Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What, no phone?!

The other day, my iphone wouldn't work...wouldn't turn on - nothing.

So I made an appointment at the "genius bar" & set out to leave the house.

My mother said "you need a phone - take my phone" (she was going to be home all day & actually still has a landline).

Imagine...leaving the house without a phone....whatever did we do before cell phones, before fancy phones with internet & gps & everything but the kitchen sink?

We waited.

When we were driving home from the store & remembered that we wanted to tell our friend something, we waited until we got home to call them.  And then maybe we left a message on their answering machine (or just waited to call again) instead of immediately texting them too.

When we thought "who sang that song in that movie?" - we waited until we saw someone that we could ask.  And if they didn't know the answer, we asked the next person.  And we had several conversations & personal interactions with different people.  Maybe we found the answer - maybe we remembered - maybe not. Was it really that important anyway?

When we needed to know who the Governor of Alaska was in 1985, we might have waited until we could to Library. We talked to the Librarian.  We looked through real books - not ebooks or ibooks.

Waiting.  Not necessarily a bad thing.  Waiting in line at the grocery, maybe you strike up a conversation with the person in front or behind you.  Waiting at the Doctor's office, maybe you take  a few minutes to meditate, reflect on all the great things & people you have in your life.  Waiting for the bus to come, maybe you notice how really blue the sky is & how warm the sun feels.

Waiting gives you time to notice what is happening in the real world - your physical world - at that moment.  It gives you the opportunity to connect with real people.  It allows you to be present.

That's your mat

Next time you find yourself reaching for your phone instead of talking to the person in front of you....wait.  And see what happens.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

What's the Story?

For years, before I taught yoga, I worked as a nanny.

I sort of fell into it & for the most part, I loved it.  I was paid extremely well, had great health benefits & took care of wonderful children.  I spent my "work" day at the beach or the was way better than any other job I previously had.

But there was a big back story behind being a nanny.  I had fallen into the work, but only because I had ended a relationship, lost a job & had to start over.  It was a back story filled with hurt & anger.

When I would meet people & they would ask "so, what do you do?".  And I would answer "I'm a nanny...  but..."  And then I would go on to tell them how I had gone to College, worked in Social Services & Event Planning & how I pretty much just landed in this job without planning it.  I felt I was being judged for my job choice & that I needed to justify it, & my abilities, to complete strangers.

At some point, I stopped caring what strangers thought about my job choice.  At some point, I became confident about what I did, the reasons why I did it & why I liked it so much.  At some point I let go of the hurt & anger & the history that had led me to being a nanny & I just embraced what I was doing.

At some point, I realized I was writing the story & it didn't have to be one of hurt & anger & justification anymore.  I closed the book on the old story & started to write a new one. 

Sure, there were people who walked away from me when I told them what I did, but that was their story.  The choice to feel judged & the need to justify - that was all me.  I realized that every time I brought up the back story, I was re-writing it.  In the same way.  Over & over again.  And in the process, giving it more power & energy.    

I periodically meet people who are still writing & rewriting the same old story.  A story of hurt, or deception, wrong-doing - real or perceived.  They are focusing their energy on what has happened in the past & they keep sticking with the same story.  And every time they tell that story, they bring up that old, negative energy.

 It took me quite a while to realize that's what I was doing.  Writing & re-writing the same old story.  Giving power to the past & bringing up that negative energy. 

That was all before yoga.

It was Yoga that helped me realize that I could close the book on the old story & start writing a new one any time I wanted.  With each new day...with each new moment even.  The old story may have been powerful, but my ability to write a new one gives me the power in this moment.

What's your story?  Are you stuck in the past - giving it power over the present?  Writing & re-writing? 

What good things are happening in your life right now?  What great things are about to happen?   

What story do you want to write?