Comment

When you forget, what do you do to remember?

When you forget, what do you do to remember?
.
Forget what? Grace, God, Wholeness, Perfection, Oneness, Divinity, It, Kali, Krishna, Buddha, Alah, Jesus, The Mother, Rama... you know... IT!
.
OR perhaps you say "I don't believe in God." That's okay! What do you believe in? What makes you stop in awe? What makes you feel truly grateful for simple things? What makes you remember you’re part of something far bigger and wiser and more ancient than little ol' you? This is what I'm talking about. If science and evolution satisfy your existential angst -- if that's enough to make you feel totally mind-blown by reality, perfect. But FEEL mind/heart/soul blown! It doesn't always just happen naturally. Sometimes it takes getting quiet and absolutely still to feel your connection to everything in this moment. Allow life and sustenance and death to co-exist right now. Trust in the mystery and majesty of that which is in front of and behind your eyes. Be okay not knowing and just being absolutely amazed by THIS. It's important that we don't spend all of our time just following our senses and to-do lists and "shoulds." Remember that you're a little piece if something absolutely perfect and quite ancient and really beyond understanding, despite your opinions and feelings and personal journey through it all.
.
So when I forget (and I forget TOO often), I get quiet, I go into nature, I look deeply into another's eyes, I watch trees be trees, and squirrels just squirreling. I step back from ME and MY and step into pure amazement and I feel unfettered joy. It's not easy, but this is why we practice. OM

Comment

Comment

Yoga is a curious subject.

Yoga is a curious subject.
.
It's so extensive and reaches into many disciplines -- philosophy, religion, energetics, anatomy, biomechanics, medicine and more. All of this in service of, I think, a fairly simple question: can we quiet the wild, rambunctious and wandering mind enough to finally wake up? The line of questioning can go further of course, and one might ask: Waking up from what? Does it mean we are sleeping? I feel awake...? Does that mean my perception is flawed--that my understanding of reality is off? Maybe?
.
Many teachers liken the work of yoga (with its many practices, concepts and techniques) to polishing the mirror of our awareness. Most of us have "clouded" "sight." We're pulled by our thoughts and emotions, cravings, aversions, seemingly without any agency. However, while surrendering to much of life is, I believe, wise, you CAN make changes, alter course and indeed change your mind.
.
While some believe that yoga is a body of knowledge that should be taught like a subject in school (philosophically, anatomically etc), my belief (and it's only my own) is that yoga is often best shared experientially. By this I mean that by sharing a moment of deeply conscious breath, present time awareness, gratitude just to be alive, MAYBE, I can really transmit the yoga instead of trying to share this enormous body of concepts and words that are filtered through more mind stuff. I like the idea of a yoga 'experience'--where in that space the seeds are all around just waiting to be noticed, watered and plucked.
.
So teachers (students), consider what is really important to share to students about this huge body of knowledge that has become really massive. Yes, make sure they're safe in their asana practice, but also always asking yourself what is the WISDOM of what I'm sharing? How can these philosophical concepts, or specific alignment cues or stories of Shiva or Lakshmi be applied directly to this human's life to help them wake up...not just get into eka pada koundinyasana?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoO_khtAPed/

Comment

Comment

The seat is always waiting.

The seat is always waiting.
.
It's never too late to begin sitting quietly. You're not too old, overweight, inflexible, unhealthy, busy or stressed to sit down and stop doing for a few minutes everyday.
.
And I'll be honest: it's hard! It's hard to put this damn phone down; it's hard to sit still; it's hard to stop DOING and practice BEING...and what does 'being' even really mean? For me it's about shedding--however momentarily, all the things that make me, me. I set down my issues with other people and myself, I set down my fears and anxiety of living and dying, I set down my personality (which we all know is simultaneously natural and constructed and also kind of exhausting), I set down my things and my bank accounts and my friends and family and I just allow myself to be a breathing and heart-beating animal for a little bit.
.
Each morning I have a barometer from which to start experiencing my day and life anew. It's a simple but now important activity. I pause and acknowledge the newness of this day, mind and heart. It's like a wiping clear of the slate that was yesterday and everything before.
.
Some Tips:
-start small. This is hard and it asks us to be patient with ourselves. If you're totally new to sitting, try 3-5 minutes sitting still and quietly. Watch your breath.
-Dont't call it "meditation." That word can put unnecessary pressure on you to arrive at some state. The point and practice is the daily activity of stopping and going inward. Maybe your mind will be racing and reeling your whole sit. Thats okay. Just keep going and be a witness noticing what comes up in those few minutes.
-keep it simple. If you're human you already have enough stress and complexity in your life. Keep this practice simple and absolutely free of judgment and expectation.... well, at least do your best.
-lastly, find a regular time and place to sit down as much as you can. This is about creating a new healthy and positive habbit. Reinforce it by creating ritual and consistency. Plants need water and sunlight to grow. Nourish the routine.
.
Okay! That's it! You're ready to begin. Today, maybe even right NOW is the perfect time to begin!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoRfXupAS1q/

Comment

Comment

One Second Around the World


Have you every tried to think about everything that happened in ONE second around the world?
.
Think about it! Let's pick 11:23:17 on a random Tuesday. Someone fell in love. A flower bloomed. A baby was born and one also died. Someone graduated. There were many inhalations and also exhalations. Heartache and loss, hunger and joy, surrender and contraction, disease and also healing, and a really cute puppy, somewhere,I really hope, also got a delicious treat.
.
In one small instant, on some random day, it's quite fantastic to think about the explosion of happenings around this one planet cruising telsa style around the cosmos! Even just trying to percieve EVERYTHING that occurs in one second on your block at home is mindboggling. So when we blow up this idea of one second and even try to conceive of what might be occuring around this globe....well it makes you stop and wonder--wonder about serendipity and nostalgia, life and death, the past and the future, abundance and emptiness, God and whatever the opposite may be. One shared second everywhere is just incredible. Like what the heck is a Sarah or a Ishmael or an Eric or a Denise or a Terry or a Yaor doing RIGHT NOW, in this very instant across the globe? It's fun to consider the lives of others. The outer lives that we see expressed on the streets and in the classrooms and offices, but also just to ponder (however much a fantasy it may be) the inner world of this human that is a complete stranger living this ONE second.
.
So first, allow yourself to BE not only aware of the experience of this one second (here and now!) but to see that you're part of the shared moment across the globe and the universe where SO much everything is happening. Second, allow yourself to be awed by this. It's crazy and amazing and makes me smile thinking that somewhere, in a town or village or city or slum in a place ill probably never go, a slice of everything is happening! We are co-creating this journey moment by moment, second by second. Do your part to make sure the ride is smoothe, loving and just as magical as you can be. Have a wonderful day, and a very awakened 8:57:25,26,27,28,29,30...

Comment

Comment

Make the attitude of gratitude more than just a banal platitude.

Make the attitude of gratitude more than just a banal platitude.
.
Keep saying thank you for ALL of it. Don't reserve thank you for your barista after you get a coffee or after something great happens. Say your thank you's especially when things are shitty and hard and it's the last thing you want to think or say. The darkness is your teacher. Keep bowing to everything and everyone. See grace dancing right in front of you--whatever you're doing or seeing or thinking. Whatever is present in your field, see God--and this is a very personal notion of God that only you can really ever know and understand.
.
I can really only speak for myself (ever), but I find that I grow most when I'm challenged and angry and sad and resentful and small and petty and distracted and jealous and just consumed in shadow stuff. As crappy as these aspects and feelings may feel in the moment--however low I may sink, I 'usually' come out wiser on the other side. We rarely grow very much when things are easy and simple and comfortable...which, I realize now upon writing this, is partly why I enjoy and often opt for the simple...because I can stay out of the fire/darkness/challenge/muck. Yet even through this contentment I watch my dark and light aspects come and go, dancing with my ego and ideas and judgments and opinions. And when I really zoom out, I remember the big love that some call God. The weight of my "stuff" is suddenly lighter and I just feel so damn lucky to even be alive. It wasn't guaranteed and tomorrow isn't either. So I keep doing my best to milk each moment for exactly what it is--not needing to change or fix it. It's hard, but boy does it make life something to behold and bow to every single day.
.
So I try to love and serve and remember every day. And when I forget, I soon come back into remembering--that I am (and you are!)an aspect of something far more incredible than we will or could ever imagine. Be awed. Say thank you.

Comment

Comment

Sometimes I think I shouldn't be teaching Yoga.

