While teaching a class last week-end one of the students expressed that she felt what we were doing seemed very superficial. I considered what she said and suggested that the external process of learning to observe can be internalized so that we can begin to observe ourselves. The observation process is so very important. The problem comes when the observations become judgments and criticism. The learning comes when the observation process is internalized so that we can begin to observe our own patterns and beliefs. The progress is made when we can observe our internal process and make changes where changes are needed. The hard part is staying neutral and non-judgmental.
This exchange with the student was more a lesson for me than her. She already knows that what's happening externally is very superficial. I was the one who needed the reminder. "It's not about the external posture; yoga is about how you FEEL in the posture." How often have I said this in class? Still I forget that the same is true off the mat.
I am starting to see that the external circumstances that have been troubling me are superficial. The emotional clouds are starting to lift and I can see that the acts of others speak more to their character and have nothing at all to do with me. Shifting the focus from observing the "actions" of others to observing how I react to a perceived in-justice against me is the yoga practice.
As I observe my internal pattern I see that my natural tendency is to revisit all the times in the past where people have hurt me. I reinforce this false belief that I can’t trust people; People suck! Is that belief true? Is that belief helpful? Is there any value in that belief? NO.
The intention seed that I planted during the last new moon was that when I discovered this negative pattern of thinking I would turn it upside down. I would shift my focus to what I do value and what brings me joy. Shifting the focus away from what other people are “doing to me” to what is it that I want to offer freely. What can I do to empower and support myself and others?
The other important lesson I learned from my experience this past week-end was that the things I value are my own “intentional self disciplines”. The trouble comes when I expect others to value the same things I value. Truth, integrity, self-less service, and respect are things that I value. These are the offerings of my heart. As long as I can lay my head down on my pillow at night secure in the knowledge that I have done my best to live by my own intentional self disciplines then I can sleep soundly. My mission is to lead by example not force.
Remember not to internalize the actions of others. Simply observe your own reactions and thought patterns without judgment and trace them back to the belief pattern. Then ask yourself… Is there any value in that belief?
If not, move on…… Om Namaha Shivaya!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Monday, January 6, 2014
Our family had to say good-bye to this sweet little face and our hearts are broken. As bad as he was he completely stole my heart from day one. I loved him like a child... A problem child. The last two days without have felt like a part of me is missing. I'm sad beyond measure but I don't have any sappy dog stories to share. You see, Pumpkin was no ordinary dog. As I mentioned, he was a problem child. Look at that face!! God made him especially cute so that we didn't kill him!! Although there were moments when I was ready to.
Many of you have heard my "Pumpkin tales". To the amusement of my family and friends I have shared the stories of Pumpkin busting out of the wrought iron crate and breaking his nails in the process. Yes, everyone thought it was hilarious except for me. I was cleaning up the laundry room that looked like a murder scene from CSI.
At one of the kids birthday parties Pumpkin jumped onto the window sill and was digging in my plants. Little did I know what he's plan really was. You see, while I was cleaning up the mess on the window sill, Pumpkin was helping himself to the party food! Yup there he was standing in the middle of the dining room table eating the party food!!
Thanks to Pumpkin I learned a lot of very important skills. I became an expert at re-screening the windows and the screen doors, hanging blinds, re-stuffing sofa cushions, sewing pillows, stuffed animals and an occasional sofa. Although I never did master the art of dog catching. That was Tayler's job. She was the only one who could catch him when he was on the hunt for some pesky squirrel. Tayler was also the best dog groomer ever.
Some things were beyond repair. The front door, the mattress, several sofas and recliners, countless pacifies. Oh Yeah, and Fran's pocketbook. Fran was babysitting so I could go to yoga. Well... That was the most expensive yoga class I ever took...I had to replace her expensive pocketbook!
Pumpkin was a kid at heart. He LOVED the gigantic stuffed animal grand mom brought over. He thought it was for him. He quickly squeezed it behind the sofa (his favorite hiding spot) OH HOW HE LOVED THAT THING!! OH THE MESS HE MADE!! Do you know what's inside those huge stuffed animals from the carnivals?? I do.... a billion little tiny Styrofoam beads. Did I mention how hard it is to vacuum them up?? Static cling was not my friend that day!
Do you know what happens when a 35 lb Beagles eats a 5lb pot roast? Well aside from getting chased with a broom by grand mom he gets really sick... Really sick. Can I tell you how much fun that night was??? Did I mention how I met my new neighbors?? The introduction went something like this "Hi, I'm your new neighbor. I just moved in down the street. I'm really sorry my dog ran into your house when you opened your door. I'll pay to have your carpet cleaned." How's that for a first impression?
Whether he was peeing on the Christmas tree or stealing dirty diapers I still loved my problem child!! The sadness will fade with time I'm told but Pumpkin will be missed forever. He loved us as much as we loved him. The last few months I would find him sleeping on our pile of dirty laundry. I think it helped he feel close to us when we weren't home. I should have kept his stinky bed so I could feel close to him.
There will never be another bad dog as sweet as Pumpkin again. I hope heaven doesn't have any blinds or the angels better get a home depot credit card!! God knows Pumpkin loves chewing blinds better than any chew toy ever invented!!
Oh... Did I tell you about the time Pumpkin and I got kicked out of obedience training???