What is Yoga 308

Life is a constant struggle of balancing our body on both a physical and emotional side. Through yoga I have learned several life lessons. Yoga 308 is a goal I set for myself to do at least 60 minutes of yoga for 6 days a week for the next year. I invite anyone to join me on this adventure as I blog about some of my daily experiences. This is not intended to show that I have found peace and tranquility, but rather give my honest feelings of my journey. Enjoy.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 148 - Karma Cleanse

This was my last yoga class of 2012.  It was a great way to send out the year and begin my adventure of 2013.  The class was a hot Ashtanga based class with Steve Rubin at Orlando Power Yoga.  It was packed with about 60 people.  There were so many people I knew in there, it was like our own special party.  I am also leaving Orlando for a while so it was a feeling that I will keep in my heart over the next few months.  The Orlando yoga community is filled with smiles and so many different types of personalities.  Today's class had a great representation of that.  There were also so many different levels of people there.  Some people were in their first class while other were busting into handstands.

When I leave Orlando, I am hoping that I can maintain my level of growth in yoga.  I have a worry that I might move backwards in my practice.  I also have a determination that I will not let this happen.   I am working on handstands and peacock yoga pose.  My hopes are that I can have these postures somewhat under control when I get back here.  I will be working on these postures on a daily basis, but as everything will not have expectations or a time frame on when I will "complete" these.

Last night I hosted a "Clean your Karma" burning.  It was a fun gathering of about 8 of us, and we all wrote events that happened throughout 2012 both positive and negative.  We then read what we wanted to share and "let them go" by burning them in the fire.  I talked to a few of my friends about how I seem to have a lot more positive then negative.  Some of them had the reverse more negative then positive.  It really does not matter how many of which ones we had it was basically how we perceived our lives over the last year.  It was a chance to see what it is we held onto this year.

I think of the personalities in this world.  The negative people who always talk about how their life sucks, they can't do this, or they can't do that.  Some traumatic event that has allowed them to play the act as a victim.  The positive person who had such a great time somewhere that they model their entire life off of that.  The world should behave according to this great event that happened in their life.  This is why we need to let go of our past.  We have all played the role of the victim or a dreamer.  In reality it is our illusion of where we actually are in the present. The important thing is to try to let all these events go, and start off all clean for 2013. 

New Years Eve is a great chance to start off fresh and new.  So tonight while you are out celebrating take a moment and let 2012 go.  Think of all the events bad or good, and say goodbye.  So tomorrow when you wake up you have a complete years worth of stuff ready to fill into your soul.  You have made room for your heart to open up to the rest of the world. 

Here's to a adventurous 2013 filled with trying new things, going new places, meeting new people, and new creations.  Keep 2013 new every day.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 147 - Becoming whole

Danny Rhodehamel becoming whole
Today is my day off.  I am getting ready for some friends to come over to do a Karma Cleanse.  We are going to write down all of our positive and negative things that either happened to us or we did throughout the year.  We are then going to burn them in a campfire with hopes of letting them go.  I do believe that everything good and bad should not be held onto.  We need to let our events, emotions, and thoughts go.  We need to appreciate them, accept them, and then move on.  This is what we are doing tonight.

I was thinking today about how I am in front of others.  On an outside appearance we are limited to what or how we present ourselves to others.  Back in high school it was important for me to present myself as a strong football player.  In college I wanted to mix in with many crowds. It was almost as if I was avoiding an identity or label.  I felt like I created the many faces of Danny.

Now I am narrowing these faces down to me.  I want to present myself as me and only me.  I want to be able to be a happy Danny, a sad Danny, an angry Danny, a frustrated Danny, or however I am feeling that day.  I want to look at myself in the mirror and say hello to the Danny in that moment.

The reason I took the picture like I did is because I still feel like part of me is missing.  I am not sure exactly how to explain this, but after my divorce I felt completely empty.  I built myself back up over the last 18 months, and honestly feel better mentally and physically then I ever have in my life.  However, I still do not feel whole.  I almost feel like I have searched my whole life to find that one thing that would complete me.  College degree, job, wife, kids, dog, material things. All these at one point were my answer to making me complete.  After years of thinking this way my brain is still programmed as if something external is my answer to feeling complete.

To become complete and to find happiness you need to look inside.  The people, material things, and events that happen will not fulfill this for you.  They are a mask or illusion that can take you away from looking into who you are.  When you start feeling sad and rely on someone to make you happy, what happens when that person is no longer there.  You need to search for your own happiness.  Once you find this and continue to keep this in your life you can enjoy life with other, you can be happy at your job, you can find love in your life. 

It was only after I had so much taken from me that I started to understand what true happiness is.

Email or Comments are always welcome.  Let me know how you search for happiness.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 146 - Resolution

Tonight I did a gentle yoga class by myself at home.  I was up in Jacksonville for the night so I did not have time to go to class.  I really do love these check in sessions with myself.  I did a combination of a flow and Yin yoga class.  I listened to my body and stretched what felt like needed to be streatched, I rested what I felt needed to be rested, and I pushed the areas I wanted to work on.  At the same time I found a good meditative state.

Coming into 2013 I am making a promise to this blog that I am going to stay completely honest with myself and my readers.  I am not going to blog and give inspirational speaches of how we can all find happiness or our happy ending, but rather be completely honest with my emotions and the way I feel. 

I hope the best for all of us in 2013, but lets be honest.  We are all going to have "bad" days in the upcoming year.  These are part of our lives.  I have been watching a lot of yoga documentaries and reading a lot of blogs, and I used to wonder if these people ever have a bad day.  They seem very much at ease, so peaceful, and as if they have it all figured out.  Do the great yoga guru's get pissed off if they get cut off in traffic, or do they always just live in a moment of Zen.  Even if they do have this constant deep mediative state, I am not there, and I won't be in 2013.

I plan on taking 2013 on with honesty and acceptance of where I currently am in my life.  I plan on taking it on with determination and  I am excited to go into the world with an open heart.  I am looking to learn from the world in hopes of becoming a better person for this world.  I will look for opportunities that are in front of me, and I will take them.  I will both succeed and fall flat on my face with these new opportunities.  I will do this gaining the knowledge that I took these opportunities and did not let them pass on by.

My New Years resolution is to continue to make resolutions throughout the year.  Yoga 308 is all about promises and resolutions.  I promised to do yoga 6 days a week.  I promised to blog 7 days a week.  I have two vegetarian days.  I have 1 Vegan day.  My resolution is to continue to find ways to grow.  Take chances, fight my fears, and fall on my face a few times this year.

2013 will have it's ups and downs.  I am excited for the journey I am about to partake in for 2013!!!

Comment or send me an email on what you are looking to do in 2013. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 145 - Deep meditation

Danny Rhodehamel hand stand
I made my way to Orlando Power Yoga today for the Yin yoga class with Steve Rubin.  I have definitely formed a pattern in the last month.  I have been going to classes that I enjoy, but I am going to be changing this come 2013. 

Breath is very important in yoga.  Some of my most feel good classes have been Ashtanga classes where I can focus deeply on my breath.  I have noticed over the last couple of days that I have not been focusing on my breath.  The yoga I have been doing lately has been more about the physical side or body side of yoga.  Not that there is anything wrong with this, as we need all of this to figure out our balance between body, mind, and soul.  It was just an observation. 

I have also noticed that since there is a big change coming in my life that I have started to get my uneasy feeling that I have to do something.  It is almost like a check list that my mind starts to go into.  I should paint, pack, work, yoga, walk the dog, or take care of the plants.  In reality my body and mind really wants to prepare for the upcoming change, and wants to rest and take a break.  I know that I am going to need all my energy.  I realized that I need more of the mental type classes like I took in today's Yin yoga.

Today in class I went into a deep meditation.  I realized it has been awhile since I have done this.  After class I dissected why I had not gone into a deep meditation in a long while.  What was missing from the previous classes?  Why have I been so distant from this?

I started to think about what I do when I go into Savasana.   When I go into Savasana I start to try to go into a deep relaxation.  I start thinking OK think of nothing.  My mind starts to wander and I tell my mind to stop going that way, stop thinking, or get rid of all thoughts.  I start to try to force my mind to think a certain way rather then try to let it be.  I do not accept my mind for where it is.

