Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Best Laid Plans

"Best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" That couldn't have been more true of this weekend. Danny, Brendon and I had planned on backpacking into Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon which takes a lot of planning and preparing for. The hike is 8 miles to Supai Village and then another 2 miles to the camp site. We were going to stay for a total of 3 days, with the plan to backpack out on Monday. So Friday comes around after a long, sick and trying week. I get off work hell bent on getting out of town and seeing something larger than myself. We get the car loaded up and then make our way, slowly but surely, out of town. We make it through the city traffic and finally we are on our way when my engine light comes on and smoke starts billowing out of my hood. Damn it. Pull over, investigate, Danny says my water pump blew. Well, that would make sense. I couldn't help but find the humor in it. I mean it would make sense that life is reminding me that it maintains a balance. It can't always be an easy coast and my plans can't always go the way I want them to. Thank goodness Danny was there to save the day though. After an expensive tow back home, Danny fixed my car and we were back up and running again. So the next day, we pack up again and end up going to Mt. Charleston and backpacking in to the wilderness less traveled.
The boys built a fort and I got to explore. It felt nice just being outside. I needed the escape. Or to be connected again to my self. The non-suit wearing, program manager, mom, teacher, friend, work so hard all the damn time and never rest self. Yeah, I got to just be me, in the woods. After a great dinner of MREs, we all bundled up into the tent to protect us from a gnarly windstorm taking place in the mountains. It was a rough night for me to sleep through. All of us were afraid that a tree was going to fall on us or that the tent would blow away. Our imaginations even got us thinking that a wilder beast would come barreling in to the tent for protection from mother nature. Ha. It never happened and we woke up unscathed. We packed up our bags, bid ado to the mountains and started the beautiful trek out.
If I were to have a moral or lesson that I got out of this weekend was that maybe I shouldn't fight it so much. Adventure begins when your plans go to shit and you end up on a completely different path than what you set out for. Either way, I have no complaints. I got to spend the weekend with the love of my life and I got to find a new place in the mountains. Next time, I will have to take Gavin to it. Keep adventuring my friends. xo

Thursday, June 7, 2012

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

There were 3 things of significance to my day:

1) I realized this morning, that as I was eating alone in a little pub prior to my doctors appointment that this was the second time I had taken myself on a mini-breakfast date of coffee and eggs this week. It isn't really notable that I was eating... I am very fond of that past time, it was more so how nice it felt for me to be alone, comfortably enjoying my own thoughts. That was huge to me. Being alone has always been a fear of mine. And I found myself pleasantly happy to be alone. Strange.

2) After my doctors appointment and subsequent blood work, I found myself a little bummed about life and certain things occurring at the moment. I realized how scary the thought of not having any control can be. So I prayed. I set it out into the universe and fighting my urge to cry, I resolved to just keep fighting. I felt a huge weight off of my shoulders.

3) I got to work and headed up to my station. I got a few text messages from my coworkers saying sweet things, half of which I didn't expect and felt pretty grateful that they were thinking of me to begin with. And then I got really lucky by having some extraordinary guests come in to the museum. Some woman chose to talk to me for a good 30 minutes about her travels. She had recently visited Italy and I ended up telling her how much I loved the movie Under The Tuscan Sun. We both started discussing just moving on past difficult situations and realizing such an insurmountable amount of awesomeness throughout life that you just have to stop, dip your feet in the fountain, wear big hats and enjoy the ice cream. ;) I felt such an uncanny amount of connection with this woman and I couldn't help but smile when she said she would think of me when she watches the movie again. I will think of her as well. And know that on this path and wherever the world might take me... I am not alone. Not really.

Overall, I had a really wonderful day. I let go of some of my fear and made way for new space, I let go of control and made some way for peace and then by coincidence I got the affirmation I needed that struggles are universal and we are all in on this together. Kindness from people known and unknown reassured me in my faith in humankind.

over and out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Body Image Bullying

Over the last few months I have seen this image being posted on a lot of people's Facebooks and Pinterests.... and I will have to say as a woman, I am disheartened by the amount of body image bullying that takes place on social networks.

Your husband/boyfriend/iguana may love your curves, he may love small frames, his preference may vary by personality. The point being, women come in all shapes and sizes. They are all beautiful. I find myself so offended by this image and more so, the women that pit themselves against other women.

I have had a long standing battle with body image beginning and ending with what other people say I should look like. And here is where I am yogini and un-yogini like: Society should just shut the f*** up and start honoring the different sizes and shapes we all come in. Let's all have an intelligent conversation regarding body image. Shouldn't we all be striving to be our healthiest? Why does it have to be the two extremes?

I just wish we could stop insulting each other and using social media as a platform to spread the hate.

End rant.

Om shanti shanti.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Addiction and Ashtanga

This week I have been really confronting addictions on a personal and social level. As an instructor (and friend for that matter), I pride myself in being able to be open about who I am, what I struggle with and offer an open forum for those who deal with their own personal demons. We all have them. So when I made the decision to finally and resolutely quit smoking, I had to tell those few that knew that I was really struggling with it, that support and encouragement no matter how small was much appreciated.

In came the candy and gum and honey sticks and supportive words of students and coworkers. This subject is a little humiliating for me being that I advocate a healthy lifestyle and lead yoga yet I would be smoking up a small dust cloud behind buildings and out of sight of judging eyes.

Who is judging though? Within the Ashtanga system we learn to practice not only on the mat with our asana, but off the mat with Yamas and Niyamas. Yamas are the ethical restraints that we make to not harm, to be truthful  and not covet. Niyamas are the self-observations we make regarding contentment, purity, cleanliness, surrendering to God's will.

In light of these practices, I find myself surrendering to God's will. Who I envision in myself doesn't match up to the yogini closet smoker. So throughout this day, I keep reminding myself it is okay to be powerless in some situations, especially when you let it go and just let it be. This is no way means I am taking a back seat to my quitting smoking, but it does mean that I am going to be less hard on myself with the end result.

With surrendering to addiction, I have actually never felt so empowered. Day 2 and going strong!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yoga and my dismantling

I am officially into my fifth week of Ashtanga Yoga Training. By the 26th of this very month I will be a certified Ashtanga instructor. To say I went into this training blindly would be an understatement. I have been practicing yoga for such a long time, yet the more I learn and focus my attention on controlling my breath, my body, my mind.. the more I have realized how little control I had and how judgmental I am of myself.

With every twist and bind I put myself in, I release this stored energy I have contained. All of my self loathing, self-centeredness, fear, pain.... all of it has started to surface, through my eyes. I have actually cried more in the last few weeks than I have allowed myself to cry in a few years.

I am being dismantled and peeled open. Constantly having to remind myself that if I am unable to bring myself into a steady Utthita Hasta Padanghusthasna (Hand to Big Toe Posture), to be kind to myself. Ill get there. This is part of the journey.

At the beginning of my training, we were all asked to write down what yoga is to us. I wrote that it was the union of my mind and body, a journey, etc. What is yoga to me now? It is my rebirth. It is re-programming myself into being a loving, compassionate person. Someone who makes good decisions and is kind to herself, to others. It is losing the judgment. The self-loathing. The fear.. and allowing myself to soar past boundaries and walls that I have created.

This is just the beginning.