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Always a Student

I was really lucky this summer to take 6 weeks off from teaching yoga and to spend my time traveling, directing plays, teaching creative drama and movement workshops, spending time with family and friends, lots and lots of driving, and most importantly – being a yoga student again.

 

Now you may have noticed, but I have a pretty full teaching schedule.  I teach at multiple locations and I try to offer a few community events and classes each month. And it’s possible I’ve even said this phrase to you in person, but I’ve scheduled myself into a corner. I filled up my dance card and because of that, it is really hard for me to make it to yoga classes myself.
This time last year, I was teaching morning, lunch time, and evening classes 5 days a week and usually doing 2 classes on Saturdays and private lessons when I could squeeze them in. Honestly it was too much. (I even wrote a blog about it here.) It was too much on my body and my spirit and that is a big reason why I reworked my class schedule to give myself a little more space and to focus on the projects and events that I am really passionate about. But on top of that, I also wanted to make more time to attend classes and workshops myself.

 

This summer taught me quite a lot, more than I even know yet I think. It also gave me the confidence and courage to continue to look inward and listen to my intuition on what I need. I know a huge part of that was getting to spend some time focusing on self-study and tuning into my personal practice and even allowing myself to have that space held for me by someone else.

 

My retreat in Amorgos was incredible. I mean not only was I spending my time on a Greek Island, but I was taking classes everyday, diving into my personal meditation practice, and spending my time surrounded my yogis of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. That week felt like such an incredible affirmation of all the lessons that have been brewing inside me for the past few years. It allowed me to really feel myself coming into my own and embracing my life exactly as it is. I am so grateful for that time, that confirmation, and that ease of energy. But of course, it doesn’t get to be where I stop. I have to take those lessons, the strength of spirit, and that love and carry it forward.

 

In the Yogic philosophy, svadhyaya is the 4th of the Niyamas, or internal practices.
To translate svadhyaya as “self-study” is, on the surface of things, quite precise. The first part of the word—sva—means “self.” The second part—dhyaya—is derived from the verb root dhyai, which means “to contemplate, to think on, to recollect, or to call to mind.” Thus, it works to translate dhyaya as “study”.
Svadhyaya—to study one’s own self.

 

Bhavani Maki says in her book, The Yogi’s RoadmapSvadhyaya (self-study) is the necessity to review and evaluate our progress through self-observation and self-analysis. It is the effort to gain deeper understanding of our weaknesses and strengths, and to address what the fire of practice has bubbled up to the surface for our review. It empowers us to learn from ourselves, and harness our potential to gain limitless understanding. More than that, it is our ability to be independent in our self discipline, and to apply ourselves to that task. It is the awakening of the inner guru, and ultimately the awakening of pranja, the wisdom inherent within.

 

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra says: “Study thy self, discover the divine” II.44

 

Studying our habits on the yoga mat can go a long way towards recognizing our habits off the mat too. The way in which we practice yoga is actually very reflective of the way we practice life…. and a person’s physical yoga practice often reveals a lot more about them than they may think.

When we’re on the mat (and in the classroom), there’s nowhere else to hide. The daily distractions of phones, chores, emails, and TV are no longer there to take our minds away from ourselves. We actually have to pay attention. This can be a little intimidating at first, and a yoga practice can sometimes reveal more about where our problems are rather than how perfect we are – which as we know, is very good for destroying the ego and very hard to stomach at times.

 

 

Now of course a big piece of this is having a personal practice or home practice, and I whole-heartedly believe in the benefits of having a time and space that is totally your own, especially within your yoga practice.
But I also believe that yoga is about union and community. I believe that together we lift each other up and I know that the times I have felt most connected to my breath, had my deepest savasanas, or pushed myself further in asana have all been in a class.

So now that I have begun to change my schedule and make more time for myself, I hope to use it to continue on this path. To find workshops close by and to attend classes all over South East Texas. I know it will make me a better student, teacher and human. We have so many amazing teachers in this world, and I know that I can learn from each and every one of them.

 

 

 

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Finding Balance in the Autumn Equinox

Friday, September 22nd at precisely 4:02PM is the Autumnal Equinox.

This is the exact moment the Sun will cross the Celestial Equator and we will have a practically perfect, equal and balanced day.

“Equinox” comes from the Latin words “equi” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night.”
Of course, we won’t have exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night, because we do not all live exactly on the equator, but the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes are the days that we get the closest, having a difference of night and day by only a few minutes.

I always love the equinoxes and solstices. I love what they represent in our earth and how they always seem to parallel to our own lives. And mostly I love any reason to reflect. To take stock of how far we’ve come and what we still need to do to press forward.

 

With everything that has been happening the last few weeks and months, balance has been something that is on my mind quite a bit. As words like upheaval and disruption roll around in my mind, my body has been drawn to balancing postures and long holds.

 

I love when I can see so clearly how the world is influencing my personal practice.
In the week following Harvey, I wanted fire. I wanted tapas and movement and strength. I had felt so stagnant, flooded- in and stuck. I desperately needed a way to release that energy.
Then as I spent the following week working and volunteering, I graduated pretty naturally into heart openers.  Every day I felt as though my heart could explode with gratitude and awe of the love that was all around me. I think I practiced fish pose everyday– as though my body had to physically expand to make room for all of the love inside of me.
Last week was all about cleansing postures. I wanted twists and I wanted folds. I think my muscles and organs knew how badly we needed to release, and as I watched my entire street carry all of their belongings to the road, my body also needed to cleanse.

These past few days though, I’ve craved balance. In my classes and practices, I have been finding new ways to test my balance and strength. Almost like I want to make sure I still have hold of it or maybe I am just searching for control.
Then it hit me, the Equinox is this week. Of course I am drawn to symmetry. The earth is preparing for fall just as the sun is gliding into Libra, the astrological sign symbolized by balanced scales.

 

The Autumn Equinox invites us to turn within, to assess our state of balance between the light and the dark. It is a time to take inventory of all we have gained and that which needs releasing so that we can lay the foundation for a new life cycle to grow.

As the weeks go by I’m inclined to believe that each event that happened this summer has been pushing me forward and pressing me to let go. A little at a time, things are being shed from my life and my mind. (Though not my body, I am certainly suffering from the Harvey 15). And now, Harvey is allowing me to release even further, letting go of my car and preparing to move.

Believe me, while I am grateful to have the opportunity to cleanse, I have to admit, I am anxious to feel more stable and settled. The thought of hibernating for the winter is becoming pretty appealing.

But I know it will come.

This beautiful solar event is also here to remind me that everything is a season. We are never in a permanent state and that is lovely and sad, beautiful and frightening, and exactly what it should be. There is such beauty in change.

 

This equinox and corresponding full moon are also synonymous with the Harvest Season; a time to reap what we’ve sown, to express gratitude, to cleanse, and to reflect and prepare the ground for regrowth and new opportunities.

Around the world, autumn is a time of both anticipation and readiness. We gather with gratitude for what we have while preparing to be resilient for the colder, darker days ahead.
If my experience is indicative of the whole, we have all had our resilience tested time and time again lately. But it seems we are proving stronger each round.
I can see my loved ones and my community pushing forward in a way I haven’t noticed before (of course that doesn’t mean it was never there).
Our harvest festivals celebrate sharing, abundance, and love; and that is exactly what I’ve seen. I’ve seen us coming together in times of need and offering up when we’ve got more than enough.

 

Sharing, abundance, and love: such perfect sentiments for setting aside a day for celebrating what we’ve created, letting go of what we no longer need, and preparing for what is to come.

 

 

So if you’d like to join me, these are just a few of the ways I’ll be honoring and celebrating this week.

 

1.  Make a Gratitude List

Make a list of everything you are thankful for as a way of reaping your inner harvest. Better yet, start a gratitude journal. Gratitude brings abundance.

If you don’t know where to begin, start with the food you have to eat and the roof over your head. It will flow naturally from there. May your inner harvest be bountiful!

2.  Deep Clean your Work and Home
(This one shouldn’t be too hard after all the demo we’ve been doing)

Restore balance in the home by doing a fall deep cleaning. Get rid of anything that you no longer need to make space for the new season.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and the biggest transformation of an environment occurs when it is cleaned up. The healing is in the doing.

3.  Begin Something New

Solstices and equinoxes are a great time to let go of the old and begin anew. As the temperatures begin to cool and people begin to spend more time indoors it is a great time to begin a new project.

  • Make a list of everything you’ve been wanting to do.
  • Pick your top three choices.
  • Make a plan to start one and go from there.

