Meditation Monday #59 – Give and Take

How do you balance give and take in your life?

I have been doing a lot of meditation on self-love lately and realizing that some of that talk is very one sided. It asks you to give to yourself and not so much to others. But it doesn’t focus on allowing yourself to take from others so much.

I was reading on The Wellness Inventory today in the self-love study center and came across the Statement Commentary called It is OK for me to be out-of-balance, vulnerable, or in need.

I have used this one in the past to write this post: Wellness Wednesday #2 – I Am A Glorious Series of Contradictions

I Am A Glorious Series of Contradictions

For me, Self Love and Responsibility have been about knowing that it’s okay to be out of balance from time to time; to share that experience with others being vulnerable and in need. It’s been about increasing that interdependence and asking for help from time to time. It’s about accepting life without expectation of outcome and accepting the outcome of my decisions when they reveal themselves. It’s about learning that giving only to others doesn’t fulfill all that I need, but it does complete me.

I am making more time for self-care as I and my children get older. I do it through physical activity, meditation, getting more sleep, journaling, making time to read more, and trying to make sure the world I surround myself with fits my model of self love. I am trying to learn more about how to be accountable and accepting of my choices as well as how to learn from the ones that didn’t serve me. I am growing more assertive and responsible for my ultimate outcome in life. And I’m trying to be more kind to myself by letting go of some outcomes.

 

Today I also saw this quote on a blog that I follow:

Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving 
to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief 
that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, 
we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, 
judgement, and shame. It’s a shield.
~Brené Brown
I am having the kind of day in which I wish I were supported by others. I wish that my self-love was more like others loving me and holding me up. I need to feel loved for who I am today by more than just myself. I am facing difficult challenges and today, the give and take doesn’t feel like I have received enough. Today I want to take. Today I want to take someone’s hand/shoulder/support and lean in to it. I want to feel held and seen and like it’s okay to be me and that I don’t have to do life alone.
I am strong most days, today is just not one of those day.

Can you ask for love when you need it?

 

Meditation Monday #58 – Fresh Start

Do you know what I love about Mondays? Everything. It’s a new start of the week, it’s a fresh page in my planner, it’s back to things as usual.

Today I woke up late because I had left my phone upstairs, not plugged in, and I never heard my alarm. I missed doing yoga and mediation before others got up. I slept in 2 extra hours!

Most people would be going crazy if this happened to them. Not me, it’s Monday. Whenever I start my Monday it’s a fresh start…..

So far today I have caught up on housecleaning, finished my planned work for the day, and it’s only 2:15pm. Two hours were not lost, they were just used for something else.

Monday is a chance to restart your outlook on everything. Forget the first of the month or the first of the year or the first day of school/work……let’s try starting fresh on Mondays.

When do you wipe your slate clean?

Meditation Monday #56 – How to Meditate – Body Position

I’ve been going strong on meditation now for the past couple of weeks. I am using the Insight Timer app (and no, I’m not sponsored by them….I don’t even have a paid account) and have now worked my way fully through the Self-Esteem section for Beginners. But, when I meditate, I break the rules a little……
Continue reading “Meditation Monday #56 – How to Meditate – Body Position”

Meditation Monday #56 – Finding Symmetry Before Depth

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my own Meditation Monday post…..it’s been almost as long since I really dedicated time to my own meditation. Lately I’ve been using small meditation sessions on YouTube in the early morning hours when I actually get up at 6am and do some yoga. It’s helping.

Last week I was doing some yoga (not in the morning) and Erin Motz said to

go for symmetry before depth; the depth will come naturally

Although she was talking about pigeon pose; this really made me think about life in general and how we all need balance. That all of the great and wonderful experiences in life only come when you have balance. Maybe it’s me being a Libra and loving balance and justice, but I truly feel that all of life needs BALANCE before everything else.

I wonder if this is a hint about last week’s Wellness Wednesday question….where to start?

Meditation Monday #55 – Valuable Reprogramming

I decided to go back to reading Gates today. It’s been on my “to do list” for quite some time, but always seems to be pushed to the side for other Monday activities. Today I did the Day 90 reading about Svadhyaya and asked myself the question:

What are my own limiting beliefs?

