growth

2016…

3 Hawks circled our house this morning. With the rain subsiding, all the smaller birds returned, including a previously unseen red-mohawked woodpecker (no, he work a speckled suit, not a blue one). I also smudged the house, and am still smudging it. We had hoped to spend today finishing up the things we started yesterday, unfortunately Pastry is sick. Possibly from inhaling some of the drywall from yesterday’s demolition.

I feel confident on this next year, not necessarily that it will be stagnant, but that it will be busy – good busy. I think that most of last year was pretty much dedicated to wiping out a lot of old stuff. Old relationships that were unserving, job situations that weren’t beneficial, and some other stuff. There is stuff that I wish wasn’t ending, but such is the way of nature. I’m hoping that this is moving towards my “moment” where life finally smacks me upside the head and I finally listen to it and suddenly the river starts to flow.

We also need to start taking time out to be social. Whether old friends or new ones, though I’m leaning towards new friends. I’ve never really had a social circle, just a few friends that I’d go do stuff with. It’s easier in HS and college when you’re all kinda in the same place. Adulting is a bit different, with schedules and distance and all that stuff. Makes that whole being social thing kinda hard. But I do like the idea of meeting new people, even if it’s the result of people I already know.

I’m also contemplating re-starting a pagan discussion group. There’s not a Borders to host it at, but I’m sure something can be figured out if the interest is there. Just ideas that I’ve been tossing around.

Whittling

Spent the day not working on the condo. But that’s ok, we’ll go by tomorrow and I’ll spend some time on Monday, too. We’ve needed to stay at the house and start to unpack. Things need to find their places.

I’m finding amusement in the things that I’m determining are important to buy. Yes, it’s things, but things like plants, bird feeders, chairs for outdoors. I’m not focused so much on the inside as I think there are only a few things we honestly need there, but we need more outdoor stuff. I’m seeing where I can set-up my retaining walls, where the grove circle might go (got it narrowed down to 3 places), which things need to be removed.

Slowly, finding more direction. Still wandering a bit with the work stuffs, but it will get settled. I’m being pulled in a different direction, so right now the goal is to set the office up so that the massage will be my part-time job and the gym will be my main job. Taking a bigger role there, as we’re picking out next year’s team and setting up a 5-6 year old team. Going to spend next week reconfiguring the website for the office to get rid of 2 of our memberships. I have to go in another direction. I also need to bring in folks that can potentially take over the lease. Waffling on whether or not I want it set up in a manner for me to have 2 offices, but as with meditation, that thought just floats in and floats away. No attachment to it, yet. The signs haven’t been there, they’ve been elsewhere.

Speaking of signs…I’m getting better at being more aware of them. Not always sure as to which direction they are intending to point me, but I figure at this point I can treat it like breadcrumbs. Find the ones that strike me in the right manner and keep walking till I find another one and continue on that path. And that’s leading me further and further away from Atlanta. It really is something to think about, I just need to figure out how I’m going to pursue that avenue. I feel I’ve been niched into one place with my work, and I’ve strayed away from the type of work that I got into the field to do in the first place. I’m too separated from my spirituality with it.

Stopping to smell the flowers…

Which is kind of unavoidable as my deck is blooming (at least one flowering plant is, the other 6 or so are still works in progress).

I’ve been wandering around of late, spending more time reading Fallen Leaves by Will Durant. He’s one of my favourite lyrical historians so it’s interesting to hear his own thoughts on what he’s witnessed. A good bit echoes my grandmums’ opinions – my father’s mum never understood the need for women’s suffrage. She always thought we had better things to do than worry about men’s quarrels that would do the world no good. Some of his opinions I obviously disagree with, particularly when it comes to gender roles. But that’s beside the point. I get where he’s coming from in it, because we’ve lost our way and we’re trying to find it. The only issue is that in losing our way, we’ve found other routes and “trinkets” that now need integrating.

Which brings me to a thought I’ve been pondering – yoga. One of the blogs I’ve been reading and absorbing is written by a woman who grew up in the culture that has grown out of the Vedic teachings. I can’t fully sum up her opinions in a manner that will do her any justice here, but in my words – Americans are good at messing up good things in the name of improvement. We’ve pretty much perfected the process, mastered possibly.

