Where is Home? 🏠 A place or a state of mind?
We closed on our house in Lake Forest today. It took a while to sell it but now it’s officially final. I thought I had already gone through the tears, the memories, the goodbyes but, oddly, the finality of selling the house makes it all too real (again). When you think you’ve felt it all, you discover you actually have an unlimited capacity to feel. It was our home for 22 years. So, now, where is home?
“Home is where the heart is,” is what @donbaeyoga and I jokingly say to each other. It’s true and I believe that, but why does it feel like we’re without a home? Whenever we’d return from traveling, there’s no other feeling like coming home…to your space, your bed, the familiar, the comfort. Home is a place of safety and refuge, where all barriers can come tumbling down and you can be your raw, unfiltered self. It’s a space you know, in which you don’t need to ask any questions.
We’ve been living in CA five months now and I’ve noticed that when we refer to anything in Chicago (family, friends, our house) we call it “home.” Very rarely have I called our place here in Venice “home” because it doesn’t quite feel like it—yet. Maybe we’re not home? Maybe this is just a pit stop. Maybe this is trial run. Maybe this is a transition. Maybe it’s a pause—that place in between.
Is a home somewhere you grow into? Will California feel like home in a month, a year, a decade? It’s impossible to live up to 22 years in 5 months. Like a new relationship, a new home needs to be negotiated without comparison to its predecessor. But when a place has held your heart for 22 years, that’s a hard philosophy to follow through on.
Even if Cali isn’t home, even if it is a pitstop, a transition – that’s okay! The moments in between, the stepping stones, are just as important as the destinations, if not more so. However long we are in CA for, we will grow, we will learn, we will be strengthened. We’ll meet new people and have new experiences. We are always moving forward.
If the time comes to move on, we’ll know. If the time comes to accept California as our home, we’ll know. I trust whatever the Universe has in store for us😉
🧩 Recognizing Your Samskaras 🧩
It can be difficult to see the #patterns that govern our lives. They surround us and are a part of us, a kaleidoscopic tunnel we walk through as we step out into the world. Some patterns strengthen us and pave the way for powerful forward momentum, but others weaken us, distancing us from our #power and #independence and making it difficult to maintain our forward motion.
The Sanskrit word #samskaras refers to these patterns, these emotional habits that our lives revolve around. Whether positive or negative, we get the best view of our own personal samskaras when we take a step back. Removing ourselves from the immediate desire to react, watching our thoughts, studying our behavior, and asking difficult and uncomfortable questions: Why did I do/think/feel that? Have I done/thought/felt that before?
Noticing both the helpful and harmful patterns allows you greater control over the path you walk. When we recognize the strengthening habits we already enact, it becomes easier to nurture and solidify them, so that we can gain even more from our natural tendencies.
Recognizing the patterns and emotional habits that are holding us down is also so #empowering. These are the patterns that keep up going in circles, dragging us under as we furiously tread water, reaching for the sky. These are the samskaras that result in the ‘same scars’, over and over again.
As always, coming from the #perspective of #love, understand where and why these patterns developed and what they were trying to protect you from. Be grateful for their #intention, but recognize that you don’t need them anymore. You’re ready to stride forward into your #truth, into your #purpose, into your #potential.
With the New Year coming in strong, hit the reset button on those patterns and #habits that have been pulling you down. Replace them with new patterns that build you up and bring you closer to the best version of yourself 😊 Then build on the patterns that have elevated you this far so that they can continue to lift towards your highest potential.
As 2019 winds down, it’s interesting to consider whether 2020 is the final year of the current decade, or whether this New Year’s Eve is ringing in the 21st century’s very own “Roaring 20s.” It was quite interesting to read the recent debate on my FB page when I asked when does the decade start, in 2020 or 2021?
Beyond numerical proof, the answer to this question impacts the #energy with which we’re closing down this year. What #intentions are you manifesting and focusing on? 🤔
Look back and see what has been working, what hasn’t been working, and release whatever is not helping you move forward. Fine-tune your intentions and goals to bring all of your projects, be they professional or personal, to fruition in the coming year.
Preparing to begin a new decade, set fresh intentions and #goals that will see you through to the 2030s. You can obviously see how far you came in the 2010s. Maybe you have a sharper understanding of what brings you fulfillment and satisfaction, and you know how you can bring yourself closer to your #truth and #happiness in the coming decade.
Armed with all the success and growth from the 2010s, this new decade is a clean slate, a fresh start, that strengthens what you’ve created and built so far. Release completely what has been holding you back—it has no place in your future steps.
