When You Lose Heart

“The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. 
Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves.
This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering — yours, mine, and that of all beings”.

~ Pema Chodron, Taking the Leap

letting go in yin yoga

Reading these wise words I think of poses in yoga, especially Yin, where we lean in to the physical and emotional discomfort and embrace the sensations and thoughts that come up.

Surprisingly it is the poses of surrender and letting go, rather than strength building that can be the most challenging for us.

Our practice on the mat is a great metaphor for life. We learn to be present with whatever comes up and use our breath to lean into it. Accepting where we are in that moment.

Breathe into whatever is occurring …. knowing it will pass.

Let there be no blame, just presence on our mat and in life.

Namaste

Inspiration – Dissatisfaction

“This is the path we take in cultivating joy: learning not to armor our basic goodness, learning to appreciate what we have.
Most of the time we don’t do this.
Rather than appreciate where we are, we continually struggle to nurture our dissatisfaction.
It’s like trying to get flowers to grow by pouring cement on the garden.”

~ Pema Chodron taken from “The Places That Scare You”

Do you find yourself thinking about the things that aren’t going the way you want and complaining about your circumstances, other people, yourself?

Next time you catch yourself resisting or resenting, imagine that you are pouring cement on your garden.

It’s an incredibly powerful practice to start clearing out the thoughts that poison our own happiness.

We can change this by re-focusing on planting seeds that come from the heart. The seeds of gratitude, appreciation and loving kindness.


Open your heart
And put away the cement mixer.
Feel the load lighten.
Let this nurturing space
Bring joy and loving kindness
To nourish every part of you.

Sit Down and Enjoy the Ride

yoga class

“This anxiety or queasiness in the face of impermanence isn’t something that afflicts just a few of us; it’s an all-pervasive state that human beings share.
But rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, what if we accepted it and relaxed into it?
What if we said, “Yes, this is the way it is; this is what it means to be human,” and decided to sit down and enjoy the ride? “

~ Pema Chodron

Sit down and enjoy the ride.

No matter where you are, join me today!

Dissatisfaction

“This is the path we take in cultivating joy: learning not to armor our basic goodness, learning to appreciate what we have.
Most of the time we don’t do this.
Rather than appreciate where we are, we continually struggle to nurture our dissatisfaction.
It’s like trying to get flowers to grow by pouring cement on the garden.”

~ Pema Chodron taken from “The Places That Scare You”

Do you find yourself thinking about the things that aren’t going the way you want and complaining about your circumstances, other people, yourself?

Next time you catch yourself resisting or resenting, imagine that you are pouring cement on your garden.

It’s an incredibly powerful practice to start clearing out the thoughts that poison our own happiness.

We can change this by re-focusing on planting seeds that come from the heart. The seeds of gratitude, appreciation and loving kindness.


Open your heart
And put away the cement mixer.
Feel the load lighten.
Let this nurturing space
Bring joy and loving kindness
To nourish every part of you.

Habits and Compassion

breaking habit

“The fear habit, the anger habit, the self-pity habit—all are strengthened and empowered when we continue to buy into them. The most compassionate thing we can do is to interrupt these habits.

  • Acknowledging that we are all churned up is the first and most difficult step in any practice. Without compassionate recognition that we are stuck, it’s impossible to liberate ourselves from confusion.
  • ‘Doing something different’ is the next step that interrupts our ancient habit of indulging in our emotions. We do anything to cut the strong tendency to spin out… Anything that’s non-habitual will do—even sing and dance or run around the block. We do anything that doesn’t reinforce our crippling habits.
  • The third most difficult practice is to then remember that this is not something we do just once or twice. Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”

~ Pema Chodron

… Turning off Facebook and the TV is an act of compassion

 

* Inspiration – People are our Teachers

 

people are our teaachers

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”    ~ Pema Chodron

I was with a group of caring yoga teachers yesterday, and we shared experiences of who showed up in our classes. There was one student who always gave an unsolicited evaluation of how the class went and what the teacher could do differently. An other student would send long emails about a substitute teacher, pointing out where she was not as good as the original one. An other student made comments in class about how uncomfortable she was.

Then there were the students who were grateful for the teacher’s guidance and came back class after class.

I awoke this morning with this thought. People show up for different reasons, yet they are all our teachers.

Should we dismiss the challenging ones as external disturbances, taking us off balance? Or perhaps, as people who have things going on that they need to address?

There’s an opportunity for deeper understanding here.

We attract the people who reflect our selves.

The wonderful thankful students, are reflecting the parts of ourselves that we appreciate and accept.

The people who disturb us, are reflecting the parts of ourselves that we have not fully accepted or integrated within ourselves. The parts of ourselves that we haven’t learn to love.

If we look as every person as a reflection of our selves and as our teachers, it becomes an opportunity to learn and grow.

Every person is bringing a gift for us to receive and to learn from.

If the same “gifts” keep showing up in your life, then there is something that is longing for your attention.

open heart flower

Take a moment to pause and breathe deeply

Allow the breath to become fuller

Imagine breathing into your heart

Allow this area to soften

Let your heart open and be ready to receive

To the teacher whose student wants to be in control of the class … What is the heartfelt lesson for you?

To the teacher with a student who criticizes and complains about not having things their own way… What could be the heartfelt lesson for you?

To all of us who have a spouse… colleague… child… neighbor… relative… showing up as “gifts” to learn from …  What are the heartfelt lessons for us all?

Remember, its often what we don’t like, that we grow from the most. The practice is to keep our minds and our hearts open.

Namaste

 

* Lean in

The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. 
Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves.
This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering — yours, mine, and that of all beings.

~ Pema Chodron, Taking the Leap

courageous yoga pose

Reading these words I think of poses in yoga where we lean in to the physical and emotional discomfort and embrace the sensations and thoughts that come up. Surprisingly it is the poses of surrender and letting go, rather than strength building that can be the most challenging for us.

Our practice on the mat is a great metaphor for life. We learn to be present with whatever comes up and use our breath to lean into it. Accepting where we are in that moment.

On our mat there is no one to blame …except perhaps the yoga teacher who brought you to this challenging place. 😉

Namaste