Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ask Uttara: About Mercury Retrograde . . .


Mercury Retrograde starts tomorrow and lasts until the end of the month. Tonight I heard that it is not a good time to sign contracts, send in applications, etc, and its overall not a good time for communication. I am/was planning on sending out letters and my resume within the next week because I am looking for a summer internship. I have put this off long enough already and know waiting until March will be too late. (Early bird gets the worm). But what I heard made me worried that the retrograde will effect the results. I need to get these letters written, sent out. I need them off my chest and out of my control (they cause me a lot of anxiety and stress. I know once I get them out it will be up to fate, for I have done my part).


Well, let's back it up for the non-astro folks in the crowd.  When a planet is "retrograde" it appears to be moving backward in the sky from our vantage point on Earth.  Now, the planets do NOT actually back up; but because we are here on Earth and it appears that they are moving backward, it is a period for retracing and revisting karma.

Have you ever been sitting at a stoplight in your car and you feel like your car is drifting backward and you slam on the brake and realize you weren't moving at all -- it was the motion of the car next to you that made it appear that way?  Okay -- that's retrograde.

So as the planet appears to move backward, it retraces its steps in the astrology wheel.  And yes, Mercury Retrograde typically amps up the Mercury energy to the point that it causes problems with Mercury-related things.  Mercury rules communication; electricity and electronics; short journeys; and even siblings (because they are usually the first people we learn to communicate with).  It is typically not a great time to begin things -- it's better for "re" things -- as in review, rethink, re-examine, etc.  It's definitely NOT the time to purchase any electrical things, cars, etc.; but hey, sometimes you just have to.  So, you know this and take extra precautions to work with the energy.

NOW -- that said, I think you need to go ahead and send out these letters.  Was your resume already prepared?  The letters?  If so, that may ease the symptoms.  If not -- then you be extra-crazy-special-careful.  Proofread a ridiculous number of times; have other people proofread for you.  Double-triple-quadruple check the details; the addresses; the zip codes; that the envelopes seal properly; that you have the correct postage! Set yourself up for success.

Make sure your letter and resume information are crystal, CRYSTAL clear.  Have several people look things over and make sure you are communicating well.  If you would feel better say a little prayer over them before you mail them or use the blessing mudra (right hand pointer finger extended, center finger bent and perched right at the bottom edge of the pointer fingernail).

Then, go ahead and send those letters!  AND . . . look up the next retrograde and put it in your planner.

I wrote a little blog about Mercury Rx a few years ago . . . it's brief, check it out:

Finally -- let go of your anxiety, your stress; visualize yourself busy working this Summer at the most amazing internship EVER.  See it; feel it; trust.

Good luck!



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Question: Staying Positive Around Negative People You Cannot Avoid


A lot of articles on being happy suggest removing yourself from negative people, or only surrounding yourself with people who share a similar positive outlook and interest in growth. It's a nice idea, but what do you do when that's not feasible? If it is your spouse or another close family member that is negative, and unchanging despite talking with them about it?


There are two responses here, because I think that dealing with a close family member is one thing; a spouse is a whole other hot mess. 

Big hurray for talking with them about it and trying to create a dialog.  Often not only does someone's negative attitude make US crazy, we can see from the outside looking in that it makes THEM crazy.  But some people really get attached to their crazy.  They have no interest in change and often that is where the negativity begins to take root -- they don't want to take responsibility for their life, their circumstances, so they are always blaming others, seeing the downside.

It's freaking exhausting to be around them.

So you must set clear boundaries.  I am particularly harsh when it comes to people who stay in relationship with family members who are not nice people or have truly done great harm.  I do not have the "blood is thicker" attitude.  To me, toxic people are toxic people; you limit your exposure and you do not concern yourself much with what other people think, or what those family members may think.  It's just like removing yourself from things that your society may value but you do not -- it may feel like swimming upstream, you might upset some folks.  That is okay, you must honor your truth and preserve your sanity. 

But you remember always that you have karma with these people; they are in your life for a reason and a purpose; you drew them in.  What do they have to teach you?  Has the lesson been learned?  Can you see why you had to be in relationship with them?  Can you see how to be safely in relationship with them?

