29 May 2012

Good Vibrations

"Do you have to change your vibration on a particular subject in order to let it in? No, you don't. You could pet your pet and let it in. You could sit with your feet dangling in the bay, and let it in. If it is a subject that you often think of in an attitude of resistance, it is really worthwhile reaching for some thoughts that feel better. You could launch an intention and never think about it again, and the Universe would yield it to you. You don't have to clean up your vibration relative to anything, if you can just not think about it anymore. That's why we teach meditation. It's easier to teach you to have no thought than to have pure positive thought. When you quiet your mind you stop thought; when you stop thought you stop resistance; when you stop resistance—then you are in a state of allowing." - Abraham 
Yesterday in Bikram class, my yoga instructor read the quote above during our relaxation savasana pose. It resonated with me so much that I wanted to share it with you all. This is a quote about acceptance and about being open. It's about letting go of your ideas, expectations, and judgements, and really letting the Universe command you. It is about embracing who you are and resisting the tendency to become a chameleon or give up your beliefs to feel accepted. It is about surrendering thoughts of positive/negative, good/bad, right/wrong, and just letting everything be as it is - perfect, whole, and complete in this moment. 

Lately I feel like I have been passing a lot of judgement - against myself, against others, against the order of my life's events. I find myself going into my yoga practice with expectations about how the class should go, or judging where someone else is at this point in their life, or resenting my bank account and what it says I can afford this month. Hearing this quote brought immediate awareness to the chatter that has been clogging my thoughts and inhibiting my ability to willingly accept what the Universe has in store for me and when it will bring certain things to fruition, or not. There is no such thing as resentment, discontent, whiplash, or dejection when you are in that "state of allowing" that the quote refers to. Like another one of my favorite Bikram teacher says, "turn off those radio stations in your head, and just be. Just relax." It may seem intuitive to try really hard to do just that when you are in a hot, humid yoga room and your heart is beating out of your chest. But what about practicing that out of the yoga room too?

I want to be able to bring that inner peace I feel in my savasana - where I am totally surrendering my mind to let my body rejuvenate - into my everyday life. No thoughts, worries, distractions... just being open and wholehearted. I am challenging myself to be more aware of the thoughts I let in and actively bringing my mind back to a centered, calm place.

What methods do you use to maintain inner peace in your everyday?

16 May 2012

Give it Up!

How many times have you found yourself miserable and hurt because you're holding onto something? Holding on to an idea that something was going to work out differently - Holding onto your pride and not asking for help - Holding onto a negative view of yourself - Holding on to the need to be right all the time - Holding onto the past - Holding on to beliefs that don't allow you to accept others. We do it all the time. We limit ourselves by clinging to the crap that we are too afraid to let go. We hold onto them because we think they will make us feel "okay," and maybe even make us feel satisfied and happy.  But, oddly enough, it is these very things that are really holding us back from that happy, peaceful life we are all desperate to live.

I read a great article that lists 15 things we should work on letting go of so that we can be happy and more at ease with ourselves and others. After a rough, overwhelming set of realizations last night about how I have been steadfastly holding onto ideas about the past and future, I found these tips to be great ways to get PRESENT. Many of these I have touched on before, but reading them from another source is extremely helpful and a healthy reminder.
1. Give up your need to always be right
 There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?
2. Give up your need for control
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
3. Give up on blame
 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk
 Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle
5. Give up your limiting beliefs
about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle
6. Give up complaining
 Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
7. Give up the luxury of criticism
Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
8. Give up your need to impress others
Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
9. Give up your resistance to change
 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 
Joseph Campbell
10. Give up labels
 Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer
11. Give up on your fears
Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
 Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. Give up your excuses
Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.
13. Give up the past
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
14. Give up attachment
This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.
15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations
Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

12 May 2012


Why does it feel so much easier to swallow our pain or shove discomfort aside than to face those challenges head on? Sometimes I pretend like something that is bothering me doesn't really exist or just procrastinate confronting it because I'm afraid. Afraid of what? Hurting someone's feeling, how something will be received, mustering up courage, being vulnerable, having boundaries... I could go on and on about the things I fear that hold me back from confronting issues. But the more things I try to ignore, and the more little peripheral projects I focus on to distract myself, the CRAZIER I feel. 

I recently had a night of BERSERK emotions that I couldn't figure out. I had had a wonderful day at work and was feeling pretty productive. But all the sudden, something came over me and I was plain UPSET. Mad at myself, crying, feeling like I wanted to cancel plans and mope. This all came out of left field and I was baffled that I was feeling so upset, so suddenly. It wasn't until a day later that I realized this explosion of emotions was caused by my suppressing too much. I hadn't experience that for a few months, so it was hard to put my finger on at first. But it felt good to recognize it and remember that I was in control of the cause of such outbursts. 

After years of emotional roller coasters, learning how to love and accept myself, seeing the world through different eyes, discovering what it means to trust the Universe... I feel more resilient and inspired, but recognize that I (like everyone else) am still susceptible to self-induced challenges, like the one I experienced the other day. Although I started this post with a question that seemed pretty valid and relatable, I want to turn it completely backwards. Now that I know what it really means to face fear, anger, discomfort, disagreement, challenge... it's actually harder to not do so. I may trick myself for a week, thinking that I have more room to cram my discomforts into. But there IS a breaking point when I have a moment of self awareness and can call my own bluff. At that point, in all honesty, I feel a bit disappointed in myself for getting to a point where I thought it was better to avoid or flee than confront. But I can't be upset for too long, because I'm already on my way to facing whatever it is I was running from. No longer does it feel good to pretend that doing something else to occupy my mind and time is the way to really make me feel good and accomplished. It's usually those more difficult things, like reaching out to a resistant relative, saying no to gossip, intervening when a friend is harming themselves, letting go of people who bring you down, that are what really feed our souls and lighten our spirits. NOT ignoring the glaring issues.

I hope that you feel encouraged and inspired to face whatever you might be holding back today. It is so much more freeing to let it go and confront it than it is to shuffle other things around in your life to make room for junk. It really is crap - it sure makes me feel crappy! Let go! Don't hold yourself back. The Universe is waiting for us to live and love fully, and we can't do that when we are constantly avoiding confronting our demons. So confront away! And maybe do some daily affirmations, like this cutie...

02 May 2012

Human Development is Beautiful

Using art and technology, Alexander Tsiaras visualizes the unseen human body in the TED Talk below.
"Even though I'm a mathematician, I look at this with marvel: How do these instruction sets not make these mistakes as they build what is us?" 

The human body and its development is such an incredible thing. This visual depiction blew my mind. It's amazing how the woman's body is built to carry another life form until it's ready to enter this world. The part of the video where it showed child birth, and the baby wriggling though the hip bones... wow! 

I really enjoy this video. Actually seeing how we develop and getting a window into this unseen world somehow recentered me today. Going back to where it all started - where all the complexities within us built themselves and naturally took their course - that was calming. All of our inner conflicts and intricacies still have an innate instruction manual and develop/release when the time is right. We must learn to still trust our bodies and our intuitions - because they have always been such are such powerful, self-aware machines.