By Laura Mills
I recently heard about the passing of a person in his mid-50s. It happened at home; as far as I know, he hadn’t been sick and hadn’t shown signs of trouble before one night his heart just stopped beating. The grief, the shock, the inexplicable emotions of his family and friends, I can only imagine….
We all know that the circumstances of life often defy explanation. We can plan, schedule, and prepare; we can visit our doctors or healers on a regular basis, eat all organic, and never touch alcohol or caffeine; we can bathe in hand sanitizer, run twenty miles a day, and use chemical-free cleaners at home. But in the end, of course, we don’t know. We never know; at some point, no matter what, life WILL take us by surprise and—perhaps, for some of us, quite literally—leave us breathless.
If it’s not already part of your practice, discern what really matters to you today, and embrace it. Then do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Especially as Valentine’s Day approaches…what better time to start gifting yourself with a sincere appreciation of the value of your unique and precious life? And remember: even along the timeline of this one chance we’ve got, it’s never too late to try again. Start now.
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
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WHAT COMES NEXT? OPENING TO GRACE & SURRENDER
Monday May 17, 2010, SO WHAT COMES NEXT? I am so inspired by life, my students, my friends to bring the best yoga ever this week! I thought we'd dedicate this week to The Power of Grace and how we can tap into our own inner strength to face the unknown of life. Marianne Williamson says: "When we surrender to (Grace) we surrender to something bigger than ourselves - to a universe that knows what it is doing."
The key words I’m meditating on this week are:
This idea of Opening to Grace is a term often associated with yoga practice. It is a way of living life with an open-hearted attitude of infinite possibility and universal support. A way of seeing the world as being on our side and not against us. 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". When we surrender to (Grace) we surrender to something bigger than ourselves - to a universe that knows what it is doing. When we stop trying to control events they fall into a natural order, an order that works. We're at rest while a power much greater than our own takes over, and it does a much better job than we could have done. We learn to trust the power that holds galaxies together can handle the circumstances of our relatively little lives".
So you see this is a yogic paradox, to open and let go all at the same time. But it makes sense, we have to create space for what comes next but none of us knows exactly what that is. We are for sure co-creating with the universe but even with our hand on the tiller going along in our little boat we don’t know what the current of grace has in store for us. It requires a great deal of our own best strength to commit to participating in our lives with both feet in and simply believe that that in if we wake up the dream will be our reality. Or in the words of Krishna Das, “Grace wakes us up when we are asleep, brings light to where there is darkness and removes obstacles from our path”. us up when we are asleep, brings light to where there is darkness and removes obstacles from our path”. Join me and take that next step into your best life ever! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, 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 whatís 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 youíd ride the ride? Or if some of the stuff wasnít 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.†
†"Through my inner trust for my life I choose to embrace the unfolding of my future."
And itís ok right not as you think about this to say I donít know if I trust in the good.† Trust is so much about the future and those things we donít 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 doesnít make sense).† Mahatma Gandhi said it like this, ďGlory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it.Ē† So just trying and making an effort is TRUST (no matter the outcome).
So if you take the second question, if you know whatís good for your life why do we so often look the other way? Why do we avoid the TRUTH? I mean itís 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, ďLearning 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. Itís the work of making promises to ourselves and keeping them. Itís the work of creating and discovering the kind of resources that can and will support our success. Itís the work of knowing who we are without judgment.Ē† We have to look inside, we canít approach our lives from the outside.† As Rumi says, ďKnock and you shall find you have been inside all the time."† I just wish it was easier to look inwards when weíre 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 wonít get hurt (well actually of course we will).† But we must trust that as Cheryl Richardson writes in Unmistakable Touch of Grace, ďEvery 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 itís seen as a blessing in disguise, a gift that makes you stronger, more conscious, and ultimately, more alive.Ē††No matter what you relationship with trust today, letís strengthen the love and peace in our hearts.† Letís 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