Gratitude: The Courage to Receive This Moment

Image credit Alice Popkorn, https://www.flickr.com/photos/14111752@N07/2979657148/

To all Canadians, happy Thanksgiving!

The temperatures are cooler. The leaves are turning gold and crimson. Houses are warming up with fires and extra blankets. We are preparing for the deep freeze of winter. I understand that weathermen are predicting a cold one again here in North America!

Historically, Thanksgiving in Canada is traced back to Martin Frobisher’s 1578 marine voyage from England in search of the Northwest Passage, a once highly dangerous, ice-thick sea route along the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Due to melting ice, French sportsman Charles Hedrich successfully sailed the Northwest Passage solo in September 2009.

It is fitting that this weekend I am putting the finishing touches on a grant submission for my next show, an immersive experience inspired by my trip to the North Pole to help raise awareness of the melting polar ice. With grace, it will be funded and I will share the cornucopia of creativity with you in 2015.

Thanks to our British colonialists, Canadians have learned how to say “Thank you”. We have a reputation of being easily apologetic, polite and generally “nice”. It is almost cultural to say “Thank you” many times a day as we interact with colleagues, family, friends and our daily environment. Similar to the casual way in which we say “Hello, how are you?” without really asking for a sincere response, we often say “Thank you” as a knee-jerk reaction, rather than opening our hearts to what this moment brings.

I have observed this tendency in others and myself for some time. It seems we tend to say “Thank you” in three different ways. There are those who express gratitude and project their energy out towards the person to whom they feel grateful. As though they were exhaling when they say “Thank you”, they don’t really receive the gift for which they are supposedly expressing thanks. Instead, they energetically push it back and away from them, often because at some level, they don’t feel worthy to receive. They have done the polite thing by saying “Thank you”, but not really opened to the gifts the moment brings.

I have noticed others who tend to say thanks as if they were inhaling it. With a more voracious sense of “me” than those above, they seem to feel a sense of entitlement to praise, as though there is an unspoken “of course” with the thanks. They too miss the moment.

Then there are those who do neither. In saying “Thank you”, there is presence. There is a sense that they are a witness to the moment as it is. They are both inhaling and exhaling the exchange. They are breathing with the now. In the giving, there is also receiving. Life flows in and out. The giver is the receiver and vice versa.

My default tendency is more in the first camp. I tend to be a giver by nature, and think more of what others may need, than of myself. I am evolving into the two-way flow of giving and receiving. When I was last on tour in England, I had a soulful lunch with my friend Jamie Catto. At the end of the meal, he graciously got up to pay for our food. My now-husband Rishi and I both immediately jumped up to reach for our wallets. Jamie quietly smiled and said, “It’s safe to receive. It’s safe to receive,” as he walked to the cash.

His words have stayed with me as I challenged my comfort zones since getting back from that UK tour. I have opened myself up to receive love and support from family, friends and fans in ways I have never done previously. The January Indiegogo campaign, finding the support to produce two music videos, was just the start of a year filled with much newness for me. For this new learning and resting into abundance, I give thanks. I am inspired by the new growth and the possibilities it brings. I breathe it in and out and trust the whole.

Feeling safe to receive comes from a healthy sense of self-worth, which stems from sensing our place within the whole. Sustainable self-worth is not built upon an inflated or deflated “me” that sets ourselves apart from others. It flowers as we rest into knowing that our inherent being, beyond condition, is enough. We are loved just as we are.

To receive this moment as it is, we surrender any tendency to impose ideas of how it should be. It may be easy to receive and give thanks in a pleasant moment. But when life presents us with painful challenges, as we all encounter to some extent, it can be harder to be receptive and find gratitude. I explored one such situation at length last week on this blog, and shared how I came to find gratitude after feeling hurt.

By opening to that which feels uncomfortable, as I explained last week, we come to meet our core beliefs. We find our shadows and we see our imposing projections. In seeing them, we become able to see beyond them to the true wholeness of our nature and of this moment. When we open to what is and rest in gratitude for what we find, we discover our whole self and fully live.

May you rest in the cornucopia of the now and give thanks for the delicious fullness of it all.

 

JGP_9231__naturalI post my blog every Sunday with love. If you have enjoyed this, you may wish to listen to my musical works, check out my upcoming book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker, and find out more about me at www.parvati.tv.

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Love,
Parvati

 

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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WHAT LIGHT GETS YOU THROUGH YOUR DAY?

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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Let me know how yoga and YEM have touched your life. You can send a link to a video by you if you would like. Comments may be shared on my website if you check the "permission to share" box.
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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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