Friday, March 30, 2012

Up for Grabs

I feel like my whole life is up for grabs right now. My yoga is changing, my body is changing in powerful ways, I am remaking many of my relationships, we are even selling our house and moving into a different one. I left Anusara. I dropped a class from my teaching schedule. My massage therapist moved away and the other just had a baby. And in coaching I am tackling deep down traits and habits that have been ingrained since childhood.

Remarkably my marriage is intact and stronger than ever, thank the good Goddess - and money keeps coming, thank you Shakti Ma. I am not pregnant except with my new/old/True Self.

It is precarious and uncomfortable. I can see how it can be hopeful and exciting too. But I'm not really there full time yet.

And so I'm quiet. (did you notice the lack of postings? yeah, I get private when I'm transitioning. I hope to be better about that)

This being - not "with" but - smack-dab in the middle of transformation and unknown... this is uncomfortable. I'm noticing how out of practice I am at riding uncertainty - at saying "I don't know." At risking without knowing what the outcome will be. At being goal-less in some ways other than doing my best in the present moment. My yoga is rusty at those kind of endeavors - on the flipside, it is a place of comfortable stability which is needed as everything else shifts.

Breathing into uncertainty. Leaning into it, lingering in uncertainty is a skill I'm starting to think about. I won't say "embrace" just yet, but at least I'm contemplating cultivating it. I'm recognizing it as important.

Evolve or die say microorganisms
Evolve or go extinct/become irrelevant say dinosaurs
Evolve or become ones' parents - repeating the same old family patterns
Dry up and whither away

It is a good place to be, this stripping away to the barebones of my existence.
Everything is up for contemplation and re-configuring. May I be graceful within this uncertain time.
May it teach me again that Nothing is Fixed - may I embrace the dance.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What cher gonna get

You may have noticed a recent addition to the sidebar.... I've got a workshop coming up on Sunday. It's going to be a shortened sweetened version of the Diamond Power Focal Point workshop I offered in the Summer of 2010.

Because I've given this workshop before I feel good about it and I know what I'm doing. But, this time will be at a local health club - a different audience than my regulars at the studio. I love this crew, so I'm excited to share with them.

I spent some time this afternoon collecting my thoughts and tweaking the presentation to make it just right. It helps me to really get into planning workshops and classes if I think about what I want the experience to be like for the participants. (or, what would I like to get out of this workshop if I got to take it?)

This is what I hope the students will come away feeling after the workshop on Sunday:
  • Physically powerful
  • Empowered physically, emotionally, spiritually to use their own knowledge of their own bodies in their own practices and lives
  • Expansive - Bigger - a wider reach
  • Steady and that their balance is improved
  • Like they have special insider knowledge - that they're in on something important they can use at anytime
  • That they are capable of putting this knowledge into action in any class
  • Excited
  • Worked -out
  • Relaxed
  • Joyful
  • Connected - to each other, to their bodies

The main point I want to establish is that when we are strong on the inside, the outside of our bodies doesn't have to grip or work so hard. That is, when you are inwardly strong, you don't have to look outside for support.

It's plenty to accomplish in 2 hours, so we'll see what I can do. The sequence will include plenty of time to explore each focal point, and some backbending to open up to a little more joy (who doesn't need that?)

If you're around and interested in coming out call 804 - 378 - 1600 to register. (follow the link on the sidebar for the details)
Hope to see you on Sunday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Quote

"In many Shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person
complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed,
they would ask one of four questions.
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?"

Gabrielle Roth

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wishin' and Hopin' and Dreamin'

A house came up for sale in the neighborhood that is the end-all-be-all neighborhood for my husband and I. It is only about a 9 block stretch of houses and they do not come up for sale. But, one did come up just a few days ago. It is a large almost 100 year old house on the perfect street with the perfect neighbors (we're already friends with one of them). It has plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms. I got super excited about this house.

I started dreaming of how to arrange it and when we'd move in and all the space we'd have. With that dream I got inspired and energized. I started thinking of all the things that needed to be done to sell this house. I got inspired and my mood lightened to think of all the possibilities. Maybe this time one of my dreams might actually come TRUE. I mean, I started to think I might actually be worthy of getting exactly what I want.

The excited energy I felt made me recognize the importance of having Hopes and Dreams. What do you Hope and Dream about in your life? When is the last time you had a Hope or Dream? Those are pretty good questions to ask ourselves as adults. Because without a hope or dream life can very easily get dull, boring, and squelched. I believe the Universe always wants more for us and if we're not tapped into that desiring, then our connection to Source can get cut off. And I mean more not necessarily in a material world kind of way, but in a more connection and more engaged with life sort of way.

