, get pregnant... again the list is endless. Whether it is consciously or unconsciously, our inner life creates our outer experiences. 

When someone puts off making a big change in their life the longer they wait to actually make the change the harder it is to do. They start to look at each missed opportunity as an assault on their worthiness and/or their ability. Also, the longer they wait the more they may start to feel a sense that they have wasted time and wasted part of their life. But the truth is, time and life are never wasted. Things happen just as they should. Even if you spent most of you life denying the voice of your True Self and are left to feel unfulfilled, or even if you are in the last years of your life before you discover your true passions and for the first time feel like you are truly living- nothing about your life was wasted. This was the time frame you and your soul worked out. There are people that may never think they were successful but they leave a breadth of work and a legacy that is from their soul. Would you say their life was wasted?
Do not let your fear that you have held yourself back for too long get in the way of your opportunity to make changes now. Live a life you want to live now. Get healthy now. Explore now. Love now. 

Through the perspective of your soul, none of your time was wasted. Your mind may never understand that. So stop waiting for it to understand.

Your soul (without the help of your mind) will make the most of any and every opportunity you give it: every heartache, every failure, every lazy day, every celebration. Your soul is the premier optimist and opportunist. In everything you do and everything you experience there is a lesson, a blessing or an opening for growth. Your first step is to simply start believing that. And even if you don't believe it right away, just be open to the message, be open to the possibility...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rejoice in the Success of Your Neighbor

There is an unspoken, but extremely common desire among humans. This desire is for other people to not be successful. When we talk about success here, the type of success in question may vary from person to person. For instance, while one person wishes others to not be successful in money another might wish others won't find success in love, career, hobbies, etc. This desire is more of an impulse and it is often very subtle. The offender may not even be able to recognize their offense. But this does not stop the fact that as humans we do not sincerely rejoice in the success of others nearly enough. Unless of course, we have already enjoyed a comparable success ourselves. 

(A Lott 2 Be Thankful 4)
"Why is this?" you might ask... It boils down to believing in two basic lies: inadequacy and limitation. Both of which are perceived boundaries keeping us away from achieving joy and success ourselves. 
Inadequacy- When someone else's triumph brings up our own sense of inadequacy or insecurities it is too painful for some of us to address. Instead these feelings get internalized and show up as us having an aversion to the successful person's joy. In more extreme cases the insecurity shows up as envy or jealousy.
Limitation- When one believes in limitation they might fall victim to thoughts such as, "if they are successful then that leaves less of the pie for me."  This belief is only present when the truth of abundance is not understood or the understanding is not fully developed.
We live in an abundant world. Rather than flowing with and recognizing one's own role in the infinite nature of the Universe, the prisoner of limitation and inadequacy succumbs to feelings of lack and separation. These feelings never feel good so why would anyone waste their life engaging with them? Unfortunately once a person gets into the pattern of feeling lack and separation they often get stuck. The walls of limitation build up around them, trap them and strengthen the separation. 

So how to get out? Do not let your feelings of lack take over! It takes a conscious effort and choice to rejoice in the bounty of another. Even if this bounty does not have your name on it, you can experience the joy of knowing it. Perhaps you get to enjoy it via your friend. Or perhaps you just witness their joy in it. Either way open yourself up. Remove the invisible blocks of isolation. Make yourself available to the loving, joyful, bountiful energy that is the creative force for all of your soul's desires.

(McCurry's Corner)
This subject is especially important now because we are in a time of great dissension and surrounded by polarization on the many stages of life. When you feel the polarization it is more important than ever to be conscious of where your energy is going. As the human race we benefit from working towards unity. As individuals we cannot force the rest of mankind to get with the program, but we can be aware of how our actions are creating unity or polarization. Rejoicing in the joy of our fellow humans (whether we have a close relationship with them or not) is one simple and fun step in bridging the gap between us. 

Even when we do not understand their joy, even when we would not have picked their lot, we shall pay attention to the sincere feelings evoked. Do not get caught up in the details, but rather get in line with the energy.


On the comment section below share an experience you have had where you of lived vicariously and joyfully through someone around you. How did this affect your quality of life?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Now offering Embodying You: Personalized Healing Sessions

I am happy to announce that I am now offering energy and spiritual healing services. I call it Embodying You: Personalized Healing Sessions. The name comes from the understanding that we are all embodiments of our own soul, and our soul is who/what we really are. It is derived from the name of this blog because "Embodying Me" is just one of the ways I explore and express my own soul. With that same energy "Embodying You" sessions are designed to assist you in getting in touch with the truth of your soul so that you may express it and live it.


Amidst our fast-paced, technology and business driven society, it is easy to get disconnected from who we really are at a soul level. This disconnect is the main source of suffering for most people.  

My goal is to assist each individual in getting in touch with their True Divine Self so that they may discover that they hold the keys to their own self healing. Yoga, Reiki, and spiritual counseling are used in combined effort to close this disconnect and to reveal any sources of suffering so that they may be re-examined and used for personal growth and soul evolvement.  

