Let go.

Recently I was at an art event and spoke with an artist who said some powerful words to me.  He told me to let go.  Even though I've said these words hundreds of times over the years in my yoga classes, I realize just how important they are in all areas of my life.  As we continue to move into this new year, it's time to really let go so that we can flow more freely through life.  

Let go of wanting to be someone different than who you are.  Stop comparing yourself and measuring yourself against other people and their accomplishments, and start appreciating your unique traits and preferences.  Let go of trying to become something that you think you are not, and realize that you already have that which you desire inside you.  You just have to allow it to unfold.  Stop holding yourself back by thinking that you aren't good enough.  You are.  You’re the only one stopping yourself from realizing your greatness and becoming the person you wish you could be. 

Let go of the past and anyone who isn’t treating you the way you to be treated.  Sometimes you just need to let go and accept the fact that they don’t care for you the way you care for them.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll figure out a way to bring you in.  If they aren’t doing that, let them go.  Release anger, guilt, shame, or any other negative emotions that may be weighing you down.  Allow yourself to let go of any grudges and forgive anyone you may have some resentment toward.  And most of all, forgive yourself for any mistakes you feel you may have made.  You have the choice to continue to feel bad or to give yourself the piece of mind you deserve.  

Let go of trying to control things that you cannot control.  In yoga, we are able to go deeper into the poses not by pushing or forcing our bodies into them, but simply by surrendering, letting go, and breathing.  Surrendering means not putting worry and fear into the process.  It means doing your part, and then relaxing and expecting that everything will work out for the best.  It is shifting your thinking to focusing on what you want to happen, and realizing that whatever happens is for your highest good.  Trust in the unfolding of your life.

Zen master Osho says, "Life is great, there is no way to finish it.  The more you enter into it, the vaster the possibilities that open their doors.  Yes, you can arrive at one peak and suddenly there is another.  It is non-ending”.   

In meditation you are constantly letting go.  You are constantly freeing yourself.  Each moment is a new opportunity to get out of the past and to get out of your head.  Close your eyes and begin to breathe.  As a thoughts arises, notice it and then try to release the thought from your mind.  Continue to do this, starting over each time your mind wanders, and bring it back to your breath.   

Focus your mind on these positive affirmations:

“I am letting go of anything that is not for my greater good and I ask it to release me."

“I am inviting and allowing good to come into my life."

"I am open and ready to grow, to expand, and to free myself from any limiting beliefs so that I may move more freely through life.”  

"I am free."

Love, 

Sydney

Finding happiness one moment at a time.

Happiness is defined as a state of pleasure, satisfaction, or contentment.  It is a state of being.  It is not something that we are meant to achieve once and then have forever more.  We either are or we aren’t in the moment.  The more moments of joy we experience, the happier we feel.

For me, my happiness is largely related to me feeling good physically.  Getting plenty of sleep, exercising, eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and spending some time in nature helps me feel good.  I also take the time to connect with myself through yoga and mediation or simply take a few minutes to just breathe.  When you give yourself time to connect with the essence that is you, you give yourself a chance to feel the love that your inner being has for you.  Nobody else can give that to you.  I didn’t realize how powerful and deeply satisfying meditation was until I started practicing sitting and breathing for 10-15 minutes a day a few times a week (I wish I could say that I do it everyday, but I’m working on it!)  

When you breathe and slow your thoughts, you give yourself an opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and connect with your inner being or your higher self.  You feel more centered, more satisfied, and more whole.  This is where you will find happiness.  Feelings of frustration or fear or self-loathing will begin to dissipate, and the true essence that is within you will begin to flow to you and through you.  Your inner being adores you.  When you focus upon your failures or inadequacies or worry and project negative thoughts about your future or spend time regretting your past, your inner being does not agree with those thoughts so therefore you don’t feel good thinking them.  

Notice when you’re feeling good, and be willing to admit when you’re not.  It’s ok to feel down.  Without the lows, there wouldn’t be those highs.  If you were happy all the time, you wouldn’t feel that rush you feel in moments of elation.  Good days bring you joy, but bad days bring you wisdom and often clarity.  

