Lead Your Life

Awake, Aligned, and Grounded In Truth

Ubutu May 2, 2018

You are glorious and messy, brilliant and silly, beautiful and flawed.  And you are amazing.  Not because of what you do, the words you choose, or the impact you make.  You are amazing in your being.  Like mind-blowing, heart-soaring, soul-stirring AMAZING.  Do you believe it?

When you strip away your actions, roles, and contributions, can you see your AMAZING SELF as pure light?

There is a wonderful African Greeting:  Ubutu.  It translates to I SEE YOU.  We look so deeply at our children with pure love, and we encourage our friends to embrace their beauty when they self deface.  We talk about treating ourselves with compassion and love, but can you look deeply at yourself in total awe of the miracle you are?

Ubutu.

 

mooji

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Soften Beyond The Bone April 24, 2018

bone and water

Think of your body for a moment.  Your structural integrity is in the magnificent geometry of your bones.  Your bones give you stability & strength.  They hold us firm when the wind blows, and allow us to announce ourselves as upright, powerful beings of action in the world.  When compared to the rest of our physical being, however, they are rather stagnant, dense, and rigid in form.

It is the rest of us that creates fluidity, expansion, contraction, bending, rolling, and softness.  It is in the rest of us that we adapt, shift, and flow.

Now consider your energy.   For most of us, we’d love our energy to be less bone and more water (65% of the human body on average is water).  Adaptable yet powerful; intuitive yet purposeful.

Perhaps as a “perk” of living in the modern world, our energy can often feel hectic, depleted, fragmented, and chaotic.  Consider that as quickly as your thoughts change, as does your state of being.

And then we remember.  Re * Member that we are more than our thoughts, and that our thoughts are choice.   And thus, when we “feel” sub-optimal, we can use practices and rituals to smooth our energy & tap into the rivers and channels of our whole Self to restore flow.

Because we are glorious humans who are well trained in academia and poorly trained in self optimization, most of us are victim to our thoughts and thus, feel stressed, fatigued, and overwhelmed more than we might like.

Can you use your stress as a barometer versus a reaction?  When you feel it, pause.  What wisdom do you need to re*member?  Can you feel into the soft tissue of your body, sense your breath, and lean into space versus density?  When we do this, we sense our entire being;  body, spirit, and mind,  rhythmically harmonizing together.

In this state, we walk lightly through the world –  still creating results and enjoying pursuits, competing in sports, going after big opportunities, & taking risks  – but always coming back to a state of fullness and bliss.

Bliss doesn’t have to wait until all the checks are complete on the to-do.  We can learn to bring fluidity and grace to all moments.  With Patience.  With Practice.  With Belief.

 

You look like you’re here, but are you? March 13, 2018

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Recently, a fabulous yoga instructor at Pure Yoga in Asheville encouraged us to feel what we are feeling & notice the emotion. Sometimes our emotions have been dragged from the past & sometimes lassoed from the future. The question is; Are we experiencing fully & thus feeling deeply the present moment?

That morning as she guided us to witness, I found I had lugged frustration to my mat from the past. Through this inquiry, I was able to realize that there was absolutely nothing frustrating about the present moment which consisted of sitting quietly with my breath listening to the wisdom of a teacher I respect.

In the present moment of that class, all was well. I believe if we truly took stock of our emotions, we might find this to be true more often than not. That, in the present moment, all is well & the discomfort we are experiencing is either dated or foreshadowed. And sometimes, the discomfort is truly related to the present moment. Part of living well is giving ourselves permission to feel our lives deeply and honestly.

And… Can we discern between the NOW and what was or what’s coming so that we stay awake to what is?

 

be all there

 

Corpse Pose January 29, 2018

It’s the end of your yoga practice, and the teacher turns down the lights.  You know it’s coming…. savasana.  Deep rest.  No more sweating, twisting, or balancing.

Savasana translates to corpse pose.  Don’t let that make you feel any less affectionate about it!  The name reminds us that this pose is more than just resting.  It means to die to our little self (ego) so that our big Self (spirit) can soar.

In practical every day life, that might mean you invite your stories, fears, and limiting beliefs to pass away.  Your story of not enough time, your fear of failure, and your self chatter of “I’m not good enough.”

It might mean that we allow our roles and responsibilities to cease so that we know ourselves beyond our roles.  We connect with the essence of who we are, our divine state, first and foremost with a secondary interest in our responsibilities.  We value ourselves on our heart versus our achievements.  We love ourselves deeply as we are in our being versus our doing.

And it might mean that we simply let our thoughts die.  That at the end of our practice after we’ve worked out our bodies, minds, and energy, that we simply abide in stillness without effort.

For me, my body often appears to be in savasana but the rest of me is raring to go.  My mind is fired, my attention alert, my roles intact.  When this happens, can we let our judgement of self die?  Simply let what is be as it is.  Breathe it out.  Witness.  Accept.  Try anew.

