Saturday, March 19, 2011

Days without yoga

The days that I don't do yoga are always interesting because I feel very different from the days that I do.  And I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing....or which one is the good or the bad? 

Example:  On most days that I don't do a physical yoga practice, I feel a hell of a lot less social.  I don't really feel like talking with people, being around people...I just want to be left alone.  All throughout my childhood, I was always the "social butterfly." And then "life" happened and I got less social.  Since starting to practice yoga, I do feel a lot more open and sociable towards people, more like how I used to be.  So I guess I'll put that in the "good" column--yay, yoga is "working."

But then there is this: I feel more "awake," when I don't practice.  Like a cloud or something has been lifted from my mind and now I can think again.  Sometimes after I go to a yoga class, and especially after practicing Mysore Ashtanga, my mind kind of feels "shut off."  And I don't know if that is a "good" thing or a "bad" thing.  Technically, that's what is supposed to happen right?  "Quieting the mind..."  I don't know.  Sometimes my thoughts also feel more cohesive and put together on days that I do practice and sometimes it's the other way mind feels more alive on the days that I don't practice, like I can finally think again.  I'm not sure, it kind of goes back and forth between the two but it's always there too.

Another thing that I tend to notice a lot more on the days that I don't do yoga is that I'm a lot more dissatisfied with my life right now.  Again, I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  After I do yoga there is a feeling that is somewhere between complacent and content...though it usually feels more towards the complacent side.  Kind of like there is no urge to push myself to be better or do more.  Maybe that's a good thing and I need to have that attitude more so that I don't wear myself out.  And maybe it's not, because there is a lot that needs improvement.  My room needs a thorough cleaning and purging of unnecessary junk (seriously, I'm losing floor space).  I need to buy some more clothes to wear to my new job (this one pair of black pants isn't going to last forever).  My diet also needs some serious work.  I can't believe that has been such a struggle for these last 2 1/2 years.  But, I guess one can't live off of cereal and bagels forever, right?  Gotta eat something more than just carbs.  Food frustrates the hell out of me and I hate having to devote any time or energy to it.  Can't there just be this one magic food that gives you everything you need and tastes good?  Well, that's a topic for another time, but it just demonstrates another area of my life that really needs some attention and work. 

Basically, it kind of feels like that on the days that I don't "do" any yoga (a physical practice) all the other areas of my life sharply shift into focus.  Take away the one thing that makes you the most happy and fulfills you the most.  Are you still happy?  Is everything else that you have in your life "enough?"  In my case, I think not.  I was actually forced to do this experiment and learn the hard way when I suddenly couldn't run anymore (broke the foot--crutches and cast boot for 2-3 months) and I graduated from college and was no longer in school.  It became painfully and glaringly clear that I was very unhappy with my life and I ended up in a depression that I am still working out of.  It's still there; everyday, just beneath the surface.  Almost like it's waiting for me to stop moving long enough to take hold again.  I used to feel like I really had to actively fight against it.  Now I don't feel like fighting as much when I feel it because it started to feel more like an indicator.  Or a way to measure the amount of satisfaction I feel in my life.  And right now, I kind of feel like I'm still in the same spot I was when I couldn't run. 

Take away the one thing that I'm enjoying the most in my life and there's nothing keeping me here.  In Boston I mean.  My new job is ok, but it's nothing I feel this intense desire to keep doing.  Apartment is ok, roommates are cool; but neither are enough to make me want to keep working to stay here.  I like the climate as well, and the ocean...but I rarely engage in them.  I'm always indoors, always working.  Basically, without the yoga and the yoga community that I've slowly started to become more engaged with, it feels like there is not a whole lot (except lack of funds) keeping the restless wanderer in check.  The one that just wants to let go of any attachments and just go.  Somewhere, anywhere.  Just to live freely with the least amount of restrictions as possible, engaging with whatever strikes my interest at any given time.  And sometimes I wonder, is that a bad thing, or a good thing?

"I believe that in spite of the chains we bind ourselves with, there's a primordial section of the human psyche that is still nomadic and still yearns to roam free."
---Richard Paul Evans (The Walk)

Oh yes.  I feel you on that one...

