“Awareness, Just Be.” What does that look like?

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“To be one with everything as it is.” – MC Yogi

Has anyone ever said to you, “just be in it”?  Have you wondered what that looks like, or how do I just be?  I understand, I’ve been there…I didn’t get it, had no idea what they meant, but started to realize that there must be something to it, because at that time nothing else I was doing was helping.  What I know now is this, we must first be able to come into the AWARENESS that there is something we need to pay attention to.  We must first be aware of what is happening, what is going on within us and be WILLING to pause, take a breath, and in this moment of the PAUSE is when we start to “just be”.

We all know what the PAUSE button does and what it looks like (ll).  While listening to our favorite playlist we come to a place where something comes up and we need to pause the music so that we can temporarily give attention to whatever has come up, and then we can eventually get back to our music.  So how do you first find YOUR PAUSE button?  It’s right there within you, in your willingness.  Willingness isn’t always so easy, we get stuck in our patterns, or in a place of being RIGHT, so we may not be willing to find the pause button…that would mean you’d have to leave the pattern you are in and give awareness to the fact that you even need to PAUSE and look around at what is happening.  This is a BIG first step!  You have to reach down deep upon your COURAGE and find your willingness, then you’ve already found a little pause and are looking for that awareness…CONGRATULATIONS, you already have made a shift of awareness and BEGUN!

This morning I found myself in an old “playlist”, or an old pattern.  Last night I received some news, and with news comes change and for me that sends me back into old patterns of worry, even when it’s good news.  Before I learned to do Warrior poses, I was best at what I now call “Worrier” pose.  In my worrier pose, I can be in the pose, try to make it all look alright, be strong no matter if I was in pain and whether I needed to make an adjustment or not.  I would stay in my position to be “right”, stick with old ways and pretend that my pose was just as good as anyone else’s.

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Last night I went to bed numb with this good news and knew I needed to lie down.  As par for (my) course, my body physically started to lock up, hold in my fears and my stomach begin to ache like it used to.  I woke up and tried my best to ignore the pain going on inside of me.  I got into the shower…now, I don’t know about you, but the shower is where I can do my best thinking, have great ideas and also let my mind run wild…this time it ran with the worry.  We all have moments like this, right?!  What I’m blessed to have now is some awareness…it doesn’t always come to me as quickly as I’d like, but when it does I pay close attention.

My worry sent me to a place where I didn’t at first realize that I was holding my breath.  I kept trying to breath deeply and the breath wouldn’t come.  All I felt was tightness and a spinning out of control feeling.  FINALLY, I let myself come into awareness that I needed to do something, anything, that was different!!  I hit my PAUSE (ll) button!!!!  I reached down deep within myself and let myself “JUST BE” in all that I was feeling.  In that moment I let go and let go of emotion.  I buried my face in my towel and just cried, that kind of cry where your belly jumps up and down and you let your body feel and do what it needs to.  When I was done, I suddenly realized, I COULD BREATHE!!!  So as thoughts (worries) continued to arise, I cried some more.  For my yogi friends, I happened to be bent over in a forward fold while looking for my hair dryer and it was there that I let it all just dump out (this is what I teach in class…sometimes the teacher has to take her own advise).  How do you dump out?  Crying, sighs, sounds?

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I also realized that what I used to be able to do before changing my career was visit a friend in my office.  So I did something else fairly new to me in my awareness, I asked for what I needed… I needed help from a friend.  I didn’t need anyone to fix anything, just an ear and open heart that understands me.  I sent a text and immediately got a call.  My friends, that’s your TRIBE…the ones that you reach out to when you need someone.

Pay close attention to your times of worry, be aware, find your pause button and call upon your COURAGE to be with everything as it is…this is your AWARENESS.  Allow yourself to dump out, don’t let FEAR hold you back any longer.  “JUST BE” in the moment and allow it to take place and sometimes the hardest…let go of control…it’s an illusion, you didn’t have it to begin with.  The worry is fear, LOVE is the Warrior.  Worrier (pose) is more difficult, painful and makes no room for change within the posture to help you find ease, balance and freedom from the pain you’re in.  Be in the WARRIOR (pose)…allow yourself to move with the shifts and changes, release the pose when you need to, back off when your body asks you to, try not to force, watch the opening and ease happen as you come into these awarenesses and allow yourself to…JUST BE.

Namaste.

warrior-pose

The Puzzle Pieces of YOU. Being with your true authentic self.

