The Hummingbird’s Visit #YogaPoetry #poetry

While sitting on the porch this afternoon, I had a visit from the resident hummingbird and found myself pulled into the stillness of the present to bear witness to life. While it is all too  easy to try to take over life in our hurry to live it, sometimes it is worthwhile to allow it to take over us. If even for just a few moments.

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Sometimes it is enough

to watch the circle of life

and listen to the rise and fall of its notes

How the sky screams the hawk’s warning

before a spirit lifts from the body of a chipmunk

to rejoin the infinite expanse

Hidden in the green, the house cat

skulks as though it were in Africa

The dimensions of size and place lost

to the memories of cells

In the stillness of the moment

tense is erased by the rhythm

of the breath’s own steady rise and fall

inviting the heart to find

the harmony of the dance

Is the struggle real? #YogaPoetry #poetry

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Beautiful things happen when you enter

the space of infinite becoming

where each aspect of the self unfurls

its petals to the stillness contained within

in soft waves of light

you are birthed

whole to all that you are

and discover essence is not confined

to a body

love drips

like water through the pores of skin

dissolving this sheath that would be armor

do not allow yourself to be held

too long in the coat

beauty is a timeless seed

requiring darkness

to germinate

a hidden code revealed only

when the self lets go of all

that it thought was real

and becomes Life

itself

Wanted: Middle Graders for Online Book Club #warriorsoflight #thelabyrinth #middlegradebookclub

Online Book Club for Middle Graders
Join the journey at https://warriorsoflight.club/ 

 

When I began writing The Labyrinth about six years ago, I had one central question in mind, “How can I help kids and teens live their truths without fear?” As a child who lived in fear of speaking her truths, I have experienced the physical and emotional effects of not living in alignment with your inner truths. I believe the greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of empowerment through unconditional love. When we open up to the realization that our children are here for their own unique purpose, and that it is our job as their caregivers to help honor and nurture their inner gifts, we allow them to bloom into the light of their true selves.

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The six main characters in The Labyrinth are young teens who are at that pivotal point in their lives when their sense of self is being developed. They are learning who they are and how they fit into the larger world around them. As each young warrior of light works through their fears and insecurities inside a magical labyrinth filled with light shadowed by darkness, they begin to unlock the gifts of their true selves. Realizing, in this journey of self-discovery, that they are not only powerful, but a necessary part of the web of light that connects all life.

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The characters from the Warriors of Light series are featured as teen teachers of life on the site warriorsoflight.club 

The Labyrinth is available worldwide in print and Kindle formats, and I have developed a companion website for readers who seek to explore its themes for self-empowerment and personal growth. As I work to enhance and expand the teachings of the book series, I am looking for input and engagement from its targeted readership. I’d like to bring together a group of kids & teens between the ages of 10-14 who are interested in exploring life through The Labyrinth in an online book club. Over the course of 7 weeks, we’ll read and discuss the themes and passages from the book that have the greatest impact on them.

Empowering Youth Through The Labyrinth

Some of the topics that are explored in The Labyrinth include:

  • Intuitive guidance
  • Yoga, mindfulness & meditation
  • Working with crystals & stones
  • Animal & spirit guides
  • Energy balancing & protection
  • Overcoming fear
  • Finding & embracing one’s gifts

Our discussions will be used to help develop games, workshops and interactive tools, some of which will be hosted on the warriors of light club website, for kids and teens to explore freely.  In exchange, I will send participants a signed copy of the book, and a uniquely designed chakra pendant. Unfortunately I can only ship within the U.S. due to international shipping costs, but if there is a reader outside the U.S. who wishes to join the book club I’d be happy to reimburse the cost of the book ordered off of Amazon.

If you know a child or teen who might be interested in being a part of this online bookclub, which will be hosted via Zoom, please share this post with their caregivers. I’d like to begin soon after the New Year and hold the online gatherings on Sunday evenings around 7pm EST.

More about The Labyrinth & the Warriors of Light Club

About The Labyrinth:

Six young teens find themselves drawn inside a mysterious labyrinth. They have been told they are the chosen ones, tasked with a mission to repair the broken paths of light in the planet. A darkness, they discover, that is driven by a fear that is as much outside of them as it is inside of them. In order to save themselves and the planet, the young warriors must find the strengths of their inner gifts. Becoming, in the process, warriors of light bound together on a journey of discovery that will take them to hidden places in Earth and within themselves.

