Tag Archives: health

Through this universal Life Energy, we can connect in a positive, accepting, loving way.

This is just one of the many ideas of Virginia Satir’s Transformational Systematic Therapy. The idea of her workings to me are something I strongly believe in.I have a firm stance that at human is made of matter(body) and energy (brain) coupled with a sense of spirit. 

So why do some therapies not address the spirit, or vital energies and life forces?  As one of the only living animals on this earth that can ponder what happens after life, it makes sense to take care of this energy source while it is alive. 

Satir has an in-depth therapy system that has worked across the world and for the past 70 years. Below lists basics concepts I like to live by and hope to understand more in-depth for the benefit of my life and clients.

1. Human beings are all unique manifestations of the same Universal Life Force. Through this universal Life Energy, we can connect in a positive, accepting, loving way. 2. Human processes are universal; all human beings experience themselves through doing, thinking, feeling, expecting, yearning and spiritual connection. Therefore, these human processes can be accessed and changed regardless of different environments, cultures, and circumstances.

3. People are basically good. At their core, essential level of Life Energy, people are naturally positive. They need to find this internal treasure to connect with and validate their own self-worth.

4. People all have the internal resources they need in order to cope successfully with whatever situations life provides and to grow through them. All necessary internal resources reside within, even those that people may have learned to judge in a negative way or those that are as yet undiscovered.

5. The “problem” is not the problem; how people cope with their problem is the problem. How seriously the person experiences the problem through the meanings they make, their worries and their copings, impacts on how great a problem it becomes for them.

6. The symptom is the subconscious solution to the problem, even if it creates dysfunctional patterns. It is the result of the person’s attempt to survive the pain of their problem. Although the person’s perceived problem needs to be heard and validated, therapeutic change needs to work on wholesome solutions from the person’s Life Energy and yearnings.

7. Therapy needs to focus on health and possibilities instead of problems and pathology. Life Energy is naturally positively directional and therapy needs to tap into the natural process of human growth in a positive direction. 8. Change is always possible. Even if

8. Change is always possible. Even if external change is limited, internal change is still possible. We can learn to be consciously responsible for and decide how we will live on our insides, even when the outside cannot change.

9. We cannot change past events; we can only change the impact that the past events have had on us. It is possible to resolve impacts from the past in order to live with more positive energy and be free of old hurts, angers, fears and negative messages in the present.

10. People do the best they can at any moment in time. Even when they have done very negative or destructive things, it is the best coping that they were capable of at that moment in time and is a reflection of their level of self-worth. Therefore, there is no reason to blame them for their past failures. Helping them experience their positively directional Life Energy will help them make new choices for the present and future.

11. Feelings belong to us. We all have them and can learn to be in charge of them. We can be responsible for them and make choices about them. We can listen to the positive life message from our feelings and give ourselves the validation we need. We can choose to let go of feelings that create negative energies and events and replace them with acceptance, appreciation, forgiveness, love and peace.

12. Wholeness, growth and evolution are natural human processes and, therefore, need to be the focus of any therapeutic change. Transformational change comes from the level of Life Energy and is a part of natural human growth and evolution. It means that people are becoming more of their true, spiritual Selves rather than their reactive, survival systems.

13. The therapist’s use of Self is the greatest therapeutic tool that the therapist has to create the conditions to facilitate positively directional, transformational change. Therapists who experience their own positively directional Life Energy are able to provide clients with therapeutic relationships based on care, acceptance and new possibilities. The therapist often experiences the positive nature of the client’s Life Energy even before the client does and connects with the client at that level.

14. Hope is a significant component or ingredient for change to take place. When the therapist experiences the positive nature of the client’s true Self, hope becomes a tangible aspect of the therapeutic process and guides the way towards change.

(Aspects taken from a briefing by Dr. John Banmen, RPsych, RMFT & Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC)

Fear

A simple meditation for being with your fears

Sometimes high up in the forest, I find a rock to perch upon. Sometimes, I read, other times I meditate but when I want to come back to reality and lose my fears of the future; I do this.

I find the highest rock. I find an area that seems comfortable to me, I stand tall and close my eyes. I stand there until I completely forget where I am, losing time and space. Gaining a fleeting feeling as if I am hovering above the earth.

rtable to me, I stand tall and close my eyes. I stand there until I completely forget where I am, losing time and space. Gaining a fleeting feeling as if I am hovering above the earth.

All I think about is this:

Do I trust myself deeply? Decisions, actions, future, past.

I trust myself deeply, decisions, actions, future, past all happened because I trust myself deeply.

