Fall – Feelings – Yoga

Why Do The British Say "Autumn" Instead of "Fall"? | The Fact Site

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant is change.” Autumn reminds us that our bodies, minds, and surroundings are always developing. It focuses on the impermanence of life, emphasizing how important it is to embrace the present. When we do, we can savor what we have before it is gone.  Fall is a time of transition—and transformation.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), however, Fall can also be a time associated with transformation, transition, sadness, and grief—and yoga can be an amazing way to cope with these varied emotions.  In TCM, this time of year correlates to the lung and large intestine channels, which run though the chest and arms and are associated with sadness and grief. These emotions represent our ability to balance taking in and letting go—as is represented in the lungs and large intestine.  The physiological functions of these organs aligns with their energetic function: the lungs govern respiration and the large Intestine governs elimination. Disharmony of both organ systems can present as upper respiratory symptoms (runny nose, cough, hoarse voice, etc.) and constipation. The contraction of energy can present with shallow breath and slow-moving elimination, and if any sadness and grief are not processed, they will continue to constrain qi, or energy—and the emotions will persist.   However, we can use this withdrawing of energy during Fall to our advantage by taking the opportunity to review what needs to be released in our lives. We can bring harmony back to the body by slowing down, giving room for reflection, and creating a state of ease with our relationship to change.  The course I just took through Janet Stone Yoga, called the Anatomy of Emotion, went into depth on how the body responds, ways we can nurture and heal, and use movement both Chi Gong and Yoga to help facilitate our understanding of the emotional body through the physical body.

As temperatures drop, leaves change color and fall.  Autumn illustrates the beauty of letting go. It doesn’t have to be considered morbid or morose. Instead, we can apply this concept to our inner egos and patterns of greed and pride. The idea of letting go also stresses the temporary nature of everything around us.  As nature and the seasons demonstrate, life is a series of cycles and changes. Through the example of trees, we see the introduction of yin energy as the energy begins to recede, bringing nourishment back within. The leaves change color at this contraction of energy in preparation for winter. The tree, no longer needing the leaves to bring nourishment, are released. The tree lets go.

Day and night are the same length during the autumnal equinox. As a result, ancient cultures have always associated this day with the concept of balance. The sun also enters Libra, which is symbolized by a pair of balanced scales. Autumn grants us a chance to harmonize with the Earth and tap into the balance within us.  Play with balance poses.

The autumn season offers us a chance to reconnect with ourselves as we preserve our safe havens or homes.  We tend to retreat indoors, we exercise self-protection by wearing layers and thicker fabrics. We also tend to focus on our health by boosting our immunity through habits and nutrition. Ultimately, autumn doubles as practice for heightened awareness of your self and surroundings.

Enjoy this time of reflecting, shedding that which no longer serves us, and allow time to retreat inward.  What grows from this time might just be glorious.

And maybe think about that Pumpkin Latte to go with that cute sweater.

 

What Brings You Down?

Feeling down? You're not alone

You know the song… “rainy days and Monday’s always get me down.”

Well I can’t really say that rainy days or Monday’s get me down but I can tell you that there are things that really do get me down.  I think all of us share that commonality.  They may not be the same issues or things, but the feelings associated with those people, places or events feel the same.

I don’t really want to go down the rabbit hole of sadness and negative thinking but just to share a few, here are some things that if I let them, can surely bring me down.  My relationship with my daughter is a big one.  The fact that my business is not where I think it should be right now can paralize me.  Covid and my inability to hug everyone I see or to go out to dinner makes me feel like a hamster in a cage.  Travel is off the table; that brings me down too.  I can go on and on but then I will end up in my bed with the covers pulled over my head and I don’t want to do that!

So, what brings you down?  And the bigger (and better) question, what do you do about it?

