Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Embracing the Season of Summer at the Speed of Nature: Long, Slow and Deep.

   Happy Solstice to all. We here in the  New England  are almost giddy at the arrival of summer season. With a spring that seemed to elude us, we now are fully in the flowering season of all that nature has to offer.

   To fully be present and receptive to the sensory abundance that is unfolding each day, it's wise to choose to move at the pace of nature herself. She does not rush or multitask. She does not judge or reject. She does not miss the moment waiting for a better one ahead or holding on to moments past. She is the epitome of a wise sage guiding us just how to align and shine with our essence by taking in hers!

   Our breath reflects our consciousness and the availability we have to being present. Breathing in long, slow and deeply and exhaling with completion, moves our nervous system into alignment with the healing rhythm of nature. When we consciously breathe, we consciously see, sense, hear, feel and taste. We awaken from distraction and open fully to the richness that nature and this season of growth has to offer.

   When we observe our experiences from a space of conscious presence, we absorb the beauty of nature right into our cellular structure. We then carry her essence as a reflection of our own. We become her. We realize the infinite possibilities within the world of creation. We awaken our experiences to depths not tapped into before. We awaken to the natural aliveness that defines our souls.

    Summer is a blessing every year, particularly if you live in regions with long , tough winters. Summer awakens and renews our spirit.  Summer says come out and play . Shed your layers, shed your shoes, walk in the grass or on the sand, breathe and feel. Be Alive! What an amazing season of generosity and abundance! 

Blessings to you All and take each day as an invitation to breathe long, slow and deeply. Take it all in! Namaste Anne Townend-Duffey

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Four Letter Word You Cannot Thrive Without!

    No, it's not Food or the other F word, its REST! Yes REST. Its not sexy, not going to stimulate your dopamine receptors for action, addiction and pleasure , plain and simple REST. As a yoga teacher I am well aware that despite all the benefit of the many yoga asanas we may explore in a class, what I notice students absolutely LOVE is savasana, integrative REST TIME! We are a sleep and rest deprived culture. We are , in many cases , moving around in some level of brain fog exhaustion.
We've been hearing some good press about the need to shift our view with the necessity of adequate and optimal restorative sleep thanks in part to Arianna Huffington's new book THRIVE. 

Most of us are getting some amount of sleep and the quality of it may vary. If you wake up feeling refreshed, recharged and inspired well than you have the sleep factor down! Sadly that is not the experience of most folks living in today's hyped -up, info. overloaded and energy draining times. When it comes to REST, ALL OF US ARE LACKING IN THIS KEY NUTRIENT FOR THE BODY, MIND and SOUL. 

REST can range from simply taking a minute to pause , close your eyes and breathe deeply and mindfully or to taking a sabbatical from your profession to retreat  and REST your weary mind, body and soul and rediscover the core of your being. In between the one minute option and the month or year retreat , there are a multitude of creative ways to weave REST into your daily life.
Here are my top picks:
REST your mind by meditating daily, observe your breath and
drop your thoughts
REST your emotions by taking a walk in nature
REST your worry by saying a mantra or prayer that connects you to
REST your judgements by allowing things to unfold as they are.
REST your fear by being kind and patient with your vulnerability
REST your anger by embracing the awareness that your soul is
trying to get your attention to move into more clarity and
REST your digestion by doing a one day juice fast.
REST your habit to caffeinate and hydrate instead
REST your aches and pains by taking a lavender/epsom salt bath
REST your incessant need to know by trusting in the mystery of life
REST your compulsion to talk by being silent and listening
REST your obsession with social media by having a 'screen free'
REST your need to make 'TO DO ' lists and replace with a ' To BE'
REST your habit of watching negative news, TV and media by
making a playlist of inspirational music to soothe your psyche.
REST your tendency to speak negatively by reading inspiring poetry
from Rumi or Hafiz Hamidun
REST your concern about the future and be present to what is in
front of your eyes, ears , nose and heart right now.our
REST your need to make a big decision quickly, Take time and SLEEP on it! Things always appear clearer when we are rested.

Today,,, find a few ways to practice RESTING. Your mind with thank you with clarity. Your body will thank you with energy and calm and your spirit will thank you with intuitive guidance.
I'D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR IDEA ON HOW TO TAKE A REST,Please share in the comments below.
Namaste & Blessings for a REST INFUSED DAY! Anne Townend- Duffey MA. E-RYT Director of Opening Lotus Yoga

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

SURRENDERING TO THE UNKNOWN Part 2- Deeply Trusting the Space of Confusion & Not Knowingness

Vibrant Health Tip of the Week -Surrendering to the Unknown Part 2: DEEPLY TRUST THE SPACE OF CONFUSION AND NOT KNOWING Embracing the Dance Between Shadow & LIght

Last week I shared some insights about the practice and power of surrendering, the art of knowing when perpetuating the minds tendencies to either force solutions or recede into inertia is not the most mindful approach to take when facing challenges. When we act out of impulse, we tend to perpetuate old patterns and the current challenges keep on repeating themselves in one form or another as we are not approaching it from a higher level of awareness to actually resolve the challenge.

The POWER OF SURRENDER comes from the awareness that there is a Divine level of support and evolution working on your behalf but it requires us to stop our conditioned behaviors long enough to allow this support to be felt and trusted. The paradox is that in order to tap into the light of consciousness, we have to be willing to fully experience the shadows of our unconsciousness that show up as confusion, fear, resistance and pain.

PART 2 of surrendering is DEEPLY TRUST THE SPACE OF CONFUSION AND NOT KNOWINGNESS. For most of us, when faced with a challenge on any level, the last thing we are comfortable with is being in a state of confusion. We've been trained to escape confused states at all costs mostly due to an unconscious drive not to feel fear. We may opt for acting on any solution just to escape the uncomfortableness of not knowing and it may bring some ego relief in the short term as some perceived illusion we are in control, but acting from conditions, habits or fear never results in changes that are wise or sustainable.

THE KEY to allowing yourself to be present in the uncomfortable or at times down right painful space of not knowing is to continually be present to exactly what is arising and FEEL IT FULLY. Being patient does not mean not feeling. Being patient means to fully feel every energy that arises in times of confusion. Feeling does not mean analyzing or over thinking, just feel in the moment, what does it feel like in your body for your mind to go into overdrive. Do you have a headache, is your chest tight, is your stomach in knots, is your breath shallow ?

OBSERVING YOUR ENERGETIC EXPERIENCES IS THE DOORWAY to connecting to a deeper wisdom just ready to reveal itself to you . It requires we stay receptive and willing to allowing whatever is arising to be received in a manner of non-judgement and openness. This tool of staying present to what is, is especially potent when dealing with deep struggles. It takes courage of the heart , trust in the wisdom of the soul and the awareness and faith that we are all being held and supported by a divine presence that always has our highest good at heart. Trust that! Lean on that when the prickly, painful, heart opening energy of confusion and fear creep in. Feel, be present and allow the guidance of the Divine truth of your being to come in and be realized. This process is truly witnessing the transformation of shadow to light. From untruth to truth. From living in dishonesty to living with clarity and peace. Its not an easy path but a necessary one if we aspire to manifest our Dharma, our spiritual gift we are here to deliver.
Blessings for a day of allowing, feeling and being present to what is especially when you feel confused fearful and in pain.
Namaste Anne Townend- Duffey
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