My husband is always saying that I have a problem with “men”. I don’t believe it to be true. I work with male students, colleagues, have two sons, and used to be almost exclusively friends with “men”. I see most “men” not as “men”, but as people just as I see “women” as people. It’s only upon interacting with people do I then make judgements about who/how they are.

How very anti-yoga of me to make judgements?! But, also, how completely yoga of me to admit that, to be truthful, honest, and self-aware.

I have written a few posts about judgement (prejudice) and self-study (svadhyaya). I think that learning where we fall short is important for growth in our lives. However, Gates mentions the way that we’re programmed to think based on what we’re told by tv, newspaper, or (now) social media. He writes:

The world is not safe, you are not safe, you need X-Y-or-Z to be safe. Your life is not enough, you are not enough, you need X-Y-or-Z to be enough. p.120

In the past few years we’ve been bombarded with ways in which people (mostly men and some women) are acting in ways that we (as a society) no longer feel comfortable with. I have always stood by these values that people should be treated equally and with kindness and compassion. I don’t always succeed at this, but I keep trying.

Last week a woman came up to me in a parking lot at the beach. She told me that she was homeless and asked if I could help her out because she hadn’t eaten all day. I told her, honestly that I didn’t have any cash. She asked if I would go to McDonald’s across the street and buy her a burger. I told her no, that I couldn’t do that either. This too was the truth. I had my children with me, we were out of time on our parking meter and they were tired and wet from having been at the beach. We had somewhere else to be soon. And my summer money is tightly budgeted as I don’t often work over the summer. But ….those are all justifications. Part of the truth was that I had watched several news reports in our area about people who were pretending to be homeless! People who went on camera (with their faces blurred and their voices altered) and admitted that they sat on a corner for a few hours each day to make money instead of going to a job. They also went to food pantries and other handouts and were letting others pay for their rent and food and utility expenses by pretending to be homeless. So, my instinct in this situation was not to give her the money.

This all made me wonder:

How much of the media influence makes me weary of being open, trusting, and sharing with people?

How much of our culture is making me seem like I have a problem with men when I speak up for equality?

How are my judgements limiting me and am I in need of some valuable reprogramming?

Meditation Monday #54 – A Prayer for Jeannie

I’ve been heavy in the heart of late. A good friend of mine and neighbor has been battling Stage 4 Lung Cancer for over a year now. She is currently in the hospital and they don’t know what made her sick enough to enter the hospital, how to fix it, and if she’ll make it home ever again.

My usual nature and pulling on my Yoga teachings tells me to be accepting of life and the challenges that come with it. My normal instinct when someone of Jeannie’s age ends up facing the eternal is that we look at the wonderful life she’s had and empathetically look for a way to see this as a blessing to end the pain. However, just a week before she entered the hospital we were chatting in her living room and she was making plans for a trip. She has been battling fatigue and some pain, but perhaps more than she’s let on. Now, three weeks later, when I saw her in the hospital the other day she said she has accepted that she may die soon. My heart broke and I told her not to lose hope and to believe that miracles can still happen.

My heart strings pulled and I reminder her of a beautiful story she told me of her own mother. Jeannie’s mother had gone in for a flu shot and slumped over in the waiting room. She ended up in the hospital in a coma and on life support. After 90 days Jeannie was asked to take her mother off of life support. She asked the doctor’s for one more day to make arrangements and say good-bye. The next day she came in and her mother opened her eyes and pulled out her trach tube and went on to live for 2.5 good years. I am usually a realist, but I also believe in miracles. I believe that people are watching over me and all of us. This surrender to some bigger connection to the universe around me is part of the yoga practices of Isvara-pranidhana.

I want to believe that Jeannie will pull through and have a few more great years left. I want to know that this person I care about and love in my life will not leave us in this way. I am unready to face the fact that for the first time my children may lose someone who they are close to. They have been sheltered from that kind of loss thus far. And so, I turn again to yoga for guidance, hope, and healing.

