TRUST, UNCONDITIONAL GRATITUDE AND LETTING LOVE IN
April 9, 2011. "If I knew that everything I believed and more was true-I'd wake up and let life take me as its own." 9:30am and 12pm at hauteyoga Queen Anne focused on Trust, Unconditional Gratitude and Letting Love in. Danna Faulds goes on to write, "I'd welcome whatever came next and know that love could change me forever if I let it." I have a confession to make, I have trust issues. One example started when I was run over by a car as a pedestrian over 10 years ago. Since that point whenever I'm walking I still feel my breath tighten and my skin constrict as I get ready to walk across the street. The fact of the matter is that when I was involved in this hit and run accident (as the one that was hit) I was a step away from the curb on the other side of the street. I saw the car coming on a sunny Sunday morning. And I didn't feel afraid because there was no way they would drive on the WRONG side of the street and hit me. I was so close.
Anyhow, the reality of the matter is that the car did cross over. And ever since I work on trusting that even if I have the right away as a pedestrian that the car will stop for me. Living in Seattle has brought me great healing towards rebuilding my trust because the law and the culture here are pedestrian, cyclist friendly. Even if a car has been stopped at a stop sign and you start walking they still give you the right to walk safely. And everyday I heal this trust issue I have between cars and people a little bit more. But its not easy and I still have to remember to keep breathing through the mental inconvenience of changing my thought patterns and old belief. In any spiritual practice we all have to make the choice to trust in what is important to us and believing in something doesn't make it easy.
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 – then basically, it you follow your heart, you’re going to find that it’s often extremely inconvenient.”
"If I knew that everything I believed and more was true...." So what it is that you trust as true? If you've had your heart broken will you take the steps to try again even though putting yourself out there is inconvenient? If you've attempted an arm balance and it didn't work the way you thought it would can you reestablish trust in the Earth to hold you up? Today find something you trust, even if it as fundamental as air and earth and from there keep expanding your circle of trust. "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too." - GOETHE
When trust is difficult I practice Unconditional Gratitude inspired by the book BE HAPPY by William Holden who defines Unconditional Gratitude as follows:
- "Gratitude based on a faith that everything that happens or doesn’t happen in your life is for your own best interests. That we live in a purposeful universe. Life is always for you; it is never against you. It is a fact that blessings sometimes come wrapped in fear, pain, and tears. In choosing to practice unconditional gratitude you are choosing to trust the process, to honor your feelings and to place your faith in an outcome of inevitable grace."
And why bother healing the trust issues we develop in life? Because if keep constricting through mistrust then love can't come in. Either we trust everyone and everything that happens to us whether difficult or easy or we don't trust anything. We either trust the process and believe the universe knows what it's doing or we trust nothing. Learning to trust and when necessary rebuilding trust opens our hearts and allows love in. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
TRUST AND SURRENDER AS SPIRITUAL ALCHEMY
March 11, 2011. There is this spiritual alchemy where we move beyond wanting life to be different and begin to feel the surrender that allows what is being offered. We practice ishvara pranidhana as we trust the universal intelligence that hugs us from all directions to know what it's doing. And once we find this trust we begin to believe that beauty and goodness are within us flowing nonstop and there is no reason to stop this flow for its natural current is to align with the current of grace that is everywhere outside us.
Beauty becomes our way of life. Happiness becomes our natural spiritual alchemy when we practice ishvara pranidhana.
You see when we come to the mat we are like the Alchemist in his laboratory mixing ingredients. For us as yogis our laboratory is our mat and the ingredents are our bodies, our poses, our breath, our thoughts and the mixing it all together creates a result every time. For me the hardest practice is 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. And when we are not living in the present there is No trust for other people or the universal energies that support us. This really messes with my people relationships and so I come to the mat to get beyond this.
"Sometimes in order to be happy in the present moment you have to be willing to give up all hope for a better past."
Can we practice our life in a way that if something doesn’t work out the way you want it to we don’t fall apart? Can you endeavor to life your best life without attachment to the outcome but instead a trust for what is? Or as Judith Lasater puts it, “The best practice is that that asks us to believe without proof of the future, without confirmation that the outcome will be what we want it to be. It just is, it is a state of being. A place of being present and allowing the next thing to unfold. Yoga teaches us that place of not knowing.”
This is the idea that we can practice experiencing each moment not needing it to be different but to trust what is unfolding and enjoying it fully in that state of trusting a greater energy, Ishvara Pranidhana. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
Join me on a yoga retreat www.alchemytours.com stay connected on facebook friend ME!
MY FATHER MY FIRST TEACHER AND WHY I LOVE TRAVELING THE WORLD
January 9, 2011. I have often been asked "who was my first yoga teacher". Well that's easy, it was my Father. And as he really was a professor that makes sense and doesn't. My father was teaching me the Yoga of Life. Yoga of Adventure. Yoga of Experiencing the world!
