Being Bound

Warning:  this article is not sexual in nature.

The practice of Yoga imparts many parallels with the process of life.  While trying to get myself into a “pretzel,” I recognized a metaphor.  In reality, we don’t actually try to get ourselves into binds, we just do it, and then wonder how we are going to get ourselves out of them.  For example: like spending more money then we have in our bank account or quitting a job without having another one lined up. These two examples are easier getting into than getting out of.  Contrary to life, it’s more of a challenge getting into a yoga bind then to extricate yourself out of one.

The bind is never the goal of your pose or your state of affairs. The goal is learning to assess, discern, and respect where you are, and choosing to go no further then where you are capable of going in that given moment.  It’s a mental balance of learning how to “tame the ego.”  If you chose to be preemptive,  physical injury and mental anguish can be alleviated.  Getting “into a bind” has its benefits and so does getting out of one.

Physically, the twisting of the body aids in massaging your organs and digestive tract.  It also helps with flexibility.  Off the mat, being able to ask yourself questions as to what led you “into the bind” can give you insight into preventing another reoccurrence.  It helps you to see an alternative perspective.

 

Transition

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While hiking in the Coconino forest in Arizona, I ran into this stump displaying reminders of transition;

From something alive to now dead

From something that had a purpose to something that has lost its purpose.

From something that was once in one piece to something that now is broken.

From something that had perfect form to something where the form is now bent.

From something that was once clean, and shiny to something now dirty, and dingy.

We will never experience a time in our life when we are not in transition.  You would think we would be totally ok with it because we are experiencing change in every moment of everyday, and in every sense of the word.

Yet transition is the one thing most of us try to avoid because there is nothing familiar about it.

We are creatures of habit, and if it means stepping outside our comfort zone most of us will seize the idea; I am not good enough, smart enough or talented enough… to ask someone out on a date, travel to another country, take an art class, learn another language or to remove any other obstacle to living our passion.

To live our passion we must be willing to experience a transition.  A transition from living to exist to existing to live.  It means giving up the familiar and moving into the unfamiliar.  It means being open to possibilities instead of paralyzed by fear of the unknown.

Let change be the catalyst to living your passion not the fear that kept you from it.

No One is Trying to be Somewhere Else

B8114BE8-C3B4-450D-A036-4BE72B635120My volunteer experience in building the largest Kadampa International Retreat Center in the US. 

Seasoned meditators have a way of dealing with life like non other I have ever experienced. Their “feathers don’t get ruffled” when things go awry or not as planned.

I have witnessed this on several occasions.

  1. While cleaning the kitchen, I knocked a glass salt shaker off a shelf, and it landed on top of a crystal goblet, spraying shards of glass all over the counter tops, and countless stacks of dishes. The only thing that could be done was to take everything off the shelves, and rewash them.  It was fifteen minutes prior to everyone being finished with their shift.  The entire kitchen came to help me clean, and wash the dishes. The only words spoken after I profusely apologized were “it’s ok we have all been there.”
  2. Not one person is wearing ear phones to listen to music. Its not a rule, it’s just their desire to respectively and happily be present.
  3. The start of each shift is honored by being on time and break times are never extended. If there task is not complete, they stay till it is finished.

I hear over and over again their only wish is to obtain a peaceful mind.

I have been to the kitchen, and I know what I want for breakfast.

Bats, Snakes, and The Dark, Oh, My!

68791ADB-17AD-420A-AF22-6D2505EB75F3Have you ever wanted to explore the inside of a cave?
I hadn’t because it was frickin’ scary to me.
I had heard that snakes and bats live there and most of all its really dark inside a cave! I am scared of snakes and bats, and I don’t like to be surrounded by the dark.
So not having any experience of being attacked by bats, bitten by snakes or being consumed by the dark, then what am I really afraid of?
Research shows, that often times, it’s because we are afraid of not having control over unknown circumstances.
Yeah, ok so now we are getting closer to the root of the fear. Let’s dig a little deeper.
I can now ask myself why losing control is something to be afraid of. Wow, that hit another trigger.
What happens then, if I feel like I have no control over my surroundings? I am left feeling vulnerable and powerless.
Ah, so herein lies the core of the problem.
So it’s really not about the snakes, bats and the dark, it’s that I am scared of feeling helpless and defenseless.
In this situation, I can see that fear itself is the only thing that is stopping me from entering the cave.
Who really is creating this fear? Muah!
As long as I think the cause of my fear stems from somewhere “out there,” I will never be able to fully experience my life.
The tool of digging beyond the surface of your perceived fear is to ask yourself, “Why am I afraid, and to keep asking until you get to the core. Most of the time it’s not initially what you think it is.
This practice has helped me get to the root of my fears, and overcome them.
Set yourself free by getting to the bottom of what really is making you afraid, and practice standing in front of your fear.
This practice will give rise to your courage.

