Spiritually Refined

I’ve been lax in posting for a few months – I’ve been in both a creative process and a refinement process.  My hand has been in many pots and I’ve been slowly pulling back my energy and refining my vision for The BlueRoof Path. But the refinement process doesn’t end there. I have also been being refined spiritually.  There have been times of darkness when I believed I had no purpose, times of light when I could see the path clearly, and times of peace when I stopped to surrender and be led by Spirit.  The latter has made all the difference.  The Yoga Philosophy calls it tapas; the Bible calls it the Refiner’s Fire…they are speaking of the same things.  It is the process of spiritual refinement that we souls-in-human-form undergo on our journey.  As humans, this refinement process can be incredibly uncomfortable.  Did I put enough emphasis on incredibly there?  The big growth – it doesn’t often feel warm and fuzzy and in fact can feel like a tilt-a-whirl caught between dueling fire tornadoes.  This discomfort is a signal that something is on offer  – that you have the opportunity to clear away some of those pieces that don’t fit the puzzle that is you.  When you are attached to the little i-ness, that is – the ego-self, then you can get caught up in the heat feeling lost, scattered, overwhelmed, and alone.  But when you surrender into the bigness of you – the I, or Higher Spiritual Self, then you have an inner knowing that can sustain you.  You can then not only withstand the heat – but you can relax into it and see what it has for you.  Deborah Adele says, in The Yamas & Niyamas, that tapas is “the willingness to be both burned and blessed.”  Zechariah 13:9 says, “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.”

This refinement, the heating up in life, carries a blessing.  If you resist – it can get quite hot and uncomfortable, much like when you resist surrendering into Warrior II and become rigid.  When you relax into the posture, just like when you relax into what life is offering you, then you can refine your experience of the posture, refine your experience in life, and allow yourself to be refined spiritually to relax into the Truth within you and see the lesson (gift) on offer.

Have you experienced your own Spiritual Refinement?  Could you tell a difference from when you surrendered and when you resisted?

I see you,

Rev. M

Yoga Nidra – The Hidden Power of Yogic Sleep

Yoga Nidra is a little known yoga practice that can have profound effects on the body, mind, and spirit. It is an excellent resource to use with affirmative prayer, affirmation, and intentions. It is said that the intention set during yoga nidra is a vow between the practitioner and the Universe (God/Spirit/Consciousness.)  The intention is known as Sankalpa – and is worded in the affirmative.  An example: It is well my soul vs. Let my soul be well. One would state in the present tense, affirmative, that the soul is already well.  When setting your intention “pray believing,” that is, set the intention with complete resolution and faith that what you are putting out into the Universe is already happening.

Practice the following yoga nidra meditation daily and watch for the divine changes to take place in your life. I encourage you to focus on one sankalpa at a time until you begin to see it start to manifest in your life. The practice of yoga nidra has a hidden power within it to truly help you create change in your life. So write down your intentions or affirmations and let yoga nidra guide you into peaceful change.

Yoga Nidra Meditation: Soundcloud

I held his hand in stillness…

My husband and I have a commitment to nightly meditation together. Though our morning meditations are solitary, we do not miss this nightly experience. We don’t necessarily even meditation “together” really. Instead, we are in the same room, focused on our own breath, meditating in our own way. We are simply making the commitment to sit in stillness together to connect to God.  Just in the small amount of time we’ve been doing this our relationship has changed…evolved. We are more connected within, more connected with God, and thus more connected to each other because we come to each other with the spirit of consciousness and unconditional love instead of fear.

Last night we were a bit late for our session, and though we were both very tired it never occurred to us to just skip a night. That’s not the commitment nor the intention that we came to this with. Tired or not we sat down for meditation but instead setting up on our respective mats we chose to sit on the bed, side by side.

Just a few breaths in I reached over and took his hand. Then the energy changed. Suddenly we were so very much connected while still being in our separate meditations, on our separate spiritual journeys.

I held his hand in stillness…and that makes all the difference.

Satsang Circle with Gatlianne

Saturday Morning Satsang Circle with M. Gatlianne

8:00 – 8:45 am

Free Community Event:

(Love Offerings/Donations Accepted – but not required)

 

May Satsang Dates:

May 03

May 10

May 24

May 31

 

What is Satsang?

Seeking the Truth

Feeling the Truth

Speaking the Truth

Being the Truth

Embracing the Truth within you

 

The company we keep matters – Satsang offers a space to affirm your spiritual path and to experience and practice yoga off the mat. Satsang means sitting (or gathering) in truth. Come sit in the company of like-minded individuals to share, discuss, and experience Truth through talk, meditation, uplifting readings and quotes, mantra, song, journal work, Q&A, and more.

 

Discover the True Nature within you in a safe and welcoming environment that is open to all belief systems so that all can come together in truth and compassion to create peace and harmony within to take out into the world.

