The winter season of 2012, 2013 has been one filled with challenges, both emotional and physical, social and personal. To help myself adapt gracefully with these challenges, I’ve embraced the first branch of yoga with more passion and conviction. The first branch of yoga translates into “rules of social behavior.” They are the guidelines for engaging with others and self, and are very much like the first five commandments. They are:
1. Ahimasa or practicing non-violence.
2. Satya – or speaking truthfully.
3. Brahmacharya – appropriate sexual behavior.
4. Asteya – being honest with yourself.
5. Aparigraha – generosity.
Acting from this level of soul, you will find that you lose the ability to act in ways that are harmful to yourself or others. When you adhere to the rules of social conduct, in accordance with natural law, your karma automatically generates proportionate consequences that work in favor of your personal evolution. When living the first limb of yoga, the essence of Yama sets the foundation for building a stronger human condition. When living in accordance with the behaviors of the first limb, your life is in perfect harmony with your environment, and you act in ways that are evolutionary. Your choices are spontaneously correct, miraculous, and intuitively aligned with nature. There is no struggle.
Mahatma Gandhi championed the principle of nonviolence in the independence movement of India. He said, “If you express your love in such a manner that it impresses itself indelibly upon your so-called enemy, he must return that love…and that requires far greater courage than delivering of blows.”
Yama the absence of aversion-
On 12-12-12 a sequence of events made the day more unique than it’s historic numeric alignment. I don’t know where to begin except that I woke to a beautiful, clear, crisp, morning filled with fresh Sonoma County country air, and the feel of the earth’s elements on my face moistened my eyes, cleared my sinuses, and dewed my pores bringing with it a new attitude and appreciation for a whole new day.
Regardless of the auspicious number of the current day 12-12-12, the first thing I did after my morning meditation was to read the many posts on facebook about the uniqueness of stacking these dates, suspicions, translations, and it’s uniqueness, making today, more magical than the previous days. I placed some extra special attention on the universal status as I cast my eyes skyward. I was grateful to be experiencing a new day, not knowing if I would be teaching a yoga class, or not, I continued with my usual stretch in the studio preceded by a self massage, and a light shower and small breakfast. I recognize that I know my body’s limits and I try to honor my routine of self care. This practice ignites more passion, that fuels my soul and nourishes my creativity, sparking light and awareness on all things that I deem interesting.
Today, was the day that I would be seeing Dr. Bragonier about the chronic pain in my left leg which has had me concerned for about a year or more. Regardless of teaching and living yoga, my left hip socket, femur, and knee area bothered me 24 hours a day, even while resting, it called to me with discomfort, with senses of aching cold and limited movement. When I was in LA the week before, my dear friend Wendy could see the pain my leg was causing me even while sitting. Friends who hadn’t seen me in over decades would ask me if my leg was alright, they noticed my limp, a cringing on my face when I tried to stand. I asked myself, was it that noticeable – had I adapted a pattern of avoidance, or acceptance with the status of my pain?
My son met me in LA for dinner and mentioned he noticed my gait had worsened, and expressed his concern. Masking pain has been a talent that I feel I have mastered to a great degree. The pain in my leg has become all too distractive to myself, as well as others and I was still trying to figure out what triggers pain before I presented my case to Dr. B. Standing was alright, walking was always difficult and I was now noticing deeper degrees of pain as I was getting out of a sitting to standing position. All days were filled with constant pain. I was four years out of my second total hip revision. I am a late stage melanoma cancer patient, a teacher of yoga and meditation, a model, a mom, former entertainment employee. I write because it takes my mind away from the physical aspect of my being. I write because I am sure there are people out there who would be inspired or interested in my medical history including hip revisions, late stage cancer, entertainment and modeling, and patterns of behavior with hopes that my experiences will benefit others. This is my vision. Continue reading →
Dr. David Simon, one of our great teachers at Chopra Center University would speak to us in ways that were easy to understand, he chose to speak to us from personal experience not just from the regurgitation of information we learned in books. On the subject of Beliefs – listed below are a few of my notes:
We choose our beliefs. Feelings are present moment experiences. When we see only the problems of the world we are relating to our own beliefs. The values of meditation take us out of our mind, the part of our brain that is always discriminating, or analyzing. The mind discriminates by the words we speak.
If we could just remember what it was like to be a baby, we would recognize that we were born in unity. We were in unity as babies, until we became conditioned by words. Separation began as we noticed our needs were not getting met, so as babies, we cried, screamed, manipulated, until someone noticed and our needs were met. We continue with this process of behavior until we recognize that we have the power to take care of our own needs without the use of words or manipulation. We learn our beliefs from our society, our families, our teachers. We can relearn new beliefs through the use of new words. The purpose of life is for our expansion. Expansion for happiness occurs when we have beliefs that work for us, and again our beliefs stem from the words we are using, and/or taught. With our thoughts, we create our world.
- Use words like communicate, navigate, radiate.
- Widen your vision, encourage others through your experiences.
- Stay together because the potential for loving is greater.
- Take time for laughter, tell those you love that you love them.
- Be open to what is serving you. Let go of what is not serving you.
- Don’t waste time complaining.
- Don’t pretend to know more than you know, ask questions.
- Quality of life is adding value to your living.
- Ask yourself what is it that you want to give, share, receive?
- Loving more brings you closer to enlightenment.
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