The calm before the storm

The forecast suggests intense weather, there is a weird light in the sky. Then it get’s real calm. Perhaps mother nature gives us this little glimpse to remind us to gather ourselves, get it together, but remember that it will pass. Wear your rain boots, purchase flood insurance, stay away from windows, flights will be delayed maybe even canceled…she (mother nature) means business. But once the storm passes more often then not the air is fresh, crisp even, and you go about your life. Perhaps there is a bit of a mess to tend to and it’s a little inconvenient, but it works – unless it all got demolished… I really hope I have the tools to weather this storm.

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Simple comforts

Being back home in your own bed…priceless. Especially when you know your sleep will be filled with pleasant memories of seeing and having time with family and friends. The sweeter part of this past weeks journey? This morning I left my brother’s place in Kentucky and now that I am back in Charleston we went to my sisters for dinner. Leaving home on one level only to come home. I also love that part of my routine involves going for a walk on the beach in the morning….

My ole Kentucky home

This past weekend me and my two dogs drove some 8 hours to meet up with my husband back in Kentucky. A little time away that’s taken me back to where I came from. This trip I’ve been the girl who grew up in Lexington and married a boy from Frankfort. These two character’s haven’t had much time together. We are more of the college kids from Charleston whose separate world travels landed both of them back in Louisville, KY.

An interesting detail is that I left after high school with no real plan to return, not because I didn’t like Lexington, but because there was a whole wide world out there that I couldn’t wait to explore. Even my time in Louisville, 9 years almost, wasn’t what I had intended. Actually, I had to be in Kentucky for physical therapy and a monthly osteopathic visit in order to function both mentally and physically after being t-boned by a huge pick up truck. International travel was out of the picture, partly because September 11 had changed the ease of travel as well as nearly dying. Louisville became the alternative to a new adventure that kept me close to home, but still very far from the girl who grew up in the bluegrass. Which by the way, this July the grass is more blue than I can ever remember.

This trip I am not the girl who’s been teaching yoga for 10 years. It’s been tough to be so close to seeing my yoga support group (you know who you are) and it’s really hard not being that person, but it’s great getting in touch with the girl that cruised through Lexington in her cabriolet smoking cigarettes and being so totally innocent to what life would offer. Today has offered chances to be with people that I spent most of my childhood romping around with, being silly and now…we are all grown up dealing with grown up stuff. I haven’t seen these friends in years, and certainly haven’t been able to stand in a kitchen with kiddos in the background, but it was just like old times. But when you get older, these moments somehow are even better than old times…as I think I didn’t know how great it was to have such good friends growing up…and now I cherish the two brief hours we got to catch up…as adults with all of our adult stuff…and knowing that not as much time will go by before we get to do it again.

Quality time…

With family, specifically sister’s and their kiddos, really is tough to beat. It definitely puts the importance of the bigger picture at the forefront…why are we doing all this? To love and be loved. My oldest niece who is 14, saw the name of my upcoming retreat…love the flow. She’s an instagram professional and I posted a photo saying ‘love the flow, be the flow’ ~ I don’t think she’s stopped laughing. Even when I mentioned that yoga teacher’s live to say funny and catchy things, she still is laughing. This honestly makes me happy. That we get to share this little glimpse of our lives and well that we just get to be in each other’s lives. This is the flow, and yes I am learning to love it more and more.

Life gets messy

In the process of facing a quality or aspect of my life that has been hiding out in the shadow for a little while. It’s all good cause I am here, living and breathing to deal with it, it’s just becoming apparent that I need to spend some time with this layer of my story.

As I move deeper into the identity of myself I obviously can’t do it alone (that was my intention for 2011, being able to ask for help ~ for this girl that is freakin’ hard). But in the past week I’ve also realized how many people like to help and actually want to help. So rather than be like ‘I got this one…it’s not going to be fun…but I can handle it…’ I am finally realizing the importance to include other people in the process. (deep sigh). One layer of the process is that pretending like it’s all pretty, even doing the work, the uncomfortable, challenging layer of life, I would have to say I’ve been in the place pretending like I have it all wrapped up in the little Teresa package. Throw on a smile and poof the light breaks through the crack, because the crack is what lets the light in… But I am entering into a place that I don’t think I have the strength to go alone. It’s dark, and the last time I really stepped in this corner of my heart, well, my only relationship is that it was the end…totally over…and I am realizing that on some level it was totally over, I did leave…but then I came back only to leave again.

