You're not bad, you're a badass!

"May all that is unloved in you blossom into a future graced with love." ~John O'Donohue

Sometimes the light, the love, the loss is just too much to bear for one human mind and body. This is in part why we heartbreakingly see yoga and meditation teachers ending their lives. (That is a whole other topic I am not addressing in this post but I will write more on that later.) It's said that when we bear the unbearable (and make it out alive) we learn true compassion.

When we sit inside the fire and live through the burn that we actually become compassion itself. When that pain is emotional and related to not just what we're going through in the moment but something we experienced in the past, it can feel like we're drowning. (And then totally fine 5 minutes later.) 

When there is no one left to blame or rage at there is nothing left to do but feel it and own that it's never really about them. That ultimately it's not even about what it's about.  We realize that it's up to us to pick up the pieces and step forward, into more love, into something that will help us. We are learning self acceptance and the type of forgiveness Jesus and Mary were all about. 

I have felt this wild compassion in my body and heart. I've watched myself as I didn't think I could be of service to anyone cry with other women and be with them deeply in hard moments, while we both starved for the Grace I knew deep down existed because I've experienced her arrow plunge into my heart. (My heart has been breaking and blossoming ever since.)

To be with one another, not as someone who even knew more, just with the awareness that because we were humans connecting from the heart that we belonged. Choosing to stay in our bodies and on this earth as humans. And as a powerful divine energy that desired to experience itself.

That together we were safe after so many years of having doors closed on our tears. In a moment of what my wise friend Heidi Robbins calls ... uncommonly low. A place so many of us are afraid to meet one another in when the truth is that this is one of the best places for us to connect.  Or at least the most satisfying to the soul, nourishing for the heart and transformative for our lives. 

I've wailed with the trees alone, vulnerable pushed to the edge of surrender. The positive side is this uplifted experience of wisdom and self trust that comes from being brave enough to make hard decisions and live through the pain of them. 

But if I'm honest something else I've gathered from these experiences is that I was bad. That I didn't and don't deserve love and happiness like everyone else, because I'm different and someone who goes to depths of the darkness and emerges with a deeper trust and faith. Or at least a stronger knowing of who I am, separate from what others think and say. 

 But still the old "you're bad" loves to show up for some of this sweet tea I'm sipping on. 

What grown ass woman walks around thinking she's "bad"? Well I do. And I sit with women in a circle of fire, inside tear-filled eyes who think they are, even if it's buried underneath generations of blame, shame, and self-abuse.

So I'm curious. Where did we pick this "being bad" up from? 

When did we decide that we don't deserve love and happiness because we have made mistakes? Who taught us that identifying with our mistakes is more valid than identifying with the good that we do?

Marianne Williamson speaks about how there is no way God is some condemning, almighty being who will punish us with every chance he gets. She shares how, as humans, when we make mistakes, we punish ourselves and cause ourselves immense suffering as a way to deal with the pain. So why would God need to do this for us? Why would God need to be anything other than unconditionally loving to us in those moments? 

I've followed my heart, I've failed miserably, have been humbled and humiliated by death and debt, and have burned to the ground and risen from the ashes. And yet this subtle taste of bad in my mouth still remains. The hungry wolf inside that feeds only on toxic communication and a shoving away when I want to be closer must also be loved in this journey. Must also be expressed somehow and find a place to belong. 

Am I bad because my dad lived only by his rules and the conditioning of addiction? Am I bad because I've fallen in love so easily, and then don't feel anything at all? What is it that makes us good, anyway? And who decides what that means? There is a way that takes us into the authentic place where we connect our goodness so deeply that the layers of self hate and judgment start to melt off our heart.

The heart. That's it.

As humans we make mistakes, big and small, and through these experiences, we learn how to forgive. How to love the parts in us that don't know they're worthy of love, no matter what.

We are loving up the bad and unleashing the badass.

This process takes time, and lots of watching ourselves do the same painful thing over and over again—until we don't. Our badass-ness comes from a heart that is innately good. It is one of the main principles in yoga—you are good. Which doesn't mean you're supposed to act it all the time, or not make amends when they are due, or even believe it all the time. But goodness is our home base, This is the place inside where we turn in order to remember what is true. Where we sense what we are meant to be doing. That space past what we've been told, or what those around us are tugging at us to do.

This is your heart. And she is a badass determined to love and spread her brilliant light no matter what trials and tribulations come her way. This is what she was made for. She was made to break open, and stay open. 

As the late and great Leonard Cohen suggests...
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

In a world gone mad, you are not the bad that you see. You are the one that can forgive, that can reach out for help when you need it. You are the one who learns courage through terror and and bravery through practicing being bold.

Love is who you are. This doesn't exempt you from pain. Sometimes you will hurt others and sometimes they will hurt you. The ego is meant to be broken, let go, and embraced with a big hug. But the Spirit is not meant to be punished or beat down. The world often conflates these two actions, so we must step up and support our Spirit.  We must hold it and build it up.  Share the part of us that will never die.  

We are a tribe of holy lovers, loving up the "bad" and unleashing the badass.

Please join us this fall for the Power of Love training at Yogala Studios. We will support one another in this process, have a ton of fun and get you the practice you need to lead other with confidence and authenticity. Reach out with any questions and go to www.yogalastudios.com for more info and to sign up. Would be an honor to have your wisdom with us! 

Adriana RizzoloComment
I don't need a man — I need a mountain
Ph || Julia Corbett

Ph || Julia Corbett

"The best news is, we die into Love." —Mirabai Starr

 

(abortion trigger warning💞)

I don't need a  man, I need a mountain. 

In the beginning, the energy of mama Earth upsurged my legs and into my womb and I began to weep like a lost child that had found her mother again. After all we are children of the Earth.

On this past mothers day I was full of loss and grief for all things feminine I've experienced up until now. An uprising old grief for a sister I had betrayed and lost, for all the women and children that have experienced loss, and for the baby I decided not to have 5 years ago. 

At the time of my pregnancy I visited her in meditations and her angels. The angels laughed as I cried about not knowing whether to have this baby at such an inconvenient time in my life with a man who didn't really want one. They laughed and I cried. They do that a lot. 

A few years later I took a seat in a bright pink goddess temple in India and had an arrow of awakened feminine energy shoot straight through my heart and blown my mind tiny into a million light filled pieces, leaving me extremely tender and full of loves power to heal. I saw a million angels in visions, I felt the energy of Ganesh erupt through my roots chakra and every desire I ever had for a baby or a man got swallowed up by her all consuming liberated love. I was free. (for a minute)

 I made a vow to share this Divine Feminine loving compassion with as many people as I could. I became infected with the light of the goddess and my body merged in the brightest ecstatic oneness as I sat on top of this golden mountain. The same light that blinded me, those same angels that visited just a few years before while I was in pain moments after having that peanut sized fetus sucked from my womb.

After I got shot with the arrow of love, I lost my god damn mind. That insanity moved me across the country to a place called Topanga, California. I moved there after one short visit when I felt the shakti in my womb tell me it was were I needed to be and bc it reminded me of rural India, even though I knew no one that lived there.

It was there for 9 months I suffered and let go of every once of belief I had in god, in the goddess, in anyone in my life and in myself. I fell into a deep and dark depression. I felt that insanity and the feelings of wanting to die that had been passed down through generations of addiction and dependence. I had visions of my grandmothers screaming, of being a mountain man in a past life, and of carrying people through the transition from death to the afterlife. 

It was there I sang and I danced and swam and connected to not only the feminine flow that was holding me but the power of a mountain, the steadiness of the masculine in me that began to emerge. I would let go so deeply into being held in the ocean in moments it was if I had I died. I would come back into my body terrified of how long I'd been out and if I had drifted all the way out to sea. The cycles of birth, life, death, rebirth is part of what being a yogini is all about. Facing into the terror and the disbeliefs and embracing every ounce of good we can find. Going into the depths and emerging triumphant.

This is the Sheros journey. 

As one of my teachers Mirabai Starr says ... it hurts to be present to the observations of the world we live in. More than worrying about other people or our own "bad energy", with each others support we can learn to embrace and hold it all. To remind each other that beauty and power is in our strength, our laughter, and the ways that we care for one another. That when things arise we can reach out for support, and use the journey of healing to keep growing, evolving and knowing our wholeness.

We can be the ones to create change even in the tiniest ways within, that we don't have to live according the way as society tells us. This is how we show up to create change in the ways that are important and unique to us.

No matter what we will all die (luckily into Love) and there is no meme that can help us in those moments, only love and support from warm bodies. The wisdom, the connection to the natural world that is so inherent and ready to hold us in any moment. This is what I am most interested in cultivating in myself and connecting to in others. Rising up in ourselves and together in grief, in rage and in ecstatic, wild love.

We can truly follow our hearts, even thought it's hard sometimes it's also super fun! To live with more consciousness for the Earth and the other, with more kindness, love and gratitude, to come together in prayer, ritual, song and dance. I wouldn't trade once once of pain I've been through for the connection to unconditional love and joy that had come as a result. I try not to live with regret, but if I could go back there are some things I would have done differently for sure.

The reward is living while we're still here and not dying inside some fantasy of the way we thought things should be. And yet this is the journey, right? Again and again we wake up into more Truth. Into listening to ourselves more deeply. Trying to wrap our bodies, hearts and minds around the great beautiful Mystery that is.

I don't need a man like I was raised to believe, but that I want one. To enjoy and share the fullness, the juiciness of life with. To take me into further healing and love that I can only reach in relationship. Enjoying the moments of solitude and the bodies yearning to be touched by another with love after so long of waiting.

After working so hard on not "needing" romantic love, it's nice to take a moment and also acknowledge the deeper need of relating. We all NEED love, that's why we do the things we do. How beautiful is that?! 

My body needed to feel what it was like to be sexy on my own. How to masturbate as a grown woman and enjoy my body and heart in solitude. But we all have different and unique journeys. We all have such beautiful unique paths to walk and that is where the medicine we get to share with one another is made. 

The Divine Feminine is a part of us all, and is powerfully loving. She is what we know deep down inside. She will help us live more fully if we ask for help and support, guidance along the way. If we become committed and devoted to becoming her, she will pour through our eyes and into the eyes and hearts of everyone we see and feel. She will liberate our bodies from harm and suffering, and she will help us to remember what we forget. 

I wonder if we have to know what it feels like to want to die in order to really live. I get so frustrated and sad that to many God is still imagined to be a man. I am grateful to explore more my relationship to the Goddess, to God in all forms in humans and the natural world alike. All are mirrors, every oozing opening of nectar and all the clenches of horror.  All One Love.

As conscious beings we open our hearts to the sacred She because it is her who has birthed God, who has birthed us, and it is her womb in which we will return.

Inside steadiness and completely wild my heart is held. I've lost myself, made sacrifices and pray to keep daring to know the greatness that lives within each of our divinely feminine and beautific hearts. I am a mountain man, I am a wild animal and I am a powerful woman.

Join us for a daylong exploration of the Divine Feminine in all beings in the desert Saturday May 20th! Email mindy@yogalastudios.com for details and to sign up — only two spots left!

