Daily assignments for living the yogi’s life with Kino MacGregor.
To check A week of Self Reflection, click here.
Forgiveness is grace and the power of healing. It will set you free from the past and open your hearts and minds to the peace of true love. Today’s yogi assignment is forgiveness. This message of reconciliation is an important step in accepting yourself and your life in all its extraordinary imperfection, a humble request to be loved as you are and to love your world as it is.
Ask yourself if you are holding on to any anger or resentment or any feelings of victimization and see if you’re ready to let go with the simple and powerful act of forgiveness. Who can you forgive today to clear your past? Or is it yourself that you need to forgive? Stop beating yourself up for yesterday’s mistakes or your perceived shortcomings. Let your past experience make you wise and humble, not self-denigrating. Or, perhaps the hardest to do, is there someone you have hurt knowingly or unknowingly that you must ask for forgiveness from? With a humble heart fee of expectation offer your apology to free yourself, but don’t get upset if the person doesn’t accept it or welcome you with open arms.
Trust is a gift that, after it has been abused or taken for granted, must be earned back. Through forgiveness, by granting it or asking for it, you will open a channel into the receptive soft heart that is full of love. Go out and shine bright today.
2. Love your body.
Your body is the spiritual home of your consciousness, it is perfect, beautiful and blessed. The only thing missing is for you to realize that. We would never have any problem celebrating all the shapes and sizes in the amazing diversity in nature, but when it comes to our bodies we can be so harsh. Today’s yogi assignment is love your body.
Carve out time to consciously love, honor and celebrate your body. Treat your body to a nice hot bath, a massage or some other ritual that expresses nurturance. Or nourish your body by eating really good high quality foods today. Or, take time to appreciate your body by standing in front of the mirror and pointing out things that you love about your body.
Today I am celebrating my shortness. I used to feel so self consciousness about being small, I dreamed of being taller and would stuff myself into tortuously high heels. Even today someone left a comment on my last post that they thought I should be taller after all the yoga—sorry to disappoint but I am loving, sharing and celebrating my 5’2 smallness today. What are you celebrating, embracing and nourishing about your body today?
A yoga practice is a journey to the center of yourself and you need to be brave and strong for that adventure deep into the inner space of your body, mind and soul. Today’s yogi assignment is adventure—do something that requires you to reach just a little outside your comfort zone.
If there is a pose that is challenging for you do it today and go on that inner adventure as you explore the subtle body. Or maybe you want to do a yoga pose in the middle of a crowded street. If there is an adventurous trip that you want to take start planning it today. If there is something that you want to do but you’re a little afraid of go out and do it today. Or find the sense of adventure in your everyday life by adding a little hint of something dangerous to a normal activity, like you could vacuum your house naked, smile at a cute stranger on your way to work, wear red lipstick or black nail polish.
Become the hero of your life story.
Being truly vulnerable and intimate with another person can be scary. When you lay your whole heart on the table for everyone to see, you risk rejection. But as yogis we have to be brave enough to share ourselves honestly, especially when it’s scary. Tell the truth of who you are and let it set you free. Today’s yogi assignment is vulnerability. Share something about yourself that you would not normally feel comfortable enough to share. Make it as public or private as you want.
I still remember feeling so insecure about myself that there were whole aspects of my childhood that I tried to forget, things that I never dared to share with another person for fear of rejection, like that my first “boyfriend” was a 25 year old guy who tried to pick me up on the beach when I was 11 (you can imagine how that ended up!). My husband was the first person that I ever told the whole truth about myself too. And when he didn’t run away but actually loved me more because of all my flaws, I started loving myself just that little bit more too.
It’s not our perfections that connect us, but our vulnerability. It’s the tenderness of our broken, cracked hearts that makes us who we are. The beauty of ourselves is revealed in the mosaic pattern of a love that is so big that it contains all the hurt of our lives with a limitless, unconditional embrace.
You are whole and complete and everything you have experienced is part of a divine plan. You are exactly where you need to be going through exactly what you need to be going through. Who you are is exactly who you need to be. Now get out there and share it with the world so we can see you shine.
5. Count your blessings.
Each moment is a conscious choice that makes a lasting impact on your life. Each breath is a new chance to create a life of gratitude and blessing. Habitual and often unconscious thinking sets the pattern for our behavior, feelings and actions. Today’s yogi assignment is count your blessings. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have or fall into complaining, especially if you dream big. But thinking or acting from a paradigm of what you lack will only make you feel more empty, even if you accomplish the goal.
Everything in life is a gift. No matter how much we try, nor how powerful or rich we become, we can never own the most precious things in life: peace, love, happiness. Train your mind to focus on the blessings in your life today and then when you succeed at your big life goals you will feel the fullness of your inner being reflected back in your accomplishments. But chase after some external dream because you think getting it will make you happy and you will end up disillusioned even if you do finally get there.
Write down all the blessings in your life and/or share with someone in person. Start small, start real and then watch the attitude of appreciation take on a momentum of unstoppable happiness. You already have the magic of love in your heart, all you have to do is unlock it. You are beautiful, strong and worthy of love and happiness, all you have to do is believe it and train your mind to see it.
6. Tapas—the discipline to accept certain pains along the road to purification.
People ask me all the time how I got so flexible and strong. The simple and easy answer is that I have been practicing every day for the last 15 years. I was not naturally good at yoga, couldn’t touch my toes, bend my back or even do a headstand when I started. But through devotion, dedication and determination I’ve been able to experience a slow steady shift from the impossible to the possible. In traditional yoga philosophy this is called tapas—the discipline to accept certain pains along the road to purification. Today’s yogi assignment is tapas.
There’s are many ways that you can integrate this ancient spiritual principle. Try making the commitment to do something that is difficult for you in service of the practice, like getting up early or doing a posture that you always avoid. Or, try kicking an old habit that is getting in the way of your practice. Or maybe you make the decision to increase the number of days that you practice or wake up early (like I did this morning) in service of yoga.
Physical, mental and spiritual tapas builds strength and determination that give you the power to achieve your life goals too. Success is as much as habit as it is talent and luck. You already have everything you need in your heart to succeed in yoga and in life. Through the power of tapas you learn to access your natural strength and be truly strong.
7. What do you believe you’re worth of?
The answer to that question can be found by looking at what surrounds you. It’s one thing to agree that you are worthy of love and another to truly let the power of love into your heart. The reflection of your life is an honest mirror of your often hidden subconscious patterns, especially the deeply seeded thoughts about your self-worth.
Want to be treated with respect but tolerate disrespectful behavior all the time? Want peace but act out of aggression? Want to be healthy but sabotage yourself with destructive behaviors, eating habits or lifestyle? Want love but find yourself settling for less? Yoga works because it gives you access to the real experience of your true self. And when you touch that glimmering magical essence that is divinely created, blessed and full of grace you will never ever settle for anything less than the highest form of worship there is, true love.
Author: Kino MacGregor
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: House of yoga