Work for Fall

Spring may be the best time for cleaning, but with its cooler weather and crisp air, autumn holds its own too. And it's the perfect time to clear away the things that popped up unnoticed during the summer and have hitched a ride permanently into our lives.

But I'm not talking about just grabbing a broom or mop. (Although, have at it.) I'm talking about raking up the leaves and dusting the cobwebs from our hearts and brain, and setting out over the next few months with a clear conscience, an open mind and a renewed capacity for compassion. It's about forgiving the little things lingering there or giving them permission to disperse, disband, dissolve.

But how? Well, honestly, I'm not entirely sure. Because this is one of the things I struggle with, day to day, this human tendency to carry too much with me. Just when I think I've let go and sent it into the ether, back it comes. Is that normal? I think so. But, one of these times, it'll be gone for good. I'm convinced the first step is just as it is in yoga: awareness.

On Time

On Tuesday, I saw a child's eyes light up as he gripped a sand timer. "Look!" he exclaimed, happy as ever, right before he flipped it over gleefully and moved on to the next thing before even watching the sand sink to the bottom of the glass. 
And isn't life like that, really? While we're busy, the moments are always slipping through our fingertips and rooting themselves firmly in the past. It's all so different from when we were young. From when the years stretched before us like the Gulf, all blue and sunshine and calm, and touching both our toes and the horizon all at once. It was so simple then, to stare out a vast blankness of beauty and know – just believe – that surely life would turn out to be good and well and happy.
by Marlene Wurzbach

It's harder now, to think of time as benevolent. Perhaps this is one reason why yoga says to be in the here and now. Certainly I understand the most basic reasons why – so I'm living and not just dreaming and thinking and worrying (and worrying). But birthdays have this way of setting time right before me, front and center. The whole length of it. And so I wonder, over cake: Where did the last year ago? And the one before? And the next? Because every now and then... it all just feels so far away.

Some Simple Words

Yoga embraces universal understanding – 
 the truths of all truth.
It does not require perfection
or point out wrong
for the sake of pointing out wrong.
It breathes, it moves and it adapts –
and, time and time again,
it chooses kindness above all else.
All it asks unto the world
is the same from you.
via Pinterest  

Are you a fountain or a drain?

With the length of a minute immovable and unwavering, time feels like an attempt to put us all on even playing field. Twenty-four hours in the day for each and every one of us – no more and no less. But...but is time really an accurate measure of anything but our productivity? What about what's more important than getting things done – like usefulness, purpose and the feelings we share and pass on to others? What about energy?

Energy is far from being an equal unit a measure. We're all working with different amounts because we all have our own unique challenges and constitutions. But here's what's the same for all us: our ability to use what energy we do have for good. For the positive. In other words, to be a fountain and not a drain.

What does that mean? Well, have you ever met someone exhausting? It doesn't matter if you spend one minute or 100 with them, you walk away depleted. With less than where you started. With not enough to lift yourself up. Every last drop has been funneled from your head to your toes and out the bottom of your feet. Down the drain. Gone.

On the other hand, are you or anyone you know a fountain? Just as fountains recycle water again and again, people who are like them draw from a finite amount of energy and source it into positivity and joy. They inspire and build others up – often without even knowing. And they are often sheer pleasure to be around. 

Perhaps the first way to be a fountain is simply to watch your words. Offer a smile. Lend a hand. Or an ear. And, even better, open your heart. But it's also about thinking less in terms of how long and more about how much energy you have to bring to a situation. I guarantee you, some days it may feel like it's not enough. To someone else, though, it's more than.