Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ebb and Flow

My Dancing Queen has explained life to me in a very descriptive and accurate way before. She says that life is just a lot of waves of ups and downs (obviously) and we can either allow ourselves to be taken along with them, feeling the extreme of each little curve or we can see how level we can allow our path to be. Now the trick is, being able to see that this is just a scoop or a dip in the sound wave that is our life. Being able to have a large enough perspective of life, the earth, existence to understand that even the good things will end but that we just need to appreciate everything whenever it comes our way.

I know this is quite a typical yoga teacher type thing to say but I really do connect to it on a deep level.

I just think that it's so important in life to keep in mind that we are human. We all are different and yet still the same. We have a connection with each other and the earth and yet we are all totally unique. To think that we need to all be the same and do the same things, have the same experiences, think the same way would be foolish. Each persons dips and arches are different. Sometimes they align and sometimes they don't. I love being this, being me, being here, so why shouldn't everyone choose to do the same? We don't choose to be human but we choose HOW we can be human.

I've been changing my life drastically lately. It is something that I've made sure is always close to my mindset. If not of it. To be able to level off your thoughts is such a skill and I really do appreciate that I've been able to surround myself in people who are quite good at encouraging it within me.

On a side note that is slightly related, I would just like to express how happy I am. I think I've been working for a long time to reach this sort of peak in my life and I'm quite content with the people I have surrounding me and the things I am planning for my future. Now if only my love for life could pay my bills. Ho hum. Life goes on.

Thought process of the day: complete


Picture is of the lunch and tea that was so courteously prepared for Miss Bashful and I by Cutie Pie. I love my friends.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jolt Awake

I've talked before with friends about how sometimes people need a mind slap. A jolt. Something to daze them from their regular thoughts. Often times it's something along the lines of a death of someone you love or knew well that really brings a realization to your thinking cap but there are times where I (and the general public, I'm sure) need this sort of zap in their life without the loss of someone or something. My goal lately has been, how do I do such a thing.
A friend of mine was telling me of how he sat on the couch on his balcony with some nutella toast and watched the sun rise the other day. I have a feeling that is the sort of things I need to do to really give my mind a shake. I can see why people do things like cliff jumping and sky diving. You crave that adrenalin to really wake up your senses. Sure watching a sunrise is subdued but it's something to make you think, "Wow. This is life. I am me right now, in this moment." It makes you feel alive.
But when you allow yourself to get in that funk of monotonous life, it takes a real push to make you go to that second step of life. Sometimes I'd like someone to just push me over and scream "LET GO!" Drop the drama, the emotion, the business, the laziness, the anxiety, the pressure, the self consciousness."
I think this is why I love nature so much. It can be so vast and intimidating. It can comfort you and yet destroy you in a flash. I enjoy the feeling of being small and vulnerable at the mercy of the universe. The fact that another galaxy could collide with us or that medeorites that are fully capable of taking out full cities could come hurdling down and take any one of us out in a split second makes me feel like my actions are valid. I need to be able to feel confident in all my thoughts, words, intentions and movements at all time because, who knows?

No one. That's who.

Another thing that helps with making sure your life is lived to its utmost potential, is great friends. Adventures with friends are something that allows us to feel totally human. We feel part of a connected journey and together we can aid each others growth to the best of our abilities. The community you hold around you is so important.
And one of my friends, Lady Love, is celebrating the day of her birth today. The day after Summer Solstice, my comrade in life was given a life of her own. She is constantly growing and learning to take advantage of every second and I'm so proud of her. She has nudged and encouraged my own growth and independence in so many ways and I will be eternally grateful to her for being my pal through this huge curve in my life. But in my thankfulness, I will also repay by being as good as a friend to her as possible. She's a bright and shiny soul.

I love my friends and the people I choose to spend my time with but I also am going to really make a conscious effort to push my own boundaries. I choose to not just push the envelope but rip it open and allow myself to experience everything life has to offer me. The future is pregnant with potential and I will explore it.

Mind ramblings of..


But you give me the electric twist and it kicks like kicks like a pony
And true, you might get away with it
It's a risk, it's a risk yeah

And the touch of your lips it's a shock not a kiss
It's electric twist, it's electric twist

Friday, June 17, 2011

Silence of the Man

It's a thunder filled afternoon here in the north. Large dense clouds have been rolling over my view from the window and rain has felt so tight inside those clouds that they've decided to hurdle themselves down towards the earth in a torrential manor more than once in the last hour or so. Growing up in the western forests of the north, I appreciate the rain, as different as it is from this land. The sound of it is what really makes me feel at peace. Trying to pick out each individualized drop is impossible, but the sound of the millions of them together is irreplaceable. And the storms here are just amazing. The sky seems to almost crack in half as the rain pelts the land.
I am still awaiting our first earth rumbling storm of spring. I feel it coming. Soon.
Something that has been seeping into my life almost like condensation on a glass, is the importance of sound and lack there of.

