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.

Transitions

Well…it’s that time again.  That crazy space between summer and fall.  It’s a powerful energy shift in many of our lives; school beginning, traffic changing, new learning, new schedules, a change in the air creating upheaval internally and externally. Transitions can often surface sensations of discomfort, avoidance, fear, excitement, and eagerness.

In the Ashtanga practice the transitions are marked by the vinyasas between the asanas.  The 3 vinyasas are: Exhale – Chaturanga Dandasana, Inhale – Urdvha Mukha Svanasana (Up Dog – Inhale), to exhale – Adho Muka Svanasana (Down Dog).   I often find that these transitions are uncomfortable for many and therefore there is an urge to move through them quickly, avoid them, or not really learn to break them down.

If you have been practicing for some time but still struggle through these transitions, take advantage of the energy around you to slow down  and connect inside these breaths and movements.  Perhaps allowing space for proper evacuation on the breath in your chaturanga while staying grounded through your hands, and integrated through the rest of your body.  Setting yourself up in chaturanga dandasana sets up the heart center and core up nicely for urdvha mukha svanasana.

If you are beginner and still finding friction with these transitions or have been avoiding them, now is a great time to take the opportunity to break down these poses and perhaps start working on gaining strength and start cultivating a relationship with them.

If you can begin to change your approach to transtions in practice, think about how that might apply to the rest of your life right now?

There are a number of videos on line with tips for these poses.  I find that if Chaturanga can be aligned with both mind and body, Up Dog is a whole new ball game.

Tips for Chaturanga for Kino McGregor:

Tips for Up Dog:

Tips For Down Dog:

In the end – these videos are great – but they don’t replace applying the principles in your own practice.

Now is the time to be vigilant in your efforts – particularly in these crazy transitional times- be concious of all the new energy and perhaps opportunities that are coming along – move with awareness and intelligence – and be compassionate with any emotional rough patches or resistance to change.

Change is inevitable – learning how to be inside of it with equanimity is the practice.

Be well,

Sandra

The Trap of False Choice

The other day I got a phone call from a woman who owns a boutique.  She wants my help.  I had given her some small tips in passing some time ago and she ended up implementing them in her store…oddly enough, it’s helping. Now, she wants me to consult/coach her.  I met with her briefly to just get synopsis of areas that we could focus on, and during the meeting I found myself really enjoying the process.  I have a lot from past experience that I can provide her, and I know I could help her find more time for herself both to be a mom and to plan and strategize her business.

So…here I am in the midst of this transition.  Currently, I am a mother, part time yoga teacher, personal and professional wellness coach in training, with an 18 year career of merchandise/business management under my belt. This is where my mind begins to do its thing…it begins to make me ask “who am I?”  I often feel I have to choose one thing and focus on it.   However, there is a part of me that makes me wonder if I really do have to pick one thing right now?  I mean…is there a chance that this can all converge in some crazy way?

In Yoga, it is often asked that we pick a lineage and stick with it.  Perhaps this is where I get stuck…and perhaps in this circumstance it is a little dogmatic to think like this.  Perhaps just being exactly where I am at is what I need to stick with, until something eventually changes.

Enter Keith.

Last week, as I sat in the front yard playing with my daughter, Keith came home and sat down with us.  I talked to him about my mental stasis. About me feeling like I need to choose…and he laughed.

“Oh…false choice.”  He said, so easily with a smile.  Then I laughed and realized, only Keith would know this off the top of his head.  “It doesn’t have to be one way or the other…it could be a completely different way.”

I thought, “You mean there is a name for the conundrum or mental anguish I suffer from often?”

You betcha.

And the google search began.  It seems that for many of us False Choice can lead us into a happiness trap.  That things need to be black or white for happiness or success.  Oftentimes we don’t realize there may be a middle road or another option.  False Choice – according to Wikipedia  ,”often reflects a deliberate attempt to eliminate a middle ground on an issue”.  This choice can be offered up by someone or created by ourselves.  In thinking back on my own life it seems I am GUILTY of doing this to myself, and I do it OFTEN.

In a situation like mine, false choice can be very unhelpful and rather debilitating. However, it can be helpful at times if we listen carefully – for example:  “Do I look for another job that will provide more satisfaction or do I stay in this job I really hate? ”  The answer is in the choices offered.

I teach yoga part-time because I enjoy it.  It allows me to get out of the house and give back to others and share a practice that has helped me in many ways. I also happen to enjoy the thought of coaching and helping others reach goals and tap into potential….therefore the health coaching program.   Because of my history in merchandising and retail, I still have a strong passion for it and I am good at it. My good friends who know me nicknamed me “Retail Rossi”.

I chose to stay out of corporate NOT because I didn’t like what I did. I simply believe I am destined to do something other than I ‘ve already done.  I always saw myself as an entreprenuer…and right now I am ‘under construction’ and in a phase of laying the foundation and creating a dynamic versus static vision.

I find that I impose the False Choice often on myself and it has created far more mental struggle and stress than I would like.  I realize now that I am going to make a more concerted effort to notice when this type of thinking arises and make an internal shift….this is a practice.

I heard someone say once, “The most interesting people you will ever meet have usually reinvented themselves in some way.”  This statement is motivation enough to remain ‘steady’ with what currently is, so that this middle way may manifest until it becomes more focused.

 

New Adventure

After an exodus from a corporate career that was highly successful, but also not aligning with my core values, I knew it was time to figure out next steps.  I am learning that many things are possible with time, steadiness, and removing self-sabotaging voices – yes we teachers get them too!

I am beginning a 1 year program at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become an advocate and steward for health & wellness.   I have been looking for a way to compliment my own life practice while helping others optimize themselves, and making a positive impact on those around me – both professionally and personally.

We are all capable of changes if we so desire, but it does require us to dig in, do some extracting and create fertile ground.

Like I said…it’s all just beginning and I look forward to serving the greater good.