30
March

“When we accept small wonders, we qualify ourselves to imagine great wonders.” — Tom Robbins

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Off-the-Wall Musings
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Each month, “My Better Day” newsletter contains tips for your yoga practice, yoga quotes to bring yoga off the mat and into your life, affirmations to brighten your day and motivate, and more!  It is my wish for your well-being that I send this newsletter to help make your day a Better Day!

In this issue: Yoga quote, Practice yoga pose, Meditation on the go, Chakrascope, Hand Mudra, Featured Card Deck and Quote, Healthy News, Featured Recipe, Favorite Yoga Music / DVD, Happenings at Better Day Yoga LLC, Final Relaxation Quote.

Namasté,

Sandy Krzyzanowski

Founder, Better Day Yoga LLC

“When we accept small wonders, we qualify ourselves to imagine great wonders.”
— Tom Robbins

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I decided to take a drive to St. Cloud, MN.  We go there a couple of times a year and enjoy the drive. We had no real goal in mind for the day but to enjoy each other’s company and to have fun.  So our mood was light and receptive.  Perhaps that’s when synchronicity makes its way into your life.

Our first stop was at Caribou Coffee.  The young lady that served our coffee was enjoyable and we had a fun exchange over the trivia question of the day.  As I took the change from her hand, I noticed a small tattoo written on the underside of her wrist and asked what it was.  It said, simply:  “Small Wonders”.  That touched me.  What a great way to remind yourself to be aware of all the small wonders in any given day.

Driving to St. Cloud, we passed many billboards, but one in particular stood out.  It was a billboard advertising a local hospital and it featured a small child with the caption “Small Wonders”.  What are the chances I’d run across that exact phrase twice in one morning?  Usually I take note at three occurrences, but this one seemed poignant at two.  I had to jot it down to dwell on later.

When I decided it was time to start writing this month’s newsletter, I wasn’t sure where to start, which is typical for me.  The sheet of paper on which I’d written about the two “Small Wonders” appearances stared at me from my desk, and I knew.

I found the opening quote by Tom Robbins and thought it was a great tie in—”When we accept small wonders, we qualify ourselves to imagine great wonders.” I’ve often referred to using your experiences in life as a stepping stone for the next one. You never know which small step you are taking will be the foundation for your next big thing.

How many small wonders make it to your awareness in a day? I’m as guilty as the next person for not noticing them.  Perhaps that’s why the tattoo and the billboard spoke to me that morning.  I knew that I wanted to recommit to recognizing the small wonders in my life. The second sighting of the phrase within a couple hours of the first was a high sign to me that the Universe supported my intention.

Seeing “Small Wonders” twice, back-to-back was in itself a “Small Wonder”. It felt like a “bonk” on the head when the Universe is trying to call attention to something in your life.  The Universe is talking to you in every minute of every day. All we need to do is actually be aware that everything is a message.There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”—Albert Einstein. Miracles and small wonders—I think they’re the same thing. How about you?

What do you consider a small wonder? Have you stopped to consider what it takes to make you wonder? How many times has the Universe bonked you on the head only to get a non-response?  I think the more you practice listening, the easier it will be to hear the message.  The more you acknowledge that you’ve heard, the more messages make their presence known.  The more receptive you are, the more likely you’ll be aware of the miracles that surround you.

Do you think that the two appearances of the “small wonders” phrases in my morning were not all that special?  After all, it was just a tattoo and a billboard.  Perhaps they’re special because I decided to consider them special. It’s up to me to decide what I think of the moments in my day, isn’t it?  You decide what’s important and meaningful. If I’m thinking this moment to be filled with something magical, didn’t I just create my own magic? (Yes, a continued theme from last month’s topic on fairies, elves, and leprechauns.)  So decide to consider more moments as special (if not all of them!).

As Tom Robbins suggests in his opening quote, allow yourself to accept the small wonders vying for your attention at every moment to promote yourself to imagining the great ones.  “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”—William Arthur Ward.

One of the definitions of mindfulness is being completely in touch and aware of the present moment.  The practice of Hatha Yoga is one way to develop mindfulness, as is meditation.  The small wonders will make their presence known to anyone who is able to practice mindfulness.  It’s just that simple…but I didn’t say it was easy.

Be Inspired

“Our asana practice can have a positive impact on our lives because it constantly asks us to become more sensitive, more conscious, and more aware of our bodies, minds, feelings, and emotions. As our sensitivity increases, life becomes more rich and enjoyable because we can taste the unique flavor of each individual moment. More important, we also become more aware of what moves us toward our dharma, or life path, and what takes us away from it. This awareness makes us clearer and more peaceful, more able to elegantly handle life’s endless dilemmas without feeling overwhelmed or fearful. As a result, we become more effective in all of our actions, and our presence begins to inspire and bring out the best in people around us.