Whether you see 2020 as the end of this decade or the beginning of the new one, bring the energy of #love, #positivity and #gratitude with you, and trust that whatever you set your mind to, you can #manifest it in the coming year. The end of one chapter always means the beginning of the next, a profoundly exciting time where blank pages are waiting for you to write the continuation of your story. Be receptive and open to the opportunities that will come your way, no matter what shape they reveal themselves to you in.
Close this chapter with #love and #gratitude for what it brought you, and open the new one with #optimism and #focus 🙏🏼
There are so many things to look forward to in the #holidayseason 🎁, and so many reasons to be excited. But for many of us, there are just as many reasons to feel a twinge of dread, anxiety and stress at the thought of the chaotic waves, or #vrittis , of family, friends, events, dinners, expectations and obligations that are inevitably going to come with the #holidays🎄
This is a time for #giving, and if we want to survive, our first priority should be giving to ourselves. In the midst of running around like a headless chicken 🐓 shopping around for the right present or preparing for holiday parties 🍾— make sure you find a moment for YOU. Give yourself the gift of a moment’s #stillness, a moment’s respite from emotional, mental and physical chaos.
This might be once a day, once a week, once an hour – as often as you need it in order to stay in #balance. I’ve mentioned this before because it’s so important, but you have to give to yourself first before you can provide healthily for others, especially at a time when most of us are focusing on everyone else in our lives. So don’t be scared to take a moment. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary. It’s not self-indulgence, it’s #selfcare.
Yoga citta vritti nirodha – Yoga Sutra 1.2
Whether you set aside some time to read a book📚 take a long bath 🛀 , #meditate, or practice #yoga 🧘🏽♀️, you’re giving yourself that time when you don’t think about the holiday chaos. You’re giving yourself that time when you’re coming back to yourself and recharging your batteries, “calming the fluctuations of your consciousness”.
If it helps, schedule this time into your #journal or calendar, label it as ‘Me Time’ or a ‘Self Care Day.’ Don’t be scared to tell people about it, so that they know not to disturb you during this time 🤫 Make sure your loved ones respect your needs in this regard.
Most importantly, though, #commit to yourself. Make yourself the promise that you will show up for yourself in this way. You deserve it. You’re worth it. You’ve earned it. Don’t let anyone, especially yourself, tell you the opposite🙏🏼
#mondaymotivation #yogicthoughts #inspiration #jennygbyoga #jennyogini #yogateacher #equinoxyogainstructor #equinoxsantamonica #team_eqx #itsnotfitnessitslife #lululemonambassador #lululemonlegacyambassador #thesweatlife
We often find ‘change’ a scary thing. Although we know that life is constant flow and forward momentum, when we think of something coming in to change our routines and our habits, or threatening to change what we know and how we see the world, we can react with fear and negativity😬 We feel safe in the perceived permanence of our lives, believing that any suggestion of flux, impermanence, or transformation must necessarily be for the worst.
But the impermanence of things is what makes them most beautiful! 🌺 Everything around us is always transforming: day to night, season to season, full moon to new moon; the oceans and the seas, the sand dunes in our deserts, the earth beneath our feet — everything shifts. Everything follows its flow🌊
Our lives are like a constantly evolving dance💃🏼 , from one emotion to another, through one song to another; or like a flowing, shifting yoga sequence, working our way from one state of mind to another, through one #asana to another. Each new posture builds on the last but remains distinct: we see where we have come from, but where we are now is unique, and there’s no telling where we’ll end up!
We can sit with the feelings of discomfort knowing that we will pass through them, and we must rejoice in the love 💗 and happiness which act like a true north🧭, a cardinal direction to which we can always return no matter where our flow takes us.
Being able to enter that flow and respect where it takes us, having the awareness to honor ourselves wherever we are in our dance, is the key to finding peace and fulfilment.
To be able to do this, we must accept that nothing can stay as it is. Stasis is unnatural. Like the Earth🌍 herself, we are always shifting from one season to another. Transformation and growth are what life is made of, after all!
Growth is hard. It can be uncomfortable. It can be scary.
Whether we can see where we need to be or have no idea what our next steps are, somedays it’s so much easier to sit snugly in our comfort zone.
Our #comfortzone may not be perfect – it doesn’t fulfil us, and we know it’s not healthy in the long run – but we know it so well. We know where we stand, we know how to act, we know how things go.
Somedays, the only thing scarier than the thought of staying in our comfort zone forever is the thought of the unknown.
And yet, reaching for the unknown is the only way to grow. Stepping bravely into the discomfort and fear which come with #change and #transformation is the first step on your path to a life of meaning and impact.
#Bravery is not the absence of fear, but taking action despite it.
