Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Discipline December




I am moving into what I am calling "Discipline December" tomorrow: December 1. I got started today on some of the hairy projects I intend to tackle this month!

I am so happy to be at this place! The fog of pleasant distractions has cleared just enough to see a bit of land! And I know that there will be unforeseen adventure and possibly hardship along the way, but I will reach my goal (I hope!).

Other Decembers might have been, "Decadent December" or "December Depression" but this is a unique December this year, and I just hope that I can pull my projects off!

I have yoga goals, organization goals, financial goals, relationship goals, community goals… Seriously.

If I am courageous enough I may report how it's going, but mainly I just want to say what I want. Put it out there. Plan. Prepare. Go!

And perhaps "Discipline December" will naturally progress towards "Jammin' January" where I'll really see stars!


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Realizing me.







My intention is
to direct energy toward
realizing me.


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Awakened Sense of Gratitude




I had been sort of beating myself up because I wasn't feeling the same sense of gratefulness as I was last year. Where was my gratitude? As if since I had felt it before, I should always feel that way. If we could only bottle things from one moment and bring them to the next. But it doesn't work that way.

So, I think myself to be in a funny space around the concept of gratitude this year, but maybe that's because I've never been precisely here before.

In the past, it seems that I've valued the extreme, the rash, the high… Or even the low, the disappointment or the depression. Feeling the extremes meant that I was feeling something.

Well, I've learned that feelings are so varied, and many of them are subtle. It was actually a symptom of my coarseness that a feeling needed to be extreme for me to register it. And feelings are what provide a sense of depth in experience. Intellectual perceptions can turn me on, but they ultimately fall flat in the currency of my inner realm which I feel must be connected to my values. I value feeling life. Reducing life to concepts and ideas hurts in the realm of experience.

So maybe I'm just feeling things differently right now. It seems good. An expanded range of awareness… Much clearer. The resolution of my emotional barometer has become more finely tuned. What was once big chunks of feelings—leading to a bumpy ride—are now a finer sand.

I have softened, yielded my demands in favor of living the life I currently experience.

And for this emotional sobriety and clarity, I am grateful.


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Monday, November 22, 2010

"Moolah"-bandha, the currency of yoga!

Read about this treasured "flame of intelligence", or mulabandha (and more about Richard Freeman's recent workshops at Yogaview) at Elephant:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I’m doing...


Well, on Friday (Nov. 19) I’m going to a free talk and book signing at Yogaview-Elston at 6:30 pm with the legendary Richard Freeman. There is some info on Yogaview’s Facebook page. It is a free event that is open to the public. I recommend it.

Notable posts:

The Vapors, by The Pondering Yogini, Meredith LeBlanc.

The Yoga of Root Canals, Y is for Yogini.

Are You a Sell-Out? at Elephant, by Jay Winston.

A Weird Yoga Infection, by Eco Yogini.

5 Winter Vegetables You Should Be Eating. at Elephant, by Jennifer Kass.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yielding into Wholeness


My recent post at Elephant includes a catharsis and a pondering. The catharsis was an emotional letting go as I embraced a previously abandoned aspect of myself. And then I ponder selective and judgmental processing of experience, referring to modern teachings and ancient texts.

Hope you enjoy:

* Master photographer, Jay Winston took the above picture of me when we were at Kripalu. Thanks, Jay! Check out his recent mind-blowingly good and raw post at Yoga for Cynics: One Breath at a Time *

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mental Health and Money.




~Definition from Dictionary.com app on my iPhone:
mental health
-noun
1. psychological well-being and satisfactory adjustment to society and to the ordinary demands of life.


Mental health is not necessarily about intelligence level or capacity for kindness which are two qualities that I have considered important in my life.

I think "mental health" to me has meant, "being okay with one's self." This is because I took on responsibility for mine at a very early age, due to my mother's diagnosis and behavior when I was a little girl. So I decided what was "healthy" for my mental space and set about guarding it, and cultivating it as opportunities came around.

My mother's mother had always emphasized the dangers of stress and seeked out ways to try to protect me from stress in the ways that she understood.

Lately it is dawning on me more and more, the component of mental health that is about being well-adjusted in terms of societal standards. And it occurs to me that people are not really free to live in certain ways. Mental health is judged by how society prioritizes values.

Someone can live their life in kindness, and be mentally ill if they don't buy into the structures built into society, like the necessity of employment.

Someone can be really smart, but if they can't pay their bills then their children will suffer.

In my own definition to myself I always emphasized my well-being, which extends to my relationships. Emotional well-being seemed the priority. My relationship with my now dead grandmother seemed to reinforce this notion which was only a half-truth.

Physical well-being is also important, as well as integration into ones society. Financial well-being and attentiveness to cultural values help someone to stand tall in the situation that exists. Money is prioritized now.

Yoga (and aging?) has helped me to manage my emotions. I still consider them to be an important indicator of a certain kind of truth (so I am not talking about suppressing emotions), but I have learned to stand steady in the storm.

So my priority from earlier in life of protecting and cultivating emotional well-being has yielded some pretty fantastic results. I am emotionally sound.

I can also see that my work is valued in the world. Money comes in, as well as smiles, kind words, gratitude, and opportunities.

So what's the problem? Someone might legitimately ask.

At a certain point, earlier in my life it seemed like a high ideal to not value the importance of money. People seemed more important. I also have been blessed with family that helped me until I could make my own. Then I just lived small. It seemed to simplify things.

None of this probably sounds that bad so far. But I am becoming aware of ways I need to become financially responsible. I am aging. I am single. It no longer seems appropriate to be living for just the basic enjoyment of life.

If I have extra resources… Or I would like to earn beyond my basic needs to use medical care to best ensure healthful and even beautiful aging—I have seen it in my students and friends. I'd also like to feel financially secure enough to support social changes that I believe in. And I'd love to see more of the world through travel.

All of these things require attention to money. My lack of attention to money has flared my fears about mental illness, and I think according to the common definition that lack of attention to money is a mental illness because money seems to be commonly valued in our culture as the most important thing in life.

Have I sinned because I have prioritized emotional well-being, care, kindness and people above the money in my life? Perhaps or perhaps not. But I do know that it is time for me to prioritize my material well-being more so that I can feel more confident about taking care of myself, and having more to give others in my life.

This yogi needs to pay more attention to her money.


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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Which "Now" Do We Prefer?




Some notes from the Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad workshops posted at Elephant Journal:

How Transcendent Ideals Might Limit Us.


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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gratitude for Difficult Times




In my life I have grown a great deal better through difficult experiences. Thus, there must be something helpful about enduring difficulty, or even a temporary loss of faith… Read my guest post at 'Shine the Divine' blog:

Gratitude for Difficulty

Thanks!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eating with Pooping in Mind




Sounds gross, I know, but I'm searching out a way to acknowledge unintended effects of actions in my recent post at Elephant. Read it here:

Eating to Pooping and Other Unintended Effects



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Monday, November 1, 2010

Passionate Yoga Talk

There is a unique event happening at Yogaview in Chicago this weekend that I’d like to tell you about. I think that it’ll be pretty interesting. Definitely worth checking out if you like to think about wider implications of yoga practice, and how we might want to consider using our minds to make the world a better place.

Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad, authors of ‘The Passionate Mind Revisited’ and other books are offering a series of talks about relationships and spirituality. They have interesting things to say about power dynamics in relationships in their recent book, so I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say in person.

I see it as a way to exercise my mental muscle. I’m not going because I’m some kind of Joel and Diana convert or anything (I don't think that that's what they're going for anyway). I’m just interested in hearing what they have to offer. Perhaps my understanding might grow. I think there’s a little something hidden in going to hear a “spiritual” talk, like perhaps an anticipation (or fear) of being “converted” or something (that might keep some people away unnecessarily).

I think it could be helpful to address spiritual concerns without the umbrella of religion. It’s definitely a touchy subject, but for the fearlessly caring and interested people around, this could prove to be an intriguing discussion. We’ll see…

Read more about this exciting event (there is also an option to sign up) here:

I mean, how often do we really talk openly about this stuff? Maybe I'll see you there. I hope it's fun.