However I am here, right now, consciously choosing to even share my life through words (because they are helping me ~ and maybe they will help someone else). But this is the big part (for me). We are always feeling guilty or that there must be something wrong with us if everything isn’t peachy keen. There must be something wrong if death is actually dark, but there is beauty in the darkness as everything is contained in the darkness. Even as I write this, the sun is nowhere to be seen, if I went for a walk outside I wouldn’t be able to see all that is in front of me. Yet there is a diverse display of divine grace in every direction. There is a level of the unknown that is powerful, wonderful, and I hope to one day say I’m not scared anymore. But for now my personal saying is, ‘Teresa, you are still sane, it just isn’t always pretty because life gets messy.’

Don’t get off the train

Keep the course and the landscape will continue to change. A teaching of my teacher in regard to the practice of meditation, but I have also taken it to regard the nature of our life. We get caught up, myself included, but we forget that with the passing of time that it will fade, it will pass. Sure there are things you can’t change, the events of your life are uniquely yours, but taking those experiences and allowing them, or finding ways that they support the journey rather then hinder ~ that is the work.

Actually doing the work is another conversation completely. It’s uncomfortable, but the discomfort is temporary then it reveals a greater joy ~ delight in the process. Some would say, if you don’t figure it out this life, it’s certain to show up later. (I have mixed feelings of the who reincarnation ~ not so much that I am opposed to it, but I feel you are so much more than a past).

Next time the road gets rocky, just settle in, breathe, eat some yummy food and know that soon the view will shift.

Yoga diversified

This is sometimes what I want to call my style of yoga. Even the way I practice off the mat because that takes more of the form of a seat these days than a bunch of down dogs. Yes I still practice asana since I teach asana, but I also think that meditation will rock your world (in a safe and good way) faster than any down dog or pigeon pose. Yet, the asana, the physical is the entry point. Those whose practice contains a lot of sweat and spacing out are doing more than the people who never try it and the physical brings a level of awareness and confidence in thinking positively about themselves. So as a student I know what I like, or what is of best service for myself, mainly cause I’ve tried it all out. Except I can’t keep up with the times. I saw a video of an old friend’s class that it appeared they did the ‘train’ during class…more power to her and everyone for waking up more of their creative flow. So I guess I haven’t tried out everything.

As a teacher, I feel that if I am going to teach yoga I can’t just know a script and ask everyone else to fit the mold. That I have to continue to diversify the way I offer a class so an advanced yoga still is challenged to expand and a newby can feel enough trust to explore ~ especially if they are in the same class. For about 8 years straight I was doing about 3 major trainings a year. It was almost habit to be running off learning more, but I was teaching in environments that weren’t just upper middle class (this is the non-diversified side of yoga in my public classes currently which makes me sad). I was in settings that required me to be able to work with a woman that is 250 pounds that was in the same class as a male athlete training for the boston marathon. This is just one example of the diverse nature of physicality that has entered the room. In order though to help facilitate a connection to caring for themselves, for cultivating self compassion, worth and serenity, my own skills have to be diversified.

There are so many styles of yoga ~ but that isn’t exactly what I am talking about ~ instead it’s being able to be draw from a variety of methods of connecting with individuals. Sure the context is yoga, but holding space so that each person can feel valued and be supported in their efforts, (and even practice meditation) means for me, my style of yoga has to expand beyond just one approach, method, or style. Yoga Full of Grace, a diversified approach to awakening the wellspring of your own heart.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

I don’t have an answer. But for my own self, I am working on it as I have realized that my drive to make things happen is on one level a means for copping and avoiding what did happen a long time ago.  I am still the nice gal I’ve always been but I’m done pretending and pleasing. Being true to myself, regardless if you think it is a good idea or if I’m doing it the way you think I should. I took on the concept of being more ‘diva’ like at the beginning of the year. It’s made me uncomfortable and a little fiery, but no one else is going to do it, nor should they. I’m still being responsible just becoming more conscious.

Plain and simple

We love to move and yoga is a chance to move with all parts – body, mind and heart (spirit) – and the breath is the thread. We think we forget to breathe, but we just forget to pay attention to how we are breathing. I’ll even dare and say if you take 5 minutes out of your day to sit with your breath – you are on your way to being an advanced yogi.

Bananas

Do any of you think about how amazing life is while peeling a banana? Yes, these are thoughts that went through my mind as I peeled and froze bananas tonight. This happens to me a lot with food. I am ever curious to who decided to eat the banana? The garlic? The sweet potato? I then proceeded to think to myself of how many people don’t believe in the divine, god, the greater whole, and that made me sad.

There is such a correlation, pattern, basic flow that moves us in such a way we feel compelled to freeze bananas. (I also made rotisserie chicken salad and was sad that though free range and all natural chickens don’t get to fly like an eagle or even like a crow).  Yes, I think, a lot, but it brings me to a point of gratitude and I then continue to offer thanks to all the food that sits before me. I give thanks to the individual that thought the banana would be a good thing to eat. I give thanks to the idea that nature provides just what we need.