What is the Secret to Make Lasting Change?

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What are your hopes and dreams for 2019? Do you have big plans, small aspirations, the desire for status quo? What makes your heart skip a beat and how are you pursuing that in your life?

The New Year brings with it possibilities for a fresh start. As such, we often make resolutions for the year ahead. I have shared in the past how to make New Year’s resolutions that last. And if you have not already, check out my guided meditation about how to make a resolve for your life in this month’s Parvati Magazine. But how do we really make changes? Ultimately, whether we want to change ourselves or the world, we need to start with peaceful presence. Why?

Even though we may say we want change, many of us are actually deeply afraid of it. Though we may outwardly express a hope for something new, inwardly we may be in resistance. Holding on to old patterns in our hearts, minds and actions, we find ourselves too often in the same situations over and over again, without the transformation we had anticipated.

We may blame circumstance, others, even the divine, for the events in our life. Or we may blame ourselves, getting stuck in self-criticism instead of opening to solutions. Try and try as we may, here we are again, right back to where we don’t want to be! It is like a gatekeeper who, paradoxically, we cannot pass until we surrender.

Here is why. When you want something to change, your tendency may be to see the problem as external. So you go out and try to fix the situation or a person to make it to your liking. Sooner or later you discover that this leads to further unhappiness because you don’t have the power to change someone or universal conditions. You can only change yourself, which means being present.

When you pause the ongoing inner wanting for things to be different, you find that the steps to change that you thought were an absent mystery beyond your reach, are in fact right under your feet.

I love the word “understanding”. To me it shows that when your heart opens to what is happening in this moment, you become aware of how you are supported. You are standing under, rooted in the fullness of life. There you find the genuine inspiration, momentum and traction to meet your personal potential for change—the transformation you make in your own life or the shift you may catalyze around you, just through your unattached presence.

This happens when you are willing to see things as they are, rather than how you want them to be. Acceptance is not blind and resigned, but active and awake. By accepting what is, you are not giving in, but tapping into the flow of Nature, which is ever changing. You open to the fullness of life, that serves your highest good and the good of all.

When you are unwilling to be present for this moment as it is, you perpetuate your feeling of dissatisfaction and pain grows. By resisting what is, you create a push/pull dynamic in which you divorce yourself from your true source of power: being a co-creative participant within the whole. Feeling separate and mistakenly thinking you are the one doing everything, you become frustrated, feel alone and experience a roller coaster of highs and lows from conquest to defeat. This cycle is draining and does not serve anyone.

Change arises from a place of active beingness within you. When you are willing to open to the moment as it is, you discover the richness of life, where change is taking place. In every moment, there is a spark that guides you along your next evolutionary step, perfectly created just for you by a loving universe.

Try this exercise to help you find the peaceful presence through which real change is possible:

  • Find a quiet place to lie on your back, where you can relax without the risk of falling asleep.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart, so that your breathing is easy, deep and relaxed.
  • Breathe into your belly, allowing the rhythm of your breath to bring your mind deeper into this moment, into your body, into the feeling of being here and now.
  • Go deeper into yourself and feel the connection your body has with the floor.
  • Then feel the connection your breath has with the outside air and how it flows into your body.
  • Know that the air you breathe, that feeds your being, is also connected to all of life: all animals, all humans, all plants, all beings on the earth.
  • Take a moment to feel that interconnection between you, life and all things. Feel the immense possibility of life itself.
  • Allow your being to expand, to open to this life force that is in you, around you, everywhere.
  • Stay rooted in your body by still feeling the ground and your breath, as you incorporate this sense of expanded awareness.
  • Become receptive to the infinite possibilities this moment brings. Feel them in your breath and in your cells. While maintaining this awareness, say to yourself: I am supported. I am open, ready and willing to receive support. I am. I am. I am.
  • Feel that truth in your whole being. Repeat it as though you were feeding your cells with this lush, rich, expansive place. Stay with it and repeat it until you truly feel it.
  • Then say: I am open to abundance. I am open, ready and willing to receive abundance. I am. I am. I am.
  • Again, feel it in your whole being. Repeat it so that it nourishes every cell in your body. Repeat it until you truly feel it.
  • Keep going, making statements that feel expansive and are about yourself. Keep the focus within and on yourself, not on another. Focus on the positive possibilities of being you, not on wanting to change something you don’t like or someone you find challenging. Be present with the possibilities of this moment, because change happens exactly where you are.
  • Once you have filled yourself up, take a moment to draw your awareness once again to the reality of interconnection between you and all living things. Send a quiet prayer from your heart, wishing for the same fulfillment to all beings, everywhere.
  • When you have had enough, take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to fully integrate the exercise. Then gently bring movement back to your fingers and toes.
  • Inhale, raise your right arm over your head. Exhale, roll onto your right side and stay there for a moment, feeling totally relaxed. Then gently press up from your left hand and come into sitting.
  • Bring your hands together in prayer in front of your heart and take a moment of gratitude for the time you have just spent.

In service to the courageous, peaceful presence that makes true change possible, I have devoted my time and creative works (music, words, video, yoga, film and more) to an innovative Parvati.org global education strategy. We cool the Arctic sea ice, our planetary air conditioner and life support, as we melt the hearts of humanity. Please join me in serving a healthy, peaceful world through MAPS. Sign the petition. Donate to help us realize the global education strategy. Spread the word. Become a MAPS Ambassador. And remember, we create the sanctuary our world needs when we create our own inner peace sanctuary. May it be so for you now and through 2019.

 

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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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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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