Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Many Thanks~

This week I aim to be grateful for what is gifted to me and what I can offer back out to the students, to people in an honest, uplifting, encouraging way. Perfect or not. I aim to be grateful for this opportunity to travel this path and learn along the way. I am grateful to all my teachers for what they have taught me and how each of them continues to support me in their own way. Many thanks to all for helping me to help others along the way.
Happy Week of Giving Thanks~
With Deep Appreciation,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Moving with the Thoughts

I have had a lot on my mind lately so this entry may be a bit random. Everything from teaching and learning to family and babies has been on my mind. I find that when it comes to having a family, well, it changes the pace of things a bit. I look at some of my fellow friends on this yoga path with me who are also working towards Anusara certification and sometimes I feel a little slow.
I know that I should not compare where I am at to where someone else is at, but I sometimes wonder when I will get there. It could be that I am closer than I think. I suppose it's a lot like that idea of having the miracle within reach and you stop just short. Of course, I am not stopping or questioning this path. I know that I am headed in the right direction and am exactly where I need to be. I guess I just wonder how close or how far the reality of certification really is. I suppose it comes down to is hanging in there and, for me, simply reminding myself to enjoy the process and trust the flow of things.
There is no specified timeline that I have to be certified by but would like to try within the next two years. I still have some reading, digesting and assimilating of material to do but can just continue at a steady pace. That is the wonderful thing about Tucson and Yoga Oasis, there are so many opportunities to learn. Yoga Oasis is always offering some workshop, teacher training, or philosophy talk. Top-notch teachers are always traveling to Tucson. I feel really blessed in this way to be here. Of course, I would like to attend every single event, but I do what can.
Our move to Tucson has really helped, even pushed, both Jason and I to grow on so many levels. The other big blessing that came with the move was family. With my parent's just 5 minutes up the road from us and Jason's parent's and sister a little over an hour away, Liam has really been thriving in their presence. We have received a lot of help from both sides and it does make a difference to have family close especially when you have a little one.
Speaking of little ones... another thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is adding to our family. Yes, I have been thinking about having another baby and so Jason and I have been talking about it. Liam has been asking for a baby sister for a little while now and so is clearly keen on the idea. I think I am thinking about it too much but want to take on such an adventure from a wide open place. I want to be as willing, accepting and prepared as is possible. There is a lot of change that accompanies the creation and bringing forth of another little being. Part of what runs through my mind is how will this slow my certification process. I suppose all I can do is continue to read, study and learn as much as I can before the creation and arrival of baby #2.
I find that I can think about all the pros and cons of having another baby all day and still be on the fence. If I allow myself to feel the desire for a another child, then I know the answer. The time feels right. Everything will come together. We will find a new sense of balance as a family and maybe a little more easily next time. I will regain my body, my strength, and mental clarity in time with some patience and diligence. Sleep or lack there of will be rough at the start, but maybe we will be blessed with a little sleeper the second time around. I can only hope!
Like I said, I have a lot on my mind. I feel better pouring some of this out onto the virtual page. There is definitely something to be said for being able to share what is on my mind and in my heart in such a way. I feel lighter and more optimistic already.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Sweetness of Weddings and Remembering Love

"Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner." (Amy Bloom)
Jason and I attended John and Tabby's wedding on Friday night and had a great time. We had the chance to see some old friends from Flagstaff which really added to the joy of the evening. We danced, enjoyed a glass of wine, took silly pictures in a photo booth and stayed up way past our bed time.
On Sunday morning after my class, I shared with PJ what Jason and I had been up to and that we had just returned home from a wedding. PJ then shared with me how much he loved attending weddings because you get to revisit your own love and commitment to each other. You reminisce about your own wedding day and can't help but smile and pass knowing looks across the way. I agreed. We also agreed that showing up for the sacred event is sign of support for the couple who is embarking on this new journey in their life together. It's such a sweet thing, really.
One of things that struck me after Jason and I said, "I Do" was the feeling of ease and security that washed over me. I am so glad we kept the ceremony small and chose to wed by the sea because there is nothing like hearing the roar of waves to remind you to go with the flow, to stay aligned and attuned to the rhythm of nature.
And here Jason and I are 9 1/2 years later and 4 1/2 years married, swept up in the tides of life. What I've discovered is that love and marriage and a good relationship is full of life. There are ups and downs along the way as with anything else. Throw a child into the mix and presto, you have a whole new relationship and dynamic. I suppose this is the reason choosing a good-hearted, steady, funny, loving, committed partner is everything. The foundation of the relationship must be sturdy enough to whether the storms of life and spacious enough to allow room for growth and change . The best part is, that what you put into your little house of love will pay off and, ultimately, will stand the test of time.
Cheers to love, to life, to laughter, and being in it together. Cheers to love standing the test of time and making the most of the time together.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Flor de Muerto~ Flower of the Dead

