Monday, February 10, 2014

gratitude week 5: the valuable lessons

The past couple weeks have had that full capacity/overdrive/treading water kind of feeling, yet there was an adequate amount of effort and ease. I am excited to announce that I have completed the first part of my 200 hour yoga teacher training program (the school, lecture, exam part) and now get to embrace some white space in the calendar as well as the building up of excitement for a week long retreat in April. I will be getting back to my personal practice a little more, enjoying time with my fiance (yes, I got engaged a week ago), and bringing some focus back to my house, cooking in my kitchen, spending some time outside, and taking some self-care breaks.
Gallery - Inner Alignment Mandalas
Throughout my yoga teacher training, there have been mind blowing insights into my own personal life and my journey and path and it's been not only a process of self-discovery and inquiry, but also of inner work and vulnerability; learning my patterns, habits, escape valves, etc. All of this spurs inner reflections on the many years of life work I have been embarking on and I thought that drawing a few lessons out would reaffirm both growth and hope, even in the doldrums and dreariness of February.

These lessons come from the peaks, the valleys, the mundane, and the extraordinary and most of them of course are from my twenties and as I get ready to move into my 30's, it's fun to look back and see what has shaped, morphed, and transformed.

Know how I want to feel and do the things that help me feel that way. I am totally blessed to have stumbled across Danielle LaPorte a few years ago. Her work is inspirational, grounded, and a no-bullshit approach to not only leading and loving your life, but radically changes the whole approach to goal setting and striving. The Desire Map program has taken years of personal work and self-study and pulled it all in to a very accessible bible of sorts that I can reference day after day, moment to moment.

Rest more. As a pusher, the whole idea of rest in general was stunningly, well, lazy. I trained myself to constantly be pushing, going, moving, etc., and well, I got tired. This became especially relevant when I was battling Lyme Disease and also some depression stuff in college. Rest has become a huge part of my own life and takes many forms. For instance, sleeping in here and there, driving without radio, getting in some walks and laughter, and taking my self offline through retreats and scheduled time off. It just makes sense.

Saying no is just as powerful as saying yes. Choice is the key lesson here. I always have choice not only in what I take on but what I choose not to take on as well. This I struggle with on a daily basis. It is the root of my own suffering and boundaries are my new "project" of sorts. Just playing the witness and the observer can be a very magical experience with this. One of my yoga teachers tells me, "If it isn't a hell yes, it's a no."

Vulnerability is sexy and strong. Whoa buddy! Yep...this was huge for me. I was a brick and mortar gal for so many years, putting up layer upon layer, wall after wall, not really letting folks in. I was in a deep place of hurting, fear, and sadness and when I slowly let those walls down, there were some massive shifts in my life, particularly in my love life. I transitioned out of old patterns and into new possibilities, and became a little luv bug with myself and the people in my life.

Always be learning. There is so much out there in the world which can be both difficult but such a blessing. I love the fact that I can tune into podcasts from the other side of the world or put a book on hold at the library from my phone after talking about it with a colleague. The time I make to read at night before bed or meetup with the women in my new moon circle makes my own brain work. Love. It. Lots.

I am responsible for my own happiness. This was a biggie. The external conditions are just how it is. I get to choose how I am about them and the actions I take in regards to them. It's tough because we always want the best for folks but it's not my job to manage other people's happiness. It's only by job to be authentic, grounded, and totally in tune with me and my happiness.

Let go, quit, move on...when it doesn't work. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. It's said over and over to let go of things, quit, move on but sometimes it does not translate into action. If it's not working, giving ourselves and each other permission to walk away can be so powerful for everyone, including the folks on the other side.

This list of lessons continues to grow and evolve but these make the cut...always. There are other things sprinkled in of course...eating well, resourcing myself through passions, innovation and invention, community building, intimacy and honesty...but it all comes back to aligning the actions of everyday to the alignment of the rest of my life. May your lessons appear and be totally acknowledged and appreciated.

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