All posts tagged red road retreats

Ahhh, Grasshopper!

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 2.58.09 PMIn previous columns, we have explored the dynamic symbolism and influence found in the natural world, and particularly those represented by the animal spirits. They often fly, jump, hop, crawl, swim, saunter and leap into our lives at the most pivotal time, generally when we have a big decision to make, and are grappling with two paths on that fork in the road we call life.

I found myself in just such a position last month, as I had two big decisions to make and each involved a considerable amount of time and money, two precious commodities in short supply in my world. I was casually told by the property manager of my apartment building that rent for my lease, ending in December, was going to go way up. Similar units in the building were going up more than $700.00 per month. No rent control here! I decided to start looking for another place that would be in line with my budget, but not without some serious soul searching as to why I seemed to move so often…always with good reason, but move nonetheless!

The second big decision centered around making a commitment to sign up for a nine-week yoga teacher training that was to meet on the weekends, which were actually the only days I had to really decompress from the intensity of the work week, and usually I could only manage to clear part of one weekend day anyway. I have taken many rounds of yoga teacher trainings with multiple instructors, as I felt it would give me a diverse and well-rounded exposure to study with more than one teacher. I also discovered that the teacher trainings were like mini yoga retreats. They became “my time” on the calendar, meaning a time I could devote to myself, the yoga practice, to meditation, to the stillness we all so crave, living in the constant energy of Los Angeles’ urban setting.

I found a wonderful new residence in the form of a fully renovated triplex close to the Marquez area of the Pacific Palisades. I could actually walk to the Self-Realization Fellowship on Sunset, one of my favorite sanctuaries! I toyed with a Downtown LA move, but the energy of the Fellowship seemed to be calling me strongly, so I opted to move into the triplex. And I asked for a sign about the yoga teacher training.

My sign came a few days later as I was walking up the freshly painted white stairs of the unit I had rented. I couldn’t help but notice the bright green, very long grasshopper waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. I was there to meet the wireless Internet installer and upon further study, he told me that I had to return to my old apartment for a piece of equipment. As I jumped into my car, I noticed that my grasshopper friend had planted himself firmly on my windshield. I backed my car out of the long hilly driveway and turned left onto Sunset Blvd., heading toward Barrington Avenue in Bentwood. With speed and wind to 45 mph, I thought for sure the grasshopper would fly off the windshield. I made it over to my old apartment, retrieved the router, and then rushed to get back into the car to make my way to the new place. Much to my surprise, I noticed that the hitchhiking grasshopper had stayed on the windshield, returning all the way back to the new apartment. Now all this felt very profound to me. Was I indeed receiving a relevant sign urging me to “take a leap of faith”? Here is what author Ina Wolcott wrote about the great grasshopper totem animal:
“Grasshoppers/Locusts medicine includes jumping across space and time, astral travel, new leaps forward/leaps of faith/jumping without knowing where you will land, leaping over obstacles, ability to change careers quickly.

There are 10,000 or so species of grasshopper, they are cold blooded as all insects are and are more mobile when it is warmer. Each species has their own unique song. However, only the males are able to sing with a few exceptions – the males sing to compete for female attention. The power of sound and song is part of grasshopper’s medicine. It is an ancient method to use song to alter ones consciousness and communicate with animals and spirits. There are some Native American songs that date back 20,000 years. If grasshopper has leapt into your life, maybe you need to recognize where you come from, to go back to your roots and to honor your ancestors.

Grasshopper is the Chinese symbol of good luck and abundance. Anyone with this power animal has been given the ability to take chances – to act on a whim and jump right in. For them things may not progress step by step as they do for other people progress – but rather extremely fast. When taking that leap simply trust your own instincts on when to make the leaps. Listening to your inner voice and responding to it will lead you to positive outcomes. Don’t be afraid to make that leap, remembering all the while that Grasshopper’s only ever jump forwards and never backwards.Needless to say, grasshopper quickly became my new favorite animal totem!

Kwai Chang Caine, the Shaolin monk mentored by Master Po and played by David Carradine in the film, sheds light on where the term, Ahhh, Grasshopper came from: “One of Caine’s first instructors was the blind master named Po (Keyed Luke). Po considered Caine his favorite pupil and behaved more like an elderly grandfather. Caine was given the nickname “Grasshopper” by Master Po; the reference was from an exchange where the still ignorant young Caine asked the old blind master how he could function without seeing. Po asked Caine to close his eyes and describe what he could hear. Caine explained that he could hear the water flowing in a nearby fountain and birds in a nearby cage. Po then asked if Caine could hear his own heartbeat or the grasshopper at his feet (Caine hadn’t noticed the insect until that moment). Incredulous, Caine asked Po, “Old man – how is it that you hear these things?” Po’s reply was, “Young man, how is it that you do not?” From that point on, Po affectionately called Caine “Grasshopper”.

