Unapologetically Present – 7.2 @ Bellingham… in bed.

I wanted to be a meteorologist for quite a portion of my childhood life until I learned that they did not get to pick the weather.

Though I expected there had to be some ratio of rainy days to sunny days, that I was going to have to pick “freezing” one day just because, I was particularly inspired by the idea of picking out the perfect weather for perfect moods… celebrations… events.

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As I wake up here on grey day #3, I feel a tinge of relief that people have not traveled all the way up here to have a several days without the Washington sunshine.

I could imagine myself apologizing and feeling responsible for the weather. I could hear my friends who lived up here at some point in their life reassure me with their, “girl – we knew what the likelihood was – it’s fine! It’s gorgeous.”

Golden hour would be no guarantee for our beer garden concert. Our morning coffee ceremony really would have required folks be as comfortable as I hoped they would come. Blankets of mix a matched colors. Hats if you need them. Your favorite jacket over a festive shirt. The irony of having over thought your outfit to be covered in a $8 Walgreens poncho. You know, that sort of thing.

***

Personally, I am not unhappy about the grey. I find the bright grey sky makes the ferns beyond vivid, I feel them breathing. The fog over evergreen silhouettes gets me every time and I love a good grey day walk in the woods.

Brown, green and grey are power colors. Sacred.

As I continue to process the theme of control that I started sharing on this blog last night, I feel the need for growth especially now. Whatever kind of experience I am in, I feel my growth calling me to allow the story to unfold exactly as the weather reveals: to be prepared for but not bound by things like overcast, timing or moods.

You know, things of the greater connected world of experience completely beyond my control.

Sometimes the trait of a maximizer can create a mindset of management instead of a mindset of navigation. Prediction takes precedence over opportunism. Maybe even causing grief where and when you could be experiencing something new.

I think realizing what you are trying to control and make perfect is a phenomenon in and of itself: it combines your senses (wow, I feel anxiety) + requires your observation (here are the things at play) + your reflection (why?).

For ever and for always, this brings yoga forward: balancing the effort and the ease. When that edge of control is sharp, I feel it – and I back off. I relax. I think of what is reasonable. I trust the fact I feel anxious means I value something. I find the balanced – open – flexible way to value that same thing but without controlling.

I more easily come to middle ground.

And ….

I feel a lot less pressure than when I thought I was God.

This One Night in California.

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Last week, I left my little annex apartment in a South Californian valley town at dusk with a blanket and a hoodie, a flashlight and my iPhone. I hiked to a clearing in front of the garden and spread out to watch the end of the sunset.

I had gone inside to prepare some dinner right when it started, but the amber behind the dark scale of the hillside would not leave my mind and I had to go see it some more.

The moon!

Of course I was nudged and so convinced to go back out! Somewhere in me knew I didn’t want me to miss the moon.

(I feel I could paint this sunset into a picture because of how it felt.

I have never been a painter… this is new.)

Then, I noticed a star. And then another star. And then another star.

Star. Star.

Star. Star. Star.

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And I didn’t leave. Hungry as I was, I laid there watching every star come out as the sun made it’s final tuck low past the horizon, dunked behind the ocean that was on the other side of my sight.

Never in my life have I watched all the stars come out. Every time I thought of my dinner, I still stayed. So patiently.

I was mesmerized – absolutely mesmerized and entertained.

And still. I was STILL.

Some constellations I knew, but I had this deep sense of desire that my mind would just open and I could understand the stars, see all the patterns, know the stories. A language I knew in my bones but wanted words. I felt this sensation rise to the top of my brain. But I didn’t pull out a constellation map, I didn’t Google anything. I just looked and was open, calm.

Needless to say, I slept well that night.

The process of staying still when your mind thinks of the next things to do is a very important part of yoga; a very important part of life. Guiding the self in a manner which is still – not busy – I have found offers deeper release of tension in the physical body.

Now that I am back home, I am committed to maintaining this posture of freedom and calm.  By finding something to engage me that requires me to do nothing but sit and look. I think it is easy to want to develop thought in these moments. To think you can understand something about yourself in these moments. Or receive revelation. Truly, I think it is likely that you can make connections and evolve through a practice like this.

However, emptying the mind and clearing the thought – these are the things of value in stillness. This is an established theme in my life and that I am taking to all my practice – as a student and as a teacher.

Have a great holiday weekend :) Find something to stare at and settle into … erin

The Yamas. An introduction to yoga ethics with a spiritual twist of lime.

The most important part of this lesson is that you know I speak only from an equal place of experience. I’m 35, almost 36. I have kids. I have been married. I have had an emotional affair. I have experienced debt, grief, fear, pain. And I have experienced healing, freedom, peacefulness and truth. So…

I’d say it all balances out.

I say this idea of me speaking from this place of equanimity is important because it is important that you know when reading this that YOU are YOUR OWN TEACHER. You have a voice that guides. You have a voice that reasons. And you have a pretty vested interest in where YOU are going. So. Listen to that.

Allow me to simply – give you things to take in. And, do so with some sincerity. Which – from all that I can tell – you are here because you are, in fact, sincere.

The Yamas.

5 components of the first limb of yoga. (Of which there are 8. Yamas and Niyamas kicking it off, with focus on breath, movement / posture, then meditation … samadhi.)

Oh. Did I mention I am PUMPED to teach yoga philosophy?

The first Yama is Ahimsa.
Non Violence.
A place a bird can rest peacefully.
An equal feeling. A sense of compassion.
A deep sense of balance – even if, at times, you are rocky.
Ahimsa is what you sit and are when you sit and release.
Ahimsa creates peace. Ahimsa cares for the self. Ahimsa rests, receives, and has a strong sense of self.
Which — this strong sense of self —
allows healthy boundaries be set up,
not out of fear (for fear, it is believed, causes the imbalances which lead to violent outbursts, impatience, and hurtful words)
but out of love.

Bottom line: Pray love into your life on a consistent basis.

From there – you have the following.
Satya – truth – which is the best friend of love.
Asteya – the belief that you are able to take and so you should be aware and be mindful to “leave”. Leave places in peace, leave things in tact, leave things better than when you came, leave people their space, leave children their imaginations, leave every single person in the world their right to peace and love and happiness.
Bramacharya – what you practice when you hydrate, have sex that fuels instead of drains, keeping your private life private, honoring the lives of others in a way that does not, and refuses to, predict the worst. Subscribing to your own best ideas.
Lastly.
Aprigraha. Which.

I can simply translate into:
STOP DRIVING SO MUCH

Ok… time to close.