POST SURGERY YOGA

So I started getting depressed about not being able to do yoga for a couple of weeks to a month.  THEN I realized that hey, the good doctors weren’t telling me NOT to do yoga, they were telling me to not practice as I normally would.  Those are loaded instructions as love a fast paced flow, arm balances, & inversions.  Even though I don’t want to not practice at my normal pace, I do want to recover.

Which brought me to the question, what is yoga?

I ask myself this a lot since yoga is like a giant tree with many branches, its tentacles reaching into many mysterious places.  Every week when I write a new sequence I delve into it’s depths, learning something(s) new, or debunking what I thought I knew.  Or even not knowing really what the hell it is.  It’s definitely not all about getting that perfect headstand shot to put on Instagram.  It’s also not about how to lose weight with a fast paced cardio Vinyasa flow.  It’s about the subtle body.  It’s about meditation.  It’s about the breath.  It’s about a rather lot to be honest, & I’m not going to get into a big discussion because we could be here for years trying to figure it out.  Rather…

What is yoga for me right now?

Mmm.  Better question.  A couple days post surgery I sat on the floor and thought, dang I haven’t done yoga for a couple of days.  That hasn’t happened since January of 2014.  Duh, obviously not sweetheart, you just had surgery.  But man oh man, my body was already missing it.  I couldn’t imagine doing the normal juicy stretches I do while my son plays around me.  My abdomen, although very nicely cut (three teeny incisions) was still cut & cut deep.  I wondered what to do.  First, I went & grabbed my blocks.  And I started slowly to practice.  Totally different yoga than normal.  Totally where I was/am supposed to be.  My journey on my yoga path right now.

This is a nice restorative sequence as well.  I would definitely recommend anyone to speak with their doctor before attempting.  I think too, that if your body is used to rigorous to mild rigorous activity pre-surgery, it’s a better bet that this sequence will be a good fit for you.  I can speak to this being a nice fit specifically for post appendectomy with a laparoscopic surgery.  I would never presume it to be a fit for any other type of surgery.

Whew, well.  Let’s get into it.  I’ll just post descriptions/benefits on each picture:

image1
SITTING/LAYING IN HOSPITAL BEDS & AROUND THE HOUSE HAS MESSED WITH MY NECK & SHOULDER AREA.  YOU BASICALLY JUST CLASP HANDS OVERHEAD.  IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE RANGE FOR THIS OR STRAIGHT ARMS, SIMPLY CLASP OPPOSITE WRISTS OR FOREARMS, YOU WILL GET THE SAME BENEFITS.
image2
I DO SIDE STRETCHES EVERY DAY & MANY TIMES THROUGHOUT THE DAY SO THIS FELT REALLY GOOD TO DO WITH THE BLOCK’S HELP.
image3
SIDE VIEW OF SIDE STRETCH.  I LIKE HOW MY HAND JUST RESTS ON MY KNEE.
image4
ALSO WANTED TO INCLUDE THIS VISUAL OF AN UPRIGHT NECK.  SOME MAY NOT WANT SUCH A STRETCH ON THE NECK.  IT’S REALLY ABOUT MAKING YOUR PRACTICE YOUR OWN, CLOSE YOUR EYES, BREATHE, MOVE AROUND UNTIL YOU GET THE RIGHT FIT.  IF YOU NOTICE HERE TOO, MY BELLY DOESN’T MOVE AROUND.  IT’S A VERY NON INVASIVE OPTION, ESPECIALLY IF YOU JUST HAD SURGERY.
image1
SO THIS WAS THE FIRST POSE I DID POST SURGERY.  I BELIEVE THE ANGELS STARTED SINGING.  IT FELT SOOOOO GOOD.  BLOCKS AT MAXIMUM HEIGHT TOO!  VERY LITTLE COMPRESSION OF THE BELLY.
image2
JUST A VISUAL TO SEE BLOCKS AT A DIFFERENT HEIGHT LEVEL, LOWER THAN THE ABOVE.
image3
I DIDN’T GO THIS LOW UNTIL ONE WEEK (OK, REALLY 6 DAYS) POST SURGERY.  I WOULDN’T RECOMMEND LOSING BLOCKS UNTIL CHECK UP WITH DOCTOR.
image4
A BIT HARD TO SEE HERE BUT ONE LEG IS FOLDED IN.  I DO A LOT OF PIGEON POSE SO THIS FELT GLORIOUS ONCE I FIGURED IT OUT.  LIKE ABOVE YOU CAN MESS WITH THE BLOCK HEIGHTS TO FIND YOUR FIT.  DON’T GO TOO FAR.  LET YOURSELF HAVE TIME TO RECOVER (SPEAKING TO MYSELF HERE, ER.)
image1
LOWER.
image2
MANY TIMES IN CLASS I SEE STUDENTS KNEES UP WHEN IN FORWARD FOLDS.  DOESN’T EVERYTHING FEEL NICER WHEN SUPPORTED?  I THINK SO.  I WILL PROP BLOCKS (OR BLANKETS!) UNDER KNEES IN CLASS.  HERE MY OBSERVATION WAS, “WOW, MY HAMMIES (HAMSTRINGS) & CALF MUSCLES ARE TIGHT!”  WHY ARE THEY TIGHT?  BECAUSE I USUALLY DO FLOW BEFORE ALL THESE FOLD & MY BODY IS NOT EXACTLY WARM.  SO BLOCKS.  BLOCKS UPON BLOCKS.  YOU COULD USE PILLOWS HERE TOO.
image3
ANOTHER ANGLE.

