Muse

Hope you’ve all had/are having a lovely holiday! It’s been quite a relaxing day on my end and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. My day is ending with a beautiful surprise – my favorite Christmas gift. Anyone whom is really close to me knows that my favorite film, well, film trilogy, is the Before Series: Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), and Before Midnight (2013) by Richard Linklater. These films made quite the impression on me and I have yet to find a new favorite film/film series!

I understood that the films were based on a real-life encounter Richard Linklater had with a woman in Philadelphia. Her name was Amy Lehrhaupt.

Linklater met Lehrhaupt in fall 1989, when he was visiting his sister in Philadelphia. He was 29 and had just finished shooting Slacker, and was staying there for one night while passing through on the way home from New York. Lehrhaupt was several years younger, about 20. They met in a toy shop, and ended up spending the whole night together, “from midnight until six in the morning,” “walking around, flirting, doing things you would never do now.” As in Before Sunrise, most of what they did was talk, “about art, science, film, the gamut.” Did they kiss? Yes. Did they have sex? The Times went so far as to ask Linklater in a recent interview, but he said he wants to “leave a little mystery.” The Real Couple Behind Before Sunrise, Slate.com 

As I was watching It’s a Wonderful Life, my friend Ivanna texted me asking me if I knew the backstory of Before Sunrise. I told her that I was familiar with it. In true Ivanna fashion (she is always sharing the most interesting stuff with me), she shared a video with me. In this video, Jeff Rowan, shared a little bit about Amy’s life. This made my Christmas and filled my heart with an incredible amount of joy. I had no idea that someone had actually looked a little more into Amy’s life. Watching this provided me with some sort of closure.  Here it is!

I’ve said this before on this blog and I’ll say it again: all of our lives have an expiry date. Because of this Truth (upper case T truth), we have to commit ourselves to LIVE. Daily.

“Queen Tings”

LB1
Long Beach, California

Yesterday at 7AM , I made my way to Long Beach. I conducted my visit. After leaving the clinic, I made my way to a Starbucks to polish off some work – reports, admin tasks, etc. As soon as I finished all the life tasks, I met up with Miley. I’ve mentioned Miley on here before. I’ve been mentoring Miley since 2017. On Wednesday, she officially moved into her apartment in LA. When I arrived at her apartment, I was overwhelmed with memories from September 2018 when I first moved to San Diego. At that time what I most wanted was a familiar face to simply be present. Ever heard the phrase, “Be the person you needed when you were younger.”? Miley and I have very similar backgrounds. We fall in the category of humans that due to family circumstances had to mature faster that our respective age demographic – we had to be there for ourselves in order to stay alive. Every time I interact with her, I experience joy. When we speak there is an ease, an effortless connection that flows without excessive explanation. She always tells me I’m the big sister she never had – it warms my heart. Her Pisces Sun and my Pisces Moon just vibe. 

LA1
Miley’s Apartment, Los Angeles, California

After the sun set and some hours passed, we made our way to Pasadena. On the way to Pasadena, I asked Miley to DJ (PS. Always ask the Pisces Sun to DJ 😉 ). In Pasadena, we made our way to different stores, she ran some errands, and eventually we set into the evening. Everything from the music, the food, dessert, and the people we met throughout the night just flowed. Towards the end of the night we talked about our trajectories. From the beginning of our lives, to our meeting, to the now. I still remember the first time I met Miley. After she graduated, a mutual friend of ours recommended that we connect. The first time I met Miley she hurriedly walked into a coffee shop, wearing business casual, and she brought her laptop, CV, and all her materials. At the time, we were both still living in New York. Her preparation said a lot about whom she was. Yet it wasn’t her external presentation that spoke to me, but rather her energy. She possessed a spark, a fire, an energy that was drenched in the willingness to do whatever it takes. After that meeting, she followed up and followed through. And here she is today. Last night, my heart swelled as I witnessed her in a state of blossom. Out of all the feelings of satisfaction I’ve experienced in life, watching someone grow and evolve in front of your eyes is the most rewarding by far. I seriously haven’t done much for her – I’ve just been present! The action has 100% been on her.

P2
Pasadena, California

As the night progressed, we also talked about guys and love. Our evolution in the context of. We exchanged stories of the people we’ve met, the lessons we’ve learned, and the glow-ups we’ve experienced as a result of each interaction. We talked about the importance of standing in your worth and how doing so makes life in general much easier. I’d like to share two valuable lessons here: 1. The person/people you spend your life with is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life (The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. Esther Perel)., 2. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.

