Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pixie Dust

One of my friends recently completed a week long yoga training.  We talked about it when she was finished & she told me how much she loved it.  She loved the training, she loved learning about yoga...and even more than that, she loved being surrounded by people who love yoga.  She said it was like "yoga pixie dust".  Everyone was kind & open & supportive.  It was a wonderful experience & it was wonderful to be part of that kind of a group of people.

If you've never experienced it, the best example I can think of is in contrast: being part of a group of people who complain all day, talk about others behind their back & think that nothing is going work or get better.  Sadly, most of us have had some kind experience with this example.

I've been teaching for over a decade now & so there's an abundance of yoga pixie dust in my life. Most of the people I know are covered in it, carry extra on them at all times & sprinkle it liberally wherever they go. 

Ok - sounds ridiculous right?  Or does it? 

Well, I don't really know about the pixie dust, but I do know that my life changed when I started practicing & teaching yoga.  Maybe I was sprinkled with pixie dust when I wasn't looking!  I am now surrounded by people who support each other, encourage each other, believe in themselves & others.  People who believe that life can be full of joy & abundance & that you can do anything you want. 

You don't have to take a teacher training to experience this (although a teacher training does takes it to a whole other level). 

Find the right studio for you & you'll find it.

How do you know it's the right studio?  Look for pixie dust in the corners:)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Let's buy some Thyme"

I started this blog the day after Thanksgiving...

It's Friday after class.  I just taught.  I left the studio to pick up some posters, only to get to the Print Shop & remember that he's closed today.
I left the Print Shop to head home & remembered I had to go back to the studio.  Tomorrow is our Open Studio event & I don't know how to issue gift cards in our system (sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?).  I have to call tech support from the studio because I need to have access to the gift cards & scanner during the call (usually I call from home in the early morning or late night, when they're less busy).
So now I'm in the studio & I'm on hold with tech support.  I have a limited window of time because I have to get home so my husband can leave for work.  I do not like being on hold.  The box in the picture has a printer in it that I ordered.  It's been waiting to be unpacked for a few days now.  If I have to be on hold, I might as well get something done, right?  I want to unpack the printer & get rid of the box, so the lobby looks neat tomorrow.  I want to tip the box over & pull the printer out - easy.  Or not...all those darn styrofoam popcorn bits in the box will make a mess!  They go everywhere, they break into little'll be more work.  So I grab a garbage bag & start pulling the styrofoam out in small handfuls.  It's painfully slow.  I feel very impatient.  I haven't even gotten that far when tech support takes my call.

I want to rush & get stuff done.  I still have one more stop before I head home.  And a bunch of loose ends to wrap up before tomorrow.  But I know rushing won't help.  Stuff will just be a mess...not just the styrofoam popcorns, but everything.  And I'll just feel more stressed.  Instead, I'll do my best to take my time.  But I wish I had more time!!!

When I started this blog, I wasn't sure of my point.  And then when I got back to it tonight, it made me think about one day, just before the Holidays, when we were in the grocery store.  I had a recipe that called for Thyme.  As we walked through the produce section I started saying to my husband "Where's the thyme/time?  Can we just buy some Thyme/time?  I really need some thyme/time."  And it became a bit of a running joke for me/us for the next week (I'm not sure how funny my husband thought it!).  When I opened the refrigerator & saw the Thyme I'd say "Oh - I really need this time!  Just a little more time!"

I held onto to the idea of not having enough time for quite a while...most of the Holiday season, I now realize, a little sadly.  And then I listened to some Abraham & Law of Attraction & realized (once again!) that if I keep talking about what I don't have (time), it's not going to help...I was stuck in an attitude of scarcity.  Talking about all I had to do & how little time I had.

Listening to Abraham helped me shift.  I looked at my affirmations & found one that I hadn't looked at in a while "My life is full of abundance.  Today I have time to do what I want - to channel my energy where I want"

The days aren't any longer.  I don't have any less to do.  But my attitude & approach is different.  And it's my practice that's helped me do this.  And today I had the time to teach, play, write & more...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Let me ask you something....

"Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?" - God (played by Morgan Freeman) from the movie Evan Almighty

I love this movie & I love this quote...and I'm not even comfortable with the whole "God" thing.  (You can substitute in "the Divine", "Universe" - whatever works better for you).

Sometimes we ask for alot - as well we should.  We are all children of the Universe & Nature & abundance is ours for the asking.

But sometimes, what we ask for doesn't arrive in quite the way we expect it.  And we wind up complaining about it.  That gift that you are expecting may not arrive wrapped in bright paper & ribbons with your name written in big letters on it.  Instead, it might be lying in a ratty old brown bag on the sidewalk.  If you're not present & you're not paying attention, you might just trip over it & keep on going. 

Yoga is a great place to practice everything you are asking for.  Be it patience, love, compassion, balance, strength, focus, abundance....the list goes on & on.

Every challenge that you encounter on your mat gives you the opportunity to practice finding, experiencing & receiving whatever you are asking for in your life.

Don't be afraid to ask - and ask for alot. Ask for abundance.  Ask for love.  Ask for joy.  But then, be ready to practice finding (and receiving) it in the most challenging moments on & off your mat.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

12 Blogs 'til Christmas?

12 Blogs 'til Christmas - #8

About a month ago I got back to writing my blog & proposed that I would write 12 blogs before Christmas rolled around. it is Christmas Eve Day & this is only Blog #8.  Clearly, I'm not getting 12 Blogs in before tomorrow.

