Listen to Your Body – its Listening to You

The words we choose in our thinking, our speech and our writing, impact on how we feel and our overall well being.

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Have you ever noticed how a word can bring up a certain feeling inside of you? A sensation, a thought or an emotion?

Choosing a word that connects with your heart and soul can be not only uplifting, but also brings physical well being.

If you have a few moments, let’s explore.

Take your time as you connect to each of the words below. Go slowly. You can say them out loud:

Love
Tender
Soothing
Joy
Cuddle
Grateful
Smile
Gentle
Pause here and close your eyes. What is alive in you in this moment? Is there a warmth, softening, a feeling of tenderness or love perhaps? How is your breathing? Are you smiling? (me too) Notice how these words manifest themselves in your mind body and spirit.

pauseNow take a deep breath and take the same time connecting to each of these words:
Irritated
Ugly
Mean
Wrong
Frustrated
Cruel
Unfair
Bad
Pause here and close your eyes. What is alive in you in this moment? Is there tension or constriction or heaviness perhaps? How is your breathing? Notice how these words manifest themselves in your mind body and spirit.

pauseIn general when it is a word associated with lack, dis-ease, suffering or violence, our body responds by becoming tense, our breath shallows and there is resistance.

In western medicine when there is resistance in our body it leads to inflammation, and increases our level of stress. These are both proven factors for ill health.

I believe in western medicine, and I also believe in that when there is constriction and tension our life energy contracts as well, and a part of inner state becomes blocked. This impacts our emotional and physical wellness.

In yoga, when the life energy (prana) is blocked it can be released with postures, breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation. In Chinese medicine these blockages in Qi can be released through acupuncture.

pause and listen to your body

No matter what we believe in our minds, our body has its own kind of intelligence.

Listen to your body’s wisdom.

Be mindful of your thoughts and your words. Your body is always listening.

Creating Spaciousness

spaciousness

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I love going to other teacher’s yoga classes. It allows me be totally present with myself and be open to new experiences.

I had a wonderful experience a few weeks ago, where the teacher helped me create a real sense of spaciousness in my body. With the gentlest of touches she guided me to open up just a little around my waist. It was such a small move, but the energy that opened up within me was so expansive. I felt longer, lighter, leaner and with it, more powerful and self confident. With the release came a smile and feeling of being uplifted.

When we create space in our yoga poses it transforms us from the inside out.

I’ve been musing on how this also works in our lives. Have you noticed that when we create space there seems to be an energy that expands into it? Perhaps you can recall a time of closet clearing, emptying old files or cleaning the refrigerator, that brought a new lightness and energy into your day?

We clear out and let go in order to allow for more of what truly matters… spaciousness.

Creating space is transformational.

Look around you, or within you, and see what you can let go of right now.

Namaste

 

Haiku – Yoga and Life

Prana Flow

~

Let the prana flow.

Embodied presence and breath.

Find your Middle Ground

~

This is a definition of yoga, and what I bring to the mat every day. The intention is to move the life energy through awareness of the breath.  The body doesn’t need to be in motion to do this. At any moment we can guide our attention and our prana.

Where our attention goes, the energy flows.

I bring this to yoga and into my life.

Off the mat, I come back again and again, and bring awareness to where my attention is going. This is where the precious life energy will move towards.

Take a moment and close your eyes. Notice where your energy and thoughts are being drawn to right now. Is this expanding or contracting your energy? Is there a sense of opening or tension? Is this moment enriching or detracting from who you are or want to be?

Most of us don’t really want our energy to flow into our smart phone … mindless distractions … other people’s stories and drama … worrying about the future … holding on to what is past … judging others … being critical of ourselves. Yet it happens a lot.

Awareness is the first step. The next one is your choice.

Click here to find more about becoming present with the breath and living mindfully.

Namaste

 

Transitioning Back from Kripalu

I have returned from a wonderful Energy Intensive Retreat at Kripalu. The experience is still settling deep into my bones and being. In the meantime …

Be the Energy

Trust the energy that courses
through you. Trust – then take
surrender even deeper.
Be the energy.

Don’t push anything away.
Follow each sensation back to
its source and focus your awareness
there. Be the ecstasy.

Be unafraid of consummate wonder.
Emerge so new, so vulnerable,
that you don’t know
who you are.

Be the energy, and paradoxically,
be at peace. Dare to be your own
illumination, and blaze a trail across
the clear night sky like lightning.

