When Love Comes to Town

Elvis and I loving ChakraBabe.

Elvis and I loving ChakraBabe.

Three years ago I bought a piece of graphic art. It was during a dark time, the narrowing just before change blows life wide open, and I was looking for a message – a sign.

That is exactly what I found. A sign. Bold white letters painted on a creamy background spelling out a message in all caps, one I was yearning for: “This life is yours to create. Be true to who you are, recognize the beauty that surrounds you, be the architect of your own destiny.”

Every morning and every night for the last three years I have brushed my teeth in front of that sign: be true, be aware, be creative. Somewhere along the line I think I got it – and what I got was do what you love. Trying to live that insight, I started ChakraBabe. It is miraculous what love can do. Not the “oh baby, I can’t live without you” kind – but the discipline of love. Getting up every day orienting your thoughts and actions around doing what you love. And, more critically, loving what you do.

Between them, the rhythm of those two choices has gently rocked my days, raising the level of the engagement one small increment at a time. Eventually distinctions disappear – presence, work, duty, prayer, the lines fade and it all takes on a sheen of love.

Chakrababe is now online and open for business. Go to www.chakrababe.com and see what the artists there have crafted for your chakra balance. Hopefully, you will love what you find, raising the level of the ChakraBabe community higher with every treasured item you call yours.

– The heart chakra is the source of unconditional love and compassion, our humanitarian center and the gateway into higher states of consciousness. In the heart your life purpose becomes clear as you express the energy of love.

Why Does Beauty Matter?

sunriseIt is everywhere – in the curve of a road or a child’s cheek, in the juxtaposition of color and form gracing the twilit sky. It is sometimes imperfect and almost always impermanent, elevating our days through its existence.

In trying to understand the experience of beauty, German poet Friedrich Schiller observed human nature motivated by two principle longings, sense and form. The drive to sense the world based in immediate gratification, and the drive to impart form on the world based in coherence and rational order. Desires that often conflict with one another.

Being present in the moment can be at odds with ideas of responsibility, duty and perseverance.

But Schiller believed we needed both drives for balance –postulating that absolute beauty was experienced when objects or emotions resonated with both needs at the same time. Experiencing beauty this way, he thought, could teach us how to be both immediate and eternal, both present and accountable.

I believe beauty is often found in the gaps, in the spaces between what we expect and what we encounter. Being present is the currency of its recognition. Years ago, I learned the anchoring influence of recognizing just one beautiful thing a day. This practice seeded gratitude and influenced my perspective during some of the most trying times of my life.

The ChakraBabe project is about beauty – the beauty of balance. The healing effect of reconciling our duality by capturing beauty and celebrating it, by finding it in ourselves as we explore and understand our energetic nature – and the blessing of living on our own terms. It is with this intent I now wake up each morning to wrestle with WordPress and angst over Shopify.

Our launch is almost here. It is my desire you will recognize the beauty I have stumbled across, sought in obscure corners, collected and brought to you for consideration with ChakraBabe. As the project grows and the community coalesces, I realize the launch is only a new beginning, with fresh perspectives, greater depth and further growth just around the curve.

I look forward to meeting you there.

Hanging by a Thread

blog6_minLast night, in direct opposition to my Buddhist directives of finding peace in the mundane, I was cranking out my domestic duties as fast as possible. In the midst of stuffing my washer with a load of laundry, I noticed a suspicious puddle of water on the floor in front of me. Upon further inspection it became evident I was dealing with what I can only call a minor catastrophe. A hot water leak in my foundation running from the bathroom, through the laundry room and coming to rest under the wood floor of my dining room buffet. The earth work alone is enough to warrant selling this place and moving to a monastery.

I went to bed subdued, to say the least. Life seems so tenuous at times – trying to balance private school tuition for a seventh grader, crazy high water bills, a burning desire for an area rug in my living room. Complicated, of course, by a deep sense of mourning for the loss of my Sephora habit.

Hanging by a thread – not just the monthly budget or retail therapy, but all of it, our health, relationships, our very existence on the planet. Lost in these thoughts I looked up and took in the confines of my bedroom. The walls a creamy hue, the artwork abundant and traded for years ago, vintage pieces from furniture markets, all coalescing in a feeling of easy tranquility and comfort.

