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
INTENTION WITH FULL AWARENESS PRESENCE RESPONSIBILITY
"Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift." — Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
AUGUST 11TH, 2010. In a phone interview a couple days ago I was explaining to a TV producer the purpose of yoga in 100 words or less. And what I shared with him is that yoga practice makes us stand up with FULL awareness to be FULLY present to our lives and take FULL responsibility for the quality of our existence right now.
It is all about the FULL spectrum of who we really are. Not who we were yesterday or who others want us to be but harnessing the power of our minds to focus on being in charge of our own lives. This means we stop blaming others for what our lives were or are like and stop making excuses for delaying the next steps of our lives. We accept that the job of being ourselves is ours alone. And Elizabeth Gilbert speaks to this in this quote. Hey if you can't bother to show up and speak your truth about what you want for your life then how will you ever achieve it? The thing is you won't. So yoga is a way of praying with our bodies, meditation in motion so to speak. And grace shows up to be co-caption but at the very least the universe is expecting you accept the other half of the job.
Today get clear on what your intention is for your life. Let go of the kinda, sort of statements even remove the I will statements and just make it more direct. I AM CONFIDENT, I AM ACCEPTING OF MYSELF, I AM BEAUTIFUL, I AM COURAGEOUS.
And yes from there the inertia that comes from not taking responsibility for your intentions will disappear. TAPAS, the engagement of discipline and effort in yoga will burn off the self-doubt, worry, apathy forever. Start now....and repeat throughout the day your intentions. I AM AMAZING! Love your day, love your life, love yourself! Silvia
FULL PARTICIPATION ACTIVE LIVING
This is behind the idea in yoga of Tapas. Tapas helps us to take action to fully participate and be awake to our lives. To be active means we must articulate our intentions and practice with a solid determination to hold true to our dreams and visions for ourselves. Through yoga which is a system for mental, physical, and spiritual health we have full, democratic participation. On the mat we don’t even have to push ourselves to excel, all we have to do is show up and do the practice as best we can with full hearted effort. Just take part in your life make it active, keep it active and forget about the over perfecting it.
So where in your life have you been less than active or just plain stuck? I can tell you I came to realize this week for me it is in my extended family Thanksgiving. I am still at the kids table which I never want to leave. I’ve lost two cousins to the grown up table already through the years and don’t want any more to go. At the grown up table a lot more is expected of you. You are required to be more active so I’ve been hanging back. Now I like the kids table with my adult cousins, its cool, its casual. But this year I am thinking I might ask my Aunt and Uncle who host Thanksgiving for the Mordini’s every year about what I can help with. Now don’t get me wrong they will have to take me kicking and screaming away from the kids table when I’m ninety-five and not a moment sooner but I can still take a more active role.
You see this practice readies our bodies, hearts and minds for the deep work of active living. Yoga gives us the energy and clarity we need to create the lives of our dreams. And I’ll tell you as we go into the home stretch of the year and need the yoga the most, that’s exactly when many of us will fall away from active practice. Well that’s not good enough. To receive the benefits you have to keep showing up and doing the work. Living in alignment is not passive. Just like conscious breathing is not passive. We have to breath on purpose. We have to live on purpose. Life is active, Love is active. On the mat when we inhale we prepare, as we exhale we deepen our pose. Off the mat our active living requires we inhale fully and as we exhale we wake up to the best parts of ourselves moment by precious moment. Join me for more yoga, stay active. Big love! Silvia
YOGA IS LIKE DATING
NOVEMBER 2, 2009: If the first yoga pose you did you felt uncomfortable would you give up? It’s like saying if the first person you ever dated you felt a little uncomfortable with would you never date again?
We are really dating the poses, we try them out, some are good fits right away and others take a while to warm up and coax out of their shell. Just like people.
A friend told me this story of when they were in school studying psychology and an assignment was to write out the description of the ideal partner. Well one guy wrote out a serious paper of 100 various requirements in their ideal mate. Then fast forward 20 years and they are at a reunion and this guy is there and his class mates have to ask, “So did you find a person with all 100 things you were looking for?” And he said yes, he did. So guess what did he marry her? Nope, he didn’t feel a fit, even though they had all the qualities…there wasn’t an energetic connection.
