Monday, December 31, 2007

Shifting your perspective

Question:How do you boost your expectations with Vitamin Joy so that you are guided to the Highest Vistas imaginable?


I have often thought of the dark part of the experience of life like a piece of black construction paper. Imagine if you will you are looking at the paper and all you see is a vast blackness. You inspect the paper, you look it over and then you tip it just the right way and out of no where, a tiny spec of glitter appears — that hope in the midst of the darkness that almost made it disappear.

Glitter for me is the metaphor of possibility. It is formless and shapeless, meaningless in fact, except for all the meaning I gift it. When I see a spec of glitter, I see the light — it is shinning upon me even in the smallest of ways. That visual reminder of the light is something I look for wherever I can — so putting it on my eyes (and subsequently, it falling on my eyelashes) often colors my life in such a way that when I move through the world, I get that lens flare effect of the light reflecting off the glitter when I look at simple things.

It is such a simple tool... And as a practice I have been engaging in for nearly 10 years, I have found glitter cheers me up like nothing else.

Other more universal ways to find the way back to the light that might be more approachable include:
  • Baths. They are gloriously refreshing and they can change your toxicity level if you put Epsom salt in the bath with it. Chemical body change just helps.
  • Adam’s wisdom about meditation has been 100% of the time spot on for me. Even if I don’t have a “good sit” that I am actually doing the sit always makes me feel like I am more on path.
  • Doing something with my body (or mind, though less so for me these days) that I was not formerly able to do — reminding me of how far I have come and that this journey includes the dark times.
  • Crying — the shower for the soul.
  • Dancing — predictably leads to altered states for me and the increase in endorphins is bound to make you feel better, at least for a period of time after
  • exercise — I at least get the endorphins even if I don’t get the altered state
    eating something nutritious – another form of chemical change
  • creating a nourishing experience that is inspiring — be it a hike, or a meal that I “shouldn’t have” (wrong food, wrong price, too much time, whatever) -- which often includes an element of indulgence
    sleep. This is by far the best cure for my negative states. James and I read an article in the paper a few months ago where they said some really high percentage of people don’t sleep enough (I think it was over 60%) and there is scientific evidence of the negative impact on emotional state/resourcefulness. (more chemical state change)
  • Alone time. Just getting in touch with what is going on often helps.
  • Perhaps the most difficult practice though also the one that allows things to shift the quickest for me is to be with the experience as fully as I can. The more fully I allow it to arise, the more quickly and fully it passes away. Acknowledging that I am feeling that way, perhaps even being witnessed in those feelings, often allows me the freedom to get messy and go into it in a way that serves my processing.
  • Surrender into the feelings rather than feeling like I need to combat them. Whoops! I’m feeling like shit again. Damn, I forgot about that part of the journey. Don’t worry, it will get better.
  • screaming into a pillow
  • punching my bed
  • doing an activity which requires a high degree of concentration in a domain that is not related to the upset — like driving my car skillfully through traffic – so I am 100% focused elsewhere for some period of time and can come back to the situation with fresh eyes/perspective
  • masturbation — always good for a state change which can provide temporary relief and will change your body chemistry as well.
  • distraction — movie, music, talk, walk.
    working really hard — diving into my work so I feel like I’m making progress even if I’m feeling like shit about the process.
  • taking a day off — so I don’t have to think about anything in particular.
  • laughter. (more chemical change in the body)
  • talking to myself.
  • singing. Especially in the shower.
  • oming/toning/playing an instrument -- the vibration moves things through.
  • massage.
    talking to one of the cool people in my life — different friends give different support, so I choose who to talk to based on what kind of support I want (commiseration, an ass kicking, sympathy, advice, perspective, witnessing).
  • Combining as many of the above as necessary to create change and allowing myself all the space I need to have the experience — even if it means all of these things.
  • Upekka

    A friend sent this on an email list I'm on -- it is a meditation to help stay in the center:
    You are the owner/heir to your own karma. Your outcome depends on your actions and not my wishes. No matter how I might wish things to be otherwise, things are as they are. Although I wish only the best for you, I also know that your happiness and unhappiness depends upon your actions, not my wishes for you. Whether I understand it or not, things are unfolding for you according to a lawful nature.

    This reminded me of a distinction/saying my friends gave me years ago which really helped me on my path, which is
    reworded/augmented by me to remind me of my path:

    I am me. You are you.
    My feelings are my feelings. Your feelings are your feelings.
    My experiences are my experiences. Your experiences are your experience.
    Your feelings and experiences are not my feelings and experiences. My feelings and experiences are not your feelings and experiences.
    I am fully responsible for me; You are fully responsible for you.
    My path is to witness without attachment and aversion, knowing I may witness you doing things that make me uncomfortable and I can not do anything about your choices.
    I will choose, regardless of my dis/comfort with your actions, from a place of what serves me best which can include sacrifice only if I choose willingly and freely.
    The degree to which I can remain in constancy with this knowing will determine, predictably, the degree of my emotional freedom and upset I create for myself in my life.

    Sunday, December 23, 2007

    Cosmic Kiss

    May the best of last year be the worst of this year
    and may we all say this to,
    bear witness to it being so
    consciously co-create it with each other...
    in truth,
    as a tribe,
    every moment...
    of every lifetime
    we experience in this dimension...
    and all others...
    for all time...

    Friday, November 30, 2007

    Tribe -> Community -> Tribe

    Looking back in time, humans organized themselves toward a common purpose of
    survival using a hierarchical model sometimes known as tribes. There was a
    leader (a chief for example), a healer, a warrior, a cook -- every one had
    their place.

