Letter of Love: Kindness is contagious.

Be quick to smile

It will likely be passed on

Kindness spreads like fire.

A Haiku (inspired by my father’s daily Haikus)

I recently, like most days, was caught driving home at rush hour. Rushing to get back to pick up my daughter. I wasn’t alone. Instead of the usual get out of MY way sort of attitude, I tried kindness. It was contagious. I pulled too far into the crosswalk. A woman was crossing; I looked at her, smiled and backed out of the crosswalk; she smiled back the sweetest smile. A biker saw, he smiled and waved too. I pulled forward in hopes that someone would let me in to the long line of cars, in which the drivers were looking straight ahead and trying not to make eye contact. Then a woman in the car directly in front of me, who had witnessed the earlier interaction, leaned forward to look at me waved and smiled and motioned me in front of her.

This winter with the shorter darker days, the stress and cheer of the holidays, try kindness. Kindness to yourself, when you lose your patience. Kindness to loved ones when they fail your expectations. Kindness to strangers who are yet to be known.  I will practice with you. We can together create a world where kindness is the first act.  Remember that it is indeed contagious. Do you have a story where you witnessed one person in a line of angry or stressed people being kind? Was it you? What was the impact? Please share, I would love to hear.

Committed in love,
Lila


In this time we more than ever need to be with each other, hear each other, breathe together and move together. I look forward to being together soon in a retreat, class or workshop.

Letter of Love: Lessons from Retreats & Tips to Connect

How bold one gets, when one is sure of being loved.

-Sigmund Freud

I just recently returned from leading my annual Pilates and Yoga Retreat in Mexico at Mar De Jade Retreat Center.  It is hard to capture, in words, the magic that happens in this week.  As I reflect, I hear the words of one of my guests; “Lila, I woke up today and I am not experiencing any pain in my body and I am so happy and relaxed. Along with the movement practice we are doing, I feel so connected to all the women here, I haven’t felt this way in a long time...”

To be a happy healthy human we need connection, we need the loving caring listening of others, and we absolutely need to feel a connection to community. When we don’t, we can feel pain, unhappiness and  feel that we are alone.

We were designed to move, be a part of a tribe and connected to nature. When we live by how we were designed we feel less pain, we experience happiness; we feel alive again.

In this fast paced life we have created we often go against the design. This disconnection lends itself to dis-ease in the body, mind and spirit.  I was reminded of this on retreat and experienced the importance of connection through seeing it unfold before my eyes.
 

As long as we are alive, we can make daily choices to connect, to feel to fully live. 

Here are a few tips to connect:

  1. Go outside
  2. Open up the windows
  3. Put down or better yet unplug the devices for at least one hour a day - longer on weekends please
  4. Move your body everyday
  5. Take conscious breaths every hour
  6. Go to the farmers market and buy fresh farm grown produce
  7. Hug someone everyday for at least 20seconds
  8. Go on a retreat to reset
  9. Hold hands
  10. And my personal favorite hug a tree for at least 20seconds.. Yep thats right (;

With love Always,

Lila

Letter of Love: Participate relentlessly in the present

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert

What does it take to show up fully in your life...to participate relentlessly in the present?

The here and now require a sort of deep comfort for feeling what you feel, letting the past be the past and the future be just that... the future.

We live in a world that is constantly distracting us from the present moment. This is partly self-inflicted, but creates a consistent challenge to remain present. 

It takes an ongoing practice to show up in the here and now. It's not always glamorous and doesn't always feel great, but it's the only chance we have at experiencing being fully alive.

Meditation helps-- just being quiet. Having a teacher, coach, or therapist can help clear the personal stories that you may not be fully aware of. Telling the truth. Dancing helps, movement helps, breathing helps, playing helps, laughing helps, holding hands and being surrounded by nature always helps.

And I am always practicing. 

When I pick my daughter up from school, I take a conscious breath. I see her. I look at her eyes. I look at her posture. I listen. I notice that when she knows I am truly listening and paying attention, her eyes sparkle a bit brighter and she smiles more easily. 

When my thoughts rush in with the "to do" list, I pause, take a breath, and start over.

Look. Listen. Feel. See her. Be here.

I don't want to miss life as it is happening. I practice this in many moments of my day. Our lives are miracles, and there is joy in relentlessly participating in its creation.

How do you participate fully in your life? I would love to hear how.

With love,
Lila
 

Letter of Love: Don't Rush it

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”. -Unknown

We are all guilty of the busy life. I have recently replaced the word busywith full as a way to lighten it. Our words too, in part create our reality. We're all guilty of over-planning, to-do lists, and worrying about the un-arrived future. This constant planning eclipses quiet moments, moments where there could be space. 

We live in a world that mostly takes us away from the exact things that we want. Lovebeing present; the connection to our aliveness, with others, to our precious lives. We actively, whether we like it or not, or aware of it or not, participate in this creation.

 

It’s time to slow down on every level. Don’t worry you won’t miss “it”. You will actually start to live it. 

Certain things take time.

Like:

Drinking a cup of tea, preparing a meal, listening deeply to someone, hugging, being w another person without judgements, holding hands, listening to the sounds of nature: bird songs, ocean waves, rain, the ability to change,  paying attention to daily rituals, and always breathing in and breathing out.

 

Don’t Rush It.

With love,

Lila