You see my Father, Enrico, was at heart a pure adventurer and my Mother's parents were serious spiritual seekers. I grew up traveling all over the world with my brother and parents from the time I was an infant. I guess the fact that I love to show other people the beauty of the world through Yoga Retreats and Active Vacations shouldn't surprise anyone since I was born in Ecuador, South America and my Father is from Northern Italy near Modena, and English was my third language. One could say being a citizen of the world is in my blood. And I learned from my Father, this spirit of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, to dream the impossible. I saw with my own eyes, touched and tasted new flavors, experienced new landscapes and as a result I learned about myself. Every time I traveled somewhere I came back different, I was changed and knew that anything was possible.
As teacher of yoga and as a guide for international yoga trips: I want to inspire in you what my family inspired in me: To see with the eyes of my heart by transforming the ecology of mind that happens naturally when you change the routine pattern of daily life. And to not apologize for being different and wanting to learn more about how big the universe is. You see, I am not fearless, I haven't climbed Mount Everest or even Mount Rainer or cycled 100 miles in one day (my co-guide Jacob Young has though!) but I am willing to try anything. I practice yoga every day to go on an internal adventure, to meet new people and push the boundaries of learning others ideas. Yoga stokes my Rebel Spirit.
It's funny (not haha, but funny weird) how yoga revealed itself to me. Yoga has been my faithful companion since a car ran me over more than a decade ago. My doctor prescribed yoga as part of my recovery routine, and my body and spirit began to transform. From my first class, I dedicated myself to live more fully. My loving Anusara-inspired Vinyasa Flow teaching style is influenced by more than 10 years of Hatha yoga study and I am gratefully committed to my three primary teachers: Shiva Rea, John Friend, and my students.
My teaching style is upbeat and fun, serious and informative, supportive and authentic. I use my own intuition and demonstrations along with people's questions and past experiences to deepen the learning process. My teaching intention is that while connected to their breath, students might feel each pose with an open heart and a quiet mind. Yoga then becomes a means to explore oneself more deeply in order to better face life’s challenges and open to the endless possibilities that exist for all of us.
Less interesting but somewhat important: While in the corporate world, I worked as the HR Director for both Inc 500 and Fortune 500 companies, specializing in Training & Development. This parlayed well into opening my own Yoga studio in 2002 and teaching full-time. With over 7,500 hours of yoga teaching experience and the founder of a nationally recognized RYT 200 Yoga Certified Teacher Training Program in it's 10th cycle, I bring inspiration, enthusiasm and playfulness through creative, flowing sequencing and a delightful combination of yoga philosophy and healthy physical alignment all supported by inspiring music. My life has a soundtrack, my yoga does too.
Just like music nurtures my spirit I want to support you to be more curious about your life. One things for sure, going on a trip together will stoke the fire of creativity inside you, you will regain trust like what the Alchemist says "the universe is on your side" and you will learn to embrace uncertainty. You will become part of our tribe of Alchemy Adventure Seekers, or at the very least, you won't be afraid to try new stuff. To send me a personal email, write email@example.com. I'd LOVE to hear from you.
WWW.SILVIAMORDINI.COM OR WWW.ALCHEMYTOURS.COM
HUGGING AND INTENTION
December 10, 2010. As you breath and enjoy this holiday season make time to set an expectation for your life this next year. Are you on the right path so far? And whatever you decide just know we are all evolving in the direction of happiness. It is our right. Freedom and the pursuit of happiness is your destiny! It is like what’s written in the Alchemist,“Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” And when you need time to reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go get on the mat where you’ll always discover you have the power, the heart and the energy to achieve anything you want!
This is what we mean by hugging in. This practice of yoga helps us practice strengthening our connection to what we want and who we really are as authentic human beings. And just like a hug between two people takes trust, so does meeting yourself and making the healthy decisions that will propel your life forward. Love yourself, love the day, love your life! Silvia
Visit my website to learn more about my retreats classes and workshops www.silviamordini.com www.alchemytours.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
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!
THE UNIVERSE KNOWS WHATS IT DOING WITH YOUR LIFE
SEPTEMBER 28, 2010. My favorite class to teach is where we start by meditating on our open hand. That in this simple gesture we have the paradox of yoga: to open and to surrender, at the same time. If we close our fist we are not able to let go of the mental agitations that heavy us. If we close our fist we are clearly not opening to a greater force beyond ourselves.
“Grace wakes us up when we are asleep, brings light to where there is darkness and removes obstacles from our path”. -Krishna Das
To Open to Grace, is the first principle in Anusara Yoga, but it applies to all spiritual practice. To open requires the courage to not remain closed or tight hearted or asleep to our lives. It is an awakening! To open to the light of grace and love that exists everywhere as universal support. I especially like this expression of "Opening to Grace" from Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love. "To open to Grace is to ask that only loving, helpful thoughts remain in our minds, and all the rest be let go".
