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“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.”

Thich Nhat Hanh


While my head stand, handstand &scorpion continue to leave a lot–and I mean a lot–to be desired for the first time in the history of my yoga practice I was beginning to feel very confident and proud of my tree pose.  How I could stand, tall and unwavering, in all tree variations with my foot perched high on my opposite leg and my boughs of strength and poise unbreakable.  And then I went and got distracted.

They say, wherever they are, that how you are on the mat is how you are in the world and every time I doubt it, even for a moment it comes back taunting and laughing in my face.  I Gould know by now, a such a strong proponent of the thread of connectedness between mind and body, life and the metaphors for life we are constantly presented with, how obvious the fact would be–lose balance and focus in life and it will carry into yoga or any practice of intention or attention.

As you prepare for tree you are always direct to find a point of focus on the wall opposite you–a distant immovable spot that you can fix your eyes on and use the stability of that spot to stabilize yourself.  The same can be said for life–we must fix our gaze on the things in our lives that are stable and unchanging, something secure and outside if there day-to-day chaos of living.

You are also told before entering tree pose to root your feet into the ground, plant each toe Into the earth and plant yourself solidly in that spot.  So, too, in life we must find ways to ground ourselves, remind ourselves where we are and secure ourselves stably into the foundational earth of our existence–so we can deal with the distractions.

When you are off-balance in tree you feel it right away, you lift off the ground and immediately begin to sway. Your fixed point on the wall seems to far &your mind is unable to focus wholeheartedly on it. Every shift in the room is unbearably distracting and every sweeping wisp of air feels like tornadic winds set on toppling you over.  So goes it too in life that when we are off-balance, not grounded in our intentions and stable base, and too full of thoughts and frenzy to fix our minds on a stable place everything feels overwhelming.  Every task , new venture , old workload, and duty seems like too much and we feel ready to collapse in frustration and dizziness.

In tree and in life sometimes we have to focus harder and work more dutifully to shut or much of the self-imposed chaos and storms in our path.  We have to take a breezy wind as it comes and not deem every wisp of air to be a storm and deal with every storm as I’d it were a wisp of air (now that is the hardest!).

I know that my excitement and happiness about all the many projects upcoming and those currently in motion have been both an amazing blessing and something in which I have gotten so engrossed that I have lost my balance in the present an in my tree pose.

I noticed it first in tree and then had to take the metaphor for what it was–a signal of self-inflicted burnout off the mat.  I need to breathe, ground, and fix my gaze at my own stable point of light band let life come as it comes and adventures unfold as they will.

On that note: with all the new change and projects coming together I am going to begin a new newsletter which I will be emailing out in the next few weeks…and hopefully every other month following that! You can email me at embodymentalhealth@gmail.com to get on the mailing list now!

Thanks bloggers and blog readers alike for all of your support & I look forward to sharing all that this new life adventure has to offer with all of you–one breath at a time!


“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
Japanese Proverb
 

I have spoken about them before but nothing amazes me more than the resilience of an iguana. In the recent frosty cold nights and chilly Florida mornings teetering at temperatures under 50 degrees the iguanas have had some frozen slumbers. Below a certain temperature these amphibious creatures are unable to maintain a body temperature to function and their large scaly figures will freeze where they lay–often meaning that those seeking shelter in a tree will catapult to the ground, frozen, upside-down, but somehow unharmed in their statuesque state.

This unintentional game of red light, green light goes on as long as the temperatures drop at night and the sun returns to the sky to thaw them in the morning hours. And, as if nothing had changed, or any time had passed, the iguanas shake off their frozen slumber and head back out into the world to repeat the cycle again.

To me this is the epitome of resilience. The iguana may be made frozen and non-functional by life circumstances but they return again to consciousness and mobility ready to forge forward despite the snag of lost time. They come out of their slumber and back to life, not altogether unscathed or undazed but moving forward into the present, into the now.

What a perfect metaphor for trauma and resilience from traumatic experience. We can survive and thrive in the life we were given, work past our stuck points, and frozen moments of existence. Life moves on, we defrost, the chill passes and the sun shines. Iguanas, to me are the ultimate symbol of what is possible in ourselves.

Enjoy the cold, stay warm as you can, and persevere!

flickr typewriter typo by bitzi on flickr

 

Hello all! 

 

My article “Yoga: A Healing Art in A Psychotherapy Context” has just been published in the Fall 2009 Issue of  THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER MAGAZINE

Check it out if you would like!

 

 

Writing is an exploration.  You start from nothing and learn as you go.

E.L. Doctorow

Gosia Janik by ilonqua on flickr

June 2020
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