I do not like it when I’m feeling down, but I know that I will feel better if I let myself acknowledge it.  When you are feeling negative emotion, ask yourself some questions like, “Why am I feeling this way?  What does this emotion feel like?  Where is it coming from?”  Try to give it a name such as sadness, fear, anger or regret.  When you give negative emotion a label, you aren’t as bothered by it because you can better separate yourself from it.  You will realize that the unhappy feeling is not who you are, it’s just how you’re feeling.  Everything is temporary and we are given a new opportunity in every moment.  

We can experience more moments of pleasure and contentment by remembering to look for things to appreciate.  Feelings of gratitude and appreciation boost dopamine and serotonin.  It’s not even the finding of things to be grateful for, just the process of searching for something triggers the release of these feel good brain chemicals.  Even the smallest things are worth appreciating if it makes you feel good to focus on them.  A pretty tree outside, the sky, or the fact that you have running water, electricity, and a warm bed to sleep in.  The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.  Like attracts like.  The more often you are in a state of appreciation. the more enjoyable things will flow into your experience.  

So to sum it up, remember to:

*Look for things to appreciate (just looking is enough to give you a boost).

*Take time to breathe and connect with your inner being or essence.

*Put a label to your negative emotion so you can separate from it a bit.

*Take care of yourself.  Do something that helps you feel good.

Love,

Sydney

Why meditate?

Forget yesterday - it has already forgotten you.  Don't sweat tomorrow - you haven't even met.  Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift - today.” Steve Maraboli 

Meditation is a stillness of the mind that involves the practice of slowing down your thoughts.  It is a conscious focused awareness on connecting with your breath and being present in your body so that you can fully experience the now, the present moment.  Meditation purifies our body with the breath and calms our mind by enabling us to release thoughts that do not serve us.  The purpose of meditation is to connect with our body and to feel good.  You can meditate for as long as you like, but I believe ten to twenty minutes per day to be perfect.  There are some days when I miss, but I try to maintain a regular practice of several times per week.

When you meditate, you are practicing controlling your mind by focusing on one thing.  I like to focus my mind on my breath.  As I begin meditating, I close my eyes and begin breathing.  I inhale and exhale fully, and I will often count my breaths to help keep me focused on my breathing.  When I get to ten breaths, I start counting from one again.  After several times of counting to ten (usually around five minutes or so), I can stop counting because my mind begins to slow down and it becomes easier to let go of thoughts and focus on my breath.

At first it was very hard and a little torturous to just sit and breathe.  The first time I tried, I wanted to quit in the first five minutes, but I refused to let myself stop before the time was up.  I thought about all the things I could be doing instead of just sitting and breathing.  I kept going and continued breathing and after about ten minutes (I’m not really sure how long because I kept my eyes closed) I suddenly began to feel really good.  A wave of peace and love washed over me and felt like I was floating.  I could barely feel my body.  And then the time was up.  

Now I look forward to meditating, to that feeling of floating and of detachment from my busy thoughts.  I love the calmness that washes over me.  It’s a very powerful yet soft sensation.  When I open my eyes, I am happy and everything looks more beautiful.  Since I’ve started meditating, I notice the world around me more.  I see beauty everywhere and colors are brighter.  I appreciate things that I didn’t notice before.  Meditating naturally raises your vibration by helping you release resistance in that it stops negative thoughts.  It clears your mind and reverses the unhealthy effects of stress.  When I meditate, I feel more at ease and centered.

How to meditate:

Sit on a pillow with your legs loosely crossed or if that is not comfortable then sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.  Sit tall with your shoulders back and your chest open because slouching impairs breathing.  It can be uncomfortable to sit still and with good posture at first.  If you prefer, you can lie down, but sometimes you can get sleepy and it can be harder to focus your mind on your breathing  Set a timer on your phone and start with ten minutes.  Then, when you’re ready to sit for longer, set it for fifteen minutes and maybe work up to twenty if you like.  It isn’t necessary to spend hours per day meditating.  We are here to experience life, not withdraw ourselves from it for too long.  

Be playful about it.  Don’t be too hard on yourself when your mind wanders.  Controlling your mind is a lot like trying to hold onto a squirming kitten.  Recognize when you are thinking, but don’t judge your thoughts or yourself.  Simply notice that you are thinking again, and bring your mind back to your breath.  Allow whatever thoughts you started thinking to dissipate as you focus on being present in the moment.  Meditation teaches us to be more present in every moment of our life.  Happiness is not something that you strive for.  It can be found in every moment if you will allow yourself to enjoy it by being present and noticing the beauty that is there for you.

This is a beautiful ten minute video that reminds us to appreciate the present moment and open our eyes to the gift of today.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gXDMoiEkyuQ

In love and light,

Sydney

 

Just breathe.

In yoga, the word prana means life force energy.  Pranayama is sanskrit word for the science of breathing.  So when you are breathing, you are bringing life force energy into your body.  Breathing helps in every form of exercise.  It calms the mind, relaxes the body, and releases tension and stress.  It purifies the cells, organs, and lungs.  You are literally cleansing your body from the inside out by breathing in fresh oxygen, bringing new energy into your body, and releasing old energy.  

When people are stressed, they tend to hold their breath.  Chronic stress is not good for our bodies and can lead to disease.  It also makes you age faster because our nervous system has to work overtime.  Stress reduction techniques that involve conscious, deep breathing, such as yoga and meditation, release stress because they calm the nervous system and allow the mind to rest.  When our mind is more relaxed, our body is too. 

There is a direct correlation between the mind and body, between our emotional state and our health, between our stress levels and our immune system.  Breathing relaxes our mind and reduces tension which helps us feel better.  When we feel better emotionally, we are healthier.  Modern western medicine is realizing the link between our physical state and our emotional state.  More and more doctors are prescribing meditation and stress reduction techniques like deep breathing and yoga to their patients as part of their healing process.  

When we concentrate on our breath, we allow our mind to rest from all its incessant thoughts.  This allows us to feel more connected to our body and to be alive in the present moment.  When you’re not living in the present, you’re not really living your life fully.  Time passes by and you hardly notice.  Life passes and you barely experienced it.  Many of us spend so much time regretting past mistakes or anxiously awaiting an uncertain future, afraid of what might go wrong, instead of being in the flow and experiencing the moments as they come.  When you are living more in the present, any problems that might arise are more easily solved because you are focused.  Breathing under pressure helps you to stay calm and present.  Breathing gives you energy and makes you feel more alive.

A breathing meditation with positive affirmations:

Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor (you can lie down if sitting requires too much effort).

Start to breathe gently and deeply into the heart area so that your whole chest moves as you breathe.  As you exhale, feel your shoulders relax.  Notice the how you feel more present in your body as you breathe into your chest and back.  As you breathe into your chest, feel how it opens your heart and puts you in a more receptive state.

Now, as you inhale and draw the breath into your chest, think to yourself "I am”.

Then, as your exhale, think a positive word or statement to yourself such as: light, abundant, prosperous, in perfect health, becoming, all that I wish to be, successful, joy, love, peace, guided on the my path, realizing my life’s work, wisdom, harmony, beauty, vitality, ready for all of the good that the universe has in store for me, allowing, ease, calm, relaxed, expansion, confidence, pure positive energy.  

Continue to do this- inhaling as you think ‘I am” and exhaling thinking a positive word or statement that resonates with you.  Feel the positive emotion that each word provokes.  When you are ready to stop, softly open your eyes.  You are complete.

In love and light,

Sydney

Accessing intuition.

“Do not assume that divine guidance flows only when you are in need of help.  Guidance continues to flow whether or not you have problems.” -Caroline Myss

Source energy is always available to you.  It’s only you who can pinch yourself off from aligning with it through the thoughts you’re thinking.  When you’re feeling good, thinking positively, appreciating, you are aligning with source energy.  You are allowing it to flow through you and guide you.  When you’re feeling bad, thinking negative thoughts, criticizing yourself or others, you are not allowing it into your experience.

The universe is constantly guiding you on your chosen path, and your intuition is always directing you and sending you messages.  Pay attention to your ideas and feelings such as urges, flashes of ideas, and insights, all of which are moving you in a certain direction.  Your intuition does not criticize or tell you what you “should” do.  Rather, it’s more like a soft inner voice or a feeling of being drawn to something. When you operate from your intuition, things happen easily and you find doors opening.  If you’re finding doors closed, it’s the universe telling you there’s a better way to go and to look around for another avenue.  

Intuition is spontaneous, so being flexible is very important.  Stay in tune with your intuition by living in the moment and paying attention to your feelings.  Following your intuition and acting on your feelings takes trust and faith, especially since intuition usually only shows you one step at a time.  Your intellect wants to plan everything out logically.  Use your intellect to set goals and carry them out, but continue to listen to your intuition by being flexible and open to new ideas and experiences. Remind yourself of the times when you listened to your intuition and let go of your plans, and things worked out even better than you had expected.  

Source energy is with you at all times.  You can access it by closing your eyes and breathing into your body.  Be still and begin to quiet your mind by focusing on your breath.  Inhale deeply for five counts and exhale fully for five counts.  Continue to breathe slowly and deeply like this for several minutes.  When you are still and calm, you will feel it.  To me, it feels like a soft sensation of ease, love, and inner peace.  It’s easy to overlook it, but the more you listen and ask for guidance, the stronger you will begin to feel it and allow it into your experience.  

Affirmations for aligning with source energy and allowing your intuition to guide you:

“I am connected with source energy at all times and I am allowing it to illuminate my path.”

“I trust in the universe and I am allowing my intuition to guide me.”

“I am flexible and open to new ideas and experiences.”

“I am releasing any and all resistance so that I can experience the fullness of source energy.”

In love and light,

Sydney

Good vibrations.

We live in a vibrational universe, and the Law of Attraction causes you to attract what you give out.  You rendevouz with circumstances and people who are sending out the same vibration as you.  How do you know what vibrational level you’re on?  When you are feeling good, you’re vibrating at a higher level then you are when you’re feeling bad.  Why is it important to raise our vibrational energy?  Because feeling good attracts more good and allows you to open the doors to receiving all that you are wanting.  When you feel bad, you are causing resistance and making it difficult for your desires to manifest into your experience.  

The universe does not respond to your words or actions, it responds to your vibration.  You don’t have to speak any words about what you want.  The universe will still know exactly what you are wanting through your feelings.  And it will deliver…but you won’t attain it in your reality until you become a vibrational match to your desires.  That means, you have to find a way to feel good and feel that what you desire is already coming into your experience.  You’ve got to stop thinking about what you don’t want, what's bothering you, or why you don’t have what you want.  Instead, think only about what you want, what you like, and what it will feel like to have what you desire.  Then, what you want can come because that’s what you’re focused upon, and therefore you’re a vibrational match to it.  Don’t worry about what is “true” now because the “truth” will shift when you shift your vibration.

Your vibration will naturally rise as you release resistance.  Breathing releases resistance.  Yoga releases resistance.  Any form of relaxation will release resistance because it slows down your thoughts and allows you to stop thinking about whatever might be bothering you for a little while.  You’re in the moment and not worrying about the future or thinking about the past.  It’s worrying and criticizing yourself and others that causes you to create resistance and lowers your vibration.

Words can raise your vibration.  Saying positive words to yourself helps to put your mind in a more positive state, raises your energy, and shifts your thoughts to a higher level.  Choose words that feel good as you say them, and say them over and over.  Words like love, clarity, joy, prosperity, ease, rejuvenation, relaxation, allow, abundance, harmony, vitality have an uplifting affect. 

So...raising your vibration is quite simple.  Feel good.  Say positive, uplifting words to yourself.  Look for things around you to appreciate.  Focus on all the good things in your life.  Notice the beauty in nature.  Breathe.  Keep your mind focused on what you want, not on what you don’t (yet) have.  And let it come to you!

Affirmations for raising your vibrational energy:

“I am releasing resistance and allowing my vibration to naturally rise so that I am vibrating on a higher level.”

“I am focusing only on what I want and what I like so that I attract only what I desire into my experience.”

“I am enjoying attracting people, circumstances, and events that are also on a high vibrational level.”

“I love understanding that I live in a vibrational universe and that I have complete control over my point of attraction."

In love and light,

Sydney