 

 

Feel free to share your lists and projects with me here! Or let me know how you are celebrating and finding balance these days!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read With Me

How to Help

Hello my loves,

It has been a very long  2 weeks here in Southeast Texas. I know everyone knows about Hurricane Harvey (a storm that managed to be a Category 1, 2, 3, and 4 Hurricane, a Tropical Storm, and a Tropical Depression all in a week’s time).

 

Hurricane-Harvey

 

Most of you know this has been a very tumultuous summer for me and I have been learning lots of lessons along the way. While navigating personal highs and successes, I’ve also been surrounded by family and community traumas and at times it has been really difficult balance all of those emotions. I feel like the world has been doing somersaults and I admit that I have felt a little tossed around.

It seems a little unexpected, but the 2 emotions I’ve been feeling the most are guilt and gratitude. I feel guilt and shame for being spared. Because my losses were so minor, because the people I love and care for are all safe and sound, and because I am surrounded by such support and have had so many reach out to take care of me and offer their homes and time and shoulders. Of course I feel thankful for all of these things as well, but there are so many who have lost so much. My heart has been broken by this storm and by seeing the devastation, watching people be airlifted out of their homes and knowing they will never return to them, talking to people who are being evacuated to far away cities where they don’t know anyone and have nothing, and feeling all of the stress and tension all around me. It has all taken a toll on my spirit.

BUT through all of that I also feel such gratitude and such love. It’s actually been kind of overwhelming and in all the times I’ve cried over the last 2 weeks, I would say every single tear has been shed  in admiration for the world and the people all around me. I feel like these events and disasters can bring out the worst in people, but I haven’t witnessed any of that. I’ve seen the people around me and in our community and our country rise up. Everyone is doing their best to take care of each other and to open their hearts and their homes.

I catch myself just repeating “Thank You” all day long. Thank you to the universe for keeping me and my family safe. To my friends and loved ones who have extended their time, energy, talents, and pockets to help and support. To complete strangers who have risked their own safety for those in need. To every single soul who opened their hearts and decided to embrace love instead of hate.
I know it seems unlikely, but my heart is filled with so much hope, the beauty in this world seems too much to feel otherwise.

Of course, I am also so floored by the charity and kindness of my friends and strangers. One of my best of the best created a GoFundMe for me and the responses and donations that poured in have been the most incredible reminder of all the beauty, joy, and love that I am so lucky to have in my life.
I will never be able to say “Thank you” enough to every single person who donated, texted, called, took me in, offered me rides, and shared drinks with me. You all have made not just the storm, but the entire summer so much easier. You have lessened my stress and lifted my spirits and pulled me through.

Thank you.

 

 

Now onto what this blog was actually intended to be.

How to help.

Ike
I’ve had lots of people ask how they can continue to help and support in the aftermath of Harvey. There was such a large amount of devastation spanning such a large amount of the Gulf Coast, I’m still not even sure I can wrap my mind around it. But there are numerous organizations and people that are effecting real and beautiful change in Texas. So if you are inclined and curious, here are some of the charities and organizations that I recommend.
I’m sure there are even more that I am not even aware of, so if there is anything you feel like I left off, let me know about it in the comments.

 

