Tuesday, 13 December 2011

10 ways to cultivate connection

Christmas is not my favourite time of year, I admit it. Somewhere along the way I allowed the magic to be squashed by obligations, consumerism and overeating. Now this isn't a scrooge post, but more an attempt to get the magic back. For me it's the same in any relationship that's gone sideways - get the connection back and the magic returns.

Adding the following ingredients to your yoga practice is an amazing way to embody the deeper qualities of connection. How can we connect to others if we're not connected to ourselves? When I come to my mat it's more a practice of diving in to know myself than of getting deeper into a twist. And what really lights me up about yoga is sharing it. And even more powerful is sharing yoga with the intention of connecting with those in need. This may be your best friend, husband or someone you don't know.

This Christmas I'm putting these 10 things under my tree and hoping they'll grow. I'd like to share them with you:

1. Be Present.
Get grounded, focus and breathe. Let every moment be the ONLY moment and tremendous shifts will happen.

2. Get real.
Know who you are and be yourself, you are worthy, necessary and a gift to others. The pretend stuff is just a waste of everyone's time and energy.

3. Listen.
Then ask questions to clarify. Hear people from emptiness and drop all that you know.

4. Become still. 
Empty out and become still allowing you to truly receive the gifts others are offering.

5. Trust. 
Hold the space for yourself most importantly and tap into your intuition rather than judgement. Trust that everyone has the greater good in mind and that we can never assume what another is thinking or feeling. Give up making up stories and trust.

6. Have compassion.
Come from love, see from love. Detach and accept what is without the need to fix, predict or control. Let go.

7. Live through the lens of love.
See love everywhere, in everything and everyone. It's possible!

8. Tell the truth.
Reveal what is true for you without needing it to be the truth for everyone. Stand tall and speak straight, it will be appreciated!

9. Honour commitments.
Say what you'll do and do what you say. People will find connection with your integrity.

10. Be vulnerable. 
Be willing to show your tender side. This is the part of you that is beautiful. Be willing to put yourself out there and shine out from your true light. Drop your brain into your heart and be willing to come apart. That's where true connections happen.

Have a wonderful holiday season and may it be filled with love and connection!
Sunday, 4 December 2011

Be a lighthouse

A tender touch as a beautiful act of service
given by Jenniferlyn Chiemningo
This was read to me by the lovely Katy Mason during Savasana at the Seattle Yoga Jam this summer. I was completely moved by these words and found them to be so fitting at a Yoga Jam!


I hope to be a lighthouse for those who may 
need it, and I certainly know exactly who the lighthouses are in my life. To them I am eternally grateful. To those who may guide me without me knowing it, I thank you.





Today we are devoted to shining the light of compassionate support and service on those who may be in need.

At night, the ocean can be a huge, dark & scary place. When riding on the seas, you can never know for sure if the water will be calm or turbulent. You never know if you will drift off course, or run aground. That is why there are lighthouses. When ships lose their way, they are guided by the lighthouse. When there is trouble or danger at sea, you can seek refuge by the light of the lighthouse. In the midst of a storm the lighthouse will always guide the ships safely to shore. Best of all, there is always someone in the lighthouse.
Be a lighthouse. Let your life be a shining symbol for others. Let everything you do be in service to someone. Stand tall in the knowledge of who you are. Stand proudly in the midst of difficult times. Be aware that who you are and what you have to offer can be a beacon to some lost soul.

Be a lighthouse keeper. Be on the lookout for lost souls. Be alert to those who may be in need and have nowhere to go or no way to get there. Be a lighthouse to a child. Guide a child. Protect a child. You don’t have to say much. Just let the child know that you are there should a need arise. Be a lighthouse to an elder, someone who has traveled the sea of life, but now needs a little warmth and comfort –perhaps a cup of tea or some interesting conversation. Be a lighthouse to a young man or woman who has lost their footing or may be losing their direction in life. Remember, no matter what condition a wind-blown sailor reaches the lighthouse in, the keeper is always welcoming. The keeper always encourages. The keeper always has something on hand or knows what to do to get you up and sailing again.

Until today, you may have been wondering how you can be of greater service to your family, your community or the world. Just for today, be the keeper of the lighthouse.

‘Until Today’ By Iyanla Vanzant (Nov. 10 Reading)

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My name is Erin Anderson, I'm in love with yoga. I found out how to love deeper, live lighter and reach further through yoga. I'm passionate about sharing just that. In order to do that, I created The Yoga Jam Events as a means to elevate spirit, cultivate community and generate abundance. Coming together in play, breath and movement we can make real impact in the world, starting in Kenya with a possibility that knows no bounds. Each Yoga Jam Event donates proceeds to the Africa Yoga Project www.africayogaproject.org. This blog is dedicated to what I've learned along the way.
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