You are Resilient – Allow your heart to break

When we practice yoga, when we connect consciously with our breath, we re-conect to our bodies.  We come back into the feeling center, which is absolutely necessary for any real substantial change to happen.

It is not that we don’t care about what is happening in the world,  like the degradation of our environment for example.  We do.  We are just scared to feel pain, so it is easier to disconnect and avoid the possibility of what even the thought of pain may do to us.

Feel the pain.  You will be okay.  You will come out on the other side stronger and with more wisdom to offer.  We need your wisdom and what you have to offer.

Pain is not the problem, it is how we react to the thought of pain.  I challenge you to just be with your pain.  Whatever it is.  See if you can allow yourself to be with it, and notice what happes.

We numb ourseves with food, alcohol, sex, shopping, and let’s not forget pharmaceuticals.  We are in the midst of an enormous opioid cisis, all because we are running scared from the mere thought of pain.

It is okay.  Joanna Macy asks us to allow our hearts to break.  She says, “The heart that
breaks open can contain the whole universe.”

When we allow ourselves to feel what needs to be felt, the feeling will pass.  As Pema Chodron says, “We are the sky, everything else is just the weather.”

We are so resilient.  Allow yourself to be resilient.

we are the ones we've been waiting for

I share

I share so I won’t forget. Isn’t that why everyone does? I share because it’s not until I can see it, touch it, feel it, and bathe in it, can I fully understand. I share because I hope that if I write it down, if I say it out loud to enough people, then maybe they’ll remind me when I forget. I share because my inner voice is my guide, and it speaks to me in such a way, that I can only hear when I share. So I share.

yoga bajan quote   Rumi

Why do you share?

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will Set You Free!

The year was 1998, while exploring a forest on a camping trip with friends & family, when I realized I was just like Curious George. Well, you know, he’s an archetype, and that is me. Ha! ImageImage

By stepping into this space, I lived in the mystery. I allowed myself to just begin approaching my life with a sense of wonder. When I was able to, I tossed out the idea of being “right” or “wrong” and I just…was. I began to think of myself almost like a detective in a constant quest to absorb and discover the world around me. So fun!

I have joked about this over the years, but I now realized this approach has served me in my life time and time again. Since stepping in to my greatest mission and passion in life, coaching and guiding others through yoga, which really just means to play a role in leading others back to themselves, I see the same issue come up again and again.

What I see holding so many of us back is the “thought” that we “don’t know how to do something” or that we’re not doing it “right” or we’re just not “good” at something, so we don’t dare to try.

What a prison! What an illusion! Break free!

Be Curious! Don’t lose this sense of wonder in approaching your life in a way where labels don’t exist and the opportunity for discovery is endless. Who cares if you’re doing something “right”, you’re doing it, and living life in a curious way is about ACTION!

It’s not about being or doing something right or wrong or good or bad. It’s about finding out what’s right for YOU and what’s good for YOU.

When we’re in a state of curiosity, we explore and we experiment with the innocence of a child. We don’t have attachment to outcomes or expectations of how something should be. We are open and alert, and we allow for different opportunities, experiences and people to come into our experience of life. 

“Some people like to muse on the philosophical conundrum ‘What is the meaning of life?’ But more practical philosophers ask, ‘How can I make my life meaningful?’” ~ Gelb

Wishing you well on your journey towards freedom. Image

Happiness sure seems to be creating a lot of buzzz

I’ve seen so many articles and comments recently about happiness. It’s interesting. Half of the articles talk about why being happy is the answer to our struggles and the other half talk about why happiness, or the pursuit of happiness, is a bunch of bologna.

So, in my opinion, here’s the deal.

1. Labels don’t help – Happy/Sad. Good/Bad. Right/Wrong. STOP!!!

2. Life is about balance – The tide rolls in. The tide rolls out. “If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.” – Leonard Cohen

3. Allow yourself to feel – Check in. Take a quick body scan starting at the crown of your head and moving down.

I do believe that happiness can be a choice. I do believe that our thoughts can lead us toward stillness and peace (a.k.a. happiness) or away from it.

SO, overall, these articles, quotes and sharings about happiness, in my opinion, are valuable, because they may help to bring some AWARENESS to those of us that don’t really understand why we don’t feel “happy.”

What does that really mean anyway? Moving on…

With that said, NOONE is going to feel happy all of the time. Haha! Life is about polarity; balance. What goes up, must come down.

Here’s the catch. We have to be OKAY with being whatever we consider the opposite of happy. We have to give ourselves the SPACE to FEEL sad, anxious, lonely, etc, etc.

But it’s so scary! I know!

What if I stay there forever? You won’t.

What if I’m never able to get out of bed again and my tears never stop flowing? You will. And they will!

All I’m saying is that bringing AWARENESS around the idea that we actually play a part in the way we feel by the CHOICES we make is a good first step. After this, TRUST that when you are feeling down and it seems like everyone else is bouncing around happy as can be, that it’s OKAY. Allow yourself to be sad, to be mad, to feel lonely, and then LET IT GO. You choose.

Sending Love today and everyday.

xo ~ India

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HA-thentic Power – What is it?

After a couple of years back in the states, I fell even deeper into I began flirting with the idea (or actually), maybe actively pursuing would be a better way to describe – a professional businesswoman life.

Dressing the part, receiving the promotions & bonuses & of course, buying the house with a 3-car garage & a pool by myself…

Whoa! What was I thinking?

That’s the problem. I was thinking too much & feeling too little. Numbing through business, wine & gossip.