Reviews of The Labyrinth from readers: 

“This is a beautifully written book that can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates adventurers who work to improve themselves and their situations with courage and intelligence. As characters the youngsters show up well in the various situations they find themselves yet not without having to battle their personal demons. I enjoyed it that the violence was not out of proportion to the story, and that there wasn’t a lot of silly “teen age” behavior. Best of all, I felt was the interesting way the author presented nuggets of he Ancient Wisdom, those principles that guide us to our best selves. I can’t wait to see the next book!” — Tasha Halpert

“The Labyrinth is a beautiful metaphysical journey that will appeal to kids who like fantasy and magic. It has at its core an exploration of our relationship with the Earth, and how we each have a shadow side (our fears) that we must be willing to face in order to understand how we can heal ourselves and our planet. The language is beautiful and accessible, the characters diverse and engaging, and the story invites kids to ponder their place in the larger web of life, without being “preachy”… I deeply appreciate the author’s mission to help kids dive below the surface in an age where it’s easy to get lost in the technological and material world.” — Carol Goff

Warriors of Light.Club:

Warriorsoflight.club, a companion website for the book series, was created to provide children, teens, and their caregivers a free, accessible, and safe environment to explore a deeper awareness of self. A monthly newsletter is offered via the website for youth who seek a community where they feel accepted and honored for embracing their true, unique selves.

 

Alethea Kehas, MFA, RMT, RYT200, owner of Inner Truth Healing & Yoga, works with people of all ages to discover, heal, and realign with their inner truths. The Labyrinth is her second published book, and she is in the processing of writing book 2 of the Warriors of Light series. 

Yoga in the field

The summer is rapidly passing into fall, as it always seems to do this time of year, at least in New England. The days are getting noticeably shorter and the leaves are starting to fall in clumps from our old apple tree. I have just two more weeks left of teaching yoga classes in a field nearby my home, and already I am missing it.

 

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Slow time

 

Each Friday morning I have been waking early to greet the day with my fellow yogis. Before the sun rises past the treeline to dry the grass beneath, we roll out our mats and blankets on the moist earth. I like to arrive early, taking my time to walk down the road with my bag slung over my shoulder like a hobo. I take with me sometimes more than I need. Ties to use for straps; a solar speaker that sometimes works — today it did not; a chime for heralding the start of class, which I have never needed play; a portable headset, new and also unused. Today, after class, I took the chime and headset out, allowing the bag to be lighter for the last two weeks.

 

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The fractal canopy of trees

 

I also took my flipflops off early, at the edge of the roadside, and walked the long grass in an embrace of the senses. The cold dew waking through the soles my thirsty feet seeking connection. I think of the long winter ahead and relish the contact with the living land. I have learned that I prefer the ground to the mat, my body moving of its own accord off the artificial surface to step into the pose of warrior and mountain. There is a strength to be found through direct contact.

 

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Hawk of the sun

 

Practicing yoga outdoors comes with its challenges and gifts. The ground is uneven, and one cannot help but notice the imperfections of its surface. Or is it perfection? The sometimes not-so-subtle play of life occurs regardless of your presence. Crows argue loudly in the trees. Hawks screech overhead in search of their next meal. Spiders sail webs between grass blades. I am a sucker for wildlife. Today, my eyes watched a tiny yellow arachnid jump the green stems between me and my students for a few moments. Above their heads, my gaze searched the trees for the chattering birds. I find I am filled with joy when others also stop to listen and gaze. Their faces mirroring a delight that cannot be found inside artificial walls.

 

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Winged traveler here only for the summer

 

How can I not miss these Friday mornings in the fields? I think, perhaps, I’ll even miss the trucks lumbering by, causing my voice to stretch its limitations. The sun, sometimes too warm when it crests the trees, drawing sweat from my pores. And that long, wet grass, which makes my feet tingle with life. I’ll miss the end of class when there is always at least one student lingering to share life. I do not worry so much about time on these mornings. It passes as it will, and there is always enough to spare. Each moment flowing into the next more like a stream than a rushing river.

