Alec, Boulder, CO

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Vibrant Connection: What are you passionate about?     “Passion is defined as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something, a strong sense of emotion, a fulfillment of presence, if you will.  My first original passion has always for a yearning of adrenaline.  Although, it has brought me into harms way a few times by means of extreme sports, it demands undivided attention and that is something that fires me up!  I am passionate about extreme presence.  Which taps into the practice of mindfulness in yoga, which is a passion of mine I am always looking to cultivate.  Children have also been a longstanding passion for me, from being around kids and taking care of young kids to early teens at camp as a counselor.  I spent many years at camp as kid myself and eventually took the role as a leader in the community.  Passion is what keeps us unique and inspired!”

What does success mean to you?     “Success…. I have always been a black sheep; in a monkey’s body!  I went to a small private high school and many of my intelligent go-getter friends went on to business jobs, right away.  I took a path a little more unique to what interested me.  And it sure wasn’t numbers!  I measure success in my life by how well I show up in circumstances when I may be challenged or faced with a psychological crisis of some sorts.  Whether it is ego identity, what I am doing with my life, I have come to see that I can measure my happiness as my success. My sense of service to others and to the world.  To continue to re-awaken the alive heart within myself, and the heart within others; That may be seva at its center!”

What gifts/talents do you want to share with the world?    “I have always felt my heart is an abundant gift to me in this lifetime. Three years ago I truly lived my life care-free, LOVELiFE energy from wake to rest, and this did tax on me as I had no true grounding through the process. I was living on one spectrum of life and that was of a state of bliss – for no reason. The last few years have given me a thread of reality to weave into the trees and the soil, allowing me to feel more on the earth.  Perhaps RAW, vulnerable in emotion, which for some may relate to as stress, overwhelming and intense.  These feelings have brought me to be a bit more jaded, so I was then on a whole different side of the spectrum.  Having realized it, I believe it is now a practice to be in the midline.  Embrace contentment of being human and walking the path of the yogi, searching for self-realization.  The Gift I would share is the gift of the heart, loving our selves in the process of hardship and ease.”

What advice would you give someone just starting yoga?    “Take it easy. Go try various studios and styles until a feeling of sweetness arises, or perhaps just feelings of comfort.  Yoga is not all sweet.  There is some poison in the practice.  When this poison arises, notice it, and practice to sit with it.  Not to leave the yoga behind; return to the postures or yoga classes, meditation, and/or breathwork.  The yoga is truly working- when the poison arises, slowly bringing back this incredible ‘honeymoon’ phase we will go through in yoga.  If it disappears, it truly can return!  Take your practice slow.  In a world of peak poses, instagram fame, and yoga corporations, yoga can easily be taken out of context, as a path to find ones self, not only to reconstruct the mind or body.  As Pattabhi Jois, Guru-ji, Creator or Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga says, ‘Quickly going, very dangerous, better to go slowly’.”

What obstacles have you faced in your lifetime?    “I will express two obstacles, of many I am sure I have endured and many I will continue to embrace. First, I have always been overrun by anxiety.  A sense of having to Go go gO, sometimes with no guideline and just moving very fast.  This has brought a sense that I am rushing myself and rushing others, when I feel that I may not have enough time.  Which is a ‘Trance Of Scarcity’ (a book by Victoria Castle, check it out).  To think we don’t have enough time, money, or love to share with the given moment that is presented before us.  Anxiety has stilled slowly, upon integrating a daily meditation practice over the course of the past year of my life.  I am grateful.  I still have moments when I feel anxious to go.  It becomes a conscious choice to breathe and BE HERE.  My second obstacle I will express comes from the space of anger, frustration, and pride.  I didn’t talk to my dad for almost 2.5 years!  Although I will not dive into the details, the point is that I was being headstrong to not forgive.  A stubborn Ram, I was.  The Yoga opened my heart up to forgiveness.  I simply practiced, practiced, practiced.  Sometimes completing ignoring what I bottled up.  And eventually the veil is lifted and we have no choice but to SEE for the first  time, what it is we bottled up.  This is the poison we sit with, slowly allowing it to neutralize into contentment, perhaps forgiveness.”

Which photo captures your essence?   “So many yoga photos are captured in vain and ego. SEE me.   Don’t get me wrong, it is a blessing I am able to share the art from my body with this world.  But I would be lying if I did not say that it also derives from a yearning to be seen.  And I am seen.  By my brothers and sisters, most beloveds in my life, as a community leader and partner with spirit.  I think that is important to realize when we take and post photos of ourselves.  It comes down to the Intention. I hope to inspire. The one photo that resonates most is not me in an asana. I am standing in a field of what looks like straw, sun shining bright, wearing a flannel with the mountains in the background!  It is a beautiful capture of the essence of freedom, as if I am twirling, ready to take flight!”

What question would you like to ask the next Vibrant Connection?   “What would you remind the world of?” and “How can we appreciate the small things in life?”  Next Vibrant Connection Here

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