Month: January 2013

River Watcher

“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt or fear – it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Hal Boyle

I have watched many a river and just the sounds, beauty of the water moving is enough to stir some natural force within our deeper soul.  A river’s strength is enough to create new paths without worry or fear.  Through mother nature’s guise, the river is her way to balance out the lands and provide source for people in so many ways, spiritually and physically.

As we move through life and co-create with the universe or source, we have many symbols and references to help guide us to our deeper intuition, which exposes our truth to us.  Many of us ignore this internal direction, but over time you can’t help but hear it.

We all ask questions like: What are we here to do?  What is our life purpose?  We all have one, but unfortunately, in our society,  we have charted out which jobs qualify as helping others or are on the top list of attributing to society in a “great” way.  You don’t have to be the President to help people or make a difference in life.

Working with moms as a Doula, I have heard, “I am just a mom” when they talk about their “job”.  JUST A MOM????   Raising future generations to be kind and full of love is such a difficult job as it is not taught, but observed.  Then experienced through the child’s own life.  When a child is young they are so connected to their truth and yes we will mess them up a bit.  However, if we guide them to stay connected to this truth of who they are, who they want to be, and how to continue to evolve and awaken as they knew when they came here things somehow turn our great.  You have a healthy, happy, Adult, that is excited to live life.

I just wanted to post this quote today as I believe it is a fabulous reminder that we have to listen to our inner, intention and intuition, so we can stay on track with the gifts we have to help ourselves and others.  We can be the power/source the river needs to flow.  If we live in fear and constant doubt, then the river will overflow and offer limited supply.   If we listen to our inner tune and trust with intense love (even if we don’t know where we are going or what we want to do…yet) The river will flow at a divine pace, directing us to the opportunities to learn and evolve.

 

May we ride the river, instead of grasping for the shore.

 

Much love and light,

Holly P

 

 

 

 

 

Many told me they didn’t get this one so I am resending!!

LOVEOLUTION!!

“Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.”

General George Patton- I don’t necessarily agree with this quote in full, but I do believe that insecurity is plagued by fear, which causes us to lose our true inner sight (duty) as we are all here for a reason..

Over the past few weeks for some reason competition has been on the forefront of my mind as I have observed it in so many forms.  We are tough about competition from an early age, maybe too early of an age to truly understand the heartache that can follow competition, inner and outer.  However, one thing I know…

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Competition: Is that all??

“Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.”

General George Patton- I don’t necessarily agree with this quote in full, but I do believe that insecurity is plagued by fear, which causes us to lose our true inner sight (duty) as we are all here for a reason..

Over the past few weeks for some reason competition has been on the forefront of my mind as I have observed it in so many forms.  We are tough about competition from an early age, maybe too early of an age to truly understand the heartache that can follow competition, inner and outer.  However, one thing I know for sure is that competition can make you someone you are not.  Possibly it can ruin the inner depths of your spirit, making more work for you to unveil as an adult.   It is easy to get caught up in what some call “dog eat dog world “.  ” What are the Jones doing?”

There are all kinds of people around us, inventing, achieving, succeeding, but I would never say losing bc that is just a perspective.  However, one thing I know for sure is it is so hard to know who you really are on the inside and where you will make your truth in this world.

Since I have been back to the east coast there is such a different feeling.  Obviously, we have been through a lot this year, so there should be a different feeling.  On a great note my relationship with my mother is amazing, she is my best friend.  I don’t know if I thought that would ever happen.  It has been great to see old faces from the past, but there is just something I just can’t put my finger on.

Living outside of Chicago (20 mins from the Wisconsin border) I have had the opportunity to experience Midwest Nice.  This is a truth and not just a fantasy ideal that people make up to feel better.   I was sharing with a friend that I miss all the programs and connections.  It was simple.  Kids played and explored in open gym, they laughed at the library in reading group and made crafts.  They went to the jungle gym everyday like it was a second home.  The farmers market was like a weekly treasure hunt.  Smelling the sweetness of freshly picked food still rooted with most of its dirt.  As I said, It was just easy and I could see Sawyer in his “rawness”, developing in his own right.