One of my favorite yogis is Deva Premal and she shared this mantra on her Facebook page last April:

Om Shree Dhanvantre Namaha (Healing)

Salutations to the being and power of the Celestial Healer.

This mantra helps us find the right path to healing, or directs us to the right health practitioner. In India it is also commonly chanted during cooking in order for the food to be charged with healing vibrations – either to prevent disease or assist in healing for those who are sick.

This mantra can be chanted for any situation that one would like to be healed or remedied. Good to remember and be open to the path of healing not necessarily looking the way we expect it! Dhanvantari is the celestial healer/physician – the patron saint of Ayurveda.

Jeannie needs healing from some divine power and I need to remember to be open to the path of healing my heart in whatever may come. So, today in my mediation practice, I will be using this mantra for her and for me. I will chant it out loud so that the reverberations of my words may travel to her and out into the universe for her. I will say it in my heart and my head so that I too can feel healed. This is my way of praying and may it connect us both in this world and all others to come.

Namaste.

 

Meditation Monday #53 – My Own Kind of Beautiful

Let me first start by telling you that last night did NOT go as planned. My flight out of Augusta never happened and I had to be shuttled up to Charlotte to catch the late flight. Such is travel….

Second, I am completely voiceless today. This is what lecturing with an allergy situation will get you. And finally, let me note that it’s been more than a year since I last posted an official Meditation Monday post…..when I completed my 108 Sun Salutations! Life was much different for me then and that brings me to….

Affirmations, aka the topic of today’s Meditation Monday post. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #53 – My Own Kind of Beautiful”

Meditation Monday #52 – My 108 Sun Salutations

Welcome to March!

I’ve been sitting on this post for awhile now….unsure of what all to write and which day to post it under. I’ve got a lot to write about this week and so I thought I’d start here with some yoga. Last fall I started building up to performing 108 consecutive Sun Salutations. Don’t know what a Sun Salutation is? Check out my post about how I do mine here. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #52 – My 108 Sun Salutations”

Meditation Monday #51 – Impromptu Meditations

Last Thursday my youngest didn’t want to go to school….it’s preschool and to some people that doesn’t “really” matter. However, I have to go to work on the days that he goes to school. I specifically scheduled work while he was in school so that I don’t have to have childcare any more. I also pay for his preschool and it’s not cheap. At preschool he’s learning A LOT of important lessons and by making him go to school (even when he doesn’t want to), I’m trying to teach him another lesson: sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do.

On Thursdays I usually workout after I am done teaching. Sun salutations or swimming are the norm, but this Thursday I had another matter to deal with: parking ticket. I went to the parking office and appealed my ticket. I won. It was a good day. This left me some extra time before the little guy was done with school. Because he hadn’t wanted to go in the first place I had promised I would pick him up early. Once I arrived at his school I thought about the importance of two things: keeping my promise and his need to be in school the full time. I opted to pick him up only slightly early (I’m usually one of the last parents to arrive for pick-up) to meet both.

So, I took a seat on the bench outside the school. It was a nice day and no one was around. I sat in Sukhasana (easy pose), closed my eyes, turned my face up to the sun, and started an impromptu meditation. I haven’t spent enough time meditating lately. I’ve done a lot of journal writing, which has been good for my soul, but is not the same thing as meditating. I decided that day that I needed to just listen to the world around me and within me.

In general I recommend that you have a focus for meditation before beginning. However, I know the need for impromptu meditation is strong; especially in the world we live in today. So, I encourage you to take the time today to be in the moment. Give yourself the present of impromptu meditation…..maybe even this minute. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and listen. Listen to the sounds around you (or lack there of) and be aware of your present surroundings. Listen to the voices in your head (don’t think about them, but hear them passing through). Listen to your body and all the things you ignore that are both good and bad. And, if like me, allow yourself to smile or cry or both.

Life is tough for me these days….hence the reason I stepped away from the blog mostly. However, life is also life and being alive is good. Impromptu meditation reminded me that warm sun, the sound of garbage trucks/traffic flowing by, and the ability to breathe freely are all great things in life because it’s life itself.

Happy Monday! You’re alive!

Please feel free to share your impromptu meditation moments or any other thoughts in the comments section below.