Tag Archives: meditation

Intention?

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

~ Mother Theresa

As the muse of inspiration descended on me at the close of 2018, I laid out the themes for my life month by month for 2019. They flowed easily and it seemed to me that the order made quite a lot of sense. (BTW, this was my very first time EVER doing this kind of thing). The overarching theme for the year would be Strength and Courage. I needed more of both to speak my truth as a daughter, a mother, a lover, a leader and a yoga teacher. And then life got in the way….. I think you know what I mean.

Now, as we begin February with it’s theme of intention, I have come realize that at this moment in my life there is soooo much more to it.

As the world is slowly praying and awaiting the passing of the Father of Mindfulness himself, Thich Nhat Hanh. Things feel different.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”~ T.N.H.

His life and legacy will be celebrated. His communities will possibly feel bereft of his earthly presence or not, depending on just how much they believe in the Buddhist tradition. When Jack Kornfield shares his conversation with Ram Das about death he admits that he “failed” that one. We are all unsure, curious, fearful, you name it about death and yet this simple monk from Viet Nam is quietly showing the world that all is well this too and he shall pass.

I awoke a few weeks ago to a strange realization. Imagine this: You have a conversation with a friend that ends in an argument. Mean words are spoken. Egos are running rampant with rage; you leave, they die or you die and the last words were unkind….. I woke up in a panic in a sweat thinking how many times have I left situations that way. How F@%$#ing AWFUL!!!

How could I go on had the last interaction been so aggressive? How would the other feel if they had been unkind?  

We only have now. ONLY NOW

And so for Thich Nhat Hanh, his followers and all of us who want a peaceful world and a life steeped in love, I would like to offer this contemplation:

Let’s be mindful. In the words of Mother Theresa to “Do small things with great love”.

Lately, I have been standing my ground against setting intentions for my yoga practice. With teenagers sifting thru/struggling to find their identity, a Mother who’s world has literally been pulled out from under her, the joys of learning to be in relationship after 10 years and awakening to my own mortality, I have decided to make my time on my mat the one place where I just let it happen. No intention. No questions. Just a space and place to wait and see. To breathe. To open myself up to myself. To feel. And when it is all said and done and savasana has arrived, I will know what I am meant to know. Then and only then. Not before with a prayer. Not during so to take my mind off of the moment. But after. The end. Amen.

So long story short: this months theme is intention. Yes.

But not on the mat. In life.

January got us clear. Now February is the time to live into that clarity by intending to make that clarity a reality.

If you dreamed it, then go on and life it!

Use a mantra, a post it, a tattoo, a fridge magnet (do they still make those…)

Whatever it is.

In the words of Mary Oliver “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Clarify it. Set the intention. Now do it!

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Holy Hella Holiday

A few thoughts about handling the mayhem

I have no idea how in this crazy world to get all of it done.

Actually, I know that I can’t. So basically I feel like I’m starting with failure as the end game… but I may have a plan.

Being present with a teenager…

The theme this month at the yoga studio is “presence” or “belonging”. Somehow in my addled mind I see the two as similar sides of the same situation, and here’s why:

When you are fully present you feel belonging. You feel good in your own skin. You feel your breath. You get repeat reminders thru your day of how lucky you are. Gratitude flows and all the little pesky poop that holds you back somehow mysteriously fades into the ether. Flow state. Samyama. The final performance, not the tech rehearsal.

Yet when you are stuck back in the traffic jam on I-26 profanity flying because you didn’t make that last stop before you had to showed up for your brothers daughters childs’ 1st birthday party, you can hardly be present. You definitely don’t feel like you belong there… because you know that you really belong somewhere else, anywhere else. You feel me?

When the fates conspired to drop an unexpected obstacle right smack in the middle of your path, it takes all your Zen resources to remember that “the obstacles to the path are the path”. And when you’re busy working all your spiritual mojo to Be. Here. Now. you certainly don’t feel like you belong. No Flow state here. You feel more like an alien zombie medusa who’s only task is to beam down all the ghosts from your past that make you feel like you have seven heads and roll them across all of your perfectly laid plans at the most random intervals just to make you even more certifiable!

But wait…

Plans mean I’m thinking about the future. Thinking about the future means I’m not present. Not being present means I think I belong somewhere else…Not feeling like I belong leaves me feeling alone. Isolated. Unimportant. Unnecessary. It’s all an intertwined organic mess of life and feelings and people and beauty. {this is why I think belonging and presence are besties or worsties…}

So this time of year CANNOT be about getting it done. The greatest gift to give anyone is time. Honest, earnest time. Your time. Your precious time. Your precious limited time on this earth. Y.O.U. That is all the present anyone needs. Your full present moment presence. People need you and me slow the eff down and be with them. Not long. But long enough so they can feel that they belong.

Helping others helps us belong. Helping others shows us how even the smallest gesture means our presence has value. So when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the cultural societal posture of gift giving I’m going to stop the shopping and start the sharing of presence. Everyones deserves to feel that they belong. Everyone deserves your presence. Even you 🙂


Becoming friends with the darkness

I woke up  this morning in a pool of potential. I was surrounded by the guardians of fear, shame and unworthiness. My friends Brett Dennan, Natalie Merchant and of course Dave {Matthews that is} were on the outside looking in. They sang to me their songs of hope and encouragement. They tried to protect me by sharing their darkness to help me tease out my own light.

Somehow my ego got loose in a big way. Now how could that happen? I do as I have been told by the wise ones: I practice yoga, I meditate, I help others, I give to animal shelters. What more do I need to do to be set free from this feeling? This morning my ego decided that I am the only person that has ever felt this way. The only human who hasn’t lived up to the dreams and ideas that fill the heart and mind. My ego chose to rule this day. The battle ensued. Loneliness and heartache quickly closed the gap between my deeper knowledge and this momentary void. They shut me off from my gratitude and opened the flood gates of emptiness. Tears flowed like cheap champagne at a high school reunion as the pity party began.

I want so much from Life. There are some things that I will never have now. Those things have left big holes in the fabric of my Life. My ego is fighting to keep those spaces open, to keep me feeling empty. Life always finds a way to weave in beauty. I know that the exposures will be woven back together and the threads used will be made of the most sublime moments. That the final tapestry will be one of infinite beauty and quality. I know this. Yet still my ego wages this mighty war.                                                                                        IMG_5652

And so I sit.

I put my butt on my cushion and I begin again.

I breath. I think. I plan. I feel that awful emptiness.

I begin again.

I will sit with this feeling. I will dance with this feeling. It’s a tricky little number where I never really know who is leading and who is following…

I cannot escape it. We will become friends. It will take practice. It will feel familiar and then it will feel foreign. Feelings come and go. We get cut , we get bruised and yet we heal. Again and again.

I also know that I am not alone in this skirmish and this is why ego will not win this holy war. I believe we all face these moments.

If you are a believer please share your thoughts……….


I am wrong (alot)

I discovered something interesting. It’s nothing new, but it’s the steadfast practice of yoga and meditation that has created this new “awareness” for me.

Whenever I let my ego out of the gate first, well, I am wrong. Yep. Plain and simple. The epiphany came to me as I was brushing my teeth tonight. I have this horrible shameful secret. I am so insecure that when I am faced with new situations, new people, or just about anything that makes me feel uncomfortable, I pre-judge and I am always wrong. Somehow my ego thinks that everyone is out to get me. Me. Me. Me and only me. Right? Because that is how big my small self feels it is. Can any of you relate to this? When someone approaches me about something that my ego isn’t prepared for, the moat fills, the gates draw down fast and the archers are ready in the turrets. I cannot possibly deign to help you or anyone else until I know all the facts. Let’s not forget that before I can consider answering, I must have time to contemplate the outcome for me. Me.

I keep having this theme run over and over in my Life. I am always wrong in my prejudgement. The person rarely if ever has it in for me. What could have been simple gets turned into an epic the likes of the Twilight Saga. Wasted time, wasted energy and “bad seeds” that will take a lot of good seeds to stop from germinating. One would think that after all these years I would get it. I don’t. I keep sitting on my cushion. I keep practicing my yoga. I keep teaching yoga. I keep on because that is what I must do. I have to learn this strange dance I have choreographed and change the beginning. The end is always better than my small self could have imagined. It’s time for me to start with the first step. As they say in the ballet world, “it’s how you start and how you finish.” What happens in between the audience will forget if you don’t start strong and finish solid. I love to dance. It is in my blood and bones (and bunions). It’s my passion. What I need to learn is that passion is fueled by love. What would happen if in all those ego-driven moments I went back to love………. after all that is what dancing is actually that’s what Life is.