I seek a sweet inner quiet space. I seek a time for deep reflection and deep creative, reflective, and spiritual work. I desire to spend time being creative and to cultivate connections with care and attention. I am participating in a January “digital declutter”. I hope to spend time each day out in nature and to be fully present with my family and loved ones, to not be distracted by tech devices plinking away with texts and mindless use of my precious time. I have already stepped back from social media use and it has left me with a much better sense of self and mind.
I will be stepping away from all social media use during the month of January and I will engage in limited technology use. I will check email, manage this website, and you may contact me here. I will also send a few hand written, and even typewriter typed, letters during the month of January. Remember when we had penpals? It may be time to return to that level of connection and attention.
I hope to do some deep work in this quiet time away from draining distractions. After January, I will revisit my usage and decide how to best move forward.
Be well, and use your precious time with great care.
“We breathe, we pulse, we regenerate. our hearts beat, our minds create, our souls ingest. Thirty-seven seconds well used is a lifetime.” ~Mr. Magorium
“May I have the courage today
to live the life I would love
to postpone my dream no longer to do at last what I came here for & waste my heart on no more fear.”
~John O Donohue
You who are reading this now — know that my wish and prayer for you in the New Year is for you to approach your life with courage and strength of heart. I pray that you will energize the will and determination of your fire center to make the life you have longed for and dreamed about. As we have turned the corner on the darkest days, use this growing light to set your seeds of new intention and inspiration. Create the life you have longed to live. Let go of what is not serving you. What would it look like if those things holding you back were no longer there? What would your ideal day and your ideal life look like? How could your life be simpler and more easeful? What is one step you can take today to move yourself in that direction? What can you do tomorrow to continue that journey?
May you have courage as you enter this New Year.
Let us create a new story. There is great uncertainty in the future. We cannot expand infinitely and exponentially on a finite planet. In “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari, he says that what distinguishes the human species from all other species on this planet, is our belief in our stories. Stories define our entire existence, and we take them very seriously. One only has to look at the major religions of the world to see that this is true. The economy, capitalism, is an agreed upon story that can be changed. The earth, water, air, and dependent species, are not stories. They are the reality we depend on for our very existence. They suffer because of our agreed upon story of “progress” and “economics”. It is a false story and one that will fail us, my friends. That story has an ending. We can go on pretending that it is ok to purchase and throw away, day after day, to look the other way To strip the land of its blood and infest our water with our greed, but it will catch up with us. Now we have a leader who fully exemplifies this story of capitalism, debt, and wanton greed. He has shown us greed, racism, misogyny, and other disgraceful traits. Is it any surprise that our choices have led us here? How have we participated in this story of the economy being more important than caring for others? Can we own our part, and begin a new story?
I try every day to live a true life, a life to my ideals in every action. I have much work to do to live better. But I often feel it does not matter what I do if others don’t try to change, especially our leaders. No, I cannot be at the protests this weekend. I have my work that is the yoga training that I run. I set the dates for this work over a year ago. I hold myself to the commitment I made to these students. In my work, I am training people to not just teach Asana, though that is a part of it. I am teaching people to think and to question their actions and their choices. We spend much time pondering over our mind and it’s thought processes. We learn to grow and be thoughtful humans. They are being trained and certified to be teachers on their own, to bring these life changing practices to others all around the community. I feel this is the most important work I have to offer the world. There is a lot of work to be done, to be undone really. Let’s hope it is not too late. My heart is with all those taking a stand this weekend.
If like me, you can not be there to protest on that one singular day, can you do the bigger work of taking on a new story? Can you envision a new way to participate in the world and make each day, each choice, count towards the creation of a new story? Can you slowly disengage in the story that is not only no longer working, but is destroying the water, earth, air, and countless other species?
This is the work that needs to be done. As story creatures, let us begin a new tale.
*Photo credit: Tammy Strobel, Rowdy Kittens
This past week was full, with both leisure time, work, and planning. We celebrated a birthday for Josh, I dealt with preparations for my 2 teacher training program weekends coming up, and worked on organizing sharing our big events hosting Swami Gurusharanananda in just a few weeks. I like to stay inspired by my rural world and the world at large so I keep note of inspiring moments. Here are five inspiring moments from my week:
1. The Standing Rock Protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline. If you haven’t heard about it, read this article by Bill McKibben.
