When Yoga Can’t Fix Everything

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“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.” -Aesop

We all have heard it, “Yoga is the cure-all for any and everything.” I will be the first to admit, that yoga does indeed help with a lot. It helps with stress, posture, improves cognitive function, helps with sleep, makes you aware of your body, and so on and so forth. It isn’t just the postures, but the mind set that is created while partaking in the practice. However… no one system is perfect. Every individual is different, and sometimes yoga just doesn’t cut it.

I am not bashing yoga in any way, but from my own personal experience, sometimes an hour on that mat just does not make me calm, cool, and collected. Sometimes I feel worse off after a class than I did before. I have to be aware of my body and how I feel, not let my emotions get in the way of my postures and use them as fuel to move through it, and all that breath work stirs up hidden emotions and issues I have been holding onto. Have you ever seen someone cry in the middle of class while doing certain poses? I have and I have also been that person. I have fallen apart on the mat all due to anxiety, fear, hate, pain, and sadness.

The best way to put it is I am like a glass window, people read me really well with what is going on in my head and I am not one to hide my emotions very well at all. Granted, it takes a lot for me to have a full on meltdown or cry in public, but none-the-less, my face tells all. So, what happens when the anxiety monster comes creeping in and I am trying to bang out even a few minutes of practice? Sometimes, nothing…and I can let it go. Other times, I turn into a giant mess and just curl up in a ball mid practice. I guess it is a part of life and we all have something to work on, but lately it has been awful. It is harder for me to pay attention to my body and stay focused for a full practice than it is for me to go for a long walk…so I go for a walk.

It is not that I am ignoring my practice, but actually listening to what my body needs and wants. Some days, I want to do a deep asana practice with lots of bends and folds, other days I only want to go slow and do a few easy postures, and other days I just don’t fool with it at all and just try to do something else that is good for me. Yes, the emotions are still there and I try my best to deal with them, but I do think it is rather foolish for someone to think that yoga is the ONLY thing that can help out. I have met people in the past who have scoffed at my outlook and said, “You should practice more, you aren’t serious, you’re missing something, why would you say such a thing?” Truth is, my practice might indeed be deeper than theirs for that reason, but I am not one to judge. We all have our own path in life, so I am just going to do what feels right for me and let the haters sip on that hater-aid.

So, what is your body telling you? Namaste.

Love Actually

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       “Distance is just a test to see how far love can travel…”

Love, it is a funny thing. It comes when you least expect it and it stays when you need it most. Love is the meeting of two souls, fully accepting the dark and the light within each other bound by the courage to grow through struggle into bliss. It is more than just a word or material things…love is, well… multifaceted, delightfully complicated yet simple, and above all it is wonderful. You know that moment when someone is trying to tell you something, but you don’t know what it is? Where you think you aren’t going to ever be able to have that certain thing you have been looking for so you just give up and say fuck it? Then all of a sudden it just…well happens? That basically describes this whole situation, at least basically.

I have had a rough time in the dating world. Unlike most of the population that is focused on external things and not much for rocking the boat, I on the other hand have a more old fashioned way of seeing things…with a dash of a modern twist, of course. I love deeply, I think deeply (and often), I feel deeply, and I have a more grand understanding of what is going on around me than most of the people I have come into contact with. I do understand that having a brain, plus being relatively attractive does make me a bit intimidating. I have scared the shit out of many men, I have made many a man mad, and I also have caused many a man to turn into a beast and make a total ass of himself (not on purpose, mind you). I hate to say it, but I kinda gave up on love for that very reason…almost. Not completely, but I was rather fed up, to say the least.

How did it happen? Well, it goes a little something like this… I received a message from someone who was in town for furniture market and wanted to hang out. Needless to say, I bit for a moment, but decided maybe it wasn’t a good idea to get involved with someone who wasn’t going to be around for very long. So, I went about my business as usual. Then, one fine day while I was working a very handsome man decided to show up to the store. I admired his ensemble and thought he looked rather dashing in his “where’s waldo” like hat. Once I got a good look at him though, I realized i had seen this man before…but not in person. I watched as he looked about puzzled through the store, occasionally giving me glances with the same thought I had rolling around in my head. “Who are you and why do I know you?” He walked up to the register and I was blunt and said, “Are you here for furniture market?”

He replyed, “Yes, I am.” “Are you a photographer?” “Yessss…I am.” he said puzzled. “I think you messaged me.” “Yes, I think I did…” “Hi….my name is Michelle and it’s nice to meet you.” I waved my hand in a slow circle. “Hi, my name is Jeffery and it’s nice to meet you.” We both laugh a little bit at the situation, make idle chitchat about kombucha, and then said we should talk more. then he left. Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback at the randomness and highly unlikely situation that just occurred in the past 10 minutes. I received a message a little bit later saying, “Well, now that we have met in person, would you like to hang out tomorrow?” Of course I said yes…and so we met for crepes the next day.

