We all have limiting beliefs, and this is one that I’ve had to remove from my life. Self-improvement is not selfish. Focusing on myself is not something I’ll ever feel guilty about, ever again. Modern religions and institutions teach self-sacrifice and that we must put ourselves before others. Any other behaviour is selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, and a variety of other guilt-inducing vocabulary words. This is plain bullshit. more “Self-improvement is not selfish. Being a martyr is.”
I have a story to tell you. It’s the true story of my life over the last seven months, and it’s your story. Because we all have felt and experienced the exact same things at one point in our lives – each and every one of us: The joy, the pain, the disappointment, the healing, the elation, and the growth. How we internalize these experiences and what we choose to learn from them is what makes us uniquely human and deeply beautiful. It’s how you build your future.
more “Use intentions to build your future”
During a yoga class, we twist and turn, go upside down, stretch, flex, and everything in between. But is there a greater purpose to yoga? We show up and commit for a reason. For many it’s to spark a greater awareness of mind and body and a deeper connection between the two. For others, it’s to make us easier to be around, or rather suck less, so to speak. more “Is there a greater purpose to yoga?”
Often when teaching yoga or breathing meditation, students approach with questions on “being good” (or bad) at meditation. How do I get better at it? seems to be the general theme. It’s a tough question to field, because, the truth is that there’s nothing to get “better at” or “be good at.” That’s the whole point of breathing meditation. It’s a simple act of being present. Probably for the first time our day or perhaps lives, we don’t have to do anything. We just be.
I’ve come to learn, and accept, that I have a lot of feelings throughout my day. Knowing where emotions come from is extremely useful in mastering emotions. Over the past two years, I’ve discovered that I’m strongly affected by not only my own emotions, but others’ as well. The ability to apprehend or absorb the mental and emotional state of another is known as being an empath.
After 16 months away from friends, family, my culture, and my home, I found myself for the first time homesick. I booked a plane ticket back to Los Angeles, CA and waited in anticipation to be welcomed home. Integrating back into first world society after so much time away from it was and still is a daunting task. There is so much here that we take for granted in the first world that the reverse culture shock has been most interesting to me.
A lot has changed for me in the past two weeks, going from a slew of emotions to general confusion about life in Rio de Janeiro. I’ve decided that a lot of these changes have stemmed from being a bit homesick. It’s been 16 months since I’ve set foot on California soil, since I’ve seen family and friends, and since I’ve been around people who know me deeply. Being on this journey far away from home has changed me in ways that I could never imagined, but sometimes one needs to just go home.
For the first time in my life, I experienced 10 days of silence and meditation. I attended a 10-day vipassana meditation retreat at the Miguel Pereira vipassana center, Dhamma Santi, just outside of Rio de Janeiro. My days were meditate, eat, meditate, eat, meditate, sleep, repeat.
For those of you who know me personally, also know that I like to talk and share stories, so I thought 10 days of silence would be the toughest part. However, the silence was easy and beautiful. Of course, not talking to your roommate whose name you don’t yet know or to say excuse me, sorry, thank you, or bless you was a bit strange. The common social norms in society through the power of speech were set aside for a greater experience. So one would imagine life would be pretty quiet and boring, but no, life is quite loud and interesting. Here are ten takeaways from these 10 days of silence and meditation. more “10 insights from 10 days of silence and meditation”
After more than a year traveling through Asia and South America, I’m finally coming back home — California! It’s been well-overdue, and I’m super excited to visit family and friends. For those of you following this blog, you know that I’ve had quite a lot of interesting experiences from surviving Earthquakes and supporting victims to teaching yoga in Indonesia and Thailand to volunteering with people suffering from addiction and burnout to seeking my own ground in meditation and yoga.
In efforts to share these experiences, knowledge, and philosophy, I’m hosting my very first meditation and yoga workshop tour in Los Angeles and San Francisco. For each city, there will be two workshops, one focused on meditation and the other focused on yoga. But before I get into all of those details, I’d like to tell you a little bit about Meditation and Yoga.
more “California Summer Workshops with Alyse Speyer”
Love. It can feel like a drug or even a scarce resource. People write songs about it, “Love is all you need,” “Love is not enough,” “What’s love got to do with it.” The truth is that love is all of those things and more. However, if love is all you need, but not enough, and also has nothing to do with it, then: When is love enough? What can love do for me? How can I get enough, all I need, and make it work for me?
Everyone wants and needs love, and all behavior, positive and negative, is directly related to the quantity or quality of love received and perceived. The feeling in the pit of my stomach, that no one will like me, that I’m not helping anyone, that I’m not good enough — these are all manifestations and fears of not receiving that love.