change

Living in the fullness of time

In yoga there's a beautiful concept called kalapurnata, which means living in the fullness of time. Kala comes from Kali, who is known as the goddess of time and change, and purna, which means “fullness” or “abundance.” To live in kalapurnata means to live fully in past, present, and future all at once.  

These days, with everyone caught in the busy trap, time is a precious commodity. There seems to never be enough and it seems to slip from our fingers faster than quicksand. As a result we often feel like we're two steps behind and like there's not enough hours in the day.  

This feeling of not having enough time is one of the six veils that cloak our perception of seeing reality clearly and experiencing ourselves as connected and whole.   

Time, however, can expand and contract. Have you ever been asked to hold a yoga pose longer than you liked, one minute which felt like an eternity? Or perhaps you remember a time completely immersed in a project, in flow state, and hours passed in what felt like minutes? 

How can we live with a feeling of fullness of time – like there's enough we're on top of it, in control, and able to be present and not rushed? This post is not about time management, (which I've acquired a few tips on and will share in a later post) but on a simple habit that will literally create more time.   

Wake up early. In Ayurveda, the predawn hours (approximately between 4 and 6) is called Brahmamuhurta. This special time of day is governed by the element of space which has the qualities of clarity, subtlety and lightness. When we wake up at this time, we too feel clear and light. It's at this time where the veils that cloak our perception are the most thin. Space represent limitless potential, where anything is possible, and when we tap into it, we can literally create the person we want to become and live the life we want 

The healthy person should get up (from bed) during brahma muhurta, to protect his life. (Astanga Hrdayam, Vol.I, 2:1) 

The importance of these early hours is not unique to Ayurveda. Every spiritual tradition has deep reverence for this time of day which is often dedicated to practice and meditation because the mind is most clear and the environment most peaceful. 

O traveler get up; it is dawn-it is not right that you continue sleeping. 
One who awakes, he finds, One who is asleep, he loses. 
Get up and open your eyes from slumber and meditate on your Master. 
-Kabir 

This simple habit has allowed me to start my day without feeling rushed and behind schedule. I'm able to get ready in a calm and relaxed manner, with plenty of time for my yoga and meditation practice, making my green smoothie and getting myself and the kids ready for the day.  

Not a morning person? I wasn't either. Ask my husband (who has always gotten up early) who had the lovely job of waking me up from the depths of deep sleep those first few times that I asked him to wake me up. I remember feeling like I was being pulled up from the bottom of the ocean, resisting every minute of having to get out of my warm and comfy bed. I then dragged myself through my days, feeling behind and resentful for my lack of time. When we wake after 6am, the elements of earth and water take over and influence our physical, mental and emotional states and take on their heavy, dense, foggy and slow qualities. 

Now, I wake up, without an alarm, around 5am, awake, clear and ready to craft my day. It's made all the difference to begin my day with more grace and ease. 

"How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days—which inevitably creates a successful life—in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.  
~ Hal Elrod from The Miracle Morning 

How to actually achieve your goals and the best decision I made this year

As the end of the year approaches there's a tangible pull to create new goals and set intentions for the year to come. There’s a natural momentum and desire to improve and upgrade as we turn a new leaf and begin a new year. January, which marks the start of our calendar year, is itself named for Janus, the Roman god with two faces. One face looks to the past and one looks to the future. I have a personal tradition this time of year of journaling wishes and dreams and choosing which seeds to plant, nurture and grow in the upcoming year. I also go back and read the goals I set the previous year to see how well I did.

What I noticed is-

Wishes and dreams alone aren't enough.

Trying to make changes on your own rarely works.

Doing the same thing I've always done gets me nowhere new.

What does work?

Enrolling people to support me and hold me accountable is extremely effective.

Trying something new yields different results.

Finding a guide or teacher puts you on the fast track to growth.

For example; A few years ago I realized that I needed and wanted to do more as a yoga teacher than just teach drop-in classes and a few workshops here and there. I didn't consider myself a “popular” teacher but wanted to reach more students. I began to do research on my own. I signed up for newsletters galore that inundated my inbox and quite frankly left me feeling more overwhelmed than informed. I was certain that I could do it alone. You can get everything you need and want on the internet right? It was a lonely and frustrating path. I learned a little, but it didn't amount to much.

Then I realized I needed a mentor. I wanted a guide who could give me the step-by-step instructions and lead the way. I’m a mother of 2 young boys with less than 2 hours a day to myself to work on my goals and passions. I didn't want to waste any more time.

I surrendered. I invested in a mentor. I enrolled in a course. And let me tell you…I will never look back. It was the best decision I made this year.

So…the moral of the story.

If you want change, if you’re ready to transform, don’t kill yourself trying to do it alone. It just doesn't work. Change is a bumpy road and hard to navigate. We need teachers with experience and training. We need community who shares our struggles and are looking in the same direction. It’s not only the most effective way, but the most fun.

So if your goals for 2015 include living with less busyness and more balance, taking care of yourself with nourishing food and better daily habits, or finally starting a meditation practice, join me next Saturday, January 3 at 3pm at the Heart School for a free talk on 8 daily habits to move youfrom stress to ease. Don’t waste any more time trying to figure it all out by yourself. Let’s come together and make a change.