AN UNSTRUCK HEART

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I ONLY ATE ONE, VERY PROUD OF MYSELF.

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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…

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

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A VALENTINE FOR MY PARENTS.

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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

 

DATA WIPE

I’ve been saving old Iphone pictures and felt like posting some of them here.  I talk about California and more specifically Long Beach, CA in this blog so it feels good to chronicle a bit of the past here.  I would guess that they are from 2010-2013.  Many of them are old Instagram shots.

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LOOKING UP, CAMPING TRIP TO THE REDWOODS IN NORTHERN CA.
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FROM THE SAME CAMPING TRIP, TRAVELING BACK THROUGH SAN JOSE.
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SO THIS WAS THAT OTHER TIME I WAS REALLY INTO YOGA, PRE-BABY.  OUT DOOR FREE YOGA ON THE BLUFF IN LONG BEACH, CA.  I TOOK THAT MAT ON THE CAMPING TRIP AND IT GOT DESTROYED BECAUSE I LEFT IT OUT IN THE DIRT OVERNIGHT!
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TYPICAL SUMMER LONG BEACH CITY SCAPE.
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I PASSED BY THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE LONG BEACH COURTHOUSE ALMOST DAILY SINCE I WORKED ON THE PORT SIDE BUT HAD TO CROSS THROUGH DOWNTOWN TO GET TO YOGA & MEETINGS.
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BILLBOARD IN SAN PEDRO, I JUST LOOKED THIS MOVIE UP AND IT CAME OUT IN 2012.
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MY GOOD FRIEND’S BOOTS AT A WEDDING THAT WAS AT A HORSE RANCH.
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A TRIP TO SANTA BARBARA.
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HOTEL MAYA, LONG BEACH CA.
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THE EXTRA LONG BEACH OF LONG BEACH, CA (THAT IS ME TRYING TO BE FUNNY).
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HOTEL MAYA, LONG BEACH CA.
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CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS IN SAN PEDRO, CA I AM PRETTY SURE (???).  IF YOU LOOK CLOSE YOU CAN SEE MY HANDS AND MY OLD CELL, PROBABLY NOT THE SAFEST THING TO DO WHILE DRIVING, HOPEFULLY I WAS AT A LIGHT OR *AHEM* PARKED.
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THIS REALLY ENCAPSULATES MY FORMER PRE-KIDDO LIFE.  CATS, BED, AND NETFLIX, I JUST NEED TO PHOTOSHOP IN A BIG BOOK & SOME VEGAN TACOS.
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THIS IS CORNING, CA THE FIELD BEHIND MY AUNT’S OLD HOUSE.  I GREW UP IN A WEE “TOWN” CLOSE TO HERE CALLED DAIRYVILLE WHICH WAS OUTSIDE OF A SMALL TOWN CALLED RED BLUFF.  HENCE THE NAME AS YOU CAN SEE ALL THE RED DIRT.  

I spent months planning my baby shower.  I spent hours and hours fine tuning my registry.  All of my friends pitched in and had little jobs I assigned to them.  They were all great about it and the shower was one of the happiest days of my life.  My parents drove down and were going to take me straight back to Oregon after the shower was over.  That was it, I had to say goodbye right there to all of my friends.

In the rush, packing, and excitement I left my phone (that I took most of these pictures with) at the house I had my shower at.  I sat around 9 months pregnant shotgun of my parent’s Honda as my step-dad drove my car ahead.  I didn’t have a phone for a couple of weeks.  I ended up getting a new phone.  My little old red Iphone arrived in the mail later.  I saw all of the texts from my friends.  The friend that recovered the phone did her best to text them all what had happened.

I remember feeling powerless over that happening, like my past in Long Beach and my friends were wiped by my leaving my Iphone.  Like I just deleted them like I would do a bunch of old emails.

It obviously wasn’t true.  That was just a momentary feeling.  What do we know about that but facts aren’t feelings.  What happens if I lose all the pictures I have ever taken of H?  Will I still remember everything?  Sometimes that anxiety gets to me.

The pictures are around and saved in various medias.  My friends are there and I am here and that’s okay.  I hope to get over there soon.

