Individuality and Interconnectedness, A Story From The Forest

by Martina Gray

Willowing side to side in the breeze, my strong branches rhythmically dance, showing off their radiant leaves.  I am enjoying the movement that mirrors my neighbors, enjoying the connected feeling it brings.  

We all smile affectionately at each other by flashing the sparkly dewdrops on our leaves.  We are friends frolicking in the sun, stretching out our branches into the space between.  You take some space and you leave some; it’s a karmic motion, one that allows each tree to be entirely free.  

Acknowledging those lovely, individualistic motions, we squeeze each other’s roots beneath the soil.  These attentive acts remind us that we are all intertwined and how very necessary this is for our balance.  We reach our roots out, delighting in the empowerment of groundedness and stability, while also drinking to self-nurture.

If one were only to glance at me, one of the many, many trees dancing in the forest, they would likely see a sprightly yellow thing.   Conclusion about my character going off appearance alone, would probably not be wrong however, I am certain this conclusion would not convey my depth.  As with any of the dancers, more time would be necessary to find I am not just yellow.  

Closer inspection would offer every color of the rainbow in my leaves.  Furthermore, each leaf would vary in size.  This is because for every dancing tree I have met and for every experience I have had a color was reflected and an impact was made.  Some leaves would be dried and falling away, unnecessary now, while others huge and green in expansiveness or heart-shaped in love.  A complicated yet creative design would be revealed, perhaps demonstrating my innate gifts.  

Another step in would show deep lines of wisdom in my trunk and a feel of warmth emanating from my being.  Beautiful red birds and puffy squirrels would be found nesting and their comfort on me would speak to my kind, gentle nature.  These details might also bring one to notice my shadow.  This is an attachment to trunk that stretches out along side me day after day; an example of imperfection and an integral part of me.

Our dance continues inspired by the wind.  When it stops we find a very necessary stillness.  Soon though we all bend and willow again with the next flutter.  This creates a cyclical flow.  A flow of dances that offer each of us opportunity to contribute and to feel how essential we are to the forest and to the universe because we offer unique movements or talents - may they be yellow, black, orange, purple or rainbow.  These talents must be shared and used in collaboration to honor ourselves and those who come after to stand in our place when we are only dust on the forest floor.

 

    

Lessons Learned on the Mat, by Jami Shapiro (SSY student)

by Jami Shapiro

Before I started practicing yoga, I was not in great shape.  I started because I was sick of not feeling good in or about my body.  Now, 1000+ classes later, my addiction/habit/love of yoga has changed everything I ever believed about my body, my ability and my mindset.  These are some lessons I have learned from yoga:

Lesson #1 Timing is everything

I started a regular yoga practice 4 1/2 years ago.  I had tried it years earlier,  but it was not for me at the time.  However, when we moved to California, there was a neighborhood studio that I passed by for two years until finally,...determined to get back in shape for my oldest daughter's bat mitzvah... I walked in the door and signed up for a month.


I’m not sure I loved it but I didn’t hate it.  At the time, the studio was hot.  I’d put my mat by the door and step out several times during the class. I worked my way up to staying but taking child’s pose frequently.  After the month was over, yoga had become - sort of - a habit.

I continued....

Yoga saw me through some very tough parenting years, starting a business and going through a divorce.  I can’t even imagine how different those times would have been if I had not had yoga to fall back on.

When the kids were with their dad and my home was empty, yoga filled the void. 

No matter what came into my life - good or bad, my mat became my “touchstone”.  I cried on my mat…A LOT!!! I felt the warm tears during still poses flowing down my cheeks deeply.   It also felt like God pointed me in yoga’s direction at a time I would most need it.

Lesson #2 - Sometimes one door closes but an even better one opens.

After that first month, I negotiated a membership deal paying for a full year in advance.  Two or so months later, the studio closed and we merged with a gym that was not walking distance from my house and was not a yoga studio.

To say I was bummed was an understatement.  I loved the convenience of a neighborhood studio but because I was locked in and noticing a difference in my body, I kept going.

Then SoulShine opened, and it was an even better studio.  The classes weren’t hot, there was more space and the vibe changed.  It’s hard to describe but it became a community and the people there became my support network.

Lesson #3 What you resist, persists.

I’m not sure when yoga switched for me from exercise for my body to lessons for my soul but slowly my practice started shifting my “Type A” control freak personality to the person I am now. 