Ten Years of Grief + Beauty

 

 

I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it’s not pretty,
every day,
and if you can source your own life
from its presence.
— Oriah Mountain Dreamer

This is a love note for anyone who is grieving and still somehow walking and for all the little ones in us that just want to be loved. You are not alone. 

Today is my 35th birthday and a New Moon! Wow I feel very grateful to be alive, super tender, open and loved in this moment. I'm realizing lately that being loved and "getting what we want" also brings up fear, pain and grief.  I haven't felt much yet that hasn't brought these things up. I'm curious why they feel so unacceptable for most of us to face or see in another?  I've found it extremely helpful to continue to learn to be loved, seen and felt my myself and others in all states of being. Especially the shadows. Just like many of you, with my work I radically affirm our shadows and love the shit out of them. I have great friends and teachers in my life who help me do the same. No one ever tells you how helpful it can be to hide under the covers and cry.

No matter what if we're committed to a path we become more us, in every way.  I'm interested this year in exploring the uncontrollable YES and how we can use practicing seeing beauty from the souls eye to keep growing, healing and serving with ease, abundance and more love and kindness.

Ten years ago on this day I buried my father, who also happened to be a good friend of mine, Pete in a cemetary in New Jersey. There is a lot I could write about him and his death, how much I loved him and his struggles with addiction. The feeling I'm uncovering today that I want to share is one of recovering from traumatic experiences and discovering who we really are through the process. I'm learning that not every ending in life is that same as that was. For me any bit of letting go can (and has/does) triggers my abandonment. We are asked to face death all the time if we're awake. It's intense but there are also many versions of it that not all the same, and so much beauty and depth gained. 

As I take a deeper breath into my heart I feel a little tight knot next to a world of what could be a whole planet devoted to unconditional love and kindness. I don't quite understand how I came to feel so much after so many years of being numb. Maybe it was all those trips to India, maybe spending time with the grandfather of grief and love Ram Dass. In truth it doesn't matter but what does is that I can feel the way the birds are singing outside my window deep in my body and soul. I know that beauty is something so deeply innate in all of us. I know beauty is our birthright.

I've heard that peacocks eat thorns and the iridescent colors of her feather are born from such a meal. As much as I resist them, I know that the thorns we swallow in life make us brighter, clearer and more beautiful form the inside out. After all we're here to transform the darkness into the light. As Ram Dass says... "we are all just walking each other home."

When I listen to a room full of people singing together I know I am home. When I sit in silence focusing on the Love inside and following her guidance no matter how hard or impossible it may seem, I feel that we are truly Divine beings made of many things but at the core we are light. And some mornings I become filled from bones to skin with a grief so heavy the only thing to do is hide under the covers and cry. 

Most people don't mention this as a very effective method of processing human emotions, but in case you we're wondering, it is. I would suggest doing it on the phone with a good friend or a healer simply because it is always good for that part of us to know that we are not alone.  But wanting to hide inside hard emotions is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world if you ask me. 

After all beauty is our birthright.

To accept oneself, or our challenges in life isn't done in one swoop and we're done. It is a daily chore, like brushing our teeth with a little more softness, kindness. Confidence is a deep wisdom that comes from hating everything we are, where we've come from. It comes from being angry at others who have said things and done things that hurt us.

Acceptance comes from feeling the pain of our mistakes and still living. Letting go of resentments isn't something I learned in school growing up, but all these years of writing and burning, releasing myself from judgement again and again proves to be a life of the body and spirit.

Over the years of my studies, some of which are based in tantric traditions, I have had very unique experiences when it comes to my body. I have felt grief pain so deep that made me scream bloody murder in the shower and I have felt my whole body light up in expansive soul empowered bodygasms that woke me up to the ecstasy of all things in existence. 

After all , beauty is our birthright.

Deep disconnect with intention can lead to greater and more authentic connection. I have felt my heart touched by the presence of another's so deeply I cannot deny love is real for too long anymore. I believe this became available to me because of the deep feelings of unloved and disconnections that I have sat inside and in moments revisit.  

I had an orgasm the other day in my solar plexus for the first time. There used to be a tightness in my belly, in my solar plexus. Over the years of drawing my power back from external situations and recognizing the big sun that lives here, she began to soften in me. And a few days ago, we had a celebration.

After all, beauty is our birthright.

I didn't exactly understand beauty growing up in New Jersey. I wore colored contacts and tried to alter my appearance is any way I could. Not to say this is wrong or bad. In my experience I saw women in strip clubs and knew they were beautiful, but was confused how to find my own when I had been taught to see it in others. An in maybe not the highest vibe places on top of that. 

After all, beauty is our birthright.

When I see an elder woman, a grandmother I get so filled with excitement and curiosity. I am immediately drawn to get close to her wisdom and her courage and I just want to shout ... "Holy shit!!! How did you do it?! How did you make it? HOW did you stay here that long?! Please tell me everything you've seen and learned." Through my inner journey exploration, I have been trained to see the wisdom inside our bodies before I see what is happening on the skin. 

After all beauty is our birthright!

The rivers keep flowing, the moon pulls us and the oceans and the birds try to catch our attention with their really loud songs we still seem to miss. The sun never ceases to shop sharing her light and the mountains and trees stand tall as we crumble, stumble and fall. We have so much to learn from her, our great mother and from the ways she lives in our own hearts and bodies.

She has taught me that my power is soft, that my wild feminine nature is a force that can create and uplift and inspire. That can feel the darkness and be willing to surrender. That I am just a girl that wants to be loved when it comes down to it. That my power is freedom and creativity. That our power is beauty.

After all, beauty is our birthright.

 

Join me this Saturday in Uncovering the Voice Within Workshop at Maha Rose in Brookyln and Sunday in New Jersey at Powerflow Yoga. Kirtan in LA May 5th at Yogala Studios and May 13th at Roam. Let's do this life/love thang! <3

PH|| MELODEE SOLOMAN

PH|| MELODEE SOLOMAN

Dear Wild Grace
I have remembered my body’s innate sacredness, and in doing so I allow my soul to return to its rightful place beneath my skin. I lift a veil between me and the Divine every time I claim my body as sacred by daring to come home to it again and again.

— Meggan Watterson

Dear Wild Grace

You've taught me so much. Have I realized what it means to be free yet? Are we really not meant to be getting anywhere? Or is that just a trick you play to get us to fully embrace the enormous gift each precious breath is? Is your wildness in the wind? In the moment of orgasm AND all the mundane moments in between? You know that everything is still making love but I am caught in some old story about men or money. How do you do it Wild Grace? How did you get so free? Was it by writing endless love letters to yourself and everyone you know because thats what I'm doing.

... I know you care so I'll let you know how it goes. 

A love letter to my body

I love you. Thanks for helping me experience so much pleasure. I know we haven't perhaps always done the right or healthy thing, and maybe you've been taken advantage of, but perhaps it was only because of how precious and sacred you are and there is darkness in this world too. You hold so much power and many of us were not raised to honor this power.

I grew up hanging out with my dad in strip clubs in New Jersey and although some of the women there I'm sure we're empowered, it led me to think dancing on bars for very little money and a world surrounded by men who can only see with desire and not with deep conscious love was my path.

I didn't know until I began to taste you Wild Grace that my path would take many turns and transformations and not look like that at all. That what used to a wound would be the place where I come home to to find my humility and my gifts. To use my voice, to LOVE my body and honor it. To be this awake and to keep choosing how we live our lives our lives is a big deal.

For all of us (men and women) we've been fed that sex means one thing and love means another but in fact most of it, if not all, is completely false. And boring compared to what a healthy and loving honoring of the body and its ability to experience pleasure intimately can bring. It's time for us to reclaim the privacy of our parts that have gotten mistreated and ignored, shamed and locked away. By others and by the innocence of our own conditioning.

My loving body now that we are here with Wild Grace we are getting free. We might not ever fully arrive to some destination of confidence or expression but I'm having such a great time getting to know you, I'm hope it's a really long ride. 

I want to be just like my friends the stars because the don't seem too concerned with finding peace or happiness but instead they just fucking shine? What if we truly knew getting out of the way of the light that pours from our bodies the way it pours from the sky helped to restore our experience back to one of wholeness? 

There is a wisdom that each of us hold inside. This wisdom is not concerned with right or wrong, but it knows everything and is what is True. I call her Grace. Sometimes she's wild, sometimes fierce and sometimes so unbelievably loving.

There are moments of profound freedom and then I remember I have to call the accountant back and get a gold crown on one of my molars so my teeth stay healthy. Living a vast connected life is a trip. Wild Grace is at the dentist and the desert apparently.

This wisdom blows through us in the invisible form of Grace helping us to see and feel what steps we need to take to live in alignment with our Soul and it's deepest callings and desires.

To be fearless to be open. To love the one inside that didn't know any better. To stand up for yourself with even yes ... yourself. Each time I turn a corner, or a page or I do something that I never thought I would I am handed more.  I am asked to become more me more the woman I am constantly becoming.

Part of this for me is to completely feel who and how I was on my own. To love the one who listened to others instead of listening to herself because she could not yet feel the power on her own. Standing in the face of betrayal. Making mistake after mistake and still be willing to sit with myself with the intention of self love. Speaking the truth even through a shaken voice and broken heart. 

No one ever tells you that a broken heart is an open heart. Until someone really loving and comfortable int heir own skin comes along and does. That a broken heart helps you shine so bright with great friends around. People forget to tell you that the pain is the medicine. The doorway. The end of one thing is always the beginning of another.

Check out our Wild Grace Retreat coming up in Ojai May 12-14th! 

Ph | amazing Tanya Sakolsky

Adriana RizzoloComment
Wisdom of the Ouch

"There's no cure, except the retreat into love.

See the friend directly, or burn in longing for Him-

what does the whole world mater, apart from that?" ~Rumi

***

For many years (and still today for hours and half days) I spend time running from the pain I feel. Because my life is so full of love and support who am I to feel pain? Because if I feel pain that somehow disqualifies all the hard work I've done all these years. Because divorcing suffering was one of the best things I've done and pain reminds me of suffering so ... I've got a bad case of spiritual bypass folks.

Lately I started wondering again... what is pain anyway? How does it do that thing that it does- connect us from this world to the next? When we are physically hurt or birthing a child it's obvious what pain is. This primal call that makes us human and carries us over thresholds. In moments of deep truth when I had no choice but surrender fully to a moment of pain I've seen beautiful things.  I've seen the light and those honest to God  angels I always talk about. I think I began on a spiritual path to stay away from the pain that was buried inside only to find out that becoming "embodied" hurts. That getting real and free and courageous comes from being with what is. 

Becoming embodied asks that we look at our own hearts and ask the questions that we usually blame others for. We don't come to her for answers as much as a way, a place to be. To explore and discover new ways, old wisdom. A place inside to trust and build a relationship with. Like any relationship and just like the moon with the heart there will be many phases.

On my journey into the fire of the heart I spent many healing sessions completely engulfed in pain. There were times as my heart opened that my hands became temporarily paralyzed. Unable to open regardless how badly I wanted them to. Other times my body would need to move or flail or tense up and then release. I would need to masturabate after them sometimes to release some of the energy I felt moving through me. I had stayed small for so long that my body for years needed a special time and place to safely open. It was almost like my heart was speaking through the movements my body was making. 

Some say that pain is weakness leaving the body. That feels true to me except I don't know if I would call it weakness. Coping mechanisms, ways my ancestors learned to deal with immense pain and traumas maybe.

I "know" our ability to experience pain is directly linked to the phenomenon of joy. So much so I've let myself scream loudly in the shower tapping into the feelings of loss this heart has endured. Yet still in moments the frustration or anger covers up this very useful human feeling ... pain. 

I still run from pain when it comes because for a long time I was lost inside it as my only reality. Letting it drive while I changed the radio stations, feet out the window cigarette in hand. We got pretty far on that ride, pain and I. We had some great times together to be honest. As long as pain was driving I didn't have to feel her. She was separate from me and for a long time that served. We had a wild time, pain and I. Until one day we stopped for gas and pain went to go grab a Red Bull and never came back. Not at least the way she had been there driving all along.

I waited and waited, flirting with the truckers and whomever pulled up to get gas. Between distractions I wanted pain to come back and take the wheel so badly.  I felt fine and even kinda happy but I had no idea how to drive. We made our way to some beautiful places and even with some great people. I always made them drive.

  it this day no one came to drive, not even ol' trusty pain. So I got out of the car, went around and hugged everyone I saw at the gas station for blessings and sat down in that seat pain had been occupying all along. At first I felt terror and was paralyzed and I could barely press my foot down. All I could think was .. "I don't know, I don't know... I can't."

When I began to drive I did it the only way I knew how, from 0-100. I mustered up the guys put my liberation bikini and baseball hat on and went as fast as I could until I crashed and burned that car and everything in it.

I was now in the drivers seat with no car and pain it ends up didn't go away, she got louder in my heart. She began to push everything close to us far away so I could focus on her and what she needed. So I could stop and feel the warmth and love of the fire we were inside. She kept me up long nights in tears as she purified all the ways I was done living. The ways of being I had carried since I was in the womb and perhaps before.

I had been sober about 4 years but was in detox. A pain detox. A co-dependent relationship detox. An I'm not good enough, let me carry all of your baggage so I don't have to feel my own detox. Naturally being birthed again at the age of 34 was not all wildflowers, squats and avocado toast. Although they helped a ton.

Very slowly over time a good Godddess I want to live cry began to emerge. Emerge from pain. A voice that sounded different than the one I'd always had. I knew the thoughts that were telling me otherwise we're not mine and I had to do the only thing I could. I had to learn how to care about me the way I cared about others.

Some waves crash down so hard so we can wash up on the shore with a truly new perspective. Sowmwaves we wouldn't willingly choose to swim in. But those waves are the ones we learn how held by grace we always are.

I wanted to share this because as much as I don't allow my pain to drive this babemobile anymore (for too long anyway), I want to invite her in with grace. I want to allow her to come in and connect me to being alive when she needs to. I want her to keep me humble.

In moments I feel how she softens and guides me into the compassionate nature of the heart. I want to not feel like such an alien for feeling so much all the time. I want to learn to love and accept this part of myself,  not only for the ways it helps others but also for the ways it helps me.

I ran for a long time and then I stopped. Every time I let in the grief and made a commitment to staying awake no mater how hard the emotion I was met with pain yes but also with profound presence, support, love and honest to god angels.

The honest to god angels that can giggle with my tears. The angels that know the wisdom in the ouch.

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Adriana RizzoloComment
the guru's assasin

 "How bout unabashedly balling your eyes out? How bout not equating death with stopping? Thank you India. Thank you terror. Thank you frailty. Thank you consequence. Thank you disillusionment!" ~Alanis Morissette

Ok let's start over. I mean we haven't even begun yet but let's start over anyway. It's more fun that way, keeps things exciting.

When you wake up one day and decide to build a life that is alignment with your soul, you just may find things inside and start to, well burn.  Or you feel terror instead of little old fear. So learning how to start over can be really helpful. In my case towers came crashing down, their ashes drifted into rivers where women bathed in colorful clothes and touched each others feet out of reverence for the Divine Feminine in all. They sang and howled like wild animals with their devotion to God. That's where I started over.

On a conscious life path if we get to choose our life (once things crash and burn or gently float away depending on your karma I suppose) why not build on top of moist, fertile ground. Roses, high vibe art, forests and sheepskin rugs. Why not build it on words like liberation, bliss, joy, honesty, courage and compassion. Devotion and longing. Sanskrit words like Hridayam which means "the cave of the heart."

Why not build it somewhere that will benefit the good of all. Somewhere where you can rest inside and find kindness in your mind.  

In any case if you attempt to build your life the gifts from Grace will flood into whatever sized container you choose to create. Don't stress, you'll most likely have another shot. That being said Go Big. Grace is always awaiting our heart's work. But Grace don't care how you look while you build it.

Grace don't care if your intentions are set perfectly or with the right crystal. She likes when you get your hands dirty and sometimes your hair a little knotty. The way it does naturally after any good love making session. Grace is always ready to come. 

When you open your inner eye and lay down at her feet you just might feel the warmth on your back that you've been searching for. The confirmation the it is ok to let go. Again. That is is ok to build with her, again.

The sun magically crosses through the sky without ever having to move. In our minds we think she's going somewhere but inside the heart of this hard earned light you finally begin to rest inside the trust that there is something to lean on.

The old structures will pop up and we may choose to burn them down or just let them be loved so fully they won't stand a chance. Holding authenticity and Grace you will not back down. You will stand up again, even if it's tomorrow. You will at some point effortlessly enjoy the flight. 

You are not afraid to burn for what you believe in. You are not afraid to jump because you've already crashed and died. And now you may not always remember, but you can fly. 

They say the guru comes (even gets paid) to assassinate your ego. The rid you of incorrect beliefs, the old unhelpful structures. It's painful, it's rewarding, it's everything you could never imagine. Then one fine day you choose to stand up inside your own heart so fully, knowing parts of you will die again anyway, and you fearlessly fire back. You fire with every once of love your entire body and soul could conjure up. Your light was hard earned and now with Tom Petty by your side, you won't back down.

 

There once was a tower built and oh how it continues to burn with this great Love. Now you can leave it and rest in the rivers and at the feet of men and women who know how to love you. Inside this spaciousness you realize the Guru was you all along. That fall that you were sure at one point would kill you, was really a rising into a love totally worth burning for.

Adriana RizzoloComment
Wild Wolves Need Love Too
To live in freedom, we need to replace the sense of anything being wrong, with the consciousness that everything is perfect as it is, that everything and every person we ever come across serves its own karmic function in our life. Once we understand that everything has its own valid function in our life, it is very easy to live in harmony with the way things already are. With this experience of the harmony of all things, a profound transformation takes place deep within us. Not only do we discover a space of deep inner peace and equanimity, outer circumstances begin to change according to our predominant inner feeling.”
— D.R. Butler

There is a lot of talk about wildness, freedom, love, empowerment these days. We all have our own experiences and interpretations of it all. That is what makes it so exciting and sometimes challenging. Because we can't follow anyones footsteps. Maybe being wild means you stop a bra for a while, where as on my journey it meant putting one on. There is no formula for being wild but there are teachings that guide us to the wild within that is full of wisdom. Wild is not blind, wild is wise. Wild is not crazy, but wild is willing. 

Bhakti yoga is all about being devoted to Love. Love in its highest form. That One Love. Learning about this type of yoga and it's practices has been one of the only things that has kept my attention and heart. It's taught me what it means to be wild.

We all have our own paths to walk alongside one another even if they look different. I teach about Love in part because it's what I care about and because I need a lot of it. The art of loving and the tradition of bhakti is what my soul resonates with. It helps me not only survive but continue to live a meaningful life.

I follow my heart and then other moments I sit inside deep regret. I have an undeniable hunger to learn from everyone and everything and a compulsion to share it. I also have desires that are unhealthy and I oftentimes want to share everything adn hide at the same time.  have amazing teachers and I learn from my everyday experiences. I no longer am not trying to run and hide from my life and how I am meant to serve. 

Wild isn't just about blindly following your heart (only sometimes). Immersed in wild means caring deeply. It's about integrity and discipline. For some of us wild is about feeling safe. Imagine that! An animal in the wilderness knows it's safe and knows about danger but not fear. 

Wild is about living into what is true for you. It's wild because it is a  going against your conditioning that can at times be hard. Impossible even in some moments. Wild right now for me is paying attention to my finances and learning about how to use the many emotions I have in positive ways. Wild right now looks like patience. It tastes like a tense tight first slowly opening to reach out and listen more. Wild looks like a strong and soft tender heart.

Sometimes it does look like a drive into the woods to act like an animal and scream and beg for forgiveness. I've focused a lot on my inner growth and the teacher within me will guide me in that direction when I need it because hard work does pay off. But no image or person can tell you what is wild. Only your heart knows. What is wild is ultimately free. And each of us is doing our best to live into that. To be free to be happy no matter what. To be rich or be poor, to be sexually exploring or to be celibate. Whatever we want.

Free to me is to be able to feel a connection to Love in any scenario and when all else to be free means to let go of what I think I know.

That wild love is at the center of my life. When I begin to notice other things crawling into that center place, I usually find myself to be suffering. And it hurts. Sure old wounds come up to be felt and moved through at times. But they are held inside that love too. It's never about anyone else, it's about us learning how to deeply care for ourselves inside this beautiful messy wild journey of life and love. 

We don't always have to know where we are going and what we want. Coming back to what we are devoted to again and again will keep us grounded and moving forward, even when it feels like we are sliding back. 

We can only be exactly where we are. The deep, constant letting go brings us back home again and again. Into a place where we can be so present that the tiniest of interactions and mundane life experiences become extraordinary. Because we know how precious it all is. 

Many of us are afraid to follow passion. Passion is big and bold and juicy and exciting. Passion is wild. I'm afraid to follow it at times because I know at some point it's probably going to hurt. I don't know how or why, but anything I have felt something strongly for and with has also caused me pain. Up until now I have lived trying to avoid feeling pain. As if pain is not a part of living. 

Learning to be honest about what's going on inside me, to communicate and to have support in our lives is what makes following passion possible. With honesty and love we can take more risks, be more willing to fuck up and forgive. We can be willing to feel pain and not let it destroy us or even mean something is "wrong."

We see the different wolves and with practice we begin to have the freedom to choose which ones we want to feed. The fears or the love.  I know what my shame tastes like so when it returns I can feel it and remember the severity of following that rabbit hole. I can look down it but maybe not jump all the way in. I can choose to feed love and compassion instead.

I can't be reminded enough that making mistakes, feeling fear or sadness for a moment is part of the journey and is totally ok.  Each time I come back into a place of wisdom within that passion that guided me in the first place I find the power of forgiveness.

Being alone has taught me how sweet the simple things are. I use to hate it and now I really love it. I love having friends everywhere I go in the from of trees, clouds and strangers. 

How much value is inside those connections or inside the hug of a loving friend. The freedom of having the time to reach out to the ones you love and to come and go as you please. To explore the parts of me that are insane without the ripple of karma attached.

The feeling of being seen and validated through friendship, non sexual relations was a big deal for me. I value it so much now. All the moments of silence to hear the lies in my mind and longings in my heart. To be however I need to be without explanation. I am so thankful to be awake to the beauty that is inside being alone. Using the fire inside to stay warm and contributing my light to the fire in different circles I enter in community. 

