As you may have seen last week, I launched a brand new FLOOR-SLAMMING* series of meditations.
In an effort to make sure all three meditations were ready for distribution, I had a few friends listen to them and give me their feedback. So, I sent them off, and one-by-one, the feedback came in. Most of the feedback was really good, but one story in particular caught my attention.
It’s so good, I just have to tell you about what happened to one of my friends when he listened to the Breathing Meditation from the new pack the other day. Get ready – this is GREAT!
So, my friend heads over to his favorite new coffee shop, orders a cup of joe, finds a table, sits down, pulls out his ear buds and hits the play button on the meditation. He’s getting into it and enjoying the nice background music and finding his breath. It’s all going so well.
The next thing my friend knows is that he sees the barista and a few other people standing over him. This is odd and perplexing, to say the least. As he takes a look around, it becomes evident that he is laying on his back on the floor of the coffee shop!!! My friend went into such a deep meditation that he fell asleep (or something) and fell OUT OF HIS CHAIR* in the middle of the coffee shop!
After regaining his composure and coming back to a seated position, my friend sends me his feedback: “WOW. Your meditations are POWERFUL!”
Come again? What in the world is a “deeply transformational mundane activity????” We read about and long for something to change us. That magical moment when, all of a sudden we are made new.
As a teen and young adult, I had the opportunity to go on regular spiritual retreats. So, I tended to “save” my transformational energy for those glorious weekends and weeks when I could really focus on my inner journey. But as those opportunities faded away, I was left to figure out my own growth and I was unsure how to facilitate it.
As a result, for far too many years, I kept “holding out” for the chance to take a retreat or vacation or go to some super-spiritual conference where I would finally experience that transformation again. Like I could order it up, add a side of glowing wisdom, pay in advance, and pick it up at my convenience.
I hate to be the one to break it to myself….but ummmm….that doesn’t really happen.
While I was trying to “survive” the day-to-day activities until said transformational event, I was missing out on thousands of opportunities in the “mundane” activities of life to facilitate that transformation I so desperately wanted.
As you may know, I am a yoga teacher (and trainer for YogaFit Training Systems). One day I saw one of my students at the gym. She hadn’t been to yoga class in awhile, and it was great to see her. She said, “I’m sorry I haven’t been to class lately. I have been working with weights here at the gym so I can get strong enough to make it through your class.” Hmmm. I was befuddled. Why would she go to the gym to get in shape for yoga class? I asked her what part of class she found challenging. She said it was the crocodile (or chaturanga) poses. Ahh…I see. I replied, “You know, I think it’s great to work out at the gym. There are tons of benefits of being able to move weight outside your own body. However, if you want to get better at Crocodile pose….?” The light went on! “YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE CROCODILE POSE!!!!” She exclaimed.
In that moment I was the teacher…and the student.
All of a sudden my own light went on. All that transformation I was waiting for so I could deal with the mundane daily activities of life? Yep. You guessed it. If I want to be transformed in daily life, that transformation is most likely to happen in those same mundane activities.
Now, I will say that going to the retreat or on vacation or to the super-spiritual conference is AWESOME! And I wouldn’t trade those treats for anything. BUT – much of my deepest transformation comes in the middle of the school pick-up line, working through a crazy morning at home, driving down the highway, and even preparing dinner. If life is pushing on me as I prepare dinner, I do my best to pull back and observe and see what I can learn here. And it seems that those lessons have more staying power than the fun retreat or serious conference. Why? Because I became strong enough for that “pose” of life by practicing it, right there in the moment.
And this is why Iridescent Dragonflies is a thing. Once I fully embraced that my deepest transformations come from my own awareness and intentionality in the day-to-day activities of life, I realized that I am probably not the only one who is interested in finding the glorious, spiritual, transformation in the quiet moments as the day starts, shopping for groceries and checking email. And, if I like daily (or even hourly) reminders to pause and observe and intend to live from a more centered place, I thought I might as well share them in case you like them too. Those reminders happen on our Facebook page. If you haven’t been there, check it out and see if it resonates for you.