I absorbed so many inspirational messages shared by the teachers and my practice became a platform for so many metaphors.

Possibly the most significant lesson was how to surrender.  There were some very uncomfortable poses and my mind eventually went from “no freaking way” to “I’m going to breathe into this pose and remain”.  Like life off the mat, I realized the best way to get through the pain is just to “be” in it.  I describe hard times to my girls as an opportunity to build resiliency muscles.  You can’t build a muscle if it’s never exercised.

Lesson #4 Listen to your body.
One of the best things that could have happened was the original injury I sustained during my first attempts at yoga more than 13 years ago.  If I had been paying attention to my body instead of watching everyone else, I probably wouldn’t have been hurt.  That reminder kept me “true” to my body and as a result think I also was able to chip away at a lot of my ego. During the course of my practice I injured my shoulder, developed tennis elbow, struggled with a hurt wrist and had another back injury from an unrelated occurrence.

Whatever came, I didn’t stop yoga but I did adjust my practice.

Lesson #5. It’s important to have a hobby.
For me having yoga means I always have a place to belong.  My practice gets better and better and my athletic ability and flexibility continues to improve.  

There are people in class 10 years older than I am who can do far more than I am able to.  Improving my practice and building my poses gives me a goal.  Sharing an interest with others also gives me a community of people where I can find a place to belong almost anywhere. 

Lesson #6  If you don’t have your oxygen mask on, you can’t save anyone else.
Yoga is the one thing I make time for even when life is crazy.  No matter where I am (physically or emotionally),  At the same time, I am in the best shape of my life and I’m able to do things people younger than me can’t.

There are a lot of things in life we can't control and life rarely goes as planned.  The only real choice any of us has is how we cope.   You can stay stuck and unhappy or you can take one small step forward.

I Started Meditating Again....

I started meditating again...

I don't know why I ever stopped.  For the 2 years that I did it daily, I manifested positively and gracefully in profound ways.  I was also more centered, peaceful and accepting - more the person I'm meant to be.

 PS:  Use this app.  It's GREAT!  .......Click image to link to their website.

PS:  Use this app.  It's GREAT!  .......Click image to link to their website.

Real examples of pleasant and positive manifestations in my life when meditation was a priority... 

In 2013, I was on a meditation retreat here in San Diego.  At the time, I lived in the Chicago area but I wanted to live here.  We owned a big, expensive house - the kind that takes a year to sell - meaning it would take awhile to cultivate our SD move....  

But... it didn't....  

While on the retreat, my first week meditating regularlyour house sold to the very first couple who saw it.  

It wasn't even on the market.  We moved to SD a few weeks later.  Wahooooo! 

While on that same retreat, I think there was magic in the air or something, I took a walk while on a break.  I had purchased a small pocket-sized elephant statue and was toying with it, thinking through some of the things I wanted and needed in my life.  (*elephants are associated with the deity Ganesha, who is known as a "remover of obstacles"*)

I looked up, snapping out of my little discussion with Ganesh, AND THERE WAS A REAL LIVE ELEPHANT up ahead.  Kid you not!  An elephant guided by her trainer, had just finished her promenade through the center of the resort's grounds, and was right in my path.  I was astounded.  "A wish granted dear friend" the experience seemed to say.  It felt sweet.

Things kept happening like that....

Once settled here in SD, I ran into a new acquaintance and within our first 2 minutes of conversation, I said to her that I wanted to own a yoga studio.  One of those declarations with which you sort of surprise yourself....  

Within a month, that declaration began to manifest into reality because the yoga studio across the street from our place, walking distance!, closed.  I experienced the kind of excitement you have to follow through on, even if you do NOT know what you are doing.  You jump in and know you're just going to figure it out as you go!  You say "YES".

I also manifested a nice home.  I looked at one in a community that I liked, but I didn't particularly like the home itself.  It got snatched up by someone else before I could talk myself into it.  Shortly thereafter, another unit became available in the same community but in better shape and with an ocean view.  "YES" again.  The seller accepted my offer instantly, and did not entertain other offers, which was a gift!

 

so anyway!...

I've just come through a rough patch in my life.  The time that followed the above referenced was a SHIT SHOW!, and I keep experiencing residual Shit Show Punches.... I'm OVER IT!

I realize now, that it is essential that I meditate again.  

Everyday.  

