Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Moving Towards Wholeness

The other day, I had a Holotropic Breathwork session with a dear lady just up the road in Arroyo Seco. The name "Holotropic," comes from Greek words and literally means "moving towards wholeness."

Before our session started, she spent some time orienting me to what might happen. She said, "Your inner knowing already knows how to use this opportunity." I like how I feel when I believe that, and I am going to continue to believe that about, well, everything.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Release Out of Me

Sometimes in my voice lessons, we work on pretty hard songs, and sometimes, we work on fun ones. Before we start working on the songs though, we do a warm-up. My favorite warm-up is when we lay down on the floor and "sound" all of our chakras.

Although I love that warm-up so much, I've struggled to stay out of my head during it; the first yoga teacher training I did teaches to teach based on the chakras, so I've been studying them for a long time. The last time we did the chakra warm-up was different though. On that particular day, I was not at all in my head and rather than making the sounds for each of the chakras, it felt like I was releasing them. Turns out, that's a good access for me to take when it comes to singing a song too; to just release it.

In fact, that's a pretty good way for me to approach a lot of things in my life as I tend to over-effort and have tension in my body and my mind. I can set an intention, and then, rather than trying so ding dong hard to do everything so right, I can let my work, my love, my words, you name it, release out of me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Skunk Medicine

Do you ever have those times when you spend a lot of time with another person/other people and when you're by yourself again you feel lonesome? I love being alone. Sometimes I feel a relief when I'm alone, but sometimes, I feel lonely. More and more I'm learning that it feels lonely when I've gotten out of step with myself.

Smokey got sprayed by a skunk last night. I feel like such a princess for writing about it rather than helping clean him up, but maybe I'll get my chance later tonight.

Animal Speak says skunks ain't playin'. They use their spray only as a last resort and its effect demands recognition: "...look at how people respond to it. They show great respect for (the skunk) and what it can do. This is part of what the skunk teaches. It teaches how to give respect, expect respect and demand respect. The skunk does not get out of the way of any animal. It moves along at its own speed, with its own mind. It is self-assured and confident in itself. If skunk has shown up, it can help you with this particular aspect. It can teach you how to be more self-assured and how to assert yourself. Examine your self-image." (Andrews, 1993, 312-314).

While on the phone with Mike last night talking about Smokey, I was drinking some Yogi Tea. The fortune on my tea bag said, "Self-reliance conquers any difficulty." The dictionary lists "confident or trustful dependance," as the first meaning of reliance. I'll be darned if that's not a good way to feel towards yourself. I'm going to practice feeling that way when I'm by myself and when I'm with other people.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Resting is so Totally Underrated

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop." -Ovid

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Changing Transforming

There's all kinds of good quotes like, "let your smile change people, but don't let people change your smile," and "Make the money, don't let the money make you. Change the game don't let the game change you."

Know what I think is fun? To decide: "I'm going to let this change me."

There's this one relationship in my life that is absolutely changing me, and I'm glad, I want it to. This past weekend, I was a student in a Restorative yoga teacher training. Most days before I went to Restorative class, I did my "regular" practice, a much more active style of yoga followed by some meditation. Yesterday as I was doing my personal practice, I noticed myself slowing down, exhaling through my mouth and pausing between poses. I realized the work I was doing in the teacher training was changing me. "Neato," I thought. "I'm going to let it."

What's really fun is to be aware. Through awareness we can pick and choose, "I didn't really like that one part. I'm going to take what I liked and leave the rest," or "This new way of doing things works for me."

When we're conscious about changing, I think we get to use a fancier word: transforming.

Friday, October 11, 2013

"This is Buddha"

There are times when I question why the universe hasn't let me off the hook from being a yoga teacher, and then there are times when I have answers.

Yesterday was one of those answers times. I am currently studying Restorative yoga with the lady who wrote the book on it, Judith Hanson Lasater. She articulated so well something that is important to me. She said that yoga is about "finding and living from unconditional regard for myself and everyone."

One of her mantras for when she's out in the world is a kind of reminder. While interacting with people, she says to herself, "This is Buddha." And then she thinks the same mantra for the next person she interacts with, "This is Buddha."

But wait! That's not even my favorite part! To her, it doesn't matter if the person she's interacting with is actually not Buddha. She says she doesn't even care if that's not the truth. She says, "I like how I feel when I believe that thought." Me too.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spare No Expense

I spare no expense when it comes to buying thank you notes. This little 6 pack was 14 smackers. But I love buying cards like this, filling them out and sending them, I believe that "Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life."--Chrisitane Northrup

Writing and sending a note, even a thank you note, is an act of giving and being able to give is something else I feel grateful for. "A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving."--Albert Einstein

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Greatest Hits Tipsandtricks 2012-2013

Rabbit rabbit rabbit. Tipsandtricks' birthday came and went a month ago with me too busy to even notice, let alone celebrate. Let's party today with last year's batch of Greatest Hits. Thank you so much for reading everybody, you guys sure do know how to keep a gal writing.

1. Talent

2. Blow Up Your Spot

3. Sides of History

4. Backbends

5. Out of Alignment

6. My Hare Krishna Friend

7. Upward Facing Bow Pose

8. Smoothies and the Highway

9. Ho'oponopono Prayer

10. Bless Your Heart