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Mindfulness

  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness

    The Space Between No Longer and Not Yet

    I am always reminding my yoga students to be mindful when transitioning out of one pose and into another. That the ‘in between’ places are just as important as the places we land.

    Patanjali, who wrote the yoga Sutras, teaches us that how we practice on the mat is an indicator of how we live off of the mat. I can feel it when a student is rushing ahead of their practice. I wonder how often we do this in our lives? Running ahead of the moment.

    What I have experienced in my own life is that it is in the places of transition that transformation happens.

    We all are resistant to change…something as small as moving your cubicle from one side of the building to another can feel overwhelming. But if we can slow down enough to honor the in-between space…to honor the space between no longer and not yet…and by slow down, I do not mean move at a slower pace. I mean…slow down your mind.

    Try not to buy into the drama as the mind starts saying “this is hard…I don’t want to…it’s too much work…” If we can be present with the moments of transition and be just as steady and calm as if we were comfortably humming along in our habits, how much stress would we be able to eliminate?

    I have been thru many transitions in my life, as I know you have as well. And, I know one thing for certain, change is inevitable and transitions will continue to move me to the next stage of my life. Nothing really stays the same. Life is fluid!

    So, let your practice be to observe your active, wonderful mind, during a transition in your life, but remember that you do not have to buy into the drama in your head.

    Use your deep breaths to settle and be still and accepting and, to a certain degree, surrender to the process of transition because truly, it is in that place that you will transform.

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  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness

    The F Word – Moving Forward in a Positive Way

    Oh, so many years ago…decades ago really, I made that first move towards healing. I wanted… I needed… to feel better. Not only in my body, but in my heart.

    As I progressed thru various modalities of therapies and workshops, the F-word was something that kept coming up.

    I just couldn’t escape it. I didn’t WANT to look at it, I didn’t WANT to take it on. I wished that I could be healthy and happy without it, but the truth is that without working on the F-word, I would never be set free.

    I am sure that you have already figured out that I am speaking of Forgiveness.

    Yup. THAT F-word. It is a doozy. I had a few people in my very young life that I held a hot, bitter anger for. A few who really did not deserve to be forgiven. So, many are standing up with the ‘me too’ movement and that is great. A lot of awareness and healing can come from it. But our own inner work must be done as well.

    When presented with the task of forgiving so that I COULD BE SET FREE…I just could not fathom being able to just say “ oh well, I forgive you…it’s all good” because it SOOOOO is not all good.

    I had to literally ask for help, every single day in my quiet meditations. I had to admit, out loud, that I did not have it in me to forgive this…and that I needed help to come to a place of forgiveness.

    Then, one day, as I sat in stillness, the image of an infant came to mind. And I felt that this was the person that I needed to forgive, only, as an innocent. That this person began their life the same way that I did. As a completely innocent baby.

    Something, somewhere, went so terribly wrong that this person grew to do some horrible things. And a sadness came over me. Not for myself, but actually for the other person. A sense of loss. A loss of innocence.

    And then, a small shift in my heart. A little softening took place. I learned that it helped me forgive if I could remember that the person who hurt me also has been hurt. They did not arrive here as some evil baby. They have their own story too. If I could try to see them as a baby…the place they began….my heart would soften and I could begin to heal.

    I know this is a heavy, difficult topic. But it is imperative for your well being that you know how to fully forgive. That does not mean that you have to invite people who have hurt you back into your life, but that you can finally, freely, let them go and get on with your life. The F-word is not something that you can slip out of or fake. In order to heal, it has to happen.

    It is an inner work that may take some time but I promise if you do your work the softening will eventually ease your pain. We all have some work to do in this forgiveness area…but it helps to know that we are not alone.

  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness

    The News We All Woke Up To… Another Tragic Loss

    I was shocked and saddened by the news that hit me Friday morning when I woke. Before I could even grab a cup of tea, my daughter sent me a text. Anthony Bourdain has committed suicide. Right on the heels of Kate Spade’s suicide.

    All across the world, people were shaken to the core to hear that Robin Williams had done the same some time ago.

    My heart is heavy.

    We are moving too fast people. We are grasping and running and reaching…for what? Yes, it is very difficult to make a living…to make ends meet. We are all working long hours. Our mental health care system is broken. Too many people who are suffering either fall through the cracks or somehow not being treated properly. I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I think it is a combination of a lot of things.

    Each one of these people had access to the very best care. They all had so many people working for them and so many people that loved them.

    What do we do? What do we do?

    I am at a loss. There has been too much loss.

    Perhaps, in our own lives, we can stop for just a moment and breathe. Perhaps these tragedies serve as a reminder that life is precious. We are here to love and to be loved.

    I am a huge believer in the power of meditation to transform a life.

    To simply be still, to turn inward and cultivate gratitude. To meditate on the abundance of all of life. To take our eyes off of our problems and the paper tigers and broken dishes and take just 15 minutes to sit, breathe, and think about how all of creation so generously shares her gifts with each of us all day, every day.

    All of this crashing beauty, all that your body has carried you through and the children it has given you.

    It is all a beat by beat, moment by moment symphony…just for you!

    The sun sets a beautiful pink and orange and soon is gone. The flower blooms and then it fades. And right behind each, is another sunset, another flower. Life just keeps on giving and giving.

    Please, make a commitment, set an intention (and an alarm if you need to) to take those minutes. To close your eyes and take a deep long breathe, to let your gaze fall gently in between the brows and simply be still enough to hear the miracle of your own heartbeat. Becoming still helps us to release our grasping, hoarding, fear-driven appetites. It helps us to realize that we are already so generously cared for. And out of that knowing…we are able to relax enough to help others. To smile at strangers and hold the door, to give a good word of encouragement to someone else. We are here to love and to be loved.

    I cannot help our mental health system get fixed. But, I can love more, be more available to my neighbors and friends and the people standing in line behind me. And I can, I MUST raise my children to do the same.

    Blessings to all of you. Peace to you today, and every day.

  • Mindfulness, Rebecca

    Life Choices

    As I visited a recent entrepreneur’s event, the topic of Life Choices emerged. One presenter noted a simple fact: there are countries around the world where most important decisions in a person’s life are made by others.  The statement created a moment of pause — a bit sobering.

    How really and truly blessed we are in this country!

    We hold an incredible core belief in our right to destiny — to manage our own Life Choices, in the pursuit of happiness.

    But, how many of us really do that?  Do we make active Life Choices, or do we allow life circumstances to force us into actions that may or may not be of our choice?

    Life Choices are, at times, largely a leap of faith — actions taken on feelings, hunches or intuition. It’s a given we will make mistakes when we are young — for all kinds of reasons. But, with age, we should have a better sense of ourselves, what makes us happy, what fulfills us.  Hopefully, we can say we’ve learned to evaluate advantages and consequences of our choices and begin employing a certain wisdom in Life Choices.

    Again, how many of us really do that?  And, if not, why?

    Life is so short!  Having command over our Life Choices carries a deep responsibility to find happiness.  And, maybe more importantly, prepare our children for honoring the right to define our Life Choices!

    We can all find a crutch, an excuse or even someone to blame for poor life choices. And, all of us, at some point in our life, have done just that. Yet, what could we achieve, if we’d fully accept the blessing and the responsibility of our Life Choices?  How far could each of us go?

  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness

    What is Chi?

    How does one explain energy? We cannot see it with our naked eyes, tho we can easily see the effects of it. I cannot see the energy that is lighting up the light bulb, but I can see that the bulb is lit up.

    Although we can appreciate the effects of energy all around us at any given time, for the most part, we never really stop to think about the invisible life force that is fueling virtually everything.

    In Yoga, we call this life force Prana.

    In Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and other Eastern practices and disciplines, this energy is called Chi.
    There are many meridians and Nadis, or channels, that this energy uses to flow thru your body.
    The Eastern healing arts have been using these meridians for acupuncture and other practices for centuries.

    But this energy is not just alive and flowing thru your body. Chi is everywhere. It is in every single created thing. It is the energy that holds the stars in the skies, that makes the waves come to the shore in sets of three, it keeps your heart beating. It is the energy that grows the trees, and the vegetables in your garden, and even grows your children.

    It is Chi, Prana, the life force energy that sustains us all.

    The Earth has its own wonderful energy and so does the sun…..energy is literally what life is made up of.
    So, as you start to think about this and how energy is fueled in your own life, here is a small challenge for you to ponder…..

    1. What activities or people are draining you of Chi, Prana, energy? I call these “energetic vampires”
    2. Are the foods that you are eating full of life force? Or are they processed and dead?
    3. What habits do you have that are stealing or draining your Chi and do you engage in activities that fulfill and inspire you? Are you able to make changes to habits that drain you or are you going to grip onto them and ….WHY?

    Sometimes it is simply being aware of the shifts of energy in our own hearts, minds and body to begin to wake up to where we may be sabotaging ourselves.

    It is a subtle work, a subtle awareness that no one can feel or see for you. But I believe in you! I know that if you slow down and think about where your energy is going, about whether or not you are fueling your Chi with energetic foods and getting enough rest and inspiration…I know that just becoming aware is enough to spur on the changes that you need to make. They may even be much more simple than you thought.

    Remember, we are in this together and ‘inch by inch it is a cinch’. Before you know it, you will have this energy thing wired….(pun intended).