 

Led by spiritual teacher M. Gatlianne, Saturday Satsang Circle will help you connect to your higher self and see how all of life is interconnected and full of love.

 

1874 Slaughter Road
Madison AL 35758
256-399-YOGA

I see London, I see France…

…I can see China through your pants!

Ah – the yoga teacher “perch” – the various spots in a room where the teacher stands to observe the class that allows them to fully see all aspects of the postures and all students. The various viewpoints of the perch enables the teacher to fully cue the class while looking for any injurious misalignments or ways to help a student enhance their postures. However, there is another aspect of this viewpoint – the dreaded downdog “up close and personal!” Yoga teachers generally walk the room and in many postures are above the student looking down therefore we get to see lots of things…some things that students might not necessarily intend for us to see! “Booty booty booty rockin’ erre’where” plays in my mind. Free spirited-ness is wholeheartedly encouraged; however, as studios generally aren’t co-ed naked -do a friend or mirror test to make sure your attire is studio friendly. Do a standing forward bend in the mirror and see how far down your shirt you can see because what you can see – others can see. Do down dog with a friend inspecting to see if leggings or tights suddenly become very see through (they do – even actual yoga pants. And yes, when you don’t wear underwear with them…you can see China!) Not all leggings are created equal – many simply aren’t made for yoga because they don’t wick moisture in any way and become quite thin. Also friend or mirror test shorts. You may not be aware of what can be seen – but I guarantee you that your yoga teacher is! My encouragement to everyone is –wear shorts if you like but invest in ones that will support you or cover you. This goes for the gents as well. Chances are you’ll be more comfortable in class as well (especially hot class) because true yoga shorts/pants don’t ride the same way and true yoga leggings don’t hold in moisture. If that’s the case then you’re looking at another dreaded phenomenon – swamp tail, as well as teachers and students being able to see to China. So bend over and look in the mirror – if you can see to China so can everyone else.

Make Your Own Path

I kept thinking about putting an edge in place to “give Mitch (my husband) space” but just that didn’t seem to fit. So I looked at it more and it went beyond Mitch. When I got the email requesting my February intention for the Intentional Prayer Network I sent “I intend to allow others their paths.”

But this morning that didn’t quite seem to fit either. Then it hit me – I’m still making it about something/someone outside of me.

A Growth Edge is something I learned from the More to Life Program. It is an intention you put into place in order to create change in your life. For example, someone who is typically the wallflower might put an edge into place “To Be Seen” then choose to put himself or herself into leadership positions or get on stage and perform, or speak up in a crowd, etc. Growth edges evolve; as you begin to gain the lessons and growth from what you put into place that edge will run it’s course and you put something different in place.

The growth edge I’m putting in place is based off a quote that has been a part of my life in some way for a very long time. – “Make Your Own Path.”

So, my current growth edge is: Make My Own Path

How do I look when I’m not on my own path?
I’m judgmental, critical, and full of expectations on others (and myself). I feel angry. I see what’s “not right” how others “should” be.  I play the victim. I blame others for my lot in life, for where I am, for how my life is. I don’t take responsibility for my choices. I don’t see that life is for me and do not see the big picture. I don’t see the divine plan in it all. I believe that if others would change then I would be ok, better, life would work out better. I’m not accepting or tolerant. I’m demanding and controlling. At times I am even vindictive. I am not focused on my path and my growth. I am focused on the other person’s path and growth. I believe I know better than them and that they should listen to me. I believe that if they would listen to me and fix what I believe they’re doing wrong then my life will be better. When I’m not on my own path I feel more hurt, anger, discontent, unhappy, sad, sorrowful, guilt, fear, anxiety, worry, and shame. When I am not on my own path I am disconnecting even to the point of walling myself up, not allowing others in. I don’t hug or touch as much. I stay to myself, isolate myself even. I withdraw.

How do I look when I’m on my own path?
When I am on my own path I feel free and alive. I am compassionate, empathetic, connecting, loving, and caring. I take responsibility for my life and my path. I trust life, God/the Universe, my Self. I trust that all is happening just as it is meant to and I feel a deep peace with that trust. I feel connected to myself, life, and others. I feel connected to the Oneness of it all. I make conscious choice instead of reacting. I breathe deeper. I flow with life and allow life to flow with me. I feel softer in my body, less stiff, sore, and tense. I worry less and accept more. I take more time for me instead of using my time to “fix” others. I let go more. I smile more. I connect; I laugh; I dance; I frolic  – I Live! I am open. I hug and kiss and touch. I love and open my heart. I am childlike in the world. I am magical. I am My Self. And I allow others to be who and how they are without judgment. I am in my authority. I am present – Here. Now.

