Loving Kindness (in the grocery line!)

I was recently standing in the grocery line feeling agitated. Why is it taking so long?  These cashiers are so slow!  I picked the wrong line. Look how quickly everyone else is checking out! In between the usual recordings in my head, Sharon Salzburg suddenly appeared.  She whispered her words of loving kindness wisdom just loud enough for me to notice.

May you be well

May you be happy 

May you be safe

May you be at ease

May you be free from suffering

I decided to listen to her and quiet my own thoughts.  I took a breath, looked around me, and then passed on loving kindness in my mind to the cashier and to the to the person in front of me.  Within moments, the woman checking out turned around, made eye contact, and smiled.  She shared that it was her adult daughter's birthday and that her daughter was coming home to celebrate.  We had a pleasant exchange, my mood magically transformed from agitation to appreciation, and we wished each other well.

I was astounded by the immediate feedback I received that day.  It's in these moments that I realize how truly connected we all are and how my thoughts affect those around me.  

The next time you are in a stressful situation, consider wishing  those around you well and notice the changes that it creates inside of you and potentially in those around you!


The Beloved (Yoga) Community

I was recently introduced to the idea of the Beloved Community in the book, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippet.  The author writes, "John Lewis asked a 'what if' question as a tool for social alchemy: what if the beloved community were already a reality, the true reality, and he simply had to embody it until everyone else could see?"  John Lewis was a warrior for peace and justice alongside Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement.  The King Center website states, “The Beloved Community was for [Dr. King] a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.”

The first ethical principle in yoga according to Patanjali’s eightfold path is ahimsa, or nonviolence.  It has always been the fundamental yoga teaching and becomes the guiding light in our ever-evolving practice.  What if by practicing nonviolence during yoga, we become more compassionate?  What if by cultivating nonviolence on the mat, we become more accepting?  What if by observing nonviolence in our practice we embody that all-inclusive spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood that Dr. King spoke of?  What if our yoga community is also our Beloved Community?





Love and Compassion

It's Valentine's Day and I encourage you to find the time to send love and compassion to yourself.  You can find one version of the Loving Kindness Meditation below.  You can also find a recording of me guiding you through this on my SoundCloud account.

Sit up on a blanket, cushion, or chair.  Close your eyes.  Anchor down through your seat while you lift up through your crown.  Close your eyes, breathe in breathe out.

Bring yourself to mind as you say these words to yourself.

May I be happy

May I be well

May I be safe

May I be free from suffering

Repeat several times.  Once you feel comfortable sending this love and compassion to yourself, you can bring others to mind, including loved ones, pets, children, strangers, and even those who you find difficult.

May your day be filled with love and compassion.  

Joy and Authentic Connection

This is my intention for 2016.  

Rather than setting a resolution this year, I have put out the intention of attracting and creating joy and authentic connection into my life.  My plan is to show up for my life with joy in my heart and to say yes to people who are also looking for deep, authentic connections.  I am getting clearer about what brings me joy and with whom I want to connect.  This website is one way of connecting with other seekers.  Thank you for showing up for your life with joy in your heart and connecting with me through our shared yoga journey.