The "Right" Triangle
I was helping son out with his honors geometry again. One of the questions gave the base lengths of an isosceles trapezoid and its altitude and you had to determine the length of the sides. If you drew the altitude down from the middle of the top base to the bottom it resulted in looking at a trapezoid split into two equal halves. It looked balanced but did not offer a clear view of the answer. But, if you drew the line down from a corner of the top base it created a right triangle and that is where the right answer began to form.
Coincidentally (and speaking of right triangles), a friend posted a triangle on facebook yesterday called the Drama Triangle. The three points were labeled with the one of three categories everyone falls into when in drama mode: rescuer, persecutor and victim. I clicked on the tab to read more because it was written by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, which is a book I really loved. I was immediately fascinated, completely knew which one I was and immediately saw an answer to some things in my life I had been pondering. Even better, Gilbert redirected readers to a website of a man who created a new triangle, I'm calling it the right triangle (for the sake of this theme!) with the anecdotes to each drama mode.
This is going to be a brief synopsis because I would rather you go directly to the following website and read the specifics there where they were created. http://powerofted.com/
The history of the drama triangle is this: Dr. Karpman created the triangle to explain how people fall into victim, persecutor and rescuer to manage their fears (have "control" over the things they do not want in their lives).
David Emerald, in turn, created a triangle showing the opposite of those three drama characteristics and, hence, a way out of them.
He explained victims "feel powerless and at the mercy of life’s events and may avoid taking responsibility for their actions, finding it easier to blame others or their circumstances." That, instead, the victim should, instead, look at himself as a creator. One who can "Choose one’s response to life circumstances – even when problems arise."
"Persecutors usually have an underlying fear of their own victimization and, therefore, adopt various methods to control, protect and defend themselves in order to avoid becoming a Victim. They must win and convince others that they are right." The opposite of persecutor is challenger. The "Challenger serves as a catalyst for change, learning and growth, and creates an opportunity for thoughtful action for a Creator... A Challenger approaches life and relationships with a learning intent and “builds up” rather than “puts down.”
"Rescuers look for Victims to save and often are quick to jump-in and save the day, even when others are responsible...They often take on more work or duties, even when others are responsible or could do it themselves." And the remedy for a rescuer is to become a coach. "A Coach sees each person as a Creator in their own right, and seeks to support them in the process of creating outcomes."
Go to the website http://powerofted.com/ to read more and then come back to honestly answer, which one are you?
I found this triangle idea immensely inspiring and perspective changing. Maybe the moral of this theme is this; every time you think 'why did I learn this in school, I will never use it again', it is a reminder for you to bring your attention back to this story about the right triangle.
Life Demands a Pencil
My son asked me one of those questions yesterday that makes many parents cringe. Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter; that's the easy question! No, no, no. The question was if George is six feet tall and he is standing five feet from a thirty foot lamppost, how long is George's shadow? Good grief!
I started out by drawing the picture, created a formula and came up with an answer. I then did the problem a different way and got the same answer. Lastly, I printed out a graph so I could re-draw the scenario and see if my answer was realistic. It was (thank goodness!). Graphs are, by definition, "a diagram representing a system of connections or interrelations among two or more things by a number of distinctive dots, lines, bars, etc." The lines in a graph are not random. There is an x-axis and a y-axis and many lines running perpendicular to each other at evenly placed points. Because nothing is random in a graph, the points, once plotted, offer a clear picture, or answer.
Life, however, is not like that. We cannot graph out our life on paper because there is a randomness to life that points and lines do not fit into. We can graph out goals and intentions and deadlines but that doesn't mean they are set in stone (or in pen) right where we put them. Life demands a flow; a pencil, if you will, that has a rubbery eraser so we can stop and make changes as challenges arise.
"I always tell people that my life is in pencil; I have to keep an eraser in my hand because I could always get a call that could change everything." -Linda Gray
Oscar Wilde wrote, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
The "existers" stay on the plotted graph line. Those who live are not afraid to venture off the graph. Which are you?
