I haven’t had much chance to embrace some of the winter weather traditions my mother passed onto us when my brother and I were kids, since it’s been in the mid-seventies here in Atlanta. But, this time of year makes me nostalgic nonetheless, and for me simple memories are often what bring me serenity. It may not be a Rumi poem, but my heart fills with love and joy and that’s the ultimate sankalpa or ‘purpose’, isn’t it? When you hear some of the most spiritual leaders and teachers speak, they’ll often tell you that spirituality isn’t always a surreal, out-of-body experience. Spirituality is often being at home with your human-ness and embracing the simplest experiences with love.
When we were little, my mom would prepare us for sled riding as if we were headed to base camp at Mt. Everest. Among the 30 minute long ritual that had us feeling restricted and sweaty were wrapping our feet in Wonderbread bags before putting on our boots to keep our tootsies warm and dry. At the time it seemed silly and unnecessary, but we were suited in enough winter armor that we could play for hours without getting frostbite or even chilled.
We would come home kick of our sopping boots and snow suits in the mudroom, and march upstairs with static cling hair and red cheeks where my mother would greet us with hot cocoa or soup. I actually get teary-eyed and my heart swells when I think about those days. So, for me, I catch glimpses of the divine through these memories. Pure, joyful bliss.
There are tons of unique family traditions we still practice today around the holidays like fondue on Christmas Eve, spending time together on boxing day, and playing board games like Scrabble and Scattergories after dessert on Christmas day. And even though we can all get on each other’s nerves (let’s face it, family time can be trying), we do love being together and celebrating the holidays in our ‘old-fashioned’ way. And, to me, THAT is spirituality incarnate.
As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Financial budgets are a necessary evil, though the idea may invoke feelings of math-induced panic, they are key in helping us avoid spending beyond our means; creating unnecessary stress. So we know that a fiscal budget is necessary, but why … Continue reading →
True happiness is found in simple, seemingly unremarkable things. But to be aware of little, quiet things, you need to be quiet inside. A high degree of alertness is required. Be still. Look. Listen. Be Present…. – Eckhart Tolle … Continue reading →
We talk a lot about letting go of expectation in yoga. Expectation of others, and expectations of ourselves. But, part of being human is recognizing that we do have certain expectations that we can either let go or learn to shift. But here’s a different perspective on the power of acceptance for what is vs. expectation from ourselves and in relationships from one of my favorite bloggers, Janis Cohen, LCSW. Expectations are a part of all relationships, including the relationship you have with yourself. They are the deal breakers.
You expect others to be a certain way and, if you are intuitive enough, you get what you expect by expecting the right things from the right people.
I commented in a previous post about “finding myself,” but the truth is you don’t have to look any further than inside. Your authentic self is calling, close your eyes and answer from within. Namaste. – Your Charmed Yogi Photo … Continue reading →
For as long as I’ve lived in Atlanta my respite during times of stress; an over abundance of energy or when I’m feeling introspective, is seated at the water’s edge on the Chattahoochee River. “I come here to sit, and … Continue reading →
After about a half a year of introspection mixed with a shift in intention after going through yoga teacher training, I recently decided to unplug and get away from my environment for a few days to just “sit with myself.” As a nation of stimulus addicts, we’re often unaware of how promiscuous we are with our senses in an effort to avoid being with ourselves. Televisions, computers, smartphones, iPads, DVRs have invaded our consciousness within the last decade with such vigor that it has become quite unsettling.
These technological means we use to ‘distract’ ourselves have created a cycle of addiction like caffeine, and we no longer know how to just ‘be.’ We aren’t comfortable in our own company alone. In fact, when we do have everything turned off, we fill the void with an incessant inner monologue that can very quickly spin us up into a state of fear.
So, I got away from the electromagnetic storm of the city, and found myself in a remote town in the north Georgia mountains with no telephone, no television, no stereo. Just quiet and me. Continue reading →
Are you looking for me?
I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas,
not in Indian shrine rooms,
nor in synagogues,
nor in cathedrals:
not in masses,
not in legs winding around your own neck,
nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me,
you will see me instantly —
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.”
Dedicating space in honor of all of the service men and women that have selflessly given of themselves so we have the freedoms we have today. With much love and devotion this Memorial Day, I thank you.
As a yogini and a teacher, I always bring my practice back to opening the heart as a way to end suffering. Everyday, we may not even be consciously aware of what we’re doing to sabotage our own happiness. Things like attachment, aversion, and fear creep into our lives when we aren’t even looking.
Opening the heart happens off the mat and on through asana, spiritual practice, meditation, and nurturing our creativity. During my classes, I often end class by reading an excerpt from a meditation book I’m reading, or poem by Rumi or Hafiz, or something I’ve written myself that speaks to the moment. Continue reading →