Having tried for so long to find my purpose to live a purpose driven life, the journey and frustration has been to say the least, challenging. I have always believed if you do what you love and serve others the money to sustain one's self will come.
I chose Yoga Metta as my domain name and blog because it means "cultivating friendliness and loving kindness", a philosophy I observed that had many benefits. Easier said than done in our present society. It is actually a daily practice because maintaining it all the time is challenging even for the Saints.
In the process of trying to find this place of purposeful work I have spent countless money, time and frustration trying to fit the mold of what is sensible and sustainable in the work force. Needless to say many roadblocks, closed doors,and financial blocks took their toll on me and my spirit. Sometimes I would scream at the top of my lungs "what's going on" and actually played that 4 Non Blondes song "What's Up" as I wallowed in self pity over my unrealized dreams.
Fast forward eight years later and after much pain and surrender I am seeing the fruits of my labor and intention. It feels like I am finally where I should be. Realizing there have been no posts on my blog since 2013 it feels like I have been in this holding pattern. Neither here nor there. I hope to start posting articles that will be inspirational as well as educational. I am blessed to have found a career that blends my medical background, yoga, meditation and wellness. All that I am passionate about, I get to bring to support those in recovery and dealing with trauma. Doesn't get much better than that.
So if you are feeling stuck like you will never find your answer don't push, plot and plan, going against the natural flow of life. Just stay the course pray, meditate, set your intention, volunteer and go help people, act as if your dreams have already manifested and give the very thing you want to receive. Go with the flow and sit back and enjoy the ride.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Written on April 10,2013 Terry Breadon
Do you believe you have a right to be happy? The Declaration of Independence tells us we do “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Why then are we a nation of unhappiness? What is happiness? Is it attainable? Abe Lincoln believed it was up to us how happy we were when he said “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”
In his book “Happier” Tal Ben- Shahar said that research shows that people that make a good income, of up to $250,000 seem to be happier but people with incomes substantially higher than that tend to be less happy. I guess the lesson could be that living comfortable is important to our well being and happiness but there seems to be a point where too much more than that causes stress and unhealthy priorities?
In his book “Thrive” Dan Buettner says according to his advisory team the average person can control about forty percent of his or her individual happiness by optimizing life choices. These aren’t unreasonable demands on a person’s lifestyle, and they often require only slight changes. He says they fall into three categories that make up the way we live our lives: the food we eat, the way we exercise, and the social networks we foster. It’s all about nourishing the body and the spirit.
Most everyone has experienced happiness at some time or another but is lasting happiness possible. Khalil Gibran wrote “joy and sorrow are inseparable. . . together they come and when one sits alone with you . . remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.” Buddhist teachings speak of sukha (happiness) and dukha (suffering) and it’s best to reside in the middle not attached to either. How do you do that? Like everything in life it takes practice. We aspire for an ideal and intentionally move towards it.
Without sounding like Debby Downer I have to remember when everything seems perfect in my life and I am happy naturally, I cannot cling to that feeling because the ebb and flow of life dictates that it is not lasting. The practice is to accept that truth (but not dwell on it or become sad about it ) and be prepared to deal with whatever comes my way.What makes you happy? Has it changed over the years? Research also shows that as life progresses our priorities change. It has also shown that most people admit that they feel happiest when they are serving others. Ghandi said “We find ourselves by losing ourselves in service to others.” Happiness as Abe Lincoln said is a choice. So the choice is yours
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Power of Touch
The skin is approximately 20 sq. ft. the size of a twin mattress. When someone gives you a hug or touches you just under the skin there are pressure receptors called the Pacinian Corpuscles says Tiffany Fields from the Touch research lab at the University of Miami. They receive pressure stimulation and this sends a signal to the brain directly to a very important nerve bundle called the Vagus Nerve, sometimes referred to as “the wanderer” because it has branches that wander into the body and to internal organs. It also goes to other parts of the body like the heart and can slow heart rate down. Field research was done with people preparing to give public speeches or facing a stressful event and found that being hugged or having their hand held would lower their blood pressure and heart rate. When hugged or holding hands it decreases the stress hormone called cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands when we’re facing a stressful situation.
Lower Cortisol and increase Oxytocin
Matt Hertenstein a psychologist from De Pauw University says that being able to tamp down our cortisol levels is healthy for us. Having this friendly touch and simply holding hands buffers the effect of this hormone. In addition to calming us down a friendly touch or massage also increases the release of a hormone called oxytocin referred to at times as the trust hormone. It’s also called the cuddle hormone eliciting feelings of bonding, and connection. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that acts as a neurotransmitter which promotes this feeling of trust and bonding. It really lays the biological foundation for connecting to one another. It also just makes us feel good. Recent studies from England have pinpointed that an area of the brain that becomes highly activated in response to touch is the Orbital Frontal Cortex, just above the eyes, it is the same area that responds to sweet tastes and pleasing smells. Touch actually lights up the Frontal Cortex, much like chocolate. It also lowers Heart Rate and Blood Pressure.
Hugs are better than Drugs!
Temple Grandin a doctor of animal science, and a person with high functioning autism is a professor at Colorado University. She is also a consultant to the livestock industry in animal behavior. Grandin, well known for her work in autism advocacy is the inventor of the hug machine designed to calm hypersensitive persons.
I plan on writing more about cortisol, the stress hormone, how it affects us, what we can do to buffer it, and how it relates to PTSD, Trauma , Addiction and Weight Management.
So reach out and hug somebody and let someone hug you. It feels good and it’s good for you
Thursday, March 1, 2012
How Yoga can Teach us to Enjoy that in between Space
In yoga…transitioning from one posture to another, slowly and mindfully, can teach us to appreciate life’s journey rather than the destination.
Have you ever found yourself rushing through the day from place to place, task to task, thought to thought? As we get caught up in life and our responsibilities it rarely occurs to us, until we experience health problems, loss, or the consequences of stress, that we are not experiencing the present moment, the space between our busyness. It’s like planting seeds and totally missing the beauty of the seedlings sprouting while rushing to water them between other tasks. We get caught up in the end result, the fruits of our labor, rather than the unfolding.
We can do the same thing in yoga. We are so anxious to get to the fullness of the posture, either to move on to the next one or to flex the ego mastering difficult postures. The sweet spot is in the middle. If we move mindfully into the posture taking our time and enjoying the breath and conscious movement, we can translate that into our daily life to slow down and enjoy the places between effort and result.