Make your appointment today.
Starting Rate: $50 for 1 hour session

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Self-Realization: How Your Physical Practice Helps You to Get There

This next blog was inspired by my hatha yoga practice. It was originally intended for my yoga students at Bikram Yoga Stockton as many of them make their way to the end of a 60 Day Yoga Challenge. However, I do believe these words can be applied to a broader audience. Yoga and meditation are not limited to a yoga mat. 

"You have the rest of your life to improve these postures." There is no ending point until you die. So this means, for all the time you have left on Earth, you get to practice your yoga postures. And even at the end, there is no proficiency test to make sure you mastered them. So now is not the time to rush your physical progression.

Now is the time, however, to get right with yourself. Now is the time to see yourself honestly. In your yoga class this honesty starts with questions like "Can I be still? Can I breathe deeper? Am I trying my best?" That is not where it ends, though. Those are just some of the questions that you have to ask to get to the real questions. They are the questions that begin to teach you how to be in the present moment. Aside from life or death situations, it is very common for us to avoid inhabiting the moment we are in. Your hatha yoga practice (physical practice of yoga) is only an aspect of your journey. It is not the end. It is but a means to an end. The end being self-realization and union with the god inside of you.
"Way to Success" blog 
Each day you step on your mat and practice these postures. But that is only what it looks like on the outside. What is really going on is much more powerful and important. Because let's face it, having a magnificent balancing stick is only going to get you so far in life. It may get you some praise, some medical benefit and a tight butt, but how much more will the posture itself achieve? Is is going to feed starving children? Is it going to entertain the elderly? Is it going to mend relationships? No. Having a beautiful posture can only inspire so much. However, the skills and awareness that you develop while practicing your posture CAN change the world, make it a better place and make you a better citizen. So do not limit your practice, but instead take it with a childlike enthusiasm and openness. Practice with the understanding that you hold your life in the palm of your hand.

Through your practice you can develop the skills to recognize the most minute intricacies about yourself. The journey that started with questions like "Can I be still? Can I breathe deeper? Am I trying my best?" may evolve to questions like "Are my hobbies serving my highest good? Am I living authentically and living up to my life's purpose? Are my actions motivated by fear or love?" The second set of questions are a bit heavier, I know, and chances are the answers won't come flying back to you just yet. But maybe someday you will be able to answer these questions honestly. I say "maybe someday" because let's be real... much of society is not even capable of ASKING these questions from a pure place let alone getting honest answers. But we all start somewhere, right? So when is the time for you to start? I'd say now. All you can do is do your best within your current circumstances, current knowledge base and current skill set.

Allow your own evolution. Practice your yoga on the mat so that you may embody it off the mat. Remember, you are an infinite being within a body. Let that body help you connect with your soul, your god. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

"June 1st"

Below is a poem I wrote when sitting on my balcony enjoying the beautiful day. I began by simply documenting what was going on- what I heard and what I saw. I figured it was just an exercise for me to get in the present moment. By the time I finished, I realized this exercise held a greater meaning.

Constant blow of our air conditioning,
distant bounce of a basketball,
periodic chirping of birds.

A car door slams-
    two car doors.
There is a subtle ruffle of leaves,
     the breeze is mild today.
The car door slams again. An engine starts.
Now there are voices- young voices.
    A friend must have joined the solo dribbler.

Most of the grass is covered in shade now,
the trees are casting long shadows.
Now is the primetime for mosquitoes,
     they swarm everywhere, though you can only see them
     when the sunlight shines on their fluttering wings.
The downstairs neighbor just came out to his patio.
He sprays mosquito repellent before taking his dog for a walk.
The spray smells like camping as a child, when my mom would spray me
     before I explored the wilderness of the KOA campground.

Kinda creepy those things are---
They get ya when the weather is nice and you
    don't have a care in the world. When temperatures call for at most
    a light sweater.
They latch on and suck the salty blood only to leave an irritating bump.
Well, that's if you're lucky--
    Mini vampires.
I sit here repellent-less-- open to attack.
   Now that I acknowledge it,
it sounds irresponsible to remain vulnerable to be sucked dry like that.

We owe it to ourselves to protect and honor our greatest treasures: our spirits, bodies and hearts.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Listen and Get Real - Sometimes it's not what you expected

Last week I shared a few simple techniques for you to get in touch with your True Self. This week we will talk briefly about what comes next... 

Q: What is the next step? 
A: To GET REAL with yourself! 

If you take the time to reconnect with your True Self you are most likely interested in what it is saying. So the next step, and often the tricky part, is to LISTEN. The thing is, when your True Self speaks there is a piece that resonates immediately regardless of how far you have drifted away from it. Sometimes the things you hear bring up difficult emotions. It is helpful to know how to respond to these emotions. 