image4

The biggest reaction I had to these postures was, AH.  They were very relaxing & restorative.  I also loved that I could still get great stretches while bypassing much compression in my belly or using my abdominal muscles.  Also, I HEART BLOCKS.  I love them normally, but they have been a lifesaver right now in my practice.  I had way less fear of hurting myself because I could set these blocks up so high.  If you practice I would recommend getting some blocks.  You can of course use different things like books and…hmmm I can’t think of anything else right now, just go buy some blocks.

This is my first sort of how to kind of yoga post.  I would have never written it if I hadn’t had surgery.  Life is beautiful & weird.  Please let me know if anyone out there has any questions.

In the meanwhile I will do my best not to pop up into a hand stand.

Xo & Namaste~

THE DAMAGE DONE

I started experiencing some gnarly stomach pain right behind my belly button last Tuesday.  I plunged into the days activities anyways, thinking it would go away.  I had a really lucid thought while running errands with H in tow, I can’t do this, so I hightailed back home.  I got him down for his nap and doubled over in pain.  Luckily my step-dad came home and I asked him to take me to the ER after H woke.  10 minutes later after tossing, turning, & googling my symptoms I came back down & asked him to get H up so we could go NOW.

I had appendicitis.

I was admitted roughly around an hour after arriving.  The pain reminded me of contractions, although this was more of a constant knife in the belly than a gradual build up & let down.  Does anyone else out there hide their pain really well?  I do.  I hide it so well that I have to really speak up for myself so I can get the care I need.  The hospital was a constant set of waiting rooms.  Waiting in the ER.  Waiting in the ER holding room.  Waiting in the hospital room.  Just waiting.  All the while the pain I had been experiencing since 6am.  I finally broke down and asked for some pain relief.  While the nurse was hooking up the port she started asking me those questions, date of birth, full name, on a scale of 1 to 10 how is your pain level.  I burst into tears.  That must have been enough of an answer for her, she began to administer the medication.  I felt relief, my pain was manageable again.  I could hear my son yelling out in the ER waiting room.

We arrived at 1, I was admitted around 2, and I didn’t have surgery until 11pm.  A constant cycle of nurses & surgeons came to see me, most promising contradicting things.  One nurse I had for a couple of hours kept promising to do or bring this or that & kept forgetting.  She reminded me of my old waitressing days, 10 tables at once, all wanting condiments, napkins, the check, refills on water.  I remember feeling that I didn’t have enough to give back then, and I could tell she was doing the best she could, running around just giving, giving, giving.  At 10pm we asked again about surgery, whether it would be tonight or in the morning, or like, WHEN.  I was mentally done, hungry, in pain, doped up, so thirsty, & it may sound silly but I am not a night person.  My brain checks out at night & I was just over it.  There was a poor ‘fill in’ floater type of nurse who was telling me all these things I used to say in my customer service days, I’m sorry you feel this way, unfortunately this is how things are, the surgeons are doing their best, & so on.  I asked him to go away & burst into tears (again).  Yes I did.  I’m a pretty nice person until I know I have to stand up for myself.  10 minutes later my regular nurse was back & said surgery was on for 11pm.

Surgery is weird.  A part of me looked forward to it, I wouldn’t have to do anything, I would be unconscious, & this digging hot iron in my belly, that pinky sized evolutionarily outgrown infected appendix would be gone.  Another part of me didn’t relish the thought of being a sort of Frankenstein to a group of surgeons I didn’t even know.  I felt completely out of control after I was moved onto the cushy slab in the operating room.  They were performing a laparoscopic surgery, also known as a keyhole surgery.  They go through three holes, one of them being my belly button (I know, ouch!) into the site to cut out the appendix.  The man who rolled me over to surgery kept talking to me incessantly about how they keep the surgery rooms clean, on and on he went.  I really wanted to tell him to shut up.  As they pressed the mask against my face and told me, breathe in, I wanted to tell them, wait!  Are you sure this will….

Lights out.

I woke in a part of the hospital no one was in except a nurse sitting behind a station and a new attendant to wheel me back.  It was like a Cohen brothers movie, & it didn’t help that I had just watched The Big Lebowski for the first time a couple days before.  I moved my limbs.  I said, over?  I said, water?  I hadn’t drank anything since arriving.

Recovery.

It was hard to sleep.  The nurses have to monitor & come to check every hour.  I was walking around right away.  The pain was gone, now replaced by a much lesser pain in my belly button.  Even days later this is where I feel the pain, not in the the other two incisions.  I was released by 10am the next day, it really is one of the easiest surgeries to come back from.  My mom & I arrived home to my step-dad sitting next to a 103 temped up toddler.  He had strange rashes all over his body.  He has eczema, so we didn’t catch this at first.  All that to say is I did my best trying to soothe him the first night after surgery but I couldn’t.  He was up every half hour.  I’m not supposed to lift anything over 10 lbs.

