Yoga teaches us to be mindful, it's not just a physical practise but it's also a spiritual journey for us to listen to our bodies and be mindful with us first, before anyone else. Here's a compilation of readings from our weeklong wellness retreat after each yoga practise. Readings are chapters from 2 of my favorite books : When You’re Ready This is How You Heal by Brianna Wiest and Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie.
Reading 1 – the GREATEST HEALING often HAPPENS in the most ORDINARY WAYS
When you begin your healing journey, you will be searching for epiphanies. Life-changing, soul-opening, mind-bending truths. Drastic changes, rapid uprooting, the fierce releasing of what you can no longer stand and the obsessive need to find something that makes you feel a little better, even just for a moment.
One of the most subtle challenges will be that the thick of it often happens in the most ordinary ways.
It's about setting an intention to heal. Writing it down on a piece of paper somewhere you see often. Realizing that no-body knows what to do at the beginning, so sometimes the most powerful way we can begin is by making a statement to the universe about what we're going to do.
It's about carving out space for deep rest. The deepest rest you've ever given yourself. It's about realizing that your body knows what to do, and your job is to support it, to step out of the way.
It's about changing your environment, both in big ways and small. This might mean moving. It might mean cleansing Your space of relics, so you are no longer living in a museum of the past. It's about realizing that you will adapt to, and so you must choose wisely. You must create even just one corner of peace within your own little world recognizing finally that "home" was never a place that exist anywhere outside of your own heart.
It's about doing the practical things, the budgeting and the blood tests. The doctor's appointments and the making of plans. The calendars and the emails. The supplements and the exercise routines, however simple they may be at first. These things are often the first to be cast aside when we are hurting, and yet they are also the most vital.
It's about finding the kind of support that's right for you – the trainer, the therapist, the life coach — whatever is needed for your own unique journey.
It's about rediscovering the little joys of life — the long baths, the page-turning novels, the quiet Saturday mornings, the clean sheets, the stars, the city lights, the ocean — and realizing that they were the big things all along.
It's about choosing not to give your mental attention and emotional energy to things that will not grow into experiences you want to be having. It's about realizing that you can construct a new dream. It's about releasing who you are, in the smallest ways, and realizing that sometimes, the most ordinary things are the most defining, the most saving, the most soothing, the most important, the most overlooked, and the most real.
Reading 2 – You Have to PRACTICE LETTING GO
Almost every last one of us lives with the assumption that if something is not, right, for us, it will simply be pulled away in time. We linger, we wonder, we grasp onto what's so clearly not a match and we wait for the universe to do the dirty work and feel devastated once it's done.
We think of letting go as a last ditch effort to our own progress and sanity we will let go only if we have to, only if we are forced, only if the world truly proves to us that some-thing is not meant to be.
There is an easier way.
Letting go is not an event, it is a practice.
It is something we learn to do with the small stuff, so when the big stuff comes around, we know how.
We have to learn to let, go of thoughts, of moments.
We have to learn to let go of acquaintances, care for others' opinions, so many petty arguments and fights we can choose not to pick. We have to learn to let go of the items that serve only as relics of a time that has passed, the clothes that dressed the people we no longer are. We have to learn to let go of the dreams we chose for the people we eventually outgrew, we have to learn to let go or the idea that other people are meant to live up to our expectations of them, rather than their own unpredictable truths.
We have made the process of letting go seem like this superhuman feat we have attainable for the truly enlightened. We find so many ways around it. Revenge bodies, gaining closure, proving them wrong. We find many ways to at once make it seem as though we have moved on completely, and yet remain precisely where we used to be — living through the gaze of what we imagine someone else might see.
Letting go is as effortless as an exhale.
You do it all the time.
Reading 3 – WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU an OPPORTUNITY to CHANGE, PLEASE don’t LET IT PASS YOU BY
When life offers you the opportunity to change course, you should take it.
You should take it because what ends up on our doorstep is almost always what's meant for us, even if we didn't anticipate its arrival. You should take it because the number of opportunities you'll be given to deeply change your life are far fewer than you think. You should take it because just the hunch that you should is an indicator that you want to.
But more than anything else, you should take it because when life gives us an opportunity to change, it's almost always because change is needed.
It's easy to romanticize what's comfortable. It's normal to prefer what’s familiar. You've spent so much time convincing prefer Yourself that where you are is where you want to be, you've extolled every virtue and sought every explanation to justify why you need to stay precisely where you are.
But all of that mental chatter might be clouding your vision.
When you have to try so hard to convince yourself that something is right, it’s almost always because deep down, you know that something is wrong.
When we're on the right path, it simply is.
We don't have to do mental gymnastics to convince ourselves that we're in the right place at the right time, it’s just obvious and even if doubt does creep in now and again.
Sometimes, we get caught in the grey area for a while.
We find ourselves stuck between knowing we’re outgrowing where we are, and yet not seeing the next stone to leap on. If we're not mindful, the opportunity that we're craving might just pass us by, because our focus is to fixed, too shortsighted.
Giving into life is trusting life.
Reading 4 – THIS IS what it REALLY MEANS to be KIND to YOURSELF, BECAUSE it’s not AS EASY AS YOU THINK
When we think of kindness, we often confuse it for niceness, and the two are not the same.
When we are being nice, we are being placid and non-responsive. We are not aggravating, we are not triggering, we are not pointing out anything important, we are not addressing what needs to be said. We are washing over our natural and essential reactions for the sake of not disrupting someone else's waters, even if in all honesty, that's exactly what they need.
We behave this way because it's not always our place to tell someone what they need to hear.
It is always our place to maintain that type of honesty with ourselves.
Being kind to yourself is often doing the thing you least want to do.
It is very often prioritizing your future needs over your current wants. It is awakening yourself to your destructive habits, it is recognizing your self-defeating patterns, it is learning how to self-heal, it is setting boundaries first with ourselves and then with others, it is recognizing our power and remembering how we have neglected to use it.
That is kindness. Everything else is a distraction.
Reading 5 – There are 3 TYPES OF LOSSES in our lives, and each TEACHES US SOMETHING DIFFERENT
For as many things as we grow into and gain in life, in equal proportion, we lose, outgrow, and gravitate away from others.
But we don't respond to every loss in the same way. There's a reason why we are so absolutely devastated in the face of some breakups, but neutral if not grateful for others. There's a deep psychological current running beneath the surface of these events in our lives, one that we often aren't conscious of.
There are ultimately three different. types of loss that we experience in our lives, and each is meant to teach us some-thing about ourselves.
Heartbreak is painful, but it doesn't make us suffer. Heartbreak is when we get ghosted, when we have a casual boyfriend or girlfriend who moves on. It’s when we lose a family member but feel grateful that they are at peace. Though it stings, heartbreak is not an inherently unhealthy thing. is is a natural response to loss. Heartbreak actually teaches us what it means to love, and makes us appreciate what it means to have someone in our lives, because we are now aware of how easy it is to lose them.
Attachment ultimately teaches us who we really are, because in the process of trying to keep the relationship intact, we sacrifice a lot of our own values and sense of self. The extreme the pain of a loss of attachment is not the actual loss of the person as it is the loss of what we thought our future would be.
Detachment teaches us how to love ourselves first. It teaches us how to be resilient. It is a sign that our goal in life is no longer just to remain comfortable. It is the greatest display self-love. Detaching from a relationship when we know isn't right is a sign that we no longer rely on others for our sense of stability and self, and it is often the first sign we are more mentally strong and emotionally free than ever before.
Reading 6 – SIGNS YOU’RE ACTUALLY MAKING PROGRESS in LIFE, EVEN if it doesn’t FEEL LIKE YOU ARE
You're starting to care more about how you feel as opposed to what other people think.
You're no longer content to live a life designed to appease everyone but yourself.
Sometimes, this can emerge as a sort of anger or aggression. You find yourself completely fed up with everyone's judgements and shortcomings, and you might feel like you want to lash out or cut ties with those people so that you can relieve yourself from some of the pressure.
There are boundaries to be set here, and first and foremost, that begins with you.
You have to start by making decision for your life, not your parent’s lives, not your friend’s lives, not your partner’s life, not your peers' lives.
When you start stepping forward in your full truth, give people a chance to respond to you instead of just assuming how they’ll react. You can make a call about your relationship from there.
If, on the other hand, you're looking back on instances in you didn't set boundaries that you should have and are regretting your lack of self-respect, write it all down, Put it in a drawer and come back to it tomorrow. Is there any-thing there worth sharing with the people involved? Would it bring you peace to approach them and let them know how you feel, or would it just bring more stress?
That's a decision you can make for yourself, but first, just know that it's a great sign of growth that you're actually angry enough to stop living by an invisible set of rules set forth by people who do not have to walk in your shoes.
Reading 7 - Freeze Negative Energy
Police officers often say "Freeze!" when they want someone to stop, when they want to protect themselves. We can do the same thing. We can learn to freeze unwanted energy that comes to us from others.
Health professionals agree there are many causes of stress in our lives, from toxins in the air to problems related to love, money, self-esteem, or work. One subtle problem that can cause undesirable stress — an area we often overlook — is when people direct negative energy at us. We can learn to become aware of, and protect ourselves from, undesirable negative energy that others may unconsciously, or even consciously, be directing toward us — whether they're feeling angry, resentful, jealous, or downright hateful. We don't have to absorb the impact of that energy, and let it harm us.
We can freeze negative energy. We can mentally tell it to stop and refuse to take it in and make it ours. If something is really bothering us, try this trick one healer taught me. Draw a picture of the person or write a description of the problem, then stick it in the freezer underneath the bottom tray.
People are energy. Thoughts are energy. Part of loving ourselves is not ingesting toxins. Negative energy is toxic. Don't stress others out by sending negative energy to them. Learn to tell when negative energy is stressing you, and then learn to tell it to freeze.
Reading 8 - Awaken Your Life Force
The Chinese call it chi. The Japanese, ki. It refers to energy, the life force, the Divine spirit of life that permeates all that is. That permeates you.
Awaken your life Force. Do things that stimulate it, bring it alive. Walk on the ground with your bare feet and let the earth's energy surge through you. Reach your hands toward the heavens and let Divine energy come down to you. Move around. Release the blocks. Feel. Love. Sing. Shout.
Come alive. Discover what it means to become vital and fully alive. Feel the life force surge through you, up through your legs, your spine, your head. Feel it wash down upon you through your arms, your torso, down through your toes and into the ground, rooting you to this planet like a tree. Know you have roots. Know you have branches.
Fill yourself with chi. Fill yourself until you feel vital, alive. Feel it until you become happy and joyful, grateful to be alive on this planet. Feel it until you know you are one with God, one with life, one with love. Feel it until you see how connected you are with all that lives.