This is what separates the high performance people from the rest of us.  If we let the stinking thinking out play our affirmations we lose. So what can we do to put our feelings and emotions in their place?  Here are some ideas:

1- Acknowledge the sadness:  Its only then, that you allow yourself to begin to heal. Acknowledging the sadness has to happen to be able to let it go. It’s going to hurt and you’re going to feel like collapsing on the floor sometimes, and it’s okay. Do it and move on…

2- Fill the voids with meaningful things:  All of the situations that bring on sadness make us feel the same, empty, hollow. You need to start filling that hole so it can heal. Here is a list of things that might fill the void: service, meditation, uplifting hobbies, more time with your family, a break from your routine, music, touch like massage or reiki, add omega 3 fatty acids to your diet, eating well and getting plenty of sleep, watching the negative self talk and reversing it, journal.

3- Don’t feel guilty about being happy:  It’s OKAY to be happy! You don’t have to doom yourself into a life of suffering.  If you want to go there and feel sad, give yourself a certain amount of time and then stop.  Don’t let the feelings and emotions take over.

4- Forgive-  BIGGIE!  Forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing a toxic person back into your life or accepting a situation.  It means moving on.  Start somewhere, and move forward. And double check because sometimes, the person that needs to be forgiven, is yourself.

5- Write a letter: There is something very therapeutic about writing a letter to the person, place or thing causing you sadness. Whether it be a sickness, death, a loss, a break up, fear, disappointment, family problems… whatever it is, write it a letter. Put down every feeling you have about it.  Then burn it or put it in a box or drawer and remember that it is now out – you have placed it into the universe.  And it’s not yours alone to bare any more.

6- Keep Living: I know it’s hard to do but please, don’t rob yourself of your one precious life.  Keep living and recognize when you are limiting what you do based on your circumstances.  Please live! You have this gift of your life and this present moment.  Make the most of it because once it is gone you can’t get it back.

And remember to breathe.

I would love to hear from you.  It is good to know we are holding space for each other

Lea

Feed the Brain

The 50 great books on education

Do you like to read?  I do!  I love to hold a book in my hands, curl down the pages, write in the margins, highlight and underline and rewrite things that strike a cord with me.

Back in December of 2019, I chose my “word for the year” which came out of weeks of quiet time and meditation. The word for 2020 was wisdom (with some discernment thrown in) and just like every other year’s word, I knew I was in for a wild ride ahead.

So here are some of the amazing books I have read this year (and in past years) that you may like to check out.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I recommend this book to everyone who has dreams of living an adventure. Because life is an adventure. It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

I never understood how wealth worked. This book completely changed the way I think about money and creating wealth.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Whether you like people or not you have to learn how to become more influential to live a better life and build a meaningful business.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Without an effective morning routine, you are betting on your life instead of taking control of it and focusing on things that matter.

The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

The only way to build more wealth, do more and live more is to do ten times more than you are doing now. Simple principle bringing noticeable change to your life.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Humans are survivors. But only humans who have a purpose survive the longest. This book will make you stop complaining about the things that don’t matter.

The Bible 

Trust, discover, and grow in your faith

The Unteathered Soul by Michael Singer

Transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you.  Find inner peace and freedom.

Here are some more….

Rising Strong, Brene Brown

The Surrender Experiment, Michael Singer

The Charge, Brendon Burchard

You Are a Badass, Sincero

The Last Lecture, Rancy Pausch

Fervent, Priscilla Shirer

Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman

 

There are soooo many more but this is a start!  Happy Reading

 

 

 

 

57 Times Around the Sun

On Saturday I will turn 57.  I don’t feel 57…whatever that is actually supposed to feel like.  When I put my life on a timeline and see that I am closer to the end of being in this body than the beginning makes me, not only appreciate each day I get the privilege of waking up, but also reflect on what I have learned and who I have been up until today.

I believe life’s most powerful lessons can only be learned and understood through layers of pain, failure, humility and change. That is the gift time gives us.  Society tends to portray learning these life lessons as simple, beautiful epiphanies, pretty Pinterest quotes and happily-ever-after experiences.  Life does gift us happy moments but the life lessons are the ones that test us and put us in the fire so that we can be transformed and grow and change into, we can only hope, someone better, stronger, more badass and of service.

