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.

 

 

PROFESSIONAL YOGA DRIVER

I went bouldering (will have to write a separate post on that subject!) yesterday before I was to sub a class at the Y.  My head was in the clouds as I typed in a search for the YMCA in the town I teach in.  I drove there feeling very full, mentally, spiritually, & physically satiated, a feeling that I’ve been getting a lot of lately.  As it was, my mind wasn’t so much on earth as in the clouds.  I may have not been paying too much attention to anything, including where I was driving.

Low & behold I had chosen the search for the Y’s office instead of the actual gym.  The anxiety hit, I was in North Portland & I was going to be late!  For some reason at every veerrrryyy long stop light I kept applying more & more of the essential oils I keep in my car (had to do something, right?): patchouli & lavender.  I usually dab on a few drops before class, I always liked it when my teachers smelled like essential oils.

I arrived only 4 minutes late, luckily there’s a dance class in the same room prior & it always takes about 4 or so minutes for people to shuffle on out & shuffle on in.

It’s a big class, 20-30 usually & I didn’t have time (or forethought) to remind about props which added to my irritation.  I just put on the mic, the music, & started rolling with it.  This class is unusual for me too because they are used to being split down the middle.  What is that, you ask?  I instruct from the center side of the long side of the rectangular room.  Yogis on one side of the rectangle face inward.  Yogis on the other side face inward towards the other yogis.  So, split up into two parts, each half of the room facing towards the middle.

This usually ain’t too big of a thing, but this particular weeks sequence called for many rounds of facing towards the back of the room, or in this case, backs of their mats.

Biggest issue in a nutshell:  Once we made this flip, one half of the room couldn’t see me.  I’ve been on that end in a class before & it sucks to be the one in the front whom everyone is watching now since they can’t see the teacher.

I was already feeling pretty flummoxed being late & seeing some wild looks towards me added to my feeling of nervousness.  Thankfully I’ve experienced these types of situations before teaching, so I knew where to go.  Slow down Liz.  Slow down class.  Everyone into childs pose.  Everyone through this flip flop sequence again, this time SLOWLY.  This time with a bunch of cues.  This time with me switching from each side of the room, of course so they could see me.

They got it.  & then I was thrown again briefly.  Where’s the fun if teaching when it’s super easy, right?!?

During another childs pose resting sesh, a student popped right up, walked over to me & whispered furtively, Can you like turn the scent off?

Me:  The scent? 

Her:  Yeah, it’s like there’s a Scentsy or something being piped into the room. 

Me:  It’s me.

Her in disbelief:  No.

There wasn’t too much to talk about after that standstill so she went back to her mat.  Remember all of those essential oils I had been washing myself in nervously during stop lights?  I went on teaching, flip it on back people, flip it forward, you got it?  Me too, & yes I do smell like a giant Scentsy product alright?  Alright.  Breathe.

Back to anxiety fueled driving, there is this length of street in Long Beach south of downtown called 4th street.  Lots to do & see on 4th street, also it’s really difficult not to hit an actual person while coasting down this stretch.  My room mate at the time & I started referring to it as the, ‘obstacle course.’  Did you know that in Long Beach (other places too, I’m sure, this is just the only place I’ve seen this happen) it’s perfectly acceptable to walk into oncoming traffic?  Yes, yes it is.  Pedestrians have the roads, the roads are owned by them.  Many times I would haltingly stop in from of one to watch them meander, yes slowly walk across and if I was really lucky they would shoot me a look as if to say, what?!  At which I would of course smile & nod & wait patiently for them to get out of the way.

A year into sobriety my beater car broke down & I rode the bus for a couple of months.  I didn’t want a car payment but I was over the bus after those months so I broke down and made it to the Toyota dealership.  I purchased 2004 Toyota Corolla with 1400 miles on it in 2009.  Said car below:

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Best car I have ever owned, it now has 130,000 miles on it & is still going strong.  Which is great since as a yoga teacher I do A LOT of driving.  Which my all my driving around the obstacle course in Long Beach really prepared me for.  Now, I just have to lay off the oils.

Will post pics from H’s 3rd birthday on next post!

Hoping everyone out there in blog land is doing well.  Keep rolling with it.  Keep it up & things will always shift if you need them to.

Peace, love & namaste~

 

PALATE CLEANSE

H’s sickness finally cleared & we have been feeling like normal again.  My new gig works out great as I can check him into the child care area while I teach (!).  We drive on a curvy road in the woods on the edge of town & I always appreciate how the purity of nature cleanses the palate of my soul.

