What We Have is Enough–Moving Beyond Mental Scarcity

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I often meditate on trusting that I will have enough.  Enough of what?  Well, enough courage, enough inner strength, enough wisdom, enough energy, enough love, enough happiness, enough peace, and yes, enough money.  When life becomes intense, the prism of mental scarcity often grows and distorts our view. We start to think that we are going to run out. However, we cannot attract abundance if we think this way. Abundance and Scarcity are mutually exclusive entities.

Do you suffer from what Stephen Covey describes as a scarcity mentality? Do you frequently have feelings of jealousy? Do you often compare with your colleagues, friends, or family? Do you constantly measure what you have? Do you have any sort of loss aversion?

How is Scarcity Mentality Defined?

Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the scarcity mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.”

–Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I have recently noticed a scarcity mentality epidemic. More than anything else—even more than love—my wish for all is that we have enough faith. The first definition of faith that I am aware of stems from the Bible. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). Through faith, we can see that although heartache or hurt exists in the world, we will recover.  Helen Keller says it like this, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

How do we trust in enough? Well first, we must accept that Faith is active. It is something in which we participate.  We can’t expect personal healing if we aren’t interested in being healed. And to be interested in something means that we actively seek it out.

At some point in our spiritual evolution—through effort and perseverance—we realize that we don’t need more to be happy. As a yoga instructor, I teach that what we do on the mat can become the way we live our lives. What we do on the mat is enough: We can save a little for next time. Practice appreciating life’s messiness and with enough faith, we let go of unrealistic expectations and let our story unfold knowing we’re not going to run out.  Through faith in enough we begin to trust that the universe wants us to have enough happiness, courage, love, and peace.  So I wish you all enough (not more, not less).

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
Silvia

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough.”

-Unknown Author

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Screen Shot Front Silvia CardEditor’s note: This is another amazing guest post by Daily Cup of Yoga contributor Silvia Mordini, E-RYT, retreat leader, happiness coach, and yogipreneur. Enthusiasm to love your life is contagious around Silvia. Her expert passion connects people to their own joyful potential. Silvia lives her happiness in such a big way that you can’t help but leave her classes, workshops, trainings and retreats spiritually uplifted! Born in Ecuador, raised traveling around the globe, she is an enthusiastic citizen of the world and spiritual adventurer. She has over 10,000 hours and 15 years of teaching experience, owned a yoga studio for 9 years and after being run over by a car used yoga to recover physically and emotionally. Silvia leads Alchemy Tours Yoga Retreats and Alchemy of Yoga RYT200 Yoga Teacher Training.

Silvia can be reached on the Web at http://www.alchemytours.com ; or http://www.silviamordini.com, or via email at silvia@alchemytours.com. Twitter: @alchemytours@inspiredyogagal; Facebook: Silvia Mordini; YouTube: lovingyourday; Pinterest: Silvia Mordini; Intagram: alchemytours.

Photo credit: Manduka Yoga on Instagram

5 Ways Yoga Helps

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Yoga means union. In a world that bombards us with clichés regarding a mind, body & spirit connection, this is very important. But in real people terms, what is the connection between the poses (asanas), breathing (pranayama), philosophy, and Western psychology? David Frawley, author of Yoga and Ayurveda writes:

Yogic methods cover the entire field of our existence – from the physical, sensory, emotional, mental, and spiritual to the highest Self-realization. It includes all methods of higher evolution in humanity – physical postures, ethical postures, breath control, sensory methods, affirmations and visualizations, prayer and mantra, and complex meditative disciplines. Yoga understands the nature and interrelationships of the physical, subtle and formless universes into the boundless infinite beyond time and space, and shows us how these also exist within each human individual.

But even more basic than that, “How does yoga help me?”

Here are 5 ways yoga helps:

1. Yoga reduces stress by triggering the Relaxation Response.
This is achieved through conscious breathing, practicing poses, learning relaxation techniques, and meditation. The antidote to the Stress Response is the Relaxation Response, which activates the para-sympathetic nervous system. More importantly, yoga teaches us how to remain peaceful in the face of discomfort and challenge. We learn the art of surrender.