 

What does that word even mean? January 9, 2018

reverence

My favorite definition of reverence comes from Gary Zukav who defines it as this:

“Reverence is engaging in a form and a depth of contact with Life that is well beyond the shell of hte form and into the essence.  Reverence is contact with the essence of each thing, person, plan, bird, and animal.  It is contact with the interior of its beingness.  

Reverence is an attitude of honoring Life.  It is simply the experience of accepting that all Life is of value; in and of itself.”

I’m toying with this idea of seeing beyond sight to the interior of life:   To the interior of myself, to the interior of you, to the interior of relationships, to the interior of experience.  To dwell in connection with the essence versus form.  To experience by feeling versus thinking.

When we roll out our mat, we stand before a great opportunity to draw in the interior.  To move beyond habit and lean in towards the richness of reverence.

The rubber on the reverence road is engaging in the essence of what haunts or challenges us.  Maybe the “form” of that is a person or situation (and within both a belief we hold).  And if the only life we can course select is our own, then what does reverence look like in these sticky spots?

For me, I believe that our individual creation alone speaks to our divinity at the seat of our being.  Whether our life’s actions mirror that divinity is our choice; however, I live with the belief that within everyone, regardless of noise, abides divinity as essence.  And so, can I see it when the conversation is twisted?  Can I see it when I feel mistreated or underappreciated?  Can I dwell in the interior of a person versus poking at their exterior with my frustrated thoughts?

I roll out my mat for many reasons.  And this is one.  To learn to choose better in every moment so that more moments are spent in reverence.

 

To Give Joy November 7, 2017

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Disclaimer:  Huge fan of conscious joy.

  • Question:  What in the world is that?
  • Answer:  Conscious joy is joy by choice in all moments.
  • Question:  How about authenticity?  How about allowing ourselves to feel deeply? to mourn and grieve?  To express our anger and sadness?

The word joy roots from the word REJOICE.  Rejoice is defined as “To Give Joy.”

When life gives you lemons, .make lemonade.  Yes, and…..

Can we experience deep, unwavering joy regardless of what’s rocking our world?  Can we be so deeply connected to our truth, to our divinity, & to our blessings that our challenges are continuously calibrated to their appropriate magnitude:  in existence but not in dominance of?

In a nutshell:  Can we authentically experience pain while simultaneously holding space for joy?  

In my life, I’ve had experiences that seem planetary systems away from joy, and yet, I’m learning that it is possible to stay in my heart space and rejoice through these painful, finite moments.  Sometimes, the holding of both comes with ease and sometimes not.  Sometimes it would seem I just can’t.  At least I can’t today.  And, I’m open to the possibility that through growth & intention, I could be someday.

What is your experience?

 

 

I’m not stressed…. November 2, 2017

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stress

Stress is a creeper in our lives.  We are so busy “doing” that we don’t notice all of that “getting it done” is coming from a place of fight or flight.  When (if) we stop, we finally notice that we are worn out, exhausted, sleeping poorly, and anxious.

So what to do?  We feel more stressed trying to solve stress because we know what to do, and with best intentions, most of us aren’t doing it.  No bubble baths, daily meditation, counting our breath.  No funny movies to replace the news (facebook), no earlier bed time, and no daily yoga.  So, we keep “doing”, busily checking off the to-do’s on our list all the while giving ourselves a failing grade (judgement) on our self-care habits.

Sounds like a fabulous way to treat the person with whom we have our most intimate relationship, huh?

I’m an advocate for all the “things” we can do to reduce stress with a particular affinity for breath work and a physical yoga practice.  These are miracle workers in my life, and there is something even simpler that requires no extra time or special outfit.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to
choose one thought over another.
-William James

Where we place our attention expands.  For most of us lowly curious-about but not yet enlightened souls, our thoughts bubble up without us noticing.  This idea of choosing our thoughts seems almost laughable as our thoughts are grooved deeply into our subconsciousness and then, via bullet train, blast through to our consciousness.

What we can do is observe the thoughts upon arrival at the station, and then decide which to leave on the train, which to reshape, and which to embrace.  Sometimes the thought is deeply seeded, negative and easily refutable.

Think the “big story” in your life: I’m not good enough, I’m not smart, I’m too fat…..  These stories require intentional abandonment moment by moment and replacement with soul speak.  I am enough exactly as I am, I love myself as I am.”  Thich Nhat Hanh teaches to say “Dear One, I am here for you.”

Sometimes the thought is about the daily happenings, our perceptions of others, or our ruminations on the past and future.  Think “I can’t believe he said that, and she thinks I’m….”

I practice reframing these thoughts into questions.  How true is that?  What am I making that mean?  How can I contribute to something better in this situation?

There is one tool that can be used in almost all situations:  gratitude.  When your mind is swimming, just begin speaking aloud your blessings.  There’s something powerful about hearing your voice say thank you over and over that quiets the mind, expands the heart, and drains the negativity.