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Helm of the Heart

We are the ones we've been waiting for

Monthly Archives: July 2012

This film shows the moon in full color with some amazing discoveries. Some of the narration is a little silly, but it’s less than an hour and incredibly thought-provoking. Let me know what you think ūüôā

Daniel and I are currently house sitting in San Jose. I’m going to yoga school, he’s digging through our storage unit, gardening, and taking care of Daisy (she’s such a sweetheart). We’ve been indulging in television since we don’t usually have it, so basically we’re watching The Food Network, Animal Planet, and Antiques Roadshow. Go figure.

Miss Daisy

We were watching The Colbert Report the other night, although I think it was an old one, and there was this guy that came on and spoke about a documentary film that he made in which he posed as a guru named Kumaré.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGIkf3vo2dw

Kumar√© basically believes the same same thing that the actor/film maker believes: that every individual has the power to be his or her own guru (guru is sanskrit for teacher or master). Although there were a lot of mixed reactions to his little experiment, a lot of¬†Kumar√©s followers were empowered by the message that he delivered, which is that each of us has the powers within in us to heal ourselves and become our own masters.We don’t really need to follow “gurus” or other religious leaders in order to gain the type of fulfillment that we seek.

This doesn’t mean that our teachers aren’t vital; we all have room to grow and we can all serve as teachers for one another in some manner. I think that it is important to understand that we all have the ability to lead the type of life we want.

This got me to thinking about how differently I would live my life if I had people following and emulating my every move. I guess having children is similar in some ways, although children rarely follow every action of their parent. But in a scenario where a person is responsible for truly leading and living by example… well that would probably change some of my behaviors.

So I’m challenging myself. I’m going to start with one week where I am going to try to live my life as if I needed to be a constant example for others. If what I am doing is not something I would encourage others to do, then why would I do it myself? The main areas I think will be impacted by this are my eating habits and the way that I nurture my mind and body. Who knows though? I’m sure there are plenty other aspects of my life that could be influenced with this kind of challenge. I’m not claiming that I will be living in some perfect, enlightened state for the next week, but I hope to gain some perspective on the idea that we are each our own guru. That each of us can be a positive reflection for the beings around us.

I’ll keep you updated on my guru experiment, and I encourage anyone reading to try the same- even for just a day. Let me know how it goes!

‚ô• /‚ėľ

Amanda

Creativity is¬†simultaneously exalted¬†and undervalued in our culture. We have produced some amazing artists and invented groundbreaking technology. In our current state, art and music are all but absent in schools and the majority of musicians that are successful in our country (and others) have been manufactured by producers that write the music and create “images” for our culture to worship, rather than paying attention to what is going on around us.

Don’t even get me started on the media and Hollywood.

I don’t mean to get on some high horse and proclaim that all pop music is terrible or something, because I certainly enjoy modern artists. I could go on forever about the deterioration of creativity via our education system, and about how we are now just taught to be unhealthy consumers, only focused on acquiring MORE, but I’ll save that for anyone that wants direct engagement on the subject. If you are reading this, chances are I’m probably preaching to the choir.

Anyway, I saw this Einstein quote the other day and it made me think about how vital creativity is to my life. I have never considered myself to be an artist. I’ve always loved to draw, but I’m not particularly good at it. I’ve always loved music, but I don’t play any instruments or sing. I’ve always loved acting, dancing, and theater in general, but for some reason it never seemed like the path to follow.

Daniel is someone that I would consider to be an artist, through and through. He draws beautifully, in my opinion:

If you’d like to see more of his art, go here:¬†http://pinterest.com/pandayogi/the-creations-of-daniel/

He taught himself to play the guitar, and seems to figure out any instrument he picks up to some degree. He is also an incredibly talented photographer, cook, and interior designer. He has a gift for making something out of nothing.

What I appreciate about him the most is that he has always thought for himself. He broke away from the religion he was raised in at a very early age because he was disgusted that women didn’t have the same rights as men, and that there were obviously racists components within the religion. He still got up early to go with his family to services, but he would wander around outside because he felt a much stronger spiritual connection to nature, rather than the inside of a building. I commend his parents for allowing him that freedom.

