Today's talk from Esther Ekhart was on the Yama 'Aparigha'
Non Possessiveness - 'Not me, mine, I'
A form of non-attachment where we are not afraid to gain or loose things
We feel more alive and enriched because we just allow it to be as it is
We are just open to what is there and we just notice.
If we have a goal that's still OK, we are not attached to the outcome but notice the process along the way, we are present with each step and how it is.
In this way we feel more alive
By letting go of what we don't need, we create a space for the things we do need to come to us.
How do we stop running around in circles chasing the nice feelings, possessions and emotions, whilst also running away from the emotions and feelings and things we don't like?
How do we become open and accepting to each moment?
There are eight limbs to yoga, the first are the 'Yamas' essentially these are how we deal with the world, how we interact with it/our ethical behaviours.
Note the term 'limbs' not steps, each limb co-exists and is co-dependent on the other.
One of the Yamas is 'Asteya' - Non-Stealing
'mankind's greed and craving for artificial needs are also stealing' - Gandhi
When lack, desire, emptiness, greed and want arise we start to feel like something is missing and we aren't complete.. We start to look to fill the gaps. Perhaps we long for food, handbags, money, love, a new home, shoes, booze, clothes etc. This often creates a cycle, the more we have the more we feel we need.
How do we let go of longing? When we long for something it's often a feeling we have already experienced, so it's a feeling we can find within ourselves again and recreate. Longing doesn't have to be a bad thing, allow yourself to experience it and let it be there and notice it. Longing can sometimes be painful as it can be about loss also, just be with the experience and notice it, identify what it is.
But we may not always like this feeling/sensation so how do we ease it? It's about learning to say 'I am enough, I have enough' and finding a way to have a sense of physical and mental wellbeing and growing an abundance mindset.
To be open and accepting to exactly how things are and to bring awareness to the moment.
Practice saying - I am enough, I am at home in me.
Sit in meditation a couple of times a week and observe your longing, notice it, explore it, and put some of this perspective on it.
With this post I have committed 'Asteya' in that I have stolen ideas from books, blogs, videos etc that I have watched about the Yamas and this part of it to try to understand it. You are now reading this and stealing it too I want you to.
#frustrationexpert #abundancemindset #yogaphilosophy #yamas #asteya #personal development
Whilst at my mums for Sunday Roast I spotted her 'Woman and Home' magazine and found myself really enjoying it. My mum passes them onto my 95 year old Nan, it's great we all like it now but I'm not so sure they like me muscling in. I asked if they would mind if I cut out a few things for my 'women who inspire me' journal. Luckily my Nan has a lovely sense of humour and is now enjoying reading the scrappy leftover bits in the magazine. She also has whole copies of Womans Own and Womans Weekly to keep her occupied for now. I love my Nan.
Recently, my mum said to me - 'never do something that is not in line with your heart and values'. My mum is very special. This quote was pasted into the journal.
In the magazine, there was a section about Helen Mirren, she is 70 and has a tattoo and wears cool clothes, she says - 'it's important for women to have positive female role models. She also went onto say 'there's no big moment of wisdom' as you get older. You learn about yourself according to the age you are and each age has its qualities, both positive and negative. You have to deal with each one as it comes - Cut and Stick.
Another decisive snip for the journal was an article from regular columnist, Karren Brady, who wrote an article on 'Decision Making' -
'Many decisions come down to a choice of courage or comfort - you can't have both ...
Someone once told me that there are many cheap seats in the world. These are the seats far away from the action, where people sit at a distance and criticise others who are having a go at life. The people in these seats never risk anything or get close to the action. Ignore these people, they have no value.
I can assure you that as someone who has had a real go at making something of my life, that being daring enough to make decisions is not about winning or losing. It's about never quitting. Having a go at life starts when you have the boldness to make your own decisions'
As I wrote this I also thought a lot about Victoria Wood, also a beautiful soul and role model, she's in the journal too.
In yoga one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga are the 'Yamas' and one of these is 'Asteya' - 'non stealing' I'll write about it next but one thing to develop is an abundance mindset - to truly appreciate all that you have already to prevent you longing for more. Another for the journal - 'You Are Enough, You Have Enough'
So whilst looking for female role model inspiration it really dawned on me that it's all around in my own family, friends and me, we are enough, I haven't written about you all here but you are in my head and heart.
Cheers to all the amazing women who surround us.
Cut, Paste, Stick.
I Meditate - It's Good For My Head
Rather than the 4.30am birds twittering to wake me, it was my husband's phone vibrating to announce he'd received a new 'tweet'
So I came down and meditated in my corner, wrote my affirmations and 'morning pages' and this fell out my head -
Under my blanket
I sit in stillness, finding the space and silence between busy thoughts
A buzz, a whirr, a cheep, a humm, a motor
And now images of friends in my head
I allow them to pass through
They come back they want to engage,
So gently I nudge them away
'Friends I'm meditating and can't connect right now'
Oh no they are back, they are very persistent
'Hello, that's it move along just GO, Shoo!'
For a bit
1,2,3,4,5, back aches
I notice the tip of my nose and count here
Because I read this was good to do.
25, 26, 27, 28
26, 27, 28
I think I already counted these ones
Now an itch
Back to my nose
Even if it takes 1000 times come back to your breath says Jon Kabat Zinn
What a wise man
OK good I'm back
42, 42, 44,45. 99, 100.
1000 ready or not
46, 47, 48, 49
Might have a boiled egg after this
Oh hello again thoughts
I'm meditating, yes I'm a Meditator don't you know this is what I do
It's good for my head
That's it done.
