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Letting Go

June 7th, 2015

I first received this wonderful reflection of Letting Go during a course I was taking at the Dovestar Institute.  As the season’s are changing from spring to summer when we often shed many different layers, I thought it was a perfect time to reflect on what it means to Let Go.  Enjoy, Nancy 

letting_go_by_bandico-d5s1eyhLetting Go – Author Unknown

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness,which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another, it is to make the most of myself.

To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.

To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To “let go” is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality.

To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.

To “let go” is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To “let go” is to fear less and love more.

Posted in Articles, Spirit, yoga, Yoga Philosophy | 6 Comments »

Lessons from a Gypsy’s Lifestyle

May 7th, 2015

wagonTraveling back and forth between 2 different homes has taught me a number of valuable lessons. I feel at times a gypsy’s spirit of freedom, and the calling of new places. The joy of moving from one beautiful location to another stirs mixed emotions, varying from the sheer joy of gratitude to the heart tugs of leaving a place and all of the wonderful friends, family and beauty it offers me. With that have come lessons.

 

STAY IN THE MOMENT –

It truly helps me to stay present with the tasks at hand, rather than get caught up with the angst or excitement of the next step. Before departure, I find myself taking each day at a time, and staying focused on what each day needs attending to. Which brings me to the next lesson.

 

BE BALANCED –

With all that is asked of me during the predeparture days, from the needs of the house and work, the desire to see friends before we go, and the passions that call to me in the form of playtime, I find it is truly valuable to be balanced. I find ways to get all the tasks completed while enjoying the fun of being with friends and family and getting out on the water, seeing plays and movies, or having a game night. Thankfully we are not saying goodbye, but simply see you soon!

 

LET GO –

As we are saying adieu to friends and family, I find great comfort in the ability to let go. It inspires me to also look at all the “stuff” we have collected and let go of much of it. I get to cleanse each home 2x per year, once when I leave the place and once when I arrive. I find this process very uplifting! I tend to look at what is worn or broken and no longer useable and throw it out. Then I look at what is no longer used but could be by others and I give that away. Finally I look at what is of value but I no longer need and I sell it off.

Each time we make the transition I clean out the house we are living in and shed all of those things I seem to no longer need. We pack up and leave. I then arrive at the other home and I look around at all of that stuff I kept after the last shedding and wonder why I kept it. I live 5 or 7 months without all these things left behind, so I go through it again when I arrive back “home.” Sometimes I am surprised at what I kept, and other times it does seem all useful.

 

All 3 of these lessons work in a beautiful synergy, and seem to support me in many other avenues in life. Here is to lessons gifted along the path of life!

 

 

Posted in Articles, Yoga Philosophy | No Comments »

Self-Soothing

April 5th, 2015

Linus-300x295

Sshhh, I’m about to talk about something that seems to be a secret, or maybe even something never to be discussed. We do it unconsciously, as we either taught ourselves or were taught as a young child how to do it, but never discussed again. For some we were shamed into hiding it or told not to do it anymore. Self-soothing.

 

It is through our senses we can find the comfort we need when we begin to feel disturbed, uncomfortable, out of sorts or stressed. Through touch, smell, sight, listening and taste we can find a sense of calming that soothes the “ruffled” sense of our inner peace. In the beginning of life we do it instinctually and through the nurturing of our parents. We feed through suckling, we are rocked or sung to, we feel softness, warmth, cuddling and we calm or are calmed into the sense of safety. It felt so good.

 

As we become bigger and more independent some of the soothing behaviors from our infancy are harder to do for our parents, so we have to find your own way to replicate them. You may have sucked your thumb, curled your hair, hummed, rocked, etc. These things we did to help feel calm, safe, nurtured. Pause for a moment and think about them. What did you do?

 

When school and socialization draws near an angst begins to surround our self-soothing, as it becomes something we are now discouraged to do, or in some cases taught to do for ourselves (yeah to those parents!) The harm for many though is when we are taught that it is no longer acceptable to soothe ourselves, and we start to closet our soothing methods, or let go of them completely. Bring back the self-soothing!

 

Let’s start with the breath and use the exhalation as a tool of soothing. Go ahead and sigh your next exhalation! Feel how it sheds the tension and calms the spirit. I know, I know you were told it was impolite, but what a pity that was. We live in a culture that is way over stressed, as we have denied ourselves the gifts of self-soothing. The natural pattern of breathing builds tension, and then releases it but all too often we hold onto our exhalations and bind them. Time is now, set it free.

 

It is when our nervous system starts to amp up into sympathetic responses like fight, flight or freeze that self-soothing methods can help us to find the calming responses of our parasympathetic nervous system. Slow, balanced, deep breathing patterns are just the beginning of ways to self soothe. Think in terms of your senses. Focus in that very moment on the sense of touch, smells, sight, sound or taste that is available to you.

