I met with some dear friends for lunch last week. It’s a monthly lunch with a splendid group of yoginis that I’m very fond of. When we meet our two hour lunches are filled with discussions about everything and anything: yoga, life, family, yoga, work, therapy, laughter, and more yoga 🙂
A neat teaching story came up that inspires this month’s topic of clarity. The story goes like this:
A teacher is teaching her regular weekly class at a local studio. It turns out that this is the week for things to go “catty-wonk” – students are talking in the room before class starts (even with a sign on the door that says “quiet space”), students wearing strong perfumes, a student tries to leave during savasana, a student’s leaves during the chanting of “OM”…
What is going on here?
As this lovely teacher is sharing her story, she mentions how for the next class she had prepared a document she jokingly referred to as the “riot act” – a list of things students need to know about practicing in the space. It included items such as the duration of the class, the importance of staying for the entire length of class to maintain the safety and sacredness of the space, the practice spaces are quiet for those who want to relax and meditation prior to practice, how we ask participants to use scents sparingly or not at all with all the breathing we practice in yoga… the basic low down.
She gets to class ready to read the “riot act” and not one person who attends needs to hear it. It begs the question: What changed? The teacher’s clarity changed. By writing out the “riot act” she put on paper the behaviours that she is looking to cultivate in her students (respect, compassion, and understanding), she set specific and clear boundaries – both on paper and energetically – and this changed what she was attracting in her life.
Neat eh? In the Yoga Teacher Training course we talk about the following formula:
Attention + Intention = Manifestation
Where we put our focus/energy/attention with dedication/intention makes it very clear to the universe what we want and so it comes to be/manifests. It is sometimes easy to forget that we are here to co-create with the Universe… Co-creation is how we really recognize the Divine in ourselves (think “Namaste” – I honor the Divine Light in you).
Attention or focus is something we constantly cultivate and build in our Yoga practices. Where you put your attention, your prana/energy goes. Choose where you focus consciously. Whether you know it or not, your attention will be guided by your intention.
Intention is a cornerstone of all spiritual practice according to my meditation teacher Larry. It helps guide our choices and actions on a deep subconscious level. It is good to know what our intentions are so we can better understand what motivates us, or change it if we realize this is what we need to do.
Clarity is key! Know what you want (intention) so that as you focus on it (attention) you can get what you want (Manifestation). Interestingly, once you get it you might realize you no longer want it, and that’s fine too. At least you know how to get things now.
I love math, science and energetics – especially all at the same time!
When this was first shared with me, I thought it was a big load of hooey. I was very resistant to this idea (for more thoughts on resistance refer to last month’s newsletter). I think it’s because if I own that I co-create and that I attract things to myself, then I am responsible for myself and where I am in my life. When I’m happy it’s easier to own (even easier to claim luck) and when I’m not happy, then it’s really hard to own that my suffering is my own doing. Now that I know, I work on cultivating presence and awareness. It is a challenging practice that requires dedication, practice, patience and compassion.
Since this realization, I’ve started goal setting. The folks at Lululemon are expert goal setters and I’ve really appreciated their assistance with this (you rock Bethany!). They suggest a few different types of goals: personal, health, and career. You could come up with goal types that suit you. Putting things in writing really gives a sense of what is going on inside our minds. For me it’s not about “achieving” the goals, it’s about clarifying my intentions so I know where to put my attention for manifestation!
As we live, we change – everything changes! Where we want to be, what we want to do, why we’re doing things – all this is constantly changing. Our goals can change too. If we know what we want, we are more likely to get it – love, happiness, health, wealth, whatever – and to recognize when we are getting what we want. It’s interesting when someone only realizes after the fact that they had what they wanted, they just didn’t know it at the time… until things change and now they realize that they don’t have what they want. Also neat to see someone create for themselves and (honestly) get a little freaked out when it works!
As with all things, don’t take my word for it – try it for yourself! As Osho explains; Yoga is about experiencing. Experiencing is doing “internal experiments”.
Shantih & Prema (peace and love)! May your adventures in co-creation (with conscious intention!) be fun, fulfilling, and inspiring to you and those whose lives you touch.
Mona L. Warner, ERYT500 & RYS500