Five twenty a.m.
Thoughts swimming like schools of fish.
Go back to the breath.
There’s something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there’s a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!
Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something’s coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!
With a click, with a shock,
Phone’ll jingle, door’ll knock,
Open the latch!
Something’s coming, don’t know when, but it’s soon;
Catch the moon,
Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver
Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It’ll be there!
Come on, something, come on in, don’t be shy,
Meet a guy,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Maybe tonight . . .
with mmchi in mind 😉
What makes you excited?
The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who was in the doldrums. Happens to the best of us. And I was asking a lot of questions, trying to see if I could get him to vocalize what his blah-ness was about. From the outside, there were some good things going on, and also some disappointing things. Anyway, I think they were canceling each other out to just create ennui, because none of the good stuff seemed to be registering.
So I said: “Well, what would you be excited about?” When I heard myself ask it, it was like the Edison bulb appeared over my head. It was hard to believe I hadn’t thought to ask myself this same question.
In the past six months or so since I’ve been home, I’ve been working hard to get back on my feet. All the good things come as a relief, but there’s always more to be done on the horizon. More things to be taken care of, more things to cross off the list. And I make these lists until they exhaust me, and then I stop, wasted, and slump down into a rut.
What would make me really excited? I didn’t even know how to answer. A bunch of things came to mind, but none of them really felt right. I have so many things on my list, but I’m not excited about any of them. No wonder crossing them off is unsatisfying – they aren’t things I really care about anyway.
So, it’s time to make a new list. An exciting list. No things I think I should do, or should want to do, or feel like I have to do. I have those lists already. This one has a completely different purpose.
To cleanse, or not to cleanse
Boho Girl just finished the Master Cleanse. A tweeter I know is juice fasting. It got me thinking about the whole idea once again.
I did the Master Cleanse once about ten years ago. Three days in I had hives and an uncontrollable crying jag. But, now, I’m not so sure.
After all the stress of the move, and not having a routine, my eating habits definitely need to be reset. Some days I ingest nothing but tea until dinnertime, then feel groggy and dizzy. Other days I’m onto second breakfast before the dishes from first breakfast are cleaned.
In the mirror, my skin looks gray. I have dark circles under my eyes. My pants don’t quiet fit like they used to. And I think it all has something to do with bourbon beer and pizza being my new go-to meal.
Because I did the lemonade craziness once without much positive effect, I wonder if it’s the right way to go for me. It might be too drastic. Although, my body is certainly different now than it was back then.
What I know for sure is that I need to reset. Whether it’s juicing, raw foods or lemons I’m not sure. In the meantime, if any one has had any positive food-cleanse experiences, I’d love to hear about them.
In the Hood: Update
More on Hood River impressions here.
It’s official. I live in Oregon. We live in Oregon. Me, the man and the dog have moved over 2,000 miles from the city that never sleeps to the sleepy town that starts drinking beers at 2 pm.
I’ve bought flannel at Wal*Mart, eaten Annie’s Mac and Cheese for midnight dinner after a long day of unpacking, and been to the recycling center with our station wagon more times than I ever thought possible.
I’ve unpacked the yoga mats. Unboxed my rechargeable flameless candles, the Buddha head (now with broken hair-bun), and the iPod speaker thing to play my yogadownloads.
I have not at all, in fact, been on the mat.
Yoga, a practice I rely on to help me through transitions, emotions, upheavals and all such things, has been pushed to the extreme edge of my consciousness. I’ve gotten so far as to write down the local studio’s class schedule and glanced at it while spending the day in sweatpants and watching the clouds hug the foothills on the other side of the river.
I open a beer as soon as Oprah comes on and turn the allen wrench a couple more times on another Ikea thing. They say eskimos have a thousand words for snow. Oregonians must have a thousand words for clouds. So I’m spending my time thinking of words to describe the variety I see – gossamer, cotton candy, cool whip, spider web and fluffernutter. Perhaps for now that will count as my meditation.
December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?
Almost a year ago, I went to an introductory night for yoga teacher training at the Open Center – just to see. I sat there for a couple of hours letting the joy and wisdom of the program leaders wash over me. Before the evening was over, I knew I’d be jumping on board – for better or worse.
Even though the decision was made, I found myself up at the front of the room approaching Priti, one of our beautiful teachers. Before I knew it, I just blurted out: I’m scared! And without a moment’s hesitation, she embraced me. I was so overwhelmed at that moment, and so, so nurtured. I still get choked up thinking about it.
The journey to becoming a teacher has surprised me (and still surprises me!) in its simplicity, and in its challenges. I mean, frankly, there are times where I am a complete mess – as a yoga teacher and as a functioning adult. But this challenge has touched me to the core and changed the way I approach life for the better, even with the fear and the mess.
Oregon Again best#09
December 1 Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?
This year L.O. and I pulled up our roots, quit our full-time jobs and spent three weeks across the country in Oregon. I’d been to Portland once before, only for a couple of days, but I fell in love with Oregon right away.
Away from New York and into the wild, it felt like another world. Someplace to actually be able to breathe. We hiked, we lounged around and read, we went to the coast and spent the day in sweaters on the beach – probably my favorite combination of all time. Oregon was made for open skies and hot tea and being just as exhausted from activity as I was from sloth.
I came home centered and ready to set “the plan” – a more balanced lifestyle with yoga teaching and freelance advertising work – into motion.
