Wednesday, 26 February 2014

shifts in energy

Yesterday I was in a blue-black place. And needed to sit with that and vent against the philosophy that keeps bumping into me, about our power to change our situations and lives if we just stay focused on positivity and power and intention. And I vented because I find it challenging to work up any positive energy or send out any life-altering intentions when I feel down. And it may not be contrary to that system, that sometimes we need to acknowledge the sadnesses, the confusion, the hurt.

Sometimes, I think, when we've been in a dark place for a bit, maybe we need something to shift our energy. Yoga is a great place to go for this, because there are so many facets of a yoga practice that can do that very thing. Sometimes, it's a very physical thing - a strong asana class can provide a powerful shift, where you feel the body working through and releasing some anger or stress you're holding on to. That happened for me last night - I went to a class taught by my beautiful teacher, Roxanne Joly, (who I am so grateful for - her kindness, her wisdom, her generosity, her spirit of joy) and the physical practice helped me so much, by building strength and releasing tension in my body, and by giving me a time to just focus on my body. Sometimes, a gentle, releasing class is what you need to shift your energy, especially if there is a lot of anxiety in your mind. Sometimes we need a sweet breathing practice or guided relaxation to shift our energy. Sometimes, sitting in meditation can shift our mental energy by giving the mind a place to rest, when it's very busy. And sitting in meditation allows us to draw inward and connect with the Source where there is only light and life and no drama and no worrying. When we can remember that there is so much more to life than whatever is getting us down.

Maybe you've found other ways to shift your energy, when it becomes stagnant and stuck. Going for a run. Taking a long walk in the forest. Going for a swim. Talking to a friend. Helping someone in need. Cooking a healthy meal for yourself. Going dancing. Having great sex. Journaling. I'm sure the list is endless, and if we take time, we can think of something that does it for us.

My teacher last night reminded me of something I've let go of, in this season of uncertainty and change I'm walking through. She reminded us in our class to find joy. it was a challenging class, physically, and she continued to remind us throughout to find joy. even in the challenges. even when you think you're about to fall over. even when you feel like you have nothing more to give. can you find joy? that was a great energy shifter for me. a great reminder. wow. my life is a little uncertain right now. there is a certain amount of instability right now as I make major changes. BUT there is so much to be grateful for and joyful about, if only I can shift my mind to that! a new perspective. Instead of fear and worry and self-doubt, can I find the joy? The joy in having space and time to rest, to cook, to exercise, to wander in the woods, to write, to feel? The joy in all the little things in my day that I now have time and energy to notice and experience? The joy of the adventure of change, of creating, of the unknown? The joy of learning so much about myself and how I view myself in the world?

Can you find joy today? I'm making it my intention for today. and according to that philosophy, i'll likely find it :)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

February blues and bright sunshine

oh friends, any of you experiencing February blues? or maybe even darker-than-the-blues time? Wow, every year, it seems, I forget that February is a hard month to get through. I know in my own life it is true, and as I listen to those around me, I hear the same stories. Of mental health struggles, anxiety, depression, darkness, heaviness, stuck-ness. There are many theories about why this is so, and I'm sure there is no shortage of reading material out there about it. I hope you are finding helpful literature out there to give some guidance and clarity about what is going on, if that helps you. There are great articles about this being the Kapha season (ayurvedic philosophies); there are great writings from a psychological viewpoint about mental health. Without a doubt, those of us who live in the northern hemisphere sure are missing Vitamin D - we need sunshine!! it's been a long cold lonely winter here in Canada.

But hang in there, dear ones - the end is in sight. Spring and sunshine and budding flowers and new life is just around the corner.

I've been thinking a lot about mental health. about depression and anxiety. both of which I experience in major bouts, at times. I've been thinking about dark times. scary times in my mind. i can get to some dark places in my mind, and the tendency is to go there and stay there. but i am learning slowly the importance of learning about my mind, noticing what is happening, and trying to remember that this is just a season. that spring and light and sunshine will follow. it always does. to be able to sit with the darkness and the feelings of heaviness and fear is an interesting exercise. i really want to run away. i really want to find some fix, some cure, some way of making everything better. but what if sometimes, all we can do is be present with it, knowing it will pass? i don't know. i don't know if this is the "best" way. but it is an interesting experience.

all around me, i hear these messages of "the secret" and "the power". the power of positive thinking. the philosophy that what you put out there, you get. where you set your energy is what you will receive back into your life. i think i believe this: I've seen it in action in my own life and in other's lives. but what about the times where you do just feel grief, or anger, or depression, and though you try and try and try, you can't seem to get of it? does that mean I'm not trying hard enough? maybe. [to be honest, I'm too fucking tired of trying so hard, to try anymore.] but, just a thought, what about the importance of accepting where you're at, sitting with whatever you're experiencing, and allowing it to be? I'm not talking about sitting in misery and soaking in the darkness. but i am curious about authenticity. do these philosophies of positive thinking and only putting out bright light happy power allow for the authentic experience of being human, which sometimes does include sorrow and disappointment and frustration and other less-than-shiny energies? I'm not sure. I'm not criticizing these philosophies, because i do value the importance of positivity, faith, beliefs and energetic exchanges. but sometimes, don't we need to sit with the parts of us that are sad or hurt or scared, validate them and show them compassion? I've found that when i do that, they tend to release more quickly, than if i just adopt the attitude of "buck up, think only on good things, don't think about those other things at all".

ah, who knows. i might just be spouting because I'm feeling a little low in this season. and really, what i think is, we all just need some compasison, love, tenderness and patience in these times. for ourselves. for each other. let's just all be kind to ourselves and each other in this season, until the sun shines again. it will:) thank god for that.

peace, dear ones. love to you all in the dark spaces.