Thursday, 28 November 2013

How to cultivate happiness and say goodbye to negativity


Today one of our talented YOGO.tv teachers, Wendy is sharing her love of Meditation with you and has even offered up a challenge perfect for the upcoming Christmas season. Something to consider on this day of consumerism, Black Friday! 

“You can live your life free from suffering. Meditation is a specific practice that can help you become free in this lifetime. ”   

How many times per day do you suffer from confusion, doubt, second guessing yourself and negative thoughts?  Do you want to spend your days experiencing these kinds of thoughts or do you feel like they are beyond your control?  

Meditation is a powerful tool that can help you overcome suffering and live in freedom.  

Have you heard a lot about meditation but you are not sure where to start?
Start by asking yourself – Do I want to cultivate & feed negative thoughts or would I rather cultivate positive, helpful thoughts?  Next question you need to ask yourself is – Do I want to be HAPPY or do I want to spend the majority of my time suffering?  

The answer to this question seems like a no-brainer but you may want to really take a look at the areas in your life where you suffer, often suffering is working on many levels for most people which is why they can get caught in it.

Do you secretly enjoy the drama of suffering?
Have you subconsciously decided that you don’t deserve to be happy?
At work do you feel like struggle & suffering is actually a sign of success?
Does a constant struggle make you feel like you are getting stuff done?
Is being negative the only way you can get other peoples attention? Has negative thinking become a habit?
If you constantly worry about something do you feel like you can somehow control it?  

How can a person become free from all of this misery?  

First you need to decide that you want the thoughts and suffering to end. Second step is to commit to a solution.  You may have tried many solutions and spent thousands of dollars trying to find the solution to unhappiness – new car, nice outfit, better job, gym membership – does any of this sound familiar?  But here you are reading yet another article on how to be HAPPY, sounds like the new outfit, better job & gym membership didn’t quite work out the way you had hoped??  

I have done quite extensive research in the field of suffering and have found one sustainable, guaranteed to work solution:  a daily meditation practice.    

By establishing a daily meditation practice you can cultivate stillness and create the time and space to let go of the suffering & let go of all the negativity.  

And here’s the best part: when you let go of all the negativity you make room for freedom & joy, you make room for thoughts that will serve you much better than the previous thoughts.  But most of all you create the space for your true self to shine (you know that part of you that secretly wants to be radiant, live wholeheartedly and enjoy all that life has to offer).  Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about we all have “it” some just choose to let it shine more than others.  

What practices would a person do?  Sit in stillness for 10 minutes per day and do some research: Become aware of the negative, harmful thoughts, figure out what situations trigger the negative thinking – is it from a reaction to something or some situation or has it become a habit?

Once you have given the busy mind some attention, begin to bring your awareness to the space between the thoughts, the space behind the thoughts.  Become aware of what is unchanging and pure in you (your true self).  Notice that it can be challenging to sit in stillness but know that you can always use your breath as an anchor, a tool to focus and bring awareness into the present moment.  

How does it work?  It works because you know you have a choice, you realize those negative thoughts can go on and on but you no longer have to react to them, attach to them or become the thought.  It works because you realize that you have cultivated the power to choose positive/helpful thoughts over negative/harmful ones.  

Feeling sceptical?  Don’t quite believe that sitting still for minutes per day will make you happy?  
Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.  I challenge you to sit still for 10 minutes a day for 6 weeks then sit back and observe the results.  Notice how the people around you react to you; notice how the tightness & tension in your body starts to relax, notice that you are starting to enjoy your life (even though it’s the same life you had before).    

Do one of Wendy's YOGO.tv meditations here.

Wendy is a certified Padma Yoga Meditation Teacher, she teaches meditation classes and workshops throughout the lower mainland.  

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Good

There is so much sadness, heartache, tragedy and loss in the world. When you turn on the t.v. or read the paper is right in our face and I often feel so helpless. It can become overwhelming.

I went to the school craft fair the other day and the first table was set up by the grade sevens, selling necklaces. Each necklace would send one child to school for a year. The next table were crafts to raise money for the homeless in our area, these were the grade ones. The next table were holiday cards by a grade two class, the money was going to help build a school in Africa. This went on and I felt so inspired by these children.

There are people everywhere from children making crafts to adults volunteering to help in disasters. They are doing good and being good and spreading kindness and love and it is right in front of us. People everywhere are coming together to help one another.

There is so much beauty, kindness and love in the world. It is right here.

We as communities, as neighbours, as one big energy need to support one another. We need to spread kindness and love so that when we turn on the news that is the first thing we see. We need to smile at strangers and lend our hand to those in need. We need to see the good in each other. Spread joy, spread laughter, stand up for one another. We are one.

With Love,
CJ





Wednesday, 13 November 2013

You. Your presence.

"Perhaps the greatest wealth you possess, the most precious, valuable gift you can ever hope to offer any human being is this one, simple, true thing: You. Your presence. Showing up. Being in the company of another, undistracted, unhurried, with an open heart, gentle hands, and a patient soul. Willing to be surprised by whatever emerges in the soil of sharing your present, loving company with another human being." Wayne Muller from the book, A life of being, having and doing enough.



This paragraph hits home for me because I know this statement to be true and I think you do too.

I see it in my daughters eyes when we're dancing in the living room vs the times she's asking for my attention when I'm distracted on my cell phone. I feel it when my husband stops what he's doing, looks me in the eyes and sincerely asks me "how was your day?". I connect with it when I'm listening to one of my yoga students, as they share their experience with me.

So if this is really where our riches lie. Where the power to give and receive love comes from, than why am I obsessed with finding the perfect Christmas gift for my family or constantly panicked that I didn't get to my emails fast enough. Well, I don't know. But I do know that in order for me to be able and willing to "show up" and give my full attention I need to have offered myself the same gift. I need to slow down the go, go, go and take care of ME. This is really what Yoga offers us all. Time to be with our Self. Fully present, deeply connected. Once I've filled up, even if it's just for 30 mins, than I remember the value of my time, just how sacred my energy is and I'm more able to offer that to someone else. To give a gift of time.

May we put ourselves on the gift list this Christmas and Show up. Undistracted, full of love, ready to listen, without any guilt, for what it is that we need. So in turn we can rise to the occasion and let Christmas be about You, Showing up with an open heart and undivided attention to those you love.

With you on this path,
Lauren





Thursday, 7 November 2013

Remember

Sometimes at night when my kids are scared from the creaks in the house or the imaginary monsters in the closet I think of the Anne Frank's and how blessed I have been in my life that my fears as a child and my children's fears at night are just that; imaginary monsters.

I am sad for what has been lost on this Earth from humans fighting humans but I am so grateful for the men and women that fought that fight so we can live a peaceful life of freedom.

I will remember the ones who fought, the ones who sent loved ones away, the ones who were brave, who were scared and sacrificed so much of themselves, sometimes all of themselves.

I will live in a way that encourages peace and continued freedom. I will continue to be grateful for the way we live. The freedom to laugh, to play, to dance, to vote, to speak freely......

And I will remember them.

CJ

Below is a picture of my Grandfather who was a Doctor during the war and the love of his life, my Grandmother, who had to let him go.