Sometimes We Forget...
"A connection is the energy that exists between two people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship." Unknown
Life is busy, crazy, hectic. We wake up, do our routine and start work. We work all day, run some errands, eat dinner, try to unwind, head to bed and it starts over again.
Then a moment comes when time stops - it literally stands still. Perhaps it's a moment of momentous change, great joy, or - as I recently experienced - a moment when someone you love says the words, "I have cancer."
I love my friend deeply but we have what you would call a friendship via texts and random phone calls and maybe an email or two a year. We live far apart and I haven't physically seen her in over 3 years. I think about her often yes, but it's always maybe she would laugh at this or maybe she would like this. In my mind, she is always there, always available, and we have all the time in the world.
"The most important things in life are the connections you make with others." Tom Ford
But, we don't. The truth is, she won't always be there. Have I said what I wanted? Have I told her how much I love her? Have I tried to go visit? It all comes rushing back - I have forgotten to connect and value her as she should be valued. And, she's not the only one in my life. I realize with a cold shock how little I really deeply try to connect to the people I care about on a more consistent basis. I realize I don't tell them I love them enough. I realize I don't spend as much time with them as I wish I could and I know I can.
I have forgotten how much connection matters. I have forgotten how much they matter. I have let life distract me from the most important things in my life - the people!
Everything I do, I do for the people in my life. Without them - none of it matters at all. Connection. It is everything.
Have you forgotten too? Been distracted by the hectic spin of life? How often do you try your hardest to love and show your love to the people in your life? They know, right?
Please...STOP. Make time stand still right now and tell them. Make a plan to meet up and get together. Hug them. Call them. Remind them how much they mean to you and to your life. CONNECT every single day in a million ways.
I am on my way to visit my beloved friend this month and her health situation has stabilized and we are hopeful. The very first words I will say when I see her as I hug her so very tight - I love you SO much and you mean the world to me.
See you on the mat my friends -
The Sweetness of Silence
"Listen to silence, it has so much to say." Rumi
Anthony was a thoughtful, slightly introverted, well read, open-minded 20 year old when I met him. Not shy, just deep. I remember how he used to tell me stories at night on the phone to get me to sleep (I suffered from chronic insomnia in college), and how he told me of his adventures running to Dublin, Texas for fresh Dr. Pepper from the bottling plant. I was 18 years old.
Anthony opened my mind to a lot of things - Eastern philosophy: loaning me books that opened a whole new world of thought for me; classical music and violas to be exact (he played beautifully); to storytelling on a grand scale (stories EVERY single night for months); and how to be still and appreciate quiet.
"Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom." Francis Bacon
I remember the day I began to understand and explore silence. We had just had dinner and were driving home to college and I chattered nonstop (I tend to be a chatterbox when tired or nervous). When I took a breath, Anthony said softly and sweetly - "have you ever just appreciated the silence between two people?"
I always thought when in social situations with people one should always maintain conversation, talk, chatter, exchange, communicate verbally. I was stunned and well, silenced.
After a few weeks of mulling that question over, I realized that I was terribly uncomfortable with silence. It felt like a mountain on top of me and I just COULD NOT enjoy silence. Even when alone I had radios, TV's blaring - always something to drown out the silence. I committed to exploring the why and to work my way through my discomfort and fear.
Jet ahead 15 years or so and I find myself wiggling, fussing, feeling VERY stressed in a supportive Restorative Yoga class. It all came back. I was afraid to be alone with my own thoughts and to explore them. And that is the moment I fell deeply in love with Restorative Yoga, meditation and Yin.
They challenged me in a way nothing ever had. They asked me to be with ME! They asked me to share communication with another person without words. They asked me to connect on a much deeper and more personal level than words could ever. They asked me to be alone with my thoughts and feelings and allow.
Anthony is gone from my life now but the things he shared with me are woven through my daily life. My love of Eastern philosophy, my willingness to be open to all knowledge and explore, the desire to just be, and my deep love of silence. Thank you Anthony - you will never know the gift you shared by that one simple question.
"Silence speaks when words cannot." Unknown
See you on the mat my friends!
For more on what is happening at the Studio: linktr.ee/theyogaranger
Let It Snow - Being Present
"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!
Winds of Change
"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
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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