Peace & love to you all~

 

I AM ENOUGH, I HAVE ENOUGH

I had forgotten last post to write about how I have been randomly (and not so randomly) gifted three pairs of yoga pants!  One kind of ‘silly’ thing I let go of in 2015 was an old black pair that fit me just right until they didn’t any more.  I had been sewing all the holes in them for a while.  When my friend came to visit a couple weeks ago (she reads the blog and saw my post about the pants) she brought me a brand new Lululemon pair which I have since only taken off after sternly reminding myself that they will last way longer if I only wear them to yoga.  The are soft.  They are comfy.  They fit perfectly.  And my other yoga buddy gifted me two pairs she had outgrown, one I am wearing below.  Thanks friends & Universe!

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NEW PURPLE PAIR ABOVE.

In other news, we have all been S I C K (we are now all better).  Sickness is the worst as a mom because you do that instant mental scramble of wondering if it’s worth it to go to a place where you know people are sick (which is always pretty good odds!), or who will take care of your kid if your normal babysitters are unable to.  I don’t want to be shut in all day because I’m scared of getting sick and then I hate being shut in all day because we are sick.  I definitely fail when it comes to slowing down for a while.  I refuse basically to slow down.  But when your kid ONLY wants to lay on you 24/7 what other choice do you have?  We were pretty much camped out on the couch for DAYS:

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WE EAT HERE.  WE SLEEP HERE.
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TEA & CARTOONS.
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SICK:  THIS IS ALL WE DID ALL…DAY…LONG…

I broke down one day with my mom and cried.  I still have such a hard time when things come out sideways.  I don’t like crying.  I don’t like not having it all together.  I’m not only dealing with complete inactivity, I thought, but now my desire for perfectionism is rearing it’s ugly head!  I was grateful to meet with my sponsor the next day and unravel to her.  Seasons, times, set-backs, up hill, down hill, it’s all tiny, medium, or large chunks of life we reside in.  How I choose to deal with life varies.  I know it helps if I live just one day at a time.  I got better, I went back to meetings.  Some people came up to talk me after the last meeting I went to.  I thought, am I in Long Beach?  It felt good.  I felt a part of.  I leave meetings early sometimes so I can put H to bed.  I received texts and calls, are you okay?  I saw you leave the meeting early.

And H and I were able to start taking our walks again.  Just taking a short walk really resets our day:

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STICKS!  I LOVE STICKS!

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EVERY TIME:  DUMP POPCORN ON HEAD.  WEAR CONTAINER AS HAT.  SCATTER POPCORN WILLY NILLY.
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SOME AFTER HOURS POSING AT THE WOODBURN AQUATIC CENTER.

I’ve come up with a new mantra for now:

I’m enough.

I have enough.

It’s been giving me a lot of peace.  Take it if you need it.

Yoga is awesome!  People come to my classes!  I am a yoga teacher!  I love it.  I am grateful for it.

Oh yeah, and I got on the sub list at Escape to Yoga in Sherwood, OR!  Woo-hoo!  I’m so excited to teach there and be a part of that studio!  I’m already signed up for some March dates.  Very exciting, a lot of work I put in, and now it feels goooooood.

Sending out peaceful vibes to you all.

~Namaste.

THE JOY OF TIME

The following quotes from the movie, JOY are generously paraphrased as I looked all over the internets and couldn’t find them and didn’t want to take up too much valuable time during H’s nap:

     “Time rolls backward, stops, and then starts again.”

&

     “When you hide from other people, you hide from yourself too.”

I obviously super-digged this movie, go out and see it, especially if you think life is hard (!), and you are always trying with all of your might to get yourself and your family into a better place.

Time as a theme is appropriate too as another friend from Long Beach, CA came to visit me and we got caught up on the time we had spent away from each other.  I visited LB when H was about 6 months old but she was getting married and we had absolutely no time to talk.  It’s a strange thing to wonder and miss someone and then get to see them and hear what they were going through a year and a half later.

Rolling back.  Pausing.  Starting again.

Like all of my friends from CA, she is super easy to be with.  They all shine, those friends, such a stark difference from the friends I had before when I was drinking.  It used to amaze me in Long Beach that all of my friends were always trying to be better in a deep intrinsic spiritual sense.  Working the steps.  Finding sponsees.  Giving back.  Venturing outside the bounds of AA into churches or yoga teacher trainings, even to Africa.  Giving back to the earth, humans, and animals.  Thinking about others more than themselves.  It refreshed me to be around this woman this past weekend, it grounded me and reminded me of where I want to go.  It’s not that I haven’t found people like that here, it’s just that I logged years and years with those other friends, I grew and watered the roots of those deep relationships.