On 1: I personally watched my mother’s life disintegrate over the years because she chose to marry my father. An independent career woman with dreams and desires (with far more education and earning potential than my father) was made to choose between her career and her children. Of course she chose her children and from that point forward the quality of her life decreased. Suddenly, she had no meaningful work, no friends nor a social support system outside of my father (and eventually my sister and I), and no expressive nor creative outlet for her well-being. Religious and cultural beliefs led her to stay in a connection that was corrosive to her soul. The older I became, the more that I saw her individuality become that of my father’s. I observed health and vitality escape her body.  I remember turning 10 and asking myself, “Why do people want romance? Why do people want to get married? Why do people want love connections?” From my perspective, it was a sure way to ensure that your potential in life was zapped. Luckily, after I left home at 17 and entered the world at large, I came across couples and couple groups that were healthy – they we all individuals that had managed to find partnership. In this moment, I’d invite you to write down the 5 people closest to you. Do you like the relationships you have with those individuals? Are these people whom you feel you can continue to expand and grow with (given you put forth the work that maintaining healthy relationships requires)? Do you feel inspired by these people? The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives (Esther Perel). Or as Professor Brooks used to say, “You are the company you keep.” Love (meaning feelings of love) alone is not enough.

On 2: I can’t tell you the number of times in life I have found myself in situations where I have asked, “Is he into me?” Miley and I talked about this. I’ve had plenty of friends come to me in high-analytics mode wanting to determine if a person was into them or not. I’m laughing as I type this – there’s so much fun in this human experience. The answer is simple – NO. If you’re having to spend extensive amounts of time in Google or talking with your friends in regards to whether someone is into you or not, or how to make someone “want you”, the answer should be pretty clear. Some years ago, I was part of a Saturn Return (astrology) Workshop and I clearly remember one of the facilitators (Dana Balicki)  sharing a set of words that forever changed my life: “As soon as you’re trying to prove yourself, you’re giving your power away.” *jaw drop* If you find yourself trying to prove to him/her/they that you’re a good, attractive, beautiful, perfect, wonder, person, you’re wasting energy that you could potentially be using to pursue other amazing things in your life. Not everyone you come across is going to see your value. Accepting this hard truth will make life much easier. So go learn a new language, work on advancing your career, get into killer shape, find a way to travel the world, start a couple of businesses, move across the country/world, write 3 novels, or <insert something you want to do here>. I guarantee you that the moment you start pursuing the life that you desire and sharing it with those people you most love, you’ll start meeting more like-minded individuals that won’t make you feel like you have to prove your worth to be around them.

Don’t accept anything less than this (tune find courtesy of Miley):

Taurus Full Moon: Conservation of Energy

L5A growing Taurean full moon during Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio on an auspicious day – 11:11. Things are moving in the right direction – he’s FaceTiming me while he’s on vacation. He asks me what I’m doing on my birthday. He asks me what I’m doing on New Year’s eve. A part of me is excited. The other half is yelling – too much too soon. I want to run to the Great Barrier Reef in the depth of the sea or to meditate in the heights of the Himalayas. Instead of running away, I tell him exactly what I’m feeling. This is intense. Or I like moving slowly. He (a Leo Moon) takes it well. He doesn’t completely pull away nor suddenly halts his communication. His response lowers my anxiety levels – he acknowledges my individuality and his – we are two separate people – he’s just excited.

