Showing posts with label journaling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journaling. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Focus on You


Daily Reflection
Today, I want you to focus on you. We need to set aside time in our lives to nurture ourselves, reconnect to our spirit, and soothe our souls. To live a life of happiness we need to do things that make us happy. It is just too easy to lose ourselves in the lives of others, to focus on helping others, and sacrifice our own needs.

In your journal today, I want you to make a list of those things that bring you joy, that make you feel peaceful, that fill your soul. For example, on my list would be taking a walk on the beach, taking an asana class, meeting with friends for dinner, etc. After you have your list, open your calendar and schedule time to do these things. Continue this practice. Every Sunday, revisit this list and make time to focus on you each week.

Swami K

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Painting Thoughts


Daily Reflection
Our thoughts rise and fall. We habitually think the same thoughts and it is difficult to change our thoughts. For this reason, we draw thoughts to us. The problem is that we do not often observe these thoughts or participate in the situation. We let our thoughts control us and our actions reflect these thoughts. If this is the case, perhaps we should draw (or paint) our thoughts. What I mean here is that as a painter paints on her canvass so too can we. Paint the thoughts you want to have (instead of the thoughts you do have) onto your canvass today.

In your journal today reflect on what thoughts you are always thinking. For example, do you often think of your partner? Do you often think of work? What are your thought patterns? What thoughts are you drawing to you and how does this shape your life? If you could change one thought that would help you live more harmoniously what would it be?

Swami K

Monday, July 21, 2014

Forgetfulness


Daily Reflection
The subject of today's reflection is forgetfulness. Oftentimes, we may experience pain in our lives because we are forgetful. What do we forget that causes this problem? We forget that we are not our thoughts and that we are not our bodies. We are spirit. Most of the time, we identify with what our thoughts are telling us and we attach ourselves to these thoughts. We think that the thoughts are us. We also cling very tightly to the way the body is feeling and lose our focus. For example, I am hungry. Have you ever been so hungry that you are consumed with this hunger and can't think of anything else? We are not our bodies. We need to let go of the thoughts and let go of the physical sensations and remember that we are spirit.

In your journal today write down one example of when you were caught up in your thoughts and discuss how these thoughts brought pain into your life. How might taking a few minutes to center yourself and returning to your spirit help you?


Swami K

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reflections

Please take the weekend to reflect on your journal entries this week. Look for patterns in thinking, explore ideas in more detail, and summarize what you learned about yourself this week.

Swami K

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Look Around

Daily Reflection
Today, I want you to look around at the people that you have in your life. Are they kind, friendly, warm, compassionate? Are they greedy, mean, selfish, angry? The people we are surrounded by often help us to create what we see in life. If we are surrounded by kind people, we see kindness. If we are surrounded by angry people, we see anger. If we are surrounded by anxious people, we see anxiety.

In your journal today think about the people in your life and the characteristics they have. Choose several people to write about and try to pick people in which you see positive qualities as well as negative. How do you feel and what do you think when you are with those people you feel have positive qualities? How do you feel and what do you think when you are with those people you feel have negative qualities? Who do you want to be?

Swami K

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rooting Down


Daily Reflection
We need to gain a firm footing in our lives. During our asana practice in order to successfully balance in any pose we have to root down or build a solid foundation. We need to ground our feet to the earth and build upwards. Life is like this. We need to root down in our lives. We need to build a solid foundation in order to reach up, stretch and grow. If our footing is weak, we will fall over.

In your journal record your thoughts on how strong your own footing is. Are you approaching each day from a firm foundation? What do you feel creates a firm foundation? How could you best put this into practice?


Swami K

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Slowing Down


Daily Reflection
Students often ask me how to slow down. They are very busy and overwhelmed with the amount of tasks they have to get through each day. I generally suggest they try two things:

1. Set aside 5 minutes for your meditation practice first thing in the morning
2. Slow down your breathing

The reason to set aside a little time in the morning for meditation is because it will set the pace of your day. If you start your day from a place of feeling centered, it is easier to stay centered the entire day.

Slowing down your breathing periodically, throughout the day, can bring you back to this original feeling of meditation that you experience in the morning and slowing down your breathing will also slow your thoughts. It is often our thoughts that make us feel busy and overwhelmed.

