Monday, August 26, 2013
Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at The Daily Love's Enter the Heart Tour that came to Chicago. Let me just say. What an amazing experience. The whole time I was there, I was in complete bliss. I know this has happened before, but I can't quite remember when. The event was held at a local yoga studio. When I got there I wasn't really sure of what I would be doing. So I just decided that I would go with the flow. Wherever this experience would take me was where I would go. As I walked into the studio, I felt a bit nervous. Partly because I was going alone, and partly because I had no idea what to expect. All I really knew was that Tommy Rosen and Mastin Kipp were going to be there (and if you don't know who they are, Google them). As a volunteer I had to get there two hours early. While I was waiting for instructions, I met one of the other volunteers (four of us all together were chosen to volunteer). We became fast friends. I find this awesome. And was probably the best part of the whole evening, especially since I'm not very good at making friends. As a volunteer I was instructed to check people in and get them situated. One of the other volunteers took them on a tour around the studio (the studio itself consisted of four yoga rooms, a workout room, and a locker room for men and one for women). After we got everyone in the room, we got to join the class. One of the other cool things was that we got to sit up in front. Mastin started the class by giving a little speech. He then told us to go and hug 5 random people. What a cool experience! This was a room filled with so many non-judgmental and loving people. It was a room full of love. I hugged about 7 people and then made my way back to my mat. After doing a couple of other beautiful team exercises, we got to the yoga. Tommy Rosen is a Kundalini yoga instructor based in Santa Monica. I had never practiced this style of yoga before and was very interested in finding out what it would be like. It was different. A lot of the breath work is faster and the movements all flow with the breath work. It was a difficult class for me, particularly because I had been away from my mat for a few weeks.Although the class was really difficult, it was also very inspiring. Tommy made the class fun even though the work was hard. During the class I learned that our minds tend to make up think that our bodies are unable to do certain things. Once the posture or exercise started to get painful, I wanted to quit, but Tommy urged us to get past the pain. It was amazing, after a while the pain went away. It got me to thinking about my injuries. I am learning that through yoga, healthy eating, and staying hydrated, I can help heal myself. I also learned that I need to stop identifying with my back/shoulder pain and realize that I can help myself. It's not something that has to stay with me my whole life. We ended the yoga with a meditation, and then Mastin came on. He talked to us about several things. One of them was uncertainty. Uncertainty is something that every single one of us goes through. When we get uncertain, we tend to use unhealthy coping mechanisms to get past the uncertainty, and more often wait until it goes away. This included some journaling about what we do that is unhealthy and then sharing with other peers. It wasn't exactly easy to be open with people I had just met, but it was also liberating. I found that many of us have the same sort of mechanisms for coping, and we agreed that we did not want those mechanisms to have such a great hold on our lives anymore. After that exercise Mastin led us through another exercise that helped us to connect to our hearts. It's a bit hard to explain, but basically what it meant is that our hearts actually do know better than our minds. Our minds are where a lot of fear goes. When we are afraid to get out of our comfort zone, our mind is usually giving us tons of excuses that we should stay in that comfort zone, as well as that supposed certainty. The truth is there is no certainty in life. We will never know the outcome. That is for the universe to know. And as Mastin put it, "the quality of my life is the quality of my relationship with uncertainty." We tend to get stuck in patterns that feel comfortable to us, and then we don't go anywhere with that. If we can overcome the fact that uncertainty is scary, and accept that it isn't necessarily a bad thing, then we can go places. I believe that we all have a purpose in life. What we have to first to is try to find out what that purpose is, and then work to achieve whatever we need in order to serve that purpose. It's big stuff. Do I know what my purpose is? Not quite, but I am working towards finding what it is. This experience yesterday definitely brought me a step closer. Thank you for reading. Namaste.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I’m sitting here, in my beat-up, second-hand chair, really not sure of what to write about. I usually get ideas and inspirations from things that I am struggling with myself. We often talk about things that we need to improve on ourselves. Well, self-image is one of those things, and the people who know me are probably shaking their heads and thinking about how “thin” I am, and I practice yoga, so why should I have self-image issues? Well, as you all know, we all have self-image issues, which I would like to call self-love issues. There’s always some flaw that we will see in ourselves that we will nitpick until the end of time. Many of use cover our blemishes, dark circles, un-wanted birthmarks with makeup. In extreme cases, some people go under the knife to “improve” their self-image. So, something I want to say to you, you, the one reading this blog (and thank you for doing so). Love yourself unconditionally. No matter what. No matter what. No matter what mistakes you have made, what other people may say about you, what you look like. Love yourself. If you can’t love yourself, then who else will you be able to love? I sometimes get up in the morning, or get back from work, or get ready for bed, and look at my tired face, my acne, and other flaws and shake my head. But that isn’t the way to think, that isn’t the way that we should treat ourselves. We can fall into a depression when we keep shooting ourselves down. Why are we always so used to telling ourselves negative things? I used to think that if I was negative, then I wouldn’t be setting myself up for disappointments, or maybe someone would tell me something nice. Whenever someone did give me a compliment when I shot myself down, I actually didn’t feel any better. Even if other people see our beauty, it is up to us to see our own shining light. If we can do that, then others’ negativity won’t affect us. And when we can learn to love ourselves unconditionally, then we can see that other’s negativity about us is really a projection onto their own self-esteem. We have all had experience where people will say something negative about us. This never has anything to do with us, it has everything to do with them. If we are happy with ourselves we don’t need to bring other people down so that we can feel better. So think about how we can contribute to a more positive atmosphere if we all work on loving ourselves. Don’t get caught up on how someone has a better body, or prettier eyes, or a more bubbly personality. We all have a unique and power light that contributes to the tapestry of the world. Thanks for reading! Namaste.