Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ever tempted to give someone the silent treatment?

I was awakened the other morning by a girlfriend in tears and very distressed by something I can relate to. The silent treatment.

We discussed that while we can understand taking time to cool off and walk away, just not addressing the issue and ignoring the other person involved just didn't make any sense to us. And well... its just plain cruel.

I decided to look into literature about it and came across a great article out of Purdue University by a Social Psychologist named Kipling William. He says "Excluding and ignoring people, such as giving them the cold shoulder or silent treatment, are used to punish or manipulate, and people may not realize the emotional or physical harm that is being done."

He speaks of ostracism in the animal kingdom, the workplace and in families. He also describes what it does to the brain in saying "When a person is ostracized for even a brief period of time, the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that detects pain, is activated and people experience the same initial pain when excluded by strangers or close friends, or even enemies. He says that thats why 'time outs' work so well while disciplining children. But in adults? Its bullying basically. Passive aggressive, manipulative, unnecessary bullying.

As much as I don't recall ever really giving anyone the silent treatment for more than a day/hours etc (although I've certainly been tempted to) I always decided that if I loved/cared for the person and the relationship mattered to me I'd try and work it out, and if I didn't it might just be better all the way around to end the relationship/break the ties. Anyways, I think most people out there have experienced either giving, or getting the silent treatment at some point, and by now I hope that my gal pal has dried her tears because life goes on! And I am sure that whoever was giving her the silent treatment is in pain as well, as we are all experiencing our own reality in each moment. And relationships are tricky for all of us, and sometimes we just don't know what to do, or how to respond. I don't think that everyone who gives the cold shoulder does so to purposefully hurt others. I think that it might be a way of protecting themselves as well, but maybe learning what it actually does to the brain might make someone go about things a little differently. Or I hope.
Its my long held belief that a little kindness goes a long long way, and most situations (no matter how crappy) can be worked out among people who love truly one another. In spite of everything is a really beautiful world. Namaste.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Now heres a cool Guerrilla stunt. Its at the corner of Georgia and Thurlow.

A friend just brought a really interesting movie on plastics to my attention this morning as well. I just finished watching it and its great. It would be a wonderful little flick to show children (although its likely not the children who are the problem, its us adults.) The movie is by Ramen Bahrani. Here is the link: FUTURESTATES : Plastic Bag By Ramin Bahrani For more info on plastics and the environment go to The Plastic Pollution Coalition website here

Monday, July 25, 2011

Going away is nice but coming back is really nice too...

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair- Khalil Gibran

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I lost a loved one

Death is a part of life as we all know, but its still incredibly sad knowing that the person you will miss is no longer walking around on this earth.You won't again look into those eyes, listen to their jokes, break bread with them, or again have the opportunity to tell them what they have always meant to you. Thats why it really is extremely important to tell people (*and often) how much they matter. We're all going to die (as much as we don't like to dwell on it) and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. My cherished loved one's name is Andy, and Andy knew very well just how loved he was, and what a huge impact he had on my life from my earliest memory. (I'd be feeling pretty rotten right now if that was not the case.) This was a very close friend of the family, and in many ways like the dad I never had as a child. Anyways, I'll be flying out of town tomorrow to celebrate the life of this wonderful man so ALL of my classes will be subbed by a whole bunch of FABulous teachers (that I am hugely grateful to). I'll see you the following week.
Below is a beautiful quote I came across this morning. Its really lovely:

Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How active are your prefrontal lobes?

Browsing through some of my favourite yoga blogs when I spied this AMAZING video. Thanks Devil Wears Prana! Enjoy! Hope you love neuroscience as much as me. I just LOVE this stuff. Watch this until the very end. Fascinating.

Rain gettin' ya down?

Don't forget Balasana (childs pose.) It not only feels great but has a slew of benefits.* provided you don't have any knee issues/injuries. (if you are expecting take knees wide as not to compress baby.) And know you can use as many props as you like to make yourself more comfortable, such as a blanket under knees/ankles/ between your heels and buttocks, pillow under your head, arms outstretched... Get creative and do whatever feels good. Childs pose opens and stretches the hips, thighs and ankles and calms the nervous system in a big way. It has lots of psychological benefits.

It looks so simple (and for many of us who aren't injured it is), but do you ever go into one when you are at home? This is a childs pose kind of day in my opinion. Hope you get a moment to collect your thoughts and rest and restore today. The weeks almost over and before we know it it will be sumer again. Namaste.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I meet so many lovely people doing the work I do..

Some of us just practice together and share energy, which has its own quiet depth, and other times there are many heartfelt feelings shared, connections made, and even friendships built at times. I feel blessed every single day of my life. I do often receive correspondence through emails and cards and such, oftentimes speaking about how yoga has changed peoples lives, and I can certainly relate.On a whole bunch of levels.

This post is just to encourage anyone out there who has maybe given yoga a whirl and felt it just wasn't for them, to give it another go. There is a yoga class out there for you in your city. There really is. Find a good teacher and go.

I'll just share a tiny bit of an email I received from a student the other day
(I have the persons permission and am only including a small snippet.)
It goes:

"I also wanted to tell you that I really appreciate how you teach your classes. I went to a "by donation" yoga class last weekend and had a really bad experience. I left the class partway through. I'm glad that your class was the first one I tried when I was deciding about yoga... because I feel like you create a really accepting environment... that accepts wherever people are at, and lets them engage at a level that's appropriate for their body. I have come to find a sense of safety in your class... "

I am willing to bet that the class they walked out of last weekend was another persons "favourite" class. I have no idea who's class it was but that is how yoga sometimes goes. I am really glad that the person enjoys my class so much. *And this person really means the world to me* but the thing is, different classes/styles resonate with different people. I just can't encourage you enough to give yoga another chance if you have had a similar experience. (most of us have at one time or another). There have no doubt been people who my class hasn't resonated with. And thats perfectly ok. Normal even.There are so many different ways to discover yoga regardless of where you live. So many styles and levels. Its all there waiting for you. If its been a while, why not give yoga another chance?Somewhere there is a mat with your name written all over it.
I really hope you will.

What a Good Doula really does...

Love everything this woman has to say! Its very important what she says about the pain/fear cycle, stress hormones AND working through issues before you arrive in the delivery room. Prenatal Yoga is without a doubt the ultimate in birth preparation. From keeping physical discomforts at bay and building the physical strength and endurance to birth a baby... to learning and practicing the breathwork (pranayama) to bring in energy, ease pain and maintain focus... the mental training is invaluable. And we practice it over and over (hence it being called a "yoga practice".) Learning to let go and relax "on purpose and at will" and the mindfulness training are tools that are absolutely priceless. Believe in yourself, find a Doula that you resonate with, and find a GOOD prenatal yoga class, and you too can have an empowering birth experience regardless of how things unfold. Find support and know that you really are supported in every single way. Because you really are. Namaste.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A video I made last month at the Shanti Uganda Society's Gala Do. This is VERY exciting stuff!

I have been both dreaming and awakening with thoughts about the Shanti Uganda Society lately. (Might be time to throw another fundraiser!) Or at least to get out there and volunteer at some festivals! Although the organization is never far from this proud Ambassadors mind I am just blown away when I think of what it must be like there. Its so incredible what this organization has done and continues to do in Uganda. Did you know that in addition to the many local birthing mothers who birth at the Birth house many other birthing women and new moms are flocking to the centre from from surrounding villages as well?

Have you been keeping up through their blog? There is really something new (and absolutely thrilling) happening all the time! And many ways to help and get involved. Both here and in Uganda! And it's FUN!

Click here for updates from the Project Coordinator and here for volunteer activities.

Oh, and turn this video up LOUD! (my camera isn't the greatest but what Natalie says is really, really exciting)!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This TED talk is only 3 minutes long

I am all over what this guy is saying here! Its easier said than done though (and that’s why its called a challenge I suppose). Currently I am on day 16 of a personal 30 day challenge of my own and it feels amazing on a whole bunch of different levels (including spiritual.) At first it was a little uncomfortable but now it feels incredible, and in some ways I don’t want it to end. Its priming me for my next challenge I am sure!

I have to challenge myself out of fear that I will go through my entire life without shaking things up too much because I could (that I know about myself.) I have become much more cautious in my life as the years roll on, and could very easily easily have the same routine day after day. For me its important to shake things up on a regular basis, and it really could be the smallest little thing.

Nobody even needs to know (its nobody's business really).

It could be something as simple as taking a different route home from work each day! The simplest things can open us up in a whole new way I find.

I read a study recently that suggests we fear an unknown outcome even more than we do a known bad one and I believe that. Push past the fear and learn all you can about yourself. Its scary but I'm with Matt on this one. It is well worth it and tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. Namaste.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I feel such extreme gratitude that I live in Canada.

Hope everyone has a super fun and safe Canada Day long weekend!