Effecting your world

Effecting your world

As women we can easily lose touch with what makes us happy and excited as we tend to everyone else’s needs around us, whether we are a CEO or a stay at home mom. But what does this cost those we tend to? What are they missing out of if we don’t bring our insights and excitement and enlightenment to the moment we share with them?

In vinyasa yoga class the other day my teacher Carole, told us about the myth of the Lord of the fishes named Matsayana and the creation of yoga. That shiva came down from the mountain excited to tell his partner about what he learned. They thought they were talking in a place where no one could hear them but a fish was in the water nearby and overheard everything they said. That fish became enlightened and the first student of yoga. A fish.

What I get from this story is that no matter how much we may try to keep any type of insight or enlightenment to ourselves, we are bound to effect everything in our environment the moment we express it, especially when we are excited about something. Even a fish in a tank could be effected and uplifted by us.

The collective energy in a room makes up the field-environment, which vibrates at a certain pitch. The overall room pitch or vibration, is based on the collective pitch of the individuals in the room. Often when a few individuals take the initiative, they can change the collective room vibration by increasing their own pitch. This can be done by radiating the attitude of peace and flow into the field environment while doing deep heart listening, with the intent remaining neutral without judgment. – HeartMathInsitiute

I’m not talking about pure transcendent bliss here, just our everyday enlightenment. Sometimes that shows up as laughter and getting through something intense in a more grounded and present way. Who knows. Deep down inside only you know what makes you your best, what makes you excited.

We’ve all experienced being around someone who was passionate about something. Try to remember how that passion and excitement rubbed off on you, how it changed the energy of the space you were in. Just take a look at what happens to water (we are mostly water you know) when different thought vibrations are near it. (as shown from the work of Masaru Emoto) And many, especially in Kundalini Yoga, say women are very powerful in projecting their thoughts and energy, a skill that is needed for child rearing.

emoto-water-crystals Yoga Energy

For many of us the issue is a fear of letting go and loosening up. We hold back our laughter and joy and insights, maybe to not be seen or to not be judged. We want our loved ones to  show excitement about what matters to them but we don’t demonstrate it for them.

Women are the backbone of the family, whether a work family or a born family. We have a strong capacity to feel and flow with nature and our surroundings. We just need to let go and share in the moment. It doesn’t matter if no one is around, we will effect the very fabric of life that surrounds us. Even a fish will be lifted up by our energy.

Victoria

Try one of Matsayana’s fish poses that we did in class:

Matsyakridasana_flapping_fish_pose_yoga_asana yoga  dreamstime_xs_22072239

 

Know your gifts – Empathy, Empaths, & Highly Sensitive Women

Know your gifts – Empathy, Empaths, & Highly Sensitive Women

It’s important for women to understand what being an empath, or a highly sensitive person, means because there are so many of us now and so few who understand our own skills. If you don’t understand it you can assume something is wrong with you, instead of knowing you are gifted. It is also important for women to understand this because many children are being born with these gifts and it helps when the mother understands what her child is going through and can help the child to embrace it and use it.

If you have ever walked into a room and felt like you could ‘cut the tension with a knife’ you know a little bit about what an empath feels like when entering any type of new surroundings – tension or not. Mothers can easily know this experience in the way they relate to their child for example. They will often feel and know what their child needs or if their child is in danger without knowing how to explain it. For several years after a child is born they may have this connection to varying degrees. This is an example of being an empath, a connection that is a part of who you are whether you try to have it or not. It is similar to being in oneness with everything.

Around 4% of the population are empaths and another 21% are highly sensitive. Of course the majority of these people are female. (These % are educated guesses.) On the flip side it’s tough for the other 75% of the population to understand what empaths are and how to relate to them; but information, books, & classes are now abundant as the % starts to shift. More of us will become empaths or at least highly sensitive. This is a good thing. The world needs people who are deeply compassionate and able to tune into their surroundings. People who can help make the world a kinder, calmer, peaceful place.

Books on empathy have been on the NYT list for several years now which is lovely to see, it means people are interested in this topic. You don’t have to feel like you have to hide who you are.

Derived from the Greek “em” (in) and “pathos” (feeling), empathy is being in feeling with another being. “There are many definitions for empathy which encompass a broad range of emotional states. Three types of empathy may exist: cognitive empathy, affective empathy, and somatic empathy.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/empathy Being an Empath is having this skill as an inborn trait.

