alphaomegayoga alphaomegayoga

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Anna Schwarz  🙏 Yoga & Meditation Teacher 🐛⏳🦋On a Quest for Meaning 🌎🌱

On empathy.. Part 2

I had another, quite spicy topic for my series on empathy for today. And when I was just about to edit it, I received another inspiration: A few days ago I had posted a video of Macron talking about the necessity to stick to climate agreements in order to save our planet and stop worsening various environmental conditions. A friend commented arguing climate change would not exist and continued criticizing values that I deeply believe in.
In my last post I defined empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. To be honest in situations like these - when I just heavily disagree with someone - I just don’t want to understand their feelings. I just want to exclude that person from my radar and rather talk to the ones sharing my opinions.
And this is exactly the sweet spot where the practice begins. Practicing meditation has helped me to become aware of my feelings, triggers and reaction patterns. I did not impulsively react and exclude or offend that person - even though this would have been my first impulse. I got aware that I was massively challenged and even upset. I could understand my feelings but not his. Situations like these are not about proving points - it is about seeing the person behind that point and understanding their own inner map that has brought them to this very point.

On Empathy.

For someone working with other people, a key asset should be empathy. If teacher, leader or service clerk. .
But what does empathy actually mean? A brief definition describes ‚to understand and share the feelings of another‘. Shouldn’t be too hard, no? .
When I edited the video snippet of my practice the app i’m using automatically suggested this version - double speed and a song that I would have not necessarily chosen. Still, I liked how it turned out. But when you look at the original video, you would get a completely different picture of how I must have felt on this day. My practice was quite slow, smoothly flowing, almost dance-like. I was completely lost in my own little world of fuzzy emotions. .
So what I want to say with that is - we are always applying our own filters and views when looking at somebody else. To really understand how a person feels it needs empathetic listening - the skill of holding the space for someone without any judgement or wanting to bring in ones own opinions, suggestions or beliefs. Only through mindful dialogue we can understand one another. .
...to be continued...

I am everything and I am nothing.
I am the wind rustling around your leaves.
I decay into soil.
I nourish your roots.
I support your body.
I expand my branches.
I am swaying in the wind.
I am the source. I am the origin.
I am what I give. I am what I create. .
I am Alpha and Omega.

Power of Dialogue

Last Friday I was at the #acidarab concert at @clubgretchen dancing my feet off to fine electronic tunes fused with arab rhythms.
To me, dancing is meditation and so I love loosing myself in the music. But this time I lost myself in memories.
.
Memories of my time in the Middle East. Memories of @saeed.abualhassan determined to teach us how to properly dance palestinian #dapka at @shams.community. Memories of #gaga dance classes in Tel Aviv. Memories of feeling gaga after returning to Amman while my head and heart was still with a handsome Israeli man.
.
So many places, people, emotions and impressions - and still they feel like the memories of a dream slowly fading as the colors of Berlin are turning brighter and brighter. .
A few weeks ago I bumped into a past love that I hadn’t seen since I left for my journey. He asked me how I had been - it must have been a life changing experience he said. .
Was it though? Did anything change? Have I changed? .
I meditate. I train mindfulness. And still I just swam in the stream of life - just noticing how my environment changed as I swam through the currents back into my own ocean. But when I told him of all the mountains, all the lakes and seas I discovered, I realized what I had brought with me: It is not fading memories. It is the experience of swimming in the ocean. An entire ocean of many drops and many oceans in a drop itself. .
#rumi #dropintheocean #dialogue

K.A.L.I

#Kali is a Hindu Goddess and some of you may know that I have chosen her as my deity after crossing my path few times on my first trip to India.

If you look at illustrations of her you will see her quite intimidating decorated with skulls, a cut off head and other accessories that would go well if she was invited to dance the night off on a graveyard party. .
Kali stands for destruction, death - but also renewal.
So if we want - Kali is the goddess of change. In order to transform and to ultimately take on new forms you have to let go of old patterns, believes and destroy your identification of who or what you are. .
How many times have you held yourself back holding onto a role, job or what is expected from who you are? .
Go beyond what you or others think you are. There is no limit of who or what you can be. Be Kali. Be fearless.

