Tug of War and the Liminal Space

As I was writing the weekly reading for my Instagram followers, I was further guided to share a personal reflection about how, why, and where, this spread came from, how I work with my Tarot Journal (which is just a plain $1.96 notebook), and a little bit on how I interpret this spread to help you with your journey. As always, I share a Kundalini Kriya that can help around the energy of the spread.

This spread was created by me, and was a completely intuitive process downloaded in bits and pieces, as I evolved, and was ready for the next thread to weave into the tapestry. I’m really pleased with it, and wholly in humbled by the slow, bittersweet process through which this came through.

The Soul, Heart and Mind spread that you’ve seen on my Instagram feed, has a name. The spread is lovingly called “Tug of War” after the song by Nikka Costa that has recently reentered my brain space. I first heard it a little over a decade ago during a time of deep pressure, and suppression around my personal sovereignty. At that time, I chose to continue to suppress it, and it cost me. For years I didn’t listen to this music and I thought it was just a forgetting that humans do. But just last week, I heard another song by her in a bank commercial, of all things, and quickly remembered this one. The thoughts of compromising my sovereignty came rushing back to me as I read the lyrics, with the realization that I came around and chose myself: first with Kundalini yoga, then divorce, and then marrying my wife.

Threshold, after threshold, after threshold, and for months I stayed silent. To have lived a life that’s not yours, to shrink before it while grinning and bearing it for years, and then to finally rise high enough to say “enough”. That moment, that Phoenix archetype of rising-from-the-ashes-climax contains its own special shedding, undoing, and rebuilding. And this is where I remain.

I read something this morning that begins to bring into words the shifts of this transformative time:

“Some of us ran so far away, during a period of survival that we forgot to come back home to ourselves. Return home to yourself. You are safe now.” – Lalah Delia

Immediately, I understood that I broke the cycle of ignoring my needs because I never allowed myself to ask the questions. I muted myself for years. I now ask the questions but pause and take the time to listen. I attentively pause to tend and show my soul that she is finally safe to speak, and loudly! But the fear, the fear of what it all is, was, means, and looks like; the MIND. The MIND is in constant hyper awareness, constant need of protection. And The Work is in soothing it. The Work is in comforting the MIND as it perceives wrongness, and danger, that no longer exists.

And it’s hard, exhausting, repetitive work. It’s a double bag of Valerian tea at 10AM, pulling 8 cards a day, carrying three decks in your bag knowing full well you have just as many tarot apps on your phone, meditation when you would rather cry, crying when you would rather meditate, non-stop binging of Life After Lockup and The Oval because your mind needs numbing, asking to be held, dancing in the kitchen as you sweep to clear energy for the 5th time, asking for help, writing, asking-asking-asking and asking, unplugging from social media, going dark, serial listening to podcast episodes about herbalism, singing so loud it makes your chest hurt, chopping 26 cloves of garlic just for the repetition, finding pockets away from your job-and-being a mommy to three teen boys that need you…to even do any of this, WORK.

But, it was in this liminal space that the Tug of War spread was birthed. It was where I learned the crossroads of my heart, the seat of my soul, and watched my own personal Greek Drama play out. It was this intentional return to the place of neither here nor there, the-betwixt-and-between place that this spread was birthed, because I kept going back to listen. I visit as often as I can, and now that I have been in this Other/Underworld of my soul, I know that I am meant to return. The myth of Persephone comes to mind when I try to wrap my arms around liminality.

For me, this is true spiral soul learning, with the mastery that only comes when you’re ready to receive it. I bless this journey that I am on, and cherish the deep wisdom that wells up, when I show up.

The instant connection between the song Tug of War by Nikka Costa, and the birthing process of this spread is in this lyric:

“My soul wants to go one way 

But my heart and mind playing tug of war with me baby”

The SOUL is the seat of intuitive wisdom and creation, it helps you remember what you’ve learned over lifetimes, in this consciousness. Not a small task because we are so resistant to the strength we hold within.

Questions can look like: What is the middle path here? What is the truth between my heart and mind? What is the point of entry to where I can bring this to my current understanding?

The HEART is the crossroads of our tenderness and fierce strength. Where we are pliable and where we are also bedrock.

Questions can look like: Where is the balance between my where I am fierce and where I am tender? Where can I be tender if I am being too fierce, and vice versa? Have I found that foundation that is impenetrable, with which I can then start anew?

The MIND is where the clarity and confusion play out like a Greek Drama. The chorus is always there, telling and retelling the story, while the actors are playing out their (our) fate as we watch in horror, sadness, glee, the entire panoply of emotion. Fascinating.

What’s happening in my psyche right now? What is true to the analytical part of me? What is the chorus of my personal Greek Drama telling me?

And then, you can synthesize the information you receive. I encourage you to just take what the cards give you. What image pops first? What story comes through bright and clear like a clarion call? Which story is quieter, softer and requires that you bend to hear it?

Look at the numbers, do they tell a story? Are they meaningful to you? Yes, there is a numerology to tarot, but before you start googling “numerology of tarot”, what significance, if any, do the numbers have for you? The goal here is to start listening to the seat of your intuitive wisdom first, before seeking input from others.

Are there more Major Arcana than Minor Arcana? Majors are larger, broader arcs of energy and shifts, while the Minors are more of a day to day, energy that can play out as shorter periods of time or situations. What could that relationship tell you?

If you can, write it all down, with a date, and the moon cycle, and astrological sign it is in, because that could also be a helpful contextual thread to pull.

In this week’s reading using The Light Seer’s Tarot by Chris-Anne, we have:

Death Rebirth in the SOUL position

Knight of Wands in the HEART position

Five of Pentacles Reversed in the MIND position

Our soul knows that it’s time to evolve, to accept the changes that the Universe/Synchronistic Circumstance is trying to nudge us to shed and elevate toward, and the heart is so ready for the ride. She is excited and running free, wild, and without a care towards another evolution for its soul.

