yoga is a lot like life: harsh and sweet

image of a blue foggy forest and some white rocks on a river. it has a quote saying: inside us, lives the world.

yoga is a battle. a battle against ourselves. at least for me.

i always encounter resistance when i unroll my mat and i put a step on top of it. something so simple, and yet releases so many emotions.

there, on the mat, i’m with myself. with my own expectations, and mistakes, and disappointments. because i can never do what i want, exactly as i want.

there, i’m obliged to be in contact with my body, to know its perfection and limitations. there, i’m obliged to be in contact with my mind, to feel strength and weakness, serenity and tiredness, joy and discontentment.

i like to do yoga. actually, i love to do yoga because it elevates me and it makes me feel free. i’m myself, only.

i just don’t like the doubts that assault me before practice, the feeling of not being good enough, the fear of getting tired. why are we so afraid of being tired?

when i put my feet on the mat, and i meditate, or do a sun salutation, all the pressure goes off of my shoulders. there are no more preconceived goals. there are no more doubts, no more fears.

i just need to be there and go meet myself. the rest unwinds by itself.

yoga is like life. a battle against ourselves. at least for me.

we always find resistance in change, on what’s different, on what asks for something (more) of us. we never do what we want, exactly as we want. it never happens what we want, exactly as we want it.

we are obliged to accept life as it is, to be open to the possibilities and embrace them like gifts. because we never know if the possibility is even better than our dream, if we aren’t willing to give it everything we are.

yoga is like life. we can choose between giving ourselves fully, with flaws and all. accept all the defeats and use them to win. to grab the spark of tears and put them in our smile, to use the body to reach freedom and the soul to find peace.

inside us, lives the world.

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11 lessons in 1 day, by zumba

i ask myself how many lessons zumba has for me yet.

zumba is been helping me to rediscover myself, and this time this is what i’ve learned:

it doesn’t matter what happens, it just matters how we feel.

our feelings shape our experience. we put the inside on the outside. we see as we feel.

if we’re having fun, we can overcome ourselves.

and there will be nothing we can’t do, because we’re giving our best and we’ll do it for as long as we need it to be successful.

an experience is much more than what we see.

because there’s a whole universe behind it. and a whole lot of meanings too.

the most simple things can give us the most joy.

because they are easy to take, and easy to share.

if we go to the world with an open mind, we will always be surprised.

there are opportunities everywhere, we just need to be willing to take them.

when we think we’re giving, we’re actually receiving. in triple.

there’s no such thing as only giving, and only receiving. there’s always an exchange. we might see it as good or bad, but that’s only our judgement, based on our limited beliefs.

what is insignificant for some, means the whole world for others.

so don’t waste your time, or your kindness. use them well.

a smile can travel for miles.

so give your best smile whenever you can. that means always. 😀

there’s nothing more powerful than a tribe.

people united, going for the same goal, can make magical things. and they surely will go far and beyond.

the crowd makes the success.

because alone we aren’t anyone. we are only leaders when we have followers. we give the love, they transform it into meaning.

i am happy because i want to.

not because the world allows me to. or because i have the conditions to be so. i choose to be happy, every second of my life. even if that means to suffer sometimes. as in suffering, there is growth. and that’s happiness for me. 😉

#themaskwriter

unconditional love is a lot like playing

i mean, when we let ourselves to create, and make mistakes, and learn, and try again.

unconditional love is that impulse that makes us take the first step of doing something new, without knowing what the result will be. being almost certain we will fail. wondering if we’ll enjoy the process.

unconditional love is letting ourselves to do something wrong over and over. and to feel a little bad about it, and to understand it’s completely normal (to fail and to feel bad). and to try again until something is right.

until we feel proud of ourselves, and we smile, and say: this is fun! i got it wrong at first, but i know i can do it now! and i want to try again!

the only way to love ourselves unconditionally is to look at our challenges as opportunities to play. to look at life as a game we always win, even if we die in the end.

what other game lets you do that? 😉

do you think you’re vegan?

sheep on the outdoor. black and white photo.

probably you aren’t.

because being a real vegan is an almost impossible goal to attain.

don’t throw me your stones just yet. let me explain why i say this.

you’ll agree with me that being a vegan means to stop exploiting animals in any way, and treating them with kindness instead. as equals.

in a world that doesn’t even treat humans equally, you might imagine how hard that may be. specially when we are so used to this behaviour of using animals for our own comfort.

but that’s not really my point, is it?

as i was saying, i feel kind of powerless when i think about on my vegan journey. i know i’m still a newbie, but no one expects me to change overnight. i hope.

and i feel powerless because there are a million things i need to do to use that “vegan badge” (as if it was something so honourable it needs a medal).

when i eat my veggies, and my fruits, and my cereals, i can’t be sure of how vegan they are.

what if they have come from animal exploration agriculture? what if pesticides were used?

and my coconut oil, was a monkey used to catch the coconut from where this product was made?

and all the plastic i’m using: is it killing animals?

and the oil used in the buses i take to go for work? isn’t it polluting the air, and the water, and the soil?

