“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou
We often wait when we don't know what to do because we've seen others do things better. Don't let the accomplishments of others intimidate you. Do the best you can with what you know now. You'll learn more later. You'll learn more from doing. Then when you learn more, you can do better.
Each year I go off to workshops and different training's from teachers that inspire me. I gather their wisdom and add it in to my own practice, as you should do with yours. What do you like about how your teachers teach? Is there someone else that maybe tells you something different and you want to take some of that and add it to your own?
Life is like cooking. We take the spices we need and enjoy and add them into our daily. What ever works for us we use and what ever we have a reaction to or dislike we don’t add into our life. We all have the choice to chose how and what we want to do with our lives. Sure somethings may dictate your life like kids, but there’s always perspective that lies beyond that. Flip it and see what your TRUE choices are. There’s always a way to happy.
As the seasons start to change and the flowers start to bloom it’s another chance for us to consciously make a choice to start again. To renew what we need. To refresh the staleness we may have developed or bad habits we have fallen into.
Whether it’s eating habits, movement, or even thought process; sometimes we just lose our way to what’s really good for us. This past winter I’ve indulged in life. I ate, drank, and was sitting mostly. I thoroughly enjoyed it till my yoga pants got tight. I also didn’t feel good. I was lethargic and had stomach issues. I just didn’t feel alive. We do things like this sometimes to mask feelings of the current situation. With the passing of some family members and going through the anniversaries I lost myself. I knew this wasn’t me. This isn’t the me that feels good and energetic. So a change and renewal had to be made. I started moving again and committed to start small with one month of movement. I then added in nutrition and eating veggies with every meal of the day and fruit in between. Cravings began to stop once I learned how to replace them with what my body was ACTUALLY asking for. Then more recently meditation and time for me scheduled in to my planner. I started making sure that I had MY TIME! If you’re not there for you and your falling apart, how can only pieces of you be there for others? You can’t be fully present if you’re not fully you. One step further, if you’re not fully present then how can you even enjoy life, since the only moment we can truly live in is NOW! BE HERE NOW!! What if it’s the last time you will talk to someone and you’re to busy talking to or doing ten other tasks? Will you remember those words, the smells, the smile on their face? The only constant in life is change.
The world around us is constantly in motion and forever changing, open your eyes and appreciate each moment. Yes, things are hard. However, without these hard things we wouldn’t learn the lessons on life. Last week with Brian Kest he mentioned that the lessons only get harder the more we don’t listen to them. So being present is what truly will get you there faster. I found that the mask I was wearing by my indulgence was just letting me hide from something I didn’t want to deal with or let go of for some reason. What are you holding on to? Why? As Eric Paskel said in his recent “Love Bullets” lecture “WHATS THE BIG DEAL?”. The more you ponder and give energy to a situation that has already happened the more you keep it alive. However, if you just let it go (which is easier said than done) and let the next situation arise and keep the process letting go move through you until you find yourself fully present, the easier it is in the future to find strength to take action in the present instead of reaction. The less you feed the negative thoughts the less chance they have to survive.
Empower your practice...
Meditation. Sitting in the present. Right here, right now. That means not living the past or working through what hasn’t yet occurred, but sitting silent here, now. This is the most important time you can spend with yourself. If you’re not willing to do the work sitting alone with no thoughts then how do you expect yourself to do it on the daily with the world of constant change around you? The whole purpose of the movements of yoga were so that we could sit longer in meditation. In order to make these poses moving meditation we add the focus on the breath. We breathe and concentrate which forces us to be in the moment right here right now. Brian Kest repeated a quote you have have heard once or twice “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”. Sound familiar? How can we honestly expect to solve world problems and prevent wars on our home font if we aren’t willing to do the work individually?? Think about that. How hard are you on yourself when you miss a deadline or forget to pick up the kids because you have a thousand other things going on? We constantly judge ourselves and others (which happens to be a mirror reflecting back onto what we judge of ourselves). We all do it. That’s why YOGA is a practice. We have to do it everyday. Bring yourself back to present. If you catch yourself judging ANYTHING bring yourself back. Forgive yourself. Don’t dwell on should’ve or would’ve. Move forward. NOW you know better…and coming back to our quote…YOU CAN DO BETTER! But it’s a practice we must do everyday and starting on the mat where you are supported is one of the best places to start.
