Fear seeks safety. Love seeks Truth. Please read and enjoy. Productive, truthful feedback welcome.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Summer Yoga

Ah, summer in Minnesota. Finally. And we need it.

After all, we’ve just come out of a spring that allowed itself to be bullied by winter. A winter, that in its own right, was pretty proud of itself, hanging around an extra month or so, playing hide and seek with our dress code. Do we wear shorts? Hats? Light sweatshirts? Shades? Some days saw us regaled in various combinations of the above: winter boots, shorts that showed off white legs, a scarf and a wool hat accented by the latest in sunglass fashion and topped off by students stylishly clutching their yoga gear; mat slipping out of one hand, towel shoved (mostly) into our gear bags, and water bottle left in the car. We NEED yoga (and snow angels) to get us through those eight short months of winter here in the cities.

Ah, summer in Minnesota. It’s finally here. Winter boots become flip-flops, high collar jackets turn into t-shirts, and wool hats give way to sassy shades. So, let’s each take a mental step back to ask ourselves, what do my winter habits give way to?

There’s no right answer, therefore on the flip side, there’s no wrong answer either. What we are left with is whether our answer results in a productive or non-productive lifestyle. The next questions to ask: how has yoga been productive for you during the winter months? And what can you take with you into and throughout the summer?

As you contemplate these questions, keep in mind yoga means different things to different people. As such, we each approach yoga according to our own needs, according to our own understanding. These very likely will differ from that of the person on the mat next to us. In spite of, or perhaps because of, these differences, yoga, at its core, seeks to unite us. A consistent yoga provides the opportunity for each of us to find common ground on our way to unity.

At Modo Yoga, the common ground is suggested by its six pillars:
Be healthy
Be accessible
Live to learn
Be green
Be community

Some of these pillars will resonate with us more than others do. We need not adopt them all at once, or even all of them for that matter. But we should take some of them along with us on our journey towards unity. Furthermore, whether practiced in the hot room or outside among nature, to be effective, they must be practiced regularly. One of the best places to practice is the hot room. This ensures we will get consistent exposure to the ideals we desire to incorporate into our lives. However, regardless of where we practice, when we tap into these pillars in a consistent fashion we begin to find common ground. And when we arrive together on common ground, we begin to find

So little time. So much to do. Put your shades on and get outside. Don your yoga clothes and sweat in the hot room. Spend a bunch of time with friends. Spend a bunch of time leaning into the six pillars. Be healthy. Be peace.
Ah, summer in Minnesota.
We need it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Story Time

When we encounter something that initially troubles us, very often we have incomplete information, and, we have choices.  

We get to choose what level of energy to spend on it.
Do we choose to ignore it?
Do we take it at face value?
Or do we add our own energy to it?

If we do add energy to the event, we do so by telling ourselves a story to fill in the gaps.
Not the actual gaps.
We can't know those without further discovery.
But the gaps as we see them.
The gaps that help us place ourselves in the event.

Will our take on that story be one of grace and graciousness,
giving other players the benefit of the doubt?
Will it be one where we portray ourselves as the victim,
affirming that their intent was to slight us?
Or will it fall somewhere between,
establishing a safe middle ground where we take the high road while still looking down on them?

What we choose exposes our securities and insecurities,
where we are vulnerable,
where we are confident.

But in every case, we get to choose, unaware perhaps, that our story does not illuminate the truth of the event,
it merely illuminates the truth of our own heart,
reflecting our current self.

If we love the stories we tell ourselves,
if we find them to be healthy,
no change is needed.

If we don't love our stories,
if they pull us down,
perhaps we need to choose differently.

The takeaway:
By choosing to put a generous spin and positive energy to the stories we tell ourselves, we actually begin programming our heart to choose grace.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Time to Let it Go

Time does not make wounds better.
Letting go does.

Sometimes wounds hold onto us. 
And sometimes we hold onto wounds. 

But in both cases, to get better, time is the variable and letting go is the constant. 

The former—those wounds that hold onto us—live below our consciousness, and require awareness and vulnerability before we can let them go. These can take time to recognize and to shed.

The latter—the wounds we hold onto—live completely in our awareness and are fed by pride. These we have recognized and refuse to shed. Furthermore, whether we hold them in part or in whole, and whether we hold them against ourselves or against another, getting better requires only one thing: Forgiveness. Time is not a factor. Letting go is.

When we turn to forgiveness to loosen our grip on these wounds, we hold more space for healing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What Does Healthy Look Like?

Be Healthy!

What a great idea!

But what does it take to be healthy?
And what does healthy look like?

Some are said to be the picture of health. But that doesn’t really help too much, does it?
Whose picture?
Some random other’s we find in a magazine?

And let’s not stop at pictures. What about healthy sayings? The sayings that tell us what it’s like to be healthy.

On the extremely healthy end of the spectrum-of-health we encounter the following:  
Healthy as a horse.
Strong as an ox.
Fit as a fiddle.
Right as rain.
Fresh as a daisy.
Alive and kicking. (So we can kick the habit? And and thereby presumably postpone kicking
the bucket?).
Full of beans (Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat . . . And who doesn’t want to
feel better?)

And somewhere beyond the middle of the spectrum-of-health we find these gems:
Frog in your throat.
Under the weather.
Sick as a dog.
White as a sheet.
Run down.
A pain in the neck (or other parts south).
Weak in the knees.

And finally, we arrive at the other extreme.
As our health dwindles, as it ultimately must, so, too, does our list:
On your last legs.
One foot in the grave.
At death’s door.
Kick the bucket (It was bound to happen).
Pushing up daisies. (Maybe that’s why they’re fresh.)

So should we then. . .
Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die?

I cannot answer that for you. Maybe we should. Maybe we should not. It depends a lot upon how you eat and how you drink and how you make merry, doesn't it?

And to be honest, in 300 to 500 words, what can I really tell you about being healthy that hasn’t already been extensively covered in books, blogs, and magazines the world around?

What I can tell you with confidence is that abiding health is not found at either extreme. Health is found somewhere near the middle. And just to be clear, your middle may not be my middle, and my middle may not be other’s middle. And it may also depend upon whether you want to look like a horse or an ox, or a fiddle or a daisy. Nonetheless, “somewhere near the middle” for each of us can
be summed up in these eight words:

Eat well.
Think well.
Move well.
Love well.

And these eight words can be distilled to one.


That’s what it takes to be healthy.