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Over at the Happiness Project website Gretchen Rubin talks about living with a creed (hers is “Be Gretchen”). I have on my bulletin board a list of words to live by that I tore from the back of a  Yoga Journal magazine from September 2008. The authors of these quotes were not credited so I am not able to give credit but they are wonderful thoughts. Here are some that I gravitate to:

Do one thing a day that scares you.

While in yoga class, I try to teach that we must listen to our bodies while sometimes ignoring our minds. If we are getting ready to do crow pose, our minds might be protesting and creating unneeded fear based commentary. Face the unknown and lift your feet off the ground and see what happens. In this month’s Oprah magazine, there is an article about people subconsciously sabotaging different aspects of their lives because of deep fears. The act of facing those fears head on, asking “What is the worst thing that can happen” and thinking through the various outcomes of the scenario that creates the fear dissolves the fear. What is something that scares you? Traveling alone? Meeting new people? Getting up in handstand pose?

That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.

How often do you put daily chores or meaningless responsibilities before what gives you peace, health and happiness? I’m not saying that we can ignore our responsibilities for selfish pursuits. Prioritize. I know that my mental state makes a huge difference in my family life. If I am stressed, it trickles through the family until we all are unhappy. Making sure that I take the time to do yoga, run and be with like minded friends makes me a better mom and wife. Because of that knowledge, I try hard not to schedule things during the time I can be doing those activities that give me health and happiness. That may mean I have to drag the kids to the grocery store because I used my free time to take a bike ride with friends but that is what I do because it matters most.

I try to help children figure out what their strengths are so that they can take this creed home with them. Using games (like Thumball catch) that asks them questions about their interests and beliefs helps the children stop and think about what drives and motivates them. This can lead to decisions that will create a happy life based on who they are versus what people say they should do or be.

Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.

Another great thing about yoga is that it is constantly evolving with the individual. Yoga teaches patience, perseverance, determination, focus, to trust oneself, to know when to push, when to wait and when to try again. Each time you get back on the mat the slate is clean. What great skills everyone needs to help handle setbacks in life.

A few others that I won’t expand upon are:

What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.

Breath deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.

The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.

I love these and would love to know what creed you pick to live your life by. Please share!

I will always strive to except all of life’s lessons, to grow from them and to keep creating challenges that continue that growth. Without change and challenges, complacency arrives and life becomes stale. Sadly today I am mourning the loss of the life of a family member. Her life and now death reinforces this belief for me for many reasons.

Today I have decided to share quotes and writings that inspire me and motivate me and push me out of complacency and back into living. I have used some of these quotes to start a class discussion or as an ending in class during savasana.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. –Dr. Seuss

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon,
there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are
always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are
right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires
some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories,
but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what
we are for what we could become.

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure,
to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer
meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for
in movement there is life, and in change there is power.-Alan Cohen

If you look at what you have in life,
You’ll always have more.
If you look at what you don’t have in life,
You’ll never have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

“Meditate. Breathe consciously. Listen. Pay attention. Treasure every
moment. Make the connection.”
— Oprah Winfrey

“It isn’t the great big pleasures that count the most; it’s making a
great deal out of the little ones.”
— Jean Webster

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that
something else is more important than fear.
Ambrose Redmoon

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.  To keep our faces toward change
and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable”
Helen Keller

I Am Powerful!
Author Unknown

I am very powerful!
Whatever I set my mind on having, I will have.
Whatever I decide to be, I will be.
The evidence is all around me.
The power of my will has brought me precisely to where I am right now.
I have made the choices. I have held the thoughts.
I have taken the actions to create my current reality.
And I have the power to change it into whatever I want it to be.
With the choices I make, I am constantly fulfilling the vision I have
for my life.
If that does not seem to be the case —
then I am deceiving myself about what I really want.
Because what I really, truly want, I will get!
What I truly wanted in the past, I already have.
If I want to build a billion-dollar business, I will take the actions
necessary to do it.
If I want to sit comfortably watching TV night after night —
I will take the actions necessary for that.
Don’t be disappointed in my results —
they’re just the outward manifestation of my priorities.
I will be sure of what I truly want,
because I am sure to get it!

“At one of my very first seminars I answered a question that would be most revealing over the next 20+ years. I was still in my 20’s and I was asked about motivation for a contest. I really had no prepared answer because I had been an athlete, even mentally my whole life, so the idea of being unmotivated or not motivated never actually occurred to me till that very moment. But my answer had some people shaking their heads. I said what motivates me is that my body is the house where my true self will reside for the rest of my life. Like any house, the more I like the surroundings and lack of clutter and the more clean and organized that environment, than the more likely I am to think more clearly and “be” a better me. That was my answer even way back then about motivation.”  — bodybuilding coach Scott Abel

The Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.


Current Classes:

MIDTOWN ATHLETIC CLUB

Mondays:
6-7:15am Power Vinyasa (H)

Thursdays:
6-7am Power Vinyasa

Story Time Yoga
1-1:45pm

Sundays:
5-7 year olds
9:45-10:30am
8-11 year olds
10:45-11:30am

STUDIO MOVE!

Wednesdays:
10:30-11:30 Power Vinyasa

Fridays:
Yoga for Athletes
9-10am

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