365 days a year

Which means so far I’ve lived 13,505 days, which equates to 324,120 hours here on this planet earth. Since I’m counting, we breathe something like 12-18 breaths per minute, and I know I haven’t been fully aware of the 233,366,400 (rough estimate) breaths I have received, nor can I say I’ve watched 13,000 sunsets, but as I sit here approaching another cycle around the sun I’m truly excited for what’s to come. I know it won’t all be swell and I hope any moment I get lost I continue to remember the grace in my heart and to breathe every breath of my life.

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Here’s the deal,

Is it lifting you up or bringing you down?

I’m not a big quote person, but today there were obvious connections to a bigger flow. I’ve mentioned writing and sharing in this form has and does totally freak me out, because I’m afraid I could piss someone off, make them sad, or my least favorite thing, be totally wrong. But once I acknowledged those possibilities, set them off to the side, I’m finding more and more inspiration coming my way. In addition there are more links, more dots being connected. Or sometimes I like to say it was another dot helping the connection.

Here are three quotes that found their way to me today (yes I went looking).

Albert Einstein – I must be willing to give up who I am in order to become what I’ll be

Joseph Campbell – We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us

Brene Brown – Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are

Notice the common thread, willing to let go. The words sound so simple, but do you know how completely hard it is…to walk away, say goodbye, it’ll break you down, it’ll feel like your in a million little pieces. Then though you realize that by letting go you discovery the gateway to your full potential! At least in that moment. But to know our potential we have to step inwardly, dig to the deeps of our inner self.

Joseph Campbell – The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek

Albert Einstein – In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity

The next layer is you have to fight for YOU, be the warrior of your own heart, advocate for your own potential, believe in yourself. The more you begin to believe in yourself, the more you realize you can handle the difficulties while still functioning optimally..functioning fully.

What’s standing in the way?

Stories always help us discover more about ourselves. We hear of someone overcoming a life struggle or celebrating an amazing accomplishment and well, it inspires us. Inspiration is so important and in my opinion is a necessary element in life. Sometimes though when you are reading it or hearing it, at least I can be this way, you want to call bull shit, or even notice how ‘fluffed’ the story is. Right? Well, if it holds too much of a fairy tail essence it makes my belly queazy. I’m that yoga teacher all the time that drops in and links the movement to the heart in ways that I even sometimes make fun of myself. I’ve been told I’m too flowery or I have too much heart in my classes. It comes naturally to me and I am grateful for the ability to help people make the connection to the divine or grace, honestly, I can’t help it, I’ve refined my ways, but I always linking life to the bigger picture.

Yoga usually uses myth to help tell the story or fable. Like the boy who stood in the doorway protecting his mother and then when his father came home and found this stranger in the door, he slashed his head. Alright, forgive me, I am simplifying an important myth, but it’s pretty intense right? Here is the deal though, the father took responsibility, sent his army into the woods where they returned with an elephant’s head. The head was placed on his son and this elephant headed boy is one of my favorites and is usually the viewed and chanted to as the remover of obstacles. What happens when you shift perspective a bit and realize that this elephant headed boy isn’t the remover of obstacles but actually is the obstacle itself? That really what is standing in the way is there to protect you.

Well, here is what I have learned. Elephant headed myth or not, usually what is standing in my way is ME. Yes, just me, I am the one getting in my own way. My stuff, my fears, my uncertainty, my feeling as if something is missing. Maybe that is what it is all about, getting out of your own way and letting grace lead the way…Seriously, as soon as I got over myself and got real clear on what it is I have to offer I spew the flowery fluffy heart of life, but it’s just me sharing in the joy, the spirit of life.

Then, I have to ask, what is standing in your way? What is standing in the way of you connecting with what you love? Have you ever thought that maybe it’s you. That you are just trying to protect you from truly feeling the joys of life or are you even avoiding the sorrows? It’s like I mentioned in theĀ What’s the big deal post…YOU ARE A BIG DEAL so what’s stopping you from being you…the highest form of you?

Simple as…

Breathing in and breathing out. Enjoying a day digging in the dirt.
Sleep well and be well….