Recently a friend of mine shared a book with me that I am still waiting on in the box with a smile – it is called nurture shock.  It is an early childhood education book, but apparently references the east coast quite a bit for its competitive edge. Comparing 2 years olds at parent teacher conferences and coming down hard.  I laughed as I just had my first parent teacher conference and Sawyer was barely 3 1/2.  He was compared to the four-year olds in his class and the objectives in my mind were so ridiculous.

My friend shared more about the book, but didn’t want to ruin it….needless to say I am very excited to read it as it also had a lot of great ideas for getting past three which has been our challenge.  I am not an expert at parenting and give so much credit to teachers, however, if they are forced to follow a state mandated curriculum then that takes away from creativity and teaching styles.  I would think this would make teaching very difficult and could be the reason that creativity scores are at an all time low.  However, as I said I am not out to offend, but I have heard teachers discussing this so there must be some truth.

One night while I lay in bed thinking about the year we have had, I felt so proud of our family.  We have survived one of the most difficult challenges life can throw at you.  We did it humbly and still have a lot of pieces to pick up, but we do it one day at a time.(trust me there have been many tears along the way)  This gift has offered me the opportunity to peel my truth instead of acting like everything in life is acceptable because “someone” says it is.  Whether it is on a subculture level or much bigger then that, it doesn’t matter.  I am talking about competition in a way that probably a lot of people do not think about it. (inner and outer)

Here has been my recent experience that opened my eyes a bit.  I enrolled my son in soccer at 3, the other kids were four, but they allowed it.  Sawyer is a sweet soul, but much like his daddy he is a rough kid with great amounts of energy…..did I mention the great amounts of energy.  Tad can run circles around me, but I have decided that will change.  I am going to surprise him.  🙂  Maybe not!! LOL

Back to the soccer.  I won’t blame the soccer establishment, but dribbling a ball up and down a turf court for 45 mins definitely will cause problems for a boy like mine, who gets bored easy.  I have to share the funniest thing (I have it on video and once I get a little more savvy I will post it).  There was a kid that was about a year and a half older and he just was egging Sawyer on in so many ways.  So Sawyer must have had some instinct because he began to target him for lack of a better word.  Steal his ball etc.  Well the final moment was when he picked up his ball and threw it behind the partition.  I know I should not laugh, but I couldn’t help it as this child’s mother went to the coach and shared her concern about Sawyer taking too much of her son’s time.  Now the coach was young and had no idea how to handle this so, of course, she spoke to me and labeled Sawyer ( a 31/2 yr old) the problem.  Should there even be a problem, it is kiddie soccer?  It blew my mind right off my head.  Was I watching a college game where most of the kids were scholarship players….don’t think so.  They are supposed to be having fun and learning.  I addressed the mom, she turned red unable to respond to her actions and I hope that she felt ashamed because she should have.    Then I walked away because  during the conversation I realized I was wasting my time, but that inner ego it a tough cookie sometimes especially when it comes to your kids.   If I had a do over card, I would have walked away as it wasn’t worth it.  I saw the future writing, this was that group.  The moms that are helicopter moms and everyone else is wrong, they are the best parents and their kids are genius.  Where there is no winner or loser….we all win.  Now don’t get me wrong I think this is great at young age, however, there must be a point where you introduce winning and losing in a positive way.  I believe when this concept is addressed straight on it is a healthy one.  There is competition, but it is internal to grow and evolve in this case in sports.  To become better, but be humble, to realize that losing is just a facet of picking yourself up and learning.

The other type of competition I was talking about is inner and outer competition.  For example, young girls comparing themselves to Barbie, thinking they are fat.  Allowing their insecurities to grow inside because they see this everywhere in our society (even at the subconscious level) what they are supposed to do, look like.  Everything has started younger and faster and I think the mean girl has taken on a new identity.    Is it our society, working parents, the list could go on and on!  I definitely don’t have the answer or even a bad answer, but what I do know is this transitions into our adult lives.  We begin to see ourselves as not good enough, not amounting to what we want, or there needs to be more.  I know that I spent a very long time in a job bc it held a certain societal standard and reflection financially, but I hated it so how did that serve me?  I would always say “I need this job financially, I am single”….that was a crock!!  So on the inside I felt insecure about what I was doing and almost like a child wanted to fix it and be placed on a plan for success.  However, that is the problem.   We need to have the TOOLS by the time we are an adult to fix it ourselves.  It may not be a quick fix, and it may change and develop as life throws us curve balls.  But and this is a big but, if you don’t do something about it, eventually something will come into your life that forces you to make these changes.  Whether you are so unhappy in your marriage, friendships fall apart or whether “the big guy” above throws a big rock in your path, you need to embrace and change your strategy.  I know that this applies to so many people, as drug companies make billions on depression medications (I am not saying that this is wrong as it builds a bridge to wellness, but many just rely on medication instead of taking the hard look).  It isn’t easy….I was forced to take the look so I get it!

We hold on to our security blankets really tight as if it is all we know.  Being out in the middle of the lake with no life jacket is scary, but you know how to swim (even if you think you don’t).  It is the panic that may cause you to believe you do not know.

So before I go way to far off track, write down some insecurities you developed as a child and set them free.  Don’t compete with people at work, school, or in any fashion.  You are your own person and offer so much to this beautiful world.  I will leave you with a simple example of setting yourself free.  I teach a yoga class and each week women are forcing themselves into these positions and postures instead of taking the offered modification bc they feel it is a sign of weakness and this means that they are not good at yoga.  I believe in taking it to the edge, but if you don’t know where your edge is then you may just fall off.

Much love to you all as we learn together.  I will report on the nurture shock book as I know a lot of moms that are feeling the same way I am!  My friend who shared this with me may also be starting a blog to help with these types of issues and more so if that would be helpful to you, please give me that feedback and I will pass it along.

Many blessings in light,

Holly P

LOVEOLUTION!!

Repetition is not failure.

Ask the waves, ask the leaves, ask the wind.

Usually around Five o’clock on Sundays I begin to get that feeling in my stomach…the week is going to begin.  How is this week going to be?  Will I be stronger than before mentally, physically, spiritually??  Sunday has become the night that I have started to call Sunday Stand down because I am really working towards moving away from being connected to days of the week as they have held me prisoner at my own cost.  I have created a “routine” that usually follows the days of the week.  I think we all do to a certain degree.

At different points in life, time has each served as a milestone for lack of a better word, some call it ground hogs day.  However, there is no pace or time for inner learning.

In high school, Friday night was…

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Sunday night stand down

Repetition is not failure.

Ask the waves, ask the leaves, ask the wind.

Usually around Five o’clock on Sundays I begin to get that feeling in my stomach…the week is going to begin.  How is this week going to be?  Will I be stronger than before mentally, physically, spiritually??  Sunday has become the night that I have started to call Sunday Stand down because I am really working towards moving away from being connected to days of the week as they have held me prisoner at my own cost.  I have created a “routine” that usually follows the days of the week.  I think we all do to a certain degree.

At different points in life, time has each served as a milestone for lack of a better word, some call it ground hogs day.  However, there is no pace or time for inner learning.

In high school, Friday night was the big football game and who knew what would be going on after.  Maybe it was a meet up at Dairy Express or some Kegger at the DEQE.  LOL  Ah, I laugh just thinking that all those beautiful houses once were the stomping ground for a bunch of crazy, horny high schoolers.  It was fun times.  It was an exciting time, no responsibility as we know it, just learning which would probably be the greatest responsibility we know.  Then Sat night would be date night and Sunday would be homework, maybe an afternoon movie….then the start to an exciting week without too much drama.

In College, it was a free for all.  It depended how you chose classes. For example,  Tuesday and Thursday I loaded my class schedule so Mon/Wed not the best. But after Thursday, it was gravy.  It was free, I was free…. Until the next semester where Mon/Wed/Fri were the “stressful days”.  So Stressful that I once left class with a friend to go for an “ocean drive”.  Just to smell the sweet sea air and look at all the beautiful mansions that Salve Regina had sitting in her backyard.  I was blessed.  (Thank you Mom and Dave) I made a lot of mistakes in College and some of them did not seem to be lessons at the time, however, now I know they shaped my heart.  But at the time they seemed to be filled with deceit and “Mean Girls” which turned into the pain that a broken heart may carry, however pride wins the race.  (In College anyway  🙂

After College was when the bubble broke and it really began, M-Fri work week, then the weekend was a big celebration.  Then Sunday night we all knew we had to ramp back up for a week of work. Sometimes a group of us would make it a point to go out on Sunday to break the cycle.  Allow Sunday to be the big night out…but still it felt weird and we all knew we had to get up in the morning.

