I welcome the first day of summer by attending a yoga and music workshop with musician and yoga teacher Jack Harrison.
We lie down and begin with some breathing exercises. Jack strums his guitar, recites poetry and sings.
Then he takes us through a powerful yoga sequence. No music plays now. All we can hear are Jack’s instructions and our breath.
My breathing deepens. I feel strong, present and peaceful.
Afterwards, we sit in a circle and sing. For the most part, I close my eyes and really get into it.
Occasionally, I open my eyes and appreciate what’s in front of me. The fantastic Jack Harrison playing guitar. And a group of people joyously opening their hearts together in song.
Next, Jack suggests that we sing any tune we feel like.
“Dissonance is beautiful,” he insists.
“Some of us were told as children that we weren’t good singers. I was kicked out of the school choir when I was a boy,” he laughs.
“But singing is easy,” he says with a smile.
Many of us spend our lives trying to fit in and appear normal. We’re told how to live and what’s expected of us.
But today for a change, we’re being encouraged to be different. We’ve been given licence to sing our own song in a way that’s right for us in this special moment.
We start quietly and self-consciously. But before long, we become louder and more confident.
I realise that it’s much easier to sing in unison. It’s actually harder to be different. But I’m determined to find my own song.
I go with the feeling. I put judgment aside. I allow myself to be me.
Somewhere between dissonance, unison and harmony, I hear my own voice. Tears prickle behind my eyes. Jack’s right, it is beautiful.
Posted in Personal development, Spirituality
Tagged allowing, appreciation, beauty, beliefs, body, breathing, change, childhood, confidence, control, courage, determination, emotion, encouragement, expectations, fear, feelings, fitness, freedom, gratitude, guitar, jack harrison, judgment, letting go, love, mind, mindfulness, music, oneness, past, peace, personal development, personal growth, presence, pressure, self-acceptance, self-love, singing, society, song, soul, spirit, strength, summer, thoughts, unison, yoga
Recently, somebody told me that he made a list of all the qualities he’d like in a romantic partner. Then he whittled it down to 20 characteristics, which he decided would be non-negotiable. A few weeks later, he met a woman who embodied everything on his list. And now she’s his girlfriend.
Hours later, I made my own list. At first, I jotted down all the qualities I’d like in a partner. Then I decided upon 20 characteristics that my partner would need to have.
Moments after making the list, I was already clearer about what I want. My mind flitted to a few guys who have been hovering on the outskirts of my romantic horizon. Immediately, I realised that none of them are the right man for me.
Reliable and Confident are two of the qualities on my list. One of the men is unreliable. Another is insecure. Having either of these men as a partner would probably drive me to distraction.
If I’d made the list earlier, I wouldn’t have even spent energy on considering them as partners. Then again, I’ve changed a lot recently so now is probably the perfect time to dream up this marvellous man menu.
Of course, I know that men are humans too. Everybody has flaws and weaknesses. And a wonderful part of being in a relationship is loving somebody unconditionally. But there are certain characteristics on my list that are essential for me.
I want my man to have a zest for life, an open mind and a good sense of humour. He is attractive, loving, strong and affectionate. He’s intelligent, respectful, honest and trustworthy. And he’s a good communicator. I’m not asking for much, am I?
Interestingly, my list got me wondering if I possess all of the qualities I’m looking for in somebody else. It turns out, I have most of them. But it’s made me aware that there are a few areas that I need to work on. So I will.
If you’re single and hoping to meet a special someone, why not make a list describing your perfect partner? What are your non-negotiables? Be clear about what you’re looking for so you’ll know it when you see it.
Let’s put it out there and see what manifests…
Posted in Love, Personal development, Positive Thinking
Tagged acceptance, affection, allowing, ambition, anger, attraction, awareness, clarity, communication, confidence, dating, desires, determination, dreams, energy, flaws, focus, friendship, frustration, goals, growth, honesty, humanity, humour, intelligence, law of attraction, learning, life, living, love, manifestation, men, mind, needs, openness, peace, personal development, positive thinking, positive thoughts, relationships, respect, romance, science of deliberate creation, self-awareness, self-help, soulmate, strength, thinking, thoughts, trust, unconditional love, unfolding, universal laws, universe, vibe, weaknesses, women
Three things I’m taking away from my Life Coaching session this morning:
1. I’m going to work with the “negative” voice that regularly pipes up with annoying statements like: “You’re not good enough.”
I’m going to coach this voice. I’ll listen to it and be there with it and ask it how it feels to believe such a statement.
I understand that it’s there for a reason. It’s actually there for my good as it’s showing me what I need to look at in order to heal. And so I give it, I give myself, compassion.
2. I’m not going to make assumptions or take things personally (And even if I do, I’ll be aware that I’m doing it).
I can’t know why anyone does or doesn’t do something. I don’t know what’s going on in their heads or what issues they have in their lives.
3. I’m going to stop focussing on all the things I can’t do and all the things I’m not.
Instead, I concentrate on my uniqueness and on the wonderful talents that I’m bringing to the world around me. We’re all different. There’s beauty in that.
And a fourth one that didn’t arise from the coaching session but that has made itself known to me in a more obvious manner than ever before:
It’s all unfolding perfectly.
I simply have to get out of my head and drop into my heart. Let go of control. Release fear. Relax.
I am present. I am open. I trust. And I realise that everything I need is provided for me. I allow, accept and give gratitude.
Sometimes, what comes isn’t how I would have imagined it. It may even hurt as I attempt to resist it.
But the learning and growth that emerges from what does come makes me realise that everything happens for a reason. And the incredible people and gifts that appear are better than anything I ever could have planned.
Posted in Personal development, Positive Thinking, Spirituality
Tagged acceptance, allowing, anger, assumptions, beauty, beliefs, coaching, compassion, control, don miguel ruiz, emotions, empathy, fear, feelings, focus, gifts, gratitude, grief, growth, head, heart, inner critic, inner voice, insights, judgement, law of attraction, learning, letting go, life, life coaching, listening, living, manifestation, negative thinking, negativity, openness, peace, people, perfection, personal development, positive thinking, presence, present, present moment, relaxation, sadness, self-acceptance, self-development, self-esteem, self-worth, talents, the four agreements, thinking, thoughts, trust, understanding, unique, universe, world