Tag Archives: yoga

So the “Mayan” December 21, 2012 Date Is Here and the World Woke Up to Count Down Again…

Today is December 21, 2012.  The infamous Mayan December 21, 2012.

More prophesies of the world’s end did not come true, and December 22, 2012 is waiting in the wings.

I’ve been telling people for years that this is not an “end”…but just the end of a cycle of over 5,000 years that will start itself anew.  Others have said this is also the end of two different Hindu age cycles a grand cycle, and a shorter cycle (the Kali Yuga?).  I’ve listened to many commentators on this subject and find it very interesting.  The most interesting are the ones that say the earth is moving on its path as it always has and that indeed, new “ages” are here, but, well…they’re spiritual in nature.  Or expose us to more light from the center of the galaxy.  Some may feel a little different today.  More tingly.  Some may not.  But we’re all still going to be here.

And we are.

What are your thoughts?  What were your beliefs around this day?  Did you take the day off work?  Did you Google December 21, 2012 or Mayan Calendar this morning as you watched the news or read the paper, or got ready to face day one of the “new” Mayan countdown?

Forget what you “thought” would happen today.  Instead, take 12/21/12 it as an opportunity for a new beginning.  Heck, if you read this, take a moment to take a deep breath and say, “The world is still here, ‘same’ as it ever was.  What can I do to take a new direction?”

Here at Nobody’s View we believe that we are all nobody, and that makes us somebody special.  So, in that spirit, remember that you’re not the special Mayan priest.  You’re not the oracle.  You’re just a person who hit snooze once this morning, got out of bed, and are going into the office or getting the kids off to school here on December 21, 2012, the end of a Mayan cycle and the start of another.

Take the days as they come.  Count the days to Christmas.  Count down to the new year.  Make a new dish to eat.  Make it a date night.  Leave your phone on silent.  Watch a good foreign film.  Practice Ho’oponopono like you really mean it.  If that’s not for you, try yoga, tennis, or golf.  Take up the guitar.  Remember the good times and make a strong commitment to the future.  Read a good book.  Read a bad book.  Read a book that you’ve heard is both (50 Shades of Grey?).  If you love the ocean, hike in the mountains.  If you’re a mountain person, take a dip.  Read about the Mayans, or book a trip to Mexico and see the ruins for yourself.

The point is, the sun rose today.  Some have said the earth is now cresting and more light and energy are bombarding us.  Good stuff.  Believe it?  Great.  Don’t believe it?  Well, you can still make a new start.  You can still shine a little light in your own world.

Folks, we’re all nobody.  We’re all somebody.  We’re what makes the world go ’round in our little corners of the vast universe.

This December 21, 2012, make the most of it.  Oh, and here’s the secret.  Do the same thing on December 22, 2012.

This Easter 2012 — Rise and Shine (Again) and Resurrect Your Passions

(Just like our Passover message here at Nobody’s View, I wanted to re-post last year’s Easter message.  Even though the year within the post refers to Easter 2011, I want to say Happy Easter 2012 to all our Christian readers.  Make this Easter 2012 something extraordinary!)

Happy Easter 2011 to our Christian readers here at Nobody’s View.  Welcome to a new season of Spring and rebirth.

I also hope you had a good Lenten season (the forty day period of repentance between Ash Wednesday and Easter when a Christian prepares himself or herself for the celebration of Holy Week, which incorporates the events of the Passion of the Christ, including Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection).

I’m sure it goes without saying that many of you, of all religions, had a good Mardi Gras (the famous Tuesday before Lent when many are to use up butter and meat — giving it the esteemed title of “Fat Tuesday.”)  We don’t need to go into details about this particular celebration, although I’m sure your memories will last a lifetime!

Easter itself is the commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection.  It likely has origin in the Jewish Passover season (the time commemorating the Jewish Exodus from Egyptian bondage), but Christians regard the Easter season as a time to remember Jesus’ return.

Nowadays, like so many other things in modern times, Easter is largely associated with a certain bunny, delicious candies (like Cadbury’s amazing Creme Eggs and those…interesting little Peeps), and Easter egg hunts.  These are all fine and good (some really good), but there is something else lingering behind the commercial, and even the religious, meaning of the Easter 2011 holiday.

Consider the theme of resurrection.  No matter your views on the theological points of the Easter holiday, resurrection is something worth considering.  The term connotes a revival or a rebirth of sorts.  It’s not just a theme for Christ (although he made it famous in its most spiritual and material senses), but for all of us.

