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Archive for July, 2010

Serve the World

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

I’ve been struggling to finish a few drafts I have saved mainly for one reason: They’re painful. Been fighting through some inner demons, frustrations, and doubts that have left my emotions in limbo a lot recently. But I’ve begun seeing the silver lining again so I’ve been a little reluctant to finish those drafts, afraid they might send my emotions back into chaos.

Soooo… rather than share with you my pain, let me share with you my triumph. One thing I have always known is that when I become too “self-centered” (self, not our higher Self), my problems, insecurities, doubts, etc become magnified. And when it begins to feel like the whole world is on my back, the most important thing I can do is to expand my vision past my self. Is my situation really THAT bad? Something I’m not capable of fighting back from? Overcome? Triumph? Am I going to let this stop me from being the person I’m meant to be?

The truth is that most obstacles in our life are merely obstacles in our head. One of my favorite quotes by author Robert Kiyosaki is, “You need to teach your mind to see what your eyes cannot.”

Two and a half years ago, I made a professional decision that I knew would change the course of my life. It was one of the biggest decisions of my life but I went for it. Three months later, my world came crashing down. Six months later, a death in the family altered my life again. Six months later, I lost my 3rd business. Needing a makeover in my life, I made a conscious effort to meet new people and make new friends. I did. It was great. I met her. On the surface, things were so right but deep down, I was still trying to understand and recover from the hardships I was facing. And for the most part, I kept it private. I figured I could quietly go about solving my problems without bothering anyone. But there was no hiding the pain I was in. They controlled my actions even when I didn’t realize it till too late. Eventually I lost her and when I did, not much else mattered to me for a long time. And in what just felt like insult to injury, a few months later, my life changed again. The last was just a few short months ago. It still hurts. I still get frustrated and confused, sometimes wanting to get angry and lash out, other times only sadness and pain.

At my worst, I am stubborn, proud, defiant… depressed. I have made many mistakes, hurt and lost people I love, been heartbroken, confused, and frustrated beyond compare. I had let so many of life’s challenges get the best of me and felt so lost for so long that even when the best things in my life happened, I was too self-absorbed in my own pity to truly appreciate them. And I lost it, I lost them, I lost.. her. Some days I would lock myself in my room, just hating myself so much. All I wanted was to hide and/or disappear. I had never felt so small in my life.

But life goes on. At some point, you have to get back up, move on, let go, live life again. Amongst the bad, I have also done some great, incredible things in my life. And although I may not have the love that I want, my life is humbly filled with the love that I need. I can’t be small anymore. My being small does not serve me, nor does it serve the world.

A few days ago, I sat down and began really contemplating my life. What is something I’m good at that I can latch back onto, get passionate about, and begin taking back control of my life. The answer I came to was Hope. At my best, I can inspire hope. Change people’s lives, impact the community, make a difference in the world. I used to teach people how to be everything they could be, even things they didn’t even realize was possible. I used to put my head down and run, no.. charge, faster, harder, stronger, and longer than anyone I knew and if you were willing to come along for the ride, I’d welcome you with open arms. I loved being able to sit down with people and expand their mind. Help them see not only who they are but who they can become. Help them to teach their mind to see what there eyes couldn’t… yet. I KNOW I can do this again. Even just writing this, I can feel a burning passion from the center of my soul ready to burst into flames. I liken my journey to a phoenix. Once defeated and all but forgotten, this phoenix is not ready to give up quite yet. From the ashes, I shall rise again and my light shall shine brighter than it ever has before. The time for being small is over, it’s time again that I serve.

Hello World.

Namaste.

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Giving and Receiving

The other week I had many conversations about the topic of Giving and Receiving and it has still been on my mind a lot. I think like most people, I am much more comfortable giving than receiving. Or more accurately, I love being able to give yet feel a little embarrassed when I am the one receiving. I’m sure many people can relate to, “Thank you… but you really shouldn’t have.” It’s amazing how good we feel when we do something for others yet so guilty when others do something for us. It’s one thing to be humble but another thing entirely to feel like you don’t deserve it, as if you are somehow not “good enough” for the gift and attention.

I have something that I want to give to a friend that I think will help her in her yoga practice. And when I told her about it, she excitedly accepted. However, the very next day she didn’t show up when I was supposed to give it to her and has since been backpeddling and saying how I don’t need to and how I should just keep it for myself and my own practice. It’s been frustrating and frankly, a little insulting. I do my best not to take it personally though I am definitely saddened by the result.

