Forces of Nature – Fall 2013

Photo taken at The Montage Hotel, Laguna Beach
It’s easy to get caught inside your head with everyday responsibilities and tasks. For me, I must escape into nature to reconnect with my body and spirit to create deeper, more meaningful connections with those around me. This season is a time to practice peace and serenity. Think of your peace place and go there…a local beach, park or patch of grass. Take off your shoes and let your feet breathe. Let your eyes wander through nature, noticing the vibrant colors that are always there in this Eden. Watch the birds take flight. Adopt the pace of nature – her secret is patience.
Travel to your Edge: Aloha Spirit!

Rainbow over Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu
My husband and I try to visit Hawaii once a year to restore, rejuvenate, and replenish ourselves. The clean water, warm sun, fresh air, and soft sand ignites a child-like playfulness that allows us to simply reconnect to the basic elements of nature. This year our trip was especially needed because I was in a car accident that shook me to the core. It resulted in frequent head and neck aches, not to mention nervousness about driving in general. Typically, I would flip upside down into a fun yoga inversion to change my perspective when I’m down. Sadly, I couldn’t practice yoga due to my neck strain, which put me in a negative place. It was challenging to be positive. I asked the universe why the accident happened. It wasn’t even my fault! I felt bad about the damage to my 6 month old car, the injuries endured by the families involved, and most of all – the person who was at fault. I had such compassion for her; I was still angry at the situation, but I felt sorry for the guilt and regret I read on the her face that night. My emotions kept me in a negative loop and I knew I had to break it!
Photo taken at Hanauma Bay Park, Oahu
Stepping off the plane in Honolulu started the healing process. Hawaii’s slow natural pace was what I really needed to reconnect with myself. I stopped asking why and simply accepted the accident for what it was. I filled my days with activities I enjoyed: swimming, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, walking, shopping, and resting. I started to feel like myself again- excited about life and grateful for each moment. Then, I did my personal yoga practice for the first time in a while. A personal yoga practice is special. It is something one typically develops after quite some time practicing and studying yoga. For me, it’s a true moving meditation. My mind checks out and my body moves and holds and breathes and opens where it needs to. It’s an intuitive process of unfolding. I finally let the car accident go from my body and mind. After my return home from Hawaii, I’ve kept up my positive perspective by a daily practice of gratitude and reflection. When something positive happens, I say to myself, “Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God”. In my meditation and yoga classes, I teach that gratitude is the best way to shift from negative to positive. Sometimes, one also needs to change the scenery. If you are ever feeling down, I recommend  going some place new and making a gratitude list to acknowledge the gifts in your life. I’m grateful for my trip to Hawaii, the reminder to accept all things for what they are, and the power to move forward at a pace of peace. Aloha!
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