Tag Archives: Yoga

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.

Reiki Supporting Life Transformations and Sponsoring Susan G. Komen for the Cure Walker

Today has been one of those stand-out fantastic days.  Morning meditation, followed by teaching yoga to some of the sweetest souls I have ever met, chaperoning a field trip to the fire department with my daughter’s school and last, but far from least, sharing Reiki in a fundraiser event to support a truly amazing woman and breast cancer survivor Diane Richmond as she prepares to walk the Susan G. Komen for the Cure 3-day walk.

This sweet, sweet soul embodies the essence of yoga and Reiki.  It was her own inner knowing, her own inner wisdom that alerted her to the cancer’s existence in the first place.  She went through the Chemo, she went through the radiation and now she walks for others.  The highlight for me of her story – the deeply yogic act she took when she found out the cancer was gone – an act of wisdom, an act of courage.  She took her family, her loved ones to the beach – the each collected rocks on their journey on this amazing day and gave them names – the rocks names were things like fear, anger, disease, cancer… And what did Diane and her love ones do with them? They tossed them into the ocean; they asked the waters of this earth to wash these things away.

What came back – love, peace, inner wisdom, trust, health, harmony!  My sweetest new found friend found the gift, the blessing the strength through her trials, through her hardest times she found the silver lining and lives to hold that strength and journey of discovery for all of us to take a moment to pause in our own times of challenge.  She did the most yogic and healing thing I can think of – she paused and allowed herself to discover amidst a most difficult lesson, her gifts, her love, her life.

As I Iooked around the room this evening, at the close of a 2-hour restorative class, infused with Reiki and healing, I saw a room filled with friends, family and even mere strangers who all came together finding healing for themselves, finding and supporting healing of others, perhaps finding a fresh perspective on their own story, a beginning on finding their own inner strengths.

Our innate ability to heal ourselves, to change our perspective is the embodiment of what yoga and Reiki practices are all about.  There is nothing outside of ourselves, nothing “out there” that will make us whole again.  It is all within us, waiting patiently to be reawakened.

We read story after story about personal triumph from cancer survivors , to those like the now famous Bethany Hamilton who survived and thrived after a shark bit off her arm, to those like you and like me who have seen the light in our own journeys.  Every story I have ever heard of personal triumph over “against all odds” circumstances points to this innate ability within each and every one of usthe courage to persevere and the courage to let go all at the same time.

The gift that Reiki brings is that it helps to shed away the “overcoats”, the layers of self-doubt and discouragement that cloud our vision of the amazing and wonderful beings that we all are!  This energy comes from the highest of energies, from the highest of heavens and it is here for each one of us, waiting to be awakened, awaiting to facilitate life transformations, if we choose it.  The beauty – Reiki can be learned by anyone, it can be learned quickly. And, if you incorporate it into your daily life, it can make a HUGE difference in our response to the little and big things – transmuting, transforming fear into trust, worry into courage, anxiety into hope and joy.  All things are possible if we just simple change our perspective.

Today’s fresh perspective has inspired my practice.  Now and throughout November, for each person that  mentions Susan G. Komen for the Cure when they book a private healing session, I’ll be donating 20% of the session fee to sponsor the lovely Diane in her 3-day walk.   It’s just one small way I choose to give back to the highest and greatest good of all beings!  Namaste!

Pregnancy, Yoga and Reiki Changed My Life

My first introduction to yoga came in early 2005, toward the end of my pregnancy with my daughter. A few of the women in my neighborhood suggested it would be helpful to reduce stress and it was wonderful in preparing for child birth. The truth is, the first class I ever took, I didn’t really get it. The moves were awkward for me, I had no idea where to put my hands and feet and it all seemed a bit foreign to me. Yet somehow, when I was done I felt more relaxed.

Quite some time after my daughter was born, I happened upon an extremely gentle yoga class. I would say, “This yoga stuff, it really seems to help me relax.” Next thing I knew, Saturday morning gentle flow was my weekly haven to relax, de-stress and let go of the work week. Amidst a most challenging time in my life – attempting to juggle a full-time corporate career, marriage and motherhood – it was one of the few things in my week that was truly making a difference in the quality of my life.

In 2008, I chose to leave the corporate world, to focus on my health and my family. At the time I remember saying – “I don’t know what these changes will bring. I just know I want to do yoga and meditate a lot.” I had no idea these words and choices would RADICALLY change my life forever, for the better!

My introduction to Reiki came also during my pregnancy with my daughter – through a wonderful massage therapist who happened to also be attuned to the Reiki energy. All I knew at the time is that no massage I had ever received felt the same as when this sweet, sweet woman would work on me. I used to say she had “magic hands”. It was only after I received my 1st Reiki attunements in 2008 that I began to realize it was the transformative energy of Reiki (and the sweet spirit of this now dear friend) that made all the difference.

2008 truly marks the year my conscious transformation of my life began. Looking back on it now, it all seems obvious that these life changes needed to occur. But at the time, this fact seemed to feel like the furthest thing from the truth. Doing yoga and meditating a lot lead to a series of multiple yoga trainings. It lead me to my first Reiki teachers. It lead me to daily practices of yoga, meditation, Reiki, that helped me understand and live life more fully than I ever had. I learned that life is about being in the moment, enjoying, Being. Now, anything outside of that seems like I’m just missing the point.

Yoga calls for equanimity, santosha (contentment in all things), detachment. Reiki says to try it, just for today. I say try it, just for this moment, and if it works, try it for the next moment too. Life transformations don’t happen overnight, but when you take them by simply putting one foot in front of the other – the next thing you know, you’ve walked a mile!