There are the ways we can only grow and enjoy in companionship and in intimate relation to another I long for too. The obvious juicy, snuggly love and passion of course. The available touch next to you, the validation, the being seen and respected on a soul and human level sexually, romantically and in friendship. The growth that some from challenge in learning about sharing space and keeping the fire going between two people. Living through the ups and downs and long lasting karmas with one another. The experience of ecstatic love when two complete souls come together.  

Whether in relationship or not there is a constant surrender to the unknown. A part of me always longed for relationship to feel some stability, to know something for sure. I've learned from working with many people and myself that is just not totally how it works. If anything when we really care it brings up so much fear and old parts that need love because there is more at stake. Un-attachment can be such a bitch. And really sucking at detaching can teach us that we are never without Grace. 

With all the beauty, tenderness, passion power and sweetness that comes in connecting deeply with others, with Spirit and with ourselves comes a similar level of fears, abandonments and shadows that can only be purified through these relationships. No matter how many shamanic healing sessions or sound baths you do. My teacher used to say it's when the rubber meets the road when we really know. It is the face we make inside the fire that counts, and is where we ultimately grow and heal.

Thank God everyday is a new day again. 

The idea is to develop a relationship with your heart, to unfold inside your unique wildness. It is an important relationship to nurture because at different times, your heart will say different things according to what you need to learn. It might say yes leave a relationship just so you can muster up the courage to have a difficult conversation and then everything changes inside the relationship in a positive way.

We just don't know but when there is a willingness to listen we can can learn trust and commitment. At least that is my wish and deep heart desire. 

So remember what looks wild on your will look different that what wild looks like on me. We all know here it is not about the image or the way something appears on the outside. Thank God. It is inside the heart that we discover our true wealth, knowledge and connection to all that is and all that ever will be. 

Even when were at the bottom we can still go onward and upwards.

Join us on our SuperNatural Retreat in Joshua Tree this November more info here, and if you are in LA I will be leading a 3 month 30 hour immersion to deepen your yoga and discover joy in your spiritual practice called the Power of Love at Yogala Studios. Info for that here. Please reach out with any questions and for support. Sending lots of wild love and compassion from my heart to yours.

Xo

Adriana RizzoloComment
My Body Knows ...

My body knows . . .

how to fearlessly fall from Grace. Even inside

the burning rebirths, even inside the shame.

The language of the moon and how to learn

everything my grandmothers forgot to teach

me. She needs light to let go. She is a wild animal.

Full of unstoppable breath, impermanence, nature

and wonder! How to heal the abuse her ancestors

lived through. She has the power to push away and

attract whatever she pleases. Intense energy exchange.

She plays, gets knocked over, and stands back up in it

often. We all walk as eternally loved men and women.

It's the only satisfying solution she's found. She knows

pleasure and joy to extremes. Welcoming and receiving

are her gifts that she loves to give. She knows she is

covered in eyes that never close. They are her intuition

and psychic antennas to transmuting darkness into

welcoming, soul empowered freedom. How to give

from the love that comes form that SuperNatural

source. That full and endless Divine Feminine well.

How to open so fully that all of time diminishes and

simultaneously explodes, like the first orgasm that

created the universe. Speaking of, she knows the

many ways she can orgasm and heal through ecstasy.

How to move with feeling and with no inhibitions. An

uncontrollable fire lives and lights her from the inside out.

She knows fear and pain to no end and uses it to create

and give birth to life. One that will inspire and consider

the well being of others. She knows when she is safe

and loved. There her skin melts with softness as if

saying yes to openness and adventure. She knows

ancient, primal wisdom that my mind cannot bend

itself around. Teachings and practices from places

and lineages so foreign they confirm the many lives

we have lived through to get here. She needs to get

spiritually naked again and again. Sacrificed to the

pyre of love for the greater good of all. She longs to

be naked in the natural world. Stepping with devotion

and reverence in her heart for this Earth and everything

living on it. My body knows how to walk & spread her toes

& run & write & sing & dance wildly & smell & taste & touch

& give energy to someone else's heart through a kiss.

She knows how to kiss. She is a vehicle for Divine Love.

How precious this life is. My body knows and holds more

than I will ever get to this time around. Like a triple kiss

that blows your mind into outer space, at some point it

has to end. My body knows the limitless strength of the

heart she houses. With all of it's birds, hibiscus, hummingbirds,

sweet jasmine, and those roses unconditionally blooming.

My body knows what she wants and the potential I seem

destined to forget. She knows how to take her time on the ride.

My Body Knows more than anything how to forgive.

She knows in her bones,  she is never without Grace.

 

 

Adriana RizzoloComment
Who am I without you?

A story about the eternal tower card over here that is realizing how to hold that lightening bolt firmly and with a lot of love.

Maybe our hearts break and change constantly so we can learn to love no matter what. Understand the world a little bit better, and unlock the natural compassion for it's less than perfect people.

For many years I only understood who I was in relation to another. I was building this relationship to my Self. To Adriana, to the fire inside her, to Shakti - the divine force that destroys demons and restores balance, love and harmony in our lives.

Deep down I always felt there must be a good reason that we feel depression, are gifted nasty addictions, and debilitating anxieties.  None of it seems natural when placed against the great Love within, but to deny it's purpose is to forget there is a deeper way of living. Connection to others on waves of compassion, joy, pleasure and ecstasy.

The moment of admitting some sadness can immediately put us on that wave. The wave of fear and gripping seems to get so massive when I don't admit what I know about myself and my experience. When I admit something I can offer it away for the greater good. I can show up fully inside my experience.

That is how I learned who I am ... without you. That is why I practice putting myself out there creatively in the face of my fears and resistance all the time. There is this paradox that our minds can't understand. That we are essentially always alone inside and the closer we get to that aloneness and everything that inhabits it,  the more free and willing we are to connect to others.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for others reflections often to bring me back into higher vibes and deeper love.  I need this in my life no matter what. But my point is that even without it I now have a stronger chance of remembering. Over time I"m becoming the reminder. By taking a broader look at what's going on around me and how I can serve. Usually others, sometimes myself. 

This knowing comes in grief, sometimes laughter and joy  in sadness, pleasure, awkwardness or failure or my favorite uncontrollable hits of grounded courageous sensual energy. There are many flavors to this connection but the river continues to flow even when I get stuck on a branch reaching in from the lands that I choose to learn from.

This inner connection is vital to my experience of living a full and happy life. I have much to learn about relationship and letting go still. I'm young. BUt I've cleared and lived through lifetimes no doubt.

The fire in me, the mother in me is here and ready to serve. She is ready to say no with love when things don't feel aligned. She can yes and fully enjoy something in the moment for what it is too, for she knows nothing can be taken from her. 

She knows who she is without you.

Over time I've committed to being the one that brings the joy and realness into the room. I don't do it perfectly but I do it often. I find from the ones I love the most that the energy and the kindness that we share with one another silently and in words can change the way we experience our lives. 

There are always adjustments we can make to breathe inside more flow. To harness and use our fire in healthy and healing ways. I live for that breath that drops me in. I live for that fire that unconditionally shows up to serve. Not just those who deserve it, but everyone with their crooked tails and secrets, past my own blind judgements.

Honesty in itself is a high vibration. It doesn't matter what you are admitting as long as you are being heard and held by someone who is not going to judge you but reflect back the love that is within you.

That process will connect you to the one within who knows who she is without anyone else. This radical aloneness connection will help you become fearless and free. Enjoyment in being alone can lead you to lovegasms and disagreements, heartaches and expansions and living a fully embodied life. It will give you the power to show up for the ones you love in greater ways.

I know this not because I am perfect at it, but because it is my job here to care. I now know who I am without you and I love her just as much as I love you. A lot!

Join us on our SuperNatural retreat and practice unleashing your voice in many ways this November in Joshua Tree. Retreat will include ::  tea ceremony, meditation, yoga, kirtan, dance, relational work, friendship, delight and JOY.

We'll support one another in becoming our own best friends so we can be better lovers and creators in our life. We'll feel the power that is in the simple practice of sitting together in loving remembrance of who we are without anything or anyone.

If I can support you in person in LA or via skype please don't hesitate to reach out. <3

Adriana RizzoloComment
Hair.Addiction.Healing.Hearts

This beautiful soul sister @howtohairgirl has been an inspiration for me from afar and her kindness helped me connect to my creativity in more expansive ways. Read my some of my interview and here all about addiction, sobriety, healing and hair! 

We never know what we truly feel until someone asks, and our passions are %100 revealed by others inquiring. That's why I love leading circles and connecting with people one on one. 

Roxie truly turns competition Into conscious collaboration and I love her for the light she shares! 

 "I want to empower more connection and love into the industry and help other stylists enhance their abilities to be vessels for love and creative energy. I feel strongly about bringing more health and naturalness to the beauty industry. I cut hair according to a persons natural texture and the way they will wear it, and I support locally made products as much as possible. I find others to be exuding beauty most when they feel good and connected to that which is below the skin or hair. It’s not that it doesn’t matter, it’s just that when that kind of attention and care comes from an inspired place within we literally see differently. When we learn how to connect to a moment deeply, which most stylists do all the time, we heal ourselves and others. It’s my favorite thing about people that love doing hair and I want to see more of our naturalness exposed, appreciated and accepted in both people and the products that we use. Moving away from corporations that hurt and towards supporting people that help. We can do this by supporting local brands and salons in your town and as stylists shifting the way we see ourselves from not good enough to change agents that can reach so many people with our love!"

#artoflovingYou #hair #healer #soulbeauty #loveyou #sacredembodiment #sobriety #femininefreedom #hairstylists  #loveandserve #sisterhood #womensupportingwomen

Adriana RizzoloComment
Bring me a Higher Love

Today in the Art of Loving You (and everyone else...) experiment :

The Courage to bring me a Higher Love

One of the most basic assumptions in the yoga tradition is that you are good. That everything deep down at the core is. That you are not broken. I find many of us forget that in the spiritual and recovery world. We get serious and hard because we care so much about healing and helping. And because f we take these teachings on seriously, chances are we will come face to face with all that is between us and that truth.  This is where courage, faith and trust comes in. And those who reminds us of joy and the awareness of this life experiment!

Although I don't have to go searching for love in the wrong places so much anymore, even when I search in the right places sometimes I don't "find" it. Meaning I don't feel love inside my heart all the time when I'm alone, even though I want to. Unless I'm in love, under a waterfall, the desert or lying in the dirt (so many conditions) which aren't the most sustainable life circumstances or experiences. Besides I'm a yogi and I'm here to love a full life and get free. Anyway I'm curious if this is how one develops faith.

This morning as I sat and did my mantra in meditation feeling the energy of "it" massively separate from "me" I am overwhelmed with fear, sadness as well as gratitude for sobriety, awareness, and connection to others in this life.

For those teachers and masters and elders who hold the possibility to stay inside that vibration all the time I feel thankful and a little more at ease. Mostly it's a shit show in there but irregardless of how I feel about it my heart needs attention and love no matter what. So I choose to try and keep the tender and lose the blue.

I get so "high" on love and connection with others I feel a profound shift when I'm alone. It's not always that way anymore but traces of it linger. Being alone and sober is a gift and it isn't always as free and easy as it looks on Instagram (that's where I post my free and easy practices).

