Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I went on a 'girls lime" to see the 7:30 movie last night. I'm normally up from 3:30 a.m., so by the time 7:30 comes around, I've already been awake for about sixteen hours. Add to that the fact that I tend to fall asleep in movies if they don't grab me quickly enough. I slept through most of the trip to Italy and woke up for India, but struggled to keep awake. By the time Julia Roberts had reached Bali, I was rested enough to watch to the end. Lovely scenic shots, especially the opening sequence and the Bali segment.
While I'm not inspired to recommend EPL as a you-HAVE-to-go-and-see-this movie, that's just me. There are others who will look at it, be deeply touched and even transformed because of the way it resonates with them.
I was just talking to a friend in Canada (using the fantastic gmail phone that let's you call any phone in US or Canada absolutely free from your computer, until end of 2010). She said that the Kundalini Yoga studio she goes to recently got a new student who joined because she had seen Eat, Pray, Love and thought that Julia Roberts was doing Kundalini Yoga in the movie (which she wasn't, but I can see why the woman might have thought so).
Fantastic. Clearly something about the movie had touched this woman deeply, spoke to her and inspired her to go deeper and find herself.
A brief summary of the movie from my perspective would be: Relax, let go, receive.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
(i) the owners of the dog I mentioned also saw it and were able to rescue their pet. I haven't seen the dog since, so maybe they did get him.
(ii) the media houses really consider implementing the suggested service. There must be animal lovers working in the media.
During the rainy season, whenever there is loud thunder, some dogs run from their homes in terror. They wander far and are not always relocated by their owners. It is customary after heavy rainfall to see confused, lost dogs sniffing around at the roadside. I suggest that media houses introduce a service whereby members of the public can call in with information on lost-dog sightings and that these announcements be made (where/when possible) via print, radio, television, internet.
Last week I noticed an Alsatian with a washed out forest-green collar wandering around St. John Road, St. Augustine. I made some announcements via email and Facebook and did not see the dog after. I assumed it had been picked up by its owners. However, this morning I saw it trotting along St. John Road, sniffing and looking confused. I called to it and it ran onto the compound leading to the . It looks a little skinny, but otherwise healthy.
I would appreciate it if you publish this letter, as the owners or someone who knows them may see it and be able to rescue the dog. It's not a good feeling to know that a pet is wandering away from home and you have no idea where.
I had damaged that knee years ago in my late teens. I was at a toga party at a friend's house, we were all dancing and, before I knew it, I was on the ground in pain (ligament injury). I was on crutches for a while after that, hobbling around at University. Despite that, I've never had knee issues, so yesterday's pain was a new experience. So much for doing Sat Kriya in rock pose that morning ... and this morning.
Rather than see physical pain as that only, I ask what I always ask: WWLS (What would Louise say?) This link lists the spiritual meaning underlying various diseases/ailments/injuries (based on Louise Hay's work). When I look at what "knee" signifies, the part about 'lumps of undissolved anger' resonates most. Whether current anger or past anger, whether at self or other, whether conscious or subconscious, if not properly expressed, thoughts and emotions can linger.
So when I woke up yesterday I spent some time with my knee, giving it Reiki and speaking to it. Through my knee, I forgave myself and I forgave everyone (for nothing specific. I kept it general to cover all possibilities). I then asked my knee to tell me what it wanted me to know.
Throughout the day I got the message that I need to slow down, do less and be more and take better care of myself. These messages are true and timely. In spending time with my knee, covering it with my hands, stroking and massaging it, talking to it, envisioning light going into it, etc., I realised that we (most ... or all humans) barely spend time with our full bodies, checking in to various body parts, asking how they are doing, what they would like from us, etc. My knee must have been basking in the attention I gave it yesterday. When a body part is not in pain, we use it unthinkingly, going about our business and taking it for granted. When it is in pain, we focus on it—naturally, because it is crying out for that attention and, at the same time, holding a message for us.
