The Blossoming

I wrote this Wednesday July 20th while on a Yoga Retreat/Hatha Yoga Teachers Training with the PranaShanti Yoga Centre.

Today was just a beautiful day. The warm sun rose over the water as we meditated, embracing us in its warm radiant light. There was a feeling of excitement in the air, a contagious positive energy. I really felt as though the group was now moving as one.

The comfort and sense of security that this provide us with, allowed for some to become more confident in sharing their opinions. I was surprised by the great sense of humour of some and moved by the deep feeling of connectedness of others.

Laughter, enthusiasm, open-mindedness, true expression of joy, admiration without jealousy are only some of the many things I have seen here.

As this day ends, I am left to think of all the great opportunities we can all partake to in making this world a better place. This coming together of people, this gathering of souls in a place such as this, which fosters a positive attitude and the full development of one’s unique gifts and personality, makes me reflect on how the world could be.

What a great day, you are all such wonderful and amazing people. I was honoured to spend this time with you all and I know that you will change the world, one asana at a time!

Much Love and Happiness to all. Shanti, shanti, shanti.

To strive to live by

A few weeks ago I was writing about Life’s Code of Conduct. Since then, I’ve had ample time to reflect and to start thinking about my own Code of Conduct. And so, today I share with you six of the many concepts I strive to live by.

Non-judgement; Trying not to have preconceived opinions and to approach others with an open-mind, whatever they look like and whom ever they are. This also means that I will not support someone else’s imposed judgement of others. When people judge others, I find it only creates discomfort and tension in interactions. As Dr. Wayne Dyer says: “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

Honesty; I am repugnant of hypocrisy, of people who are fake and who are more concern about the image they project then the truth of their actions. In dishonesty, there is no solid base for establishing relationships, as it creates stress and fosters feelings of anger and hate. This also means to be honest with myself, to speak my mind respectfully, and to refuse to subject myself to situations I don’t feel comfortable with or to people who promote dishonesty.

Compassion; For me, this means to care for other’s well-being and to have no hesitation in lending a helping hand or providing a listening ear. It also means to see all humans as equal, all striving to live their lives, only wishing to be happy. And so, it is with compassion and an open heart that I wish to approach others.

Generosity; A very important and intricate concept to me which does not necessarily mean to give money away. Rather, it is the generosity of self, by sharing a positive attitude, and generosity of spirit, by offering my time and by listening or helping someone in need. In thinking about the Spiritual Laws of Yoga, the Law of Giving and Receiving is also very relevant here, in being able to accept gifts, compliments, help from others, and even a seat on the bus, acknowledging others’ generosity.

Respect; For the environment and for our elders, for other people’s beliefs and decisions. Respect for myself, by the food I choose to ingest, by how I treat my body and to what I subject my mind too. But all and all, it is also honoring such things as Life.

Enthusiasm; As a way of life and a general attitude in life. I admire kids for this. I enjoy life and I try not to let chores and trips to the grocery store drag me down! I wish to make the most of every moment, to see the beauty in all things, while remaining grounded to the reality of life. I like to smile.

And so, these are some of the important concepts I wish to continuously strive to live by. Of course there are many other things I could write about, but I’ll stop here for your sake! Knowing this helps me regain perspective on life when things get hard, like the anchor to a boat, or in my case, like the roots of my lotus flower. Namaste.

Going back…

In less than two months I will be going back to a place I thought I had left for good. When I left, I felt I really needed to leave because the pressure and the negativity had changed me, or at least I think it did.

A few weeks ago I was still hoping that I wouldn’t have to face the same situation and then it occurred to me: no, it is fine. I have been saying that I have changed and that this year has truly been an opportunity for personal growth and introspection, so why not demonstrate it? And so, instead of being worried and disappointed I decided to see this as a chance to commit to the changes I have started to make in my life. What better way to confirm who I am becoming than by being faced with the same situation?! It will be a test for sure, but thinking of it as a personal challenge, rather than a dead-end situation, already makes me feel more at ease.

Acceptance is the first step, as I wrote previously. In his artful book entitled “Oneness With All Life”, celebrated author Eckhart Tolle tells us that: “whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means: for now, this is what this situation, this moment requires me to do, and so I do it willingly.” To become aware and ultimately happy, Tolle writes that we have to choose between three states: acceptance, for the more arduous tasks in our life, enjoyment for the things we have and should be more attentive too, and enthusiasm for the everyday gift of life and beauty that surrounds us. Recognizing these situations and choosing how to respond and perceive them is the effort that will lead to happiness.

Enthusiasm in life, even in the most boring to the most arduous tasks, from going to the grocery store to working in a difficult environment, has the power to completely change the way we experience life. If we wake-up on Monday morning already dreading the work week ahead of us, of course it will seem much harder! On the other hand if we take the approach proposed by Tolle and we choose to simply accept what is, the day will go by much quicker. When everything is a chore, when you decide to be annoyed by your co-workers and bad drivers, you will only make yourself less happy.

And so, I make this promise to myself: I will go back to this place and I will face the same situation but I will choose to accept and maybe even enjoy it. I will grow and learn from myself and others rather then disengage. I will be enthusiastic because in the end I love the work that I do and I find it important. And finally, I will choose to focus my energy on the parts of my work that I enjoy most and brush aside the other things that don’t really matter in the end. It will be a challenge and I know it will not be easy but this is not a chore, this is an opportunity to grow and learn. Peace.

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