Monday, November 29, 2010

what is dying to be born?

What is dying to be born? I was immediately drawn to this powerful question when I read it months ago. I sensed urgency in this question. I sensed sadness and hope at the very same time. Mostly I sensed the idea of faith and surrender.

This has been quite the year for me. I started the year by kicking off our third 200 hour teacher training here in Lexington, and devoted my time, energy, and heart in guiding these students on the yoga path. A desire to know more about Ayurveda led me to Arizona, Kripalu and ended (or really began) with me enrolling with the California College of Ayurveda. I'm halfway through with becoming an Ayurveda Health Educator.

I witnessed some of my Mondo Beyondo dreams coming true, like traveling with my mom to Tulum (her first flight ever), planning, selling out, and leading my first yoga training in Tulum, and spending nearly six weeks in....yes you guessed it, Tulum. I also took my first business retreat to Philadelphia this year. I started working with my life coach Grace Caitlin in January. Our story of how we met is pretty sweet. One day I'll share more on that, but she has helped me to heal and grow in BIG ways.

And over the past few weeks something new has happened to me. I crashed. Yep, totally. I've felt uninspired. I haven't felt motivated to blog, be creative, or be productive in the ways I've always "expected" myself to be. I keep reassuring myself that after this crazy cool amazing year of manifesting, it's totally to be expected. The wisest part of me knows this to be true.

I haven't felt like myself in weeks. It has felt like some piece of me, some part of me was dying . Sounds dramatic, trust me...I know. The part of me that wants to do everything, right now, right this instant, appears to be taking a break and feeling more comfort and content in letting the days unfold in total ease. The part of me that always wants to push forward is yielding to the present.

The part of me that thought I could do it all is becoming more accepting. I can't do it all. Perhaps I could do it all but not at the level that is important to me. I've been feeling that something was needing to give. I knew that I needed to temporarily give something up in order to rest and find space. I believe that by consciously creating this space, something new will be birthed.

When I connected to all of this, by means of breathing, feeling the sensations in my body, and connecting to my heart, I could no longer deny the call to cancel the yoga teacher training here in Lexington for January. You can imagine this was quite a surprise to me. This revelation was scary and I felt very nervous about it. However, I couldn't deny it.

I know this to be true:
1. Projects we don't feel energized about typically don't do well.
2. My potential training students deserved nothing less than an energized and inspired teacher ready to lead.
3. I deserve to do work that I'm excited about in the moment, regardless of how energized I felt about it last month or last year.

That's the dying part. Tough, no? However (insert exclamation points) there is something so wonderfully BIG that is waiting to be born. I've felt this for a few months now. I've felt it even during this uninspired stage.

I haven't exactly put my finger on it but I have an idea. The universe has been doing its part, showing up and providing me with the most inspiring signs (I like to think of these as "winks" from the universe). Yes the universe is providing me with the space, this opportunity to show up in an even bigger way to my students. I'm sure of it.

I'm surrendering in a way that's very new and very uncomfortable for me. I'm totally trusting that with this space I'm freeing, something amazing will emerge. And of course, you'll be among the first to hear about it!

It is my hope in sharing this story that you ask yourself this important question, what is dying to be born? That you get quiet, check in, listen to the small voice that answers., and one brave step at a time you move in that direction.


PS - Here is the ebook that prompted "what is dying to be born". Enjoy!

PPS - This is from one of the contributors. It gives me goose bumps reading:

Presence is dying to be born. A universe unknown, right here, in this moment, is dying to be born to me, to you, to all of us.

A letting go, as if in totally restful sleep, yet all the while fully awake - there is nothing to do, no one to be, no effort, senses engaged. A moment is an eternity - it's all there is.

Presence is where the world meets us - where we are. Without pushing, without striving.

Presence is where we can welcome another, with love, present fro whoever they may be, opening us to a journey into new landscapes.

Vigilance has its place. Presence is dying to be born.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

notes of thanks & giving

"I kicked off Thanksgiving break by being thankful for my body and how it moves when I ask it to, for her (Lisa) for teaching us, for you for building a lovely yoga business where we can all go, and for the other students who come to class!"

So. Love. That. Note.

Tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day I'll be giving thanks to all of you and giving back to the girls at Florence Crittenton Home. Please join in on a yoga celebration tomorrow from 9:15 - 10:30 a.m.. I'm donating my time in the hope that you will donate to Florence Crittenton Home. Hoping to see you on the mat. :)

you make a difference

West of doubt
where you fear your greatness and
embrace it anyway.
We join hands and
listen for the whispers of how we each make a
~Jennifer Louden

Proposing that for today we lay aside our imperfections. We let go of worry. And cling tightly to hope. Today we don't need to change a single thing about our body, our job, our relationship, or our life.

