One yogini sharing her path of discovery

Posts tagged ‘meditation’

Slowly

I feel myself changing. Not all of a sudden, but slowly. Like I am being gently awakened after a long and restless sleep. The way I think about people, situations, and how I react to them is molding. New thoughts don’t appear out of nowhere, but are a new part of an old idea. I can remember and understand how I thought before and now I am blessed with the truth that I am meant to now right now. Surely, tomorrow I will wake up and know more.

This is what yoga, meditation, and other intentional reflections have brought me. Its a gift I always had but had been covered by a thick fog of imaginary expectations and learned ignorance.

trees_in_fog_study_9

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May Goddess, Part 2

mahamudra-metta

Wow, what an eye-opener this month has been.

If you weren’t here for the beginning of May, my resolution for this month is to appreciate my fellow Goddess’ more instead of participating in gossip, shaming, jealousies, and other women against women behavior. My issues with other women and my relationships with them runs deeper than I imagined. First off, having this awareness made it suddenly so obvious how often I do these things and that it actually (however temporary) feels good in the moment. I have grown up where its been taught that this is “bad” form but everyone does it and that’s that. End of lesson. I have habitual thought patterns when it comes to the way I think about women. I have also come to realize that I have a very specific requirements in a female that I take on as a friend. After a few toxic female friendships I seem to have made the decision to limit even my interactions with women and only attempting friendships when I am sure that the particular individual is going to appreciate my effort.

So after, basically, my whole life of worshiping some women while ripping apart others I am attempting to adapt my thought pattern to appreciate and love every girl and women and her own inner Goddess.

SOooo how the heck do I do this?

 

Practice:

1. Cultivating new friendships free of expectations – one of the main reasons I think I have ended up on the bitter side of friendship is because of my own high expectations within them. I abandoned expectations in my romantic relationship and it has resulted in the most spectacular love and appreciation for one another. So my friendships have followed suit. It seems so simple but giving up control in any relationship can be challenging.

 

2. Smiling – Women are not going to all get along all the time. We have different personalities and interests but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t appreciate and respect one another. Just because an individual doesn’t share my view on life or acts a particular way doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of my love. So as a  simple gesture I have decided to give every women I come into contact with a smile. A real one! A nice side-effect is that this practice has also filtered outward to everyone … men, dogs, cats, and trees. Smiles for everyone!

 

3. Metta Meditation- The cultivation of loving-kindness (mettā bhāvanā). In the Buddhist tradition, this practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving-kindness towards themselves and/or sending it out to one’s loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all beings. I have chosen to utilize this meditation on my own loving quest with women either  by visualizing a particular female friend, family member, co-worker, or sending out a blanket of loving-kindness to the women of the world. If you choose to practice this as well you can also recite loving words to send to yourself or others (example: ” I send loving-kindness to all beings” )

 

I am feeling hopeful and happy about these new outlooks and changes. Also very lucky to be surrounded by fearless females that inspire me to be better and love more. Gratitude!

Namaste

xo carly

Shower

girl in the rain

As I step into the shower the water first reaches my outstretched hands. Fingers tingling and palms open ready to test the temperature of the water shining down. Too hot. As I reach farther forward to turn the faucet cooler the front of my body gets hit with the warmth. I gaze down at my hands, now glistening from the wet. Its like I can see everything I touched today washing down my forearms, elbows, and into the drain. Down goes the bad and the good. My failures and accomplishments. My pains and my pleasures. No longer tired or energized. No longer covered in the day, the week, the month, or the year. I am completely neutral. Balance. Equal parts of everything that makes up me. No thoughts drifting to distract. Just clear perfect balance. I am that. That is me.

A Year of Resolutions

2013

Its that time again. New year resolution time. We have all done it at least once before. Wrote out a list on a sheet of paper or out in our head. Maybe its just one thing and maybe is 20 things that you want to accomplish in the next year. Eat better, drink less, be kinder to others.

The resolution is easy to make but tough to keep.

The toughest part for me is sticking with something for an entire year. Most of the time I will forget any resolution I have set by the time March rolls around or have moved on to a new goal or changed my outlook. Thats life right?! And I enjoy life. A lot. I would even think as I was eating the most delicious piece of chocolate cake and then .. BAM! Shit, didn’t I resolve that I wasn’t going to eat this kind of stuff this year? Oops. Oh, and there comes the guilt which in turn just leads to more chocolate cake. Oh, well.

