In the Chakra Dyana Meditation that I teach, we focus on the root chakra as our grounding force. The color that we envision is red and the sound we chant is lang. The root chakra is vital to our balance.
When I train with my personal training clients, a huge focus is on balance. We may stand on one leg, or put a ball under our backs when we are on the ground....whatever is appropriate.
This kind of training is instrumental in gaining core strength and is so beneficial in gaining confidence to do every day activities (ie. stepping over that curb in the parking lot or jumping over that lego on the carpet).
Balance in physical training is so representative of how we need to find balance in our emotional, spiritual bodies as well.
Life is always throwing me curve balls. I need to try to remain as balanced as I can so I can react to the changes, whether everyday small changes or large life changing ones.
Whether it's a death in the family or buying the winning lottery ticket (I wish), sometimes you just never know what's coming down the pike. It helps so much to stay as strong yet flexible as you can.
Working on our balance allows us to navigate the challenges of life more effectively, with less stress and more resiliency. Not only are we able to avoid the pitfalls(or at least react to them more gracefully) but even when we fall our ability to recover quickly is improved as well. The amount of time we stay down is shorter.
When I had my knees replaced, it was a huge advantage that I had been working out so much up until the time of surgery. When one of my parts was out of whack the rest of me was strong so I could manage better.
This is called balance. But emotionally/spiritually balance can work in the same way. If we take time to strengthen our spiritual self we will be confident in knowing we can get back even if we do go off our path.
The time in between our downs in our spiritual selves (why am I here? what's the point? kind of questions) can get shorter and shorter the more we pay attention to our spiritual strength.
Whether it is meditation, prayer or enjoying a sunset - use what tools work for you to get centered and maintain your own spiritual balance as best you can in an ever changing world.
So this morning at around 630 a.m. I'm on the road with my son. Oddly enough, I just love this time of morning. The strangest things can happen when you least expect them. Keep your eyes open!
This morning I am thinking of a way to explain my meditation to new students. I am thinking of all the ways people can feel connected to something greater than/outside of themselves. Is it Jesus? Is it Buddha?
I am thinking to myself - I could ask "is it your favorite pet?". Seriously, it enters my mind "is it that golden retriever you loved as a child?" "Do you feel a connection to a beloved pet when you look into their soulful eyes?".
As this thought floats through my mind, I notice the billboard at the corner of Winnetka and Roscoe. I turn off the radio and point it out to my son and explain what I was just thinking. Life is so wonderful!
Yes, a lot of people are very aware of this connection we can have with animals. Yes, there are some people who may think this is crazy. Either way, for me, this morning seemed to be giving me a clear sign (pun intended) that some people surely do have a soulful connection with animals. It was a gentle reminder to not judge, everyone has their own connections going on. It's all good!
For all you dog lovers out there - I get it! Love is so beautiful! Embrace it wherever you find it. I'm going home now to snuggle my dog, the 5th member of our family!
By the way - this is supposed to be an amazing movie! I guess the other message I got was that I need to see it!
When I was about 12 I would take the public bus home from school. Usually, the ride went very smoothly but this one time I recall I was preoccupied and I missed my stop.
I was horrified. I sat there wondering what to do and decided that I would just stay seated and wait for the bus to come around the loop in our city and return to my stop. I was too embarassed, mortified in fact, to actually stand up and ask the driver to stop. It was too late!
I truly thought there was no way to undue this terrible mistake. So I sat there silently waiting, wondering how long it would take to see the whole town and ultimately get back to my stop. Surely the bus would right itself, right?
You can imagine my surprise when the bus arrived at the bus depot and parked in an endless sea of buses. The driver turned around and asked me what I was doing.
I nearly started crying. "I missed my stop, I thought you were going to swing around eventually". He took pity on me and helped me figure out how to get on a different bus that was headed out on the route that would get me home.
So often in life we may feel like we are trapped in a certain situation that is unchangeable. A job, a relationship, a living situation.
Most of us have had those situations where there may be some sort of upheaval and we have to step up and make a change - whether it is to step into a leadership role we never imagined or leave an unhealthy situation.
Sometimes your life situation changes in a way that forces you to switch direction. It may be scary, it may be risky - either emotionally, financially or socially - but sometimes you just can't deny it - you just have to step up and get off the bus. It is your life!
Listen to your own intuition to figure out which way to move but please listen. Don't worry if you've been sitting there for awhile - there is no judgment, just go forward and move. Now is the time. Welcome to 2017! There is so much happiness in store for you - go get it.
I am on a path that I would have never imagined. The more I let go of my preconceptions, the more I realize how much I have to offer.
