This afternoon, I was reading an article on healing relationships and was completely awestruck as it told about part of a couples vows from their wedding:
that all circumstances might serve the awakening of wisdom and compassion.
All circumstances – the good, the bad and the ugly. The days when you can hardly drag yourself out of bed, the times when you just want to cry or punch someone in the face and the days when you can’t remember if you’ve ever laughed so hard or felt so happy.
Serving the awakening of wisdom and compassion.
What a thing to strive for. Hard enough just concentrating on yourself, now put this in the context of a marriage or serious relationship. Yowza!
It resonated with me, that’s for sure. And another reminder of what a padawan I continue to be because I’m not even close to this much of the time but I love when I find these kinds of reminders. A beautiful intention, something so worth while to work toward.
Especially while I’m feeling off off track and lopsided and not quite myself.
This month, my post for DoYouYoga is about one of my favorite terminologies used in yoga for lifting your front body and depending on the pose, rotating forward: open your heart.
I wrote about how moving through poses like cobra, up dog and triangle pose with the intention to open and lift your heart not only assists with understanding the physical alignment of the poses but takes us to a deeper place of intention.
Just as being hunched over or feeling closed off is going to make it much more difficult to get fully in to many yoga asanas, feeling this way often has the same effect on us in our daily life. Things seem harder, heaver and far more serious than they sometimes are or need to be.
What I didn’t write about was how difficult this can be, especially off the mat.
Every month, I look forward to the next issue of Yoga Journal set to arrive in my mailbox. Besides all the great information on poses and general health and wellness, there is always something unexpected that touches or inspires me in some great way.
A few days ago, the February 2013 issue arrived. Flipping through, I landed on a page with the following quote and sat, re-reading it several times.
“Take up one idea. Make that idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, and every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”
– Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
It made me think of how many times, I’ve gotten too tangled up with worries of:
I want this but how am I going to be able to do it?
How will I ever have enough time, money, etc?
Truthfully, letting my own fears and insecurities take over and slowly losing sight of a dream or goal, ending with feeling hopeless and depressed.
Sometimes, setting an intention for the day can make all the difference.
What is your intention for today?
Image above is the first page of the book, You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Have you been to DoYouYoga? It’s another one of those sites I fell in love with instantly and another great resource for everything from yoga and meditation to inspiration, health and spirituality.
I’m also excited to let you know, I’m honored to be contributing to this amazing site on a monthly basis, starting with this month! My first piece went live today:
3 Reasons Why Bad Moods Are Wonderful.
This is a kind of part II of my post on the benefits of meditation. You can read it by clicking here: Meditation – Making Time For the Present Moment.
Meditation is a practice of “not doing”, it’s asking ourselves to stop – everything, like a mental time out. It is a practice of stillness of the mind and body.
This is one of the reasons I think that for most of us, meditation seems so difficult, weird or out there.
Because we live in a culture where busyness is valued.
Being busy all the time means we are important.
It means we are doing great things, we are popular, we are valued.
Quiet Mind and Open Heart
Meditation is something I’ve been trying to make more a part of my life for some time now. I’ll be honest, I have not been the best about setting aside time on a regular basis to keep up a consistent practice but when I think of all the benefits, I have to admit it’s worth it to start looking at ways to make the time.
Much like yoga, learning to meditate has caused me to make big shifts in what I’m used to doing. Because the thing is, it’s all about not doing and that in itself can be difficult to grasp.
Here’s why stopping or not doing, is a good thing:
Every day, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning, our mind is going at full steam. We are often caught up in the past, making plans for the future, worrying, wondering, but rarely is our mind still and rarely are we 100% fully in the moment.
I’ve been slowly re-reading one of my favorite books and came across this passage that was the perfect reminder for me right now.
Asking ourselves Where am I going? we might speculate on what the world holds in store for us. We imagine the world outside us providing events and developments that determine our capacity for happiness. What truly determines our ability to be happy , however, are our responses, attitudes and beliefs about these external events. While we cannot always control external events, we can control our reactions to them for we can choose our thoughts. So, our karma is, for the most part, in our own hands.
– Buddhism for Mothers of Small Children by Sarah Napthali
The past week was a struggle that I ultimately had to give in to to avoid becoming really upset. I continue to get frustrated at times with finding the time and energy to do everything I want or feel like I need to do. I often get impatient and daydream of the “perfect” set of circumstances.
This is my first linkup with Sarah from Little White Whale. This week’s quote:
A jug fills drop by drop ~Buddha
Life becomes full, little by little, in everyday small ways.
We achieve goals, overcome fears, learn lessons, become better – become more,
one small step at a time.