the truth about Purpose

the truth about Purpose

Everything we do has purpose… 

ˈpərpəs: noun
1. the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

It is … motive, motivation, grounds, cause, occasion, reason, point, basis, justification … 

 It is our intention or objective …

Some days aren’t great.  I am not great.

So I sit. 

I stay quiet. 

I fold and release anything not serving me into this gracious earth. 

Some days I just lay on my mat. 

 … and that’s okay. 

Some days I am not my best self. 

Today I am angry, irritable, bristly… 

 After 44 years of people telling and labeling me as bitchy, a complainer, self-centered … I have learned (in order to save a lot of heart aches of being misunderstood) to sense my own prickliness as it arises …

and remove myself. 

To just be still, 

quiet, 

hover around the periphery and release control. 

This way I don’t inflict my progressive emotions on others. 

I have no right to do that. 

Today for that matter, this week …

I feel those thorns pushing through the surface of my skin almost as if it were a physical sensation. 

I know the beach, the surf and the waves, the wind, the sand, the warmth… 

it will help provide a retreat simply because of the expanse of space, sound, and water …

the distractions are many … for us all. 

As everyone filters in their respective directions, I can be still, contemplative, thoughtful, 

or at least that’s what it seems to others. 

When in actuality, I am protecting them. 

“I give you space to explore, to be you, so I can withdraw and be me.” 

I can’t find me with all these sharp external sensations. 

I love those around me enough to know and see who I really am in these moments.

Everything we do has a purpose. 

I watch for a while …

the swim, 

the socialization, 

the structures they build in the sand, 

the bonding, 

the strength building, 

the fortresses,

the shell seeking, 

the next project, 

the next shell…

My purpose really is seclusion … 

the quiet. 

But I walk, 

brisk pace, 

my chest tight. 

I am alone with all this now. 

Meditation isn’t easy even for yogi of 14 years. 

It’s a concerted effort. 

So I listen, 

watch … 

Just the breath. 

Not the shells 

or the waves 

or my surroundings. 

I don’t care what it looks like to others. 

I need to find me. 

There are two steps per inhale and two for each exhale. 

So I note 

and focus. 

It’s forced at first. 

There is an inner dialogue … 

“You need this … 

They need this … 

Be still … 

Notice.  

So 

50 steps or so … 

it is still purposeful.

Until …

then it’s not. 

We so often stop … 

right before the break through. 

The distractions pull us away …

I feel the sand blowing abrasively on the backs of my legs. 

It pulls me away. 

I hear yelling child. 

I am torn again. 

The breath pace broken as I bend to knee. 

“Find it again …

It is there …

even with distractions.”

inhale, inhale … exhale, exhale …

“It can be paced …

 in the storm.”

“Oh look, that’s what I need for _____.”

Come back…

inhale, inhale… exhale, exhale. 

I gaze forward. I see my loved ones…

my pace quickens. 

I notice this. 

“They will be anxious because I’ve been gone so long.”

Then…

I feel the ground. 

Heel, ball, toe… 

inhale… exhale… 

and finally I walk as if my feet are kissing the earth. 

Everything stills. 

Minute details are noted. 

The etching in the sand of the spine caused by the waves. 

The tiniest sea glass. 

Slow-motion details. 

It’s almost as if I’m swimming through space. 

My breath nonexistent now. 

My heartbeat slowed. 

My mind has softened. 

There is an acceptance. 

A love. 

A peace. 

A knowing. 

The result… 

My purpose forgotten. 

Having no purpose is healing. 

A knowing without answers. 

A stillness in the moment.

Be still and know…

Micki is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Originally posted on Tree of Life Yoga Studio’s website on Our Voice Blog.

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The bliss of surrender

The bliss of surrender

There’s so much I don’t know right now.

My life seems to be in a state of suspended animation, waiting for clarity on any number of things … the direction our country is heading, how long this pandemic will have an impact, the long-term implications of social distancing, online learning and high unemployment, the ongoing social disruption, what my life will look like next year … 2020 has been a lot.

And it’s getting to me.

My normally productive self struggles to meet deadlines. My generally organized brain takes large chunks of time to process routine information. I’m uninspired to try new things, hesitant to do the things I usually do with ease, reluctant to imagine next week, next month, let alone next year.

So I surrender.

Not in the “I’ve lost and surrender to you” way, but in a true sense of surrender, allowing the unknown to present itself in its own good time.

Not forcing it, not demanding answers, but standing in surrender, with grace, to what may come. Waiting for clarity, for inspiration, for direction.