and the clothes i wear? are they gmo free? were humans exploited in the process?

and the…

do you see where i’m going?

there’s always a new level of veganism. there’s always something else we can do.

there’s always a way to be more kind.

keep loving. keep veganizing. 😉

// photo credit by mehdi genest on unsplash

 

 

 

it’s not the way you say it, it’s the way you do it

i was here, writing my pitch about unconditional love. so i could put it on my e-mail signature and invite people to my blog.

ant then i could teach the world about unconditional love and how precious and important it is. how it can change our lives.

and the universe is so poignant, that my doorbell rang. it was an old lady asking for money.

she told me she was embarrassed, but she needed to pay the rent. i looked her in the eyes and said to her i didn’t have any money.

she then asked one more time, even if it were a few coins and asked god to give me in double what i would offer her.

i knew i had a few coins to spare, and still i told her no.

then, i came back to my pitch: i’m a sailor and love is my compass.

i felt like a fraud. i thought: how could i teach people to love unconditionally if i just sent that woman away without giving her what i had? why was i so jealous?

so i picked up my wallet, i grabbed the few coins i had, opened my front door and called the old lady.

i gave her the money and told her: i’m sorry, this is all i have. i’m so sorry.

and she looked at me, and thanked me with tears on her eyes. i felt like crying too.

and now, i’m telling you this story. so you know we aren’t perfect, we make mistakes but we can always turn them around.

there is always a way to be kind. there’s always a way we can show our love.

today i learned that i can’t only talk about how love is this powerful energy of creation, i need to act. i need to give all the love i have inside my heart.

#themaskwriter

> join the unconditional love group on facebook 💛

 

love as another pattern for punishment

i’ve told you before how difficult it is to be a parent. and one of the most hard tasks is to educate your precious little thing.

you want them to follow your rules without question, because it makes your life so much easier. and you wish them to question everything and be creative.

there are many many methods, and sometimes none seem to work.

so, what to do?

A. should we spank?

B. yell?

C. punish?

D. talk?

E. show how it’s done?

F. all of the above?

G. none of the above?

H. run away and never come back?

ok, not h.

but i’ve certainly was on f. a lot of times, and it wasn’t pretty.

my answer is (almost) always love.

almost, because i’m not perfect.

as a kid, i was subjected to yelling, to punishment, and to spanking. and none of it really helped on making myself a better person.

what i learned instead was to be quiet. to talk the least possible, to do stuff alone and to always keep my thoughts and emotions to myself.

i grew with resentment, anger and a low self-esteem.

i don’t want that to my kid.

i want him to express himself freely. that he knows there’s nothing wrong with him. and that’s natural to make mistakes. that they exist to teach us something.

i want him to know that i love him unconditionally. no matter the person he is, no matter what he does: i’m there to support him, and to show him there are a hundred ways to do stuff.

what i’m learning, day by day, mistake by mistake. is that everything he does, is rooted in everything us parents do. he learns by imitation.

so i really need to look at myself and ask how i am dealing with my emotions. how am i expressing them? what are my actions teaching him?

do i become frustrated when something doesn’t go as planned? do i yell and frown my face? do i feel lost and overwhelmed?

most of the times, the answer is yes.

and if the answer is yes, i need to change my behavior. i need to be more mindful, i need to be more calm. i need to show more love towards myself.

like my kid does show me his love every time he sees i’m upset, or when he did something i consider wrong.

he looks at me, and hugs me very tightly, and kisses me. and kisses me. and kisses me.

he wants to know that i love him.

and do you know what i do?

i hug him back. very tightly. and kiss him. and kiss him. and kiss him.

and then i tell him that i love him, but that i need him to not climb to the table because he can fall and get hurt. or that he can’t be watching youtube all the time, because there are a lot of more fun things to do. or that he needs to get out of his pool, because it’s late and cold and he can get sick.

i was just watching a video about perceived energies. and the talker, alexandra solnado, said something that rang a bell:

our kids are energetic mirrors of ourselves.

they pick our energy and reflect it right back at us.

so no matter how much you yell, how much you spank, how much time you ground them.

they will give you back that same energy in bigger proportions. until something explodes.

and you become calm. and he becomes calm. because you did.

but, as i’ve told you: i’m not perfect.

i forget to breathe and stay calm. i forget to breathe, to understand he’s little and testing his limits and exploring life. i forget to breath and put a smile and help him find a healthier way to get what he needs.

and i yell when i’m angry and tired. and i spank him when i feel lost and don’t know what to do.

only for the next second to be apologizing. and telling myself: you know better, learn with this. don’t damage your kid, he deserves more than this. you deserve more than this.

because, going on the violence cycle also affect us. not only our kids.

violence never brings anything good. not even discipline and respect.

but fear? oh, yes.

and how does violence affects me as a parent?

i become a more negative person, i feel guilty, and my self-esteem goes down with it. there comes feelings of not good enough, of incompetence, of unworthiness of having a child to take care of.

we need so much love on this world.

no matter how harsh the environment, everything in nature blossoms with love despite the circumstances.

no matter how inhospitable the surroundings, if it’s taken care of, it will grow.

and it all starts at our hearts. at our homes.

love can bring the best in us. and yes, love means saying no. love means putting limits. and love means explaining those same limits and no’s.

but love doesn’t mean making our children feel inferior. or like there’s something wrong with them. or that they don’t deserve our care. or that they aren’t smart enough or important enough to understand the why’s behind our orders.

it’s important to respect them, to make them feel included on our decisions. to find a balance.

i always follow a rule better if i know its purpose. i’m sure my kid acts in the same way.

