Ever felt yourself going through the motions of a yoga pose without focus or purpose? I think most yogis who’ve been practicing for a while have this experience, at least sometimes.
Several years ago, I found myself rushing through the Sun Salutation, praying for the series to end so I could move on to asanas I enjoyed more. I hated the way the pose strained my wrist and left me breathless, and it seemed to take forever to get through five or six of them. But since appreciating whatever you’re doing is a key spiritual teaching, I knew I had to do something to change my perspective.
On Oprah Winfrey’s last show she spoke about the many lessons that she has learned over the past 25 years. One thing she said really stuck in my mind. She said, “You are responsible for your life.” Now, I know that we all know that on some level, but do we really understand what that means?
I have practiced what I call “The Responsibility Factor” for many years, and I want to share with you my process. The moment anything happens in my life that is significant, good or challenging, I pause and ask, “What did I do to create this opportunity to grow”? Usually, when I ask that question, the answer comes quickly and easily. When it doesn’t, I sit down and “stream of consciousness” journal. I put down my fears, doubts, concerns, excitement and enthusiasm. What comes out always makes my heart smile, even if I see that I am on the “pity pot.”
Oftentimes people come to me and state that their intention is to heal. The definition of healing is to restore to health and soundness; to set right; restoration of that which is damaged to its normal function; regeneration (spiritual, revival, rebirth); and renewal of any lost part.
“The renewal of any lost part” caught my attention. During challenging times people are often seeking parts of themselves that they think have been lost, stolen or damaged. I believe that we are, inherently, whole, and that at the core of our being, beauty and peace exist. When my clients speak about wanting to heal, we explore the deep desire to remember that they are not broken or damaged goods. We talk about the fact that in every situation there is good and it is leading us back to a state of wholeness. When the Japanese mend broken objects, they fill the cracks with gold. They believe that when something is damaged and has a history, it is more beautiful. What if that were true of us? What if each and every aspect of our life stories was an essential ingredient that made us stronger and more beautiful?
I was recently around a parent who was teaching their child discipline. When the child would become disruptive and disobedient, the parent would say, “Do you want a time out?” If the child continued, the parent would say, “All right, if you keep this up, you will take a time out.” The child continued and the parent said, “Okay, that’s it! Time out!” They then made the child sit in a place that they were not allowed to get out of until the parent gave permission. Of course, the child was upset even though they were clearly testing the boundaries.
Let me begin by saying, you are a powerful manifestor!
Every single person on this planet has, at the core of their being, the power to create a life of grace, ease and abundance. Think about it: There are people, including Oprah Winfrey, who had difficult beginnings and yet have created lives that amaze us all. In the last year I have been experiencing a series of miraculous experiences in my life. I want you to know that I believe that this is our natural state of being. Miracles are occurring every day, and when we recognize that truth, we begin to understand the power of co-creation with the Universe.
For years, my husband struggled with depression. He doesn’t feel depressed these days, thank goodness, and hasn’t for a while. But for a while there things were pretty rough. I’ve thought a lot about the part I played in his depression. I know, I know, this sounds like a classic co-dependent attitude. But the fact is, during the years my husband was depressed, I myself was a young mother, overwhelmed, uptight and rigid with fear that I was going to screw up. I can’t help but think that we were feeding off each other.
This is it, that time of the year when we all decide to make changes … but how many of those changes are lasting? It’s so easy to have good intentions, but it’s the implementation of these intentions that separate the “start and stop” game that a lot of us love to play from actual lasting change.
Recently, I committed to a deeper spiritual practice. It included contemplating and releasing anything that did not support my highest good. Every morning, 45 minutes was dedicated to only this aspect of my practice. What came forward was a very old belief that no longer served me. I decided to acknowledge and consciously surrender it.
The amazing thing is that shifts began to take place immediately. As I listened and opened to embracing the old paradigm, something else moved in. It was a question: “Are you living in the YES?”
Well, Thanksgiving is here and people are busy preparing for and celebrating the holiday. Wherever you are today, I ask that you join me in giving thanks. I want this time with you to be about practicing gratitude. I am grateful for the opportunity to write and share with you things that are important to me. I am grateful to offer this blog as a place that might be of support and gift you with a remembrance of who you are. I am grateful to be in a position to use my path as a tool for guidance of others.
The harsh tones of your alarm clock blare beside your bed and you can hardly believe it’s the start of another day. Your bleary gaze moves to the window, where the dense fog and darkness whisper that the sun is still sleeping soundly. You too are not yet ready to rise, to encounter the chill lingering outside the goose-feather comforter that wraps you tightly in a cozy cocoon.