    Because of the technological stage of development, the tribe had no
    opportunity to move toward a vision that was beyond survival. As technology
    advance, survival became easier and time more plentiful, we evolved toward
    more global thinking. Thus became community as an evolution because the
    focal point was in accomplishing something "for the greater good and
    furthering of human kind or the planet" or some other lofty ideal.

    Community is (or at least to me has seemed) bound by and pulled together to
    work collectively toward a single vision which generally does not honor
    individual leadership, but rather consensus thinking that mostly muddles the
    ability of the group to actually get anything accomplished because it takes
    so long to arrive at consensus.

    I say we're moving toward -- and the particular tribe on this list
    represents it to me -- a resurgence of the idea of hierarchy within a tribe.
    So many of us are visionaries and leaders building communities and tribes of
    our own yet coming together as a tribe, living the common vision of
    supporting each other as individuals in the creation of our own unique

    So we have moved from needing hierarchy to make things happen in order to
    survive (pre-rational tribe) to choosing to come together in service of a
    group vision (rational community) to needing reintegrated leadership while
    working for a greater good (trans-rational tribe).

    It seems like the trans-rational tribe is coming together - each individual
    in service of each other being in service of their own individual goals,
    within which leadership is rewarded because in each individual accomplishing
    their purpose/vision, they are able to help other's learn by bringing their
    learning's back to the tribe for other's to integrate; whereas the rational
    community comes together in service of a group vision where individuals
    often have to acquiesce their goals to remain in service of the group.

    The trans-rational tribes transcends and includes.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007


    The other day I found myself triggered by a friend's choice to, from my perspective, fart their ideas into my space. I put it that way because it is both humorous and, from where I sit, accurate. Farts often occur without consciousness -- simply happening, kind of like when we know something or think we know something about what is going on and we just blurt it out.

    From my perspective, my friend did not have permission to coach me. What that means to me is that before someone offers advice, they would ask if the listener (in this case, me) wants to hear it. There are many reasons for that, including (and not limited to):
  • the person may not be looking for your opinion or ideas
  • the person may simply be venting
  • the person may just be sharing their experience and only want to share without receiving in that moment
  • the person may be closed, generally speaking
  • the person may be closed, specifically to the person offering the coaching
  • the person may simply not want to switch context (ie, sharing/speaking/opening/venting/whatever to listening/receiving)
  • so the person offering said "advice/coaching" isn't impressing their
    values on the other individual. (I take this very seriously, not just with respect to what I say, but also with what is said to me.)

  • This idea of permission is why I use the phrase, "Can I offer something?" so frequently because I do not want to be coaching someone who is either not prepared for it, not interested in it and/or in some way not open to receiving that which I have to offer.

    I understand that in friendships there is a place where we offer ourselves to each other that, in some ways, seems like it should be apart from the idea of asking permission. That may be so for other people and my world generally speaking does not operate that way.

    When I'm confused about this sort of thing with other people, I ask the person speaking what they are looking for from me -- to hold space, to offer coaching, to share my own experience, and/or whatever. These days, I'd like to think I don't really offer coaching without permission (though please call me on it if I do) except in the domain of where I am the explicit current "coach" (as in class and as it relates to poi, and at that, only sometimes since I am so sensitive to not wanting to trample on people's own development at their own pace).

    Perhaps it is a subtle distinction that I've picked up working with and being friends with coaches in transformational communities for many years on end. What I know is I do not feel honored when someone puts things in my space I'm not interested in having there. For me, it occurs like clutter that I have to move around/through/over/avoid.

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    20070907: Everybody needs a little Now moment

    The night Audree, Sean and I went out to film in July required us to synch up our iPods. We didn't want to drag a boom box around with all the fire gear as well as the camera gear, so instead, we shared the same playlist on our iPods so we could have some shared reality as I was spinning without disrupting the rest of the world.

    Of course, then you have to sync up the ipods. Well, we started counting off -- " 3 - 2 - 1 - Now!" and on "Now" everyone would start the track at the beginning.

    I'm on Shinkansen train with Sean -- the cool bullet train that runs from Kyoto to Tokyo (same letters, spelled differently. Hmm...) writing the blog entries so I can post them next time I get to an internet connection and I started bouncing around in my seat to one of our favorite tracks, "The Nebbish Route" by Shpongle off Nothing Last... But Nothing is Lost.

    Fortunately, Sean had my set list on his iPhone because we filmed yesterday so, well, we got to have a bit of Now together.

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    20070906: Footage From Arashiyama

    Since we didn't head north into the path of the typhoon, we decided we'd go visit Arashiyama, Kyoto again and film some poi dancing. Check out this silk flag poi dancing set by GlitterGirl (and order your own set of flags if you're so inspired!)

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    20070905: Rest. Recovery. Preparation. Forewarning.

    Sean arrived. More sushi. Freshly imported wine with Spencer. Making plans. Oh, and finding out about a Typhoon. A typhoon? What? Didn't I get enough rain on Monday night? (see "warm summer rain" entry)

    Hmmm... What to do. The typhoon is heading directly for the area where the festival is. Maybe we should wait a day and go up on Friday instead...

    20070905: Perfection

    A friend just got back from her 10 day sit and was finding herself in a place of disappointment over how she hasn't been sitting as much and how it was harder than the first. I found myself noticing the perfection of the experience, and sent this her way:

    How perfect your experience it. It is the very example of how you can choose equanimity in each moment. It is the perfect example of it all, actually. Relax into it sister. In a sense, you have both already failed and already succeeded. Now that you have done both, you can just sit back and witness the experience... Even now... With ease and gratitude.

    Guy said something to me in a session which is perfect: this is the healing — right not. The crying? That was the healing! The struggle? That also is the healing! You returning to the practice is the practice... Is the healing.

