This past weekend friends and I went to the New York Botanical Garden to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit. It was absolutely SPECTACULAR in person and the pictures do not do it justice. One of the attractions is the, 'Infinity Room' and we are only allowed less than a minute in this mirrored room. Naturally, we cannot help but to use our phones every second for fear of missing out. Afterwards, I thought, did I really get it all? or did I just rob myself of the full art immersion by using my phone? What would you do if you waited in line to walk into an art space that was timed for less than a minute?
Here is a joke to finish off this story. Pay attention to your intentions as you go through your daily activities and ask yourself if it allows you to experience the most out of the present moment. Choose wisely dear souls.
Patient: "Doctor, do you think that I shall live until I am ninety?"
Doctor: "How old are you now?"
Doctor: "Do you drink, gamble, smoke or do you have any other vice?"
Patient: "No. I don’t drink. I don’t gamble. I don’t smoke. I have no vice."
Doctor: "Then why do you want to live for another fifty years?"
Going through my weekly classes, I come across so many different types of yogi's on the mat and often the ones that are hard on themselves when not being able to achieve what is set in their mind. My aging body speaks up to me everyday, telling me where my physical boundaries are. Because of that, my practice has turned into so much more than achieving a physical goal but opening up to be a good listener to my body, and to be my own best friend to my thoughts and feelings. Maybe the final destination is beyond the perfect posture, the most flexible pose, but another dimension that is awaiting to be unlocked from within. Here a short story with a wonderful message.
A frog lived in a well and had nothing else. One day, a sea turtle came into the well and told her about the sea. ‘The sea? Hah! It’s paradise in here. Nothing can be better than this well. Why don’t you come down and share my joy? The tortoise tried to reach the frog at the bottom of the well, but the mouth of the well was too narrow. ‘Why don’t you go see the sea instead? china-underground.com; toddherman.me
Whenever you are in a funk, look out for the turtle in your life, offering you another possibility to get out of your well. Maybe there is a paradise that is beyond what you expected.
There are few true stories that never grow old and I tell this one in my yoga class every once in a while. With Covid being on the top of our daily news these days, we can take on a lot of stress, fear and anxiety about how we will go about our everyday living. Some say it will take another two years before everyone can return to the office in full capacity. Navigating though this challenges us to be grounded mentally, yet it is an opportunity to tap into all types of resources that maybe we never would have thought of. This true story with Dr. Hew Len is a wonderful example of how we are sharing this struggle together and we can come back into harmony with both ourselves and others by honoring the 'Ho'oponono' mantra.
More than thirty years ago, in Hawaii, at the Hawaii State Hospital, there was a special ward, a clinic for the mentally ill criminals. People who had committed extremely serious crimes were assigned there. They had committed murder, rape, kidnapping or other such crimes. No day would pass without a patient-inmate attacking another inmate or a member of the staff.
Ever feel confused about how to plan for the future? How can we know what the right thing to plan for especially now with so much uncertainty and our leaders seemed to be confused themselves. When I started to make a life changing plan back in 2018, it was something I had to navigate and process slowly as things came about. From moving, to buying a car, to deciding how to build my business, it all came together as I made my choices one by one by meditating on being fully present with what I needed in that moment. It was not the easiest as I did have people around me that couldn't understand my choices and I had a lot of doubt, but I trusted my instincts and kept going. Looking back, I feel good about all my choices and I am in a good place today because I took the time to calmly think about what steps to take next in the moment and trusted that my path would reveal itself in time. Here is an incredible story that will always guide me back to my center whenever I am in doubt about the future.
It once occurred to a certain king that if he always knew the right time to begin everything; if he knew who were the right people to listen to, and whom to avoid; and, above all, if he always knew what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake.
Forget your phone at home? How did you handle it? With today's technology being so much a part of my lifestyle, I know I can get OCD when I forget my phone at home. Ever wonder how long you can go without using your smart phone? Those days of the rotary phone, a beeper at most are so far gone that we often feel FOMO if we don't have information, communication at our fingertips. This yearning and longing for things can completely alter our day and shift our moods. Here is an interesting study and video that I loved to remind me to step out of my OCD suffering when it's really not needed. Alternatively, a possibility of delayed gratification that can enhance our self discipline and patience skill set.
In the 1960s, a Stanford professor named Walter Mischel began conducting a series of important psychological studies. During his experiments, Mischel and his team tested hundreds of children — most of them around the ages of 4 and 5 years old — and revealed what is now believed to be one of the most important characteristics for success in health, work, and life.
When I am in the kitchen cooking, I think about my mom, grandma, popo, and gung gung that have passed as they were the ones that influenced my food choices and the way I cook today. I feel extra connected to them when I am preparing my meal by carrying on with family traditions, and the small nuances of the secret ingredients that have been passed down through generations.
Just the other day I was having lunch with my dear friend Amy who mentioned this story and I feel compelled to share. While this story relates to the generations that have passed on their customs, it is also a beautiful story that enables us to grow into our own accord. The underlying statement of 'this is how it has always been done,' is an opportunity to check-in to see if certain practices are still relevant to our life today. Explore this question, 'are there any childhood beliefs that are no longer true for me at this time?'
Maybe allow this following story to support your process of self study and awareness building.
A young woman was hosting a dinner party for her friends and served a delicious pot roast. One of her friends enjoyed it so much that she asked for the recipe, and the young woman wrote it down for her.
If you could live the life of your dreams right now, what would that look like? 2020 threw us all a curve ball with covid and turning many of us upside down to look at things from a different perspective. It was like a catalyst that asked us to face the hard questions of who we really are, what are we doing with our lives and why are we doing this? Is it making us happy? Here is a cute story that shows the different perspectives.
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
When is the last time something caught your attention that touched that your heart? The most adorable picture landed on my Facebook page and my heart was warmed instantly. During these tested times, and dark moments, all is not lost. We have that candlelight still flickering within us and we know this because we feel it. Animals with their natural instincts have no deterrent of the skeptical mind and they just follow their innate sense. Our primal essence comes from a place of loving kindness, it is our birthright to expand our unconditional love. As we enter into 2021, begin by building the things around you that kindle that loving touch in you. Remember and come back to the heart that knows, love wins every time.
In 2019, photographer Tobias Baumgaertner snapped a romantic shot of two widowed penguins overlooking a pier in Melbourne, Australia. He shared the photograph on his Instagram during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help lift people's spirits and it quickly went viral, garnering thousands of likes, comments, and shares. So, it's only fitting that Baumgaertner's photo, which was nominated for the Community Choice Award in the 2020 Ocean Photography Awards, won the title by popular vote.
“I posted this image of these two Fairy penguins a little more than half a year ago and since then it has circled the globe, it has been seen by millions, and I have received thousands of messages and comments of how these two little guys have touched and mended broken hearts, brought joy, hope and love into your lives,” Baumgaertner said on his Instagram. “
It has become a symbol of togetherness and love. Times are still not easy for many of us, [so] I repeat what I wrote back then. During times like this, the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most.” mymodernmet.com
Years ago I had an old iron that my mom had given to me and it was not working too well since I had dropped it and the bottom plate was slightly separated from the body. Basically, the iron was dangerous and I shouldn't have been using it but it was hard for me to replace it because it was one of the last remaining houseware things that my mom had given to me. Slowly, the things she gave me had expiration dates but my emotions were tied up in it. The process of letting go is slow but when I remembered the other gifts that my mom passed on to me, releasing the material possessions became much easier. I still feel her love around me in people, in food, animals, symbols and things in my new experiences - all the wonderful things she did to express her love somehow return to me in ways I never expected. Here is a beautiful story written by the great Franz Kaftka.
Franz Kafka, the story goes, encountered a little girl in the park where he went walking daily. She was crying. She had lost her doll and was desolate.
In conversation with a dear friend the other day, we discovered that feeling guilty can be a powerful veil that can set our emotions up for suffering if we do not come to terms with the truth. How about staying in a relationship which already expired in your heart? Or staying at a job that you outgrew but felt guilty for leaving? I definitely have had these moments in my life. In this next wise story, the concept of 'ahimsa' comes up which translates as 'non-harming.' I believe it starts within ourselves to realize that we are harming ourselves when we allow the power of guilt to overshadow our hearts truth.
There is a famous story about ahimsa told in the Vedas, the vast collection of ancient philosophical teachings from India. A certain sadhu, or wandering monk, would make a yearly circuit of villages in order to teach. One day as he entered a village he saw a large and menacing snake who was terrorizing the people. The sadhu spoke to the snake and taught him about ahimsa. The following year when the sadhu made his visit to the village, he again saw the snake. How changed he was. This once magnificent creature was skinny and bruised. The sadhu asked the snake what had happened. He replied that he had taken the teaching of ahimsa to heart and had stopped terrorizing the village. But because he was no longer menacing, the children now threw rocks and taunted him, and he was afraid to leave his hiding place to hunt. The sadhu shook his head. "I did advise against violence," he said to the snake, "but I never told you not to hiss."
Protecting ourselves and others does not violate ahimsa. Practicing ahimsa means we take responsibility for our own harmful behavior and attempt to stop the harm caused by others. Being neutral is not the point. Practicing true ahimsa springs from the clear intention to act with clarity and love.
Welcome to my blog page. This is my opportunity to connect further with you through storytelling and sharing my experiences.