Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oh, the Places We Go...

This excerpt is taken from a blog I wrote on July 12, 2009: "Maybe it's the fact that I'm less than a year shy of my 30th. I remember hearing, and I have no idea where I heard this, but 30 was the year. You know, the year where all those feelings of self-doubt, body image, etc. drifted away. I am one of the few people who hold the age of 30 in high regard, an amazing accomplishment."

Holy shit is all I have to say. And excuse my language, but 11 months ago I thought the place I'm in right now, just a few short days shy of my 30th Birthday would be amazing. I mean and I quote myself once again, "I am one of the few people who hold the age of 30 in high regard, an amazing accomplishment." But of all the people in my inner circle and actually some in the perimeter, have noticed a change. I'm angry, agitated, and oh-so-very annoyed all the time. And you have to believe it feels awful. Where is that girl who was excited for 30? This past year has been one of self-discovery, not to say the other years haven’t, but this year I was really going to figure it out, you know, before the 30th Birthday and all. I was so focused on searching and seeking how to make myself happy. But the problem was where I was looking: my outside environment, you know those things that you have zero control over and really make no difference in the very end. I seemed to have forgotten one of the most important elements in my journey, to stop and enjoy it.

For example, one morning you wake up to one of the most beautiful sunny days you can remember in a long time. You decide what better way to enjoy this day, than to take a nice hike. As you begin your hike, (the journey up), you hit start on your stop-watch and take off up the mountain, anticipating getting to the top. You finally get to the top and simply turn right back around and head down faster than you did on your way up. You reach the bottom and hit stop on your watch and realize you just beat your personal record. Driving home feeling pretty good, you call a girlfriend to share the excitement. Oh, yeah, she knows that hike, she was just there yesterday. Did I see the lovely oak savannah and chaparral-studded hillsides? Or what about all the fascinating sandstone rock formations? And could I even believe the view of the Pacific Ocean at the top? Your mind starts racing, and you quickly make up an excuse to hang up. How does she even know what oak savannah and chaparral- studded hillsides look like? What about my record time? Doesn’t that matter?

I realized my perception was out of focus. Even though it appeared I was doing the work, “going hiking on a beautiful sunny day”, I was just going through the motions, rather than enjoying the present moments I had longed for. And because of that, I had turned into someone I didn’t even recognize. I had moments of anger that I had never soared to, where I actually felt a disconnect from the person who was playing out below. That is not a good feeling when you come down, calm down. I mean, I do yoga for heaven sake, how did the waters get so muddy?

I just read the book, "This Is Water", by David Foster Wallace. The book is a commencement speech Wallace made at Kenyon College in 2005. An excerpt from the book: " Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal-arts cliché about “teaching you how to think” is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: “Learning how to think” really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”

The man has a point. I mean all of this reflecting has made my mind go thru a whirl wind each and every second of the day. Chatter over and over again: I'm going to be 30 and I still have the same job, but in reality, my job has changed quite drastically over the past 5 years: from a title advancement, a raise, health insurance coverage, to helping fund my 200 hour yoga training, and learning more than I ever wanted or imagined to know about the Entertainment Industry. I would say it sounds like a nice uphill pace to me.

Unfortunately though, I’ve been playing the, “I just want to get there and I will be happy game.” And you know what, it’s mentally exhausting. I’m tired of looking in every self-help book, talking to countless therapists, running from idea to idea on where to find happiness.

And that is not to say that all has been lost on me, because on a personal level, I finally let someone love me. Now I just realized that unfortunately his love for me isn't enough to cover for the both of us.

I wrote something a couple of months ago, "My only explanation is that the more I learn, the more I realize you don't become aware of things until you are ready, whether it be mental or physical."

"The truth is that you already are what you are seeking." Adyashanti.

I have been seeking for as long as I can remember, so much so, that I forgot to stop and enjoy the moments, and if you do that enough, well, then you stop dreaming and you miss the moments entirely.

“Seeking has only one end: finding.
But how can you ever “find” what you already are?
Maybe it’s best to stop seeking-to-find, and, instead, to start seeking-the-Seeker.
Freedom lies in discovering that the Seeker and the Finder are one and the same.” Chuck Hillig

So as my 30th Birthday is right around the corner, I’m taking a new approach, Stop. Enjoy the moments and you never know I just might find the peace and stillness I have been searching for.

Like the Great Oprah says, "Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Can't get to a Yoga Studio...

If you are like many people who work long hours, getting to a yoga class can be difficult. Battling traffic to make it to class on time can cause more stress, therefore taking you farther away from the clarity and balance your body is so desperately craving. But, have no fear the answer is here...YOGAGLO! What is this YogaGlo???