    Also, I remind you about the through time nature of your reality and life. You are looking for some permanent shift from a single 10 days. And that comes in very small pieces. It is a gradual thing so as long as you focus on the gradual nature of it, you can’t see the bigger picture. Look back 1 year, 2, 5... See how much more rich your life, experience, skills and mastery are. Even now I’m sure you’re offering yourself more grace, more compassion... More acceptance...


    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    20070904: Transformation at Shrines

    After escaping the love hotel and accompanying Spencer on his research adventure at the travel agent, we headed toward Kyoto, stopping to watch Transformers in English with Japanese subtitles. It was interesting to see the movie again (the third time, actually) in a foreign country.

    There is a line in the movie, which if you've seen a preview you've already seen, about the autobots being really advanced robots -- Japanese models. No laughter in the Japanese theatre. In the US, having seen it twice, I can say there was a lot more laughter -- both in that part of the movie as well as other spots. Alas, not here.

    Seating was interesting -- assigned seats and you get to pick them with the counter agent when you buy your ticket. Wow.

    After leaving and heading back to Kyoto, Spencer went off to work and I found my way to two shrines. One of them was fairly large where I watched a woman make the rounds to the little stops in the courtyard. I thought it would be interesting to model how she did the ritual, so I did, to a degree. Mom asked me to light incense at a shrine -- partly joking I'm sure -- to
    help them sell their house in New York so they can move to their new home. So I did.

    Meanwhile, the whole while, I was listening to Seal's song, "Love's Divine" inspiring various thoughts about my own transformation, self perception, molting, emersion... My own divinity.

    I replayed the song and danced in the shrine, offering myself to the divine at the temple, realizing that if I'm not here on this planet to dance, I'm not actually sure what I am here for.

    I cried, released, expressed, emoted, and in the process, found myself experiencing a wonderful new connection to mySelf. Returning to Spencer's and reconnecting with him later -- how grateful am I he is my teacher as well (a Reverend) -- I noticed how I felt myself coming into balance in the shrine, allowing myself to release the stresses and tensions of months of
    pressure, mishap and challenge around PoiGeek and the Temple, around not taking as much care of my body as I will moving forward, about the imbalance of the speed of my mind and slowness of my body... About how inspired I was to get my bicycle fixed now that I live and work in easy biking distance from each other.

    Ah, the gift of Being in the Muck of things.

    20070904: Locked into the love hotel

    As cool as the love hotel is, the most limiting aspect of it is the fact that once you check in, you can't leave the room unless you are checking out. This meant that when Spencer had to get up and go for class, I had to go with him... To late to figure that out, he missed class, we slept in, and then were late getting out of the room.

    Of course, the Love Hotel is designed for you to have a "rest" -- a 30 minute use of the space -- or a "stay." We had overstayed our stay, so we had to pay for a rest on top of that. :(

    Still worth it though, for 15,600 Yen for the room and only 1,320 more Yen for the rest.

    20070904: The Love Shack is a little old place...

    In Japan, I've been told the children live with their parents until they marry. This could mean that at 35 you'd still be shacked up with Mom and Pop. Let's say you have a partner and you want some private alone time. What do you do then?

    Love Hotels. How cool. They are themed hotels that only allow male/female couples -- not two men, not two women and not you alone. Have a fantasy about Sailor Moon? Hello Kitty? I've heard they have love hotels for just this thing.

    In fitting with our theme of wetness for the night (see the entry on "Warm Summer Rain"), we went to the Water Hotel, a really beautiful love hotel in Osaka.

    First, we go into the hotel and there is no one there to check us in. You go to a kiosk and select a room, get a receipt and walk to the room. Then you pay - cash -- at the door.

    Once inside this lovely place, there was a console with about 20 buttons on it to control various lighting settings, the karaoke machine, television, AC and music. Next to the bed is what can only be considered the Mini-bar of sex toys. Yup, dildos, vibrators, lube and various accoutrements one might use for sexual play. Even free condoms on the nightstand that, in English, said "Family Planning."

    Now the theme of our little love shack was water. And we had one of the upper mid-tier priced rooms, so it was pretty nice. Our bathroom? Equipped with a Jacuzzi, steam room, sitting bench and foot bath as well as a massage area and showers.

    In the bathroom, a full 6 step set of instructions, lotions, potions and assorted smelly things for a fragrant refreshing bath. After a long day and night and running about, a steam sauna Jacuzzi was in order for me. MMmmmm.

    20070904: Clubbing

    After braving the rain, we decided to go to a club. We arrived at the Grand Café (?) which is more like a large bar lounge with a small dance area than a club. The 500 Yen cover charge included a drink ticket each, which, really, is quite a deal considering you could easily pay that alone for the drink.

    I stuck to water and let Spencer grab my ticket with his while we hung out. Shortly after arriving, a friendly young Asian guy introduced himself to us. He was part of the group of people which comprised about 60% of the people at the club.

    Feeling a little cold from the air conditioning on my wet cloths and hearing the music in the other room, I decided I wanted to dance. We headed into the room with the dance floor where I pushed a few of the tables which occupied the dance floor out of my way and I busted out my poi. Other than the security guard, guy behind the food bar and the dj's, we were about the only ones in there.

    Squish, squish, squish went my shoes as I slipped on the floor, oggs lit up, and began to shake it to the music. This drew some attention and the group of kids joined us from the lounge on the dance floor.

    In no time, I found myself happily dancing with this beautiful asian woman and I realized that dancing knows no language barrier and speaks to people in a universal way that allowed us an hour of dancing filled with lots of smiles and good fun, seemingly for us both.

    As we're on the dance floor, suddenly a spray of white stuff comes down -- the illusion of snow I think was the intention. Except, well, I think it was soap. So there I was with socks that were soaked in sneakers that sloshed as I moved dancing on a nice smooth dance floor which was covered in wet soapy water.