The Beginnings of Endings

 

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

The owl appeared as the resurrected phoenix during my last, formal meditation as a student of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness. At some point, the seeker becomes the seen as the threshold to the mysteries are opened. The wisdom that always lies in wait within is always just a conscious breath away, but humans can be shallow breathers. In my young adult novel The Labyrinth, which is due to be released in a month or so, the voice of an owl cuts through the darkness as teens search for what they cannot find.

“Whoooo Loooooks for Yooooou?” The owl calls out to them.

Ultimately, are we not all looking for our own selves? The truth of the soul that is often only allowed to exist fully in the false protection of the shadows. The eyes, therefore, must turn inward and grow accustomed to the dark, where eventually they learn to see the light held within.  We are all seekers of wisdom, but sometimes it is worth asking what is the wisdom we truly seek?

The crow was waiting at the top of the building when I stepped outside the door of my final day of yoga teacher training. She cawed loud and strong, least I miss her presence, looking down at me as her eyes followed me to my car. Don’t forget who brought you here, she seemed to be saying, along with, you know this is only a beginning.

I have learned, over the course of these last three years in particular, how much endings are really just beginnings. Once we have crossed that threshold that marks the completion of a road along our journey, another road awaits us. The road is often unmarked or vaguely marked at best. if we knew what was waiting, would we walk with the open heart that requires trust and surrender?

And so I find myself walking across the threshold with eyes that have learned to see in the dark. Fear has become a friend that sometimes takes my hand to remind me of courage and I have grown comfortable with what is waiting to be known. I have learned that within each moment I can find the presence of teachers surrounding me. They are the trees outside my window and the birds that pass by. They are the people I encounter on the streets, and the dogs who share the couch as I write. My computer is my teacher, with all its quirks and challenges. And there is always, that ever-guiding light within.

I have become also, a friend of wait. Patience provides a soft hand that is worth holding for as long as it is offered. Magic is, after all, held in the present moment and if one pushes against the ever-flowing current of time it is lost.

My Journey with the Aham Prema mantra & the Inner Fugitive Archetype of the Enneagram #ahamprema #mantras #yogamantras #healingmantras

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My journey with the mantra Aham Prema, “I Am Divine Love,” continues, pulling me deeper within to examine the origins of fears that hold back the full light of the divine self. Love’s opposite is not hate, but fear. Hate and all its friends are byproducts of fear.

In the first post I wrote about working with the Aham Prema mantra, I talked about the constriction I felt in my throat. The journey through this pathway to the voice of inner truth continues. Almost every night I note in my journal some point of evidence about my throat being worked like a muscle. I also make note of the sensations felt in my heart and third eye chakras. The heart feels as though it wants to be free of another barrier, while the brow seeks the expansion of the inner light.

In my Silent Eye School of Consciousness studies, I am working with the energy of the inner fugitive, an aspect of the self that can reside in a habitual state of fear and hiding. The mantra Aham Prema adds to the intensity of the work, pulling me into depths I have, I realize, avoided exploring. I will call this place terror: that aspect of extreme fear that holds the tightest binds around the true-self. Irrational terror, if one considers only this lifetime, but I cannot.

The signs are too many. They appear everywhere. One day, while I walk, I see the number 6, where the inner fugitive likes to reside on the Enneagram, in a murder of crows. Another day, it appears as a bevy of doves. My dreams at night bring me deeper, pulling me to places of extremes to test the reins of fear binding the fugitive-self. One night, while I am on a ship being pulled underwater, I realize I am no longer afraid of “drowning.” Yet, in the same night, I find myself cowering away from an archway of the gods filling the sky with its awesome presence. One glance tells me I haven’t reached faith without doubt of the divine.

Aham Prema. “I Am Divine Love.” To open the light within, one must also surrender to the light without, knowing that when the reins of fear are broken there is no division.

When I go to sleep after day 7 of working with the mantra, I dream of artichokes in muffins presented by Sue Vincent, my mentor. Later,  Eagle appears. Eagle has been a faithful and revelatory guide for many years. Years ago, Eagle brought me the vision of a past life that is significant to this journey.

By day 10 I start to succumb to a cold virus which, it will be no surprise, begins with a sore throat before it works its way to the sinuses, causing pain from the pressure built up in my temples and forehead. From here it travels down the channel of the throat into the heart chakra where the lungs start to fill with fluid residue.

