I Hate That Progress Takes Time

I hate that things take time.

Not things. Progress.

I hate that progress takes time.

Especially the visible, tangible signs of progress. That’s what I really hate. 

I feel so impatient. I want a sign: something, anything, that will encourage me to keep going. 

I am attached to outcomes. I am a very bad yogi and a very bad Buddhist. 

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that he must not fight to win the battle. No.

Arjuna must fight because it’s his dharma. He must fight because it’s his nature as a warrior to fight. 

So here’s what I’m telling myself these days: 

Put your head down, Kath, and grind.

So what if you’re not any stronger.

So what if you’re not any lighter.

So what if you’re measurements are still the same. 

So what if you’re a little sore. And tired. And grouchy. And your words aren’t getting written everyday and you don’t have time to cook, or even shop regularly. 

It’s only been 2 weeks of this Ultimate Yogi thing. What did you expect?


 I expected more than nothing. I expected a little something. Some small little something. 

And why?

 Because it’s been TWO WHOLE WEEKS.

Every dieter I’ve ever known has had to fight this battle. Every person who has trained for a marathon has had to fight this battle. Every person who has committed to writing a dissertation, or tried to quit smoking, or any other addiction, knows what I’m talking about here. 

It’s a daily slog. A daily recommitment without any seeming progress. 

It’s the daily sky-gaze where you beg for a sign, for something, anything that will reassure you that, yes, it will all be worth it in the end.

(I feel like I’m getting melodramatic here, but everybody knows this at some level.)

So I really do have to find a way to just unattach from outcomes. To just do the thing for its own sake. 

And trust. 

Or not trust. Just keep going.  

This Blog Is Ten Years Old

This blog is 10 years old this month. 

Who knew??

I didn’t even realize it until yesterday.

I was reading through the archives of a blog I just discovered. The author’s archives went back to 2012. 

It made me wonder how far mine went back, so I checked.  

And lo and behold, February of 2009 was my debut here. And I have amassed close to 700 posts. 

When I first started, the idea here was that I would be on the lookout for things that inspired me, and then write about them. Thus the title, Inspiration Location. 

That didn’t last long, though. After a while I just found myself writing about whatever I was obsessing about at the moment, inspiring or not. 

Now the idea is to chronicle my thoughts as I tend my streaks and develop my projects. 

Back in 2016 I self-published a little book called The Project-Driven Life. It’s basically tips and tricks for finding out who you want to be when you grow up. It involves tending streaks and completing projects. 

 My next project is a book called The Yoga of Everything and I have  started maintaining some streaks that will help get it finished: writing 1K words daily, reading, meditating, and blogging here once a week.

But, back to that new-found blog. 

Whenever I find a new blog, the first place I go is to the About page.

I want to know: Who is this person? Where do they live? How old are they? What do they do besides blog? Do I have anything in common with them?

I want to see their picture. I want to know a little of their backstory.

I don’t have an About page currently. I changed WordPress themes recently and forgot to include one. 

Maybe that’s a lie. 

Maybe I didn’t forget. 

Maybe it’s just that I hate writing About pages. They never seems to fit me and they keep going out of date as my life morphs and changes.

For example, if I say I’m a 66 year-old yoga teacher living in northern Pennsylvania, is that an accurate description? It’s true, of course, but is it my true deal? 

I don’t think so. 

What if I say: I’ve been writing every day in personal journals for over 40 years?

 Now, that might be getting closer.

I think it’s because if you’re the kind of person who writes down your thoughts every day, and keeps doing it obsessively for decades, you’re defined by that activity.

We are what we repeatedly do. ~Aristotle

 And you also find out that you’re that weirdo that needs to write down your thoughts every day. 

But seriously, a journal is a place you go to describe yourself, analyze yourself, contemplate yourself. 

In words. 

And then, if you do a strenuous amount of editing, take out all the gibberish, remove the nonsense, and give your words a beat to dance to, voila, you have yourself a post. 

Which is basically what I do here.

And have been doing for 10 years, apparently. 

If you’ve been following along here, for however long. Thank you. It makes me really happy to have readers.  So onward!

Persistently. With reverence. For a long time. ~Patanjali

How many streaks are too many?

I want to start another streak. A yoga streak. I need to get my personal practice back. Bad.

The other day I subscribed to Udaya so that I would have lots of classes to choose from and no excuses. My pre-streak started today when I woke up, took a hot shower, slathered myself in coconut oil, put on my yoga togs and walked to Sandy’s class.

Hip openers were on the menu today, and they were sweet. I so appreciate being able to take a class, and not have to teach all the time.  I took Lisa’s spot in the back corner. Now I know why she likes it back there. It’s cozy, you’re under the skylight, and you have the illusion you can’t be seen by the teacher.

(You’re wrong of course, but it’s still nice to pretend.)

I am counting today as day 1 of what I hope will grow into a 108 Day yoga streak.  But it won’t be an official streak until Day 10, which will be April 29th, just as the Yoga Challenge is winding down. *Fingers crossed.*

(I have written extensively about how to start streaks, pick streaks, the benefits of streaking, and what to do when your streak ends.)

The only way I can stay consistent with anything is if I make a Streak out of it. Today is my 60th consecutive blog post here, for example. Even if I wind up writing drivel some days, I am going to see how long I can keep this going.

I am also tending a meditation streak and this week I will hit 80 consecutive days without a break. (Previously, my longest streak was 120 days.)

I am also back to writing in 750words. Here’s what my homepage looks like today:

750 words full size screen shot


My longest streak on that platform was 1029 days. I have just about every badge on that platform except the NaNo badge. Next month I am going for it, which will entail writing 50K words in 1 month.

What this means is that I will be tending 4 streaks simultaneously: Blogging, Meditation, Yoga, and 750words.

I love how these streaks both structure my days, and add value to my life as they keep me aligned with my highest goals and aspirations.

But I also know the more streaks I have going, the greater the probability that I will bonk. It’s like juggling. Two balls are easy, it’s when you add the third and the fourth balls that you court disaster.

Disaster here I come.

The Biggest Loser

I rushed to yoga this morning with my right contact inside out because I overslept.  I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the season finale of The Biggest Loser.

I am/was shamefully addicted to this show!

I know, I know…

I know all the arguments for why I shouldn’t like it.  I know people on the long, hard path to weight loss who find The Biggest Loser irritating in the extreme.

These Biggest Loser contestants are living in a weight-loss terrarium filled with perfect food, personal trainers, state-of- the-art gym equipment, a team of health care professionals at the ready, and are totally guarded and protected from the outside world and its stressors of kids, relationships  and job.  For them it is a 24-7 focus on weight loss.  Period.

My friends who are trying to lose weight say: Sure!  Put me in that situation and I could lose weight too!  Easy Breezy!

And they’re right, of course.

But still, I am transfixed.  It is like watching an epic, like The Odyssey.  The contestants, like Odysseus, long to return to the homes of their healthy bodies, but on the way they have to travel from the Land of the Lotus Eaters (food addictions), battle with Polyphemous the Cyclops (Jillian screaming: “Unless you faint, puke or die, keep going!!”), have a love affair with the witch-goddess Circe (face food temptations, the eating of which will turn the contestants into swine), and be tempted by the deadly Sirens (going off the Ranch as a reward and being tempted by restaurant food and drink).

Week after week, you watch them struggle, step on the scale, fall below the yellow line, throw somebody else off.

Week after week, you watch them struggle with their demons, but they persist.

It takes a long time.  But they keep going.  And we TV watchers get to see the drama and the incremental changes, week after week.

Change is soooo slow, but it happens.  It happens in 2, 8 11, sometimes 15 pound increments.

Week after week, it doesn’t seem like anything is changing, until BAM!, there’s that one week you go:  Whoah!  Look at her!  Look at him!  Holy shit!

The thing that so inspires me about these contestants is that they persist.  They persist over time. They go slowly. They encounter major frustrations and roadblocks and even hellish weeks when they workout like fiends and don’t lose an ounce, and sometimes even gain!  And yet, they persist.

In the end, they lose huge amounts of weight.  They lose whole people.  The girl I hoped would win (Tara) lost 155 pounds!  It’s crazy!  She’s transformed into a completely different person by the end.  Inside and out.

Then, when they return home, just like Odysseus, they are not recognized at first by their loved ones.  They have to clean up their houses, throw out the suitors (all the crap food in the cabinets) and re-establish their relationships with their “Penelopes”(wives, husbands, friends, kids).

It’s the path of transformation.

In the case of The Biggest Loser it comes via weight loss, but it’s the same process for any transformation.

Slow persistent practice over time.

It’s an Odyssey.

And it inspires the hell out of me.