April 28, 2014 § 3 Comments
Have you ever stopped to think why, when you start to get a little ungrounded (though you may not see it yet), someone tells you to breathe? And does that suggestion make you insane?
Our breath is the bridge between our physical body (perceptions, the finite) and our Soul (Truth, the infinite).
We can live out our lives never thinking about the breath, and our body will automatically breathe for us… though we risk having stressors dictate how we breathe– shallow and erratic. Without the full inhale, the life force that is carried through the breath will not reach below the diaphragm to move through and release the stress that is held there, and without the full exhale, we leave the stale air in our lungs leaving little space for fresh air to come in.
We live the way we breathe.
When we experience staleness in our day, and in our lives, changing the breath to make it full and complete can offer the freshness it needs to move forward and up. It can’t hurt to try– it doesn’t cost a dime, and the upside is limitless. It keeps us grounded and connected to something bigger than what we see before us.
Need a pranayam (breathing exercise)? Try this. Let me know how it works for you!
July 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” —Mohandas K. Gandhi
Many years ago when I was in sales, I bought this cassette tape (I said many years ago) on how to be persuasive. It was all about the words we use. Nothing else. Use and instead of but; share what is possible instead of what is not; focus on what works instead of the obstacles. When I found yoga in search for a sense of peace and happiness, I found that, at the end of the day the same principles applied. With the exception that the ultimate goal was not to persuade others but to be happy with myself. Turns out I’m more persuasive being happy. Funny how that works. And when I am not, the world lets me know. A little bit of awareness opens the floodgates to messages all around us with feedback and opportunity to adjust ourselves before we stray too far.
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
How do we do that?
What I found to be the most powerful tool for shifting thought and gaining control over my own thoughts is mantra. Mantra is what you say over and over again, day after day. And the essence of that single phrase repeated gets embedded vibrationally at the cellular level and becomes who we are. Examples of mantra:
I am sensible and in control of my finances.
I am perfect just the way I am.
I’m not smart enough.
I am too old.
It’s his fault.
I’m an idiot.
I am sexy and I know it
Ek Ong Kar. Sat Nam. Siri. Wahe Guru.
And when we say, think, or feel something over and over again, it enforces the pathway towards like action.
What I like about yoga mantra is that I can stay neutral with them. I don’t have to know what Ek Ong Kar means, and when I don’t know what it means, I am less likely to project my own stuff onto it and sabotage my efforts. I can simply say it over and over again and let it do its work.
Because of its power, mantra as a spiritual practice –spiritual meaning to know oneself- is an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety and quiet the chattery monkey mind, which can help relieve insomnia or depression. It can open up the mind to see the gifts of life. It can bring a sense of abundance, calm, neutrality, oneness, self-empowerment, connection, and groundedness, as well as enhance creativity, spontaneity and love of life. Try it.
July 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
I am who I am and that is that,
I am who you are looking back,
You are who I am, can you imagine that?
-Guru Singh Khalsa
Do you know what makes relationships so fun? Knowing that the other person is simply a reflection of you. There is no ‘other person’. Which means, in essence, we are playing with ourselves. Ha-ha!
When I am disconnected with myself, so are my connections to others. Likewise, when I am fully in my own space, my connection to others couldn’t be better.
Everything is feedback.
What I experience through my relationships reveal if I am lying to myself or if I am living authentically; if I am giving myself away or if I value myself. This awareness is a gift, for it allows me to change something in myself when I don’t like what I see in the other person, or in my connection with the other person. It is like realizing that I am in a dream, and then finding that I can control what I do in my dream. Taking control of our dreams gets easier with practice. Same of our lives. Anyway, I am all that I have in my control, though my thoughts and actions seem to ripple out and affect change in everything else around me. More feedback! Sometimes I like what I see, and sometimes I don’t. On the other hand, to try and change another person is like trying to comb my hair through the mirror… gotta laugh at myself for trying.