It started when my Dancing Queen was talking a bit about silent retreats and how beneficial they are and yet, how it's almost a respect to others not to impede on their personal space. No communication.
Then another friend of mine mentioned that they wanted to do a whole day of silence. No talking out loud. And I thought "Hmm, that is actually an option for me to do at some point." It sparked the idea.

Recently I've been making some huge changes and what a better time to spend completely dwelling within myself than now? My Lady Love and I are planning on doing a "communal" (a loose sense of the word) meditation where we do nothing but look within ourselves. I'm daunted by the idea and yet still intrigued. I want to know what is inside of me, I know how yoga can open up emotions hidden in the body and have experienced quite strong waves of that but to not really entice it and to just allow it to happen is something totally different. I was planning on bringing a lot of "props", shall we say, to this "communal meditation" but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it will take it away from being fully self aware. Is it just a distraction? Is it something to hinder the deep inward motion? Or will it allow better energy to flow?
On the opposite end, I've always loved music and participated in it. Whether it be piano lessons for years on end, voice lessons, singing bowls, kirtan, or just a simple om before class, I've always loved sound. Now I almost feel like I should take some time away from sound.
I personally feel it is healthy to go through the senses and take them away. How else are you to fully appreciate each one?

I challenge you, reader, to maybe play a bit with that. Only go as far as you feel is healthy, but maybe if not speaking is impossible for making your earnings, try not listening to music that day and allowing sound to be coming from everything but you. Or make an effort to close your eyes as much as you can. (Safety first) Maybe you even just want to start to take a notice as to how things feel? Is texture a big part of your life? Or maybe it is and you don't notice it as much.

Engaging in these exercises are so helpful for growth. I encourage you to try and find self awareness.

Maybe even find some peace.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Progressive Yoga Kids

As your eyeballs graze over this text, please feel free to entertain your earlobes with the pleasures of great melodic sound and lyrical genius.
Enjoy such things HERE, here, and hear.

Now I feel as though I need to go over my experience teaching a bunch of kids for a good friends daughters birthday party. Apparently her 8 (turning 9) year old daughter is super into yoga and loves things such as singing bowls, meditation, and malas. (It kind of blows my mind that she's into it at this age. Makes no sense to me)
It actually turned out quite well! We by no means did any sort of "real yoga" with mind, breath, body connection but I think they kind of got into it. I showed them a bunch of crazy poses that they could all try and fail at. Cos lets face it, failing and falling over is half the fun when you're distance to the ground is all of 3 feet.
I'm not "typically good" around kids. I act like myself. For the most part I don't really change much. I may have a bit more enthusiasm but it's so I don't bore the skulls off the kids.
There were a couple dancers in the class which was cool to see what they could and couldn't do. It's sad to think that I have more flexibility than most 8 year olds.. Does that say something about the way we raise our kids? I've been like this since I was their age though. I remember practicing to do the splits every day just cos it was interesting. I could always move my body in funky ways and was proud of it. Do kids these days not feel the same pride in being capable?
But the part I found most interesting is when we were practicing hand stand, just poppin' in and out of it, seeing what we could and couldn't do. I asked a girl if she wanted to try and she says "No, I already have a headache. I wouldn't want to be going upside down. It'll just make it worse."
Am I a freak? I never had headaches as a kid. I would never opt out of an activity because of some "ailment". Maybe it's because my mom was a nurse so she didn't allow for those nuisances to effect our daily lives.
What made me so happy though is that I asked the question "what yoga poses do you know?" and they were all so happy to give me loads of examples of this and that. One kid was actually quite mature for his age and was very logical but still enthusiastic. It was great!
I actually don't think I would mind teaching kids yoga. It's not nearly as bad as I thought. I think it just really effects me when I see the product of negative parenting. I need to learn to sort shake off that sadness that I see in sort of subconsciously taking away a kids freedom to be really childlike in the truest sense of the word.
It was a little hard to explain the crown chakra though. Haha that was interesting.
They seemed to have lots of fun though. And I think I tired them out pretty well. It's pretty sweet to think that some of the kids actually seemed to look up to me in the way I looked up to "cool people" when I was their age. Hopefully they aren't as self conscious as I was.

I know she won't see this but I am putting it out there anyway. I wish Emily an amazing 9th year of her life. May she be blessed with great friends, wisdom of loving people, and expansion in all the creative paths she feels like going down. And may she look back on this year and birthday and regret nothing.