And if you feel moved to help this cause, if water, air, and land are important to you, Donate $5 to the Standing Rock Reservation.
2. Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens. She lived in a tiny house for a while, and now blogs about living big with a small impact. In part, this post is inspired by her emails. I hope to continue to include regular inspiring moment lists.
3. Because of a post by Tammy, I was inspired to create a “What I’m Doing Now” list. It is a post on my blog. I encourage you to make your own list, read more about why it’s a good idea.
4. Project 333. I’ve talked about it before, and now one year after learning about it I am finally, actually, following through. Thirty three articles of clothing, for 3 months. Think about it…
More reasons why we should simplify
5. “Eating You Alive” looks like an interesting movie. Check out the trailer.
There was a lot more that caught my eye this week. But one can only take in so much information at a time. If you feel moved, share one thing that inspired you in the comments below.
Hi, I’m Angie. We have a great new home and studio in Brownsville, VT. I hate the word “busy”, but it is important to let people know that I choose my new responsibilities, obligations, and even invitations very carefully in effort to best manage my time and energy. I love being with people and running classes, but I am an introvert and too many obligations will drain my energy fast. Here are the reasons why I might say “no” to something:
*Last Edited December 12, 2017, 7:00 AM
- Teaching 5 + weekly yoga class
- Organizing and leading a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program
- Monthly Kirtan and Studio Events- no more than 2 per month, ideally 1
- Maintaining two websites and blogs: The one you are reading now, and my art site.
- Running our new yoga studio in Brownsville, VT! Lots of great workshops just for you!
- Writing projects: YTT manual, daily writing, monthly newsletters, guest posts, etc…
- Art Making: Creating and making in my art studio each week: Finding show exhibition opportunities: Next show is scheduled for April in Brattleboro, VT!
- I have returned to the Board of Directors in the non-profit organization “Children of Ma“. In my new role, I am:
- Organizing the 2018 tour with Swami Gurusharanananda
- Driving my two teen daughters to and from their school in Westminster, and tending to their various activities.
- Tending to the needs of my home, husband, and family.
- Reading: I usually have about 5 books going at once.
- Making time to hike and walk outdoors
Inspired by a post by Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens, I decided to make a list of my current projects. This originated with Derek Silvers who encourages everyone to make a “NOW” page. This list will help me to stay focused, and it will be a reminder of my need to say “no” to things that are not in support of this list in an effort to simplify my life.
I will update this list as events change, and I refine my projects and goals.
Thanks! Share your own NOW page with me below!
Over the past few weeks, many people have shared with me that life seems very tough right now. I have been told these difficult feelings are not pinpointed to any specific events; rather, the feelings seem to be a general overall sense of “malaise” and even sadness. While I feel I can not offer a tangible “solution,” for navigating rough emotions, I try to listen and empathize. If you are sharing in these feelings right now, know that you are not alone. Tumultuous politics, serious environmental issues, and concern for the future can all feed a sense of dread. I too have had recent questions: Why does there seem to be so much suffering, both in the world and personally? Isn’t all this yoga practice suppose to help with that?
This morning while pondering such thoughts I opened this little green booklet written by Swami Gurusharanananda, one of my spiritual teachers. The words I read told me that in order to advance towards Self Realization (the goal of yoga), the seeker must continually remember the divine. Never lose sight of the sublime, no matter the hardship. While performing all duties, keep your mind aware of that greater purpose. Choose your associations carefully, as all that we experience leaves an imprint on the mind. And most importantly, practice your yoga and meditation, over and over again.The power of discrimination (viveka) and correct thinking comes with greater ease the more you dedicate to your personal practice. When such thoughts of despair find their way into your mind, notice them not as a sign of a failing practice, not that you are failing, but that you should practice with more dedication. In this way, you will see that there is a oneness that pervades each and every form and person you meet, there is a oneness behind every sect, every creed, and every religion.
We are one.