DREAMS DEATH LOVE LIVING
February 9, 2011. I don't mean this to be dramatic or morbid but if I died today could I say that I've lived well. And more importantly could I say that I've loved well. You see today is the anniversary of my Father's death. Enrico Mordini died on this day many years ago, too many to even begin to want to count. And yet the hardest day of my life is also a day of inspiration. It is a reminder every year to ask myself am I loving enough? Am I Creating more love in the world, not just following love but leading the way for love as a Love Warrior so to speak.
For it's not enough to think about it or follow the leader in love it is also our responsibility to make more love in the world. Today more than ever! And yes for me this is also tied up in wondering on this date every year "is my Papa proud of me and how I'm loving my life." Would he think that I respect love enough to salute it every day (like a sun salutation)? I have to believe he is proud of how valiant my attempts are regardless of the results which are sometimes messy and pretty often imperfect.
Funny thing about death is that the anniversary keeps coming back every year and reminds us that we don't know how long we have on this earth. So if you are thinking about getting started in loving more, creating more love, talking to love, talking about love then you should get started NOW. Yesterday, in meditation I decided to turn up the volume of love in my life, mostly because I don't feel like I'm yet "doing" enough to promote love. If I am a Love Ambassador (kind of like a Lululemon Ambassador) I have to get out there and keep the "brand image" of LOVE on the forefront. I have to take more responsibility. So I have pledged to write/blog/meditate about love for 21 days in a row (the length of time some scientists agree it takes to build a healthy habit).
Those of you who know me might think this will be an easy love assignment for me, but being actively pledged to love is not easy. It is simple. Just not easy. That's a long time to be in love with love and maintain a fruitful, spiritually mature dialogue. I say this because when my Father passed away the first person I was angry with was Love. I screamed and cried and shouted at love in my thoughts and out loud, because I couldn't understand why love would take away the first person on this planet who loved me (along with my Mama too). Love seemed so unfair to me then. So you see I haven't always been on good terms with Love, we've argued before and sometimes it's not been pretty.
But here I am, ready to really try to be the Love Ambassador that I want to be and that will make my Papa proud. You see Love is a skill. If you practice love, move like love, think love, behave in a loving way then we're bound to get good at it, just like anything else we practice (sadhana) repeatedly over time.
Eknath Easwaren says it like this “Love is a skill, a precious skill that can be learned. There are many other skills that are useful, even necessary, but in the end, nothing less than learning to love will satisfy us. The saints and mystics tell us that life has only one overriding purpose: to discover the source of infinite love and then to express this love in daily living. Without love, life is empty; without love, life is meaningless. The only purpose which can satisfy us completely, fulfill all our desires, and then make our life a gift to the whole world, is the gradual realization of the Self (LOVE) within, which throws open the gates of love. We cannot dream what depth and breadth of love we are capable of until we make the discovery that this divine spark lives in every creature.”
And today as I dream of love I am just so grateful to breath and welcome a way that promotes living the biggest love possible. So happy am I to have another chance to love more! It comes down to a simple choice (here I really should tell you that my "not so secret" ulterior motive is to build an army of Love Ambassadors worldwide) and I'd like to recruit each of you. The oath is easy. You just say to yourself and then to everyone: I CHOOSE LOVE.
May you love yourself more, love your day more, love your life more! Silvia
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A YOGA STUDENT ADHIKARA BABY!
SEPTEMBER 16, 2010
Super Duper Namaste,
During the month of August I devoted myself to Adhikira. Adhikara translates as studentship. So this means I made a full-hearted effort to be a student of yoga. Martha McQuid says, “In Sanskrit, adhikara refers to being spiritually open, or ready, for spiritual study (in Sanskrit, Sadhana). It also implies a level of ownership and willingness to take responsibility, as well as dedication, for the subject that is being studied. (*More on adhikara below)
During that month I explored a wide variety of studios and tried over 20 teachers! I know we say that yoga is non-comparative, that on the mat we don’t compare ourselves to others, but how do we know without trying different teachers what we like a little bit better or what suits our tastes or personality. The point is to keep trying and give everyone a shot. Being a student of yoga means that you are open, dedicated and willing to try other teachers. It doesn’t mean that everyone’s style or personality is going to suit you. You might find some teachers more to your liking. But don’t stop trying, don’t refuse to have the pleasure of learning from someone new.
That’s the most important part. To be a student of yoga means to embrace everyone and be open to the holistic experience of what is possible. And to me it also means that each of us as students is responsible for making that class the best one of our lives! Being a great student of yoga is co-creating right along with your teacher the most delicious alchemy where we become yoga (yoked, in union). It is then when we are living our Namaste: the light of what is good in me sees and celebrates the light and goodness in you, and together we celebrate the beauty and love that exists within us and outside us! From my heart thank you to all the teachers at TBY that subbed for me, and special maholo, love and respect to all the students at TBY who opened their hearts to new teachers. I NAMASTE YOU! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
*ADHIKARA CONTINUED “Thus, a student that is brand new to yoga wouldn’t begin a practice in an advanced level class, despite excellent physical conditioning, or a background in dance or gymnastics. There is a linear rhythm to learning anything - music, mathematics, language. We always begin with simple ideas and then move forward into the complex. For example, when you learn a musical instrument, you don’t start by trying to play a Mozart concerto. We begin by learning the notes and where they fall in the musical staff, then fingerings, then scales, then simple tunes and over time with dedicated practice, Mozart! A newer student who pushes too hard can get an overload of this energy and not understand it or be able to contain it. In order to prepare the body to receive this energy, we take a methodical approach to practice. In yoga philosophy, this idea is supported in The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali 1:14 which is translated as ‘steady practice over a long period of time.” Now apply this to a new yoga instructor. They are trying their best, and the only way they can get better is if you allow them to practice and grow. I promise you they will exceed your expectations if you just give them even just a little while to evolve.
