Heart Opening Moments

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Be Your Music

Itzhak Perlman violinist

Violinist Itzhak Perlman Became One with His Violin - Expressing His Music With the Depth of His Emotions

My father was filled with enthusiasm as he deluged his concert experience. He was beaming, glowing, flushed with energy. I felt as if I was in the presence of an enlightened master when he transmitted his inspiration to the rest of us. Whatever happened to him at the concert have somehow jolted to the core of him.

This way of being flowing through my father was shocking to me initially. I have not seen him this way in quite sometime. You must know, my father the computer systems engineer is usually very logical, steady and extremely critical. He taught me to always look for what is not good enough in something in order to improve upon it. We’ve always looked for the lack, the imperfections, the not good enough parts in everything we do. Being a technician of machines it was an excellent trait for him to embrace, yet in his musical life this trait became devastating as he sought technical perfection in the expense of emotional overture. After twenty years of logical operations of the mind, this charismatic ex-orchestra conductor became mechanical and his animated energy was deadened. The zest was gone.

Somehow the gift of another accomplished violinist have put the zest back in my father’s life. The exaltation in the acoustic vibrations can not be calculated or measured yet the evident effect was undeniable. As I gently asked my father what he was feeling he did not answer me by his style of thinking, instead, he radiated the joy of being as he expressed his appreciation of an invisible force of nature. It was portrayed the violinist Itzhak Perlman embodied effortless grace. Perlman merged with his musical instrument. There was a seamless harmony as the music poured out of Perlman. There was no gap between the violin and the violinist. The violinist became his music. The violin was merely an extension of the violinist that simply channeled his music. He was not performing, he was being, and he was purely authentic. Each note was expressed through the depth of the musician and the melody was a transmission to awaken the soul of millions.  The effortless being of the musician became a repartee of play instead of a demonstration of work. As Perlman swayed to his melody, the emotions of overcoming his physical challenges from polio turned into a fountain of appreciation that in turned gave him life. As Perlman awakened to his own life in his music, he freely passed onto the gift of living to millions around him.  His vibrations of enthusiastic celebration kindled life back to my father’s heart as well…

I am thankful – one man’s authentic self-expression brought inspiration to awaken the hearts of millions. I too felt awakened by this second-handed transmission from Perlman. I couldn’t help but to ask myself what is truly my music to share with the world?

As I’m getting closer and closer to the purity of my true self-expression I no longer wish to hold back my gift. Have you found your true self-expression? If so will you share it?

If you have found your music, please let your music fulfill the hunger within the rest of us. Allow the authentic truth of who you are bring altitude to dissolve all illusion. It is a joy and a privilege to be the catalyst that inspires a greater reality. Let your music flow out of you!

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Self Realization | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pole Dancing and Aikido

Melt into harmony - when a partnership is created between your body and the pole.

After thinking about pole dancing for several years now, I finally took the plunge. My girl friend and I started going to Pole Sinsation the beginning of this year. Initially this new form of physical training seemed awkward and we both felt extremely spastic. For starter, I was too scared to wear the 6-inch heels, so instead I went bare foot. As I pivoted on the ball of my foot while maintaining the strength from my core, my body remembered a similar sensation from Aikido. There was something my body wanted to communicate. I allowed. It went quite for several days.

On Saturday Aikido was tough. There was one move in particular that I still couldn’t do after more than a year of intense training. My initial reaction was to blame my partner. It was the stiffness in his body that made my technique impossible. It was his height that made me overextend myself. It was his unwillingness to connect that made our relationship unnatural… I’ve been walking the spiritual path long enough now to know that I must take responsibilities, yet I couldn’t bring myself to admit my own contribution to the difficulties I’ve experienced on the mats.

On Sunday, Pole Dancing was even tougher. I was surprised how well I was doing last week but Sunday turned out to be a lot worse than I have expected. The pole was so cold and metallic it gave me blisters on my pinkie.  The skin on my thigh was getting stuck because the static friction was too great to complete my turns. The surface of the pole was too slippery on top because nobody bothered to climb up and give it a good cleaning. Finally I noticed how my repulsive thoughts have lead to my dreadful emotions; I began to resent being there and I disliked my body.  So I decided to just give it up. Not giving up dancing, but instead giving up the need to blame.

I know how much I love dancing. I took ballet, jazz, Tang Dynasty dancing, Swing, and sometimes ballroom. I’m definitely not a professional but I’ve always enjoyed dancing on my own because I love the freedom of self-expression. AND because I enjoyed feeling the strength of my own core. But whenever I danced with a partner, I would have to adjust to his style of movement. Being the control freak that I am, I secretly resented how I was not leading and I could do a better job if I was the lead. I told myself that some leads are so not coordinated that I end up losing my own center and stumble over my own feet. Only the days I salsa danced with Andre Paradis, I give up control completely. Those days I felt grounded in my heels and the strength from my center when he executed his famous triple underarm turns. He knew what he was doing as he worked around his own center while staying completely engaged. He choreographed for and danced with Michael Jackson for God sakes! Whenever we disconnected, he apologized for not making adjustments for my body since he was the lead. He graciously took responsibilities.

So how does core strength, making adjustments, taking responsibilities relate to aikido and pole dancing? Well, in both pole dancing and aikido, I have to work with a partner. In pole dancing my partner is the pole that I’m engaged in a physical relationship with while in aikido my partner is the other person I’m engaged in a physical relationship with. In pole dancing, I can see myself more clearly. It would be silly to blame an inanimate object for my failures. In order to move forward, I have to stay grounded and adjust myself.  How is my posture? Am I using my core strength or momentum? Do I clench on too tightly? Is there enough space between my body and the pole? Where do I carry the unnecessary tension? Am I out of my head and totally devoted to my body? How smooth are my transitions when I switch directions? So when I fail, I can blame the pole for not adjusting to my needs or I can take responsibilities and examine myself. All these questions will take me out of my need to blame and bring me back to taking responsibilities again. And in Aikido, being shite, I am responsible to execute the techniques by being grounded, harnessing the power from my own core, and adjusting to the unique composition of my partner. I have to first find where I am, the connection I’ve made with the mats, my body’s centerline, only from there, I can then interact with a partner by moving with his body’s natural centerline. I must ask myself probing questions: Am I grounded? How is my posture? Are the movements executed from my core or from the momentum created by my arms? Do I clench too tightly? Is there enough space between my partner and I? Do I allow myself to melt into him without all the unnecessary tension? Am I maintaining the smoothness of transition by keeping a full connection when I’m heading into a new direction?

Do you notice the similarities? In both cases, your power comes from your core when you engage in any relationship!

So by taking responsibilities, we are staying true to our core, being who we are, making adjustments to the person we are engaged in a relationship with – WITHOUT LOSING OUR OWN CORE! Being in a relationship is not about losing oneself but exerting oneself to blend with another. I’ve seen a lot of difficulties occuring in many relationships wherein one person is making too much sacrifice and thus losing oneself. That is not healthy in friendships or relationships. We will just end up losing our centerline and become resentful. By noticing how I interact with an inanimate partner I can find my own behavior patterns that stands in the way of creating a healthy relationship.

there’s more coming up next time…

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Aikido Wisdom, Choices, Self Realization | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where is my compassion?

Crying my eyes out

Crying my eyes out...opening my heart...learning compassion... (mom took this picture for me)

Deeper understanding
Valid during several weeks: This quality of time will help you to develop a deeper understanding of those psychological areas that are connected with the experience of pain, suffering and rejection. This influence is especially well suited to so deepening the understanding of these interrelations that the first inklings of how to carry out a healing can be perceived. During this phase it is important to talk to other people who are interested in this theme. This time is well suited to penetrating the complicated connections and dependencies between human behavior, the psyche and early injuries – to differentiate between cause and effect, whether for yourself or for someone who has confided in you.
activity period from middle of December 2009 until end of January 2010

It happened… Something happened so abruptly that it pulled out the rug that I stood on as it turned my world upside down – in the middle of December just as my horoscope suggested. The pain was so quick and unexpected I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. I felt thankful how these cured circumstances reflected  back to me. I felt humbled by the lessons I learned from this process. I even felt it was indeed a huge blessing to experience the deep pain of humanity. Yet at the same time the helplessness, suffering and rejection I felt inside still kept me crying at all hours of the day when no one is around. I can’t seem to shake it off. The worst part of it was that my recently published booked called Happiness By Definition all of a sudden seemed like a lie. I was no longer the happy, blissful social butterfly on the cover of the book – suddenly I’ve turned into an ogre! I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t get myself to snap out of it. I was frustrated, resentful and wished things could change for the better.

This horoscope caught my eyes because I’ve finally experienced the sharp reality of rejection as I am learning to unlock my heart. In the past, I was always smart enough, clever enough or cute enough to get what I want – with my head. I didn’t suffer much when I didn’t get exactly what I wanted because nothing really mattered to me. I walked through life with a sense of aloofness and I thought I was on the top of my game. The truth is I didn’t understand the place of the heart. But lately being on the spiritual path my old strategies no longer worked. The universe had to show me a new way. So all the heartaches happened just in time – in the middle of December – just in time to teach me a lesson before the holidays. Perhaps it was finally time to heal the past wounds with my family before the new year. Perhaps it is time to learn this lesson now so I can understand the depth of humanity. Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to fight the incoming circumstances. Perhaps all these dreadful moments I’m going through is indeed a chance for me to grew into my authenticity. As I gazed onto the tear drops that turned into the perfect shape of a heart, I noticed my ever-changing unconditional love and my ever-expanding sense of compassion underneath the gut-retching pain. For a moment more, I found myself wishing the best for the man who acted as the sandpaper and sunshine to my soul. I saw why I had to fall in unconditional love with him and my love be completely rejected in return. I was in the deepest pain I’ve ever experienced because I have opened my heart. Yet at the same time I felt the tender healing underlying all that suffering, there is a great sense of freedom! As I opened up my heart even more wishing him happiness and true healing, I no longer cared if I was rejected. I just wanted the best for him in whatever he chooses. I can FEEL! I have a heart! I can love unconditionally!

Through this experience, I can relate to others much more sincerely. Because I have been gifted pain and healing, I know how to extend the gift of healing onto others I come in contact with. I am in a better place to help without judgement but with compassion.  I don’t know where my path will lead me. I do know that I will make more conscious choices out of courage, love, and compassion no matter where I go. I will not retaliate out of anger and I will not use anyone else to relieve my pain. I will walk head high, chest forward, with the support of my true integrity and live a life of authenticity.

January 9, 2010 Posted by | Emotional Freedom | , , , , , , | Leave a comment