    Maybe it's their way of keeping the floors cleaner...

    September 4: Multiculturalism in the Book store

    i have been saying su me ma sen -- or trying to.
    it helps.
    i had a cool multicultural experience with that.
    it means excuse me/pardon me for putting you out -- that sort of thing.
    i was in the bookstore yesterday and this girl and i almost bumped into each other.

    at the exact same time, she said, "I'm sorry" and i said, "Su me mi sen" -- it was a cool moment

    Monday, September 03, 2007

    20070903: Warm Summer Rain

    Last month when Hunter and I had a gig out in Discovery Bay (see entry for "Fire Dancers Stuck in the fire") and were enjoying the warm summer evening air, we got to talking with Audree (who was our safety for the night) about how our experience on the east coast was so different weather wise. In San Francisco, you rarely experience a warm summer night because the warm air from the Central Valley in the day time sucks the cool air in off the Pacific Ocean, creating the fog which leads to the ever famous expression about "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" or something about that.

    At the time, I said I missed standing in warm summer rains and enjoying being able to get wet and not be cold and feel refreshed. Well... I feel complete with that at this point!

    As Spencer and I darted off to catch the train and try to meet his friend (ag! We were late!) at OCAT in Osaka, it started to drizzel. Riding the bikes down the back streets on the way to the urban parts of Kyoto so we could catch the train to Umeda, I found myself smiling and enjoying the rain as it cooled me off. The night was hot an dmuggy and the rain was welcome,
    especially in the breeze of the bike.

    Arriving in Osaka, it was still drizzling. No problem... It felt good.

    Soon enough, however, we were experiencing a full on rain. I'm not talking about one of those weak-willed-can't-assert itself sort of San Francisco rains. I'm talking the kind of rain that got your shoes so wet your feet were soaked and the shoes made sloshing sounds as you walked. So wet, I thought, "Wow, I'd be concerned this was a hurricane or something if it were even a little windy." So wet, as I walked behind Spencer, I noticed his jeans were wet almost all the way up to his knees.

    I've got my fill of warm summer rains, for now. ;)

    20070903: Having a (Silver) Ball

    OCAT -- Osaka City Air Terminal -- is a Penn Station sort of place. All manner of public transit converge there and
    there's shops and places to grab food along the way.

    Outside is a pretty awesome and beautiful metal sculpture. It's a few arches, sort of symmetrically laid out that rise over a story high representing the path of a bouncing ball with a silver ball on the ground in between them. The silver ball is probably over 3 feet high.

    We were going to meet Emily here but due to my slowness, we were late - sorry Emily!!! :( But, when we got there a group of maybe 25 urban dancers -- break dancing, pop and lock and vogue style -- the sort of thing you might see in "Step Up" or possibly "Rize" -- were hanging out practicing. Wow. What a site.

    I saw some amazing artistry there, including one guy who did a 360 turn (in the air) starting from his hands, pushed up into the air (fully leaving the ground) from one hand, turning in the air and landing on the other hand to complete the turn. Think
    Mitch Gaylord meeting the best break beat dancer you've seen -- gymnastic dance. AWESOME!

    Thanks to Spencer, I found myself super inspired and, after seeing a rather large roach on the ground and thinking, "hmm, wonder how many thousands are under ground..." I got to work and did a dance of my own. Ah, how I love playing with my 2 balls and string. . .

    20070903: Arashiyama

    One of the reasons Spencer choose to move to Kyoto when he went to Japan was for the way in which that city represents the history of Japan. Another reason is the natural splendor of the area, represented with awes inspiring beauty in Arashiyama. Bike riding for the first time in at least 2 years (I don't seem to do it much except at Burning Man), we trekked out to the little town pretty late in the afternoon, getting there when the shops were closing.

    Not to worry, we arrived at the Togetsukyo Bridge and ... Wow. Breathtaking. The beauty of the small waterfall, the serenity, the sense of the amazing ancient feeling of it. The greenery. Set at the base of a large mountain range in a valley, I found myself overjoyed to witness the beauty of it... To the point of tears.

    The whole area was amazing, well kept and quite beautiful. Even the train station was done up with an amazing entry way, lovely water tanks and bamboo everywhere. It was a little haven inside, beautiful as it was, and simply a train station!

    We walked along the water to discover a festival the night before we'd seen an ad for. Of course, festival maybe is a bit of an overstatement. It seemed a bit more like a ritual of some sort. There were boats on the water with 2 men, a woman and a small group of what appeared to be ducks or geese. The ducks were on some sort of leash in front of the boat and over the ducks were these burning baskets of wood... Embers shooting out toward the ducks.

    On the water were 4 boats full of people watching the "event." Later, as the boats with the fire pots pulled away, I saw the ducks sitting on the boat near the woman. Fascinating experience, really.

    And one of my favorite things to do this afternoon was shoot a photo of one of Audree's bags made by dutchy with the tag on and everything. This photo of spencer and this beautiful and spacious Rose Clutch combination wallet and clutch -- big enough even to fit my phone as well as money, oversized business cards, pen, id and more receipts than one person should be carrying -- was taken out side the really beautiful train station.

    20070903: Sushi

    Oh my did we have a good lunch. For less than $20, we ate copious amounts of really good sushi for lunch. This was my first really good meal since I arrived and I was grateful to be enjoying it. Where did the food come from? Yup, the grocery store. Coo, eh?

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    20070902: Kyoto by night

    Spencer's such an excellent tour guide! He gives amazing instructions, clear information and along with it, cultural tidbits to make the stay so pleasant you'd think you had your own personal tour guide. Oh, wait, he was that. ;)

    He took me on the street car into Saiin where we went to a restaurant that had what seemed a lot like Japanese tapas for dinner. Interesting experience. You take off your shoes -- it's cleaner they think (or at least that's what I've gathered) and then if you want to go to the bathroom you put on these slippers that other people have used before you. How is that more sanitary?

