On Courage, again…

These are two separate pieces I wrote on Courage, at a time in my life where I have been most called upon to find some. It is not easy, at no point do I feel courageous or brave. At times I feel like I am holding on to the edges of a boat so as not to capsize into the tumultuous waves of life that are rocking all stability. At times I am thrown too into the water and then courage is needed to wade my way back. Or sometimes just drown.

When I wrote Part 1, I felt courage to be an impetus for action. Now I feel that it is nothing but the ability to stay here in the tsunami that engulfs everything. And being willing in this, not to die but to live in it. Through it.

Today courage is being splayed open to fear.

It is being fully present.

It may be time to get out of the boat and to watch the storm from the water’s edge. Where I can feel both the ground beneath me and the simultaneous washing of the ocean’s caress. From here I meet the place beyond both fear and courage that I mention in Part 2.

Meet me here?

Sat Nam

Nicki

Courage…Part 1

(August 2016)

What is courage? Is it a new found emotion that I have yet to encounter? 

Courage isn’t found in words. It is born of the power within you to act on the knowing that whispers through beneath the din of the mind’s chatter.

Courage means living with integrity and holding true to what you know to be right, even if every thought from your mind begs you to do otherwise.

Courage is in letting go when you don’t want to, but staying true to what you know is in the highest and best.

Courage is outrageous, draws on every impetus that you have to be able to live aligned to your truth.

Courage means all acceptance and all compassion especially for yourself.

Courage requires the ‘rage’ of ‘cœur’, the fire of the heart, propelled by a momentum that defies mind and its limitations.

Courage is acting now and in clarity.

Courage is in saying no even when it takes every morsel of your power to do so. Courage is in saying yes despite it defying all logic. Saying yes to Self.

Courage is there as an undercurrent, like presence or awareness. It is not something you have to acquire or garner. It is an extant place to access, like a secret doorway to limitless power.

Find the key to the doorway. Open it. Unlock and fall into the Unknown. Be content to not know. To never know. You never can. There is only the unfathomable. Here you are Home. 

OM sweet OM.

Courage… Part 2

(March 2017)

Courage is not the absence of fear,

but the ability to face it head on,

sit right in it,

in its core

and let its fire consume you.

 

Courage holds you still here,

where your impulse would be

to run, to hide, to distract.

 

Courage is like a hand, holding your head down

in the inevitably unavoidable

and not letting you run from this that is here.

 

Courage means stopping.

Staying still.

Opening.

Right into the fear.

In the terror of all unknown.

 

Stay still here.

As all fear is consumed,

you may meet the root

from which courage is born.

From this fire of truth

courage will awaken from its dormancy.

Take you through somehow.

It’s not even you doing any of it.

There, beyond this

you may meet Self,

stripped naked of

both its cloaks

of fear and courage.

Absent of it all

into the emptiness of Self.

 

 

Coming out the sacred closet…יציאת מארון הקודש

​Sat Nam! 

Sharing some spoken truth from Rosh Pina this morning.

May you all find your way to speak your truth, live from your truth and be nakedly honest with the essence of yourSelf!

​​​​​Blessings and love,

Nicole 

Plumbing Problems

What started with an apparent defective dishwasher morphed into a drama of epic proportions. The dishwasher began to leak, spurring masses of dirty water all over my kitchen floor. To heighten the drama this happened at night, when neither of my emergency plumber numbers were being answered.

I used my own common sense, and shut off the water to the dishwasher. Nope. The water kept flowing out somehow. To ensure I wasn’t submerged by morning, I switched off the main water from the street, went to sleep and awaited my regular plumber in the morning.

He, despite having installed all the plumbing in the house, didn’t have a clue. He told me I need a new dishwasher most likely and left with the same dazed and confused look he had had when he had first arrived. I left it all. Somehow pushing this problem under the floorboards so to speak, knowing that I’d be hand washing dishes for a while, and knowing too that something deep was starting to cook inside of me, a sense of impending emotional activity lurking. The sound of my own inner system was whirring as audibly as the sound of the piping in my kitchen. I pushed it all down, with the usual business, working, any activity, the distraction game we all play is some shape or form to avoid what is really here.

The next day I was speaking to a Journey friend, who understands emotions, about my difficulty identifing my own emotions. How with my clients I am so hardcore, exacting their precise feelings. Yet when it comes to myself unless the emotion hits me hard in the face, I don’t have a clue. The feelings deep inside of me were brewing. To what they were, I remained clueless! I carried on my day with an impending undercurrent developing.

