growth

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.

My horrorscope for the day…

You're feeling an intense sense of healing emanating from somewhere deep — so deep that you may not even realize where it's coming from. Try not to worry about it too much, as it's strictly positive.

I ended up with a day off, so far. So with all stress I've been under with the paranoid watching of my car out the window, and randomly hitting the lock/unlock buttons on my remote – just in case someone's under it – I managed to sleep in. I think the CatBox is pretty safe during the day, since there are no cars around to hide someone slinking around it. But all this stuff does lead me to question – what exactly is the cause of all of this? Is this a purge going on so I can move forward? Is this a sign that I'm moving in the wrong direction on something? And if so, what something is going in the wrong direction? Everything that has happened in the last 3 months has been personal and hitting at my home and my heart – but most of the physical damage has been to my bank account. And that last part, is where the stress comes from. The pattern seems to be that we get within range of paying off all credit cards, then something major hits and jacks us back up to where we don't want to be. I'm not sure if it's a taunt to clear out the savings account, or if it's just a reminder of where things just naturally are for now. Given all the crap that happened in November, I was hopeful that this was going to be a recovery year. Where growth would happen and I'd be able to start doing all the nice things for my friends that I used to do, and be able to go visit them for weekend get-aways.

But instead, I'm left waiting on my percentage of insurance reimbursement, and then having to divvy that up so I can pay out the next thing that I will have to wait for reimbursement on. I've been telling myself to trust in the universe, it hasn't let me down yet. But it's playing a semi-nasty game of monkey in the middle with me right now. I want to trust, but I also want to go back to sleep and not wake up till all of this is over.

My positives: My intermediate class is almost full on Wednesdays. I'm finding my way with them, even the difficult one. I'm starting to get interest in private yoga classes. I have an Alpine snuggling with me and coffee. A dreary day, but it's absolutely amazing to look out the window at it.

Starting today…

I want to write more, and they always say to just write. So…plan is to write something here every day, even if it's overwhelmingly mundane. Some of you may not see it, because sometimes I like to limit it to friends, but I promise the public entires aren't always going to be posts worthy of 140 characters or less.

Our goal this year is to spend more time traveling – outdoor type stuff, preferably. My personal goal is to get back to the spiritual and happy me. I need to spend less time staring at FaceBook and more time reading books and other blogs that contribute to that goal. I also want to start finishing my projects around the house and get the ones that I haven't started started.

I don't have any deep insight today, yet. Still working on that whole first cup thing.

In light of the #yesallwomen…

I wanted to make a list of habits I've developed or red flags that set off personal alarms because of situations I've been in with, or because of, men. So here we go:

When driving, if there is a car pacing next to me for a length of time, I avoid looking to see who it is because of a time when I was driving home. The guy in the SUV next to me had his rear view mirror angled so that I could see him masturbating (and doing a very poor job of it).

If I go on trips involving a team I'm on, I either room with guys I can trust, or I room alone (assuming there are no women to room with). Because a teammate made sure I got no sleep one night.

I have trouble accepting compliments on how I look, because a friend thought I was dressing up for him, and tried to force himself on me. And, when I went to a gala after I got out of an abusive relationship, my bf at the time leered at me and said, "I can't wait for you to get home so I can molest you."

When I go to concerts alone, or in strange places, I sneak my spiked wrist bracelet in with me. I wrap it around my fist so I can interest people to move away from me. Because someone at a concert thought my being near him was reason to put his hands in places they shouldn't be.

On a trip to my favourite swim spot on the river, I made the mistake of taking a teammate who I wasn't comfortable in being around (I chalked it up to cultural differences). He tried to force himself on me. When I told him no and decided we were going home, he went and told the inner circle of the team that I had sex with him.

I learned BJJ because an ex used leg locks and choke holds to "keep me in line". Learning it led to the one above, along with learning that someone I respected wasn't worth the respect.

I locked myself up both emotionally and sexually, because I was told by an ex that I was too emotional and I needed to get control of it (I'm still trying to unlock all of that).

I'm fearful of overly affectionate drunks both because of the demon I call my grandfather, and because I'm fearful of having to hurt someone because they won't listen to the word no).

I have bolted away from what might have been first dates, because the guy was just trying to be nice, or paid for something I didn't expect, because I was getting the wrong signals. I'm pretty sure they were both just nice guys, but it set off alarms from "nice guys" who were expecting repayment.