The more I open myself up to unimagined possibilities the more doors seem to appear. We have all heard the phrase "when one door closes, another will appear".
We navigate our way through life doing the best we can but beneath the surface of it all there lies the truth. Life is a gift. Every moment is a gift.
Often lately, I arise with tears down my face, knowing that I am on the right path. I push aside the self criticism and look deep. I am a gift and I am here to share with you.
Every person I touch, whether they know it or not, is able to receive my gift, my love, my happiness. I am beyond fear of rejection. Some may not be ready, willing or able to receive my gift but it is here. I am willing to spread the net wide and offer my love to all. I am here, quietly loving all of you.
Love is patient, love is kind. We are not here to criticize or judge one another. We are here to love and be loved. I am a gift and so are you. Treasure each moment. Open yourself up to your possibilities. The more I give, the more I receive.
You don't need to struggle to find out what your gift is - you ARE the gift. You are a gift to everyone in your life. Thank you!
Have a very blessed holiday
Salty or sweet? or a little of both?
During the holidays it's a struggle to stay on track. It's ok. Enjoy life and all the yumminess it has to offer.
In order to try to counteract some of the effects of the foodie festivities may I suggest the following:
Drink more water than usual - yes this will obviously help flush out the adult beverages but it also will help clean out your system faster from all the higher than usual calorie intake.
Take smaller bites and eat slower - there is no need to rush through a meal. Savor every bite and every minute with your loved ones.
Today I dropped my son off at school in his pajamas. He is in 8th grade. He was so excited to wear his Christmas themed pj pants. As I drove away I realized I forgot to take a photo.
Yes he is 14 years old and 6'2" but his excitement reminded me of what a little boy he still is. So precious. So deserving of a photo - I felt so guilty for not catching him with my iphone to send a facebook post.
Earlier this same morning I received an email from one of my daughter's teachers about some school business. Her last sentence "Alexandra did a great job on her book talk to the class yesterday".
S*** I completely forgot to listen to her practice it. I missed out on timing her and giving her pointers. What kind of mom am I?
Arghhh where does the time go? Things get so busy and as they get older we forget to pay attention to the small things.
Yes, story of most of our lives. When they were younger it seemed so much easier to take photos or video of every little step or first piece of pizza.
But I have to remember to take a step back and not put so much pressure on myself. We all have these moments. As the kids get older different things become more important or memorable.
My son choosing to stay with our family instead of going with his friends for Halloween or my daughter waiting for me to blow dry her hair at night - different yet just as good as those first few steps. It's all good.
Previously I wrote a post entitled "We've Stepped in It Now". Same idea here, can you feel it in the pit of your stomach as you read? I sure did when it was happening.
WEDNESDAY November 23, 2016 - One Day Before Thanksgiving
Holy crap!!! We are at LAX with 2 million people ready for our 7 am flight, no problems, clear traffic, everything going swimmingly til bag check counter. We are supposed to be at BURBANK! Are you kidding me!!!!! S*** S***S*** pardon my language. Trying to breath, trying not to cry in front of my kids. BUT Thank you thank thank you to the southwest agent who saved us!!!!! We will not be deterred - we will make it to Denver by 3:30 and kids get to touch down in Sacramento for a wave to our state capitol. The agent even was able to waive change fees ($800) for us. Blessings abound!!!!!!! Happy turkey day here we come. Yes I made reservations months ago - so excited to be at easier airport - brilliant plan UNTIL I FORGOT! Yes my husband printed boarding passes the day before, yay we are in group B. Yes I moved passes downstairs to our luggage for 5 a.m. departure. Yes - BOTH OF US MISSED IT - we didn't catch BURBANK in tiny print on passes
NOOOOO!!! flight delayed!!! S*** S*** S***. We missed our connection in Sacramento. We are stuck in Sacramento for an extra 3 hours and will miss dinner with the family. Arghhh. Thank goodness for wine bars and phone chargers in the airport.
We arrive in Denver safely. We will worry about where our car is parked when we get back to BURBANK on Sunday on our non changeable return flight.
SUNDAY November 27
2:20 p.m. Uber driver finds us at Burbank. All of our luggage made it safely. Zero traffic to LAX to get our car.
3:45 p.m. Huge rainbow in the sky as we head home on a clear freeway.
The start of the trip was hellish, the end was smooth sailing and the middle was, as always, filled with love and family. This had to be the most memorable Thanksgiving trip we've ever had. We are safe, we are happy. We have a funny story.
