1301 Lafayette Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

10329 Illinois Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46814

Phone: 260-627-YOGA (9642)


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stick Your Paddle In by Dave Romanelli(Master Guest Teacher January 17-18)

My meditation space has a stack of my favorite books including Wayne Dyer’s interpretation of the Tao Te Ching, Lawrence Kushner’s Honey from the Rock, Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, some Frankincense oil (soothes the soul), and sage from Sedona, Arizona (clears the energy). But the centerpiece of my meditation space is a giant statue of Shiva. 

A Hindu God who is often depicted dancing, Shiva embodies rhythm and harmony,  the constant flow of life and death, endings and beginnings. Shiva’s energy infuses you with the vitality to deal with life's volatility.  With his energy, you can rise up on challenging days, snap back from bad days, and take advantage of good days. 

Vitality is fuel for the soul.  

And here’s the thing. Vitality cannot be acquired or bought, learned or inherited. Vitality is generated by uttering a simple word:


As Rick Hanson writes in Just One Thing, “...the script is always changing, and saying ‘yes’ keeps you in the flow, pulls for creativity, and makes it more fun. Try saying ‘no’ out loud or in your mind. How’s that feel? Then say ‘yes.’ Which feels better, opens your heart more, and draws you into the world?” 

Whether you are out of shape, reeling from an injury, burdened by work, or crushed by love, the tendency is to turn away, to avoid change, to let the unruly brain make unhealthy decisions.   

Turn around, dig deep, and say YES!


The summer of 2008, I went with my brother on a trip to Alaska. 

Halfway down the river on a white water rafting trip, the guide tells us, “Ok this is the end of the trip for most of you. The rest of the river is Class 5 which means very advanced. Great meeting you today.”

The guide assumed we were a bunch of fancy pants yuppies from LA and we wouldn’t continue.

He was right.

I was gathering my stuff to exit the raft...

...when my brother says, “We're doing this!"

And we proceeded, in 33 degree water, with very specific instructions on what to do when we fell out of the raft. They went so far as making us jump in the river, in full body wet suits, to feel what it would be like to fall in.

Mind you, the river was lined with bears searching for salmon, not to mention class 5 super intense rapids.

The guide gave us one piece of advice before starting.

If you cower in the raft, you’re going to get sucked in. So engage, dig your paddle deep into the rapids.  That’s how you’re going to stay in the raft.

My brother looked at me as if to say, “We didn’t come to Alaska to pet each other and hold hands.” Which was exactly what I wanted to do: look at some mountains, smell the fresh air, maybe catch a fish or two.  But bears? Freezing water? Rapids? I needed to be held.

We pushed off and down we went. I dug my paddle into those rapids harder than a vegan nun holds her Bible at a sleezy Vegas steak joint.

And yes, it was quite possibly the most exhilarating adventure of my lifetime.  Partly because I moved through my fear, but mostly because of how I moved through it...fully engaged.
The rapids hit hard and bit hard. In a moment when I normally would have taken cover, instead I dug in deep. Each intense stroke of the paddle into the freezing water was yet another way of saying that life-affirming word...

So stick your paddle in! Whatever you are facing right now, embrace it fully.

As much as we hope for eternal serenity and utterly peaceful living, the universe is volatile and it will challenge you in love, health, business and faith.

What is currently stirring you up? A move to a new home or city? Changing jobs or maybe having a hard time finding one?
What are you fearing? Maybe it’s a big presentation, or job security? An upcoming social event, or love gone bad?
In what way do you feel overwhelmed? Too much work, unceasing financial burdens, overbearing responsibilities at home?
We all have something we are going through each and every day.  
We can shy away and hide, hoping we don’t get sucked in. Or we stick our paddle in!
As the guide screamed to us with the freezing water rushing into our eyes, “ROW, ROW, ROW!”
About Yeah Dave:
Dave Romanelli fuses ancient wellness practices with modern passions like exotic chocolate, jazz, fine wine, and gourmet food. His collaborations with chocolatiers, jazz artists, chefs, and sommeliers spread "the art of wellness" beyond the gym or yoga studio and into everyday life. Dave's work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Food + Wine, Newsweek, and The New York Times; and his debut book, Yeah Dave's Guide to Livin' the Moment, reached #1 on the Amazon Self-Help Bestseller List. Dave's new book launches in Fall 2014 from Skyhorse Publishing. You can check out his workshops on GaiamTV as well as his show Yeah Dave! on uLive.