In your journal today record how these two techniques worked for you. Were you more centered and focused? Did your day feel easier? Slower? More satisfying?


Swami K

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Reflections

Please take the weekend to reflect on your journal entries this week. Look for patterns in thinking, explore ideas in more detail, and summarize what you learned about yourself this week.

Swami K

Monday, July 7, 2014

Standing on Your Own Two Feet

Daily Reflection
Today I wish to pass down a teaching that I learned from my teacher Swami Pranananda. This is a teaching that she learned from her guru Goswami Kriyananda. I think it is an important teaching and one that we spend our entire lives learning how to do. These teachers have called it "The Great Yoga Asana" and if you wish to listen to the entire lecture, you can find it here: http://www.yogakriya.org/

The teaching is about learning to stand on our own two feet. The lecture discusses the way we learn to stand on our feet as babies and how this process continues on through adulthood. It reminded me of what I teach my students about critical thinking. It is during college that many of my students are asked to share, for the first time, their own opinions on a topic and they learn how to investigate these topics critically. In yoga, we learn to investigate our minds in this same way. We ask questions, we reflect and we think critically about who we are and how we got there. We analyze ourselves and our lives in order to live more harmoniously and compassionately. We learn to think on our own rather than to conform and try to fit in.

Today in your journal I want you to reflect on what these words mean to you. When you saw the title of this post "Standing on Your Own Two Feet", what did you think about? What does it mean to stand on your own two feet? Do you feel that you are? How has this process been for you - easy, difficult, both? Do you feel that you could stand on your own two feet in more situations than you do?

Swami K

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Reflections

Please take the weekend to reflect on your journal entries this week. Look for patterns in thinking, explore ideas in more detail, and summarize what you learned about yourself this week.

Swami K

Friday, July 4, 2014

Standing in Your Own Way


Daily Reflection
While many of us know that we are the artists of our own lives and that what we think we will become, we never quite seem to get there because we are standing in our own ways. We want to make a change. We might even know how to make that change but we find that each day we wake up and things are the same. It is important to pay attention to why we don't make that change and why we are standing in our own ways. We might not be ready to do things differently.

In your journal reflect on how you might be standing in your own way. What patterns are you repeating that cause the same results? What small change could you make to the pattern in order to get different results? Are you ready to make this change? If not, how could you live more harmoniously until you are ready?


Swami K

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Obstacles


Daily Reflection
Obstacles. We all encounter them along our path. There are external obstacles and internal obstacles. Sometimes an external obstacle (loss of a job, move to a new place, death of a loved one) creates an internal obstacle (those thoughts and patterns that we hold on to that no longer serve us). Spend a part of today reflecting on both your external obstacles and your internal obstacles.

In your journal write down a list of your external and internal obstacles. Think about how one effects the other. Think about the relationship between the two. What is your biggest obstacle right now? How might you work more harmoniously with this obstacle? Is there a way to make it softer and less intrusive in your life? Are you ready to let it go?


Swami K

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Cycle of the Week

Announcements 
We will be kicking off our new year with a focus on service work. If you live in the area and wish to join us for service oriented projects throughout the year, please join http://www.meetup.com/Volunteer-South-Florida/ Our next event, helping out at Flamingo Festival, will take place on January 25th. For more events, please check out the events page.

Starting in February there will be a weekly audio meditation and teaching available for a $5 donation. A portion of the donation will go towards a different charity organization each week. Funds raised and donated will be tracked on our giving back page.

Daily Reflections
It is important to understand the cycles that we go through each week. Today, we will be reflecting on those cycles. Take out your journal and write down the days of the week. Reflect on how you feel each day. You will notice a pattern. I have provided my own cycle as an example. Knowing how you feel on different days of the week can help you organize your work and other needs to coincide with your cycles.

Monday - Monday is my most motivated day. If I want to get something done, I schedule it for Monday. I always have a lot of energy and am ready to work. If there is something I have been procrastinating, I schedule it for Monday.

Tuesday - I also feel quite motivated on Tuesday. I still have a lot of energy to work with and so I try to use it to my best advantage. If I am going to get in a workout. I schedule workouts for Mondays and Tuesdays.