Are you graphically structured or can you flow up and down on the parabolas of life without fear?
"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."— Confucius
The graph is complicated. Forget the graph; it is not a map depicting your path. Your heart depicts your path and if you are listening to your heart, then there is no fear.
"My journey began with a single pencil. While traveling through India in 2006, I asked a boy begging on the streets, 'If you could have anything in the world, what would you want?' and he answered me with two words: 'A pencil.' Luckily, I had one in my pocket, and in the second it took me to give it to him, a defining dream was born." Author Adam Braun
Are you ready to let your heart define yours?
What Are You Starving For?
I drove past Feed My Starving Children last night and the word starving seemed to beg for my attention. It's crazy how many times we use that word to emphasize just how hungry we think we are when really, we are just hungry and not starving at all. But that doesn't mean you aren't starving for other things in other ways. We could be starving for kindness, for affection, for self-love, for healthier habits, for healthier relationships. What are you starving for? What are you craving right now (that isn't edible!!!)? And why do you think you cannot have it?
"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death." Rosalind Russell
Close your eyes and imagine before you an almost never ending banquet table. As you really focus in on what the table offers in its spread, begin to notice there are little signs to help you. One says love, one says money. There is kindness, compassion, mate, friends, happiness, pets, dwelling, job, hope, health...it goes on and on. Anything you feel you may need is being offered to you on this table right now. No one is around watching. In fact, you are all alone to take in this splendor without judgment. What will you pick up and put on your plate?
In the book Serena, Ron Rash writes, “She realized that being starved for words was the same as being starved for food, because both left a hollow place inside you, a place you needed filled to make it through another day.”
This quote made me think about the throat chakra, inactive when we don't or can't speak what's on our mind or in our heart. You can starve any of the chakras, right? Deny yourself self love and openness and expression and any one of the energy centers could show an imbalance. Why do you suppose any of us have these imbalances and cravings when the Universe is endlessly abundant? What stops us from "ordering" what we need and want off the menu of life?
Ben Sweetland writes, “The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little.”
What are you carrying? A sieve or a tank car? If you are dragging around the past in the form of unpleasant baggage, you most likely have a sieve as your arms are to full to carry something better. So, there's the answer. Everything seems to come back to the same premise of letting go. Let go of that which weights you down so you have room for that which makes you feel lighter.
"The Inner Light" by the Beatles
"Without going out of my door
I can know all things on Earth
Without looking out of my window
I could know the ways of Heaven
The farther one travels
The less one knows
The less one really knows...
Arrive without travelling
See all without looking
Do all without doing"
The Fool of the Tarot
I chose an oracle card for class today out of Sonia Choquette's deck The Fool's Wisdom. The word fool refers to the main character in a deck of tarot cards. In a deck of tarot cards, the fool is depicted as a beggar or vagabond. He is walking without watching where he is headed and where he is headed is off a cliff! He carries a beggars sack attached to a stick or staff (danda in sanskrit) that dangles over his shoulder carrying all of his worldly possessions. There is usually a small dog nipping at his feet, representing the real world and its distractions.
The tarot cards tell the story of this Fool and his journey through life as he meets many different human archetypes. This card is labeled with a number zero representing his unlimited potential. Tarot cards actually used to be used as a game where tricks were taken and the Fool card is a wild card in the original game. Apropos, as the Fool meanders through life with the wildness of a child's perspective. At one time or another, we all have been and will be, again, represented by the Fool.
So with that history, I spread out the cards and set my intention to draw the perfect card for my yoga class. Laughingly, I write (without judgment) that I pulled the card labeled the drunken fool!
" If you are not intoxicated by your life, you have not yet found the place prepared for you—your unique fit, which will be an authentic expression of who you are in your essence. And if this is the case, are you okay with it? In which case, you are in the place you need to be presently." Are You Intoxicated by Life?