I arrive home with my kids a little later to a new plumber, a real character, and a kitchen full of effluents. The smell was revolting, the balagan (chaos) was out of control, and the pipes had finally given way as the blockage burst open. The hope of a simple broken dishwasher had long since been decimated and here I sat, wading in all the shit that had been mounting and blocking and now could no longer be contained and BOOM! Explosion!

I was simultaneously hit by the unblocking of clogged drains in my kitchen and the unblocking of repressed emotions inside of me. Both buckled me to my knees, and I dropped to the ground in a sea of utter sadness, the likes of which felt bottomless. It was a well of deep pain, of such crystal sadness that it was unmistakable.

 

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In these last months I have gone through deep personal change. My life long relationship with my husband has uncoupled, and albeit very consciously and very gracefully, the energy and effort to restructure our lives, hold a gentle embrace for our children and to get life to some semblance of a new reality has mustered more than my conscious mind has allowed me to realize. What had been happening is that the constant efforts to manage and control life had pushed down emotions and the block blew open just at the same time as my kitchen pipes. With as much dramatic effect!

I cried uncontrollably to the plumber. The tears flooding as copiously as the effluents now freed from the kitchen pipes. It was almost comedic, the poor guy didn’t know what to do with this customer who couldn’t stop crying. He finally walked into my Journey room to check the piping in the bathroom there. Amazed at the energy there he asked what it is that I do…

I answered him, tears still flowing,

“I am a plumber, just like you! I clear out blocked emotions as you clear out blocked drains.”

What Victor the plumber witnessed was emotions in full flow. When emotions are allowed to be expressed, to be healthily released, we avoid the blockages and explosions just like my kitchen pipes. Instead of being in resistance to the outpour of sadness that presented, I opened into it, celebrating the clarity of my pipes that allowed raw emotion to conduit through them. Here was sadness and no amount of skirting, clogging or repression was pushing down that which was here. And as was clear, whatever you push back down is going to eventually find a way to come out, usually in a less than convenient and pleasant way, likely dramatically.

This is what is welcomed. Whatever is here. Just as it is. Effluents and all. May we all learn to be plumbers to our own emotional flow and open to whatever is ready to be released through our systems. And perhaps when we do this we can avoid the extraneous costs of calling in an emergency plumber!

Sat Nam

Nicole

Conversation on Truth with Daniel Wagner

Yesterday was a beautiful day, where I got to speak to Daniel Wagner on the healing power of yoga. We really got to converse deeply on Truth, the questions of ‘Who am I?’ and how we both found our relentless spiritual quest coming to stillness in the finding of our paths, whichever and however they may look!

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To watch our dialogue click here!

Daniel’s website simplyconscious.com is a meeting place for those who are, simply conscious 😉

Please visit it, sign up and stay tuned in to a growing community of like minded consciousness. I feel blessed to be a part of it!

Please feel free to leave comments and share your feedback!

Sat Nam

Nicki

 

 

 

Workshop on the Power of Prayer: Manifesting Intention into the Miraculous

This last Saturday in Tel Aviv I held a workshop on the Power of Prayer and manifesting intention into the miraculous!

We really dove straight into the power in setting intention, creating a designated direction through our thoughts, words and ultimately action. We may call this prayer, but it doesn’t require an outside force to bow to, neither religion to subscribe to. Rather it is connection to Self. We learned to bow to the infinite inside of ourselves, finding ways to accurately and with precision manifest our deepest goals.

Please click here as well as here to see an excerpt of the workshop, and to tap into the energy shared here at KYTLV!

 

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The Power of Prayer: Manifesting Intention into the Miraculous

 

There is a great power in setting intention, creating a designated direction through words. We can call this prayer, which doesn’t require an outside force to bow to, neither religion to subscribe to. Rather it is connection to Self. We will learn to bow to the infinite inside of ourselves, finding ways to accurately and with precision manifest our deepest goals.

We will through yoga and meditation access the essence of prayer/intention to create our reality that is in the highest and best! And then the letting go, non attachment to outcome, trusting and flowing! Ask and you shall receive. Learn to do this consciously and gracefully.

Join me in London on 1st December and in Tel Aviv on 7th January for workshops on Prayer! For more information click here

 

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The power of prayer is probably the most powerful aspect of spiritual practice I experience. I am connected to many vernaculars that speak to God, through myriad forms of yoga and meditation, Journey work, Kabbalah, healing to name a few. Yet the simplest and most direct conduit to realize our heart’s deepest expression is prayer.

