Monday, February 1, 2016

Yoga: Resting In Your Own True Nature

By: Kyle Leia Heyesen

“When you are in a state of yoga, or wholeness, you rest in your own true nature” ~Judith Lasater, Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life

The meaning of yoga is to yoke or unite. The practice of yoga is designed to help us become united in mind, body and spirit. Entering into a state of yoga brings us into our wholeness and here we rest in our own true nature. Our true nature is one of peace, love, truth, light and clarity. This, the yogis teach, is a remembering, a homecoming, a returning to what has always existed within us. This is a place where our egos begin to dissolve, comparison to others as lesser or greater than us fades as a fog burned away by sunlight and we see the incredible beauty in humanity’s differences. Judgment of self and others, the “shoulds”, the “if onlys”, the when this happens, when that happened….the grasping for something to be different, for something outside of ourselves to bring us happiness, fulfillment, contentment - all of this washed away by the breath flowing in and out, undulating like waves, drawing us back to our true selves, pulling us back into the present moment, realizing that this moment is all we have and we can experience peace, calm and contentment as it is always available to us. Even if it is below the surface of our current circumstances, even if there is difficulty and pain – we learn how to bear anything we face allowing a sea of grace to carry us through so that we may respond skillfully. We learn to become a witness to our thoughts and emotions, taking pause, allowing for space and responding instead of reacting by default. Yoga is an act of love and self-care. Yoga is the realization that the only perfection that exists is being perfectly where we are at, in this moment, humbled by our humanness and personal limitations, by the fact that no one has ever lived a perfect life – so we practice yoga, our mat a sacred laboratory, where we reconnect with ourselves within the confines of our bodies, and know we do not strive for a perfect pose, for no one has ever accomplished a perfect pose, but rather we begin to know ourselves more deeply, practice being present in our bodies and for all the experiences of life; and, from this place transformation is possible. We reach our full potential as human beings and experience greater wellbeing and aliveness in our moment to moment existence.

Monday, January 18, 2016

AWAKEN

Walk Across Water


By: Kyle Leia Heyesen

Lake Superior collides with winter, adjusts & inhales, holding herself steady within the season's frozen offering. Suspended for this moment. Changing form with the ever changing world, freezing in the places that make contact with what is before her, the armor needed to endure. We can exist like this too, gathering ourselves amidst the sometimes cold shoreline of circumstance, the rough edges of our lives....whatever we are up against, we can find the shape of our being expanded, shifting, transforming! Isn't this a miracle, the ice only ever once exactly like today. There are small white rugged mountains and smooth stone colored valleys against a striking blue horizon filled with floating steamy clouds. See now how we can walk across the water like never before, how we are closer to the sky....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Awakening

By: Kyle (Elden) Heyesen

It’s a new year. Filled with new possibility and resolutions galore! A concept I’ve been exploring and come back to over and over is that of being awake, awakening, waking up in our lives. I once came upon a line from an e.e. cummings poem that I was taken by: Unbeing dead isn’t being alive! Damn, he’s right. Just not being dead doesn’t make us truly alive, awake to what our lives hold possible for us. Too often we are on autopilot, disconnected from a greater purpose, blocking ourselves from our potential, deadened to the awareness of the simple, beautiful and both extraordinary and ordinary joy that is available in every moment of life. Another poem that speaks to this is from Rumi: The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you, Don't go back to sleep! You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep! This has me pause, think about waking up, staying awake and asking for what I really want in my life.

A little over a year ago I had a poem come to me which first unfolded as “The Million Ways to Avoid Awakening” focusing on the realization that although there are circumstances in all of our lives that are beyond our control, that may be difficult, unfortunate, and heartbreaking – when I’m really honest with myself many of the ways I haven’t realized some outcome, some success, some change I would like: I’m the one responsible. Yikes! Surprise! It’s on me!! There are a million excuses to not awaken, a million ways to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep, to turn away from possibility – even when there’s something you are being called to. Looking at awakening first asks the question, in what ways am I asleep in my life? Do I feel stressed and frustrated, am I full of anger and un-forgiveness towards somebody, do I keep gaining weight, am I drinking too much, watching too much TV, when was the last time I was truly filled with joy and gratitude? Awakening doesn’t necessarily have to be something dramatic, although it can be. It can be simply choosing to take a walk, practice yoga, hit the gym, meditate, pray, or read a good book instead of watching the 5th episode in a row of that addicting Netflix series you’re into. Doing something that brings you into full contact with your life, brings a deep sense of fulfillment and opens up joy within. But, maybe this is something bolder like leaving that job you hate, the relationship that isn’t working, writing that book, training for that marathon, taking that trip, taking a leap in your life towards something big you’ve always dreamed of. Awakening can take so many forms.

So, this poem that began in its first rough draft as the ways I avoid awakening, turned into just Awakening….first journeying through the experience of how I am the one that turns away from or avoids awakening, I’m the one that delays joy in my own life….and then moves into the experience of awakening…

I want to note that in this poem, in the incredible experience of being awake, and connecting with a deep sense of joy, it may seem abrupt and crude that I have this take place amidst ice covered sidewalks, piles of frozen dog shit (yikes she swears), and wind-chill….but, this is the reality of our human experience. We will always have difficulty, struggle, frustration, and nasty aspects of life…..However, it is fully possible to recognize and experience being awake and filled with joy even alongside that. The light with the dark! Whatever your spiritual beliefs, or religious convictions - it is my experience and understanding that awakening & being filled with joy in this way is the outcome of being in relationship with God!

Awaking

When you are called to awaken
sometimes, sometimes you turn your gaze away
you do not go.

The dawn break daylight fills your room
opens possibility, unfurls promise
the birds sing and sing you
awake, but
the sun strains your eyes
you shut the windows
draw the shades, pull the covers
over your head, go back to sleep.

When you are invited to awaken
sometimes, sometimes
the alarm does sound but
you
shut it off
roll over
drift back to sleep underneath
the dark heavy lids of your
own eyes.

What if today were different,
what if this is the moment to awaken
what if you don't delay joy
like a child tearing into a present,
in fury and gladness
the gift of their desire shining
and revealed
so much is possible
tear into your precious life.

Awaken
press play
push down on that button, the arrow
pointing in the direction forward,
break silence
the click, the hum, the music
of joy coming in on surround sound
and find yourself dancing everywhere,
even on ice covered sidewalks
and around frozen piles of dog shit in
twenty-five below wind-chill
the music of joy IS coming in
on surround sound.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wildflower Love

By: Kyle Elden

Love, the untamable
the greatest wildflower
of the human heart
springs forth unexpected
sometimes a bit crooked and tattered but
beautiful burst of vibrant yellow, flame of orange petals
open, and open and open, day after day
again and again, and comes
year after year after year
responding after darkness
touched
by the light, by the world, by the tender
truest love of another

To wed does not tame love
does not keep it in its place
does not shape or manicure
some type of perfect species
of color, of petal, of unwavering
happily ever after, or endless summer

To wed is a promise
to remember this seed, this love
the greatest wildflower of your hearts
that has sprung up
and learn to open, to return, to arrive
for one another
day after day, again and again, year after year
allow yourselves to respond like this after darkness
to be touched by the light, by the world
and by the tender truest love of one another

Remember this unique and beautiful species
of your love
sprung up in this field of your life
and adore the imperfect, but perfectly yours
beautiful burst of vibrant yellow, flame of orange petals
faces of one another
for always