We took him to the doctor yesterday & got all loaded up with meds.  His fever broke & he’s been back mostly to his normal self.  I looked around yesterday at everything.  My leftover birthday bags crowded on the dining room table.  Camping gear arrived from Amazon.  My new hiking shoes sitting in a corner.  Mothers day cards & flowers dying.  Everything just set in an in between stasis, like that put upon nurse, no one being able to do anymore than they could at that moment.  My parents have done so much this past week.  My mom didn’t even take a sick day, she stayed with me until I came out of surgery, & my step dad making meals, rocking H to sleep while I can’t.

I’ll go back to teach next week starting on Monday, but the doctors recommended (most of them at least) that I wait a full month before going full steam.  I have to speak but not do.  I’m not happy being told to rest.  I want to put my son to sleep, I want to practice yoga.  It’s going to be a daily thing for me to let go of.

One day at a time, again those words have new meaning.  Pics from a hike last Saturday with an awesome groups of ladies.  I went from hiking uphill for 4 miles & headstanding on a back road to sitting in a hospital in the matter of days:

DSC04167DSC04170

DSC04176DSC04178DSC04179

DSC04174

DSC04182DSC04183DSC04184

DSC04188
THIS GUY WAS TAKING PICTURES, WHICH I THOUGHT WAS FUNNY TAKING A PICTURE OF HIM TAKING PICTURES.  I AM WEIRD, I KNOW.

DSC04190DSC04191DSC04193DSC04197

DSC04199DSC04202DSC04203DSC04204

DSC04205DSC04208DSC04209DSC04211DSC04212

Wishing/hoping much health for all of you out there.  Also sending good vibes to all across the world whose lives are altered by the weather, fires, or earthquakes.

~Namaste.

SHARP & IN FOCUS

I’ve been slacking on the blogging lately, I had these tulip fest pics stored for weeks now.

As far as the tulips go, oooh boy, isn’t it just nice to get out of the house sometimes, any other mamas out there hear me?  Especially when you can find something that interests both kid(s) and mom, it’s a gosh-danged miracle.

Winter has melded into Spring here in Oregon.  We still get chilly mornings and evenings, but it’s necessary to discard sweatshirts when standing in the sun.  Clouds ever racing and changing overhead, dark as earl gray tea one moment and a kaleidoscope of starburst color the next.  Oregon weather still has it’s knack to continuously take my breath away.

H has turned into a sleeping machine, 2-3 hour naps and sleeping through the night.  He’s had many mornings of waking up past 7am, a happenstance I was sure I would never see.

Along with additional sleep I have felt myself challenged with different spiritual things.  I find it hard to fall asleep at night at times (now that I’m not overly exhausted), my head whirring with worries.  I find myself teaching and saying many things as I teach yoga that I should probably be doing myself.

DSC04006DSC04008DSC04010DSC04012

DSC04013DSC04014

My meditation game is gone.  After teacher training I was meditating for 10 minutes every day, saying mantra, and I was feeling great.  So I recently recommitted myself to meditating more often.  I found a great portal here.  I made it a point to not try to over do it, but just set the goal of meditating once a week in addition to the weekly group meditation I attend.  I’m taking baby steps and I’m telling myself good job when I follow through.

DSC04016DSC04020

DSC04022DSC04023DSC04024DSC04025

DSC04026DSC04031

 

DSC04039
HE DOES NOT EAT LIKE THIS EVERY DAY I PROMISE.

DSC04040

During meditation today I wrote this poem:

FEARS:  Alone.  Cast out.  Knocking on doors, no one answers.  Will you come see me?  Can you tell me everything will be okay?  Touch my cheek & hand?  Look into my eyes?

It’s so strange that the things you think are bothering you never really are when you begin to dig deep down below the surface.  Uh, those icky, ghosty fears, even though you know that:

Fear is just a state of mind, not fact.

I had been feeling real faith in my HP lately.  When I was young I heard people say faith and I wondered at their clarity of belief in it, it seems like a flimsy thing, like you have this false feeling even trying to believe in it.  But then you experience the other side of faith, hoping and believing and then the universe proves it true in your very deep being.  It doesn’t feel fake anymore.  It feels gloriously solid.  And real.  And substantial.  Like you just know that you know that you know.

And then you get scared again.

I guess it’s just a cycle, a lot like life and Winter and Spring.  Deep down I know what is true.  In my head?  Not so much.  So in the meantime I’ll just wait and see.  And pray and hopefully call my sponsor like I shared in the meeting that I went to last night.

Wishing/Vibing that all of you out there connect with what you know is to be true.  That false things fall by the wayside and you faith grows into real golden substance.

~Namaste.

 

ALREADY HOME

If you’re like me you’ve moved around quite a bit in life.  I was born in Huntington Beach, CA but went to kindergarten 8 hours north up in Red Bluff, CA.  Back and forth we went following my dad’s desperate escape from his own addiction.  Starting over and moving again.  Fate brought me back to Southern California some good amount of years ago and filtered me out into a town called Long Beach.  I referred to it as a concrete jungle at a meeting this past week and an Oregonian came up to me after and said, you must mean California.  See, there’s a Long Beach here in Oregon too, but those two places couldn’t be more different.