Sometimes I think I shouldn't be teaching Yoga.
.
Like many of you I suspect, I feel like an imposter, as if I'm just waiting until someone finds out I have absolutely no idea.
.
We spend years trying on different "outfits" to see what fits and feels right. We may be primed for, or born with certain traits that make us more suitable for certain careers, partners, practices, etc., but I never liked the idea that I have "found" my calling or arrived at the "right" thing. I like the idea that life is a play of sorts that will still be unfolding until my last breath.
.
I think I'm a decent student and practitioner of yoga, with mountains of anatomy, philosophy, subtle body, mantra, Sanskrit, history, sequencing, and awarnessness that I haven't even begun to tackle. I feel like a total beginner at yoga in many ways. In fact, I suspect many students who I am blessed to serve know far more about yoga than I ever will.
.
But, yoga has also taught me self awareness. I am a good facilitator. I'm good at helping people find joy in simple moments. I'm good at pushing people and also telling them what to do. I'm good at telling dad jokes, and also really inappropriate ones, too. I'm good at creating an experience that allows people to feel safe and soulful and playful and loved and forgiven and happy and sad and angry and deeply present and also to notice that they are mentally thousands of miles away.
.
My colleagues and teachers KNOW yoga in a way I likely never will. And while I'll keep learning, I'm becoming more okay with this. And I'll teach what is alive for me-- I'll share the filiments of what yoga awakens in me in real life. I vow to keep it all alive and related to our lives in this modern American Trumpedout paraigm we find ourselves. I'll do my best to keep seeing you, and seeing through the masks that you wear. And I vow to keep teaching whatever it is that I'm teaching. Sometimes it's Yoga, and other times it's just the reminder to find a softness when you're having a shitty day.
.
Thank you for coming along with me, in the flesh or on this little pixelated rectangle. I'm always nearby.

Comment

Comment

Good morning life, I love you.


Good morning life, I love you.
.
Thank you for mitosis and meiosis and your ever-continuous splitting and joining of cells keeping this body breathing and heart-beating and this consciousness, Being.
.
You woke up today to eyes that open (if you're reading this), fingers that wiggle and grip and also release, and a nose what whiffs in the odors of everything. You've been offered a body and a whole host of senses and sensations and ideas and feelings that attempt to orient you back into regularity...a sense and rememberable of "oh yes, here I am again, Alive." And so you are, maybe. Are you really awake to it all, or sleep walking though this day? Or wake walking through your dreams?
.
One of the most ever present questions I am asking myself is: am I REALLY awake right now? I don't mean this in a "am I in the Matrix?" way; rather, am I Present? Most of the time, the answer is, of course (kind of sadly), no. Usually I'm stuck in mind stuff of past and future, sometimes thousands of miles and maybe years away from here and now. So I use the tools of yoga, meditation, pranayama, making love and, sometimes, writing for Instagram to re-arrive in the glorious NOW. Life happens here, not there. Do not be confused and don't forget.... remember, you DO or DON'T right now. Now is always the time.
.
Now go do it! Or, just as importantly, don't! But whatever you do, act lucidly, and in the space that is nestled between inhale and exhale, your life Lives! I love you sweet human. Thank you for swimming through the sea of consciousness with me. May your voyage be safe, and also a little exciting and kind of dangerous, too. And remember none of us get out of this alive, so go all in.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpPV_ygAaSK/

Comment

Comment

Infuse Today With Mystery


Infuse today with mystery.
.
Or, perhaps more accurately, remember the mystery. Step into the unknown of what was, is and may or may not come. Consider setting aside all your assurances, knowledge, facts, figures and things that you hold to be true. And in this space of "not sure," you find yourself open to infinite possibility. The mundane can become Magnificant--waiting in traffic can be a rich, and dare I say holy experience.
.
To find ourselves entrenched in knowing, facts, absolute confidences, saying/feeling that it IS this way or that...there remains a blindness to the true nature of things that is necessarily unknowable. You DON'T know if it's "good" or "bad." Whether you love or hate our political situation or your current relationships or the size of your bank account doesn't ultimately matter; the unfolding of things has a wisdom and a nature that is beyond all that.
.
I like to think that all the things that seem pretty shitty are doorways to the fantastic, unexplored closets of my mind and soul--that each tug at my heart is a deep teaching that I should lean into. And this isn't about finding the "silver lining" in everything; it's about accepting that you just don't know--ANYTHING! And that's so okay.
.
Step into the mystery of today courageously. What if there were no missteps or messups? What if it was all perfect, however momentarily heart wrenching it may feel to you specifically? Allow yourself to be awed by each sip of air, every touch and glance, and blade of grass and grain of sand and sound and smell and the crunching of dry leaves beneath your bare feet. Tune into the mystery, set down the story. Allow it all to be exactly what it is, without all the commentary, even for just a moment.

Comment

Comment

I Am Ready!


I am ready.
.
How can we be in a constant state of readiness?
.
Is it possible to be prepared for the ALL-OF-IT of life? For love and loss, winning and losing, beginnings and endings, the expected and also the unexpected? Probably not. BUT, I like to ask myself what I can do to expect the seemingly unexpected. How can I ready my mind and heart and body for stuff that 'could' happen today/tomorrow/next year WHILE still being present with what is alive right now? How do we prepare for "death"-- and it's not just death of the body, but death of our personality and ego and death of the last moment and the one that may arrive later; or maybe better, can we make peace with what was?
.
So I like to put in my mind each morning that I'm ready for a day of mystery and magic and I really have no idea what will happen... but I am open and ready. I set down my expectations for what I hope or assume will happen, and try to be like water, moving and rippling and flowing through whatever comes into this field.
.
And when it comes to teaching yoga, I am also ready. My preparation for each class, aside from making a playlist, is simply to empty myself of past and future and also any expectations of myself or the class. I allow yoga to flow through me and the wisdom of my teachers and their teachers and their teachers to flow through my tongue. In this space of not knowing, I get to trust-- I get to fully surrender to the completeness of the moment. Then, I feel ready.
.
So perhaps 'readiness' is not as additive as we may have thought. Maybe you're truly ready with a beginners mind and a curiosity and receptivity of a young child. You ARE ready, right now.

Comment

Comment

Who would you bend over backwards for?

Who would you bend over backwards for?
.
When I get out of the way--when I can put ME aside for just a little while, I can finally, truly, be of service.
.
Being of service feels like stepping back into flow. It can be found in simple moments and gestures with both strangers and loved ones. It's when I'm extra generous, kind and forgiving. It's when I forgive quickly, and write that card or make that call when it's not even necessary. So go that extra mile for someone today and really give them the fullness of your heart, your presence, your 👂and your compassion. And It's hard to do that extra bit for someone else when you have all your own stuff going on. But when you do--when you step up and do better than your best, people really feel it. The other feels held, seen and just maybe, understood--in a moment when perhaps no one else sees them. Be a symbol of absolute kindness--show someone what the sweetest of humans can do/be. And you can do this even if you've never gone that extra mile before. Start now.
.
So today, if you will, go the extra mile, cross that ocean of fear and step into love for someone who needs you. We've all got one or two (or many more) folks in our lives who could really use a call/hug/talk/knowing gaze from us right now. Stop scrolling now and Just go do it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpuUsWdA676/

Comment

Comment

Shake it up!

Oh happy day! Are you ready to shake it all up and begin again?!
.
What little and big things can you do today--right now, to rewire your brain in healthy and productive ways?
.
Instead of seeing myself as being a certain way, or even having certain proclivities, I prefer to think of life as moments that I can be awake to fully, or sort of sleep walk through (*See Netflix, Instagram scrolling, addictions, food, etc). It's fun to deliberately play with your attention. Notice yourself immediately, unconsciously drawn to a smell, sound, taste or touch and then decide to refocus on something else, especially if the sense perception is strong. SO often I (we?) are just pulled by the gravity of the moment, stalled by inertia or habit patterns, not completely awake to the magnificence of it all. However when I do stop and really "smell the roses," I feel free. So today, mix SOMETHING up. Strive to use your mind and heart and body in ways that you're not used to and serve something bigger and wiser. .
What will you do differently today that is in service of your "highest" self?

Comment

Comment

One of the sexiest phrases: "I don't know."

One of the sexiest phrases: "I don't know."
.
We live in a society that gives reverence to knowledge. In school with grades, in business with bonuses-- we like "smart" people.Things 'are the way they are' because of our collective "knowing" (for "better," and also "worse").Yet at the end of the day, I personally still have no clue--I'm absolutely sure of exactly nothing!
.
I'm proven wrong more often than i'd like. I have ideas of how something will happen, and it doesn't; I think a certain person will work/say/act in a certain way and they don't; I think I know all these things about life and love and death and politics and yoga and even just stuff like the height or history of an old building...and again, often wrong.
.
A couple things could be at play: I'm not so smart and ignorant about many things, AND/OR, we CANT know! Sure, some things can be measured and calculated and, well, science, but... are you SURE?! How do you KNOW?
.
The mystery of not knowing is infinitely more interesting. It leaves a doorway for magic and surprise and a truth that is apart from ego and mind and well, YOU! How can we ever access the Truth when we don't even know what we're all doing here or what consciousness really is? There are too many unknowns to make an honest claim to Truth. Wouldn't we need a gods eye view? I look at politics and ideas that I like, or religion that seems reasonable, or technology that seems RIGHT in the moment, only to find out shortly after that I, and perhaps many others, were massively mistaken.
.
And yes, of course we need to get by in the world, so we should of course make some assumptions and live trusting certain things will probably happen... BUT, remember real Truth is beyond the beyond. I really don't know if we can ever have access. I'm not sure if anyone can really say one necessarily True thing (perhaps aside from some linguistic tautologies, or mathematical thing...and even still...).
.
ALL of this to say, I still don't know, and despite your best efforts and studies and opinions, you don't either. Soften into the magic of the wild unknown of your own life and also of the big LiFE!

Comment

Comment

Just sing about it!

just sing about it!
.
There's so much going on. Being human and just waking up and getting going with your day is hard sometimes. And maybe everything is just dandy and sweet--life may be simple, abundant and uncomplicated for you (lucky duck!). Or, perhaps, it's quite the opposite: you have countless obligations, a mountain of debt, stressed relationships, health issues and just "all the things" occupy your mind and heart nonstop.
.
Through all of this, I sing. It doesn't really matter what you sing or how your voice sounds. The important part is to sing out--to make a joyful noise! When we sing out, we can briefly put down all our mind/heart/body/LIFE stuff. Even if just for 3 minutes, we can step off the train of thought and be in the space of Being. When you sing you don't have to be happy or sad or rich or poor or loved or hated or right or wrong or Democrat or Republican. You get to just BE. What a gift! When life gets you down--or way too up, just stop and sing. Let your voice ride the current of your breath as you utter and offer out the sweetness and simplicity of your own Melody.
.
My songs are often in ancient languages because, well, they let my mind rest. There are fewer word associations. I just sing various names of the One. I just call out and sing at the top of my lungs. And in this space, something can simultaneously rest and awaken. So awaken your voice and let your mind rest for a moment. Whether your song is boisterous or a sweet lullaby to your baby, just sing out. And vote.

Comment

Comment

What if you could communicate with anyone?

What if you could communicate with anyone?
.
And by communicate, I truly mean be heard and understood. Not only to communicate with people who speak different languages, but to be felt be anyone. What if we could become "intimate" on a deeply human level with anyone? What a superpower to have!
.
We all have people we resolate, or "vibe" with. But I want to vibe with everyone - despite where they're from, what they believe/look like, or what they've done-- however "horrible." Espeiclly now in this political/social climate it's so important that we find ways to put our beliefs aside and just see another human, flawed and fabulous just as they are. We're all trying to figure thing out here, and we only have a little while. I try to see another through their own adventure through life, childhood, love and loss. And maybe I can begin to understand why they believe what they believe.
.
I want to feel the soul of anyone without hesitation. Whether you retract from the person in an expensive suit, or the hippie with dreads, or the homeless person on the street... most of us retract in some ways from people that seem/act/look different. And I dream of a moment where we are in a continual state of leaning in to what is foreign. Some folks are better at this than others. But what IF there is someone, somewhere that has the extraordinary gift and superpower of getting along with everyone. It's a weird and amazing idea I think; that is, to "get real" and feel anyone you encounter. It makes me smile just imagining the intimacy and depth of relation if this way of communication and connection was just the way things are. Maybe one day.
.
How can you connect more fluidly with those who seem most unlike you?

Comment

Comment

I still can't believe we are alive.

