Archive for ‘Spirit’
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
The 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.
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!
Wednesday, June 1st, 2016
Summer 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.
Tasting honeysuckle’s sweetness on the tip of my tongue.
The warmth of a summer’s day
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
Long cooling dips in the ocean
Moonlight rising from the sea
The cries of the osprey calling to their young
Walking hand in hand with a child to the beach
The smell of an evening’s fire
Laughter and Joy!
And of course Yoga on the Beach!
What are some of your summertime musings?
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
I’m often asked “what do you like about Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)?” It is a great question and one 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.
Thursday, February 25th, 2016
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!
- 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.
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.
- Notice you feel “less than” and use it to wake up,
- Take the next step to forgive yourself for “forgetting your practice”
- 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.
- Recognize that your impatience is a reflection of a comparison that has you shutting down your heart’s inner peace.
- Give yourself a hug of forgiveness.
- 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.)
- Awaken by recognizing that you have fallen victim in your way of thinking/feeling
- Forgive yourself for being the disturber of your inner peace.
- 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!
Friday, February 5th, 2016
Many like to work with intentions, but often find there is a deficiency between creating the intention and seeing it become manifested. What if there was less “working” with intentions and more PLAY? Let’s take a look at intentions and then how to amp up the empowerment of them through a playful FUN spirit that FUNds the intention into creation.
Keys to setting Intentions
- Keep them simple – less is more with intentions so finding the seed is important.
- See them clearly – take the time to hone down the noise, confusion, doubts, fears, uncertainty and find the core to what you are seeking.
- Hold them close- share them with those who will support, encourage or create space for you to fulfill them.
- Be persistent – creating something new is a timeless practice.
- Surrender – there is a certain amount of letting go that fuels intentions. Get ready, get set, let go!
Intentions vs Affirmations
Intentions are the dreams, visions, directions that you are proclaiming. They are expanded through the senses as you see them, feel it, hear or maybe even taste it.
Affirmations are the statements you use to fuel the intentions. Let them be in the present and positive. Then speak in terms of what you wish to become, not what you are getting rid of.
“I will be less fearful” becomes “I am courageous.”
“I want to be less angry” becomes “I am accepting.” Or “I am tolerant.”
You are Not Alone
Intentions and affirmations are empowered by a willingness to be in collaboration with that which is greater than you are. Trust, faith and love are key to this practice or path. You become open to assistance from “other” forces and you become aware of how the support is showing up in your life. As much as you will want to create actions that are in line with your intentions, it is EQUALLY important to create space for life to nourish your intention, and stillness to let it unfold. The more tension that exists in your “pursuit” of your intention, the less ability it has to expand, formulate, and grow. Relax, breath and feel the power of trust.
Make it FUN
Another important element that many fail to see, let alone allow in the creations of intention, is to shine great amount of light, in all forms, upon the intention. I already spoke of it in discussing the importance of clarity in creating your intention but consider also a lightness of spirit. FUNding your intentions with a playful approach will allow the vibration to magnify the intention.
Here are 10 ways to FUNd your intentions:
- Create a Dreamboard – get out the old magazines and start cutting out bright and colorful pictures that embody your intentions. Let then inspire all of your senses!
- Write out a check to yourself from the Universe. MAKE IT BIG~!
- Gather all your change and toss it out on your front walk, let the Universe flow more abundance to you.
- Pay it forward – open up the channels of receiving by first giving in a way that feels GREAT!
- “Go outside and play” was a powerful place for many of us as we grew up. Live it again and enliven your intentions with the joyful spirit of play and nature.
- Appreciation raises the value and vibration of things. Make it a game you play- i.e. 100 days / 100 ways of Appreciation or pick an action you do (like yawning) as a stop point to pause and appreciate something!
- Have a party to celebrate Intention. Invite all those supportive friends to come share their intentions and celebrate as if they are fulfilled!
- Play dress up: Get up today and live your day as if the intent
ion was complete. How would you dress, eat, speak to others? Live it now!
- Link your Intention with a song, and sing it often!
- Decorate your home with your affirmations. You can be subtle and paste a few in your bedroom or office, or go full out and place them all over the house!
The key to this practice is to make it fun! It is the spirit of playfulness that fuels the intention. In being playful we are open, receptive and limitless in potential. Have a blast and may all your intentions be fulfilled!