Designing your Life Garden

I have an audio practice for you today that supports you to take a look at your life as a garden. What plants would be in it? How much water (your energy) is needed to make each flourish? What weeds have crept in that are sucking the life out of other more important plants?

This reflection is based on Pedram Shojai’s practice in his book ‘The Art of Stopping Time’ - I’ve added a couple of ideas and recorded for you to take some time out to reflect whether your life is a default garden or one you’ve consciously designed.

Grab a pen and journal and a hot cuppa. Sit in the sun and reflect. I’d love to hear so let me know - What made it into your life garden? What weeds are you going to pull out?

Comment below!

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What are we using to cover over our inner life?

This video post is a bit of a funny one maybe....and I'm not just talking about the crumb on my right cheek (?!). I could have re-shot this but I'd rather keep it real (I'd just eaten lunch guys!!). These ideas around luxury and comfort and of course their opposite - austerity -  could be taken as extreme perhaps but I've been contemplating these things for a little while. Of course austere for one person could be viewed as luxury to another - it's fairly subjective. And I guess as food for thought you can take these ideas at whatever stage you are at on this journey - for some of us getting up at 5am to do our yoga practice is an austerity for others it's normal and wonderful and no longer a challenge - we can of course keep upping the ante. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and what ideas arose for you around this topic. What can you take from it?

PS: Apologies for the still shot that accompanies this video -  I look like I'm snarling - caught me at a bad moment!!

Hunger Games

I recently did an 8 day cleanse and it’s got me reflecting on a few things that I wanted to share. We all go into a cleanse for different reasons - mine was to lighten up a little coming into Spring, to focus on 3 really nourishing meals a day and also to once again (I did it last year) truly experience what it feels like to be hungry.

My yoga practice over many years has taught me a thing or two about discomfort and actually being with it. Not instantly giving into the feelings of aversion (in yoga aversion is called dvesa). How often we do that. Something hurts a bit so we stop, something is challenging so we throw it in, we don’t succeed on the first [insert number] attempts so we give up, we feel the slightest sensation of hunger so we eat, we’re stressed from life in general so we drink. Instead of sitting with the discomfort and inquiring into it. And hunger…..oooh la la….it brings up a lot of stuff.

In my experience hunger brings out what can only be described as ‘primal’ feelings or ‘survival instincts’ like anger, loneliness, abandonment, fear...and so I’m fascinated that a sensation in the body can cause me to think ‘I AM…………..’

How many people start a cleanse and give up one day in because it’s too tough. It’s my feeling that the hunger is not the hardest bit. It’s the feelings of anger, fear and loneliness buried underneath the hunger that are the toughest - we don’t want to feel it and that’s why we eat. Sometimes too much OR stuff that brings on that euphoric feeling. Only to feel worse as a result.

So my challenge on this cleanse was to be with the hunger. Reminding myself “I’m feeling hungry” not “I am lonely.” And for some of us the loneliness or the anger is a real emotion stuck there but by feeling the hunger and allowing the feeling to arise we can look into that. And be with it. And breathe through it. And grow.

I’d love to hear your thoughts - comment below.

Taking Responsibility for your Life

I love this quote from Swami Satyananda Saraswati:

“The external world is a manifestation of your inner experience...when everything is hopeless outside that is your experience of yourself and if everything is beautiful outside that is also your experience of yourself.”

It inspires us to take full responsibility for the way in which our life is unfolding at this very moment. There are things we can change and there are things we can't change. It's our response to challenges and our openness to another way of being that matter. I spent many years blaming external circumstances for the way I was feeling and behaving. It wasn't until I took full responsibility for what was going on inside me that things started to change - in a big way.

Yoga is a process of cleansing, clearing and controlling the body and mind in order to impact the inner life which in turn impacts EVERYTHING!

Here's a little clip of me reflecting on these ideas.

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below - what could you start taking responsibility for?