Ngala-Najla

I Celebrate Myself…


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I am blessed…

This afternoon, I laid in savasana, the final yogic pose in a yoga session where your body is completely at still, and  I listened to the words of Ben Harpers song, I am Blessed. I have never hard that song before and it was a sweet addition to my day, which I took off.

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday with a birthday brunch. It was lovely. It wa perfect.  In savasana listening to Ben Harper’s words and the drums playing, I could not resist the tears forming under my closed eyelids. There is no denying the blessings that I have.

 

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The Welcoming

This morning I began my day looking at my nephew as he slept, across from me, on my bed. He spent the night in my apartment. There is something beautiful about the first moments after waking up… and if you rest within those moments and welcome the new day, you can witness how loud quiet can really be. 

After dropping off my nephew, I went to a Jamaican restaurant and ordered ackee and saltfish — Jamaica’s national dish and one of my favorite dishes. The sounds and smells of the restaurant made feel  me so at home. Knowing that I had things to do before my yoga class (The time was 12:30pm and my class started at 3pm). I rushed back to my apartment, washed my clothes at the laundromat and hurried to my yoga class ( I made the intention to go to the class yesterday. Making the intention was big for me because it has been months since I have been to a class). After the class, which was oh, so wonderful by the way, I walked outside of the studio just as the rain ended. I stopped and  bought a bag of potting soil for one of my plants and on my way home with the bag of earth in my hands I smiled at a building with my name on it and enjoyed the walk  back to my apartment: I noticed the dews of rain on the flower petals and leaves of the trees and the puddles of water on the ground and  how the sound of my steps were different with my sandals hitting the wet ground. And like the awareness I had this morning watching my nephew as he slept, I felt completely in the rhythm of life, walking home , from my yoga studio with a bag of earth in my hands and welcoming the beauty of it all.


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My Body,My World

Last night I watched, on TED, a speech by Eve Ensler where she talked about living detached from her body for long time. It was very powerful…and honest. I believe most of us live detached from our bodies and because of this we are detached from the world. Eve talked about this separation, too, in her speech.

However, today, I will not let my words live behind Eve’s words or use “we”; I will use “I” or “me”. I have lived detached from my body for some time and even in the past when I thought I was connected to my body, it was based on pride — wanting to look a certain way, to be accepted a certain way. (For those times, for this moment, I recognize the compassion that I must have towards myself  — body and mind.)

This morning I recognized so much of what Eve said was true for me and I started crying. They were tears of pain, regret and recognizing that this separation from my body allowed me to do NOTHING with what is currently happening in the Horn of Africa. The tears came after I heard another coverage on NPR about what’s happening in Somalia. Although I have been hearing about the famine and the death and even inquired about what can be done, I did nothing. So, the tears were probably tears of shame, as well.

For a few minutes after the tears ended, I realized this truth: How can I be connected, truly connected to my world, if I am so disconnected to my body, my self? What I eat, how I spend my time are evidences of this detachment. Just like my inquiry about what can be done about Somalia, I have inquired about what to do about my body: What do I eat? I have inquired about seeking personal balance: How do I spend less time at work? However, I have not really acted upon my inquiries.

There it is.

Today, I seek true connection to my self and to my world. I know it will be a gradual process, which will take compassion and self-love.  Life is too beautiful and too real  for me NOT to be connected. I took a break from work — vacation — because I recognized this truth, I could not articulate this until now but what I have been experiencing for some time is detachment. I want to experience connection. I want to live connected. I want to be connected. I want to feel connected.


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Thoughts

It’s been almost a month, literally, since I have written a blog entry. After a little nudge by Aunt Pat, I decided to write a few thoughts. That in addition to the fact I try to not make a month pass before I post at least one entry. There is so much to cover but here are a few thoughts:

1. I am sick  and as per doctor’s orders that I need to be away from work for two days… I am in bed.
2. I am learning every day the true meaning of acceptance. Acceptance of where and who I am, what and who I have in my life, etc.
3. I have been taking Kundalini yoga (maybe it has unearth some of the toxins out of my body and ergo my sickness…or maybe I just caught it from my house mate)
4. I am both excited and nervous about what is happening in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Lebanon among other so called Middle East countries.
5. Finally, I have been thinking of what’s next while still trying to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground.

There are so many thoughts in my head and part of my goal this year is to some times let go of them and enjoy the stillness.

What are some your personal goals for the new year?


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Coming Back to Reality

I’m back and need time to reflect. I find myself wanting to stay in my room and not come out…but also find myself reaching for my smartphone wanting to see what others are doing and using it to write a post.

Coming back from any trip can be a little challenging, especially when it was a vacation where you were carefree and abided by a flexible agenda. Being separated from all things electronic for some time adds to both desires (wanting to be recluse and wanting to connect in some way).

Above all the need to have and live a balanced life screams once again at me. Listening to my body is also important. Right now sleep is very important. I just woke up from a well-needed nap. I came home close to 12am last night and then this morning showed my friend, who traveled with me, around the neighborhood and took her to the train station.

Now I feel the urge to do, and will do some yogic poses that may help ground me after a shower.


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To Shed

Currently listening to Adele’s cover of the Dylan classic “Make You Feel My Love” and maybe this is what I am seeking to feel: that great love within, most of all, but also in people and this world, to be honest. So, although I do not expect to find all that I am looking for immediately, I’ve decided and have begin,today, a two-week detox– a diet that is gluten-free,wheat free and vegan. I’ve done this before and I am doing it again, ’cause I think my body needs it, I think I need it.
I hope to do more writing, more stretching, more water, more sleeping, as well as staying away from as much toxicity as I possibly can. I deactivated my Facebook account and haven’t figured if I will be writing on this blog everyday or not, and I think I will stay away from the television as much as possible. I find myself keeping myself up even though I am really tired at night. I will be journaling thoughts and emotions, without filter because writing fuels me.


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Feeling Good

Since my return from Istanbul it has been interesting to watch my evolution. The first week it was surreal being back home, in Brooklyn, and having the desire to be some place else. I detoxed all of last week, essentially being vegan for a whole week and meditated and did yogic stretches throughout the week, just to ground myself again. I had a great time in Turkey and there was a subtle shift that occurred. Trying to live in the present moment, I am not sure how long this feeling or this shift will last, all I know is I came back with a sense of urgency of wanting to be good, to be truly good to me, my body, my mind and my spirit. I truly want to own Happiness now in a very non-egotistical way, I believe. I wrote in a journal everyday and I have yet to read through what I wrote, but it was interesting the way in which Turkey…Istanbul felt very familiar to me. I have always felt connected to something bigger than my own self, but my experience in Turkey made me live it in another way. This trip was the first time in my adult life where I traveled internationally…and that is a very different experience than that of being a child and traveling. I toured historic sites, hung out a local hang outs in Taksim ( the neighborhood where I stayed) and danced the night away at an awesome place called Cuba Bar.

It is so interesting the inspiration you get from places you travel. Who would have thought that I would revive my love for Afro-Spanish/Latino culture from a trip to Istanbul. Since I have been back I have mainly been listening to Afr0-Cuban/Peruvian/Brazilian music and I have become an active member of my NY Salsa Meetup ( I have been a “member” only in spirit for over a year now). So, I am in a good place…and  I fight the urge, every time it comes up, to wonder when will the bad times or feeling return. I am happy, truly, for the first time in a long time–I am feeling good. It feel a lot more organic. I working on knowing in every fiber of my being  that  I am worth this happiness.