May 2018 | The Mind Is Our Fiercest Battleground

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My recent travels to Macau, China where I presented Pangu Yoga at the International Qi Gong Conference became a stark reminder of what I have no control over and what I CAN control. I was at a conference where I didn't understand the language and it was anyone's guess if my appointed time to be on stage would actually materialize per schedule. For two full days the sound from the speakers was so blaringly loud I thought my ear drum was going to explode and some speaker's voices were so unpleasantly rough that it was completely jarring to the senses. My nervous system was getting assaulted in every direction and yet I was getting ready to present a practice that was supposed to be steeped in the opposing energies of unwavering calm, tolerance, and love. I tried my best to remind myself to be tolerant, to remain calm and trust that if I could let go of the environmental factors I couldn't control and focus on my own inner cultivation I would deliver. As the phrase goes ‘When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do’ refers to the importance of adapting myself to the customs of the people who are in a certain place or situation, or at the very least having tolerance for it.

The mind is our ultimate battleground. It’s the space where the greatest and fiercest conflict resides. It’s where half of the things we thought were going to happen, never actually happened. It’s where our inner resistance can bury us with negativity. And, when we allow these thoughts to dwell in our mind, they gradually succeed in robbing us of peace, joy, and ultimately our life. We can think ourselves right into nervous breakdowns and bouts of depression, time and again. I know because I've done it, time and again.

There’s so much about our lives—and our fate—we can’t control, and if we focus all our energy on these things we neglect everything we CAN control. We can decide how we spend our time right now, what we choose to focus on, and whom we share our energy with.

 

There are many things that unavoidably befalls a person

  • the young man who had his life turned upside down by cancer
  • the young woman, and mother of two, who lost her husband to death at 27
  • the family who lost their house in a tornado
  • the local business owner who was thriving until the economy collapse
  • the runner who lost his leg in a hit and run car accident
  • the mom whose son has Down syndrome despite her doing everything right during pregnancy
  • and many, many more people just like them…

What we have almost complete control over is how we RESPOND to these events. It may seem like we don't have control only because we haven't practiced it enough and cultivated ourselves in a way that creates a new habit. But the more we do it the easier it becomes.

So, I invite you right now in this moment to think of just one single thing you know you have complete control over. Maybe it's the choice of your words and the tone of voice in which you speak to yourself and others. Maybe it's what you decide you will engage in, read and study next. Perhaps its how you choose to respond to a challenging life situation, and whether you will see it as a curse or an opportunity for growth. Just pick one and really feel the CHOICE and control that you have. Battling the mind and getting to know yourself in this way can really provide the greatest freedom.

As for what we can't control, it will always be there. But we can transcend our circumstances by doing our best to let go of what’s wrong and grab a hold of what’s right.  Make things happen with your efforts and choices, and then let things happen with your surrender, hope and confidence.

With Love,
Anisha

April 2018 | Unveiling Purpose, Moving Forward

Spring is a beautiful time to unveil, discover or refine our life's purpose and to fulfill the deepest desire of our hearts.
 

Do you feel like sometimes you're just surviving but want to be thriving?

Anxiety and depression are the new normal in our culture and a big part of that is us being out of tune with the simple cycles of nature. We are denatured, and with technology we're able to do things like shop online at 2am or check our phone apps while we are eating. We all struggle with this and one step we can make is to start making wiser choices so we are closer to nature's intended rhythms.

However, in a larger sense, if we've reached a level in our lives where we have the opportunity to thrive, meaning that we've reached this baseline of survival, and attained a certain level of stability, there can still be this pervasive lack of fulfillment that we find in our culture.

We all have desires and we often chase those desires. And yet, an important question is: What do those desires serve? If we look at all the roles and obligations we take on in our lives, what is the purpose of actually doing them other than surviving?

Do you sometimes feel like everything "should" be going well?  Everything that society says you should want you have, or what you thought you wanted you have, yet is there still a sense you're not engaged in a way that holds meaning and value for you?

There are people who have enough materially to survive and are indeed doing well, but without the fulfillment of a deep spiritual life, it's unlikely that we will ever be truly happy. If we compare all that we have with many other countries in the world we can see that material success isn’t really all there is. That’s also to say that even if you were spiritually fulfilled it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re materially fulfilled either. So we have to be able to operate from both fields, paying attention to both tracks. It’s important to look at the purpose of our lives from both material and spiritual standpoints. For those of you who already have some clarity but need refining it’s helpful to remember that both the material path and the spiritual path require innovation, accommodation and adaptation. What worked two or three years ago may not be what’s required to be successful now.

 

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One consideration is that your purpose is not necessarily your profession. We tend to identify those two as the same. Our purpose can be expressed through our profession but can also be expressed through being a parent, spouse or child, or a citizen of the world. Our purpose is our purpose, it can remain the same through the duration of our life- but how it’s expressed and how it manifests from our souls can change like a chapter by chapter experience. Your purpose is a unique distinct ray of Divinity and when you’re able to identify it; it can be expressed through many avenues. It's fully flowering into what you're meant to do and how you're contributing to the world.

Another aspect of our purpose is finding beauty, comfort, harmony and delight in our relationships. We must have the means to do this with good physical health, enough finances to support it, and a shelter we can call home. We can't forget the aspect of purpose that involves a deep spiritual fulfillment. If we're only satisfying one or two aspects, we will still be left with a deep longing in our hearts. Each aspect must be honored. SO, how do we begin to empower ourselves and then empower others to do the same?

 

In my experience, it requires having enough Life Force to manifest our purpose in a clear and effective way. Most of us are walking around feeling empty, depleted or tired. And that’s like having a really nice shiny car with all the perfect parts...but with no gas.  With no gas we can't truly move forward. So it’s important to find a regular way to cultivate this vitality and Life Force. The ancient cultures understood this. The ancient Chinese culture developed Qi Gong, (Cultivation of Life Force) a way to harness, absorb and store this Life Force in the body. In the cases of Shengong, (Shen is defined as Spirit) it also builds a deeper connection and communication between body and soul to bridge the material and spiritual aspects within ourselves. 

The practice of Pangu Yoga essentially gives you the most bang for your buck .

Pangu Mystical Qi Gong is the most powerful Qi cultivating practice I’ve ever come across. Yoga is another powerful practice that heals, strengthens and supplies energy to the body, mind and spirit. I chose to embark on one of the greatest journeys of my life when I asked Master Ou Wen Wei if I could combine these two modalities so those who practiced yoga could also receive the benefits of a Shengong as they did the sequence. This June 24th I will once again have the honor of teaching Pangu Yoga in Raleigh North Carolina, joining Master Ou's spirit as I lead this practice with his kind, humble, and most loving presence by my side.

If you're someone who, on the outside, has it all, and feels like you should be happy but just aren't, know that you are not alone. The struggle to find deep lasting fulfillment is real and an everyday practice. We have to take steps to be responsible for the quality of our lives. I encourage you to find a daily practice or ritual that allows you to connect to yourself and others more deeply. Through that connection you will find your place in the world. You will find where and how your unique ray of Divinity can be expressed, used and cultivated to shine more brightly.

Release self doubt.

Trust yourself.

You've got this.


With Love,

Anisha

March 2018 | Spring in to a Good Life

March brings hints of spring, the waiting and stillness is over and new life emerges with sweet, moist dew and the promise of something new. Can we do as much internal spring cleaning as external?

Some people wait all day for 5pm, all week for Friday, all year for the holidays, all their lives for happiness.  But you don’t have to be one of them.  Don’t wait until your life is almost over to realize how good it has been. The good life begins right now, when we stop waiting for a better one.

What if we use Spring to pay more attention to the beauty and practicality of living a simpler life.  A life uncluttered by most of the meaningless drama, distraction, and busyness people fill their lives with, leaving us with space for what’s truly meaningful: a life that isn’t constant rushing, worrying and stress, but instead contemplation, creation, and connection with the people and projects that matter most to us.

To be practical in this endeavor we have to be honest about the drama, distraction, and busyness in our lives. I'm looking at my own choices as a way to begin that internal spring cleansing.

  • How often do you engage in the exchange of valueless conversation or even gossip?
  • How often are you thinking about other things when someone is talking to you?
  • Do you check social media apps on your phone when you’re working, or when you’re spending time with loved ones, or just constantly without discretion?
  • Do you send the occasional text message while driving?
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The biggest cost of filling life with drama, distraction, and busyness (assuming you don’t crash from the texting and driving), is a gradual, long-term decline of effectiveness, contentment and happiness.  When we get in the habit of persistently dividing our attention, we’re only partially engaged in every activity, but rarely focused, much less calm, about any one.  And this dizzying lack of calm focused energy eventually trips us up and brings us down to our knees.

It doesn't have to be this way!!

The bottom line here is that too often our minds are set on getting somewhere else.  Too often another beautiful day comes to an end with hundreds of unnoticed moments behind us—we didn’t notice them because they were insignificant to us.  And over time our entire lives can become a massive pile of unnoticed and insignificant moments on our way to more important things.  Then the important things get rushed through too… to get to the next one, and the next, until our time is up and we’re left questioning where it all went.


SO what to do? Here are some steps that have helped me.
 

  • Identify what’s most important to you, and eliminate as much as you possibly can of everything else.  In other words, be ruthless about putting first things first.  Say “no” to unnecessary commitments that do not support your priorities.
  • When you start an important activity, turn to it with your full attention and set a conscious intention to be fully present with the act—to do nothing but this one activity for a set time.  You might think, “Just write” or “Just run” or “Just be here with this amazing child of mine.”
  • When you notice your mind drifting and thinking about something else, or if something happens and your attention momentarily gets pulled elsewhere… just notice.  Then take a deep breath and return to being fully present with the activity
  • Treat each moment with reverence, as if you are one with what’s happening. See the brilliance of the activity and the present moment.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

With Peace,
Anisha