Archives for posts with tag: healthy life

When I was in high school, my dad imprinted me with something that I had no way of realizing the impact of at the time.

His words, something like ‘Bear (what he calls me to this day), you should try to be friends with the people who are different from you. They need friends as much as anyone else.’

Now if you will allow yourself a flashback to high school- sorry, I know that might not be how you wanted to start your day- but to make my point, I don’t think many of us remember trying to play the ‘make friends with everyone’ game. I would imagine many of you felt the way I did… its a dog-eat-dog world! I spent much of my high school career trying to socially keep up with forever changing popularity trends and gossip channels that made me feel like perhaps I was surviving, when really, I was drowning… just slowly enough that it didn’t feel like it… everyday. Especially as a young woman, I found it very challenging to be at the right place, at the right time, with the right outfit and the right people, so to speak. Nonetheless, I introduced myself to the ‘different girl’. We ate lunch together several times and went our separate ways. I like to believe that we knew each other well enough that she remembers me as well as I remember her.

Looking back now at the posse I ran with for most of my time in high school, we were the offbeat kids. We were just different enough that we didn’t fit in to the ‘popular club’, but seemed normal enough to avoid the ‘different kids’.

Now before this all gets any more cliche- the point.

Since high school, I’ve been open to making friends with whomever steps on to my path. Since college My Path has been largely guided by yoga teachers and meditation studies, spiritual wanderings etc. About six years ago I started an exploration of Buddhism. A teacher of mine suggested I try Tonglen and a Loving Compassion Meditation. Since then a large part of my meditation practice has been centered around compassion, understanding compassion and empathy, living compassion and empathy.

So the other day I drew a connection between what this meditation has shown me, and what my dad was trying to teach me so many years ago. He didn’t say ‘Bear, feel sorry for everyone and give them a friend.’ No, he said ‘everyone deserves a friend.’ In many fewer words he was trying to get me to see that everyone has a story, and we usually don’t know it, but that regardless of that story we are all deserving of connection. See people as yourself, treat people as you want to be treated. Be compassionate.

Now all of this has me thinking… is my Dad a reincarnation of the Buddha??? (He does have a round belly… love you Dad!)

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So at the beginning of January I embarked on a journey that would be sure to turn my world upside down, (hehe). A 31 day Handstand Photo Challenge.

I’m 9 days in and already feeling a bit more balanced and confident about holding myself up with my hands. But WHY would anyone want to do something as silly as a handstand challenge?

almost!

almost!

My husband says ‘you’re a yoga teacher, you can do that!”. To which I reply ‘Its all in my head, I know it.’ So like any other goal/ challenge that I’ve had success accomplishing or overcoming in my life, I decided to apply a few strategic principles:

1) Be consistent. After all, the reason NBA players are so good is because they practice e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y.

2) Be patient. Know that what you are aiming at takes time. Acknowledge where you are and move forward one step (or kick-up) at a time.

3) Create evidence. When I ran my first half marathon it was so cool to have so many other people there to see me cross the finish line. Then I knew it wasn’t a figment of my imagination.  And with these photos I’ll be able to catalogue my progress.

4) Know yourself. I know that I can do this. I also know that when I set goals that are not aligned with my truth, or that I don’t feel are possible in my bones, then I know I’m setting myself up. This takes a lot of honesty.

5) Focus on success instead of fear. MY MOTTO FOR 2014… all the good self help books insist on this one!

6) Have Fun!!! Life is simply too short, my time is too valuable, and so is yours.

I have a teacher who insists that being able to hold handstand in the middle of the room does NOT make you a better person. And though I’m not sure I agree with her (because all of the people I know who CAN do that are pretty awesome!) I’m bound and determined to overcome this fear. So that’s what it is for me, a fear thing. But I figure, its about time I start trusting my Self. Something that I have only really recently begun to take full ownership of. This handstand thing is symbolic to me in a way that will get to the core of some of the self-doubt that has been hindering my ‘success’ in a lot of ways my whole adult life.

So whatever you’re setting your mind to, do it with all your heart! (wobbles and giggles never hurt either!)

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