Don’t dread or avoid fear and discomfort. Breathe into it and see it for what it is: a sign that you are changing, growing, transforming. Moving forward and evolving. Diving deeper into yourself and expanding the way you exist in this world. It’s a sign that you are pushing at the boundaries which have been holding you back.
The world is ready for you to break out of the cocoon of your comfort zone, transformed by your own courage and vision. The world is ready for you to step into your life with #purpose and #intent. You are ready too.
When life feels like a steady upstream battle, and you don’t seem to be getting any closer to your goals, just remember this: you don’t have to do it alone.
You are surrounded by an intimate network of family and friends who have your back, as well as a broader network of colleagues, acquaintances and role-models, whose knowledge and expertise can benefit you. You just have to ask.
Asking for help can be terrifying. To reach out to someone, you need to let go of something that was holding you steady. You might not have been going anywhere fast, but that handhold seemed like the only thing between you and drowning, and it was something you could control.
It was also holding you back from moving forward.
Yes, it might be a leap of faith to let go and reach out for someone else. It’s scary to rely on others. It’s scary to think that we can’t do it all ourselves. It’s uncomfortable to relinquish control. But if we want to fly, we have to let go of the fear of falling. We have to trust that there will be wind under our wings.
So if you’re feeling stuck, . Reach out and ask for help. Accept what support is offered. Let go of the fear of dependence, fear of vulnerability and the fear of failure which are keeping you from soaring.
Help might not always appear in the ways you expect. It might be a literal hand, pulling you from deep waters….
It might be an
understanding shoulder to cry and vent on….
It might be a new professional, social or creative opportunity….
It might be the sudden, uncomfortable realization that what you thought you wanted, isn’t in fact what’s best for you….
Help is there. You just have to ask.
We spend our days giving of ourselves. We give to our friends and family, and we give to our colleagues and bosses. We put our emotional, physical and mental energies into making sure everything is running smoothly, into remembering to arrange that dinner, get that lightbulb fixed and meet that deadline.
How are we supposed to clarify what brings us purpose and joy, when we’re so focused on everyone and everything else?
By living constantly outside of ourselves, we can become disconnected from our truth and our power.
That’s why is important to take a break to reconnect with your own voice after dedicating so much energy giving it to others. Spending quality time with yourself is such a vital part of understanding your priorities, purpose and goals, and getting back in touch with your strength and direction.
Whether you journal, meditate, read, dance, or do yoga, take that time to retreat into yourself. Retreat into all the parts of you that need Love and Light, and give to yourself.
While it may sound counter-intuitive, you need to provide for yourself first, so that you can give more powerfully and focusedly to others. What can you do for anyone else if you’re scattered, exhausted and confused?
It’s okay to give to .
The energy that you dedicate to you is never lost. It strengthens you as you shine out into the world with purpose, meaning and impact. Retreat and surrender are the first steps to spiritual growth. It can only come from within.
Some days, you just have to be able to see the world from a different point of view. Maybe even turn it upside down🤸🏻♀️
There are so many things which are simply not within our control: other people’s behavior, events that happen to us, even the weather! But there is one thing that is always within our power: PERSPECTIVE.
If we come at life from the right angle, most everything can be seen in a positive, or at least a constructive, light. What have we gained today? How have we been strengthened today? What have we learned?
Changing the way we look at things is the key ingredient in our spiritual and emotional growth, in the magical and wonderful journey that brings us closer to ourselves.
Choosing to see the world from the perspective of love💛…Love for ourselves, Love for others, Divine Love…empowers us to grow from every little thing that happens to us, no matter how insignificant or negative it may seem on the surface.
If things aren’t going your way…
If it feels like the world is ganging up on you right now…
If the blessings seem fewer than the hardships…
Act on your power to choose how you understand the world🤔
Choose to see things differently 👀
Empower yourself by focusing on what you can control: YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
Pico Iyer, author of The Art of Stillness: Adventures of Going Nowhere, has said “Sitting still is a way of falling in love with the world and everything in it.”
Sitting still has always been a challenge for me. There seems to always be a mountain of distractions, both necessary and unnecessary. Pico Iyer’s book reminds me that sometimes to sit still is the most important thing in the world and yet the hardest thing in the world. I need reminding that sitting still is the most useful thing I could “do”
Take the time to breathe in and out; to sit in stillness and release; to open your heart and receive—in the whirlwind of our modern lives, making room for stillness helps us get back in touch with our bodies, our minds, our souls, our world and everything in it.
🛑 If you’ve read up to here, STOP. Don’t click, don’t scroll.
Put your phone down and turn away from the screen.
Close your eyes.
It would make me so happy to know you sat still.
Let’s sit together. 🧘🏽♀️