Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Swaying with the Current~

One day on, the next day off.  One night of decent sleep, another with hardly any sleep.  It's been a bit up and down, on then off again lately. The past three weeks have been so busy as Jason has been immersed in cycling camps the whole time. And, really, things have been busy since before the new year started with our trip out to Telluride, the car trouble and such. 
Anyway,  I find that when I am feeling a bit off and my mind is not clear that this is generally a sign that I am in need of some down time and some serious self nurturing. 

The truth is I keep waiting for a break and a moment of slow down, but it never seems to come.  In this place of wanting and waiting for a break and feeling tired of it all, I came across this:

“…we are called in this life to attend a changing landscape, both outwardly and inwardly. As emotional beasts, we often blind ourselves running cheetahlike into the thorns that sprout in our way.
“Sometimes this is unavoidable, but part of our dance as human beings is to live in full acceptance of the fact that nothing, not even the earth beneath our feet, is standing still. This acceptance gives rise to a sensibility akin to tai chi in which we can flow, whenever possible, like water around the thorns that sprout near our eyes.
“So the deeper lesson is that adapting to the flow of life is more than reacting to things that just seem to happen. It requires our continual attention and movement with the life around us, the way underwater sea grass sways with the currents. For existence is a constant work in progress, not a still life, and like it or not, we are constant participants connected to everything in view or not.”
~Mark Nepo from The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life
I found this on the Mystic Mamma website (  I love this website and I visit it nearly every day. I highly recommend it. The timing of this quote could not be more perfect. Seek and ye shall find, right?  

What a great reminder it is to me that "nothing, not even the earth beneath our feet, is standing still."  I often catch myself looking for and waiting for things in my life to be different than they are. Then I realize that this is just me trying to make life how I want it  to be instead of embracing it as it is. Just remembering that the motion never stops and that some things are out of my control makes it easier to let go. And in the letting go, there is a break.  I am no longer wasting energy, but rather, I am learning how to conserve energy. 

As I am writing this, what just came clear to me is that I am looking for life to give me what I want and need and expecting that life pause long enough for me to catch my breath, collect my thoughts and rest.  It's not going to happen. What can happen, though, is that I can remember that the stillness I seek is within me. I can remember that I can give myself what I need instead of waiting on the world to do so. I can stop cleaning or moving and sit down at any time during my day and take a breath.  I can close my eyes and feel the stillness on the inside.  I can learn to adapt to the movement and way of my life.  Meaning, I can learn the art of being truly fluid by learning to go with the tired instead of against it.  And I can remember that just because life is demanding doesn't mean I have to give it all away.  It all comes back to awareness and noticing whether or not I am going with the current situation or against it.  

The image of sea grass swaying with the currents is a powerful one for me and one that I can relate to. Being in the flow has a whole new meaning. I get it.  It is in the movement that we find the stillness.  Just like focusing on hearing and feeling the movement of the breath creates the calm, or the way that harmony is found in the midst of sound and not on it's own like a melody. Movement is life.  Movement is not about being busy at all, its about flow and feeling, adaptability and attention, and, most importantly, it's about relinquishing control to some degree.  It's about being pulled along instead of being pushed around.  And if I can remember this, it changes everything.  

So, the first inquiry of the day will be: what is it that I need to do for myself today to feel balanced and happy?  If I pause, listen and feel first, I will know the answer. 

In it,


Monday, February 10, 2014

What Matters~

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a
listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, allof which have the potential to turn a life around.”  Leo Buscaglia

Life is busy and ever changing as usual.  Liam and Lila are well and always a buzz with energy and silly antics.  Jason is overwhelmed with work, and I too am teaching a little more than my usual three classes.  Even still, we are happy and well.

For the past two Saturdays,  I have been sharing restorative yoga with a great group of people!  It's been a real delight for me to teach in this way even with all the work,  love and attention that it requires.  I am enjoying the change personally and everyone seems to really be enjoying the sweet depths of Restorative yoga. Real rest seems to be a foreign concept to most,  and seeing people do just that is quite a gift.  Everyone looks so different after class: shoulders relaxed, eyes bright, calm and clear in their presence, and all their hard edges have been softened.

In deciding to go for offering this series,  I really just wanted to do something I felt was needed.  For a while now,  I have a had a strong feeling and lots of little signs and recurring messages that were pointing me in this direction of teaching and in utilizing my gifts.  I am glad I am paying attention and am glad I went for it with or without a full certification.

I want to get certified as a Relax and Renew teacher and am aiming for this October since last fall did not work out.  I am craving an opportunity to immerse myself as a student and learn and grow in different ways.  I am ready for that and soon the timing will be better for such things.  As for now,  what I know is enough to take care of the people that I am get to share my time with.  And if there is one thing I do know about myself, it is that I care. Also,  I am really good at taking care of people so this all works out quite well. At least I have some clarity in this realm.

You see,  I do not view myself as just a class instructor; I view myself as a guide and helper on the path.  I know that it is my job to create a safe, sacred space for students to come and practice in.  I know that everyone comes in with something they need to heal or let go of, change or grieve, or celebrate and just be in good company for a while.  Community is so important.  And positive, truly caring company is vital to people's wellbeing.  We don't realize that we need that until we've felt like we are part of something and loved just the way we are.

So it matters to me to be honest when I teach, to trust what I am inspired by and feel a strong urge to do even if the end product is not perfect, and even if what I am teaching has or has not been done.  I think this is one of the greatest things I have learned over the years as I have walked this path. Be Authentic.  Be Real.  Be willing to bare your heart and make lots and lots of mistakes, fall down and get back up again and again and again.  Because as you or I make mistakes, fall down, get back up and show up anyway,  something shifts and this is when the real learning and growth occurs.

 What I know for sure, nearly 10 years in, that if I am staying centered in my heart and letting service be the way, then what comes is right.  Meaning, the message or teaching that wants to come through is there for somebody who needs it right then. Teaching is not about perfection, or superb, creative sequencing, thorough knowledge about yoga philosophy and history, or about knowing how to say or spell every Sanskrit word correctly.  I am not saying that these things don't matter or help because they do.  But just because you know all the Sanskrit names or you are a whiz at yoga philosophy and history does not instantly make you a good teacher.   Because when it comes right down to it, teaching is about connecting with your students, and, ultimately, it's about caring about the people who come to spend their time with you once a week or several times a week.  And, I would add to this, that having all the technical aspects of teaching down does not mean that one has learned how to teach in an authentic,  heart-centered way. These things take time.


Teaching with heart matters. Otherwise,  a yoga class is just another exercise class.

Take Great Care,