Archive for September, 2013

Are You a Mind Reader?

I can remember vividly being very angry with a woman friend of mine last year. I thought she was judging me and it made me so mad! I could tell you every thought that she was thinking about me and it really pissed me off!

How dare she judge ME!

But then I talked to my Soul Friend, Jessie, about it. Jessie is a minister, a teacher and a wise woman. She suggested to me that perhaps it wasn’t this woman that was judging me; perhaps the real judge was ME.

I recalled this story to mind today as I was leading a guided meditation for a group of women at Rutgers. Before we entered our space of stillness, we considered the patterns of the mind. We considered the pattern of “blaming” – holding others responsible for our pain and/or blaming ourselves for every problem. We considered the pattern of “personalization” -believing that what we feel MUST be true; if we feel guilty, we MUST have done something wrong. Right? We considered the “critic voice” – that voice that tells us that we are not good enough… And we considered the ways that we “catastrophize” – turning our smallest challenges into HUGE disasters; all the while distrusting our own abilities to endure adversity.

Boy is the mind a monkey! The purpose of meditation is to calm that monkey down!

And before we calmed it down, we also considered “Mind Reading” – assuming that we know what others are thinking and feeling about us; based on our own ideas, not theirs.

What my Soul Friend taught me a year ago, and what this meditation today reminded me of, is that A LOT of the time we function as “mind readers.” We feel judged at times, and then we get angry at the person who is “judging” us; we personalize; we even catastrophize… And we waste A LOT of energy.

I’ve never met anyone who has read my mind, have you? And if there are mind readers around, it is a rare gift; not common. In other words, maybe those thoughts that you are so sure about are your own. Perhaps YOU have projected your own judgments of self onto someone else…

Consider it.

When I was a child, my mother used to share this simple nursery rhyme with me: A.S.S. – U.M.E.; ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME. In other words don’t ASSUME that you know what others are thinking; rather, if you have a question, ask it.

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Let your Soul Flow…

At Garden State Yoga.

Let your Soul Flow...

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The Root!

Root Chakra

Root Chakra

Tonight at my 8PM class at Jai Pure Yoga, we will be focusing on the root chakra. This energy portal, located at the base of the spine (the perineum) is, according to my friend Jim, the chakra that roots us to the earth. It is associated with grounding, survival, family, stability, security, structure and a sense of order. When this chakra is blocked we can feel that we are not rooted; we can experience a sense of not belonging. But we all belong. Groups of people who have historically been marginalized may have difficulty with the root chakra; or maybe someone who doesn’t feel like they belong in their family. Personally, I have had difficulty with this chakra in the past, most recently in my doctoral program- a space where I feel so very different from everyone else. But alas, WE ALL belong. We are all children of God, and we are here, rooted here, for a purpose.

We bring awareness to this chakra by bringing awareness to our physical bodies. Our bodies matter! They are important, some faith traditions teach us to deny the body to the point of complete escapism. I disagree with this. Our bodies, our physical health, THIS LIFE, matters. The practice of yoga in itself brings awareness to the root chakra; practicing yoga begins the important work of clearing this channel. Tonight’s will be a great class, filled with rhythmic beats and base.

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