Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Santosad anuttamah sukha-labhah (Contentment brings supreme happiness)
Sutra II.42 Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

Why is it so hard to watch those we love struggle through something? On a heart level it hurts. I know that we have to stand back and watch those around us journey through their own lives, following whatever path they choose, and even knowing that, it seems particularly painful to do it. I don't know if it's watching the suffering that is hard or letting go of not being able to fix something for someone else that is harder. I don't think of myself necessarily as a fixer, but I find that as someone close to me struggles, or is sad, I want to wrap my arms around them and make it all better, to relieve that pain. We all get to choose our path, whether it is an easy one or more difficult one, whether we choose to create suffering for ourselves, or whether we choose to alleviate some of that. It happens everyday, we make these little choices that lead us toward or away from happiness. And truth be told, sometimes we want to sit in the spot that has led us away from happiness. Sometimes it feels good to hurt, to feel the depths of what we are capable of. I guess the problem comes in when we stay stuck there and decide we are attached to that feeling, then it's not so good. Every day is different, every day we get to wake up and choose what we want, how we want to feel about what happens around us. This week I am studying the niyamas, the second limb of the eight limbs of yoga. One of the niyamas is santosha, contentment, not having our inner feelings contingent on what happens around us. Yesterday that was a real struggle for me. Today, there is a sense of relief, as I remind myself that me being discontent because of what is happening in someone else's life is really wasted energy. It's nothing I have control over and it doesn't help their situation any. The best thing I can do is be supportive, listen and stay on my own path toward contentment, so I don't cause a ripple effect in the lives of those around me. The more I study, the more I feel like everything is yoga, everything is about finding that union within ourselves and the world around us. I am beginning to see how interconnected we truly are.
I have a few precious minutes while Willis is still asleep and I can get some things done around the house....giving Sean a clean home to return to this evening will certainly help his contentment, which helps mine.....and so the story goes.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Go in search of your Gift.
The more you understand yourself,
the more you will understand the world.
Brida - Paulo Coelho

Oh the struggle of the Self....what is it about our humanity that makes us struggle so. I have been struggling with my Gift. When I stand back and observe myself, I feel certain that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing....being home with my children, teaching yoga and doing the other prevention work I do. When I stop observing and get to caught up in myself, I begin to question what I have to offer, particularly in regards to my yoga teaching. I find myself questioning my abilities as a teacher, feeling insecure and less than confident about what I do. Fortunately, when I am in the moment....okay, so that is backwards of what I just wrote and I think it is when I am doing the observing, rather than being present in the moment, that I begin to over analyze and doubt myself. Now, I'm not sure which it is. Must be the latter, because really finding that union is what the process of yoga is all about. Being in the moment in such a way that you are observing yourself as you are, not observing with all kinds of outer projections and thoughts that aren't really true. We are such funny beings, creating suffering within ourselves unnecessarily. We do it so easily and why, even as I continue to study and learn about such things, what causes this suffering, I still do it. I taught yoga class Wednesday night after spending Tuesday evening discussing this very issue, somehow putting voice to this internal struggle releases it from my mind, takes away the power of it. My class Wednesday night felt like I was in the flow, felt good and right and like I do have a Gift to share and in sharing it feel like I receive a Gift. Why do we hide inside ourselves? Keeping these things to ourselves, feeling vulnerable to expose our true nature. We are all human and on some level we all want and need the same things. To find what our purpose is, why are we here on this earth and what difference do we make in the world....what gift do we have to offer the world. The beauty of it all is that we each have something very unique, no person is exactly like another, and so just by being ourselves we offer a Gift to those around us.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure

"We are the hero of our own story." back of Create Journal

Isn't that a fun idea? To be the hero of my own story and then again who else could be the hero of my story? The best part of life is the choose your own adventure part. So much of our happiness or unhappiness really boils down to a choice. Knowing that shifts a bit of the reponsibility from the universe and the rest of humanity back to me. I had a funny experience Friday. Sean was home from work, sick and for some reason it really ticked me off. I left home to spend the morning with my girlfriends and was in a fine mood there, then came home and was crabby again. He eventually called me out on it and as I sat pondering why I was choosing to be such a grouch, it dawned on me! I'm jealous, I don't ever get to stay home from work - my work is at home right now. I don't get to call in and say...Hmmm, don't think I'll be in today. I might plug in for the daily feeding at 10a.m., but if I don't show up, can you just take care of it? Doesn't work that way when you are a mom. Thanks to the fine husband I have, I took a little time for myself in the afternoon and had tea with my neighbor across the street. Gave me a chance to feel not like a mom for a little bit and to get a grip on my emotions. They really are wild horses (Paulo Coehlo says this). They run away with us sometimes and we have to really rein them back in to feel centered again. Sometimes giving those horses names helps me to find my way back home. And then I get to a choose a new adventure, one where I am playful and fun and creative, not grouchy and stand-off ish. My greatest hero moment last week was making a race track with Ruby, out of dominos and zingo tabs (a zany version of bingo). She lined all the zingo tabs up while I was putting Willis down for a nap. When I came back in, she told me it was a street. I shared the idea of making a race track and we spent the next half hour crashing cars in to one another on our racetrack that spread over the majority of the living room floor. I felt like a cool, creative Mom, racing with my jiggy bad self! I hope I'll choose to be a hero tomorrow....for now I'm off to bed.