Final Thoughts before Yoga Training

In case of emergency, meditate.

If there is no emergency, meditate.

If you can find peace in stillness and silence, you win.

If peace, for whatever reason, evades you in this moment, you win.

We have won, are winning currently, and will continue to win.  Or at least, that’s how I perceive us, considering we’ve all achieved consciousness after 14.5ish billion years.

So does that make us 14.5ish billion years old?  That’s a lot of wisdom.  And to think this whole time I thought I was 23, ha!

Seriously though, meditate.

Or don’t.  But if you can find peace in stillness and silence, you can likely find it anywhere.  Remember – all good things come with time.  Practice makes perfect.  Or, rather, practice makes better.  So, the more you practice experiencing peace, love, joy, happiness, fulfillment, success – whatever it is you seek – the more you will experience that on a regular basis.  What you focus on is what you create.  Exercise your own mind to focus on that which you desire most!

The Greater Good.  11:11.  When you see repeating numbers like that, entertain the possibility that they mean something.  If there is some Intelligence / Consciousness that exists beyond our small physical bodies, perhaps it would communicate with us through numbers.  At least, that’s one of many ways it might try to wake us up to this abundance 🙂

The time for doing good is now.  The time for being your best is now.  And, the time for loving is now.  The time is always now.

My role models?  Aside from so many wonderful people I’ve met, who all are my teachers, I’m a big fan of Water and the Sun.  Flowing and Shining.  Supporting all of Life.  Ideally at least 😉

Hallelujah!  I am grateful for this moment.  Thank you Everything!!!

And where will I be for the next month…

“The goal of Integral Yoga, and the birthright of every individual, is to realize the spiritual unity behind all the diversities in the entire creation and to live harmoniously as members of one universal family. This goal is achieved by maintaining our natural condition of a body of optimum health and strength, senses under total control, a mind well-disciplined, clear and calm, an intellect as sharp as a razor, a will as strong and pliable as steel, a heart full of unconditional love and compassion, an ego as pure as a crystal, and a life filled with Supreme Peace and Joy.”
HH Sri Swami Satchidananda

Power vs. Force Reflection: Accepting vs. rejecting

I’ve read before that acceptance is the foundation for love.  Unconditional Acceptance actually seems very similar to Unconditional Love.  Each morning I set the intention to unconditionally love everything that is, exactly as it is Here & Now (an intention I first discovered on Steve Pavlina’s blog post, Empowering Beliefs). I’ll often complement the intention to unconditionally love with an intention to unconditionally accept everything as it is, and I find the two intentions create a similar effect.

When thinking about Accepting and rejecting, it’s very easy to perceive the two as mere opposites.  However, rather than opposites, I think they both offer a lens with which to look at the same thing, like two different sides of the same coin.  You can either accept the truth or reject falsehood.  The action is very similar, yet with acceptance you empower yourself with positive language, whereas with rejection you are focusing on the negative (and by focusing on it, you might as well be putting out a prayer to have more of it!).

For example, you can think of yourself walking into a Whole Foods and perusing the produce selection.  You can either focus on the foods you accept as worthy for your shopping cart or on the foods you reject and do not desire to purchase.  Which way of perceiving the foods is more effective?

When you embrace Accepting over rejecting, you choose to focus on all the good and all of that which you desire.  What you accept, you acknowledge.  Instead of giving your attention away to all the negatives that you do not desire, you can give your attention and energy more abundantly towards that which you do desire by focusing on Accepting the positive rather than rejecting the negative.  The difference between Accepting and rejecting may appear subtle, but it makes a big difference in terms of the way you perceive the world around you.  Choose Acceptance 🙂

 

Power vs. Force Reflection: Abundant vs. Excessive

Abundance!  Such a wonderful idea.  Excess, on the other hand, ehh?  Not a fan.

When resources are in abundance, it means there is more than enough for everyone, hence there is no need to hoard.  Operating from an Abundance Paradigm, you understand there is always more than enough, so you consume only what you need, and you also give freely and openly.  It’s a totally awesome way to live, and if you want to experience a bit of liberation, try it out.  Give of yourself more and more, and freely offer yourself, your possessions, and your time to anyone who calls to you.  One way I do this is by ending many of my interactions by saying, “For the record, you have my 100%, unconditional support.  If you ever need anything or if you think I can help you in any way, please let me know.”  Rarely do people capitalize on my offer, but I want them to know that I am here for them if they think I can help.

One time I had the pleasure of meeting Lilias Folan, also referred to by many as “The First Lady of Yoga,” and one of the very first things she said to me was, “What is it that you want and how can I help?”  I was like WHOAAAAA!!!  Here was one of the most famous yogis in the land offering to help me?  Of course, she found me in that place where so many of us are, where we don’t truly know what we want, and so how can anyone help us?  When we know what we want, we can have it, but it all begins with answering that question, “What do I most deeply desire in life? Who do I want to become?  What do I want to do?  What one thing would I dare to dream if I knew I could not fail?”

Lilias, by offering her help to me, clearly operated form an abundance paradigm.  And the beautiful thing about abundance is that it works both ways.  The more you give of yourself, the more you receive, so it’ really in our best interest to give, give, and give!

Using the language of Excess paints a picture of Abundance in an unflattering way.  Both Excess and Abundance can represent the quantity of a particular item.  Let’s look at the example of bananas, and just to be specific, bananas with brown spots on them, because that’s when they’re extra delicious.  So, we have 100 brown-spotted bananas on the kitchen counter – is that an abundance of bananas or an excess?  If you see it as an abundance, then there is more than enough for everyone and you perceive the 100 bananas as a positive presence.  You accept the bananas as they are.  If, on the other hand, you perceive 100 bananas as excessive, then you’re perceiving the bananas in a negative way.  If the bananas are in excess, you might begin to think of ways to get rid of some of the bananas.  You might even panic and brood over the question, “What do I do with all these bananas?!?!?”  Perceiving excess means there is a problem, whereas abundance means all is well. Hence, if you want to start enjoying life more, wherever you may have perceived excess, choose to see it as abundance instead.  And while you’re at it, wherever you might perceive scarcity, perceive abundance instead.  The more you acknowledge the abundance that is already with you in your life, the more you will attract even greater abundance into your life.

Give abundantly, receive abundantly.  Let go of scarcity and excess.  It’s all in your mind anyway 😉

Power vs. Force: a Reflection on Power Patterns in Human Attitudes

One of my favorite books is Power vs. Force.  I was originally introduced to the book by Steve Pavlina’s blog and shortly thereafter gifted the book by a friend.  Amazing how things come together when it’s for a good purpose.

I recently passed the book along to my sister but not before I made an abundance of copies of pages 146 and 147, that you can also find online here, courtesy of the amazing Google.

Just yesterday, I met with a friend who I hadn’t seen for almost a year.  Within 3 minutes of talking to him, he mentioned the Law of Attraction and the Secret and suddenly I started to notice an abundance of synchronicities, those great events that seem like coincidences but really are winks from the Celestial Eye.  It was awesome!

At one point, trusting my intuition, it felt like the right thing to do to give him a copy of pages 146 and 147 from Power vs. Force, so I did.  After doing my best to explain the concept to him and difference between the stronger, powerful words in the left column and the weaker, forceful words in the right column, he encouraged me to write a paragraph on each of the distinctive pairs of words (e.g. Abundant vs. Excessive, Essential vs. Apparent, Respectful vs. Demeaning, etc.).  To be completely open, I have yet to reflect much on all the pairs, so my understanding of some of them is not quite yet worthy of sharing, me thinks.  This works out nicely because I’m headed to a yoga training program tomorrow at Yogaville, which for the record has a totally awesome mission statement, so today I won’t quite get around to all the pairs, although I will start!

Generally speaking, Power, in the long-run, always wins out over Force.  Power appeals to that which is essentially good, whereas Force appears to that which may appear good, but ultimately Force does not resonate with the essential humanity of us all.  As a real life example, consider the examples of Churchill and Gandhi as compared to Hitler.  Churchill and Gandhi appealed to the basic human dignity that is within all of us, representing true Power, whereas Hitler’s ideology ultimately promoted separation and judgment which are part of the forceful paradigm.  Every human being can deeply resonate with the core message of Churchill and Gandhi, whereas Hitler’s message may only resonate with some of us in the short-term or when we’re on the ‘inside.’  Good news is Power triumphs in the end, hence it’s in our own best interest to align ourselves with Power, which, by the way, is steeped in Gratitude and Humility.

