Personal growth. Personal Space. (blah blah blah)10 years ago I was super angry, with a HUGE CHINA sized wall around me. I sure couldn't share my personal space. I'd beat you out of it in a heart beat. Literally. Learning how to teach yoga, especially to men, was a HUGE HUGE (HUGE) challenge. It's really interesting how little life events intersect. To come together like a couple of chords to make a pleasant sound. Or musical instruments, to play together, to practice...leading to a fine piece of music. It's like...time stops and...AHHHHH. That's what happened to me in the swimming pool during 2012. Apparently, despite the fact that I almost drowned (seriously) when I was little, I am HOME in the water. HOME. What does that mean. We are all made up of...different constitutes. Type A. MB. Wood/fire. There are a ton of ways to characterize people. They all come down to the same thing. I'll lean towards the more holistic/yoga definitions. They are cool and interesting. Type A sounds so ANAL and negative. So...my strongest "elements" (Chinese nomenclature) is WATER and WOOD. Wood would be a lot of TYPE A. Water...more artistic. That part of me a lot of you haven't seen. You can check out my art here...ARTIST. What's the point. When I swim...I'm in the environment to really get in touch with myself. Check this out...whether I like to or not. It sort of...does whatever the F it wants. It can be very frustrating. But useful too. Especially if you know whats going on and can work with it. Speeds you along the healing/integration process. Why am I writing about it now. I'm dealing with something super duper (uber) deep. It's just about finished and I'm swimming in the pool more. So...the emotions come up to the surface. In the pool I'm working HARD to correct some of my weaknesses. (maybe that's why it's in the pool...I'm pretty comfortable everywhere else). Lets all chuckle for a moment. The point is...everyone has a different mix of these "constitute flavors". So everyone is going to be different...where they find that space. In the Catholic Church. In a forest. On a park bench. Mountain top. Playing music. With family. Meditating. Doing yoga. Running. Praying. Sex. For me, for right now...it's swimming. All this STUFF got stored in my body, my mind, my spirit ( my _____ ). Some of this stuff has been locked up for many longs years, now working its way to the surface and doggedly expressing the need for release. So I swim with my goggles filled with tears. Do my best to scale back and relax. Find rhythm. Honor the process, get my body in sync with the water and let the water do its thing. Here's the KEY: know when the moment has passed and move on. Leave it in the water. Get out of the pool a little bit different. With new space. I hope you find where your space it at. That space that rings true for you. Like a beautiful heart stopping chord. Read More »
I have this plant. From this person that at one point in my life was a very bright part of my life. Now...not so much. One of those relationships that sort of crashed and burned. And to be honest about it, still got space in my heart for that person. With a lot of other stuff too. It's interesting how relationships are long. Are short. Are painful. Are joy filled. We get attached to the "feel good" ones. The ones that nurture us in our comfort zones. That give us mainly loving acceptance and don't push us. Those are just one type of relationship. Equally important. The flip side. The relationships with people that drive us crazy. Countless types of relationships. All equally important. All needed. Blah blah blah. Life is constant change. We are just learning how to dance with the changes. Hopefully it becomes a graceful dance. So this plant...I've had it for a couple years now. It hasn't grown much because I haven't taken care of it. It's one of those plants that will grow like wildfire if you give it bare minimum. And... I'M A PLANT PERSON. I hate it when plants die, it hurts my heart to throw a 1/2 dead plant away. Like there is a 1/2 alive animal (or person) in the trash. That's how I role. Way sappy. You know...within this plant is potential. Waiting to bloom and expand into something else. Waiting on me to donate some water. It really doesn't care about all my garbage that I'm carrying around...it just wishes I'd stop withholding water. So...it's been hanging in there. Holding on, getting a bit taller despite my silliness. For all these years, underneath it all, I have made the act of "watering" this plant about the relationship. My feelings for how it went. Again blah blah blah. The act of "watering" this plant doesn't mean that I was wrong, or that I was right. Or that I'm better or worse. That I'm giving in or up or whatever. Has absolutely nothing to do with that. In yoga we talk about non-attachment. This is what we are talking about. I'm attaching so much to this plant because it just happens that person x gave it to me. Big whoopie now. It's a pretty plant. All by itself. The plant is waiting on me. Wanting to grow. Brighten up my room a bit more.Read More »
Driving to work today I saw 2 parent geese trying to shepherd 2 baby geese across 21st street. There were a variety of styles of vehicles slowing down. Not not slowing down. For a moment, I thought one of the cars was going to hit them all. My heart spasm'd. Like STOPPED. "Oh no...PLEASE DON'T RUN OVER THE BABY GEESE!" My heart screamed out to this person a couple of cars in front of me. Someone honked at them, everyone stopped, and these poor frightened baby geese scurried across the street to safety. What a parallel to how we live our lives. Some of us are LOST. In a big way. We don't see the geese. We don't acknowledge their place in the world. We don't acknowledge our RESPONSIBILITY to live cohesively in the world with others EQUALLY. The Disconnected Some of us sort of get it. We slow down, we might be a bit impatient, and perhaps guilt is what is mainly stopping us. How would you feel if you killed a baby goose. The Fearful Some of us smile when we see the geese crossing. We stopped in plenty of time, we enjoy the sight. The Peaceful And perhaps some of us are even more AWARE, watchful and protective. We stop AND we scan around to see that others are aware and stop too. The Warriors
