Every monday evening I ask myself, ” What will the theme of my class be tomorrow morning? What knowledge or wisdom will I impart upon my students to help bring love, light, and joy to their day and into their hearts. Will I even have a theme or fly by the seat of my pants?” I’m quite comfortable flying these days – though it’s taken a long while. Perhaps I will wait and see what comes up or to my inbox in the morning. I’m hopeful that I will know when morning arrives.
It is now early Tuesday morning. Ta Da! And a theme has gracefully come to me via my inbox (the powers that be often lurk there) by way of my friend Kiersten Mooney; wonderful writer, yoga teacher, and owner of Bala Vinyasa Yoga in Naples and Miama Florida.
“Coming Back to Self and Opening to Grace” appears. Â This is our calling for today.
“Opening to Grace” is a term often associated with yoga practice. It is a way of leading what we do with an open-hearted attitude of infinite possibility and support. From the book “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson, “To open to Grace is to ask that only loving, helpful thoughts remain in our minds, and all the rest be let go”.”When we surrender to (Grace) we surrender to something bigger than ourselves – to a universe that knows what it is doing. When we stop trying to control events they fall into a natural order, an order that works. We’re at rest while a power much greater than our own takes over, and it does a much better job than we could have done. We learn to trust the power that holds galaxies together can handle the circumstances of our relatively little lives”.
Krishna Das says, “Grace wakes us up when we are asleep, brings light to where there is darkness and removes obstacles from our path”.
Another wonderful quote:
“The willingness to receive what is already in the core of your being is the willingness to not run from your own longing, to discover right now within yourself the source of that longing. Then you will discover that the longing itself carries you to the core of yourself, where true peace and perfection are revealed as never separate from the truth of who you are”. ~ Gangaji
And finally, heartfelt wisdom from my inbox, by Kierten Mooney -
Enjoy! With love, Allison
Coming Back to Self and Opening to Grace
Do you ever think that life is totally bizarre? Are you ever curious as to why things happen and why you are faced with certain life experiences? I sure am! Life happens and we cause some situations while other situations we have no control over. I am truly beginning to understand that every situation in life is an opportunity to come back to self.
Situations – and especially relationships with others – are an opportunity to come back to self and to learn about who we are. The closer or more committed a relationship is, the greater the opportunity is to learn who we are. If we practice using our life and relationship situations as a reflection of how we are being, versus focusing on what is wrong, we can consider how to contribute and move the situation or relationship forward and get through it.
Many times we pile all of life’s situations onto each other and make it one big fat blob. But it is important to distinguish the experiences and relationships from each other and be aware of where we are coming from. Be in self-inquiry around what place you are in. Is it fear, insecurity, or jealousy? Or are you coming from a deeper, more profound place?
Each of us is a conduit for others. When we get stuck in a situation or emotion and are not able to move through it is when we need another’s gentle hand. I love the saying by Caroline Myss: “God’s grace is instantaneous, but it is us who slow it down”. Sometimes we are so stuck in a situation and emotions that we may not be able to feel the grace that exists. We are blinded by the experience that we are going through. That’s when we need the hand of another to uplift us out of the dark and back into the soft breeze of God’s grace.
For me, the moments I want throw in the towel, raise a white flag, and say I am done are the moments that another is there to reach out a hand. That is what committed relationships are for and why community is so important. It is to be for each other, to offer a hand of grace – not just for encouragement and support while on the mat, but to be a mirror for all humanity.
With love and gratitude,
Courtesy of Bala Vinyasa Yoga.