At least for a few minutes.

Sit.  

BE still and quiet.  AND LISTEN.  

The peace and comfort and stability and ideas and contentment and just pure sweetness is already back and I haven't been at it long.

I feel grateful.  What a lovely state.

No more Shit Show for me, thanks.  I have BETTER things to do, experience, and manifest.  

I'm heading into a delightful, new, sunshiney SPACE!  Please join me!  The more the merrier.

Xooooo, Martina

 

There's Magic in Tidying

We're at the front desk at SoulShine.  As is usual, students and teachers are coming and going and several lively conversations are in the works...  We're like that here.  Friends.

I mention that I feel it is time to "Spring clean" my home.  I want to let go of some of my possessions because, honestly, they feel burdensome.  "Less may indeed be more" is my thinking.

A student jumps in saying she has just done this to her entire home.  

Whoa!  I love synchronicity!; you say a thought out loud and a member of your audience has just the right feedback.  "Tell me please!"

Kelly said that she pulled everything out, weeded through, kept and reorganized only the things that brought her joy, and then got rid of the rest, complete with a blessing and thank you.

Say what?...

"Yes", she said, "the measure for keeping something, is joy."  

"And yep, when, letting items go", she said, "thank the item, and send them on their way, knowing they've already served their purpose in your life".  

Okay, I'm in.

I proceed to pick a Friday night - yes, I am single and bored, but that's a conversation for another time - to take every item of clothing I own out and put it on the floor of my bedroom.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

As I picked through my garments, I found that it was pretty easy to say "yes, joyful"/ "no, not so much".  I found that for me, items do hold vibration.  

I'll give an example,... a stylish cardigan is in my hands and it is soft to the touch and a neutral color that goes with anything, however,..

...not kidding, I once wore it to an event where I met my husband's girlfriend.  He had invited the two of us separately, not expecting both to show up.  Every time I look at that cardigan, I remember that experience.  And how much it HURT.

Did that possession feel joyful?!  ahh, hell to the NO!

Moving on.  It was just an example.  

Clean closet.jpeg

I kept the things that make me feel good when I wear them!  Colors that are pretty in my eyes, fabrics that are flowy or soft or just feel good on.

I ditched the rest.  

4 overflowing bins of clothes.  And I feel better for it!  Liberated of responsibility to care for things I didn't even like.  Lighter.

The garage is next.  ....  I'll let you know how that goes.  Or not - sounds boring!

Wishing you MAGIC,  Martina

*Check out the book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

*Thank you Kelly!

 

 

Choosing Joy and a Story of Laughter

Close your eyes and sit for a minute - come on!  ONE MINUTE.  Let's cultivate some JOY, man.

It's a choice... 'just sayin'....

Invite in a recent memory of a happy moment you've experienced.  It doesn't have to be big, just something that made you smile on the inside.  A moment you were content, satisfied, joyful and/or happy.  

NOTICE how your vibration changes when you steer your mind in this direction and how little time it takes.  Maybe a smile has even blossomed across your face.

For me, what came to mind was a trip to the mall my daughter and I made for back-to-school shopping.  We inevitably ended up at the Wetzel Pretzel for a bag of those little delicious morsels, "yes please, salt!"

We hop in the car with our goodies and are headed home.  I notice my daughter eating her 2nd or 3rd pretzel without having offered me any.  

Hummmm, she takes a bite and holds the next pretzel carelessly near me...

I surprise her,

and me too a little,

by reaching over and snatching it out of her hand and snarfing a bite, all in one quick motion.

I start laughing hysterically!  and tears of happy stream down my face.  It's one of those laughs that lasts a while - you know, you think you're done laughing, but then it comes back 3 more times - total awesomeness.  

When I shared this in class, I had actually been feeling a little grumpy or just quiet really - but sharing the story and going back to the moment instantly changed me.

Message:  we can choose to feel joyful in any moment by just sitting and relishing in a sweet memory.  Be happy now rather than yearn for it.  The more we vibe happy, the more of that good stuff we magnetize.  

Affirmations:  I am joyful.  I am content and happy.

Namaste,

Martina

 

10 WAYS THAT MEDITATION CAN RESHAPE YOUR HEALTH

By Erin Easterly from her blog YogaWisdom.net

The research is in and the results are stunning! Meditation can improve your health in more ways than even the American Medical Association can count. Meditation is proving to be the proverbial fountain of youth. It can renew, revitalize, and refresh nearly every system of your body, mind, and soul. 