Instead we join hands, take a deep breath, look others in the eyes, affirm our goodness and celebrate how we each make a difference. Because we all do. I feel this deeply. Know it deeply.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends. May your day be filled with.....thanks and giving.

**a repost of a fave pic of me, my momma, and sis in Tulum (the worlds sweetest spot). So thankful I got to experience this trip with them.**

Friday, November 19, 2010

joyful participation

"All life is sorrowful; there is however an escape from sorrow; the escape is Nirvana – which is a state of mind or consciousness, not a place somewhere, like heaven. It is right here, in the midst of the turmoil of life. It is the state you find when you are no longer driven to live by compelling desires, fears, and social commitments, when you have found your center of freedom and can act by choice out of that. Voluntary action out of this center is the action of the bodhisattvas – joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. "
~Joseph Campbell

Wow. That's big. "Joyful participation in the sorrows of the world."
Lots to think about here.

Wishing all of you a joyful Friday. May you move through the day with grace and ease.

**Pretty pretty joyful joyful Liana in Tulum, Mexico**

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"you're not doing enough"

Over the past two days there's been a gremlin in my ear whispering those words...
"You're not doing enough. You need to be doing more."

I'm also thinking about how this translates on the mat, in our yoga practice. When the nagging gremlin voice says, "You're not doing enough in (insert pose name)." I think that in general we are very familiar with pushing ourselves. Perhaps to the point where the asana doesn't even feel good. Hey, I totally admit it.

So tonight I'm flipping my middle finger to the gremlin (nope not my peace fingers) and declaring a whole list of dont's.

As in:

1. You don't have to look perfect in your pose.
2. You don't have to love all the poses. You don't even have to like all of them.
3. You don't have to practice (insert number) minutes for your practice to be considered a "real practice".
4. You don't have to do sun salutations, standing poses, backbends, etc. in every practice. Maybe your practice today will be savasana.
5. You don't have to do what your teachers says. Or what the person next to you does. Or what the book says.
6. You don't have to light incense and candles for every practice.
7. You don't need a yoga mat to practice.
8. You don't need the perfect spot to do yoga.
9. You don't have to enjoy every practice.
10. You don't have to do it the way you did it last year. Last month. Or even last week.

Ahhh, totally feel better now. Alright Love's, have a sweet day (with a dash of mischievousness, just for good measure and balance.;)

PS - Wondering what the gremlins whisper in your ear? And how you tame them?

Monday, November 15, 2010

rumi lovefest

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl
I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you.

Yep the Rumi lovefest continues. As I said on Facebook earlier....
I'm mostly wanting to make soup, read Rumi, and write something.

Still lovin' my beautiful book of poetry I picked up in Asheville. It's serving as such inspiration. Passages like the one above stop me in my tracks. I've been writing faves in my journal then adding my own words.

Also been cooking more these days, which has been a delight. I really enjoy cooking but in the past I haven't made it a priority. Since I've been back from Tulum it's been one of the ways I'm grounding myself. If I didn't know better I'd think I was nesting....whatever that means. :)

We're into week two of new roof at the Big Blue House. The roof is complete and now they are starting on the gutters. And we're getting copper boxed gutters for our pretty pretty porch. Super excited about that.

Between the roofers and the plumber that's been at our house (long disgusting story, ick) for nearly six hours the past two days I'll be one happy yogini to have my house back to myself. As will two doggies....named Bella and Remy.

Sweet dreams dear friends...

PS - Above photo guessed it yoga teacher training in Tulum (which I have dates scheduled for next year!). That's our altar. Beauty.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

instructions for living a life

"Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it."
~Mary Oliver

I imagine that I've posted this passage here before.
But I've come back to it this week. I've been packing Andy's lunch for him and I even wrote this on a post-it note and stuck it in his lil lunch bag.

Definitely feeling this resonating in a big way in how I relate to writing/blogging. For such a long time, I was a very shielded gal. Being so selective about the parts of me that I would share.

Over the years I've really worked to change this (on being more open).
Why? Because I think that we heal and grow when we share our stories. When we share ourselves. There are a variety of ways to share our stories (that don't include sharing them on the web).

On most days what I share comes from me paying attention, being astonished on some level, and telling about it.

Now I'm thinking of this Mary Oliver passage and how it relates to asana, to the yoga poses that we practice. Over and over.

I'm working to pay even more attention to my body. And choosing to feel astonished by how it works in such a crazy cool magical way.

In the way that it creates me
supports me
holds me
and how it allows me to walk, talk, love, work, play, rest, dance, skip, drive, hike and so on. And on.

If I choose to feel astonished in more moments, how might this transform how I speak to myself and others about my body, my poses, my work, etc.