So after 57 trips around the sun here are some things I have learned along the way.  Maybe you can relate to them.  Maybe you are not quite there on your journey.  But wherever you are, know that we are one big human family sharing this human experience and if I can help you along the path please reach out your hand I you will get one back.

  1. Life is not fair and it was never meant to be.  No apologies for this one.
  2. Failure is the most effective path to success.  My mentor says, “fail forward.”  Why? Because that means you’re taking action and not staying still.
  3. Stop trying to make other people “feel” comfortable.  It will only cause you unnecessary pain.
  4. There IS a difference in true friends, good friends and friendliness.  Be wise. Not everyone is on your side.
  5. Sometimes you have to learn to love people from a distance.  And respect the boundaries of those who need to do the same of you.
  6. Regret is more painful than fear.
  7. You are right on time.
  8. Live on purpose.  There is NEVER “the right time” for anything.
  9. Endings are really new beginnings in disguise.
  10. Change is a given.  Surrender and it will set your free. Let the Universe do it’s thing!
  11. Distraction is a mindset caused by lack of purpose. It happens when we are out of alignment with our dreams, vision or purpose.  Pay attention.
  12. Don’t be a victim.  Own it all and make it better.
  13. Make a life, not a living.  Find the thing that PULLS you more than PUSHES you!
  14. It’s okay to disappear for awhile.  Go off the grid.  I recommend every 90 days at least for a weekend.
  15. Be grateful – ALWAYS… even in the hard times.
  16. Know your values and live them.  Write them down and look at them.
  17. Choose your thoughts.  Remember affirmations are powerful tools.
  18. Life’s most important lessons are the one’s you learn the hard way.
  19. Your worst breakdown can be your greatest breakthrough.
  20. It’s never too late, ever, for anything.
  21. There is power in turning your mess into a message.  Think of the people you could help!
  22. You can’t outrun your problems just like you can’t hide from change.
  23. Find your voice and celebrate it.
  24. Don’t judge yourself.  Human is human warts and all.
  25. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the prince. This is true for love and work.
  26. Practice gratitude.  List them in a journal at the end of each day.
  27. Knowledge, strength and talent only come AFTER doing the thing…
  28. Self care is not selfish.
  29. Learn something new every day.
  30. Create goals monthly – personal and professional.
  31. Read and read some more.  Challenge yourself to read a book a week.
  32. It’s okay to ask for help.  Burnout and bitterness are avoidable when you realize you are not alone.
  33. Write notes and letters to people you love and care about.  I don’t mean texts or emails either!  Pick up a pen and stationary.
  34. Block out time for the things that feed your soul.  Paint, sing, dance, take pictures….
  35. Be honest.
  36. Treat others with respect.
  37. Follow your dreams.
  38. Be a role model.
  39. Contribute to your community.
  40. SHOW UP!
  41. Learn from the masters – Read the Bible, Merton, Jung, Buddha, The Dalai Lama, The Bhagavad Gita, Frankl…
  42. Meditate.  I like to do this early in the morning and then at the end of the day.
  43. Savor everything.  Sharpen your senses so you are fully present in the moment.
  44. Exercise for your health.  Make it intentional and appropriate for your goals.  My exercise routine has changed and changed again!
  45. Lift as you climb.  Always have a mentor and then look back and bring someone else along.
  46. Remember what wise E. Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
  47. Visualize your best future self in three words – what would they be and live them. Mine are gratitude, love and matter.  I live my life in gratitude for everything not just the good because it’s the uncomfortable, the pain, the fire that is our teacher.  I live in love because that is what we are called to do.  The highest vibration is love, all love and that is where I want to live.  I choose to matter which means I make time for others.  You can’t matter in a vacuum.  It’s being of service and showing up for those you love and those that need you that makes life matter.
  48. Dogs are the best teachers.  If you don’t have one try and spend some time with one.  You will understand unconditional love.
  49. Eat dessert first.  If you take that literally that’s cool!
  50. Once a year write a letter to yourself.  Maybe your five year old self or your awkward thirteen year old self or even your seventy year old self.
  51. The only way to eat the elephant is one bite at a time.  So take it all one thing at a time.
  52. Know God and have a relationship with Him or whatever you conceive Him to be.
  53. Go to the doctor.  Have a physical.  It may safe your life.
  54. Write your manifesto.
  55. Moderation in all things is good.
  56. As my mom said, “garbage in, garbage out.”  What are you feeding yourself?  And I don’t mean just food.
  57. Say thank you!

