Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm becoming a certified yoga teacher!

I'm becoming a certified yoga teacher! Today concludes my first full week of training at Jai Yoga Arts. I'm fortunate to be studying with a group of awesome peers under a great teacher and I'm excited by the learning process. Not only will I be teaching yoga when I'm done, I'll be following my passion and creating a joyful life. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Great post about Wickford, RI

This post from my dad highlights the beauty of Wickford, RI and the abundant and mysteriousness of the wildlife living there.

http://wickfordweather.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/summer-proceedings/

Freedom Found in a Bottle

Verse
Freedom is found in a bottle
That's what we're led to believe
Hell no, that can't be so
They won't take my freedom from me

I'ma keep searching for my soul
It'll be my journey to see
In my mind, just feel fine
And I'll see Serenity. 

When you see me commin' on down the road
Stroll on over to me
Time ain't done, I'm still having fun
Let's live peacefully. 

The time I've been given on this world 
Holds a special place in my heart
It's all I got, so I'll make it count
Let's respect it all  you see


Chorus
Here we go
Follow me down the road 
Where are you?
Remember to free your soul
We are here
Ready to reappear
I see you
Glad you're with me too

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A joy has revisited my life
A joy I've felt before
The memory of this joy
I'd forgotten

With knowledge, comes seeing:
My choices become clear. As
I learn to sustain this joy
With practice and non-attachment
Positive and negative

Friday, September 20, 2013

I feel good about my work!

I love working so close to my apartment. I'm only a short walk away. I feel strong and healthy as I briskly walk to my work space. I drink a healthy fruit smoothie for breakfast with oatmeal in it. My work environment is bright with sunlight and clean. My workspace is spacious and very clear. I have plenty of room to take notes and think.

I love my work. I create solutions and connect people. I love being compensated for my work because I enjoy doing it. I feel proud of my work and know it helps people in the world. I feel flexible and free. I can come and go as I please and do different things during the day. I teach yoga class during lunch time and help people throughout the day. I'm connecting with new people and old friends and really enjoy what I do. I feel excited and healthy!

Imagine

Everything I can imagine exists within creation right now. If they didn't exist, I wouldn't be able to imagine them.

Give love for what I want when I imagine everything I want.

Imagine what it'd be like if my relationships were all wonderful.

Imagine how I'd feel if my job suddenly took off.

Imagine how my life would be if I had the money to do what I love.

Imagine how I'd feel if I was overflowing with health.

Imagine how I'd feel if I could do what I wanted to do.


Words courtesy of Rhonda Byrne's "The Power"

My Yoga Teacher Training Begins

Tomorrow at noon I begin my 200 hour yoga teacher training certification from the Yoga Alliance at Jai Yoga Arts in Bushwick. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my life. I'm returning my focus to the contemplative arts and a meditative and harmonious lifestyle. I'll be spending several mornings and nights each week until mid December learning about yoga and practicing the asanas.

I imagine myself waking up early and creating a fruit smoothie. I will have a focused intention in my mornings as I practice yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On weekends, I'll be spending time learning about yoga with a small group of other yogis.

Cheers to living my dream and creating a future in alignment with my goals and values.

Perception of Money and Happiness

I was wondering how the concept of money for a growing child affects their outlook on life and overall perception of happiness.

Does the perceived need for money distort someone's view on the world? Do one start to believe that money is a requirement for all objects and activities? If money was never present in a childhood, does the person see the world clearer? Money might not be present in childhood if the child is growing up in a very wealthy situation where all needs are met and money is never discussed. Money would also not enter the lives of child who lives in a barter society or an impoverished society.

Does money act as a dividing screen from reality? Instead of seeing the object or the world as it is, does the money that object is worth, obstruct their vision of reality?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Little Dream

The sun is shining and the air is clean. Water trickles audibly outside my dwelling. It is morning and I awake rejuvenated from last night's lucid dream filled state. My lovely woman is gently asleep next to me and I kiss her before leaving the warm sheets. My bare feet absorb the sunlit warmth from the wooden floor as I gently awaken my body and mind for the day yet created.