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Universe has a odd sense of humor

So, first things first, I didn't mention something about the guy who did the Sound Healing yesterday.  He is also a shaman.  No, there is no smoke or inhaling/ingesting crazy substances.  Basically, it works at the energetic level to clear energy blocks within field, lol.  It's kind of hard for me to explain and even harder for me to believe that I'm actually talking about it in a non-sarcastic manner.  You know how some things just keep repeating themselves in our lives?  Like, for example, always getting injured, lol?  Or always ending up with the same "bad guy" as a boyfriend?  Lots of people talk about it as something that you just seem to attract.  That is where energy work comes into play: reiki, shamanism and the like.  That's energy work.  So the Sound Healing concert that I went to yesterday falls into that area.

Also, confession: this is not the first time I've seen a shaman.  It's also not the second.  It's the third.  It's so weird for me to comprehend that I'm actually considering this stuff seriously, because I'm usually quite skeptical.  Or at least I used to be.  Anyways, here's why all this rambling is relevant.  The first time I saw a shaman, I felt like I kept hitting the same walls, unable to move past them and starting to feel more than a little hopeless.  I'm not going to go into the details right now because what's important is what happened afterward.  10 days after the first session with the first shaman I saw, there was a major shift in my work life: I was offered a promotion at both of my jobs.  But I couldn't take both, I had to make a choice.  Remember that thing I talked about that broke the stalemate in my 4 1/2 year long job that I hated?  This was it.  Well, I made the choice that felt better in my heart (not taking another position in the high-end retail world of Saks Fifth Ave) and continued living the way I was before, this time with a little more hours of work at the yoga studio.  But it didn't stop there.  I still felt stuck.  I saw the shaman one more time and the very next day, both of my roommates decided to move out, leaving me 2 weeks to replace them.  That's also when I put a halt to the shamanic energy work because it felt like it was causing too many changes in too short of a time period for me to handle in a healthy way.

So, I was a little curious/nervous about what would happen after yesterday's concert, especially with how I ended up reacting to it.  My thoughts going in was that it wouldn't hit as hard since all the energy wasn't focused directly on me, lol.  Well, funny thing happened today.  As I was getting my things together to leave my new job, one of the higher up guys (one of the ones who manages multiple real-estate projects, he's kind of like the #2 man) asked me how things were going up there (the office is in the basement/lower level, my concierge desk is on the first floor).  Honestly, I'm starting to get very bored.  I feel terrible, but I spend the majority of my day surfing/playing on the internet.  There's just not a whole hell of a lot to do right now.  But, (A) the guy who hired me told me that would be ok because he knew there was going to be a lot of "down-time."  And, (B) I don't let the internet stuff interfere with the actual work when it comes up.  But, I didn't tell him that.  I told him about the work that I do do and that it's quiet.  He said that they might be looking to give me some more work to do, especially with So-and-so leaving in a week.  Whoa.  Wait; back-up there a second.  So-and-so is the back officer manager, I'm the front.  Ideally, the way this was supposed to work is that I handle all front office stuff (say, "hello," deliver packages, monitor move-outs, etc), basically all the "customer relation," parts of it; she handles the back office, technical, financial stuff.  And, apparently, she's going to be leaving, soon.

"So," he says, "we were thinking of passing on some of her work to you, would you like that?"  Whoa!  My immediate thoughts, "Yes!  I'm so bored I've started playing Farmville again!"  But, I also felt like I needed to reign that in a little.  I've hardly been there one week, and I've never handled that kind of work before.  I think I'm intelligent enough to do it, but I also feel like there's a learning curve and I would need to take it slowly to really understand it and get the hang of it.  And that's what I told him.  I said, "Yes, I'd be interesting in doing other things, but slowly, because I've never done work like that before.  I'd like to learn new things, but just a little at a time."  He seemed to be ok with that idea.  It's a small company and there's a lot of work to be passed around.  I do want to learn new things, but I also really like interacting with the people who live there (and their dogs, lol) as well as walking around the building, I definitely do not want something that just keeps me inside an office all day long. 

But, this is also very similar to the job I fought against and ultimately turned down at Saks.  It was a Human Resources assistant position: handling the technical part of a department that manages people.  And here it is, showing up again: a "real" job, that involves actual "work," not just sitting around and letting your mind go to waste.  Something tells me that I shouldn't fight this one.  Is this the result of the shamanic work?  Is shamanic energy work even "real?"  I don't know.  Three instances of odd things happening directly after that kind of work is a little hard to ignore or discount.  Oh, interesting side note: have you ever heard of the idea that how you spend your New Year's is how you will spend the rest of your year?  I heard that expression for the first time this year and I'm starting to think that there might just be some credit to that.  Last year (January 1, 2010), I spent my New Year's practicing yoga...and I that's pretty much what I spent my entire year doing. I did a lot of yoga, it's pretty much all that I did.  This year (January 1, 2011) I spend my New Year's cleaning up after people, specifically my two roommates who moved out, and basically preparing the apartment for new people to live in.  I now find it very ironic that I work as a concierge where I basically look after people's living space and I now seem to be getting positioned into a job that will do even more of that.  I know it's all a matter of your own personal perspective, but it's still pretty ironic. 

We'll see what happens.  I think it's going to be an interesting next couple of weeks.  "We'll see."  That's kind of my mantra these days.  Not overly optimistic or pessimistic.  It's more like a kind of detached, realistic hope.  We'll see.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sound Healing Concert

Today I went to a Sound Light Healing Concert with Pierre Garreaud at the Akasah Yoga Studio in Jamaica Plain.  Akasha is a very sweet, homey little one room studio about a mile from my apartment.  I love the space with its giant Love Sac bean bag type chair, small kitchen and friendly, laid-back atmosphere.  The Sound Light Concert is something I signed up for before I started my new job.  This person had been there once before and I had wanted to go but ended up missing it because of work.  So, when I saw he was coming back and that it fell on my day off, I took it as a sign to go.

Sound Healing is meant to be exactly what it says it is: healing through sound.  I think sound is a very strong tool.  It can instantly change the mood of a room.  In yoga, I think it's a pretty amazing tool to just drop people into their practice so they can just move without their minds making too much noise.  So, the idea of this workshop is to use Peruvian and Native American instruments and singing to open up the meridians of the body so that energy can move freely.  After the time I had at my old job, it sounded like something I really needed, so I jumped at it.  Today, I wasn't sure I wanted to go anymore.  I was feeling different than I did at the time, less "I'm going to scream if I don't get out of here!" and more, "ok, I'm here, whatever."  But, I paid the money for it and I like the sound of that kind of music, so sure, let's go.

Pierre set up his instruments and told us his background and explained the concepts behind Sound Healing.  He also said that he was going to be focusing on the lower chakras: 1, 2 and 3.  #1, The Root Chakra is all about feeling secure and safe, grounded.  #2 is the Sacral Chakra and is all about feelings: desires, sensations, sexuality and home to your creativity.  #3 is the Naval Chakra, home to your self confidence.  He said that too often, people just focus on the upper chakras: heart, throat, third-eye and crown.  Basically, spending all the time experiencing "divine" communication and the like without having any ground to come back to.  It's kind of like having all these amazing insightful experiences through mediation and what not, (I can't remember his words exactly) and then not wanting to come back to the more physical ones.  Basically, not spending a whole lot of time in the present, material world.  Which kind of reminded me, lol.  Chakras 1-3 are our foundation and are just as important as the upper ones--especially because they are developed first.  According to Pierre, each chakra takes 7 years to develop.  Birth-7 years old=First chakra; 8-14=Second; 15-21=Third, 22-28=Fourth and so on.  Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it the psychological stages of human development.  Of course, that also means they tend to hold the oldest "blocks."  Pierre described them as "rocks," that you keep going around and kicking every time you come to them, until you figure out that you can use them as a stepping stone.  Ah, very nice.  He also said something about "the ego" that I really liked.  He said that it is something we need, not something that needs to be extracted or eliminated.  Basically,  he referred to it as the part of us that can recognize that we've had experiences, the part that can feel that, "oh, I just had an amazing experience in mediation," or whatever.  It's hard to remember the exact words or explanation he used, but that's the gist of it, and it makes a lot of sense to me.  I don't think "the mind" or "the ego" are necessarily bad things that need to be removed like a cancer.  They are a part of every human being and serve a purpose.  It's more like they're tools that we are given in order to relate what we see and experience to the rest of the world.

With all that in mind, when Pierre asked us to raise our hands for which chakra we wanted to work with most, I went for the second.  Ages 8-14 were extremely tough for me, mostly because that's when my home life was kind of in shambles via my parents divorce.  I also don't feel very creative and usually restrict a lot my feelings.  The third is also a good one for me, but the second was the one I felt needed the most attention.  Either way, the music was played for everyone, no matter which chakra you choose to work on....this was more like "setting an intention" for the session.

So, my experience was...interesting.  It's kind of hard to put into cohesive sentences and paragraphs, so here is a bullet version of my "journey" (as Pierre called it):

-->holy moly, it sounds like the lady next to me is going through an exorcism!!!  And we're only 5 minutes most!
-->it's really hard to just let go and be open when she's making so much noise!  It's like an assault on my senses!  Not only am I really sensitive to sound, the sounds of people upset really gets to me.  Listen to the music, listen to your breath...everything else is just background noise....
-->I love his singing.  It's Native American chanting and it just sounds so primal, natural.  It doesn't really sound like there's any real words or structure, more like he's just singing off a base and then altering it to accommodate the people in the room.  And I love the sound of the drum!  When he comes over and plays it right above/next to me, I can literally feel the vibrations in my body.  He walks around the room and to each of us to play above us and, when he first started, he was playing a rattle of some kind.  The rattle was hard on the ears at first too, and I kind of tried to push into my mat to get away from the sound.  But when he played it over me, I literally felt a little...tingle (for lack of a better word) right at my belly button.  I gave a little smile and laugh...that's cool!  :-)
--> I really loved the drumming piece of the session.  Largely because it was loud enough to drown out my own thoughts AND everyone else's sounds.  But also because it goes right into me.  When he played over the woman next to me, she yelled louder.  When he played over me and I could feel its vibrations inside me, I just laughed and smiled :-) When the drumming part was over, my whole body literally felt like it was humming, or vibrating...I'm not sure if there's a difference.  After that I think it was more rattles or something, I don't really remember the particular instrument, but he was singing the whole time. 
-->Somewhere along the way, I started wondering why I was the only one who seemed totally calm...almost unresponsive.  Everyone else seemed to be having these phenomenal experiences and I felt myself getting kind of jealous like, "Hey, what's wrong with me?!  Why aren't I feeling anything phenomenal?"  And then I started realizing, "Oh.  I'm the only one 'awake.'"  Everyone else is really letting themselves go and just experiencing what's happening to them.  I'm doing the "movements," a.k.a, the specific breathing he wanted us to do, but my mind is totally awake and observing the whole thing.  I started realizing, I don't spend a whole hell of a lot of time in "this world," I spend most of the time in my head.  Listening to and observing what's going on around me, but not really engaging with it.  I don't know.  Maybe it was my reaction to the woman next to me.  When other people are freaking out, my immediate reaction is to detach and remain as calm as possible.  It's possible that could have set the tone for the whole thing.  Maybe.  I also feel like, even a year and a half of doing yoga, it is still pretty difficult for me to just let go.  To stop thinking and analyzing and observing and just simply experience just be here.  Hmm...interesting side note, I'll file that away and write it down later.  Right, back to breathing...
-->His singing and the rattles aren't loud enough.  The people around me are still too loud, and I'm still thinking too much.  Maybe I should try making sound as I breathe out.  Nothing huge, just a little sigh.  That actually feels really good.  It's easier to follow my own breath and voice when I actually make noise.  It doesn't even have to be super loud, just enough for me to hear it.  I feel more...present.
-->The lady next to me is starting to quiet down, she must have worked through some pretty intense stuff!
-->What is that?  I felt...something, an emotion.  Nothing huge.  But it's there.  I can feel it just behind my eyes.  Deep breath in, long out with a little sound...feels better, emotion passed.
-->Crap.  My back is really starting to hurt.  I should have doubled up the mats!  I knew I was going to be laying here for 2 hours!  Why didn't I prepare better?!  Should have doubled the mats and put a blanket under knees.  I can't lay flat on my back for this long....Holy crap!  I sound like my mom!!!  No, I'm too young for this s**t!  I'm really tired of being injured...I just want my life back....
-->Huh.  Interesting thought floating through my head: my injuries are forcing me to be present.  Can't zone out when there is a sharp pain in your back.  I also think that my injuries force me to connect with people, because I need their help to fix them.  When I wasn't injured, I didn't spend too much time with people.  I was usually off hiking or doing something on my own.  But it also feels like my injuries are also preventing me from fully engaging with the world, because I can't be as active as my friends without there being pain.  That's an interesting paradox.  I wonder if it's possible for me to engage with the world without needing to be injured to do so...
-->Whoa!  It kind of feels like I'm floating.  No, not floating.  More like sliding backwards.  That's really cool.  I kind of feel like I just keep rolling backwards...very cool.