NB Despite this being a very typical meditation for me for up to an hour, when I don't do it I don't feel so full of energy, bounce, joy, playfulness, love and optimism. Days I don't do it I get more overwhelmed, stressed and reactive.
So on balance I feel it must be doing something. I miss it when I don't!
These affirmation cards are brilliant, the kids in school love picking them at the start of the day, it starts us all off in a great head space.
It's great for kids and adults to create their own affirmations.
Steven Covey says a good affirmation has five basic ingredients -
it's present tense
'It is deeply satisfying (emotional) that I (personal) respond (present tense) with wisdom, love, fairness, and self control (positive) when my children aren't behaving appropriately'
He also talks about how we can visualise this. So think of a situation you'd like to improve or a goal you'd like to achieve perhaps.
Visualise yourself in the situation - how do you look, what do you see, touch, smell, feel, what qualities to you show, what script can you write to go with this visual experience, is it inline with your personal mission and vision statement (see previous post).
Creating a Mission Statement
I ran a workshop today entitled 'Raising Independent Children'. I often find myself drawing on the work of Steven Covey - The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. I use the ideas not only in my own life, but when I teach children and share it with them, in yoga classes and also when I'm coaching. I found a copy in a charity shop a few years back and keep it next to my bed.
Recently I've been 'getting' more the section on creating a personal and family mission statement so I shared this with the group today, Do you know what your personal and / or family values are?
Covey says - 'Each of us has an internal monitor or sense, a conscience, that gives us awareness of our own uniqueness and the singular contributions that we can make. "Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life... Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it."
A mission statement is not something you write overnight. It takes deep introspection, careful analysis, thoughtful expression and often many rewrites to produce it in final form. It may take you several weeks or even months before you feel really comfortable with your innermost values and direction. Even then you'll want to review it regularly and make minor changes as the years bring additional insights or changing circumstances.
Fundamentally it becomes the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything in your life. It allows you to think through your priorities deeply, carefully and to align your behaviour with your beliefs. You have a sense of mission'
Had the privilege to spend the morning teaching these beautiful Young People, except they very much taught me. We had a Mad Hatters themed yoga / drama and relaxation morning. Can't wait to see them all again - they were so in the moment, playful and lovely to be around, a lesson in love.
Pausing after responding also allows more time to consider and decide if there is anything more to add.
However, once you start to practice this, you notice how much we all talk over each other! 3 levels of listening is another story!
In the past few years, as a more 'mindful' teacher and mum, one thing I really do more of when I am teaching is to encourage more 'Pauses' both from me and the pupils.
'The speed at which we process information varies from person to person, we all have different sensory strengths' (Droit, Violet, Meck and Penney)
Like children, adults also speed through ideas and talk over each other.
How often do we take a mindful pause?
A pause gives the people we are speaking with space to process the information and at the same time gives us space to mindfully check in with ourselves and just 'notice' where we are at and what's going on around and to also listen effectively.
A study by M Rowe found that just giving 3 to 5 seconds longer for a pupil to process the information lead to better and more complex answers.
In class I find building this in during discussion time seems to relax the children and it feels calmer, it stops them competing so much to speak and to gain attention. It gives them confidence to speak knowing they will be listened to.
When you start doing it though you really notice how much everyone talks over eachother!
The benefits of journalling include - improving mental health, raising self esteem, solving problems and processing grief and loss.
On a recent long drive back from York I really enjoyed listening to a CD from the wise Jim Rohn on 'Journalling'
Childhood diaries now seem very dry and unemotional, perhaps fearful that they would be discovered. It wasn't until my 20s that I started collecting quotes and writing more freely, and only now in my 40s feeling liberated to let it all hang out.
Out in Africa, my 10 year old son was given a journal which he enjoys writing and winding down with at night. He loved it and this was largely due to the inspirational person who presented it to him and taught him all the different ways he could use it.
Have you heard of Julia Cameron's book 'The Artist's Way'? A few years back I started the Morning Pages ritual, and continue to do them most mornings. You can search and find out more about this method, essentially it's - write freely, let it go and don't think or stop for 3 pages.
In the meantime, these are some of the key points I made in my 'personal development' journal from Jim Rohn's CD, in no particular order -
Writing creates a space between you and the problem and in this space solutions have room to grow.
It reduces the strength of fears, worries, anxiety etc.
A personal growth story, a place to document your own growth, a textbook of self discovery and self awareness.
A way to creatively problem solve and make effective decisions.
Most of our personal growth comes as a result of our errors and the problems and we can steps we can take to move forward.
If an idea is worth listening to and reading then it's worth capturing and writing down.
You are not going to be graded on your journal it is just for you, break any rules you wish to - be it grammar, spellings, pictures, diagrams, write and do what you want in it.
Glue in quotes, clippings, photos, pictures etc
Select a journal that looks and feels right for you, ruled or lined - you are putting your valuable thoughts into it spend money on it if you wish.
Journalling is a space to capture your ideas
Flexibility in life is the key to success
Always look for new ways to facilitate and accommodate new ideas
Develop a journalling habit
How many times do we think 'oh I must remember that' so write it down
Keep it close by
Journalling is a way for lots of little ideas to come together much like snowflakes come together to form balls and then snowmen
But what about the things we don't write, what are the shadows we cast between the lines, do these also reveal who we are, can we learn from these too?
Record the date and time as a reference to look back on
Treat it as an empathetic friend
There are so many things to journal about and of course lots of ideas on the web. Before you search for them though what are your passions, values, dreams, goals, hobbies, interests etc - first make a list that comes from your own head and heart. Make Stuff Up.