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Shift Happens

Cocoons and a butterfly

 

Could you use a little more ease in your life?

I wanna share a little about how we can SHIFT our way into greater ease.

Now, ease is not the same as easy, but I will say that once you cultivate ease, life takes on a whole new level of joy. So maybe the real question is, are you ready for more joy in your life? Are you willing to try a new strategy for living? Are you ready for SHIFT?

The Way of Ease

Let me back up. In so many ways my life has been a series of Tests… the opposite of ease. Endurance tests. Competency tests. Worthiness tests. Most of these tests were derived of my own thinking, my fear of not being enough and a need to prove myself. Can you relate?

I earned COUNTLESS degrees and certifications to prove my worth. As a result, I grew in competence. The experience and the related opportunities of study taught me a great deal of knowledge… and yet confidence and clarity were diminished by decades of distraction. My attention focused on proving my worth; I focused on earning credentials. So I studied, and enrolled, and graduated and collected diplomas and certificates and a whole lot of letters after my name.

This external drive for approval left me disconnected from my true self, and often from the community around me. This went on for years. Then I found yoga.

And everything changed.

Well, not immediately, but the shift started almost instantly. It’s the Shift that changed my life and has allowed me to embrace ease as a way of being. What resulted is something I call Transparent Alignment and its how I found my way to Ease. In a nutshell, what I discovered unfolded in four stages:

  1. Notice the Dissonance
  2. Embrace the Shift
  3. Show up for practice
  4. Live intimately with inspiration

If you haven’t found ease in your practice and daily life, let’s connect. Yoga Living is adaptable to all shapes, sizes and life styles. Let’s #beginagain together to find your ease and embrace your shift.

 

Notice the Dissonance

My life BEFORE yoga was a daily toil to do ALL THE THINGS.

I was doing the things I thought I was supposed to do, the things that determined success in Life. The problem was, I was doing the “wrong” things, I just didn’t know it.

You’ve heard the old adage, insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I was on a treadmill of insanity but didn’t know even it. Running the same 100 yards of “road” with no access to break free or move on. I was working, HARD.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that living well doesn’t require effort and work. What I’m saying is that the process of doing should align with the intention for living and show signs of shift in process. The process of doing should cultivate an increase in ease. See, I was doing the same things I’d always done… making things happen through grit, will and effort. I was doing the things that had always worked. The things that had earned me degrees and credentials. I was rewarded with accolades and prizes and a financial living. But I was tired and so uninspired to do it again tomorrow! I was stuck.

For years, I’d ignored the signs of stress. I’d denied the symptoms of burnout. I’d overlooked the disconnect between intention and outcome. I believed what I had been taught that this was the price one had to pay. The problem was I was doing the same things BUT with an updated objective: I was ready to start living a life I loved.

After a severe bike accident and a year of bed rest and recovery, I gained new insight on the strategy I was using. Maybe it was the upside of brain trauma, but post-accident, I had greater compassion for myself. This compassion created the foundation for honest reflection on HOW I WAS LIVING and opened my eyes to recognize the mis-alignment I had grown accustomed to.

Maybe now, you can see why I like the simple three-part strategy of Breathe. Move. Rest.

By practicing this three-pronged approach I simplified my daily tasks and my default increased my success rate (With only three options, I have a 33% chance of doing the right thing!)

So what’s different, now, you might ask. My life is still FULL and BUSY and yet I can truly say I LOVE MY LIFE!  The difference is the the content of my life, the tasks I do and the people I share my time with do not drain life and vitality OUT of me, in fact they fill me with joy and hope and gratitude.

Does your life fill you up? If not, let’s talk!

 

Embrace the Shift

Do you Yoga? What does it look like? How does it feel?

Really, what I’m asking is: How does your practice improve your daily living?

 

As a result of my “new” practice of yoga, over a decade ago, I developed a new way of engaging in the world and, more importantly, a new way of relating with my Self. This two-sided practice developed into what I now call the Transparent Alignment philosophy and the strategy for Inspired Living, a simple practice I call, Breathe. Move. Rest.

Transparent Alignment is rooted in Yoga. TA is the practice of living in alignment with our TRUE SELF across the roles and responsibilities of a modern, engaged life. TA is about choosing to identify and live in alignment with the Universe and all who embody her. TA is cultivating mindfulness for living intimately with inspiration and cultivating what I call the FOUR Cs: Clarity, Confidence and Competence on a bed of Compassion. These 4 Cs build the foundation of living in ease and help us prepare for and embrace the shift that life asks of us.

 

What is your relationship with these 4 Cs? How do you rate yourself in terms of

Clarity: Are you clear about your life’s purpose and values? Can you identify the line between what’s ok and what’s not okay in your relationships and the world?

Confidence: Do you speak your truth freely and openly?

Competence: Are you aware of your personal strengths, talents, and gifts? Do you know how to do the things that make ease in living possible?

Compassion: Can you access empathy for yourself and others in times of struggle?

There is not one way to do life well. But there are some commonalities and research proved practice to help. These are the practices of Yoga Living. Yoga Living is the way to shift your way of being in the world to facilitate ease, to allow compassion, clarity, confidence and competence in your daily habits, to invite inspiration and joy to be your daily companions!

Show up for Practice (do the work!)

First, let me clarify what I mean by a bed of COMPASSION. As Patanjali articulated in his Yoga Sutras ~some 4-6000 years ago (depending on who you ask), the foundation of any yoga practice is connecting with our humanity, our innate ability to love. He called it Ahimsa, to do no harm. We all have the ability to love, but many of us have lost or never developed the skills of expressing love through practice. As the positive application of Ahimsa, compassion is the foundational practice of Yoga Living and Transparent Alignment. As far as the remaining 3 Cs: these are the direct consequence of cultivating Transparent Alignment (TA).

Clear seeing requires, deep introspection and courage to see truth (satya). In order to find ease or “rest” in alignment, we must see the truth of WHO we are in each layer of our life experience. This personal work is enhanced when supported by a Coach or a Guide (this is what Life’sWork Coaching is all about!). Cultivating clarity is a practice of Intention and reflects our values, boundaries and priorities.

Sitting in this CLARITY, the space of  “calm abiding” according to Stephen Cope, we  apply energy and effort to the practice of noticing. This is Attention in all its forms. By applying our Attention wisely, we gain confidence. CONFIDENCE (the 3rd C) shows up as enhanced self-esteem, self-worth and a willingness to embrace challenge to do new (and even hard) things.

Over time and repeated practice, COMPETENCE grows, our 4th C. By way of our actions and inactions (our doing, non-doing, re-doing and un-doing), we gain experience, knowledge, and skill. At first practice reveals gaps in our knowledge or dexterity, but with repetition and consistency, we build discipline (tapas), agility and competence. This competence in turn builds our confidence, enhancing and expanding our sense of self. In knowing and accepting our true selves, we regain access to our humanity and our ability to love and express compassion.

Live in Ease: Trust the Process

Whew! What a ride! Let me simplify this a bit. Some of my most powerful shifts since applying Transparent Alignment practices include:

  • shift from controlling to allowing
  • shift from reactive to pro-active
  • shift from fixer to companion
  • shift from doing to being
  • shift from stressed to at ease

Transparent Alignment is the philosophy for Yoga Living. Yoga Living is the way to shift your way of being in the world to allow for compassion, inspiration and Joy!

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