“do it because i say so” is foolish. everyone has its own wills, they will never do anything you want just because you say so. they need a reason.

and don’t tell me kids have no wants, they do. and they are as important as your own.

we can be soft and kind, yet firm. we can be vulnerable, without being powerless. we can give away, without surrender. we can reach a balance.

i’ve read somewhere that we gain power when we give power to others.

instead of threatening our kids, we should try to give them the power of decisions. and what comes with it: the consequences and responsibilities. those are punishment and reward enough.

i am sure they do the best they can with the tools they have.

and maybe, just maybe the problem isn’t on their disinterest on learning how to please us, but on the tools we give them.

i want to listen to my kid, to hear above what he tells me. to see beyond his actions. and understand what he truly needs. and why he acts in certain ways.

is he seeking for attention? if yes, am i not being totally immersed in the moment when i am with him?

is he testing limits? seeing what he’s able to do? trying the world? exploring my yes’ and no’s?

is he looking for stimulation? does he need better toys? more suitable activities?

am i talking enough with him? do i tell him about my emotions and my thoughts? and how does my world looks like?

do i show i trust him? that i believe in his competence? do i let him do things by himself? do i give him the space, time and opportunity to accomplish new goals without help?

{note: marshal rosenberg says that every time we act violently, there’s an inherent need behind. usually a need for love. watch his non-violent communication course to learn how to communicate in a kind way, and to listen instead of just hearing. more on that on a future post}

we, as parents need to trust our hearts. even if changes are slow slow sloooooow. even if it seems there’s no change at all.

raising a child isn’t easy. it won’t be perfect. and there’s a lot of mess around.

but kids do learn, and they will be much better prepared with love in their hearts than with resentment.

that will make them happy, healthy, confident adults. ready to embrace the world, with magic loving wands.

what are your experiences as a parent? how do you raise your kids? what do you do when you’re tired and angry? what have you learned so far?

share everything in the comments, let’s help a parent out!

 

who would we be without dreams?

quote about miracles

dreams are this state of ecstasy, and hope. and joy.

they make you feel alive, and try new things, and thrive.

dreams are magical. they are the miracles of our lives. they are the seeds from where everything else grows.

don’t underestimate your dreams. but don’t get too attached to them either. just enjoy this place where anything and everything is possible. just enjoy the flow of imagination.

and then, plant your seed. water your seed. wait patiently. it may grow into a big, deep rooted tree. or die and fertilize the soil.

either way, that seed will nurture every other dream you have.

and one day, you’ll have a beautiful garden, or a beautiful forest, or a beautiful amazon.

it only depends on how many seeds you plant, how much you take care of them, how are you able to let go and how well you thrive among strong winds, stubborn weeds and sad choices.

good luck and dream on!

#themaskwriter

p.s. don’t forget to be open to wild plants. dandelions are quite eerie!

cloudy sky and a quote about life by themaskwriter

how magic looks like

quote about love

life doesn’t always work out as we want. we make plans, she creates surprises. and we don’t always like surprises, because they aren’t always good. they aren’t always at the reach of our control.

and here’s the fallacy. control doesn’t exist. we just have the illusion that we can pick what happens to us.

we have the illusion that what happened then, will happen later. we don’t have all the variables in our hands. it isn’t a math problem we can solve. (math can be so much easier than creativity, can it not?)

life hasn’t a gps either. a map where you can exactly know where to go, how to go, and what to do once you get there.

there are millions of points you can link, many goals to pursue and also infinite ways to reach them.

but, in the end, all you have is now. all you have is your love.

so, use them well. as they will show you how magic looks like.

#themaskwriter

quote about love and image of father and on on the beach

when you close your eyes, the dream goes on

i close my eyes
and see multicolored worlds
when i think about you,
in us,
in our perfect family.

three hearts vibrating
in discompassed sounds
of the same melody <!–read more–>

i close my eyes
and see the harmony of our love
the disbalance in balance
the fires that burn us, the waters that calm us down
the air that give us wings, the earth that connects us

i close my eyes
and want to open them in a blink
because any dream
as perfect it may be
isn’t any happier than our reality

i open my eyes
and i hug you
i kiss you
i love you
i adore you both
until life makes me close them again

and then the dream goes on

#themaskwriter

// inspired by kesha and her song rainbow. listen to it, it’s beautiful!

// dedicated to r. and l., the most wonderful people in my life ❤