Tuesday, August 26, 2014

All We Have is Time...

“Where has the time gone?”

An expression I am so exhausted of hearing. We spend so much time working, doing chores, griping about what we want—just trying to have the perfect everything: the perfect home, family, car, body, job.
We lose sight of all that we really have, of all of the blessings that are graciously ever present in our lives.
We should take time each day to do what makes our souls sing, whether it is spending time in nature, writing, reading, enjoying your children, your lover, your family and friends, gardening, producing music, yoga.
All of these things should be enjoyed and entertained daily.
Replace griping with reading a book. Replace the countless minutes spent trying to find the perfect outfit with practicing your headstands.
We are all stuck on the daily grind. Hit snooze a few times. Rush to get ready and get out the door so we can rush to work.

At work we dream of being anywhere else. We then leave work to rush home to settle our selves on to our couch where we numb our brain watching mindless television shows and shove food down our throat without even being cognizant of what we have consumed.

There are so many things that we are missing. We miss the enjoyment of watching the sun rise and the sun set. Drinking our coffee in peace while contemplating all that we are grateful for each morning. Enjoying the company of your lover and not playing on some sort of social media where you forget that the most important kind of socialization is laying right beside you.
All we have is time. So let’s slow down and enjoy doing what we love.
There are 168 hours in a week. We have so much time! I actually calculated my hours on my busiest week of work. 20 hours of driving, 8 hours of sleep a night, and working about 68 hours. I still had 24 hours of free time in that crazy busy week—a whole day!
Think of all the singing my soul could do: yoga, painting, writing, cooking, getting crafty, practicing guitar, and spending time with my loves. I could do all that in a day for sure.
Work and providing for our families is very important, but we cannot let that be all we are composed of. We all have dreams and ambitions for our personal life.
As children most of us had some sort of after-school hobby that we were required to partake in and we were forced to practice that every day or every other day for an hour or two, whether we wanted to or not.
Moving into adulthood, we started working and cooking, simply providing for ourselves so that we can live. In this, we may have lost sight of doing what we love. We have lost a part of ourselves.
Let’s get that back! Let’s all make a conscious effort in making time to do these things.
We don’t want to grow old and wish that we had spent more time with our family, that we had learned to play the guitar, or learned to paint a mural.
Life should be lived to it’s fullest capacity- fully expressing all that we love. Let’s learn to love the life we live and fill it with what and who we love.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Everything is Perfect, Nothing is Permanent...

Have you ever been in a hot yoga class, just thinking to yourself “What in Buddha’s name am I doing here?”

You know what I’m talking about. You have been holding chair pose in a 105 degree room, your legs are shaking, your butt muscles are clenched so tight you fear they will never relax again, sweat is dripping down your brow into your eyes, and you can’t breathe, but the teacher is oh-so-kindly reminding everyone to breathe—“yoga is about the breath.”
Yes—there have been numerous times where I have questioned my intentions in that pose: the uncomfortable feeling running through my muscles; the increased heart rate.
Why am I doing this to myself?
Yet I keep coming back. I enjoy it enough to endure yoga teacher training.
Either I am a masochist or I’ve found that yoga is the true teacher of a peaceful life.
I love that pain. I crave that pain. That pain has led me to pure happiness. And at least 10 percent of the United States population is right on board with me—they love yoga too! Yoga has taught me the most important philosophy that you can apply to your life, every single day:

“Everything is perfect, nothing is permanent.” ~ Dharma Mittra

Every moment is exactly how it should be—it will not last forever. So soak up each second and enjoy that moment, for it was designed for your journey.
When you are ready to give up, your body feels that it has had enough, and you think “I cannot physically do this anymore,” know that the pain is not permanent, but it is perfect.
In that moment, you are exactly where you are supposed to be: sweating out those cocktails from last night’s dinner, legs shaking, skin crying. With each drop of sweat, with each ounce of ego —letting it all go!
This is where I have found myself.
When I’ve wanted to give up on that ledge of uncomfortableness and unfamiliarity—I let go, and I found my truth. While sitting on that edge, you can consciously see everything that serves you and everything that does not. You discover what to nurture and what to dismiss.
In my most trying times, yoga has been the outlet that saved the shine in my soul. Whether it was a breakup, the loss of a friend, problems at work, or just the daily grind—yoga has been a place where I feel safe to let go and be.
I dive in to my practice and I let the sweat, the pain, the tears, and the edge sort out where I am meant to go next.

