All posts tagged balance

Being in the Flow-ers- Part 2: When Push Comes To Shove

(Continued from The Sacred Garden)   I have been feeling low energy the last couple of weeks. Perhaps it is just the end of winter and I am a bit like a tropical flower that is challenged by the colder seasons. It is more likely that I have been working too hard, a knee-jerk reaction to feeling that I need to catch up for time I spent bedridden this past year. So I started to push rather than flow.   My pushing came strikingly to mind last week as I was doing my bi-weekly swim to help heal my spine. I started to feel really pumped and proud that I was swimming faster than everyone in the pool. I suddenly noticed that I could feel an acidic fluid rush through my cells with each stroke, as the reptilian part of my brain was getting fixated on how “special” I was because I was faster and therefore “better” than others.   Being a meditator, I took note when the constrictive consciousness arose through me and started to feed my cells with toxic ego boosters. I then returned to what feels more natural and joyful to me: to use the swim as a meditation practice flow, rather than trying to push the river. (Of note, I swim much…

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Ask Parvati 40: Distractions – Keeping Your Eye On The Prize – Part 1: Focus, Discipline and Courage

Dear Parvati, Thank you for your posts. I found last week’s particularly useful as it spoke to the way I want to make changes in my life this year. Though I love pursuing my life as a creative writer, I find I too often get pulled into listening to other people’s problems. I can literally spend hours a day helping people. I am happy to help, but then I feel drained, with little energy left after my day job to pour into my creative pursuits. Any words of wisdom? Thank you for this question. I understand the situation and often find myself needing to be quite ruthless with my time and how I spend it. Distractions always present themselves throughout the day. We must consciously choose how to spend our time and where to place our energy. Whether you are pursuing the life of an artist, are making life changes or wish to start a creative venture, you must have focus, discipline and courage. If you have not yet read Amma’s New Year’s message, she addresses this to some extent by reminding us that our most valuable asset we have is time, which we too often squander. Keeping focused on the purpose of our life is paramount, especially as we move through the day and encounter…

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Ask Parvati 38: Finding Centre in the Busy Day – Part 1: The Power of the Breath

I feel a bit like a jukebox: ask questions, get blog entries. This week, forwhatever reason, I did not receive any questions from you. Rather than leaving this week’s Ask Parvati blog silent, I thought I would share a bit about my daily internal process that helps me remain centred when faced with a busy life. Perhaps this will help shake out some more questions to send my way for next week’s blog postings. Remember they need to be in by Thursday. Please send your questions to ask@parvatidevi.com.   We all have our ways to find our place of personal balance. Some like exercise, others prefer quiet time, while others love to get out in nature and go for a good long walk. Whatever works for you, go for it. Life is short and there is only one you through all time and space. So be the best you that you can be!   My “way in” is my spiritual practice, in particular, my meditation practice. Meditation may conjure images of sitting still and quietening the mind. Though my sitting practice is the foundation and heart of my meditation practice, meditation can be practiced at any time, any where, in any place because meditation is about being in non-resistance to what is. The quiet time I spend…

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Ask Parvati 36: Compromise, Acceptance and Getting the Love You Want – Part 3: Acceptance and Insight

ACCEPTANCE AND INSIGHT (Continued from Acceptance Versus Resignation)   Let’s look at a simple relationship example, perhaps one you have experienced before. Your partner wants to go to the movies. You really want to stay home and tackle some unfinished household chores you both have left lingering that weigh on you. You don’t get how he/she could want to go to the movies when these chores are pending. He/she does not get why you are so fixated on chores when there is fun to be had.   This pattern has been going on for some time in your relationship. In fact, when the topic of movies comes up, you feel resentment. In your eyes, your partner wants to “goof off” — sigh! — again. You want to be practical and move forward, unburden your lives by facing things that need attention. You don’t want distractions. You want action.   From your partner’s point of view, you don’t have enough fun. You are too serious, wanting to plan for the future rather than live for the now and go out on the town and have fun. He/she feels you don’t go out enough, and he/she needs more lightness in the relationship. Staying home and doing chores feels too confining.   If you were to give in, perhaps…

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Ask Parvati 36: Relationships: Compromise, Acceptance and Getting the Love You Want – Part 2: Acceptance Versus Resignation

ACCEPTANCE VERSUS RESIGNATION (Continued from Balanced Compromise) Compromise is different from acceptance. After we make a compromise, we learn to accept our choices. If we choose not to compromise, we also must accept our choices. We can easily mistake acceptance for powerlessness, as though the word were synonymous with “throwing in the towel” and resignation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Acceptance is a powerful place. In fact, true change only begins once acceptance occurs. We may want to change our partner. We can try to push him/her into doing what we want over and over again. But that will only lead to two people feeling unhappy. If we want change, we must soberly look at what is and accept it, which means not trying to push our will into trying to change the way things are to suit our needs. To accept is to be in non-resistance to what is. Acceptance is active in a non-forceful way. It is dynamic in a quiet way. Acceptance is alive, because when we are acceptant, we flow with the force of life. Think of nature. The flower is. It is in a state of acceptance of its flower nature. It is not trying to change things. It is in flow with the force of life. Being passive…

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Ask Parvati 36: Compromise, Acceptance and Getting the Love You Want – Part 1: Balanced Compromise

Dear Parvati, I’m in a long-term relationship with someone I love, but I find my partner challenging at times, which makes me sometimes doubt whether I’m in the right relationship. Some people tell me I give too much — others tell me I need to give more! I’m confused. How do you know if you’re in the right relationship? When is compromise and acceptance letting yourself get walked all over, and when are they part of spiritual growth and learning to truly love? Thanks for your insight.   PART 1: BALANCED COMPROMISE   Thank you for these questions. Whether you are in a long term relationship or simply moving through the day interacting with people around you, learning how to compromise, when to accept and when to move on, are skills we all must learn along our path to wholeness.   We have all met people who do not like to compromise and resist doing so. They somehow manage to manipulate situations to get their way, either through twisted charm, temper tantrums, dramatic diversions, guilt strategies, bullying techniques or passive denial. Even if these people are supposedly “getting what they want”, I don’t believe that they truly are happy if they behave that way.   In each moment, there is perfect balance. When we give more…

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Ask Parvati 34: The Journey to YEM – Part 5: My Practice Today

My Practice Today (Continued from The Healing Begins) Life Is Yoga   The question I was asked this week led me to sharing more about myself than I ever have in a blog. I am grateful for the opportunity to share about myself. So how has yoga affected my life? I feel yoga is my life, so I don’t know how to separate myself from Yoga to express how it affected my life.   Yoga is life. It is everything. It is the way the branches of each tree converge and make entirely unique patterns in each tree. It is within the mystery of life unfolding and it is the mystery itself. It is the gut “knowing” we all have from deep within and it is within the surrendered not knowing.   After two teacher training programs and much in depth study since those early years of practice and awakening, Yoga now forms the root of my being. It creates the foundation of the way I receive the moment, the way I process information, the way I experience life.   When I say “yoga”, I don’t mean bendy, physical exercises. Those are only a small part of a broad life science. Ultimately, Yoga is about merging back with the one source of pure consciousness, dissolving our…

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Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions – Part 1: What Is Enlightenment?

ENLIGHTENMENT AND EMOTIONS Dear Parvati, When a person is enlightened do they still respond to human emotions the same way that, lets say, the average person would? PART 1: WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT? Thank you for this question. It is an important question in that there are many misconceptions about enlightenment, mostly because most of us are not yet fully enlightened. If we are lucky, we may have glimpses. But enlightenment is something most of us actually know very little about from personal experience. They say that only the enlightened can recognize an enlightened being. So not yet being fully realized myself, I can only imagine what the end “goal” would be and how a fully realized being would respond to emotions. I have a sense based on what I have experienced and through learning from great masters. Due to this, I feel it appropriate to talk about emotions and enlightenment in this blog referring to the body of experience that I can offer and in drawing upon to wisdom of the great masters that guide our way. Unlike book learning, wisdom that comes from experience resonates in complete understanding through our entire being. There have been periods in my life of blissful flow and oneness, but not in a permanent way. I also experience states of…

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Ask Parvati 25: Depression and Despair – Part 3: Beyond The Veil And Into The Cave

PART 3: DEPRESSION: BEYOND THE VEIL AND INTO THE CAVE (Continued from Witnessing Despair) Depression is like a dark, heavy veil that masks our ability to see the light. Whether or not it is clinical, it is due to a change in the chemistry in our brain. But what is the source of that chemical change? There is nothing in this life that is purely physical that is not also connected to the unseen in some way. We are not strictly physical beings that are unaffected by emotions, thoughts and spiritual laws. The field of pure consciousness always is. We may see ourselves as separate, but we are always held within the whole. When we are depressed, unlike despair, we have temporarily lost our desire to engage the world. But perhaps that is ok. Unlike despair that calls for understanding and release, depression can be a cue to go deeper. When we meet depression with a sense of attention and kindness, without judgment, we may find that we are being invited by our soul to go within, to enter the cave of our hidden mysteries. We live busy and often disconnected lives. Easily caught up in what others think, how we appear in society, how others look in the media, we can lose touch with our…

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Ask Parvati 20 – Tantra: Yoga Is Everywhere, Part 7 – Being Relaxed And Alert

BEING RELAXED AND ALERT (Continued from Tantra) There are many faces of Yoga. Ultimately, yoga (that is, the face of the divine) is everywhere. If you feel stuck on your yogic path and you feel you need to expand and try something new, ask yourself a few important questions before any big changes: What motivates my desire for change? Is the desire to move coming from a place of agitation and constriction or from a place of expansion and ease? Is this period of transition a reflection of me having met aspects of myself I find challenging and am trying to avoid by changing my practice? Is this the voice of my soul guiding me to expand into new areas of possibility? As a rule of thumb, when I first started my sitting meditation practice, I would allow for the voice that said “enough, time to go” to come knocking three times before I got up from my cushion. Our minds are hungry. We tend to be agitated. Our egos want. We are habituated to feeding these tendencies. Spiritual practice is about overcoming and retraining these tendencies so that we may experience eternal bliss. We must therefore train our mind into moving through and beyond these hungers so that we may be truly fulfilled. I believe…

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