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Precious Perplexity

oyster pearl

We all have problems. We all grapple with the unknown, about the Universe, sure, but more specifically about our own complicated life. We all want to solve our problems as quickly and painlessly as possible. But how can our problems actually help train us to become the people we desire. What way can the yoga concept of Santosha, or contentment, help us move through perplexing times?

 

The Push of Problems

Sometimes, it is only by questioning, wondering, or struggling, that we are driven to understand an otherwise hidden part of ourselves and our potential. Our questions and problems fuel us to open our hearts, to seek for inspiration, to perform the necessary work, and more profoundly, to abandon our will to the grander wisdom of the divine. The Divine knows how easy it is to be anesthetized by easy and numbed out by normal. Comfortable can sometimes get in the way of us becoming the greatest version of ourselves.

That’s How the Light Gets In

Like the late, great Leonard Cohen says in his song, “Anthem”:

“Ring the bells that still can ring;

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything;

That’s how the light gets in.”

 

Even the rhyme is broken! He’s pointing to the idea that it’s through our brokenness, through our problems that we find the avenue toward the light.

Learning to Sit

 

When faced with problems, we must at once be willing to seek and do, and also we must sometimes learn to simply sit comfortably and be with what we don’t know or with what doesn’t feel comfortable-happily resolved with the phrase, “I don’t know.” And sometimes to get real answers we must be willing to sit in our own darkness for a while.

This human tendency for control occurs regularly in our yoga practice as many of us strive to either know everything there is to know about yoga or try to perfect our poses; we usually eagerly fill in whatever blanks present themselves in our life’s scripts.

Instead, let us practice the yoga principle of Santosha, or contentment, by learning to sit with and even value perplexity, knowing that it’s molding us into our highest being.

 

Sitting in the Dark

The following poem by David Whyte seems to speak directly to learning from the darkness, instead of running from it.

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

~ David Whyte ~

Namaste

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Yogi Times, Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




Navigating Changes

 

Change Is In The Air

First day of fall. School has started. Schedules are changing, becoming more busy, even despite the pandemic. The crescendo of the presidential election is getting louder. The leaves are changing.

 

Things are always changing. Sometimes we are caught up in the momentum of this motion of change to the degree that it becomes impossible to avoid feeling constantly rushed, out of time, and strained. 

 

We can skillfully navigate these changes and all the vicissitudes of life by creating a grounded seat from which all this change may happen around us without making us lose our center. With a grounded relationship to change, you’ll find yourselves not only able to navigate change but even thriving with this change.

 

Grounding Practices

Here are a few ideas to help us stay grounded amidst change.

  1. Simple meditation technique: Find a quiet place where you can possibly be undisturbed for a few moments (sometimes this is sitting in your car). Sit comfortably and set a timer for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and begin to count your exhales. If your mind wanders or you lose your count, start over with the counting. The objective is not to count to some outrageously high number, but rather to continue to come back to center when you leave. We all wander so there’s no judgment when you do. Try doing this every day. You may want to extend the time to 15, 20, or 30 minutes. 
  2. Make a point to go on a gentle walk and leave your phone behind. Find the joy in walking for the sake of walking. Inform yourself of the natural world and notice the trees, sky, flowers, etc. Like Wallace Stevens said, “Perhaps the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.” When placing yourself in nature, you often remind yourself of your role in the world and how you too are naturally the way you are. 
  3. Practice yoga. Find an online yoga class to class or roll out your mat and begin to breathe. Match your breath with the poses that your body seems to crave. If you’re practicing on your own, don’t worry about practicing for a certain amount of time, just practice whatever feels the most natural. Allow your body the pleasure of gently warming up then release tensions with some long, slow, deep stretches. Give yourself several moments to rest in savasana and then go about your day.

 

With some help is keeping us grounded, you’ll find yourself ready to meet the changes that are unfolding. Best of luck to you as you are navigating whatever changes are occurring in your life. 

Namaste.

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Yogi Times, Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




The Worry Haiku

Rabbit Hole of Worry

We are all subject to doubt and indecision from time to time. Especially during COVID, it’s easy to begin to wallow in worry and start down that dark rabbit hole. And perhaps it is the rabbit hole that will lead us to peace but not the dark hole of worry, rather the rabbit hole that takes us deep inside, into the only real place of solace.

A Different Rabbit Hole

Instead of trying to fix things, I simply looked at them. Maybe what I was fixing was my need to fix things. It took a while but I found some peace there in my heart. And in a moment of clarity, my mind recalled that all these temporary and illusorily (but still important) decisions and responsibilities about our current circumstances will be made clear the more I cultivate and understand that peace, that inner self. I realized that I didn’t need to make a decision or actions about those things now. That what I could to do is grow my relationship with what I call the True Self, the part that isn’t defined by all of these temporary details of those momentarily important decisions. I felt that perhaps whatever my decisions, actions, or endeavors I faced, when made based from a grounded place of inner-peace, will be the product of something trusted and sure. Also, when I looked at my decisions or problems from that place of real clarity, I could see how I was reacting to fears and worries instead of looking at these questions with objectivity where I could move forward with power and conviction. With that sure knowledge of seeing things as they are, I had the courage to step out to those precarious edges of potential, pushed by a power of my own grounded knowledge of Self.

And then suddenly there was no more searching because I’d momentarily found the source-it was right here all along. I’ve also discovered that when I’ve made a decision based on this knowledge of Self, it doesn’t exempt me from problems or struggles further down the road but at least I know that the difficulty I will encounter is necessary turbulence for the path I’ve chosen. It is the Tapas, the medicine, the heat necessary for transformation, that will continue to lead me down my path of self-discovery, the path that feels the most right to me because ultimately it is the product of my True Self.

And as I go that True Self whispers like Gandalf in my ear, “Speak your truth, act with honesty and integrity, and always listen.”

Haiku

The Clash wails questions
Weighed down by indecision.
All things grow from Self.

This week let’s practice our relationship with that inner Self by listening to our bodies and breath.

The “There Is” Practice 

Here’s a simple mindfulness practice you may enjoy which I call the “There Is” Practice

This mindfulness practice is excellent as a prep for Yoga Nidra as well as a beautiful independent meditation practice. It will help you to practice learning to witness the world just as it is without any judgments about it. Start by sitting comfortably with a cushion on the floor (a chair or couch works nice, too). Set a timer and start with a 10-minute practice. Increase the time as you like. 

Close your eyes, and acknowledge all the things you are currently experiencing with the phrase “There Is” in your mind. In your mind, you might say,  “There is the sound of traffic. There is apprehension. There is a 20-pound cat sitting in my lap and licking my big toe.” Anything you sense, feel, think, do, point to it with the phrase, “There Is . . . .”

2 guidelines: First, nothing is good or bad. It just is. Next, avoid the personal pronouns I, me, or my from what you perceive. Instead of “I feel happy,” it’s “There is happiness.” Erasing personal pronouns changes our understanding of what is as something that is more than what is only in relationship to ourselves. We change our relationship from an object where things happen to us into the subject of what experiencing everything.

 

Scott Moore Yoga (Photo by Alex Adams)

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Yogi Times, Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




To Whom Are We Beautiful As We Go

I wish I knew the beauty of leaves falling.
To whom are we beautiful when we go?

Excerpt from “Three In Transition” by David Ignatow

And to whom are we beautiful as we go? This poem seems to point to the fact that even in our failing, there is a part of creation and therefore a part of ourselves that can grant a magnificence to any loss. Such a beautiful concept. Such a bittersweet truth. And perhaps this is why Autumn is so colorful: it is the opulent  funeral procession of the death of so much. It is the rush of fireworks before the quiet stillness of winter.

Shiva NatarajMany of the Hindu icons tell stories. The Dancing Shiva is a story-telling icon depicting Shiva, the creator of the universe, and illustrates the five acts of Shiva.

The concept is the same whether you call the creator, Shiva, God, the Universe, or anything else. In this statue, these 5 acts are depicted by his many arms, one of which is celebrating creation, another that is sustaining his creation, another is allowing death, and another that is not only inviting things back to life, but to live again with a higher consciousness than before.

This statue reminds us that our job is to allow Shiva to lead in this dance of life, to follow along as we are slowly refined into greater beings. It reminds us that death is a part of life and with a broader perspective, we can, to some degree, appreciate it as a necessary part of the cycle.

Mary Oliver writes about learning to accept death and loss in her poem, Maker of All Things, Even Healings. I love the title of the poem because it suggests that the healing, the bringing back to life for a fuller measure of life as in the Dancing Shiva, comes only after accepting death which she does so humbly.

All night
under the pines
the fox
moves through the darkness
with a mouthful of teeth
and a reputation for death
which it deserves.
In the spicy
villages of the mice
he is famous,
his nose
in the grass
is like an earthquake,
his feet
on the path
is a message so absolute
that the mouse, hearing it,
makes himself
as small as he can
as he sits silent
or, trembling, goes on
hunting among the grasses
for the ripe seeds.

Maker of All Things,
including appetite,
including stealth,
including the fear that makes
all of us, sometime or other,
flee for the sake
of our small and precious lives,
let me abide in your shadow–
let me hold on
to the edge of your robe
as you determine
what you must let be lost
and what will be saved.

As we celebrate the panoply of fall colors this fall, may we, too, remember the beauty of leaves falling, the beauty and magnificence of this amazing dance in which we are all twirling, living and dying. May you see your journey through many cycles of death and rebirth as beautiful as the panoply of changing leaves.

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




That’s How The Light Gets In

There’s a brilliant lyric from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem that goes like this:

 

Ring the bells that still can ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.

~Leonard Cohen

 

Brilliant.

I love this for so many reasons but mostly I love how it suggests that you’re not SUPPOSED to be perfect, that it’s by your imperfections that you reveal your own greatness. Somehow through the process of working with you problems—your imperfections, your cracks—is how you arrive at illumination. There’s no better way to practice to acknowledge our flaws than with a yoga and mindfulness practice. Consider, these practices aren’t as much as finding our illumination in the immediate but rather they are there to help us get comfortable and work with our limitations, our weaknesses. Once we can get cool with that, then the illumination part just takes care of itself.

The Grain of Sand and the Pearl

oyster pearlLike the grain of sand that makes becomes the oyster so too is the illness, the imperfection, or the improbable life-circumstances that beset us and therefore makes us perfect. Truthfully, it is not our problems that make us perfect but the practice we must develop to problem-solve around them that does.  Choose a problem, any problem, and whether or not that problem ever resolves, in working toward overcoming (or sometimes simply yielding to it) you will be put on a path of understanding and mastery that will illuminate all your gifts, that will enlarge your soul, and will teach you more about the Universe and yourself than any other thing. An easy life free of problems does not ask you to give birth to that immense but perhaps latent power within you, the being of light within.

