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Posted on July 25, 2016
We’ve been talking about nature – Nature – for the past few newsletters. Okay, I’ve been talking and you’ve, presumably, been listening. (Remember, that comment space down there is to establish a dialog.)
Sometimes Nature gets really overwhelming and it’s really hard to stay connected. We’ve had a lot of that lately . . . floods, droughts, wildfires. All pretty scary stuff. Even from a distance, and especially when we’re in the midst of it. Chaos in our climate.
If we look from macrocosm to microcosm, we see things like fevers or tumours or other reactions to the chaos that can develop in our physical systems. Anxiety. Debility. Things that lead us to the fear of the other “D” word.
It can be really tempting to give up and pretend that we can dwell only in the spirit and mind. We won’t even try to play with the big boys and girls.
Did you notice that word “pretend”? Sorry to say, when we cut off consciousness to the physical, we’re also cutting off from mind and spirit. They’re a package deal, folks. Can you say “delusion”?
So what do we do when nature/Nature gets that big and scary?
There’s a long and a short version of that story and they’re both spelled “m-e-d-i-t-a-t-i-o-n”.
We’ve got this amazing connector between our various aspects: breath.
The short version is, pay attention to your breathing when you’re confronted with the immensity and chaos of life. Get all Greek goddess and just do it.
The long version is, pay attention to your breathing. Really pay attention. Which nostril is taking in more air at the moment? What moves when you breathe? Do you like exhaling more than inhaling? Which takes longer? Is every breath the same? Do you breathe more into one side of the body than the other? More into the front or back? Are there sobs or sighs happening on the way in or out?
Look, you’re still alive, so you’ve been breathing “correctly” so far. The point is not to do it “right”; it’s to be attentive to that basic connection between your body, mind and spirit.
You don’t really have a choice about staying with nature/Nature. Let your breath help you not to lose your mind or spirit as you stay with the difficult times in your body.
Posted on May 2, 2016
Spring is in full fling here in the northern hemisphere, with bursting flowers and singing birds making nature all Disney, all the time. Of course, those of you in the south are in the “wait a minute!” line, looking at the remains of coloured leaves and short, chill days.
So what if you’re not feeling supported by nature’s outbursts? What if you’re decidedly hermetic, ready to withdraw from sunny spring up north? Or you’re just bursting with inspired enthusiasm down south?
There’s something special that happens when we feel attuned to nature’s cycles. We feel in step with the Universe, in its manifestation in multiple species. We’re in the flow, carried along by energies greater than our individual selves.
But life does stuff that can interrupt that flow. You live 14 hours a day in a cubicle with a computer and then move through asphalt-land to find a soft spot to land for sleeping, so nature is irrelevant. Your best friend dies and time just stops, along with the song in your heart. Just as nature is gearing down to sleep, the project you’ve poured your heart and soul into takes off, and so does your spirit.
I can just hear those of you who are coming up on full-scale autumn now: “But I don’t want to slow down and go into hibernation!” Especially those of you ready to zoom ahead on your renewed enthusiasm for life.
No, you don’t have to find your inner bear and let it run the show. But you do have to acknowledge it and give it its due.
Easy peasy (okay, a little effort if you’re the cooped-up cubicle soul). Pay attention to something in nature.
Are there birds you hear regularly? Pay attention. A tree you can watch change with the seasons? Pay attention. Animals who regularly cross your path? Attention.
So, no, you don’t need to rev all the way up to the springtime party when you need time to grieve. And you don’t need to dial down to hibernation when you’re cleared for takeoff. Tuning in to the new life of spring will support you through loss to your own regeneration. The slowing down of autumn will keep you grounded and help you find restful time-outs in the midst of new excitement.
Your connection to nature is your connection to the Universe in all its large- and small-scale splendour . . . . and every scale in between.
Posted on March 21, 2016
Yama is yoga’s Social ethics, how we practice to get along with each other.
Michael Stone‘s way of looking at these . . .
Ahimsa: recognizing that I am not separate from all that is. Non-violence
Satya: listening, acting and speaking from the heart in each spontaneous circumstance. Truthfulness
Asteya: being satisfied with what I have; not taking what is not freely given. Non-stealing
Brahmacharya: encountering all creatures with respect and dignity; wise use of sexual energy. Continence
Aparigraha: using all the ingredients of my life without clinging. Non-possessiveness
How is your asana practice reflecting your yama? How is your yama out in the world reflecting your yoga?
Life isn’t always easy and choices aren’t always crystal clear. We don’t always know what we’re capable of.
Clients have been coming to me since 1981 for inside information and side-by-side support on issues from career and finances through relationships and leisure time to health and home life. If it’s part of your life, it’s part of what we can optimize . . . together.
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Upcoming Events & On-Going Classes
SATURDAY and SUNDAY, 13th & 14th OCTOBER
10am to 7pm
Tarot with The Tarot Guild on Stub Toe Lane at the Maryland Renaissance Festival
SATURDAY, 27th OCTOBER
12noon to 4pm
Tarot on Wings at On the Wings of Dreams as part of Shepherdstown BooFest
4 to 6pm
Tarot with Meliana at The Witches Tea at the War Memorial Building. Contact the Shepherdstown Visitor’s Center for information: 304-876-2786
You can drop in at any of my yoga classes, other than Wednesday mornings (which requires a monthly sign-up). And, yes, I am available for private individual and group yoga sessions.
5-6pm Yoga at Paynes Chapel Ridgeway Community Hall, Ridgeway, WV 304.229.5220 for info
9:45-10:45am Yoga at Berkeley 2000 Sports Center Turning Pointe Dance Studio
6-7pm Yoga at Paynes Chapel Ridgeway Community Hall, Ridgeway, WV 304.229.5220 for info