A guy who decided I had wronged him, put my unlisted home number up in a gas station bathroom, with the note "for great anal sex call *my name misspelled*". I got so many phone calls between the hours of midnight and 4AM that I almost had to quit my corporate job because I wasn't getting any sleep. I called the cops, they took my statement, and I never heard from the detective on my case. I ultimately had to change my number and move. This is why I don't answer calls from numbers I don't know.

In college, a guy called me – wrong number. Apparently, he had a female friend who would let him talk to her while masturbating. He did it to me quite a few times. I hung up on him, a lot. The only way it stopped, was when it turned out a friend of his fiancee was on the hockey team with me. He told her. I started making sure my dorm number was unlisted. As an RA, it was only available if you were a student in my building.

I won't get into the catcalls I've gotten, walking down the road. I also make sure that, if I'm on the bus or the train, I'm sitting or standing with my back against a wall and my bag between me and other people. I also walk with headphones on, normally – not necessarily listening to anything. I used to walk with my keys in my fist, now I only do that in places I'm not familiar with, or when I'm alone. I'm always looking at my surroundings and sizing up everything and everyone.

None of this is fair to the really nice people who don't deserve this. But it is because of a few – because I don't know who they are and they are good at hiding. I differentiate between the "nice guys" and the Nice Guys. I love the Nice Guys because I'm like their sister, and they protect me like their sister. And I have their back like a little sister and will beat the crap out of anyone who messes with them. I just wish there were more of them, so everyone can have a little sister.

Edits:

The other day, while I was waiting on the train. A stranger walked up to me and asked if I could use his phone. I stood there frozen, not willing to let my phone go because I had been witness to how phones get stolen, and conflicted on that. I was very hesitant on calling the number because I felt sorry for the excuse he gave me (and his phone really was dead), and afterwards I kicked myself because he now had my phone number. How messed up is it, that those thoughts go through my head in trying to be nice and help someone out.

So…this last weekend…

I went to the mountains and surrounded myself with women. Strange for me, I know. But it was actually a good thing. I've been thinking about my hip and shoulder issues over the last couple of days and I can't remember if my therapist attributed the right-side issues with my lack of femininity or with my over-usual masculinity. But the thing that got me was the amount of hip opening I had, not necessarily from sharing (because we all know that I'm willing to write more than talk), but just from being around and listening to the stories of those who were willing to share. I admit, the heart center has pretty much been shut down and humiliated into quiet submission – again – and if I think back, that's about when the hip and shoulder really started to act up. Like an internal struggle to force me into opening back up and letting all the emotion and energy that I used to have pour out. In a manner of speaking, I guess that need to round kick and undercut/haymaker someone was directed at myself.

One of the activities we did was a trust exercise (at least, that was my interpretation of it). We had to walk around the room shoulder to shoulder with our focus first on ourselves, then on our partner, then split between the two of us (total of 6 times). My partner and I had a somewhat rough start, but by the end we were walking about like we were strolling in the park. One of my takeaways was that yes, I can be selfish (as the first round was focused on ourselves). I hesitate to do that because I've known too many selfish people. But the reminder with focusing on someone else, is that it can be done in moderation. I've known I've needed to put a focus on taking care of myself, as in a manner of speaking, I am a caretaker. I've spent the last couple of years with this huge, not glorious burden from the business. I'm also still coming down from this expectation of who and what I am supposed to be, how I present myself, and what attention I'm supposed to give to others and when. It's a mess. Some real, some imagined, but all true to my experience.

This was also the first time I realized that I need to stick my hand out. I've always lurked in the shadows. I've been happy with that. But at the same time, I do want to spend more time with my friends and meet other people. Going back to the expectation above, I've always waited for them to have time for me, instead of asking for their time. Yes, I will always make time for my friends, if they ask – and they know I will. But I need to ask them for time, too. And, for better or worse, I've also failed in getting past one remainder of the dark years – I'm not stupid, I'm not an idiot. The wisdom in my head is not what most people want to discuss, but there I felt completely at home. Still hesitant to crack open my skull and let this stuff come out, but the first blow has been dealt and at some point I will feel comfortable in sharing it. And I have to, because if one has wisdom, it is their duty to share it with those who wish to learn from it. If I don't, I have failed one of the tenants of my spirituality, though, I just think that my problem has been the how. My experiences and what is up there has worth, contrary to what some have successfully convinced me of thinking.

