“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brené Brown
I am inspired by what I call “little acts of brave.” They happen every. single. day. And…most go unnoticed by the general population.
“Little acts of brave” are ones like:
- Getting up in the morning after a tough night
- Speaking up in class for the first time even though your heart is pounding in your chest
- Going out for a run and then walking because that’s what your body needs
- Being there for a friend who is going through a difficult time in their lives
- Trying a new dish at a restaurant
- Showing up to a yoga class when you’ve never been before
These “little acts of brave” make you a remarkable soul in this world. You might not identify with the ones I listed above, but you DO have these little acts occurring every day in your life.
I encourage you to take a moment to recognize what your “little acts of brave” are each and every day. Write them down, share them with a loved one, say them out loud to yourself. Do whatever it takes so that you know just how spectacular and precious you really are.
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Deep awakening here, readers.
Well, at least for me.
Sometimes…it’s okay to feel…well…lost.
I’ve always been the one to have it together. I’m the planner, the organizer, the “natural-born leader.” I’m the oldest child, the manager, the business owner.
And…in the midst of having it all together, somewhere along the way…I began to feel a little lost.
And, that is okay.
I used to resist getting lost. As a kid (and you can ask my parents on this one), if I was in the backseat and I heard one of my parents mumble something along the lines of “Did we take the wrong exit?” I would immediately begin a white-knuckle freakout session. I liked knowing that we knew where we were going. I didn’t appreciate that even in the midst of knowing our destination, we might get lost along the way.
Now that I’m 36, I am finding that getting lost is exactly what the soul needs from time to time. That getting lost is therapy for the schedule-driven, goal-oriented soul.
So, when you are feeling lost or when you’ve taken what you might perceive as a wrong turn in the road of life, here are some things to meditate on that have helped me navigate the “path of the unknown outcome…”
- Reach out. Reach out to friends and family. Even if you are lost, it doesn’t mean you need to be alone.
- Re-draw the map. Drawing is fun. Re-drawing your own map can be even more fun.
- Slow down. When we get lost, it doesn’t mean we should speed up. If anything, it most likely means we need to take our time to figure out the next step.
- Explore. Being lost means it’s time to explore. It’s time to try new approaches and ways of doing things so we become more comfortable with venturing outside our boundaries.
- Enjoy the process. That is so much easier said than done and I am hyper-aware of that. But, really…we can all afford a little more fun in our lives, especially when wandering in the lost.
- Seek inspiration. Getting lost means we can look to others for inspiration. Examine art, listen to music, get outside, try a new dish…whatever inspires you…do it!
Whatever your journey, know that getting lost is all part of the process. Wrap yourself up in the lost, and know that it’s okay!
Light and peace,
One of my favourite ways to meditate involves a candle. I find it helps to centre my mind – which can tend to wander off in many directions during some meditation sessions! Many of you may be familiar with this technique, but if not, here are some tips to get you started!
1. Prepare the space by ensuring it is dark enough that you won’t be distracted by other light sources. This may involve turning off other lights in your meditation space or drawing the blinds. You can also prepare the space by ensuring you have a comfortable place to sit and that any unnecessary background noises are kept to a minimum.
2. Light a candle and place it at or just below eye level. You don’t want to be looking down on the flame as this can cause neck and upper back strain.
3. Begin your meditation by taking a moment to settle into your comfortable seat and set an intention for your meditation practice.
4. Look into the flame and allow your mind to focus. Slowly breathe in and out, even giving a count to your inhales and exhales. Note that your eyes may water a little and that is okay! It just takes some practice. Over time, you may notice that you see only the flame and all other things in the room disappear.
5. You can use visualization techniques to imagine breathing in the light and warmth of this flame and then sending it out into the world. You can send that light and warmth to others in your life incorporating some elements of the Metta meditation practice as well.
6. When you have completed your meditation, take a few minutes to allow your eyes to rest by closing your eyes and sitting in stillness.
This powerful meditation practice, when done regularly, can be a wonderful addition to your overall practice of yoga!
Do you practice the candle meditation? If so, any thoughts, tips or tricks you would add here?
Peace to all.
Picture sourced here.
It is hard to summarize all the learning I did in one month into a blog post…so, I’m not going to put pressure on myself to do that! I am going to share some takeaways that I brought back with me from my time on and off the mat in Ubud while I assisted on a 200-hour yoga teacher training course offered by the School of Sacred Arts (the same school I received my 200-hour yoga certification from).
Morning Meditation is my Medicine. Every morning, I would rise at 4:45 AM and make my way to The Yoga Barn’s Lotus Studio no later than 5:45 AM. There is something magical about waking up that early, hearing the sounds of the island, seeing the stars still twinkling outside and settling into a meditation practice as the sun began its slow climb into the sky. Meditation has a variety of benefits I am sure we are all familiar with at this point, but I found that these morning meditations provided me with a sense of peace, purpose, and intention for the remainder of my day. I also started to become okay with the fact that my meditation is more of my yoga practice these days…more so than a super-challenging, sweaty, twisty, bendy asana class.
Little acts of kindness can make all the difference. It was awesome being able to assist a number of teachers and twenty-eight students over the past month. What was even better was witnessing the little acts of kindness occurring between everyone on a daily basis. From someone bringing another person a tea when they weren’t feeling well to a hug that was offered to me by a student at the end of a long week, these little acts brightened up our days. I saw them happening all over the place…these little moments of care between human beings makes the world a better place.
Slowing down is so important! I wrote a little post on this the other day, but it was one of my best takeaways. It is very easy for all of us to get caught up in the GO! GO! GO! of our everyday lives. What should be just as easy, and, for some reason isn’t, is the ability to slow down and take stock of what is occurring in the moment. By reminding myself to intentionally slow down, I am able to enjoy the moment and realize that not everything is as urgent as I make it out to be.
Support is necessary. This trip would not have happened if I didn’t have the support from a lot of people in my life! While I used to believe it was me against the world and that I needed to do everything on my own and not be dependent on anyone else, I realize how important having your own personal “team” beside you can make all the difference. From little words of encouragement to actual, physical assistance on tasks, the people in our lives want to help, want to know they are needed, and want to know they are impacting your life in a positive way. I have so many people to thank for making the past month happen!
What are some lessons you are learning though your practice both on and off the mat?