Today, my mind would tell you I feel so unmotivated and bothered by this. But why? What expectations did I have for my day? And who put them there? I heard a guy call into a radio station today and his message was about just living life as it is. He said don't worry about the viruses the media says are coming and go back to the cupcake store where you only window shopped and buy twelve. I like that idea.
Lack of motivation means not having a desire or will to pursue a goal or something of the kind, but I do have a desire today so maybe lack of motivation isn't the correct terminology. I have the desire to lay around and watch meaningless TV and eat whatever I feel like eating in that very moment. I have the desire to not do much of anything today and so maybe, just maybe, I am actually more attuned to my inner voices and am very very present.
People have such high expectations of what they "should" get done. If motivation means a driving force to get something accomplished and I had no expectations to get anything done (!), then, what's the problem?
Zig Ziglar wrote, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing- that's why we recommend it daily."
Each day is different and new. And I think we should sometimes spend a day sitting around. The funny thing is I did do 3 loads of laundry and went to Costco and then grocery shopping and I bought a fish "tank" for the fish my daughter won last week at a carnival and cleaned it all out and put the filter and air pump together and, speaking of fish, I bought my daughter fish net tights for her House of Blues gig on Friday and typed up my yoga theme and made dinner before I left and, so why...... do I feel I mostly did nothing?
So many people are stressed out because their day did not meet their expectations. So, sometimes don't set any! My intention when I got up this morning was that today was going to be a good day. That was it. And it was.
"Sit back and relax and let the world take you where it thinks you belong." Unknown
Sitting around is not the same as a lack of motivation; we all know what that feels like. I saw this cartoon that said something like we all need a little motivation and it showed a stick figure running with a giant dinosaur running behind him. We need that kick, that jolt, sometimes. But hearing your spirit say slow down, meander, be a vagabond on your path today is the same as relaxing in an ocean versus trying to fight and grab onto the waves that are...not "grabbable." Neither is life.
Here's where your yoga comes in:
"Two men meet on the street.
One asks the other: "Hi, how are you?"
The other one replies: "I'm fine, thanks."
"And how's your son? Is he still unemployed?"
"Yes, he is. But he is meditating now."
"Meditating? What's that?"
"I don't know. But it's better than sitting around and doing nothing!""
Or the yoga cartoon that captions, "Don't just do something -- Sit there!"
How in tune are you with you?
From hellopoetry.com by Kopter Zero:
"Falling or floating;
If you didn't feel the air rushing,
If you could breathe all the time,
Would you know the difference ?"
Well, would you?
"I don't have to feel this way." Isn't that a fabulously empowering mantra?! It gives you back your voice. It gives you back your hope. I took a ballpoint pen and wrote it down the inside of my forearm for a day. Every time I looked at it, I could hear my inner voice saying, "Yes! That's right!"
For a good read into more about these seven words, please follow this link to an article by Dave Navarro called, "How to Get Through Damn Near Anything."
I told my yoga students that there was something in the studio room right now that was contagious. What if I told you that the person next to you has something you can easily catch? In fact, probably will catch? What if I told you that it's not just the person next to you...everyone around you has something you are going to catch? That, in fact, you are going to catch it from everyone in your inner circle- your friends, family, neighbors. So, what is it you are going to catch? Stress. Research tells us that stress is contagious. This same research also tells us happiness is contagious. So the important question of the day is what and whom are you surrounding yourself with? Luckily for you if you are a yogi, everyone in class has the common goal of a happy, and peaceful svasana...pick up on that!
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen
I thought this was kind of amusing... Dr. Mercola writes, "Other research has shown that people who are surrounded by many happy people are more likely to become happy in the future. The effect applies not only to those in close contact with the happy person, but also extends out to three degrees of separation. For instance, in relation to one happy person:
The spouse has an eight percent increased chance of happiness; The next-door neighbor has a 34 percent increased chance of happiness; A friend who lives within a mile has a 25 percent increased chance of happiness."
(Seriously?! Choose wisely with the spouse!)
One anecdote to stress is choosing mindfulness. I just watched the movie "Enough Said" with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini. They go into a frozen yogurt shop and James' character is annoyed by the people trying all the different flavors in taste test cups; he feels they should commit.
I kept looking for the lesson in that but the thrifty side of me thought that made financial sense! But think about grabbing a tester cup and trying a flavor and being completely present to the nuances in that flavor. Then trying the next... It becomes a yummy lesson in being mindful and present.
"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." Oprah Winfrey
As you begin to think about the people around you, begin to question what you are to them. Do you bring people up or pull them down. Are you the kind of person you would like to meet?
"Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it."
We just got back from a long, but fun, Disney baseball tournament. Teams were from across the US and other countries, as well, which added an element of excitement. I suppose one opposing team is very similar to the next, except for the uniform. Each team approaches the dugout to stake out their space, they battle it out on the field with bat and glove and then they shake hands and say "good game."
We played one team, though, that seemed quite different.
Our game was to start at 8am so we were at the field around 7am to warm up; I mean warm up even more...it was already about 90 degrees high humidity at that time!!!! The Dominican Republic team we were to play was nowhere to be seen. As the National Anthem started, we saw a team run onto the field from the far end, stop to throw their gear down and stand in the direction of the flag. It was 4 minutes to game time. The kids ran to get on the field as the coach struggled to produce his lineup with a minute to spare. I never did find out if they thought they played later or if they had been at the wrong field or if they were simply late.
The only apparent differences between our team and theirs was the language barrier and the fact that they wore long sleeves in the enveloping heat to protect them from the sun. We won that game 16-1. But let me tell you something about these kids. They were the only team to ask us to take a picture with them, which was so amazing. And, despite their loss, they gave each of our players a gift from their country. (We hadn't thought this far ahead but, thankfully, one of our moms ran out and bought them all Disney pins!)
Madisyn Taylor writes, "When we really begin to look at the boundaries we see as so solid, they prove to be, in fact, quite porous. ...false notion that we are separate and isolated parts in a world filled with other separate, isolated parts. In truth, we can no more be separate from our world than a fish can be separate from the water in which it swims."
We are all one and the same. We are all part of another. We are all connected.
"While driving home from a family trip, I thought about the other cars on the highway. The cars were filled with strangers leading lives that were independent yet parallel to my own. When did towns become so large that it became commonplace to be surrounded by strangers? Strangers at the store. Strangers on the street. How many strangers would be friends if we could meet? " Peaceful Daily May 14, 14 Everyone is a Part of Us
I met some "strangers" from Texas in the Disney resort laundry room, although once I met them they were no longer strangers, were they? They asked if our team had brought pins to trade. I laughed and said no, we were all just lucky enough to get packed in time and make it down there! They left soon after and returned to give me one of their team's pins; I hugged the "strangers".
The Waze app reminds me of this interconnectivity. It is a GPS type app that allows you to interact with other users you are passing on the road. Cars that you blindly pass become friendly travelers as they post where accidents are, where police have been spotted and more.
"Kindness sees the depth of our sameness. Wisdom sees our essential diversity. Smile through both an easy encounter and a difficult encounter. Make a decision to spread peace wherever you can. No one can be left behind when we recognize that everyone is an integral part of the whole. Can you see the essential unity that is the blessing of our story? Everyone is a part of us. " Peaceful Daily
Of course, it is only appropriate that I conclude with a Walt Disney quote:
“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew." - Pocahontas”
Today's 4th of July theme is about freedom...your mental and spiritual freedom.
