How Will You Choose to Handle Today?

Every day we experience highs and lows as we pay attention to our life unfolding in front of us. I believe the difference resides in how we handle them. There is much to experience… Life is so rich! We get caught up in limited things and thinking, yet there is so much more… to taste, to see, to hear, to feel, to experience, to discover! Life is an open invitation, like a bottomless treasure chest. And yes, it may contain rusty coins. Still, are you up for the upcoming surprises?

Some people go through their lives ignoring that treasure chest; they choose to not open it at all. Maybe they’ve found some hurtful things in it once and gave up trying new things in fear of getting hurt again… And they live their whole lives doing, thinking and believing the same stuff – over and over. And that’s okay; it’s their choice.

Some people can’t stop reaching inside that chest to find new things, going from one to another in the blink of an eye. Many times not even taking a break to fully experience each new situation. Some others stop to enjoy every experience and evaluate if it is something they want to keep in their lives or release. It’s also their choice.

Some others go with the flow and have phases of opening the chest and then keeping it closed for a while. Many times this is not under our control, as much as we try. Surprises will show up in our lives, whether we want them or not. We could try to ignore them, but they tend to come back, and usually in a bigger imposed way. We need to learn how to embrace them. Every experience, whether we judge it “good” or “bad” needs to find space in us to be able to move through.

However you choose to live, can you see life from the perspective of a miracle – a box of surprises created just for you? You are the one who chooses how to handle the surprises you are given. Every day we have a choice on how to perceive what is in front of us. Will you smile at a new challenge or simply refuse it without even investigating it? Will you roll up your sleeves or stay down on your knees? Will you choose to shine or shrink? I know life can get overwhelming when many curve balls are thrown at us at the same time. That’s the time we need to ask for help – from friends, family, community or a Higher Power, if you believe in it. Simply ask for help, and it will show up in some way, just keep your eyes open for it.

So, how will you choose to handle today?

Every-Single-Day-you-make-a-Choice

Posted in Daily Tips, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

300 Handstands – New Breakthroughs

As I continue with my Handstand project for 2014 (at least one handstand per day with a picture taken), today I stopped to take a look at how it has affected me and wanted to share here. Besides all that had already showed up for me by the middle of the year, as I wrote in https://apathoflight.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/183-handstands-what-does-that-mean/, there is much more!

During the 9th month I focused on releasing fear by getting away from the wall, which becomes a crutch as you kick up and need to find something to hold you in case you go over. I mentioned in the link above I was afraid of somersaults and going over for me is scary because of that and from the fear of hurting my back. About 10 years ago, I went to Brazil for a visit during the holidays and was under lots of stress. After I made it there, my back started hurting like never before. I lied down and did not want to get up… I could not do a thing. I slept and lied there… For 48 hours! Sometimes my kids, who were 5 and 3 at the time, would come to me and say something, but I could barely respond. I didn’t want to eat, drink or anything. I started to see  the world getting darker and darker. It felt like I was disconnecting from the world, and having life being extracted from me little by little. My mother got terrified and at some point had me go to the bathroom. The moment I squatted down for the toilet, my back gave in and I fainted in the bathroom from so much pain! She came and help me back to bed, but knew this was not normal, so she called a guy to apply some pain reliever on me so I could make it to a hospital.

At the hospital a fantastic encounter happened for me! They put me in bed and next to me was a cancer patient lying down. Eventually I started sobbing because I couldn’t see a way out of it… The lady next to me, gave me a hug and told me that everything would be okay. I took a breath and looked at her, so skinny, so lifeless and still helping me with what was left of her strength… Wow! I told myself, “Get a grip!” The doctor found out I lack a few things in my spine since birth, but I didn’t let that bring me down. In that moment I made the decision of taking care of my health and lead a better life with less stress and an overall healthier lifestyle. I started taking yoga – a therapeutic style – and healed in about 3 months. The condition was still there but I strengthened my back with the poses. Since then I couldn’t stop doing yoga; but now feeling stronger, I can try and handle more playful styles, including trying handstands. Sometimes, when I am cartwheeling out of it, my back seems to give in and all the fear from going back to that place in bed where I was losing myself comes to haunt me. So that was another fear to conquer!

Anyway, by month 9 I could go outside, focus and go upside down in the middle of the lawn! No need for a wall! That was a breakthrough. But on most days I still need the wall to catch me, and I accept it. Every day is different and I made a comment yesterday to a friend that I don’t think I will ever get bored of doing handstands. I approach it with a beginner’s mind because our bodies feel different from one day to the other (or even within minutes), and accept what I am gifted with for that particular day and from there I build up with no expectations – however it turns out, it’s all good. Plus, there is always something triggering inspiration for it – sometimes it is a sunset or other nice background for posing, a friend posting pictures while doing handstands, getting together with friends who handstand or simply the curiosity to see how your body will respond to it on that day.

On month 10, I realized it was not just fear… I had become attached to the wall! And from situations in my life also showing me how attachment was just making things harder, I started to work daily with non-attachment. What does that mean? Meditating on it, practicing yoga with that as an intention daily, and living mindfully so I could watch when I would attach to things and immediately be proactive about it to work on releasing it. For about three weeks I worked on this theme and as I saw results coming up in my life, I knew they would be there for the handstands too. It is all interconnected.

So, throughout 2014, I have been posting collages with my pictures on my social media account to not overload it with daily pictures. These are not posted with the intent of showing off, especially since my alignment is far from perfect. My intention is to inspire people to try things they are afraid of and give motivation for people to stick to their resolutions and keep working on what needs to be worked on. During this past week I have received various messages from many friends, even on the other side of the planet, telling me how inspired they were from my handstand pictures and decided to do something similar. One of them brought me to tears, as it was from a friend who has had many back surgeries and had naturally developed fear around any form of play with the back muscles and bones. This friend’s message told me how inspiring it was to follow my handstanding journey, joined in and had also a breakthrough of doing it in the middle of a room recently! And, like I mentioned above, all is interconnected, so I am sure this will mean other breakthroughs in this person’s life, too.

inspire

I will end this post mentioning how much gratitude I have for this journey and all the growth it brings; for my body, mind and soul working together many times during the day bringing me awareness, clarity, presence; and for daily support that I find in little and big things that show up in my life. Deep gratitude. I invite you to take a minute and bow in gratitude for whatever it is you want to honor at this time – all the possibilities that come with every new day, your friends, nature, sunsets, sunrises, resting time, or even your ability to breathe.

Posted in Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forgiveness

On my previous post, https://apathoflight.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/choosing-to-be-vulnerable/, I mentioned remembering a little piece of my childhood that has had impact on my life. Not an easy one to remember or even want to mention. Yet, I feel like writing a bit more about it, and hope that it will help others process this kind of experience or similar ones, in case it happened to them.

With my parents being divorced, I had to spend every single weekend at my grandmother’s house. My dad had signed on his divorce agreement that he would come visit me on the weekends. He did visit, but only 5-7 times a year, mostly on birthdays, holidays or some other kind of celebration, to which his presence was highly expected. On all the other weekends, I would just sit there and wait for him. Already understanding waiting for someone who won’t come was a waste of time, I distracted myself with other things – playing with the dog, studying, trying to make friends with the neighbors’ kids, etc. Sometimes, the other people in the house – all adults – would take me to places, probably feeling compassionate for “the abandoned kid”. After my grandfather died, my grandmother lived with her longtime helper (who was very sweet and I considered as a third grandma of mine), the helper’s son (who was sweet to me also and I considered an uncle of mine), and her own younger son, my father’s brother. He married a couple of times, moved away, divorced, and came back to this house many times. When I was ten years old or so, I remember this uncle approaching me one day in a different way. He did not see me as I little kid anymore. He was right, I now looked different with a pre-teen body getting formed. I am not going into details here because it is pretty personal, but I do want to say that I did not like that approach and felt highly intimidated.

Fortunately, before things got worse, at thirteen years old, I had a choice, I finally got a saying on those weekend visits and changed them in a big way. I now would go when I could and maybe even switch to visiting during the week, when only my grandma and her helper were home. I never told my mom or dad about what had happened, just chose to keep it in, to avoid my uncle and watch out for men in general. By no means am I complaining about what happened. I believe the Universe brings us experiences and we decide what to do with them. I decided to close my heart but also to get stronger from this. And when I was seventeen, this same uncle gave me a ride to a place one day and tried to reach for me in an inappropriate way while in the car, and I reacted in a surprisingly powerful way. I showed him my boundaries, said goodbye and left the car. He was speechless; I was empowered! Without a word about it, my body language told it all. I couldn’t believe he was still thinking about that after all those years…

My father’s side of the family was a challenging way for me to see the world. I never understood it much, my mother’s side had everyone trying to get along and doing teamwork, while this side was so disconnected… Nonetheless, I chose to forgive them. Over and over. Maybe I had no choice, maybe I had learned it from other lives prior to this one. But forgiving them served me well, otherwise I would certainly get sick from holding grudges. Interestingly enough, since I was very young, I kept telling my father, as I heard him complaining repeatedly about things that happened during his life, that he should move on from that and let go of the grudges. He would be surprised with my suggestion, stop complaining but not do anything about it. That was his choice. I, on the other hand, chose to forgive all of them, and would even visit my uncle, who married a sweet and loving cousin of ours, periodically as he aged.

More than ten years later, this uncle of mine passed away while I was living out of the country, very far away from him. A few days later, he visited me in dreams. He came wearing almost nothing and sat down next to me. There was a big light from where he came. I sat with him, and he started talking. He apologized for what he had done, without getting into details as we both knew. In the dream, even though I am not sure if I was conscious or not, I chose to look him in the eye, and from a place of power, like the ride in the car years before, I told him I forgave him and he could be in peace about that. He would probably have to pay a few more visits to other women before feeling peaceful though, but my part was clear. No strings attached anymore; we both owned our lessons from that. And not having that resistance inside me makes me feel lighter.

We all have been through issues in life, and sometimes we hold onto some of them… I recommend you sit quietly for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths, and try to relax completely. Then ask yourself if there is any grudge you’ve been holding onto. Maybe it is recent, maybe it is from a long time ago. Sometimes we even forget what happened but hold onto some negativity about someone we once had trouble with. Ask yourself if the grudge is still necessary… Do you still need this inside you? Would you be able to transform it into something more positive? Would you be able to let it go? Do you feel ready to try to let it go? One of the quotes below gives a hint to see if you are ready or not. And, remember, if you feel ready or not, it doesn’t matter, love yourself anyway.

forgivequote

forgive

Posted in Daily Tips, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment