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honoring who you are

October 4, 2016 in Blog

Honoring who you are

by Jill Sockman

I go on a lot about honoring where you are and the importance of in-the-moment acceptance of yourself at any given time. Whether acknowledging anger and disappointment or recognizing success, tiredness, overwhelm — the list is endless — there is value in shifting out of the ongoing internal dialogue we engage in about what is, and into feeling it in the moment and letting it go.

Alongside the development of mindfulness as a practice of self-care is the task of accepting yourself as who you are. I haven’t yet decided if one is easier or harder, or if one should come before the other.Read the rest

put your inner critic in the corner

September 1, 2016 in Blog

Put your inner critic in the corner

by Jill Sockman

My inner critic has a strong voice. Maybe she was a cheerleader. Or lead vocalist in a metal band — the kind where it sounds like a lot of angry screaming instead of singing. I’ve worked hard, and I mean really, really, really hard in the past few years to put her in her place. And please note I said put in her place — removed from her throne — not banished from the kingdom of my inner world.

Because she absolutely does have a place. The benevolent(-ish) side of that inner critic is the instigator for much that I have accomplished, and is in part responsible for making me who I am.Read the rest

necessary next steps

August 1, 2016 in Blog

Necessary next steps

by Jill Sockman

Several years ago I wrote a post about feeling like I was in a waiting room. I could then and still can visualize it with amazing clarity. I was sitting in a long hallway — not scary or interesting or noteworthy in any way. In fact it was devoid of detail and without emotional content. But that sensation around the necessity of waiting is still palpable. It was not a time when I felt stuck, frozen, paralyzed or indecisive. There was nothing at all to be DONE. That was the point, and what was being asked of me was to wait.Read the rest

being happy where you are

June 29, 2016 in Blog

Being happy where you are

by Jill Sockman

I’m spending a little time in Florida this week to celebrate my mom’s birthday. I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl and every time I’m here I’m reminded there are memories stored in every nook and cranny; ghosts and treasures are tucked away around every corner.

Days are lazy, and always begin with a walk along the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve been walking this stretch of perfect white sand pretty much my whole life. What I love about it is that while it’s always the same place, the beach is different every day.Read the rest

the beauty of impermanence

June 6, 2016 in Blog

The Beauty of Impermanence

by Jill Sockman

In classes lately, I’ve been talking about impermanence. We get it in theory- everything is always changing, we are always moving in one direction or another, nothing is static. But how do we really deal with it in practical terms, in real life? And how can we use our on-the-mat practice to practice dealing?

Like so many things, begin with a pause. To tune in we must stop everything else but present moment awareness. Stop moving, planning, thinking, doing, comparing, complaining, explaining, excusing, and just feel. What is the current State of the Union that is you?Read the rest

do your practice. all is coming.

May 2, 2016 in Blog

Do your practice. All is coming.

by Jill Sockman

This came through my inbox this morning: “On the path of transformation, you will experience acceptance, which entails accepting your own inner condition exactly as it is, without reacting to it or defending against it.” Also in the inbox, from a different source: “You can have all good things – wealth, friends, kindness, love to give and love to receive – once you have learned not to be blinded by them, learned to escape from disappointment, and from repugnance at the idea that things are not as you want them to be.” I could also share the Rune du jour, but I’ll spare you, as I think you can grasp today’s Message From The Universe.Read the rest

it is what it is

April 1, 2016 in Blog

It is what it is

by Jill Sockman

About a week ago, a friend came for a visit. We were talking about life, change, perspective. She reminded me of a of a Zen proverb I’d heard long ago and since forgotten.

The story is of an old farmer in a remote village in China. He was the only man in the whole area who was given a horse to help work the fields.

“This is good!” said the neighbors.

“Maybe good, maybe bad,” replied the farmer, “It just is.”

One day, the horse got free and ran away.

“This is bad!” cried the neighbors.Read the rest

easing anxiety with yoga

February 29, 2016 in Blog

Easing Anxiety with Yoga: It’s not all in your head

by Barbara Vosk, PhD, RYT200

Why does yoga have such a positive impact on your physical and mental state?

Advances in medical and psychological research now provide a greater understanding of the “how” and “why” of yoga’s effects: yoga actually increases the production of certain brain chemicals associated with improved mood.

One recent study of mindfulness meditation showed that those who engaged in this practice had an increase in activity in the portions of the brain that process stress, as well as an improved ability to focus and an increased state of calm.Read the rest

cultivating faith and devotion

February 29, 2016 in Blog

Cultivating faith and devotion

by Jill Sockman

By the time you read this, I’ll be far from Raleigh, having just arrived to Varanasi — arguably one of the most chaotic cities I know. Hopefully by now I’m over the jet lag, and presumably I’m inundated and awestruck by the complete overwhelm and sensory overload that is India. This will be my third trip to the subcontinent, and I’m not yet sure if it’s three strikes you’re out or third time’s a charm. Mmmm. Neti Neti says the knowing Self — not this, and not that.

My preparations for this pilgrimage have been extensive — making the arrangements and gathering the things needed for a journey of this kind; trying to complete any and all undone tasks that they not clutter my mind or my desk while I am gone; loosening my grip on expectation and attachment; deepening and steadying my practice.Read the rest

celebrating the love that grows at the blue

February 1, 2016 in Blog

Celebrating the love that grows at the blue

by Jill Sockman

In the same way it’s hard not to write about gratitude in November, it’s nearly impossible for me not to wax nostalgic at this time of year. And somehow this February feels bigger than most. Celebrating our 9th birthday means we are headed into our 10th year of community at blue lotus. And when I look back to where I was 10 years ago, with the exception of a very few most precious near and dear (you know who you are) nothing about my life looks the same now as it did then.Read the rest