  • The soft feel of the fabric you are wearing
  • The sound of nature through the birds or gentle wind in the trees
  • The smell of a flower, flavorful cooking near by or the essence of your favorite lotion
  • Look around what colors, shapes, images delight you
  • Savor a healthy snack that nurtures you

 

What other ways do you self-soothe that you can bring into a conscious behavior? Just taking that step of unconscious (or closeted) behavior into conscious behavior empowers the action. The result is calmer, more confident, safe and secure. I say well done to that!

  • Take a warm bath
  • Get a massage
  • Play with an animal
  • Eat a healthy meal
  • Drink through a straw (bring back the suckle)
  • Light an essential candle
  • Watch clouds roll by
  • Drink in the night sky
  • Feel the earth
  • Smell the land
  • Listen to music
  • Sing or hum to yourself

 

What we do for ourselves in self-soothing is such a gift to everyone we encounter. A calm, centered, and peaceful you will feel good to most people. Let your self-soothing encourage others to find their way to soothing

Posted in Articles, Inspirations from Class | 3 Comments »

Slow Living

January 31st, 2015

 

Signs Warning of Approaching Curve

I was driving to an appointment up the keys the other day and I joyfully noted the deep upwelling of gratitude I have for living on such a small piece of land in a spacious area of water and sky. As one driver in front of me slowed down and allowed someone to cross the street, I noticed how another driver gave him a thumbs-up, while no one seemed perturbed by that thoughtful action. No horns blared. No one was yelling or throwing obscene gestures. The time frame was in a place of generosity and kindness rather than the annoyed pace of “hurried.” I noted that this was not an unusual act but common and I was grateful!

I live on an island that is 2 by 4 miles, where the preferred mode of transportation for many is a bicycle or walking. The prevalent speed limit is 25 mph, with the fastest limit on our boulevard being 35 mph. If you are not used to driving here you stand out as you, flustered in your hurry, rush to get a few feet up the road faster while everyone else is calmly enjoying the view and the ease of island living. If you are not used to this pace you stand out.

It is a joy to slow down and bike or walk to an evening’s event in town.   Conversations are extended in the extra time it takes to get there, and are often interrupted or even inspired by the beauty that is all around us as we see, smell and hear our environment embracing us. During the day it is the brilliance of the vegetation, the shades of light that dapple the colorful homes and the ever changing sky that catches my eye. At night the sense of smell dominates, as the ever-changing floral scents seem to sweeten in the evening air as I peddle or walk by. With the seasons shifts, the floral essence changes from mango to jasmine, stephanotis and gardenia to name a few of my favorites. With each sniff the mood changes, and feelings are stirred from deep within. Don’t forget to add a few minutes to your travel time as there is a good chance you may happen upon a friend, and will need to stop to say hi.

I am thankful for the opportunity to shed the teachings of a crowded place where time, space and nature is at a premium, and hurried or competition dominates in so many ways. I appreciate the teachings of a spacious place (even in its close living proximity) that continues to hold to a slow easy pace, inspiring those who live in it to embrace their community, to show kindness and engage with one another. May this “revolution” expand and remind others to slow down, look around and feel the connection.

 

Posted in Articles, Healthy Planet, Inspirations from Class | 2 Comments »

Every New Day Brings a Clean Slate

January 3rd, 2015

open-your-eyesGood Morning.

You crack open your eyes, you stretch and turn, then feel for this first moment of conscious awakening. How do I feel this morning?  Take a breath and simply notice.

 

What is your morning habit? Take a moment and reflect on it. Are your first waking moments full of rote motion and doing? Do you hang for a moment in the ripeness of awakening just pausing to feel your state of being? Is the first day of a new year the only time you take stock, pause and become aware?

 

It is a lovely practice to take the first few moments in the act of awakening to take stock. Did your sleep refresh you or leave you feeling a tad weary? Are you waking up with some residue of your dreams that you wish to carry forward into your day, or shake off and liberate yourself from? What directives of your next action are going to be unnoticed and drive you during the day, or can you take this fresh moment to self direct from your personal awareness?

 

Many of us do this while crossing over from the past year into the new year, but why not every morning? We let go of the old. We commit to something new or rekindled. Between 12/31 and 1/1 we seem inspired to use the space between those dates to take action, declare, and find the courage to LET GO of the old. The heaviness of doing it once a year can be overwhelming. That’s a whole lot of renewal.

 

Well here’s to taking the first moments of each morning to reflect, feel and adjust. Little by little you turn your boat, gently in a new direction. Small tiny steps of renewal, rather than trying to turn a giant ship in one huge swooping effort, is so much easier and often more successful.

 

Here’s to this NEW DAY! I raise my heart to your renewal and healing, to your awakening and refreshing. Happy New Year!

 

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