We (all of us) experience reactions. No amount of practice – yoga, meditation, prayer, etc. – is going to stop this from happening. Resistance is one of our strongest reactions. Resistance is also (in wise words from Star Trek) futile. In fact, it causes some of our greatest suffering. Read on for one way to unplug the power of your resistance.
Eighty percent of success is showing up, but I would guesstimate that for about eighty percent of us, showing up is the hardest part. So, what are we to do? Ink in an appointment with yourself. Treat it like the most important appointment of your day. Sooner than you can imagine, you will no longer need to make these appointments. Showing up for YOU will have become quite easy.
“If life is a bowl of cherries then what am I doing in the pits?” There seems to be a common human delusion that if we’re “good” and do “good things” that life will respond by being “good” back. This belief creates an innate resistance to life’s challenging or uncomfortable moments. In fact, the most meaningful moments in my life, the times when I’ve learned and grown the most, have sprung from challenging, uncomfortable, and even painful times. I suspect this is true for you as well. Read on to learn how to practice struggling optimistically and gracefully.
My favorite yoga quote is "Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory" mostly because if the way it guides us to live life off our mats. As important as it is to study, to ponder, to cogitate, to process, to synthesize, it is 99 times more important that you, to quote Nike, “just do it.” Participation is the key to living fully. So, whatever it is that has captured your attention - ready, set, go for it!
Perhaps the most meaningful yoga classes I have ever taught were for girls in middle school. It felt like a healing ministry to share yoga’s message of “you’re OK exactly as you are right now.” I felt as though I were slipping them a protective shield to deflect the debilitating messages of “No, you’re not.” that they were just starting to notice coming from the world around them. This is a shield every one of us could use. If we all practiced self-acceptance, every single on of our relationships would improve. The better terms we are on with ourselves, the better terms we will be on with others.
If you are navigating a change in life, this one's for you! A trip to visit a beloved old home made clear to me the wealth of options for happiness that we each have in life. There is more than one path to fulfillment for each of us. I do not believe it is possible to miss out on the life that we’re meant to live. The spirit of life is just too creative and loving for that to happen.
As you move through your day, be on the lookout for moments of coming home – for example, when you come downstairs in the morning, when you come in from an errand, or when you sit down to dinner after a long day of work (even if you, like so many of us, have been working from home). Pause in these moments to savor or even create a deep sense of being welcomed. Really experience your comfort. Take a deep breath and feel a warm, welcoming hug from yourself. These quiet moments of coming home – to a place, but more importantly, to yourself – can fill you with love, happiness, peace, and the confidence to head back out into the big, wide world to live the life you’ve been given to live. Welcome home.
I saw something pretty special this week: a small, but exquisite murmuration of a flock of birds. This sight affirmed for me that the “work” you and I do – the way we love the people around us, the way we stick to our principles, the way we try to live our values, the way we can choose to make our faith a way of life rather than a way of thinking – all matters tremendously to the world around us. I can imagine, one day, getting such a perspective that we could see the great "murmuration" of which you and I are parts - the graceful artistry of the dance of Life. Each person doing their own small part to add to the magical harmony of the whole.
When life takes a twist or a turn, try to resist the impulse to grit your teeth, squinch your eyes, and white-knuckle life back onto its “proper” (a.k.a. planned by you) path. Instead, practice the willingness to change our plans at a moment’s notice. "We will not be upset if our plans are upset" if we are determined to stay open to what is.