Monday, March 28, 2011

Surrender to what is...

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." 
— Laozi

I learned long ago that there are no coincidences. I believe that everything that happens in life is part of a greater plan and I am privy to only a portion of the larger picture at any given moment. Some of the most meaningful periods of my life have started as the most painful.

I am in a phase of transition. 
Transition, by its very nature, is messy and confusing; struggle just pushes you deeper in the muck. I envision a pool of quicksand...the more I thrash around, trying to get out of the messy predicament I find myself in, the more stuck and deeply enmeshed in the mess I become.

I once read that baby chicks break out of their shell because to remain within their incubated environment would kill them...the atmosphere that once sustained them in their embryonic state has now become toxic. And so it is with us...

My yoga teacher made a statement in class today that resonated with me. She was referring to connecting with our breath in our practice. She said that surrender makes room for release--you can go deeper into a pose when you let go and focus your breath on the location of the tension within your body. When you are gripping (imagine a clenched fist), there is no room for movement. When you relax (imagine the same fist opening up), you find space that was not available moments before.

I can apply that to my current state: if I allow myself to become consumed with fear, I will remain consumed with fear and nothing will change. If I release my grip even the tiniest amount, the faintest whisper of faith can come in...there is space for movement and with movement comes change. 
Change is good.
Change invites unlimited possibility.
Change means that you don't have to stay stuck.

You are limited only by your imagination...get connected to that little voice within you...that's your heart speaking to you.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Break through....

"The flowers in the mountains have broken through the rocks" 

Wow! It's been awhile....and yet, surprisingly, I was at a loss when trying to decide the topic for today's post.
inspiration struck...
in the form of a Tennesee Williams quote (brilliant playwright, by the way...).

So, persistence is the topic du jour.
It's funny how some challenges respond better to forceful effort, while others respond better to the gentle, consistent kind. Strength is not always characterized by being the biggest, loudest, pushiest person in the room. Sometimes, true strength is measured by diligence and the ability to suit up and show up, day after day, despite the challenges with which one is faced.
The image that comes to mind is the majestic sight of the Grand Canyon. Although I have not yet had the opportunity to see it in person, I have been deeply moved by photographs taken by friends who have visited this marvelous place. 
Just think...a single drop of water from the Colorado River, millions of years ago, was the humble beginning of the monument that is visible today. I am in awe that, by the process of erosion, over time, water can wear away something as solid as a boulder. I use this as a motivational reminder when I find myself facing a challenge that seems that drop of water, if I show up consistently and do what is within my power to do, eventually that obstacle will be worn down.
I am often faced with similar situations with my clients: for example, the piles of clothing in their closets or paperwork on their desks has become overwhelming...they feel paralyzed and don't know where to begin. Often, when we begin to tackle the piles, it may not appear as though we are making first. Tackling clutter is a process and it requires patience and diligence, as most challenges do.  You have to weed through the items in order to determine what stays and what is no longer needed. There are no magic shortcuts to getting the job done.
But, once the process has begun, you are on your way and soon, you will find that we have eliminated the clutter that has been weighing you down and all the things you need are neatly stored and easily accessible. 
You have cleared the space and now have room to breathe!

So, just remember...
when you are faced with a challenge, just keep showing up and do what you can do, however small it may seem...
eventually you will break through!