Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shadows

Here's the view from my meditation cushion.  Look closely, do you see any sunlight?  No.  Me neither.
Not until I'm deep in meditation that is.  The most interesting things happen during and after meditation.   [Forgive me if I'm breaking some meditation rule about not sharing the details]

My meditation space is in my basement and although there are 2 small windows it's still the basement.
The point is that the sun cannot shine directly into the space.  So explain to me how/why while deep in meditation I experience the sensation that I am looking directly into the shinning sun on a beautiful summer day?  You know when you're on the beach and you close your eyes and turn your face towards the sun?
You can feel the warmth of the sun and feel the brightness even with your eyes closed.   Then suddenly a bird flies by and for a second there's a shadow in the brightness. 

Not only have I been experiencing the intense brightness but also the shadows.  When it first happened I quickly opened my eyes expecting to see something there that made the shadow.   Look at the photo again...  it's just a wall.  Nothing there to make a shadow.  Not to mention nothing there to make the brightness of the sun in my little space. 

Over and over I have this experience. Over and over I wonder what makes the shadows across the brightness? 

This morning the answer came to me..... it's my self-doubt.  It's my fears and negative thought patterns.  The brightness of the sun is always there in our consciousness.  We are beings of light.  We connect to our inner light in deep meditation. When we connect our individual inner light to the infinite light of Divine Grace it is like the brilliance of a thousands suns.  But the shadows still remain.  There's still work to be done.  The moments of pure light are fleeting.   The shadows have much to teach us.  In the shadow is where the work of self-realization happens.

We can't run away from the shadows.  We need to explore and learn the lessons offered by the them. 

Close your eyes. Turn your face to the sun and feel the brilliance of Divine Grace.  It's always there. But we need to be still to notice.  When the shadows come, welcome them and pay attention to what they are teaching.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The law of attraction

You know that scene in the scary movies where the lady in the high heels is running away from the scary whatever she's afraid of?  She's so worried about running away that she doesn't pay attention to where she's running to.   Ultimately ending up at a dead end only to have no choice but to face her fears.  

"Move with the flow of attraction rather than from repulsion" ~Kaypacha

Imagine how different the scene would be if we were moving with the flow of attraction rather than running away from fear?   I should clarify here.  I'm not talking about letting our senses control what we do.  The senses after all, are subject to likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain.  I'm talking about what our soul, our essence is attracted to.  What is your soul attracted to?  Spiritual evolution, devotion, unconditional love, union with the Divine.  These are the qualities that our true nature is ultimately attracted to.  

Imagine how different the scene would be if instead of running away from our fears we shifted our focus and put our energy into those things that bring us closer to the true goal of life which is communion with God.
With our focus always on God perhaps we wouldn't have so many fears chasing us down the dark alleys of our minds.

I invite you to focus more on moving forward towards those things and people who fulfill, and inspire you and  less on what you fear and what holds you back.  

 "Move with the flow of attraction rather than from repulsion"

Those of you who know me know that I am a total control freak.  So imagine my delight when I learned in my Ayurveda studies that I do have some control.  I have control over the state of my mind which will translate into control over my physical well being!!  How do you like that?  The mind creates the body.  A healthy, happy mind will create a healthy, happy body.

It's true, we can't control other people. We can't control our external circumstances.  We CAN, however, control our thoughts.  We can control in which direction we chose to move.  Are we moving forward, attracted to higher thoughts and emotions like joy, freedom, love, devotion? or Are we simply running away from our fears with no clear path ahead of us? 

Back to lady in the scary movie...Don't you just want to yell...."HEY LADY, TAKE OFF THE HEELS YOU'LL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE!!"  Ultimately, we will all need to face our fears. One way or another.  There's no use trying running away from them.  The quicker you face your fears the quicker you can move on.  Facing your fears is sort of like taking of your high heels..... sort of....at least you'll have a better chance.

