Wednesday, May 28, 2014


   Surrender is often considered a dirty word from the view of a western culture steeped in egoic competitiveness, where the 'end game' so to speak is to 'win' at all costs. Surrender from this point of view may be equated with weakness or cowardice. One may have to dive a bit deeper on defining exactly what one is winning within this dominant paradigm of divide , conquer and control.

When the ego is driving the intentions, what we may 'win' actually costs us in terms of losing our sense of integrity, our sense of authenticity , our sense of truth and deep meaning. Ego runs on fumes of fear and is programmed to maintain a status quo of control and conquer. Spirit on the other hand, thrives in the realm of mystery , trust and Love and the powerful access point to those energies is SURRENDER.

Surrender is not giving up as ego will surely protest but a deep giving IN to the truth of your being as being the most powerful energy you can realize in this lifetime. There are many levels of surrender.
  • INTELLECTUAL SURRENDER in where you rest the obsessive drive to analyise everything to death. 
  • EMOTIONAL SURRENDER in where you release the drive to control your emotions either in the direction of not feeling or spewing excessive emotions. 
  • PHYSICAL SURRENDER by breathing fully and inhabiting the deep terrain of your sensual body , letting go of the habits of holding tension and constriction by moving your body and connecting to nature . 
  • SPIRITUAL SURRENDER which is opening to the compassionate force of love and kindness that goes way beyond your small egoic identities of " I, Me & Mine" .

What life experiences bring us to the point of possible surrender? Anytime you realize you are powerless to control the outcome of any situation you are in. Ego will push with so much fear compelling us to scramble, think it through again, harness some emotional steeliness that gives us a temporary feeling of staying in control. The paradox here is when fear raises its potent energy, rather than reflexively move into damage control mode, how radical to actually stop and allow yourself to FEEL THE FEAR itself for what it is, a transitory constriction of energy wrapped around a false idea of who and what you are.

You become fearless not by controlling fear, but by courageously going into the dark places that scare you! What allows you to do this? SURRENDER TO THE MYSTERY OF THE UNKNOWN. Allow, open and be present to the experience of raw fear. Know that through that willingness that arises from your spirit to stay present to what is, without an agenda to control, limit or numb, you open to the precious possibility of the ecstatic power of peace that lies just beyond the frontier of our limited contracted , personalized egoic mind! Ahhhh! BREATHE, FEEL, ALLOW , SURRENDER, LET GO! 
The power of the universe is holding us up moment to moment in the energy of love and compassion. The doorway is by letting go of the conditioned habits of mind that distort our perceptions, narrow our awareness and literally cut us off from the dynamic , creative universal flow of life .

Why do we dance with such folly as control? Because it gives us a false sense of security and permanence in a world that is designed on impermanence.The energy of control is based on our reptilian brain that our ancient ancestors lived in as a way to survive. When the terror of seeing the sun disappear with no knowledge it would return, they created rituals giving a sense of control over a devastating fear of death. We have evolved as a human race from that primitive level of survival mind although its residual pull is still very strong.

When you can admit to feeling powerless in a situation you cannot control, you surrender into a deep honesty that leads you directly to your connection to your authentic being from which all consciousness flows. When we let go of our habits of forcing a solution through our limited mind or emotions, we open to the divine flow of intuition, where creative resolutions and guidance arise in ways our reptilian ego could never even imagine. Thats the power of surrender!

Play it small with ego or go big with intuitive alignment to Source! Its our choice. and we make that choice moment to moment. Practice today on letting go where you can, anytime you notice your mind, body or breath contracting. Respond by deeply breathing in, feeling what is arising, keeping your body relaxed and yes, surrender to the moment exactly as it is be it raw beauty or raw terror. Open to the possibility of being truly present to yourself, to others and to your environment and you will access a level of power the ego could never access nor imagine !True Power is in the capacity to let go to the mystery of the unknown.

BLessings for a day of Surrendering! Anne Townend-Duffey

" By letting go, it all gets done. The world is won by those that let go but when you try and try, the world is beyond winning' .-Lao Tzu
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sometimes the Demands of LIfe Require We Take Literally One Moment at a Time

 Today my family finds ourselves in a very painful situation. Our middle son suffering from schizophrenia, relapsed for a 4th time after a very good year of stability. He is currently inpatient but refusing meds and it has come to a stale mate in which the hospital is filing a court petition against him to force medication. The hearing is this morning. We will be there in support of him and in support of the hospitals petition.

