Attitude of Gratitude: day 19 and 20

A balmy, Saturday morning that turned suddenly cold and windy. A cold and windy Sunday with dramatic clouds and brightly lit trees.

I am grateful for:

  1. The beauty of nature that always brings me into a sacred pause and helps me hit the reset button.
  2. The honor of witnessing someone in complete vulnerability and the deep connection that can result. And how much more beautiful we all become when it happens.
  3. That so many people are beginning to respond to times of stress by carving out time for themselves.
  4. The freedom of tears and allowing myself to fully feel my experience. And the deep compassion and love that always already exist, just below the tears.

Attitude of Gratitude: day 2

Gratitude has the power to shift your mood and is available to you at any time. Even in the midst of hurt, you can always ask yourself the question: what do I have to be grateful for in this moment?

When I pause and ask myself that question, my heart rate drops, at least some of my stress melts away, and I find that I am more fortunate and richer than I realized.

Today I am grateful for:

  1. The warm breeze and sun on my face.
  2. Silence and space to be truly and deeply with myself, even the parts of me I don't always love.
  3. Nourishing food. I've been eating simple and cleansing foods for over a week now and really listening in to what my body is carving, versus what I just put into it. When we listen, the difference between real foods and junk foods is quite apparent. No judgement, just a question of serving and nourishing or not.

What are you grateful for today?

Wild Sacred Journey: day 10

This time of year is challenging for me. Our society has adapted itself well to electricity and climate control and assumes that we humans can maintain the same levels of productivity year-round. Maybe you can. When I first started working on farms, and eating and living closer to nature and more in tune with the rhythms of the seasons, I learned that I cannot.

We exist in the natural world. We are of it. And yet we distance ourselves and shut ourselves off and live life disconnected. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for shelter that protects me and lets me live comfortably. I am grateful for the convenience of electricity. And I am also aware of how the difference between my internal environment and external environment affect me. As the days get shorter and the weather colder, my body switches which foods it wants to eat and the quantity. I have less energy to work as many hours and crave a little bit more sleep. I want to move slower and spend more time in quiet. Why not? Perennial plants hibernate. Many animals hibernate or at least slow down their activity in winter. Even water flows more slowly as temperatures drop and it comes closer to freezing. All around us, nature gives us signs that it's OK to pause, reflect, take rest, restore. 

And even though I know this, every year I find myself fighting it and judging myself as wrong or lazy for something that comes as naturally to my body as breathing - responding to its environment. Yoga is the practice of harmonizing our inner and outer experiences so that we live life an authentic and aligned life. That means honoring ourselves where we are. So today I accept - I accept my 'failure' to accomplish the same amount now as I do in the summer. I accept that I may not make all my self-set deadlines. I accept that I need nourishing and restoration. I am, after all, both wild and sacred. And I am always unfolding at the right time... it just may not be my time. And I accept that, too.

Wild Sacred Journey: day 7

Today was sunny and blustery and a great day for soaring. At least, that's what the buzzards told me. Surely you've felt it to: that swooping feeling in the pit of your stomach when a big gust of wind blows past and around you. Did you know buzzards can actually see air currents? Although they have powerful wings, they prefer to soar, without flapping, and so they ride those currents around in the sky - demonstrating what it means to 'go with the flow' and achieve great results with a minimum of effort and a decided lack of struggle. What powerful reminders for me, as I teach and prepare for a forty-day program that starts Monday. Freedom through ease. Yes, please!

The leaves were crunchy, the air was frisky, the sun was strong, and it was a perfect day for rolling. At least, that's what the dog told me. Fully present and fully expressive of his inner joy - through his body. How do you express your joy? Do you allow yourself spontaneous, physical expressions of it? Or is it through words? Everything we feel, everything we think, everything we experience lands in our body in some way. If we do not give full expression to it and allow it to pass through (yes, even the good stuff) that energy gets stuck and we become less present and more likely to manifest dis-ease. So today, I was right there with that dog: rolling and doing yoga poses and expressing joy. But I express to let go because who knows what this next moment might bring and presence brings peace more than trying to hold on... even to what feels good.

Wild Sacred Journey: day 3

Today I felt tired. Don't get me wrong, I got up and had quite a productive morning. I didn't even realize how tired I was until I got to yoga and rested my forehead down in child's pose and realized that I could stay right there for the entire 60minutes and feel really good about it.

Turns out I didn't stay in Child's pose for the entire class, but I also had no agenda and no goals and had given myself complete permission to quit at any time I wanted. And so it was a very peaceful practice - strong, but unbelievably gentle and accepting and compassionate. It felt good in my body, it felt good in my mind, it felt good in my breath.

Then I got home and I was so in my body that eating lunch was an absolute joy - completely nourishing on all levels. I had made potato gratin last night (it's bangin'... in case you were wondering) and finally got to eat it today, along with a nice big salad. I put dried fruit and tuna and avocado on my salad so there were different textures and flavors. Every part of this lunch felt good - senses engaged and satiated and belly happily full.

I was going to take a picture of my beautifully delicious lunch to share with you all... but then I got caught up in eating it. And so all you get is the empty plates. And I'm not even sorry.

We are meant to live in our bodies. We are meant to experience pleasure and joy in our bodies. Even when the news is full of the devastation caused by nature and humans. Even when surrounded by fear and anger. We can breath a little deeper. We can fully validate our own experiences with no need to justify or explain. We can nourish ourselves. And in so doing, we can transcend, even if just for the moment it takes to chew.