As I was pondering the topic “Allowing Receptivity,” I realized I didn’t have a clear set of words to describe it. I believe I have a deep internal sense of what “Allowing Receptivity” means. And, because Rodney didn’t really define this term, I thought maybe I should just check the actual meaning. So I turned to Webster – Merriam-Webster that is.
Do you remember when we were kids, we were always taught that you can’t define a word with the word. Well, that is exactly what happened. Receptivity is the ability to be receptive! Thanks.
Since that didn’t help very much, I looked some more and found this: receptive is “willing or able to accept new suggestions or ideas.” And by new, I’m guessing they just mean different than the idea or thought that you might be carrying around with you.
And you can change out the word “accept” with words like “listen” or “consider.” Rodney uses the term “allowing.” I think he is spot on. Because we can be receptive – to a point. We can begin and then stop. But if we allow then we get to go deeper.
But receptivity is more than just a couple of words. To me there’s a feeling associated with the sense of being receptive. There’s an openness, a lightness, and a sense of curiosity. And, there’s a sense of letting it in. Whatever it is, you are allowing this new idea into your being, into your thoughts, into your body with a welcoming heart. No judgements, no rejection.
In our bodies, we can use our breath to facilitate receptivity. We breath in to create an opening in the chest, we exhale and allow a softening. We breath in and receive the breath, we exhale and receive the stretch associated with the softening. In our minds we can be open. When we rest our minds in meditation, it creates space that allows attention to roam and new ideas to arrive. By being receptive to ideas, suggestions and the like, we can try them on for size.
Allowing doesn’t mean that you’ve made a decision. That this new idea is permanent in your world. Nope. You’re just trying it on. How does it feel? You get to explore this new concept. And once you decide that this new idea is acceptable, or worthwhile, then you make the decision that it truly becomes part of your life. Or maybe we should look at it from a different perspective. Because I now see that this new idea is more acceptable, I can let go of this old thought or belief.
Allowing Receptivity opens us up. It moves us forward. Being receptive opens muscles to relieve tension, opens our hearts to welcome in love and inspiration, and opens our minds to new ideas. It helps us live life in a more full, loving and meaningful way.
I’ll see you on the mat to practice “Allowing Receptivity.”
Blessings to you,
Being vulnerable can be scary! Correction. Being vulnerable is scary. It is hard. But when we open to vulnerability, we open to creativity, kindness, and love.
The opposite of being vulnerable is being closed off. I'm sure you've felt that way. I have. And, I've done it on purpose to protect my feelings. So, instead of going to a party, I stayed home. Instead of trying out for a team, I watched on the sidelines. Instead of taking a risk, I've "played it safe."
I could even do that today. Stop and not practice with all of you. Let's face it, I've gained some weight and it is a little embarrassing. But rather than stop, let's work through that together. I'll get the weight off, but I don't want to quit because I don't look "perfect." It's tempting. It's crossed my mind. Thoughts like, "Who wants to see a fatso on their screen while doing yoga?" have floated through my brain several times.
I'm beginning to understand that fear is the biggest drawback emotion there is! Worry is another one. A long time ago a friend's mom told me, "Worry is a useless emotion." She said that because you don't gain anything from worry. If something is going to happen, it will. Worrying won't stop it. And, you can worry yourself sick. When you realize the scary thing that could have happened didn't (like most scary things don't), you've wasted all that energy worrying, wasted all that time worrying, instead of having a pleasant day.
Let's not do that. Instead let's practice opening to vulnerability with a mixed practice of restorative poses to open our hearts (and hips) and a few active poses (just to get the blood pumping). We'll add a breathing practice and end with our traditional iRest Meditation that explores being vulnerable.
This photo shows the props needed for tonight. A couple of bolsters, two blocks, two blankets and a strap. It also shows some items you can use if you don't have typical yoga props. Couch pillows, robe belt, a few books (maybe put them in a bag or wrap them in a towel with tape so they don't come apart), two small blankets or larger towels that can be rolled up and a fuzzy blanket to stay warm and cozy!
"See you" this evening in class!
Love & Light,
You can sign up for tonight's practice here: https://app.ubindi.com/Vicki.Schneider
As you know, when we move throughout our day we often run into “road blocks.”
Road blocks are those pesky situations where we feel beside ourselves. Where we feel the need to protect ourselves, to pull in or put up walls. Maybe it’s a “Huge Project” at work that has you anxious because there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to get it done. Done right. Done well. And, done on time. Not happening, right. In comes the flood of stress – heart pumping, shoulders tensing, belly tightening.
Been there, done that. And, in my case sweets to sooth the belly nervousness. Adding insult to the injury!
Or maybe, it’s a friend you haven’t spoken with throughout this whole Covid ordeal and you feel like you’ve been forgotten, rejected, or you don’t belong.
Or it’s a creative project you’ve taken on and you are keeping it all to yourself because of the worry that comes or embarrassment you feel when you think about sharing it with others. What will they think? It’s not good enough. I’m not very creative.
Essentially, we hide.
In a physical sense, when we pull in and protect ourselves, we cover the front of our bodies. This place where our organs and our hearts are exposed. Our shoulders round and slump and our heads look down. Our posture reflects our feelings.
Emotionally, we hide. We hide from those around us. We hide from the world.
We have all been here a time or two (or three or four).
Opening into vulnerability
The beauty about summoning the courage to meeting our vulnerability and walking through it - is that there is joy, love and belonging on the other side. Brene Brown says that Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, belonging, love and joy! I want some of that.
So what does opening to vulnerability look like?
In asana practice, it’s backbends, large and small. It’s opening the front of the body that we so instinctively protect. Rodney Yee teaches us opening to vulnerability “is a willingness to fall in balance poses, to lose control in backbends, to feel unprotected on a physical level, and to challenge the survival mechanisms of your body. We may feel uncomfortable in backbends because backbends challenge our natural inclination to pull in and protect our soft spots.
From an emotional perspective, Brene Brown teaches us that opening into vulnerability is taking a risk to be the first to call not knowing what the outcome will be. Its feeling our emotions without any guarantees, and walking through them. It’s sharing your creative talents with others. It’s letting people see you, really see you – warts and all. I love this – What makes you vulnerable is what makes you beautiful!
Rodney Yee observed in his many years of teaching that a lot of people are doing yoga with a sense of performance but with no sense of vulnerability. So instead of saying “I can’t” when presented with an unusual pose or a pose that presents more of a perceived challenge, take a step. Give it a try. Make a modification that suits your ability. Stay positive. Be willing to wiggle or fall. It doesn’t matter if a pose isn’t perfect. What matters is that we try.
To feel vulnerable means you’re alive (Brene Brown)!
Let’s muster up our courage, our strength and take a few steps to meet vulnerability and walk through it - together. Let’s live and love with our whole hearts and feel alive. One vulnerable step at a time.
See you in practice.
Blessings and Namaste,
**inspired by Rodney Yee and Brene Brown.
Listen to Brene Brown's Ted Talk about vulnerability here:
This dog looks like he is laughing so I thought it appropriate for today's post.
Paying attention to what is occurring around us (or in us) is necessary in daily life. In that same vein, what we don’t observe or don’t attend to, we don’t respond to appropriately. I have a funny story to tell you about Being Present or being mindful of what we are doing in the moment as a way to illustrate this concept. I will tell you all about it tonight at 5:30 pm.
I will leave you with two more related concepts.
The first - Paying attention fully, or at least the best we can, is essential for our Presence to awaken and observe.
The second – “What we pay attention to grows stronger.” This means if we pay attention to the noisy neighbor when we are trying to read a book, that “noise” and the annoyance that comes with it will grow stronger and probably “bug” us and disrupt our quiet afternoon reading. If we don’t pay attention to it and shift our attention to the book or our breathing, we will enjoy our time reading.
I hope you can join us at 5:30 pm to enjoy a funny story, move a little, and practice being present so that our lives can be more full and enjoyable through Presence. Click here to sign up: app.ubindi.com/Vicki.Schneider
Namaste & blessings,
PS - We forgot to use the paper and pencil last week. Have them handy today and we'll make it happen.
For this week’s class, I have a poem for you to ponder. It was untitled but was written by Erin Hanson. I think it captures how many of us approach life today.
So if you can, take a moment now to read the poem, then read on…….. You can access it here.
We are doing so many things so quickly that we don’t “really” experience any of them – or at least not fully. We might check them off of our list, but we don’t remember the details. We don’t make memories.
Because we aren’t present in the moment. We are often caught up in thought – worrying about the future, what’s next on the list, or being consumed by something we just did that is in the past. But we didn’t do it good enough – or so we think.
And when we are carried away by these stories of thought, our Presence is covered up, hidden. We are unaware of our own Presence.
You see, when we are attentive to the present moment, we open up space, and we let our Presence shine through. Our Essential Nature that is always here. Our Presence, our Soul – the Essence of who we are.
It is this Presence; it is this Awareness that observes all of our sense perceptions (thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations, images, ideas) and experiences life.
This Presence is who we are.
Tonight’s (or maybe tomorrow’s depending on when you read this) and next week’s practices will focus on being attentive to our bodies, emotions and thoughts that occur in the moments during our asana practices. And in our meditations we will practice recognizing our own Presence.
If you’d like, you can sign up for class here.
I have a second request for you. If possible, please have a pencil/pen and a piece of paper handy for class. I’ll explain on Wednesday 😊.
With Blessings for a moment to moment happiness throughout your day. I’m looking forward to seeing you in class.
Let me tell the tale
Of a girl who didn’t stop,
Who climbed up every mountain
Without a pause upon the top.
She’d dance until each blade of grass
Was clothed in drops of dew,
And the sun knew her by name
But the silver moon did too.
For a fear had settled in her bones;
A fear of sitting still,
That if you’re not moving forward
It must mean you never will.
So in time her dance got slower
And she looked at all she’d seen,
But found gaps inside the places
That she’d never fully been,
For she was a human doing
Human moving, human seeing,
But she’d never taken time
To simply be a human being.
2015 Erin Hanson
by Donna Martin
This poem is so relevant. When we spend time "just noticing" the small moments, we learn who we are. Yes, that probably sounds cliché. But, it is true.
When we pay attention to our body, to our breath, to the stillness, inspiration comes. Inspiration from something beyond ourselves.
When I need some balance,
The sound of silence sings its song,
And carries me so gently to
A land beyond "it's right or wrong".
When I need an insight,
The whispers of the old wise ones
Can penetrate the fog of thoughts
And bring a light that's like a sun.
And when I need uplifting,
To rise above heart heaviness,
A sense of joyful gratitude
Can bring a smile of happiness.
But when I am too weary
To hear the song of silence sing,
When whispers stop, no smile, no joy,
I rest into just noticing.
Just noticing whatever's there,
A breath comes in, a breath goes out,
Surrounded by and filled with air,
Just noticing becomes my prayer.
Take Time to Notice......