I’m Sexy And I Know It- Full of Myself and Spiritual

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves

towards enlightenment, one step at a time

My first time ever wearing a bikini in Erawan Falls, Thailand (super nervous!)

Eh-hem. Eh-hem. Not sure how to start this one, so I’ll just clear my throat for a while. It’s like when I’m on the radio or speaking in front of a live audience, and someone asks a tough question; I always say, “That’s a great question” to stall and give me a second to figure out what to do with that bomb dropped before me. So, dead give away here… eh-hem, eh-hem, sip water. I don’t know how to bring this up, how to start it in a way that you and I won’t judge me. So, I think I’ll just dive in.

I’m vain. Very vain. Always have been. And now, now that I’m 25 pounds lighter and in amazing toned body, now that I have 20 year old men checking me out; it’s definitely not getting better. I’m spiritual. Very spiritual. Always have been going there. And now, now that I’m living in Buddhist countries and studying,  teaching Clean Your Soul three times a week, and writing tons of this blog; spirituality is seeping into my actions, speech, thoughts, and my being. They don’t fit so easily together.

Clueless- What Comes Up In Total Silence?

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves, Vipassana Meditation

light inspiration for the soul

Seriously. But, really, seriously; I have no idea what I’m about to go through these coming days. As you read this, I will be still in a silent retreat in a pagoda in Battambang, Cambodia. I have done silent retreats before, but of my own. I have, twice, left the house (with Kobi’s blessing) and just sat alone in a client’s underground basement home, in a neighboring small town, where I knew no one. I would sleep days, nights, days, all mixed up and however my body desired; walk for hours, in silence; read whole books at a time; and be, in silence. I would write- one time I actually went through six pens in those 6 days. I would write, until I’d fall asleep in bed, only to be arisen again at 4 am, to keep writing. I wrote about my pain, and pealed layers of if off, slowly, one layer at a time. I cried a lot, too. I also wrote some of my most inspired work- one of which is the 70% completed draft to Burnt Honey: A Practical, but Spiritually Enlightened Parenting Guide.One day, I know, it will see the light of day.

And so, I am about to go to my to my first official one. Before we left home for this voyage, I knew two spiritual things that I wanted: to do a ten day vipasana, and to buy and learn to use Tibetan bowls. So, I’m off to get one done, full knowing now, already, that I want to do another when we get to India, and another in Nepal. I am reading to jump in and scrub my soul in its deepest corners and corridors.

There is so much I hope to walk away solved. This is what I’m trying to write about here. What I think I may discover, and what I hope will be the result. Ever wanted to do the human-experiment? Here we go…

Vipasana- Facing My Deepest, Darkest Pains

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves, Vipassana Meditation

light inspiration for the soul, gabi klaf

Cambodian girl praying

I am about to be silent for ten days. That freaks me out beyond measure. I have layers of pain that I know are ready to shoot out and I’m terrified that I will drown it. It’s not deep inside, hidden, and waiting to reveal itself. It is a pain, I carry in my chest everyday; a pain, living, breathing, and just a hair below the surface, crushing me, every day.

Can I breath when I have to sit for ten hours and just sit, just be with it? I can’t write it off-my therapy since Mrs. Leroy’s 7th grade English class where she made us write every day in a journal. (Thank God for Mrs. Leroy and her tacky wearing long skirts with sneakers, which everyone laughed at, but I just thought was cool). I can’t exercise it off- burn through it, sweat it off, allow my pours to cry it out. I can’t garden it, play guitar, it sing it, dance it out of my system. I can only be it. Be with it, look at it, observe it, live it, become it. Damn, am I scared.

Damn Him! I Can’t Let Go & Sex

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves, Parenting and Family Relations

light and inspiration for the soul

Damn him! Damn him! Damn him! It’s my family travel blog! It”s my writing people are drawn to. My humor, my honesty, my really unique angle that draws people to our nomadic family travel blog site. It’s me, me, me. And just yesterday, we got over 100 (I’m serious)  likes and comments on a version of this photo of how cute we are as a couple of 18 1/2 years, still so in love. (Whatever!) And just today, I taught a Clean Your Soul Class about how the ego gets in the way and causes us to lose our way to spirituality cuz we’re so wrapped up in ourselves. (“Hi, class. I am the perfect example of what not to do!”) So, now, now, now, he has to go and piss me off and tear into something that is so personally meaningful to me? Now, when I feel like the biggest hypocrite for a- ‘look-what-a-great-couple-we-are‘ and for b- ‘our-ego-separates-us-from-reaching-the-light‘ and mine is freaking out. Blah, blah, blah.

So, let’s look at why I’m soooo mad at my spouse, why I just can’t let go, and how, unless I want my ego to continue running the show, I need to make a change. (Oh, and how the very last insight shocked me.)

