Deep thought of the Day: Pay Attention.

A mantra on my mind as of late hasn’t been in Sanskrit, but in plain English:

Pay attention to yourself.

And as an expansive yang to the contractive yin of my mantra…

Pay attention to those paying attention to you.

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In our hyper-connected world, it’s all too easy to get caught up in awe, comparison, even vying for the attention of others. Perhaps others on who’s radars we don’t even exist. Even if we appear as a tiny blip, how much energy must we expend before we realize that energy would be better served in the direction towards not only ourselves but those actually looking at us directly in the eye?

How can anything happen if we seek far off and over the horizon? The only way I can think to spread light is to start right here. With those on my own radar, and myself on theirs.

And who’s the person who should (and I rarely use the word “should”!)  always be on my radar? Me. My purpose. My work. My body and mind’s needs. My relationships. My fun. My productivity. My energy. My happiness.

Paying attention to those looking at me seems the logical next step. Above acknowledging someone taking the time to come to my yoga class, or comment/”like” my contributions to the world out of all the bagillions of yoga classes or social media posts out there, I mean paying attention at a subtler level. Paying attention to the light energy and the dark energy coming your way. Be aware. Team up, or don’t. Respond, or don’t. Reflect in the light; bounce away from the dark.

And I have to remind myself, and share with you, not to take it personally if no acknowledgement is heard back at all. Sometimes the radar gets foggy and overwhelmed. We have to forgive each other and understand that maybe, just maybe, a person is taking some time to contract and pay attention to…shocker…themselves. Or something else important in their lives. This does not mean silent love and acknowledgement isn’t being sent your way.

Pay attention to yourself.

Pay attention to those paying attention to you.

How do you pay attention to yourself? How do you pay attention and become aware of others surrounding you, and how do you interact with the light and darkness of those eyes on you? Would love to hear your thoughts, my friends!

Coconut kisses,

Beach Girl

Deep thought of the day

Within the Eastern worldview, the human being is a microcosm of Nature, a smaller universe. Human beings represent the juncture between Heaven and Earth, the offspring of their union, a fusion of cosmic and terrestrial forces. The Chinese ideogram for human being is rooted like a tree in the Earth with hands outstretched like branches toward the heavens, receiving power from above and below. Sustained by the power of Earth and transformed by the power of Heaven, humanity cannot be separated from Nature-we are Nature, manifest as people. As a cosmos in miniature, we are propelled by the same forces. Good and bad are relative, not absolute. Life and death balance each other. Seen and unseen, soma and psyche, are aspects of one continuous process, by definition ever-changing and in flux.

Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine

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Topanga Canyon, CA: Connecting Head and Heart

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Overlooking Topanga Canyon during Moksha Festival.

Moksha: liberation. 

On a 2am whim, after a rare night out, I decided on living abundantly and booked tickets to Moksha Festival. Moksha Fest is a yoga, ayurveda, and sacred music festival in Topanga Canyon, California.

Kicking back in Topanga Canyon nest

Kicking back in Topanga Canyon nest

Funny thing about the fest: I was more absorbed in the subtleties of this yoga thing than the movement. Yes, I practiced asana with famous teachers, but more so, I fully absorbed myself in the subtle, deeper knowledge thrown my way.

The Psychospiritual Basis of Disease and Healing, a talk on Ayurvedic Medicine by Dr. Shiva Mohan, particularly struck me. From the moment Dr. Mohan began speaking, I was in full absorb mode. She’s dynamic, passionate, and one can just tell she is living what she’s talking about: ayurveda + connecting your heart’s intentions with your head’s.

We learn this as we study yoga more deeply, whether it be through reading, yoga teacher training, yogic philosophy groups, or if we’re lucky, our teacher weaves it into asana: every life experience, past and present, has an energetic input.

Each input leads to certain habits in the mind, or samskaras. Samskaras are our teachers, we repeat patterns over and over again until we catch ourselves and stop. In order to liberate ourselves from the samskara cycle, we must become aware of our irrational thinking.  Our tendency to succumb to stinking thinking based on our ignorance, ego, craving, aversion, and/or fear (avidya, asmita, raga, dvesha, abhinivesa).

I ate up every word of Dr. Mohan’stalk. Besides a food mantra to keep us airy-type folks grounded and healthy (“warm, moist, cooked, spiced“), she said something so simple as time drew near that summed up the poignant talk.

To paraphrase Dr. Mohan: “Connect your head with your heart. Check what your head wants, check what your heart wants, pick the one in the heart and make your words and actions align in all chakras”.

English? Follow your heart, make a plan with your brain, and execute with your entire body and soul.

Further…

“Chant the Gayatri Mantra, long form. Each verse activates a chakra, from root to crown. Long form Gayatri Mantra. ”

I’ve chanted Deva Premal‘s shorter Gayatri Mantra over and over again, but long form? Hmm. So, after some research, and an e-mail to Dr. Mohan double-checking the validity of my findings, the long form was in my hands. I wrote it in my journal, and began singing it along with sun salutations on the morning sun-lit back deck of my Topanga Canyon nest. It’s been a daily song ever since.

Dr. Mohan, thank you for this reminder to knock it off with the samskaras, follow our hearts, act and align accordingly.

Om bhur

Om bhuvaha

Om Swaha

Om Maha

Om Janaha

Om Tapaha

Om Satyam

Om tat savitur varenyam

Bargo Devasya Dhimahi

Dhiyo Yo na Prachodayat

Kirtan and Yoga overlooking the Canyon

Kirtan and Yoga overlooking the Canyon

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