This morning at 6:30 a.m. I was on the freeway in severe bumper to bumper traffic. Yes, it had been raining so I assumed there must have been an accident ahead. I was in the car with my 14 year old son. As we inched through traffic we noticed debris on the ground to our right and wondered if a truck had lost its cargo.
We were in the right hand lane as we inched along. A tow truck passed us, we began to see flashing police lights and cones guiding traffic around the incident. We came upon the cause - a medium sized motor home completely burned out, blackened holes where the windows had been, debris scattered everywhere.
I began to cry and am tearing up just writing this. Oh My God - a family had been on their way somewhere for the Thanksgiving holiday when this tragedy happened. The vehicle was in the emergency lane so I assume they had time to pull over and escape the flames. We were seeing the aftermath, it must have occurred hours earlier. Tears streamed down my face as my son and I prayed that the occupants were safe. Tragic. So sad. My heart ached.
As I drove with tears down my face, the traffic began to clear and we crested the incline of the freeway. Astonishing! The most gorgeous view I've ever seen in my life. The sun was rising, the misty clouds hugged the base of the mountains in the distance. The rain had cleared the air in the incredible way it does and the view was absolutely spectacular.
More tears streamed. I kid you not, as I am experiencing this contrast of tragedy to beauty I realize that "It's a Beautiful Day" by U2 is playing on our stereo. What an amazing world we live in!
The most special part of this story is that my son and I got to experience this together. He is 14 years old. He was teary too. The experience was surreal. Being stuck in that horrible traffic gave us that time together and such an incredible magical memory that we will cherish forever.
Please take care of yourself and all you love! Be safe and keep your eyes open for the beauty that is around us.
God Bless You and Happy Thanksgiving.
Lately, so many people have been complimenting me on many things - my energy, my confidence, my ability to spread happiness to other people. It is wonderful to hear but I want you all to understand - whatever you see in me is absolutely a reflection of everything that is you too! We are all made of the same stuff. The same energy that is driving me is within you too.
All of us are the same, we are connected. To be honest, this applies to all the good and the bad (I don't like that vocabulary/labelling but that will be the topic of a future post). When you see something that annoys you in another person, please take a moment to realize that you have something inside you that is similar that you don't like. Resist this thought as much as you like but it is true. That rude person that cut you off on the freeway, that thoughtless friend who forgot your birthday, that neighbor who forgets to bring their trashcans in right away, whatever annoys you - you have some variation of this defect in yourself. Just admit it, just be AWARE of it - just by being AWARE of it will make it so much easier not to judge. AWARENESS leads to compassion, forgiveness, love, acceptance.
But let's get back to the good stuff - recognize and be AWARE that things that you admire, respect and try to emulate that you see in other people are also part of who you already are. Notice these positive attributes. The more you admit that you have these great things inside of you the more they will surface. Foster the good stuff and more will come. Step up and live in the unique gifts that make you special. That person is so well spoken, such an incredible writer, a gifted story teller, a financial genius - I could never do that. STOP! - whatever you admire the most in other people has some root in who you are too. Of course, each person is different and unique with which gifts can surface and be fostered but please know - you are so incredibly gifted and the world deserves to see it. Don't ignore your own greatness!
What ever I am doing with my life right now, it is in response to and being fostered by all the people around me. It is not me, it's all of us. All of our energy is helping lift each other up. You are helping me be better just as I am helping you. We are all helping each other. We are all connected to the same source of energy. We are all Great and we only get better by being AWARE of this! Reach as high as you can, there are no limits.
Oh my gosh so I just have to share. I went to a mat pilates class the other day and got there a few minutes early. I hadn't taken this class before so I asked a man that was already set up and stretching, if he liked the class etc. He replied it was very good and the instructor was great at explaining the basics of pilates. He also liked the music she played.
Well, somehow he proceeded to tell me that when he was in high school he got into a terrible auto accident. He explained that that was when he realized that his father had been right all along....rock and roll music was from the devil.
He went on to explain that after his accident he discovered country music. Oh the people, he said, were so different, so much better quality. He laughed at how his life would have been if he had continued to listen to that rock and roll music and be around those people.
He continued - some of the instructors at this studio play that "hare krishna" type music. He asked me if I'd heard about them.
He explained that they chant and he heard they give koolaid with strange things in it to their congregation to get them hooked. I said thanks for the warning.
I laughed to myself as I set up my mat. I imagined the look on his face when a couple of months from now he sees my photo on display at this same studio offering a workshop on a "chanting meditation".
Oh goodness, watch out for me! But then I thought hmmm, maybe he will instead think - "she seemed normal, maybe I should try it". We'll see, I hope so!