It’s tough trying something new, especially when we’re excited to succeed, yet dread failing. I don’t know what’s tougher: those initial tries where success feels doubtful, or overcoming all the barriers to even starting it at all.
We also have inertia to overcome, which can feel like the highest barrier at all. Maybe we’re comfortable where we’re at. Maybe we don’t feel strongly enough to break out of our shell and risk embarrassing ourselves, or even just wasting our time.
The problem is, the only time we waste is time spent stuck in the same old rut, not growing, not expanding, not fully exploring what it means to be our own unique selves. The bigger problem is how much it’s just basic human nature to find those ruts and cozy down into them for as long as we can. I’ve come to feel that when I least want to move forward into something new, that’s when I most need to take even small steps down a new road. That’s the only way to snap myself out of it and keep moving.
If there’s something you’ve been meaning to try someday, now is the time to find out how you can make it a better part of your life. Commit to taking some of those steps forward, and schedule specific times you can fit some of them in.
If you can’t think of anything you’d like to pursue, try picking a topic you’re interested in, and start to research what different resources are saying about it. Allow others’ viewpoints to both inform and challenge you, as you work to expand your way of understanding this topic. This is another great way to explore new ground, and grow ourselves as human beings.
Whatever path you choose, please choose one that leads you to grow in new ways. This world is better only through the people who inhabit it, and therefore it benefits all of us, when each of us finds ways to better ourselves.
Posted in Learning | Tagged daily living, goals, growth, Learning, personal development, perspective, philosophy, success, taoism, zen | 1 Comment »
Yoga is easier to do than you may have heard! Pick one or two of these to start…
Originally posted on Chambers Health:
There are around 84 yoga poses, but a beginner need not start practicing all of them. Here we will provide you with basic yoga positions which a beginner can try for starting yoga practice. Remember, first attempt the poses/asanas you feel easy to attempt and then proceed to difficult ones. Each individual body is different and you have to try out and identify the easy asanas for yourself. Remember these tips for starting yoga asanas.
Steps For Shava Asana (Corpse Pose)
- Lie down in supine position on a yoga mat/ carpet.
- Keep both the legs a little apart about one to one and a half feet from each other.
- Keep both the hands a little away from the side of the body.
- Now let the left toe point towards the left and right toe towards the right.
- Head may be kept straight or may be inclined towards the left or…
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We’re coming up on the halfway point for 2015, and it seems like things have really gotten busy. My prediction for this year was that the currents of life would be more like rapids, speeding forward in potentially chaotic ways. I felt as though, if we could keep our oars in the water, these rapids could carry us more quickly toward our goals. But if we let ourselves slip out of that current, then we could get swept suddenly askew.
I haven’t always kept my oars steering me in the right direction. I’ve certainly devoted more energy than needed in spinning around in circles a few times. But I feel as though I’m getting myself back into my groove, and it’s easier when I stop to breathe and forgive myself for going a little astray.
One practice that’s helping me is conscious relaxation. I remember what it’s like to be floating down a river, or in a soothing bath, just relaxing into the water. I imagine the gentle buoyancy holding me afloat, and I allow that sensation to flow through me, releasing the tension. I remember that my muscles don’t need me to hold them together through tension and pinching, and breathe deeply as I let go of that tension.
I haven’t been as dedicated with my yoga, and I let my mental habits tense me up more than I ought. But when I find myself tensing more as I upbraid myself about those lapses, I practice the buoyancy, and let it all go. My body has many years of practice in holding itself together, and it’s helping to free up that energy so I can use it to keep myself steady on this rolling, churning river of life.
Posted in Living | Tagged acceptance, breathing, life, philosophy, relaxation, taoism, tension, yoga, zen | Leave a Comment »
To quote Amy Howe’s piece, “In historic decision, Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage.” As someone who has a deep respect and gratitude for all the ways love is expressed in this world, this means a lot to me.
I remember watching the progress of this struggle a few years ago, when cautious voices were asking people to slow down on this issue, and not push the matter too quickly. I understood their fear, that the wrong case would go before the wrong court, and there would be a heavy blow dealt to equality just because people tried to move too fast.
So I don’t mean to say that those who are cautious are cowardly. However, those who stand up in the face of opposition from within and without, driven forward by the pounding in their heart — they most certainly are courageous. I recognized the dangers, as it’s pretty evident what happens to people who buck against long-held “traditions”. But I felt the courageous way was the only way forward.
I sincerely believe that love is the powerful force we need to resolve the obstacles that remain before us. But love alone won’t effect those solutions; we each must do our part to speak and act with love in all the ways we feel moved to do so. It takes courage. It takes patience. It takes kindness for others and with ourselves. But as much as we need love, love needs us to flow through this beautiful world of ours.
