Illuminating Your Family’s Story with Genograms


We have explored in previous installments of Know Thyself the benefits of connecting with and continually realigning our values, intentions, and goals as well as discovering the strengths and pitfalls of our particular personality traits. By now, a sense of our inner lives and our view of the world is revealing itself. As our self-knowledge grows, so does our need to understand our interconnectedness and how relationships and familial patterns have influenced our lives. Here, in Part 3, we explore the genogram, a technique for mapping relationships and behaviors within our family trees and its potential to help us create more compassion, understanding, and ease in our own lives.  Read more. . . 

Fight Resolution Fatigue with a Focus on Purity

imageHave you held true to your resolutions this year?  Fallen off the wagon yet?  If you are still going strong, congratulations!  But nearly a fortnight into 2016 and it is quite possible, despite our best intentions, our dedication is wavering. Come back – without judgement.
Each year brings a fresh start, but often we lose motivation and it is easy to pile on the negative self-talk.  Instead, refocus and come back by cultivating purity or Sauca.  Think of purity as the ultimate act of love and care.  We cannot love others as we should if we do not treat ourselves with kindness.  Begin by cleaning your own cluttered mind with compassion.
Being deliberate about the words you choose to utter, especially the ones heard only in your head.  Choose with a kind heart.  Act as though all can hear you.  Commit to treating your body well.  Think of it as a temple, after all it is our only true home.  Without harshness, choose more rest, over less.  Choose mostly healthy food and less caffeine and alcohol.  Move more.
Finally, allow for stillness in your day.  Begin small and work from the intention of simply baring witness to your thoughts.  Let go of manipulating them.  Allow yourself to watch with curiosity.  Eventually, the space you create in your mind, heart, and body will grow.
It is hard to remember our true selves – our purity – if we do not know who we are and honor ourselves with generosity and compassion.  Make a practice of getting to know yourself, your pure self.  Bare witness to who you are in the good times, in the mundane moments, when you are stressed and anxious, and in times of tragedy.
When we practice Sauca or purity, our resolutions become easier to maintain.  We have purity of purpose.  Our goals are in line with our intentions for being.  Jumping back on the wagon and moving in the direction we desire becomes natural.

You’re So Vain. . . You Probably Think This Is About You!


What do you consider beautiful?
 What is ugly?
 Can you see the perfection in imperfection,
or the illusion in external beauty?
Work to move past your limited views and perceptions.  
Cultivate your ability to see the beauty in all things. . . 
not simply joyful, happy and esthetically pleasing things,
but the dark, uncomfortable and traumatic things as well.


Vanity is not limited to our personal ideas of external beauty.  It is also our deeply connected to our ego. Anytime we are not our true selves, we succumb to vanity.  Anytime we try to portray ourselves as other, boast of our accomplishments, attach ourselves to praise, or even belittle ourselves – we are not being true to who we are.


The absence of vanity is the rising above our ego. It is humility.
Abandoning vanity is the recognition that everything IS NOT ABOUT US.
Abandoning vanity means we learn to not take things personally.
Cultivating an absence of vanity in our relationships requires us to stop competing, drop comparisons and listen to the good in what another is saying.
Abandoning vanity creates and nurtures space for love, compassion, sincerity and connectedness.


This week, notice the role vanity plays in your yoga practice.  Do you have to wear certain clothes to be comfortable?  Can you let go of comparisons to others or what you could do yesterday?  When you look in the mirrors, are you checking your alignment or how you look?  Observe what happens when you dislike a posture, a cue, or a song. . . realize this isn’t about “YOU”.


Yoga is about creating a deep connection to our true selves and seeing others for who they truly are – beyond vanity and illusion.