It was pretty obvious to me a few days ago.  I thought about it.  I thought about just posting a blog a day until I was done, just to get it over it with.  I thought about my intention.  It really was my intention to post 12 blogs before December 25th.  I thought about all of you reading these blogs.  I thought about what you might think.

So what happened? 

Well, quite simply - life happened. 

Just a whole lot of stuff going on & not enough time to write 12 blogs.

And...I decided to roll with it.

Honestly, it's another example of taking my yoga off my mat.  Yes, I'm disappointed that I didn't get all the blogs was a fun idea & I've enjoyed writing them.  But here I am.  On Blog #8.  On Christmas Eve Day.  I can stay stuck on that.  Or I can move on. 

I'm going to move on.  I'm going to go with the flow.  I'm going to keep writing blogs until I get to number 12.  And instead of 12 Blogs 'til Christmas, I think I'll go with 12 Blogs of the New Year (not as catchy, but it'll do).

(Yes, I realize I'm fortunate that I don't have a boss or editor imposing deadlines on me.  But still...)

Life happens.  For all of us & in different ways.  And you have to decide what you want to do with it...

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Big Screen TV

As we drove home on Thanksgiving Day, we drove by a big box store with a line pf people out front...all waiting for the store to open to buy, I imagined, a new big screen TV.

I joked about it in class today.  I compared wanting to buy a big screen TV to wanting to master an arm bind. Thinking that once you have that big screen TV or that arm bind, you'll be happy.

Now, I'm not knocking you if you have (or want) a big screen TV.  Or if you really want to master that arm bind.  I like cool stuff as much as the next person.  I am questioning whether or not you'll really be happy.

You stand in line for hours for that big screen TV.  You take it home, set it up, invite your friends over.  That's fun & cool & you feel happy.

Then the TV gets old.  A bigger, fancier one comes out & your friend buys it & everyone goes over to his house.  You're sitting alone in front of your TV & you're not happy.  Next thing you know, you're waiting in line again next Thanksgiving for another, bigger TV.

You see the pattern?  When does it stop?

I'm even reluctant to say yoga makes you happy.  I know I'm happy when I practice.  There are days when I would love to stay on my mat all day long so I could stay happy...because I have unhappy stuff going on & I would love to avoid it.  But the reality of my life is that I have to get off my mat & deal with that stuff.

And for me, that's the real benefit of yoga.  It's great to be happy when you practice & step off your mat.  But the challenges of life don't go away.  Yoga gives you the tools to deal with those challenges: your breathe, your balance, your focus.  You may not be happy when you're dealing with those challenging situations.  But maybe with time & practice, you'll feel a little less stressed.  You'll be present a little more often.  You'll let the challenging moment go more quickly. 

Are you spending your whole life chasing after a bigger TV?  Are you spending every day waiting for the next time you can get on your mat?  Keep getting on your mat, every day.  But start also start taking your yoga off your mat, every day. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Nobody puts Baby in a Corner"

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner" - Patrick Swayze, Dirty Dancing

Did you see the movie? Remember that line?  I remember the line, but it's been a long time - I actually watched the youtube clip when I was writing this (made me want to watch the movie again!)

Sometimes when I teach, that line pops into my head.

But this isn't about Dirty Dancing or Patrick Swayze or Baby.

As I move through life, I see alot of people in corners...they put themselves there or they've let other people put them there.  They're small, they want to fit in or hide.  They don't want to be big or better or special or stand out.  They want to be accepted - not even for who they really are, but just accepted.

When I teach, I encourage my students to be be Big & Bold.  To physically take up space on their mat.  To be calm & confident & let their light radiate through them & out from them.  To let their light shine.  I encourage them to get comfortable with that, with being Big & Bright & Shiny.  Not to worry what anyone else thinks about that.  I encourage them not to hide. 

I've been that person who doesn't want to be too bright, or bold or shiny.  Because I didn't want to outshine someone else, because I wanted to fit in.  Because I didn't really know that I could be any other way.  Until I found yoga & some great teachers lit the way for me.

When you shine, you literally light the way for others.  You have the possibility to inspire others.  Being in the middle of the room, the front of the room, being anywhere but the corner & being the center of attention, can be scarey.  But it's something you can practice on your mat & then carry off your mat.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Follow Your Bliss

Blog #3 was titled "Find Your Bliss".  When I was looking for an image to include with it, I found this, "Follow Your Bliss":

I found it very interesting...the subtle difference between find your bliss & follow your bliss.  Subtle, yet it makes a world of difference.

How do you "find" your bliss? Your joy?  Your Peace?  I don't think you can find it, because it's not out there somewhere.  It's within you.  Your bliss, your joy, your peace - all within you.

You're looking, you're looking, you're looking.  You think you know what you're looking for.  Maybe you're looking for what someone else has.  Someone else who's already following their bliss.  They're not looking anywhere.  They're on their own track.  They're unafraid.

Yoga has helped me to follow my bliss.  When I'm on my mat & I'm still & quiet, I can feel that bliss.  I can feel that I'm on my track.  From the outside, I think it looks pretty obvious - I teach yoga, I own my own studio, I love what I do.  It wasn't always so obvious & I wasn't always on my own track.  I spent alot of time trying to find my bliss, not following it.  Then I found yoga.   And then I spent some more time trying to find my bliss.  I was on my track when I was on my mat & I don't know what the heck I was doing when I was off my mat!!  And then one day...I was off my mat & on my track.  I was, and still am, following my bliss.

I don't have a magic recipe or specific formula.  It's different for everyone & that can be frustrating to hear.  My only suggestion...practice.  Yoga, meditation, whatever it is that does it for you.  That's the beginning of following your Bliss.