Uncategorized

Anything is Possible

Different Behavior =  Better experience

Changing how you think, and changing your behavior is a considerable amount of work but anything is possible.

Being aware of your thoughts is telling, because you can create something new by training yourself to think more toward growth instead of going back to old ideas and patterns.

What pattern would you like to change? For myself it is the love/hate relationship with myself. I have moments of really great choices and things and stuff and then shit goes south and hey, there I am back at the starting line again. I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m the only person stopping me from doing everything I want, and it’s really damn annoying not to have anyone to blame, ya know? Can I just blame the Boomers? That’s what the rest of my generation does!

So, I’ve been bored and stagnant in my life because I’m not teaching this semester at the university. I will say that not having my email go off 700 times a day is a blessing, but I miss teaching. At first I was okay with it because I had things to do. We just moved and there were things to paint and renovations to make! I was so busy I didn’t notice that I didn’t have anything to do. Then my part time work started back, and that takes up the afternoons. But now I just waste my mornings. Sometimes I go workout. Sometimes I just do yoga in the floor. Sometimes I clean or other domestic shit. Sometimes absolutely nothing.

Because I’m bored, and applying for jobs is only something I can do for so long before I’ve applied for them all, I am working on volunteering. This week I start at the local library branch. In May, shadowing to be a docent at the local art museum. Art and Libraries, the two things I know and love. If I can’t get paid to do it I can at least still participate and do something I really love. I’m starting a 6 week course in conversational French to prepare for my trip to Paris. It will end the Friday before I depart. Oh, and it’s Free, yes Free, through my local library. Once I come back I’m going to take more courses through them on various computer programs, other languages, and some writing.

What’s missing from my life is that I miss learning. I’ve been completely submerged in an academic lifestyle for like 20 years, part student part faculty. It’s really hard to not have that to stimulate conversation and inspire work. Having a lot of time to be  domestic goddess is REALLY not my cup of tea. And it’s really becoming a struggle. Being at home so much is depressing as fuck and I don’t have the money to go do things that cost anything, so I am pulling all the strings I can to inspire myself back into a productive mind set. At this point I need something to spark me back into the world of interaction and thought and balance and inspiration. Even something as simple as helping people with simple computer questions, putting books on a shelf, and asking little kids what they think about something they see brings so much more joy to my mind than sitting around here any longer. I thought was going to be somewhat cool to just have some time off to do whatever. Yeah, it’s not that exciting. It is mind numbing.

So, by changing my behavior, I am hoping to cultivate something more inspiring and delightful in my own life. Something that brings me joy and sense of purpose. Adding these volunteer opportunities on top of the yoga I am already doing is really like a trifecta for me. All things I really like. Too bad I can’t get paid to do it all! Maybe one day that will change, but for now I’m just excited to start a new adventure.

Anything is possible. I’m ready to see what is out there.

Uncategorized

Holiday Reflections

It is a week until Christmas Eve. A week until I make moves to go see my family. Thankfully it is only a 3ish hour drive to my mom’s house, so nothing crazy travel wise. Leaving Zack behind and not getting to spend Christmas with him makes me sad. His job doesn’t allow for travel at the holidays, or much of anything else beyond work 100% of the time, so I suck it up. I wish it was different, and one day in the future it will be, but right now it makes me sad. Mostly sad because I like having him around, and being the first Christmas without my dad, I wish I could have him with me. Just for little things, like holding my hand or something.

I want to be in the holiday spirit, and some moments I am, but other times I just find it to be too much. Too much traffic. Too much of a hassle. Too much worry over “will this fit them?” Or “Will they like it” or other things along those lines. Christmas has just turned into a pissing match. Who can spend the most on things that people don’t actually need? What I need is some time with people. Time to sit and chat about the year. Time to share a meal that we made together. Time to laugh and cry if necessary. To just appreciate one another over some cookies and coffee or tea. I want to reconnect. To know you guys and who you’ve become this year is all I actually want for Christmas. Just had a thought about how excited I am to stand around my sisters kitchen and eat her homemade cheese straws and talk about nothing. Or sit around my other sisters living room and watch my niece run around babbling in her 2 year old language while the rest of us eat flavored goat cheese on crackers and share a bottle of wine from my brother-in-law’s vineyard. I can’t wait. I just long to have Zack by my side to do all the things. But alas, life doesn’t work that way.

