Being with Erich reminded me of some foundational principles to really integrating yoga into your life. In October 2013 I shared some of my experience from Big Mind Live with Erich at Yogaville in 2013. Now, I’m excited to share with you some of the BIG takeaways from our recent time together. I hope you can think about these, let it marinate, and share with me what you think about freedom, yoga, and life.
Many of you know that behind the scenes I am a crazy voracious reader. I always have at least 3-4 books on my shelf, in my purse, my car, my life! I read something every day and I mostly love non fiction books around wellness, wisdom and wealth. These are the categories I define as well being, self help, growth, transformation; all great stories of change and love and truth (i.e. freedom).
For the past 6 months or so I have been dreaming of a way to share my love for the teachings and thoughts in these books to a greater audience, and ta-da! The Omm @ Home Virtual Book Club for Inspired Women was born. Each book has been carefully selected to help cultivate our awareness and understanding of the universal truths and wisdom practices. Sign up here to learn more and to get the reading list, starting with October’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Our first online meeting will be on Wednesday, October 26th @ 7:30pm. We meet on the last Wednesday of each month! If you can’t make it live, a recording will be sent to you!
This has been on my mind so much lately…
It’s not the to-do list with checked boxes, the app with the timers and bells and whistles, or the endless meal planning that will change your life.Think about it… what does it mean to “be on top of it all?” ALL the time spent worried about what “others will think” WHO are those specific others? Can you see them? Are they people that you care about, that mean a lot to you? If not, why are “they” taking up so much of your mind space? your energy? your life?
My dear friends, freedom occurs when you cultivate a real, authentic, meaningful, dynamic relationship to YOUR life. The relationship in which you trust and love and treat with compassion, the realities of your responsibilities. Freedom occurs when you CHOOSE joy over endless to-do’s and you wake up to the value of a spacious, expansive, creative day. Freedom occurs when we trust ourselves and listen to our hearts, not JUST the mind.
“PLEASANCE!!!” you say, “how on Earth can I do that? I have a job, and kids, and bills, and endless tasks on my lists.
And then I will come close, hold your hand and whisper… practice. It all starts with practice.
So in honor of this response, here are tips to get you started.
Here are 3 of my Favorite Yoga & Wisdom Books. You can click on the book cover to learn more and to purchase.
Check out all of my recommended reads. Find titles related to Family/Parenting support, business/self-development, meditation, kids books, plus DVDs, products, and more of what I love.
Just added! Give yourself 8 minutes in the morning, on your lunch break, or before bed to try this at home yoga practice.
Here’s a 5-minute meditation video I created to support content from Chapter 8: Awake of my book, Delight: 8 Principles for Living with Joy and Ease. Want to receive all the supporting video content? Sign up.
Tara Brach offers a wonderful “How to Meditate Guide” which addresses setting up your practice, troubleshooting common issues, and sustaining a practice. You can also check out her New to Meditation page.
“You are traveling a path that has led to clarity, peace and deep realization for many people over thousands of years. May their awakening support and inspire you. And may the sincerity of your practice heal and free your spirit.”
— Tara Brach
When you establish your sitting practice, you’ll want to be comfortable. Find a comfy mat, bolster, or blanket. Or set the mood or intention with some essential oils and aromatherapy! Maybe you need a grounding oil like Vetiver or Sandalwood. If you need extra relaxation try Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Clary Sage. Need some cleansing? Grab your sage. Need some loving? Neroli or Rose will do the trick. There is SO much to learn about essential oils related to practice. Let’s chat about it. Book a free 30 minute intro call with me.
If you need any additional support regarding your practice and want to work together, here’s an application to get started.
Additionally, join me at Insight Meditation Community of Washington in Tenleytown for my half-day Pause Retreat on Friday, November 18th. This is a simple, sweet yoga and meditation retreat for all levels where you will explore practices to take home.
Here’s an excerpt from my book, Delight: Eight Principles For Living with Joy And Ease which is FREE ON AMAZON this weekend- grab a copy!
Stay tuned- I’ll post practices every few days to inspire and encourage your practice- I KNOW this time of year can feel a little.. STRESS-FULL after our long, glorious- too fast summer.
I’ll share a chant with you as a place to start a practice and invite Aha into your life. This chant is a beautiful reminder and a prayer for our practice of delight and our world. I have it written down and posted in my office and near my bed. I read, chant, and meditate on these words regularly. Doing so often helps to gently guide me into a place of inner strength and purpose. You can also set a reminder on your phone to alert you to regularly say this chant as you are starting to learn and remember the words.
This is the chant: Lokah Samasta Sukinoh Bhavantu
It translates from the Sanskrit as “Let the entire world be happy,” and is associated with this prayer: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free. And may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and that freedom.”
I also have recorded videos of the practices you can get here.
Thanks to one of my darling motivated students who asked me to post and remind her about BRAIN practices & RAIN practices for when she needs them.
I know I use BOTH regularly in my life, so I hope these help you when your life is stressful or you are navigating a tough decision or facing some intense emotions.
Let’s start with B.R.A.I.N. I know this acronym is used regularly in the birth world when talking about birth plans. HOWEVER, I find this is a very helpful guide towards how to navigate ANY decision in my life!
Benefits- What is the benefit of this?
Risks- What are the risks around this decision?
Alternatives-Are there any alternatives?
Intuition- What is my heart/gut saying?
Nothing- What happens if we do nothing and and / or wait?
Here is another technique that you can use that is very helpful for some of our students. You can find LOTS more here.
Recognize. See what’s going on.
Allow. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.
Investigate ( KINDLY) Be gentle with yourself, please.
Natural Awareness. Relax.
****Let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org how you are using this in your life,
I would love to hear from you. *****
Please note- I have seen and read about both of these tools in many places over the years and am grateful that they continue to be shared in many formats. I don’t know where they originated at this point, b/c I have seen them in so many places and I thank all those who continue to share and the original creators.
I see you there, afraid to shine.
Wondering what to do next?
Who you are, now?
How did my life get like this?
Where and why did I get lost along the way?
The daily life of to do, to be, to impress, and I don’t even know who I am?
I hear you, mama.
I know you feel like you have to give YOU up to be there for them.
But, what if you didn’t? What if you GET to be you and be a good mom.
You are okay, just as you are.
You shine, they see you & love you so much. Stop to notice that.
In the moments you are cooking and folding and washing and racing, the eyes are big, look at me, mama.. I see you, they say.
They know who you are, without all the layers that are weighing you down.
You are good. You are kind. You are love.
I see you mama. Come with me, let’s embrace who WE are, in order to love them more.
To live our lives with our own strong, wild and fabulous song.
Let them SEE US LIVE. NOT DROWN.
Today, May I be happy and free. May I put My own joy at the top of my list.
May I allow small, simple, beautiful actions to be enough. Pause. Breathe. Notice.
May I give love and in return be kind and generous to myself, first.
May I make myself a priority. May I breathe deeply, stretch my miraculous body and
remember to take good care of it.
I wrote this poem today inspired by some conversations I have had recently with my friends who ask good questions. A few of the ladies in my life, who wonder, do I have to sacrifice my joy to be a mom? is this just how it is? Is there happiness and health and education more important than mine? My answer is no. They are not to be compared. Let’s do both. Let’s take good care of ourselves AND our children.
I wrote a book about it, in fact. for all women, not just mamas. Delight is coming in April.
The book will give you practical strategies to find your way home to yourself, with the purpose of bringing more ease and joy in your daily life. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.
I use simple yoga and meditation tools and principals and share my journey to joy.
The book will be free when it comes out April 14, if you want to help me spread the word and get a copy- email email@example.com and I’ll put you on the list.
With a big heart,
A few years ago, I did the Mindful Schools Training in Washington, DC.
I love what this organization does and want to help share great resources with folks around the country looking to integrate more of these practices into their daily lives.
Here are some movies to share with your PTA, Schools and to educate yourselves! Thanks to Mindful Schools for making these live and free for all to enjoy. Keep up the great work!