Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Layers of what I think I know...

Yesterday, I read the Huffington Post article by Rod Stryker, "The 6-Point Method for Breaking Unhealthy Habits." I have been working with this practice for 2 months. And I have to admit, not highly successfully.

Then this popped out, "It's important to know that giving it up is doable and that you're willing to give it up. Giving up a habit that is deeply engrained and has a powerful sway over you will give you maximum leverage if you succeed -- but if it's too hard, you may fail to give it up."

As I worked with the habit I had chosen so many weeks ago yesterday, I realized perhaps I did not fully believe I am able to give up the habit I had chosen. It is so deep-seated, having been well practiced for the majority of my life.
Feeling compassion for myself, I finally asked...'what do I need?'
The answer... 'I need to lighten up a little bit. The sense of failure is sending me into a downward spiral of despair.'
Then I asked, 'how can I help myself or who can I ask for help?'
The answer, 'change my expectations on this habit. Select something less intense OR change the habit to be worked with every morning, though perhaps not all day everyday.'

Starting today - round two. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Embracing all of it.

There has been a perfect storm of events and messages inspiring me lately; my mother's health, my nephew's shattered wrist, a book called Play, my ever busy schedule, my son's busy schedule, my practice and impatience, and of course, noticing my relationship to climbing and Yoga. And as I sit in the chaos of all of it, I recognized one fundamental thing... I am doing my life; I am not honouring my life.

I meditate, I set routes, I clean up the RC and make efforts to teach, do my administrative job, call for updates on my loved ones, attend family get togethers, do things with my child, coffee with my friends. And in all this effort, I keep my heart just a little bit hidden away. My mom's surgery has been the real straw. I am being strong and resilient, looking forward to the completion of the event and the getting through the recovery. Staying strong. And yet all the while the tears are right there on the edge of spilling over. The fear of more loss.

Kirpalu, on day one of Yoga for Fulfillment, Yogarupa said, "you have to change your relationship to your life." I felt his gaze in my direction and the hair stood up on the back of my neck and my stomach dropped. I wanted to hide. It has been weeks since then and when I sit in truth, I can see I have been wanting it to be something easier to change like a job, health for my loved ones, eating habits, cultivating a sense of gratitude and abundance, or having a new partner, or some new hobby, better income, or a new sankalpa or practice.

The truth is what needs change is this holding back; this arms length approach to living and embrace all of the heartache in my life, because only then will I also be able to embrace all of the joy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


A beautiful Saturday morning and I am munching on my toast and sipping coffee. Experiencing guilt for not mindfully eating. Fynn is out so I am also indulging in the quiet and listening to one of my educational audiobooks. Brene Brown is talking about play. I am quite surprised as she says, "the opposite of play is depression." Play enables us to problem solve, innovate, be happy and smart.

I type in those four letters. It makes sense. Unless I am doing something productive - reading a book on spirituality, practicing, working or doing something for my son, I feel like I am not doing enough. And I always feel disheartened, perhaps depressed. Two friends confided the exact same thing to me last night. As one talked, I asked him what he dreams about doing. He said, "travel." I asked, "when are you going to travel, where?" He didn't answer. I pressed him. He didn't really have a plan, just an idea.

I reminisced on how we had dreams as we grew up; dreams for our careers, dreams for family dreams for homes. Not ideas, but full on dreams with feeling and pictures in our heads, not to mention the belief it would happen. Now I don't really have dreams, just ideas, no strong pictures. It's too crowded with doubt. I am so busy being productive, there is very little time for dreaming.

Maybe, just maybe, if I could stop my productivity conveyer belt, and play a little, I could once again open up to some dreams. Maybe if my Yoga practice wasn't about being a better version of me, but about joyful resting in myself, my heart would open and I could dream. You know, I do have an idea, maybe I will play it out with pictures and see what happens. What are you dreaming?