  • Meditation Increases Gray Matter Concentration in the Brain

A group of Harvardscientists used MRI scans to reveal that after 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation gray matter concentration increased in areas of the brain associated with learning, memory, and emotional regulation. 

  • Long Term Meditation Increases Gamma Brain Waves

Gamma brain waves are associated with cognitive enhancement (i.e. information processing, short and long term memory, number sense, and brain speed).

  • Meditation Improves Focus

A study at the University of California revealed that meditators experienced measurable gains in in their ability to maintain focus. Another study found that with only 20 minutes of meditation a day meditators improved performance on tests of cognitive skill, sometimes performing more than 10 times better than a non-meditating control group. 

  • Meditation Decreases Pain

A research group from the University of Montreal compared Zen masters to non meditating counterparts and found that when exposed to painful degrees of heat the Zen masters’ brains responded differently than non-meditators. Using MRI scans it was revealed that Zen masters’ brains actually registered less pain than non-meditators. 

A group of over 200 participants at high risk of stroke divided into two groups. One group took a health education class that focused on diet and exercise. Another group was given training in Transcendental Meditation (TM).  Over the next 5 years researchers followed the participants and found that those in the TM group had a 48% decrease in their risk of stroke. 

  • Meditation Reduces Blood Pressure

Clinical research showed that meditation reduced blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide, a chemical that opens blood vessels. After three months of meditation, 2/3 of participants were able to reduce blood pressure medication. 

  • Meditation Reduces Inflammation and Inflammatory Disorders

 Since inflammation is the root cause of many diseases, meditation may reduce the chance of contracting disease. 

  • Meditation May Increase Longevity

Telomeres are the end caps of chromosomes. They protect chromosomes from fraying in much the same way that plastic tips on a shoelace keeps the shoelace from fraying. When chromosomes last longer, so does your body. Meditation is proving to not only protect the telomeres but to lengthen them, thus increasing the protection of each chromosome. 

  • Meditation Reduces Depression

Mindfulness based meditation was found to be an effective intervention for anxiety and depression symptoms. Not only did meditation lessen symptoms, it helped to prevent recurrences. 

  • Meditation Increases Awareness of Unconscious Responses

People who practice meditation experience a lengthened pause between a stimulus and their responses. Since it is usually unconscious responses that lead us astray in our interactions, this finding can potentially provide the path to better interpersonal relationships

There are many types of meditation, but most have four elements in common:

a quiet location,

a specific posture,

a focus of attention (a mantra, an object, or the sensations of the breath);

and an attitude of detachment (the ability to allow distractions to come and go without clinging to them.)

To receive the benefits of meditation it is critical to have a consistent practice of at least 20 minutes each day. While more is better, consistency is best

Unlock the Secret TOOL for MANIFESTING Your Desires (Continuous Positive Expectation)

Affirmation: I expect good to meet me at every turn. I have faith that everything in my life is happening for my highest good!

From Erin Easterly's blog: YogaWisdom.net

In yoga circles, we talk a lot about becoming clear on our desires and setting intentions. Identifying our true desires and setting definite intentions are indeed very powerful steps on our spiritual journey. Yet those are not the only things required on the path to manifestation. Just like a seed will wither and die without water, so too, the seeds of our intentions will shrivel up and die if we do not water them with expectation. Expectation is defined as having a strong faith that “something will happen or be the case in the future.” I have seen it time and time again both in my own life and that of others. What we expect absolutely, undoubtedly, unequivocally manifests. This works when we expect the best and when we don’t. What we expect supersedes our hopes, feelings, and even our intentions. 

The reason that our experiences sometimes do not line up with our intentions can often be linked to our expectations. We might want a certain outcome with our whole heart but in the back of our minds we don’t really believe that it is possible. This type of belief comes from one root… FEAR. 

We let fears, both big and little, interfere (oh the irony!) with our intentions. We may well intend to bring something into manifestation (a healing, promotion, financial freedom, harmonious relationship…). Yet instead of staying focused on our intention we begin to concentrate on appearances. By all appearances our body may not be healthy, our career trajectory may not be moving upward, the bank account may not have the figures that we expect, a relationship may be absent. Yet, if we observe just the facts we may miss the hidden possibilities that are germinating below the surface. Can you imagine what would happen if a farmer based his actions on only the observable facts? What would happen if he planted his seeds and then looked around at his barren land which showed not even the slightest hint of growth and said, “Ahh, forget it. These seeds obviously are not growing. I’m not going to waste my time watering them!” What would happen? Nothing. Nothing would ever grow!