Whatever your religious persuasion (or lack thereof) there is always time to reflect on life and goals — life and goals that often lay dormant or dead in the tombs of our very selves.  Is there a book idea gathering dust in your brain?  A class you’ve been putting off?  Isn’t it about time you learned the waltz?  Maybe there is a religious, spiritual, or domestic practice you want to take up or resurrect — going to church more often, confession for the first time this year, a yogic discipline, more walks with your dog, more time with your kids, more volunteer work, more Torah study, a reading of the Chuang Tzu (a book of Taoism).

Let’s spend a little less time concerned with the religious lines that divide us and a little more time taking some meaning from seasons that may, or may not be, our own.

For my (practicing) Christian readers, again, happy Easter 2011.  Enjoy your Easter celebrations and have a Cadbury Creme Egg for me.  For my readers of different persuasions, happy Easter 2011.  Consider resurrecting something wonderful in your life.

Super Bowl XLVI? I Don’t Really Care. Maybe I’ll Be Like the New York Giants and Do Some Yoga!

Super Bowl XLVI is in Indianapolis!

New England Patriots versus New York Giants!

Eli Manning versus Tom Brady!

The battle of the East!

The most anticipated sporting event of the season!

Super Bowl XLVI!

I only have ONE question for you: do you care?

I ask this because on at least two occasions in recent days, I’ve had friends say, “Really?  The Super Bowl is THIS WEEKEND?  I TOTALLY forgot!”  I didn’t forget, however instead of waiting around here, I’m meeting some people for lunch and then will probably go browse around some stores for a while and enjoy the emptiness that only a major sporting even can bring.  Sure, I may catch part of the game, but honestly?  I’m really having a hard time getting into Super Bowl XLVI.

Now, don’t get me wrong—I love football.  Love it.  It’s far and away one of my favorite sports to watch, and, as my long-time readers know, soon after I was born, football Voldemort hit me with a spell and I have a curse-mark on my forehead that says, “Cleveland Browns” in a squiggly, lightning bolt pattern.

So, I’ve paid my dues and earned my fandom.

It’s just, as with so many other sports, it’s exhausting seeing the same teams every year.  I mean, good for them for their prowess, but I think variety is what brings interest, and quite frankly, no one I know is very interested…except maybe the Eagles fan I know who is rooting for Tom Brady and crew.  Heck, I can’t even root against anyone this year, because my divisions got shut out of the dance.

But I digress…

Still, maybe there is more to this Super Bowl XLVI than meets the eye.  I read a fun and interesting article this morning by the New York Post’s Jennifer Gould Keil talking about the Giants and their penchant for yoga.  Again, long-time readers will know this gets our ears perked at Nobody’s View.  It turns out the Giants take yoga classes.  Since 2004, an instructor named Gwen Lawrence has been showing the Giants the ways of the other East.

You know what I say?  Good for them!  Perhaps if Manning makes a big play he won’t be Tebowing, but pigeon posing (according to Keil, this is his favorite pose!).  I for one would love to see that.  Maybe I’ll watch just on the off chance that could happen.

Yoga keeps ‘em flexible and strong, and it will pay dividends long after short careers end.

Like I said, I’m going to come and go from Super Bowl XLVI today.  I’ll drift in and out as the rest of my February 5, 2012 unfolds in whatever way it will.  But there’s one thing the Giants and I have in common today: we’ll both do yoga.  That’s right.  We here at Nobody’s View pursue our own yogic practices.  And yes, it does pay some nice dividends that last long after big events and little traumas pass.

Maybe that in itself is enough of a reason for Nobody’s View to throw its support behind Eli Manning and the Giants…because for the life of me, I can’t come up with any other reason to care about the outcome!

The 2012 Barrett Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale Reminds Me That the Best Memories Are Made, Not Bought

The 2012 Barrett Jackson auto auction is going on right now.

I’m not a “car guy” exactly, but I love watching this on the Speed Network.  I really find it quite fascinating, seeing all these cars (and other assorted things on wheels) going across the auction block.  It’s exciting when a bidding war takes place and two or more people are fighting to reclaim the same piece of a lost youth of parking, making out, and drag racing.

It truly is a look at how men actually bid on a midlife crisis.  It’s fun to watch!  Although, I must admit, I have told some folks that the day I have a car where a paint swirl is as devastating as a natural disaster, they are to beat me about the head.