I go through this until I mean exactly what I say.
Knowing that the universe provides always. Every time I close my eyes, I know I trust myself & the universe.

What am I going through:

Lately, I have been doing this often as my path to graduate school begins very soon. I look at where this beautiful life journey has brought me. In the beginning, I was upset I did not take this journey sooner, then I feared if it would be worth the money and as the time to descend to Boulder; I can’t help but think of how I will once again be leaving a home I just created for myself. I will be out of my element, standing out as me, the girl from California among a class of 40 other students from mostly the east coast. I have not been in a classroom since I graduated in 2012 from Fresno State. I will be asked to write & then I will be critiqued on my writing. I love to write but I fear, like so many times in the past, it just won’t be good enough. Will my conservative, liberal thoughts not be accepted by my peers? Do I realllllly want to do this? When I am feeling scared, alone or just not me, I can’t hop in the car to see the people who make me feel the best. The universe always provides, ALWAYS provides what it is & exactly what you need, the faith in me for that is deep. So while these fears are so apparent, my meditation has always gotten me to let go of these fears.

So I meditate like this

Knowing that the universe provides always. Every time I close my eyes, I know I trust myself & the universe.

Mother Earth

Today I laid arms spread wide as if I was hugging the earth.

I was supposed to be doing yoga, but half way through a posture I found myself hugging the earth.

Something inside of me deeply needed this.

And as I lay holding on to this beautiful mass we walk on every day, I felt my body melting. My mind completely still I felt it, I felt the beat of the earth.

It was at that moment, my belief in Mother Earth was greatly deepened, it was as if she was hugging back.

Mother Earth has been my support she has felt every heartbreak of every living soul, she has  witnessed every birth and will all over her cores energy, she holds us down.

Today, I lay on the ground, hugging the earth and I swear I felt Mother Earths heartbeat.

Today I became more of a human than I have ever been in my life.

Today I know, I am me.

Thank you, Mother Earth.

Forgotten

Why do I feel so forgotten lately?

It reminds me of when I was younger and my Dad was supposed to pick me up on Wednesdays from school and bring me to practice. He missed three weeks in a row before I decided to find my own way.

Its this knot that builds very low inside me. Slow building a rope that rises up through my head. Eventually cutting off my senses, I become cold, insecure and weak.

It is a feeling like not knowing if tomorrow the sun will rise.

This thought is ever lasting that there is something damaged about me, something that no one wants.

So every day I fall more madly in love with myself because I will always know who and where I am. That is what meditation has taught me to do, know my truth.

At some point, I think this can be so obsessive and how can I find a love that won’t forget me if I don’t forget myself. How can I receive with no hand to give hold to in return?

But self-loving is not just loving myself it is being selfless to others.

Giving yourself to others through simple actions. Choosing not to engage, to ignore anger, and show undenying love and affection to those who are in need of it, because I have so much for myself, everyone needs it too.

When I am not self-loving I destroy myself, breakdown and become someone I hate.

We all do.

So I choose every moment, to take it(life) as it is.

To remind myself to smile because no one likes a frowny friend.

To remind myself to be selfless because that is how you receive self.

Writing this to remind myself that this is who I am.

Practicing this & repeating these actions over and over can only change my life.

Each time I practice, the gaps in my selfishness becomes less and less.

 

This will be who I am, NOT FORGOTTEN.

Why yoga?

Why yoga?

Why yoga?

Why yoga?

This took me a while to contemplate because there are so many reasons why!

Because I don’t think I ever knew who I truly was. I started yoga as a way to clear my mind after I first started my 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM job (who willingly does that to themselves?) and had recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I read an article online that Bikram Yoga could rebalance my hormones, so I bought my first Groupon and was on my way. I did 20 out of the 30 days of class and saw my life radically transform, after staring at myself half naked in a hot room full of 40 other people, I started to see my body for what it is. I was able to concentrate more and my depressive habits began to subside. As I deepened my practice going from studio to studio throughout California I noticed that I no longer felt the need to drink heavily in social situations and could actually articulate my thoughts with confidence. I no longer found the need to get stoned or chain smoke when I was anxious I just met the mat.

When I finally did my 200-hour teacher training at Purusha, I learned about the Siddhis and how yoga can cleanse you of the siddhis. Yoga cleansed my life without me even knowing it. I HAD TO WHOLEHEARTEDLY BELIEVE THAT YOGA SAVED ME. Through yoga, I not only found my voice but discovered exactly who I am and what I am meant to be. That’s why yoga.

That’s why; yoga.

Yoga chose me, I did not choose yoga.

