On being | overwhelmed

A stressful situation can hit at any moment, out of the blue, and can escalate quickly without warning. What can you do when the heat of the moment has taken over? How do you react when you are experiencing strong emotions such as fear, anxiety? Is it even possible to turn it around? Maybe you already have a tool or technique that you employ that has been successful for you and that's great! But what if kicking and screaming is about the only reaction accessible to you at the time? - which is not bad if that's how you feel. Better to express 'yo self and release it, then to keep it bottled up. And what if there was another way to resolve the issue and move through the thick fog of emotions, would you consider the alternative?

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A technique that I have used many a time is known by the acronym, RAIN. It is simple in its recall, but its application is one that must be practised again and again (like Yoga) - but the pay off is well worth it, I assure you. It takes a brave soul to make the journey inward...

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RAIN is taken from the tradition of Kriya Yoga - the practise of internal action. It helps one to stand in the fire of their own emotions; to burn up the impurities of one's past experiences, behavioural patterns and most of all the conditioning that happens as a result. Maybe it could work for you? But, don't take my word for any of this - try it for yourself and see if it works for you (or not 🙂 ) So, here it is...

RECOGNIZE - Recognize what's happening right now. Recognize that yes, I am having an uncomfortable experience (whether you can name it or not, matters not).

ACCEPT - Accept that yes, I am having this experience - an uncomfortable one (whether you name it or not, still does not matter). Accept that yes, I am somewhere in the fear body at this moment without trying to change anything. Just accepting and acknowledging that yes, this feeling and moment, too, shall pass.

INVESTIGATE - Investigate further if you haven't recognized or accepted what you are feeling or experiencing. Investigate what this fear might be about?

NON - ATTACHMENT - Create a non- attachment to it. Try not to attach yourself to the concept of "I'' as having the experience. According to Yogic Philosophy, there is no permanent sense self that remains solidified indefinately, we are constantly changing; evolving. This falls in line with the law of impermanence with governs our very existance. Thoughts are just the same-- impermanent, and so must come and go; arise and fall. Our thoughts do not make up who we are!

This entry was posted on August 30, 2017.

breathe | and begin again.

This quote came to me at a time when I needed to hear these exact words.

Simple. Yet profound when applied.

May it free your mind the way it did mine.

It isn’t about getting to that happy place and staying there,

but having the strength to journey back inward; to begin, yet again.
Whether through achievement or defeat,

the work is to stay with our Yoga practice...

whether things are going well or not...

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and just breathe...and begin again

If we can meet both Success and Failure with equal likeness, we can be free.

These practises are the pathways of Yoga

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The mind tracks that will help us cut through the illusion

that prevent us from seeing clearly.

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If we run from what scares us and chase only after our desires,

the mind never settles.

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It is constantly looking for the next best fix

to soothe the whirling fluctuations of the mind. 

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 Instead of remaining still and present with whatever comes our way,
we are held a prisoner of our own minds,

stuck in the past; chasing the future.

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To remain equal in mind through pleasure and pain- this is Yoga.


It is not a neat and tidy road,
but it is a worthwhile and fruitful one.
And one that must be practised again and again.  

Chapter 3, Verse 6 of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras,

an ancient sacred text depicts the Yoga journey well...

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Only through Yoga, Yoga is known

Only through Yoga, Yoga progresses
One who is patient with Yoga

Enjoys the fruits for a long time

This entry was posted on August 5, 2017.

Journey to Wholeness – You Are Enough.

I have recently linked my external blog page to my website blog- I have a passion for writing all things inspiring, moving and beautiful. This has most recently spurred me to bridge my personal journey/experiences with the work that I offer, and to my clients. In the off chance that others might be able to benefit or relate to my discoveries, I figure- it's worth a shot!  Let me know what you think? I hope you'll enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

My most recent post was an entry I wrote for onethousandtrees.com- an online magazine whose aim is to facilitate wellness through connection, creativity and community service.          

       

    Click below to visit my 'Journey to Wholeness' blog

http://jsgrignoli.blogspot.ca/

This entry was posted on February 20, 2016.

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Using a base oil, aromatic scalp formula and essential oil, the massage starts with the upper arms, shoulders, upper chest, neck, upper and lower back, (we could stop right here and you’d be in heaven, but there’s still more) …the forehead, temples, entire scalp and face. Leave feeling deeply relaxed, restored, grounded and uplifted in mind and body. *Includes Back Massage*

OPTION 2- One Hour Yoga Body Alignment

'Yoga Body Alignment' incorporates techniques of the Ayurvedic whole body massage with principles of: Yoga- breathing, meditation/visualization and subtle, gentle body alignments/adjustments (rocking, stretching). Marma therapy (acupressure points) on head, face, neck/shoulders and back. Aromatherapy. Sound/Vibrational Healing. 'Yoga Body Alignment' is a tool of silent dialogue between body, mind and soul. Leave feeling balanced, clear- minded and completely rejuvenated. *Includes the use of oil.
Please go to: http://journeytowholeness.simplybook.me/sheduler/manage/ to book online today!
This entry was posted on September 27, 2015.

Yoga and Non-violence

Have you ever wanted to find that balance between taking care of you, while at the same time taking care of another- whether physically, emotionally or psychologically? Ever wondered if it’s even possible to find that happy medium without compromising who you are? Well, you are not alone.

According to Yogic Philosophy, it is possible to find such a balance by practising Yoga. Yoga helps to build and refine our self-awareness which spills over into our relationships with others. Unfortunately, not a “one time- fix all- for good,” but definitely worth the fruits that it bears. Yoga is a lifetime practise that becomes fine-tuned over time. Yoga is a path well chosen for those who remain patient to its gradual unfolding.

"Only through yoga, yoga is known,

Only through yoga, yoga progresses,

One who is patient with yoga,

Bears the fruits for a long time."

-Chant from Vyasa’s commentary to Yoga Sutra III 6

So, what does it mean exactly to practise Yoga?

You might have heard people refer to it as such. Yoga is often times referred to as a practise because essentially, this is what it takes. As written in the Yoga Sutras, I.2, (ancient text of Yoga), Yoga is an ongoing discipline to slow the whirling fluctuations of the mind. Sound  familiar?

A simple place to start is by taking a look at the eight limbs of Yoga. The eight limbs are steps or tools for living of this world and they form the basis of a Yoga practise. The eight limbs reach far beyond the physical stretching we observe on the Yoga mat.  I will briefly mention the eight limbs, with more focus on the first two limbs as they apply to non-violence towards self and others. I will return to the discussion of the remaining six at a later time. The words are written in Sanskrit, language of Hinduism, from which Yoga originates.

First limb - Yamas: The attitudes we hold towards things and people outside of ourselves

Second Limb – Niyamas: How we relate to ourselves, inwardly

Third Limb – Asana: Physical postures we most identify with Yoga

Fourth limb – Pranayama: Lengthening/controlling the breath

Fifth Limb – Pratyahara: Suspending the senses

Sixth Limb – Dharana: One pointed focus on an object- internal or external, real or imagined

Seventh Limb – Dhyanam: Meditation, which arises spontaneously

Eighth Limb - Samadhi: Merging with the one, universal consciousness; however this manifests for you.

There is no set order of steps to be taken, however the movement in consciousness is one that flows from the grosse levels (first four limbs) to the more subtler layers (last four limbs).

Ahimsa means kindness, or non- violence towards others and ourselves. Ahimsa is contained within the first limb of Yoga (Yamas). Ahimsa can be considered both a Yama and Niyama. For example, we can be violent/non-violent towards others and/or ourselves. Satya, meaning truthfulness or to speak the truth, is another one of the Yamas, but it can also be considered a Niyama. For example, we can speak the truth to others and/or ourselves (or not). Consider how speaking the truth may harm or heal others. With this awareness of cause and effect we strive to speak and act accordingly. Ahimsa and Satya are closely aligned with one another, and could be use interchangeably.

So, what exactly might constitute acts of violence/non-violence on or off the Yoga mat?  There are many examples.

Paying special attention to what we eat, how we treat our bodies, how far we push ourselves on or off the mat, what we feed our minds with (i.e. negative or positive self talk) and acting with or against our body/mind constitution are just a few exemplary ways of applying the principle of non-violence in our lives.

If we were to take a look at the four gateways of speech, we can see how truth speaking can be violent or non-violent

1) Is it an appropriate time to speak?  2) Is it truthful? 3) Is it necessary? 4) Is it appropriate? Truth speaking should never come into conflict with our efforts to behave with ahimsa.

So, how do we find that balance between what’s non-harming towards ourselves, while at the same time taking into consideration whether we are causing harm to another?

Doing our Yoga practice will open a window of perception; how we relate to ourselves and others. As my Yoga teacher, Barb Quinlan says, “We can tell how our Yoga practise is going by how we are doing in our relationships.” Having a daily Yoga practice helps to build awareness of one’s sensitivities, preferences, mental fluctuations and reactions. Once we have a clearer understanding of ourselves, we can better understand others. Essentially, it is the relationship we have with ourselves that builds the foundation for all our relationships. So, if we want to be present and loving in our relationships with others, we must first be present and loving with ourselves. If we want to be helpful to others we must first be helpful to ourselves. Ayurveda, the Indian system of healing, tell us this. We must take care of #1, first and foremost. And this isn’t to stay this is selfish, but rather just the opposite. This is the first important step towards being of service to others. As the teacher of the Viniyoga lineage, TKV Desikachar, says, “No action set forth, if coming from a place of non-violence towards oneself can be a wrong action. In fact, speaking or standing in one’s truth by taking intentional action (or non-action, depending on the situation) gives all those involved permission to do what is best for them.

This entry was posted on May 16, 2015.

The Search for the Eternal Longing

I saw this quote on Facebook and just had to share it!

“The restlessness in the human heart will never be finally stilled by any person, project, or place. The longing is eternal. This is what constantly qualifies and enlarges our circles of belonging. There is a constant and vital tension between longing and belonging. Without the shelter of belonging , our longings would lack direction, focus, and context; they would be aimless and haunted, constantly tugging the heart in a myriad of opposing directions…Belonging without longing would be empty and dead, a cold frame around emptiness…There is something within you that no one or nothing else in the world is able to meet or satisfy. When you recognize that such unease is natural, it will free you from from getting on the treadmill of chasing ever more temporary and partial satisfactions. This eternal longing will always insist on some door remaining open somewhere in all the shelters where you belong…it will intensify your journey but also liberates you from the need to go on many seductive but futile quests.” -John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes -Originally Posted, December 30th, 2014.
This entry was posted on April 4, 2015.