It’s ready to create on that new level of awareness, and announce its arrival in the most primal of ways. Think of music playing so loud you can feel it in your chest, as you sway to the rhythm, completely enraptured by the artist’s rendering of their soul work through the speakers; that’s where the heart is now. The mind is afraid, it can’t let go of the loop of uncertainty that it’s caught itself in.

The grip of fear around what could happen is so tight that it’s curled up like a ball, bound, gagged and white knuckled, around the heart, stifling it. Lean into your soul’s calling. Your souls work, and the mind will soften just enough for you to hear the drum of your heart, just enough to give the heart breathing room to sigh and let in the freshness that your soul wants to bring to you.

Again, from the song through which I believe this spread was born:

“There’s nothing I don’t know that hasn’t come to me yet. We’re only trying to remember what we chose to forget. Everybody’s a child that is open and free. If we can trust ourselves to be indiscreet with our love”.

I wholly recommend the Kriya for Relaxation and Releasing fear. Type it into your search bar, just like that, and a YouTube video will pop up. If you want to enjoy the fruits, you have to do The Work.

Sat Nam.

Healing the Bloodline

We go through what we go through because at the time we don’t know any better, or what, if anything needs to be changed. You can only see so far, and when you live with and through trauma, your mind is either far into the past, or far off into the future, and sometimes, you are nose-against-the-wall in the present. 

My wife and I talk, all the time. We span decades in minutes. We met, and knew one another as kids. She understands my family dynamics and history like no one else could. She has memories of my life that I’ve forgotten. When she shares slices of moments with me, it lights up parts I didn’t know existed. It’s an uncovering, an unfolding of who I was, which then provides me with more clues as to who I am, how I lost that part of me that was wild with wonder, stood up for herself, and didn’t care much what others thought. The underside of these clues give me subtle hints as to where I lost that person, and how I found myself in a pattern of shadow living, hiding from everyone, and most especially, myself.

In one of our conversations recently, we spoke of my grandmother and I came to an incredibly healing conclusion. More on that after I share things about my grandmother that make her an incredible force in my life, and mostly, after her death.

My grandmother died of breast cancer in my early 20s. She was young, in her 60’s. Her loss in my life is a pain that with time has softened and gone hazy. When I allow myself to sharpen the focus of her, it stings. I know I get my extreme passions from her. My grandmother took me to my first yoga class, and brought me to my first Latin mass. She took me to a Mexican hat dancing class, celebrated my 5th grade graduation as if it was University, and drove from Mexico to NYC with me and my cousin when we were 13, by herself. If I squint, I can see the purple-orange sunset as we drove from Saltillo to Monterrey with an actual map folded up in my hands. She trusted us to lead the way. I can even remember our room service order of Saltillo burgers. They were bigger than our faces, and loaded with mushrooms.

Healing the Bloodline by That Kundalini Girl Liv Dayal Kaur
Heal the Past. Live the Present. Dream the Future. – Mary Engelbreit

English was not my grandmother’s first language, but she learned it well enough to earn a master’s degree, teach, then go on to become a principal in the Bronx, and teach others the language in night classes. She loved to travel, but also loved her privacy. She was gifted at making you feel at home, right where you were with food, music, sincere encouragement, Golden Girls marathons, or just a bucket of Breyer’s vanilla ice cream. 

She never met my children, or come to see that I walked away from my family of birth along with any ancestral information, her included. 

It started on this last Halloween, or dia de los Muertos, I usually move a picture of her from the shelf where I keep other pictures of those that I love, to my kitchen altar. When I was Catholic, I would bring the picture to their table at the church, so their prayers would lavish more intention than I felt I  could give her myself. This year, I was moved to write her a letter. I let her know that I was married, happy, and more myself than I had been in decades. How I came to learn that she didn’t approve of women being in love, but how I couldn’t imagine she would feel that way about me, because, my grandmother always supported everything I brought to her, even if it wasn’t considered traditionally acceptable.

I cried when I told her of my children, of my life, and how things turned out. I asked her to keep watch over me and all that I love, and how I hoped she was proud of me. I kept the letter on my altar for the month of October, along with others I’d written for loved ones, and instead of burning them, I kept them. 

As I spoke with my wife recently, we went over what we knew of her life. Of her two marriages, both very abusive, physically, financially, mentally and emotionally. How could she, someone so smart, so self-motivated, disciplined, wise, warm, kind…how? And in that moment, I realized that I answered that same question for myself. How did I stay? How did I endure? How did I shrink and almost disappear? I never thought that ancestral wounds had anything to do with me because I didn’t know a lot about my ancestors. But in that moment, with my wife, who knew my grandmother, asking the same question of “how” that I’ve asked of myself for years, the pieces connected and I realized, it’s inherited. This denial of self: self-love, self-esteem, self-care, self-identity. It’s in my bones from my sweet grandmother, as much as my love of yoga, long road trips, learning, education, spirituality, and massive burgers with mushrooms.

I marveled for a while at the feeling this revelation brought to my body. I could feel the grip of “something has to be wrong with me” release, and I felt my grandmother, blessing me through it, and thanking me, as I thanked her.

Raymond DullietTo learn more about this artist, Raymond Douillet
and his work click anywhere on the image.

I listen to podcasts on my drive to and from work. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a podcast, by Amber Hill Magnolia called Medicine Stories. I invite you to subscribe to it. I chose Episode 45: The Deepest Magic: To Know Yourself Know Your Ancestors, randomly, but you know it’s not random at all. I “chose” this episode after, with my wife as an unknowing guide, healed the ancestral wound of women in my lineage submitting to abuse. I feel that healing in my body still very, very strongly.

