It's been awhile since I've made a motivational graphic, but being
Thanksgiving, I wanted to express deep gratitude for everything that I
have been able to experience in this life.
The thing is- we
don't need to wait one day out of the year to give thanks. Part of my
daily morning routine before work is to stand in prayer pose & give
gratitude before my yoga/workout flow. I express thanks for my wife Loretta, health, family, career, and just being alive.
Then, I extend this to as many moments throughout the day as I can,
being conscious of my appreciation for *everything* - good & bad.
The "good" makes you happy, and the "bad" makes you stronger by getting
Take moments throughout your day and just be grateful. It changes your perception & your experience.
I always tell my wife Loretta to practice what's illustrated in this image - create a "psychic" or "mental" shield around your consciousness.
Don't let any negative or harmful influences penetrate that shield.
Loretta is very strong, but also easily wounded emotionally, like so many deeply empathetic people. I cultivate compassion for others, but I also do not let people's opinions or bullshit get to me.
It is very difficult to become immune to judgement and the influence of others. However, by envisioning this "Life Force Field" around you and working to overcome fear, a courage develops that empowers all our experiences.
It's been awhile since we've posted here on the Conscious Living for You blog. Loretta has been busy with nursing and teaching yoga at different studios. I have a full time design job now, after freelancing for almost two years.
We have been blessed with many wonderful experiences, and challenges that have helped us grow individually and as a couple. In the beginning of this month, we celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary, and took the whole week to make it special doing various things with each other and also our families.
Last weekend, we went camping for a couple nights in Wharton State Forest. We had a great time connecting with nature and just enjoying being together. There was a little bit of rain, but the weather wasn't bad and we got to be outside a lot.
I am grateful to have such an amazing partner, who shares the same joys in life that I do. We didn't find each other until later in life, but our patience and persistence to find a true soul mate paid off.
While hanging out at our campsite, Loretta got the yoga itch and started doing handstand poses up against a big tree. So, I snapped some photos of my beautiful wife connecting with the natural world through her yoga practice.
Here are a couple more pics of us & our campsite (Loretta brought along the Buddha tapestry to decorate our canopy):
This past week, Conscious Living for YOU had the privilege of hosting a workshop at Valley Park Elementary School in Pennsville, NJ.
The workshop, titled "Finding Peace for Parents in Times of Stress" was focused on providing techniques for parents to relax, become mindful, and manage their stress levels in the madness of everyday life.
We took the parents through a slideshow of the risks of stress and how to relieve these effects through conscious breathing and mindfulness. Together, we practiced some breath control techniques and also a "body scan" meditation, to show how we can pay attention to our body in order to relax the mind.
We were grateful for the turnout, and felt like both the parents and the staff were receptive to the information we shared. It is always an honor to be able to help people improve the quality of their lives and those of their families.
Paul (on left) and Loretta (3rd from right)
with the parents who attended & their children
The school was very accommodating, and even provided a healthy food spread of fruits and vegetables for those attending, which Loretta & I happily sampled since we had not eaten dinner yet!
The facilitator Jennifer even set up a "Mindfulness Activities for Children" table with games and books. Overall it was a very beneficial event for everyone who took part.
If you would like to set up a workshop for yoga, meditation, mindfulness & relaxation, or any other health and wellness topic, contact us at www.ConsciousLivingforYOU.net
This week Loretta started teaching at the Blue Lotus Yoga studio in Hammonton, NJ.
She is teaching there on Thursdays at 6pm, and her first class got everyone (even the advanced practitioners!) focused and sweating, with restorative poses at the end.
As Loretta's husband, I am very proud of her for all that she is doing to bring the true spirit of yoga to those who come to her classes. She is a truly remarkable soul, and I watch in amazement as her light shines through to those around her. I have taken classes with some awesome instructors, but I'm not ashamed to be biased & say that I love taking my wife's classes most of all!
The Blue Lotus studio is great, and owner Dan Haber has created an amazing space with art and sacred geometry. We feel grateful to have the opportunity to practice there.
