I am a yogi. Yes, I consider myself that, even when I am out of my practice. "Out of my practice" means I am out of time or out of sync or simply doing "other work" and I neglect my ritual of aligning this soul and honoring this body. I miss my "normal" then. I am most home in the dimly lit rooms of incense and meditation music. My body craves a bare floor, the thin mat, the awakening of my limbs and the flashes of wisdom that come during Savasana. Yoga is my best friend and greatest teacher.
A lifestyle change made going to my yoga studio nearly impossible when I took a great career position but one that made me a 9-5er.
For the first time in forever I began to lead a sedentary life. Sitting behind a desk coming home to dinner and bed. After a year of this cycle, I was not only depressed in my mind and spirit but my body was soft and out of breath. I was desperate for the beautiful alignment of energy I was used to.
The practice of yoga had taught me so much about the merging of the soul with the physical body and with our mind. My current period of misalignment and deprivation taught me how powerful that alignment can be for every facet of our beautiful beings. Feeling out of alignment was awful. I was miserable. I felt sad, weak and started to become very negative and grumpy! I even found myself aggressive in traffic and eye rolling at people's comments. Who was I becoming?
I realized I felt complete restriction. Not only was I not moving my body, I wasn't living to my full potential. My mind and spirit had no expansion. I was not in a structured routine, but in a sad rut! Time kept passing this way and soon I was in this routine for 2 years.
Something had to change. I craved fresh air and freedom but was often to tired to even walk in the park. I needed something- so I booked a vacation. It dawned on me one day as I carried my heavy briefcase into the office and got out of breath doing so, that traveling and carrying luggage may be difficult.
For some odd reason Spirit directed me to start "working out". Yes, working out... like at a real gym. "But, I am a yogi", I thought, "peaceful and quiet in my practice".
It was a silly moment... Part of me will never learn not to argue with Spirit!
So, of course, I found myself in the gym. Upon arriving my first thoughts were- it is very bright and few people are smiling and no one hugs you. Very different from the yoga studio and its loving community. Loud music is constantly pulsating- no Dueter or Steven Halpern here....
This place is about appearance and sculpture and the way you look to other people. Its about muscle definition and healthy bodies. Its about achieving goals and pushing limits, its about judgement and flaws. BUT in deeper study it has much in common with yoga. They both focus on sensation and teach you about your body and mind and soul ...if you let them.
Neither one is good or bad, better or worse for you - its about what you need, when you need and what works for you based on where you are in your life. I realize this is why Spirit brought me here. To see another side in my personal development. This is another significant side to my evolution. I open to the experience and decide to honor whatever wisdom awaits me here.
I accept, observe, explore and I don't resist. I want to make the best of my time here in this bright noisy place and optimize this lesson. Since I am an extreme personality- I hire a personal trainer ( thank you 9-5 job) . May as well go for it! I observe the synchronicity and irony in that.
Soon...Early mornings are spent on machines and doing squats and lifting weights. My trainer is as adept at seeing the signs and sensations of my breath and movement as any yogi. I tune in as I would in the ashram and find sensations and muscle energy I never felt before. My mind starts to open and my heart starts to connect like it used to in the slow methodical movements of a yoga flow just with a bit more speed and assertion. These are very different feelings and reactions but no less satisfying. It isn't long before I find metaphor here for my life, just as I have for years in my yoga practice.
Here too in the bright, noisy, crowded place I find in myself the courage to try, the determination to push, the will to feel more and the awakening to understand what this is teaching me thru my physical energy. My body becomes a blackboard for my mind, writing lessons on my limbs and muscles that are really for my spirit. I realize this primer has been the same for eons. My ancestors have learned the same way. For centuries man has struggled and triumphed on yoga mats and swinging hammers, through tai chi and weight lifting, by martial arts and Olympics. It is all the same.
Connection. Movement. Breathe. Life. Human. Body. Wisdom. Spirit. Alignment.
We find wisdom in the quickening of our breathe and the joy of breaking boundaries. We realize life can be limitless if we choose to break the leashes we put around our own necks. When can'ts become cans even in the smallest way, we learn so much. We expand every part of ourselves in this place. The rewards are deep and personal. They put us in balance with ourselves and our own worth.
