HAPPINESS TRAINING - SPRING HAS BEGUN!
MARCH 25, 2009: Now as Spring has started is the perfect time to go back into training if you stopped along the way this Winter. What training you ask? Well, HAPPINESS TRAINING. That's what I like to call Yoga. Just like if we were training to run a marathon happines takes practice and training.
Now although the two have a lot in common where they diverge is that if you practice, then run the marathon it is completed. With happiness training, the training never ends. It lasts a lifetime! Why do we need training in happiness? Because most of us don't wake up happy every day. Even science says that our braings are wired to look for what's wrong. According to Martin Seligman in the book Authentic Happiness this is known as the catastrophic brain. He goes on to say that in neurological testing humans viewing unpleasant images showed activity in the primitive parts of the brain. Humans viewing pleasant images showed activity in more recently evolved parts of the brain.
So we are at the the cutting edge of our evolution! The great news is that you can start training anytime. In the words of Lama Yeshe, "it is never too late. Even if you're going to die tomorrrow, keep yourself straight and clear and be a happy human being today. If you keep your sitatution happy day by day, you will eventually reach the greatest happiness of Enlightenment."
So join me on the mat for continued practice reversing the negative stories we tell ourselves and strengthening ourselves with a positive life perspective. As Thit Nhat Hanh says, "people deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try to see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?"
May all beings be happy, loved and peaceful! JAI! Silvia
THE BOUNCE BACK FACTOR
I love folks that have jovial, bright attitudes about life. No matter how down things get they are able to see the uplift in any situation. I am one of those people. Well, let me say it like this, Yoga has helped me become one of those people who have this “bounce back factor”.
So I ask you today what is your BOUNCE BACK FACTOR? Do you look for the uplift in situations or get pulled into negativity and stay there? Do you bounce back, reregulate, recalibrate quickly or not so much? How long do you stay mad? How long do you stay upset or sad? Do you let something unexpected ruin your week, or your weekend, your anniversary, your vacation? If you are not yet a bounce back person, the answer could be as easy as practice more yoga!
Why does this work? It’s the big MO. Each small victory in not freaking out or getting out of whack for less time is exciting and lets us take larger steps to our highest best self. Each little victory creates momentum. When you throw a ball you need momentum to make it go farther right? Well its like that. More bounces, less effort. As I always say WE GROW GREAT BY DEGREES.
Now the bounce back factor also requires that we see ourselves as co-creating with the universe as well as recognizing that true happiness is an inside job. Basically its like this what we say to ourselves on the inside is what we see on the outside. The world is not created out there and then experienced inside us. It's the other way around. What you see on the outside is the reflection of what you've created on the inside through your thoughts. what we say to ourselves on the inside is what we see on the outside. The world is not created out there and then experienced inside us.
Especially essential in promoting a stronger bounce back factor is accepting that there is NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE. There is only experience and observation of our experience. We just can’t get bogged down in fear or negativity. "Don't move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move." Thit Nhat Hanh says, “People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”
Ultimately bouncing back is like the practice of contentment not for wimps. We have to engage some tapas and put some effort into it, just like throwing a ball. So together, let’s practice and you will get stronger, more steady, and your ability to bounce back will improve exponentially! GO BIG, LOVE BIG, DREAM BIG! Silvia
MARCH 8TH, 2009: I mediate often on the power of freedom and what this means in relation to having room to breath. Some years ago I read the book by Thit Nhat Hanh Peace in Every Step. In the book there is a story titled "Breathing Room". Sorry to say I didn't read the story until recently. But just the title had a huge impact on me.
What does that mean to you "breathing room"?
So you can interpret it in different ways. I took it literally, like wouldn't it be cool to have a room where we breath. That is in many respects the sacred space of the asana room at the studio. Interesting enough this is also what Thit Nhat Hanh is suggesting as follows:
"We have a room for everything - eating, sleeping, watching TV - but we have no room for mindfulness. I recommend that we set up a small room in our homes and call it a "breathing room", where we can be alone and practice just breathing and smiling, at least in difficult moments. That little room should be regarded as an Embassy of the Kingdom of Peace. It should be respected, and not violated with anger, shouting or things like that. When a child is about to be shouted at , she can take refuge in that room. Neither the father or mother can shout at her anymore. She is safe within the grounds of the Embassy. Parents sometimes will need to take refuge themselves. Therefore, that room is for the benefit of the whole family. I believe that every home should have one room for breathing. Simple practices like conscious breathing and smiling are very important. They can change our civilization." (the rest of this story is found in the book Peace Is Every Step)
Please enjoy this and look around your own home is there a closet, a corner, a room that you could designate as your BREATHING ROOM? I know there is. Why? Because we all had this as children except we called it a tree house, under our bed, secret spot by the big tree...you still have that available to you now (it just might be fancier). Wishing you freedom in breathing forever! Big Love, Silvia