Later in the day, I see 6 crows in the sky, circling and calling out.

In the evening, I go into a meditation and find I am pulled into the forest nearby my house, to a place I have not walked in years. It is a path lined with evergreens. Years ago, when I first walked the path with my late dog Daisy, my mind brought me to a recurring nightmare from childhood. The dream was of sheer terror, and each night it would wake me at the same moment when the voice of fear tried to escape from my throat. It was a dream of fleeing through a forest of pines which, I later discovered through meditation and healing work, held the imprint of terror from a past life when I tried to flee from the Nazis through an evergreen woods. During my meditation, waves of healing pass through me as my body begins to release the binds of its terror.

When I later fall into sleep , Daisy visits me in a dream. My beloved companion who taught me that forests are places of magic and elemental love, and not to be feared, has returned for a night.

On day 11 I cannot practice the 54 repetitions I have been chanting every night.  My throat is too sore, and my body is beyond fatigued. I need to rest.

And so I find myself at the edge of faith with my soul asking me, Will you release the residue of fear that remains to open fully to the Light? Will you stand naked to Love in the arms of Faith?

I used to drink this as a child

Sometimes all it takes is a trigger to make your remember, again. I was getting my hair cut and highlighted, and while the color was setting, my friend, the stylist, was proudly showing me photographs of the beautiful fairy house she made with her 10-yr. old “little sister.” I was impressed by the intricate details and the obvious care and love that had gone into its creation, but the images faded into the background as we talked about other things. An hour later I walked out the door and continued on with my day. The little fairy house, already forgotten, lurked somewhere hidden inside my mind.

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A “fairy house” beside my home

Sometimes it takes a trigger, and also a release of the old to give way to the forgotten inner. After leaving the salon, I made my way to my tai chi class, where I stayed for the next hour. As I was preparing to leave, I over-heard a woman remark to her companion, “It’s like having reiki.” She’s absolutely right, I stopped in pause.

Or a double dose in my case. You see before I went to the salon, I had my Friday morning yoga class. Both yoga and tai chi work with the energy centers in the body where we hold our “chi,” and allow it to stir back into life where it has become stagnant. We also release stuck energy that’s ready to leave, to allow the true life force energy that resides in all of us to flow as it wants to. In tai chi class, we literally draw into our bodies the energy of Earth and the Universe to rejuvenate our bodies as we shake out the old that we no longer want to carry.

I was exhausted by the time I got home, and I uncharacteristically found my way to the hammock under the oaks and hemlocks and stayed there for so long I could hear the whisper of the arbiter inside me reminding me, “You should be making dinner now.” But, a stronger voice said, “Stay awhile longer. Forget about time as you have grown to follow it.”

So I stayed and took in the contrast of the green canopy of leaves filtering the brilliant illusion of a blue ceiling, allowing myself to just be. I watched and listened to the squirrels in the oak, carrying on their conversations as they clung impossibly to their vertical home. I fell into that hazy sleep of daytime, only to wake and wonder where I had temporarily gone.

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The blue of the sky

The day gave way to evening, and I ventured back into town to get take-out for my family. No one complained that I did not cook. The sky turned from the color of a blue jay’s wing to the color of the crows who had circled the skies like an omen when I had walked the dogs before I ventured to the  hammock.  I grew increasingly tired after dinner, sleep calling louder with each hour that passed until I finally made my way to bed.

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Night’s messenger

I can’t tell you where I traveled while I slept for most of the night, but I can tell you about the scene from which I woke this morning. I am still smiling with the memory of coming home, even though I couldn’t find the tea on the internet after I woke. But that’s really irrelevant.

Home, to my recollection, was mostly the scene of a summer forest. I woke, in the dream, that is, alone and outside. I had been sleeping in some sort of tent and my family was already gone for the day. I rolled my blankets and ventured out into my surroundings, which were lush and green, the color of the oak leaves before they turn in fall. There was some sort of wire enclosure, to keep animals in or out, I was not sure, but I rolled it away none-the-less. I searched the area for signs of life and found myself suddenly in winter, drawn up a hill beside an old mansion. There were neighbors working on their own house. I left them alone and walked through the snow toward a large hedgerow shaped into an archway. It was covered in ice, but there was a narrow opening in the middle, so I squeezed my way through. I was back to summer.