  • Undies for Everyone – Undies for Everyone provides new underwear to disadvantaged school children in the greater Houston area. They are singularly committed to the self-esteem, dignity, hygiene, and success of Houston area disadvantaged students by providing them underwear at the beginning of each school year.
  • Heart to Heart International – Heart to Heart International strengthens communities through improving health access, providing humanitarian development and administering crisis relief worldwide.
    They engage volunteers, collaborate with partners and deploy resources to achieve this mission.
  • PBA (Professional Beauty Association) Disaster Relief Fund – Established in 1995 by the National Cosmetology Association, the Disaster Relief Fund assists salon professionals in rebuilding their lives; following the devastation of a natural disaster. Over five decades, the Fund has provided to professionals in times of dire need. The Funds provided are intended to offer quick cash for short-term, immediate needs; such as clothing, food, bills and more. The Fund is not intended for long-term rebuilding of salons.
  • Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies – Portlight Strategies, Inc. facilitates a variety of projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. Through ongoing programs like their Getting It Right conferences, they are working to promote self-determination of needs and issues with respect to disaster preparedness and response. They foster community relationships with these agencies to promote inclusiveness in disaster preparedness and response plans and to demand provisions for transportation and shelter accessibility.
  • SPCA – The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home. They are putting every available resource behind assisting pets and people who have evacuated the Gulf Coast to the North Texas area right here in North Texas and beyond. In the meantime, we continue to rescue, heal and find homes for the pets right here in our backyard.
  • South East Texas Food Bank – The SETX Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and inadequate nutrition in Southeast Texas. In the State of Texas, 1 in every 4 children lives in poverty and about 15% of the elderly in Southeast Texas live in poverty. Nationally, about 15 percent of the population is deemed food insecure, meaning they do not have guaranteed access to three meals per day. Locally, that number is even higher in the eight counties they serve.
  • Feeding Texas – Feeding Texas’s mission is to lead a unified effort for a hunger-free Texas. We move millions of hungry Texans toward food security through a statewide network of food banks. They also strengthen the collective response to hunger through collaboration and scaling success and lead the public conversation needed to solve hunger in Texas.
  • Texas Diaper Bank – Every year, the Texas Diaper Bank helps change the lives of 15,600 babies, seniors, and the disabled. We are able to distribute over 1.1 Million diapers every year through the generosity of you, our donors.
  • The State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund – Many of our fellow Texans are in need of a helping hand. Texas Agriculture Farmers, Rancher, producers and agribusiness owners are rebuilding and working towards picking up the pieces after all of these natural disasters. As natural disasters continue to impact Texas farmers and ranchers, the need for donations continues
  • Houston Undocumented Communities Flood Relief Fund – An estimated 575,000 undocumented immigrant families live in Houston and its surrounding suburbs. Many have lost it all. Undocumented immigrants may be eligible for Crisis Counseling or Disaster Legal Services, and other short-term emergency aid from FEMA. However without a social security number they don’t qualify for cash assistance.The rebuilding process is estimated to take years and cost billions. At this time it is imperative that we come together and collectively help rebuild and assist those most vulnerable.
  • Teachers of Tomorrow – Through quality instruction and unparalleled support and guidance, Teachers of Tomorrow provides the most effective preparation for educators to make a meaningful difference in the lives of their students. Now that recovery efforts have begun, they’d like to lend a hand in helping teachers rebuild their classrooms.
  • The Montrose Center Hurricane Harvey LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund – The LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund will be used to help individuals and families begin to rebuild their lives through counseling, case management, direct assistance with shelf stable food, furniture, housing and more. The Center’s dedicated case management team is on call to help homeless youth, seniors, people living with HIV, hate crime survivors, and those devastated by the storm.
  • Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund –  Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett have established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims affected by the recent floods.The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation
  • Southeast Texas Strong – Southeast Texas Strong is launching in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to help interested individuals sponsor families in need in the Golden Triangle area of Texas. (Chambers, Hardin, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, and Tyler counties) These areas are more rural and often poorer than Houston and immediately surrounding areas which are receiving much higher amounts of national media attention. Countless individuals have lost their homes so far.
    (This is my county and community!)
  • Wastebits, a waste management technology company, is enabling free access to its software platform to help with the coordination of recovery and cleanup efforts in areas affected by Harvey.
  • The State Bar of Texas has a legal hotline to help people — specifically low-income Texans — with issues such as replacing lost documents and answering insurance questions. They also started a disaster relief volunteer form, which attorneys licensed in Texas can fill out here.

 

  • You can even open your home to disaster victims through AirBNB. During and directly after a disaster, temporary housing for those who are displaced and for relief workers can be hard to find. Airbnb activates its community to support local and national efforts in addressing this need.

 

 

Again, thank you to each and every one of you. Your kindness knows no bounds.

PitsLookinFly
Texas Strong

 

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New Class Schedule

Hi Guys!

I’m adapting and updating my class schedule a bit and I wanted to share it with you all right away!
I’m excited to have more time to offer community and donation based classes as well as workshops and private/small group lessons.
So if there is somewhere you want to see yoga classes pop up, if there is an area of your practice you want to dive a little deeper, or if you are looking for some one on one instruction, shoot me a message or comment here and let me know whatever it is you need!

