Unfolding on the Mat
Expanded Content and Thoughtful Guidance
I am so excited to report that the Making S P A C E workshop went beautifully! We had 40 people spend the day with us, giving themselves space to consider their relationship to their stuff, their time, to others, and the things that keep them stuck. My favorite thing was the amount of JOURNALING that was going on. Lots of reflections, aha moments, and solid ideas in new was of thinking were written down and made into intentions.
Letting go of old ways and opening to new ways is so prevalent in the Yamas.
Asteya is usually translated as non-stealing. But I know that most of you aren't shoplifters or bank robbers, so we have to look deeper ;)
What if that book you keep on your shelf but will never read again steals the opportunity for someone else to read it? Isn't accepting accolades or credit for something you didn't do the same as stealing? When greed seeps in and makes us want more for ourselves than we need, there is poverty of spirit and stealing of resources.
The thing about going to get more than is yours, or taking someone else's, is that it prevents your true wealth from flowing into you.
How can a river of abundance flow into a closed-off, dammed up, full-to-the-brim pool? It would have to flow around it, skipping the pool completely. Also, vegetation on the other side of the pool would certainly miss out on water and nutrients that are being held back in the pool. It upsets the balance of nature's abundance.
Open the pool, and let the resources flow through you, in you, and around you.
Greed also prevents you from recognizing what you already have.
Once you realize your bounty, you will realize you are wealthy enough to share, to give, and to donate to your heart's content!
You can even know contentment.
There is a way to enjoy the things and opportunities that come your way without guilt or worry; without clinging or stealing. In material world, it looks like this:
In this week's podcast, I talk more about Asteya, and I guide us into a breath to support the endeavor:
The best part of my week is hearing back from you about how these teachings affect you in your life. Don't be shy!
May you accept your abundance with reverence, and give from your abundance with generosity.
These days when I'm walking or driving and noticing the deciduous trees, I am struck by how they are really in their fullness right now. They are full and green. This is their big "ta-da!," before they reach the fall equinox, signaling time to release and rest.
I can't help but wonder: Are they scared? Do they cling to their leaves, worried they won't have enough to make it through the winter?
Maybe. But probably not.
If they do, I would be inclined to say to them, "Don't worry. I've seen you do this many times before. You must let go in order to grow. You must release your leaves--you will get new ones, more of them than now, when Spring returns."
As humans, myself included, we often have a harder time with this. We can slip into a scarcity mentality that says, "I don't have enough, there isn't enough, and I better hold on to what I have. Better yet, I need to go get some more."
But this is not what the Sutras teach us.
Aparigraha reminds us of the ABUNDANCE of life.
It is the clinging that shows we forgot.
As Nischala Joy Devi puts it in The Secret Power of Yoga, "Life's ebb and flow brings things into our life and then out again. Even the slightest hesitation of holding impedes the flow...If you believe that material and spiritual blessings are infinite, a cornucopia awaits you."
In this week's podcast, I talk more about Aparigraha, and we practice breathing into a sense that there is enough. We couple this with gratitude, which is the antidote to scarcity.
Sunday, September 8, is a wonderful opportunity to bring a fresh practice of Aparigraha to your body/mind, releasing tension, toxicity, and thought patterns that no longer serve you. You will learn about the amazing KonMari Method™ of de-cluttering your home in a way that is lasting and sparks joy at the Making S P A C E workshop!
If you have a scarcity mindset around time, I encourage you to push back against it. Give yourself the gift of TIME outside regular life, outside of routine. The trees lose their leaves and know it's time to rest. I plan to lose myself in the restful, slow pace of beach life in Aruba, and I want you to join me on my 2020 retreat with Laura F. Those who register before October 1 save $150! (Talk about abundance!)
May you open your palms to release your grip, allowing life's abundance to flow through your life with steadiness and ease.
Jessica lives, has a family, and teaches yoga in Austin, Texas.