DOING NOTHING IS ENOUGH IL BEL FAI NIENTE
March 29, 2011. The practice of yoga is not about doing more or asserting more effort it is actually an experience where we try to make the smartest least effort or effortless effort. There is this space in a pose where we find that sweet space of "doing nothing." That is something I know well from my Father who was born in Italy and the Italian people have a deep respect for the philosophy of enjoyment. This is the idea of IL BEL FAI NIENTE which means "the beauty of doing nothing." Remember this passage from Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love "Generally speaking, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused but that's not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. Of course we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure.) Americans don't really know how to do nothing. But against the backdrop of hard work, il bel fai niente, has always been a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. Anyone with a talent for happiness can do this."
"My own ambition, my deepest and truest ambition, is to find within myself someday, somehow, the ability to do likewise, to do NOTHING - and find it enough." Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
Another way I personally experience this doing of nothing is going to Moab. Utah. When I am there I understand what Edward Abbey is writing about since that is where he wrote the book Desert Solitaire. There is a quiet in the desert unlike anything I have found elsewhere in the world. And the joy of mountain biking or practicing yoga there feels so in the flow of this effortless effort that you come away from any excursion with more energy and calm. I can't wait to return April 16-19 to introduce a new tribe to the beauty of Il Bel Fait Niente! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
*To join us in April or in October in Moab visit www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com or facebook Alchemy Tours
11 WAYS TO SAY YES IN 2011!
JANUARY 31, 2011. MORE YES! Here we are in the beginning of the year. Eleven months more to go which means there is still plenty of time to set the foundation of YES in your life in 2011. Let's start by saying YES to a little quiz. First question to ask yourself is (1) are you conscious and alert to your Yes choices? (2) Do you say Yes more than you say No? (3) What do you say YES to?
In Tantric philosophy we start with "yes". It is our first choice. We say yes to opening, softening, receiving and lay the way in understanding that YES IS DOING! Or as is written in the Alchemist, "There is only one way to learn, it's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey." You see Yoga is learning to align with nature rather than resisting it or trying to over control it by saying No all the time. This spiritual practice is about saying YES as the immediate response to life. Wayne Gretzky is so right on "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Yes means taking the chance, risking it all for love, for a happier life, for a happier YOU. Will you get hurt? Maybe. Is it worth it? YES! So join me in aligning 11 INTENTIONS to 2011, in these eleven remaining months of the year.
So here are 11 things to say YES to in 2011
- Yoga, Cycling, Culture and Wine in Tuscany, Italy June 19-26, 2011 or October 16-22, 2011
- 10 minutes of meditation 5 in the morning and 5 in the evening
- Practicing patience with the one person you love
- Walk or ride a bike for 15 min a day
- Yoga, Mountain Biking and Adventure in Moab, Utah April 16-19, 2011 or Oct 27-30, 2011
- Take a Private Yoga Session
- Taking a few deep breaths before sending an email, text, or phone call. What is your intention for communication and does it come from love?
- Start reading the Yoga Sutras (Secret Power of Yoga is one of my favorites!)
- Get some Beach Therapy. Yoga in Xinalani Mexico Feb 26-March 5, 2011 or Big Island Hawaii Dec 18-23, 2011
- Practice gratitude daily. Write or think of 3 things you are grateful for each morning or before bed.
- SMILE more!
Take to heart that doing something is the Yes. And when you decide you are clear on what you say YES to, then everything is there to support you. It is as is written in the Alchemist "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." At the end of the day what you say YES to isn't even as important as just doing it! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
PS - Join me on retreat www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com
WHAT DO YOU SAY YES TO?
NOVEMBER 20, 2010. What do you say YES to? Are you conscious and alert to your Yes choices? Do you say Yes more than you say No? Or do you just pick the stuff that is the most convenient?
We are in many ways organisms of convenience so what Pema Chodran writes hits home, “when you hear some teachings that ring true to you and feel some trust in its being a worthwhile way to live then you’re in for a lot inconvenience. From an everyday perspective it seems good to do things that are kind of convenient; there is no problem with that. It’s just that when you really start to take the warrior’s journey – which is to say, when you start to want to live your LIFE FULLY, when you begin to feel this passion for life and for growth, when discovery and exploration and curiosity become your path – then basically, it you follow your heart, you’re going to find that it’s often extremely inconvenient.”
