Friday, November 29, 2013

To Allow




Thanks to a wonderful audio program on gratitude from author and teacher Angeles Arrien, I have become aware of a universal addiction behavior that has been prevalent in my life: the addiction to the need to know. Arrien talks about how when we have this addiction, we tend to try and drive the outcome, rather than waiting to learn. The other side of this coin is the place I'd rather be: a place of trust, patience, wisdom and flexibility.

Yesterday, my good friend Jana gave me this cool little page from Deepak Chopra's book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Ever read that book? For real, it's sooo good. According to this nifty little page, on Fridays, we can practice "The Law of Detachment: Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are. Do not force solutions--allow solutions to spontaneously emerge. Uncertainty is essential and your path to freedom." Thanks Ms. Arrien and Mr. Chopra, you guys reminded me of one of my favorite verbs: to allow.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Have You Guys Ever Been Wrong?



I have. Like a whole bunch of times already, today.

"A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday." --Alexander Pope

P.S. Remember that time in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind when Kirsten Dunst calls him Pope Alexander? If you haven't seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, stop reading tipsandtricks for goodness sake and start watching it! No, seriously, start watching it *right now.*

Friday, November 22, 2013

Make Bold Choices



Did you guys know that my hairdresser, William, is also an actor? Today we were talking about the advice Brian Cranston gives to aspiring actors in the great interview that went viral a few months ago. William was saying that in auditions it's important to "make bold choices."

Don't tell, but back in college, I was in a comedy troupe. When we held auditions, I thought it was so silly if the people trying out were nervous; we were kids, just like them.

I am reminded of comedy troupe auditions sometimes when I teach to people who have never done yoga before; sometimes it seems like they're afraid to do it "wrong," when, in fact, there is no wrong.

Miles Davis said, "Don't fear mistakes, there are none."

Let's not be afraid, let's make bold choices, especially when it comes to being who we are and going for what we want, let's learn from our experiences and, remember, we're all just a bunch of kids.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How's Your Magic?




The place I work in Santa Fe is kinda fancy; there's lots of nice things there, like natural face lifts, organic cotton clothing, and raw cacao smoothies. What I like about it though, is the people who work there. There's one gentlemen, Victor, who works in the retail section, and from what I can tell, he's a superstar at life. One time instead of asking "How are you?" he asked me "How's your magic?"

*Fantastic* point Victor. We ALL have magic. My job is magic. I say some stuff, people do some things, and when we're done, they feel better. But what you do is magic, too. If you're the boss of people who get paid to work for you, and because of that money they can heat their house and buy coats and mittens for their kids--that's magic! If you used some wood from the forest to build a fence around your house, where there wasn't a fence before--that's magic! Making soup is magic. Putting a jar on top of a spider and a piece of paper underneath that jar, flipping it upside down and carrying the spider outside to free it, rather than smashing it in the bathtub is magic--you just saved a living creature's life! Flossing is magic, teaching someone how to read is magic, drinking herbal tea is magic--oh my gosh you guys, herbal tea is so totally magic.

Love is absolutely without a doubt technically magic.

Love who you're with, love what you do, practice your magic everyday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cherish



A word that comes up a lot for my B.E.S.T. clients is "cherish," meaning that on a fairly regular basis, it's positive for some or one of my clients to feel the feeling of cherish. Yesterday, during my B.E.S.T. treatment, I got the word cherish.

Honestly, I've always thought cherish was kinda a weird word, and the feeling is hard for me to connect with in the present moment; I think of it in reference to something that's past.

*Big surprise alert*: that's why it keeps coming up.

The dictionary defines "cherish" as: to feel or show great love for, to remember or hold in a deeply felt way.

Thinking of cherish on my way to work this morning, I thought, "What would it feel like if I cherished right now? This drive to class?" And then I realized, I sorta did cherish it: I like driving, I like not listening to music, and I like being alone. I had been moving quickly to get myself there with plenty of time to do cardio before; feeling cherish heightened my level of presence and took the air out of my rush.

In teaching, I'm really into transitions; I think it's a good idea to practice our transitions on the mat, maybe then transitions off the mat can feel more graceful. I took Jason Crandell's class today online and in a moment of transition he said, "Take your time with it. Have quality in your experience." That's the lesson cherish holds for me, to have quality in my experience, no matter how mundane, no matter how much there is to do.

I like to look at clouds long enough to see them move; it reminds me that it's all moving, we're all moving, all the time. Cherish feels like a way of slowing down and focusing with love and attention.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When Light Decides



I have learned a lot about myself living out here in the middle of nowhere; like how good I am at worrying. I'll worry about one thing a lot, and as soon as I don't seem to have cause to worry about it anymore, I'll pick up another thing to worry about.

One thing I've learned is that I can't think myself out of worrying. I have to do something in order to stop worrying, like exercise or hang out with a friend. Today, I decided to start a sadhana. Sadhana is defined as a "means of accomplishing something," it's a spiritual practice you commit to for a certain number of days to help you transcend your ego. According to Kundalini Yoga, doing a sadhana for 40 days "changes a habit," and that's exactly what I mean to do. I want change my negative habit of worrying and I want to practice more faith.

I got out my little planner and wrote down all the days that I would be doing my sadhana. Turns out the last day of my sadhana will be the Winter Solstice, when light decides to change its habit too. I thought that was pretty cool, actually, to be honest, I'm totally yoga-dorking-out over it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Healer Self



A while back when I was experiencing some pretty overwhelming anxiety for a few days straight, a shift happened in my teaching. It was morning in the yurt at Ojo and there were probably only 2 or 3 students in my class. The first class at Ojo is called "Mindful Mornings," which I  interpret as an easy and meditative start to the day, so we were keeping it mellow. On that particular day it felt like I was talking to myself more than talking to my students, kinda coaxing myself to settle down and to breathe into my belly.

It's not as though I wasn't paying attention to the others in the room; I was just open in a new way to receiving the medicine of the yoga I was teaching--instead of trying to control it to get students to do certain things to feel certain ways.

A few days later at my breathwork session, Malthide called what I've heard referred to as my "Higher Self," my "Healer Self." Then my Al-Anon book picked right up where Mathilde left off on the very next day. I read, "So it's in my best interest to treat others as I wish to be treated. I try to imagine that my words and actions are being addressed to myself, because in the long run, I generally get back what I give out."

Don't get me wrong, I don't have all the kinks worked out. Sometimes someone comes to class who doesn't know where their shin bone is, which is confusing, because I do know where my shin bone is (thank goodness!), and the other day for the first time since I don't know when, some lady told me she couldn't hear me.

Kinks present, this Healer Self feels good, like another layer of my control leaving, like me being soothed by soothing. Soother: soothed, Healer: Self.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Day of the Dead!



"Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds." -Buddha