Life Lessons

You know how people roll around with a decal of their alma mater plastered on the window of their car? The university decal I want for the back of my ride is one that says I attended Knocks University, The School of Hard Knocks. Its actually quite true that those things that have taught me the most have been my struggles and challenges.

This is why one of my teachers, Judeth Lasater, says, “My gurus all share my last name,” meaning that while close relationships are sometimes hard, they are the things that will teach us most poignantly about our True Nature and place us on the path to our own understanding. I love this quote by Judeth Lasater because it suggests that you don’t need to run off to India to find some of your life’s most valuable lessons. Your greatest teachers could be at this moment ditching school to smoke pot with their friends. It’s simply by being in conversation with those things that seem like a challenges that we find ourselves growing toward our most illuminated being. Just take a breath. Your teenager might agree.

The Heat of Transformation

Yoga and meditation are excellent ways that expose our weaknesses. For me, it shows me exactly where my limitations are and in the very same breath helps me understand where I can go. It’s incredible how once you can allow what is to be, growth is almost always the very next step. We celebrate and even embrace the natural process of our own growth through our challenges as we bask in the heat of our own transformation through our yoga postures and meditation practice. Knowing and celebrating that we are all imperfect allows us to practice yoga and meditation without any end in mind other than simply practicing. The same way that we are not perfect, none of our poses can be perfect. Or better said, we and the poses we express are all perfect in their imperfections, the well-earned pearls of our textured existence.

I invite you to celebrate your own divine nature through your imperfections and see how the light gets in.

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




Appreciating Underlying Form

Sometimes, a subject like yoga or meditation is so dense, it’s hard to know where to start and really how to appreciate it. However, once you begin to learn a little about the underlying principles and form of the subject, that subject can come alive in new and exciting ways. You learn to see all the beauty in it. Similarly, practicing yoga and meditation helps you to understand a little of your own underlying form so that you can appreciate your life with deeper appreciation. 

 

Learning to Appreciate Underlying Form

I love jazz. I love Jazz because it is a language. It speaks to a culture, a sophisticated musical discipline, and a style. For the longest time, I wanted to like jazz music but didn’t. Not much of it, anyway. I liked Kenny G. 

 

The first time I heard John Coltrane, all I heard was chaotic lines of complex notes hurled out the tail end of a tenor saxophone. But now, when I hear John Coltrane, I’m so taken by the music that I can’t keep up a conversation with anyone else because of the conversation I’m having with the music. So, what’s changed? 

 

In part, I believe it was because I started to learn to play the sax. I’d always wanted to play the sax (to sound like Kenny G). When I was a kid, my dad asked his uncle Lester, a professional sax player, what it would take to help me appreciate playing the sax. Lester told my dad to start me on the piano, move to the clarinet, and then to the sax. That way I would have the rudiments, the underlying principles of music and woodwind instruments to spring me forward as I started to play the sax. 

 

I never really met Lester. There exists a sun-bleached photo of me and my entire family posing for the camera on his back porch but this was before dawn of my consciousness—I was about three and don’t remember it at all. Well, Lester died. And nobody remembers exactly how, nobody remembers doing it, but somehow his horns showed up on my doorstep with my name on them. I was 13. I’d been playing the clarinet for 2 years and I was itching to start the sax. Problem was, I didn’t have one. Not until that day when Lester’s horns, (yep, he gave me not one but TWO saxophones, an alto and a tenor AND a clarinet) showed up thanks to a mystery and the US postal service. I scarcely remember a more exciting or more reverent day of my life than when I received those horns. They are the saxes I still play today more than 30 years later. That day, I remember feeling like something very important had just happened to my life.

 

That summer, I started to blow through the horns and figured out how to finger the notes and make a decent sound before I started working with a sax teacher. Lester was right and the clarinet and piano had paid off.  As I continued to learn to play the sax, I began to learn to play jazz. The more I began to understand the underlying form and direction of jazz, the more I could appreciate what was happening when I heard jazz. And with just a little bit of experience of playing jazz, I grew and entirely new appreciation for  jazz, I could hear it completely differently. I developed a thick listening for jazz. I understand the instruments expressing emotions and experiences. I learned to hear intervals between notes, feel chord changes come and go and understand and appreciate the inherent tension and release of jazz. More than that heady stuff though, I can sit back and feel the groove and swing of it, I can feel the flavor and texture of it. I can appreciate the personalities behind the music. For me, when you’re invited to see the bigger picture, I can savor the individual parts better. 

 

“Thick Listening”

 

This is often what happens when we begin to understand and appreciate the underlying form of almost anything be it jazz or yoga.  A yoga asana is beautiful on the outside but understanding the underlying form—the mechanics of muscles, bones and even subtleties like energy and intention—makes the posture understandable, enjoyable and enlightening. Yoga is about understanding oneself deeper. Any deeper look inward, even just at anatomy, fulfills the ends of yoga. 

 

 

The underlying form expresses itself clearly in the outerlying form in our yoga postures: slumped shoulders might manifest for the depressed or burdened or shy, broad shoulders for the confident, open hearted, and gregarious. As a teacher, I can’t read your mind, can’t feel your soul, but I can see how your consciousness produces the product of a very engaged outer form. So in that sense, I often know whether your mind is present by how your poses look. The outerlying form reflects the under.