Today I had a visual image (I have these a lot).  Instead of trying to shut it off I went with it.  It was of an elephant.  The elephant was breaking out of a wall in a firery orange glow.  It was decorated with colorful garment.  As it walked through my mind I saw it disappear into a blue cloud and my mind started to rise into a dark sky filled with stars.  I drifted off and I found myself in a deep mediation.  I only know I am in this meditation because there is a feeling of nothingness, and I am almost feel asleep but some where I am brought back by the instructor.  Back in reality there is a feeling of peace and tranquilty.

I am realizing that it is when I let go when I learn how to relax and meditate.  It is when I stop trying that I begin a new journey.  I think it is different for each of us how we get there.  It is different each time we get there.  I cannot get frustrated with not getting there every day.  Deep meditation will need a lot of practice, patience, and letting go.

Email me or leave a comment about your meditation stories.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 144 - Overcoming fear

Today was the Dharma 3 class at Orlando Power Yoga with Kelly Senn.  I have said this a few times, but it is one of my favorite classes.  I am sad a bit because this is my last Dharma class here for a couple months as I am traveling away from Orlando.

In the last week I have seen a friends new born baby and been to a funeral.  The beginning of life and the end of life.  I started to think of all the things that happen to us in between.   I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  We get stuck on so many things, so many different emotions, and we are thrown off our growing path.  We get stuck in our groove of being afraid of going back to these emotions, that we turn away so many chances to opportunities.

How do we get back onto our path?  How do we open our hearts and face out fears?

We first need to look inside.  All of our lives can be filled by worry.  It is up to us if we choose to face our fears.  People in Madagascar might worry about going to go get fresh water.  Here we worry about what to wear, if we should get an Iphone, or how many Calories are in the pizza we just ate.  We are the only ones that ultimately will know what it is we worry about.  We can ultimately choose which worries to keep inside our head, and which ones are really fabricated and not needed for our minds.

Yoga is a great place to face our fears.  Yoga can help relinquish and realize that most of our fears are just illusions that we have put inside our own head.  I have, and also have heard of many people fearing something in yoga.  Maybe it's actually going to the class or maybe it's going into headstand.  We have all at one point or another looked around the room and thought our posture should look like something other then our posture.

I have taken a few pictures like the one above to make sure I see my progress in yoga.   The peacock pose is scary in a lot of ways.  My first thoughts were a couple months ago.   I felt like my wrists would snap in half.  So I started every day to try to strengthen my wrists.  Putting more and more weight on it each day.  When I finally got over this fear, my next fear was getting down on my chin.  This is where the picture was taken.  I am worried the more I move my feet up the more I will fall forward.  I was facing this fear today in class.

This is where I am today.  Before this it was a different pose.  Yoga is an ongoing chance to face your fears.  It is also the time when you realize how stupid a lot of our worries and fears are.  If we can accomplish these poses, what else can we accomplish in life.

What postures are you scared of?  Email me or leave me a comment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 143 - Stillness

Happy day after Christmas.  For many this is the day things start to settle.  We worked so hard to make sure our holidays went off without any snag.  We worked extra or put in the extra effort to make sure everyone was happy, comfortable, and at peace.

I read the above card yesterday and started to wonder about the world and it's stillness.  Yesterday I did find an hour to myself, and I did find a moment of stillness.  I sat and meditated and wondered how the rest of the world was moving in these busy times.

I thought of all the emotions that can tie into the Holidays.  I remembered back when I was a kid and I anticipated Christmas coming.  The excitement was so extreme at times I could not sleep.  I looked forward to see if I received what I truly wanted.  I made the shift at some time of my life to giving.  I was more excited for the other people to open my gifts.  I wondered how many years of giving presents was actually the wish of wanting to feel appreciated.  I remember feeling rushed, that I needed to to purchase something, or frustrated because of long lines.  This year though I felt more like an observer.

If you were tied into any of the crazy holiday emotions take this time to sit still.  Find the stillness and relax.  A half day, 1 hour, 5 minutes.  Take a moment and breath.  Do what you really want to do.  Chill out and RELAX!  You did a great job this year.  Why not let it end in a relaxing bang.  You deserve this time.   I am finding the reasons why I searched for appreciation for so many years was because I did not appreciate myself.  Give yourself a Christmas present and search for some stillness.  Sit in this stillness.  Are you feeling sad, happy, frustrated?  Are you tired, run down, or maybe you just can't sit still?  Sit in this stillness with the knowledge that you did all that you could do this holiday season. 

The week before the new year is on of my favorite time of year.  This is when we start to find balance again.  People push so hard to buy things, or want things.  I am not sure why we go so out of character during December, but now it is time again to be you again.  Give, receive, love, hate, LIVE.   Now is the time to start to ask what we want different in our lives.  Now is the time to plan for 2013, but today is the day to try to stand still.

I am off to a 6:00 class at Orlando Power Yoga.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day 142 - Merry Thank you

I was able to squeeze a 60 minute gentle class in, and stay meatless on Christmas.  I do not want to tie up a lot of our time today with words.  Whether you are with loved ones today or alone in some remote location, I hope you are find peace, love, and acceptance for yourself.  I am greatful for the people in my life and the people that guided me to where I am today. 

I had a great moment of bliss today, thinking of a few happy moments in my life.  There are so many to choose from, and for that I am thankful.  I am thankful for the dark cloud that once hovered over me.  I am thankful for the bright light I discovered when I started to search inside of me.  I am thankful for the bright light allowing the dark cloud to clear.  I am thankful for the knowledge that there will be more dark days ahead.  I am thankful for the knowledge that my internal light can always shine brighter then my darkest days.

We all have the ability to bring more light into our days.  I am thankful that you have spent your time reading these blogs.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 141 - Appreciate the World

 Happy Meatless Monday Christmas eve!!!

I was in a hot and warm feeling class with Kelly Senn at Orlando Power Yoga.  There is a lot of craziness going on outside my door today.  With so much going on with the Holiday season I am happy that (except for a few moments) I do not feel like I have fallen into this craziness.

I did start to fall into an old habit, but now I just notice it as a personality quirk.  I started to paint a zebra yesterday.  The zebra was a new style of painting, and as I started to paint I realized how much I did not like it.  After I was done I started to feel like I had just wasted my time.  I felt like I failed painting this zebra.  I felt like I should have done something else.

My life is filled with a ton of interests, goals, and ideas.  When I "waste" my time creating a horrible painting, I start to get frustrated.  There have been a lot of these days in my life.  I like the feeling that I am moving forward in my life.  These frustrating days make me feel the complete opposite, as if I am wasting my time.  In the past I would use this opportunity to beat myself down, but in reality these frustrating days are stepping stones in my forward direction. 

I am realizing that part of this drive to move in my forward direction is this desire to feel appreciated in this world.  The more and more I have been doing yoga308 I have been making a transition.  I  am realizing how much I need to appreciate the world and everything around me.  The more I keep my heart open, the more I have given back to the world, the more I feel appreciated.  The more I give to this world, the more I attempt to bring positivness into this world, the more I feel appreciated.

As I open my heart to the world and the world opens it's heart back to me I am given a lot more opportunity.  As this year comes to a close I am going to take this week to appreciate the opportunities I have been given lately.  I am going to appreciate the people who I have learned from.  Most importantly I am going to appreciate me. 

Take this week to appreciate what you have.  Appretiate what the universe have given you.  Appreciate the frustrating days.  Appreciate where you are in this moment, and appreciate the fact that tomorrow you can continue to grow.  There is a lot of craziness in this holiday season, but try to take as many moments you can to appreciate all these things around you.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 140 - Praise or Anger

I am going to be doing a gentle yoga session at home today.  I am also thinking Christmas eve and Christmas most studios will be closed.  So I am more then likely going to be doing a few more of these at home practices.

There has been something I have been wanting to write about this week.  I have been thinking a lot about what it is that drives me.  I have been watching a lot of children playing over the week, and thinking a bunch about this topic.