The awareness that we develop on the yoga mat, though seemingly small, affects all that is. As we become more aware in our yoga practice and in our lives, as we move away from force and violence and toward sensitivity, feeling, and awareness, we change our individual consciousness and actions. In turn, these changes influence the consciousness and the actions of everyone we meet. Slowly, we shift the direction the world is taking. As we practice each asana, whether it be a challenging twist such as Ardha Matsyendrasana II (Half Lord of the Fishes II Pose) or a simple standing pose such as Tadasana (Mountain Pose), we have the opportunity to become the embodiment of peace and to make our practice a prayer for harmony in the world.” http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/930?utm_source=DailyInsight&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=DailyInsight

Stop Thinking
“Give your mind a rest. The mental dribble we entertain prevents us from finding that space inside us that is total peace and quiet. Become the witness of your mind. When you really pay attention to your thoughts, they subside. When your mind is no longer energized with the thought there is a pause in the mental stream. As you practice this technique, the pauses will become longer and deeper. The end result is the joy of being.” (From Andrea Smith Gallery’s “Weekly Enlighten Up Message:  http://www.andreasmithgallery.com/)

So I’m suggesting you become aware of the present—of YOUR presence. Then the small wonders can speak to you, and perhaps you’ll have the “presence of mind” to be someone else’s “small wonder” for the day.

My “Meditation on the Go” section in each month’s newsletter offers some suggestions for being present:  https://betterdayyoga.com/category/newsletter/meditation.  Here’s a few that aren’t yet archived from my old website   :

  • Simple meditation exercise:
    Sit comfortably as described earlier. Close or half close your eyes if it feels comfortable. Make no effort to control your breath. Just breathe naturally focusing on your breath. Focus on the movement of your body with the inhalation and the exhalation. Observe the feeling of the air as it goes through your nasal passages and throat. Observe your chest rising and falling and your abdomen rising and falling. You are focusing only on your breath without any attempts to control your breath. Any time your mind wanders, bring your attention back to the breath. Maintain this practice for a couple of minutes to start and try it for longer periods as you develop your practice.
  • Find moments to say to yourself or to a loved one: “This very moment” and be aware of your present.  The “present” is all we really have.  If we miss it by dwelling on the past or the future, we lose the very essence of our lives.
  • One Minute Meditation:
    Use a timer to start. This takes your mind off of time. Treat the minute as if something truly profound will be experienced there, even though it’s just a minute. Be open to the possibility that a little while alone will prove more valuable than anything else that could ever be given to you. Press the pause button in your life for just a minute. Realize that there are few things so urgent that they can’t wait a minute. Settle your mind into your breathing. No need to focus on it. Just drop your mind into it.
    One Moment Meditation: Stillness for People on the Go by Martin Boroson
  • “Quiet/Relax” breath meditation:
    From the Chinese system of Qigong, this meditation is one that suggests lying on your back. Relax the body closing your eyes and mouth. Rest your tongue behind the upper teeth. (There are two nerve endings there of opposite polarity, and the tongue acts as a shunt or grounding loop to facilitate energy flows in your body during breaths.) Breathe gently and evenly through the nose. Help the mind to stay quiet by focusing on the word ‘quiet’ on the in-breath and ‘relax’ on the out-breath. Consciously relax each part of your body and then your nerves, veins, and finally internal organs.
  • Another version of the “quiet/relax” breath meditation is a simple breath meditation that I learned from the book “Walking Meditation” by Nguyen Anh-Huong and Thich Nhat Hanh is simply to quietly say “resting” on each inhale, and quietly say “softening” on each exhale. I use this one in almost every one of my yoga classes as we start our final relaxation pose. Actually it’s just hit me that I’m using “relaxing” on the inhale, and “softening” on the exhale. Guess I like to do creative combination.
  • Counting breath meditation: Sitting comfortably, relax your body, eyes closed or half closed – if it feels comfortable, tongue resting on that spot behind the upper teeth. (See the prior bullet point regarding how this acts as a grounding loop.) Breathing naturally, allowing the breath to slow to its own natural rhythm. Start counting ‘one’ as you inhale, ‘two’ as you exhale, etc., until you reach ten, and then repeat. Another variation of this would be counting only on the inhale.
  • The Walking Meditation book by Nguyen Anh Huong & Thich Nhat Hanh also reviews counting your breaths with similar simplicity: On the inhale say “in, one,” and on the exhale say “out, one” continuing up through ten, and working your way up to 15 next and perhaps 20. The authors suggest doing this ten count breath once in the morning and once in the evening.They say it takes approximately 28 days to create a habit. Why not challenge yourself to add a healthy habit to your life for 28 days? The counting breath meditation would be an excellent one to add to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Notice the Light Within Each Person: “Inside of you is a light that can never be extinguished or soiled—it’s pure and clear, and its embers are stoked by love. The warm feelings that you enjoy are fueled by this internal spark.

Take a moment right now to see the flame within you, noticing details such as its color, intensity, and size. Perceive how your body feels as you focus on this inner glow. Ask the light any questions that come to mind, and receive its answer clearly as a thought, feeling, word, or visual image.

This radiance is your connection to the Divine, and you’re its caretaker; you can increase its size and intensity with your thoughts, emotions, and breathing. Pay attention to how you feel as it grows brighter and larger. It can burn away the remnants of old pain or upsets like an incinerator, so toss anything that’s unwanted onto the flame, and witness its transformation into fuel for love.

Notice the illumination within you and others throughout the day. The more you focus on it, the more lighthearted you’ll feel. Daily Guidance from Your Angels by Doreen Virtue, PhD.

Still thinking that small wonders are child’s play? Being able to wonder is an innate ability we may have forgotten to use—so yes, use the child in you to remember the power of your mind. Wonder is not a Pollyanna stance, not a denial of reality; wonder is an acknowledgment of the power of the mind to transform.”—Christina Baldwin.  Here’s to being present.  Here’s to being on the look-out for your next small wonder.  Enjoy!