How do you LIVE your life?For me, honestly, a combination of them all, shifting a lot. My mind next traveled to how I parent my children. Some days I'm totally in a rush. Disconnected. Other times, HONESTLY, some times I got to dig deep and act a certain way with my kids, for fear of...what others will think, how my 14 year old with respond and will he next do what I need because of the "rush" that causes the disconnected and blah blah blah. Some days I'm in the groove and feel like super parent. And anyone that knows me knows I've got plenty of The Warrior, for my kids and everyone else as well. I think the magic happens when we can sculpt our lives in such a way...to give ourselves the chance at being at the higher levels of living. Knowing that you're DISCONNECTED is a great step. Look around and see what's not working. How things could be different. CHANGE IT! Try something different. Reassess. JUST KEEP LIVING. And please stop for the baby geese. Read More »
We DO diets. We DO New Year's Resolutions. We DO training. We DO the things that get us to the goal. We DO "be nice and say our prayers". We try this and we try that. We DO a lot of things. But what ARE we? What are we BEING when we are DOING all of this DO? Is there some spot on the map, "DESTINATION", that we are trying to get to by all this doing? Am I a crazy stressed out person playing "calm" when I swim or when I attempt to parent my children. Or am I moving towards BECOMING CALM. Am I shedding the layers that manifest the crazy stressed out. Am I CALM already, deep inside? Is CALM something I have to learn, or relearn, then BECOME? The getting to this place called DESTINATION? Do we throw the map away? Is the spot not the point? Is it about the ability to morph? Go through constant metamorphosis. Always changing. Always becoming. Always ALREADY being at the DESTINATION? Changing. Really changing. Not just faking it, not sort of lying to ourselves, or playing a part. Really changing. Letting go of ourselves, having faith that the next stage will be more beautiful. Must be scary for the caterpillar to go into his sack for a bit, sightless. And what an awe; wouldn't it be cool to experience what the butterfly must experience emerging new. Transformed. ABLE TO FLY. The world to look so different. Having BECOME something different. To grace the world with beauty. For real world application. Do you practice yoga and when the series is done, step up to the top of the mat and let everything hang out waiting for the next instruction? Do you slouch in the grocery store aisle? Are you calm with those you want to impress and yell at your children or spouse? Do you give grace to others when they make a mistake, but not to yourself when you do? Are you DOING? Are you BECOMING?Read More »
There as been a lot of conversation about yoga. In the papers, in books, everywhere. Admittedly, my thoughts have been roaming all over the place. As with the conversations, some positive, some negative. Inspiration and thought provoking. Unknowing and stagnant. And of course, with so many different people and so many different expressions of yoga. Like the cereal aisle. Toothpaste aisle. Shoe aisle. Parenting styles. Like the vast array of religious and spiritual flavors you have to chose from. Of course you'll have this opinion and that. I'd like to share with you what I've learned on the yoga mat. Where my thoughts have landed today. There is this dance we learn on the yoga mat. The dance between Strength and Flexibility. The internal DISCOVERY of your strengths. Your weaknesses. Yoga would have you work with your strengths. Develop more strength an in area, more flexibility in another, balancing things out. And in this way, we learn BALANCE. Right here, right now. It's not about trying to get to some ideal. A picture of some super attractive person doing something that we all wish we could do. It's about contentment right here, right now. With a healthy desire to right forward. We learn how to develop more balance. Right here, right now. From this comes HEALING. So the dance goes on. Through the steps of strength and flexibility, we dance through the cycle of Discovery - Balance - Healing. Things always changing. Changing partners, changing music. Always dancing.
Finding Stilling in
I'll tell you in the beginning, perhaps to give you the motivation to try it. Why it works. When we are super busy, our to-do list gets LONG. And we get in a frenzy and just the mere fact that the list is long and never ending makes us...perhaps a bit constricted. Ask yourself, does your to-do list make you smile or make you frown. We can lose the clarity to know what we really need to focus on, the ability to let the not so vital things go, or delegate. It's ok, if somethings aren't done perfectly and all that. Perhaps we over commit because we aren't in a great space. Trying to prove something, pushing so hard for a certain end result. And the story can go on and on. Well, lets shift thinking for just a second. Take a deep breath, hold and FULLY exhale. What does slowing down do for us. It gives us the time and space to center ourselves. To get to what powers us. Prayer or meditation. A walk or run. Whatever gets you to that space. Exercise it. Think of it like a muscle. Strengthen it. Feed it. Watch it grow. Feel its power. And step back, after your "slow down time", to see how things work a TON better, like they've been greased and oiled. And you totally feel better. So here is the practice.
- Sit comfortable. Shake out your hands. Like flinging water off the fingertips. Bring your awareness to your breath. Place energized hands in your lap, palms up. Focus on the hands, how they feel, find your pulse in your fingertips.
- Nice deep breathing. Not forced.
- Imagine a light at the core of your being. As you inhale, let the light be brighter, exhaling a bit dimmer.
- Let this energy fill the chest and shoulders. Down to your hands.
- Focus on the hands. How they feel, the air, temperature...With relaxed arms and shoulders, lift the hands into the air.
- Move SLOWLY. VERY SLOWLY, almost like you can't see it. Feel the air moving over your hands. Can you feel as if the hands are moving by themselves?
- Turn palms towards each other. As the hands come together, pulse them slowly. Can you feel the energy between your hands, as if you are holding a ball of energy.
- For a minute or two or three, let your hands move naturally. Notice the smallest sensations. At some point, let the hands come to the body, naturally, organically, perhaps a place needing healing, love.
- Naturally let the hands come to the lap. Sit in silence for a minute or two.