What if I didn't focus on what I can't do, but what I can do? Not in some sort of egotistical way. But in a way that simply demonstrates who I am and the gifts that I have to share with others. Sharing in a way that feels aligned with body, mind, and heart.

If the nature of spirit is all about the sweetness of life, how can my thoughts, words, and actions lend themselves to the goodness that's available in each and every moment?

How can I pay attention, be atonished, and tell about it more often than not?

And of course my friends I flip those questions back to you.

Happy Saturday.
May it be good.
May you pay attention.
May you be astonished.
May you tell about it.

PS - Photo during gradation ceremony for yoga teacher training in Tulum. Photo taken by the talented Martin Husch.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

words of ayurveda

Some words/quotes to share:

"The goal of Ayurveda is to keep humanity healthy so that one can fully pursue the four goals of life. This is the highest purpose of Ayurveda. Without health, the journey is compromised and the goals are more difficult though not impossible to achieve." ~Marc Halpern

The four goals of life are:
1. Kama (pleasure)
2. Artha (prosperity)
3. Dharma (purpose)
4. Moksha (liberation

"A person of normal mental faculty, intelligence, strength and energy, desirous of his well being pertaining to this world and the world beyond, has to seek (the) three basic desires (instincts). ~Caraka Samhita (to Ayurveda what Yoga Sutras are to yoga)

The three basic instincts of life are:
1. The desire to live.
2. The desire to earn.
3. The desire to perform virtuous acts.

This quote is pertaining to the desire to earn:
"One must have a desire for wealth for there in nothing so miserable as a long life without wealth. One can adopt any means of livelihood that is not despised by man." ~Caraka Samhita

Huh, something that is "not despised by man". I'm sure that could be debated a few different ways. As with all things yoga related. ;)

Yep, I've been studying this morning.
Enjoy the sunshine......

PS - Studio was hoppin' last night with all sorts of lovely yogis. It was quite delight-full. So nice to be back at the treehouse for yoga goodness.

PPS - That's a new yoga amiga I met at our retreat in NC. Mist over the mountains and a peaceful warrior. Pretty. Pretty.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

body and soul

Yesterday was Monday.
I love Mondays.
It has officially became my "I'm gonna do whatever I feel like doin' day."

Last week I had a private session and when we went to schedule a session for this week I said, "I don't work on Monday, but any other day we can work with."

Even when I said it a light bulb went off. This is the first time I've actually voiced this to a student/client. And took a firm stand for me. And my day of self care.

Andy had PTA and didn't get home till later last night. So I had a full time to myself. I was so happy about my day that when he came home I recited to him what I spent the day doing (and even gave him times, as in from 6:30 to 8:00.....)

Body and soul were fed in the following ways....

*study ayurveda upon waking
*eat the last of the de-lish granola I brought back from Maya Tulum
*walk to main and maple. spend three hours blogging, writing and reading old journal entries from Mexico (a way I'm celebrating/receiving all the Mexico goodness)
*eat vegetarian chili I made previous night. This is THE best chili I've ever made
*take the dogs for a long walk (for dogs)
*take myself for a long walk (this is more for me than the dogs)
*spend an hour in my yoga room doing yoga (asana mostly). I did read a passage by Rumi that became my inspiration for the practice. Following the practice I spent a few minutes writing in my sketch journal.
*listen to Lucinda Williams station on Pandora. Swirl around the house and tidy things up.
*see what ingredients I have at the house and come up with a chickpea dish for dinner (garlic, tomatoes, evoo, cayenne, red pepper flakes, cumin, red wine vinegar, chickpeas, spinach, lemon juice, salt and pepper). Very tasty. And feel empowered that I could in fact improvise and make something.
*pull out old magazines and do a couple collages in my sketch journal (see above photo)
*read People magazine that BF brought to me (we recycle this way :)
*go to bed early.

I discovered this poem in an old issue of Whole Living. You can see it in the pic above. Enjoy.....

Body and Soul
by Sharon Bryan

They grow up together
but they aren't even fraternal

twins, they quarrel a lot
about where to go and what

to do, the body complains
about having to carry

the soul everywhere as if
it were some helpless cripple,

and the soul snipes that it can go
places the body never dreamed of,

then they quarrel over which one of them
does the dreaming, but the truth is,

they can't live without each other and
they both know it...

Happy Tuesday my friends. I hope to see you on the mat later today. Break is over for me, back to ayurveda studies.

Monday, November 08, 2010


I'm thinking about this. And what it means for me (in this moment, and that could totally change).

I just looked the definition of grounded up. Here is what I found that resonated most with me:
1. Mentally and emotionally stable
2. To place on or to touch the ground..

