Tag Archives: practice

Spring

Sitting quietly Doing nothing Spring comes and the grass grows anyway ~Basho

Now that Spring is here, I know that I will become energized, enlivened and invigorated, but this quote reminds me that it is OK to move into Spring slowly. As in Slow. The. Eff. Down.

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How many times do I catch myself in the middle of “doing” something and realize that I would rather be doing ANY~THING else than what I am doing. Does this ever happen to you? I catch myself in a mindless, strum and swirl of silly daily obsessive things in hopes of finding some meaning in the doing.

Does that make any sense at all?                                                                                Do you find yourself as U2 says “caught in a moment?”                                        So damn busy doing that you forget you’re a human being?

I often wonder how life would be different if I were able to just do the one thing and stick to it? Stick to the one thing. Having had the desire and discipline of a ballerina, when I stopped dancing I felt like I chucked all that daily direction away. I lost or ran away from the schedule. I have moments where I can’t believe I ever had that kind of conviction and commitment. For me the fearless fierce fire and passion for ballet technique drove me and in the process of striving for perfection (= doing), I never saw just how beautiful the being was…

Listening to Chopra and Oprah today, Deepak shared something that I would like to share with you. It is going to be my new mantra for a while until I can feel it in my bones. He spoke about the self, the true self, the real self-esteem. NOT the self image.

  • I am beneath no one
  • I am fearless
  • I am immune to criticism

Will you join me in this? Will you try it on for a while and see how it feels? Will you look into your eyes every morning and every night and say those 3 sentences?

  • I am beneath no one
  • I am fearless
  • I am immune to criticism

Join me in letting go of fear and practicing the dance of self love!

Listen hear for this awesome podcast on Super Soul Conversations with Oprah and Chopra! Big shout out to @chrismckethan for sharing it!!

 

 

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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……….


Creating Connection

Hi, my name is Kyra. I am 10.3 pounds over weight. I am addicted to all forms of social media. I am also addicted to yoga, Green and Black’s 85% dark chocolate and to micromanaging every emotion. I am single and hate it, but its better than sacrificing personal growth and communication for empty companionship.  I avoid my Mother because she always asks me to brush my hair. I realized just last week that I have something to share, that I have lived and worked and always followed my heart even into the darkest of places. I am ashamed that I think so little of myself.

So here’s the solution:

Since the death of my Father, I have had a really hard time holding it together. I’ve spent many hours alone, sad and feeling terrible for not appreciating how long I did have him. In my grief, I beat myself up about wanting more of him. He was 91! He lived an amazing life, but I want more.  Then I feel bad for feeling bad.

Immediately after he died, I got on my yoga mat looking for comfort. I am forever grateful for my teachers and students who let me slip in and slip out of classes. They gave me space to be as raw as I needed to be without interruption. But, I needed more. I am so blessed to have Rolf Gates as a dear friend, an amazing teacher and a true mentor. He called often to check in with me after Dad died. Many times I would see his call coming in and cry because of his kindness yet I couldn’t bring myself to answer the phone.

He mentioned a meditation retreat and it felt like the right answer. Sun, silence, yoga and someone else to do the cooking and cleaning. An escape to paradise but with a noble purpose. Just before I left, my dear sweet Haley mentioned reading Brene Brown “The Gifts of Imperfection.” I’ve been a fan for years. We watch her TED talk in my teacher trainings. Recently I had even seen her Super Soul Sunday talk on trust. It was powerful stuff. Watch it here

I don’t even think Haley had finished reading the book before I swiped it out of her hands and hit the road to the airport. I started it on the plane. Yes!!! This was just what I needed. On both legs of my flight there was no one sitting next to me. The old me would have been delighted! The new me felt like the Universe was conspiring against me to force me out of my shell. I was really craving connection!! I wanted to share with someone anyone. I wanted to practice connecting before I got home so I wouldn’t screw it up and you know embarrass myself (sound familiar)?

