Friday, November 28, 2014

Very Thankfully

This morning I taught a special extended version of my Friday morning class to honor the continuing practice of gratitude. I made a special playlist for it, which I forgot to synch to my phone, thus I had to use an old playlist. For whatever reason, this disappointed me so much that I struggled throughout the whole class to forgive myself, get over the awesome playlist I made, and be present. Thankfully, I was teaching presence which kept reminding me to be present.

Towards the end of class, I taught a gratitude meditation that I had adapted from a teacher named Davidji. During the meditation, I asked everyone to "bring awareness to your expansion, your perspective shifts, your ability to see growth and potential."

Very thankfully, I've been bringing my awareness to that stuff a lot lately. Just yesterday, I was reminded of Thanksgiving three years ago, my first in Taos. I had been totally stressed out about making food to bring to the gathering I was invited to. I had "cooked" a total of about 3 hours in my whole life before I moved here. I was anxious about the guacamole, I felt frazzled making hummus. Yesterday, without any angst, I made two pies from scratch, a shepherd's pie for the entree and a sweet potato pie for dessert.

I had high hopes the sweet potato one would be beautiful, and that I'd take a picture for Instagram and every other vegan celebrator on Insta would LOVE it. The pie wasn't pretty, not even attractive, but it tasted great. We're talking progress not perfection.

Reading from my meditation notes this morning, I felt 'the teachings I was teaching teaching me.' Just like A Course in Miracles says, "Do not forget that what you teach is teaching you."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not in Any Way Related to Being a Responsible Adult

Have I ever told you guys about the mail in Taos? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it just takes an extra long time. Three times now, mail, on its way to me, with money in it, did not make it.

A few weeks back, I was expecting a check in the mail and it was taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I stopped at my mailbox early one morning to see if it had arrived, it hadn't. I worried about it for a few blocks and then something else grabbed my attention. After spacing out about whatever the other thing was, I straight up had the thought: "Wasn't I worrying about something?" I remembered that I had been worrying about whether or not that check was going to come, or if it had been lost forever, and just before I started to worry about it some more, I decided to cut myself off.

I'm learning in Al Anon that some of us feel more normal, or more in control of things we are not in control of, when worrying. I'm also learning that feeling more in control of what we are not in control of, is an illusion. And that worrying never ever does any good, ever. It is a waste of energy, a drain on personal power and not in any way related to being a responsible adult.

Just like how some folks have to cut themselves off from having another drink, some folks have to cut themselves off from over-thinking, worrying and obsessing. Easier said than done. But just like anything else, it gets easier with practice. Sometimes to stop myself from worrying, I take an action step towards a goal of mine. Sometimes I need to spend time with spirit; sitting at my altar, pulling a few tarot cards, doing savasana, or going for a hike. Sometimes, I plain old pray.

Praying, taking action steps, even doing savasana, never feel like an energy drain, indeed, they bolster my sense of personal power.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Makes You Stronger

"Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things"--Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Each Sun and Each Moon

Thanks to Teacher Training, I've spent a lot of the last few months genuinely focusing on balance. In the physical practice of yoga, we aim to achieve balance through the medium of the body. In Sanskrit, the physical practice of yoga is called Hatha; "Ha" means sun and "tha" means moon. Through the many postures and breathing practices of Hatha Yoga, Hatha Yogis set out to find a balance between their sun and moon sides. The lunar side of the body is the left side and the solar is the right.

During a weekend when we didn't have training, I had a chance to go to the Farmer's Market and get a palm reading from the local palm reader who comes very highly recommended. She looked at my non-dominant hand (my left) and called it my potential and she looked at my dominant hand (my right) to see what I was doing with my potential.

Ella Fitzgerald said “It isn't where you came from; it's where you're going that counts." And we can balance where we came from with where we're going by practicing presence in each moment. Present for how the sun is new as everyday and present for each moon, each ever-changing moon.

Friday, November 14, 2014


"If you are feeling unsupported by Spirit, just know that from Spirit's perspective, there is nothing but support. Everything is support. To help bolster your alignment with Spirit, seek out a person, environment or non-living guide that is in a position of love, healing, compassion, knowledge or enlightenment for you."--Kay Kamala

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lifelong Homework

I gave lots of homework these past few months at Yoga Teaching Training. Some of the homework I gave, Aura called "Lifelong Homework."

During a discussion on one of the last days, I gave our trainees the homework: "Don't Complain, Don't Explain," ever. For the rest of your life.

There's a lady here in town who signs up to sub a class for me and my friends. 95% of the time, right before the class she said she'd sub, she emails us, asking if we can sub it and explaining to us everything about her life. We know a lot about her kids, how her tires are not great in the snow, and how she and her band are frequently offered gigs last minute. I don't mean to be harsh but, I don't want to know that stuff! It's none of my business! Unless you're my friend, and even when you're my friend, I don't need to know why you can't sub my class.

"Don't Explain" is good lifelong homework and shows up everywhere, not just in yoga subbing kerfuffles. I like to practice not explaining when I mess up and someone's calling me on it. Explaining can shed light on why I messed up, sure, but lots of times, it's defensive. These days I practice keeping my apologies clean. Often, all I need to do is apologize.

I have more awareness around my "Don't Explain" practice now than I have previously. Before I start to explain, a little voice in my head asks, "Will explaining help?" And very occasionally the answer is "Yes, if you explain, this person won't get their feeling hurt." But usually the answer is "No."

As often happens, I caught myself being extreme. "Ever," and "For the rest of your life," don't fit. As with anything, there are exceptions. And awareness helps. "No, thank you," can be a complete sentence. And clean apologies rock.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Finish Each Day

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The tipsandtricks Muscle

This week from Saturday the 1st to Saturday the 8th, Aura and I are teaching the last week of teacher training every day from 8 to 5. I've had so much lecture writing to do lately and I've felt like I haven't had the amount of energy I want to give tipsandtricks when it comes down to writing it.

But when I think twice about it, I remember I'm keeping my promise. I promised myself that I would write tipsandtricks every Tuesday and Friday, and I have. I didn't promise myself that tipsandtricks would always be good. Of course I like it better when tipsandtricks is good; but tipsandtricks is about practice and progress, not perfection. From flexing the tipsandtricks muscle often and not just when I feel divinely inspired, I know I'm better equipped to show up when inspiration does strike.