There have been day long breaks in the weather so that has been very helpful, allowing us to get out & explore & play.  Must haves in the toddler world.

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Routine always makes me feel more sane.  Recently I began to go back to the women’s meeting I used to go to all the time.  I also added a new noon meeting.  In sobriety I’ve never been the type to go to the same meetings all of the time.  I will find a meeting I love & go to it for years, but I also find it helpful to switch things up from time to time.  Sometimes you just need it.  Palate cleansing as well.

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I love my yoga gigs & I’ve been subbing A LOT, which is great.  I remember yoga teachers mentioning to me when I first started teaching that burn out is inevitable.  It made me feel sad hearing that, like c’mon I’m just starting out here, & it also felt very far away.  Some classes, as I call out the trillionth vinyasa it can feel that way, overly repetitive, or even meaningless.  Some weeks I’m tired & I don’t ‘feel’ like teaching (which can be true of any job, I’m sure!).   At the worst times I feel like I’m letting students down, or that my classes aren’t good enough.  Or those classes where 2 people show up & instead of not even noticing it, it bothers me.

I luckily don’t feel that way to often.  I can usually remember that every student HAS their own specific yoga practice.  Their soul tells them what they need, if they listen, & it’s not up to me to be yoga for them.  Yoga is yoga & I’m just a guide.  I know this as truth because when I go to a class it takes a rather lot for me to dislike anything the teacher does.  I have my own personal practice so the teacher’s cues are always filtered through that first.  I try to remind students of this, for them to do their OWN thing.  It’s their practice & it’s a sacred thing because it’s so unique.

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Just yesterday I went to breakfast with another teacher who happens to be my friend, & then I also went to Portland to meet two teacher training buddies.  We took a Hatha class & then went to get some desert.  Yoga + friends + desert.  Good combo, right?  I should make a t-shirt.

As I strive for balance as a single mom, making time to hang out with friends is never a priority.  I have to fight for it tooth & nail, fight my schedule, fight for child care (thank you endlessly parents), & the biggest fight is with myself.  To remind myself that I need some time with my buddies.  I need to speak.  I need to hear.  I need to laugh!

We had such a good time.  It feels so good to have people in your life that you don’t feel defensive around, you can say something silly & everyone laughs instead of judging.

I had that in Long Beach with so many sober women.  The biggest change is that most of my friends here are normies.  It’s definitely different but good.  I do have a couple of sober women I am close with & that’s okay.

This cleanses my palate too.

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It’s a big accomplishment for me when I can follow the route of self care.  I know it also makes me a better person/mom/friend/daughter/ect.

Looking forward to more of it while grateful living in the present.  Wishing some self care to all of you, especially if you think it’s too hard right now.  You need it!

~Namaste.

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

 

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

 

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~

HUSTLE & FLOW

So I haven’t really been hustling.  Hustling for me would be working until you fall into bed at 1am, only to wake up at 5am to start again.  So it hasn’t been that.  It’s been a flow-like hustle, if that makes any sense.  Life flows.  Wake up to, mama, mama, feed the little bear, change a poopy, nap (him not me), yoga, write, crochet (making crocheted presents for Christmas this year), look for yoga gigs, follow up on yoga gigs, walk with little bear, feed him again, change another poopy, go to my yoga apprenticeship, read in bed while drinking tea, and goodnight.  Taking care of H during the day seems like such a lazy thing but when I really stop to think about it, it’s not.  It’s a bunch of tiny little tasks that make up mama hood, it really is.

The apprenticeship has been going beyond well.  Every time I’m there I think, is this really my life?  I was also invited to the staff’s holiday party which made me feel giddy.  I’m going to a party with actual yoga teachers, I have been telling people in amazement.  My thrall annoys even me, don’t worry I am aware of how dorky I am.  Why not enjoy it while it lasts though?  I’ve learned a lot there.  Especially interesting how a couple of my mentors use imagery and stories during class.  Also I’ve been going to my main mentor’s back to back classes, the first is all level Vinyasa and the second is Basic Hatha.  She teaches with the same lesson for both, just modifies per the class.  I got to check out her lesson plan book and read whichever classes I wanted to.  I went out and bought mine and started writing in my classes.

AND, pending that I get my CPR certificate next week I will be teaching a demo class (a whole class in a studio!) on 10/29.  It will be open to the community, it’s a free class so I hope some regulars will be there.  I’ve really valued what my main mentor has taught me about being prepared for class:  go early and practice.  In my case, I can practice at home.  It really makes a difference.  I had an audition last week, they are interested in hiring someone who can teach Power Vinyasa.  I practiced and practiced and I felt really confident.  Who cares if I said, fix your gaze upon your Drishti, that piece of dirt on the ground that’s not moving.  Uh.  Waiting to hear back from them in the hopes they saw beyond me mentioning how there was dirt on their studio floor, lol.  Just for the record the floor was not dirty, I have no idea why I said that.

H’s other grandma came for a visit.  It was good to have her here, she is IN LOVE with that boy and wanted to babysit a ton for me.  I got to go meet with a sponsee, do a bunch of yoga, and even went to see a movie with AA peeps.  I’m very grateful that she really wants to be a part of his life, she flies out here a lot to see him.  H loves spending time with her.  She takes him on three hour walks and lets him walk, climb, or crawl almost anywhere he wants.  Toddler paradise.

It’s been colder here which has been nice.  It rained this past weekend and at one point there was a huge windy downpour, all of the rain blowing sideways.  I had a sideways moment myself pretty soon after that.  Man, my head is so LOUD sometimes.  Loud and believable.  I got called on to share when I was right in the middle of it and all I could really say was how low my self esteem was and that even though I felt so bad I have been there before and know that it will pass.  Sometimes I don’t have the wise shares.  I’d rather be honest and get some relief.  Some friends invite me out for desert after and I went.  Never underestimate the power of simple human interaction.  It felt good to just sit, eat sugar, and laugh.  The feelings and loud head has since passed like it always does.  This is why I love AA so much.  It taught me to just sit tight.  A drink will solve a loud head temporarily only.  I really strive toward being comfortable in my on skin.

And speaking of sugar, our household is on a no sugar challenge until Halloween.  We get stickers for every day that we don’t eat sugar.  I asked my step-dad what the reward is for getting straight stickers and he said, you get to eat sugar on Halloween.  Ha.  It will be interesting to see if I last and if I can bounce back on if I sugar relapse.

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Halloween approaches.  I am very excited for it but am trying to live in the moment.  H is going to be a bear, same as last year.  For some reason I bought two bear costumes in different sizes when he was just three months old.  There is a gathering in our neighborhood and then I am so very interested to see how he acts during trick or treating!  I’m so excited!  It’s hard to live in the moment all of the time, ack.  And AA is having a speaker, potluck, and dance later that night.  Fun, fun, fun.

I hope all of you are enjoying Fall so far.  I wish the best for you as the holidays approach.

Love and light.

~Namaste.

I DREAM IN YOGA

I began my apprenticeship with a local studio which included a 30 minute audition.  I was a fan of just getting a yoga gig and running with it, but this apprenticeship has been the bee’s knees so far.  Don’t know the difference between something?  Ask a yoga teacher.  Confused about sequencing?  Ask a yoga teacher.  Wondering how to teach different levels at the same time?  You guessed it.  Ask a yoga teacher.  I also get to go to all of my mentor’s classes which is awesome because why?  I love yoga.  I still do.  There are many, many things in my life that I’ve started and stopped, but 10 years later yoga isn’t one of them.  I’m sure someday I will get disillusioned by it, or need a bit of a break.  Before I walked into one of the sessions last week my head said to me, go hard.  What’s that about, I’m not some type of pro athlete and I’m pretty sure I would have formally made fun of someone who uttered that statement.  I just want to put in the work it takes to become a yoga teacher.  I guess you could say I’m motivated.

But of course fears and doubts still plague me.  What ifs pop up in abundance in my mind at different times.  The baby weight is still abundant in spots (when do I have to just call it plain old weight again?).  I have moments of blank sheer panic when I’m teaching.  That statement my master teacher so timefully shared during training rings my ears raw, I’m enough.  I wonder.  Am I?

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The mentor teachers have been fabulous.  I come to them with all of my questions and concerns.  They return with deep compassion.  So, so far good.  Hard but good, of course they only way something is when it’s worth trying for.  I taught free yoga yesterday and already see a huge difference in where my focus is.  I made mistakes and they felt a little softer too.  I’m silently verbalizing sequences in my head constantly while driving, or while falling asleep at night.  I’m to teach the last 5 minutes of a class (an actual class!) tomorrow.  Baby steps.  It wasn’t long ago that I mentioned a great fear of auditioning at an actual studio.  Fears are meant to be walked (or crawled) through.

