Tag Archives: mindfullness

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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What is yoga to me?

What is yoga to me anyway?

Lately I have been struggling with the true meaning of yoga. Is it a workout? Is it a choreography lesson? Is it meant to be fed to me? How do I feed others if I’m not clear about what it is? Where the hell is yoga going in 2019 in an America that is so divided? Why do people feel like they have to belong to one studio only and not another? What’s more important, the safety? The number of people in my class? The tone of voice I use? The color of my mat, my hair, my heart?

What the hell is happening to the yoga I fell for, the yoga that saved me, the yoga that stopped me from hating my differences and helped me love my beautiful messy artistic life?

SO here is what I have discovered.

Yoga for me is not about anything. It’s really about nothing. No goals. No #yogagoals. It’s about having a sacred place to lay it all down. Period. Lay. It. All. Down. Put the insanity aside, find a modicum of clarity and let the truth bubble up. The pure naked truth of who I am, where I am, and what I am and then sit with it a while. Just be with myself with no one looking. It’s one big messy dance of discovery. A dive into the depths of whatever is taking up space in my cerebrum, cerebellum and prefrontal cortex and then determining what stays and what goes. It’s a long slow walk into my own egoic humanity to uncover whatever happens to be there. In that moment.

I have gotten caught up in the daily dance of do-this, now do-this, now try-this and then throw my ass in bed at midnight, going over my gratitude list rapidly and begging all the Gods for more hours to manage all the mindless necessities of life.

Is that yoga?

For me the real yoga is about NOT setting an intention for my mat time.

For my life, yes, my mat? No

My mat is my sanctuary. It’s my place of willful worship. I get on my mat when I’m so churned up I can hardly breathe. I get on my mat when I am peaceful and prayerful and grateful. I get on my mat to find whatever the universe has for me that moment of that day. I get on my mat to find the connection that gets lost by overthinking, overdoing, over scheduling, over anything-ing. I get on my mat to bring it all home. To connect the dots of who I am. Heart. Soul. Spirit. Voice. I get on my mat to find out who I am. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Me thinking way too much!

Do you feel like your yoga has gotten out of hand? Is it turning into a space for fitness goals?

I’m interested in hearing where you are on your mat these days. I wanna hear about you, yep, sweet little you! So please leave a comment and share!

Now I’m getting on my mat! (oh, after I go to the dry cleaner…)