Always asking.

DSC_6323-finalFor all my friends who ask the big questions.. this one is for you.

“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.”
― Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

My whole life, I have asked, WHY? I’m a seeker. It’s the beautiful depth of our experience that I can feel & hear & breathe into each day, and it’s the pain & suffering of all humans that I see as real. That brings me to tears, that overwhelms my heart.

I have been reading the book, Broken Open, by Elizabeth Lesser for almost a year. I read a chapter every other day. It’s been a wonderful friend, support and encouragement for me when I needed it. I have just finished it and feel like I’m saying goodbye to someone I love dearly.

I recently declared that I was going to do less, that I was going to ACTIVELY relax more, plan less and put my health and well being at the TOP of my daily to do list. So, this has translated into long walks – alone with my podcasts… not only do I get to start the day moving my body- BUT I also get to nourish my spiritual soul or learn something new about business. I LOVE people & interviews so this walking while listening has been really wonderful.

“May you listen to the voice within the beat even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom. If you are weary, may you be aroused by passion and purpose. If you are blameful and bitter, may you be sweetened by hope and humor. If you are frightened, may you be emboldened by a big consciousness far wiser than your fear. If you are lonely, may you find love, may you find friendship. If you are lost, may you understand that we are all lost, and still we are guided—by Strange Angels and Sleeping Giants, by our better and kinder natures, by the vibrant voice within the beat. May you follow that voice, for This is the way—the hero’s journey, the life worth living, the reason we are here. ”
― Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

This morning, I listened to the Sounds True- Insights from the Edge ( Tami Simon) interview with Elizabeth Lesser… the title of the interview is ” I Want To Grow, More Than I Want to Be Safe. ”
For all my seeker friends, this one is for you.

This conversation about finding a teacher, bring spiritual and what that means, asking questions, trusting your own self, seeing the EXTRAORDINARY in the ordinary all resonated with me.

I know many of my yoga and meditation friends will enjoy this podcast. Lots of beautiful reminders….

here’s to the journey, my friends. You can listen here.

openings

My friend Anna asked me to be on her podcast… ” sure” I told her with a bit of hesitancy. I love her podcast interviews and want to support her. I was honored she asked, and a bit fearful as well.

From that moment , I knew some “stuff” would come out.
I tell my truth.
I don’t hide my past.

But, most days- it doesn’t come up.

Most days, I dwell in the present moment. Thats what ordinary, domestic life can do to you.

Reliving my past, the darker days, the shadow side is actually something I don’t practice much at all anymore.

And when the truth began to reveal itself today- as it aways will… it was okay to be honest……yoga DID save my life. lift me up- give me inner strength, clarity & connection, healed
my depression…..

today I learned that its okay to hold space for accomplishment.

okay to be proud of myself for overcoming my past.

okay to pause and remember what lessons have been learned, how far I have come.

someone told me recently, “we all have stories that would break your heart” and I believe this is true. I try not to hold onto my story or my past as an excuse or a barrier. I am free.

AND, there are moments to reflect, to recap, to speak painful truths.

our lives are both- pain & joy- past & present- love & loss. they are whole.

we are whole.

as my dear friend, Anna reminds me daily- I AM ENOUGH.

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happiness is

thursday night.
creating before bed.
no agenda, no where to go.
loud music playing.
create. breathe. live. model. love. be.

this is our life, let it flow into the sweetness of this moment.

open the door to your heart.

make the priority be the direction you take.

leave the rest behind.

just as it is.

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Big Mind Live @ Yogaville!

“trust yourself to do what is right and navigate the way
trust yourself- this is advanced practice. ” Erich Schiffman

I have read, watched, listened to and practiced in my home with Erich Schiffman for a few years. I have seen him at various conferences and even attended a wee bit of his workshops in DC in 2012. This past weekend, I traveled to one of my favorite quiet and nourishing places, YOGAVILLE, to study for a weekend with him entitled, Freedom Yoga… “His unique Freedom Yoga offers an intuitive approach to Yoga as the art of living. Using this approach, you meditate (listen inwardly for guidance) when you sit quietly, when you practice poses and throughout the rest of your day. From this inner connection, you act as you are prompted to—from within. While not an inherently strenuous practice, it is an advanced one, requiring courage to follow your deepest impulses about what feels right and what doesn’t—which isn’t always easy.” From Yogaville website.

