This year I will move purposely and mindfully. And I will stumble understanding that falling is part of the process. There is no perfect way. Things are as they are.
I was bad at saying I’m sorry. Sometimes, I’m still pretty shitty at it. I read that when somewhere that when we say I’m sorry we are really trying to forgive ourselves for the hurt we have inflicted upon ourselves. Yoga says that ahisma is not to be practiced. We do not practice violence against others or ourselves.
You may know that hanging feeling of knowing an I’m sorry that needs to be said. Instead of saying the words and opening up that space of healing, we squash it down with distractions. We distract ourselves with other thoughts, work, a drink, a smoke, an argument, errands…you get the picture. All of these things only prolong the suffering of not saying those two words.
So why not be free?
Live in the now.
Maybe the idea of I’m sorry to the person you’ve wrong isn’t possible. Stephen and Ondrea Levine have a page set up, that allows you apologize- anonymously. Because the act itself of being sorry can be powerful.
So go ahead. Say I’m sorry.
I love Les Brown. I first heard of him as a kid from my Dad. Over the years I’ve read a few of his books, but didn’t really appreciate what he was saying until recently. Brown talks a lot about how we handle adversity.
It’s yoga. Not a matter of looking for things to be smooth sailing, but riding out the the rough patches with inner stability.
Last Saturday, I talked to my teacher about pincha mayurasana (forearm stand). I’ve been working on it for almost a year and have days that I can hold it for a bit, and then I can’t seem to hold it at all and topple over. She told me that there is an understanding of my center of gravity that has to happen. When my legs are up in the air and I’m pushing down on my forearms I have to also lift with my legs and find balance in my core. Once I find it she said, it’ll feel so easy and I’ll wonder why I hadn’t found it all along. ‘Try a strapping your arms,’ she suggested.
She’s said this before and it used to frustrate me. Progress seemed so far away. But last week I went home and strapped my forearms and practiced. I still fell, but I felt more centered.
In typical Oneika fashion I’m now doing it daily. I’ve realized that I do this quite a bit. When I’m passionate about learning I dig in and open myself up, but my real progress comes when I handle the journey with purpose. Because in the end, the pose isn’t a big deal.
It’s how I got there.
Money and Life is a documentary that talks about where money comes from (thin air) and how it’s been turned into the way we live our lives and what we can do about it.
It got me thinking about my recent change in my relationship with money. In the past two years I’ve let go of a lot of things that most think are big measures of success- my luxury condo, my car and lots of stuff that wasn’t serving me.
This isn’t to say that I don’t think that I should move on a commune away from society. But I have shifted my paradigm of thinking when it comes to how I measure my success and what I want to offer to the world. I’m more interested in the inter connectedness of the world rather that trying to squelch someone’s chances of success for my own gain. That kind of thinking works off a thought process that there isn’t enough. When in fact, there is enough. There is enough food, money, success, happiness for everyone.
I’m not talking about Law of Attraction woo woo stuff here. But one thing I have realized is that I used to put a lot of focus on accumulating stuff and not living life. And though my lifestyle has changed drastically from the one that I was living a few years ago- I’m more centered and more content than I have ever been.
I don’t think I’m fooling myself either, because the more I connected with the work I want to do, I created opportunities for myself.
In the beginning of the new year most of us look to cleanse our bodies. But what about cleansing for we spend and live? Life gets busy and our routines could use a shake up. When was the last time you checked in with your kids about how they understand money? Have you taken a look at how you are saving for retirement? Are you spending excess money each week without knowing it? Regardless of how tight you may think you manage, it’s a good idea to check-in.
Beth Kobliner, probably best known for her book Get a Financial Life encourages people to do a ‘money fast’ at the beginning of each year. After paying necessary expenses, can you spend the month with spending any money? It’s a great way to see what’s important and what’s not. It may also challenge your idea of what is important.
If you are serious about jump starting your financial health. Levo League has five great tips to get you started on a 30-day financial cleanse.
1. Introduce yourself to the bare necessities.
Cut out all frivolous spending, so you can get to the bottom of your relationship with money. You can spend on groceries, bills, transportation, and health expenses—nothing more.
2. Convert to cash
When we use cash, we become more aware of our spending. It might sound counterintuitive, but managing your spending habits becomes simpler without a credit or debit card. Either your wallet is full, or your wallet is empty. You see the flow of your money in real time.
3. Monitor your spending
Over the course of a week, you can begin to monitor what you really miss and what you are surprised you can easily live without. You’ll be motivated by the amount of money you’re saving in the meantime, and you’ll likely think to yourself, “This is a lot easier than I thought!”
4. Learn to forgive, in order to learn
Even with all the progress you’ve made so far, you’ll most likely slip up and purchase something you didn’t mean to. It’s very important to forgive yourself.
Like I said, our habits become very automatic and as soon as we let our guards down, we may catch ourselves swiping a credit card on something we are in the habit of buying. Take this moment to truly consider your motivations behind your spending.
5. Reassess your values
Understanding your values and what’s really important to you is the key to financial wellness. Your spending and use of your time should point to your values—meaning, you should be spending the majority of your time and money on things of utmost importance.
If you’re not, you’re unaligned with your spending and have the opportunity to use your money in much more meaningful ways. For example, if family is really important to you, but you spend no time with them and no money on spending time with them, you’re missing out on very fulfilling spending.
You may want to plan more trips with them, or even plan to visit them if they aren’t nearby. I call this putting your money where your heart is.
Check out the entire documentary Money & Life below. It’s great to watch with the family.
Time is not on my side.
On New Year’s Day I took a 3-hour class with co-founder and master teacher David Life at Jivamukti NYC. Being with 80-100 yogis at the start of the new year was special but hearing David Life talk about time resonated with me. It stirred up a lot of ‘stuff’ that had been hanging around for the past six months or so.
The notion of time can be overwhelming and disconcerting. I realized that I’ve been racing against a clock. Freaking as time ticked on, chastising myself for not getting certain things done. But rather than sweating the passing minutes, hours and days, I should be breathing and acting. It’s the small steps that make progress.
I felt this as I practiced. We started class extending our inhalations and exhalations to 30 seconds each. This made time seem deep rather than long. Working with breath and movement I become more aware how I felt in certain poses and more importantly how I can look for depth. Because let’s face it, that’s where magic happens. Changes happen when you reach into the unknown. And it can happen in a moment, but the trick is, you have to do something. David said the origin of time is in stillness. But my growth occurs when I reach deep down pulling out the weeds, my exhales letting go of fear, embracing anxiety and opening my heart up to the possibility of whatever is to happen next.
Time is not on my side. No, it isn’t. But knowing that- I have every ability to make the best of it.
Happy New Year!
I’m dubbing 2015 the year of living mindfully.
What does it mean to live a mindful life? It’s not about being serene or having an unrealistic vision of a state of constant peace. Living mindfully is about living in the moment- it’s about staying aware and present. When we can be with what is happening and allow things to be as they are, we can be open to anything. Maybe it’s making a change. Maybe it’s being more connected with other people. Maybe it’s simply a way to find a sense calm.
This year, I’ll be posting about meditation, therapeutic yoga and mindful eating. In addition stay tuned for videos and podcasts about living in the present moment. Each month with have a theme and focus.
I’m not just talking about something to do for the month of January, I’m talking about taking small steps to change your life- forever. I hope you’ll join me.
The journey begins January 12!!!
Happy New Year.
I realized lately that I’ve been playing it little safe out of fear. A few weeks ago during yoga nidra I was overcome by a feeling the need to serve. Service as a way of life. In the next moment I had a sense of panic. How could I possibly do this responsibly, passionately and in a way that wouldn’t mean taking a vow of poverty? After some meditation and conversations with practical and successful friends whose opinions I value, I realized that I needed to look at things from a new perspective.
This meant trusting my instincts more and pushing through doubt.
Life is changing. Fast. Faster than I thought it would, but I’m ready. I’m excited, pumped and a little nervous. By taking conscious steps and chances, I’m creating the life I want.
It is surprising. And in other ways it feels as if this is what was going to happen all along. I just needed to find my way.
If you are looking to a take a risk, I hope you have the courage, wisdom and passion to do so.
It’s worth it.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free.