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~

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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~