The situation takes me down memory lane to a Sunday morning boxing class. I had arrived to the class in what felt like an uncontrollable state of rage. As soon as we got to our punching bag circuits, I only had one goal in mind: to force the rage out of my body. I started punching and slowly started becoming so engrained in my rage, that is wasn’t until the instructor approached me that I returned back to reality. “Are you angry right now?” He asked. I lowered my vision and nodded my head. “I can tell. You aren’t moving strategically. You aren’t moving with intention. You’re moving sloppily. You’re wasting energy. I want you to focus on keeping your body as compact as possible. Keep your arms close to your body and when you jab, focus all your energy on the most effective way to move your arm in a way that both exerts force and conserves energy. Let’s try this again.” The memory of his words take me to my most trusted practice: yoga. I’ve been practicing yoga since 2012. If there’s a practice out there that really values the conservation of energy (outside of life itself), I would say it’s yoga. While I can easily do a 360 backbend or a split right at the beginning of class, I have understood that doing so is unnecessary. To go into the full expression of a posture at the beginning of class, would require a lot more physical and mental effort. What muscles do I have to engage? What muscles do I have to relax? How far will the breath let me go? Rather than going full speed at the beginning, an asana practice invites us to allow agni to build in our bodies. The building of agni, that inner fire, promotes an internal movement that helps lubricate our joints. Lubricated joints are naturally more mobile. Have you ever tried practicing yoga in a hot room? That external agni helps us build our internal agni with quickness – hence why a lot more seems possible inside that hot room. Yet you don’t need a hot room to build that inner fire – changing the pace of your breath to Kapalbhati (breath of fire), will help build that up for you (so will doing cardio or lifting before yoga!). By allowing the agni to build, expressing a deep backbend or split at the end of class comes with ease. I bring my life experiences back to reality and come to acknowledge: there is value in the slow build of the fire. 

I think of Taurus. A Venusian sign that understands, a bit more than the others, the value of a slow build. My Mars is in Taurus. I can relate. Taurus is a fixed, earth sign and while it often gets a bad rep for being stubborn, it can teach us a lot about the value of a steady build and solid follow-through. When we observe a situation and take a methodical approach to resolution, we conserve energy. In conserving energy, we remain in a calm state which gives us the mental clarity and physical vitality needed to act in dangerous situations. Remaining calm keeps our cortisol levels within healthy parameters and steers us away from entering into a state of fight or flight. While there are certain situations in life that require quick action (aka in moments where your survival is threatened), learning to work and direct your energy in a slightly slower (even if just a second) pace might be the thing that saves not just your life, but the life of others. Let us not forget that life does not occur in black and white extremes – you can act deliberately and quickly (I’m looking at every single one of you, trauma surgeons). Not all situations in our lives are metaphorical tigers. And in case you do run into an unleashed tiger or bear in the real world, it is my sincerest hope that your first instinct isn’t to run as fast as you can. Conservation of energy. A slow, methodical, strategic build might just be what saves the day.

Longing on the Space-Time Continuum

“…and I believe that the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.” Esther Perel

SD 2

The most exciting thing about the next week: no travel! I get to stay in Sunny San Diego all week and based on the weather forecast, it looks like SD is going to live up to its name! I’m already freakishly productive, but one week of grounding = two months worth of productivity. This also means that I’ll get regular sleep! No time zone tripping nor jet lag demons. It’ll be a super solid week. Also, in addition to working out, it means that I get studio time EVERY DAY next week. The studio is my saving grace, where I can commune with all my angels and demons. And most importantly where I go to lengthen.  I work out in every city that I go to, but I only get studio time in SD. Studios are sacred spaces for yoga, for dance, for freedom.

Now back to this longing for love. 

I meet a fair amount of people – without any dating apps (I don’t believe in using those). My technique? I literally just go outside and people strike up conversations with me. That’s literally it. Now, not everyone that I meet I’m magnetized towards, but I will eternally be enamored and curious about the human experience. I am genuinely intrigued by most people. Here are my current biggest road blocks:

