Sundre Yoga and Meditation - Shannon Harvey, E- RYT500 YACEP Yoga Alliance
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Shannon's Blog

Living my Yoga

Wow, it certainly has been a bit too long since I last put my thoughts into my blog.  

I have gotten myself so busy lately, not in the regular things that I ask of myself each day like work, yoga classes, family, but all the spaces in between those set events.  
The shift happened shortly after I hosted my yoga retreat in May.  Its like my mind started to buzz and my focus got lost....completely!

I have been teaching yet not practicing.  I have not been living my yoga.  I have also been beating myself up about it constantly.  
My intention that I set for myself to search for this weekend was 'Why am I doing this to myself?  Where is my focus?

Meeting so many yoga teachers over the years I have encrypted a stereotype into my mind that 'They' always seem to have it together.'  Its been a couple of years now since I have placed myself into that role and maybe, (analyzing here) the thoughts of who I expected myself to turn into have finally run their course.  The discipline I have expected of myself has hit the bottom of the barrel.  

So let me tell you of the journey that has finally, finally, finally opened my eyes!  

This past weekend I attended a yoga retreat on Vancouver Island.  I was looking forward to going to this retreat for several months.  I once again had an image in my mind as to how everything would unfold, I planned, I confirmed, and I set off for enlightenment!  (haha)  

So I am at the airport and while I am waiting I pick up my book that I was traveling with called Living Your Yoga, Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life,  By Judith Lasater. 
 I had barely started the book when it pointed out some incredible  insight on dealing with change.  
What's funny is I picked up this book some time ago and every time I planned to sit and read something really important (like dishes and laundry) kept pulling me away.  

I am also a firm believer that every lesson we need to learn will be presented to us constantly.  The more we ignore these lessons, the LOUDER they become.  

So hear I sit reading this book and reading about Judith's experience with life, bills, kids, balance, and have this sense that I have played out (or am playing) this same story in my life.  Something is sinking in when suddenly a man comes on the intercom to tell us our flight has been delayed.  Ok, lets just keep reading.  

I came to a part and I will quote:
"To practice yoga in the deepest sense is to commit to developing awareness by observing our lives, our thoughts, our words, and our actions"
I read the passage several more times realizing that I had been drifting in my own life quite a bit when a man comes to the counter and  apologizes profusely and tells us our flight has been canceled due to fog on the Island.

Ok, so what now?  All my planning and what now?

I am going, and that is it!  

My mind races and then the passage comes back to me.  Awareness.  I get up, go get my luggage and get in line to find another flight.  The line is huge, everyone is angry, frustrated.  I am definitely stressed, but not angry, and this surprises me a bit.  (Awareness?...Hmmm) 

I decide to call the airline (Westjet, which rocks by the way!)  A wonderful woman gets me a flight to Vancouver and I am actually excited to go.  Not only do I get to go to a city that I love but I also get a Ferry find which I also love.  

Car rental, phoned everyone, and things are set in motion again.  I have PLANNED, I will accomplish.  (Haha)

I pull my yoga mat out of my bag, check my luggage, and head through security with my book, and my mat preparing to churn away the stress.  I set up my mat in the quietest location in amongst a couple thousand people and practice.  The whole time this passage keeps rolling through my mind.  I am getting odd looks. (this is the Calgary airport, not Vancouver.  Do people really do yoga in the Conservative Calgary airport?)  Yes, they do. Or at least I do.  The odd looks from passengers quickly turn to looks of longing. The practice takes over an I notice nothing after that.

I calmly forsee where I will be going, take a deep breath and am finally boarded.  I am on my way!

Vancouver comes, I get on the train, go downtown, find a cab as I race to get to the 7:00 ferry.  I miss it by the skin of my teeth!  Literally!  

So I am resolved to wait and suddenly an announcement, the ferry is an hour late.  I will miss my pick up for my car!  
(Observe and become aware)  Take a deep breath, how do I feel?  I'm ok, amazingly!  

I give up the car and suddenly wonder where am I going to spend the night?  (observe and become aware)

I am sitting next to a couple and once again I truly believe that when you observe the angels are there.  I start talking to a couple beside me relaying my story and they are shocked at how calm I am.  

I am shocked that I too am calm.  Not just saying I am, but I really am!  

This couple directs me to a great place to spend the night, finds the number and I am taken care of.  

I'm missing my retreat mind you, but am I really? I haven't quite figured out where the retreat is taking place, at the location or within myself.  

I spend the night, I get my car, I am off and finally arriving to my destination.  The whole time in my mind I keep thinking, all of this for such a short period of time.  I had approximately 24 hours left at the healing center.  

My mind was reeling with the lack of time.  I blamed no one, not the airline, not anything, but here I was getting a little annoyed with Time itself.  

As suddenly as I had arrived, my time was over.  I left, had a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful visit with an old friend (the only plan of the weekend that DID happen, another lesson on what is truly important) and time disappeared again.  

She dropped me off at the airport and suddenly I am reunited with quite a few of the women from the retreat, all of us journeying home (or so we thought)  

Flight canceled once again.  My lesson on awareness has still not sunk in apparently.  I continue to read Judith's book when another passage sings out to me:
"It is our dedication to living with open hearts and our commitment to the day to day details of our lives that will transform us.  When we are open to the present moment, we shine forth.  At these times we are not on a spiritual path, we are the spiritual path.

I want to say as well these are concepts that I have already read about, teach about, but for some reason got stuck and wasn't actually doing.  

So I opened my heart and people noticed.  I was told by the flight attendant she focused on my smile when she told everyone that they would be accommodated, (once again, Westjet ROCKS!) fed, shuttled, and when it was possible they would get us home!  She felt the love I was sending her!  

For the remainder of the trip I just smiled and opened my heart to everything!  

Remember that intention I had when I started my journey?  Well the message has reached me loud and clear, just not the way I had planned for it to be heard.  

So even though my retreat was small and sweet, my heart and my awareness was opened in the spaces beyond where my mind had expected them to be.

Thanks you Judith Lasater!



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