The move is behind me, and today I wrapped one third of the yoga teacher training, all because of a green grasshopper crossing my path in a very profound and prolonged way.Keep your heads up and perhaps the animal kingdom will soon be talking with you too! The question to ask yourself is not how long they have been “talking” to you, but indeed, how long have you been listening!


We’ve got your number: The ancient practice of Numerology

This month’s edition of DTLA Life Magazine is all about the numbers! We are marking the historic 10-year anniversary of the publication, so it seemed fitting to focus on the ancient practice of Numerology. If you think about, life revolves around numbers: your weight on the scale, medical numbers for how healthy you are from BMI to cholesterol, your fit bit tells you the numbers, you wake up to a number on a clock, your rent payment on the first of the month, dollars you earn, dollars you spend, years you mark every birthday watching as those numbers go higher and higher and you wonder where the time went, to keeping score on just about everything in life. Even grades in school have gone from letters to numbers! Getting into college is about the numbers on the SAT and that, oh so elusive, 4.0 plus that can get you in or out of your targeted university.

Football scores, baseball, basketball, the Olympics, Dancing with the Stars, your credit score and on and on. Every day we measure ourselves with a number. We decide if it’s a good number or a “bad one”, like negative numbers in our checkbook are “bad” and positive bank balances are “good”. Our Doctor tells us we dropped two pounds on the scale and immediately it’s a “good day”; conversely, if the scale isn’t our friend that day because of the numbers, it’s a “bad” day. We give out our phone number on a piece of paper to that cute guy at the bar, hoping he will call and our emotions rise and fall depending upon the outcome. We coin phrases like “I’ve got your number” and “When my number is up…”, “catch 22”, “behind the eight ball”, on “cloud nine”, “Fifteen minutes of fame”, “seven year itch”, “ménage a trois” and many others.



It seems we measure everything in life by the numbers. Let’s take a look at why!

Numerology dates back thousands of years with some variations to be found in most cultures throughout history. The science of the numbers has been taught by some of the most respected mathematicians in history, even though many have dismissed it as a “pseudoscience”.

Many ancient cultures including China, Japan, India, Babylon and Egypt were familiar with numerology long before the Greeks and Romans adopted the practice.

Pythagoras, a Greek mathematician and philosopher circa 569-470 B. C. and generally the one considered the originator of the still popular Pythagorean system, believed that all reality is mathematical. He viewed the vast universe as being comprised of various mathematical patterns and was a vehement proponent that all things can be expressed in numbers, that all corresponded to energy patterns of vibrations, each with specific meaning.

The vast teachings of Pythagoras were adopted by the scholars Socrates and Plato, and studied by early Christian scholars, including St. Augustine. This ultimately led to its expansion during the Renaissance, and numerology continues to be studied and practiced today.

Numerology can be simply defined as the historic study of the relationship between names, birthdates, and numbers. In fact, the word numerology is derived from the Latin word “numerous” meaning number, and the Greek word “logos”, meaning thought and word. The Greeks today might be well served in revisiting this ancient practice. Perhaps it might aid them in shedding light on their present financial situation and help them find a way out!

In Numerology, unlike Astrology and Tarot, a person’s birth name, as well as their
birthdate, have significant influence on their life path and personality. Calculating these significant indicators is a simple and straightforward process.

To calculate the Life Path number, which is based upon an individual’s birth-date, you would use basic math to add up the numbers in the date and then reduce it down. For example: January 23, 1973 looks like this: Jan = 1 + 25 = 2 + 5= 7 + 1 + 9 +7 +3 + 2 + 0 + 2 , 1 + 7 + 2 + 10, reduced 1 + 0 = 1 . The person with this birth-date has a Numerology # of 1. Number 1’s have a mind of their own, demand complete freedom and have powerful drive and determination. They don’t let anyone or anything get in their way once they make up their mind and set their sights on a goal. They are great providers for their loved ones while demanding great respect and attention.

Our great magazine is celebrating 10 years, which in numerology is the vibration of a One! Happy Anniversary to the publisher, Alex Limandri, and all the wonderful contributors of this great publication. Indeed it is #1 in Downtown LA news and lifestyle views!

Resources and for personal Numerology reports:

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