Our true self calls from deep within and this authentic revelation is beautiful and amazing. Life is tricky, challenging and presents so many stories that begs to differ this idea. In the practice of Yoga and Ayurveda we are given the gunas that reveal to us the pattern of clarity, restlessness and inertia. There are so many ways to share the patterns that show up in our life. Even in the world of counseling moving towards congruence and self actualization/realization is a main concept. Imagine living from a place of inner richness, harmony and peace. Imagine sharing this truth in a loving way that supports others with intelligence, the ability to problem solve and be heart felt. We get honest with what we are feeling inside and know that the doubt, fear, despair are very real and very much a part of this whole divine expression of life, but it is not where we have to live from there is always a chance to turn something rotten into something amazing.
Please realize I say it’s episode 22 but really it is episode 23!!! Serving our soul requires us to also nourish the vessel that allows it to express itself in this world. For me, this is the invitation of yoga. This practice holds twists and heart openers to bring you into a greater alignment physically that will allow you to choose to align with that which is life enhancing. That sounds a whole lot better than just winging it and hoping that the way we move supports us rather than depletes us.
How are you showing up for your life? What is it all really about? Can you tune into the miraculous nature that surrounds you? Think on it, listen to your own inner call and honor her. Allow your light to lead the way so that you illuminate the path for those around you alleviating pain and overwhelm as you deepen your faith with your own truth. This is serving our soul…individually and collectively. Being able to lead from this place brings clarity, confidence and a deep sense of fulfillment. Listen for yourself!
A lifetime ago I used to work in the film industry coordinating art departments, being a location scout or just being a production assistant. It all sounds glamorous but it was a lot of work. Fun mind you but work. The opportunity to be a set PA fresh out of college was pretty cool. A made for TV movie with some famous people in it. I am not one for famous people so the one famous person I didn't know I was quickly told that I needed to understand he was a legend in his own way. So working with this person was quite the opportunity. Well he took a liking to me. He preferred that I was the one who got him when it was time to go be on set and every day he was on set he invited me to eat with him. Needless to say when this leading actor takes a liking to a PA everybody else took a liking to me and this inspired me to do a really good job. Anyhow what he taught me was a couple of things actually a lot of things. But one thing that still sticks with me is he always stayed in character throughout the production and he shared that one of the greatest skills in acting is using your eyes, really speaking through your eyes. He would go on and on about how this is they way to engage those around you.
Life comes at us fast or slow. How we show up is one thing and how we see the world is incredibly powerful. There is a theoretical orientation in counseling that recognizes the inner workings or system of every individual. That you play many parts but there is always the core essence (my words) that can observe and operate objectively while still being true to your grace/light/beauty/bad ass self. However we usually are not taught how to be in touch and the different parts get tangled and well we are still in our professional role even when we are done filming… As a yoga teacher I have been exposed to teach to the highest. To always teach to the highest version of the people in front of me. This also happens to be a gift of mine is that I can always see the highest, even in the people I'm not really fond of. It can make people uncomfortable only because that is who I speak to, your amazing being that so wants to come out and play. When on our mat we are aligning to this higher frequency, energy, soul, tuning in to the Holy Spirit, revealing grace, however you want to call it. Tapping into the wellspring of wellbeing that is readily available that reminds us again and again that All will be well. So what if we were able to stay in character with this highest expression of our core self. That being in character actually means keeping our true self at the center and allowing them to direct and produce our life?
When this particular production had ended filming my job was over. When I turned in all the walkie-talkies, I had one more responsibility and that was to drive this famous person, my actor friend to the wrap party. Anyone for familiar with the film industry knows actors are driven by Teamsters. However he asked for me. When I went to go pick him up he was no longer in character. This southern gentleman that I had gotten to know because I had no idea who this person was before, was himself. I barely recognized him. It's still sits with me that this person was so talented in staying in character that I couldn't even see his true self. I was only 21 at the time but I was caught so off guard when he was done pretending and was back to who he really was…I kind of liked the character better than the person. But it was fun watching how many other people enjoyed the return to his true self.
