Tag Archives: persistence

Come Back

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Dear Person who used to be my friend
and is now in the process of attempting
to jeopardize my employment status
at the yoga studio by bringing the quality
of my teaching into question and telling the management
that you are feeling uncomfortable
with the subject matter I’m addressing in my classes:
I’m so sorry things didn’t work out between us.
You told me you were a colleague
having been through yoga teacher training yourself
and so I trusted that it was okay
to go beyond the student/teacher boundary
and explore the realm of friendship.
Oops! I was wrong!
I was wrong about you.
I thought that you were a kind person,
but when I started feeling anxious,
drained and uncomfortable around you,
I decided to back away.
I backed out as gracefully as possible.
But I guess you didn’t like that.
I guess that, like other people I’ve known,
you believe that if I’m not for you
I’m against you.
And now, for some reason,
you are trying to take me down,
and (like other people I’ve known)
you are attempting to recruit other people
to agree with you and join you
and take me down with you.
But here’s something you should know:
I have been to the very center of hell
many, many times
and I have always come back.
You can say what you want,
you can attempt to take me down.
You can even try to bring me to hell with you.
You can attempt to create an entire posse of supporters
to drag me down, to rake my name across the coals,
to convince the world that I’m worthless as a teacher.
If you try hard enough,
you might even be successful
in getting me ousted from my job.
I may have to struggle a little more
because of your childish vendetta.
But you will not win.
I will rise up from hell.
I will find new work.
I will thrive even more.
I will always come back.

Too Much

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What will take away the rage,
the fatigue, the sheer exhaustion?
What will make all of this seem ok,
so that I can get up and do this again
(and again and again and again and again)?
How many days like this
until it won’t be like this anymore?
Tonight, I feel solidarity
will all single parents everywhere
who just want some help,
because it all feels like too much.

Strong

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I’m amazed I’ve been able to keep up this pace,
2-3 yoga classes a day for two months,
but I’m not just doing this for me,
I’m doing it for my kids and for my students too.
I’m doing it for the ripples of peace and goodwill
that flow out into the world
when I make just one person’s day a little brighter.
It’s amazing how I can find the strength to go on,
day after day, feeling tired, feeling wiped out,
feeling like I have nothing left at the end of the day,
and yet, each morning I wake up,
and I’m ready to do it all over again.
This feels like I’m being trained for something even bigger.
This feels like an opportunity to flex
my resilience muscles,
my endurance muscles,
my persistence muscles,
my faith muscles.
A year ago, I felt weak and destroyed,
devastated, betrayed, abandoned…
But now look…
Just look at how strong I am now.

I Made It Through

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I have made it through another day.
The anxiety, the sadness,
the worry, the fear,
the questioning,
the deep longing for connection
beyond what I have known,
the hunger,
the anger,
the absolute loneliness,
the exhaustion,
the pain in my neck,
the doubt, the nostalgia—
I made it through all of it.
And there was hope.
There was gratitude,
humor,
some moments of graceful expansion,
clear sight,
beauty.
I took time to care for myself,
to nourish myself,
to feed my heart with the words of poets,
to feed my body with the bounty of the earth.
It was a day I’ll never live again,
unique in all of my days.
And I made it through.

I’ll Try Again

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Today I wanted to change it up
and practice really liking myself,
really celebrating what I’m able to do.
And how do you think it went?
Do you think it was all
rainbows, puppies, bunnies,
singing, dancing, bubbles
and flowers?
Nope.
I was depressed as hell.
It seems like my system
doesn’t give in so easily.
After decades of telling myself
I’m never good enough,
it’s going to take more than one idea
on one day
to really experience
self-love, kindness, self-respect,
true friendship with my Self.
Today didn’t go as I had hoped,
but that’s ok.
Tomorrow I’ll wake up
and I’ll try again.

All We Could Ever Want

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Let them rise and let them fall
like the waves of the ocean–
they will come to you your whole life,
it is in our nature.

To be human is to have wants.
To be human is to experience limits,
and if you are persistent,
you might develop the drive to rise above them.

