Nov 192016
 
image - loneliness vs. being alone
People ask me how can I have gone to India three times by myself.  They question me…..’weren’t you scared, fearful or  lonely?” I never felt scared because I like new and different. I never felt fearful because I learned very quickly that the Indian people are sensational and kind.   But I wondered whether I would feel lonely travelling solo on public transportation, not having moment to moment conversation with a fellow traveler, or sleeping in foreign beds with family far away.
I quickly began to realize that being alone and lonely were very different choices for the mind and heart to embrace.   They didn’t resemble each other at all. After this realization I sat down and tapped on my keys in Evernote what I felt the difference of “being lonely and being alone” I realized,in my life, some of my loneliest times were when I have been surrounded by masses of people and some of my most precious moments were  being all alone in India.
Let my writing be a spark to your heart to share with yourself the difference for you of “being alone and being lonely.

Some ways that loneliness can be described is the isolation that comes with an expectation unmet, a feeling unreturned, or experiencing a state of abandonment.

alone = without anyone with you
being alone = is about being feeling whole and filled up when you are alone
Our language has created word loneliness to express the pain of being alone and another word called solitude to express the glory of being alone. Nietzsche says the individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.  If you try it, you will be lonely often and sometimes frightened.   No price is too high for the privledge of owning oneself.
  1. Being alone is the feeling when you are in the best part of a love affair, living in the state of amazement, of joy, of intense love, of undying belief that life is magical.  Loneliness is the worst part of a love affair, living in a state weeping inside with your mask and amour firmly in place.  Anne Frank says the best remedy for thos who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside somewhere where your soul and mind can be quiet, alone with nature and the heavens because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.
  2. Loneliness wants to find distractions to numb the pain of the lost soul.  Being alone is having the courage to be present with both the light and the dark, to capture the sight, sounds, and feelings of life, to connect with that deep and powerful yearning of union with ones lost soul.   To ask yourself often…..who am I?Wayne Dyer says you cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with or Sartre says if you are lonely when you are alone,  you are in bad company.
  3. Loneliness causes confusion of why and how we are worthy.  Being alone allows the the best self to step forward, to embrace with courage imperfection,to connect with authenticity and say “I am worthy of a good and full life“.   Woody Allen say 80% of life’s success and happiness is just showing up.
  4. Loneliness is being disconnected to your vulnerability and not committed to your life’s authenticity. Being alone is belonging to yourself first and being committed and open to others next. Einstein says it is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.
  5. Loneliness is rooted in holding onto the fear of what could be and shame of what was.  Being alone is letting go and becoming physically and mentally free.
  6. Loneliness is rooted in a brain overload that is shortening out and a mind riot that no one can hear. Being alone is the soft  solitude of the brain learning and practising new healthful responses and the mind slowing down.
  7. Loneliness is always looking for someone to save you and relying on them for your happiness.  Being alone is a brave soul standing in their bright shining light and knowing you are the only one to create happiness for you.
  8. Loneliness is longing for something that doesn’t exist.  Being alone is finding and savouring everything that exists in solitude.
  9. Loneliness is where the deepest activities begin, the stirring up of dissatisfaction but without the energy to do anything about it. Being alone faces dissatisfaction  with energy and power, sits in profound repose, finds vision in obscurity to discover new pathways with fulfillment extends beyond infinity.
  10. Loneliness is wanting more stuff and quick fixes.  Being alone is being content with what we have.
And finally, on the humorous side…
A man in a bookstore buys a book on loneliness and every woman in the store hits on him.  A woman buys a book on loneliness and the store clears out.
Oct 312016
 
Photo of seedy muffins

These muffins were such a favourite at The Fitness Group.  I was recently asked for the recipe and thank goodness, somone still had it!

  • 3 cups whole grains-wheat, triticale,oatmeal,7 grain cereal, cracked wheat (I used Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Cereal – pictured)
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 C. raw sugar
  • 1 C. sunflower oil
  • 1 C. dried cranberries (could also use currants, raisins, or chopped prunes)
  • 1/2 C. each of poppy, sunflower, sesame seeds and/or millet
  • 1 1/2 to 2 C. unbleached flour sifted with 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp. baking soda

Roast sunflower and sesame seeds at 300 for 10 minutes. cool.

Combine whole grains and buttermilk and let sit 10 minutes.

Beat eggs.

Add eggs to buttermilk with vanilla, oil and sugar.

Add currants, the rest of the seeds and stir til combined. Add flour mixture and stir until just barely combined.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Jun 212015
 

Join me for a short ride in examining humility in your life:

Humility  is a  interesting  word and I believe  it has given humble people a “less than” rap in our  society .  The synonyms in the dictionary  are submissive, meek, lowly…….HMMM , not what I believe is humility.   A definition I thought was getting closer to what I perceive. Humility is “the quality of being modest and respectful, a righteous virtue”.  Then I read on and it described humility as  an egoless self.   HMMMM, egoless self , I don’t know …..maybe there a place for a balanced ego?

