Friday, May 28, 2010

Home

Well, Jason and I made it home. We are happy to be back. It was a full 30 hours of traveling with maybe an hour of sleep. Jason and I arrived tired but survived the trek. It was so great to see Liam at the airport and have him run and jump into my arms. I sure did miss my little guy and discovered that 7 days was too long. Anyway, he gave me and Jason some really great hugs. ;)
Let me backtrack a little before moving forward...
Our last night in Italy was a good one. Jason and I went into central Bologna to explore the area a bit since we had heard this area is quite spectacular. It was spectacular and am glad we went to see it despite being tired.
Bologna is certainly a bustling place and the area we were in was full of grand, old buildings, lots and lots of shops and restaurants. I am sad to say that this was the most romantic part of our trip and the most time Jason and I spent alone the entire time we were in Italy. We walked around the city, had dinner, enjoyed some wine and then hoped back on the bus at 9 p.m. to go back to the hotel. Since we both wanted some dessert, we went to the Pizzeria next the hotel for some gellato and another glass of wine. It was a sweet ending to the evening.
Since my return home,though, I have not yet processed the experience. I will say that it was different than I thought it would be. At the moment, I think I am to tired to know what to think about it all. For now, I will just give myself time to get settled and let my feelings on the experience do the same.
I will be sure to upload the photos and some videos in the next few days for others to view.
Glad to be home,
Marcia

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Wall

I hit the wall today, Monday, and am ready to go home. I am not sure if my feeling blue has to do with missing Liam, lack of sleep due to the busy night life just outside our window, a desire to just spend time alone with my husband or simply a need to be around less people in general.
Here's the thing I have discovered about myself, I am easily peopled out. Meaning, always being around people or doing group things makes me crazy in a very short amount of time. In fact, group stuff makes me anxious. I am someone that not only likes time alone but needs time alone. I have experienced very little of that and am at that point where I need to hide away a bit. So I think a little time alone on the beach and a practice by myself is in order and may be just the thing to help me regain my balance. We leave Riccione early tomorrow morning, so I need to make the most of my time in Riccione. We will spend most of Tuesday in Bologna. We hop on the plane to head home on Wednesday morning and am really looking forward to being home and to sleeping in my bed. I remember a woman once told me that even a wish to sit on the beach and do nothing all day would get old after while. I think she was right. Of course, I have not lounged on the beach really at all. I have walked on the beach, practiced on the beach and walked to the center of town everyday and think I have seen what there is to see. The center of town is lovely but the truth is I am not much of a shopper, and I have no shopping stamina whatsoever. Since, we, Colin, Elann, Jason and I, were all feeling the need to do something different, we took a drive along the coast toward the cliffs. It was a pretty drive with gorgeous, green trees shading the winding road. The rolling green hills of the countryside are picturesque for sure. Anyway, we all sat and had a drink outside and stared out at the sea. It was peaceful sitting there drinking tea, starring at the sea and listening to the birds sing. After a rough start to the day, I appreciated the slow quiet of the afternoon. I suppose I should scoot along outside to watch the sunset and enjoy being near the water for the last day. Marcia

Friday, May 21, 2010

Italy

Well, we made it to Italy. It was a wicked day of travel with an hour and half drive to the airport, 9.5 hours on the plane, another 3 hours in the car, and 2 more hours on the plane before reaching Bologna to spend the night at the Sheraton hotel. Jason and I finally made it to Riccione the following day at around 2 in the afternoon. It was a full 24 hours of travel. As you can imagine, we are happy to be enjoying the beach town of Riccione. It was great to finally get to the hotel by the beach to relax. I still don't know what day and time it is. I haven't been able to use my cell phone and that has been interesting. It all feels so surreal. There is always plenty to eat and lots of wine to drink. Really, I don't know how the Italians do this sort of food and drink thing all the time. I suppose they are used to it all. Don't misunderstand, we are enjoying ourselves but keeping the eating and drinking thing in check. Today, I spent the day out exploring the town we are in and walked for 3 hours and practiced yoga for 45 minutes. My back is actually feeling a lot better and the practice today was gentle and exactly what I needed. I am so grateful the back pain is gone. I have talked to Liam, Mom and Dad on Skype and that is so awesome. Liam really likes seeing himself on the computer screen. It was pretty cute to see him making faces and great to see his beautiful little face. I sure do miss him but know this trip will be over before we know it so am just reminding myself to eat slowly, explore and enjoy the place I am in, and sleep as late as I can. I don't have anything else to share as of yet. Jason, Collin and his wife, Elann,and I will venture out into the countryside to some castles in the days to follow. On Sunday, Jason does the Nove Colli ride and am sure that will be a long day for him especially since he will have to be up at 3 in the morning. I will take pictures and try to capture some of what I am seeing and experiencing so that I can share this place in some way. I must say the people here are wonderful. Everyone is so warm and welcoming and kind. My Italian is terrible, but I am learning fast. It is great fun to travel, and I think I had forgotten that. I really want to share this sort of thing with Liam too, though. I want him to have a wider view of the world. It is good to step outside of what I know so that I too can expand my thinking and my world beyond the boundries of what I know. I am sure by the time we have to leave I will finally have wrapped my head around the fact that I am here in Italy.
For now, it still feels like a dream. Off I go to enjoy the rolling waves and sparkling sun. Ciao, Marcia

