>Focus

>I had a dream I was offered a job. It wasn’t a job that intrigued me more than my current job, but the opportunities it presented did- more money and travel. The only stipulation was I had to have a partner and that partner had to be a man. 

The man they set me up with seemed to me unstable, and I told the people hiring me that I did not think he was capable of working with me; a fact they did not seem to recognize until I told them.  When they did realize this, they sent him off.  I knew he was going to get ‘fixed’ and would come back a more stable man.  
Almost immediately after waking up from this dream, I knew what it meant.  The unstable man is my masculine self.  For, I don’t know how long- perhaps when I got married, or maybe even before, I gave up my masculine self believing my ‘real’ man could do better.  In the meantime, my feminine self has been really off balance- crazy-emotional, ultra-sensitive and way out of focus.  However, to give her tons of credit she is the bravest woman I know.  She helped me to delve into the darker places of my soul where I learned aspects of myself I could have not known without her full presence in my life.  
Now after being fully in the feminine (at least the off-balance feminine), I  find myself in a new frontier.  I no longer want to rely on my ‘real’ man to save me or balance me from my crazy-emotional, ultra-sensitive and way out of focus self.  Instead I want to rely on my masculine self.  However he is being institutionalized at the moment, as we remember from my dream.
I absolutely knew when he was sent away in my dream, and then upon awakening, that I do not have to micromanage his rehabilitation. I do not even have to be updated on his progress. I just have to trust he will return when he is well, and also when I am ready to receive him.
We all know the symbol of the yin and the yang. It is forever etched in my mind, when as a young girl it was an image I stared at for hours while I sat near my dad’s floor heater to get warm. He had painted it on his closet door.  
There are some prideful men I am sure that would say they do not have a feminine side, but they do, however repressed it may be.  There also may be women who refuse to know they have a masculine side.  I believe we get into relationship to realize this, and to integrate so we are whole and balanced like the symbol. Why else would we have such a strong urge for relationship, considering how difficult they are.  We need each other for balance and wholeness, that is until we don’t- when we develop both aspects within ourself.
This balancing act is reminding me of the hormone show I saw on Oprah.  Women suffering from hormone imbalances can get tests done to see what their estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels are. If any of these numbers are off they can choose to take replacement hormones to bring them back into balance.  Relationships serve to get our masculine and feminine aspects into balance.  
The opportunity my relationship has given me is to dig so deep within myself where I now understand it is time to integrate back in my masculine side that I a) never really had or b) let go of to leave up to my father, husband and other men in my life.  
Today, through writing, I invited my masculine side to return.  I told him, if he is ready, I am ready to receive him.  And why do I want to receive him? Because I want focus.  
I know the only thing stopping me from achieving my dreams right now is a lack of focus. Men are great at this.  So much so, they can easily get lost in their own one-pointed thinking, and if it is a thought of self-service, this can be dangerous.  
Sometimes, I notice my husband doing this, even with the most mundane of tasks like making his family breakfast.  He is so focused on the task, and getting it done, and being efficient at it, I get the sense he forgets about the process of it- the breaking of the eggs, the whipping of the waffle mix, the flipping of the bacon, and the serving to his family.  There have been times when I see him whipping around the kitchen or through the house where I stand right in front of him, having him look at me as if to say- hey, stop, and smell the roses.  
The masculine side can miss the beauty. The masculine side can become very selfish in its lofty or even mundane pursuits. However when you bring in the expansivness of the feminine the masculine can breathe and appreciate.  
Women are wonderful at attention to detail and beauty.  But just like with the men, women can get lost in their emotional worlds.  They can lose focus, become easily depressed as they are unable to grasp a rational or logical thought which could pull them up from the abyss.  I often call my dad when I am in an emotional cauldron.  He listens, and gives me perspective. 
But back to focus-  I am ready for it.  A co-worker said to me Thursday that I seemed different.  At first he called it isolation, but then he said I was focused.  I was surprised, but I thought- hmmm…maybe he’s right.  Maybe the ‘different’ energy is me going internal and harnessing all of these energies within me and focusing long enough to create a masterpiece that has been within me waiting to get out.  
I know it’s possible- and I need the ‘man’ from my dream to be healthy and strong, and return to me.
I recall when we moved into the house we are in now.  We downsized, yet still had all of our things. In 10 days I unpacked every box and found a place for every single item.  I told my dad this and he asked if I was mad the whole time because no one helped. I said no, I wasn’t which was one of the reasons it got done. The emotional dramas and expectations were not there. Instead I focused and in a short amount of time the house was completely put together.
Those of us who are hearing the call to at last hunker down and focus on our higher aspirations, are fortunate to have a role model. His name is Barack Obama.  I could not help but notice how he came out Inauguration Day like Rocky Balboa ready to fight, but in this case, work.  And not only this, he merged this pure focus of commitment and strength with the feminine aspects of beauty and grace. The result- a humbled, balanced and awe-inspiring man.  
In the past I have been afraid to focus because I feared I would get lost in something I could not control or get out of.  I have been afraid to truly live. To see, and feel the power, the light, the inspiration and the focus which is within me.  But… 
This is the year.  Bring out what is within you.  Trust it. Harness it.  Focus it. Create it.  Offer it. And be humble in your pursuit.
Namaste, 
Nikki

