Connecting to your Masculine Energy

Much of my work is about helping people integrate the different parts of themselves - intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Taking time to deeply connect to our masculine energy (which we all have, regardless of sex) is a way to cultivate direction, strength, leadership, purpose, and power. The following practice is designed to support you in connecting deeply with your masculine energy in a powerful and integrated way while still staying connected to the energy of support.

You don’t have to muscle your way through life, or force anything. That’s not what masculine energy is about.

Note: If you are in a male body, you can connect directly to this practice on a physical level. If you are in a female body, you can connect to your internal masculine and experiment with what that feels like for you.

Come into your body.
Take some time to stretch, or move, or sing, or whatever helps you come into meditation.

Find stillness from movement, find silence from sound.
Let the stillness and silence emerge from a place of desire.
If you don’t want to be calm and still and silent, that’s ok too.
If stillness and silence find you, let them feel really good, nourishing, really sweet.

From that place, wherever you are, let yourself sink deep inside of your awareness.
Relax your jaw. Relax your throat, opening energetically and physically.
Soften your heart, opening to receive.

Connect to your masculine energy, your cock energy.
Literally feel your genitals - feeling that strength, power, energy, and openness.
You can get soft there too, or you can really activate and engage.

You don’t have to go into your sexual energy - but do engage that part of you that is turned on, turned up, lit up from the inside.

Feel what’s authentic to you.
There’s no pressure here. It’s not like you can do this right or wrong. It’s about what feels good to you today and bringing your full bodied consciousness into this moment.

Let go of anything that you’re ready to let go of.

Claim and take in anything that you want for yourself today.

Connect to these three power points:
Your throat
Your heart
Your genitals

Give your attention to those three areas and find a sweet spot for yourself today in each zone.

Call in all of your guides, spirits and mentors to be here, present in this day. Call in the support to go as deep as you want to go today, to show up in your conversations and service today in the way that will serve your highest - and the highest of everyone that you encounter. Everyone you interact with. Feel this energetic support flanking you, supporting you - let yourself feel them on the physical, emotional, spiritual planes - so that you can let go in ways that you may have never let go before, so that you can shine your fullest, purest, devotional heart with total freedom, total sincerity, total love, total power.

Extend and expand your energy so you can feel how big a channel you are. Feel yourself stepping into your highest expression right now.

You’re being called forth.

And so are all the others reading this, doing their own practice.

Feel your heart, your whole core, vibrating at this very high level, supported so thoroughly, and being met by each other heart, each other core.

Inhale your own strength. Exhale your own deep relaxation into the support that’s here for you. Inhale into your own power, exhale into the infinite power that you’re channeling through you. You’re bringing in all of your fullness, all of your capacity, at the very same time that you are connecting the most deeply to the divine.

There’s no rush.
You can move and make sound again if that feels good to you, to come back to the surface. It’s up to you how you want to come back.

But stay connected to your Self. To your own power. To your own support systems.
As you plug in, with your eyes open, to the massive container that’s here for you today.

Unconditional Love

Here’s the quick summary of this post:
1. You are unconditionally loved. Period.
2. You choose whether to let it in that love or not - and it’s not a big deal either way.
3. When you think you’re not loved, you are.

But WTF does that mean IRL?!

Source is loving you all the time.
God is loving you all the time.
The Universe is fucking treasuring you, adoring you, head over heels in love with you and every cell of your body, every thought that goes through your mind, every feeling that goes through your heart.

Source is loving all of you, unconditionally, no matter what.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself from the outside. Find the part of you that puts a stopper on this veritable funnel of love that’s coming in to you from Source.

Let yourself tune to how you open and close your connection - like a lens cap on a camera that you put on or take off. It’s just the movement of the ego, the movement of our subconscious programming - no biggie.

heart hole cam.jpg

When you know that you are in charge of the lens cap, you get to consciously choose to let the love in or not, moment to moment to moment. It’s not right or wrong. It’s not a moral judgment, it’s a choice you have total power over.

Here’s a powerful practice to help you keep your lens cap off - and let the love in.

