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Loving Potential

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

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I love a new year, with all of its fresh energy, expansive potential, and unlimited possibilities. This year feels especially sweet, as I sit on the cusp of feeling last year’s inner inertia and releases that are blossoming into changes, actions and adventures!  The newness seems to be extending out a supportive hand to me to reset my course, with no judgment, reestablish my direction fluidly and proclaim my intentions courageously.

 

Yoga has been such a gift to me in so many ways, and unlocking potential is one of the BIG ways!  As written in HOW YOGA WORKS, Yoga “bangs on my inner pipes”, helping me to dig deep and move things around in my body, mind and spirit.  It keeps me from getting stuck, as it was Yoga that helped me to become an observer of my mind’s thoughts, my heart’s feelings and my spirit’s alignment.

 

The power of observing ourselves is deeply rooted in the gifts of being neutral, rather than reactive to what is occurring in the moment. When I am able to simply observe my inner environment, feeling the inner reaction, hearing my mind, and seeing if my spirit is aligned to it all, I find I have far more options than when I react out of unconscious habits. A gap is created, that has a sense of stillness and calm, that tempers or awakens me.

 

The habits we are so often unconscious of, that tirelessly repeat themselves draining us of energy and creating much of our suffering, come to the surface during my yoga practice.  I see my mind wandering into past ruminating, or future worries and in just the simple act of SEEING it I have become present, and in that moment of clarity I can consciously make choices that elevate me.  I am free again to make a choice to feel something that renews me rather than depletes me.

 

HeartMath has helped me tremendously in the awakening from habits that deplete me and guides me daily in tools that uplift me. I live more connected to my heart, and use the easy tools to make the shifts that assist me in making changes on a moment to moment basis.  I’ll catch myself in habits that I recognize are pulling me down, and in that awareness, I breath, connect to my heart and choose a feeling that uplifts me.  It is a very powerful and blends with my yoga practice and daily life so simply.

 

In my daily yoga practice, I am reminded of the deep tenants of Yoga, especially to observe the habits bound by Avidyas – desire, aversion, fear and ego.  Am I desiring something?  Do I wish to avoid something? What am I afraid of?  Is my ego driving me beyond my spirit’s guidelines?  These are questions I ponder throughout the day, opening my eyes wider beyond the limits of my desires, or aversions, fears and egoism.

 

It is often said, “this is so hard” when referring to making changes or building the ability to observe ourselves and I get that.  For me it is also the voice of ego that is crying out in fear of losing out in some way.  At the same time, pausing in those moments I recognize how hard it is to stay the same, suffering in my own manifestations of unhappiness, suffering or self-defeating habits.  I then choose the path of change, as it relieves rather than continues the “this is so hard” path.  As the new pattern uplifts me, I am inspired and the “hard” becomes light and easy!

 

So here in the newness of 2018, may you be inspired. May we all rise above our current habits, and find a path of renewal. May you love your way into your potential.  In support of one another may the hard become easy.

 

Happy New Year, new you!

 

 

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Tis the Season for CLC

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

woman-self-loveThe holidays are upon us, a time to turn our attention to Care, Love, Compassion and a gentleness that can have a great effect on many.

With all of the hub bub, events, family gatherings, shopping, and often drama from old and new emotional scars this is a perfect time to take a moment to remember to be gentle with ourselves. Take time to nurture the CLCs – Care, Love and Compassion. Set some time aside to renew yourself in Care, Love and Compassion so that you can navigate each day rooted in these 3 very powerful ways of BEING.

 

Here is a simple guideline or prayer you can hold in your heart:

 

Where there is frantic, may I hold the light of peace

Where there is drama, may I hold compassion in your heart

Where there is joy, may I share it gently

Where there is love, may I be loving

Where there is overwhelm, may I be caring

May my eyes be open, my ears listen, and my heart expand unconditionally

 

You may never know what another is feeling or experiencing. Go gently through this holiday season. Remember the CLCs.

Be Caring.

Be Loving.

Be Compassionate.

Let it begin with you!

 

Take time each day to take Care of yourself, be Loving in thoughts and actions toward yourself, and hold Compassion for yourself. Then as you move through your day you can share it gently with others.

 

Peaceful Holidays begin within!

woman-self-love

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Summer Musings

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

6359662828981496261387488429_summer-06.jpgSummer is just around the corner, and late spring has heralded in a taste of warm weather that has me musing about summer. Images, sounds and memories filter through my day, as my heart dances in anticipation.

