Lillarose, Grounded Student, Age 10
(Grounded elevating student since age 3.)
It was a rainy day… A perfect day to do yoga to set my day straight and to breath in my emotions. Sometimes we feel happiness, sometimes we feel sadness, sometimes we feel joy and even stress. There is good stress and there is bad stress. It’s okay to feel these emotions. Let’s honor them all, let’s talk about it and let them guide us to be the best we can be. The Focus Five Prepare to Thrive sequence will help anyone who needs to be calm, relaxed or to become more confident.
I like to think that each finger has an emotion. Think that the thumb has happiness. Breathe in happiness and send out light. The pointer finger has sadness. Breathe in sadness and allow the light to embrace the darkness, shining out. The middle finger has joy. Breathe in joy and send out light. The ring finger has stress. Breathe in stress and allow the light to hug the darkness, sending out light. And, the pinky finger has love. Breathe into love and send out love to the world. When you breathe and press your fingers together you are breathing in all these emotions. Feeling happiness, sadness, joy, stress and love are all natural emotions. Embrace them all and honor the dark, sending out love, light and comfort. When you exhale you are allowing them out and they go into other people’s breath and out into the world.
Imagine flowers… Like a Lotus flower, they are calming. They grow in dirty waters, but are really pretty. If you are in a difficult situation remember the Lotus. You can always rise out of the muck and bring beauty to any situation.
In this pose, let your head and shoulders relax. You will go in circles and in different directions just like life will take you. Try to close your eyes in this pose. Imagine life taking you somewhere. Somewhere with a cool breeze and a gentle cycle. Then, do it one more time with your eyes open and in the opposite direction. Think about where the world is taking you. Allow the water to rinse away all the dirt that is holding you back from living your life.
WAKE UP MOUNTAIN
Imagine yourself as a mountain… Strong and with a cool breeze. Imagine you are that mountain. You are feeling all the seasons (the spring, summer, winter and fall) in one swoop of wind. Bring your arms in with an inhale and feel the wind inside you. You will realize how beautiful it is. When you move your arms up, exhale and allow the wind to breeze through the world for others to experience.
LEFT BREATH RIGHT BREATH
Imagine on one side you are breathing in your doubts. On the other side, you are breathing in confidence. With both sides there is a goodness… even the doubts. The doubts help us push through to learn how to be more confident. Stand tall and strong. You are who you are.
FOCUS FIVE: PREPARE TO THRIVE
These cards are perfect to use on a rainy day, a sun shiny day or any given day. Color, practice and breathe to prepare to thrive.
The singing bowl is just the thing to help you focus, clear your mind and set the day straight.
Bondage and ignorance and limitation!
We contract like a sneeze~
You want to know why?
These are the roots of our issues,
Unworthiness, insecurity, feeling un-free.
These deep darkened roots,
known as Anava Mala,
cloak our awareness
like pollen all upon ‘ya.
This pollen of unworthiness
Helps us forget~
How miraculous we are~
We recoil ~we regret.
We regret and we doubt.
We feel separate and small.
Our pimples and frizzes
Keep us enthralled.
How, do we, how do we
How DO we re-remember?
Our goodness, our freedom
From here to September?
Good question, my dear!
So at your request~
I’ll teach you the tools
To elevate your quest!
Your breath is the broom
that sweeps away pollen,
Shines light on the ignorance
Which is hidden and smallen.
Sit tall, close your eyes,
Tune into your spine.
Inhale your breath
Down the left side line.
Sweep your breath out~
On the same side,
From bottom to top~
Sweep your breath in,
Down the right side this time.
Get real close and real low~
To release dust and grime.
Sweep your breath out~
From bottom to top.
Keep sweeping your spine~
No reason to stop!
No reason to stop~
Till you feel lighter and free!
Relieved of unworthy
Pollen and debris.
The pollen of ignorance~
And debris of limitation~
Can be swept to the surface
For expansive illumination.
Each time we remember,
We grow and expand~
We become more real.
And that is quite grand!.
Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.
The enlightened sage, Dr. Seuss, in the revered text The Cat and The Hat, teaches us how to tune into our Highest Self, listen to our small, limited, fears and even invite them out to play with each other. My intention and desire is for us to value and understand this text in the highest spiritual sense. May this process lead us to a higher capacity for insight, for revelation, for learning at a deeper level, so clarity about our playful selves become possible.
Cat in the Hat begins on a cold and wet day at the house of two sad children stuck inside with nothing to do, until the Cat in a Hat shows up, transforming the dull day into an adventure. As he steps in on the mat, we can relate the action metaphorically to Yoga Sutra 1.1. Now, the teachings of yoga. As he begins to express his philosophy to the children, their pet fish begins to express his hesitation and fears. The Cat reassures him with a simple “Now! Now!” That answer is an important teaching in the whole text, because it teaches us to let go of our old social order, and enter the present, which is new. “Now” in Sanskrit is “atha”, signaling the value of what you are about to dive into. “Atha” is also the first spoken word of Yoga Sutra 1.1, its entirety being~
1.1 Ātha Yogānuśāsanam The teachings of yoga, have been presented. You don’t need to wait until the sun comes out, an authority figure is watching, or your fear is gone. All that it (Yoga) requires of you is a YES. In essence, then, The Cat in the Hat, just like Patanjali, tells his students to get ready to receive the knowledge on the subject of “yoga”.
The fish in the tiny bowl represents our limited, concealed self known as karma mala. He is fear, limiting our ability to act. The cat is a wise trickster. He questions authority, encourages enthusiasm, seeks new experiences, while destroying our old way of thinking. He is our Big-Picture Play of Consciousness. He is our Highest Self. Highest Self is Consciousness. Highest Self is the real complete you.
Shiva Sutra 1-1 Chaitanyam ātmā. Consciousness is the self.
The children were still able to recognize, the fish’s concern. Fear is natural; it’s an adaptive instinct. Don’t try to squelch it down or ignore it. Without fear, we wouldn’t have courage. Without courage we wouldn’t be brave. The Cat in the Hat was able to listen to the fish, listen to his fears, and playfully act upon them.
“Have no fear!” said the cat
“I will not let you fall
I will hold you up high…”
Introducing three Tricks to greet your Higher Consciousness (HC)…ie Cat in the Hat and Small Fish (SF) i.e Karma Mala, Fear.
Close your eyes. Breathe in through your heart and out through your third eye. Continue to follow your breath. Listen to your heart. Sometimes HC sounds like the whisper of a wise old man. Sometimes HC sounds like a voice you recognize that is playful, friendly, and compassionate.
The voice of your SF is usually scared or angry. It’s probably much louder.
Invite HC to sit with you and have a conversation. Notice what HC looks like. The Cat in the Hat? Ask questions. When the answers sound wiser or more knowledgeable than usual, you’re probably talking to your HC. Just keep talking to this image of your higher self until you’ve received the answers you need. Invite SF to the table as well. What do you see? Where in your body do you feel them? Draw your work.
The cat in the hat starts at your spine and goes up to the crown of your head and beyond! Feel your cat getting wider with each breath in and taller with each breath out.
Root your left sitting bone to your left heel and your right sitting bone to your right heel. Thing 1 begins in the lowest part of your left belly. Thing 2 resides in the lowest part of your right belly. Lift Thing 1 and Thing 2, both lowest bellies, straight up like a kite. How high can you lift these things? Can you feel the silly blue hair? Can your left and right side smile like Thing 1 and Thing 2? Most of our actions conspire to drop our things( lowest abs). The trick is to keep lifting thing one and thing two and root sitting bones to heels at the same time. The game is to not spill your energy,it must be a conscious effort to get a good thing(s) going!
A Thing is defined as some entity, object, or creature that is not or cannot be specifically designated or precisely described: anything that is or may become an object of thought: things of the spirit. (abdominal muscles and organs and bones oh my!)
things, matters; affairs: a fact, circumstance..so the trick is to LIFT Your Things! Lift your entity, being, matter, act, deed, event, material object, while keeping your sitting bones rooted to your heels. Try this in different shapes~standing, forward folds, backbends, twists, supine..Notice the difference.
Reponses received from our Grounded Kids…
“Thing 1 and Thing 2 teach me I can do it!” Ella, age 7
“My little baby tiny weeny self is in my head. My Huge, humungous ,, big giant Self is in my heart and body.” Claire, age 9
“My High Cat knows I can do big things” Madeline, age 5
“My Highest Self stands up for the world. My small Fish gets angry at myself and others.” Lauren, age 6
“My High Self is beautiful and colorful.” Emily, age 6
“My Highest Self tells me my gift is seeing the future in my sleep.” Hunter, age 7
“My Fear is in my foot. My Highest Self is upside down now. It’s telling me to pay attention.” Dodge, age 9
“Higher Self is standing up for myself. My Little Self is always looking around at others.” Amelia, age 8
“My Fear is sliding down a pole. I see that picture (of the pole) any time I get scared.” Sarah, age 9
Once you’ve tuned in to your HC, you’ll be able to get some key information about why you’re here and where you should go, and who you should go with. Your HC is watching over you and helping to steer you in the highest direction. This playful practice is for each one of us to embody the deep empowerment, the authenticity, and the fullness of who we are.
Please share how it goes. Now~ You’ve got to have fun, but you have to know HOW!