On and Off the Mat: Practicing Non-Reactiveness

Practicing Non-Reactiveness

My love for yoga is a source of great inspiration for me.  I am such a committed practitioner that even in my most busiest times, it was the one thing (besides sleep) that I refused to give up.  Yoga has totally changed my outlook on life, and I believe strongly that the toughest yoga is practiced off the mat (i.e when you are not on a yoga mat).  And, so much of yoga aligns with my slow dwelling principles that it is almost hard to write a single blog post about yoga.  It’s too big.  But, I’m going to do it anyways.  Here goes.

I think the wonderfully powerful concept of “non-reactiveness” may shed some light on what I find profoundly important about yoga.  It was first introduced to me by one of my first yoga teachers, Erica Merrill.  She would encourage with statements like this: If you fall out of the pose, simply return to it without reacting.  If we were to stay in the pose long enough, everyone would fall out eventually.  So when you lose your balance, try to practice non-reactiveness. Just get back in the pose and continue with your practice.

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And it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that!

Model Slow DwellersIt has taken us Templetons a very long time to aspire to be slow dwellers – living more deliberately and sustainably, with a mind toward fairness, connectedness and pleasure – but the idea is not new.  In fact, there are many great historians (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thorough to name just a few inspirational thinkers) who have tipped us off to this type of lifestyle.  In my mind, though, one of the greatest slow dwellers was Dr. Seuss. Continue reading

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It’s Better to Give… Really!

A Gift of Happiness... For You!

In this world, in these times, and especially in our house, it can be difficult to find the time to give sufficiently to others.  And, I’m not even really talking about the metaphysical idea of “giving” (a much more involved subject).  I’m really just talking about the simple act of purchasing gifts – big or small for others.  Birthdays, anniversaries, mothers/fathers day, graduations, holidays, teacher appreciations, housewarming, showers, births, farewells, just becauses, etc…. I get overwhelmed by all the commitments.

But, are they really commitments?  Or are they opportunities?  Opportunities to make me happier?  To buy happiness? Sounds crazy, huh?  Continue reading

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Chickens – In the City

Goldie looking for some worms.

One of the highlights for people when they come over to our home is that we have chickens. Many people don’t believe that chickens are legal in the City of Chicago. Yes, they are legal in Chicago, but are not legal in all cities.  Not only are chickens great pets, they provide a lot of services for us and add to our slow dwelling.

Our daughters have named them, Continue reading

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Biking – Her Story

The Joy of Biking as a Kid

The Joy of Biking as a Kid

Have you ever watched a child ride a bike? It is pure joy. It’s pure freedom. It’s as if they are saying “Wow. Look at me go. I can take myself anywhere. What fun!” with every ounce of their beings. They ride as fast as they can and skid to a stop. Do they ever pause to say, “Wait. I’m going to get sweaty” or “How far is it? I’m not sure I can make it.” They just go.

I wanted to follow up Chuck’s last blog post about Biking with my own take on the subject. Unlike Chuck, I am not a year-round biker. I can’t haul anything. However, when the temperature is above 45 degrees and it’s not storming, I generally will ride my bike wherever possible. And this is my story… Continue reading

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Biking

I hate driving. Well, hate is probably too a strong word. So, maybe it is not hate. But I certainly seem to have my biggest negative visceral reactions when I think about driving. Ugh. So, I drive as little as possible and it actually suits me well. However, I do have to get to meetings, shop for groceries, take the kids to practice, visit friends, go to the doctor and a lot of other tasks that are not at my home, so I need to get there somehow. I know a secret that most Americans don’t know; there are other means of transportation besides a car! My chosen form of transportation is biking. And I find it very slow dwelling. Continue reading

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Being Calm-Assertive

Our Doggie Corey

Our Doggie Corey

Many years ago, Chuck and I fell in love with Cesar Millan. And while we don’t exactly have the best behaving dog on the planet, we have tried really hard to incorporate The Dog Whisperer’s tips and philosophy into the training of our dog Corey. One particular tenant of his approach stuck with us and is actually a really powerful lesson for life – whether you have a dog or not. Caesar tells us that we should project a relaxed, “calm assertive” energy. You need to show confidence but in a non-intense, non-intimidating kind of way. It will put your dog at ease and at the same time clearly communicate what we want. Continue reading

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