-->Crap.  My back is really hurting.  I wonder if putting my knees up would ruin the breaking the spell.  I don't care, it's hurts and I don't know how much longer this session is going to last.  Oh my god!  My lower back just popped and shifted.  That feels SO much better!  Now I can relax a little more...
-->He's just whistling gently now and waving something above us.  I think I'm starting to understand the method to this whole thing.  The rattles shake everything up.  The singing connects to the different chakras that he's focusing on.  The drum wakes everything feel alive!  More rattles to keep shaking things loose and "move stuff out."  Waving whatever it was above us is literally clearing the air.  Cool.  Hey!  Brain, why are you still awake?!  Be quiet.
-->Now he's ringing bells and striking notes on, probably, a metal bowl.  It sounds amazing and drops me right in.  It's like listening to someone hit a church bell.  Literally quiets my mind and just...drops me in.  There's no better phrase for me.  Finally, quiet.
-->He's playing a wind pipe, or flute, or whatever.  Picture Native American flute sound.  It's so beautiful and it hits a chord somewhere deep inside me.  I start crying.  The only thought in my head: I want to go home.  I don't belong here, this is not my world.  The only thing I can think of is being alone in the desert with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face.  I don't want to be here anymore.  I want to go home.  Big breath in, breathe out...more deep breathing.  Nope.  Emotion, not passing.
-->Flute done.  The room is completely quiet and still.  We lay quietly for a few more minutes before giving us the ok to move around and stretch.  Holy crap, my back hurts....and my arms are stiff from just laying with them palm up out to the side!  Emotion still very raw.  Tears quietly rolling down the side of my face as I look at the trees outside the window.  I want to go home.  I don't want to be here anymore.  I don't belong here, this is not my world.  Those same thoughts keep running through my head and I can feel the emotion pushing against my chest and throat.  What I am doing here?  I belong outside, in nature.  I don't want to get up.  It takes far too much energy to be a part of "that world."  Crowds of people on the trains and buses.  Loud sirens screaming down the streets with the huge and loud diesel trucks roaring along side them.  Wearing clothes I don't like, "dressing up" just so that I can play a part in this world.  Spend all day indoors, 5 days a week.  Have 1 day to myself.  1 day.  Just 1 day to relax and just do something I enjoy.  This is not living.  What am I doing here?!  
-->He's talking, thanking everyone for coming.  Everyone enthusiastically thanks him.  Namaste, thank you.  I can't say anything, there's a lump in my throat.  I just lay there on my back with one leg pulled in stretching the outside of my hip  Everyone starts getting up around me.  They're all happy and talking with each other. Crap.  Why did I do this?  I wipe the tears from my eyes and make my way to the bathroom and slide down the wall to finally really cry.  I don't want to go outside.  I just want to stay here.  Nope, can't stay here forever, gotta move.  I wipe my eyes, wash my face with cold water to wake myself up.  I walk back into the room but still feel unsteady.  I get some water and sit in front of the partially open window.  The fresh air feels SO good.  What am I doing here?  I sit there for many minutes just feeling the air on my face, trying to steady my emotions and convince myself to move.  Everyone's almost gone.  Can't stay here forever, gotta move.
-->He sees me as he's packing up his things and asks me how I'm doing.  Nervous/slightly annoyed smile and shake my head, more tears.  He asks if I want to talk, he's not going anywhere.  Sure.  I tell him about the thoughts running through my head and he asks where I want to be and what I want to be doing.  Where?  I'm not completely sure, but I'm starting to get a good idea.  It's time to move, away from the city.  Not right now.  There are things set in motion that I need to go with and see where they end up.  I miss the desert.  He says, "Maybe it's time to go back."  Yeah, it might be.  And then I look outside and see the trees...which were one of the big motivations for picking a different climate: no trees like that in the desert.  No four seasons like we have here, with flowers and falling leaves.  "You could live in many places and follow the seasons."  Maybe.  What do I want to be doing?  God I'm tired of that question.  I don't know.  "What makes you happy?"  I don't even feel like I know anymore.  I'm just tired.  Tired of trying to figure things out, "soul search," and do work just so that I can get by in this world.  "This world?  Earth?  You feel like you belong somewhere else, Heaven?"  Yeah, lol, heaven.  No, more like in "civilized" society, the "real world."  I told him that I look at all the job listings and think, "I don't want to do any of that.  It doesn't interest me in the slightest."  He said, "so make your own.  You need to find out what your talents are and then find a way to bring them to the world."  Hmm.  That's a little different way to look at it.  We'll see.  Again.  I've just made a lot of changes and set some things in motion, we'll see what happens... 


