Saturday, March 29, 2014

i am full

there's a quote by george bernard shaw that inspired the biennale of sydney this year: "imagination is the beginning of creation. you imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will." i took a photo of the lights proclaiming this sentiment last night, and i'm experiencing them today. i've spent a lot of time dreaming lately; manifesting what i want in my life. and today i started to really see it.

today i went on a mini yoga retreat. just a one day thing. but it was pretty freaking amazing.

we were lying in savasana after the first practice of the day and kelli came around and gave us adjustments. on me, she did a motion with her hand on my forehead as if she was opening my third eye. moments later, i had this weird image come into my mind: a belly button. i was viewing it, thinking, why is there a belly button in my mind's eye? then, i kind of popped through it. it was suddenly very bright in my mind's eye, and these black and white images of women's faces floated by. all of the images looked similar to family members i knew, but they weren't my family's faces. the age of the women ranged from babies to old women.

i started crying, and my whole body was trembling a little.

we came out of savasana, and the thoughts in my head swirled: "i am full. i am here. i am ready." i didn't consciously think these things, and i still don't really know exactly what they mean. but i agree with them.

i told the story to OCS, who i was on the retreat with, and he suggested that it was my family sending me love. i told kelli the story, and she suggested that it was my grandmother and passed relatives telling me that they were there for me, supporting me.

i don't know what it was. but all day the sense of trembling has stayed with me. and i'm sitting here, home on a saturday night blogging, thinking that i feel different. i can't really explain how i feel different. and i can't really analyze how i feel about the new feeling. but i'm sitting with it, and remembering that sense of fullness that overwhelmingly came over me this afternoon.

another thing that kelli said to me today was that i was 180 degrees from where i had been at this time last year when i had been on retreat with her in bali. (love you so much kelli!)

i kind of brushed it off, but when i thought about it, i realized she was right. i didn't freak out when i didn't do cardio today. i didn't freak out when she served us a lunch with cheese. i totally committed to the retreat today and didn't even pick up my phone or look at a clock for the whole 8 hours. most of these things wouldn't have been possible even two months ago. and then i came home on a saturday night and blogged about it.

i am different. i've been really busy filling myself up recently, and i think it's working. i have come so far. and i am ready and excited for what's next. #miracles

Sunday, March 23, 2014

teaching love

this weekend i was away at an annual event for a social running club i'm in. we were in a beautiful location; and i had some beautiful souls there with me. the campground/resort we stayed at had limited mobile phone reception (i.e. i had none; some people had a bar or two). the resort provided wifi, but the coverage wasn't great, and i wasn't able to receive or send the crazy amount of messages, texts, snaps, and comments (etc!) that i normally do.

saturday morning, in a moment of connectivity, several messages came through from my mother. not "hi, darling!" messages, but "call me now; i have something to tell you" messages. the wifi wouldn't handle me facetiming or skyping her, and i began to get really upset. i felt like i knew what she was going to tell me, but i needed to talk to her. the anxiety of trying to get a way to talk to her was visible. one of my lovely friends there with me this weekend walked by and saw; she allowed me to borrow her mobile and straight up call my mom's US mobile phone.

my mom told me that her mother (my grandmother) had died. it wasn't necessarily expected, but she was 96 1/2 years old (yeah, we start counting half years again in old age!), so it wasn't necessarily unexpected either. as soon as she told me, i was in tears.

the rest of the morning was spent in an adventure to get to reception-land (which included taking a ferry), messaging and calling my mother and sister, and then borrowing another friend's mobile when my battery died while far from my charger (in reception-land) so that i could finish the skyping. we decided i wouldn't go back to the US, but that i'd write something for my mother to read at the funeral in a few days.

back at the ranch that afternoon, most of the runners i'm closest to already had been told. i had so many caring people around me asking me about my grandmother, hugging and holding me, even crying a little with me. even though it was hard being away from my home hearing the news, i'm grateful that i was surrounded by such supports.

as people began asking me about my grandmother, memories swelled inside. i spent today sitting with these memories, and thinking about what my grandmother taught us. one of my friends recently said that he wanted to leave a legacy in this world. i suggested that he was doing that through his children. which really got me thinking: what is my grandmother's legacy in my life?

what i've come to is this: she taught me to love. (she was a teacher, so it makes sense that she would've taught me something important!)

my grandmother taught me to love directly: she loved us without judgement, without criticism, and with her whole self.

my grandmother taught me to love indirectly: last week my mom sent me a newspaper clipping of an article that she had written about teaching good eating habits. the story featured an anecdote about me as a two-year-old copying everything my mother was doing in the grocery store. i was toddling along behind my mother, copying her face, her stance, even her squinting at the vegetables. i have copied behavior modelled by my mother in many facets of my life, including the loving and caring actions that she learned from her mother.

my grandmother taught me to love through the way she lived her life: my grandmother had three life loves. her first husband died of a heart attack when my mother was only 18. my grandmother loved again: her second husband died when i was three. and then my grandmother had an international love affair that lasted the rest of her life (neither wanted to move permanently across the ocean). she wasn't fearful when she lost love, she didn't get stuck; she just loved more.

and my grandmother taught me how to love with love: when i was about 8, and my sister 5, my grandmother visited. she was upset with how aggravated shayna and i got with each other. she told us we should never call each other mean names; we needed to love each other. but then, because she also taught her lessons with humor and love, she gave us alternative names that we could call each other. (she suggested that i call shayna an "idiotic imbecile." the phrase was phrase unknown to me, but i ran with it!)

i'm grateful to my grandmother for her legacy. and i promise her memory that i will keep practicing and sharing lessons in love.

and to all the others who have also taught me about love: i love you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

instincts don't lie

i don't normally talk about my dating life. (ahem, i don't usually talk about it on my blog.) but i've gotta get this story out.

i've been on this 40 day journey (thanks to my BFF kitty), and i didn't want to date during it. i had deleted dating apps. i was spending time with myself, and with my friends. i was totally loving that: i was the one helping others with terrible dating situations and saving them from bad dates. i was the one fixing others' dating profiles and deciding whether they should accept a date.

but, while chuck was visiting for the past two weeks, i re-downloaded tinder (a dating app that tells you if you have common facebook friends). i wanted to play on it with him. this one guy that popped up had something like 35 common friends with me, and he was into some of the same things i was. so, i swiped right (tinder speak for "liked" him). i chatted with him a little, though i felt he was a little aggressive in his texting and pushing toward an immediate date.

so, against my instincts, when he asked me for a date last night, i considered it. turns out last night was night 40 of the 40 day journey. of the two friends staying with me for the past two weeks, chuck had left yesterday morning and matt had plans last night. so it kinda seemed like the date was supposed to happen. i decided it was fated.

from the beginning there were disasters: he wanted to meet at my apartment, but of course i suggested the local cute bar instead. he texted me 15 minutes after he was supposed to arrive saying he was leaving his apartment and would be there soon. he then proceeded to ask me to sext him while he was on his way to speed the time along. i told him i was cool; i was texting a student about something. i also assumed he would jump in a cab and be there in five minutes since he was so late. i was wrong again. he showed up at 9:39 (ok, yeah, i was like five minutes late, but still, he was 35 minutes later than me!).

once he was there, he said, "oh, you were texting a student? what do you teach again?" me: sexual health. him: "oh, so you're like into... ummm... condoms?" me: yeah, they're my fav. him: "i don't believe in them. and i've never had an STI. i believe in natural immune functioning."

ok. yeah. cool. believe in what you want. but that cavalier approach to dating isn't gonna cut it with me. especially when you lead with that. especially when that's what i study. especially when you seem like a high quantity dater (remember the "sext me while i'm on my way"?!).

and yet, i decided to give him a chance. i thought, "maybe he is just coming across poorly through texts," "maybe he is just trying to impress me with his yoga-ish philosophies," "we couldn't have so many friends in common if he is actually such a douche." so. i committed to another hour.

the hour was rough:
he touched my leg, i asked him to step it back.
he pulled his shirt up, i said that isn't what i meant.
he kissed me, i said i wasn't comfortable with this.
he kissed me again, i said you aren't listening to me.
i told him i was tired and wanted to go to bed, he asked if that was an invite.

now, some people have trouble reading social cues. but come on. this is not what was happening here. i was being clear. i wasn't drinking. i knew what was happening, and it wasn't cool. by the time i convince him that i'm going to be sleeping alone and that he is going back to his apartment, he still seems to think things are going well, telling me that i have great energy and that we fit so well together. UMMM, WHAT?!

so he gets his stuff together and we walk to the door. this is when i realize that he has a backpack and laptop with him.

now, we had both finished our respective yoga classes, gone home and showered, and then met. which means he brought a backpack and laptop to meet me for a drink. which means he clearly expected to be staying over.

