"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." Rumi
This last weekend I was searching for a really good movie to watch and came upon a movie titled "Let It Snow". It was full of sweetness, heartache, presence, seizing the moment, embracing change, and enjoying the joy in each moment. It made me laugh and cry but what remained after the movie ended was this...we don't know what the next moments will hold - it could be good, it could be bad, but right now, we are here and we have to embrace the perfect joy in this single moment and live it fully.
I probably got a lot more out of this movie than others (so if you have seen it and this makes no sense - bear with me). Every moment, we have the opportunity to experience something uniquely beautiful - whether we see it as good or bad. It is. What we decide to do with that or see it as - that's up to us. But, the smallest little things in our life can contain immense oceans of joy if we only stop, be present and embrace them.
"Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle. It's a feeling inside that can hardly be contained." Terry Pratchett
What is joy? What does it feel like? What brings us joy?
Most of us think of joy in BIG terms - like huge life-changing events or big moments in time. And yes, those firework moments can be joy filled. But what about the little things? What about the crisp cold air on a fall morning or the sound of snow falling or the smell of your favorite food? What about warm blankets tucking you in, the purr of a kitten, the hug of a child?
JOY. JOY. J - O - Y. Every single one of these is a moment bursting with joy. It's the sweetness of these tiny little moments of joy that keep us alive, that fill us with gratitude, that open our hearts to MORE JOY.
"There are souls in this world who have the gift of finding joy everywhere, and leaving it behind them when they go." Frederick William Faber
Yes, JOY spreads like wildfire. When you stop to notice the little joys, you find more and more and discover a life filled with joy. When you fill your life with more joy, you spread joy - you shine a light, you inspire more joy.
So - bring on the joy my friends!
See you on the mat!
"Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone." Unknown
Do you feel it? The winds of change are blowing - maybe it's a whisper of a breeze OR maybe it's gale force winds - each of us will experience it differently. But, it's there.
Lately I have been feeling this growing shift in my perspective. I have been asking myself, what do I really want? What do I stand for? What is my truth and am I living it in all the ways I can? Where do I want my path to lead ultimately? What will make me feel fulfilled and happy?
These are hard questions, I admit. I am struggling to define what it is I want to be and do and that takes a lot of meditation, breath and asking lots of challenging and deep questions.
As I dive headlong into preparing for next year - planning, creating, organizing and scheduling - I have seen a not so subtle change in my path. This journey I am on is about to take a new and dramatic turn.
"You can't change what's going on around you until you start changing what's going on within you." Unknown
One of the biggest shifts is in my personal yoga and meditation practices. I am desiring more and more depth and meaning to my life and to what I offer others. I want to explore more of the beauty and philosophical teachings of yoga and meditation as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine and I want to share that with you.
I feel this is a natural transition - as I learn and grow, I want to offer more and different things to the world. When I began yoga, it felt natural to focus on the physical body only (after all, that is what we begin working with) but as my practice has grown, I have felt the need to go a little further each year.
This coming year I will begin offering practices on the 8 Limbs of Yoga, the seasons, the Solstices/Equinoxes, full length pranayama practices, Ayurveda, and even more on 5 Element Theory. I am SO excited to explore yoga in more depth with you and to offer you practices to take off the mat and into your daily life.
I feel as if I am stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing my future. I have SO many plans for online programs, courses and even Yin Yoga in person training (maybe even a weekend retreat!) and I hope you will join me in 2020.
What way will your journey take you this coming year? What are your dreams?
See you on the mat my friends!
For more on what is happening at the Studio: linktr.ee/theyogaranger
"Friendly reminder that 'doing your best' does not mean working yourself to the point of a nervous breakdown." Unknown
I woke up this morning feeling fragile. You know - the kind of fragile that says I have nothing to give today and my energy storage is empty? That kind of fragile.
So, I lay in bed and instead of thinking "I am exhausted and sore and grumpy" - I asked these questions...
What is it I "feel" today and why do I "feel" this way? What is the root of my fragility right now? What can I do or add into my life starting today that will help feed my soul, care for my body, and nourish my heart?
And guess what? I came up with some pretty deep stuff. : ) I gave away too much of my energy over the last few weeks. I have a hard time saying no or setting/maintaining boundaries and I have let them slip. I was tired with a very sick kitty and lots of stress and I just didn't hold my boundary up. I allowed people to settle their negative energy on me and I let it hang out for awhile. I am not blaming anyone here. I am being honest - I allowed this to happen and it is on me. Now, what to do?
"To protect your energy...It's okay to cancel a commitment. It's okay to not answer a call. It's okay to change your mind. It's okay to want to be alone. It's okay to take a day off. It's okay to do nothing. It's okay to speak up. It's okay to let go." Unknown
I often refer to my yoga and meditation practice as a toolbox. A toolbox filled with tools to help me live a better life every single day. I rummaged through there today as I lay in bed and I decided this is my plan right now (it will probably expand as the day goes by). I will practice Yoga Nidra every afternoon for the next 30 days. Yoga Nidra is healing, restorative and balancing and I need that right now.
I will practice Restorative Yoga today and 3x a week until I feel the shift in my energy back to center. Can I say that as I shuffled around gathering a mountain of props for this morning's Restorative practice that I felt such a relief that I was choosing to love myself today with this practice? It felt BLISSFUL.
I will practice Metta meditation for the next 7 days to reconnect me to the power and energy of loving kindness - including and especially for myself right now. Metta or loving kindness meditation is a beautiful way to remind yourself that you wish only the best for yourself, for those you love, for those in your community and YES, for those who frustrate you as well!
Along with all of this - I will nightly practice energy healing - allowing others energy to flow back to them and gathering my energy back in where I need it. This could include meditation, Reiki, journaling or whatever allows me to release what is not mine and gather up what is mine!
Will you join me? I know there are many of you out there feeling weighed down, heavy, fragile, tired, emotionally drained. You are not alone. I am here with you. Let's step back, use our tools to show ourselves some loving kindness and recharge our batteries. Take some time for you right now, today and set a plan in motion for the future to keep you at your best.
What will you do to take care of yourself today?
See you on the mat my friends!
"Intuition is the whisper of the soul." Krishnamurti
This week I did something I felt I "should" do rather than wanted to. I should not have been surprised when the universe tried it's best to make it fail miserably and not at all surprised that I felt strangely afterwards.
I felt off.
I struggled over the next few days to figure out what exactly was wrong and instead of recognizing what I had done, I just became frustrated and fussy and short tempered.
Have you had this happen? You are just feeling not right and in turn you are easily frustrated and annoyed, but you CANNOT put your finger on what's wrong!?
"Intuition doesn't tell you what you want to hear; it tells you what you need to hear." Sonia Choquette
Finally - a light went on and I got it. While I had done something well and it wasn't a horrible mess, it wasn't what I wanted, dreamed or aspired to. It was what I thought other people expected of me.
Let me say here and now - I deal with this a lot. Expectations. Many of these are clearly stated by others and some are, honestly - what I think others want from me. None of these are good for the soul and they often chafe and itch. They are bonds that tie us up and weigh us down - holding us back from expressing our true selves. And when you aren't doing what you truly want, need and believe in - it feels WRONG.
"You know the truth by the way it feels." Unknown
You see, I cannot be what others expect. I cannot be what I think others expect. I can only be me and I am okay with that. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am good enough as I am.
Do you struggle with this sometimes? With expectations and the weight of them?
Know this - YOU ARE WONDERFUL, AMAZING, PERFECT AND HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER!
Just as you are, right now, today, in this moment.
Trust this. Trust your intuition. Let it guide you on your journey and support you in living your most beautiful life.
See you on the mat!
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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All rights reserved by Aprille Walker and The Yoga Ranger Studio 2014-2019 (copyrighted material)