Remember Helpdesk? Their first question was always, is your computer plugged in?

There are first questions for our own human mind and body when we don’t feel balanced and could use our own sort of helpdesk:

  1. Are you breathing correctly? Inhale down past your diaphragm as your body expands; exhale as your core muscles contract in towards your spine and your spine remains tall.
  2. Are you hydrated? Drink water. Room temperature or warmer.
  3. Are you rested? 8 hours of sleep required. Unless you are sattvic, then less is fine (but then you needn’t be reading this).
  4. Have you meditated today? This spiritual hygiene calms all minds.
  5. Have you exercised today? This, yes, spiritual hygiene calms all minds.
  6. Have you eaten 2 to 3 nourishing, fresh, unprocessed meals today, sitting down?

While these seem like they take up time that you don’t have, they actually create more time and space. They enhance the quality of life and shift the lens through which we see. They are a big deal. They create shifts in the other things in your life that you might think are bigger, more important. But these are what nourishes the mind, body, and spirit to do what they need to do, be where they need to be, and find stillness when stillness is necessary. These are the enzymes for manifesting potential. Give them a try. Make these 6 things unnegotiable and see what happens.

My son found out that senior kundalini yoga teachers are real people too.

We just finished our kundalini yoga teacher training course for 2019, and our lead trainer stayed at my place on her last night in town to avoid the Chicago marathon roadblocks on her way out to the airport the next morning.

We had breakfast together before taking her to O’Hare Airport, and my son joined us for the meal. He got to hear stories of her literal dreams, her translations of them, and her personal experiences with friends, studio owners and marriage. Her stories were funny, profound, and spicy. He was very tired from a late night coming to the breakfast table, but this perked him right up. He seemed pleasantly surprised by experiencing a more personal side to yet another senior teacher we’ve brought in.

It made me think. What are our assumptions about people? In this case, about spiritual teachers? And by having those assumptions, what do we miss when we are with them, or by not connecting with them due to those assumptions?

My son reminded me of young children who are shocked to find out that their grade school teachers actually leave, or live outside of, the school…

Spiritual teachers don’t levitate. But they do elevate (ideally). They have karma to live out like everyone else on Earth, and they get to decide how to play them out. They make mistakes too, and hopefully, with the added benefit of being on a spiritual path that makes conscious and intentional communications and relationships a part of their lifelong commitment, they use their life lessons to become lighthouses of inspiration and relativity.

Our lead trainer was exactly that instead of someone who takes herself too seriously, and instead of looking for opportunities to find a lesson to teach the person in front of her. She just shared her story in a personally impersonal manner. Very real but not attached or laden with hooks to enroll us to one side or against another. My son got to see a full human being who demonstrated another way of sharing things spicy.

To see other ways to relate and communicate and be so human is such a gift. I have learned that we can reject the more hurtful and judging way, that there are always inspiring ways to being out there, and that we need to find and surround ourselves with them. They can be found right in front of us when we drop the assumptions about them. Every person is a real person with real experiences, including yes, the spiritual teachers.

Finding yourself by getting yourself out of the way.

Go deeper.

Get past that thing that wants to be right, that’s hungry for attention, that wants to get even, that’s projecting all sorts of stuff at what’s in front of you.

Filter out the bullshit. Trust yourself to be okay to get out of yourself.

Then look at what’s in front of you. Listen to what is being said. Respond.

Life gives you what you need

I thought I was on track.

That said, there were definitely rumblings beneath the surface prodding me to rework a few things in my life and get to them more quickly than I was doing. My foot drag was nothing more than a desire to avoid the necessary communications and going through the social re-balancing that comes with making change.

Nothing like finding moths* in my home with a Monday night deadline to do my part for it, and then spraining my right ankle just before going on a college visit with my son with the upcoming yoga teacher training immersion week looming to create some serious overwhelm and prod me out of the drag.

[The “foot drag” and the foot injury I just incurred wasn’t lost on me.]

I can go one of two ways with this: put my energy towards “life sucks,” bitching about it, and enrolling others in my chaos, or towards stopping to reorganize everything and getting about my business. This includes sitting down for my meals without multi-tasking, continuing to blog, and getting my practices in.

This entailed understanding what I must do, knowing what’s important, and what my timelines were. What were my options, and again how important were they? What can I drop? What’s worth paying for? How do my decisions impact the “stakeholders” around me, and in turn, impact how I relate with them?

How I feel about any of it rarely entered the picture except for this:

Wow, I get to pare down on my responsibilities and take learning to prioritize, drop things, ask for help, take help, and purge the excess to a higher level. 

Wahe Guru.

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*if you know nothing about clothing moths, read on, and I’ll tell you. I thought they were fairly benign before my downstairs neighbor first starting sharing with me that she had them. Then I found few in my place. Moths lay 50-100 eggs before they die. They love the expensive stuff (wool, cashmere, alpaca, etc), but will take synthetic stuff as well if it is blended with anything else organic. They love pet hair. They are gross, and their larvae are incredibly destructive. There are 4 ways to get them out of your fabrics: dry clean, freeze, wash in hot water, or iron. You need to make a decision with each thing whether you will choose one of those 4 options or throw the garment or fabric out. Once you clean them, you will need to contain them in an air tight container until you know the problem is resolved. You have more stuff than you will ever know. Clothing moths like dark, undisturbed places, so the stuff that you don’t wear often need to be shaken regularly or well protected. Cedar doesn’t work; they only deter if the cedar still has a scent. The pH in vinegar kills the eggs. Rubbing alcohol works. They can lay eggs in cracks and will accept dust as laying nests, so the insides of closets will need to be scrubbed down with vinegar or alcohol. Do it right the first time, or you may have to go through cleaning everything again. Good lesson in life. The way I treat and store my clothes, as well as my approach to laundry, has changed forever.

You know the anticipation of it is much worse than the real thing

The longer we prolong the doing, and the more we dread it, the worse the pre-experience.

By getting super creative with what could go wrong, we can potentially sabatoge what could have gone better. Or at the very least, we buy ourselves additional dread time until we realize it wasn’t so bad.

Even if reality isn’t so great, even if the pain to come is real, the anticipation of it is worse, because this anticipation is worry, and worry is imagination gone wrong, putting focus on the worst possible outcomes, while reality calls for pure presence and real action. The former puts us through hell while the latter can pull us through.

Almost every time before I get on the cardio machine, or before I drop to the floor for stretch pose (core work), the dread tries to sneak in. It’s NEVER as bad as I imagined it. In fact, I feel pretty good afterwards. Same with communicating something difficult to someone. Even if it doesn’t turn out well, now I know, and I can make an actual decision from there.