How to live your yoga rather than someone else’s so you can cultivate a deeper relationship with your spirit.

highway with a quote by Adrienne Maree Brown

Many look to the on-the-mat practice of yoga to lead deeper and more meaningful lives with their spirit, but yet cling to mainstream structures and limiting beliefs that prevent them from achieving this very goal. Taking yoga classes, joining a studio, getting certified as a yoga teacher or going on a retreat are all great places to start, but they do not need to end there. In the same vein, following rules and norms that make no sense to you in other off-the-mat realms of your life, will prevent you from going deep. Here are 3 ways to help you do this so you can live your own yoga rather than someone else’s, whether you keep your yoga on-the-mat or take it out into the world.

1.Try not to judge yourself or others

Both on-the-mat yoga and off-the-mat yoga (aka life) is often more about appearances rather than processes. Appearances judge and processes feel. Are you saying the “right” words, thinking the “right” thoughts and taking the “right” actions that others will “approve” of, rather than risking doing something “wrong” that may feel better to you. It often becomes more about pleasing others and doing what others expect rather than following your own inner compass.

Notice what comes up for you when you encounter a challenging pose or alternatively when you find ease where others don’t. How do you react when you come into contact with a hostile person, uncomfortable situation, receive criticism or face negativity?

This often boils down to how you manage your ego. Is it inflated or deflated? When the ego is inflated it encourages you to feel superior to others and when it’s deflated it pushes you to feel inferior. Whether Inflated or deflated, the ego compares and enslaves you in judgments. A balanced ego knows its place, sitting peacefully in the back seat, with your will driving the car and your inner wisdom gently guiding you in the passenger seat.

The invitation is to heal your ego. For more, read Chapter 3 on the Ego Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to living a Life of Joy, Meaning, & Abundance.

You are not what you do, what you have, what others think or your physical body.

2. Show vulnerability

When we pretend to be perfect it is impossible to actually remember that we are already perfect. We are perfect when we are loving, kind and compassionate, but we are also perfect when we make mistakes, cry, get angry, feel resentful or even hurt others. I have discovered that most people do not wish to harm anyone and only do so when they are wounded, afraid or have not been exposed to love and compassion.

Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. It takes strength to show your fears and only when theses shadows are brought into the light can they be healed. If you are committed to deepening your connection with your spirit and do not wish to fall prey to spiritual bypassing, this will need to be done at some point- you can choose the easy way or the hard way.

The invitation here is to heal your shadows. For more, read Chapter 3 on Shadows in Stepping into Consciousness- A guide to living a Life of Joy, Meaning, & Abundance.

3. Tap into your own truth

As long as you look to others for truth you will not able able to connect to your spirit at a deeper level. Learning to make that leap from “student/ teacher” mindset to a “teaching student” mindset will help the process. We are all students and teachers, alternating between these roles. At times we learn from others, at times we teach others, and sometimes we learn as we teach and teach as we learn. I believe it’s important to get out of the “teacher knows best” mindset that really only fosters wounded patriarchal structures.

The invitation here is to discover your truth. For more, read Chapter 6 in my book Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to live a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance.

Conclusion

When you live your own yoga you no longer define yourself on-the-mat by the type of yoga you teach or practice, the teachers you follow or the philosophy you prescribe to. Consequently, in life, off-the-mat, you no longer define yourself by the work you do, the people you surround yourself with or the beliefs you hold. You see each of these as fluid and you dip into and out of each as you craft your ever changing truth until you discover the one great truth that you are Truth.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” . Order her book through her website or directly through Amazon.

You can visit her anytime at Nicole Rolland Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness (NRYM) www.nicolerolland.com to learn more about her classes, programs, mindfulness coaching, as well as, her blogs, podcasts and other healing tips to help you experience and remember the wholeness and perfection you are.

Financial worries? How to climb out of fear and start trusting life.

women looking worried and scared clasping her hands to her mouth

Are you worried about your financial security? Do you fret about not getting your fair share? Have you perhaps noticed a growing disparity between those struggling financially and those who seem to have access to a bottomless pit of resources? Are you exhausted keeping up or perhaps discouraged that you can’t? Are you yearning for less complexity and more simplicity? If this sounds familiar, I offer five tips to help you climb out of fear and start trusting life.

1.Stay connected to your inner guidance

Fear is internal and comes from a place of judgment, comparison and limiting beliefs, whereas trust comes from a deeper place within you that only knows love and peace. Trust connects you to your inner guidance and it’s this inner guidance that steers you away from disaster and potential harm, as long as you let it do its job. We get into trouble when we shut down, close off and stop listening and watching.

So close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to that part of who you truly are and to what really matters to you…

Trust life by keeping your eyes and ears open

2. Appreciate what you already have

Always looking for more, bigger and better sends a message that what you have is not enough…that you perhaps are not enough. Choose to nourish what you have and allow it to grow. When you ignore what is there and chase after something new, what you have will eventually dissolve. This does not mean you ignore opportunities, it just means you make sure your existing garden is well cared for before you plant a new one.

