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May this video make you happy.

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gone fishing

 

I was first introduced to the notion of not practicing as part of an active practice in Jon Kabat Zinn’s book Wherever You Go, There You Are. The very watered down summary is essentially that you cannot fully understand the value of a practice and what it does for you and your life until and unless you stop the practice.  Using yoga as an example, a practitioner cannot really understand what yoga has done for her body, mind and soul, unless she’s been away from the mat for a time.  Then she can witness her body’s aches and pains, her mind’s neuroses and whirring reality, and her sense of disconnection from spirit, to name a few things.  Conversely, when she returns to the mat, she can witness the suffering moving out of her.

Well, folks, today is my quasi day of non-doing.  It has been a long, grey winter and, as one who is not fond of the cold, it has led to many months of being cooped up inside.  The beginning of Spring has proven to be quite soggy.  Today, however, is a moment of reprieve where the sun is shining brightly and the outdoors are simply begging me to come out and play.  Okay, it’s more like my nose is pressed up against the glass and I’m calling out, “Can I, Mum, hunh?  Can I, can I go outside?”  The garden beckons and, just for today, I must obey; the clouds and the rain are scheduled to roll in again starting tomorrow.

So, I honour my dedication to my writing, to this blog, to you, the reader, enough to come in and lovingly say, “I’ve gone fishing.”  May you also have the opportunity to “go fishing” when your heart and soul need it the most.

Many blessings and much love,

Tabitha

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I never anticipated when I started running my own business that I would face an identity crisis like no other.  I began this site as Twisted Positions; it was my way to teach by prompting people to twist things up and look at them differently.  Plus it was kind of a cool connection to the twisty path of Yoga.  As the business began to mature and I read and (sadly) listened to the “experts” in the field of marketing and all things business, I thought my site name should “mature” as well.  I mean, what did twisting things around have to do with Reiki and my other creative pursuits?  *sigh*  So I changed my name to Peace Is Within You. That just sounded so much more….reasonable.

BUT IT’S NOT ME!!!!!!

And while it’s a great name, I can’t stand it.  So I am circling back to my roots and my original intent–to twist things around, to encourage others to do the same for themselves, and, hopefully, in this way, to find freedom from suffering.

Twisted Positions.  In the famous words of Regis Philbin, “Final answer?”  Yes, Reg, final answer.  In the world of the interweb 😉 I am Twisted Positions.

What’s in a name?  EVERYTHING!  May you always remember who you are if ever you lose sight.

Many blessings,

Tabitha

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Believe it or not, I’m not a big fan of talking about myself.  It’s one thing to talk about thoughts and another thing altogether to talk about process, history and personal story.  But there comes a time when a person (like me) has to suck it up and put at least some of it down on the page.

I’ve finally fleshed out my “About Me” page.  If you’d like to learn a bit more about the person behind the words, come take a look:  https://twistedpositions.com/about-me/.

Have a great day!

Tabitha

**Sheesh….I suddenly feel so naked!  🙂  Can you please hand me that sweater over there?  ;P

 

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I don’t know about you but I am a chronic worrier. I know, I know, a Yoga teacher with chronic worry.  That’s stuff for another post.  😉  But it’s true, I worry….endlessly.  I worry that I will even worry myself into an early grave.  Nothing I’ve come across so far has really helped me with my worry.  Positive thinking surely has not.  Imagining scenes of puppy dogs and kitten cats?  Not a chance.

Today I came across this excerpt and I think this guy has some very interesting ideas.   Robert Leahy has some nice twists on dealing with worry and, as the name of this blog suggests, I’m all about twisting it up. I’m definitely going to give some of these things a try.  You may want to as well.

Namaste!

Tabitha

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The Blank Page.  I have been staring at this thing now for quite some time.  For a LONG time.  For MONTHS now.  The Blank Page is daunting to anyone who has a passion for words.  A vast expanse of nothing begging to be filled with some form of brilliance, a brilliance I expect myself to bring.  Except I have been feeling less than brilliant lately.

It was a friend’s statement one evening while we were enjoying dinner that got me pondering this blank page.  “You need to write more consistently,” she said.  Those words always make my heart sink to the vicinity somewhere near my ankles.  Heaving the usual sigh I replied, “I know.  But I’m staring at the big…blank…page!”  “Then you need to write about the big blank page,” she said.

Harumph!

How does one write about The Blank Page, about the nothingness that descends upon a writer’s mind, the kind of nothingness that seems so endless it keeps you up at night?  I thought, Well, it’s like writing about an open field blanketed in snow.  HOW THE HELL DO YOU DESCRIBE THAT?!!! It’s a whole bunch of NOTHING!  Big…deal!

And the answer came:  Look at the field through the eyes of a poet.  A snowy field is far from lacking in description.  Look at it as a poet.

It’s true.  A poet would see the undulations of the land beneath the snow.  She would see the shadows cast, the sparkles of the sun.  Heck, she would even see the minute details of each and every individual snowflake. So I began to investigate The Blank Page in the same way.  What could I see?

Truthfully, I could see nothing outside of The Blank Page, but I could hear something beckoning to me, so I decided to listen.  The Voice had many layers.

The first layer started with, “Ach!  Why?  Who cares?  I have nothing to say.  I can’t write when I have nothing to say.  I’ll wait for inspiration to strike and THEN, when I have something useful to say, I will write.”

Which moved to, “Time.  I HAVE NO TIME!!!!!!!!!!!  Can’t you see that?  What do you expect from me? Miracles?  Between working to pay our bills at jobs I don’t particularly enjoy, and studying yoga for our upcoming classes, and co-maintaining a wonderful relationship, and trying to keep in touch with friends, and cooking for people and the cats, and preparing food because YOU have decided to go gluten-free, and fitting in a yoga class or exercise, WHEN, pray tell, do you expect us to find the time to WRITE?!!!  WE HAVE TO SLEEP SOME TIME, YOU KNOW?!!!”

And underneath the anger were rich tears.  Hot, sad tears that led to a despair that speaks to the desolation of my soul.  “It’s not supposed to be like this,” said the sad Voice.  “This is not the way it was meant to be.”

Desolation of my soul.  Starvation.  Inattention to my needs.  The Blank Page, which clearly isn’t blank at all,  begs the larger question:  How have I been ignoring my needs? 

The Voice asks, “How can you feel inspired, how can you be capable of giving, Tabitha, when you have deprived your soul-body of any sustenance?  When was the last time you spent any quiet time with yourself, in complete solitude?  When have you touched base with the Nature that surrounds you and fills you up?  When have you last spoken with the birds and the trees and the sky and the wind?  When…have…you…last…spoken…with…God?”

At the very centre of the question there lays a silence, a stillness that only comes from understanding, from truly understanding the process.

The Blank Page is a signpost, a checkpoint that says, “Kiddo, you’re running too fast and you’re losing touch with what is.  You’re too bound up in duty to everyone and everything outside of you and your God.  You are starving yourself here, becoming spiritually anorexic.  You need to feed.  In order to thrive, to be at peace, and to love, you MUST feed.”

Last week I went for a long walk and heard the voices of the trees.  I explored a bit of the world around me by going to second hand clothing stores just to see some of the remarkable things out there.  I played for a bit.  I prayed for a bit. And I began to feel myself coming back on track.  Admittedly, I still do not feel I have anything of brilliance to say but I feel okay enough within my world to admit to that. And I am feeding, taking slow small bites of the world around me, rejuvenating my soul in the same way I would begin to nourish my body after a fast.  Just as the winter-weary world is doing around me, I am slowly coming back to life, one…small…step…at a time.

So now I ask you: When The Blank Page, in whatever version speaks to you, shows up in YOUR life, what is it trying to tell you?  Listen.  Learn.  Feed.  So you can live.  So you can Love.

Many Blessings,

Tabitha

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Perhaps after the last post you have found yourself saying, “Well, that’s great, Tabitha.  It’s all well and good to say I can find peace by holding in my hands the duality of life but HOW, pray tell, do you suggest I do that?!!!”  There are concrete techniques to help us on the path of accepting and embodying duality.  Here’s a simple one you can do any time, anywhere.

Take a few deep breaths and begin to quiet your mind.  Breathing in and out, bring yourself to a place mentally where you can begin to focus on what’s going on around you and within you. 

Notice your environment:  Where are the shadows?  Where does the light fall?  Can you see that both the light and dark exist together?  What are the sounds?  The colours?  The smells?  Don’t judge them. Don’t try and figure them out.  Simply notice.  Allow your attention to bop from one sight to a sound to a smell without getting stuck there.  Just notice.  Can you notice that all of these things exist together?

Now notice what’s going on in your body:  Quickly do a scan of your body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.  Are there parts of your body calling for your attention?  Often we notice body parts when there’s pain or discomfort there.  If that’s the case, can you also bring your attention to a part of your body that feels different, that perhaps is at ease and is comfortable?  Notice the contradictions in sensation, existing simultaneously within your body.  Don’t try to change anything.  Just be the witness and notice.

What’s going on in your mind?  Take a moment and recognize the thoughts that are floating around in your mind.  What are the qualities of those thoughts?  Are they negative or positive?  Light or dark?  Heavy or silly?  Often when we notice thoughts that we consider to be heavy or dark, we strive to push them away, accepting only the light thoughts.  I encourage you, this time, to simply notice the thoughts, like clouds floating across a blue sky.  Your thoughts come and go as quickly and easily as the clouds change form.  See if you can simply allow them to be.

Now do the same with your emotions.  What different emotions are existing within you right now?  See if you can give them attention without getting caught up in one or trying to avoid another.

This exercise can take seconds, minutes, or hours, depending on how deeply you want to move within the experience.  It is a simple, concrete way of moving into acknowledging and accepting the contradictions that are inherent in our everyday living.  When we can let go of the expectation that Life is to be “this OR that”, we have stepped firmly on to the path that leads to peaceful living.

May Peace be yours.  🙂

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