Follow your own path.
Listen to your heart.
You need your heart to follow your path.
Your path is unique. But it takes time, trust, and surrendering to feel into it.
If you like Gardenias and coffee you might like this idea. I'm kind of just pulling apart your loves in a gentle way to show you how you can take what you love and show you how it can be a living practice. So, if you love this flower and you also enjoy your coffee, you might like to take yourself to the Botanical Gardens for a little excursion. Maybe you might buy a coffee on the way (keep cup please!) or prepare one from home and take that with you. Find your flowers, take a seat. Smell and soak in the scent of the flower, with your eyes look at the beauty contained in it, perhaps if its okay touch the petals (gently) and drink in it all. Enjoy the taste of your coffee, smell it too. And take a moment to enJOY. Consider setting an intention, or maybe read a poem, or say a little prayer. Perhaps offer up some gratitude for the opportunity to do this little sweet Bhakti Yoga.
In Melbourne this weekend I went to South Melbourne Market. I was so excited to go here and it was FAB. The smell, the noise of growers and makers talking about their wares, the small sweet Barista specialising in drip coffee made me so happy. Do what you love!!! These people are offering up the most delicious goods, fresh pastries, the most divine offerings from their hearts and I felt it in mine.
Here's a practice for you. Remember that it takes time and practice to listen to your heart.
Choose a candle or some incense.
Take a flower or crystal in the palm of your hand.
Find a comfortable cushion to sit on.
Let the back of your hands rest in your lap & close your eyes.
Slowly, softly begin to listen to the rhythm of your breath.
Relax your body, soften your lips and your ears.
Taking your time, bring your awareness to your heart.
Be here for a few minutes.
In time, slowly lift your flower or crystal to your heart.
Set an intention or say a little prayer, to follow your hearts wisdom.
Gently relax your head toward your heart,
and open your eyes.
Place your crystal or flower somewhere in your home or on your desk, so you will see it. And each day repeat your intention or prayer, to listen and follow your heart.
From Nayyirah Waheed:
You will find your way. It is in the same place as your heart.
Let me know how you go!
Oh, the sweetness and delight of a New Moon!
The New Moon gets a bit underrated I feel. The Full Moon is there, we can all see her beauty, shining her light for all to see, but there's a special quality about the New Moon. Its there, but we can't see it! Its a mystery. And how lovely to have mystery.
The New Moon is a wonderful time to write down a wish or intention and begin to cultivate space for it to take hold. Over the years I've set many intentions, said a heap of prayers and had a bucket full of wishes. And this is what has worked for me.
Here's a little New Moon ritual:
Before the actual New Moon take some time for quiet.
Take a seat and perhaps close your eyes, settle into your space.
Begin to let the breath settle.
Place palm over palm on your heart.
Feel into the beat of your own heartspace.
Honour it. Listen to it. Respect your heart.
Perhaps reflect on where you are in life, what your priorities are and check in if they are clear for you?
From your values, and priorities check which ones might need some special devotion, maybe your intention might be to hold a value close to you and let it slowly permeate your days?
You might have quote that lately has taken you, for some reason. Perhaps let that quote be your compass for this new moon? What is it about that quote that compels you?
Is there a prayer or a mantra that you feel drawn toward? There's another choice for you.
So you can see if you look around, in your life, that you will most likely find existing material to work with. Check in that it is true for you first, does it really "spark joy" (thank you Marie Kondo!). Careful, your not inspired or distracted by what someone else is up to.
Double check that its in alignment for you, it will feel true, if its part of your dharma, your unique path.
Then take some time to write it out, into a journal or notebook. Maybe say it to yourself, check, try it on, so you can detect if its right and true for you. If it isn't, review the steps above. If it is, repeat it to yourself a few times, write it out, imagine how it might look/feel/smell/taste/sound. Use all your senses to really sink into the experience.
On the night of the New Moon, go lie down on the grass under the night sky. You of course can't see the New Moon, but like your intentions and wishes, they are most certainly present. Give them time to make their way to fullness, just like the moon.
Feel into them, say them to yourself, or out loud! Often.
Water them with your time, attention and take steps toward them.
Remember, we all need time to come into our fullness, the moon, the seasons, even your New Moon Wishes.
Om Namah Shivaya, may we honour our deepest hearts.
Yoga is of course about seeing very clearly, what is actually happening. Not what we wish, or don't want, or "tell me what you want, what you really, really want" thank you Spice Girls but what is here, now, right in front of us. But Yoga is also skilfulness in action, thank you to the Bhagavad Gita for bringing us this wonderfully deep and complex battle that show's us what skilfulness in life looks like.
One of the juicy parts of this epic, is that it directs us in many different ways, to fully be who we are. Yes, isn't that cool! An ancient and epic tale of war, which slowly offers us much advice on life.
Anyway, its a big topic this Bhagavad Gita, but there's one part in particular which I'd love to write about. And its this, personal alignment, or integrity. THIS! Yes.
Personal integrity has a feeling-tone. We know when we feel good about our words and actions, maybe a smile, perhaps a skip in your step, most likely a great nights sleep. But on the flip side we certainly feel it when we are not, think anxiety, worry, fearful thoughts, lack of sleep. There's a knowing there, and its like a feedback system (Vijnanamaya Kosha territory!).
You just ##know##!!!
And this is where the skilfulness comes into the picture, *skill*fullness. Think about that, feeling in such alignment that you can be full of skill in responding to and envisioning your life, creating good Karma and maybe disrupting old patterns that no longer are useful.
How do we get there? Well, there's no "there". It feels impractical and honestly stressful, to make it a final destination, or a place to get to. But what we can do, its we can notice and really embrace that feeling when we are in alignment, and also, when we are not. Self-study, or Svadhyaya is our trusty companion here. If we aren't learning from our days, we are not taking advantage of the platter of information that each day gives us.
Take your time, each day take notes.
Journal, get nerdy with your days.