JUST A NUMBER

I turn 40 in a couple of weeks & to celebrate am traveling to Spain at the end of June.  I’m not one of those people who dislikes getting older.  I found sobriety at 31 & ever since then, my life gets better & better.  I was a pretty unhappy lady in my 20’s (which I spent a fair amount of time in rehab), so there’s no wishing to go back for me, only forward.  I do however stroke into a big cringe upon remembering what it was like sometimes.  As it says in the “promises” portion of the Big Big on page 83:

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

I’m not there yet.  I’m good with the door to my past staying cemented shut UNLESS it will help someone else.  Maybe I’ll get to a better place with the cringe worthiness of what happened, but for now I will be consoled that at least if I share in a meeting or with a newcomer the mess I was compared to what I am now, it will give them hope.

I did steps 3 & 4 this past month.  Our sponsorship group had to compress them because none of us could meet last month.  I had never realized before how well the two steps intertwine.  If I manage to trust my HP fully I will turn all of my resentments over faster.  If I turn them over faster with more willingness my pain decreases leaps & bounds.  Step 4 is all about the work for me, the writing out of grievances.  I dislike the thinking about doing it, but I start to feel relief & am delivered of resentments right when I start writing about them.  It is both an Ahhhh & Duh moment.

I’ll meet with my sponsor next month to tell her all about my resentments, big & small.  When you do the work in the steps in AA life only gets better.  When we meet we’ll talk strategy about resentment patterns (most of them don’t change at least with me).  She’ll thankfully offer solutions that I’d never think of.  My HP will work through her.  I’m excited because I’m doing a little extra work on a subject I really have a hard time with.  I feel ready.  Well to be honest, I actually feel scared, stubborn, AND ready about it.  So we’ll see where it actually goes.  It takes what it takes.  I heard someone say in a meeting, time takes time.  I thought I’d heard all the sayings but I had never really heard that one before.  Works for spiritual growth so well.

We went to the Gilbert House in Salem a couple months ago, pics below.  We have to get very creative with stuff to do with all of this rain!  This rain lover is so ready for a big block of sunshine.

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My newest set of gentle yoga classes that I recently started teaching are going really well.  A year ago if someone would have asked me to sub a gentle class I would have either said no or panicked.  It feels really good to have done the hard work of sequencing, trial & error, asking for help (from teachers & students), & just showing up.  Now I am experiencing an ease with teaching the class although I’m not 100% comfortable.  Today I taught a free mini class & noticed that many of the people seemed more of the gentle variety & it felt pretty damn good to give them what they needed instead of only teaching whats in my comfort zone.

H & I are in a good spot, I feel comfortable turning 40, I’m looking forward to bright sunshine & Spain, yoga teaching is going really well, I’m in a really good place.  Oh yeah & I celebrated 9 years sober.  I can’t believe I remembered to mention this until the end of the post, but for me sobriety is a miracle each day although I do love to gather a couple of chips & speak at some meetings.  I’m just really, really grateful today for my whole life.  I don’t think I could say the same if I would have kept drinking for the last 9 years.

Wishing all of you & the world a sense of ease & forgiveness with your own pasts no matter how old you all are.

~Namaste.

 

 

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 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~

A PINK & GERMY CLOUD

H & I are flying solo (solo plus one?) for the next couple days, the parentals headed to Cannon Beach yesterday.  We will meet them there this week to C A M P, as in an actual tent.

I personally love camping, the last trip I went on was years ago was in Humbolt area.  Our camp was in the middle of all of these giant red trees, trees so vast that it got dark around 3pm because they blotted out the sun.  I always have this feeling of being so in the moment when I camp and I’m not overly worried about life.  It recharges me and gives me a new perspective.  Life is so simple, it revolves around just eating, visiting, and trying not to get eaten by bears or bugs.

Camping with a toddler though?  Huh, is all I have to say about that. I’ve come up with several mental plans as far as sleep and early wake up times but let’s all be honest, camping with a toddler will be full of unknown variables and absolutely impossible to contain or control.  Another life lesson for this girl who LOVES to control!  One of my step-sisters has a two year old, so I am grateful that I won’t be the only one toddler wrangling.  My parents and other family members will be there to help too.  There is a coffee shop that opens at 6am, a playground we can walk to, and I will pack tons of weapons, er, I mean tools.  There will be Annie’s goldfish galore, heavy duty wipes, a booster seat, apple sauce, toys that are cleanable, ect.  By ect. I mean like about 50 other things.  I will plan as much as I can like always….Hopefully I can sneak away for a yoga session by the ocean at some point.

