In the Pursuit of Happiness
Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds. Stay grounded and enjoy the present moment. And never stop dreaming!
What a year and a half it's been!
If there is one thing I have learned living in the time of COVID, it is this:
To live my best life, I must continue to show up while letting go of expectations.
Dreams and expectations are two very different things.
Dreams call for a leap of faith so that you may continue in the re-creation of the world with your energy, gifts and vision.
Expectations are the emotional investment the ego makes in a particular outcome, and if it doesn't turn out the way we thought it should, we are unhappy.
Since none of us can predict the future or the best possible outcome for our authentic path, this way of thinking is only going to limit us. Because if we don't live up to the ego's expectations, we have failed yet again.
The stress and loss through this pandemic have affected each of us and in many different ways.
I lost my three studio teaching positions overnight. It was a heartbreak for me to lose what I had worked towards and studied so intensely.
After three months of sulking, I knew it was time to show up again. How? To offer my classes outdoors. I began offering classes at the local parks, bluffs and beaches.
Did yogis show up? Sometimes and often not. Everyone was dealing with their own stuff and in their own way. Yet, this powerful voice in my head said, "Just keep showing up!" And that has been my motto.
I try to live by this quote from Dr. William James, the author of The Principles of Psychology:
"I approach my work with a passionate intensity, acting as if its success depends entirely on me. But once I've done my best, I try to let go as much as possible and have no expectations about how my work will be received by the world. I have consciously chosen to be surprised by joy. It's a choice you can make as well."
How freeing it is to allow the passionate pursuit of dreams to give wings to your heart. By simply doing your best to dream, pursue and then detach.
With Spirit as your safety net, you can pursue happiness more directly when you don't get caught up in the delivery details.
Dreaming, not expecting, allows Spirit to step in and surprise you with new possibilities you hadn't begun to imagine.
Invite each new day to be just that... a new day of possibility when we are able to let go and embrace change.
Today, try to get real and personal about the pursuit of happiness.
What is it that lights you up and brings joy?
How can you bring more of that into your days?
Follow your dreams with all your heart and trust in the wings that carry them.
Learning to Love & Honor Your Body
"The body is a sacred garment. It's your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honor." ~ Martha Graham
Which comes first, learning to love our bodies or possessing a positive body image? The body is, quite literally, our vehicle for being, giving, loving and feeling. If you don't possess a positive body image – and most of us don't – learning to love your body can help you develop one. "If you can learn to like how you look, and not the way you think you look," Gloria Steinem assures us, "it can set you free."
The time has come for us to realize that until we work on increasing our self-esteem by loving ourselves in small ways, we can't begin changing ourselves for the better in big ways. We must start by choosing to break the self-destructive cycle of unrealistic expectations, especially our own.
I am so happy to finally see women gracing the pages of magazines in all colors, shapes and sizes. Sadly, the media has done a good job at airbrushing, sculpting and chiseling away at the real women – the woman that is living her life from the inside out. The woman who is taking care of her family, working, cooking, cleaning and walking the dog. The woman who comforts you after a bad day.
My sister, your beauty shines from within. That's where true beauty lives.
Start today by throwing out the world's irrelevant idea of beauty. It never existed anyway! Beauty is born within, and it's up to us to nurture. Cleopatra celebrated her authentic beauty by the ways she painted her face and styled her hair. That was her signature. In the middle ages, women padded their bellies. Don't wait for the world to celebrate you. Find what you appreciate and focus on that – let the rest take care of itself.
Take time each day and tap into your own transformative power. Nourish your body and your spirit by the foods you eat, what you read, think and meditate on. Turn down social media. Slow down and remember to breathe in deeply, breathe in fresh energy and positivity, breathe out tension and stress, let something go.
Rediscover how good it feels to simply move about – stretch, dance, walk, skip and smile. Pamper yourself in the clothes you love, quiet time for yourself to become grounded and centered. Take care of your skin with simple beauty rituals.
"A woman's relationship with her body is the most important relationship she'll ever have. More important than husband, lover, children, friends and colleagues. This isn't selfish - it's just fact," health and fitness expert Diana Roesch tells us. The body is, quite literally, our vehicle for being – for giving, for loving, for moving, for feeling – and if it doesn't work, it's fairly certain that nothing else in our lives will work either.
Today, choose to consciously love and honor the sacred garment Spirit provided for this lifetimes journey and embrace the beauty within...I see and honor the beauty within you!