Fall Happenings

While I have been trying to live in the moment and focus on what is happening NOW, it’s been hard to NOT think about what’s coming up in the next few months. I’ve been struggling with a wandering mind during my meditation practice; a mind that is planning and thinking and imagining. This is not uncommon at this time of year with only a few weeks of summer left and a busy fall season approaching. But this year, for me it’s different…

I have an amazing journey coming up – one that will not only lead me to the other side of the world, but one that will lead me to experience my mind/body/spirit like never before. As I prepare for almost 2 months of study in the foothills of the Himalayas of India, my emotions and thoughts are all over the place. Sometimes excited, sometimes apprehensive, sometimes downright scared. Other times I feel so deeply that I’m on the right path that I smile and giggle, knowing that the universe has paved the way for me to make this journey of self-discovery.

I’ve been teaching yoga for over a decade but, like all of us on this path, I am still very much a student. Each time I re-read the Yoga Sutras I learn something new, and lately my reading has made me think of all those things that I “should” be doing as a teacher. Should be meditating more, should be practicing more, should be eating better, should be kinder – should, should, should…How easily we can beat ourselves up for not living up to some ideal or standard, whether it be in our yoga practice, our job, our relationships, our physical appearance, whatever. But the wisdom of the Sutras reminded me that no effort is wasted in spiritual practice. And the wisdom of another teacher reminded me that LESS IS NO LESS WORTHY. And the voice in my heart reminded me that what I AM doing is learning and discovering and growing and transforming…just like my students.

October is the month of my departure so until then, it’s business as usual (except my City classes which I will not be teaching this fall – back in January). I’ll be at Maitreya for morning classes Tuesdays and Thursdays – check out the fall schedule on the link to Maitreya Yoga Studio. And to those who are joining me in September for the Autumn Yoga Retreat for Women, I look forward to sharing more with you then.

Om shanti Om…

Festival of India

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer Va-cay

Remember when we were in grade school and one of the first things you had to write about in September was “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”? If I were to do that now, it would be a full essay…so many things! From a glamorous Miami condo to a log home in the Laurentians to Big Rideau boating to milestone birthday bash in a party bus to Lake Huron sunsets to backyard green chair chilling…and the list continues. Within all the DOING there is BEING – in the moment, just taking it all in.

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What a wonderful season to practice more mindfulness! Looking and really SEEING…FEELING…EXPERIENCING. From the big picture to the more subtle, there are so many aspects to each moment that we can miss in the blink of an eye if we’re not paying attention. From the beauty of a sunset to a tiny spider hanging on to a thread in the wind, there are amazing moments of connection right in front of us at all times.

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Connection is not just for those times of beauty, peace, joy. Mindfulness practice encourages us to be equally present for those not-so-nice moments; ones that might be filled with frustration, anger, impatience, doubt, regret. Like waiting in an airport line-up, or being cooped up in the car for too long, or eating too much, or having a crappy night’s sleep. While these are the less pleasant realities of summer vacation travel, they are nevertheless part of the whole experience of BEING. And like anything, they are transient and impermanent and all but forgotten (if we can let them go and not re-hash them over and over) as soon as the next pleasant moment arrives. So in answer to the question “What did you do on your summer vacation?”, I would say I SAW, I FELT, I ROSE UP, I FELL DOWN, I TOOK A BREATH, I LAUGHED, I CRIED, I SWORE, I LIVED…and then I came home to my comfy green chairs and CHILLED…What did YOU do on your summer va-cay?

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