In the last week I have been feeling really proud about being an American. This country that I have felt out of place in, somehow has swung around and began speaking my language—the language of Love and Acceptance.
It is my first mother’s day! I can hardly believe it. Its been an amazing 8 months. If there was any one thing I have learned in these months, it is how much of my mother lives inside me. I have spent a good many years trying NOT to be like her, for one reason or another. Lets just say, she and I did not have an easy ride.
Being Otto’s mother has helped me to see her in a much different light. Life just never stops offering us unexpected ways to grow. I feel all the love she filled me with coming through me to my son. Things she made, silly things she would say or songs she would sing I now give to Otto. I somehow have kept all of the good and seem to better understand the hard parts. The job of a mother is often hard and quite scary. We are always trying to do your best with so much on the job learning. These days I see and feel her struggle from a much different seat.
I’d like to share that on this mother’s day I feel only deep love and gratitude for my mother. Thank you, Otto, for teaching me how to love my mother. Thank you, Mae Tursi, you are loved and terribly missed.
I don’t know about you but this winter has kicked my butt! Though my son, Otto, brought a great deal of sunshine, he also added to the fatigue. Although winter can feel long, at least I can get a lot done. There are books to be read, projects to complete but when it lingers as long and hard as this year I need a few helpful tools to get through.
I hope these suggestions help. If you have a few good ideas of your own please feel free to share them with us.
Hands down, the best way to beat the winter blues is by taking yourself to Costa Rica!! Join Paula as she leads her annual Spiritual Awakening Retreat this March at the beautiful and serene Anamaya Resort in Montezuma, Costa Rica.
Why do these damn resolutions never work?! I think it’s because they start with our glass half-full. Our thoughts start out with “I don’t have something–and how will I ever get it I get it?” Perhaps that’s followed with the thought “I’m don’t deserve it” or “I can’t ever have that anyway.” I devised a plan for 2015 to turn this around and it starts with filling the glass with love.
Often we struggle with who we are. We turn against our own nature. The thing is if there is one truth in the world it is our consistent nature. On a certain level we are who we are and it isn’t changing. We can mellow or shift but if you’re a leader, you’re always going to feel a little out of place following. So why not just own it? The amazing thing is, when you accept who you are, you begin to realize how beneficial it is, and then use it to your advantage. Let me offer an example.
During our Urban Silent Retreat at Reflections this January I spoke about a person who wanted adventure in her life.This is how it went:
A person wants more adventure in her life. She is starting with a lack “I don’t have adventure and I want it.”
The question is “What stops her from getting it?” What stops anyone from change? FEAR. “I would love to climb that big mountain but I’m afraid.” Perhaps the fear is around getting hurt, or lost, or a host of other possible outcomes. Often the next thought is an attack against one’s own nature: I will never be adventurous, I’m just a chicken! When we attack who we are I call that the INVERTED YOU. The you that hasn’t realized the greatness that you are. What if what you really are is prudent, not chicken. Maybe you are a person who needs the details to feel safe? The truth is I’d rather climb the mountain with that person than the person who always forgets the map (that would be me)!
So far we have two steps to this “use self love to change” story
- Face your fear. “I’m afraid of getting hurt.”
- Discover a love of your nature. “I want adventure but my nature is prudent. I’m not chicken, just careful.”
Knowing that there are things you “are” that will never change, like your height or your prudent self, how do you get up that damn mountain? Again, you must first discover the beauty of your nature and then you can use it. I’m fairly certain there will be no chance of real change without real love. Once you can see that holding back and not barreling up the mountain isn’t a bad thing then you can invite real change in the door. Here comes step three.
Since you can’t change your blueprint or your inside world then what is left? What you can change is your outside world. If you want adventure, then I hang around with the adventurous, not the dude taking photos from the lookout point or the people pulling up on the tour bus. Make adventure part of your outer world and soon enough it will be just what you do. You will start to walk the walk and talk the talk in your own way – according to your special nature. You will be the prudent adventurist! Who knows, you might even get picked to lead everyone up the mountain because you have the best safety protocol!
In any given year we can reflect back and recant our experience, both good and bad. Yoga, in its many forms, has helped me to gain a deeper understanding and more importantly, acceptance of life’s inevitable shifts. It seems no one is exempt from experiencing both the beauty and the challenges of life.
The Yoga Sutras explains this so elegantly through the dance of the Gunas: the braiding of the integral flavors of life. We live in the continuous movement from light to dark and every shade in between –all adding to the richness of our experience here.
When we can truly see that nothing is wrong –or right for that matter, but that both sadness and happiness are inherent in the cycle of life, the challenging times become richer in their lessons and the gifts more precious in their beauty.
Knowing that the times of my life are as magical as the changing of day to night, or as beautiful as the turn of the seasons, offers me deep peace and awe in the knowledge that I am part of something much bigger than my particular life situation. We are both vast and minor in the lens of this world.
When we can find the wisdom to simply allowing life, we can see the innate beauty in everything. My newest teacher Otto shows me this each day. I plan for every moment and in those moments I let go and allow his tiny needs to guide me. I never know what we will need next but when I can let it be he smiles and we are doing just the right thing.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your incredible love and support this year. Reflections continues to grow in many new and exciting ways for our community to find their path and their own voice as we all walk this amazing journey of life. Whether you explore in our teachers training, yoga, dance or meditation classes or find new ways in Reflections After Dark (RAD). The Reflections family hopes your light gets brighter and we are here to serve you in any way we can
Love and Light
And the happiest of holidays