Sunday, October 21, 2012

She Let Go

She let go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear. 
She let go of the judgments. 
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her. 
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry
She just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. 
She didn’t read a book on how to let go. 
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go. 
She let go of all of the memories that held her back. 
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. 
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it. 
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. 
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. 
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. 
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. 
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line. 
She didn’t utter one word. 
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. 
There was no applause or congratulations. 
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing. 
Like a leaf falling from a tree
She just let go.
There was no effort. 
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. 
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. 
A small smile came over her face. 
A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

-----Rev. Safire Rose

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How do I celebrate a yoga 'victory'?

For over a year I've been wanting to do a certain yoga move - Salamba Sirsasana - supported headstand. This move more than any other represents yoga to me, in every possible way. It's beautiful to look at, and I was sure it would be beautiful to do.

However, at first, I approached this move with the mindset "I WILL CONQUER YOU!"  Once again, I'm lucky I didn't hurt myself much worse than I did - as I mentioned back in February and then again in May.

Truly, I learned my lesson and decided to take it slowly, allow my body to adjust to each step, and to be happy where I was at that moment.

Here is my journey, as documented in pictures!  Yes, it is me in each picture, and in each pose, that is just as far as I can go on that day.

(3/12)  Partial weight on shoulders

(5/12) Full weight on shoulders, knees pulled up

(7/12) Full weight on shoulders, knees parallel to the floor

(8/12) Full weight on shoulders, legs as far up as they will go and still balance.

(9/12) Up, but barely balanced

(10/12) Balanced, still, toes spread. Full expression of the pose

So, is it everything I thought it would be back in February? Yes and no. The first time I actually achieved the pose, I didn't even notice for about 45 seconds. But it was a slice of heaven. The world around settled into the background, my breath came in long, slow waves, and I actually went into a semi-meditative state. But not a "HOORAY!" moment at all.

What I'm most proud about is not the pose itself, but that it developed slowly - at my inner teacher's speed, not my inner drill sergeant's speed. Such a difference.

I learned so much about myself by learning how to do this pose in this way.  

I discovered I can be:


to myself.

That's a good thing. So very, very good. 

Why not apply this to my whole life?  What would that look like? 

What if I were:  

 patient with my weight loss
 loving when it's time to fuel the body 
kind when I make yet another mistake 
gentle when I'm tired.

to myself. 

Just do it. And then find the peace that comes every day by being in the moment.


Thoughts to take with me today: Yoga = life, every time.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

We are all fearfully and wonderfully made

Ages ago I remarked that ordinary people say extraordinary things all the time - if you are willing to just listen.

I found that to be true again today.

Invisible Me on the blog Poonapalooza is a 'new-to-me' blog that I find utterly wonderful. She describes how she felt 'invisible' her whole life, regardless of the fact she was overweight. Yet, she could be quite vocal when she needed to advocate for someone else.

See myself in that? Sure do.

At my heaviest, I was 258 pounds and although I was able to stand up for my students, standing up for myself was out of the question.  My self-esteem was so fragile that the idea of making someone mad at me was the source of tremendous anxiety. If I made someone mad,  maybe

 they wouldn't like me any more
they wouldn't be my friend
they might leave me


Let's get real
because I didn't think I was worthy of love

That same ol' bugaboo of self worth creeps back to the surface whispering sweet words of deception of how everyone in the world is more valuable than I am. Everyone. 

Food though....oh was always there and always non-judgemental. French fries don't give a shit how fat you are, they just want you to eat them in all their yummy, crispy goodness. With catsup. And mayonnaise. And tons and tons of salt.

What we love becomes what we are. True stuff.

Because food was my best friend, I became fat
Because I was fat, it was hard to move, and I moved even less
Because I couldn't do anything but sit and eat, I hated myself
Because I hated myself just a bit more every day, I turned to my best friend
Because food was my best friend, I became fatter

That's a tough cycle to break. It can be broken though - the exact same way it was created.

Check this...

If I consistently make wise food choices, my  body becomes healthier
Because I am healthy, I enjoy running and cycling and lifting
Because I spend so much time developing my body, I value me
Because I am valuable, I love myself.
Because I love myself, I make healthy food choices

That's a cycle I can support with my whole heart.

And back to my initial thought, because I am valuable, I no longer define myself by other's opinions and all of a sudden, those advocating skills can be used to protect me.

The cycle doesn't break easily, and as I've said before, it's always hard. Every damn day. Hard.  But now, I have a taste of the 'other side' of life. Not the thin side, but the SELF-WORTH side.


It's just now, I see it. Most importantly, I believe it.

What about you? Do you value yourself? If not? Why not? We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. We all have a Source that leads and guides and treasures every fiber of our being. All of us.

Including you my friend.

Thoughts to take with me today: Weight is a just a number; love is a gift I give myself.  Choose the gift, every day. Namaste

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

If you want to be great, act great

I’m reading an awesome book called Meditations from the Mat.  It’s a ‘daily reader’ based on the yoga sutras. Fascinating and stunning how often it perfectly aligns with what I’m thinking and feeling.
Today’s topic began with this line from a poem by 14th century poet  Hafez.
“What is the key to untie the knot of your mind’s sufferings?
Act great. My dear, always act great”

Act great – whether I’m energetic or tired
Act great – whether I’m sick or well
Act great – whether I’m upbeat or depressed.
Just do what needs to be done every day.
I’m convinced that my emotional health is made up of muscles just like the physical ones. When I reflect on how I've earned my muscles, it's pretty basic. I work out consistently, even when I'm tired, even when I'm overwhelmed, even when I just don't want to.  Now when there's an injury, that's a different story. On those days, I take it a bit easy and respect my body.
In the very same way, my spirit and heart need to be exercised and made stronger also. When my day gets off track with my plans not going the way I want, that's the time to buckle down and 'be great' and not come unglued. (Oh easy to say, so hard to do. We all want perfection, all the time.) But maybe the key is to make a choice to be consistent and choose to be even-keeled, even when it's hard.
Sometimes though, things are just going to legitimately rock my world. That's when I need to step back for restorative time - with books, music, and food that uplifts and heals. In other words, respect my heart.
And what is the reward?  The 'untieing of my mind's suffering.' Relaxation. Acceptance. Peace. 
What more could anyone want? 
Thoughts to take with me today: Work those emotional muscles too; act great, be great.