Becoming Mahayogi Das (Part

I feel like Madonna 90% of the time.  My life is a constant action of defining, re-defining, and coming into alignment.  This is the beauty of my experience.  I claim my spiritual ADD proudly.  I wear it like a badge of honor, and I’ll venture into the sometimes dark places to find the nuggets of light.

My path is unfolding into new places and new people are coming in now to make some of my dreams a reality.  My spiritual team is working on both sides.  Now, I just need to fully show up to my experience.

There is a fear when it comes to owning our dreams.  What comes next?  Can I sustain the dream once it leaves my head and enters this density?  Am I ready?

The spiritual path is not always an easy one, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve learned to wear my battle scars proudly, they are reminders that I have lived.  This is a year of taking ownership if my life, and I am doing so.. Sometimes kicking and screaming, but always moving.

I’ve been on my yogic path for many years now., and the spiritual/quasi-spiritual even longer.  I picked up my first book on the esoteric when I was 7, and my first book on Wicca when I was 10 (casting spells and all–Not many know that little tidbit).   I’ve always considered myself a seeker, and I am a professional student of the divine.  I’ve done a lot in this lifetime, and there is still much to do.

Here is a brief list (to demonstrate that I’m not kidding about the Spiritual ADD):

  1. When I was younger I was going to be an archeologist, a chemist, then a doctor
  2. I use to preach from the the bible to my grandmother because I was going to be a televangelist.  (oh how the tides have changed)
  3. I was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, had a magic coach, and did a show for a 300 person audience
  4. I’ve looked into, studied and participated in many, many, many martial arts systems and styles, holding ranks in many.
  5. I’ve been in covens, circles, groups, of all shapes and sizes
  6. I’ve taught bootcamp, yoga, bootcamp-yoga, cycling, one-on-one fitness
  7. I served my country in the US Navy (10 years)
  8. I danced the glow sticks at raves (and was paid to do so)–refer back to number 4. 🙂
  9. I’ve worked in marketing
  10. I’ve worked in activism
  11. I started out in vegan campaigns at PETA, then did every campaign at PETA (more like the campaigns do YOU at PETA)
  12. I’ve marched in marching bands, I’ve sung in choirs, I participated in Tuba Christmas 3 years in a row
  13. I’ve worked in a new-born nursery
  14. I do readings, healing, yoga, teaching, and somewhere in there I find time to breathe…
  15. I host a radio channel with 4 different shows, 4 very different topics, and keep them all sorted nicely

That’s the abbreviated version.  If you take your eyes off me for too long, you might loose me… but I always come back to the place I started.

My life is about to streamline, and its terrifying and its beautiful.  I am about to launch my new site, create new direction and own myself fully.  The process of becoming me is never ending.  I’m still learning.  I love not having focus because I feel that’s how God truly exists–in a constant haze of frenzy, experiencing creation as its being created.

When I stepped onto the yogic path, I was initiated into a mantra, given the Mahayogi Das name, and aligned with the energies of Shiva (he’s seems as ADD as I am according to some of his legends).   So I am claiming this journey fully, and owning my spiritual side.  I am not spiritual being living a human experience.  I am being living a full experience.

There is a lot on the horizon.  I’m still wrapping my head around some of the stuff that is manifesting as a reality.  I’m going to do a follow-up post, but just wanted to get some of this energy out there now.

So, I’m embracing this new me.  I’m owning this part of myself.  Plus, it’s going to be the name of my new company… so, no going back 🙂

More to come.  Keep tuning in 🙂

 

Mahayogi Das CFT CSN MAT PAT

Coming into alignment: Purpose, Self, Breath

This seems to be the year of integration.  Many of us are hearing the call to come into being, to begin showing up, to be the divine light we were meant to always be.  For some the process will be an easy one, for others this means making radical shifts.  Being in the present is an action of surrender.  So many of us spend so much time in the past, even exploring past lives to find some tidbit of knowledge that can unbind us from some future karma that has not yet been actualized.

Breathe!

Breathing is one of the most important things we do.  It is spirituality stripped down.  It is our common bond to all things in life.  Breathing is the religion of life.  It is the divine mother birthing a new moment, it is father god bringing us connection, light.

I see too many people living on the inhale, life catching them off guard.  Then they forget to exhale.  It is in the out breath that we inspire new life, new connection, and expansion.  We have to break living in a state of waking apnea.  When we breathe we move, and this brings us into alignment.