 

Watching dragonflies flitting by as they snap up mosquitoes.

Flowers galore!

Tasting honeysuckle’s sweetness on the tip of my tongue.

The warmth of a summer’s day

Salty breezes

Mist over a harbor, as the ghost ships at anchor float in and out of vision

The songbirds singing on a warm summer’s afternoon

Building sandcastlessandcastle

Long cooling dips in the ocean

Moonlight rising from the sea

Fireflies!

The cries of the osprey calling to their young

Walking hand in hand with a child to the beach

Kite flying

The smell of an evening’s fire

S’mores

Badmitton

Hammock swingingrope-hammocks

Laughter and Joy!

 

And of course Yoga on the Beach!

 

What are some of your summertime musings?

 

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SUP Love!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

I’m often asked “what do you like about Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)?” It is a great question and IMG_4431one that I love as it helps me to move from the passion in my heart, joy in my body and elation in my spirit into the words that express it. To be honest it can be challenging for me to express in words those feelings of heart, body and spirit. Finding those words that might give the person asking me “why” an understanding is often even more challenging when they have never experienced SUP.

 

Have you ever had that experience? Have you been asked to express something that is so visceral that words can only begin to interpret the experience? Or maybe it is being so kinesthetic that we are less verbal and visual in our experiences and that makes it a difficult task to bring words to it.

 

I feel my experiences more than see or hear them. My spirit is right there with me on the board, cheering me on to embrace the beauty, to challenge the skills of the body and mind, and to care for the environment around me.

 

There is such a deep sense of honor that I feel when I’m standing on the water, gliding across her, or riding her forces in waves and currents. I respect all that power that Mother Nature has and feel privileged to harness it in such a loving experience. To catch the wind on my back on a downwind ride, while feeling a wave pulling me through the water is amazing. No ride at Disney compares to it for me.

 

Digging in when I’m challenged by wind, current, or the miles I’m putting in sparks the warrior spirit in me. I feel the “I can do this” spirit strong in me at those points, and the rush of that spirit kicks up something long-lasting in me. Hours after I have paddled, my energy and spirit continues to soar even though it would make sense that I would be feeling tired after the exertion of the ride.

 

Spending all that time on the water has raised my consciousness about what a gift our waterways and oceans are. It seems to be a gift that many take for granted. The lack of consciousness in others concerns me, as over the years of being out on the water, sailing or paddling, I have seen a tremendous decrease in the health of the waters I paddle. I do what I can in clearing the trash and plastic I find while on the water or along the shoreline. At the same time I look for ways to raise others consciousness about the gifts we will miss if we don’t start taking care of our seas, rivers, and lakes. We live in an ecosystem that is all about connection. If one part becomes “sick” it affects the rest of the system. Your litter does make a difference, so dispose of it properly, use less plastic and spread the word! Clean water to enjoy recreationally is something I hope to pass down for many generations.

 

My yoga practice off the mat is ever present for me on the board. Starting with the breath, always the breath, I am connected to the waves, the stroke and the wind through my breath. Of course the agility, balance and strength I have from my yoga practice is an asset but it is the spirit and mind’s practice that I feel alive during a paddle. Being present on the board is an aptitude I recognize I have gained over the years of practicing yoga. Then there is the mindfulness that slips off the yoga mat and rides with me on the board. It is the mindfulness that helps me keep a clear mind and uplifted spirit, not to mention the cheerleading I get in being mindful each moment. If I start to feel a bit of lagging in my physical or mental experience it is in that mindful moment I switch gears, dig in and look at ways to be uplifted.

 

Often how I answer that question about why I like SUP is usually this; “It is the closest I’ll every get to walking on water.” The elation I get when I go places I have never been to by boat before(sailing or other) is irreplaceable. The inner goddess of adventure is enlivened every time I get on my board on a new waterway, or go to discover new places. For me that is the spark that keeps on giving! I am like the character Forrest Gump, I want to just keep on going! See you around that next island.