How to Find Meaning Working in an Office

Sometimes I find myself feeling lost, angry and unsatisfied with my office work. Determined to live a happier, more appreciative and equanimous existence, I've created a list of ways I can find more meaning in the office environment and hope that this list might benefit you as well.
  • Create a meditation or mindfulness group that meets either a few times each week or once per week
  • Practice mindfulness during daily activities: typing meditation, walking meditation, data-entry meditation :)
  • Learn at least one thing about someone per day
  • Create an interesting blog post
  • While at the office, make it an intention to learn something new from someone
  • Take deep breaths every few minutes and be aware of how I'm breathing and feeling
  • Donate something
  • Spend a few moments searching for new opportunities
  • Connect with people on Linked In
  • Send an email to at least one acquaintance per week
  • Reconnect with Warren, Celina, JMas, Amber, Tariq, Shoshone, Tim R., Andrew, Stephen Fitch, my cousins, aunts & uncles, grandma, Corynne, Ben Sherwood, Xavier, Jed
  • Learn about my industry of work: What is the competition doing?
  • Research stocks and find a few to watch
  • Read about yoga, yoga studios in NY
  • Find yoga blogs, start my own yoga blog
  • Think about my dreams and write about them being fulfilled
  • Write short stories and write my book
  • Write poetry and lyrics
  • Get band gigs
  • Practice letting go
  • Have fun
  • Research vacations and trips to take
  • Learn about breathing, oxygen and how the muscles use and release oxygen
  • Listen to MIT lectures on anatomy and other topics
  • Listen to stand up comics
  • Listen to Kahn Lectures
  • Print my goal setting sheets
  • Connect with yoga studios and music schools
  • Learn about yoga apprenticeship programs
  • Brainstorm uses for my Shambhala Meditation experience and yoga teacher training certification
  • Connect with yogis, learn about nyc yoga 
  • What schools would I want to teach at? Make a list
  • Generate a list of all the schools that are in NYC
  • Research CPR training
This list is by no means complete and will evolve as my life circumstances evolve. I believe the ones that will give me most meaning are the meditation and mindfulness activities as well as connecting with people. Also recognizing when I'm learning something new and giving myself credit for learning will grant more meaning.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eating According to Your Blood Type

Over the weekend, I was talking to my girlfriend about blood types and diets. Having been inspired by our conversation, I started reading more and digging in deeper into the interesting possibility that the food we eat can either enhance or poison our bodies. Upon further research it makes logical sense that the food we eat will be most utilized if it matches the requirements of the blood circulating our arteries and veins.

My blood type is A+ and I found this Men's Health "Eat According to Your Blood Type" article to most concisely articulate the topic and am including the excerpt here for my own future reference.

TYPE A  
3 Character Traits: Hardworking, responsible, calm
Your Diet: When hunter-gatherer Os started thinning out, our ancestors started relying on agriculture and expanding their diet to include a semi-vegetarian approach. Type As have the digestive enzymes and bacteria it takes to digest grains and plants that other blood types might have a rough time breaking down.
Your Personality: When everyone else is panicking, you keep it cool. You’re responsible, hardworking, detail oriented and extremely organized. But you also have a classic “type A” personality—stressed and conscientious, craving success and perfection. You're the most artistic of the blood types (and even a bit sensitive).
What to Eat: Fill your plate with fruits like berries, figs, plums, apples, avocados, pears and peaches. Choose veggies like broccoli, artichokes, carrots, greens and garlic. Fish and poultry should be limited since type As produce fewer meat-digesting enzymes, which is why they have such a hard time digesting red meat. To get protein, rely on plant protein from nuts (like nut butters), seeds, beans and soy. Since your body can easily break down and get optimal nutrition from grains, carbs and proteins, cereal, breads and pastas should be staples of your diet.
What to Avoid: To balance cortisol levels (you may have high levels, which can lead to OCD, disrupted sleep, muscle loss, fat gain and insulin resistance) limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol and don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Stressful elements like extreme weather conditions, loud noise, overwork and violent TV and movies should also be avoided.
Dinner Tonight: Tofu-pesto lasagna, broccoli and frozen yogurt.
Your Workout: Since you stress easily, try something calming like yoga.

Quote from Canto X of "The Inferno" by Dante Alighieri

Now onward goes, along a narrow path
     Between the torments and the city wall,
     My Master, and I follow at his back.

Friday, September 13, 2013

My Weekend Plans

Tonight I'm playing drums with my band Genocide Smile at our first official gig at Otto's Shrunken Head in the East Village at 9pm. I will be playing with my friends and band mates Rene Alexios and Jeremy Arwas. Among the crowd coming to see us will be my awesome girlfriend.

Saturday morning I'm taking a business basics class through the city government. I'll learn about business plans, marketing, breaking even, profits and more. Afterwards, I've got my PGST call with Greg Sims. Since Monday is my 6th-month anniversary with my girlfriend, we will be going on a local adventure. We're going to take one of the trains all the way to the last stop and see what we find. It's going to be fun.