Speaking of yoga, not that I’m counting or anything, but there were EIGHT people in attendance on Saturday.  There aren’t words to describe how happy that made me.  I was sick, I couldn’t do all of the movements even 70%, and I kept saying chaturanga for cobra, but it was SO  AWESOME.  In theory I have let go and let god, and tried not to get attached to the fruits of my labor, but in reality?  Damn, it felt good to see a healthy crowd out there.  Yoga, Wilsonville!  Yoga!  I am praying about if I will stay at that spot in September.  The weather will probably be nice during that month.  I’ve had issues with finding another spot although Parks & Rec has been very supportive.  I have felt a break in the former hostility felt about offering a class there, which could just be my own ignorance about what is really going on.

And since I was sick I made a decision to cancel the moms group last Friday.  I went to work and the free yoga sick, it wasn’t about that.  I do not want to be germy around babies, most of the moms bring their babes to the group.  So I was posting a cancel on FB when another mama who goes said that she would cover it.  Next week too while I’m camping, so the Mama Bear show will go on.

THEN, I got an email last week that Peaceful Dumpling had posted a post I had sent in!  Click here to read it.  It felt really good to have that happen, geez!  I may go on to submit more over there, I am pretty knocked out by the site.  It’s basically all about being well.

So sometimes life is hard and sometimes life is good.  I heard that early in sobriety.  Life gets good, gets hard, and then gets boring.  I wanted to drink before at each of those situations.  That is sobriety, dealing with life as it is without taking a drink.  Feeling good, being sober, also known as a pink cloud.  What do you hear when you come in?  They don’t last.

I have hoarded thousands of pictures on my camera and am in the process of putting them on cds and deleting.  The following are random ones I liked as I was sorting through:

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I’ve been thinking a lot about self care and what to do when sick.  My sponsor said her sponsor used to always ask her, what have you done for self care today?  I’ve been going to bed early, scaling my practice back, drinking a lot of tea, eating well, sitting a lot, and pausing half way on the stairs.  I am not good at scaling back or sitting.  I would prefer to DO.

I think it is growth if I listen to my body and let it have the chance to recover from a sickness.  I am trying even though it is hard for me.  Another subject for another post.

So here we come dirt, possible toddler melt downs, and bugs!  Life is up and down and unexpected.  I am so GRATEFUL for that today.  I am grateful that I remember everything the next day as well.

Peace & love to you all!

Xo

SOCIAL MEDIA & ME

I’ve recently been having a complicated relationship with social media.  Me, who quit Facebook back in 2012.  Me, who keeps a private Instagram, my only social media account.  I am now the proud facilitator of three Instagram accounts, two Pinterests, one Twitter, and four Facebook accounts.  These include work accounts that I regularly (except Twitter which gets ignored quite often!) post on.

What..is..going..on…  That’s what I would like to know.  How did I get to the place of checking each page, logging out under one password to log back in with another, and obsessing over ways to plug, plug, plug.  I am not some type of marketer.  Most of the social media I’ve begun, I am not getting paid for.  So why am I doing it?

Because it makes me feel good.

And not in the watching Netflix all night while eating ice cream kind of way (although that is a well spent night in my opinion).  It makes me feel good to be doing stuff for others.  I haven’t had a sponsee since I moved here, so the moms group I started and the free yoga I’m about to start is giving me a deep feeling of usefulness in this world.  I am not advancing my career or able to buy a house, but I do feel pretty darn good about where I fit into the world right now.

Social media can be weird, it’s a lot of stimulation.  I hope it evens out over time.  I keep racking my brain about who else I can ask to plug my free yoga.  I keep emailing people.  My thoughts run in threes most of the time.  Thinking three things at once is too much.  I’ve also been teetering between ignoring the fact that I will be teaching yoga on a weekly basis, to being overwhelming scared of it.  This Thursday.  What if no one shows up?  This is my fear.  I have to remember I’ve done the footwork.  It’s up to the universe what happens next.  I’m glad I began the Mama Bear Group first.  No one showed up on my first try.  Last week and the week before, four besides me showed.  That was enough.  If that many show up for yoga, I will be fine.  In two weeks it moves from Thursdays to Saturdays as well.  This will help.  I am obsessing about it.  Thank goodness for meditation and yoga.  This has been calming my anxiety about teaching.

