Expand Your Experience of Love

What you do for yourself any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself will affect how you experience your world. In fact, it will transform how you experience the world. What you do for yourself, you’re doing for others, and what you do for other’s you’re doing for yourself.
— Pema Chodron

Namaste Yogis and Yoginis, 
I am excited to share the video of my TEDx Talk about Metta Meditation, "MindPlay to Expand Love in Your Life,” which I presented in May at TEDxNavesink

This interactive conference connected a live audience of hundreds via 20 thought provoking PLAY-ful presentations filled with 'ideas worth spreading'. Our speakers varied in expertise and topic from technology to art, community building to corporate enterprise, education to organized sports. What brought us all together was our passion for the way PLAY impacts our health, happiness, and wholeness. This conference was so energizing, that even after a 12 hour day, I was sad it came to an end. Thankfully much of it was filmed, allowing the event to continue to inspire thousands of new viewers online. Visit the TEDx Talk website to experience. 

The experience of creating and presenting my talk was incredible. But, to be honest, throughout the preliminary months of preparing, I was stressed by the high-profile, high-stakes aspect of TEDx. I had tremendous performance anxiety. I was focused on wanting my talk to be perfect; wanting it to be great. After all, this was my 'big chance'. 
Thankfully, about six weeks before the big day, while leading a yoga retreat, I had a moment of clarity that changed the way I perceived and ultimately performed my talk. 
This was in fact a 'big chance', but not to succeed in giving a perfect speech; rather it was a big chance to share my passion, and something I know to be truly healing, with such a large and diverse audience. 
As I re-oriented my perspective from succeeding to sharing, it became clear that this was an amazing opportunity to spread the idea, the possibility, and inspiration, that with the right tools, each of us can create a profound shift in our mind and heart. We can transform our experience of even our most difficult relationships–whether it is a relationship with another or with ourself. Each of us can move from anger to love, from tight to expansive, from critical to compassionate. We all have the capacity to learn to soften our hearts more. And, this is not only good for us, but will positively affect everyone we come into contact with.
As this is my personal experience, I wish it for all my loved ones, friends, students, all beings. And so, my talk was instantly born: "Metta Meditation: MindPlay To Expand Love In Your Life." 
Metta is often translated as loving-kindness and described with words like benevolence and friendliness. It is an ancient meditation technique that couples creative visualization with mental affirmations to help develop and nurture compassion for yourself and others. While it is practiced in a formal seated meditation, it is meant to be used in our daily life and moment-to-moment interactions. Ultimately, Metta is a way of conditioning ourselves to experience the world and all beings (including ourselves) with patience, kindness, and love. 
In my TEDx Talk, I introduce some basic concepts of Metta, guide you through a sample 4-minute practice, and give a peek into how it helped me change my relationship with my father and, more importantly, with myself. And this only the beginning of the many ways it has helped enhance my life. 
I am so grateful for this opportunity to share Metta Meditation, an 'Idea Worth Spreading' and practicing; not only because I've personally experienced its amazing benefits, but because I have also had the joy of witnessing these same kind of life changing shifts in countless students. In fact, Metta has been making this magnificent impact on people all over the world for over 2,500 years. 
In addition to sharing my talk here, each weekly Yogalicious Blog in July will offer more inspiration, tools and techniques to practice Metta on your meditation cushion, yoga mat, and most importantly into your daily life.

And as some extra encouragement and support to get started, I recorded a simple 12-minute guided Metta Meditation (thank you to the kindness of Nikki and Paul who produced it) that you can stream from the link below as well as on my Home Practice Page. 
May you be happy! 
May all beings happy! 
With Big Metta Love, 

For more on Metta:

Watch Jillian's TEDx Talk "MindPlay to Expand Love in Your Life"

Try this 12-minute Metta Meditation (Mp3) 

Read about Opening the Heart in Loving-Kindness 

The Yogic ‘Love Story’ is an Inner One