You don't have to return their negative energy; but limit your exposure.  To resolve the karma make sure you are clear in your actions and your words; take responsibility for your choices and do not be afraid to be who you are.  Whenever you pray or meditate, wrap them in light; bless their every breath and forgive their every action.  They are operating with a limited horizon of awareness; you are held to a higher standard because you KNOW better. 

When I pray for people in my life who I would rather NOT be in my life, I always make sure I visualize them standing apart and away from me as I wrap them in light.  It fascinating how your compassion can arise and help to neutralize your negative emotions and ease the memories of past difficulties and disagreements.

NOW . . . if this person is your spouse?  You have some decisions to make.  Because a lifetime of trying to make peace and live with someone who basically has a different moral code than you can be beyond difficult.  Hanging in there with this type of relationship can end up crippling you both.  In my experience once you realize you are a spiritual being on a path -- your path!  Wow, a purpose!  Once you realize this, if the people whose lives are closely linked with yours do not also discover their own path and their own way to progress, trouble ensues. 

The term for community in yoga is "sangha" and it's important.  To surround yourself with like- minded people is a requirement in many of the sacred texts that I am familiar with.  And it makes perfect sense.  Why make it so hard on yourself?  It's like trying to be an ice skater in Hawaii -- it can be done, but why the struggle?  It just sucks your prana.

The Bible reminds us that when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there.  We come together and we become more powerful than the sum of our parts.  That is part of the beauty of being in a committed relationship -- you make each other better; you help each other grow.  Is this person making you a better person?  Can you grow in this relationship and become the greatest and best you?

You cannot talk your spouse into changing; they have to want to change.  And you can keep adapting, explaining, avoiding; but those days are numbered.  Watch carefully for bitterness or resentment to begin to build for you -- those poisons will harm you in slow and insidious ways.  Make sure if you feel angry that you move that energy -- exercise is good, a strong forceful kapalabhati breath might work too. 

I would suggest counseling for you both, together and separately.  This is an issue no different than any other major game-changing issue.  How much do you both want this relationship?  That question will be tested as you move through this decision.

I make the same suggestion for the family member -- wrap your spouse in light when you pray for them.  Wrap the relationship in light if you want it to succeed. 

Take action often to energetically cleanse your house; light incense or burn sage with the intention of releasing any negativity, even if it didn't originate with you.  Put sea salt under the doormat to help demagnetize any negative energy from your spouse when they come home.

I will close with a quote that you might find helpful and instructive as well:

If you find your “here and now” intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options:  remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.  If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now.  Then accept the consequences.  No excuses.  No negativity.  No psychic pollution.  Keep your inner space clear.
 --Eckhart Tolle

I wish you luck and Blessings,



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ask Uttara: Dreams About Fire


Ever since the new year my dreams have involved fire in some way - my house burning down, other houses burning, my car smoking then catching fire, etc. what does this mean?


First thing, do know that SOMETIMES dreams can be predictive or sent as a warning.  So please exercise caution when driving, cooking, lighting candles -- everything -- be a little more careful than normal with not only fire but anything "Mars" related -- knives, tools, cars, etc.

There are many ways to interpret dreams; one of the first ways is to simply examine the emotions felt throughout the dream.  So what did the fire inspire in you?   Fear?  Panic?  Confusion?  Surprise?  Write down the emotions and then look at your waking life and see where those emotions are also being triggered.  The dream could just be a way to process those emotions.

Another way to look at the dream is to see everything and everyone in the dream as some aspect of you.  What does the fire represent to you?  My personal interpretation would be change; breaking down something to be recreated or reborn in the "fire" of your awareness.  It could be a change in your actual home or emotional home.

Did you make any resolutions for the New Year?  Did any of them involve transformation?  Or applying the "fire" of your resolve to shift things in your life or within your self?  The Fire Chakra is Mars/Manipura -- right around the belly button/small of the back.  Any particular issues with that part of your body?  That Chakra also relates to power and will -- any issues regarding either of those things?

Goswami Kriyanandaji always said the dreams give you a three-day heads to up to things that are coming; so perhaps begin to write down the dreams as soon as you wake; don't even get out of bed before you start to write, sometimes even shifting around into different positions while still in bed can help trigger your memory of the dream and fill in some details.  And then check back with your dream journal to see if you can decipher what your subconscious was trying to tell you.

