Compassion ~

I am a yoga teacher and I am always going to trainings to learn more and more about myself and my practice. I went to a training about six years ago with my teacher and in that training he said something that at the time didn’t really sink in but I circled it and starred it in my handy-dandy notebook.  About a year ago I was rummaging through some of my notes and found the starred and circled quote and I tore it out and taped it to my mirror and it  became my mantra. The quote said, “Compassion equals contentment.”. Like I said, during the training I wasn’t exactly sure why  it stood out so much for me because six years ago I didn’t understand it, so my mission was to get it ,what does it mean…! So began my journey with my mantra and the meaning behind it all.

I had a lot of heartbreak last year, I was cracked open and swimming in the deep. But it was all such a blessing in disguise because out of those murky waters I held on to my life jacket, I searched for myself, for my life, I searched and swam to survival with every depth my soul had. I learned so many things about myself, about other people, about how I treated other people, how I reacted to things, how I chose to rise up. Somedays I had the strength to meet every part of the day with compassion, love and understanding. Other days I was grasping just to keep myself afloat, sometimes seeing things with jaded glasses and projecting my own ideas or thoughts on to the situation. At the time when my heart was cracked open so wide and the pain sometimes so hard to see through, I was in there, I was growing, I was learning and even if it didn’t feel like it I was fearlessly fighting for me. I love without hesitation, wide-open and I won’t ever stop loving like that, I think that at the end of the day everyone wants to love and be loved, and I truly think I am here to let people who are in my life or cross my path, know that they are loved and that there is always light no matter how much the darkness creeps in.

I have studied different forms of Buddhism and the main message I get  is compassion. Compassion for all beings, and for the self. I had a hard time with the compassion for myself. All beings got it, no problem. To hold my self in compassion meant that I had to walk through my own pain I had to get down to the dirty of what made it so hard to give myself a break. This piece of my journey is still ongoing, turns out I was holding on to more that I thought so chip by chip I continue to chisel away at the mountain of life’s destruction on my internal being. As I started out I picked some of the biggest hurdles right out the jump I figured why not dive right in while I was already cracked open, no time like the present to tackle my darkest demons. Lost of tears, meditation, writing and  long days finally  brought me to a place of forgiveness. Forgiveness is so hard, it really is and sometimes I feel like I have said I forgive but in the end I was still holding on to the pain. When I learned to forgive when I really meant it, I was free. The weight of many years of pain lifted off my heart. Then there was all this space to fill up in my open-heart, that’s where true compassion set in. That is where I learned the meaning of my mantra. You see, now when there is conflict with a friend, a stranger, a lover; I can now see it with compassionate eyes. Instead of holding on to the grudge or to the pain I have a choice to hold them in compassion. It’s always about choice ,how I show up to the situation. I have chosen a compassionate heart. Carrying that heart with me makes me so much lighter, I no longer care about the small stuff other people bring to the table and I forgive myself when I don’t have my best foot forward. I also learned how to set boundaries, which is very new to me.  It’s a nice place to be and although it would have come in handy to have learned this skill many years ago, I don’t think I was ready for it yet. But something inside me knew one day I would be which is why I starred and circled that quote from my teacher so many times.

Last night I finished teaching my class and a student of mine gave me a piece of paper, the title was “Love and Compassion, the Path to Freedom.” He said to me he has never met a person in his lifetime with more compassion than I have. I was brought to tears. He gave me a hug and said I alone have done more for him than I could ever know, and then he left.  What I need to explain is that this particular student came to my class one year ago,  he had never done yoga in his life and didn’t know anything about it he just happened to pass the studio one day and came in to my class. For his first five classes he never took off his socks and he laid on his mat very still. During savasana (the final resting pose) he stared straight up at the ceiling with his whole body stiff.  He never said much but he  kept coming to class. Eventually he began to practice fighting through every posture but so committed ,so so, committed. In class one night, there he was relaxed in savasana, my heart was so filled  and my eyes filled with tears of gratitude that he had finally found comfort in his own skin. Pretty great! While I was diving in my murky waters searching for the meaning of my mantra, little did I know I had already been practicing it. The thing is my students’ teach me more than I could ever teach them.

What I do for a living is such a blessing and I have so much gratitude for it everyday. I get to put my mantra into play again and again.  It also gives me the opportunity to share my wisdom; to hold nothing back, keep searching for yourself, keep growing, keep loving and let yourself be loved and most of all move from an open compassionate heart~

January is a write-off

So I have basically decided that January is a month I would like to  just write off. From October of each year I am basically on fast-forward and then January 1st comes and with it brings on that, hmmmm now what? feeling. I get so busy with the parties, the holiday cheer, the freedom in my schedule and then what do I have to look forward to…GOALS or otherwise defined as resolutions for the new year to come. So here I am for months  eating whatever I want because it’s “the holiday season” sleeping in because “its winter” and not being my every minute scheduled self , to Jan 2nd back to real life. It’s like a massive jolt to the system. Time to see where I need to make changes, reflect on the previous year, which I actually like, and trying to convince myself to get  back into my own ebb and flow.

I think they should invent a holiday called the after holiday crash. A holiday  in which everyone has time to recover into their normal everyday routine. A holiday that has compassion built into the description because most people are feeling a little bit of the blues after Jan 1st. We get busy, we travel, we get time off work and we talk to our families probably more than any other time of the year and then poof it’s all over.

So if your co-worker is a-little grumpy  when you go back to work or the person in line in front of you cannot for the life of them decide what to order because they can’t remember if the diet starts this week or the next, just give them a break. They probably have a little post-holiday crashing going on.

I am in my second week after the holiday crash and I have an all new schedule travel plans in my immediate and distant future so things are pretty awesome and yet for the life of me that routine of getting back into the swing of things, I have not even taken a step towards getting on board. HA! So I guess I need to get grounded find my happy quiet place and just be okay with knowing that February my dear friend is when I will normalize again~

Peace and clarity~

They say timing is everything, that when you are ready the universe will open and give you exactly what you need even if you don’t know you need it. Today was my time for peace, an old storyline that has been dragging about for…well, much too long actually. I found myself lost in my own tale of the truth even though the real truth had unfolded it self to me many times over. Sometimes in ways that would bring me to my knees and break my heart other times it was more subtle like a little breeze I could feel and sense but not quite grasp.

Today I guess I was ready, because for the first time in a long time I could let go and not just say but actually do it. I felt a tremendous amount of ease and instead of my thoughts being loud, they finally grew quiet. It reminds me of what my teacher has said over and over “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” How right that is, How true it is that we as humans hold on to so much let our minds over-flood with story lines and projections that can literally paralyze us and make us forget that it’s really just a thought that we decided to internally write a book about.I will admit I am a pretty great story-teller probably could’ve published some pretty novel books with how far my thoughts can get.

But today I had a coming to Jesus with myself and decided that this heaviness that has been on my heart and the thoughts that had held my mind captive had to go. I have been fighting it for so long and I am not even sure why I guess I felt like I needed to keep going back to see if I missed a painful chapter maybe I could rewrite it and make it so much better than what it was maybe I missed the point. Today I decided it doesn’t matter its going and so are all the pages.

It feels good to let it go, it feels good to have some peace and clarity, today I will vibe in this sense of freedom, steady as I go~

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