It’s always startling and joyful to have someone from there here.  She came with me to my meetings and it was hard to not turn and pinch her arm to make sure she wasn’t a mirage.  I had been hearing a nudge in my spirit to ask her to pray for me about a subject I still struggle with a lot.  I tried to ignore it because I just didn’t feel like going there.  I didn’t want to be vulnerable.  I didn’t want to feel what I would feel if I asked her.  The nudge was strong though, and I did ask her as she dropped me off, her flight taking off the next morning.  She grabbed my hand and prayed for me.  I started crying, whatever I had been holding onto I was able to let go of.  I still feel fearful and on edge about the subject but I feel a peace about it too.

When you hide from other people you hide from yourself.

Ack!  Uncover, discover, discard.  Like a 4th & 5th step, it brings up a lot of muck, but when it gets washed away you feel brand new.

Yoga is going really well.  I was day dreaming last week and I missed my exit to class.  10 minutes later I was finally able to exit and get back on the freeway.  I was 10 minutes late to class!  Well this is a new and very unpleasant experience, was one of the many negative thoughts I had.  I am a serial dreamer but I also am very type A too.  I don’t like being late!  Especially when all of these students were waiting on me!  I asked my mom if I could hand H off to her a little earlier in the morning just in case something happens like this again.  I take teaching yoga very seriously, our teacher told us to respect other people’s time, and I really do.

Time.  Valuable & unmeasurable time.

It taught me some humility too.  I’m not perfect.  I held onto it and then I let it go.

H nears two years old!!!  I started planning his party which won’t be as colorful and detailed as last years, but still cute and fun (of course).  There are so many things about him right N O W that I hope I remember forever.  How he climbs up everything and tries to climb walls.  How he uses all of his signs.  How he only speaks words for things he loves, mama, papa, nana, wall, blue, choo-choo, wawa, num-nums, pops (popcorn), and cheese.  How he feels when I’m holding him right after he’s fallen asleep.  How he wants to figure stuff out, why something fits, why something doesn’t.  How he jumps up and down and says, mama! when I get home.  How he picks up sticks and walks around with them proudly when we go outside.  How he is beginning to negotiate right and wrong.  How he asks for choo-choo’s and num-num’s when he wakes up from his nap.  So much.  What a gift he is even when he’s throwing tantrums.

It snowed last week, it does so here very rarely.  We enjoyed it:

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It began to freeze.  Then melt.

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We stayed inside where it was warm.

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My friend and I went to The Grotto in Portland and had long conversations about religion & spirituality.

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Treasured tiny pockets of T I M E:

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Time is like an almost two toddler, rushing along.  We hold the past and present inside and we still walk forward.

Thinking with gratitude on all of my past woes and struggles, hoping I can help someone who feels today the way I once felt.

Sending peace & love to all I know and all I don’t.

~Namaste

 

MANIFESTING UNICORNS & ECT.

Do you ever feel like dreams beget more dreams?  As I fell asleep last night (which happened three times as H decided to keep waking up)  along with all of the other hubbub buzzing in my brain I thought, what I wouldn’t give for a clone.  I’d send her downstairs right now to do a, b, and c.

Sadly, that is not possible.  And perhaps I am just meant to do what I do when I do it even if that means putting train track together all day (I’m not sure who likes H’s train set better, him or me).  The last two weeks have been what I think of as reflection times for me, along with all of the holidays, family, and break in the normal routine.  I always get super reflective during trips and Christmas.  I always live in a mental place where I’m between the old and the new, and questioning what will be the new?  And centering and figuring out what more I want to do with my life.  And dreaming.  Pretty easy to have dreams in a place like this:

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The rain splattered plastic cover in the foreground is a hot tub.
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Rain.  Snow.  Wind.  Sun.  Rainbows.

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H & I’s room.

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This particular house came with a baby gate at the top of the stairs, toys, toddler cups/plates, and even a high chair.

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H & his Papa.

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I wanted to break this up into two posts but it’s already 2016 so a 2015 Christmas already seems like so last week.