At the very end of the podcast, the speaker, asked that as soon as the episode was over, to speak with your ancestors. Speak to them and tell them how you are, to thank them. That evening, I pulled up in front of my house, turned the car off and heard myself say out loud “Nanny, you’ll never believe what we just figured out…”

I found a meditation to heal your ancestral karma, that I invite you to incorporate into your practice if you feel called to it. There is music that accompanies it, if you don’t want to use it, that’s fine, you can chant the words. The artist, Ayanna uses Crystal Singing Bowls, and they are magic to me, so I highly recommend the music accompaniment.

Yogi Bhajan said that when we work to clear our subconscious, as with meditation, we are directly impacting  and healing seven generations past and seven generations into the future. I certainly felt the healing ripple backward and I know that the effects are already having a potent impact on my children. Imagine all that you could do with this simple meditation.

Pull back slightly and see the current state of our world and the people in it. How your practice, could heal seven generations after you leave this earth? Imagine the impact, the legacy, you leave behind, and the healing you provide to your ancestors who, regardless of anything, did all they could to bring you to consciousness. It’s a little mind blowing.

deep-Regret and Self-grace

With the last decade almost completely lost in our collective rear view mirrors, I wanted to share what I’ve found to be a common companion for people in the last decade, and during most of the New Year resolution exercises; it’s what we set ourselves up for: deep-Regret.

Everywhere and everything is seen, felt and integrated through the lie of deep-Regret. “I should have…”, “Why did I…?”, “That was a huge mistake”. deep-Regret even sneaks in when we say “Next time, I’ll do better/be better/push harder” as if what you did, or how you did it wasn’t good enough.

Living with deep-Regret is an exhausting mental loop that eats away at everything you’ve done right (news flash, unless you’re purposely harming someone, for absolutely no reason at all, it’s ALL right). Living with deep-Regret dims all of the beauty, mastery, and courage you exhibited in moments of decision making, where no matter what you chose, someone was going to be unhappy about it.

deep-Regret is a story we believe to be true. Our minds revel in it while our hearts grieve in it. deep-Regret comes in moments of perceived error, when we question our intuition, in those obsessive thoughts at 3AM, and in our collective habit of “year in review” that happens right as families go back home, while we barrel our way towards a New Year, and we don’t know what day it is. deep-Regret thrives there.

deep-Regret hooks you into believing that you should have acted differently. It keeps Self-grace quiet, beaten down, and in a corner. It isolates you, and would have you believe that you shouldn’t do anything because you’ll only fuck it up anyway. But you need her. You need self-Grace. You need to not be so.damned.hard.on.yourself. You’re always doing the best you can. Even when the best you can muster is sitting in darkness allowing your eyes to feel their way around the shapes that eventually show themselves (with time and patience). That’s self-Grace.

When you put yourself in the drivers seat, and make your soul, your heart, and your inner child the priority. That is self-Grace. When you make decisions from that self-prioritized space, that is self-Grace.

When you pause in the midst of thoughts run amok, and whisper to yourself “You’re doing the best you can” while loosening your grip around the thing, that is self-Grace.

When before bed you look at all the good in your life, even if that’s taking three deep breaths, or smiling at yourself in the mirror for three deep seconds, that is self-Grace.

Putting the word “self” before “Grace” is done with intent. So many times we externalize that which is good. We run the program that we aren’t good, therefore good comes from other, from outside of ourselves: “grant me the Grace” “give me Grace”, “I need Grace”.

I saw something the other day that explained how you are a walking altar of magic. How everything you need to summon magic is within you.

Your bones are made of minerals and are quite literally the structure with which your whole body hangs – EARTH.

The fluids that make up 70% of you, and flows like rivers through your veins and organs – WATER.

Your lungs that pump the vital life force without you even thinking about it – AIR.

Your brain is a grid of electricity and your blood is warm – FIRE.

Your soul, essence, consciousness, whatever you call it – SPIRIT.

You are all of the elements, contained. In Kundalini, they are the first five Tattvas. We wield these elements naturally, and we walk around with deep-Regret? There’s no room for it.

In 2020, deep-Regret is no longer necessary because living in alignment with what is right for you is the new story. Living in your truth gives deep-Regret no breeding ground. Because every decision you make will be through the prism of what is good for you, supported by the self-Grace of knowing you are doing the very best you can with what you have, and know to be true, when those times of crisis come.

So with that, I regret to inform you, that self-Grace won’t be sitting in a corner, beaten and afraid. In this year, of the fourth card of the tarot, the Emperor card, ruled by the Zodiac sign of Aries (2020 2+0+2+0=4), an archetype that is the embodiment of birth and birthright, of taking up space, of understanding inherently, that you deserve to be heard, seen and known, deep-Regret can kiss your ass.

The Emperor Card from Pagan Otherworlds Tarot by uusi

If you’d like to work on mastering your magic, the elements within you, I highly recommend Kirtan Kriya. I was randomly given this Kriya by my teacher as part of the practicum portion of my teacher training. I’m continually humbled by how this Kriya found me.

If you’d like to learn more about The Emperor, the sign of Aries that rules the card, and the energy around this archetype, listen to this podcast from Tarot for the Wild Soul by Lindsay Mack, or consider her offering, The Threshold that delves deeper into this archetype through journaling, tarot, and ritual.

I am passionate about sharing what I learn with you so that you may live with more self-awareness, agency, and of course, self-Grace. Wishing you all of it and more in 2020, and as my wife jokingly says “to infinity and beyond”!

Sat Nam.