When we are really little we are filled with ever changing emotions.  Our crying, forms into laughter, and then worry.  We are trying to figure out life and our emotions.  We do not care if we are crying or laughing.  We just do it.

It seems that once we hit school, rules and regulations are formed.  Our emotions are made to feel like there are only certain times we should express them.  Stop crying,  stop laughing, you need to listen.  I feel like we are then throwing these emotions into a bottle to be used when they are appropriate.  When are these times appropriate?  When I grew up and was in school, I wanted my parents, teachers, brothers, and coaches to be proud of me.  I know of others growing up that are more worried about making their elders angry.  So I am starting to feel that our emotions are put aside or bottled up in order to either stop the anger or receive the praise.   I am sure these are not the only two things, but they are what were most in the forefront in my life.

At one point in our lives (maybe our teens) we start to forget how to feel, and life becomes more about getting praise or resiting anger.  As these emotions build we need to figure out hot to release these emotions.  Let it be exercise, reading, drugs, talking.    Some of our emotions start to shut off.  This is why some of us are very serious, angry, or constantly depressed.  We forget how to be sad, happy, angry, or funny.

The more I look inside myself the more I want to tap into some of these emotions that I may have switched off.  I want to be true to my emotions like I was when I was a kid.  I want to try to drop this illusion of receiving praise or causing anger, and work on truly feeling.

I have a few different ideas on where to go, but once again I can use yoga to help find this path.  When you go to class, do you start thinking people are looking at you?  Are you looking for their praise, their attention, their doubt?  This is a perfect example of where you can start.  Put the people around you aside and ask yourself "How do I truly feel?"

For me this is 37 years of a built in structure.  It won't be an over night turn around. 

What are your thoughts on this?  Email me or leave a comment.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 139

Today I took a day off.  I had a service to attend for Marianne's sister.  So I will do yoga tomorrow instead.  There is a lot going on today, and not a whole lot of time to sit and think about blogging and sinking deeper into myself.  I did however take a moment to catch my breath, check inside, so I can be present for her and her family today. 

The ceremony gave me a warm feeling inside seeing people come together.  It was a sad moment, but it seems that hard times bring people together.  There was a big shift that happened this week, but these shifts bring people closer.  It seems that in our hardest times our savior is coming together, and finding peace inside of each of us.  It is these times we can relate with each other and feel the same emotions.  We come together to try to understand, try to find answers, and look to feel whole again.

I need to keep this short, but tonight I see that we all need each other in this world.  Whether it is talking on the phone, visiting at a coffee shop, working with each other, or visiting with our family.  We are not alone on this planet for a reason.  I think we are all here to help each other grow.  We create our own heaven or we create our own hell right here on earth. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 138 - Welcome to the post Apocalypse

The world has ended, yet you are still reading my blog.  What if the world really did end, but there wasn't this apocalyptic event with the earth shaking, flames taking over, or monsters smashing cities?  What if we just looked at the Mayan calender as as the end of the world as we knew it.  Tomorrow when we wake up we are a whole new person?  We can start to make the changes we have been talking about, and start living the life we really want to.

Do we need a crazy comet crashing into earth to do what we always dreamed about doing?  It is so close to a New Year and we always make our resolutions that we never follow, but why even wait until New Years?  Why not wake up the day after the great Mayan Apocalypse and start your new life?  Start that one thing that you have been talking about doing today.  Just do it.

What would you have done today if you really knew the world was going to end the next day?  Would you go to work and make a lot of money?  Would you steal?  Would you eat, drink and have sex all day long?  What would you do, and why?  If the world was ending would we go into survival mode and try to save ourselves and our loved ones?  Would we reach out to strangers and try to help them?  Would we try to save our pets and animals?

My next question is why does this answer change who we are?  If we knew this immediate death situation why would we panic?  We all know the end of the world is coming for each of us in our own time.  We often put off our lives with the need of security that we are safe and secure.  We in a way try to survive, but somehow forget how to live.

I feel more and more to live the life that I want to see in others.  I have rules, morals, and thoughts.  I do not expect others to follow them, but feel I can spread my love, thoughts, and ideas.  The way I want to spread my love is by just living my life.  I want to live a life that I can share and be proud of with people.

I want to live my days after this apocalypse as a changed man.  Someone who embraces love, shows love, and feels love.  Today is my first day as my new self.  I will wake up refreshed and ready to start my post apocalyptic life.

Send me an email or leave a comment unless you are experiences Y2K.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 137 - Recentering

Happy Vegan Thursday!  A quick note on my eating habits.  I am still doing Meatless Monday and Tuesday.  I actually had no meat yesterday too.  It may be the people that I am surrounded by, but I also am very much more aware of what is going into my body.  I am debating putting in a third vegetarian day along with one vegan day.  I am also worried about adding too many rules into my life.  I am making sure that these rules are not bringing guilt to me, but rather are being made to improve my life.   At the same time I am pretty excited for these changes.

Early this morning I visited Alex Sanchez with Central Florida Biofeedback.  It was great timing for me, and brought me back into a focus.  He helped me discover my center.  A place I can go to when I feel overwhelmed by the rest of the world.  I feel like over the last year and a half I have really been able to focus on myself.  The world can be unforgiving and overwhelming, but it is me that needs to wake up every morning.  I am the one that will see the world I live in.  Alex helped me realize that the world around me is not the world that is inside of me.  He helped me release a ton of the weight I have been holding on to.

Then guess what.? Yoga was phenomenal.   I was at Orlando Power Yoga with Kelly Senn for the Dharma 3 class.  My balances felt so much more sturdy.  I held scorpion briefly for the first time.  I held peacock with lotus briefly for the first time.  I am feeling I am getting closer to hand stand.  It was an excellent class.  I really do believe that the more your mind becomes balanced the more your body becomes balanced, which in return the more your mind becomes balanced.  It continues on like this.  I really wish people could start to feel this sensation.  The other crazy thing that happened, was I think I may have actually seen my third eye today.  I am not going to get into details on it (in case I am just crazy), but it was pretty cool.

Today's class had a lot of friends in it too.  The studios I go to all have a different feel to them.  Some are friendly and open, others are stale and seem uninviting,  others can be mystical and magical, and then there are still others that are just hot.  They all serve their purpose.  I actually think all these types of studios are good for the soul.  Try to find the studio that fits your mood.  I go so often I like to mix it up, but today's class definitely met the mood I was in.

Thanks for the class today Kelly, and thanks for the centering today Alex!

Send me an email or leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 136 - Annoyed

I have to admit I am annoyed with the world today.  It is official.  I try my best to pretend that I am not, but we all know in reality sometimes it all gets to you.  I can sit here and type something positive and pretend I am OK, but my promise was to keep my emotions real.  I always feel more embarrassed when I am having these "not good" days.  I have had a history that we shouldn't feel this way.  The reality of this planet is it is not all positive.  The weight of the world can drag me down. 

Today I was in a hot class at Orlando Power Yoga.  When I do yoga 6 days a week there are days that I really do not feel like listening that everything is great, the world is happy, blah blah blah.   I am not really feeling depressed or sad today.  I actually felt physically strong during class today.  I think I am more mentally drained.  I think I am just seeing a lot of negative things happening and I latch on to them. 

I am looking a bit more today into why I think I am over sensitive to negative energy.  Maybe we all are.  I was told recently that I hold on to things, and have trouble letting go of it.  I am finding out recently that when I am in the midst of negative energy I try to redirect it and make a positive spin on it.   I feel like negative energy likes to try to leach on to me, and eventually it might drag me down.  The more negative things that surround me the more I try to make light of the situation and the more it latches on to me.   It is draining.

The perfect answer would be avoid negative situations, but come on.  There are people out there that try to ignore the negative world.  They hide out an an island or they surround themselves with "only" positive people.  The second these people are introduced to a negative situation they fall apart.  Their community of positiveness crumbles.  This is not reality.

Reality is we all feel like this at points in our life.  I do not feel my "in a funk, depressed" mood.  I am just drained.  I know the true answer on this is just wait, rest, and allow myself to be drained.  This will soon pass.  There are a lot of days in my life when I start to feel I "should not" feel these types of negative emotions.  These are a part of our lives.  All emotions pass.  The thing I am working on is letting them go, allowing them to pass, and being me :)

Send me an email or leave me a comment please.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 135 - Me day

These pink roses do not seem to shine as bright when they are put in black and white.  I am having a me night.  This is my night to refuel.  Even on my night by myself, I want to watch a movie, I want to play video games, I want to paint.  My body however is saying it wants to do nothing.

Today I was in the Dharma class at Orlando Power Yoga with Kelly Senn.  I felt really good today.  Moved really good, and felt pretty strong.  When I was resting in savasana today Kelly opened the door.  I could hear the traffic outside, and started to listen to the busy sounds outside.  I thought to myself how cool it was to feel so relaxed laying on my mat while the rest of the world seemed in such a rush outside.  I wondered if I could keep this inside me.  I continued to listen outside and every once in awhile I could hear a break in the business.  There was the sound of nothing, and then it followed with the sounds of the craziness of life.

Tonight I am sitting in my rocking chair on the porch on a brisk Orlando night.  I can hear a train in the distant and my dog is at my feet.  I am allowing myself to have a me night.  I feel like the picture above.  I know how bright the pink is in the picture, but I have decided to switch it off.  To keep the pink to myself.  In my own selfish way keep that pink inside of me until I am recharged and I can once again show people how brightly I shine.  Tonight I feel drained.  I am proud of the reasons why I feel drained, but everyone needs these days to recharge.  Everyone needs to rest, regather, and be proud of where you are.

Today is my me day.  I want to celebrate being me by doing nothing.  Rest my mind.  Rest my body.  Rest my soul.  I have so many options tonight.  I have so many things I want to do.  I have so many people asking me to join them.  Tonight though I am doing nothing.  I am celebrating the fact that I have accomplished so much.  I am celebrating the love that is in my heart.  I am celebrating the road I am on.  I am enjoying the present.  Tonight I let the world be busy and crazy around me.  Tonight I give myself peace.

Tomorrow might be my day to shine!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 134 - Just enjoying the simple life.

This is a picture of my friend Larry.  He hangs out on this black timer box outside my front door every day.  He never goes to far.  He is my reminder on how life can be as simple as you want it to be.  He has the whole house to venture around outside or inside.  Then he has the whole neighborhood, city, or state, but he chooses to sit on this little black box.  There is a big part of my mind that says "I have to do this or that."  Larry reminds me I really do not have to do much of anything.  I am the one that complicates my life.  I am the one that made the entire world my little black timer box.

Tonight I was in one of my favorite Ashtanga classes with Steve Rubin at Full Circle Yoga.  My day off and my resting of my shoulder and knee last week really made my body feel in great shape.  I have decided to take another week off on most shoulder and knee twisters.  The class tonight made me feel like I have come a long way in my practice.  I feel very accomplished.

I was thinking today that a lot of my blogs where I seem to be giving advice.  In reality these are things that I am working through or may have just discovered how to work through.  Yesterday for instance was a great help for me to actually get my thoughts onto this blog.  I often wonder if things make sense to my audience.  It's funny, I feel like a lot of the blogs that I really like I do not receive a lot of comments.  The blogs I think are blah or boring are always the ones that people love or I get a lot more comments.

The key to me for all of this experience is to stay honest throughout the entire experience.  I want to go back and analyze my growth, lack of growth, or change through out all of this.  It really has been exciting for me and maybe I have added a little excitement into your lives.

Tonight I feel very much at ease.  I am noticing the little things that make me smile.  I am relaxing.  I am thinking how nice it is to sit on the porch, but also looking forward to getting in the snow again.  I feel the world opening up to me more and more each day.

Happy Meatless Monday

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 133 - Shift from "I deserve" to "I offer" the world

It is my day off from my yoga practice.  I feel like there is a lot to reflect on from the week.  My mind has been very focused and accepting of where I am this week and today.  I have a lot going on, but do not feel overwhelmed or stressed out.  I am feeling a lot more like I have complete control over my life, but also accept the choices I made to put me on the path I am on.  I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  Life is good.

The world puts a lot of weight on our shoulders.  I often wonder why it does this.  I often wonder why we accept it.  There is a lot of pressure put onto us in our society.  A lot of "bad things" happen to us.  The more "bad things" that happen the more weight that can be added.  We start to say things like "I deserve this"  I am finding that the thought process like "I want, I need, or I deserve" are the thoughts that add to this weight.  Thoughts like "I give, I offer, or you deserve" are words that take off the weight.  This is a hard concept to accept or come by when "bad things" continue to happen to you.

What if there were no "bad things" and these were nothing but lessons in life.   There are so many situations in life.  The homeless man who deserves a home.  The man who lives in a mansion who deserves a wife that does not treat him bad.  The woman who works 22 hours a day who deserves a vacation.  Do we snap when we all of a sudden realize "we do not deserve this."  At what point does this idea of "I deserve" come into our mind?

Here's where it gets tricky.  A lot of us have thoughts like "I give therefor I deserve."  I was once trapped in this world.  I was shocked after all the things that I gave, that people could act "badly" towards me.   I think for me this was my breaking point.  These are not the thoughts that will help relieve some of my stress and weight of the world.  This is still "I deserve"  At this point I could have held on and enforce feelings of resentment, hatred, and anger.  Instead, I started to look for acts that were truly just giving.  I stopped and thought of the acts where I gave to people because I truly wanted to give or was it because I want others to see my generosity.  I became honest with myself and started to drop what other people thought.  My giving started to eat away the ego or the idea of "I deserve."

We are looking into shootings at schools and movie theaters, and telling ourselves we need to beef up security.  We need to figure out a way to defend against the evil in this world.  I look at our world as making a shift more towards the "I deserve" world.  People are deciding to take other's lives, because that shooter deserves more in their life.  They want, they need, they deserve.  People who commit these acts live in a world where the world owes them.  If you want to make a true change we need to make a shift towards "I owe the world."

Let down your defenses, open your hearts, and give to this world.  Go out today and do some type of act that is a giving act.  Give a homeless man change, give a stranger $5, help someone move in their house, or give a child your attention.  Do this act, but do not tell anyone else about it (not your spouse, best friend, or family member).  Keep doing this as your daily routine.

Be the change you want to see in the world, but do not expect the world to change.  If you are giving, do not be surprised when people take advantage of your generosity.  Do not expect the world to all start giving.  Do these things, because you believe they need to be done.

We are not going to make a quick shift from the world of greed, shootings, and inhuman acts.  It is up to us to stop the world of "I deserve" and start the world of "I offer."  Be patient, be real, and remember we are all growing.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 132 - Body, Mind, Soul

I wanted to take a moment and send out my love to Marianne, her sister Michelle, and the rest of the Breslin family.  They experienced a great loss and my heart goes out to their whole family.  Many have asked how to help out.  Here is a link for a donation that will go to Michelle's children.  http://www.gofundme.com/1oqxt8

I am reminded today of the beauty that can be found in any storm. When a storm comes rolling in, it rolls in hard and strong.  High winds, loud thunder, flashing lightning can cause fear, panic, and anxiety.  In that storm though you can sit and listen.  You can find this beauty that is indescribable.  Maybe it's how the trees sway in the wind, or the quick flash that shines in the night air.  There is beauty found in every storm.  I sometimes need to remind myself of that.

This morning I made it to a hot yoga class with Christine Northcote at Full Circle Yoga.  My body was telling me to stay at home and do a gentle yoga class while my mind was telling me I need to push myself and go into a hot class that would challenge my body.  My soul was just grateful I wanted to do yoga.

This all got me thinking a lot between the connection with the body, mind, and soul.  These three parts of myself are constantly fighting.  When I ran my marathons and my body basicly fell apart, my soul had this blissful feel to it.  When I lay in savasana (corpse pose aka laying down) my body has won and my mind is the one that is being tested or fallen apart.  I have also felt a blissful feeling in savasana.  So life is a constant struggle for a balance between these entities.  One should not outway the other.  I find my soul becomes most alive though when I exercise both my body and my mind to its full capacity.

