Friday, August 30, 2013

Being with Clouds

"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Easy Busy

When you get a B.E.S.T. treatment, your B.E.S.T. practitioner gives you a series of words; these words are always positive feelings. When your treatment is over, you leave with a piece of paper that has those words on it. The piece of paper is a party favor for taking care of yourself and a reminder: in between treatments, it's good for you to feel those positive feelings.

Lately, I've been getting the feeling "exact" a lot. I can get down with feeling exact, sometimes it seems like the opposite of indecisive or an antidote to vagueness and I know and being vague or feeling indecisive can completely frazzle me. This time around with exact, I decided to get exact about my intention for each day.

About a year ago, an acquaintance of mine wrote an article for The New York Times blog about what he called "The Busy Trap." As I recall, he talked about the "over-glorification of busy"  and how being busy actually isn't that cool. I've thought about that article quite a bit since reading it, and speaking of feelings, I have had a lot of different ones about being busy.

Recently, I've been getting stressed out about being busy. When I know a super busy day is coming up, I anticipate it, "Oh, Gosh, here comes that busy one," I think to myself. This morning when I noticed a first glint of feeling anxious about how jam-packed today is, I cancelled it with today's top-notch and totally exact intention: "Although today is busy, I'm going to let it be easy." Ahhhhh.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lucky Bamboo

Last week, when I was doing the dishes, the ring that I've had on my right hand since 2006 broke and fell off. My first instinct was to be sad, I love that ring so much; but then I remembered a few years back when my lucky bamboo died.

For so long, my lucky bamboo was my only plant and it thrived with my undivided attention. One day out of the blue, it just up and died. I was sad to see it go and worried about my fortune without it; things had been going well, without my lucky bamboo, would everything turn to shit?

That day at yoga, my teacher could tell I was distracted and asked me what was wrong. "My lucky bamboo died," I said."That means you didn't need it anymore," she said.

My best friend is good at losing things. If she looses her glasses, if her iPhone breaks or her purse gets stolen, she takes it well. I super big time respect that about her; I have a harder time letting stuff go.

When I think back to what my life looked like when I put that ring on my finger, I can see clearly that I don't need it anymore. To let it go feels the opposite of sad, happy actually. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Other People's Altars #3

"Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God." – Diana Robinson

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sleep On It

I love this whole slowing down and learning not to rush thing; I still have a lot of work to do, but I realize I have come pretty far. Back when I was a brand new baby yoga teacher, if I got a text message asking me to sub a class, I felt like I had to respond right away. The case could be made that responding promptly is a courteous thing to do, especially last minute. But I see now it's just as important for me to finish whatever I'm doing, figure out if I'm available and if subbing is something I want to do. I don't have to go over to the other teacher's side of the fence or be dramatic about how sorry I am she has a migraine.

Last night, I got a text message from a friend of mine who lives in Santa Fe. He's coming up to Taos this weekend and is wondering if I knew of anywhere he could crash. I wrote back, "Let me think about it," knowing full well I'll be out of town this weekend and the answer could be a very simple, "Sure you can crash at my place." I like the expression "Sleep on it," sleeping on it is a great way to make sure not to hurry into a decision. My teacher Jen, who reminds me to be in my body, would say, "See how it feels in your body." Ultimately, I want to help people out by subbing their classes and letting them crash at my house, but it's important for me to take time to make sure I'm doing those things NOT just because I want to help them out, but also because I WANT to. Doing things we don't want to do can cause resentment and expectation; even though lots of times, people will do things to help us out, we can't expect them to just because we did something to help them out. Sit with it, sleep on it, do some yoga, go for a walk, whatever, just take your time.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's a Process

"As long as you live, keep learning how to live." -Seneca

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rosy Over Here

I don't want you guys to think that it's always all rosy over here. In fact, just last night, I said something like "I am so so mad," and "She's my arch-nemesis," about two different topics within the space of an hour. Lots of times though, I can't help myself and I love the waiter, the guy panhandling or everyone who's in my yoga class a whole lot.

Although I know lots of Sanskrit chants from years of studying yoga, there's only one I ever want to chant anymore. It goes, "lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu," and it essentially means "may all being everywhere be happy and free."

Sometimes I have felt silly for loving strangers and other times I've thought "I should lead my students in a different chant." The other night, I felt better about these ways that I am after watching a documentary called I Am. I don't want to go into what I Am is about as much as I want you, dear reader, to watch it. If you like tipsandtricks, but think I'm far out for trying to practice things like positivity and forgiveness, this movie will help you to understand the science of why. And even if you don't like tipsandtricks or think being positive is boring, I suggest you watch the film anyway; Desmond Tutu is in it, and he's super charismatic and fun to watch, sometimes even a little rosy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Man in the Mirror

I looove Michael Jackson, and I particularly like the song "Man in the Mirror."  In the song he sings: "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change." This is a great idea. In the video you'll find Michael, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. I believe those guys did make the world a better place. 

But for the rest of us, how do we make a change in ourselves that could make the world a better place?

There are lots of ways to answer to that question, but today I am inspired by what Caroline Myss has to say. She is older and more confident than I am, and she is actually pretty hardcore about love and forgiveness.

She talks about what she wants us to decide next time we're in a conflict:

"I am not going to pass on this suffering. I am not going to pass this pain that I feel back to this person." She wants us to turn that pain back onto ourselves. She wants us to realize that, "[i]f I transfer this suffering onto somebody else, they're going to have to transfer it onto somebody else." Whether you're in a big argument or if you just feel kinda defensive, she wants you to "...separate yourself from your own rage and hit the pause button. And then realize 'My God, this is forgiveness.' Forgiveness is the decision to take that pain and say, 'No, I'm not going to give this back. I'm going to pray it away for both of us.'" 

Told you she was hardcore. She asks us to, "[j]ust be mindful for one day, in every conversation of whether you pass on pain or love."

Make the world a better place type of stuff, for reals.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Walking Just for Fun

Somehow lately my awareness of when I am being present and when I'm not has been heightened. One of the reasons I'm sure the world still wants me to teach yoga is cause I still have a lot of work to do in terms of being present.

I've been noticing how difficult it is to be present while propelling myself through space. I like driving cars and I loooove riding bikes and I do those things to get places. Sometimes I'll even walk to get to where I'm going. Turns out, I find it particularly challenging while en route to be present. I guess I'm always thinking about what it's going to be like when I get to where I'm going; but gosh I want to be present for the en route part--that can be such a great part too.

I understand the value now more than ever of something that Julia Cameron is really into: walking, just for the sake of walking. Back when I used to be good about doing The Artist's Way, I lived in New York and I HAD to walk all the time to get places; the last thing I wanted to do was walk just for fun. But it's that aimlessness that cultivates presence and presence cultivates peace and a lot of good ideas.

So yeah, I believe in walking just to walk. But what's working well for me that doesn't ask for extra energy or time is to just be present: when I'm at work, while I'm listening to a story, and as I my ride my bike. One of my favorite yoga teachers said something once about how we want to "uncondition the rush." Word to your moms: what are we rushing for? To get to that next part? What for? I know I've said it before, but, you guys, someday we're going to die, let's be present for it, all of it, while we can.