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The last week~

This morning I am sitting with the doors open taking in the fresh air. The sun's light is filling the house and the scent of lilies is wafting about. I love mornings like this when I can just sit with Liam and just listen to the birds sing their joy to the world.
I am feeling better since my last entry. I feel like things are a little easier and communication is clearer since Mercury has gone direct. Surprisingly, I have really felt the effects of Mercury Retrograde this go around. I suppose that may be because this backwards flow of Mercury has been in the communication realm of my sign, Pisces. I am happy Mercury is moving forward again and that my life seems to be doing the same.
Jason and I had a couple of days on our own since Liam went to spend the night with Jason's parents (a.k.a. Grandmum and Granddad). Liam spent the night with them and his cousin Jenna Friday night and Saturday night. His being away gave Jason and I chance to get some much needed rest and some time together. We even attended the birthday party practice for Christina.
The practice with Christina was a good time for sure. We did a lot of back bends, listened to some great music, and it was just such a super group of people, an incredibly strong group of Yogis. It was so nice to be able to practice along side Jason.
During practice that night, I had a sweet breakthrough. I finally got over my fear of dropping back into full wheel and coming back up. I did 4 dropbacks with help and then did 4 on my own for a total of 8. That is the most dropbacks I have done at one time. We did a ton of wheels , Urdhva Dhanurasana, before even moving on to dropbacks so it was a heart opening experience to say the least. ;)
I will say I did notice that after finally doing those drop backs I felt a shift. I left that practice with a feeling of empowerment and elation and that has stayed with me for most of the week.
However, yesterday, I woke with my back feeling out of whack. I am not sure what I did. I don't know if I picked up Liam wrong or if it was due to the radical expansion of my practice a few nights ago. I felt sore for the next couple of days following all the deep backbends but nothing alarming so am thinking poor lifting may be the culprit of my aching back. Either way, my sacrum was locked up, so I had some acupuncture, massage, cranial work and bone setting done by my healer friend, Dan. That session was exactly what I needed. I discovered that I need body work done way more often because I rarely ever have body work done. In fact, that is probably on the second or third time I have been worked on in over 3 years.
I am still a little stiff and sore in my low back so will take it easy today. I teach later but am hoping that I will feel better by then and that teaching is a breeze. Off I go to enjoy the day.
Until next time...
Peace,
Marcia

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Resetting My Mind One Minute at a Time~

Okay.... so this morning I am writing to get some clarity and to get my mind free. For some reason, whenever I write about what is on my mind and in my heart, I feel better. My mind gets a rest and writing these things down helps me stop the negative loop. By the end, my heart feels a whole lot lighter. Thank goodness for that!
Last night was not good. It wasn't all bad either, though. The highlight of my evening was meeting a girlfriend for dinner. In fact, that was only the second time in 2 1/2 years that I have gone out on my own to meet with a girl friend. As is obvious, I don't get out much. Of course, this is another story altogether...
Back to reason I am writing and the subject on which I wish to write about. Last night I had a friend and fellow yoga teacher attend my class and, well, it was not my best class. In fact, I felt it was pretty terrible. I wasn't myself all because I had a peer in class. This bothers me because this is not the first time having a fellow teacher in class has thrown me, and this upsets me because I know I am not being me and am not sharing or showing what I am truly capable of. It is almost as if I am shrinking myself in the moment. I realize this is a habit that needs to be broken and changed if I am to move on to the next level.
I feel really emotional about this because I feel immensely disappointed in myself for allowing this to happen again. So, yes, I am disappointed but have not missed the point completely. I get that there is a great lesson to be learned from all this. What I discovered from this experience, as it unfolded in a way that was not to my liking, was a loss of connection between my heart and head and my habitual way of dealing with myself in such situations.
When my head and heart get disjoined in the moment, I have a hard time reconnecting and getting myself back together. I noticed that I get in my head but my mind is not clear and my focus gets really scattered. It is almost as if my brain shorts out and I forget what I was gonna teach, like the sequence or the focus of the class. Then, I go into this weird emotional place of worry of not teaching well or of not being good enough on some level and things don't turn out as well as I'd like or as well as I had hoped they would. You get the idea. Anyway, I did sort of manage to pull it together and used the moment to learn from and was able to be really honest.
My word of the night was expectation. I began with the idea that there is no expectation that those who attend yoga need to come in knowing how to do yoga, nor is there an expectation that you must have certain amount of flexibility or ability in your body because that is why we come to the practice... to learn as we go. Then I shared that I did hope that they could at least anticipate having a good time. The theme ran along that line...
Anyway, by the close of class, I did share that I have always been someone who has had high expectations of myself and from experience I have learned that when my expectations are high I always fall short. Expectations of myself often leave me feeling like I am lacking something and I feel disappointed. If instead I/we can pause, breathe, open to the experience and just do our best in the moment than all will unfold effortlessly and we will leave feeling good, satisfied, happy. I don't know that I said this in these exact words but it was something like that. I think by the end of class I was back in my heart and in a much softer more together place so am grateful for that.
I know all these dense moments are really helping me to grow and better myself and my skills and I appreciate that. However, at this point, 6 years of teaching later, I would just like to get it already!
The positive spin on all this is that I am able to be aware of what is going on with me when this strange flip thing happens. However, I am left feeling like I don't know what to do about this situation or how to transform it. How do I break this pattern and free myself up to be myself no matter who shows up to class? Will this eventually change on it's own or do I need to get some help with this? Does anyone have any wisdom they would like to share with me?
At this moment, I feel like I just need to give myself a break and a lot of love. Today, I will get my hair done and am looking forward to doing nothing and being pampered. After sharing this, I do feel a great sense of relief. Writing is such great therapy and there is great magic in the words that flow from the heart. I do love how writing helps me get answers to my questions and allows me to be bare, honest and real.
Resetting my mind a minute at a time,
Marcia

