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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.

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Yoga

I’m fat and I teach Yoga.

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while and it isn’t one that I talk about. Weight is that one touchy subject for most people, especially if they weigh more than they’re supposed to, and even more so when you’re into yoga. Say what?! Yoga? That practice that makes sure people understand that they are acceptable and perfect just the way that you are?! How could you possibly have any kind of problem if you do yoga? Isn’t that the point? To take your problems away? Ideally, but it isn’t always the case.

The first time I did yoga it was with my best friend and a YouTube Video. When I started practicing it was to gain relief from the vigorous weigh lifting that I was participating in at the time. I was always stiff and wanted to get relief and stretch the muscles that I worked so hard building. I started my journey doing Yin style yoga. I needed the calm, long stretches, in order to make the gains I wanted in my weight lifting routines. The yin of my practice helped me find balance with the powerful vigorous yang style I was lifting. If nothing else, I am strong. I am also obese, or if it makes you more comfortable, fat.

Now that we have that out of the way, you will understand why it was intimidating the first time I walked into a live action yoga class. Can you imagine the looks on the faces of the very limber and thin yogi’s I practiced with the first time? I have always been a back row person, and I will always be one, but at that point it was for me to hide. I wasn’t really good at anything, since I was just starting my practice, but I was also determined. Yes, being the fat girl in the back of a yoga class was intimidating, and every time I go into a new studio I have the same thought “Please don’t let anyone notice.” News flash: They always notice! But it is empowering now, because people expect you to be one thing, and then you show them you’re another and they can no longer assume.

Why do you let the opinions of others bother you, you ask? Because it takes a LOT to get to the point where you ignore that kind of thing. Most days it is fine, other days it isn’t fine. Most days I am full of confidence and know I have the knowledge to succeed in my practice and the practice of others that I happen to teach. But teaching, being the fat yoga teacher, that is a different bag of tricks!

Talk about intimidating to step into the place of the teacher, and be the biggest person in the room. People think you don’t know anything, or that you can’t do anything, or that you can’t possibly be a yogi because you’re fat. That is because we spend so much time thinking that our weight defines us and determines who we are. We are conditioned as a society to shame and think terribly of people who are fat, no matter where we encounter them. I want to be the person that helps adjust the way people think and what people think yoga is supposed to be/look like.  I assume that when someone who has never taken a class with me before walks into the room and meets me as the teacher, the prejudice comes out. Why? Well, because that is what we’ve been taught to do. All yoga instructors can tie themselves into a knot and stand on their head, without the help of their hands, and must weigh less than 150 pounds, right? I mean, if you believe the internet then yes! But if you have the ability to think and experience things for yourself, then No.

If nothing else, as a yoga instructor I want to be able to influence others in the way they think and perceive what the shell of a yogi should be. Because that is simply what the fat I cary on my body is–a shell. It doesn’t tell you anything about me as a person. It doesn’t determine my value or skill level. It doesn’t effect you in any way, shape or form. I want people– fat or thin–to understand that you should accept people for who they are, instead of what you think they are. Give them a chance to explore what it is they have to offer the world, and let them do that without judging them. If you walk into a yoga class and the teacher is as big as two normal sized yogi’s, don’t underestimate them. I’ve seen some fat girls do some pretty impressive things!

Every single day I am thankful that I found a studio where I don’t feel judged or unappreciated because of my size. In my studio I’m not afraid of being the fat girl in the class. And if at all possible I hope to inspire other people who think they may not be able to do something to at least try. Cause you know if the fat girl can do it, you probably can too.

In closing, to all the fat girls in the back row of the yoga class, or the one at the head of the class teaching–you’re not alone. You are a spectacular being who deserves a place to celebrate the abilities that you have while not being judged for the things you can’t do yet (key word is YET). So, own your space on the mat and off. Own your body and your choices, and even though it seems impossible sometimes, ignore the negativity that others have for you. Yes, easier said than done as always. What if they stare? Stare back. What if they snicker and laugh at you? Honestly, if they want to make fun of you they will, but the beautiful thing is that the reason they make fun is because they don’t have the courage to do what you’re doing. They don’t understand the struggle of being the fat yogi or the fat instructor. And if they have time to sit and make fun of you, really they’re probably projecting their own view of themselves. We make fun of the things we don’t understand or that make us uncomfortable, and I can tell you right now that people get REAL uncomfortable when the fat girl isn’t afraid of being confident in herself.

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 ❤

Yoga

Full, Blue Moon Yoga

Let me just say that today has been an awesome day.

The cat might have yelled at me to get up at the normal 6:15 to feed her, but it’s still been awesome.

I put together an awesome full moon yoga class on this lovely full and blue moon day. So much power to be absorbed today. I really had so much fun with the ladies from my class today. We made our way through a couple different moon cycles and had some balancing fun in half moon. It was also the best I’ve probably ever done half moon in my life!

One of the parts of my theme today was to pay attention to the impulsive behavior that comes along with a full moon, as well as the emotions and potential heightened senses. Something along the lines if you’re an impulsive shopper, probably don’t go shopping today. Or if you have a tendency to be emotional to be a little easier on yourself and just pay attention to the feelings that arrive in your mind. It happens to all of us. But not everyone pays attention.

From there I asked them to let go of the things that are no longer serving a purpose in their life. I think this part is a reason I’m having a good day! I’m starting to let go of things that have plagued me for a while. And by a while I mean some of them the majority of my life. Also, most of them are self inflicted. Tells you something. But in the moment, letting go is such a welcomed thing. You genuinely become lighter and smile brighter and all kinds of other thing!

In addition, yesterday was kind of monumental and plays into this. Letting go of anger and bitterness I have toward people I’m related to was a fucking powerful thing. And today, working with my students, helping them get rid of whatever they needed was so energizing! I can’t explain it, but the reward of teaching yoga is powerful. And because moon cycles aren’t super common I went through them with demonstrations. The full effect of the class was not achieved for me because I’m still the teacher, but the little bit of it that I did get was spectacular!

Now, I’m off to make a red velvet cake from scratch, for the first time, to take to the Stauble’s Easter celebration. Pray I don’t fuck it up! I cook, I don’t do so well baking, but I have faith that today, being as awesome as it is, will keep on being awesome and bring me success with this baking.

Have a happy Easter everyone. Love your people. Love yourself.

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Those Normal Things

If I am thankful of one thing it is that my dad died right before spring break, so I had week to catch up on all the shit I missed the week before that I wasn’t in the classroom. Did it go smoothly? No. But it went and here I am in the last 48 hours of freedom before I have to pretend everything is okay again. Actually, I don’t know why I feel like that is what I need to do. I don’t have to be okay. I need to keep it together for my own sanity, but in the long run I don’t have to be okay. One day I imagine that I will be fine with him not being around, but this week and last week have been surreal. I keep waiting for it to hit me.

Yes, I avoided doing things this past week. I tried to make sure I left the house daily, but that only worked for the first few days. I bought groceries. I went to Lowes and got some stuff to plant. I’ve been going to the gym daily (but I don’t have to leave the complex to do that) and yesterday I did laundry and cleaned. I’m not just sitting around, but I’m not very driven to go out. I was invited to a birthday party yesterday, but I didn’t go. Zack wanted to take me to a movie, but I didn’t want to go. Why am I keeping myself locked up? Because I can control this area and myself. That’s all. I know I can’t control the world, and that’s not something I try to do anyway, but I needed to get a handle on myself.

Today I go back to the yoga classroom to take my spot as the teacher. I’m afraid to go and do things, but I have to remember to just be my authentic self. I don’t have to be okay for this class. I’m going over to Zack’s buddy’s house tonight, because I promised I would, and I need to get out. Going from zero things in a day to two things where I have to leave is nuts! But Monday I will have to go to work. I will have to talk to people and answer questions (I think this is the reason I don’t go out, because I don’t want to answer questions or tell people how it happened). I have a lot of other things to handle on Monday too. Back to busy organized Deirdre. Besides, I’m putting some things into play for my future. I have a lot of things to work on to make sure they go smoothly. Deadlines approach quickly, thus I have a lot of things to work on. All while still taking time for myself. My birthday is coming very quickly. I have a lot to do.

