Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Road Trip Altar #3



Manorma says to notice how we spend our time, what we give our time to is what we worship. Sometimes, I want to drink another cup of coffee and space out on Facebook or look at my bank account online, maybe reorganize the papers on my desk.

One thing I know I worship is my relationship to my breath. So, everyday, I take whatever time I have, 5 minutes, 20, sometimes if I'm lucky 30, and sit. By sitting I nourish that relationship. I spend time with what I believe in. Nope, I've never once regretted taking that time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Guilty: The other day I was thinking during yoga class. I was wondering about this W-2 I have yet to receive from a former employer. I realized it probably got sent to my old address in Brooklyn, then, the post office probably sent it to the address I provided them with: the place I thought I was going to live in Boulder. Oops. Then, though, I moved to Taos, and now, no one I know lives at that address in Boulder, my mom moved too. That thing could be anywhere. "No wonder my attention span is shot to hell," I thought "I'm all over the place."

One thing I learn over and over is how DEEPLY important the root chakra is. Fun Fact #1: I'm not that cool. If I don't feel grounded, my day is going to be a mess. Fun Fact #2: I have a lot of different tools that help me to feel grounded. Just putzing around my house in the morning helps me to ground, sometimes I wake up an hour early purely to putz. Any and all leg stretches and hip openers help me feel more grounded. Julia Cameron's killer idea to write 3 pages every morning about whatever is on my mind helps. Meditating helps, so does not rushing and wearing comfortable shoes.

It may sound kinda loopy to wake up and do nothing so that I can leave early. Fun Fact #3: it doesn't matter, it works for me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Year of You Decide

I was pretty stoked to celebrate the year of the dragon yesterday. It inspired me to enter a new year ruled by a mythological creature, one that I can't even look up in my Animal Speak book. "Groovy," I thought, "if I was in a battle, I would really dig having a dragon on my side."

Lucky for me, they have Angel Cards at Shree, this super cool yoga studio where I teach. Yesterday before my class, I picked the "Clarity" card.

The word "dragon" comes from French, which comes from Latin, which comes from the Greek word δράκων which means serpent or giant sea fish. Check it: the Greek word δράκων comes from an even earlier stem, drak-, which is a stem from even EARLIER word, derkesthai, which means to see clearly. Yep. I'm pretty ding-dong sure we can see whatever we want in whatever it is we're looking at. Helps to be clear first though.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lesson Learned

Go ahead and deal with the mud on your shoes. That way, you won't have to leave them all dirty outside. Cuz know what'll probably happen if you do leave them all dirty outside? It'll snow. Then you'll have muddy AND snowy shoes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Calling It In




A not so deeply rooted fantasy of mine is to become a DJ with my own radio show. It excites me to think about sitting in a sound proof booth with a state of the art swivel chair, a big sun-shaped microphone in front of my mouth, talking, and not messing up. But mostly, what I really love tripping out about is the tunes. Man, I'd play such good tunes.

Because, alas, I am not yet a DJ with my very own radio show, I have to get my kicks from making playlists and offering to roll the iPod dial whenever I'm the passenger in someone else's car.

The other day I was asked to make a playlist for my friend's birthday party. "NOT A PROBLEM! NOT A PROBLEM AT ALL, LET ME GET ON THAT RIGHT AWAY," is my general response towards projects like these.

At the last moment there was a technical snafu and we were not going to be able to use an iPod at the party, so instead I had to burn the 98 song playlist onto 5 separate CDs. After each CD ejected itself from my laptop, burned up and ready to play, I wrote on it, "Jessica's Best Birthday Party That She's Ever Had in the Whole Wide World Disc 1." Yes. Each CD said all of that stuff, "Jessica's Best Birthday Party That's She's Ever Had in the Whole Wide World," just a different number was placed at the end of the title, depending on the disc. When I handed Jessica her newly written shiny pile of polycarbonate, she looked at it and smiled. She got it. Some people might say, "Oh no, Ash, don't call it that! You're jinxing it. If we plan on it being the best birthday party ever in the whole wide world, there's no way it'll deliver, the whole thing will be a terrible disappointment." I say poo to those people. I say call it in. Decide want you want. Move to the desert, wake up feeling great tomorrow, meet the girl of your dreams. Call it in. Without judgement. Say it's going to be the way you want it, and get ready. Jessica was ready to have the best birthday party ever in the whole wide world. So we called it in. And she did.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

All of the Waters



Last night I went out to dinner with my super terrific new friend Amy. She would be talking about something and I would get excited and say something and sometimes one of us would interrupt the other but then we'd always remember to go back to that exact spot in the other person's story. Undeniable good times: laughing, nodding, "Me too!"ing, oh and also, eating.

