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!

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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~

Life

Personal Evolution

Lately I have been doing a lot of writing. Just in my own journal because I love the feeling of pen on paper. I like the tactile quality of doing things the “old fashioned” way. I have a love/hate relationship with the screen too. As someone who has spent so much time hanging out in academia I have spent too much time in front of the screen! So getting away from it is a blessing. And carrying around a journal instead of a laptop is, by far, much easier.

A very wonderful friend of mine has recently started a PhD program at FSU in Tallahassee Florida and while she has been separated from me I still feel like she is close by. We were talking yesterday because the job she wants is open in the location she wants. The only problem is that she needs the PhD to be able to get the job. I flirt with the idea of going back to school for that doctorate. I want it some days, and other days I struggle with the idea of putting my student hat back on. What happens when I finish and have spent so much time and effort doing this great thing, and there’s nothing for me to do with it at the end, beyond what I already do? Don’t get me wrong the title alone would be epic for me, and I’d be the first doctor in my family, but I often struggle with the potential future that it would create. Yes, I would love to be able to study and do the things that I love in this world more effectively and write about them. Yes, I would love to be able to find a tenure track position and teach art history to the masses (because maybe one day it will be important again!). And I realize that I have to be far more dedicated to my studies than I already am in order to achieve any of this. There is lots of studying involved in even being accepted to a program. There’s lots of writing as well. Which I don’t mind, I just am so out of practice of all of these things that I feel I might be completely terrible at it. And I know that I probably will be at first, but eventually it will all come back. I’m not stupid, I am quite capable. I may in fact be the best damn researcher on the planet (I’m not really, but I’m damn good at it!). So what gives? What is holding me back? I honestly don’t know, other than fear.

So what is fear? Fear of failure? Fear of never being accepted to a school? Fear of not finding a university that would actually pay me to be there, because there’s no way I can afford to take out any kind of loan to do this degree. It will have to be a completely full ride. Basically, I have to get over these fears. If I try, and actually apply myself then I should find a program that will see my potential and let me in. If I try and actually find myself succeeding, then I will know this was the right path for me, yes? And maybe the universe will recognize the effort that I’m putting into it all. The personal evolution that I am going through to let go of these fears and just let things happen. I keep saying that I want my new place to be a different kind of energy and getting rid of the fear that lingers in my head about these tasks is something that has to be left behind. I’m throwing them out with the old furniture that I am not bringing with me! I’m letting it go with the old clothes that I donated. I’m throwing it all away with the trash I leave in the dumpster. Because I can do this. I know I can.

At first I didn’t think that I could be a successful yoga instructor, but I am slowly growing into one. I have had some great mentors! So if I can go from thinking that I’m not the best, to actually thinking that I am pretty good on the mat, then I can find my way to apply that to my education and growing my crazy number of degrees. Counting my High School Diploma I have 5. And one day, counting my high school diploma I want to have six.

I want that PhD. I don’t care what I have to do to get it. If I have to study all night, and work all day, then I will do what is required. It is something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for a long time. And they say (whomever “they” are) if you can’t stop thinking about it then you should probably just go ahead and do it.

I know that I am on a path of growth. I am uncomfortable most of the time, and that is simply me adjusting to this new realm of possibility. I want to be something better than what I am. I want to be the best that I can be. I want to work every day to find my way to that better place. I want to study and to grow and learn.

The journal that I am writing in these days, the cover says “The best way to get something done is to begin” and the only way that I can get this done is to start. I have to. I know how to. I just have to actually do it. So I suppose I should stop milling around, grab a fresh cup of coffee and dive into something beneficial for me and my future. No matter what it is, no matter how little I think I am accomplishing, a little is better than none. And eventually that “little” will evolve into something much bigger. Even pennies add up to something!

Fear is no longer an option. I have to push forward. The universe is pushing me in that direction and I can no longer resist.

❤ Namaste

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It Takes a Village

Happiest of Monday’s to y’all! It’s going to be a beautiful week, full of lots of things and I just needed a moment to reflect on this past weekend. So much happened.

 

Saturday I wrapped up my mentorship at Salty Dog Yoga & Surf. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to get feedback about my teaching from the seasoned yogi’s that I work with. Such a blessing to have their leadership and skills to help me learn. From now on I am a full fledged member of the staff and I’m so excited to continue to grow in this space. I am really enjoying getting to know the people who practice there as well. Bunch of awesome people. And I have to say, the flow I put together for them was by far the best one I’ve done to date.

Sunday morning I went to Island Beverage to lead a yoga class. Not a great turn out but that was probably due to the insanity of the half marathon taking place on the island yesterday. It was muggy! and I felt so bad for the folks running. When they signed up for it they probably thought it would be a cool run, temperature wise. Either way, it looked like there was a good turn out for that. Way to go half marathoners!