When I arrived in class today my body was saying "OK you (my mind) dragged me here.   Can we at least take it easy."  Throughout class they continued to bicker.  My body would say "Come on! we did the last pose to our capacity.  Take a break"  My mind would want to show off and ignore my injuries while my body was saying to take it easy on my shoulder and knee.  It is almost as if a treaty needs to be signed to make these two happy.

The bickering between my mind and body is the reason why my soul is happy.  I know throughout this experience my body will ask for a break and my mind will tell my body to keep going.  I know my mind will convince my body to do crazy things and finally get into handstand or scorpion.  I know my body will convince my mind to chill out and go deep inside myself with some awesome meditative practice.  My soul will continue to grow.

The other alternative is to let the body win.  I will lay in bed or on the couch.  I will not do anything physical.  I will eat what ever I want.  On the flip side, I let the mind win.  I will continue to go-go-go.  I will never stop and rest.  I will show the world what I am all about.  I find if I use these two scenarios with no balance, then my soul is not happy.  My soul becomes trapped and restless.

Let your soul live and constantly work on your life's balance.  Email me or leave a comment.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 131 - Ego

I really am tapping into my gentle side this week.  I was at the Yin yoga class with Steve Rubin at Orlando Power Yoga.  I leave these Yin yoga classes with such a relaxed feeling. If you are always a go-go-go person a highly recommend this class to allow your body, mind, and soul to STOP and take a break.  If you are someone who pushes them self to the limit this is a great class for you.

I have been thinking a lot about ego this week (nothing to do with Steve or today's class).  Last week when I was in Dharma Mittra's class I was amazed on how someone who has been doing yoga for 50 years and still teaches 3 times a day does not seem to have an ego.  It was something I aspire to be in my life.  I want to continue to learn, but stay humble knowing I will always be learning in my life.

Yoga is an excellent opportunity to either accept, grow, or diminish your ego.  If you are a pretzel and twist into the "best" pose, you can tell yourself that you are better then everyone in this class.  "Everyone is looking at me, beacause I can do this pose.  If you are stiff as a board, and cannot touch your toes you can tell yourself that I will never be good enough.  "Everyone is looking at me because I cannot do the pose."  The third choice is you can just get into the pose.

I am guilty of all three of the above situations.  My life is leaning towards the third choice and just get into the pose, but I admit it...  I still  give myself props and put myself down.   There is an ego inside of me.

I have seen so many people in my life who find something they are good at, semi good at, or think they are good at.  At one point of their life they decide they are better then other people.  They stop and close their mind from the people who are bellow them.  They stop learning and in result stop growing.   I believe that every living being is here to teach each other lessons.  If we go into a situation defensive with our dukes up we will never here the lesson the other person is trying to teach us.

The scariest people I see are the ones that are teachers in some healing field (yoga, massage, therapists, acupuncture .  The professional should be there to heal people, but there are soul suckers that use this healing field to boost their ego.  They have found love in their profession not because they are helping people, but they thrive on praise from others that thank them for healing them.  This praise builds the ego and in result the teacher thrives on this praise.  They may continue to take classes to improve their teaching skills, but the humble switch has turned into an ego building praise machine.  They take the classes to gather more praise so they can continue to feel good about themselves.  I am beginning to see these teachers as very sad people inside.  Some people that I once praised as great healers I now see as stuck individuals.  Please, as a healer, stay humble and take every human as a chance to grow, love, and diminish your ego.

I understand that we are all growing.  I felt like last week was a giant growing part of my life.  I want to grow with the world and not above the world.  No one is above me as I am not above anyone.  I want to stay humble in my practice.  I have 49 more years and 7 more months to grow into a humble being like Dharma Mittra.  

I am looking for individuals who want to grow with me.  Not individuals who's goals are to grow above me.  Not individuals who no longer want to grow.  I am grateful for the people who have helped me grow into who I am today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 130 - Yoga people

Today I feel extremely calm.  The knowledge is in my head that everything is in place.  Everything is where it is supposed to be.  Everything is going to be OK.  I am accepting that life is filled with good and bad.  I am aware of people around me.  I am grateful for people around me.  I am liking people around me.

Today was the Dharma Level 3 class with Kelly Senn at Orlando Power Yoga.  It was great to be in the Dharma class today.  I was pushing myself today, but also laying off in the postures that pushed my knee and shoulder.  I have decided to take it easy during class this week.

One of my favorite thing in Orlando Power Yoga is the people.  I love all the different types of people in that class.  There are so many different types of personalty.  Some I click with, while others I don't, but we are all in there to do yoga, and everyone pulls together as a community.   I get this in the other yoga studios too.  The yoga community gives me such a warm feeling inside.

Today there were a lot of good people in the class.  We were missing Marianne as she was away for heartbreaking personal issues.  I did however feel such a warm concern from so many people wondering how she was doing.  It made me feel good that so many people have such a great appreciation and concern for a wonderful and deserving individual.    There was a genuine feeling of love in the air today.  Well there was also a lot of sweat too.

I am seeing how much I need people in my life.  I have lived a life of trying to figure out everything on my own.  Trying to construct a philosophy and happiness that would work for me.  I wanted to figure out something where I did not have to rely on people or depend on people.  This is no longer my life.  My life needs people.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 129 - Quick Karma note

I spent tonight gathering myself.  I stopped and did a gentle yoga class for myself at home.  It was really more of a gentle stretch in postures that felt right with me.  I also followed with a lot of deep breathing and meditation.

Today was a crazy day.  It was a day filled with roller coasters.  I was a spectator that saw both the highs of life and a reminder on how life can quickly be taken from you.  Life is filled with our ups and our downs.  I am determined to try to find an appreciation for all of these aspects in life.  I would like to learn how to accept that there will always be happiness as well sadness in my life.

I have noticed a lot of people throwing the word "karma" out into the world in the last week.  The typical use is something like "Karma is a bitch."  I have noticed on several occasions that people are using karma as a way to tell someone else that they will regret their decision.  That this decision will come back to haunt them in some manner.   I watch as people believe they deserve the best, so they use karma as an excuse to make them feel better.  They state something like "That person deserves something bad to them."  We need to step back and stop these karma threats.

Karma is a great tool to help us all grow.  I feel like I personally need to open my heart more and allow others to grow without any jealousy, resentment, or greed.  I need to believe in Karama.  That if I stick onto a good path I will stay on this path.  When I fall into a bad path then it is something I am paying for some other past life experience, or it is something I am going to use as a stepping stone to help me grow.  I can only live the one life I live.

Please let me know your quick thoughts on Karma by emailing or telephone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 128 - The search for true happiness

Wow, today was tough for some reason.  I went to the Dharma class at Orlando Power Yoga with Kelly Senn.  I don't know if I was just drained, or if it was really hot in there today.  Maybe it was the hot class I took late last night along with the early hot class.  Maybe I did not have enough time to rehydrate or reenergize, but I had a tough time today.

I did fell at one with my breath today.  I felt like I was still venting off a lot from yesterday.  You know how taking a deep breath or sighing helps to make you feel better.  Well I noticed a lot of my breath seemed really deep today, and there were a lot of sighs.  As hot and hard as it was today, I felt pretty focused.

I was thinking a lot the last few days about instant gratification and happiness.  I have come along way since the days of using drugs and alcohol, I have been on a great journey discovering more about finding finding true inner peace and happiness.  I feel like I should explain my journey a little bit.

When I use the word addict, people tend to think that I was a bum, sipping out of a paper bag, and homeless in the gutters.  Or they think I was huddled in a corner not leaving my apartment with needles in my arm.  The term addict is a personality trait, and there are a lot more of us out there then you think.  There are also many different types of addicts in this world.  Everyone is very familiar with the drunk starting fights, breaking things, or yelling at other people.  This wasn't me.

In my case I was more of an internal addict.  My fights were mostly inside of me. I had a giant issue with my happiness.  I have always been someone who would in typical society standards be considered "successful."  But my self worth was in the gutter.  I did not deserve this happiness.  I did not deserve this success.  I wanted someone else to take this happiness.  I used drinking and weed to knock me down a bit, and take off the edge.

