Clarity

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Light from the kitchen glows into the dining room, my sacred practice spot du jour.  I sweep the dog hair off the floor and roll out my matt.  9:15pm and finally stepping into my own practice, not much rest for this entrepreneur.  The beat of my heart slows.  Folded into child's pose, space is starting to lodge itself between the many thoughts rolling around in my head.  Ujjayi dials my energy inward, down dog, three leg dog on both sides ever so slow to warm up.  The hot heaviness from today's 90 degree run still lurking in my body.  Exhale, inhale, fold, that's the rhythm.  Sun A's, Sun B's repeat, repeat, repeat no faster than my breath will take me. Illuminating sparks creep into my being, clear-headed moments allowing my true nature, my true self to peek through the clouds.  Twenty Five minutes later, clarity.  All is right with the world.  A little yoga is all it takes.

Intuition

IMG_3796 He asked me "is it bitter-sweet?"

"Only if I'm a short-sighted idiot" I answered

If you have a dream, a goal, wish, secret desire, a want to build and create, do it.  Start now, with little steps.  Follow the voice inside the place in the pit of your belly.  Follow what you see in your mind's eye.  Follow the pull at your heart.  Every time you follow your intuition you flex its muscle and make it stronger.  I used to think I didn't have intuition.  I just knew when something wasn't right, but far too often I wouldn't listen.  Instead ignoring or walling myself off from the strong feelings of knowing.  Afraid of their power.  Instead of exploring what I was feeling I shut those feelings out.  This weakens your intuition.  Most often I would hear her voice asking "why aren't you putting more consideration into what is making you happy?" I dismissed her questions as frivolous.   She clearly didn't know how to pay the bills, and provide for herself if she was putting such focus on pleasure.  But I was wrong and she was right.

Somewhere down the line I started listening better, It had everything to do with the deepening of my personal yoga practice.  Getting still in meditation, practicing stillness so that I could indeed hear and consider what the voice of my intuition was pleading with me to wake up and see.

It's a learned skill to listen to your intuition.  It's something you have to practice.  When I started truly listening things happened.  In fact the universe blew doors wide open for me recently, it nodded at the baby steps I took in listening to my intuition about this yoga studio.  Those calculated, deliberate, hard-working, grey hair creating baby steps added up to marathons and the universe paid attention.  The universe noted that I was listening to what was right on the inside.  It stood at attention and watched as I tried (and still strive) to bring myself into alignment with what I know to be true and right.  The universe looked on as I started building the foundation of my dreams.

All that's to say when my trusted friend extended her hand to join me in growing Greensboro Downtown Yoga I didn't hesitate because my intuition had already tipped me off to what was right.

The path of growth requires that you water it with love, and attention.  The path of growth requires that you feed it with energy and devotion.  It doesn't mater if you are growing a yoga studios or growing your intuition they each require the same diligence and attention.

"Nope" to answer Tumbleweed's question "it's not bitter sweat that the studio no longer belongs to me alone.  It's beautiful.  It's humbling to share something you love with someone who will love it as much as you.  It's an honor to work with a friend you respect beyond words.  It's the joy of knowing that I do have intuition and it's not steering me in the wrong direction."

Alignment

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This is a scary post to write.  I'll be honest.  I'm sharing very private feelings with you in a very public forum, but I believe these are important conversations that we are failing to have with one another.  This post is not a cry, it is an acknowledgment that you might be working through these feelings as well and you aren't the only one.  These feelings are uncomfortable, and that doesn't make them bad, in fact I want to get cozy with them so that I will understand.  I want to understand these sharper edges of life, explore the dull ache telling me that something is not right, and dig into the quiet knowledge that there is another way. As a yoga teacher I think and talk a lot about Alignment in the physical body.  My goal is to help students move into postures that allow them to make space in their bodies.   The hope is all of our extra space in the body will create extra space for our souls to breath, explore, create, enjoy and handle what the world throws at us.

After feeling generally not good yesterday I started to think about how maybe not feeling good is a sign that I'm out of alignment not within my body, but out of alignment with a deeper place.  My soul and spirit feel stuck and stagnant.   If I'd covered up my feelings, with various different distractions, I wouldn't have come to that conclusion.

In yoga it can take us years to find the right physical alignment in yoga postures.  I don't think the spiritual space and alignment I'm looking for is going to happen overnight, just like it won't in our physical practice.  It will take more than getting over my cold, a few fifteen minute meditation practices, or hot soaks in the tub (although those things do help!).  Finding the alignment I'm looking for might be unattainable, but the first step is acknowledging a problem even if I can't tell you exactly what that problem or solution is.  What I do know first hand is that the physical practice of yoga is a long bumpy journey.  You don't ever perfect or arrive at a pose, they are new each day.  Some times a pose that normally feels magnificent in all the right ways suddenly feels painful.  If I'm looking for alignment in my spirit and my soul then I'm sure it will be a bumpy journey to find what feels right for me.  

This journey for a deeper spiritual alignment has begun because now that I know there is a problem there is nothing else to do but start walking.

On the surface there is nothing wrong with my life, in fact there is an abundance of greatness.  Greatness includes but is not limited to my wonderful partner, my deep and caring friends, the community that is growing at my studio, the colleagues I work with at my day job, and of course my family.  Once you get past the surface I can tell you there is a storm brewing and it needs to be addressed.  I have a hunch that coming into alignment might take some courage, it might take big steps and leaps of faith, and require me to make big decisions that I'm not yet ready to make.  Maybe I'm not ready to do it all at once, but I'm ready to explore.

I don't plan on inviting you into my thoughts every time I'm thinking this over, I've got much more interesting content I intend on sharing here. Yet, as I ponder this journey for personal alignment, I'll check in once in a while and let you know what I'm doing to find the deeper alignment in my spirit and soul.