Ok well it’s the same with these poses. You might think you know what you want and then come to realize there is a greater benefit to what you didn’t even know you were looking for but felt right. So give it time dudes.
We will build our practice tonight in a progressive way. This is like how we might meet or date people in our life that we learn from, might not be our life partner but we take lessons from them and apply to the next relationship. It’s like that with yoga: class to class, pose to pose. Enjoy it all and learn from each relationship, each pose and embrace your life more fully! Love in all ways, Silvia
NOVEMBER 5TH,2009: Life gives us many opportunities to get stuck in the ills and discomforts of the past whether we are still upset with the guy who cut us off in traffic an hour ago or the crazy email from a colleague who threw us under the bus with our boss this morning or a lover who lied to us or we can even get upset with the weather. It doesn’t matter how long ago we harbor a grudge the point is that this type of thing sucks us dry of love energy and pulls us out of the present moment. So in the words of “Imagine we wake up and find that everyone has forgiven everything there was to forgive and instead of recycling the past, we could at last live FULLY in the present? We would all breath a sigh of relief. The atmosphere would be happier and many people would discover the wonder of living in the present moment instead of constantly investing huge parts of themselves in reliving events that are long past. Forgiveness is possible. It is NOT the same as condoning. It means not feeding anger for a wrong or slander. Forgiveness is the inner act of making peace with the past and of finally closing accounts.”
I understand this thing about accounts because this week I was interviewing banks to see about moving my business elsewhere. The main reason for moving would be because of poor service. Hey I forgive the last 7 years but it is now time to move forward. And the funny thing is that in order to open my bank account elsewhere I have to close it out where I’m at. It is the same with forgiveness otherwise we create suffering (a type of hell) for ourselves. As John Milton author of Paradise Lost says “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.” Or consider this beautiful story sent to me by a dear sweet friend from the book Saltwater Buddha:
A burly samurai once came to a Zen master and asked the master, "Sensei, please teach me the difference between heaven and hell."
"Why would I give an uncouth cretin like you such a high teaching,"
the Zen master said, in apparent disgust. "You're a worm. You're less than a worm. You're a stupid samurai."
Samurai were never treated this way in ancient
But the Zen master didn't flinch. (They never do.) He said to the samurai, calmly, "That, Samurai, is hell."
Suddenly, understanding the teaching, realizing that he was about to kill a holy man because of his own pride, the samurai's eyes filled with tears. He put his sword down and his palms together in reverence.
He bowed deeply.
"And that," said the master, "is heaven."
So today forgive a grievance, let go of a grudge and choose heaven right now. As Robert Holden says in the book Be Happy, “Forgiveness is the biggie when it comes to emotional well-being. Forgiveness is the awareness that nothing has happened to the essence of who you are. Sure, your self-image may have taken a battering, but that is not you. The past is over." Close the accounts my friends. It is that simple, just not that easy. I just want you to try. Love, Silvia
GNARLY MONDAY WEATHER YES! PERFECT TIME FOR YOGA!
Namaste Monday Friends,
Alright I'm no expert and I haven't quite confirmed the stats but I do believe this is 28th rainy Monday this year. And every Monday I have a little talk with myself in the morning about staying in bed or going out in the rain to take Mary's 9:15am Yoga class. Good news is when the weather is less than stellar why not be inside doing YOGA?
So if you're having that same Monday afternoon work day closing down talk about "should you go to yoga tonight or not" well why not? It's actually a perfect time to do yoga! I can tell you that I have never once regretted dragging myself to class, especially when its dark, cold or rainy outside. We have to keep livin' life to its fullest!
I want to say a special thank you to ALL the amazing Yogis I share mat time with on Monday's. Because I know you'll be there - I feel like I need to show up too. And somehow that makes it easier no matter the rain, the cold (or eventually even the snow).
We are all in this together working towards radiant health, love and world peace one down dog at a time!!
I'll save you spot tonight and every Monday night 6:15pm Level 1 or 7:30pm Basics. Our being at Total Body Yoga together, even if you have to drag yourself there sometimes, is what makes the group yoga practice so wonderful! Come in from the rain, get warm, and breath! Love and light, Silvia
PS - Hey Mary thank you for another FANTASTIC yoga class this morning!! Smiles.