The same thing may happen to us. We spend a good amount of time clearing the land (freeing ourselves from old hurts, past conditioning, limited thinking), selecting the types of seeds we want to plant (developing clarity with our desires), and planting those seeds (setting intentions). Then we look around at the barren land and say, “Oh, forget it. My intentions are not growing. I’m not going to bother watering these seeds.” We lose hope. We stop expecting. So, the seeds stay in the ground but never grow.

Well, the good news is that those seeds are still viable and they WILL grow! In fact, I recently read an article about archeologists who discovered very ancient seeds. They planted them just to see if they would grow and to everyone’s amazement they did! The same thing can happen with our intentions when we begin to water them with expectation. The Bible says that, “According to your faith it will be done unto you” (Matthew 9:29)

I invite you to join me in expecting the absolute BEST outcome in everything. Expect your dreams to come true. Expect that the Divine will show up on your behalf. Expect that circumstances will change in your favor. Expect GOOD at every turn.

Affirmation: I expect good to meet me at every turn. I have faith that everything in my life is happening for my highest good!

Yoga Etiquette

Yoga Etiquette

 

*Remove your shoes (and socks) at the front entrance.  

*Upon entering the front door, please use a soft voice to respect the atmosphere as class may be in session.

*Check-in at front desk before each class.

*Please turn cell phones off, to silent or airplane mode.  Note, a vibrating phone on the floor still makes a lot of noise. (Please, NO cell phone use in the studio space.)  

*Arrive on time.  

*Respect the teacher.  

*Let the teacher know in advance if you need to leave early and be sure to mention any injuries / concerns.  Monitoring and editing your movements to accommodate remains your responsibility

*Go to the restroom before or after class rather than during.  

*Use appropriate variations - stick with what the class is doing; modify when necessary.  

*Do not skip savasana (the resting posture at the end is the most important pose in class).  

*There is no talking during class unless prompted by the teacher.

*Focus inward, rather than looking around.  

*Breathe in and out through your nose quietly to create heat in your body and presence in your mind.

*Avoid wearing heavy perfumes.

*If using the studio’s props, please cover them with your towel if you are a hot mess :)

*Take each class at your own pace, enJOY yourself, drink water and come into a resting posture when needed.

*We recommend that you refrain from eating a major meal 1-2 hours before class.

*Say “namaste” at the end of class when prompted by the teacher.  This is a special greeting that means “the very best part of me sees, honors, and blesses the very best part of you”.

Cultivate Loving Habits Within Your Relationship

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/how-to-maintain-a-healthy-relationship-with-spiritual-unity

 

How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship With Spiritual Unity

by: Leo Carver and Melissa Carver, Ph.D.

 

The beginning stages of falling in love are magical, new, and refreshing. Everything else in life seems to stop as you move through love. It feels as though you’ve found the one who knows your soul inside and out, and this brings a fresh spark to life. As the years pass, however, this new feeling seems to dissipate like steam from hot water. You start to wonder if it was all in your imagination, if the love was real. In most cases, it was very real. Problems arise when you stop adding more water to that boiling pot or when the boil starts to fizzle out.

Nourishment, in every aspect, provides the soul with fulfillment and feeds that feeling of love. In the beginning of a relationship this happens almost involuntarily as you and your beloved bask in the glory of each other. You feel, interpret, and process the spiritual aspects of each other without much consideration. Unless engaged in a relationship that places a particular focus on spirituality, you probably won’t deal with this aspect of the relationship often or mutually moving forward.

As life settles back in and the initial high wears off, it becomes more difficult to maintain the vitality of your relationship. The world didn’t stop when you fell in love; love just became the focus. When that focus settles back on the day to day, you need to work harder to honor your relationship. To find the right balance of romance, spirituality, respect, trust, and unity add these simple behaviors into your routine.

