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Begin with an empty cup

A couple days ago, I was in a Yoga class in the midst of transitioning from downward dog to a high lunge when I was reminded that each time I step onto that mat, I’ve been given a chance to start over – to begin with an empty cup so I can allow new lessons to come. Even after years, I’m still learning new ways of approaching my downward dog.

Just as every morning we wake up is a another chance to figure out how this living thing works.

Each time you touch that guitar is a new chance to learn how to create music from those strings.

Each time you touch your computer is a chance to find the best way to produce what you need to produce.

Can we approach life remembering to empty our cups and approach things as new chances for learning?

That relationship that didn’t work out gave you a new chance of stepping into others – hopefully better ones.

That project that didn’t pan out gave you a new chance to find other approaches on delivering the same message or product.

That time you hurt someone gave you a chance to be better when you come across the same situation.

It’s not easy to remember to see things as new chances. Our minds tend to go into autopilot and focus on all the miseries we had. 

“Eugh, why can’t I get even a simple downward dog, right?”
“I can’t believe it’s already morning.”
“I can never get the riff. This song is too difficult.”
“Back to work. *big sigh*. I hope this ends soon.”
“And here I am with another broken heart. Maybe I’m not good at this love thing.”
“Well, there you go, the project failed – I’m not good enough.”
“I hurt her. I suck”

That’s alright, we’re human. After all, changing the way we think is the most difficult yoga of all. 

I fall into the self-pity and “I suck” hole from time to time. And when that happens I call out “HELP!” to friends who I see as my secondary anchors in life. And with their help, get myself out of the hole.

And btw, falling into that hole is another chance of learning how to get out. ;).

Today, see if you can learn to empty your cup and see things as new chances at life. Cause life has its ups and down. If we can face life with empty cups, then when the water fills our boats during heavy rains, we got these empty cups to scoop the water out of our boats!

I raise my cup to you.

Cheers!

Yoga Day 2-3

Here’s the bottomline, body awareness takes practice. Since I’ve been dancing most of my life, I’ve already had a pretty good basic of body awareness. I’m pretty good at sensing muscles. and knowing which muscles are working and not, and how to extend energy out from one part of the body, and how to generally use the energy within myself to move the body. But my day 2 morning practice was my first light bulb moment of how the energy of the earth connects with our body and connects with the space! And I don’t think I would get to this point if I hadn’t regularly meditated in the last 4 years and working on my level of awareness. It’s been an evolution, a process.

It was such an amazing moment when I finally understood, energetically, why we need to bring the body, the muscles and the energy inwards and upwards in Asanas, while being aline with the position. It is so that the gorgeous Earth energy can use my body as a channel, so the energy can rise up and lift me up to create this beautiful energy flow between the Earth, My Body, and The Space. Wow. And THAT is why, correct posture is ESSENTIAL in Yoga. Cause it’s all about the energy, the chi, the Prana flow, baby.

The moment lasted for 2 seconds max. But I felt like I was lifted by a greater force and it was such a profound realization.

Then today, in Day 3, I corrected my Downward dog through bone and muscle awareness and energetical allignment and my body got into another sweet spot where for the first time I fully understand how the energy in Yoga, in all of its poses – whether it’s flowing vinyasa or a held pose, is never a still energy. Instead it’s a beautiful rise and flow of tendrils, like the wave of the ocean. And that my body, once aligned, is open to the flow and thus flowing with it, undulating deeper and deeper into the the energy center. It was the most amazing 3 seconds of dance with the Prana.

And this leads to another A-HA moment in Day 2. So the true meaning of Asana is freedom in a pose, meaning: there gotta be stability which will bring ease. Now, Yoga is a philosophy of life, right? So living, is kinda like that. Walking on the path of self-realization to live a life full of Joy ain’t easy. It takes A LOT of hard work, contemplation, self-awareness, self-love, emotions, and so many others. But with all that, one gets to the point of stability where one can live with ease. Just like Asanas. The correct alignment for each Asana is hard. Even standing still, the simplest one. It takes FULL engagement of the body and all the major muscles are working at the same time. Standing up correctly can give you sweat. But once fully engaged the body stabilize and energy flows easily. And folks, that is how LIFE works.

