Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Perfect Pose

We live in the age of technology. Love it or hate it or indifferent about it, it is what it is. For some of us though, all of us if you ask me, it can just be too much sometimes. Too much to take in and process. More stuff we need to sift through to decide what we want to allow ourselves to absorb. Because if you don't sift through it, and you just take it all in, you're gonna die. It might not physically kill you, right away, but it slowly creeps into your soul and dims your light, your life force. 

For everyone it's different. The things that get to them. The images or just the download of information that hurts them inside. I have friends who are affected by seeing all the "perfection" on social media. By the "perfect" mom's posts about her "perfect" house and kids and life. Although logically she knows this other chick's life isn't perfect, it leaves her feeling inferior, like she isn't giving it her all, like she should do more and do better. I have friends who are affected by the horrible things that pop up on their feed. News about war, and killing, and tragedy. They close their computers feeling afraid, and disappointed in humanity. It hurts their heart and makes them walk away feeling hopeless. Sometimes we know what things trigger us, and so we carefully walk around them. Other times we are willy nilly cruising Pinterest or reading a blog and are suddenly hit with a blow to the gut by something we have just read or seen. And still other times it's slow, and subtle. You don't even know its happening until one day you realize you are in a funk, you feel defeated, and if you give yourself the time to reflect, you will realize where the poison came from.

So yesterday, I'm scrolling through Instagram while I am waiting for my little dudes to wrap up tickling the ivories in their piano lesson. Instead of just looking at people I follow, I go to the part where you see what people you follow have liked and all that jazz. Image after image after image of beautiful yogis captured in breathtaking poses. Some in the snow, some on a hilltop, some by the waters edge, some in a studio. All in adorable yoga outfits, all stretched out in appearingly effortless glory. Strength, calm, dedication, "She must practice everyday! I should be practicing everyday, what is wrong with me?" "Look at that handstand. Look at her perfect alignment, the strength in her core and her arms, how relaxed her face looks, like she isn't even trying. I'll never be able to do that." Little by little, each image I scroll past dims my light a little bit more. I find myself feeling defeated for not practicing enough. Self conscious because I know my pigeon does not look like that. Frustrated because I know how good it feels to practice, I know the joy, strength and peace it brings, and still I can't get myself to wake up early enough to get it in every day. I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling a little down. Thinking I've lost my focus. Wondering if the curtain is closing on me once again, shadowing truth and wrapping me in worldliness. 

A little before it was time for our bedtime rituals, of me laying with each little dude for a bit, saying our nighttime prayers and cuddling, I went to my bed, diffused some oils, and breathed. I wasn't feeling depressed or sad, but a bit deflated. I knew where the poison was coming from and wanted to readjust my perspective. I remembered a  quote from this wonderful gem of a book "How Yoga Works" about the perfect pose. 

 "You see, the point is not what the pose looks like in the end, to someone watching you .....  It’s the process of the pose as it goes on, it’s what it does inside of you: how it works to begin to straighten and open your channels.”

I also remembered my teacher reminding us in class, "We aren't going for Yoga Journal here guys. Each of us will do this pose a little bit differently. We each have our own strengths and limitations."

Oh yeah. It's not about the pose, what it looks like. Yes, we need to take the steps to do it correctly, to obtain the benefits from it that are meant to be obtained. But the perfect pose is one where you're dedicated, devoted and intentional. You will feel light but full. It helps to open your heart and your mind, acceptance of yourself grows, grace for yourself grows, love encompasses. Remembering we are all still learning. The student is the teacher and the teacher is the student. Remembering the point of practice.

I thought about the ways I have changed since I began practicing. So much more peace and compassion for myself and all living beings. Thought about how just a week prior as I waited to get wheeled in for a little day surgery I was filled with calm. I spent my time waiting with joy in my soul. Thinking and sending love to other people that were on my heart instead of thinking and worrying about myself. I didn't try to do that, I just did it. It was natural. It felt so good. The nurses kept trying to entertain me, asked if I needed TV or a book. I just kept smiling and telling them I was happy just how I was. 