Then I heard this voice ... if I really am myself, who's going to like me? This gold nugget was lodged somewhere inside the overgrown field of wildflowers inside my heart. So I picked it, put it in a mason jar and watched it give it's last offerings of authenticity and humility to my world and will continue to appreciate it's confusing beauty until it dies.

Part of my "story" is that I am going through some thing "intense" inside. I love this story SO MUCH because it means that I am not numb anymore, but today I will practice keeping the tender and dropping the blue. I'm way more turned on by new experiences than old stories.

The power inside friendship, nature, retreats and community is life changing. For lightness and depth, for us to be guided into reflections of who we really are. When I am supporting others the light and love is constant and I'm really thankful and humbled by the work I get to do, turning it around to me is a constant challenge right now. Good thing I love a good love challenge!

This beauty Olivia Clementine and I are leading a retreat in Joshua Tree in November to celebrate exactly who and where you are, invite and invoke support for what you want to shift and open to, and to bring the practices we love so much to you. Yoga, tea ceremony, kirtan, meditation, inner yoga and relational work all in the powerful and loving energy of Joshua Tree! Go here for more. info. <3

Last but not least jokes and laughter are some of my favorite medicines so if you got any today lay em' on me.

Adriana RizzoloComment
The Art of Loving You (and everyone else...)
Adriana_Hallie Easley Photography-400.jpg

After last month's ceremonies with so many loving and inspired women on retreat at Spirit Weavers, a visit to my gurus ashram, lots of love and support and teaching (where I learn EVERYTHING), I moved through a big block and wrote this letter.

The Art of Loving You (and everyone else...)

To the one that is so loved and still feels alone sometimes.

To the sweet young one inside of me, and to the girl that just made her communion, chose the name Marie and recently started wearing makeup and a pushup bra ...

One day you will learn how to connect and listen to the wisdom of your womb.

Not only that but you will bravely sit inside the fire of love until you feel the fire burning inside of you.

You will help others to heal though your own healing, and hold a strong and steady space for yourself and for others to move into deeper places within.

You won't have to do this alone but at some point you will find the teacher, the adult you've been looking for in all those other faces in the room, is you.

The dark side of devotion and your emotions will come through and knock you off your feet at times for you to learn how to help others deal with and end their own suffering.

There may be many times that you'll lose yourself into some else's trip but with that very same skill you will learn how to merge into the beauty and awe of life.

You will be a beacon of light that shows the way to letting go of the need to know and instead learn to feel the wind caressing your neck.

Someday you will pray to always offer gratitude for the teachers that helped wipe away the sadness on your heart only to reveal more Love.

People will come and they will leave when you are no longer serving them, in the same way that you will resistantly let go of those that no longer serve you, but know that no matter what you are good and so are they.

It may take you awhile to learn about business and men, but honey you will take people to Venus whenever they please.

You'll be confused about how to be empowered and happy without a man to balance your juicy, wild feminine heart and that learning will be some of your most potent medicine to offer the world.

It will be hard sometimes to pick your head up when you feel alone, but you'll have some loud reminders that you truly never are.

Perhaps you'll make big impulsive decisions that will help you learn humility, forgiveness and the art of trial and error.

Through those mistakes you'll also learn how to be your own best friend and supercharged lover.

There may be times where you really want someone else to do it for you, or just to help a little, but all of it will show you how much you're really worth.

You'll learn how to communicate with the unseen and invisible world, and all of it's magic.

The longing and the feeling of aloneness that will end up destroying and taking your father and other members of your lineages life, will somehow end up being your doorway HOME.

When you are clearing what could be lifetimes of abandonments, abuse and addictions you will need good friends to remind you who you really are.

You will need so much care and love, and that's ok.

These brave, tender and precious steps you will take are not only for you but for the purpose of your souls journey.

You will forget often, and that's ok too.

There are women that will need your guidance into their own inner healer and unique path of creative lives and expressing them freely with their voices and bodies.

At times you may feel like you feel too much or focus on the bad because it not your path to numb out this time around, but this will help you to learn how to love deeply and freely.

I promise you will find such an empowered way to live in this world, my sweet love.

You will know what's it's really like to live inside the truth of what is wild and how to be free.

May you always find the courage and tenacity to keep going inside yourself and building a life of your own.

Xo

Adriana RizzoloComment
Rebirthing Always Becoming

 

"The artist seeks contact with his intuitive sense of the gods, but in order to create his work, he cannot stay in this seductive and incorporeal realm. He must return to the material realm in order to do his work. It is the artists responsibility to balance mystical communication and the labor of creation." ~Patti Smith

The process of letting go of the old again and again each time become new. How many lifetimes can we live inside each relationship and moment?! 

For some stay and stretch out awhile and others come and go in the blink of an eye. REBIRTH is absolutely a part of a beautiful messy path, and the Love Inside project. Getting over ourselves so we can pray for and with others takes trial and error. Together we are learning more and more about the Earth and how to live in harmony with her and all the beings that take up her space. How to share our stories in a safe space so we can drop them and always have the chance to become new again. 💖

This is a story of one lifetime lived in the middle of many inside one woman's fierce hunger for freedom and love. 

She used to be lousy at money but she was always turned on, especially at the airport. Rebirthing for her was about taking ALL the good parts of things we learn and leaving behind the not so helpful and even abusive, addictive and plain old mean parts. She's a woman who has lived behind many faces.

Born into a family that needed a lot of care at an early age she learned how to love hard and fast. As she grew pleasure in her body became a way to connect the same way learning all the constellations did. She recreated these families that need care again and again until she realized they all live inside of her anyway, she had a lot of other shit to do and more satisfying relationships to enjoy. She did her best to keep the love and leave all the rest behind.

Unexpected acts of kindness and compassion from others held her through dark days and lonely nights. Liberated and beautiful naked saints with hair down to their feet visited her with tambourines in her dreams. She had visions in meditation of being in the desert with women, their children in all forms, beating their drums and singing without any restriction. She learned that to be a woman can look a million different ways. And that men too could benefit from the surrender that comes from embodying the Divine Feminine.

She loved to be spiritually naked and see other peoples nakedness, both in clothes and without. Often consumed by passion it benefited her to learn how to speak up and set boundaries. To speak her truth especially while her voice was shaking. She welcomed and gave thanks for anyone who wasn't afraid to make noise or speak in ways that wake up love inside. Sometimes she felt like she wanted everything. Other times nothing at all.

Scouting thrift stores and finding beautiful things in short periods of time was one of her specialties. Basically she LOVE people and their stories and being in a thrift store opened up the doorway to so many souls. SHe loved other people's clothes and passions more than her own. She saw beauty in people and things no matter what they looked like. It was a sense and a feeling. A looking with the body. She loved to teach others this skill.

She was fascinated by her own process, sometimes to the point of self-absorption, but mostly because it was the own of the things that helped keep her in this world. The self explorations kept her creating. She believed she was brought here to show others how to help themselves and so she focused on things that helped her want to stay. She felt that was what we were all doing here.

Her life was full of ironies and paradoxes and often times she would forget where she was going. She once quit a spiritual training in part because she was having a really hard time with "non-attachment" and didn't feel like reading Chogyam Trungpa's "Spiritual Materialism" again. She was in a deep moment of doubt and anger on everything, and especially with God. A few months later her car (which held all her belongings including the very sacred spiritual stuff that she loved dearly from her India pilgrimages ahem..) was stolen and gone.

When the car returned only thing not taken was a photo of one of her gurus. There he was smiling at her with those compassionate eyes. Funny enough, she had been praying for ultimate freedom and truth. To be taken to her next incarnation within this life. Never without grace tears streamed down her face as she felt the relief humor in this one precious life once again. After that she prayed for easier lessons to learn.

She skipped from not feeling her body or life barely at all to years of deep body intuitions and oceans of emotions. From crawling up stairs in high school high as a kite to the terror inside the dark hole of seeking love and attention outside of herself to the most elated swimming in eternal bliss high on spiritual love, she was definitely an experience life type of learner.

There were times where she was so full of creative inspiration she was completely dissatisfied unless she was expressing it in one form or another. There were times where if she wasn't teaching or chanting or meditating she didn't want to live. Others in the silence of her room, she found herself unable to write or even speak. She would fall asleep and wake up early inside these moments that she painted as failure but knew deep down were monumental for growth. Sometimes she would feel like a lost animal in the woods in search of something she couldn't find. She longed to feel a thirst she didn't even know she had.

In natural landscapes both within and without we learn how to listen from places beyond the mind. Writing and sharing our stories with one another can help us to let them go completely and move forward confidently. But in my experience this takes support and a lot of love. Our songs and stories need to be loved and appreciated because they hold our gifts to share. We help each other process , accept with love these stories and remember REBIRTH again and again. I'd love to support you in unleashing your creative energy and fire into your life and the world!

Contact me with any questions and visit the retreat page to get details on our SUPERNATURAL healing yoga, tea ceremony, Kirtan, meditation, self and other relational work and rituals. We would love to give back and take care of you and your fire!

 

Adriana RizzoloComment
Receive

Burn baby burn, but don't hurt yourself.

She was learning that finding comfort 

in wild places doesn't have to be dangerous.

Love inside a freedom fire, her lust for life. 

Orchestrating joyous eternally still orgasms 

together we remember the world is an extension 

of ourselves. Sacred Body. Earth Magic. Love Inside. 

This trust we are all enough no matter what

 our lives look like on the outside. On streets 

of  trust we walk all valid and loved inside

trials and errors. Boundaries crossed but

better maintained bringing ecstatic unions.

Softening the pain. Hard conversations clear 

the heart but many we never forget to take a 

nap. Hands held closed will open sharing sounds 

of ancient primal bliss. Voices spoken and heard

not only with mind but with Heart. 

With gratitude for the spirit flowing through all.

Adriana RizzoloComment
Love Says ...

Love says I need a home, but I like it better on the road.

Have you ever felt like you literally gave someone your heart?

I'm sure you have.

A mind blowing mystery how this is even possible, isn't it?

No wonder we get so scared.

Have you felt love come so deeply that you could collapse?

We empty to fill, and fill to empty.

Is there anything more powerful than a heart so tender?

Trust takes practice, or a miracle.

When we say yes to love, do we not get asked to open more?

Love infinite and life precious.

When beauty emerges like the smell of jasmin, do you let it move you?

A soul so free the body pumps light.

Have you let Spirit come as Love so true that your mind got lost?

Letting go dancing down a mountain.

When love comes to heal you, where do you run?

Opening to the great One.

Some say I need a home, but me, well I just like it better on the road.

‪#‎artofloving‬ ‪#‎ontheroad‬ ‪#‎loveandserve‬ ‪#‎heartstories‬ ‪#‎sacredembodiment‬‪#‎nonduality‬ ‪#‎oneness‬ ‪#‎spirit‬ ‪#‎moves‬ ‪#‎bodywisdom‬ ‪#‎sisterwhispers‬‪#‎wildandfree‬ ‪#‎livetrue‬ ‪#‎nature‬ ‪#‎love‬

A walk through the fire ...

