Sunday, March 14, 2010

Karma Yoga: the achievement of union with the Supreme Universal Soul -God- through action

Karma Yoga: the achievement of union with the God through action.

Today was the closest I have gotten to God through serving others in my life ever. The feeling is so intense that I'm crying so hard I can't see the screen to read.

I feel like I've done it. I'm sure this sounds super dramatic, but I can honestly say that if I were to die tonight, I'd be peaceful in the knowledge that I have served God. I achieved union with the Supreme Universal Soul. I have served the best I could serve.

It probably doesn't sound like much, but today I trained nine yoga teachers how to go out into the world and teach yoga to people with MS. Imagine if they each teach just one class a week of just five students, that would be 45 people living with MS that indirectly I'm helping. 45 individuals who will be more relaxed, more likely to heal, happier and stronger. And imagine if they teach three classes a week, or go on to become teachers for the NMSS? The possibilities are endless.

I love yoga. I know first-hand how it heals and can change lives.

Yoga and MS have given me the ability to be honest, open, truthful, loving and kind. They have given me strength; physically, emotionally and mentally. My body is strong, my mind is focused, my emotions are balanced, alert and alive. Yoga and MS have led me to step into my masculine as well as feminine by being strong enough to go back to work full-time and provide financially for my children as well as living my life to the fullest.

But ultimately, through the lessons and experiences over this last nine years, they've given me connection with God.

And that, is why I'm crying. It was serving others today that hit that connection home to me. And, there are truly no words that can describe this feeling that I'm feeling. I wish you were here so I could hug you to show you how I feel. Or so you could see the tears.

What's Your Karma Yoga?

I pray and hope that you don't ever have to get sick to find your connection with yourself and God. I pray that your path unfolds easier for you. What's your Karma Yoga - your union to God through action for others? What have you done in your life or what do you do in your life so that if you were to die tonight, you'd feel like you had served.

Isn't that what we're here for? To be kind? To help others? To live to our full potential?

The Light In Me Honors The Light in You,


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yoga-Love-Multiple Stories

Let's celebrate our stories...

I've been thinking a lot recently about living with MS and what role it plays in my life, and you know what, I've realized that it really isn't that important. It's just one of the stories in my life. I live with MS, but everyone lives with something.

The important questions are this: what have I learned from living with MS? And what positive differences am I bringing to the world as a result of it?

What's Your Story?
We all have stories. Lots of them. Stories from our childhood, stories from being teenagers, stories from our jobs and relationships. There are times in our life that are hard. Period. We all have 'stuff'.

This may well be very obvious to you, and you might well have got this concept years ago. But it's like peeling an onion for me. I thought that I had a pretty good grip on what it's all about. But recently, I've peeled yet another layer off my onion and have gotten slightly closer to an understanding.

An Ivory Tower
I've realized that before I got divorced and lived alone, I was living in an ivory tower of privilege. Sure, it wasn't a bed of roses, or I wouldn't be divorced, but I was still in a bubble of not having to deal with practical life, which, being a floaty and challenged in the grounded department, was a hugely helpful bubble... (bills, money, taxes, car, computer, home stuff all taken care of). I had two problems: MS and being married to wrong person.

Now I'm out in the world alone, the MS is a minor issue. I've got much bigger fish to fry, like how to pay next month's rent; how to make sure my children are taken care of, when half the time they're not with me, and I have no say in their upbringing; and, now my 18 months of transitioning to single life is over, how to establish myself as a respectable, together, working single mother.

Everyone Has Their Stuff
As I said, everyone has something they're dealing with, and it's all relative. What's big to one person doesn't mean anything to another, but there are things that many of us will deal with at some point in our lives, like job loss, relationships ending and sickness, and, something's that we will all have to deal with, such as the death of a loved one and ultimately our own death.

So, how are we going to deal with these challenges? Are we going to let them break us? Get us down? Make us bitter and twisted? Or, once we've accepted the situation and that change is inevitable, can we learn our lessons, move on, help others and celebrate what we do have? Looking at the bigger picture, we're here for such a short time, is it possible to live gracefully and lovingly, so that when we're old looking back we can be proud of how we conducted our lives?

I am fortunate to be very healthy, the MS is in remission. For lots of people with MS however, that's not the case. They suffer every day. My heart goes out to them, and having learned many lessons from living with the disease, I do what I can to help that community.

Working with the NMSS and people with MS, is how I'm choosing to serve at the moment. This might well change in the future and I'll serve in a different way. It's not always necessary or possible to do outward service though. We can also help others through our thoughts and prayers, and by donating money. We can be of service by living our lives from a place of selflessness, honesty and love.

We Are All Connected
When we are living in truth and coming from a place of love, we create such happiness that it spreads out into their immediate community and on and on, into the world.

This connectedness is as true to me as the sky is the sky and the ocean is the ocean. When we think good thoughts, they have a positive effect. When we do good deeds, the same thing happens. When we learn a lesson and make positive changes in our lives, those thoughts and actions benefit others.

What About You?
What have you learned from your stories? How have you taken those lessons and made changes in your life to help yourself and others? A great exercise is to actually sit quietly with a notebook and pen and go through your life, chronologically, and see what you've learned and how you're putting it into practice.

It's all food for thought. We've all got tons and tons of lessons to learn. I'm far from perfect...but I am trying my best to get through life coming from a place of love, integrity and remembering to celebrate being alive, whatever the lesson.


Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XII
By Rainer Maria Rilke

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive.
And Daphne, becoming a laurel,
dares you to become the wind.