The best way to start a meditation practice is to pencil some time out each day. Start with five minutes for 30 days. Find a place you can go to each day without interruptions. Set it up so you’re not scrambling to get it done. Schedule your time and never not show up. This is an important meeting with the most important person in your life…YOU! You wouldn’t cancel a meeting that would make or break your job would you? No. So show up. Bring a mantra with you. This can be as simple as I am. Once you arrive in your space (your car, bathroom, closet, bedroom, basement or what have you) lock the door and turn the phone on silent. Set a timer. Sit up straight. Close your eyes (as not to be visually distracted). Begin with the breath. Inhale and Exhale can be your mantra even. Start here. Don’t let the mind wander, but if it does notice that and let it go. Don’t give it any more energy. Stay present. Bring yourself back to the breathe. If the breath is still not working try moving to a gratitude meditation or Bhakti. As you breath in and out think of all that your are grateful for. Silently in your head before add the words I am grateful for… then continue on. Stay focused. This helps give positive thought and energy where it needs to be and you eventually stop feeding the negative or nonsense that no longer needs to survive. Eventually you will be able to sit in the moment with just the breath. The first week perhaps you only sit quiet for 60 seconds, but bring yourself to sit in a space for the entire five minutes un-distracted. The second week go for longer and the third even longer. You will notice when you are confronted in real life with situations you will stop reacting and instead move forward with action or even better yet just let it all go. It’s actually a lot easier now in real life after a 45 minute session on my mat of battle in my head and bringing myself back to the present. There’s no better place to start though than to let that all go On The Mat!!
Speaking of starting on the mat, Yoga in the Park is BACK!!! Michigan readers we have a Kensington and Howell Park Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday consistent schedule. If you have taken the survey and are not near these parks don’t worry they will be coming at you throughout the summer for Pop Up’s in the Park. Make sure you sign up for the events on Facebook to stay tuned. Can’t make it to the park but want to start your renewal process?? Check out my YouTube playlist for the 14 day Renewal!
I also have some other exciting news to share coming at you soon!!! I cannot wait!!! My friend Jessica and I have teamed up and will be sharing with you soon about something you’re going to LOVE!! You don’t wana miss it!! Keep an eye out on your inboxes!!
Some suggested books that I have just adored this past month have been:
The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S. N. Goenka - Kindle edition by William Hart.
It’s an amazing book on steps to follow to live life fully. Remember life is like cooking, we take the spices we need to build the cake we desire :). I myself love meat, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot follow many or all of these practices that come in this book. It’s amazing and in order to get to the end and understand (as in life) we have to start at the beginning. I highly Recommend the entire world read this book.
Speaking of cooking: AIM TRUE by Kathryn Budig is another incredible book that I read cover to cover. Not only are the recipes so incredible, but the insight and words of wisdom she has with a side of comedy are outstanding. She speaks of her life and what it means to aim true as well as living life fully. Eat the pasta! However, don’t have it for every meal and also don’t guilt yourself for enjoying it. It makes you think and find perspective.
One more Small Mini of a book is Mindfulness on the GO by Jan Chozen Bays. This is literally a (skinny) jeans pocket book you can carry with you at all times. It gives you little meditations to practice and bring yourself to present. Its the perfect meditation starter book that you’re just going to love!
So now it’s up to you. We can only hear so many lessons before that push us into wanting to change. Are you ready to “Be the Change you want to see in the world”??
If you have any questions or comments or need some guidance I’m always here for you.
Have a beautiful day!!
Yoga in the Park Up Comming Events...