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.
Thoughts on Hugs, from Christine Stock
February make me think of Love & Hugs, So join me Tuesday Feb. 14th at 9:15 am Level 1-2 for some FREE HUGS.
Hugging is good medicine. It transfers energy, and gives the person hugged an emotional boost. You need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, and 12 for growth. A hug makes you feel good. The skin is the largest organ we have and it needs a great deal of care. A hug can cover a lot of skin and gives the message that you care. It is also a form of communication. It can say things you don't have words for. The nicest thing about a hug is that you usually can't give one without getting one.
Hugging is healthy: it helps the body's immunity system, it keeps you healthier, it cures depression, it reduces stress, it induces sleep, it's invigorating, it's rejuvenating, it has no unpleasant side effects, and hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug.
Hugging is all natural: it is organic, naturally sweet, it has no pesticides, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, and is 100% wholesome.
Hugging is practically perfect: there are no movable parts, no batteries to replace, no periodic check-ups, has low energy consumption, high energy yield, is inflation-proof, non-fattening, has no monthly payments, no insurance requirements, is theft-proof, non-taxable, non-polluting, and is, of course, fully refundable."
Hugs are not only nice they are needed... Hugs can relieve pain and depression… make the healthier happier, and the most secure even more so… Hugging feels good and overcomes fear... It provides stretching exercise to short people and stooping exercise to tall people... Hugging does not upset the environment… It saves heat and energy... requires no special equipment.
Hugging makes happy days happier and impossible days possible.
I hope to see you Tuesday Feb. 14th, Valentine's Day, and all other Tuesday's !!
BALANCED LIVING IS NOT PERFECTION
February 14, 2011. Day 5 of Love Blogging 21 days in 2011. Each chakra relates to specific spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical aspects of ourselves. These can become blocked and as a result a chakra can become either deficient or excessive and therefore imbalanced. Practicing poses that correspond to each chakra can release these blocks and clear the path to more balanced living. Today our focus is on balance and we practiced balance poses like tree, warrior 3, crane and even nurtured the balanced point in a Warrior 2 pose so neither foot is bearing more or less weight that the other.
From this we discovered that Balance is not hard to find. But it is certainly challenging to maintain. “We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves.” Francis J. Braceland. The work of balance is that of the 4th chakra (in the middle of the 7 chakras). This is our heart chakra that when healthy and in balance helps us to maintain balance between our role as the lover and the beloved. For in yogic practice we are the one doing the loving and the one receiving the loving. If one doesn't know how to love oneself then it is impossible to love another person. We have to know the giving/receiving within our own hearts before experiencing it in relationship with the world. The key thing to know about balance is that it is NOT perfection. Love is messy, and falling out of a balance pose is just like losing our balance in life. We have the choice to get back up and try again and again. So on this Valentine's Day please do yourself a favor stop asking perfection of yourself or another person. Instead wake up to how great life is right now and how wonderful you are!
"Why wait for your awakening?
The moment your eyes are open,
sieze the day. Would you hold
back when the Beloved beckons?
"No, I can't step across the
threshold." you say, eyes
downcast. "I'm not worthy.
I'm afraid. I'm not perfect,
and surely I haven't practiced
nearly enough. My meditation
isn't deep. I still chew
my fingernails and the refrigerator
isn't clean." Do you value your
reasons for staying small more
than the light shining through
the open door? Forgive yourself.
Now is the only time you have
to be whole. Now is the sole
moment that exists to live in
the light of the true Self.
Perfection is not a prerequisite
for anything but pain. Please,
oh please, don't continue to
believe in your disbelief. This is
the day of your awakening."
--Danna Faulds, Go In and In
The most advanced yoga pose is loving yourselves. In this lies our ultimate resource for making the sensitive adjustments necessary to maintain balance in life. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS Join me on retreat www.alchemytours.com
I LOVE THEE WITH THE BREATH: MY FAVORITE POEM
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
FEBRUARY 14, 2010 This above is my favorite poem so I share it with you this Valentines Day. It honors the breath! The theme today was about being our own valentine and that yoga helps us see every day as valentine’s day not just once per year as we come to the mat to Fall in love with ourselves. When we are spiritual babies we tend to look outward for love but eventually as we mature into spiritual adulthood we look inwards for love. We are born as physical beings but at some point through this or any spiritual practice we are born as spiritual beings. We wait until that point when we wake up to love, for when our soul which may be asleep awakens. At that point as Gabrielle Roth writes in a favorite book of mine, Sweat Your Prayers, “When your soul is in charge, your life becomes a LOVE STORY. A love story between you and yourself.”
May this practice help you make the beautiful discovery of how great you really are, not because someone else tells you so but because you think so. You see yourself as unique and wonderful and through self-care you nurture all the qualities that you admire most about you. And in loving yourself, you are acknowledging that you are special. This process on the mat and in our life Sadhana takes time. It is a personal process (just like learning handstand that we practiced today). Take your time, be kind and loving to yourself and all will blossom from the inside out! Thank you to all who shared part of your day with me you made my valentines one I’ll never forget! Love in all ways, Silvia
LOVE IS A SKILL
FEBRUARY 10, 2010: I again today was inspired by Us Weekly and People magazines. If you look at the cover each week there is always someone angry at someone else and then there’s a story about love gone wrong – and tantalizing unkind things related to that. So here’s the thing if you practice being mean you get really good at being mean, if you work hard to be angry you’re getting skilled at being angry, if you are always sarcastic your sarcasm skills will bloom, if you speak to yourself internally with negativity you’re going to get really skilled at putting yourself down.
Love is a skill too. If you practice love, move like love, think loving thoughts, behave in a loving way then you’ll get really good at this too.
Yoga presents us with the opportunity on the mat to hone this Love Skill on ourselves first. Yoga is first and foremost a practice of self-love. And the time we set aside for us to work on Self-Love.
“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.” —Eknath Easwaren
With Valentines day approaching think of this practice as being your OWN valentine. And then thank yourself for practicing yoga, each moment of yoga is the best expression of RADICAL SELF-LOVE. Rock on with that. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia