There’s an old saying (or maybe it’s my saying, I can’t remember–it becomes irrelevant):

Question: What do you do on the way to enlightenment?
Answer: Carry a pail of water to and from the well.

Question: What do you do after enlightenment?
Answer: Carry a pail of water to and from the well.

While engaging in a deep spiritual journey over the last few years, I disengaged from the interests and patterning of mainstream society. I unlearned structures, found freedom from the constraint of my mind and an overall lighter way of being.

My crown (7th) and heart (4th) chakras were open. My perception (6th) was developing.

Here’s a quick run-down of the chakra system:

Working as an independent strategy consultant enabled me to set my own hours. In my free time, I found myself meditating, working with energy, practicing yoga, trying cleanses, exploring various healing modalities and enjoying nature.

About six months ago, I realized I was disconnected from my lower chakras, mainly my second and third. Despite all my spiritual work, I felt frustrated and lost in my life. My good friends would ask me what I wanted, and I had no answer. I knew I had lost connection with my will and creative energy.

My asana yoga practice wasn’t giving me any answers and neither were my mentors or spiritual teachers.

I decided to move from LA to Las Vegas where I grew up — to reconnect with myself, ground, and create a major change while in a zone of emotional security. While we have our karma, my family has always been a source of support for me.

Ram Dass has a quotation, “If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.” This is true! Listen folks, if you’re on the self-development path, you have to take your family story by the horns.

From a physical practice point of view, I had in my mind that I would try pilates, to work on my core and the muscles specifically associated with the lower chakras. I knew that an entry point into moving stuck energy was to focus on it at a physical level, which would naturally address the energetic layer.

A friend recommended The Pilates Body Las Vegas with owner/angel Sara Finnerty and instructor Juliet Mahon. I highly recommend this classical pilates studio in Las Vegas.

After my first session, I felt like I had dropped completely into my body during a time of mental stress in my life, and a smile returned to my lips. Like a meditation focused on stomach strength, my mind stopped chattering and afterwards my core was active, alive and buzzing.

After another session, I felt upper abs awaken that hadn’t seen daylight in years and stagnant energy activate and flow throughout my entire body.

I can feel the practice strengthening my core and straightening my spine in ways that my yoga practice hasn’t paid attention to. With a more personal instruction model, either one on one or small group classes, each of my bad habits are individually paid attention to and corrected.

While I’m new to pilates, it seems to me that Joseph Pilates developed a targeted, systemic series of movements and equipment for the human body living in a modern, industrial age. It focuses on areas that people need the most help with, builds up massive core strength — plus, to do it right, you have to be super focused and connected to your body.

I’m still working on balancing my chakras, but feel more grounded than before. It’s a constant practice–to be aware when something is out of balance, go through a growth phase and then find harmony and a newer way of being.

I’m a yogi at heart but pilates will complement my practice–and in fact has become an important part of my yoga for now.

3 thoughts on “Enlightenment in Las Vegas

  1. mimi

    I just returned from a long 15 month (with a 2 month break in between) journey, that placed me right back where my family lives (in another country…many many miles away from where I moved 22 years ago). I went there to handle a family business. Today, as I returned to my home here in LA, I look back and I have the feeling that life wisely put me back in that environment to heal, balance and renew my family bonds. It wasn’t easy and I probably would have never done it, would it not have been disguised as a business opportunity, but then I realized that about 16 months ago, I chose to “completely surrender to God” in my life, which basically means, I allow myself to be guided by the higher good, not my will. And even though I put my fight at times, at the end I do surrender. The results are simply the feeling I am being guided and all I need to do is show up.
    The time I spent, not only with my family, but in the country I was born, brought back the best and the worst in me. It forced me to test all my “growth” in the “real world”. Tested all my boundaries, my inner convictions and I came out of it peacefully contempt and with my heart full of love. There is a lot of love out there if we let it in, you know?

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  2. Neelu

    Thank you so much for sharing, Mimi!! Welcome back to LA! Wish I was there to give you a giant hug! And then to go for a beach stroll with an Urth Cafe chai :)

    Glad to feel the LOVE and to read your family, root experience.

    n

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