Hi there guys
Well done for making it this far in life. I mean that. Things can get really challenging, and at times down right HARD. But they needn't be. It is all down to you. You decide what happens and you decide how you experience it happening. If you say it's going to be hard, it will. If you say it's going to go down like buttered grace, then it will.
The choice is yours.
But Where Do I Begin?
I get a lot of questions on where to begin on this (extraordinary) path of self enquiry so today I thought I'd round up my daily practices and share them with you. You may find you are already incorporating a few of these into your life. Which hopefully means they are working for you. So keep it up. These guidelines are by no means BIG FIREWORK breakthrough ideas at first glance. But that is how it happens. It's a daily practice (abhyasa) that is meant to build up the reserves. Dedication and commitment over time (quite quickly in fact) will lead up to a moment when you FEEL it all come together and you KNOW it's paying off. The fountain of truth is running through your body and you know, you're doing something right.
1. WAKE UP WITH GRATITUDE. Upon waking, even before you get out of bed or open your eyes, say 'Thank You'. Say it and feel it. Give thanks for everything and anything you are grateful for. That is the easy part. Your family, your health, your home, your life. Those things are very important and it is easy to overlook how important they really are, until something goes wrong. So give thanks for all the good stuff. On the other hand, if life is tough and all you can have at the moment are troubles, give thanks to the fact that you have been granted another day to figure it out. Give thanks that you were able to catch even a few hours of rest in between bouts of nocturnal worry. Give thanks for your health. Give thanks for your hot water in the shower so you can bathe and cleanse your body (ablutions?). Give thanks for anything and everything you can think of. Who knows? Today might be even the day the problems begin to pass.
2. MIND YOUR SELF TALK THROUGHOUT THE DAY. I once read somewhere to 'be mindful of your self talk for it is a dialogue you are having with the entire Universe'. So yeah. Self talk is kind of important. For years, I went through life saying things to myself that were untrue and self deprecating, thinking, knowing that no one could hear me apart from me. These were my thoughts and it was my voice. I wasn't harming anyone I figured. But I was. And it did. I was hurting myself. I was saying things that were full of doubt, fear, and smallness. You know the type of stuff because we all do it. It's full of buts and can'ts and should haves. It's full of comparisons and achievements and goals that remain unattained. Goals are good. But you get there by bigging yourself up, not putting yourself down. So pay attention to the internal conversation you are having with yourself. And don't let yourself get down on you. It's not the way of the yogini. Really, it ain't. All light all love remember? Most importantly for yourself.
3. DON'T FORGET TO B-R-E-A-T-H-E. I cannot stress this one enough. Your breath mechanism is the gateway between your spirit and your physical, mental body. It needs to be paid attention to. And as air elementals go - IT NEEDS TO MOVE. When shit gets tough, take 3-5 long deep breaths to slow your body down, re-regulate, reboot it. Take your mind and attention off the stressor and onto how the stress is affecting your body and soul. It is creating tense muscles, heart rate is rising, perspiration, jaw clenching. You know these are no good for you because they don't feel nice. Use your breath to let the energy of your current experience/difficulty through your body. Let it work through, and move out of your bodyvessel. Let the muscles release, the tension dissolve and exhale. Repeat several times until you are literally in a better 'frame of mind'. Then start again. From that regained balance.
4. MOVE YOUR BODY. If you are reading this you probably like yoga. It is an exceptional technology for living A GOOD LIFE in this day and age. But then again, it might not be your thing. Go for a walk. Take a hike. Jogging, hula hoop, hopscotch. Swimming in a lake, playing on the jungle gym with your kids - whatever you do - do it as a form of RELEASE for your body, mind and soul. Don't push hard. Let the motion and the emotion come to you.
5. MEDITATE. HOWEVER, WHENEVER, BUT DO IT. This is so important. Many people are still not quite convinced that they a) can meditate b) know how to meditate c) do it daily. Let me just tell you now, everyone can do it, you don't need special training. Meditation is available to you anywhere and everywhere. It is your infinite and inexhaustible source of love, energy, kindness, abundance, peace, creativity and exploration/realisation and it is right here at all times. No matter how you do it, tai chi, mantra, singing, music, dancing, movement, nidra, painting, JUST DO IT. Even if you only have 5 minutes a day, that is more than enough to tap into YOUR POWER.
If you have time to breath, you have time to meditate. - Ajahn Chah
It is the way forward and it is the way of your spirit. Meditation is the place where you go to let go of what you define as you external self and to remember your true self, #SattvaSelf, which leads me on to the next point.
6. REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE. Let's break this down: Re - Member. Re - group. Re-emerge. Re - call. Re-connect. Remember, reconnect with the member. You know deep down inside what you are here for. It is what comes to you naturally and it is what you love doing. It is what serves you and all of us collectively in our highest calling. THAT is what you are. That energy. That spirit. That place. That phenomena. It is NOT a dream. It is your TRUTH and it has arrived here to be fulfilled for a purpose. YOUR PURPOSE. You know, you are NOT here to do, live, work, think, feel in any way that is undesirable to you. You are infinite and you are god. This is big, Big, BIG stuff. So remember.
7. REMEMBER TO REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE. We go through this life, flowing this way and that. There are bills to pay and everyday things to tend to that keep us and our families alive and healthly and safe. Good job for taking care of that. It is sometimes however easy to slip into the 'to do' mind frame when we have so many responsibilities and forget that we are here for a purpose. YOUR SOUL PURPOSE. So go back to point #3. When things get on top of you, remember to breathe. Remember to be. Remember the stillness inside. REMEMBERING YOU. Remember to remember.
8. DO THE WORK. If you are at a place in your life where you desire or you know that THERE IS MUCH MORE OUT THERE, then you have come to the right place. Walk The Dog Yoga Lifestyle is all about living and loving the life that best serves and suits you, this time around. You will have to put in the hours. You will have to make choices. You will have to make the time to meditate. You will have to PUT YOURSELF BACK INTO YOURSELF. Redesigning your life, one step at a time. There is no need to get overwhelmed for all you ever need to do is make that intention (sankalpa), that vow to yourself, that this is the path for you and it leads to health, infinite resources and happiness.
9. TREAT YOUR BODYVESSEL LIKE A PRECIOUS JEWEL. This fleshy chamber that contains our spirit is the only vessel you are going to get this time around. Treat it like queen. Treat it like a king. It is INVALUABLE. Your eyes, your heart, your toes, your cells, they are all creations of metaphysical energy that have come together, like a galaxy, for you, to be your own. YOU ARE STARDUST. They regenerate and multiply and look after themselves without you having to lift the proverbial finger. All it asks in return is that you keep it going. You know, well nourished, hydrated and in good health. Look after your body and it will look after you. A simple saying, and true.
10. GO TO BED WITH GRATITUDE. No matter what happened during the day. No matter if you couldn't do anything from this list or any other list. Fuck the lists. No matter how tired you are. No matter what. Say 'Thank You' before going to bed. Who are you saying this to? Yourself. Thanking yourself and the universe (point #2) for the chance of being here. Say to yourself 'BECAUSE I GOT TO BE HERE, TODAY'. That is enough, and that is everything.
So Peace out brothers and sister. Catch you in the rainbow. xo