Here are a few quotes that made sense me.  Take 5 minutes (1 minute each question) to contemplate on how these statement may impact your life.

  1. “Humility fights against excessive self pride and ego stroking”.  Think about a situation that excessive self pride took over your being.  What action would you like to have done differently in this  encounter?
  2. “Believe  in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!  Without  a humble but reasonable confidence in your own innate powers you cannot be successful or happy!” In what situation did you doubt your abilities? What thoughts and actions could you have recruited of your humble but reasonable confidence and innate powers  to make you happier or more content.
  3. “The higher we are placed, the humbler we could walk” What an idealic thought.  Maybe it would be grand for all  leaders of the world to examine this thought? Wow, a lot of responsibility on us who choose to find higher places of leadership in life? Where in your life of leadership did you walk humbly? (parent, friend, politician, teacher, daughter, son etc).
  4. A famous statement in therapy is “In my humble opinion…..then you honestly try to  communicate with balanced  ego how you feel….”. Is there someone  you would like to start a heartfelt dialogue  using this format?
  5. “Swallow  your pride occasionally, it is not fattening,”  Holy man, holy woman.. How often do we want to get the last fighting word in to make our point?  How often do we stand our “ground” in stupid situations. Try to Remember a situation in your life that you could have been more humble and let go of your pride.  Is there a voice to communicate this to that person?

In closing…..”humility shines like a diamond in a royal crown”. …..wear it well..

Many blessings. Barb

Jun 212015
 
10295520_705366749507176_8751713884412122181_o

Pause, breathe, push yourself away from responsibility for 5 minutes…….

CONTEMPLATE
“I am enough just  the way I am today”

Have you ever felt…”I am not enough”….. society has said it, my Mom and Dad have said it, my children or friends  have blasted it into my brain that I needed to be more.  Take a break and absorb this poem by Danna Faulds

It is enough to offer love,
No matter how imperfectly received or given.
It’s enough to try and fail at a difficult task; enough
To fall and rise and stumble, sigh and start to walk however slowly, in the direction the soul (not the mind) points.
It’s enough to seek peace and find pain, to gain nothing but the vision of the truth , and take the long way home.
It’s enough to hear the voice of fear and hide…or seek it out and face the shame or shadows.
It’s enough to set out to tame demons and watch them multiple instead.
It’s enough to be buffeted by the winds of change and not be blown over.
I and you and all of us are more than enough .

Go forth, be enough, and perhaps  grow in your light and open yourself to light and love.

In full gratitude of the journey of life.

Barb

Jan 262015
 
blue-zones-book-2-200x303
Do you want to live to be over 100 with good health and a positive attitude towards life ?
In the book “The Blue Zones”  the author Dan Buettner identifies the places in the world where the most centurions exist. Think Sardenia, Italy, Loma Linda, California, Nosura Peninsula in Costa Rico, Okinawa Japan, a small island in Greece for living a long life.  In each of these destinations there were commonalities of behaviours, lifestyles and attitudes.  These are called “the nine power influencers of longevity. “
Let me share them with you….
  1. Move naturally and often!  Get up and garden, walk briskly, hike a mountain, bend and stretch in yoga.
  2. Have purpose!  In yoga the 7th chakra is our energy center of purpose, the center where we ask ourselves “why am I on this earth, what legacy would I like to leave the world.” Victor Frankl, Holocaust survivor, and author of “Man,s search of meaning” identifies common characteristic of the survivors. He found people with a purpose,no matter what it was,survived the longest.
  3. Down shift, manage your stress, meditate, and find your quiet moments to connect with nature and yourself.  
  4. Adhere to the 80% rule!  Eat 80% of the time healthfully. Don,t beat yourself up for 20% of the time “jumping off the wagon.”
  5. Eat a Plant slant diet!  Fill your fridge with red peppers, dark leafy vegetables, root vegetables, berries. Fill your dinner plate with 80% vegetables and fruit.
  6. Moderate Wine with friends!  Everything in moderation!
  7. Know you belong!   Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs identifies the base of his pyramid to self actualization is water, food, shelter. The next rung of the pyramid in reaching ” the great self” is feeling an integral part of something bigger than yourself.
  8. Engage often with loved ones!  Compassion, gratitude and total appreciation for family and friends brings richness to our lives.
  9. Find your positive cheerful tribe!  Living with negative, unhappy, disgruntled people eats at your core fiber of goodness and joy.  Walk away from these humans and find a new tribe.
So how did you do?
I think I will be around for the 100th celebration. Come and practice yoga with me on that day!
Namaste,
Barb
Nov 172014
 

reflecting

November 15, 2014

~ the plane home from Melaque, Mexico

Every year it seems, after a week of activities and meeting new friends, I get a notion to say something about the retreat I’ve attended. Every year is different and every year, it seems, different thoughts occur to me.

