Sunday, February 5, 2017

Moving Past Duality - Another Option for Being is "Oneness"

* Warning: This post contains some interesting new ways of being. It may be challenging for many, so if you already feel the urge to fight it, please proceed to another part of your day. We all are ready when we are ready.

I do not engage in political discussions. I realized a very long time ago when my parents were into politics that I did not like the energy it created amongst people. I saw friends, family members, and neighbors fight like I had never seen before - all over a matter of opinion. I didn't like it when I was 7, and I continue to find a distaste for it as an adult.

And yet, something else needs to be said...

Every day I see a country full of hate, impatience, inflated egoism, and judgement. We are on the precipice of breaking apart the unity of what is the "United" States. The level of discontent has risen to unprecedented amounts - each side showing "proof" of their views. Whether it is right - left, black - white, male - female...I have to say, that none of it is "right." Why? Because it is all duality.

Duality is what keeps us feeling separate. The "this or that" mindset is an illusion because the REALITY is that we are all ONE - we were created from the same vibrational essence and we are a part of Universal Oneness. We are all the same, energetically, whether we want to believe it or not.

There is evidence of a time predating what we consider the ancient civilizations where we lived in a paradise: man, woman, all creatures. We were happy, healthy, and all was peaceful. Then, depending on what legend or story you read, something happened to thrust us into a different time - one bread of ego and conflict. And that is where we have remained until now. But many people are talking about a movement that is happening - an "Ascension" where more and more people are awakening to that previous way of being. We are seeing that the way we have been living (in duality) isn't working. And as more people awaken, the energy for it coming thusly increases.

And all of the ancient cultures predicted that this time would come. Yet, we are all still talking about right or left, black or white, man or woman...and as more people awaken to this next stage of being, the energies of duality will increase, fight, and rage on until they...well, until they die out. I am not sure what that really means. I choose to think of it in a the way of the highest good and not in a cataclysmic type. But one thing that I can totally see and feel is that the raging is certainly increasing, and heading towards a huge explosion or implosion of some sort. We can all feel it, can't we? One way or another, we can all feel this heading to something that ultimately will be its demise.

So what's the alternative?

What are we to do when it seems that there is so much being done not from a loving place for all beings?

I am not here to tell you what to do. Let's get that straight, right off the bat. What you do, is for you to decide. Many people are feeling calls to "rise up" and speak out against what they feel is not right. The questions I am raising is: Is that the right way to be? Or is that continuing to fall into the trap of duality? What if there is another way of being? One of "True Oneness" - you know, the stuff us yoga teachers are always preaching about on the yoga mat. What if the only way we can get there is to stop engaging in all the left-right, black-white, male-female stuff? And as corny as it may sound, what if the real way is to move from a place of LOVE - ALL THE TIME, for all (and that includes ourself) - and especially to those who we do not see as agreeing with this way of being?

I know that there are people who immediately stand up to protest and label what I am proposing as many things, the least of all, "new age, hippy hoo-ha." They will talk about the need to protect ourselves from those who would want to harm us. And they will bash those people citing very specific reasons. I Understand. We should always be Aware. I am not saying we should be blind. I am simply saying that there is another way to react - and until we all try it, how do we really know it cannot work?

I have sent the greater part of my life avoiding conflict. I don't like it. It makes me feel ugly and hurts inside when people argue - let alone attack me in some way. Yet, I have also found a way to stand up for myself when attacked without hurting the other person. I have seen it work. I look at a leader like the Dalai Lama, who was forced to leave his country. He doesn't bash the politics that continue to enforce this on he and his people. Instead, he teaches to love them. And it doesn't seem to matter how many years go by or how difficult we may perceive that situation to be for them, he continues to love them and teach others to love. People will argue it is not the same thing. I am not here to argue. I am not here on my blog to argue with anyone. I am here to post an option for those who seek one and are ready to commit to living a different way.