The question isn’t whether we should want or not want–
it’s more about bringing awareness to what we want,
and discerning between a passing fancy and a dream dear to your heart.

It is more about meeting our deepest dreams with awareness,
and mindfully directing our energies to bring ourselves
to the place of fulfillment,
Not with the fancy cars or the big mansions or the dream vacations
(Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with those),

But fulfillment in a place that can’t be seen-
in the character that has been tempered within the fire of great challenge,
by the spirit that has been strengthened by overcoming adversity,
by grace that rushes in to let you know how absolutely loved you are,
by the realization that all we could ever want is right here, in this moment.

Be Positive, Patient, and Persistent

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Be Positive, Patient, and Persistent

A little plaque sits in the sunny window sill just right of the kitchen sink at my in-laws’ house in Murray, Utah.  My eyes lit upon it as I was washing my hands after dinner this evening.  “BE POSITIVE, PATIENT AND PERSISTENT” it reads.  Doesn’t it say it all?

When you are positive, you are keeping your eyes open for the good in this life…and there is so much good if we can just open our eyes to it.  A positive frame of mind lights the way for others who are in need of some encouragement; it is contagious.  Even the most disenchanted of hearts can be enticed to enjoy life in the presence of someone who is genuinely positive.  In spite of ourselves, the stories we carry with us, our wounds, our fears, our resentments–I truly believe that at the core of our being we want to be happy.  Choosing to be positive is a giant leap in the direction of living with authentic happiness.  It doesn’t mean that we escape suffering by any means; this isn’t living in denial of the world’s pain.  On the contrary, a positive person might be extremely sensitive, cognizant of the world’s suffering–and because of this awareness, she is able to identify and savor the good that is available to her, the good that is always there.  This active decision to see with the eyes of appreciation makes life a grand adventure, makes us curious to discover what awaits as we awaken to the beauty that surrounds us.

And then there’s patience.  Wowzers is that a tough one!  But again, here is something that can make all the difference in the world in the sphere of personal interactions, personal evolution.  Patience smooths out situations that could feel prickly, it makes whole situations that feel fragmented, it strengthens us, our ability to be present, to love and accept ourselves and everyone around us just as we all are.  Think about the safety a child must feel in the presence of someone who is truly patient.  A child learns by doing, by experimenting, by falling and getting back up again.  A patient person affirms that it is okay to make mistakes, and to take as long as needed to learn–and doesn’t make anyone feel like a failure for not getting it right away.

I’m working on developing more patience, especially with myself.  It’s sobering to see that I am disproportionately more patient with others than I am with myself, that I can accept others’ need to learn at their own pace but am somehow intolerant of my own learning process.  Happily I can call the work I’m doing a practice, and remember from time to time that there isn’t any pressure to be anything other than what I am right now.  Imagine what the world would look like if we were patient enough with ourselves to extend genuine patience to one another.

And finally there is persistence.  It’s not easy being positive in the face of the many terrifying things that happen on this planet on a daily basis.  It’s not easy being patient, especially when we’re tired, hungry, lonely, emotionally charged…but we can evoke our persistence and ask ourselves to keep trying in spite of the challenges we face.  Without persistence we might give up at the first sign of challenge.  How would we grow without it?  How would babies learn how to walk if they gave up after falling one time?  How would we learn how to love if we went into hiding the first time our hearts were broken?  How could we grow stronger if we were too quick to throw in the towel when things get heavy?

Let us persist through our human challenges.  Let us look for the good and the positive in our lives.  Let us be patient with ourselves and others as we navigate this human life…let us light the way for others, so that the benefits of our work may extend beyond our personal stories.

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You need more patience?
Plant an acorn in the forest floor,
sit by it, and wait.
Do you need to work on being positive?
Then trust that something beautiful will happen as you wait.
Wait  for the first little green shoot to appear.
Wait and watch it grow,
see the first leaves unfurling.
Do you want to know persistence?
Keep waiting.
Wait through the seasons,
through all the weather,
the day and the night,
the hot and the cold,
the moon, sun, wind and rain.
If you wait long enough,
you will see a majestic oak tree.
So it is with our lives.