Some people never heal

from adoption.

A phrase I have heard often very recently. I do agree with the SOME part of the statement but something inside of me becomes angered by how it blankets a community. When people who have never been adopted speak about adoption in this way, I envision a man giving intimate details of childbirth. He has never been through it but he is able to tell you exactly how it feels and what it is like to “heal” from it.

When I was younger in my adolescence I deeply struggled with me being adopted. I felt anger and resentment, thinking the grass was always greener. As I grew older and saw my many accomplishments and opportunities that had been presented to me, I found a new way of looking at my adoption. This was around the age of 13. Generally, those who are adopted struggle the most during puberty, as the begin to more deeply understand what it is like to  possess a sex drive. This is when healing takes place the most. I worked hard to heal. I went to a therapist, I wrote often and as an adult I aspire to give others the tools my therapist instilled within me. I see myself as healed having grieved when I was an adolescent and understanding what healthy relationship dynamics look like by studying and learning about relationship styles when I began to date (age 15, dating was a huge mess for me). Yes, some who have not worked as hard as me to heal may have small issues. But don’t look at them as broken and unfixable, they just need to be given the skills to cope.

I have met people who have not yet healed, but to say they will NEVER heal, is a pretty terrible thing to say about a person. Maybe they have not wanted to heal, maybe they have not been given the tools to heal. AND MAYBE ITS NOT YOUR JUDGEMENT whether they have healed or not. Unless you are a psychologist and they are seeking your help, it is not something you should speak about.

It is an interesting phenomenon, people taking a few psychology courses, or a few hours of ted talk and all of a sudden they are able to judge others and their past. Many of the people have not done something, know themselves first, that is why they are JUDGING (not to be confused with diagnosing) others.

 

 

No Bohns About It

 

How to quickly acclimate to high altitude, a yogis secret

Growing up I split most of my time between high altitude and sea level and never noticed the difference in my body. After a few years of less frequent visits to high altitude, a detoxification of alcohol and a strong connection with my body through yoga, I for the first time felt what it was like to acclimate to high altitude. Here is what happened and what helped!

Extreme altitude is generally considered to be above 12,000 ft where atmospheric oxygen level falls to as low as 60% compared to sea level.

Currently, I am at what is known as high altitude where the atmospheric oxygen level falls to 80% compared to sea level. I am only about 7,000 ft above sea level, and for the first time in my life, I feel a remarkable difference in my body.

  • High altitude = 1,500–3,500 metres (4,900–11,500 ft)
  • Very high altitude = 3,500–5,500 metres (11,500–18,000 ft)
  • Extreme altitude = above 5,500 metres (18,000 ft)

After being home for 3 days, my body has gone through immediate acclimation and is beginning to acclimate to the long term effects of high altitude, which is awesome. Being born in the mountains and having spent a significant amount of time at this level of altitude throughout my life I have never really even thought about my need to acclimate to the altitude. Through my consistent yoga practice, I am able to see deeply into my bodies current functionalities. So as I began my first yoga class on the 26th hour of being “up here” I realized something was off. I was sucking wind and my breath felt short and unproductive. My carotid bodies or the forks in my blood vessel systems near my carotid arteries were sensing a lack of oxygen. In return, my non-essential body functions like my digestion were being put on hold to figure out what the heck is going on.

My yogic practice of following my breath and diving into pranayama felt completely unnatural as if it was not just my body, mind, and spirit but also my lounges which had a complete agenda of their own, altering my bodies ability to function.

Sitting on my mat, breathing, I acknowledged the struggle. I increased the amount of prana entering my body and shortening how much downward energy I was exulting by keeping my outward breath shorter. This worked to create a wonderful connection, and once again I felt at home in my body as it became one with my mind.

Class, was more difficult and I was much more shaky than I had been living in San Francisco. Knowing what was going on inside of me, I gently reminded myself how great this is for my body. Each of myy organs, which will receive much more red blood to them once I fully acclimate!

On the second evening, my body was exhausted, I took a nap and went to bed very early. My bodies regular cycles were off, I felt bloated. As I lay bloated I did a few Thai Belly messages which were taught to me at yoga school the week before, I fell asleep while doing this.

72 hours into my high altitude acclimation, I awoke with a sense energy (but when don’t I? :))and ready to go for the day. Off to a new studio for “Yoga Shop” class, a class for yoga teachers to connect with one another and go through flows they would like to refresh upon. It was just me and my new friend Ky, who is a beautiful heart. We decided to do a yin/restorative while meditating on loving kindness. As my fascia began to release once again I began to feel the disconnect. Sitting still in my yin pose, I was breathing extremely shallow. As I moved into child’s pose, I was given an energetic modification when Ky placed her hand alongside my back in three specific energy healing spots.

