4: Openness

 12 Steps. See 1. Blueprint 2. Loyalty 3. Wisdom


 Openness: The Quality of Being Open & Flexible. Associated with the Niyama Santosha.

  • Don’t get stuck in one possibility.

  • Situations are rarely as desperate as one thinks when in the moment.

  • Be open to experience something without a pre-conceived notion or expectation of how it is, or should be.

Enlightenment is really a theory of expression.. The ultimate grounded response.. The unwavering you that chooses love and light regardless of what comes up in this life.

-Tiffany Fuentes


the more you know.jpgThe level to which you continue to expand who you are is directly related to your being human. “The More You Know”  is saying you are as infinite as the galaxy, made from star stuff and have the potential to be as magnificent as a shooting star. The way to live a life you love is to ensure that you have not limited yourself or your experience.

Personal evolution happens when boundaries on the idea of who you are are destroyed.

What does this have to do with happiness?

Happiness is a moving target. To hit that target, you have to practice. You have to be agile with a keen awareness of your surroundings.

Rigidity and a narrow scope won’t work.

Sustaining contentment can seem like seeking anti-gravity, wanting to jump and somehow staying suspended in the air. But, before levitation is possible one has to have balance. You must learn to shift your weight and ground down into the Earth in order to receive and absorb force — essentially using energy, your own and that around you, to propel forwards or upwards, to be light, and to soar towards your greatest possibility.

    The mystery of metaphor is the art of listening to life in the activity of work, of allowing yourself to be living harmony. Metaphors give us a way to become more inside our universe. If we can name or identify our world, we know better how to fit in harmony with it.                                                                                                          Harmony is the warmth of the heart slipping through a slice of light. By becoming more attuned to the vibrations in life, we come closer to our natural state. We clear our blocks and our resistances. We discover the power to be.

-Joseph Rael from “Vibrations & Being

The more that you can bring yourself to accept and take on or try new things the more you grow, and become sensitive to everything around you. Work with the Heart Chakra to incorporate more Openness into your life. This will inevitably increase your compassion and connection to all.

#growthseed

  • What if becoming undone is scary?

  • Do you know your typical habits of resistance? What do you think about when you become vulnerable?

  • Have you recognized the subconscious ways you or others in your life are currently participating in working against the best possible version of yourself?

We have all done this!

We have all questioned what we are really capable of?

What we really deserve?

We spent time thinking of risks instead of rewards and imagined failings as opposed to making our dreams a reality. We have all at some point put limits on who we were, what we liked, and what we would or could do — we have all made bad habits and closed ourselves off from possibilities. We have chosen inadequate lifestyles of isolation and replayed memories that are in response to, or cause pain.  WHY?

Because… We’re human, duh.

It’s totally normal to fear repeating an unpleasant event. We want to learn from our mistakes, so we often let fear guide our decisions and behavior and keep bad memories alive so we “know better.” Quite often, we are not even aware that this is happening. Check that Root Chakra to see if you are caught in perpetual survival mode.

The energy of openness helps you take an honest look at yourself. It literally lets light in on the darkness.

Be careful that the perceptions you’ve been holding onto, aren’t standing in your way from having a life you love.

Change your mind – Change your world.

 

 

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Ahimsa (A closer look at non-violence)

Ahimsa -अहिंसा- Non-violence. Don’t hurt anyone or anything.

Image result for image for ahimsa

Really don’t hurt anything? What if I kill a plant?  What about when I’m trying to get out of the train and no one wants to make room for me and I push through anyway using my purse as a shield? And let’s be honest: why do we fear insects so much that so many of us respond by killing? Is it because they live in the deepest and darkest parts of our world that we can’t see? Parts we know so little about, and why do we find them disgusting? Did we always feel this way? And how is it that some people don’t have the same visceral response? They’re not scared. Do they save themselves and inevitably save us by granting the pause and critical thinking? 

 

Insecticides/ herbicides date back to the end of WWII. Have we been conditioned to kill them? It was a time when scientist were trying to discover a new way to wage war: Chemicals. So long, as I know, which isn’t saying a whole lot, we did not get a chance to use them on our enemies, however the government found a way to implement them in Agriculture in the form of pest control. These “control” programs intended to stop the infestation of a beetle or aphid or something like it, via poisonous death. I am not denying the severity of the potential harm/ damage to trees, crops, etc from such nuisances, but liberally sprayed chemicals that are “poisonous” inevitably and obviously impact more than the insects they were originally targeted for, as no one exists alone in nature. Many of these chemicals are still used today knowing how much devastation they cause and how many have died at the irresponsible use of these deadly chemicals. Want examples? Look at California alone.

THE CDC TOOK DOWN THE PAGE OF US STATISTICS OF INSECTICIDE RELATED DEATH.

Insecticides/herbicides are responsible for the death of not just of insects across our nation but entering the tissues of our plants/fruits/vegetables that they’re sprayed on, they linger and destroy the soil that gives vegetation its life-sustaining nutrients, all of the groundwater that feeds our rivers and lakes, the fish that depend on those waters, the birds that eat those fish, and the people that call this planet home drinking and eating as she pleases.

 Don’t speak, think, or act violently.                                                                                        Wish someone well. Don’t wish them disaster. Help each other.

This day in age we are bombarded on social media with selfies. Someone got butt implants that you just have to see, this one loves kissing the mirror in her car, or this one wants you to see how much weight she lost drinking a shake product she’s pushing you to buy, this other one is holding an awesome yoga pose, stomach shots, breast shots, etc. Do not wish someone misfortune JUST BECAUSE something they are showing the world triggers you to feel a certain way about you. 

Be Kind. Let someone in your lane, particularly if their lane has a closure or blockage! Honestly, what good does it do you to be one car length ahead of anyone?

  • Create an attitude of nurturing and realization so that all is one.                      
  • Try to see the other side of the story.        
  • Envision everyone as the same and connected so that human beings may spring from egoistic impulses towards unification and transcendence of the spirit.

Ishvara pranidhana (Niyama #5)

Ishvara Pranidhana – ईश्वर प्रणिधान – Surrender to the Divine Consciousness

Ishvara = Divine Consciousness, Pranidhana = to surrender. In this final niyama, ego sheds from you like a snake that’s outgrown its skin. Only the prudent arrive here in their spiritual journey. Please click links below to recap the 4 previous niyamas. 

  1. To obtain peace, you must have order and seek purification inside and out  
  2. Hone an active contentment and gratitude for being alive
  3. Demonstrate your will-power, concentration, and maturity
  4. Expose and overcome the barriers that routinely deny your own exhalation

What in the hell is a Divine Consciousness? It’s the energy that binds us. We are made of star stuff and the body, we think we own, will decay and become star stuff once again.

Ishvara Pranidhana is the practice of acknowledgement that you are not in control. You never were. Your parents, yes they made you enter this world as a baby, but you were always created from the the Universe and the Universe is connected to everything, therefore you are immense, limitless, and infinite.

  • But how can you see yourself as God-like?

  • How can you let go of who you think you are?  Or who you think you aren’t?

  • Can you just make a change, when you feel you’ve been a certain way for so long? Can you get rid of your judgments?

With Ishvara, the human experience is a continuous flow of exchanges between you and your world.

A Practical Approach : Surrendering with the body to (inevitably) let go of the body.

In a yoga class where the instructor or you have guided your movement with intention, you are practicing ishvara pranidhana. For example, we can back-bend to expose our hearts and throats, in an effort to synchronize our hearts with our communication and free our energetic pathways (chakras) from blockages. We create a posture and move our breath with this intention so that our body can receive Ishvara, the divine intelligence in how to be connected and unified. Yoga= to yoke = to pull up and unite, to be one with the Universe. 

Telltale signs you are far from Ishvara Pranidhana: 

  • You feel alone and disconnected and take actions that maintain this, or perhaps the separation you feel is one of superiority and you dominate fellow humans with intimidation and manipulation for sport or personal gain.
  • You think surrendering is weak and synonymous with giving up, and this is incongruent with your perception of strength and will to fight for respect.  

Pantanjali’s 8 Limbs

According to Pantanjali, Yoga aims to undermine the confusion of our ego-bound personality and guide us toward an authentic existence. This would be the True Self.  

The ego-bound personality is all the ways in which we keep mistaking our identity as one that is served by the needs and wants of our physical form.

[stop flexing in the mirror]

Image result for patanjali

 

Pantanjali wrote the sutras in an effort to guide us. His idea was that humans had a major struggle to overcome:

[Our bodies’ (the physical form) has such proximity to the highly evolved psycho-physical organism (the Spirit/Heart) giving us access to an elevated consciousness in the first place, but the process wasn’t clear, the pitfalls too many, and the mind-body (brain) so utterly unconscious] that he knew something had to be done to help us. 

So… imagine your heart is a modem, with kick ass super high speed internet.And…The intangible mind, all of your connection with the Universe, is your wireless router.

So you’re hardwired. The cable goes directly from your heart to your intangible mind. BUT Somehow your mind-body (Brain) isn’t acquiring the right IP address for sustained connection. The physical form keeps on messing things up for us.  Shocker.

He wanted to bring some practicality into this spiritual practice that many are missing out on. He created

The 8 Limbs of Yoga: An order of things, steps that can be taken, a ladder that could be climbed.

Image result for 8 limbs of yogaThe 8 Limbs of Yoga:

It is by climbing these limbs that we can fall away from a common life, an existence compared to that of a self-involved consumer to Self-realization as genuine enlightenment and emancipation from all ‘things.’

 

  • Yama : Discipline.

  •  Niyama : Restraint.

  •  Asana : Posture.

  •  Pranayama : Breath Control.

  •  Pratyahara : Withdrawal of the senses.

  •  Dharana : Concentration.

  •  Dhyana : Meditation.

  •  Samadhi : Super-Consciousness.

Introduction to Energetic Pathways in the Body

ENERGETIC PATHWAY: The Intangible MIND & our Physical FORM

Energetic Pathways is explained in Sanskrit by the word Nadi. Nadi’s run through the body passing through energetic centers, also known as Chakras. 

Nadi is directly translated into channel or river and is the site where these two forces of our nature are connected. These sites of our Subtle Body are the points of interest for spiritual practitioners and energy healers.

Image result for energetic pathways

The intangible mind is all that we haven’t yet been able to tap into, and is more eloquently stated as our Spirit. This intangible mind are the things we know without even a clue or memory to the when our how we learned them.

  • Intuition

  • Clairvoyance

  • Dreams that come true

  • All the information that comes to you from your higher self

  • That part of you that is connected to all matter in the Universe

The Physical Form is the meat we walk around in, our skin and bones, that which is bound by gravity and bodily functions.

Ida Nadi- starts at the base of the spine and moves its way along the central spine until the left nostril. This energetic river or channel corresponds with our intuitive and creative parts to our being. It is the right hemisphere of the brain but the left side of the body. Feminine and Lunar.

Pingali Nadi- starts at the base of the spine and moves its way along the central spine until the right nostril. It is masculine and solar channel associated with the logical, problem solving and reasoning parts to our being. It is the left hemisphere of the brain but the right side of the body and refers to action. Pingali refers to acting, being, doing, and acquiring.

 

Shushumna Nadi- The central nadi that begins at the base of the spine and ends at the base of the brain. Both the Ida and Pingala wind around this central channel. Shushumna is the origin of all of the chakras and the idea that spiritual illumination, or enlightenment is possible comes from energizing the Shushumna upwards to the crown chakra thereby creating Samadhi.

Chakra, another Sanskrit word, literally means WHEEL. The seven chakra model are at the exact locations along the spine and central nervous system where all three nadis intersect. (Ida, Pingali, and Shushumna)