How Kundalini is Different from Other Types of Yoga

I received a question about Kundalini on Instagram, and was going to respond, but thought I would share it here so everyone could benefit.

I’ve practiced Ashtanga, Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and your general all purpose variety what you’d get in a gym yoga. I’m not a teacher of any of those lineages, but have practiced all kinds of yoga for decades.

I’ll share how Kundalini and “typical yoga flows…that stretch and breathe” are the same and what I have found to be different: is how we begin class, how we end class, the chanting of mantra, and how long postures are held. More on that later.

Breathing. We call it Pranayam. Pranayam is conscious awareness of breath. In every Kundalini class whether it’s the One Minute Breath, Breath of Fire, Alternate Nostril Breathing, or any of the other ways in which we are consciously segmenting the breathing, it’s an integral and consistent part of a Kundalini practice, and class.

Stretching. We absolutely stretch within Kriyas (Kriyas are a prescriptive set of postures to achieve a specific outcome: releasing anger, increasing intuition, withstanding external pressures, immunity boost, etc.) We even have something called the Life Nerve Stretch (or a Seated Forward Fold).

A class consists of Tuning in, Pranyam, a Kriya, a Meditation, Deep Relaxation (sometimes a gong bath), Tuning Out and the Long Time Sunshine song.

What I have found to be totally different from other yoga classes is how we begin class and how we end class. There are more differences that I can address in another post. I didn’t include them all here, like why we use mantra, why some postures are different (in look and length of holding), and different eye focus or attention. I’m sure there are even more than that, but I’ve got to parse this up or you’ll TL;RL me. Here we go!

We begin class with tune in. We say the Adi Mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, three times. There is a way we chant it, some words are held longer than others, and there are varying pitches. We say the mantra on one breath. Inhale and start again. Our eyes are closed and focused on the third eye space or brow point. This focus on the third eye, applies pressure to our pineal gland. Activating this gland is said to invite an increased sense of intuition.

This chant is our connection to the Golden Chain. The Golden Chain is the link to all other teachers that have come before us and all that will come after us. If you think of a chain, it is only as strong as it’s next link. Kundalini is a tradition of passing the wisdom of the yogic technology from teacher to student. As practitioners, we hold this lineage sacred and dear to our hearts. Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo means I bow to the creative wisdom, I bow to the divine teacher within.

How is Kundalini Different from Other Types of Yoga That Kundalini Girl

There is another mantra said for protection after the Adi Mantra called Mangala Charan. We say this three times. As we say it, we imagine beginning a shield of protection to our left, moving to the backs of our bodies on the second line, the right side of our bodies the third, and then the front of our bodies on the last line. Ad Guray Nameh, Jugad Guray Nameh, Sat Guray Nameh, Siri Guru Devay Nameh. I was taught that it’s a teacher’s choice whether to chant this along with the students at the beginning of class, or just have the teacher repeat it to themselves as a protection from the class.


I bow to the primal wisdom.

I bow to the wisdom through the ages.

I bow to the true wisdom.

I bow to the great unseen wisdom.

In my classes, I prefer to include it with my students. I want my students to feel empowered in the work they are doing, and to also actively participate in the protection of any negative feelings that may come up and be processed as a result of this deep work.

After we finish class, we sing together. More on that here:

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We are singing this song in this photo. It's what's sung at the end of every Kundalini class and a way to ripple out the intentions and energy out into the world at large . May the longtime sun shine upon you all love surround you. And the pure light within you guide your way on . “You know we have been singing this for fifteen years, sixteen years. Sometimes it brings tears in my eyes. A yogi is not supposed to cry, but I am such a yogi who cries on everything. It’s funny. It’s very funny. Where people cry I don’t, where people can’t even cry, it starts going, but anyway….May the long time sunshine upon you. What a blessing. We bless everybody. And all love surround you. Not of God only, but all. What an affirmation. And the pure light within you. Not your “light”, pure light is the radiant body, the soul. Soul is the direct descendent of the radiant body. Radiant body is the direct shield of the soul. Pure light within you . And we don’t say follow me. We say guide your way on. Keep going. And we sing it. It gives us a feeling of ourself. But sometime we should sing it within ourself. Understand that you know all. When your adversity, you can laugh at and when your tragedy, you can bring into a humor and when you can excel, God is already sitting in you; there is no place else to find it" – Yogi Bhajan (taken from his lecture on January 28, 1985)

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Kundalini is the yoga of awareness. While we are doing this work I think it’s important to have all the protection you can. One would think it would be protection from external energies, and while that’s always something to contend with, I am always sure to remind students that we can be our own worst enemy. As we cross the vast and unfamiliar landscape of our souls it’s helpful to provide a cover, a safe place, for what may be unearthed within, to emerge.

We wear white. I’ve written about this before, but a quick refresher. As Kundalini practitioners we can wear white as a way to expand our aura an extra foot. Our aura is our protection from negative influences.

This doesn’t mean that you will be turned away if you’re not wearing white. Not at all. Some choose to wear white, while others don’t. Kundalini is not exclusionary in any way. Come as you are, but come. Coming to class at all is 90% of any practice.

We wear a headwrap or turban. I’ve spoken about this too! A lot. Because it gets a lot of attention. Read more about it here.

My Kundalini practice has opened me up to a world of spirituality that’s inclusive of my witchier practices (tarot, numerology, crystals, manifestation work, spell work, lunar proclivities, astrology, etc.). You can go to church and practice Kundalini, you can go to temple and practice Kundalini, you can sleep in and practice Kundalini, you can believe in nothing esoteric at all and practice Kundalini.

Kundalini has become a way of life, as in, I see and respond to life through the lens of Kundalini teachings, lectures by Yogi Bhajan, and my teachers, both from Kundalini Yoga Teacher training, and those teachers that I’ve sought out, like Jai Dev.