Early September will mark a year since I (reluctantly) returned from Toronto. At the time of going there, I had been 100% raw for 1.5 years. Once in TO I enjoyed what Trinidad doesn't have: a wide array of raw food ingredients, organic produce (affordable, diverse & plentiful), one or two raw food restaurants and, even if I did eat cooked or baked food (which I did eventually), it was healthy. Upon returning to Trinidad, suddenly, in comparison, the meagre options were disappointing. Needless to say, my raw food lifestyle gradually slipped out of the window and became more of a junk food, grab-what-you-can-and-eat-it-as-you-go-about-your-day lifestyle. Apart from the odd moment, gone were the days of spending hours in the kitchen lovingly making sumptuous raw meals for myself.
I can safely say that when I was eating raw, it was a great example of self love—slowing down, spending time for myself, taking time to artfully design my meals as if for someone really special (as is the case), naturally not feeling any desire for processed foods and junky treats, etc. I don't do that anymore.
Yesterday, my knee reminded me of this time of self love and loving-raw-food-preparation and signaled the need to return—if not 100% raw, definitely as the majority, with no processed junk. I felt as though the pain in the knee was also an accumulation of toxins—even something as simple as flour and dairy products. So yesterday I didn't eat anything processed. I listened to my body and consumed what it was calling for: sweet potato, carrot, water and Yogi Tea.
I also slowed down my body and mind. I read one of the books I had ordered from Amazon a while ago, I slept, rubbed my knee, gave myself energy treatments and didn't think about or become immersed in things-to-do.
By evening my knee was miles better. It's still not 100% itself, but I will continue to listen to it, be more conscious of my thoughts and feelings, be gentle to myself on all levels and adjust accordingly. Will also monitor and see if a visit to the osteo is in the works.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I was at a gathering at someone's home. An attractive older woman, perhaps in her early 50's, left what she was doing and came across the room to me. She was wearing a khaki all-in-one "dress" that looked like some kind of protective services uniform. I got the feeling that she had just come from 'work'. She looked familiar and I can still remember her face, but I don't know her.
She never introduced herself—just looked me directly in the eyes and started to speak. The first thing I remember her telling me was: "Have two exhibitions by the end of the year."
"How about one?"I asked her.
"Two," she said. Her expression never changed. She had a constant slight smile. She came across as kind but firm.
Then she said: "Never travel as if you are alone."
"But what if I am?" I asked her.
"You are not."
The dream itself was surreal and dreamlike, but the part with the woman felt real, which is why it stood out. Did she mean to have two exhibitions by the end of the year 2010?
It is possible. "Exhibition" doesn't necessarily mean a big solo exhibition like I've done in the past—one which takes a while to produce. It could be something on a smaller scale.
I am 'exhibiting' new (and old) work all the time in various ways—mainly, as of late, through film screenings at festivals or at smaller events like this collaborative one at which my video for You Are Calling will be screened. But the two exhibitions she wants me to produce could be anything.
The thing is ... do I want to add anything more to my plate? Do I have the energy to focus on new projects now? Today, of all days, when I woke up and decided to focus on fewer things.
But the dream woman's directive was specific. It feels like it's beyond my logic and comprehension. Not something that I am to figure out—simply allow it to happen. Two exhibitions by the end of the year. I feel that by even writing about this on the blog, I am publicly announcing my agreement.
YES. I trust you. I accept the challenge. I accept my role as the clear channel for whatever and why ever these two exhibitions are meant to be.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wednesday September 1st marks the date of the public release of local electronic music producer Irukandji's album, “.”
The launch event is to be held at Studio Lounge, 62 Ariapita Avenue, and starts at sharp
Irukandji (Celsa Baptiste) has been creating electronic music for about 10 years, and has also dj’d many electronica events throughout the country. He looks at this form of music as one not only for nocturnal party-goers, as it is traditionally seen in Trinidad, but as a valid and viable artform, and would like to see it expand as it has in other countries.
“Beauty in Destruction” is a collection of beat driven house music, complex drum & bass compositions, and ambient pieces. The launch event will feature the screening of “You Are Calling”, a short ambient film created by . Photographic works by Carole Anne Ferris and Shireen Ali will also be shown.
The night should prove to be a true showcase of local-alternative art: A look into the future.
The album will be on sale at the event in both physical CD and digital file form.
Web promotions, irukandji
Be flexible, allow the change, surrender. Have the guts and you will have glory. You are not alone. There are others, perhaps as yet unknown to you, who are willing to assist along the way—often without you even having to ask.
Speak and project your essence with confidence. Believe in the power of you as you are now.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Yesterday I did the Red Cross First Aid Course. I would recommend it to everyone.
We learned various techniques, including dressing of wounds, tying triangular slings, wrapping splints for injuries to muscles/bones/joints, rescue breath and rescue breathing, CPR and we also covered details on what to do for victims of burns, heart attacks, strokes, poisoning, life-threatening allergies, etc.
We practised on each other by tying slings, turning the 'injured' body to recovery position, dealing with conscious choking emergencies, etc. The CPR and breathing techniques were practised on dummies—where and how to pump the chest, how many times to pump, where and how to place the mouth-to-mouth (or mouth covering nose and mouth in the case of babies) for rescue breathing.
Of course it's vital to keep practising so that (a) we don't forget what we learned and (b) we improve on what we learned in terms of efficiency and confidence.
Definitely a worthwhile course. Only 8 hours on a Saturday, once a month, $400 registration. If interested, call the TT Red Cross and give them your name. The next class is in September.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
This morning once again before I woke for sadhana, I was playing my guitar in the dream and chanting Wah Yantee. Once again, these women's voices joined me. The more rounds we sang, the louder and happier we got, until we were laughing and chanting at the same time.
It feels as though a real group of people and I are connecting before I wake up to do sadhana. Wherever they are in the world, they are doing their sadhana. So even though I am doing mine physically alone, I am not alone. It is a fantastic feeling.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Last Tuesday I was interviewed by Dr. Desirée Cox on her programme "Healing Through Creativity". Those who missed it can click here to listen to the episode. It's about an hour long.
During the course of the interview I share the Lovebirds Meditation and how to do it. It's an interactive experience I have shared when performing my music publicly.
Those who would like to try the Lovebirds Meditation on their own can find the music track here http://tinyurl.com/yjpa9oj
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Something in the next song will answer a question you've had about your career.
Two songs ahead of this one you'll find a clue to where you must travel next for your greatest benefit.
It usually works.
So, as I was driving, I said aloud: "The next song is my Guardian Angel speaking to me."
The song that came was one I had never heard before, but it fitted perfectly—the lyrics were really like me and my Guardian Angel communicating. Look and listen and you will see what I mean. The video is one of those that is disabled by request, but you can click here to hear/see it. I love it. And the lyrics are here: I want to talk to you ... Let's talk.
By the time the song had finished, I really felt that Divine communication was in operation. Further confirmation came when, on the way home, I saw various examples of what I call my 'code' for "I Love You": the number 143.
1 = I
4 = Love
3 = You
I kept seeing cars with that number on their number plates ( I took photos of them while driving). Messages confirming Love from Above.
Some time ago I observed notification from Yahoo that I am in a new relationship. This came as news to me. At the time, I simply brushed it off as (on one level) a Yahoo glitch and (on another level) a sign of things to come.
A few times after, I saw the notification again. Each time I thought it was the same old message and forgot about it ... until last night when I was driving with my friend Patti. She said: "Sun ... (i.e. her nickname for me) ... when I was in New York I got a status update from your Yahoo account saying that you're in a new relationship."
At the time she had thought: "What?! How could Sun not write to tell me something so important?!"
She said it had happened about a month ago and she keeps getting status updates about Elspeth Duncan's new relationship. I told her I got the same thing ... even though I've never made a Yahoo update in my life. If Patti is getting updates that I'm in a new relationship, I guess everyone else on my mailing list who has a Yahoo account is.
I went into Yahoo this morning and, after a while, found the the update section (Share my updates). It was ticked—even though I never ticked it. I wrote to Yahoo to ask what's going on.
These 'relationship update' options seem to be technologically volatile. People press the simplest button and something newsworthy happens. Sometimes on Facebook there's a dramatic announcement for the world to see:
So-and-so is no longer in a relationship.
So-and-so is now single.
Then, below that, a flurry of concerned (or more like maco) comments from 'friends' (especially if the person is married or engaged or in a serious longterm relationship): OMG! What happened?!!!! Are you okay????!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!! I'm here if you need me!!!