The power went out the first night.  We (meaning my cousins) started a fire by candlelight and we ate pizza.  I had to teach yoga the next night and morning after so I left H there after he went down for a nap.  My parents arrived before he woke up and took care of him that night.  Can you see by the above pictures how awesome they are?

Before I left we went into Hood River to this rad spot for a bite.  On the way back to the car my cousin and I spotted a Charlie Brown style Christmas tree lounging against the wall.  It was obviously (to us at least) discarded so we began to plot about how to get it back to the Mosier house.  It already had tinsel all over it!  She picked up said tree and squished it into my car trunk (I was pushing H in his stroller).  I think my favorite moment of the whole trip was crossing a busy intersection with her and looking back at her carrying that thing and the expression on her face was not one of embarrassment but of joy and pride.  I brought some ornaments from home and there it sat sideways the whole week.  We talked about making a stand but just let it go.

I had a couple of late night conversations with my other cousin and her girlfriend in the hot tub overlooking the gorge.  About dreams mostly, and yes manifesting unicorns if you will.  Manifesting the impossible.  Dreaming about stuff and then working hard.

I love being around my family I don’t get to see on the regular.  We grew up together, throwing shoes across HWY 99E at each other, always being mischievous.  Always wanting more.  Always testing the limits.  I wanted to write this post when it was still 2015, but in the last week I have felt a lot of sadness.  I needed time to process.  I miss not being around them all of the time.  No matter how old I get I still feel that.

And the food.  My cousin’s gf is a chef and it was quite the treat to hear in the morning, Sis, how would you like you eggs cooked?  She’s seriously like a magician.

I taught a detox class of sorts this past week.  Lots of chairs and twists.  At the end I encouraged students to let go of something toxic in 2016.  Cliche, yes but I’m still down with it.  I decided to throw out my favorite yoga pants.  I keep darning the holes in them and they keep sagging down at the waist.  Making room for the new, even if it’s just yoga pants.

Last year on 1-7-15 my New Year’s resolution was yoga.  Can you believe that?  I was falling down this time last year trying to flow.  My balance was whack.  I couldn’t hold anything for long.  I was a yoga baby.  Going back to unicorns, who knew I would start to practice regularly, go to teacher training, start teaching free yoga in the park, and then finally get a yoga gig???!!!  I believe in unicorns, you better believe.

This year I’ve gone back and forth on intentions.  My main will still be following the yoga path.  Then it is S U M M E R.  I do not like Summer.  I get depressed like people get depressed in the Winter.  It’s hot and I don’t like shorts.  I want to eat and hide.  I just get really negative.  This year I want to manifest a different kind of Summer and really enjoy it with H.

I also want to focus on the five Y A M A S:  Ahisma, Satya, Asteya, Brachmacharya, & Aparigraya.  Look it up.

Manifesting a rich and love-filled 2016 to you and our beautiful Earth.

~Namaste.

 

 

 

A WINTER REPRIEVE

I guess everyone will have a reprieve of sorts after the next week or so as school goes on break and people begin to travel towards loved ones to celebrate Christmas.  If you’re familiar with me or this blog you know how much I love rain, Winter, Christmas, ect.  In the week before Christmas I’m trying to take it all in and enjoy it.  The lights in ‘downtown’ Wilsonville.  The Christmas songs.  The decorations around the house.  I’m also thinking about my intention/resolution for 2016.  Living in the moment, being grateful for the past, and visualizing goals for the future.  A tricky line to walk.

We went to the Nutcracker yesterday, my first live Nutcracker performance!  We ate lunch in downtown Portland before the show, what a treat to go into the big city and just relish the day.  Sans boys, it was me, my mom, my two step-sisters, and their two daughters.  I spent pretty much the whole day without H, always bittersweet.  A nice break but I always miss him.  It feels like I’m missing a limb.  He grows bigger and heavier.  Where did my little baby go?  I wonder.

The Keller Auditorium:

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And more meandering around at home below:

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Yoga is going well, I’m seeing the same faces almost every class.  I haven’t had any more classes where no one showed up.  I kept gearing myself up for it but it didn’t happen.  I can’t tell you how much I love seeing someone walk in with their mat!  It’s the best.  I’ve been finding my glide into the teaching groove as well.  I pick a theme for the week and just add and subtract new or old stuff each class.  For my night and morning turnaround classes, I come home, get H to bed and sleep in my yoga clothes, ha.

I had recently been feeling homesick for Long Beach AGAIN.  I wasn’t feeling the meetings here and felt like no one liked me, basic lies your head will tell you.  I struggled with it for a couple days and finally came to the conclusion via the Higher Power that I just wasn’t in acceptance about people places or things.  No place is perfect.  I can’t hold LB on this high pedestal because it wasn’t perfect there either.  I have to find my place in meetings and AA here continually because I have to look out for my sobriety.  It passed.  It may be the season.  My friends in Long Beach are my family too, just not by blood.  I was walking around at home in a tank and long john pants I always wear.  They were each separately passed down to me by a bff in LB.  I realized right then that I carry them with me, in that place of the heart that no one can see.  I carry them with me in the tangible and the spiritual.  Uh, I feel so strange feeling homesick right now about all this stuff.  But it is what it is, right?

What happened to Friday nights?  Someone asked me last night at the meeting.  I had in a attempt to reach out to women here, been inviting them to coffee before the Friday meeting, and hadn’t done so the last couple of weeks.  Another sweet girl texted me and I opened up to her.  She said she will be my friend and go to meetings with me.  I give an inch and my HP gives me back light years.  As per usual.

Christmas next week!  My family traveling up from SoCal & NorCal!  I hope the weather agrees with their travel.

Wishing everyone out there a very peaceful Christmas week eve.

Namaste~

YOGA, PARTY OF ONE

I’ve done lots of things alone in life.  Most haven’t bothered me, like I have seldom thought, having someone with me would make this so much better.  I’ve been single for years.  I’ve lived alone and enjoyed it.  I’ve gone to my fair share of movies alone.  I’ve sat at plenty of meetings alone, apart from different cliques (yes, there are even cliques in AA!), on the outside looking in, and kind of liking it most of the time.  I’m a loner and I isolate by nature so you could say this comes easy to me.  Well, folks if I know one thing yoga teaching wise, teaching all by yourself doesn’t work!  You need people in order to teach.  Double duh, right?  (And please read the end of this post to see what I really believe about being alone).

The last three weeks I have been flying solo at my recent yoga gigs.  Sadly, the studio in Milwaukie (east from Portland, OR) closed.  The same week it closed I got a new yoga gig at a swimming center that has a yoga studio about 20 minutes south of Wilsonville.  Great timing and totally my Higher Power I know, but my first three classes were empty.  After researching this strange phenomenon (being sarcastic there) I learned that it’s pretty common for a new yoga teacher with new yoga classes to have slim to none attendance.

Strangely enough I do believe I have made progress on not having the sing-songy voice while teaching.  I started building my sequences around a theme, more alignment oriented than philosophical.  When I speak from the place of the theme the sing-song voice vanishes.  When I say something a bit more rote like, lift your straight right leg into the air, the sing-song is back.  So if I’m passionate and interested in teaching about a theme I speak in a natural voice!  Yay!  I’m not worrying about the voice during the rest of the time (for now), I’m just going to trust that it takes care of itself.

And, yay some people showed the last two days of my first week at the aquatic center.  About a third were my Oregon friends, I am so thankful for them.  It felt so good to teach.  It also feels really good to have an emerging stronger sense of confidence with my teaching style.

A friend posted this picture on her FB feed last week and I though it was appropriate:

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Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We
have to!

~BB page 103

 

And pictures of our basic early December lives:

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I will sweep.

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Christmas wonder.

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It’s always a good day when you make cookies:

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Pre assembling a new chair from nana & papa:

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The truth is that I don’t just need people to teach yoga classes to.  I need people period.  This has been a huge struggle for me since I got sober.  I was experiencing some stress one day last week and I left to Target to go get some things we needed.  I thought about how I needed to get back to relieve my step-dad.  I sat down in the eating area and called my sponsor instead.  I felt so much better, like I had let go of huge weights I had been stubbornly pushing along.  I have been not been feeling a part of again here in Oregon AA.  I’m praying about it.  I know the solution lies first in my Higher Power and then second in action I will need to take.  Isolation leads to drink.  This is a fact for me.

I’ve experience many moments in the last weeks when I have asked myself, what am I doing?  I’m not sure if the yoga deal will pan out.  I know that I do love doing it.  I’m nearing my one year anniversary of blogging and yoga is what sparked this blog.  But is it enough, I wonder.  I’m going to just keep showing up.  I’m also looking forward to the rest of December and spending lots of time with loved relatives I don’t get to see that often.