Cultivate Loving Habits

  • Upon waking, greet your partner. Even if they’ve already left for work a simple good morning text or call means a lot.
  • Do as much as you can throughout your day together.
  • Share stories of your time apart. Although not a shared experience, the conversation gives the feeling of less separation and more honesty.
  • Find at least one evening activity that you can do together. You can eat dinner together, do yoga, meditate, or practice soccer with the kids. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of living with one another but doing very little together.

Give Your Aura

Other people can feel the auric energy field around you, and you can intentionally give that energy to another person. To give the right energy to your partner, the trick is to connect with what was natural in the beginning.

  • Touch and caress your partner with the intention on love. It can be a simple touch while passing in the hallway, but if you think, “I love you” when a touch is in progress those words can be felt and not actually need to be said.
  • Make it a point show your love in some way, be it big or small, every day. It can be in the form of a hug, a thoughtful word, a kiss, or a small gift. These gestures keep your mutual attention on your relationship and this combined energy and focus is very healthy.

Celebrate Your Shared Identity

It’s important to recognize the common interests of your relationship, and in the process, to find yourselves in each other. Cultivate your common life focuses and learn to see yourselves as a unit with a shared consciousness or common identity. Your shared focuses can be the well-being of the family, a mutual business or career, or common goals. Ask yourselves a few simple questions to help explore this concept.

  • What aspects of life are most important?
  • What are your common goals and interests?
  • What activities did you enjoy when life was just about sharing time with each other?

Use these and similar questions to unite in common activities and goals. Make sure that time and energy is regularly given to these aspects of your relationship. It can be hard to make time for this but give whatever you can, and commit to it together. You may discover a sustainable, rewarding, and exciting force, a force that leads toward self-discovery and a more meaningful relationship.

Say “No” to the Kids

Children require endless time and energy. You move forward, intent on being a good parent and wanting the best for your children with little thought of the sacrifice. But don’t forget your unity with your spouse is what produced this soul. You have to make time for your relationship separate from the one you have with your children.

  • Get a sitter.
  • Don’t let after-school activities add stress to your relationship.
  • Choose extracurricular activities that allow time for you and your partner to have a dinner alone or a walk in the park.
  • Let go of the I-can-clean-while-you-take-them-to-practice mentality. Instead, spend the time together and everyone (including the kids) can help clean together at a later time.

You don’t have to do this every time but you should be mindful of how much of your time is spent separate from each other, and how much quality time is being sacrificed for perceived productivity.

Cultivate Intimacy

Touch is not only a form of connection but also a form of healing and is a very spiritual experience. Intimacy is the closest you can possibly interact on a physical basis with another person, the goal to become like one. When your day-to-day lives get in the way of your connection the desire to fulfill this act wanes. The above suggestions will help keep the connection, and therefore the desire for intimacy, alive but when the time comes follow these tips.

  • Don’t rush.
  • Remember your thoughts are projected as energy and without words your partner subconsciously picks up on those vibrations. If your mind is at work, he or she can feel your mind is elsewhere.
  • Give yourself some time to relax and come into the present moment. This could be in the form of meditation, a massage, or hair caressing.

Maintaining the unity and love of a relationship can be difficult over time. In addition to daily life, people grow and change with time, creating other challenges. However, if you’ve found someone who is worth the commitment and effort to grow your love, then building a better spiritual union can be very rewarding.

There is a love that goes beyond mere romance, yet enlivens romance all the same. Use these techniques to discover the spiritual domain of your love. If you do not have someone in your life, then use this awareness when entering into a new relationship. By placing attention on these aspects of your relationship, you can reap the benefits of the spirit in love for years to come.

 

LOTS of wonderful articles can be found on Chopra.com !!!

Students were asked about LOVE!

When asked, "what 3 words come to mind to describe a HEALTHY LOVE relationship?", SoulShine students said.....

#1 answer was TRUST

#2 answer was RESPECT

#3 answer was CONNECTION, but came through in various words: appreciation, affection, laughter, support, empathy, humor, PASSION, playfulness, FRIENDSHIP, acceptance, "a true soul connection", HARMONY, ONENESS, nurturing, QUALITY TIME, supportive, and FUN.

Other wonderful answers:  HONESTY, confidence in each other, open-mindedness, open-heartedness, JOY, consistency, empathy, hope, COMPASSION, journey, non-competitive, EQUALITY, fairness, integrity, forgiveness, LISTENING, ability to grow, shared spirituality, LOYALTY, see the best in each other, peace, BALANCE, kindness, simplicity, freedom to be yourself, generosity, and open COMMUNICATION.