Meanwhile, the person is still happily coupled but had inadvertently pressed some button on their profile ...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Recently my 10-year old nephew, Liu, went on a baking spree to raise money to buy a Mac laptop. He got a huge amount of orders, mainly from my friends, who were all raving about his cakes, cookies and brownies.
Today he was in the kitchen helping me to make hummus (to eat after this afternoon's first introductory Kundalini Yoga session).
Liu: Is hummus yoga food?
Me: What's yoga food?
Liu: Relaxing food. (Thoughtful pause) Are all people who do yoga vegetarian?
Me: Many are.
Liu: Well I meditate but I eat meat.
Me: How do you meditate?
Liu: In my room.
Me: What do you do?
Liu: I sit and close my eyes. Ommmmmm. I empty my mind, like those monks do.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Spinning on a large wooden swing that was hanging from a branch of a tree across the road from the old wooden Tortuga Church. My friend G had twisted the rope and released it, hence the revolution. Actually this happened approximately 30 minutes after this.
Interested? Or know anyone who will be? The Thou Art Yoga PASSPORT is the card I've designed to give you special pre-paid class rates and other benefits (of which there will be more to come in time).
Please read more about PASSPORT and classes (venues & schedules) here: http://yogapassport.blogspot.com/
It's worth exploring.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
For the past ten years, I have done something symbolic and interactive for each of my birthdays.
Today I want to introduce you to Tek Har. She is who I married last year on my birthday, when I had the "Oneness Celebration" in Wildflower Park. The celebration was attended (in person and in spirit) by many of my close friends (here and abroad)— all of whom also made personal Love vows.
One part of my decision to marry Tek Har (about whom you will read more below) was based on the premise that you must love yourself before another can love you. I took it a step further to the premise that I must marry myself before someone else can truly marry me. Do not take this literally. I am not talking about the societal norm of hetero-marriage and wearing a wedding dress in a church, etc. I am talking about the power of being committed to Truth in my Self and Love for my Self (both of which are a continually ongoing process)—to the extent that any Love Partner who enters my life can only reflect that—being that true and loving with/to herself and therefore with me.
Is this as easy as it sounds? I look at the above image (which was the photograph used on the wedding invitation) and I wonder ... who will be courageous enough to fill those empty footprints, to stand honestly, face to face, look me in the eye and truly say & mean: "I love you".
I am doing it for myself first. And when she comes, whoever she is, it will be clear.
The spiritual name I was granted is Tek Har Kaur. The announcement came with a beautiful letter explaining the name's essence. In summary, it means 'the kind, creative, spiritually prosperous Princess/Lioness of God who feels supported by the power of the Divine.'
A spiritual name is a personal mantra, vibrating one's personal Truth.
The power of a Spiritual Name is that the more you speak and hear your name, the more it permeates into your being ... and the more you will experience its Nadh (inner sound current), bringing you into harmony with your destiny. (Excerpt from the letter I received with my name)
At the time of the "Oneness Celebration", I was not sure if, when or how I would transition into using the name Tek Har. It's quite a jump for people who've always known you to start calling you something else ... and it's not like I dislike the name Elspeth, so Tek Har was not necessarily for replacement purposes. The 'marrying' of Elspeth and Tek Har was my way of merging the essence & meaning of the name Tek Har with who Elspeth is. At the time, I thought that even if I never actually used the name Tek Har in public, the meaning would be honoured within me.
As time progressed, Tek Har emerged naturally and gradually, in her own way. Lately I have been using both Elspeth and Tek Har. Each name has a different energy. My Kundalini Yoga friends and associates refer to me as Tek Har and I love how it feels and sounds. Some other part of me is actually activated whenever that name is used. In association with any yoga-related activities, you may hear/see me referring to myself (or being referred to) as Tek Har. Everyone else knows me as Elspeth. Both are good because I am both. And, as I am seeing, they work together.
You will also be seeing more of THOU ART YOGA, my new enterprise. As you can tell from the name, it merges two major aspects of my life: yoga and art. Everything that I do now related to Kundalini Yoga and/or yoga-related art will come under the category of Thou Art Yoga.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Last night, at one point in my dreams, I went up to the top of a mountain and sat under a tree. It was a barren mountain, akin to the one in the above image. I'm not sure of the location, but it felt like Greece or Jerusalem.