The physical body is where we meet the breath.  We must take care of the temple.  The physical body is the temple of the soul, where we congregate with life herself.  We often speak of alignment in our spiritual practice, but how can we align with purpose if our bodies are held out of alignment due to neglect?  Take a moment to breath deeply.  Then exhale.  Where do you feel the breath stopping?  Where do you feel resistance?  Sit for a moment with that energy, be in that space of deep listening and ask what is needed in this moment.

Purpose is an unfolding lotus.

It changes as we breathe.  The road bends, it turns, as do we.

I love yoga as it is a constant action of surrender.  It is a unification of mind, body, spirit, breath, and purpose.  It is action coupled with intention.  Desire and will holding my space as I move around the mat.  This is how I am choosing to live my life in this moment.

What is calling you in this moment?   Where do you need movement?  Are you restricted in physical mobility, can you improve on this?  If not, find the smallest level possible and breathe into that space… The body is constantly moving, even if we are not.. Let’s join her in this eternal dance.

PBP2012: “O” is for Owning all parts of the self

Integration seems to be a key spiritual them that is coming up across the board for many people this year.  Going into the shadow parts of our path and seeing what might be buried deep in the dark soil of our experience.  When we dig a little deeper we see the seeds that are starting to blossom.

Integration is more that just coming into alignment with our path, but I feel we need to fully own those parts of self so that we can truly become whole within our working.  I feel that we have to become the magick, we have to be the divine spirit, we have to claim that divinity that is the driving force behind all the wonders we see in this life.  Holding ourselves apart from the journey gives us an out.  I feel too often we look to escape from our great work. It is time that we move into states of greater connection with the parts we might be ignoring.

So, how do we begin this process?

What are your taboo topics?  What are the issues of your experience that you’d rather keep buried in the soil?  Where in your life do you feel fragmented?

As we move through life, we often leave little pieces of our soul buried in those moments.  These tend to be the tough spots that draw us into the past through deep emotion.  This can be hard.  There are moments of our life that we might not want to re-acknowledge.

Bringing all of our parts into alignment (event the vicious ones) allows us to own our shadow.  It allows us to breath new life into those moments and to acknowledge the lessons we’ve learned about ourselves along the way.

Take a moment to ask, “What parts of my life am I ignoring?”  “Where might I have left pieces of myself along the way?”

Owning all of our parts puts us back together.  It allows us to be whole.  It allows us to be the divine soul that we were always meant to be.

 

The Pagan obesity discussion… and debate

The interwebs is alive with discussion regarding obesity and the nature of it being a taboo topic within pagan circles.  Peter Dybing recently posted an article on his blog Pagan in Paradise regarding this oh-so-taboo of topics.  I applaud Peter for taking a step in creating space to have a discussion regarding health within out spiritual communities.

To start off, Obesity is not a “body image issue”, it is a health issue.  Many have lashed out with the thought that this is going to create polarization within the community, that judgment will occur due to body size, etc.  Rather than taking this as an opportunity to discuss creating positive change for health within our pagan circles, we have taken it as an opportunity to attack and tear down each other… see anything hypocritical about this?

Obesity is a global issue, to think that we as magical culture are exempt from the issues that plague society is a narrowing viewpoint.  What I do feel however is that we as a magical community have the power to effect change globally by taking a deeper acceptance of where we are in our pursuit of health.

Before the attacks begin, let me give you a bit of my back story:

I have been on a yo-yo existence with my weight ever since childhood.  I was healthy, but I did not feel satisfied with the extra weight.  Weight even now, is a struggle.  I’ve also had the opportunity to see this issue from multiple perspectives.  I am a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, and yoga instructor.  I am vegan.  I’ve worked for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and have worked in gyms and studios across the east coast.  It was also my responsibility while in the Navy to be a fitness instructor for the Special Warfare candidates.  I have competed in bodybuilding competitions and I have also suffered through struggles with being overweight.

There is a reason why the fitness industry makes over 8 billion dollars a year, and an its the same reason that the pharmaceutical industry makes even more… we surrender our power away to others rather than taking responsibility for where we are.

If we look at the body as a temple.  The soul as the energy that moves through us, it is important for us to improve that temple by whatever means necessary.

Now, lets step this away from a body image issue.  This is not about body image… again, let me stay… this is NOT about body image. 

The problem that I have seem as a fitness professional that is also a member of greater spiritual community is surrender to non-health.  I think that we should absolutely love ourselves no matter what size we are… big, small, and everything in between… However I do not agree with surrendering to poor states of health, poor habits, and poor lifestyle choices.

