The Divine Contract

I talked to Jennifer, my Naturopath today.

We talk about everything, not just my eczemic ears. After I confessed that my “no coffee” streak is over, and that I like my “Kathinated” self SO MUCH BETTER, we got into the issue of my stuckness about my project and how I can’t seem to push “Send.”

She said I needed to establish a deadline and hold myself to it. I told her I am an Obliger (in Gretchen Rubin’s system) and tend to only honor commitments I make to others, and rarely ones I make to myself.

I have already set a million deadlines for this thing.  She then said, “I am going to give you some homework.” I thought for sure she was going to make me promise HER to be finished by a deadline, but no. She wants me to make a “Divine Contract.”

Here’s how this works. I am to get into a meditative state. She said, “Go to your happy place.” (I am not really sure I have such a place, but it will be interesting to try to find out.)

Once I am there, I am to call in my “spiritual guides” for support and guidance. (This won’t be difficult.)

Then I am to call in all of the people who would benefit from this project and allow them to speak and tell me why they need it and what value it would add to their lives.

These are the people I need to make my contract with, she said. These are the people I must make my promises to. I am also to ask them: When do you need this by? And let them set the deadline.

I’m thinking this could work. I am going to do it.

Stay tuned.

Guest Post: Jennifer Schmid

This is a Guest Post by Jennifer Schmid ( who used to practice at Main Street Yoga before moving to California 2 years ago.  While she was here, we taught a 6-Week Yoga for Weight Loss session, which I have to say, was one of the absolute highlights of my collaborative teaching experiences.  Jennifer did the “diet and nutrition” part of the course, and I did the yoga. I wish to this day she would make her handouts for that class into a book!

I opened my inbox this morning to find this“Comment” under my post yesterday called “Getting Good At Yoga.”  I have been loving ALL the comments from the “Virtual Challengers” this month (and you too, Archan!) but this one seemed especially juicy, and rich, and deserving of the spotlight.

Jennifer Schmid

I’ve definitely noticed a change in my yoga, particularly in the poses that challenged me most intensely — 3-legged Dog, Pigeon, Frog, Bridge, Camel (finally got it last night. Yay!). I don’t look like a protege of Rodney Yee, nor do I want to. But I *like* the poses now. I absolutely struggle (and I’m sure I look silly), but I have gotten to the point where I’m starting to soften what needs to soften, and activate what needs to be activated, and I can still breathe (barely).

This is especially true with Pigeon. I guess I’ve always “liked” Pigeon, but it wasn’t until I decided to make it my “must do everyday” pose that I started to see a shift. Finally, after the 7th day or so, I softened. I walked out my back toes just a hair. I breathed. I found the bandhas. Yeah, baby.

More importantly, though, is how my yoga has changed me on the inside. I’m not taking things as personally. (This is huge; I was born under a Cancer sun and moon, and sensitivity is my specialty.) I’m setting boundaries and not taking on everyone else’s s#!t. I’m figuring out what the heck I want in this life. I’m more intuitive. And my heart is opening, thanks to all those hip-openers and back bends.

When I finally got to my yoga last night (day 28, whoo hoo), I was thinking about why all of those changes have been taking place, wondering how yoga makes that possible. It came to me during Happy Baby. I was imagining Brynne in her Happy Baby (thank you, Brynne).

When we do yoga, we’re opening our chakras. We’re letting in the light to those very special centers of our being. Happy Baby opens our first chakra; Mountain pose opens many, but especially our crown (7) and third eye (6). Back bends are particularly important for our hearts and emotions. It’s impossible to do a back bend while closing off your heart — you have to be open.

Kath, can you imagine facilitating a workshop called “Chakra yoga”? 15 minutes of gentle centering, then some writing about areas in one’s life where one struggles (this doesn’t have to be shared, can just be for self-exploration). Next comes a workshop on the chakras and their meaning (including a little centering to “feel” each one), then 60-75 minutes of yoga, exploring which chakras one feels opening during each pose, followed by a long savasana… I get tingly just thinking about it.

Lastly, because I’m sure everyone is wondering how much coffee I’ve had this morning (for the record, none, just yoga, green tea, and the energy that comes with life’s uncertainties), I was wishing in my practice last night that there was a “moon salutation,” because it didn’t feel right to be doing suns at 10pm. I just Googled it — there are a couple different ones, but I really like the one that was put together at Kripalu. (check out Kath, we’ll have to do this under the full moon. 🙂 (At Fred’s, maybe? Think he’d go for that?)

**note:** I recently ran a 6 Week Chakra Yoga session at the studio that didn’t follow that exact format, but was really well-received!!  And yes, I do think Fred would go for that!