I shed my heavy coat, for there was no longer need of it, and found I was hungry. I ventured inside a hobbit-like house that felt like home, and there inside was a child. A girl who seemed to know me, and I her. She, I discovered, was also hungry. “I think they went to get more food,” she told me, and we saw the remnants of a meal. Animals appeared around our feet. A couple of young cats, and two small white dogs. The blind one lingered around my legs. Daisy appeared, but not my dog companions who are still in physical form.

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Daisy, who always reminded me when the elementals had something to say

Soon we discovered the food. It was a full buffet, laid out, partially hidden, in a depression in the kitchen counter. For a moment we indulged our appetites, then began the search for tea. “I think it’s over there, I told the girl.” We culled through drawers filled with tea, but could not find the kind we were looking for. Above the counter were cabinets, and I opened one, only to discover what I had been looking for. My eager hands held the boxes filled with the green of spring. I read the labels, “Fairy Tea,” and felt the inner stirrings of joy. “I used to drink this as a child,” I told her. But, of course, she already knew that.

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With my friend Deb at Samhain. That spark of light on my left arm just might be a fairy

 

 

Letting in the Light

Last week the heavy energy that had been accumulating in the form of humidity where I live, was released by a night of tremendous thunderstorms. Structures shook with the power of lightning, as the clouds and wind brought the rain back to the earth and lifted dense energy to light.

The next day I felt lighter, in fact I felt so light I knew I was not completely grounded to the Earth. That is the trade-off of too much light. It can leave us feeling as though we could easily drift into the heavens. Not by accident, it was a turtle that brought me back down to Earth. Turtle is the animal symbol of Mother Earth, and the teacher who shows us how to join Heaven and Earth inside of our bodies. There it was in front of me as I walked the path in the woods with my dogs. A small snapper stopped on its way. I couldn’t help but pause, knowing that there was a message in this unexpected creature, and as I did, the dogs too took notice. In a flash, the turtle jumped to meet the sniffing nose of Daisy, and as I watched my dog retract in pain, I followed the drip of her red blood as it met the Earth.

I was back on this plane.

We, as souls incarnated as humans, face the challenge of balancing the elements inside of our beings. Too much air and we lose our ground; too much earth and we feel heavy; too much fire and we feel rage; too much water and we are over-come with emotion.

Today, I asked my guides about light and realized as I transcribed their words that we each, individually, have the ability to bring light to our shadows and heal the wounds we accumulate through our lives and store within our cells. Not long ago I was convinced I needed someone else, a trained healer of energy, to heal my centers of pain. Perhaps I did need this catalyst, for soon after I started paying attention to moments when the intellect gives way to the soul. In my sleep and in my meditations, my body let in the energy of light, and healed the pain lurking in the shadows.

These were dramatic moments, like the sessions I had with the energy healer. There are though, I’ve come to realize, many ways to bring in the healing energy of light. Months ago, I started tuning into the energy of trees, and felt my body bounce each time I passed large pines and oaks while I walked through the forest. When we laugh we release heavy energy and let in the light. Sometimes the act is involuntary, like a sneeze, or a good cry.

This morning I did my tai chi forms outside, with my bare feet finding balance on the uneven ground. With martial arts forms like tai chi (yoga also does this), we bring the red energy of the Earth Mother into our bodies, drawing it up through the soles of our feet as we plant them firmly on the ground. It is an active event. The breath is the vehicle. When we breathe in we draw energy into our bodies and disperse it throughout our cells. The body moves with the breath, which exhales from deep within, drawing the toxins out of the shadows and dispersing them into the air. In doing this we find our power. We become charged with light energy, with our feet still firmly planted on the ground.

Each of us has the ability to be our own energy healers. Taking the time to listen to your spirit and finding the method(s) that work for you, will bring unquestionable benefits. It’s not something, as I was reminded today, you can do only on occasion, but ideally, a daily practice. What makes your soul lighter? Is it singing, writing, painting, dancing, gardening, or cooking and eating healthy foods? Or something else? Most likely there will be many answers that come to you. It’s worth the exploration.