Opportunity for Growth

When I was a kid if I did something less than brilliant, that is acted like a kid, my parents, instead of grounding me or punishing me would say…’what did you learn from this’. Which at times, especially when I hadn’t figured it out yet, would feel like punishment enough. This approach has me as an adult realizing again and again, what did I learn from this how can I grow from this?

This weekend, memorial day, is always a rocky one for me. Not only is it near and sometimes on my birthday it’s also loaded with memories both sweet and deeply sad. It wasn’t until I graduated from college did I finally release the fear of something bad happening and instead decided to take the time to remember the loving qualities of the loss or challenge that surrounds this time of year for me. I should also add that at one point when I was a teenager my dad said to me something like “Teres, I don’t know what but there has to be something special about all of this. I know it is sad and hard, but maybe there is something good to it all”. (His father had just passed on my birthday). It doesn’t mean that the bad, or I now consider it incredibly challenging, times have vanished, I’ve just cultivated a stronger ability to continue to grow.

Two years ago we put a contract on our home in Charleston that we totally gambled on changing our lives big time. On our way back to to KY, which was my birthday, we stopped at a rest stop and the car was engulfed in smoke and covered in diesel fuel. A little scary, but the car didn’t explode and was still under warranty. My birthday was spent in a hotel in Spartanburg where I had a little time to figure out how I was going to tell everyone back in Kentucky that we were moving.

The year prior to that we were flying with my dad from Kentucky to Charleston for the weekend. The sky closed in on us and I am not going into detail but when we finally landed in Chattanooga (which is not on the way), I touched the earth and felt incredibly alive. The wild part is we refueled and got back in the plane and flew to Charleston, we were 3 hours late. My dad was really good at acting unmoved by the event, but I think he would agree on some level, that it pushed the boundary a little too far.

Where am I going with all this…? Life is full of close calls. It is inevitable that we will feel pain and be challenged. But it is also amazing how there is always something, though you may have to dig deeper than you think you can, that will allow you to grow and strengthen your character. Handling adversity is one of the greater gifts yoga has offered me. In counseling it’s called resiliency and some theorists feel everyone is born with the capability to rebound from adversity. But here is the deal, it seems like it comes in the form of punishment,which some people firmly believe. But really it is just an opportunity for growth a chance to expand and strengthen your character.

Sure some people can handle it better than others, but this is why we have each other. If you are stuck start reading stories that enhance you rather than condescend and make you feel small. It may make you cry, it may even seem like you are about to take your last breath, but there is more cheering you on than you can imagine. If you have lost anyone or anything that is holding you back, trying going out there and doing something great for them, bring forward that quality of yourself that they were attracted to, that helped cultivate the relationship that you miss. And if anything, breathe deep, let the sun hit your skin, (if it’s raining, go get soaking wet), and know that you are always changing and growing. Don’t spend too much time trying to ‘learn from this’ but instead go out and live!

Full moon rising…

Three lunar cycles ago at the end of my meditation I had The Doors on my mind. My thoughts were with how the setting moon comes with the night turning to day…we find ourselves on the otherside. It was early, 5am, and I had the house to myself. I turned on pandora creating a new station, Jim Morrison radio…there it was, you know you can hear it now…

duhn duhn duhn da duhn duhn duhn da…night becomes the day, day becomes the night . .. Break on through to the other side….break on…break on…wow ah!

for those of us on the east coast the lunar eclipse hits 26 minutes past twelve in the am, May 25. It’s powerful in that its the third eclipse in a row. The first one a chance to let go, the next one, solar this round, an opportunity to receive, and now time to give birth to our authenticity. (I’m not an astrologer yet this is a summary of what I’ve read).

Who knows what’s waiting for you on the other side…but break on through!

Learning to Believe

If our heart, as I firmly believe, contains a full spectrum of feelings from pity to contentment, anger to ultimate love, terror to ultimate delight, then one could consider turning our heart to the highest good…that which there is none higher… This means when we turn to our highest good we turn to and participate fully with the divine’s intention. We begin to take a seat in our truest self and meet the divine there. This is the power in knowledge and experience coming together, taking the form of ourself.

