Follow your heart. Listen to your heart. Have some heart. Let your heart lead you.
There's a lot written, said and sung about our dear hearts.
A few years ago I did a workshop and a student asked me the following question after class (which I think is universal one), how do I listen to my heart? How do I follow my heart?
The past year I really delved into this. Some instances were intentional and some accidental. But through these experiences, through the Yoga of Svadhyaya (self study/reflection), working with Heart Codes (learned from Kelly Sunrose) through these, I began to really "know" this feeling. The feeling of my heart happy, of being true to my heart. And in Yoga we call this experience, this knowing; The Vijnanamaya Kosha. And its all yours!
The fun bit here is that, no one can do it for you!
You must do this yourself.
You must "know thyself" (a Greek Aphorism).
It is not a path for the faint hearted, but there is also no other path if you want to be happy!
Here are some ideas to think about and work with:
Asana: We do the physical practice of Yoga so we can unwind and unfurl the tense and tight parts of our body.
Pranayama: We sit and work intentionally with our breath, after all a calm and steady breath lead to a calm and steady mind. If the mind is racing around like a chicken, how can we possibly hear our heart?
Meditation: The balm of sitting quietly, here is the junction of the others meeting up. When we sit quietly, when we make time to be with ourselves and really listen, then, we might begin to hear the whispers of our heart.
Lately I've been really drawn toward True Heart Offerings. Aside from my love of J Crew, I've been definitely buying from smaller companies, which I feel have true heart offerings. Recently I've been loving the following:
theayu.com.au - For the most heavenly Ayurvedic Oils; perfume and body oil (great for Abhyanga)
thecleantreatsfactory.com - A true heavenly delight of foods and space. You might not want to leave!
goldengoosedeluxebrand.com - Just the cutest sneakers WITH STARS!! A definate splurge but its "where orthotics meets design"
So maybe start by noticing what you feel lifts your heart? It might be an inspiring word, it could be a book, maybe a cafe, perhaps a pair of shoes! Start there, notice your happy heart and its feels and it will lead you to your true heart.
Happy New Year to you!
I hope you've had a nice break in that period between Christmas and New Year, its a funny little pocket of time don't you think? I can't ever remember what day it is, what we have on, or much else really.
Thank you for being part of my Yoga community. Teaching, practising and writing about Yoga makes me feel so much joy.
Speaking of Joy, I hope this year brings you this feeling. As we sit or make a pocket of time to get clear on what we would like to get up to/do/complete/start this year, I think of a couple of things.
1. Contentment leads to unsurpassed Joy - from Yoga Sutra 2.42.
2. Comparison is the thief of Joy - this was a quote from Theodore Roosevelt.
This ties in very nicely with YOU (wishing here JOY was YOU back to front or something clever!).
So back onto the point. When you are happy and content with who you are, where you are, there's an opportunity to feel joyous. I'm not just writing this, try it, its a great practice and a real balm for our busy lives that are full of ways to improve/change/upgrade/uplevel our lives.
Next is comparison. Oh my gosh, how many ways do we compare our lives with others!! With such an information based culture, there's really no shortage of inspiration .... but watch it .... as it can be sneaky and turn into comparison. And that's not fun for anyone, as it takes away feelings of joy and happiness.
So, maybe if your looking for some inspiration for this year just take some time and turn INWARD. Yup, IN. Because only you know what truly lights you up, only you can say what feels right to you, and only you are responsible for you.
Here's a little practice for you if you'd like:
Take 10 mins to sit quietly, ideally in nature or your favourite seat.
Spine tall, hips heavy and just the teeniest smile, with palms down on your thighs.
Begin to notice your breath, because by turning your attention inward and focusing on your breath you begin to calm your mind (don't take my word, have a go!!)
And begin to turn your imagination toward JOY.
What brings you joy?
How can you do more of that?
Where are you when you feel joy?
And to complete this ask yourself:
What robs me of joy?
Maybe who robs you of joy?
And think about things like: rushing?
Too much socialising (yes from me here, feeling delightfully fried!!)
And then perhaps make an intention to turn toward joy more in 2018.
You might like to journal after this if anything came up, or write notes in your phone, or reminders even. Up to you.
See you soon.
Mary Oliver writes "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?". Since I can remember, I've carried this with me as a thought and as a question to really consider, for bringing intention into my life, its such a fun open ended question!
In the early 2000's I recall jumping on board with this small obsession with French Women. Does anyone else remember this? I joined chat rooms, to invite more of this french way of living into my life. What I can see now, is that the interest and the obsession for his way of life for many of the women was this idea of living intentionally. Of not being just carried along by life, but by actively carving out an idea of what you would like to do with your life? How would you like it to look? Where might you live, and with whom? What might you wear? Eat? What music might you listen to? Yes, a totally use of all the senses here is required.
And what's fun about this is the fact that you might discover that you love eating like a french women, but nah, you dress like a J Crew or Country Road gal. You might love baguettes but alas, your gluten free. Or you might love riding your bike, but only in perfect weather! (ahem... me!).
Throughout our days and weeks are scattered little hints as to what your one and only precious life might look like. Little hints here and there, but we must be quiet and still to see and hear them.
Can you take time, go to a quiet place? Take a cup of tea to your favourite nook in your home? If that won't work, go to a coffee shop where you won't be interrupted. Sit and listen. Make this a sacred practice. During the week, can you take time to sit and listen, as you wander through your day and week can you look out for little hints of what seeds may be aching to grow? How can you bring more of you into your life?
Can you get to a Yoga class? A class where you will have an opportunity to release some tension and stress and get yourself to a point where your lovely body isn't aching, where its becoming a finely tuned instrument for you to listen to? Could you go for a walk on your own, maybe with a notebook?
Here are some little nudges for you:
Find quiet and still time / home, coffee shop, a lovely walk. Maybe ask yourself a riff on what Mary Oliver wrote so beautifully: What can I begin to weave into my life that really lights me up? What do I wish for? What dreams do I have that I could step toward? What are some of my deep hearts wishes?
Please, don't underestimate the value of small steps.
Taking small steps toward your dreams, and your wishes, is to live more fully into your life.
A life of skilfulness in action!!