There is a quote that sums up my experience heretofore with yoga better than anything else I’ve ever read. I don’t know from whom or where the quote came, or I would totally give the person mega props and a huge, bear-like, electronic hug. The quote goes a little something like this:
“My yoga practice is no longer the battlefield of a long-waged self-improvement project by an overachieving person. It has become what I always hoped it would be — a place for love and acceptance.”
I think this quote embraces the yoga journey for many of us, because let’s be real here: How many of us started yoga because we wanted a thinner waist and perky yoga butt? How many of us, in the beginning, saw yoga as something we would conquer rather than embrace? How many of us saw someone in Crow Pose and said to ourselves, “I can do that shit.”
Over time, however, as we dove deeper into our practice — no doubt bumbling, grunting and falling along the way — our hardened layers begin to peel away, and we were left with the lingering feeling that yoga is something more than a way for us to gain strength, flexibility and balance. As we emerged from Savasana, time and time again, we began to realize that something else — something besides exercise — is going on here.
Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, and activist. Despite her deep awareness of the world’s environmental and social justice crises, she is filled with hope.
Hope, in this age of cynicism masquerading as science, is a scarce resource. We often treat it poorly — as if hope is the hallmark of New Age lunatics or wide-eyed children. As if it’s naïve. Passive. A longing … without any intention of rolling up its sleeves.
It’s particularly tough to be an optimistic environmentalist with such a steady accumulation of bad news: birds dropping from the sky from starvation because wetlands that served as avian drive-thrus during migration have been replaced with houses; renowned climate scientist James Hanson’s prediction of “game over” if the Tar Sands are developed; oil spills; nuclear meltdowns …
Shiva knows all this. Yet she’s hopeful.
With a world increasingly under environmental threat and corporations and lobbyists that peddle misinformation, hope isn’t a luxury. It’s all we have.
My latest spring bedroom update: A breath of fresh air!
Hurray, we made it! With the vernal equinox today, spring is finally here — and I’m in my element! I adore a big spring clean in every sense of the word … breathing fresh new life into everything from my bedroom to my outlook.
People have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years with cultural rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring. The early Egyptians oriented the Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox. While I can’t top that, I am quite happy to bid farewell to winter; I feel like one of the little buds on the trees aching for the sun! So I usher it in very consciously with my own spring equinox rituals …
We are now well into March and it has been more than two months since this year began. A lot of us made resolutions, promises and commitments to ourselves and others regarding shifting consciousness and behaviors.
I have been counseling a number of people who feel challenged with honoring their agreements. The truth is that the behaviors are stronger in the mind than the need to change. So, my question to my clients and to you is, how committed are you to being healthy, vibrant and expansive?
by Tania Kazi
There comes a time in life when the old ways begin to peel and shed away.
This happens when you start to notice one too many undesirable patterns recurring in your life. You vow to change things, but the patterns keep reemerging with renewed force. The wise thing to do, one hears, is to step back, take a deep breath and reaffirm your intent to break away from the pattern. To stop doing that which repeatedly gives birth to an environment that accentuates the gray and uncertain hues of life in the core of your existence. This is where courage comes in. Lots of it.
Whenever you’re growing or entering new territory, you’ll feel fear. But the problem isn’t the fear — it’s letting fear hold you back. The beautiful thing is that fear can be greatly diminished in your life when you feel the fear and take action anyway.
What are some of the fears that hold you back from living a life you really want to live? Do you have a fear of rejection, being alone, failure, quitting a negative habit, getting in or out of a relationship, illness, aging, making a career change, losing weight? This week, empower yourself to take an action you’ve been afraid to take. Build a habit of believing yourself so you can trust yourself to keep a promise you make. Your self esteem, courage and belief in yourself will grow, and your fear will diminish.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a new friend. We were talking about our shared feeling that 2012 is going to be an incredible year. It was exciting to talk about how very intentional we are about bringing our gifts forward to make a difference in this world. After a few minutes of conversation, she said, “Isn’t it crazy that people often only have these conversations and high intentions at the beginning of the new year?”
The more than 50,000 life coaches in practice worldwide will tell you that money can, in fact, buy happiness — if you’re willing to do the work. Critics see them as unqualified, amateur psychotherapists, who might do more harm than good. Although there are training programs for coaches, it is an unregulated industry, and most coaches are not certified. So, can life coaches really deliver what they promise?
Dear Arielle and Brian,
I’ve made some important changes in my life, especially when it comes to manifesting a soulmate, and I’ve begun to have a positive and proactive attitude. I am noticing how many people in my life, particularly my mother, are having a real issue with my change. Perhaps she is jealous because she has been single for 16 years. Lately, she is very condescending towards me and seems very passive aggressive. Here’s my question: Is it normal when one changes for others have a real issue with it? Is it because they feel threatened? It seems like I never fully realized before the limited thinking, undeserving attitude and pessimism that surrounds me.
I am sitting in a hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Celebrate Your Life conference. I have the honor of being here to facilitate two workshops and to participate with a number of speakers and teachers who have inspired me over the years. As I sit here, I am bathed in a sea of gratitude for the amazing life that I am privileged to live.