Are you a let me lay down on the floor so you can walk all over me door mat kinda person? Are you I will do whatever it takes to avoid confrontation kinda person? Are you a please someone help me because I can’t do this on my own kinda person? Are you a sweaty palms no you choose where we are going for dinner because I don’t want that kind of responsibility kinda person?
“Life creates suffering in order to help us grow spiritually.” ~David Frawley
Are you a stuff it down so far so I never have to deal with it kinda person? Are you a I’ll take it out on everyone and everything around me so I don’t have to deal with it kinda person? Are you a I’ll eat 14 bags of mega stuff Oreos and wash it down with 5 gallons of Half Baked Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream so I don’t have to deal with it kinda person? Are you a I’ll just become whatever it is I’m trying to avoid so I don’t have to deal with it kinda person?
Today you are a senior.
With each passing year, my heart seems to skip an extra beat as I am asked to let go a little bit more. I long to read to you from the tattered, worn out, and deeply loved Pokeman Handbook. The one missing its front cover, the one tucked safely away in your box of childhood treasures, the one you learned to read from. You always knew when I tried to skip a page or two. You were always so patient with me as you guided me back to the proper page to read about Pikachu or Charizard or Exeggcute.
Do you start things without finishing them? Do you get sucked into the latest television series or exercise fad? Do you find yourself constantly signing up for the latest ecourse? Do you surf Facebook or Twitter once a day, twice a day, ten times a day, ten times a minute? Do you allow for moments of stillness or is your schedule consistently filled? Do you read the next best selling self-help book and then the next and the next?
There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying the latest television series, surfing Facebook, or reading self-help books. The challenge occurs when we consistently search outside ourselves for peace, happiness, and “the” answers.
We perpetuate the cycle of suffering when we think someone or something else has the answer, that somehow we are lacking.
Many of us have been conditioned to think that anything less than perfection is unacceptable. We focus on what is missing or wrong. Over time, we forget that we can do anything beautiful or right. It becomes a vicious cycle that we perpetuate. This cycle undermines the trust we have in ourselves. This cycle encourages us to to seek help outside ourselves. This cycle makes us afraid to try for fear of failing. We believe the failure would validate our imperfection, our worth-less-ness.
Yoga teaches us a method for overcoming shiny object syndrome. The fifth limb in Pantanjali’s Eight Fold Path is Pratyahara, withdrawal of our senses. We gather information about the world around us through our senses. Often, they carry us from the next best thing to the next best thing, keeping us distracted. We remain entrenched in the dance of seeking outward for peace and happiness.
By tuning our senses inward, we begin to catch a glimpse of that place of stillness, of purity within.
Withdrawing the senses, mind, and consciousness form contact with external objects, and then drawing them inwards towards the seer, is pratyahara. ~The Yoga Sutras II:54; Pratyahara results in the absolute control of the sense organs. ~The Yoga Sutras II:55
Pratyahara sets the foundation for turning our awareness inward. By withdrawing from the external environment we begin to open the door to our internal wisdom. When we learn to cut off from our impulses and need for instant gratification, we witness that place of authenticity, beauty, and sacredness within.
Three tools to exercise your pratyahara muscles:
24 waiting period
Whenever I am going to make a larger purchase, I make myself wait 24 hours. This gives me time to explore my thoughts, to ask myself: Do I really need this purchase? What is my intention with this purchase? What do I think I will gain with this purchase that I don’t already have now, in this moment? Sometimes it is a legitimate purchase. Often times, however, I have gotten sucked into the latest e-course promising me eternal happiness and money flow but I have to act now or I am going to lose out… I have saved hundreds of dollars by waiting and pulling back, listening to my intuition instead of my impulses.
30 minutes of daily quiet time
I have just offended a few of you because I don’t know how busy you are. You don’t have 30 minutes in your day to do “nothing.” We have to shift our perspective. It isn’t doing “nothing.” It is learning how to unplug. It is learning how to quiet the fluctuations of the mind. It is learning how to return to that place within each of us that is perfect, whole, and complete. It is learning how to access the wisdom that each of us carries in our heart. Start out with 5 minutes if that is all you have. Slowly, over time, make your way to 10 minutes…
Sama Vritti w/Kumbhaka (Breath Retention) Pranayama
Bringing our awareness to a single point of concentration helps to withdraw our senses. In this technique, we learn to quiet the mind by focusing on the breath.
- Come to a comfortable seated position
- Begin to lengthen your breath, three times the length of a normal breath. Explore 5 breaths
- Hold your breath for a count of 2-5 after inhalation only, none after exhalation. If it feels comfortable, over the next few breaths, increase the duration of retention after inhalation; Three parts of the breath become equal ~inhalation, retention and exhalation
- Begin to introduce retention after exhalation. Hold your breath for a count of 2-5 after exhalation and inhalation. If it feels comfortable, over the next few breaths, increase the duration of retention after exhalation; Four parts of the breath become equal~ inhalation, retention, exhalation and retention
- You can increase breath ratio up to 10 per part
- Return to breath, three times the length of a normal breath for 5 breaths
- Return to natural breathing
Did you find one of these techniques particularly helpful in overcoming shiny object syndrome? Do you have a different technique that you use to stay focused and on track in your daily life?
Gilbert Yoga Teacher Training 200 hrs w/Carrie Hensley & Ingrid Ortega
Summer Intensive Session July 20th-August 4th, 2013
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I apologize for not posting yesterday but… I do have a good reason…
I was waiting for a few more photos so I could share the AMAZING news. My heart is singing. I will be reconnecting with one of my sweet soul sisters, Ingrid. We are coming together to offer a two week Yoga Teacher Training 200 hrs through Gilbert Yoga.
This beautiful experience will be shared in a gorgeous cabin in Pinedale, Arizona. (15 minutes Northwest of Show Low). The owners have put their heart and soul into this sacred space and it shows. Due to the intimate nature of this experience, space is limited to 10 students. As if two weeks submerged in yoga and nature wasn’t enough, Patty Van Herpen will be sharing her exquisite talents and love in the kitchen.
Yoga Teacher Training is the ultimate opportunity for personal growth. In my own personal experience, with each training I was able to brush up against limiting thought patterns, challenge my fears and insecurities, and peel back the layers that prevented me from connecting to my inner most authentic Self.
To learn more about the two week summer session program, including expectations, program details, and pricing, click here.