Freedom

Miffy’s Power and a bit about Shiva

Last post I wrote about Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati. Shiva is known as the destroyer as well as the creator. Together with Brahma and Vishnu, Shiva forms the triple deity. Brahma is seen as the creator of the universe. Vishnu preserves and protects the universe and Shiva is the destroyer of the universe. Shiva is often called upon and seen as creator, preserver and destroyer. In Shiva the opposites meet.

Shiva can take up many shapes and incarnations. Shiva Nataraj is one of Shiva’s incarnations, also known as Lord of the Dance. While we practice dancers’ pose on our yoga mat we can call upon the power of Shiva Nataraj. Shiva Nataraj is seen surrounded by a circle of flames while standing on a demon shown as a dwarf who symbolizes ignorance or our lower (ego)parts. Shiva is an invitation to wake up and remember your true nature or essence. ‘Om Namah Shiva’ can be translated as ‘I bow to my inner light or teacher’ or ‘I recognize my true essence’.

Shiva Nataraj also symbolizes all the cycles we experience in life; the cycle of day and night, winter, spring, summer and autumn, joy and sadness and the cycle of birth and death. For me Shiva Nataraj reminds me that in the end, all will end, everything is a phase and to dance through the cycles with joy and playfulness. I once heard a great saying; The good news is: it is a phase and will end and the bad news is: it is a phase and will end. You cannot have true joy without real sadness. In our everyday society we often behave as if we live forever and deny the truth that life is precarious and live accordingly. I have realised that not everybody likes to think and talk about death. For me it is not necessarily a depressing sad truth, rather the reality and therefore an invitation to be grateful for all the little things in life. When contemplating our limited time I often ask myself questions like; have I said everything I want to say to my loved ones? Am I living the life I want to live?

Shiva or our true essence reminds me to treasure this special time I have with my little kids who are very much in tune with the dance of life. I recently heard from Ram Dass, that the best thing to do to prepare yourself for death is to live NOW. So I am blessed to have two little wise teachers reminding me of this every day. Little kids haven’t identified themselves with their ego as much as adults and they often haven’t got any idea of time yet. They perfectly and naturally know how to live in this moment with all their attention and energy. For me this is a wonderful lesson, since I have the tendency to overthink, overanalyse and worry instead of being truly present. While I am writing this first draft, I am holding a little miffy cuddly toy on my lap given to me by my eldest son. ‘Here mum this one is for you, miffy will make sure to scare away all the ghosts (demons) for you.’

Om Namah Shivah!

 

“You know, for always trying to banish our pain we don’t learn anything from it, and it can’t help us to serve others, so we have to turn towards it. Allow ourselves to touch the pain of our life with some mercy and tenderness. When we realize just how precarious this life is – and it is absolutely precarious – then we don’t want to waste a minute. Then we want to use our lives in a responsible way. We want to jump into our life fully. We want to tell the people we love that we love them.”

– Frank Ostaseski– 

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Looking back after 3 years in Kiwiland

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Stubborn Adventure

Stubborn, sensitive and impatient, these characteristics are all known to me. I see them as strengths, they have brought me where I am today: New Zealand. Three years ago, I stepped on a plane to follow my heart with two suitcases filled with clothes and shoes. What else do you need? I said goodbye to my dear family and friends. My mum was crying, I wasn’t this time, since after being separated for six months; I was finally going to see my love again. All the preparations were finished, I was going to step on a plane and start a new adventure. I couldn’t wait! A one-year-try out, that was the plan. We had hardly been together since the first time we met. He went off to China and I went off to Africa. After 4 months I finally came back in The Netherlands and in the meantime he had booked his one-way ticket to New Zealand. We fell in love anyway and enjoyed our time together for the next two months. In the midst of a starting relationship, when the butterflies are abundant and the love is intense, we had to say goodbye. He had made his decision to go back to his beloved New Zealand, a final short love affair would be a good way to end all his years in Holland, was the thought in the back of his mind. I don’t think he realised he was dating a pretty stubborn young lady, who was going to follow her heart, no matter where that would lead her.

