Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When Everything Feels Out of Place... trust that it's not

When sh*t is feeling out of place, when things are not working out as you expected them to, when you're having "one of those days"... these are the times, you must surrender. Surrender to trust. Surrender to faith. Surrender to knowing, that there is a divine order, a universal law, a grander scheme, a bigger picture.

You ARE on the right path, even if the terrain is rocky and the coast is not that clear. Even when things are unfamiliar, sometimes foggy, sometimes slippery dark, sometimes lonely... Ever notice how when you are not on the right path the Universe tends to smack you down? It's just what happens. If this moment, this perfect beautiful moment, weren't totally right for you, it just wouldn't be. It's that simple. The circumstances of your current situation are correct, otherwise this situation, these circumstances, these conditions, would not have presented themselves to you.

So the next time you're not really sure, you're feeling a little doubtful (or a lot doubtful), see that, acknowledge that, maybe even embrace that. Bow down to it. Be humbled and be serene, and then just let it go. Because you must trust, you must have faith, you must believe wholeheartedly in the good and the underlying order and reasoning and logic behind the smallest of things. When you believe, when you have faith and you have conviction, things change for you... in the most perfect of ways.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mandala: Motion, Movement, Effort, and Energy That Comes Full-Circle

A mandala is essentially a circle, or a sacred space with a center. Mandalas are traditionally used for meditation and practice because they are calming to the nervous system since they are symmetrical and cyclical. Try to think of a situation or an instance in your life in which you feel you have come "full circle," so to speak. While we commonly set goals as an intention for our yoga practice, we too seldom honor and celebrate the goals we've set and have already achieved. When you practice, try to think of an accomplishment you have made. Try to think of what you have completed, what you have done, rather than what may have been left undone or incomplete at this juncture. Think of something that you thought you would never overcome or pull yourself through, and you did! Try to carry that closure, that resolved attitude and perspective into whatever challenge or obstacle you may currently be facing.

Where you may be doubt, fear, uncertainty, insecurity, and worry, start to replace that with courage, confidence, strength, stability, and faith. Start to cultivate what is scarce and harvest what is abundant and established; rejoice, embrace, and celebrate what you have and this boundless beauty will infiltrate what you may not have or what may not have conquered... yet.

Friday, April 8, 2011

"What makes you come alive": Your Dharma, Your Bliss

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." --Howard Thurman

I shared this quote with my classes a number of weeks ago. One of my students later told me that this quote really resonated with them. Me too. Which is why I shared it.

Absolutely what the world needs is for people to begin living in a way that is consistent with what makes them free, what makes them blissful. What makes you come alive is your Dharma, your duty and your eternal truth. Your Dharma is not duty in a strict disciplinary sense of responsibility, but it is what you want to do because it is what feels right, it is what feels natural, it is what frees you.

My teacher Mokshapriya taught me that creative projects are essentially the most efficient and easiest ways to reach your "Vigyanamaya Kosh," or your Intellect body... the body full of wisdom and higher knowledge. This is the fourth of the five bodies of man. The first being Anamaya Kosh (Physical), the second Pranamaya Kosh (Astral), the third Manomaya Kosh (Mental), and the fifth being Anandamaya Kosh (Bliss). Creativity of any kind of going to lead you to your higher self. Creativity does not have to artistic; many people seem to believe it does. You can be creative by being resourceful in how you use mundane materials; you can be creative in how you communicate with people; you can be creative in scheduling and maximizing your time and agenda. If your job does not serve as a creative outlet, you can find something outside of your career that will make you feel alive.

Aside from practicing and teaching yoga, I love words. I love speaking them, reading them, and writing them. I studied English Language & Literature as well as Writing and Philosophy in college because it inspired me. Hearing other people who are passionated about words, about poetry, about writing, is just as inspirational.

We want to follow our bliss and do what makes us come alive because it inspires other people to do it as well. And when everybody is doing that, everybody is very happy.