If we make a connection, to our feet, legs, hips, spine, heart arms, hands and head, we start to connect to our container, the vessel in which we take on this journey called life. It’s, let’s say, an entry point to understanding that we contain something great. Then we start to think about ourselves, our relationship to each other to the life we are living, the many dimensions of ourselves. If you haven’t been sad, you haven’t lived, if you haven’t laughed spontaneously and out of control, you haven’t lived, if you haven’t felt isolated or rejected, you haven’t lived, if you haven’t felt like you belong to something greater…we should talk.

Let me just say, orienting ourselves to our greatness isn’t easy. Making choices to get there is tough stuff, but when we do it, when we believe in ourselves, we actually believe in the divine, the greater cosmic connection. Since you are going to get into an argument, you are going to find yourself in deep sadness. Find ways to believe in a greater goodness about yourself, helps you believe in the greater good of humanity.

What’s the big deal?

Courage is about being brave but it usually makes me feel sick to my stomach. I love helping people, making their life/yoga more enjoyable. I’m the pleaser again and again so I stay quiet rather than make anyone else uncomfortable.

In the book I’m reading by Brene Brown she gives an early definition of courage “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart”. My dad tells me that I am not just honest but can be brutally honest and if you have had yoga class with me then you know sometimes I have a little sting :). But I am comfortable to speak my heart with my family and as a yoga teacher/co-worker because my heart can’t tolerate it otherwise. Have you had a conversation with someone that was uncomfortable but you had to do it because your heart gave you an ultimatum? Speaking from your heart openly & honestly. No longer sitting behind the illusion that it’s all good. Your, mine, everyone’s life is going to contain pain, it’s inevitable, yet if you’re steady to your truth you’ll get through it, I promise.

Then I realized the other part of this is being honest with both yourself and with others. (Brown speaks on this and it hit hard for me). Acting like you’re not that excited about something or someone. Playing down your enthusiasm so that if it doesn’t work you won’t get hurt. I’ve been hurt a lot, by people, by loss, by humans being humans. Physically, mentally and emotionally hurt and so I play down all the time. “No worries, not a problem, I don’t really give a sh*t”. I am certain this is a coping/defense mechanism that protects my heart and keeps me guarded so I don’t get sizzled…or look like a fool….or flat out betrayed.

Perhaps if we go for things and tell people how we really feel knowing that or being aware that it may not work out, that it may not go over well, or we may crash and burn, that instead of down playing our excitement we move courageously from our hearts, that if it does happen we can experience it much more fully. That we give ourselves the greater cause to celebrate, that we make it a big deal because it is a big deal. Not only that if we let people know that we care, or that something meant a lot to us and we gave it our all, that they can then help us if we fall/fail.

Kind of like this blog…I haven’t made a big deal about it…I put it on facebook, sometimes, and I have mentioned it directly to only a few people that told me they like hearing what I have to say. But then today I realized. Every time someone likes a post or I get a message that someone new is following, I’m motivated to keep going and I tell someone else just what I am doing. Revealing this side of me still scares the living crap out of me, but it’s YOU that is inspiring me to keep going for it sharing the contemplations of my heart and setting them free. So one of the braver things I can do right now is thank you because it is kind of a big deal.

Love is eternal

It knows no end, never leaves you, and can never be subtracted. Sure it disguises itself as pity, anger & fear, but that’s just to help you see again and again that love is always there as long as you let her in

sense of worth

A concept that I am grateful is gaining great popularity. Or perhaps I am motivated more and more to help people realize that they are completely worthy of enjoying life. Seriously though if you aren’t surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and if you aren’t believing in your own potential then please, make a serious change in your life. You’ve got this one opportunity to live. I don’t care if you believe in past lives or pre-determined existence, as far as I know, this is all we’ve got so why would you waste it feeling unworthy and being down on yourself. Alright, we all have moments where we feel less than stellar (look at my last post) but breathe, settle and remember that you’ll be encouraging a good life for yourself and others by cultivating a sense of worth. There is only one of you, that in of itself is of high value and is pretty darn amazing. Since you are here living this life, go make it a good life!