Just For Today … “Get a Life” ~ by Anna Quindlen

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There are thousands of people out there with the same degree you have; when you get a job, there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a résumé than to craft a spirit. But a résumé is cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the chest X ray and it doesn’t look so good, or when the doctor writes “prognosis, poor.”

You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.

So I suppose the best piece of advice I could give anyone is pretty simple: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you developed an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast while in the shower?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond and a stand of pines. Get a life in which you pay attention to the baby as she scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Turn off your cell phone. Turn off your regular phone, for that matter. Keep still. Be present.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work.

Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas making fuchsia star bursts in spring; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take the money you would have spent on beers in a bar and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Tutor a seventh-grader.

All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.

 

The Morality of Yoga

meditate riverWhile in yoga the yamas deal with what we observe of ourselves in society, the niyamas deal with personal observances.  The first of these is saucha, translated as ‘cleanliness’, although the western understanding of this word doesn’t give one the whole picture. When we think of being clean, we probably think of taking a shower and putting on fresh clothes. Although personal hygiene is important, saucha also refers to the cleanliness of our surroundings and the energy with which we interact with the world. As with everything in yoga, there is an inner and an outer dimension to our understanding.

Saucha can refer to the order in which you keep your house, how often you brush your teeth or go for a jog and the food you put into your body. If your immediate environment is a mess, it is very difficult to cultivate the clear, compassionate thinking that allows you to see the world as it is and appreciate the moment you are in. Likewise, if you don’t take care of yourself physically it is very difficult to feel comfortable in your body. Being unhygienic, not getting enough exercise and eating badly contribute to negative emotional states. Yoga teaches us that is it necessary to take care of the grosser, outer manifestations of our spirit before we can reasonably expect to deal with our more subtle inner world.

As we become aware of the grosser aspects of our existence and their effect on our psyche, and we begin to take care of them, we naturally start to become aware of the more subtle aspects of ourselves. We might become aware that our friend’s boisterous social behavior is simply a coping mechanism designed to offset her nervousness, or we might ask why we feel so drained and slimy after we talk to some people. Awareness of this sort is awareness of the energetic exchanges between ourselves and the world, and once we begin to understand how our energy interacts with the energies that surround us, we are able to remove a lot of negativity from our lives.

Our inability to live in the here and now is often due to a lot of clutter, both physical and mental (ever tried to just sit and breathe for a few minutes without thinking about what you have to do today, unpleasant past experiences or your fears for the future?). All this ‘spring cleaning’ naturally allows a lot of space for us to consider our lives and what is necessary for us to live well, but it also enables us to observe the inner workings of our minds. When we turn our attention to the cleanliness of our thoughts we truly start to understand how much of our behavior isn’t actually under our control. It’s not so much dirty thoughts about the guy next door that are the problem, but our patterned responses to the world, as most of the time we are not interacting with the world itself but rather our preconceptions and limited understanding of that world. We see the world through the haze of our fears, inadequacies and personal prejudices. The greatest step towards happiness is giving yourself the space to see things clearly. Only then can you understand yourself and your place in the world.

 

MANIFESTATION EXERCISE ~ GETTING TO “YES ” — DAY 1 of 28 DAYS ~ for June 30, 2014

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AHO! All My Brothers, Sisters and Relations …

From our friend, Robert Whiteowl — Every morning for the next two weeks (14 days), the first thing you say out loud is “YES” (three times)”. This is a positive affirmation you begin your days with. It will draw anything that resonates with a “YES” resonance to you in all aspects of your life — family, finance, health, romance, social, whatever. Two weeks (14 days) is an honest try.

On Day 15, after the 14 days of saying “YES” every morning, say “YES” in the evening before you go to sleep. Say “YES” out loud in normal voice, then in a softer voice, then think it inside your mind. In effect, the first thing your brain tells your mind at night is a positive affirmation, and the first thing your mind tells your brain as it begins its day is a positive affirmation.

Thus, in a short period of time, you will reprogram your thinking such that everything will be drawn to your “YES” resonance vibration. Let me know what results you achieve from this exercise.

AHO!