Ah yes, Long Beach, you great big beautiful concrete jungle.  Filled with all types of people, the most ethnically diverse place I’ve ever lived and never noticed until I visited last week.  Full of hippies, vegans, meat eaters, beach goers, realists, and so much more.  Eccentrics aren’t blinked twice at, one of my favorite scenes used to be a older man in full cowboy gear riding a bike around 4th street.  And my bet is on most of the occupants of that fair city if there ever is a sort of apocalyptic event, Long Beach people don’t mess around.  And it’s full of AAers:

DSC04041DSC04042DSC04044DSC04045DSC04046DSC04048DSC04049DSC04050

I got to see so many of my friends.  I got to eat a Hole Mole veggie burrito.  I got to go to a bunch of old meetings, whew boy all those new faces!  And plenty of old faces too, more than I thought I would see.  I got to go to my friend’s brand new yoga studio, Olive Yoga, what a space!

DSC04051DSC04052

DSC04043
THIS IS FROM ONE OF MY FRIEND’S HOME, A VERY OLD BUILDING THAT USED TO BE A WAREHOUSE.

DSC04053DSC04054DSC04055DSC04056

I was one of the first people she taught when she was going through teacher training.  What a teacher she is!  Many times over the years, I have been blessed to be taught by her and she has a way of speaking truth to your soul that as a student you hear and just get.  I wrote on her chalk board below, love, love, love to this space.

DSC04057DSC04059DSC04060DSC04061

I think the very best part of the journey was the sit downs with friends, if it was a group restaurant flurry of conversation, or a two hour talk.  Those friends you are apart from for years and you click right back in with.

DSC04062DSC04063DSC04065

DSC04067DSC04069DSC04070DSC04071

DSC04074DSC04081DSC04082DSC04083

I stayed in my friend’s spaces.  Interesting because I figured most of my pictures for this post would be outdoor, would you believe the Oregon weather trailed behind me?  It was murky and drizzly, I ended up taking pictures of the interiors of my friend’s homes which in the end seemed to suit just fine.

And something else I realized. In Oregon I’m already home.  I’ve built a little life here.  As much as I love and loved Long Beach, it ain’t my home any more.  My friends still are my home there, so I will go back again.  But it’s a place I’ll visit, not a place to be pined after any longer.

I’m eight years sober tomorrow!  I’m so grateful for my friends (here and there), my son, my family, my HP, & my sobriety.  I would not have any type of life if I wasn’t sober.

I also feel like it’s time to let some more stuff go, as yoga girl says, those things that don’t serve me any longer.  I think that deep down we all know what those things are if we let ourselves follow our intuitions.

Sending out positive & truthful vibes to you all, you are all souls full of light!

~Namaste.

HUMANHOOD

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I love to isolate and be alone, but also how much I need people.  I need to be loved.  I need to love others.  Before I got sober I thought about living out the last of my days in a cave while under the influence of some substance, it didn’t matter what.  At that time this scenario felt really close to happening, too close.  It sounded like a good thing at the time, like I actually fantasized about it!  I’m overwhelmed by sadness for that girl, the person I used to be, and the box I put myself in.

It’s a far cry from that today.  I have a host of friends.  It’s also important for me to make the point that I don’t have to be all things to everyone.  AND people don’t have to be all things to me either!  I’m trying to find a place where I can be okay if someone doesn’t ‘like’ me and just nourish the relationships that are doing well.  I read this today:

TRUE BROTHERHOOD

We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society.  Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it.  This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any one of those about us.  Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.  ~Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions p. 53

This message contained in Step Four was the first one I heard loud and clear; I hadn’t seen myself in print before!  Prior to my coming into A.A., I knew of no place that could teach me how to become a person among persons.  From my very first meeting I saw people doing just that and I wanted what they had.  One of the reasons that I’m a happy, sober alcoholic today is that I’m learning this most important lesson. ~Daily Reflections 4/5

It was so strange that I came across this message today as this is right where I am mentally.  Or not so strange, however you see it.  I’m headed out to Long Beach this weekend and I really want to focus on going with the flow (which doesn’t always come naturally to me) and just focusing on the beauty and joy that happens with the friends I see.  I shared last Sunday at a meeting how it will be weird sitting in a Long Beach meeting and how I will probably miss Oregon meetings!  That is truly a break through for me as it was really hard to let go of Long Beach AA as being the right, or “real” AA.  AA is AA no matter where you go, but I know what it means to go through having to rebuild your cohort of sober folks in another place.  It’s hard.  I get that.

In yoga news, I went to an audition last week.  Yoga interviews are such a far cry from the more corporate and customer service interviews I was so used to.  First of all, it’s somehow allowable to wear a tank top and yoga pants.  Second, everyone is always very laid back.  Small talk always flows easy.  What is hard is getting over the jitters of giving a half hour class to yoga pros.  Ack.  Nerves.  I felt pretty good about it though and it will be what it will be.  I’m headed to an aqua (!?) yoga class tomorrow to learn/train/observe at the aquatic center where I teach (dry land yoga).  The teacher needs a sub!  Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up.  An open door type scenario possibly..?

