Day something or other that doesn’t really count

Alright, so I am not good at 30 day blogging challenges. But whatever.

And this one will be short as I have a lot of thoughts going on, I just can’t break them all down. I am in a shift in my yoga teaching and I am still sorting out what that is.

But, in my various trainings, the same idea keeps coming up, and it is the idea of creating space within the body to actually experience what is happening in the heart and mind. I sort of touched on this in my last post on the breath.

When we are stressed out, we tend to close up in the body. We become hunched and squeezed and knotted in an attempt to block the emotional pain coming our way.

But what really needs to happen is the creation of space. Space in our physical self in order to experience the emotional self, even when it’s not going to be fun.

We can’t get through what is blocked.  We can try to go around it or over it, but even if we make it to the other side, the blockage will still be there, and eventually we are just going to have to come back. And then the blockage has been sitting for a long time and gotten stronger and it’s going to be even more difficult to get through.

Had we just made space in the beginning, opening up the body and allowing the emotional pain a place to exist, then the  challenge of getting through is still there, but it is WILL be easier to cope with than if we had ignored it.

Stress makes you want to shut down, but don’t. Stay open to the experience and find a way through. It will happen. And the other side will be much lighter, I promise.

 

 

 

Just Breathe

Did you know that we live such crazy hectic lives, we are more often than not in the “fight or flight” mode of our nervous system?Unknown

When our body is in fight or flight, other “non necessary” functions shut down, like digestion and elimination. Back in the day when our stress response only turned on when absolutely necessary, like, say, when the sabre toothed tiger was after us, our only concern was running as fast as we bloody could. We were not thinking about digesting our meal of twigs and berries, nor about eliminating what our body did not require. So, most of the time, we were in a fairly relaxed state – relatively speaking – and our nervous systems functioned normally.

Today, we live stressful lives, yet most of it is “perceived” stress, i.e., there’s no imminent danger of a hungry tiger. There is only work and soccer games, hectic schedules and deadlines, children and marriage. And as a result, we suffer from indigestion and constipation, leading to poor elimination and bad skin, brittle hair and weak finger nails.

The very best, and simplest way, to bring the fight or flight response back down into neutral is to breathe. Breathe deeply and fully, slowing everything right down. 

And once you’ve slowed everything down, you can then get a better perspective on where things are at. And maybe then you will see that there is no ravenous, wild cat at your door after all. 

Try to plan a time every day to sit and breathe. Even 5 minutes. But most important, when you find that fight or flight response starting to kick into high gear, bring it down several notches by taking deep inhales followed by complete exhales. Slow it down. Fill the lungs, fill the belly, then breathe it out.

There is no tiger. Only a pile of papers. And a soccer game or two. 

Courage. Live it.

I hope you have the courage

to be who you are

to do what you love

to  know your greatest potential

to cry when life is tough

to give hugs when someone needs one

to admit when you are wrong

to ask for help

to forgive those who go against you

to leap when the gap is wide

to be still when the world is spinning fast

to go out on a limb

to speak loud in a hushed room

to say I love you

to walk away

to go somewhere you’ve never been- by land, and even more so – by heart

to take that job

to be alone

to allow someone in

to let yourself be REALLY seen

to say no

to say yes

to stand on a stage

to be the only one in the crowd

to know you have strength

to find simplicity

to see your own beauty

to embrace growing old

to be the one who knows - or the one who does not

to know when to let go no matter how hard your heart breaks

to understand being free

I hope you have the courage to live your life like it is the ONLY one you will ever have, like you are the ONLY YOU that this world will ever get to know.

Because it is, and you are.

So no matter how bright the sun or how dark the clouds, take courage and LIVE.

 

 

Finding Inspiration Through a Mentor

men·tor

[men-tawr)

noun

1.

a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
2.

an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

If there is a goal that you are struggling to achieve, I strongly suggest you find a mentor who can help you do so. I was very much feeling at a standstill with my yoga teaching. I was craving my own learning and needed some inspiration. On a whim, and not knowing much about the course, I signed up for Shannon Cluff’s Teacher Mentorship Program. I am so thankful I did.images-40

A mentor does not fix things for you, or tell you what to do. A mentor guides you and inspires you and shares her own stories of fears and success. She has gone before you and has solid advice to help you find your way. A mentor gives you trusted feedback on your work – suggesting ideas for improvement, or instilling confidence in what you are doing right. A mentor understands your insecurities and can help you put an end to “I can’t”.  A mentor listens without judgement when things don’t go well, and celebrates your achievements when they do.

Feeling stale? Discouraged? At a loss at for what to do next in order to move forward with your goals and dreams? Don’t be afraid to admit it and ask for help. Find a mentor. Do not doubt for one minute that you have  a lot to learn from someone who has been down the road before you. Find someone in your field, or even just someone who inspires you with their own ambitions and efforts, and spend some time with them.

Shannon has inspired me to take my teaching to another level. She has been a great encouragement as I move forward in my career. I am so thankful my “whim” turned out to be such a wonderful and solid certainty. I hope one day I pay it forward.

“What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.”
- Paulo Coelho

To Mentor…

More on this tomorrow…

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