Just Talk to Me!

 

This video clip reminds me of my ill fated attempts to engage in conversation.  I think it is funny now but it never use to be. 

I tried everything to get people to talk to me.  

Ask my children.  I had a book I would pull out called “What If.” It had 4 questions to a page. I asked them to pick a page number, and a number on the page. I told them to open to that page, and to read and answer the question. 

My kids hated that book! 

Throughout my life my friends have thought they were talking to a two year old. My mother thought I was noisy. My father thought I asked to many damn questions, and many people who I wanted to know never got back with me. 

It was always an attempt to start a conversation, and to get to know someone better. 

Pursuing a legitimate give and take conversation was a challenge. 

Trust me, a question is ok. A barrage is intimidating. Remember to be patient, wait, and in the silence they will come. 

 

You Are a Miracle

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Scientists estimate that the probability of YOU being born as you are at the time you were born are 1 in 400 trillion.

Dr. Ali Binazir. M.D., M. Phil. used this example to demonstrate the odds of this highly unlikely event to occur. “Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in some ocean and there is exactly one turtle in all of these oceans, swimming underwater somewhere. The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water – in the middle of that life preserver. On one try.
The odds of you being alive are basically zero!”

If you are wondering why you are here. If you haven’t found your passion. If you struggle thinking about your talents, ask your friends or family to help provide insight.
If you have asked yourself, what is it that I have to share that hasn’t already been done.
Remember this, you are uniquely you.
Whatever your passion, no one will deliver your message the way you will. Why, because it’s yours.

I have been speaking, and giving workshops since 2010. I have been blogging since 2015.
There has been times before, and after my decision to speak, and even throughout these last nine years that I have questioned my ability, my reason, my why.

On one of those occasions where I was second guessing on whether or not I should continue, I met an old acquaintance of mine who I hadn’t seen or talked to in years.
I asked how she was doing. She shared she had lost her job, had gone through severe
depression, become addicted to alcohol, and had gone through rehab. She said, I want to thank you. Your posts have helped me through some really hard times.

Everyone has a gift, and there is someone out there who is waiting for you to share yours. Someone who’s life will be inspired, moved or transformed by your story because you are 1 in 400 trillion

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Practice Being Proud of Who You Are

 

1 1/2 min. read
Practice Being Proud of Who You Are.

Being a perfectionist is hard work. I rarely let myself be seen by the public not working or achieving.

As a perfectionist, I have to put “a day off” in my calendar, and when I do there have been many times I never honored that entry.
To a perfectionist, it’s a job not to be one. It means one more thing on my to do list!

Today I am dropping the wall. Today, I am letting you know I am not perfect, and I do make mistakes.
I am letting you see, I am doing the best I can.
There are many days I am in the kitchen
Preparing food that supports my body. But there are some days it pains me to say, I am toast!
I am tired of trying to be perfect.
But I wouldn’t want you to see that “I failed” at being perfect.

Growing up, and well into my 40’s, I couldn’t remember a time, “I can’t make a mistake” was not my mantra.
Although, it’s not as bad as it once was, I am still aware of its existence…

-I am still “finishing” my book
-There are days I would prefer laying in bed scrolling through Facebook then get up, and potentially make a mistake.
-This blog has taken me two hours to write.
-Trying to be perfect has prevented me from being silly and having fun.

