Month: September 2019

Above is the picture depicting the Manipura Chakra, which is the energetic vortex, or wheel(chakra), for actions, courage, will power, and autonomy.  It lives physically at the area of our solar plexus, above the navel.  Its name means ‘lustrous gem’.  Its all about our vitality.  Courage to take action can come from here.  It’s why I chose this picture for this subject matter on decision making.

As last week we were focused on surrender in our practices, especially in the letting go purpose of surrender, I began to get curious around when we should act?!  How does One make decisions?  From what place do we make decisions?  If, in surrendering our egos, as Emma-Louise Newlyn goes on to write, “is very closely related to the concept of letting go of the fruits of our actions and non-attachment…the practice of surrendering requires us to acknowledge that we can do our very best in each situation but we can’t really do any more than that; realizing this essentially allows us to fully engage and be present in what we are doing, bringing all our energy to that moment and experiencing it fully as it is-what happens after, happens after.”

So, then, how can we make sure we ARE ‘doing our very best’ in each moment and continually working towards being our very best?  For me, this seemed tied to how we make choices, how we make decisions.  From those choices that we make daily, like what to eat for breakfast, to those big hitting choices of whether we should move out of state, for example, or leave a relationship, or stay at a job.  So, I did a little research into how people make decisions.  Let me tell you!  There is A LOT of information out there!  There are books on how to make better decisions too!  So, I am going to give you a few places from which decisions can be made, but then I am going to tell you the common denominator that was threaded thru them all.

The first thing that came to me around decisions was the time I needed to decide to move from an apartment I was renting. It wasn’t a questions of if I needed to move, it was a question of where to?  I had an apartment I found that I loved, but the roommates in it were giving mixed signals.  I wanted to be there.  It was my father who said, “do you want to force the decision, or let God show you the way?”  I decided from a place of letting Universe carry me, a place of surrender, haha.  And, I am glad I DID!  I found a better home that had an amazing woman in it, who would go on to be one of my bridesmaids in my wedding, and I at her wedding!

Another place to make decisions from is, of course, your heart!  A dear teacher of mine would always say, and I am paraphrasing, “Perhaps the questions is not what is the right choice, but what is the loving choice”.  I LOVE this.  Sometimes we know our choices that we are making are not going to be liked by others.  For me, that is hard because I want everyone to like me(it ain’t gonna happen, let it go).  However, one of the hardest decisions in my life came from a place of heart, even though it did hurt someone;  it came from a place of love for me, and love for them.  “What happens after, happens after.”  Stay present, breathe, and know you’re doing your very best in this moment.

Sometimes we have no idea what to do.  Maybe you’re living in the mystery right now, and don’t know which way to turn.  Perhaps you see a path you wish to take, but don’t know the first step to create the movement forward.  Pause here, one of those Sacred Pauses, where you listen to intuition.  Feel what your gut is telling you, knock on your hearts door, and observe any messages from Source/Universe/God/Energy/Life. 

Here are two more little quotes I heard on this subject of making decisions.  I heard them from listening to others, so I do not know the original authors of the actual words:

“Know history, know self.”(My husband told me this one.)
“People don’t decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.”(From Australian researchers on the topic of creating habits.)

Now, in order to know our history, we have to take a moment to look back and observe.  And, in order to know our habits we must become aware of what we are doing.  Ah ha, yup, are you guessing the common denominator yet?  In order to hear our hearts, what must we do?  In order to read our intuition, what must we do?

We must bring our consciousness into the present moment and observe!  That’s the common denominator I discovered.  Do you agree?  Let me know.

Oh, and if you want to, Google ‘choice theory’.  Just another thing I came across. 

Your mission, should you choose(lol!) to accept it, is to try to stay present enough to always be doing your very best this week.  What happens after, happens after. Namaste!

Have you ever had a time in your life when you couldn’t catch your breath? You felt like your ‘head was under water’, or at best, you were ‘treading’? That’s how I felt recently. I did a minute of journaling and began to feel that my intention was to just “try to stay open”. Open to what I was going thru, how I was feeling, and to what was. In essence, surrender.


In Yoga, surrender can be named Isvara Pranidhana. It is known as the last of the Niyamas, or observances, within Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, or the threads of wisdom as offered by the Sage, Patanjali. Isvara translates as ‘Supreme Being’, ‘God’, ‘Brahman’, or ‘True Self’. Pranidhana translates as ‘to dedicate’, ‘devote’, or ‘surrender’.