Pictures of Easter egg hunt & Spring seed planting:

DSC03947DSC03949DSC03951

DSC03959
SCARED?  H WAS TOO!  HE DIDN’T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE EASTER BUNNY THIS YEAR.

DSC03962DSC03965DSC03968

DSC03969DSC03980DSC03988DSC03991

DSC03994DSC03995

DSC04000DSC04005

We’ve had a string of sunny days & I’ve done very well with them.  I actually was kind of sad when the rain came back, H & I already getting into a little routine of going in the back yard in the morning.  So 2016 intention going well so far.  It’s pretty easy to be happy in 70-ish degrees I guess.

Sending all of you good vibes & see you on the other side of Long Beach.

Xo.

~Namaste

 

IN BLOOM I

Spring in Oregon is truly a wild thing.  Wildly flowery, it’s not uncommon for it to rain both water and petals this time of year.  End of Winter wind raucously blowing the petals all around and everywhere, they stick to vehicles, roads, sidewalks, and the bottom of your shoes.

DSC03911DSC03912DSC03913

The sun making it’s hesitant presence every four days or so.  At the end of Winter, we will it to stay out a little longer.

DSC03910

DSC03914DSC03916

Those stubborn little soldiers, daffodils, popping out of the ground first.  You’ll see daffodils everywhere here.  Along the sides of country roads, in people’s front yards, springing up in a grassy area at a country gas station.

DSC03917

My parents took H to California to visit my parents.  The silence is deafening.  Things stay where I leave them.  There are no steady stream of tiny messes to clean up.  I feel as though I’m missing a limb, I miss him terribly.  We’ve been Facetiming each morning, but it’s not the same as hearing, Mama, mama, when you wake up and being able to give him a squeeze.

I went to yoga, I went out with some AAers on Saturday night, I bought my dinner at a local farm/co-op.

DSC03919

DSC03920DSC03921DSC03922DSC03923

DSC03928DSC03929DSC03931DSC03933

DSC03935DSC03938DSC03939

IMG_3402
Iphone pic:  TAKEN AT NIGHT, STREET LIGHT SHINING THROUGH.

Blooms & blooms everywhere.

I went to a barre class, have any of you gone to those?  Wow, what a great work out!  Plus, I really thought I would die or fall over a couple of times.  I’m not sure if it will be a regular thing or not.  They offer child care too, which is a game changer for us mamas.  I thought during the class, this is hard but maybe I could teach this too?  They happened to have a teacher informational class set up for the next day so I went.  They talked with us a bit, gently telling us about what it takes to be a barre teacher, the reasons why we wouldn’t get chosen, and that we weren’t in competition with each other.  I was surprised by this, I assumed anyone would be able to train to teach, whether or not you get ultimately hired, that’s a whole other story, I know this well from going through yoga teacher training and then pounding the pavement for a job.

After they spoke to us they had us take a half hour class while one teacher observed.  About half way through I really believed I might pass out, but the willfulness within me wouldn’t let me step away from the bar (not the first bar I should have walked away from sooner than later, hehe).  At that point I realized that teaching/doing barre may take much time and be a lot harder than it looks!  I got a really polite email that very night informing me that it wasn’t yet meant to be.  The whole experience made me think.  They alluded during that class that some women present had come back again, which lets me know that these women had gotten that same email but still managed to work hard and come back.

And it makes me think about that HP’s will.  Like when to kick the door down or not.  I’ve heard it said that if you feel scared or uncomfortable, then it’s an indicator that you are walking in your HP’s will.  I’ve heard it said the opposite way too.  Sometimes it’s hard to know which one to believe.  Lately I’ve been feeling an itch, to go to another training, to possibly pursue prenatal yoga.  The barre adventure was an extension of this urge.  I also have a grounded desire to let things be as they are for now since we’re coming up on Summer and different vacations.  When I first got sober I was so scared to take different steps, convinced I would drink again if I took the wrong one.  I feel way more peaceful about it now, I know from experience that if I am willing to take a chance and make a big mistake I will be the one to suffer the consequences.  Some parts of being sober and living a good life are easy.  We sometimes choose the better path because we don’t want to get kicked in the booty.  Very scientific explanation, I know.

In other news, my old cat died.  He came from another life, when I was married, before I knew more about things like the will of a higher power (looking forward to learning much more about that, of course).  I remember the day I went to the shelter to get him.  I wanted two cats to keep each other company.  I was immediately drawn to a grey female, but her brother, a black and white colored male locked eyes with me and stepped over his brothers and sisters to walk towards me.  That was enough confirmation.  Hendrix, named after that great musician.  His liver failed two nights ago, in his new home back in Long Beach.  I had always wanted to build a lattice type of wall on a porch as they were in door cats.  His last owner lives in a high rise loft.  Windows and porch open in good weather, which is always generally good in SoCal, he could come and go as he pleased.  I did get anxious about him jumping, but he never did.  RIP Hendrix.  You knocked over my water always when I least expected it, you terrorized large dogs and raccoons, but you were the best cuddler I ever met.  You were such a cool cat.

Wishing you all fresh blooms physical & spiritual.