On a personal level, Kundalini is different and special and sacred to me because it’s the quickest, fastest acting change agent in my life. I’ve written about the effects of saying one mantra, or practicing one kriya does, just as recently as the last post.

How is Kundalini Different from Other Types of Yoga That Kundalini Girl

We are in a time where external pressures are SO great. So much is expected of us, demanded of us, from our families, communities, jobs, social constructs, relationships, even ourselves. Think about how you are being pulled, compartmentalized, pushed, and prodded for information, answers, explanations, thoughts. Not to mention the day to day upkeep of our physical bodies that are trying to support us through and keep up with the million-changes-and-thoughts-a-second that our brains can process (mostly without our knowing).

A consistent Kundalini practice helps you to be able to withstand, meet and maintain all of the demands while also preserving your truest self in the process. Isn’t that all you can ask for from any spiritual practice?

I am in the process of fine tuning a new offering that combines Tantric Numerlogy and Kundalini Yoga with a guided add on. Think of it as me being the Kundalini Sidekick in your pocket. I am also working on a Tarot post for you and part two of this post, they will be out in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m happy to share what I learn as I go.

May this serve.

Sat Nam.

A Meeting of the Minds

I don’t teach, formally, yet. I came close though.

I recently decided that it was time to get back to the journey I paused, for highly transformative personal reasons, and point my attention toward finishing the drop in classes and Sadhanas needed to obtain my paper certificate.

To help me with this, I turned to Kundalini, as I always do. Just like with essential oils, there’s a Kriya for everything: what ails you, what you would like to enhance, realign, move past, or integrate.

I chose to chant Bahota Karam 11 times a day. It’s the 25th Pauri (or verse/stanza) of Japji.

JapJi is a Sikh prayer composed by Guru Nanak that appears at the beginning of the holy scripture of the Sikhs. This prayer is recited at the start of the daily early morning Aquarian Sadhana practice that was recommended by Yogi Bhajan. JapJi is a prayer chanted or recited in Gurbani, a sacred sound from the infinite that is depicted in writing.

Hari Dev Kaur for Sat Nam Fest

Reciting this language, and the movement of the teeth, lips, and tongue along the roof of your mouth, called meridian points, they act like a keyboard punching code directly into your brain (your personal computer in this analogy). There are 38 Pauri’s and each one concentrates on strengthening, or banishing something for healing.

I figured this combination would get back on track, stay focused, re-organize, recalibrate and keep up with the demands of the kids going back to school, shifting my work schedule to accommodate, and finishing up my Kundalini requirements.

Not even 2 days in, and I received a text from a friend with a link to a yoga teaching gig. I don’t like to tell the Universe no when it sends it’s “gifts”. I never want to look a gift horse in the mouth (and now, at 41, I finally think I know what that means). I forwarded it to my wife and we were both super excited! I applied. I didn’t create a resume, I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t even think twice.

I was interviewed and got the job on the spot. I was SO excited that someone saw me as a Kundalini Yoga teacher, and believed that I could hold the space for students. The very next day, another offer came my way, and I was overwhelmed by the opportunities multiplying at my feet.

For the first time in my life, I studied for something, worked at it, and was executing on it. What do I mean? Well, let’s go down the list: I am a trained opera singer who doesn’t sing. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources, and don’t use that (the humans I manage, are the not-so-little ones at home – 15, almost 15, and almost 12 year old boys). I am two classes away from a Master’s Degree to teach HS English, and work part-time, as an administrative assistant, in an office, with no plans, at all, to finish that degree.

So, here we are with teacher training behind me, a few drop in classes and some Sadhanas to finish, and I am adamant about finishing them, and teaching.

Since receiving these offers, I have been consumed with what teaching, holding a part-time office job, being a mother to three, being newly married, and trying to integrate our families, with our 4 dogs would look like. It took me a few days, and a lot staring at the ceiling moments, reflecting on my practice, and how I leveraged that to get where I am right now, with my new life. I came to the decision that for me to move forward with anything, I need to honor where it comes from.

I asked the Universe, and my deep inner knowing, last year, to change my life, to refine me, and help me move towards the natural alignment of my gifts, to bring clarity to where I could shine brightest. I was ready for it. Through that deep prayer, and work, I was shown, and given my current wife, the family we now share, and our four dogs. I was given teacher training, and the deepening of my sensitivites as a helpful, postive component of my personal projection over my family, community, and self. I was given the chance to work through past trauma because I finally felt safe enough to do so. I was given the gift of being myself; I felt strong enough to look in the mirror and smile instead of shy away.

I let go of both teaching opportunities. Before I communicated my decisions, I consulted the cards, FIRST. You know I did. Here’s what I pulled and the message that came through:

I have the wherewithal to create, and manifest my own idea of what a balanced life looks like. How to hold Kundalini: the private practice, and the teaching aspect; along with my budding family that I love to tend. I can create anything I want. I literally have magic in me (when I remember that truth!). There’s also an undercurrent of imposter syndrome within me that I have to be aware of. Why don’t I think I can ask for time, space, readjustment, fine tuning, or what I need to thrive in all aspects of my gifts? Hadn’t I learned that already? Why do I need others to validate that I am a teacher, that I can hold space in an “official” capacity. I can because I know I can.  

Instead of moving forward with a flat no, or my usual yes-to-everything-and-panic-later (because that’s what Sag’s do), I moved forward with, “No, but…”. I focused narrowly on what would bring me the highest joy, the best balance and provided an alternative that made me feel comfortable. I allowed my higher consciousness to speak with my lower consciousness. In that meeting of the minds, they came up with the highest and best way forward.