Thank you for your visits, your presence, your love.

Cheers to the next 365 together.

With Gratitude

Lea

To Roll the Stone off the Heart

Sealing the Tomb of Jesus - Olive Tree Blog

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” Is this the life you want?  I know I do.

Jesus’ life is a blueprint of how we are asked to live.  John O’Donohue wrote, “Jesus never avocated a life that confined itself with safe, complacent walls.” Jesus called people out, to move, to break free from the prison of their minds and what society wants us to do.

The Resurrection story in the bible, I believe, is how we are asked to show up to our lives.  We must roll the stone away from the entrance to our heart, so we can live a life that is authentic and true to our soul’s purpose.  To roll the stone off your heart is to live a life free of definitions and false beliefs.

There are places where we all have allowed great stones to cover our hearts.  Like rocks pressing on soil, the grass beneath dies; the same is true for our hearts.  The things that weigh us down, the burdens, hurts, false beliefs, judgements, all have soured and killed parts of our soul.  Others too place stones on our hearts knowingly or unknowingly.  Then it is through the power of forgiveness that the hurts, injustices, and unkind acts can break us free.

To truly live a full and authentic life we must find the power to roll the stone off our heart, crush the slabs that weigh us down and hold us prisoner in mind, body and spirit.  Only then can we find our way out of the dark cave and into the light – the light of our best life.  The life where we find joy and forgiveness, possibility and wonder, freedom and abundance.

Meditation:

Close your eyes and picture Christ’s tomb. A cave, dark and dank, sealed up holding only death inside.  Now visualize that stone being moved away and an invitation to break free to escape into the light.  That light pours in and what has been trapped is now free.  There is life and breath.  Fresh air and open space.  This is your life.  Step out and welcome the infinite possibilities that it has waiting for you.  See yourself moving through the life you want.  What steps you must take to get there and never look back.

Journal:

What are the barriers that confine or imprison you?  List them and then write an affirmation or some action you can take to overcome that barrier.

Who do you need to forgive?

Wouldn’t it bring such peace and freedom to your life if you thought about yourself, your feelings your prayers could become a mirror which would look inward to the presence of the Divine?

Visualization

New To Visualization? Here Are 5 Steps To Get You Started

Successful people all over the world use visualization to spawn dreams into reality realms. Visualization is just like dreaming but with an intention or purpose.  It’s mind over matter. It’s constructing life from a space inside our brains.

Visualization  is not about winning as much as it is about self-improvement.  With visualization, you can create a world built from your own energies and desires. There are so many reasons why it will help you grow as a person. And there are so many ways you can do it.

Here are a few of the things that visualization can do for your well-being when it becomes part of your routine:

Visualization builds courage.  Because you have already seen and experienced yourself in your mind doing, achieving, or performing a task, when it is time for the real event it will be as if you have already done it. Inside your brain you already have!

Visualization fights negative thoughts.  During a visualization session, you get to live out your dreams despite what others say. It’s an effective way to battle that negative voice inside your own head.  Visualization brings moments of positivity in a world sometimes full of negativity.

Visualization enhances creativity.  Visualization allows creative moments to exist, something the mind desperately needs. We tend to exist in scheduled spaces and confines of time. Fostering a practice that gives your mind a break from the day to day routines will be a relief to your psyche. Our brains need breaks—ones full of promise and fantastical visions, ones free from the chains of social constructs and full of creativity.

Visualization collects positive energy.  You know the phrase, “what you think about you bring about.”  This is what a visualization practice can bring you.  Energy flows to where attention flows.  By dwelling on what you want in a healthy and positive way, and following it up with action steps, you are bound to see this in action in your life.

Visualization gives us purpose.  Visualization develops belief in self and creates a fulfilling life. When we lose hope, we lose so much. Hope is a catalyst for change. A life longing for something is worth the effort.

Through a practice of visualization you discover what you long for and will begin to visualize it every chance you get. When should you do this?  Any time!  That is what is wonderful about this exercise.  I like adding it to my morning routine but you may prefer it during your commute to work or at the end of the day.  Some people find their lunch time or a scheduled walk to dream big is the best form for them.  The key, as with anything, is not to get too locked in to any one way.  Allow for change.  Try it!!!

 

Impermanence

How to Make the BEST Sandcastle | Summer Beach Resort

Impermanence.  That which is not permanent.  How quickly in your mind can you make a list of things that are impermanent? How long would that list be?  Answers:  quickly and long.  That is life.

I am always surprised but never really shocked at how my morning readings and meditations flow together.  Today for example, my app that I use to do a quick morning meditation in my miracle morning routine focused on the idea of impermanence and how children might react differently to a sand castle being taken by a wave.  Would you the child who cries and grieves the loss or would you be the one to pick up the shovel and bucket and begin again?  How many sand castles have succumbed to the crashing waves and we repeat the same reaction?

The book of Ecclesiastes and my beloved part of scripture that talks about there being a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun became my morning bible reading and reflection.  God had made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11.  Life may be unpredictable, filled with separation, disappointments and frustrations.  These are not permanent just as the joys, celebrations, successes and friendships are not.

I take great comfort in knowing that all of the ebbs and flows of my life, the hard times and the joy filled times all take place under God’s gaze.  There are seasons in nature, seasons in a life, seasons in the beginning and ending of an individual day.  I believe we are only asked to be present to the moment – each one as it comes and goes, knowing that neither the pain or the joy will stay.

I pray you can learn to pick up your shovel and pail when your sand castle topples over, watch with wonder as the place is washed clean and being fully present, take the next moment to begin again.

The Way Forward is Through

What Blocks Your Personal Growth - A Path Appears

“The world has been turned upside down, and we’ve been whipsawed, not just by a pandemic, but by the fast-moving stories that went with it. It has disrupted our families, our lives and our projects as well. George Floyd’s murder became a wake-up call, a story that we can no longer ignore, a call to action as we each seek to make a difference. These tragedies remind us that we have work to do, but also that we are not helpless. We can speak up, stand up and lead, on whatever project is dear to us. We can create the future we want to see.

The way forward is through. Through empathy and through practice. We are each charged with standing up and telling our story, a true story of possibility, as we weave together a better future.”

Seth Godin

During my morning routine this morning I took a moment to read Seth’s blog post. There was an invitation to head to a different site where he was encouraging readers to sign up for a writing workshop to learn to be an effective storyteller.  Sounds amazing but I have to pass this round.  It is not the right time for me and while I would love this challenge, I believe it is also important to keep an eye on your priorities, goals and objectives.  For me, I have a huge learning curve with several projects right now that must take the front seat.  So, I am going to put this in the back pocket for when I can devote more time to it.

Back to his intro. I read these words and they resonated so I wanted to pass them on.  Everything he says here is true to me.  The world does feel upside down.  I miss and can literally mourn my life pre-covid.  But grief can carry us a couple of ways.  Grief can make us stop or it can propel us forward.  I am up for the challenge of the latter!  I started with the stop to be honest and that just did not sit well with me.  So I am welcoming this time to create the world I not only want to live in, but one I can see and help others thrive in.

The only way forward is to move…. move through. Practice is not perfect.  Fail forward.  Just don’t stop moving and growing and planting seeds for a better day for everyone.

