Post-Vipassana Musings: THIS WILL ALSO CHANGE


Sometimes I get the oddest downloads...

On the last day of the 10-day silent meditation course I just took, I saw an image of THIS: cut out letters taped above my couch of one of the main teachings of Vipassana. 

It’s such a beautiful reminder of the impermanence of Life, and the practice of remaining equanimous amidst all of Life’s changes. 

This is how the Buddha achieved enlightenment — by ceasing to react with cravings or resistance to anything and everything that occurs on the outside, as well as within. 

He discovered a meditation technique whereby focusing on the sensations of the body, you can release all of the old reactions (saṃskāra) until there is no more accumulation. 

No more house to hold the Soul.
Just pure Light.

I am so grateful for this meditation technique and all the Vipassana courses I’ve taken.

I always experience transformation afterwards...and I can already feel my own being CHANGING.

You are never stuck or stagnant. In fact, your body and this reality are simply particles of energy that arise and pass away at a rate that is so rapid it actually makes you believe that everything is solid and real.

It is not. 

So allow yourself to change. 

change.jpg

You've Come a Long Way, Baby.

Many people don’t know that I had a whole other past life in THIS life working in New York City government and politics. 

This first pic is of me sitting on the steps of City Hall, where I could often be found smoking cigarettes.

The other encapsulates what I was doing the other couple of hours when I wasn’t working 65+ hours a week — drinking at a local pub!

Past life, indeed. 

It’s interesting that Spirit has been giving me lots reminders of this old life lately...presumably for some healing.

I hated the government in college, but I wanted to move from New Jersey to NYC with the rest of my friends when I graduated school and somehow by the time June of my senior year came along I was offered a job for a State Assembly Member in Manhattan (because even then I was a powerful manifestor ;).

When I first started working in government at the ripe old age of 22 I was so naive (and still VERY much unconscious and asleep). I actually thought that maybe I would be able to create the change that I wanted to see in the world from the inside, instead of using the protest and resistance tactics that I had been accustomed to.

For a while I really did. I was a part of making some cool shit happen in New York City — like the emergency contraception pill being offered over-the-counter in City pharmacies, legalizing gay marriage in New York State, increasing transgender rights, etc.
I also saw the shadow side of government. As I worked my way to “senior staff” of the New York City Council I saw up close and personal all of the ugly of politics — the hidden agendas, the insatiable egoic desire for power, the political favoring and posturing, lies, deceit, etc.

Fortunately, I started to practice yoga at the end of my tenure in City Hall...and I began to wake up. 

I’ll never forget the moment when I first experienced a glimpse of transformation and spiritual awakening:

I am in the basement of City Hall, finishing up a conference call at some obscene hour and out of nowhere I have my first known moment of being able to step outside and observe myself. I hang up my office phone and experience a stillness like I never have before. And I think, “I don’t belong here. This is not what I want to do with my life.”

And thus, the transformation began. A couple months later I quit my job to become the therapist I had dreamed of becoming, but always wondered if I was too crazy to pull off. ;)

So here I am, ten years later. And I have declared a moratorium on anything government-related or political from my life because of the bad taste that was left in my mouth from my experiences...but maybe it’s time for a breakthrough. Maybe it’s time to reclaim the baby that I dumped out with the bathwater...

An astrologer in India told me that in the future I would teach meditation and spiritual principles in government. It would be so wonderful to contribute to the system in that way, given where I was and what I have learned since.

I am grateful for all the skills, knowledge and expertise that my previous life awarded me. It’s definitely assisted me in creating the structures and organization required to build and grow the business I have now.

And upon further reflection, I’m so grateful for how far I’ve come over the past ten years. I’m grateful for yoga which catalyzed my life transformation. I acknowledge myself for having the bravery, balls and courage to leave something that was no longer in integrity for me...and for continuing to leap and jump into different versions of myself, as I move forward to unlock who I really am.

cityhalllife.jpg

Why It Feels so Hard to Move Forward

Why It feels so Hard to Move Forward

by Keri Sender-Receiver, LSW
 

I don’t know about you,

but it feels really hard to move forward these days.

I mean, I know it’s coming. I know it’s allll coming.

 

A part of me wants to just give up.

“It feels too hard.”

“I don’t want to do all of that work.”

(MY version of my fear).

And a part of me isn’t entirely sure how to Be Fully Me.

Maybe she’s too mean or too smart.

What if she causes some serious damage?

And then I get it --

she’s already been created anyway.

It’s already said and done.

So just Unlock Who You Really Are.

There’s nothing to do but Unlock Who You Really Are…

I write this as a reminder to myself and to all of us.

It is a time of great change and the answer is

to be Who We Really Are, to love and accept ourselves fully.
 

This is what will move the planet forward.

It’s not about protests,

or constantly reading about politics on your News Feed,

it’s about changing the outside by changing within.

