Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Dream in my Dream Life

Last night I had a disturbing dream about my old office job. I will spare you the details, but I felt uneasy about it. I couldn’t decipher any real meaning from the dream so I put it out of my mind and went about my morning.

I threw on my spandex for my, much needed, yoga this morning. My body has been feeling the stress of this move, while my mind has been blissfully unaware. So, I decided to really treat my sore muscles and do a gentle yoga practice. My back protested a bit, feeling as though it was a rubber band, and that it had been stretched to it’s limit too many times. I listened to it’s cries, but knew if I moved slowly I would feel better. Sure enough, I made it to savasana/final relaxation in one piece.

As I lay in savasana, my iPad playing just the right song for the moment, my mind started to drift. My dream floated back into my mind and clarification sprung forth. My dream was there to allow me to recognize the perfection of this moment. Normally on a Monday morning, or really any weekday morning, I would be feeling the anxiety of waking up to go to a job that left me unfulfilled and dreading the eight hours that I would grudgingly distract myself through. I made the choice to walk away and pursue a fantastical dream. In an instant my heart swelled with joy and love. I felt love for myself for following my heart, love for this amazing man of mine that supported and envisioned this dream with me, love for everyone that inspired me, love for those who frightened me in their inability to go for their dream, and even love for the job that made me feel so miserable that it felt more painful to stay rather than to jump into the unknown.

Now in sharing this moment with you, tears of joy trickle down my smiling face. I feel the divine presence that resides in all of us. I know the sensation I longed for when reading The Alchemist, the sense that when you make yourself bravely give up everything to follow your dreams that the universe supports you.

Namaste

Toning, shaping, anti-jiggling

Yes, swimsuit season is coming up.  So, you may be finding yourself standing in front of your mirror analyzing your “trouble” areas.  Just stop.  Seriously!

Bring your imagination and go on a little journey with me.  Okay?  It’ll only take a moment.  You are on your deathbed and thinking back on your life.  You are lying in the stiff bed, your body now failing you, cherishing your last breaths, and loved ones by your side.  Are you thinking about how you should have spent more time at the gym?  Are you thinking how your life would have been so much better if you just got those six pack abs?  If you are, then I’m sorry, but let’s not hang out.  It’s true that most of this “stuff” isn’t going to matter in those last days.  That is if you are fortunate to have those last, reflective days or moments.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t exercise.  It’s good for your body and your mind to work up a sweat regularly.  What I am saying is stop picking apart your body.  Stop labeling areas of your beautiful body as “troublesome.”

Also if you weren’t aware, if you look at today’s popular “workouts” they, more often than not, are yoga poses.  You may not find all of these in the yoga class you attend, but yoga has variety.  There are different levels.  You can find a yoga class that lulls you into a relaxed peaceful state the whole hour, or you can find a class that makes you sweat and make you want to curse your teacher, and that really challenges your body.

It bothers me when I hear the excuses about why people don’t practice yoga.  “I’m not flexible.”  “I’d be the only man in class.”  I’m too fat, old, . . .”  Bollocks!  Instead you set impossible standards for yourself and pick a workout that will kick your butt and leave you feeling tighter, and feeling as though you can never achieve your goal.   Yoga is about being in the moment.  It’s about approaching those areas that are tight or “weak” and bring kind awareness into them and maybe even eventually learn to embrace them.  You take a pose that challenges you, but while accepting and respecting your bodies true limits, not pushing.  (I don’t just do yoga, but I bring my yogic principles to other fitness classes.)

The greatest part of yoga is that slowly, over time it eventually changes the way you feel in your body and the way you see your body.  It’s not an instant fix. It doesn’t promise to be.  Your mat will be there waiting for you to move and stretch and eventually you just might learn to love and embrace the body you were given for this journey called life, and let go of the imaginary, future you.

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If you aren’t buying what I’m selling here, then check out these amazing, experienced yogis:  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3674/6-Inspirational-Yogis-in-Their-90s.html  Perhaps they will sway you.

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if this blog inspires or upsets you.  You will interpret it any way you want in order to validate your current mood or to meet your present line of thinking.  I am simply trying to challenge your thoughts on your body and the way you approach exercise.  After all, my favorite people aren’t always the ones that agree with me, but the ones that challenge old, outdated thoughts I hold.

So, get your jiggly butt and dimply thighs on the mat.  Let yourself be curious, and see what happens.  You might just fall in love with that body and person you just dissected in the mirror.

Bliss . . . anxiety

I know that I am not alone in this.  It’s a sick cycle.  You have an amazing day or maybe an amazing week, then you pause and think about how everything in your little corner of the world is going great.  Anxiety creeps in and steals your bliss.  Why can’t we just stay in the moment and full of gratitude?

What happens is fear begins to take hold of the mind.  We fear losing the people in our lives that are helping make it so incredible.  We fear losing our job, getting sick, the list goes on and on.  Our mind immediately starts preparing for the worst, the loss of all that we hold dear.  Whether you realize it or not, this is where the anxiety comes from, in preparation for the worst.