At any rate, I’ve been taking inventory of my inclusion in the American yoga community and I’ve really started distancing myself. Sure, I’d love to feel the energy of a yoga rave or the community created at Wanderlust, but every time I look at the things going on I find it akin to the newly converted – who never get over that new conversion smell. It’s like all these people who are throwing themselves out there and holding themselves up as this awesome product to be sold. Spouting $0.05 wisdom as if they have opened a fortune cookie every minute or so. I don’t doubt their dedication to their practice or the fact that they’d probably still be doing what they’re doing if the audience was smaller. It’s the display.

It’s why so many people love Pope Francis, he comes off as authentic in who he presents himself as being. And I think that’s where I fall off the bandwagon. I don’t pretend to know sanskrit, and have had several of my clients correct my pronunciation of it (which is fine, as they got 2 years of it in school the same way we get our 2 years of some foreign or dead language in ours). I recognize the vibrational aspect of the language and how it relates to our bodies. I even recognize the easy description that it provides for the postures and actions – if you know the language. But none of that is any use for a casual student who is just starting out on their journey and learning to incorporate the whole concept into their life. Same goes for my gymnastics students…

As I told one of my clients, gymnastics was the sport that gave me more life lessons than any other sport I participated in. For all events, it’s a balance between strength and flexibility, grace and athleticism, and above all humility. My students are beginners, mostly. They fall often and lack the strength that the events truly require. But that’s life. You start out with one skill and build on it. You fall down, get back up. If getting back up is difficult you find a new way to get back up. If your body isn’t built for one skill, you modify it. If strength is the issue, you keep at it till your body is strong enough. Every day you are pushing one limit or another and finding that you can step past yesterday. That fear? You find it’s gone or learn that fear is what holds you back, but also pushes you further.

But the humility. You learn that on day 1. You learn that there are things you naturally just can’t do, that someone else can. You have days where you can do nothing but fall. Over and over. Your balance is off, you’re tired, you can’t concentrate. The drama that you thought you left at the door suddenly found its way in. Life. You’re good at one event but another one is just a giant brick wall that you can’t see around. Society. The petty teammate who wants nothing more than to see you fail. The coach who is yelling at you out of love. The gym moms… Your friends who don’t understand why you can’t play hooky. The guy that’s interested in you but you don’t even notice the hints (even though you’re interested, too). All those other things you want to do, but aren’t important right now. Sacrifice.

Evolving again…

I can feel it. Certain things are starting to set me off, others I’m just done with and don’t miss at all. I’m still curious as to which direction I’m being pulled, but I’m going to allow it because it’s time. I’m watching for the signs, noting when there is synchronicity and letting that be the lead. It’s spring and it’s time for change and growth; fall and winter are about letting things fallow, give them time to settle in and root down. Now is the time to till that all up and bring it to the surface.

There has been a lot brewing over the winter, in all facets that I’ve seen. I’m finding that the masks are starting to dissolve and people and ideas are being shown to be what they really are – masks, costumes, all to make others feel better, or feel like the reality is something more like silk when it’s really cheap rayon. These lenses we look through are just tinted, but in a manner that much is hidden and less is seen. But at the same time, the cry is there to keep the true nature hidden. Because it’s comfortable. It’s safe. New masks are being made, new costumes designed. All to keep those that seek comfort from taking a good hard look and going deeper into what really makes up the foundation.

Chaos, order. You can’t have one without the other and when their cyclical nature is halted you have stagnation. Stagnation breeds disease and death, which starts the machine back up – without the part that was causing the stagnation.

Step by step…

I’m walking away from things and walking towards others. Every time I open Facebook I sit and wonder why I’m even there. I scroll through half of it, comment and like few and in-between and noticing that I make a decision based on whether or not it’s an open post and whether or not it’s something I mind the search engines knowing. I don’t mind, I just find it interesting.

I’ve also cut back on that whole coffee thing. I couldn’t drink it post surgery, and surprising enough I didn’t miss it. I like that idea because it means I can now sit back and really enjoy the moment of it, in the same way a Japanese tea ceremony is to be enjoyed. I’m longing for the warmth of weather so I can sit on the patio again, listening to the world happen. We’re already contemplating this year’s layout and the new things we need to get to make it our little refuge.

I haven’t gotten back into my full asana practice. Meditation is happening more and more, though. That otherworld call keeps happening and I keep giving in to it. I can’t wait for the veil to start opening again to me. The realization that yes, I do need to be in this world, but no, it’s not the most important place to be. My life tends to not fall apart as fast or be as hard to deal with when I allow that realization to manifest. Digging myself out of that wretched hole, finally.

Thoughts and ponderings….

