Forgiveness: Mission Possible

Puja, Hanuman Yoga Festival
Puja, Hanuman Yoga Festival
Cultivating the virtue of magnanimity begins with awareness. Magnanimity is generosity of Spirit and the ability to forgive. It is perhaps the most challenging of Swami Sivananda’s 18 ities because it requires us to be vulnerable: to admit we have been hurt or have hurt others.
Freeing ourselves from the destructive effects of injustices big or small is challenging and takes time. Acknowledging there is anything that needs to be let go of or released is the first step. This awareness however does us no good if we are unable to let go of our position, our need to be righteous.
Forgiveness is not the excusing of harm done, it is not forgetting. It is the acknowledgment that a wrong was committed or experienced. This is uncomfortable and we tend to steer clear of discomfort. Having the courage to move through the discomfort of this stage allows for release and growth. When working toward forgiveness, it is possible to condemn the act, but not the perpetrator.
Viewing any act of harm or violence, as a symptom of perpetrator’s suffering? Challenging though it may be, especially when we are directly harmed, is how we move towards forgiveness. No injustice, big or small, was ever perpetrated out of a deep sense of connection and community. Think about this for a moment. Negative self-talk and gossip are rooted in our own suffering. No news report on school bullies or horrific mass shootings for that matter ever sited the offender’s deep sense of connection and belonging.
Forgiveness is possible when we become aware of suffering, our own and others. Release and growth occurs not when we shut down and build walls of protection, but when we acknowledge our truths, connect to one another and foster community.

Fearing Our Light. . .

Our ability to recognize our own power and light is NOBILITY.  The cultivation of this virtue teaches us to stop hiding behind our often self-imposed labels of inadequacy and self-doubt and rise with courage to serve ourselves and others.  
Nobility is the knowledge that our lives are a gift, we are all of value, we are blessed and we have a choice.  We can choose to excuse our inaction with tales of expectations, self-doubt and societal correctness or we can run towards those in need with the gifts we have to offer.
 We can choose FEAR.  
we can choose our LIGHT!
Choose the power of KINDNESS, HUMILITY, COMPASSION and offer your 


Integrating the Body and Mind by Cultivating Integrity!

Integrity is striving to bring together the fractured personality.

When cultivating the virtue of Integrity, think integration!  Examine your own behavior, thoughts, and speech.  Pay particular attention to any inconsistencies between what you say and what you actually do.  Note when your behavior is inconsistent with your beliefs.
 A person of integrity is living from a place of intention.  We often find ourselves reacting to situations out of habit or conditioning.  However, when we take the time to choose our thoughts, words and deeds carefully, we create a union between our bodies and minds.  We become whole.  We are trustworthy and honorable.




Adaptability is the expression of constant change – Swami Saraswati

Despite my best intentions, sometimes I get behind. . . way behind!  The past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind of engaging in my passions; family, travel, food, friends and teaching yoga.  Consequently, although I have been focused on teaching #TheItyProject, I have neglected blogging about the last few virtues.
So let’s see, what have we missed?  Non-irritability and adaptability!  As I move through the Eighteen Ities in my teaching and personal practice, I am astounded at how much I am learning about myself.  Even a week on each virtue allows me to uncover some often unrealized truths.
Irritability is the precursor of anger.  When I focus on what causes irritability throughout my days I am able to quickly come up with the usual offenders.  Lack of sleep, hunger, loneliness, and feeling overwhelmed are huge triggers in my life.  But when I look deeper, past those external triggers which can be prevented with a good schedule and connection – I find the biggest trigger for irritability is my feeling as though I am not good enough.  I’ll talk more about this in a future post, but for now I’ll say that my pattern centers around making unrealistic lists of things to accomplish in a given timeframe.  When I fail to make it through these lists, I follow-up with negative self-talk and self-doubt.  I then become irritable.  I am afraid will take longer than a week to sort through and change this pattern, but I’ll keep you posted.
If the last couple of weeks has highlighted anything it is that once a pattern is noticed, it is very difficult to un-notice it.  Now that I have begun to understand this unhealthy pattern in my mind I can begin my work.
Adaptability is the virtue that follows non-irritability and if you believe in serendipity it couldn’t have come at a better moment for me.  My family and I followed our passion last week all the way to Kansas City to join friends to celebrate the Royals‘ World Series win.  It was a last-minute, “fly by the seat of our pants” road trip and it involved juggling of schedules, teaching, practices, school, jobs, pet and home care.
It also involved reaching out to friends for help and making compromises in budget, sleep and those all-consuming lists of things to do.  Adaptability is the very expression of constant change according to Swami Saraswati.  When we cultivate adaptability, we are able to consciously act.  We learn to take a step back, breath and act wisely.  When we do this, we have time (even if it is just a moment) to access the best action for ourselves and others.
It is important to understand cultivating the ability to adapt is not the same thing as submitting to a situation or giving away your personal power.  Adaptability is NOT self-denial.  Adaptability is a mindful balance of one’s needs and desires with those of others.  It is the art of compromise and managing one’s energy.
Along with our incredibly fun and spontaneous trip came exhaustion and a back log of work when we returned home.  Normally, this may have sent me into a tailspin.  I would slide into feeling over-whelmed and grumpy thus ruining the experience we created.  Focusing on cultivating these virtues over the past weeks has allowed me to better predict future pitfalls and react accordingly.
If you haven’t been following along with #TheItyProject, join in anytime by reviewing older posts on this blog or following my on Facebook or Instagram.
Go Royals!