    Anyway, after dinner, we took the subway into the central part of Kyotot and went to a main strip near some night clubs. I saw this guy who had the coolest haircut I have seen in a long time. He had some asymmetric carvings in the hair in the right and back of his head. At first when I commented to him, he sort of just gave me this blasé look like an American might go, "been there done that." Then he did a double take and he and all his friends looks at me and said, "Coo" -- dropped "L" and all -- while they gave me the thumbs up.

    We walked down the street and found a bridge over water where we shared a clove cigarette. And then I just had to bust out and do a dance. Lighting up the oggs drew a small crowd of mostly young (20 ish?) men. They stopped and chatted with Spencer while I danced. He started telling them I was his Sensei and that I was famous, so I got asked for my autograph by one of them who took a great picture of me, a copy of which I wish I could have gotten. Fun, silly times, to be sure.

    We headed back, seeing the guy with the carved hair again -- this time he was all smiles and stares, thumbs up and more "Coo" as we walked by.

    In keeping with the rest of the night, we barely made the last train, then barely made the last street car on the way home -- here I was on vacation being rushed around. But I was grateful we got on the last train because that would have been a long walk home and I had not gotten nearly enough sleep for that!

    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    20070901: I'm in the State of Confusion

    I can't quite recall when the last time I got sleep was. I think it was Wednesday night for about 5 hours, waking at 11 am on Thursday. Sean and I were up all night that night and then I got on the plane on Friday the 31st.
    At that point, I had a nap, the deepest sleep I'd had in days, for about 90 minutes. Then my neck hurt and I couldn't sleep.

    When I landed in Japan is was almost 4 pm the next day, even though it was only about 11 hours later. Passing the international date line -- what a trip! So there I was, up for the better part of 31 hours landing in Japan with more luggage than one person should have. Of course, 1/3 of my rolling cart was poi gear, and most of the rest was costumes -- I mean, how could I go to Japan and not be decked out GlitterGirl style? :)

    Slowly making my way through the airport, I found my way to meet up with my good friend, teacher, student and an amazing being in his own right, Spencer, who lives in Japan teaching English while he's studying Aikido. Very East meets West sort of being who inspires me in his journey of self evolution.

    I realized though, after my first poi dance at Uzumasa station: I had left the state of California and found myself in the state of confusion... Nearly half way around the world.

    Friday, August 31, 2007

    20070831: Fly like an Eagle...

    On the plane, I got up, stretched, and feeling really tight, had these two women commenting to me about how amazing the stretch was -- I figure they weren't from California and didn't do yoga. ;)

    Feeling like I was on a vision quest on the plane and consciously going into this journey to Japan with the idea that I'd shed the weights of my past -- habits, self images, self deceptions, mis conceptions, lack of faith, lack of self belief -- I know I was exuding something different. This lovely flight attendant commented to me about it saying there was something very electric about me. At another time, I might have thought it was just my hair or fabulous new coat. But this time I knew it was a difference in the way I was Being, carrying myself and owning what I have done in this world and even more, what I am capable of still accomplishing.

    August 31, 2007: Unveiling the site!

    While it is still under construction, we can finally say the PoiGeek web site is live... mostly. yeah! the final frontier before leaving for Japan later today. :)

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    August 27: PoiGeek Announces Plans

    PoiGeek announced on August 27, 2007 their plan to launch the alpha release of in early October, 2007. PoiGeek is the first poi education web site offering structured lessons available in 4 digital formats: Portable device – perfect for your iPod, web streaming, high definition and even DVD options. The alpha release of the site will feature 4 “courses” – a collection of 10 interrelated lessons – created by PoiGeek co-founder and Temple of Poi founder, Isa GlitterGirl Isaacs.

    “We’ll present these 4 modules to whet people’s appetite and give them a taste of what is to come,” said Isa’s partner, Sean Gies. Sean partnered with Isa after investing time in his own poi practice while working his day job at Apple working on software for the newly released iPhone product.

    PoiGeek plans to launch it’s alpha version with a sparse 4 modules totaling only 40 moves in October. By the January beta launch the site will have grown to 10 modules with an anticipated 15+ modules by their official unveiling in the first quarter of 2008. In addition, PoiGeek is inviting instructors world wide to also host their courses on the site.

    “We’re creating a forum for education to flow from any one to anywhere with a consistent commitment to quality of both presentation and content. At the same time, we’re encouraging students to invest in their education at easily affordable tuition rates,” said Isa, referring to PoiGeek’s pricing structure where lessons are available for as little as $1 each.

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    Trailer Video for Poi Course: The Snail Turn Around

    Check out this trailer for the Snail Course, available this fall on PoiGeek.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    August 23, 2007: Our first PoiGeek video

    Sean and I have been busting ass to get a demo for the upcoming Japan trip. It's been challenging -- one unexpected challenge after another. We finally have our first of many videos to come available on YouTube as a promo piece which will be included in the promo materials for the JFF folks. Exciting!!!! :)

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    August 16: the thick of things...

    It sucks to be in the muck of it all sometimes. Except that the real gifts in life seem to come from stepping through that space and finding a deeper, richer, better part of ourselves in the process.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    August 15, 2007: human accomplishment...

    Most human accomplishment is not the result of decisive actions or moments of truth. No, persistence -- even, simple-minded persistence -- is the source of the best of what we do, of real change.
    ~ Paul Chadwick ~

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    August 14, 2007: Rumi

    Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
    - Rumi

    Monday, August 06, 2007

    August 6, 2007: You done good, Ma!

