Dancing With Animals and Life Lessons

The animals continue to speak...

Today, it was two ants demanding my attention - one crawling on me down by a river that was swift, turbulent and muddy from the recent rains. The other one followed me to the car, and then promptly hopped on to my steering wheel to follow me home...

An ant symbolizes patience, order, and discipline...

"The ant teaches you how to become the architect of your life.
The greatest success comes with persistence.
The ant shows you how to work with others.

Ask yourself it you are making things harder than they need to be.
Are you being patient with your own and others' efforts?
Using discipline, you can lay a foundation for success."

These are very interesting insights to consider, because during my drive to the river this morning, I reflected on what may be nascent opportunities for me to offer a retreat or workshop on yoga and prayer. I also thought about marketing and self-promotion - and how uncomfortable I am with all of that. And then, the ants made their entrance...

I came home and went on a walk, and encountered a robin. It was not afraid of me. I stopped to watch it for a time, and twice we locked eyes for what seemed to be an eternity. It definitely looked as if it wanted my attention:

Robins symbolize new growth:

"A robin will stimulate new growth in all areas of your life.
Believe in yourself as you move forward.
Obstacles will fall by the wayside if you do and confrontations will be for show only.
This totem gives you the ability to will new growth into your life.
Meditate on robin and the correct path will be revealed to you."

I encountered a cardinal in the very same place I found the robin, just a couple of days ago:

"Cardinals remind us there is always the opportunity to recognize
the importance of our life purpose...

It is a time to listen to the feminine side,
and the aspects of creativity and intuition..."

These are such interesting insights to ponder and contemplate at a time in my life I have considered walking away from teaching yoga altogether.

But then, I am warmed every time I teach my students... I believe they give me more than I could ever hope to offer them... I have met wonderful people because I chose to walk this path...

Yesterday, I subbed for my teacher, which I have the honor of doing every so often. It was one of those teaching moments where I felt incredibly on - teaching from my heart and my power - with gentle authority and eloquence - and the group responded beautifully with radiant and deeply beautiful poses. I worked with the theme of "ahimsa" - one of the yamas - often translated as "nonviolence" - though I chose to reflect on the notion of cultivating greater reverence in our lives. It is times like these that I feel that yoga is not finished with me. Not just yet...

Today, we begin a new month. This year is almost half over, and it has brought climactic change into many lives... I am not quite sure what the remainder of this year will be like, but as I went about my domestic duties this afternoon, I thought to myself that nothing is lost in the sight of God. It is never really about what we do - but how we do it. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say - it is how much love we put in the doing...

So, it never really was about teaching yoga for me - just like it was never about teaching theology or practicing various forms of ministry all those years. It was always about being present, and mindful - and doing everything with love - and hopefully, making a difference.

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