The term artist is interesting because it means so many different things to so many different people. I would define an artist as a person with a very specific view of life, a person that is usually quite sensitive and observant of the world around them.

Daniel insists that I am a creative person because I celebrate the beauty around me and I think in a creative way. It is hard to define myself as an artist, but perhaps some day I will learn to play an instrument (I’d love to learn the harp or the violin) or maybe I’ll take some painting classes. Either way, I figure artists need other creative types to appreciate what they do.

Creativity is indeed a manifestation of intelligence, or “intelligent at play”, and I think it is vital for any healthy individual or society because it stimulates evolution and new ways of thinking. In order to solve the problems of our world, we need to develop new ways of thinking and being.

I get so tired of the political discussions because I feel so disillusioned with it all. I see our system as a dysfunctional giant that distracts us with semantics and ridiculous policies that are designed to fail. We need our artists now more than ever. We need people to reflect on the world, people with perspectives that are different than the status quo.

‚ô• /‚ėľ

Amanda

There is something innately comforting about being around family and friends that have know you for decades.

My mother’s home is definitely a safe-haven for me. It’s always clean, comfortable, and there is usually a baked good of some sort that has been freshly made. I came back to my mom’s after taking an intense, heated yoga class at Core Power, and was greeted by a tray of freshly baked brownies. Hot yoga + brownies = balance. Right? Right!

It has been a long time since I took at heated class, which I find to be both magical and exhausting. Magical because my muscles become so warm and flexible that I find poses like “Bird of Paradise” to be so much more¬†accessible. There’s nothing quite like the post yoga “glow”, and when you take a heated power class you end up completely drenched in your own sweat. But when you leave the studio, the outside 86 degree weather feels positively frigid! And the shower after is the best thing in world.

I’m going to take my first PiYo class this evening with one of my dearest friends Rachelle, who described PiYo as “yoga on crack”. Should be fun!

‚ô• /‚ėľ

Amanda

It’s been awhile since I spent some time reflecting here on pandasana, and it feels great to be back. The past month or so has been ripe with changes of all types.

I recently wrote about the “Cycle of Dissolution” and about how I felt as though I was in the Kali or destructive/rebirth phase, and because of this, I have begun a creation phase that’s a pretty radical departure from my previous life in San Jose.

I really only moved a few hundred miles down the coast of California, but moving is always an adjustment. We took our belated honeymoon in France from June 26-July 10th and it was an amazing experience that really helped put some things into perspective.

Before we left for our trip, we had every intention of returning to San Jose, finding a new apartment (our lease was up at our previous place in downtown San Jose and since they have raised our rent over 400$ in the past three years, we figured it was time to move. We had all of our stuff in storage and we planned to find a new place upon our return.

Daniel’s parents have been generous enough to offer us a place to stay in Dana Point while we find new jobs and look for a new place to live, and Daniel and I both felt like it was a good step for us, for a variety of reasons.

I will miss Northern California very much, but since I am still going back pretty regularly until September when I finish yoga school, I have a little time to soak it all up and say goodbye. Mostly, I’m going to miss the school I taught at for four years and the amazing friendships I’ve made. That part hasn’t really hit me yet, but I’m sure it will soon.

Anyway, I’m happy to be visiting my mom right now, smelling the amazing aroma of her cooking and having a few minutes to write and reflect on all that is changing. Being close to family and old friends is definitely making the transition comfortable.

It is interesting that I seem to have a four year cycle of transitions that take place in my life: four years of high school in San Diego, four years of college in Irvine, four years of teaching in San Jose. Each stage has had highs and lows, but I am able to observe some pretty significant differences in who I’ve become through each stage.

I am excited for creation. Building something new is always a little scary, but I know that I am always evolving into something better, stronger, and hopefully wiser.

Regardless of where I am, I’ll be yoga-ing ūüėČ

At the airport in Toronto

In Père Lachaise

More later, I promise. In the meantime…. lots of ¬†‚ô•/‚ėľ

Amanda