Let yourself ask what would it look like to let that love come in, to let that support come in, in every single moment of your life. Let yourself really experience it, taste this sweetness. It’s more than talking yourself into the idea of it - let yourself actually experience that everything - ev.er.y.thing - is love. Everything is an offering from Source to express love to you. Which means that every single thing in your life is happening Just. For. You.

Not to you.

What would be different in your life if you experienced that everything happened for your absolute highest good…. ALL OF THE TIME? What would be different if you knew you were being loved, even when you felt you weren’t being loved? What would it mean if you were loved when you felt sure you were distinctly UNloved?

Let’s go deeper into this. We’re not talking about forcing yourself to make something that you don’t like or desire have a positive spin. Don’t lie to yourself, don’t pretend, don’t ‘fake it til you make it.’

It’s deeper than that. It’s about sinking deep enough into the experience of unconditional love to really feel that you are loved, whether you are liking your life or not; to really feel that you are supported whether you are getting what you (think you) want or not. There is no condition on your receiving of love except your choice to take the lens cap off and let it in.

So...

What do you really want to experience?
What triggers you to put your lens cap on and shut out the love?
What are the moments that you can lean more deeply into the faith that you are loved, worthy, cherished - infinitely and always?

A Monetary Odyssey via Instastory this month

About 10 years ago, I went to a Millionaire Mind workshop. It was a T Harv Eker project. I was a public school teacher in NYC at the time and I was meditating a lot - not really thinking too much about money but intrigued by what else might be possible. We spent a day jumping and shouting and getting pumped as we learned about money and how to really build a healthy relationship with it. I learned there that if you want to be wealthy, it's essential that you spend time with people who are wealthy and pay attention to how they make financial decisions. This concept really stuck with me.

I found this to be a good idea in general: to raise your own awareness of money and build a relationship with it, simply pay attention to how people spend (or don't spend) money. Study how people make decisions about money: how, where and on what do they spend it? How often? How do they feel while they're spending it? To borrow a concept from the brilliant David Neagle (my coach): Everybody is a spender. Not everyone feels good about spending, or feels like they have enough to spend, but everyone is spending money everyday. So there’s a lot of fodder for study!

These two inspirations prompted me to go public with my own personal relationship to money. For the remainder of February, I’m using Instastory on Instagram to post one thing I’m spending money on every day. I'll share what I'm spending my money on, why, and how I feel about it. My intention is to open up a conversation about money and help raise consciousness around the energy of money. I want to get you thinking about what you spend your money on, to celebrate and enjoy it and do it with even more consciousness.  

Let's talk about money, baby!

Maybe you’ll discover something about the way you’re thinking about money that you didn’t recognize before. Maybe you’ll realize there are opportunities you hadn’t seen previously - new choices, new responses. Maybe it’ll spark a conversation that can enable a welcome change. Who knows? I’m exhilarated at the possibilities!

Money is often a blindspot - especially for conscious practitioners. People avoid thinking about it, talking about it, or taking responsibility for their relationship to it. They hope it will work itself out...and it always does...just not always the way they would choose, had they given themselves the opportunity to do so. My mission is to support the tribe of spiritual and transformational leaders and entrepreneurs in thriving, so our whole community feels a sense of true financial freedom and abundance. In my experience, it is money that holds the key to our full spiritual maturity and our capacity to deeply impact the world.

Check it out here and get some inspiration to enjoy making money, feel powerful about spending it, and truly create the life that you want.

Stardom

Photo by Maksim Brenner

Photo by Maksim Brenner

All my life I've wanted to be in the bright light of people's attention. I've wanted fame and stardom, to be the best at everything. This has had a powerful impact on my life - I'm quite proficient at many things. I know how to work hard and my habit of striving has supported me in a lot of ways. 

At the same time, it's been a huge distraction from some basic truths about myself and the world, namely concerning my inherent value and that of others. I have spent the majority of my adulthood alternating between trying to prove my worth and plumbing the unconditional aspects of existence - breath, life, love - to help me better understand myself and my place in the world. This navigation is my spiritual practice. Contact improvisation got me started and meditation and bhakti have seen me through to writing this blog on the practice of  living a joyful life. 

my photo of dear Ram Dass in the mala ceremony on the last full day - he beamed at every one of the 300 of us just like this, just being love.

my photo of dear Ram Dass in the mala ceremony on the last full day - he beamed at every one of the 300 of us just like this, just being love.

