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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Best Light

The best light

Would you like to have less stress in your life? Then quit creating so much.

Instead of jumping at the chance to be offended, choose to be amused. Rather than filling your thoughts with resentment, fill your heart with forgiveness.

If someone is rude to you, let it be that person’s problem and not yours. Quickly move beyond each disappointment, while savoring and extending and sharing each joy.

The world in general is what it is. Yet your life in particular, and your experience of it, is the way you choose to make it.

When you encounter difficult, frustrating situations, choose to respond with patience and understanding. When things don’t go your way, see it not as a disappointment but rather as an opportunity to make positive improvements.

Take each occurrence in stride, confidently knowing that you can make the best of it. Life is good when you see it as good, so decide to always see it in the best light you can imagine.

— Ralph Marston

Monday, 20 August 2012


I've had a few challenges as of late that have left me rather confused and, well, a little soured at first . I sat, grumpy, teary and melancholy the other the throws of a full blown pity-party when the familiar whistle of my text message sing-songed into the room. It was an unexpected lil shout-out from a warm friend that simply said: 
"You're awesome"
Out of the blue.
Just two words - You're awesome.
And those two little words cut razor sharp into my dark little space like a laser beam illuminating the whole block.
My eyes dried up a little bit and the fog in my brain slowly started to clear. Suddenly, somehow, there was some clarity beginning to emerge.

 The first of my recent challenges had to do with my work, the work that I love. Work that gives me so much joy, so many rewards. Work that I've poured so much of my life, my passion and my energy into. I was recently in a situation, that many can identify with I'm sure, where I was undervalued, under paid and frankly a little disrespected. I realized this when the twenty-something year old manager/owner of this establishment told me that "Yoga Teachers are easy to find. It's really not that big of a deal. It's simple because they're everywhere now."  And "Nobody really cares who teaches the class. They just want to work out." 
Huh. Interesting. 

While that may be true I pondered the more than 2000 hours in certifications I've acquired and the last 12 years of experience I've spent teaching throughout Canada, training Yoga Teachers and hosting international retreats. And I wondered in this world of "corporate" franchised cookie-cutter yoga studios, (many run by young people with very little life experience not to mention actual experience teaching and living yoga) what the future of this gloriously healing practice is destined for. The philosophy really does seem to be - train as many teachers as possible, as quickly as possible, pack as many people as possible into the studio, turn the heat as high as possible and make as much money as possible as quickly as possible. I realized the 45-60 minutes I've spent, multiple times a week for over a year; driving to this establishment, the effort I was making to really connect personally with the clients there, and the promise I was given of "growing with the company" were really nothing more than blahblahblahblah lip service. None of which really mattered at all. I realized my talents and experience were absolutely not honored as the people I worked for simply were not honorable. They were more concerned about themselves, their own titles and appearances than the actual job of a Yogi - which is to Unite, Transform and Uplift. Not just themselves, but their community, their sangha and their fellow teachers and torch bearers; many who are trying to live the teachings in a materialistic world that puts more importance on the car you drive than the state of your mind and heart.

When I left that job I felt relieved. Somehow lightened. Sure - I walked away from some financial compensation, but I knew in my heart, my soul actually, that I was so much better suited elsewhere. Where? I'm not quite certain yet. But I know that when you stay in a situation that drains and disrespects you the ultimate end result will not be favorable. And why do we do that?! The only answer is that we haven't embraced our own awesomeness. Did I spend years and years studying yoga, travelling the world to practice with the best teachers, and decades spent studying, cleansing and facing my own demons during training - to simply ....settle?! Settle for people who would rather fill their yoga studios with whomever walks through the door yielding their "certificate" than those who truly teach, purely and unabashedly, for the connection they experience with the Divine and the immense responsibility and satisfaction they hold of really practicing what one preaches in a yoga class. No. The answer is no. I will not settle for that.

The second of my un-savoury experiences as of late has to do with something even more personal. A close friend whom I've grown to deeply respect and care for. A friend whom I was lucky enough to re connect with after 10 years of not seeing them. This person and I have grown quite close this year. And recently I came to realize this person has some issues with Truth. Specifically, this lovely person whom I've grown to trust and whom I have let fully into my life, and home, actually turned out to be a complete liar. A pathological story teller of the first degree. At first it was quirky and a little endearing. Then I realized these stories involved so much more than I was able to handle comfortably. Drug use, lies involving family, former partners, finances. Intricate stories of deceit. Some silly little deceits that were more funny than harmful. Then more elaborate stories, and behaviors that I just couldn't overlook.
When this became apparent I wondered - is it ME?! How could I have contributed to this? How can I fix it? How can I help? What can i DO!??! 

And then it hit me! Am I also willing to settle for this?? Is this what I want in my life?  I am NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW OTHERS ACT, THINK, OR BEHAVE. This is a big lesson to learn. And one that seems to repeat itself often. Because I'm wired to "help", always, I tend to get confused. I want to help people. Assist in whatever way I can. Because I see their potential for greatness. But I'm learning, as I seem to have attracted yet another of these lost souls, that my job is actually to embrace my own awesomeness - not work tirelessly at trying to show other's theirs. If everything we attract into our lives is truly a reflection, of  our innermost blueprints and our deepest beliefs, than the message is clear....

Accept Your Own Awesomeness. 
Love, honour and cherish yourself.
Become the person you wish to attract.
The rest - is really up to everyone else. 

Occasionally, we may come across true kindred spirits. True friends who complement us, complete us and would do anything to nurture and protect the sacred connection of our friendship. There's not many that I've found. But I know a few. I'm lucky that way. The rest - well, it really is up to everyone else. People make their own decisions, their own choices. And at the end of the day - that is completely 100% up to them.

Only when we accept that it is not our fault or responsibility what others choose to do or how they behave, will anything ever start to flow in the direction that will truly satisfy us. We can't declare what we want in our life while we act in exactly the opposite way. It simply won't work. It's like trying to put a square peg into a triangular hole. Ridiculous.