"There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
Life, like baseball, is hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the hard that makes it great. And the only way to make the "great" part work for you, is by tackling Life head on. Free from fears and burdens, and armed with a passion that burns like the light of a thousand stars.
So go ahead. Go do that.
Like everything worth having in life, it is easer said than done. Easier wished for than accomplished. But the best way to begin is by believing that you can. Believing in your inherent potential and capacity for greatness. A greatness that's judged as equally by it's outcome as by the way in which it was achieved. Anything done in love and with dedication is a success, because it inspires others to do the same.
Asanas that bring out a playful and spontaneous spirit will serve you well in your quest to discover your soul's passion. Variations on parsva bakasana (side crow) like scissored legs, or the lovely fallen angel pose are wonderful ways to find a sense of suspension in infinite grace. Ardha Chandrasana (half moon) with the sugarcane pose variation (Chapasana) allows the heart to open fearlessly into the unknown. And Goddess pose with eagle arms (garudasana) is a call to the Muses to refill your cup with inspiration and beauty.
For their part doTERRA has harnessed the naturally warming and renewing qualities of some of nature's most delicious herbs and spices for their Inspiring Blend, Passion. A mix of Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove and Vanilla, with some Sandalwood and Jasmine sprinkled in, it's impossible to take a single whiff of this fragrance and not feel a sudden burst of clarity and inspiration. Add to your pulse points or diffuse throughout the day to overcome burdens and blockages, boredom and disinterest, and begin to live your life with the passion it deserves.
"Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire."
"Nothing will work unless you do."
The hardest part of any journey is the start. Fears and apprehensions can grip us, make it seem impossible to take that first step. Perhaps we are used to disappointments, perhaps we've grown cynical, doubting our potential, (and the potential of others) to achieve greatness.
But sometimes just starting isn't enough. Sometimes we start with the best and truest convictions, a direct pathway to our dreams, and then Life comes in. Life with a capital L, will knock us off course, throw constant obstacles in our way, or barring all else, simply try and wear us down with Time. We become lethargic, weary, frustrated, and the idea of continuing on is implausible.
But life moves on, and we must move with it. Movement is the constant in life, nothing that thrives is still and stagnant. And so we must always be moving forward, moving with the highs and lows, the ebbs and flows. Because if we don't keep going, keep swimming, we drown.
So whether you need a jump start, or a reboot, asana can give us the boost we need. Surya Namasakar (sun salutations) is one of the best ways to energize the body, focus the mind and bring a sense of intention and gratitude to the heart. A set of 10-12 poses practiced repetitively, this invigorating sequence is a full practice in and of itself. It targets all major muscle groups, improves blood circulation and can be tailored to serve any body. Practiced at a vigorous pace, sun salutations are a full cardiovascular workout. Practiced slower and steadier, they can help the body tap into a deeper, more rooted strength.
Add some of doTERRA's Motivate blend, either rubbed into the soles of the feet or diffused during your practice, and the power to motivate and invigorate is amplified. An engaging blend of citruses and minty herbs, like Peppermint, Clementine, Coriander, Basil and Lemon Balm, this Encouraging Blend uplifts the spirit with energy, drive and focus. Diffuse it while studying, driving long distances, or exercising, or apply to your pulse points before a big event where a confident body, heart and mind would make all the difference. And let it become a go-to tool when life knocks you down, wears you out or breaks your heart. Use all the tools you can to help get yourself up, brush yourself off, and begin again.
"Our greatest weakness lies in our giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time."
"Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy, and keep choosing it every day."
It's hard to look at the state of the world and find reasons for joy. We are constantly inundated by images of war and violence, pain and suffering, injustice and incompetence, to a greater degree than humankind has ever been before. Through the lightning technology of virtual connection, we now have a front row seat to every atrocity, every tragedy, all over the world, at all times. It's too much for our brains, and certainly too much for our hearts.
