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.

Six Practical Tips to Stand Up To The Patriarchy And For What You Believe In

I don’t know about you, but I am rather distraught about recent news items. It’s easy to feel powerless and ignore egregious injustices happening in the world and this trend seems to only be gaining momentum. Rather than waiting for the proverbial saviour, I believe we can each help reverse the tide by pushing out of our comfort zone. This means standing up to the patriarchy and for what we believe in.

I have said this before, the patriarchal mindset was helpful for a long time, it has accomplished great things and a lot of good has come out of it. However, I also believe it’s gone as far as it needs to go. What is needed now is change- Change to a more caring and loving way of interacting with one another.

In a previous blog “Is Colluding With The Patriarchy The Only Way?“, I defined what the patriarchy means to me- as any structure that is controlling, divisive, hierarchical and competitive, I  offered five things you can do to build awareness and suggested a new vision of how you could live more lovingly with your neighbour. Today, I share some actionable steps to stand up to the patriarchy and create change. Yes, change is possible- when everyone does their bit together, mountains can be moved.

  1. Get Angry                                                                                                                              Get over any limiting beliefs that your anger is wrong. This notion that anger is wrong is a foil the patriarchy uses to control you. When basic human rights are violated you have every reason to get angry. Face any ingrained fears of being labelled angry, an angry person, having anger issues, crazy, hysterical, irrational,  or being accused of having some kind of mental illness…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Historically real change has happened in the wake of  angry men and women who have allowed their anger to fuel action: The Civil Rights Movement, the Sufragettes, the Resistance, Political Revolutions… Leaders of these movements did not always appear to be zen, peace loving people, they wanted change and their anger galvanized action. By the same token, some of the most calculating psychopaths we know of appear calm, composed and charming on the surface. Healing anger is not about eradicating it but learning to express it in healthy ways.                                                                                                                                                        You don’t need to start a movement or lead a march to make a difference, but you can give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling and hold it in a loving space. It then becomes easier to express in a safe way, and used as a catalyst for change. Anger (and all emotion for that matter) appears to make people uncomfortable when it gets unleashed. Inevitably this happens as a result of it being kept under lock and key.                                                                                                                        Learn to safely express anger and harness it to support rather than harm 

2. Share concerns                                                                                                                  There is a genuine need to belong and be part of a pack and that is fine, but when this need is also laced with a fear of being kicked out for expressing valid concerns this becomes problematic. Rather than respecting differing points of view, these concerns get perceived as criticism and negativity by the narcissistic mindset rather than ideas and opinions worth listening to.                                                                                                                                                  Whenever any group punishes, in any way, its members for voicing concerns they are reinforcing principles of control, division, hierarchy and competition. This can unwillingly push people to become so enthralled with embracing group think that they become  cheerleaders, often cheering just for the sake of being seen as a team player rather than cheering because their heart is truly into it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Learn to voice and listen to concerns with compassion  

3. Get curious 

When you are learning to stand up for what you believe in, judgement is not helpful. Whether you are judging yourself or someone else, judgment will get in the way by keeping you trapped in duality. Instead, choose to become curious. Curiosity helps foster empathy so you can look at a situation from different angles without getting emotionally charged. “ummm interesting that she/he/I said/did/thought…wonder why that was said/done or thought…” Get over any worries about making  a mistake, being misunderstood or judged .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Your ego may fear standing out from the pack because you have no doubt been punished in the past for ruffling some feathers. You may have received the message that it was safer to stay on the sidelines. I believe that your true self always accepts the reality of any situation you are in without judging it in a binary fashion. As more and more stand up for what they believe in, it becomes easier for others to follow suit. This happens  because the quantum field of consciousness changes each time a new person finds the courage to say “enough is enough!”.

Learn to practice non judgmental awareness 

4) Take action                                                                                                                       Weigh the costs of taking a stand and determine how much you are willing to risk. Are you willing to leave your job because your boss is asking you to act out of integrity with yourself? Are you willing to share a controversial opinion at a party with your peers? Are you willing to defend a friend, a colleague, a child whom you believe has been unfairly treated? Are you willing to post a concern on Facebook when you are in the minority, “FB like” a controversial comment or simply share a personal message no one else will see. Whatever your comfort level, take some kind of action and push yourself beyond what you would do normally.

Learn to weigh the cost, decide how far to go and take some form of action

5) Trust Life  

The patriarchy teaches us that if we don’t follow the rules or when we make a “mistake” we will be poor, alone, unprotected and therefore will suffer and be unsafe in the world.  This belief keeps us shackled to the patriarchal mindset. My opinion is that when we believe our needs will be met they will be and when we believe that they will not be, they will not. If you want to free yourself from the hold the patriarchal mindset has over you, you can start believing that it is safe to be yourself and to be your own master.                                                                                                                                                                            In your heart, you know you will be fine if you leave that job that depletes you, that marriage that demeans you, those friends that criticize you, those colleagues that don’t respect you. It is in your head, that you feel worry and fear. You have the power within your heart to do what it takes to feel nourished, honoured and accepted.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Learn to trust the wisdom in your heart 

6. Keep It Simple 

The patriarchy wants you to believe that you need a lot of “stuff” to be safe and you need to be “busy” to be productive. This is another limiting belief that keeps you shackled to the patriarchal system. How can you afford your house, cars, schools, clothes, trips, parties and fun unless you continue to accept the rules dictated by the patriarchy? You have choices and there are alternatives. You do not need these distractions you only think you do.                                                                                                                                                                          Learn to connect to what you truly desire rather than what you think you need.  

Change can happen, mountains can be moved and everyone can make a difference when they stand up for what they believe in by unshackling themselves from the hold controlling, hierarchical, divisive and competitive patriarchal systems and people have over them. Replace judgment with curiosity and practice non judgmental awareness. Use your anger to fuel you towards positive action. Trust that everything will be fine by listening to your heart and then it will be easy to simplify your life.

Remember, you are doing your best and are a student in the earth school of life learning to love, just like everyone else and this, like everything else I say and write about, is just my humble opinion.  

Namaste, be kind to yourself!

Nicole

Nicole Rolland

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)

Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation
Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Coaching
T (1) 514.824.8510
​info@nicolerolland.com

Stick to Your Guns and Share Your Truth

Foreword: Please note that sometimes I preface my opinion with “I believe” and sometimes I do not. Whatever I write or say constitutes part of my world view. My aim is not to convince, merely to share in the hope this may help you formulate your own life view.
All truths lead to the One Great Truth, that we are all Truth.
(Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance).

I get it, it’s not easy to share your truth especially when it goes against popular opinion. When people lack awareness (or consciousness) they are basically living in darkness or what I refer to as the proverbial “hell”. In darkness, one easily gets triggered when contradicted or surprised. Departing from the herd’s group think mentality can make people very uncomfortable.
Think for yourself…
Even if it gets you into trouble, start exploring differing points of view. As parents, we need to let our children do this. When they can do this in the safety of childhood they are given free reign to grow into strong adults.
One only realizes one was living in darkness when one moves into lightness. I can’t help think back to the old me and to my old life. If someone were to have told me that I was living in hell I would have thought them crazy- I had all the obvious constructs of an outwardly “successful” life without the solid foundation of a rich inner connection.
The more easily we share our truth, the more able we are to listen to the truth of others without feeling triggered in anyway. People who lack awareness are living in a right/wrong space. When they hear something that makes them uncomfortable they get angry.
Why get angry?
Why did people get so angry with Jesus’ message? He was killed for it after all…

In Richard Hopper’s book Jesus, Buddha, Krishna & Lao Tsu- parallel sayings, he notes, with a charming sense of humour, the difference in environments in which Jesus and the Buddha were born into.

“What impresses me the most about Jesus as a person who “woke up’ is that he tried to explain his mystical insights to people who didn’t have the slightest idea what he was talking about. The Buddha was fortunate enough to “wake up”in India- the most mystically oriented culture on Earth. When people met him after his enlightenment they would say “Congratulations, we knew you could do it!” When Jesus woke up in first century Palestine, he must have looked around at his situation and thought Uh-oh!”
Luckily this did not deter Jesus from spreading his message of love, compassion and forgiveness.
Hopper continues -“certainly Jesus could have kept his new mystical understanding of reality to himself. Had he done so-had he just enjoyed his private bliss in the Kingdom of God- he might have lived to a ripe old age, and died a peaceful death like the historical Buddha. But Jesus was passionate and felt compelled to share his wisdom with as many other people he could reach. This meant that he had no choice but to try to explain himself within the doctrinal and social confines of a religious culture that was completely unfamiliar with, and most antagonistic to, mystical insights about reality.”
What if Jesus or others like him did not share their mystical insights with the world? What if YOU keep your insights bottled inside?
Hopper on community support-
“While Siddartha Gautama was supported by a community of mystics, many of those who Jesus talked to thought he was crazy, or blasphemous or both. His own family rejected him and thought him demented. Most of Jesus’ disciples while obviously charmed by his charisma, often didn’t understand what he was talking about. In the end, one of them betrayed him, another denied him, and the rest deserted him in his greatest hour of need. “
Was Jesus’ message “wrong” because others did not understand him and felt compelled to prosecute him? Did Jesus make a mistake by teaching about love and freedom?
Breathe, Relax, Feel, Watch and Allow….transformation within and around you!
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)

Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation
T (1) 514.824.8510
​info@nicolerolland.com
Nicole Rolland- Yoga & Meditation 
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