Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feeling Vulnerable

I made this collage this past January. I found the quote from a Yoga Journal magazine. It reads, "Through our willingness to experience and share our vulnerability, we discover a shared and compassionate awareness that is spacious enough to hold the imperfections of all humans."

There is a lot of transition going on in my life, and much of what is reflected in this collage is starting to manifest in so many ways for me. I'm leaving a job I've held on to for over 8 years to spend more time with my sweet little boy, and to focus and pursue my art and life coaching in a more bolder, fuller way. Well, that's what I tell myself, anyway. It's mostly true. The other truth though, is that I'm wanting to touch my vulnerability in a deeper way. I want to let go of descriptions and the identity we use to "define" ourselves because it's scary. I need to do things that scare me. I'm seeing that the more I face my fears, the more free I feel. And that's where I find myself today.

So here I am, reflecting on this new inner joy I am discovering daily, and feeling really good about being vulnerable.

Your Personal Reflection: What makes you feel vulnerable?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Power of a Pizza Slice

I've had another big desire to clean, purge and let go of things I don't need. As I look at the "things" in my life, I'm contemplating what is worth keeping, and what I'm really ready to let go of.

My husband was struggling the other day with a decision to give away bins full of art supplies collected over the years. We had a big realization together. If we continue to hold on to supplies for that future art project that may, or may never happen, are we putting out signals that we don't trust that the universe will provide for us in the future? Do you think that if we let more things go, the supplies, the resources, and whatever else we may need, will come to us when we are ready?

I've been thinking a lot about this idea of "hording" and holding on and how some of that has to come from a place of fear. Being aware of this, I try to look at the things in my life that I hold on to. One thing that I love to hold on to are books. I love my books. They are a great source of inspiration to me. I usually keep books because they remind me of certain times in my life, or I might refer back to them, or I especially love passing them on to family and friends. But I do have some books that I've just held on to thinking I may need them in the future.

So the other morning I woke up thinking, today I'm going to return my library books, and I'm going to let go of any books I don't need anymore. Because when I make space in my life, and I trust that the universe will provide, then I can trust that when I'm ready for new books, they will come to me.

And that's just what happened. I was picking up my lunch at a local pizza place when I heard a woman from behind the counter say, "Labradorite?" I knew exactly what she was referring to. I was wearing one of my treasured necklaces, a labradorite stone that I bought when I lived in Boulder, Colorado. The woman proceeded to ask me questions about the necklace and she wondered if I believed in the power of stones. I could tell she was quite passionate about stones and it was really wonderful to see.

She then told me, "You have to get the book Love Comes From the Earth." Isn't that a great title? This was a simple reminder of what comes when we can let go of even the smallest things. And all it took for my new book to find me was a slice of pizza, a warm smile and the openness to connect to another person who crossed my path.
Your Personal Reflection: What do you hold on to, physically, mentally and emotionally? Is there something in your life that you can let go of because it no longer serves a purpose?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Awakening to Nap Time Woes

Over the past few weeks I’ve reconnected to some wonderful reminders from the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. He hosted a 10-part podcast series last year with Oprah that centered around his beautifully, mindfully written book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.”

I am continually amazed at how things come into our lives when we are ready for them. The podcast that struck me most recently was the reminder that each time we experience a moment of stress, it usually means that our ego is creating resistance and denying the present moment. Eckhart shares that we all, as human beings, have the same “inner purpose”. This inner purpose is to be ONE with life. Another way to say it is that our inner purpose is to be FULLY connected to the present moment. For when we are living NOW, we are breathing in and out the vitality, joy and ALIVEness that is happening within us and all around us – today, now, at this very moment.

What a beautiful purpose – to simply BE - here - now. So simple, and yet, why does it seem so fleeting, and so darn hard?

As I write this I’m sitting in my car overlooking the lake, while my little dude sleeps in his car seat. He’s been sick all week and this upright position seems to be the only way he can get a good daytime nap. Just an hour or so ago, I was at home, completely frustrated and overwhelmed because I could not get this little guy to nap, and for the life of me I did not want to get in the car and drive around. I tried for hours to get him to sleep in his bed, forcing the situation and finding that the more I resisted the fact that he was not going to nap, the more frustrated and stress I became.

So, I find myself, once again, at the lake, writing in my car. What’s different for me this time, though, is that my frustration was short lived and I felt my personality soften as I became more aware that my ego was trying to control the situation. I am surrendering to “what is” happening in this moment, and not trying to make it be something else.

I see that when we let go of expectations and stop living for the future, we make room and we create space so that our inner purpose can expand. And when our inner purpose, this alignment with the present, simply IS without resistance, then our outer purpose, which is unique to each of us, has a clear path to unfold. I guess that's what it means when we hear, “let the universe provide.”

I’m finding that the more I practice present, conscious, mindful living, the more gratitude I have for those daily happenings that test and challenge me time and time again. Life truly is a series of lessons and I am here to learn.

The lake is glistening in the sunlight and flowing so beautifully right now. I see the water shifting and adapting as the elements around it continually change. My sweet, little boy is deep in REM and breathing clearly for the first time in days. My iced latte taste absolutely divine on this 93 degree in the thick of August kind of day. And I’ve been given this opportunity for self-reflection. I see what could have continued to be a stress-filled, annoying afternoon now as one filled with little blessings.

In this very moment, as I take a full breath in, and notice the vibrancy within me and the vibrancy all around me, I see how my heart is opening up to the true possibilities that come when my inner and outer purpose come together. And so, my yoga practice and the teachings of Eckhart Tolle come to the rescue to help awaken me during nap time.

Your Personal Reflection: Observe what you think about today. Are your thoughts deeply living in the past, or longing for the future? What can you do, today, to awaken to this moment, the place where you are reading these words, where you are breathing your breath, and where you feel feel connected to your purpose.