To be intoxicated means to be affected by. It does not necessarily refer to alcohol! What are you affected by? What makes you happy? If you are not happy, what intoxicants are getting in your way? Anger, regret, sadness, jealousy...?
Charles-Pierre Baudelaire wrote:
“You must always be intoxicated. That sums it all up: it’s the only question. In order not to feel the horrible burden of Time which breaks your back and bends you down to earth, you must be unremittingly intoxicated. But on what? Wine? Poetry? Virtue? As you please. But never be sober. And if it should chance that sometimes, on the steps of a palace, on the green grass of a ditch, in the bleak solitude of your room, you wake up and your intoxication has already diminished or disappeared, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, ask everything that flees, everything that groans, everything that rolls, everything that sings, everything that speaks, ask them what time it is, and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, will reply: It’s time to be intoxicated! If you do not wish to be one of the tortured slaves of Time, never be sober; never be sober! Use wine, poetry, or virtue as you please.”
It is time to release that which affects you that does not make you happy. It is that simple. If the time is not now, your acknowledgement of your intoxicants is a perfect start. Make your mantra today "I am happy!"
Other People's Anger
First of all, let's get it straight that other people's anger has nothing to do with you. I am always taken back to Sonia Choquette's quote that if you are worrying about what other people think of you then stop and mind your own business. Because, guess what? Probably 9.9 times out of ten they aren't thinking about you. They are thinking about the same thing you are, which is themselves. Yet, we continue to waste our time and energy on what others might possibly be thinking. Even psychics don't waste their time on energy on what other people are thinking; they use their energy efficiently and make money to tune into your vibration and tell you what you are thinking, which, ironically, you already knew!!!
It's usually the same with anger. If someone were to hit my car on a day where I was in a calm frame of mind, my truthful response would be don't worry, it's just a thing. But let's say I was already having an awful day and my frustration was high. I don't believe my reaction would be the same. I may be mad; I may even yell. But that anger, directed to the other driver, wouldn't really have anything to do with them. It was about my day before they ever "bumped" into me.
Tosha Silver writes about sitting in a coffee house with her sunglasses still on when a man walks in and spots her and starts screaming at her about her lawyer trying to drag more money out of him. She slides her sunglasses off and the man realizes she isn't actually his ex-wife; she just looks very similar. He apologizes and slinks off and she is left feeling totally amused because the anger didn't have anything to do with her. The title of the chapter she writes this in is called Hate Therapy. The premise being that maybe it is the angry people who needs our blessings the most. This is why we chant 'shanti' in my yoga classes; to send our energy of peace to all the haters in the world.
What about emotions you direct towards yourself? Anger, regret, disappointment... If you are hanging onto an emotion like these you are ignoring your other options. Either do something about it or let it go and he content in your now. The anger you might feel towards someone from ten years ago is your anger. You carried it with you over time and space. What if I were to suggest that the anger doesn't actually exist in your present? What I mean is it wouldn't be there if you didn't allow it to be.
Learning to "mind our own business" and not care what others think of us and learning to not accept people's anger as un unexpected gift is all directly tied to your choice to let go. Aparigraha. Let go of those attachments.
SOMETHING HAPPENS by Tosha Silver
Something happens after you align with the Divine for a while.
You begin to feel on a cellular level
that things are unfolding exactly
in the way that they should.
At the rate and timing they need.
You start to trust the process.
You relax from the endless pushing
that most of us learned at birth.
On some fundamental, mysterious level,
you just let go.
Not with that bitterness people feel
when they fear the (ego’s) dreams won’t occur.
Not with passivity
as right actions DO get shown.
Rather you relax into this calm curiosity
about where the flow might go.
You’re detached yet somehow riveted
by how the story will unfold.
You feel spaciously receptive
and open to what wishes to come.
You give it all room to blossom.
You trust the Highest,
one way or another,
eventually will unfold.
You know that with God as your Source
you needn’t cling to any one plan
And you’re not clutching a list of desires,
pushing the ego’s agenda even more.
When you’re in cycles of quiet and waiting,
you catch your breath,
knowing the wheel again will turn.
You rest because as the right actions
a LOT will arise to be done.
You wait for the signs and the timing
rather than rip open the cocoon.
You trust that delays might be welcome.
You trust that delays can be good.
You trust that delays are all perfect.
And you stay present
just to witness
your own birth
Relieve Suffering with Balance
I am certain you have probably heard many times that the mind is a powerful tool with the power to manifest whatever it is you think you want in your life. And based on this idea in conjunction with the Law of Attraction, we understand that should our thoughts hang out in the negative zone, we will manifest or bring into our lives those negative things. On the contrary, should we keep our thoughts positive, that is what we will manifest.
And maybe it is from this idea that someone came up with the idea of creating a vision board. A vision board is typically a reminder of all the things you want and, as well, a reminder how happy you will feel once you have them. I think reminders to stay focused on the positive are great because we are creatures of habit and our mind tends to pull us elsewhere if being positive is new to us.
But, Tosha Silver questions in the book Outrageous Openness, what if our tools of manifestation, like vision boards, become a source of clinging and grasping? This would then equate to attachment, which is unhealthy and leads to suffering as stated in the Yoga Sutras.
The elimination of suffering is a key element in Buddhist belief and is based on the concepts that suffering is inevitable or part of life but that suffering can be overcome by following the Eightfold Path. Now add to that the Dalai Lama has said, “suffering is caused by ignorance”.
When I hear the word suffering, I think of the worst things possible; the things that would make one's heart and soul feel broken.
But, "In Buddhist philosophy “suffering” includes regrets, desires, worries, depression, anger, and any other form of unhappiness (no matter how subtle), that is preventing you from living a happy and fulfilled life, and ultimately reaching a state of enlightenment." Jason Marshall
One of the most overused expressions is the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. But we do! Why? We are usually pretty certain we can fix things and make them better or different. When we keep hanging out with the friend who depletes our energy and makes us crazy because it will be different this time, we are being ignorant.
But don't take down your vision board just yet; not all of us form unhealthy attachments to the objects we desire.
"This is the key to manifestation. Over 75% of people tend to be visual learners which makes visualizing and visual images so effective. When you work with the way your conscious and unconscious mind takes in ideas, you are much more likely to shift the energy you are sending out around your intentions." http://www.creativeaffirmations.com/vision-boards.html
However, this website went on to list a whole lot of types of vision boards you could create: "The Gratitude Board, The Hodgepodge (a number of visions), The Love Board, The Money Board, The Habit Board, The Specifics (one situation), The Travel Board, The Qualities Board (personal qualities), The Career / Business Board, The Family Board, The Bucket List Board, The Home Board."
I read that and felt exhausted; that's a lot of work! If you are making a vision board for every one of those things, you might want to consider an attachment. What we need in every aspect of our life is balance.
In the foreward of Outrageous Openness, Dr. Christiane Northrup sums up the premise of the book by saying, "the perfect solution to any problem is already picked, you will be guided to it in the right way at the right time...You simply sit back, offer the challenge you're facing to the Divine, and wait for a nudge."
Love Letters to Yourself
Love letters. Have you kept some over the years? Do you write them? Have you ever written one to yourself? Does that strike am awkward chord or elicit a nervous giggle? If you were to consciously write a love letter to yourself, what would it say? What if one is being unconsciously written everyday to you from your Higher Self and you simply have to open yourself to receiving it? What do you suppose that letter says?
Tosha Silver writes, "And what if we each have this ardent inner suitor who's writing us love letters everyday that often go unopened?"
Ardent means passionate, enthusiastic, glowing. What if our Higher Self has been writing us passionate, enthusiastic and glowing love letters every day since day one and we have been ignoring them? Just think of the dedication of our inner Self to keep writing these loving things to us every day in hopes we may eventually (and finally) awaken to hearing the divineness that comes from within each one of us. Aren't you slightly curious to know what all those letters said? Are you curious enough to wake up today and embrace being open to your own divinity? Will you hear today's letter?
