FORGIVENESS

When you mess up, stop and sit yourself down. I mean this literally. Sit yourself down, and learn to dwell in the uneasiness of the confusion of the moment. I find myself running, physically and mentally, from place to place, from action to action. Often this is not due to a busy schedule, but to the fear of sitting down and feeling what’s happening in this moment. There is nowhere to run. Eventually, we all need to sit with ourselves and face the demons that are rising from our psyche. We all do it so keep courage. You are not alone.

Forgiveness can start with being able to sit and give your life a good look. Forgiveness is about accepting what is going on right now. It may not be perfect or even good but it’s where you are at. If you can’t accept where you are at right now – with all the guilt, the fears, the imperfection – you can’t change it. You may think that running around will bring about change but, if you look closely, only the external circumstances change, not the real issue. The real issue requires silence and patience to be seen and heard. It requires forgiveness.

Acceptance is often uncomfortable, scary, ugly, smelly. We’d rather get busy and forget about it but at some point, you can’t run anymore. So sit in that place. Be strong. Eventually, as you calm yourself down, the lotus of your awareness will bloom from the mud of your mistakes and you can take a baby step into evolution.

What else are you really looking for?

Explaining Energy

It is not easy to explain energy. Energy travels through multiple dimensions and in subtle channels. Yet one can witness energy. It’s palpable. Energy is both objective and subjective and, because of this, everyone will have a different experience of its movements. Energy is what keeps us alive.

While it is complex to explain energy, one can learn to cultivate its flows with fairly simple exercises and observations. Moods are a manifestation of energy. Observing one’s and other people’s moods is a study of energetic clusters. Often different energies move at the same time. We feel happy and sad, we are in a good mood but with the potential that bad moods can rise at any moment.

I have noted that the birth of a mood is faster than the awakening of my awareness of it. So far, my observations have only started when the mood was already present in myself. With observation, I saw how my physical (posture) and emotional selves (breath) embodied the mood. That’s a study of energy.

To explain energy is also difficult because we can rationalize energy only to a certain extent. The rest belongs to the realm of feeling. They are both necessary and, in fact, interdependent.

When I teach awareness through yoga, I do my best to support the students as they are trying to feel certain energies that they may have never experienced before. Cultivating one’s subtlety is a privilege that is free, but it requires, as Maharishi Patanjali teaches us, practice and detachment, a letting go of the effort. (Yoga Sutra, I.12)

It is important to have some tools when trying to describe something that is not perceivable with the physical senses alone. For example, energy can flow up or down, sideways, in spirals, intermittently, weakly, moving from the inside to the outside, or through certain parts of the body alone. We can feel energy coming from a plant or another person who is half a block away. Some people see energy through shapes and colors; others through sounds. A feast of inner visions and symphonies; darkness and tones. Other people hear stories or chants. Energy dives into memory and enlivens it, makes it alive again.

While it is important to have a vocabulary to express energy, let’s not get lost in empty words. Always go back to feelingHow does this energy that I am feeling moves me? How am I feeling? Observe yourself beyond judgment (no self-hate, please). Then, an a second beat, allow yourself to explain how you felt, and how the energies felt.

PRE-POST NOTE

Explain, v. Early 15c., from Latin explanare “to explain, make clear, make plain.” Originally explane, spelling altered by influence of plain. In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding of material things: Evelyn has buds that “explain into leaves.” (source: etymonline.com)

The unfolding of material things, like you. You are also a material thing. In this sense, explaining is becoming.

Yoga (why thinking of “yoga” as a noun is limiting)

In the English language, the Sanskrit term “yoga” has been limited to function as a noun, like… Pilates, or Zumba, so one can say: “I am doing yoga,” or “I am going to yoga class.”

When I studied yoga in India, in the paramparai (lineage) of Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj, I learned that “yoga is a way of life.” Indeed. It is not only a form of exercise that I “do” twice a week. It can be that, but that is not IT.

Yoga is also a verb, a movement, the act of becoming, falling and rising, undoing and doing, apparently not doing anything, and ultimately, evolving.

The Line

Tonight I asked myself this question: where is the line between my work and my life?

What is work? Why do we do it? How? What are our chances of getting work, doing work, sharing our work? If work is our profession, where is the line between the work we do and who we are, the persons we are becoming?

I am well aware that too many people are unemployed, or if they are employed, they are underpaid, or treated disrespectfully on the basis of gender, race, economic background, and more.

If we are lucky enough to have work, and if we are blessed enough to enjoy it, how do we use it? What is our relationship to it? Are we happy? Can we change anything if we are not happy? What would we like to change? Are we able to speak up?

Eventually, we may see that life is work and work is life.

 

Cambia todo cambia (o forse no)

L’amore non è sempre rose e fiori, musica meditativa o passionale di sottofondo. L’amore ci presenta momenti di dolore, tristezza, lutto, fatica, perdita di orientamento. L’amore è cambiamento perché si manifesta attraverso ciò che percepiamo e tutto, in natura e su questo piano d’esistenza, cambia e si trasforma.

Crescendo in un contesto culturale cattolico, ho imparato ad associare l’idea di Amore (Dio/Cristo) con l’idea di eternità (Paradiso). Anche negli insegnamenti dello yoga l’anima, Atman, è eterna. Tutto è divino e il divino permea la nostra esistenza terrena. Parlare delle mutazioni dell’amore, invece, non è così comune. Dal momento che entrano in gioco i sensi, la relatività delle percezioni, i colori delle lenti che ogni subcultura indossa, l’amore diventa elastico, cambia forma, ci sfugge dalle mani per poi travolgerci senza preavviso.

Trovo interessante poter accettare l’esistenza di queste due realtà, l’eterna e la soggettiva, senza che una prevalga sull’altra, ma anzi sperando che la consapevolezza di entrambe mi aiuti a rimanere viva.

Communication Hug (reprise) What if you don’t want to hug someone and they want to hug you?

To follow-up on my previous post, here another question:

What if we don’t want to communicate? What if we don’t want to hug those who want to hug us? Don’t. However, how are we to build a world of balance if we ignore what disturbs, offends, hurt, violate us? I don’t think we can. As compassionate leaders, we have a duty (to ourselves) to stay aware of all that is, especially the most disturbing.

So, how do we deal with this? I don’t know. I can’t come up with an answer that is valid for all, but for me, it’s about maintaining a sense of privacy within me, a place where I can be and where no-one will enter unless I decide to. It is a place of strength and self-worth that does not come from imposing myself on another and, at the same time, not allowing another to impose on me. Easier said than done, of course.

The girl at the end of this video – Mick Jenkins ft. BADBADNOTGOOD – “Drowning” (Official Music Video) – is a compassionate leader. Some powerful stuff.

The Communication Hug

health-benefits-of-hugging1
(Picture downloaded from: http://weheartit.com/)

We all know how important it is to express ourselves. It is a basic need for our lives to thrive. Communication requires that we find a way to manifest our creative expressions in order to share them. Do you recognize a similarity between the sounds in the words “communication” and “commune,” “communion,” and “common”? What do they sound like? A strong C sound is born through the coming together of the vocal chords, it takes flight into an O, and concentrates its power in a deep, prolonged MM. Taste it with your own body. Try it now. How does it feel to pronounce it? To me, it’s like a sonic hug. It is a combination of the individual effort to express myself (C), the strength to sustain my message (O) and the desire, and pleasure, to share with others (MM). Others, of course, means the rest of creation and not simply people. Between humans, a hug is a delicate exchange, even when it’s passionate and strong. It is very clear if one person is leading the hug. So it is with communication. We need to learn how to feel and listen while we share, and not be “over-givers.”

When we feel we are not able to communicate, we can ask ourselves some of these questions:

Are we making an effort to express ourselves? Are we willing to go through the pains of birthing an idea, a project, a new path?

Are we strong enough to sustain our message? To manifest it? Do we believe our message is worth an audience? Do we believe we are worthy of being messengers?

Do we care to share? Sharing is not only spitting stuff out, producing, making, doing. It’s about a deep listening process in which as I share I am also receiving. It’s a two-way process or, even better, a dance.

P.S.= If you need to know why hugging is important, check this article on the Huffington Post, and apply those same rules to healthy, compassionate communication.