October, 2011

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Friday, October 28th, 2011

I woke-up today ready and excited for an adventure; it was all a bit ineffable.  I had, at least in part, Misha to thank–as I noted when I e-mailed him–as he’s posted some adventures lately, too.  I changed my Facebook status to Travis Robertson is ready.  Again, I wasn’t quite sure what I was ready for… but those were the best semantics I could find in relation to what I was feeling.

I have a nice, great work day.  I have a meeting.  I get home.  …and I decide to go to yoga.  I’ve only gone to yoga a couple times since my challenge so I’m feeling overdue [, guilty, and out of routine.]

I get to yoga and feel that all is right.  I’m grateful I made the time to get there.  I’m comforted by the familiarity.  It’s cooling off a bit now, so I’m even glad for the warmth.

Class begins and before we set our intentions, I consider mine.  I consider, “I’m ready…”.  That phrase has followed me through my day.  Our instructor cues us to set one though, just as we finish our initial breathing meditation, and tells us to listen to what comes right at the moment.   I anticipate keeping my pre-made one….. but my self-dialogue does something interesting and adjusts “I’m ready.” to:

“I’m here.”   …not too different, and yet not the same at all.

It’s funny because the same thing happened just the other week.

I had the intention of “I”m returning”  [again, from a bit of a hiatus that round… but also to calm, myself, etc. etc.” … then right in the moment I adjust “I’m returning” to:

“I’m home.”

Now.  If you don’t do yoga, I don’t add these posts to make you think I or this process are all over-anylitica or airy-fairy.  haha …nor do I think my process is a common or “the right” one.

It’s interesting to me that twice now, though, my initial intention of heading towards something or somewhere has just morphed itself into already being something or somewhere.  Whether or not I should find a lesson in there, or that anyone else might [or might not] is quite irrelevant.  I did.

I did.  I noticed.  …and now I’m taking the time to make note of it.

Because how many times have I been somewhere neat, inspiring, or exactly where I’ve felt meant to be… only to take note of it afterwards.  …rather than during.

I still don’t know what my readiness or adventure is for.  I have my hopes, and inklings, and ideas.  After tonight’s practice though, I know the adventure isn’t about to unfold… I know it already is unfolding.  …and ready, here, and home for it…

I smile. [,remember, and celebrate.]


One week later… 30 things to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
  1. Thank you sinte; you’re a djembe rhythm I can really get into.
  2. Thank you heartache; sometimes it’s moments later while sometimes it’s far, far later, but you remind me, at the end of the day, I have a heart capable of many things… among those things: aching.
  3. Thank you grad research projects I can immerse in, often last minute; there’s nothing like immersing and completing an incredibly along task and then getting to feel accomplishment.  Plus, you’ve introduced me to a cohort I’m quite openly in love with.
  4. Thank you iOS5; I forget my geeky side sometimes, and getting to anticipate that install.  I had so few expectations, but you’ve exceed them all.  Perhaps there’s a lesson in there.
  5. Thank you turkey and Farkle and gift buying; you recharge me like not much else.
  6. Thank you Pauanui quiet morning swim, Bondi afternoon swim complete with disinfectant; cold open water wakes me up like not much else and we don’t have too much of it locally–at least for much of the year… I’m a water person and you remind me of that.
  7. Thank you flood; you introduced me to Arriva, and now as Victoria Park gets developed I feel like I’m an ex-community member.
  8. Thank you yoga; this context for investing into something consistently and considering intentions, foundation, strength, joy, and openness is one I’m quite enamoured with as I explore.
  9. Thank you roller coasters and waterslides; I don’t often get many opportunities for screaming with watering eyes, and so when I do, it’s nice to take advantage.
  10. Thank you Chinook expansion; I’m seriously in love with your smell, your Dulce coffee, and the fact that you’re never, ever that busy.
  11. Thank you contest wins; you convince me that some things are meant to be… and probably that some things aren’t.  Most of all, you prove that a hat-in-the-ring most often exceeds a hat-outside-of-one.
  12. Thank you 10k; I get cocky with benchmarks sometimes.
  13. Thank you Kootenays; I have many fond memories near your little natural preservation.  It’s been fun growing up with you.
  14. Thank you colleagues; teachers have a personality and a humour I really, really dig.  It’s fun to think I might have a portion of that personality, myself.
  15. Thank you Montréal; it’s been too long, non?  Yet, I now always know I’ll be back.  I don’t know if my obsession with you is healthy… but it is an obsession.  …might as well just acknowledge it and move on.
  16. Thank you benefits; I’m becoming a bit of a massage addict… without you enabling this, I’d be broke.
  17. Thank you Radio One; I think I would have received better grades had I started listening to you at 17.
  18. Thank you Ctrl-F; I skim too fast sometimes, but you’ve removed the need for skimming most days.  The fact that you also count instances of words has also been most helpful.
  19. Thank you green grocery store smoothies in the produce isle; I forget my fruits and veggies sometimes, so you’re a quick way to ward of scurvy.
  20. Thank you Family Day weekend; the fact that you’re five days away from work but not and that you get me downtown and often away right on the dawn of warm weather is pretty awesome.
  21. Thank you Fit; you do your part with conserving money, transporting my life here in the city, and maintaining my urban image.
  22. Thank you Cairns.  I dream of you often and didn’t really know much of where you are.  Now, you get me through my marking, and conferencing, and planning, and negotiating.  Can’t wait to see the boys and experience the new and the familiar in fairly equal measure.
  23. Thank you IKEA; I’m not that fond of putting your furniture together but you’ve been the secret weapon (alongside a propane heater) for my gatherings lately and those gatherings have made for some great reunions, and memories, and laughs.
  24. Thank you outdoor dance spaces at festivals.  I always dance in these spaces with the intention of celebrating freedom.  Rain or shine, this tends to be some of my best and smiliest and least self-conscious dancing.  Auckland. Vancouver. Montreal. Calgary.  Edmonton. ….doesn’t matter; that, too, shows me the intention translates easily.
  25. Thank you circle of friends; you have me catching myself thinking sometimes… “What if I hadn’t worked at Red Robin?”… “What if we didn’t go out after skiing?”… “What if this person hadn’t led to this person hadn’t led to this person led to this person?”… and it reminds me: seemingly small decisions and events sometimes lead to big and substantial ones.
  26. Thank you family.  I’m working on a specific thank you here for the acknowledgements section of my Master’s work… and so far my favourite line speaks to the fact that learning is living, and my family has allowed me to live a very, very full life.  …thereby making the learning possible.
  27. Thank you ginger ale.  I tend to have you only in one of three very specific places: on flights, at Grandma’s, and in punch… and all three make me quite happy.
  28. Thank you TED Talks, especially ones I’m quite certain I won’t be into, and then somehow I am into.  Beyond getting me interested in your content…. you get me interested in folks interested in their content to the point that their passion radiates… and it makes me want to figure out mine.
  29. Thank you encouraging practicum feedback.  Turns out career applications start here; with you under my belt… Calgary has become my oyster.
  30. Thank you cards and e-mails and texts and iMessages and phone calls that make me smile and laugh and remember and return to myself. …never a bad place to return to with the best of expressions on my face.

Libra Intention

Monday, October 17th, 2011

“For true success ask yourself these four questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?”
–James Allen, As a Man Thinketh 

Of Thirty.

Monday, October 17th, 2011

My birthday celebrations began today, as I close out my twenties.

My family is the best.  They arrived to the city–and my place–with gifts beyond incredible, helping my condo space feel like home… an organized, tidy, funky home.  We went up the Calgary tower and had brunch.  We circled around the city looking at the fall leaves, the many new developments, and the clear blue sky showing the Rocky Mountains off in the horizon. …then headed upstairs where we all took on the glass floor, even by Grandma, showing her bravery.

I’m pumped about these 30s.  See.  When you have a family and friends supporting you… all things are possible.  With that, I know many adventures are on the horizon.

Now, with much paying-forward to do… I smile at the celebrations to come.   Well fed, well taken care of, well being.

Bring it.

Day Thirty (of Thirty)

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Hands up if you’re in the challenge.

Hand up.

We breath and Om and set an intention of celebrating……because we can celebrate.

And it hits me:  I’ve stuck with it.  I’m here.

We explore to start.  We begin our series.  I literally have chills and goosebumps I’m so grateful, glad, and excited.  I’d say proud, but the more accurate word might be: accomplished.

I smile and can’t help but look to the room and take it all in: the people, the process, and the moment.

Some of the songs are familiar and I smile at their familiarity.  Some postures are now very familiar and I smile at their evolution.

I feel grateful and glad.

And then we bow head to heart (as most times at the end) and are asked to bow and in reverence and gratitude for our commitment…….and to the many lessons we’ve learned this challenge, knowing this is one of many steps in our [yoga] journeys.  My lessons come one right after the other, and I smile from the bottom of my [now bendier] feet… lessons both on and off of the mat.  Lessons both familiar from last challenge and very new.  Some lessons quite recent others forgotten until that moment.

We then acknowledge the best of ourselves and each other, roll up our mats, and go about our evenings.

On the way to the door high fives and hugs await… haha, yoga studios tend to be open spaces.  In a week we will meet again to celebrate [with some food!] our Challenge… and learn of who wins the prize……

…..fully knowing we’ve given a more important prize to ourselves already, the moment we considered, then committed, 30 Days: to our mats, and to ourselves (and each other).