~ Richard Faulds –   from “Kripalu Yoga”

* Being There For Yourself

This post is inspired by one earlier (Being There is Enough) where the focus was on being there for someone else. Now it is your turn. xo

open your heart
Sometimes all we can do is to be there for our selves…
Being present to our inner state, without judgment or temptation to fix.
Setting aside our urge to make things different or somehow “better”,
By evaluating the pieces and trying to mould them into solutions that make sense,
Or rushing to move past the hurt and discomfort of feelings and thoughts.

In this place of being right here, allow the strategic mind to quieten and open your heart.
Simply be with your heart and your own aching humanity.

In this vulnerable place, the life energy that flows through us all begins to expand and flow.
This knowing presence that acknowledges the sadness, loss and yearning.

Remember, within all of us is a deep longing for love and wholeness.
Trust that when you touch this tender place, the life energy will awaken and transform you.
Let it flow within you and through you.

All is well in its presence.

* Being There is Enough

being there

Sometimes all we can do is to be there for the other person …
Being present to their inner state, without judgment or temptation to fix.
Setting aside our own personal needs and urges to make things different or somehow “better”.
Attempting to evaluate the pieces and mould them into solutions that make sense.

In this place of being there, allow the strategic mind to quieten and open your heart.
Simply be with them in a shared sense of aching humanity.

In this vulnerable place, the life energy that flows through us all begins to expand and flow.
This knowing presence that acknowledges the sadness, loss and yearning.

Remember, within all of us is a deep longing for love and wholeness.
Trust that when you touch this tender place, the life energy will awaken and transform us all.
Let it flow.

All is well in its presence.

 

*Thanks to the work of Robert Gonzales and the NVC Living Compassion tribe ❤️

 

 

* Acceptance of the Unacceptable

“Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.”

Eckhart Tolle

 Isn’t it funny how certain quotes and wisdom show up just when we need it the most? I recall, not so long ago when I had a hard time accepting how things were. I had unexpected news that meant my vision for the future was no longer possible. What I thought was “for sure” became “no way”.

There was shock and uncertainty;  concerns about others; a sense of loss and sadness; a letting go of a future dream; and lots of turbulent emotions.  So much was out of my control and I really struggled because I couldn’t accept it. There was no grace here folks!

finding grace in life's lows

So, what is grace … and how do we find it when life serves us a curve ball or pulls the rug from under us? When we find ourselves in life’s lows?

I appreciate Adyashanti’s approach taken from “Falling into Grace”.

“Grace is something that comes to us when we somehow find ourselves completely available, when we become open hearted and open minded, and are willing to entertain the possibility that we may not know what we think we know.

In this gap of not knowing, in the suspension of any conclusion, a whole other element of life and reality can rush in. This is what I call grace. It’s that moment of “ah-ha” – a moment of recognition when we realize something that previously we never could quite imagine.

… Somehow the  difficult situations in our lives have a way of opening our hearts and minds the most. Its the challenging moments that often offer the greatest opportunities for growth and the transformation of consciousness.”

Finding grace and opening up to accept what is, comes when we fully embrace everything that is alive in us in that moment. 

Some people choose to divert their mind into positive thinking to counteract the negative feelings. I’m not a believer of this, as all feelings and emotions are a part of who we are as human beings. I spent a big chunk of my life looking for the positive and denying the negative … while the deepest part of me was aching. Embracing all part of ourselves is the key to our personal growth and evolution as spiritual beings.

Here are the steps I have uncovered from a variety of spiritual teachers and psychotherapists:

✳ Name what is happening. Be as factual as you can.

✳ What stories are you telling myself about this unacceptable moment?

✳ What are you feeling in your body. What emotions are coming up? Embrace your whole body experience.

✳ Make space for whatever comes up.

✳ Notice how the mind jumps in with judgments and negative thoughts. Make space for these too.

✳ Embrace everything that is alive in you. Let yourself feel.

✳ Notice if there is a part of you that wants the pain to go away – to fix it rather than accepting it.

✳ Embrace it all and let it in. This is a part of you.

✳ Let yourself become a vulnerable feeling being.

✳ Be open and fully alive to the experience.

✳ Breathe into it and allow the life energy to flow through you.

✳ And in this place of spaciousness and letting go, notice how grace appears.

Compassionate acceptance of the unknown.