Friday, September 5, 2014

What We Hold Onto

The last few weeks have been eventful, to say the least.

Several family members have been in the hospital. I am in the process of moving (just across town). I had my one-year anniversary at work (and got a raise!). I returned to my yoga mat and can feel my body building strength—it’s the strongest I’ve felt since my back issues this summer, and wow, I am grateful to feel great in my body again.

Soon, the dust will settle. And already, I’m reflecting on these experiences, noticing what wisdom they hold.

Photo by Justin Kral of Kral Studios.

Several questions keep resurfacing: what am I really holding onto? What are the things in my life worth clinging to?

When I really stop and think about it, I’m amazed by the amount of time I waste on some things that don’t really matter, but that feel good:
  • surfing the Internet and reading posts on social media
  • watching TV
  • eating unhealthy foods
I also waste time by:
  • making excuses
  • ignoring my emotions
  • hiding
  • letting guilt, fear or shame run the show
These are habits I've been working on changing, and I still have a long ways to go.

And I’m also amazed by the things I do that really matter, how rich and fulfilling those are:
  • spending time with the people I love
  • saying, ‘I love you,’ and giving hugs
  • practicing gratitude and awareness
  • teaching yoga from my heart
  • practicing yoga and leaving my ego aside
  • cooking and eating healthy foods
  • practicing reiki and taking an active role in my healing journey
  • writing blog posts and connecting with yogis who have been impacted by my story

I read a post recently about living a minimalist life (it was by Leo Babuata at Zen Habits). He was saying how, when you really break it down, happiness is as simple as this:

1. Decide what’s important.
2. Eliminate the rest.

Now is a good time to show up to my life, fully. It’s not always easy to be conscious, present, and to move through life with clear intention… but now is a good time to start.

I was going about my day and suddenly, everything changed. I found myself rushing to the hospital, sitting in an emergency room, knowing someone I love with my whole heart was suffering. I showed up. All the little stuff fell away… and I was left with this:

Now is the time to love others. Love freely, without attachment to the outcome. To give what I can, frequently. To be incredibly kind to those around me, and to thank my teachers. I choose to embody the love in my heart fully, using my words and my devotional practices.

I have an incredible support network. I have a beautiful family, incredible friends, a yoga community that inspires and amazes me, and people who constantly show me that they care. I am held up by these people, and quite honestly I would be nowhere without them. The most important thing I can do is acknowledge this, and treat all of the wonderful people in my life with kindness.

I have my body. I am more than my body, but it is a vital part of my experience here, and worth loving. Putting my health first allows me to do the things I love, and to serve others more fully. Now is a good time to love my body without exception, and to make choices that allow me to experience radiant health.

Now is a good time to show up to my life, fully. To let go of the things that I’m holding on to that aren't important. To love others, and to love myself. When it comes down to it, that’s what really matters.

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