Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

The Pinnacle of Practice. October 22, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 5:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

What if everything we do is a practice?  A practice of connection, alignment, and balancing effort with ease?  What if what we achieve is secondary to what we practice?

I know… My hair goes up on my neck just a bit with that thought.  Perhaps we can just consider.  On the yoga mat (which for me is my little self experimenting petri-dish of observation and reflection),  we strive to twist, bend, hold all the while breathing with ease.  (Sometimes a hilarious endeavor).  And secretly, because we are all human, we get this little burst of inner sparkle when we nail that elusive pose or touch our forehead to our knees.

Yes, we know this means nothing about anything, but still, achievement is instant gratification.  And thus, even though we may not utter the words aloud (because we are much more evolved than that), we sometimes see the pinnacle of our practice as achievement.  In fact, teachers even fuel this by referring to “the peak pose.”  So, we strive to balance on a single finger or smugly look at the Hanover Pretzel Knot and think, “You ain’t got nothin’ on me.”   Like bendiness that would turn Gumby greener with Envy  will profoundly alter our impact in the world and the intimacy of our connections.  Like maintaining pranayama for 60 minutes will cause unicorns  to burst out of our chakras and radiate our auric field into a prism of color.

Sounds hilarious, I know.  And take a moment and consider how this plays out in life off the mat.  How has continuous striving impacted you?

And so every yoga class asks us to “end” with savasana.  Deep rest to balance to the exertion, yes.  But for me, to remind us that it is in the letting go that we come home.  There is no alignment of muscles, bones, and joints.  We simply let go of it all.

We allow the nothingness of the pose to peel away the expectations that we have of ourselves, the roles we play, and the desire to strive.  Until what remains is just essence.  The essence of who we are at our core; our divine spark that exists with and without achievement.  Always enough.

So whether you spend time on a yoga mat or not, practice savasana.  Alive, Awake, Present.  Untethering, Surrendering, and Opening.  Deep & Divine.

 

Advertisements
 

Pure Pleasure May 28, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 3:48 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I walked my childhood neighborhood.  I allowed my legs to stretch to the streets that were most familiar to me; remembering my secret hiding spots, the corner I crashed my bike, and the field of many kickball games.  My warmest memories were the treasured spots of playing freely without rules, structure, or consideration of time.  I smiled as I honored those places where I twirled cartwheels, flew from swings, and roller skated at top speed hanging onto the backs of bikes.

I am not one to dwell in the past, but there are lessons snuggled in history; reminders of the captivation of play, the magic of unstructured summer days, the connection of deep friendships cultivated while skipping through yards.  Nothing linear, nothing timed, no desired outcome.  Just pure pleasure.

There is no shortage of opportunity to be productive, and the world will rain accolades on your achievements.  But don’t forget to move your body in all directions for no reason other than bliss.  Drive the curvy road to work, flip a cart-wheel while taking the dogs out, & skip the online trolling to play euchre with your kids.  Embrace Play.

For when we fast forward 10 years, we’ll remember those goofy moments.

And of course, go forth and live your purpose.  Take risks, try big, work hard.  Pursue productivity, results, achievements.  Step into discomfort, fail, and try again.  But don’t forget to invite play into your life, because without fun, joy, and sparkles, what is the point of achievement?

 

 

Quitters Sometimes Win April 21, 2017

This week, I said no to a business invitation & I resigned from an advisory group and two non-profit boards.   I also removed myself from several meetings that would truly not be upgraded by my presence.   I took all of these actions in preparation for a relocation; a functional decision based on geography.   It felt as if I had shed 10 energetic pounds, and through this release, I created lightness and relief.

Sometimes quitting is the greatest win.  Saying NO is the most powerful YES.

When we find ourselves overcommitted & running against the clock, struggling to carve out time for what lights us up, and/or living from our to-do list and calendar, it’s time to quit.

In the book The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up, author Marie Kondo helps us declutter our surroundings by, one by one, evaluating each item we own against a simple question:  Does this bring me joy?

We can do the same with our time investments.  Our material possessions were financial investments we made at one point, and the question is, do they still serve us today?  If not, purge.  Our to-do list and calendar obligations are time investments that beg the same question.  Do they bring us joy?  Do they serve us in achieving what’s most important to us in our life?

If the answer is NO, then say NO.  And yes, you will disappoint someone, and you might miss out on something that is moderately pleasing, but these are minor risks to take.  Let it go.  Wiggle out of the tight container you’ve created and explore what more time can create in your life.  If you do, you will welcome more joy and freedom into your day.