In my Judaism class yesterday, our discussion addressed whether there is meaning behind our actions, rituals, and prayers, or whether they are simply done for the sake of doing them.
This is such an important inquiry. Where is the meaning? We can apply it to all of our daily actions, be they sacred and religious or mundane.
But I am also aware that HOW we frame our questions and statements has a direct impact on the quality of our answers and the meaning we give our lives.
Option one: Does this prayer matter?
Option two: How does this prayer resonate for me?
Option one: Is this ritual meaningful?
Option two: In what way can I make this ritual meaningful and relevant in my life?
You may notice that option one is more black and white. Option two offers more freedom, more empowerment. A potential to step away from your original notion or possible stagnation, to a realm of possibility and growth.
We can also take statements or declarations of which we have been SURE, and flip them into powerful questions.
Option 1: I am too (________) to do ( ).
Option 2: Where can I feel my courage? What do I need in order to ___________? Who can I ask for support?
Feel the difference? One is constriction, Mizrayim/Egypt/narrow. The other is expansive, creative and liberating.
It is fascinating to me! Just start noticing your questions or statements, and re-frame them to into even better questions. You will absolutely get more interesting answers and powerful results.
Namaste and l’shalom,
then increasing its speed. ~Gandhi
There is more to life than increasing its speed. In our efforts to become more efficiently connected, we have lost touch with the most vital connection of all – to our innermost selves. And when that is lost, so is our connection to the Divine Source that is our power and supply. And you think you’re up a creek when you forgot to charge your smart phone!
We charge our smart phones so we can have meaningful, important conversations… so we can Google some answers to our questions… so we can navigate where we are going. Hmmmmmm. Sounds more than a little familiar.
Our technology is valuable and certainly has its place. But just for one hour per day, heck, 30 minutes, (I’ll even take 5 if that’s where you’re at) let’s go OLD SCHOOL. Put your phone on “airplane mode,” or turn it off, and plug into your BREATH. That’s where you recharge. Have a meaningful conversation with yourself. Ask some burning questions. Listen for a response. Get some input on where you are going and how to get there. But before you can know where you are going, it helps to know where you ARE, right?
You are right here. Breathe. Be with yourself. Connect. And from that profound experience, you will find a deeper, more authentic connection to your daily activities and relationships.
Are you willing to try? Make a commitment to yourself – something reasonable and sustainable, and let me know how it goes.
“Your life is an occasion…rise to it.”
– Suzanne Weyn, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. (GREAT movie)
I heard a radio commercial the other day, and the folks were saying how they loved the station because it “made their day go by faster.” Or it helped them to “not be bored at work.” Wow. These statements touched me deeply, as I remember a time in my life when I wanted the day to hurry by. Now these comments really stand out for me and cause me to feel some sadness and compassion for those of us that want to hurry to “something or somewhere” better than the moment.
My 5 year old son gets asthma from time to time. In fact, he had pneumonia for 8 days over the holiday break from school. EVERY BREATH was a gift to him. And EVERY MOMENT that he, or any of us have breath and a heartbeat is a gift. Not to be rushed, to be cherished. Soak up each moment of your life. You don’t get to have today back when it’s over. Life truly is an occasion, a privilege. Let’s all to rise to it.
So I’m pretty excited about this new book I’ve just discovered – It’s called Yoga in Your Hands. I won’t try to explain the process by which mudra works, for the author does that succinctly and eloquently. I will however, share with you one of the mudras I have been using for a recent health challenge. I also think it is perfect for the New Year – a way to let go and bless the old, and invite in the new. It would be perfect to use with a cleanse.
I believe mudras are effective because there is a combination of powerful forces at work. One, you are bringing mindfulness to your body/mind while breathing. Two, these hand positions stimulate specific meridians based on Chinese medicine that are scientifically known to create results. And three, if you use an affirmation with the mudra, you are training your very malleable brain (its called plasticity), to create new pathways for positive thought and a chemical release that aids healing of the whole organism. So without further ado, let us begin.
Its called the Pushan Mudra, dedicated to nourishment. Here is an overview of how to do this:
Place your hands as you see them in the photos above, resting on your lap. You can sit in meditation or lie down to do this, or perhaps make good use of time while you are in a waiting room…
During the inhalation, take in energy in the form of light. Pause, and give time and space to imagine the light spreading within you. During exhalation, let the expended light flow back out of you. Pause after the exhale. With every breath, there is more light and clarity in your physical and mental/emotional realms. (In the beginning, you may envision the exhale to contain darkness or smoke, something that encompasses what you are releasing, and then you may sense it becoming clearer).
You can also say the following affirmation, either as written here or in words that resonate with you.
” I thankfully accept everything that is good for me, let it have its effect within me, and release everything that is spent.”
As the author states, “This mudra symbolizes accepting and receiving with the gesture of one hand, and letting things flow, giving, and letting go with the other. It influences the energy currents that are responsible for absorbing and utilizing food, as well as helping with elimination. It intensifies breathing and therefore the absorption of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide in the lungs. It has a relaxing effect on the solar plexus (area of the stomach, liver, spleen, and gallbladder) and regulates energies in the autonomic nervous system. It mobilizes energies of elimination, and detoxifies. It has an excellent effect on general or acute nausea, motion sickness, flatulence, and the sensation of being overly full.”
It works on the physical level, but I believe it works on the psycho-spiritual level as well, when you practice it with intention. I think its also a wonderful way to incorporate the healing of yogic practices for those who are bed bound or unable to do much physically because it’s accessible and simple.
I hope you will try it for yourself and notice the benefits. I highly recommend this book for those who want to dive deeper into background and continue exploring the other mudras. Yoga in Your Hands, by Gertrude Hirschi
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” – Frost
Are you at a crossroads in your life right now? Perhaps a big one – a job change, a health choice, a relationship issue? Or maybe a small crossroads, like say, what to have for your next meal?
I had an epiphany today while practicing yoga. Every moment is a crossroads, and even the ones that feel small, aren’t. Every moment in which we are mindful gives us a powerful opportunity to choose the highest choice for ourselves and the world. Rather than wandering along aimlessly in life, we can align ourselves with our soul’s compass.
My soul compass, originally a gift from God or the Universe, has been affected by years of collective karma and conditioning (mine and my ancestors). I envision it sometimes as being tarnished and slightly sticky, so that occasionally it has trouble pointing to true north. However, the more I practice being present, the more easily I make life nourishing choices. These positive choices lubricate the soul compass, so that it naturally points me toward my sacred path for the next crossroads to come.
My true north is one of being a spiritual healer, minister, teacher, and guide. In order to stay on course, I often have to choose the road less traveled. It definitely requires me to make choices that do not allow me to numb out. How can I ever be present and truly effective for others, both professionally and as a family member, if I am not in touch with myself?
How do you numb out? Is it television or video games? Gossip? Alcohol or recreational drugs? Over scheduling? We all have something. But each and every moment that we meet courageously and consciously can be used to create new karma, new results. Each moment is a chance to polish and tune up your soul compass. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing “so and so.” Right now is your crossroads, and your soul compass can lead you on the divine path toward wholeness.
I invite you to explore taking the road less traveled. Once you traverse over the weeds and through the density of old conditioning, you will come to a clearing – and the journey will be well worth your effort. Namaste!
What I want is to leap out of this personality
And then sit apart from that leaping—–
I’ve lived too long where I can be reached.
Might you consider choosing a select amount of time this weekend, perhaps during the Sabbath (Shabbat) between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday, to disconnect from your technologies, and re-connect to your loved ones and your self? Namaste.