>I Can Too

>”Mommy now that he’s President I feel different inside. ” 

My 8 year old daughter said this to me tonight after finding out this morning she had a new President- Barack Obama.
She went on to ask, “Am I supposed to feel that?”  
I said yes.
I feel different inside too. 
Barack Obama’s words touched my highest aspirations when I first heard him speak at John Kerry’s Democratic Convention in 2004, where he was the keynote speaker.  My highest aspirations were of Unity and Oneness.  The first time I felt a glimpse of this was with the passing of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa where I was moved to tears watching people all around the world mourning their death. Then after 9-11 I was moved to tears again as I stood at our state’s capital in the rain with thousands of people to honor those who had died.  
Then as most of us know, not long after the towers fell, we were moved into darkness and unrest with wars, lies and the unfolding economic pressures.  But last night there was a significant shift and Unity has surfaced again bringing us to a universal full circle moment our souls have longed for. 
I breathed through my own tears as I watched those of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s , Oprah Winfrey’s and countless others whom I do not know, while they like me, looked at a man who has come to us at the right time to bring us together where we have the chance, and the right to heal and transform our collective wounds. 
I took the day off today because I knew I could not fully engage in just another day because today was not just any other day, and it was important to me that I honor it with solitude and gratitude.  For the first time I felt what the cliche means of “if I can do it so can you.”  And not only can I, it’s time to.  
Something has awakened in me, which has always been present but just waiting for the right time to surface.   It’s here, and perhaps not completely but more so than ever. It is why you now see my face on my blog.  It is not to be arrogant.  It is to be authentically seen, because me, like you are here to be seen for who we are. And you, like me are worthy of this.  For me, this is my full circle moment where I begin to see the work of the past manifest into a beautiful form and expression.  Where I say I like myself and who I have become and look forward to the possibilities, which are yet to take form.
It is an important time. Are you awake for it?  I HOPE so.  
I have come here to live and in my living I want to see you and I want you to see me, and this wasn’t always the case.  I hid.  A lot.  In school I sat in the back of the class, and sometimes didn’t show up at all and chose to sit a car in the parking lot and smoke cigarettes. I have played down who I am by undermining how nice my newly styled hair looked, or the new clothes I was wearing.  I have gained extra weight so that I could be covered up with fat.  I have shown the me who I think is safe so not only do I not offend you, but not scare the wits out of me.  I have shown you who I am not because I am afraid of the Brilliance that I am.  This Brilliance is in every tree, rock, leaf, blade of grass and every being here on earth and beyond. It is everywhere. 
It is You.  
Oprah Winfrey has said we all want to be validated. We want to know we are seen. I know this to be true. It is a strong force which can often be distorted making us do all the silly things I used to do, or the things I could never do which was be arrogant in my display in myself. It is a force that in time, through sacrifice, self-reflection, honesty and commitment, will grow into authentic validation of our True Self.  
For several days now I have shared this story from the Bhagavad-Gita and here it is again. Arjuna, the young man in the story who is about to go into battle is having a conversation with Krishna (Divine One).  At a point during the story Krishna shows himself briefly to Arjuna, and saying he cannot show him all that He is because it would be too much for Arjuana to see.
