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Kindness and Happiness

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Mary Oliver, a famous  American poet and writer said ““Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields. Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” ~ I really love this quote.  “Watch, now how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”  This quote really speaks to the small ways and rituals that we can use to start our days with hope, positivity and a sense of connection to the earth.  As Rumi, another poet, once said “there are a 1,000 ways to kiss the earth.”  There are more than 1000 ways to start the day positively with kindness and happiness.  We each just have to make a choice and take action every day.  For some it is a prayer.  For some it is an early morning stand up paddle adventure on a quiet lake.  For some it is time watching birds or digging hands in to the garden.  For some it is reading something inspirational. For some listening to music or walking the dog.  There are so many ways to start our days well.  It is such a gift to ourselves, and the people we come into contact with when our days start well.   When I teach yoga classes, my students come for 1 hour a week.  What they learn and practice in that one hour is what they continue to learn and practice in their every day lives.  The formal practice ends, but the informal practice continues.   We always start every class with an intention and a blessing.  We are quiet, grateful and we focus on becoming present.  It is a great way to start the class, and a great way to start the day.   The yogi’s understood that many people have very tight jaws.  We use the jaw all day to eat and talk and some people clench their jaws.  So at the start of every class we relax and release the muscles and tendons and ligaments where the jaw attaches to the skull.  And we maintain that in every pose whether we are lying on our backs or doing a standing balancing pose. Perhaps starting the day with a few moments of relaxing the jaw is beneficial for some people. The yogi's have always recognized that being in contact with the earth is very settling for the nervous system.  So starting your day with your feet on the earth is good for the whole system.  There are so many ways to do that.  There isn’t one way that fits everyone.  We are all unique and each need to find our own methods.  The key is that you know yourself and what sets you up for a great day.  Life is short.  It all ends at some point.  I keep on trying to make the best of every day and it all starts when I wake up.

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