Anyway, as I watch this 2012 installment of Barrett Jackson I am reminded of the old saw that everything old is new again.  This is true with fashion, recipes, vacation destinations…but perhaps nowhere as accurate as with cars.  Many of the 2012 Barrett Jackson offerings are re-imaginings of these old cars.  Someone found a car body.  They got a crew together.  The guys rebuilt the thing as close to standard as possible, whipped up a coat of paint, and voila!  Across the Barrett Jackson block and into someone’s “recapture-my-youth-or-the-youth-of-my-father” collection.

Something once discarded and rusted is now shiny and new.  A centerpiece.  A topic of conversation.  A work of art secluded in a hangar.

We here at Nobody’s View like that sentiment that all old is eventually new.  Though I’ll probably never have nearly enough disposable income to buy a $350,000 ’66 Vette, I certainly can read a long-forgotten novel, participate in an ancient ceremony, or do some yoga.  You see, not everything that is old is forgotten.  Not everything that is a little frayed around the edges needs to be polished, buffed, and sold as “new.”

It is new again when we participate in it.

It is new again when we “rediscover” it.

It is new again when we share it with someone who really gets it.

I think sometimes we fall into the trap of envying people who can afford to buy expensive antiques and display them.  We admire folks who can live out their midlife crises or indulge their inner child with a costly purchase.  But to go down that path of envy is a false road.  It’s not that I begrudge them this pleasure.  I say, if you can do it, go for it!  Why not?  But for the rest of us?

Well, there is no reason a Nobody can’t reclaim a piece of the past in some very inexpensive ways.  Tell you what…over the next few days or weeks, dig out some old pictures and arrange them into a photo album from a craft store.  What’s that, $10 or so?  Perhaps go have some ice cream at a favorite spot for $3.  Call a childhood friend on your cell phone and burn 50 anytime minutes.  Put $20 worth of gas in your tank and take a scenic drive where grandpa used to take you in his car that’s now being sold for $500,000 at Barrett Jackson.  Pull out a crinkly $1 bill and get a candy bar from the vending machine that you used to love and really savor it.  But a $100 fun pack to your local NBA team and take the family.  Make a mix tape (CD?).  Watch a favorite movie from the ‘80s on a $2 rental.

The list is endless.

If you get a chance today, flip over to the Speed Network.  Check out the guys spending 3 children’s educations on a car they owned in 1970.  Then, turn off the TV, pile your own kids into your 2007 Honda, and make some new memories….

The kind that are as close to free as possible, and so much more precious.

As Ramadan 2011 Begins, Consider Discipline in Your Life, No Matter Your Religion

Ramadan 2011 has begun.  The sighting of the moon has signaled the start.

Are you Muslim?  Do you fast during this holy Islamic month?

Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a commandment that fasting from dawn until dusk be part of a Muslim’s day for this one month of Ramadan.  Less time thinking about food, and more time thinking about God.  There is prayer and ritual, as well as an idea that something is greater than indulging in daily satisfaction of our human instincts, no matter how important they are.  This is also a month for enhancing one’s obligation of zakat, charity (another Pillar). Providing food for evening meals to those in need and supporting the local mosque are quite important.

Millions fast together during this month, aligning their wills into a goal of discipline.  There’s something powerful in the idea that if one fasts alone, it can be a trial (though a trial of love).  If one fasts as part of a world community, there is a social will that creates strong bonds.

Other traditions have discipline.  In Judaism, Jews have their day of fasting (Yom Kippur) and for Christians, the time of Lent might be a period of reflection as something is sacrificed for a time in order to focus the mind on something higher.

But outside of the religious processes of denial, is there a discipline you have that gives you strength?  See, true discipline is not really about whether or not you believe in a higher power.  It’s about whether you can subdue your urges and cravings for the purpose of reducing your stresses and anxieties.  Now, fasting is certainly a mainstay of world religion in terms of showing submission and gratitude.  But what about ordinary life in the secular world?

Well, in everyday life, discipline (yoga, meditation, holding one’s tongue, journaling, taking a regular walk) is about subverting your cravings and desires so that mentally, you are less agitated.  If we have the power to focus and do what we must, then we are less apt to become scattered and less prone to pining away for things we miss or can’t have.  When we realize that it is our constant wanderings and wantings that create a sense of unease, then we can get about solving those problems with a little attunement (atonement?).

This month is Ramadan 2011.  It’s a time when Muslims the world over will practice a discipline of fasting in order to serve and remember God.  No matter your religious persuasion, why not try to make this a month of new discipline?Walk for 20 minutes a day (with your doctor’s permission) or keep a dream journal by your bed.  Eat one more serving of veggies at dinner or sit for five minutes and listen to your breath as it enters and leaves your body.

