And speaking of wisdom…

I love how the universe presents opportunities to us – chances to learn and transform. Sometimes these opportunities are not so clear and downright yucky…but it is said that there is a lesson in everything so it is up to us to be AWAKE enough to first see the lesson, then learn from it.

I also love how opportunities to learn fall squarely in our lap, literally right under our nose. We don’t necessarily have to travel to the ends of the earth, to a sacred place, or even to a yoga class (although I love when people come to my class – so keep coming!). Sometimes a chance for insight is right in our own backyards, so if we pluck out the weeds, tend our inner gardens, and nourish our own space, we just might find the answers are RIGHT HERE.

I’ve been keeping a journal for several years where I write down words of wisdom that resonate with me. Even though they are someone else’s words, the message they hold is universal and there for anyone…if you’re open to it. So here is part of my list to share; you can use these sage words as advice, as warnings to heed, as contemplation in meditation, or as something to pass on to a friend in need.

1. Happiness must be grown in one’s own garden. (from a note card)

2. Your presence is a present to the world. (from a fridge magnet)

3. Eden is all around us. (headline in newspaper re: gardening)

4. Chillax, Mom! (my son telling me to be calm)

5. May you look at life squarely and find it worthwhile. (greeting card)

6. The true spiritual secret is this: what you seek, you already are. (Deepak Chopra)

7. Count your blessings, not your troubles. (fridge magnet)

8. After you get stung, you can’t get unstung no matter how much you whine about it. (from the book “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd)

9. Although the world is very full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.  (Helen Keller)

10. Not forgiving someone locks them and you in a prison; forgive and set each other free. (Pete Bernard – Algonquin Shaman)

11. Pay yourself first. (Glenn Mifsud – Stillpoint Yoga Retreat Centre; I also think David Chilton, The Wealthy Barber, said this too…)

12. Be the change you want to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandhi)

13. Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back. Kiss them so they will kiss their children and their children’s children. (from a Starbucks cup)

14. Fear less…love more. (Anonymous)

May we all be open to these lessons…

***If YOU have any “sage” words to share, send them to me!

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Wisdom for Mother’s Day…and beyond

With Mother’s Day approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of being a mom: to nurture, to guide, to support, to feed, to teach. Years ago as a new mom I looked to books, pediatricians,  mom-and-baby groups, and Grandmas for advice and wisdom, making sure I was doing all the “right” things. Some of the tried-and-true practices and theories were very helpful at the time (only to change a few years later – exactly what is the right side to put a baby to sleep: back/side/belly???). Some of the advice was contradictory: “You should be harder on them” vs. “You shouldn’t be so hard on them”. Some of the advice was judgemental: “I can’t believe you let him get away with that” and some of the advice felt plain wrong: “It’s just one beer…”. Some of the guidance was invaluable: “Let them BE”.

Trusting in your own wisdom as a mom is so important, and requires you to take a good look at yourself. If you want your children to be happy, you must be that yourself. If you want your children to be free from anxiety, stop worrying so much yourself. If you want your children to be independent, confident, and content, let them do for themselves/be themselves/find themselves and do the same for YOURSELF. Be willing to let them go…

For some moms, Mother’s Day is a hard day. Dealing with loss, no matter how recent or how far in the past, it tugs at our maternal heart-strings. Perhaps this is the day to let it tug, to let yourself go there, to feel your loss, to release your sorrow, and to then take another step forward. Perhaps it’s a day to lift your heart to the sky and take a full breath for YOU. Some of us other mothers will be silently sending out energy, giving you support…because that’s what we do as moms…

Now as my sons are “grown up” and creating their own paths, I could not be more proud. Not because of what I’ve done for them, but because of what they are doing for themselves. I feel like my arms are opening wider, spreading out a huge blanket of love and support, giving space for them to grow. This Mother’s Day, I celebrate THEM, for teaching me to love and live.

“OPEN YOUR ARMS WIDE”

Wise parents do not strive,

yet their purposes never fail.

They are available,

but never interfere.

They communicate,

but never lecture.

They let their children go,

but never lose them.

These parents are like the Tao

They open wide their hearts and hands,

yet never lose a thing.

If I grasp my children and my other treasures,

I will have only what my arms can hold.

And even that slips through my grasp.

But the wider I have opened my arms,

the more and more I find.

If I can ever open wide,

I will have everything.

(from “The Parent’s Tao Te Ching”, William Martin; 1999, De Capo Press)

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