I think that is a deep feeling that's kind of been resting beneath the surface just waiting for a chance to surface.  It's not like I didn't know it was there.  I've been feeling the desire to move--really move--for the past several months.  It's like a part of me knows that I never expected to live here long term--which surprised the hell out of the other part of me, lol.  "Wait a sec!  I never said that I intended to go back!  To the black hole?!"  I don't know.  Boston no longer feels very free, I feel restricted, almost trapped.  Limited transportation, high cost of living...Either way, right now is not the time for a big move--job or location.  I think this was just a feeling I'd been keeping suppressed so that I could keep moving through out my days without breaking down or exploding at an innocent by-stander.  Maybe it just needed to be really be heard.  Hence the putting it down in some kind of "concrete" form: yes, I felt you, and I acknowledge that there is something else in my life that really needs to change.

But not yet.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Metal Rabbit

Apparently, today is the Chinese New Year...or is it the Tibetan Chinese New Year.  Whatever, I can't keep them straight.  Welcome to the year of the "Metal Rabbit!"

I'm usually back and forth on how much stock I place in any sort of astrology, but I find them intriguing whenever I see an article about them somewhere.  Anyways, I read the description of what the year of the Metal Rabbit is supposed to bring and it hit very close to home for me right now:

"The year of the Metal Rabbit promises to bring some much needed peace and tranquility. If you are like most people, you probably feel like you were on a roller coaster in 2010, the year of the Tiger. That will generally not be the case in 2011, as the Rabbit is everything the Tiger is not....
This is especially true if you belong to the Rabbit’s group, that is, your sign is Rabbit, Sheep or Pig [I'm a pig, btw]. These, however, are the people most likely to have a great year. If you are one of them, make an extra effort to follow your dreams, seize opportunities, and enjoy the moment....
This year the cautious, slow but sure approach is likely to win the day more than a charge ahead one.  The question, then, is what to do in a so-called, peaceful year? Education, for one. Leisurely travel could also provide a nice experience. That means the museum circuit as opposed to trekking the Himalayas. And, pursuing your hobbies, be they ballroom dancing, bridge or gardening is a very Rabbit thing to do and will bring you many happy moments...."

It made me think about my mood lately and especially about what I wrote yesterday.  Lately, I haven't felt like moving.  Which is extremely odd for me.  I'm usually very active and kind of restless.  Whenever I have to just sit for hours at a time, I'm usually escaping by daydreaming about something else: running, traveling, my family...anything to take my mind off of where I am or how bored I am.  When I ended up sitting in the office for hours at a time back in my old job, I would get up several times throughout the day just simply to stretch.  But lately, meaning the last couple of weeks--basically since quitting my old job--I haven't felt like really exerting myself.  Before I quit, I daydreamed about all the things I would do during my week off before starting the new job: 2 or 3 yoga classes a day, rock climbing, venturing out to different studios in the city...I reality, I didn't do more than 1 class a day (if that) and sat at home all. day. long.  I felt very lazy, but I kind of didn't care.  I did go rock climbing, though I almost canceled it because I just felt so un-energetic (I went and ended up climbing for 3 hours and had a blast by the way).

I thought that would change once the new job started, but it was more of the same: I don't really feel like moving.  I started worrying a couple of days ago, wondering if I was falling back into a depression--because that's usually my first indicator, I start losing interest in things and basically have no motivation.  But I don't think so, because this feeling isn't accompanied with the other tale-tell sign of my depressions: food.  When I get depressed (or scared, worried, mad...basically any kind of not pleasant emotion) I eat: a lot.  Which is what is comforting right now, because I actually have more of a lack of appetite.  For me, that's a good thing.  When things are going well in my life, I don't need a lot of food to sustain me.  When I spent entire days at track meets, I hardly ate a thing, even though I was running and burning energy.  Out on day-long hikes?  I eat a good meal before going out and then maybe a granola bar or two.  Again, for me, not craving food or constantly thinking about what I want to eat is a really good sign.