I let it be in each breath.

There is something so inspiring and spiritual in enduring that uncomfortable period of time and to arise from it with a strong, shining soul. If you’ve yet to experience the gift of yoga, I highly encourage you to give it a whirl. Imagine it as a counseling session where your mind and body are wrung clean of all negative thoughts and emotions.
To me, there is nothing better than that “yoga high.”
When I first began my serious yoga journey, my soul was dull. My heart was broken. I was stuck in a negative mindset. I didn’t even want to breathe anymore, let alone go to a class where all I was told to do was focus on my breath. So like any other masochist, I dove in headfirst into a 30 day yoga challenge.
With each inhale I felt alive. With each exhale I let go.
Did I finally discover the place where I could find happiness? Myself? My calling? Was I finally blooming?!
For us to blossom as individuals, we must endure the muck, the dirt, and the unclear waters. We must suffer to know happiness. We must endure pain to know pleasure. We must live to know death. And just as the beautiful lotus flower, we emerge from the murky waters with the most captivating colors and petals. We embody nature’s beauty and her grace.
We change with each breath, with each new experience.
Full of life. Full of brightness.
As humans, we were made to endure struggle so that we may grow and blossom—so that may discover the true nature of the world.
Just remember: it is not permanent, but it is perfect!

How do I Put Back Together my Paper Mâché Heart?...

There are many articles, blogs, journals, songs and an endless amount of words that preach the gospel of love.

Love makes the world go round.
And I find it almost cliché to write another blog about love, but love is what saves us. Holds us. Comforts us. It doesn’t have to be love from another; it can be love from ourselves. It can also hurt you, break you, bruise you.
Love starts out with that elated feeling. You are soaring high through sunny skies and rainbows. You smile at the thought of your love and just seeing your love gives your stomach butterflies. On the opposing side, you suffer.
One of the most difficult things any soul goes through is that of a breakup or a loss.
They suck. Literally—they suck the life out of you.
They reach deep into your chest, take your heart and squeeze it until it feels like it will explode. Then it’s released, feeling deflated, bruised, broken and torn to a million little pieces.
It leaves us to question: How in the hell am I going to fix this one? How do I put back together my paper mâché heart?
Sometimes we just have to get crafty. Some of us choose to never love again after our heart has been swallowed whole and then spit right back out.
We then may feel like a cruel and heartless being after having ripped out the essential organ that keeps us alive, the one that motivates our purpose in life.
Some of us take months, even years to try and rebuild what has been bruised, broken, torn to pieces.
The first step in repairing it is to grasp that there is no set time on how long it takes to heal. Everyone is different. Allow that to be understood and accepted.
Countless times people have told me “you should be over it by now,” but I couldn’t be. It wasn’t my time. I wasn’t ready to forgive, to let go. I felt I didn’t have the tools I needed, the courage, the acceptance, the forgiveness, to get over that pain.

We have to want to get over the pain! And then it will come. When I decided that I wanted it, everything beautiful poured itself into my life.

The second step and hardest for most, is learning to let go. What’s done is done. We must live our life in the present and not the past. That time has come and gone use it as a lesson on how we want to live our present day life. Forgive them, forgive yourself, and forgive the situation.
Breathe and let be. When the time comes, when we have met a soul that moves us like no other, but we are so scared because of our past.
The third step is learning to love ourselves. If we do not love ourselves, how do we expect others to be open to loving us back?
It’s a two way street and we both have to meet in the middle. We are all worthy of our own love, so do it!
Court yourself. Know yourself enough to let someone else have the glorious opportunity of knowing it as well.
In my own personal love expedition, it took a few frogs for me to find my prince. I never allowed myself to be open with any one, until he came along. In him I saw the same guardedness. I saw the same pain. The same break. The same bruise.
I knew deep down that we had and endless amount of potential because we had both been to hell and back.
Having spent the last two years learning to let go and love myself, I felt I was ready for love. I let go. I let it happen. I let everything about him swallow me whole. It was the most beautiful, yet scary, thing I have done.
Letting my walls down for him to see my vulnerability. Ugh. Just the thought of that makes me cringe, but he still loved every bit of me. And isn’t love worth that?
It’s a scary and liberating thing to let your heart love again. Knowing that they may or may not feel the same. That they may leave at any given moment. That this could just be a short lived fantasy. That you may not be all that they need.
But life is too short to live with the maybes and what ifs.
I want to share these moments with someone that appreciates all that embodies me. Me and my paper mâché heart.
“Happiness, only real when shared.” ~ Christopher McCandless
By allowing my heart to be open and full of love, I can now share happiness with the world. Sharing happiness and spreading happiness is a gift of a job and I thank my loves for allowing me that opportunity.

