Creating Space: 4 Big Lessons in Living Simply
It’s important to me to create plenty of space, not only for meditation and planning for our yoga teacher trainings, but a nice big space for reflection. Creating room to ponder, dream and be honest with myself on how am I doing, how am I serving, and how am I feeling about it all has become essential to every aspect of my life. I share this technique in our recent online retreat: How to Practice at Home Let me know if you’d like to hear more on this process, I’m happy to share.
I often see people drift in and out of their wellbeing practices for lack of purpose. When you do things that are good for you solely because you know they are good for you, you will ultimately stop doing those things because they lack joy. Maybe someday the science can show what we ultimately know, our purpose that drives our actions is the necessary ingredient for our wellbeing.
Addressing your needs while you practice is necessary to gain practically all of the benefits, whether your form is tai chi, yoga, gardening or something else. Absent reflection it’s easy to lose interest in self-care, fall into living life as a race, and get out of the habit of exploring your potential. When you practice without purpose, how you move becomes less careful and less nice to yourself, ultimately superficial and inevitably boring. What we don’t enjoy doing we quit.
I would like to share what I have learned this year, what I see and dream for the future for myself and for our community, and some ease and progress we can work on together.
Life is Chapters
We headed out to Sundance late last year to check things out for a Strala Training. We fell in love with the beauty of the land, the artistry of what the Redfords have created and the integrity of the people we met. We spent some major time enjoying Utah this year in between traveling for Strala and other adventures, and hosted our first of hopefully many Retreats / Yoga Teacher Trainings in the mountains. Our next one is coming up in March 29-April 4, come join.
The mountains, we imagined, would be home for a while, but we ended up learning more about ourselves. Life is chapters. There might not be a final place and that’s ok. It’s more essential to Be Here Now, as our friend Derek Meier, a close friend of Ram Dass who was with him when he passed and said, “He left with no gas in the tank.” May we live each day to the fullest so when we go we have no gas left in the tank!
If you hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting Ram Dass or reading any of his works, one of my favorites is Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying. For years I dragged my copy of this book to photo shoots with me and read a chapter or two while waiting for my turn to be a ham. It is always fun to have conversations with people about it who read the title and assume I’m reading an anti-aging book. Ahh it’s quite the opposite and brings much better conversation than the latest laser facial. It always kept me in the moment and grateful for what life brings.
Community is Queen
I recently found an old interview that I did that I thought was never published. It was interesting to read through what was happening 5 years ago and how I felt and spoke about it. That was a time when things were fast and community was building on this ease thing we all share. It was exciting and a bit of a roller coaster ride. Now I move efficiently and slow. Things feel right. Our community is strong, not because of our massive size (although we are big like that woop) but because of how intimate, supportive and real our relationships are with each other and the people we lead.
Growing isn’t about exploding our message across the globe as the goal. Growing happens easily when we help ourselves while we share what we learn with each other. Our global blanket of ease is spread with the most gentle of waves. I’m proud that we have grown in this way, together. I want to welcome and honor our entire community of people who practice Strala, our Guides, and our Partner Studios. Thank you for your commitment to improving how you are and sharing what you do.
Sustainability is a Mindset
Yes, sustainability is about our individual choices but it’s fueled by our mindset. Sustainability is a way of life. I’ve reflected this year on what is sustainable to me as far as how I want to spend my time and where I want to direct my energy. When I focus on my mindset and how I want to feel, making the right choices for me is easy.
It’s wonderful that the right choices for yourself are usually the right choices for many others around you. The ripple affect of good action is infinite and amazing. Use what you need. Rest what you don’t. Works for saving your energy and affecting others positively. Works for financial freedom and less physical waste. Works for feeling better and not desiring what doesn’t serve you.
I predict our theme of simplicity will go mainstream this year. It’s been a welcomed theme of our yoga teacher trainings and a big personal direction of mine as well. Simplicity is a theme in what I lead, how I write and what I dream on. From the mat to the kitchen to the home and beyond, I’ve simplified my life and it feels so good. I was happy to share Simplify the Home Retreat earlier this year and it’s so fun to hear how it is going for those who participate in this mindset.
We are on to something big here my dear Strala friends. How we guide with the simplest language possible is the best gift we can give to help someone connect to themselves. Feeling, instead of telling someone how to feel. Doing instead of telling someone to do. Being simple with your language, your possessions, your words, your actions is a powerful practice. Simplifying is the new minimalism and it’s simply here to stay.
Hope to see you soon for hugs,
P.S. Come join us sooner than later. We are headed to Sundance in Utah, March 29 – April 3, Zermatt in June (yes Switzerland!), Berlin in July and August and Ibiza in October. Choose your ideal retreat, yoga teacher training program and soak in the community of ease.
Join In The Ease
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Yoga Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.