I typically love to wake up early and never found myself to be someone who hits snooze on the alarm, until I started to make that a habit a couple years ago. Once I hit snooze, my sleep is not as meditative and rejuvenating, my thoughts begin to stir up and I wonder why it is that I feel the need for a few more moments of rest. Then I begin to think about what time it was when I actually turned off the light for the night and began to rest. It almost always is hours later than when I first decided that it was time to rest for the day.
Today, on the sunniest day that we central Massachusetts has seen in what feels like weeks, I hit snooze. I hit the snooze button for a complete hour. My body needed the additional rest, so I was appreciative for my willingness to simply hit snooze again and again, without shame. When I finally decided that I had hit snooze enough and I woke up - I felt the beautiful shine of the morning sun coming in through the window. I heard the spring time songs of the birds and yet again found myself remembering what it is that I love so much about the morning. I love the peaceful way that it unfolds. I love the moments of quiet, quiet from the emails and phone calls and traffic that will come later in the day. For the beginning moments of my day, especially those where I do not hit snooze - the only thoughts on my mind are of the sounds that surround me, the energy of the new day unfolding.
I have felt tired most of the time lately, number of hours asleep aside and have wondered why. What is it that I am missing or getting too much of? For starters, I know that for myself I am overwhelmed by stimuli at times, which quickens my thoughts, making it a bit harder for me to calm down at night and to awake in the morning when the first alarm goes off.
When I step on the mat though and move through the physical practice of yoga, the meditative, inward journey of yoga begins. My thoughts calm, until the only thought on my mind is that of my breath. The inhale and the exhale. The journey of each breath through my body and out into the world. The breath-movement connection as I link one breath with one movement, flowing through the practice with mindfulness. The mind-body connection moves to the forefront of my awareness when I am on the mat and this is a practice that I strive to take off the mat with me too so that I may walk through this work with a deeper connection to myself, my actions, others and the environment around me. Through this deepened connection, questions such as what am I missing or what do I have too much of are easier to answer, even if the answer if one that we may wish was not the case.
So, what is missing? Well, sleep. Falling asleep at an earlier hour if I am to wake up as early as I intend - that is what is missing. Taking the meditative practice of yoga off the mat and into the world with me is sometimes missing too, as I allow my mind to be distracted by the superficialities of life. It is important for us to notice what is "missing" without placing judgement on it or ourselves. While we are spiritual beings on a human journey, our humanness will shine through - each day - and that is more than OK, let it be there, explore it and live to be the best version of yourself that you can be with each new day - that is what I strive to do and I invite you to do the same.
Wherever you are today, I wish you sunshine along the way, the beautiful songs of birds and the stillness of mind that comes when the focus is placed solely on the breath and its incredible journey through your body. Peace, now and always.
I believe in love at first sight, because I have loved my mom since I first opened up my eyes. - author unknown.
This photo was taken about 6 years ago in one of my favorite places in the whole world -- Upper Wilson Pond, Greenville, Maine. My mom to left and I on the right, have changed in many ways in the years that have followed this photo, I have moved in and out and back in to my parent's home throughout the years since when this picture was taken and now. One thing that has not changed though is my unending and unconditional love for my mom. Well, I suppose that has changed a bit too, as it has grown with the years -- my mom really did show me that love at first sight is possible - when I read the above quote I felt moved by its words and it has been on my mind since.
As I led a yoga class yesterday for my mom, dad, sister and dear friend Michele - I found the words of that quote coming to mind throughout my teaching -
I believe in love at first sight, because I have loved my mom since I first opened up my eyes. - author unknown
I listened to the way that those there spoke of their expectations for the class ... they were excited and happy that they had taken the time out of their day to be there, one person wondered if my teaching would differ from a week and a half ago before I was officially 200 hour certified through Yoga Alliance, another questioned their strength and ability to make it through the practice, another still mentioned falling at some point, as they do not practice yoga much... I noted that the words spoken of Self and to one's Self were not always kind, they did not reflect the love at first sight - that our mother, that our father can teach us and did teach me.
While all were in Shavasana, I briefly spoke about this. I shared the words that touched me -- I believe in love at first sight, because I have loved my mom since I opened my eyes -- I thought of how these words also reflected the love that my mom and many other parents I know spoke of immediately feeling for their little one. I had the beautiful opportunity in that moment to look at out at those that practiced with me yesterday morning, such beautiful people from the inside out, and I thought "why is it that we do not afford ourselves that same love at first sight?". I shared my thoughts on that -- at birth we learned about love at first sight, but as we grew up, we did not extend that love at first sight notion to our own Beings -- why not!? -- when we are each radiant. So, I offered a challenge -- Stand in front of the mirror and allow your Self to fall in love at first sight, again and again, with each new day, with the one looking back at you -- your beautiful Self, your radiant Being.
It is a challenge that I accept.
As we work at being forces of Light in this world in desperate need of light, it is important to not forget that we must be that light for ourselves, now and always.
If we do not love ourselves and do not shine light for our own Being, then we cannot truly be a shining force of light for others... it begins within and moves outward.
Love your Self, your Being at first sight with the dawn of each new day -- what a beautiful gift that can be. Peace, everyone.
The world of thanks to my mentors who led us through the 200 ryt training - I am inspired & humbled by all of you - this journey and your guidance throughout it have left me energized, excited and feeling ready for all that lies ahead. The past 8 months have been the biggest gift that I have ever given myself - I cannot wait to share this gift and the beautiful energy that it radiates with everyone - my 200 hour training is complete! The learning is life long though... so much more to learn always as this life journey continues 🕉 Now a certified teacher, always a student.
A spiritual being on a physical journey, striving to make a positive impact on this world through my actions and loving intention. I believe that we are all capable of greatness, it is how we channel this great energy that matters... I choose to express it in the name of -- peace and love.