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“Poetry Surrounds Us” – Vincent van Gogh

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Creative by Nature

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“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. People are often unable to do anything, imprisoned as they are in I don’t know what kind of terrible, terrible, oh such terrible cage.  Do you know what makes the prison disappear? Every deep, genuine affection. Being friends, being brothers, loving, that is what opens the prison, with supreme power, by some magic force. Without these one stays dead. But whenever affection is revived, there life revives.

If only we try to live sincerely, it will go well with us, even though we are certain to experience real sorrow, and great disappointments, and also will probably commit great faults and do wrong things, but it certainly is true, that it is better to be high-spirited, even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and…

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Just One Resolution

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Just One Resolution

Here is a most inspiring blog post from my beautiful friend Georgina.

Be Bright

I have just one resolution this new year. This is it:

“To love myself unconditionally.”

This covers it all for me. Yes, it is indeed the practice of a life time. In that case, I reckon, if it hasn’t been THE most important conscious priority of my life before now, then NOW is the time to make it Priority Number One!

The more I truly love and respect myself, the more I follow my heart, the more I radiate, the more I let love in, the more I can serve and the more I truly love and respect others from a place of natural ease, grace and compassion.

I love meTo love and respect myself means to accept all that I am, the light AND the shadow. Only by truly owning and loving these in myself will I learn to accept and love them in others.

To love and respect myself requires me to ensure that my thoughts…

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Why Kundalini Yogis Wear White & Cover Our Heads

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It was great to see so many of you wearing white at Sundays workshop. I really feel it help raise our vibration! See this post for more on why white is worn for Kundalini Yoga.

The Approximate Yogi

Why do you wear all white?

Picture 207 from my teacher training on graduation day, taken by another student

I get this question often as a teacher of Kundalini Yoga. The answer is two-part: 1) Wearing the color white is supposed to expand your aura, since the color white is made up of all of the colors of the spectrum (also all of the chakras’ colors). Conversely, wearing black, which omits all of the colors of the spectrum, shrinks the aura. 2) Teachers of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan are required to wear white for reason #1, which sounds like a good reason to me.

Kundalini students can wear white to class as well. You may play around with the colors of the chakra system. For example, wearing white expands the aura, while wearing green projects the fourth, or heart chakra. (Read my series “Focus on the Chakras” under Categories…

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Inner Peace

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 “Before enlightenment I was depressed. Now I continue to be depressed but there is a difference… I am not attached to it any more” – Antony de Mello

The topic of our Kundalini Yoga classes these past few weeks has been inner peace. Something we all desire. And it is simpler to achieve than you may think.

The greatest obstacle to finding inner peace is the belief that there is something wrong with our experience right now or with the way our life is. That is seems obvious, doesn’t it! As long as we are searching for an experience other than the one we have, we will never be content in this moment. “If only this was different… if only someone would change… then I could experience more peace.!”  My peace is dependent on something being different.

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Inner peace does not come from self-improvement or changing the other, it comes from  acceptance.We are programmed with so many beliefs that we never stop to question.  For example “Feeling sad is a bad thing.” or “There is something wrong with being angry.” Who says so? A little voice in our head does. And the truth is that it is not the feeling of sadness that robs us of our peace …it is the little commentator that tells us something is wrong. The amazing thing is that we can experience sadness, depression, anxiety and feel completely peaceful. If there is no judgement, then what is the problem?

Peace is experienced when we allow everything to be as it is without resistance, when we learn to say Yes! to every experience. How do we achieve that? If you step out of yourself for a moment and objectively watch your own mind you will see what happens.

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Say you are feeling down for example. First you are aware of the feeling and then comes the commentary “This is bad.”, “Everybody seems to be OK except me.”, “What ‘s wrong with me” …

It’s not the feeling that is bad. It is the ‘story’ around the feeling that robs us of our inner peace.

It’s all about awareness

Becoming aware of the commentator creates space between ourselves and the commentary. When we watch the commentary objectively we are  less involved. Instead of “This is bad” we could say ” There is that  annoying little commentator again.. ”

Finding inner peace is not about changing any of the thoughts, feelings or emotions – that’s far too difficult!. but more about changing your relationship with your mind. What we understand, we become free of. This is a habit to cultivate, and takes constant awareness. But by understanding how suffering is caused, and cultivating acceptance we can become free of it.

