Thank you David Bowie for that intro.
Life is full of stories about change. I love a good story, particularly one that illustrates the strength/love/resilience of the human spirit.
And the one's lately I'm really into, are the small personal victories. The tales of people making small steps toward their best selves. Now, I'm not going to go all Anthony Robbins on you but it really makes to jump for joy to hear these from my friends, family and students.
Because the big change, the large platform, the overnight success, and the list goes on, well that makes headlines, right? And I think this is because we underestimate and shrug off small change. We dismiss it because on some level I think we believe as a culture, that BIG CHANGE is the only change. That we need to look like we are "making it happen", we are edgy change agents!
I have learned, through personal experience, that small change is sustainable and often endures. If I use a Yoga example, you might see someone really pushing to nail a pose, say a handstand, and they push and push each class to get "there". Or a friend decides to "give up sugar" (been there!!!) and clean out every cupboard, every crevice where its hidden, and after day 3 ..... they are a cranky mess (um, yes maybe me!!).
Through studying ourselves and really knowing what works for us, we can implement change that will stick. The old "Svadhyaya", getting to know ourselves, all of ourselves, really & truthfully. That's really a very worthwhile step to take, before implementing any new habits or rituals in our lives.
So, lately I've jumped for joy (internally) after these small but awesome things happened:
- A student told me after class that they are feeling their body opening up in Yoga, they can feel it week after week of class. Yes! Yes! Yes! When this happens to us we are literally living into Yoga Sutra 1.12, we are living into the practice with a sense of not being attached to a certain outcome.
- After a Yin class recently, a student said that they finally are feeling a sense of calm when they do Yoga. She mentioned that in her day to day life at work that the breathing I talk about really works!
- For me, rolling out the mat or just doing 3 to 4 Yoga postures before bed really helps me to get a good nights rest. Its not fancy, its usually in my PJ's and its only 3 to 4. I talk about these in class often, but incase you want to know I do:
This can take about 3 minutes or up to 15! It depends. But I do it most nights and it makes a difference, I can feel it in my body.
So the story here is, do you have a small victory? A small insight? Have you made any little changes that are holding up, that feel like they are becoming embedded in your life? I'd love to hear.
Until then, keep tinkering!
I love words. And I adore words in Sanskrit. And English and Italian, Spanish oh and French for sure. And after our trip to Thailand, I love Thai.
When I was 10 my mum gave me a book of Poems, and in it she wrote "For all your hard work in reading and spelling". I loved that book! I treasured it and at her funeral I read a poem from it, which was one of our favourites. I loved and adored my first Thesaurus (I know, funny right) and my first Dictionary. I've always loved books, signs, poetry and chants.
Lately I've become enamoured some particular words and the magical spell they create, and drum roll they are:
Intention // I am ..... or I feel ...
Prayer // May I .... be blessed into usefulness - Ravi Ravindra
Wish // It's my wish that ....
Blessing // I bless you and ....
Sankalpa - Sanskrit for Intention
From my own experience these words and their feeling, are like tiny stars filled with potential. And the potential is for creation. Yes, the creation will look different to each of us. But I feel the lightness and positivity of those words creates space for us to take steps toward what it is we desire to create.
This quote: "If we can feel it in our hearts - not just think it, but also REALLY FEEL IT - then its possible in our lives!" from secrets of the lost mode of prayer by Gregg Braden.
Take a seat, get comfy. Set aside any thoughts or feelings and get cosy with your breath, drop into the rhythm of your own heart. Be here a handful of breaths. When you feel happy and clear, rest your eyes upon these words: Intention, Blessing, Prayer, Wish, Sankapa. Which one appeals to you? Blessing, prayer, wish, intention or Sankalpa. Then maybe write a few words about:
What you might like to dare to wish for?
To aim for?
To bless and let go of?
To pray pray for?
What lies deep in your heart, what do you realllllllllly wish for?
Take a pen, your notebook, jot it down, scribble it, maybe its just a bunch of words right now, or an image or a symbol. Take your time over the next few hours or days and let it come to you. Patience my dear.
Once you feel its complete, write it out on a small piece of paper and place it somewhere where you will see it. It might be beside your bed, it may be inside your wallet (where your bound to see it), or in the car on the dashboard. Whisper it, say it, pray for it, wish for it when the moon is new, feel into it. Get close to it, to the feelings, to the heart of it.
There you go, there's a small practice for you. Enjoy. Okay, really go do this and enjoy it.