You were made for this...

Authored By: 
Mary Bruce

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these -- to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall:
"When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.”
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes


Dear Soul Family and Friends,

I begin with the above message dated Jan. 28, 2008 from Clarissa Pinkola Estes that continues to be timely as I endeavor to find my voice and transform my anger into a catalyst for change. I’ve been having real live conversations with friends and family about All events since November.

I’m sometimes vocal on social media and sometimes not. I’m weary of the so-called “spiritual community” pointing fingers and blaming and shaming others for not speaking out as well as being hurtful when they do but it’s not up to their ideals. This reflection of unrest is everywhere. No community is immune. We have to strengthen the immune system of our culture, nurture self-care, take time away from technology and have real meaningful and challenging conversations with one another. Create a shift in perception by truly listening with your whole body; opening to another’s experience. When we see through this lens of respectful curiosity we can see beyond differences and note our shared humanity and widen the sphere of inclusivity. Author Laura Ingalls Wilder said, “persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.”

I wish I could teach/share the message of the Surya Gayatri with the entire world. Ha! In writing this I just had a flashback to 1970 something when I was a young teen and Sister Marita took me to an Up with People Concert in Madison, WI. where I first heard “I’d like to teach the world to Sing” (In perfect harmony).

Lyrics
I'd like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I'd like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
(That's the song I hear)
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I'd like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
(That's the song I hear)
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony, that's the song I hear
Songwriters: William M Backer / Roger F. Cook / Roquel Davis / Roger Greenaway

I digress, yet it seems to fit in with the theme...

Today, I am inspired by one of the oldest Vedic Hymns, the Gayatri Mantra, the power of Intelligence, the Divine Mother who protects her children. It is a petition for inner clarity and intuitive awareness. It doesn’t matter what your religion, your color or your ethnicity is. It is a gift to all humanity. It is said that this sacred prayer spirals through the entire universe from the heart of the chanter, appealing for peace and divine wisdom for all. There are many translations and the one that I engage with is… May there be peace. May there be peace in the triple worlds; on earth, in heaven and beyond. May I remember that eternal, luminous light that dwells within my own heart. May my mind, my intellect be inspired by her brilliance and take the right action at the right time. This is the promise of the great Gayatri when meditated upon with devotion and reverence for one’s own well-being.

We are in the process of darkness being revealed. I read a quote recently that “things are not getting worse. They are getting uncovered. We must hold each other tight and continue to pull back the veil.” We are in a state of hyper awareness. Problems escalate when we rush to action. There is a missing link and that is acceptance. Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying we have to like it. I certainly do not. Yet, when we pause, take a breath, digest, chew on our own shadow, we enter the realm of acceptance. Then we can ask ourselves…This being true… what is the most loving kind thing I can do for myself in this moment? We can then take the right action at the right time and stand up for truth with dignity and high regard for ourselves and others. 

I will be spending time today during the solar eclipse in meditation on the Gayatri as well as my own Guru Mantra and of course the Mantra of the breath, “so ham”. Mantra means to protect the mind, that which has the power to direct the mind. When we are emboldened with power from the Infinite, we have the ability to affect change which brings me back to the beginning of my offering. Since its not feasible to teach the entire world the Gayatri, what I can do is to maintain my own practice and mend the undigested wounds of my shadow so that I may remember the unchanging luminous spirit that resides within; to rise up fierce, show my soul and share my spark in acts small and grand.

Clarissa says that calming the tumult is one of the strongest things we can do.This is my currency; to be a value creating human through the offerings of Yoga in its full spectrum.

And on that note, I’d like to conclude by bringing your attention to a few International and distinct offerings I am so proud and pleased to share with you for our greater benefit. By growing our capacity to hold light through ritual, practice and sacred self-care we can send up flares and display the lantern of soul in these shadowy times. My hope is that our collective efforts turn the tide toward a more enduring landscape of transparency and love where we remember that at our core we are more alike than not and revel in our rich and diverse soulful Being.  It’s going to take time and…we were born for times like these.

Lead with Love,
Mary

Blog originally posted on Mary's Blog

About the Author: 

Mary Bruce is an internationally beloved yoga teacher and educator who creates sacred space and presence for her students. Mary is a torch bearer. A beacon of light. A rare guide that is breaking the mold of the modern climate of yoga. Her teachings light us up and help us manifest our deepest desires.

Through a deep connection with each of her students, Mary expresses and teaches in a way that has been described as “pouring the goddess” straight from her mouth. She has an organic, poetic language for her teachings so students find their own inner truth of yoga and living. By being gifted with the ability to be both rooted and wild, gentle and fierce, joyful and deep, Mary’s teaching style integrates all energies so students can truly intersect light and shadow, the god and goddess. Her gentle and calming attention help her students find comfort in the moments of discomfort and to build confidence while challenging the edges of their self limitations.

Mary teaches all levels with an emphasis on the philosophical teachings of yoga that remain true to her linage. You will not find her classes “dumbed down” or diluted. She trusts her students' ability to understand the essence of yoga. While she pays honor to what has been passed onto her, she also stays true to herself and most importantly- true to each student, meeting them all exactly where they are. She guides her classes through all layers of yoga- from the flesh to the bone to the soul. She brings attention to detail (alignment), awareness of breath (pranayama), connection with divine source (bhavana), intelligent sequencing (vinyasa krama),
as well as, Ayurveda, visualization, meditation, mantra and more to each and every one of her classes.

Her wish for each student is that they practice expressing who they truly are. To radically embody that truth. And that their truth bring greater peace, to themselves, to this world. A yoga teacher since 1997, Mary considers herself a forever student and began her journey in 1995 with Julie Crutchfield. She was so inspired by what she learned with Julie she continued her studies with her Teacher Yogarupa Rod Stryker in 1998. Mary Bruce is now a senior student of Rod Stryker’s and is Level II ParaYoga® Certified, a Certified Four Desires Trainer and a member of the Para Yoga certification board. She is also a 500 hour E-RYT Yoga Alliance teacher, a Relax and Renew trainer under the mentorship of Judith Lasiter, a certified Yoga Nidra Facilitator and a Reike Master. Mary directed the Yoga Teacher Training program at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona from 2004-2008. She also co-directed the Yoga Teacher Training program at Practice Yoga in New York City in 2009 and co-directed the Yoga For Life 300 Hr. Master Immersion into The Yoga Tradition Program from 2011-2014. She currently trains teachers in Arizona, California and Switzerland. Mary has written for internationally known magazines such as Yoga International, Origin and Mantra Magazine, and is featured on Gather Yoga. Mary occasionally travels with musicians such as Jennifer Nettles and the band Sugarland to bring yoga and wellness on tour.

Mary currently teaches throughout the United States and abroad, dedicating her life to spreading her love for yoga and all the ancient wisdom in a new and radiant light.

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