That's not to say that Contentment with where we are and who we are and particularly with what we have is a bad thing. I think cultivation of contentment is much needed in our society today. But I also believe that being content with things that are incomplete, ugly, undone, broken, and unhealthy -- simply for the bragging rites of saying one is content is not necessarily what I want to cultivate. For example, the back of my bedroom door has paint chipping off in a near perfect circle from the night when my husband almost put his hand through it in a particularly difficult moment of new-parenting... It's incomplete and ugly. It reminds me of a not so wonderful incident in our lives. It needs to be repainted and it has been there for 3 years. I could say: I am allowing this to stay because I'm content with my home as it is, imperfections and all. But really the honest truth is, it is still there because I'm too lazy to fix it and too afraid of being a nagging wife to bug my husband to fix it. So, I don't want Contentment to be the excuse for letting my life fall apart. See the difference? Contentment can't be the same as not maintaining, loving, and investing in what and who I have in my life.

Anyhoo.. so back to the Dreaming and Hoping idea. When I am loving and investing in my life and the people around me, my dreams are ignited. I feel like when I'm in a hopeful space: hopeful about improving a relationship, or about a new haircut, or about nailing an amazing yoga pose : I'm actually in a deeper connection to Source. Because that hope brightens me up. It motivates me. And if I'm truthful in it (not just lusting after the latest fashion or gismo) I may actually be tapping into the flow of Source. That is, I may be tapping into what it is the Universe wants for me.

I honestly believe the Universe has great plans for me. I thought those would take the form of me being a Certified Anusara Teacher. It is a hope and dream I'd held for at least 6 years, a long time of my adult life. I feel strange letting that go, unmoored. And in the vacuum of that, nothing has sprung in to take it's place which is probably a good thing. But I know that something big is coming. The momentum is shifting in my life and I'm dreaming but it's still foggy just yet.

But I know whenever I dream I'm tapping into Source. And isn't that why I practice anyway? So maybe today I'll dream of doing a dropback un-assisted. But I'll ride that 'pose-lust' as my friend calls it, into hopeful inspiration and ride that right back into my heart so I can really truly tap into that flow of Source again and again.

Incidentally, we went to look at the house last night and it isn't going to work out for us. After getting my hopes up so high I have to admit I got pretty annoyed and angry that it wasn't right. (I surprised myself at how angry I was actually.) But it let me know I feel strongly, so that's good. AND just being there helped me to see the potential, brilliance, and beauty in my own sweet home. So maybe that's part of the purpose of a dream too... even if it doesn't come true it could lead us right back to contentment with our lives and investing in and loving things that are right before us.

The Universe works in interesting ways I think.
What is your Hope right now? What is your Dream? Big or small.....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Retreat and Synchronicity

It's funny how things go with teaching most times. I'll be going through my week, nothing in mind in particular to teach for the Sunday morning group, and eventually everything that has happened for me over the week will gel into a single phrase or a type of practice or a pinnacle pose. On the lucky weeks all three will gel together into a magical manifestation of the ultimate class. (those are the truly auspicious weeks)

This week, after a week of full time single-mom duty with my three year old, the theme came around as Retreat. Because, after a week of full time momming it, all I want is a retreat. All I could say each day when I had a moment to myself was: Thank GOD for Yoga! My yoga practice became my retreat from the drama of my world of being the soul source of entertainment, structure, routine, and nourishment for Babe... and I'm lucky she's an easy child. When practice would end and we were re-united I was a better parent for spending that time on the mat. I felt more peaceful and so was better able to interact with her with patience and kindness. It would last a while and then wear off and I'd be counting the moments until I could get my next "fix" of asana or meditation. Then the real off the mat work was happening, and it wasn't easy. And so again I offer the thought: Thank GODDESS for Yoga!

Yesterday's practice was inspired by my week. It was a focus on deep hip opening with the idea that our yoga can be the retreat right in the middle of our lives. It can be a place to step back from the drama (real or in our heads) and settle in to a deeper place of recognition. It can be a place to find peace, if even for a short time.

What's so interesting to me, is that yes, this does feel a bit like a ramshackle way to bring together a class. It isn't the only way I plan either, but it is the most alive way I've found. While it feels somewhat thrown together, these are the classes that somehow have the most impact. In a class of 10 yesterday two different people came to me after class and said almost word for word the same thing: The theme was EXACTLY what I needed, and I didn't even know it. Both had been going a little too full force, both were being invited into retreat.

I always believe that the ones who are meant to get the class (for either the technical or thematic material) are the ones who show up. As soon as I start to formulate the information I also try to transmit it out there into space so that those who are meant to come, do actually arrive in the studio. I also believe in synchronicity, that I'm not the only one experiencing maha-drama in my life right now. I'm not the only one who could remember that yoga has direct here-and-now benefits, one of them being a more peaceful mind. It delights me to no end that students took the time to tell me yesterday that the theme had importance for them.

So we'll see what this week holds for me and therefore for the Sunday crew. Today it's already off to a good start with a few quietly peaceful moments in the midst of a full schedule of teaching. I just try to remember again and again, not only is yoga my job, it is also my place of Retreat into the Oneness we all share. When I stay there, the drama can't touch me.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Viewing

Today's Friday inspiration is not a quote but an entire short sequence from a TEDx talk and showing of a movie. I couldn't stop to pick a single quote, so you get the whole thing. I think it's worth the 10 minutes for the inspiration.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Media Fast

Silence around here lately, I know. Not that I haven't been thinking and practicing and processing. All of those things are continuing (some more than others). But this week is my daughter's spring break from preschool and it's been a time to step back from the world a little bit and sync up with her.