See pics of rain, early morning putzing, and apple picking above.  One of my friend’s had a whole bucket of apples (while taking care of a newborn!) by the time I had just a couple.  And yay, more RAIN.  Another week of apprenticing, mothering, and putzing lays ahead of me.  I wish you all an abundant and peaceful week.

~Love & namaste.

OH CANADA PART 1

H and I just got back from a trip to Canada, specifically Sooke, BC.  I won a gift certificate at work last Christmas to stay in any of these Canadian chains of hotels.  I learned very quickly after exciting the ferry that Sooke is not pronounced, “Sookie,” but like the zook in gadzooks.  Sook.  It looks like it should be pronounced Sookie, but you will definitely get a weird vibe from locals if you do not pronounce it correctly.  Sooke (repeat out loud: Soooook, if you are still reading it as Sookie in your head) is about 40 minutes up from Victoria.  It seemed silly to get passports for H and I, and take a ferry to the edge of Canada, but I’m all for taking some small adventures.  Originally the name was actually, “T’sou-ke,” for the first nation there, first nation being what Canadians would term what we would call Native Americans.  Sooke is situated across from a harbour (ocean running in) and northern Sooke, which is a curly cue extension of land running in a kind of c-shape.  Really, look it up on a map, it is a bit hard to describe.  Or check out the view from our room.  We’re on the main Sooke side, the harbour is next, and then you see north Sooke on the other side.  This view changed with the time of day.  It was quite exquisite to watch:

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The ferry sitch was rough.  I was late and not knowing what to expect, I hustled all our stuff and H in the stroller and booked it to the ticket window.  You have to drive on, the attendant said.  I went into mom freak out mode, I knew H would bawl and I did not want to unload everything back in the car.  So I asked if someone could drive my car on for me (yes I did!) and if I could just walk onto the ferry.  This was a bad idea as getting up and above from the car area is only accessible by stairs, the vessel was build in 1959.  They obliged me anyways and it all worked out.  My car was the last car out and as I was chasing after a toddler during the hour and a half ride to Canadian soil, I did not think to go potty, er, to the bathroom.  Soooo, I had to pee very badly when we finally hit the customs drive through.  Then the customs agent proceeded to tell me that I needed either H’s birth certificate with just my name on it (this is vital so all agencies can see that the dad has no rights whatsoever), or a letter of some sort.  Well…I pulled the crazy mom card again, not purposefully, I just was stressed.  I have to pee, I have a toddler in the back, and my mapquest is not working, I said.  What can you do to help me?  This makes me laugh, I don’t know how I turned the situation back on the poor customs dude, but I did!  He let me use their restroom and another agent gave me directions to Sooke (Sooooook!).  I did not have service in Canada, I failed to think of that before traveling.  I had to rely on old fashioned directions.  The Victorians in Canada were very kind, I had to ask three different people how to reach Sooke.  In Sooke I had to ask someone at a petrol station where the hotel was.  It was stressful but kind of empowering to find my way around this way.  I thought about calling my carrier to get service, but then thought, what the hell?  I didn’t want to go back to Victoria, I just wanted to stay in small lil Sooke.  The older I get the more I feel drawn to small towns and N A T U R E, and that is the very definition of Sooke:

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This was French Beach, another 20 minutes up from Sooke.  H loves rocks!  He was in his own little rock heaven, I believe we could have stayed hours longer.

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AH, WHICH ROCK DO I PICK UP FIRST?!

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The hotel was insane.  Very posh for this girl.  I brought my mat and managed to get a few yoga seshes in, although doing yoga with a toddler is intermittent, you get interrupted a lot.  I wasn’t in my normal yoga groove.  I was dealing with some feelings during this trip too, I wanted to just let go and have fun.  Not even fun, I just wanted to let go and B E.  I saw someone holding their hand out of their car on the way to the ferry in WA, and I thought, this is how I was to be.  Just letting go and enjoying the world.

