I just started reading E squared by Pam Grout. I had seen it on some recommended book list and needed to buy something extra on Amazon to hit free shipping, so I thought, why not?! I am not too far in but, already, I can say it seems directed to those people (skeptics) who do not believe in some type of higher power or those that believe but constantly question. Note that higher power doesn't have to mean God, but it can. It can also mean Light, Divine force, Angels, prana...whatever you refer to as the invisible force that links everyone and everything together. It's that Universal energy that allows the Law of Attraction to keep attracting and the use of positive affirmations to keep affirming! Since I am not a skeptic of a greater force, I figure the book should be an easier read for me!
For the scientific mind, the book offers a series of experiments to provide the experimentor with proof that a greater invisible force does exist and does want you to have what you want and need.
I thought it would be interesting to focus today's yoga theme around this experiment and invite any of you to join in! You can leave comments on this page when you are done so we can all compare notes.
Very simply, all you need to do is agree to open your mind for 48 hours, setting your doubting mind aside and ask for a sign or blessing verifying that this force does exist. There are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First- Declare when the 48 hours starts by writing the date and time down on a piece of paper and saying "Now" aloud.
Second- Set your intention. We set intentions before a yoga practice. Reiki is based on intention. You need to state your intention. Try something like, " It is my intention to open my mind for the next 48 hours to receiving some type of sign or blessing or gift from Spirit to prove to me that this force does exist." Ask for the Universe's force to make itself known to you.
I want to give you some of the results listed in the book so you aren't so sidetracked looking for the huge bolt of lightning that you miss the small rumble of thunder.
-One woman received an unexpected dollar an hour raise and a family member called to offer unexpected help
-One woman found a friend had left a surprise gift on her car window
-One woman responded a little boy had sat next to her at the park and shared a smile
I caution the skeptics that if you put out questioning thoughts about this experiment during your 48 hour period, doubting thoughts, the Law of Attraction is going to kick in and the Universe will focus on your doubts rather than your original intention. I would suggest, if doubt creeps in, that you restate your intention asking for a sign, gift or blessing from the Universe to prove its existence to you.
I also forewarn you to look for the small blessings; don't miss them! A call from an old friend, a front parking space, a white feather....your sign may only mean something to you. Keep stating your intention and broaden your attention.
I was leaving a Walmart parking lot today. Standing at the corner was an older woman holding up a homeless sign. You know the kind. A piece of brown cardboard and hand-scrawled writing making an appeal to humanity for help. I stopped alongside her and emptied out my car's change compartment into her hands. I am guessing it was around three dollars. She was grateful and thanked me. I wished her a good rest of her day.
As I drove off, I started feeling bad I had only given her change. It nagged at me until the nagging made me pull over. So, halfway home, I pulled over into a gas station to see if I even had any cash because, so frequently, I don't. I had six singles. I thought to myself, am I really going to turn around and go back to give this woman six singles?
My mind immediately went to the story of the storm that washed up hundreds of starfish along a beach. And a little boy was patiently picking up one starfish at a time and throwing it back into the ocean...picking up a starfish and throwing that one back into the ocean...and on and on.
And, a man came up to the boy and said, there are too many starfish to save so throwing them in one by one isn't really going to matter. And, the boy, as he reached down for another, said, it matters to this one.
My head kept saying the six dollars matters to her, the six dollars matters to her. So, I turned around again and drove back to the Walmart where I could see that the woman was still there holding up her sign. I pulled back up alongside her. I told her I had felt bad that I had only handed her a pile of change and that this was all the cash I had, but I had felt compelled to turn around and give it to her. She looked well, shocked, as she put her hand to her heart. I felt compelled to ask her if she was alright and she said, yes, thank you.
As I drove away this time, I thought about the starfish and how maybe, symbolically, she was one single starfish I had helped throw back into the safe ocean, or at least into McDonald's for a meal. I thought about what if every single person on earth took the time to really matter to someone
else. Not in the obvious husband matters to wife, kids to parents kind of way but, maybe what I mean is, to a stranger. A random unfamiliar, yet humanly and spiritually familiar, other person.
I was watching The Voice and there was a guy on day four of the blind auditions who had tried out last year but didn't make it on the show. This year, all four chairs turned. When he had been on last year, he had been sharing his story about how his wife had just given birth to twin girls and
they both had died. As he shared his current story this time around, he talked about all the viewers who had sent him emails, which had given him encouragement to get through this tough period
in his life. His wife said their healing was in sharing their story.
Maybe the lesson to take away is this...
Your smile matters to the grocery bagger, and your recycling matters to the earth, and your wave matters to the person you are waving at, and your kind words matter to the person you are speaking to, and your handshake matters to the person you touch (literally and figuratively), and your emails matter, and dot, dot, dot.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.”
Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
Synonyms: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture
Don't you want to be all of that?!! What if it was as simple as saying to yourself, "I am joyful, I am bliss..."? Why can't it be?!!!
Alistair Shearer states of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, "Yoga is a way to restore our lost wholeness, our integrity as complete human beings, by unifying the personality around a center that is silent, unbounded, spacious, and joyful."
Read the part I put in bold again. You see? You are already joy and all its synonyms! You may have forgotten but that is your true state.
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." Rabindranath Tagore
So, in class today, everyone had a piece of paper and here is the exercise we did. A shout out to Silvia Mordini for this idea, who got it from Laura Hand, who got it from jackicarr.com...
"A Simple Exercise in JOY
Take out a sheet of paper. Now, title the top of the page: JOY.
On that blank canvas of really endless possibilities, start to write down what brings you joy, love and great life moments.
1) (past) When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
2) (past) Think of a time you were proud of yourself. Just all out, pat myself on the back, go me, proud! What were you up to?
3) (past) Feel a time you felt absolutely connected to someone or a community? Who with and
4) (future) Think of an endeavor, adventure or goal that makes your heart beat faster. What are you doing? Who are you with?
5) (future) How do you want to wake up and feel tomorrow?
Note: WRITE IT DOWN. The action of merely answering the question in your head will not suffice. Actually write them down; seeing them on paper is monumental. I am not even kidding.
Okay, now that you have your JOY written down, it serves as a map. Take this map and get going on your radical journey of joy. Open up your calendar, find space. Don’t have any? Clear space. And then, add more of what is on that paper, add more, more, more JOY to your life.
I've decided the word JOY should be an acronym for journey. only. you.
In other words, only you can choose your path.
Write down at the top of your sheet, "I choose joy."
One of your fellow yogi's has asked me to post some of the music I use in the Gentle/Restorative classes. This should get you started!
Thomas Barquee-World Flutes
Stephen Halpern- Music for Sound Healing
Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band
Robert Haig Coxon- The Silent Path
River Gueruerian- Tibetan Bowl Meditation
R. Carlos Nakai
Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai
Peter Davison- Adagio: Music for Yoga
Massage Tribe: Tibetan Bowls and Flutes for Sleep
Life in Balance: Crystal Bowl Meditation
Lama Gyurme and Jea-Philippe Rykiel