Day Twenty-nine (of Thirty)

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Today was a morning practice.

I grabbed my work clothes, my deodorant, and headed off for my time in the studio and my day.

I don’t know what it was about the practice–lunges maybe?–but my legs felt super strong all day.  Strong feeling anything is definitely preferable to sore.

Morning practice was necessary because the evening was a teacher appreciation banquet (and dance).  It was nice to spend time with my colleagues and get to know them better outside of school.  I DID notice that there weren’t that many new teachers at the banquet this year… mostly because, I’d imagine, recent cuts have meant not that many new teachers.  I also noticed that the energy was a little subdued?  …maybe I’m projecting but might people be spread a bit thin these days?  It was all food for thought.

One more to go.

Day Twenty-eight (of Thirty)

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

I love that the number one reason I take Level 2 is because of the time it’s offered.  On Mondays I can get in before my next class.  Tonight, it was timed perfectly for after a Report Card meeting.  That meant it got booked online.

Tonight’s Level 2 was a different instructor than Mondays.  …which of course had me wondering: how. tough. is. it. going. to. be?

Actually only 1/8th of my brain was wondering that because 7/8ths of by brain now knows that, really, I get to decide how tough each class is.  That said, on the way in another 30 Dayer mentioned on our way in it was his first Level 2, and asked if Level 2 ones were “good” and/or “tough”.  I replied with a, “Hmmm… they’re a bit of a wildcard actually.  Sometimes they don’t seem much more advanced than Hot Foundation, sometimes they seem killer.”  …which was an honest, unedited response.

The class went swimmingly.

We started with self-exploration and the class was a balanced blend of strength poses, balance poses, the familiar, and the new.  I felt extra confident that I didn’t lie to my fellow 30 Dayer.  The tone of the room was fun and friendly.  Questions were asked.  Laughter continued throughout.  Really motivating and inspiring, though, was that everyone was really trying and encouraging.  There was partner work but it was both stress and hassle free.

Time flew by, and as I wiped off my mat were there any more-than-hellos again?  Actually…. I’d hazard to say there were small conversations.  Score!

Tomorrow: the dreaded AM class so I can get to Heritage Park and celebrate my wild teacher side in the evening.  Friday: Chapter complete.

Very soon, 30 Days behind me and MANY days ahead, on the mat, wondering how [tough] will this class be?

Day Twenty-seven (of Thirty)

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Tonight, I was willing to fall, to try, to smile, to create, and to be confident.  This after arriving to a “chill room” filled with warmth and people visiting as the class ahead let out.

My intention was to smile and be confident for a few reasons (they’re coming).  The instructor’s intention was to have us “blossom” and fall (when necessary).  …and the two were quite a nice combination.

So.  The smiling.  Well… I mentioned that on Sunday we did an exercise sharing gratitude and commendations for each other.  Well, one of my comments on my sheet was “your practice is strong, remember to smile 🙂 ” [the others were “Your dedication and spirit–warm smile”, “Your smile and calm nature is infectious.  Thank you for your grounded presence”, “You have a wonderful, fun energy about you”, “Your strength and light is there” … pretty good and heartwarming considering that these are people I really only know in a very specific context].  Well that first one… it reminds me that sometimes when I’m trying, deciphering, pushing, [mind-]wandering, that maybe I’m not smiling when, really, I might as well be.  So tonight I pushed myself to.

The confidence.  Well.  haha, I’m swamped and in the midst of a lot of new.  Yet again here. …not so much on the mat, but off: new to coaching, new principal, 50% of my course load is new, new aspect of my master’s… and while new is exciting it doesn’t always lend itself to confidence.  SO.  I figured, if I could muster up some on the mat, I could maybe translate that to life off the mat.  Really, I’m probably less confident on my mat than I could be right now (at this point in The Challenge, and at this point with a bit more experience and understanding behind me.


I had a nice little 8:00PM practice.  I was tempted to go to 6:15AM so that after our volleyball game I could have an evening, but really those morning practices aren’t always for me.

As I practiced, I had a few moments.  A few moments like, “I should keep this up after Friday; I like this”, “I should apply to speak at WESTcast.”, “I’m excited for this month’s events”, “I’m excited for Winter Break” … all things rooted in smiles and confidence.

Then I left and said a slightly longer-than-hello to some folks on my way out.  Slightly-longer-than hellos (maybe shockingly!) aren’t so innate for me all the time.  [Especially at the studio, where I’m sometimes prone to thinking everyone has been practicing for 10 years compared to my few and that each knows each other way better than I do]. Smile, confidence, hello.

“Three more days.  Anyone can do that!’