Without further ado…

Confessions of a Wandering Yogi: Too Much Ice Cream Makes Brad Something Something

One thing that continues to resonate with me on my journey through this world…

I find on days when I eat lots of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, perhaps some seeds and oats, my awareness of that which is good is peaked.  On days when I eat healthily, it becomes very easy for me to flow in what feels like Peace, Love, and Joy, in Abundance!

In contrast, on days like yesterday, when for the first time in many months I ate not only some ice cream, but more like 3 pints of it (it was a lot!), well let’s just say my consciousness was low. I felt ineffective, complaisant, and relatively mindless.

On the journey of recovery from the ice cream indulgence, carrots alone are my source of nourishment for the day, and so far I feel fantastic 🙂

Everything we consume affects our level of consciousness, whether we are talking of physical, mental, or spiritual food.  In a way, everything is food. Perceiving such phenomena as Bliss, Peace, Love, Joy, or a connection with the Divine is very hard to do if the body is being filled with unhealthy foods.  I don’t quite understand all the reasons and science behind why food has such a strong impact on the quality of the present moment, yet my own experience leads me to believe that the healthier foods I eat, the better I feel, and the greater my experience becomes.

Health and food…you better believe there is a connection.  And, to expand upon the idea of health, I think perfect health ultimately means happiness, peace, and connection.  So, as we consume good foods for us, ranging from fruits and vegetables to enriching books and conscious people, our health in all forms increases.

Food is much more than just what we put into our mouths.  We consume via all of our senses, each and every moment of our lives.  We are always eating something, whether it be an orange or a song or a sunset, even a conversation, it’s all going into us and it will come out of us one way or another.

You are what you eat.  As far as physical food goes, I think health doesn’t get much simpler or delightful than an abundance of fruits and vegetables.  For the mental and spiritual food, it’s important to spend time with people you admire.  And, if you can’t find these people in the flesh, look to books as a gateway to experience the essence of some great men and women history.  There are certainly plenty of worthy role models to be found in the books.

I say this as much for myself as for you, oh mysterious reader, that it is vitally important that we become aware of what we consume, and as much as we can only consume that which nourishes the body, mind, and spirit.  If what you’re consuming doesn’t bring you greater health, happiness, or harmony, let it go.  (Now time to walk the talk!)

Over the course of my moneyless journeys, I’ve found myself using the excuse, “If I don’t eat this it’s going to waste in the trash.”  I use this excuse to eat some of the worst foods, including all the ice cream from yesterday.  I thought on some level I was doing a service.  And really, even though eating all the ice cream lowered my consciousness temporarily, I’m glad it happened.  After all, it’s in those moments of pain when we are offered such an incredible opportunity to grow and overcome.

So, thankfully, I received many insights after eating all the ice cream. For one, eating unhealthy food rarely serves anyone, and it is certainly no one’s responsibility to rescue foods from being thrown in the trash by offering up the physical body as a garbage disposal.  That’s quite the mistreatment of the temple!

To consume everything with an intention of nourishing the body, mind, and spirit – that is an ideal way to consume.

With a final reflection on the ice cream extravaganza of yesterday, at no one point during the day do I recall considering what effects the ice cream would have on the health of my physical body, mind, or spirit.  Nor do I recall considering what kind of example I was setting.

I remember reading once in book a book called Zen Golf the idea of always acting as if your 5-year-old child is present and is looking to you as an example.  Have you ever noticed that when children are present, your behavior becomes that much better?

We are all in this world together, here to learn from and learn with each other.  Every moment, we are setting an example whether we want to or not, and the example we set is the primary way in which we all serves as teachers, each and every moment. However we act ripples out into the actions of all those who experience our presence, and even when we act in private, those actions ripple out to affect our actions in public.  There is no separation – we are connected.

In every moment, as best we can, it’s important to be aware and consume responsibly.

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if the whole world were watching.” – Thomas Jefferson