FULL MOON, FRESH START, FOR HAPPINESS SAKE
Dear Friends on the Path,
This Friday, September 4th is the Full Moon. This is the time when the moon's energy is the strongest. It is considered an ideal time to start up a new endeavor, to begin again our most honest spiritual adventure. To make space for what comes next I've been working on letting go. Two key areas the practice points out that I need to focus on are: (1) offering forgiveness and (2) letting go of wanting to rewrite the past. Now I understand the teachings: that forgiveness is a form of self-compassion and by forgiving we are making the decision to be happy. Forgiveness helps the ego stop over-exaggerating the pain or tiredness of the past. As Robert Holden says, "Happiness is letting go. Forgiveness is letting go. When you choose one you choose the other."
What makes it hard for me is that I get stuck in wanting to rewrite the past instead of just letting it go. I waste time wishing things had been different which pulls me out of the present. Partly I do this so my legacy looks better on paper, but that's about what everyone else thinks instead of about how I am actually experiencing joy in my life.
"Sometimes in order to be happy in the present moment you have to be willing to give up all hope for a better past."
So this full moon I dedicate to a happy today and a happy future. Yoga teaches us that happiness is our true nature so I am realigning my heart to change the way I think about the past. I am trying to forgive more and make happiness more important today. What's done is done.
Basically this comes down to whether or not we choose the past or the present, the upset or happiness, fear or love. And with immense gratitude for my yoga practice I find the strength to say to myself each day, I CHOOSE LOVE. I choose to be present and enjoy each moment so as of now I don't miss a thing. With lovingkindess, Silvia
AUGUST 23, 2009:
Gratitude is the state of mind of thankfulness.
Every day I practice some form of gratitude meditation. I just start off saying to myself inside my breath I am grateful for…and then as part of a stream of consciousness I let it flow from my heart. It has taken years to find the ease in this flow. For a long time I would over think it, or rank some things as less or more meaningful than others. Finally I realized through spiritual practice Gratitude is a constant state of being. It is a way of seeing the world and there is no ranking necessary, all things big and small matter equally when practicing gratitude.
Gratitude increases our appreciation for life.
So many days it starts by being grateful for my life, for my breath. This awareness that just be breathing we won the lotto today! That not everyone in the world was chosen to breath on this day. That’s pretty powerful eye opener. When I was at the
Gratitude is a form of acceptance.
Just as we are grateful for our families the more gratitude we experience for others happiness the more our gratitude grows. Stephen Levine says “As gratitude is cultivated, we experience an increase in our sympathetic joy, our happiness at another’s happiness (this growing sense of gratitude for whatever happiness, great or small, that comes to those around us.)” Through gratitude we accept the good in all.
Gratitude is a return to balance
It brings balance to those parts of ourselves that are disconnected, or attached to suffering. Gratitude changes our attitude and helps us to stop feeling victimized by life. This is Yoga Sutras Chapter 2.33 “When presented with negative thoughts or feelings cultivate an opposite, elevated attitude. This is Pratipaksha Bhavana.” If feeling down, hopeless, worried, doubtful then to bring the see saw of our life back into balance we practice gratitude.
Gratitude is love. Try this easy to remember breath meditation
Inhale: I welcome happiness,
Exhale: I am grateful
Inhale: I welcome inspiration
Exhale: I am grateful
Inhale: I welcome love
Exhale: I am grateful
From the Book A Year to Live by Stephen Levine – Essential Gratitude Meditation
“How very fortunate we are to have this moment in this body with some intuitive acknowledgement of that which goes beyond our understanding.
Even with the difficulties, even with the confusion, how blessed we are to be here.
Grateful for the kindness of loved ones. Grateful for the moments of joy. Grateful for the clarity that arises even during pain. Grateful for the blessings, great and small. Grateful that our pain is no greater than it is.
Thankful for our Great Heart and the capacity to become whole.
Thankful to be living in a world and time, in which the value of compassion cannot be overlooked.
Grateful that among the billions now on this planet our hearts are so drawn by the possibility of liberation. Grateful for the path that has brought us each so far. Grateful for the love and the grace the spontaneously emerge from our true heart.
