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

Release the Need to Save People from their Problems

Release the Need to Save People by Sanaya Roman*

”You can dissolve obstacles to love by releasing the need to save people from their problems. You can love others as your soul does by allowing them to be responsible for their own lives.

Taking care of others, worrying about their lives, and solving their problems can occupy so much of your attention and emotions that you have no energy left to put into your own life and spiritual path.
When you stop saving others, you can release any resentment you might feel for all the time and energy you spent on them.

When you save others, you can become a victim when they do not use your help in the way you would like, when they continue to create similar problems, or when they expect and demand that you continue to save them.

Learn to recognize when you are helping others because you feel that they do not have the strength or ability to solve their own problems.
When you feel an urge to help people in a way that will “save” them or take away their lessons, stop!
You may find that your desire to help others really comes from your own need to feel better and to have less concern and worry about their problems.

Assume that people have the ability to solve their own problems, even if you can’t see how they will. While your soul is interested in assisting people, it does not interfere with their lives. It allows people to have their own ideas, to live in whatever way they choose, to learn from their mistakes and to achieve their own successes.”

“Sometimes pain and suffering are necessary. No one can grow for us.” ~ Author unknown

This has been a profound lesson for me on my spiritual journey. When we recognize that we have a need to rescue others, or need other people to need us, we don’t allow them to have their own experience and to grow as human beings. It also diminishes our ability to connect at an authentic soul to soul level with others.

The aim of Yoga is to bring the mind to a state where we can see clearly without distortion of the truth

In Yoga, aparigraha or non attachment is one if the most difficult observances on our path to enlightenment. As a practice, it is usually focused on letting go of material objects and not being greedy or grasping. However, it can also apply to our thinking and in relationship to others. With self inquiry we can start to explore the motivations and thinking behind our actions and interactions in the world. Some questions to ponder are:

Am I grasping for attention … recognition … appreciation… to make me feel better about myself?
Am I interfering or trying to fix other people in an effort to fix myself?
In preventing them from feeling pain or being challenged, am I keeping them from growing?

While we are compassionate towards others and support them on their journey, it’s important to honor them and their experience, and allow them to grow through their own self inquiry.
The need to save others can keep us attached and prevents us, and them, from becoming truly free.

*Soul to Soul (p. 114). Monkfish Book Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Inner Alignment

Photo by Garon Piceli on Pexels.com

 

We live in a self absorbed society where everything seems to be directed to feeding the insatiable and bored little “me”.

When we start finding our Middle Ground, we get in touch with our inner being and experience what is happening in the moment. This inner world includes our thoughts, beliefs, needs, feelings and knowing what really matters to us – our values.

We become observers of ourselves.

We come nurturers of our inner being instead of critics.

Life becomes more satisfying just as it is. There is less need for stimulation, excitement and acquiring of things to prove to ourselves, entertain us, show others, or to keep boredom at bay.

This shift can happen in a moment or over a space of time … and is available to all of us.

Through yoga, I learned that this feeling of centered contentment was when my mind, body and spirit are aligned and in harmony.

I call this place of inner alignment the Middle Ground.

Thank you for joining me here 💛

Inspiration – Letting Go of the Past

 

“Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Such a powerful statement.

The mind often gets caught up in the past so much that we are filled with feelings such as regret, anger or shame about what has happened. We may feel stuck, or unable to get over the event.

When this happens it starts to color how we see the world. We start filtering how we interpret the world around us based on those feelings about the past. We identify so much with what has happened to us, that we cannot separate ourselves from the event.

We tell ourselves that its the event that keeps us from being happy. Yet unhappiness comes from our inability to come fully into the present.

Holding on to those thoughts about the past, prevents us from fully appreciating the present moment.

The first step to letting go, is awareness that something needs to be let go of and released. Sometimes we may not even realize exactly what it is, but we sense that we are holding on to something.

The second step is to bring our attention gently into the present moment by focusing on our breath and becoming an observer. To help you become present, please follow this link.

When we find a state of presence and inner balance, we can let go.

* Inspiration – logic wisdom

 

logical mind

“A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

bandaged hand

 

Conscious awareness prevents the need for bandages and brings life into balance.

~ Val Boyko

Listen to your heart and intuition. Be safe out there.

* Elf Awareness

I hope you enjoy this re-blog. It still makes me smile 😀🎄💝

Find Your Middle Ground

A good friend of mine is embracing her inner “elf” this holiday season. It does make me smile 🙂

What would your Inner Elf look like?elf shoes

We think of elves as those pixie like creatures that help out Santa. They work hard and play.  They make mistakes and laugh.  They are sometimes impulsive yet kind. They find the joy and mischief in everyday things. 

Our Inner Elf is innocent, fun and vulnerable.

Why not encourage him or her to come out to play and make this a time to lighten up and embrace your Inner Elf.

….. We also have a Higher Elf.

Lord of the RingsOur Higher Elf is more like the Elves in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. He or she has a quiet serenity about them, yet are strong and courageous. They are wise, mature, noble, and contemplative. They are attuned to nature and are clear about what…

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* Be a Bold Writer

courageous writer

“If a writer is so cautious he never writes anything that cannot be criticized, he will never write anything that can be read. If  you want to help other people you have got to make up your mind to write things that some men will condemn.”

~ Thomas Merton

This is an alternative version of this morning’s post.