The concept of Surrender in yoga is really in two parts.
1. When we surrender to Grace we surrender to something bigger than ourselves. Ok that seems to make sense for just about anybody. But the next part is harder for the cynical mind...
2. When we surrender we do so to a universe that knows what it is doing.
To trust that what I AM OPENING INTO will love me without conditions and has my best interests at heart is a larger leap of faith. But it is exactly when we stop trying to over control events when they fall into a natural order, an order that works. At that moment where we allow a power much greater than our own to take over we begin to trust that the power that holds galaxies together can certainly handle the circumstances of our relatively little lives".
So the practice today is to peel back the layers, let the light in, OPEN UP to the truth of who you are and how you want to be living your life. This requires that you surrender and let go of the past, of the hurt and create space for what comes next. Even though none of us really knows exactly what comes next. We must just believe as we co-create our lives with the universal intelligence of love that spirit has our best interests at heart. We are loved, we are love. So today take comfort in loving yourself, loving your day, loving your life! Silvia, Anusara Inspired Yoga Teacher, ERYT
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way." - GOETHE
HEALING HAPPENS ONLY WHEN RELAXED
Think about this, 90% of all doctors visits are related to stress. Dude, that’s too much. We need yoga more now than ever. Take 5 minutes to feel this mantra and being your healing journey now. Love in all ways, Silvia
Healing is embracing what is most feared Healing is opening to what has been closed Softening to what has been hardened Healing is learning to trust life To experience healing we must relax.
And an open heart holds the key to our healing as an old Agni teaching says, “until we see with the eyes of the heart, listen to the roar of the world through the ears of the heart, and peer into the future with the comprehension of the heart, we can never know a thing, nor will we ever be whole. The Heart unites us all, regardless of our differences, in this common understanding, and brings compassion to our troubled world.”
“…to free the body to experience the power of being…your body is the ground metaphor of your life, the expression of your existence. It is your Bible, your encyclopedia, your lifestory. Everything that happens to you is stored and reflected in your body. Your body knows, your body tells. The relationship to your self to your body is indivisible, inescapable, unavoidable. In the marriage of flesh and spirit, divorce is IMPOSSIBLE, but that doesn’t mean That marriage is necessarily happy or successful. Only when you in truly inhabit your body can you begin the healing journey.”
“It is not easy to keep your heart open in the face of the trials of being human. Life can so often be difficult, disappointing; our dreams are so easily broken. How precious, then, those shafts of sunlight that sometimes break through our daily preoccupations, our anxieties, and reveal the beauty that was there all along.” - Roger Housden
The next step is not the last step…
“When we finally stop struggling with life, stop wanting it to be anything but what it is now – not giving up but giving it over – then our heart will indeed fall open, and we shall know beyond all doubt that, however dark the night, all is already well.” – Roger Housden
And the moment we let go of fear or the darkness of lost hope or peace of mind the sooner we find ourselves immersed in the journey of Faith once more. She will always take us back all we have to do is say “I choose life, I align myself with the potential inherent in life, I give myself over to that potential.” It means being present. That is what Sharon Salzberg in her book titled Faith speaks to when she writes, “With faith we can draw near to the truth of the present moment, which is dissolving into the unknown even as we meet it. We open up to what is happening right now in all its mutability and evanescence. A pain in our body, a heartache, and unjust treatment may seem inert, impermeable, unchanging. It may appear to be all that is, all that ever will be. But when we look closely, instead of solidity, we see porousness, fluidity, motion. We begin to see gaps between the moments of suffering. We see the small changes that are happening all the time in the texture, the intensity, the contours of our pain.”
During the course of our practice on the mat we flow and breath to remind us that faith in change is right there all the time inside our breath. One inhale leads us to the exhale and on into the next breath. Faith in our own breath reconnects us to trust in our lives.
“No matter what is happening, whenever we see the inevitability of change, the ordinary, or even oppressive, facts of our lives can become alive with prospect. We see that a self-image we’ve been holding doesn’t need to define us forever, the next step is not the last step, what life was is not what it is now, and certainly not what it might yet be. Without faith in change we would be compelled to repeat patterns of suffering at least reassured by being able to predict mortification and pain. Without a sense of possibility, we would be stuck—isolated, hopeless, and unspeakably sad. No matter what is happening, whenever we see the inevitability of change, the ordinary, or even oppressive, facts of our lives can become alive with prospect. We see that a self-image we’ve been holding doesn’t need to define us forever, the next step is not the last step, what life was is not what it is now, and certainly not what it might yet be. Without faith in change we would be compelled to repeat patterns of suffering at least reassured by being able to predict mortification and pain. Without a sense of possibility, we would be stuck—isolated, hopeless, and unspeakably sad.”
So I hope this inspires you all to step into the flow of grace. Believe that grace is always there the current gentle to swoop us up in our most challenging moments or as Rumi writes, Be helpless, dumbfounded, unable to say yes or no. Then a stretcher will come from grace and gather us up.
Hope you can join me at 9:15am this morning for a sweet quiet practice of Faith. Love, Light, Peace and Hope, Silvia
TRUST IN YOUR LIFE AND THE UNKNOWN
- If you knew what was going to happen to your life would you trust it to be the right thing for you?
- If you know what’s good for you do you take that action or avoid it
If someone told you this is exactly what will take place in your life even then would have so much fundamental trust in the goodness of life and the desire of the universe to work on your behalf that you’d ride the ride? Or if some of the stuff wasn’t what you had envisioned for your life would you rebel towards it? Because the thing is either you TRUST the universe and see all as good that will unfold in your life or you see it as an enemy not trusting spirit. These are mutually exclusive.
And it’s ok right not as you think about this to say I don’t know if I trust in the good. Trust is so much about the future and those things we don’t know. All we can do is try and open our minds and hearts to the potential for life to evolve in the direction of happiness. To believe that the universe really is working on our behalf (even if it doesn’t make sense). Mahatma Gandhi said it like this, “Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it.” So just trying and making an effort is TRUST (no matter the outcome).
So if you take the second question, if you know what’s good for your life why do we so often look the other way? Why do we avoid the TRUTH? I mean it’s ok to go through the vetting process and get others opinions but ultimately we have to TRUST our own truth of what we know to be the way. Shakespeare said, “Learning to trust ourselves is a worthy practice, the practice of authenticity. This is the work of aligning the standards we have for ourselves with our deepest passions and dreams. It’s the work of making promises to ourselves and keeping them. It’s the work of creating and discovering the kind of resources that can and will support our success. It’s the work of knowing who we are without judgment.” We have to look inside, we can’t approach our lives from the outside. As Rumi says, “Knock and you shall find you have been inside all the time." I just wish it was easier to look inwards when we’re so good at the external stuff.
Ultimately trust is about LOVE. Dr Joyce Brothers says the best proof of Love is trust. Yeah I see that, feel that, live that. Life wants us to love more but loving more means first we must trust more. The tough part is that there is no guarantee that we won’t get hurt (well actually of course we will). But we must trust that as Cheryl Richardson writes in Unmistakable Touch of Grace, “Every event we experience and every person we meet has intentionally been put in our path to help raise our level of consciousness. When we awaken to this fundamental truth, life becomes a true adventure, a spiritual adventure. The failed relationship that left you broken hearted is no longer a source of bitterness and pain. Instead it’s seen as a blessing in disguise, a gift that makes you stronger, more conscious, and ultimately, more alive.” No matter what you relationship with trust today, let’s strengthen the love and peace in our hearts. Let’s start with making love a new way of life, so that we may live in love and trust the unfolding of the rest of our lives. Be love, Silvia
DOOR OF HAPPINESS
The door of happiness does not open away from us:
We cannot rush at it to push it open.
It opens toward us and,
Therefore, nothing is required of us.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55)
I found yoga intriguing because it was like this. It was unconditional love. None of us have to meet any pre-requisites to practice. We just show up ready to expand. We open to grace and see that the door of happiness is constantly opening toward us. I shared in class a story of a student I had with a frozen shoulder as they lacked trust in others, in life, they find themselves in a state of contraction choosing not to open to healing from others. This only worsened a condition that if they had allowed the door of happiness to open towards them they would have seen many were standing there to help them. I want us to learn from that so we can make a better choice.
Fully Alive By Dawna Markova
I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to be as blossom goes on as fruit.
Are you choosing to see the open doors available to you? Or do you look around your life and see yourself as a victim of the universe attracting further drama? Do you have an addiction to the closed doors which represents itself in life as inability to re-regulate? Let go of dramas of your life of the hurt feelings. Forgive and begin again to see the doors opening towards you! You see the thing is this is nothing we have to seek out. The door of life and love is always opening towards us. Love you all, Silvia
GETTING LOST IN LIFE - WHY ITS OK
Monday April 27th: Why Getting Lost is OK (About our internal GPS System and how I used a real GPS for the first time and what I learned)
Ok you guys so for the first time while in
This may seem like not a big deal but recently I had the experience in human relationship of being asked to trust and have faith, which I did, and then “getting lost” as I found out what I was told was true turned out to be false. I lost my footing, I lost emotional equilibrium. But as a result of this practice of yoga I learned that falling off the path of what we think life is supposed to be is an opportunity for spiritual growth. There is more than one way. Will I need to work harder to trust the next human relationship based on what happened here, probably, but love will win over skepticism with time. Hey, it helped me love GPS so anything is possible.