I hope everyone out there can get closer to doing something career-wise that they kind of like or even (gasp) love.

I wish a bunch of Christmas love for you and your families.

~Namaste

 

ROAD TRIP

My master teacher in training used to say that the opposite of love is fear. I had presumed it before that to be hate, but I now agree that hate springs from fear.  My prayers for the upset and bloodshed in France and all over the whole world, those unknown hot pockets of darkness, is that those responsible for the violence (past and future) will have love instead of fear manifest.   There is a lot of noise about the issue all over T.V. and social media.  I’m choosing to ignore most of it and just pray.

We drove up to Mosier, OR last week to check out the digs my cousin rented for Christmas.  Minuscule town that packs a big view.

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After seeing the town we flitted through Hood River.  Since there wasn’t a chain grocery store in Mosier, we wanted to see what stores were in Hood River.  My cousin’s partner is a chef and she wanted me to report about fresh ingredients.  Then onto Troutdale to check out McMenamins Edgefield.  Whoa, have you been there?  It’s amazing.  A long, snake-like HOT soaking pool, restaurants, gardens, orchards, a little golf course, a movie theater, and a ton of quirk.  Everything is painted.  By everything, I mean just about everything. Electrical outlets, sides of barns no one really walks by.  Little mini murals everywhere. You have to just go there to understand I think.  The pictures are full of strange humor, reminds me to not take myself too seriously.  I didn’t like any pictures of the paintings except the balls on the railings and this door:

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I always feel like many forms of art and painted stuff has to be seen in person to feel the full amount of beauty.  H was only too grateful to get out of the car and run around.

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And back home to help papa out with the gravel:

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H is teething four teeth, is super snotty (teething or cold, we aren’t sure), and is very fussy/needy too.  I always have moments where I feel like a bad mom because then I feel fussy/needy, ha.  I have to remind myself about all of the good mom stuff I do when he is so fractious.  We spent some time before nap time balancing a hair tie on his big toe.  I am always amazed by what he thinks is funny.  Then I read a bunch of books to him before his nap.  It’s been nice too to have this little gig in Milwaukie to go teach at to take some time for myself.  And meetings.  When we were at the McMenamins I noticed the martinis.  I have never been one to say that the craving for alcohol has completely left me.  I don’t think about it every day at all, and huge chunks of time pass where I am not conscious of it.  But it’s still there and I always have to play the tape.  Playing the tape has always been a big save for me.  I will do a bunch of things I will regret.  Those little things are reminders to me of why it’s better for me and everyone that I don’t drink.

I’ve been living more in the moment lately too which have grown from some new discoveries.  At my last teaching session during the end meditation I had a flash of prayer, like my whole soul was asking my HP for help with my future and this yoga stuff.  I haven’t been doing that.  My funds are running low and I’ve been stressing out a lot.  A huge character defect of mine is trying to hash stuff out myself instead of relying on my HP.  I did some writing for a step study I’m in.  We’re on step 11 on prayer and meditation.  I wrote:  I am afraid that my HP can’t help me or won’t help me.  I’m afraid my HP won’t do anything.  That my HP is impotent and doesn’t care about me.

I was very surprised to see that.  These are old beliefs that I had thought I had gotten over.  So, it gave me some clarity.  It made me remember that I have a new HP.  It made me see that I may have to refine my vision of my HP more.  And I will pray.  I will focus on praying more.  Instead of always trying to steam roll my way through stuff.

Whew!  I’m so grateful for the steps, HP, the program, my family, my son!  I’m so grateful for all I have!  I don’t really need for anything.

I hope all of your needs (and some of your wants?) get met today as well.

Xo & namaste~

A NEW LANGUAGE

I wanted to write a post last week, but my soul and mind just haven’t been there.  It made me remember that I really have to think of this space as a open, free, honest space.  It’s not all about the good, but about the bad too.  Although I do think I needed more perspective (which involves TIME), so it’s probably good I took a longer break.

My right hip is on fire.  I have self diagnosed a wonky IT band on that side since teacher training.  I’ve spent much time rubbing the heck out of it with this really cool stress ball my parents had in the house.  I had noticed that the slight pain went away when I didn’t practice.  I’ve known that as much as yoga can save your life, it can injure the hell out of you.  This is why proper alignment is so important.  I don’t know how or when the injury occurred, but it somehow did.

Well, I’ve been going full steam for a while with an apprenticeship, practicing, writing lesson plans, and now that I’ve been teaching actual classes out in Milwaukie, I sometimes have been doing intense Vinyasa for three hours straight per day.  My friend began to teach a free class there as well, so one day I taught for an hour and did two hours with her while she taught me.  That day I felt a strange heated and grinding sensation in my hip but I ignored it.  The next day I wrote up a new plan and practiced.  I scaled back a bit, my hip was bothering me.  The next day I taught just a half hour private.  My hip hurt.  I didn’t do half of the movement.  I always tell students to listen to their own bodies and back off if anything feels painful…Time to listen to my own advice.

I spent time researching hip pain.  Here’s the thing:  I don’t like going to the doctor.  Before I see any well meaning comments, I promise ahead of time that in this case I will.  The conclusion I came to for the time being was that all of the tiny fascia, tendons, and muscle on the inside of my hip needs some time to heal.  I need to STAY OFF OF IT!  I can see all of you rolling your eyes, don’t try to hide it.

Simultaneously it seems I received more feed back from my mentors at my apprenticeship.  I have fulfilled all of my hours there, I taught a demo class, and then I received feedback.  I do have to say here that as much as I know this feedback will only make me stronger and will someday not be so smarting to my sensitive teaching soul, I am really depressed by it.  Grow or go seems to be the only two decisions.  I doggedly tape the Sanskrit translations in the kitchen.  Even though I feel so sad that I am not where I want to be yet, I still am not giving up.  One of the critiques was to get off the mat.  To perhaps stick with Basic Hatha for a while until my teaching chops grow more (Hatha moves slower that Vinyasa so it will give me more time to gather my words).  May be just what my sore hip needs.  It feels better for now, but I still want to give it more rest.  Instead of practicing for hours I will have to do only the gentle non hip stuff and visualize the rest.  We’ll see what happens when I teach!  I’m grateful for the gig in Milwaukie while I wait to audition again at the studio where I apprenticed.

Another piece of advice, talk in a natural voice.  You have no idea how many curse words that inspires within me.  I can’t get out of that sing songy way of teaching.  I can’t!  It drives me crazy.  And before anyone accuses me of being too hard on myself, believe me if I could get away with getting jobs with the lilts I would!  I’m currently reading this book called Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich.  I believe it is telling me what I need to hear so I won’t give up on the yoga teaching (I realistically believe I am hear what I want to hear, but so what if it helps me?).  Stretch your mind a bit and think of teaching as learning another language.  She says,

    To learn a second language, you have to be willing to give yourself up, the self encoded in your first one.  You are no longer a person who speaks with facility and authority.  You are less than what you were as a child: You cannot transact a phone call without help, discuss matters more complex than the color of fruits and vegetables.  You cannot signal who you are.  Most of us, by the time we’re adults, speak in so many words.  We convey information through tone: I am sad, or I am displeased, or Is it not clear?  I am important.  Our speech acquires layers so that directness, when employed, has power through force and rarity:  “I don’t like what you did.”  But at the beginning in learning a language, you can only be direct.  You can say “Tea is required here,” not “Can I get a cup?” -a vast difference in terms of your popularity.  In half language, you’re half what your were, half and overgrown child.  You speak like a child, are received as a child.  In this other state, you lose abilities.

So I’m pretty much a weirdo woman toddler yoga teacher.  Much like my son who talks like Curious George, mouthing loud noises, but never making any real sense.  I may dream yoga, but I’m not yet fluent in it.  I remember my master teacher asking me what I feel confident to teach, confidence being one of my first hurdles.  My job, I answered.  I could teach anyone my old day job confidently and naturally.  I knew it in and out.  I would not have trained anyone in a sing song voice!  That would have been ridiculous.

So what do I do with all of this information.  The only response I have at this time is to wait and pray.  Do what’s in front of me which is teaching in Milwaukie and putting all of these critiques at the forefront of my teaching.  But also to let it go and try to find the joy as well.  And to figure out what’s ailing my right leg.

