Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's for the children

My day started with this short Ted Talk called The Fierce Face of the Feminine.   I really hope that everyone takes a few minutes to watch it.  The talk is powerful and it got my head spinning.  So much of it resonated so deeply in me.  I had flashbacks of times when I have felt that fierce fire within me. 
Times when the fire within me burned so strong that I could not hold myself back.  This short little Ted Talk felt like the final piece of  the puzzle.  It's going to take some time to digest the realizations that I've been having all day but there is one piece of the talk that I want to start a conversation about. 

Lets talk about this concept that we are all mothers and fathers of ALL the children.  You know the saying "It takes a village to raise a child"?  Its time to get back to this practice.  When I was a kid I knew that any one of the "moms" in my life would be there for me whether it was for help or discipline.  When my kids were young and would play outside they knew that the other "moms" would be there for them to help or discipline.  As my girls were growing into young women they had other "moms" who have stepped in and offered guidance and advice to them. 

I'm that mom that's always asking kids "does your mom know where you are?" before letting the kid hang out at my house.  I'm that mom that yells at kid standing on someone's car "Get off of there before you break your neck!"  I'm that mom that offers an ear to the teenager who had a fight with their own mom.  I'm that mom that stands in the parking lot keeping an eye on the group of little ones blowing bubbles when there isn't any other adults around.  I'm that mom that lunges to catch a kid that's climbing out the shopping cart. I'm grateful that I have had a  circle of powerful women doing the same for me and my children.  It is this circle of powerful women that have taught me what it means to be a mother and a woman. 

I have the great privilege of witnessing my daughters becoming powerful young women in their own right.  I am so proud of them that it makes my heart burst.  But I can't take all the credit. They too were surrounded by a circle of powerful women guiding them and protecting them. 

I never realized that this was unusual.  I assumed that every community had a circle of powerful women protecting and guiding the children in their lives.  If there isn't one in your community then you start one.  Very simple, small changes in the way to participate in your own community will make a huge difference.  If we each pledge to take responsibility for not only our own children but for all the children in our community WE can start a revolution of positive change in our world. 

When the children are protected and cared for by the community, the community reaps the rewards of well rounded children.  Well rounded children grow up to be productive members of society.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Freedom of Speech

I am in a unique position in my life.  I have one foot in yoga-land and the other in the "real world".  
For years I thought this was a hindrance to my spiritual growth.  I now see that it is the ultimate blessing.  

This morning, after my yoga class, a new student said to me that she really appreciated my "teaching" at the beginning of class.  What I shared changed her experience during the physical practice. Today's bhavana was inspired by the book I'm reading, The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer.  

In the book, the author talks about a dog who's nature it is to run free that suddenly finds himself in a backyard with an electric fence.  The dog, attempts to run  free but hits the invisible boundary and is shocked.  He learns that if he goes too close to the boundary it's uncomfortable so he stays in the yard.   The author goes on to talk about how some dogs are determined to be free.  The determined dog will gradually get closer and closer to the boundary.  He begins to adjust to the discomfort, little by little.  One day, he moves right through the discomfort, crosses the boundary and HE'S FREE! The discomfort is temporary.  Once he crosses it, he's free.  

The last few days I've been feeling like the dog in the yard with the electric fence. I'm becoming more aware, not only of the fact that the electric fence is my own self-imposed boundary, but also to what extent I will go to avoid being uncomfortable.  

There are so many areas in my life that I can see this at play but none as such as in my speech.  For most of my life I never felt comfortable speaking my mind to people.   Well, let me re-phrase that.  It wasn't so much  my mind I had trouble expressing, it was my heart.  I've gotten better at it but I still find myself holding back when I feel uncomfortable about what I want to say.  Speaking from the heart makes me feel vulnerable and that vulnerability is uncomfortable. 

I can see now, that my inability to move through the discomfort of speaking what was in my heart was a huge contributing factor in the break-down of my marriage.  I was afraid to stand up for myself.  I allowed my heart to be ripped to shreds to avoid the discomfort of speaking up.  The discomfort that I was afraid of was being alone, being unlovable.  In the end, I was alone all along.  In the end, I was unlovable... to myself.   The more I held back what was in my heart the more alone and unlovable I felt.  The self-imposed boundary that I put in place to protect myself ended up being what caused me the most pain.  

I'm learning to move through the discomfort.  Little by little, I'm sharing from my heart.  When I take risks and actually  teach from my own personal experience, from my heart,  about how I apply the teachings of yoga to my day to day life, I'm free...  

There's a catch though... Just like when we practice asana, it's not about pushing past the boundary it's about flirting with our edge.  Learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable.  Moving slowly, mindfully, consciously, closer and closer to the self-imposed boundary allowing ourselves time to adjust to a new reality.