So I am at my local Starbucks to get some work done. I get this fabulous Caramel Macchiato, sit down, open up my computer, and proceed to try to login to the wifi only to realize that wifi is down for my entire region of the state.
Yep. That’s right. PTSD from being tickled.
Perhaps it would be best to tell the back-story on this one!
When I was a little girl, I think maybe around 4-6, I was over at my aunt’s house. It was around the holidays (as best I can remember) and I was playing with all my cousins. I was the youngest in the room and also one of only two girls in a sea of boy cousins. We were all having a great time when one of my cousins picked me up to fly me like an airplane. I thought that was AWESOME! So, there I was in the air and pretending to be Wonderwoman, when my cousin thought it would be fun to tickle me. And it was fun! For a little while, anyway. But then it got to be overwhelming and I wanted down. I started yelling at him to put me down. But I was also still laughing, because how can you not laugh when someone is tickling you, right? So, he didn’t realize how serious I was. I started to panic because I couldn’t do anything to escape the (now) awful tickling! I couldn’t hit or kick or run. My body had one defense left to get me out of the situation. It was not pretty, and this is not for the squeamish…I vomited. All over my cousin. Eww.
But ever since then, when someone tickles me, it isn’t funny. I get downright ANGRY. The “I can’t think about anything except for how much I want to hit this person” kind of angry. In fact, I have a really hard time not punching the guilty party! If you know me, you will recognize how out of character this is for me. I would feel bad for hitting a punching bag under normal circumstances.
This entire event came up for me at a yoga conference where I was attending a training on how to use yoga to help resolve PTSD and move it through and out of the body. It was fascinating. The YogaFit for Warriors program addresses PTSD, but it also gives us tools to work through all kinds of trauma. I have come back from this training a changed person and a better yoga teacher/trainer.
When I realized during this training how I am STILL carrying this incident with me and how deeply it STILL affects me, I realized something else so much more important. I realized on the tiniest of scales how deep and awful PTSD from war or abuse or severe accidents can be. This realization deeply moves me to do what I can to support the healing process for others. I know how much transformation I experienced in just one weekend of training, so I can only imagine how transformational regular classes could be to work out those deep-seated traumas.
These things are kind of funny, aren’t they? I went to this training wanting to learn how to help other people and I ended up finding transformation first. I guess that’s how it works though, huh? My instructor Shaye said it beautifully,
Thank you Shaye, for sharing your countless hours of work. I am forever changed for the better, and I know a host of others are, too.
My daughter came home from school and announced, “I’m making cookies on Thursday afternoon!”
I had a friend over and we were working together. My friend asked her, “Why are you making cookies?”
My daughter says, “Why am I making cookies on Thursday afternoon? I dunno. Because I want to. I don’t need a reason.”
Why do we wait for some special occasion to do fun things in life? There’s really no reason, right?
During this same fun afternoon, me and my friend were fixing ourselves a beverage and decided to mix orange juice and coconut water. It was SO YUMMY! We were going on and on about how yummy it was and my daughter said, “You guys are so cute! You are getting so excited about orange juice and coconut water.”
Why not be excited about whatever is happening RIGHT NOW?
Whether it’s making cookies on Thursday afternoon or working at the office or going on vacation or even having a challenge in a relationship, there is something to celebrate. The fact that we can make cookies, or have a job, or the chance for vacation, or relationships that teach us and stretch us. Every single one of these is a gift of utmost benefit.
What is happening right now in your life that you can choose to see the excitement in?
Yes. This is a REAL conversation I had a few days ago. A glowing example of how to carry on a meaningful conversation…
I truly want to cultivate friendships that exist beyond just the surface. I mean, I discuss how to talk about more than just the weather with people on a weekly basis! Now I realize not EVERY conversation, EVERY single day is going to be an award-winning discussion about the meaning of life, but I like to have deeper conversations than the change in the weather.