Please, keep an ear toward the beating of your own heart, and allow it to guide you along the path it needs to travel with you. It will guide you true, and together you will make your corner of our planet a brighter place to be.
Note: The title of this post is taken from Galifesto. It’s currently available for pre-order; contact me if interested in a review copy.
Posted in Galifesto, Living | Tagged activism, books, change, courage, equal rights, equality, Gay Rights, good works, love, lovewins, marriage equality, patience, philosophy, Quotes, scotus, scotus marriage, taoism, zen | Leave a Comment »
Eric Arthur Blair had the opportunity to pursue the life of an educated Englishman, contributing his own part to the furtherance of the British Empire, rewarded by a steady, if boring career. It would probably have been an easier life than that of a hobo in East London, falling gravely ill and getting his belongings stolen by the hospital staff more than once, and getting his throat shot in the Spanish Civil War. It certainly may have been easier for him to avoid getting embroiled in political controversy through his social and cultural exposes.
Easier, I suppose, if he didn’t have such a burning need to explore the depths endured by those around him, and report on those struggles to the broader world.
George Orwell was the first author whose works made a profound impact on the way I experienced my world, and the framing propped up around it by my culture. I read Nineteen Eighty-Four first, then Animal Farm – A Fairy Story, borrowed from my grade school library. I was in an age of reading voraciously to try to better understand how life is understood differently by others, and these two books helped me understand how crucial it is to search below the surface-gloss of how we’re led to assume things are.
It’s more than 65 years to late to be able to thank him personally. Yet as I realized his birthday was coming up, I also realized that this August 17th will mark 70 years since Animal Farm was first published: its Platinum Anniversary. He had finished the book years earlier, but the political climate wouldn’t allow it. The British elite still considered Stalin an ally, so his obvious criticism of Stalin’s regime was intolerable… until the Cold War suddenly made it popular.
Deeply inspired by Orwell, I wrote a book a few years ago that I fairly quickly quieted down, as I didn’t want to deal with the political controversy it was digging into. I was (and am) concerned about how Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is used as though it is a textbook for how society and economics best serves the most callous assumptions of human nature, but I didn’t feel my contributions would do much to help people consider a more egalitarian — a more humane view.
Yet, seeing these anniversaries on my calender, I decided a few days ago that I could do more to honor the impact this author has had on my life. So to celebrate the 112th Birthday of Eric Arthur Blair, today I’m putting my book up as an ebook for Pre-Order: Galifesto – A Love Story. It will release on August 17, 2015.
It was written as a narrative, so I’m setting up shop to record it as an audiobook, and am also working on getting the print version to release the same day. This takes significantly less than spending time as a hobo or fighting in a civil war, so I figure I can do this much to help this world in its path to seeing one another with truer eyes.
If you haven’t read anything by Orwell, please visit your library and browse his section, see what catches your fancy. Or even just take a fresh look at the people you pass by in your day, holding an appreciation for struggles they silently bear in making it through this world we share. In this, I think you’ll be taking part in the impact he wished his work to have on the world he left behind.
Posted in Living | Tagged 1984, animal farm, Atlas Shrugged, birthday, book, compassion, galifesto, George Orwell, kindness, novel, orwell, philosophy, platinum anniversary, politics, tribute | Leave a Comment »
Changes to our environment have subtle effects on us. Soon they are no longer changes, but have become just more background hum running through our lives.
While we may not be consciously aware of these effects, our subconscious pays close attention to every tiny detail. If our environment has happy, friendly people, our subconscious begins to recognize that as normal. If we are surrounded by negative, violent people, our subconscious begins to recognize that as normal, too.
Our subconscious will also try to normalize our experiences to those expectations. It will help us see the good it feels we expect, as well as the bad. It can also help us say and do things, making choices that will continue to reinforce the good or bad that have become the baseline “normal” in our lives.
So it’s important to take a breath – a deep breath – and let it out slowly, paying attention to how we feel. As we breathe in, what kind of environment are we taking in? As we breathe out, what expectations are we sending out?
Taking a few of these moments a day for several days in a row should help us become more aware of this sea of experience we’re swimming in. Once we’re aware, we may make more conscious choices as to how we wish to experience our days to come.
Posted in Living | Tagged awareness, breathing, change, consciousness, meditation, mindfulness, philosophy, subconscious, taoism, zen | Leave a Comment »
I wish that your life will feel greater, more complete, because of the day you’ve had today.
I wish that you will feel closer to your goals, if only by moments, and if only by understanding more of what it will take to keep moving toward them.
I wish that you will have a full minute of presence, with several full breaths of air you’re grateful to have the chance to breathe.
I wish you to know peace — if not completely, then just enough to remember what it’s like to pause within the moment.
Posted in Living | Tagged breathing, goals, love, meditation, overcoming, peace, perserverence, philosophy, present moment, taoism, zen | Leave a Comment »