Sunday evening I've got a catering job with Kensington Event Staffing at Space in Englewood, NJ.

Constructive Ways I use my Lunch Break

Over the past 18 months working in a corporate 9-5 job in New York City, I've come up with some great ways to spend my lunch break. I almost never do the same thing twice in a row and definitely don't do the same thing every day each week. They almost all include getting out of the office.

  1. Lay out in the shaded grass along the Hudson River and take a nap
  2. Read a book in the Trump Soho lobby
  3. Walk around the West Village
  4. Take a boxing class at the local New York Sports Club
  5. Practice yoga
  6. Look for better jobs
  7. Brainstorm ideas and actions to take in the future
  8. Meet my girlfriend for lunch
  9. Take the 1 train down to South Ferry and walk along the river back to the office building
  10. Work on materials for my band
  11. Stroll through TriBeCa
  12. Talk to my dad on the phone
  13. Interview with other jobs
  14. Get a massage
  15. Practice drum rudiments
  16. Go the the local Hudson Park library, read, and pick up books

The only thing in each moment that should concern me is my own breathing.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Virtue and Vice of Consistency

Consistency is the virtue of the hero. The man who makes the world right. The dad who shows up for his child every day. The teachers that come to class ready to impart knowledge to the next generation.

There are two main components to consistency. The first is that everyone is consistent in action most of the time. We'll examine this in the next paragraph. And the second is that consistency begins in the quality of our thoughts.

Whether we believe we are making a positive impact, hurting ourselves or participating in destructive behavior, when examined closely we most likely are doing these actions consistently. The woman who shows up consistently with the positive attitude might be making a better contribution to the world's future with her optimistic outlook on life but in the other hand, her colleague who always complains about the faults of others and the world around her, also does this just as consistently. Whether are actions are bright or dark, precise or imprecise, when examined we're executing them consistently unless change is instigated.

This brings us to the realm of our thoughts. Consistency begins with how we are thinking. If our mental attitude is shaded by complaint, hurt, and the feeling of always having one taken over on us, we're going to show up with a bad attitude. Alternately, those who enjoy a happy outlook and see the best in others are going to show up with a future building attitude. Our attitude is something we have total control over. Though often extremely challenging to alter, consistent observation of our thinking patterns and with small steps to a better mind, we will begin to see our actions changing.

So how can one be consistent with the greatest contribution to the world? By examining our thoughts and shifting our attitude to one of gratitude and curiosity for the world, we can consistently show up and make a positive impact on the world. It begins with our thoughts and only we have control over them no matter how much we might prefer to let another take control and do it for us. We are the masters of our thoughts and with consistent attention, we build a strong future.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Becoming a Yoga Teacher

Over the past week, the pieces have been falling into place for me to actually take the steps to become a certified yoga teacher. This has been a latent dream of mine for the past few years especially when I was engaged in my year of immersed yoga practice at Lotus Seed in Portland, OR in 2010 and 2011. I was volunteering at the studio in anyway they needed. I swept and vacuumed the studio floors, I managed the reception desk and I helped on their monthly newsletter.

Beginning in college and afterwards, I've been engaged in the contemplative arts of yoga and meditation. I've studied and participated in a Zen Buddhist Meditation group at Occidental and spent 2009-2010 completing the 150-hour meditation Way of Shambhala training at the Los Angeles Shambhala Center in Eagle Rock and Santa Monica. For the past year, I've been studying vinyasa flow under Jeffrey Taylor.

Now I'm living in Brooklyn, NY and it is time for me to once again reinvigorate my practice. I am in the process of enrolling for the Fall 2013 Teacher Training Program at Jai Yoga Arts. Thank you for guidance on my journey.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Beliefs: Love and Fear

Our beliefs shape the world that we see through our eyes. Each thought behind the scenes flavors the experience around us.

When I notice the thoughts that taint the world, I notice that I am living in hell. Comparing myself to others and wanting something that I don't have and forgetting where I've been cause pain and lethal dissatisfaction.

I have breathing and life. I have love for family and friends. I have amazing people in my life. I have yet to grow the canopy of my tree's future. My experience has only yet reached the my trunk. There is much to come but I must remember that there is much behind me.

Today, I choose love. I choose to live a fearless existence not constricted by worldly worries like money. I am connected to infinite abundance and feel the power cradling my mortal human form.

I cry sparse tears into the linen adorned arms of the universal embrace. I belong.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thank you all for an awesome month - August 2013 Gratitude List

Every Monday through Friday since this April at 4:40pm, I write down 8-10 things that I'm grateful for. The following list is what I have compiled for the month of August.

  1. I am grateful that I am thinking outside the box.
  2. I am grateful that I increased my 401(k) savings to 6%.
  3. I am grateful for the office experience I've had and am excited to be moving on soon.
  4. I am grateful for the exciting future ahead.
  5. I m grateful that I am getting back to my exercise routine.
  6. I am grateful for the availability of entertainment in the world.
  7. I am grateful that tomorrow I am off work.
  8. I am grateful that I learned the truth about Lou Pearlman.
  9. I am grateful that  I will begin reading Dante's Inferno.
  10. I am grateful that I meditated for 20 minutes this morning.
  11. I am grateful that Nick had an awesome vacation.
  12. I am grateful that I am an honest person.
  13. I am grateful that I have integrity.
  14. I am grateful that Vicki generously provided Nick and me with a travel stipend.
  15. I am grateful that I will travel upstate this weekend.
  16. I am grateful that I am creative and insightful.
  17. I am grateful that I am making more money that ever before.
  18. I am grateful that I have a very supportive and dedicated girlfriend.
  19. I am grateful that I have a sexually satisfying relationship.
  20. I am grateful that I grow and learn everyday. 
  21. I am grateful that I appreciate my hard work.
  22. I am grateful that I am an amazing person.
  23. I am grateful that I am an independent person.
  24. I am grateful that I've been getting a lot more sleep.
  25. I am grateful that I am taking control of my life.
  26. I am grateful for my girlfriend's genuineness and openness.
  27. I am grateful that I am learning so much each day.
  28. I am grateful that I keep learning new things and I am following my passions.
  29. I'm grateful my brother is on vacation with his friends.
  30. I am grateful that I'm making more money each year.
  31. I am grateful that I am spending the evening at home tonight so I can get more sleep.
  32. I'm grateful that I discovered PBS OFF Book.
  33. I'm grateful I have a casting call for a music video on Sunday.
  34. I'm grateful that I'm creative and inspired.
  35. I'm grateful that I am hungry to learn.
  36. I am grateful that I am surviving in New York City.
  37. I am grateful for the Universe's generosity.
  38. I am grateful for my beard.
  39. I am grateful I am gainfully employed.
  40. I am grateful that I compiled my gratitude list for July last night. It felt great!
  41. I'm grateful that I have my dad to talk to during my lunch hour.
  42. I am grateful that I had photos from Cedric on Monday.
  43. I am grateful for the awesome photos Cedric took at the Music Building last night.
  44. I am grateful that I am focused and ambitious.
  45. I am grateful that I have a supportive girlfriend.
  46. I am grateful that I complete my work on time.
  47. I am grateful that I am healthy and fit.
  48. I am grateful that I live an abundant life.
  49. I am grateful that I will get a massage and be adjusted tonight.
  50. I am grateful that I receive a raise soon.
  51. I am grateful for unexpected income.
  52. I am grateful for the weekend I was able to enjoy at home with my mom & dad.
  53. I'm grateful  that my girlfriend wanted me over last night.
  54. I'm grateful that I found my beaker mug.
  55. I am grateful that I could help my mom and dad clean out the old books in the shed.
  56. I am grateful that the house looks great.
  57. I am grateful that I fully rested myself.
  58. I am grateful that I saw Steve Fitch.
  59. I am grateful I kayaked in Wickford Harbor with my mom & dad.
  60. I am grateful that I am working with my mind and growing everyday.
  61. I am grateful that I am starting vacation tomorrow.
  62. I am grateful that I have an apartment.
  63. I am grateful that I have an electronic drumset.
  64. I am grateful that I am a creative individual.
  65. I am grateful that I had time to talk to Emilio this morning.
  66. I am grateful that I can forgive.
  67. I am grateful that I can let things go.
  68. I am grateful that I am navigating my way through the world.
  69. I am grateful that I am healthy and strong.
  70. I am grateful that I'm passionate and alive.
  71. I am grateful for my time to think.
  72. I am grateful that I have my girlfriend with me.
  73. I am grateful that I took boxing class today and did my competitive best.
  74. I am grateful that I have my laundry waiting for me at pick up.
  75. I am grateful that I travel home this weekend.
  76. I am grateful that I spend time thinking.