2018 didn’t turn out to be the year I wanted it to be. Dad died at the end of February, and while things were going really well up until that point, it obviously caused a rift in the rest of the year. Dealing with him being gone has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Mind you, I’ve still got 3 grandparents, and the 4th I never knew, so I haven’t been burdened with the emotions of death in my close family, ever. I don’t know if I am doing it right, and I know there is no right, so either way I guess I am. Either way it is my journey, and I will do what I have to do, because it is all I can do. Each day is a new day, a new experience, like no other day.

I want to make 2019 about exploring and adventure. I want my relationship to grow. I want to focus on living my life, doing better for myself daily, and continuing to make my father proud. I struggle so much with focusing on myself. I have moments where it is all I do, and my yoga practice is on point, my stress is low, I’m writing daily, and putting forth great efforts to love and take care of myself. And this year it has been the biggest struggle. I’m ready to take that power back (even though it never left) and cultivate it into something. Nothing perfect, just something better. And I am promising myself now, in this moment, that I am worth so much to myself that I will take the time, listen to my body, expand my mind, and generally just focus on bettering myself. I’ve been a huge factor in my own isolation this year, and I’m not like that usually. Sure I’ve been dealing with some shit, but it is up to me to end the isolation. I don’t need it for any reason, and spending this time alone, away from friends, family, and Zack has been necessary I guess in some way. I needed a retreat. I’m done retreating. Being social and active again is necessary. Being a functioning person in the world! Motivated and alive again. It has been long enough. I get now why people back in the day would be in mourning for so much time. Years may have been a bit too much, but I completely understand the reasoning.

So, 2019 a year of adventure and excitement. A year dedicated to bettering myself. A year dedicated to not being a hermit all the time. A year dedicated to accepting the world as it is, myself included, and doing my best to make it better. Whatever that looks like!

I sincerely wish you all the best, whomever you are. A new year of promise! Love! Life! Beauty! And everything that comes with it. ❤

Yoga

A Year Later…

So, how has it been a year since I graduated from my Yoga teacher training? It’s amazing how this year has changed me. I’ve gone through a lot, and I have to say that even though I have struggled with everything, including yoga, it is still something that I have been able to keep consistent. I try to ask myself what I’ve learned over the last year, and I’ve really had to dig down and figure out what that has been. Sometimes what we’ve learned gets clouded by what happened or other things in life.

First and foremost I have learned that people not coming to your yoga class is not a reflection on you, but on them and their inconsistencies. Since I live and work by the beach, especially this time of the year, I have to compete with the ocean on nice days. Since I teach on Saturday mornings, especially!

Second, I’ve learned that teaching can be defeating feeling. I’ve taught so many classes since I graduated from kids to caretakers, from a group of friends to a group of regular students. Somedays everything is lively and amazing, other days it actually feels like work. You can only hope that when shit is feeling like work that there is some kind of saving grace in your class that helps your students through, so they don’t feel like it’s work.

Third, you meet really interesting people along the way. They might be students or other teachers, but you do get to know some interesting folks.

Fourth, planning a workshop is not the easiest thing in the world. So many questions! I’m working on one currently, and I don’t know how or when it will all fall into place, but it will and I’m certain it will be amazing. Sometime this Fall!

Fifth, it is perfectly acceptable to take a risk. Whether it is with sequencing or theme or whatever, it is awesome to try those things, even if they’re kind of rocky in the beginning, the more you try, the easier it will become. I had this issue teaching a yoga class on the beach. It isn’t as easy as you’d think! It was truly a challenge for me but I’m glad I had the opportunity. And, if all goes well, if I do it again, I dare say it will be as much of a struggle.

Teaching is something that I enjoy doing. I make a living in a classroom, so taking my knowledge to the yoga studio seemed like it would be pretty similar. It is. But instead of talking about art everyday, I get to help people through an activity. I try my best to incorporate visuals, based around the myths of why we do what we do, so they can reflect back and think about their actions.

I am excited to see what the next year has to offer me. I look forward to seeing how much things change, and while they are, doing my best to live in the present moment and focus here and now. What can I accomplish today? Well, I strive to be 1% better than I was yesterday, since that is all I can do.

Happy Anniversary to all my Kula girls. And Happy Anniversary to me ❤

Life

When Your Path Shifts…

We always think we know what is best for us, and honestly sometimes we do, but sometimes the universe knows better than we do. Some of us call it God, some of us call it a force greater than ourselves. Whatever it is that you call it, that force helps dictate the right path. Even though we think we know what we want, sometimes we just do things because we think that is what is supposed to happen, and then it doesn’t. Then we end up back at square one, trying to figure out what the fuck we’re actually supposed to be doing. That my friends is where I am today.

In the two weeks following the death of my father I wanted to make a big change and take a huge chance in my life. I applied to an EdD program (Doctor of Education) at the university where I work. I got all my paperwork together really quickly, and if we’re being honest, applied to the easiest program I could find. They didn’t require GRE scores (mine are out of date and I REALLY don’t want to take it again), they didn’t require huge essays, lots of writing examples, etc. It was super cut and dry. So, I applied. Wrote the letter of interest, focused on a topic that I thought they would gravitate toward. None of it was a lie, but it wasn’t the real truth of my being, if that makes sense. I got all the paperwork done and submitted. Then came the wait. I assumed I wouldn’t hear back until the official cut off date was here (May 15). Yesterday, I got my rejection letter.

I opened the letter, assuming that I honestly didn’t get in, and I was right. I didn’t get upset. I honestly hadn’t invested THAT much time in this attempt at higher education. I honestly didn’t even really want to get an EdD, but I did want a big change. I wanted something to happen in my life. I needed to fill a void. I needed to continue making my dad proud. I needed to do all these things, but the thing is I wasn’t being true to myself or the path I know I am supposed to take. My heart wasn’t in it. It wasn’t the right path. And despite my attempt at changing something quite big in my life, it didn’t work because I wasn’t supposed to do it. My sister told me to apply again next year. And I very well could, but why would I want to try this path again, when I honestly know it isn’t the right path.

For a long time my path has been art. It is the only thing I have ever been really passionate about. I really like yoga too, but we all know no one actually makes a living on yoga. Art keeps my attention. Genuinely, there is no way that I would want to continue a career that didn’t involve art. I tried the library thing, I thought it would get me a solid job and put me in a career that I would get to have for the next 50 years. It wasn’t my path either. It was a huge supplement to the art path, because it made me a much better researcher, still not meant to be my path. All of the rejection over the years should have been the indication of that, yet I still apply for library jobs and things never happen.

But the thing is I’m applying for those library jobs and the EdD program for the wrong reasons. I did it for the potential of a ‘good’ job, where I could have benefits and a decent income. I did it for the wrong reason though. Why would I even attempt to do those things when I know it would make me feel empty inside. I don’t want to work in university administration. I don’t want to work in a library (unless it is an art library). I just don’t. I want to be a scholar. I don’t even necessarily want to be a PhD, but I want to be a scholar. I want to write articles, have them published one day. I want to maybe even write a book and have it published too. I want to work on innovative new ways to take my art history courses to the online platform that is much more interesting than the way I have them now. I want to show the world that art, be it visual or musical or literary, is the most important thing in society. I want to present at conferences and show the world what I know. I want to be a scholar.

