Tuesday, September 1, 2009
What emotions are you carrying around with you? Are you ready to let go of them?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
A few mornings ago I was thinking about my yoga practice, or more accurately my lack of yoga practice these days. I was wondering why I have been avoiding it. I know that when I practice regularly I feel fantastic. I begin to open up to life, to feel connected to my body and spirit, and to feel firmly grounded in my truth. I feel that amazing joy and immense sense of being fully alive in every cell of my being. Why would I avoid that? Then it came to me… it’s the crash.
The crash for me usually comes at work. My work situation is less than ideal. My crash consists of walking into work feeling wonderful and open, and then getting bombarded by anger and negativity. This feeling gets compounded by self judgments of why I have left myself in this situation so long. I realize now that my crash consists of me feeling how miserable I really am; something that I have unconsciously worked very hard to numb over the past five years.
So here was the question I was faced with:
If I do not allow myself to feel sadness and sorrow, can I really experience joy?
For me, this answer is a simple no. We live in a world full of duality. We can not have the good without the bad, the happy without the sad, or the reward without the work. I believe that to live fully you must be open to the entire range of emotions.
I know that I have robbed myself of feeling intense joy and happiness because I chose to numb the pain. I can feel the stuck emotions in my body magnifying the longer I avoid my practice. In life, we always have choices. I can continue to deaden myself and mourn the loss of the joy that I once felt, but this is not the way I want to live. Instead, tonight I will unroll my mat with a willingness to experience duality. I will choose to let myself experience whatever emotions present themselves so that I can savor the sweet glimpses of bliss.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I’ve been feeling very stuck in my life for a while now. There are many aspects that I desperately need to change. However, they all seem to have external factors that are making it hard for me to progress (i.e. the free will of others, economy, etc.) Despite awareness of these factors, at times I still feel the need for change as strongly as the need for air. I find myself gasping inside for something to give way.
Since I do not feel like I can make the big changes right now, I asked myself what small changes I can make. What little things can I do now to bring the energy of change into my life? I had a few answers to this question but even these small steps can seem daunting at times. Then, this morning, it came to me… the smallest step of all, something that I can change at any moment, my breath!
I decided to give it a try. When I started to feel that pressure brewing inside, I took in a nice deep breath and let it out. An instant wave of calm came over me, followed by a feeling of recognition that I do have control of something in my life right now! From there, I began to even out my breath by inhaling to the count of three and exhaling to the count of three. With each breath I could feel my body and thoughts relaxing as I came to the realization that I always have control AND the ability to change.
TRY IT YOUSELF
Take a minute or two to try this exercise. If you work on this a few times a week it will become more of a habit for you. Then, the next time you are feeling panicked or stuck, the thought “wait, breathe” might pop into your head, creating a moment for you to pause and take control of the situation.
- Start by sitting in a comfortable position and begin to become aware of your breath.
- Take a nice deep inhale, exhaling through your mouth with a little force, letting go of thoughts, tensions, and judgments, as you empty your lungs completely. You can do this a few times until you begin to feel centered and grounded.
- Now return to the natural pace of your breath. Count the pace of your natural inhale. To do this, inhale without force as you count 1, 2, 3, 4 … the number you reach as you gently come the top of the inhale is your pace number. (Most people will be around a two or three.) Now use that number to pace your breath evenly. If you inhale to a count of two, then exhale to a count of two. (Note: this number might be different at different times. For example, if you are stressed it might be a one or two, when you normally are a three.)
- Continue to breathe at your even pace as long as you would like. You may notice a calming or relaxing affect as you continue. If you feel you need to relax a little further you can try adding one count to you pace number; so if you are breathing comfortably at a count of two, try three.
- When you are finished, place one hand over your heart, smile, and honor yourself for creating this moment.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Love, Light & Peace to All!