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Yoga’s Four Keys to Inner Peace

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

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Imagine yourself on an adventure. You are stalking through deep woods, entangled by branches and vines. You quickly pull out a tool that helps you cut yourself a clear path. Maybe it is a sharp quick blade that severs the teeming vines or a cane that slowly untangles the branches. This is the way of Yoga, tools that we learn to use to help untangle the mind’s thoughts that hold us in a path of unhappiness, confusion, or doubts. Yoga is that life adventure that helps us to not only discover inner peace but master it. Not everyone wants or cares about finding a way to inner peace but if inner peace sounds good to you, lets continue.

In the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali there are some clear guidelines on how we can find our way to peace within (Samadhi). There are four simple keys that fit four persistent locks that Patanjali shares with us in Yoga Sutra 1.33. “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.” (translations Sri Swami Satchidandanda)

In all of its simplicity, like any other change, the application can be profoundly difficult. So let’s look at them individually and then how to put it all into practice.

The four keys are friendliness (maitri), compassion (karuna), delight (mudita), and disregard (upekshanam). These are the tools to carry with you, and with vigilance, you spend your day using them as each of the locks may present themselves in barring you from your mental state of peace within.

The four locks are happy (sukha), unhappy (dukha), virtuous (punya) and wicked (apunya). 24/7 we come across people and situations that can be defined as anyone of these locks. The mind will judge people or a situation in one of these four ways and then if we are not vigilant we can let our mind take us down a path of self manifested story, which we use to maintain a state of discontent. It is the usage of the four keys that will be your salvation in the maintenance of inner peace.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Each of the keys is a way of being, which may also define your actions, which will bring forth a feeling of inner peace. It is that simple in concept.

  • Be friendly, feel inner peace.
  • Be compassionate, feel inner peace.
  • Be delighted, feel inner peace.
  • Be indifferent (disregard), feel inner peace

It is in how we use the keys with the locks that is powerfully important!

KEYS LOCKS
Friendliness happy
Compassion unhappy
Delight virtuous
Disregard wicked

 

  • When you come across others who are happy you initiate friendliness from within.
  • When you come across the unhappy activate compassion.
  • When you come across the virtuous find delight for them.
  • When you come across the wicked be indifferent.

In the Heart of Yoga Desikachar translates 1.33 in this way, “In daily life we see people around who are happier than we are, people who are less happy. Some may be doing praiseworthy things and others causing problems. Whatever may be our usual attitude toward such people and their actions, if we can be pleased with others who are happier than ourselves, compassionate toward those who are unhappy, joyful with those doing praiseworthy things, and remain undisturbed by the errors of others, our mind will be very tranquil.”

Ready to make the shift? Like any other change you make it will take 3 steps.

  1. Awareness
  2. Forgiveness
  3. Consistency

First begin to recognize when you are feeling out of sorts, disturbed and have a look at how you may NOT have been aware of the circumstances. Maybe you have come across someone who is happier than you are, and in that comparison you use it to feel less than friendly towards his or her happiness.

  1. Notice you feel “less than” and use it to wake up,
  2. Take the next step to forgive yourself for “forgetting your practice”
  3. Finally get back to a friendly feeling for their happiness.

Or you have a friend who is constantly unhappy, and you find yourself annoyed with them as their unhappiness tires your patience and puts a damper on your happiness.

  1. Recognize that your impatience is a reflection of a comparison that has you shutting down your heart’s inner peace.
  2. Give yourself a hug of forgiveness.
  3. Break open the compassion!

In the case of the virtuous, when you come across those who are doing a good deed and you are upset with them, use it as your wakeup to delighting in their actions. Notice how your inner peace shifts.

Finally you come across those whose actions you feel harmed by and slip into feeling victimized (that feeling can be strong, enticing but never peaceful.)

  1. Awaken by recognizing that you have fallen victim in your way of thinking/feeling
  2. Forgive yourself for being the disturber of your inner peace.
  3. Empower a sense of undisturbed peace again!

From that inner peace your actions will bear amazing healing within you, and bear fruit all around you. It is that powerful!

Using forgiveness will help you abstain from forms of unhappiness that many use in a self-abusiveness nature that can create tsunami waves of disturbance in our mental/emotional inner sanctum. Boy, does that disturb inner peace!

Our path then becomes recognizing the sacredness of inner peace, and our role as guardian of that inner sacristy. The divine within us is our way of upholding, caring for, and empowering the sacred known as inner peace.

Remember this only works when you implement and vigilantly practice! Find the lock you are in and use the key!

Posted in Articles, Inspirations from Class, Spirit, Yoga Philosophy | 2 Comments »

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