show up for yourself.

show up for yourself, apples

I couldn’t figure out why my scarf smelled so good. It smelled fresh, crisp, and satisfyingly sweet around my face. I had just stuffed myself into an extra pair of fleece-lined pants, adorned myself with my hat and gloves, zipped-up two coats and (Ralphy-style) bent over to grab my purse when I was caught off guard by how heavy it still was. (I only carry a large purse in the winter; it’s storage for my many, many layers and winter-time extras… my hope is that one year I will make it through the winter without losing a glove.)  There I was, a performance-gear snowball, ready to roll down the stairs and out into 18 degree weather, so my purse was empty… and still heavy?

I found three apples rolling around the bottom of my purse. Seriously? Along with two books, a yoga mala, a lint roller, three camping forks, sunglasses (sunglasses!? it hadn’t been sunny in two months!), four pens and a zip-loc full of tea bags. No wallet. But, three apples!  I mean, I could survive on apples and almonds (and successfully have before), but carrying around three apples instead of my wallet in my purse seemed ill-advised.

Apparently, I stowed an apple in my purse each morning that week… and never got around to eating it.  I’m sure I intended to mow down on my favorite snack in between teaching my classes but instead I wound up with an apple-scented scarf.

Intentions are slippery, complex creatures.  So often, I set a remarkable, wise, intention in the morning and it slips away, unnoticed, by the 3 o’clock slump. I’ll set an invigorated, enthusiastic intention at the beginning of the year and it runs away three weeks into February.  Or, sometimes I do remember my intention …I just never get around to doing it.

But here’s the thing: life is too long to live without intention.  I’m not talking about ‘the great and humbling mystery and meaning of life;’ your life is already meaningful simply because you are living it.  What I’m talking about are the aspirations, the wishes, the yearnings, even the feeble wants that we spend so much time thinking about and planning, but never get around to doing.

Do you intend to do something but ‘never get around to it’?  (Remember this post: what you would do if nothing stood in your way?)  Hopefully, this ‘something’ is more important and inspiring than eating an apple that’s been in your purse for three days, but it definitely doesn’t have to be life changing.

Could it be: Call a dear friend?  Mail a card to your grandma? Clean out your closet?  Update your resume?  Invite your mom to a yoga class?  Begin a meditation practice?  Sit and breathe for 5 minutes daily, learning to de-stress?  Engage amicably with a co-worker who you find difficult to appreciate?  Go for a walk over your lunch break and actually take a ‘break’? Cut out sugar from your diet?  Donate your spare change to your favorite animal shelter?

Whatever your intention is: Do it.

Your challenge is this: today, do that SOMETHING that ‘you never get around to doing.’  Actualize your intention.  Make your idea into solid MATTER.  No one else is going to do it.

As modern poet cleo wade says: “Show up for yourself and do not wait a second longer.”

Looking for a good intention for your yoga class?  Check out this article I published a few years ago: intention.  Looking for a Meditation to help you uncover your intention?  Try this one: what is my deep, driving desire?

Happy Doing,

-lisa

show up for yourself, apples

 

what would you do if nothing stood in your way?

what would you do if nothing stood in your way?

I’m always on the lookout for questions like these.  My girlfriends from college are relatively scattered these days, so we communicate every week by group email.  To add to the ‘daily dish’ we share about our families, our jobs, our homes, our stresses, and our successes, I insert a Question of the Day into the email chain and everyone answers as honestly as she can.  Sometimes the questions are really important (i.e. Vampire or Zombie?), sometimes the questions are simply thought-provoking (i.e. what personal success did you experience in the past week?) and sometimes the questions are soul-searching:

what would you do if nothing stood in your way?

I found this question featured on a Lululemon Athletica shopping tote (which I adore, and maybe also hoard to re-use as grocery bags) and it immediately struck me as an integral question for self-evolution.  Self-doubting, questioning, searching, and seeking are all activities of the mind-ego… and believe me, my mind-ego is ripe with activity despite (because of?) years of yoga and meditation.  Yoga is a discipline that gives us the tools for listening to our inner-voice and eavesdropping on our Soul but what we hear isn’t always clear or straightforward.  Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu is attributed with saying: “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”  Meaning the more we learn and utilize tools for self-reflection and inner study the more clarity we gain.  Our soul’s deepest desires are not outside of us.  Our soul’s deepest desires are inherent within us.  So, what would you do if nothing stood in your way?  That’s a literal question, not a hypothetical one.   Go ahead… answer it.

I mean, really, your answer may reveal dreams that you’ve never before had the courage to say out loud.  You may hear in your answer an inner-wisdom, speaking softly.  And you may end up navigating your life experiences to include your answers.

What would I do if nothing stood in my way?

I’d garden.  I’d have an expansive, fertile vegetable garden in my back yard and I’d spend hours tending it.  I’d have enough vegetables to feed two vegetarians.  (Which is not easy, since my Ironman and I eat a boat load of veggies.  Russell Clive is a full-on carnivore, in case you were wondering.  Turns out: dogs eat meat.)

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I’d write.  For no one.  For myself.  For the world.

I’d go on PeaceWalks across the desert campaigning against nuclear weapons and I’d hang out with the Dalai Lama.

I’d travel to San Francisco one morning just to drink Peet’s Coffee, hike in the Berkeley Hills, hug my friends, and take a yoga class.  Then I’d fly home that same day.

I’d read every book in the library.

I’d never let fear of failure hold me back.

I’d live as if each day was my last chance to breathe joy into this world.

What would you do?  Honestly: comment, Facebook, text or email me your answers.  Happy Soul searching.

-lisa

 

 

improve your tomorrow.

what you do tdoay can improve

Today is the day.  If you want to change your tomorrow, start by changing your outlook on your today.  If you want to change your body, start by changing your opinion of yourself.  If you want to change your life, start by changing the quality of each moment.  Don’t wait until your “once a week Tuesday night yoga class.”  Do it now.  Do it today.  Yoga is every day.

-lisa