Daddy’s Little Girl- When The Pain Shoots Out of Nowhere

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves, Parenting and Family Relations

light and inspiration for the soul

This picture below is of me and my dad. The picture was taken almost a year ago in Boquete, Pamana. Then, we got to see him quite a lot. Since January 1998, I’ve seen my father once every few years. It’s hard not being around my family; well, no that’s not true, I lied. It’s infinitely easier than being around them. To be honest, I planned it that way. I had so much to sift through, so many layers and layers of wounded identity to unscramble, that living far from my family was my solution. It gave me the distance to clean my soul, to free up trapped pain, to reflect on truths that I carried from childhood that no longer served me, and to learn to be a new me. Being far away (exact-other-side-of-the-globe far away) was very safe for me. It created a super-thick padding within which I could incubate and heal.

I used to blame my parents for everything. I had lists and lists of reasons why they ruined my life. Maybe you do too. I don’t blame them for anything,  now. That took oh so many hours of therapy. I know, I know, I know that my mom and my dad did the very best job that they could in life and in raising three kids. Today,  I can only thank them for being so brave, determined, and dedicated in dodging all that life threw at them. Tons of therapy; a world of therapy to be able to say that. (I guess my kids will need it to, right?)

This post was written while with my father in Panama. I was shocked, at the time, to know that my soul still harbored so much pain deep within. And here, it all shoots out.

My Addiction: Cleaning the Core-Part 8

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves

finding the soul in art too

The dark thought, the same, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each guest has been sent as a guide from beyond. -Rumi

So, look what I found. An old entry from months back that still, still, still deserves to be shared. The Conscious Suffering and those that follow it, are still, all this time later, the cleaning that is still being done. I must say how grateful (and shocked) I am that all this time later, all these months later; I am still working on it. Better? Infinitely. There? Still. The series began here, and the last video from it, is right  below this…..

15 Ways to Stop Re-Creating Pain

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Addiction and Obsession, Buddhism, Energy, Light, & Self-Healing, Overcoming Ourselves

We do it. We all do. At least, all the people I know do. We create pain in our lives, we recycle painful memories, we keep re-creating the thoughts and push on the pain buttons of our soul that hurt. And why? To relieve pain? To reach solutions? To work through the problems? No. Maybe we think that that is what we are doing, but we’re not. We’re just making the sores ooze, and take some sick pleasurable comfort in feeling our own pain. Like my dear friend Karen says, “It’s like watching a train wreck, in slow motion, over and over again; and not being able to stop watching that.”

So, using the inspiration of Vietnamese Zen Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, I bring you 15 Ways To Stop Re-Creating Pain. It has  helped me a great deal.

Ending That Suffering- Four Decisions To Pull You Back Up

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Buddhism, Overcoming Ourselves

This is the continuation of Conscious Suffering- How I Drag Myself Back Down. That was the pain stage and the Buddhist teachings stage; this is the solution stage. In Part One, I realize I’m doing it to myself.  I’m constantly recreating the rhythm that leads me to my own depression. I keep going there, allowing myself again and again to walk down the path that takes me exactly where I don’t want to be.  So, read Part One first so you’ll know what’s up; and now, Part Two: Ending That Suffering- Four Decisions To Pull You Back Up lovingly  awaits you.

Conscious Suffering- How I Drag Myself Back Down

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Addiction and Obsession, Buddhism, Overcoming Ourselves

And I hug myself, again, as I witness me walking right into my own hand-made drama, again. Enlightened? (Sigh) A bit more. At Peace? No. There? Probably never. As Cat used to lovingly say, “There will always be a bathtub more of spiritual work to do.” I am calmer, more full of light than I have ever been in my life; and still, my addiction, that one story, I can’t let go of. Not yet. I guess I have more to learn. And so, I search in Buddhism, Quantum Physics, and deep within the oceans of myself.

I have lived on the lip of insanity,
wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside. – Rumi

Buddhism says our senses, and the consciousnesses that come from that, create a direct path to our suffering. How do my senses drag me back down? I’m looking for some guidance for me, and maybe for you, too. 

Part 7- My Addiction: Ricochets of Pain

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Addiction and Obsession, Overcoming Ourselves

Every time I think we are done, I’ve solved it, we are cure/clean/free; it comes back. Like a possessed boomerang with a dying affinity to my soul, it shoots up from around the corner and hits me, hard. I could be enjoying a carefree moment, basking in joyful whatever and then, boom! a thought comes up, and I’m galloping down my road to misery. The other night, I went out dancing and was having the best time. I closed my eyes for a moment, and boom! it hit me like a huge spiritual punch to the stomach. These days I can catch it (usually) as what it is: ricochets of pain still unresolved begging to be acknowledged.

And so I’ve tried a few interesting things that all have had a ridiculously short shelf-life, but have had their respectable place in my getting over the most painful addiction/loss I’ve ever had to face.