But in reality, our lack of joy is not the fault of these awful truths. Our lack of joy comes from us allowing them to dull our inner light. To steal our energy, our power, and cover us under a blanket of inescapable darkness. We cannot change all the ills of the world, but we can change how we react to them. We can learn to choose happiness. To see the good as well as the bad, because there is so much more good. The kindness of our neighbors, the sweetness in our children, the beauty of nature, and to be grateful. And when we find gratitude, the joy arises from within, burning brighter and stronger, lifting up those around us, and hopefully leading to a world where choosing happiness doesn't take so much effort.
In asana, playing with rooted heart and side body opening can invite space around the heart and increase our capacity for joy. Exalted warrior and peaceful warrior, variations of virabhadrasana I and II respectively, are wonderful options to play with the balance of rooting and rising. As are sphinx pose (bhujangasana on the forearms) or it's light and playful sister, pincha mayurasana (forearm balance).
Nature also offers up tools to lift our spirits and warm our hearts. And doTERRA harnesses these beautifully in their delightful blend of citruses and spices, fittingly called Cheer. This Uplifting Blend of Wild Orange, Clove, Lemon, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Ginger and Cinnamon, is warm and inviting, encouraging lifted spirits and bringing sunshine to the darkest seeming days. Placing a couple drops into the palms of your hands, rubbing them together, then cupping your nose and mouth and inhaling deeply can lessen the weight of despair and sadness, inspire hope, and help open the pathway to gratitude. Because gratitude is the key to living a life in joy.
"The root of joy is gratefulness. It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful."
"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."
Forgiveness is a tricky thing. Anger and resentment, hatred and bitterness, can build impenetrable walls around the heart that cannot be breached by outside forces. They stifle joy, crush hope and continue to break our heart over and over again. And the only way to stop the cycle and break through those walls, is with a revolution from deep within their barricades.
Forgiveness comes from the deepest recesses of our heart. It takes a great deal of inner strength and self awareness to love those who have hurt us deeply, but that is what true forgiveness is. An ability to see past the action that has wounded us, to the imperfect and flawed person behind those actions. To offer them compassion, and attempt an understanding that, in most cases, our suffering was not their primary intention, no matter how it may seem from our perspective.
Because we are all imperfect and flawed. And we all deserve compassion and forgiveness.
Again, easier said then done as forgiveness cannot be forced. And when you are wronged, it can hurt so deeply it may seem like an impossibility. But it will come, when the heart is ready. When the body has learned to let go and be vulnerable again. When we can once again trust, and believe in the goodness of others. And for that, our greatest tool is time.
But of course, yoga can help us on this journey. Gentle backbends like standing camel pose (ustrasana) or heart pose (anahatasana) invite the heart to open from a rooted and grounded place. And a supported, heart opening, supta badha konasana (reclined soles of the feet together, bolster along the spine) will allow the body to release any attachments to a negative past and re-establish trust once more.
Adding some of doTERRA's Forgive oil on the pulse points and heart center, or diffusing a few drops as needed throughout the day, can help encourage the heart to reopen gently and slowly, like the warming sun on the first buds of Spring. A soothing blend of trees and herbs like Spruce, Juniper, Arborvitae, Thyme, Myrrh and Bergamot, these oils help calm the emotions in times of stress, and foster a sense of renewal, understanding and tolerance. Because the one we best serve by offering forgiveness, is ourselves.
"Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace."
~Jonathan Lockwood Huie
"There can never be peace between nations, until peace is first known within the souls of men."
Now is the time for peace.
And I don't mean now as in today. Or as in "enough is enough, it's 2017, it's time for peace already"
I mean now, as in right now, in this moment. And in all the moments that have come before and are still to follow. Now has always been the time for peace. In fact, peace should be the only option in all moments and all times. There simply is no other sustainable choice. If we cannot live in peace, then we risk not being able to live at all.
And that's true literally as well as figuratively. If we cannot achieve peace within, then we cannot live our best and fullest life. If we are not at peace within our hearts, within our minds, then how can we hope to be at peace in our actions? And if we cannot be at peace in our actions, then how can we hope to live in a world at peace?
Thankfully, the physical practice of yoga (asana) was created to prepare to body to achieve just that. We move the body in all these odd, twisted and backwards seeming ways, in order to prepare the body to sit in meditation. For it is only in meditation (in some form) that we find peace. Sculpted shoulders, a strong core or being able to put our legs behind our heads are nice side effects. But the real purpose of asana is to prepare the body to find true peace within.
The poses we practice on our journey towards peace depend on the type of peace we are seeking. For a rooted, grounded peace, tadasana (mountain pose) with the hands in Anjali mudra (heart offering), channels the powerful, earth based calm of the mountain. If we crave a more cerebral peace, or a quieting of the mind, inversions like headstand (sirsasana) or shoulder stand (sarvangasana), or a simple bent knee uttanasana (forward fold) will take you there, delivering a fresh flow of heavily oxygenated blood to the brain and nervous system. And of course lotus pose (padmasana) and sitting cross legged (sukasana) are the ideal seats for meditation.
Similarly, the best use of doTERRA's Peace oil will also depend on the type of peace you most need. Seeking a calm and quiet mind? Place a little Peace on you third eye (center of your forehead) and temples before meditation. Craving a more nurturing sense of peace, or perhaps just a good night's sleep? Rub some Peace onto the soles of your feet and wrap them up in some cozy socks.
doTERRA's Reassuring Blend is a mix of the roots and flowers that provide the greatest capacity for relaxation. Vetiver, Lavender, Clary Sage, Marjoram, Ylang Ylang and Frankincense, when used aromatically or topically, encourage the release of fear and anxiety and promote feelings of peace, contentment and reassurance. When used in tandem with a meditative practice, Peace can help bring about a release of excessive earthly attachments, and instead foster a connection to something beyond the self, something intangible, which can bring true and lasting inner peace. And that's the kind of peace this world so desperately needs. And we need it now.
"Peace is a divine quality. One who is united to the Peace of God is like a lovely rose, spreading around him the fragrance of tranquility and harmony."
"It's so much darker when a light goes out, then it would have been if it had never shone."
Anyone who has ever experienced grief, knows how intensely it can collapse you. How it can pull you down so deep that you cease to see the light, and begin to question whether it was ever really there.
Grief comes in waves. Like the ebb and flow of the tide, grief comes in, shatters your world, and then it dissipates. You put the pieces back together, only to see the wave return, sometimes even stronger than before.
Grief come in different forms, just like loss. It can be obvious or it can be subtle to an outside observer, but inside it feels the same - devastating.
And grief hurts, it physically hurts. The knot in your chest or the lump in your throat, an intense feeling of tightness or heaviness, these are the very real physical manifestations of grief.
In the language of Yoga, we might describe these as blockages in the energetic body (Chakras) that stop the flow of Prana (life force energy).
In the language of Science, we recognize that the brain translates the stress of grief into a chemical reaction in the body. Just like the feeling of love correlates to an increase in the "feel good" hormones, like dopamine and oxytocin, the loss of love causes a dramatic drop in these, and an increase in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
And while it's true that only time will heal a fractured heart, there are some beautiful ways in which we can help it along.
In Asana, we can find gentle backbends in low lunges (anjaneyasana) or on the belly (salabasana) to encourage the heart to re-open. Or we can find a supported paschimottanasana (seated forward fold) if it needs a little more time.
Adding a few drops of doTERRA's Console to your chest and pulse points can increase the healing capacity in these asanas. As can diffusing Console while you mediate or sleep
Console, doTERRA's unique blend for comfort and reassurance, is made with some of nature's most fragrant trees and flowers. Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Rose all contain chemical components that provide grounding and renewing elements to aid in releasing the emotional burdens of past or present hurt and to facilitate rest, patience and hope.
And remember... "The pain of grief is just as much a part of life as the joy of love. It is perhaps the price we pay for love."
~ Dr. Colin Murray Parkes
I love incorporating doTerra essential oils ~ and all things holistic and natural ~ into my life, my home, my practice and my classes.