Laughter Yoga- Hilarious!!!!

 

Lately I’ve been stressing a bit about some big life changes that are coming up for me.

After having a fantastic talk with my love, we decided to try to minimize the stresses as much as we could, by stepping back and not trying so hard. To surrender and allow life to flow joyfully, instead of trying to control and decide everything.

I am super grateful that just hours after making that intention, I attended a FUN(draiser) with some of the most amazing activities, with amazing people. Edmonton has such an intensely active and amazing community of awesomeness. I can’t quite describe it, but there are so many joyful people in this city who are all about getting together as a community, celebrating life with dance, music, laughter and silliness  who are also interested in manifesting change for the world.

The laughter yoga was hilarious. We started off playing a bunch of games in a circle… There were silly games involving sound effects, movement, dancing, yelling, clapping, singing and general goofiness. We even made laughter soup. Then we had some free form laughter when we were all warmed up. We sat on the ground, leaning back against two or three people and we just laughed. Other people’s laughs were enough to make us laugh. People shouted things out. We made sounds and faces and tickled each other. We laughed and laughed and laughed until we were spent.

The premise behind this crazy laughter is that laughing feels good and it’s good for you. It floods your system with happy endorphins, lowers blood pressure, while increasing circulation and general well being. Most importantly, it increases joy. It’s also a great way to blow off steam. It sounds strange to laugh on purpose, or without finding things really funny at first, but your body can’t tell the difference AND laughter begets laughter. Fake or forced laughs become real ones really quickly in a crowd of sillies.

I feel all happy and tingly from the endorphin rush hours later.

We ended the night with a Tibetan sound healing. Our facilitator bathed us in beautiful resonant gongs sounds that vibrated through our bodies and right into our souls. It was peaceful and I felt connected to the primordial ohm, the pure resonance of manifestation, where anything is possible and everything already is. It was beautiful.

This fundraiser was to send a friend of mine and his friend to an International Drum Circle facilitator conference in South Carolina. These men do fine work already and people are excited to see what will happen when they return! I can’t wait to attend more events like this.

I’ll leave you with the parting words of one of the attendees this evening.

Peace, love and nonsense!

Money – Letting It Flow Joyfully

Money is a strange topic with it comes to spirituality, and there are a lot of different opinions out there… Some people see money as a necessary evil that should be treated with wariness- some people have an ingrained idea that it’s holy to be poor that money is the root of all evil.

I don’t believe money or material possessions are evil or good inherently, it’s what you do with them. The intention behind them and how you use them.

I believe the universe is abundant, and that it’s completely possible to be a spiritual being who takes pleasure in material things. After all, we choose to come here to a material plane to experience a physical reality. I think it’s all in the balance. It’s great not to covet things, or to obsess about things. I don’t want that many things. I am perfectly content with all I do like things with a certain aesthetic though, and things of a certain quality. It brings me pleasure to have furniture that matches and that’s ok! I also have recently bought a few items that will bring me lots of pleasure and joy. New hoops for dancing, a couple new scarves that are pretty… A Xbox 360 with Kinect so the whole family can play games and be active throughout the winter when we can’t play outside. I don’t feel guilty about that, because a) I am not spending money I don’t have and b) while they aren’t necessities, they are going to bring me, and others lasting joy!  I think that’s my criteria for purchasing luxuries… How much joy with they bring, and will they enrich our lives. If yes, and we can afford them, then why the heck not?

Might as well, since I’ve learned to manifest as much money as I need. I’ve learned  through trial and error that the most useful approach for me with money is to see it as Tao.To let it flow, and allow giving and receiving to come naturally, without effort.

When I worry about money, when I start to worry about spending it,  or worry about making enough, I manifest a lack of money in my life. It’s hard to break out of this cycle. It’s important to allow money to be fluid, liquid… In order to attract it into your life, you have to give it freely as well, without worry. When you are generous with money, with gifts, etc you start to resonate at a frequency that attracts more money into your life. Money likes to be free!

I’m not saying spend all your savings, or spend money like a mad man or anything like that. It’s important to have savings, and to put some money away with every paycheck or every month. But being miserly with money does more harm than good. I know for me, it’s about using my intuition, and not being selfish

If you see something you’d like to contribute to, be it a charity or a project, please do! If you see something that would make a fantastic gift for someone, even if it’s not their birthday or a holiday- buy it! (You can even save it for a special occasion if you’d like, but it’s more fun to give presents just because). If you see something you’d love, that would fill your life with joy (real joy, not the kind that wears off a week later once the novelty wears off), treat yourself. Once you release your tight grip on money, and your worries and cares about it not coming back to you, it starts flowing in.

It’s like anything you hold on to too tightly. It starts to get resentful and wants to get away! Ever try to cuddle a kitty that didn’t want to be held? It’s all about having the vibration that makes money want to come hang out with you, and stay for a cuddle. I know that sounds crazy…  I totally had an image of Uncle Scrooge from Ducktails swimming in his piles of money. But you know what I mean. Create the right environment and it will flourish!