This is Us. We are Brilliant.
We must unravel our Soul layer by layer and come to know ourselves a little at a time. It is up to us how much we want to know and when.  I revel at this man Barack and others like him who have come to us during difficult times. What must it be like to hold such hope, such light, such truth and then be a beacon of it for us all?  What must his thoughts have been before this moment? How does he stay grounded?  How does he not buckle under perceived pressure? How is it that he has come to express his higher calling and so many others seem not to?  
On my day off today I had an unexpected conversation with my hair stylist, turned friend/photographer (who took the pictures of me).  I ran into him at the local coffee shop.  We talked about how our dreams and aspirations and I shared how they often seem burdensome, and wonder if it would be easier to not have them so I could just be content with the day to day existence so many of us live.  Again how is it some of us live these great dreams and others do not- and some may not even dream at all, which is hard to imagine?  
I remember a scene in my favorite movie, Shawshank Redemtion.  The character Andy Dufrane played by Tim Robbins was put into prison for a crime he did not commit. Through the course of his time, he made friends with “Red”  played by Morgan Freeman. 
Andy maintained his hope and dream of escape, and his determination not to allow the prison life to take away his better parts.  His friend Red warned him about dreaming. Told him it is dangerous to have dreams in prison.  Andy said it is in prison where dreams are most important.  
My friend today said he is happy to have his dreams. We wondered if those dreams are what get us up to live another day in our own mind-made prisons. We may not see them all come true, but at least we have had the pleasure of having them. This thought made me shift my thinking about my dreams. Maybe they aren’t a burden.  Maybe I could just relish in the beauty of them and their possibility. Maybe then they would have the space they need to come true.
It does come down to one simple line said by Mr. Andy Dufrane- get busy living or get busy dying. 
Which will you chooose in this historical and euphoric time of Hope?
This is how I feel different inside. A momentum has taken a hold of me.  Almost suddenly I feel deeper in my soul, more present and planted, more willing and ready to be used and less conflicted. My cries now come from a deeper place and I welcome them.  I feel things more deeply and I want to.  I want to moved and affected. I want to be touched and no longer ignored, and yet if I am ignored it is okay. It is a time where nothing shallow can satisfy. Separation hurts magnificently and Unity heals miraculously.   I sense things more organically.  I feel more connected.  I could over think all of this and watch this abandon me, but it can’t.  It has a hold of me and I know it is not letting go. I have no idea where it is taking me, but I trust it. 
It is the same way in which I trust Obama right now.  I am relieved to know there is a man at the helm and more importantly in my corner whom I trust.  He represents the relationship I trust I now have with my Higher Self, which is to say the Self inside of me, which I know loves, guides and nurtures me at ever step.  I am relieved She is here.  I trust Her completely, and I know I can go to Her anytime I choose.  She is who has a hold of me and She is never letting go.  
Do not get my wrong. I in no way think our battles, or mine are over.  Oprah’s shirt today said, Hope won. Yes, it is true in this moment Hope has won, but as David Gergen, CNN correspondent said, it has to keep winning, and that will take what Obama is asking of us right now-sacrifice, which often comes with honesty and commitment to the truth of who we are.  
And often that takes a lot, but I know we are ready.
What will you sacrifice in order to gain? And what if you do not know you will gain? Will you still sacrifice?  
Namaste, 
Nikki