If this feels right to you, then continue to seek out teachers who will show you the door. I welcome all in my yoga classes and workshops, if you are in the area. But certainly there are people who have been talking about this energy far longer than me, and know way more than I do about it. For I am still learning myself. Once you put the energy out into the Universe, they will find you.

So now you know why I do not engage in bashing or taking sides or discussing politics. I'm kind of busy holding the energy for grounding into Oneness to come in for those who are ready. I find myself assimilating energy differently than I have before and seeing energy more clearly. I'm not saying that I am better than anyone - I am saying that there is A BETTER WAY. Before you decide to say something negative, ask yourself how that feels in you. And if it doesn't feel good, then maybe it isn't right....

...just sayin'.

In Love & Light.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February 2017 Theme: ACCEPT

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." 
- Lao Tzu

Acceptance. There is a reason that this is the last step in any recovery process. And in a month all about love, it seems fitting that we give some weight and energy to what often keeps us from being fully and completely loving - to both ourselves and others. 

In the grieving process we go through denial, anger, bargaining and depression before we can get to acceptance...and that's a lot of bad energy there. But, the way it goes, we have to work through all of these before we can truly heal, and acceptance is the most profound component of that process.

Every person on this planet has dealt with loss in one way or another. Sometimes the loss is a complete shock and comes out of the blue with no warning. Other times we see it coming. And then there's the times that we actually cause it. It doesn't matter how it began because it all really feels the same in the end: hard. But those of us who have worked through the grieving process know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel when we can fully release the energy and accept the situation as it is. 

Often times support of loyal friends or loving family members can help soften the pain, but ultimately it is our own doing to understand all of the emotions and get through it. Yoga is a wonderful system that can help support you through a painful process of recovery. In the yoga practice you get to feel your body and where the emotions are lodging. You get to sit with it, honor it, and breathe through it. But the best part of the practice is that you also get to release it. If you cry in yoga, that is perfectly acceptable! If you cry after yoga, that's fine too. In fact, crying is a cleansing that you need to allow in order to get to acceptance. 

We at One Yoga Center are here to support you on the yoga mat through your ongoing recovery and welcome you to be real and honest with yourself in your practice. We also understand that sometimes you need someone else - a professional counselor perhaps - to talk to. Remember, we are simple yoga teachers. And yoga can be a very healing process when we are ready to work on accepting.

In Love & Light,
OYC Founder, Tracey L. Ulshafer & your OYC Teaching Staff

* * * * * * * * * * *

A few years ago a dear student of mine created a short film titled "Acceptance"about her journey through mothering a child on the spectrum. I was lucky enough to host her film crew at the Ewing yoga studio one day for a video shoot. Me and a few other students are in the film taking yoga from her in one scene. And although I know what a painful thing it was for her to live with, write about, and act out, I was proud to have One Yoga Center serve a role in her movement to acceptance both on and off the yoga mat.

Let's face it, acceptance is not easy. I am fairly certain that each of us has at least one thing that we are working on accepting. Heck, I am fairly certain that there is at least one thing that each of us has not even considered trying to accept yet! 

Acceptance is a truly noble thing. You have to be willing to let go of the past and have faith in the future. You have to let go with your mind and also on a cellular level with your body. In the energy system, you need to ground through your 1st chakra, feel through your 2nd chakra, find courage through your 3rd chakra, open to love in your 4th chakra, communicate what you are feeling through your 5th chakra, know when you are off the path from your 6th chakra, and completely understand and open your 7th chakra for acceptance. So, there you have it - all of the charkas need to be aligned for acceptance to find its true place. 

Whether you start with working on your 1st chakra or jump right to the 4th and focus on love, I myself have seen many people work through some serious issues through the practice of yoga - self included. Maybe we can all start focusing on something positive that we can learn to accept, and move on, letting go of the hold it had on us energetically that kept us from our light.
In Love & Light.
Tracey L. Ulshafer,
Founder/Director, One Yoga Center