What Building a Yoga Rock Sculpture May Teach Us About Life

When we infuse our connections with gratitude and love

and hold them with reverence and light,

they grow regardless of external circumstance.

This article is dedicated to Jess Morrow because in the comments on My Soul’s Reflection is Ocean’s Edge I told her I would explain about yoga rock sculptures and how they fit into my life.  I am going to allow complete vulnerability with this one. Thank you for gently stretching with me.

Here goes:)

In my ending paragraph, I wrote:

In my life, not knowing ‘how’ often allows me to excuse my self from my commitment.  (As in, I know you will understand I do not know “how” to do this, so I no longer wish to be present).  In allowing this to be my life, then, I am affirming that my soul’s reflection is absolutely enough and I will trust that regardless of external.

An example of this is within my style of parenting.  I was given the wonderful gift of a son and a daughter and when they turned two, the world told me there was a stage of development called terrible two’s.  I don’t believe in labeling, so I didn’t invest in this “stage”.  And we didn’t have terrible two’s.  Yes, there were a few tantrums and originally I had no idea “how” to process them, except to open my heart, acknowledge their feelings, and disengage the fear they were experiencing.  And this is what I do at each ‘stage’ they cross.  There are moments they bring me a situation and I literally say, “This is new to me, I have no idea ‘how’ to do this” and then we just open our hearts and process.

This method works well with my children because our home is our sacred container and they were raised in an environment where transparency is honored, individual expression is encouraged and valued, and love is always the answer. They are extremely familiar with flow and unfolding and heart whispers and manifesting.  They believe everything is possible.

When I step outside of my sacred container of “home”, this is my experience:

I have the gift of clarity.  As I live my life,  I know my truth, I know my purpose, I know where I am in full alignment, I know when I choose to compromise and what the natural consequences will be.

I work in energy. I know that moving energy through my body to the earth and above my head to the sky is cleansing and empowering, allowing me the ability to simultaneously be rooted and to soar.

I practice unconditional love.  I know that the combination of love and gratitude equals transformational magic and can transform the lives of anyone whom it touches.

However, in my human form, as I live my truth and the beliefs above, I was not handed an instruction manual that tells me ‘how’ to do any of this.  And, I tend to dream big and live those dreams fully, but no-one has told me specifically how and if you ask me ‘how’ my answer is always open my heart (your heart) through it.  Sounds wonderful on paper, but in life it can sometimes get pretty messy.  In a mainstream world of thinkers and do-ers, dreamers and live-rs don’t really have a place.  And when you put unconditional love in a room of people who have residual fear (as most of us do) it isn’t always butterflies and glitter–fear tends to criticize, ostracize, lash out.  It’s not fun to be the recipient of that.

Here are a few recent examples of what living my truth (opening my heart through ‘how’) looks in “real world”:

My lifelong dream was to live on a boat with my family and sail around the world. However, when I finally took sailing lessons and invested the time to become a skilled sailor and when a boat became available, external was “less than” ideal.  I was a single mom of two young children, having stepped out of a life luxury onto this project boat requiring finances and skills I did not quite have at the moment.  But, I did it.  We lived aboard for five years, and each step of the way, people asked me “how’ are you doing this, and my answer was I open my heart and we live it one moment at a time. And there was moments of discouragement and doubt and frustration, and I opened my heart through those as well, very thankful to be living this dream.  When we recently moved to land, I realized I don’t know “how” to live on land, but I do it, one moment at a time.

If you asked me one year ago how I felt about long-distance relationships, I would have told you I don’t do them, at all, ever.  And then I was gifted with the presence of a traveling man and my world expanded to include this magical relationship that I had no idea “how” to do, except to open my heart to live it one moment at a time.  Whew, there were moments of extreme “miss” and sadness and fear and confusion, but I opened my heart through those as well, very thankful to experience his presence and the myriad ways that relating enriched my entire life.  When his travels created this chasm, I realized I don’t know “how” to bridge that, but I do it, one moment at a time.

After being online for four years, when I created this site, four months ago, I didn’t know “how” to do code, or to be a ‘solopreneur’, or to connect in ways outside of my “circle”.  But, I was gifted with this site, and I opened my heart to allow my heart whispers to roam free, and my life changed in all ways.  I’m living a dream beyond what I knew possible. Wow.  There were moments of exhaustion and doubt and fear and I wanted to quit, but I opened my heart through those as well, very very thankful to have this experience and allow my work and message to change lives.  I wrote the ebook, and doors opened and I don’t know “how” to walk over the threshold, but I do, one smidgen of a step at a time.

So, my yoga rock sculptures.  When I don’t know “how” to do something, I bring it to my basics.  Meditation and the beach.  This is where I meet the Divine.

On the day of the above photo, it was sunny, but also windy and quite chilly.  Not “ideal circumstances” but exactly where I wanted to be.  Each time I build the sculpture, my method varies.  To me, it is important to be present to the process of building and allow the method to rise as I build.  On this day, I spent hours combing the beach for rocks of different shapes and sizes, and then sat down to build (some days I build a layer, find rocks, build another layer).

As I balanced one rock on another, I would sometimes think of the pages of my book, or a moment in that relationship, or hear my children playing in the background.  Sometimes I would feel a tear, sometimes I would smile, but always I would keep on building.  Sometimes, I would “think” a rock would fit, but it wouldn’t so I had to remove it and add a different rock and play with it a bit until the structure held strong.  However, many of the rocks fit perfectly so, this ridge into that groove, this weight perfect on top of that angle making the process quite effortless in those moments.  But, then, I would place the next rock and the entire structure would unexpectedly crumble.

So, I would start again.  Often, I would vary the order in which I placed the rocks (if it crumbled, why build it the same way?).  I’m always reminded that the foundation is the most important part of the structure and when I honor that, alignment effortlessly falls into place.  When it crumbles, I am not afraid or discouraged, because I know I have the resources and the time and the energy to build it again.  Sometimes I realize that it was good that the structure crumbled when it did, before I added too much more on it, because there were pieces that were misaligned that I couldn’t see, and now I had the opportunity to build again with better alignment.

Building yoga rock structures requires patience, humor, and a commitment to the process.  The shape is often nothing like what I had “thought” it would be, and usually far taller and more grand than I knew I could build. With practice, my skills increase and the structures become more complex and fun. There isn’t an option to “give up” or “to fail” because I’ve already built something (if that makes sense?).

On this day, when I was done, I ran to get my children and the camera, and because it was so windy, in my absence the entire structure that I took hours to build had toppled over.  I could only laugh.  And rebuild it again, because I wanted that photo.

You see, the yoga rock structure could be anything in life: from my relationship with my children, to living on a boat, to relating with the traveling man, to creating a life.  When we bring it back to basics, we are always given the answer in ways we can most easily receive and practice.  And, when we choose to open our heart, regardless of external, we are able to build beyond what we could imagine with that which we are given.

Much peace and abundant love,


Reminder: Experiment. Explore.  Experience.

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Comments on: "What Building a Yoga Rock Sculpture May Teach Us About Life" (22)

  1. Oh … I loved this entry. I feel I gained a lot of wisdom from it, and I think I get exactly how the yoga rock sculptures work. It sounds so meditative. I wish I had a beach readily accessible. And thanks for dedicating an entry to me … so sweet. xox

    • Hi Jess,

      *grin* I aim to please :)

      I loved writing this article because it pushed me to a point of vulnerability that was a wonderful exercise in opening my heart through it. As I examined the recent areas of growth in my life I was reminded of the importance of “surrendering” what I know to fully “allow for” all I do not know. Very healing and restorative.

      I find a similar process in working puzzles, each piece only fits a certain way—sometimes you focus on the big picture, sometimes on a little segment…anything one has to “build” may allow one to reflect upon the same within their life.

      • Oh, Joy, such great stuff. I love puzzles, too. They’re very soothing, very right brain … oh, I want you to do a rock-sculpture lesson for my ecourse! (this just popped into my head which is why I am suddenly mentioning it here!).

        • Hi Jess,

          I find that working puzzles together–by leaving it in the center of a family room–is a wonderful way to learn to “work” together and honor individual creative expression. An affirmation that I use in life is: Learning is a fun adventure (and so it is!).

          And, of course, yes! to the rock-sculpture lesson:)

  2. I love this! I can imagine, rock by rock, building on the life that I know I am supposed to have, the life that my intuition and my spirit are guiding me towards. Rock. By. Rock.

    • Hi Kirsten,

      Welcome to my site:)

      Thank you for sharing. Sometimes if we look at the big picture, we can feel overwhelmed, when truly life is one possibility followed by another possibility. One big huge possibility:)

      I *love* this reflection–so simple: “Rock. By. Rock.” I’m going to use the visual in meditation—thank you!

  3. Joy,

    A timely reminder to let go of the how question and remain present in each moment, trusting the moment itself will show you “how”… Thank you for this reminder! And greetings from Savannah, Ga! :)

    • Hi Molly,

      My challenge in world is when people in life whom I love present me with less than integrity and I wonder “how” is this present? An example of the structure unexpectedly crumbling. When I release “how”, and open my heart to allow for what I am given in the moment, I find that rock by rock the structure is rebuilt, often resulting in something far more enriching than I could have imagined.

      I release the past, to live fully in the present, and allow future to delight me:)

  4. Thanks Joy for lighting the path with your intutive heart felt path that’s I’m fumbling toward. I appreciate you showing the way & your honest / intimate sharing of the steps & leaps you have made.


    • Hi Brad,

      Thank you for your presence and your lovely words:)

      As I shared, this piece was a wonderful challenge in vulnerability for me. Mine is a different way of life, and this is how I live it…I take what crumbles and allow it to be rebuilt…including my heart space…open through it all. My leaps are of the heart, my steps are in world (if that makes sense?).

      I am inspired and encouraged by those who are steps ahead of me..I watch as they create and explore and I am reminded that there is no failure in life, only the choice to live, or live *fully*.

  5. Precious! Oh how I loved this post! I have always jumped in – perhaps too quickly on reflection – and never said “can’t”. I was raised in a home where that word was forbidden. I raised my own children the same way. One took it and ran with it, the other one, not so much, but alas, my firm belief in knowing that so much more is possible if we only open to it continues on. I turn 65 this year. No one believes it. I don’t look old, I don’t act old and funny thing, I don’t THINK old – and therein lies the truth.

    • Hi SuZen,

      I am thrilled to see you here!!! Thank you:) I love your energy, you inspire me greatly; that I chose to be vulnerable and you chose to appear is a lovely reward!

      Sometimes I think I can’t, but I open my heart through it anyway and find I absolutely *can*! When I release resistance, everything truly is possible. I will say, though, the best way to get me to do something is tell me I can’t….ha!..game on :)

      The way you choose to live appeals to me–and your truth is mine as well–the number of years we are is irrelevant to the depth we choose to experience :)

  6. jean sampson said:

    I love this post—–I was right there building those rock sculptures with you, feeling how they fit, how they sounded going together, how the air smelled! And I have always thought that the slow energy of rocks (I once wrote a poem about how rocks might take a thousand years to think one thought—-trees are faster!), when we entrain with it, brings on a state of meditation, a slowing down into the moment. You are right that there are no mistakes, only choosing one path, deciding that you can take another, and so on. I teach my painting class that there are no mistakes, only underpaintings that make everything more beautiful. You have to learn that the process in important and that every moment is important for itself. The first thing I tell my drawing students is that they need to give up the ambition of learning to do a beautiful drawing because it interferes with the moment-to-moment process of actually drawing. When they do that amazing drawing the 3rd week, it feels like magic because they have not been self-conscious or self-critical—-so they drew!!!