The moment I feel that I have opened my heart I feel a period of bliss and opening, but shortly after it turns to a feeling of vulnerability and I become terrified that I shouldn’t have opened up.  My mind jumps to future scenarios.

No matter what we try to mentally prepare for, our preparations are, more often than not, thrown by the wayside as we just react in the moment.  I’m not saying that making preparations for things isn’t important, but we invest too much time in them.  We delude ourselves into believing that we can actually avoid the uncomfortable or “bad” things that may or may not be heading our way.

It takes hard work to let yourself be permeated in bliss and peacefulness.  It might even feel unnatural.  Trust me it’s not.  You are not alone in this either.

Everything in this universe is impermanent.  The moment we have all that we want we become all to aware of how fleeting all things are.  The people we love will die, our bodies will begin to fail us, and our homes will crumble.  We delude ourselves nearly every moment of our lives into thinking that this can all last.

When it comes down to it, it’s an act of bravery to allow yourself to open up to this world and all it has to offer.  Plus happiness is contagious.  Truly happy people don’t start wars.  They don’t judge others.  They radiate positive energy.

All we have is this moment.  This breath.  Let yourself be saturated  Feel your happiness fully.  Feel gratitude for it.  Radiate your bliss while it’s there and when worry tries to snatch it away, know that it’s true that this will pass, but right now your heart is full.

That being said, I have the most amazing people in my life.  I know that every person that has crossed paths with me has offered a lesson.  I feel so fully supported and incredibly happy.  I know the worry will soon come, but I am prepared to recognize it and let it go.  Right now, in this moment, every cell in my body rejoices in the abundance of my life.

Breaking through that Wall

Holy hell!  Today has been a rollercoaster of racing thoughts and emotions.  The pendulum has swung in both directions since I woke up.

Last night Billy and I frantically packed up our kitchen and all of the stuff we kept neglecting.  There was a lot.  I was feeling stressed out to the max and negative feelings were taking hold of my mind.  Words like “mistake” and “naive” started bubbling up to the surface.  I started to give into them and my mood just kept getting worse.

So, this morning I awoke early to get the stuff packed and moved to my mom’s house (our temporary home for two months).  Billy wanted to sleep a little longer, because we were up really late the night before getting it all done.  I threw a little tantrum and left to unload my car at my mom’s.  I continued to keep wallowing in my negative emotions and frustrations.  The negative thoughts kept piling up.  “What were you thinking?”  “This whole thing is crazy.” “You are selfish and ungrateful, because life is comfortable now.”

I returned home and sat down, absentmindedly listening to Billy packing up the last of his stuff while running through my negative thoughts.  All of a sudden it him me.  this stuff has to happen no matter what.  We have to get packed and moved.  My attitude about it is a choice.  I can flip the switch and shine some light into this darkness if I choose to.  It really is as easy as shifting my focus from negative to positive.

I paused and asked myself what my perspective would be if I was a bubbly, positive person. Then I began thinking about what Billy and I are doing all of this hard work for and how worth it it’s going to be in two months.  I then reflected on how blessed and supported we are by our friends and family and the fact that I could never ask for a better partner for this adventure.  Which brings me to what I keep forgetting most, this is an adventure!  Life is just a big adventure.

The moment I changed my mentality moving stuff actually felt fun.  Everything felt lighter, mentally lighter.  A load was lifted literally and figuratively.

I knocked down the stupid wall I had put up to block out the part of me that was touched by sunlight, positive, bubbly, dreaming of limitless possibilities.  Why would I put up that wall?  Sometimes we do stupid things.

How are your thoughts getting in your way?Image

In the Know, In the Now

As I’m driving my car back to the office from lunch.  Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words are seeping into my brain.  All we have is the now, be in it.  I tell my students constantly, come back to the now, to the breath, but how do you do this exactly?

Well first, make it relatable.  Think of how your mind works when driving.   In regards to past, present, and future thinking our minds are running through the same thought loops.   To drive successfully we need to be  focused on what is right now, while also being aware of what’s ahead of us.  If we are looking into the rear view mirror (past) then we aren’t in control of what’s happening right now.  We may even be headed for disaster.  If we just keep looking far in the distance (future), we might miss someone jumping in front of us or breaking suddenly.  In the now we are aware.  We feel the gas pedal under our foot, our ears listening for any approaching sirens, we see what is approaching us and stay present to deal with it.

Often times what ends up happening is we may see something in the distance that requires action.  We assess if we can do something about it right now and simply act.  If we get caught in the fear of “What will I do when the time comes?” we are may become paralyzed in inaction.  What can you do right now?  In this moment.  If it’s nothing, then simply take notice and you will act when the time is right.  Sometimes, however, we choose inaction when we perceive an obstacle in our future.  Stopping in your tracks is going to put you at risk, because life will keep whizzing past you.

If you are looking in that rear view, I hope it’s because you need to briefly backup in order to move forward. You can’t reverse what’s already done, but you can take a step back, so that you can take another route.