 

Of course the underlying and outer lying forms are inseparable. You can’t have the pose without the energy or thought or emotion behind it, you can’t have jazz without its history and culture, you can’t have the blues, without feeling blue. Appreciating our being is learning to have a “thick listening” for all parts of our being.  Establishing a “thick listening” for our lives helps us engage in life on a richer and deeper level. By understanding the underlying form, we might acquire a taste for more complex things like deeper poses, meditation, Coltrane or dark chocolate. And soon we might begin to understand a little about the underlying form of all things and learn to see that with increased flavor and appreciation.

 

So maybe, years later, because I’ve learned a little about the underlying form of jazz, for my buck I’d choose John Coltrane over Kenny G, though I still understand Kenny G’s technical proficiency and his beautifully clear and distinct sound. 

 

I invite you to practice thick listening for your life this week. Focus on understanding yourself by looking at your underlying form both in practical, anatomical ways as well as conscious, meditative ways. 

 

Until then, if you’re interested click here to hear John Coltrane play Blue Trane, in my opinion one of the best sax solos in all of jazz.  

Photo by Joshua Terry

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




Satva: Finding The Middle Way

The Samkhya school of classical yoga philosophy describes the universe and all its qualities using three main humors, called gunas. These are Rajas, Tamas, Sattva. Everything in the Universe from seasons to personalities demonstrates some combination of these gunas. Understanding the ancient but basic principle of the gunas can help you live a life that feels perfectly balanced for you. 

 

Rajas: Fire

The first of the humors is called Rajas and is generally considered the quality of building, full of fire, energizing, active, prone to change, etc. Think of summer as the season with the most Rajas—it’s hot, things are growing (building) and thus changing. A stage of life that demonstrates a lot of Rajas is the years when you’re learning the most and growing the most or demonstrating a lot of ambition to make your way in the world, the early and mid-adult stage. 

 

Tamas: Ice

The perfect counterbalance of Rajas is 

Tamas which is generally known as grounding, calming, and inert. Tamas is demonstrated in seasons like winter when everything is still, cold, and frozen. The stages of life that demonstrates the most Tamas are early childhood (think cubby baby that sleeps a lot) and when we retire from work or start to slow down in our later years. 

 

Sata: The Middle Way

Rajas and Tamas are not only demonstrated in major periods of life, but also in your day-to-day energy, feeling, and attitude. Regardless of stage of life, you might generally be a very active person but due to a lot of busyness or a heavy workout, you might be feeling a little Tamasic and need to chill out on the couch with some ice cream and Netflix. Other days, you might be feeling gobs and gobs of energy and want to tackle a project. This is Rajas.

 

Now, the balance between Rajas and Tamas is called Satva. Satva is the perfect “Goldilocks” of the two extremes. Satva is what we are aiming for in all of our physical, mental, and spiritual practices. Sometimes we must skillfully negotiate our efforts or ease in these practices to find ourselves demonstrating Satva. Satva feels balanced—energized but not spastic, clear and open-minded without being lost in the clouds, energized without feeling out of control. 

 

In the ancient text of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali the author suggests balancing all of our efforts between effort (Rajas) and ease (Tamas) to find the perfect middle way and to find success in our endeavors. Doing so promotes longevity, productivity, and joy in the practice. 

 

Even after a vigorous asana practice, savasana is the essential balancing act at the end that helps you to walk away feeling Satvic for the rest of the day. Similarly, after a Restore yoga practice it might sometimes helps to go on a gentle walk. Just like Goldilocks, the middle way feels most comfortable, the most like home.

 

For those of us who love to bliss out on Rajas and train or play really hard, don’t worry. Just remember that there is a time to sit and meditate too. Also, those of us who could indulge in Tamas and stay on our cozy meditation cushions all day long and then celebrate with a box of Hatch Family Chocolates, well, maybe you could try at least try going for a walk afterwords.

 

Most importantly, these principles remind us that balance is not only comfortable, but optimal. If you need to add more Tamas to your life, more ease, try a Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) or Restore class. If you could balance out some sluggishness by adding a little Rajas, try a Vinyasa Flow class. 

 

Bakasana Scott Moore photo by Dallas Graham

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




Remedies for Busyness

On Busyness

Are you busy? I’m busy. It seems like we’re all busy. And when your schedule is busy your mind is busy processing and planning and negotiating it all to make sure it gets done. And that is precisely the trapping of busyness: you get so harried, so scattered, that you can’t really focus on anything very well. Your nervous system gets shorted out, your energy reserves get depleted, and you never have enough time and you end up increasingly more and more tired. 

 

I don’t think we’re alone. In fact, around 200 AD the yoga scholar Patanjali wrote an entire yoga sutra on the topic. It’s the primary source for all the philosophy most of us yogis study. Right at the beginning of this ancient text he states very clearly that the entire purpose for doing yoga is to stop the mind from all its busyness. And that was 1800 years ago before kids’ soccer practice, the 9-5, and the 27 zoom meetings we have in a day.

 

How To Chill The Mind: Body, Mind, Spirit

But chilling out in the mind is easier said than done, right? It’s like when I get worked up about something, am really upset, and someone comes up to me and gratuitously offers that smidgen of  infallible advice, “Hey, chill out.” Rarely, has advice ever found purchase with me. I imagine myself stopping mid-freakout, relaxing all my tension, and just as that stupid smile of contented relief begins to spread across my face, I say, “Thanks! Why didn’t I think of that?” No! I need to work through it. I gotta talk it out and maybe use some of that energy in some yoga poses or something.

 

Well, the same goes with busyness. It doesn’t work to simply say, stop being so busy all the time. There needs to be a processing, an accounting for the busyness and then maybe we can find some practical and lasting method of stopping the madness. Yoga teaches that body, mind, and spirit are all connected so one way to stop the busyness is to incorporate your body and some breath into your daily routine.. 

 

After a while of running around with your head cut off, if you’re like me, you’ll take a moment from the craziness and ask if there is a better way of being. Ironically, part of the processes of reducing busyness is getting completely exhausted, completely fed up with busyness, to realize it’s not you and to begin the mindful process of escaping the madness. Maybe, if you’re like me, you could take a good honest look at why you make your schedule so busy. Maybe another question to ask is, “What are those things in life that mean the most to me?” and begin to organize your time and energy toward that stuff first. 

 

I suppose this is what yoga does for us. Yoga gives us the opportunity to first pause for reflection and for focus then give us something to DO. It is one of the most practical ways I know of learning to practice being in a place where everything is simplified down to that which makes the most sense, body and breath. 

 

Simplify: What Matters The Most

 

Maybe with this simplified perspective, we can take a look at those things on our schedule that don’t really serve us and commit to spend some time, meditating, doing some yoga, or catching up on those things that really matter to you. 

 

But what about all the stuff we gotta do for our kids, taking them to this practice, this playdate, this kids’ activities? With a little mindfulness and creativity, you’ll find a solution for that too. After all, what are we teaching them with all of our busyness?

 

If doing yoga is going to be one more thing that busies your schedule, I might suggest taking the pressure off of yourself and simplify it with only a few minutes of your favorite poses. You don’t have to do 90 minutes of yoga to be effective. 

 

If you find yourself encumbered with busyness, I invite you take a good look at what most matters to you in your life and organize your life based on what means the most to you. Use some poses to approach your mind through the avenue of your body. 

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




Learning to Be

Self Witnessing

In yoga, and Yoga Nidra we practice self-witnessing as we breathe, move through poses, and meditate. Without this self-witness you can’t see you.

No amount of others seeing or perceiving you will supplement for a lack of knowing yourself. It’s the paradox of rock stars feeling so lonely. Like a friend told me recently, it’s as if in our quest to experience and really discover/remember who we are, we feel like being seen by others is synonymous to being. There must be something there to see, right? But being witnessed isn’t witnessing. Yoga philosophy suggests that who we are fundamentally is the ability to truly witness ourselves. 

 

“Thanks, Mr. Oblique Yoga Philosophy Guy. That’s some awesome yoga thought but give me some real-life ways to relate that to getting up in the morning and facing another day of work and family and the every-day.” 

 

How to Witness

Well, the easiest way to apply this is to just pay attention to your life. What does it feel like to sit in a warm shower and let the water flow over your skin? What do the blossoms smell like when you walk down the sidewalk? What does your breakfast taste like? What does it feel like when your boss walks by? Yoga practice is simply a condensed and refined way of paying close attention.

 

Besides yoga makes us feel great, helps us have a healthy body, calm mind, and open heart. Here’s the deal: once we start practicing this self-witnessing business in yoga, we won’t stop at Namaste. We’ll be feeling our hamstrings in practice one night, and wake up extremely aware of the way the shower feels or maybe start to see the deep feelings in your heart. These are the most real ways of just being. The deeper we pay attention, the more we notice what’s behind the surface, what’s animating the outer form, what’s sensing, what’s seeing. Eventually, with practice, we become more and more familiar with this Inner Self. What’s amazing is how this knowledge of our inner-self gives us amazing confidence to just be. We stop trying to produce the image of ourselves, and we just be ourselves. 

 

Being Mark Twain

It reminds me of tales of Mark Twain. Often when he delivered lectures, like one would expect he would walk out on stage the crowd would applaud and then quiet down listening intently for what he would say. But what people didn’t expect is that often, Mark Twain wouldn’t start talking right away. He’d stand there in front of a packed auditorium and stare down the audience. Each second that passed wound the tension tighter and tighter. One man looking at thousands. He didn’t have to perform. He didn’t have to say anything. He was Mark-Freekin’-Twain! Finally, when the tension became almost unbearable, he would say but one word and have the entire audience in his hands. Now that’s presence!

 

Writers and poets, yogis and meditators all have one crucial thing in common: they’ve developed a keen attention to themselves and the world around them. 

 

May you practice some of this self-witnessing in whatever form you love to be present. Maybe this is what John Lennon meant when he sang, “Let it be.”

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




Many Paths

My teacher once said, “When you understand something all the way down to its root, you understand everything else.” This is one of those time-lapsed lessons, like a photo of the night sky, taken over several hours that shows you in one shot what actually takes a long time to occur.

 

 

Enlightenment of Everything

The Gayatri Mantra is a mantra which essentially states that if I truly understood that everything originates from the same source, I would see that everything is integrally connected and therefore I have everything I need. What I’ve been practicing lately is understanding how through my different disciplines of focus and study in life, yoga/mediation, music, and human relationships, I can see the SAME truths manifest whether I’m practicing sun salutations, playing Coltrane on my sax, or learning to truly listen to my wife and life-partner. Like the Gayatri mantra states, understanding something to its core, means understanding that everything comes from that core.

The ancient yoga sutras give us insight on how to achieve Samadhi, the fullest experience of yoga when one realizes the connectedness of all things and becomes all things. There are several paths to this end—the sutras list 8. Through practicing, yoga, and meditation, I’ve come to understand that it’s foolish to think that one can only get the knowledge and wisdom of Samadhi by practicing yoga. Once I get a taste for what it is, I can feel Samadhi in yoga, hear it in Coltrane, I can feel in when my wife and I are truly connected. Sometimes it takes practicing a discipline and arriving at the finish line, or even at mile markers along the way, to realize that there are several paths that could have brought you there.

 

Many Ways to Roll

So knowing that there are several ways to roll, and I get to choose the one that work best for me, I still choose yoga/meditation, music, and love as my pathways to my personal wisdom and fulfillment. And when someone tells me of their passion for their path, be it Pilates, badminton, painting, or death metal (that’s right), I am offered an opportunity to practice listening and compassion to understand how that pathway could bring that soul to the same place. Critics might say that death metal couldn’t possibly bring someone to the same place that yoga or meditation could. To critics, I would proffer: start listening to death metal.

If yoga and meditation speak to you, I’d be honored to offer you my free Tranquility Tool Kit, which gives you many resources to find your own path.  I’m thrilled to have a job where I get to practice and teach one of the very things that brings me toward my highest truth and I celebrate the opportunity to meet like-minded people along the way. And if what takes you there is death metal, my earphones are ready.

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




Learning to Be Lost

Paris. Rush hour. I was on a crowded bus, daydreaming. Someone bumped into me, breaking my reverie. “Excusez-moi,” a man said happily. “Pas de problem,” I responded and looked up to see a blind man with a wide smile groping his way, inch by inch, toward the front of the bus. He spoke to the driver and a moment later the bus made an unscheduled stop.

The blind man offered a heart-felt “merci” and he tenuously felt his way down the bus stairs to the busy street. A walking stick would not have helped in this concentration of people. He stepped brazenly and alone into the rapid current of foot traffic. After a few steps, just enough to avoid the bus he stumbled up onto the sidewalk, stopped, lifted his bright face upward, and asked the deaf ocean of people if there were anyone who could might point him in the right direction. Immediately a lovely and stylish woman materialized from the busy crowd, a complete stranger. The woman gently touched the blind man’s arm, wrapped her other hand affectionately through his bent elbow, and the two of them made a quarter turn. Then the two strangers set off together across the crowded Pont Neuf, talking and laughing as naturally and casually as if they were on a date, strolling toward the opera matinée. The smile on the blind man’s face never once strayed as if he had expected this woman to be right there when he stepped off the bus. He had set a date with destiny. As I sat in the bus again staring out the window, I wished that I could somehow, magically hear their conversation as they dissolved into an ocean of people. 

 

I think about that experience sometimes. Sometimes, I feel like I’m stumbling through life like a blind man, walking around busy streets, tripping off the bus, bumping, into the sidewalk, and graciously, not without some self-deprecating humor, asking humbly for some kind soul to give me direction, to hold my arm and steer me to the other side of the river, over the bridge. And sometimes I think, “don’t give me the answers right away. Nor give me back my sight. At least not yet. Let me be blind, if only for a while, so that I may learn to feel my way, so that I may learn to ask for help and know of something deeper within, so I may learn to trust my deepest hearts direction. Let me look inside to find my vision.”

 

To find my way I close my eyes, like the blind man I suppose, and look inward. I find my way onto my yoga mat and mediation cushion and by so doing I hope to find my way. There, I discover a faith inside that says that what’s more important than figuring out the specific details of my life, my true work lies with first coming to know my deep inner-Self. That’s true sight. I see that I must learn to feel with my heart and trust that feeling and not just intellectualize each direction. Armed with inner sight and feeling, all of the details and particulars of my life will naturally grow and evolve as they should. I can go on blind. My gut tells me to go ahead and make my plea to the Universe against the din of the world and ask for what I want, where to go, and what to do, and then watch to see what emerges. It tells me that I must learn to be lost, to ask directions, and ask permission. I must risk a little. I must keep my heart open and ask myself regularly how my heart feels. I have faith, just like the blind man, that by feeling, I will find my way to where I need to be and that along the way I should expect something lovely. 

 

I hope you stumble onto your mat this week and find some inner vision. Let’s expect something lovely as we move blindly through this life together, arm in arm like we’re heading to the opera matinée. 

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




Habits Heal or Harm

Photo by Seneca Moore

I love to  run on trails. Even when I’m grudging up an enormous mountain, it rarely feels like that much effort. Starting  my run, I check out my watch to see how much time I GET to run, rather than sizing up how much I feel I HAVE to run. After my run, I like to do some of my favorite poses. The entire experience feel exhilarating. It doesn’t feel like work. It’s one of my favorite habits that has blessed me with better sleep, greater physique, more energy, and most importantly, regular bouts of joy and pleasure.

Find something that you love that is also healthy in body, mind in spirit and make it a habit. Your habits will either make you you want to be or turn you in to exactly what you despise. Sometimes, we have to learn to love some of those things that are good for us but your body, mind, and spirit will quickly respond positively and crave more and more of it.  Drink enough water, eat your veggies, do something physical every day. Practice yoga. Meditate. Practice gratitude.

Physical Habits

I do something physical every day. I have a regular yoga and exercise regimen, but even on my off days or recovery days I also try to stay physical with some light yoga, or restore yoga. Also, I’m an older dad, mid-40s with a toddler, so there’s a lot of wrestling and bounding about with the little one and I never turn down an opportunity to play. Either way, I plan every day with how I’m going to use my body that day.

Research suggests that mindfulness benefits our bodies, not just our minds.

Eating Habits

Find and discover those foods that are healthy that are also healthy. Steamed broccoli with some garlic and a little butter and dusting of salt—incredible. I plan on drinking a daily alkaline green drink: greens, cukes, avos, celery and maybe an apple or some dates. Delish! I’ve completely lost the taste for soda. When I get thirsty all I want is a big fat glass of water. I plan on filling up and drinking down my 32 oz water jug at least 3 times a day. When I’m eating (and drinking) my allotted servings of veg and fruits a day, drinking enough water, etc, I find myself craving the garbage food less and less. And when I do have a treat, I don’t turn it into a meal. I also don’t have any guilt about it. I saw a great instruction on social media lately that said essentially, “How to enjoy a guilt-free dessert: Step 1. make a dessert. Step 2. eat it.” Generally eat healthy and use a treat as a treat, not a meal and avoid the guilt.

Spiritual Habits

Spiritual can be defined myriad ways. I think of spirituality as anything that helps you be a better person on the inside and or connects you with the Universe outside. I choose to meditation, practice Yoga Nidra ,

Set up a weekly routine of general eating habits, your regular yoga and meditation classes, and general way of being. You don’t have to be perfect in this—it’s is a lifestyle, not just a challenge. That means once in a while it will be your birthday your normal routine will be shot—all you’ll consume will be booze and sugar. You’ll probably be reminded that what you really wanted for your birthday was to do what makes you feel great. But then the next day you start back up and there’s no judgment, no problem.

After weeks, months, and years of regularly doing what you love and what is healthy for you, you will realize that you’ve made some pretty big strides toward being the person that you knew you always were. it’s your habits that form your health, character, and happiness.

This week in one of my live, online Yoga Nidra classes, one of my students who has joined my online sessions for many months commented with great happiness about the cumulative effect of doing Yoga Nidra regularly.

There are some lessons which can only be learned through a cumulative effect.

So choose those things that love which are also healthy for you in body, mind, and spirit and make them a habit.

 

Scott Moore Yoga (Photo by Alex Adams)

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




Living Courageously

Often when we think of courage, we conjure ideas of running into a fiery building to save someone or jumping out of an airplane however, perhaps an even truer definition of courageous means to live your life connected to your heart. Through mindfulness practices like Yoga Nidra meditation you may learn to connect to your heart to listen to the message of your heart, and to have the courage to prioritize your life according to what matters most to you. In so doing, you share your heart’s gift with the world.

Living Full of Heart

Courage comes from the french word, Coeur, meaning heart. Therefore, courageous means being full of heart. Living courageously means loving the world and bravely prioritizing what you love. It means having the courage to share your heart’s gift with the world. Howard Thurman was an author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader who once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Giving your heart’s gift to the world means offering your love and the fruits of that love as a gift. You give it because it’s a joy to do so, whether or not there’s any reciprocity. 

 

How do you give your gifts to the world? Do you prioritize sharing your gift? The world needs what only you can offer. Some people’s gift to the world is very public and for others it’s quite private. You might love the world through music, raising children, or practicing law—there are countless ways to love the world. The way you love the world might simply be the way you can observe and appreciate it. Regardless, every one has a gift to share the world and that gift is equal to the way in which you love the world.

Image Credit: Waking Times

Sourcing the Heart

In searching for our heart’s gift for the world and how to share it, sometimes, we need to gain wisdom about ourselves, wisdom that may lie deeper than our conscious, rational thinking mind. Yoga Nidra is an excellent (and relaxing) practice to plumb these depths and hear the secret message of our heart. It does this by placing you into a state between waking and dreaming, one of relaxed alertness, which acts as a secret doorway to visit the Source that is within you. It’s like a doorway to your heart. This is why I’ve dedicated several sessions in my live online Yoga Nidra class (on Wednesdays and Sundays) to explore sourcing your heart’s gift and set the conditions necessary to hear the wise Oracle inside you whispering what your gifts are for the world and how to share them with the world. 

 

The Oracle Inside of You

The Oracle Inside of you, whispering your gifts of your heart, may be closer and easier to hear thank you think. I’m passionate about Yoga Nidra, a relaxing form of meditation that uses layered Awareness and relaxation to tune into hear your heart’s message to yourself. Please enjoy this free Yoga Nidra practice: Waking from the Dream, Opening to Awareness. I’ve made it just for you and hope that by listening to it you too will learn to hear what’s inside of your heart and how to courageously share it with the world.

 

Scott Moore Yoga (Photo by Alex Adams)

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 

 




Tuning Your Heart Strings

On my personal blog, I wrote something called Unique Tunings for Guitars. It essentially explains the phenomenon of “sympathetic vibration,” for example how a guitar string is tuned to ring at a certain frequency and if I’m playing an A on my another instrument on the other side of the room from the guitar hanging on the wall, the A string which is tuned to ring at the same frequency, will hear its song sung by the other instrument and spontaneously begin to sing along, regardless of the fact that nobody’s around it. It’s like a ghost decided to play along. 

Our hearts strings are tuned in a similar way. When they sing when they hear their song they tend to vibrate as well. Perhaps the best way to approximate what Source is would be to call it love. So, when you love something or someone and you feel your heart strings a hummin’, well, that’s Source hearing it’s song. To find out what Source has in mind for you in this life, what your heart’s gift for the world is, just notice what you love. 

So, what resonates with you, what do you love? Even if you don’t know what your heart’s gift for the world is—your purpose for life— loving the world IS your purpose. Period. Focus on what you love and prioritize your attention on those things. Do you love ceramics? Do you love to ski? Do you love to teach? If it feels like the only thing in the world you love is your cat, then maybe your heart’s gift for the world is to love that cat for all you’re worth. Lucky cat. Give up the notion that you gotta be Ghandi or Lady Gaga to bless the world. Someone’s already been assigned that job. You’ve got your own job and it has something to do with what makes your heart sing. That’s it. It can be that simple. 

 

Keep in mind, though, that everything in this Universe is in some sort of orbit and subject to change, even your heart’s gift for the world, so don’t get too attached. Be connected enough to Source, to the love that is within you, to know when you might be called to love in a different direction.

 

Whether you know your heart’s gift for the world or not, it often takes  getting quiet, becoming introspective, and a ton of courage to learn to know it and/or organize your life in order to share it with the world. 

Like I said, maybe discovering what your heart’s gift for the world is takes being a little more familiar with Source. If you and Source aren’t really on a first-name basis, you might want to try some meditation. But sitting down, lighting some incense, and closing your eyes, while trying to focus despite the scratchy licks from the textured tongue of your beloved cat, may not instantly open up that deep wisdom you seek from your heart. Sometimes, to hear those secrets from your heart, you gotta set the conditions right to “listen.” Sometimes this means starting with some movement, some breath work, some gratitude,  and then do your meditation. Even still, the message might not come right away but as you regularly draw inward, slowly, you’ll learn to hear the quiet but sure voice of your heart. As you do, it will undoubtedly tell you what your heart’s gift for the world is and how to share it. I promise.

 

Scott Moore Yoga (Photo by Alex Adams)

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




What Makes You Come Alive? Following YOUR Path.

What Makes You Come Alive?

Philosopher, theologian, and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman once famously said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Making the biggest difference in the world means giving your heart’s gift to the world means offering your love and the fruits of that love as a gift. You give it because it’s a joy to do so, whether or not there’s any reciprocity. 

What does your heart’s gift for the world mean? How do you find it? What does it look like to share it? This is another way of saying following your Dharma.

 

Finding Your Gifts

Ever witness someone else do what they are meant to be doing in this world? Ever see the perfectly mowed lawn and say to yourself, “That dude was BORN to mow lawns!” or sit in a piano recital and say “that kid plays Bach like it’s her JOB!” or that woman is the APOTHEOSIS of a kindergarten teacher”? 

 

 

Seeing them do their thing moves us because somehow it gives us permission and nudges us to find and/or do what we were meant to do. 

 

Sylvia Plath gift to the world was poetry. Mikhail Baryshnikov gift to the world is ballet. Oprah Winfrey’s gift for the world… is being Oprah Winfrey. 

 

A heart’s gift for the world is what you were meant to do. It’s a gift because you give it to the world to make the world a better place and it’s a joy just to give it, regardless of reciprocity. 

 

Everyone has a heart’s gift for the world. Some of us know it. Some don’t. Some people’s heart’s gifts are very public, others’ are private. Someone’s heart’s gift may or may not be how they make their living. Sometimes you get a job and then through that work, it reveals to you something you didn’t know about yourself, the gift that was hidden inside of you. That’s true for me and teaching yoga and meditation. Through many years of teaching it, I’ve discovered how much teaching yoga and meditation makes my heart sing. It’s taught me volumes about myself and I absolutely LOVE it. If I were stranded on a desert island I’d still practice yoga and meditation and probably teach the sea birds everything I know about the subjects. 

Why Wouldn’t God Be Prince?

 

And think about it, if you were God and could express yourself in any way you chose, why wouldn’t you come to know yourself, at least in part, through playing the guitar like Joni Mitchell, or Eddie Van Halen, or Prince? Answer: there’s no way you WOULDN’T be Prince cuz Prince was incredible and he made the world an incredible place with his music, God rest his soul.

To discover and express your heart’s gift to the world means you gotta be connected to Source, the portion of Source that’s inside of you. Source— you know, Creation, The Universe, God, the Great EVERYTHING, Krishna, Sarah The Magical Unicorn, whatever you want to call that thing that is at once inside of you while simultaneously inside of EVERYTHING else. After all, the Divine is waking up to know itself through and as YOU. The Divine is using your hands, your mouth, your talents to move this whole Universe along and to grow into discovering itself. So if Source is coming to know itself as you, don’t you think you ought to know a thing or two about Source so you can help yourself be what you were meant to be?  

 

Well according to Source, you’re just as much a rockstar as the artist formerly to this world as Prince was. Your gifts may not be as public as Prince’s but you gotta remember, to the gladiolas in that garden of the little white house on the corner— you know the one, it’s the one with nary a weed, the one where the most feral of cats wouldn’t even dare to trespass to do their business in there, the one where you make excuses to walk by it, socially distanced of course, just so you can be near its beauty— well, to the flowers in that garden, the little old lady that keeps that Eden is nothing short of a rockstar. The same Source exists within you as it did Prince and those stunning gladiolas.

Rock On!

 

Yes, you are a rockstar, though your venue for rocking might be raising kids, might be litigating corporate fat cats, or hosting peace rallies. Maybe your venue for rocking is simply the way you appreciate the world— it’s your style. Whatever it is, you are called on to rock and the world needs your heart’s song.

Rock on. Do what you do by following what you love.

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.