Oh, and if you can drag a friend along for the ride, more’s the better.  After all, the will of two can often conquer what the will of one might not.  I hope you find that a little discipline goes a long way to a lot of peace of mind.

Happy Easter 2011 – Time to Rise and Shine!

Happy Easter 2011 to our Christian readers here at Nobody’s View.  Welcome to a new season of Spring and rebirth.

I also hope you had a good Lenten season (the forty day period of repentance between Ash Wednesday and Easter when a Christian prepares himself or herself for the celebration of Holy Week, which incorporates the events of the Passion of the Christ, including Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection).

I’m sure it goes without saying that many of you, of all religions, had a good Mardi Gras (the famous Tuesday before Lent when many are to use up butter and meat — giving it the esteemed title of “Fat Tuesday.”)  We don’t need to go into details about this particular celebration, although I’m sure your memories will last a lifetime!

Easter itself is the commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection.  It likely has origin in the Jewish Passover season (the time commemorating the Jewish Exodus from Egyptian bondage), but Christians regard the Easter season as a time to remember Jesus’ return.

Nowadays, like so many other things in modern times, Easter is largely associated with a certain bunny, delicious candies (like Cadbury’s amazing Creme Eggs and those…interesting little Peeps), and Easter egg hunts.  These are all fine and good (some really good), but there is something else lingering behind the commercial, and even the religious, meaning of the Easter 2011 holiday.

Consider the theme of resurrection.  No matter your views on the theological points of the Easter holiday, resurrection is something worth considering.  The term connotes a revival or a rebirth of sorts.  It’s not just a theme for Christ (although he made it famous in its most spiritual and material senses), but for all of us.

Whatever your religious persuasion (or lack thereof) there is always time to reflect on life and goals — life and goals that often lay dormant or dead in the tombs of our very selves.  Is there a book idea gathering dust in your brain?  A class you’ve been putting off?  Isn’t it about time you learned the waltz?  Maybe there is a religious, spiritual, or domestic practice you want to take up or resurrect — going to church more often, confession for the first time this year, a yogic discipline, more walks with your dog, more time with your kids, more volunteer work, more Torah study, a reading of the Chuang Tzu (a book of Taoism).

Let’s spend a little less time concerned with the religious lines that divide us and a little more time taking some meaning from seasons that may, or may not be, our own.

For my (practicing) Christian readers, again, happy Easter 2011.  Enjoy your Easter celebrations and have a Cadbury Creme Egg for me.  For my readers of different persuasions, happy Easter 2011.  Consider resurrecting something wonderful in your life.

Chase Bank Has It Inside Out When It Comes To Yoga

Have you seen that new ad on TV with the woman in the yoga studio?

I just saw it last night.

Apparently, she is in the middle of a yoga session.  At some point, her phone buzzes to alert her that, for some reason, at that very moment, her bank balance is low.  She uses the yoga pose to stretch into a new position that allows her to transfer money into her account before she gets back into the proper pose.

The guy next to her seems to be struggling, but her smug look obviously comforts him…or something like that.

Anyway, when the teacher walks by, she is supposedly blissfully unaware of the clandestine transaction that has taken place directly under her nose.  Such a clever student!

I could only groan when I saw this.  First, if this woman is thinking about her bank balance in the middle of a one-hour yoga class, then it doesn’t matter what stretches or poses she does…she obviously needs to re-set her focus.  Also, I’m sure the other people in the class are really appreciative of her transferring money on a cell phone during their one-hour break in the day.

Obviously this rant is not about a commercial.  I know it’s just a Hollywood bit.  But the point gets back to our previous commentary on courtesy, taking it a step further.  Not only has common decency gone out the window in many places (restaurants, movies, etc.), but I am sure many of you out there have stories of how this goes on in church, synagogue, yoga class.  The list goes on and on.

If you have ever tried to meditate, you know how much concentration it takes.  You know how the mind is…”un-stilled”…with just the slightest provocation.

And, you know how hard it is to stay away from the phone and email, even when you are supposedly quieting down.

Therefore, let us all take this ridiculous commercial as a wake up call.  Let’s try to use some portion of the day for relaxation and calm, despite the pull of the world.  If you can’t devote an hour, devote a minute.  Stop listening to the TV and listen to your breath for a second.  Walk to the fridge to get an apple and count the steps.  Take a drink of water and feel the swallow.  Iron a shirt and see the wrinkles disappear.

You know what to do.  Once you put the cell phone down, it should be clear.