It rained like mad on Halloween, like it did not stop all night.  My mom, H and I just went around the block, his head and bear suit got drenched.  He was a little bewildered, being only 19 months, he did not really understand what it all meant.  He did enjoy eating candy (only a couple of pieces) and had a fit the next day because we would give him any!  On to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I wish I could make time go slower, this is my favorite time of year.

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Yes, that is a girl dressed as a cake. At H’s cousins dress up party at their preschool.

We’ve been getting some especially bright sunrises:

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And H has perfected Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), only he likes to keep balance on his head instead of his hands:

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I appreciate any good vibes sent regarding my teaching crisis.  I wish you all a very cosy, peace filled begin to this November.

Xo & Namaste~

THE RAW TRUTH & A JOB

I’ve chaired two meetings in the last week.  I signed up for one because I was approaching 7 and a half years and the other because the secretary kept passing around the sign up sheet and there were a lot of gaps.  Noticing when I have another half year of sobriety under my belt is just as important to me to acknowledge when I have another year.  And leading/chairing meetings always puts me smack dab in the center of things.  Sharing itself always softens my heart and makes me way less judgmental when listening to other people share.  Also, I noticed a while back that when I get called on to share I stare directly at the leader almost the whole time.  Chances are if you lead a meeting a whole bunch of people are going to be looking you in the eye the WHOLE time.  It’s a bit overwhelming and just try not to be engaged in that!  Something happens when two people lock eyes.  It is the genuine spirit of oneness and true love in my opinion.  I love true love that’s not associated with having a crush or lust, but just being a part of.  Two humans connecting and not getting hung up on race, gender, or discrimination of any kind.  It’s a beautiful thing!

I just finished reading this post and it made me get all reflective about my honesty during my shares.  I prayed and prepared a bunch before the first one and have to say it was pretty damn honest.  The second I prayed but didn’t prepare and it was a bit too honest if that’s possible.  In this part of Oregon people tend to share generally more than getting into the sticky and dark details.  I have usually shared the detailed stuff since I got sober in CA so it was a bit hard to get used to when I moved here.  I can say I see more of the benefits of sharing in a general way.  It’s more mature and it gets the point across without getting into the gossip.  When you share at a meeting there is the understanding that what you say won’t be repeated, hello the word Anonymous is the the title of the group.  I think that sharing at a group level in a general way more protects who you are than being worried someone will judge you or gossip about you.  You have a sponsor and close friends to tell all the sordid stuff too anyways.

BUT, I will tell you one thing that cancels all the above out.  I always get so much out of a really raw share.  This is the truth for me.  So when I opened my mouth up at the meeting to chair, a bunch of kind of embarrassing stuff came out.  It wasn’t too detailed, just general statements about my low spots in sobriety in the past.  The theme was obviously low spots and emotional sobriety.  I hardly got into any solution in my share.  It turned out well, I got to hear more of other people’s solution.  And if I want to get really honest, is my point in sharing to look good or be honest?  Uh.  That’s a hard one.  I know that I’m not there to run a campaign.  I’m there to be honest and stay sober.  Sometimes that looks ugly and precarious.  But I think I have more of a chance of staying sober.  I think praying about what to share and focusing on your own experience, strength, and hope works too.  And focusing on helping newcomers and others too.  If you are honest chances are that will happen anyways.

In yoga news, I got a gig!  I’ll be teaching Tuesdays (4:30pm & 6pm) and Thursdays (4:30pm) at Brave Heart Pilates & Yoga in Milwaukie which is in South Portland.  I’m going to try to work on getting a schedule posted up on here and on Facebook.  I’m obviously very excited to finally be able to have regular classes which I will teach!  I’m hoping to teach at other studios eventually too.  One day/step/yoga job at a time.  Baby steps.

I have to say that after living in the city for so long it felt good to drive back home here to Wilsonville after my yoga audition.  I feel suffocated in the city.  That may change again, I used to love living in the city.  Pics below from a fruit show out in Canby.  My family is still off sugar so we found the next best thing, ha.  H loved sampling the pears and apples and of course running around.

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I’m going back to Milwaukie before I start teaching to pick up a key.  A key to an actual yoga studio!  I recently reconnected with an old friend and we were talking about how when you have struggled in life you really are appreciative and grateful for opportunities.  I’m not sure if people who haven’t had to struggle feel the same way.  I’m so grateful for a chance to teach yoga.

I wish all of you out there the same feeling and much love as well.

Xo & namaste~

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