I did have a great trip, I was just battling some old demons.  I am really scared about my future with H.  I am so taken care of right now, but I am on the fence between getting a big girl job or pursuing yoga.  Every fiber in my being wants to pursue yoga.  I also can’t escape the huge sum in student loans I have, not having a substantial pay check, or not having any type of retirement savings for the future.  It all feels so insurmountable right now.  What am I going to do?  Yesterday and today I really dug in on prayer and focus.  I taught yesterday and was scattered (three peeps besides my mom showed, yay!), but still a good teaching experience.  I had a great yoga practice this morning, and am starting a new class for two weeks from yesterday.  I am on a new mantra for the next 40 days:  Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Ganesh removing all obstacles and opening up the root chakra.  I’m thinking of switching my nights from streaming shows to practicing yoga and reading before bed.  I feel like if I put my spirituality first all else will be okay.  And sobriety.  Back to a meeting tonight, I am so looking forward to it.  A week away from meetings is too long for this drunk!

And lastly I somehow signed up to do this writing challenge, Wilsonville Writes!  You write a chapter and then pass it on to the next person.  I seem to get a fuller and fuller life.  It is all good, I just don’t want to spread myself too thin, and again I still worry about taking care of H and myself for the long term.  Our master teacher in teacher training, Jen used to say that fear is the opposite of love.  How can love crowd out fear in my situation?

As it alludes to in the title, more Sooke/Washington stuff next post!

Peace and love.  May Ganesh remove any obstacles you are struggling with!

MAHALO & ALOHA

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I went to South Portland this week to visit one of my teacher training peeps.  The plan was to do some yoga in the park and then go eat lunch.  Her kids caught wind of our adventure and flew through her house and into her garage.  They were so excited my friend could barely get pants and shoes on them.  Off they went, down the street, they knew the way.  We stopped on the way at their local community garden.  A Hawaiian neighbor oversees the most of it.  Mahalo, I said to her.  That’s thank you, said my friend.  We all laughed at my (big surprise!) awkwardness.  There was a mishap at the park, her daughter will be grateful I don’t go into detail when she reads this when she’s twenty, if this little blog is still around.  The look on my friend’s face was priceless.  It was:  I just want to do yoga!  A solution was reached, the kid’s dad came to get them.  A neighbor came out to join us.  We did yoga.  I taught and then my friend taught.  We are both nailing down our sequences.  I seem to have left the land of being overly self conscious about my teaching, I just teach.  I mess up, I keep going.  Who knew tucking toes, and sole of the foot was so hard to recall?  I keep repeating, sole of the foot, and tuck your toes, over and over in my mind.  Ah, the mind of a yoga teacher.  Yup, that’s me.  Anyways, we were at the park too long and didn’t make lunch.  Next time.

I turned in the last of my homework.  Necessary to get my certificate, but sad.  This is my work station, littered with books from my book reports:

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I received word back from parks and rec in Wilsonville that I can offer free classes in the park, for free.  I don’t have to pay any type of fee.  I contacted the local farmers market, my idea is to offer the class right before the market to increase awareness.  Maybe after it catches on, I can switch to a Saturday morning (11am) class so more people can attend.  All of this is contingent on when I receive my certification as well.  I even created a little logo, see below.  I know if this actually happens I will be S O  N E R V O U S.  But I am willing to face my fear.  I would like to just do this through the summer.  Obviously since I’m in Oregon, I can’t offer free outdoor yoga year round.  I’ve done all of the footwork I can do.  Now I’m just waiting, which I’m not good at.  Waiting is my only option.  The first farmers market is June 11th.

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I had a friend last night say to me, don’t wait to teach.  Teach now.  I told her how I may be teaching by 6/11 and she said that’s too far away!  She sent me a gym contact she has and offered to talk to the owner of the studio she works at.  Teaching in an actual yoga studio scares me so much.  She said the word, audition.  Man that word freaks me out.  I imagine myself throwing up right before my audition.  Eek.  So we’ll see where all of this goes.

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Yup, that’s me. Really getting into crane right now. I’ve been told by the Dr. no more headstands so I will be focusing on arm balances, forearm stand, and hand stand.

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So what remains to be seen:  will I get a different job, job?  Will I teach yoga?  Where and how will I teach yoga?  What is in the future for H, my family, and I?  I’ve been meditating/practicing pretty regularly.  I use my mala beads I received from training.  Namaha Lakshmi, abundance.  Not just monetary abundance, but abundance of courage.  Abundance of that Higher Power.  That’s my mantra right now, that the higher power is bigger than me.  That it can fill in all of my weaknesses.

Namaha Lakshmi,

Aloha, Mahalo,

& Namaste.