While in the
Going off roading then is the answer. Get lost! How? It begins with allowing ourselves to explore new pathways, or poses or relationships. And if we do get lost as long as we are conscious of our actions and are causing no harm to others then why not? We have to trust the internal GPS of our internal locus that we will get unlost again. And its through getting lost, that facing of the unknown or fear or being out of control or trying something new, that we often learn the most. We learn to try the path less traveled as Robert Frost speaks of. And most of all it wakes us up to so many other options! Better this than living life in a constant state of “ok” where its just half a life.
Now I’m the first to admit this isn’t easy. I have to say that I could feel my breath change when hiking especially these fossil falls, all black rock, like the surface of the moon or in the snow on the mountain, or in dense forest you can easily get lost but while lost you can also enjoy the experience.
That’s what I hope we learn, enjoy life, get lost, get unlost but make it all worthwhile as a means to learn about yourself and grow spiritually and emotionally. Have faith, trust and explore love! Silvia
BELIEVE IT: LOVE HEALS
APRIL 20TH, 2009: Spiritual practice doesn't mean we don't ever face self doubt or worry. We do. The difference for me in my life is that when this happens I know better questions to ask myself. Then it’s a matter of believing, trusting, having pure faith. In what? It's easy, LOVE.
Love does heal, will heal, if you step into the currents of grace and allow it to flow into your life.
What blocks the flow is fear, the enemy of love. Fear is any form of negativity. Don’t wait, remove the blocks of negativity that is slowing the flow of love into your life and you'll come to believe this yourself.
In yoga we are the lover and the beloved: As Rumi writes, We are the mirror as well as the face in it. We are pain and what cures pain both. He encourages you to, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” He puts it most simply when he writes:
I love myself...I love you.
I love you...I love myself.
5 ELEMENTS MEDITATION: LOVE HEALS
Part of my healing took place as I practiced a technique based on the teachings of Swami Kaleshwar. You sit or lie down, holding your hands just above your shoulders. You repeat the mantra, "Oh God, my heart is open to you, please come sit in my heart". You say this once for each fingertip. Your thumb is the Earth, your index finger is the Fire, the middle is Sky, the ring finger is Water and the small finger is Air.
You say the mantra for each fingertip giving each one a little wiggle as you say it. You may feel heat or a tingling sensation after a few weeks or months of practice. Each fingertip contains a chakra for receiving energy that corresponds to the five elements energy. When you are asking God into your heart you are drawing natural energy in through your fingertips. Performing this meditation technique for 15 minutes twice a day will open your heart to pull the divine energy in you. It will help dissolve your layers and problems in love. It is said that Shiva (Father energy), is flowing in the five elements. Shiva is said to be the Lord of five elements, Namashivaya. He is the pure consciousness, the highest person to reach in the universe. He's where you will find peace. Connecting to Shiva brings you the deepest peace and silence. This deep peace helps you transcend your problems and emotional blocks. When you are in a negative state of mind it helps you come back to your natural states of Love, confidence and happiness. It aligns you with divine peace, intelligence and creativity. This technique is for charging and aligning yourself with LOVE energy. Try it for yourself and see. Big love, love, love to you all, Silvia
MAKING UP THE BED OF OUR MIND
APRIL 4TH, 2009: When I went to military school we were graded on how we made up the bed each day. We'd receive points or demerits. I always wanted the points. So I came up with ways of how to get the most points for the least amount of work. I tried sleeping under the covers but not moving all night long so i'd have less bed to make up in the morning. I figured the less wrinkled the bed the less work I would do and still get all the points. Well that didn't work so then I tried sleeping on top of the bed and not under covers. Still no luck, bed got messed up anyway. Then I slept next to the bed on the floor. Well it worked but I felt terrible and cranky. So eventually this is what I learned:
Enjoy the bed. And accept you have to make up the bed every day. It will keep getting rumpled. That's ok.
So in yoga what we acknowledge that our minds get rumpled up just like our beds. So the breathing and poses help us tidy up our minds, taking the wrinkles out. It requires perseverance because we have to practice this everyday. Why? Well because our minds keep getting agitated due to the chaotic world we live in. But somewhere inside we must believe an orderely bed is possible just like a peaceful mind is possible.
A favorite line of mine from a John Mayer song titled "Say' is "fighting with the shadows in my head". Yup been there, feel that, and can get lost in those shadows. This is why we have yoga, to help us reclaim MENTAL PEACE and the serenity that wants to fill our lives. So don't feel powerless, you can do something when your shadows are making your head messy. Just get to yoga class, meditate and make up the bed of your mind.
Love your self, love your mind, love your world! Silvia
TRUST IN ENOUGH
MARCH 30TH, 2009: I really believe that we are all benefited by words of inspiration. Today I am meditating in my own life in trusting that I will have enough. Enough of what? Well, enough courage, enough inner strength, enough wisdom, enough energy, enough love, enough happiness, enough peace. When life becomes intense it is easy to convince ourselves through the prism of mental scarcity that we aren’t going to have enough of anything. More than anything else, even more than love, what I wish for all of us is that we have Enough FAITH.
Through FAITH we can see that although heartache or hurt exists in the world with Faith we will recover. Helen Keller says it like this, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” How do we trust in enough? Well first it is to accept that Faith is active, it’s something we have to participate in. We can’t expect our healing to happen if we aren’t most interested in ourselves first. I believe Jon Kabat Zinn defines trust as “spiritual and emotional maturity”. Right on. I love that.
At some point in our spiritual evolution we realize we don’t need more and more of anything. Instead having just enough is plenty. So on the mat we do enough and we save a little for next time. We don’t have to do it all. Mostly because aren’t you tired of being perfect all the time? I am. So we appreciate the messiness of life and with just enough faith we let go of unrealistic expectations and let our story unfold. The universe if we have faith enough to trust in her wants us to be happy, to be courageous, to be loved, to be peaceful. So I wish you all enough (not more, not less). With faith in love, Silvia
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough.
FAITH IN YOURSELF
MARCH 12, 2009: When you think about it we grow great by degrees. It’s the little wins, turning off the tv, eating well, getting enough sleep, surrounding ourselves with positive people that demonstrate our faith in making good choices. The big stuff falls into place pretty much from all the little day to day, moment to moment decisions that we make. This clearly reminds us that it is the quality of the journey not the place we arrive to that counts. For we will get there, ultimately we all end up at the same finish line anyway.
We are destined to rise to life’s highest ideal if we just keep the faith and trust in ourselves. This is like a promise we keep to ourselves, the most important kind of promise for it’s the promise of happiness. Now what I like most about Faith. Trust, Confidence in ourselves is best offered in the words of Sharon Salzberg a favorite author of mine who says, “In Pali, faith is a verb, an ACTION, as it is also in Latin and Hebrew. Faith is not a singular state that we either have or don’t have , but is something that we do. We ‘faithe”. It is the willingness to take the next step, to see the unknown as an adventure, to launch a journey. Faith is what gets us out of bed, opens us to the possibility that our lives can be different. Though we may repeatedly stumble, afraid to move forward in the dark, we have the strength to take that magnitude of risk because of faith.”
I have had this experience when I traveled all the time and woke up in strange hotel rooms at first afraid, then comforted myself that I was fine and this kept me calm while my eyes adjusted. I have had this experience in therapy, where all that was asked of me was that I show up. The showing up was sometimes kind of difficult for the journey towards continued healing can be ripe with challenges. But I believed in the possibilities of myself and kept going, kept healing. These life experiences as well as time spent on the mat in poses facing myself that as much as others want good things for us we have to trust in ourselves first. We have to want it, we have to believe in our own intuition based in love and all will be as it should. BELIEVE, TRUST, FAITH – make these active day to day! Big Love, Silvia
FACING UNCERTAINTY: FACING YOUR FEAR
FEBRUARY 4TH, 2009:
William Shakespeare wrote, "Learning to trust ourselves is a worthy practice, the practice of authenticity. This is the work of aligning with our deepest passions and dreams. It's the work of making promises to ourselves and keeping them. It's the work of knowing who we are without judgement."
Take a moment and think about what holds you back from taking custody of your life. Not just temporary custody but really owning your life, your entire life, not just the work life but your heart and soul too. Is it enough to tell yourself that fear of the outcome will prevent you from living more fully? The thing is if you are waiting for a guarantee, 100% certainty of the result you are never going to get it. Life is uncertain.
All we can do is be present to what is in front of us right now and set our intentions for the kind of energy we wish to attract but ultimately we will never know the outcome until its present. We can simply manage our reactions to the details or our lives and just keep paying attention. Best advice I can give is take time every day to BE STILL, BE PRESENT, Silvia
THE HARDEST YOGA: BEING YOURSELF
JANUARY 7TH, 2009: The hardest pose we do is being ourselves. So we started practice with partner shoulder openers but swapped out 3-4 times so we could get the feeling of as Jon Kabat Zinn says, “Wherever you go, there you are.” We had to be nothing but ourselves with each different partner. So right now as you read this, close your eyes and turn inside. Breath in a way that feels like you today. Begin to see how during this week you have been true to yourself, reflect on how many times you have chosen to act in a way that serves you fully.
