fall: creating and starting again

This first week of September always has that feel of excitement of the first day of school. I want new clothes, create fun activities to look forward to, and press the reset button on my commitments. I never really grew out of back to school mode and I feel a real sense of excitement and anticipation for what the rest of the year ahead holds for me.
 
It is also when I like to try on new activities, sign up for classes, and reinvent who I want to be and what I want to do to support that beingness I’m creating for this year.
 
This season in particular always reminds me to recommit to goals I had created yet not followed through on as diligently as I would have liked to through the summer. Can you relate to me at all?
 
To support you in your back to school adventures, here’s a FREE tool I’ve created just for you to design your best fall yet! I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to hear your insights below.
 
If you love this as much as I do, please forward it to a friend, share it on Facebook, or Tweet it out loud! You never know who could use a little help in starting again or pressing the reset button!

Get your workbook now!

Love and Light,
t

gravitrons and your right to be here

This post was born out of a talk I was giving in a yoga class last Monday, and it felt important to share it with you too. It has to do with The Gravitron (yes the fair ride), and your right to be here.

Right now, I’ll invite you to close your eyes and relax into your breath. Take a moment to feel the sensations of your body, and also the sensation of the earth’s gravity gently drawing you into itself.

We don’t often see, or feel the obvious magic of our life. But it’s there and you are in the midst of it and an integral part of it too.

Magic is found in the mundane that we take for granted. Like gravity. Like your breath. Like the fact that no one really knows how you got into this body, but here you are! You are a part of this mystery, and dance of the cosmos.

Do you remember The Gravitron?

If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a ride that resembles a disk like space ship and the interior chamber shaped like a cylinder with rounded walls covered with panels. When the ride starts spinning, it sucks you to the walls for few minutes while the panels go up and down. I only went on it a few times as a kid, and mostly remember kids running out puking afterwards. Spinning crazy fast and fair food don’t go all that well together, I guess.

In a gentler more loving way, the earth holds us dearly to it.

Right now, the earth is spinning and hurling itself through space and you are actually stuck upside down onto it. Think about it, the ground you stand on is actually a ball spinning through space and is holding you tightly to it so you don’t fall off into emptiness.

It actually wants you here.

This spinning ball is also very alive, and breathes through all of its different life forms. The plants on our planet exhale oxygen and breathe in the carbon dioxide we animals produce. We inhale the plants gift of oxygen, and give plants life through breathing out carbon dioxide. 

We are in essence breathing together in symbiotic relationship.

We are each other’s inhales and exhales. It’s quite beautiful really, and we are interwoven into that delicate magical beauty.

I remember one run in particular where I was on the homestretch on a perfect summer morning. The cool morning air was starting to warm up from the heat of the sun on this clear morning. The shadows were long and I could feel the temperature difference sharply from shade to sun with my pace. My breath was steady, and I was keenly present to the sensations of my body, and the feel of the world around me. 

I could feel the earth’s pulse beneath my feet, the earths breath, and I was overcome with a sense of oneness and profound peace. 

I remember having the thought, “I was born for this.” Not in the sense of running, but in a much bigger more meaningful way:

I was born to live…and so are you. 

Here’s something I want you to really get, like right down to the core of your being:

The fact that you are here means that the world already approves of you.

There, I said it: if you weren’t meant to be here, you wouldn’t be.

Also, if you like what I am doing, spread the word! My business depends almost exclusively on word of mouth (or forwarded emails!). Share this on Facebook, tweet it out, or forward this to your friends, you’ll never know how we impact each positively just by sharing good stuff around.

Do you struggle with your right to be here? I love hearing from you, and would love to know how you remember that you are meant to be here on the comment section. Also, how would your life be different, if you really believed that you were meant to be here? Can you embrace that to create freedom for your life?

metta meditation

“I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.”
– Walt Whitman

Why do we need to practice metta or loving kindness you may ask? Loving kindness allows us to drop our barriers and see each other for who we truly are: the light behind the eyes and the luminosity of the heart. This may sound hokey, but isn’t that we all want? To see and be deeply seen?

Metta Meditation or loving kindness meditation is a short meditation about 3 to 4 lines that are repeated with the intention to evoke the feelings of loving kindness in our hearts. Metta always starts with ourselves so you repeat these words as well wishing for yourself and your own life, letting the meaning land within your heart. Repeat for 10 to 30 minutes. Here’s an example of one below, but you can choose verses that are meaningful to you. 

May I be happy.
May I be at peaceful. 
May I be safe. 
May I be well. 

Sometimes the practice creates other feelings that are anything but loving kindness, and sometimes it feels mechanical. Be patient and kind with yourself. Let the words land as best as they can and hold yourself with compassion. This meditation can be done anywhere, on the bus, waiting in line, driving your car. The benefits of this practice are huge because it acts like a self psychotherapy by healing our troubled minds, and shifts old habituated negative thought patterns. Pretty great hey? 

So, what do you think? Have you tried Metta before, and what phrases do you like? If you haven’t tried it, are you going to give it a shot? I’d love to here from you! Please post your comments and suggestions below the blog post. I love hearing from you!

Did like this post? Then please share it with your friends and family, on Facebook or Tweet it out!

Love and Light,

t

Gratitude…its all where you place your attention.

Gratitude, in my mind at least, is one of the easiest, most powerful practices we can take on to dramatically increase our feelings of happiness and well-being. And really, we all want to be happier don’t we?

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
― Eckhart Tolle

You’ve probably heard the teaching: whatever you focus on expands. I’m not talking about the law of attraction here folks, but more of the law of the way things are. I don’t personally believe the universe has any desire to bend to my personal needs and wants, but I do believe that my experience of the truth of life itself is influenced by what I perceive and how I perceive it. By focusing on what is the “good that you already have in your life”, you start to notice more of it, more often, and feel the abundance that is already here. Gratitude is a powerful practice to incline your mind to notice all the goodness, beauty, and wonder that is around us all the time…and that is a sweet way to live your life!

Here’s a few ways that you can cultivate your own practice, (because it really is a practice not a one-time thing to work), and make it stick so that you can have long lasting happiness:

1)      Start now.

You don’t have to wait to be grateful. Look around you and notice: the sun shining, the rain watering the grass, the ability to read, and healthy feet. It’s appreciating the little mundane things that go unnoticed that make our life rich. After all, our lives are made up of the little things!

2)      Get specific.

To really “get” the feeling of gratitude it helps to expand on it. Notice your shoes. Not everyone in the world gets to have shoes, and you probably have a few to choose from. Someone designed and made your shoes, and someone else stocked them before selling them to you. There are a whole lot of people to be grateful for that got you your sweet ass shoes! See, it’s not about looking at concepts, like being grateful for your health, or your family. Those are too big for your mind to really grasp and be impacted by. It’s getting intimate with specifically what you are grateful for and letting yourself feel it, get touched by it.

3)      Create ritual time.

No meaningful change happens unless it’s scheduled in. It’s like learning to run, but then only doing it when you feel like it. Good luck, right? Eventually it will become automatic, but first you have to train your brain to want it. One practice I love is to place a hand on my heart and a foot on the earth when I wake up and go to bed, and have a moment of deep appreciation for the day ahead and the day I had. Another one, is to have a gratitude journal and list 3 to 5 things every day that you are grateful for. Keep it in the same place and have a set time to use it. Don’t worry if it challenges you a bit at first. Your brain may not be accustomed to viewing the world this way yet with ease, but it will if you persist. Another ritual I have is to end each yoga class with the invitation to count 3 of your blessings, and I also always count mine too!

4)      Persistence and practice.

Your brain is an amazing machine that is plastic, which means it is malleable. The neuro-pathways in your brain are strengthened by what you think about most. By making the effort to choose gratitude, you strengthen those neuro-pathways to become a more habitual way of thinking. Also just like any practice, it will take effort in the beginning, and less and less as time goes on and gratitude becomes more automatic. All this means, is to make a plan that you can stick to an enjoy practicing.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ― A.A. Milne

I’m totally with Piglet on this one! I hope this blog post was useful to you and inspired you in your own practice. As always, I’d love to hear from you! What are your practices? How do you use gratitude in your own life? Please feel free to comment below and share your insights.

Love and Light,

t