EMOTIONAL SPLINTERS, PIMPLES AND HANGNAILS
Have you ever had a hangnail? What about a pimple? A splinter?
This weekend I broke a nail. Tragic!! Oooh the pain, the challenge, the distraction! Yeah, I know its not that big a deal. But at the time it hurt. But to add insult to injury as life has a sense of humor, long past being a teenager I still get pimples. Terrible stuff. And that too, if I let it, creates a little drama inside my head. But enough about me, what about you? Do you lets little things like pimples, broken nails, splinters fully absorb all your attention?
It's funny that way isn't it? Here are these small inconveniences and yet we can get totally distracted where everything else seems to lose significance. All we think about is that one small thing!
One of my favorite writings puts it like this, "Negative emotions are like splinters. They pierce our consciousness grab hold of our minds and consume our thoughts to the point that we can lose sight of our desire for contentment compassion and deeper awareness. Most of us can recall the times we have felt hurt or angered by harsh words or actions of others and how we have held on to our pain processing it over and over in our minds like a never ending one sided argument. We often hold on to these emotional splinters for weeks months and even years. Holding onto negative thoughts always increases our pain, causing us to be distracted, dysfunctional and even depressed."
So what are your emotional broken nails? Do you have emotional splinters overriding your life right now? I'll tell you day 1 of broken nail my mind kept going back to it, I saw this was a problem and by day 2 I was already able to retrain my mind to be more present, by day 3 I only thought about my broken nail 4 times, by day 4 I only let it absorb my attention twice. You see yoga is for the mind. There is an answer to our emotional hangnails. Just like getting a splinter out of the body, once we decide we don't want to replay the negative or hurtful thoughts over and over can we begin to heal.
And yoga does heal. It has healed me, it has healed hundreds of students I've seen through the years, it has healed the teacher trainees I've had the privilege of working with for 9 sessions. Yoga can offer you healing too. This philosophy comes from the Yoga Sutras, Chapter 2.33 Pratipaksha Bhavana. Where when we are faced with something hurtful we cultivate an elevated attitude, we move our mind away from the petty distraction and dramas. In other words WE DO NOT FREAK OUT. Do not Panic. All the stuff that is flying around outside us we call life is just external agitation. Yoga helps us to quiet the mind through concentrated focus on breath, movement, sensation to move away from the external pimples and to the place deep inside our hearts where peace always exists. Where there is no drama.
This comes as a result in great part simply by bringing awareness to the small stuff and often just laughing at ourselves and our humanness and what silly creatures we are. We learn to shift from a splinter to the important experiences of loving ourselves, loving others, living honestly and with total commitment to our overall happiness.
"Any of us in deep hurt know that shifting our feelings is much easier said than done. We actually become pyschologically and nuerologically habituated to sharp toxic emotions to that point we we often find ourselves over-responding making the tiniest splinter of perceived negative experience feel like shrapnel piercing our hearts. As we perpetuate this response it becomes such an ingrained habit that we often feel unable to control our behavior." So the firs step to healing your emotional broken nails is to know it is possible to change the habits of your mind. Every yoga class you experience will help you do that. And through this process of practice "we can transform our splinters to salve, anger into compassion, hate into love, fear into courage and yes even pain into joy!" Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
Join me with alchemy tours in 2011 www.alchemytours.com
DROP IN TUNE IN BE PRESENT
NOVEMBER 11, 2010. Sit down, DROP IN, TUNE IN, BE PRESENT. That's it. This is yoga! And this yoga can be practiced anytime, without any warm-up, anywhere, with anyone or by yourself. I know you were probably thinking it would be harder or more complicated? But nah, Yoga teaches us that when we are not present our minds become totally distracted and our thoughts are all over the place, starting stopping, wandering from one thing to the other at often break neck speed. If we pay attention we harness the power of our thoughts. As a human being this is what distinguishes us from other creatures and is our GREATEST STRENGTH.
Forgetting to pay attention happens to the best of us.
The Yoga Sutras say “enjoyment is the sweetness of noticing your life right now – smell, taste, feeling, sensation” You see in times of doubt the key thing to know is that there is a point to it all. Even when we don’t understand why things are happening in our life we can rest assured as Sadie Nardini says, “alongside positive change, challenge appears.” This is why the greater point to spiritual practice is simply to drop in, tune in and PAY ATTENTION.
My teacher Shiva Rea says, "All beings have their yoga. This insight comes from a profound contemplation by Abhinavagupta. [He was] a prolific 12th-century scholar. He has this great axiom about yoga which is “tuning ourselves into our essential vibration.” We are learning how to tune ourselves into being present. This is why we go a yoga class. We feel out of tune. We start to feel in tune after the practice. I think only human beings distort ourselves to be something that we already are, our essential selves. For instance, a tiger essentially knows its nature; where as human beings have this incredible capacity to forget who we are and then have to search for ourselves."