    Opps! Got off on another tangent! :)

    Love and Hugs, Joy!

    • Hi Jean,

      You were absolutely there on the beach in spirit. So much of what you share makes my heart smile and inspires me, thank you!

      I hadn’t considered the energy of the rocks–thank you for the reflection. At this time in life, I am exploring the concept of overall commitment, and of honoring my pace–allowing ample time for the full experience of living each moment. The energy of rocks fits right along with that, no wonder I am drawn to them, and so patient while working with them.

      I love how you teach painting! Once, I was making an abstract painting in class, and my daughter wanted to add texture so I allowed her to work texture in, and the teacher came over and criticized my allowance..calling it a mistake. I happen to believe it is never a mistake to allow creative expression, or to work together, and we call the painting “transition” because that is what each moment is, one lovely transition :)

      Not being self-conscious or self-critical is essential to allowing for full creative expression, either of a moment or of a tangible work of art.

      Here is a tangent–wouldn’t it be fun to paint together?

      I *love* it all, thank you!

  7. Enjoyed the post Joy. Never heard of a “Yoga Rock Sculpture” before…

    Now I’m keen to try my hand at it. I could use some patience cultivation :)

    • Hi Danielle Lynn,

      Welcome to my site:)

      *Patience cultivation* would be a wonderful title for this article, and for my life:) Thank you!

  8. The sculpture, like you, Joy, is beautiful.

    You teach some important perceptions in this post – and I actually found myself calming down as I read through. I am a little agitated now as I have lots to do, am not sure if I’ll complete everything in time because I am away for two days.

    My 14-year old son just advised me to relax and meditate for ten minutes, then take another look at my list, prioritize, let go of things that may not matter and look forward to the two days off.

    Child IS the father of man.

    And then I read your post :-). I feel free now :-) Thank you! Love you!

    • Hi Vidya,

      Thank you for your kind words:)

      One affirmation that I use is: I have more than enough time to create all that is meaningful to me (and so I do!). And, my friend, if you don’t complete “everything” before you leave it wasn’t meant to be completed.

      Your son is incredibly wise. I love when our children reflect to us the lessons they have seen us model–incredibly beautiful to experience, and fills my heart with overflowing gratitude :)

      Yes! to freedom…and to *delight* in each experience that we choose to participate in:)

  9. jean sampson said:

    I would love to paint/play with you and we would hold that teacher in our hearts, too, because, truely, there are NO mistakes! It is all an underpainting that makes everything richer and more beautiful!! And your kids would be welcome also (I have a grandmother who brings her granddaughter to class and they paint together. She is 9, I think, and they love creating together). Joy, we would have so much fun!!!

    • Hi Jean,

      The teacher was following her process, which most people tend to do, rather than honoring “the process” so my children and I understood.

      Yes please! to painting together:) I love the opportunity to create with others :)

  10. Joy,
    We love these rock structures. We’ve spent a lot of time in Sedona and they call them cairns there. Infact there is one hike which we take every time we go. At the end of the hike, along Oak Creek, there is a beach that they call the Buddha Beach. There are hundreds of cairns/yoga structures there! It’s amazing. I’ll have to send you a picture.

    Love your post and I, too, chose to open my heart to life and creativity!

    • Hi Betsy,

      You have such radiant energy! Thank you for affirming heart-led experience and creative expression :)

      I would *love* to visit Sedona; of course, the healing energy is fascinating to me, but also the beauty of the land is so inviting. Thank you for sharing the word and visual of cairns. I would love to see a photo of Buddha Beach…sounds like a place I would enjoy visiting :) *grin* I get it…Sedona is on my list :)

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