Well, this year I don’t want to “oh, well” and I also don’t want to set arbitrary resolutions that don’t really end in me becoming a better person. In yoga I am always setting intentions and with those clear intentions I do create positive change in my life and feel the happiness of those achievements. Even simple things like breathing more deeply lead me to greater goals and better feelings towards myself and others. So my resolution for 2013 is a new intention every month. Why? Because as time moves forward we change, we adapt, and our goals change. I feel like this kind of resolution is going to allow me to grow and move closer to spreading the love I know I am capable of cultivating not only towards myself but also for all those around me. Eliminating the judgement and expectation that sometimes resolutions create.

2008_01_January_Calendar_cal_l_2008_01January : No complaining

My goal for this month is to stop the habit of complaining about things as a form of conversation as well replace my internal complaints with a positive mantra. I hope that my positive intention can spread to others.

I have made a list of possible resolutions for the next few months but will decide on one closer as the next approaches based on what is going on in my life and what I think I need to bring inward and what I may be ready to let go of.

I always encourage others to share their resolutions as well as thoughts on my own. Share, explore, and unite.

Namaste

xox carly

 

Creating Peace in the Workplace

The office place continues to boggle, challenge, and interest me. I have worked in a variety of workplace settings. Video store, large hotel, big rehab center, hospitals, small an larger private physio clinics. Each of these settings offer their own special kind of drama. I have always thought of myself as an observer and in each of these settings I could have started a tabloid magazine with the amount of  drama that occurs on a daily basis.

Every once in a while the story has included yours truly for which I have undoubtedly encouraged instead of letting it go. Of course I was always the good guy and the wronged individual and I took every opportunity to broadcast my story of woe to anyone that would listen. When I began to explore inward I noticed my dramatic pattern. Not necessarily looking for trouble but not stopping it should any kind of situation arise. I noticed that I even mildly reveled in someone treating me unkindly so that I could retell my story and get further retribution from others. What the what?!

Ultimately my reaction is less about other energy towards me and more to do with my perceptions of others energy as well as my insecurities regarding my work and emotional connection to how others see me. When I let go of my ego and tune into my unity with others the drama becomes very insignificant and the desire to create or maintain a peaceful state within myself and my office becomes the goal.

Practice:

Although I still catch myself in this pattern I am more conscious of it and don’t do it as much as I used to (hopefully). Something that has really aided me in letting go of workplace drama and most especially not taking it home with me is to balance my 7 chakras (most importantly the first 3) and having a work mantra when things are about to go sideways.

-In my experience and my body the most efficiant way to balance is with Surya Namaskara सूर्य नमस्कार or “Sun salutation”

I can pretty much do a sun salutation anytime and anywhere and is valueable tool to have in your kit of knowledge. *Keep in mind that everybody has a different body and take the time to explore what works right for you.

-Also, I am a firm believer in the transforming power of a mantra (A mantra मन्त्र is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation” -Wiki) Just like asana practice each person has something that works for them. The same goes for mantra’s. We all have something that resinates within depending on whats going on around us or where we want to go.

When choosing your mantra you can find something that is already out there (Check out Deva Premal for some beautiful and uplifting mantras http://grooveshark.com/#!/devapremal) Or you can make up your own with sounds or words that resinate.

-Now that I am feeling more balanced I can start to creating real change in the workplace. I like to bring in flowers to brighten up the space, smile and laugh whenever possible and treat my team with respect dispite how they may be acting towards me or other co-workers.

***This is an ongoing practice, and I am most certainly not always perfect and have moments when I fall back into old stories and patterns. I feel blessed when I am reminded of my ego and have the tools to let it go and cultivate change for myself and hopefully others.

Namaste

Carly

Finding Your Inner Focus Focus

 

 

FOCUS seems to be a necessary word in our world. We are taught we should have focus in school. Focus in the workplace. Focus on our talents. Focus on our goals and making sure others focus on our achievements. When we lose this focus we can sometimes tend to lose ourselves along with it. If you find throughout your day your focus or insight is becoming more and more clouded, take a moment to step back to see and feel what you need. What are you trying to focus on? Is it coming from a place of pure intention? Will it lead you to truth? If it is truth, STAY ON YOUR PATH

“Pursuing the task of everyday life, I walk along the ancient path. I am not disheartened in the mindless void.” – C. Zenji (9th Century, CE), China

In times of multiple tasks, goals, commitments, decisions and needs our focus can become clouded. Although all these things may among your journey, it to can get a little foggy now and then. So where do we go when we can’t decide what to wear in the morning? What is the solution when we can’t find the inspiration to write or complete an assignment? Where do we start when our mind is full of air, jumping from one thought to another?

 

Practice:

 

 There are many different ways to bring your inner sight back into focus through asana practice as well as meditation and pranayama. (Side note: If its your actual eyesight that seems to be the trouble then I suggest seeing a doctor) I will give an example of each and if there is one in particular that you found helpful I can suggest some other similar options.

 

1. Balance to focus: All balance postures in asana practice cultivate and enrich concentration. One you can try is Tree Pose (vrksasana) http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/496 You emulate the steady balance, strength and focus of a tree, firmly rooted in the earth while growing tall toward the sun. To increase your focus while in tree pose or during other moments throughout, set your gaze on something in front of you. This is your drishti. Let your eyes be soft and your mind liquid. Let your breath flow like water as you find softness to the point of focus. You can remain for just a few breaths or a few minutes. Remember to honor your body in any posture.

 

2. Candle to concentration: Tratak is the yogic practice of candle gazing. Begin in a comfortable seated position in a quiet place. Sit approximately 3 ft in front of a lit candle. Let your sit bones become heavy and the spine long. Feel the breath become more mindful as you let your drishti float to the flame. Let the gaze be still and with intention until the eyes begin to slightly water. Then close your eyes and visualize the flame in your mind’s eye for two minutes. This will develop your inner focus. When ready gently open the eyes looking to the candle. Let yourself become aware of difference and feel of having outer focus. Concentration leads the mind a little more softly into meditation and from there into a more balanced mind. This is also a more natural way to ease into the practice of meditation and quieting of the mind. *** After this practice, or after a long period of looking at a computer or book, soothe the eyes. Place your hands into prayer position and begin to quickly rub them together until you can feel the warmth, then place the palms over the eyes. Let your lids become heavy and give the eyes the opportunity to rest.

 

3. Sharpen with ujjayi: The Ujjayi offers mental focus, calming for the nervous system, increase in oxygen, warming for the body and many other benefits to those who practice it. Ujjiya, also known as ocean breath because it can emulate the sound of the tide coming in and going out from shore. To do, breathe in and out through the nose while contracting the back of the throat (glottis) so you can hear the breath flowing. If you feel as though you are forcing the tightening sensation at the back of the throat just relax slightly and enjoy the slowing of the flow as you were breathing through a very thin straw. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcPjvp4La8A&feature=related

 

“One who is undisturbed by the flow of desires finds peace, as the ocean – though filled by incessant rivers.” Bhagavad Gita (400-300 BCE), India

 

Finding your own rhythm, relaxation and calm in times of stress and lost focus can be challenging but let it be an exploration and enjoy the things you learn about yourself along the way. If you have any questions, concerns or want to explore further don’t hesitate to connect. We are all just making our way through the fog a little more each day but I am okay with not always being able to see in front of me because I still have the rest of me as a guide.

 

Namaste xo

Your Time, My Time, Our Time

 


In a physiotherapy clinic a watchful eye is kept on the clock at all times. Making sure someone gets here in time for an appointment. Making sure the physio’s are running on time with their schedule. Keeping everying running smoothly good timing is of the essence.

 

The thing I have noticed about the in’s and out’s of a clinic is that everyone seems to think their time is the most important. Physio’s get upset if someone is late or doesn’t show up for an appointment because its a waste of their time. Patients don’t like it when their physio is running behind because there appointment was scheduled for a specific time for a specific reason.

After a long day of no-shows one of the physio’s I work with asked me … “Carly, why do people do this? Not show up, and then not even call to apologize?”

“Well, sometimes I think people just plain forget and other times its because some people believe that their time is more valuable than others and don’t consider the other persons time at all.”

“Ya, you’re right, ” he replies.

“Mmmhmm. Like a half an hour to me is the same as a half an hour to you. Our time is the same. Worth the same,” I add. My co-worker looks at me questionably and says “Well, my time is a little more important than yours is.”

As he walks away I am half satisfied he just proved my point and half insulted that he wasn’t the least bit joking when he said that.

 

It got me thinking… do I think my time is more valuable than perhaps someone with a lower income or created social status? It was clear my co-worker thought himself higher than me on the ladder and therefore had more valuable time. I imagined one of the many homeless that I pass by on my way from place to place. Do I think my time is more important than theirs? I have a job, I have appointments, and events to attend. But that certainly doesn’t change the length of our minutes and days. That doesn’t change the fact that we all beings having human experiences within the illusion of time.

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

C. S. Lewis

 

Practice:

It is obvious this discussion is less about time and more about how we interact and compare ourselves to others. Here are a few things I am going  to work towards

Step one: Remove the assumed social status and entitlement that I carry.

Set an intention: Seeing myself as a being of the world. Bringing compassion into my heart in order to share it more with others.

“Like a sculptor, if necessary,

carve a friend out of stone.

Realize that your inner sight is blind

and try to see a treasure in everyone.” ― Rumi

 

As always I would love to hear someone else’s experiences on the topic. Lets explore and learn as one.

 

Namaste xoxo

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