Over the past years our family has had so many blessings.  I met Tad, we moved to the midwest and I got to experience a whole different life.  We traveled all over Europe, got engaged in Germany, and then moved to Chicago, which I am not embarrassed to say I thought was a state.  Hey, as I mentioned above I only did homework on Sunday, not much in the geography department.  I stayed home after I had Sawyer. So once again I went from M-Fri to what day is it??  I just always knew that Sunday meant less help…LOL  Sunday in the Military meant that it was a light duty day for everyone…then Mon was game on.

What it all comes down to, as this Sunday rolls around and I look at how blessed my life is (even through moments of pity), I realize that the days of the week will always flow Sunday through Saturday.  I am not sure who made this up or who decided upon the calendar.  I would like to make a few changes, anyhow 🙂  What we learn comes when we need it, no matter what day/hour, how old or young, no matter how many times we have to start over, or have to learn the same lesson.  We fall down as many times as we need to, then we get up whether it is Sunday or Friday.  We misunderstand the truth that utters it choir all around us, until we finally let go.  We realize that slowly we will let got of the days of the week, we have created to take our attention away from evolving.   It is official when the days of the week do not matter any longer, and we are just living to embrace each day.  Enjoy each interaction, make the most of the beauty that the day will offer, and remain blessed.

The Yogi’s believe that we are assigned all our  breathes the day we are born.  Therefore, why rush your breath, take each one slow, cherished with love and filled with life.

Take each day, each moment slow, and cherish it with love.

Have a blessed morning!  Much love and light   Holly P

Beautiful Mistake

There are so many interesting elements of studying a 5000 year old tradition and how it impacts your soul.  It seems each day yoga offers a new reflection of living a better life and evolving to a greater, inner truth.  There are so many aspects to recognize and learn from the healing of your heart, your physical body, to understanding the tools that will help you most.   This tradition was spoken about in the bible.  All the great sages and saints, such as Gandhi have been able to love and perform duty or service because of their lack of egotism and knowledge of Yoga.

A mind that is calm can do the most intense work for long periods of time without fatigue. It doesn’t become diverted by external distractions or inner disturbances. It remains focused on the work in hand. Many of us at some point or another waste our energy on useless petty egotistical arguments, or heated discussions about nothing.(this would be considered high school)  Mental energy and in turn physical energy, is dissipated in all directions. Little or no power goes towards the work that is to be done. (This is what I call Politics..LOL) If it did, then large amounts of work would be done; each day and every person would be transformed into a Gandhi.  Can you imagine a house of Congress filled with Gandhi’s?  But the reality is that we would not learn our lessons and make our Beautiful mistakes.

As reaching Gandhi status would take a different amount of time for each of us and maybe I should add many lifetimes, his work and the work of many others have taught us to love ourselves, have strength in forgiveness, and seek unconditional truth.  They have left us the tools to keep a clear head, even though it may take years to really learn how to use them.  One thing I have learned specifically, is that sometimes a discussion is important to have, however, it is the energy , the words, and love we give to it that really gets to the bottom of truth and understanding. Sometimes it is important to pick life’s battles and possibly move on and as each situation is different this is where we gain our knowledge and wisdom.

I have read a lot about Gandhi and his life.  There were many things that surprised me such as his approach to war, friendship, love.  It wasn’t all what I expected, but most of it was insane beauty.  There is so much to be learned from one man, but I would say in a nutshell he believed everybody should do their part to spread love and peace (even during wartime).

