Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Late Night? Early Morning? Ramblings....

Wowza! Flow training was marvelous, remarkable, scary, anxiety ridden, exhausting, and perfect.

It gave me hope and gave me peace.

And was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. Every day I wanted to leave. Every day I stayed, I practiced, I breathed.

After 7 days I left with a new family unit and part of myself I haven't seen in a while.

The biggest take away from flow is that in my getting lost, in my journey, in all of this, it's okay to move one day at a time. It's okay to know that something is coming tomorrow but that today is where you are and what needs your attention.

I lived with three beautiful souls and yes, it was 7 days, but each one taught me something, gave me something and I hope I was able to reciprocate.

Funny side point: I really didn't think I was sleeping the best while there, and I wasn't, but since coming back my sleep has been horrendous. It's at a peak now which is why it's 4:45am and I'm writing. I've been awake since just after midnight. If my body gets three hours of solid sleep it feels nourished and ready to go until I start feeling sick, exhausted and crash again but only for three hours.

I'm going to try and not crash today, even if it means I stay up for 24 hours, I need to reset. I need to push harder to pull through.

Two flow practices a day made me realize I am strong. I am capable. I can persevere.

The trouble always is staying inspired. Staying motivated. And staying grateful.

I really think people mix up positivity and gratefulness...because at the end of the day, it's okay for me to say "Ya know what, today wasn't my best, but I get to start again tomorrow. I get to try again. I get to sleep in a bed, with a roof over my head, with a fully belly and friends who care and support me and that is enough for today." With gratefulness of each day, eventually (I hope) I'll get to "And I'm enough"And until then well, Fall TV is starting up. ;)

"Lazy doesn't exist. Lazy is a symptom of something else. The person who can't get up off their butt is just a person who's depressed. It's usually a pervasive lack of self-worth, or a feeling of helplessness."-Jillian Michaels

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Time Marches On

It's been too long.

So much has happened and yet it feels as if nothing at all has occurred.

Currently, I'm listening to Middle of Nowhere by Selena Gomez and riding the VIA to Montreal for more yoga training. And I'm scared to death. More scared than I remember being in a long time.

It's hard to put an exact time on it but these last 2-3 years have been hard and I know a lot of people close to me are worried. They express concern, sent encouragement, and walk on egg-shells.

Ya know that picture of your life you create growing up?

It feels as if I'm as far from that picture than I ever have been before. Because I got out and then regressed. Living in my childhood home, less money in my bank account than when I was 16, fewer job prospects and passion, desire, drive that is stagnating.

Please, don't get me wrong. Teaching yoga. Practicing yoga. The connections I've made over the past few years have been life changing, inspiring and keep me going.

But I have gotten very lost along the way.

And I may be at the breaking point. I keep telling myself that's okay, it's okay that for the next week as I struggle in my yoga practice, struggle in learning about anatomy, struggle in having roommates, that it is okay to break down. It's okay to feel what I'm feeling.

My life has been built of suppressing and repressing despite my nature of living with my heart on my sleeve. Smiling at strangers. Laughing to myself on walks. Seeing the storm clouds roll in and watching with amazement and in stunned silence at the beauty of the storm.

I moved home from a journey I never intended to come back from.

Vancouver has a part of myself that I struggle with wanting back and wanting to just move forward...

After I got home one of my good friends came over for a catch up, she'd had a really rough year while I was gone, and yet she could see something I hadn't even acknowledged, and I'm paraphrasing, but she mentioned how I seemed harder, less likely to laugh, smile, and this is  my interpretation, that my spark had gone out.

She could not have been more right. That was over 2 years ago and I'm not sure it's back yet, but it's flickering. The embers just need some oxygen.

I'm going forward, the pressure that in my life, the stress, the anxiety, my inability to breathe deep, my aversion to practicing yoga, the fear of not being good enough, my broken relationships, all of this is going to turn me into a diamond. And diamond's are a girl's best friend.

And if I don't become a diamond, well, I'll still be okay, because as Leonard Cohen said, "there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

When all that's left is the memory

So my paternal grandfather finally let go.

He had a rough January. I think that not being able to celebrate his anniversary and birthday with my Grandma took it's toll and he ended up having a stroke.

This extra lose of control just weighed on him. On his body but also on the part of his mind that was still him. 

So it wasn't a huge surprise when the Doctor called to say he was on oxygen and not doing very well.

So I went to yoga with my mum and we headed to see him after. My dad was already there and being my dad, he was dealing with it as best he could.

BUT Grandpa/Shorty was eating well when we arrived so we let him finish and then had a good visit.

Mum and I talked about the twins and how it was getting close to their arrival. But mostly I just knelt beside him, my hand on his arm and breathing with him. Mum let him know it was okay if he was ready to just let go because Grandma and Uncle John were waiting for him. And he started to cry.

After a while, Mum and I left so my Dad could have time with Grandpa alone.

And he started to improve again.

A few days later, I taught a double and took a class after and when I finally checked my cell phone I knew. My cousin had texted me asking how I was. My dad had texted and emailed telling me he was gone.

I find it both amazing and mind boggling that on both days my grandparents left me I was full engrossed with yoga. I taught a SUP class and felt so at peace when Grandma had her heart attack and was in the ER and then this double and practicing when Grandpa finally left. I wish they could have somehow taken one of my classes but they are apart of me, my practice and my teaching and for that I'm grateful.

The next day I helped my dad, mum and uncle clear out my Grandpa's room. I found the post card I had sent him from LA in one of his drawers.

I didn't really need to be there but I think my dad needed the support, I think he liked having his family with him.

Even though this has been a long time coming and my grandpa has been losing control from the Alzheimer's for many years now, and so essentially he was really already gone, it still hurts, I still miss him. But I'm glad we got some time together before he had to go and he'll always be a part of me.

I lost both my  paternal Grandma and my paternal Grandpa within 8 months but I'm always waiting for two new arrivals in the form of my nephews. One door closes another opens doesn't it?

And I've been working since September with Memory Ball, an event that raises funds for the Toronto Alzheimer's Society, an event that brings awareness to a huge cause of death in Canada, and allows for there to be communication about a disease that has really touched my family.

Thank you Shorty for teaching me to laugh, for teaching me to love travel, for raising a wonderful son (father, and soon to be grandfather), for your love of story telling, for sharing your love of water with me.

No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories.     
                                                                                                                               Haruki Murakami

Monday, December 16, 2013

Live Green (Holiday wrapping)

So my mum started making reusable fabric bags....oh probably 10-15 years ago with left over scrap fabric pieces and it became a running joke in our family that if Mary gave you a gift she wanted the bag back.

We still have some of the very first fabric bags she ever made.

They can be made easily with a sewing machine, scrap fabric (old tshirts would be great!) and some string or yarn to tie them off. You can make them occasion centric (Christmas, Birthdays, Baby Showers, Weddings, etc) and they can be made in any size!

And you can be like my mum and ask for the bags back OR if you're stuck for gifts make a bag of bags and spread the sustainable wealth!

It's really a perfect project for beginner sewers.

This site has options if you aren't savvy in sewing at all! But there are other sites as well.

Someone recently told me that wrapping things in bags is "cheating" and "takes the fun out of it" but honestly, fun to me is being able to see the planet healthy and alive.

If you do use wrapping paper be aware of recycling standards in your area and take the time to separate and do your part.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Live Green (For Holiday Gifts)

So with the Holidays really coming at us now I know people are thinking about gifts. A big problem though is that most of the people in my life have everything they need. Really and truly. Food, shelter, heat.

And are settled into their homes or lives so finding that "perfect gift" gets harder and harder every year.

BUT I my approach this year and for the past few for some people was too figure out fun ways to bring sustainable and useful gifts to people. Also, finding ways to give experiences rather than "things."

I found these great bamboo utensils that my entire family (and myself!) are getting. The set comes with a knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks and a container that has a clip attached so you can take them with you. Meaning to-go plastics are no longer needed. Meaning you have your own chop stocks and don't need to get them when you order sushi!

These are the ones I picked up and I'm so excited for people to unwrap...partly so I can use mine. ;) Also, not pricey! If you want something for a stocking these would be perfect!

Another way I found some great gifts was on Groupon (or Wagjag). The ability to give winery tours, snowmobile rides, hot air balloon rides, tea dates, etc., is at your finger tips.

For my brother-in-law I picked up a subscription to a monthly coffee club (3 months). So he'll sign up and receive samples of various coffees. He loves coffee and it's a neat idea for those "hard to buy" people. And yes, gifting a piece of paper is sort of lame SO I glass etched a container with  "COFFEE" on it, put the gift voucher inside and wrapped that! Voila! Neat gift ideas.

Another great idea is sites like Kiva, Oxfam, or Plan Canada where your gift becomes an opportunity for another human being to survive and create a beautiful life. My mum gets goats every year from my dad now. That's what Christmas is about isn't it?

If you want more local ideas, events like Memory Ball are fantastic gift ideas! Tickets for the event aren't on sale to the public til January 1st BUT if you want to gift a ticket for Christmas you can email and pick up a ticket as a gift!

OR if you'd like a ticket use one of these images on instagram or Facebook to let your loved ones know!

Whatever your gifting this year keep in mind the world and the person you're giving to. The best things we can give is our time and love.

Keep the holidays green!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Every day learning

I think sometimes in our every day lives we really miss true opportunities to live to learn.

That's why this part of my Live to Learn project was so interesting to me. I was hired in early September in a new part time job that was out of my field and over my head because of that.

Working in communications is just part of me but working with finances, math, calculations, budgets...well, as we established numbers not my strength.


In this position I've been given opportunities to really grow. I've worked with graphic design, I've organized a successful event (in three weeks!), I've created a personal budget, I've written newsletters, edited chapters of a book, and been exposed to really great tactics to tackle any project.

I think the planning will be 100% useful in any job. It looks at things in a positive light. Obstacles become actions to complete. Goals provide motivation.

As well, it's neat to see how my mind reacts to working in unique, competent, and incompetent abilities. The way time flies while working with creativity, in editing, with graphic design. The satisfaction of transcribing an hour and half presentation and the sense of a true "break time" once it was complete, and the sense of dread when it comes to cold calling.

To learn tackle skills, practical skills, life skills while learning about myself is pretty much the best job opportunity I could have been given at this stage in my life.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yoga for Seniors

So I took the first weekend of Yoga for Seniors in early October and was supposed to take the second weekend this weekend but with such a small enrollment it was cancelled. :(

The first weekend was a fairly practical approach. Lots of modifications for age, lots of modifications for mobility, balance, flexibility. It was interesting to see the approach from a non-Moksha view point and be led by a variety of teachers through poses.

It also really helped me solidify my trust in my knowledge as Moksha focuses on Accessibility and this really has become a part of my practice and my teaching. I knew how to use the wall, the chairs, blankets, bolsters, etc., to create poses for a variety of aging situations.

The best was that I was able to come back to my students at the Salvation Army and in the studio and be even more aware of the best pose for them.

That being said, I was super excited for Part 2. It was going to be a therapeutic approach with a focus on palliative care and bed yoga.

I will keep my eye on it for the next time it's offered. And what I learned from it being cancelled was that this is an area I truly care about-I want to be accessible in my teaching, I want to expand my knowledge for safe and effective practices and I want to continue to take additional trainings so that I can be the best teacher for the students who cross my path.