Here’s a thought I’d like to share…
Ripples touch places we cannot know or see. ~August Kantra
My heart is full, my mind is ignited, and my body is tired. We (David and I – along with 300 other teachers from 19 different countries) have just spent the week together, learning, discovering, discussing, and experiencing the myriad benefits of training the heart and mind to be and stay in balance regardless of the external whirlwinds we all face. Our teachers, Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, are tireless and fearless when it comes to sharing what they know and their paths to that.
More now than ever, David and I feel charged with sharing these teachings and experiences. It almost feels strange to say that aloud — or write it in black and white — after all, we’ve been doing this work for years. But as he and I grow in these practices, we get more and more clear on the life-changing, empowering quality of them. Being immersed in the teachings of mindfulness is incredibly inspiring and heart opening.
It’s easy to get lost in this world of doing, producing, competing, creating habit patterns and reactions. We go numb. We lose the richness of this precious energy that is Life. When we can reconnect with the beauty and miracle of being born into this journey, we discover a depth of feeling that is nourishing and energizing. We can go from just living, to feeling the fullness of life. That’s the gift of mindfulness.
Mindful and mindfulness are words we hear all the time nowadays, but the urgency of these concepts is more palpable than ever. Our everyday worlds are steeped with news about the mindlessness of people, the disregard for life, and the fear that is rampant. It’s not that mindfulness is a cure for those things as much as it is a way to make skillful choices as we live in this world and operate in a way that ripples outward (and inward) in a kind, respectful, and helpful manner.
Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? Well, think of this: if your partner says something that makes you angry, and you are able to pause, remember that they may be going through something about which you have no idea, not to take it personally and to touch into your intention to be kind, peaceful, and loving — might you act very differently than you would if you just shot back with a harsh an immediate retort? If you don’t add insult to injury, the clean-up is easier, the time and energy spent on it is less, and the ability for both of you to make skillful choices goes up.
Ripple that outward… your partner calms down, you release your reactive words and recognize that your reactions don’t run your life, and you and your partner don’t continue to carry all the tight, yucky energy of anger into the next thing either of you do.
Keep rippling it out… shortly after this exchange with your partner, your teenager asks for your help. The response you give them will likely be more positive since you aren’t holding onto the negative energy of anger.
Now it ripples out even further… your teenager feels supported and understood and brings the positivity of that into their next activity, they get in the car with friends and in a great mood, the friends feel it, and now there’s a carload of teenagers laughing and connecting. It ripples.
And it all starts with being mindful. Being mindful begins with learning that we do not have to act on everything we think or even believe everything we think. We can pause and step back. We can learn to do this. This, and so much more, are the practices of mindfulness. These practices can change your life. And if they can change your life, they can change the lives of those around you, and so on, and so on, and so on. Yep, THAT’s why I feel so called to share these practices!
In our upcoming Kantra CALM (Creating Awareness – Living Mindfully) School of Yoga Teacher Training, we will teach these practices and many more that are healing, centering, and activating. Yoga philosophy describes yoga as “the practice of making skillful choices.” So yoga isn’t all about the physical postures, in fact, that’s just one of the eight limbs, or facets, of yoga. CALM Yoga is about Life — living fully and in line with your highest intention, practicing kindness, and recognizing that we are all in this together.
I feel blessed to be able to study this path, share these teachings, and practice, practice, practice.
If you want to join us for this immersion journey in January, or you’re interested in upcoming CALM workshops, check out the Kantra CALM School of Yoga.
Together, we’ll walk the walk as we talk the talk.
Please feel free to reply with comments or questions. I love hearing from you!