Truthfully, this conversation was just fine. It was with a woman I had met only about 5 minutes prior. So, I am not beating myself up over here. But it did make me think a bit…
I had a wonderful conversation on the phone yesterday with a good friend from out of town. We immediately jumped in where we had left off months ago and before our 20 minute conversation was finished, we had both earnestly listened to each other, encouraged one another, and deeply complimented each other on strengths we see in each others’ response to the stuff of life.
Ahh! I felt refreshed and renewed when I got off the phone. I felt lighter.
You know what though? It didn’t just happen. Nope. We had to be vulnerable. We had to talk about things that mattered to us and purposefully be open to the others’ feedback. It can feel really scary to open up like this. And I don’t recommend doing this with the next person you see in line at the grocery store (as a rule, anyway). But when I am sincerely looking to deepen a friendship, I have to take a risk. I know I could leave feeling silly, stupid, or misunderstood. But, I have also learned that it is worth it! The rewards for developing great friendships is amazing!
So, how do you feel about your recent conversations? Deeply engaging and fulfilling? Yay for you! Not so much? Don’t fret about it, but instead create an opportunity to have one of those amazing conversations asap! It will require effort, it will require vulnerability, it will be WORTH IT! Tell me how it goes in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear your stories!
I want to be super intentional about 2015.
I know I have likely said this in years past, and probably have forgotten I said it within a few weeks (or even days). But I’d really like to change that this year, once and for all. I recognize that I have lacked making a plan so that I could follow through with success. So, I have taken some steps toward that end this year.
A few weeks ago, I ordered a Life+Biz Shining Year workbook from Leonie Dawson. It is truly a beautiful creation with beautiful artwork and it is so well thought out as it guides you through celebrating 2014 and releasing the parts that you are glad to see go and then planning and making goals for 2015. It is divided month to month and is so artistically done that it makes you want to do all the work to put your plan in place. I just love it!
Then the other day I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw a post from Elizabeth Gilbert (who is such an inspiration to me) where she talked about a New Years Day ceremony she does each year to release the previous year and welcome the new.
My friend Amanda and I were so inspired we decided to create our own ritual this year! So, we talked to our husbands and kids and presented the idea. Not everyone was into it, but those of us who were began making preparations! Here’s the ceremony we created. We wrote the things we want to let go of from 2014 on little pieces of paper and then took them out to the desert and burned them in a clay pot.
Then we wrote all the things we hope for in 2015 on small stones and ceremoniously piled them up. We each added our own little flair to it – my husband flung his stones out into the desert and I anointed mine with essential oils.
During the 2014 releasing, I doused my little pieces of paper (and myself) with DigestZen oil so that all the things that no longer serve me could be digested and done away with. After stacking my little stones, I dropped several drops of Elevation oil on them (and me) so that they could elevate into being.
It was such a powerful experience! I really felt like I was able to detach from the parts of 2014 that had been hanging on for too long and I also felt like I was throwing the seeds of my desires for 2015 out to the world so that they can grow and come back to me. This is quite possibly the strongest effort I have ever put into the beginning of a new year. I am hopeful and expectant for the amazing experiences that await me!
So tell me, what do YOU plan to bring into reality during 2015?
Bringing a little happiness into our daily life goes a long way toward living our full-color iridescent lives. And truly, happiness is a choice we make every moment of every day. As far as I can tell, no one does this better than my friend Dave Romanelli.
Dave has been talking about and living in the deliciousness in the moment for years and years. And guess what? His new book is called, Happy is the New Healthy and is all about enjoy life RIGHT NOW!
Here’s a bit from Dave about Happy is the New Healthy:
I am so excited to share with you my brand new book Happy is the New Healthy.
But before I tell you more…here is some kicka$s Native American wisdom as you head into the holidays. It came from the heart of a Native American healer who goes by the name Bob Bear The Medicine Man.