The one question is how does one become a scholar? Well, that part I have to figure out, but lucky for me I have some amazing mentors who are helping me each step of the way. I have a family that supports me. I have amazing friends who support me. I have an amazing man in my life who wants nothing more than to be supportive and help me in any way possible. I have the knowledge to explore different topics. I just have to find the time and dedication to make it all happen. This time I have, and this time I will start to utilize until I get on the right path and become the scholar that I know I am supposed to be.

Will there be hiccups along the way? Yes. Will there be highs and lows? Yes. Will there be many sleepless nights? More than likely so. Will I keep trying? Every. Day.

I hope everyone has a productive Sunday!

Uncategorized

The Last Day

Today is the last day of university classes. And while we still took some notes and talked about the last couple of movements in my ARH 202 class (Renaissance to Modern) I did something different. I received a package this week from the Amplifier Foundation, which was an education packet of posters they put together to send to educators who were signed up for their program. Through this program educators are guided on how to have conversations about art and the changing face of America. I have been working as a volunteer with this organization since the Women’s March in Washington DC almost a year ago. I supported the kick starter to have the images produced, and I am the proud owner of the 5 original images. The We the People campaign was magical and I am eternally thankful for those who made this all happen. The conversation about art is vital and important.

As an Amplifier Educator I was supposed to open the dialogue about art, diversity, equality, activism, etc. Today, on the last day of class, I got there a few minutes early and put the posters that I was sent up on the wall around my classroom. I lectured for about 40 minutes and then asked the students to get up and look at the art in the room. From there I told them once they had looked at it all to stand by the image that spoke to them the loudest. Once they were settled in place I asked them to explain why. What about the image struck them and what did they see? Some were drawn to the science posters because they’re science majors. Some were drawn to the Native American inspired posters that fight for water and the earth. Some were drawn to the equality images as they see how incredibly unequal the world around them is and strive to change that. The three Shepard Fairey images the We The People series had 7 students hovering around them. When I got to them, and why they liked what they saw, all of them were drawn to the determination of the faces of the individuals. Some identified because they were the same ethnicity, as well, but even those students commented on the determination seen in their faces. The pride they have for being African American, Hispanic, and Muslim was electrifying them and they gravitated toward it.

Y’all, today was the first day that I felt students connecting and seeing the power that art has in society and the world. I felt their interest spark and the desire to know more grow in each of them. Curiosity is magical, no? I can’t even begin to explain the sense of gratitude that I have for my job today. Or how fulfilled I am by how magical that moment was. What a way to end the semester! I need more days like today. I wish I had the money to buy loads of posters each semester to give out to these kids so they could keep the conversation going. That was my only stipulation for those who got a poster. They had to keep the conversation going.

I am for once looking forward to the Spring semester. Excited to see how the interaction with the new crop of students will be. I can’t wait.

If any of you are interested in the amplifier foundation, check them out at http://www.amplifier.org.

Yoga

Holiday Reconnect

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It has been a hot minute since I’ve had an opportunity to blog. Since I moved I’ve been running around, unpacking, traveling, etc. and quite frankly I’m so happy to be able to be home for a few weeks before the travels start again. I need this time to ground myself. Focus. Hang out and just breathe!

I have had a blast running around though. I went to New Jersey to see my friend, Olga, and her family. Her oldest daughter got married and the wedding was beautiful! Spending time with Olga was much needed. I hadn’t seen her in 8 years, since I moved out of NYC. It was just like old times though. The only the that had really changed was she moved, and she got a cat. Everything else, the same.

Upon returning from Jersey I had to work one day and then I was off to visit my family in the North Carolina mountains. I drove way too much, but I was happy to get the time to see everyone. I like hearing what they’ve been up to. It was also my cousin Jon’s 26th birthday on Thanksgiving. I can’t believe he’s 26. Scares me that the youngest (he’s 3rd from the bottom age wise with the cousins) group of kids in our family will all be in their 30s very soon.

