I was born with a sense awe of people who are older, wiser, and more experienced. As far back as I can remember I have loved older people, sage like people, people who were successful in some way that they achieved happiness or seemed to be full of an amazing spirit. These people came to me in many forms, the first being my saint like grandmother, Ruby. She took me to the Methodist Church early on and taught me many lessons about love and life and people. She told me stories from the Bible in terms that were relate-able to life. My life has been shaped by watching, listening, and talking to people as well as reading books, listening to recordings, and more. I started to meditate at the age of fifteen due to a high level of stress, I used meditation tapes and read books on spirituality and positive thinking at an early age. My aunt and a friends mom often took me to Alanon where I was introduced to a whole new way of positive thinking. I had many of the troubles that come with being a young person and had a very big void in my heart that I tried to fill with a mix of things, some healthy but most not.
At the age of seventeen I signed up for vocational college in the field of Health Occupations and became the President of that group, it was 1986, A.I.D.'s was a new and hot topic and I would be assigned to cover this topic. The world was scared and I was put in charge of researching and sharing information to the other students in high school and the community college. Then in my second term we had to volunteer in the hospital, I chose the physical therapy rehab department at the old St. Joseph hospital. This would lead me to want to serve others in the field of physical therapy. I continued to volunteer well into my college years at Levi hospital and also worked at the school for the disabled taking care of a child with Cerebral Palsy who was spastic quadriplegic. At the age of eighteen I was introduced to Yoga as a regular practice.At the age of nineteen I got pregnant and then had a still born baby at five months. I suffered severe and debilitating depression, I couldn't cope. I reached out to an Indian physician who gave me anti-depressants and suggested counseling. Through all of these experiences good and bad I met amazing and wonderful people who guided me, they were lights in the dark. They were part of my healing. And I am grateful that God has put these people in my life and given me an open heart to listen and learn. Because of these experiences I knew I wanted to work in a profession that helped people to heal. That by helping others to heal I would heal myself.So I wasn't able to go to P.T. school because of getting pregnant and the ramifications of it, so my life took a different turn. For many years I worked in the field of Early Childhood Education, then at thirty I became a yoga teacher. To this day I teach others to teach, lead workshops on all aspects of a yoga lifestyle and counsel others.
In this life I have no regrets. Sure I've made some mistakes, however, they have all shaped me.
To this day I spend some time every day finding something positive, whether it's a positive show, movie, book, friend, older person, wise person, music, yoga practice, being in nature, spending time with a friend or family member who supports me. Yes, every day, something small can change your life.
Recently on my yoga workshop tour my friend and fellow classmate from yoga school introduced me to the show "Super Soul Sunday" on the OWN channel. She and I both went over 10 years without t.v. and yet here we were watching this show on Miquel Ruiz speaking on The Four Agreements. I went home and ordered the channel on cable and set my DVR to tape all the inspirational shows, with the great authors, wise people, successful people and now it's another way I stay positive and decompress when life gets to full or overwhelming. Today I listened to many of the speakers, mostly these were people I have never heard of and they shared stuff that for the most part I know but constantly need to be reminded of. Good words, sights, sounds, etc.. are like food for our soul. We must always be putting them in because we use them as energy.
Here are some of the words I heard today, and these are the same words I've heard over and over again in my studies and as I have applied them to my own life. #1 continues to be what I hear from wise people, over and over again and what I apply in my own life and this concept alone has been the guiding force in my twenty five years of yoga practice and twenty eight years of meditation practice.
1. Be here now.
2. Now is all we have.
3. Spend your life in service to others.
4. Give passion in everything you do. Rather than thinking about what is your passion, live passionately to discover your passions.
5. We all have a hole in us that we try to fill, we can fill it up with bad stuff or we can fill it up with good. Good things will sustain us, bad things will destroy us.
6. Think about others, think about how others feel and take action if you need to. You will gain more by helping than by doing nothing. Happiness is found in service.
7. You are not alone. If you feel alone find a way to serve.
8. Nothing outside of you will make you happy for long, everything you need to be happy is inside of you.
9. When you start getting your self together, life will probably fall apart, that is how your faith is developed. Don't give up, hold on.
10. It's okay to reach out for help. We all need a hand sometimes.
11. Once we are open what we need will appear.
12. Most of the time we need to get out of our own damn way.
13. The universe will deliver what you need, be open to seeing those signs.
14. Say "yes" to good things in your life.
15. Every day try to connect with someone.
16. Get off your phone and be here now, with the person in front of you or the animal or the situation. Life is short. * As a mother I struggle not to check my phone, but I am learning to let go and be rational.
17. Use all your senses to engage. Listen, touch, feel, see, taste. Life is extraordinary when we get out of our own heads.
18. Every one has a story. Listen. Be empathetic. Be positive.
19. Make sure you fill your own cup to avoid becoming depleted.
20. Be kind. Everyone is working from their own reality. Try to see God in all people and things, we all have a connection, even to those that test us.
For more information and guidance I suggest you check out the OWN network, Read The Four Agreements, Subscribe to the blogs The Daily Love Blog, Zen Habits, Go to a Yoga Class in your town with like minded teachers, & find positive people and outlets in your area.
Wishing you all the best life has to offer.