Grateful for our inheritance of happiness, that joy is our birthright.
Grateful for the sense of presence.
Gratitude for simply being.
Gratitude for the beneficent process.”
INCONVENIENCES OF LIFE AND LOVE
Life is simple not easy says Jon Kabat Zinn. Nothing is promised to us as easy. Life requires effort and discipline mostly because we have a lot working against us in keeping us mindful and present, more all the time to be honest. So a certain amount of work is required. And this is what inspired me today. When Pema Chodran says Life is so inconvenient I said to myself YES! that’s true. I just never heard it said so straightforward like that before. The word inconvenient is very different than something like saying life is hard. And what I’ve also found to be true is that following our hearts, love itself is inconvenient.
Pema Chodran writes, “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.”
This single teaching continues to resonate with me, not just the first time but in all the years since. To read more check out her book The Wisdom of No Escape.
Hey remember when we were kids on a road trip with our parents and from the back seat we’d ask, “are we there yet?” So why were we asking? The truth is that it’s easier to just stay home. It’s a lot more convenient, especially for our parents but they took us on the road anyway. My own parents not only took us around the
The waking up is inconvenient. Quite frankly waking up to one’s life is very inconvenient. But Pema goes on to say, “But what spiritual practice teaches is that once you know that the purpose of life is simply to walk forward and continually to use your life to wake up rather than put you to sleep, then there’s that sense of wholeheartedness about inconvenience, wholeheartedness about convenience. If we choose cozy, safe as our primary reason to exist then this becomes an obstacle for our very existence in trying to live fully where we take chances, offer ourselves to making new choices, take a risk, explore.”
COMFORT ORIENTATION MURDERS THE SPIRIT
When we are on the path, involved in our own pilgrimage its inconvenient to be on the road (as a road warrior in the corporate world traveling 70% of the time I know this) but staying home and avoiding life but not engaging it is the death of our spirit. It’s not easy but certainly it’s worth the inconvenience to dare the difficult.
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare;
It is because we do not dare that they are difficult. Seneca 4 BCE – 65BCE
You guys, really if you think about it there are lots of inconveniences about life. It’s inconvenient to buy groceries, it’s inconvenient to make the bed each day, to brush our teeth, to prepare our meals, to get sick, to lose your job, to have your kids throw up on you, to get divorced, to get married, to clean the house, to get gas, to have a baby, it’s inconvenient to find yourself embarrassed or heart broken too. Tell me what do you think is convenient? And is that meaningful?
The thing is that if we want to love life we’ll learn that the inconvenience is not the obstacle. Of course we’re going to get “poked and prodded like someone’s laughing in your ear, challenging you to figure out what to do when you don’t know what to do. It humbles you. It opens your heart.” (Chodran) And when it comes down to it I’d rather have my heart opened up then live life tight in the bud. I’d rather have something spectacular on my tombstone when this life ends than to have written, “had great health insurance and lived an ok life” So please really sit with this and see how it can change your life as it has mine. Love your day, your life, yourself! Silvia
The way of experience
Let me use suspense as material for perseverance;
Let me use danger as material for courage;
Let me use reproach as material for long suffering;
Let me use praise as material for humility;
Let me use pleasure as material for temperance;
Let me use pain as material for endurance.
-John Baillie (1886-1960)
JULY 14, 2009: As Gratitude is something which none of us can give too much I wanted to tell you how thankful I am for you sharing your time with me by coming to class. Your support encourages me to work even harder at serving you better. I really want to offer you the most beautiful, caring environment and inspiring classes possible so at the end of when you have a tough day you can regain clarity.
Is Your Soul Asleep? I REMEMBER WHEN MINE WAS. THIS PRACTICE OF YOGA WOKE ME UP. IT WOKE ME UP TO MAKING GRATITUDE A HABIT.
When your soul is in charge your life becomes a LOVE STORY.
