A New You

Happy New Year everyone...

The first breath: feel the wealth, the warmth and sweetness this life already holds for you...

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Second, Third and beyond breaths: Envision all that you want to create this year. Breath life into each and every dream in your soul right now. See it feel it coming to life in the same way you feel the elements what you already have.

Time is circular. Your dreams have already happened in your heart, now your body gets to live them! It will take courage to bring them to life. And you may have to let go of somethings to make room...

Embrace the cool shadows that the warm light ahead of you will create, as some things you formerly cherished, humbly stand aside. A bigger picture is rising up on the horizon. Follow the flow into life's new reality. If you dreamed it it can't be wrong. Release doubt and float down the river. The ocean will catch you, and with its massive abundance, it will whisper in your ear, "thank you for trusting the journey, and welcome to your life."
I Love you. You can do this.

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Loving Kindness by Lauren Slivosky

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This theme has been alive in my life very actively the past few months.  I used to think that in order to maintain good relationships or connections with the people in my life I needed to empathize with them no matter what the emotion.  In this way I attracted a lot of negative energies (insecurity, jealousy, anger, ext.) into my life.  Instead of trying to counteract these people and their emotions with joy and kindness I got bombarded with my own load of negativity for no reason at all but to simply be accepted by others!  As I write about it now it sounds crazy to me but I know that because I've learned that I can't let other people shape me and my emotions, I am very happy with my life and I am now reflecting that in everything I do and towards everyone I meet no matter who they are.  I come across ALL sorts of people at the restaurant and I approach each person with the same kindness and if they try to counteract that with a negative energy I work to maintain an indifference with them as opposed to a frustration.  It's really saved me a lot of my own energy and I'm glad for it, in fact I deal with less negative energy with this approach.  

"Love as an external focus, exterior to you, will always bring a sense of vulnerability, always needing constant validation by someone or something.  Love, as an internal focus projected outward, is a constant flow of self-assurance, self-acceptance, always striving to incorporate and project more of this blissful feeling of unity and harmony with all creation." - Ronna Star

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February Theme of the Month: Loving Kindness

unnamed_copy2The philosopher Socrates is credited with offering this rule engagement:

“Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”

You may have in recent months found yourself on one end or another of an agitated engagement. Or, perhaps you are the type to hold agitation inside yourself, not letting it out in an attempt to follow the above instruction.  In the winter months, when the atmosphere can at times feel harsh, and the light and warmth of the sun is more scarce, the state of agitation can override our sense of well being.  This can cause us to feel and act without kindness either to ourselves or others.

 I was sitting in my very first day of teacher training. It was a very large room with about 60 people in it, I was scared and excited, jetlagged from the long flight, and all of a sudden something my teacher said changed everything about how I live my life to this day. In one lesson, poof, a life long understanding of yoga was planted, never to leave. It changed everything about how I interact with myself and the world.

She taught us that 1. The key to enlightenment was to “be kind.” And 2. Being kind begins in our thoughts.

I knew myself to be a good and kind person. I didn’t generally say anything to anyone that was unkind. I kept to myself and didn’t make too many waves. But suddenly bringing the yoga practice into my thoughts, was a whole new level of cleaning house that I wasn’t prepared for.  In a funny sort of way, I was surprised that my teacher even knew that I had thoughts. You just don’t usually think about the fact that other people know that you have thoughts. You keep thoughts to yourself, you try to act nicely, that’s it.  

I felt a new kind of nakedness in that teacher training. I was suddenly aware of a whole host of thoughts that maybe weren’t so kind, necessary, or even true running through my mind every minute of every day. Thoughts about myself, thoughts about others. These thoughts were blocking me from being truly peaceful and free with others.  I felt like I had to hide away much of the time. I lived in fear because of the bad vibes my own thoughts gave me.

The truth is, my thoughts mostly affect me. So any unkindness within them, leaves me the one feeling unkind. Not at peace. Even if the thought was supposedly about someone else! Ever since that day, I feel as though there is a loving teaching inside my mind. Helping me distinguish my thoughts from one’s that are enlightened or not. Frustrated or angry thoughts about other people, have the opportunity to melt into compassionate accepting ones. (Although at times that does take a little bit of work and time.)

Do I still get upset? Sure I do.  But now I understand that my experience extends to my thoughts, so if I want peace, I first must change my own mind about something. Then if something necessary can be said, I can say it from a place of peace.

Additionally “true” took on a whole new meaning. The fact is, we know so little about what’s true. Much of our misguided agitation stems from assuming other’s were acting in a way that was unkind to us. But we do not know what is in the mind of others. On the other hand, when we assume kindness in others, the world takes on a whole new dimension. The world does start acting more kind.

 Then there is the practice of being kind to yourself. How do we act kindly to ourselves? Over indulging in things we know don’t serve us well? Over doing things we think bring us happiness? Ultimately being kind to ourselves is having a special blend of balance whereby we attend to our own needs with kindness, compassion, and honesty.

We can’t change the weather, or even other people’s states of being, but we can control our thoughts and actions and shift them over to the kind side.

This month, fill up your well, so diligently with your yoga practice, and meditation, and loving kindness to yourself and those close to you, that you are abundant with kindness. Then the next time someone seemingly is unkind to you, you can just break off a little of your own kindness and give it to them, no charge.  “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Socrates

-Ella Luckett, Jai Yoga Arts 













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"Listen"

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(Jan Theme 2016: Listen)

There’s a lot of background noise. From the city streets to the mumble of thoughts and worries in your head. Trucks belt out their gas guzzling roar, clashing music wars, arguments and conversations, thousands of people in short radius, talking, thinking, sending out frequencies to interrupt your clear personal connection to your inner peace.
In addition to the external sounds, there’s the clamor of your own internal dialogue. Have you ever slowed down enough to actually witness the many layers of thoughts in your head? The mind wants to dissect, assign value, meaning, judgment, to both yourself and others. It does that to protect you, to help you grow and learn, and progress. It’s an ever running engine. Until you slow down enough, to hear it, you may not even notice it’s been left churning, nor how much of your energy it’s draining to keep itself on.
The process of finding our deepest inner wisdom involves a journey through all this noise, to hear the truth beneath it all. The truth lies in the silence. Beyond the ramblings of the mental mind, the mind of higher intelligence has amazing things to say. But we have to listen.
That place is called the anahat nadam. It’s the nectar of your deepest truth and highest potential. A well spring of unwavering energy, and happiness. It’s always there waiting. If you can slowly start to move in, identifying each distracting sound as a never ending sea of “neti neti” “not this, not this” Eventually the soundless sound prevails, and you are swimming in wisdom and peace.
This month we’ll practice:
Listening to yourself: Meander through the noisy jungle until it gets quiet and there you will emerge.
Listen to others: Listen for their gift to you, for each encounter carries it. Wisdom, love, a lesson, or even just an opportunity to grow as you learn how to best relate to them. Each person has something to say, and appreciates greatly someone who will truly listen to them.
When you become an avid listener your ears become tuned like the top level sound engineer who can hear every detail separate from each other.  Where most people get lost in the noise,  the well versed listener can wade through the bramble of influences that don’t serve the highest in all, and land on truth.  The practice of listening, will help you have compassion and connection with others, and help you feel empowered in your own self. Knowing who you are is the most precious gift that takes a lifetime to discover, and it can only be done when we tune in and listen.


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Namaste