This weekend, I attended a short seminar titled Smart Women Finish Rich (created after this book), which, in truth, I wasn’t overly excited about. I mean, who wants to spend any of your weekend talking about investing?! But, my mom and sisters had highly recommended it so I caved… Sunday Funday.

Yet, I found myself getting sucked in pretty quick – it was interesting, powerful information, but the piece that had the most immediate impact on me really didn’t have much to do with money after all. To paraphrase, what I heard was this:

Imagine that every single day from today until you die, you received a paycheck for $86,400. Really. Every. Single. Day. Imagine what you would do with this money – buy stuff, save, help those in need… It is pretty easy to start making a list, right? Go ahead, make your list….

I’m guessing you didn’t write down that you would let the money just sit in uncashed checks, or that you’d give the checks to someone else and say, “you do what you want with it and I’ll just go along for the ride”…

Ok, enough with the fantasizing. In reality, every single morning that you wake up, you have 84,600 seconds to spend. Every. Single. Day. How do you spend your seconds? Do you waste them by staring at Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/etc.? Do you give them to someone else and let them tell you how to spend your seconds? Do you spend them going around and around in your head with what you should do/could do/should say/could say? You wouldn’t waste your money this way; why waste your seconds?

Be conscientious when deciding who you’ll spend your time with, what you’ll do and for how long. Recently, I made the marvelous discovery that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is available on Amazon Instant Prime right now. Do you know how many hours I can waste watching episode after episode of my beloved high school drama? Seriously, hours. So, I put a limit on it. Yes, I could watch 3 episodes at a time, but I could also squeeze in that walk I mean to take everyday and then watch 1 episode instead. Maybe a better spending of my 84,600 seconds…  (although I’m sure Angel would disagree…)

How will you spend your seconds this week?

 

Everything in Moderation

March 25, 2014

As I get ready to kick-off another cleanse at Atlanta Hot Yoga with the awesome Anna Russ, I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of cleansing. So often, the first question I get about a cleanse is, “will it help me lose weight?”

Well, yes it might… but, that really isn’t the purpose. The purpose is to give our body a rest from the daily onslaught of sugars, caffeine, alcohol and the like; to allow our digestive system to calm down and soothe inflammation; and, most importantly, to build awareness of how the food we eat effects us.

My hope for sharing a cleanse is that is will encourage a greater appreciation for our own individual bodies and constitutions, and that it will help us to function with a little more self-love and aliveness flowing through our veins.

Almost every Sunday morning I sit on my front porch with coffee in hand and I read as much of the New York Times as I can fit into my day. This past Sunday, I was particularly taken with an Op-Ed piece by Joshua Max:  What I’d Say to My Fat Son. After sharing his story of adolescent weight challenges and the resulting bulimia, Max shares this gem with us:

Muscles are good, fat is good, it’s all part of the miraculous human body and we get only a little while here on planet earth. It doesn’t matter how much yoga you do or how much brown rice you eat, you’re still going to die one day and you might as well love yourself even if no one else does.

Moderation. I don’t take from this that I should NEVER do yoga and NEVER eat brown rice because I’m going to die anyways. What take from this is it is ok to rest when my body needs it. It is ok to eat a piece of chocolate once in awhile. If we listen, our bodies will tell us exactly what it needs. Sometimes we just don’t want to hear it.

On the mat, it is the exact same practice. A practice of listening. Of striving for balance and being loving to yourself when you go too far in one direction. How do you find moderation in your daily life?

What is Your Response?

March 18, 2014

What is your response when you are shown vulnerability? How do you meet it? Interact with it? So much of our wounding comes from our relations with those in our lives, but true healing can also come when we bring vulnerability into shared light.

IMG_2280

As you can probably tell from the recent spate of posts, vulnerability is my most favorite topic of late, and in class, we’ve talked about what vulnerability means, how we protect from it, how we hide from it… but we haven’t talked about how we respond to it in our relationships.

As humans, we have a pull towards intimacy & love but we also have a pull towards protection. Completely opening up to share what really scares you, what really embarrasses you, well, this leaves us wide open to being hurt. And, sometimes, you will be hurt. You’ll be met with a criticism, a laugh or a painful remark. But, sometimes, you’ll be met with a wider opening, a deeper sharing and a stronger connection. Worth the risk, yes?

Adrienne Rich shares her beautiful definition of a relationship of love as,

An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

 This week, let’s work on looking for moments of vulnerability with our friends, partners and loved ones. Moments when little risks of honesty are taken. When you catch one meet it head on. Shoulders squared. Eyes and heart open. And, then keep it going. Offer your own little bit of truth. Take the risk.

Spring Forward

March 10, 2014

I’m sure, if you are anything like me, this morning was a bit rougher than most thanks to Daylight Savings and joys of waking up an hour earlier than normal. Our normal morning routines, going for a walk – meditating – grumbling over a cup of coffee, suddenly seem more demanding and easier to question…

Why exactly do I need to get up at this moment? I don’t HAVE to shower before leaving the house, right?

Hmmm, so over my cuppa joe this groggy morning, I sat reflecting on this idea of Springing Forward and wondered why I was feeling so much resistance towards this momentum. On the mat, I’ve been exploring quite the opposite of forward momentum; instead of looking ahead, rushing to the next finish line, my work has been to sit within each individual second just as it is. What if, instead of Springing Forward, I just stopped?

“What would happen if, in this moment, I didn’t try to do anything, to make anything different?” I immediately felt the visceral grip of fear and then a familiar sinking hole of shame – the very feelings I had been trying to avoid for as long as I could remember. But then the same inner voice whispered very quietly, a familiar refrain: “JUST LET IT BE.”

~True Refuge, Tara Brach

The work of letting each moment be just as it is, without judgement or value, is the work of a lifetime. It is a sweaty, tearful struggle that happens again and again throughout the day. BUT, in that brief second of letting go into whatever feelings are present there is a sweetness, a relief in acknowledgement, and a release of struggle.

So, back to this morning, amidst these thoughts, I paused. I silenced the grumbling. Sipped my coffee and acknowledged that in this moment I was awake and starting my day. Just Let It Be.

This month, we are reading True Refuge by Tara Brach as our Yoga Book Club Book of the month. Yoga Book Club meets once a month for tea, discussion and community. It is free and open to all. If you’d like to join us this month, mark your calendar for Tuesday, March 25 at 8 p.m. Email info@merylarnett.com for location details.

How do you cope when facing life-threatening illness, family conflict, faltering relationships, old trauma, obsessive thinking, overwhelming emotion, or inevitable loss? If you’re like most people, chances are you react with fear and confusion, falling back on timeworn strategies: anger, self-judgment, and addictive behaviors. Though these old, conditioned attempts to control our life may offer fleeting relief, ultimately they leave us feeling isolated and mired in pain.

There is another way. Beneath the turbulence of our thoughts and emotions exists a profound stillness, a silent awareness capable of limitless love. Tara Brach, author of the award-winning Radical Acceptance, calls this awareness our true refuge, because it is available to every one of us, at any moment, no exceptions. In this book, Brach offers a practical guide to finding our inner sanctuary of peace and wisdom in the midst of difficulty.

Based on a fresh interpretation of the three classic Buddhist gateways to freedom—truth, love, and awareness—True Refuge shows us the way not just to heal our suffering, but also to cultivate our capacity for genuine happiness. Through spiritual teachings, guided meditations, and inspirational stories of people who discovered loving presence during times of great struggle, Brach invites us to connect more deeply with our own inner life, one another, and the world around us.
 
True Refuge is essential reading for anyone encountering hardship or crisis, anyone dedicated to a path of spiritual awakening. The book reminds us of our own innate intelligence and goodness, making possible an enduring trust in ourselves and our lives. We realize that what we seek is within us, and regardless of circumstances, “there is always a way to take refuge in a healing and liberating presence.”

Spring in a Bowl

March 3, 2014

Once we get into the warmer months, my typical breakfast is a vegetable juice or smoothie, but when there is still a chill in the air I simply can’t stand to drink something cold first thing in the morning. At the same time, I am WAY sick of oatmeal by this point when spring is just starting to peak out in sunny afternoons and fully budded trees. Soooo, what to eat?

Mango & Coconut Millet

It is like the beach in your breakfast bowl!

1 cup millet

1.5 cup almond milk

1 can coconut milk (I know you want to use that light stuff but trust me you will be so much happier and fuller if you use the real deal here)

3 Tbsp Agave, Honey, or Maple Syrup (your choice)

1 vanilla bean (slice in half longways, scrape out the seeds. Use both the seeds and pod in this recipe)

1 cup frozen or fresh mango

Toasted coconut & slivered almonds to taste

Combine all ingredients except the mango in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes (until the millet has absorbed most of the liquid). Make sure to stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn.

Add the mango and stir. Cook another 3 – 5 minutes until the mango is warm. Discard the vanilla bean and serve with a sprinkling of toasted coconut & slivered almonds on top.

This would also be super yummy with peaches, strawberries and/or bananas.

Adapted from Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Newsletter

Free meditations and updates!

FREE Meditation Starter Kit

Sign-up to receive my Meditation Starter Kit: easy, direct info to get you meditating TODAY!

* indicates required