More Signs of Spring

I was looking at my blog site and noticed that last April I had written a blog called signs of spring, with a photo of my daffodils poking up from the ground.  The date was April 7, 2015 it was a long hard winter in Boston last year.  Flash forward to today February 25, 2016 and those same daffodils are already poking up from the ground!  What a difference a year makes.

This winter has seen temperatures fluctuate from -9 to 56 degrees in the space of 3 days.  The weather man mentioned that we have had an equivalent amount of precipitation but rain this year instead of snow.  Letting out a sigh of relief, I look forward to more and more frequent warm days like today.

Sitting in my sunny dining room and writing this blog I feel an overwhelming sense of contentment and bliss.  The sun is warm on my face, NPR is on in the background and I am writing a blog post all things I enjoy.

Yoga says as you immerse yourself in your yoga practice you will open deeper and deeper into consciousness. As you become more and more immersed in your yogic state the structure of your mind changes it becomes more porous things don’t stick to you the way they used to.  You are not as dependent on external situations to create your happiness. You don’t need to prop up your state of being with externally pleasurable events.

The weather man says that tonight the temperature will drop, tomorrow is back to cold, cold winter. My  mind is more porous then it was a year ago, that forecast doesn’t stick to me, doesn’t bring me down, doesn’t change my state. Today I am enjoying the present moment, the warmth and sunshine, I am content and blissful.Tomorrow hopefully I will stay in my yogic state, in that present moment content and blissful.

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Minimalist Living One a Yogi’s Perspective

Minimalist Living – More Confessions from an NPR Junkie

Coming home from a yoga class today I heard the last 30 minutes of On Point with Tom Ashbrook, a favorite fix for this self confessed NPR junkie.  His guests were Johsua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, minimalists who travel around promoting this new style of living and are promoting their new documentary coming out soon.

Personally I am in purge mode, wanting to rid my home and my life of clutter.  Listening to their interview I’m not sure if this makes me a minimalist or not, I am not planning to move to a tiny one room home, or even give away all of my possessions.  I do know that getting rid of junk makes me feel freer, lighter, less stressed.  Yes, stuff can stress you out. Where do you keep it, then you have to clean it, worry about it getting stolen, and fixing it if it breaks.  So I’m on board with getting rid of the stuff.

I liked the way the guests talked about how you choose the stuff you get rid of.  Somethings are easy the clothes you haven’t worn in years, toys your kids have outgrown, anything that is broken and just cluttering up your space.  It was also interesting how they spoke about what you decide to keep.  The things you keep are the things that add value to your life, bring you joy and don’t weigh you down or keep you from living your life the way you want to live it.

I do understand that many people are living a minimalist life not by choice but because that is all they can afford. I am looking at those who have disposable income, and it makes me wonder how we as a nation have gotten to this state of over consumption? Why do we feel a compulsion to buy, more and more stuff?

Yoga says that we are searching for happiness, our mind believes that when I get _________ then I’ll be happy.  After we have _____ for awhile we find we are still unhappy so we look for the next external purchase to make us happy.  What yoga promises is that true happiness is inside, ever arising within each of us.  That happiness Svaroopa(r) Yoga calls bliss and it is always there waiting for you to tap into it.

So for me getting rid of stuff helps free me up to tap into true happiness, the one I can’t get from the outside no matter how much I spend, but I find on the inside always there just waiting for me.

 

 

Svaroopa(r) Yoga is a registered service mark of S.T.C., Inc. and is used by permission

 

Complaints turned into Gratitude

My daughter recently shared on Facebook with me a list of things that normally would be complaints and how these things can be looked at as things really we should be grateful for.

The list is:

  1. Early wake-ups = Children to love
  2. House to clean = Safe place to live
  3. Laundry = Clean clothes to wear
  4. Dishes to wash = Food to eat
  5. Crumbs under the table = Family meals
  6. Grocery shopping = $ to provide for us
  7. Toilets to clean = Indoor plumbing
  8. Lots of noise = People in my life
  9. Endless questions about homework = Children’s brains growing
  10. Sore and tired in bed = I’m still alive

At holidays we often will list the many blessings in our lives, and like many yogis I do a gratitude practice to acknowledge all the wonderful gifts that are present in my life.  What I loved about this list is it takes some of the things we grumble about doing and makes us realize again how lucky we are compared to most people in the world.

A real lesson for me is number 7 toilets to clean, and realizing how many people in the world do not have indoor plumbing.  Convenience aside the health risks that come with poor sanitary conditions associated with no indoor plumbing will make me think about cleaning my toilets in a whole new way.

A yoga practice really helps you to shift your attitude about many things.  As you release the tensions in your spine and your muscles become more open this also effects your mind.  Your mind can become more flexible making it easier to shift from grumpy to grateful.

When you approach these mundane tasks from a place of gratitude, they are no longer a chore.  When you do these tasks from a place of gratitude they are no longer done with a feeling of resentment, but from a place of joy. Lets be honest dishes and laundry need to be done, and a clean bathroom is more sanitary.  So the next time you feel resentful or are grumbling about your less pleasant mundane tasks find that place of gratitude and joy that is ever present inside you, remember all you have to be thankful for and see if you attitude shifts and these chores will get finished in no time.