This journey has brought all of our strengths and weaknesses to the for front over the past 7 years or so when as a young teen he suffered his first major depression. My past ability to use alot of skill to navigate a weak mental health system to advocate for the best care I could gather for a young strong willed son and still attend to my family responsibilities and run a yoga and conscious wellness studio have all been tested and in some cases melted down to the essential alchemical truth. We truly only have this moment in time.

When challenged, pushed and shoved by the momentum of life , in this case an incurable illness that robs an individual of their sense of being alive, their sense of freedom and choice , especially an active young man of 24,  I keep coming back to breathe in this moment. Even in the heaviness of the situation, if I remember to get still and stay connected to my breath, I feel the inherent peace that is always with us , as it IS us. Whatever challenge you might be facing, especially if it involves your health or the health and wellness of one your loved ones, your child, remember, there is always the higher good in flow asking us to trust, surrender to the wisdom of the unknown, be guided to do the very best you can to affect positive outcomes and recognize when the most powerful thing you are left to do is let go .
Letting go today and breathing deeply one moment at a time.

Namaste and Blessings to all that are suffering with pain, illness, separation from the truth of their being. As Joseph Campbell states, what we are seeking is not meaning for life but the experience of being alive!
“People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

—Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth — with Kar Ina Beand Dianne Walker.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Full Moon Invitation To Excavate Old Patterns of Fear & Lack That Are Holding You Back

 Fasten Your Emotional Seatbelts, this Full Flower Buddha Moon is Potent! Get Ready to Clean House and Do Some Deep Transformational Work!

   Today marks the crescendo of what has been a very strong and challenging astrological period since the end of March with two eclipses, the grand cross and now the Full Buddha Moon today. Whats this all mean? We are literally being pulled to grow and evolve beyond our old patterns of coping that are based in fear, limitation and mistrust. Old patterns do not release quietly in the night, they often have to be uprooted with some significant strength and determination, the specific patterns and planetary pressures right now are like a big garden trowel we've been given to excavate deep here and really get to the root of our limitations. Without that effort, the patterns just keep reemerging like unwanted weeds in your garden that will become invasive and over run your best efforts of growing something new.

Here is a powerful inquiry to do to dig deep in your awareness and notice what patterns of fear , lack and limitation have you been dragging through your life since the get go. This exercise asks you to look at your life in 7 year cycles and make note of any memories or experiences you had related to a sense of fear and lack.
Journal this:
  From age:1-7 make note of any memory or experience that created a sense of fear and lack in yourself then see if these imprints carried over into the next cycle 7-14 and then 14-21, 21-28 and so on until you arrive at your current age. Most of our unconscious patterns got laid down before the age of 7 so its very possible those early imprints are still emerging in your current life as struggles, challenges and perhaps a sense of stagnation.

Remedy for Releasing: Visualize your future self, a version of you that is a few years ahead and has mastered overcoming those patterns of fear and lack. Use your visualization to see yourself reaching your hand out to this guide, your Higher Self and merge with him or her. Ask them to show you the way and show you how to let go of the self limiting patterns you have been carrying in your life thus far. The next key is TRUST this guidance is always here and available. The difference is , we are making ourselves available to it. Visualize very specifically, emotionally in your body what it would really feel like to be unburdened from fear and lack. This is a crucial step. If you want to move into the next higher expression of your self, you have to really use your senses to feel, what would that feel like? What would your life look like without fear and lack hamstringing your down?

If you choose to take this step at this time in May , all energies of the universe are supporting this clearing so we can all evolve to our next level of integrated consciousness, one rooted in Love and not in fear. There is only one energy that blocks the wisdom of our intuitive hearts and that is fear and its many forms. Full moons are potent energies of magnetic pressure that causes what is usually below are conscious mind to bubble up to the surface so we can become aware of it and grow. Use this energy of today to support that process. Free yourself of the fear baggage you have been dragging around your whole life in some form or another. Literally we are being nudged to lighten our loads.