~Namaste

 

 

BALANCE

When you bring a child into the world outside of the safety of the womb it seems like it’s a constant task, to keep that child safe.  To keep that child protected.  And you deeply love that child so it goes beyond basic survival.  You naturally find yourself looking for ways to make the child happy.  To make the child feel loved and secure.  You sometimes go overboard, like in the pictures below.  You buy too much, you give in one too many times when asked for a cookie, you let him watch Curious George for just one more episode.  You say yes.

And you also are the one to turn the t.v. off, to go days and days without any sugar, to pause and explain why it’s important not to kick, to hit, to always take.

You hold sticks on walks, you carry him on busy streets, you let him play outside for a long time, and you tell him it’s time to go home even though he doesn’t always want to.  It’s this balance, motherhood.  Not always easy, but at times the balance works out and is felt and cherished.

H’s party went well, a nice group came, not too many, and not too few (again, balanced haha).  My mom even commented that it was way more laid back than last year which I took as a compliment and a critique at the same time.  I tried to buy less stuff and make more stuff like the score board made out of card board.  There was also a game with basketball hoops tied to sweat bands which no one really fully played, but the toddlers had fun messing around with all of the pieces.  It felt good not to stress out too much over small details.  My prayer was to let more stuff go and to be a good host.  I did, of course micro manage most of the decorations though:

DSC03872DSC03874DSC03877

DSC03878DSC03880DSC03881

DSC03882
COOKIES BOUGHT HERE, AN EXCELLENT RESTAURANT & BAKERY.
DSC03883
 HOOP HEAD GAME INSTRUCTIONS, I SAW THIS ON JIMMY KIMMEL MONTHS BACK.
DSC03886
THE ‘POINT’ OF THE GAME WAS TO WEAR THE HOOP AND SHOOT IN EACH OTHER’S HOOPS.

DSC03887

DSC03889
I ALSO USED A LOT OF H’S SCRIBBLES FOR DECOR.

DSC03890DSC03893DSC03894

DSC03896
MADE THE CUPCAKES BUT ORDERED THE COOKIES.  COMPROMISE.

DSC03897DSC03899DSC03900DSC03901

DSC03902DSC03903DSC03904

DSC03906
BELIEVE IT OR NOT I NORMALLY WOULD HAVE STRESSED THAT THESE WEREN’T PURELY BASKETBALL THEMED.  IT FELT GOOD TO LOVE THESE BALLOONS EVEN THOUGH THEY WEREN’T!

DSC03908DSC03909

My mom got some last minute items like some orange balloons, flowers, & ect.  That really helped out.  H’s other grandma got all the food & drink from Costco which was really nice to not have to worry about.  My step-dad being awesome like always doing all those little & big tasks to help out.  It was such a good party & H had a really good time.  He got to eat (not all of) a basketball cookie & a cupcake so he was happy.  He is obsessed with balls, mostly basketballs too, hence the theme so he was super stoked to see so many basketballs around for the last couple weeks.

The whole OCD thing I do with events (among other things) has really made me thing a lot about step 4,5, & 6.  Those defects of character which if you peel behind the initial offensive layer find this wealth of assets.  I’m super detailed but I can’t let stuff go.  Asset & defect.  It’s been a joy to walk the journey of the steps and to have years of practice behind me.  Practicing how to use my defects as strengths and how to give the more crazy & destructive side of the defect up to my HP.  It hasn’t always been a joy to teeter between, to negotiate what in the hell is exactly going on inside.  Sometimes those pure as gold assets feel like weights tied around your ankles.  I think such magic occurs if people are able to stay sober & in AA.  Sometimes quickly, sometimes slooooooowwwwwwly, right?

On day three no nursing!  Woo-hoo!  Will it really all fade into memory soon?  The years of nursing?  Just like H’s babyhood & toddler hood?!  So hard to comprehend so I’ll try to just live in today.

Yoga is going really well.  I’ve been praying/thinking about the next step, whether or not to look for another gig.  A student told me last night, I can really tell you love what you do.  It was good to hear.  I also hold onto not getting too attached to the results.  I really try to prepare well beforehand, go do a good job, & then let go of the outcome.  Not easy but I try.  I’m very excited about the free yoga in Wilsonville this Summer as well.  Another reason to look forward to Summer, which is not my favorite season.

Hoping all of you out there find your own special balance, as unique I would guess as your fingerprints.

Namaste~

TWO

I went to a baby shower last weekend that was nestled under the hill next to the hospital where I gave birth.  I even missed the turn in and got to drive by the building, the gray end of day light bouncing gold off the windows, & I wondered, which room was mine?  H & I made it through an hour and a half of the shower, his quick snatching (whew boy, toddlers are QUICK) of ‘items not to be messed with,’ and general screeching & yelling let me know it was time to head home.  I luckily got to sit next to the mama to be during dinner and felt my heart melt as I looked down at her belly & spoke to her about what is to be.  H sat on my lap immersed in a cupcake decorated with acorns & foxes.  I dipped a napkin in water & wiped away chocolaty icing without half even knowing that I was doing it.