2. Yoga helps us pay attention.
Many people notice that they are more physically, mentally and emotionally self-aware. Often, this self-awareness begins by paying attention to our breath and all its habits. Then, we move to our thought cycles, and finally, to where we hold tension in our bodies.

3. Yoga heals our bodies and minds.
The poses, conscious breathing and visualization serve as therapy to reduce physical pain as well as emotional anxiety. I have found this to be true in my own recovery from a traumatic brain injury. We learn practical methods of self-comfort. And through active effort, we advance our practice into one of self-love and self-acceptance.

4. Yoga breaks our bad habits.
With yoga, we learn new, healthy patterns that override harmful habits. Through yoga, we learn discipline and commitment to our own health. Letting go of the unhealthy habits allows us to see the possibilities more clearly.

5. Yoga reminds us to be responsible.
I have seen students move time and again from a place of blame to a mature place of responsibility. First, we become responsible for our physical bodies. Next, we observe our thoughts and begin to take responsibility for our inner dialogue. Eventually we accept authorship of our own lives in a co-creative expression with the universe.

Certainly, the yogic benefits go beyond this list…in my experience, yoga can help us to experience the best life ever! Feel free to weigh in with more in the comments below.

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
Silvia

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Screen Shot Front Silvia CardEditor’s note: This is another amazing guest post by Daily Cup of Yoga contributor Silvia Mordini, E-RYT, retreat leader, happiness coach, and yogipreneur. Enthusiasm to love your life is contagious around Silvia. Her expert passion connects people to their own joyful potential. Silvia lives her happiness in such a big way that you can’t help but leave her classes, workshops, trainings and retreats spiritually uplifted! Born in Ecuador, raised traveling around the globe, she is an enthusiastic citizen of the world and spiritual adventurer. She has over 10,000 hours and 15 years of teaching experience, owned a yoga studio for 9 years and after being run over by a car used yoga to recover physically and emotionally. Silvia leads Alchemy Tours Yoga Retreats and Alchemy of Yoga RYT200 Yoga Teacher Training.

Silvia can be reached on the Web at www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com, or via email at silvia@alchemytours.com. Twitter: @alchemytours@inspiredyogagal; Facebook: Silvia Mordini; YouTube: lovingyourday; Pinterest: Silvia Mordini; Intagram: alchemytours.

Photo credit: Cam Lee Yoga

How Yoga Can Help You Stop Feeling Like You’re Not Spiritual Enough and Love Your Life

yoga-warning1I used to feel like a bad yoga teacher, like someone who wasn’t living up to the title. Because I like to wear stylish clothes, love when my Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines arrive in the mail, and the amount of pleasure I get from a good dark chocolate bar is almost indecent. So, I figured, I wasn’t really a true yoga teacher, just a gal teaching yoga.Then I discovered Tantra. There are worlds within worlds in yoga. Varying schools of thought, ways of categorizing our experiences, and branches that we can stand on. Tantra’s about embracing life in a way that acknowledges and embraces the soul.We are embodied beings–spiritual beings having a human experience–and through our yoga practice we can unite with the universe.And in that universe, there are a whole lotta wonderful things. Things like clothes that feel like ‘you’ when you wear them, glossy magazines that remind you of creative, uplifted people staking a claim on their talents and expressing them to the world, and really good dark chocolate.Tantra is the study of the universal from the point of view of the personal: we are the microcosm of the macrocosm. It’s all about realizing the highest ideals of spiritual philosophy in daily life. In practical terms, that means that our life becomes our practice, and we learn about and embrace the truths of the universe through learning about and embracing our life.Awareness is sacred. Tantra recognizes that anxiety, loneliness, and continual dissatisfaction often stem from desires that come from a less enlightened place. But, it doesn’t ask that we sever ourselves from our desires. Instead, we become aware of how what we desire causes us to feel—basically, more shackled, stuck and less liberated, or in a state of flow, grace and ease? Our more love-based selves—the part of us united with the universe—has desires, too. These desires ignite in us our state of flow, grace and ease.And they’ll be unique to you.Where we go next with this is important: since your unique desires are a reflection of the way your soul is uniquely incarnated, whatever lights you up is what is spiritual for you. Whatever lights up your unique spirit is spiritual for you. These are the ideas, actions, activities, and thoughts that incite in you your greatest sense of expansion, liberation and freedom.These are soul-based. These are spiritual. These are ideas, actions, activities and thoughts that will help you be more “spiritual”—love-based—and love your life. And, they’re ones that likely have a role to play in the role you’re here to play for the world.Enjoy!
xL

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Editor’s note: We hope you enjoy another inspiring guest post from Lindsey Lewis–life coach and yoga teacher. Stay up to date with her latest at www.libreliving.comFacebook, and Twitter.  10420191_10152444358197984_2357758816176846111_n

Gratitude: How to Sing from the Mountaintops

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What are you grateful for? 

This question can become cliché and trite when you read it every single day on Instagram posts. Gratitude can become stale and void of meaning when #gratitudechallenge is blowing up your Twitter and Facebook feeds. Gratitude has been called the “father of virtues” — the virtue from which all others arise. But what does it actually look like? In the real world, what does gratitude actually look like? Try and imagine a portrait of gratitude in your mind.

If you are imagining a totally liberated flower-child running to the top of a poppy field with her arms wide open, embracing the beautiful universe and her place in it, smiling ear to ear, and celebrating her very life… you might be kind of crazy. But you’re also correct. This is actually sort of what gratitude does look like. Or at least what it can look like.

Gratitude is the thing that allows you to run up to the top of that mountain — in your mind’s eye, in your soul. When life is at a standstill, when things aren’t going your way — gratitude re-centers you and takes your mind off of the breaks you aren’t getting. Gratitude empowers us by reminding us to focus on the things that we do have: to focus on the breaths we get to take, the friends we can call, the bed we get to sleep in, the covers we get to pull over ourselves, the pillow under our head. The fact that we can open our windows and hear the birds. The fact that we can drink green tea in Tennessee, that was harvested and cured in Japan. There are thousands and thousands and thousands of things that we can choose to focus on, in a spirit of gratitude, that will get us to the top of that mountain, even when we’re sitting in traffic, or feeling lonely. It is all just a matter of focus.

Have you ever used one of those fancy big DSLR cameras? Those ones where you have to twist the lens to make it focus on the subject you are shooting? Well with those fancy cameras you get to make a choice: you can choose the auto-focus setting and let the camera decide what to focus on and what the subject is, or you can manually focus and you get to choose what you are going to focus on — and then you twist the lens and blur the background and make the subject nice and sharp and clear.

We live in a culture that constantly encourages us to compare ourselves to others, and because of this, the auto-focus setting in our lives is to zoom in on the things we don’t have. If we let our internal lens auto-focus then our eyes will gravitate toward that girl’s perfect skin, or that guy’s salary, or the thing we can’t afford, or the place we don’t have time to go.

Turn your life off of auto-focus and take the reigns. Set your sight to manual focus and you’ll experience a whole new world. It is hard at first, because it takes a bit of skill to manually adjust the lens so that it isn’t blurry. It takes a bit of practice and effort and skill to get your sight to adjust. To get to the point where you look at something and twist the lens so that the background is blurry and the subject is perfectly clear — but you get to decide what you focus on, society doesn’t choose for you. Now you get to look at the electricity in your home with a new sense of appreciation and clarity, you get to look at the steam coming from your shower and your realize that “Dang! I have hot water! What a blessing!” You get to look at your phone and see that it is full of contacts, of family and friends, who care about you. You stop autofocusing on the one person who broke your heart. Keep adjusting your lens, keep scanning the room and looking closely at every single thing until the little things come into clear view, and you are able to comprehend that the little things are gifts. Wherever you are right now: look around, and don’t rush through it… what do you see? Isn’t it amazing?

That crazy picture of that girl running up the hill and singing to the sun and the flowers, doesn’t seem so crazy. That girl simply took ownership of her life. She just decided she would start running, and leave behind the broken things. Her life is on manual focus, she is grateful, she decides what she sees and what matters.

Start working on gratitude and on manual focus — pretty soon you’ll be on top of that mountain without a care in the world who is watching you sing and dance and celebrate the good and the true.

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Editor’s note:   This is a guest post by Matt Richardson, co-founder of Gramr Gratitude Co. Gramr makes beautiful thank-you notes and they believe in the power of the handwritten note. They are building a community around gratitude and grateful living — learn more about their vision of a more grateful world here.

