Watch Your Mouth

Have you ever listened to a friend talk about themselves?  You know that  conversation…She says,”I’m not good at _____,” and you spend the rest of your time with this friend explaining how they are in fact quite good at _____.  Isn’t it exhausting sometimes?  Don’t you want to tell her to stop belittling herself that way?  And don’t you wonder what it’s like when she looks in the mirror?

What’s it like when you look in your mirror?   What is the last kind thing you said about yourself to yourself?  You know…that little voice that handles your self-talk. Do you remember?  Why don’t you think about it?

Go ahead. Think about it.  I’ll wait….

While I wait and you think, I’ll share.  Earlier today, I was on a rare trip to the mall.  It always feels like a trip to hell, so I was on a mission. I knew exactly what I wanted, and calculated the approximate time it would take to procure the item in question.  I inherited this trait from my Dad.

Anyway, I walked in and spotted what I was there for.  On the way to the register, I spotted another item.  It was splendid, this gorgeous blousy thing the likes of which I rarely glance at, much less stop in my tracks over.  I am fortunate that my work clothes for the most part are yoga pants, so business or dress attire isn’t a necessity.  But this top…

I could feel myself light up the way I lit up as a kid when I’d saved my babysitting money to buy a pair of fancy pink ballet slipper-style heels.  (Those are another story…once a shoe girl, always a shoe girl.  Don’t let the Danskos fool you.)  I touched the fabric, and before I knew it, I had it in hand on my way to the register.  While I was standing in line, plotting my next moves, I didn’t hop into the land of shoulds (I should get something more subtle, less showy, more appropriate, black) or the  can’ts (I can’t wear that!). Instead, the chatter was fabulous.  I had a little celebration in my head.  I said to myself, “That color is going to look amazing!”  And I didn’t stop there.  I told myself how exciting it was to find something so vibrant and unusual.  I told myself how fantastic it’s going to look. And it went on from there.

I tell you all this, because it’s taken a long time to get to a place where I can listen to the voice in a way that is celebratory, instead of inflammatory.  I am happy to be in a space in my life where the self-talk is positive.  I can share this story.  There was a time when I wouldn’t have.  The things I’ve said to myself in the past are things that I’d unfriend you for saying.

Watch your mouth!  Watch what you say to yourself.  Think about it…would you say these things to your best friend?  If you wouldn’t say it to another human, why on this Earth would you say it to yourself?

Words carry so much energy and power.  They can force a smile or a frown.  They can cause tears or laughter, someone else’s or your own.

When you look in the mirror, watch your mouth.  Choose carefully and from love when you speak to yourself.

Love and turkey, y’all.  Namaste.

Easy? What if it really were easy?

easyI was in the company of some pretty awesome women Friday afternoon.  We gather every month, and when I am with them I feel surrounded by members of my tribe.  I feel at home.  We were having a discussion about how we were influenced by our parents, about expectations, and about how we choose to live now.  One thing that came up, that I’ve been thinking about for a while now, but that cemented for me over the last little while is the concept of easy.

Here’s the definition of easy from Google:

eas·y
ˈēzē/
adjective
  1. 1.
    achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties.
    “an easy way of retrieving information”
    synonyms uncomplicated, undemanding, unchallenging,effortless, painless, trouble-free, facile, simple,straightforward, elementary;

    When did I decide that it couldn’t be easy? At what point was it decided that life would be hard, and that’s all there was to it?

    I remember clearly being told that things are not easy.  “Nothing easy is worth having.” That was a favorite.  “Life is just hard.” Another favorite.  When you hear things over and over, you eventually believe them…right?

    But, should you? What if, instead, I had believed it WOULD be easy?  That life was amazing. That I could achieve great things without great effort.  What would that be like?

    Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that we shouldn’t work.  Work is fine.  I love my work…it’s what I do every day and I’m blessed to do it.  But what if I had made the shift years ago to decide that it was easy?

    I learned a few years ago that I could decide what kind of day I was going to have. I could get up and decide to have a good day.  I learned to practice mindfulness, to be present for each moment.  And I believe that’s when I started to learn that it could be EASY.