So, could it be that this "feeling" that I have, of not wanting to move or exert energy simply be that I am in tune with what is going on at a larger scale?  "The year of the Metal Rabbit promises to bring some much needed peace and tranquility. If you are like most people, you probably feel like you were on a roller coaster in 2010..."   A roller coaster?  Try a war.  That's kind of what 2010 (and 2009) felt like; like one long and endless fight.  And now, a big part of that fight is over.  New job, good roommates, old injury healing well, about to proceed further into something I enjoy (teacher training....which actually falls right in line with the astrology suggestion to engage in education for 2011).  Maybe not wanting to move right now is actually a good thing...

It's kind of funny.  It kind of feels like after your life has been so intense and unhappy, and so unstable and unsure for so long, any sort of peace or stability feels foreign and suspicious.  But maybe it's not.  Maybe I'm just finally on track with what I'm "supposed to be doing."

We'll see what happens next ;-)

Friday, March 4, 2011


Well.  The last time I posted something on this blog was June 19, 2010.  8 months ago.  At that time, I was attempting to write 800 words a day for 21 days, as part of a larger online group project from some website I heard about through another blog that I follow. 

I didn't get too far.  11 days and 10 posts later, I suddenly found out that I had nothing to write about, except for what was going on in my life...and I kind of didn't feel like sharing, lol.  My writing also felt very forced, like I was changing the way I write to accommodate...something.  So, I let it go, decided that wasn't what I wanted to be doing.

Fast forward 4 months and I decided that I did want to share what was going on in my life (foot surgery and recovery) but I didn't want to do it here.  I didn't like the set up of blogger and I didn't want everyone else to read what I had been writing here, mostly because I felt like it was very whiny (which makes sense, I was actually feeling very whiny).  I didn't want people to see that side of me...the one that feels depressed, hopeless and confused...a lot.  It's not very uplifting stuff to read about.  I wanted a "fresh start."  This new blog was going to be "public" as in I would actually tell the people that I knew about it.  And I was trying to be more optimistic.  This time felt better, it felt more...authentic.  It lasted a little longer. Roughly 2 months and 11 posts.  I felt better when I was writing there because I was actively trying NOT to be so pessimistic.

And then things in my life started going haywire.  Roommates fighting, housing situation suddenly incredibly unsettled, work situation all shook up.....I had a lot going on that I wanted to talk about but felt like I couldn't and didn't want to really share with people.  When things get really crazy in my life, that's when I tend to feel like I need to squirrel myself away so that I can...find a still point.  As though it feels hard to do that when there are so many people around.  I tend not to talk as much because I don't want to drag people down with the problems of my own life. 

So...that blog faded off too.

Skip ahead 3 more months and my life is very different.  My foot is almost completely recovered from the first surgery of my life.  The recovery was quick and pretty painless and uneventful.  I have 3 other nagging injuries that seem pretty resistant to healing, but that's a whole other story for another time.  Right now, I'll just say that I'm working with them.  I'm on my third set of roommates; I have now lived with a total of 5 girls and 2 dogs in just 6 months.  It has made for a very interesting first living-with-roommates experience and I kind of don't want to live people anymore.  I've made a couple of good friends, but I miss having my own space and not having all my "home responsibilities" spread out.  Again...another story for another time, when/if it comes up again.

But, most importantly, I have a new job.  After nearly 4 1/2 years, the last 2 of which I have truly despised the place I worked at and the work that I was doing.  There were many days when I literally stood at the door leading outside my apartment building, stared at the door with tears in my eyes, thinking to myself, "I can't do this anymore."  I'd been saying that almost everyday for the last year, but found I could never really get myself to leave completely.  "What for?  To switch to yet another 'dead-end' job doing work that I don't care about while I wait for whatever is going to happen next?  While I'm 'waiting for my life to start?' "  So, I kept going to work, deadening my mind by staring vacantly into the security monitors and destroying the good work ethic I had built back home (in AZ) by refusing to work.  If my boss asked me to, I would.  But I wouldn't get up and do it myself.  I just didn't care anymore.  What finally broke the stalemate?  Yoga Teacher Training. 