Last week I joined my mother, Ram Dass, and 300 other lovely people in Maui for five days of spiritual retreat. It was paradise: fresh chai, beautiful vegetarian food, qi gong and yoga twice daily, meditation every morning, kirtan every night and the shining light and wisdom of Ram Dass speaking and beaming throughout. 

On my last morning in Hawaii, I wrote this:

I can hear the sound of the waves as they crash on the rocks outside my room. I can see the light of the sun bouncing off the moisture in the air as it steams off the mountain. The palm trees are still with just the smallest moving of leaves - slow and easy. The water is almost my favorite color - somewhere between cerulean and phthalo blue. There is a reason they call this paradise. I want to get out into it every time I wake up - to feel the sand and the water, to see the light and the sky, to stretch my sensation into the universe as far as I can reach with my mind. 

Our final morning together culminated in an ocean swim - 300 people and Ram Dass floating in the salty sea, chanting "Oh Joy!" in unison and grinning til our faces lost all the final traces of tightness and holding - our hearts beaming, bouncing love from one to another and beyond into the universe.

Spiritual retreat is so important. 

As always happens on retreats like this, the time away from my usual routine and the explicit attention on love does something alchemical to my body. I'm back in New York now feeling eager, enthusiastic, present, available and in love in ways I wasn't before. I'm happier. I believe - I experience - that everything is possible, and so I'm a lot more spacious and loving. This experience is making it much easier to allow people to be where they are, to allow myself to be where I am. 

my photo of the ridiculously gorgeous view from our piece of paradise at Napili Kai...

my photo of the ridiculously gorgeous view from our piece of paradise at Napili Kai...

When I look around me, at my friends, family, colleagues and roommates, I see that everyone is doing fine. Everyone is on their own trajectory, many of which complement and resonate with mine. I can give space when our paths don't exactly line up. I can breath and watch. I can let them be where they are, appreciate and enjoy them in the freedom of that acceptance.

Because here's the thing: getting steeped in love and beauty for a few days gave me a deep sense of worthiness. I know that I can have everything I want and everyone else can have what they want too. On the level of love, nothing I can do can get in anyone's way - it's just not possible. There's nothing they can do to get in mine. It's not one or the other, we don't have to fight, we don't have to win. 

Photo by Kay Bee

Photo by Kay Bee

Last night I had the massive pleasure of attending my friend Jeremy's dance performance at Juilliard. There were four pieces, one for each class, and each piece was better than the last. I loved it - what a powerful inspiration to see the human body made into such a magnificent offering. I recognized a part of their dharma - their purpose or service in the world. I appreciated them all, was impressed and awed. It was wonderful to see and hear and feel. 

This experience of joy and appreciation was only possible for me because there was space inside me to know my own service, my own unique and human qualities - because I wasn't busy comparing myself to them or trying to figure out how I might one day be in their position. It is said that it is better to ones own dharma badly than another's dharma well. Tonight I felt the freedom to occupy my own life and service without coveting anyone else's. There is infinite space and love here for me, just as I am. 

This is non-trivial. 

It feels good to let everyone in: looking for the heart in everyone makes it easy to remember that love is all around. 

Blessings, dear family, wonderful friends. May this find your hearts soft and open, your body relaxed and your spirit bright. I'm so glad we're here together.

No Problem

what if there's no problem?

what if I like to move fast towards the train, feeling the exhilaration that there's something to run for, to run toward, the blood pumping, the heat rising, my feet and legs and body all moving together to go fast?

what if there's no problem?

what if I like the activities of my work so much that I get excited to go to work, excited to accomplish the tasks there? what if I like doing the tasks I'm asked to do, what if they draw out my skill and mastery, expanding my self-awareness of what I'm good at and what I bring to the table. what if I like the urgency and enthusiasm, the breakneck speed of some moments of activity, when the deadlines are close and there's more to do than there's time for but we go for it anyway with gusto and joy?

what if there's no problem?

what if we're all doing our best - and it's really good enough - even when there's disappointment or wanting more? when there's anger and frustration at not always having what we want, and we blame one another for withholding or getting in the way of our desires? when our love looks like tolerating others' negative feelings about us, and there's nothing to do but show up and be present for each other in the discomfort? what if it's hard and challenging and activating and clarifying, rubbing up against our systems in ways that make us sore but wake us up? 

what if there's no problem?

what if our not talking very much gives me permission to exist comfortably without constant explanation? what if the moments of silence - while unfamiliar and surprising - are a longing of my soul that I'm learning to rest into and luxuriate in? what if there's freedom in new territory, invitation in relationship, welcome in being able to coexist without speaking?

what if there's no problem?

Anticipating Janmastami

Dear hearts, 

In anticipation of Janmastami (the celebration of Krishna's appearance on the earth), I learned a sweet new melody tonight and recorded it for you! I hope it tempts you all to join me and my dear family and friends this Sunday to chant it together. You can join in person in Brooklyn or online: find out more at www.bhaktidojo.com.

Here's a taste:

Every Sunday afternoon, when we chant this sanskrit mantra, we connect with our spiritual source, the origin of our yearning as human beings. We practice letting go, giving up our material pushing and pulling and we surrender to the spiritual aspect of ourselves. "Hare" is the cry of our hearts, the yearning of our souls, the deep longing for and devotion to love. "Krishna" and "Rama" are love itself, that source which we are always seeking to connect with more directly. The mantra acts as a bridge, connecting our material bodies and our spiritual hearts, raising the vibration of our mental activity and freeing our systems from fear and doubt.

Come join us for this ancient, epic, transcendental and superpower-increasing practice. Haribol!

Jesse

Relentless Joy

Dear hearts,

As you read this, take a moment to offer your thought right now, your gesture, your feeling - as much of your material experience as you are aware of - to the source of all spirit in you. Offer yourself as if you're a gift and the universe is your dearest friend. Feel the universe see you and grin, opening it's arms to receive you fully. Let yourself feel the opening of joy inside you and nourish those seeds of bliss. Imagine the alchemical liberation expanding inside you on a cellular level as you continue to make an offering of your full heart, your footsteps, your work, your love for your friends, your curiosity, your wondering. Your level of consciousness can turn whatever you're doing into something transcendental, shift your experience and exponentially expand the possibility for joy. Feel the strength and lightness of your being, the ease and readiness of your inspiration, the contentment and eagerness in your system. 

Joy is a muscle - it can be worked and strengthened with intention and practice. This practice of joyful living is a kind of discipline of attention: by focusing on what feels good, by giving attention to things that we appreciate, our capacity for joy increases, our experience of love expands, our resilience in the face of struggle brightens. 

Relentless joy is not about being joyful all the time, but rather committing ourselves - offering ourselves - to the relentless practice of feeding and stoking the fire of love and enthusiasm in our lives. Over and over we choose to return to the present moment, sensation, to cultivate love and give our attention to the essence of those around us. We offer our smiles, our presence and our strong belief in our agency as infinite creators.

Take time every day to notice what's working for you. What are you appreciating, what lines up and feels good to you?

I am really into my job today, learning about what I'm good at, how my interests and skills complement my colleagues, how to work as a team, how to do the stuff we can do well really well and focus on what's really hard together with clarity and impact. So GOOD. I really freaking dig that I'm becoming more fearless, more full hearted in my communication, more comfortable in myself. This feels amazing. I love my partner and my home and my family. I'm excited to watch Robin Williams standup and laugh, to play Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine with my roommates and read Clan of the Cave Bear. Writing to you is wonderful and so is eating raw vegan key lime pie. 

With love and love and love,

Jesse

 

 

The Small Dance

The Small Dance during the Global Underscore. City Life Wellness. Brooklyn 2011.

The Small Dance during the Global Underscore.
City Life Wellness. Brooklyn 2011.

Find a stillness in standing and let your eyes close. Relax your body. Feel the structure of your skeleton, feel the weight and mass of the rest of your body. Let your weight drape like cloth on your skeleton. Let your structure do all the work of keeping you upright.
Imagine your weight like liquid pouring through your body and pooling on the floor. Feel the lightness of your body as it empties, the heaviness of your feet as they fill.
Feel how gravity is drawing you towards the center of the earth, how you are always moving the same direction. Let yourself surrender to gravity, falling, free falling. Feel the earth rising up to meet you, catching you in your free fall, holding you, embracing you, supporting you. Always you are falling, always you are being held.
At the same time gravity is ever so gently drawing you towards outer space. So you are held suspended, neither so light that you float off the ground, nor so heavy that you make holes in the earth when you walk. You are balanced perfectly on the surface of the earth.
Dancing With Gravity.
What's the smallest movement you make as you dance this small dance with gravity, this foundation of all dancing? Can you make an even smaller movement?

When you're walking, when you're working, when you're hugging, loving, smiling, crying, writing, sleeping, bathing, laughing, serving - feel this dance with gravity, this connection to the unconditional force of nature, and let it take you deep into yourself, your body, your sense of belonging, your sense of embrace. Always, every moment, you are held, longed for, drawn in. Always, every moment,  you are falling, flying, free.

A Declaration

I quit bull-shitting myself today.

It started with a great and productive meeting at work with some colleagues who really recognize, respect and appreciate me. Their clear assumption of my value was like a suction cup for my enthusiasm, confidence and intelligence to shine and flow. What fun! This was a reminder of what I want to feel like all the time, and the taste stuck with me the rest of the day.

After work, I set the intention to get clear about a few decisions. I made time to contemplate and hear myself get clear about what I really wanted. With firepower and bright clarity, I remembered that I AM AWESOME. I have all that I need, know how to both leverage and share my resources, and I feel complete with the part of my life where I pretended otherwise.

For me, this means I need to set some new boundaries: no more discussions about how much happier, more prosperous or empowered I'll be if I go to this seminar, take this training, invest this money, study with this teacher, commit to this practice, join this group, work with this coach. I realized tonight that I'm just not really looking for advice and direction.

For the moment, I'm recalibrating my inner guidance system by leaning in the direction of trusting my own training, practice and gut. I'm resting on my laurels, cultivating my leadership, listening to my intuition, paying attention to my own impulses and making myself as available as possible. To love, to serve, to listen.  

I like writing to you. I like capturing the learning from my days and sharing. I like the opportunity to process verbally and the additional challenge of semi-permanence that comes with written language. 

May your days be sweet, your dreams big, your love unleashed, your certainty strong, your arms wide.

Leaderless groups and letting go of approval, part 1.

A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to Germany to study, share and dance Contact Improvisation (CI) at the European Contact Improvisation Teacher Exchange (ECITE) with 60 other teachers from all over Europe, a few of the states and the Middle East. CI as a form embeds a radical approach to listening, presence and connection, based in touch that doesn't ask for anything yet makes everything - even flight - possible.

When I arrived I was disoriented, jetlagged, bagless (still lost somewhere in Frankfurt) and longing for friendship, grounding and a clean set of clothes. A first timer at the event, I was waiting for something to become clear - to be welcomed, told what to do, given structure within which to make sense of my role and succeed at it. I'm good at being good - a great student, a good employee - I follow directions well and like it when I can figure out the "right" and "wrong" of a situation and then go full on for the "right." I am good at getting the approval of others - it's been a defining feature of my life.

Upon arriving at ECITE, I was given no comfort! True to the form of CI, the structure of our seven day exploration together was extremely open. Without hierarchy or limitation, choice and freedom seemed a constant assumption. There was no right way to be at the festival, no best way to dance, no supreme way to teach. People danced, talked, shared insights, did their own thing, and came together when and how they wanted without making any commitments beyond that moment. Without any verbal agreement I had witnessed, everyone was engaged in a relentless practice of following their own impulses, remarkably true to themselves and unpredictable. Despite my long training in CI, I was not prepared for this leaderless group phenomenon. Since the crew was fundamentally unable to satisfy my approval-seeking designs, my thwarted patterns quickly became outdated and I found myself popped into a new paradigm, re-orienting to the radical freedom of paying attention mostly to my own desires, unattached even to my own choices, moment by moment.

Still longing for relationship and structure, I joined an ongoing group that met every morning. I spent four days with the same group of 18 dancers - we wanted to study pedagogy together and we had three hours every day for four days to do it. We spent the first day debating how much structure not to have, hearing from everyone, hearing from the loudest folks, not dancing enough, getting frustrated, finally concluding only these additional points:

  • we'd focus on "why?" for one whole session. then "how?" and finally "what?" Three days; nine hours; three words to give focus, coherence and structure to our time. I think we generally shared the idea that we were addressing these questions in the context of CI, or teaching CI - but that was about it. 
  • we wouldn't decide anything else and we'd trust the folks who assured us that it would work out really well.

NB: In my experience of working and collaborating in groups, when someone doesn't "take point" and organize the time and interactions, it ends up being a waste of time where all too often one or two voices dominate the conversation and no matter how lovely the ideas, nothing is accomplished. I was skeptical and curious - trusting that I would learn something, hoping to be surprised.

The next morning we all danced our way into arriving, finding partners and warming up together without any words or direction. We organically found our way into a talking circle in the first hour, moving easefully in and out of dancing for the rest of the morning without deciding anything, exploring our first question through language and movement. It felt meaningful, interesting, fulfilling and entirely ours - not planned but conceived, not organized but complete, not consensus but collaboration, cocreation. It literally blew my mind that no one had taken dominion, no leader had emerged on top, no approval ratings had been handed down. My paradigm was razed.

That's part 1.

Comments, questions? Let's go!

Relationships and practicing Bhakti

I watched this sweet video the other night and it was a real gamechanger for my week. The lecture comes from a wedding, so the setting is both a bit more informal and a bit more private than usual - an interesting window into some strangers' lives. The content is universal, however. Radhanath Swami is offering his prayers and blessings to the newly weds, and begins by speaking about the tremendous and superlative difficulty of partnership - that it is definitively challenging for everyone and can inspire violence in even the Nobel Peace Prize winners of the world.

I am always reassured by the message that I'm not alone - the reminder gives me courage to face my fears and challenges, no longer distracted by the idea that the existence of my struggle is evidence that there's something wrong with me. Instead I feel fueled by the possibility that this struggle is part of relationship, and I can sink my teeth into this aspect of life with engagement and optimism.

Radhanath Swami goes on to remind us that relationships are opportunities to practice Bhakti - devotional love to the heart and spirit. Bhakti is practiced by making a conscious offering of our thoughts, actions, service and love to the divine. When we are in relationship for more than just our material satisfaction, we have the privilege to guard, protect and care for a child of god/a spirit soul/a piece of the eternal. With this shift in intention, everything we do in our relationship becomes the practice of offering our loving service to the divine, of elevating our consciousness beyond the material realm and cultivating the bliss of Bhakti.  

IMG_8447.jpg

Integrating Bhakti into my life has a dramatic impact on my desire to be right, win arguments, be recognized and get my way. Since I tend to be proud, ambitious and even arrogant - at least on the inside - this is a really big deal. I like to be in charge and get extremely grumpy when I don't have things my way. These patterns in me may never go away, but they easily get trumped by my spiritual desires - to love and serve and connect with my heart. I've made a pact with God - to love my partner - the spiritual center of my partner - and to do it on God's behalf. Bhakti gives me an unconditional sense of purpose and focus: whether my partner is in a good mood or not, recognizing my awesomeness or absorbed in his own activities, in a state of presence or unconsciousness, I'm doing my work fulfilling my pact with God.    

So this week, I'm amplifying the way I love my partner, using our relationship to cultivate a strong energetic focus on my spiritual life which in turn elevates my experience and presence in all of my relationships. I feel wealthy with the abundance of having such unconditional love to offer and making time to offer it. I'm enjoying the growing simplicity and contentment that's emerging as I practice.

Questions and comments?  Let's go!