I AM Meditation

One of the best tools for my life is meditation.  I sit everyday anywhere from 10-60 minutes.  It centers me, helps me focus and helps me be present and connect with myself and the world around me.  

One of my favorite meditation techniques is I AM meditation.  Super easy try this:

Time: Start with 5 minutes and work up to 20 over time.  Ideal if you can do first thing in the morning to start your day in an extremely positive way.  But, can be done absolutely anytime and several times throughout the day (I often do :)

I AM: Repeat in your mind over and over, "I am..." (healthy, happy, prosperous, positive, grateful, mindful - whatever it is you connect to today, whatever you might want to work on or let go of or manifest).  At the same time work to manifest the FEELING of feeling healthy or happy or prosperous.  Create the feeling and the belief that what you seek is already here, you ARE healthy, happy, prosperous.  Not that you want to be this, but instead that, you indeed ALREADY are. Do this until all thought and feeling falls away.  When thoughts come allow them to pass by and return to the I AM... until your alarm rings.  Then, take THAT positive energy and focused connection and deepening belief and steadfast conviction into your day with you.

Tip: Set an alarm on your phone so you can sit quietly with your eyes closed concentrating on mediation, without the urge to peek at the clock to see how long you've been sitting.

Suggestion: Hold an object in each hand that has some sentimental value to you.  Your hands will subconsciously trace the objects in your hands creating a deeper physical and mental connection to the object.  When they are meaningful to you it assists in relaxing the body and mind and taking you deeper into your seated practice.

Meditation is a huge part of my daily practice and I am grateful to have a seated practice.  I'd love to help you too!  If you have any questions about mediation feel free to message me and I'll offer anything I can to assist you in your meditation.  

My City Beautiful

I was in Juno beach last weekend teaching a workshop at Native Yoga.  Saturday evening I must have passed out around 10pm after watching a movie with my best friend Sasha.  When I woke up on Sunday morning to prepare for asana and meditation practice I had an alert on my phone asking if I was safe from the terrorist attack in Orlando.  I honestly had to take a triple take.  I had no earthly idea what that was referring to.  I did a quick google search to see the headlines that 50 people were shot down at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando.  I stopped breathing.  I shuddered.  I just stared at my phone in shock.  I spent my entire yoga and meditation practice sending love and light and healing to the families who had just lost someone they loved.  I dedicated my practice to my city, the city beautiful.  I felt so helpless being several hours away from my town...when I got to Native Yoga in the late morning to begin my day of workshops, I felt heavy, I felt sad, and I felt a need to rush home.  But I didn't.  Instead, I stood at the front of the room and lead the opening Ashtanga chant for the room full of people, and I did my duty as their teacher for that moment in time.  I held the space of the room, I adjusted peoples bodies, I offered input and information to people about their practice.  But I did it from a place of dedication.  Every word I uttered, every touch I gave to a person, I did it as a peace offering to the world and to those that were brutally murdered just hours before.  After Mysore ended we had a brief 30 minute break and during that time I responded to an influx of texts from people around the world reaching out to ask if I and my loved ones were ok.  I welled up with tears, tears for all the people in Central Florida who were not ok, for all the families whose loved ones were not ok.  When we came back from break to begin the second session, I asked the students before me to join me in a meditation to send love and healing to the tragic events in my city.  Everyone certainly agreed and we sat in silence for 15 minutes to hold space.  Tears ran down my face as I offered my meditation to those who were suffering, those who were scared, those who had been killed.  When the sit ended I felt a bit lighter, a bit more connected to myself, my city and the world at large.

There are no words to describe this tragedy.  It is mind boggling that it occurred in Orlando.  I am very lucky that no one close to me suffered in the mass shooting 15 minutes from my home and The Yoga Shala.  I am very lucky I have my yoga and meditation and pranayama practice to turn to each and everyday to help me maneuver through the day to day, and especially horrific events like this.  At this moment I wish I could share the tiny amount of knowledge I have with everyone suffering, wish I could give them some little nugget of peace to calm their aching souls.  If anyone is struggling from the events our city just endured, please reach out to me.  I would like to open my shala and my arms to you.  I would be honored to share some meditation and pranayama techniques with you; I would love to share some yoga asana with you.  My personal email is Krista@theyogashala.org.  Please reach out to me.  I am here.  I love Orlando, I love my fellow citizens, I want to do something for the people in my town.  

I have been riddled with grief over not being in my city to do something to help. I'd like to take a moment and share some information about the OneOrlando Fund. If you feel a desire to help, please share this information with everyone you know, please make a donation, please pray for #thecitybeautiful. Orlando is my home, I love her deeply and right now she is suffering. Thank you for taking the time to read this post today. #loveorlando

The purpose of the Fund is to provide a way to help respond to the needs of our community, now and in the time to come, after the effects of the Pulse nightclub tragedy.

The distribution of the funds will be administered by the Central Florida Foundation. The Foundation serves as the region’s community foundation and is home to more than 400 charitable funds.

The Fund will support:

  • Nonprofits that are supporting the victims and families

  • The LGBTQ, Hispanic, faith and other affected communities

  • Underlying causes of this tragic event

  • Other needs we cannot anticipate until we face them

The OneOrlando Fund is a project of Strengthen Orlando, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation created for the purpose of supporting and starting projects to strengthen the Orlando community.

The outpouring of support from our City partners has already begun:

  • Walt Disney Company $1,000,000

    • In addition, eligible donations from Disney employees will be matched dollar for dollar by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation

  • Darden Restaurants $500,000

  • The Orlando Magic $100,000

  • JetBlue $100,000

  • Mears $50,000

 

To contribute to the OneOrlando Fund, please visit OneOrlando.org.

Checks may be made payable to OneOrlando Fund and sent to:

OneOrlando

PO Box 4990

Orlando, FL 32802-4990

For information regarding the OneOrlando Fund or to make a wire transfer, please contact info@oneorlando.org.

Appreciating The Storm

My father passed away when I was eight. My son turned six last week, and it dawned on me that he is only two years younger than I was when my father left this earth.

That made me shudder.

I’ve had this thought before, when Kaiden was two and again I remember when he turned four thinking to myself, “He’s half the age I was when my Daddy died,”. Its not something I think about often, but when I do it reminds me how precious each moment I have with my son really and truly is and how I should never take one second for granted. 

As I started contemplating, it dawned on me how interesting it is that something sad and life altering like losing my father has really helped me grow up with an attitude of gratitude! Losing my Daddy and experiencing many hardships as a young girl made me tough, made me strong, made me conscious of the impermanence of things…somehow, without even knowing, these lessons have helped me evolve into a being that is almost always thankful and appreciative for what I have. I know for sure I would not be the woman I am today If I had not had such a traumatic loss at such a young age. It helped shape and define my character, my nature and what matters most to me. For that I am grateful. 

I work with vision boards and meditation and various other tools to constantly keep focused on the things for which I’m grateful - with work, friends, family, relationships, you name it. Everything I do on a daily basis I do in an attempt to be the best version of me I can be so that I can give as much of the best parts of me to my son and my students and clients and friends and family. I believe it is really important to carve out time each day to think about and thank about the things that give meaning to our lives.

Do you do that?

If you don’t or don’t every single day, I encourage you to set aside three minutes each morning when you first wake up to give thanks for ALL the things in your life you are grateful for. All the people that matter, that love you and that you love….All the moments you’ve enjoyed in your past, recent or distant…All the moments you have to look forward to in the future…All the accomplishments you’ve made, the failures you’ve endured and grown from…The dreams you carry in your soul…the weather, your health, your body, your mind, your hobbies, your house and your car and your job and you passions…write them all down, and keep that paper with you at all times. Bring it out when you need a reminder, read it out loud or quietly, and remind yourself how lucky you are, how much you have, how great life really is.

What I do know for sure…My happiness is up to me. My state of mind is my responsibility. My attitude and my gratitude make all the difference.


In Gratitude,

Krista Shirley