Planting seeds of perfection

IMG_1612 copyThe other day I was talking to a student of mine who told me she was looking to improve her practice. She wanted to be better at yoga and a better version of herself. She wanted a stronger core and to lose weight. Sincere and sweet, I didn't want to risk offending her by my reaction to what she was saying. My response (in my head) came from a place of love- but to her ears it may have sounded a little like judgement. I made a vow to myself some time ago to be a Truthspeaker but I still struggle at times with the delicate balance of ahimsa (non-harming).

So I went home and spoke it aloud to the trees in my yard. Weird I know. But I really wanted them to pass it onto her somehow. Like some sort of arboreal osmosis, take these words and plant them in her lovely mind. While you're hands are dirty, put these seeds in my daughter's mind too.

What if today you were perfect?
With no air-brushing, no modification, no transformation at all. What if everybody, in every room, exploded into applause when you entered and smiled when you left?
What if you stopped searching and found everything?
What if when you looked in the mirror today, you saw what your mum sees?
Or your child, or your best friend?
What if you could see yourself with a heart full of love? What if you saw the truth? What if your yoga was enough? What if you were enough?
Imagine if you decided to stop worrying about everything and just walked in the light and accepted grace.
Imagine if, just for today, you nourished your body with food from the earth. Filled up with art and music and soulful gifts. Made a new friend. Did stuff that made you whole and happy.
What if you gave thanks to your body and mind for it's brilliance?
What if you found gratitude?
What if I told you that all that hurt you've been carrying is a choice you made? Would you put it down? Would you choose a different way?
If everything could be forgiven could you let it all go?
What if, in a moment of quiet, the universe spoke only to you?
What if she whispered of your divine magnificence?
Would you listen to the truth?

Namaste

Mxx

Why Yoga???

35fba-img_1202 I love yoga. Like most people my experience with yoga began in a local hall on a few feet of recycled rubber. In recent times however, the practice of yoga has carried me off the mat and through to becoming...

Healthy.

Happy.

Whole.

There are of course benefits that are really obvious. I sleep better, I eat more intuitively, I  live more intuitively. I'm stronger, both mentally and physically, wonderful perks that come from regular asana practice.

All of which I was talking to a non yogi  friend of mine about the other day. Her response was to probe a little deeper. "Yeah that's great, but why yoga??"

Umm.....

It took me a little while to gather my thoughts on this very broad question, but here goes my top five reasons.

Yoga has taught me that I am not my labels...

I am not the daughter, sister, mother, artist, writer, partner, funny girl, emotional one, hormonal female, foodie, friend or hot chick. Ok, I may have made that last one up but you get the idea. For most of my life I have walked around believing I was all of this and more. Yoga has taught me that I am none of these things. I am in fact infinite and expansive, a divine manifestation of love in a transient body.

Yoga has taught me to honour my body....

Like many women, my relationship with this bag of bones has been fraught with negativity. I have never in my life treated any other human being as poorly as I have treated my own body. I've endured eating disorders, horrible harming behaviours, ridiculous diets and loathsome dialogue. Yoga has made me appreciate the extraordinary functionality of my greatest claim to humanity...the skin I am in. It's a miraculous, supportive and creative experience of being me. I no longer hate my sturdy thighs because I know they will carry me through warrior poses. I am less concerned with how my body looks and far more focused on how it works.

Yoga has taught me not to impose on others....

Not my children, or my partner. Not my beliefs or my bullshit. I'm so busy with the business of my own 5ft of evolution that I don't have the time to live other people's life for them. That doesn't mean that I'm self-absorbed and unavailable to be a parent, but I don't assume that I know how anyone else should live. Including my immediate family. I actually think my children have been sent to me to teach me a thing or two.

Yoga has taught me to breathe first and ______ later.

Fill in the blank any way you wish.

Yoga has taught me about love.

It has taught me the art of being present with another human being. About the destructive force of small thoughts in a powerful mind. It's taught me to pause when I face conflict and pause when I am at peace. Or laughing. Or doing my five year olds homework. Every day I make a decision to enter a state of loving, in this way I become a manifestation of Love and Light in the world.

Nameste

Michelle xx

 

 

The beauty myth... Lunacy over loveliness.

IMG_1748 There's been a bit of a fuss in the media lately about telling young girls that they're beautiful.

The assumption seems to be that little ladies aren't smart enough to believe more than one thing at a time. Poor critters. If they are told they are beautiful, they don't have room in their tiny minds to believe they are strong and smart as well.

Umm? Forgive me, because as you know I hail from the fairer sexes camp, but did I miss something?

I have a daughter and everyday of her life I think I've told her she's beautiful. I can't help it. I find myself watching her tiny furrowed brow while she concentrates on a puzzle or the way she sticks her tongue out when she draws and I say it out loud. That she's gorgeous, that the world could turn on those lovely eyes, that she's perfectly Her.

I tell her other things too. I tell her she's clever when she gets her spelling right, I tell her she's kind when she helps her brother and I even tell her she's a monkey when she won't eat her lunch. I don't believe she thinks she is actually a monkey but perhaps I've been giving her too much credit?

Ok, I'm a little cross over this....Maybe if we told our young girls that they were beautiful and smart and kind they might grow up to have a high opinion of themselves. They might just value themselves enough to develop healthy self esteem and live huge lives. Nobody is suggesting we dress them up like little dolls and only value their loveliness. My girl is always disheveled with twigs in her hair and mud on her cheek. I'm not playing dress ups here people, I'm raising a titan.

 How about we all give ourselves a little more credit, mothers and their daughters. How about we subscribe to the idea that we are magnificent, complex, multifaceted creatures. That we don't need to have it all, but we can have what we want and that we are beautiful.

In my little opinion the word should be infinitely less exclusive and said to more women (and men) more often.

Michelle xx

lets talk love

Ask most people what they need to be happy and I think you will find love near the top of their list. Many people will say that they "love too much" or they "need to be loved" or "are unloveable".
It seems that it has become a currency of sorts, a commodity to be traded. Sadly, many of us see a deficit, we have issues with family or romantic love, old baggage that we drag around. Love looms in the equation of our happiness, our self worth and our identity. We look for it in others and we measure it in ourselves.
Many people believe that it is our purpose in this life, to give and receive love. There may be some valuable truth in this idea but I wonder if we really understand what it is?
Is this idea of owning love a shimmering mirage to a thirsty soul? Is it life's lottery that we somehow win by our birthright or our beauty? I've given this some thought and I'd like to believe that the universe provides a purer pathway to it's pinnacle of benevolence and compassion.
Imagine for a moment that Love is like an ocean. It's vast and calm and when you enter the water it's warmth surrounds you. Imagine that the water fills up the minuscule spaces between the atoms that makeup your entire being. That it fills every void, every hurt, every longing.
We cannot own the sea. With an open heart we accept that it just is. We are changed by it's current, it's buoyancy lifts us, it embraces us without judgement. We make the decision to enter a state of Love, we decideand in doing so we are forever transformed.
Every day we can make this choice. We enter Love by participating in loving acts and kindness towards all beings, including ourselves. In this way we nourish our soul and care for others. Love isn't traded. It isn't given or taken away or even hard to get. It is available to all of us, at all times. Every loving act is a step towards Love, so we must be mindful in our choices. Be aware of negativity and know that very angry thought moves us further from the embrace of our elation.