Paths of Heart (Written for Australian Yoga Journal 3/2017)

How would your life be if you were in love with each and every little bit of it? Every little crack, each tiny crevice, all the spaces, nooks, and crannies in between. What would life look like if you were to live and love all of it, fully and genuinely? In love with what is. In full participation with the great journey, in alignment with the calling of your soul.

Beyond an envisioned concept, how would it feel to live from this space of loving the life in front of you? The one that you live. As any good journey starts, it all begins with the first step. A good starting point is accepting and loving yourself, honestly and genuinely connecting to the love which makes you tick, the things which light you up, and what makes you feel most fully alive.

Self love and acceptance can be a truly difficult thing for some of us. It means we must first see ourselves as worthy, worthy to be loved, and to be happy. It means we need to look after ourselves, provide the time, space and energy to make sure our needs our met, and that we can give our best out into the world.

Life provides the conditions for us to grow, and the environments to meet our needs. It offers the atmosphere to become our best and the challenges to rise to occasions which help shape us into who we are, and direct to us to where we're going.

It all can be a series of turning points; roads to travel, paths to walk, and choice points which help form and determine our destinies. Along the way we are gifted great joys, enriching experiences, and love beyond measure. Sometimes we're served great challenges which push us to our limits. Sometimes we have to dig deep to discover what we're made of. How can we bridge the gap and bring a little bit more lightness into our lives and practice?

As you embark on a path of new journeys and transformations in your daily life and yoga practice, I challenge you to walk the path of your heart, to live the life that you love, and make it so through your daily intentions in action.

Every choice point that you face, remember to choose love. Look to your heart and make the decisions that ultimately lead you in the direction of loving your life, enjoying your life, the people in front of you, the work you do, your friendships, loved ones, and the great wonder of the unknown. It's an amazing universe we live in, and if we can remember the great miracle of it all and see our place, we can appreciate the little things and not sweat the small stuff so much.

So within the yoga practice, and in daily life, how does that look? How do you stay in love, even in the hard times, and in challenging moments when you're pushed to your depths. Well, for one thing, you are capable and that's a great start. Let's look a few a more here:

- Prioritise the things that make you happy: your yoga practice, moving your body, playing and recreating, healthy friendships and relationships, time with family, time in nature, healthy, delicious food, clean water, fresh air, travel and adventures, art, music, and creativity. Even be open to try new things to keep it fresh and to remain an ever exploring student

- Tap into the quality of santosha: the choice to choose your response in any given situation, it's your choice to be happy, your choice to be contented and fulfilled with where you're at and what you're offered. This quality is an amazing strategy to stay mindful, and keep yourself centred no matter what comes your way

- In your yoga asana practice: keep in check with the balance between how your passion and discipline relate. It will never hurt to try to find more joy in moving your asana in a long practice, and digging deep to push your edge in both a kind and playful way. Notice any tendencies to give up too soon, to aim too short, and open yourself to explore how your willpower and discipline create a mutually supportive relationship between your freedoms and passions.

- In your personal development, set clear goals and refine your vision within your life's path. Be willing to practice patience and endurance, as well as the flexibility to adapt as you learn more and more along your way.

The biggest one of all: Remember You are love and You are loved! It's what you're made of isn't it? That you can always count on, and draw upon in the good times and in the challenging ones.

So as you continue forward on your journeys and of paths of heart. Remember to enjoy the ride, and stop now and again to smell the flowers. You're on your way and you're doing it just right, sometimes you just have to slow down, take a step back, and remember to love each and every little bit of it."