Slices of Joy

Slices of Joy

Just before the end of 2017 I was listening to CBC’s Tapestry where they were highlighting the best broadcasts of the year. One of the features was an interview with Chade-Meng Tan, a former award-winning engineer who worked at Google. And listen to this – his official job title there was Jolly Good Fellow (Which Nobody Can Deny)!
Chade-Meng has since moved on from Google and has become a leader in the mindfulness movement. In the interview he described several simply but incredibly effective techniques to experience more happiness and wonder in life. The one that struck me the most was his “Thin Slices of Joy” exercise.
It only takes 3 seconds!
Here’s how to do it. Begin to simply notice unremarkable events. Like taking a sip of water. Notice what it feels like. Likely it isn’t a huge positive reaction, but it probably feels nice. Savour that feeling just for a moment. And now, keep noticing these pleasurable moments – stepping into a warm shower, the first taste of a favourite food, stretching your body, seeing someone that you care about. And while on their own each noticing seems almost insignificant, with awareness these ‘thin slices of joy’ begin to add up.
Chade-Meng says, “thin slices of joy occur in life everywhere… and once you start noticing it, something happens, you find it’s always there. Joy becomes something you can count on.
When we repeat behaviours, new neural pathways are formed that rewire the brain. The more you notice joy in the small things, the more joy you will experience in your life.  Pretty fantastic stuff. I’m in!
love & pranams,
carla

Can you Recognize how Ayurveda is in Your Life?

Can you Recognize how Ayurveda is in Your Life?

Ayurveda may seem like a fairly obscure and overwhelming topic to start digging into, like identifying plants or counting the dots on the roof! But you may be surprised at how many ayurvedic practices you already incorporate into your life!
Breathing is a very common Ayurvedic practice. Depending on which dosha you’re trying to focus on, you can either speed up your breathing, or slow it right down. Quicker breaths, slower breaths. Give it a try.
Water, spiced water even! Pick out a spice that will help align with the dosha you’re trying to strengthen and infuse it in your water. Prepare for magic.
Waking up early, not just 5 minutes before it’s time to get to the day, but just before sunset you’ll notice that Vata energy fills the air. Vata is the movement energy, alive, and I guarantee your day will be infused with it if you practice this.
Check in to a morning ritual. Creating rituals allows you to tap into your ojas, or your bodies inner energy reserves. That’s you, being a luscious human being! Just one tip here, make it something enjoyable.
Ever given yourself a thorough shake in the morning? How about giving yourself a nice massage? Bring in some aromatherapy oils and you’re doing some Ayurveda! To balance vata, use ginger, cardamom, or orange; sandalwood or lavender work best for pitta; kaphas should try eucalyptus, rosemary, or sage.
Taking a bath is a practice that can help stimulate or calm your energy. Pittas will benefit from cooler temps, while lukewarm water is better for vatas, and even warmer temperatures are best for kaphas. So next time you’re thinking about a bath or shower, remind yourself that you’re balancing your doshas!
How many of these acts do you regularly do? See, I knew you already did Ayurveda!

Transforming Resistance

Transforming Resistance

Do you ever catch yourself in a moment of complaining about somebody else? Or even second guessing your whole hearted expressions from your heart? Another big one is what people say to you, have you ever had some words of ‘advice’ from a friendly person that have stuck with you for a very long time and almost unconsciously encouraged you to adjust your attitude or ego the world sees?
Take a moment next time and reflect upon whatever it is that you’re complaining about or resisting, what the reasons are for hesitating, what the excuses are that are coming up.
It is most likely that those things that we complain about in others just so happen to be the things we ourselves are most self-conscious or self-critical about. I would like to suggest these are items within yourself to heal, not things for you to correct in others. . . . . .
 

The Sweet Music of Life

The Sweet Music of Life

“The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
At first glance, it would seem easy to hear the sweet music of life, and in truth, the more one listens, the more instruments one can hear. Much like slowly peeling back the sheaths of existence, we begin to hear birds and sing with them, we begin to hear muscles and attune them, we hear blood flow and refresh it, we hear our heart beat and our breath fly and slowly our subtle thought becomes our very symphony of life.
What are you singing today?

Discovering Purna: Fullness & Wholeness

Discovering Purna: Fullness & Wholeness

In Sanskrit, the word purna is described as perfection – but it means fullness or wholeness. Our human experience of perfection is very far from this, it is rigid, small, constricting and often paralyzing.
So the irony is that that our ideal of perfection inevitably keeps us from the experience of perfection. Indian yogic texts tell us that the universal energy contained within everything (forms, thoughts and states of being) is called Shakti. This energy is filled with purna. Remembering that we are all created from and contain this Shakti helps us let go of being stuck in our ego centred perceptions. The truth is, we already are perfect.