In order to even begin to surrender, we must acknowledge what we are holding onto that no longer serves us. For me, in my suffocating moment recently, I knew I had to let go of the desire for control and change. My children were sick, at the same time, and I wanted to heal them, I wanted to get back on track with my training I am taking, write my blogs, and life in general! This is ego. The ego will hold on to anything in order to give us a false sense of control. But…


“Surrendering to what is requires trust in our deepest Self, our intuition and the courage to express ourselves for who we are, as we are, with all of our perfect imperfections, which ultimately leads to freedom.” -Emma-Louise Newlyn


So, here’s an invitation. The next time you practice the physical poses of yoga, the asanas, or the next time you move your body, can you practice surrender in these two ways?:


1.) Physical Surrender. Really let go, ly down, do nothing. Breathe. Close your eyes. Make your body comfortable so you can really try to let go of your thoughts. Empty out. Exhale a little longer than your inhales. And remember how surrender does not mean “giving up”, but rather a release, a letting go, which might be the most difficult part of the practice, but which might also open you to clarity and a spaciousness that allows you to just be.


2.) When you meet some tension, whether physical or otherwise, can you breathe into it? Of course be compassionate, don’t hurt yourself, but can you relax into the physical sensations without leaving hurriedly? Can you move towards the discomfort or difficulty? To this, Emma-Louise writes, “Yes, Yoga makes us feel good. It heals us when we’re hurt, and it helps us find light when all we see is dark, but it also shows us what we’re made of when things get tough.”


Tell me how you have surrendered recently. What does surrender evoke within you? How did surrendering effect your situation/life?


For me, my kids are healing slowly, I took actions necessary to support that, but ultimately, I am still having to wait it out. It was a little virus, and now something else. I let go of my need for control to try and stop time so that I wouldn’t be so “far behind” in my training. I am rolling with life, and I do feel a sense of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. I even vacuumed and wrote this blog 😉



Shawna Emerick

“Do you already know that your existence-who and how you are- is in and of itself a contribution to the people and place around you?  Not after or because you do some particular thing, but simply the miracle of your life?”  Breathe that in for a few minutes. Let in marinade your bones, your flesh.  Let it steep your heart.


I love those words from Adrienne Maree Brown.  They get at something that I am intent on building with more intention in the coming weeks, months, and years:  Community.


She goes on to write, “And the people around you, and the place/place, have contributions as well?  Do you understand that your quality of life and your survival are tied to how authentic and generous the connections are between you and the people and place you live with and in?  Are you actively practicing generosity and vulnerability in order to make the connections between you and others clear, open, available, durable?  Generosity here means giving of what you have without strings or expectations attached.  Vulnerability means showing your needs.”


I hope to see you soon, on the mat, off the mat, in the neighborhood, or virtually.  Lets keep building community,be vulnerable,  be generous, and remembering that we are each enough in who we are.  Namaste.


Recently I took what my mind was seeing as a pretty substantial “risk”. The risk I took held a lot of fear inside. It was that fear of not having enough, for the risk I took was one where I was moving away from something that was bringing financial abundance. However, I knew I was not the best fit for this space any longer.


In contemplating the entire situation, and trying to see it from new mindsets, as we have been exploring in my yoga classes for the past two weeks, my thoughts just kept circling.


So, I asked my partner one morning while rounding up the kids to go outside, “what word, or words, come up when you hear ‘risk’, ‘decision’, ‘change’?” And he said, “GROWTH”!!




And, I realized I had found another way to change my mindset! Ask someone else about your situation! Haha!


Growth. Yes, exactly it! And then I found these quotes:


“Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed, and rearranged to relocate us to the place we are meant to be.” -Soul Speaking quote online. And if I might add, whether this change comes from our own actions, or from circumstances out of our control.


“Open your mind to the possibilities that may be hiding behind the inconvenience of change.”-Elyse Robinson. And if I could expand on this one, to gaze into what possibilities might be hiding behind perceived risks of change, for ultimately we don’t know what will come to be; this is the mystery.


“Change is sometimes needed to better yourself, love yourself, and truly be happy. Never stop working on the best you can be. It is a life long endeavor.”-Anonymous


So, I leave you with the last quote from Karen Raun.
“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.”


*The picture above is the second chakra of Svadisthana. Its color, bij mantra of Vam, but pronounce it “vum”, and number of lotus pedals it contains are depicted. The second wheel of Life force(chakra) that lives within you is located at your lower abdomen and sacrum, symbolized by water. It is locomotion, change, movement, sensuality, sexuality, sweetness, desires, passions, emotions, and more! Change to Grow! Meditate on it, chant the mantra, circle your hips, do some hip openers, wear orange, and feel the changes.