About halfway through the meal, I realized I was, well, about halfway through the meal. I had been eating the whole time, but sorta having too much fun to be paying attention to eating. I noticed my body: I was leaning way forward, my legs were crossed and I was holding onto my belly a little bit. So, I uncrossed my legs, leaned back, took a deep breath and "let all of the waters of (my) belly settle down," which is something Elena Brower reminded me to do in yoga class once. I started noticing each bite as I picked it up, put it into my mouth, and tasted it. And guess what? I was able to continue to do ALL that stuff, even breathe deeply WHILE still having a total first-rate time with Amy! Sometimes, I'm so good at multitasking, I freak myself out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Voice B

Sometimes, whoopsie daisies, without even realizing it, I take on someone else's anxiety. This is not that someone else's fault, they just might come up to me and be like, "OH MY GOD, this thing is SO SCARY, I'll never be able to do it because it's SO EXPENSIVE and the economy might END so you really shouldn't do that, you know, its SOOOOO dangerous." Because I am usually unconsciously assuming that everybody else is smarter than I am, sometimes this stuff gets to me. Without noticing, I might start following a train of thought something like, "Yeah, maybe I WILL get pinkeye, I guess it is feasible those barbed wire fences are there to trap us, I need to learn how to build a fire out of the recycling bin in the back of my car..."

Sheesh.

In other news, kinda, know what really works for me?

Talking about what I'm grateful for:

I'm grateful for the awareness that I've been able to cultivate that NOTICES I'm listening that voice, let's call it Voice A inside my head.

AND I am grateful for learning how to trust that awareness and the voice that counters Voice A, let's call it Voice B . Voice B is more familiar to me, it even knows how to talk me through forgiving myself for listening to Voice A.

I am grateful I am learning to trust Voice B, it never talks about barbed wire, its says stuff like, "It'll work out exactly the way that its meant to."

ALSO, I'm grateful for learning how to trust Voice B when says something like, "Since there's maybe going to be a snowstorm, I'll enlist a buddy to drive down the mountain with me. It'll be more fun to make peace with the elements together anyways."

Maybe I sound looney, but with all the fear that's flying around out there, it feels better to vibe with Voice B. I want to feel peace no matter who's talking to me about what. Perhaps, that's just me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Help



Okay. I'll cut to the controversial chase: I'm not that crazy about The Beatles. I mean, I like them, they're great, but I feel like its a given and we don't have to keep talking about it. Or listening to them all of the time. All those years I dated musicians equals I have talked about how great The Beatles are enough. For my whole lifetime. Yeah, okay, Dad, maybe I don't really get it. Maybe I'm too young. Actually, I must be too young because the other day I was hanging out with my new friend Eva and she said I reminded her of her niece. "How old is your niece?" I said, "What's her name?" "Gina," said Eva, "She's two." "Sweet." I thought, I don't mind being reminiscent of Gina who's two.

Usually Pandora knows me pretty well and steers clear of The Beatles but the other day, it surprised with their tune "Help!" Ready for me to contradict everything in that first paragraph and talk about how great The Beatles are? That song is SO SMART! And beautiful! What an amazing song! I love those guys! "When I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in anyway...But now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors."

ME TOO YOU GUYS! I didn't ask for help either! And then I did! And just admitting to myself that I need help, with whatever, by dropping off my laundry for pickup, or telling someone I'm looking for a job, or calling Apple Care because Mail on my Mac isn't working, magic happens. Actually, the other day, just by acknowledging I had no idea how to fix my printer, and texting my friend, it fixed itself! Some people, like The Beatles and Julia Cameron have had this figured out for a long time. Julia Cameron says, "Once we admit the need for help, the help arrives." I'm still so young, to learn all this stuff so deeply still kinda blows my mind.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Love Call




Couple things about me: if you've taken my yoga class more than 3 or 5 times and I know your name and you know mine, I love you. I'm not trying to be nice or practice lovingkindness, I'm just the way I am. And the way I am is: I love you. Maybe I love too easily but there is something to be said about who you really are and how I get to know that pretty darn quick from teaching you how to breathe and move at the same time. Nother thing about me: when I talk about my teacher, I am usually talking about a woman named Jennifer Moyer. Jen is a B.E.S.T. practitioner in Manhattan.

One time, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. A few weeks after that, I was talking to Jen about a private student of mine who I hadn't heard back from. I had emailed him twice and he hadn't emailed me back, when, usually, he did. I was worried about him. I hadn't been teaching him for that long so I didn't know that much about him but I did know he worked in the financial industry. I didn't feel comfortable calling him to be like "Hey, how's this market crashing stuff treating you? Did you loose your job?" But I also didn't feel like pushing the yoga point anymore. I just wanted to make sure he was okay. These thoughts about him and the market and yoga were tangled together in the front my brain and I had no idea what to DO. Jen asked me if I loved him. I was like, "Sure." Then she advised me to give him a love call. "Well, but, Jen," I said, "I mean I love him and that's cool but we don't say I love you to each other..." NO BIGGIE she assured me, she was talking about me calling him for NO REASON other than to say I was thinking about him, that I hoped he was well. Which was true! So I did. Not the point, but, calling him felt great and it solved everything. Because it was so nice to hear my voice on his voicemail he called me back right away to say he was okay, to apologize for being out of touch and, basically, just to shoot the breeze. When things mellowed out, we started doing yoga again.

I don't know about you guys but I have so many people in my life. And lots of times I only reach out to them because I'm answering their question about the awesome retreat I'm leading in March, because I want to see what time we're meeting later, or I want to know where they get their haircut. Thanks to Jen, sometimes I call someone just to tell them I love them or I'm thinking about them. If I'm leaving a message, no need to call me back unless they want to. I'm no expert in giving gifts, but these days, when everybody has a lot of stuff and a lot of stuff to do, that seems like a pretty good one to me.