September 26, 2011

Inner Landscaping - Outer Curb Appeal

What is it about fall and cooler weather (ok so not this week but you know what I mean) that inspires.  All of a sudden I find myself wanting to paint my walls, change my house or merely seeking something to let my creative juices flow.  This need for change, cleaning out, or just simply pruning away can be dangerous as I'm struck with an impulse to get rid of everything and work with a blank canvas (so not part of my eco-friendly lifestyle).  I have painted a couple of walls and nothing is turning out how I envisioned. As a matter fact, I am indecisive about where to go next. I read once your inner landscape is how you view your outer world. Introspectively, what inside is painting my outer world? What is sprouting the need for clearing or even the indecisiveness? Is it just simply so new inspiration can flourish? I think I will take this creativity to the mat and just allow myself to play and explore.  Maybe some flying pigeon or some good old fashion flowing without a game plan.  Meditating and going inward quietly awaiting the message.

How does your inner landscape paint your outer world?

September 19, 2011

Lemons, Cards & Water - oH mY

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade.  You play the cards your dealt? That's what they say...right?  When ever life gives me "lemons" I start to recall what I have been asking (praying, cultivating etc) for.  Well I'm stumped.  We have had 2 or so inches of water covering our bathroom and closet, a spilled product all over the laundry room, and now the car is leaking water out of the dashboard.  Totaling a lot of warped wood, wet carpet and devoted time to operation clean it all up.  Sigh... I have prayed for water to aid in this drought, I have been trying to cultivate balance, and I always ask for patience.  I have also been looking at those baseboards wanting them to look newer or at least painted.  I hear you up there - message received.  I'm working on it but boy do I feel a new found irritation for water in this regard and would appreciate water from the perspective of rain that would help fill the lake and quench the thirst of our Texas soil.  I realize this is somewhat specific and selfish and ultimately it's not something I can control. I must surrender to a higher power all the while learning from the cards I am dealt (oh and I don't always have to be happy about that hand sometimes you have to throw out all the cards and start from scratch even if you loose a turn). I don't really play cards so I may be reaching here.

This week I am embracing my limitations (inflexibility) on the mat so that I can feel ultimate freedom (thank you Mandy for the reminder). I am also focusing on action and balance AHA balanced action.  I smell arm balances and inversions possibly coupled with some drop back work (might as well continue to utilize this heat and the practice of chiseling away fear).  My mat needs to see my commitment to playing (attitude), balanced action and ultimately freedom.  From my heart to yours...

September 12, 2011

why hello light...what have you done to the dark

Sometimes (ok all the time) I have ideas pop into my head of things I would like to write about or an update I'd like to post to facebook.  For those of you who don't know, I have an aversion to facebook.  Why I have no idea.  I mean I LOVE reading what other's post as it gives me a sense of connection.  For instance, I can still be apart of there lives even though they live so very far away and have drifted apart. It also allows me to keep up to date on my favorite yoga teacher's and what they have going on. Some of my favorite updates are the nuggets of wisdom sewn in that make my day brighter. For all of you facebookers and you know who you are - thank you!  Yet I still find myself hesitating or not posting.  Anyway this is so not about my facebook crazies! I do think I should seek help on this matter.  Whatcha got for me?

I was thinking yesterday about how much light I have in my life.  How much joy and utter gratitude there is in this life.  I am fully cognizant that pain and suffering exist and darkness can inspire.  My husband and I were deciding on what documentary we were going to watch when I finally said "please no darkness not today I need love and inspiration!" So we watched a documentary on marathoners.  *Check* I am inspired and grateful for this amazing body that allows me to do so much. It may not agree to anything over 4 miles on the track but it's 4 miles!!!  We have so much to give and live so I thought about these buckets of gratitude and intention.  These ways we tether ourselves to the light...

