Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Daughter the yogi

Photo credit to Tayler Nicholson

It's official, my dear Tayler, you are a yogi. The fact that you are aware that "it's the thoughts that kill you" means that you are advanced in the study of yoga. In the language of the Upanishads..."It is the mind that frees us or enslaves". You are on your way to true freedom dear daughter.

I wouldn't dream of interfering with your journey to self-realization. I know that each journey is unique and beautiful; filled with just enough twists and turns to keep it exciting. I am your mother, though, and I do want to share some pearls of wisdom that may help you along your way. I have found these words to be beacons of light for me when I was lost in the dark.

* It is the nature of the mind to think. So give it something good to think about.

* That which you put your attention on grows stronger in your life. Choose wisely.

* Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. Choose the higher thought.

* Change your thoughts, you change your life.

* You are not your thoughts.

* Yoga/Meditation is stilling the fluctuations of the mind.

"It is the mind that frees us or enslaves. Driven by the senses we become bound; Master of the senses we become free. Those who seek freedom must master their senses.

When the mind is detached from the senses one reaches the summit of consciousness. Mastery of the mind leads to wisdom. Practice meditation. Stop all vain talk. The highest state is beyond reach of thought, for it lies beyond all duality.

Keep repeating the ancient mantram OM until it reverberates in your heart."
~Amritabindu Upanishad

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's still love

This may come as a surprise to you but I tend to obsess about things. What I obsess most about are my children. I worry constantly about every decision I make and how it's affecting them. Am I doing enough for them? Am I doing too much? Should I baby them more or should I make them more independent. I sometimes listen to other moms talking and I worry because I don't do the things they do for their kids. My kids are pretty independent. Most times I feel good about that. Until I start to worry that they are going to grow up feeling like I didn't take care of them enough. My friend, YogaLu, told me once that I shouldn't worry so much because everyone ends up in therapy anyway and I'm just giving them more to talk about. That just made me worry about what their future therapist is going to think of me.

My boy is mad at me. He thinks I don't love him because I won't give him McDonald's for dinner. I tell him that it's because I do love him that I don't feed him fast food. He tells me I don't love him because I won't buy him another pair of KD sneakers. I tell him that it's because I love him that I want him to learn to appreciate that he has all that he needs. He tells me that I'm mean and don't love him because I insist that he take a shower or at least wash his face and hands. I tell him that it's because I love him that I want him to have clean hands when he's eating. (I'll pretend not to notice that he's eating with his hands as long as they are clean.)

When they are sick or sad and I pull them onto my lap to hug and kiss them they know I love them. When I scold them for running into the street, or not doing their school work, or being mean to their siblings they don't recognize that it's love too. When I have to say no to them they don't see the pain in my own heart caused by the disappointment on their faces. It's still love. Nothing in the world hurts more than when my children are mad at me. I would die for them without a moments hesitation and when they tell me that I don't love them my heart aches. It's still love.

Since my days in Catholic school I have always held the image of the Divine Mother as being soft, loving, kind and supportive. That's love. Last week we went to see some new puppies. Their mother was freaking out. Barking and growling and ready to chase us out the door. She was fiercely protecting her babies. It's still love.

Our Divine Mother provides us with exactly what we need. Sometimes it comes in the soft flow of her Grace that embraces us when we are feeling lost or scared. Other times it comes in the form of a Divine smack-down when we are making choices that move us further away from Her. It's still love.

When we are experiencing life as harsh and unloving I do believe it's love too. It's the love of the Divine Mother asking us to look at how we are not loving ourselves and others. Sometimes children need the loving embrace and sweet kisses of their mother. Other times they need the "wooden spoon". (my Italian family and friends will get this reference) It's still love.

I love my children to the moon and back that's why sometimes they don't like me. It's still love. The Divine Mother loves us to the moon and back that's why sometimes I don't get what I want. It's still love.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Renewal of Self

I posed this question on Facebook last week: "What does feminine power mean to you?" I loved all your comments. Each one was so insightful and thoughtful. I'd like to explore one idea in particular that resonated so deeply with me. A woman's power comes
from her ability to choose collaboration vs competition.

Collaboration is the reason why I felt so passionately about holding the New Moon Gatherings. Collaboration is where the real power lies. Collaboration is the energy I associate with the Goddess, Durga. For those of you who haven't heard my interpretation of the Durga story let me share it with you. (Disclaimer: this is not a scholarly interpretation, simply my amateur attempt)

So the story goes... There was an evil demon that was terrorizing the 3 worlds. All the Gods tried to defeat the demon but they all failed. All the Gods came together for what I imagine to be like a superhero conference to try to come up with a solution to the problem of this evil demon. They meditated together and from this place of deep meditation they decided to each offer up their own individual, unique "superpower" into the fire. Out of this culmination manifested Durga. She was easily able to defeat the demon. The real power came from the collaboration of all the Gods.

If the Gods are willing to collaborate why aren't we?

Imagine the power that could be generated if we all put aside our ego and offered our own individual, unique talents, aka: superpowers into the fire. Together, all of us, working for the greater good. Collaboration is only possible when each person works together towards the same goal. If there is even the slightest bit of competition, collaboration is impossible. Are you willing to put aside your ego for the greater good? If not, what's holding your back?

If you're up for the challenge let's hold our own "superhero conference". Let's join our energy together in sadhana (spiritual practice). There's no doubt that the power of group practice is strong enough to elevate the vibration of this entire planet. The evil demon we are all fighting is the ego. I've been told this is the time for the "Renewal of Self". It's time for us all to come back to the Self. The way back to the Self is through meditation. In the Self we connect to the source of infinite power.

Here's the challenge if you wish to contribute your energy:

The bhavana (intention) Renewal of the Self
The practice: 6 rounds of Surya Namaskar - The Sun burns away all that is not our true self
6 rounds of Chandra Namaskar - The moon washes away the ashes, leaving behind only what is real
Mantra: 108X - Om Namaha Shivaya - Shiva being the God of destruction. Destruction in that it is destroying everything that stands in the way of us seeing what is real. It is a mantra for transformation. Are you ready?

40 day sadhana begins tomorrow. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I hope you will not only join me in sadhana but also that you will collaborate by sharing your thoughts and experience with all of us by leaving a comment.

Hari Om!!