    I’m not saying without effort.  I’m definitely not saying without challenge.  But I am saying that we can meet these endeavors, all our endeavors, with an attitude of ease.  We can decide that we will be light, and reframe how we approach our lives.  We can connect to each moment, we can live an inspired life.  We can move with grace and fluidity instead of tension and resistance.

    Give it a try this week…set an intention to move through your day with ease.  Just give it a shot.  And see what happens…you might be surprised!

    Peace, love and ease, y’all.  Peace, love and ease.

7 Limbs

I have an opportunity.  I have no choice but to see it this way, so I am.  You see, I can’t teach yoga for the next several weeks.  I have to limit my activity and my practice.

I had a little surgery that keeps me grounded for a bit.  No driving for a couple of weeks.  No lifting.  No vigorous activities.

Notice I didn’t include yoga in the list of no-no’s.  That’s because it isn’t there.  (But wait, you ask, you just said you can’t teach or practice…so it must be on the list!)

Yoga is an 8-limbed path, many times depicted like a tree.  So, you see, I have 7 other limbs to practice.  Asana, postures and poses used in classes or home practice, are but one.  The other 7, not as popular in the mainstream as asana, but equally valuable are: Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.

I’m going to use this time to dig a little deeper, seek out the dark corners and shine the light.  And you’re welcome to join me.  I hope you will.  What questions do you have?  If the yoga experience seems appealing, but the asana practice doesn’t, what would you like to know about deepening your own practice?

The beauty of yoga is that there are no rights or wrongs.  It is a practice as individual as each of us.

Love and light.

  
 

 

Broken open…

I had the good fortune to spend part of last weekend with some of my dearest friends.  The bonus was that we were able to share space together practicing yoga.  It had been some time since we’d all been together, so we were giddy in the first place.  But to share that space, well…that was icing on the cake.  

The instructor led us for an hour and one half, which actually felt like about ten minutes.  As he directed us about moving our bodies, he also led us to move our minds.  To shift.  To dig down into the dark spaces.  To breathe down into those places and lift up into light.  He commented that we work so hard on the exterior, that we sometimes neglect the interior (if any of you who attend with me read this, forgive the paraphrase).  Let that sink in…

I felt amazing during and after that practice.  Lifted.  Broken open.  I felt like I’d been able to crack those deeply formed shells.  And where those cracks were, deep down, stayed open.  They needed to stay that way.   

When I woke up before the moon fell Sunday in the wee hours, I still had that feeling.  That feeling of almost floating.  I felt light.  And I realized the cracks were still there.  I was reminded of the Japanese tradition of Kintsukroi.  This art is the repair of broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer, and the understanding that the piece is all the more beautiful for being broken.  I like to believe that lightness I felt was the sliver and gold filling those cracks.  

It’s only been a few days since, but I am still feeling the effects of that practice.  I’ve set the intention to remain broken open. To allow those broken places to be filled with light.  To be grateful for the experiences of breaking and healing.  To recognize that each break was necessary.  To bask in gratitude for the blessing that have received form those lessons.  

Over time, have you been broken?   Have you allowed yourself to be broken open?  Be willing to go there.  And fill the cracks with gold and silver.  You’re all the more beautiful for it.

Namaste.

 

Starry, Starry Night

I am sitting by a lake tonight. Occasionally I hear the splash of a fish jumping. I see the reflection of the stars across the water. I smell the campfire and hear the crackle of the logs. I am still licking the remnants of s’mores from my fingers.

I look up…and am suddenly mystified. In the last week I have undertaken some significant life changes. For the good, in my opinion, but still Significant with a capital S. And it is here, under this velvet canopy that I realize that my blessings outnumber the stars. I have stepped out on faith to chart a new path for myself. My path. Not anyone else’s. And I have received support from so many people~known and unknown~ that I am almost speechless.

So it is here that I say thank you. To everyone. To anyone who will read or listen. I am overflowing with gratitude. (I have learned that gratitude drowns fear.)

My challenge for you is this: walk outside. Look up into your night sky. And when you do, I hope that like me, you’ll find it impossible not to be overcome with gratitude.

Sweet dreams. And namaste…