Or as one of my favorite quotes reads "When you come to the edge and are about to drop off into the unknown, one of two things will happen: There will be something solide to stand on or You will be taught to fly."
I know from my own practice that the most powerful thing we can do is just be present to whatever is happening, tune in and trust that ability to focus one's thoughts will be enough to bring the clarity you need for the next moment. And we only live one breath, one moment at a time. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS Join me on a Yoga retreat with Alchemy Tours and without distraction really tune in to what you want for your life!
NOVEMBER 10, 2010. Jon Kabat Zinn says, "too often our lives cease working because we cease working at life."
Yoga teaches us that when we are not present our minds become totally distracted and our thoughts are all over the place, starting stopping, wandering from one thing to the other at often break neck speed. If we pay attention we harness the power of our thoughts. As a human being this is what distinguishes us from other creatures and is our GREATEST STRENGTH! Yet our least utilized. When we start the practice first thing we do is remind everyone to be conscious of their breathing, to pay attention to the breath: anapana sati breathing technique. Not being bossy just watching it. For as Gabrielle Roth writes in the book Sweat your Prayers, "the breath is promiscuous, and if you don't pay it attention it will find another lover."
Consider how tuned in to your breath you have to be to experience this from Pieree Teilhard De Chardin “The inhale and the exhale. Breathing out carbon dioxide to the trees and breathing in their fresh exudations. Oxygen kissing each cell awake, atoms dancing in orderly metabolism, interpenetrating. That dance of the air cycle, breathing the universe in and out again, is what you are, is what I am.” Wow! All he is talking about is paying attention to the breath.
Then by paying attention to the breath the breath reveals your state of mind and heart. “If you want to know the past, to know what has caused you, look at yourself in the present, for that is the past’s effect. If you want to know your future, then look at yourself in the present, for that is the cause of the future.” Majihima Nikaya
And as we pay attention to breath, we then pay attention to aligning our movements or poses with the breath. There is this really on purpose experience of where we put our hands and feet and energy without judgement, just observation. For what we know and don't know eventually become one. Rumi says it like this:
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend
why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how unknown merges into the known
All that you know, all that you don't know are no longer things to be feared or apologized for or worried about. Just by paying attention the universal intelligence that loves and supports us all is working on our behalf. All we have to do is pay attention and the rest works itself out for our greater happiness. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS And if you need a way to re-establish the ability to pay attention without distraction come on retreat with me. Stretch your mental and physical boundaries! Alchemy tours. Facebook us, facebook me anytime, visit our website www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com
DISTRACTION MOAB MUSINGS FROM ALCHEMY TOURS
NOVEMBER 8, 2010. As I returned from Moab Sunday evening with Carol and Rich we left behind the undistracted energy of the rocks and desert and mountains and as soon as we got off the plane in Denver were hit with the reality of distraction once again. The lights! The noise! The volume of people! The buzz in the air! It hit me with such force I felt a little sick to my stomach for a moment. And a lot confused. I thought hmmmm so that's what we live in day in and day out?
Sometimes we don't know what we don't know until we know something different. To be in Moab on a Yoga retreat with Alchemy Tours (www.alchemytours.com) mountain biking, hiking, bouldering is to be in a new world devoid of all distractions apart from our little tribe. The spiritual progress we make in this situation far surpasses what is allowable on most "normal" days when surrounded by noise, people, business, worry, speed, and anxiety. There in Moab on the rocks, there is quiet and we can all finish the conversations we start with ourselves but never seem to finish while at home because something comes up and distracts us.
"I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment." --Hilaire Belloc
Going on a yoga retreat is an experience of fulfillment. It is done with purpose and the guidance we offer is focused whether on a mountain bike or hike or practicing yoga. Whereas distraction is that feeling of being lost. And we've all felt lost before. Using this practice to help concentrate allows us to organize the energies around us, inside us and turn them into undistracted energy which is quite powerful. We need that laser like focus to accomplish our intentions. On the mat we take one part, one stage (krama) at a time to help achieve amazing experiences. We place our hands, lay our foundation in a downward dog, direct our energy from the focal point of our hearts to our legs and arms, feet and hands. It is bringing the macro of our life into the micro of full detailed attention.
While in Moab Geology Joel, our personal friend and ranger, guided us in Arches National Park Fiery Furnace. He had us at the end stop and look at the vista of beauty before us and passionately implored us to not just see the bigness but to get down there and touch feel be part of the detail. And that in and of itself will help us be less distracted or overwhelmed.
Today, do something that draws your energy back to you. Take time to calm the chaos and move from distraction to center. And in that center is love. So love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
FOR FUTURE TRIPS TO MOAB WITH ALCHEMY TOURS PLEASE VISIT www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com save the date of April 16-19 2011 Moab, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Yoga Adventure or Oct 27-30, 2011 Moab Mountain Biking, Hiking, Yoga Adventure