"Move with the flow of attraction rather than from repulsion"




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

message of Manipura

Manipura - Gateway of the Sun

Manipura means shinning Gem (City of Jewels)
It’s color is Yellow/Orange
Symbolized by lotus flower with 10 petals
Element: Fire
Sense of taste

Bija mantra: Ram 

The fire that ignites the light of consciousness rising up from the lower, more earthly chakras

Located: between the navel and the solar plexus, at the base of the sternum
It is the power center. It’s purpose is transformation. It’s the place where we digest and transform things in life. It’s task is to over come inertia, to move.

When balanced the person feels at ease, flowing, flexible, empowered and confident.

When unbalanced, it creates a feeling of frustration, arrogance, lack of confidence, shame, and jealousy, aggressive, judgmental

 
(google image)

What Manipura taught me today was that we have unbounded power within us.  The real power is our ability to choose one thought over another. 

We may not have power over external situations and circumstances but we do have the power to choose how those external situations will effect us.  Surrendering and letting go does not mean that you are powerless or that you are giving your power away.   There is tremendous power in surrendering and letting go of those patterns and habits that no longer serve us.  When we let go of old patterns and beliefs that are controlling and binding us we are actually taking back our power. 

When we feel like our own power is weak all we have to do is plug into the source of unbounded power through the practice of meditation.

Your real power is your ability to choose one thought or the another.  You can choose the refined qualities of manipura such as  empowerment, confidence, flexibility, feeling at ease or you can choose the not so refined qualities of frustration, aggression, judgement.   The chose is yours..... Choose wisely.  The power is yours.


Friday, March 1, 2013

This I pray.....

If worrying was an Olympic sport I'd be a gold medal winner for sure.  I've spent the last two weeks worrying about my daughter.  I wasn't expecting this.  I wasn't prepared for anything to be wrong.  Is anyone ever prepared for challenges?  My mind has been spinning out of control for the last two weeks.  Completely consumed with worry.  What can I do?  "Just pray" is the standard advice when no one knows what to do. 

I'm no stranger to worrying.  I've been practicing my entire life it seems.  I'm also no stranger to praying.  I've been practicing my entire life.  "God, please......" begins each of my prayers followed by my "prayer" or should I say wish or request. 

While consumed by my own worry I wasn't prepared for the text I received from a friend.  Her daughter is in serious trouble.  I wasn't expecting anything to be wrong.... I wasn't prepared....Is anyone ever prepared for challenges?  Was my friend prepared?  So the worry expands....I'm worried about my friend.  Worried about her daughter.  Thinking of my friend having to face a mother's worst nightmare is heart wrenching. 
What can I do?  "Just pray" 

As I sit in front of my alter I pray "God, please...."  But how can I presume to know what is best?  As parents we feel responsible for our children.  We would die for them.  We would sell our soul to the devil for them.  Of course we know what is best for them.  Don't we?  It hit me tonight  that our children have their own dharma (life's purpose).  They have their own karma to work out in this lifetime.   How can I presume to know what those are for my daughter or my friend's daughter? 

How can I presume that the outcome I want is the outcome that is best for our daughters? I can't.  What can I do?  "Just pray".   What is my request?  What is my wish? 

As I sit in front of my alter tonight I pray.  I pray that the Divine Mother holds our daughters in her arms.
I pray that she comfort us and help us to accept whatever the outcome.  I pray that the Divine Mother helps us to trust.  I pray that we can rest in her arms content in the knowing that everything will turn out exactly as it should.

As I read these words I am gripped by fear....what if things don't turn out the way we want them to?  I know in yoga-land we're told that everything happens for a reason and that everything is perfect and we need to trust.  BUT THESE ARE OUR BABIES!  It's easy to believe these lofty ideals while sitting on your mat in yoga class.  It's much harder to believe and trust in these ideas when the challenges hit so close to home. 

I have a hard enough time practicing contentment on a good day.  Throw me a curve ball and it's exceptionally hard to keep my balance.  "Just pray"....

God, please help us to trust and accept your will.  I cannot presume to know what is best for our daughters. I trust that you, Divine Mother, know what your daughters need.  DurgaMa.... Protect us all from our fears and doubts.