Ky placed her hand on the Prana Vayu, on the back of my heart. I felt as if I could breathe again. Forward moving air being sensed by my body.

Ky placed her hand on the Samana Vayu, between the heart and the solar plexus. I felt a deepening connection between my right and left-side, of my back. I was becoming balanced, as I deeply inhaled the connection built in my prana breath gave deeper synchronicity into the Samana breath.

Ky placed her hand on the Apana Vayu, between my navel and my solar plexus. I felt a downward pull as if the energy gathered from the breathe before was filling up this area inside of me.

 

As I came out of this pose, I felt like a whole new person. Balanced, aligned and ready to achieve high altitude acclimation where the benefits are endless. Some are less sore muscles from lower, production of lactic acid, more capillaries to carry heavier red blood cells (increasing my body’s bang for its buck of every breathe) and more mitochondria for muscular endurance.

So, the next time you go to the mountains, whether it is to live or just to visit, remember to practice pranayama for the most enjoyable experience.

Three quick and easy exercises you can do upon your arrive are listed below!

Ujjayi breath is the most basic breath of yoga. It is a slow deep breathing pattern where you breathe in and out through your nose, taking slow deep breaths and directing the air through the back of your throat, making a HA sound as if you are creating the ocean inside of your mouth & nose. Slow long breaths are important – 4 to 6 counts on the inhale, 6 – 8 counts on the exhale. For beginners, start with 4 counts of inhale and 4 counts of exhale.

 

Kapalabhati – this is forced exhalation by pumping contractions of your belly, inhalations happening naturally. This helps detoxify the body by removing more Carbon Dioxide from your blood stream allowing for increased capacity for oxygen uptake once you return to normal breathing. Inhale for a deep whole breathe (4 counts), then kick all the are out by snapping your belly, exulting a small but quick 1 second breathe. The mouth can be opened or closed.

 

The best day of my life

The best day of my life was the day I was adopted. Sometimes, I think deeply to myself and reflect on how extremely lucky I am. Of course, my thinking on this was not always this way and it took me much work to understand the magnitude of gratitude I could hold for this simple act.

Around the age of 13, I really started to wonder what it would be like if my parents did not adopt me. I just did not want to be at home, I thought my birth parents had a fairytale life, much better for me. Many 13-year-olds go through this stage, especially if there are other conflicts in the home, however for adopted children this can be magnified on a much larger scale. There are actually two real people out there with actual lives. Luckily for me, my parents had always allowed me to have contact with them which helped me to understand this home is my home. I knew my birth mother was not able to keep me because she was in school, but it angered me that she had a child a year and a half after. It was a hard pill to swallow and I questioned if it was because I was brown.

I then went to college and completely understood that what she is probably the hardest thing college student could do. I even spoke to my birthmother about this when I was in college. I asked her what I should do. She told she had six abortions before having me. My life may haven’t been, I am grateful. I then put myself in her shoes, a 23-year-old, living on their own, studying and constantly surrounded by partying. She carried me for 9 months with her head held high. She was not married, she was not dating the father of the child and she was going to school. I couldn’t imagine myself doing this, life is precious.

I couldn’t imagine myself doing what she did, life is precious. She deeply knew that and honored the world by bringing me into life.

I healed experiencing college and being able to put myself in her shoes.

I heal every day I look around me surrounded by the beauty of life.

I heal when I look at my life and see all the accomplishments, places, and opportunities that have been presented to me.

I heal knowing that I have defied many odds.

We as humans are not perfect, but we have the ability to heal.

Its all perspective​.

No Bohns About It

A gypsy’s goodbye

FullSizeRender (3)Where are you going?

I will miss you.

I silently sit to myself, reflecting on these feelings inside of me. I have heard this a few times now.

This is what it is.

Missing you.

When I do, I will look deep inside my heart and there you will be

You see my heart is my home and in it I dwell

It has crumbled

It has mended

It is whole and cannot be broken

When you miss me, smile to your heart.

For deep inside it I dwell as well

Our heart will hug

Our souls will rejoice

Together they will dance

No longer will you feel sorrow, knowing I never left

Adoption in the media

Being born in 1990, people were still pretty opposed to adoption. Thankfuly, I never really had to deal with what my birthmother endured. My parents were seen as privledged because they could “afford” to adopt childnren.

First lets define the REAL meaning of adoption.

See, adult adoption often means that your step father or step mother has chosen to identify you as their dependant often times for tax purposes or financial aid use. To me adoption is a child being raised by other members of society who are completly un related. COMPLETE STRANGERS RAISING YOU, if you will.

IN THE MEDIA, I see often times birth families fighting for their child back. And the adopted child does not want to return back to them or are deemed “too young” to make a decision on my own. Let me for a second be the voice of that child’s future for one a moment because this happened to me. No, no camera crews were involved but there were lawyers, my birthfather (a hairstylist in Venice) and his 16 year old pregnant girlfriend and my parents (both established school teachers with Masters Degrees). He claimed he did no want my life to be a science project, because both of my parents were very into psychology.

What in the world was he thinking? If he loved me so much, why wouldn’t he want a life that was not possible with him? Thinking it was okay to take my future life away from me filled with education, stability and nurturing? I had a chance to live in a stable environment. A roof over my head, summers in Tahoe and Hawaii, tutoring, a soccer lessons. I still wonder, why did he not want that for me? My birthmother was so scared he would get custody over me again, because she dreamed of my future too. I was an accident, she knew that. She knew that in order to raise a child properly you had to have your shit together. She was still a student and he was still a playboy. In the media we see these birth families claiming victim as they were originally unfit to care for the child. Who welcomes children into the world without having a stable environment? As a mother and sometimes father, you have 9 months to get your life in order to welcome a child. My most noteable 9 months in my adult life I moved to the central coast, learned how to internally recruit and general staff and landed my job back in San Francisco. So what exactly was he doing for 9 months while I was being built? I’m curious what type of person doesn’t plan for 9 months and expects to magically have a child to care for?

It’s as if he saw my life as a possession and not a journey. When the child is at question, as yourself, who will provide the easiest road to “success”. I was the first family member of my adopted birth fathers family to graduate college with a Bachelors Degree. This would not have been possible if I had lived with him. History repeats itself.

So when we see the media placating the birth families as the victim, DO NOT BE FOOLED. That childs fullest potential is at stake. They do indeed have the capacity to dream and if they can dream they can choose. When I was 7 I knew of my birth family and when I was 11 I even thought it would be better with them. My mother grabbed a suitcase & said that if I thought it was better then pack up and she would drive me back to them.

HEAVY SHIT, RIGHT?

Yea, she was teaching my how to contemplate. No, I don’t want to go live with them, I would have to leave soccer behind, all my friends, my toys, yeah I was not leaving. An appology from myself came soon and so did an explanation of love from my mother.

So when you see adoption in the media, see it as a childs fullest potentail being put at stake. It is a beautiful thing that should never be un-done.

 

No Bohns About It

Family

Yes, the ones who drive you up the walls crazy. When you have that feeling of them making you nuts, I have learned, that its love. Family, each of us has our quirks but we come together to spend with one another and celebrate a beautiful life we have each created.

This past weekend, everything I had missed while leaving in other parts of California was right before me. My family celebrating life for no real reason except for a religious holiday none of actually identify with. We spent the whole day catching up with one another. My beautiful cousins who are more life sisters at this point are struggling to make their next step in life. Their mother & my aunt a wonderful perfectionist seemed to be more worried than them was present, along with my mother, her boyfriend, my father and sister. What a site it was.

Each of us with our own quirks, in one house together drinking and having a good laugh. This moment I never once imagined. We have been through so much, each and everyone one of us. We were all together, smiling and having fun.

Later that evening I had an intense feeling of belonging. Yes, this is my family and I belong with them, I know this.

But sometimes you are distracted by outside things, like work, boyfriends, friends or even because of alcohol. I have found myself in the past unable to connect with my family because of these stressors. I think I am at this point out of maturity, and something that is odd for me to say. I have always thought I was mature, that in fact was much a lie I told myself.

I feel as if I have started over from scratch. I can now approach my family with a smile on my face. I have no significant other but if I did, he would not take away from my family time. If I drank, I would not drink to the point of being sick, because enjoying my family is that important to me. Finally, if your work is so stressful where you cannot enjoy your family time, run- run as fast as you can from that company & find a new passion. I know I did.

Feelings deeper than the ocean.

I have never been capable of feeling as deeply as I do now.

This yoga stuff, it really does work. I have managed to learn how to feel again. Today in class I completely broke down. My dreams are my reality. I have said to myself over and over again, someday I will not work behind a computer. Someday, I will get to live again among the big trees. Someday, I will be free and yoga will be my life. My life I have aspired is right at my finger tips. I move forward with a sense of fear that I will have no money to move to Boulder with, I know this is my ego speaking. I have never not been capable of making money. I cry because everything I have dreamed of, I have also feared. That is why they are my dreams and not my reality. But now my dreams are my reality and I am living in a surreal moment, its hard to take in.

As if I should be ashamed of all that I have accomplished. Everything I am proud of, it is not to brag about. But, it is.

I am accomplishing my dreams and the dreams of many others by being fearless. Taking strides into the unknown with a face of determination. I know I can do this.

I know five years ago, I never would have been able to take these strides now. I was incapable of feeling. I cried and things hurt me, but it hurt my ego. I can now easily see the things that hurt my ego and things that hurt my heart, the ego protected by changing me for who I was.

My ego is still her, but true self, my purusa is stronger.

I experience life with a greater understanding with a sense of holding my heart in my hand and a light beaming about my head. Open to experience and feel emotions more easily. Some days it is draining, others it is invigorating, eventually I will become stronger with this and it will just be who I am, taking no energy at all.

To feel what genuine emotion or samadhi is, is some indescribable. There is not angst, anger or excitement. Its something inside you that is breaking open, it is bliss for the here and now is everything you have aspired for and all you have to do is breathe and be.

A day in the life.

A day in the life a life that was adopted.

My life is just like your life; however I may be more grateful for my life than many others.

This gratitude was not something that was easily found and something I struggled with through out my childhood and an area of anger, confusion and frustration.  It is not every day that I was reminded of where I came from, only when something happened when that I thought was unfair. Or when my body developed completely different from my older sisters. Any major life event, like my first homecoming, graduation & birthdays. Or anytime I was happy or complacent, I thought of my sisters and my birth family that could have. I spent my childhood in perpetual bouts of happiness and resentment.

But those thoughts have greatly transformed to gratitude.

My life was an option, I could have very well been terminated.

I choose to be thankful for my life.

For many years I have taken my life for granted, smoking cigarettes, taking drugs, getting piss drunk and defiling my body by giving it away to men who I would never see again.

I almost did not have a life.

I almost did not get to go to one of the best public schools in the nation.

I almost did not get to go to college.

I almost did not have enough lacrosse training to play at a division 1 level.

I almost did not have the opportunity to achieve my highest potential.

I almost did not live my life.

If I almost did not have a life, I need to be grateful for it. I need to take it for the beauty that it is. So I have chosen and learned to live with intent. I think of my birth family with great gratitude and love. I cherish them deeply, they are my motivation for everything I want to achieve. I want to thank and honor my birth mother, every second, every moment for every breath I take. I do that by living more mindfuly, be embracing the present moment, understanding that my body is truly a temple.

If we look at each of our lives, adopted or not, we all have a reason to to live with gratitude. WE ARE ALIVE.

You birth mother are the reason I can say thank you, and mean it. For always and ever. 

Life: live it.

No Bohns About It

A letter to my first teacher of Mindfulness

Dear Grammy,

I hope dinner went well on Saturday, I wish I could have been there. Thank you for inviting me, it meant a lot. My Dad told me about your loss and I am very sorry to hear about it. I want to let you know I love you!
Lately, I have been reflecting a lot on a number of things and wanted to share them with you. Ever since I was young, I have always admired your faith in god. I am learning a lot about mindfulness and transpersonal frameworks as I prepare for my graduate school interview this weekend. I remember when you asked me mindfulness meant when I came over for lunch a few weeks ago and I think you already knew the answer to your own question. You were asking me to see if I knew what it was truly. I know what mindfulness is because of you. You were my first teacher of mindfulness, without me even knowing.
It is interesting to me how a belief in something (anything really) can transform your life. I wonder why I am drawn to mindfulness-transpersonal therapy and I can’t help but think back to sitting at the dinner table eating. Everyone now a days is concerned with “eating mindfully”, everyone wants to know how they can slow down and they can’t seem to because they can’t slow down in their life. They are missing necessary skills. What skills are we/they missing? I think of Grammy, who prays before every meal and is always done last. This is not on purpose to impede us, she “knows how to eat” and she also probably enjoys the meal a bit more as she not only savors the taste but the company as well. Of the differences between us and Grammy, want to know what it is? Her intentional thoughts for other, ourselves and above all the belief in something higher. Funny, how just three main categories of life can transform everything in someone’s life, including how fast they eat!
I am so thankful for having you in my life. You have shown me the graces of believing in something higher and that through devotion and practice great things can happen in all aspects of your life.
I love you and Grandpa sooooooo much because you both are amazing role models. As I prepare for my interview next weekend, I wanted to share with you my gratitude.
Love,
Allie Foo-Doo

Nervousness.

It has been a belief of mine that nerves are disguised as excitement. Before competing, before interviews, before anything I am anticipating: EXCITEMENT. This is what I tell myself,  I never think of failure. It has never been an option. See there is no failing, only an opportunity to learn. But lately, this isn’t true. I am scared shitless, I am nervous.

See, I have spent the past 9 months living in San Francisco, close to my family & surrounded by people I truly have made deep connections with. Finally, I am surrounding myself with wonderful people who foster beauty in every aspect of my life. There are so many wonderful people that want to be friends with me!

So everything I have been building, my strong wholesome root. My career, my family, my friends; will all change if I am to go to graduate school at Naropa. This scares me, my root chakra feels as if it will break. I take each moment I have here with great gratitude, hoping to make the most out of each moment.

I am nervous, my interview for Naropa is next Saturday. I really can’t remember my essay, what transformation is or what mindfulness really truly means. For the first time, I am going to be questioned about my knowledge of Mindful thinking in a professional environment. I will be tasked with talking to other peers about my knowledge of Mindfulness. I have never done this before. I am nervous because I don’t know what will happen.

As I write this, I sit here and thinking  I shoudl be excited. I am excited, excited for a new endeavor. A chance to learn, a chance to grow, a chance to pursue a dream.

If I continue to live my life with love and embody my intention, when I leave to pursue my true intention, I will feel no qualms. It will be fine, becuase I will be where I need to be.

 

 

DOING yoga or PRACTICING yoga?

Lately, I have been doing a lot of studying around Buddhism, mindfulness, and  yoga. Yes, people say all the time “I am a yogi”. I am sure you yoga a lot, but are you a practitioner of yoga? As someone who did a lot of yoga at one point in my life and still do, I was DOING yoga I was not practicing it. There is a difference here. Doing yoga, you are going through the movements, you are being mindful of your movements and you are moving your body. Usually, your life will change in some way or another. You will feel healthier, be more relaxed and love a little more.

If you are to practice yoga, it encompasses your entire life. You core values will shift as you learn the niyamas and yamas more deeply. Your outlook on parts of the world will change as you understanding the makeup of kosha’s. And finally intimately exploring ourself and others through the chakras (coming from a psychology background, I love this).  This to me is practicing yoga. Making it not just a workout but a way of life and belief system.

We can all DO yoga and it’s great if you do, just one mindful moment can have great ripples throughout the universe. But to make yoga a practice, a lifestyle is truly an awesome transformation that could lead to greater good in your life. I think any strong practice, whether it’s yoga, smoking, running, heavy drinking, dancing, cussing or reading the bible, can all give your life a jolt, good-bad, positive-not positive, devoted practice will change your life and lifestyle.

I chose to live devoutly mindfully, to practice yoga all day every day, that’s pretty cool to me.

What is luck actually?

Working each day with people who are looking for jobs is an interesting experience, you meet every type of person and assist them in an otherwise stressful life event.

Some people manage the stress fine and others refer to you as their personal counselor; these are the candidates I love. This week a recent graduate who I have been assisting has been interviewing for some time now. He has yet to land a job, but holds a great technical skill set and personable. He was frustrated and said he just doesn’t have good luck.

It got me thinking, is it really luck? Or has he been making his job search a full-time job? Has be been working hard enough to attain his goal? What has he been doing extra to better himself? I am wondering because I simply have not used the word luck in so long. As if when he said the words, dust was being blown off of my heart. It brought me back to church Bingo with my Grandmother; my epic wins were straight luck.

I believe that we create our own luck through hard work and devotion. Day in and day out we do things, be it; necessary, extraordinary or nothing at all. If we continue to strive for things, making yourself better each day, then we will need no such thing as luck, for what we are striving for is easily attainable.

See, I meditate, a lot.

It took me a long time to get here. I struggle with a long family history of mental disorders and have overcome anxiety and depression. It took hard work to grow a quiet mind and inner peace, each day I work to achieve it. Some days silencing my mind is easier than others, but each day my mission is clear, be better for myself.

I set out my goals. to become a yoga teacher. So I create a devout practice, I work hard to make extra money to pay for my teacher training. I spend every other weekend at class for 200 hours. I apply myself, I study, I become a yoga teacher. Because I imagined it, I thought about it, I committed to it, I acted on it and I stayed true to my path.

I don’t see where there is luck in this.

“Luck is what you make it”- Luck is made, through your own practice and devotion.

