Tag Archives: spiritual insight

Being Present, Find Your Joy and Your Own “Avery Time”

It is so very easy to get caught up in our day to day lives, to become focused on the dramas and on what’s not working or on what you want to be but it isn’t here yet or perhaps obsessing over what’s not right about current circumstances and wanting things fixed before the lessons have had time to present themselves and run their course

In my own personal impatience, I am clearly reminded to go back to my spiritual and yogic roots, back to the foundations of yoga philosophy, to go back to the 5000 year old wisdom that guided me to make incredible transformations in my life.  By simply studying and doing our best to apply the teachings of these ancient philosophies to current day situations can make all the difference in our daily lives!  We all have the innate ability to transform our lives, we just have to make a conscious choice to show up differently than yesterday.

Today, as I move through impatience and fear, I am reminded of one of my favorite niyamas (yogic ways of living) from the Yoga Sutras, santosha.  Santosha, simply put, is to have contentment and to find equanimity in all things.

What takes us out of contentment is our own fears, our worries and projections on the past and on the future. Anything that takes us out of the present moment and identifies us with the daily dramas and issues of our lives takes us out of the state of our Divine being and we lose contact with the “I AM”, the Divine presence within each one of us.

Santosha reminds us to be patient and to TRUST.  It reminds me of a quote from Wayne Dyer. “The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time.”  That’s right, santosha asks us to TRUST that all is well and that we are exactly where we need to be at any given moment in time.

As I look at my own life I draw inspiration to live this not only from the teachings for the great Yogic texts and spiritual masters, but I also look right in my own household, to my beautiful 7-year old daughter, Avery.  She arrived on this earth in large part to wake me up to the spiritual path and she teaches us every single day.

One of her “gifts” that she brings is what we have coined in our house as “Avery Time”.  This involves Avery taking her own sweet time in completing just about everything – yes, it really can take 2 hours to get dressed or complete a simple page of math problems!  Perhaps in those moments a fabulous book or the tea party she’s having with her American Girl dolls has much greater priority to her than our own agenda of getting out of the house on time so we adults can hurry up and get our day started.  Sometimes it’s so easy to get frustrated with this, especially when I have “somewhere important” to be soon.

But what we lose when forget to give ourselves our own “Avery Time” is the simple the joy of the present moment, being fully engaged in whatever you are doing without a care in the world for anyone else’s agenda or schedules being imposed on the joy of the NOW.

Santosha, contentment asks us to be in JOY, NOW.  While easier said than done, why not make it a daily practice to slow down and be in gratitude for whatever IS?

So, slowdown, trust… everything is gonna be all right. That’s it, just trust that all is in Divine order! Simple and easy, right? Maybe not but a great reminder for us all to let go and offer everything up for the highest and greatest good.

Authentic Empowerment

I often find myself sharing in yoga class a theme or deeper understanding of the energy body. In the past week few weeks, we explored the both the Throat and Brow chakras. The throat chakra represents truth as well clear, authentic communication within and without. The brow chakra is also known as the 3rd eye center, the point between the eyebrows where we are often instructed to gaze in meditation. This energy center is the one that brings forward wisdom, discernment and intuitive insight.

Inevitably, each time I prepare for sharing, something directly related appears in my life to deepen my understanding in a way that can only happen when one has applied a concept to practical experience.

In recent weeks I was faced with a personal challenge – I had been biting my tongue for quite some time with a friend. I needed to speak up about something that was bothering me and had been for a long time. Yet, I kept avoiding speaking up because I was afraid either they wouldn’t understand or, even worse, they may not fully hear me or, perhaps, they may even try to turn it around to somehow “make it my fault”.

As with any event in our lives, I am reminded again and again, there is always a deeper meaning, a deeper truth to what is happening. What shows is self on the surface is a reflection of healing that must come from within.

So, the question becomes for each of us as we face daily challenges: “How do I handle this challenge, this experience, consciously?”

One of my favorite authors, Caroline Myss, says in her book, Anatomy of the Spirit: “The goal of becoming a conscious person is not to outwit death, nor even to become immune to disease. The goal is to be able to handle any and all changes in our lives – and in our bodies- without fear, looking only to absorb the message of truth contained in the change.”