I don’t know what comes next, and I’m completely at peace with that. I don’t have to know. I’m grateful for the opporunities both to teach and to see that Kundalini works! Sometimes quicker than I can keep up with!

Credit instagram.com/doot_doodles

I feel like I adulted in a really significant way. Tell me you’ve been there! What happens? Do we get ice cream?

So, HAI Virgo season. Thanks for coming in hard with the time-to-ground-your-energies vibe.

Sat Nam.

P.S. if you ever wanted a tarot reading, I am available. You can comment here, or send me a message at livdayalkaur (at) gmail.com for rates. I do share community readings on Instagram every week.

Lionsgate Portal 2019

The Lionsgate portal is an energetically, super charged time period from July 26th – August 12th, with its peak happening today, August 8th, 2019. I’ve tried to write about the portal, but can’t come close to the write up from Forever Conscious.

Artwork by @diztantdreamer

During the Lionsgate Portal last year, practiced the Sphinx Kriya. This isn’t a very popular Kriya.

I remember being so internally focused. I wanted to push myself to achieve all that this Kriya was said to offer: a merging of past, present and future time streams for maximum goddess energy, open intuition, and release subconscious frustration.

This time last year I was married to someone else, living a life that someone else thought was good and right, assuming an identity that I accepted as my own for decades without asking myself first, if it was ok.

When situations presented themselves, I never allowed myself to drop in, to pause, to check in with my soul and see if it was true to her. I just said yes to whomever felt like an authority to me. No questions asked. I always wanted to be the good one and I stopped living as a result. Good, as I am sure you’ve experienced, isn’t always right, or true.

As I pressed my palms together, bowing down with my nose almost to the ground, I was begging my consciousness to help me with each Wahe Guru. With a furrowed brow, I pushed myself to enunciate every beat until the words were floating in front of me as tangible objects to hold.

During meditation, your mind inevitably wanders, but the beauty comes in bringing your mind back to the mantra. Catching yourself on the veered path and gently, without judgement, nudging yourself back. Seeing where your mind is taking you to, and saying no, because you promised your soul you’d listen to her. You remember the reason you are sitting in stillness in the first place: to clear the subconscious mind, to cultivate a thoughtful response, in your daily life, to what comes at you in any given moment. In this Kriya, it was to let go of everything I thought I needed to be true, to get to what actually was my truth.

Back to the Lionsgate portal.

However you choose to celebrate or harness the energy of this portal, know that you also don’t have to do anything at all. The portal is open and at its height no matter what. You will come through changed at a cellular level. You will ride the waves of the upgrade vibrationally whether you know it or not, so don’t go crazy with trying to do all the things (speaking from experience here!)

@ceremonyhealing posts:

We’ve made it to the Lion’s Gate portal. Things are speeding up. It’s been quite a season activating us on the optimum timeline. You may have felt the higher frequency arrive, there may be some discomfort as our bodies acclimate to this new resonance. It’s important more than ever now to stay grounded, eat mostly plants, be in your physical practices whatever they are to assist in the upgrade. Anything not aligned will vibrate out and it usually comes right up to meet us fully, have a last hurrah before it leaves.

Forever Conscious writes:

In numerology, the 8th day of the month is a highly spiritual and charged time. The number 8 represents infinity, the infinite soul that we are and the infinite journey that we take. It represents the “forever consciousness” part of our soul; the soul that has lived and will continue to live long after and long before this incarnation.

I know that the Sphinx Kriya, practiced during this very auspicious portal brought me, quickly, to the place I’m in now. My wife, Betty, is a pillar of my past. I met her 31 years ago and hadn’t seen her in 27 years. I did this Kriya on August 3rd 2018. I saw Betty again on November 3rd. We got married on August 3rd 2019. She is now the pillar of my present and future.

When her cousin passed away, I went to the funeral, I had to. He was larger than life to me when I was younger, and he helped me move past a lot of fast acting, continual, family trauma with his gift of dancing, humor, and knowing just how to divert my attention.

I knew I would see Betty there. I didn’t know that I was in love with her. I didn’t know it when I met her 31 years ago, or when I saw her for the last time 27 years ago.

On the way to the funeral home, I was asked if I wanted to turn back. I was told I didn’t have to go. There was also a possibility of seeing my family and we are estranged, so I had a good reason to go back home, but I kept going.

I remember looking down at my hands in the car ride there, knowing I didn’t have a choice. I had to go. I had to go. Something inside told me I had to go.

Then I saw her, I saw only her. Everything around her was unfocused and blurry. But she was crisp and more clear than anything I’d ever seen. I knew in that moment that I was home. I understood why I propelled myself to keep going until I got to the funeral home. Why I pushed so hard in that Kriya.

As sure as I’m breathing, I have loved Betty for lifetimes. Lifetimes. I know that the work I did last year pulled her through those past, present, and future time streams, fulfilling my forever promise to always find her. To never stop trying to find her.

In this incarnation, as in every incarnation, you don’t always remember what you’re meant to do, see, find or heal. I’m just humbled that in this one, my soul remembered, and drove me towards her.

May these resources I’ve shared with you serve.

Happy Lionsgate and Sat Nam!

Tarot Reading: Strength and Knight of Pentacles

I usually post a tarot reading weekly on Instagram. This week’s download is heavier (read longer) than usual so here we are.

We are literally putting our hands in the lion’s mouth. If you were sitting across from me receiving a reading, I would say: Are you the lion, or are you the one putting your hand in the lion’s mouth? Don’t pretend to be ok with putting your hand in the lion’s mouth, if this is you.

But, let’s vibrate with the notion that what we are entering is sharp, possibly painful, and totally crazy. But, we can put our hand in a lion’s mouth and keep steady, resilient, and lack the impulse to pull our hand away (it’s completely normal to pull back from danger or fear). But, we aren’t in danger this time. Our brains are just telling us that the change we face is dangerous. Silly brain, change is always good because growth comes from it.