Kids have been included in my life more than usual lately. A fellow teacher just divuldged to me the other day that her and her husband are trying for kids and my Lady Love and I were talking of being with child at some point in our lives and how weird it would be to be at the point in our lives where we feel comfortable with bringing another life into the world. It's a strange concept. Almost surreal for me, in a way. Maybe someday, but I'm nowhere near that point just yet. I have much too much growing and experiencing life to be done before then. I'm guessing 35 will be around the time where I feel ok with it. Who knows, I'm open to anything. Maybe kids at 40, maybe 26. Does it matter?

Oh parenting.
Oh life.
How crazy, wonderful, expanding, challenging and strange you are.

Well, its a sunny day here and my Dancing Queen has asked me to go dancing! (Go figure) So I shall busy myself before then.

May we all go into the world with a child like curiosity and ambition.

As my Lady Love said to me yesterday, "when your mind is strong and your love is pure, you are free".

I leave you with that.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Active Practice In Public

After a week or so of sickness, my Lady Love friend and I decided to do a much needed yoga walk. My Man has a Cannon 40D so we thought, why not take some awesome pictures, do some sweet poses, and get some excersize? (And of course be as silly as possible in every situation we encounter)
Along the way, we (A) met up with a few lovely puppies. The one shown in the picture here is part wolf part husky. Gorgeous girl, she was. Her name was Luna and she wanted nothing but buckets of love.
We (B) took some fake pictures on a film camera which the film didn't end up actually catching on so it didn't actually turn out. Oh well, we looked cool and I got to teach my lovely friend of the ways of shutter speeds and depth of field. It's interesting to see someone's photography style unfold in front of you.
And (C) ended up getting swarmed by mosquitoes whilst trying to be at our most "zen" in these outdoor poses! Apparently those bloodsuckers like to really test your focus in certain (well, actually all) yoga poses. It's not easy to support yourself in shoulder stand when you can see 3 mosquitoes flying around your legs and landing on you. Especially when you're as sweet as us and know you'll be swelling up within the hour... It's that bad.
I think this is something I'm going to do with a couple of my yogi friends. Perhaps invite my Dancing Queen to come next time as well. She'd be a fun person to ad to our silliness. (Seeing as that's pretty much all we do, permanent goof off mode) I want to almost document my progression through yoga. Not just in this summer but all the time. I want to see how far I've come with my practice. And like we were saying when we were doing handstands about 40ft away from a baseball game, it's not about how deep you can get into the pose or how strong/flexible you are. It's about your stability and engagement. Are you capable of feeling the full extent of the pose? When in dancers, are you able to square your hips and still feel the full stretch through the shoulders and hip? I obviously have quite a way to go in some of my poses but I love that I'm able to learn and grow without beating myself up about it anymore. I love that people can do different things than me. My lady love is capable of a completely different practice than I but it makes us interesting. I love learning from her flow and strength and teaching her the things that I'm "good" at.
The same goes for my classes and teaching style. I love when teachers attend my class and critique my style, wording, phrasing, transitions, everything! It makes me feel as if I'm growing in my yogic journey to be able to converse with people about our practice. Connecting to people who share the passion is so gratifying, I don't think I would choose any other career.

There is something so awe inspiring within the yogic practice of mind and body. Sometimes it lifts you, sometimes if floors you, either way, you learn with every step, breath, and thought.

What a life.

What a love.

What a passion.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mind Tug-Of-War

Something that has been coming full circle for me lately is simply self awareness.

My Mum, yesterday, was telling me of this lady that she knows from a group of friends that meets every week or so. This lady was quite inspiring to me, in that, my Mum was saying how no one can say something or comment without this lady asking why they used such wording or what they mean by what they were trying to say. She's always encouraging the people around her to look deeper within themselves to figure out who they are and why they are that way. Why do they allow themselves to come off the way they do. That, I think is an admirable trait in someone.
My Dancing Queen whom I've mentioned before is quite the same. Quizzical and curious into the human condition. She helps you figure out your own process, rather than tell you,"this is who you are".

I'm currently working on this painting of mine. I'm really not a fan of it at all. It may be because of the place I'm doing it from, but I feel it holds a very little amount of self awareness. I'm not putting what I'm really feeling into it. I feel like I'm putting what I think would look good in a certain environment down on this canvas and it's not coming out how I'd like it to. The thing is, I've now gotten attatched to certain parts of this picture that, as a whole, doesn't feel like me.
Little splatters and colour contrast make me want to keep it but as soon as I step back and look at the painting as a whole, it makes me uncomfortable.

