Feel the Panic**

Photo credit: Cere Demuth

Being Natural with yourself is helpful ✨

Welcome back! This week, some musings and some updates for you all. Grab a cup of tea and sit back for some thought provoking words… 

Musings first::

Feel the Panic. Enter the anxiety. Move towards the tiredness. Merge with the weariness. Experience the joy. Embrace the sounds. Let your senses delight to whatever is their easily capturing your attention. 

These are all doorways into a meditation practice, an instinctual meditation practice that is. 

While talking with a beloved friend last week I was explaining how in the past (and still now), meditation techniques were given to us by the teacher/Guru. For instance, in a certain lineage of yoga I was practicing in my early 20’s, I was given a mantra. It was told to me that the Guru of the tradition had chosen this special mantra for me. I was told to repeat it 108 times using my mala beads as a guide for counting and this were to be my meditation practice. I practiced. I tried to stay with it. And, I hated it. It was like I had a strong aversive to the words and the sounds the words made. I was not told the meaning but, to continue to practice and all will come. Huh? I rebelled. I stopped and I felt ashamed that I could not stick with the program. I did not speak to this experience until I started learning about instinctive meditation.  

What Instinctual Meditation teaches us is that we can be called or drawn to a mantra. A mantra does not have to be given to us. It is like the words sing to us rather than someone else sticking them onto us. The feeling is different too. There is an ease. A “yes” sort of feeling in our bodies, hearts and minds. A knowing that it just feels right to BE with those words. There is a kinda felt magical to the whole process when it is presented in this way. This is what I mean when I say being natural with yourself is helpful. When we are natural with ourselves we are attuned to what “feels” right. We recognize the YES within us. 

There is a whole lot of permission giving in this practice of instinctive meditation which leads me back to the talk with my friend. 

We recognized after dialoguing about all these things, that this of course, has carry over into the rest of our lived experiences. What if we ran our businesses in a way that allowed for ourselves to be natural with ourselves? What if we made all decisions from this place? What would life be like? How would we shift if we listened to that YES feeling within ourselves more and more often?

Then we had a good chuckle about teaching others to be “natural” with themselves. You know, do this, do that, walk this line, read this book, follow this program and ta-da, you have achieved being natural with yourself! (Please, have a good chuckle.. we did) This is like the old paradigm of teaching meditation, “do X,Y,Z and viola, you will be enlightened.” 

It is interesting to me that instinctive meditation practices are teaching us to *remember* the natural-ness (our instinctual nature). To allow ourselves to be attuned to what is right there calling our attention. It is interesting to me that we have all forgot how to do that. We have been conditioned to think we need the teacher to tell us all the things. Yes, guides/teachers/ even gurus are needed and necessary in our lives. And, in my opinion, the how of how they support us, is of utmost importance.

As a little mini practice today, I invite you to notice which of your senses you are most naturally attuned to while you are moving your body in a ALTAR movement class or while out on a walk or while gardening. What part of your sensory experience easily captivates your attention. Then to invite yourself to receive or take in more of that experience. Then, tell me all about it! I would love to hear how it goes. What you notice, what you learn about yourself. 

Updates:: 

We are still Live streaming all of our classes until further notice. You will be the first to know when a protocol for re-opening is put into place. For now, (especially if you have read all of the musings and are now way down here.. ) we honor you for being here, for your support, for your encouragement, and your love. 

This has not been an easy road for us or anyone else. We are feeling the panic (haven’t we all at some point?) And, we continue to show up, taking it one day at a time. 

If you are wondering what you can do to support ALTAR to make sure you have a movement home when all this is over, here are some ideas.

1) Donate. We now have a “donate” button at the bottom of each of our website pages. Scroll down and follow the steps. Thank you in advance for any amount you can contribute in order to “keep the lights” on at ALTAR.

2) Share with your friends. Have friends around the world who would be interested in what we offer? Send them this newsletter with a small blurb about what classes you love and why. We thank you for your time and effort in sharing in this way.

3) Spread the love. We love hearing from you. Leave a testimonial on FB or Yelp. Reply to this email with your testimonial for us to use on our website. Your words will inspire others to hop on this movement journey with you and us all. Thank you!

4) Let us know how we can best support you now. What do you want to learn/explore together? What do you wish to learn more of? What would you like to be introduced to? What time of the day are you finding it easiest to practice while at home? What do you think is currently missing from your movement diet? 

You are a rockstar!! Thank you for reading, for practicing with us, for being on this amazing life journey with us. 

We honor you. We thank you. We miss you. We love you. 

With Gratitude,
Heather and the ALTAR team 💜