I also decided to take a little downtime from media. I've cut back on email, facebook, television, even books, magazines, podcasts, and music. A bit of a media fast. I find that I get very fixed on gathering information from outside sources. I go so deep into gathering, that I forget to listen to my own Source. I forget to take the time to not only input information, but to chew on it, integrate it, or remember it. I can read something and immediately forget it because I've already moved on to the next thing. Plus, if I'm always going in in in there's never any time for out out out. I have to make a little more space to output in the form of journalling, or artmaking or dancing.

So at the moment, a media fast. A clearing of sorts of my mental space. Or at least, if not clearing an opening up of the inner vault without needing to cram anything else in. My mind is sort of thanking me. It has a lot to say, but I feel that's healthy.

I'm not totally cutting myself off from the Blog during this time though. I figure the blog is output. But, I am stepping back from the computer when I can. So forgive if shares are light. I will return eventually. When I have something more to say.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Quote

"May we use the gift
of this body and mind
to honor and serve
the One Universal Energy
within us all."

-- Todd Norian on his Savasana CD


Bits and pieces of what's been in my mind this week:

  • "Sit back, Relax, and Enjoy the Ride" this phrase jumped into my head for an asana intention one day and I've been teaching it as the theme this week. A good reminder for me, just coaching other people to relax again and again for 90 minutes had the delightful effect of softening my mood. The power statement reminder: You deserve to enjoy your life! (relaxing and sitting back into it even in the midst of activity, is how you get there)
  • I dreamed of a friend long dead, and another friend very much alive doing asana right beside me in a house where Todd and Ann were the teachers. The class essentially dissolved and disappeared, I even stopped practicing. But seeing that friend again felt so warm and loving, not missing him, as often I feel from our night visits but just a kind comfort.
  • Then I dreamed of the new body worker I'll be seeing and another friend and my daughter being there. Not quite sure about that one.
  • Still have been laughing at the phrase I saw in Hareesh's new book about getting yourself all worked up spiritually, having all your practices in place at the ashram. He said when you get really good -- they send you HOME. Just go into your family and see how you're really doing! (that's where the real work is, isn't it? With friends discussing: you either perpetuate the pattern or do the dredging work to change it, which do you want to do?!?)
  • It seems to me that naming a new CEO for any organization should be a big deal.. and should include a search, a pool, and a time of vetting. Maybe even looking a little bit outside the usual field would be a good idea
  • While we're on the subject, I think the UPAs should be free for the world. They heal people and every single person on the planet should have access to that power and knowledge. (we all do, but they might need the education - the system is the shorthand for the knowledge that is inherently there)
  • I know bread is sort-of out, but I got a new book on making bread in the bread machine or by hand and I am ADDICTED. It is marvelous! I'll never buy store bought bread again.
  • The Kale I got this week is also wicked good!
  • Finally my hairstyle (of going to bed with wet hair and not brushing it when I wake up) is an actual look. I got a cut and product this week to accentuate Beach Hair. This plays nicely into my alter ego who is a beachy, pretty-hippy, who lives in a little shack by the shore, teaches some yoga, surfs, drinks green smoothies all day, and listens to acoustic guitar or Bob Marley at bonfires by the beach at night. How did I end up with this urban life? Oh, and my alter ego can also beat box (right, KGJ?)
  • This week was about remembering that we stay strong in our bodies to be able to Serve those around us and to Serve the Shakti. I feel best doing that. And that staying strong is sometimes about taking deep care, not pampering, but taking care of our bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits
  • Ladies Night! Shakti sister style -- a lot of sitting around talking about Source and empowerment and manifestation. We are SO going to manifest Manifestation parties!!
  • Conversations about switching from the ground of fear to the ground of safety.
  • We as a culture have got to get right with our bodies. Become body-whisperers. I have a lot more to say about that, and to think about it.
  • Follow my bliss. Where's the spark? Follow that.
  • Work Hard, Play Hard, Relax Hard -- My hubby told me just before going off for a crazy 8 days of work in LA. He'd just heard a news story about a hospice nurse who listened to people on their deathbeds. Their biggest regret: I wish I didn't work so much. Again, we each deserve to ENJOY LIFE. Even the challenges. And when there is a moment of bliss drink it, you don't know when the next one is coming.
  • Fine Chocolates. I mean really Fine. OMG. An entire box bought for myself and enjoyed by myself. Total decadence. Talk about a moment of bliss, Yum.
  • The Baking list... I love to bake but don't want to eat it all. So I'm thinking of starting a list of those who DO want to eat it and then when I bake and have some extra I'll just send it off to those people, on a whim, total surprise. Who doesn't want a care package of cookies or muffins or something yummy?

So those were some of the thoughts. That and I'M SO STRESSED OUT, I'M SO EXHAUSTED, I CAN'T KEEP IT TOGETHER.... This is when it's good to have friends who spread joy and remind me of the goodness that I am. I am the DLC and that's all that matters. (DLC = Divine Light of Consciousness)

And you are too!

Thoughts? and What are you getting into this weekend?