Money isn’t the root of all evil, nor the cause of all joy, but it can be both or either depending on how you perceive it.  Use money as a tool to grow your joy, and the joy of other beings and have some fun while you’re at it.

Nadir Yoga (There is only one message)

I read recently about an interesting practice called Nadir yoga*.

* Yoga isn’t just  the physical practice of postures and breathing  that you normally see. That’s called Hatha yoga, and was developed as a way of yogis to prepare their body for sitting in long hours of meditation. There are many kinds of yoga, which literally means- path to the divine, or state of union with the divine.  For example, there is Jnana yoga, which is the path of knowledge (reading and interpreting sacred texts, etc) , Bhakti yoga- the path of devotion (through prayer, meditation, ritual, festival etc), and many others.
Nadir yoga is  the practice of listening closely to the ringing/buzzing tones that lightworkers often hear in their ears. These tones are said to be messages- information for us that is being downloaded into our psyche, subconsciously by beings of light. Angels, guides, ascended masters or what have you. Beings who are helping us on our journeys.

When you listen closely to these tones, by closing your eyes in a quiet space, and focusing on them intently, you can ride with the tones deeper and deeper into a meditative place and altered states of consiousness.

Tones and ringing like this can be from a physical source, like you were listening to loud music, or they could have a neurological source. If this is the case, attention and focus on the tones won’t change anything. But if they are messages for you, with your focus and attention, the tones will shift and change, and you can follow them towards the divine.

The other night, I was listening intently, focusing inwards on the ringing in my ears which I found brought me into a peaceful meditative state quite quickly. I enjoyed listening to the tones as they changed, it was fascinating, and brought my attention deeper and deeper within myself. At some point  I asked what the message was and  I was told, there is only one message: Love.

Cultivating Gratitude

 

I haven’t blogged much yet about gratitude, which is strange, because it’s something I think about all the time.  Actually, when I started actively cultivating gratitude in my life, my whole life changed. Something shifted and everything just became more wonderful, literally. I was full of wonder and awe at all the amazingness that life has to offer.

Gratitude is pretty much a standard part of any spiritual life or philosophy. You hear a lot about giving thanks, and being grateful for what you have. But how often do you really take a few minutes to feel gratitude for what is?

A few years ago, I started seeing number combination’s of 1, 2, 3’s and 0’s on the clock constantly. It seemed like I would just happen to glance at the clock at 1:23, 11:23, 11:32, 10:23, 10:32 and so on every day.  Morning and night. I felt like I was being guided to see those numbers, and I felt it might mean something. I couldn’t figure out what the meaning was (not that I looked that hard into it), so I just took it as a sign to take a moment out, and be grateful. Sometimes I would think of something specific, and other times it was just a general shout out, a ‘Thank you!’ to the universe.

As time went on, gratitude became such a habit, that I was feeling it at other times than when I looked at the clock or saw a number combination. I started feeling it more intensely as well, with every fiber of my being, a true gratefulness for absolutely everything.

I found out later that the numbers have several meanings, but basically they state that you are being guided, and your thoughts are manifesting, so keep your thoughts positive and your intentions of the highest order.

As I cultivated this gratitude, my thoughts naturally became more positive. You manifest what you think of, so as this happened,  more and more awesomeness manifested in my life.

And for that,  I am incredibly grateful.

Get Rid Of Things That Suck

Sounds obvious right?

But how often do we hang onto physical and emotional crap that drains our energy?

We feel best when our energy flows freely. When we can receive energy properly, from the air, food, our environment, people around us etc, and when we can expend our energy without being blocked (by people, circumstances, etc).

When we have too much  physical clutter around us, it’s stressful. It doesn’t allow energy in a place to move around effectively or naturally. I don’t know much about Feng Shui, but I do know that clutter leads to blocked Chi (energy).

Physical clutter also leads to more mental clutter. Our outside world tends to reflect our inside world and vice versa. There is a biofeedback between them, and we can approach clutter clearing from either direction.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to clear physical clutter. Gretchen Rubin from ‘The Happiness Project” (blog and book) devotes a month to clearing clutter away. She organized closets, got rid of junk, basically just cleaned everything up, and she felt amazing. Lighter, clearer. Physically and spiritually. I’ve gotten this de-cluttering high myself. It’s hard to get started, but incredibly rewarding.

A more difficult kind of clutter clearing is to get rid of the less tangible energy suckers. Friends or acquaintances who are energy vampires, taking and never giving anything back to you. Obligations you said yes to that take up your time and energy that don’t give you much if anything in return.  If you are already stuck in situations like this, how do you rid yourself of these sucky things?

Well, the first step is to avoid taking on anything else that will drain your energy unnecessarily. Learn to say no (in a pleasant way). It’s not mean, it’s taking care of yourself, so you have more energy to give to the people and projects that you are passionate about.  If you’ve been saying yes to everything people ask of you, it can be difficult and scary to set boundaries up for yourself like this. Just remember, you don’t owe people an in depth explanation as to why you can’t volunteer for your cousin’s charity dinner/silent auction. Just give them your best wishes.