Follow Gramr Gratitude Co. | Updates | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter |

Photo credit:  Cam Lee Yoga

The Yoga of Travel

A Giant Rubber Duck Meditating on the Pond... Seoul, KoreaGiant Rubber Duck Meditating on the Lake… Seoul, Korea

The time has finally come. September marked the last month of The Alchemy of Flow and Form: Advanced Teacher Training at San Marcos School of Yoga with Gioconda Parker and Christina Sell.

I learned a lot at my 300 hour teacher training: who I am as a teacher, what my authentic voice sounds like, and how to teach more effectively from that place. However, there is certainly one thing it prepared me for that I was not expecting: All Of The Driving. The San Marcos School of Yoga is 30 minutes from my house in Austin, TX, without traffic, so I spent at least three hours every weekend of training commuting back and forth between home and school.

That’s right. One thing they don’t tell you in teacher training is that, if you’re lucky, you are going to spend a good chunk of your life, from now until forever, driving. And not just driving, but traveling in general; trains, planes, and automobiles. Whatever your form of transportation is, you will be doing it a lot.

When you first start teaching, it’s probably like five different studios, on opposite ends of town, with fifteen minutes between classes. But then, even when you’ve been teaching for a while, and you’re teaching five privates at five different houses and then classes and then workshops, and THEN, if you’re really lucky, you’re traveling to DIFFERENT cities, and different states and countries… You’re traveling a lot. That’s great! It means you’re working, and if your goal is to make a living, that’s pretty important.

But sitting in a car, or on a plane, or a train for hours on end seems kind of counter-intuitive to the life of a traveling yogini. Many people, upon hearing that yoga is “what I do,” assume that my life is all green smoothies, yoga pants, and meditation. Ok, I mean, it kind of is, but it’s also sometimes two hours of sitting in a car every day driving from class to meeting to studio to class… And let me tell you, nothing is less conducive to calm and relaxation than sitting on 1-35 thru downtown Austin during rush hour traffic.

So, I’ve compiled a list of “Things I’ve Learned” about life and yoga from repeatedly almost getting side swiped by oncoming traffic and shaking my fists in the air, angrily and repeatedly. And then, of course, a playlist to make your commute (or train ride, or plane ride) a little more enjoyable.

1. Patience.

Sometimes I’m sitting at a stop and go light for two…three…rounds before it’s my turn. It can be frustrating, but as long as I stay in the driver’s seat, and I don’t throw a fit, get out of my car and walk away, eventually it’s always my turn and I can go about my merry way.

It’s not easy, though, and sometimes it feels as though you’re wasting your life away waiting for the light to turn green. Stay in the driver’s seat. It’ll come. Patience.

2. Benefit of the doubt. 

I’ve never really understood that saying, so I looked it up… Here’s what over-blog.com had to say:

“Benefit of the doubt refers to an adoption of a positive opinion or judgement when there is some but not sufficient evidence to think otherwise.”

They go on to say that in legal terms, benefit of the doubt is referred to as reasonable doubt. The first documented use of the term reasonable doubt appears in 18th century English and American case law.

Simple, right? Adopt a positive attitude even when there is some evidence to the contrary. That guy cut you off when you were trying to get over to the other lane? It probably wasn’t intentional. Maybe he’s just having a bad day and he’s running late. I would like to not be judged solely based on when I am feeling crappy and make the wrong choice – you can choose to take a deep breath and let it go when someone else isn’t on their best behavior, either. Trust me; way less stress.

When in doubt, tip the scales towards the positive.

3. Just go for it.

Once you’ve made the choice to pull out in front of oncoming traffic real quick, or pick up speed to make it through a yellow light, you have got to go for it. Otherwise, what happens? If you second guess your choice to go, and slam on your brakes at the last second, then so do the five other cars in line behind you. Now, you’re the cause of a six-car pile up, and you’re going to get wherever you were going a lot…slower…

When I made the choice to start teaching yoga full time, I was definitely tempted to second guess myself and go back to my day job with my proverbial tail between my legs, begging for my job back. I wanted to slam on my breaks and take it back, but I didn’t. I chose to keep moving forward.

Make the choice to go for your dreams.

Here’s a playlist to cruise to on your next long commute:
Safe Travels,
Sean D.

