Staying in the moment, always learning

gandhi

I love being a student.

I’m spending time this week in a 2 day math workshop. I’m really enjoying the shift in roles. Thinking about why I do what I do in the classroom is good for my students.

Thinking about why I do what I do in my life is just good. It’s so easy to cruise through life on autopilot and never notice, much less enjoy, the moment. Staying in the moment helps me stop over thinking things. Over thinking, for me, is dangerous. Being present, on the other hand, helps me with gratitude.

When I saw the quote, I momentarily thought of the first part in a reckless way.  (Apparently, a bit of the old me read it first.)  Once I replayed it, I thought of it as a reminder to stay in the moment, to be present and appreciate the little things.  Gratitude is a life changing practice.

Learning new things makes life richer. This year I’ve enjoyed painting classes and my yoga teacher training. Both have helped me learn about myself. Both have helped me like myself.

Learning feeds my soul.

Becoming whole…accepting yourself

wpid-fb_img_1425813633850.jpg

I am very fortunate to have found Yoga, not yoga.  Huh? you say.

I have written that yoga has changed my life.  A friend shared a video this weekend which, while very funny, also highlighted a sad fact about the yoga many people experience. The yoga in the video is competitive and doing it correctly is stressed. It is just about exercise. I would imagine that, like me, many people come to yoga to stretch their bodies and calm their minds. Hopefully, they accomplish those goals, but yoga is so much more than asana, or poses.

Yoga is a way of life.  It is about living gently in the world. Kindness.

Begin with you.  On your mat. Or in your world.  Be gentle with yourself.  Do not judge yourself.

If you find yourself feeling like you are in the video, find a new teacher.  Some teach asana, some teach yoga.

Namaste

(which means, the divine in me recognizes the divine in you)

Happiness comes from gratitude.

wpid-wp-1427320241455.jpeg

We all know those people who always have something to complain about.  I am learning to try to change the tone of the conversations.  I am also learning that there are some people I need to distance myself from. This was very difficult at first.  I had to learn to recognize the difference between a friend who needed support and someone who just wanted to live in the problem.

As I get more focused on gratitude and all of the positive things in my life, I find that there is little room for negativity.  This week I have really had to work at keeping my distance from the negativity at work.  It is so easy to get sucked in when things aren’t going my way.

When I can get my mind off the things I can not control and focus on the good things, my gratitudes, I can smile and the whole day is better.

We all have those times when things aren’t going our way and we feel the need to vent. I definitely have times I need to talk about something.  I try to be aware of this and choose my audience carefully.  I have also begun thanking people for listening to the vent.  It helps me remember that I don’t want to make that my default conversational style.

I want to be a positive person who is uplifting to be around.

The good news is, I can choose who I want to be.

A sense of belonging and safety…

journey

Last Sunday my son, his girlfriend and their 2 year old dog, Penny, arrived for their first visit since they moved south in October after living with me for a year.  An interesting thing happened.  Penny at first seemed very guarded.  She stuck to them and even growled a little at my dogs.  I know that things have been confusing for her lately.  The kids are living in a place that doesn’t allow dogs and Penny has been living with her other grand-dog parents.

They arrived around noon having traveled all night so after a little visit the three went up to their old room for a nap.  Fast forward one hour…Penny came trotting down with a big smile on her beautiful pibble/hound/lab mix face.  She wriggled her 65 pound body up onto my lap and covered me with licks.  I let the dogs out and they played joyfully as though they had never been apart.

We all need a sense of family and home.

dogs

Together again.

the little things…

wpid-wp-1426790587286.jpeg

This morning when I went down to let out my two dogs we were joined by the big dog, Penny.  When I turned I found J and S sleeping on the couch. One of my sons, J, his girlfriend, S, and Penny, their dog, are leaving this morning after a three day visit.  J asked her to sleep on the couch so they wouldn’t miss seeing me this morning. They live 500 miles away. The decision to make the trip was last minute so I had little free time to spend with them.  We had an hour here and an hour or so there and… little moments.  They are all so precious.  Especially the sleepy early morning hug from my 6 foot 5 inch little boy.  I am filled with gratitude.

Facing adversity…

peace

Don’t let anyone steal your peace“, the title on this article from Yoga International, is one of the best lessons I have learned in yoga and in recovery.  I do not have to give away my power or my peace.  Peace is within me.  No matter what happens, if I remember that all I can control is myself and my attitude, I can let things go and trust that they will work out the way they are supposed to.