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A Twitter friend (also known as a “Tweep”) sent me a great link to a post featuring pictures of cats in various yoga poses, one of which is featured below. Be sure to click on the link to see all of the hilarious photos.  Thanks to Danny Ashton for sharing this with me, as well as the folks at SimplySweat for the original post.

10 Yoga Postures Performed By Cats

Most of Yoga actually imitates what animals do easily and many yoga positions will require you to imitate some sort of animal. Old Yoga gurus believed that by taking the posture of a certain animal; we can embody the cosmic energy and thus achieve a stability of mind and body.

Cat doing Cobra (a.k.a. Bhujangasana)

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Have you ever had those times when you just seem to be bombarded by the same issue over & over again? It’s the same problem, it just keeps coming at you from different angles? Such has been the case in my life recently with the whole concept of forgiveness. Despite the direction I turn, it keeps finding me in the cross-hairs pinned down by a relentless barrage of painful episodes. The faces of the messengers are different, but their message is the same … I need to “let go” of the past. Exactly what that looks like & how to do it, I don’t know but I better get it figured out.

* * *

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” Paul Boese

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*Originally posted March 3, 2010

Heart of the Matter

I got the call today, I didn’t wanna hear
But I knew that it would come
An old true friend of ours was talkin’ on the phone
She said you found someone
And I thought of all the bad luck,
And the struggles we went through
And how I lost me and you lost you
What are these voices outside love’s open door
Make us throw off our contentment
And beg for something more?

I’m learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore

These times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
People filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age
The trust and self-assurance that can lead to happiness
They’re the very things we kill, I guess
Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
And the work I put between us,
You know it doesn’t keep me warm

I’m learning to live without you now
But I miss you, Baby
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I figured out, I have to learn again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But everything changes
And my friends seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore

There are people in your life who’ve come and gone
They let you down and hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; life goes on
You keep carryin’ that anger, it’ll eat you inside

I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
Because the flesh will get weak
And the ashes will scatter
So I’m thinkin’ about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore

Who Gets the Pass?

Why is it that some of us walk through our lives, expecting that others should know and understand that we are wounded and give us a pass on our insecurities, while at the very same time we’ll make no allowance for the possibility that other people are equally (and perhaps even more) wounded, hurt & insecure too?

Value Every Minute

To realize the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute: Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have. You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.

~Author Unknown

I heard Dr. Mehmet Oz the other day suggest three easy changes to your morning routine that can make a big difference in your day.

  1. Start each day with stretching. Dr. Oz says he begins his morning with 7 minutes of yoga.
  2. Eat breakfast.
  3. Get to work, appointments, classes, etc., 5 minutes early.

The first two I don’t have a problem accomplishing. But the third point? Well, it addresses time management, one of my great life challenges and no coincidence 🙂 one of new year resolutions.

It is very difficult for me to get a handle on time. I suffer from two critical flaws — I over schedule my day and I underestimate the time it takes to do any given task. If it takes 15 minutes with no traffic to get to the doctor’s office and I have an appointment at 2:00, I will leave at 1:45. I allow for no contingencies. And heaven forbid, I actually get somewhere EARLY.

Dr. Oz says that being late will stress you out and cause high blood pressure. It also shows  — and this is important for me to remember — disrespect to those that are waiting for you. When you keep someone waiting you are in essence saying, “My time is more important than yours.” He pointed out that a late arrival  puts you at a deficit when you come into a meeting. You may have missed information and the other person has an advantage.

I took a yoga teacher training with the esteemed Judith Lasater who is a stickler about time. As those of you who have taught  workshops and classes  know (yoga or otherwise), it can be difficult to get a large group of people assembled and quieted. Not for Judith. She rings the bell and starts (with a moment of silence) whether people are settled in or not. You learn quickly not to be late, and if you are, she’s starting anyway. She also is just as conscientious about ending on time. Judith says, “We start class on time to honor the practice. We end class on time to honor our students.  Be it yoga class, PTA meetings, business appointments or lunch dates with friends, Judith’s words apply.

One more thought from one of my favorite authors which deserves a separate post in and of itself …

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ~M. Scott Peck

THAT takes some digesting!

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In addition to the 3 tips listed above, Dr. Oz spells out several other changes that can positively impact your daily life including: avoid mindless eating, get off the couch,stay connected to family and friends, and have a regular bedtime.  Read more in The Seven Deadly Sins According to Dr Oz: What to Do to Replace  Them.

… for ME!

The following announcement is from SMITH Magazine about the release of their latest book, which … I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before! 🙂 … I’m IN!

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The Story of the Six-Word Memoir Phenom & Review of
“It All Changed in an Instant”

* * *

It’s SMITH Magazine’s four-year anniversary. And what better way to celebrate than with the release of our fourth book of Six-Word Memoirs, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. The book has six-word memoirs from Malcolm Gladwell, Wally Lamb, Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, James Frey, Art Spiegelman, Sarah Silverman, Molly Ringwald, Margaret Cho, Yogi Berra, Tony Hawk, Tony Kushner, and many, many SMITH community members (including me, PAMELA WALSH!) And this is first collection of six-word memoirs to include some very wild, intense backstories.

If you’re going to buy it, and we hope so, get it today from Amazon. If everyone buys it via Amazon on the same day, it has a shot at shooting up the Amazon charts, which makes a big, big difference in the life of a book. Bonus: then you’ll have a really cool book for your bathroom (we know that’s where it goes…..) and to take to your next party instead of having a “let’s find a $10 bottle of wine that doesn’t look like a $10 bottle of wine” moment at the store.

The book tour will be in Austin this Friday, January 8, 2010 at 7 PM at BookPeople. Details and the full tour schedule.

Thank you all,

Larry & Rachel

As those who have ever kept a gratitude journal can attest, one of the effects of such a practice is that it causes you to become more conscious, to become an active witness of your own life. After all, if you have to write something down about it later, you better be paying attention. I have found the same thing to be true from my practice of composing daily 6-word memoirs. It “forces” me to reflect, to “BE” conscious, and frequently at the very moment I am ready to crawl into the UNconscious world of sleep.

If you stay with it, there are gifts in reflection. Combining a day’s events with my own reactions and then distilling it down to six words involves a certain kind of alchemy. This is not at all unlike the deeper opening you experience in yoga the second or third time you move into a pose. At first take you don’t yield significant results, and the process may be painful, but then … AHHHHHH, there’s the bliss.

I spent yesterday in the company of old friends. At this point in our lives the conversation will inevitably turn to the effects of aging at some point, and our ongoing, futile efforts to hide the ever-increasing lines on our faces. And so it was that on my drive home as I considered my six word memoir for the day, I began to audition a host of words on aging to try to settle on the six finalists that best expressed my frustration with this whole “getting old” thing: Age, Rage, Line, Define, Sag, Bag, Hag. I was on quite a roll.

Then the alchemy began to occur. Sifting through the words, my thoughts turned to how LONG I’ve been blessed to have these friends look into my eyes (aging or otherwise) and the grace that God has granted me with their very presence. I began to play with the words “face” and “grace” until I critically considered, is that the correct use of the word “grace”? So I paused to look it up the definition online: “grace: 1) the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God;” Wow. “2) The influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.”

Isn’t THAT the definition of friends; “the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.” Friendship, a synonym for God’s grace.

“Friends’ Faces Reflect Graces of God”