One more step.

The gifts of being human…

In an attempt to start accessing those wonderful artistic aspects of my being, I've started reading through my daily meditation books. The one that struck the chord today was from Caitlin Matthews, the question was, What, for you, are the gifts of being human?

I think one of the main ones, that I think is more specific to humans, is the ability to create something beautiful for the sake of creating beauty. Most animals, when you watch them create something, are doing it for the sake of utility. I don't discount the idea that they may have a concept of beauty (just watch a bird making her nest) but I have yet to come into the presence of another animal creating something in that manner.

When I look to shared gifts…compassion and understanding are the ones that come up next. To ostracize someone, we withhold both of those in order to make that individual feel worthless and unwelcome. We also tend to do that for the wrong reasons, sometimes solely because we can. But we can make the choice to let those barriers down and let people be who they are, without strings attached. Making that choice requires a willingness to be injured in some manner. Sometimes it pays off in a reward, and other times the payoff is a new learning experience to benefit us the next time we step out on that ledge.

One that we neglect is our instinct. Other animals live off of it, so they are completely in tune with how that functions. Our instincts tend to be dulled by our opulence, falsified safety created by imagined wealth and material objects. Sweet talkers who seduce us with things we want to hear or games we refuse to take full notice of. We play into those because of our own desire for some kind of acceptance, because we don't accept ourselves, where we stand. We have this idea in our head as to who we are, but fail to look in the mirror to see if that's who we can be, truly, or if it's just a magnified fantasy that can never materialize. Society has told us that going after the unimaginable is a flight of fancy. But if we look at where we want to go, and look and see what is available for that first step, we can find a way to make a path – if that is what we really do want. Complacency is what keeps us from moving forward. Stagnation is what propels us to make those changes.

A concept of failure. When things don't work out, we either have the option to leave them there, or figure another route. When everything is given to us, what do we miss out on by not looking down those other paths, or making a new one?

In this holiday of thankfullness…

I'm finding that I'm getting more and more pissed off. In talking with my mum, it dawned on me that my irritation has been with the small courtesies that used to be common, but are not so common…even in a laid back atmosphere such as the one I strive to create around me. For the most part, I run on the "what works for everyone" time. In my business, I'm a bit anal about being on-time (meaning, 15 minutes early), and my scheduling. If we're scheduling out and my schedule doesn't mesh with people, I try to work with it. But that has come to the point where it's resulting in my loss, and it's pissing me off. I come into my office in order to either work on the back end of things, or see clients….especially around holidays. But apparently, there seems to be this disconnect at the idea that I don't see other clients…or at least, that's the impression I get in dealing with some of my clients. Today's doozy was someone that I normally don't see, because I normally don't work past 5.30pm on Fridays. We moved him to my schedule, earlier in the day, and then all the miscommunication started. Needless to say, he didn't show up, and wanted to come in at his normal time instead. Yeah, I like wasting 6 hours of my day, no biggie (which yes, I know he was unaware that I've been sitting around getting my panties in a twist in the meantime).

At any rate, it's a small piece of a larger picture. Earlier, a client decided to use this "you never confirmed a time back with me" to excuse his lack of communication. Maybe I'm weird, but if someone doesn't get back to me on a business transaction, I tend to get back with them….and I also check my spam box regularly, which is where the following communications from me went (thanks Google! Love that algorithm, really, I do).  Other clients cancelling at the last minute because they schedule a meeting to start when our appointment ends…and expecting to not pay for the cancellation.

It just amazes me. I know my yoga teacher discussed how we would want to crawl in a hole, away from society during our transition. And I really do. I need to take a serious break from people, just so I can hit that proverbial reset button on all of this. My boundaries have gotten so blurred, that it's next to impossible for me to come up with a polite way to enforce them. The online scheduling is going to help, if Google would quit sending the emails from it into the recipient's spam box.

Just too much, really, it's just too much. I don't know if it's just the culture around me, or if it's me (and yes, I know that the only thing I can really control are my reactions). But when you get the amount of mindlessness and lack of common courtesy that has been thrown in my face, it happens. As I told my mum, I don't know if it's just because I'm seeing it and it's bothering me that I'm seeing more of it, or if it really is THAT bad.

I just need to become a hermit.