Heart Awakenings July 2013

20130709_145155A quick summer weekend get away led me to Washington D.C. for a yoga retreat. Staring at the  majestic buildings; The White House and The Pentagon, I imagined what life would be like if those people practiced yoga and then went to work. J  It is interesting how nearby such powerful places of decision making affect the lives of potentially the whole world. Likewise, whatever life we choose to live can potentially affected masses of people.  I love the quote “if you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in a dark room with a mosquito.”- Betty Reese  It is funny how the mosquito has no idea they are even making such a difference in the person’s experience of a dark room. It seems we are like that too. We walk around not knowing what a contribution we make to other’s lives. The moment we realize we are a force in this world for ourselves and others, our heart awakens.

One of the best ways to get to know yourself and other people is to go on a road trip up the coast with three other strangers. There we were embarking on a trip that could be theoretically traveled in about 7 hours but somehow took about 14 hours on the way back.  These are those moments when you ask yourself, “who am I choosing to be in this situation?” Since I had just returned from a “Yoga retreat” for my own rejuvenation, I decided not to waste too much energy in being drained by other unmet expectations. I kept telling myself to stay heart centered, and out of my mind which I knew had already come to several conclusions which were one’s I didn’t want to dwell on. It is so wonderful to know mantras for the mind, like OM SHANTI (Peace) or Lokaha Samastaha Sukino Bhavantu (May all the beings everywhere be happy). Chanting those over and over while observing thoughts is a fantastic meditation practice. Most of all, it keeps one’s heart awake.

What I took from my yoga retreat this time was how in evolving, I have to keep learning to look at things differently in order to expand my consciousness. This includes trying new paths of discovery that feed my inner being. Adjusting the mind is the ultimate yoga practice and takes sincere effort to accomplish at times. A lot of times when I want things to be perfect and just fall into place, I have to remind myself often that life just doesn’t work that way.  It is like that when we have expectations. For example, often, when people ask a question, they may not like the answer. Then, it is up to them to decide what to do with this knowledge. Sometimes people ask the question in yoga class, “how long does it take to learn to do this pose?” or “how often should I practice this pose?”.  There is a literal answer- With consistent practice, a pose can often be learned in a few months or longer, depending on one’s health and focus. There is also a spiritual answer, “practice until your heart awakens!”  I also asked a question at my yoga retreat and didn’t like the answer. In response, I have since altered my yoga practice to fit my needs currently and let go of what I expect it to bring.

20130813_145316It is typical to associate letting go with fear of the unknown. We are conditioned to believe in attaining security through conforming to society’s formula for wealth, from the time we are young. Yet, when we start to live from our spirit, allowing it to guide us completely, we quiet those voices in our ears that may impose a specific life upon us, often not the same as what our spirit wishes for us. My favorite part of letting go is the thrill of the adventure. Inspiration can come from all directions when you’re heart is open. Here is a recent fortune cookie I got and one of my all time favorites. :-)

 

 

20130316_113310Whenever we manage to let go of the expectations, the heart chakra strengthens. The yoga pose is often a tool to show us how much influence thoughts have on our every given moment. As soon as we notice ourselves been controlled by our thoughts, expectations dissipate and we become heart centered. The short cut is to practice yoga in places where you find that consciousness and absorb it with full intensity.  Namaste.

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