October, 2010

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inspiration, warmth, & adventure

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

My plan, forever, was to mostly opt out of Halloween this year.  I know myself well enough, that if I’m not “into it” [it–being Halloween] well in advance of the date… I won’t ‘get’ into it.  I’ve had very fun Halloweens, don’t get me wrong, but there’s nothing worse than a) last-minute attempts at costumes/events and b) knowing you don’t have time for something and doing it anyway.

My compromise was to dress-up at school; I’m new to the school… and don’t want to seem like a stick-in-the-mud.  Then for my weekend: I would take Friday off to rest (and read) and make a small appearance or two (or three as it turned out) on Saturday.  The key to those appearances would be that they not add-up to a tired, unproductive Sunday.

Those three appearances… pretty much made my weekend.

I ended up finding a last minute costume.  I modified a Navi (i.e. Avatar) costume… it looked really great (and even brought out my eyes, haha) […and recent yoga effort… because it was, well, 19 sizes too small].  I had to be mindful of the fact that it could fall to pieces at any minute, and be sure that my most at-risk areas were suitably covered.

The costume was probably a good investment (since it didn’t rip or fall apart); let’s not kid ourselves, there will be Avatar sequels.

More importantly, though, my weekend allowed for conversations that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  I was welcomed into three [very different] homes to laughter, warm-welcomes, and hospitality.

Our second stop had hospitality so warm, I was entrusted to the entire home for a few minutes, while stamps were attained for later in the evening.  The home was a beautiful one with an incredible view of the Calgary skyline, so for those few minutes I was able to see the city from a pretty good perspective….. and reflect [on something a bit unexpected]: I’m where I want to be right now (in more ways than one).  This city is one that offers me a lot, as well as a lot of promise.  It’s not always easy to have that at the forefront of my headspace: this city isn’t for everyone (and people can be vocal about that), itches to travel can be gigantic nuisances, my brain and schedule are near-capacity (if not nearly past capacity) making this city a hard one to see clearly and honestly.

The first and third stops weren’t without their lessons, too.  The first one had small talk that came easy… making me appreciative of all that I have to talk about.  The third, showed me just how creative, fun, and amazing my closest friends can be (and how our responses to those different from us can be both quite similar and dissimilar).

So maybe I don’t know myself that well.  I DID get into it.  Many pictures document that fact well.

…loving where I’m at, check.  I guess the next step is trusting I’ll find someone else who can, too. …..so far I haven’t had much luck with that.

overlap

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I can agree with the notion that a good traveler has no fixed plans… and is not intent on arriving.

I can appreciate that new, unrehearsed, unpracticed situations are condusive to growth.

I get that… we need to be outside of our comfort zones.

However…… these days, SO MUCH of my life is seeming new.  A tidal wave of work, homework, and life will be landing the first half of November.

While I don’t want to build my whole life on: the easy, the familiar, the unchanging.  I could use a little comfort zone confidence these days.

My solution: I’m grabbing a yoga mat and spending much of my evening on it.  For 40 Days, that was the norm.  Since then, I haven’t been back.

Tonight, I’m spending some time in the middle of the Venn.  =)

One, two… punch.

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Overwhelmed by the hardest class you’ve ever taken?  Finding your way in a brand new job, and don’t quite have your bearings?

I have some advice for you.

Give yourself a weekend.  Go to IKEA and get some napkins.  Go to Superstore and get some snacks (and various mixes for punch!).  Then go to the trendy new little market by your place and look longingly at the cakes until your roommate buys you one.  Even if it’s last-minute, invite some people over who might be fair game… and give yourself a weekend, to surround yourself with people who make you laugh, give you confidence, and make you grateful.

Sure, life takes work.  …but if you don’t look up from the work to see your surrounding company, your creative [email protected]$$ community, and the fact that most things are right where they belong… the work isn’t quite as meaningful.

Some other lessons learned at our condo soirée:
-ugly punch sometimes tastes just as good as pretty punch…
-birthday books that chronicle a year show you just how much can happen in a year (and make years that seem rough actually seem not-so-rough after all)…
-essential oil room spray can make a good event a great event… last night was living proof!  […or is that a ‘Post hoc ergo propter hoc’ exemplar??!]

I LOVE waking up to a condo that has just been filled with the best folks around!
More importantly, I LOVE the folks that surround me… events like these are a nice time to reflect on that.

Happy, Thanks, Giving…

Monday, October 18th, 2010

For whatever reason, I’ve been relishing this birthday.

Election excitement, yoga completion excitement, end of an era [/decade] excitement… all of it.

I woke up to unexpected e-mail; I quietly glanced at my iPhone 4 throughout my working day to see warm hellos; students couldn’t wait to wish me a Happy 35th…  (that’s what they were told during the morning announcements).