When you take the brave step to look within, realize where you have been continually manifesting the same blocks in your life that create a sense of lack , fear or mistrust,whether that has taken form in your health, physical and emotional, your relationships to yourself and others, your relationship to money , prosperity and career or your spiritual connection.

Take a deep breath and really feel that energy you have been holding onto and make a powerful intention to release it from your being. Turning what was once a heavy rooted rock into a light balloon that floats away. When we consciously clear what was formally operating unconsciously, we spontaneously open to a higher , deeper, integrative flow of energy and awareness, moving more into an authentic expression of the Truth of who and what we really are. It's time, it's today, use the full moon and this cycle will be potent for the next two weeks . Its happening for our benefit.

Blessings for a powerful day of weeding out the limiting coping strategies that have kept us in a bind for too long. Namaste
Anne Townend-Duffey
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Open Letter to My Mother Mary~ How a Devout Catholic Inittated me into a Modern Day Yogini

   Its been nearly 3 years since you passed from this physical world into the heavenly eternal realms where I touch your spirit each day. Your lessons continue to unfold for me as I continue to journey this path we call life . Through the power of your devotional faith to your savior, Jesus Christ, your embodied pure heart, love and compassion that was the essence of your time here on earth.

Raising 9 children, loving 24 Grandchildren and currently 12 great grandchildren and more on the way, your family continues to grow. My earliest lesson from you was at age 7 when in church, the priest was asking the congregation for all the people in the world who were not Catholic to find Jesus. I remember tugging on your dress and whispering to you" what about all the people in China?" You smiled and looked a bit exasperated with me and replied " Just pray they find Jesus". I had no conscious awareness at that time that their were billions of people on the planet that were not Catholic but it was my first introduction to an intuitive knowing that would unfold as I grew.

Soon around that time I had a memory of you being pulled in so many directions, taking care of so many children, your own mothers health in decline and the many pressures that mothering can create and being a persistent child in my own way, you once held my hand and said" why are you so strong willed??" The tone of your voice conveyed that although I wasn't exactly clear of what a strong will was, I knew I had one and it was expressing itself. I realized recently, that when I was in my 40's and you were in your 80's we came to a heart to heart where you openly accepted my spiritual path of yoga and eastern contemplative traditions as I openly honored your devout devotion to your faith. The devotional faith element is the same. Connecting to that which connects us to Source.

We had many conversations over the years on how faith and action transform the world, from the days of Dorothy Day, MLK, Thomas Merton, Mother Theresa , the Dalai Lama and so many others that walked the path of love ,compassion and peace to make this world a more loving and Just place.Peace and Justice motivated you. You initiated me into the power of spiritual healing as an early teen taking me to ecumenical healings where I first hand witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit entering into the physical bodies of those attending and surrendering them to their knees . Where most young teen girls were obsessing on friends and such, my eyes were being opened to the world of spirit beyond this physical life. This made for a powerful mystery going forward and a ton of questions on what the real meaning of all this human struggle was about.

You modeled the power of your spiritual faith as you dealt with the brain illness of your son, the sadness your mother carried all her life , and the heartbreaking journey of loving and caring for Dad as Alzheimer's claimed his life. Through it all your faith remained constant. You said to me once, without the Eucharist you would die. It literally sustained you. I learned from you that that ritual of mass was not just words and motions but actual spiritual transfiguration where you received the embodiment of Jesus's love within your own heart.
 It's through your ever open heart that the strongest lessons were taught. These are among my most treasured;
Live simply so others can simply live
Love of family, faith and community
Love of nature;flowers, birds, clouds, beauty, sunsets, oceans
Love of God and Faith in your tradition
Love of the less fortunate
Love of singing and music. You sang daily as do I!
Gratitude-Your daily practice of voicing all your gratitudes, you often joked by the time you mentioned all your family members your list was overflowing!
A sense of humor! You loved a good laugh.
Trusting to your higher power when you cannot see or understand
Your love for what you create with your hands, your many quilts
Your love of learning, being curious, engaged and present
Your love of reading , forever reading and loving inspirational auto-biographies of how others overcame difficult circumstances and contributed to this world in a positive way
Your strong belief in the power of prayer to heal!
Your strong belief and practice of creating spiritual community wherever you were.
Your strong ethic to extend yourself into your community
Your surrender of your personal will to Divine will all your life
Your nature to never hold negativity, always share a smile
Your absolute love of being a mother and raising a family.
Your ever present quality of offering support to anyone in need.
Your humility, You never boasted and often were quite embarrassed 
by any attention given your way to acknowledge the many community support projects you were involved with throughout your life.