When I practice at home, this is where I do it. In a small corner of the living room, in front of the sliding glass doors. There is plenty of light (sometimes too much, unless you’re going for squinty drishty) and a little breathing room. My desk is just opposite this area, and the dog’s food dish is just out of frame.
I’ve always tried to carve out a spot for practice in my various apartments, and I’m extremely lucky to have this space this time around. I try to make it inviting and to keep it clean. I guess I just wanted to take the time out to be grateful for this space – the physical and the more esoteric – for yoga in my life.
Even though this space is sometimes difficult – it’s unstable for sure, and unpredictable – I do want to make sure I soak it all up. I want to appreciate all the open time, instead of feeling guilty or empty or lost. Of course, because those emotions feel like a waste of time – which leads me to feel guilty. Oh man, it’s quite a cycle.
I guess where I’m going with this is: even though I can sometimes feel I’m struggling, it’s comforting to know I’ve carved out this space for myself – no matter what comes up.
30 Day Challenge: Ego-licious Edition
Along the path of this 30-day yoga challenge, I’ve come up against a lot of edges. Deconstructing poses I’ve been doing for over a decade. Going beyond my limits and finding new ones. And this just over two weeks in!
But I’ve also come across this question: Why am I doing it? The answers I started with were simple. I wasn’t sure how to brave this transition from regular-employed to self-employed. I feared the lack of structure. I knew yoga would get me through. Additionally, I was looking for a yoga community. A place to go, people to talk to that wouldn’t balk at the decision to leave a soul-sucking, but well-paying job.
So when faced with the option of taking a day from in-class yoga to spend time with family, I have to ask what part of me is resisting?
Am I so attached to getting my name on some list of 30-day winners? That’s part of it. Another part is fear. If I let go of the in-class practice one day, what about the next day? And the next? Could I so easily lapse into tv-watching, couch-dwelling potato depression?
The truth is, yoga is helping me through this transition. And I am creating a support network of fellow yogis in, and out, of the classroom. And what bad thing will happen if I don’t win a 30-Day T-shirt? (There isn’t one, by the way.)
The gremlins keep telling me this is all rationalization. I’m really just too lazy to go. I’m really just looking for excuses. You know, like seeing my parents.
Perhaps the yoga list-keepers in my head will accept an at-home practice when it fits better in my schedule.
[image via yugahealing]
I’ve been working a lot (a lot) on shoulder openers lately. My downward dog has been deconstructed and destroyed. The rebuilding process involves shoulders and not shoulders. More or less shoulders.
Meanwhile, I often feel raw, split open and vulnerable – or alternately- creative and loving. It didn’t hit me until today that these things are connected. My teacher this morning said: The arms are an extension of the heart.
‘Of course,’ I thought. ‘That’s why you hug with them.’ A simple and silly thought, perhaps, but it all made sense to me in that moment.
Of course my shoulders are a huge part of my practice right now. Through this transition from “other-” employment to self-employment, I need to use my heart. To move forward with love and passion for my dharma, and with caring and compassion for myself as well. Anahata – with three grounded chakras below it, and the chakras of higher discrimination above, it is the liaison between our bodies and minds. Where humanity meets the abyss.
I have made this leap to follow my heart. To give my heart room to open and grow, and lead the way.
I’ve been SO aggravated with this dog deconstruction. However necessary it is, it’s horribly frustrating to start a pose over from scratch – one I’ve been doing for 15 years. But I’m hoping this new perspective will motivate me again. And so, everyday I get back on the mat. Every day back to downward dog.
Full Heart, Achey Back
My heart and creative mind are full today with possibilities. Last night, I met up with a group of my yoga peers from teacher training, and after a chanting event at the Open Center, we talked and talked for hours. And laughed, and contemplated conspiracy theories, and debated living in eco-huts and biospheres and bathed in each other’s energy.
I know, I’m not always so effusive and gooey about my praise and feelings for others, but it felt absolutely energizing to be with these people again.
Talking to my yoga peeps – both my partner in M&M and my friends from teacher training – has opened my eyes to all the possibilities around me. I came home last night feeling that there was no option closed to me, as long as I put my energy towards it.
Creating a support network and community of like-minded people – an item on my own Mondo Beyondo list* – is a priority whose fulfillment will lead to so many other possibilities. I am sure of it.
Speaking of, I’m on Day 3 of the 30-Day-Challenge at the Yoga Room. I am starting to feel the vinyasa in my body. I’m breathing deeper, and also beginning to notice tightness. I’m also thinking that Day 3 is the very beginning.
*I was introduced to the whole idea of the Mondo Beyondo list several years ago on Andrea Sher’s blog Superhero Journal. This year, she, along with Jen Lemen, has turned the idea into an e-course, linked above. Though I haven’t signed up for the online class, I still feel that making a list of your utterly fantastical fantasies is well worth-while.
Tomorrow I start my official 30 Day Challenge at The Yoga Room. According to “the plan,” October was to be yoga research month with trips to studios all over the city. And though I still hope to get out there, the idea of having a steady practice and cultivating a community of support is too attractive to pass up. Besides, I have a fear of lazing about, and by committing to this studio’s 30 Day Challenge I’ll be more likely to put my money where my mat is.
As far as teaching goes, the hussle begins. I suppose the best thing to do is just get out there. Rejections welcomed!