Bhakti: Love & Devotion

The path of yoga through devotional service.


 poems · affirmations · life


"Life is glorious, but life is also wretched.  It is both.  Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, and energizes us.  We feel connected.  But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever.

The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction.  On the other hand, wretchedness- life's painful aspect- softens us up considerably.  Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person.

When you feel a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose- you're just there.  The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes.  We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple.

Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.  One inspires us, the other softens us.  They go together." - Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living



I used to have a comfort zone- where I knew I could not fail. The same four walls and busy work were really more like jail. I longed so much to do the things- I'd never done before... But, I stayed inside my comfort zone- and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn't matter- that I wasn't doing much. I said I didn't care for things like LOVE AND FREEDOM- and such. I claimed to be so busy- with the things inside my zone
But, deep inside- I longed- for some victory of my own.

I couldn't let my life go by- just watching others win. I took a deep breath- and stepped outside- to let the change begin. I took a step- and with a strength I'd never felt before, I kissed my COMFORT ZONE good-bye and closed and locked the door.

If you are in a COMFORT ZONE- afraid to venture out. Remember, all the winners, at one time were filled with doubt. A step or two, and words of praise, can make your dreams come true. So, greet your future with a smile- FREEDOM is there for YOU!

STEP OUT AND FLY - author unknown

"I will catch you if you fall" - Yoga Mat.  For the past week or two, I felt like I was falling, falling down an old familiar path.  As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder (long in my past) feelings of guilt, sadness, dislike with my body often find themselves back into my thought patterns.  Summer is a tricky season, there is the pressure of the 'bathing suit beach bod' while at the same time temptations from bbq's, cocktails on the rooftop, the icecream man (I mean come on!).  I try not to be so hard on myself when I indulge but, sometimes it's harder than other times to be a #loverofmyself.  This morning I got on my mat.  After an hour of alone time and a sweet, sweaty, soothing yoga practice, I'm back!  Feeling strong, beautiful, and blessed!  The transformation that can happen on the mat is almost unreal, until you've experienced it.  I hope you are able to get on your mat this weekend too!

"THERE IS THIS WOMAN I KNOW..... You may know her too, or a version of her.

For some of you, she may be a he.  For me, she stands in the middle of a field- surrounded by daises. Arms open wide like she's ready to fly.  But she doesn't.

She knows that her place is here, now, grounded, present.  Her two feet- barefooted feet- buried in the grass.

So instead she twirls.  She twirls, and sings, laughs, dances, jumps up and falls down.  She gets back up.  She is HAPPY.

I don't know what she does, or where she lives, or how she came to be so FREE.  But I do know this:  THIS WOMAN IS ME!  The me I CHOOSE to BE!

I've longed been searching for just the right words to give her a face and bring her to LIFE.  And now I don't have to.  Through the magic of LOVE, LAUGHTER, JOY, HAPPINESS, TRUTH, FREEDOM, and PLAY, I see this woman more clearly.

She now has a name.  Her name is LIFE, and she chooses to LIVE it!! Isn't that nice!!!
- Jeanette LeBlan