I know what I have to do. I need to respect myself and what actually needs to be on this canvas rather than be attached.

I guess the next step to self awareness is allowing yourself to be true to it. Making sure you not only check in with your truth but obey it as well.

Give in to the best of yourself.

I'm looking forward to moving forward from this learning curve. When I can look behind me and laugh with a carefree nature knowing that it's beyond me now. Soon.

... The messiness of my mind this morning...


Song of the moment:

If You Want To Sing Out
Cat Stevens

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunny Days

What have you done today? What have you invested your time and thought into?

What has made your list of things that should take your moments of life on this earth?

Music has been one that is entertaining my brain lately. Specifically the new Fleet Foxes album. Just wonderful, it is. Someday I'll be making my own tunes of sweet melody. Someday.

The sun has made my thought process a little more positive. Yesterday was gloomy, my stomach was in pain, my lungs were cluttered and I was not of bright mind.
Today was/is different. We tended to our baby plants due to a slight aphid infestation. My dear little catnip is all and well, thank you. My Mr.'s Mint got a slight pruning though.

Old men walking down the street, kids riding their bikes, and my puppy and I had quite a nice little jaunt about in the back yard whilst I climbed the fence of the next door neighbors for her Frisbee which we had plenty of fun with afterwards.

I've also vowed to make more of my lack of adventurous behavior and do some public display of ruckus making. General fun times all around of course, and to be shared with the wide world will be quite a new path for my life. But we'll see where it goes. I'm excited, to say the least.

Now, once again, I await the plans of this fine Sunday evening to unfold before me. Most likely it will have to do with painting and merry making.

But of course, my mind on this special day of birth for many a man.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Why In The Night Sky Are The Lights On?

A day of creativity so far has definitely been had. Startedwith some odd inspiration and a groggy blustery morningof sickness and coughing. But once I
went to work, got myself in gear and came home, there was quite a good flow of motivation.
Here are some pictures to show the map of my day:

My lady love came over and we hung out a bit then decided to do some creative actvities while listening to some good tunes.

Started off with making some yummy potato soup from some left over veggies in my fridge. Turned out really good but Lady Love commented on how I end up always cooking with curry. I guess it's just a favorite spice of mine. Turned out good anyway.
Thick but good.

Then we painted a bit. This being her first time doing any sort of abstract, I showed her some tricks of the trade. It's weird to explain your artistic methods to someone who doesn't actually do art. And her colour pallet was totally different from the types of colors I would usually mix. It's interesting to see what art is in someones mind and ability range. Also to think that hopefully one day she'll be more experienced in this field and her style will have matured and evolved entirely. Luckily we have her virgin painting documented.

I ended up finishing the counterpart to the painting I first showed on here. I'm pretty satisfied with it. Turned out quite well. The background colours were different on the first sort of "draft" I did but I like them now. The shape of it ended up being what I wanted as well. And I didn't think about the gold leaf when I was first doing it but it turned out well. Still have to do the sides though.

After we were done that and had a second bowl of soup, we surfed around listening to more good music and exploring the different genres we would like to sound like once we start making music. I taught her how to use the shutter speed and focus on the camera in hopes that one day she'll be doing amazing photography with a unique way of capturing life.

Now, hands splattered in grey and black, voice still sick raspy and lungs tired out, I await the plans of the evening to fall into my lap.

A movie and some baked goods sounds like a splendid idea.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Songs Of Sickness

This week is a bit of a break for me. It's Thursday and I've not painted, done any yoga, or worked out at all. I may do a bit of walking and some painting tomorrow but honestly, I just don't have the energy to go full out just yet. I'm thinking Monday will be when I actually get back into it.

This sickness is sucking the fun out of me.

Though, it is amusing. I get this low sort of growl coming from the bottoms of my lungs after I cough each time. I apparently am entertained by the small things in life.

I think I'm going to fold some laundry and go read in bed for a while. If it weren't such a gorgeous day out, I wouldn't be so bummed about my planned activities. Oh well, I teach a gentle flow class tonight and I don't really want to be hacking and sputtering all over everyone. I know it's not a great thing to say but I kind of hope only a few people come. I don't reeeally want to be teaching a class of 25 with sickness spewing from my lungs. (It's not actually that bad)

Any reccommendations as to how I can rid myself of this without drugs?

Wish me luck!


P.S. Went to a Ratatat concert on Tuesday night (yes I was still sick but I wouldn't miss it for the world) Here's a few videos to bring you into the enlightenment that is Ratatat

Mahalo - Thumbs up the reincarnation comment!

Bare Feast - My favorite song of theirs.

Ze Concert! - The live show. Fanfrickentastic.