Monthly Archives: October 2010

Giving and Receiving


“Just breathe and receive,” this experience, right now, good or bad. “Just breathe and receive”, has become my mantra more than any others in the past few months. Sometimes it is something really positive, an unexpected act of generosity or thoughtful kindness; sometimes I am “breathing and receiving” the enormity of an unpleasant situation or an unforeseen obstacle. Particularly in the more disagreeable moments the conscientious inhalation has allowed me to commune with the experience to: more fully learn from it; realize it wasn’t as bad as I thought; or completely let it go.

Just breathe and receive. Being in a place of learning to accept support and help, I have become more aware that so many of my friends, family members and colleagues are true givers from deep, kind and generous depths, even when it is exhausting for them to continue providing and supplying from energetic stores that have been depleted. It seems intrinsic in their spirits. They stretch wide to embrace so many other people to effect, heal, empower, provide for. Oftentimes, putting the needs and wants of others before their own. The flipside of this output, as I have experienced: it can been very, very hard to ask for help, to look for support in an interdependent kind of way and to receive it graciously.

One of my dear friends, recently got terribly ill. She is a powerful nurturer, phenomenal bodyworker, conscientious studio owner, amazing teacher who is constantly giving of herself to her students, her clients and her community near and far. She fell very sick in the midst of a training; which became an opportunity for a few of her colleagues to take care of her, and for another teacher to step into a spotlight in a beautiful way. And for the first time in a long time I believe she was able to rest. Her body knew more than her mind did that she would be meticulously taken care of.

In midst of crisis, trauma and emergency, we can look inside and be independent or learn how to ask for help. It becomes easier to ask for help when big things go down, when we practice in little ways everyday. One of my teachers says when you ask for help, you are simply giving another the opportunity to do something good. And I believe this is the only sustainable way to keep reaching out and spreading light. It feels so good to ask and receive (even if, for me, there is a bigger leap of faith than in knowing I can and will get it done myself).

As we are about to embark on the “season of giving” (because it begins after Halloween, now right?), I am looking forward enjoying the current shift in my perspective: to receive graciously. That maybe these next couple of months can be about giving and receiving, and the delight in the cycle.


Strength from Softness


Last weekend, at Estes Park Yoga Journal Conference, I spent an illuminating day with Amy Ippoliti in her day long Anusara & Yoga Therapeutics Intensive. This weekend, I got my proverbial butt kicked at an AcroYoga & Acrobatics Intensive weekend with Jason Magness & Chelsey Gribbons. The two experiences could seem so distinctly on opposite sides of the yoga spectrum. I found myself in the middle of my awareness, face to face with my preconceived stories, looking over my edge at an abyss of what is and is not possible. And that the latter may not exist, if only my mind would allow.

I came away from Amy’s workshop with a delightful perspective on the power of Matrika Shakti, in my simple understanding, it is concept that words arise from your energetic body and reveal themselves as your universal truth (for more: That what you say, becomes your reality. For example, if you are always referring to your “bad knee”, than by your verbal/mental relationship gets stuck in that place and will continue to be what you will be living with/dealing with: a bad knee.

We explored a lot of movement, techniques for healing, but above all else: what are the words and stories surrounding your injuries? Amy would turn around commonly heard comments in a way that continues to make me laugh, instead of referring to a shoulder that always hurts, she would say “Hey, remember that shoulder thing I had. Wasn’t that weird?” It magnetizes space and a quirky curiosity to my expanding awareness, rather than frustrated expectation of my own healing, while also implying that the body being in health and able to heal itself is the norm.

Fast forward a few days to the beginning of the Acrobatic AcroYoga workshop. We were asked an introductory question: who would you be if you were a Superhero? The first answer that popped into my head (which is usually the right one right?) Bionic Woman, because she was transformed from a place of incapacitating injury to unbelievable strength and ability. I think I have this, I think we all have this capability, if only our thinking allows it to be so.

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?…

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Marianne Williamson in Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles

During the next two days I came to observe the reflection of: what I am comfortable with; what my body can accomplish easily; how I react when I it comes not so easily; what happens when I get a little scared; and ultimately began to unravel my body-image-ability stories. I discovered I have a lot of stories, particularly those around situations that push my edge of discomfort into fear (when my mental mind knows there is no need and expects differently). Now I begin to move forward into an ever-so-slightly shifted relationship about myself with the tools of laughter and curiosity to soften my expectations, my fears, and dissolve the stagnating stories, from here a wellspring of strength flows.