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Day 4 of the 21 day yoga challenge. Reflections: I didn’t do yoga today. I’m at the laundromat. If you want to skip to the YOGA, scroll down.

I did have a chance to confirm an aura question for a friend, however.

Friends ask me to look at their auras sometimes. It’s usually during or surrounding a time of significant change for them. Because I am blessed to spend time with them frequently, I know what their aura looks like usually, so when they ask me to contrast their “before” and “after”, it’s an easy task.

oops I forgot to give an ultra spiritual disclaimer!

I’ll just have to make the disclaimer here then: it’s about to get ultra-spiritual (it just did).

This is, after all, a personal development blog, and seeing auras is a valid way of taking in information. Personal growth and development ties into aura reading because when we truly spend time with sensing energy in consistent way – such as taking in colors surrounding the physical locus of a human being – we have the opportunity to learn a great deal from the process.

Some people may feel invaded at the thought of someone seeing their aura, but it’s really not invasive. If you are just being yourself, your aura really doesn’t even come into my conscious mind. I sense them, intuitively, but because I’ve seen them for many years now, I never think “Wow I can see your aura! It’s tangelo!” I just think “There’s my friend”, and I get to be with you in the present moment.

If, however, something feels really off, sometimes it can be invaluable to have someone who can see auras, whom you trust, mirror back to you your energetic state, thereby creating new cognitive information from which to learn.

The other side of the benefit of aura reading is that someone who can read your aura can often be more deeply empathic, because the source of the empathy is by feeling or sensing the energetic state of another human being.

The world of energy is really beautiful. I recommend pursuing its various capacity of studies if you want more beauty in your life. If you’d like to get an “edge” over people, you’re just going about it in the wrong way. Yes, it is absolutely possible to teach yourself to sense energy in new ways, whether it be emotional, visual, or otherwise. The genuine self-work that must be done in order to be the person who senses the world in this way is the way to do it.

We’re about to get deep.

Truthfully, the energy of having “an edge” over people comes from a competitive mindset, which will only get you so far in terms of understanding yourself as an awaken(ed/ing) being and truly sensing energy in a new way. Why? is there some problem with the competitive field in the future?

No. There isn’t. If you look at aura reading as a way of gaining an advantage over people, you’re missing out on all the beauty that it brings! But honestly, it’s a privilege and should be used to help people.

>So it’s 8:42pm right now, and I’m at the laundromats taking care of my clothes. I still haven’t done my yoga routine, so I’m gonna check in with my levels. Remember, over the next 21 days I will be taking a daily inventory of four categories (but it’s really 3):

1) Physical well being
2) Mental clarity (focus)
3) Emotional Equilibrium
4) Spiritual connection.

Spiritual connection is something that is felt, and after it is felt, it’s either off or on, in which both cases are correct. So, the metric itself is obsolete. But I’m having fun with it, so we’ll keep it!

Anyways, here are my numbers for today (Before Yoga)
P – 8
M – 2
E – 3.5
S – Pretty F’in Good.

If you read my the Rules blogpost, you’ll learn that P is the frequency of how often, in the course of the day, I thelt (thought-felt) truly, remarkably good in my body. I felt this way 3-4 times today. I started losing count, partially because I was just going with the flow of the lazy Sunday, enjoying the lessons that the universe is bringing to me. That’s one reason why the “P” metric is way up. The other one is because I started my take-off routine for my weight lifting again.(Ok – so my Sunday was lazy in that I had time freedom to do whatever I felt like doing – in this case, lifting weights). I’m incorporating weight lifting into my yoga routine to offset the amount of biking I’ll be doing to the classes at the yoga studios. My prediction is that this will help up all my metrics, most notably the E (emotional) spectrum because of the benefits that the endocrine glands derive (most notably testosterone production).

Mentally I’ve been lazy. Plain and simple (I’m appreciating the self-accountability that daily blogging is giving me – another reason I love operating a personal development blog!). I meditated for 10 minutes this afternoon in Gassho Meditation (a meditation of the Usui Reiki Tradition). Other than that, I watched 2 episodes of “Narcos”. No reading. No mentally stimulating puzzles or routines. NOTE TO SELF: Establish a daily mental stimulation habit.

