by Jodh Kaur
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Consider those around you. Are you feeling inspired, stretched, elevated, uncomfortable or even in awe of what they are doing?
When we ally ourselves with those who are living their purpose and accomplishing what they set out to do, we have the permission and motivation to do the same. Who we surround ourselves with matters. It impacts how we spend our time, what we think & talk about and where & how we take action. In fact, witnessing an ally’s action can prompt our own. It motivates us to keep up, to put one foot in front of the other (no matter how scared we are), to live our truth.
In the words of Marianne Williamson:
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Treat the next person you talk to as someone whose trust and respect you wish to earn. This means you won’t take them for granted, nor make any assumptions based on “they should know…”
That person wants to be treated like a human being, and all human beings want to be seen, heard and understood. What if you could gift them this experience?
Here’s an exercise:
Go in to your next interaction without any agenda but to be fully there. Take an exhale, surrender into that moment, look at that person with genuine happiness to be there with them, smile, and say, how are you, or ask any real question, and truly want to know.
There are no thoughts running through your mind on how you will respond or what you wish to say. Just listen intently because you care. This is your opportunity to really see the other person. As well as yourself.
Make eye contact. Let the breath respond while they talk.
If you feel so compelled to interrupt, offer a solution, or talk about yourself, even if it’s something related to what they were saying… first ask yourself, what is your need? What are you hungry for? Can you hold back for now to be the fulfiller? Can you stop your thoughts in your tracks about what you will say when they’re done? Can you trust that you will have something worthwhile you say later if you do that? Or will this be about you? You decide. Compare and contrast how it feels to interact this way versus another.
Holding space for someone like this, even upon saying hello, is a good skill to cultivate. Try it with a client, a friend, your significant other, co-worker, family member, anyone. You may find that you get a lot more back in return, and you will learn a lot more about them (as well as yourself), in the process.
by Jodh Kaur
Autumn is here and shorter days, colder weather and the holiday season are all right around the corner. This can be a tough time for many of us - Seasonal Affective Disorder, feeling blue, managing family and old (and new) conflicts around holiday time. Even those with ideal situations feel the stress of expectations that come in the last months of the year.
This time of year it is critical to establish a daily ritual or practice that will build our reserves so we can manage life’s challenges with grace and compassion for ourselves and each other.
At Urban Yoga Chicago, we regularly encourage our clients in class to commit to a 40 day practice and in response, we often hear things like:
“How do I get started?”
“I need to create an altar.”
“I need a special space in my home and need to paint, move furniture, get a mat, buy a cushion, get some photos, collect candles etc (you get the picture 😜).”
“I’ll start on Monday.”
As human beings we tend to stand in the way to our own salvation by making things so much harder than they need to be. Discipline isn’t something certain people are born with, it is something we are all capable of creating with daily activity. While it’s nice to have a dedicated space and an altar, these are not necessary prerequisites to having a daily practice. All that is required is for YOU to take time each day to devote to YOU and the nourishment of your soul.
Here are 5 simple steps to create a daily practice:
After you get going with your practice, feel free to add any of the bonus steps:
Yogi Bhajan said, “Having no self-control is like driving a car without brakes. Having no self-esteem is like driving a car without gas. So how far can you go?”
A daily practice gives us both. And yes, You are worth it.
I would love to hear what you are commiting to for the next 40 days.
Reply here and let me know!
by Savitree Kaur
Be… ACT….greater than what you think of yourself.
I mean, this is the next step after getting buoyed by this KY practice.
I mean, why else are we practicing?
The limiting beliefs are there, I know.
I have them.
They are not just nuisances. They are downright debilitating.
But they don’t have to be.
I get to decide that they won’t control me.
I get to decide not to waste a moment defending myself and making (arguably legitimate) excuses.
I get to decide that I can risk whatever I think I am going to lose by putting myself out there because the risk of not doing it is worst. It’s worse because those consequences don’t go away until I self-correct and put myself out there. Because what’s worse than playing it safe is living in a state of chronic, low-grade flat-line of constant regret or something unspeakably missing underneath the veneer of “I’m good”. And then feeling hungry for something and being unable to pinpoint what that is, leaving me confused or malaised.
We all had dreams, and then we became practical. We found “balance” in our lives, and we compromised.
But did we really? Or did we misuse those words? Did we use them to make excuses for not acting?
I’ve looked back on when I’ve been tired, and when I’ve had sustained energy, and I found that I got tired, not when I’ve had “enough sleep” but when I’ve felt I’ve self-compromised. I experienced sustained energy on much less sleep when I rode the incredible waves that were the culmination of decisions that I made to act from my gut and my soul’s calling rather than my stupid head and nevermind the practical opinions of others or the imagined conclusions I thought they’d have about me, and most importantly the constraints I placed on myself by believing somehow I wouldn’t be able to pull my dream off, or I didn’t have the brains, the memory, the time, money or energy for it. The weight those fears carry. It seems like it would just be easier to take the damn risk.
Take the risk. Delve Deeper with:
ChildPlay Yoga November 9-11, 2018
Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training February-October 2019
by Savitree Kaur
Kundalini Yoga Quotes:
“I’d never felt anything like it; it was just an opening of energy and a feeling of such liberation.” -Marika Bethel, owner, Glowing House