As I wait, I accept that I’m not as productive, organized or inspired as I’ve been in the past. Is it gone for good, or is this just a by-product of our current lives and times? In my surrender, I realize it doesn’t matter.

There is a reason I’m feeling this way, although that reason is shrouded in fog at the moment. There is something for me to learn through this experience, although the lesson is hazy.

Maybe it’s enough that I’ve learned I can’t know everything, plan everything, be in charge of everything. Maybe it’s enough to have a certain amount of faith that the understanding will come when I’m ready for it.

Meanwhile, I pledge to myself that I’ll accept the external unknowns, and my own personal questions. For now, it’s okay not to know, not to understand, not to predict or control.

I surrender … and it feels right.

Carol Pearson is the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life and the founder of the 10 Little Rules book series.

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the truth about Manifestation

the truth about Manifestation

man·i·fes·ta·tion

ˌmanəfəˈstāSH(ə)n,ˌmanəˌfesˈtāSH(ə)n/
noun

an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, 

especially a theory or an abstract idea.

 

I am always looking for a great book to read. I found out some of my Oak Island, yogi friends were reading E2 by Pam Grout about manifesting your intentions. 

Small 48 hour experiments for even the most steadfast skeptic. 

I am done Existing.
I am done sitting back and patiently for the universe to send me what I need.
I now feel worthy … almost.

It’s time. My time.
So I bought the book and I started reading. 

Let me preface what I’m about to tell you…

I believe. 

Most days… 

But here is the catch. 

I doubt sometimes… 

kinda. 

Whether it is self esteem or those pentacostal teachings of humbleness or greed… 

there is always a tiny seed of unworthiness or doubt deep in my heart.

But I was ready to give this E2 experimentation a good old college try! 

As a child, I remember spending sun soaked days down at The Point on Oak Island. It was a peaceful time. We swam and sailed and threw sand and chased gulls. If we needed our mother, we could always find her knee deep off the sand bars with a bucket full of sand dollars and one of shark’s teeth. 

Every. 

Single. 

Time. 

 Buckets full! 

So here I was. 

Remembering that I had never found a whole sand dollar on the island.

There were only pieces that teased that they were just beyond my reach. 

 

 

And, of course, my mother had found hundreds of them. 

(So can I)

So I cast my net so to speak. 

 

“I will find a whole sand dollar today.”

I went to The Point. I sat and enjoyed my view where the Intercoastal Waterway meets the vast ocean. I talked with a friend. I prepared my paddle board for an evening ride. 

I guess I was giving the universe ample time to get that sand dollar and put it in a place where I was sure to find it. 

And I said my intention over and over. 

Out loud and in my heart. 

In my mind…

and again out loud for good measure. 

I nudged my friend…

it was time. 

As if I was professing to the universe… “Wake up. 

I am ready for my gift from the sea.” 

We headed right to the sand bars. Got down on our knees and began to dig. We laughed and played and talked. 

(No need to doubt right?). 

That’s what the book says. 

We dug for at least an hour…

dug to China, 

pulled embedded shells out of our knees and rubbed our sore backs. 

No sand dollar. 

So I decided it was time to take a walk.  

(Surely if the universe didn’t bury my sand dollar in the exact location I chose to dig, it would just be lying out in the open on the beach for me to find… despite the other 400 beachcombers out that day). 

It WAS just waiting for me. 

We walked…

I professed… 

I didn’t cling…

I only doubted … a tiny bit…

as the sun started setting. 

Soon we would take to water and paddleboard a bit. How long could I encourage my friend to be patient with the universe? 

In all fairness 

(I told myself), 

you ARE supposed to allow 48 hours for your manifestation to be revealed to you.

It had been what, 4 hours?  

But I have never been known to be patient. 

We walked the sandbars and dodged crabs. I stopped “looking” for my treasure/gift from the sea. I just rationalized and schemed how I would find time to get back out to The Point within my 48 hour window.

I didn’t make excuses or lay blame or chastise a busy universe. I just decided it was time to enjoy my day and stop searching. 

It would COME to me. 

That’s what the book said…

I didn’t need to search for it. 

(That was my Type A kicking in) 

So as we rounded the last sandbar and casually discussed our children, I ventured toward the water to rinse the sand from my hands, one last time before paddle boarding. 

The slow ebbing wave eased out to be part of it whole again. 

There…

in the sand…

poking out just a bit..

Oh my god! 

Get! 

Out! 

I reached down. 

Rubbed my fingers over the knobby exterior. 

Its color brillant. 

Buried almost fully. 

I dropped to my knees and had to tug to free it from its grainy home… 

It seemed as if it wanted to stay and again become part of the earth from which it came. 