It's been a full few days, and I feel exhausted. My sister was in town for a visit so have been spending a lot of time with my family. We took my sister, Jenna, to the All Souls Procession and then to the Calexico show on Sunday. It was a strange and magical night. I think my sister was a bit tripped out by the procession and with people dressed up as the dead. It truly is a unique experience. It's almost as if people get to let another side of themselves out to play, to be wild and alive.
After the parade, we went over to the Rialto Theater and it was beautifully decorated with colorful streamers, day-of-the-dead flags and a giant skull over the stage. The theater and the show was truly enchanting. It is one of the best shows I have seen. Actually, it was really more of an experience than a show. Calexico marched single-file with their instruments from the street to the stage. The music was awesome and it seemed everyone was feeling and playing at their best. The room was alive and the energy of the band and the crowd that night carried us home. There was a moment when Calexico was marching to the stage where I felt myself fall a little for Tucson. In that moment, I felt a new appreciation for this place, for this spread out desert town and the people here. I love the creative, alternative side of Tucson because it's a surprise. Though I find the energy here hard to hold onto and unpredictable, I do love the unbounded creativity that is present. Tucson is a good place to grow and heal and learn. The scattered energy that bounces around this arid land is different but is teaching me a thing or two about how to adapt to the changing rhythm of life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Comfortably Uncomfortable

"Finding a balance between technique and creativity is an art. As we evolve our craft, we will all go through awkward and uncomfortable teaching experiences (I went through that last night myself). Better to move through such discomforts then staying in the comfort zone and not really evolving in our teaching."
(Darren Rhodes)
I had one of these awkward teaching experiences tonight. It's not the first time and am guessing it won't be the last. I will admit that I have been feeling a bit off all day and know that such days come and go. Even still, after a night such as tonight, I leave questioning my approach, questioning my offering, questioning my ability. I get that this is in my mind and suppose this is just a habitual way of thinking on my part. This perspective is not set in stone and as my word of the evening and lesson of the day implies is possible to transform.
It's odd because I do have awesome teaching experiences most of the time and yet experience the opposite at other times. For example, I have one class that is still building and settling and am just having a tough time figuring the rhythm because it is different from my other two. Why is this? The only thing I can come up with is that the group is different. The other reason or thought that comes to mind is that I am trying to hard to please everybody and that might not be doable. But the truth is I'd like to think it is. I sincerely want all the students in attendance to feel better than when they walked in by the time they leave. I want to help. I want to connect. But I want to do so for the right reasons, for the highest good. I want to help because that is what I feel I am supposed to do.
I get that what I am experiencing are growing pains and such challenges will only serve to better my teaching. I get the growth. However, I wish things would settle and that I would feel more at ease when a challenging class experience comes to a close. Honestly, I just want to be at that place where I have found the perfect mix and balance in teaching, in living, in being. I wonder when that will come and if that will come when I feel that way within myself. Will that equilibrium come when I can create and maintain a sense of calm all the time?
Is that actually possible? Or does this go against the natural ebb and flow of things. One day up... another day down. Maybe it is simply about the mind and heart staying steady and connected. And do such changes feel less difficult and drastic the more adaptable we become? Hmmm.... something to think about, sit with, and investigate.
The conclusion that I have come to for tonight is that being a yoga teacher is an awesome responsibility and sacred opportunity. I know I have much to learn and sometimes feel overwhelmed by that thought, but don't want to discount how far I've come. So in the spirit of transmuting the negative into the positive and in effort to stay true to the lesson for today, all these questions and doubts are good in that they are helping me to better serve my students and allowing me to open to the possibility that I just may be doing this perfectly for now.
Getting Comfortably Uncomfortable.
Ever Evolving,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Souls Day~

Breath and Body
Light and Soul
This morning started out a bit stressful with me unable to find my keys, my son not wanting to leave the house or for me to leave him, and both of us feeling tired. Jason was off to work early this morning and know he was exhausted too. We all managed to make it through the morning.In fact, the day turned nicely despite our rough start.
After dropping Liam off with my mom and dad, I broke down and called Rachel to see if she could open the studio for me. She was so willing. And I was so thankful. I could breathe a sigh of relief, and I did.
Actually, that's it. I became aware of my breath or, rather, of the shallow, tight, barely-there sort of breathing I was doing in my stressed state. That awareness of the whirlwind emotion I felt wrapped up in and the quality of my breath informed me of the need to pause, to breathe.
Since I spent much of the morning in search of my keys, I ran out of time to practice. Usually, I practice before I teach to warm and wake my muscles, practice the sequence, prepare the room, and get myself centered. Instead, I spent my drive to the studio doing alternate nostril breathing so that I could clear my mind and get settled. Making a concerted effort to focus on each inhale and exhale did the trick.
The class theme was about taking the time to look over the past year, plant the seeds of desire in the heart for the year to come and wait. Sit with the seeds in the heart. Enjoy this time of going inward, this space between the end and the beginning. Naturally, the focus was on breathing and getting into the space between the breath and the space between one pose to the next. We did a variation on moon salutations and worked on opening the hips to prepare for sitting, breath work and a short meditation. Class went well.
Though I am not a fan of stressful, harried mornings, I did learn something. I really do need to make a conscious effort to ground my abundant, sometimes fast, spinning energy. I am grateful I am becoming more aware of myself and the way in which I can get worked up and overwhelmed energetically.
After a snack and a good nap, Liam, Jason and I were feeling much better. In fact, the afternoon spent with my boys was perfect. We went for a bike ride, played at two different parks and rode home. Liam and Jason played soccer in the backyard while I started soup. While the soup was stewing, I took the dog out for a walk. The sun was setting and the bright, beautiful moon was up. It was gorgeous end to the day.
Today really is the perfect day for new beginnings.
Happy All Souls Day,