My little voice keeps playing out, “I have so much to do”, “I am so busy.” Hearing the constant chatter of thoughts brings my heart to racing, and my nervous system once again kicks into overdrive. This habit repeats itself until I exhaust myself with the pull of resistance, creating an even greater struggle and suffering.
The trickster of my mind is telling me that there is never enough time, never enough energy to DO. How did I learn to DO life—instead of feeling my aliveness and just BEing present to life itself? Where did I collude with my little self and identify with my list of activities (and outer need to be seen) by needing to do all this stuff!? What is the quality of my doing—Driving to work, speaking with students, writing this newsletter, running errands, and dealing with all the countless other things that make up my daily life?
AM I actually present to what I am feeling in the moment? The effort here implies my stress and strain, the need to reach a certain point in the future or accomplish a certain result so I will reach a state of happiness. Oh, how the little mind plays such tricks!
My joy arises when I surrender into a state of balance or yoga. In consciousness, I am able to step out of my habit of doing, and be still to the listening of my greater self. This is what determines my joy in life, not how much effort I make in getting it done.
Years ago, I used to call my little self the “elf.” I took away the “s” and found this elf self. The elf self tricked me into my false identity of holding on to my various roles and brought my mind into constant movement between thoughts of past and projections of future. The elf was running the show.
Not until I fell into my deepest heartbreak and asked for help, did the wisdom of something different and more subtle began to awaken. The greater Self began to emerge from those hidden places, deep in dark corners of my hidden shame. Grief began to flow, and the churning began. I let go of patterns and habits that no longer were leading me forward. Yoga was my gateway to a sweeter, gentler place of acceptance of all of myself. It was the merging the elf self into my TRUE SELF that left me with a new sensation of being in the NOW.
Being in the NOW is a practice of which I am constantly committed to living. And when I catch my mind moving into the words of abuse, its witness arises and moves me back to the breath. In that split second of thought, I choose to move in another direction by sitting in the awkward confusion of not doing—and by feeling the tension (or the release)—as I slowly feel myself physically shift.
It’s taken a daily practice to forgive myself for being so human. I go back to the floor and surrender into it. I guide my little self to observe where my body meets the floor. My body softens as I feel myself loosening, dropping, and melting into the floor. I can feel a profound sense of heaviness as I experience the quality of lightness around me and inside the space of my breathing.
I need to let go of doing and making anything happen and allow life to unfold naturally. I need to be mindful of my physical body, where my body parts actually touch and not touch as the space unfolds around me. I can have two opposing feelings at the same time. I need to witness these thoughts, these sounds, and choose to stay aware of these feelings in the presence of the experience.
How do I practice this mindfulness in my daily life? Can I be mindful of how I get in and out of the car, walk up and down the stairs, wait in line, talk to my daughter? Can I witness the pause between reactive little habits and the space of the pause as the complete observer at the same time? Can I choose to be more kind, practice more patience, and be more tolerant as I feel my elf self want to take over and run away?
Living with consciousness takes practice and yet, I feel we are at a point in history where we must slow down, go inward, and learn to be more loving to ourselves. At times even teaching yoga has made the experience just another “to do list” objective, a daily task master of feeding the abuse of self loathing. Effort to get the results diminishes the true desire to surrender all outcome and be present to what is being presented NOW.
That’s why each year I relish the opportunity to host retreats. It is a true opportunity to gather people together to go deeper into the state of yoga. I am always amazed at how much effort it takes to unplug from our daily habits and roles and let go of our awkward places of hiding in our outer boxes or personalities of learned behavior. We all come feeling uncomfortable in our skin.
My love of teaching is to remove the fear and embrace each person in love. My joy comes from creating a safe space to drop the outer box. I want to know who is inside, the welcome guest at the dinner party of life. I want each person to find a welcoming to belong and be seen in the inner light and to feel enough.
It takes great courage to reveal our deepest longings to be enough and to move forward through the heart. The heart will guide us forward while the head goes kicking and screaming into our deepest fears. I know from my daily humble practice, I am not getting it perfect, but I have made a commitment to keep growing.
I have been hosting retreats for 20 years, and they always given more than I give. I am hosting a gathering at on Saturday, March, 16 at 1:00pm for anyone curious to learn more about my upcoming trip to Ireland this October. I want to host this gathering to invite your soul to come forward and be curious. There is profound calling in each of us to awaken our soul and life is our playground. Let’s ignite the flame of passion to be enough, do less, but live more!!
FREE Yoga & Meditation Retreat Information Session
SATURDAY MARCH 16, 1–2pm
Join Laura Jane Mellencamp-Murphy for a FREE sneak peek about her upcoming fall yoga retreat in Co. Clare, Ireland. Laura will share details of retreat and optional site seeing excursions while answering any questions that you may have.
Laura Jane will be hosting a like minded community on her retreat, Embracing the Mystic—An Irish Retreat Exploring the Journey Inward, October 11-18, 2019. Be sure to register and benefit from the $300 savings. Early bird pricing ends on April 1, so don’t miss out! The discount drops to $200 off on April 2. Full price starts June 2.
Interested, but can't make the meeting... No worries! Contact Laura to get your questions answered.