On my knees, 

The Universe spoke to me. 

Not a whisper. 

Not a reassurance. 

It bulldozed me! 

and I cried. ​​ 

This…

This was not my sand dollar. 

My friend looked confused. 

I could not speak. 

I rinsed it, turned it over, 

rubbed and loved my channeled whelk. 

My friend offered to place it in our bag and I refused. 

To hold it for me…

I refused. 

This moment was undeniably one of the most profound in my life. 

I held my friend’s hand…

then began to explain when I saw his confused gaze. 

“When I set my intention upon the universe earlier that day, there was a streaking thought.”

“I wish I could find a large conch.”

“But I never find them whole or even bigger than a finger. Not ever.”

“So … I conceded …

I will ask for a sand dollar. My mother found millions here. I WILL find a sand dollar today.” 

And so my mantra went…

It was a self assuring way that I knew the Universe WOULD NOT, 

COULD NOT let me down. 

But here I was, 

on my knees holding the largest conch I have ever seen, let alone found, in its natural habitat. 

Full.

Unbroken.

Beautiful. 

The Universe told me loud and clear…

“You deserve everything!”

“Never doubt me!”

Be Yoga. 

Namaste

 

Micki is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Originally posted on Tree of Life Yoga Studio’s website on Our Voice Blog.

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Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds

My grandfather was a hard man – a very hard man. He loved me and my brother, but he made it very clear who he didn’t.

And he wasn’t gentle, even with us. I endured a lot of jokes at my expense, and I’m sure my brother did too – comments about my hair or clothes, all said with a laugh and designed to gIve the other adults in the room a laugh.

And it wasn’t always about color. We lived through a lot of comments about backgrounds, education, size, ‘intelligence’ about others.

My grandmother in particular would occasionally step in with ‘nod toward us and say, ‘Ed the children’. He loved her dearly, so it would stop. For the moment.

My mother in particular would explain later ‘that granddaddy had grown up in a different time’ and how this was ‘bad’. But I knew from the reactions of the others in the room when it was happening, that regardless of when he had grown up, it was bad.

I don’t know what would or wouldn’t have happened in my development having that influence in my background if I hadn’t also been given the gift of height.

In my time – and I’m not sure why, perhaps it made it easier for the teacher to see us all? – but I remember being lined up for various activities by height. Which put me in the back, with mostly boys, several of whom were black. And most of whom I remain in some kind of contact to this day.

Now I am a believer in the fact that children aren’t born being influenced by color. I watch my little guy on the play ground, and they ALL just accept each other as CHILDREN, but I also believe that even without influence, we all tend to migrate to what is most familiar, so I know that growing up tall put me in a unique position to grow a different level of comfortable with those outside my own race.

I remember them accepting me. I remember laughing. And I remember getting in trouble for being the one who couldn’t stop talking in line. (I know y’all are shocked).

And I remember growing more and more horrified by my grandfather’s views.

So here again, I’ve gone long in making my point, so let’s drill this down. It is even the SMALLEST of influences that can make the GREATEST impact. So inasmuch as I would love to tell you my family felt strong enough to push back hard against this hard man, I cannot. But I can tell you that what they were able to do in those moments kept my young mind open to accept children different from myself as being equal.

And does that give us the immediate change being demanded today? No, but it does help reinforce the long term POSITIVE impact of what I believe in my heart is coming.

So if for whatever reason you can’t separate yourself from whatever negative influence in your life Sunshine, don’t discount your own. Speak up when you can, however you can, even if it is after the fact.

Plant those seeds now and nurture them well as best you are able – for it is through our little people we solidify the change we want and very much need to see in this world.

Amen and Namaste.

See you when you get here ❤

This post first appeared on The Painted Mermaid‘s Facebook page and is posted here by permission. Amy is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids.

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in the eye of the storm

in the eye of the storm

It hit sooner than was supposed to, and stronger than predicted. From the first tornado warnings around 8:15 Monday night, life become surreal.

Anxiety turned to awe for me around midnight as the eye of Isaias moved overhead; we went outside to experience the incredible sense of peace and wholeness of the center of the hurricane, like we had somehow landed on the moon.

We were shocked the next day as reports came in from the beach side of the island, hit by a wildly powerful storm surge. Hubby and I were lucky; minor damage, one tree down, the expected branches and debris to clean up. So many others … lucky to be alive.

Later that day, I sat in the driveway in the shade, gulping water, realizing my head hadn’t really stopped spinning since 8 p.m. the night before. Trying to catch myself, I reminded myself that I know the rules. I know what to do … in any situation … to regain my balance and move ahead from a better place.