And finally a saying you shared with me, always give from an overflowing cup! Fill your cup with your own connection to spirit and generosity and love will naturally be shared. My mother's last words to me upon her death were: "you are intuitive , use that spirit to help others" and with that she waved me goodbye.
    It is said we are born twice. Once from our mothers and the second time when our mothers die and we birth ourselves into the truth of our Being.I bow to my greatest teacher, my mother, Mary Agnes Downes Townend 8/31/16- 7/26/2011
Love you Mom, Always! Your loving daughter Anne Christine
Happy Mother's Day to All , Everyday!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Why No One Likes To Wait

Vibrant Health Tip of the Week- Why Nobody Likes to Wait.
Waiting & Trusting Intuition when Difficult Situations Arise

  This morning begins a 19 hour period of the moon being VOC -void of course. Generally that conveys a time of slowing down, not making any big decisions or starting new projects. Energetically it can feel a bit stagnant and worrisome particularly if you are facing a challenge that requires you to act in a clear way. Nobody likes to wait. Why? We are so wired to expect instant gratification, instant solutions to our pressing problems and the most frustrating experience is when you really don't know what to do. I learned recently that the average time a person takes to make up their mind on whether they will open a website is 3 seconds! Talk about not wanting to wait. In this hyper-paced culture, waiting can sound and feel antiquated as well as a big basic waste of time. In our ever increasing need for speed, we may be creating a blur of experiences and decisions that are no way rooted in clarity and conscious awareness.

Waiting often feels anxiety producing. Our minds are conditioned to want action and results pronto. How long to wait for the right timing of making important decisions? We have been trained out of this intuitive skill to know and sense as tools of obtaining clarity. If our busy minds can't come up with a plan we feel defeated. These are questions that arise from the ego that is easily tipped with the prospect of waiting to open to intuition and trust. I must say, its not an easy practice. The impulse to do something is so strong and yet there is an aspect of me that is wanting to wait. Not quite feeling clear enough about the action I need to take.

   In Yoga there is a term called the Kleshas that describe the 5 veils of a clear mind. These veils when activated separate us from our minds natural quality which is clarity. The 5 kleshas are grasping, aversion, spiritual ignorance, pride and fear of death. The two primary ways our conditioned minds move are either grasping to what we think we want or avoiding what we don't. This sets up the inevitable dilemma of not being present to what is, exactly as it is, be it beautiful or heartbreaking and every life experience imaginable. Ever notice how all the kleshas can be magnified at night? When in the dark we are confronted with our deepest graspings, aversions and fears?

 The impulse to grasp for the exits or aversion to stress and worry, we can end up in 'no mans' land . A space empty of wisdom and true clarity and guidance. Whats the response called for when you are faced with a very difficult challenge ? If the path of action does not feel clear to you, then being brave , wait and be still to allow your deeper intuitive insight to surface. Waiting is not to be confused with avoidance or denial. This is waiting with a clear intention to connect to intuitive guidance.

Swift yet unclear actions often result in compounding the problem you are facing. Clear and calm actions often are supported by deeper wisdom and light that opens up paths of resolution. The key is trusting that. When you feel you are deep in a Void of Course energy, not clear of the best action, take a tip from the ancients and pause, acknowledge the anxiety of waiting that does arise and wait anyway with the intention to get clear in yourself of what action is the most beneficial to take. It it feels right , it usually is. The Buddha came to the decision to sit under the Bodhi tree until his awakening from Maya, the manifestations of mind was complete. And he did and this teaching shows us the power of clarity of intention  of being present to what is arising and waiting.

And so this 19 hour VoC period of waiting and sensing begins.
Namaste & Blessings for a Peaceful Day. Anne Townend-Duffey