    You done good Ma. I’m changing the world, if only on a “small” scale right now (over 1030 students so far and growing). I have done the thing you and dad advised against — when I was young I wanted to be both an engineer and a teacher and unintentionally, I have become both. I combined that with self expression, artistry and meditation as well as entrepreneurialship and voila — here I am 5 years later, world renown, running the premier poi fire/flow dancing school that has been around the longest and, to the best of my knowledge, the only full time one around in the world today.

    You undeniably made me who I am — in all the ways you encouraged and discouraged me. All the ways I fought you taught me; all the ways I listened to you taught me as well.

    I feel grateful that you’re my Mother. You’re an amazing woman who is a ground breaking individual in her own right. I hope you know that is how I hold you in the world. You often inspire me.

    I hope when you think of me you’re not too embarrassed by how weird/unusual I am. When I tell you that it is a gift in more people’s lives than you could count, I mean it. I have countless stories of how the mindset of and the school has changed people’s lives (have you ever read the Flowology Mindset?). One of my favorites is about how one of my students walked into her synchronized swim team meeting and one of her teammates who didn’t know about the Temple from her found the mindset on line and printed it out, asking the coach of the team to use it as a guideline for how they all played together. How cool is that to be putting it out on the internet and have some random person ask another person to use it as the official team philosophy?

    I guess my point in all of this is that as I’ve written my will, I’ve reflected on all the times where we have not always seen eye to eye. Despite it all and in many ways because of it, I am who I am and where I am. Your clear and undeniable contribution to me being who I am spreads through the world as my work avails itself to more and more clients each day.

    So I thank you for the gift it has been for me both in my own life and in the way I get to share it with other’s in their lives.

    I imagine in the great ether of the universe we (the soul) may choose the parents whose lives we come into. I wonder why I choose (if in fact that happened) you and Dad sometimes — I often feel like my relationship with the family makes no sense.

    But when I look at it through the eyes of the clarity of my work ethic, commitment to excellence, strength of will, leadership capabilities, brilliant mind, cognitive development, reasoning skills and the profound sense that it doesn’t matter what stands in my way I will make it happen, I’m clear much of that in me is a result of who and how you and Dad have been in my life.

    So thanks. Which seems like such a small thing to say in response to all you’ve given to me. But sometimes appreciation, even this small, means something. And I wanted you to have that since hey, one never knows when the end will come.

    Love love love!
    The daughter (formerly known as) Lisa. :)

    August 6: What is love?

    I find this line of inquiry interesting. In my own experience for my world of “romance,” I question what the difference is between friends who have sex and romance. Romance seems like a consciously (at least where I'm coming from today) created game people play with each other in an effort to woo the other person... Wooing them for what is where the game lies I think. Don’t we do that with friends though, just to a lesser degree?

    For me intimate relating comes down to love. Interestingly enough, I generally walk through the world and feel love for everyone. I modeled this out when I was 15 or so, though there are some updates as I write it now. I’ve thought of love as degrees of experience of love — from least to most:

  • hate (loving the life in a way such that one is closed to them, often from fear, disappointment, judgment, disapproval, disdain for their actions)

  • universal love (love of life and all things that are alive)

  • acquaintance love (those you’ve met and have more connection with than someone you haven’t)

  • familial/obligatory love (“those you should love”) which is not always to say that they are loved at that level — can be loved at a higher or lower level

  • student/teacher love – love of the dynamic that creates learning between you and another as you learn (as both student and teacher) and grow from the experience

  • friendship love — this has infinite gradients, really. I described it then as this thing where if you have a set of criteria in X domains (ways you value a person showing up be it in common values, hobbies, skills, ways of being, approach to the world and whatever else), a friend is someone who meets Y percent overall of your criteria (back then for me it was 80%); good friend meets Y+some %; best friend meets good friend + some %; etc.

  • kindred spirit love – is a new one for me over recent years and is what I think at 15 I felt was romantic love, so i’m replacing that spot in the model with a different name for it. For me, it is this place where we meet people who reflect us in ways such that we feel met at a level that almost feels “destined” -- and in a sense, touches into the unknown and indescribable sense of the mystery of love. I have experienced this in the context of “soul contracts” with another — a sense that our souls met in the great Kosmic nothingness and we made a contract to partner in these bodies in this life on this earth. This love, I have noticed, has us make non-rational choices because the draw of the “soul contract” trumps rationality which, for me, explains the completely non-rational aspects of looking in someone’s eyes and just falling into love with them. I think when this happens, there is a soul contract there.

  • At the time, I thought of “in love with” as the pinnacle of it all. In the last 5-7 years I evolved that thinking into the endless opening to the person, again and again, for who they are, as they are. Even if you “fall out of love,” which you can can do when you are closing, you can also “fall back in love with them” and this can vary moment to moment throughout the day/week/month/year/lifetime of the relationship. The depth of “in love” is about ones willingness to surrender into the truth of the being and i’ve noticed that even if I thought I was “as in love with someone as I could be,” as my capacities and self awareness increase, so does my ability to be more in love with someone.

    Also, I could be in love with the man on the street I don’t know by accepting him fully as he is and allowing myself to be open to him even if I have no desire to draw him into a “higher” level of love. I dare say though the closer to kindred spirit love one experiences another, the more likely one is to be in love with them because the nature of being met (at least as I have experienced it in the world) has beings open to Other.

    This was probably the first model I ever distinguished, now that I think about it. And I realize now that it is holonic in nature in my experience.

    I also realize my experience of love is whacked by most people’s standards. This model explains why polyamory (and in a sense, polysexuality) have been so easy for me to embrace in my life -- I think because I can literally walk through my life being “in love” with everyone. This is a confusing experience to have when so many people reserve that term and limit who they will be in love with when in my world, I am most healthy when I feel in love with all things because I operate at a different vibration in the world. For me, this is the altered state of flow and when I access that space, I know only openness and love and I am at my best.