Trust life by taking care of what you have first

So close your eyes, connect to your breath and look at what you have and appreciate it all.

3. Connect to what you love to do

It’s difficult to connect to what you love when you don’t know what it is. Many are conditioned to love money rather that what truly nourishes them on a soul level. This boils down to connecting to your inner self first before looking outside. I have noticed that some feel guilty when they indulge in something they love, believing instead that life needs to be about struggle while others are too afraid to take a risk and prefer to stay in their comfort zone doing what they have always done. Imagine if everyone, followed their hearts and devoted time and resources doing what they loved? When you follow your heart, the universe supports you.

Trust life by listening to your heart

So close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to what you love to do. What makes you feel complete and whole?

4. Embrace your vulnerability

As I discuss in my book “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” everybody is vulnerable on some level and much energy is wasted pretending they aren’t. No amount of influence, power or money will protect you against a natural disaster that strikes out of nowhere, a freak accident, a mystery illness or a trusted confidante that suddenly turns on you. When you can accept that you, like everyone, are vulnerable and “bad” things do happen in life (and that’s ok), you can use your precious energy to live life rather than protecting yourself.

Trust life by accepting all parts of it- the good, the bad, the ugly

So close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to your fears and what you do to protect yourself.

5. Open yourself to the world

When you can open yourself to the wider family of man and to the world, rather than hide behind your loved ones, your group of friends or otherwise inner circle, you send a message that you trust life. Treat your neighbour’s children as you would your own, an acquaintance as your best friend, a stranger as a cherished friend. This does not mean you invite strangers into your home or stay up all night caring for a stranger’s child, ignore your responsibilities or let go of boundaries, it means that you open your mind to the value of everyone’s life.

Trust life by moving to an “I” and “my” mindset to a “we” and “our” mindset

So close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to your loved ones- to your inner circle of family and friends and start to open it up and include others. Notice how wide you can cast your net.

Conclusion

When you trust life you trust that your needs will be met in the face of whatever adversity is thrown your way. You may have moments of doubts, fear and even freak out, but when you come back to your centre you trust that everything will work out just fine. you know that you will always get what you want even if you don’t always know what it is. People suffer because they are conditioned to believe that they need certain things to be happy rather than focus on being who they want to be. The universe works in mysterious ways and as you connect to who you truly are and to what matters to you, you come home to your soul.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” . 

You can visit her anytime at Nicole Rolland Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness (NRYM) www.nicolerolland.com to learn more about her classes, programs, mindfulness coaching, as well as, her blogs, podcasts and other healing tips to help you experience and remember the wholeness and perfection you are.

www.nicolerolland.com

The Fall of Feminine Power and the Rise of the Feminine

I have been thinking a lot about feminism recently. Certainly the movement has come a long way since the Suffragettes of the late 1800’s century, Rosa Parks in the 1950’s, the rise of the career woman in the 1970’s, the stay-at-home dad in the 1990’s and then the recent US presidential loss of Hilary Clinton of course. What does this notion of being a “feminist” mean today and how does this help us connect to who we truly are and to what really matters on a deeper level?

I am concerned that, with the current fashion of feminism, rather than gender inequality lessoning it is simply moving from one power base to another. When we speak of feminine power, we risk falling into the trap where women simply usurp the traditional role of the man and abuses of power remain. Perhaps this is not the initial aim, but over time, the same tactics used to compete and manipulate continue to create the same result and nothing really changes.

Until we stop competing over scarce resources, wasting what we have and yearning for what we don’t, and as long as we continue to focus on materialism at the expense of kindness, compassion and love we will not see an equality in how genders are treated and nor will we see the gap between the haves and the haves-not lessen.

I believe a truly egalitarian  society (and please do not get sidetracked  by communist and socialist idealism here)  will happen with the rise of the feminine rather than the use of feminine power. The feminine is feminine energy that is within each of us. This energy represents the gentle, receptive, allowing, intuitive, non competitive, wisdom heart- centered part of each of us. The masculine, also within each of us, represents the opposing qualities of domination, hierarchical structures, competition, reason and ego head-centered energy. This latter energy has served us well in the past and continues to do so to some extent, and it must be respected. It has however, moved us to a place where we are invited to go “home” 🙂

So close your eyes, connect to your breath and connect to the feminine and to the masculine energies that live within you.

  • Are they in harmony with one another or is one trying to overtake the other?
  • How are they affecting your relationship outside of yourself? at home, work and in your community.
  • Notice any patterns with the way your parents treated each other when you were a child and how you perhaps treated your own children in turn.

Just notice without judging and then let your feminine intuition take over and see what happens….

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)

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