On Growth & Hydration

I just got into bed without a cup of hot water and – though I am so eager for a flow, that inner voice of my body telling me to stick with what I know she needs to sleep well is kindly persistent. brb.

Ok. Back. As your yoga instructor via blog form, let’s all just take this a reminder to close the eyes, inhale and check in with the bod. Responding to requests (for water, for movement, for support, etc) – is an act of building inner trust, self leadership.

Dedicated response to the body is a part of a root of long lasting growth.

And if there is one thing I know about these days, it’s growth and if there is one thing I know about growth, it’s that growth definitely requires the root.

The root of the issue.

The root of who you are.

The root of what you want.

The root of why you want it.

The root. Your roots. Being rooted. Rooting down. Digging up roots.

That’s where I am tonight: digging up roots. Examining some fundamental beliefs about home and self and transplanting them into smaller pots to keep an eye on them for a little bit. I have been observing my interactions with others lately and wanting to reign it in a little bit, be a better listener, not take so much personal offense when people maybe aren’t super interested in my great ideas for their life or when they would rather be alone than with me. These observations are leading me into truths like how trustworthiness starts in trusting yourself.

How trusting yourself starts in listening.

How listening starts with attention. Breathing. Stopping.

I am going to foster some roots of understanding that I think will really help me grow upright and strong. Like my understanding that forgiveness doesn’t require confession and how you can literally live a forgiving lifestyle where you are proactively providing grace for others.

I am learning how that whole removing the splinter in your eye thing actually seems to imply you start paying attention to what it is you notice.

I am noticing how when others seem to be acting out of spite, “trying to teach a lesson” or playing little manipulative games: I should just let them. Play along. Smile and Breathe. And if you hate the game so much, definitely don’t do it yourself.

You know, and trust that if a person really is acting from spite, their own life will show them their spite. Any time I have acted out of spite, it isn’t a person pointing it out that humbles me. I learn from my own undoing. The private moments of realization. The thing I lost because I tried to gain. Realizing this is big time game changer, especially for step parents….

Pay attention to what you notice and start to see your patterns. And then choose differently.

If you are in a cycle with a person, notice when you are about to do something the same way you have always done it and and consider it up for negotiation. If you would normally point it out, don’t. If you would normally state a preference, don’t. If you would normally share how it made you feel, don’t. If you would normally ask how a person is feeling, don’t. If you would normally draw a comparison, don’t. If you would normally (see how I am getting SO much better) give life advice, just definitely freaking don’t.

And enjoy the fact that breaking this system also gives you permission to stop doing the things you thought you had to do. Let the towel stay on the floor. Don’t fuss over the fridge. Take family meals one day at a time. Don’t worry about if one kid eats all the Cheez Its.

(Which also means: Eat all the Cheese Its if you normally would stop so that you did not eat them all.)

Above all, I have learned growth is about responding privately when something is problematic. How?






And remember. The body breathes, the spirit breathes. The mind breathes.

Retreat is found in showers, flowers, museums, writing, prayer, yoga, walking, running.

The body feeds on colors and proteins. The spirit feeds on scripture and song. The mind feeds on ideas and stars.

Touch soothes. Lotion and oils soothe. Humming soothes. Meditation soothes. Staying in the present soothes.

Remembering these things is the root of self control. That listening to the body.

That call and response of the true need of physical comfort and safety as the driving force in your growth.

Oh. And all of this requires water.

Speaking of which I have a half of a mug left and a good night’s sleep to tend to.

This has been a closing moment here on Frozen Spaghetti…

Signing off, the Little Red Zen.

one certain thing @ my yoga mat in webster

If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that one of these five kids is going to be talking to their therapist at some point in their twenties and will experience a major break through when their therapist smiles and says, “Honey! YOU *can* get a medium concrete!” all thanks to my sincere commitment to the belief that a small really is enough.

And I do think that. David has ordered mediums for me a couple of times and I never finish them. I have been generous and gone against this belief before to find my daughters’ forgotten half eaten medium concretes and slushies in the freezer “for later”.

Part of the reason they will be in therapy about this is because it is the true battle of what you believe (small is enough) and what you want (a medium).

I believe they will also believe that smalls are enough (on some level) because my belief, in its affliction upon them, has proven itself to be true.

Life updates seem a little mundane these days. I struggle writing about the day to day because I am not really sure how it will translate. I am learning a lot about grace and forgiveness and am back studying some yoga phenomenons that I have been witnessing in my regular-ish restorative practice.

It has been well over a year since I have taught a slow flow as restorative, meditation, yin and gentle yoga have been more of my immediate audiences’ appetite. With that, I woke up on Thursday unable to move my head in a complete circle and have been experiencing major pain for a couple of days.

Part of this is because I have miles on the car and my body is my body and it is crooked in places it used to be straight. But I also am victim (like many) to weakened muscles in the neck and shoulders due to screen time and those weakened muscles, when shocked – jerked – or strained unhinged tend to kink up.

I am also extremely tight in my shoulders and back. I would say this probably is related to two years of lots of cross country travel, airplane rides and road trips as well as day to day life stressors relative to change, automatic bill pay and working for the man.

Yoga Nidra teaches there are the “threefold tensions”: muscular tension, emotional tension and mental tension. As forementioned, I have (although less now than 5 days ago) all three in my body. Likely, so do you.