How was I ever to find true happiness if I did not think I deserved to be happy?

Overall I believe I have a lot of happiness and love inside of my heart.   Back when I was using, the drugs and alcohol inhibited my true emotions.  Looking back I know I cannot find true happiness, because I cannot find any true emotion while using.  I only found a state of bliss that is based on my need to rely on this substance.  If I need to rely on a substance to make me happy then without it I am truly unhappy.  If I am constantly using this substance, the substance will begin to eat away my physical body which in return ultimately brings me to an unhappy state.   I am a firm believer that you cannot find true self love and happiness if you use and rely on a substance.

The addict personality trait is not only fixed on drugs and alcohol.   When I stopped using this was what I started my journey to finding true happiness.  I had to build myself back up.  Once the drugs and alcohol were gone I still had this idea in my head that I needed to rely on something else to make me happy.  This is often the case with addicts as we can leach on others or we look externally to find happiness.  Something must make us happy.  If this substance made us this happy.  There must be something out there that will take the place of drugs.  The crazy idea is that this person, place, or thing is ultimately responsible for our happiness. 

It has taken me almost 9 years to just now grasp the idea that my happiness is only found inside of me.  The true question I have been avoiding for so long is..."What makes me happy?" Taking away all people, all beings, all places, all ideas, or all thoughts.  "What makes me happy?"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 127 - Weight on my shoulders

Tonight I went out to Altamonte Springs Yoga and took a class with Missy White.  I love the way Missy teaches and how her background and knowledge flows through and is in her classes.  I have learned something each time I have been with her. Today was a hot class which I got to kick up into hand stand while she spotted me.  Great stuff and really hot.

Today I decided to take the weight on my shoulders.  Maybe it was the gloomy weather or the fact that I had a great last week, but I was looking at the bad points of my life.  I was pretty scared today as I felt like I do not have much of a direction in life.  Everything is great and positive, but I am still able to twist that up and search deep to find something negative.  Something I need to change or work on.  We are crazy how we look at these things.

It would be one thing if I could just stay happy, if I could ignore the negative side of life.  However, the negative is a part of our lives.  I no longer choose to ignore it, nor do I want to dwell on it anymore.  I felt frustrated today, because I tend to hold onto some things from my past.  I would love to tell these things to go away, and poof!!! They no longer exist.  This poof does not happened to me.  In fact I do not want it to happened.  I want to be able to feel this pain and let it go.

I was able to talk through this gloomy day.  The talking to others helped to show me how I am still growing.  I thought about things all day, but when I finally spoke the words out loud, the weight on my shoulders was lifted.  I could continue on with living.  It is one of my favorite things I have learned in life.  Be honest with others and honest with yourself.  If you say what is truly on your mind then a lot of frustrations you may find in life will be lifted.  You can live free from barriers and chains that may be keeping you from growing.

During meditation tonight, Missy had us visualize all of our worries, fears, and people who no longer served us to be put into a brown box and then left outside for someone to collect.  I thought through a lot of these things that I have been holding onto.  I felt like I had too many boxes in my closet, and actually visualized myself kicking these boxes one at a time out the front door.  I began to realize that as happy as I was this last week, I still have a lot of areas to grow.  Some of my things are starting to be let go.

What are you holding onto.  You have the opportunity to get rid of them before 2012.  Join me in finding one thing to let got of each day.  Now until the end of the year I will try to let something go.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 126 - Happiness

I am sitting in my rocking chair on my back porch with my dog this morning.  There are a bunch of cackling crows and the squirrels are running around.  I have noticed the leaves have fallen from the trees and that my vegetable garden is happy this morning.  The sun is shining and I am sipping on a cup of coffee.  It is a perfect day off from yoga and a great way to start my day.

I am reflecting over this week.  It has been a great week.  I took in so much from Dharma Mittra in New York and Marianne and I spent a very thought provoking and inward reflecting evening with our friends Kelly and Alex.  Looking back over it all....WOW.   There is a lot to digest.

I feel happy this morning.

Looking back I started to think about my thoughts of how I used to try to bring happiness into my life.  Looking way back I remember wanting video games, baseball cards, and candy.  I remember thinking at one point if I had some toy more kids would want to play with me.  If I had a lot of friends I would be happy.

I remember looking at the things I did not have.  I did not have a girlfriend in high school.  I did not have the strength or weight to be a good football player.  I focused on building and getting those things I did not have.  Once I got those I would be happy.

I remember switching my happiness into drugs and alcohol.  The mind numbing feeling would heighten my emotions, but also allow me to avoid the emotions I did not want to face.  If I never had to be sad I would always be happy.

I remember out of college thinking happiness was found once I got that perfect job.  Once I had that job that paid me well. I could start feeling stable and getting the things I needed in order to keep this happiness.  Once I got that stability I could attract that perfect woman that would make me happy.

Once I did not find that instant happiness in my job I remember thinking happiness was a place.  I quit my job to go to Europe and find that Utopia.   Once I found that place where people are stress free I will truly be happy.

I remember thinking if I could make someone else happy this would bring me true happiness.  I would set a side my desires, needs, wants, and emotions and focus on making her happy.  If she was happy then this would make me happy.

If only I had a truck, a home, a wife, a child, a dog, a sofa, a garden, lots of money, more drugs, a plane ticket to India.   I have seen some of the happiest people in the world outside the USA.  These people have nothing, but for some reason have this giant glow and smile on their face. 

My entire life I have been focusing on trying to get out of the emotions, feelings, and the concept of living in the now.  I have been searching for happiness outwardly.  Always thinking it was found in a thing, place, ore person.  I have spent the last year and a half building back my core self.  Trying to live in the moment.  trying to release the wants, trying to let go of the emotions and feelings I hold onto.  I feel the happiness starting to emit from me.  True and unique happiness.  The great thing is the type of happiness is also bringing others with similar happiness into my life.  I am beginning to see the difference between the people who are truly happy in their life and the ones that use my happiness.

I feel like I am at a new stepping stone in my path of life.  As I search inside I am finding happiness.

Please send me an email or leave a comment.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 125 - Chatter box

I was in a hot yoga class this morning at Orlando Power Yoga.  I have been focusing on my mind, and the different thoughts that enter my head.  I am amazed on the amount of busy work that my brain goes through even when trying to relax.

My thoughts floated something like this today...

  1. OK relax - Listen to your breath.
  2. Maybe I'll buy a juice after class.  That would be a healthy thing to do.
  3. The person next to me is breathing.  Wait I should be listening to my breath.  Why am I listening to this guys breath.
  4. I think I should paint a Ganesha today.  I will need to go to Home Depot and...
  5. Focus Danny.  Be in the now.
  6. I can't wait to go to Thailand.  I wonder how I will be out there.
  7. How much snow has Steamboat gotten I really should figure this out after class.
  8. Why am I thinking this.  I am supposed to be in the now.  Arggghhh.
  9. What did the teacher just say?
  10. Man it's hot in here....
It is an endless chatter box of useless stuff that has nothing to do with "the now".  Has no tieing of living in the now.  It is all the "I have to...: scenario.  I received another good laugh out of this today.  This is going to take some time to fix this one.

We all thought that happiness can be answered if we just get...  There is always the thing we want and drive towards.  Once you receive this thing, does your mind break towards I will be happy if only I get this...

Yoga is a constant practice both on and off the mat.

After class I thought of how much my life is a constant chatter box.  I work on the lap top with the TV on.  If my mind starts to wonder my eyes start to go towards the TV.   It stops me from drifting into my mind thought.  I feel like a lot of this is to help minimize the chatter that goes on in my head.  It stops me from thinking of things as I focus then on the TV.

I feel like I am going to need some time to settle my chatter boxes.  Doing things like turning off the TV and managing my time better will help this chatter box slow down.  It is a good practice to help my mind to find "the now"

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 124 - A much needed Yin Yoga

Have you ever had a day where the air seems much crisper, the trees seem to be much more brilliant, and everything seems to feel good in your life?  I am having one of those days.  Maybe this feeling is coming from the trip to New York, or the classes with Dharma Mittra.  I don't know.  I just feel really good.

I feel much more structured today.  Like things are slowly fitting together and falling into the right places.  That everything from my past has brought me to where I am today. 

Today I was in a Yin Yoga Class with Steve Rubin at Orlando Power Yoga.  Yin yoga is a much slower, and gentler yoga.  My brain loved the Dharma IV and V classes I took, and it is calling for more.  My body however was screaming SLOWWWWW DOWNNN.  My body thanked me today as I found bliss in class today.

In a yin yoga class you hold the postures much longer (3 minutes).  The time gives me a lot of time to breath and my mind a lot of time to think.   I noticed (as I discussed yesterday) my mind wandering into thoughts of what I "should be" doing.  Danny the traveler was wanting to plan trips.  Danny the CEO was thinking of ideas for work.  Danny the blogger was thinking of ideas to blog.  I started to laugh a bit at myself as I noticed these thoughts trying to control my brain.  Other things floated in from what to eat, to fixing things from the past.  Soooo many things to think about.  Sooo many distractions from being where I am right now.  There is also the little voice in my head trying to keep me in the right now.  It is all so crazy how much I can block myself from living. 

I watched these thoughts come and go today.  I was very much in the now today in class.  I still had a lot of these thoughts, but they did not festure, they did not stay.  It was more of a "Oh hello there thought.  Thanks for visiting me today.  Talk to you later."

So many of my thoughts are really useless, a waste of time, or pointless.  I feel like so many engraved worries or fears that have been forced into our heads over the years are such a hinder in our lives.  Where did these thoughts come from?  Why do I need these thoughts?

I thought of the many ways I try to distract myself from feeling the present.   Being in the emotional state of happy, sad, lonely, joyous, excited.  I feel like my old habits of using drugs and alcohol have forced me to try to avoid "the now" and these emotions.  Like I am supposed to try to avoid these emotions.  Now that I have been sober for 8 years, I still have tricks to try to avoid "the now".  I am seeing this in me.  I am understanding this in me, and I am making this more of a fore front in my daily thought process and practice.

I am extremely grateful I have been sober for this long.  To me it was one of my first steps on  the path to finding me.

Email me or leave a comment.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 123 - The Multiple Danny's

It was a good day today.  It is nice being back in Orlando.  I went and through a hot Ashtanga based yoga class with Steve Rubin at Full Circle Yoga.  I felt really strong in class today.  I felt like the trip to New York has made me stronger in a lot of ways.  I felt deeper in a lot of my stretches.  I was excited and feeling back in the groove of things today.

I have really been dissecting my brain over the last 4 months.  I have discovered the many personalities that I have (not in a crazy type of way).  These personalities are all buying for time in this 24 hour day.  They all seem to want to take charge, and be my main focus.  There is...
  • Danny the CEO
  • Danny the yogi
  • Danny the blogger
  • Danny the artist
  • Danny the traveler
  • Danny the social guy
  • Danny the animal lover
These are the main Danny's that try to take up my current space.  There are several other Danny's.  When I get back to Colorado this winter I will need to add Danny the Snowboarder.  I take these parts of my life very seriously and my mind gets overwhelmed when I try to accomplish all of them.  It is an on going fight between my own brain telling me I should not be wasting my time doing one thing, but should be spending it doing something else.  I am grateful for my many interests and excitement for all of these things I have in my life.  I am realizing how important all of these personalites are to my true self, and to my on going growth.

As I said earlier I am dissecting these personalities.  In reality I am the boss over all of these personalities.  Each  of these traits in my brain like to fight against each other.  They all want their own undivided attention.  The reality is I can sit here and do nothing, but I allow each of these personalities their time to come out and play during the day.  I feel like my "now" is often clouded with my "I have too's."  The "I have too's"  are the personality fights.  They are stopping me from living in the moment.  They are looking into what I should be doing rather then the thing I am currently doing.  The items listed above are all things I love to do.  I need to keep in mind that in order to keep the things in my life that I love I need to nourish, take care, of and give them plenty of space to grow.  I cannot lock it up in a cage and expect them to behave all by their self.

There are several other things that scream to me to come try, experience, learn, watch me, and be with me.  These are my distractions from who I am and want to be.

I think it is time I write out a schedule.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 122 - Dharma Mittra - Day 3

It was our final day in New York with Dharma Mittra.  Again we did a level 4-5 class.  My body is pretty tired and beat up, but it was worth every bit of it.  I felt as if I was able to come to the busiest city in the world and sit amongst some of the most flexible yogi's I have ever seen.  I feel like I have a lot to learn, but also very accomplished that I was able to sit in the room with such great people.  I feel like everyone there was working on something.  I am strong in a lot of areas, and weak in some areas.  It is important for me to keep in mind that I keep humble and accept who and where I am right now.

I am bringing back a good feeling of accomplishment.  Coming here I was a little scared of not being "good" enough to be in Dharma's class.  I knew this was just something inside of my head, and pretty much shut that part of my brain off.  Anyone is good enough to sit in that class.  I realize more and more everyday that the biggest part of yoga is trying it, doing it, and practicing it.  This practice is also sooo important to apply in your life.  If you love something you need to try it, do it, and continue to practice it.  It is not anyone's responsibility but your own.  My mind always tries to speak reasons on why I shouldn't do something.  I am learning more and more on how to stop that part of my brain.  I am taking responsibility of my actions and using the 24 hours in a day the best I know how.

Life is always going to be a constant struggle on how to stay humble to myself, stay honest to myself and others, allowing others souls to grow along with my own, and keeping balance of my emotions.  I am realizing these thing more and more each day.  The class with Dharma Mittra and the trip to New York has opened my heart and life to many possibilities.  I am thankful for this experience.

I am also truly thankful to be back in Orlando with my dog.  There really is so much to be thankful for in this lifetime.  I am writing this late at night, and really need to get some sleep.  More to come.  Please send me an email or leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 121 - Dharma Mittra - Day 2

It was Day 2 of our trip here in New York.  My lower back was pretty sore after the twist and turns in these crazy postures.  Again we were back at Dharma Mittra doing series 4 and 5 postures.  My back quickly loosesend up as I pretty much didn't have a choice.

I was sore from yesterday not only because  I was getting into some new postures, but also letting my ego jump ahead of my body.  The first day in a new studio and being in front of someone who I really do respect.  My ego wanted to show him and everybody in there how hard I have been working.  We all know that people do not care, the majority of them are probably too worried about how they look, or how they can accomplish some posture.  This feeling is pretty normal.  We all want to be accepted.  We all want to show our peers we have been working hard.  Why is this acceptance so important?

Yoga has brought a lot into my life.  I feel like it is a chance to look deeper inside of myself and find acceptance in some things, others places I would like to change, and a greater appreciation for life and living.

Dharma Mittra has said a few things that have stuck with me.  Yesterday he mentioned that "We are what we eat."  He is a vegan and for some reason this just made a little more sense to me this time I heard it.  I feel as if I am doing yoga to find out more about who I am.  I am finding more acceptance, compassion, and a gentler soul on myself.  I am starting to expand this concept out to others.  I also love animals, but I am putting my being, my survival, and my self in place of theirs.

Yoga is not a switch.  You do not show up to class your first day, flip your legs around your head, find ultimate bliss and peace, love everyone, become vegan, and boom your are enlightened.  This is years and years of practice.  I do not expect to become vegan over night.  I am not sure I ever want to be vegan.  I am happy right now and accept the path I am of Meatless Mondays and Tuesdays and Vegan Thursdays.

Today in class I felt very accomplished with who I am and who I have become.  I did not feel any sense of discomfort or wanting of acceptance.  I have positive qualities and negative qualities.  Today I will focus on the positive.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 120 - Dharma Mittra - Day 1

I am in New York taking a class with Dharma Mittra.  I just finished up with a level 4-5 Dharma Class which was soooo much fun.  Going into the studio I was feeling a little anxious, excited, nervous, happy, and a little star struck.  I felt like I did the first time I ever went into a yoga class.  Sitting down in the studio I had a sense of this positive humble energy in the air.  I thought of how many people and stories have entered Dharma Mittra's studio.  How many people left with an upbeat, happy, joyous feeling.  You could almost feel it in the studio. 

I am a bit embarrassed admitting this, but when Dharma walked in I was a bit starstruck.  He seemed like such a calm collective individual.  Like he had so many answers in life.  I felt like I might be a little in over my head.  Again, I felt like I did the first time I ever did yoga. 

I kind of knew coming into the class that I was going to be a bit in over my head.  These postures can get crazy.  I have talked quite a bit about there always being the next step in yoga.  That there is always something that can be worked on in yoga.  This class was the beginning of a new journey for me.  There were a lot of postures that I have a long way before I can get into them, but there were a lot of postures that I could do.

Dharma had a very calming attitude about practice.  He threw in a bit of philosophy, but kept the actual practice more about the postures.  I loved that aspect.  He made light of the fact that not everyone was going to enter the postures, and just made me feel good about myself and where I was in my practice.  After class I realized this feeling good about my practice had little to do with him, but rather everything to do with me.

The last part of the class was 2 minutes of anything we wanted to do.  I did a lot of watchasana (sitting on my butt watching everyone else).  There were a lot of teachers and long time veterans in the studio.  So I was impressed with what everyone else was doing.

This was definitely not a class where I left feeling calm and relaxed, but rather happy, excited, humble, self accepting, good, and a sense like I have been working towards something.  Something good!!!

Dharma Mittra is a guide.  He is a teacher on my path of life.  I was sooo happy I was able to take this opportunity to take his class.  There are so many teachers in my life right now.  So many important people who have been guiding me on my correct path.  It's amazing what you can do when you let your guard down, set aside your fears, and embrace everything that is in your life.

For all my teachers out there reading this today I thank you.  This includes my family, friends, strangers, first time readers, enemies, animal friends, departed close ones.  Everyone is a peace of the puzzle that makes up my life.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 119 - Take the opportunity

Today I am writing in the airport in New York.  Marianne and I have come here to practice with Dharma-Mittra.  You know how I keep talking about the Dharma practice.  Well this is the guy where it came from.  I am really excited for this opportunity.

I am waiting to meet Marianne as she is flying in from working in Syracuse.  As I sit here I am thinking on how amazing connections can be.  How we both have past thousands of people this morning to connect in one of the largest cities so we both can connect with an individual who has given so many people the opportunity to grow.  How someone invented the airplane, made the airports, made the taxis, ect. ect.  that helped make this connection possible.  So many little things were done in order to present me with this current opportunity.

How did I get here?

I could go way back and over philosophies on the things like science, religion, god, or creation.  Ultimately I am the one that made the decision to take this opportunity.  I could have said I could not afford it at this time, I am scared of planes, I need to be with my dog, I can't take the time off of work, I do not feel comfortable enough to do yoga, I hate New York.  There are billions of excuses that I could have made in order to make this not happened.  There is only one way I was going to make this happened.  I needed to say yes, take the plunge, and embrace and trust life to get me to this point. 

Even this morning I had my little voice in my head.  He was telling me I did not deserve this opportunity.  He started to try to bring me down.  I have noticed that before anything great and fun that I typically beat myself up.  I guess this is so if I am feeling down going into something I can feel great when I start enjoying my event.  I am quickly shutting this little voice up.  I am separating me as if this little voice was another person.  I am no longer this scared little voice. If someone came up to me and told me I did not deserve the life I lived...How long would I stick around that person?

Life has presented me with millions of opportunities.  I believe the opportunities that I have taken have lead me to where I am today.  I have learned to take my opportunities in a responsible way.  This is a completely different story.   The more opportunities and chances you take in life the more opportunities you will have to grow.  Just like learning to do a headstand, you have to first start trying, then fall on your butt, then try again and so on.  Very rarely are you perfect the first time you attempt a posture.

I also believe these opportunities have lead me to being able to present opportunities to others.  I have noticed lately that the opportunities I have presented are not always taken.  Then there are other people who take the opportunity I present and rather then just taking it they try to change it.  The date, time, cost, people around them ect. does not allow them to take part in this opportunity.  Fear, worry, or doubt, stops them from taking on this opportunity.  Now I have the ability to switch my date, time, cost, or the people around them.  I have the ability to ease this fear, worry, or doubt.  I can allow them to feel comfortable taking this opportunity.  OR... I can give someone else that same opportunity.  How much time is wasted on someone who has excuses not to take an opportunity?  There are billions of people in this world.  I guess my point in all of this is...A) Take the opportunities that present themselves.  B)  Don't waste your time on someone who does not see opportunity in what you present them.

This morning both Marianne and I could have had a thousand excuses on why we did not take this opportunity to go to New York.  I got here because I said yes to the opportunity. Keep true to your path.  Find the opportunities that continue to guide you on your path, and avoid the distractions that steer you away.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 118 - Instructing or Preaching

This morning I was back in a hot yoga flow class at Orlando Power yoga.  I feel very comfortable in these flow classes.  Maybe too comfortable.

I was thinking a lot today about the seeking of "the answers."  About 10 years ago I was fortunate enough to go to one of the Dalia Lama's speeches down in Miami.  There have been quite a few things from his speech that have stuck with me throughout these years.  One of the main things was how he started off the speech.

He expressed how he knew that a lot of people were coming to watch the speech  because they were seeking answers.  They saw him as an all knowing entity that could lead them on their perfect path to enlightenment.  His answer to all of this was that he did not know.  He was only human.  He has such a humble personality in a situation where he can have the biggest ego on earth.

We all need to search for our own answers.  Our answers are not found externally, but rather internally.  We find our answers by experiencing life.  We learn lessons through interacting with other beings.  We grow by looking inside.

I of course am a big pusher of yoga to help dive deeper into my soul.  I am by no means stating it is the only way.  Yoga is what is working for me.  Others might find therapy, meditation, religion, exercise, or what ever it is you find.  This blog however is about my experiences through yoga.

There is a fine line between pushing your beliefs and being your beliefs.  I am now always very cautious that I do not push my beliefs onto others.  I have been around many of these people in my lifetime and know I have also been one of these people, but I am trying hard to rid myself of these practices.

I notice in yoga there are a lot of different types of instructors.  I almost feel that instructors fall in love with yoga so deeply, because it has helped them gain some new insight, or dug them out of some deep hole.  There are instructors out there that loved their practice so much they felt instructing would be great to spread the word.  Become a teacher and try to pass  on the lessons they have learned.  Talking to a lot of insturctors I often find the thing they are working on is often emphasized in their class.  Their insecurities are often what they preach to their students to change.  It is the insecurities they are working on however, and not necessarily the students.

Series yoga such as Ashtanga, Dharma, or Bikram yoga leave less time for the yoga instructor to preach their beliefs.  It is based off a series where the instructor can just bark off the postures and leave the philosophy behind.  The student can then concentrate on their breath, stretching, posture, ect. rather than the core lesson that the instructor may wish the student to discover.  Watch how Pattabhi Jois taught a class.  He really does not have much on "words of wisdom" during his sessions. 

Yoga is about diving deeper inside yourself.  So speeches that may be thought provoking for some may be a distraction for another.  I think one of the biggest issues with becoming an instructor is the belief that once you become an instructor you must become this all knowing guru and teach people the lessons you have learned.  I have seen people embrace this to make them feel more powerful then others.  The Dali Lama taught me that people do not have the answer I am seeking.  I need to discover this myself.  Some of the best classes I have walked out of, the teacher does not say I thing.

As a student who goes to yoga six days a week, I definitely find it hard to look deep inside of me everyday.  I need those western classes that tie personal philosophy into their practice.  I like the distraction from myself.  Many people go to yoga for this external type of enlightenment, but I am pretty sure on my belief that the search for enlightenment can only be found in yoga if you start looking deeper inside yourself.

I have had a great struggle about me teaching yoga.  For years I have seen people who love yoga so much they think the next step is to become a teacher.  I have found my love for yoga is not to get the opportunity to spread the love, but a chance to continue to grow.  Teaching to me would be an avenue to boosting my ego.  I am not looking for an ego.  So many people seem to follow this path.

Maybe I am the only one that thinks this way.  I am sure it is partially a fear on my part.  What do you think?