It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere

http://its5oclocksomewhere.libsyn.com

 

Have you enjoyed these daily offerings of mind, body, breath practices?  I hope you’ll give it a try and be sure and let me know how you feel afterwards.

The title was inspired by Matthew 20 (the parable of the workers) when the landowner pays all them the same amount at day’s end, regardless of the amount of work done. We are all equally God’s children and my calling is to relay this message of Grace, forgiveness and Love which bubbles up from within our very own hearts.

Enjoy!!  Be at Peace

Anita Grace

Smilingheartyoga.org

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Just a couch, just a carpet

I don’t want to sit up straight to type and think from my elongated spine, aligning my head, heart and guts. I don’t want to shift from this slouch, merging with my new dark gray sectional in my recently renovated family room, where the only family left here most of the year is my husband of 25 years. But I need to tell you about this bubbling up of truth around my being a Christ-follower. I see HIS signature mercy, grace, presence, heart-welling up everywhere and that makes me a Sufi. I don’t like labels. I do like the word eschew..but how is that pronounced anyway? I wont’ pause the quick-fingered tapping at these keys to find out though.

And yet, I know I eschew labels…restrictions on my Self or my self. I am integrating so many parts of my Self/self lately that I am in a state of allowing. Allowing this couch to swallow me up into her puffy enveloping softness. All the selves, right here, right now…melting together. This is exactly what my self needs today. I am listening as she sighs, ‘yes’ to the no effort.

So here we are…can you see us, this 5 foot 5 inch breathing thing? You can’t really differentiate the parts because they’re smooshing down and together. Getting lost in and among themselves. All except those fingers, tap tap tapping away. Inhale….Exhale.

Earlier I was a few feet away from this spot on the new area rug, all swirly with oceanic colors and flowing designs. I needed her to hold me. The ocean. The womb. The color blue.
I was falling apart and I knew she’d let me.

She wouldn’t ask me to pull myself together. She wouldn’t command me to stop my incessant crying. She’d absorb the tears into herself…making more of her, less of me. More of her…less of me. Like a mantra now. I am one with you- carpet as ocean. Ocean as womb.

I am no longer Anita the one who can’t stop the flow of pain, the flow of tears, the flow of remembering. I am in the ocean of pain, the sea of tears, the womb of comfort.

You breathed on me too

You must have thought you had a gift to give

Why else would you lean in this way, breathing heavily on my body

Did you have an inkling about the way your passing on your shame to me would empower me

Did you internalize the message of the cross

Were you really that generous deep down in your core

Did you pray while your hands moved over my structure that in the ‘giving’ I’d be receiving fuel for transforming myself from a lowly caterpillar into a striking, colorful butterfly

Did you know this new creation would spread the word

that you cannot break us

You cannot bury us with your pressure to keep still

keep quiet

We are seedlings

We know how to patiently burrow down into the dark dank damp earthy womb of us

We know how to LISTEN inside for the stirrings of movement

We know how to stretch beyond our human form

We know the resurrection is for us

this day

and every day

We, the women, of the CROSS

have leapt down to

spread the Good News

our bodies smiling

our hearts beating

out—- F O R G I V E—- them

they know not…

 

I’m doing this for you

I didn’t expect to

I was feeling heavy on this first day of 2018

I was curious and I kept making body shapes, breathing deeply and recording new podcasts

But after the sex I didnt expect what happened next

I made a hot water with a splash of Red Stag to warm my bones (it is 7 degrees out!)

But then the alcohol after just two sips, made me feel sick to my stomach

I went to my knees and prayed “Lord alive in my body’s discomfort what would you have me do?”

The answer came quickly…I promised I would obey because it wasn’t for my benefit, it was for a friend of 12 years.  I would sacrifice on her behalf, trusting this message. Trusting my heart’s desire for 2018 to be more free and to be more connected.

I think this is a universal request for us all. Would you take the time to move your body- sex, exercise, or a breath practice, then pause on your knees and ask your heart who needs your sacrifice this year and what is it in particular you are meant to do on their behalf.

But the power comes in the secret keeping. No voicing what the sacrifice is specifically or who Love places on your heart.  Keep secrets…let God’s work go deep this year.

Please comment below if you feel called to join me in this

God Bless your willingness

Yoga for your lonely body

http://its5oclocksomewhere.libsyn.com/rss

 

Our bodies have brought us this far in life. Containers for our unexpressed emotions and moving forward despite injury and illness, our bodies have faithfully experienced our lives through tastes, sights, sounds and smells. And yet, most of us barely give our hands and feet a passing thought, let alone our internal organs keeping us alive. The gateway to wholeness of mind and spirit is through the physical stardust of us.  Bringing the light of awareness into our tension, our achiness, or simply where it feels like there is no space for breath, will serve us well on this path of exploring the very ground of our being.

 

I hope you’ll take a listen and stretch and contemplate what it is your body has to say to you today about doing the next right thing.  Namaste!

How Yoga got me a pink slip

How yoga got me a pink slip

And I am NOT sour grapes.

I needed to be pushed out of the nest.  I had grown really comfortable teaching in prison. Every Tuesday for over a year, I taught two meditation classes at a nearby medium security facility.  The men were always open, appreciative, honest and occasionally raw.  This combination made for a sacred circle that allowed for our most authentic selves to show up.

I am not really surprised that  my badge was pulled for practicing some yoga poses. After all, there is a very real resistance in the world that operates in opposition  to light.  Its energy is much stronger in prison environs.

The week before I had made a bold proclamation and shared about it on my blog:

“I arrive home every Tuesday at 1p.m.

Home away from home for me is a federal prison where I teach mindfulness meditation.

I always say a prayer as I enter. It’s not always the same, but it is often “Bless us that we might do your will” or “Thank you for using me to be your presence here today”.

Today I felt strongly that I should boldly proclaim how grateful I am for having the greatest job in the world. I do not say this lightly.  18 men gather to sit in stillness with intention, week after week.  On a few other occasions, I  have proclaimed that God loves them, forgives them and wants to draw their hearts closer. I express my confidence that mindfulness meditation creates a safe space for feelings to arise in order to heal past hurts done by and to them.

I call my practice my time with the Divine Therapist.

Today I looked these men in the eyes one by one and from my sincerest space within, I said, “My job is to have you see yourself as God sees you when you look at me.  It’s reciprocal too.  I see myself as God sees me when I look at you.”

 It’s a beautiful thing.

I was choosing to spend more and more time behind the walls.  Why you ask?  Well, I am coming to realize that  I am my most authentic self there.  I pray to be of service and so I act with clarity of intention.  I have no one to impress. There are no ulterior motives. I am not hiding behind a persona. I have no history with these people.  I may never see them again after this class is completed and therefore there are no expectations of a future relationship.

I am driving over the Ben Franklin bridge the day I learn that I’ve been fired and the metaphor is not lost on me as I hear in my heart, “You have given us everything you had to give. We are ready. Go out into the world and shine your Light. You will be awesome!”.  The men seemed to be speaking somehow through my intuition that the next step in my journey would be powerful and again life-altering. Clarity around what the future holds feels exciting because I had made some declarations at a Jen Pastiloff manifestation retreat with 40 women in the Catskills two weeks earlier.

I had been serving without hopes of anything in return. And yet, I received everything.
It was  in a chapel behind barbed wire that  I exp erienced  incomparable beauty in a place deemed by much of the world  as ugly and forgotten.   It was there that I realize I am hiding from the world. I am hiding my talents and gifts behind those walls, in a cozy nest of my own creation.  I now know that “home” is where the heart is, is not just a quaint saying.  It’s profound truth fills me to overflowing.