  1.  A lot of men that I meet have a desire to maintain or “keep” a woman. But here’s the deal, I make more money than most men that I meet. The only man that I know that earns more than I do is my best friend Matt whom is a corporate lawyer. I’m not looking to be financially maintained (Venus in Capricorn in the 6th house). Want to maintain me? Give me a hug, play with my hair, climb a mountain with me, make me laugh, tell me something interesting about space, physics, anything. That’s how I feel “maintained”. (Love language rankings: 1. Quality Time, 2. Words of Affirmation, 3. Acts of Service. Read more about love languages here).
  2. I was born an American Citizen and I have a US Passport. I’m not looking for a green card or some sort of residency. I’m good!
  3. If someone texts me often (aka everyday), but makes no effort to see me in real life, I’m going to become uninterested. I don’t build connections based on text messages. I build connections based on physical interactions, conversation, and adventure.
  4. Space and Freedom. My life is full – not busy (I don’t use this term) – but full. I have a very demanding career, friends that need my attention, a whole slew of beauty rituals, workouts, and a million other things that fill up my days. Just because I’m not constantly interacting with a man, doesn’t mean I’m entertaining other men or not interested. If I am with someone, I’m not looking for ownership, I’m looking for partnership. I’m not particularly interested in the concept of a boyfriend or of being completed, I’m interested in an equal partner.
  5. My independence will always be something I protect at all costs. And no, being in a partnership does not mean you have to give up your independence – that is a cognitive distortion.
  6. It’s a dance – it can’t all be too much too soon or too little too late. I have a fearful-avoidant attachment style (read about that particular attachment style here). I both deeply crave intimacy, but also really fear engulfment. I enjoy the work of Esther Perel. She talks about the psychology of eroticism in long-term connections – most of us seek to make space for navigating the paradox between mystery and familiarity – the paradox that keeps desire alive.
  7. Time. When I was tiny, my mother used to have a saying that I currently live by: El tiempo no se busca, el tiempo se hace. (You don’t seek for time, you make time.) When people make bullshit excuses about being “busy” (ugh, that word sickens me), I have no choice but to laugh. Listen buddy, I work 60-80 weeks in clinical research and travel 80% of the time. I eat my meals, make time for my workouts, make time for my friends, for my beauty rituals, and for my blog. If I am into someone, I will fucking make the time. I will pull time out of my ass, a hat, the secret black hole vortex that lives inside my closet. I will make magic out of 24 hours in ways that you can’t even imagine. Besides, we are all given the same 168 hours per week. The space-time continuum exists so everything doesn’t happen all at once, not so we can cling on to it for cheap ass excuses. Matthew Hussey recently posted something that I deeply agreed with and made me laugh. You might get a kick out of it too: “‘Too busy for a relationship’ isn’t an invitation to prove him wrong. It’s just another reason you can walk  away happy knowing your affection is better spent elsewhere.”

Why am I sharing this on my blog? Well, it’s a 5 universal month in numerology – which invites us to take risks in order to get what we truly desire. I’m actually doing this as part of a challenge for the month of November! Here’s a snippet from something I shared on instagram earlier:

 

Have a good Sunday (or Monday)!

The Burden of Desire

SD 1

And then tears begin to stroll down my cheeks, my appetite decreases, and the sensation of desire overpowers my being. To hold space for desire is my personal definition of courage. A therapist of mine shared: When you allow this desire you’ve been suppressing to come to the surface, it’s going to be a challenge. I think of her words as my body pushes me further into wanting to give up. Is this really what I want? Romance? Love? I can just keep coasting on my life as is – there is absolutely nothing wrong with the life I’ve built. My response to her? I’d rather endure the pain of abuse than the pain of desire. 

Working through what you’ve repressed is not a task for the faint of heart. For the vast majority of the population, romantic desire is the norm – sometimes too much of a norm and it’s often something that they talk (and complain) about openly. I’ve spent a good portion of my life drowning this desire, denying it, running away from it, chastising myself for even the faintest bit of the want rising to my conscious surface. I trained myself to not want to desire others outside of a surface level for the purposes of self-protection and to give myself the space to only focus on my career. Now that I understand the how much self-inflicted damage I’ve caused to my being, I’m allowing myself to want and it’s proving to be quite painful.

To be human is to want. Professor Brooks, whom I’ve mentioned on this blog before, would often remind us in his classes. By taking a tantric approach to yoga, he steered away from the Zen masterful ways that seek to follow paths that eliminate desire. From Dr. Brooks perspective, to try to eliminate desire is to miss the core of the human experience.

Scorpio season in conjunction with mercury retrograde is putting our desires to the test. How badly do we want what we say we want? Are we willing to make and hold space for those desires? It is easy to fill the space of desire with “stuff”, but we all know that’s not how we get the ultimate prize. Sometimes the only action we need to take is the one we avoid the most: Sitting with empty space.

Today, I am weak. Even my body feels physically weak. But I am choosing not to fill my desire with temporary distractions. In this modern century it seems to be the go-to: hookup and alcohol and drugs and whatever else people do to entertain themselves from their inner work. I don’t think anyone has ever died from wanting. From my perspective, my worst case scenario is a complete abandonment of what I want and complete retreat away from society – which is certainly an option.

The Consuming Depth of Desire

Today I remembered why in the past I’ve run away from my desires. When I desire, it’s a combination of all elemental matter in an all-consuming form. My desire runs through my bones and etches marking on my souls. My yearning and longing heighten to ineffable heights. I’ve yet to meet (an)other(s) that can match my depth of desire. When I want, I want to insatiable degrees. I crave ecstasy in indescribable ways. What else would you expect from a Cancer Ascendant and a Pisces Moon?

Have you ever noticed how quickly the sun sets? I often wonder if the sun ever feels unsupported or unaccompanied – or better yet, if it feels at all. My desires at times become so all-consuming that I project them out into part of the cosmos to keep my being grounded. A rapturous craving for love has arisen – yet not all will do. As a matter of fact, most won’t. My desire in as strong as it can be, is the utmost selective. I think of Cassie. I think of Jenna. I think of love.

The feelings and sensations that are running through my body are too strong. Strong enough to be ineffable. I’ll log off from here by sharing one of my favorite poems – one which is accurately describing my desires far more than I can at the moment.

Post beach nap
Post beach nap nearing sunset

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/the-invitation-by-oriah-mountain-dreamer

The Romantic Awakens

I understood loneliness
Before I knew what it was

Giant, Calvin Harris, Rag’n’Bone Man

SD to PH
View flying into Phoenix from San Diego on my way to Wichita

Reporting from my hotel room in Wichita, Kansas. I arrived around 4:30 PM today and will be back in San Diego by 7:20 PM tomorrow. I especially enjoyed this hotel’s gym and the nearby Whole Foods. I appreciate it, Wichita! Yet as grateful as I am to be able to groove and flow with all my travel, I am more than ever, fervently craving romantic love. I’m dreaming of adventurous days followed by quiet dinners at home. A dog. Life near the beach. I can envision precisely what I desire. I want to write about it more – when it’s not midnight and I have to be up by 5:30AM (I lost 2 hours traveling east!).

The guy that I most recently met (I mentioned him here a few times, though not by first name!), taught me a great deal. With his gentle demeanor, his precise communication, and his patience, my defenses weren’t up as high, or there at all. By being in his presence, I understood, that everyone that had come into my life previously seriously just wasn’t on the same wavelength! Communicating with him was easeful. I didn’t feel restricted nor held back in any way. I also learned from him that as long that two people treat each other kindly, parting ways doesn’t have to be full of heart-shattering, breathless moments. It can just be a moment of recognition for what something was, a tad bit of disappointment, and ultimately acceptance that we’re all just doing our best. It’s really nice to interact with (emotionally, mentally) healthy people. It’s really, really refreshing. I also learned what Matthew Hussey means when he says “Invest in people what they invest in you.” This is prior to a commitment, of course. It is natural for the balance to shift once you’re in relationship with someone (100/0, 80/20, 60/40, etc.), but when you’re getting to know someone there should be equality. So if it doesn’t work out, you’re not plagued by the “I put in all this effort for what” feeling. Let it be a dance – step by step.

Of course she was sad
But now she’s glad she dodged a bullet (Mm)
Took a few years to soak up the tears
But look at her now, watch her go

Look at Her Now, Selena Gomez

WLPD 1
Post-Spa Glow: I took this photo with a timer on my computer while taking a selfie on my phone! #meta (Excuse the mess in the background)

Tonight I think of him – as an archetype, a prototype. A sweet California boy. I find his background rather fascinating – Sicilian, Spanish, and Mexican. Of course, he’s gorgeous. The deep sound of his voice. And his face – wow. The feeling of his hands. And how peaceful he looks when he sleeps. His attention to detail. His knowledge of food and drink – which I have none of – it’s never been my area of interest. I see food as utility, he sees it as a sensual practice. Also, do guys know how fun it is to have to engage your calf muscles and be on the top most ball of your feet to hug someone?! I think it’s the first time I really experienced that. I never understood the “tall guy” appeal until now! I’m beyond grateful that such a human came into my life. People like him deserve nothing but good karma and wish fulfillment – he hasn’t necessarily had the easiest life.

 I hope that you’re the one/ If not, you are the prototype.

All I crave tonight is to be held. The sound of the ocean. Family stories. Metaphysical references. A kiss. A deeper touch. Laughter. Play. Ease. Flow. Surrender. 

It’s all happening. It’s all unfolding. All I have to do is let the universe take reign. From my end, I will keep showing up in life with my heart wide open.

“Your weirdness will make you stronger. Your dark side will keep you whole. Your vulnerability will connect you to the rest of our suffering world. Your creativity will set you free. There’s nothing wrong with you.”

Andrea Balt