Meaningful Monday 06.24.13

Pema Chodron "Relax as it is. .... Then it's up to us what happens next, ultimately, it comes down to the question of just how willing we are to lighten up and loosen our grip.  How honest do we want to be with ourselves?" -Pema Chodron

It's no secret that I have issues letting go.  For that reason alone it's funny I'm a yoga teacher, and many times you can hear me preaching to my students about letting go.  Letting it all out. Letting go of what doesn't serve us.   I'm really preaching to myself.  Ever time I tell my students to let it go, let it all dissolve away, to let go to make room for something that will serve us, every single time it's because I need to hear it too.

It feels like if I let go, if I loosen my grip then it will mean I didn't care, but I'm learning that maybe it's more caring, more loving to simply let go.  To let go not only of that which doesn't serve us, but to loosen our grip on what doesn't belong to us any longer.  I have not been doing this as gracefully as I'd like in the past few months.  Thank you for those who love me enough to point it out.  I'll do better.  It's a good thing we can learn from our mistakes.

To Answer Pema's question, I want to be completely honest with myself.  For that reason I'll do my very best to relax as it is, loosen my grip and let go of what isn't mine.

Meaningful Monday 06.17.13

Morning Coffee Last night I got the Sunday night blues and it turned into the Monday Funk.  Does that ever happen to you?

If I'm honest with myself I've had some huge life changes in the past two and a half months.  I'm doing my best to process them in the healthiest way's possible journaling, art therapy, yoga, and meditation.  Even when you are doing the healthy things you still have to process what's happening and it can be tough.

Processing the end of a relationship, buying a house, juggling the studio, my full-time job at Lincoln, and working on the artist's way.  These are really huge things.  Many of them are positive, but it's a lot.  I don't necessarily think I'm overwhelmed, but I know I must be with the Sunday blues and Monday funk I'm feeling.  I'm self-aware enough to know where it's coming from, and I know with time everything will work it's self out the way it's supposed to, but I'm feeling down.  Even though there is a ton of good happening, it's natural and ok to feel this way.

In an attempt to be true to the healing process this morning instead of rushing out the door for work trying to get to Lincoln at 7am like I normally do, I stopped.  I brewed a pot of french press coffee (truly the best kind of coffee).  I sat out on the back porch while a morning thunder-storm came through and I wrote my morning pages.  I didn't rush to get them done, I didn't just throw up on the pages today, I was intentional about what I was putting on paper, I was looking very closely at the blues I had last night and the funk I'm feeling this morning.  It made me realize just how much I'm in the thick of it.

This is what I can tell you for meaningful monday.

I know from past experience it's not healthy to ignore feelings, it's not healthy to try to rush past them.  You must work from a place of truth and be present for what comes up.  If you are going through something hard (and really who isn't?  Life always has a ton of challenges) take the time to stop and listen to what is going on in your body and your mind.  You might surprise yourself on what you find.  I've been insanely surprised with the feelings that have been coming up in my morning pages.  If you can today, make your self a pot of coffee, have a cup of tea, or if it's later in the day a little glass of wine, pull out your note-book and write out what you are feeling.  Say hello to your self on the pages.  You might be surprised what comes out.

Love from me to you, -lish

Meaningful Monday: Embracing Solitude 6.03.13.

solitude "More than anything else, experiment with solitude.  You will need to make a commitment to quiet time.  Try to acquire the habit of checking in with yourself.  Several times a day, just take a beat, and ask yourself how you are feeling.  Listen to your answer.  Respond kindly.  If you are doing something very hard, promise yourself a break and a treat afterward.  Yes, I am asking you to baby yourself.  We believe that to be artist we must be tough, cynical, and intellectually chilly.  Leave that to the critics.  As a creative being, you will be more productive when coaxed then when bullied."  -Julia Cameron "The Artist's Way

enjoying the porch, it's all about embracing the little things

I've been spending a lot of time in solitude lately, at least a lot more than I've been used to.  That's part of what happens when you experience a break up.  You have two choices, you can wallow in self-pity, or you can embrace the time and begin to grow.  For me it's not a choice, for me I always want to learn and grow.  I'm embracing the solitude.  For the most part I'm enjoying it, but enjoy it or not  isn't really the point.  The point is to get to know myself better, to go deeper into my yoga practice, my meditation practice and draw out my inner artist, she's down there somewhere I know and I'll bring her out.

pampering myself with little delights

Solitude is an important part of life, and a lot can be done when we embrace solitude even if we don't think we'll always particularly enjoy it.   Even if you are in a relationship, you can enjoy solitude and get to know yourself better.   How do you currently try to distract yourself so that you don't embrace solitude?  Do you watch too much TV, do you over schedule yourself so that you don't have to be alone?  Try spending an hour or a day with just yourself listening to the thoughts that come up in the mind, listening to yourself.  I think you'll be amazed at what you find.

xoxoxoxo, -lish

Meaningful Monday: May 27th

Quote from "The Artists way" I'm on week two of the artist's way.  So far in the first week I've completed all of my tasks, morning pages, and artist's date as well as a few other tasks that were prescribed.  I'm looking forward to this week's artist way adventures.  Last night as I read the next chapter I was struck by the quote above.  In case you can't read it from the picture, it says

"My grandmother knew what a painful life had taught her: success or failure, the truth of life really has little to do with its quality.  The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight.  The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention."

What are you paying attention to?  What in your life needs a little more attention?

Here is something I found delight in over the weekend...

max hanging out with me


Meaningful Monday May 20th

The Artist's Way
The Artist's Way

I'm currently reading "The Artist's way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity" by Julia Cameron.

As a matter of fact I just finished my first set of morning pages.  For those of you not familiar with this book, it's a guide to unlocking your creativity.  (yes all of us are creative).  Julia encourages you to get up and write just a stream of consciousness, at least three pages.  Basically get the crap out of your head so that you can start the day fresh and uncluttered so that you can be open to the good stuff.

While I was reading yesterday evening, this jumped out at me...

Quote from the artist's way.
Quote from the artist's way.

"Most of the time we are blocked in an area of our life, it is because we feel safer that way.  We may not be happy, but at least we know what we are unhappy.  Much fear of our own fear creativity is the fear of the unknown. If I am fully creative, what will it mean?  What will happen to me and to others?  We have some pretty awful notions about what could happen.  So, rather than find out we decide to stay blocked.  This is seldom a conscious decision.  It is more often an unconscious response to internalized negative beliefs."

Wow, I can see where I've done that so many times.  Tried to take the safe route, do the known because at least I'm familiar with the feeling of unhappy. It's easier to feel unhappy because I know it.

It's Mindful Monday, so as you move through your day can you stop and notice anything that you are doing that you aren't questioning?  Maybe something that doesn't make you particularly happy, but the alternative is unknown, so it's scary.  Try something outside your comfort zone today.

Let me know how that goes for you.

I'm sure I'll be posting more about this soon. I see a workshop around this book at the studio coming... shoot me an e-mail if you are interested.