I wore my hair curly and donned my favorite sweater-dress that had a fox on it, along with cowgirl boots because I just got off of work. He just being off work as well wore a very nice red plaid aztecy button down and jeans. We talked over a vegan crepe. He had coffee and I had Le Croix. We decided to take my car to head to the “big city” of Winston and I took the back roads. I showed him around a few of my favorite spots, grabbed a cup of coffee that was a bit too hot so I made it into ice coffee, then settled on having drinks at a few of my favorite bars. He let me try his scotch while I had an old fashioned. We talked the night away, laughed and shared stories. Later a girl came by and he bought me a rose, which he said were his favorite. We kissed…and in that very moment I knew this was different than anything I had ever experienced in my entire life. I had fireworks, my heart lit up like a Christmas tree, and I felt a warmth that I had never imagined was possible. Everything just stopped…and the rest is history.

We have been talking ever since and even though we don’t live very close, the passion is still there. We message, talk on the phone, send random e-mails and pictures of what we are doing, share songs that we think the other would like, and even watch movies together (at the same time at least). If distance makes the heart grow fonder, I will go ahead and say that is a damn true statement. I honestly cannot wait to see him again and the feeling is mutual. I don’t know where this road is going to lead me, but I am going to go with it because I feel like there is some higher forces in the cosmos at work here. Love is an amazing thing and I am glad it happened over kombucha in a small town during furniture market with a one in a billion chance. My dreams are leading me there, so lets see how it goes. Namaste.

Reevaluation

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“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
― Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha

Well, that was a bit of a hiatus, to say the least. Hi all, I am back. Life got the better of me for a little while and because of that, I really couldn’t bring myself to blog. I did, however, write quite a bit. It just was more for myself and my own musings so I could figure out where I was. In that time I have found a steady job (go me!) at a local health food store called The Only Earth in High Point, North Carolina as well as had my figure modeling take off. I have painted, traveled, done lots of photography, learned lots of different recipes, dated a few people, and met some really interesting individuals along the way.

I also have decided to undertake my yoga teacher certification and am trying to plan my Exodus of North Carolina to greener (or more concrete) pastures of New York City. Yep, that is right… This small town girl is going to make it in the Big Apple. Why? Well, I have a few reasons. One of them being that it has been calling my name since I visited back in September of 2012. As soon as I was on the bridge and started walking on the streets, I knew I was home. The rush, the liveliness, the smells, the people, just all of it. I HAD to go back.

Another reason is because every single person I have come into contact with has asked me why the hell I was here and why haven’t I gone somewhere else. “You are too smart, pretty, cultured, amazing, [insert other reason/complement here] to be here. What in God’s name is holding you back?!?!?!” Needless to say, I really haven’t had an excuse except fear. Fear of failing, fear of the unknown, fear of making a mistake, and most of all the fear of disappointment. I have known for a very long time that, yes, I don’t really fit in around here. But, instead of just wallowing in the uncertainty, I am just going to put on my big girl britches and do it.

My final reason is because…well the opportunity has arrived, more or less. You know when you really want something, but you never think you are going to get it, so you just avoid it? Then the Universe just smacks you upside the face and goes, “HEY! YOU! This is what you want so have at it. You’re welcome.” Then you just stand there a bit flabbergasted and then you run with it because you know deep down you CAN and WILL make it happen? Yeah, that kinda happened. I am going to leave that one there for now and explain later in more detail because one blog post will not do it justice.

So, that is where I am at in life. Am I scared? Maybe a little bit. Will I let my fears get in the way of things? Hell no! I am probably the happiest I have been in a very long time because frankly, I am going after what I want. That being said, I am trying to revamp said blog, so if you see some changes ascetically, then that is why. Stay tuned, I will be writing more often now that I actually have my head screwed on properly. Namaste!

Creating Space

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“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.”-Rumi

Hello all, I have returned. I took a hiatus from blogging for a bit to recollect my thoughts and get in touch with a few of my emotions I have needed to work on. Sometimes that is all we can do is allow ourselves to have space. We often try to either A) attack whatever our issues are head on without understanding them first, B) ignore said issues and hope they just magically disappear or fix themselves, C) blame our issues on others or try and shove them off onto other people, or D) a mixture of all three and then become extremely confused and/ or angry. I would have to say I was doing all three depending on what it was.

Breaking patterns is never easy. Understanding thought tunnels, triggers, and patterns you have created within yourself is sometimes difficult, but it does not need to be painful. With my shift that I have had this year and all the new things I have done to start this new journey, I have encountered a TON of things I had thought I had dealt with. That is where I discovered that I had done “All of the above”. The self-depreciating monster has decided to show its  ugly head in waves and I have let fear, anger, and sadness take root in things that have nothing to do with reality. This has been going on for awhile and well…I’m working on it.

Also with those discoveries, I have become more spiritual because I am starting to unravel this cocoon of fear and chaos that I have created for myself. We are all responsible for our own issues, how we deal with them, create them, and end them. So, I am  taking responsibility for those things and moving forward. No more shoving them off on other people. No more blaming others for my problems. No more ignoring them. I will sit, contemplate, and then take a course of action and allow myself to feel and be loved. I do deserve this, its just sometimes you need someone to remind you of that.

