This summer has been a big for me, not because anything happened, but because I’ve given myself time for nothing to happen. So Zen 😉 I’ve fought the temptation to teach workshops, develop new manuals, write an article, contact more studios, make a video, or take educational courses. I made a commitment to do less and play more this summer. Here’s why:
When I was 24 I made a declaration to have a “mid-life-crisis” every morning. Instead of waiting another 20 years (or for a life-threatening moment) to wake up, I wanted to awaken every morning and earnestly ask:
By the end of June I couldn’t fully say yes to the first question. This stumped me. It had been such a fruitful year with an abundant yoga therapeutics practice with people I truly enjoy and see growth in. I played at the edge of my comfort zone as I created and guided anatomy & therapeutics teacher trainings that have since helped people to quit their day jobs and teach full time! 2015 looks to repeat and surpass 2014, but if I’m feeling zonked, I need to step back and adjust.
Additionally adjustments revolve around the two big, fabulous, and packed questions Steve and I have sitting on our plate:
Where are we going to live after he graduates this June?
When do we want to start building our family?
Needless to say, we’ve taken time to stop, slow down, and listen. Simply asking these questions forced us to recognize our mutual need to better manage our energy so that we have some left in the tank for each other and life itself.
At first we talked about moving into the city part time, but it meant I’d have to cut back on many of our sessions 🙁 So instead, Steve is making changes in the way he is going to approach his day and the number of patients he’ll see. I too need to make some changes.
This isn’t a breakup letter! In fact, it’s a “welcome to a new home” letter.
I began having visions of opening a Yoga Therapeutics studio on LI about 4 months ago. I imagined training other yoga teachers who would also come with their own skills and talents. The studio would have all the props needed, an online scheduling and payment system, and a peaceful uplifting vibe. If I were away teaching, it’d be easy to find another qualified teacher to sub in. That would mean more support and consistency for you!
Daydream and you shall receive.
The owner of Absolute Yoga has invited us to share her space! I decided to take the offer yesterday and rent the adjoining studio. I hope you’ll come along.
I think it’ll be good for the both of us.
If Steve and I do chose to move or have a child in the next year, this studio will offer the perfect space for teachers (who can support your specific needs) to come and observe our sessions. This way you are supported and comfortable in any transition that may or may not occur.
Many of you have been asking for earlier time spots. My hope is that this efficient straight forward schedule will offer that.
Scheduling will be easier as will payments.
Thank you for your support and all of our sessions thus far! It’s been a gift to me.
We’ll of course talk more in person; I wanted to start the conversation with a clear explanation.
With gratitude and trust,
“When we love, we strive to become better than we are… when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” – Paul Coelho The Alchemist
It was the end of a full day of yoga therapeutics. I was on my way home to meet my hubby for dinner. Usher came on the radio, “Caught Up!” I couldn’t help it- I obviously had to turn it up, sing loud, and out of tune.
Perhaps my car likes my singing as much as my dog. To get me to stop it threw itself into a winter pothole! Probably its best option. The whole car got jolted- I stopped singing. Excuse the pun, but I was “caught up” with a flat tire in frigid 6 degree weather last night. (Balmy if you’re from Minnesota!)
Stick with me for a moment: Did you know that this weekend, Feb 1st, is Imbolc? What? Imbolc. The day smack dab in between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It represents fertility, new growth, and the beginning of the light half of the year. Yippee!!
This incident happening near Imbolc caused me to pause and ask myself (and you!) this:
What do I get caught up in?
Is it knocking me off my course?
I get caught up in all my “should do’s,” and as much as I’d like to think I’m mindful to keep balanced sometimes I need to be jolted to an alerting stop.
New Year’s asks: How can you nourish the core of who you are NOW??
Imbolc follows it up a month later saying- PAY ATTENTION. Notice where energy is unnecessarily caught up and steering you off course. Make room and take notice of all the amazing opportunities there are to nourish your soul (inclusive of true work).
Nourishment is not a static goal, it’s a living checkpoint that helps create clarity and direction.
My challenge for you:
Step One: Are you caught up in anything that’s throwing you off track?
Step Two: For the next three days ask yourself before making any commitments to yourself or others, does this nourish me?
(food, exercise, social gatherings, bed time, travel, business opportunities etc)
Step Three: Check in with how you feel.
Step Four: Repeat!
Imbolc is the time in between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It represents fertility, new growth, and the beginning of the light half of the year.
A teaching story from an elder NorthwestPacific Native to the child about to take the journey into the thick woodslands.
The question: What do I do when I’m lost in the forest, lost in this transition in life? How do I find my way?
David Wagoner’s response:
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
I go back to this poem any time I’m in transition (often) which can be an exciting and unnerving place. I also refer to this poem when I’m feeling stuck, lost, or confused. In all of these circumstances I have the tendency to want to fix it, do more, and busy myself.
Here I’m reminded: STAND STILL. LISTEN. No need to fix. No need to be anyone other than I am, be anywhere other than I am, or try to make a situation other than it is. Instead listen, hear, see, and pay fierce attention to the world.
Listening to something other than ourselves allows us the possibility to receive guidance from the world, to see with greater perspective, opportunities, and creativity. Instead of repeating the same patterns, we make room to grow and follow the right path.
How to stop and listen?
Read first- then try
1) Close your eyes.
2 ) Take a breath. Feel your breath. Is it long, short, expansive, in your chest or your belly, is it sweet? Is there a rhythm? Does it change when you observe it?
3) Can you feel any emotion anywhere in your body? How does it move? How does it feel?
4) If I lost you here- smile…. to pay attention to your inner world- or outer world takes fierce attention and repetitious returns.
5) Open your eyes and gaze softly at the world around you. What do you see, hear, or feel? Stand still.
What is real, is always moving, transforming, and evolving. You must pay attention… listen.
I had my students engage in an experiment:
I did not tell them what was going to happen or what they should expect. I simply asked one partner to take a strong split-stance and hold his arm out. I asked the other partner to look at that arm like it is her obstacle and try to walk through it. She attempts to walk through. Then I ask her to try again, but this time look beyond the arm and imagine that her goal lies beyond the arm. I ask the obstacle to be as strong as he was the first time. Almost 100% of the time people report it way easier to walk through the arm when they focus on the goal beyond the obstacle (arm). Interestingly, the person acting as the obstacle reports feeling much weaker when attention is not on the arm.
Let me give you an athlete’s perspective. If you are “in the zone,” you see opportunity. The goal beckons you, and the defenders trying to block you create your path. The path is visible even if it is narrow, windy, and likely to shift. If you pause to focus on the defenders, they step into power. You fall back on your heels as you focus in on the unlikely success of getting through so many obstacles. You are defeated before you even begin
Focus on the path of opportunity, not the obstacles that create it.
Get Clear: What do you want?
1) Start where you’re at: Let’s be honest- you know what you don’t want! (Stressors: financial, physical, emotional, mental)
2) Be specific: What would you do if the obstacle didn’t exist?
3) Make it meaningful and realistic: What action would you take?
4) Make it time-based and measurable:
5) Tell a Friend
Knowing what you desire, acts as an a motivating force to help you stay focused and clear about what core quality/ability you are you going to nurture in your life.
The goal is a false end place. It guides you and motivates you, but most importantly is your underlying intention. If it is of happiness and health, then your efforts will never feel as if they are wasted. Come Sept 9th if you aren’t walking in complete comfort, chances are there have made drastic improvements because every day you are checking in and asking, “does this food, this activity, this emotion, serve my greater intention and goal?” Life will shift and perhaps so too will your goal.
Every moment we get to choose: do we empower our fears, or our dreams?
Blossom and prosper.
Two men go to South Africa to see if there is a market for shoes. They arrive at a village and notice that no one is wearing shoes. One guy calls home and says, “We’re shit out of luck:( There is no demand.” The other guy calls home and says, “This is our lucky day! Everyone here needs shoes!”
Why the difference? Some of us are programmed to see “lucky opportunities,” and others are more likely to see misfortune. Why? Our reticular formation in our brainstem filters information leaving out seemingly extraneous information and drawing attention to new or “important” stimuli. Let me give you an example: Your wall gets scuffed as you are moving. It needs to be fixed, but a month goes by and now you hardly ever notice it. On the other end, say you are looking to buy a silver BMW, now everywhere you go you see silver BMWs! Oh my gosh it was meant to be! You should definitely buy one! OR, your reticular formation is on the look out for that one stimuli amongst all other cars. Its filter draws to your attention what you want to see. Darn.
This is how LUCK happens. I’ll be so bold to hypothesize that luck is neurologically wired optimism. If you are programed towards optimism then you are on the look out for new opportunities and possibilities that others can’t see. You are leaving your brain open for new patterning, unimagined possibilities. When this perspective is teamed with courage and determination then your whole life appears, “lucky.” If you or someone you know tend to be pessimistic (it’s easier to see it in others than ourselves- isn’t it!?) you are neurologically wired to live from past patterning (old paradigm) with no way to really move forward without great struggle. We all are actually wired from the past, the key with optimism is that we take what we’ve learned and mix it with a strong belief that there is a new and better way to solve a problem.
So my definition looks like this:
Luck is what happens when you open yourself up to chance with optimism, courage, and determination. Both guys stumbled onto the same situation, one saw opportunity and the other misfortune. The optimist was open to the chance of finding something great, and he does. Then for success to come from this opportunity, he must have a determined work ethic. “What a lucky guy! Right time, right place.”
1) STOP! Stop thinking, start feeling. Tune into your divine nature by slowing and deepening your breath NOW. Notice the sensations in your body.
2) Tune into faith… suggest to yourself that you are open to all the good that life has to offer.
3) Think of everything going on in your life right now- especially the drama. Don’t leave this blog spot till you’ve written down on paper what opportunity might be hiding in your challenge. Also, write down any obvious new opportunity awaiting you.
4) Now- feel what it would be like if you fulfilled the potential of this opportunity. What would the excitement feel like? Who is involved? What would your life look like? How does it feel in your body?
Feeling a new reality is how you rewire the body to be open to see new possibility and act in new ways. Practice often if needed!!
5) Keep this feeling with you as you write down your first three action steps that you will take to fulfill this opportunity.
6) Then do it!
In a short while you will hear your friends saying, “(insert your name) is so lucky.” You know that you make your own luck.
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