When you already feel bombarded and then yet another one of life's unexpected challenges come up, do you ever sigh deeply and say "argh it's always something?" Well, you're right. It is always something. Life is hard, and it will always be something.
We cannot expect to get to a place where you'll have control of all those external somethings. If you think one day it will just magically quiet down you'll always be as frustrated with your life as you are right now.
We have no control over the somethings but we are the masters of our perspective and how we relate to our thoughts. Sense of peace is a learned skill. Meditation is the vehicle that brings us there. You can teach the mind the skill of calm even when in the middle of life's storms.
I teach meditation privately or in group classes. Contact me via email email@example.com
When the reckless driver cuts you off on the highway there is a split second between this action and your anger. When that annoying co-worker takes a condescending tone, there is a moment before your sarcasm. When your kids are behaving wildly and fighting with one another, there is a short pause that precedes you losing control.
As Victor Frankl says, "in between the stimulus and the response there is a space... and in that space is your power and your freedom."
The only way to gain any mastery over our reactions and start to cultivate a sense of peace in our lives is becoming familiar enough with our minds that we are able to identify that space. That short space holds everything and what happens next becomes what you decide it will be. Finding the "space between" is learned through the practices of yoga and meditation. As you become familiar with your mind you're empowered to respond instead of react.
There's no better time to immerse yourself and emerge as a different person this spring. Petrina Plecko and I will be leading a women's retreat in just a few weeks. Message me for more info.
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'When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.' -Lao Tzu
The time of year is approaching when many of us start thinking about cleaning house. As the weather becomes a little warmer, and days a little longer, we may feel more energized. The clutter that has accumulated around us, usually as a result of the excesses of the holiday season, begins to feel stifling. In late March, I usually become more motivated to organize. There's something deeply cathartic about a big purge, though sometimes it's difficult to let go.
What IS all this stuff all over the house, anyway? You have to wonder how it increases so rapidly. When the time comes to get rid of excess, it's interesting to notice how hesitant the mind can become, revealing how attached we are to objects. Your thoughts may become your worst enemy during clean-up. Intellectually, we know we want to make space and organize. But with many items, it's a bit of an inner-battle. It is human nature is to cling to objects and get wrapped up in nostalgia, which are thoughts about the past.
Like the pair of jeans at the bottom of your drawer that you haven't worn in eight years but remind you of one amazing, yet long-gone night. Or those old pots and pans you hung onto 'just in case,' after you bought a new set. Did you ever really use them? Will you ever really wear those jeans again? It's important to notice the difficulty we face in tossing certain things because it's emblematic of how we're also holding onto bad habits, personality traits, and relationships, that are no longer serving us.
The act of throwing things away presses buttons within us that are fear-based. As each item hovers above the black garbage bag marked Salvation Army, we ask ourselves 'what if?' What if one day I don't have enough? What if one day I need these jeans?
Are you outside of your comfort zone because you're throwing stuff away? Great. Outside the comfort zone is where spiritual growth occurs. Yes, it's scary to discard and let go, but it's necessary if we want to take action that will bring forth an increase of peace and well-being. To put it simply, either let go, or be dragged. With each item, see if you can change the inner-monologue. 'Without this item I am lighter and more free' or 'I donate this item with love and hope it can bring someone joy.' Then toss is in the donation bag and congratulate yourself for doing a hard thing.
Making space is important so we can grow. Organizing the house is a great first step. Clearing out the clutter of the mind, is even more powerful. The details about the Spring All Women's Renewal Retreat are here. My dear friend and amazing teacher, Petrina Plecko and I will be working together to lead you in a transformative experience, using the tools of yoga, meditation, organic food, silence, nature, and community to support your growth.