Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Last week someone said to me "I'm struggling with the uncertainty of everything".   I could feel her pain while she spoke.  I could feel it so powerfully because I too struggle with the uncertainty of everything.  Whether it's about our health, finances, or even relationships, uncertainty is at the core of our struggle.

When I teach a yoga class I almost always share my own struggles as the theme for the practice. Having pondered uncertainty all week I decided to use it as the theme for today's class.  The focus of our practice was shifting the fear that comes from uncertainty to seeing it as holding the potential for something magnificent.  

The uncertainty I was thinking about was whether or not I would be staying in my house.  My mind has been so focused on the struggle.  I thought that I was on the right track when I started to look at the uncertainty as a great adventure but that was just the beginning.  Uncertainty holds infinite possibilities.

"Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."   

As I continued the practice of shifting my perspective,  I started to wonder,  what was I certain of?     I expressed in class that there wasn't a damn thing that came to mind.  "You'll die." offered Cari.
Yes!  That is something that certainly will happen.   My thought wave shifted after that.  The perspective expanded.

What thoughts or emotions come up for you when you think about the fact that it's 100% guaranteed that you will die?  Can you see the potential it offers?  We can choose to stress over how, when, where, why...  or we can choose another thought.... How can I live today to the fullest?   

Note to self:   It's not about where I live, it's about HOW I live.  

When life serves up a heaping helping of uncertainty you have a choice. 

a) focus on all the terrible outcomes that may or may not happen 
b) look at it as holding the potential for some magnificent adventure 

It doesn't come natural for me so I have to re-train my mind to see life as a great adventure filled with infinite possibilities.  Re-training the mind takes diligent effort in shifting the perspective.  Remember that we can't always choose the hand we're dealt but we certainly can choose our perspective.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I pledge allegiance...

 my girl. Lu 

At times like this I remember something my friend, Jon said to me once.  "Yeah, but that's just how you think, right hon?"  I think of that often when I catch a thought pattern.  I've been tracing the thought patterns, trying to uncover the root of the pattern.  The belief behind the pattern.  It's been an interesting exercise.  Upon examination, some beliefs are completely bat-shit crazy, others seem fairly benign.  What I'm most curious about is where these beliefs started.  How was the seed planted? 

Once I trace the thought pattern back to the belief I have an option.  I get to decide if the belief is true, does it still serves me or is it  time to let it go.  The process does take way longer than I would like.  "There's got to be a better way." I tell myself.  If there is, I haven't figured it out yet.  When I do, I'll be sure to write a book and go on tour.  

I'm thinking of what Jon said because it's become increasing clear to me that Jon was right. Not everyone thinks like me.  Funny, isn't it?  I'm 45 years old and it's just now occurring to me that not everyone thinks like me. When Jon pointed this out to me I was shocked.  Then I wondered why everyone doesn't think like me.  "Life would be so much easier if everyone thought like me!" I tell him. ( Let's pause and give thanks that not everyone thinks like me.)


Loyalty is what I'm contemplating.  Hence, my girl Lu in the picture.  When I try to figure out what my beliefs are around the concept of loyalty I come to conclusion that I must have been a dog in a previous life.  That's the only explanation I can come up with as to why I'm fiercely loyal.  
I would even say loyal to a fault.  It's hard to believe that being too loyal can be hazardous.  (Wait, I think that belief may be worth examining...)

What does loyalty mean exactly?  The dictionary says "A strong feeling of support or allegiance."  I like this definition.  It makes sense in my head.  What does it mean to you?   What does loyalty look like?  I am loyal to Wawa.  I only buy coffee at Wawa even though 7-eleven is closer and McDonald's is cheaper.  That's one example of  loyalty.  It means that I support and have an allegiance to people even when it's inconvenience or difficult.  I sometimes feel like loyalty is a lost art. Sort of like cursive handwriting or getting handwritten letters in the mail. 

In my continuing effort to see the beauty in life I'm shifting my focus.  I'm looking for examples of loyalty instead of crying about the lack of loyalty I've been noticing.  As Jon points out, not everyone thinks like me but that doesn't mean it should stand in the way of loyalty.  Even if our beliefs are different can't we still support one another's right to our individual beliefs?  Can we be loyal to each other at the fundamental level of our shared humanity? 

You may not think like me but I would bet that we have the same basic human desires.  We all want to be safe.  We all want to happy. We all want to be loved.  We all want to be healthy.  Perhaps we can be loyal to each other's pursuit of these basic human desires.  Can you support that? Can you pledge allegiance to working towards these shared goals? 

Look at my girl!  She is the best teacher of unconditional love and loyalty. If you don't know what it means to be loyal get a dog.