Inspiring cre8tivity

My cre8tivity lately has felt somewhat stagnant and stuck … without flow, beyond the yogic sense. What better way to be inspired than by a loved one. Love, deep and true, always cre8tes verbal fluidity. My cup runneth over and I feel truly blessed, that even after 6 years, the satisfaction, joy and complete attraction I have for my husband slaDE~ shines through in the cre8tive inspiration and love that he gives to me.

brushed velvet ... slaDE
Merry Xmas slaDE

With this kind of love, my life has deeper meaning, my path is one with his and my mind is clear of our journey ahead.

Christmas empathy

poverty never takes a holidayThis Christmas has felt so different than anything I have ever experienced before.

Initially, a somber sense of reality and truthfulness filled our home, after spending time Christmas Eve and morn volunteering at both the Calgary drop-in Centre and the Mustard Seed, observing the broken spirits of the homeless in this city. Nothing bares more truth to living in the moment than experiencing the harsh realism of poverty and struggle, especially after being a part of the consumptive decadence associated with Christmas. Bearing witness to the physical and spiritual gulf between ‘us and them’ was far too much to endure on Christmas morning, to whip up a cheerful and bright holiday facade, when all I wanted to do was curl up into a fetal ball and lay on the couch and cry.

Slowly I am coming out of my cocoon which I have sheathed myself protectively in, coming back to my own truth of working at the CHR during the holidays, preparing for a quiet day, filled with both angst and excitement, knowing that today is my first public yoga class, taught during the lunch hour, to my co-workers, peers and Managers. To say that I am slightly intimidated would be an understatement ….

FEAR

FEAR

The purpose of fear is to protect us from life threatening circumstances. For example: to run away when there’s a bear chasing us, or to be careful when handling live electric wires.

Fear can cause us to make an irrational response to challenges we face. Fear imposes limits on our minds, removing our clarity and leaving only negative thought patterns. Fear causes us to act emotionally because we panic, our mind shuts down and we respond instinctively to protect ourselves and our egos.
Fear hinders us in situations where there is no direct threat to life, but we might perceive a threat to our life as we know it. Fear of failure is one of the most crippling emotions that can limit your potential in life. Fear of social censure makes one feel lonely. Fear of heights takes away the joy of reaching mountain peaks and touching the clouds.

The more you do what you fear, the less you will fear it!Here are some tried and tested tips on how to fight your fears:

Feel the fear and do it anyway
• “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” – The best method to fight any fear is to take positive action against whatever it is that you are afraid of. Is fear of failure stopping you from learning that new skill? Go ahead and learn it! This is what courage is all about: to act despite the fear. (I highly recommend Susan Jeffer’s book)
• Educate Yourself – Learn more and more about the object that you are afraid of. You want to chuck your job and plunge into your own business, but are afraid of the risks involved? Then the best way to reduce the fears is to consciously learn about the business in as much depth as you can. Preparation increases confidence and calms those butterflies in the stomach. Just be aware of “Analysis-paralysis” (I will cover this topic in more depth in future posts from my own experience.).
• Affirmations – Use self-affirmations that give a positive spin to whatever it is that you fear. Write these self-affirmations on a stick-it note where it is easily visible. Say you are afraid of criticism from others, then one possible self-affirmation could be – “I am outstanding. I must be outstanding for all the people I will help.”
• Visualization – Positive visualization is projecting an image of yourself overcoming your fears, and is a powerful technique to fight your fears. If you are afraid of your boss, visualize that your boss is smiling at you, appreciating you, and complimenting you of a job well done. Keep this image in your mind firmly.
• “What’s the Worst Case Scenario?” – Often when this question is asked, you realize how silly the fear is. Example, if you are afraid to ask someone out on a date, what’s the worst that could happen? The other person saying “No”? It’s not that bad, right? One of my most enlightening realizations is recognizing that “I have nothing to lose”.

A personal story:

“Step out of your comfort zone” and do it TODAY!

In my experience, we can always fight our fears, win, and get ahead in life. Face them. Why run, they will only chase you. 🙂 (unless it’s carrying a gun =)) )
What do you think?

Bull by the horns

Fear itself
Sometimes in life, you just have to grab the horns of your biggest demons and sashay through the fear, tiptoeing through the embarrassment, heat and anxiety of it all.

Today I did just that. At work, I scheduled 47 lunchtime 1 hour yoga classes at work (Karma Yoga — any donations made will be gifted to the Canadian Diabetes Association), up to July 2008. Well, I must admit that this number is a bit overwhelming and intimidating.

