Andrea de Michaelis, Publisher

Photographer Debi Buck

Hello and welcome to the February 2014 edition of Horizons Magazine. Ah, love is in the air! Jeff Brown writes, "Sometimes love finds you when it’s ready and when you’re ready, too. How that happens is anybody’s guess. Love is the great mystery stew, its secrets well kept, its ingredients known to providence alone. While both people are being prepared, marinated, skewered, cooked to readiness in the fires of life, the cosmic alchemist is turning the pot, reverently preparing the base for the lovers who will meld into it. Only God knows when the stew is ready to be served. Divine timing."

Divine timing, indeed. While waiting for love to find you, it’s helpful to remember that the ones we attract are not always meant to be our romantic or sexual partner. The chemistry, the infatuation, the feelings of love we have are so often misunderstood. I recognize that many of the ones who had crushes on me felt that way because I helped connect them with their higher Self. When you meditate with someone, when you have a breathing practice together, that creates an emotional intimacy no less strong than a sexual bond. It is easy to be misconstrued. I love being an inspiration to connect someone to something higher than they’ve ever reached.

We go into a relationship with one idea in mind and yet it’s really only souls searching for that higher place. Sometimes we think the physical attraction means this is our soul mate, when that is merely the fuel that keeps you involved long enough to work out karma together. The feeling of connection that people are looking for, the exhilaration of being with someone with hearts soaring, is not a function of the person you are with, but instead it is a function of your own connection within

Connie Zweig writes, "This holy longing for something transcendant, something beyond our skin-bound individuality urges us to glimpse the divine Beloved in another human being. It guides us to teachers who offer timeless wisdom and a direction for our devotion. And, if we learn to hold the tension of our yearning, to honor the restlessness of the soul rather than resist it, our holy longing points the way home."

Wise yogi friend Janell, pictured here, writes: "Someone got mad at me for saying that "their love looks and feels like mental illness. I only said it because it was true. I know when someone wants to love me to the point of madness … drown me, blame me and make themselves a martyr … I’m not new at this… I want you to love YOU first… and then maybe I will allow you some romantic frivolity. But not a moment sooner. It seems the more mature I get, the less patience I have for those types of relationships. I find them insulting to my soul."

We’ve all had relationships that we found, usually in retrospect, insulting to our soul. But to dismiss them entirely as being without value would be to miss the great lesson we learned about ourselves in the process.: what we expect, what we settle for, what we allow to continue long after its time, and why we do any of what we do.

What we feel as sexual energy is simply the flow of life force energy focused in a particular energy center, or chakra of our body. Each Chakra is involved in the functioning of a body and impacts certain organs, glands, parts of the body.

The Crown Chakra: the upper brain, the place of connection with the Higher Power/God/All.

Brow Chakra: lower brain, central nervous system, insight, foresight, inspiration, intuition, clairvoyance.

Throat Chakra: throat, mouth, parathyroid, hypothalamus, spoken word, creativity, self expression, concept of truth.

Heart Chakra: heart, arms, hands, lungs, understanding of compassionate unconditional love, forgiveness, balance.

Solar Plexus: digestive system, thoughts, opinions, judgments.

Sacral Chakra: ovaries, gender specific organs, bladder, emotions.

Root / Base Chakra: spine, legs, bones, physical sensation, pain, emotional processing, self-preservation.

As we walk along the spiritual path, our focus of attention will take us on a journey through all the chakras. You’ll learn which chakras you are currently focused in and where there is a free flow of energy. If you are polarized in a particular area, you’ll know it because you’ll notice the symptoms and take measures to correct them. Learning about the chakras helped me a great deal, so I knew what was at play underlying my urges and behaviors. Such as:

Some signs of 1st chakra imbalance are feelings of not belonging, feeling unable to cope, nagging insecurities, no sense of community, worry, inability to sustain energy levels, lacking in drive and enthusiasm, easily drained by company, feelings of discontent with home, career, struggling to meet life’s basic needs, feelings of not having enough, being distrustful and insecure, hyperactivity, inflammation, physical tension, inability to relax, anger, fear, confusion, mood swings, impatience, anxiety, fidgeting, intolerance, violent outbursts.

I learned helpful suggestions to balance the 1st chakra: Walk and garden so you can get close to nature. Create a home you feel safe and secure in. Make amends to those you’ve cheated. Make peace with your family of origin. Eat nutritiously and be physically active every day. I was surprised how "remedies" like that could work, until I finally REALLY GOT that it’s all related. For real.

At several stages I chose to be celibate for years at a time and would use the rising shakti/kundalini from thinking about my secret crushes to fuel my meditations and creative projects. I felt guided into a relationship every few years, some walked the Path with me, some left that part of my life to me alone. It was nice when we were in the work together, knowing that cultivating the feeling of "being in love" without expectation of end result, would create the fuel to power the attraction process in our lives. If we were able to stay mindful and keep the feeling generated even despite circumstances, it could be a very powerful learning tool for both. It’s rare and beautiful to find someone in the work who has enough control over their emotional body to understand that. Soul work is powerful and life altering. Not everyone has the strength to develop the willpower for the discipline to stand back up after the shattering of the personality. When it happens, it’s immensely fulfilling.

I’d go a dozen years living alone to short segments of cohabitation. All of these relationships helped me hone my personality into what it is today. Today there are far fewer layers and filters between my face and the real me. I thank and honor every partner I’ve ever had for helping unmask me.

A friend recently remarked he noticed the deeper he got into self reflection, the lower his sex drive. I told him that’s a common trait to those on the Path. The questioning begins, then the kundalini begins rising and the energy begins moving inside you. You may be over stimulated, you may get very verbal, you may stay up all night writing or thinking or researching the symptoms of what you feel going on inside of you. The lack of sex drive? Not to worry, ebb and flow; it’s all ebb and flow.

If on the other hand you find yourself overly stimulated sexually, a regular breathing practice is important, whether you have a partner or not. With twice daily practice, in a short period of time you’ll begin to feel the energy rise up from your sacral center and be distributed throughout your torso and limbs, as you breathe it up consciously with slow, deep breaths and controlled exhales. Breathe in deeply and draw the energy up into your heart. Feel it move up your body, then exhale it through the top of your head. Just a few minutes of this a few times a day will activate an initiation within you, and you will begin to draw answers out of yourself to all the questions that come to you.

Regular, steady breathing also de-stresses you, and helps you gain more control over your emotions. Crazy ideas may come, your mind emotionally reacts to them, your thoughts attract particular life circumstances to you, you work through them and gain tools to overcome them: this is the work of personality integration. This is the work of self realization. Your well being never depends on another person’s actions or attitude. It depends on your management of your own energy and emotions, no matter what comes your way.

Accept all things. It’s the only way to wake up…

anything else perpetuates the dream.

Enjoy our offering this month.

Hari Om.