 

Tuesdays
8:00AM Beginner Yoga at the YMCA
7:00PM Vinyasa Flow at Exygon Nederland

 

Wednesdays
5:00AM Stretch and Recovery at Ternion Athletics
6:00AM Stretch and Recovery at Ternion Athletics
8:00AM Beginner Yoga at the YMCA
12:15PM 30 Minute Power Yoga at Exygon Nederland
6:30PM Vinyasa Flow at Exygon Beaumont

 

Thursdays
8:00AM Beginner Yoga at the YMCA
10:30AM Twisted Tots – Mommy&Me Yoga at the Groves Activity Building
4:00PM Twisted Tykes – Youth Yoga at the Groves Activity Building
7:00PM Vinyasa Flow at Exygon Nederland

 

Saturdays
10:00AM Stretch and Recovery at Ternion Athletics

 

Weekends will be filled with Special Events and Community Classes like
Yoga at the BreweryBeach Yoga, Twisted Tykes Parties, and specialty workshops at Sacred Space.

 

I hope I get to see you all in class soon!

Namaste,
-Melody

Read With Me

Surrender

The elements are bigger than me.

That is the phrase that has been running through my mind for the past several weeks. In Athens, Amorgos, and again once I was safely back on Texas soil (and even into parts of Arkansas and Louisiana).

The elements are bigger than me.

Obviously I’ve always known that. (Ok, maybe not always – but teenagers can be pretty cocky)

But knowing and honoring are different things, and sometimes even the best of us need reminders.

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Beautiful full moon over the water my last night in Amorgos.

 

 

I am a planner by nature. I always have been. I love lists and calendars and schedules and timetables. If you read my blogs on prepping for Greece or Kansas City, this probably comes as no surprise to you.

I had big plans for Athens, I thought I understood how my time was going to be spent and what I would see and do, and the thing I wanted to do most of all was a day trip to Delphi. I don’t know why I attached myself to this idea so immensely. I was drawn to the idea of the the Oracle and it being the Center of Gaia (Grandmother Earth). Artifacts have been uncovered here dating as far back as the 8th century BC, and it was even the site of the Pythian Games – which pre-dates the Olympic Games. I read myths and histories, I was fascinated.
And then there was the heat wave.
My time in Athens was marked globally not only by a garbage strike, but by a record heat wave, with temperatures reaching as high as 112 degrees. Now try as I might, I cannot control the Sun, and all of the sites in Athens I had been thinking of so longingly were closing early or not opening at all to protect tourists and employees from inevitable heat stroke.  So in the end there was no day trip, no 3 hour bus ride, no gift to the Oracle or chance to dip my hand in the Castilian Spring.
Honestly, I rolled with the change in plans pretty easily and I was feeling a little proud of myself for my growth and immense inner peace. It didn’t hurt that instead we went to Lake Vouliagmeni and the National Garden and splurged on dinner and wine.

 

 

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Sunset view from Mt. Lycabettus

 

We escaped the heat of the city as we sailed to Amorgos, the southern most island in the Cyclades. Once there, we had a detailed itinerary for our 6 days and I rewrote our printed schedule into my journal by hand, because that’s just the kind of girl I am.
As you might have guessed by the context of this post; on Day 2, the winds of change rolled in – quite literally. It got so windy and the sea so choppy that water activities were canceled and moved back again and again. It seemed like every day we were receiving a breakfast announcement of some change to our plans and schedule. Considering that besides yoga, the things I was looking forward to most on the island were snorkeling and scuba, I bore this news with a little less internal grace. Now keep in mind that I still got to do (almost) every activity I had planned- I just had to do them different days than what I wrote down in my well-worn journal, but my yogi patience was starting to wear.
Just like in Athens though- everything still turned out beautifully. Instead of Paddle Boarding I drank Old Fashions on the beach and Scuba Diving became the perfect last day activity to culminate my time on the island.

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The most beautiful little beach that was about a 15 minute hike from Aegialias

 

At the beginning of the retreat, Lauren asked us what our word or goal for the week was; how we wanted to feel throughout our time. My answer was to be present; to feel each moment. I understood how lucky I was to be there. I knew that this time and this space would embed deep into my soul and I didn’t want to give way to distraction.

Then one night after dinner, she and I were talking. I told her of the phrase that seemed sent to me, that I couldn’t get out of my head. “The elements are bigger than you”. And all the ways the elements had continued to change or effect my plans. The way my energy and heart seemed linked into the earth so much more than usual.  She said easily that perhaps my word should be to surrender instead.
I spent the rest of my night thinking about surrendering; how you have to be present to do so, and how much ease it offers, how it is like floating in the beautiful, blue, salt water of the Aegean- you have to let go and allow the water to support you.
I loved it, and I knew she was right. I spent the rest of my days allowing myself to float, to flow, to surrender to my body and breath, and to take in every ounce of that island and hold it in my heart.