And I couldn’t remember even my first rule. It took me a good 30-45 seconds to calm my head enough to recall Rule #1: Get to Source.

Once I remember it, I had to laugh. I spent another 30 seconds breathing and connecting to source, as the other rules started falling into line … Listen to your heart (#2) … Feel then decide (#3) … etc.

I’ve always tended to be a disaster junkie. I’m morbidly fascinated by the “hows” of a natural disaster. And there were plenty of hows to figure out with this mess.

How did that boat end up in that lawn by the walkway?

How did six miles of beautiful dunes and beach grasses simply vanish?

How did that Winnebago end up nearly submerged in that ditch?

I spent the last few days trying to absorb the hows, and it only made things worse. I ate too much; I couldn’t sleep; I couldn’t focus on work. All of this was like a smashing finale to the ongoing stress of the past year or so.

Then my friend Amy, author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, mentioned Little River Band, and I watched the video to Cool Change. You know the one, with the leaping dolphins and sparkling sea … and finally the tears came … quietly, not sobbing, but just falling, emptying my heart of what it had been trying to process.

Feel, then decide. I finally decided it was okay to feel what I was feeling, and also decided it was okay to move on to another feeling. So I’m on to Rule #4: Focus on kindness and love.

It is swarming around here … strangers pitching in to help; neighbors checking in; the police and fire and water rescue and town officials dropping everything to be here for all of us, with grit and good humor and grace.

So I’ll stay here for a while yet … focusing on kindness and love, adding to it as I can (hubby is at the grocery store right now buying baking supplies so I can make cookies for the National Guard troops who are here to help). It’s not much, but kindness and love really is everything now.

There will be time yet to Act as If (#5), and name my fears (#6). The storm was a forced purge for many here (#7), but yes, we’ll all find and celebrate moments of beauty (#8) and create new rituals (#9). It’s enough right now to stay focused, and continue to be grateful (#10) in every moment.

Be well

Carol Pearson is the founder of 10 Little Rules and the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life. She reminds us all to remember Rule 4 — Focus on kindness & love

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the truth about Excess

the truth about Excess

I get my inspirations at the oddest times. Today it presented itself during a beautiful ride in my Jeep. All the windows are off. The doors are off. Cool breeze … taking my little one to work. I’m anticipating a leisurely ride back over our island bridge and a gentleman (I use this term loosely) pulls quickly out in front of me, obviously in a hurry to get somewhere. I immediately know in my heart he’s on his way to see someone special. At 45 mph (properly spaced 4 car lengths behind (see I remember my drivers ed), I can literally taste his cologne. Taste it!

My dad always told me you should only wear enough of a scent that a person invited into your personal space can smell it. But obviously this gentleman did not have a father like mine.

So I start thinking about excess. The excess of things we have. The excess of things we want. Excess of the things we think we need.

I am an empath. I have a heightened sensitivity to people who talk too much … to bright lights, loud sounds, and all strong smells. You can imagine this man’s cologne was putting me over the edge.

By the time I got home my brow was furrowed, my head was hurting and all I wanted to do was close my door and turn the air conditioner down and sit in the dark.

We rarely think about how our excess affects other people. But even more so how it affects OUR lives. When we have too many choices to choose from, it becomes an overwhelming job just to complete a task.

Think about how many pairs of shoes you have. When it is time to get ready to go out, how many times do you change your shoes? We spend so much time, energy, and effort making choices because of our excess, it robs us of valuable time we could be spending in the moments that we are trying to get to.

Eliminating access is not easy. It was forced upon me last year when I moved from a 3,300 square-foot house into a 1,200 square-foot house. I had five shelves full of books. My tiny little beach house was not gonna hold all this literature. And although it pained me as I sifted through the books, gently caressing the covers remembering every story between the pages, I had to decide what was more important … this home that I always wanted or keeping my treasures gathered around me.

The Majestic Bookstore in Osaka, Japan

So I packed up all my books (I saved one bookshelf of my favorites) and took them to a beautiful little consignment bookstore in Southport. I was prepared to donate all the books hoping that they would find the loving hands of another avid reader. When I brought the boxes of books into the store, they told me that I could actually get store credit for the books I turned in and would be able to purchase more with my credit in the future.

One book at a time.

This cleansing and purging felt so good I actually, with confidence, was able to go through all my pocketbooks and give away all but one in each color. That solved the problem of having to figure out a way to store my many pocketbooks in my tiny new closet. I then went through my shoes, my clothes and even my housewares. I had collected over 12 comforter sets including curtains and rugs over the years. Who needs 12 different comforter sets?