I think before I took “Make Your Own Path” to mean living my life, being free, doing things my way in the world, living Me! But somewhere along the way I came to believe that it meant separating myself – mostly from Mitch, that making my own path meant being away from him- that it was an either or – him or my path.  Now I see that by not being on my path I am separating myself from others and life and Mitch and that by not being on my own path I cannot be fully on my path with him. I see that it’s not an either or but a beautiful merging. I lost sight of the braided path: My path, His path, our path – braided together to make one strong bond.

What work/processes will help me with this edge?

  • Radical Forgiveness Worksheet when I notice I’m judging another, or I see the mirror of another.
  • Radical Self Forgiveness on the Mirror I find or when I am judging myself.
  • MTL Mirror Process to look eye to eye heart to heart and SEE me
  • The Work of Byron Katie process to get to the truth
  • Yoga to connect to my body and breath
  • Meditation to connect my mind and breath and spirit
  • Reiki Self-Healing to connect my spirit with the Divine
  • Chakra healing to align my energy

What will I put into place to support me on my path?

  • Daily Yoga and Meditation
  • Daily “I am that, I am.” Exercise
  • When I notice I’m walling up – open up my body and reach out to connect physically
  • Breathe – focus more on abdominal breathing to bring in calm  and grounding
  • At least one written process/work per day be it MTL, Radical Forgiveness, The Work, or an exercise from another book such as Mind of the Soul.
  • Reconnect and Recommit to My Path.
  • Look at my vision board weekly – sit with it; be with it; breathe with it.
  • Take time out for me

The Prayer of Powerful Women

“The Amplification of Prayer

Women are extremely powerful when they pray.  Yogi Bhajan often taught that the strength of a woman’s prayer was unmatched.  The power of woman to heal and uplift he said to be among the holiest of all things in this world.  Even the Dalai Lama has said that women will change this world.  Because of the expansion of our energy body during the menstrual cycle, we become more “amplified”.  This is why in Native American cultures, menstruating women were not allowed in Sweat Lodges.  Although traditions varied by tribe, Sweat Lodges were times to come together and manifest prayers for an entire village or culture.  Visions would be given by the Creator to protect and guide their people, chants and prayers would be offered for peace, continued life, and honoring the Earth. In most traditions, menstruating women were not allowed.  The reason for this was explained to me once by a Native American elder as being that women’s prayers are so powerful during their moon cycle, that they drown out all other prayers and vibrations being offered.  They would be “sent away” not out of shame or second class citizenship, but in honor and to allow them time to rest and nurture themselves, and to allow the prayers of the group to be heard.  Sweat Lodges are also physically demanding events, and women in many traditions, including yoga, are encouraged to take it easy during this time.”

From: All About Yoga

Eight Limbs of Yoga: Asana

I think this piece by Dr. David Simon exquisitely sums up what Asana is:

 

“Asanas are usually defined as the various yogic postures designed to bring balance
and harmony to the physical body, particularly the musculo-skeletal system. Asana
is part of the Ayurvedic treatment system for the physical body.
At a deeper level, asana refers to the complete expression of mind-body integration, a state in
which we become conscious of the flow of prana resonating in every molecule of our body and
in every thought and every experience.
The essence of asana isn’t about straining to get our body into a particular posture; it’s about
surrender, opening, expanding, and enhancing our flexibility, balance, and strength. The
practice of asanas is a way to expand our own sense of self and experience the joy of being
incarnated in this physical body. At the same time, it allows us to create an intimate dance
between our individuality and universality and celebrate the essence of this connection.”

Eight Limbs of Yoga: Svadhyaya

Niyama 4Svadhyaya Self Study/Self Reflection

 Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.  -Chinese Proverb 

This niyama asks us to look within and study the self. This is swimming your deep rivers- the facing of our inner truths, the battle of our inner demons, meandering the labyrinth that is us to find the heart of us – our True Self, the self that is guided by spirit. Swimming your deep rivers means facing the truth about yourself in order to weed out false beliefs and reconnect to your Highest Self.

Many believe that Svadhyaya means studying the yoga spiritual scriptures, and yes, that can be one avenue of self study. But it goes beyond that, deeper. What works for one will not be what works for another. Study many forms of insightful, self-help, self-improvement and personal growth literature. Study the great texts – all of them. Study modern self-help books; find what works for you. Take a personal growth intensive or course. (The More to Life Weekend was a major jump start for me in my path of growth.)

Read.

Learn from others.

Meditate.

Do personal growth work.

Find your courage. Swimming your deep rivers can be a daunting task. It requires you to see both the truth of your highest self and the ego self.

Svadhyaya is not the answer. Svadhyaya is the question being asked.”

Daily Affirmation/Mantra/Prayer: 

I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.

For Personal Growth: 

Choose one personal growth, self-help, self-improvement book or spiritual text to read. Commit to reading it and completing any exercises within.

Suggested Reading List:

Radical Forgiveness – Colin Tipping

The Work – Byron Katie

How to Heal Your Life – Louise Hay