Ashram Life.. Eat, Pray, Love it!

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After a one and a half hour car journey through the palm forests and rubber plantations of Kerala, in southern India, I arrived at the Sivananda Ashram.

The Ashram is very clean and well run, and I was lucky to get a room on my own with a shower, luxury! I did have a room-mate for one night, as she was an exceptionally large spider, I put her out!
The wake up bell rings for morning Satsang at 5.10. We meditate and chant from 6 until 7.30. The roar of lions in the wildlife reserve accompany our morning chants. After, we have tea under the “tea tree”,followed by the 2 hour morning yoga class.

After brunch (a spicy vegetarian meal not a fry up!) We all have a job to do around the ashram (Karma Yoga). I was sure I would be cleaning the loos, but instead landed the enviable job of manning the internet room. After Karma Yoga there is a daily talk on interesting topics like Spirituality Yoga, diet and Ayurveda. Then, after this, a second 2 hour yoga class. Unfortunately, I sprained my foot a few days into my stay, on an early morning mountain hike. It was fabulous to see the sunrise high in the mountains but my yoga classes were off the menu for the rest of my time at the ashram. Luckily I had the wonderful company of Emily, who is staying in the ashram for several months. She had a very nasty infected bite.. so she was off yoga too. I can thank her for a night out in the local town, when I accompanied her to hospital to get treatment. (Not a place you would want to stay in!)

Getting back to the Ashram schedule. Our second and last meal of the day is at 7pm. It is a similar meal to brunch-eaten while sitting cross-legged on the floor of the large dinning hall- Most people eating Indian style, with their fingers.The food is excellent, but after a few days, I started to miss my morning porridge!

Evening Satsang is at 7- more chanting and meditating, and followed by a talk or film.
I love it at the ashram. I have met some great people. Its a simple life, in a warm climate, with interesting like-minded company.. who needs porridge!

The Ashram Dining Hall.

The Ashram Dining Hall.

Sun and Yoga in Goa.

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After 10 days of sun, sea, fun and yoga in Mandrem Beach Goa. I am leaving for Kerala for 10 days at the Sivananda Ashram.
Goa was a welcome break after Kolkata. Just to reassure all those who supported Hope. No funds raised were used for this part of the trip! Yoga classes were Read the rest of this entry

More Smiles and Saris

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“A smile is in the same language”
We did done so much in our 9 days in Kolkata. Visiting the Hope childrens’ homes, hospital and lifeskills centre, where there is a wonderful shop and cafe, teaching craft, clothes making and restaurant skills.
We are also lucky to be here for Diwali, the festival of lights, which is akin to our Christmas in importance.We celebrated this in the home of our pranic healing teachers and their family.. such a privilege.. beautiful food ‘ fireworks and company!
Kali puja’ was happening too..worship to a blue goddess with 4 arms’ who killed her husband’ and went on to do great things..awesome!
A profound experience for me happened when I reluctantly attended mass in. Mother Teresa’s hospice. A place where men and women come for their last days. Those few who were well enough to sit were opposite us in the small chapel area. I caught the pained and sad gaze of one of the men opposite me, I smiled and amazingly he managed to give me a radiant smile back… for a few moments he gave me the deep privilege of feeling completely connected to him. The power of a smile is wonderful indeed.
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Most of the group are with me in Goa now.. It couldn’t be more different here.. Sun Sea and Yoga! Look out for my next post. The group will be leaving next Monday, and I will be contiuing my adventure alone..

“A wise man travels to discover himself.” ― James Russell Lowell

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A Passage to India!
I have always loved to travel, and I have visited over ten countries in almost as many years. Apart from the States on two occasions in recent times, these countries have been in Europe close to home. I have yearned to travel further afield. Earlier this year I visited a Psychic, and was delighted when she told me I would travel to India! I was even more delighted, when the very next day, the opportunity presented itself via a friend I had done my yoga teacher training with!

So here I am in the mid years of my life ready for adventure.

I leave Ireland for 6 weeks on Sunday to travel to India. Starting with 10 days volunteering with The Hope Foundation in Calcutta, then a week or so of Yoga in Goa, then on to Kerala… and then who knows? a couple of weeks in an Ashram and a visit to an Ayurvedic centre perhaps? The true traveller does not plan too much, for then he becomes a tourist!

I would love to have you on the journey with me. Enter you email below to join me!henna hands