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Unbelievable coast line on Amorgos

 

A few days later, we loaded onto the ferry to sailed back to Athens and I had a beautiful last 30 hours spent solo; getting my favorite souvenir and visiting the sites I had missed due to the heat wave (The National Cathedral, the Temple of Zeus, and the Pantheon – though, not Delphi).
I made to the airport easily with time to spare and had a lovely late night flight to London where I met the most interesting Belgian pilot and read my book-club book.

20170710_141404
The Pantheon- they were setting up for a Jazz Concert and I got to hear them sound check.

And that is where my ease in travel stopped for the rest of my trip.
It took me and hour and a half to get through passport control in Heathrow and I missed the last tube into London. I was booked into an over-booked hotel and spent 30 minutes waiting on a shuttle that never came. I lost my “One Night in London” grand adventure and was reminded that other people are just as strong of a force as the sun and the wind and I have no more control over the former as I do the later. I was tired, cranky, and defeated when I finally made it into a bed at 1:30AM.

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The Brits seem a little alarmist about their Exit signs

 

But regardless of my disposition, the next day I traveled backwards through time and landed back in the states. Jet lag hit me like a ton a bricks as I unpacked and repacked, did laundry and snuggled my cat, and jumped back in the car to Kansas City.
The turn around was so quick, I still feel like I haven’t quite been able to process what Greece meant and all the ways it is working inside of me now.
But even so, I was looking forward to my 13 hours over 2 days in the car to sort it all out. I made my way to Texarkana enjoyed the most delicious stuffed tomatoes with a kindred spirit and went to bed with a full belly and the smell of red wine still in my nose.

20170715_094900
The beautiful view from my dear friend’s back yard

 

Now, it has been a few years since I was in Arkansas and I forgot that for whatever reason, the entire state is a dead zone for me. I just don’t get any cell signal there. I don’t know why or how and I don’t pretend to understand how cell towers work. But either way, that’s the deal.
Even still, when I woke up the next morning bright and early and tapped in to my dear friend’s WiFi, I was overwhelmed by the number of messages and voicemail’s that started coming through.

Apparently overnight, my brother-in-law had been in terrible car accident. He suffered multiple injuries to all four limbs as well as his pelvis, spine, and clavicle.
I spent the next hour playing phone tag with my sister and my mom, calling my boss at the Coterie, and pretending like I had a decision to make. But I think we all knew there was no decision or choice involved. I needed to surrender.
I turned around and made my way back to Houston where he had been transferred; even then, the elements jumped in my path as I spent an hour sitting in a gas station parking lot waiting out a torrential down pour that ripped through the sky.
I arrived after he had been wheeled in for his first surgery.

 

Of course, I was worried about my plans. I was worried about my work, and I was worried about all the big and small ways I was inconveniencing those around me. But none of it mattered.

 

 

In the yoga sutras, Patanjali says that surrendering ourselves to that higher force (the practice of Ishvara Pranidhana) is one of the key components to becoming one with the greater being.  To become all we are, we need to surrender the limited sense of who we are – the small self – in order to realize the large Self, or divine potential.

The one power we have, and always will have, is the ability to choose how we respond to life.  We have the power to choose our actions, but we don’t have the power to determine the results.  That is out of our hands.  Thus, part of self-surrender is letting go of expectations – surrendering the fruit of our actions, as it is said in the Bhagavad Gita.  This is a practice of trust.  We trust our energy and intentions, we trust the world around us, and we trust that we are taken care of.
The sun doesn’t resist its own setting – it lets go, knowing that it will rise once again.
When we trust that we’re okay no matter what circumstances come our way, we don’t need to micro-manage the universe. We don’t need to grasp so tightly to our lists and plans. We surrender. And we open ourselves to all sorts of wonderful possibilities and to a sense of calm, of freedom, and of peace within the chaos.

 

I made it to Kansas City a week late. I directed a play and taught a workshop and drank too much wine and took deep breaths. I left early and tumbled back into the arms of my family.
It was not the trip I planned, it was filled with stress and beauty and sweat and acceptance. It forced me to remember the parts of my world and of myself that are most important and it certainly kept me on my toes. (It also gave me 2 grey hairs).

 

The Elements Are Bigger Than Me

And I am so incredibly grateful that they are.