The aging process is a wild ride in hormonal change, just so you know. Craving sweets, crying at the creative brilliance of TV commercials, and zits, again! Who knew? Only the generations of elderly folk before you, that’s who. Damn those senior citizens for not giving you the blow by blow, or is the forgetful parts of their brains we have to thank. Topping the list of information forgetting to get passed down to me is that my belly would join my boobs in the submission to gravity. Geez! As my English language learning students wanted to know the other day…WTF! As I explained to my students that it is in fact better to tell yourself “WTF” and not proclaim it to the world, I whole heartily surrender to vocalization when the information can help others. So people, listen up. Someday when you are in the throws of mid life and maybe you have been a bit lax about the amount of control you’ve had over your (insert food of choice) cravings, and the amount of dedicated time to exercise dwindles, well add those two together and you may be hit in the lips by your belly my friend, most noticeably as you work your way into downward facing dog or plow pose. Just saying, and you are welcome for this little piece of enlightenment.
My asana practice today was Jo Tastula’s YogaGlo class @ http://www.yogaglo.com/online-class-611-Intermediate-Yoga-Flow-for-Core-and-Upper-Body-Strength.html
Most days I move full force ahead with a few steps back. Then there are those occasional side stepping days. The side stepping days mean maybe I haven’t made the progress forward but I have been able to gain more or better support to get ahead. Today I did an asana practice by Jo Tastula called Side Winder Flow on YogaGlo. Concentrating on lengthening your side body and expanding the breath into the ribs to reach deeper spaces really affords me more breath. With fuller and deeper breath I can stay more comfortably in the here and now, and in a way kind of pause to receive more. Today I have decided to take a trip to see one of my kids who has really been suffering physically and emotionally. I need to have strength to support this beautiful soul, and remain steady as long as it takes to help move the body forward again. I would probably have sunk deeper into wallowing sadness had it not been for my steady yoga practice and belief that the majority of humanity is good.
May the light in me shine, may the light in you shine, may the light in the whole world shine. Namaste.
1/4! I am 1/4 of the way in to a wonderful 108 days of yoga immersion. Wahoooo! Numbers don’t usually mean a whole lot to me but for some reason this is powerful. I have noticed the noticing I am doing. I am steadying my thoughts more often when they begin to try to double talk their way in to my life. I am being waaaaay more compassionate to people and things that used to get my Taurus nature ticking. I am committed to this practice and hopefully by the time I reach the “glass is full” stage I will not need the number system to guide me towards these traits and better habits & it will be my new nature. As for now, I’m a 1/4 full!
“TRY TO LEARN TO BREATHE DEEPLY, REALLY TO TASTE FOOD WHEN YOU EAT, AND WHEN YOU SLEEP, REALLY TO SLEEP. TRY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO BE WHOLLY ALIVE WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT, AND WHEN YOU LAUGH, LAUGH LIKE HELL. AND WHEN YOU GET ANGRY, GET GOOD AND ANGRY. TRY TO BE ALIVE. YOU WILL BE DEAD SOON ENOUGH.” – Ernest Hemingway
Today’s yoga practice included a beautiful 2 hour walk along the coastal path in St. Maria de Getxo, Spain. The above photo was taken by me along the walk way @ Playa de Ereaga.
It is a sunny afternoon in Northern Spain today and I am happy to have the warmth and healing light in my life. My spirit has felt so exhausted with worry for my child as that sweet soul regains strength from a recent traumatic event. May the rays of sun so plentiful here today find their way across the sea to my lovely kid. My prayer is that this event will not define or limit my child from living a big and beautiful wandering life.
This photo was taken by me in Las Arenas, Getxo, Spain….a mid spring bloom!
Todays yoga practice was an Asana by Jo Tasla on YogaGlo and readings from The Yoga Sutras regarding meditation.
