Go ahead and ‘What if?’

What i

Most of us spend the majority of our time living in either the past or the future.  Neither of these states actually exist, nor can we control them.  This lack of control of something we CAN’T leads to a cycle of suffering marked by anxiety, guilt, fear, or self-judgement.

Phrases like ‘I should have’ or ‘I shouldn’t have’ indicate we’re reliving something that has passed and yet, we can’t let go. If you let the mind keep up this pace, you’ll end up shoulding all over yourself.

And, the ‘What ifs?’ can quite literally paralyze us from moving forward in life for fear that something bad will happen.

So, what happens when we answer ourselves with the opposite or confirm that the decision we have made is already done?  We find a little peace.

The next time you find yourself feeling guilty about something, find the ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ statement at the heart of the suffering, and simply answer ‘Oh well, I didn’t’ or ‘Oh well, I did,’ and sit with it.  No need for self-flagellation, just acknowledgement and taking responsibility.  Then let it go.

If you find yourself feeling worry or fear, find the ‘what if’ and throw in the opposite just for kicks.  ‘What if I ask her and she rejects me?’

‘What if she doesn’t?’

‘What if I fail?’

‘What if you succeed?’

‘What if I die alone?’

‘What if you don’t?’

I’m not suggesting that you get caught up in another future state wormhole in which you pontificate scenarios that don’t yet exist, but rather, offer up your ego both sides of the argument it’s making when it tries to take you down.

Living in the present takes effort and discipline.  Don’t let your mind run over you like a spoiled child.

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

(Photo: MrWallpaper)

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Let’s pretend life is a cassette tape

mixed tape

If you’re over the age of 25, you probably remember listening to music on cassette tapes and the awesomeness and tribulations that went with it.

Skipping forward wasn’t as easy as pressing an arrow, there was skill involved.  Go too far, and you missed the awesome intro of Danger Zone.  Stop short, and you’re playing a game of trying to find the exact end of the song.

The beauty was that we didn’t realize how life was pacing us vs. today, when we try to out-pace life.  You appreciated the next song and the anticipation WAS the journey.

So, just for today, see if you can bring awareness to the times you’re trying to ‘skip to the next song’ and allow yourself to wait it out.  I promise, the next moment is there – live in this one.

Namaste,

– Your Totally Awesome Charmed Yogi

(Photo: Mark Wisz)

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Don’t look for thoughts where there are none

let it go balloon

Have you ever been merrily going about your business, perhaps living purely in the moment, when your unconsciousness interjects with some type of made up problem? Perhaps you thought you’d moved on from an earlier problem, only for your mind to bring it back up to the surface, like a jealous childhood friend who gets jealous over your contentedness, and looks for ways to hijack your happiness. Sometimes it’s hard for us to ‘just be.’  I mean to say, that we spend so much time focusing on what’s wrong and how to fix it, we don’t know what to do when our mind takes a break. And, we even go looking for problems sometimes.

If you don’t know what I mean, maybe you’ve observed this in a co-worker, family member or friend who only seems to be happy when there’s something to be unhappy about. Once upon a time, I worked with a few of these people. It’s as if they truly don’t know how to enjoy the peace of stillness. Like their brain is telling them, “Wait there’s nothing wrong right now, what’s wrong?  There must be something I’m supposed to be upset about right now.  No? Well, let’s find something.” This isn’t a judgement of their character, but of our upbringing in general. Let’s face it, we’re a society of scab-pickers who can’t leave well enough alone.

For the over-analytical population (myself included) we have a tendency to exhaust ourselves looking for the thoughts that feed our emotions, when truly we are neither thought or emotion.  And, by simply bringing awareness to an emotion or a feeling that arises enables us to come into the present. Being with the feelings IS presence, aversion is not.

This happened to me the other morning, I was getting ready for work after my morning practice, and noticed that I was feeling anxious. So rather than going on a thought-spelunking mission which would inevitably take me out of the moment and likely cause more pain, I decided just to sit with the feeling for what it was.  Eventually, it went away.  As I became the watcher of all that’s happening with this body and mind, I’m able to witness be-ing. This doesn’t mean that we’ll never feel pain, rather with observance and the practice of letting go of attachment AND aversion, we become the self beyond thought. And that is bliss.

“All problems are illusions of the mind.” ― Eckhart Tolle

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

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(Photo: Pinterest)

Fifty shades of today

today quote

Today you can create something beautiful or something destructive.  Whatever you choose it’s your decision, but remember that you’re exchanging a day of your life for it.

We only get one ‘today’, so use it wisely.

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

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(Photo: Pinterest)

All that matters is right now [Video]

Anyone who knows me, knows that I tear up often, tears cleanse the soul.  My real soft spots are acts of human kindness and reunions.  Extreme Homemaker over caused a boon in Kleenex sales at my home when the show first aired.  And, just about any kind of reunion will have me in a puddle– especially military reunions.    What I love about reunions is that for a moment, we experience pure presence.  There’s no past or future, just the blissful now.

Here are a few videos of some military reunions and amazing animal reunions that will touch even the most resistant heart. Even you don’t cry easily, you may find yourself getting joyfully teary as you empathize with the happiness of these families.

Soldier surprises family at USC football game

Soldier surprises daughter on her 6th birthday

School creates ‘mock’ spelling bee for soldier reunion

Anita and the Wolves

Military reunions with man’s best friend

“The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.” -John Vance Cheney

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi