Deana Bonafiglia Ruiz
A Yogi's Path - 31 Heartfelt Lessons To Help You Live a Life Worth Living
It’s 2 years to the day that we got the worst news ever, and since then life has been a bit upside down.
This morning I wrote out a timeline of all the crazy stuff that’s happened since then and up until this very day.
I won’t be sharing it now however, as it’s incubating for another post on another day.
What I will share with you today is some of what I’ve learned over the last 2 years.
For starters though, if you didn’t know, that news was my father’s diagnosis:
So, here’s what I’ve learned (in the order of which it comes out of my heart, into my brain and onto this computer):
1. You never know what you’ll do in any given situation until it truly presents itself, so, don’t judge others for their choices.
2. Don’t compare your situation with anyone else’s. Not only is every situation unique, but so are individual world views.
3. Don’t set expectations for the unpredictable like love, life and relationships. Goals and dreams are not the same as expectations. An expectation comes with a fixed, limited, boxed in absolutism that is rarely ever met or satisfied. You will set yourself up for disappointments.
4. Be Present. Practice Mindfulness. Meditate. Freeing yourself from mental clutter will create a space in you that allows for true peace and healing.
5. Be a Yogi/Yogini. This doesn’t necessarily mean to practice the physical postures. What I mean is be in union, in harmony, with yourself and others. (It just so happens though that yoga postures and yoga communities create such a union, just sayin’)
6. Be in Love: Love your life. Love your Family. Love your Friends. Love your Enemies. Love it ALL. Life moves quickly, don’t waste your precious time with anything other than sweet Love.
7. Everything is a gift. Every moment presents itself anew. Some moments are wonderful, some suck. Accept them all. Grow your Heart through each experience.
8. Make the choice you can live the rest of your life with.
9. Take chances. One day, you’ll be on your deathbed. Once you are there, you will experience the meaning and affects of “if I only had” Whatever it is, Do.It.Now.
10. Appreciate Everything, it will one day be gone. Life is fleeting, you know this already, now embed it into your being and Live in a constant state of Gratitude.
11. Be Humble.
12. Lead by example. Mimicking behavior is the first aspect of human learning. Ever hear of mirror neurons? Ever watch a child play? You get it, now live it. Don’t pontificate. Do, say and be that which you’d like to inspire others towards, aka “walk your talk.”
13. Generate Happiness. External events can only affect you in the ways you allow them. You are your own source of all that is joyous within you.
14. Be Authentic. You are the best at being you, so just be yourself. You really are here on purpose, don’t deny the world the blessing of who you really are. Plus, inauthenticity is creepy and we can all smell it.
15. Connect with others. Coming from an introverted yoga teacher, you can be sure I understand how not so easy it can be to open yourself to other human beings. It’s really wonderful though, and quite necessary for optimal health and wellness of mind/body/spirit.
16. Be Fully Self-Expressed. You never know who may benefit from what you have to share.
17. Free yourself from unhealthy beliefs about you, others, the world, the universe, etc. How do you know if it’s an unhealthy belief? Healthy = Light and Happy feelings that inspire actions that create a contribution to self and others. Unhealthy = Heavy and crappy feelings that create internal havoc and external chaos towards self and others.
18. Ask questions. Don’t leave yourself in a position to feel confused or unsure about something when you can speak up and get it clear and straight.
19. Be in Action. Although envisioning, praying and thinking are important aspects of creation, nothing will get done until you get up and do it.
20. Envision. Create vision boards for what you’d like to attract in your life. Hold visions in your mind of that which you’d love to experience in your life. Add feelings of gratitude, love and light to your visions. Let them go.
21. Be Prayerful. Every thought, word and action you make sends a message to the Universe. Expressing each with gratitude creates your relationship with the divine (whether you define divine as a god, the God, the universe, the cosmos or life science is up to you and makes no difference to anyone but you alone. Avoid creating division when your beliefs do not match those of another, we each have something to contribute to this world and this experience of life, don’t be a jerk)
22. Allow others to believe as they choose.
23. Empower Yourself. Empower Others.
24. Smile and Laugh a whole bunch.
25. Allow yourself to feel how you feel.
26. Care so much that you don’t care at all. Care so much about what someone else wants for themselves that you don’t care at all about your own agenda or your thoughts about what they should or shouldn’t want from their life experience.
27. Trust that people know what is best for themselves. (disclaimer: small children, medically mentally challenged individuals and people captured in the throws of drug abuse don't necessarily know what is best for them.)
28. Know when it’s appropriate to put in your two cents, sometimes people need your advice, sometimes it’s best to just keep it to yourself. A good measure is if someone says: “can I get your advice on this?”
29. Shut up and Listen :)
30. When speaking to/disciplining your child ask yourself: would I want her/his boyfriend/girlfriend to speak to them this way? If the answer is no, change your tone. (especially in the case of small children, you are their first experience of the opposite sex and of love and connection in general)
Lighten Up! Life is a blessing and meant to be enjoyed!
This list is much longer than I expected! Good thing I listened to my own advice about not having expectations ;)
Lots of love ya’ll!