Compassion

com·pas·sion
kəmˈpaSHən
noun
  1. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

This year has had me doing a lot of self evaluation. There is so much hate going on in the world that I’ve really had to think “what am I doing to make the world better”. I’ve been turning to God more and really just trying to digest how we as human beings can make the world a better place. 

I am not one to hand out money to someone panhandling, or someone homeless begging for money. I guess too many stories have broke that trust. But today I met Allen. I had just parked my car and walked over to pay the meter. There was a man sitting near the pay station that started talking to me. I said hello as I had no reason not to. He responded with “Excuse me ma’am, can I ask you a question?” I responded, “you sure can”. Allen then introduced himself and continued to ask me why there was so much hate? I simply told him, Allen I’m not sure, but I wish there wasn’t. He then told me about how a man had just came by him earlier that morning and was calling him the N word and telling him he was worthless. Allen wasn’t sure why that man was so full of hate “we all bleed red don’t we?” This truly hit a cord with me. Why is there so much hate? 

Allen ended the story saying, I just wish people weren’t like that. I apologized that he was treated that way. I told Allen if he was still there when I was done with my meeting I’d buy him lunch. He lit up, I could see true pain yet true gratefulness in his eyes. 

Allen was still there when I returned just over an hour later. I gave him $10 and told him to get some food, and promise me he wouldn’t do anything else with the money. Something told me I needed to trust him and trust he truly was in need. I’ve never seen someone look so shocked by kindness. 

I got in my car and I watched him walk to the food trucks a block away, I’ve never seen someone walk with a look of gratefulness like Allen did. I’m glad I could help him today. 

To the person who spoke poorly to Allen, I will pray for you that you will be a little kinder and realize we’re all working hard to get through this life. We don’t know what people have dealt with, I’ll never know what Allens story was or why he was there today. If we all are a little kinder and filled with more compassion the suffering and terror will stop. 

#morelovelesshate

Resolution

It’s January 11th and I finally wrote down (and thought of) my resolutions. (Top 10 in no particluar order.)

  1. Write more (ironic, eh). Journaling, Blogging, Saving my thoughts essentially.
  2. Read more. This has been an ongoing resolution.
  3. Listen more. We can all do better with this.
  4. Grow as a teacher. (theming, sequencing, dharma)
  5. Multi-task less. Putting down my phone (ie: social media, email, other time wasting activities) while I’m eating dinner, watching tv/movies, etc.
  6. Stay authentic. Last year I chose to be myself and say things that I truly mean, understand and practice in my own life. It’s working well.
  7. Worry less.
  8. More family time.
  9. More friend time.
  10. Be 1/3 closer to debt free. (goal, debt free by 33.)

Dreamin’

I woke up today with an immense feeling of gratitude. Lately I’ve had a lot of questions of purpose and what I’m meant to do. I’m feeling very successful in many aspects of my life, however I’ve also had a huge burden of stress over things I can’t control. I’ve taken a lot of time for just me lately, and it sure has been fulfilling. I am getting a better understanding of who I am, what I need, what I want, what makes me my best self and what makes me happy. Until we find ourselves we can’t find happiness in anything or with anyone else. 

I woke up before my alarm today so I actually took time to read. I picked up a daily meditation book my mom gave to me years ago. Today’s reading couldn’t have rang truer to the things I’m facing. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of self-pity and feel not good enough. That is exactly what I’ve faced. So today I change that, today I do what I preach and I take a step to be my best self. There is so much in this life to do, so much I can offer and so many ways I can make all my dreams come true.  
 

You did that juice cleanse again?

I made it, day 3 of the cleanse. This time around has been much easier than last year, even with the temptations of bagels, Rice Krispie cupcakes and fajita kabobs! I did the pro cleanse this time from Juice so Good and I have noticed my tummy has felt very full this time around with all the greens in the pro cleanse! Also my teeth have felt less gritty than last time, bonus! 

I did eat some raw veggies and guacamole last night and it was just enough to help me realize how much I want to focus on clean eating (even though the bowl of chips was quite a temptation, did I mention the grilled chicken too) I actually was so full after the veggie snack that I only consumed 5 juices yesterday.  Thanks to my friend Jessie and her encouragement to say no to the chips! Glad I fought the temptation! 

I think I’m going to skip through this last day with flying colors and maybe even have a veggie treat again tonight! Glad my students,  Travis and Jessie  encouraged me to cleanse with them! It has been a great experience! 

  

  

 

Music is my motivation 

One of my favorite parts about teaching yoga is I can use music to make the experience greater. Music can motivate and inspire. A great beat makes me want to squat lower, hold plank longer and push my students to their edge. Here is part of my latest playlist for yoga sculpt. (The beauty of spotify is I change my playlists weekly 😜)

  

The News stole Christmas

I keep thinking I am the Grinch this year. I haven’t been in the Christmas spirit at all. When I think about it I realize I am not in the Christmas spirit in the sense of shopping and buying gifts, but when I really reflect I am in the Christmas spirit in the sense of wanting to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.
The true meaning of Christmas is love. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this incredible act of love.

How can we love when the news is showing nothing but hate, violence, death? It’s making it very hard to love the world and the people in it.

I’ve been really trying to understand the hate and violence towards different races, towards authority, towards family, towards friends. In my own opinion acts of violence come from self insecurities. Thinking you’ll feel better if someone else is hurting. But really I feel best when I’ve helped others be happy. Can’t others do the same?

To celebrate Christmas this year I will be cherishing time with my friends, time with my family, time with my yoga students. Giving love to not just others, but self love. Being positive towards myself and in turn sending positive happy vibes to others so they can do the same. I have had so many amazing experiences this year. Trip of a lifetime to South Africa and Malawi. Meeting so many amazing people who live life so simply, who through poverty keep the biggest brightest smile on their face. I took a huge leap of faith this year by quitting a job I was in for 12 years, and I landed quite nicely at a place that has made me feel very welcome. I have been here for just short of 2 months, but I have built incredible relationships, grown as a person and have been challenged out of my comfort zone. I look forward to what the coming months and years bring with this change.

I don’t want to turn my back to what is going on in this world, but I do for the next few days want to truly reflect on the real reason for the season. I am grateful for so much and so many. Merry Christmas.

africa

I encourage you to write down 5 reasons to be happy and love. Mine are:

1. God and the love he provides even when i’m feeling down.

2. Family and the life I share with them through tough times and happy times.

3. Friends and the support, encouragement and laughs they provide.

4. The jobs I have and love so much, the support of co-workers, clients, students and all they give each day.

5. The past year and how my eyes have opened to a different part of the world.

Whirlwind.

July 15th 2002 I started a job. September 29th 2014 I decided to put in my notice.

I was a huge ball of emotion. I just quit my job. October 31st will be the last day of the known. November 1st is the first day of the unknown.

12 plus years, almost half of my life I have spent at a company that kept me content, kept me employed but has kept me from chasing my dream job.

I have been afraid to step away from comfort. I have been afraid that I am not good enough for anything else. I have been afraid of failing. I have been afraid because I don’t know what the heck I want to do.

I have a constant passion for life, making it better, making people happy and providing people with the exact treatment they deserve. I have thrived in my job by building relationships with customers, with co-workers, with manufacturers.

So why am I stepping away from comfort? It is long overdue. I have feared letting go. I have feared the unknown.  Something finally clicked. If I continue to make excuses and wait to step away, I will always stay at this job. I will not move forward in the direction I want.
Now is my time.

Since my notice I have received an outpouring of support from every aspect of my life. It has made me realize my worth, my potential and that I have a crap load of people that support me. It has also shown me there is a lot out in this world that I can do. It may be silly that I don’t know exactly where I am going, or what I will do, but I am lucky enough to have a few things to focus on to keep my bank account afloat.

Last week was emotionally draining and emotionally fulfilling. I finally let go. I think this transition ultimately is bigger than just letting go of a job. It is letting go of a huge part of my past. Something that in general has continued to hold me back.

So you may think I am silly or crazy for letting go, but I think I am ready to go take on the world!

 

Life.

Wow. Where has the time gone. 2014 is flying. I have been terrible about posting. Life has been busy, full and rewarding. I spent most of August and the beginning of September in South Africa and Malawi. If you weren’t following my blog about that, please check it out. andrewcaileeafricanadventure.wordpress.com  I still have plenty to post there, but for now I am have been at a stand still transitioning back to life. I dove back in head first which was good and bad. I adjusted to the time change quickly, but my body did not adapt back to American food very well. I really had to eat clean the first week in order to actually keep anything in me. That really says something about the food we eat here wouldn’t you say? Because of this I have decided it’s a good time to keep my eating habits just as clean all of the time. I love to indulge, but to be honest the food here feeds my body much differently than the food I ate in Africa.

With that I need to jump back on the healthy eats train and start posting my recipes again. I miss trying to cook new things. Now that I am settled into my new place and I am back from my trip, nothing should stop me.

The other big thing is dating. I have given into dating sites. I decided I can’t knock them if I don’t try them. It is a fascinating world online. More on that later. Feels good to get back on here. More to come soon, I hope 🙂

No script

Over the last 6 months I feel like I have found a whole new meaning behind my teaching. I have become a teacher, rather than an instructor. Just yesterday someone told me about a class they took with Judith Lasater. They said that she was describing the difference between an instructor and a teacher. An instructor reads from a script, a teacher teaches from their own words, there own experience, they connect with their students. This is what has happened for me. I have let go of the script and I have became me, a teacher.

I have feared taking that next step in teaching. I have feared teaching the higher level. Who am I to sequence a powerful yoga class that students enjoy. Who am I to share my own experiences. Who am I to allow my students to open up to me or share their world with me, with themselves, right there on their mat.

Who am I not to do that?

Certain experiences in life can instruct us or teach us. When you buy something new it may comes with instructions. This is how you are “supposed” to use it. Sometimes you should stick to the script, but do you always have to? In some cases, yes, but in some scenarios when you use the script as a guideline and use life experiences, observations, teachings to step away from that script you may discover something new. This discovery could be life changing. It could be the difference between instructing and teaching.

The other thing I have learned is not all experiences are the same. Some teachings may resonate with you better than others. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept what doesn’t resonate, but maybe look deeper as to why it is affecting you negatively. It could be a fear, something pushing you out of your comfort zone, something that is offering a challenge that you are afraid to accept.

I hear many people say what I am teaching is not Yoga. I understand it may not align with ancient teaching of yoga, but I also understand that yoga can be described differently for everyone. One type of yoga may resonate with you, and another may not. Yoga means to “yoke” or to unite. The whole idea of yoga is to connect mind, body and spirit together. Your choice of how you do that is up to you. For some it is meditation, it is quiet, it is time to self reflect with the entire world shut off. For other’s it is dripping sweat and getting your butt kicked to the sound of Rihanna or Calvin Harris. Neither is wrong. We all find a different way to connect with our self. It will be a different journey for everyone.

Start somewhere, maybe even with a script. No matter where you start remember it is a long journey of ups, downs, egos, judgements, love, hate, but most importantly self discovery. I know myself more today than I ever have. I will continue to learn, I will continue to grow. I will continue to use a script as a guideline, but I will always use life experience to be my true Self and to continue to teach others to be theirs.