No.  Scratch that.  The first break was them offering me a different position in the store (I worked for Saks Fifth Ave).  Human Resources Assistant.  Essentially, in a round about way, I turned it down.  It also became very clear to my higher ups (my immediate manager, HR director, and store manager) exactly how much I did not want to be there--in ANY capacity.  I no longer wanted to work in the world of security and I had absolutely no interest in the world of high end retail.  The company I worked for is a good one.  I think they treat their people very well.  Problem is the work that they do destroys people.  It's hard on their bodies because they have to stand all day long on marble floors with concrete beneath it, in a place with artificial light and dry, re-circulated air.  And, for lack of a better word, it's hard on their spirits.  #1 "spirit-killing" thing they have to work with: commission-based salary.  Having to compete with the people you work with for the money you need in order to survive tends to bring out the worst in people.  That being said, I think the ones that do manage to survive in that world and still be decent and caring human beings are truly remarkable people.  #2 "spirit-killing" thing: high-end retail.  $200 for a pair of jeans?  Really?!  You don't need that.  No one does.  High-end retail really is the epitome of a consumer driven world and I think it is truly unnecessary in the world.

Anyways, that's a rant going off in a different direction.  Any who, I made it very clear that I didn't want to support that world in any way.  The message from my boss started getting very clear: It's time to actually find something else instead of just complaining about how much you hate being here.  But I still couldn't get myself to even think about doing any of the jobs that I was seeing in advertisements.

This is when Yoga Teacher Training truly broke the stalemate.  All my higher-ups said the same thing: why aren't you teaching yoga?  My answer: because I don't want to.  But--this is all that I do.  When I'm not physically doing yoga, it's usually the thing that occupies my thoughts the most and tends to be the thing that I talk with people about the most.  So, I decided that it was finally time to explore what this all really means to me.  In Lynne's (owner of the yoga studio I work at) words, "if nothing else, doing a training will bring you some clarity."  And as I told her, it's not like I'm doing anything else.  So, I decided on a training and immediately knew that my boss wouldn't support it.  My yoga work-study schedule (2 days a week) was already too much of a strain on their schedule.  I asked anyways, but he confirmed it: nope.

So, that was my proverbial "leap."  I told him I was committing to doing the training and would be finding another job.  After only around 2 months of dedicated searching and a small handful of interviews, I found it.  Concierge at a condo complex.  Brand new position, so there are no expectations to live up to--which is kind of nice.  Pay is same/slightly more than what I was making at Saks.  Same benefits.  Boss seems really nice.  People I'm working with are nice---one is actually a yoga teacher!  And she surfs--which has been something I have wanted to do for a very long time.  It's pretty clear that this is where I'm supposed to be next.  At this point, the work is...minimal, at best.  Then again, it is only my 3rd day.  Yes, I'm writing a blog post from my work's computer...which is OK, because it's not monitored ;-)  (besides, they told me I could surf the Internet because there would be a lot of downtime...which there most definitely is at this point).

So: new job.  Check.  New roommates (who actually like each other and are staying at least until the end of the lease).  Check.  Really good yoga teacher training with a really good teacher.  Check (did I mention that it is FREE?).   Everything is set and a lot is going to be changing, life finally moving...somewhere.  Good, right?  I should be totally jazzed and super excited, right?

Then why aren't I?  Why is the only thing that I'm feeling is this weird kind of...I don't know, unsettled and weary and just generally feeling a lack of passion or excitement for...anything.  It kind of just feels like: I'm just here.  It's not content.  More like...sedated and resigned...

Hence, the return to this blog.  Again, I feel the need to talk/write about what is running through my mind, rather than just simply sit with it.  You hear that a lot in yoga: just sit with it.  I'm kind of tired of sitting with it.  That doesn't accomplish anything.  I don't understand it any better and it definitely doesn't go away.  One of my favorite and earliest yoga teachers, Cat Kabira, once said during a class that sometimes feelings come up during a yoga class and sometimes it's just something that needs to be released, but sometimes it comes with a story that needs to be told.  Right now, it feels like a lot of unsettled things floating around in my head that need to be heard and examined...or at least written down in some kind of concrete form.  But, once again, I don't really feel like sharing this kind of stuff so publicly, as in with the people I am closest to and whose opinions I value.  Might someone benefit from hearing about it?  Sure.  That's totally possible.  That's why it's on a "public" blog (that anyone could see, provided that they were either looking for it or knew about it).  But, there's still a big part of me that I keep very private--either from everyone or just from the people I am closest to.

I think that's what I need this blog to be for.  A place for me to talk openly and honestly about what is going on in my life and the things that are running through my mind, without my whole word hearing about it.  Once again, who knows how long I'll post on here.  It might be very sporadically or, maybe now that I have a whole hell of a lot of downtime on my hands and unsupervised access to a computer, it might be a lot ;-)  We'll see what happens this time.