Something crazy happened at work.  I was hungry and trying to be patient for the lunch our office was going to at a local restaurant.  Somewhere between sitting down and ordering I had that ancient feeling of being high, I realized that my blood sugar must have just plummeted.  I zipped my lip, I know when I get loopy like that it’s best not to talk.  I did my best to act as if, I nodded a bunch and inserted half words here and there.  As it usually happens the topic of conversation got turned towards alcohol, like what they were going to drink, how much, and how they didn’t like it when they drank too much.  Suddenly one of my co-workers turned to me and said, you don’t really drink do you Liz?  And what did I say?  What could I have said?  I can tell you now.  I could have just said, no!  I fully blame the low blood sugar, there was zilch of pausing and praying, I blurted, actually I’m in AA, I’ve been sober for about 7 years.  Luckily no food had been served yet to them, their mouths plummeted open.  I immediately thought, what did you just say!  You’ve worked with them for a year and not a peep!  Why now?  I certainly didn’t feel like it was necessary.  Necessary is if someone needs help.  I will share anything in that case.

It may come back to bite me later, but the strangest thing happened.  I felt a softness from them.  And then they got vulnerable and started telling me their stories as relates to alcohol.  The food came, we ate, my brain was restored.  They asked for more details, it’s never hard for me to convince someone I should not drink.  All I have to do is tell them one story of what it was like.  It was not pretty.  Again, I don’t know if this will be a good thing in the long run, but it just happened.  It’s like letting my son eat on his own or paint.  Jam and colors everywhere, life gets messy sometimes.  I’m not perfect, and I gotta roll with it.  It was actually funny to me that it happened.

Here is the yoga flier I made:

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I went to the Wilsonville Art Festival last Sunday.  The student art blew me away, very impressive.  H and I had fun, looking at art, playing on the play structure, and eating ice cream.  Being a mom is the coolest thing ever sometimes.  Other pics are from the area surrounding the meeting I love on Wednesdays.  Two weeks ago I drove around after the meeting so I could just pray.  I was taken aback by how serene it was.  I love that I live in a place where I can just drive and find so much beauty only 5 minutes away.

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The inexpensive area.

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Indeed.

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There is a person there picking something. I could not figure out what they were doing and did not want to spook them.

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Life is all a lot right now and very beautiful if that in any way makes sense.  It is full and good.  I am so grateful to be in a position to give to others.  I really hope that I can help.  My teacher Jen would say, do your best and don’t get attached to the fruits of your labor.

If you think of it please send me good vibes these next months to the tune of teaching yoga well.  I’m at the cliff, I’m stepping off!

AN END TO A BEGINNING

Buckle seat belts kids, this is gonna be a long post…

Yesterday was my last day at teacher training with Three Sisters Yoga.  It was hard to meditate (we start out our weekend mornings meditating for 30 minutes) both days.  On Saturday I was teaching my co-students for 15 minutes.  On Sunday, most of us were presenting our karma yoga projects.  Both mornings my mind was abuzz about what I was going to do and say.  I tried to meditate but the planner in me would not shut up!  The 15 minute class went well.  I have to backup to define well.  Last weekend I received some constructive criticism that I wrote about in my last post.  I wasn’t loud or confident enough.  I took it to heart, it weighed me down.  I brought it up to our master teacher, Jen Whinnen (whom by the way is AWESOME) and she set my heart at rest.  I was telling my mom that night, you know how you hear what you didn’t even know you needed to hear from someone?  In a nutshell she basically said that I am enough, if I’m not confident, so what?  Teach until I am.  Keep going, keep trying.  She told me to stand up right there and teach everyone tree pose.  This was the last thing I wanted to do.  She said to stand up taller.  She said, tell them how to do the pose as if you are doing the pose.  C L I C K.  I immediately forgot all of my weakness in teaching and became excited about telling them how I do the pose.  Bravo.  You got this girl past a hump.  I related the class on Saturday to how I would move through the class.  I also spoke the mantra of: C A N.  And I read a quote about fear at the end.  I might as well speak to the fear of teaching while I’m teaching right???  While I read the quote I felt myself tearing up.  It was:

“I will not die an unlived life.  I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.  I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.

~Dawna Markova

I bumbled a couple of times, still wasn’t loud enough, and forgot/was afraid to walk around the room.  At one point I paused and everyone waited expectantly and I had a anxious moment thinking, they’re all relying on ME!  But I did many things well, and I have new faith and hope that I will get better and better.  Something was planted deep inside me somehow.  I want to help people do yoga.  It’s that simple, no bells.  I have a desire to be a yoga teacher.  These declarations make my soul feel light.  I just have to finish the rest of my coursework and blogging commitment, and then folks, I can get my official certification.  We went over the business of yoga the last weekend too, aka $$$.  I ascertained that I will definitely need to maintain a secondary income + yoga.  Why?  Because financial insecurity freaks me out.  And that’s okay too.

On Saturday, straight out of the studio I got into a car accident.  I’ve only been in one other one in my life, and that was in like 2005.  It was strange to feel that metal on metal connection.  I had a hard time driving around today, I felt on guard the whole time.  Yes, I said driving, so obviously my car is drivable which is a good thing.  To go back to the beginning, I was in the most left handed lane on a four laned, one wayer.  The car in the lane to the right of me decided to make a left hand turn.  YUP.  Right in front of little ole me.  I tried to slam on my brakes but he was just too close.  The kicker?  Out pops this tall older man wearing a clerical collar.  He was a charismatic episcopalian priest.  Wha…?  We had an interesting conversation about a higher power (his much different than mine, of course), addiction, and faith.  He was nice enough to stay with me till the tow came.  It was strange.  I was initially shocked by the accident, but rolled with first things first after that.  AA has just taught me to do the next right thing.  I was bushwhacked by the time I got home two hours later.  I really missed H.   It will be so nice to spend more time with him.

I presented my karma project on Sunday, it has been an effort over the past month, I found a space to hold a mama’s support group at the local library.  I wanted to do some service work that was close to my heart.  First meeting this Friday, I hope some mamas that need a break and some companionship will show up!  After I presented, my head was in the clouds.  I kept trying to pull myself back to earth, I wanted to be very present since it was our last day together at the studio.  It was the last time we would all be just what we had been these past 6 weeks.  That right there will never be reproduced!  I wanted to soak in it.  We went to Pho to all eat together.  I seriously couldn’t believe how well we all got along.  I had not felt that easy with other women since my peeps in Long Beach.  It was such a rich feeling, I felt very grateful.

My head kept floating.  I just kept thinking about seeing my parents and H, about them seeing where I had spent so much time.  All the family members arrived.  It was great to see everyone with their loved ones.  There were a bunch of kids!  H wanted to be in the middle of the action, he doesn’t have much fear in that department.  He’s still small though, so we had to watch him.

Our teacher had us introduce one another to our loved ones which was cool.  We all had nice and loving things to say about each other.  She christened us with our own set of mala beads.  I used mine already.  Namaha Lakshmi.  Abundance.  I will seriously miss the camaraderie we’ve all built together, but I will also seriously love having more time back.  A couple of the women are moving out of OR soon.  I’ll miss our teacher.  I’ll really miss her knowledge.  We had a walking, breathing yoga manual next to us!  Google has nothing on her.  And I’ll miss her giant wing of compassion she spread over us these past weeks.  Hold the space, she said.  She definitely held the space we were in.

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This was the light in the bathroom, I just had to include it. Too cool.

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Peace, love, and namaste.

UPSIDE DOWN

I have been obsessed with inversions and arm balancing poses for the last two weeks thanks to these two.  They are a gravity defying yogi-couple and you can’t help but be inspired by them.  I’ve been hopping into hand stand, forearm standing and hand standing against the wall, and rocking forward to balance on my hands (there are no actual ‘holds’ in these poses just yet!).  A couple days in a row I literally kept walking from the living room to the dining room wall (that wall being the appointed yoga inversion wall of course) every half hour.  H giggled at the sight and there may have been some eye rolling as well.  It’s really hard to catch a baby at eye rolling.

I have fallen sideways and face planted often.  The crazy thing about yoga is that there is a high possibility that I may stick it eventually.  But I know that I have to have all these wonky attempts in order to nail the pose.  I can’t have that perfect one without all of the others.

