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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Your service light is on....

The check engine light comes on...uh-oh. Service is needed. Choice-suck it up and get it done(mine is on as we speak, but can't seem to find a "mechanic" with a clue as to why.*%%##..more later!) or ignore it and possibly face a big problem. Choices, choices!! The right choice seems obvious, right? We take care of our "stuff", but as humans we tend to not  service ourselves.If we don't service the car, a break down stops us in our tracks-going nowhere.Same principle applies to us-we get stuck. Seva in the yogi world means service. We are called to selfless service-to do for others. But sometimes service for us has a selfish aspect, a tool the ego uses to keep us in it's service bay. It feed us the line " this is what I can do, but I won't do that, nope, not me. Look at what I just did for them, and them, and them......"  We all know those people that exhibit this. We sometimes serve because it feeds the ego -we give what we want, not always what is needed.  By looking inside ourselves, servicing a love for ourselves we begin to extend that love to the person right next to us.We connect and our ego based limitations fall by the side of the road.  Service doesn't have to be the big "look at how wonderful I am", it doesn't have to be monetary,  it can be as simple as asking what is needed - "what can I do for you?" By selflessly serving we receive on a deeper level, we connect with something bigger than our ego. So check in with your service light-see what is needed on your highway, it might just be the beginning of a beautiful journey.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Get on the couch..your own

We all have "stuff." The kind that gives us stress-finances, the job, family (especially in these chaotic times!) The kind that keeps us limited and stuck-fear. The kind that cripples-self doubt.  Human nature is to analyze, we judge ourselves and how we relate to that model society casts for us. Gotta fit the mold. We judge. We become the product of  our fears, past programming, and the self doubt it creates in our mind.We become a self fufilling prophecy. The mantra of "I'm never gonna make it," You're just a---(fill in your own blank!) Our spirit sinks in the mire and muck of negative patterns and sluuurp-we get stuck there. That's a whole swamp full of goodies for us to wallow around in-if we choose to accept it.   No thank you-we don't have to! By using analysis to study the self, we can begin to wade our way out. When you hear that little voice in your mind beating you down-turn your attention internally and get on your own couch and inquire within. Why do I judge myself this way? Why do I feel "I'm not..( again, fill in your own blank!)  ...let the answer come to you, acknowledge it, but then release it.Through yoga, meditation, breathwork and svadyaya or self study we begin to come to the realization of our own true nature-we are boundless, limitless, formless-we are NOT our thoughts, mind, or body. Replace the "I'm not" with I am". Sit cross legged  with your eyes closed. Let your right arm be straight resting against the knee with the thumb and index finger connected. Bend the left arm and let the palm be in front of the heart, about four inches. Everytime you breathe in, let the left hand come out to about a foot from the heart and internally say " I am" and  see yourself expanding beyond your boundaries , into your own infinite nature. You ARE that...your spirit! Let yourself soar beyond the swamp, hose off the mud of negative thought, and then take that step off the couch, become who you were truly meant to be!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blowin' in the wind

It is feeling really crazy out there..... like the song says "it's a mad, mad world"( no shit)...all around us the winds of change are blowing...what the hell is going on? Last year there was an astrological formation in the summer that told of upcoming upheaval-youth uprising, "veils" being pulled off governments.Looks as though it was on target. Since early spring things have been escalating...all over the Middle East regimes are toppling. Africa is suffering severe drought, crimes against humanity abound. London is burning and rioting in a frightening way.  Wisconsin sits on a huge recall vote, the "Tea Party" is enjoying the financial circus as our credit rating(is that what they call it?) falls and the stock market tanks. It gets more and more out of control every day-but  on some things the controls are growing tighter.  It seems a farmer-owner of a co-op type operation that specialized in unpasteurized dairy and cheese found himself the victim of a raid....for his wholesome product! The good ole' FDA(the same people that didn't notify about the Cargill turkey salmonella problem ...) pulled a swat team type raid. They destroyed his inventory and interrogated over the cash he had to purchase more product to sell to his customers in a normal  red, white, and blue(capitalist) way. You've got to be kidding, right-busted for selling a choice-dairy free of treatment and processing, the way it was intended! Nothing is really making sense out there.  With the vortex of  madness that is ensuing around us we need to rip the blindfolds from our eyes to see what is real, the gag from our mouths to speak out against injustice, pull the plugs out of our ears to hear truth, and untie the ropes that bind our hands so that we can extend them. We need to stay as grounded in our center as we can, stay strong as we can, open our hearts and hold each other in the face of the upcoming  storm so that we, too, are not swept into the wind.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 mean it's not food?