I can't recall why I went there, but I was content. At one point I saw a man approaching. He was what we would call a dangerous, mad vagrant—wiry and wild-eyed, wearing layers of clothing that were leathery with years of caked dirt, wielding a rusty 12-inch knife.
Being alone on the mountain with no one to hear me if I called for help, my first instinct was to run. But something made me stay. I stood as still as the tree, looking at him directly as he headed for me. He stopped before me, shoved his knife into a leather sheath, said something (can't remember what) and stuck out his hand to shake mine. It was a strong, firm, congratulatory grip. I felt that I had passed a Courage test.
Now that I'm writing about this, it reminds me of a story I read ages ago, about an old couple living in a Greek village. One day two beggars came to their door and asked them to stay for the night, as they had nowhere else to go and were hungry and tired. The old man and his wife, who were very poor, welcomed them in. They killed their beloved pet goose to feed the beggars and gave them their bed, while they slept on the cold floor.
The next morning when the old people woke up, two large, glowing Angels were with them in their hut. The old couple's kindness had caused the beggars to reveal their true identity. They told the old couple that everyone else in the village had rejected them. As a result, the floods that were coming would drown everyone, but the old couple would be saved. The Angels told the couple they could have anything they wanted—a huge house, lots of money, a comfortable bed, the best food. Just ask.
The old couple didn't want any of those things. Their only request was that they be allowed to die together. Due to their love, one did not want to die before the other and leave the Beloved behind. The Angels granted their request by turning them into two trees which grew intertwined and, according to the legend, can still be seen in Greece today.
Monday, August 9, 2010
In 2008, I met the mystical and magical Desirée (Dr. Desirée Cox) when we were both one of a few writers at the unforgettable three-week Croppers coastal writers' retreat in Balandra. We have kept in touch since then.
Recently she asked me if I would be the featured guest on her online radio show "Healing Through Creativity". The interview will be aired live on http://voiceamerica.com at 12 midday (EST) on Thursday 12 August, 2010.
Closer to the time I will post a reminder. If you are able to tune in, please do.
Kundalini Yoga Teacher Certification in TT 2011
ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO (I call on Infinite Creative Consciousness, I call on Divine Wisdom) - used to open our sacred channel and tune us to the frequency of our Inner Teacher, who guides us through the process.
This is followed by:
AAD GURAY NAMEH JUGAAD GURAY NAMEH SAT GURAY NAMEH SIRI GURU DEVAY NAMEH (The Mangala Charn mantra which surrounds the magnetic field with a protective light). It means " I bow to the primal Guru (guiding consciousness who takes us to God-realization), I bow to the wisdom through the ages, I bow to the True Wisdom, I bow to the Great, Unseen Wisdom."
Trinidad & Tobago's first ever Kundalini Yoga Teacher Certification course will be held here in Trinidad in 2011, led by Senior Trainers from the USA. This powerful immersion experience, which promises to be positively life-changing, is open to local, regional and international participants.
Please visit the blog for more information (http://kundaliniyogatt.blogspot.com/) and share the link with friends and associates who may be interested in deepening their general yoga practice, expanding their consciousness, increasing knowledge of Kundalini Yoga and/or becoming certified Kundalini Yoga teachers (IKYTA/KRI).
Only now, as I am writing this, do I realise that Camp Balandra (where the three 3-week Kundalini Yoga Teacher Certification residentials will take place) was also the location for the writers' retreat mentioned above.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Heart-shaped glob of undissolved cocoa powder, spotted at the bottom of my glass as I was about to take the last sip of Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
As always, I had my camera with me and decided to get a video clip of the miles of garbage.
Ignoring the warning of one of the scavengers who had emerged from the rotting stench ("Doh go dere, yuh go fall!"), I clambered up the mound of clay-like dirt which was wet and (as I quickly discovered) slippery after that day's rainfall.
What you see in the video isn't as bad as it looks. Thankfully quick reflexes and the art of balance saved me from actually landing in the mud. It all happened so quickly. I slowed down the video so the action plays out more clearly.
N.B. the expletive at the end in slow motion.