After I was done there I made my way home to grade 50 bibliographies. They were fairly terrible, and I’m sad to see that people have no idea how to evaluate the sources they use for research. However, once I was finished with those I made my way to the Yoga Village Festival! Such a nice turn out and the day cooled down a bit, and there was a nice breeze too. I got to meet so many people! Networking isn’t my strongest side, but I was in charge of Svasana assists at the “Relaxation Station” and because of that people really enjoyed hanging out with me. But who wouldn’t? You get a massage and to lay on the grass under some majestic pine trees! So perfect. I will say that touching so many people is exhausting. Having all of that energy pass through you and expending your own energy put me out by the end of the festival. To the point that making dinner was quite a task. It was so nice to see people come together to support this organization. It is such a beautiful part of the community and having so much positive energy in one space was inspiring. I can’t even begin to tell you how loving the space was.

As for the week ahead I’m going to a book club meeting today at noon and we’re reading the Untethered Soul. So awesome. I am really enjoying this book. I’ve never been much for books you find in the “self help” section of the book store, but honestly I haven’t been able to put it down. Learning how to not let things bother you. How to just let it go and when you feel like things are getting under your skin to just breathe and watch it go away. Something that I am really working on in my life. I let too many things get under my skin and drive me insane or make me mad, and it is unnecessary. I look forward to the discussion this afternoon.

This past weekend was also Fall break from my university job. So nice to, for the first time in 4 years, put my email on “Out of Office” and not deal with anything from Thursday to Sunday. I created a boundary. A real one and it was awesome! Everything was still there when I logged in today and I handled it all pretty swiftly. Back to the classroom tomorrow!

Well, I suppose the rest of my To Do list won’t do itself today, unless I actually get going. Welcome to my new followers! I’m thrilled to have you, and I hope to see some of your faces in a class soon!

Much love to all!

Namaste ❤

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Solar Plexus Chakra

I’m focusing my classes this week on the Solar Plexus Chakra. Mine is out of whack. Being down on myself because of my weight and negative body image. Feeling exceptionally fluffy these days. I was at the gym yesterday and working out around mirrors I was in shock of how bad I looked. And it started that mind worm about my self worth and such. I had been thinking about the solar plexus this week and usually when I fixate on a chakra it is because that is not balanced in me. I started stressing about finances and how was I ever going to be able to afford all of the things I need when I’m moving in a month. I started getting anxious because I am trying to better my situation. I had an issue with work too. I realized they were paying me too much. So I spoke up. Now the rest of my checks will be docked until the money they have already paid me gets paid back. Such bullshit. I love how being honest can come back to haunt you. But once I realized it, and I thought it was just a minor fluke at first, they were so thrilled that I was honest. Makes me feel like they never would have noticed. But then I would have been living in fear of paying it back when they did figure it out. There’s the throat chakra. The speaking the truth. In addition to the Yama, Satya. Which is truthfulness and honesty.

I’ve been having a bit of a soul searching party lately. What do I want for the future. What do I need to do to grow and become a productive individual in my community and the world. So, I’ve decided since my funding is going to be rather limited the next while, I plan to study. Study for various things. The GRE. Yoga. Reading more and finding my way into something that I’m currently working on. Something that I haven’t figured out just yet. I have some exciting things to work toward and I know I can be successful in doing so. I just need to spend some time grounding myself and finding my self esteem again. Not doubting my ability. Not allowing the standard that society has created to justify who I am and what my life should look like.

I’m working on not worrying about expectations and just letting things happen as they happen. Most of the time it is not that hard. Sometimes shit is real hard. Like when it comes to my students. I expect them to do their work in a timely manner. I expect them to try hard to be successful. And this week all of those expectations have been shot straight to Hell. A simple assignment has turned into a shit storm of excuses and poor choices on their part. I’ve given them more than enough time to accomplish this assignment, and it was fairly simple. Actually, it was really fucking easy. But alas, I got so many emails last night about it. Waiting until the last minute. I just can’t even deal with them anymore. So, for part 2 of this assignment I won’t have expectations. I have provided them with more than enough guidance for this, and I plan to expect nothing. That’s the best I can do right now. Because they’re killing me. And I refuse to allow them to cause me grief. It’s their grade, not mine. I’ve done my job. Got my degree. And That’s all I can do.

In yoga I’m working on perfecting my Sun Salutation B. I am tired of Sun Salutation A to be honest. Everyone uses it, and I would rather be a little different. The movements were far more difficult than they should have been, because we did animals at the gym. Lots of bear crawling and shit like that. My shoulders are sore. Considering I hadn’t been in forever too. Makes it more difficult on the body to get back into the serious stuff. Planning on getting some good practice in tonight and tomorrow before teaching class at 3, and Saturday morning. I’m learning how to get off my mat more when teaching. One of my mentors suggested “Have you ever just thought of leaving it?” And I know it is that simple. I do. But sometimes I can’t bring myself to do it. I want to be the teacher who is always on the move. Changing the dynamic of the class. Finding more confidence in my teaching. I know it comes with time and it will come around eventually! I just have to give it time and not have expectations for myself. I need to have faith in my power. And balance this damn solar plexus!

Wish me luck! Have a great weekend y’all! I’ll be grading bibliographies and doing yoga while I house sit and host a book club!

