Saturday, August 23, 2014

be present

it has been a long time since i've had a yoga practice, though i desire one. i know what to do, i have props and mats at home, i just simply do not make the time to practice yoga daily and that bums me out.
today, as we wound down class, i thought, my god, i have been in my body this entire time. and it was a moment of triumph. only briefly did the idea of writing about it pass through my mind, and as the thoughts came and drifted away in shavasana did anything other than the moment enter my mind. and for that, i am grateful.
having just completed another master's degree, i paused briefly, one or two days, before i remembered all the other goals laid aside until that master's was done. it's done. time to move forward.
my plan at the moment is to apply for the psy.d program at rutgers. in preparation for that, i am taking a gre prep course and some undergrad psych courses to address any gaps before applying. i will know by april, and begin in september. this idea thrills me to no end.
while i will have to leave the jobs i have come to love, i will be moving forward in my life and that is all any of us can hope for. i would like to be self-sufficient and in a stable career, not one beholden to the whims of registrants. although i know private practice will have its ups and downs, there are so many other things i want to do, need to do with my life. this feels like the beginning of something wonderful.
and so, i bowed low to my heart at the end of class, from the hips, nearly touching my head to the floor in honor of that which has so strongly supported me. i am grateful, for all the triumphs of late, i am grateful. for all the challenges too, for they are what keeps me on my toes.
my finch has taken to wrestling with a picked clean mullet stem, and is rather delightful to watch.
find the thing that brings you joy, that is all i can say, and do it. just do it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

unforeseen tears

on my porch, this bright sunny spring morning, an atv chatters loudly through the forest across the street, spitting its gasoline powered bark (or fire, it sounds more like the rapid repeat of machine gun fire), across to envelop my whole porch and i try to remember the lessons of yoga.
embrace the silence,
she said, and the footsteps trotted across the floor above us and we lay in a meditative state. when we rose, cross-legged and touched palms at heart center, a tear escaped from my closed eye and streamed down my face. it was the beginning of something beautiful.
set your intent,
she said, which is exactly how i start my semester with my writing students.
i just want to be present to this process.
i thought. she started meditatively, which was something i appreciated, as i often find myself trying to catch up to my body in yoga. muscle memory pretty much shifts me into position and i land in the posture, but where is my mind, and my breathing never quite seems to be right.
the one time i blew out my shoulder, all i could think about was breakfast and what i'd order when class was over. i was completely fixated on the meal to come, not the moment i was in. shoulder paid.
i couldn't attend yoga for about six weeks, just to allow my shoulder to recover, and i had to get some work done, but ultimately i learned, i have to be mindful in yoga, i can't just shift positions and multitask.
i am a legendary multitasker. i am of the opinion, as don aslett has written,
the more you do, the more you can do.
and more i do.
mercifully the mechanics yard across the street just turned off the semi engine they are trying to fix, and i hear krishna das' hanuman chalisa sounding from my kitchen. my cup of tea steams in the sun, and a car darts by on the road.
there is one thing i have learned in yoga, a teacher from whom you can learn (and for me that involves submission and unity), is priceless. i miss my sophie.
so we crouch down between our knees, with our hands at heart's center, at the end of class, and i realize, i had been present and only in that room the entire time. my mind was on my body and the posture the tilt of the pelvis, the angle of the hips, heart opened to the sky.
how long has it been since i've had a class like that.
too long.
too long, indeed.
so i will begin a journey, which has the serendipitous feeling of having been planned for me all along, and i will try to do my yoga teacher training. we shall see what will come of this.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

what to say

when there is nothing to say, and silence pervades the house. an uneasy silence, like the chill of winter, that saps strength and energy. i would rather not have that be my truth, but sometimes it is. sadly, sometimes it is.
and still. and silent. there is nothing to say.

Friday, February 28, 2014

semesters with einstein

alternate title: piscean genius
another successful semester completed, one more to go. in this final semester, i will write my thesis, which is the book i attempted two summers ago. i did not have what i needed then to articulate my point. i have infinitely more than i imagined now.
in this, my month long hiatus between semesters, i am not actively thinking about my thesis, but i always feel it bubbling up in my subconscious. this is, in practice, my theory.
i have watched my students take my contemplative writing advice, and those who do, tend to move forward with essays and writing challenges with greater ease than their counterparts who don't follow my instruction. i am grateful for both, as it gives me real world understanding of the way students respond to suggestion.
i am not entirely sure if my instructor had instructed me on the function of the subconscious brain, and told me what to do that i would have listened. in fact, because of my nature, i'm sure i would not. i had to stumble (as it were) upon my own theory to maximize my brain power.
we are only given the equipment we've got, so how to best utilize it becomes the question. my answer was found in contemplative writing. i am sure, based on my advising professor's enthusiasm for my original ideas, that if i can nail it in my thesis, that this book will be publishable--which was my goal going into the program.
i have much work to do next semester, concurrent with the writing, i will be finalizing some of my theories and ideas, enfleshing them in words for the first time. these prospects excite me.
but for now, my mind can rest and remember my semester companion who waits for me to take up pen and concretize the abstract as he did so well.