Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Good Grief

Thanks to getting older, and my time in Al Anon, I am much comfortable and familiar with the emotion of grief. If grief surfaces, I feel it rather than stuff it down. I feel grief over the loss of a close friendship. Sometimes when things don't work out the way I had hoped, I feel grief for the way things might have been, and sometimes things work out better than I could have imagined. I love fall so much, and the other day, I got sad summer was ending.

I have a friend who doesn't like autumn and really hates it when summer ends. We have a ritual we do together at the change of each season, and on the equinox, I asked her if she was ready. Her way of saying "no" was to say "It's been fall for like one hour!" "Okay," I smiled, "we'll wait til Day of the Dead." She thought that sounded better. When we can joke about being in denial, we aren't actually in denial. And it's more than okay, maybe even good, to grieve. Maybe grief is a quick joke putting off plans or a new way we have to learn to live.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Work Life Balance

I've always enjoyed my alone time and I'm better now about peppering it into my schedule and making the most of it. It's been a full fall so far with the blessing of a family member who moved nearby (Hi Cous!), a visit from my teacher, and now my dad and Dee are in town. I am grateful to have so many people I love in my life who love me and want to come see me. I am realizing though that it is hard for me to have friends and family visiting while I maintain a slightly pared down work schedule. And it's always been challenging for me to take time off while remaining in town. My energy gets frayed more easily when I'm alone less and stuff gets bungled. This morning, trying to get one too many things done on my way to morning class, I locked myself out of my car.

I felt a bit curmudgeonly recently when I told my mom, "I don't think I get as excited as you do for vacations." It's just that I like real life and my routine so much, and although I do need breaks, traveling's da bomb, and I love my visitors, I'm always happy when status-quo returns. Taking little pockets of alone time in the midst of the visitor mix helps. Today I sent my dad and Dee to lunch solo; while they were gone, I did 20 minutes of savasana and wrote tipsandtricks.

It's kinda like balancing your checkbook after each use versus letting a whole bunch of transactions pile up before you deal. Have fun spending and take the time to do the math.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy Autumn Equinox

"Decide that this is a magical time and that you are moving into a time frame where anything can happen and whatever happens will support you in ways you cannot imagine. Then go with your faith and trust that it will be so.

If you want to honor the time with a ritual, we always recommend honoring the harvest and doing something around gratitude."

--Lena Stevens, The Power Path 
Update--Fall Equinox

Friday, September 18, 2015


"Each and every experience provides us with another opportunity to respond from the place of the soul or from the unhealed personality."--Angelika Koch

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Practice Being Present

Lately I've been practicing being present with my whole self, with all of the parts that make me who I am, all of my energy; even for the mundane stuff like waiting in line at the grocery store and brushing my teeth. I'm thinking this practice will help me be more fully present for the expected and unexpected super great stuff, and the challenging stuff too. Last night I felt present when Jen and I were on a walk and there were beautiful horses on our left and the brightest rainbow we'd seen on our right.

Friday, September 11, 2015

"What's Your Tell?"/Forgive Yourself

Speaking of Gretchen Rubin's podcast, the other day, they were talking about their "Tells." Kinda the oppositie of a poker face, your "Tell" is a habit or tendency that comes up when you're anxious/nervous/not really feeling like yourself. Gretchen and Elizabeth say it's good to know what your Tell is. Their Tells are binge-watching reality TV and having to re-read the Harry Potter series; neither of which I could relate to. As far as I know, I have two Tells, one is when I can't decide what to wear and change my clothes a jillion times. The other is when I obsess about being wrong, or in trouble, or even generally about what other people think of me. This week, both of my Tells showed up pretty full tilt.

I had the last of a series of big dentist appointments yesterday.

And the caretaker of the ranch I live on found a pen and a hair clip in my bathroom sink plumbing which had recently been clogged which made me feel terrible.

In hindsight, I can say easily I was huge-time scared of the dentist. The last time I had the appointment I had yesterday, on the other side of my mouth, it concluded with 3 weeks of nerve pain, a root canal and then another 5 days of serious soreness. Knock on wood, no nerve pain so far, and no mention of a potential root canal yesterday.

In terms of the clogged sink, well there's not anything I can do about that now. My sponsor asked me to be real with myself about the pen, and truly, that wasn't me, it's probably been down there a long time. The hair clip, yeah, that was probably me.

"Forgive yourself," she said. I'm not positive I know how to do that yet, but there's a wikihow on it, and I know that a cumulative practice of self-acceptance will set the stage. Sometimes I screw up, sometimes I'm scared, and I'm learning even when I do, even when I am, it's okay.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Aka Don't be Afraid of Being Boring

In the past, I've allowed my creativity to feel tapped out. Last year when I was writing big lesson plans for yoga teacher training and pieces for Vapour, tipsandtricks suffered. I recently started writing a book and thanks to the discipline I've cultivated with you guys here, it's not daunting for me to set a goal to write a page a day. I haven't done it every day since I started, but today, I am not behind. Since beginning the book, I've wondered if I'd keep up the tipsandtricks practice, sorta doubting that I could.

I have a friend who lives halfway across the world, who I hear from, so sweetly, once a year after I send her a Happy Birthday message on Facebook. She often mentions she reads the blog. I told her the truth of how I'd been feeling writing it, that I felt it had suffered since the book project began. She said what she likes most about tipsandtricks is "my honesty about different challenges and successes," that it makes makes her feel okay about her different challenges and successes. I felt happy.

Gretchin Rubin on her podcast with her sister recently talked about talking about the minutia of everyday life. In telling each other about our days (our challenges, our successes) we feel close. Aka, don't be afraid of being boring.

And my policy, and tipsandtricks' mission remains clear: to do so honestly or to quote Elena Brower's best friend from seventh grade one more time cuz it's so good: "Tell the truth about your feelings and your experiences; the good and the difficult and see the golden road appear that immediately connects you to others on the path. It's my favorite alchemy: this turning the garbage of shame and pain into the gold of understanding and relationship."

Cheers to believing creativity is a muscle, that there is an endless well, and to the truth and how it can teach us everyday.

Friday, September 4, 2015

"One Day at a Time"

"Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means."--Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Greatest Hits Tipsandtricks 2014-2015

I knew I liked September first, but I totally forgot why. This morning tipsandtricks' editor-in-chief had a clairvoyant moment when she thought the Greatest Hits Tipsandtricks 2014-2015 was missing from the site. She then emailed me, remembering that tipsandtricks' birthday is "sometime in the fall." Yep, that's right, Morgs! It's today! And thanks for reminding me even though you didn't mean to!

Without further ado, here are the greatest hits from the last year:

1. What Is

2. Small Town Hygiene

3. Dang Quad Stretch on the Left Side

4. An Extra Day

5. Alchemies Between People

6. "Honor It By Relaxing"

7. Dear Chachi, (To be clear, I don't really feel like I wrote this tipandtrick, it came through me as a message to our dear friend who we lost too soon. I think of you every day Miss Chach).

8. For Being Gentle with Me

9. The Flow

10. "Like A Prayer"

Thank you for continuing to read, dear readers!