Life Lessons From A Child...

Today I watched a little girl dance on her front porch.

So happy. So carefree.
This is how we were meant to live.
Dancing in the rain.
Laughing at the dogs playing.
Taking the time to stop and smell the glorious nectar of the flowers.
Day dreaming of where we want to be, how we want to be, and what we want to do.
We live life in the fast lane.
Not taking the time to stop and enjoy the gifts that have been bestowed upon us. These gifts that are living proof that the Mother cares.
Not taking the time to nurture our heart’s desires. Our heart’s dreams.
Children are the perfect examples of happiness and how we should continue to live. Their outlook on life is full of wonder, astonishment, curiosity and unconditional love.
As we grow, we harden. We stop letting our imaginations run wild. We stop appreciating the simple gifts of nature because we simply “do not have the time.” We are continually told that we must have a good job, with good benefits, and provide a good life for ourselves our family.
But what about our imaginations—why are we not encouraged to use our imagination to create this good life?
Why are we not encouraged to enjoy the gifts given to us? To nurture these gifts can create an abundance of happiness, life and love.
Our society pushes us away from our childlike nature. Forcing many of us to lose sight into who we are. We are focused on what drives society as a whole, money and success, often breaking us down.
We must pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. Like we just fell off of our bicycle and we scraped up our knee.
As a whole, our society should encourage us to use our imaginations. Think of the endless possibilities! We could solve some of the world’s most horrific tribulations if our imaginations were allowed to manifest into real world actions.
American society should take the time to slow down. Enjoy life and what we have made for ourselves. Most are too busy working and dying to enjoy the life they have made for themselves.
As a child, did these things cross our mind? No. We knew we were meant to live! To live a rich and full life of enjoyment and happiness.
This little girl reminded me of this.
Life is beautiful.
Don’t lose your childhood dreams. They were dreamt for a reason.
Be playful. Play doctor. Play chef. Play vet.
Question life. Ask questions. Search for answers.
Life is full of music for those who are willing to listen. Take the time each day to enjoy that music.
Enjoy the movement that our body makes.
Relish in the laughter that comes from deep within.
Bathe in the moonlight.
Catch the lightning bugs.
Dance in the rainstorms.
Embrace what Mother Nature provided for us.
Be carefree and open to all that surrounds us.
Slow down and taste the spice of life.

The Importance of Wanting What We Have...

“Think about everything that you have and want that. Want what you have and not what you don’t have.” ~ Unknown

When I first heard this quote, it really resonated with me—it’s so simple, yet so complex.
I looked to my left and saw my beautiful man. I realized in that moment that I am so blessed to have this wonderful soul to share this experience with, and to share this journey of my life with.
Say it with me: I want what I have!
I want my debt.
I want my aching hip.
I want my curves.
I want my glasses.
I want all of this because it is me.
These little flaws make me the person I am.
The journey I have been on is mine and I want it!
In this generation, we are too often consumed with what we don’t have, with what we are lacking. We spend an eternity searching for something else.
We fixate on that and forget and lose sight of what is right in front of us, real and true.

Can we ever be happy and content?

We must be willing to let go of the search for something that is not feeding our souls. What may be right for me may not be right for you.
We must know what our true dreams and desires entail. We can manifest these by being grateful for what we already have.
Thankfulness and appreciation for what we have creates a peace like no other. This peace makes your soul shine and openness up your heart to new possibilities that were divinely created for you.
Want what you have!