Exercise has always been a huge emphasis with raising my son. My motto is that we have to sweat once a day no matter what.
Being a member of the YMCA in Santa Monica offered my tiny family many options. We had racquetball, rock climbing, swimming, paddle tennis, and weights to name a few. Well, my son did not appreciate the varied mix of both the homeless and the colorful characters that inhabited this institution. So, I decided to try a swankier gym to see if he would attend with less resistance.
We joined this gym, right on the beach in Santa Monica. Each bicycle and treadmill had its own personal television. Pretty awesome, right? Especially for a kid.
Well, on a hot summer day, I took both my son and a play date to this high end gym, and my son and his buddy were having a blast. They were using the weights and machines and were being silly teenage boys.
While I worked out, I got a thrill out of these kids really working out. Meanwhile, I noticed this guy out of the corner of my eye, getting very agitated that teenagers were in the gym. He seemed restless, irritated, and very anxious. He appeared angry and even had a scowl on his face. My guess is he was probably use to this gym being quiet, almost empty, and surely not inhabiting teenagers.
The funny thing is, I had gone to this man’s workshop a few months earlier on meditation. I had also purchased and read his book on meditation, and here he was appearing to be jumping out of his skin, while watching these kids having fun. Clearly teenage energy was out of his comfort zone.
Listen, there are many times that I get really agitated by society, when I go out in the world. But, the real test is to take our practice of mediation and yoga off the mat, and into the world at large. Can I take that same equanimity and peace that I cultivate in my practice out into traffic? How about taking that same serenity that is cultivated inside of me during meditation and prayer into every interaction, every situation, and into every waking moment? Wouldn’t that be phenomenal?
Do you ever race to yoga class, swearing and cutting off people in traffic, so you can be on time? How about screaming at your kids on the way to church? Do you think Jesus screamed angrily, “outta my way, while I turn water into wine”?
As I write this blog now, I commit to all of you readers that I will watch when agitation comes up, and just breathe into it and become the observer instead of the reactor. When I get out of my comfort zone, and a baby cries, or I get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, or I get a nasty email out of the blue, I will breathe and bring all the lessons of my practice of yoga and mediation into the forefront.
So what about you? How about sweating once a day and taking your practice out into the world? I invite you to give it a try! And let me know how it goes. Namaste
It is so funny how the teacher can become the student, and the student can become the teacher.
In my 23 years of teaching yoga, I often learn a tremendous amount of life lessons from my students. Since most of my students are 30 to 40 years my senior, I take a tremendous amount of wisdom from them on a daily basis. One student in particular teaches me about how to be in the world. Let me list some of her amazing qualities, and then you will agree you to would want to be just like her when you grow up. P.S. she is in her late 80’s:
Equanimity and joy in all areas of life are the gifts that yoga and meditation offer, if we choose.With time and with consistent practice, I will give up the need to complain, and always find the time to ask how someone else is doing regardless of my personal state of affairs, and my busyness with life.
In summation, those that behave well can teach us how to be in the world. Those that behave badly, can teach us how not to be in the world. In reality everyone we come into contact with on a daily basis can become our teacher. School is in session everyday, if we are truly awake.
Thank you to my yoga student that really became my teacher on how to behave in the world!
If you really love enough, it will often return....
On my 18th Birthday, my Father bought me this awesome mountain bicycle. Oh, how I loved that bike. It quickly became my soulmate, as I explored both Denver and then San Francisco throughout my college years and beyond.
My bicycle took me up and down Nob Hill, Pacific Heights, and over the Golden Gate Bridge countless times. We went everywhere together. My bike was my ticket to the feeling of freedom, expansiveness, and adventure as I pedaled up and down the steep hills of this busy, crazy city.
My Stump Jumper had tie-dye stickers strategically placed all over it, so it was easily identified as my bike.
Unfortunately sometimes we lose the things we love. Someone cut the kryptonite lock and stole my trusted two-wheeled treasure. Being somewhat unattached to material things, I let it go with deep love, and moved on with my life.
Fast forward ten years later, and 400 miles away to Santa Monica. My car broke down on Montana Avenue and 11th Street. I got out of my car and there it was... MY BIKE, and all of it’s accoutrement, locked to a parking meter. My jaw dropped and my heart sang, as I stared at my icon from my San Francisco bohemian days. I quickly grabbed my young son out of the backseat, and walked into the nearest restaurant, and asked all the waiters and waitresses if the bike locked up outside belonged to anyone? A waiter quickly came forward and said my bike was his, and that he bought it at a flea market in Oakland. He asked if I wanted it back? I quickly replied, “no, you keep it, it’s yours now”. I already had a new my bike and I wasn’t about to take his only way of getting around.
While I was waiting for the tow truck to give me a jump, I said my last goodbyes to my previous companion, that somehow followed me all the way down to Southern California to also say a final farewell. I have always been pretty good about practicing non-attachment and realizing the impermanence of all things.
This story is a great example of the Law of Attraction. If you love something enough you will magnetize it to you, both material and non-material. Those who know me, know big homes and fancy cars don’t excite me, but being free, expansive, athletic, and moving through space thrills me immensely.
What excites you? Are you magnetizing it to you? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what person, place, or thing has come full circle in your life that you love?
Registered Yoga Instructor Certified Life Coach