Why do we hang on to the excess? Many people tell me it’s because someone gave them some special thing. They feel like they needed to hang onto a specific item because Aunt Kate or Grandma so and so gave it to them. They feel guilty throwing it away or passing it along.

By releasing the excess that I had, I actually created space for more beautiful things to enter my life.

If we take a moment and try to clear the lens that we are looking through, we may begin to understand that we hold on to memories in our hearts and not the material things people give us. We can still hold these people dear and not be attached to the material things they impart on us.

So take some time to look around your house. What excess do you have that you can release back into the universe?
When we let go …
we make a space for more beautiful things to enter.

Side Note:
The only thing I have not purged is my fingernail polish. Now that’s a whole different story! What can I say? Rainbow toes make my heart happy in Down Dog. 

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the truth about Restraint

the truth about Restraint

I still get amazed at others’ greed, self-centeredness, arrogance, rudeness …

superiority … (feel free to add here).  

I find my center,

I breathe so I don’t throat punch people,

I stretch and release the knots of frustration trapped in my body, 

I fold to humble my rising ego …

I do ALL these things … 

so I can be better …

more peaceful to others. 

My type A and OCD personality is too BIG for many, so I find peace in the storms through my breath and my mat. 

Yet …

I am tossed right back into that sea of churning waves of chaos of others when they present to me (as an entitlement), exactly what I work so hard to shield them from …

in me. 

My pre-yogi nature emerges and says ”what gives you the right?” (and a few other nasty words)

… and then that saying comes back to me …”forgive them, they don’t know any better.” 

That’s hard …

YOU don’t deserve me on my bad days or even moments. I have learned to step back, reflect, soften my heart. 

AND …

I know the pain you hold makes you bitter and mean and unapologetic.  

Even though I KNOW ALL THIS …

when others take my softness, my calmness and accepting nature as weakness …

Well let’s just say 

The urge to kick someone in the spleen reemerges. Like ninja karate style 

So back to my mat I go 

Sigh 

It is a lifelong practice 

A daily practice 

A ritual to protect our souls, our sanity and our rap sheet. 

(I just want to drag some of those jerks to the mat as well.)

There is no excuse for rudeness or superiority. 

No one has the right to make you feel less than a superhero! 

And if they do … dig down into that uddiyana bandha and surge that solar plexus power right up to your throat chakra and speak your truth! 

Being a yogi 

does 

not 

equate 

to being a doormat! 

Repeat that! 

Let it be your mantra! 

And remember …

It takes control to find restraint! 

IT IS NOT WEAKNESS! 

It is strength! 

Be full of awesome!

This post first appeared on Tree of Life Yoga Studio’s website at www.tolyoga.com and is posted here by permission. Micki is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth.

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The cure for jealousy is basil

The cure for jealousy is basil

There is a Smith’s song that I have had in my head while I was writing this post. “I am human and I need to be looooovvvveeeedddddd, just like everybody else does”. I am human. I have human reactions and right now, I have one. I have full on jealousy. I am currently hosting the green-eyed monster (I’ve named him Stan) for the weekend. Why do I have this guest? Well. Looking through Facebook and Instagram, I am seeing my friends and family on vacation. Adult-only getaways. Fun in the sun with the whole family. A singleton who decided to just drive away.

I’m jealous.

So, while making a cappuccino for Stan, I reflected on what else do I not have that I want? Well, for one, I want a clean house. Like, I would be jealous if someone started posting pics of clean floors or bathrooms so spotless, you know that they must smell of lemon.

I finished my coffee and told Stan that I would be back, and I started to clean. I started on one side of the house and worked my way to the other side. Though, I did skip the nightmare of the boy area that is the upstairs in my house. I made my bathroom smell like basil; I don’t have the lemon scent. I vacuumed the carpet and took joy at watching clumps of grass (?!? WHAT?!) being sucked up. I removed dog hair from behind furniture and scrubbed the back splash in the kitchen. I handwashed pots and pans. I refilled the dog food container.

I sat down and can smell the basil scent on my clothes and hands. Stan joined me for a drink; he and I switched to water. He also smelled better, like a favorite herb. It had taken five hours to deep clean one floor of my house. I was now too tired to give Stan much more attention. The hubs sat down in Stan’s seat and asked what I wanted him to order for dinner, because he was not going to get my kitchen dirty. Oh, how I love this man.

I’m less jealous, and I know that next week when I have new grass clumps in the living room, I’ll be too tired cleaning to invite Stan back.

I may be stuck at home, but I am lucky to be able to be stuck somewhere I like. One that smells like delightfully like basil.

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