'Books are infinite in number, and time is short, therefore the secret of knowledge is to take what is essential.  Take that and try to live up to it.' - Swami Vivekananda

As we finally emerge out of the Christmas/New Years Haze, we can step into January, take time to reflect and emerge with clarity and purpose.  

In our lives there is a time for everything.  After a few weeks of perhaps a little less discipline, a lot more socialising etc., it is now a good time to take some time to yourself and take stock.

If you are looking at specific ideas or goals you have at this time of year, one thing that is key is Commitment!

In times of commitment, of dedication to a specific goal there may be sacrifices, there may be a lot of other things you have to say No to.  It may feel difficult, it may feel like its not really worth it, it may feel like you are the only one on your road when you look at friends/peers etc.......BUT with that sacrifice, with that focus, comes a sense of purpose.  With the direction of your focus and energy, you can through commitment open up spaces to learn a lot about yourself.

If we dip in and out of this or that, there may be short term enjoyment or pleasure but it is in the 'staying', it is in the moments of doubt and the moments that it feels tough that we can really learn.  Those moments are where the 'Gold' is!

'At some point it is recommended to get in one boat if you really want to get to the other shore.' - Cyndi Lee

Commitment does not have to just mean to a specific goal/target and aiming ourselves there blindly.  It does not have to mean rigidity and focusing solely on one outcome. Think of your commitment as choosing a path, a way to travel regardless of the destination.  A way to consistently tune in and listen to your body, your mind and to hear and connect to your needs and desires.

2014 for me did not exactly go according to my original plan!  Following a niggling shoulder issue, I made the decision to take a break from my climbing training and to postpone an end of year climbing trip.  A break from training can seem daunting at first, can seem inconceivable to one's routine and sense of being.  A break can seem like a 'weakness' or drop in commitment or effort, however, by taking breaks, by letting go in the name of overall progression, longevity and sustainability of a pursuit, an ultimate commitment is made.  Committing to a lifetime of an activity/pursuit, rather than short term gains or enjoyment.

This bigger picture perspective can show its head in many aspects of our lives.  If we enable ourselves to see the overall aim/goal, we enable ourselves to have much greater freedom in our paths, rather than restriction.  Commitment to these alterations/adaptations/surprises in your plans will allow you to create much more flexibility in your mind to potential, to possibilities and open up to an array of opportunities you may not have originally perceived.

In this New Year, it can feel like there are so many ideas, special offers, information being thrown at you.  A lot of these short term goals, of chopping and changing can just create more distraction to distance you from yourself.  It is important to connect to yourself, decide what you and you alone wish to commit to.  Make a decision to truly commit, regardless of all the reasons not to, of all the reasons it may feel difficult.  It is when we commit we can really see all the ways we hide from ourselves, we can get sneaky and be dishonest!  When you truly see this and open up to it, you have the power to let those habits go and embrace a more positive and open way of being.

Commitment creates mental strength.  In your challenge you will grow, you will open up and in those moments of truth, any doubt, any fears will disappear and you will find Bliss.

Happy New Year and in 2015 I wish you every health and happiness, to find your path and commit., Naomi***

The Good Life

Todays Link is a video featuring some beautiful surfing footage.  The reason I love this video so much is not necessarily the surfing and this may not appeal to you either, the reason I linked to it is because coming to the end of 2013 I feel the message this video is portraying is something very pertinent for me at the moment-'Living the good Life'.  

In 2012 I decided to uproot and change the direction of my life, as I reflect on 2013 I am happy with many things I have done.  I do know though that I am bound continuously by a perception of what I believe to be 'right' or 'accepted' or the 'norm'.  If I was to write down a list of things that I would do if there were no limitations, no expectations, just a complete honest list of what I would like to do in the coming year/s, I know there are a few more things I would like to do just because I want to!

So for the coming year I am going to make that list and make it with the conviction that to enjoy life, to feel it wholly and fully, one must follow what they believe in.  Ive often gone to make this list before and then the immediate thoughts that follow are...oh but what if this? and what if that? surely Im not allowed to do just what I want? immense amounts of guilt have often kept me from pursuing things.  Ive had the feeling often that I should not be allowed to be so happy...that its not 'normal', life should be endured and sometimes we might get to enjoy stuff!

Now, Im changing my attitude to these habitual thoughts, if there is anything I wish to do, Im now looking at how to make it possible rather than thinking of the reasons why its not.  There is no right or wrong, everyone is trying to figure it out and what Im learning is that if I keep limiting myself, I keep stopping myself in my tracks, the only one who really feels the effects is me.

Do you have a list? do you have things that you would like to do? What does living the good life mean to you?

Stepping outside your comfort zone

Over the last few days I took part in an Acro Yoga course being run in Dublin.  I am so happy I signed up for this course, I met really nice people, had a lot of laughs and learned lots of new ways to move my body.  (click on the pictures below to see!)

Doing new things gives us an opportunity to step outside our comfort zone, to venture into the unknown. These opportunities present us with far more lessons than we originally perceived and if we stay open and receptive, the gifts we can receive are infinite.

Being a 'bit' of a perfectionist by nature and wanting to feel like I'm doing things well, the acro yoga has taught me a lot about letting go.  I found myself a lot over the few days, thinking 'ok how do i get this move right? or 'How should I do this perfectly?' I was reminded of a quote I read a few months ago...

'When perfectionism is driving us, shame is riding shotgun and fear is that annoying backseat driver'! Brene Brown

This can happen all of us in different situations, but joy and ease can only truly be attained by letting go of fear, by releasing inhibitions and judgements and just doing!

In the Acro Yoga movements, it was only by doing, by thinking less and letting go, by throwing myself in at the deep end that I could give my body and mind a chance to perceive the possible.

Im not fully there yet, but I realise that once we have mastered one aspect of learning, be it in Yoga or other sports or hobbies, there will always be another level and it is only through the joyful experience of learning and making mistakes that we can progress further. 

Yet another realm where we must let go of the ego and learn to be a beginner again,  and then enjoy that part, soak it in, when things are new and the possibilities are endless!

Looking past limits

This is a really inspiring talk by Caroline Casey, people like this really open the gateway to allow us to believe anything is possible...

If you have some time to spare, it is well worth the view. 

 'Caroline Casey has dedicated the past decade of her life to changing how global society views people with disabilities. In 2000, she rode 1,000 kilometers across India on an elephant to raise funds for Sight Savers. Then, as founding CEO of Kanchi in Dublin, she developed a set of best practices (based on ISO 9000 quality standards) for businesses, to help them see "disabled" workers as an asset as opposed to a liability. Hundreds of companies have adopted the standards, changing their policies and attitudes.

In 2004, Casey started the O2 Ability Awards to recognize Irish businesses for their inclusion of people with disabilities, both as employees and customers. The initiative has received international praise and, in 2010, a parallel program was launched in Spain.'

"She is one of those people who, instead of just talking about changing the world, gets up and actually does it however tough the doing of it turns out to be. "

The Irish Times