ARE YOU GROWING? A TEST OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH
March 20, 2011. I often ask myself what is the true test of my Spiritual Growth? Or more simply put I meditate on the question "Am I still growing?" When I was little my Mom measured us (me and my brother) against the door in our house and marked the little lines proving I was actually growing physically. You did that too, right? Well, I loved that. I was sad the day she stopped doing it and I stopped growing.
Well that's speaking to physical growth. I am as tall as I'm going to be (although to be honest by practicing yoga I've gotten a little taller, just a quarter inch but that's pretty cool).
However what I'm speaking about is emotional and spiritual growth. My aspiration continues to be that I grow into the BEST version of myself. And that's what I hope for you too.
Or as True Nobility is defined: it is not about being better than anyone else, it is about being better than you used to be, much better. This is the barometer of our ability to raise our spiritual energy. Are you better than you used to be? Are you growing?
"The only difference between a flower that is alive and one that is dead is that the live flower is still growing." - Dr Wayne Dyer
For me I received so much nourishment, like a flower, from my daily yoga practice that I wanted more. That's when I started taking yoga workshops: first they were the 2 hour kind, then the half day, then the full day, finally entire weekends both locally and eventually I started traveling all over the U.S to attend 2-3 day trainings and workshops until I went all the way by signing up for a one week yoga retreat in Italy with Sadie Nardini. Well that did it for me. I could experience for myself that to keep growing I had to keep investing in myself and more time dedicated to evolving my consciousness was required to do that. And traveling to new places and exploring new territories externally matched the growth I was making internally. They went hand in hand.
And that's when I made the commitment to start leading yoga retreats combined with other ways to express one's yoga and vitality like cycling and hiking. I want to give everyone a chance to really invest in your own growth and raise your energy by visiting places that support your evolution.
You see, until the last breath, I don't buy into wellness as defined by the AMA as the "absence of illness". I believe in the potential for radiant health (shakti) as the World Health Organization defines wellness. I am growing! And I am learning. And the higher my vibration the softer I get on the outside. I am kinder, more patient, nicer and easily more loving. I think we all are when we're growing. So make that commitment to yourself keep affirming your life! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
In the words of Lao Tzu,
"At birth all people are soft and yielding
At death they are hard and stiff
All green plants are tender and yielding
At death they are brittle and dry
When hard and rigid we consort with death
When soft and flexible we Affirm Greater Life."
STRETCH YOUR YOGA DOLLAR FOR GIFTS THIS YEAR
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MAY 22, 2009: Some of us cannot afford to travel far away places for spiritual retreat but yoga class provides us the same benefits right here in our backyard. So travel with me to a place where we can refresh from the events of this week. Ok? So what does it mean to find renewal? To better understand this we must first ask ourselves how do we define Health? Do you have health? Do your work colleagues or family members have health? If you know what Health is then what is WELLNESS? Are they the same?
The WHO (World Health Organization of the UN) defines health as “not only the lack of disease, but also the physical, social, spiritual, and mental well-being of the human.” So to me this sense of renewal we realize from yoga is to move us not from disease only but toward radiant well-being. There is a continuum of wellness. And it is on-going and in process. We don’t just get it and stop because we’re done.
This is why renewing our spirits, our sense of hope on the mat is vitally important.
If we eat dinner on clean dishes and then tomorrow try to eat on those dirty dishes it wouldn’t make sense. We would understand that we have to wash them and we’re not done there, if we use them we’ll have to wash them again and again. Same goes with keeping our spirit refreshed. We have to work at it. Each day we find ourselves making withdrawals from our spiritual reserves so each day it is crucial we make deposits and renew our commitments to our improved wellness. So join me on the mat day in and day out for your own Spiritual Renewal so you can feel renewed enough to think more clearly and figure out the right course of actions to take next. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
DECEMBER 22ND, 2008: Swami Satchidananda says Illness begins with "I". Wellness begins with "We", do we practice together and begin by connecting to the medicine of our breath, using our breath to send a gently flowing stream of loving energy from our hearts to any physical or emotionally injured area.
The experience of yoga, the "we" was achieved by partnering with someone and sitting back to back to make the evidence of our own breath stronger. By staying in the "we" we stay in wellness. And what is wellness if not healing.
So healing could be defined as a process of rejoining, a rejoining of body to heart, spirit to consciousness. To me it means letting go of hurt or angry feelings, the absence of conflict, relief from pain, a belief in the miracle that things WILL GET BETTER.
We dedicated 3 sets of vinyasa flows to the past, present and future, keeping our energy on healing thoughts the best we could the whole time. Why do I work so hard to promote healing? Well, I don't wish anyone to stay in a state of suffering. I've been there. I don't want to suffer, I don't want you to suffer, I don't want your families to suffer. So this practice of studying ourselves (svadhyaya) through this we realize stuff about ourselves. We figure out what is REAL. Eventually you figure out that life is really happening right now, that it is not a dress rehearsal and there is no need to wait to be happy, to make real your intentions for love and freedom. So here's wishing you your best dreams! Courage to you, Silvia