Remember that YOU are always going to be your own best dream interpreter; only YOU have seen and experienced YOUR life; every experience you have creates samskaras, karmic filters through which you experience your world in a totally unique way. 

Dreams are an amazing source of information and noticing them is a great way to demonstrate to your subconscious mind and to your angels and guides that you are willing to listen to guidance and strengthen your intuition.  Learning to trust yourself is one of the greatest lessons we have to learn in this Earth life.

Let me know how you are doing!



Monday, August 12, 2013

Ask Uttara: Some Christians feel that astrology is "devil" work . . . but didn't God create the heavens and earth and the universe that astrology is based on?

Some Christians feel that astrology is "devil" work (or whatever else they say)... But didn't God create the heavens and earth and the universe that astrology is based on?

Ahhhh.  Yes.  It is true that some do think it is dark magic.  And yes, God did create the very structures astrology references.  Remember that anything that frightens the mind causes it to shut down.  People often put down or make fun of things they do not understand. 

It reminds me of a person who got quite angry at me for telling them I was a vegetarian; I mean, seriously, more meat for you to eat, okay?!  They went on to say that the Bible said that God gave us dominion over the animals and that meant we were obligated to eat them.

[Um, really?  Riiiiiiight.]

So, if someone’s source of information is a written record, such as the Bible, then you will find conflicting things about astrology (well, conflicting things about a LOT of things), even though often astrology and astronomy play a role in our Christian celebrations.  The wise men (Magi or Magicians) following a star that foretold a birth.  Many say they were astrologers and it was the astrology of the time that told them the Messiah was being born.  December 25 is the day we celebrate the return of the Son.  That date relates to an astrological phenomenon related to the Winter Solstice on December 22; the return of the Sun.   The date we celebrate Easter is still set by determining the first Sunday after the Full Moon following the Spring Equinox.

The rhythms of this planet have been used for thousands upon thousands of years by people on Earth to determine many things; and I think we are slowly realizing we ignore those rhythms to our own peril.

Astrology is a much more ancient system than Christianity; you have to realize how young Christianity is.  Recall that Jesus was Jewish!  Astrology predates recorded history and is found in most religious systems – there is a Hindu system, a Taoist system, many many systems for reading the stars and planets.  

In many cases it has been woven into modern Christianity, though not overtly.  Check out these links for information on Christianity and astrology, as well as beautiful Christian churches that feature the astrology wheel, the symbols of the zodiac, etc.

But what to do about the random person who questions why you would study astrology?  First, before you argue with anyone, consider who you are talking to.  There are people who you can have real conversation and debate with; and there are people so locked into their way of thinking that it is a total waste of time.  For the judgmental folks you will encounter who simply want to put you in your place or bring you around to their way of thinking, you can tell them you find it interesting and leave it at that.  Or that you are just trying to make a decision about its worth -- many people come around to believing in astrology simply because they have tried to disprove it.

If I were to encounter someone who insinuated that it was evil, I would explain how astrology has given me a deeper understanding of God’s plan in my life; of where and how I am to serve.  For me that is a powerful truth.

For the person you encounter with whom you can truly debate and discuss, I would offer this:  the unfortunate path of some sects of the Christian Church is to remove God from everyday life and living; to make it so that you need an intermediary to access God.  A person from the Church to confess your “sins” to; a specific place and time for praying.   Someone else to conduct ritual, to make your decisions.  Some in the Church would not want you to know how powerful you are; that you can sit in meditation and access God yourself.  That you in fact play a role in creating your world and your experience here.

If I really wanted to convince someone, I would ask for their birth date and time and permission to run their chart; usually that is enough to widen someone’s eyes and make them at least take the time to explore the possibility that this ancient science exists

Anytime you are challenged in any belief you hold true to your heart -- whether it’s astrology or what school to send your kids -- you basically have three ways to go; (1) you can take their dissent and question yourself, falter in your conviction and decision making; (2) you can take their dissent and absorb it, actually figure out if it is true or accurate and allow that discussion to shape a new way of thinking; or (3) you can take what they say and that information actually makes you more secure in your conviction and knowledge.
Either way, do spend the time to decide what is that you truly, really believe and how to articulate it -- what speaks to your heart, your head, your gut.  And then live that truth.  But also be ready to change your mind; to say you were wrong; to allow new information or an experience in the future to shift and refine or change your truth.  As I get older there is less black and white; just more intricate shades of gray.
I hope this is somewhat helpful to you.



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ask Uttara: I've been single for a couple of years . . .


I've been single for a couple of years and not dated in many many years. Not to sound conceited, but I do have a lot going for me and would love to be asked out on a date. I'm not looking for a lifetime commitment or anything, it would just be nice to have someone to do fun things with. I have great fun and loving friends who I spend time with and I have an active and full life - but it's not the same as having a special someone in my life. Know what I mean?

Friends sometimes tell me I am unapproachable or "intimidating." Others say, "you have to put yourself out there". And the third most popular response... "just wait, your time will come"

I'm willing to be patient and have faith, but I've heard you say more than once that we're meant to walk two by two.

What should I do? Hang out and have faith that everything is as it should be? Or push the envelope and join some on line dating site or something (eee gads!) What's your advice?

Also - I know... be careful what I wish for, right? Maybe my already not-so-simple life is enough and I'm destined to be on my own.


Dearest Reader:

If you are putting out as many mixed messages to the Universe as you have in your question, then you must first untangle some things.

Let's start at the end; about being careful for what you wish for.  What DO you wish for?  Would just doing things with someone in a no-commitment relationship be SO complicated? 

Maybe you are really wishing for something a little deeper; for real love.  It's OKAY to want real, deep, full, committed LOVE.

As Shri Shellyji has said, "two strongly together is as four against the world." 

If you are sure it's just going out and having fun, then maybe YOU could do the asking.  I'm guessing since you seem to think you should be waiting on someone to ask that you are female; let go of those old courting rules.  If you find someone interesting, invite them to do something fun.

Are you doing what you love to do?  Or waiting for someone to do it with?  There's a great quote called the Holstee Manifesto check it out here:

You indicate that friends say you are unapproachable or intimidating; and you seem to list it as the main thing people tell you when you ask why you don't think you are getting asked out on dates.  This requires some self-study.  When you think of the things that you DO having going for you, how could you possibly use those attributes to make yourself more approachable? 

Do you have walls up around yourself that you are unaware of?  You've been single for a couples years; was that your choice?  Have you done the inner work necessary in those years to heal the old wounds and prepare your heart for a new relationship? 

To come together with another we must first be complete within ourselves.  Have you been journaling?  Look back; review; we call it Tarka in Kriya Yoga.  What are the patterns in old relationships?  In current relationships?  In your relationship with yourself?  Are you looking for a companion or simply to fill a hole in your soul that really only you can fill?

What's your relationship with the Universe?  You can't really turn things over if you don't trust God/Goddess; but remember that it's not total surrender.  Only the dead fish goes with the flow.  Sometimes you need to swim like hell.

If you truly have been doing what you love to do; telling friends you'd like to date and putting it out there; and you feel you are emotionally ready for meeting new people and creating a healthy relationship; then sure, why NOT a dating website?

I have a relative who met their great love through an internet dating site; she likes to say she went "shopping" for him; and they are wonderful together.  I know other people who use it just to meet people, have coffee and talk; nothing further, no interest in taking it into the relationship zone.  Get clear on why you do what you do whenever you do it; it's called intention and it changes EVERYTHING.

In the meantime; live your life.  Work on yourself.  Wholeness attracts wholeness; wounded people attract wounded people.  Make sure you are sending out the vibration you wish to bring in.



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ask Uttara: How soon is too soon?