Monday, May 3, 2010

Long Week~

Jason is finally home after a week of being away. It's been a very long week with long days and lots of ups and downs. It's not so much that I can't manage with Jason gone because I can and I do... with help from my folks. I feel fortunate and grateful to have my mom and dad living so near because Liam stays with them when I go to teach.
What makes the time while he is away hard is not really having time for myself. This whole last week, Liam woke at about 5:30, sometimes earlier, and had a difficult time getting to sleep, so I didn't get out of his room at bedtime at the end of the day until around 9:45 p.m.. My only time away was to teach and then back home again to do what needs to be done. Today followed a similar trend.
Liam did share with me this evening that his ear hurts so it seems an ear infection may have developed either following the cold he just got over or it may be due to the fall into the pool, which is a story for another time. Either way, this may explain the more challenging than usual behavior and difficulty sleeping. Who knows? Some days these things are a mystery to me.
I have noticed that when I don't have some time to just unwind and recharge that it is much harder to stay calm and conscious when Liam gets worked up or when he is fighting his nap or simply not willing to work with me to help him. And what it comes down to is that parenting or being a good mom is a learn-as-you-go sort of thing. It doesn't matter how many books you read, though, I do find great ideas and new approaches to parenting that I am not familiar with, so I don't want to discount the value of educating oneself and investigating things further. In the end, though, each little person is unique and you have to get to know your little person and just try different approaches to see what your little one responds to.
I have definitely felt a need for a change in my/our approach to parenting. Some of the things we, Jason and I, are doing is working and some things... not so much. Liam is certainly pushing the limits and working it a bit if you will. I suppose he's playing the boundaries a bit out of curiosity or something.
A woman I know shared with me that we have moved from the terrible twos to the horrific threes but that by four things are much easier and better. That is a relief, I think? Truth be told, every time I have heard someone say something like the 'terrible' twos, I sort feel bummed by such a description and worry that thinking about this phase or age group in such a way may actually create that. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be naive or discount the fact that maybe there is some validity to the challenges that come at this phase in childhood but calling something 'terrible' or 'horrific' makes it all the more difficult.
I still don't know what I am doing as a parent but feel I do a good job most of the time. On my less than stellar days, I am quick to apologize for my impatience or inability to stay calm. The good news is that Liam understands so much and we can actually talk about things and that is awesome.
Over this past week, I realized that there needs to be some change... I must do some investigating, some searching within myself and do some exploring or experimenting with different ways to help Liam, me and Jason grow and deal with what comes up whether its plain old stubbornness, emotions, cooperation, or lack there of, with as much awareness as possible.
I have discovered that in working with Liam that I need to be creative, playful, conscious, aware, compassionate and consistent. Some of these things I do well already and, well, other areas need some work.
So my task now is how to integrate all these aspects in a way that works and helps all three of us. I can see how the UPA's can come into play... At the moment, I am feeling the need to focus on Alignment Principle number one... Open to Grace... Surrender.... Soften.... I must allow the answers to come to me and move through me.
One thing I do know is that I am someone who needs time to myself to recharge. Also, I am and have always been very sensitive to the energy of others. Meaning, I feel what is going on beyond what my be said or portrayed. I suspect that Liam is the same way. This is why I must be aware of how I am handling things in the moment. I need to be aware of whether I am responding or reacting to things as they arise.
For example, when my little guy gets worked up, it bothers me. I need to keep that in check because he is having his own experience. I just want to be able to help and to reset the balance. I suppose the only way to help is to be present and stay centered within my heart so that I can respond in a loving way versus reacting out of frustration. However, try as I might, there will be times when I fall short so I need to learn to be more loving and forgiving of and with myself. Okay, clearly there is plenty to work on.
Phew! For some reason, I thought that this would be a short entry. Oh well, it's good to get it down on virtual paper. I do feel better and have a more clarity than when I began. I love it when that happens!
Love and Light,
Marcia