Normal relaxation is understood to be closing the eyes, resting back and taking a break from the things you are plugged into. However, yoga nidra (yoga sleep) goes a little beyond this. Google it. It’s a life changing experience using revolving awareness of 61 points of the body to basically rock your consciousness to sleep while your awareness transitions to your subconsciousness and (if you’re lucky) your unconsciousness. AKA your motherboard where all your wiring and habits and beliefs (like how a small concrete is enough) live.

The first successful (although any yogic sleep is successful in that you will at least play with the consciousness) experience I had, I woke up to the image *and sensation* of a skeleton becoming dislodged from the center of my chest and relieving my body of its stagnant bony complex.

Incredible. I was hooked.

I started up nidra again last night, with my neck in shooting throbbing pain supported by a sandbag. Yes. A sandbag. Although I am pretty sure my attention got off at the exit before entering my subconsciousness, my body relaxed and I fell asleep. I woke up with full movement and a little cold nerve hangover.

I am committed to resurrecting a slow flow practice at home, even if I am not teaching. Today I got into an inversion – though shaky – and I played a lot with shifting my weight into my arms. I also heard that pulling your head back so you have triple chins for 20 seconds ever hour or so during the day is super good for you. I am hoping my slow flow practice builds up some strength and evens me out a bit. I am hoping my nidra continues to release the tension in threefold manner.

I am studying nidra again to go a little deeper into sankalpas. Rumor has it that use of sankalpas in your yoga nidra practice can actually re-wire some of that motherboard program… call it karma… archetypes… religious beliefs that won’t go away…

And I need that right now. I am getting quiet in my days and – though nothing is wrong – my heart is aching a little bit. I am thinking the shedding of the muscular tension is letting me get into some emotional tension that can be released. I want this to transform my generosity and my service towards others. AH! OMG – honestly? I’m flow of consciousness here… that may just be my sankalpa. (They say it is usually a courser, broader, directional thing than a “quit smoking” thing.)

Ok. WISH ME LUCK. Anybody out there tried yoga nidra with sankalpas??

My Head is Not Going to Fall Off


Last night marked the beginning of my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Sparing you all the back story and all the vision and all the prayer, I will offer you this: I am nervous and feel gross about this because of how right it is. It is a part of a calling.

I am following.

I am praying.

There is so much I want to offer in this post. I want to tell you the examples I have of God’s timing. I want to tell you how I think chords are not just musical, but that life offers each individual chords of events that occur in a unique part of our lives that effect us, somehow, deep in our composite forever.

…I want to tell you jokes about how I am seriously bad at Wildtree freezer planning.

But I don’t have a ton of time and I should get straight to the point of why I am marking this moment in my life.

I am acknowledging in a very real way that I am living very bravely at my creative edge.

I am no longer afraid of my creative edge.

I have never surfed the wave of inspiration like I am now in my life. I feel like I am shooting light out of my fingers – praying for the spirit to guide me – seeing a network of people and LITERALLY seeing people illuminate as the exact people to help, offering their gifts, as I chase the visions God puts on my heart.

It’s insane.

Yoga training. Ok – so – each day of yoga training starts with an hour and a half of physical practice. As we were rolling our heads from left to right, in a quiet space – all listening – following cues from our teacher, I had this juvenile inner hilarious kid monster voice roar out in the inner 6th grade classroom of my body (thankfully not out of my mouth), “GUYS I THINK MY HEAD IS GOING TO FALL OFFA MY NECK!!!”

Upon this very distracting interruption of my stretch, my strong, healthy guiding self quickly recognized this inner child – the little girl who “blurted out in class” and said in the most loving and accepting of voices, “Now, now – surely we aren’t going to yell out to this yoga class that we think our head is going to roll onto the floor.”

But – in 6th grade? In art class? I would have done something like that. I would have really been obnoxious. My fear had no filter.

I explored this whole inner dialogue a little bit and the feelings that were associated with this outburst. And I recognized it quite distinctly as creative fear.

I recognized it as making myself seem less serious about what I was doing. I recognized being ridiculous and funny and without filter as a way to cushion the blow when I was serious and maybe – yikes – not perfect.

And I smile now thinking about this. Because I think it applies to everybody, somehow. Don’t we all preemptively prepare ourselves for failure? And does that method prevent you from being bold and allowing a quiet calm to settle into your bones as you take on your creative work? As you go closer to your edge?

So. Needless to say, yoga training is going to be interesting. I believe that we all have parts of ourselves that make up the whole of who we are. I believe that we have really great, loving, confident parts while we also have really timid, fearful, shadowy parts. I believe that it’s never a lost cause.

Even if where you are right now is a place where your scared parts are the stronger ones, it’s just a matter of strengthening the other muscle. You’ll know this is the case if you live a life that a small part of you doesn’t approve of.. you hear yourself saying “I know I shouldn’t be afraid” or “I know I should count my blessings” or “I know I shouldn’t worry” or “I know it shouldn’t matter” or “I know God has a plan for me” and all those sayings end with “But” or “It’s just that”.

These are the indicators that you have to be the parent of that little boy or little girl who wants you to yell in yoga class. Who tells you it doesn’t matter if you do this one detrimental thing one more time. Who tells you nobody will notice or it won’t be a loss to the world if you don’t take yourself seriously. Who tells you you have tomorrow so just put it off. That healthy part of you that knows there is a better way needs you to honor it – so you can be stronger and – in turn – strengthen others.

Ahh.. Self trust.

I am going to close with this last thought…

My teacher (Stacy) asked us all to “hold space for a lot of growth” as we proceed in training. Big truth here.

Never are you done. Always are you growing.

Namaste. Amen.