As members of spiritual community we have a responsibility to our divine work to be part of this experience for as long as possible.  We cannot use our spirituality as a shield to the reality we face as a community.  Obesity as a health issue is an epidemic.  We can pull facts, stats, etc and we can argue both directions.   We begin feeding into a greater illusion that being overweight does not have a damaging effect on the body.  Carrying excess weight not only puts excess stress on the joints, spine, and hormonal system, but it may limit how we engage the world around us.  I agree, greater society does at time make this more about body image than health… why are we feeding into this same illusion?  Are we, as spiritual individuals not able to see through this to the core of what we are supposed to be engaging?

Each of us holds weight differently.  Each of us has a unique beauty.

This is an opportunity for us to have dialogue to create opportunities to engage health in a new and fun way.  Locally we have monthly Pagan Centered Fitness gatherings.

Having these discussions are moments for us to engage in expansion instead of limitation.  We are a spiritual family, and it our responsibility to reach out with compassion and acceptance.  Size is not always an indicator of health, but by the same token, size does add some restriction especially when it is coupled with poor eating, lifestyle, and fitness habits.

Where are you within your body now?

What changes would you like to make to improve overall health and well-being?

How do you feel in this moment?

Where are you giving power away in regards to food?

***This last question is one way we can bring the spiritual aspects into how we relate to food.  Food is a powerful way for us to connect as community.  It brings us together.  Does our spread reflect healthy connections to food?  Do we surrender to certain foods because of emotional attachments?

 

I am going to do a series of posts on this topic, as I feel this needs to be an ongoing discussion.  Perhaps we can even facilitate an open discussion on conference call to bring actual voices to this issue.

If we don’t talk about issues of health, how are we supposed to engage our communities towards positive evolution?

Michael Brazell, CFT CSN MAT PAT

 

 

 

Coming into alignment with my life: Fasting, Contemplation, and Yoga

Today I kicked off a new direction.  A new re-engagement of my path.  I am choosing to live a more whole-hearted existence.  Even as someone that engages a more direct spiritual path, I sometimes find myself at odds with what I truly want from life and from my path.   I feel at times we really get caught in the actions of giving, and we do not take time for receiving.  I am now going into a place of balance.

When I feel the world around in flux, I move into the internal landscapes.  I am about to engage on a new path, and its time to cleanse and take responsibility for all that is in my life.

So it begins.  I am starting a 40 day (maybe longer) fast.  Now, to some this sounds like an impossibility and/or perhaps a bit loony.  Well, of course!  Taking full ownership of what we put into our bodies is a radical idea.  Food is a source of power and potential.  Its is energy.  It gives us fuel, but we often surrender power away to our food choices.

When I engage in a fast, I go hardcore.  So here are my eating parameters:

  1. I am only drinking water
  2. I am only eating simple non-processed raw foods
  3. I am only going to purchase foods with minimal/no packaging
  4. I will eat a balance of carbohydrates/fats/proteins
  5. I will be kind to myself and those around me while in the detox phase of this dietary transition.

Ok, so why line number 5?  Well, I am starting this in the middle of a Mercury and Uranus retrograde, after being bombarded by solar flares… So, I have to be sure that I am kind to myself, but more so those around me.  When we detox the body starts to purge away toxins stored in the organs, the muscles and fatty tissues.  This can make us initially feel sluggish, weak, and for lack of a scientific term.. BLAH.  We tend to lash out at those that are closest to us in these times, so we have to watch where our actions may be taking us within this space of cleanse.

**Also a special note to loved ones of those engaging in a fast/cleanse:  Be kind to those engaging in this spiritual pursuit.  It’s not easy aligning the body, mind, and spirit through relinquishment of our favorite food stuffs.  Don’t tempt us away from the journey by offering us things that are not in alignment with our goals, support us in our journey towards alignment, and be part of the process through actions of love.

Along with the food parameters I am also adding some lifestyle changes that to this process, as well as some daily tasking that I am to take on:

  1. I am going to do 1 creative thing a day.  Draw, paint, write a poem, sketch, write a story, etc.  I’ll be posting those on this blog.
  2. I am to reduce my ecological footprint as much as possible.  (I’ll discuss this in a bit)
  3. I am to reduce the amount of stuff that I am holding onto.  This is to include clothing, books, ritual items, etc that is no longer serving me towards my goals of alignment.
  4. I am to live a more simple life.  In action and words.  (more on this in a few)
  5. I am to hand make one or two outfits by hand (this is something I’ve always wanted to do.. I’m going very yogaish… and this is gearing me up towards creating the clothing line for the website launch).
  6. I am only to travel with minimal stuff.  I tend to overpack, and carry too much.  I love my books, and instead of taking 4 books with me on one single journey.. I’m making a resolution to take each book I pick up from start to finish.
  7. Daily personal yoga practice/meditation/contemplation of sacred text
  8. I am to start my day at 4:30 am daily to make full time for spiritual practice.

This sounds like a lot, but it really is just about coming into alignment on a deeper level with a lot of things that are currently in my experience.

I am also taking this time to engage a higher level of responsibility for the world around me.  I’m reading a pretty amazing book called: “Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel”.  The book helps takes you through a process of acknowledging what your eco footprint is and how you can start to reduce that by leaps and bounds.

I am also taking this time to journal more.  To engage introspection on a deeper level.  Daily readings, predictions, channeling and being in spirits energy.

I am also moving towards aligning myself with my community more, which is another reason for the new website.  This will have its own post soon, and its going to be pretty amazing.. so stay tuned!

I am also going to move towards living my yoga completely.  I at one point thought about the possibility of taking my initiated yoga name as my legal name, I’ve been in contemplation of this for a few days now… I am going to realign with that name energetically as I feel it helps me to integrate my spiritual self into my mundane life.

There are a few of you that have expressed coming on this journey with me.  This is a great time for alignment.  Fasting, centering, and breathing are great ways to begin this process.

What are you willing to part with, and for how long?  Fasting can take many forms, and not always food.  You can fast from Facebook, talking, sugar, coffee, etc.  The idea is to regain your power, to hold onto center and to be in alignment with what you want from this experience.

Set a time limit, and remember–there is no failure. We start, and then we stop.  If we stop before we reach the finish line, it gives us a chance to see where we still may be in limitation… this will allow you to come into alignment with actions of expansion.  When we are aware of where we are, we have the power to move forward.

I am also going to be more cautious with the things that I say.  So, if I appear quiet, it is not that something is wrong, or that I am upset, or that I am ignoring you.  It is me, absorbing the beauty of each experience, and then reaching out through that energy with words that are filled with spirit instead of just reacting and giving power to things that do not deserve it.

There are lots of positive changes just on the horizon.  What are you doing to engage your path?  What are you doing to be more in the body?

Stay tuned, much, much more to come!

Mahayogi Das, CFT CSN MAT PAT

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/michaelbrazell

Tuesday Spiritual Fitness and Nutrition Tip: 7/10/2012

Most of us have tried dieting at some point.  We have gone through the ups and downs, and the “in-between” seems to remain the only constant.  For many, dieting it the final ditch effort to reach an end result.

“Its beach time, and now I have to lose 10lbs”

“I have a part to go to and I need to fit into that outfit”

These types of connections to the way we eat and the way we engage the body in fitness only lock us into places of limitation.  When we truly take our practice of bettering the body to both our physical and energetic core we begin to make lasting changes.

They body’s physical core is made up of the muscles of the Latimus Dorsi, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and abdominal region.  These area also the body’s largest muscle groups and when the core is worked in unison you are facilitating a full body workout.  The larger muscles also burn more calories due to their size.  So the more you work the core, the deeper and more effective your workouts will be.

So, how do I work the core–do a plank.

I know it sounds simple.  One single exercise engages all of the above mentioned muscle groups and also helps to create balance and alignment.

In many spiritual traditions the energetic core is located in the solar plexus.  Doing meditations to also help strengthen our connection to this deep center will resonate to our physical center.

The foods we put into our body are also able to help us facilitate alignment.  When we eat things that are in our highest good.  When we avoid polluting the body with toxins we are able to create both physical and energetic balance.

Take your practice to the core.  In the coming weeks I’ll be posting videos and guides to show you how to structure workouts to engage the core.

Love and Light!

Mike Brazell CFT CSN MAT PAT

Engaging the Shift

Where are the waters of this life taking you?  What do you feel your purpose is within this divine experience?   Where are you within your body in this moment?

This is a year of engagement and integration.  Who we “were” is now changing into who we have always supposed to be.  Our greater purpose is coming to alignment, and more importantly we are being called to show up to our divine experience.

Most of us will go joyfully, others will go kicking and screaming.  Those that find themselves in struggle need to see where their anchors are located and being the work of deep release.  It is time to continue to see the shadow, to release our limitations, and to move into the breath.

There is work to be done.  We have to engage life and spirit daily.  This shift, this movement in consciousness requires us to show up.

Where do you feel the need to show up in your life?  What is calling you in this moment?