MARCH 27, 2010: Your life is the way it is because of YOU. Can you imagine a world in which everyone holds themselves accountable for the quality of their life? I dreamed of a place where no one places blame on anyone else for the circumstances of their life. There is no longer a victim mentality or as Rusty Wells said, Yoga is the anti-victim mentality. Your life is the way it is because of you.
When I first figured this out as part of yogic teachings the thing I was most blown away by was that this meant I had to work at my own development, happiness and spiritual growth. This in yoga we know as Sadhana, we work daily as a practice on our own inner evolution. This evolution is where we take responsibility moment by moment for what we say, how we act, how we breath, what we think.
This active living of life or as a best dear friend always says, “Try Life. Live it.” Makes it clear that we are living and learning from the experience of life moment to moment. And that this is true living of life is only taking place in the present. We can too easily fall prey to lamenting the past and pushing blame on things that have expired or forecasting some neurotic tendency towards the future. If we are taking full responsibility then we are living on purpose right now. Everything we do is on purpose or with conscious intent. Even something like kindness, where I go to sleep each night and say to myself “tomorrow I am going to be 11% kinder” requires me to stay present to each situation, person or thing that I encounter and see the best in it.
Kindness takes work. Taking responsibility for one’s life takes work. But the good news is that then we get all the credit too.
Every time we come together in yoga class I realize that my dream has come true. What we do person to person on the mat is hold ourselves accountable pose to pose and at the end we celebrate by resting in quiet meditation known as savasana. Well deserved too! So join me on the mat, become part of my dream…more importantly become part of my reality of making this world the best place possible. Love! Silvia
DISCOVER THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE
May 3, 2009:
Ok you guys, Iím a little embarrassed to admit I used to be one of those people that would take forever to order food at dinner. Iíd be at the table waiting for everyone else to order first because I didnít have the confidence in the truth of my first instinct in what to order for myself. Now this may not be a big deal at dinner but itís a tough way to go through life being indecisive or confused to the TRUTH of who we are (starting with what we want to eat). Why didnít I order what I wanted to? I was too afraid of disappointing someone at the table because they wanted me to order something different than what I wanted or I felt guilty ordering something too expensive. Really in all honesty I was just afraid of standing up and being myself, declaring to the world ďYes, this is what I want based on who I am.Ē This is me remaining true to my truth.
This is how I was living life at the time. I felt constant guilt over what everyone else wanted me to be. So I tried desparertly to be who they wanted me to be by wearing that costume. I never felt like myself inside the costume and the longer I wore it the more itchy and uncomfortable it became until I just couldnít deny any more that the costume was NOT ME. My soul was sweating and dying inside from not revealing the true me. So my spiritual practice evolved and I stopped trying so hard to be who other people wanted me to be.
I realized that I was trying to be a photocopy of someone else and as we all know photocopies are never as good as the originals. I would only ever be the second best someone else. The only person I could be the best at being was ME. In Yoga thatís known as Satya, ďTruth and authenticityĒ of acknowledging our unique humanness. I donít to want to be a PHOTOCOPY PERSON. Do you? Because take it from me, you donít have to be.
In yoga we peel of these outer layers or costumes, masks we wear to rediscover our TRUE selves. Itís not always easy work, there are tears, laughter, sweating, sometimes even a bit of pain. But overall itís a whole lot easier than trying to wear an ill fitting costume the rest of our lives. And it makes ordering dinner much easier too!
So how do we maintain it? Well what we are talking about here is a daily spiritual practice (known as Sadhana) where you make time to stay connected to your own truth otherwise the resistance monsters of fear, doubt, guilt come back. And it is achieved through self-love, seeing who we are is just perfect (without condition) we are each vitally important to the world as we are true. This is where we found ultimate freedom from mental torture and stress.
Does this seem a little self-centered? Of course, it should. As Sadie Nardini says, ďspiritual disciplines like yoga are built around this concept of moving into and from our center.Ē The cool thing is by being more authentic we give everyone else around us permission to be themselves. There is no pretending and relationships deepen. Itís a neat way to live, really the only way to live.
The alternative it seems is to keep wearing the costumes, building really great ďLife ResumesĒ as if you were trying to apply for the job of your own life. I did that. I put together a Silvia Resume (didnít really feel totally like me because I was trying to impress everyone else). Then through yoga funny thing happened. As the true me was allowed to shine out I realized I already had the job of being Silvia. And I was only going to get this one chance, this one lifetime to enjoy remaining true to my own truth.
Today, even for a little while take off the costume, be your funky self! So youíll love yourself more, love your day more, love your life more! Silvia