THANK YOU for your input SoulShiners!  

Manifest Your Destiny


 Wayne Dyer

(from Manifest Your Destiny)

  1. Live from Your Highest Self

"I have a divine ability to manifest and attract all that I need and desire." 

2. Learn to Trust Your Divine Inner Wisdom

"I trust in myself and in the wisdom that created me." 

3. Honor Your Worthiness to Receive

"I deserve to experience divine abundance, for I am a part of God." 

4. Realize that You Are Not Separate from Your Environment

"I am one with my surroundings, aware of the connective energy between me and my world." 

5. Attract to Yourself What You Desire

"The divine creative power within me brings to me all that I want with happiness, love, and peace." 

6. Connect to Your Divinity with Unconditional Love

"I express the energy of unconditional love to all people and all things in my life." 

7. Detach from the Outcome

"I trust in the universal intelligence that created me to bring my desires to me in just the right way at the perfect time." 

8. Acknowledge Your Results with Gratitude and Generosity

"I am deeply thankful for all that I've received, and I enjoy giving to others in the spirit of love and service." 

9. Meditate to the Sound of Creation

"I meditate each day to increase my awareness of the divine power within me. Through meditation, I am able to realize the beauty, grace, and love that directs my life and fulfills my deepest desires."

Being Magnetic To Positive Gain

 

We can choose to be magnetic to gain on every level including mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and even financial gain by inviting thoughts, experiences and actions that have meaning to us individually.  

 

Positive, tangible gain can come from....

-Knowing what you really want and setting goals.  And make sure to ask Spirit for help.

-Knowing your limits and values.  What are your values?

-Unifying with your love nature.  What do you like/love?  What do you NOT?

-Being in touch with your innate creativity.  Have you played today?  Have you allowed yourself to be spontaneous or go-with-the-flow?

-Offering positive energy, vitality and assertion to all you do.  What are you giving out energetically? (Is that what you want to magnetize back to you?)  What do you WANT to act upon?

-Being flexible and open to opportunity.  Are you resisting?  Do you need to be?

-Unifying with your internal wisdom.  You always KNOW on the inside.  Are you listening to you?

-Using the power of communication and leadership.  Start with the thoughts in your head.  What are YOU telling you?  Say what you need to say - be respectful yet direct.

-Trusting your authenticity and truth.  Not everyone is going to like you.  Be okay with that.  It's self-respect.  You are delightfully unique; share that, don't hold it back.

-Being organized and systematic.  If you want it, go get it.  Organize a system to get you to your goal.

-Being in alignment with the better good.  Spirit baby!  Connectedness with all beings and life.  Are your actions good for all involved?

-Practicing gratitude all the time.   Period.  It attracts more things to be grateful for... and it's yummy stuff to think about.

 

Follow your heart.  Listen to what the inside of you says.  Then, consciously CHOOSE thoughts, words, actions that serve you and the better good.  This is not selfish, it is healthy.  You will be contributing positively to the collective with good vibes, creativity and openness to opportunity.  You ARE a magical magnet for all that you want and need. Invite positive gain!

The Spiritual Path of Nonresistance

From Chapter 12 in the book, The Untethered Soul, The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

"One should view their spiritual work as learning to live life without stress, problems, fear or melodrama.  This path of using life to evolve spiritually is truly the highest path.  There really is no reason for tension or problems.  Stress only happens when you resist life's events.  If you're neither pushing life away, nor pulling it toward you, then you are not creating any resistance.  You are simply present.  In this state, you are just witnessing and experiencing the events of life taking place.  If you choose to live this way, you will see that life can be lived in a state of peace."

Ahhhhh, living life in a state of peace.... and all you have to do is be non-resistant? / Have a go-with-the-flow mentality? / Be present, and simply witness?  ...  I'm in!  Care to join me!?

It reminds me of a favorite poem by John O'Donohue, ..one I have actually placed in my Dream Box...  "I (would love to) live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding."

It also brings to mind Wayne Dyer's quote, when he was very much speaking to the same topic,  "You don't have any problems, you only THINK you do."

This book will be required reading for our Spring 2016 Teacher Training...  Have you considered expanding your practice or finding your inner teacher?...  Let us know if you have questions.

 

Tips on Building & Maintaining Better Personal Boundaries

Having healthy boundaries means KNOWING and understanding what your limits are.  They are centered around what values and beliefs are most important to you.  Work in this area of your life will only ENHANCE it and create healthy relationships!  Check these out:

1/ Name your limits.... this is all about knowing yourself.  What you can tolerate / accept?  What makes you uncomfortable / stressed?  Knowing these answers can help you to identify what your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits are.

2/ Tune into your feelings and practice self-awareness.... Red flags that your boundaries have been breached: resentment and discomfort.  Pursue firming your boundaries when resentment and discomfort hit the higher levels  - - like on a scale of 1-5, 3 or above need to be addressed.  Just because someone else expects something of you does not mean you have to comply.  Your values are more important.  

3/ Be direct and assertive in a respectful way...  this especially applies to people that have different communication styles, views, personalities and general approach to life than you.  They will need you to be direct so, "USE your WORDS" :)  It is also IMPORTANT to not expect others to be able to "read your mind" - they don't necessarily know what hurts you.  Assertively communicate in a respectful way what in particular is bothering you so you can work together going forward.

4/  Give yourself permission... We may fear the other person's response if we set up and enforce our boundaries.  We might feel guilty by saying "no" or speaking up.  If you feel drained or taken advantage of, you'll need to give yourself permission to possibly disappoint them.  HOWEVER, this will create self-respect and they will actually respect you more too.  People do not respect "push-overs" (or whiners who've had their boundaries stepped on but did nothing).

5/ Consider your past and present.... our childhoods, our previous relationships, experiences and the roles that we've played have all created "conditioning" - unconscious already-been-used responses to experiences.  We do not have to revert back to past-conditioning responses in the present if they are no longer working.  We can choose to create / honor whole new, HEALTHY boundaries in this moment if that works better.

6/ Make self-care a priority...  give yourself permission to put yourself first.  What makes you happy - pursue it.  Bonus: others will benefit if you are happy.

7/ Seek support...  friends, family, support networks, church, therapy, books.  Those who love and care about you want to see you succeed, so do not hesitate to ask for support.

8/  Start small.... build upon your successes.  Give yourself a break if you mess up, but keep trying.  Setting boundaries takes courage, practice, self-love and respect but is worth the effort because of the wonderful difference it can make in your relationships and therefore your life!

BEST of luck, namaste!

condensed from an article from PsychCentral.com by M. Tartakovsky

 

Good Vibes Tribe Students Have Taken Over 100 Classes

GOOD VIBES TRIBE // New at SoulShine Yoga 

What's this all about?

Congratulations to over 60 of you for completing 100 classes with us! Eleven of you have completed 200 classes with us!! We simply want to acknowledge your dedication to SoulShine and to your practice. We're creating a Good Vibes Tribe "wall of fame" at the studio and giving away FREE SoulShine goods! 

We'll take a picture of you for our studio Good Vibes Tribe wall.

You'll get a water bottle for completing 100 classes and a shirt for completing 200 classes. Be sure to listen for your name to be announced in class. 

Alina 200.png

Quote by Ganga White

"What if our religion was each other?

If our practice was our life?

If prayer, our words?

What if the temple was the earth?

If forests were our church?

If holy water - the rivers, lakes and oceans?

What if meditation was our relationships?

If the Teacher was self-knowledge?

If love was the center of our being?"

SUCH beautiful inspiration from these simple ideas!  We can all choose to be mindful, grateful and in the spirit of loving-kindness towards our lives, relationships, and surroundings.  The best opportunities will come through our words and actions.  It can be our "religion" to care and appreciate.  We're in! - - -are YOU!?

Thank you Caitlin K for sharing this quote with us. 

YOU are an inspiration!

Namaste SoulShiners! 

During this lovely Spring season of expansion, we wanted to remind you of your potential to transform and observe how patient, calm, trusting, intuitive, strong and healthy you are!

We opened the doors of SoulShine a bit over a year ago with the vision of creating an inviting and comforting studio; to practice yoga, enhance your vitality, to connect with your truest Self, and to cultivate a community family. 

And you have arrived!! A genuine, dedicated community family exists in SEH. We are inspired by every single one of you! You arrive consistently. You are committed to peace, growth, and the evolution of your practice...we could not be more grateful!  By coming together on your mats, offering your unique traits, talents, wisdom and love, YOU are contributing sweetly to the collective consciousness of this community. THANK YOU!