Friday, June 28, 2013

A Day as a Prayer

The other day I woke up in a major funk: I hadn't slept very well the night before, my brain was squeezing itself from all the futurizing I was doing, and this one thing was really really bothering me.

Gosh I'm so lucky that teaching yoga and giving B.E.S.T. treatments ask me to be 100% present; I can't get away with worrying while I'm working, and on this particular dark feeling day, I had a lot of commitments in my little appointment book.

Inspired by the relief I had felt keeping it simple in meditation, I decided to just focus on one subject. When I wasn't working, I decided I could pray for the one item that was genuinely bothering me, and nothing else. For that one day, I didn't allow myself to worry or pray about anything else, when I was in my car, I didn't even listen to the radio, I just prayed.

Unexpectedly, my day felt like a reprieve from regular old not-praying-all-day days. Every time a thought entered my mind that wasn't my prayer, I sent it away and re-focused on the matter at hand. And for reals you guys, the next morning when I woke up, what had felt so heavy had lightened--it's not completely gone, but it's better; and it was valuable for me to be reminded about doing just one thing at a time. One thing at a time I can do.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweet Relief

Last Wednesday evening, I was getting some work done online when all of a sudden, there wasn't anymore online. There was no more 3G on my phone either. This has happened a few times since I've lived in Taos; last week, it had something to do with a fiber cut, I don't know what that means, but I do know the internet was DOWN, not like, "Oh, I'll just ask my neighbor for her wifi password," like: crickets. I put off my work, watched a movie and went to sleep. When I woke up on Thursday morning, extra early to get that work done, there still wasn't internet or 3G. "Well, geez," I thought, "I guess I'll take a break." With all that surplus time, instead of returning emails, I watched some episodes of 30 Rock on DVD. I still felt kinda anxious though, like I should be getting something done; but when I really looked at my to-do list, everything required the internet, so I sat down to meditate.

Something about the relief I sunk into when I realized no work could get done super-sweetened my meditation. "I am so lucky," I thought, "for the next 15 minutes, I don't have to think about anything but my inhale or my exhale." So often we think of meditating as difficult. "It's tough not think of anything but my breath." "It's so hard to sit still! I have so much to do!" What if we just let it be a relief? Just I sweet little, "Woohoo guys, for this next little bit, I've got nothing else to do."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bless Your Heart

Yesterday, I was listening to this lady Cyndi Dale speak on Soundstrue podcast. She is so much better at explaining things than me. She talks about how science is late joining the party when it comes to the subject of auric fields. "Shamans of yore" and ancient artists depicting the holy ones have always known about auric fields. In science, they call it our electromagnetic field or EMF. She says, "Your field filters energy and information, it protects you from negative and intrusive information and it attracts to you what you need." She then goes on to talk about Kirlian photographs, which are pictures of energy fields.

What's particularly interesting is the research that has been done about the heart's electromagnetic field, "Your heart's EMF is actually 5,000 times greater than that emanating from your brain." Cyndi Dale goes on: "Your heart's field not only determines how you meet and greet the world, but the health of your entire being. When you're in a positive place, when you're holding positive emotions such as love, hope, truth and faith, the field emanating from your heart literally bathes all of your cells, all of which emanate electromagnetic fields of their own, as well as the entire field around you."

When I was in college, I had a lot of tummy aches. Someone I trusted recommended I go to a doctor who specialized in insomnia, so I did. Dr. Shane asked me to breathe into my heart. No one had ever asked me to do that before and I had a hard time locating it. When I finally did, it felt tense, I suppose because I had never payed attention to it before. All of Dr. Shane's meditations (even the ones for sleeping) begin with the heart, breathe into your heart, every side of it, cultivate a warmth towards it. Sometimes it was hard, or I would cry, but I did feel a warmth in my heart and it was easy once I felt that warmth to spread it down to my belly or any other part of my body that was in pain. My tummy always felt better and I practiced Dr. Shane's meditations on my own for years.

Bless your heart by breathing into it and your whole being will be blessed too. Go on. No one can see. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Listening to What the World is Saying

To come clean with you guys: for the past long time, I've been kinda apathetic about teaching yoga. Perhaps this happened for many reasons, I know about two of them. Reason #1: for many years, I taught at this crazy place that asked a lot of its teachers; it was an incredible experience, but not necessarily the right experience for someone (like me) who's already a perfectionist. So we're super clear, I will always be grateful for that experience, I've just had a yoga teaching hangover from it for almost two years. Reason #2: it's been a long long time since I've had a teacher who was a yoga teacher, someone I could look up to, someone I want to study with; it's been a long time. This apathy towards teaching yoga has been great for my other ambitions. Ready to give up teaching, I've gone to school, become certified and started to practice the only process in my life that has been more profound than yoga: B.E.S.T.

About a year ago, when I became certified to practice B.E.S.T., I gave up some of my classes and said to the world, "I am going to start teaching a lot less." I wanted to focus on B.E.S.T. and eventually see maybe just one private yoga student a week and teach one group class. Turns out, my little idea was not the same as the world's bigger one. Since my proclamation, I have received more offers and been given more opportunities to teach yoga than I can even count. Sometimes, I said "yes," most of the time I said "no." And then a couple of weeks ago, it finally hit me, "People really like it when I teach yoga and I can't stop them, so...I guess I'll join them." I looked at what I needed to do for myself to enjoy teaching more. I bought some books and I've started to research doing another teacher training. Then I looked at my schedule and realized I wanted to do something about the one place I taught that didn't really inspire me. That same week, I got an email from a friend of mine who owns a beautiful private gym and yoga studio. Turns out, she can read my mind. She wanted to talk because she thought I might be ready to stop teaching at that place that didn't really inspire me, then she invited me to teach at her gorgeous space. I started teaching there this week and I have so much enthusiasm about it: I can ride my bike there, I have a lot of respect for my friend who owns the place and the students are glad to come and take my class. I want to do a good job, for the first time in years, I want to be a better teacher.

When I finally decided to listen to what the world was saying and not to not resist it, I began to relax. In that relaxing I felt grateful, I am very blessed, teaching yoga is a great job and it keeps me so honest. Things shifted and I love my new schedule, from my opening to gratitude, my world got even better than it already was and it was pretty darn great before.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Altar #1

"Submit to a daily practice. 
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside 
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who's there."

-Rumi "The Sunrise Ruby"

Friday, June 7, 2013

Being That Place

I am so lucky to have a client who does work that is very similar to mine. The other day, we were talking about using B.E.S.T. and other techniques to remove interference that keeps us from, as my client says, "Being That Place."

"That Place" is the place where the answers are, it's the work you want to do, it's the love you want to give. Whatever you're doing, whatever you're giving, it is that.

When I'm in a yoga pose, I do my best to eliminate any part of me that is not that pose. I notice my thoughts when I'm meditating, that way they don't hinder me when I'm not. I try to get a good night's sleep every night; it's better when I don't drink an extra glass of wine. There will be less obstruction between me and that place in my everyday.

With certain things I do, it's harder to be that place because I'm new to them. Recently, I was gardening, something I have no experience with. I had a lot of questions, and once they were answered, I did my best to be the task. There was less continuity than with things I already know, but in that moment, gardening was the work, and I want to be the work even while also learning the new. I can be more present by relinquishing my ownership of what I do and what I give. I can keep letting go of the "me."

That "me" is so little, so absolutely tiny compared to the freedom and the flow that is being that place.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Follow That Swallow

On the way to our hike the other day, I was talking to my new friend Judy about the benefits of meditating. "And," I threw in at the end, "it's so great for perspective. I don't know about you but I believe all of the arbitrary rules I create for myself. When I meditate, I realize I don't have to believe any rules. My to-do list only rules me if I let it."

While we were hiking, Mike pointed out the bat-like birds that were flying high above us. Swallows. Cuuuuute.

According to Animal Speak, "The swallow is a graceful flyer, and it actually spends little time on the ground. This is important for those with this totem to remember. Do not allow yourself to become too deeply enmeshed in the mundane. If a swallow has shown up, it may be telling you that you are weakest when trying to handle things from strictly a mundane perspective. Rise above it. Move beyond, so that you can gain a better perspective." (Andrews, 1993, 194).