Sometimes life leaps out at you with a well-timed “BOO!” It is in these moments of startled upheaval that your practice comes into play. Seasoned meditators, experienced yogis, and deeply spiritual folks may seem calm on the surface. But I assure you that they are, like the proverbial duck, paddling like the dickens to maintain what looks like serenity.
As Yoga With Spirit emerges from the "pause" of the last year, it feels a little like emerging from a chrysalis. All growth requires us to let go of old things and old ways. It is no different for me as I step forward into this new phase of life. Read about the additions and changes to the offerings at Yoga With Spirit in this week's blog.
"How does an apple ripen? It sits in the sun." Patience and persistence can be far more effective agents of change than the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. Keep showing up. Trust the process. But recognize that you don't need to be in control. Leave some space for unimaginable possibilities, surprising twists and turns, and miracles too great to even hope for. Life won't let you down.
If you, like me, are a recovering control freak, this one's for you. Here are three ways to practice letting go of your need to control. When we step back and redirect all that energy toward ourselves – controlling our desire to be in control instead of trying to control the world around us – we feel 1,000 times better.
The giants of science teach us that the most mind-bending breakthroughs often come from a simple, but radical change in perspective. Poking at what we know, seeing where our certainties pinch or confine us, having the courage to close our eyes and set these certainties aside for something completely new – this is the kind of thinking that changes lives. No matter what you do, you can practice setting aside what you already know to free yourself for to grasp new possibilities.
While I never (ever) would have chosen any of what’s happened during this year that will certainly go down in infamy, I am able, with open heart and open hands, to say thank you 2020 for all of your ambiguous gifts. Happy holidays to you and cheers to a bright new year!
“Things may never go back to normal. You may need to create a new normal. And that’s OK.” These days we’re hearing a lot about a “new normal.” Though the term is having a "moment," the idea isn't new at all. In fact, I suspect you've practiced it before. In essence, embracing a new normal is to understand that it isn’t possible or even desirable to go back (as in “let’s get back to normal”). Growth is never backwards. It is always forward, into the unknown and the new.
In uncomfortable situations we often immediately weather a powerful sense of aversion. “I don’t want this!” “This isn’t what I planned!” “This isn’t fair!” Because we’ve been practicing, however, we know that this surge of emotion (often quite justified) will pass if we pause and take a few breaths. Once we settle down and accept that what is happening is, indeed, happening, we free ourselves to get creative. We set ourselves up to do things we never thought we would do, or never even dreamed we’d be able to do. We may even find ourselves feeling grateful for the chance to stretch and grow.
There is a pivotal moment whenever you’re learning to do something when you find yourself relying on the teacher that matters the most – YOU. Sure, weeks, months and even years of study with the best teachers you can find is a tremendous asset. But in the end, what you’re learning from them is their perspectives and what works for them. Real wisdom comes from doing, from your own experience. While your teachers have walked a similar path, no one else has walked YOUR path. No one else has your own unique blend of gifts, talents and ideas. No one else has been shaped by life experiences exactly as you have been. You are, in the end, the best teacher for you.