It becomes little about the waist line and the tight ass and more about our interior and self worth based on strength and alignment with the gift of this precious life. Every breath every movement becomes a tribute of gratitude as we honor our whole body not just the physical vessel. It's all so much deeper than that.
I am a yogi. I labeled myself that. I was intimidated by the bright lights of that gym. My yoga practice was so personal I thought it was reserved for those dimly lit rooms with exotic music and incense. I couldn't picture myself sweating in the 3D world with a headset blaring music. Such judgement of myself served NO purpose. It is a lesson I carry over now to many things. Especially evident as I have "aha" moments on the elliptical with Eminem blasting. Those moments are no less profound than the ones I have in yoga with singing bowls aligning my flow. Life has many flavors- if you open your mouth to taste. We must open the mouth of our home of chi - life!
My trainer works me hard. Sometimes she will say "ok you are done" if she sees me in challenge with a task even if I have a couple of reps left. I often say to her "NO, I will finish because I must honor my body." Pushing limits is the same in every aspect of your life and it has wonderful rewards.
I remember the second day I was at the gym and my trainer took me over to the elliptical machine. I never did the elliptical in my whole life. I would watch others on it and just know I was the one who would break my neck and make a fool of myself on that contraption. With horror I said "OH NO! That is the boogey man of the gym". She laughed but I was serious. She made me do it. I hated it, it was so hard! I feared losing my grip or footing and flying into the next aisle in a heap of vertigo and bruises. But something inside me made me want to conquer it and with her showing me I felt like I could. And as always when your mind thinks you have a chance- your spirit takes over and soon the body responds. And so, I did it, I conquered the "boogeyman".
I have conquered many boogeymen in my life - but conquering that machine reminded me who I was. In fact now I do about 30 minutes on it daily with no prompting I reach for it myself and kind of enjoy it. That is a wow! For years I have been safely restricted on a treadmill watching people on that Elliptical from afar. What a great lesson!
I look around my gym ( yes I said MY gym) and there are all shapes and sizes, ages and sexes. I don't think working out is as much about appearance as people think. I think it is about mind and spirit for most people. Just ask the 80 year old who treadmills and goes to Zumba.
Yoga was never about the way I looked. It was always about expanding my emotional and spiritual essence and becoming content and peaceful in accepting myself and others without judgement and anxiety. It teaches me to be strong in every way through physical movement. In fact, yoga taught me to detach from compliments and criticism equally. By understanding the difference between the real and unreal. No one's opinion or judgement on my appearance makes any difference to me at all. For me, life became about feeling and sensation. Even what I take in my body for sustenance is not about taste but about how it makes me feel. I rarely crave anything when I am in alignment with my mind. body. spirit.
I had judged the gym to be unreal and superficial and in some ways I feared it. I now love the gym and I have a goal that is a metaphor for my life. I find many of the same benefits I did from yoga just in a different flavor. I am building my physical body to accomplish this certain goal and will write about it when I have done so. I now have incorporated yoga into my routine too. How beautiful it is to cross the bridge to both.
I am a not only yogi and not only a gym rat I am a beautiful human who no longer lives by labels or appearances. I now realize nothing is at it appears. Judgments are fear. Limits are illusions. And most of all it is not about how life looks but the significance it brings you when you look a little deeper and open to it!
Peace and love,
It is said the journey from the head to the heart is the longest journey. That may be true. It takes a long time and many miles to merge ego and soul, but it can not be measured by either clock or kilometers. It's length is metered out by the yards of connections that pave the road from cool thoughtful logic to pumping hot emotion and back again. The circular drive older than our incarnation. In fact, as old as creation itself. Our universe all began with a spark of light, created when thought met emotion. All this from that. All that within each of us.
