At 4:40 a.m. this morning, an hour before my alarm usually blasts gypsy kings to wake me to teach my 6:30 a.m. vinyasa class, I heard, “HAHAHAHAHHA.” “Oh, how nice, I am dreaming of my son Alex’s contagious laugh.” I thought to myself and smiled. Then again even louder I heard, “HAHAHHAHAHHA.” The volume of the laugh cleared the sleepy fog and I realized that this was in no way a dream. I walked out to the living room and found my two sons nestled on the couch, already dressed for school (even the socks), their teeth already brushed (they told me so), playing their new Star Wars Angry Birds game on my IPad. And, they were in a state of pure joy.
Now you should know that these young family members are not early risers. Unless it is a homework heavy night, their bedtime is 8:30 p.m.. However, after I turn out the lights I often hear the swoosh swoosh sound that they make when digging through the Lego bins. I know that they are brother bonding and creating spaceship by the light of the moon to fly their dreams around the sun, so I let them be. Monday through Friday mornings I often have two groggy kids that require a whirlwind (that would be me) and the grace of God to get them dressed, fed, and out the door to greet their assistant head of school, Bob Reveri, and his attendance clip board and head of school, Brenda Mizel. I consider my kids marked on time for school one of my successes as a parent.
This made me think a little deeper about callings and how yoga naturally leads us to them. Years of yoga practice have programmed me to clear out the foggy mind chatter so that light can come through. And it has been my experience that when I wake in the middle of the night totally clear, I see it as a gift and I should pay close attention. At these times, the mind is subservient to the heart for sure, and wants me to think about something important so that I can identify callings and prepare for a shift. I often sit and meditate, and take in the beautiful energy that is stirring while the universe is planning the day and the dark night is preparing for it’s own shift to morning light. I pray, say a mantra, sit in gratitude and pay attention to what sprung me out of bed in the first place. And then I make small steps towards change.
So what awaits my 7 and 9 year old? Future game designers of the next big game app- The Peaceful Peacocks? Perhaps the next Steve Jobs? Not sure. But I did know enough to encourage them to continue playing. Then I jumped right into their world, and with great excitement they showed me the piggy Yoda, and favorite Angry Birds characters; Clone Trooper, Battle Droid and Darth Vader.
I propose that the next time you wake in the middle of the night, or spring into action, see it as an opportunity to pay close attention. The heart is feeding the mind with pure thoughts. Thoughts you think are negative thoughts are not bad, rather gifts. They may be trying to bring light to a needed change, karma to correct, or to prepare you for a shift. Positive thoughts help identify passions and opportunities. Your talents are in your passions. You talents are callings. Callings come from the source of eternal truth and love: God, Nature, and the Cosmos. Living out a calling is a blessing. It serves the universal plan, and for certain will have a blissful outcome for all.
I share with you with this short meditation from my upcoming meditation book (stay tuned.) that I like to practice to tap into eternal light. May it bring you great joy and peace this New Year. Namaste, Mary
Mantra – Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
Meaning – May all beings everywhere be happy and free. May the thoughts and actions of our lives contribute to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
Find a place to sit comfortably with a straight spine. Use a pillow if needed. Close your eyes. Soften you lips and eyes. Breathe in and out of your heart. Notice any shift in the breath as you settle. Continue sitting this way with your breath for as long as you like. Begin to say the above mantra aloud or in your mind, either in English or Sanskrit (whichever allows you to feel the meaning more deeply in your heart). Repeat the mantra until your heart begins to flutter or for as long as you like. If your thoughts interrupt the mantra, watch them come and go. If certain thoughts stay a bit longer, just pay closer attention with no judgment. Trust that all of them are gifts to shift us towards light. Shift back to repeating the mantra with no expectations or results attached. When you are ready, finish the mantra, slowly reenter your body slowly as if you were leaving a lucid dream, and then open your eyes. Now it is time to take if off the mat (or meditation cushion). Make a note of your highlighted thoughts. Next, write down small realistic shifts that you can commit to that will honor each thought and move you towards you callings. Each day, take a leap of faith off of the sacred springboard from what is into the eternal sea of what could be. Share any positive light you received from the meditation with others right away.