This past week, we had the opportunity to travel down to Miami Beach, Florida with Loretta's parents. It was an amazing time, and the weather was beautiful. We got to relax on the beach & by the pool, ate delicious food, and overall really enjoyed ourselves (other than Loretta's anxiety about getting on a plane!).
This was the view from our hotel room at Fontainebleau:
Although we didn't do much yoga, we did go for a run one day & practiced some poses while poolside at the hotel.
Although Life is beautiful and joyous, there are always going to be times of stress and pain. I am human, as well as you, and I feel pain at times that sends me into a downward spiral of negative thinking and distorted perception. This negative cyclone spins me into thinking that I will call "distorted perception", because it makes me think that it is the end-all thinking. Does this happen to you?
I start to think myself to death and stay awake at night mulling over in my head conversations, past events and situations at hand and how to deal with them. I feel there is a degree of human nature here, where we can solve problems, especially problems that effect our livelihood, but there is a degree of insanity here, as well.
When I say "insanity, " I do not mean psychiatric illness, which in our country has a nasty undertone attached to it- I mean insanity of our own personal health and freedom. An oppression, depression, even a damper on or freedom to be ourselves and shine brighter than a diamond. Its a burden to our truest soul.
My soul wants to shine and be free amongst the other souls that roam this planet. When we overthink, we allow our "minds" to take over. Yes, in some theories, our minds and our souls are two different things. The soul is a bright light, and extension of God and a link to ALL other beings that shed that same light. The mind, however, is the thoughts, the fears, the emotions, the OVER THINKING and the rational thought machine that most people allow to make their decisions based ONLY on logic.
Is it bad to only think logically? Not at all, but this is not the only source of decision-making that we have as humans. In a society where we must answer questions and make decisions lickity-split due to work and other societal indoctrination, we feel that the rational, quick acting, critically thinking mind is the only thing to use for best decision making and better success. What ever happened to "using your feelings." LOL "Luke, Search Your Feelings." Why do I laugh? Because I never liked Star Wars and my husband, Paul is a serious Star Wars fanatic. Now I am starting to see why.
I am tired of only thinking from the mind. The mind brings stress and fear. At the same time, you need the stress and the fear and the mind to an EXTENT. Balance my friend, balance. By most using your soul, your inner voice in combination with checking in with the mind, you could have a good formula of decision making. Now you may say, "what if I cannot tell the difference from my soul and the inner voice of fear," which I completely understand and have felt numerous times. My answer is to stop, rest, take time and LISTEN. Speak to God. Speak to your inner self. Do things that make you happy. Sit quietly. Listen to the birds. Go to the beach alone. Heck, do SOMETHING ALONE, which most of us will not do, and LISTEN.
"What is wisdom and where is it to be found? Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions." - Eckart Tolle When he says "stillness," he dose not necessarily mean SILENCE. this stillness can be found in ANY situation. Thank you listening! Please Visit our Face Book page @ ConsciousLivingForYouto comment and connect with us. We want to hear you!
Loretta & I have two cats that she insisted on living with us, once we got married & moved in together. My family had pets growing up, but not cats, so it took a little getting used to. However, I like them and they both have very distinct personalities.
"Tude" is the more shy of the two, and spent the first couple months hiding under our bed and in the walk-in closet. Although still wary of company, he is the more vocal of the two cats now, especially when he wants food. He is also the cuddle bug, and snuggles right up next to Loretta or I in bed at night.
We have come to discover that Tude is attracted to chanting... Whenever Loretta sits in our pillow area and does her Kundalini yoga "tuning in" mantra, he will come toward her & start chirping. Last night, I was sitting in the pillow room reading, and tried to get Tude to come over. The stubborn cat that he is, he just walked away. So, I started doing deep "Om" chants and he immediately came over and started vocalizing excitedly. Then, he sat down right next to me and stared intensely as I continued to chant.
Here's the pic I took when he came to sit next to me:
We now jokingly call him "Guru Tude" and I said maybe he was a monk in a past life. He looks like a wise old guru, with a white beard and penetrating eyes. I guess he is now the Conscious Living for YOU mascot!
Here he is sitting majestically like a Turkish sultan in our pillow area: