Liberation is a truck stuck in the mud & a yoga mat

Yoga freedom quote

I’m going to admit something publicly that very few people know.  While I typically avoid reality television like the plague, I’ve succumbed to the fantastic spectacle that is ‘Duck Dynasty.’  I don’t know how it started, but the friends that know me find it quite amusing because my ideologies and theirs couldn’t be more different.  Or are they?

I don’t own a firearm (we’ll steer clear of this argument for now), I don’t hunt or kill anything for fun, and I’m not exactly conservative.  That said, there have been some (dare I say insightful) quotes to come out of that show that have made me think.  We all of the same basic needs and desires; at our inner most core, we act from a place of love; and we all want some sort of freedom.

In one particular episode, the characters have an argument about becoming ‘too corporate’ which leads to an ‘off road’ tantrum of mud bogging only for their truck to get stuck in the middle of nowhere.  The parting quote made me laugh out loud, “If you are going down the road and see a truck stuck in the mud you know what happened… liberation.”

We all want freedom.  Freedom from obligations, freedom from constraints whether it be work, health, finances, dependence or family. Liberation can take on any form, and is different for everyone.  For some people, liberation is jumping out of an airplane.  For others, it’s sending the family on vacation and curling up alone with a book for the weekend, and for others, it’s getting a truck stuck in the mud.

While I’d love to go ‘off the grid’ at some point, for now, I find freedom in other ways. For me, time on my yoga mat always creates space for liberation within.  Even if it’s only 5 minutes, I find liberation from thought, obligation and time.

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you,” -Jean Paul Satre

Where do you find liberation?

Namaste.

– Your charmed yogi

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Would you die for your dream?

martin luther king jr quote

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream — a life of freedom and equality for every citizen born of love, not violence. He believed that only light could drive out the darkness, and only love could banish hate. His faith guided him throughout his life, and asked others to have faith to take the first step even if they couldn’t see the staircase.

At the age of 35, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize and donated his $54K prize money to the civil rights movement, a dream he believed in, a passion and compassion for which he paid the ultimate price.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do you have a dream? What would you give up for your dream?

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

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(Photo: Pinterest)

Be a tree-climbing fish

zen pencils einstein quote

There have been many things throughout life that people have told me I couldn’t do, and every time it made me want to achieve that thing and prove them wrong.

Only you know what you can be, and the deeper you look inside, the more you’ll realize you’re truly capable of anything.

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

(Photo: Zen Pencils)

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Your extraordinary life

arm with extraordinary tattoo

I love this post from Amber of My Crazy Healthy Life blog.  A beautiful story of transformation and a desire to help others embrace their ‘extraordinary-ness’ and live a wholesome life.

“Make your life extraordinary” has been my mantra for the past fourteen years. Somewhere in my late twenties, I realized that regular just doesn’t work for me–I want more out of life. And so began my quest to become extraordinarily healthy. I traded in my running shoes for a yoga mat, stopped eating meat, and learned how to meditate. My new life was anything but regular. It also made me stronger, healthier, and happier than I had ever been before. Read the full post.

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

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(Photo: WeLoveIt)

Freedom is within and without

shackled hands releasing a butterfly

“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?” – Mahatma Gandhi

Celebrate your freedom today and everyday.  Happy Independence Day.

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

Photo credit: Freedom Interactive Design

Snuggle the Struggle and Be Free

child hugging herselfWhen I first began to practice yoga and meditate, I assumed that I would immediately realize a stress-free blissful existence in which my problems and struggles would no longer exist.  I’ll let you in on a secret, that didn’t happen.

What I learned from teacher after teacher was that yoga was about the present moment, and letting go.  But even that turned into a struggle as I felt some type of resistance to being still.  I felt frustrated that thoughts and feelings other than bliss snuck into my zen space.  I thought that my job as a good yogi was to push those ‘bad’ thoughts and emotions out and only have happy thoughts.  Wrong again.  What I was doing was creating a deeper resistance and suffering. Continue reading

Leap: We Have to Let Go to Be Free

Exactly what I needed this week. Thanks, Christa.

Christa Avampato

“If you come to the yoga mat expecting freedom from your emotions, you’ll never be free, just disappointed. Freedom comes when you can fully be with your emotions, watch them, and then let them go.” ~ Mona Anand, Senior ISHTA Yoga Teacher

Mona taught our asana practice on Sunday. It was a heavy back bending day, and by their nature, back bends induce strong emotions concentrated in the area around the heart. Ideally, we hope to feel those emotions and then release them. That latter bit is the tricky part that eludes us all too often. We come to our yoga mat as if it is a refuge, an escape, when truthfully our mat is a mirror. And perhaps a mirror that amplifies the good, the bad, and the ugly. What we live, we bring to the mat.

Mona encouraged us to be with our emotions, all of them, and…

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Where Did You Park Your Karma? 10 ways to pay it forward

good karma street signWhat comes to mind when you think of “karma?”  Does it inspire punitive images of divine retribution?  Do you envision your ex “getting what’s coming to them” for hurting you?  Maybe you’re not quite sure what to think when we talk about karma. Too often, karma is only thought of in terms of payback for a wrongdoing; far far away from the fundamental concept of karma.

The Sanskrit word Karma (or kamma in Pali) literally means action.  Central to dharmic religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Wicca karma mainly refers to one’s intention or motivation while doing an action.  Christianity has it’s own tenets of karma in the “The Golden Rule.”  Regardless of religion, the sentiment is essentially the same, “you get what you give.”  For those religions that believe in reincarnation, what you “get” can be accumulated over lifetimes.

In essence, all living creatures are responsible for their karma, their actions and the effects of their actions.  While I think there is some truth to the saying, “you reap what you sow,” I try to subscribe to a more positive belief that we are all part of the same mortal coil, the same energy and act accordingly.    We are, however, all human, myself included.    So, until I reach bodhisattva status many lifetimes from now, I reserve the right to make mistakes without judgement. Continue reading

“Un” Yoga – the gateway to freedom

Woman letting go

We talk about yoga as the gateway to freedom.  By relinquishing attachment to objectives and judgement, we begin to find freedom from past, freedom from future, freedom from want, freedom from fear — freedom from mind.  There’s no trick or “to do” list to check off to access this freedom, it’s already within you.

Try this… Continue reading