This time two years ago I was waking up four to five times a night, staying up late, and sleeping in.  I was traveling to Portland to visit yoga studios, breast feeding classes, & vegan bakeries.  I was bored.  I cleaned & cooked dinner.  H kicked while we watched the Olympics & I crocheted a baby blanket.  I remember going into his room and just sitting there for long moments.  It was so peaceful in there & I just wondered & wondered.  What is he going to be like?  What is it going to be like?

The indescribable moment between, holy damnation when am I going to push the pushes of all pushes & push this bb out, to having the dr. hand you over a tiny, wrinkly, lovable, little alien looking baby & all the sudden that baby that was JUST in your tummy is now breast feeding?!?

And from that moment on wondering, where is my baby?  Is he alright?  And if you can reaching out to touch him so that you know he’s okay & right next to you.

Always reaching out to make sure he’s okay and that he’s right next to you.

How did he grow from such a small baby into such a big toddler?  How is it that he is almost already TWO?!

DSC01006DSC01053

Still so close even when far away.

He’s going on a couple trips with my parents in the next couple months.  I’ve felt anxiety.  On a plane & states away from me.  Last night I remembered seeing a bag of grapes in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator.  I almost went downstairs to get them out and put them higher (did it this morning instead).  I left a blanket on his noise machine to cover the light.  I couldn’t sleep, thinking, what if it falls on his face?  So silly, I crept back in to take it off.

There will be times when I won’t be there.  This fact is something I mostly refuse to comprehend.  I try to find peace in the knowledge that I am there most of the time & I try to trust that great mysterious higher power that he will be okay.

DSC03848DSC03851

That he is always watched over.

DSC03856

DSC03857
TUPPERWARE MAKES FOR GREAT HATS.

DSC03859

DSC03871
MUST PLAY WITH SPARKLY WALL.

DSC03870DSC03869

DSC03868

DSC03846
WAKING UP AT 5AM IS HARD BUT SEEING THIS IS EASY.

I’ll be weaning H after his birthday.  Breast feeding has been a cake walk (as far as him taking to it), I remember walking around with him in the hospital, attached to my breast.  The nurse said, is this your second one?  I said no, first.  She said, wow.  It must have been the easy way I held him while he nursed, I don’t know.  He never took to a pacifier, he has just always been very content with the boob.

And now it’s time to get him off of it.  I feed him mostly at night.  My parents don’t want him to be shocked when they take him on vacation.  I’ve had issues with breast feeding, I have been way over it, I had the rashes that burned and itched.  It hurt like hell when I first started.

But I don’t want to let it go.

It’s another remnant of his babyhood.  It soothes him.  But it’s time.  I thought I would be overjoyed to stop.  I guess I’m surprised that I’m not.  He’s gotten to the age where he understands stuff.  I’ve been gently telling him the boob is going bye bye.  He understands & he’s not happy about it.

But it will ultimately be okay I know.

Pictures of the BIG TWO to follow.

Wishing you all smooth & gentle transitions.  Sending out peace & love to those in between, awkward places.

~Namaste.

OPEN & WILLING

There have lately been occurrences of longer than normal periods of the actual *gasp* SUN here in the pacific nw:

DSC03821 (2)

DSC03823DSC03824 (2)

DSC03825 (2)

DSC03826DSC03827 (2)

DSC03831

DSC03837
ABOVE:  MY GREAT-GRANDMA’S OLD GLIDER, MY MOM SAT ON WHEN SHE WAS H’S AGE.

DSC03838

DSC03839
I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO BLOW BUBBLES YET, BUT I DO ENJOY ACTING LIKE I DO.

DSC03840

It’s been nice to get out in it.  Is it an early Spring?  I can’t help but think that Spring leads into Summer & then a feeling of foreboding floods me.  Summer is my intention/new year’s resolution this year so I’ve been trying to think of it in a more positive light.  I decided I should make a list of all of the reasons why summer is a good thing:

  •  Free outdoor yoga in the green is happening!  I spoke with parks & rec & the dates will be in their booklet that they mail around to everyone in town!  Very stoked about this & our new location.
  • Less ‘gear’ to wear outside.  Now we have endless hats, scarfs, gloves, coats, & ect. we have to layer on for the cold.  Soon we will only have to worry about sunscreen.
  • Flip flops/sandals.  These are not the most attractive of foot wear, but danggit, they feel so good & summery to wear.
  • Our pool is open.
  • There are two REALLY nice water features at two parks in town (and a mini one in our neighborhood).  H loves to go to these & splash around.
  • We won’t be stuck inside all day due to wet weather.
  • Trips!  I’m planning some trips for just me & a couple for H & I.
  • Summer dresses.
  • Bubbles in the backyard.
  • Outdoor dinners.
  • Long walks around the neighborhood.
  • The smell of Summer:  BBQ mixed with sunscreen.
  • Camping at some point (or at many points).

This is all I can come with for now.  I’m hoping it will have the same effect as the email gratitude lists I’ve been involved with over the last couple months, which do indeed make me into a more grateful person.  I will hopefully be able to add to this list and change my feelings & outlook about Summer for 2016.

Meanwhile, we hold onto more gray days within & find entertainment in the little things, when not watching Thomas the Train:

DSC03843 (2)DSC03843DSC03844 (2)

There are many yoga poses I love, many I don’t understand quite yet, & many I do not love.  A teacher back in LB used to encourage to not get too attached to those poses we tend to love & to not hate the ones that are difficult or that we don’t understand.