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Fall-ing into place

I love Autumn. Granted it is supposed to be 90 degrees today and tomorrow, but then down into the 70s. I’m excited about October. So busy! Lots of yoga to teach. I am growing my private client base and it is delightful. I have a lot on my plate in addition to work. I’m packing to move. Granted, I’ve packed a lot already! I’m weeding out things that I don’t have space for or the energy for anymore. Sometimes I sit and think, what would my life be like without this table. Fuck it. My life will be fine without the table, because it isn’t necessary. It was purchased 5 years ago for $5 at a yard sale. I think it has lived up to its responsibility. Things like that are what I am dealing with. I love purging all of this shit. I’m not going to let the past hold me back anymore. I’m leaving it by the dumpster (or giving it away) and I couldn’t be more excited to do it.

While i have plenty to worry about, I’m finding myself far less concerned about things that I could be freaking out about. Today I drew a card. The one I got was “Expectation” and basically suggested that I spend less energy worrying about expectations and just let life happen. It’s so true. There are some aspects of my life that I expected things to happen much different. These days I do my best not to worry about what it looks like or worry about pushing things so they go faster, but just waiting and anticipating less. Waiting and enjoying the moment. It’s such a serious blessing to have this time and all the life experiences.

And just like that, it all seems to be falling into place. Just. Like. That.

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Risk it.

Good Morning avid readers! I have been up since long before the sun and I have been pretty damn productive. Fighting off a cold that keeps trying to creep in–Elderberry syrup (that mom made), a boat load of vitamins, hot tea, water, and good foods are what I’m using to keep it at bay. So far nothing beyond just feeling a bit icky and run down. It is not going to take root! I refuse to allow such things to happen. I have a lot to do these days. So, the big news.

I’m moving. Not leaving the Port City, but I am making my way to a different dwelling that isn’t Hell. Long story short, because the apartment employees, and some 3rd party hires, my living room flooded 3 times since July. Because of that, I decided to officially break my lease and get the hell out of here. Their negligence is inexcusable and my personal things were destroyed on more than one occasion. I can’t take it, nor should I have to! So, here I go on November 1, 2017 I am moving to a far better place. I am beyond excited. I am also really thrilled at what the process of moving has helped me get rid of in addition to helping me understand that is okay to take a risk and try something new.

I’ve been taking a lot of risks lately. Taking on a rent that is higher than what I am currently paying. I am taking on more responsibility in the yoga community around town. I officially work for 3 different institutions and I really love it. You can find me on Carolina Beach at Salty Dog Yoga and Surf on Saturday morning at 10:45am. Starting in October you can find me Monday morning at terra sol sanctuary at 9:00am for a 90s themed flow (this one is going to be off the chain!), and then I am doing some work with Yoga Village, a local nonprofit taking yoga to underserved communities. They all offer me a completely different perspective and give me the opportunity to grow into my own place. Figuring out who I am as a teacher is going to take time and i know I will evolve in a variety of ways! Finding comfort in my role as a teacher is vital, in addition to growing my own practice.

That being said I decided to take another risk. This one is leaving my gym and my gym family. Sadly, money is a real thing and I couldn’t afford it anymore. However, I will take the lessons I have learned over the years and apply them to my own style of working out. Doing so much yoga on top of heavy lifting isn’t something my body is used to doing. I am in a lot more pain that I am used to being in and as someone that uses their body to instruct and make a living, I have to be careful. And while it is bitter sweet for me to leave the gym, I know it is what I have to do right now. Hopefully I will be able to go back one day, but right now my priorities are in growing my yoga practice–which can be pretty strenuous! And I am having to remind myself that it is okay to stray away from things as we grow. Some things are put in our paths to help us toward another one. TFW has taught me so much about myself since day 1! The coaches that I’ve had are amazing and while I may have hated one day or another I still pushed through. Yes, I did complain while I did it too. But it was all part of growing and expanding. If it wasn’t for the confidence I got in TFW I probably never would have gone on to try yoga or gotten certified. Through the training program I learned that things I never thought I could do are things that are well in my grasp if I get rid of the fear surrounding it and actually try!

And on top of it all I am learning so much. Not just about yoga and the practice and how to build effective classes and such, but about who I am and who I want to be. Each day I learn a little more, I get a little deeper, and a little smarter. I am also going to be putting together a workshop in the near future, but that is still VERY much in the infant stages. I’m going to be attending some lectures this week and next about Hindu art and Buddhist art which I plan to somehow bring into the studio and create a class around. Life is so full of adventure right now, you can understand why I don’t want to get sick!

I suppose I should find my way into doing some more work this morning before the day gets away from me. Before I go, can I just tell you how thrilled I am that my trips to the laundry mat are officially numbered! Just a couple more weeks and then I will have the ability to wash things in my house! It’s the little things. While I do appreciate all of my loads finishing at one time, I still like the idea of not getting there at 8am to make sure I can get my shit done before I have to be somewhere else. And being able to just warm up a towel in the dryer or something like that. Oh the things we take for granted.

Well, y’all wish me luck. The tides are changing and I am ever so excited about this change! Sometimes the risk is worth it. OH! I almost forgot, Autumn will be here next week and that alone is worth celebrating! I cannot wait for sweaters and boots and snuggling by a campfire. ❤ Namaste!