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Techniques for taming wild beasts

Sometimes I feel like there are lots of people living inside of me- as if I’ve retained an identity from each stage of development that I’ve gone through. When my mind gets going, several of them can be chiming in at once. There is not just an endless stream of thought, there are several layers of it. And all of them have an opinion. All. Of. Them. Except the one that’s a soundtrack.

Meditation reminds me that underneath that chaos, there is perfect order. When I meditate, bringing my mind to focus and stillness is often like an excavation- diving down through each layer of mind, sending it love, and telling it respectfully to pipe down.

Creating this site has been such a blessing. Here, I am doing the best I can with what I’ve got and WOW! Things happen so beautifully even when ‘I’ don’t feel like ‘I’ have the ability to make them happen. Know why? Because the doing is not for me. When I release doing in favor of being, Spirit is able to work through me. In being, my actions organically unfold according to the requirements of the moment. It’s not me, it’s Shakti.

Then, my ego chimes in… “but I want to do it.” My ego is the petulant teenager layer of my mind, by the way. She’s way too saucy to submit to authority without a fight. So, I must do with her as I do with my 3-year-old son when he gets agitated. I stop what I am doing (there’s that doing again), look him in the eye, and be present with him. So, how does one do this with one’s mind? Meditate. Take some time today and feel the L O V E. ♥

Daily reminder

“If in the midst of negativity, you are able to realize ‘At this moment, I am creating suffering for myself,’ it will be enough to raise you above the limitations of conditioned egoic states and reactions. It will open up infinite possibilities which come to you when there is awareness- other vastly more intelligent ways of dealing with any situation.”

~Eckhart Tolle, from A New Earth

Yogini Tales: The bird & the rainbow

The bird met the current of wind
And kept on flapping
Though he didn’t advance an inch
He hovered there long enough
Above my head
That I looked up and saw the rainbow

Thank you is a mantra

November is such an awesome month. It’s the month that gratitude gets its moment center stage. Unfortunately for many, November’s moment gets used as the bridge to the excitement that is December. I cannot deny that December is pretty monumentally rad, too, but come on… let’s allow November its moment. It could be the opening act that you end up enjoying more than the main act you came to see. Give it chance by embracing an attitude of gratitude. I found this to be a perfect starting point. Thank you!

Daily reminder

“Self-esteem is at the core of healing. Because of the connectedness of mind and body, our sense of self-esteem is our cells’ sense of self-esteem. This is because, according to Ayurveda, every cell is a center of intelligence and awareness. Every cell carries the sense of self for its own survival. It is the sense of self in the cell that maintains the size and shape of the cell. Self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect promote cellular intelligence, which is necessary for proper cell function and immunity.”

~Dr. Vasant Lad, from The Complete Book of Ayurveda Home Remedies

Daily reminder

“The more you depend upon conditions outside yourself for happiness, the less happiness you will experience.”

~Paramahansa Yogananda

You are how you eat

I wake up in the morning and affirm, “Today, I practice Ahimsa.” That’s a great start, but it loses its power if I don’t continue to affirm my commitment in every moment of the day (ie, be committed!). One of my most consistent detours from Ahimsa is poor eating habits. I wake, I vow to practice non-violence and allow myself to grow to my fullest potential… and then I head for the nearest drive-thru. Detour!

Thankfully, being aware of this is the first step in changing it. Every time I eat, I receive a gift of nourishment that the earth has offered. I have the opportunity to accept it and treat myself well. Wow! That is no small thing, yet I sometimes eat an entire meal plus seconds without realizing what I am doing.

Many factors contribute to the quality of nourishment I receive- not just whether or not it came from a drive-thru. Were the ingredients responsibly obtained? Was my food prepared with love? What is my state of being as I eat it? From an Ayurvedic point of view, how we eat is just as important as what we eat. Stress, sadness, distractedness, gratitude, joy- these emotions all produce changes in our bodies that impact their ability to assimilate food.

I mentioned the other day that I had a wonderful lesson in mindfulness when I was unable to use my dominant right hand. Generally, I can shovel an entire meal into my mouth while watching a movie, checking my Blackberry, and having a conversation… and I miss the whole experience of eating. When I had to use my left hand, each bite became a blessing when it made it to my mouth.

This new experience of mindful eating sent ripples into every aspect of sitting down to a meal. I only chose foods that were worth the effort it would take to eat them. I prepared them with love and attention. I sat down to a table that honored the experience (no TV, no BB). I blessed the food and everyone who had had a hand it getting it to my table. And then I ate… very, very slowly.

As I’m bringing my full attention to what I take in again, I aim to create that same sacred space around mealtimes. When the meal becomes a ceremony, it is difficult to “eat anything that you can’t bless” (as one of my teachers puts it). Try it out for a day and see how different it can feel to do something as basic as eating. If you want a real eye-opener, try doing it with the other hand. 😉

Daily reminder

“The house is a metaphor to explain that there is a vibration in each moment, each moment is like a house, and a house is like a moment. In each moment that we live there is an opportunity to change ourselves in some way. We shatter what we were in the past, so that in the new moment we can remake ourselves. In a day’s time, we go through many different moments, many different opportunities to remake ourselves and therefore evolve.”

~Joseph Rael, from Being and Vibration

Time change… time for change

Happy Sunday, yoga lovers! Isn’t today a wonderful day to practice opening your heart? Learn more about the anahata chakra here. Namaste!

Daily reminder

“Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.”

~Judy Garland

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