I recall a week ago, to be exact, the morning where I whimpered through my morning Trinity Yoga Teacher Training session, cursing the undesirable feelings of angst at not wanting to be a teacher, EVER. I was like a stumbling newborn, uncertain as to my exact place in this yogic world. A deep desire yearned within me to focus on my own self-practice. Why would I want to expand on another’s education and actually teach? To be honest, this is / was FEAR speaking. Taking the initiative to face my fears in the face and do it anyways, is not an easy task, but I will continue to forge forwards rather than drown in my apprehensive aversions. Ask me in a few weeks, once I start actually teaching, where I’m at!

*** The moment you face Fear head on, you destroy the power it has over you ***

Do you have such a story to tell? Please do write and share!

The story of STUFF

The Story of StuffThis is an amazing short flash movie about how we (our planet) are slowly being consumed by world materialism and all the stuff that we generate. But it’s more than just that. It’s the story about the hefty price tag that accompanies the lives we lead (whether it be during the Christmas holidays where our expression of gift-gifting is synonymous with the purchase of more ‘stuff’ or be it shopping till we drop for the acquisition of the ‘latest and greatest’) and the way it is taxing our resources & economies, our environment, our lives, our health.

Mercola.com states it best as:

This film explains how “stuff” ends up in your home, detailing the processes of extraction (trashing the planet), production (adding in toxic chemicals), distribution, consumption and ultimately disposal. The impact all of this has on communities at home and abroad are hidden from your view, yet it is immense.

Please take 15 minutes of your day to watch the video in its entirety at: The Story of Stuff. Here is a ‘teaser’ to give you an idea of about the video and the issues that just shouldn’t be ignored.

Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga GirlJust settling back into the swing of things and the normalacy of life today. Slade and I completed an incredible and intense 60 hour, 6 day yoga teacher training course yesterday, through Trinity Yoga.. Our Level 1 — the first of 3. The yoga course was so fantastically interesting, very revealing about who I am, and what I want from yoga (initially it was just to deepen my yoga practice, rather than to become a teacher). In a nutshell, challenging — physically, mentally, emotionally and yogic-ly. The greatest task for me was in standing up and teaching a group of people through a completely unfamiliar yoga ‘template’.

To top it all off, biking started off each and every single morning of the 6 days with a blast of cold air sheathing me like a bubble gum wrapper — tight and uncomfortable. The roads were slick with ice, and heavy traffic made me uneasy in my navigation. The average temperature last week was -20 degrees Celsius. This coupled with the long 12 hour days has left me completely and utterly drained (and trained :)). Throughout the week, I found myself getting up at 5am to do my homework and study — when we would get home the night before, I only had enough energy to make food for the next day, read a bit (falling asleep) before beginning the literal cycle all over again. Initially I couldn’t wait for the 6 days to be over. The third day (also known as hump day) was my turning point — I completely lost any and all emotional control. When I tried to speak through poses in front of my peers, I would break down and weep … a combination of fear, anger, anxiety and denial. But it did get better. I wouldn’t say easier however. We met some amazing people through it all. The connections were strong and intense. The bonds unbreakable. As for continuing through to my 200 hours, the next course that I am interested in (slaDE also perhaps?) is in Nelson BC. I think if I can get some experience guiding students (my coworkers) through a 50 minute yoga practice during lunch time a few days a week in the New Year, I will determine then if I will continue on as an instructor …. I am thinking that this is a path that I would like to follow. Especially if it provides an extra income and skill for when we start travelling! However, it’s not about the destination, but rather, the journey and experiences along the way.

I am so glad that I went home the week before last for Uncle Ralph’s funeral. I can’t buy that time, and work can always wait. The time away was so incredible in that it gave me the opportunity to spend quality moments with my family and friends. Under difficult circumstances, indeed, and emotional (i.e. even more tiring and draining), but still so worthwhile coming home for, being there for my Dad and also the other family that needed me and whom I needed to be with.

feetEven with the last few weeks off, I don’t feel rested at the moment. With both weeks being super busy, I am only finding that sense of peace and quiet today. slaDE~ went snowboarding this morning (departing at 6am — completely nuts, considering how taxing this past week has been!). However, I just wanted to relax before starting a week of work again tomorrow. I am grateful that Slade went and pursued his own passion today, giving me the space to just breath. He’ll love the snowboarding experience this winter I am certain. I was gifted beautiful cross country skis (through freecycle!) and hope to use them this winter. No downhill for me though. My knees took a pounding that last winter and I am trying to be very good to my body, listening to all that ails me in the aches and pains department.