#MicroblogMondays - On Yoga

Way back in my infertility/adoption waiting days I attempted to get into yoga. There was a great studio near my house where all the teachers embraced the spiritual as well as the physical practice, and while it made me uncomfortable (all that spiritual stuff), I somehow knew it was something I needed. So, I went there regularly, sometimes mixing it up with Co.re Po.wer which was, to me, purely about the physical aspects, almost like going to a gym.

It lasted a couple years, Baby X came along and I started learning about cultural appropriation. I balked, stopped going to yoga and did other things instead.

Over the past several months, I’ve gotten back into the practice, and not just the physical practice. As I continue on my spiritual awakening, broadening my horizons, being open to new ideas, I’ve come to realize that there is a difference between straight up cultural appropriation and approaching the practice with respect. I’ve found two yoga teachers who approach the practice with respect and lean into teaching those of us in our class about the spiritual side, setting intentions, learning to love ourselves so we can love and serve others.

I know we are skipping over the religion aspect in that yoga is directly related to Hinduism, and I don’t know how to reconcile that. I don’t like religion. I don’t believe there’s a G.od. I have finally come around to the idea that I’m firmly at.heist. At.heist with a broadening belief that the Universe itself is comprised of energy (it is…scientifically speaking) that connects and draws us together.

So, if I don’t practice or believe in the religion which originated yoga, do I have any right to be one of the millions of middle-aged white women practicing it?

I think so? I think it’s ok for me to embrace the spiritual side of yoga and meditation, learning about myself in order to be able to show up in the world and be a positive influence and a leader. I’m not sure I’ll ever not cringe at walking into someone’s home and seeing representations of religions they don’t necessarily practice. I’m quite sure that people who are not Orth.odox Chris.tian (how I was raised) put up Icons in their houses, so it makes me uncomfortable to see a Bud.dha or Gan.esha in someone’s space. I may get better at asking the questions to draw out why they have them, trying to let go of my judgement.

Is that ok?

 

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p.s. I signed up for p.s.i seminar in February. Holy crap. 😬 

#MicroblogMondays - Resistance is

futile.

It took less than a year for Stretch Guy to get me here:

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Remember this post? It was all about how I completely went off the deep end thinking he joined a cult and was trying to recruit me and I almost fired him over it. Oh wait, I didn’t share all of that at the time…Yup. Since then there’s been more EMDR, intensive therapy, sharing, growing, letting him support me, hearing his experience, him joking that he’s going to get me there…me resisting, resisting, and more resisting. Since I’ve acknowledged I need more support and help from him through all this healing stuff, and he’s been right about everything else so far…I’ve finally agreed to go to the presentation. Therapist #3 is completely on board. She got so excited I thought she might get up and do a happy dance right in front of me.

sigh

Bring it.

 Don’t know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out  here

Don’t know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out here

#MicroblogMondays - Gong Bath

you read that right…this ISTJ engineer, unfeeling, skeptic attended a gong bath and loved every second of it.