But I keep chipping away at the wall of perfectionism. I am letting you see me be silly, and I am admitting it took me two hours to write this blog but it used to take me fours hours to write a 1 1/2 minute read, and I am also letting you see days where “I feel I am making a mistake by eating my emotions.”

I am not perfect!
I am doing the best I can.
And it’s ok!

The Key Is To Be Willing

DFF80A32-F020-4073-B0DA-CEC84D140898It doesn’t matter if you are a coach, presenter, parent, sales rep, CEO, manager, nurse, writer, instructor, etc.  How many times have you questioned your ability to guide, lead or assist, and didn’t feel you were in the right frame of mind to do so? You are not perfect, but an important key to the gift you choose to share, even if you don’t feel like you are in the right frame of mind, is your willingness to follow where you ask others to go.  Learn to lean, step into someone else’s shoes, ask for help, be guided, disconnect from what doesn’t support you, become the observer, try something new, and step outside your comfort zone.  The fear of not being perfect gives rise to courage.  The courage to follow when you have been called to lead.

 

Don’t Ridem’ Cowboy

265208E1-A9D0-4631-BBED-6ABF02289C9FWhen my body is feeling good,  I feel I can take on more.  This is where we can get tripped up.  When do you know it’s time to say, “I am good!”  Is it before or after you have pushed yourself too far?  It would be great to have the realization before the body embarks on getting your attention with a more serious slap on the hands.

How many times have you ignored the messages your body was trying to convey until one day the message brought you to your knees?

I will be the first to admit it happened to me yesterday.

I was feeling really good.  This was a healthy sign to stop, and enjoy the space I created.  I was present.  Everything was getting my full attention.  I was feeling good about the work I was doing.  Instead,  I took me feeling good as a sign to take on more and then gradually I noticed I was having a hard time remembering things.  I said to myself, it will get better tomorrow. I just need a little more sleep.  I also threw in,  well you are getting older. This is where the mind likes to trick you into thinking, I got this.  So, I threw more onto my plate.  The body steps in; “she is not listening let’s send her another sign.”  I became tired, dizzy and I was experiencing brain fog.  Thinking a lack of sleep was my problem, I added an hour of sleep.  But one turned into two and two turned into… I never seemed to get enough.  I ignored yet another sign. I went to the Dr. and found my adrenals were shot.  Getting the boost my mind thought I needed, I forged on.  I continued to add more to an already full plate. The next day I tripped while running up a set of stairs and thought I broke my big toe.  I nursed it back to good health.  Still ignoring all the signs, I continued trudging along.

Two days later I was at an event with friends and thought it would be fun to straddle a piece of lawn art and capture a goofy photo.  While dismounting, my flip flop got caught on, who knows what, and down I went.  As my friend was trying to help me up, my foot felt like someone hit it with a sledgehammer.  I stood face to face with my friend, I put my arms around her neck and I said, I am getting sick to my stomach and I am going down and down I went!

I woke up to a crowd of people standing over me and EMT’s on the way.  My blood pressure registered really low.  I was dizzy and seeing spots and I discovered I was dehydrated.

“How many signs do you need, the body says?  I will give you as many as it takes until you listen to me.”

Don’t be fooled by your body’s innate wisdom to strive for balance.

It will eventually get your attention!

 

 

Follow Your Heart

Animals, are great teachers.
It doesn’t matter how many times a day I play catch with this big guy, he is always up for another game. He LOVES playing catch.  It brings him great joy, and it brings me joy watching him do what he loves!
But if I am done being his co-pilot for the day, it doesn’t matter, he finds a way to do what he loves.
When you have a passion for something,  “life” will, at times, present a situation that makes you feel like you can’t or won’t be able to live your passion.
If it’s truly your passion, nothing can get in your way except the thoughts you think. The one’s that tell you, “this” came up, and now I can’t.
Yet, if you chose to tap into the right hemisphere of your brain that houses your imagination and creativity, you will be surprised at the plethora of ideas that emerge, assisting you in accessing your joy.
There is truth in the old adage if there is a will there is a way.
Your passion is something that is being called forth from your inner essence. It is meant to shine and share with others.
Don’t let your thoughts tell you you can’t live what brings you joy.