Recently, I was getting bogged down by a lot of negativity online. It was starting to affect my mood, and I decided to protect myself. I’ve hidden friends on facebook who constantly had negative status updates. I’ve de-friended a few of the worst offenders. I’ve taken a break from a few message boards. I’ve spent more time writing, exercising and just being outside. Doing things that re-charge me instead of suck my energy.

I stopped watching the news and reading the daily paper a few years ago, when I noticed how much it affected my blood pressure, my mood and my energy. I read headlines as I walk past paper boxes, and I check google new every once in awhile, but I refuse to be immersed in it. I’ve been told it’s cowardly and of no use to stick my head in the sand, but you know what? I’m happier this way. I still know what’s going on in the world, and I’ll research stories that seem particularly relevant or interesting, but I’m not constantly being bombarded with messages that the world is an awful place of pain. Because of that, I have more energy to be positive and to spread love and light to those I encounter, which goes far further than improving the state of the world than just worrying about it ever will.

Thoughts Become Words, Words Become Deeds…

Mahatma Ghandi


Keep your thoughts positive,
because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive,
because your words become your behaviours.
Keep your behaviours positive,
because your behaviours become your habits.
Keep your habits positive,
because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive,
because your values become your destiny.

~ Gandhi ~

These words showcase the importance of positive thinking.  Your thoughts directly create your reality. They create you as a person. All of you. Your destiny, as Ghandi said.

You determine your destiny.

If you think your life sucks, it will. If you love life, it loves you back.

I am blessed because it’s always been easy for me to see the bright side to things. A friend of mine once told me one of my superpowers was to see the silver lining in anything.

I know it’s not that always that easy. In fact, sometimes it seems darned near impossible to feel good about life. To think positively and be happy.

The key is to keep trying. It’s like anything, it gets easier the more you do it. Like Ghandi says thoughts and words and deeds lead to habit. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes far easier to flip back into a more positive frame of mind.

That’s because our thoughts and emotions literally become easier to think when they are habitual. Physically, I mean. The more you do something, or think something or feel something- the more you do it. Our thought patterns become a habit just brushing your teeth. Because it’s those thought habits that actually create those physical habits.  This is how neurolinguistic programing works. By creating new thought habits.

You’ve heard before that the only thing you can control in life is your reaction to it. It’s true and it all comes down to how you frame your perspective. Negatively or positively.

Any negative event or crisis can be the catalyst for something incredibly positive. Something that seems like a dream come true could turn out to be a nightmare.

Imagine a friend getting fired. Seems like the worst thing in the world, completely unfair and ridiculous. But it turns out it gives your friend the opportunity they’ve been waiting for to go back to school to study Architecture, their dream.  A shift in perception, seeing the opportunity in crisis, allows events to be a vehicle for growth and change.

If you can manage it, next time life throws something that seems to suck your way, imagine for a moment what good could from it. What kind of opportunity?

My silver lining powers lead me to point out the silver linings in (appropriate) situations. You tell me it sucks gas is so expensive, I’ll reply: at least it has people thinking about their fuel consumption. You see more people biking, walking and taking transit because of it.

I know this positivity can get on people’s nerve. I understand. I just can’t help it. It’s a habit!

Patience is a virtue I’m slowly cultivating

It’s definitely a work in progress. I find that the older I get, the more patient I tend to be. Unless I’m tired, or hungry. Then I have about as much patience as a 3-year-old.

I’m incredibly grateful that my partner has the patience of a saint and that he has the wisdom to understand when it’s necessary for me to be patient in order to stay sane. I am also incredibly grateful he is patient with me when I am not patient with myself, and that he is willing to point it out. Sometime I need someone to tell me when I’m frustrated that the only thing I can do, is be patient.

I grew up in the microwave/MTV/internet generation. I understand intellectually that sometimes things take time, but I’m really not all that used to waiting.

I  tend to be a problem solver, and I’m someone people turn to when they need help with their own problems. I believe that we create our own realities, for the most part. We create our own subjective experiences and we ultimately choose our own destiny. Because of this belief, and my ability to orchestrate and choreograph most of what I want out of life, sometimes I forget that for somethings only time will help. This spring when I broke my ankle, I was immersed in a situation that could only improve with time. Lots of lessons were learned, including many about patience.

I  have found that the most effective way for me to be patient, is to live in the moment.

When you stay in the present, you aren’t looking forward to the future, so there is nothing to be impatient about.

When you are trying to escape from one moment, into a future one when you think things will be better, you can’t help but be impatient.

But there is no way to speed up time (well, not in this dimension anyway). There is no way to skip forward into the moment you want, so really all the wanting and wishing and impatience is just a sadistic form of masochism. You’re torturing yourself for no good reason.

Peace lies in the acceptance of the present moment. It’s all you have, so you may as well savor it. Time will pass, regardless of how patient or impatient we are.

It’ll just feel like longer when you impatiently try to rush towards something else.

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