Purusha Yoga Teacher Training

This weekend I began my journey of becoming a yoga teacher. What a wonderful experience! As I write this my eyes are heavy, my heart is whole and I am filled with love, knowledge and excitement.

We began by introducing ourselves and our intentions of this course. I chose to set my intention as growth. I thought of this deeply because there is so many areas of my life I would like to prosper. Socially, economically, fundamentally and personally growing for the better. Joy, PJ, Eric and Laxman have all expressed that the teacher training will teach you so much about yourself & I believe it already.

With only 16 hours of guidance under my belt I am beginning to learn a lot about myself. I am a very egocentric person in my outward expression. I think this is because I am quick to speak and slow to think.

Expressing my ego is something I would like to shut down almost completely, this is my goal. Mindful speaking can help be increase and grow my knowledge by allowing others to say things that I most likely haven’t heard or opens a conversation. By having a conversation, I am able to grow friends and by growing friends I will be happy which will help me be happier at work causing me to grow economically. Once I have grown enough I have set my vision at getting into Naropa’s graduate program.

Through the teacher training, I will be able to understand myself more so that I am prepared for the next journey of mine in life.

Now, SANSKIRT – what the heck is this? I am terrible at reading it aloud but through chanting and matra’s we are able to grasp a better understanding of the pronunciation. We open each session or day with three Om’s (the sound of the earth) and then say Shanti (for peace) I really like this part of the practice and provides a ritual and really prepares me for deep meditation.

I have been doing a lot of meditation in the past but I really feel a deeper thought flow during the last sittings through the guidance of the Purusha teachers, I hope I can be like them: inspirational mediation guides.

How far did the apple roll from the tree?

It rolled as far as it could

Then it got stuck in a rut

The apple turned to mush

The seeds were sewn into the ground

The sprouts grew roots

The roots grew strong

The baby tree sprung up

The tree grew strong; halfway between the sun and the giving seed tree

When it was cold it found warmth in the sun

When it was windy it leaned on the giving seed tree

From the warmth of the sun and the strength of the giving tree, the tree grew deep roots and strong limbs

Now the tree has grown so tall and so wise to the weather it can see the sun and the giving tree from above

When the weather gets rough the tree stands tall knowing exactly who it is & where it came from

The tree finds comfort deep within its roots through any weather, the same roots that were created by both the warmth of the sun and the gift of life of giving tree.

By Alexandria Zachariades

The word sorry.

Listen for the word sorry today. It is so weird, we use the word sorry for the most minimal actions, actions that are often out of our control. We have used this precious word to the point where it is a regular part of our vocabulary.

Think back to a time when you were actually sorry. Like to when your heart hurt so terribly it felt as if it was bleeding. 

Makes you think about a moment that often times makes you cringe.

Often times when you give a sincere apology, saying the words I am sorry do not change the opinions of others. So you either change your action and work toward others approval or keep on keeping on, depending on how sorry you actually are.

The other day a woman said that she was “so sorry for me being wet” (because of the rain). “Funny”, I thought in my head and quickly replied “it’s not your fault. She said, “I know but I feel bad”. Well then, I am glad we actually know what you mean know I thought.

I cannot remember the last time I said I was sorry, or apologize for my actions. I have turned into Madonnas Unapologetic Bitch. I have no real reason to apologize. I, through my actions, are working towards a greater apology. An apology to myself for not setting myself free sooner from my addictions, negative thought processes and unloving lifestyle. My actions are proving, that I am sorry without even saying a word. So yes, to you I may be an unapologetic bitch, and you can be one to me as well, I’ll not only understand, your probably on a journey too; but I will support you.

Apology not accepted.

 

The truth about liars.

We are all one. In one way or another, we all have our tiny little lies. Lies we tell ourselves for comfort. Lies we tell others to protect ourselves. Lies; they are nothing but acts of selfishness.

I have a knack for smelling others bullshit. Maybe it was the fact that my parents lied to me often as a child or my background in psychology. I often don’t react to others lies, instead, I become more intrigued. I look into why the person is lying, what are they protecting themselves from?

I try my hardest to be honest with myself in others. Sometimes it is challenging and the tact and poise of honesty can be hard. However, if you live your life in a manner that is true to yourself, lies become particles of the past.

When others lie to me, I care for those people more deeply. They probably think they are pulling one over me, and that is okay. My father often says “totelos” greek for in the end. In the end, we all get what we deserve. If they would like to take advantage of me in some way, go ahead. I know my compassion and love will show them that there is no need to lie.

My patience for liars is great. Liars are the ones that need the most love.