I've been traveling a whole lot recently. In fact, this was the first weekend I've spent at home since the end of September. Home is usually a place for us to feel mentally and emotionally stable. At least that's the hope. This rangs true for me. Upon leaving Mexico I kept having the thought, "I can't wait to get home and be grounded in my big old house."

The rational part of me knows that I need to stay put. I need to ground myself after this period of intense work and travel. But the part of me that needs and wants to experience more wants to keep me on the go.

Being in North Carolina for the weekend retreat was really good for me. Being with the group of girls was wonderful, the food was great, and the sessions went really well. For me being nestled in the mountains was pretty perfect. When I'm in the mountains I feel a sense of being protected, of being held, almost like a cocoon in some sort. And I even took an hour long nap outside, lying in the grass on my belly. Truly the most "grounding" thing I'd done in a while.

While I was in NC, I didn't make any plans. I originally had this intention of some quiet time, deep listening for what I need/want to do next.

Grounding it was. I didn't need to plan. Plan. Plan some more.

I needed to stay put. And celebrate what I'd done, what I have recently accomplished. In one of my calls with Grace (awesome life coach Grace) we were having a conversation about my need to be doing more. She says to me, "Wow Sharon I feel so inspired by you and how you have this way of making stuff happen in your life. But I also feel sadness because you can have a hard time letting yourself feel settled, receive, and celebrate what you do." These were not her exact words as I didn't write them down and the call was a while ago. But you get the gist. They keep coming back to me.

Sooooo, that's what I've been doing....grounding. My yoga practice (which I'm in another period of so loving asana) has been grounded in that I've been doing tons of standing poses, for longer holds. Less flow. More emphasis of grounding through the feet, drawing the muscles onto the bones, creating stability, and enjoying slow deep breaths.

Ideas have been swirling around about some "nexts". I'm keeping a list. But not acting on any of it yet. I know that logistically, projects need to come forth from a grounded place. Not the dreaming part so much. But when we start to move forward with dreams, it needs to come from a grounded, stable place.

I don't only do this with work stuff, but this is what I most bring voice to here on this blog. For instance in the week that I've been back I've:
1. Tried to convince Andy that we reallllly should go to the Michael Franti concert in Cleveland this Saturday. He's not as convinced as I.
2. Planned a short little trip to Asheville with Andy after Thanksgiving.
3. Firmed up plans for a June trip with BF, her husband, and Andy for a trip to the Outer Banks.

Yep, for a Kapha gal (grounded, stable, and earthy) I sure like to be on the go. :)

PS - Yes I'm sure that I used the word "grounded" here tons o' times. Perhaps I'll count and see.

PPS - But today is Monday. Monday how I love you! I will not drive today. I will not make myself do anything. I will only do the things that bring me joy. I will not judge myself in the process.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

**Last dance party on the beach of Tulum**

on taking care of yourself

When you take good care of yourself you help everyone. You stop being a source of suffering to the world. You become a reservoir of joy and happiness. Here and there are people who know how to take care of themselves. They are our strongest support. ~Thich Naht Hanh

*Student taking a break during yoga techer training in Tulum. Takin' good care of himself. :) *

**Thanks for sharing the quote Anita**

Friday, November 05, 2010

house of joy

"Maybe you should move into the house of joy,
and shine into every crevice." ~Rumi

I bought THE most beautiful book of Rumi poetry last weekend in Asheville. Really, each page is a feast for the eyes. The words are a feast for the heart.

I've been thinking about the above words over the last two days. A lot.

I've shared these words on Facebook. And in class too.

I'm thinking about how our body is the ultimate house. It is our house. Our temple. Our vehicle. So much more.

Wondering what it would be like to view and feel that my body was but a house of joy.
I'm familiar with a house of judgement.
And shame.
And hurt.

Let us not forget that our mind is housed here too.
I'm familiar with a house of doubt.
And fear.
Anxiety too.
More shame.
And hurt.

But joy. I've come to know you much better over the past years.
I am getting closer to you.

I'm also thinking of asana (yoga poses) and how my practice (and teachings) can be a demonstration of a celebration.

Of joy.

Thinking of how we can use the breath, thoughts, and intentions to shine light into every crevice in the body.

Into the parts that ache.
The parts that are tight.
The parts we think aren't good enough.
The parts we're ashamed of.

I would love for you to join me in this house of joy.
And together we can shine like stars.

Monday, November 01, 2010

notes from my journal

July 22, 2008

I was just thinking for a moment about teaching yoga in Appalachia. Teaching yoga in Mexico. Teaching yoga in Lexington. Could I really do it all? Could I plant and share these seeds of yoga at all the places I hold so dearly?

{photo taken during tulum yoga teacher training by martin husch. martin is both a talented yoga teacher and photographer, clearly.}