It is the way the universe reiterates lessons with me, be careful what you wish for- yea, I asked for it once again!  My theme for classes this week has been that of tapas-meaning austerity, offering something up for purification. Not the lovely little smackerals you get at a "tapas" bar.(damn..if it only were!) It started at a yoga activist training I attended this weekend, powerful stuff. The presenters talked about tapas, and stepping out of your comfort zone, really resonated with me, hence-my weekly theme. People are living in austerity out there; emotionally,physically, and financially. Sometimes through no fault of their own. I, on the other hand, am doing o.k. In steps the universe-tapas you say;here you go! You see, I get paid monthly, direct deposit. On the first of the month. Comfortable routine. Nope! This month, my funds(through no fault of my own!) weren't to arrive until the 3rd, gulp. Not enough funds, things don't get paid. Like the satellite tv...turn it on, it won't work without greenbacks to feed it. Need to purchase things, no buckeroos, no goodies. The list goes on.. We take a lot for granted every day. Being able to get and do what we want when we want it, turning things on with a click. Instant gratification world. The silence and getting basic were at first not too comfortable(whadda you mean I can't watch Keith Oberman ##$$%*) but then the silence became a comfort. In order to see other's reality, sometimes we have to begin by living it-even if only for a short time. My tv is back on, I can go to the store, but you know what-the tv is off, and the silence.... is ok!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Grace, gratitude,and the parking spot

The current heat wave is hard to handle. The earth is thirsty, the air is oppresive, tempers flare, fuses of all kinds blow. Our coping mechanisms are challenged-my car air conditioner has not been working through this(drive I-95...challenging, hell yes!) The heat does things to humans, it stirs up the crazies out there, and out they come. Makes for an interesting, and yes, challenging encouter. I had such yesterday. Interestingly enough, the theme for my yoga classes this week is grace bringing us to gratitude that leads to contentment is we allow ourselves to live one breath at a time. You see, as I drove to teach a prenatal class, I arrive at a red light, in front of me is a stopped car, normal, right? So wrong! The driver isn't moving, the light has changed. Horns blow(yes, mine too!) He sticks his head out the window and says something. I say "the light changed." He says "can't you see how close you are to my car, my blinker's on"  I say "  Sir, my car is about 4 feet from yours, I can"t back up, there are cars behind me" (breathe, be calm, grace) Apparently he felt he was entitled to the parking spot a bit behind me on my right-even though he would have to back through me and the now growing backup of cars behind me! I  put my hands up and say "whatever", not wanting to get into it with him. At this point he gets out of his car and comes towards me loudly saying "excuse me, excuse me.." (breathe Maureen, breathe) I say "I am going to 911 if you don't leave me alone" and he retorts "go ahead" as I put up the windows in my un-airconditioned car and get out the cell phone(breathing, hoping I don't have to dial)  the light changes, changes again, no one is moving, horns blare. I dial, my hands are shaking. A good samaritan comes up from behind me and tries to request he move and explains that I can't back up for him.. The light changes several more times as she suggests that he simply drive around the block. The light  changes again....and he decides to drive on. Whew...gratitude! I thank the samaritan, turn the corner and find a parking spot and collect myself.  As I walk into the studio, I find contentment-for still being in one piece, that I tried to be gracious and responded instead of reacting to adverse circumstance, gratitude for the samaritan, grateful for every breath.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Letting go of the rock!

Picture a rushing rapid.  White water all around. Right in the middle of the torrent is a boulder. Hanging on for dear life there you are...your fingers are slipping, as you struggle to hold on with a death grip....did you ever get that feeling about life?  We really are like the drowning man hanging on to the rock. We are afraid to let go, afraid to surrender to trust. We hold on to so  many things with that grip, clutching tight to old patterns, people, the job that"defines" us. The ego creates this hanging on-our good friend the ego  just doesn't like change....but the only thing that is certain in this life is change! It's inevitable, like the moving of the swift current. Talk about a struggle. It is tiring just thinking about it. But instead of struggling against the current, if we just choose to let go of the rock and flow downstream into the current of life, and allow it to happen, and see where it flows we don't drown-we become buoyant. The current of life allows us to swim supported once we surrender to it and brings us right to where we are supposed to be for us. I used to hold on with a vengeance! (The inner control freak dies hard!) When I came to yoga, I was in a dark night of the soul. My father had passed after a long illness, the job of 17 years ended,someone close to me struggling with addiction, the milestone birthday was upon me.Quite a load to hold onto. I was struggling to keep a grip on what I thought was my life.  At every turn when I fought-to try to keep the job going, holding on to my dad, trying to fix the addict. Because I didn't listen, the universe literally was giving me no choice but to let go! So I did. Not the easisest thing to do, let me tell you! At first in my practice, the control freak wouldn't teacher's favorite remark to me at one point.."let go of your head!" You see, by holding on, we  create internal and external tension.But here's the secret...if you let go, you really won't drown. Release, slip into lifes current, and let it take you, all you have to do is ...SWIM! You won't be sorry.....let go of the rock!