Sitting in the room, listening to Led Zeppelin (Pastry got the recent offerings) and reading the remainder of The Upanishads that I haven’t finished. The further realization that I’ve fallen further from the spirituality tree. But I’m turning around. The original thought was to see about spending a week up at the Monastery for a time of silent contemplation with my journals. Then the idea that I think I want to move my yoga program (meaning just me, unless any other instructors want to get in on this) to a donation only set-up. Not necessarily in the realm of seeing if it works, but in thinking how things were done at one point and how we’ve gotten away from that – namely, providing a service for what people could afford. My parents would totally knock me for this, as would some of my friends. But as I sit back and think about it, my life has been a series of financial blunders and worries because of the fact that I put money first. As I’ve started to not do that, things have grown. When I start fretting, things taper off.

I honestly don’t want to live a deep material life. I like my small house, I like my few objects (even though I need to get rid of more of them), and I love my vacation experiences. I like waking up late on Sundays, listening to whatever Pastry feels like putting on the table, and hanging out with my cats or going for a hike in a forest. I like tearing down walls in my house and creating new things. When Spring fully arrives, I will be back out on the patio enjoying the mornings and evenings.

I always joked that I would never know what to do with money if I ever made more thank $20k a year. And I still don’t know what I’d do. Most would go towards my retirement account, maybe save up for that VW camper trailer I want and put some towards a recycled shipping container house in the mountains.

I just find it amazing, thinking about the depths I’ve sunk to, sometimes. Trying to dig myself out, because I don’t trust that it will happen naturally. But as I told my mother today. Trusting in the Universe is a true test, namely because humans inject themselves into the equation and tend to screw things up.

Need to turn that around again. Though, it puts me to the point where I have to decide whether I’m going to be a part of the world, or if I’m going to step back from it. I’d like to be a part on my own terms, but I know that’s a large request. I just hope that opening myself up in that way, regardless how it plays out, is in some manner a benefit instead of a detriment. It also means I’ll have to let go and not attach myself to those who cross my path. Not expecting return from those who are more willing to take than give, the one time it is allowed. And walking away from those who wish to gain by stepping on the backs of others without offering a hand up.

Gearing up…

Tomorrow is the first of “big days” in my treatment. The teeth come out. The positive is that they’re crowded already so it won’t be much of a gap. I’m already talking funny because I have too much stuff in my mouth. But that’s ok. I’m dealing.

I am finding my anxiety is getting worse, which is weird. It’s all money related because this shit ain’t cheap and the Drs will only deal with insurance in the manner of sending it in. I have to pay out first, insurance reimburses me. Seriously fucked up shit, but I can’t blame the Drs, I don’t want to deal with insurance.

The best part, I’m starting to get back into my head on the deeper topics. Been rolling around ideas about wisdom and truth and how they play out in Biblical stories with that cast of characters. I can’t remember the movie that sparked that thought process, but I’m glad it did because I need to ponder that those things. I also need to get off my ass and email/call my elder so we can start our monthly sit-downs. I have ideas on where to start, but I find I work better with guides, and that gives me a tribe connection – which has sorely been missing of late. Bit by bit I’m disappearing. I don’t know why I feel like that, because I’ve almost always felt like the loner. Even in groups. Some connection that I just can’t see, always out of my reach or sight that prevents me from actually feeling like I am really part of a group.

I just don’t get what I’m missing from that equation. And it hit me hard yesterday. I’m making my way through the Robin Williams part of my Netflix queue, and like 20/20 hindsight of David Foster Wallace, this manner of death casts a shadow on how I interpret his works of late. Yesterday, I watched World’s Greatest Dad. Given the issues he was dealing with in his real life, it made the words stick out all the more. Did he choose that script because of what was going on in his head? Was that his call out for help? Did everyone miss it because it wasn’t in wide release? But the best part was when he told everyone off, walking into the natatorium, stripped down and jumped naked off the high dive. That’s kinda how I feel. Except he was casting off society to join a small group of outliers that shared a love of horror movies and odd psychosis. I don’t feel I have that. Or maybe it’s just the burrowing season of winter that throws me into my cave for self-reflection. Or maybe just perspective of that, and it’s all just a temporary illusion of the season.

When I’m out, I don’t know why, but it feels like I’m walking into the shallow end of the kiddie pool. I think I’d rather be at the meeting of some philosophy club discussing the deeper meaning of Kierkegaard. I would like to enjoy the kiddie pool, but I think my brain is screaming out for exercise, too. Need to figure that one out.