I’ve been finding that yoga is resonating with me in a way that it hasn’t before. During a candlelight class I attend, the instructor plays the tanpura, and her playlists are intentional with the flow she teaches. There’s something about how she conducts the classes and her messages that pull emotion out of me. I’ve cried through grief, happiness and everything in-between in her class. So when she started promoting a gong bath she and her partner hold, I became curious. I’ve known about gong baths since my old days of attempting to connect with yoga during the adoption wait, but I was always resistant to trying it. Now that I’m responding and feeling more, it was time to give it a try. I made a decision at the last minute to go by myself when I realized it was the last one of the year and I didn’t have time to line up a babysitter so I could drag S with me. When I showed up with my two yoga mats, a blanket, a pillow, a notebook, and water I was nervous not knowing what to expect. I got there 15 minutes before it started and the room was almost full. Choosing a spot near the back observing how others were set up, I set myself up. Mistake #1: didn’t notice that there were thicker mats to borrow that would have been way more comfortable than my two thin yoga mats. Mistake #2: not doing any stretching before lying down on my back. I’m all comfy in shavasana after an hour of yoga, not so much after a long work day. My back was tight, the floor was hard and I found it hard to stay still. The bath started with a guided meditation followed by singing bowls and other instruments before moving to the gongs. Ok, I am a huge skeptic (I know, you’re sooo surprised), so when she talked about the gongs being tuned to the Sun and Saturn, and the journey we were all going to be taking and the forms it could take, I internally rolled my eyes and thought…yeah yeah…how is that possibly going to happen? Especially since I was sober! Well, I didn’t fly through the cosmos. Instead, the vibrations of the gongs rolled through my body causing me to breathe fast and deep and I felt like something was trying to burst out of my chest all Alien-style. The. Whole. Time. It was scary and intense and I found my mind crying out for help imagining people in my inner circle hanging on to my hands to guide me through it. About half way through the gongs, I had to roll onto my side to minimize the vibrations for a while. When I resumed shavasana, the sensation was the same and just as intense. After the gongs, rattles and drums were played to calm it down. I was spent, amazed, shocked, and I can’t wait to do it again.


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(And then I ran into my network chiropractor as I was leaving and that was totally weird.)

#MicroblogMondays - The Complete Transformation

I have been remiss in posting what my hair looks like 100% completely free of color. It’s taken a while for me to get used to it, and to bemusedly navigate the stares, stammers and roundabout questioning from people I haven’t seen in a while…

Overall, I’m happy to have made the change. My hair is evenly silver for the most part with quite a lot of white around my face and it looks pretty cool. The texture is something else though. When my hair was colored, the dye helped to calm down the naturally coarse and wavy/curly texture. Absent the coating of dye, it’s been quite a learning curve to figure out products and styling techniques as I grow out the short ‘do to something that I like more. While I look good in pixie short hair, it’s not me, and I have a weird perception that because I have gray hair that’s short, now I look like all those 60-year olds rocking their short gray ‘dos. I’m growing it out to my usual jaw-length short hair.



…today I’m an 8/10. It’s been a pretty decent run of feeling good despite some significant challenges, and I didn’t dip below 6/10 after that chat with my mom.



0.5 #NaBloMoPo Day 5 The Good Ol' Days?

 

 

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I graduated high school 25, TWENTY-FIVE, years ago. It doesn't feel real to realize all my high school memories are at least 25 years old. A reunion was planned and I was going to attend. However, a fundraiser for X's school and S's attendance at the Great American Beer Festival got in the way and I quickly dropped the idea of reuniting with my high school counterparts. High school was really difficult for me. I had a few friends, but largely was a nerdy ballet dancing flute playing depressed teenager whose parents were controlling. And I don't keep up with anyone from high school other than the very occasional peek at F-B pages, because, you know we're "friends".

Did you like high school?  Do you look forward to your reunions?

#MicroblogMondays - Depression

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I'm depressed. 

I'm medicated.

It's not a magic bullet.

I was trying to explain to S what depression feels like, because all my family sees right now is me not happy and on edge. I spent the entire summer dealing with anxiety with the buying of a house, selling of a house, and all of it not on my preferred timeline. Now that it's done, we've moved in, we've sold the other house, we've put the money back in S's IRA, recast the mortgage loan with the proceeds of our house sale....it's flipped. Depression is back in a big way. I spend a lot of time in my head trying to reframe and give myself a break, and I'm less than successful. I spend a lot of time wanting/needing/craving a break from life in general.  I took Friday off of work in the name of self care to watch movies while editing X's school directory, paint my nails and ride my bike. That was great, but the house was still a disorganized mess that needs to be cleaned. I swear it won't feel like it's my house until I have everything where I want it, and it looks like a mid-mod style freaking Nor.man Rock.well painting. As if that will cure the depression once and for all. I know it won't, but it's one thing I can control. 

The hard part about depression is that it never goes away. When I started therapy 4 years ago I thought I just needed help through a life transition. Then there was a name put to my symptoms. Then there was medication. Then I worked on a lot of crap. Then she moved. Then I took a break and things were pretty good. Then I needed more therapy. Two years into that therapy, I'm figuring out that I will be living with this for the rest of my life and I'll never be "cured". Medication takes the edge off and evens me out, it doesn't stop the thoughts. The imposter feeling, the inner critic telling me I'm not good enough. That is present 100% of the time.

#MicroblogMondays - It Was Going to be Funny but...

As I'm writing this, I'm remembering that it's 9/11. I feel like I should mark it, even though it's something that for me has faded since I didn't have any personal ties to the event. Granted, things have changed (and not for the better) in this country, and I worry about my son constantly given his size (at 6 he's as tall or taller than 8 year olds) and his features (having Northern Indian features is going to make him a target for anti-Mid-East assholes, no doubt about it).

Back to the funny/gross post I was thinking about when I opened my blog. We are slowly moving into our new house and thankfully last week the closing on the house we sold went smoothly meaning we were able to dodge a big bill for a bridge loan. *phew* Now we can finally get serious about furniture buying and really getting this place set up like we want it. One of those things was painting the office and getting it together so that I don't have to work at the kitchen table anymore. The area rug I'm going to use is one we've had for about 10 years. I've never cleaned it beyond vacuuming and this morning I thought...you know, probably should get out the steam cleaner and give it a good cleaning.

This is what I ended up with:

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Clearly, I am not the best housekeeper.

 

#MicroblogMondays - Challenge

I'm not into resolutions, but challenges and goals tend to motivate me. For example, the goal to complete a 100-mile bike ride. That got me on my bike on days when I was tired or sore or just not feeling it. Generally, my goals will be activity related to keep me working out and in shape.

I didn't set goals for this year, and I may or may not do any big bike rides, choosing to wait until I have a chance to get on my bike in the spring. 

Challenges on the other hand...I need to challenge myself to do all kinds of things, and have started with the low-hanging fruit:

Only drink 2 days a week

Writing that down feels like I'm admitting I have a problem. I don't have a problem, other than spending a stupid amount of money at our friendly neighborhood liquor store, and my expanding waistline. 

#MicroblogMondays - Realities of "In Training"

This year, I decided that kicking my ass on a bicycle in the mountains was a really great idea. So far, I've been feeling really stressed out over my work schedule, trying to stay (and failing) on top of planning my Jaz.zercise classes, and I'm irritated that we have no money to pay for a professional landscaper.  Because I've decided that endurance cycling is one of my things, we can't get to the landscaping and our front yard is downright embarrassing. Lest you wonder why S doesn't do it while I'm off riding, or why I don't do it when he's off riding on Sundays, or why we don't do it in the afternoons:  getting anything accomplished while being the only parent around has proved difficult for both of us. Sure, we'll stick them in front of the tv for an hour, but in that hour, it's usually a feeble attempt to pick up, do dishes and laundry (or in my case, put together a Jaz.zercise set). There's social engagements, or shopping for gifts, or just plain trying to shop, because despite my attempt to get everything online, I still have to find time to go to a brick and mortar store at least every other week. Shit does not get done on weekends.

Saturday morning, at 6:45am, I dragged myself up to the foothills to try to ride a mountain pass. I made it about 11 miles, up to 10,000 feet.

It was amazing.

The landscaping will wait.

 

 

 

#MicroblogMondays - Making the Best of a Long Trip

Last week, I was on two trips. The first was to visit my brother and his family over the weekend, followed by site visits to 3 dams and a couple of face to face meetings. Visiting with my brother was great, I met my niece, newest addition to the family, played with my older niece, and lazed around his house for a couple of days (part of the laziness was due to a bad allergy attack that 2 types of meds couldn't tamp down).

I drove at least 200 miles in between flights to accomplish all this; screwed up the rental car reservation; forgot to use my personal credit card on one of the rental car fill-ups; had a 5am flight on Friday morning (ouch!); and now face what will feel like a mountain of paperwork and judgement to straighten it all out. Good times.

But, while I was out there, I was able to visit some nice areas and take a little time to wander around.