I went back to work and was kneeling down, looking for a file.  I creaked my head to look down an inch and T W I S T.  Searing pain jolted through the back of my neck and down my shoulder and back, only through the left side.

Possibly too many hand stands.  Possibly too much time spent upside down.  My body just ain’t used to it yet!  The pain healed itself magically on the drive home that day, but I can still feel it.  Pain or no it feels good to be inspired.  Two weeks ago I hated hand stands.  Now they are a new adventure.  I’ve been doing more yoga on my own and in the studio as well.  Holding H feels as light as air.  Thanks yoga.

My early start to the blogging gig for yoga teacher training flipped itself sideways on me as well.  Simply put, one of the teachers who is guiding me through the process wrote me an email about what they are looking for.  It wasn’t mean or critical at all but it freaked me out.  Classically I immediately overcompensated.  I went to Starbucks and powered out three posts and emailed them to her.  I went home and sent her another idea.  Two days later I wrote another and sent it to her.  All the while I was absolutely certain she would hate all of it.  I became depressed.  I sat on the couch, netflixed, and ate too much of something after H slept.  I stopped writing.  I stopped doing yoga.

I’ve been sober for almost 7 years, this isn’t my first run at a short and temporary bout of depression.  It used to totally freak me out at first.  It was all I could do to stay sober.  Then, if it’s possible I became good at taking care of myself when I was depressed.  I developed that inner monologue.  I told myself to just get through today.  Tomorrow will be a new day.  I followed the whole, stay sober no matter what thing.  I told myself, I love you, even though I felt the complete opposite.

And it still gets me.  I am an alcoholic.  I used to use booze to make me feel better.  I can’t do that today, rather I choose to not to do that today.

I have changed.  It used to be all dark.  Now the lights only get shut off once in a while.  I can even be very Pollyanna-ish a lot of the time.  But there remains the spiraling darkness that swirls up and pulls me in.  I don’t believe in anything for a while.  Nothing makes sense.  I don’t like myself.  That is the core of it.  I don’t like myself and I can’t forgive or get over something that I’ve done.  I wish I could be as easy on myself as I am with my friends, H, or my family.  If H cries or gets upset I think that he just doesn’t understand something or he’s tired.  I’m not given this mercy.  I’m not allowed to have an ‘off’ day.

Show me a sign, I prayed to my Higher Power.  Show me a sign to know I’m on the right path with this blogging thing.  Kind of a contingency type of prayer, not one I say very often.

I found this blog right after I gave birth.  I have never really liked or read blogs before, I equated them all with mindless fluff like about fashion or recipes.  I don’t know how I stumbled upon this blog, but I’m so glad I did.  I read it during some hard moments right after H was born, and it was a real comfort to me.  The originator of the blog was having a comment contest.  I commented.  I won!  Was that my sign?  I don’t know but I’ll just say it is.  It definitely gave me a jolt of needed encouragement.  My winnings, the book, Steal Like an Artist:

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My teacher got back to me with a reassuring email and all of my anxieties popped like the frail, unsubstantial fancies that they were.  I feel like the writing thing will be hard and frustrating at times.  I hope it will be rewarding.  I will just have to take it like my sobriety, one day at a time.  Lessons learned (re-learned)?  Facts not feelings.  Acceptance is the answer here even if that means accepting myself as I am right now:

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation-some fact of my life -unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.

-BB page 417

My 7 years approaches.  I am nervous that I signed up to chair at the new meeting I attend.  I remember in the weeks right before I turned one, I rehearsed what I was going to say when I got my coin.  I’m doing the same thing with this meeting.  I want to sound humble and intelligent.  I want them to like me.  I try to remember that it’s all about the newcomer but my ego is super loud.  I want to sound, “cool.”  Cool in an AA meeting!  Pretty funny.  No matter what I say or how my ego gets involved it will keep me sober and on the right path.  Hopefully I can speak from my heart.

My first assignment is due this Thursday!  My first day of yoga school is this Thursday!  It’s beginning!  Evidence of my practice and studying below plus new entries in pink (my calender color) on our calender:

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It’s *ahem* been a while since I’ve used a highlighter other than for work!

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Yoga ready, freshly painted toes.

And other shenanigans, tooling around outside in the sun and rain, enjoying the Easter decorations at home, attempts to pilfer items in the refrigerator:

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H A P P Y  E A S T E R !!!