The most difficult time of a sabbatical is when our children or family back home are wishing for us to be at home. It’s like a tide of energy moving forcefully, determined to knock us down one by one. With a family of 6 the odds of one of us getting toppled is a given, but the thing I have noticed and find comfort in, is the strength of the others to not lose sight of the floundering soul. With my 2 oldest children away from us & attending schools in other parts of the EU the opportunity to sink is so much greater because their daily strength is not fed by the family. Yet when they start to waiver or have a set back, they know from experience that the life preserver is just a small throw, or phone call away. As parents we are trying very hard to let them work through life so that integrity, hard work and responsibility can be the corner stones of our children’s lives.
Today we experienced a new homesickness rooted in a traumatic event. One of our children was seriously hurt and we realized that the support network of local friends was not what it seemed. Like a small child entering the ocean and being tackled by the waves, our kid is entering the wave of adulthood and not quite sure how to negotiate the force that is more experienced and stronger. For me, parenting a young adult is a whole new world and I am trying not to let the waves take me down either. While I reach toward my child with strength and a firm foundation, my yoga practice reminds me that compassion is the guide, life will eb and flo, and love will pull us through. We may miss the place that reminds us of effortless friendships, extended family and the memories of a gentler and safer time. But ultimately our home is within us, regardless of the pins position on the map. My children will have a journey that will include suffering and safety. They will have a journey full of travel and times at home. They will have a life that will eb and flow, and I will too.
Today’s asana practice Seane Corn’s “Elements of Flow” on YogaGlo followed by a 20 minute home practice of hip openers and yoga bicycles. I often store my anxiety in my hips and core. By combining a slow flowing practice that is centered in a solid foundation, and working on the places I store my anxiety (hips and core), I may be able to stay more grounded in my emotions.
It’s day 22 of 108 days of yoga practice and study and I am dog tired.
The photo below is a dog sunning at a cafe in Plentzia, Spain that I took this week while showing guests around. Seldom do you see a dog without an owner here so this one must belong to the shop/cafe. I love this type of dog which is kind of terrier, kind of “annie”esque and ALL Basque.
Having guests and touring around is wearing me out. It hasn’t helped either that the weather in northern Spain the last week has been rainy and cold. I need lots of sun and some good relaxing days on the beach to reboot. While I’m waiting for the weather God to answer that small wish I will take advantage of a good nights sleep, with a little help from my yoga fave Tara Stiles.
THE HARD AND THE SOFT OF THE CURIOUS WORLD
Some people are born fortunate in life and I count myself amongst that group. I have been fortunate to have my basic needs met, have love and give love in my daily life, and be able to give back to a world that lives with far less of their basic needs met. The family I have created with my partner is fortunate to have the opportunity to travel on sabbatical for one year every 6th year. We take full advantage of this opportunity and live very gently upon the places where we land. I realize this more and more as we have guests who come to visit us. On occasion we act as tour guides in our temporary surroundings. Our guests are only with us a week or 10 days at most. During the time they are with us days are filled with explaining why things are what they are, how things being different from what they are used to is to be celebrated, and encouraging them to take in the gifts of a new place instead of recreating a world back home. It is trying at times to be the introducer of a culture that is not my own, but it is worth it to me to create a link between worlds that need to be gracefully accepting of one another. The world is a huge place and the daily grind is exhausting. But if we all just take a step forward quietly and with humility we may actually all learn something from each other. Being on sabbatical for a year allows me to have many quiet and humbling days.
My asana practice today was a YogaGlo video by Sienna Sherman that focused on the “curiosity” of arm balances. Curiosity is a great gift when you are living or traveling out of your comfort zone or to a culturally different place. You may not even have to go further than your apartment or hotel room . Today as I got myself situated to practice in our living room, my father brought his noisy cereal to a table near me so he could see what I was doing. His curiosity and loud chewing during my mat time was so maddening that I actually cut it short. Even within a family it is important to remember the beauty of our differences and to be patient in order to bring the worlds a bit closer together. Today was not a total success in this area but maybe by the time they fly home we will have more understanding of each other. LOVE!