A Year of Good Books

2018 was a year of learning, practicing, sharing and teaching. Reading and writing played a very important part in everything I learned last year.

Before we get too far into 2019, I would like to share with all of you the book and tools that helped me grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You can conveniently order the books on Amazon right here!

If you are a fan of The Wizard of Oz or not, The Wizard of Us is a spiritual journey through Oz. This is my number one for 2018. After all these years of watching The Wizard of Oz, it finally makes sense! This book is filled with ways to open your heart, fill your brain with more knowledge, surrender and have the courage to make necessary changes and realize that everything you are looking for is in your own backyard.

Are you living in the present moment? Everyone talks about living in the moment. It is not as easy as we think. I had a hard time finding complete stillness and really taking time to be 100%, fully present. I needed a book and I couldn't have found it in a better book. Not only do I love Eckhart Tolle books, I watch and listen to his videos often. The Power of Now is the best daily guide on how to live in the NOW and stop living in the past and trying to stop using a crystal ball to see the future.

Once you get the hang of Living in the Now, now try to find complete stillness throughout your day!! Now this is challenging. Thanks to SuperSoul Conversations with Oprah, I found stillness. Oprah had Pico Iyer on as a guest and the interview was so amazing; not only did I listen to it six times, I had to buy the book. The Art of Stillness is small book with stories and information on how to unplug and find stillness in our lives.

Most of you that know me, are fully aware that I don’t like bullshit. No sugar coating. Real and authentic. I have a few books on The Chakras, but this is by far my favorite. Not only because I know the author personally, because this book is A Real-Life, No BS Guide to the Chakras. Lindsay Carricarte-Jones is authentic, honest, a Life Coach, Author, Yoga Instructor and friend. This book is “No Bullshit”. Are you stuck and can’t figure out why? Did you ever think about your chakras? Chances are they are blocked and need some help.

Many people ask “Why SUKHA”? “What does it mean”? “How did you choose the name”? Well, during my teacher training we were required to read The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

I have blogged many times about this and I continue to flipped through the Sutras for a refresh.

Pantanjali gives four keys. He says that if we always keep these four keys with us, when we come across any of the four locks, we will have the proper keys to open.

  1. SUKHA (happy people)

  2. dukha (unhappy people)

  3. punya (the virtuous people)

  4. apunya (the wicked)

Patanjali gives 4 keys to open these locks. He says that if we always keep these 4 keys with us, when we come across any of these four locks, we will have the proper key to open it. The four keys are: maitri (friendliness), karuna (compassion), mudita (delight), and upekshanam (disregard). Patanjali reminds us that there is a Yogic way of approaching all people, no matter what behaviors and attitudes they may be exhibiting at the moment.

When you see a happy person, use the “friendliness” key. This means being able to share in another person’s happiness or good fortune, instead of being jealous or trying to destroy their joy through a bitter attitude or negative verbal comments. Through jealousy, you will not disturb the happy person but you disturb your own serenity. So we should always have the friendliness key when we see happy people.

When you see an unhappy person, use the “compassion” key. When someone is upset, try to help them or comfort them if you can. If they need space, then leave them alone after letting them know you will be there for them when they are ready. Don’t take pleasure in seeing someone else suffer, but remember how it felt when it happened to you and have compassion for them. By doing that, you will retain the peace of your own mind. “Through compassion you find that all human beings are just like you.” – HH The Dalai Lama

When you see a virtuous person, use the “delight” key. If you see a virtuous person, feel delighted. Do not envy the person, but rather appreciate the virtuous qualities and try to cultivate them in your own life. As we rejoice in and appreciate their qualities, we are inspired by knowing such greatness is possible. Observing noble qualities in others is a virtue of the heart.

When you see a wicked (non-virtuous) person, use the “disregard” key. We need to develop equanimity towards those whose actions oppose our values. It would be wonderful if all people always acted with honor and consciousness, but unfortunately this is not always the way. We ourselves, may have acted, spoken, or thought unkindly or hurt another person. So become indifferent to the person who is wicked at the moment.

There are more books from 2018. Stay tuned for part 2!!

Have a great week my friends. Happy Reading!

Living In The NOW

You read it, hear it and see it everywhere.

"Live in the present moment".

Blah. Blah. Blah. Rolling eyes I am sure. 

And I have done the same thing until I starting reading" The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.

This past week was one for the books. Living in the now. Because as Eckhart says "nothing exists outside the now" How f'in true is that? NOTHING EXISTS OUTSIDE THE NOW.

Currently, I am typing by the fireplace on a cold, Saturday night in January. Nothing else is going on but exactly this. Just typing. My mind is focused on this blog and nothing else. 

Try to grasp this..

"Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now".

"Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.".

Get it? Chances are; probably not. I didn't until this past week really making a effort to be in the now with everything. From cooking dinner (which I did every day), driving kids, attending games, teaching, writing dharmas, running a studio, cleaning the house, doing laundry and making time for my BF; STRESS FREE. Not thinking. Just doing. I did have a list of groceries to buy for the awesome, healthy meals I cooked all week. But I did not stress about when I was going to get to the store. No plan, no stressing. I went in the NOW.

Tolle says "The moment you grasp it, there is a shift in consciousness from mind to Being, from time to presence. Suddenly, everything feels alive, radiates energy, emanates Being".

It sure does. 

Not just me. This week the kids were happy, focused, helpful and fed!! ha ha all week.

Maybe it was the healthy meals we had all week or just maybe it was the energy that I was giving. Whatever it was, The Power of Now worked and I am going to try my best every day to live just like this.

Don't get me wrong; I have focused on living in the present and I think I have done a pretty good job, but it has been challenging. How can it not be with a crazy schedule with kids and yoga and everything else in my life.

"I don't have the time"!!! How many times have we said this to our kids, our husbands, boyfriends, friends, co-workers and ourselves? At least 5-10 times a day.

We must "END THE DELUSION OF TIME".

Here is the key from Tolle: End the delusion of time. Time and mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops-unless you choose to use it.

To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates preoccupation with the past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.

Well, my friends I will not go any further. This book is a must read. It is inspiring, spiritual, and pretty intense.

Just wanted to share.

Enjoy your Saturday evening!

xoxoxo