“Have you been fast asleep
And have you heard voices,
I’ve heard them calling my name,
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
It’s something that I’m s’posed to be…

Someday we’ll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me”
The Rainbow Connection song sung by Kermit the Frog

I’ve always loved rainbows. How can you not? Something so beautiful appearing in the sky unannounced with a history of promising a better day tomorrow (pun on my business name intended). Double-rainbows are like double magic to me. There’s also that “the end of the rainbow” and the infamous “pot of gold”. Yes, I have a Saint Patty’s day theme going this month don’t I?

I’m going to share how I came about naming my yoga venture “Better Day” yoga. I heard my favorite author, Wayne Dyer, once say in a presentation—and I’m paraphrasing here—that what he was about to say will sound a bit strange to some, but since he warned us in the listening crowd, it should be okay—like a “pass” of sorts. So fair warning to those out there who may think my story is a bit strange.

So, really, have YOU been half asleep, and have YOU heard voices? Well I have. I’m not the only one. Everyone has the ability to listen to their inner voice. Many cultures have considered the “between times”—the time between sleep and awake, dawn and dusk, or any time that is neither one nor the other—“times of greatest inspiration and power” when “You will find yourself more effective in all of your activities.” Animal Speak, Ted Andrews*. If that doesn’t hit home for you, remember Albert Einstein developed his theory of relativity through a dream. Enough said.

I knew I’d get simple statements that would pop into my head that weren’t in my typical syntax as I was coming out of sleep. At first I thought little of them, but then realized they were, to say the least, a bit interesting. So I started to ask this inner voice/guide/insert your comfortable title here, to help with advice and inspiration.

Earlier in 2009, before economically driven events helped me into deciding to quit my full-time job, I had been teaching yoga for over a year part-time and decided it was time to brand myself—to give myself a name for my yoga venture, get a Web-site, etc. So I would go to sleep and ask for guidance on a good name. On my own and wide-awake, I was coming up with flowery names that would mean nothing to the general public. If you didn’t know about chakras (the rainbow-colored spheres in my logo), then calling it chakra yoga would not peak your interest. I wanted something that would speak to everyone. I love aromatherapy but, um “aromatherapy yoga” didn’t work either. So I started asking, and didn’t think too much more about it, knowing the universe works on its own timing—detachment of the outcome is also important here.

It was probably a few weeks before a long holiday weekend—Memorial Day to be exact—when I was able to wake casually and I got the message “big surprise”. I usually share these with my husband, but I didn’t even bring this one up. I simply said to myself “Have at it! Surprise me! But I am NOT calling it ‘Big Surprise Yoga’. That won’t work!” Then the very next morning I got “better day”.

So my husband and I were on the deck that morning drinking coffee, enjoying the fresh air, and I started to share—still clueless. I shared the “big surprise” message and then the “better day” one I’d just received and I said out loud, “What gives?! I mean really? Better day?! Of COURSE it’s a better day, EVERY day is a better day!” and looking up to the sky (yes tempting the powers that be), I said “HELP me with the name of my studio…!” and I gasped and looked back down at my husband and said “Better Day Yoga!”

Can you picture God up above looking down at me as I started to rant, and saying to his angels nearby, “Give her a second, no wait, here it comes….ahhhh THERE she gets it…” It was as though He was giving me a “head’s up” the day before because “better day” is just too simple to be given as a message and interpreted as what I was looking for. So He said “Head’s up…here it comes…big surprise, message alert! Be ready for this!” It was as though I needed to know the “big surprise” message the day before to really pay attention to the next one because had I just received “better day”, I know I would have dismissed it. I get goose bumps every time I tell that story.

Ok, if I’ve lost you in the belief category, here’s a challenge: Ask for inspiration on some subject of interest before you go to sleep. Do it several times knowing there’s inspiration if you look for it. Obviously you have to put a little heart into it. I mean even Tinker Bell needed us to believe. (Ok I’ll quit joking soon.) Then find some mornings where it’s not the alarm waking you up. The key is to be in between sleep and awake, not jolted awake. Wait for it. You can also pay attention to your dreams. Find which works for you.

“The data is clear, says David Kahn, PhD, a psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School: While asleep, the brain is capable of doing things it can’t do when it’s awake. ‘Theoretically,’ he says, you can come up with a great idea because you’re thinking outside the box.” 

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day this month, listen to YOUR dreams, awake or otherwise. Find your personal “pot of gold” over your rainbow. That little (or perhaps screaming) voice is your inner spirit asking for expression. What are YOU here to express? Keep in mind that the pot of gold is preceded by a road filled with many colors. You get to choose which color is your personal favorite and explore it. But no worries, there are other colors if you don’t have an absolute favorite. That’s the beauty of this life. Explore all of your passions and interests. You may find your “big surprise”.

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield has many great inspirations, one of which is when the main character uses the path that glows the brightest as his chosen path to take. So if there are those of you who simply don’t know the exact thing you think is yours to express, don’t stress over it. Neither did I. I simply knew that whenever I saw anything about yoga, or did yoga, or taught yoga, something in me would light up. This was not exact rocket science for me either. I used the Celestine Prophecy analogy as my guiding star and simply did more yoga. I love to write too. So here I am! All of my classes, including the non-yoga ones, help me express myself in public speaking which also brings me joy. It’s fun to explore all the options! “You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you’ll have left when anything happens.” Ethel Barrymore

What feels right to you? Create your OWN luck this month by focusing on what brings YOU joy. If you are radiating happiness and joy, you’ll attract more of the same.

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it’s done so far
What’s so amazing
That keeps us star gazing?
And what do we think we might see?

Someday we’ll find it
That Rainbow Connection
The lovers the dreamers and me…

*(Side note: I love the above mentioned Ted Andrew’s book, Animal Speak. Another interest/love of mine is the messages animals bring by their appearance in our lives. Native Americans referred to their “animal totems” as messengers. If this interests you, or perhaps you’re a yoga teacher and are looking for inspiration or insight behind what some of the animal-named yoga poses may mean, or even if you keep getting that same squirrel in your driveway every morning when you leave and wonder what it’s trying to tell you, read this book!)