I paint the spirit and soul of what I see-
Do you recall drawing growing up? A pair of stick figures going for a pleasant bike ride, some puffy clouds and a brilliant sun overhead. Curved lines of a peaceful tree that punctuate the landscape, elevating from the ground, spreading into the unknown. Our childhood drawings were pure, innocent and beautiful. There is something truly magical about drawing and trees – They are, in fact, symbols of our soul.
Trees at times, can be dark and ominous. They cast a long suffocating shadow when we stray close enough. During the winter months, their barren, bleak blackness marks them against gray skies and freshly fallen snow. Tress are survivors of winter, and we would be wise to learn from them.
Trees are, after all, capable of heavenly feats, perhaps trees are more in tune with their true spirit than we are?
Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing-
Raise your hand if you consider yourself to be a perfectionist? Good. Now keep your hand raised if you expect those around you to follow in your footsteps?
This past Saturday morning during a powerful yoga class, I made a series of mistakes, and I want to share with you in this brief post – What a relief it is to make a mistake without belittling yourself. Without a doubt, I want to do the very best I can, but expecting myself or anyone else to achieve perfection is unrealistic and a denial of my true spirit. Accepting my many “imperfections” does not mean I can allow myself to become unfocused during yoga class or life for that matter, but rather that we can set realistic goals for ourselves.
I don’t have to be perfect to smile and enjoy life, and as a wise yoga instructor once said during class – Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for-
At the risk of mentioning something new, doing “things” a little bit different for a change … I have sensed for some time that many of my kind and passionate readers (just like you) need a pinch of courage to get them to finally go after their hearts desire, whatever that may be. Maybe its shedding the thought of looking silly in yoga class, or out-of-place at the gym. I personally know it takes a lot of courage to say no to running and choosing a nice relaxing walk instead. I could go on and on with examples, instead here is a tidy little list of ideas to be courageous today.
Make a mistake during yoga class today, like on purpose.
Follow your hearts desire while ordering a coffee.
Say, “I don’t know” instead of “I’ll look it up … ”
Genuinely ask for help from someone, instead of asking Siri.
Share your vulnerable moments, openly.
Trust your inner intuition, the crazier the better.
Let the past be just that – The past.
Say “yes” to the things you want and “no” to those things you don’t.
Ask someone how they are this morning, and really listen to their answer, instead of formulating your own.
Let go of your need to control everything, all of the time.
Let go of being busy this afternoon.
Say kind things to yourself, whilst staring into a mirror.
Be open to changing course, even at the very last moment.
How have I been courageous this beautiful morning?
I set some new personal boundaries, listened to and trusted my instincts, decided to say no to riding to work – instead choosing to practice yoga instead. I penned a self-serving advice post, which many of you know I loathe … Be well today and please take care!
“Yes no yes no yes no?
Yes red, no blue?
No red, yes no?
In out, up down?
Do don’t, can can’t?
Choices sit on the shelf life
New shoes in a shoe shop.
If the in crowd are squeezing into a must-have shoe
And the one pair left are too tiny for you
Don’t feel compelled into choosing them
If you’re really a size 9, buy that size.
While everyone else
Hobbles round with sore feet
Your choices should feel comfortable
Or they aren’t your choices at all.
Why limp when you can sprint?”
– David Baird, Fiesta of Happiness: Be True to Yourself
May I ask you once more? In a deeper, more personal way … Why limp through the day, when you can sprint?
It is better to be alone than in bad company-
*The following post stems from a conversation I had this weekend with a close friend and mentor. Our discussion, wide-ranging as usual, started before yoga class this past Saturday morning. We both overheard a young couple talking about the tragic events at a X-Fit competition earlier in the week, five minutes before our class started … *
Why do we work out and consciously choose to abuse our bodies? Seriously, why do WE work out and choose to surround ourselves in an atmosphere that rewards, thrives on pain and punishment ? Why do we choose to persistently neglect and abuse our body, mind and spirit?
As I started to peel back the musty curtains hanging around my true self, my mind and heart finally (after 30+ years of abuse) awakened to the source of all the change and success I choose to ignore before. I stumbled upon a little known fact, that I simply choose to ignore for far too long:
We have to create Self Love.
It’s that simple folks, no yoga teacher in the world can do this for you, nor will competing in vain competitions. Your spouse may try to, and your friends may try even harder. No one can awaken you to loving yourself!
When did we stop honoring who we really? When did we stop honoring our feelings, and responding openly to these feelings? When did we forget that feelings are important signals to tune into? Even feelings of anger, pain and fear serve an important purpose of alerting us to the obstacles that may lie ahead on our path, if we keep neglecting the honest truth.
Believe me I know, it’s a tough choice each one of us has to make: Talking about our most vulnerable personal feelings or how sore and bad ass we feel after a killer yoga class – dude.
After much thought, and a few sips of coffee, I have finally reached an understanding as to why I have limitations in my life …
I honor my body, mind and spirit.