I met Bob Bear on my annual retreat to Sedona, Arizona (see below for more) which is the healthiest, happiest place in the nation, and widely considered one of the most spiritual places on the planet.
Bob Bear said, “Don’t need for things.
“The Great Spirit knows what you need and will provide.
“Your job here is not to need.
“Your job here is to DREAM in a way that lifts, heals, and inspires the world.
“Do your job, dream big, and magic will rain down on your life.”
For anyone out there who is stuck on their needs…
“I need more money.”
“I need more love.”
“I need more time.”
How about taking a little advice from Bob Bear The Medicine Man and daring to pry open your mind and embrace the greatest dream of all: the dream for total and complete happiness. To wake up each day feeling full in your heart and spirit…that’s what we live for!
Maybe you are already there.
But if you are ready to make 2015 the year of less needs and more DREAMS (which, by the way, is an incredibly liberating shift)…that’s the idea behind Happy is the New Healthy.
The premise of the book is to flip the wellness paradigm on its tightly toned a$$ and shift the priorities from losing weight, doing fancy yoga poses, and seeking the latest juice cleanse to…
…loving more deeply, living more passionately, and saying YES to the full fury of life.
If you are in the mood to celebrate happiness…and Happy is the New Healthy sounds like your kind of philosophy…
Get your copy of Happy is the New Healthy!
Someone asked me the other day why I do what I do (referring to this blog and my Facebook page). What’s the point in spending all that time coming up with content to brighten people’s day? Why study about meditation and chakras and oils and stones and self-care and take the time to post it on a Facebook page for a bunch of people I haven’t ever met in person?
Are you ready for a story? This is where it began:
Back when I was around 10 years old, my dad and I were out on the property (5 acres outside Oklahoma City) and had been to the garden to pick summer’s bounty of blackberries. By the time we had finished gathering berries and started heading back to the house, it was getting dark. We followed the path toward the house and dad was telling me about the stars. We came to the natural bridge between two little creeks where I would fish for crawdads by day and, to get a better look at the stars, we decided to just lay down there on the cool grass. He showed me how to locate a few constellations and that was cool, but the part that really struck me was the space and the freedom in that moment. We could have been there for 5 minutes or two hours. I don’t know. And I don’t care. What I do care about is that it was the first time I can remember being truly present in the moment and old enough to be able to “know” that I was being present.
Ever since then, I have longed for such moments in time. Moments when nothing else matters but NOW. Moments when all the cares of the world melt away. Moments when I am tangibly aware of the divine all around me. Sometimes I can find them in seemingly mundane moments of the day like sitting at a stop light or waiting for my kids to get out of school. Other times I find that same stillness in meditation or practicing yoga. I have realized that I can also find those moments when shopping for stones for someone or creating an essential oil kit that meets someone’s needs.
But do you want to know what my biggest take-away is? It’s not any ONE of those things that allows me to pause and breathe and experience the oneness with all things. It’s all of those things and MORE. The ability to find the peace and stillness isn’t found in one magical object or technique or practice. Finding and creating space for quieting our minds leads to our inner transformation. And that truly takes all of our lives to do. It’s not only in the 20 minute meditation before we get out of bed. That meditation sets us up for mindfulness so that when we get to the grocery store and the line is ridiculously long, instead of seeing a mini-tragedy, we see God. It’s not only the 90 minute yoga practice (no matter how awesome it is), but the attention to breath we carry with us long afterwards, so that when the stress of life happens we respond with a deep cleansing breath instead of a nervous breakdown.
The Source Energy isn’t only in those special moments when we set aside time to connect.
And this is why I do what I do. To live a life of practicing awareness in each moment and share my experiences along the way. Then to post those experiences on a random Facebook page so that all of us looking for those beautiful moments have a place to share them together.
Thanks for joining me on this journey. It is an honor to share it with you. Namaste.