What happens when we panic and pull away? In this case, the lion clamps down hard, because it senses your fear. Instead, soothe both the lion, and yourself. Give and receive, by enjoying the push and pull of the friction and intensity created. Rest in the warmth that is present in uncertainty and hesitation.

There is warmth here. The warmth lies in knowing that it, the discomfort, will change. Slowly, because the Knight of Pentacles tells us so, but, it will change.

With the Lion’s gate energy swirling around us, getting this card is auspicious, and I’m not surprised it showed up. We are in for a massive upgrade, and remember, energy doesn’t follow the strict rules of our clocks, so you may be feeling especially activated right now. I know I am!

Tapping into astrology a little more, we have a stellium (3 or more planets in the same sign) coming up at the end of the month in Virgo (Mars, Mercury, Venus, and, the Sun). Virgo loves to plan, and organize, broadly speaking. Another wink from the universe with this particular Knight pulled today.

The Knight of Pentacles is the energy you call on, or that calls on you, depending on how you see it, that plans and organizes, knowing that it is ready to execute. This energy is telling us to be methodical and execute slowly, wholly assured that you’ve done your homework, crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s. The year is half over, so whatever you’ve put off over the summer (like I have) you’ll want to dig your heels in, and complete it all in the upcoming months.

Together, these cards are telling us that it’s ok to be scared, the next step is coming. It will bring about unparalleled resilience because whether you know it or not, you’ve done all the spiritual, and energetic work your soul needed over the last couple of months to sail through the next level with grace.

No complacency here though, upgrading means there’s another set of challenges you’ll face that require even more clearing out of what no longer makes sense for you. Don’t be scared. Promise?

I usually read the Strength card very differently, but this is what came through.

Did it resonate? Do let me know in the comments here, on Instagram or Facebook.

In the meantime, go get ‘em tiger, um I mean, lion!

I hope this serves.

Sat Nam.

Am I Ready?

Tomorrow I teach my very first Kundalini class. I am subbing for a dear friend, and was touched she would even ask me.

When you teach, you build a relationship through the teachings to your students. She is sharing that special bond with me.

Betty, that sweet thang that I am marrying in 8 days, asked me if I am ready. I paused and thought am I ready?

Immediately I heard myself whisper the thought, Will I ever be ready? No. But I don’t give myself the option. I am doing it.

I never allow myself the option to dwell on readiness. Once I commit – the readiness – whether it’s there or not, has to catch up to my doing-ness. I wonder if that’s true for others. I tend to place myself in the action of things (hello, Aries ascendant!). I visualize myself doing the thing, whatever it is, and that minimizes the fear of actually doing it. It’s how I was able to sing and perform opera in front of loads of people over the course of my life, apply for jobs that I knew I wasn’t qualified for, go back to school a few times because I had to get it done, tell Betty that I love her and had to be with her, however that looked.

Close friends have told me that they could never think of going for anything beyond their reach, and I guess, I don’t live like anything is beyond my reach. We only get to do this life thing, with this consciousness, once.

I know that everyone makes mistakes, just like everyone cries, laughs, and uses the bathroom. It’s all part of the human experience!!

There are drawbacks, for sure, to this method of living. Anxiety dreams are one. I can’t tell you how many dreams I’ve had where I am on stage and forget what I am supposed to sing, and just stand there with bright lights in my face, unable to see anything at all!

I never really know how I am going to land. I’ve certainly missed a few landings, and some missed landings took an exceptionally long time to realize that they were 100% wrong. Those realizations are not easy to wade through, and regret is something I grapple with.

Yes, me too.

I try to remind myself that the past and the future are points in time that don’t exist, and I should be grateful for every miss-take and every missed landing because, I stuck the most important ones: finding Betty, and sharing the rest of my life with hers, raising our three boys, mothering our 4 dogs, AND all the Kundalini yoga.

Morning Sadhana today!

So yeah, maybe I am ready.

Wish me luck.

Sat Nam and all that good stuff,

That Kundalini Girl

P.S. If you live in the Lehigh Valley area and would like to come to class, send me a message. I’d be thrilled to give you more details.

P.P.S. I’m getting married in 8 DAYS! Wahe Guru!

When the Ego Takes Over

A lesson that keeps coming up for me is back again: Colliding with those that have a scarcity mindset when all I see is abundance for all, coupled with my tendency to put certain groups of people that I revere, or admire, on a pedestal. Do you do this, too?

This lesson comes up for me with those  I perceive hold more weight in my life (think managers, priests, extended family, close friends, government, teachers). Only after I recognize that I’ve done it again and placed a person or group on a pedestal, I realize that above all else, these people/groups that I’ve catapulted to the ethers are still human. They are still fallible, still controlled by an ego that they cannot see, taste or smell. They either struggle to remove themselves from the ego’s sneaky, all encompassing grip, or ignore it altogether. This dance with the ego is spirolic. Some days are better than others.

How do I know this? I’m human and fallible, too. I struggle with the dance of my ego that refuses to let me go when it’s siren song is over.

When the Ego Takes Over That Kundalini Girl Liv Dayal Kaur

I’m still working on my awareness before I fall headlong into the “pedestal placing stage”. There is small progress as I’m aware slightly this time around. Just as healing is spirolic, so is learning and awareness.

As a new teacher, I am full of excitement, ready to dig in, and share what I have experienced. I am ready to help other teachers where I can, with whatever I can. My angle? Serving and building a community of practitioners. Some that may eventually be glacially shifted, internally to become teachers themselves. It is my hope, that the energy amongst women, specifically, as that is where the scarcity mindset is prevalent and it shouldn’t be, we are creators after all, will shift to one of abundance. There is room for all at the table, because it’s a really long table with many mouths to feed.

