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. 

So...here 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 written...it 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.