You see, no one ever told me that as snakes shed skin, as trees snap bark, the human heart peels, crying when forced open, singing when loved open. Now I understand that whatever keeps us from burning truth as food, whatever tricks the heart into thinking we can hide in the open, whatever makes us look everywhere but in the core, this is the smoke that drives us from what is living. And whatever keeps us coming back, coming up, whatever makes us build a home out of straw, out of heartache, out of nothing, whatever ignites us again to see again for the very first time, this is the bluish flame that keeps the Earth grinding to the sun. ~Mark Nepo

On a mountain in India one I felt my body so completely full of light I thought that I was going to burst open and leak this brightness onto anything I came in contact with. Sounds nice right but I was terrified of it. For many months after this moment I felt like I was literally on fire, walking through and avoiding many fires, starting fires, and discover who I am as a woman radically alone and according to anyone else's eyes. 

Fear consumed me completely for days and weeks sometimes, unable to sleep or even speak to anyone who really loved me. I would flip back to my consciousness from 10 years ago which felt invariable small and addicted, painful grief erupted inside my body and life. I was scared of how tender it all somehow made me feel in moments. Until sometimes I would get tuned in to the fierceness that came along with it. That feeling brought a new courage and ability to choose my life and share my voice. 

A moment when light entered me, I couldn't stop it or start it if I tried. It just was. We just were. There together, nothing to say, nothing to even pray about. Uncontrollable longing and passion and the heart wanting what the heart wanted. There was absorption into a love that can destroy everything. It does that because it only knows what we signed up, for not necessarily what we want or think we want.

Nowadays I'm remembering often that I can trust my body. That I am here to learn and to experience. I can't go wrong when I am deciding to be who I am right now.

Right now I am discovering patience and more trust. This year began with the purification of all my belongings getting stolen with my car- the only thing to be returned was the car and one photo of an Indian saint that I feel connected to and love so much.

The face I felt in that moment brought me to a cry that was more comforting than the tears that were being shed the days before through blind eyes of self doubt and shaming. It was a relief to feel that although all my "things" were gone, Grace was still there with me. 

Along with material possessions, on my journey of feminine freedom, many things and people I had used to get clean, to experience deep devotion, friendship, family and love also disappeared from my life. I kicked and screamed and held on dragging with everything I had. It wasn't pretty but I sure did learn a lot.


Maybe that burning was to help me get past what was keeping me from being free. One can only hope and pray I suppose. I found the courage to explore new desires that feel like they've always been there. I got to stop thinking that someone else will bring the magnificence or the passion or the sex or the kindness or the showing up and a taste of letting go that my mind could have never agreed to. 

It takes awareness, discipline and strength it takes to honor and care for but not believe your mind and feelings. The coming into a life every day that sometimes look the same but choose to be the bringer of light even when you've got barely a flicker going. Even as you keep bumping your head against that same door as your hands frustratingly fumble for the door knob.

When the door opens and you realize there is no floor to step on how do you take the step anyway? Perhaps in your enthusiasm you take a quick leap only to find that you still have to do the work, say what's hard to say, and show up even as your flying.

When your wings are still wet form this newness you find out that flying ain't so easy. Or you are blind like a snake. Only a snake doesn't have to choose to shed it's skin. I'm not sure we do either. 

We want to be free. We want to know peace. We all want to be loved deeply and purely. Sometimes it's a walk in the park, other times a walk through the fire. 

We are not improving we are ever unfolding. May we be that at peace with the natural rebirths that we experience many times in one lifetime. May we move through our difficulties with a remembrance of Grace and the purpose to be of great service in this world and beyond.

 

Let Go Let ... God?
"I was dead, then alive. Weeping, then laughing. The power of love came into me, and I became fierce like a lion, then tender like the evening star." -- Rumi

A story about the old saying "let go and let God" . . .

Leaving for retreat today and getting my car back after being gone for over a month after being stolen I was doing some reflecting. The past year for me have been peppered with moments of mind bending desperation alongside massive angel tornados. 

From the most intense "throw away my close and shoes I'm staying here forever and devoting my life to serving God" mystical experience in India to moving across the country by myself mostly out of fear of abandonment. From what truly felt like a psychotic episode (thanks Marcus Ambrester and all of you friends who helped save my ass) to confusing manifestation power with pretending like I had money I didn't have. From having my car stolen with all of my belongings inside during my move (except my harmonium and laptop, a couple pairs of underwear and the shoes on my feet that I didn't end up leaving in India) to finding the only thing left inside my car was a picture of our smiling teacher Neem Karoli Baba, Maharajji they call him. All bringing me back once again to a place they call Grace.

After a couple days of beating myself up pretty hardcore internally after having my car stolen and leaving all my things in my car in the midst of a confusing and brutal time living in LA, I got a phone call from the detective. They had found my car downtown.  He gave me the number of the tow yard and the sweet woman I was staying with at the time offered to take me there. It was about 30 minutes from where we were on the eastside.

As we drove and got closer my anxiety began to rise which I was pretty used to at this point but something knocked some sense into me and and I asked her if she minded if I played some chanting music and took a moment to pray. I put on Krishna Das beause I knew that would make me feel safe and I needed that so badly. Over the past 6 months of living there chanting and dancing following the energy of my soul were the only things that helped me feel safe in my body and in my life. There's no doubt that stuff works if it's in your blood. 

When we arrived at the yard I still felt nervous and kept the chanting on, just really low as I went in to talk to the nice woman that worked at the front desk next to the vending machine. I kept secretly tuning into the "sita ram sita ram sita ram sita ram" as she informed me where my car was and told me it was ok for me to go look at it.  

The detectives didn't give me much information so I had no idea if any of my things were still inside, that red dress, the Hanuman and sweet Ganesh that had helped bring me so many dreams to life, that banjo that I had played not so well, clothes, my hard drive with all my photos, my childhood photos and my dads old cameras i saved, sacred prints and that special incense all  from India, the turkey feather someone dear to me just gave me as an offering, that black velvet dress that felt so good on my skin, so many yoga books, all the new home goods I had bought or were gifted to me for that sweet little studio in Topanga, years of journals, all the spiritual materialism that I held on to so dearly especially over the years that helped me remember so much. Especially in the last six months of spending so much time alone praying, writing, healing, crying, swimming, dancing, purging and not sleeping.

Everything I had owned dwindled down to what I could fit into that little white Prius. 

I followed a kind man through the yard and kept the chanting close on hand as I walked and eventually saw my car. I named her Kundalini when I leased her a year and a half before and had a strong feeling I would be driving her to move out west. The same feeling I had when I visited after going to see Ram Dass in Maui and I knew it was the exact place to land when I was to leave New York. 

As I approached and looked into what was a completely packed car I saw space, emptiness. I immediately felt an odd and confusing sense of relief. A calm wave moved through my body. I opened the door and saw nothing, not even a phone charger. Just the smell of sage, rose and sandalwood replaced by cheap cologne. 

I opened the glove compartment  and this picture, this pamphlet from the Neem Karoli Baba ashram in Taos I had visited and prayed so hard at only that summer before fell out onto the ground. And there he was smiling at me. Maharajji. The only thing left.

All the self loathing, shame and pity that was killing me and I was so embarrassed by that had consuming me and in that moment I stopped and I felt so deeply held. I was surrendered. I was loved. It was like I started remembering as soon as I saw the emptiness of my car. My mind wanted nothing to do with all my things being gone, or how lucky I was and how much I still had compared to some. I sent a photo of it to my soul mom. Her and I first connected through Ram Dass, Krishna Das' movie One Track Heart was our first date and then we went on a Living Meditation pilgrimage to India and to Ram Dass' retreat together.  Her response . . .  HOW PERFECT.

"Never without Grace."

The last time I remember really feeling that deep of a let go was on that said India trip walking down this amazing mountain (the one Hanuman was born on) after having a lot of conversing with the Divine, feeling my individual soul merge with the oneness and feeling like that Rumi poem. "The power of love came into me, and I became fierce like a lion, then tender like the evening star." 

My mind was sarcastically saying . . . "really, now your inside the Rumi poem?!" But my heart was melting, growing and connecting to this mountain's light, to this goddess' seed infused inside my heart and the wind like nothing I ever felt before. I had let go and softened so much of myself I felt this unexplainable tenderness at the same time there was an overwhelming fierceness that came through. Like an I have to do this. I have to say YES to my heart, to Love and to my life from now on no matter what.

Many times in the months that preceded my car being stolen due to some shitty circumstances, a ton of loss, grief and shame were present even though on the outside nothing was really "happening" that people could see. The young drug addicted girl in me showed up in my being to be healed and held. I questioned my faith so intensely at times. Everything that was so sacred and real to me started to feel so far away and false. I kept telling myself I was healing this shame for the collective feminine, because at times it feels way beyond me and my story. How could I feel so much love and then get so burned?

I questioned why if I was so blessed and loved that I felt so completely lost and forgotten. I was burning like a wildfire. The grief that began to unmask itself a couple years before after Ram Dass' retreat was in full swing. I had the yoni then to set my intention to heal the grief I never allowed myself to feel from my father as I wanted redemption and freedom so badly in my heart and in my life. 

I longed to  move forward and have healthy relationships with men and with my self worth. So I could serve more and live more in alignment with what my heart truly wants. Which all went out the window in the process btw. The move I made from Brooklyn to Los Angeles was in some ways reckless.  I had no money to do so, I barely knew anyone and yet I wanted it and my bull head and wild heart got me all the way there. To that very moment sitting in my empty car and I was no longer terrified like I had been for months on end. The sadness felt tender and the grief was there but I didn't mind it so much. The relief that comes when we finally stop fighting.

But for some months on end I was so scared all the time. My friends were all the way across the country, I had taken a step away from the spiritual community that helped me save my life, no boyfriend, sober, no cigarettes to smoke, no one to hide behind and there I was with the mountain of my grief and my shame. 

The death of a father, an abortion, all of your "stuff" stolen, I start to wonder if that fantasy I have always had about being a nun was perhaps meant to be. Or was I just living through this life in accordance with what my soul needs to heal and evolve, and it doesn't have as much to do with "me" as I had come to believe it had? I have felt that longing so badly in moments I thought I could die from the heartache. The pure pain that makes you scream in the shower.

Then that timeless pause in my car, seeing this reflection of Maharaji looking at me and knowing on a bone and soul level that I am, we are, never without Grace?! What a trip.

It had been hard to write since then, hard to reflect on the way things were before because it brings up so much. But lately I've come slowly back into remembering. Back into a deep care and massive trust and love for myself in a way I may have never known otherwise.

I'm not sure why I seem to only learn through mistakes and failures so much. But maybe it's the same reason I'll decide to run down a mountain in the way my soul wants me to move, barefoot  after a rainstorm with no inhibitions while inviting the glistening drops on the leaves and the mud in between my toes to inspire the way I serve. Or why I have to make my way off the trail to find a place to take my clothes off and be alone within the sun and the streams. Maybe it is what gives me to gifts of the the women whom I get to witness healing and evolving, change their lives and their own stories in amazing, potent ways.

Maybe the failures are what help me stay present and more tuned in when someone close to me is suffering. This life that is now mine again perhaps has so much space so I have time to be with the women that come to me for support. Maybe this is the way my life is supposed to look. WIth debt, with failure written all over it, that darkness always there, the light and the sacred fire shining throughout.

