All posts tagged letting go

The Yoga of The Will

The Ego’s Will The common use of the word “will” conjures the notion of determination and focus to initiate an action. It is associated with the idea of pushing to get what we want and making extra effort to have things go our way. As such, when we feel that our will has been beaten by others or thwarted by the universe itself, we can often feel like a pile of roadkill pushed off to the side of our life’s path. We can easily find many examples of this ego-driven understanding of the word “will”. It is praised in boardrooms, at schools, in sports, in entertainment – even in yoga classes, as I explore in my new book “Confessions of a Yoga Junkie”. This use of willfulness exists in most areas of life in which we wish to excel. But do we really understand the true meaning of “will” and the value it has along the spiritual path? From Unconscious to Spiritual Awakening When we live unconscious lives, we feel we must make our lives happen. Oblivious to being part of anything beyond our little selves, we imagine that we are the universe. In this limited perspective, our willpower is our tool for survival. It is our identity. The stronger our attachment to that identity, the…

Read more

Ask Parvati 27: Addiction – Part 6: We Attract What We Know

PART 6: WE ATTRACT WHAT WE KNOW (Continued from Helping Versus Enabling) I believe that we attract people into our lives who reflect aspects of ourselves. Until we have taken a look at our childhood, our relationship with our parents, and how we felt growing up, we will either unconsciously attract a “mommy” or a “daddy” into our lives, from whom we still hope to get the love we feel we lack. If you are attracted to a life-partner with an addiction tendency, it does not necessarily mean you too are an addict. But it may mean that one or both of your parents were and you are still trying to heal the childhood pain you likely felt. Perhaps your coping mechanism as a child was to be a fixer or a good kid, as a means to avoid the inevitable ups and downs of your addict parent. Perhaps you do the same with your partner. You tiptoe around his or her addiction and sidestep your own self, because fundamentally, you feel unsafe. Whatever the story may be, the relationship is a mirror for you to see yourself more clearly. I believe that we all benefit from counseling and psychotherapy. I believe we are here, on this planet, to grow, to evolve, to become whole. The…

Read more

Ask Parvati 19: What Is Home? Part 4, Home In The Vertical Hour

WHAT IS HOME? PART 4: HOME IN THE VERTICAL HOUR (Continued from What Is Home? Part 3: Inner and Outer Home) There is a song I wrote, that I have yet to produce and release, that expresses what home means to me. In it, I sing: “Home is here. Home is now. There’s gold in the dark, as I bow down…” When I am willing to let go of wanting things to be other than they are, though I may feel in the dark, I bow, in humility to what is, and I find the gold in this moment. The relationship with home that I cultivate in my present life is the eternal home found within this perfect moment. In some of my poetry, I call it the “vertical hour”, when time collapses and I rest in the vastness of the infinite. My most recent blog “To Do Or Not To Do” explored some of these feelings. “Wherever you go, there you are”, says Jon Kabat-Zinn. We may run. We may try to avoid. But no matter where we are physically, we bring our self with us. There is a perfection in all that is when we learn to be with what is, rather than what is not. We find meaning in the fullness of the…

Read more

Ask Parvati 17: Standing Your Ground, Part 3: Witness, Release

PART THREE: WITNESS, RELEASE (Continued from: Standing Sacred Ground) When we feel rooted, vital and expansive, our feet are like magnets that anchor us to the Earth, which in turn feeds us, supports us and gives us the foundation we need to build our lives. We then can receive the support we need to remain present, within ourselves, sensing our inner being for what we feel, what we need, how to move in each moment. We are connected. From this vantage point, the person with whom we felt we needed to stand our ground becomes an opportunity to let go of feeling attacked, of feeling separate, of feeling unloved and unsupported. They become our teacher. By practicing three simple steps when we feel attacked, scared or triggered, we can unwind our reactive tendency to defend, and learn to retrain our brain to see life from a whole new perspective. Step One: Understanding Understanding is our first step in moving from a fear-driven life to a life rooted in love and trust. When we understand the nature of the impossibilities, we understand that our reactivity and our defensiveness come from a limited sense of reality. When we react and are defensive, we are not seeing the whole picture. By having a limited perspective, we are short-changing ourselves…

Read more

Ask Parvati 11: Be A Mother To Yourself

Be A Mother To Yourself Mother’s Day, May 08, 2011 Dear Parvati, Every year when Mother’s Day comes around, I feel conflicted. My own mother died ten years ago. She was emotionally distant and judgmental and no matter what I did, it never seemed to be enough for her to really love and accept me unconditionally. In addition, I have not yet become a mother myself. I feel sad about this, but I am also afraid that if I do have children, I might repeat the pattern of my childhood and pass on my wounds to them. How can I find a place of love and acceptance, and move on with my life? WOUNDS: WE ALL HAVE THEM Wounds. We all have them, whether we hurt because we lose the love we thought we had or we are hurt black and blue from a bad physical accident. When we were children, we instinctively called for our mother to help us up after we took a spill, or to soothe our aching hearts. Our mother was to come and wrap us up with that perfect embrace, whisper the perfect words that were to help us find our way back to wholeness. Or so we hoped. Whether or not you feel you had the perfect childhood or one…

Read more

Ask Parvati 10: The Power of Letting Go

THE POWER OF LETTING GO May 1, 2011 Dear Parvati, I am a bit type A, tending to take charge of situations. I feel good about how much I can get done even under pressure, but I find that afterwards I feel exhausted, headachey, stressed and grumpy. People suggest to me that I need to learn to let go, but I have a hard time relating to that. I think that if I let go, everything would fall apart and I wouldn’t know where to start again. Yet, for some reason, I keep hearing their words in my mind, to let go. How can I begin to let go of some of the stress and not freak out about not being in control? LEARNING TO LET GO Thank you for your question. It is spring and the force of nature is churning. As the trees sprout leaves and flowers burst into life, we can feel an impulse to get active in an attempt to shed physical and psychological winter weight from our lives. Whether you are a type A personality or not, we can overdo these times of seasonal transition and end up with colds, allergies and other physical symptoms, ways our bodies let us know that we had best slow down and learn to let…

Read more