Life is a journey.  Now is all we have.  So roll down the windows, feel the breeze in your hair, the feel of the steering wheel underneath your hands, and belt out those tunes.

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5 Steps to Making a Change

I am thinking about finally returning to my vegetarian diet.  Heading into winter may be the worst time to attempt this, but I am really starting to feel guilt from the harming of animals just for my own pleasure.  (eww, that just sounds sick)  I was vegetarian for well over a year and the day I went back to meat I ate a burger and wings.  Gasp.

So, I thought to help me and maybe to help someone else out there I would put together five steps to make a lasting change.

  The first step in making a lasting change is establishing your reasons.  Right them down, put them somewhere you will see them everyday.  Why have you decided to make this change?  Keep the “should” out of your reasoning.  The moment someone tells me I should do something, the rebel in me comes out.  Even if you “should” make this change, it’s not a good motivator in the long run.  So, get specific why are you doing this.  On the days that things get tough, come back to your list.

Keep the list positive.  An example of a positive goal is:  “I want to be thin.”  It is not, “I don’t want to be fat.”  Focusing on what you do want will help bring it to fruition.  Your goal doesn’t have to be about your weight, but it seems to be something many people are striving to change.

Here my list:

Non-harming of animals:

I grew up on a farm, I know animals have feeling and emotions.

Pollution:

Raising grains for animals is not sustainable.  The largest amount of pollution comes from large scale farms.

Health:

I think we all know this one.  I don’t need to say much.  I do, however, struggle with low iron levels, but it’s because I don’t eat enough iron rich foods regularly.  I just need to become more conscious of this.

My future in yoga:

Eating meat just feels like it clashes with living a yogic life, for instance the principle of non-harming.  As a yoga teacher I want to live as an example for my students and this means getting off the meat wagon.

Know that if you slip you need to get right back up.  If you slip into the old habits, don’t let that be an excuse for a full binge on your renounced habit.  Forgive yourself and move on.  We all have bad days, so it’s not going to be a walk in the park.   Which brings me to . . .

Forgiveness.  Regardless of what you’ve done in the past or your slip ups.  You deserve to let it go and move forward.  Dwelling on the past serves no purpose.  You can’t change what has already been done, but you can change your next step.  If you get down on yourself and feel like a failure, you will act accordingly.  Put faith in yourself.  You have the ability to inspire yourself and to open your heart.  The moment we judge and feel guilty is the moment we have decided that we aren’t good enough.  You are awesome!  You can change yourself and in turn change the world.

Evolution buddies!   You are going to need support.  You may be Wonder Woman, or Batman, but even they required assistance at times.  Find a sidekick to maybe make the journey with you or at least be there to encourage you when you feel weak.  If you don’t have anyone to help you along, reach out on the internet.  Start a blog, believe me, it holds you accountable.  You can also find chat groups for everything under the sun.  Sometimes all we need is the knowledge that we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings.

Celebrate your awesome self.  Set some little goals first and when you reach them have a party for yourself.  You deserve it.  Change is hard.  Of course, don’t let your celebration be indulging in your vice or whatever you’ve given up.

I would love to hear any additional steps you think are needed on your journey of giving up.  Don’t wait for the New Year.  The time to change is now.

Wish me luck, because I’m going to need it.

What Impact Are You Making

Every human being longs to make an impact on this world.

Every day offers a chance to make an impact.  A million small impacts have the ability of adding up to just as much as one giant one.

When you interact with people you are making a change to the world around you.  This can feel like a lot of pressure, but it’s also a chance to embrace your power.

Let me give you a few examples:

The fast food worker that you were rude to, because your order wasn’t exactly correct.  Well, they are working a full time job, trying to support their child, and put themselves through college.

The person you randomly smiled at walking down the sidewalk, they were thinking about ending their life and you made them think twice.

The girl wearing the “slutty” clothing that you glared at, was sexually molested as a child and was broken into a million pieces before the age of 6.

The woman getting yelled at in the parking lot by her boyfriend, that made you think “Geez, just leave him already.   It’s that simple.”  She is abused and he has threatened to take her life if she tries to go.

The man that was begging for money that you gave a handful of change to is saving up for some nice clothes, so he can just go for an interview after being turned away time and time again.

Be the change!  You’ve heard it over and over again.  So, what are you waiting for?  If you react poorly when encountering someone, shake it off, know that sometimes it just happens.  Then make it a point to make your next interaction a profound one.

We impact other people’s days and lives in profound ways every day without ever knowing it.  If you are lucky enough to have someone share their experience with you, then embrace it.  It’s coming full circle baby.

You are more powerful than you could even imagine.  Just becoming aware of the potential that you have shifts your perspective.

Together, let’s make the world a better place.

Treat others with respect.

Demand respect for yourself.

Love whole-heartedly.  This may be your last chance to do so.

Give as if you had an endless supply of money.   No longer react, but impact.

Namaste.