Emotionally I’ve felt quite blocked, which is strange to me given the amount of open, unobstructed emotional exchange I’ve experienced over the weekend. It feels like the result of these exchanges is such that it is creating new emotions associated with new growth. I’ve indulged my laziness today in that I’ve distracted myself through TV as a way of not dealing with my emotions. (Again, appreciating the personal self-accountability with this very much).

Spiritually, the use of the word “spiritually” to describe spirituality is like using a telescope to look at the back of your own head, to paraphrase Alan Watts, an Englishman of the Zen Tradition. So, again, this spiritual metric is obsolete…(Edit: perhaps I could gauge it at how often during the day I feel connected with spirit, consciously. But in this case, it’s a measurement of conscious connection to spirit/source/God. So it’s more like a measurement of spiritual consciousness, not spirituality. This comes from the belief that everything is spiritual, and even when we feel disconnected or blocked, we are still spirit.)

Food is Fuel

Something that I’ve noticed in me – the deeper and deeper I get in touch with my body through yoga, over the past 4 days, the more I notice that my taste for food has changed. I’ve wanted more juice and vegan foods. I’ve been taking cream in my coffee (which I’ve wanted less of as well, but still consuming at the same 1-3 cups/day), but other than that I’ve mostly gravitated to vegan cuisine.

Small portions of organic meat have made their way into my diet, but other than that, it’s mostly been plant-based.

[UPDATE] Ok! I got my yoga in last night. Started at 12:15 am, ended around 1:15 am. It was a good flow, with a lot of core work. At the end of it I meditated for a while and concentrated on my breathing. This was my own flow, no video instruction.

THE BREATH IS SO IMPORTANT ohm my goodness. Please take time in your routine to really breathe all the air into your lungs. Accept your current state as if you had chosen it.

I sound like a yoga teacher.

>>>After late-night yoga, my levels were about the same, with 1 point increase in Emotional Equilibrium. I was able to cry as I watched a very moving video. It was about a transgender teen who was bullied in school, and, although I do not currently identify as transgender, I felt so much in terms of the struggle of dealing with bullying. My family bullied me when I was a child, as described in the deep dive section of this blog post on dysfunctional families, so much so that I started bullying kids in my class as a way of dealing with the damaging effects of bullying. It wasn’t helpful to do so, but I was 5-7 and didn’t know any better. Today I cried when I heard this story because this child was very, very happy – for being loved, for being cared for and understood. The child was bullied for being a girl born in a boy’s body, but the mother took the child out of public school, allowed her to take hormones, and she went through puberty as a girl. I think it hit me so deeply because that sort of love and encouragement to simply be yourself seems so magical to me – maybe because I never got it as a child.

Even as a man of 28 years now, I’ve lived my life up to this point as just a fractional expression of the entirety of me. Am I transitioning? Genders? No. I was born into a male body and feel comfortable in my body. But I do question the binary expression models of society. For example “Men are strong and women are beautiful” is a basic example of a binary gender roles. But I’m sure you know men who are beautiful and women who are strong, and these two qualities are simply not correlated to physical gender!

The gender discussion could go on and on, so I’m just going to share a few ideas here and let the rest evolve naturally.

These thoughts evolved out of a facebook conversation with a couple friends, referencing Judith Butler’s ideas:

“‘Butler perceives gender as being constructed through a set of acts that are said to be in compliance with dominant societal norms’… on the feminine gaze: ‘she proposed the idea of the feminine gaze as a way in which men choose to perform their masculinity by using women as the ones who force men into self-regulation.’….

It seems like this idea of the feminine gaze implies that masculinity exists as a result of being viewed by women. This also implies that gender exists in a state of both/and until it is viewed and “crystalized”, as in quantum physics light experiments. I would put forth that the individual can view one’s self and act as both the viewer and the viewed, which is a self-assertion of gender identity.

Also, that the individual can choose to exist in a state of suspended non-choosing, if they wish.

Furthermore, the individual can reject the gaze and gender paradigm that an unfavorable gazer implies/imposes.

These three ideas are new to me so I will be playing with them and really discovering more about what they mean to me. I invite you to try them on too, if you’d like.

Don’t forget to update me on your progress with your 21 day yoga challenge!

Until next time, be light.