A love story between you and yourself, between you and everybody else, between you and the divine…...I’d love to seduce you into wondering about your soul; the way it moves, how it smells, feels, tastes, speaks, acts, even what it wears. And most Importantly how it is part of you that makes you a fascinating, mysterious individual. (By Gabrielle Roth – Sweat your Prayers)
A healthy Gratitude Habit can in the words of Melody Beattie "unlock the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Sometimes all it takes to reconnect to our Gratitude Habit is coming back to the mat and reigniting that inner light through gentle reminder of how lucky we really are. "Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light." (Albert Schweitzer) So this week join me in taking the gratitude habit from the mat into the world. How? Try this:
· Reverse any tendency you have to make comparisons.
· Quit talking about what you don't have compared to what you have;
· Stop complaining about how you are doing career-wise, relationship-wise, or any other-wise.
· Instead, concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, saying to yourself from morning to night “I am grateful for…”
And I promise you will discover a life filled with gratitude wakes up and nurtures your soul and brings quiet joy! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
“Gratitude is confidence in life itself.
Gratitude gladdens the heart.
As gratitude grows it gives rise to joy.
Like gratitude joy gladdens the heart.
We can be joyful for people we love,
for moments of goodness, for sunlight and trees,
and for the breath within us.
And as our joy grows
we finally discover a happiness without cause.
We can rejoice in life itself, in simply being alive!”
—From “The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindess, and Peace” By Jack Kornfield
THE GENIUS THAT YOU ARE!
FEBRUARY 16, 2009: Every single one of you is vitally important to the universe. You are genius! The world needs your genius now more than ever before. In yogic terms all human beings have within themselves the same essence of consciousness and one attribute of consciousness is genius. Yoga asana and pranayama help us remove the mucky muck that impedes our alertness to our inner genius. As Buckminster Fuller says, “Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”
So this practice performed regularly helps you reveal your best self. It will help you live more fully realizing your greatest potential. Yoga is a process of helping you become who you really are. As Dr Dyer writes in power of intention, “If you bring forth what is inside you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don’t bring forth what is inside you, what you don’t bring forth will destroy you.” Whether you want to or not life is moving forward. Leo Buscaglia writes, “The easiest thing in the world to be is what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be, but that’s the scene we are living in. Are you really you or are you what people have told you you are? If you are interested in really knowing who you are because if you are, it is the happiest trip of your life.”
In class we talked about the shared characteristics of those whom we all honor as bringing forth their genius into the world like Jonas Salk, Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart, Madam Curie. More was offered in class with the poses serving as the true contexualization of the philosophical but in brief qualities such as trust in your inner wisdom, optimism, spirituality, simplicity, appreciating the genius in others, joy for life, love for what you’re doing, self-love, love for what makes you unique and special (honor your funkiness). Finally at the end of practice we pulled this together by practicing a gratitude meditation. Gratitude is where what you know and what you intend for your life merge. I hope the written journaling you did at the beginning and end of class on your immediate and longer term intention offered each of you great insight. May we all be grateful for gratitude expands us! It is in the state of expansion that our genius will surface most easily. You are wonderful you guys! Love to you all, Silvia
LIVE MORE FULLY
NOVEMBVER 13, 2008:
"For yesterday I hold no apologies, For tomorrow I hold no answers, Today is a gift and I will honor it by fully living in it." ~ Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey
As we have approached tomorrow evening with the showing of "Indestructible" by Director Ben Byer I have spent more and more time journaling and meditating about what it means to live fully. There was a time in my life where I was anxiously ticking off days of the week like items on a To Do List waiting to be finished. That's no way to live.
Of all the things I've tried along my journey, yoga has brought me back to myself and to the desire to live fully. Because it is so forgiving it has given me the courage to stop being afraid of happiness. Yoga has even helped me embrace failed attempts at happiness because as I breath I can keep trying! Now none of us knows our personal expiration date because it is stamped with invisible ink, but whatever it is I hope LIVING FULLY is important enough to you that you won't waste another moment.
The movie tonight is a truly inspiring example of someone unapologetically choosing to live fully even in the face of challenge. This movie is for believers and lovers of life. Join me on the mat to continue your own inward adventure! Begin directing the movie of your own life starting now, find the flow and in that lies the yoga of living from our highest selves. Big Love To You ALL! Silvia
"Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Continue to learn. Play with abandon. Choose with no regret. Laugh! Do what you love. Love as if this is all there is." ~ Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey