Finding Stillness

In our busy lives, it's hard to make time for rest, for rejuvenation, for stillness. We go, go go and although we do sleep, I'm not sure we truly rest or recover from our busyness. I think we operate at a sleep deficit and that is not a good thing.

I was drawn to Yoga Nidra because I was intrigued by the concept. Guided meditation, bundled up with blankets and props to basically 'rest' for the length of the class. Yoga Nidra is yogic sleep - but not sleep as an unconscious state but sleep with awareness. An hour of Yoga Nidra is as refreshing and restorative as 4 hours of good sleep. I was skeptical but interested so I attended a few classes.

It was like nothing I had expected and everything I didn't know I needed. Bolsters and blocks cradled me under a soft blanket, a lavender filled eye pillow lay across my closed eyes and the guided meditation was soothing and comforting. For an hour, I was transported to a world deep within myself, connecting with my soul and my inner being, while my physical body rested.

The more you practice Yoga Nidra, the deeper you can go. Sometimes what you find can make you uncomfortable - things you've been avoiding or that are hard for you to reconcile. It's not meant to replace professional help (psychologists or therapists for example) for things that you need help with but more for you to connect with self, becoming aware of what you need, where you are in space, how you feel and who you are. A journey to self.

At the very least, it helps you find stillness, if only for a short time, from your busy life. Time spent just for you, with you, within you.

Hope to see you on your mat!


Begin Again...a New Year

2019 is here!
We get to Begin Again...
I don't know about you but every year I make resolutions and have great plans to accomplish x, y and z.
And EVERY year, I get down on myself for the ones that don't get done. My own personal score card marked in red and black with a final result in BOLD.
Instead of making me feeling happy at what did work, I am more unhappy about what didn't get done.
Not sure that's a healthy way to be, at least for me. And I don't think that is how I want to measure my life.
There has to be a better way.
Don't get me wrong - goals and resolution and intentions are important and integral to keeping our dreams alive and our lives focused. But honestly some of the resolutions have been on my New Year's list for literally decades.
For example:
1. Lose weight
2. Write a book
Weight loss (and gain) has been a struggle for me for thirty (yup, 30) years. I go up and I go down but I NEVER get to where I think I should be. And it is becoming exhausting trying and trying and not achieving. 
Writing a book has been on my list forever. I have written short stories, articles, taught writing and journaling classes but NOT finished a book that I could submit for publication. 
Yet year after year, these two items are the main crux of my year's aspirations. Year after year, I don't reach the goals. Year after year, I feel crappy about myself.
Am I in essence beating my head against the proverbial wall in my quest? Or am I just looking at it the wrong way?
I think the answer is c)both of the above.
In yoga, we preach self-acceptance and self-love. By holding myself to a goal that I obviously (for reasons unknown) cannot accomplish, I set myself up for failure. Not a good example of either self-acceptance or self-love. Self-sabotage 101
As for the book, I spend a lot of time on shorter writings, teaching classes and other writing that then uses up energy and time that could have been spend on writing a complete book. Self-sabotage 102
This year I have two goals  resolutions intentions.
1. Self-acceptance
2. Self-love
And I will achieve these both by BEING what I am right now in this moment and ACCEPTING that as 100% okay. Better than okay, actually. Darn okay.
I will continue to eat healthy, teach and practice yoga, kayak, cycle and walk.
I will set aside dedicated writing time each day and write whatever I feel like. If it turns into a book, great. If it doesn't, great. It will be what it needs to be and I will be open to the universe to give me what I need.
And so I Begin Again....with a fresh breath and a new way of seeing.