Thursday, December 29, 2011

Your NOW was born of your will be

So, this morning I started reading "Meditations from the Mat" by Rolf Gates.  It's the start of a journey into Yoga I am so ready for.  For those who don't know, the book is broken up into very short 'chapters' that enable the reader to start and complete reading in about five minutes each morning.  I grabbed the book immediately after waking up, and although at first I could barely focus my eyes on the words, within a few minutes I was able to read and absorb the the intended meaning, or at least the meaning intended for Jeff to give himself today.  I'll pass a brief 'get to the point' synopsis of the analogy relayed.  Dorothy could have passed up all the drama and been back home really easy. It was all right there inside her the whole time.  
Thank you Rolf! Want the book?

Right now, we have it all.  You, them, Dorothy and friends, me, all of us.  We have everything we need inside of us to be anything we were born with the potential to be.  Many of us are limited by physical or mental ailments, but the same applies ~ You have it all.  You are living the right now you have sought after your whole life.  It is probably nothing like you'd imagined, even as little as a year ago, but it's true, and read this carefully.... Your now is a result of your before now.  Your reply might be "Well No Sh#t, Jeff!" But I think we really don't let ourselves ponder about this as much as we ought to.  We are all living for something, even if it's that vacation to the Seychelles you've dreamed of (and if you're going and have an extra ticket I'm totally game... *wink wink*), a nice retirement in a log cabin for which you've saved and planned for your whole life, or simply to just be happy right where you are right now...You owe it to yourself to honor the beauty of the past by living as a shining example of that right now.

A man by the name of Bob Marley once sang this "When one door is closed, don't you know another is open." It's true.  We often spend quite a bit of time sobbing over closed doors, failing to accept and embrace that open door right in front of us.  Love your past and take the beauty of it with you on your journey, letting go of things that don't get you to that tomorrow you dream of.  As one of my beloved Yoga teachers says quite often "energize what you must, soften where you can"

I'm trying, for the love of Bob Marley I'm trying.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pajama Bottoms and Life Experiences

Much has happened in my life since last posting here. So much, yet not a lot.  Most recently, and I boldly say the most notably epic to me is that I’ve started doing yoga, the hot style to be more specific.  It’s quite simply without a doubt the most satisfying form of exercise, which is really not a very descriptive term for it.  To say what yoga is to me is to get a pretty long “got a minute” type of thing, and we’ll get back to that.

It’s Christmas eve and I’m sitting here at home.  Put on the movie The Tree of Life with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.  It held my attention for about 30 minutes, and although cinematically and emphatically gorgeous to the eyes, it just wasn’t doing it for me.  the opening five minutes were probably the best, especially the dialogue on the contrast between “Grace and Nature”  Grace is soft, it forgives, it’s loving and caring, always compassionate.  Nature is hard, brash, unforgiving, unkind and uncaring.  The movie takes on an almost mystical approach, and will certainly appeal to the feeling types.

On Christmas... Briefly, the coolest thing I saw today, perhaps, was at a local theater, The Naro Expanded, which consequently has a video store of the same name next door where I rented that flick.  I also rented Bad Teacher, which I’m sure will be quite less taxing to figure out.  This theater, for those who have not heard of it, is probably one of the coolest things in downtown Norfolk.  Totally vintage place.  Since I love to support local, here’s a link for those who may have an interest.  So anyway, if you saw the photo accompanying this post you probably noticed the movie line up.  The coolest thing I saw today were people going into the Naro with Pajama bottoms on to watch Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life. If that doesn’t make you smile then I don’t know what to say, but that is one awesome tradition you’d be hard pressed to replicate in much of the world these days. 

When I’ve been out and about, for at least the past week, people have been asking me “Are you all ready for Christmas?”  and for the most part, now that I think about it more, seem to have placed emphasis on “all”... like there is some kind of “getting ready” state that one can be “all”.  All is overrated, but that’s another thought, for another blog, for another time.  My reply to the aforementioned question has mostly gone down about like this. 

Them:  “So, you all ready for Christmas?” 
Jeff: *smiles, shrugs shoulders and casts eyes up and to the side* “Yeah, I am” 

For one, what people most often tie to this question is an implication of a responsibility to purchase things for other people, because we all know that buying things for others to open up on Christmas is what the spirit is all about.  I think we’ve equated so much to “being ready for Christmas” that we don’t truly enjoy the process.  (that’s basically an analogy to life, btw) Let me tell you, there is no “be there” state, no finish line, no magic land of readiness that will suddenly find it’s way to you.  And you may celebrate Hanukkah, waking up in your own bed, or something else, or nothing for that matter, but the “being ready for” concept is a myth in my mind.  Nobody is ever ready for anything in their mind, but will probably be able to pull pretty much anything off once in the midst of execution mode.  Hence why people do better often times when cramming for a test, or when put under the wire to meet a deadline, or to shred 500 lbs. of documents when the feds are closing in...too much to do and not enough time.  So yeah, I’m ready, bring it.

So, back to Yoga.  If you have experienced it and walked away from it I think I’m safe to say you didn’t experience it.  I have been into a lot of things in my life, from stamp, baseball card, and rock collecting (1st place at the 2nd grade science fair, baby), to cycling, scuba diving, swimming, wrecking sentences with too many parenthesis, quote marks and ...‘s, traveling, photography, cars, running (A LOT), music, writing (believe it or not I was a sports writer for my hometown newspaper for a while after high school), and the list goes on and on, as I’m sure does your list.  Given all the things I'm into, and have been into,  I can definitely state quite certainly there has never been anything that has completely enamored me as much as Yoga. Yes, I’m a spiritual, but not religious guy, as in the going to church religious types, so that may help. 

Yoga in a nutshell, let me try to make this as clear and concise as possible.
Physical: Have you seen the physiques of people who do a lot of yoga?  I rest my case.
Psychological: Ever hear of a Yogi serial killer?
Emotional: There is no judging in yoga, no prize, no contest.  You are the definer of your own practice.  You are not coached or trained, you are guided.  It’s your path, and that path is unique and perfect, for you. 

So yeah, I guess that’s about it for now, but I’m totally remembering that going to the movies on Christmas eve in pajamas thing, that’s just awesome.

One Love