I still can't believe we are alive.
.
One would think that normalcy would eventually set in--that by now, 30 years into this, living as a "human" (see: alien, creature, animal, spaceman) driving this set of bones around would begin to feel routine.
.
But not even a little bit! Sure, I do have many many moments of forgetfulness where I enjoy all the creature pleasures and comforts that make us forget who/what we are. We numb ourselves with so many things--including good stuff like reading, building companies and even yoga, too! And the numbing isn't bad. Quite the contrary; I think our human pleasures and distractions keep us "sane." They keep us from stopping on the street every five seconds just dumbstruck and staring into space in awe that we are alive and here and breathing at all.
.
I imagine a world in which everyone is consistently in awe and wonder at the nature of the universe--of reality, of consciousness and whatever God is or is not. If we were all in awe, war would stop, materialism and consumerism would fall away, fear would be a thing of the past. We could *finally* become who we are: explorers of the universe --stewards of this fine planet that truly needs our help. We would treat each other as aspects of God. We would wake up and look outside everyday and simply say: "holy shit, I am alive!"
.
Sometimes I'm so perpelxed and amazed that we are here that I just want to jump out of my skin! It feels simultaneously liberating and deeply confining. The human experience is mind boggling, don't you think?!
.
And I look at the manufactured world still deeply in awe. The story of evolution and all of history that lead us to this moment, right now, with me writing, and you reading these thoughts on a little screen is just stupidly incredible. How do we so often forget? Our minds caught in a spiderweb of ideas and thoughts and obsessions and addictions about ME/MY/I that we forget the magic of our present situation that, as of now, still can't quite be explained by science or religion. Stay in the mystery. You really have no idea what's going on. Let's all quit pretending and just do this: 🤷🏻‍♂️
.
I love you human. Let's yoga -

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqXkHcmgopk/

Comment

Comment

(ANTI) INSTAGRAM YOGA CHALLENGE

*YOGA CHALLEGE*
.
Hello! Welcome to my first ever YOGA CHALLENGE!!!! You have the opportunity to win something quite amazing! Are you ready!?
.
Today I challenge you to bring out your inner child! However old you are, whatever you're going through, for a little while would you release that sweet, adorable child from the tendrils of your adulthood and the personality you've built up over the years? It could just be a silly face or a weird noise, or a loud hoot and holler or doing something only a child would do... Unleash that child for just a moment! It's such a gift! Please?! Do it for everyone! Here's how to participate:
.
STEP 1: TAG nobody in the comments below.
STEP 2: UNFOLLOW one (or 10) accounts that don't make you feel good about yourself or otherwise more alive/present/happy.
STEP 3: Comment below with a weird thought you've had, or what you're going to do to BE that sweet child that is always nearby.
.
HOW TO WIN THE GRAND PRIZE: Turn off Instagram for at least 10 minutes and 8 seconds, look up, be childlike for yourself or with friends/lovers/in public for at least 4 minutes. Repeat.
.
PRIZE: Instant, acute enlightenment. Rinse and repeat. You're welcome.

Comment

Comment

All The Things

"All the things."
.
It's a phrase the kids have been saying recently that I like. In just three words it kind of encapsulates the human condition. Can we in just a few minutes flow from grateful to "jump out of the skin" anger/angst/sad/joyous/BLAHness? I think so! Heck, I know so! And it's okay!
.
As humans we like consistency. We wake up each morning and sort of put ourselves back together. We remember (maybe) where we came from, we notice where we are Now, we envision ourselves far off in the future when things are different and maybe "better." We recall our preferences for food and stuff and people and ideas. We reorient to and regroup all our ideas about who we think we are. So when we stop pushing snooze and finally get out of bed, we are once again "who we were." But are we?! I think not.
.
I like the idea of (at least quietly, to myself) clearing out the old. Trying my very best to begin each new day like it was my first day with this body and personality and talents. If I'm really lucky, or extra present, I allow myself to live "as if" this were the last day of my life! Wow! What would you do? What would you say? How would you start the day differently?
.
All this to say: be all the things. You do not fit into a box, and each day you are born again! May we begin to CHOOSE how we start again. I mean, don't freak out your family and friends by being so so SO new...but consider quietly changing your mind or Outlook.
.
So grateful for you today.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqh1jLOAD5i/