In most instances, giving a gift is very satisfying to both parties. The receiver is obviously happy because they got something they might have really wanted. However, I think the giver receives just as much, if not more, satisfaction as the receiver. To be able to do something nice for someone else can just fill that receiver with so much joy and pride, it’s almost as if they are the one receiving the gift.

A friend once shared with me how important it is to always be thankful for the things people do and/or give you. And whether we think we deserve it or not, to always be appreciative to the person giving it to you. Also, to do this without keeping score. In other words, to be able to just accept a gift without the overwhelming need to HAVE to give something back. Accept it and give thanks because thanks is really all that the giver wants in return.

Putting this lesson into practice has been an interesting experience. I’m not quite sure why but I have been receiving an overwhelming number of compliments for my yoga practice from both my instructors and fellow students alike (sometimes even by people I’ve never met or spoken to before). I’ve been complimented on my flow/transitions, asana poses, the growth of my practice, changes in mind, body, & spirit, etc. Just yesterday, a fellow yogi came up to me after class and said, “I know we’re not supposed to be looking at others in class but I happened to glance over and just wanted to say that your triangle pose (trikonoasana) is just so beautiful.” Wow, how humbling is that?? I graciously (and more than a little embarrassed) smiled and said thank you. And just as important, I didn’t try to “cheapen” the moment by a need to HAVE to compliment them back. They felt a genuine, heartfelt need to give me the gift of an amazing compliment and I wholeheartedly respected and accepted it. My heart was filled with gratitude and I’d like to assume theirs, with satisfaction. And even though I have no intent to keep score, one day I’m sure I’ll be able to compliment and return their kindness. Isn’t that truly what giving and receiving is all about?

As I sit here writing this post, the gift I have for my friend is sitting here beside me waiting to be received. Perhaps that is where the gift will always stay but I sure hope not. I hope my friend will one day understand the lesson I’ve been so blessed to learn, that giving is the best form of receiving.

Namaste.

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Secrets

I have a few blog posts in the works which I will be publishing shortly.  Till then, I wanted to share a song that I have really related with and have listened to over and over again.  Can’t really explain it yet but this song just resonates so much within me and where I am in my life.

I hope you enjoy it.

Namaste.

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Om for Me

Yikes! Has it really been nearly 2 weeks since my last post?? I started writing a few posts but life has been quite the whirlwind recently. Time has just been flying by! There is so much I want to share but in my efforts to really FEEL my yoga (and life), the right words have been harder to come by. You ever have that feeling when words just can’t do your feelings the proper justice? Ok, ok enough rambling… Time to share! 😉

Like most classes, we started off with a few deep breaths to center ourselves followed by 3 Om’s. As we chanted our first Om, the class seemed to be very in sync because the harmony of voices was beautiful to hear. It was so harmonized, I couldn’t even hear my own voice. However, i could hear a deep, rich voice in the background that stood out to me because it sounded so powerful and strong. As our first Om came to an end and each person slowly stopped, I finally figured out who’s voice it was… MINE!!

Wow! What an empowering feeling!

I remember when I first started yoga and feeling pretty foolish chanting Om. As time went on, the ego slowly disappeared and Om became a natural part of my practice. There was one caveat however. My Om’s at the beginning of class were usually very quiet and timid but by the end of class, my Om’s was much more meaningful. I always chalked it up to the strength, confidence, and pride I’d feel by the end of class.

As the months have passed, I’ve started to really feel the effects and benefits of yoga; physically, mentally, and spiritually. Things like losing weight, eating healthier, and more flexibility have been great but the biggest benefit has been the strength growing inside of me. I’ve really learned to love myself more and be more accepting and patient with my faults. I’ve been happier and more at peace with myself than I have been in a long time. I’m doing better in letting go and being at peace with my past, especially when the outcome was painful and not what I wanted or expected. It is a quiet confidence that doesn’t require ego to feed off of.

I am happy, enjoying life, strengthening and cultivating relationships, and starting to have fun again.

I remember an instructor once saying that Om is the union of all sounds. I think I’m finally beginning to understand what he meant. I realized that when my Om’s were weak and timid it was because I was searching. I was lacking confidence, strength, peace, acceptance, etc. Now as I feel these things growing in me, it seems as if my Om’s have become a reflection of that. I no longer Om out of lack or want.

I Om for me.

Namaste.

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