After about three months of studio hopping, I’ve found my way back home. Back to my “home” yoga studio, and my home sweet home. Once the fam cleared the way, I rolled out my mat in the living room, and said –Hello, home yoga practice! Having the freedom to do exactly as my body wanted while intentionally moving towards a fuller self expression was exactly what I needed. It opened my (third?) eye in a whole new light!
I could see how my same old behavior takes me to the same old place. I always start my practice with Surya Namaskar into Warrior 1 and Warrior 2. Then I’ll go into Trikonasana and Parsvottanasana. I could continue on with the sequence here (seriously, it’s been done to death — I can both say it and do it by rote), but that would be a bore. The bottom line –it works. But it’s also a bit of been there done that, right? Isn’t it much more interesting to use our experience as a foundation for growth? To explore the unknown? So instead of starting out with my usual Surya Namaskar blah blah blah, why not jump straight into an inversion practice? Maybe it’s Bakasana to tripod headstand that starts the sequence? The key is to move with my body’s intuition, and stay present to move consciously where I need to be. Somewhat simple to do on the mat. Off the mat — a whole other story!
I like the path of familiarity. It’s comfortable, it’s pretty obvious and I know where it leads. I’ve gone down that path so many times. It’s like a good friend, albeit one who isn’t really looking out for me. The other path, the one that’s aligned with my soul, gives me flutters in the stomach when it shows its way. I feel uncertain. A little scared. And excited!
See we’ve all got our unique path — the one that’s just right for who we are. Mine looks different than yours. Though sometimes I wish mine could look like hers. I know (my soul knows!) what my true path looks like. And with the help of yoga, my intuition and all the other signs that show the way, I’ll move forward on this path…hopefully every day.
What signs show you the way on your true path?
Jacqui Lee caused quite the stir when she threw her 16 year old heart hard onto the stage of The Voice to sing Cry Baby. The audience went wild for this girl who claimed she’s never experienced true love, yet owned the soul shattering sounds previously performed by Janis Joplin. Was she faking it?
I don’t think so.
Of course, on stage there’s a whole lotta drama needed to put on a good show. But there’s got to be a truthful connection for an uninhibited expression of the soul. Same goes with real life. It’s about finding ways to connect and express our unique experience. So when Jacquie Lee belted out …
Ain’t nobody ever gonna love you
The way I try to do ?
Who’ll take all your pain,
Honey, your heartache, too ?
And if you need me, you know
That I’ll always be around if you ever want me
she found the hook to reel in her teenage soul. And then of course, she had to turn up the volume for millions of viewers to see.
Remember when Empire State of Mind was allover the radio? Clearly, it wasn’t only NYers who put that song at Number 1.
New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York,
I’ll always hold a permanent place in my pump-up playlist for that tune.
Then there’s the unexpected hitmaker, Lorde. In the song Royals, her 17 year old fantasy-rebelling lyrics resonate pretty easily with most teens…maybe even adults. (See how fun it is to sing along with this one!)
But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room,
We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.
We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.
So, really it comes down to what are we giving our souls to grab onto? Is it something authentic to who we are?
Watching 5 year old G sing her heart out to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Same Love is a show in itself. Her tiny face scrinches up in pure passion for a message she’s not really clued into. Yet there’s no doubt her little heart is singing true to her soul.
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm
Do you think people fake it to make it? Or do you think they’re finding ways to truly express their souls?
Here’s what I practice pretty regularly…
…not sure if mastery actually exists with these.
But I do notice the more energy I put towards something…the more it grows.
What’s your practice?
Their stories left me AWEstruck. Teetering between – how did they do that? To – I want to do that! Then finally landing on — Thank goodness they did do that! By following their souls into full expression they’ve shown us how the human spirit is conditioned to not only rise, but THRIVE!
I can’t believe I was so late to the Crazy Sexy Cancer party — Kris Carr’s passion is highly contagious! When diagnosed with a rare cancer, doctors told her she only had 10 years left. She then began to spread the fever…for healthy and vibrant living! Yes, it’s pretty crazy how Kris Carr made cancer sexy. Amazing actually.
After reading Wild, I wanted to go live in the woods. Seriously, I wanted to strip out of my comfort zone, leave everything I knew to discover the real me. Like she did. I remember telling DH of my plan. He laughed. “You hate camping, ” he reminded me. True. But there’s something about seeking in the wild that seemed right up my alley. I have a feeling many more will relate after we watch Reese Witherspoon fulfill the role on the big screen.
I think I was living under a rock when she completed the marathon swim from Cuba to FLA because I barely remember any of the details. It wasn’t until I saw the interview with Oprah that I got locked in. This woman knows no limits. In fact, her ability to succumb to so much suffering made me uncomfortable while watching The Other Shore. When she says “Find A Way”, she clearly doesn’t mean the path of least resistance. Her strength and resilience is so beyond…
There are so many awesome parts to this story. First off, I’ll get behind any dance party. Period. But the circumstances around this particular flash mob make it even more phenomenal. How could her surgery not be a success with this type of Pre-Op? For Dr. Cohan to let herself go so deeply into her body creating a state of pure joy and FUN, she embodied her soul in motion. On her website she asked that everyone send videos of themselves dancing it up to Get Me Bodied as part of her recovery. I’m so doing this.
I was obsessed with Flashdance in elementary school. It’s what led me to everything-off-the-shoulder, and the PERM. Recently, an old friend sent the link to the final dance. It still moved me. This time it wasn’t the 80′s hair and fashion that did it. It’s the song, Take Your Passion And Make It Happen.
Who totally inspires you?
I’ve been given a reprieve.
DH took the kids to FLA for the weekend leaving me to recharge for two whole days!
I started thinking about this weeks ago. How exactly do I want to spend my FREEtime?
I could call up my single friend to see what she’s doing. An evening out with her is always eventful. But usually entails a day of recovery on the flip side. With only two to myself, I can’t spend one of them in bed. Scratch that idea.
Then I received the Kripalu catalog in the mail. I LOVE getting these! You know how some women are with their fashion mags, or gossip rags? They block out a chunk of time to slowly turn the pages of their indulgence while letting themselves sink into the fantasy. Well, I do this with retreat centers. I wait until the kids go to sleep, and then get swept away by the holistic offerings of these places. I often find one or two programs that suit my fancy — something like Dance Your Heart Wild, or Awaken Your Energy Yoga -- I may even check the calendar to see what my availability is. But I never commit.
Honestly, these days…that’s not how I’d choose to spend my time away from home.
But it is how I’d spend my time home! I can create an at-home retreat for the two days!
Immediately, I started searching for yoga workshops, or anything local that intrigued. Like a four hour something I could delve deeply into without any time constraints or distractions. I kept my eyes open online, and in class, but nothing showed up. The Let’s Fly inversion workshop didn’t really appeal. Nor did the Chakra Tune-Up.
Fine, I didn’t need an organized workshop. I could just take class.
And take care of my soul.
That’s what I’ll do. I’ll nourish my soul. I’ll recharge. And replenish.
So what exactly does that look like? Taking care of my soul? I know there’s a book out there…Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. I think I even have it on my shelf somewhere. But I don’t need a book to tell me how to care for MY soul. That’s the beauty of it! I get to decide how it happens!!
And this is how I do it:
Write something that matters to ME here
Write something else to keep the muscle sharp
See a movie (Blue Jasmine, highly recommend!)
Dance Party in my living room listening to some weird spiritually driven music like Alice Coltrane Universal of Consciousness
Eat vegetarian with lots of onions (I always have to omit them from my meals re: the kids)
Read Yoga And The Quest For The True Self (Awesome book which requires major concentration. It’s like I’m reading the encyclopedia i.e. important information)
Drink Green Juice
Watch a music documentary (Made In America — it grabbed me surprisingly)
Watch Super Soul Sunday (Of course Oprah is included!)
Forget about the Time
Slow Down and Do Nothing!
**Notice that “sleep-in” isn’t on the list.
It would’ve been except DH’s alarm went off. But it’s okay because that brings me back to the part that I don’t want to spend my time in bed.
**And of course Mom’s work must be done even when she’s off the clock. Grocery shopping and organizing childcare never seem to go away. Oh, and cleaning up. I’m always effing cleaning up!
So it doesn’t have to be a complete drop out/tune in to take care of my soul. In fact, it’s the opposite.
It’s whatever lights me up, or whatever moves me — both inside and out.
How do you take care of your soul?