  77. I am grateful that I come up with energizing ideas.
  78. I am grateful that I stretched my chest before and after boxing class.
  79. I am grateful that I am going on vacation on Labor Day weekend.
  80. I am grateful that I have been broadening my understanding of the world.
  81. I am grateful that I'm an entrepreneur.
  82. I am grateful that I have generated money making opportunities at my current job.
  83. I am grateful that I can rest up tonight.
  84. I am grateful that I saw photos of dogs & cats today.
  85. I am grateful that I have a weekend trip to Rhode Island this weekend.
  86. I am grateful that I'll eat a delicious dinner tonight.
  87. I am grateful that I will rest well tonight.
  88. I am grateful that I have the electronic drumset.
  89. I am grateful I have enough drinking water to keep my hydrated.
  90. I am grateful for my friends and family.
  91. I am grateful that I am an adult.
  92. I am grateful that my girlfriend is on my side.
  93. I am grateful that I am happy and whole.
  94. I am grateful that all the happiness I need is inside of me already.
  95. I am grateful that I earn money from my work.
  96. I am grateful that I am a young man on a mission to live a happy and peaceful life that benefits others.
  97. I am grateful that I made a decision that affects my life.
  98. I am grateful that I can stand up for myself.
  99. I am grateful that I take time for myself.
  100. I am grateful that I am resting my soul.
  101. I am grateful that I do these gratitude lists.
  102. I am grateful I get home at 10pm tonight. 
  103. I am grateful that I have a sense of humor and can laugh at situations.
  104. I am grateful that I am pursing my passion for music.
  105. I am grateful that I got a cookie from Dave's office and made a new friend.
  106. I am grateful my Groupon idea is being pursued by Vinnie at iN Demand.
  107. I am grateful that I am quick and smart.
  108. I am grateful that I have an amazing girlfriend who is so kind and empathetic. 
  109. I am grateful that I have a recording session tomorrow night at 6pm.
  110. I am grateful that the weekend is almost here.
  111. I am grateful that I get to work with Kyle Paas on the recordings.
  112. I am grateful for the opportunity to stretch my muscles this afternoon.
  113. I am grateful that I am living in New York City.
  114. I am grateful that I have a full-time job.
  115. I am grateful I am getting more creative responsibilities.
  116. I am grateful for my beautiful, sexy, supportive girlfriend who likes to watch cartoons.
  117. I am grateful that my mom and dad are traveling around the world.
  118. I am grateful that my mom & dad remodeled the exterior of my childhood home.
  119. I am grateful that I receive more money than I can spend.
  120. I am grateful that I am a hard working percussionist.
  121. I am grateful that my name keeps getting exposure.
  122. I am grateful that I have stepped into my musical life so confidently.
  123. I am grateful that I have learned to live my life free of mental anguish.
  124. I am grateful I am happy today.
  125. I am grateful for my room in Bushwick because I have a bud & a drumset.
  126. I am grateful for having fresh cold water to drink.
  127. I am grateful that today is Friday and I don't have any more office work for the week.
  128. I am grateful I will be in the studio tonight.
  129. I'm grateful that I can pay all my bills.
  130. I am grateful I have food to eat every meal of the day.
  131. I'm grateful that I had an awesome & fun audition at Blue Man Studios on Wednesday.
  132. I'm grateful that I am intelligent and directing my life in the direction I want.
  133. I am grateful I have a supportive girlfriend.
  134. I am grateful that I know my passion.
  135. I am grateful that I know my passions.
  136. I am grateful that I am living in NYC.
  137. I am grateful that I have time to walk around and explore.
  138. I am grateful that I am learning constantly.
  139. I am grateful for my new electronic drumset.
  140. I'm grateful I play music so frequently.
  141. I am grateful that I'm young and full of life and energy.
  142. I am grateful that I am cool.
  143. I am grateful that I am living in Bushwick. 
  144. I am grateful that I am continuously pursuing my passions.
  145. I am grateful I complete my PGST tasks.
  146. I am grateful for my work as a drummer.
  147. I m grateful for my amazing Mom & Dad.
  148. I am grateful my my brave brother Nick.
  149. I am grateful for the liveliness of my aunt.
  150. I am grateful for living in NYC.
  151. I am grateful that Deirdre sent me my payment via PayPal.
  152. I am grateful that I am making the most income I ever have before.
  153. I am grateful that iN Demand gave me ice cream.
  154. I am grateful that I was able to read while laying in the grass along the Hudson River.