"There is only one way to learn," the alchemist answered. "It's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey." (The Alchemist To Santiago.) In Tantric philosophy we start with "yes". It is our first response. We say yes to opening, softening, receiving and...
YES IS DOING!
Take to heart this blessing: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky is so right on. Doing something is the Yes. And when you decide you are clear on what you say YES to, then everything is there to support you. It is as is written in the Alchemist "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." At the end of the day what you say YES to isn't even as important as just doing something, saying YES is your commitment to living the moment full blast! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
Join me on retreat www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com
WHY DO YOU DO THE THINGS YOU DO
SEPTEMBER 6, 2010. Why do we do the things we do? Why do you think the things you do? Why do you feel the way you feel? All of these most essential human questions. Yet to be honest, before stepping fully into spiritual practice I had either not thought about these questions or I certainly didn't spend much time thinking about them on a day to day basis. Through the cognitive behavioural therapy that is Yoga that all changed. Even if you don't want to at some point while breathing on purpose and practicing the poses these questions get so loud that you have to address them heart first.
Senior Yoga Teacher and a personal hero of mine Donna Farhi has said “In truth, it matters less what we do in practice than how we do it and why we do it. The same posture, the same sequence, the same meditation with a different intention takes on an entirely new meaning and will have entirely different outcomes.”
Whatever habits of the mind, that lead to actions, that establish our feeling state bubble to the surface of our consciousness during yogic practice and only then can we start to be honest with ourselves about why we are doing the things we are doing. This is what is behind then the idea of INTENTION.
So right now ask yourself, WHAT IS THE QUALITY OF YOUR INTENT?
It doesn't matter if you are eating, drinking, reading, kissing, working, breathing what is the quality of your intention behind doing what you are doing?
Thurgood Marshall said, "Certain people have a way os saying things that shake us at the core. Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering. What we could be experiencing is the INTENT behind the words. When we intend to do good, we do. When we intend to do harm, it happens. What each of us must come to realize is that our intent always comes through. We cannot sugarcoat the feelings in our heart of hearts. The emotion is the energy that motivates. We cannot ignore what we really want to create. We should be honest and do it the way we feel it. What we owe to ourselves and everyone around is to examine the reasons of our true intent. My intent will be evident in the results." Renew your commitment this Fall to pay attention of the quality of your intent (is it honest, is it authentic, how does it feel) and stay mindful of your intent in all you do! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
YOGA STRENGTHENS SELF-ESTEEM
AUGUST 18TH, 2008: Two key readings from the ancient writings of yoga inspired me today for our practice.
“It is better to fail at yourself than it is to succeed at being someone else.”
Bhagavad Ghita Chapter 3 that the yoga is about being true to who you are. It talks about being authentic.
“Objective of yoga is to remove the divisions within yourself so that you can immerse yourself in the infinity that is you. sthira, sukham, asanam”
Yoga Sutras Chapter 2 Verse 46
We started by doing our Favorite Pose. Then we all did our Least Favorite Pose. Then we paused to contemplate: HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF RIGHT NOW?
Key Learning Points From This Practice:
· We always have opportunities to be true to ourselves
· You don’t have to do anything heroic
· THE GOAL IS AWARENESS!
· Sometimes we end up not being true to ourselves in our work, in our relationships but when you want to shift YOGA WILL HELP YOU FIND YOUR STRENGTH to be authentic. And then life gets a lot better and a whole lot easier.
· The shift is towards who we really are were we can let go of self-imposed limitations and negative self-talk:
1. I’M NOT STRONG ENOUGH
2. I LOOK RIDICULOUS
3. I FEEL CLUMSY
4. I CAN’T DO THIS
5. EVEN DELUSIONAL THOUGHTS, I’M GOING TO DIE, THIS POSE IS GOING TO KILL ME
So you see it is vitally important to be who you are fully because there is not failure in being you. (We could only ever be the second best anyone else anyway). And when you are not being true to yourself and try to hard to please others it takes you away from your heart. Which isn’t worth it as the words of Hafiz remind us, “It is all just a love contest and there are no losers.” I hope you stay the course and allow the practice to help you build your self-esteem in ways you never thought possible! Love, Silvia