With a tummy full of LoungeBurger compliments of my family… I drift off awfully grateful for everyone who made today feel special.  I feel like I’m in pretty great company these days.. and a prerequisite for great adventures is great partners-in-crime.

Much, much, much peace and love.  Much, much, much gratitude.  Much, much, much in store this year… I have no doubt.

…of 40. …of revolutions. of Namaste.

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Revolution, complete!  🙂

Forty days have come and gone and essentially [all but three] have been spent on the mat.  Despite daily tea-tree cleaninging… it stinks.

It’s hard to use a blog to reflect on the whole experience because that time has been inward time.  Writing on here tends to be outward time.

I can say, though, the experience has been incredible.  Many parts of me are tempted to consider the next revolution and many parts of me are disappointed that extending this revolution to the optional 108 day one aren’t in the cards right now–I’d be jeopardizing a quality job of both my teaching and my studies.  It’s not that exercise and quiet time aren’t helping both–they are!–it’s the extensive amounts of time needed for this particular endeavour.

Throughout the revolution there were easier days and harder days.  I had classes and conversations where I felt I had tons to offer and energy abounded.  I also, though, had classes and conversations where either I felt completely incapable or completely mentally elsewhere.  Or both.

I don’t know how I feel about typing/sharing my intentions with this revolution, nor how much anyone would really care.  Essentially, I embarked to [re-]connect with two qualities: strength and peace.  I wrote those down before the very first day.  As my forty days went on strength evolved into other qualities (joy, sturdiness, confidence) and peace did too (softness, stillness, calm).  Was I successful?  Well, yes, I would be because all of those things would have already been there with me on my mat each and every day; by intending to reflect on, and find, those qualities… well, there they were.

At times, I probably over-connected my practice to the rest of life (teaching, working, etc. etc.) but at times the analogy really worked/works.

So with 40 days behind me… I’m ready to carry what I’ve learned and am learning forward.  Since it’s my 29th birthday Monday, I’m quite reflective about carrying all this in to… well, the next year… and the next decade.  29 is feeling quite substantial.  I’m guessing that’s maybe common because no one is questioning which birthday is next: the big three-zero.

On that note I leave you with a namaste (a common greeting in yoga, especially at the end of practice).

I got goosebumps twice during today’s practice.  First, when the half-dozen or so revolution participants were recognized before class.  Later, when namaste was defined for the class.  And so I leave you with that definition.

“I honour the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.
I honour the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace.
When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, We are One.”

On or off the mat, never a bad place to be.

Today, tomorrow, and the next day…

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Today:

  • What’s ending? Group practice… it’s our last one.  I’m a bit sentimental about that notion, actually.  The Facebook fasting, too?… possibly.
  • What’s happening?  There’s been whispers about a small couchwarming gathering… maybe it will all be in preparation for next week’s birthday festivities which I haven’t really given much thought to.

Tomorrow:

  • What’s ending? The revolution!  I thought it was over on the 17th… but no… it’s over the 16th I think.  Very, very… bittersweet.
  • What’s happening? Well… apparently a decentralized dance party?!  That and some major school/university work… how can I feel this behind already??!  Was it the yoga??!

The next day:

  • What’s ending? The perceived revolution (I thought it went until the 17th… and that’s what the poster said, too) AND the 28th circle-around-the-sun
  • What’s happening? Good question.  Might be a good (snowy?) day for a date-with-Calgary.  As much as yoga has been a substantial amount of ‘me time’… there hasn’t been much me time outside of that box.

four practices to go (until 40) … and the 29th circle around the sun begins…

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry.

John Cage

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday remain (of 40) (and of 28)

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

I don’t know if you do yoga.

If you do… you know that, more often than not, on the in-breath one finds space; on the out-breath one grows into the space.

This week I found space, not only in my body… but also in my week.

I had a university video conference tonight that I couldn’t afford to miss.  …on Thursday, I am invited to Parent Council meeting during the evening that would be costly to turn down.  I thought these two commitments would mean I was out of the running for my 40 Days.  It sucked knowing that after all of this, I would dis’qualify’ myself, even though I wasn’t really in this to ‘qualify’ for much…but I found a solution.

This morning, I went to class dutifully at 6:30 a.m.   I bowed out exactly six minutes early and, after a change-room-shower, sped walked to a car filled with everything I would need for a successful morning and day.  I will do the same on Thursday.  This isn’t something I would be able to do regularly…… but for this week, when for some reason, I really want to prove to myself that I have what it takes to complete this revolution….. it will work.

…and so… just a day after the weekend devoted to giving thanks here in Canada… I do give thanks quite easily.

…for found space.
…for a weekend of rest, family, laughter, food, and encouragement.
…for delightful autumn weather.

and from there:

growth.