Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Look out!!!!! Someone near you might be very inspiring and cause you to want to run off and do inspiring things yourself. I live with one of those people. He's the person I'm writing the book, Lessons from the Monk I Married, about. He can see a vision of his life so clearly. He meets so many people on a regular basis and I feel like that number is growing every day. He gives all his energy to his students and the yoga classes he teaches. He strives to bring out the best in ever single yoga student he meets because he believes that everyone possesses a greatness inside that has yet to be tapped into. He has a way with creating a space where people feel comfortable enough to open up so that they are free to experience this greatness. He has inspired me to write a book, to keep up with my yoga and to keep expanding in my yoga practice. I have felt moved to record him in pictures, words, and videos. This is what I have been doing lately. Here is a video from one of his large classes. His classes seem to be getting larger and larger.

I believe that the people we are surrounded by and the environment in which we live are so important. Are there inspiring people around you? Do you feel invigorated by those near you? Do people you surround yourself with lift you up and make you want to do great things in this world?

I used to be somewhat of a pessimist. I couldn't understand why things wouldn't go my way. Sometimes it felt like I was the only one in the world who was suffering. Later, after lots of meditation, I realized that I choose my life. I choose how I react to whatever life throws my way. I choose who I want to surround myself with and what activities I want to do. It's my choice. There are plenty of people in this world who have suffered great losses or experienced great pain, but it is their choice what they will do with the situation that is given to them.

By choosing to be an optimistic person, I'm finding that more and more positive situations are entering into my life. This optimism is contagious, just as inspiration is contagious. Unfortunately, pessimism, depression and negative emotions are also contagious, but you have
a choice. You don't have to accept these negative emotions as your way of life. You can actually choose to be a happy person, or a giving person, or a kind person, or all of these things.

Like my husband, I'm also a teacher. I teach English as a Second Language at a community college. I have students from all over the world. They come from Iran, Iraq, China, Russia, Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Africa, etc. Some of them have experienced the most terrible atrocities that you can imagine. Yet, I'm so amazed to find that my students seem to be such happy people for the most part. They come to my class smiling and enthusiastic. They are kind, grateful and so happy to be learning English.

I am inspired by my students, but I think it's a two-way street. In order to be inspired by someone, we have to have to have that quality within us and be willing to accept that quality as part of us. Inspiration is contagious, just like all other positive emotions. By being great and by putting inspiration out into the world, you will find that it comes back to you. Your life starts to have this very amazing quality to it. You start to receive so many positive benefits and that makes you want to give even more.

Every single one of us has this greatness inside. This greatness is made up of qualities which include love, kindness, peace, understanding, generosity, happiness, etc. These are not qualities we have to look for, they are qualities that we naturally possess. It is in our nature.

Every day you have a choice. It's not that negative emotions are wrong, but it is your own choice on how you will act in this world and what qualities you will display. From my own experience, if you choose to allow anger, pain and negativity to become predominate emotions in your life, you will only attract more situations that will allow you to feel these emotions. If you start to allow love, peace, happiness and generosity into your life, you will attract more situations which will allow you to feel these as well. You will be surprised at how much will change in your life if you just choose to smile at someone or just smile for the sake of smiling. It can make all the difference in the world.

Have you been inspired by anyone lately?