Flow


This was a huge accomplishment for me. I’ve been trying so long to successfully bring headstands into my practice. It happened unexpectedly, like most things you really want do. I love moments like this. Yoga always starts out with me hating myself for not getting deep enough into my poses, not practicing every day, not having enough core strength. It ended today with pride. Of knowing that if I keep working it’s all possible. Maybe one day even teaching will be possible.

A year of Self Care

2017 will be the year of self-care.

No more “yes of course! ” when I want to say no.

I have anxiety. I’m allowed to have anxiety. I can choose to explain it or not explain it. I am an introvert who tries very hard to socialize for the sake of my extrovert husband. But sometimes it’s too much and I have to say no. People exhaust me. I don’t have a group of people I click with enough that going out doesn’t seem like a chore. I need to feel safe and comfortable. Large crowds, alcohol, what seems like a million eyes scares the crap out of me. I don’t have panic attacks as bad as I used to, but I can never relax enough to enjoy myself. The next day I’m not recovering from alcohol, I’m recovering from over-stimulation.

I need to be around my animals. Yes, we all love our pets. Mine are unofficial therapy animals. Petting them, hearing their snores and purrs, a soft head rubbing against my palm, a cat tracing figure 8’s around my feet. This calms me, this grounds me. They know when I’m not okay, they know when I need a walk because my thoughts are racing or snuggles when the world has been too ugly.

My home, my people, my animals, my quiet little piece of land – are my everything. This place energizes me, it grounds me, it feeds me. It is my place of solace in a world that’s too cold, too mean, to filled with hate. Home is safe.

Yoga for my soul not just my body.

I do yoga because I love yoga. I change it up so I don’t get bored never truly perfecting any move or flow. This year I start Ashtanga. Repetition of a series of poses that go from easy to hard, following my own breath. I get frustrated with this series. I get mad at myself for not getting it right away. I get mad at my body for not being flexible, for not being looser, for hurting when I twist here and bend there. Yet at the end, during my savasana, I am proud that I pushed through. I look back and realize that I turn my “God why won’t my back bend” to grabbing a prop and letting my body slowly ease into a pose and loving my body for it. Ashtanga slows me down and forces me to realize that yoga is not for perfection. It’s for working out your shit on a mat and coming up gasping for new air at the end of your savasana.

Write

I will write. I love to write. I’m afraid to write. I feel like if I could record my thoughts without speaking or writing it would be better. But that’s nonsense. The words in my head sound amazing. Then I put them down and I tear it apart. I have 3 authors in my family. No, they’re not huge but they’re published. The gene is there. The thoughts are there. The confidence is not. My husband bought me an open-ended prompt book that hopefully will help. It’s not something I asked for – but he saw that I was writing here and thought it may help.

“Don’t avoid the suffering, But don’t be crippled by it.”

Empathy needs balance. I read this on Facebook. The site I honestly hate now. I never wanted to see how hateful people can be. But this I needed to see. I have lost the balance. I have allowed myself to be consumed by the evil of this world, of people I thought I knew, and I have let it hurt my heart and turn it into this dull version of itself. I did become crippled and I barely fought back. I’m going to step back from social media, from the news. I know it’s like putting on blinders and walking through life avoiding truths. But for now, I just don’t want to spend as much time surrounded by negativity. I need to feed the positive, the courageous, the determined, the loving part of me.

I think that’s enough for one year, don’t you? I always hate the idea of new years resolutions. But I think 2016 put us all through the ringer and we need to find the good and the light again. so 2017 will be the year I find my light and share it with the world again.

Energy

I believe in energy. I believe it is constantly flowing into and out of us. Bringing in our surroundings and putting our intentions out into the world. I believe you’re most like the people you surround yourself with. Those influences matter and their energy matters because it’s feeding yours. And your’s is feeding theirs. This goes into the “Tribe theory” That each friend, mentor, person in your life has a role beyond just good company. This person brings to or enriches a part of you that you have too little of or none at all. For example, my best friend is creative and chaotic compared to my planning and precise self. I want more creativity in my life and he fuels me in that, he inspires me, he builds up my craziest dreams and forces me out of my comfort zone. Meanwhile, he has some stability and needs more, and that’s where I fuel him. I’m good at “adult-ing” and I’m good at guiding people. We both offer a different perspective on each other’s lives and we’re both better because of it. We both have this good energy for each other and we send it in every conversation we have, whether we mean to or not. It’s the most amazing feeling to know there is someone putting good energy into the universe for you with no self-gain and these are the friendships that are most precious in life.

Now I’m not saying get rid of all of your friends that don’t fit these criteria, just to be conscious of what they bring to your life. If one friend is constantly gossiping/bragging/complaining about their life, that’s maybe a friendship that needs work or needs to be let go. Those relationships bring a toxic energy into you and it can go 3 ways. 1: You’re fueled by the energy  and start gossiping, start complaining, start trying to out do them. Toxic. 2. You can talk to people and fend off their negative energy and not let it affect you (go you!) Safe. 3. You know it’s  wrong and their energy makes you feel uncomfortable. You either choose to stay quiet or choose to say something. Toxic. The third option is what happens to me. I’m more sensitive to certain energies than others: anger, grief, the nasties. Anger I can feel in my stomach – its a churning and bottomless feeling. Grief I feel on my upper lungs, a heavy, smothering weight I have to breathe around. The nasties I feel in my hands, arms and eyes. I can’t keep my hands still, I’m always fidgeting and trying to find anything else to do, I can’t keep eye contact long with these people and it leaves me feeling very uncomfortable and wanting to leave the situation as quickly as possible. I could say something but I don’t much like to argue. I’m good at it but not without losing my cool head and saying things I would later regret, so I avoid confrontation if I can. Two situations have arisen with nasties lately and I’ve handled them the best I could. One was my husband’s friend that I always seem to clash with and his man-centric ideals don’t align with my feminist ones. Rather than continue to feel uncomfortable I explained to my husband how I felt and asked that when it’s him without his current girlfriend I’d prefer not to be around him. Husband is more than welcome to continue being his friend but I don’t have to be. The second situation is with a friend turned ex-friend turned back into a friend. I’ve realized that some people do not change and grow as they appear to and this is a relationship that I still need to decide to fix or let go of.

I think energy is one of those things you don’t think about until it’s pointed out. Then you look back and notice your feelings and reactions and say “Oh! it’s so obvious now.”  This week was my reminder to pay attention to what I surround myself with and make sure it’s nourishing me and growing me.