Fully engage our emotional and self awareness muscles in real life, and we’ll get to a point where we stand strong in the midst of Life, fully open to to receive the gorgeous energy of the Universe.

Attraversiamo – Let’s Cross Over!

Every first day of the year, I have a ritual of setting an intention for the year by answering a series of questions. And here’s one that I wrote on Jan 1st, 2016.

What would I like to be the biggest triumph in 2016?
To live a life that I truly want by following my intuition and not because someone said so or because the thing is something I have to do (by society’s standard or whatsoever).

And I’m quite pleased to report that I’ve been doing exactly that.

I have been living the last 6.5 months by asking the question “What do I want?”. Or to be exact, “If I had all the money in the world right now, what do I want?”. And every time I asked the question, the answer had been to see the world and to continue building a closer relationship with my family. I realized that everything else become secondary to those 2 things.

I’ve been blessed to have been able to do both of them.

So far, these are the cities/ regions I’ve stepped on my travels (counted for every new place I stepped on): Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Belitung, Bali (twice), Solo, Ciwidey, Rome, Asisi, Monaco, Nice, Lourdes, Salamanca, Burgos, Fatima, Lisbon, Maribaya.

That’s 18 places.
And I’m going to London in less than a month! How exciting is that?!

And after 17 years living away from home, I now feel comfortable being at home and I’m closer to my family every single day. I’m thankful for the love I’m surrounded by and I’m also thankful for all the little arguments and fights I’ve had in the last few months, without which, the relationship can’t evolve.

But life is about following the breadcrumbs and evolving from one breadcrumb to the next. I have again felt the wind of change. I’m now slowly putting more focus on pursuing that dream of living by the ocean and building a business and community of love. Do I have an idea how to do that? Not yet. But it will come and I just have to set sail and follow the wind.

I’m still very much jobless, which I find totally awesome but others sometimes find it weird. I still have savings and I’m enjoying my life to the fullest. I’m continued to be provided for in extraordinary ways.

I may not be working but I feel the most abundant in my life. I have gotten a scholarship to an online program and learned so much from it. I got so many free books (all from legit publishing house sources)! And I always get small little things that I want — Like yesterday I was just staring at my eyebrows and toying with the idea of using an eyebrow pencil (which i haven’t used before – i’m a totally low maintenance person and completely love my eyebrows the way they are, I just thought it would be fun), and guess what, I got a gift of an eyebrow pencil today! Yep. totally provided for.

And not just that, for the first time, I feel that I actually contribute a lot to others and society! I realized, despite all the joy, I felt quite useless in most of my past jobs (which is quite insane cause I did truckload of things) because I didn’t value what I was doing. But now that I’m actually unemployed, I’ve done many things I’m proud of. From simple graphic designs, to making meals, to assisting others with their travels. Abundance truly comes from giving what we value.

I didn’t get that travel writing scholarship that I applied for, but I’m even more pumped to write and write everyday. After all, the best way to learn something is to just do it! And I’ve been offered to write an art essay (like a curation text) for an exhibition (which makes me totally excited). And I’m in the beginning talks to be an art correspondence (sort of) for my city – or whichever city I end up living. Not sure where this is going yet, but it’s amazing how it all started with a simple readiness and a belief in my own ability.

I’m also getting more financial clarity in my life, which is something considerably new. I started working on attaining clarity about a year ago and I’m more clear on what I have financially, I know exactly what I’m spending on and where and how much my investments are and I know the type of financial freedom I desire and I’m slowly working towards that.

So let me end this by sharing the one word I picked to describe my 2016: Attraversiamo.

Yeah, I got that from Eat Pray Love. I absolutely love that word and I felt that it’s perfect for my life this year. It’s an Italian word that means “let’s cross over” or “we cross”.

I’ve crossed over oceans (literally and figuratively). I’ve crossed over boundaries and my own hurdles and I continue crossing over many roads, rivers, bridges, straits, and more oceans.

So, dear ones, attraversiamo!