Wagasana, greeting the day
with gratefulness and curiosity!
Have you had a doga moment today?
Enjoy the Journey while creating your own ... with gratefulness … it’s okay to disagree too!
Giving and Receiving: Gratefulness and acceptance are powerful magnets. Accepting gifts and compliments with a smile is confidence. Graciously receiving and giving gifts with meaning creates a positive trickling effect. No gift is too big or small. Can you volunteer with your pet for an hour? Maybe you can read to children in the hospital. You decide what gifts you have to share ... how you can make a difference; it will come back to you tenfold.
Gossip (becoming an effective communicator and therapeutic fibbing): Gossip is global. Sharing only good news is a myth. We can choose to listen, be educated and look for ways to become better communicators. Effective communication involves listening, pausing, paraphrasing (repeated back to clarify) and giving the opportunity to speak too.
Is the gossip connective, informative or malicious? What is the intention when we have a conversation? Are we listening or thinking about the next question before the other person finishes their thoughts? If you feel that someone is gossiping to make themselves feel good at someone else's expense, or that the gossip isn't true, then clarify it or walk away with a smile saying, "Thanks for the insight" without any other response. You could ask "Is this true and how do you know for sure?" Be mindful that people create stories from their own perspectives, not yours.
Graceful: A dancer can show grace in beauty of movement, style, form, or execution. We often hear the phrase "grow old gracefully." I'm not sure I know what that means anymore then hearing someone say "you are a certain age so should act more mature." Shouldn't we live gracefully every day and as we are as individual beings?
I have watched a dog dig fast and furious, find his bone and gracefully walk off. Tia (Greyhound) could steal a donut in a room full of people, or patiently wait while looking angelic, then steal it!
Next time you are upset or angry at someone, think of a elegant way to put them in their place. My favorite after someone has told me what I've done or haven't done right is, "Thank you for sharing that with me." If it is meaningful enough, I add, "Now, can I share something that might help you?" AHH ...
Grateful: We have heard Oprah talk for years about being grateful. New England Pet Partners appeared in Oprah’s 2011 Mag as on of 4 chosen non-profits making a differences. Oh yeah, we were grateful. It changed our lives and perspective, giving us confidence to do more! Being grateful will not help us become Oprah, but it does awaken us to the responsibility of knowing that we can be what we choose. We can throw our wishes into the Universe, but it takes actions to make it happen.
Being grateful for little things like socks that keep our feet warm, or dogs who put up with our quirks, makes appreciating big "grateful's" even better. Life is short, shorter for our dogs. Appreciating every moment is a strong lesson in living and learning to the fullest with our dogs - and others.
Grieving: Grieving takes on a life of it’s own for each individual. Each culture and species mourns loss differently. When we lose a beloved friend, family member or pet, or grieve for global loss, what may help is to consider balancing this grieve with celebration. Many cultures celebrate life at the time of death. Many believe that this is our moment of enlightenment. There is a roller coaster of emotions that we process; some take longer than others. Trying to focus on the positive memories, and letting go of the negative, how much this person or pet meant to us or taught us, helps to create a inner sense of strength and peace. We can go on, knowing that the energy and memories are always with us.
Growing (Glowing): When we learn something new, big or small, we glow. Watch a child who learns how to tie a shoelace. Observe a puppy who happily eliminates outside for the first time and receives praise and a reward. They wag themselves in half. Growing is physical, emotional and spiritual. Today, I choose to grow (and glow) in good health, thought and feelings towards others. I will spend some time admiring my dogs. I will look in the mirror with a positively appraising eye admiring every wrinkle, gray hair, bulge, muffin middle or crooked tooth. I look around and glow at what I have accomplished.
Guilt (be gone): I do not believe in guilt or regret. It is a cannon ball tied to the ankle. As children, we are manipulated through guilt. As adults, media can hypnotize us into thinking we are not "whole" if we don't have this or that. Choosing to forgive and let go, from child hood on up, I love and accept myself unconditionally, just as my dogs do. They taught me this more than any doctrine, mis-guided adult, yoga or social media. Flow freely knowing that you can accept who you are, let go, grow and glow.
Happiness: Happiness is a fuzzy concept and can mean many things to many people. Part of the challenge of defining happiness is to identify what makes “us” feel happy as individuals, not what “others” or the “media’ says should make us happy. Some people are happy all the time, while others are happy, but appear to be living life with spiked shackles on their ankles. Who is to judge? Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness. Various research groups scan our brains to determine what lightens up in the happiness section. The endeavour is to apply a scientific method to answer the question of “what is happiness?”
Philosophers and religious thinkers may define happiness as a way of being rather than an emotion. Happiness ranges from euphoric to a slight smile every couple of months, depending on the individual and their chosen lifestyle. For some, having a good bathroom experience is happiness. The prune juice is working. Does a new pair of Skechers, on sale, make you happy - or watching your dog enjoy a romp in the yard, or both?
What is the point you might ask? An unhappy person and a happy one will have different perceptions of the same circumstances. The difference lies not in the circumstances but in the two states of life, living and the perception of happiness. The questions to ask ourselves is, “What makes me happy?” That’s all that matters.
Healing: Living in balance is not easy. Social media, marketing, friends families and so on have thoughts about nutrition, education and living. All good as long as they apply to you. When healing, mentally or physically, listen and learn. Tune out what doesn’t make sense, even from professionals. Tune in to what your gut is telling does make sense.
Holidays: I love and hate holidays. Strong emotions! I am learning to create Holiday Balance. Balancing what I do with my time-off or Holidays brings serenity. I shop for what I can afford, putting meaningful thought into what the receiver will be getting. Boundaries include healthy compromise. I can celebrate and enjoy holiday gatherings without feeling stressed out. I know how to have a good time, not let anyone invade my good time, and be responsible and safe. I want to leave gatherings feeling renewed, not sapped of my energy, so I protect myself with my own personal shield. Before going to a particular, stressful gathering, take time to breathe and imagine your own shield. No-one is allowed to permeate it. You can answer questions you want to, smile, and not answer ones you don't. Pleasantly, you can leave when you are ready too.
Humor: There is nothing like a guttural, genuine laugh. Giggle to your heart’s content and to good health. Laughing produces feel-good hormones (endorphins). Careful humor can lighten up any situation. Learn to use your humor lovingly and wisely. I love to laugh out loud with my dogs or friends. Cherish those moments when you can't stop laughing ... laughing until tears of joy flow.
Physiologically, laughing releases negative energy and stress. It gives the body a chance to let go, bringing balance. Smile at yourself every morning in the mirror while toothpaste runs down your chin or mouthwash out of your nose. Watch your dogs playing silly. Carry that light spirit throughout the day and whenever stress seems to take over, breathe. Life will happen with or without us. Choosing well-being, joy and a smile can lift the spirit. It has a trickling effect on others. At the end of the day, what really matters? Ask yourself, “Will “this” matter an hour, day, week, months or years from now?”
Meditations G - H