I was asked what niche community I wish to serve with Kundalini. I immediately responded with those that have suffered from sexual abuse, those who question their sexuality, or feel that pleasure is foreign to them, those who live with C-PTSD. I’d also like to add those that fear success in their own right, on their own terms.

One of the things I love about this practice is that you’re instructed not to worry about anyone else. Not to look to see who is doing what on the seat next to you. Just focus on you. Your space. Your growth. Your healing. Oh how that translates out of the classroom. 

I can serve in these spaces like no one else, because I’ve lived in these places, I still live in, and struggle with, some of these places. I come with my own unique set of life experiences, solutions, adjustments and tools to keep up. Just as my thumbprint is my own, so will my flavor of teaching, reaching and elevating others. My prayer is that all who teach, and all who learn, remember their uniqueness, and open themselves to the abundance of opportunity and creative collaboration that actually exists.

Sat Nam.

P.S. Thank you Saraswati Radha Kaur for holding space for me on this. You are a light! Wahe Guru!

I Am a Teacher

I graduated Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training this weekend at Kundalini Yoga East.

I’ll always be a little Sat Nam, and a little go f*ck yourself.

The incubation time was about 8 months. I say incubation because I feel that’s what it was. For a couple of weekends a month, I shared space with 17 other souls experiencing their own singular journey.

We were guided by caregivers that were firm, interested, curious, and prepared to withstand the shaking of worlds they knew we would go withstand. This process changes you. More than physical, it changes your perspective, deepens your awareness, fast tracks your intuition, and you’re left with no other choice but to accept it’s invitation because you know you’ll be kept up throughout and on the other side. You’re given everything you need for this seismic shift in every dark, cobwebbed, conveniently hidden, part of you.

I experienced more than my share of world shaking and my teachers were there with an understanding ear, compassionate heart, words of wisdom, and of course, tissue. They are also very practical.

Our beloved Angad cutting our celebratory cake.

During meditation this weekend, I heard my subconscious whisper to me that these teachings place you on a private journey that taps into collective energy. I wouldn’t call it an experience of oneness as some have. In that revelatory whisper, I was separate but one, when I chose to be, when I needed to be. During meditation I can tap into the collective and receive support. 

Feedback time from Angad and Simran

One weekend in November, my classmates literally held me as I whimpered that I wanted a divorce. One by one, they sat near me, and placed a hand on my back as I sobbed at the release of it. No one said anything, our guides didn’t stop the moment. Our guides held the space for the collective to gather, and support the individual who cried out. I’ll never forget that day, or the very special bond cemented in those that reached out to me in that tender space. 

Singing our ending song: May the Long Time Sun

I learned how to breathe into and out of painful memories, and times. I learned how to love, and to be aware of how I was being loved in return. I learned how to pause and investigate, return patience over, and again. Aside from the postures, terminology, history, lineage, vocabulary and structures, I learned how to be more authentically human. I realized more clearly that I am softer, and also stronger than I thought I was. 

On the day of graduation we were all allowed to share something, if we felt called. True to every weekend we all spent together, I went first. What may have looked like bravery to my classmates during our time together, was really a push through fear every time. Every time I volunteered to go first, speak first, share first, move first, it was because if I didn’t, I never would. I would never get the thoughts out of my body, and they would remain dormant, held in, forgotten. I didn’t want to live in the darkness of silence anymore. 

Guides over my shoulders. Wahe Guru!

I shared how much they helped me by seeing me, genuinely caring for me, and allowing me to be myself. I never felt as if I had to hide behind the mask of superficiality. No. Everything was not ok. No. I’m not smiling.

Their honesty vibrated to me that it wasn’t necessary to wear a mask as I so often do. That I was safe. I could feel it, their genuine compassion was palpable in the room. On this journey, this rebirth, what was meant for me appeared, like the stars at night. Visible, mystical, sometimes hidden, but always beautiful. What was no longer meant for me, unravelled quickly. Usually, in my life, these things happened of their own accord. I would watch silently as things came and went. 

Gotta get a picture with Guru Ram Das and some yoga blocks. You just have to.

During teacher training, I was gifted the awareness to consciously choose. This awareness has provided me with a quiet courage at my ability and confidence to choose for me and that is nothing short of a miracle. I’ve always compromised myself to choose what others wanted, and convince myself to accept the choice even if my intuition was screaming to run. Living in interaction I felt safer keeping everyone content and avoided supporting my boundaries. If I’m really honest, I never had any until Kundalini.

I reconnected with the woman who is now to be my wife. We share a life of intimacy steeped in honesty, and a connection that we both know is older than this lifetime. Many, many lifetimes. She was with me when I graduated. She was and is such a symbol of my refinement, my transformation, the reclamation of my body, goodness, truth. Speaking as a graduate to my classmates and guides was an overwhelmingly powerful moment in that day. And yes, it was recorded. Yogi Bhajan must have whispered to Vedya Amrita, whom I lovingly call “The Beyonce of Kundalini” because she glows and radiates like an intergalactic superstar, that I needed, and would want to keep that memory.

I understand now so much more than I had before and know there is more to come. I have Kundalini yoga teacher training to thank, and my guides here on this earth at Kundalini Yoga East: Angad, Vedya Amrita, Harkamal, Agochar, Simran, Sat Jivan Singh and all of my classmates, who are now my spiritual family. It is bittersweet knowing that I won’t have another weekend to share space with them, but I know they are with me every time I close my eyes, focus on my brow point and vibrate the mantra, Sat Nam. The Golden Chain is strong with us.

Sat Nam.