I spent Thanksgiving evening with my parents at their house. Mom had to work, so she was unable to go to the festivities at grandmas, but it was nice to see her and spend time with both of them. I broke the news that I had been seeing someone, Zack (just in case you didn’t know either). They were quite happy and look forward to meeting him. It won’t be over Christmas, because he has to work, but none the less, one day!

So here it is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. December will be here Friday. My lovely yogi sister, Starr, has a birthday on Friday too! And it wraps up the end of the semester for me. I’m excited to have time off from teaching. I get to focus my time on doing some academic writing for myself and studying for the GRE. Hurray! Christmas break is so fun! I have planned on doing a yoga tour of Wilmington. Spending time learning and practicing from those around me. I am excited to experience some new things and really push myself to get outside my comfort zone. I’m stuck there, and I have to stop it. So, naturally, I am going to go to my mat and try all the things. There are so many wonderful teachers in this town (it’s legit over flowing with amazing teachers) and it is silly of me not to take advantage. I think I might start on Friday morning, since it is the first day I have ‘off’ from work. And I know just who’s class to take. Alexis, I’m coming for you!

In addition to my yoga tour, I’m excited to study. To spend time expanding my knowledge and working toward a larger goal. I have been anticipating this time off so I could focus and just work on stuff I want to do, instead of stuff I have to do for work. Not that I don’t like that stuff, but sometimes I find it really hard to actually split the two and I know that I need to learn to do that again. I plan to pursue some big things, and push myself again. I’ve done a lot of pushing this year, and I want to wrap up the year itself with one last one. It will lead me into 2018 and help me stay focused next year. Because, I’m not doing all this stuff to not keep at it. Dreams are worth chasing. And I’m trying to focus on some short term goals for now, that will possibly lead me to that bigger dream. Dr. Deirdre. It has a fantastic ring to it, no?

In closing, here’s to the last week of classes! I look forward to the month off. I look forward to the holidays with friends and family. I look forward to pushing myself outside of this comfort zone so I can grow and prosper in a different way.

2017 has been an awesome year. 2018, I hope you’ll be the same.

Namaste!

Uncategorized

The world in which we live…

At least once a day I check major news outlets in order to at least keep in check with what is going on in the world. Over the past year I have become overwhelmed with horrible things happening in America and around the world. Today I went and looked at the headlines on the Guardian. Sexual assault. The paradise papers. People exploiting other people. The police finally believe Corey Feldman after all these years of claiming to know about pedofiles in the entertainment industry. The government is going to allow drilling on federal land and pushing for more off shore oil. The moron of a President that was elected just one year ago. Hillary finally making a trip to Wisconsin. Gun violence.

100% nothing good. No positive change in the world. No actual strides to change this insanity that is spewing everyday. On Facebook earlier I saw something about how the American Empire is crumbling. Yes. Completely. The main infrastructure of this country is crumbling before our very eyes, and no one gives a shit. I’m glad when I see more folks showing up to protest one thing or another, and new elected officials are actually not cut from the same cloth as the president. But it isn’t enough. What do we do about the hundreds of people who should be paying taxes, but aren’t? What do we do when the president himself hasn’t paid them in decades? Why can’t the average folks of America actually get a break? Oh, yeah, because we have to pay for everything those who avoid paying aren’t helping with! Schools (no wonder teachers get paid like shit), Road and highway maintenance (yet we still have some of the most unsafe bridges in the world and no one wants to fix them), and other incredibly BASIC shit that gets pushed under the rug. The majority of the American public can’t get out of their cycle of debt in order to get ahead, and still no one cares. The rich people really don’t care because they’re not gonna lose anything. The rest of us, we simply attempt to hang on.

Tuesday was election day. It was just for local stuff for me–Mayor and city council. While the turn out increased from 10% to 14% from the last local election, that’s still only 14% of the population of the county. 14%. Give me a freakin break here man. Like get the fuck out and do the one thing you should really be willing to do. It literally breaks my heart and my will on a daily basis to see people so apathetic to the world around them. Do I go to every rally? No. Do I go to the ones that I think are important, yes! Do I go to city council meetings and make sure that shit goes the way it should? When I can. Do I do my best to participate in my local community? Yes. So what’s the hold up? People are just so distracted by the bullshit that has been created to distract everyone that they just don’t care, right? Is it the phone in your hand? The apps that are there to distract you? The fact that you can’t see past the end of your own fucking nose? I’m not perfect, I have an addiction to my electronics, but at the end of the day I know I can put them down and nothing will be different when I pick it back up. It will still be the same dumb shit that it was before…..

I suppose I am just feeling really enraged by the way that we treat each other, and how we’ve all become so isolated by one thing or another that we don’t care about our neighbors or our fellow countrymen. People aren’t safe anywhere. They can’t even go to a church or other house of worship (mosque, synagogue, etc) without the chance of dying because someone was given a gun. And the rest of us see this stuff on TV and read about it in the news and we’re all so numb to it now. It is like it doesn’t even matter to most of us, and that is disgusting. But it happens so damn much, how could you have that many emotions over the same thing that happens basically once a month in America. I think the majority of us would be mental wrecks (and God knows we don’t have the health care coverage to handle any mental issues!). It’s terrible that we’re numb to it, but it more a defense mechanism now than anything else. Am I right? Or am I alone here?

And all of this sexual assault news that is coming out? Like, how is it that society thought it was okay for us to treat each other so terribly?! Women being raped. Men being assaulted. I also find it interesting that more people believe the men who have come forward than they do the women. Kevin Spacey was one of my favorite actors, but now I can’t stand the sight of him. Yet more people believe the two men who came forward about his assaults on them then they do the dozens upon dozens of women who have come forward about multiple men in the industry! Why is that? Because she wanted it right? Because she was wearing something slutty and the men just couldn’t help but give her what she was asking for? Like, give me a break! What does a woman have to do to get a little respect around here? To get someone to actually believe her?!? I don’t understand why they believe men over women when it comes to assault! One person told me it was because it was so much harder for men to come forward than women, especially if the assault was from another man. Don’t buy it.

I practice all of this yoga, and teach these yoga classes talking about learning to love yourself and speak your truth, or whatever else is in my mind that day. And then sometimes I think to myself, why does it even matter? Not that my students aren’t good people or don’t actually take what I say into account and work on incorporating things into their own lives, but if the world is going to fight back so hard against them, then what’s the damn point? Yes, I want to make a difference in this crumbling Empire. What difference is that? Just to reconnect people to their own humanity. To see what it is like to have feelings and actually feel them. What can we do other than exist in our own human nature? But also, why can we not sit back and analyze what we’re doing and how we’re approaching situations. No, I’m not perfect. Yes, I have a lot of work to do on myself and my approach to others. Some days are always better than others, but at the same time at least I’m actually trying.

I didn’t intend this to be such a gloomy post, but that’s the other side of the coin I suppose. Not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Some days, some days there is nothing but giant rain clouds and downpours.

In closing, for those of you who take the time to read this, maybe see what it is that you can do for someone else. The holidays are approaching quick. Maybe take the time to help someone who has less than you. Maybe take the time to be nice to those you interact with in stores or wherever. Maybe even take minute to talk to someone you never thought you would find yourself talking to, listen to their story, and see what kind of things are happening all around you. And Maybe, just maybe, pull your face out of your phone long enough to see what is going on around you, experience your world, and see if you can’t make a difference. If I still believed in Santa, that’s what I would ask him for, people to be nice and actually care for one another instead of treating each other like disposable commodities as we’ve been doing for so long now.

Thanks for reading.

~Namaste~