Note the difference: RESPOND not REACT. 
  • Reacting looks like fleeing the scene, fighting and/or discrediting, or choosing to ignore the information you have been given because it is uncomfortable. 
  • While on the outside, responding appears much more subtle. Responding often means actually “doing” nothing at all but sitting with your new information. You will probably think about it and question it’s truth. Then you will allow yourself the opportunity to succumb to it so that you may embrace it. 

Only when you accept the True Self can it flourish in your life. And often flourishing looks NOTHING like you would have expected or planned for your self. But I can tell you, that when you live from your True Self, you do not suffer. This is because the True Self is your direct connection to the source of All That Is, God, The Mother, the Universal Highest Power (all different names for the same entity). And this entity can only serve the highest good of All That Is; which includes every human, every animal, every plant, every molecule. So when you begin living with the guidance of this highest power (this power that you harbor within yourself) your life will have purpose, joy, and fulfillment. You will notice an element of ease even on the hardest day. 

This is not to say that you will not struggle and you will not encounter challenges. But the suffering will fade as you start living in the faith of your True Self and in accordance with the good of All That Is. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

You are safe to be your True Self NOW - 3 simple ways to get started

Who are you to not be who you are? Why do you think you are here in the first place?
Most of us spend a good amount of time in our lives trying to figure out who we are. We try different activities, we explore different hobbies and we wait for something to grab us. So, what if it doesn't?

"Safe" by Kaci Florez
acrylic on canvas
We then often unconsciously revert to a more subtle way of finding who we are: we look to others to try to find it. How does this person treat me? What do they say about me? What are their expectations of me? And from here we begin to mold ourselves into the perception others have of us. Soon this becomes the most familiar way. So how can you know if it is not real? How do you know if this persona is, in fact, not the True expression of who you really are?

Well one way to know is if you are still living with a sense of suffering within your own life. Are you discontent, do you feel resentment, do you feel helpless, do you lack joy? What you are actually doing and what it looks like are not the point. How you fit into what you are actually doing is the point. Meaning, a completely self-realized human being might be scrubbing toilets for a living and be joyful and grateful for their life while a completely lost soul might be living in an oceanfront mansion and be ridden with anger, pain, greed and jealousy. Your circumstances do not determine your True Self.

In order to find out who you really are, here are a couple simple solutions and tactics:

1.  Give yourself some quiet time
Turn off the computer. Turn off the television. Set the phone down (no texting!). Turn off your mind! (Or at least don’t engage with it.) Go to a place where you can be alone and just be quiet. In this place where no electronics are present, the biggest challenge to finding peace is probably your mind. It is common that your mind is the loudest of all these devices So how do you quiet it? Or at least get past the hoards or information it is giving you? Here are 3 suggestions. You pick the one that resonates with you:
  1. Think only of your breathe. Think of the inhales or exhales as they are happening.
  2. Pick a chant or affirmation to repeat over and over. (ex. "I feel love and am loved" or "I am safe and at peace")
  3. Ommmmm. Say long deep “om”s over and over. Feel how they create a vibration in your body. Pay attention to how they feel on your lips. Just be there with your “Om".

In your quiet time consider setting an alarm so you don’t have to think about how long you have been there. If you are on a schedule, the alarm will help you be in the present moment rather worrying about missing your next appointment. When you are new, 5 minutes may feel like more than enough time. As your ability to sit still and quiet lengthens, give yourself more time in this place

2.   Move your body freely 
Dance, run, go for a brisk walk, swim. While all of these can be very choreographed or technique oriented, I recommend giving yourself the space to do them freely. Instead of worrying about how “good” you are doing or how fast you are going, think about the movements. Get in touch with your body and how it feels. Movement helps to unlock some beautiful feelings of freedom and joy.

3.   Give yourself a "Me Day”
This means you will only do things you WANT to do. You will not do anything that does not feel good. If you have a family or people depending on you I suggest picking a day that you can put all responsibilities off on someone else such as a spouse or coworker. The day of a big pitch at work is not the day to do this. Neither is your son’s birthday. I find “Me Days" to be best when done alone. This way I am not concerned that I have picked the wrong restaurant or the wrong movie. I am not worried that I am boring anyone if all I want to do is sleep all day.

When you give yourself the opportunity to do what you want, you begin to see the gap between who you are and who you are trying to be. 

To give you some perspective on how this may affect/improve your life: Observe the people you surround yourself with and you will probably see 2 different types: There are the people who find themselves caught in the same painful cycles of uncertainty or discontent over and over. And there are the people who are flowing through life’s ups and downs while growing and evolving in the process. (There actually is a third group of people who bounce between these two groups for a while before picking one). The difference between the two main groups can be found in their comfort level with practicing the three exercises above. At first it is normal for quiet time, getting in touch with your body and having a "Me Day"to be uncomfortable and even painful (hence the middle group). But with practice comes ability and then comes grace.  

If we are ever going to find out who we truly are, Step One is to START listening to the Truth within.