Learning Something New – Be Like a Toddler

This re-post is dedicated to the people I have the privilege of teaching and mentoring.

ooOoo

As adults we are so used to being competent and knowledgable…. at least in some areas of our lives!
So when we take on a new challenge or want to learn something new it can be difficult.

I teach new yoga students and yoga teachers, and see how tough it can be for some to get their heads around being a beginner again.

Learning something new as adults makes us feel vulnerable. It’s a time where old fears about our worthiness surface, self doubt seeps in and egos rush to defend ingrained thinking and old beliefs.

beginner's mind

One way of countering this all too human reaction is to apply the Zen wisdom of Beginner’s Mind. This concept refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level.

Here are some steps to practice:

1. Be open and curious. Beginner’s Mind is about using the spirit of enquiry.  There’s a Zen story about this:
A student visited a Japanese master to inquire about Zen. The master served tea. When the visitor’s cup was full, the master kept pouring. Tea spilled out of the cup and over the table.
“The cup is full!” said the visitor. “No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” said the master, “You are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

2.Take one step at a time and let go of the outcome. Focus on what needs to be studied at each step.

toddler running and falling

3. Be like a toddler. Fall down seven times, get up eight times. Celebrate falling down as well as getting up.

4. Let go of knowing. Embrace “I don’t know” thinking rather than conditioned “I know or I should know” thinking. We only know things up until now. How can we expect to know something beyond our experience?

5. Shake off shoulds. Shoulds are imposed on us. Instead, be the best you can be in that moment and take responsibility for your actions. Own your own life rather than ‘shoulding’ all over it.

6. Use your experience. Keep an open mind on how to apply your experience to each new circumstance. Get creative with what you know and what you are learning.

7. Experience the moment fully. Slow down and pause. Be fully present to what is going on around you and within you.

When you do this your mind quietens and you make space for the new. You find your Middle Ground.

Namaste

Life is like … Paper

close up photo of book pages

Photo by Ravi Kant on Pexels.com

Life is Like Paper

It is made by human beings

It is blank to begin with

Over time people leave their marks on it

It captures our stories and beliefs, as well as our creativity and expression

It can be strong, yet pliable

It has many uses and can be moulded

It can transform

It can be recycled

It can disintegrate slowly over time or go up in flames in a moment

When its gone, the stories and memories stay with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life is an Adventure Not a Package Tour

“Life is an adventure, not a package tour.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Life is an adventure

Photo by Jas Poole

This is a great reminder for me today – especially as I will be leaving for Europe on vacation next week.

We are not going on a package tour, but I do want to be prepared and feel in control 😉

When we spend so much of our time planning and anticipating whatever obstacle might come up, its easy to miss the excitement of the unknown and the adventure of it all.

It’s like life…

Take a moment and consider “Am I approaching life with a Package Tour mindset or as an Adventure?”

Looking back on previous vacations, I recall that it was the unexpected that thrilled. Like the moment we followed an impulse instead of the GPS and found ourselves on a dirt track heading towards the clouds. Suddenly a golden eagle flew up in front of the car with a 3 foot snake in its mouth. We didn’t have time to photograph it, but the moment is imprinted in our brains forever. Now that could never be planned for!

Looking back on life, aren’t the moments that take our breath away, the ones we didn’t plan for…

The moments we feel really good about are the ones where we have met unexpected challenges and discovered inner strength and resourcefulness.

Or the moments where we let our guard down and let the love in, to be fully embraced and accepted for who we are.

Or moments of discovery and awe of something that was once unknown.

Life really is an adventure when we allow ourselves to let go of control and notice things as they unfold.

When I think about my vacation, I now ask myself “Can I let go more and allow the present to unfold?” Absolutely, now that I have my bug spray, sunscreen, contact lens solution, change of underwear, reading glasses, GPS and maps packed…

Inspiration – Life is Joy

This is a re-blog . To all the heroes our there – Have a joy filled day today.
little superhero

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was service.

I acted and behold, service was joy.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

Instead of searching for joy from what the world can give you, turn it around and give yourself to the world.

Take a moment and consider…

How am I serving others?
How can I contribute to what I want most for the world?

May we all find a life of joy in serving others.

Namaste

Inspiration – Dandelions

dandelion wisdom

© creative commons stock photos  ID 82961274 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Sometimes traditional stories hit the right spot. This one often does for me.

Nadia spent the whole autumn sowing and preparing his garden. In the spring, the flowers opened, and Nadia noticed a few dandelions that he had not planted. Nadia pulled them up. But the seeds had already spread, and others grew. He tried to find a poison that would kill only dandelions. An expert told him that any poison would end up killing all the other flowers too.

In despair, Nadia sought help from a gardener.‘It’s just like life,’ said the gardener. ‘Along with the good things, there are always a few inconveniences.’‘What should I do, then?‘Nothing. They may not be the flowers you intended to have, but they are still part of the garden.’

 

May we embrace all aspects of our garden and the unexpected that life brings our way.

Enlightenment and Spending Time with Family

For everyone spending time with the Fokkers this year. This is a re-post and reminder just in time for Christmas and New Years.

☯︎☮︎☯︎☮︎☯︎☮︎☯︎☮︎☯︎

meet the parents

“If you think you are truly enlightened, go and spend a week with your parents.”

~ Ram Dass

I laughed out loud when I read this today! Visiting back home definitely brings me back down to earth. I then googled to see what others said about this and found this wisdom from Eckhart Tolle.

“It is a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

… You will gain the most from this experience if you don’t take it too seriously, if you don’t create impossible standards for your conduct of behavior, if you try so hard to be Present and Still that you behave like a robot, if you withdraw into a cocoon of self-protection, or if you blame your family members for every little imperfect act from the past that harmed you in some way.

Instead, and above all, choose to relax, reduce your expectations for what may or may not happen, expect little skirmishes, disagreements, moments of humility or failure, and the distance you may feel with your family as a whole, knowing that you are trying to move beyond the ego patterns that have been impediments to your soul and that they care less about ego and Presence and even Truth.

Love and accept them where they’re at. Have compassion for their pain. Be observant while being engaged as guilelessly as possible. Watch yourself and your reactions, out of curiosity, not judgment or blame, but for the benefit of learning how and where you’re really at in your spiritual evolution.”

So … Don’t take it too seriously. Relax. Expect to re-live some moments rooted in the past. Love and accept them for who they are, rather than wishing them to be different. And above all, don’t just bring a present Be Present.

Namaste

 

Inspiration – Eckhart on ego

ego burden

“If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that’s just more ego.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Smiling …. After all, my ego is much bigger problem compared to yours!

Today, let go of taking things so personally and let your ego take a back seat. Let go of comparisons and feeling you are alone. You are not.

We all have gone through these feelings.

What happens next depends on your decision to let go, and move forward.

Realize that there is a more powerful You ready to take charge and facilitate your growth.

Let go of the personal and join the rest of us on the same journey.

Namaste