I have been heartless at times. When ego ruled hard from quick cold logic and softer "weaker" feelings were smothered under shovels of heavy conditioning and "supposed to be's". Goals were written for me and never sincere. "Never let them see you sweat", "Be an example" and "There is no such word as can't", "Keep crying and I will give you something to cry about" were the childhood mantras that molded my survival and safe identity. It is natural I developed a steely determination and over achievement that pushed out all empathy. My Father wanted it so. His own fear of vulnerability raised a very strong daughter. Success was gained, goals met, wars won, but I never really felt any of it. I lived only in my head, nothing ever traveled down much farther. I had a road block to the highway of my heart.
Many of us have road blocks. It's not until some lightning strikes our heart that we realize it. Lightning has many properties. It can bring joy or loss, burn or ignite. I suppose our individual " lightning" experiences have much to do with Karma and little to do with the way we think things "should be". You see, lightning is always unexpected and powerful. It's electric and its main purpose is to get our attention and shed light on something before plunging us back to the dark.
Some of us are deep in the dark and so we don't get a bolt of lightning we get a lightning storm to wake us from the depths of our apathy and judgement. I was a hard case, so I got a barrage, a lightning storm that lasted a long time.
In the end that intensity "lightened" my heart brighter. It gave me the capacity to love deeper. I have so much love now that I sometimes don't know what to do with it all. Yet, I would never trade that empathy for anything in the universe. I feel things now, deeply, wholeheartedly. The beauty from the emotions in my heart far outweighs anything my ego and mind ever accomplished.
Yes, the journey from head to heart is amazing and outrageous and so, so very hard- but it is our purpose.
Someone I once knew was in the struggle of this journey. His head prevented him from even saying the words "I love you". I imagine that is quite a painful road block. He once asked me "Do you think I am capable of love?"
Of course, I knew he was. I had felt it in his touch, seen it in his eyes and shared it in his deep laughter. I witnessed it in his gift of time with me and in his empathy for my dog and for me in my own times of need. He was steady and strong and kind, yet here he was doubting his capacity for what he was born to do. Love.
That doubt and fear blocked his road to love. I knew the traffic jam well, I had been around its bend. It took an army of angels and every ounce of courage I had to help me break through. My emotions from his question overwhelmed me so much. I could only hug him in response. I remember putting my hand on his back by his heart and quietly infusing my love there as he held me. I was gifting him with love that would stay on his journey even if I was no longer on his road. I wanted him to know deep abiding love with a partner. I hoped it would be me, but my love had no boundary and I more so hoped he would find it in whatever place he would know its amazing spirit and limitless joy. Love, you see, is not about me but simply about love. My heart simply wanted his heart to sing. My head was no where in sight and had no stake in the game.
MY road from head to heart was complete, unblocked and flowing for me. I could now never live any other way. From then on my love would flow freely in everything I did.
All the trauma I had..all the lightening that struck me opened my heart to feelings. Those experiences created my heart, filled it with recognizable sensations. Every lesson of forgiveness, love, empathy, compassion and joy whether harsh or gentle created my heart. All of it now flows from me for and into others so they too find their hearts. Every scar is a river bed where love flows up to meet another who has swum in the same river. Connections that we are meant to share. Connections that are the reason we are all united within each other. LOVE.
The journey from head to heart is paved by emotion. Paved by sadness and joy and loss and abundance. It is meant to teach us to feel. If you are in the struggle of this journey focus on your experiences. Step into the "lightning" to feel the Lightening. Do not fear it, it is meant to light your awakening and lighten your heart. Those jolts and bolts of lightning give you a glimpse of the dark so you know where to go. ....
Follow your lightening..straight to your beautiful heart!
Peace and Love,
Spiritual Healer, Energetic Medium
This Blog is the story of the miracles, challenges and lessons of my life journey. Years ago when I hit a personal "rock bottom" my despair led me to seek answers and my quest for truth began. Amazing events propelled me on a spiritual journey of transformation.. Miraculously, through these experiences my life has become my teacher and my friend.... I hope my words connect us and allow us to walk together for a time as teacher and friend to each other. The most valuable thing we have during this human experience is our connection to love. The love in our soul for a higher power and others is the only thing that is real. I honor these connections through my writing. Theses words are my gift inspired through the heart of Spirit for you. I hope by sharing my journey it will enlighten, inspire and ease yours as it does mine >> ... Peace... Georgia Rose