From their website:
"YogaGlo is the new online yoga experience in HD video that provides the experience of being in the class at your home.

YogaGlo is a global community that offers the opportunity for people, from around the world, to participate in actual yoga classes with other students, whenever they want, at an affordable price. Beyond that, it serves as a forum for discussion, streams lectures and workshops by world-renowned yoga scholars and experts, bridges the online and offline with our beautiful studio, serves as a vehicle for social change and features stories of yoga in action from around the world.

In a time in which people are restrained by factors of time and money, YogaGlo offers an important solution and a much-needed sense of community that is accessible to all.

YogaGlo's intention is to empower people around the world to engage in this process, to serve as a vehicle for social change by giving 5% of profits to our non-profit partners, and to unite the global yoga community to inspire regular practice."

GO TO: and sign up today! Membership is only $18/month with a free 15 day trial period.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm a Warrior!!!

Excerpt from Paulo Coelho’s book, “Warrior of the Light”:

There is such a thing as emotional rubbish; it is produced in the factories of the mind. It consists of pain that has long since passed and is no longer useful. It consists of precautions that were important in the past, but that serve no purpose in the present.

The Warrior has memories too, but she learns how to separate the useful from the unnecessary, she disposes of her emotional rubbish.

A companion says: “But that’s part of my history. Why should I jettison feelings that marked my very existence?”

The Warrior smiles, but she does not try to feel things that she no longer feels. She is changing and she wants her feelings to keep pace with her.

The gender of this excerpt has been changed to honor Wonder Woman.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Every cloud has a silver lining...

I decided to post an email I wrote to one of my most favorite yoga teachers regarding my current injury, (intercostals muscles/ rib). I obviously had more to say than I thought...SHOCKER!

I remember when I had my surgery a year and half ago (holy shit) it’s been that long! But I remember Kathryn, (my other favorite yoga teacher), saying to me the beautiful part of being forced to stop is getting to start fresh. And I've found out that's when you really start to begin to learn your body. I still remember the surgeon telling me that I would not only be in the hospital for five days (which if you knew me in college, I always had to sleep in my own bed, no futon or college dorm room would suffice) but that I would not be able to do yoga for six weeks. And by yoga she meant a Level 1 class, she wasn't referring to fallen angels or handstand lotus. Therefore, it took me a while to build back up to my level, but I found Kathryn was right. Here I was with some of the tools, but getting to begin from the beginning, how lucky is that???

Maybe it's my 30th coming up this year and/ or the experiences that have brought me here, but I have finally started to learn the beauty of stopping. And I don't mean taking a Yogaworks 2/3 Vinyasa Class, but truly appreciating what your body or your mind is saying.

In all honesty, I was trying so hard to find my path with teaching. I thought the more classes I took, the more comfortable I would begin to feel to teach. Which of course there is some truth in that, but my true hurdle is fear. And no amount of vinyasa classes are going to get me over that hurdle.

Gosh, sometimes I feel you are right back to where you started, but like I stated above, those past experiences or hurdles I've overcome along the way make each one seem smaller and easier to get over.

On a side note.:
"Of all people, you know who I am…who the world needs me to be. I’m Wonder Woman.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

i came across this on a blog...

“as i step into more of who i am and the possibilities of my life, i want to walk side by side with courage. i want to bravely acknowledge my own power, my unique capacity for leadership, for tenderness - and i want to do it without shying away, without reservation. we are so much stronger than we realize, you and me. i want to create my own story and let go of that small story i’ve been telling myself all of these years. as my art career continues to take off (flight), i want to stay grounded in what matters, wise in my choices, and bold in my inspiration. more than ever, i’m believing in what is unfolding, in the miracles of everyday living. in deciding upon dreams and then making them real, one small step at a time.

we are all meant for these journeys. of hope. of tenderness. of doing the things we never thought we could do. this is where our bravery lives. it’s where the orbits of who we are and who we want to be collide. it’s where we find ourselves standing strong, ready to claim what is ours.

we only have one life. just one. i want to make mine brave.”

from kelly rae

most of you know I am quite fond of my own words, but love hearing my deepest thoughts verbalized, even if it's by someone else.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From time to time people ask me how my training is going, when will I be finished, etc.? Mainly because everywhere I have been in the last two weeks I have been carrying every piece of information from my training, which includes handouts, quizzes, a 4-inch binder, and five yoga books I had to buy, so I can study and finish my take home test. When I reply that this weekend is the last weekend, people then ask what happened to my blog? Yes, yes, what happened to my blog? Why haven't I been blogging? Well, I have tried from time to time to sit and write, but it just wasn't happening. I even have a stack of birthday cards, a mother's day card just sitting in my workbag, waiting to be personalized. So what's with the can't even write a card to my mother for mother's day block?

Well, here is the best way I know how to explain.
The best sentence that sums up my training would be: I feel more unlike myself than I ever have, but I know I am getting closer and closer to my true self. In a world of distractions, it's easy to go with the flow, to not rock the boat, but once you go down the path of Yoga, which according to Patanjali there are 8 limbs of yoga, with asana, or the physical practice being number three on the list, you begin to realize that Yoga is much more than just balancing a handstand in the middle of the room.

One of my favorite quotes on yoga is,

"The goal is not to tie ourselves in knots ...
we're already tied in knots.
The aim is to untie the knots in our hearts.
The aim is to unite with the ultimate, loving, and peaceful power in the universe."

That being said, over the course of the last six months, whether I was aware it was going to happen or not, I started to untie. I didn't go crazy or anything, but at times I felt as though I might. I spent weekends surrounded by 25 other females in a room together sharing, learning, listening, growing, breathing, and moving. There were no glasses of wine to fuzz anything, there were no distractions, just the uncensored, undistracted, unveiled women all realizing things about ourselves whether we were ready or not. And for me, I wasn’t ready to blog and share where I was or still am at times. But I did feel as though I need to finish this blog, to see it through, just like my yoga certification. Here is an excerpt from a paper I had to write a couple of months ago during training:

I’m just in a different place right now. I don’t want to pretend I’m incredibly positive and yoga is curing my neurotic mind, b/c I’m not truly there. And I don’t want to post that on my blog, the same blog I wallpaper on facebook and email to everyone I know, constantly checking in with them to see if they have read it.
The good part is that I’m far enough along, whether it’s from yoga or my upbringing with shrinks and self help books, that were given as presents for the holidays, to acknowledge what it is when I see it and have faith that I will move past it. To not be so terrified, thinking I’m going crazy and distract myself for way too long. And what is way too long? Long enough that you lose hope or not so much that it’s lost, but when you can’t see it, then it’s too long. I’ve been through the worst of it and taken care of myself enough to know that there will always be hope.

All I’m saying is that I’ve had my share of tragedy in my life and I’m not trying to play the victim card…it’s actually quite the opposite. I’m proud of what I have accomplished spiritually and mentally, b/c sometimes before you have the tools, it’s easier to go down the distracted shorter paths in life. And well, the only person I need being proud of that, is myself. Does that make sense?

In the book, “Light on Yoga”, Iyengar writes about Avidya stating,

“These causes of pain remain submerged in the mind of the sadhaka, (the aspirant or seeker). They are like icebergs barely showing their heads in the polar seas. So long as they are not studiously controlled and eradicated, there can be no peace. The yogi learns to forget the past and takes no thought for the morrow. He lives in the eternal present.”

I entered my training positive, hopeful, enthusiastic that I had found my passion in life. And although as I finish my training, I still find that to be true, I am leaving with much more. And even though I have been hesitant to share, I still needed to find out where the reluctance was coming from. All I could do was acknowledge it and wait to see what came up, on and off the mat.

From, “The Study and Practice of Yoga, An Exposition of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by Swami Krishnananda, Krishnananda states,

“Our fate is not in the hands of other people. It is under the control of certain other forces, and if we ignore them and emphasis the external factors, we will be doomed. It is no use judging ourselves in terms of the colors that we put on due to the relationships that we establish between ourselves and external things. We are mostly engaged in confirming the attitude of consciousness that it is dissociated from its content. This is a pitiable state of affairs. Our activities are not a remedying process of this illness. Rather, they are a confirming process and, therefore, we are getting more and more bound every day, in spite of our making it appear that we are trying for freedom or liberation. So a very acute, incisive analysis is necessary of what is happening inside us, rather than of what we are doing outside us. We need not go on analyzing our outward conduct and activities as much as focusing on what is happening inside our consciousness."

It’s amazing how reading a paragraph can open your eyes. This next paragraph really brought everything full circle.

“Therefore the gaining of a control over the inward tendencies of our personality is a new system of educational refinement of ourselves, which has very little to do with what we regard as important in life, and which is completely different from all the values that we regard as meaningful in life. We get reborn into a new world altogether when we step into the path of yoga.”

I realized that I am continuing on my spiritual path, a path that is constantly revealing my true self. The avidya is being lifted and a self that is different than what I have known, what is considered “normal” in society, is emerging. Therefore, I felt if I posted this inward self-discovery on my blog, my friends and loved ones not on this spiritual path would judge me. But if I have learned anything at all, the judgment, the resistance comes from within.