All posts tagged living your joy

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…

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Success, Joy and Abundance

Everyone has his own personal definition of success. Culturally, we tend to consider success when we receive accolade and praise from external accomplishments, like fame and fortune. For the most part, our measures of success are external.    Some people measure their success based on an internal compass, attempting to meet their own personal best. However, often, even these seemingly internal measures are driven by attachments to external ideas of success.    I met someone recently who asked me, puzzled: “If I don’t want to be better, how will I ever become better?” Success for her was out there, and she was tired running after it. She felt there must be another way, but was unclear what it could be. She had lived a life driven by what she felt others wanted for her rather than fueled by her own personal joy.    Joy often seems elusive, something we will get to eventually, once we complete this task or that one, or once we have achieved this goal or that one. To me, living like this is being the proverbial donkey that chases the carrot held out on a stick in front of him. It is an impossible chase. In that situation, our impulse to move arises from what we think will make us happy ‘over…

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Ask Parvati 40: Distractions – Keeping Your Eye On The Prize – Part 2: Is It An Opportunity, Or A Distraction?

(Continued from Focus, Discipline and Courage)   Every moment in every day counts. It is a valuable and powerful asset that we can use to build our dreams or squander our joy. We each have our own way to remain focused on our goals. Some will journal while others will visualize while others will self-talk and perhaps others do a combination of those. Whatever works for you, put that first in your day, every day. Make sure your goals are right up front and central in your life. Every day, give your life to yourself fully and completely, so you may serve the world. A closed hand cannot receive and an empty heart cannot give.   This brings to mind basketball. I enjoy basketball. The players have an agility and rhythm that I also see in dancers. The athletes in this game can at times seem to transcend time and gravity in a way that amazing artists can do. If you have been to a basketball game, you know that when a player is given the chance for a point shot, fans in the stands just behind the basket often furiously wave brightly coloured or neon wands to distract the shooter.   Sometimes it can feel like life is doing that to us, waving colourful, distracting…

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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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Natamba

NATAMBA Ok. I cannot help but offer a little shameless promotion about my up and coming show. I am just too happy not to share! This is the show synopsis:“When the reptiles invade Avalon, Natamba, disturbed from deep meditation, leaves for planet Earth. Like a ray of liquid gold light, Natamba arrives on Earth to find it riddled with interference. While on Earth, Natamba explores the meaning of Yoga: to be one with all things. By embodying I AM consciousness and by seeing Yoga everywhere, even in the nightclub, Natamba transforms the desolate world back to a lush landscape. Natamba brings to life a message of hope, interconnection, love and celebration for all we have.” Fun, huh? It is kinda sci-fi meets spirituality, Cirque du Soleil meets Madonna. For those of you who don’t know, Natamba is the character I become in my shows. She is a ray of gold light that recently downloaded to Earth from a planet she calls Avalon. She embodies Yoga, that is, our true human potential as a ray of gold light. Natamba is one with light and brings to life all that she encounters. Natamba, the word, came about as I was living in India. I was by chance repeatedly called Natamba by two men from Brazil who were living…

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Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food – Part 4: A New Generation of Multi-Media Artist

PART 4: A NEW GENERATION OF MULTI-MEDIA ARTIST: THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL CO-CREATOR (Continued from The Source of Creativity: Ego or Selflessness) I step into gold spandex, put on an elaborate head dress and summon the Cosmic Intelligence to become Natamba, the Goddess from Avalon, the title character in my current show. I feel that I am part of a new generation of multi-media artists that I call multi-dimensional co-creators. As a multidimensional co-creator, I am aware that I am part of a vast universe, and I feel I work with the palette of broad understanding that everything I see around me is a reflection of what I think, feel and believe. My thoughts are literally creating my reality. I know that the creative process, whether conscious or not, taps into a collective field of energy, to such an extent that literally what we each do, think and create both reflects and shifts the directive of our collective consciousness as a whole. I choose to consciously tap into that vast pool and see how far down the rabbit hole Natamba, my gold spandex and I can go. Multi-dimensional co-creators like myself are aware that no one person is an island. I am interconnected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of my personal will and ego. I believe…