"Yoga frees you
from the drama,
the tragedy, the saga
your mind creates and allows you to
experience your True Joyful Self" Yoga Sutra I.3
Try out this analogy. There has been so much construction around here. It creates havoc on our normal routes and lengthens the time it takes to get anywhere. There is so much more traffic than I ever remember before. Every intersection is backed up for numerous lights before you can even get through. Picture in your mind's eye any of one the insane intersections around here and imagine it is a four way stop rather than a light. When everything is going smoothly, 2 opposing cars will go and the next two opposing cars and so on. There is a rhythm and flow to the movement and a balance of sorts, even when someone wants to turn. Now imagine that I am stressed out and my emotions are on a heightened level and I get to that sign and I just STOP. The cars in the other three directions keep moving but I do not. Traffic builds up behind me. Anger builds up behind me. Horns are honking. People are yelling. Fists are waving. This seems like a good description of what happens to most people when stress builds up or emotions build up until a force from behind explodes and pushes you through. The test is to use your yoga to "free you from the drama", to breathe and stay within your rhythm.
"If I tell you what freedom is, it will not be freedom anymore. Nobody can say: "That is freedom!" you would be chaining yourselves to a definition of freedom. I think that the native American Indians were not seeing the world in terms of freedom, never an Indian has spoken about freedom. Freedom is a prisoner's concept, not a concept of a free man." The Inner Revolution
Today, on the mat, find a way to move through the transitions and still stay centered and balanced. Calmly release your emotions through your soft breath. Be one with everything and everyone the way the Indians lived in harmony with the Earth. If you live in such a way, is there a need for the word freedom?
“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil.” - Swami Satchidananda
"May you listen to your longing to be free.
May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart
...something good is going to happen to you.
May you find harmony between your soul and your life.
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May you be set free from the prisons of guilt, fear, disappointment and despair.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you,
mind you, and embrace you in belonging."
- John O'Donahoe
I opened my email this morning to see an email from Hay House with the subject line "How the Power of No can Save Your Life." The very next email right below it was from Wayne Dyer and it's subject line started with "Say Yes." I think I laughed aloud at the contradictions! So, which is it? I know there isn't a rule book on when to yes and what to say no to (or at least I've never found it), but I was pretty certain before I opened either email that the answer comes down to are you tuned in and willing to listen to your intuition?
The Hay House email turned out to be a promotion for a new book called The Power of No. The email described how the authors had used this "power" to attain what they were seeking in life. Here's the part that seemed most relevant to me:
"Determining when to say No—wondering about it, debating it, pondering it—leads you to a deeper understanding of who you are, of what is good for you and your life and for the people around you. It ultimately leads you to situations where you can say Yes to the abundance that was always meant for you.
After all, despite the title of this book, the ultimate goal is to say Yes—to bring a blissful Yes into your life, one that opens the door to opportunities, abundance, and love."
So maybe the two emails were not contradictory, after all!
Wayne Dyer's words this morning were about saying yes to your passions. He wrote:
"Consider a new alternative for what makes you happy, one that soars beyond the superficial demands of the ego. The only thing that you need for this state of joy is something to be passionate about. Something that speaks only to you…that gets you tingling inside with excitement…that will not go away…that radiates within you…that sends you into a frenzy of good feeling because it makes you feel purposeful and connected to your Source of being. It doesn’t matter what it is. The only requirement is that you feel intensely about it and are willing to act with enthusiasm, awakening the sleeping God within you."
I believe most of us know when we want to yes or no to something but we tell our gut feeling to step aside so we can "think" it through. Your inner voice is not going to lie to you. How many times have you known the answer, changed your answer and then regretted it saying I knew I should have listened to my intuition? That's how I ended up adopting Hoyt! I heard my inner voice saying not the right dog. I even voiced that out loud. But my ears heard the members of my family saying give him a chance and he's so cute. Taking him back after forty some days was depressing and painful; I would not have felt that had I listened to my voice and stayed firm.
Remember, there is only so much change we can control. Consider what you are willing to live with and/or without. Run after your passions as if trying to outrun the wind. Get swept away by the yes's in your life and be grateful for the strength of your no's.
It was such a voracious storm last night. But, this morning, was calm and still. I walked outside so early I was the only person out there. I heard the birds; they were chirping yes it's a great day. And the rabbit on the sidewalk sized me up but said yes I could pass by. And the chipmunk sitting in my garage entrance when I came back said happily yes, I will move! It's a yes day- can you feel it?
E.E. Cummings wrote, "I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes."