The Kaleidescope

Transition is like a Kaleidescope.

We find that the existing view needs to shift – and we set some things in motion and these bits, pieces, colors, reflections bounce around and are moving through space.  This process can be cumbersome, as we explore the many options that get created.

Eventually, we find the next settlement of the pieces that appeals to our liking. A place we can truly explore and observe.

I have to remind myself that finding the next perfect arrangement could take a while.

This is okay.

To have the opportunity to explore is a blessing…settling for what doesn’t feel right or is ‘safe’, is self robbery.

Enjoy the view.

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It IS You.

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately, maybe too much.

Mostly thinking about what is posted often on Facebook within the Yoga community.

Workshop here, workshop there. Come learn this, come learn that.  Learn to fly, float, freeze, love, listen, blah, blah, blah, blah. These posters are inspirational and the workshops often highly informational – but I find the abundance of them overwhelming, and can often leave us striving to master a certain series of poses or even doubt our own ability.

It seems we are missing the point. The point?  You ask.

Well…as an Ashtangi – the point is just to practice and to start understanding and trusting the process of the practice by practicing.

This yearning for THE POSE  can often lead us down the ‘head up your ass’ path or as some might call TUNNEL Vision.

(The below is not a pose we are looking to accomplish – but it’s not far off one of the poses in second series).

TunnelVision

While I think it’s nice to have tips to get from point A to point B.  I often think the tips without foundation can do more harm then good.  There is no fast track unfortunately, and accepting this , I find, is critical to the ultimate surrender that is you – the surrender to your yoga – your union.

The point is The Practice.  The practice done correctly IS the teacher.  The practice reveals the teacher that is you.  Every time you practice; 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours – whatever –  provides you the chance to learn more about yourself on that given day.

When we place too much emphasis on the external and lose sight of the internal, we lose the ability to realize that the teacher we seek is staring us down in the mirror every morning.

My teacher Tim Miller said once – that it is important to discern the quantity and quality of information you get.  Meaning – sometimes too much information – too many different views – makes the practitioner crazy.  I even think this is taught by ancient teachers – to pick one teacher, from a lineage,  and stick with that teacher. This is the hardest part…because some days, especially the days you are battling yourself – those are the days you want to jump ship and it is at this point to not jump around – it is at this point that things really begin to shift.

This concept is true of any kind of information we take in or any kind of practice we take up…too much information makes us crazy – kind of like reading WEB MD and then jumping all over the web in search for the cure for the symptom we are dealing with.

So I ask you to simplify…to discern..and be wise in how you apply your efforts and the information you take in – not just in your practice – but also in your life (I will promise to do this with you).  Instead of jumping around – settle down – and just go through the work – one dusty corner at a time.

I have found that when I edit the information I take in and when I simply show up to do the work – the answers are revealed (some answers have taken a long F’n time – but I had some heavy gunk to remove to reveal the truth), and they show up on my time – not on any one elses. This is truly one of the magical mysteries of it all and it’s totally personal.

It’s you and the mat…you and your meditation cushion…whatever it is you practice.  It’s not about the teacher or the workshop – it’s about you.  Ultimately, the yoga practice is meant to be a home practice where we are with ourselves, guiding ourselves…this does require some coaxing – but eventually you become your teacher under the guidance of someone who has experienced what you are going through now or will be experiencing.  Crazy concept in todays wild wild west of yoga studios.

Do the practice – whatever that is for you – find yourself in the work.

Learn to start trusting the ultimate teacher that is you.

The Way Things Are by Geneen Roth

As I find myself worrying about my life and reliving certain stories – I have come to a place of observing as opposed to reacting or repeating certain patterns – I found this…and it couldn’t come at a more perfect time.

Thank you Geneen for the reminders.

The Way Things Are

1. What you take yourself to be is who you needed to become to survive. Our longing is to know the parts of ourselves we put away before we knew what we were doing.
2. All psychological blocks are doorways to our true nature.
3. What we pay attention to grows.
4. If you spend your life rooting out pain, you will become a hunter of pain, not a finder of joy.
5. Until we examine what we really want, we mistake indulgence (in what we think we want) for freedom.
6. It takes great effort to become effortless at anything.
7. Joy and delight and curiosity must be cultivated, although they are utterly natural states of being.
8. Happiness is an inside job.
9. How you get there is who you will be when you arrive there. And there is no there there.

Keep up the practice,

Sandra

Learning

I am looking forward to this weekend.

I am attending a workshop at Yoga East in Portsmouth, NH (I love the seacoast and the Yoga East community) with Nicki Doane and Eddie Modestini.  I’ve been wanting to do this workshop for the past 2 years but the stars did not align.  This year it’s on!

Here is the rub, my body is “tore up from the floor up”!  I’ve got a wrist thing going, my right sacroilliac joint is on fire due to holding a 21lb baby on my left side (it’s rotated and maybe slipped according to my PT cousin), and my right ankle is barking again.  Basically my entire right side is not optimal.  I find it interesting though, because this is not the first time I’ve shown up to practice with big teachers with body stuff (I went to India with a bad back and studied with Tim Miller recovering from an ankle sprain).

As a long-time student and from working through injuries before, I know there is opportunity here -a  chance to dig in, reclaim, and focus on other parts of the practice. The biggest growth in my practice has come out of these moments.

 “We have to do the best with what we got!” And some days we show up with crumbs.

Interestingly enough, what I am dealing with in body aren’t really injuries, but rather pains from bad body patterns/habits of day-to-day life as well as some mental rubbish.   It’s been a rough week in mind and body for me.  I think it’s fair to say – whatever is going on in the mind will present itself in the body.

There was a moment (a fleeting moment) that I was ‘bummed’ because my body is not optimal for the awesome weekend ahead.  This voice, the “poor me” voice I am familiar with, and I’ve learned to push her off.  You have this “poor me” voice?  Yeah, well I really learned how to manage her during my pregnancy…because here is the reality – your mind and body are always going to present things.

We have a choice in how we choose to respond.  Yes…we do.  So here is my choice.

I am looking forward to working on other parts of the practice knowing my limitations.   This is exactly what yoga does…it reveals what’s really going on – the places that are longer, shorter, tighter, uncomfortable…it is designed specifically to be a mirror to what is going on inside and out.  I cannot think of a better way tap into about the power of awareness, and the structure of the body and it’s limitations at any given point, than from looking in the mirror,  embracing all of it, and taking action to create change.

Count on a blog post, post workshop…I am interested to see how I feel after the weekend.