Friday, March 30, 2012

Things I Learned from... My Right Hand

Leap Day (four weeks ago) I had a benign cyst removed from my right hand.  Having come out of surgery with a small cast on my dominant right hand, I learned a few things...

Use breath to relieve frustration.
Slow down.
Healing comes with time, love and intention.
Asking for help gives another the chance to do and feel good for doing.
Slow down.
No good comes from feeling guilty for resting.
Restore with rest.
Move slower.
Slow down.

Take a deep breath and slow down.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

True to Me

I wear many hats… sister, daughter, friend, aunt, niece, teacher, listener, speaker, IT geek, student, yogi, etc. Not one of those hats encompasses my entire essence. I am not defined by a label or bunch of actions when wearing a particular hat. The essence that is me, my higher self or spirit, seeks expression through many outlets.

My spirit longs to be outside the mold of definition. My little sister, Allie, told me that I’m so far outside the box that sometimes I need to hike back to it and take a peek in. In fact, I pride myself on being unique. Yet upon reflection, I have found myself under the influence of my surroundings. I believe it is ok to shift my expression so long as I stay true to my deep truths – the values or beliefs that make me-me.

I have found there are few people that know the true me – the depth that is me. My meditation has sparked an interest to continue to work towards expressing my authentic self in all that I do with whomever I interact with. Using inspiration from Wordle, I created the image in this post as reminder of the elements that inspire me to be me.  This picture serves as my desktop pc background and each time I look a different word pops out.

Using the power of intention, I have found the following to be encouraging:
  • I release all limiting beliefs I have placed on myself and others. 
  • I am at peace with other people's opinion of me! 
  • My higher self leads today & every day. 
  • I allow my authentic self to shine! 
  • I trust myself enough to let the voice within me be stronger than any voices outside. 
  • What's within me is unique. I express it fearlessly and authentically.

I feel good when surrounding myself with these words and working to be truly me all of the time.  I've got to ask... are you being true to you?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mother Nature's Invitation to Reflect

This week presents so many beautiful elements of inspiration.  With the Spring Equinox (Tuesday, March 20), we may draw upon the balance of light and darkness or the beginning of a new season.  Today a new moon greets us with a call to start fresh.  Let us not forget the spring rain and vibrant green of growth.    

The symbols jump out… balance, light, growth, new, transition, change and beginnings.  This seems to be Mother Nature’s invitation to reflect and set our intentions.  To reflect is to go within so that we may come out more present to what surrounds us.  This is one way we may dive into our practice of mindfulness – awareness of one’s experience in the present moment.

I offer some questions to ponder in the shower, as you are driving to and fro or in a quiet space under a blanket.  Pick one or a few that speak to you… journal or let your mind roll with the thoughts provoked.
  • What in my life needs to change?
  • What no longer fits who I am?
  • How can I start fresh today?
  • In what areas of my life am I experiencing growth? 
  • What aspects of my life need watered to welcome growth?
  • Where am I resistant to change? How has this limited the choices for my life?
  • To grow, I must let go of...?
  • What seeds of change will I plant today… this week… this month?
  • What brightens the light within me?
  • How do I share my light?

Some ideas for Intentions or Affirmations from nature's inspiration…
  • I release all limiting beliefs I have placed on myself and others.
  • I meet the circumstances of my life with inner Grace and ease.
  • I start today.
  • I take action from the inspiration within.
  • I give myself the freedom to make mistakes because I know by making mistakes I can learn & grow!
  • I am supported with every breath I take.
  • I am free to be, just me.
  • My life is filled with beauty, love, abundance and joy. Each of these things find me with ease.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Magic of Five

Five may be all it takes to change your mood or brighten someone's day.  We can truly change our environment with five.  I've been playing with this concept and have found it to be very powerful.  I invite you to discover the magic of five.  Here are some ideas how...

  • Five deep breaths - no need to wait... try it now
  • Bring to mind five blessings
  • Take five minutes to connect with your intentions or goals.  I like to do this first thing in the morning or before I go to sleep.
  • Get your vitamin n.  Go outside for five. 
  • Connect for five with a partner or friend.  Get away from the "screens" and deeply connect.  
  • Share five compliments 
    • for yourself
    • for colleagues 
    • for strangers 
  • Five minutes in meditation - follow your breath and immerse yourself in the moment by observing... mind, body and spirit 
Where to find the time?
  • Waiting at the grocery store, stoplight or bank.
  • Before getting out of bed.
  • When getting into bed.
  • While you wait for a webpage or program to load.
  • During a commercial break.
  • Make it... schedule an appointment in your calendar.  Pick a different idea each day and see what happens.
Let's take, find, give five to explore the magic...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eyes of Awe & Compassion

You know the days your body doesn’t feel like your own. Maybe it’s an injury, your menstrual cycle, illness, pregnancy or for no other reason than it just doesn’t feel the same. As I have experienced days like this lately, I have been reminded of the need to look upon myself with the eyes of awe and compassion.

This lesson was given to me in yoga class. My 22-year-old body, steps on the mat and next to me was pregnant gal 2 days before her due date. The morning sun danced on our mats as we flowed gracefully between poses. The instructor guides us into Pigeon Pose. As a first year yoga student, my ego was happy to drop my hips into the pose. The teacher guided us further. We bend our back leg and extend the opposite arm forward. Oh boy, was I challenged. My eager body could not find the pose and my breath… well I am lucky I didn’t pass out. I later realized my challenge was not the pose but the ability to see her body with awe and mine with compassion.

Yoga gives us many opportunities to practice this perspective.  It’s no surprise that in a pose like Shoulderstand we are given the challenge to look at our own bodies with both the eyes of awe and compassion. As our legs fly above our heads, our eyes often find their way to our bellies. Awe and compassion.

We practice yoga on and take it off the mat. My entire experience changes when I take a moment (or many) in my day to pause and be in awe of all that my body is doing then sharing compassion for what has become a challenge or unsettling. Let us take our yogi eyes of awe and compassion into the world, seeing all including ourselves, with these glasses.

With the eyes of awe and compassion - how are you practicing?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Won't Give Up

The beautiful spring weather invites me to open the top of my car and enjoy the music in the breeze.  I was struck by the beautiful lyrics and sound of "I Won't Give Up" sung by Jason Mraz.  This song made it's way to the playlist 3 times on my trip home today.

Divine Love, Friendship and Hope in Hardship - whichever theme you choose to interpret the lyrics, the meaning derived is nothing less than inspirational.

Divine Love... although we may call it something different... God, Universe, Divine Spirit, Gods, Goddesses, Mother, Father, Angels, Guides... the holy essence shares a love that is everlasting and always supporting.  Your God(s) says "I Won't Give Up."

Friendship... The hug, smile or words of a friend can change your entire day.  Your friends say "I Won't Give Up."

Hope in Hardship... sometimes must come from within.  We must find the strength to get up and share our light.  To believe the light is there when no one else does.  Tell yourself "I Won't Give Up."  Keep telling yourself until you believe... or fake it 'til you make it.  One day you will come to believe in yourself.  I believe in you.  I won't give up on you!

So I ask... do you hear these "groups" telling you "I Won't Give Up"?  They are saying it... and I hope you are too.  Believe in yourself and believe in each other.

I encourage you to enjoy the inspiration found in both videos - the lyric centric video and the story driven video.