It's a story that makes me wonder how many of us are so good at staying in character that we've gotten distanced from our own truth. That we've created such a gap between how we express ourself to the world and who we are on the inside that we don't even know how to tap into and call on our own sacred essence and integrate them into all the things we do. What would it be like to have a sacred relationship with our essential nature that's eternal, loving, gracious. Or I like to say beautiful, brilliant, and badass. That when we take on different task different roles, different relationships, our true self always leads the way. We know when we have to put on the hat to be the professional, the friend, family member, the stranger, member of society, neighbor, all the different roles we engage with but we know how to show up with our sacred truth and the forefront. Investing in the intimacy of our highest self may make you feel a little squirmy. The greatest gift you can offer to those in your life is to be true to yourself rather than pretending to be someone else. Aligning to a version of you that honors the highest then allows you to inspire joy and the highest all around you. You will still hit bumps and challenges in life, there is no way out of that, but life will be more enjoyable, feel supported and directed on the path of life with clarity and confidence. My friend on set had such confidence in his acting, that his true nature still showed up as he expressed his character through his eyes. Your eyes are an amazing transmission of the light within.
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A simple offering of how the power of yoga begins to integrate the body and mind to elevate our experience of life. It only makes sense to begin the podcast with a pondering and exploration of how yoga helps us handle the complex nature of being. A simple unpacking of yoga and it's process to understand oneself as a physical manifestation or embodiment of love. Give yourself a moment to consider what you use yoga for and how it is integrating different areas of your life to move toward wholeness and optimal living.
Life can be pretty amazing, dramatic and full of emotional expression yet it can also get a little…dull, stagnant, lame. There are also confusing moments to be in a position where you are getting clear in your dreams, see them unfold, yet not know what to do with the down time. Yes, down time, you know, where you have to be patient and wait. Sometimes we are always searching how we can create, generate & inspire. Or maybe that’s just my deal. But what I’m realizing is always being in results mode can pull me out of alignment. Where I miss the miracle in the everyday, in the ordinary, in the parts of life that appear mundane. Let me unpack this a little more.
The other night I was at a birthday party for a one year old. If you have kids or have a relationship with little people on the planet, we all now how amazing birthday celebrations can be. (Insert a small dose of sarcasm). But this one had different energy around it as I knew I’d get to see and connect with some adults that mean something to me. In conversation there was small talk, you know hi, how’s it going, any big plans for the summer. Then there were two conversations that stood out that aligned fully with my vision of how I want to have a stronger impact of honoring the sacred in the simple moments. One conversation also affirmed my decission to provide more content through my writing about how to be whole, in harmony, aligned with faith as well as fully present in the day to day. The other conversation revolved around how many woman full pulled in multiple directions and finding simple ways to remain grounded and clear aren’t always that simple (I’ll come back to this next week). But this post is about connecting the sacred in the everyday, miracles in the mundane. While there were a lot of interruptions I was able to in a short period of time go deep in this conversation to ignite more meaning in both of our lives. Because I’ve been practicing ways of being present to the mysterious expressions of spirit lately, I was able to be present to how divinely synchronized this conversation was and the deeper message of how we all are miracles came through in his words, not mine. Yep, I was able to listen to the miracle. There was no major dramatic life changing experience and to some it may appear as no big deal. Or I could have scooted around the party doing what most everyone else does and had small talk while chasing little ones down (which by the way is a miracle too).
Okay, maybe I haven’t landed this idea fully. But here’s what I’m sharing… Because life can get busy and appear boring or like an obligation rather than an invitation. By creating tiny rituals that support our bigger expression of being a magnificent miracle…being human…allows us to be present, connected to the subtle revelations of grace. It allows us to receive moments of deep connection where we are reminded that we don’t have to rely on our own strength.
Before I go, here’s a more clear example. (You don’t have to be religious by the way and your definition of faith, well, hopefully this helps you connect to your own definition, but it can still be very abstract or distant). We do things everyday without thinking about it, right? Pee, poop, wash hands, get dressed, get undressed, eat, drink; pretty common experiences in the mundane. But what happens if we put more intentionality behind the everyday simple moments? Turn them into sacred rituals.
When I lived in New Zealand I went on a meditation retreat with a Tibetan Buddhist monk that worked directly with the Dali Lama and his job was to teach people how to meditate. Stefano (he was an Italian film producer before he took vows to be of service to spirit). He’s the one who taught me how to bring the sacred into the simple. He invited me to Katmandu to step deeper into the work. But I was 25 and totally interested in chasing the light rather than being the light. Yet here I am honoring the source of this concept and sharing this simple but powerful way of shifting our experience of life some 15 years later.
You see, every breath we take is sacred and significant, yet we get busy. We become driven and fueled by external results and experiences that leave us feeling high if you will. Then we miss the miracle and gift of being present of being whole, in harmony and aligned with spirit or faith. So I’ll be offering little blurbs of how to return to your own miraculous life in the everyday. But for now I just wanted to introduce the idea. I invite you to consider what do you day in and day out and choose one daily householder action that you can shift into a more sacred ritual. When we believe in the mundane being a miracle, miracles begin to surface in regular moments. Our experience of life shifts, we start to live from a higher vantage point.
Much love & light,
Yoga, for most all of us, starts as a practice that helps us physically, right? It’s so cool and really challenging being a yoga teacher and practitioner. But I get to see people show up and ask for poses or help with different areas of their body, like their back, hips, feet, neck, shoulders. It’s so powerful in the maintenance of our physical state. Yes, some traditions speak on not being our body, my experience is more aligned with a tradition that says our body is a temple, so let’s honor this. My experience of my body has also included chronic pain that has blocked my ability to stay connected with my highest light and I’m not certain how I would have the strength to keep moving forward if it wasn’t for the physical practice.
Before I became a yoga teacher I was curious about spirit and expressions of the divine. Sure I’m that girl that’s been spiritually curious since my earliest memories. Grace has been revealing herself to me in many power ways since I was super young. So in college, of course, I was ready to drift away from what I had been exposed to thus far. This is what college is and it just so happens to align with a psychological development of understanding our persona. This was further supported by being in an environment that was built on a desire to do it differently. What I encountered was so many different ways the divine spirit surfaces and an opportunity to sign up for a semester long yoga class. It was more about diet and the pose versus the spirit, but it was everything for me! A place to explore myself through movement. Considering I danced for most of my childhood yoga was perfectly aligned. That was in 1996, haven’t stopped doing those poses….dang almost 20 years ago!!!
So I am going to start to create a serries for you all where I ‘unpack the pose’. Be patient with me as I am going to have to fight my tendency to be perfect. It’s also just a chance for me to share what’s supported me for so many years. But this is where I’d love your help….what aspect of the poses challenge you? For example you have a hard time with backbends or balance poses? Your wrists hurt or you have knee trouble. You deal with anxiety or waves of enthusiasm that fades as fast as it shows up (this can start to be supported in the physical practice but will be addressed in another offering I’m going to be sharing soon called ‘Embrace Yourself Fully’. But what I know for certain is that just being able to do a pose like pigeon where I understand the ways it can support where I am in my journey as well as allowing me to connect more clearly to a respectful relationship with my body, the temple that houses the sacred light, is something I want to share with you. My hope is that it helps you unpack your practice and show up more fully both on and off the yoga mat.
But I can only support you if you let me know what your looking for. You can post in the comment section below. If that’s too much, then email me (I won’t reveal you and respect your brave decission to ask for support). My email is my full name -notice spelling on url – @gmail.com
Your practice provides amazing support. By showing up to your practice you support this fabulous life enhancing instrument. This is here to help you get more when you are at the studio, workshop or retreat. Or at home and needing to realign with your highest self.
Much love & light,
So I am a little partial, but really it is on so many levels.
First it’s been around for a while, not the mat or downward facing dog, but the idea of inviting the body, mind and spirit to connect. Understanding that the divine will help in our efforts, now that concept is over 5000 years old. While I am not going into a history lesson, you should realize that connecting to the divine has always been the major consideration of yoga.
Secondly, it moves you in a way that gives you permission to see the big picture, turn into yourself, see the divine there on the inside and then participate in the world. This is on repeat, even when there isn’t a yoga mat anywhere close. While my practice is more and more meditation, I still walk through all the events in my life practicing yoga. How can I connect to the divine in this moment…sitting in traffic, dinner with family, time with my husband, reading graduate school work. Yes, I forget, but as soon as I feel myself going out of alignment, my yoga is there for me.
Thirdly, I have a body that looks good from the outside, at least that is what people keep telling me. But on the inside my body hurts most of the time. Anything high impact can set me back for weeks, and one unconscious step and my back can lock up or something spas out and then I am stuck. Really, I get stuck where I can’t move…I don’t want pity, it’s simply a testament for yoga as it keeps me feeling the best I can. There are postures, or asanas, that I stay away from as they don’t serve the organization of my physical body, but I am stronger than I have ever been in my life and still finding the confidence to try another challenging posture.
Fourth on the list, you always feel better, calm but energized, tone and lengthened, loving and serene. Flat out it just makes you feel good – especially if you have a teacher that gets how hard it was for you to step on your mat. And when you start feeling better, you notice you are making better choices in your life and surrounding yourself with people who also value you.
Fifth, it always ends with a relaxation of some kind. If you are doing yoga and your class doesn’t do a final relaxation, then ask them why not. Same goes for if your teacher is not valuing your energy and time of being there, ask them why they wanted to be a yoga teacher. In my opinion, you should feel uplifted when leaving yoga.
Yoga may not seem like the best thing for you, but it most certainly is for me!