Monday, June 30, 2008

You Can Heal Your Life

In an effort to continually improve myself, broaden my horizons and be the best I can be, I have purchased two books to read.

The first by Martha Beck "Finding Your Own North Star" is a book that teaches how to read your internal compasses, articulate your core desires, identify and repair the unconscious beliefs that may be blocking your progress, nurture your intuition, and cultivate your dreams from the first magical flicker of an idea through the planning and implementation of a more satisfying life.

The second book "You Can Heal Your Life" written by Louise Hay states, "If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed." The author cured herself after being diagnosed with cancer.

This book could potentially change a person's life. Ms. Hay connects the relationship between emotions and aliments and encourages us to take responsibility for our lives. Seems simple, but a much more difficult art to truly master in one's life.

These two books follow a similar thread of reading in which I have engaged over the past few years ............

The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz .... one of my favourite books. I keep a condensed copy of these agreements with me at all times.
The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
The Seat of the Soul - Gary Zukav
Soul to Soul - Gary Zukav
A Complaint Free World - Will Bowen
A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle

The main theme in these books ........ live your life positively - live in the moment or the now. Don't spend time obsessing about the future - you don't have it yet. Let the future take care of itself. That is not to say that we should live our lives fatalistically but realistically.

Although we have no guarantee that we will even be in the next moment, we must prepare ourselves with the belief that we will be here to enjoy it.

Our higher power (whomever you believe in) lovingly takes care of the birds and wild animals. They do not want for anything, so let us believe that our higher power will also take care of us.

With that in mind however, we should not just expect our financial security and well being to drop into our laps.

We have been given as humans the amazing capability for thinking consequentially, so by engaging this ability we can also reason that our future will not be satisfying or nurturing without advance planning.

Now on to my physical improvement program. Along with these books, I also purchased a yoga dvd.

My daughter Sebrina has been participating in yoga for a few years and truly enjoys it's many benefits. I have many times wondered if I am capable of the yoga movements given my myriad of physical limitations, but have been assured many times by Sebrina as well as a couple of yoga instructors that it would be most beneficial for me.

Yoga is a very personal movement program - you don't push beyond your physical limitations - only go as far as your body will allow. In time hopefully with practice, my body will gain back some of the flexibility I have lost due to arthritis and the lack of movement over the years. Pain has a funny way of stopping you in your tracks. When it hurts the body's most natural reaction is to not move in order to protect that joint, when in fact the best thing we can do and should do is to keep moving. Over the many years I have lived with arthritis, I have gone from quite active to very little moving, so this is going to be quite the mountain I have to climb to gain back a small modicum of my flexibility.

I had been hoping to purchase Shiva Rea's Flow Yoga for Beginners, but presently can only source it in the US, so instead I went to Chapters and purchased Ali MacGraw's Yoga Mind and Body featuring yoga master Erich Sehiffmann.

Clean white sand and a cool predawn sky are the backdrops for this stunning video which constitutes an excellent, well-balanced workout.

The first minutes focus on ujjayi breathing, then Ali leads us through a complete practice of shoulder stretches, sun salutations, back bends and twists, and standing poses.

If I enjoy this, I will then move onto Shiva Rea's Yoga Shakti which Sebrina is presently using,
(in fact Jayden, Zander and I had a little fun yesterday with a few Sun Salutations and Downward Facing Dog poses).

As I make my way through these new books and make my entrance into beginning yoga movements, I will update on my progress.

For all of you yoga enthusiasts, please feel free to leave me any positive affirmations, or encouraging instructions. I can use all the help I can get with this new venture.

Exercise and me don't mix too well ... sort of like oil and water, but I realize I don't have a choice anymore. If I want to stop the threat of aging and my continuously advancing arthritis I must do something physically positive for myself now.

Who knows .... maybe I'll love this. I already have a yoga state of mind in my ability to still my mind and have taken steps towards cleaner eating, now I just have to let my body be part of this calming life I am creating in my mind.

"You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state."


Vickie LeBlanc said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of yoga (and to my world). If you can breathe, you can do yoga. I could make this comment a ''very'' long one but I will try and keep it short - I've been doing yoga for 7 years. I started because of severe sciatica but it quickly became much more than the asanas for me - it became a lifestyle that I very much needed to live (I also practice the sister of yoga, ayurveda). Yoga will bring balance into your life; less illness, less sadness, less anxiety, less stress and less agitation. Isn't this what we are all seeking.

I could go on and on... but I won't. You can do it Barb. But as you've said in your post, only go as far as your body tells you to go, don't push it. Most importantly, don't compare yourself to others that are doing yoga, do your own thing.

And by the way - I have not had one little bit of sciatica pain in the past 7 years !

julochka said...

oh, barb, you and sabrina are making me want to dig out my yoga videos. i bought several (one with geri halliwell) a couple of years ago and was quite faithful about using them, but fell out of the habit.

i think it's wonderful that you're taking a holistic approach--exercise, changing eating habits and even changing your environment with the lovely pink creative room! very inspiring!

Sebrina said...

Great words of wisdom Vickie!!! And of course I agree 100%. After I have done yoga I feel a sense of peace throughout my body. The air around me smells fresh and sweet. It's really amazing!

The books look great! I may have to borrow them when you are done :)

Colleen said...

I love Louise Hay's books -- don't own a copy myself, but have used them many times (really must get myself a copy).

I have the Ali McGraw yoga video and I love it. I love the yogi masters voice, so soothing. The yoga in that video can be quite challenging in places, but in yoga you only go as far as your body will allow you to. Be AWARE of your body and it will tell you. Practice the breathing. If you only do that, that will be enough.

I wished I lived a bit closer, I would come and do yoga with you.



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