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540217_698781320137845_1802831051_nEditor’s note: This is a guest post from DCOY contributor Sean Devenport. She recently completed her 300-hour RYT. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your teacher training experience over the last year! Connect with Sean on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

If you’re interested in learning how YOU can be part of Advanced Yoga Teacher Training: The Alchemy of Flow and Form at San Marcos School of Yoga (and online!), go here: https://www.livethelightofyoga.com/teacher-training.html.

8 Ways to Be Your Own Best Teacher

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No matter how we define a teacher or a guru—an expert, an enlightened person, or someone who challenges us in a way that makes us look at all of our own limiting beliefs—each of these ways of looking at the terms places the teacher or guru outside us. These kinds of teachers and gurus are powerful. But the most powerful source of wisdom is within. How do we activate our own inner teacher, our own inner guru, so that we always have someone to lean on and guide us?

The most powerful source of wisdom is within you. This is what I help every single person I work with realize—that they are infinitely powerful and the only thing getting in the way of that is surface stuff. We clear the surface and it’s like polishing a rough stone into a diamond. Suddenly, you’re crystal clear, knowing exactly where to go and what to do next.

The most important work I do with people is helping them access their own inner guru.

Here are 8 Ways to Hear Your Own Inner Guru

  1. Talk less, listen more. You can hear or see exactly where to go and what to do next if give yourself permission to trust the non-verbal part of your brain. We’re all intuitive, and one of the most scientifically-proven ways to tap into it is to listen to the part of you connected to the non-verbal part of your brain: your body.
  2. De-activate. Fear comes mostly in the form of worry-thoughts. And these come from the verbal part of our brain—this part of our brain processes way less information per second than the non-verbal part of our brain. In other words, worries are based on less information.
  3. Lean into peace. Wisdom and truth feels like relief, like a great letting go. It’s a wonderful sensation of “Ah, this is such a nice place to rest.” Every single time somebody I work with hears from their inner guru they feel a sense of great peace and presence.
  4. Trust yourself. Here’s something neat: you can practice this. You can practice trusting yourself by doing it on small things, something less consequential where the decision won’t have a huge impact, but a small one.Something like saying ‘no’ to an invitation to an event you don’t want to go to. Worry and fear says things like “She’ll be upset if I don’t go,” or “I won’t be invited anymore.” Peace says “Do what’s right for you, trust yourself, and all will be well.” Usually what happens in these cases is that everying works out wonderfully, and you end up getting even more invitations because people are drawn to your confidence and self-esteem.
  5. Trust the Universe. Practice opting out of doing something just because you think something like “What will happen if I don’t?” Yoga philosophy has a term called Ishvara Pranidhana that basically means “Surrender to the universe.” It doesn’t mean we never do anything, but we can surrender our attachment to achieving a particular outcome, and through that surrender and non-attachment receive something even greater.
  6. Build your intuition. Next time you want to hear from your inner guru and you’ve already listened to your body, listen for words or watch for symbols. I like to imagine a blank slate and ask a question like “What should I do next?” Sometimes I see a symbol—I once got a pumpkin. Other times I hear a word—things like “Rest,” “Play,” or “Go bigger.” Other times an entire scene unfolds.
  7. Trust your body. Intuition is fun and can give us more information, but first and foremost the first line of wisdom is your body. Your body is constantly guiding you, through sensations of tension and angst or ease and presence. Hint: ease and presence usually means “Go this way!”
  8. Lean into grace. Listening to the guidance of your inner guru leads to choices that create a life filled with less striving and more receiving. Taoists introduce us to the concept of Wu Wei, doing without doing. Through heart-centered action and trusting the universe, things happen with ease. Miracles occur. It was either Yogi Bhajan or Wayne Dyer, depending on which source you choose, who said: “I don’t believe in miracles, I depend on them.” It doesn’t matter who said it, it’s a universal truth, and one that you get to experience firsthand when you start listening deep and choosing to believe.

Much love, and good luck!

xL

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Editor’s note: We hope you enjoy another inspiring guest post from Lindsey Lewis–life coach and yoga teacher. Stay up to date with her latest at www.libreliving.comFacebook, and Twitter.  

Photo credit: Cam Lee Yoga