In the Bible it is said, first there was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. This forms the essence of my connection to God. The power of the word to come into union with the God nature or Divine aspect is not only the most profound, but seemingly instantaneous. It appears often that a direct line exists between the prayer and its manifestation. As you speak it, so it is.

In Hebrew the words Abracadbra mean:

 אברא כדברה  – I will create as I will speak.

For me this bears testimony to the creative power, just like a magic wand, of our word. Our impeccability with our word is the clay with which we create and mold our reality. What begins as a thought is given more energy as it is formulated into word, then more propulsion as it becomes action. These actions are the lego of our created reality. They determine how our lives are and what they become. So if we can learn to allow that first thought to be an emanation of our heart, its whisper which echoes the highest and best intentions for us, then we can start to be more proactive in the creation of a reality that reflects our truth and one that is the perfect landscape for the realization of our dharma or life’s purpose.

It seems so simple and in truth, ask and thy shalt receive’, just as the Bible says, is the way prayer works. You ask and you pretty much get the request. In this way we need to be careful what we are asking for. When we pray for something and get a result that doesn’t seem to be at all what we thought we wanted, we tend to slide into doubt, fear and a loss of faith.

And the thing about prayer is, is that it is predicated on faith. Which likely results in me losing the attention of the empirical reader, the one who relies on a scientifically palpable, rational based view of reality. Prayer falls into that zone where you, empirical lover of proof, are going to feel at best uncomfortable, likely disinterested. Faith is something born of that which cannot be proven, quantified or measured. Faith is the fuel for prayer’s journey into manifestation and consequently an essential component for prayer. And I don’t mean faith in a God type entity or someone or something outside of yourself. On the contrary the faith that propels prayer is a faith in something intrinsic inside of you, indeed is You, your creative, Divine or God type nature.

Let’s for a moment demystify what I mean here by God. I intend no reference to any perceived or notionalised deity that may be prescribed by religion or conditioning. I definitely don’t intend to refer to that long, white bearded fellow that wields omnipotence over our lives and to whom we cower in reverence and fear. Neither to any other expression of deity, that divinity that may have been concretized from the abstract into a form like Shiva, Durga or even your Satguru, (although feel free to speak to whatever expression of Divinity works for you). What I mean here is the essence of the Divine that is contained with us all without exception, irrespective of our current incarnation’s religion or conditioning. The light of creation itself from which we are emanated, indeed is our essence.

G.O.D can be a reference to G as generator, creation; O as organizer or sustainer; and D as destroyer or death, the holy trinity as I like to see it. The cycle of being from birth, life and death, that is the nature of LIFE! Perhaps this notion might give you the freedom to cultivate a faith in Self, (irrespective of your conditioning), in this nature within you of pure creation. It is this that we speak to in prayer. This is the fountain from which our effervescent divine flow is eternally connected. Our faith needs to be no more than a faith in self, in the wisdom with us. The so called Guru within. But if God works for you, ess mein kind (Yiddish for enjoy it, baby).

So how do we pray? Sitting quietly, with our hands either in the lap, or in a chosen mudra (like prayer pose or gyan mudra), gently close the eyes. Take a few breaths to center yourself. For me I like to open with some existing prayer or a mantra, some vibrational words from Sanskrit, Hebrew or Gurmukhi that lubricate the opening into Source by their sound current. Mantra for me works profoundly to still the mind. In fact the word mantra comes from the Sanskrit word man meaning mind, and tra meaning vehicle or instrument, that which transports the mind to stillness. There are myriad to choose from and I suggest choosing any that resonate with you. A good old OM works beautifully, chanting OM three times, but feel free to play with opening into your chosen prayer until you find that resonance that redirects your attention from the mind into the heart.

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When you land in the heart, speak from it, and let it guide you. Your heart truly knows what is in the highest and best for you and it speaks the language of truth, of what is intended in this moment, the here and now. It is the birthplace of intention, the fountain source of that thought that will ultimately bear fruit in reality. Let the thought be an expression of the spiritual heart or hridayakasha, and when spoken from the heart, we can be assured that what we pray for is what we truly want, as we are likely going to get it. Let your prayer for NOW be spoken out loud, in a soft voice to Infinite consciousness, God, G.O.D or Self, to the Guru within. The same voice we speak to our beloved with, is the voice we use in prayer. We connect with the beloved, the Infinite and in asking, so we open the gateway into receiving.