So, to help out with this I have come up with a game plan. I’ll spell it out over the next couple of blog posts with points I am working on. Yes, Blogging on the regular is one of those points as well as yoga, meditation and some fasting/cleansing. It will all work out in the end. For now though I will continue my day of hibernating and work on my game plan. Namaste. 

Judgement

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And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest
not the beam that is in thine own eye? Matthew 7:3

I am not one to quote the bible, unless someone tries to argue with me from that vantage point. However, there are a few verses that have stuck with me through these years that I am quite fond of. The thing is, as human being we LOVE to judge others for their faults and issues. It makes us feel better about ourselves. The problem with this is we more often than not have our own issues and are in no place to put blame or judgment on others. It’s the whole projection of how we feel about ourselves onto others. It is my biggest pet peeve…EVER!!!

So, why am I bringing this up? I have been facing this quite a bit when I decided I was going to go on to some spiritual forums to get advice on different subject. I know I do not know everything and that is why I am asking questions; to get other peoples view points. The biggest issue with this? When someone starts acting “holier than though” or “more enlightened” than I am, my bullshit meter is just GONE. Absolutely gone and I have no tolerance for that. The reason for that is because those are usually the people that are the most closed off and end up leading “the sheep” with manipulation and being able to pull the fleece over their eyes. They are the ones who turn people away from finding out answers and make people say, “This is bullshit.”

So yes, my journey to find answers has just led to finding more people that are full of crap and I can see through their walls and I intimidate the crap out of them. It is a bit annoying and I know they are everywhere, but I just have no patience for it. I am just hoping that one day people will realize that they need to work through their own bullshit before pointing it out to others. End Rant.

Cleansing

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“So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.”–Antonin Artaud

So every spring, I tend to do a cleanse. With Seasonal changes, our bodies change and must adapt to the new things around it. That is why it is important to eat with the seasons, and take time to listen to our bodies instead of forcing it to be a certain way. It always is telling us something; physically, emotionally and spiritually. So, what better way to kick off Spring than to pump it full of nutrients from fruits and veggies? No to mention ramping up my yoga routine and spending more time outside. With warm weather comes bike rides, picnics and being one with nature. Who doesn’t love that?

So, that is the reason for not posting yesterday. I had to take a bit to regroup and let go of some stuff. Plus, being super grumpy and detoxing is no fun. Just trying to get through a yoga routine without crying was hard enough, plus headaches and body aches…it was a nightmare. But, with lots of sleep and sticking to things, I was able to get through it and I am a lot better now. 🙂 I’ll be doing this for a few weeks. No gluten. no sugar unless from agave, maple or stevia. Staying the heck away from corn if I can at all help it. Bye bye junk food… I will make my own. (poor Oreos…)

So, what’s on todays menu? Lot’s of herbal and green tea, fresh made juice, and stir fried veggies. Oh, and a handful of nuts and seeds for snack. I might take a crack at making veggie chips this weekend for an extra treat. That will be interesting since I will have hit the one month marker with Bryce on Saturday. I shall post a few recipes of the things I make and let you all know how they turn out. Now, off to go and do yoga at the park! Namaste!

Every Girl is Crazy for a Sharp Dressed Man

 

I love being a woman. I like dressing up; I love buying shoes.–Carly Fiorina 

I really don’t think I belong in this time period. Reasons? Well, I enjoy nice gardens, hand written letters and I have the firm belief that no one should ever wear sweatpants in public. Yes, that is right. I think people should actually put forth effort in how they look when they go out into the real wold. Call it old timey or what you will, I am sticking to it.

Ever since I was little, my Nanny (aka grandma) raised me with the sensibility to be a lady. You cross your legs when sitting, you expect gentleman to hold open doors, and you ALWAYS dress nicely when you go out in public. Period. That is how she was taught and that is what she was going to teach me since I was her granddaughter. Funny enough, times has changed to wear you can get away with wearing just a g-sting and nipple pasties practically while getting groceries, let alone pajamas. It makes me rather sad.

What happened to people taking pride in themselves and wanting to look nice? I don’t mean always wear a suit or a ball gown (although if I had the choice I would. Men in suits, nuff said), but just taking the time to actually put on a decent outfit when you go to run some errands. It makes you feel better when you take time for yourself, even if it just means putting on a pair of nice jeans and a cool t-shirt.

Too often we think it is selfish to want to look good. “I don’t have time because I am a new mom. I don’t feel well. What if people judge me and call me a slut?” You know what? You taking that time to look halfway decent actually makes a better impression on others and sets an example for people. It makes them go, “Wow, they really take care of theirself.” It makes a better impression on your boss, your significant other, your family, even the random guy at your local coffee shop.

I know a lot of people my age are in school and sweatpants are easy, especially if you sleep late. Putting on real pants with a real shirt is just as much effort as putting on PJ pants though. Take the time to be good to yourself, it pays off. So leave the sweatpants at home. Namaste.