One of the best pieces of information that I learned helped me to discover a deeper meaning of meditation and the power we already have to liberate ourselves from destructive pattern conditioning. I heard Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist explain what happens when an emotion is triggered within us. She called it the 90 second rule. Saying that it takes 90 seconds for that chemical reaction to flush through our body and if we continue to feel that emotion, it is because we are the ones choosing to re-circuit that feeling. Surrey Mindfulness.
Our thoughts are that which we deliberately choose whether we want to admit it or not. It is through my meditation practice that I was able to catch the reoccurring storylines that fueled my self-destructive patterns.
As we are currently dealing with COVID-19 and the repercussions of it, the mind can easily fall into reruns of the past.( i.e. our life we had before this pandemic). Our lives will never be the same after this and we are now evolving into a new norm. We can decide to see the things we don't have, once had, or wish we had and replay that script. Or maybe we decide to see that we have come this far and have gained so much from birth till now that we are indeed quite abundant. Can you see an empty box or a full box?
Here is the story.
'The members of a certain West African tribe tell the legend of the Sky Maiden.
It happened once that the people of the tribe noticed their cows were giving less milk than they used to. They could not understand why.
One young man volunteered to stay up all night to see what might be happening. After several hours of waiting in the darkness, hiding in a bush, he saw something extraordinary. A young woman of astonishing beauty rode a moonbeam down from heaven to earth, carrying a large pail. She milked the cows, filled her pail, and climbed back up the moonbeam to the sky. The man could not believe what he had seen.
The next night, he set a trap near where the cows were kept, and when the maiden came down to milk the cows, he sprang the trap and caught her. "Who are you?" he demanded.
She explained that she was a Sky Maiden, a member of a tribe that lived in the sky and had no food of their own. It was her job to come to earth at night and find food. She pleaded with him to let her out of the net and she would do anything he asked. The man said he would release her only if she agreed to marry him. "I will marry you," she said, "but first you must let me go home for three days to prepare myself. Then I will return and be your wife." He agreed.
Three days later she returned, carrying a large box. "I will be your wife and make you very happy," she told him, "but you must promise me never to look inside this box."
For several weeks they were very happy together. Then one day, while his wife was out, the man was overcome with curiosity and opened the box. There was nothing in it. When the woman came back, she saw her husband looking strangely at her and said, "You looked in the box, didn¹t you? I can¹t live with you anymore."
"Why?" the man asked. "What's so terrible about my peeking into an empty box?"
"I'm not leaving you because you opened the box. I thought you probably would. I'm leaving you because you said it was empty. It wasn't empty; it was full of sky. It contained the light and the air and the smells of my home in the sky. When I went home for the last time, I filled that box with everything that was most precious to me to remind me of where I came from.
How can I be your wife if what is most precious to me is emptiness to you?'
by rvcbard blog
Do you have stories in your memory that stick with you and every time you hear it again, it never ceases to warm your heart? This is a true story and every time I read it, I remember that no matter how difficult things may get, there is always hope. And sometimes you find it in the least expected ways and then you might just rekindle your faith in that, everything is going to be ok.
'During this past year I’ve had three instances of car trouble: a blowout on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out-of-gas situation. They all happened while I was driving other people’s cars, which for some reason makes it worse on an emotional level. And on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my own car, and know enough not to park on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.
Each time, when these things happened, I was disgusted with the way people didn’t bother to help. I was stuck on the side of the freeway hoping my friend’s roadside service would show, just watching tow trucks cruise past me. The people at the gas stations where I asked for a gas can told me that they couldn’t lend them out “for safety reasons,” but that I could buy a really crappy one-gallon can, with no cap, for $15. It was enough to make me say stuff like “this country is going to hell in a handbasket,” which I actually said.
But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke any English.
One of those guys stopped to help me with the blowout even though he had his whole family of four in tow. I was on the side of the road for close to three hours with my friend’s big Jeep. I put signs in the windows, big signs that said, “NEED A JACK,” and offered money. Nothing. Right as I was about to give up and start hitching, a van pulled over, and the guy bounded out.
He sized up the situation and called for his daughter, who spoke English. He conveyed through her that he had a jack but that it was too small for the Jeep, so we would need to brace it. Then he got a saw from the van and cut a section out of a big log on the side of the road. We rolled it over, put his jack on top and we were in business.
I started taking the wheel off, and then, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those collapsible ones, and I wasn’t careful, and I snapped the head clean off. Damn.
No worries: he ran to the van and handed it to his wife, and she was gone in a flash down the road to buy a new tire iron. She was back in 15 minutes. We finished the job with a little sweat and cussing (the log started to give), and I was a very happy man.
The two of us were filthy and sweaty. His wife produced a large water jug for us to wash our hands in. I tried to put a 20 in the man’s hand, but he wouldn’t take it, so instead I went up to the van and gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I thanked them up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I’d send them a gift for being so awesome. She said they lived in Mexico. They were in Oregon so Mommy and Daddy could pick cherries for the next few weeks. Then they were going to pick peaches, then go back home.
After I said my goodbyes and started walking back to the Jeep, the girl called out and asked if I’d had lunch. When I told her no, she ran up and handed me a tamale.
This family, undoubtedly poorer than just about everyone else on that stretch of highway, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took a couple of hours out of their day to help a strange guy on the side of the road while people in tow trucks were just passing him by.
But we weren’t done yet. I thanked them again and walked back to my car and opened the foil on the tamale (I was starving by this point), and what did I find inside? My $20 bill! I whirled around and ran to the van and the guy rolled down his window. He saw the $20 in my hand and just started shaking his head no. All I could think to say was, “Por favor, por favor, por favor,” with my hands out. The guy just smiled and, with what looked like great concentration, said in English: “Today you, tomorrow me.”
Then he rolled up his window and drove away, with his daughter waving to me from the back. I sat in my car eating the best tamale I’ve ever had, and I just started to cry. It had been a rough year; nothing seemed to break my way. This was so out of left field I just couldn’t handle it.
In the several months since then I’ve changed a couple of tires, given a few rides to gas stations and once drove 50 miles out of my way to get a girl to an airport. I won’t accept money. But every time I’m able to help, I feel as if I’m putting something in the bank.'
By Justin Horner
According to a new study, studyfinds.org, adults wake up grumpy 300 days of the year. How did you wake up this morning? And yesterday? The day before?
Truth be told, I was never a morning person and my default norm is less than cheerful at wake time. Knowing this, I build a morning ritual with soothing sounds, a warm shower, followed by essential oil aromas, and my favorite toothpaste. Visually, I surround my environment with positive affirmations wall decor and feel good images to take in at first light. Upon waking our senses are heightened and what we choose to start our morning with affects our day. Studies have shown that three minutes of negative news in the morning has proven to affect a person by 27% with the likelihood of it turning into an unhappy or depressing rest day. inc.com
Invite positive shifts into your routine. I feel that it takes effort to re-program ourselves and a bold truth to own up to the fact that we are the ones who are responsible for our happiness. Our past experiences culminate and color our world and once 'woke' we can begin to modify as needed. Carl Jung says, 'I am not what happened to me, I choose what I am to become.
And here a story for a deeper thought process.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Some people will choose to be right than to be happy. What choices do you tend to make when faced with opposite viewpoints and contradictions? In our meditation today, the oracle cards brought up the topic of win win and how to create that world for where we are designing a beautiful life for yourself and others.
Change is inevitable and with change comes contradiction with others and it is an opportunity to investigate our own inner battles. A personal struggle I have been dealing with is the fact that I wake up in the morning each day and my body has much more aches and pains than before. It is a body that needs more TLC now and I have to make peace with the idea that my body is not the same as it was five years ago and it will change again in the next five years. Applying the same metrics to my body today that I did in the past, will trigger my body to resist in some way. Instead, I practice softening towards acceptance, kindness, compassion, and gratefulness. Some days it works and some days my ego gets the best of me and throws those thoughts out the window. The internal struggle is always present.
Releasing old notions, past experiences is a detox process mentally, emotionally and affects us physically. This process I believe is the renewal of ones old self into a new self and the evolution of the human life. I believe our inner struggles manifest in this realm in the form of others as our mirror. In your everyday living, bring awareness to the choices that you are making and if it is serving your best self or not.
Here is a story that I found helpful for my self evolution.
'One day a man said to God, “God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.” God showed the man two doors. Inside the first one, in the middle of the room, was a large round table with a large pot of stew. It smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water, but the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, “You have seen Hell.”
Behind the second door, the room appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with the large pot of wonderful stew that made the man’s mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The man said, “I don’t understand.”God smiled. It is simple, he said, Love only requires one skill. These people learned early on to share and feed one another. While the greedy only think of themselves.' theboundspirit.com
There are moments in my life that I remember really well and this art exhibition was one of them. While living in New York City, my friends and I went to see Gregory Colbert's Ashes and Snow exhibition. His photography worked moved me and struck a chord within me that had me in awe.
In my studies at ISHTA Yoga, I was first introduced to the Chakras. The body has seven subtle energy centers that reside deep in the body known as the Chakras. The information contained in our thoughts, feelings, and actions travel through these energy centers and there is a physiological and emotional response to the information that is received. A balanced heart chakra is when you feel a sense of gratitude and this art spoke to me in that way in all it's magnificence. In a balanced throat chakra, you are comfortable with speaking your truth. See the article written by Mind Valley about the chakras.
Here is a joke about a little girl speaking her truth.
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales and how she had heard in Sunday School about how a whale had swallowed Jonah.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl remained steadfast in her position and reiterated that indeed, a whale had swallowed Jonah.
Irritated, the teacher again stated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, "I'm not sure how it happened, but when I get to heaven I will ask Jonah."
The teacher replied smugly, "What if Jonah isn't in heaven?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."
Ever wondered how the full moon affects you? For some, it affects their sleep and researchers have found that we get 20 minutes less sleep, and it takes us 5 minutes longer to get to sleep. Notice if you wake up groggy the next day or have brain fog throughout the day.
According to the Ano Lani Ano Honua moon book the Mahealani full moon is about endings, closures and spiritual rebirth. Also, if you happen to be missing any personal belongings, this is the time you have a good chance of finding it. :)
Interested in knowing what the Oracle cards have to say? I have collaborated with Kealapono in my cyberspace yoga classes to set the stage to align with the wisdom of the cards. The spirit animal in the cards was the serpent which lead me to tell the dharma story, ' The Marriage of the Princess and the Dragon.' See the following quote. Click HERE to see the video clip of the oracle card messages.
Because of the mishaps of her parents, a young princess named Aris must be betrothed to a fearful dragon. When the king and queen tell her she becomes frightened for her life. But recovering her wits, she goes out beyond the market to seek a wise woman, who has raised twelve children and twenty-nine grandchildren and knows the ways of dragons and Men.
***The next cyberspace class is Sunrise Stretch and Meditation which will include the mayan calendar.
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of presenting a Mindfulness presentation to teachers and staff at St. Clements. It was my opportunity to share this beautiful story with them and to have them do an exercise like this. I hope that this exercise touched their hearts because this story touched my heart.
This is a story of a teacher at a Catholic school in Minnesota. She describes an unforgettable elementary student named Mark Eklund who had been likeable but frustrating because of his inability to stay quiet in class. The teacher transferred to teaching junior-high and later had Mark again. One day asked everyone in the class to write down each student’s name and also write the nicest thing they could think of about that person. Years later, the teacher got word that Mark Eklund had died in Vietnam and she was asked to attend his funeral. Mark’s family showed her that the piece of paper from junior-high with other student’s kind remarks about him had been carried in his wallet until the day he died. The teacher then heard that other students had also saved their pieces of paper from that day and how much it had meant to them. The story closes with encouragement to tell people how much we care for them and how special they are to us while there is still the time to do it. (truthorfiction.com)
Hello Cyber Yogi's!
Thank you so much for joining in today for the test run and having patience for the technicals. Keala has offered to be my cyber tech support whenever he is available to join in and will be working on the mic situation, then killing the music for now. Your comments make a difference and I am super grateful!
Here below a recap summary of what was covered in the session today.
BREATHWORK - PRANAYAMA
Prana = life force ; Ayama = extension. The bridge between our external world and internal world. The benefits include: witnessing our thoughts, feeling our emotions, calming the scripts that are running in our minds.
*Beyond the mat: Whenever we are triggered with a strong emotion it takes 90 seconds for the emotion to leave our body chemically. Thereafter, we are responsible for choosing to keep playing the scenario repeatedly in our minds. Take a breath the next time you feel triggered and use it as your tool. Choose to respond rather than react.
EYES CLOSED OR EYE GAZE SOFT
Lowers external stimulation, guides one into a quiet stillness and facilitates focus and inner clarity.
*Beyond the mat: We are stimulated by our external sight which keep our minds active. Our eyesight is a learning portal and we are receiving more than 80% information downloads through our the scope of our lens. Practicing with a soft gaze or closing the eyes, turns the vision inward, and we soften the information bias of what is coming in and begin the process of developing our own intuition. This work enables us to tap into a larger field of intelligence-our wisdom. It is that innate wisdom that helps us to break through illusions and recolor our perspective to a reality that supports our best self. We then can make better choices in or daily living.
--> ASANA - PHYSICAL PRACTICE
Hip openers such as Warrior II and child's pose release stuck emotions lodged in the body such as fears. It is easy to have fear of our own expectations, in order to fit into the roles that we hold in society, or to fear what the future holds for us.
Heart openers are backbends that allow the front body to open and release any type of congestion physically in the chest or if we are having difficulty expressing ourselves to others.
Lowering the head below the heart assists the blood flow to the heart therefore, relaxing the brain activity when we are feeling scattered.
--> GUIDED MEDITATION - YOGA NIDRA
Moving beyond the physical body and surfing through the various states of consciousness to cleanse the internal space and arrive feeling at ease and peace.
Body scan - This gives the thinking mind a task to pull the energies into the body, and the present moment.
Rapid visuals - The planted images excavate stuck memories, whether good or bad to cleanse the system to make room for new experiences. Helpful in releasing trauma.
Visualization - Encourages one to keep diving inward to recognize that our well being is more than just the physical body.
-->SANKALPA - HEARTS DESIRE / RESOLVE TO DO SOMETHING
This is the intention we set to support our highest self. It can start off as materialistic or superficial, which is perfectly ok. That is the first step to discovering what we are really longing for from the truth of our heart. With genuine practice and commitment to seeking our authentic truth of why we are really here, this intention / vow, will arrive when we are ready to live it. It is the larger arc of our lives, our dharma. We planted our seeds today's practice into the universe with the clear bubble and feeling ourselves in that space.
-->SAVASANA- THE CORPSE POSE
Settling into the totality of all the layers of our being. Arriving into a deeper understanding that all is well and surrendering into our essence and nesting in our inner divine self. No gripping or clenching on what things should be, just allowing ourselves to arrive and coasting into the timeless and expansive stillness. Feeling whole and complete then finally feeling 'one-ness' with everything around us.
What if we relaxed our need to control and judge our situations and embodied a neutral outlook?
This past week I added two more classes to my schedule seeing a whole new crowd of participants. Every class presents something new and different each time and there is no way to predict how the class will turn out. I've learned to surrender into servicing the people, honoring the truthful practice, and releasing the control of having to know what happens next.
I came across this story about an old man and a horse from my dear friend Melody. It reminded me that not all situations really turn out the way we think it will be, so why not just be ok with what is and let go of trying to label it as good, bad, lucky or unlucky or trying to predict the outcome.
The Old Man and his Horse
If you were to write down the thoughts about yourself that you had today, what would that be? Researchers say that we have over 65,000 thoughts a day and over 90% were the same as yesterday.
At the start of my yoga class I always check in with each person to see how they are feeling and if they have any type of body issues or injuries. It is common for me to hear about their body issue(s) as they have a look of defeat in their eyes. Yet when the class is in progress each person comes into their own magical flow and a transformation begins. At the end of class, I usually see a subtle transition in their body, their face, and a lifted sense that no longer allows the confines of the body to defeat their spirit.
What if you decided to believe that everything that happens to you is rigged in your favor? Here is one of my favorite stories that I often share in my classes.
Itzhak Perlman: Violinist...