Humility is a virtue beautifully apt in prayer. Humility for me isn’t being small or to imply our nothingness, but rather a surrender of our ego self, our separate self into our higher God consciousness. I find getting down on my knees (which life often buckles me to) or even lying prostrate on my belly, engenders the humility that is so necessary in prayer. In Hebrew the word for knees is berech (ברך) and comes from the same root as the word for blessing, bracha (ברכה). Get down and let the wisdom of the mind bow to the wisdom of the heart. Let blessings ensue.

Speak from trust, as if what is being asked for has already been realized, from a place of empowerment, from deep inner knowing. Speak from an attitude of gratitude. Thankfulness that your prayer is already realized. Pray from love rather than fear, from trust rather than begging for something. For many of us more secular in nature, our prayers often come when the shit hits the fan and we are scared, in need or desperate. This is why we first need to still the mind, which is commandeered by fear and ego. Open every sentence with ‘thank you for…’ Let our prayer emanate from the heart, which asks for what is highest and best for all without exception.

Speak in your own words, your own language to the Infinite within. Ask for whatever you want, regardless of its seeming impossibility and forgo modesty. Go big, really giving full expression to your heart’s desires. If someone you love is on death’s door and your prayer is for a miraculous healing, do not be afraid to ask for it. Prayer is indeed the most magical mode of miracle making. Be realistic and plan for a miracle! In order to manifest the miracle, all we need to do is ask.

And the final catch, the closing seal on the container of our prayer, and the cog without which, prayer doesn’t really work, is non attachment to an outcome. Let go, and let G.O.D! If what we prayed for doesn’t manifest, it’s also OK. With this, we surrender out attachments, our ego, and all its accouterments, mind, fear and separation. In this surrender, the power of prayer and the possibility of manifesting into the miraculous is truly made real.

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So be it! Amen!

Join me for my workshops in both London and Tel Aviv on Prayer coming up to put this into practice! 

Blessings, prayers and only Love,

Nicki

Comfort zone, Shmomfort zone! No Yoga tomorrow…

Beloveds, Sat Nam!
A few days ago, I posted on facebook about my son Jay’s barmitzvah that we are celebrating this weekend. His parasha (portion from the Torah) is Noah which means to be comfortable. The energy of this week’s parasha is all about stepping out of our comfort zones so that we can transform. Recently I wrote a blog post that spoke of exactly this. (To read it click here.) It explains how every challenge allows us an opportunity to celebrate the potential for growth. And if we can recognise this, then stepping out of our comfort zone becomes a yay moment, one from which we can consciously grow and transform into a higher states of awareness.
Within hours of posting this, I landed up at Schneider Children’s Hospital with my little one, Aidan, who has been since then hospitalised to administer intravenous antibiotics for an infected cyst. Instead of a planned week of welcoming family, doing hems and buying flowers in preparation for a barmitzvah, I’ve been here in hospital with him, sleeping over every night, playing, doing yoga in the corridors of the hospital, drawing, painting and in general loving. I even managed to give Aidan his first ever journey processes, which were in short the cutest, most delightful journeys I have had the privilege of doing!
I have been sitting here with mothers, fathers and loved ones in deep crisis, watching parents with their young from babies to teens sitting in the ultimate discomfort zone, life threatening situations, where courage is the only way through every conceivable moment of discomfort. I have been challenged profoundly, so deeply, that I’ve been rattled to my core. To make sure I was concentrating, the universe proclaimed to hit me with a killer flu and excruciating tooth ache! Just in case I was too comfortable 🙂
Listen up universe, “yes I get it!!!”
So in short, I cannot arrange for the beautiful Veero to take tomorrow’s yoga class as planned. She will come to substitute me in the coming weeks when I am travelling…
In the meantime, please take a moment to send your prayers for Aidan’s quick recovery, your blessings for Jay’s barmitzvah and let’s meet in spirit in a circle of love and healing tomorrow morning during class hours from 9:00am, Israeli time as Jay does his Aliyah Torah.
I am proud to be their mother, grateful to be a yogini, and happy to sit here in my deepest shit. The blessing here is of awareness and the tools to stay firmly established in this awareness.
I have only one thing left to say…
YAY!!!!!
See you next Thursday for class as normal, at least thats the plan! 😉
Much love and blessings,
Nicki

A meditation on non attachment by my daughter Tia Rose Levitan

Non Attachment:

Close your eyes

Breath

Look into the vast space of nothing

Observe

Stay there and be aware

Feel whatever you feel and stay with that

Give it time

and on the count of 3 let go

1 2 3 into freedom

The attachment is no longer there, for there is freedom from the feeling of pain

and the mind is still so are your thoughts and body

Non attachment

 

I am free…

My daughter was probably three years old. She and my father would play for hours. She would be the waitress, the doctor, the maître D’. My father would indulge her every game, role-playing along in various accents and scenarios. This one particular day, they were playing the role of teacher-student. My father was giving Tia a test. He would ask her a question and she would scribble an answer (scribble being the operative response as at three years old she couldn’t yet write anything other than a semblance of a letter or two, kribbel krabbel we called it in Flemish). I remember my father’s questions to her…How deep is the ocean? She would scribble out the answer. How high is the sky? Lyrics from one of his favourite songs were his questions, her answers then put to page. How much do I love you…

At the end of the ‘test’ I was asked to be the examiner and to mark the test paper. I took the few pages of kribbel krabbel, and ticked various ‘answers’ playing along with the game. I then turned the page and noticed clearly amidst the scrawl, the words: “I am free.”

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I was amazed. There was nothing intelligible save a few random child-like letters that showed a child’s learning in process. And then in the middle of the pages, these cursive words “I am free.”

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I lost my brother 20 years ago. His life had been a deep struggle characterized by mental illness, tragedy and an unexpected and seemingly untimely death. Six weeks after he passed, he appeared to my mother in the space between wakefulness and sleep. She reached up to him and he said to her, “I stepped out of my body and into freedom.” This message and its timing had allowed us to feel the perfection of his passing. It allowed for the recognition of the incarceration of the body and the release of the form into freedom on death. When I read Tia’s play-play test results, it felt to me like my brother Shaul had spoken through Tia to say that he is free and that his spirit remains omnipresent and eternal. And that the fact that he had died five years before her birth didn’t preclude their interconnection as well as continued communication and contact with us.

And then tonight, something caught my eye from the inside flap of the book I am reading. The book, ‘Papaji: Amazing Grace’ by Premananda is a series of interviews with disciples of Papaji (Sri H.W. J Poonja) who was a disciple of Ramana Mahrshi, both of whom I am in deep connection with. There was this picture of his writing, these three singular words:

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I have no knowing of anything at all. This is pretty much the only knowing I have. Yet this felt like a message to me coming to me in a moment, where I needed reminding of the freedom that I am. Something in me makes me wonder if it was not Papaji who wrote those words all those years ago through Tia. Something whispers that Shaul, Papaji, Freedom. Same, same. And the lyrical perfection of timing gives us the divine messaging just at the moments we need to hear them. Right when we need to remember the truth. The truth of freedom. The freedom of truth. That we are all free. That the shackles of the body and mind are simply illusory separations from our essential freedom. That I am free.

Both Papaji and Shaul passed in September, just before the Jewish New Year.

In gratitude to Shaul Forman who stepped out of his body and into freedom exactly 20 years ago.

In memory of Papaji who took mahasamadhi and left form for formlessness exactly 19 years ago.

In reverence to the One that is Infinite, Eternal and Free.

And to the recognition of that One within us all and to the freedom that is our essential nature.

I am that.

I am Free.

Om Namah Shivaya

 

Sat Nam and love,

Nicki

September 2016

 

On Courage

What is courage? Is it a new found emotion that I have yet to encounter? 

Courage isn’t found in words. It is born of the power within you to act on the knowing that whispers through beneath the din of the mind’s chatter.

Courage means living with integrity and holding true to what you know to be right, even if every thought from your mind begs you to do otherwise.

Courage is in letting go when you don’t want to, but staying true to what you know is in the highest and best.

Courage is outrageous, draws on every impetus that you have to be able to live aligned to your truth.

Courage means all acceptance and all compassion especially for yourself.

Courage requires the ‘rage’ of ‘cœur’, the fire of the heart, propelled by a momentum that defies mind and its limitations.

Courage is acting now and in clarity.

Courage is in saying no even when it takes every morsel of your power to do so. Courage is in saying yes despite it defying all logic. Saying yes to Self.

Courage is there as an undercurrent, like presence or awareness. It is not something you have to acquire or garner. It is an extant place to access, like a secret doorway to limitless power.

Find the key to the doorway. Open it. Unlock and fall into the Unknown. Be content to not know. To never know. You never can. There is only the unfathomable. Here you are Home.

OM sweet OM.