In the Bhagavad Ghita, Chapter 3 it talks about being AUTHENTIC: “It is better to fail at yourself than it is to succeed at being someone else.” It is essential to our health and well-being not to live our lives according to the outline demanded by other people (even those that love us) but to make our OWN opinion the most important. I know this. I lived for a long time worried more about what other people thought, what looked good, how to appear successful than actually living my own life. Now I lost time but I don’t want you to. When you come to the mat, whatever you are feeling as Benjamin Disraeli says, “Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. “
Own your truth, embrace your funkiness, fly your freak flag this year! We have been given the gift of life the only real tragedy would be not to life in a way that enhances our spirit or stays true to our dreams. Take to heart the words of William Shakespeare who wrote: “Learning to trust ourselves is a worthy practice, the practice of authenticity. This is the work of aligning the standards we have for ourselves with our deepest passions and dreams. It’s the work of making promises to ourselves and keeping them. It’s the work of knowing who we are without judgment.”
Ultimately, the more each of us practices being ourselves the more we give permission to everyone else to just be themselves too. So I make that promise to you, I will be me more than ever before and I hope that let’s each of you know that it’s more than ok for you to show up and just BE YOU! With hands up in the air, JAI! Love, Silvia
FOR THE LOVE OF KULA! (COMMUNITY)
JANUARY 5TH, 2009: What inspired today's practice is CONNECTION - COMMUNITY - COMPASSION!
I love practicing yoga with others! When I’m a student I will snuggle up my mat right next to the folks around me (I know you’re thinking, you probably like to talk to people on airplanes too). Yes, you’d be right, I do! Without apology I enjoy making connections. It feels like to be the most compassionate act we can take is to get along. And when we’re in class practicing something as straightforward as a sun salutation it gives me great hope for all mankind that we can get along and sync our energies in other ways too.
Einstein said it like this, “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us. Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
Now on the mat the connecting vinyasa in the sun salutation is what my teacher Shiva Rea calls, the “Basic Vinyasa”. If we were cooking a meal together at some points we’d have to mix ingredients together. The Basic vinyasa, or connecting vinyasa, is that mixing. Also when preparing a yummy meal we’d have to let some stuff marinate or simmer to let the juices of flavors come together. That’s exactly like when we hold poses and really settle into them. You see each class serves a full multi-coursed meal. And our job as students is to taste each course but then make personal decisions about what we choose to indulge in a little more. You have to trust yourself and the connection within the community of your own body as to what parts of the class, or meal, make sense for you to have more of and when to say ok that’s plenty.
Finally when we lie down in Savasana we can both reflect energetically on how great the meal was, what good choices we made and then just BE with ourselves as we are so we can contemplate the deliciousness of coming together in community for the next meal or practice! I embrace all of you with my heart I consider you all my family and I just wanted you to really know that. Thank you for spending time with me in fellowship, in Kula (community) I am forever grateful, Silvia
TRUST YOUR BREATH - TRUST YOUR LIFE
DECEMBER 8TH, 2008: “Through my inner trust for my life I choose to embrace the unfolding of my future." – Story Waters
If you can keep your head when all about you, Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master; If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken, Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son! Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)
THE TEACHER WITHIN: UNION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
SITA RAM CHANT: Sita and Ram are like question and answer, lover and beloved, Yin Yang, Masculine and Feminine. The poses today are not the answers .they are the questions. And what I hope we walk away with is an ability to trust and have faith in being our own best teachers and asking ourselves better questions. Then the answers are on the inside and they will reveal themselves, we just have to trust this. So as best you can appreciate the questions, even if they are not the one s you think you are supposed to ask. Be strong, be loving, be kind! Silvia
So we started with the teacher mantra:
Guru Devo Maheswara,
Tasmai Sri Guruve Namaha
I bow to my teachers and offer my efforts
To the teacher that is this very life
To the teacher that is this path
To the teacher who entrusts me with the hardships, the transitions and the uncertainties on this journey
To the teacher within each of us
To the teacher who is beyond all of this
I offer my efforts
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
NOVEMBER 1st, 2008: There was a new moon this week. This new moon in Scorpio calls us to step into the new and let go of the old. As a result we devoted our practice to jettison those patterns of holding tension in our bodies that have been stifling our growth and potential. We learned how to let go of self-limiting thoughts that we have clearly outgrown. This is no different than why we clean out a closet of the summer stuff…so we can make room for the Fall clothing and shoes, right?
So really take 5 minutes to ask yourself what is it that needs to be released from my life? What is ready to be born in my life?
Yup I know we’ve all been hearing a lot of messages about CHANGE lately. There must be a higher reason for that. Let’s take that as a sign and apply it directly to the democracy of ourselves first and foremost. What can I do to transform my life to welcome positive changes without fear of the unknown ripples those changes might bring? Remember as Sharon Salzberg writes in Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, “The next step is not the last step.”
DETERMINED TO TRUST MORE
OCTOBER 9TH, 2008: William Shakespeare wrote: “Learning to trust ourselves is a worthy practice, the practice of authenticity. This is the work of aligning the standards we have for ourselves with our deepest passions and dreams. It’s the work of making promises to ourselves and keeping them. It’s the work of knowing who we are without judgment.”