Comment

Comment

On Freedom

It was a cold, dark night. The wind was biting my bare face. I wanted to go back into the warmth, sit by the fire and kick my feet up with a whiskey and warm my gut. But instead I ventured out. I wrapped by scarf, pulled on my boots and walked into the dead of night.
.
I really didn't have a destination. No arrends to run. Nothing to buy or do or accomplish. Just a deep knowing that if I stayed inside too long I'd go soft and weak. I would forget what I was capable of being. I knew that too much cozy would eventually kill me. So when I walked outside, I took off my clothes. I wanted to be fully in it. Step by step into the snow, into the woods, stark naked I ventured. I felt my skin get taut, muscles clenched, goose bumps bumping. But I kept walking, not knowing where I was going, or even really why. But I knew--i knew I needed to leave the safety of home in order to learn about life--to learn about strength and discipline and grit and power and courage and true surrender. I walked until my feet were blue and gnarly, my teeth a-chatter, and my bones icy cold. And in this moment, when seemingly at the brink of death, I surrendered to it all. I acknowledged the inevitability of what was to come--i remembered that death was always quietly knocking. I surrendered to it. I let go of any holding, any fear. I closed my eyes. And just let go.
.
When I opened by eyes, there I was, home in my warm bed, a golden retriever warming my feet, the warm sun pouring in. I was the same person, but somehow brand new. I had reawakened. Ready for Life with a new vigor--a sense of urgency, finally realizing that i didn't know how long I had left. I was finally ready to appreciate All Of It. For real this time. I got out of bed and noticed everything, as if I had new eyes, and a completely shifted perspective. I was free. At last, I was free.

Comment

Comment

Effort + Ease/Sthira + Sukham


Effort + Ease/Sthira + Sukham
.
The yoga posture exists between these extremes. If you're shaking and having a minor panic attack inside, you're working a bit too hard. And, if you're fingers are totally relaxed, muscles barely activated, perhaps you could offer a bit more. The posture is in between doing and 'not doing' --it is steady/strong, yet comfortable/soft.
.
And as I'm always looking for the teaching that is beyond the yoga posture, I wonder how this sutra (2.46) translates into useful wisdom for daily living.
.
How do we remain simultaneously stoic and strong to the inevitable physical and emotional ass-kicking of life, yet also soft, vulnerable, loving and willing to surrender to the "flow of life" or just another human?
.
I look at my parents as a perfect example of this dialectic -my dad, strong, more quiet, a little emotionally reserved but 100% steady through every moment. My mom, soft, empathic, always talking and emoting and dissecting ideas and conversations and reading people. And when they come together, they co-create something balanced together! And they also created... ME! I do sometimes veer "too" far in one direction towards softness or hardness, but when I stop and remember my roots, I remember that between those extremes, I find... CONTENTMENT! And that's simply my aim/goal/intention each day. Sure, have fun, enjoy it all, feel the feels, but if I can find steadiness through the crazy wandering mind--and also through whatever the heck is happening in the outside world? That's about all I can ask for.
.
So your homework is to dance with effort and ease, strength and softness, masculine and feminine, doing and not doing. And in that dance, you find the middle where it all flows. Where you don't push or pull or take what wasn’t offered. You arrive steady and balanced in the now, feet rooted in the dirt, mind and heart opening and willing to receive. Let's begin again!

Comment

Comment

Love All, Serve All, Remember God...

"Love everyone, serve everyone, remember God." - Neem Karoli Baba
.
Why can't it be so simple? Love, serve, and Remember. Perhaps this is the great work of our lives--because it IS WORK. It is a moment to moment practice of opening the apertures of perception even wider. It necessitates that we turn off autopilot, that we soften opinions, release judgment and expectation. It asks us to "lean in" and be an incarnation of absolute love. And...in this modern society, it's so damn hard! There are so many folks that rub us the wrong way, or have beliefs and opinions that may seem absurd. They may have done unthinkable things. How they HECK are we to serve these people--let alone LOVE them?!
.
When I'm really in flow--when I'm truly present and remembering, I do my best to step out of difference and duality. I slow down, become very quiet and remember that the same spark of grace that created me and my loved ones also created the one that seems most unlike me. So we keep practicing. Let's begin again today--right now! Will you try it? See God (whatever that means it looks like to YOU) In all! Good luck!

Comment