Wednesday - my energy begins to wain and my body begins to relax. Wednesday is a slower day. Meditation and TV watching are some of my favorite activities. I try to schedule things that are stress relievers and work in a gentler asana practice. I still work but my work day is lighter.

Thursday - I feel social and like being with friends. If I am going to go out, Thursday is my day.

Friday - I usually feel like being with family on Fridays and I most often find myself doing house chores or scheduling family down time. Game nights are good for my Fridays.

Saturday - I enjoy exploring the area and/or hanging out with friends. I tend to schedule events on this day. We go to museums or to the beach. This is my planned outing day. I act as a tourist in my area and see things I have never seen. I like to travel.

Sunday - the morning is a spiritual one. I spend time reflecting, meditating, and going to church with my family.

Keep in mind that it may take you a little while to see what your own pattern is but I encourage you to pick up this practice for several weeks and see what you discover about yourself.

Swami K

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Ritual of the Moon

Announcements 
We will be kicking off our new year with a focus on service work. If you live in the area and wish to join us for service oriented projects throughout the year, please join http://www.meetup.com/Volunteer-South-Florida/ Our next event, helping out at Flamingo Festival, will take place on January 25th. For more events, please check out the events page.

Starting in February there will be a weekly audio meditation and teaching available for a $5 donation. A portion of the donation will go towards a different charity organization each week. Funds raised and donated will be tracked on our giving back page.

Daily Reflections
The ritual of the moon is that ritual that we engage in before we go to bed in the evening. Most of the time we overlook this ritual and/or fail to see its importance in our lives. Today, I want you to reflect on your own ritual of the moon. My ritual is to put on my pajamas, take out my contacts and put on my glasses. I then sit down on the couch with my husband and/or children and watch a little TV. I use this time to unwind from my day and to signal to my body that it is time to relax. By the end of this ritual, I am sleepy and ready to go to bed. I notice that when I do not practice this ritual, the next morning, I don't feel quite as relaxed and I think about this sacred time a good portion of the day. I can't wait to get to this part of the day if I have missed this ritual the night before. What is your ritual of the moon? How do you feel when you practice it? How do you feel when you don't?

Swami K

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Virtue and Are You Good Enough?

Announcements 
We will be kicking off our new year with a focus on service work. If you live in the area and wish to join us for service oriented projects throughout the year, please join http://www.meetup.com/Volunteer-South-Florida/ Our next event, helping out at Flamingo Festival, will take place on January 25th. For more events, please check out the events page.

Starting in February there will be a weekly audio meditation and teaching available for a $5 donation. A portion of the donation will go towards a different charity organization each week. Funds raised and donated will be tracked on our giving back page.

Daily Reflections
Aristotle, a virtue ethicist and famous philosopher, believed it was important to understand the meaning of virtue and to practice being virtuous. Today we will spend some time reflecting on a series of questions in order to discover how virtue plays a role in our lives. Please record your answers in your journal. I think you will find that they reveal a lot about who you are. What is virtue? Are you virtuous? Would you like to be more virtuous than you already are? Is virtue related to what is good? How does what is good tie into who you think you are? Are you good enough?

Swami K

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weight Loss as a Practice

Announcements 
We will be kicking off our new year with a focus on service work. If you live in the area and wish to join us for service oriented projects throughout the year, please join http://www.meetup.com/Volunteer-South-Florida/ Our next event, helping out at Flamingo Festival, will take place on January 25th. For more events, please check out the events page.

Starting in February there will be a weekly audio meditation and teaching available for a $5 donation. A portion of the donation will go towards a different charity organization each week. Funds raised and donated will be tracked on our giving back page.

Daily Reflections
By now, many of you are noticing a sincere lack of motivation to continue on with your weight loss goals. Perhaps some of those old eating habits are creeping back in or you will only go to the gym 3 times this week instead of 4. This is normal and a natural part of being human. It is easier to stick with your goals if you connect them to your spiritual practice. In yoga, anything can become a part of your daily spiritual practice. In order to keep yourself motivated you may want to begin your day by lighting a candle and reminding yourself about your goal. Spend a few moments in meditation and reflection on this goal at the beginning of each day. It will take less than 5 minutes. Every time you lose focus on this goal, picture the flame in the candle and come back to the practice. In each moment, begin again. Just as practicing asanas is a part of your practice so is right eating. It is a task that is visited each and every day for the rest of your life.

