I heard a great teaching from Rolf Gates recently: Choose to be the adult. He gave this teaching to his advanced teacher trainees for their homework assignment over the holidays. This is a brilliant assignment for everyone! As I’ve reflected on this teaching, I’ve had profound insights. Choosing to be the adult is hard work and is usually the last thing I think about when visiting family over the holidays. We all have a need to be heard, understood, and loved for who we are and what we are feeling in the moment. But most adults do not have the skills to offer this kind of listening. When hurt or insulted, we tend to fall into a knee-jerk reaction or pattern of either lashing out (the maximizer) or disappearing and going silent (the minimizer) whenever our feelings are hurt.
Greetings! I want to talk about going for excellence. We sometimes settle for mediocrity, only doing the minimum in order to get by. Especially when no one is looking, we feel we can get away with doing less. But we come from an excellent universe, a universe that rewards those who strive to be the best they can be and make the best out of whatever they’ve been given. Shri means auspiciousness, alignment, or divine beauty, and is the yoga of excellence. When you live a life of excellence, you honor Shri. Shri is the highest intention of the universe. To align with Shri is to create order, clarity, and beauty in order glorify the gift of life.
This month I have been thinking about acceptance. Acceptance is one of the gateways to the heart. It’s the passport to freedom. Only when you accept yourself and the moment just as it is in all of its beauty and chaos can you rest easefully in your heart.
I’m not talking about the everyday variety of acceptance. I’m talking about deep, rich, pure acceptance, which always brings you back to the moment and back to your heart.
In pure acceptance, you are able to let go of regret and disappointment. Hidden within acceptance is forgiveness. Forgiveness is necessary to be able accept fully. Real forgiveness is the capacity to forgive the unforgivable. Until you reach this level of forgiveness you live under the burden of resentment. Pure forgiveness releases the burden from you and fills you with ease, spaciousness, and freedom.
But it’s not always possible to forgive right away. Forgiveness takes time to integrate. If you’re not able to forgive right away, can you be okay with that? Forgiveness comes in stages. Unless you’ve integrated and dealt with the judgment, anger, resentment, and betrayal that underlies the inability to forgive, you will have premature forgiveness. Honor yourself. Accept yourself for the time it takes to integrate and move through the steps necessary to reach full forgiveness. Create healthy self-boundaries. But be clear of the difference between setting appropriate healthy boundaries and pure forgiveness. Can you set the boundary and also forgive fully? This is the work of acceptance.
There are two kinds of acceptance. Passive acceptance and active acceptance. Passive acceptance is mixed with apathy and complacency. Often you accept the situation but you do nothing about it. Usually in this type of acceptance, you have […]
Although necessary, self-acceptance is just the beginning. It is the doorway to the heart where the vast illuminative state of awakened consciousness awaits your arrival.
Awakened consciousness is already pre-programmed within you. There is nothing you need to add or remove artificially. It is in your DNA. The slow gradual progressive awakening of your inborn potential comes about naturally. This process of awakening can be nurtured and sped up through the practice of yoga, pranayama, meditation and mantra. As the seed eventually becomes itself as the tree, so too, you eventually become your fullest self as the whole universe.
I am so inspired to practice now, more than ever before, because I have a clearer sense that practice is the sole purpose, the deepest expression of my longing to truly know myself and free myself from the self-limiting beliefs that block me from living every moment in the Absolute. Although I have no delusions about living in higher states of consciousness, I’m beginning to get a glimpse of what’s possible.
I believe this is everyone’s potential, to live with greater clarity, greater strength, with an expanded, unbiased vision of life, with such stillness and depth of perception that you are able to see all that is with flowing compassion and acceptance. From this space within, there is nothing else to do but savor and serve the miracle and great mystery of life.
Want to know grace? Okay. Just travel to a foreign country to teach yoga and take a few days off with nothing much to do. Grace was by my side the entire day. It was amazing.
Grace Moment #1:
I’m currently in Madrid and finished teaching a 3-day weekend training. I had Monday off and rested. It was lovely. I found a beautiful grassy spot near a river in the park near where I was staying. The temperature was perfect for yoga outside. I had the most exquisite deep backbend practice in a long time. Many people were out lying in the sun, reading, playing games, and some were working out. Nobody noticed me doing yoga. I fit right in. The day totally flowed.
Grace Moment #2:
On Tuesday I had another most spectacular day, all unexpected. It was a very simple day. Nothing special really. But the way the events of the day unfolded had such a perfection that it was obvious grace was behind it all.
I had an exquisite morning meditation and mini practice. Then I strolled over to the studio to teach a private. However when I went to unlock the studio, the key in the lock would not work. I was told the lock was sensitive. But I stood there for at least 5 minutes trying the key in various ways. Nothing happened. Then one of the Pilates teachers at the studio happened to pass by and saw me struggling. She did not speak English, but we managed to converse enough so she knew I was locked out. She tried the key for a while with no luck, and began calling people on her cell phone to help. A minute later, one of […]