Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
New Year's Eve - the last day of 2103.  Tomorrow is a New Year & many folks are filled with resolutions.
I hear alot of statements like:
"I don't like my body - I'm going to lose weight next year"
"I hate my job - next year I'm finding a new job"
"This was an awful year - next year is going to be better"
I like the Law of Attraction & I try to use it as much as I can.  It's simple...what you focus your energy & attention on, you attract more of that.  Resolutions often focus on what we don't like about our life, our body, our job, our relationships.  But the thing is, there's got to be something good in what you don't like.  Some glimmer of hope.  And that's what you want to focus on.  And then focus on bringing more of that into your life in the New Year.

Maybe you don't like your body.  Maybe you want to lose weight & be stronger & healthier.  And maybe there are alot of things medically/physically wrong with your body.  But if you're reading this, you're alive.  You woke up this morning.  You're breathing.  And you can resolve to focus on that.  And to focus on each thing you do each day that brings you closer to being healthier & stronger.  You may have set backs, you may slip.  But instead of focusing on that slip-up, focus on what you have done & are doing that is good for you.

When you formulate your resolution, let your resolve be in your thinking & your energy.  Use the Law of Attraction. 

"I love my body.  I appreciate what my body does for me every day.  I move through my day taking care of my body.  Every day I am getting healthier & stronger."
And what I've learned from yoga?  You don't have to wait for a New Year to make a resolution or reset your thinking or your life.  Every breath is an opportunity to reset.  Be present.  Feel what you have, feels what works for you & resolve to focus on that as you move forward.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Anticipation is a Killjoy?

When I first heard a yoga teacher say that anticipation was a killjoy, I didn't really get it.  It took a while & some time on my mat before it really started to sink in & make sense to me.

Think about anticipating a really great meal at your favorite restaurant.  You can taste the food - delicious.  You can't wait.  You spend the day, maybe the whole week, anticipating it.  Then, when you get to the restaurant, there's a new menu.  And they aren't serving what you want.  You're disappointed, let down & the whole night is ruined.

The anticipation...and then the subsequent lack of fulfillment, kills the joy of the moment.

It's not that you can't look forward to something.  It's not that you can't have goals & dreams & plans.  But what you're anticipating is how you'll feel once you get something.  It's like when you were a kid & you spent the whole month of December anticipating Christmas morning because you couldn't wait to get stuff that would make you feel happy & joyful.  You base your joy on getting something.  And when that something doesn't deliver...there goes your joy.

What if, instead of anticipating joy based on getting things, you anticipated being joyful?  Or better yet, what if you just were full of joy?

Hold onto your hats, because guess what?  You are full of joy.  So am I.  We all are.  Seriously.  It's just that we get so wrapped up in worry & fear & judgement & anticipation, that we lose that connection to our joy.  It doesn't have to be just the season filled with joy.  It can be a life full of joy.  You don't find joy by getting stuff.  In fact, just the opposite.  The attachment to that stuff - stuff that you have or that you want, stuff that you get or don't get - that just takes you further & further away from your joy.

So how do you reconnect to this joy that you have within you?  Quite simply, start by by being present.  Take a few moments & just breathe.  Don't even try to empty your mind of all the busyness - if you can't, and you get frustrated, you just move further away from your joy.  So just breathe.  But really notice each breath.  How deeply can you inhale (and it's not a competition to see who can take the deepest breath!).  See how it feels.  How does it feel to be able to breath freely & fully.  Enjoy the quality of the air.  And then empty out completely.  And then do it again.  And again.  And again.  You are present in each breath.  Feel that. 

You might not be overcome with exhuberance & joy right away.  But maybe you feel a little less stressed or fearful or worried.  And maybe it's just for a moment.  But in that moment, you are closer to your joy.  You moved away from the stuff that separates you & your joy.

This is what we practice in yoga.  Being present for each breath.  One breath at a time, distancing ourselves from our fears & worries & judgements & even distancing ourselves from the anticipation of joy.  One breath at a time, practicing being present.  One breath at a time, experiencing joy.