Hello, fellow beings on the path,
We’re entering week two of Shadow School. We decided to go through the seven themes and revisit them each week for this yoga challenge as an experiment. We thought it would be interesting to return to the same themes several times over the 30 days to see how our experience of the classes and concepts changed.
The themes I chose are Fear, Guilt, Shame, Grief, Duplicity, Illusion and Attachment. Whew.
Week 1 exploring these themes on my yoga mat left me feeling hopeful. It’s cool to revisit stories and feelings as time and reflection inevitably change how I experience the same topics as we go over them again and again.
This week, attachment gave my breath and body the most resistance. I’ve been sitting with how attached I am to certain outcomes. I would define attachment as being invested in the outcome of an action or situation. The problem with attachment is that it takes you out of the present moment because you’re focused on the result.
When you’re not present in your actions, you move with less awareness and are therefore not fully engaged with your whole self. So why is this a problem? The issue is that you lose the joy of the moment. And, if you’re with another, the joy in the exchange.
This week, and really since the beginning of Karmen’s life, I’ve been obsessing over my daughter’s sleep schedule. Without getting into the details, I’ll just say that I’ve been thinking about what time she should be asleep instead of enjoying and being present for the bedtime routine. I didn’t even catch myself until day three of this mindset. I realized it as I was rushing through her bath to try and make it to the bedtime story by the set time. As I got her dressed for bed, I took a few deep breaths and looked into her eyes. I was suddenly aware that I hadn’t really looked at her since we started the bath.
At that moment, Karmen smiled at me, and I felt myself arrive—fully— into the room and our nightly exchange. I slowed down my breath, my pace and the rest of that night’s routine felt joyous.
My favorite Indian story is the Bhagavad Gita. It’s a tale about a warrior having a conversation with his teacher/higher self about how to live a fulfilled life, among other things.
One of the most famous quotes, and one of my faves, is (and I’m paraphrasing), ‘Action for the sake of the action, not to bear the fruit of one’s action.’
I love this quote because I NEED to hear it. We generally teach what we need to learn —yes? I can and have gotten so caught up in what happens next that I forget what I’m doing in the present moment. So I’m working on staying here—not two hours from now—right here.
What are you working with?
The morals of my week are: do what needs to be done and let go of where it takes me; take a deep breath and slow down; look into the eyes with whom I’m exchanging with and connect.
So dear friends, I leave you with these inquiries:
- What theme is snagging at you this week?
- What are your lessons this week?
- Have you given yourself a bear hug today and whispered a loving affirmation? – That’s next on my own list (wink).
In other news…
We have 3 Live Classes this week (yip yip). I hope you can join me for any or all of them.
My weekly recommendations:
Good Times in Plank—a short core class to strengthen and lengthen the torso on my YouTube channel.