(yeah, ok, so chuck and i joked all week about taking backpacks on dates because my house was so full of people. but it was a joke. because who takes a backpack to meet someone they don't even know?!)

at this realization, i felt sick to my stomach. i felt like i had been punched. i felt like i had been tricked. i felt like i had been taken advantage of. i just felt plain shitty. like super shitty.

when he got home he texted me: "good night. sweet dreams! xxx"

no. it wasn't a good night. and there were certainly no immediate dreams in my future. i spent the rest of the evening trying to make myself feel ok with what had happened. it wasn't until i talked it through with anthony and matt this morning that i figured out what i was feeling the worst about.

i had felt uncomfortable about him from the beginning. but i went through with the date anyway. that was ignoring my inner guide. that was pushing back uncomfortable feelings and ignoring them. that was typical old-spring behavior. and i think the reason it felt so freaking terrible was because i'm not used to doing that anymore. i've been re-training to trust myself. to trust my instincts. to believe that they are there for a reason.

so, even though that story now supersedes all the others as my worst date story, i did learn something valuable. 1) i trust myself now. so much that it feels uncomfortable not to. 2) i know that trusting my instincts is what i need to do. i won't doubt myself again.

and you know what? that's kind of a miracle right there. i freaking did a handstand in the middle of the room in yoga last night! i am trusting myself. so, yeah. 40 days to miracles. and here i am. living miracles.

thanks to all my super amazing supports.

you all are miracle workers. xo

Monday, March 10, 2014

my letter to y'all

i'm grateful for my friends. (like really really really really really grateful.) i'm pretty sure i have the most amazing friends in all the world. you all support me through everything and make my life worth living. you each have taught me so many things. (i want to do shout outs to every single one of you!!)

i'm grateful for my family. i hear other people talk about their families; i realize how lucky i am to come from a loving family.

i'm grateful for my parents. my parents gave us everything. they are the best parents two girls could have. they continue to parent me from across the world.

i'm grateful for my sister. my sister is an amazing woman and an amazing partner in crime. sister perverts forever.

i'm grateful for all of my experiences. even the sucky ones. they got me here.

i'm grateful for my education. i'm so thankful to be as fortunate as i am and to have all the education and training i've received.

i'm grateful for getting to live all over the world. and for travelling. and for seeing.

i'm grateful for sunshine. i love the sun.

i'm grateful for being well nourished. in every way.

i'm grateful for my body. i will not forget this. i'm grateful for what my body can do.

i'm grateful for yoga. i freaking love yoga. and what it does for me. and what it offers me.

i'm grateful for a job i love. umm. i get to talk about sex at work.

i'm grateful for my home. i live in a beautiful space that i feel so comfortable in.

i'm grateful for living in sydney. (the best city in the world.)

i'm grateful for pumpkin. and grateful that sydney will put pumpkin on or in every type of food.

i'm grateful for coffee. every morning i'm grateful for coffee. i'm even more grateful when one of my besties brings it to me in my bed. (thanks matt!)

i'm grateful for sparkling water. who knew i could love water?

i'm grateful for my mannequin. roxie: you go, girl.

i'm grateful for blackmilk. (come on, you knew this would be on the list!)

i'm grateful for workaholics. for entertainment. for being able to laugh. for enjoying laughter. for laughing hysterically and making people think there's something alarmingly wrong.

i'm grateful for shamika (my phone). she keeps me connected to friends near and far.

i'm grateful for love. all the love around me. big big big love. xo

Monday, March 3, 2014

attracting abundance

"we only receive what we ask for. but we must know what to ask for. and we must also know to ask." elena brower quoted douglas brooks in a yogaglo class i took a few days ago and i freaked out. i was like, "yeah. YEAH! so freaking true!" and so freaking hard. it requires quite a bit of bravery to know these things, and to accept the abundance that comes. i'm practicing saying these things. so i can get used to believing them.

i am grateful for what i have.
i welcome all the gifts the day will bring.
i am abundant and free.

in a talk about buddhist ethics and karma, douglas brooks says:
instead of being greedy, we can always be generous. when you're always generous, greed will never appear again. there is nothing to gain. there is nothing to lose. and everything to give.
giving creates abundance. in every realm. recently i was asked to change the time of a yoga class i was teaching, from 7pm to 730pm. changing the time meant that our class would have a bigger, better room to practice in. but also, it meant that i would get home at 945 instead of 915pm (and still without dinner!). i was reluctant to change the time, but i chose to trust that this was going to be a positive shift for the class. tonight was the second class at the new time, and guess what has happened? the class has doubled in size; the energy in the class is insanely amazing; i can't stop smiling and saying how happy i am at the end of each class. the giving of my time and energy to this class has created incredible abundance that i am sooooo grateful for.

abundance comes in many forms. right now one of my bestest friends from the US is visiting me. and all i know is that there is crazy abundance glowing around me. i am so grateful for the love. for the friendship. for the experiences and memories. i'm loving every moment. and i'm love inspired.