“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell

Have you heard the saying, “No mud, no lotus.” In order for the beautiful Lotus flower to blossom, it must first emerge from the depths of the murky mud and darkness.  The journey BEGINS when the lotus searches for the light above.  Does the lotus know what a beautiful flower it will become?  It just knows that it has a longing, and that longing sends it seeking from out of the depths and emptiness, so that it can reach the surface to the light above.  Once it surfaces, it finds warmth, freedom, nurturing air and light.  It goes from being in its tight, once thought of safe little bud and it begins to blossom into all its true beauty! 

blooming lotus flower

blooming lotus flower

How many of us are really living as our true authentic selves?  I wasn’t for many years.  Moving faster and faster to stay ahead of life.  It eventually caught up to me.  Even when life showed up in the form of panic attacks every time I’d drive on the interstate, I was still trying to ignore it.  I turned up the music louder, sang more, drove a little faster, cracked a window, until I had to call my husband to talk me through until I made the way to slower roads where I felt safe.  At first I ignored this as a fluke, then it continued.  I knew something was going on in me but I wasn’t sure what it could be.  None of us want to live in these places of unknowing, pain or past trauma, but in order to heal them it’s necessary to revisit them, give them the attention they deserve, nurture and heal that part of us so that we can move on.  Without my knowing and without my permission, my yoga practice was allowing life to catch up to me. 

I spent many years in the murky darkness, dealing with pain and a broken heart.  Somewhere deep down I knew it, but I was so busy, keeping busy, I really didn’t know or want to know what it was.  I was always trying to move ahead, on to something new, shop for clothes, a car or home and I would numb out what I was feeling and ignore it all. 

My time spent in the “mud”, ignoring what my heart really needed was costly.  When I was 20 I had a terribly painful case of Shingles on the left side of my face.  By the time I was in my mid-late 30’s I had terrible stomach pain almost daily and I eventually ended up with Bells Palsy on the right side of my face and the panic attacks started in my late 30’s.  Each of these circumstances came at a time in life where I thought I had made it through stressful events and everything was just fine.  I worked very hard to make everything look pretty and perfect…on the outside.  As it turns out, life will catch up to us…you can only stay ahead of it or make it look pretty for so long.  Eventually its a race we get tired of.   

What’s the first step to live more AUTHENTICALLY and heal yourself?  When you finally PAUSE and gain just enough COURAGE to ASK yourself what is it that’s going on within ME?  We have to stop looking outward and blaming everything around us.  Once you understand that, you’ve already dug deep into your Courage and started a path to healing.  You don’t have to know what the next step looks like, allow your willingness to show up and be seen and heard to lead you one step at a time.  When you do that, the people that can help guide you on your path out of the darkness and into healing light will unexpectedly show up for you.

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One of the stepping stones to healing, can be a yoga practice. Yoga for me, is the only activity that I’ve discovered that brings us up against..OURSELVES.  All that you are and have been, shows up on your mat.  Through the movement and breath work, all of those pieces of ourselves show up.  All of the past joys, love, pain, trauma, our past that was never given the attention it needs, shows up.  We try to ignore it, shake our head at it and keep pushing through our yoga practice and life off the mat.  But our true self is patient, resilient, relentless and won’t give up on us!   

Yoga brings us back to ourselves, our true self.  Maybe that scares you a little?  But how can you truly begin to LIVE and LOVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY in your life, if you continue to run from the wonders of yourself that are trying to catch up to you.  All parts of ourselves come out in our yoga practice and we can no longer deny them. 

IMAGINE THIS.. a beautiful picture of yourself that has been made into a jigsaw puzzle.  The puzzle is put together, but some pieces are missing leaving empty holes, some have been forced into spaces they don’t belong to complete the picture; therefore these pieces are marred, bent and a little scarred.  The image is distorted from what the picture is really supposed to be.  It’s incomplete, it’s not a true representation of the beautiful YOU that you are! 

puzzle

How do you want the true you to look on the inside?  In order to put the puzzle together, pieces will need moved around and placed where they belong. To do that, you have to undo some pieces, place them to the side and then work with each one individually.  Enter the unexpected!  Friends, yoga buddies, teachers, new friends…I call them my TRIBE…they all show up for you!  They offer support, guidance, compassion; they sit with you in the murkiness and hold onto you until you are ready to take the next step on your own. 

You begin to nurture and heal each puzzle piece individually until it’s ready to be placed from where it was missing.  Slowly the puzzle and picture of YOU comes back together.  It might be a little tattered, there’s some pieces that are bent, the corners are turned up a little, some of the colors have faded, but when the puzzle all comes together it gets to be everything it was meant to be…YOU!  YOU in all your beauty, like the lotus flower that emerged out of the mud to blossom into your most AUTHENTIC YOU!  Then you get the opportunity to step back and soak up all the beautiful pieces that are YOU!  You are beautiful, imperfect, vulnerable, courageous, loving, authentic, strong, wonderful, YOU!!!

Deep down our souls are calling for us to live fully from a place of Love and Belonging.  It’s what we are called to do.  Find a yoga class today and BEGIN.  Be willing to show up with all your puzzle pieces and give yourself time to just BE with yourself.  We have to start by looking at all the pieces before we can start to put the picture together.  Take your time, be kind, gentle and patient with yourself.  Do the work when you can, sit and just be when you need to and then return to work on the next piece. The beautiful picture of you has already started to emerge and come together because you chose to BEGIN. 

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” – Rumi

Be Present.  Which path will you choose?  Sometimes we get to far into the Future or stay in our Past.  Allow yourself the opportunity to be Present...it's a gift!

Be Present. Which path will you choose? Sometimes we get to far into the Future or stay in our Past. Allow yourself the opportunity to be Present…it’s a gift!