Monday, September 26, 2011

Post Rape Victim Advocates Benefit Yoga Class Notes.




Welcome, reader!

I posted an article at ElephantJournal.com on sexual assault and our culture, as well as what it means to address a difficult topic like rape in a yoga class setting. Read it here:
Is rape culture Darwin's Fault?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Keepin' it real at Intent.com

I can see that I was in a rough patch when I was asked to participate as a featured blogger for Intent.com's 30 Days of Yoga Intents. It was kind of hard for me to crank one out. I wasn't feeling hopeful enough, I thought, to write an intention. I was thinking that it needed to be all light and perfect—which I am not...

But I did write a short blog for them, and I think I managed to keep it real with this one:
The Art of Choosing Light

Blessings!
Brooks

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yogathon for Rape Victim Advocates

I'm thrilled to be participating in:

 3rd Annual Mind Body Spirit…  
 And a Good Cause  
 Benefiting Rape Victim Advocates  
 September 24 & 25, 2011 
Click on the image or text above to see the flyer.

Yoga studios and teachers are participating in the event, sometimes referred to as a yogathon. Participating classes are donating to Rape Victim Advocates.

I am impressed by this description of Rape Victim Advocates (received from a representative):

Every day in Chicago, women, children, and men are dealing with the immediate - and often life long - effects of sexual assault. Since 1974, Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) has been here to help rape victims, offering personal support, accurate information about their rights, and experienced advocacy. From a hand to hold in the emergency room, to clothes to wear home, to an advocate to stand beside them in court, RVA offers survivors of sexual violence the individualized help they need to begin moving beyond the trauma to live healthy, whole lives. Then, RVA goes further, changing attitudes and preventing future sexual violence through education. To improve the treatment of sexual assault survivors, RVA provides training to police officers, state’s attorneys, and health care professionals.

Something I hate about the aftermath of rape is that the victim of this crime is called into question, and their character is scrutinized. What was the person wearing? Were they drunk? Out late at night? Homosexual? Transgender? Slut? Convict? (See my SlutWalk piece at ElephantJournal.com)

Everybody deserves advocacy and protection. Nobody deserves to be raped. It is never appropriate for someone to rape another person.

So I am glad to use my voice in this way, and offer together with the Yoga Circle the proceeds from the yoga class I will teach on Sunday September 25th at 4pm at the Yoga Circle, 401 W Ontario St, Chicago.

Come to class! All are welcome! Let's support this vital cause.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What can I say??

I think that I'm breakin' through the barrier...

Could it be as simple as a stretch?

S'pose it might be...

(Isn't it cool that even my student's dogs experience the benefit of their human receiving yoga instruction! Witness the above "down dog." Total excellence.)

It's only taken me ten years...um, do I mean lifetimes?

But anyway, I feel ready to take a fresh look at my resources and to start dreaming and doing in a way that is different for me, and a bit more outward regarding. I previously thought that the problem was me, almost as if I was a problem... This is centered in child-thinking where the child internalizes whatever happens as being their fault. The old solution was to focus in on myself to try to eradicate the problem... As you can imagine this may have caused a problem for myself. But along the way I also have learned so much about myself, so making myself the enemy was not without benefit.

I am confident today and trust myself in radically new ways, and well, we'll see... Could it be as simple as reaching beyond the old ways, like a stretch to release an old stiffness? I understand that I am not the enemy, and nobody is. The prognosis (I give myself regarding the "stuckness") seems good.

And if this seems like a totally cryptic post, well: it is... A somewhat abstract wondering...

Yours truly,
Brooks

...and Thank You for reading!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I knew there would come a day…

I believed on February 21, 2011 that the day would come when I would want to use this picture (I took it on that same day):
I remember liking the way the light dusting of snow had highlighted the links of chain that were binding old splintered wood onto old stumps that probably once supported something usable. This mass of old stuff is in the Chicago River. I took the picture as I was walking across a bridge on a cold day. I looked at this and thought to myself: How stuck can you get??

When I look at this image I just think that it shows useless holding on. No current consciousness or utility seems to be holding this stuff together. It has just been left to allow time and weather to shift it at will. But it has sufficient mass to hold on for a long time, so it would require a big expenditure of human effort to move it any time soon.

So I thought that the image would probably represent a downer post or something when I think of myself as appreciating the flow of experience.

But If I’m only appreciating the flow and movement I might allow my attention to be selective to only see such movement taking place, or doing, or more precisely thinking things that create an illusion of flow when there have been parts of me that have been bound like those old logs—for years.

I’ve focused so much on the inner work of what I’ve understood about yoga (the parts that I thought would help me), and perhaps I’ve learned a few things, and I believe that I have—even though I also understand that one’s work is never finished.

“Enlightment” in a human body is not a situation when the person in the body knows something and stops taking in new input—because they are already knowing and perfectly spiritual. Someone in an enlightened state (in my opinion) might just be a bit clearer on seeing the changes that are happening in the world a bit closer to when they are actually happening, and I think that they are also capable of acting on them. I think that it could be hard to see what is really happening to the planet and ourselves because we tend to be married to our memories and dreams (or is that just me?).

This might sound a bit harsh, but I think that what I am proposing to myself is to break off my engagement with false thoughts (even the nice ones…).

A few years ago I married myself (I’m not kidding…) with a little private ceremony because I wanted to formally pledge my support to my life path—my personal path, not the one that I thought that others had directed me towards.

Now I want to clearly see the results of this work and readjust my path to be true to what I’ve learned. A part of me has really been dragging her feet.

Thus the above image…

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Life like a sunflower...


Is my life like a sunflower?

It is now September, and just like this sunflower has so many maturing seeds in it's big, round sun, I, too have some options for future growth... And like this sunflower there are so many options, presented in the seeds, that some might not work out. Some of the seeds will probably be eaten by birds or shriveled by neglect. But some will make it. Some will grow!

For my potential futures and possibilities, a crucial factor will be the attention and attentive action I can offer to the options (seeds) I choose to develop.

For a seed to grow, it needs a proper spot. It seems that I also need to do a bit of weeding so I can take care of the ones I want, instead of trying to nurture old things that are no longer fitting in the garden of my dreams.

I'm goin' for a Sizzlin' September of Action towards those possibilities I want for my future. Which includes lettin' go of the old (and throwing a few things in the trash...) as well as attendin' to the new!

Of course I'd like to keep my presence rooted in the Present Moment: I'll pretty much have to in order to get anythin' meaningful accomplished... The only place I can do ANYTHING is in the here and now...

As you can see, I'm goin' for a chilled 'tude... But I really am intending to turn up the gas and cook the food I want to eat (so to speak...)!