Friday, October 28, 2011

Let Go and Go With the Flow

Surreal -- one of the words that describes my last week. Leaving a relatively safe corporate job and saying good bye for now to many dears friends has been an emotional adventure. Some moments up, some moments down, some moments in between. 
I’ve felt a sense of drifting, too. And, with merely a week under my belt, I view this movement in a good way.  
Like a message in a bottle. Which reminds me of something I’ve been meaning to post.
Amid my hectic life in August I skyped an interview with Patrick Manning, a wonderful reporter with FOX NEWS. The story features my message-in-a-bottle-hunter friend Clint Buffington.
Indulge me, please, as I riff on my part in the magical, mystical story. Watch the video embedded in the photo at the top of the story on Fox's website.

I detect a theme. Today I pulled a card from a small deck of OM cards I brought home from India:

So friends, with the flow I shall go.
The top photo is the note my husband and I penned, placed in a bottle and tossed into the Atlantic Ocean. The rest is history

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thanks. I Quit.*

Over the last three plus years, I’ve weathered a lot of changes in my professional life. Some glorious and some, honestly, awful. Throughout, I chose not to write about any of it here. 
My day job with a huge global, Fortune 200 corporation intentionally has been off limits as I instead focused on the other parts of my life -- from yoga and creativity to kindness and connection.
Until now.
Change has been a constant in my work life with said institution. Much of the change has been not of my making nor done with my input. Thus, I’ve been reminded over and over about attachment. Respond instead of react. Loosen the grip and let go, allowing room for acceptance to enter.
I’ve been a corporate yogini working from a place of compassion alongside many competitive souls who provided ample opportunity to practice ahimsa. And for that I am grateful.
In January, I set an intention of considered change. Julia Cameron says in the Artist’s Way at Work, "Choosing change as a considered, deliberate course of action makes us feel powerful and alive."
I’ve been pondering these words over the last 10 months and making micro movements everyday in the direction of my dreams. 
On October 5, after much consideration, I resigned my position. Today I take the leap.
The risk of leaving one job without another in place is mildly unnerving. However, I’m grateful for the privilege to do so with the love and support of my husband and dearest friends. 
I’m inspired and empowered as I say goodbye -- for now -- to my big, fat crazy corporate job. To restore and renew, create and discover. I’ll miss so many wonderful souls who’ve enriched my life and taught me a lot about . . . moi.
I’m honored to share the rest of my journey with you here as I find my way.

* Merci, Martha Beck, for the perfect incantation. 

PHOTO: From the etsy collection of the talented Christine Mason Miller. Much love.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bliss, in Abundance!

Thank you Rob Brezsny:

LIBRA: *Meraki* is a Greek word that refers to the bliss you feel when you're engaged in a task that's important to you and that you're doing really well. It's your theme right now, Libra. According to my reading of the astrological omens, everything's in place for you to experience *meraki* in abundance. Furthermore, that's exactly what your destiny is pushing for. So please get out there and do everything you can to cooperate: Make this a *meraki*-filled week.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What Steve Jobs + Yoga Taught Me About Living

Steve Jobs so inspired me, helping shape my perspective about life on many levels -- beauty & technology and faith & courage. For years, I’ve carried one of his quotes:

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Considering Steve’s words this morning, I see a formula:

                follow your heart + intuition x courage = freedom

Courage is a quiet cousin of faith, Judith Lasater writes in Living Your Yoga, Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life. Have faith that:

When you act from true courage, the people, the tools, and your own inner knowing needed for the heroine’s journey will be available to you.

The point is to choose to do what is possible in the face of fear. That defines courage. And with it comes a sense of freedom.

Today I encourage you to take one small step into the unknown. Be unafraid. Freedom awaits, I promise.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blossoming in the Fall

Maybe it’s because my Vedic astrology chart tells me I’m a double Libra, which began on the autumnal equinox. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the upstate New York where fall is glorious. Or, maybe it’s just a coincidence {but I believe there is no such thing}. 
Fall is the time of year during which I stretch my soul in a number of ways. Yoga and meditation are areas of my life where I see a pattern of change over the last few years.
October 2008 ... committed to a steady yoga practice 
I quit gym yoga {not that there’s anything wrong with that} and joined a space devoted to the practice. After a tumultuous year of wrestling with every manner of personal and professional challenge, I sought refuge on the mat. 
December 2009 ... started a daily meditation practice 
I’ve meditated on and off over the years yet never found a way to add it to my life consistently. It’s benefits were as fleeting as my effort.
Years ago I read about the work of Herbert Benson, MD, on stress reduction. Dr. Benson, Harvard Medical School, pioneered research of the Relation Response, based on the Transcendental Mediation technique. His research found meditation beneficial for stress relief. 
Scientific validation of an ancient practice calmed my mind as the pressures of my day job in corporate America ratcheted up. Plus the promise of consciousness and bliss awaited.
I found my way to the Arlington, Va. TM Center. Sarina taught me the technique that I use everyday, everywhere. jai guru dev.
btw, I was also named Yogi of the Month at the above mentioned yoga studio. Shortly thereafter, I enrolled in yoga teacher training level one.
November 2010 ... traveled solo to India for a yoga retreat
Two of my favorite yoga teachers teamed up to lead a yoga retreat to Rishikesh, India, the birthplace of yoga. Irresistible.
I’ve traveled solo many times before, so that part would be easy. India, I thought, might not be. The film Slum Dog Millionaire gave me nightmares for days. I braced myself for the noise, crowding, filth and poverty. 
What I found was a rich, vibrant culture of fascinating people and beautiful sounds, sights and smells. 
And I befriended some amazing individuals and forged relationships for which I am grateful.
October 2011 ... immersed myself in a 200-hour yoga teacher training
I’ve joined 11 other yogis to deepen our practice and learn more about asana, anatomy, physiology and philosophy. 
A beautiful friend from my India journey wrote these words of encouragement, which I hold dear, when she learned I was considering the program:
"What was important for me was the spiritual path of growth and the connection to other yogis. Training opened doors to deeper understanding and a life path of greater richness for which I am so grateful to have for the rest of my life. 

"I so wished I would have know to follow yoga at this deeper level years ago. I hope that you give yourself this lovely gift. You will survive the physical challenges and gain so much more."
My plan? Use the knowledge I gain to uplift others and myself.
Photo: Moi at Ma Ganga, with hands in lotus mudra at my heart.