Simple Pleasures

The Human Obsession With The List | Get Better HeadQuarters

Do you like lists?  I do.  I love to make a good list.  It can be anything from the mundane grocery list to what I need to accomplish this day.  Once I found a card in the store that had a cute list of things to do that were joyful.  I bought the card (I think it was for a birthday celebration) and placed it for a time by my computer.  It brought me joy.

There are so many little ways you can create happiness but I think there is also something to be said about enjoying the simple pleasures in life that already exist in your day. When I take the time to really relish these moments as they present themselves, I find that the simple pleasures are what bring great happiness to my life.

So maybe today you might take a piece of paper and write a list.  Just try it.  It’s super easy and see how it makes you feel. Today I will put a list here of things that come to mind when I think about simple pleasures.  Covid has forced us to do less, to stay home and to change our routine.  Simple Pleasures are beginning to mean so much more.

A small piece of dark chocolate.

Watching the sun rise.  Watching the sun set.

Writing a letter with pen and paper.

A cup of freshly brewed tea.

Taking a bath.

Cuddling under clean sheets.

Curling up with a good book in a comfy chair.

Playing with the dogs.

Listening to music.

Dancing around the kitchen

The feeling you have after a hard workout.

Picking flowers.

Morning coffee.

Stopping to appreciate nature.

Driving with the windows open or the top down.

Fireflies on a summer night.

Flip flops and sundresses.

Having a good laugh.

A chat with a dear friend.

Spending time with people you love.

 

“It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.” – Paulo Coelho

 

Independence Day 2020

topic-july-4-gettyimages-815196336

July 4, 2020.  A very different Independence Day than many we have celebrated in the past.  Throughout our history, this day has stirred up unrest, vulnerable feeling and opened the door (even a crack) to the injustices we still face as a nation as we go about our celebrating, picnicking, and shooting off fireworks.

Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Colin Kaepernick and others have made efforts to shed light on the racism and injustices we face as a nation.  The death of George Floyd, while many consider, the straw that broke the camels back, came during a time when we, as a nation were already feeling out of balance, vulnerable and unsteady.  Covid 19 brought a set a problems unknown and uncomfortable to ALL Americans.  Perhaps even acting as a catalyst to empower Black’s and White’s alike to stand up, go out and protest for the injustices and inequalities we must face if this nation is to remain or maybe find greatness.

Douglass mourned, like generations before and after him, the tragedy of a country whose national creed of freedom and liberty were in fact rooted in the bondage of Black souls and the exploitation of Black labor. King believed Black Americans had historically received a “bad check,” yet refused to believe “that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.” That same speech ended by King arguing that when America at long last fulfilled its original promise, matched word on paper with public deeds in action, it would give new meaning to patriotic expressions of love of country. Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest in support of Black humanity by proclaiming that Black Lives Matter in taking a knee during the National Anthem has at last moved others to kneel in solidarity.

Will July 4, 2020 be seen in history as the Independence Day where our country is no longer in the grips of anti-Black racism and white supremacy? Can we acknowledge our history without celebrating it’s meaning? Can we finally take away the statues and the flag that represents racial inequality and replace it with something new? We must continue to confront our past in order to create a new future – one that includes all with equality, vulnerability, understanding and love.

There are tensions within a national holiday professing freedom by a country built on slavery. I don’t know if that will ever disappear but the hope of this massive moment in American history belongs to the courage of ordinary Americans — those people whose passion and beliefs have moved them to show up in demonstration and protest,  feel anger and empathy,  and have created a generational opportunity to confront legacies of racism that touch every aspect of our society.

We must continue to confront the past in order to create a new future big enough to include us all.  So on this July 4th, my prayer is we can embrace America’s past holistically.  Our goal remains freedom.  Freedom FOR ALL.  Maybe we are finally at the day we can agree the have failed to live up to our nations creed written in our most sacred documents –

With liberty and justice for all.

That all men are created equal.

Time will tell how this is written in the book of America’s history.

God Bless America

 

 

 

 

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