Posted in Gratitude, yoga

If The Shoe Fits

I am of one the happiest people I know.  It’s taken me a long time to get to this present state of happification, but I am definitely here now.  And here to stay.

This evening I walked into my studio after what seemed like weeks of being away (it was only 6 days), fell down onto my mat, hugged my knees to my chest and rocked back and forth whispering,

Ahhh…ahhh…ahhh…

Until you know what you are meant to do, what your true work is, until you find what Buddhists call your “dharma,” happiness will always elude you.

But once you figure that out, and then begin to actually do it, happiness is yours.

I love my life.  I love what I do.  What I do is not a ‘job.”  What I do is not “work.”

What I do is joy.  What I do is love.  What I do is a miracle.  What I do is perfectly aligned with all my values, with everything I believe deep, deep down.

It’s taken me a big chunk of my lifespan, lots of tears, and years of frustration to get to this place.  It’s taken more courage than I actually have, and along the way I’ve made some huge honking mistakes.

Of the many “roles” I have played in this life: mother, sister, aunt, spouse, neighbor, friend, student and teacher, to name a few, most of them I have played rather badly (much to my shame and embarrassment.)

Granted, some of these roles I had no say in—they were accidents of birth or were thrust upon me by pure spatial coincidence.

(or were they???)

But these two sticks I am currently rubbing together to create the “spark” that is responsible for my feelings of deep happiness (i.e. the writing and the yoga) don’t feel like “roles” at all.  They feel like “right.”  They feel like clothes that have been custom designed just for me.

For years I walked around in clothes that didn’t fit and shoes that were always one size too small.

Now, no more bunions, no more dragging hems.

Cinderella has found the right slipper at last, and, oddly enough, it’s…bare feet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Gratitude, inspiring activities

It’s All Good

I am sitting on the first leg of the return flight home from Portland.  It is the day after Thanksgiving, and the plane is not too full.  I am in the middle seat, and in the window seat next to me is a woman with a small child on her lap. (G is on the other side of me.)

I thought you had to buy a seat for kids on planes now, but apparently the rule is if they’re under 2, they can sit on your lap.  (Bad rule.)

I would bet this little girl is very close to 2.  I would even bet good money that tomorrow is her birthday.

She’s sucking on a pacifier and playing with a pink plastic toy cell phone.  The mother has the window flap down all the way, hoping, I think, that she might fall asleep.

This kid is not going to fall asleep.

I say this with complete confidence because this kid is sitting NEXT TO ME.

And not only is she not going to fall asleep, she’s going to wriggle and fuss and climb on the seat back in front of her and kick me and jostle my tray table and let out periodic whoops and rip up the Sky Mall magazine all the way to Minneapolis.

And that’s okay.  It really is.

Because the sky is clear and blue, and the flights are all on time and my daughter is beautiful and happy and she loves her husband and he is darling and loves her back and they have a great life.

(Not to mention a Chihuahua.)

It’s better than okay because we will be home by 11 PM tonight, and even though it will have been a long day of flying, it’s only long because we are flying east and picking up an extra 3 hours along the way because of the time zone change.

Right before I left I read a great book, whose exact title escapes me at the moment, but it was about how new ideas are generated.  This is the line that I keep thinking about:

“If you always go the same places, you’ll always see the same things.”

That’s why it’s good to fly to Portland for Thanksgiving or go to India just because you’ve never been, or to Chile on business (Hi, Tim!) or just take a completely different route to work.

Because you might see new things, and those new things will create new synapses in your brain and those synapses will generate new thoughts, which will, in turn, enhance your experience of the circus of life.

Oh, and and guess what?

In the time it’s taken me to compose this post, the little girl next to me is asleep in her mother’s arms.

It’s all good.

Posted in Food

Stuffed

My friend Jerry recently commented that he’s managed to say the same weight since college by always staying a little bit hungry.

This is also a yogic eating principle.  You are supposed to eat to only 80% of satiation.  There should always be 20% of emptiness in the stomach after a meal.

This way of eating requires a constant monitoring of “fullness.”

I have been playing around with it for the last few weeks and I must say it is very interesting.  I know when I am not hungry at all.  I know when there is nothing being digested, yet there is no hunger.

Then I am aware when a “little bit” of hungry begins.  It’s a surprisingly interesting feeling.  I rather like it.

Then it slowly morphs into a distracting kind of hunger, with an attendant desire to “chew” something.  If I wait too much longer past this, the hunger becomes distracting and begins to get in the way of concentration.

That’s the point I like to eat.  That’s the point food tastes best.

Right now my stomach is filled 100%.  It’s Thanksgiving and the meal was filled with so many flavors: sweet, salty, savory, creamy, crunchy, juicy and toothsome.  It was so delicious that all thought of percentages went right out the window.

I think it will be a long time until I’m hungry again.

 

 

Posted in Inspiring people, Inspiring places

Greetings from Portland, OR

The sun is shining and there are roses blooming on the bushes beside the deck here.  What?  Roses? The day before Thanksgiving???!!

I’ll take it!

It was a long day of flying yesterday.  Elmira to Detroit.  Here I am sipping a Chai Latte in the Detroit airport, still smelling fresh, looking good.

 

And then there was the whole “Internet In The Plane Happiness”, followed by the “Trying To Sleep In The Plane Unhappiness,” but then awakening to see last drops of the sunset over the Great Salt Lake which was very lovely and added to the happiness.

This morning we picked up the turkey and here I am placing it into a bucket of salted water to brine:

While I was Holosyncing, G took a walk through the neighborhood and found this view of Mt. Hood:

And here is a pic of me and Em in the kitchen, doing kitchen-y things:

And while we were kitchen-ing, the dog, Nia, was soaking up rays  on the windowseat:

And tonight is ThanksMas here, and there is a glass of wine at my elbow at this moment and I feel rude sitting here typing, so enjoy your life, and your Thanksgiving Eve!

Love and Cranberry Sauce!

Posted in Gratitude

Da Plane, Da Plane

Blogging first:  I am sitting in seat 21 E (Window) of a Delta jet, flying somewhere over the middle of the country, blogging.

There is Wifi on this flight. Free Wifi no less, compliments of Ebay, to all Delta flyers this holiday season.

I was just now composing an email to Emily when she popped up on my Google Talk sidebar with the message: “Aren’t you supposed to be on the plane now?”

“I AM on the plane!” I typed back.  And we took it from there.

This is my idea of heaven.  Connectivity at 30 thousand feet.  Ahhh….

I just ate a little snack of hummus and pita chips, and was sorely tempted to accompany it with a glass of red wine, but there is still one more leg to be negotiated in this journey, so I refrained, but had I, it would have felt almost like home (except for the sound of the fussy baby about 6 rows in front of me).

It’s 2 days before Thanksgiving and the airports are calm and empty.  Tomorrow it will probably be another story.

I am going to start a little gratitude list just to get myself in the Thanksgiving mood.  This is in no way a comprehensive, and it is “to be continued. “

I am grateful for planes that fly in the air, allowing me to go faraway places in a matter of hours.

I am grateful for computers that keep me connected to people I love, people I find fascinating, people who are funny, interesting, noble, and inspiring.

I am grateful for the ability to forward bend and to backward bend, (both physically and psychologically.)

I am grateful for all the people who come to the studio to practice yoga with me.  I stand slack-jawed and humbled in the face of their practice.

I am grateful for the abundance of joy in all facets of my life.

I am grateful for times of solitude and also for times of sociability.

I am grateful for all the writers and artists and just ordinary people who create works of art out of their daily lives.

I a grateful that I get to read them, and see them, and watch them, and study them, and thereby learn how to do it myself.

I will end here for today.

But there is no end to this list, really.

 

Posted in Inspiring things

New Computer

Today I got my new computer and I’m working on it now. I got a MacBook Pro 13 inch laptop.  It’s sweet, but it feels weird.  The touch of the keys is really different, and I kinda miss the grime and the filth and the crumbs in between the keys of my Dell.

I’ll get used to this clean, pristine machine eventually, I suppose.

(Oh, but the best part is that on this machine all the keys are backlit, so when the crumbs fall, I’ll actually be able to see them.)

I am feeling a little frustrated because I can’t play with (and learn it!) t as much as I want to because I have stuff to do before we leave tomorrow for Portland, but at least I’m packed.

I’m SO looking forward to getting out of town. I need a change of venue, a new environment; I need to have an adventure!  I need to see my daughter!

We’ll be laying over in Detroit and Salt Lake City on the way out, and Minneapolis and Detroit on the way home.  I will be blogging from the road tomorrow. I hope to take a lot of pictures.

Ira has the flu.  He has it bad. He decided today he just could not go.  Just the prospect of running around airports and sitting in crowded planes was exhausting. So he’s going to stay home and lay low and try to beat this thing. It’s just G and I this time.  It sucks, but at least he got to see Em last month when he was out there for a conference.

So, until tomorrow, sweet dreams!

Posted in Inspiring things, yoga

Streaks

I just got home from the studio, where, after Happy Hour Yoga, a bunch of us sat around ate pizza and drank beer and wine and watched a film called YYoga.

If you’re interested you can watch the trailer here:

http://www.yyogamovie.com/home%20movie/page18.html

I love these kinds of movies.  They validate my practice, they inspire me to practice more, and more deeply, and they make me want to learn and grow and become both a better practitioner and a better teacher.

I loved sitting in the lounge, surrounded by people who practice yoga, people who already get this, and laugh at the right places and see themselves in the people practicing on screen with drips of sweat falling off the ends of their noses.  It was like, “Oh yeah, I’ve been there.”

But that wasn’t the best part of the evening.  The best part happened in the morning, actually, when I checked Facebook and one of my yogarians posted this: “50 Day Streak!!!”

She didn’t say that it was a yoga streak, but I knew it was.  And I confirmed it with her tonight.  She’s been carving out time in her day for the last 50 days for some kind of practice.  And it’s lasted 50 days (so far).

This is the beginning of Tapas.  Creating tapas with yoga means starting a daily practice for even a few minutes at home each day. Instead of making excuses, it’s finding a way to work yoga into your life.

And this is what she’s been doing.

I’m into streaks too.

This is my 100th post on this blog.

This is the end of my 14th week of posting daily Monday through Friday.

Today was my 335th day without a miss of meditating with Holosync.

Today was the 55th day in a row I wrote in my paper journal without a miss.

There is something about living a life of disciplined practices that grounds me and elevates me at the same time.

The practices I am committed to tie me to them, and at the same time free me in all other areas of my life.  My practices make me confident.  My practices make me proud.  My practices make me trustworthy.  My practices make me authentic. My practices give my life ballast.

My practices give my life joy.

Onward.