Authenticity > Perfection

Imperfection > Perfection

Perfection DOES NOT = Beauty or Happiness or Contentment ONLY more striving for the wrong stuff

So today, after I write this, I am going to focus on what the perfect pose really is. What living a soulful and intentional life is about. I am going to cultivate that peace and love that lives inside and grow it and share it. I am going to be accepting of myself and of each one of you.  All of us with our gorgeous imperfections. I'm going to be aware of my thoughts, what I am saying to myself, and remember truth.

My hope for you today is the same. Accept your beautiful self <3

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sharpen Your Spade and Dig Deeper

Happy New Year lovies! 2016 is upon us. We are a full four days into it. I've had different versions of this subject brewing in my mind since the last couple of weeks of December and decided tonight to just start writing and see which version wants to flow.

I spent some time over the last month just being, noticing, taking mental notes, day dreaming a bit. I guess, kind of down loading the last 12 months and preparing myself for the new year ahead. Readying myself to close the book on 2015 and start a fancy sparkly new novella for 2016. Upon first glance last year may have looked to be any other run of the mill 12 months. Kids, hubby, work, fun times, hard times, all the usual. As I looked a little closer things began to jump out. Like little kids in a classroom with their arms shooting out of their body, practically jumping out of their seats, with their eyes popping out of their heads..."me me see me, notice me, I know I know!" (That brings such a visual of my first born because I just KNOW he does that). So I slowed down on my reflection and gave each of those little know-it-alls a chance to speak. "You started a blog this last year!" one of them declared with excitement. "You started really practicing yoga in 2015" the other one said matter of factly with a smug look on her face. "You began a new journey this last 12 months Trisha. You began to see with the eyes of your soul instead just seeing out of the eyeballs in your head. You began to listen to the little girl inside. You grew, you changed..." Now this one, this one was announced by the quiet girl in the center of the room. She looked right through me, to my center. She spoke calmly but with compassion, strength, and clarity. All three of them told the truth.

After time spent in reflection I wanted to contemplate the year ahead. I wanted to think about resolutions. I came to a decision and wanted to share it with you. I think we need to revolutionize the way we look at new years resolutions guys. I think we need to turn the whole thing upside down and shake it around. I think we need to sharpen our spades and dig deeper, much much deeper. What are some of the typical resolutions that we make each year? I am going to exercise more. I'm going to eat clean. I'm going to cut back on caffeine. I'm going to get a promotion. I'm going to save $2000 by the end of the year. I'm going to be a "better" mom/dad/wife/husband. I'm going to quit smoking. I'm going to stop spending so much money on things I don't need. Blah blah blah. And I'm sure most of us make those resolutions with intentions of following through for more than just the first month of the year. Some of us may even actually pull some of that off. But is this the best we can do?

Let's bulldoze past that layer of shizalea shall we? Let's get to the heart of the matter. Ya, our body is our temple, therefore those resolutions are "good" ones. We need to take care of ourselves, be healthier, all that jazz. I'm not doubting that, but I do believe there is so much more to blessing our bodies than loosing weight, becoming more fit, or dieting. The outside is a reflection of the inside. The aches and pains, the high blood pressure, the sore back, even the muffin top...all stuff on the outside that are results of the lack of attention to the inside. And, not just the inside guts and veins and stuff, the inside like your heart and soul and stuff.

I believe we make those resolutions to try to fool ourselves into thinking we are taking care of business. To prove to ourselves we are working at life, trying to be better, healthier, happier, but without doing the real work. The real work is an inside job. The real work requires self reflection, quieting our minds, feeling those things we have been trying so hard for years not to feel. Looking at our insides and accepting the fact that we have been hiding. Acknowledging that we CAN dig deeper than we usually do but we don't because it's freaky and uncomfortable. Because we are afraid of change and it hurts to grow. Because to see it is to know it and to know it means you have to deal with it.

Maybe this year, those of us that are willing make a non resolution to see ourselves. To notice how are words, thoughts, actions and intentions affect us and the people around us. To observe the way we treat people and other living things, To take responsibility for the place we hold in the soul of this entire universe and the role we play in it's healing.

I've sharpened my spade. I am ready to dig deep. A little scoop at a time, slowly deeper. I will go into this next year with soul eyes open. I will be a conscientious gardener of my thoughts and remember that the seeds I plant affect us all. I want to plant pretty flowers for you and for me.

Happiest New Year <3