Sensitive Challenge

Three years later, we have bought a house and I am teaching yoga and guiding people through inner Journey. I could never have imagined my life would be like this, if you would have asked me five years ago. I exchanged my pushbike for a car and my apartment for a spacious home with a bit of land, chickens and a veggie garden. I exchanged my busy life for a more back to earth relaxing lifestyle. My birthday is now in the middle of ‘winter’ and Christmas is celebrated on the beach. I have exchanged the plenty of good shopping opportunities in Holland for plenty of beautiful quiet beaches in Northland. Lots of change and challenge have appeared for this sensitive soul and will still appear. When I was in my teenage years, I decided to get my driver license as the first one of my sisters. My parents were a bit surprised, their sporty, spiritual, environment friendly daughter was going to get a driver license? Most of the time in my childhood we were without a car, we did everything by bicycle. I really treasure those memories, of our special cosy family. I have never been a fan of driving a car, although I really love my car now, especially on a rainy cold day, so I stay warm and dry. My one secret reason to get my license, was the idea I had in the back of my mind: working in the midst of Africa doing development work and driving around in a jeep. I imagined myself making a real difference to the world, and to truly assist others living a better/happier/healthier life.

Finally feeling and finding love

After several trips to Africa, my eyes opened. Do I really make a difference? Why do I want to make a difference? Do I want to boost my ego? I realized I had so much more work to do on myself, before I was truly able to assist others. The people I met on my trips appeared to look more joyful and happy than the average European. Who needs to learn from whom? I realised that I was trying to do good, while my inner world was rumbling: insecure and restless. If you haven’t connected with the peace, quietness and contentment within you, how are you going to create more contentment in the world, outside you? The Journey was extremely helpful for me to live a more joyful, happy, content and truthful life. One of my last trips to Africa involved Journey Outreach: this was a rewarding, fun, challenging and interesting time. Doing journey work while in the so-called developing countries and my beloved Africa, would be the perfect combination. While occupied with travelling and where to go and live, my love suddenly arrived. As impatient as I am, I had been longing for romantic love for a long time and had written down plenty of pages in my diary on how my ideal partner would look like, behave and so on. I often doubted if I would ever meet the right guy. I promised myself, I would rather stay by myself than choose for a relationship that didn’t feel 100% truthful, fulfilling and happy.

Togetherness

We have learnt and experienced so much together. I can’t imagine living apart anymore. So yes, I would recommend everyone to follow your heart, no matter how scary, unknown, uncertain or awkward that might be. If you really trust your heart, your life will be an amazing journey. My uncertainty and doubts about work has completely disappeared when I decided to teach yoga and meditation. I feel immense grateful to be able to share my passion to follow your heart and live the life of your dreams. I believe that if I can assist in creating more inner peace in myself and others, I truly make a difference in the world. It is rewarding and so empowering to do and live your passion. My dear friends in Africa, I haven’t forgotten about you. My intention is to promote a more mindful way of living to benefit the whole world. Yes, I dream big. I hope to arrive again on African soil one day; to integrate my practice on and off my yoga mat. As a thank you for how Africa taught me to slow down, to appreciate the little things in life, to truly live like we are all connected as ONE.

I deeply bow to all the teachers in my life, especially to one of the most inspiring, wise, empowering and enormously missed woman in my life: my mum.

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Home is where the heart is

 

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Three weeks ago we moved into our first home. Exciting times. Scary times. I realized I went into a business mode; keep myself occupied with packing, preparation and at times just running around without a clear purpose. When I finally had the courage, I took the time to stand still and actually feel my anxiety, my nerves. My analysing mind didn’t really understand why? You are still staying in the same town, the same country, with the same partner, with the same job and same friends and family nearby. Why am I nervous at all? For me that is exactly the scary thing; everything stays the same with boredom around the corner. Owning my own home, feels extremely serious, grown-up and indefinite. The last ten years of my life has been full of travelling, change, meeting new people, change of jobs, change of countries and cities. That is what I am naturally drawn to; adventure and excitement. After a therapy session with a friend, it became really clear to me, that I have always been on the run; looking for new adventures, creating new excitement. I never really settled anywhere, because that for me is really scary. Moving to the other side of the world and starting a new life isn’t that scary. And now I am truly settling here; own home, car, chickens, veggie garden. Who ever thought that? When I was young I told myself I am going to travel the world for the rest of my life and live from a backpack, no need to settle. If I look back, I can see clearly I was always on the run for my own fears, even in my dreams. From the outside, people thought I was fearless and dare to do everything. From within, however, I was full of anxiety, insecurity and nerves often about the small things in life that was for me scarier.

And honestly after the first stress and nerves of moving, it actually feels DAMN good! Having your own safe haven, own home feels wonderful! Together we can create a place we truly feel comfortable. It feels nurturing, grounding and I just don’t want to leave home anymore! I feel supported and I am better able to handle the tough outside world after being charged by being at home. I never imagined it to be like this. The last couple of days, I have been feeling very grounded, centred and content, as if I am finally start to root and arrive HOME. Our home and my partner truly give me the feeling I am taken care of. I am nurtured, supported, loved. As if for the first time, I start to feel very comfortable in my body and my life, feeling a deep sense of contentment. The urgent need to do, compare, compete and accomplish slowly start to diminish. I realize I have also started to take better care of myself, allow myself to sleep in and rest without judging myself for being lazy. I allow myself to relax, enjoy and don’t mind so much if I have a less productive day. There is no urgent need to DO anymore. There is just this perfect moment, where I can hang out and chill and Be.

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To borrow for Free

To borrow for Free (if wished you can keep it) : Sensitivity – including:

  • the ability to cry abundantly and the inability to hide your tears
  • the ability to get upset easily
  • the ability to worry about what other people think of you
  • the ability to easily belief and trust others
  • the ability to feel vulnerable regularly
  • the ability to feel emotional often
  • the ability to feel your heart screaming if ignored
  • Feeling often inadequate in our society
  • Wonders why everybody is not a little nice to each other

Also: (prefer to keep those):

  • the ability to feel intensely happy
  • the ability to smile and laugh easily
  • the ability to make fun of yourself
  • the ability to connect easily with others
  • the ability to feel compassion for others effortlessly
  • the ability to give compliments easily
  • the ability to write and share their emotional state with others to process

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Confessions of a White Yogini

More Confessions! Read my latest article on Elephant Journal:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/06/confessions-of-a-white-yogini-jacinta-aalsma/

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Creating balance while riding the waves of Life

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Little Love Note

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“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Invitation from my heart

Let go of masks,

Let go of structure,

Let go of expectations,

Let go of plans,

Welcome resistance,

Welcome fear,

Surrender,

Open up,

Soften,

Be,

Join me and release a tear,

Join me in e(nergy)-motions,

Join me in this natural state of being,

Like a laughter or a smile,

Similar like sisters,

Treated quite differently,

Let’s join this evolution,

Let’s open up,

Creating space,

For Love,

Truth,

And Us.

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A Second Chance

Woh! 2014!!! A year went by.

A Fresh New Year;

–          Full of new opportunities

–          Full of new chances

–          Full of new possibilities

A Year in which you can;

–          Change your life

–          Change your attitude

–          Change your beliefs

A Year which can be;

–          Life transforming

–          Inspirational

–          Lived to the fullest

A Year overflown by;

–          Compassion

–          Truth

–          Peace

How would you like this year to be?

The beautiful thing is; you can start a new year every day, every minute, every second. You can start fresh every time.

Be Blessed!

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I wish you…..

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A Wonderful Christmas filled with Laughter & Love, 

And an amazing, inspirational, healthy, happy, surprising, enjoyable 2014! 🙂

Be Healthy, Be You!

Namaste,

Jacinta

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