So, I made a shift in companies, walking away from a big private office & taking a pay cut aiming to align myself more with my values & passions.

But it followed me. It haunted me. Be better–Make more money–Travel more–Work longer hours–Drink more wine–Feel even less.

Sometimes the circumstances we think will be perfect in every way turn out to be a terrible fit & we move even further out of alignment & away from integration. These experiences are/can be the toughest because our EGO will fight us HARD on this one to actually let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

It is a stripping away. A stripping away of titles, of offices, salaries, benefits. It is a stripping away of social acceptance/approval. It is a stripping away of denial.

And when it’s all peeled away, we are standing with ourselves in an open sea of possibilities. This, my friends, is what true freedom feels like.

This is home & we get to decorate it in any way that suits us. We are the creators of our experiences. We just have to make a choice.

I choose to create. I choose to create a bountiful, abundant & radiant life. I choose to honor myself; to manage myself.

Sometimes I wonder. I wonder what the future will hold & where I’ll decide to grow. But then, I come back to the present moment, allow myself to feel & know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment.

I take a deep breath to breathe it ALL in & savor this gift (that’s why we call it the present) & let it all out with a great big, satisfied HAAAAAAAA! ❤

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Traveling with Purpose – Part II – Quimixto

As I mentioned in Part I, there is a small town next door to Xinalani called Quimixto, which is also only accessible by boat. On our last morning at Xinalani, one of the men who works there that we had gotten to know well, and lives in Quimixto, invited us to meet him at 5:00 a.m.  to witness and be a part of the early morning mass that was being held in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

He was kind enough, along with some of the friendly local dogs, to escort us through the darkness along a small dirt path with only the light of our headlamps, across a shallow river where we saw enormous toads, and through the cobblestone streets into his quaint town. It was so picturesque; almost like a small Mexican village you would expect to see as a backdrop for a movie. I immediately felt drawn to this small town, and wanted to see more and learn more about it and its people.

 Quimixto             Quimixto Isais and India

A few gunshots were fired to wake everyone and call them to church. We were honored to learn about this town and its people. 

Quimixo Churchquimixto virgin of guadalupe

1. Limited Access to Education

We learned that there is no high school, so in order to attend high school, the children must take a boat to a neighboring town. Therefore, many do not complete their high school education. This is not uncommon in developing countries.

2. Limited Access to Healthcare

We learned that there is one small clinic, where a nurse from the city comes and holds clinic hours once a week.

3. Opportunity through tourism

We learned that in addition to a fishing village, Quimixto is a tourist destination as many come to visit it’s waterfall.

It has been my vision ever since beginning my journey with yoga and the launching of India Bee Yoga to design retreats that would be nourishing to our bodies, minds and spirits and that would include a service aspect to give back to the countries and communities that we visited. 

It is our plan to include a day of service working in the town and with the people of Quimixto in our retreat that will be held at Xinalani in 2015! Thank you so much for taking the time to learn a little about this town. I can’t wait until you experience it for yourselves!

Salud y Amor! ~ IB

Are you paying attention?

Good morning! Happy Sunday! It’s my favorite morning, because my husband and I wake up and watch Super Soul Sunday with Oprah and it “wakes us right on up!” 😉 It really does. We love it!

Speaking of waking up. I wanted to share a recent experience I had while resting on the beach outside of the jungle at Xinalani.

I walked down the beach with my sarong wrapped around my waist and my book, Yoga Wisdom At Work, in hand to find the perfect spot to rest and renew. It was a moment I was taking for myself to just be. Sigh. I found my spot. A place with soft sand on the edge of the trees with flowers and butterflies and oh so many sounds! I layed out my sarong, closed my eyes and and began to settle in. Buzz. Buzz. Buzzz.

What is this? Some sort of sand wasp was buzzing all around my head and getting particularly close. I lay my head back down and try to not be bothered. Buzz. Buzz. Buzzz. Wow! This little wasp was persistent. I got the impression that he wasn’t going to give up.

So, I sat up and took a look around. Oh! What is that small little hole in the ground close by? I wonder if that is where this wasp lives; his home. At that moment, I realized, this wasp was communicating with me! He was telling me I was a little too close to his home and he obviously was asking me politely to find a new spot. Because let’s face it, he could have just landed right on my cheek and given me a sting.

So, I picked up my sarong, and moved it only a few feet away from this small hole in the sand and sat down. The wasp flew over to the hole, crawled in and never bothered me again! It was a beautiful moment that we shared. It was not the first time I have had encounters with nature in this way, but for me, they are always magical. Nature and our world are magical!

I share this story with you only to point out that there are signs all around us at every moment of every day, and that nature speaks to us in this way. We are part of this system of nature; part of the whole. We are all connected. One. 

After this experience with the wasp, it occurred to me that many people I know would have immediately swatted the wasp, maybe even killed it. Other people I know would have jumped up screaming, scared to death. No judgement. It just is. You see, it’s our “knee-jerk” reaction to things that come in our lives. Our practice of Yoga on the mat, helps us to see these reactions and gives us the space to notice and if we want, choose to react differently; with more awareness, rather than automatically. live more from intention and less from habit

The wasp most certainly did not deserve to be killed. He was probably just protecting his queen and maybe soon to be off spring developing inside their home. And the wasp was not even scary. He was politely asking in the only way he knows how, “Could you please step away from my front door? You’re a little too close for comfort, and you are very large!” So, I obliged and we both went on sharing this beautiful space in time with relaxed awarenessThank you my little friendImage

Wishing you all a day and week filled with relaxed awareness.

xo ~ IB