My tendency is to force things…

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Photo credit: Airwolfhound (CC: some rights reserved)

Last night my imagination started to take off. I heard a large truck and my mind started telling the story of what if it’s a plane and it’s doing an emergency landing here because it’s had some sort of failure. My breath quickened. I started to panic.

What should I do? Who should I call? Emergency!

Continue reading “My tendency is to force things…”

the power of prayer

I enter the prayer room
breathe out
remember
I am fine

light streaming in the window

I sit
breathe in and out
I look at the lake

and feel held
loved
protected

I pray
and I become
free.


To learn more about my 108 Poetry Challenge or to donate to the Young Adult Program click here.

Healing

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Two weeks ago I chipped my heal bone doing a front flip and for the first week it was improving substantially each day but then last weekend I went a little bit overboard with activity (walking, dancing) and this week the healing seems to have plateaued.

So I began to ask myself – what is healing? How does it work? And how does the body heal?

It seemed like a fitting time to read the Yoga of Healing by Swami Radha again and as I begin to read a message rings out to me loud and clear.  Do not ask for a miracle, if you’re not willing to do your part.  Don’t ask for spiritual healing if you’re not willing to rest your foot, get enough sleep, eat well.

Bone healing takes calcium, rest.  And so this week I work from home to save the travel, take Friday off completely, use a cane, drink more smoothies.

Radha then goes onto describe the practices taught at Yasodhara Ashram as tools to aide healing.  Meditation, relaxation, pranayama, yoga.

And I remember that I know these tools, I have these tools.

And as I reflect on my injury, I can see it as a reminder to do what I already know is healthy for me.  To eat well, get enough sleep, rest, and make time for meditation and relaxation in my daily life.

And I wake up, again, to what I know.

Asana

I stand in the mountain
strong and still
quiet and alive
hollow but not broken

I feel my heart beat
blood coursing through my veins
and I am full of blood
from the tips of my toes
to the tops of my shoulders
to the tippy top of my head

coursing
vibrancy
the blood rushes
my breath moves
in and out
up and down

my rib cage rocked
by the waves of breath

and this is asana
moments with my body
where times stops
and I become whole again.

To learn more about my 108 Poetry Challenge or to donate click here.

Mind

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Often my mind goes wherever it likes, following the path of least resistance.  Flowing into old thought patterns before I notice and realize I have a choice.

English scholar and yogi Ernest Wood helped me to see this happening.  In Concentration: An Approach to Meditation, he writes,

…the need of mental training, or regular, orderly, purposeful exercise of the mind, is far greater than that of the body in most cases; for at our general stage of growth most [people]’s bodily activities are well-ordered and controlled , and the body is obedient to their will, but their minds are usually utterly disobedient, idle and luxurious.[1]

And I’m beginning to see how this manifests for me.

For the past couple of days I’ve felt slightly disconnected.  And today I finally realized I don’t need to beat myself up about it.  I’m able to see that beating myself up is flowing into the old thought pattern of not good enough, not smart enough, not efficient enough.

I’m realizing that I feel uncentered and that’s okay.  I am centered enough.

Utterly disobedient – until I choose to make a change.

And so I’m beginning to watch what happens in my mind.  To notice and to write.  To become the detective and put the clues together.  To realize when a negative pattern is happening and to shift away.  To exercise choice.

And there’s an amazing freedom that comes.  Realizing that when my mind is utterly disobedient it causes a lot of pain.  And then when I find ways to change the pattern the pain lifts.

So slowly.
One step at a time.
I am learning to change my mind.


[1] Wood, Ernest. Concentration: An Approach to Meditation. Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House ,1949, p. 62.

Maya, Illusion and Blogging

14 Days. 10 Posts. 454 Views. 23 Likes. 6 Comments.  16 Followers.

Stats that reveal I am officially a ‘blogger.’

Pioneer in bringing Yoga to the West, Swami Radha writes, “Maya [or illusion] is seeing the form without the essence.”[1]

When I get caught up in my Stats page – reading about how many people “like” my blog – that’s where I get caught, in illusion.  I see the form without the essence.  I get caught up in the details and forget the purpose.

I started the blog to learn how to become who I want to be, to learn to live my ideals.  And so as long as I’m learning I’m connected.  So I can step back from worrying about Likes, Followers, Marketing My Message and relax into the process.

Maybe one day I will have dazzling internet fame – and maybe I won’t – but that is not my purpose.

I am learning already.  The victory is already won.


[1] Radha, Swami Sivananda.  Light and Vibration. Kootenay Bay: timeless books, 2007: p. 59.

The Rule Book

I used to believe
That my rule book would keep me safe
And when things got bad
I would grip it tighter

Knuckles white,
Shoulders tensed,
Don’t. Let. Go.

And when things were painful,
I would write more rules

#737 Never call a friend more than twice before they call back.

And then somewhere along the way
In the messiness of life
I broke the rules and tasted the freedom of rule-book-less living.

I danced in the streets and things got better.

I thought I was totally free but then realized there was more.

 

I want to be free
The birds don’t carry around rule books,
They’d never make it off the ground.

So I’ve spent the last year editing,
Going back,
Finding what I’ve written,
Changing clauses,
Crossing out.

I don’t remember half of what’s in the book,
Or why it’s there.

And as I learn to relax my shoulders, my neck and jaw,
The rules begin to fall right off the pages.

As I learn how to dance,
Some pages fall right out.

And as I learn how to live,
I find a knowing that one day the entire book will drop.