Many years ago when I first started practicing yoga, I along with many, thought that the asanas (poses) were yoga.  I believed it meant you were strong in mind and body.  However, now as a yoga teacher I know it goes far beyond the asanas, which many think is the full circle of yoga.  The full circle of yoga is connected to the 8 limbed path that guides you to the tools you need to evolve.  Much of everything else is just your ego trying to dirty the waters.

While going through yoga teacher trainer I was very blessed to have an amazing teacher.  We became very close and over the years she has shown me mostly with her kindness and love what Yoga represents.  One thing I always remember her saying is, “When you take this training you become a yoga teacher, not a yoga instructor.”  It doesn’t matter where you teach, but you teach a tradition that has gone back 5000 years.  “You are always a student and a teacher, never one without the other.”  I have always remembered that as I have taught each and every class.  Within each class the teachings silently lined the outer layer of my heart and continue toward the center to this day.

Teaching this practice is priceless because many times class becomes your own personal course of therapy, even though you are there to serve the students.  You can feel the circle of support that begins each class.  When you walk to the front of the room to begin class there may be 18 separate mats, each with its own yogi, each with his or her own problems, concerns, questions.  Somehow through the process of class we all become one energetically sharing the answers innately with one another.  I can’t explain it, even as I write it, it does sound a bit hokey, However, it is true.  Any teacher will share with you the closeness and love that circularly envelopes the room, shifting the mood and emotion of everyone in class.  It is truly magical, a magic that a mystic once said could span across many seas and still have the wisdom to redirect yet another.

One part of this practice that I spend time with, but not as much as I would like is Sanskrit.  Not only because of its beauty when spoken, but because of the mystery that still remains at the hands of time.  Today, Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages still in existence.  In class I use the English first and then translate to Sanskrit so students can begin to recognize the poses by their true name.
About 3 years ago a friend and I went to an amazing Sanskrit Workshop in Chicago.  The class was so amazing because it went far beyond just the teachings of poses.  This scholarly Yogi taught us so much about how the language breaks down.  It is just so beautiful, the more you learn the more you want to envision a conversation and the energetic vibration that left each word hanging from your tongue.
I have always wanted to get a sanskrit tatoo, but haven’t yet decided as there are so many beautiful words with extremely deep meaning.  However, yesterday I was doing some reading of symbolic sanskrit and came across the most beautiful symbol which means “Beautiful Mistake.”   As I said each word has its meaning, but then could be taken to a much deeper context as Sanskrit was a spoken language well before written.
Beautiful Mistake to me is simple, yet complex.  It means that each mistake, each lesson, is so important to redirect you back onto a path of beauty.  When your ego, inner dialogue becomes so negative that you drop off course, a “beautiful” mistake seems to take you to your knees.  Then gives you the courage to slowly stand back up and make sense of the gift that was just handed to you.  When we look into our past, there is only beautiful mistakes that have kept you on your path of truth.
Many think it is wrong to look back, that we should only stay in the present moment to guide our look forward.  However, all the memories, mistakes, successes have made us who we are today, in this present moment.  Tomorrow will be another day, a day to make beautiful mistakes to add to your list of life experiences, which will propel you forward in your learning.  This could be simple or complex; the courage to change jobs, the day to “let go and let god.”  Either way, I have had many beautiful mistakes for which I will always be grateful.  They have allowed me to see, when I just couldn’t get past.  Also they have allowed me to know the truth, when it is time to let go.
When I was going through my desk I came across some old poems and writings.   I do not think I will every have a New Years Resolution as every day is a day to change and evolve.  However, my desk will suffer due to this change. 🙂
I caught something that I thought was so beautiful that I want to share it with you.   I think I wrote it….swear!  LOL  But it just seems so wise so I think it wasn’t meant for me to see till now.
My heart lives to inspire others and stays opened to be inspired by others.
I find joy in each movement of my physical and spiritual body.
I love and honor myself working each day to leave judgement reserved for history.
I see the best in everyone and when I don’t I know I need a restart.
I shed tears of gratitude everyday for all you have given me.
I ask you to lead us from untruth to truth and darkness to light, only sharing as much as we can handle in that moment.
Much love and light – Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
I hope you all have a blessed 2013.
I LOVE YOU!
Holly P