The Barb Crompton yoga retreat is a different kind of place. I don’t have to play the boss, the partner, the ‘something’, the ‘anything’. Here, I can be myself for a change. What is being oneself? It is a foreign concept to many, I’m sure, just as it was for me until I began my annual sojourn to Mexico where Barb Crompton holds her retreats. It’s the time before we ‘grew up’, the time when we didn’t have to put on a different face for the various people we meet and/or have relationships with. Whether it be our parents, our children, our bosses, our employees, our partners, etcetera, we change our behaviour. Here, at least a little bit, if not a lot of that seeming necessity dissipates, replaced with a feeling of freedom, contentment, and joy. To be fair, the kind of people that one would typically meet at a Yoga retreat are more than likely a different breed. Just that factor leads one to almost immediately feeling more comfortable to speak openly to everyone, make connections faster, and often make long lasting relationships. Upon leaving the retreat, one feels refreshed, stronger, and with a will to make positive changes to one’s life that one might have neglected in favour of the day in, day out routine of our daily lives. There is nothing more I look forward to in my calendar year than the yoga retreat.

Nov 112014
 

A common ailment for many people is sciatica – a consistent pain in the lower back and buttocks that may potentially extend down the leg to the foot.  If you experience lower back pain, join Barbara Crompton from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in this four-part series of gentle stretching poses designed to increase your range of motion and provide sciatic nerve pain relief. Barb is joined by students in a restorative yoga class and together they will help you to release tightness and relieve compression of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body.

Sep 152014
 

Happy fall 2014! I am truly in awe of the light and warmth I have recieved this summer .

It seems that I am surrounded by my own dynamic spirit, unusual happenings and questioning yoga students wondering what the future holds and what it will look like. Will it be familiar or different? Sometimes the change of life and environment, which is a natural evolution, is filled with fear and yet wonderful excitement of what could be. Be brave and let go of the past to be free, or why not search out new ways of living to experience cleansing and revitalization.

QUOTES AND POEMS TO LET GO!

I adore and live by this scary quote:

getting over a difficult or new situation is much like crossing the monkey bars. You have to “let go” at some point in order to move forward” – author unknown

When I am in times of trepidation and change, I re-read a poem by Danna Faulds.

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold
The holding of plans, or dreams or expectation.
Let It all go!
Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now
will only result in struggle and a desperate attempt to flee from the energy you long for.
Let go! Let go!
Let it all go and flow with grace that washes through your days
whether you receive it gently or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this upon faith: the mind may never find the explanation that it seeks,
but you will move forward nonetheless.
Let go, and let the wave’s crest carry you to unknown shores,
beyond your wildest dreams or destinations.
Let it all go and find the place of rest and peace and certain transformation.

My mantra when I feel defeated or grief stricken

“letting go isn’t about giving up. It’s about accepting that there are things that cannot be” – author unknown

Why not “let go”and journey to of Melaque Mexico to practise yoga, hop on a bike, swim in the warm ocean, lie by a magnificent pool and read your kindle, laugh until your stomach hurts , quiet your mind in the lush Green surroundings hearing the ocean waves or dance like there is no tomorrow.

In closing the infamous quote by luminary Lao Tzu
“When I let go of what I am I become what I might “
Fondly,
Barb
Aug 172014
 

photo (16)2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice


1/2 c olive oil
1 c brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
6 c grated carrots

grate all your carrots first and set aside

combine oil, sugar in mixer.  beat eggs in one at a time.  add vanilla

 then add baking powder,baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice

in a plastic bag put in your 2c.whole wheat flour and add all your
grated carrots. and shake it all up.

(this method keeps the carrots from sinking to the bottom of your cake)

add the carrots and flour  to the rest of the batter, fold together.

Use an extra long loaf pan, a 9 x 13 pan or 2 x small regular loaf pans, or any pan you like.

bake at 350   approx. 45min.


cream cheese icing

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c  butter
1 c icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

beat cream cheese, butter, add sugar, add vanilla.

Have fun making this yummy cake!

Constance Wong, Yoga Enthusiast

Jul 302014
 

In my restorative class on Gambier Island this past weekend, here are some of the thoughts I shared:

“I believe the very purpose of life is to be happy.  From the very core of our being, we desire contentment.  In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our sense of well-being.  Cultivating a close warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease.  It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life.  Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone.  The key is to develop inner peace.” Dalai Lama

“As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery . . . we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace.  The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.”  Dalai Lama

LovingKindness_Barbara_Crompton

Loving Kindness (adapted from BuddhaNet.net) as a meditation practice, brings about positive change while developing the quality of loving acceptance.  The four qualities of love are:

  1. Friendliness – warmth that reaches out and embraces others.
  2. Compassion – as loving kindness practice matures it becomes compassion, as one empathizes with other peoples difficulties.
  3. Appreciative Joy – the positive experience of empathy is an appreciation of other people’s good qualities or good fortune, or appreciative joy, rather than feels of jealousy towards them.
  4. Equanimity – remaining caring towards everyone with an equal spread of loving feelings and acceptance in all situations and relationships.

May you be free of animosity, oppression, trouble and may you look after yourself with ease.

Namaste,

Barbara

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