She also suggests: “Learn to recognize when you are being influenced by a fear pattern. Immediately detach from that fear by observing its influence on your mind and emotions; then make choices that weaken the influence of those fears.”

As I found within myself the courage to make my voice heard, I allowed it to come from a place of love and compassion, yet, at the same time, not holding back out of “fear of hurting the other person’s feelings.” There is a difference between finding a way to be in your truth in kindness and simply saying nothing at all out of concern or protection of the other(s) involved.

Ultimately we each must find a way to be kind and true and also realize that is also not our responsibility (nor are we truly capable of) to ensure that the other part perceives the information in a way that they will choose to change or correct the problem.

The truth is, we are not responsible for how we “make” others feel. We are the only ones who can assign meaning to our interactions with others. We always have a choice in how we perceive and react to life’s situations.

That does not mean being intentionally mean, but it does mean not holding back in ways that our own needs or feelings are ignored or pushed down or unacknowledged for the sole sake of protecting the other person or out of fear for what reaction speaking the truth might bring forth.

When we hold our voice, we also give away our power. When we shy away from situations or avoid confrontation out of fear, we give away our power. The way to reclaim it is not simply by turning the tables and overpowering them right back.

Instead, the empowerment comes from a place within, a place that lets go of all the times in the past that similar, yet, different scenario has played out in our lives and embracing the lesson that is being presented in the very moment. Empowerment comes from allowing your authentic self to shine through, without fear and without attachment to the outcome of the issue at hand.

The healing comes when we begin to realize the deeper meaning, and deeper lesson for whatever circumstances are in front of us. This empowerment begins with a noticing, a noticing of what patterns are present in our choices and a discernment of whether or not we are acting out of fear or out of trust in a higher source. The healing comes when, little by little, we catch ourselves in our negative patterns and habits, pause and begin to make a different choice.

Ultimately as we step forward into our own empowerment, facing whatever may be in front of us, we are called to do so from a place of trusting our intuition and acting upon it. Also, as we move into that place of empowerment, we must detach from what our idea of what the outcome should be and begin to trust, fully and completely that if we are acting from a motivation of the highest and greatest good, that the outcome will present itself in its own timing.

Spring Cleaning – A Spiritual Lesson

Spring is nearly upon us, new life, new growth, budding trees and plants, everything fresh and new!  Spring for many also may herald a time of spring cleaning, cleaning out of closets, attics and garages.  Doing seemly simple household tasks such as preparing for a garage sale or giving away items to charity can give us interesting spiritual insight into our own willingness to let go, to stop holding on to things that are no longer needed or no longer serve us.

The first lines of the Reiki Ideals ask us to let go of anger and worries and to count our many blessings.  In parallel, the yogic concept of Aparigraha (non-hoarding) beckons us to let go as well, to not grasp or hold onto things so tightly and to trust in the abundance of the Universe.  At least for me, there’s nothing like spring cleaning that makes me realize how much I still have to learn in applying these concepts.

Our family recently had a garage sale and, boy oh boy did we have lots of stuff to sell!  In the preparation and even in the selling process, I began to realize how emotionally attached I was feeling to things that we no longer needed or used.

Much of what we sold was outgrown child’s items and toys that have accumulated as our daughter has grown.  Really, my 7 year-old will never again wear 6-9 month clothing or newborn booties!  Yet somehow, releasing even the obvious at first pulled heavily on my heart.

Ultimately, I was able to pause and see the beautiful opportunity to once again apply spiritual practice to a common everyday situation, to even send love and Reiki blessings with each item we sold, but at first, the answer was not so obvious.

And how does a simple exercise like giving away our physical stuff translate to personal and spiritual growth?  Well what about our willingness to release our emotional “stuff”, our habits, patterns and tendencies that no longer serve us, the ones that keep us from seeing our beauty, our inner light, our Divine self?  Are you willing to let those go?  Or in some way how much are you still clinging to the obvious?  Can you find your own mental pause button?  Can you catch yourself in your own pattern and turn it around by applying these principles?  What will you let go of today?