What happens when temperature is rising, melting the icy layer you have built around you away? What comes alive?
#coldasice #springtime #humanblossoming

Dancers Pose aka #natarajasana
How do you enjoy dancing most?
Moving freely following rhythm and beats? Holding onto and following a choreography? Alone or with a partner? Controlled or wild? Showing your strong or soft side?
How do you dance the choreography of your life?

Finally, Spring has arrived.
And it is even so warm that I have heard the first people complaining about the heat!
Suddenly winter seems to be far and the cold wasn’t so bad after all. As our situation and mood changes, our whole perception of past experiences does as well.

This phenomenon is also one part of my personal Alpha Omega philosophy: Everything comes to an end - every day, every week, every month, every season, ...
So if everything vanishes - why holding onto it? Why wasting our energy with grief, overthinking or complaining about something that will be gone tomorrow already?

Happiness only grows when being shared 🌷

#childhoodfriends #kaaalsruuuh #naturalhigh

so what does ‚work‘ mean to you?
When I visited my old office after coming back from my trip one of my bosses was asking me ‚so when do you actually start to work again?‘ I had to laugh. To him it seems like I am not working at all. Because teaching Yoga or Meditation is not a proper job, farm work and volunteering in a social enterprise cannot be taken seriously if someone has a major degree from university and organizing festivals of course is just fun.
So what is work then? Something that necessarily has to pay money because you would never do it if someone wouldn’t give you money for it?
Considering that you probably spend around 40% of your wake time working, maybe another 5% commuting to work and depending on your job another good percentage talking or ranting about it - what means work to you?

The ultimate anti-depressant: Grandma‘s pyjamas 👚

Last night I probably enjoyed myself a bit too much on a pyjama party - and I mean come on, dancing the night away in nightdress and slippers with the most lovely human beings - who could not enjoy themselves?! But unfortunately little sleep and not having had packed my stuff made me miss my train to Stuttgart today. When I called my granny to tell her what happened she was sad - she was already excited to see me and so happy I would sleepover at her place.
To be honest I am hardly visiting my family. Last year it was four times and that was quite a lot for me. So I decided to book a flight ticket for the same day to arrive at the planned time and not to disappoint my grandma The ticket - a bit pricey, but the face of my grandma: priceless.
So this night it was a different kind of pyjama night. Having bubbles with granny listening to her stories - wearing the pyjama she prepared for me. Cause it makes her happy.
If you are seeking happiness - make other people happy. It comes back to you.

Shadow & Light

Most of my friends know me happy. Singing, dancing, laughing - in any situation or context. A friend once told me that he only needs one minute to figure out if I am on the party he arrived or not - my laughter usually is so loud and penetrating that he‘ll spot me even if I am out of sight.
But then there are other times. Like now. When I am not so giggly or outgoing. When I have difficulties to motivate me to do anything and avoid seeing people because I feel I will be a burden to them. This week was except of a few appointments and classes entirely for myself. On Monday I painted until 4am on the next day, treated myself with an amazing class by @nicola_troeger allowing myself to let tears run through shavasana, made a raw vegan cheese cake and was also quite productive doing taxes and writing an offer for a consulting job. I met my ex for a movie that was so bad that we decided to sneak out to have good comfort food instead. I met another close friend for tea and both of them gifted me their time listening and embracing me as cranky as I felt.
So in theory this was a great week! I did almost everything I love and will go dancing tomorrow so we’re getting pretty close to perfection -but still, today I canceled to go on a date because I felt like I had nothing to give. That I would have bored this handsome and impressive man endlessly with my powerless, tired and doubting being.
I believe that sometimes you have to face shadow to appreciate the sun again. I know that this is a cloud passing by and the sun will shine again for me. That I will be shining for others soon again.
But I am so impatient for this damn cloud to move again. Spring, where are you? Where is your excitement, the blossoming, when will you lure me out of my cocoon? 🦋

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