    Anyone I call a good friend I have had at least one moment of being in love with them. And for me, if I’ve been in love with someone, I would consider being sexually involved with them — why wouldn’t I want to share that level of intimacy with them as well as all the others? Hence the boundary-less-ness of my (bi or should I say Try)sexuality because my sexual attraction to a being is directly derived from my love for them which is immediately informed by my openness to them in combination with the overlaps described in the model above. I notice that I see people’s spirit when I look at them (which is also what I see when I look in the mirror) so people’s physical form doesn’t really impact my sexual attraction. There is, often, a high correlations between someone’s own love of themselves and health and how they look physically, but it is incidental to and not what draws me to people or to be attracted to them sexually.

    Hence romance doesn’t make much sense to me as romance seems like a construct for limiting relating, seeing as it is often about singling out people to be romantic with, rather than expanding it. For me. Hence my confusion about interacting in that context with people. :D

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    August 4, 2007: fire dancers stuck in the fire

    I was on my way to a gig and we got caught in a fire -- rather there was a fire and traffic was stopped and the road was closed. We had to turn around and go back. That was fun and interesting.

    I've never seen a natural fire that big before. Beautiful experience. And really humbling too. It was clear the fire had traveled pretty far because we could see where the fire department had put out the fire and where it was still moving.

    It was so big. Made The Man burning look small. Very small. Very pale.

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    July 30: On the Radio!

    I love technology! I love that I can sit in my bed naked and be on a talk show with a woman who is 2500 miles away, perhaps even sitting in her own home and that anyone on the web can listen to it! How awesome is that?

    archive here:

    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    July 21: Filming

    I so love my life. I made this cool costume where the trim cost more than the clothes. I get to roll around in the dirt and play wth fire... ah, yes, there I go doing things I "shouldn't" be doing... hee hee...

    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    June 23: Putting out at O'Hare

    On my way to Liz and Devin's wedding. Sean will be here soon. I'm wearing the shirt the fire safety team wore for the 2007 Temple of Poi Fire Dancing Expo... well, modified a little. Should I put beads on it and make it really silly? Tamale said she won't be seen with me wearing that. Hmmm...

    Monday, April 30, 2007

    April 30: Flow Journal

    - inverted thread the needle (mike)
    - inside weave (noel)
    - 1.5 weave
    - pendulum weave
    - tangle
    - hyperloop
    - airwrap
    - inverted weave
    - infinite weave
    - split time flower 2x1 big/little petal
    - hybrid antispin butterfly
    - uhs bfly with lockout on side in split time.

    Sunday, April 29, 2007

    April 29: Temple of Poi 2007 Fire Dancing Expo

    A grand success, even if I did set my costume on fire. Ironically, none of the beginners did it but a bunch of the pros did. . .

    Saturday, April 28, 2007

    Saturday, April 07, 2007

    April 7: Journey

    I liked this. Speaks to the journey over the destination.

    What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become
    by achieving your goals.
    ~ Zig Zigler ~

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    March 14: Voices

    The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is happening outside.
    ~ Dag Hammarskjöld ~

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    March 9: Michael Crichton

    We all can work ourselves into a hysterical panic over possibilities that we won't look at. What if I have cancer? What if my job is at risk? What if my kids are on drugs? What if I'm getting bald? What if I am faced with some terrible thing that I don't know how to deal with? And that hysteria always goes away the instant we are willing to hear the answer. Even if the answer is what we feared all along. Yes, you have cancer. Yes, your kids are on drugs. Hysteria accompanies an unwillingness to look at what is really going on; it promotes an unwillingness to look. We feel we are afraid to look, when actually it is not-looking that makes us afraid. The minute we look, we cease being afraid.
    ~ Michael Crichton, Travels ~

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Saturday, February 24, 2007

    February 24: Wisdom

    I'd like to share a little about _Wisdom_, as I understand it just now. Perhaps it will give you joy in some way -- I imagine especially those who have done Arete.

    I have for years considered doing Arete. First, because of a completion party I was at (also my first professionally paid fire dancing gig) at which I met Travis. At the party, Marcella came up to me and said something that I would categorize now as poignantly honest. It was some insight about my social awkwardness and it was delivered with such innocence and love, it really made me curious about the Arete experience. You see, Marcella was answering my question about Arete, "What is it?"

    Bryan did it, then Travis. Then a series of people I really respect and love. Then I felt pressured to do it. Then I felt judged at some point -- I'm sure it was my hallucination. Then I felt on the outside. Then I wasn't hanging out with so many folks in the Arete community. Then I returned to see many from that community who thought I had done it.

    I've had an interesting relationship with attending and not attending for at least 5 years now. What strikes me about it is the idea of "being open" and what that means.

    My greatest sense of openness shows up for me when I play with flow toys. Over the years, I've been integrating that flow into the rest of my life, working towards greater openness... Sensing that was better for me somehow but not really knowing why.

    The past 36 hours has been fairly packed and intense for me. It included having the great pleasure of celebrating the inspirational life of a dear friend as well as the amazing gift of educating a 14 year young woman who flew in with her uncle to take a poi intensive with me.

    The experiences was touching and concluded with me getting to witness Aria perform a little piece of choreography, most of which she couldn't do 36 hours ago. Then her uncle Joey gave me a gift.

    It was wrapped in brown paper with GlitterGirl written on it and there was a heart over the "I" -- I was touched by that because I just decided how to sign "isa" on paper in the past few weeks: I am putting a heart as the "dot" on the "I".

    I walked out of the building with the beautiful gift and got swept up into a hilarious series of misunderstandings with a good friend resulting in the expected expenditure of about $50. I thought that was a bummer.