Honestly, I have nothing real to say. I’m just babbling. I’m ready to feel normal again. Not sure that will ever happen, so I may have to give up that dream, but in the grand scheme of things I would really like to. My dad would want me to go on living and thriving and making a place in this world for myself. He was always so proud of me and thought the path I am on in life to be interesting and unique.

I also want to take a minute and publicly thank Zack for being such a solid rock for me the past two weeks. He dropped everything to go meet a family he had only heard of, in a very awkward time in our lives. He made sure that I was okay constantly. He held my hand and me as I cried. He helped me reason through things I had to handle. He listened as I practiced my eulogy. He bought me ice cream, even when I really didn’t need to eat ice cream. He’s put up with my not wanting to leave the house. I am eternally thankful for him being around. It breaks my heart that he never met my dad, because they would have loved each other. They are quite similar in their love for history and a good debate. Dad was looking forward to meeting Zack over my birthday weekend when we planned to come up and visit for Easter.

I don’t know if you ever get over the heart break of losing a parent. I know my dad suffered with the death of his father daily. I never understood it. I never wanted to understand it, but I do. I can’t see his fucking face anymore. What happens when I can’t hear his voice in my head anymore? I know it is all part of a process. And I know it will be a long process.

I see him everywhere. I hear the birds outside my window chirping to welcome the sun, and I think of him. I hear the ocean waves crashing and think of him. I see people excited to plant seeds and grow plants and I think of him and how much he loved to play in the dirt (when it didn’t hurt him too bad). Right now there is a single ray of sunshine breaking through the blinds. It is illuminating a single purple flower in a bouquet of flowers some friends of his sent to the funeral. I see him in that ray of sunshine and that purple flower. And then my eyes well with tears and I am happy and sad all at the same time. I know I have the strength to keep going, but somedays it seems almost impossible. I know it isn’t, and that is why I still make sure to do things daily (even if I don’t think I’m ready to do them) jut so that maybe by chance I can feel normal and do those normal things.

Must get ready for yoga. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

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Happy 2018, y’all!

Oh man! How is it January 2018?! Where is the time going?!

Overall, had a lovely holiday break thus far. Tomorrow I go to the library to work on everything for my future classes. They start next Monday. Eek! I am also going to start writing my paper tomorrow as well, and get into my GRE study habit. 2018 is dedicated to my waist line and my future PhD. Woo! Big things gonna happen.

I’m going into the new year with a new attitude! Lots of positive love and thoughts for myself and others that I interact with. I’m excited to explore things with this attitude. I was reading my old facebook posts about the new year and I honestly keep telling myself the same thing. More love, especially for myself. And yet, I can honestly say that it has never happened. But this year, I’m hell bound and determined to have happiness and love and joy in my life. And, as you all are aware, that starts with me. Loving me for who I am right now in this moment. Discovering myself outside of my comfort zone, and learning to live. Living more than I ever have before. Adventures surrounded by hard work. What a year it will be!

Additionally, I’m turning 35. Officially my mid 30s. EEK! My first whole year as a yoga instructor. I was so humbled at my last class of 2017, 15 people showed up to share space and time on their mat with me. By far my largest class to date. It was so powerful, I didn’t even have space to put my mat down! So I was forced out of my comfort zone and had to teach with my words, and not my demonstration! It was a great challenge. And my boss was listening by the door and said that I did great! The students complimented me as well. It was a beautiful moment for me. 6 months into teaching and I have come off my mat. ❤

While my day today is going to revolve around food prep and preparing for my January Whole30 that starts tomorrow (so much wine to drink before then!) I am in such a happy place. My significant other has officially welcomed me into his life, I met his friends last night, and it was well received. Excited for my relationship to grow this year as well. I love him.

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!