It’s about doing the work, whatever that looks like for you.

And only you know what that is…

 

 

Sometimes Being with family can be hard.

Sometimes being with family can be hard. I recall the Ram Dass quote -- "you think you're enlightened? Go spend a week with your parents..."

Yet being in relationship is our best access to transformation - our best access to Love - because others act as our mirrors reflecting back to us all that we offer the world...the good, the bad and the ugly.

And who better to be our best mirrors than the people who we are closest to...

This weekends' lunar eclipse highlighted family and romantic relationships...and it just so happens that my parents are here visiting in Hawaii.

We've shared stories, had laughs, eaten great meals together, went a wonderful talk-story event last night with Hawaiian music...but it hasn't been a walk in the park the entire time. We've argued, got angry, triggered, hurt. We all had our "stuff" come up.

For me, I realize how easy it is to get caught up in the 'blame game' and I how much I've been blaming my parents for all things I don't like about myself.

When we make our parents (or anyone!) "wrong", we're really just expressing our own self-hatred.

And when we attempt to control another's behavior, it's a futile attempt to control Life.

This visit hasn't been pretty 100% of the time...but at least I can use the hard times as an opportunity to look at myself and make the changes that are necessary to love ME more...and as a natural extension, to love THEM more.

Our parents gave us Life. They took care of us and loved us to the very best of their ability.

Forgive yourself for all the times that you didn't realize that Truth, and be grateful for the opportunity to remember.

#LOVErevolution #therealdeal #Cycles #ho'oponopono #Mirrors #Truth #unlock #unlockwhoyoureallyare

When I Didn't Think I was Beautiful...

When I was a teenager, my self-image was completely distorted so I had a nose job because I didn’t think I was attractive enough.

The surgery was so painful and traumatic…it wasn’t very long before I completely regretted and resented that I had the operation.

And I still thought that I was ugly.

It wasn’t until I ‘woke up’ at age 28 that I realized how beautiful I am.

And when I finally realized it and declared that I was beautiful, the strangest thing occurred…

Like magic - and for the first time ever - people and strangers EVERYWHERE starting approaching me to tell me I was beautiful: the guy at the corner bodega who sold me coffee every morning, a stranger on the subway, others walking down the street…it was a complete breakthrough.

I had always looked to others to tell me that I was attractive (or worthy, or good enough), but it wasn’t until I realized myself how beautiful I actually was, that the outside world started to tell me too.

We all have emotional trauma that acts as a block in our lives. What's your emotional trauma? For assistance releasing it: https://snapappointments.com/listing/2LG or email: keri@kerisender.com

You are the Dance...

Just spent a week in Maui for OneDanceTribe Hawaii 2017.

I danced through so much that it feels like I'm still processing and catching up from the shifts and ripples that all the movement invoked in the swirling tidepool that is (my) Life...

And I found God in the dance.
Or rather, I surrendered until Spirt danced me...

It's hard to explain the pure awe and utter delight in knowing that your hands and arms are moving but that you aren't the one moving them.

It's the experience of a deep knowing of the Truth that ultimately God is the one in control.

I also danced until I lost my mind...but not in a way that I felt crazy. In a way that I listened to my body so much that my brain stopped trying to run the show. My brain had nothing left to say.

I danced until I found my power, and then I gave it away to another dancer. I fell in love and got my heart broken and all to be reminded of the basics of Attachment 101.

I danced through crisis and longing, reached and pulled until I couldn't help but to yield to the dance. 

I was left with a choice to dance in struggle or dance to surrender...

Life can feel unsure at times. The dance can feel confusing and rocky...yet when we stop and remember that we are being danced by God...well, that we can trust.

Because we ARE the dance.

Transitions

Who are you in transition periods?
In the space between
the old story and the new one...

And how do you function within the pause?

Are you fearful of your future,
Or do you have Faith?

Can you feel yourself surrounded by the Grace of Spirit, 
Unraveling your ties to the Past...
Anchored by Trust,
Directed by the flutter of your own juicy red beating heart.

#unlock #unlockwhoyourreallyare

Practice Being Yourself...

At three years old I sat in a highchair around the dinner table and listened to everyone’s judgments and criticism of everyone else.

As I listened, a piece of my Soul slid right from out of the high-chair and landed all the way underneath the table on the kitchen floor.

I was mortified.

I wanted to hide.

If everyone else was being criticized, wouldn’t I also be judged?

This fear of being judged made it hard for me to be myself for the 25 years to come, until at age 28 my first spiritual teacher looked me straight in the eyes and said:

“Keri, when you walk into a room, half the people will love you and half of them will hate you before you even open your mouth to speak…

So you might as well just Be Yourself.”

Every day I practice Being MySelf.  

Every day I practice not giving a shit what people think when I walk into a room.