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Ask Parvati 26: Follow Your Bliss – Part 2, Name It To Claim It

PART 2: NAME IT TO CLAIM IT (Continued from Whose Life Are You Living?) “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
 – Eleanor Roosevelt I have shared in these blog entries the need for us to challenge our core beliefs, because there we find the voices of external authority that we have internalized, which are not the voice of our soul. We need to ask ourselves, who is really in the driver’s seat of our lives? Is it our soul joy? Or are we trying to please our mother, our father, our schoolteacher or our religious leader? We need to look at what is writing the story of our life and reclaim authorship over it. Our unconscious patterns are part of creating our reality until we have the courage to look within and find out what is really going on. In my case, the depression and ill health I experienced when I was in architecture was a gift from my soul that helped me wake up to live the life that expresses my joy. Living the life of an artist is not an easy one. I understand why my parents, though they encouraged my artistic skills, discouraged it as a career path. There is tremendous financial uncertainty and stress and…

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Ask Parvati 26: Follow Your Bliss – Part 1, Whose Life Are You Living?

FOLLOW YOUR BLISS Dear Parvati,I really don’t like my job, not because I am not good at it, but because I know it is not what I really want to do. I love art, fine art, painting, not houses, but canvases. Colours, textures… they inspire me. I know that you have an active career as a musical artist. I want to know, how did you find the courage to follow your dreams and not get pulled into the rat race? PART 1: WHOSE LIFE ARE YOU LIVING? “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
- Henry David Thoreau Oh! How I found the courage to follow my dreams… a question very close to my heart! I feel that my life of an artist is an organic one. As such, it is evolving and ongoing. It is not about arriving, but about being. It is very much an unfolding process, which reveals layers of my psyche that are to be celebrated as an authentic expression of my soul or purified and released as distraction. For me the life of an artist is one deeply connected to spirituality, rooted in the cultivation of both interconnection and humility. So the immediate answer to this question is, I am in an ongoing, day-to-day process, learning…

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Ask Parvati 20 – Tantra: Yoga is Everywhere – Part 1, Freedom in Freedom

TANTRA: YOGA IS EVERYWHERE Dear Parvati, I started studying yoga ten years ago. I have traveled to India, taken teacher training programs, and adhered strongly to an orthodox yoga style. Now I find my practice shifting. Rather than doing rigorous asana (yoga exercises), I want to explore a more playful sense of moment-to-moment mindfulness. As I follow this, I find my asana practice moving away from the pattern I have followed for so long. I really like your song Yoga In The Nightclub and it got me thinking about this juncture I am at. When is yoga actually yoga? Just because you call something yoga doesn’t make it yoga, does it? If, as you say, yoga is everywhere, even in a nightclub, why wouldn’t my current practice still be yoga? FREEDOM IN FREEDOM Anything in our lives can become binding. We can feel joyfully free while jogging, later to find that running feels like a constrictive chore. We can find freedom in the new yoga classes we just adore, to later find that we are bored with the teacher and the routines. We can experience heights of bliss never before experienced when we first take up meditating, until we hit bumpy bits in our psyche when sitting practice starts to feel more like listening to nails…

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Ask Parvati 14: The Death of Niceties and Feisties

DEATH OF NICETIES AND FEISTIES THE BIRTH OF FIERCE COMPASSION Dear Parvati, I notice that when I am around other people I tend to go into people pleasing at the expense of myself. I wonder what you have to say about that. DIALING “THEM” DOWN, DIALING ME UP BECOMING AUTHENTIC One of the pivotal quotes that shaped my life growing up was from one of my favorite musical icons, David Bowie. He said something like the worst trick God could play is to make you mediocre. Internalizing my version of his message, my motto became through high school and university that I would rather be an A or an F student than a C student. Living by that belief, I developed two distinct personality traits, a tendency to edit myself to people please with niceties or plow through things with a fiery feistiness. Both extremes were fueled by a drive for what I understood to be “perfection”. The tension that lay between these and the fervour I put into trying to be “perfectly A” or “perfectly F” eventually consumed my health and wellbeing. By the end of high school and into my first year of university, I was exhausted and stressed because I was not being authentically myself. Though it took me completing university and facing…

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