Being an Empath vs Having Empathy vs Being Highly Sensitive:

Empaths can be very intuitive and can know things others do not know. All of their senses are active, including their auric sense, which allows them to pick up on things most don’t notice. They can tune into everything in their surroundings, sometimes distance doesn’t matter, they can pick up on things miles away. Empaths, have more extrasensory perception and are often considered to have Clairsentience, which means clear sensing to a degree of psychic ability. But they often don’t pick up on specific facts, mostly knowingness and feelings.

 

Having empathy on the other hand, is a skill one learns in order to show compassion toward others. Anyone can learn to show empathy, it often takes some training in being present and listening well.

There are also those who are highly sensitive.“ A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.” Elaine Arron High sensitive people are in tune to their immediate surroundings, not at a distance, and don’t have knowingness. They are tuning into their environment and may get overwhelmed by it. They sure know when something is just not right.

Empathy-definition Empath

To handle empathy – Learn to establish boundaries. While you can’t turn empathy off or keep it away, you can learn to be more in your self. You have to feel yourself on the earth and inside your own body. You do this through getting grounded. There are many energetic techniques that help with this, like seeing your legs merge deep into the earth like a tree until you feel a connection.

You can also do core work in yoga, poses like plank and side plank really engage the core and pull you into your center. Anything that really engages the core stomach muscles will help a great deal.

Also deep breathing can bring you out of connecting too much with others and build up your personal energy and aura to make you stronger, giving you more control over when and how you feel an empathic connection. There are many places to learn breath techniques but go slow they can be very powerful. You can let go of a lot of energy from others when doing some advanced breath work, which is great but best to do with an instructor.

Acupressure and Chinese meridian therapy can also help to balance your emotions. Strengthening the pericardium meridian is a great start in most cases. It encases the heart and acts as a protector and balancer of our spirit essence. It is our spirit that shows imbalance when we are stressed or panicked.

 

Empath Empathy

It’s time to start embracing who you are and seeing sensitivity and empathy as gifts. And helping the children being born with such traits to learn to embrace it and use it to help effect positive change in the world.

A well known empath is Alanis Morissette – here is her video called “Empathy” where people are grateful for her gift of seeing them for who they truly are and vise versa.

 

 

Yoga – lose more than weight

Yoga – lose more than weight

My journey through vinyasa and kundalini yoga has been one of fun, challenge, and letting go. One of the things I’ve let go of is physical weight which is great, so many women join for that reason, but another thing I’ve let go of is mental and emotional weight which brings confidence, self respect, and happiness.

This I believe is more important because what women really want when they say they want to lose weight is to be more attractive. Losing mental and emotional weight will make one so much more attractive (and magnetically attracting) then just losing physical weight. It makes us radiant, makes us a magnet for better things to come into our life. Most people don’t pick a part our physical appearance as we usually do to ourselves, it’s just not that important. Most often people first feel our vibe (which is low if you’re worried about weight) and then they look to see if we are smiling (which so few of us do when stressed and criticizing ourselves).

Yoga gives us confidence as we conquer a pose and see all that we are capable of doing. Sometimes we are more comfortable reading books or dabbling in some classes here and there,  feeling like we are doing a lot and we ARE doing a lot, but we also need to balance that with consistent experiences that bring our new changes into our nervous systems making it a part of who we are.

Yoga gives us many experiences. You will face your self, your mind, your issues, your accomplishments, your limited thinking.

CONFIDENCE comes as you show up for class, become a part of a group, and do your best to progress. The more you show up, the more you RESPECT yourself, the more you believe yourself that when you say you are going to do something you will follow through. This leads to success in many areas of life and art. And it leads to others respecting you as well. We show people how to treat us through our thoughts and actions toward ourselves.

In many kundalini classes you may go a lot deeper energetically and emotionally. Many of their sets can help to push you to let go of things that no longer serve you. Letting go of past baggage makes you lighter and HAPPIER. A lot of low level stress is released and you are able to move through the world more engaged. The more you go inward the more relaxed and focused you become. Concentrating on getting yourself into a pose makes you go inward and tune out the world. This is where you find those moments when you are able to see your true self and breathe.

Who wouldn’t want to be around someone who is confident, respects herself, and is somewhat free of past baggage?

So yes, yoga can help you lose weight but hopefully you participate enough to lose so much more than that. See it as time for your self and stay committed to showing up every week or better yet every day.

Victoria

Book Review: Alphabet vs the Goddess

Book Review: Alphabet vs the Goddess

Book Review – Definitely recommended. “The Alphabet vs The Goddess – Conflict of Word and Image” by Leonard Shlain with a very provocative historical thesis – that with the introduction of alphabetic writing (left brain masculine) and the moving away from pictorial writing (right brain feminine), we moved to a writing style, the very basis of our culture, that “subliminally fosters a patriarchal outlook… giving cultures, especially in the west, a strong masculine thrust.”