I have realized that I am sick and tired of carrying around this image of perfection. Yes, I am blonde (or used to be..). Yes, I can be thinner than average(but not now). Yes, I was a ballerina. Yes. Yes. Yes. But how about the fact that I have so little value for who I am and what experience I carry in my whole being?  There are days that I cannot possibly think of one kind word to say about myself. And then there is my shame and fear of being found a phony. How about owning my story and sharing it? How about using all of the work that I have done throughout my life to help others feel more at ease in their own skin? How about, as my dear friend Nadia said one day long long ago “Let us see you cry. Stop pretending. Be real.”

I have spent the last week contemplating how to create connection. The conclusion I’ve come to is this: I cannot waste anymore of my life and energy hiding. It’s time to love myself with all my warts and wrinkles and open up to the real joy that is found in connection. I am running a year of creating connection on my Instagram. I would love for you to join me in connecting and sharing anything that moves you.

So here goes:                                                                                                                                                  Hi, my name is Kyra. I am 10.3 pounds over weight. I am addicted to all forms of social media. I am also addicted to yoga, Green and Black’s 85% dark chocolate and to micromanaging every emotion. I am single and hate it, but will never sacrifice myself again. I avoid my Mother because she always asks me to brush my hair. I realized just last week that I have something to share, that I have lived and worked and always followed my heart even into the darkest of places. My spirit animal is a sea turtle. I love all the people that practice yoga with me. They are brave and fearless. I experience real joy when they move on to other cities. My heart breaks a little when they leave but then grows bigger. It hurts but its a good hurt, like growing pains. I also talk too much………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Healing

It has been exactly 41 days since my sweet Father put on his wings and flew away. The world feels so empty and lonely. It’s strange I know, but everything he ever touched feels lifeless and cold right now. Even me. I feel as though I am here, but not here. Like everyone, I long for that last conversation. That last I love you. That long goodbye.

I have been reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead and it is helping put things in perspective for me. A little. In my own selfish need for him to stay alive, I forgot that he was dealing with a little bit of his own personal hell. How would you feel if you heard the words that there was an end in sight? We all glamorize and dramatize what we would do. The trips we’d take, the people we would forgive, the grand gestures we’d make. In truth though, I think it is much much simpler. Yes, we would love up all those we love. Give hugs and kisses and I love you’s and thank you’s. The bigger question to ponder becomes really about “me.”

How would you feel if you were told this is it. If it were me, how would I feel knowing the end was there? Looming like a distant wave that will come, sooner than later, to shore and crash leaving nothing in its wake because it is all dissolved and swallowed up by the vastness of the ever changing. The truth is, that this is it. Any moment could be my last and what am I doing with the few precious moments I have?

 

Me and Dad

Now and again I have these “ah ha” moments that whisper to me of the big as hell space that is within and without. The heaven above, around and inside of me and each one of us. I am so busy grasping to this life that I am eternally fearful of the next. What would you do if you were handed that sentence?

In hindsight, I think I did it all wrong. I kept hoping and trying to have conversations with my Father about he felt about dying. We never had a single one. I never told him of my fear of life without him. I wanted him to tell me how he was feeling and all he wanted was to feel all the love of his family. He gave up his independence to be dialyzed 3 days a week so he could feel our love. So he could bask in the love and togetherness his illness created. As he got weaker, we got stronger and we didn’t even know it but he did.

I had a year and almost 2 months to say everything and I didn’t. My fear of death paralyzed me. He had a year to absorb the love and support of his children and beloved Mary. He had a year to look death in the face and say not yet. It took him that long to be ready for the great journey home. I hope in some small measure our love gave him the strength to wear those wings with pride.

My lesson in this: My Father always listened to everyone. He always put others first. I know this big cold empty hole in my life will never be filled, but it can be the fertile ground from which compassion can grow. His life and legacy can be the soil that feeds the bodhisattva in me. The one whose arms are open for all to find kindness. My fears have kept me selfish. His death has unlocked my heart.

I love you. I miss you. Thank you.