“…I would lik…

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“…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” -Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903 in Letters to a Young Poet.

Man, I wish I had run across this quote last year.  I think much suffering, anxiety, and confusion would have been spared in 2012. When I focused on the past and all that had been built, all that could be lost, I grasped and held on tightly out of fear. When I focused on the future on all the possibilities that could be, I stood frozen in anxiety.

Practicing yoga has helped me shift gears. Yoga has been helping me build courage and confidence and focus on the here and now- on the present. When I catch myself reminiscing in the past or anxiously anticipating the future, I reel myself in by bringing attention back to my breath, connecting to the area right below my heart above my upper belly. Where do I recognize Love in this scenario? Can I drink in this very moment just as it is without fear or judgement?

Sometimes when I encounter discomfort and major change, I catch myself running back to comfort and security or seeking an outlet where I can detach and numb myself. What do I fear the most? Why do I feel that way? Where do I feel tightness in my body? If I direct slow deep breaths in that area, how does that help?

Life has been unfolding answers as I remain open with curiosity and courage. The answers and signs seem to appear and re-appear until I am ready to open my eyes, digest lessons and embrace the experiences.

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“You can change…

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“You can change your shoes, but the difference happens when you change your path.”

I’ve been contemplating this statement on and off for the past couple months.  What does this mean to me?

This statement interests me, because I tend to have wanderlust and because I desire to inspire others to open their hearts and perspective. I’ve lost sight of the concept that I can most affectively do so by working on myself and changing my perceptions and behaviors. My choices on the way I live my life are a much stronger influence than any workshop or class I lead. Shifting perspective and changing behavior are so much easier said than done…

I can change relationships. I can change jobs within the same industry.  The thing is, unless I work on the root of some of my issues, I will continue to run into the same challenges in different forms. And when I can no longer deal with these challenges, I will make more changes and run into the same hurdles yet again in different forms—lack of trust, fear, insecurity, unworthiness, confusion.

The difference happens when I explore some of my core programming and limited beliefs and start asking myself “Why is that?” and “Is that true?” Perhaps through patience, persistence, honesty, and an open mind, I can take baby steps towards shifting my perspective and altering my thoughts, words and actions.  Perhaps through each word, thought, action/non action, I can eventually learn how to completely love and accept myself as I am, right here and right now.

What’s your bliss word?

I went to a chanting workshop a couple Fridays ago with Lani Granum at Moksha Yoga Center. I went in with curiosity. I had taken a couple of her classes years ago and enjoyed her vibrant spunky personality, creative sequences and chanting. I also had an intention to perhaps add some tools to my belt that can help me articulate my pronunciation more clearly and confidently.

Early in the workshop, we talked a bit about ourselves and shared a word that comes to mind when hearing the word “bliss.” Some examples of words that came to people’s minds were “peace,” “mmm,” “honor,” “harmony,” “laughter,” “chocolate.”

My bliss word is “love” or perhaps actually the symbol of love- the heart. It’s rather one that has developed into a bliss word fairly recently. Four years ago, I thought that the heart symbol was a bit cheesy. I didn’t have much of a connection to it. The symbol did not resonate within me. Now, I see it everywhere. When I do see it, I think of the feeling I get when I connect with my innerlight in my heart center— peace, joy, gratitude. In a way the heart symbol reminds me of the Divine. I could say God, but that word is loaded with so many different meanings and evokes a variety of emotions. So let’s just stick with the Divine, however that is defined within your world.

Love has been much on my mind lately— devotion, bhakti, commitment, self love, patience, divinity.

My love for my kids drive me to work hard. My self love encourages me to embrace and accept without judgment. My devotion to the divine inspires me to think twice before I act.

I think about how life is really short, and we only have a limited amount of time to do what we’re here to do. Because of this I strive to work on clearing my mind with the help of yoga and meditation, so that I can confidently move forward and focus on sharing and spreading the love.

What is love to me?

connection, union, compassion,

soul sisters

inspiration

truth

beauty

patience

unconditional

neverending

ever forgiving

devotion

commitment

What’s your bliss word? What moves you? What does it mean to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and inspiration.

Words for the week

I ran into these statements earlier this week that resonated within. Thought I’d share them with you.

The people who are in your life were not chosen by your mind.
There’s a reason why they are in your life.
Perhaps the reason why may be so deep Inside that you might not be able to fathom or understand with your mind.

‎”Intuitive listening requires us to still our minds until the beauty of things older than our minds can find us.” ~ Mark Nepo

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

you are loved. you are kind. you are valued. you are enough. no exceptions.

I forget to remind myself that I am enough, no exceptions.

I can be my own worst enemy and have a knack for focusing on what I didn’t do, where I fell short, what areas I am weakest.  I easily think that I am not enough.  Sometimes it’s harder for me to look at the opposite: what I did do well, areas that I’m naturally talented at, other areas where I’ve improved over time.

When it comes to other people, it’s easier to be compassionate towards others and focus on their strengths and positive aspects.  But for whatever reason, I can easily pick myself apart.

An exception is when I practice on the mat.  When I step on the mat, I get tunnel vision where I focus on me, tuning out what other people are doing around me, scanning my body, observing where I am tense, observing my breath, observing the patterns of my thoughts without judgment. When I “can’t” do a pose that day, instead of beating myself up for not getting to the end result, I observe my internal dialogue. Some days, I tell myself, “I got this!” Other days, I’m thinking, “I don’t know about this… but let’s see what happens?”  On some other days, I’m thinking,  “I’m not quite there yet, but this is part of the process and I’ll improve as I build strength on areas where I need help.”  The whole time, I’m approaching with a curious and playful perspective, open to laughing at myself when things don’t work out quite the way I hoped. I also avoid thinking “I can’t do it. I’m afraid of looking stupid.” And when I think I can’t do it or I’m afraid, I definitely take a closer look as to why with curiosity.

The real work of yoga happens when I apply what I do on the mat to my daily life.  Man, on some days, I have a long way to go…