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

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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.