Friday, November 28, 2014

Find Your Bliss

"Find Your Bliss"

"I'm lovin' it"

"Live Life Deliciously"

These are just a few of the slogans I heard the other day on TV.

It seems like whatever it is that you want or need, someone is selling it.  Especially this time of year!

But can you really buy this stuff?

Can you buy a delicious life?  Can you buy bliss?

The short answer.  No.  At least not in my opinion.

You can buy alot of stuff.  Really cool, fun, exciting stuff.  And that's cool & fun & exciting.  And for a while, it might even feel like you've bought bliss.

But gets old, it breaks, you lose it. Something newer & cooler & more exciting comes out to replace what you have.

Bliss, joy, happiness - the real deal.  It comes from within you.  You have to find it within you.  You can't buy it.  And you can't pay someone else to find it for you.  You have do the work.  You have to look at yourself - who you are, where you are, what you've said & done.  The good, the bad & the ugly.  And then you have to love yourself.

You can want to change.  And you can change.  But you still have to love who you are in this moment.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks

You hear it alot at this time of year...and in my world, you hear it alot from yoga teachers:)

Thanksgiving isn't just one day out of the shouldn't be just one day.  The act of Giving Thanks. Thanksgiving should be every day. 

Every day we have something to be thankful for.

When our 5 year son wakes up in the dark at 5am & wants to get up & I'm feeling tired & grumpy, I try to remind myself how lucky we are to have a little boy who is so full of life & wants to run & jump & play & make lots of noise.

When my husband does our laundry & folds my shirts the "wrong" way, I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have a wonderful husband.  To have a washing machine.  To have a husband who uses the washing machine:)

When its time to empty the dishwasher & I just don't feel like doing it, I try to remind myself how lucky we are to have a dishwasher.  To have running water.  To have food to put on the plates that go into the dishwasher.  To have a roof over our heads.  And then I think...if we didn't have these things (food, a home) how lucky we are to have an amazing tribe of family & friends who would never let us go hungry or sleep in the cold.

It's a simple practice.  It can be a daily practice.

Thanksgiving can be every day.  Thanksgiving Day, the Holiday, the 4th Thursday in November, is a nice day to bring special attention to the idea of gratitude &  Giving Thanks.

Notice if it becomes just another day that you "have" to get together with your family.  If it becomes a day where you just eat so much you can't move.  If it becomes a day where you park yourself in front of the TV.

Let Thanksgiving Day be a day, really, of giving Thanks.

For what you have.  For the people in your life.  For who you are.

Let every day be Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lay Down Your Arms....

"Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place" - A Course in Miracles

Even though I've never read A Course in Miracles, I've read about it & this line in particular really resonates with me.  I shared this quote with my students in class the other night.

"Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place"

Now, I don't carry a weapon, so of course I don't have actual armaments to lay down (and I'm pretty sure that's not what this is referring to anyway!)  But most of us do spend a lifetime building up our defenses.  

Yet, when you get on your mat to practice, that's exactly what you're asked to do...lay down your arms, drop your defenses - allow yourself to be open & vulnerable.  Come into that quiet place within yourself, where there's peace & compassion.

If you've spent a lifetime building up your defenses & reinforcing them every chance you get, you may not even realize that there is a quiet place that exists within you. But with time & breath & practice, you find it.  You learn that you can drop your defenses.  You learn that you can be vulnerable & open.  And sure, it's scarey at first.  But it allows for so much to happen....change, growth, love....

When you become accustomed to laying down your arms on your mat, you can explore doing the same in your life.  Instead of sitting down at the Thanksgiving table with a snarky comeback to something that you're just waiting for your sister to say...lay down your arms.  Be full of Grace & Gratitude.  Recognize that if you are different, it can create a ripple effect in the other people at that table & in your life.  Now, it may not happen the first time.  The first time, everyone may think you're just plain nuts!  But with consistency & strength, its inevitable that change will occur.  Either the people at that table will start to change.  Or you'll change so much that you find yourself at a different table with different people next'll find yourself someplace better.

Your mat is a safe place to practice laying down your arms.  It the perfect spot to practice coming into that quiet place.  It's amazing to feel that transformation within yourself.  But it's even more amazing to take this practice off your mat & experience the change that can happen around you.