Ways I see the light (aka gratitude and grace):
1. My child hugging our dog sweetly when no one sees
2. The same child crawling through the doggie door with a smile as big as the sea
3. My oldest figuring out something on her own then the glee in her eye at her own accomplishment of something she thought not available to her
4. My husband's hands on my shoulders. They feel strong and loving as he bends down to kiss my head
5. A cul-de-sac filled with kids doing what they do best - playing coupled with parents gathered around talking - a true since of community

When darkness falls:
1. Holding space for whatever that is
2. Not shutting off the pain all the while knowing the only thing that is permanent is impermanence
3. Knowing you can talk to people you love and feeling secure in doing so even if it doesn't change the circumstance
4. Security knowing there is a higher power at work (no matter what your religious beliefs) - cultivating love and non attachment
5. Giving yourself permission to stay in your pj's curled up in the fetal position with the lights out maybe after just throwing a temper tantrum tissues near by as the flood begins (what don't judge) :).

Days / Weeks Intentions:
1. Smooch my children and hold on a little longer
2. Acknowledge my husband and all he does and gives
3. Yoga, Yoga, Yoga both physical, mental and emotional - this includes self care
4.  Stillness, reflection, and time to open my heart and receive love from God
5. Write a blog post :)

Things that make you obnoxiously laugh out loud full volume:
1. A young child wearing bigger than adult size sun glasses with the glass part taken out (picture nerd but so much cuter)
2. Friend's musings about life
3. My students feeling comfortable enough to tell me we are on the wrong foot again and then mocking the way I say something
4. Dry humor tv or books
5. Inappropriate things like people falling (not getting hurt of course) I think that's more a nervous laugh

Thing's that make me cry:
1. Inspiring stories or intense times of gratitude
2. Heart felt books, movies or real stories about people, animals etc.
3. My child or love one performing
4. Honestly I am not a cryer so I will have to fill in more later

Fill in your blanks or share some of the buckets with us if your so inclined. How do you tether yourself to the light?  I truly love hearing from you...thank you for stopping by :).

September 5, 2011

Where'd It go?

My dear friend Heather has so graciously agreed to write a guest post for us.  She just moved here from New Orleans and the Austin Yoga Community could not be luckier.  She has been teaching yoga in New Orleans and I hope each of you has the pleasure of flowing with her sometime.  With endless gratitude...

It seems as if we've all found ourselves too busy to practice asana (poses) at one time or another.  My first lapse was after Hurricane Katrina.  Prior to the storm, I would spend the cooler morning hours on my balcony, practicing as the birds flew past and the nearby Mississippi River port creaked her early morning complaints.  When my husband, dogs and I evacuated, I took enough yoga clothes for a few days, my mat, and a book on butterfly gardening.  My husband packed a few clothes, his video camera and laptop, while the dogs brought their beds, leashes, treats, and blankets.  It still amazes me that in the face of losing so much, we took so little.  I had no idea how long my practice would be set aside or how much it would mean to find it unscathed beneath the rubble.

A couple of years later, we began rebuilding our home.  Life in a construction zone propelled me toward a neighborhood yoga studio.  The return to asana was akin to reuniting with an old friend.  Like any good friend, she harbored no ill feelings toward my absence.  She understood completely... other aspects of life demanded my full attention.  She made it clear that she would be there no matter what and that she would never hold my choices or circumstances against me.

Most recently, my husband, dogs, cat and I sold our home in New Orleans and moved to Austin.  Months were spent on ladders, painting every inch of our old home to prep it for sale.  Hours slipped by working in the garden. Carpenters helped finish longstanding projects.  We received an offer the first day the home was listed.  Packing ensued.  We hired movers, looked for a place to live and made plans to settle into a new environment.

Again, the swift change of current allowed the practice to escape me.  Had I placed it in a box and taped it closed without labeling it?  Would I ever find it again? Did the movers accidentally ship it to the wrong address? Would I even be able to touch my toes by the time I got it back?  I was met with anxiety, which worsened day by day.  Guilt set in, then resentment because I felt guilty about not practicing, followed by inertia, despair, crankiness... (you get the point) when finally, it occurred to me that asana had provided the strength and focus to prepare the home, to precariously balance on twelve foot ladders, paint ceilings, lift furniture, and gain the courage (albeit shaky) to step into the unknown.  I'd been practicing the entire time.

I arrived in Austin untethered and slightly wild-eyed, but life returned to a pace that allowed me to swim to shore and engage in daily physical practice.  I soon found myself drawn to grounding restorative classes and slow-moving vinyasa, my roots spread a bit deeper despite the foreign soil, and, just as promised, my old friend was there to greet me with open arms.