Swami K

Friday, January 10, 2014

Stop Thinking and End Your Problems

Announcements 
We will be kicking off our new year with a focus on service work. If you live in the area and wish to join us for service oriented projects throughout the year, please join http://www.meetup.com/Volunteer-South-Florida/

Starting in February there will be a weekly audio meditation and teaching available for a $5 donation. A portion of the donation will go towards a different charity organization each week. Funds raised and donated will be tracked on our giving back page.

Daily Reflections
The Tao te Ching tells us that we can stop thinking and end our problems. What does this mean? It means that the cause of your problems is you. Yes, this is very difficult to admit. It is much easier to place the blame outside of ourselves. The Buddha taught the same idea and so did Patanjali. Today, I want you to think about one problem that you have been experiencing. What is this problem? What is the root of this problem? Take a look at or examine your thoughts surrounding this problem. Think about how changing your thinking about the problem can change the problem. You can end this problem today all you have to do is change your thinking.

Swami K

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Time for Yoga is Now

Announcements 
We will be kicking off our new year with a focus on service work. If you live in the area and wish to join us for service oriented projects throughout the year, please join http://www.meetup.com/Volunteer-South-Florida/ Our first event, a meet and greet, yesterday, was a success! For more events, please check out the events page.

Starting in February there will be a weekly audio meditation and teaching available for a $5 donation. A portion of the donation will go towards a different charity organization each week. Funds raised and donated will be tracked on our giving back page.

Daily Reflections
The first Yoga Sutra tells us that in this moment yoga instruction is being given. What does this mean to us in our daily lives? It means that in any moment we have the ability to pick up the practice of yoga, not just the practice of asanas, but the entire practice. This Sutra also emphasizes that it is a practice and not a philosophy. What does this mean? It means that we can't just think about the practice we must do something. We must study the teachings of wise ones, we must record our reflections, we must serve, we must act, we must do. The time for yoga is now in this moment, and this moment, and this moment.

Swami K

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Service Project

Announcements 
We will be kicking off our new year with a focus on service work. If you live in the area and wish to join us for service oriented projects throughout the year, please join http://www.meetup.com/Volunteer-South-Florida/ Our first event, a meet and greet, will take place on January 8th. For more events, please check out the events page.

Starting in February there will be a weekly audio meditation and teaching available for a $5 donation. A portion of the donation will go towards a different charity organization each week. Funds raised and donated will be tracked on our giving back page.

Daily Reflections
Today is our first Volunteer South Florida Meet and Greet. We will meet together to share our volunteer experiences and brainstorm about how we can get further involved in the community. For your reflection today, brainstorm a list of different ways you might be able to give back in your own community. Pick one project and set aside at least 30 minutes a week on your schedule to help give back. If you need some help coming up with ideas, take a look at this website: http://www.volunteermatch.org/ They have opportunities in your area as well as online opportunities for those who need to volunteer from home.

Swami K

Monday, January 6, 2014

Finding Your Center

Announcements 
We will be kicking off our new year with a focus on service work. If you live in the area and wish to join us for service oriented projects throughout the year, please join http://www.meetup.com/Volunteer-South-Florida/ Our first event, a meet and greet, will take place on January 8th. For more events, please check out the events page.

Starting in February there will be a weekly audio meditation and teaching available for a $5 donation. A portion of the donation will go towards a different charity organization each week. Funds raised and donated will be tracked on our giving back page.

Daily Reflections
I often think of myself as the center of a wheel and all of the spokes are those things that I find valuable. For today's reflection, draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper and label it "you" or "self". Next, draw the spokes of the wheel and label them with those things that are the most valuable to you. Spokes might be things like family, work, spouse, service, etc. The spokes may change over the years as that which is valuable to you changes but you, your center always remains the same. Whenever you are experiencing challenges or difficulties in your life, you can always go back to your center.

Swami K