“You are one thing only. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was.” ― Anthon St. Maarten, Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny
So, are you up (rather, open) to an experiment? Grab a notebook and a pen and find a quiet place to sit down. Take a deep inhale through your nose and a really loud exhale through your mouth. Then close your eyes so you can better feel your breath. Slow everything down; your movements, your breath and your mind. Take five minutes - only five little minutes- to sit still so you can begin the process of learning to hear your Higher Self. When you are ready, open your eyes and write that love letter to yourself. Do not pause and think to yourself I don't know what to write; you do not have to. Just keep the pen flowing, especially when you get to the point where you think you are done. And, perhaps, when you get to the point where you feel your heart soften and tears behind the eyes, you will know you have made it to the part of the letter that is not being directed by conscious you but by Higher Self you.
"Spiritual opening is not a withdrawal to some imagined realm or safe cave. It is not a pulling away, but a touching of all the experience of life with wisdom and with a heart of kindness, without any separation." Jack Kornfield
"Are You My Mother?"
I've started reading a new book called Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead by Tosha Silver that my husband gave me for Christmas. He didn't know anything about the book but thought it looked like something I would be interested in. Once I read the introduction and first chapter on the plane to Cancun, I knew the Universe had guided him towards this book. The book is an easy read , the chapters being only a few pages each. I will be referring to various chapters and stories in my yoga classes for the next few weeks (they are that good) so either be prepared to get your yoga on or follow my website for theme updates.
The first chapter refers to a book called Are You My Mother that I am certain most of us remember. It's about a baby bird that cannot find its mother and wanders near and far asking everyone it meets if they are his mother.
Tosha writes, " I thought how most of us run from spot to spot perhaps unconsciously seeking Her everywhere. We restlessly scan the world saying, "Is this my destination? Can I lay my burden down now? Am I safe? Can I finally let go?"
I thought a lot about this I lay on the beach watching all the different people that had chosen this beach to vacation on. I heard English and Spanish and French and some languages I did not recognize. It's pretty easy to spot different cultures through bathing suit choice and what their kids are wearing (or not wearing) at the beach.
The first few days I lay in the sun literally soaking in everything I love about the beach: the seagulls, the waves, the shells, the warmth. But, I began to notice, especially the last couple of days how ready I was to go home. We can keep asking, as Tosha wrote, is this my destination but the answer nothing compares to home when it comes to living out of a suitcase in a marginal hotel room.
There was one girl I noticed in particular from day one. She was young and pretty with dyed red hair down to low back. There was something kind of intriguing about her but I can't say exactly what. A few days later, she was on the beach with a large group of people. Now in a bikini (I am being generous by calling it that), she and her friends all looked like they had walked out of a tattoo magazine. The guys were wearing what looked to be tight boxers rather than suits and they were all, well, posing. The message they put out with their body language was look at me, I am worthy of being seen. But, I kept hearing how they would start fights with people who seemed to be staring at them. Was I confused or were they? The red haired girl had a beautiful piece of artwork starting at mid-rib and stretching all the way down her side to above her knee. Art is meant to be looked at; why else would you cover yourself with it? They were saying simultaneously look at me and don't you dare look at me.
" We restlessly scan the world saying, "Is this my destination? Can I lay my burden down now? Am I safe? Can I finally let go?"' I don't think this girl felt safe to let go; she certainly was not at her final destination. They seemed as confused as the tattoos they wore as both art and shield.
So, the question, I suppose is, without changing anything in your appearance, which is temporary and body-attached versus spirit, are you ready to stop where you are and lay your burden down? Can you allow yourself to feel safe and let all else go? Stop searching all over for your "mother"; that caretaker of your spirit is you. And, guess what? She is with you no matter where you travel to.