I guess I’m layering that idea over my Summer intention.  I love Christmas so much!  As well as the holidays before, possible snow, hot chocolate, rain, constant rain, rain again, gray skies, all of it!  I would like to release this season to be able to open my heart to hot, steamy Summer (see how excited I am about Summer heat).  Last night in the meeting the subject of open mindedness, willingness, & honesty came up.  I remember when I first got sober, looking at the steps on the wall, seeing the word, ‘god’ and feeling like I just couldn’t go there again.  I did however crack open the wee-ist slit of willingness deep down in my soul.  That small fissure has since widened into a huge, blossomy canyon.  On the flip side I believe it is very important to not just let anything in & to develop a strong intuition.  Your mistakes will teach you lessons too.

But, ah, be a bit willing.  This is what I’m trying to do & to also let go of some of my go to attachments.  How do we get attached to things we cannot even physically touch?!

I subbed at Escape to Yoga!  It was so awesome.  I happened to get a email just the day before that a vinyasa teacher needed a sub last minute.  I was in a good head space that morning.  I felt confident.  Everything I had been through, yoga teacher wise, was shining all around me.  I could feel the need of the students in the room.  They wanted to move, breathe, and learn more about yoga.  I knew how to get them there.  Just being able to sub a yoga class at a studio may not seem like much to some, but it was a HUGE gift for me.  I had written before about how just the thought of teaching in a studio made me want to hurl.  I have come far and I am very grateful.

Wishing you all a very non-attached day/week/month/rest of Winter/Spring/hehe, almost Summer.

~Namaste

 

 

 

AN UNSTRUCK HEART

IMG_2555
I ONLY ATE ONE, VERY PROUD OF MYSELF.

IMG_2556IMG_2557IMG_2558

An artist friend, Bonnie Taylor-Talbot had a bunch of us over to her art studio to make Valentines.  She’s an amazing artist, check out more of her art out here & here.  The whole experience was so light, pink (yes, pink!), & dreamy I did filter all of these photos to represent that.  Note that her paintings in reality are darker and more colorful, check out her site above.  She said that she made valentines for different people in the past, that they didn’t have to be just given to a significant other.  I really loved this idea, I decided to make some for all of my yoga students.  The studio will soon have glitter all over the floor…

IMG_2559
VALENTINES FOR YOGA STUDENTS.
IMG_2560
THIS WAS A VALENTINE I MADE FOR MYSELF.
IMG_2561
MY FRIEND’S ART, IT IS WAY MORE AMAZING IN PERSON!

IMG_2562

IMG_2563
A VALENTINE FOR MY PARENTS.

IMG_2564IMG_2565IMG_2566

IMG_2567IMG_2568IMG_2569IMG_2570IMG_2571IMG_2572

IMG_2573
SUCH AN AMAZING SPACE.

I’ve been getting up even earlier than normal over the past week, my mom had eye surgery and I had to take my car into the shop.  Those wake ups plus my 6:30am classes made me feel like I did when I had a normal 9 to 5 again.  H still is up before seven most days, but at least I don’t have to get ready to be seen by the outside world.

Besides my yoga gig I got two new yoga private clients.  It felt really good to be able to go over and meet to talk with them about what their past lives were all about and what goals they’d like to set for their yoga practice.  I still get that thought that startles me, wow I’m a legit actual yoga teacher.  I’m still not used to it yet.

More hip pain in the left hip this time.  I feel dejected about the limitation.  Every body is different and I definitely have my limitations when it comes to yoga.  I’m always trying to remind students (especially when they’re new) to go easy on themselves and respect what their bodies are trying to tell them.  It’s hard for me at this point having done yoga this past year and have gotten to a good place and now I have to back on out of that place. It’s forced me to get off of my mat WAY MORE which is great, but I want the pain to G O.   It messes with my sense of security.  I’m teaching yoga, it’s my job.  What happens if I can’t teach?

The truth is that I can still teach, even if I can’t do.   But man I love yoga, that’s why I teach it because I love to DO IT.

So we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve been teaching an open heart series, it continues next week focusing on the clavicle & shoulders.  Anti-text neck with some chakra theory thrown in.  And a whole lot of vinyasa, possibly minus me doing the vinyasa.  The sanskrit anahata (the heart chakra) supposedly translates as, “unstruck.”

Unstruck, not an easy word to get.  For me it’s come to mean the opposite of being struck or hurt.  It means you are WHOLE.  Many parts of yoga are foggy and interpreted in all different ways.  It’s good for me to focus more on alignment and movement, but I do love all of the extra stuff, which there is a vast amount of.  Asana is just one chunk of yoga.

H & I have been spending our days (after the early mornings) eating, he eats every half hour I swear, walking, and negotiating time out.  Not sure if he gets it just yet, he’s still a little young.  Another phase, another thing to grow and learn from.  He’s been regularly getting sleepy at noon.  It only took 2 years for him to get predictable sleep-wise, no biggie.

Wishing you all an overall wholeness to your lives.  & happy almost Valentines Day!

~Namaste

 

%d bloggers like this: