Why do we practice? No matter what is going on –we show up; we practice. We practice on our mat, and we practice off our mat. Our life is one big practice. No matter what is going on – we show up again and again. To our mat. Or to a walk. Or to the dinner table. We show up to our relationships. We show up for ourselves, and we show up for each other. We show up to and through all of our life experiences. We show up in celebration. We show up out of desperation. We show up for inspiration, and we show up for resolution. We show up when it’s hard, and we show up when it’s good. We show up because we know we should. But sometimes, just the act of showing up is the biggest challenge. We know we will meet, feel and see what is there when we do… Our thoughts, feelings, limitations and perceptions also show up all too true. But nonetheless – we show up. The hidden treasure is in the why. Remember why. Why do you practice? And will it sustain you? The goal is sustainability through it all: the good, bad, and the divine… They beacon you with their call, “Yes – show up, practice.” No matter what you are moving through, let it be…. An opportunity. An invitation. A shift in perspective or a chance to grow. Practice, no matter what it be – so that you may Illuminate and Heal The shadowed corners once filled with doubt and fear. Practice Kindness. Practice Compassion, Empowerment and Love. Not for me, but for you firstly. You deserve your own approval. You deserve your own shower of Love. And it’s OK if things get hard. Especially when they do – practice, show up. No matter how, the practice becomes a sanctuary. A place to come home to what is real, essential and fundamental. Take it… Moment by moment. Breath by breath. Trust yourself and trust your why the whole way through. Your practice today is a part of your journey, the greater journey of You.
-Poem by Shanin Weisberg, RYT-500 & Intuitive Healer
I typically speak to releasing distractions in the beginning of almost every one of my yoga classes, workshops, or intuitive healing sessions. Often times we are being pulled outside of this moment here and now – either with chains binding us to the past or with ropes trying to lasso the future. It shows up to me energetically as strings that connect us to a time and space outside of now, tugging at us for attention and surely, distraction. It is an absolute necessity to release these distractions before we are able to fully enter our environment or the vast inner world of our Mind, Body, and Spirit – for whatever specific purpose or intention we may have in doing so. To objectively enter our internal and external landscapes, we must (at least try to) release the grasps of our mind that manifest as worries and concerns for everyday life. Our “little” mind is fed from these distractions and is not something to ostracize, rather it is ideally taught that it doesn’t run the show.
Shamanically, it is known that to enter a healing trance state or to connect with Spirit, we must be freed from these everyday ordeals – even if it is just for a few moments during a practice or healing session. In yoga, it is the same. We have fluctuations in our mind that yoga practice, firstly and fundamentally, helps to cultivate awareness around so that we may observe that they are even there. And secondly, yoga teaches us how to be in flow – how to allow life, and the constant stirring of it inside of us, to have space to be. This happens when we allow thoughts to simply stream without clinging to or pushing them away. This happens when we ride the waves of an emotion until the water becomes clear and steady. This happens when we accept that our muscles are shaking so tremendously and come after we feel incredibly invigorated with aliveness and vitality. When we get out of our own way, and typically this means mentally, the intelligence of our Body and the intelligence of Spirit can come through for whatever greater purpose aligns at that time.
It is important to reflect on the past or set goals and have vision for the future, but it will not promote the intrinsic feeling of connection that we as humans seek. These days we tend to pick up our phones, computers, or turn on the TV to feed this connective impulse. We live in a world where there is seemingly more connection, and at the same time, more distraction than ever. Through technology, this craving for connection is perhaps briefly fulfilled, but not at the level that our higher selves, or soul-selves, know is possible.
Last week, I went camping on the Grand Mesa (one of the largest in the world!) on the western slope of Colorado. It is incredibly beautiful out there. There was barely cell phone service, and I chose to not bring my laptop (phew!). Being without these simple everyday distractions opened the door for me to enter the mysteries. Every morning, I would watch a squirrel do its daily routine – run across the way, grab something, and take it to one of 4 hiding spots. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. The chipmunks came out in the afternoon and at night. There were several of them hanging around, and they acted as my cute little audience when I played the native flute. On our way off the Mesa, we stopped to sky dive! It was my second time and was definitely more enjoyable than my first. Overall, the trip was fulfilling and amazing.
I share this because the “door” (or portal) to presence, Spirit, and flow doesn’t have to be as extreme as off-grid living or jumping into the unknown abyss – the door is actually always here and is waiting for you to open. All it takes is a few moments to truly breathe into your being, consciously release your distractions, and become aware of what is. In any healing practice (even something as simple as going for a walk or cooking yourself a meal), doors will open when you are without distraction. Try out listening, responding, acting, and being from this connected place sometime…and notice what you find. <3