When is the last time you told a lie? Nothing major, just a little white lie? If you’re anything like me, you lied yesterday about why you were late, or you stretched the truth about the extent to which you read a book, or perhaps you weren’t honest about what you did or didn’t eat. You are not alone. We all do this EVERY DAY.
I’ve spent the past five years in a deep self-inquiry and this is one of the most interesting discoveries I’ve made. It sounds simple but at the most subtle level I’ve started to notice the vibrational quality of these lies when they enter my mind and leave my mouth. It feels much different than when I am moving from a place of love. There is a complete lack of integrity and I find myself out of alignment with my sankalpa, my deepest intention, which is to speak my truth.
Traveling comes with its own distinct set of trials and truths. If yoga is a practice of equanimity in the face of constant change, that evenness takes on new meaning when we’re far from home.
On October 2, 2011, I led a class of 3,000 yogis, all in white, on the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower’s Wall for Peace to honor Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.
Whether I’m lost, found, late, early, confused or completely uplifted, Paris offers me lessons on Light — on being light, on absorbing light, on offering light. I’ve been teaching there twice a year for seven years, and my dream of teaching a class about the Light of True Gratitude and Peace in front of the Eiffel Tower has finally come true.
With this photo essay, I honor my beloved city of Light, Paris.
No matter what
No matter where
It’s always home
If love is there.
I grew up with this quote hanging on our kitchen wall. As a little girl, I admired the fine needlework (yes, I grew up in Kansas) rather than the actual message embedded in the thread. As I’ve grown in life and with my yoga practice, I’ve come to fully understand the power behind this simple message. Home and comfort reside in the small things, and love is magically woven into every crevice of our lives when we learn to let go of the story we’re telling ourselves and open our eyes.
Dear Arielle and Brian,
My fiancé and I were together for five years. I thought he was my soul mate and we were planning to get married. But last month he told me that he’s in love with someone else even though he says he still loves me. I can’t accept the fact that he has been unfaithful and claims to love another. I feel so devastated and shocked because I always felt that he’s the One for me.
What can I do to overcome my emotions and obsession with him?
I host a monthly free teleconference called “Community Conversations.” We recently discussed the ego and how it was playing out in our lives. So, I will pose the same question to you that I asked the group: “Are you in charge of your ego or is your ego in charge of you?”
There are a few definitions of ego: the self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves; in psychoanalysis, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality; an exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit, appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem. I believe that we all experience the good news and the interesting news of our ego and how it affects our lives. However, more often than not, the ego quietly affirms separation, lack and limitation.
This summer I’ve spent a good deal of time upstate in the Catskills where my boyfriend manages a 2,000-acre estate. (Two and a half times the size of Central Park!) This Gilded Age estate includes a once grand 20,000-sq-ft mansion and riding stables. Needless to say, it’s paradise for me, Nature Gal. The abundant wildlife (including bobcat and bear), fresh air, pure spring water and total lack of light pollution has me ‘blissed out in the boonies.’ I believe nature is our ultimate healer, which is the reason I incorporate all things natural into my design work. And I have never felt healthier or happier in my whole life than I have this summer, enveloped in this magical kingdom.
The first time I took a live yoga class, at age 12 or 13, I remember hearing some strange, prayer-like, exotic word come out of my teacher’s mouth. Everyone echoed it back, and it made me uncomfortable. It didn’t stop me from going back, but I did kind of feel “left out,” as I didn’t know what they were saying, what it meant, or if it was the name of a god or other deity. Frankly, it sounded kind of religious, and I was definitely not into god-stuff at that point in my ’tweendom.
When my teacher told me what Namaste meant (“I bow to the god within you”) and how to pronounce it (Nah- Mah-Stay), it didn’t necessarily make the phrase any easier for me to embrace. But the social pressure of “call and response” soon won me over. I attended very small classes in Santa Fe, and any non-compliant Namaste’ers would be very obvious to the teacher and other students. At first it barely rolled out of my lips, a garbled rumble of vowels with slight hiss in the middle. I had no way of knowing that a decade later, I would be the one at the front of the room offering the same salutation to my classes.
Dear Arielle and Brian,
I’ve been putting out the vibes to call in a soulmate and as a result a couple of my exes are showing up. In particular, I had a reunion with my most recent ex of last year and it was quite magical.
What do you do when you are calling in “the one” and then get distracted by the recycles who become magnetized? And I’m now wondering whether he is “the one”? I realize that it comes down to discerning which one is the right one. In many ways, the familiar has an advantage because they already cherish me and know my heart versus a new man coming in and not knowing much about me. The negative side of this is that it didn’t work before and why go down that road again?
What advice do you have for me?
I recently had the honor of attending a family wedding in France. The groom was French and brought up in the Catholic tradition. The bride was born in California and raised in the Jewish tradition.
The family and friends from both sides assembled in a small town in the south of France and the celebration began. There was lots of food, wine, and joyous gatherings. The groom’s family exhibited the most amazing hospitality. Here is the interesting thing: It seemed perfectly natural that the French and the Americans were in the same place honoring the love of this beautiful young couple. Some spoke only English. Some spoke only French. Others had varying degrees of language learnings. It didn’t seem to matter. Somehow, we all found a way to connect and get to know each other.
My wife Lauren and I were delighted to see Woody Allen’s new film, Midnight in Paris, over the weekend. The film is wonderfully entertaining, very sweet and really a lot of fun.
Owen Wilson plays a successful screenwriter who has come to Paris with his fiancée and her parents. While his fiancée sees the trip as a shopping opportunity, Mr. Wilson has a different agenda. He has always loved the notion of being a novelist, has indeed written his first book, and is enamored with the whole concept of being an artist in Paris, not a commercial “hack.” Unfortunately, his fiancée (played with great audacity and courage by Rachel McAdams) is shallow, materialistic and totally horrified that her soon-to-be husband is actually considering a career that is not based solely on making money.