What a slap in the face to a woman who loves to read and write! Well there is nothing wrong with being in the more organized left side of the brain. Words and knowledge need a way to be conveyed and it is true that if you use speech or a film to do it, then you have more of an influence of the right creative side of the brain, but there are limits as to how much you can convey.

Also there are limits on how much one can take in. The written word, I believe, allows us to ponder, question, ‘sit with’ information at our own pace. Knowledge comes in many layers at once and we absorb it at the level we are currently in so being able to engage with written words has its’ advantages. The words can be about the feminine, for it was the book “The Feminine Mystique” that sparked a huge women’s movement. And the book “Silent Spring” that sparked the whole ecological earth movement. The written word can be preserved, it can be shared, it can be read again and again. It is a very important evolutionary development.

“Most people believe that the benefits that have accrued to women are due primarily to a high level of education among the populace. As Levi Strauss stated – ‘There is one fact that can be established: the only phenomenon which, always and in all parts of the world, seems to be linked with the appearance of writing … is the establishment of hierarchical societies, consisting of masters and slaves, and where one part of the population is made to work for the other part.’ Misogyny and patriarchy rise and fall with the fortunes of the alphabetic written word.” Shlain

Reading is a linear process and my inability to grasp how life would be without it probably supports his thesis. I know that many things are learned through experience and that is often the greatest teacher, but without the written word I wouldn’t know the great philosophers. Perhaps it is not that the written word has ‘diminished women’s power’ but that our over emphasis on the written word has done that. And as we move from the written word to TV, to film, to gaming, to internet with all the pictorial ways of communicating information, things will balance out. Indeed this is what Shlain presents as hope at the end of the book. “Unlike all the scribes of past cultures, men now routinely write using both hands (on computers) instead of only the dominant one… and is, I believe, an unrecognized factor in the diminution of patriarchy.”

He states that as we moved in this direction women started to gain back their power.

Which brings us to a common research question – Does correlation prove causality?

He instead says he ‘appeals to competitive plausibility’.

As I read the book in more depth I will update my review. I find his thesis fascinating and engaging. Though I believe there are several factors that allowed patriarchy to thrive, this may very well be a plausible part of it.

 

“Reading words is a different process. When the eye scans distinctive individual letters arranged in a certain linear sequence, a word with meaning emerges. The meaning of a sentence, such as the one you are now reading, progresses word by word. Comprehension depends on the sentence’s syntax, the particular horizontal sequence in which its grammatical elements appear…This process occurs at a speed so rapid that it is below awareness…To perceive things such as trees and buildings through images delivered to the eye, the brain uses wholeness, simultaneity, and synthesis. To ferret out the meaning of alphabetic writing, the brain relies instead on sequence, analysis, and abstraction.” Shlain

Victoria

Humble your Warrior

Humble your Warrior

Deeper meaning of a yoga pose. As women we often feel as if we have to keep up with the world around us, some of us waking at the crack of dawn, going over all we have to do that day in our heads. We loose sight of our true self before we even get out of bed.

We attack the day like misguided warriors ready to conquer anything that comes in front of us. But this usually leaves us feeling stressed out and on guard. How easily we move into fight or flight mode after breakfast, that is if we allow ourselves the time to stop and eat at all. Our whole energy field is on guard. We are not available to share love with our loved ones, we can’t even see them when they are standing right in front of us.

When we we act like this we are not being true warriors, we are being bullies. True warriors are present and humble, they are true to themselves. Bullies are stressed out and trying to prove something to the world around them, they are not being their true selves.

The Warrior poses in yoga teach us how to align our bodies within the space of the four directions, to embody ourselves and stand strong in our energy. I often love doing these poses in class and seeing how I progress through them each new week. One day the instructor had us go a step further, to gather our arms behind our backs and then lean forward (facing the fear of falling over) and humble (bow) our heads.

While doing this I gained a deep sense of what it is like to let go and be humble in any situation, to trust the space and people around me to support me. To know everything will work out and there is no need to be on guard when starting the day, there is no need to try to conquer anything.

To be humble is to be a warrior, to see situations as they truly are not as we imagine they are. We are able to actively engage with our surroundings.

Try this pose or the concept of it in your daily life. Catch yourself when you are in ‘stress & conquer’ mode, and look to see where you can apply some humbleness to the situation. With humbleness a stressed out bully becomes a warrior.

Victoria