“Be the place where love flows through b/c it’s good for others and it’s good for you” – Erich Schiffman.

I adore what he has to say. He has been practicing yoga for 47 years and he is open minded, soft, clear, strong and humble. A true warrior. He talks about his growth & learning process, his understanding of yoga and meditation as it applies directly to his life today. I love his teachings b/c they empower ME to live fully in my own life, not according to some GURU. His postures are helpful for our bodies, they heal and connect us. He encourages us to practice “Freedom Style Yoga” which means that within the alignment and the boundaries of knowing posture.. we can play, we can explore variations, we can make it our own. It is Freedom. He teaches and supports us to sit in meditation, which is repeats IS the yoga. IS the most important part of yoga. His sequencing is as follows…

Chapter 1- Dharma Talk/ Discussion
Chapter 2- Meditation
Chapter 3- Asana, guided
Chapter 4- Asana- FREE
Chapter 5- Meditation

* all of this can be done in a variety of time frames AND by the end of the weekend, we voted for LONG Freedom Yoga and no guided asana.. it was SO POWERFUL to practice with a room of breathing, moving, being, loving Yogis- all doing what served and healed and stretched them. Us, somehow together and yet completely left on our own to be fully expressed as unique and beautiful individual selves! it was AWE -some.

“put THE KNOWN on pause. learn to shut up.
put a coma, in your commentary.” Erich Schiffman

Here are my favorite quotes from the weekend. You can check out more at ErichSchiffman.com. I subscribe to his website which is where I have learned from him over the past 2 years. He puts on classes, content, teachings, that you can explore, at your own pace and schedule.

“quiet the mind. zip it. mentally, in that moment of chaos. Then, you start feeling more authentic.
life will become more fun.”

“RELAX and be brave enough to do what your inner guide is telling you to do. ”

“meditation IS listening. thinking less and listening more.”

“intuitive practice IS advanced.”

“ways to meditate
1. buddha style
2. asana style
3. lifestyle “everything else”- the rest of the time.”

” SURRENDER- our deepest impulses are love. ”

“HOMEWORK TO START NOW!
relax ( whenever it occurs to you)
Practice LOVE More
Trust your deepest impulses of how to think and be. ”

“Be a loving presence. love is the willingness to recognize that which is truth”

“steps of meditation
align- get comfy
relax- settle in- wobble- to stillness
breathe- breath watch
love ride the breathe into the feeling
pay attention- listening ”

“when it occurs to you practice exhale, pause ( like now, and now, and now) ”

“HEALING means REVEALING”

“yoga is the inquiry into truth.”
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sparkle

I do fear the unknown. the certainly unpredictable future. I rise before they, to remember this truth.

to lean into the ordinary sparkle of a moment shared with an awareness that is deepening from the silence & the space.

onward heart, don’t shy away.
stay & play with the discomfort that appears.

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simple gifts

it looks like a table of perfection.
a table of love, in my heart.

as an only child from a single parent home, I often ate dinner on the couch, in my room, from a bag, in the drive thru…
most nights it was just my mom & I. watching tv, sitting together.
we were the family. I longed for siblings, for both parents to be together- the ultimate sign of family to me is the dinner table.
the nightly routine of sacred ordinary.
traditions, schedules, consistency.

this table represents the deepest love for my family. the insanely blessed life we are living, together. now. the incredible inner work I have done to be able to create this table. to give my kids this gift of security, or stability.

I know my mom did the best she could… this is not A rant about her parenting style or our challenges.
this is simply about the inner
longing I have had my whole life to have this.

just a table, with a family.
gathered around. regularly.

this is the good life.

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