It occurred to me then, maybe the thread is not a single-ply piece of cotton, maybe it is silk or has the tensile strength of the anchor line in a spider’s web. Maybe in its delicate presence it is capable such strength and elasticity that it outperforms any man made material.

In the moment of testing that strength, not knowing if it will hold or it will snap, we have a choice – to create and appreciate beauty.

It balances our lives. And it is all around us, all the time.

Who is your ChakraBabe?

IMG_1499_min-2What is the meaning of Valentine’s Day? Someone asked that question in response to our Facebook post of a picture of cupcakes last night. My daughter was at her best, destroying my kitchen and making some people very happy today as they indulged in her hot pink Capezzoli Di Venere delights.

My answer is heart shaped pizza. At least that’s what we are having for dinner tonight. Which, in turn, makes my girls happy. But I’ve thought about it all day. What is the point of all the candy, flowers and the general hub bub?

Obviously the answer is love, but that’s a broad statement. My Valentine ‘s version of love is the kind most often lacking. Think about it, the deliverables, the deadlines, the time spent taking care of the kids… The love most often lacking is the type you show yourself. Thirty minutes with a book, a yoga class – a little self care. Who will do those things for you if you fail to do them for yourself?

A very wise friend once told me, “love is what you do.” As you are are out there today, showing love for the world, don’t forget you.

Be happy… and be your own ChakraBabe!

Take a Deep Breath and Balance

In this average American life – frenetic from first light to the sigh as your head, last bill paid, last dish washed and offspring asleep, hits the pillow at night – what is balance? Enough resources to go around? Or the art of partnering with the Universe to manage those resources with grace, presence and gratitude, knowing there will always be enough…

Any type of balance starts with intent. I came out of such an epically unbalanced environment that it took time to find mine. And even then, layering the tools of energetic management over my intent to lead a more balanced life, I found my footing shaky.

Just the blessing of a peaceful household was enough at first as I took my tools, meditation, mindfulness, stones, color, breath, and put them to work trying to balance my chakras and my life. Did it work – was it a magic formula for bliss? No. I still have ungrounded days and a cluttered mind. But I find myself setting my intent more often, I see more grace, take more walks with my dogs and I have dedicated myself to love in a new way.

This intent to balance has been a catalyst for greater beauty in my life. For that I am incredibly grateful and my heart chakra spins in perfect rotation. One down…

Move or be Still

The minute I made the decision to move – from my marriage, from my typical work experience, from the day to day hamster wheel of suburban survival – I was overwhelmed.

Too much to do. I moved out of my former home in seven hours. I found a job to pay the mortgage and started a company at the same time. Single mom, bread winner, entrepreneur and housekeeper.

Like so many independent, creative women I know, some inching their way forward, some losing ground, I find myself sitting at the stoplight five minutes behind schedule, divorce rash burning a hole in my skin, a Rolodex of to-do’s spinning through my head  (this analogy dates me, I know). Ten tasks on every card, no way to catch up, no way to stop the constant lists of deliverables from flashing through my thoughts. The discomfort on my  skin is a metaphor for the avalanche of change, the rattling in my head a persistent distraction from the moment.

How to balance?

How do I get myself to remember that this stoplight is exactly where I should be – where I need to be?

Settling my Estate

Pushing forward on product, business and web development, I am also in the midst of wresting a divorce decree from my (now ex-) husband, the attorneys and the court. I can’t imagine a better third chakra school. Affirmations like, I stand up for myself, I direct my own life, I am worthy of kindness and respect – barely suffice to steel me for the rigors of legal combat.

And still I make my way through the subject material. As I often tell my daughter, failure is not an option.

I chose the marriage I just undid for a reason. I see the need I had for emotional support and the hope which compelled me to exchange vows to this end. I understand only I can support my emotional needs, whether they are rooted in past experience, a negated inner child or simply an inherent need for love. My marriage was a unequal energetic experience I opted to see through so I could learn these things.

Smart girl and experiential learner that I am, I got it, and I got moving.