TRUST MEANS I HAVE FAITH IN MY ABILITY TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE
I get it you guys we want to trust others but we are afraid they will let us down. Today instead of focusing on trusting others remember that there is something bigger; trust YOURSELF. Trust in your ability to be okay even if things are not okay.
THERE IS NO FAILURE
OCTOBER 8, 2008: NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE. There is really only observation. Please trust this. You can't really fail at anything, if we're up to bat and we miss the ball no big deal we just produced a result so we act upon the result. This is why I love Vinyasa Yoga, anyone can do it! Everyone can do it! No one and I mean not a single person can’t do it. I hope this knowledge helps to reduce your fear of doing the yoga wrong. There is no failure.
How do we accept and trust this? First we have to let go of any need to receive approval from others - let go of the "What will they think?" mentality or you stop your evolution. Simply put this is fear based living. I remember in the corporate world when facing on-going layoffs and down sizings thinking hey if I do everything right then I'll get to keep my job. This sets us up for disappointment. We can take whatever actions we choose to but the desired results may not be what we want them to be. But we need not take this as a failure. The key to finding the play in life is to stop worrying about the outcome. Just try to be patient in trusting what is happening is right, trust in a greater wisdom and know that life keeps flowing. Don’t be afraid to keep going!
LOWERING OUR DEFENSES: FINDING CONNECTION
· Yoga brings us from disconnection and fear to connection and love
· Through our practice the intelligence of our minds connects with and joins the wisdom of our bodies
· This connection, being part of the circle, the universal team is the force the power we find on the mat
· Practicing yoga can help us to feel part of a larger community. It reminds us we’re all on the same team, wearing the same jersey.
· As we step onto our mat we can be assured that other men and women are doing the same thing all over the world
· When we breath together we remember that we are all breathing the same air as one another, our ancestors and those that come after we’re gone
When we practice we are simply exploring ALL humanity in the form of ourselves. We can become the world’s GREATEST EXPERTS on anger, impatience, frustration, as well as joyfulness, patience, clarity. We become extremely wise and sensitive to all humanity simply by knowing ourselves. This develops within us gratitude and understanding for OTHER people. In the poses there is no need to defend ourselves against others because we’re all playing a different but vitally important position on our team just like on any team there is diversity in positions available. Today let’s really value our contributions and try to identify with others rather than comparing or fighting them so we can experience the grace of our interconnectedness and make the world a place of harmony and peace! Love, Silvia
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever does. -Margaret Mead
UNDISTRACTED ENERGY TO KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS
SEPTEMBER 9, 2008: "Throughout life, we get clues that remind us of the direction we are supposed to be headed. If you stay focused, then you learn your lessons." -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
One of the greatest strengths we possess is the power to focus our thoughts. The value of the currency of our thoughts is worth more than anything else we can imagine. If we don't focus our thoughts they will end up scattered leaking energy in all directions. Pure thought is the idea of being totally undistracted. Now here's the coolest part: the energy of our thoughts are like a magnet and they will attract similiar energy. If you are focusing on what you don't have, on anger, disappointment, fear then you will attract more of this same energy. We don't have time to waste a single thought on negativity. What you focus on gets stronger.
You get to choose where you place your attention so pay attention to your strengths. A philosopher said, "In a civilized world, if our strengths are not determined to be valuable, we spend our life shoring up our weaknesses."
Do Yoga. Trust Your Strengths. And in turn Love Everyone.
AUGUST 14TH, 2008: This morning when I was pulling out of the driveway the mailbox door was open. I had in my bag next to me my Netflix to return (which I usually hold on to for an extra 2 weeks). But today I stopped the car. I read this as the sign it was – to return my Netflix so I can get more movies. Profound! Well maybe not world changing but you get the point. Everything in our path is there with great purpose all we have to do is open our minds and hearts. At the same time it is important not to get caught up in the pitfall of asking why, after why, after why. Who are we to think we should understand the bigger reasons behind why things happen? Maybe we just need have faith. Once I surrendered to moving beyond the sudden death of my Father at the age of 59 years old to trusting the universe again my life got softer, I got softer. So today I wish you your own best strength, don’t lose trust even when you’ve been deeply hurt. Keep the faith and it will all be as it should be. Trust life, love life, love yourself….Silvia
TODAY’S INSPIRATION - Here is a quote from Unmistakable Touch of Grace by Cheryl Richardson
Every event we experience and every person we meet has intentionally been put in our path to help raise our level of consciousness. When we awaken to this fundamental truth, life becomes a true adventure, a spiritual adventure. The person who smiles at you while you are walking down the street is no longer a stranger. The phone call from an old friend who crossed your mind is no longer a surprise. The failed relationship that left you broken hearted is no longer a source of bitterness and pain. Instead it’s seen as a blessing in disguise, a gift that makes you stronger, more conscious, and ultimately, more alive.