1041 Chapters
Medium 9781626560536

One: Beginner’s Mind: The Power and the Promise

Showkeir, Maren S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Yoga has less to do with what you can do with your body or
with being able to still your mind than it has to do with the
happiness that unfolds from realizing your full potential

Yogarupa Rod Stryker


More often than we can count, people have said to us, “I could never do yoga. I’m not flexible” (or “I’m too hyper”). That logic is like saying, “I can’t tend to my garden—it has too many weeds in it.” Or to use a work metaphor, “I can’t clean out my email inbox. It has too many messages in it.”

It’s understandable. The sheer amount of stuff we are asked to attend to in our daily lives can be overwhelming. But when people say they lack the physicality to put their bodies into yoga poses, they are not taking into account that it is the practice that develops flexibility, balance, and a quiet mind.

In any case, yoga on the mat is only one part of the practice—one-eighth, to be exact. To use one of Jamie’s favorite analogies, the physical practice (asana) doesn’t represent the spectrum of yoga any more than looking through a knothole in a fence and seeing a pitcher throw and catch a ball gives you a complete picture of a baseball game’s nine innings. Renowned Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, who received an honorary degree from the University of Calcutta, said, “Yoga practice would be ineffectual without the concepts on which yoga is based. It combines the bodily and the spiritual in an extraordinarily complete way.”

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Medium 9781523094905

Chapter 16: Welcome to the New World

White, Kimberly Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Rachel was the type of elfin old lady whose delicate frame seemed like it might fracture at a touch. Her skin was creased with dry, papery wrinkles—nothing on her had sagged with age, only contracted. She was clear-minded and carefully dressed in crisp slacks and a pristine yellow cardigan, recovering from surgery in the nursing home but due to return to her daughter’s home later that week. The staffer with me asked Rachel if she would mind talking to me about her life, and she replied, “Oh, sure,” in a voice that was steady but very quiet, so quiet that I had to kneel next to her bed and lean close to hear her.

She began talking of her life and her beloved parents and the tragedy it was that she had no pictures of them. That seemed terribly sad to me, and when I said so, she gently took my hand. She held it while she continued. She told me she came from a large family and she was the only one left—the only one who “made it out,” as she put it. She spoke about her older sister’s long, beautiful golden hair, which she wore in braids. I could hear in her voice the artless adoration of a younger sister for an older one; she gloried in that hair as though it had been her own.

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Medium 9781626566330

2. A Challenge Accepted

Adams, Marilee G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

What got you here won’t get you there.

Marshall Goldsmith

My appointment with Joseph S. Edwards was at ten the next morning. I didn’t tell Grace about this meeting or about my conversation with Alexa. And I certainly didn’t tell her about writing my resignation. Admitting I was in trouble had never come easily. I preferred working things out on my own. For some time now I’d been stonewalling Grace and feeling more and more resentful about her constant questions about what was going on with me. Until I found the right answers and solutions I was determined to tough it out and keep my problems to myself. But as usually happened with Grace, I wasn’t so good at hiding my problems.

I should have realized that she knew something more than the usual job stress was bothering me. That morning, on our way to the airport, where Grace was catching a plane for a lunch meeting in another city, she brought things to a head. As I pulled up to the curb at the terminal, she told me, “I’ve been feeling like a widow lately. You’ve been so distant and moody. Ben, if you want a real partnership with me, you’re going to have to make some changes.”

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Medium 9781576754757

chapter five the third secret: become love

Izzo, John Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.

—Leo Buscaglia

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

—The Dalai Lama

David, now in his seventies, told me about an experience he had when his father was dying. The family had gathered from many parts of the world to share his father’s final days. David noticed that during those last few days his father did not talk about the possessions he had owned. He made no mention of cars, houses, or any other possessions he had acquired during his lifetime. Rather, he surrounded himself with photos of special times from his life—weddings, births, family trips, and times with friends. Watching his father die, David concluded: “At the end of our lives, when we only have a short time left, love is really the only thing we will care about.” For many years, David has carried this image with him, an image that has guided how he has lived his life. Leo Buscaglia, the great Italian-American inspirational writer, once said that “life is love, and if you miss love, you miss life.”

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Medium 9781605098258

7 Returning a Different Person

Seddiqui, Daniel Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The illusory exchange of “will I ever see you again?” still resounded in my mind. A year had passed since Sasha and I exchanged those words outside her apartment complex. Back then, nothing was certain, but I knew I had to leave. I knew I had to retreat to California and figure things out; perhaps, I thought at the time, I could return to Atlanta as a successful, more stable human being.

At the time, I wasn’t fit to stay in my job selling kitchens at Home Depot. I was too shy, too insecure to talk to strangers about something I knew nothing about — countertops, cabinets, and faucets. My salary was 100 percent commission, and on a good week, I would earn twenty-five dollars. I was too ashamed to admit to Sasha that I was running dry. I couldn’t afford to live in Atlanta anymore; I couldn’t afford to be her neighbor.

The truth is that back then, I had nothing going for me. I had no direction. The money I had saved was being chewed away by my lackadaisical life. With every day that passed, I had less money for rent and food, and I was losing weight from skipping meals.

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