    Yet I maintained a good spirit, stayed in my center pretty well (at least by self-to-self comparison) and, to my great joy, remained _open_. I found my way home finally and kicked back to open the gift.

    It is a beautiful book called Wisdom: 365 Thoughts from Indian Masters by Danielle and Olivier Foolmi.

    I didn't notice at first, but there was a very beautiful thank you note and tip inside the book on the page with today's date on it. The amount? $50. Perfection I thought.

    And then it got better. I sat there reading some of the quotes, thinking how awesome Joey was and reflecting on the craziness of the last 36 hours of my life.

    Then I intentionally made myself open -- for the first time in my life I recall feeling completely at choice about my ability to open, particularly in the face of lots of things that in the past would have had me close.

    Because of this, my understanding of openness has completely shifted... I realized it as I was reading a passage ("In nature, action and reaction are continuous. Everything is connected to everything else. No one part, nothing, is isolated. Everything is linked and interdependent. Everywhere everything is connected to everything else. Each question receives the correct answer" - Svami Prajnanpad) of _Wisdom_:

    Being able to choose openness in every moment is freedom.

    It is the freedom to choose to remain open when I might otherwise unconsciously close. I imagine it must be enlightenment.

    I also can see so clearly so many ways in which I resist opening -- like resisting Arete for so long. . . which I am grateful I will be doing in May.

    Monday, February 19, 2007

    February 19: KRNV TV Appearance

    KRNV reporter Adriana Banovich covers the surge of poi fire dancing in the Reno, NV area, featuring Reno's premier poi troupe, Controlled Burn with supporting audio from moi, Temple of Poi founder, Isa "GlitterGirl' Isaacs and footage of Hunter and I from the Temple of Poi 2006 Fire Dancing Expo. My first television appearance! whoo hoo!

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    February 14: Try...

    "Try everything twice -- the first time might have been a fluke" - Mom

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    February 5: Perfection...

    The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is....Nothing should be able to harm a man but himself....What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.
    ~ Oscar Wilde ~

    February 5: Right Answer

    By the time the average person finishes college he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes and exams. The 'right answer' approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking. Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers-all depending on what you are looking for. But if you think there is only one right answer, then you'll stop looking as soon as you find one.
    ~ Roger von Oech ~

    Thursday, January 18, 2007


    How would you feel if you friend told you they just tested HIV+?

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    January 1: Happy 2007

    I had a fascinating new year's eve. I had a gig that I accepted for less money than I would normally require. Why? Ultimately, because of my (unfounded) fear of not being able to pay my rent.

    I arrived at the site and within minutes fell in a construction ditch (about a 4-5 foot blind drop -- didn't see the hole because it was dark) while surveying the performance area on the other side of the construction zone. The client led us there, in case you're wondering.

    I sprained my finger (and put more pressure on the finger I had two days earlier dislocated in practice for a show I'm doing) and sustains some bruises and abrasions on my rather ample butt. Apart from that, I walked away from the accident laughing about it. It was, objectively, funny even if my subjective experience included injury, pain and discomfort. Surveying the situation, I consider myself lucky in that I could have fallen onto some rebar or broken my leg or twisted my ankle and had some really serious injuries.

    Anyway, the client hadn't provided an appropriate area for managing our fuel and set us up in the neighbors driveway -- fairly close to the ditch I fell in with the performance area just on the other side of that. The neighbor was understandably upset and confronted us -- he was not pleased we had fuel in his lot near wood and was naturally concerned that an accident might lead to a fire. So after setting up and getting everything ready for our first performance (this means soaking all our tools which we'd passed through the construction area to our safety person), we had to pack up our gear and move
    it to the sidewalk in the front of the house.

    By this point, we'd missed the performance window -- we were supposed to go on for our first set before midnight but the delays made this impossible. Some time later we performed our first set using live music rather than the music I had spent 5 hours editing for our intended show. The tools wouldn't light well at that point. Why? The fuel had evaporated because we'd been waiting so long.

    Our second set was more of the same, with the client refusing to tell the DJ to play our music when the DJ wouldn't do so. During the second set, I slipped on the carpet outside -- a wet green leaf got under my shoe. I'm told I made it look like a break dancing move. Not bad for a sore girl with swollen fingers and a bruised bottom. ;)

    While we did not perform the show we'd intended, we did perform an amazing show and earned ~15% tip from the client.

    In the 5 years I have been a professional fire dancer I have never had a client fail to meet so many of the agreements of our contract nor have I had an experience laden with so many difficulties.

    Upon reflection, it seems like a blessed experience. Those who witnessed my first fall indicated they were concerned they would be transporting me to SF General -- not just the client, but the other dancers and witnesses present. I then performed two fabulous sets in the face of all sorts of opposition and earned a tip from the client.

    I imagine 10 years ago I might have looked at this experience as a sign that the new year would be fraught with challenges -- a "bad sign" about the things to come.

    Now, thankfully, my world is different. I was inspired becayse as we were leaving the venue, one witness went so far as to say I must be a special being to be able to walk away laughing from something like that when I could have ended up injured in the hospital, let alone performing the way I had.

    I am grateful to say it seems more natural for me to view this event as a sign that the new year will be filled with the ability to flow through challenges and walk away with a smile on my face, laughter in my voice, and abundance in my pocket... even in the face of obstacles that quite literally will drag me down than the less positive perspective I might have had 10
    years ago.

    What I learned I offer you now as follows:

    May 2007 bring you all you desire, including the resources to laugh when you are down, the strength to pick yourself up and keep going in the face of that which you hadn't planned being foist upon you, the will to move through the pain that can sometimes stop you in your tracks and the capacity to remind yourself just how great a joy all that you have really is.