That failure and that darkness keeps me humble, alive, and real. I'm committed to not living or reacting from that place in me. I'm open to living true and letting myself be used by God however I am meant to be. 

My addictive tendencies gift me with a sensitivity to fall deeply in love with a moment just because. And a sincerity and perseverance that is needed to be happy and in love with life. That shame is why I can feel into every inch of my body and fill it with love most days and the grief opens me up to being alive and really caring. It helps me feel into and sense that the bigger picture is not only about my work and my life purpose, but this deep and wild calling. The evolution of my heart and of the Soul.

Now sometimes for a laugh I imagine the people that may have found my stuff- someone spiritually on fire inside that tent I did some powerful transformational work in totally blessing everyone that comes by and performing miracles beyond anything I've seen. Maybe under a bridge somewhere or maybe they took that red dress to Bali, Lord knows that deserved to travel.

So many times I want to feel like I can do the work all inside, all those hours and all that time invested sitting on my ass in retreats and learning the invaluable skill of connecting to Spirit and to my soul in an authentic way. But the truth is that my life is where it all gets worked out. No matter how I try to hide or run or stay and really go for it! Don't wait go for your dreams is definitely the attitude to live with and a vibe I can totally hang in.  And the falling, the fear and the depths of sadness are here in that too.While I may not be as terrified and angry as I was a few months ago, when the curtain closes there are still many tears backstage. Thank God.

Somehow the love comes back no matter what. I am holding this space open as much as I can bare to be in it. That 's why when I'm alone I connect in and move my body in whatever ways it asks me to. Or I go out and get what my heart need's from the Earth. It's why I write even if I can stand myself enough to share it. It's why I sit in my seat as healer and a teacher. There I have an immense responsibility to show up that I take very seriously and that seat brings a current of love and joy in waves I am learning how to surf and share.

I have the third step prayer written on a big piece of paper on my wall and I love to use it in my practice. I like to feel used in a certain twisted way, and now I get to in a way that is for the good of all! Oh my how the tables can spin, turn, get knocked over and rebuilt. 


God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!

 

Feeling fortunate to offer my love of yoga and it's teachings this weekend on Heidi Rose Robbin's annual Radiant Life women's retreat where there will be astrology, writing, poetry, movement, community, realness, love and amazing nurturing food and circling with the incredible kitchen healer Jules Blayne Davis.

I'm feeling so grateful for this life and these breaths that I get to teach about and this heart I can feel into. May we all continue to follow our souls calling and dance to that heartbeat drum inside, whisper just for fun and lose ourselves for deep moments when we kiss and make love.

May we realize that we can learn how to feel pleasure inside our bodies and that our bodies and lives truly are landscapes for our awakening. 

Reach out and share your beautiful self, I would love to hear from you.. 

Sending heaps and mounds of sweet, soft love and strong powerful respect and soul beauty love blasts your way.

Grateful for you and us and all that we have inside,

Adriana

New Moon Everyday Love

Courage is not the absence of fear but the understanding that other things are more important.
 

Happy New Moon!


Hi there! I am so grateful to connect and stay connected with you in this way. Take a deeper breath and feel how connected we always are in our hearts.

Yesterday morning I woke up to an incredible thunder and lightening storm with a massive downpour here in Los Angeles. I knew upon waking up it was an auspicious time- between the new moon eclipse approaching and Shivaratri (an annual holiday in reverence to the God Shiva.) The intensity of the storm felt right in line with the energy of Shiva.

Shiva is the God of destruction and transformation. It's a natural and powerful force within and around us.  It takes away what isn't serving to make space for us to be new and create what is more true and in alignment with our souls purpose.

Sometimes that means something we've been asking for comes our way and we have to find the courage within to accept and embrace letting all parts be seen and vulnerable, other times it comes in the form of a spiritual butt kicking that connects us even deeper to our inner warrior. Either way the result is usually a deeper connection to what is true for us and more freedom to create and live fully.

This new moon in pisces is a time of getting into our emotional bodies and creating, healing for the good of all in our communities, and what feels like to me a time to move into a deeper trust and courage within. Read more about the moon here.The morning storm's energy brought me into a feeling of gratitude and humility for all my mentors, teachers and the many masters that have paved the way.

A wise man I once knew suggested to someone having trouble connecting to God or a higher power that they use lightening as their God. He shared with us how when he first got onto a path he used the ocean for guidance and support. I really related to that. He was a very funny man and shared with passion and excitement how lightening and the ocean are tangible things in the world and in nature you can see, so you can't deny their existence and power. 

Often times in our work with yoga and on a spiritual path, we are connecting to the unseen, but the power and the support is the same. A couple things that have helped me over the years is learning how to see and serve the people I am surrounded by (always a work in progress) and praying the serenity prayer when I go to sleep, when I wake up and pretty much anytime I can throughout my days.  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
the Courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference. 

It's been a great support for me especially in super hard moments. It is a massive shift and release and other times it is simply a super sweet reminder of what's really important. A refocus back the source and turning our attention towards the sacredness of the moment.

I've been working with others as a hairstylist since I was in high school and have always loved empowering through beauty and connection. When I stepped more fully into my role as a teacher, women's circle facilitator and healer it became obvious to me that this opportunity for deeper connection and healing can happen within anything we are doing. In healing haircut sessions we get to help you practice feeling good and safe around change and making space for what you are looking to create in your life.

As yogis sand seekers and with the support of one another we find the sacred in the mundane and the teachings in our challenges. I love learning from my students how they connect and remember what is sacred and what brings them courage. 

I have a lot of new classes and offerings in LA - mostly in Echo Park at Yogala Studios- healing haircuts (haircut and Reiki) as well as a weekly chanting and meditation class, Awakened Feminine Spirit circle and I will be leading a Full Moon Class and Circle on the 22nd in Manhattan Beach at Yoga Loft


NJ and NY I will be back for hair, healing and kirtan April 9th for a week reply to this to schedule a session.

May we remember to ask how we can be of service in any given moment and let the extraordinary love within our hearts shine forth. Take care and reach out for support with sobriety, sacred embodiment, haircut love and meditation training.


Work to extricate yourself from the illusion of your own separateness, and then you do what you do in life. And as you do what you do in life, if you’re a shoemaker you make shoes, if you’re a mother you raise your children; whatever you’re doing that is the vehicle through which you express that. It’s like C.S. Lewis saying you don’t see the center because it’s all center. But whatever you are is the center of the whole game, and it resonates out from there. A fully conscious bus driver can affect everybody that’s in the traffic around them, everybody that steps on their bus. 
— Ram Dass
Adriana RizzoloComment
Love Becoming Me - A story about meeting Ram Dass
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"I love everyone... even me." Ram Dass"

I went from Hawaii with beloved spiritual teacher Ram Dass to the beaches of LA and now im sitting in a cafe in the magical Topanga Canyon.  So much beauty, so much churning and burning, so many tears, and laughs have erupted over this past week.  And as RD says,  "it's all grist for each other's mill of awakening."

Naturally everyone wants to know about my experience with Ram Dass.  How amazing it was and some nuggets of teaching he gave.  But honestly he doesn't teach anything.  Not in the traditional sense.  He just loves.  He sees and meets people where they are at and gives them what they need to move more into themselves, more into Love.  It's incredible and heart opening to witness that, and to be with him in the flesh.  I'm so grateful to RD, everyone who helped put together the Open Your Heart in Paradise retreat, and to the land and the ocean and the sky in Maui that helped me connect and heal so much during those 5 days.  Processing any retreat takes some time, but this is the beginning of my insights. 

The theme of the retreat was Love and Power.  So this is a story not only about how amazing it was, but also about some of what I learned and experienced on an inner level.  I learned how I give my power away and how that keeps me from Love.  What needed to be forgiven and let go.   Even though I'm putting a ton of LOVE into these words, I teach through sharing my experience of transformation.  It's the reason why I do any of this at all.  Hopefully this will hit you in a place that matters and wakes you up to whatever you may be hungry for today.

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A little backstory.  I've loved Ram Dass since I was a teenager taking a lot of LSD and found the book 'Be Here Now'.  Like most Ram Dass lovers 😊.  I would to try to follow what it said and meditate for 5 mins everyday when I was in college.  And when I met my spiritual teacher and mentor Harshada, he mentioned Ram Dass and that was part of the soul connection I had made with him that first time we met.  

On my 30th birthday Harshada opened up my copy of 'Be Here Now' to the page that read ... "Painted Cakes Do Not Satisfy Hunger."  I remember at the time looking at that and trying to think about it literally- obviously super confused.  I was having a birthday party in this house upstate I was living at, with lots of friends and music and crystal bowls- it was a great time.  It was my first sober birthday and I invited everyone I knew.  Since then that teaching has began to settle deeper and deeper into my consciousness, and I've recognized it in different situations in my life.  From a past relationship I was trying to force into something it wasn't - to my most recent experience on retreat with the man who wrote the book himself.

The spiritual path in my experience, sadhana, isn't always sweet and easy.  It has and does bring me a contentment and happiness in my life that I never knew before.  But it's called "work" for a reason.  It takes guts to look at your bullshit over and over again, each time strengthening your ability to stay in your power and love no matter what comes up.

To have the opportunity and be open and willing to share a moment of oneness with Ram Dass.  Wow.  On top of the cake I was chanting with Krishna Das every night and snorkeling with the fish in the warm blue water and allowing myself to be held and healed- floating dead style in the ocean.  Naturally that was all BLISSFUL and UNFORGETTABLE.  But to say that was my experience initially would be untrue.

Somehow even with ALL of that, it was work to get there.  I don't just mean physically - that part was easy in a way.  I mean emotionally, mentally, spiritually.  I have to admit for some reason I assumed I was going on a "spiritual vacation" (hah), and on a subtle level went seeking something outside of myself.  I should perhaps know my path and how fierce and direct it is by now, but sometimes I dream it is just all cake and orgies and stuff like that.

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So I did have some cake and I danced and I got a tan, but on an inner level what I found was an old pattern of not being there for MYSELF, feeling afraid and unsure - out of my comfort zone.  Going to old ways of trying to connect or get attention, looking, seeking, searching.  I found a deep aversion to the spiritual scene (as I do a lot of times).  I was triggered not only by my stuff coming up, but by anything or anyone spiritual in a room full of 300 beautiful seekers-  all with their own sincere intentions to heal and evolve and all their "stuff" coming up too. Man it was intense.  I could sense all that what happening on this energetic level but on the outside everyone was just having a great time it seemed. I was feeling alone and in my head, unraveling in a situation that did not feel safe or supportive to me. People partying and doing their own things that triggered my self righteousness to no end- even though I longed to see the face of God in everyone.  Before I knew it I found myself pretending like everything was great. Tranced out in an old pattern of avoidance and unconsciously committing so deeply to some sadness, grief, separateness - that It became my experience.

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On this retreat I needed to feel discomfort and feel how I run and hide when I need myself the most.  As my wise friend once put it...  I will abandon my own ship in a second.  Especially when it gets sad or hard for me emotionally.  Especially when it's me that needs Love and not someone else.   But the truth is when I'm in that stunned state it is hard for me to be there for anyone really.  It's painful in a quiet, subtle way.  And why is it that I see serving others as a service to God but not myself?