How soon is too soon?  I was married for a loonngg time and have been celibate for a very long year.  I recently met a man through an on-line dating site to whom I am very attracted (pretty sure the attraction is mutual *blush*).  We've only met once for a lovely afternoon coffee date and I was immediately smitten.  We're all adults here, this is not high school, are there any rules, really?
Thanks ;)
Got the Itch
Congratulations!  Isn't it awesome to discover you can still get that tingly butterfly flirty fun feeling??  Being in love or even just in lust can be a really delicious emotion.  I remember thinking that perhaps I was broken and would never feel that way again. 
But as I would say to any one, but particularly coming out of a long marriage -- whoahh, whoahhhhhh.
How much do you know about this person?  Do the background checks; Google him; research him on social media.  Make sure you are actually dealing with a sane, reasonable person. 
Are you clear about boundaries?  Is one of you going to wake up in the morning and go shopping for wedding rings while the other one gets online to see if they have someone else lined up for dinner that night?  Where is this guy in his process -- do you want the same things out a relationship right now?
Are you emotionally ready for this?  For all that it entails?  Some people can engage in quick physical relationships and think they can move on, but even that has consequences -- emotional and physical!  Depending on the healing process that itch might be a scab just starting to form; don't scratch it and re-open a wound.
Have you figured out what went wrong in your past relationship?  Is it a pattern that you have had for a while?  How might you change that negative patterning to something healthy, positive?  And why did HIS past relationships fail?
Listen to your inner voice and wisdom.  Be up front; be clear; ask for what you want and need and don't engage in emotional games.  At the same time be okay with not knowing exactly how things will play out;  
Have fun -- fun is wonderful; and be sure to conduct yourself so that you will have absolutely NO regrets. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Question: Where were you mentally and spiritually when you were 20 years old?

Where were you mentally and spiritually when you were 20 years old? Did you have any idea that you would become a yoga instructor? What were your goals, fears, and interests?

Well now; that’s a bit of a story.

Me at 20 years of age; I was living with a man 14 years my senior; engaged to be married (and we did marry soon after my 21st  birthday).  My life was pretty intense.  I was working as a legal secretary at a huge law firm in a big city far from my family; leaving my expensive but tiny apartment at 6:50 am to catch the 7:10 am train to work; working from 9 to 5 (and getting as much overtime as possible) and returning home around 7:00 pm each night.  On a good day.

This man I was in love with was not a very nice person.  He talked a good game and I fell in love with his idea of who he was and what he could potentially be.  The reality was he was an irresponsible bully, but I never saw that until years later.  He often quit or was fired from jobs; so I worked a lot of overtime to support us; that and his habit of taking our credit card and buying whatever he desired.

Weekends and my rare free time were filled with bicycle and motorcycle rides; learning how to cook; and trips to a muscle-head gym for free-weight lifting.  I also read a lot – he introduced me to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; Carlos Castaneda; Robert Heinlein.

I’m pretty sure I never heard of yoga.  I do recall a fellow secretary telling me once that the computer problems at the office were due to Mercury Retrograde.  I found that line hysterically funny and for many years made fun of that reference. 

If you know my current dedication to astrology you will find that little karmic payback amusing.

Must say I didn’t have much time to think about God or spirituality; at least not that I remember.  Survival was my first task; making enough money to pay the bills, cook, clean and try to appease my lover so that he wouldn’t go off into his frequent rages. 

Little did I know that this period was my soul’s karmic plan; as hard as it was it prepared me for what has come.  When an abused woman speaks, I can hear her.  When a person relates the experience of being down to their last five bucks, yes, me too. The hamster wheel of a full-time job with no space other than to keep your nose to that grindstone; of being far from family and feeling incredibly alone even in a relationship; yep, I get it.

I also learned how hard work pays off; that good people always meet other good people -- people who will look after you and offer you safe harbor.  I learned that you are only imprisoned by your own mind and actions.  I learned that if I want something bad enough, I can make it work.  I’m just a lot more wise about where I allot that fierce determination. 

I learned how to reinvent myself, and I’ve had to do that over and over and over.

Be patient with yourself on your journey; if you have found yoga at a young age you have tremendous positive karma.  Hold to the light; be true and honest with yourself; and just like in a yoga pose, when you feel your life tipping out of balance, gently bring things back to center. 

Pay attention to what people DO, not what they SAY.  Observe how they treat children, the elderly and animals.  When you love someone, love who they are; not their potential.  Don’t be afraid to work.  Don’t be afraid of change.  Be willing to help others but not willing to be walked upon.  Have strong boundaries.  Cultivate wisdom.  Live a life with as few regrets as possible.

You are a spiritual being having a human experience; never forget.

I hope this is helpful to you.