A new chunk and flavor of abandonment was coming off me. I never even looked at abandonment as something I can do to myself.  I always saw it from the perspective of something someone Has done and does to me!  But not showing up for myself is and was, up until now, keeping me withheld and withdrawn.  Keeping me from my power and the Love.  And then there was good old grief.  As much as i want these parts of me that don't serve to go, I hold tight and then even have to grieve as they fall away.

My ego likes to tell the story about how I've dealt with this grief already, or this thing I've been working on for so long.... "Ugh, it's still here?!?!?!" But that only keeps me from looking at it all from a place of power and fearlessness. I believe we use our lives to heal and work out whatever is keeping us separate from the power of our souls and the true passion and wisdom of our hearts.  And anyway it's an honor and great fortune to even have the opportunity to wake up to love like this. I mean how many people even get to do that?

My work lies in choosing greatness and love for myself.   Identifying with the power and beauty of the soul.   Over and over again.  Maybe yours is different but I believe that we all deserve that.  I don't believe in the old... you have to love yourself before loving others, because I've learned so much by practicing seeing and being there for others.  By taking "me" out of it when I am loving and serving, has helped me to get over whatever would be holding me back from really being there and fully seeing someone else or a situation on all levels.  

But being there for myself in this conscious, inner way is different.  It's next level radical aloneness.  It's finding the joy in serving myself on this level. The cool thing is we all grow and heal through each others experiences.  It can be scary for any of us to live with an open, tender heart. On the deepest level our experiences are all so similar.  Finding that joy within Being with and loving myself is what makes my experience and intention in serving others more pure and direct.  There seem to be different levels to how we serve.  This is how we get fed by it instead of burnt out.  Because it's not coming from a place of being needed.  It's funny I feel like I "got" all of this before but everytime we think we get something or know something we are kindof screwed right?!

Someone asked Ram Dass something about how he came to recognize the soul and he replied... "It wasn't from being a psychologist."  And then cracked up.  He goes on to say that his sadhana was going from his head to his heart.  We can know so many things but transformation comes from us living through it and learning, really growing from our experiences.  A retreat or a course gives us the space to do that, and so do our lives if we let them be filled with that kind of intention.  If we make everything we do intentional, weigh our decisions against our greatness, we shed light on the hidden parts and uncover more light.  The only way is through.  It's what being a yogi is all about.  And it means different things at different times.  It's our ability to be fluid and sensitive with all that there is. And to hold a space for the power of our souls at the same time.  This is how we get fearless and move through to a more open and loving part of ourselves.

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And then there is the soul and our ability to connect soul to soul.  RD mentioned how one of the advantages of identifying as a soul is that you see other souls.  Because every soul has love, wisdom, compassion, joy.  Then we can begin to know love beyond the limitations of our egos and personalities.  The work I have done so far helped me Connect to my soul. That's what moved me to look at Ram Dass in his beautiful blue eyes and speak to him with my heart.  I waited until the last possible moment to do so, but I did it and I'm so happy I didn't let myself get in the way of making that connection.

What satifies my hunger is really going for it and loving hard even when something inside is telling me not to.  Connecting to my soul, to your soul, and to the oneness that we share.  Although my path has brought me more happiness, bliss, pleasure and joy than I ever knew before, it's not just about how amazing everything is all the time. (Or is it?!) It's also about being alive.  Another wise friend reminded me through text about how RD always says,  and this, and this, and this. Being awake to what is. And then moving on. Even in moments of discomfort and deep healing.  Sharing our experiences WHILE keeping an awareness of the wisdom of our hearts.  To speak the words we long to hear and to be there for others to do the same.  To me this is powerful and it's REAL and it's how we can shift and change the world.  Ram Dass did tell us to save the world because we love it, not out of anger or guilt.  And the only world I feel like I can truly change is mine.  What other one do I have really?

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I went on that retreat with the intention to remove anything I'm holding onto that is making it difficult to step up and into true love and success right now.  To embody the woman I know I am inside in every way.  To know that no matter what I'm going through I'm ok.  And it's ok.  I am coming home having found mostly a new appreciation for all the beautiful support in my life, and within myself. 

I feel my heart in a new way and am happy to return home to all of the love that I love so much.  On this retreat I touched the part of myself that is afraid to be great.  The part that forgets how funny she is, how connected and how powerful.  To know that we can satisfy our hunger for change and love and anything by the wonderful power of Grace and through using our bodies and lives to make it happen, is a miracle. Just like Ram Dass, just like me, and just like YOU!

*Oh and on a side note, we all swam In the blue with RD on the last day and chanted OH JOY over and over.  And it was AWESOME. 

Xo

Adriana

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"Suffering is a part of the plan of it all and suffering stinks.  And as human being you do what you can to end suffering because of the compassionate nature of your heart at the same moment you know that it's perfect including your wanting to get rid of it." RD *Photo by Jerry Scarnato

#awakenedfeminine #artofloving #lovehardlivetrue #loveandserve

 

The Incredible Power of Touch

If you are God, and God is on your side . . . then who could be against you?

Women's shame and rage has seemed to me to be up and out there, from our own efforts of evolving to the shitty ways it's been in the media these most recent days. This is a post about the many ways we can heal through touch and being touched. Oh Lord the awesome, incredible power of touch just happens to be right here, in between my breasts, in this place called the heart.

Do you know how it feels when you haven't been touched in awhile? Omg it can be intense right?! Your body and insides start to ache or feel lonely and frustrated. It can also at times be a beautiful feeling of longing if you tap into it inside of out. 

Being and feeling touched is a such a key ingredient in our practice to be present with ourselves and one another. For some of us multiple elements go into it in a way that brings about more presence, comfort, ease, openness and so much love that our skin softens and opens.

We ain't talkin' about just any ol' touch here folks . . . And for those that have experienced any trauma this is especially the case.

Since I was a kid I have always had a super charged sensual and sexual body. Seems kind of weird but you know how kids are with that stuff. Natural, honest and curious there is little holding back. Some kids seem to have it more than others. 

There may have been some sexual trauma, or it was just passed down to me from my mothers lineage who experienced a lot of abuse. Either way that fire that makes me the wild and free woman I am today had, and has, it's shadow.

In part because of society and what we all have been conditioned to feel is ok or not ok, but much of it has caused me harm, shame, blame and pain in the end and I have come to learn on my own the shadow of that beautiful energy in me is quite the opposite to helpful. Reacting from the shadow of this power that in all of it's light is glorious juicy, creative love.

I was always someone who was touched and liked to touch others a lot. When it came to romantic relations it was often unhealthy, not having boundaries around how and when and why I wanted to be touched or didn't.  It was and still can be confusing, do I wan tot have sex but I don't but he's not man so... it goes on and I hear it all the time from my women. 

It's why I actively chose to stop having sex for awhile, mostly to see what would happen. What happened was that there was a lot of shame and heartache and grief to heal and be felt and still to heal and feel. And then there was the tremendous creative energy and natural power that I tapped into as well. ANd when it comes to all the other stuff, I don't have all the answers but I know it's time for us to listen to our bodies and give up the shame and blame game we put on ourselves. ok?!

Healing the shame we all hold is a doorway to deeper intimacy, trust within our bodies and connection to that truth we are all starving for. That little one inside we ignore can be fed and matched. We can now settle into being touched with tremendous love and enjoy it. Whether alone, with our healers or with our lovers and partners.

I am still working on relating to this part of myself and Grace, or at least have to be awake to it's presence and not react from the shadow of it but love this part of me. Not try to get rid of it but use it. It's a way that I get to feel that touch within on a subtle level. Now, I am committed to listening to her (the fire and the sacred/sensual energy), consciously letting her nourish me throughout the day, so I can then nurture those around me.  

You know how you get all energized and excited when you're newly in love? It's like that, except the love energy is driven towards your life and your own wild heart and connection. We can of course do this when we are in love too and in relationships too - one of the most beautiful aspects of partnership that sometimes requires work well worth it.

On our own we can generate that same excitement for life as we hold space for the right lover and partners, focus on our businesses or families. To know what this feels like within ourselves is a big deal. I personally learned through training with a teacher very connected and initiated into a lineage where this energy is what people connect to, to heal and get free. Now I am learning to feel this completely on my own and within the many bodies of nature.

Not easy . . . there have been times facing into all this shame in me where I felt unseen and totally helpless, like after a breakup in a relationship you gave all of your power away. All totally worth it to know how special and important it is for me now to know that everything I have learned and seen on my journey so far is truly inside and right here. Right now. Not that that is my experience all the time, but a deep knowing that I am working into my body. Rewriting with super loving, powerful touch.

We know touch is crucial for emotional bonding in newborns, and as adults we crave that same bond - both within and with others. Touching, stroking and holding ourselves. Dancing especially when you don't feel like it is huge and is great medicine for healing the psychological hardness and bs that arises when facing into shame.

After hearing this suggestion by another woman in a circle a couple months back, I began to make part of my practice gently stroking my face and my body. And I don't mean just sexually but sensually. When I teach the sacred sensuality workshops we practice using creative movement and sound. From the very gross physical and voice to the super subtle energy of our wild hearts and sacred pelvic fires in meditation. It is all an invitation to receive, connect, surrender, heal and make space to create.

I will often start my online healing sessions by having women feel their hands on their face, head, arms. To brush away neck and back tension using our hands can release stress. Touching all parts of your body with your hands can bring more presence and love there.

Different than completely ignoring, or only giving the self-hating eye to it in the mirror. I completely know what that's like.

Our hands are insanely connected to our hearts. With practice this connection gets stronger. It is an energy that moves not from us but through. When we learn this on a subtle energetic level then the physical brings it all together in a bigger way whether we are moving, dancing, healing, receiving, orgasming or simply breathing consciously. It all takes on a new wave of deep potent Love. 

It is your creative and birth right to feel yourself in this way. To love yourself and heal yourself in this way. Maybe you commit to dance naked in front of the mirror until your awareness shifts and expands so vast you can see that you are more than all of that flesh and bone.  You will start to see your love. Your heart. The way that Grace moves your body, whether it's looks good or awkward or spaztic or sexy, Grace loves it all, and so can you. Your power and your beauty truly comes from deep within you.

If you are God, and God is on your side . . . then who could be against you?

To learn how to move past any shame and guilt and experience the soft gentle yet massive power that you hold in your touch, in your body is no small deal. I have a ton of support in my life so I can support others. That's the way it works.  And if you have things come up or any shame or trauma in your body then you should too. I want you to know that you are not alone.

In the safe, healing touch of another we can let go of so much that hold us back from being with ourselves in a deep intimate and loving way. It can help us manifest our wishes and desires in our high moments and help us heal what's coming up in the lows. Touch, both physical and energetic is part of living a healthy, balanced, conscious loving life.

Reach out if you need support and if you want to learn more about Sacred Sensuality join us at Maha Rose on February 13th, a Full Moon Women's Circle Feb 22nd at Devi Yoga and an intimate Joy Circle Session with Samantha Elkrief  that is a sound and healing touch, kirtan, discussion and food event . . . more information for February events here!

Sending a Big Hug and Love Touch to you

Xo





Adriana RizzoloComment