Monday, December 22, 2014

impermanence::home

saturday morning i went to a yoga class at the yoga loft in newcastle. the teacher taught a theme of impermanence. i thought "why is this resonating SO FREAKING MUCH?!" hmmm.

organising this move has been hard: each step forward takes quite a bit of emotional effort. i've struggled with a lot of it: questioning my choices about what to take, worrying about the amount of items and furniture going; anxiety over choosing the best moving company, not understanding what services are included; trying to figure out where all the funds come from for all the shipping and airline tickets; et cetera and et cetera.

last week i realised this stuff was so hard because i was operating from this baseline level of self-doubt: i wasn't thinking that i could actually manage this transition. meanwhile, "moving" keeps autocorrecting to "loving" and "movers" to "lovers" in my texts. i think these were messages from the universe: i had to shake some of this doubt so that i could start really accomplishing some of the items on the list.

so i went to see patty to cleanse some of this out of my system. she helped me realise that: 1) yeah, i like my stuff, and that's ok. i'm not a bad person because i'm moving more shoes than imelda marcos ever owned. 2) i need to do what's right for me at each stage of this move. i don't need to answer to someone else's idea of how i should finance things before i receive reimbursements. 3) if i shift some of this doubt, i can start to actually get excited about this.

i had started a lot of the moving checklist items, but after this session with patty last week, i knocked some of these items out for real. i told anthony exactly how long i'd be staying with him (ahem). i packed up my office (with help from louise and hayden), got people to come pick up the items (thanks hayden!), and cleared out personal items. i called the movers that had given me quotes, got re-quotes, got more evidence, and finally scheduled a mover. i found and scheduled someone to pick up remaining items and donate them to an aboriginal help centre. i organised which day i'm actually flying out.

i thought: i'm doing well; i'm really going to move. i'm getting excited! ...and then the endings began.

--i had my last day in the office. (richard gave me flowers, we did speeches, i cried, hayden and mandy made me pose for photos, mandy states "it's the end of an era!")

--i had my last art therapy session with the woman i've been seeing here for six years. (we review hundreds of artworks, i relive my entire life journey in sydney, i cry.)

--i taught my last yoga class--and specifically, at a place where i've had that same time slot since it opened three years ago. (my class comes even though class was officially cancelled for the holidays--unbeknownst to me--and we have a beautiful class. i see my students putting their all into the theme and their practice. i see every student get into crow, even the student who asked for it because she was certain she could never do it. i cry. i promise to come back.)

woah, guys. this is all big stuff. *impermanence-slap-in-the-face*

impermanence. oh. yeah. that's my life right now. of course that theme would fucking resonate with me. i don't know where i'm going to be living soon, i won't have a routine, i won't know many people... and right now it's much the same: i'm living in the state of limbo--not knowing exactly what i'm doing for the next few weeks as i try to see all of my closest friends here those last few times.

chuck and bal keep saying "this is the last time we'll walk down this road on a saturday morning," or "this is the last time we will eat at this restaurant on a thursday evening," which are most likely true statements. but i BEG them to stop it each time they make those declarations. *impermanence-slap-in-the-face*

what's funny is that everything is impermanent. we just don't always see it. but when i looked back through the art i had created over the past several years in art therapy, i could physically see it: i saw myself move through numerous relationships and stages of friendships; i saw worries and stresses appear and disappear; i saw a marriage dissolve; i saw new opportunities emerge. it was all there in black and white. and color. and 2D and 3D.

everything is impermanent. and it is just as beautiful as those artworks.

if we allow it to be.

so, as i fill out the forms to organise the movers, and i look around at this apartment roxie and i have made a home, i feel a little sad.

but knowing that this sadness won't stay, and that there is so much excitement to come, helps me be a little more present in this space of impermanence i'm occupying right now.

because, after all, it's really where we all live.

Monday, December 15, 2014

intentions #illridewithyou

i love the hashtag that's emerged today about providing support to minorities that may feel oppressed in sydney. when i said something about it to SP, he said something like "actions speak louder than hashtags." which is true. but the hashtag does bring more attention and most likely more action.

and the reason i think it works is because it has intention.

intention has power. the energy we put behind our thoughts and actions is so much stronger than we realize. i can say the sweetest thing to mish while she makes my coffee, but be swiping some photo on my phone at the same time: mish won't even reply. you can feel the lack that sentiments have when there isn't full attention and intention behind them.

this is true in every area of our lives: on the mat and off. tonight while teaching yoga i used the example of being in a deep twist. there's this classic yoga teacher cue "don't rest your belly on your thigh!" instead, we are supposed to use our legs; use our core; twist a little deeper. but, umm, that's hard. and you know what? often, the teacher can't tell whether you're leaning on your thigh or not. i remember HUNDREDS of classes where i've thought, "F THAT! i'm tired. i'm leaning on my f-ing leg!"

yeah, that's right, ms. yoga teacher just confessed to cheating through yoga. but what's the second half of that example? that i always feel shitty about it. i wonder "does the teacher know?" and "why am i even doing this?" and "i know i'll feel better if i just do the freaking pose!" and yet, there are days i don't. i invited the class to put their full heart and intention into each asana--just experimenting with how much better it could feel when you had some of that power behind the pose instead of being concerned about just making the shape.

our whole class was themed about shaking out dust, wringing out our selves, finding the shiny parts inside, and reflecting back out what we thought our local and international communities really needed today. and we went back to that intention over and over. and at the end of class? i could feel it. i could tangibly feel the glowing energy through the room. i felt supported and loved.

and then i wondered how far our energy could reach.

a few minutes later i was on the train and saw the hashtag. i thought, yeah, there is some amazing intention in our city right now. and i think intention does translate to action.

so i'll send out all my hashtag intentions, and i invite you to as well. #givelove #livepeace #illridewithyou (hint: see what's linked in the hashtags!)

and to my love BP: your sensitive soul is inspiring. now come to yoga with me.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

no regrets

before i move to NYC i have to find a moving company to make this whole thing happen. and before i choose a moving company, i have to get three in-person quotes. that all seemed straightforward enough a month ago when i started this process. now i realize that it isn't. and today, i also realized that the moving company needs to be able to handle more than just my packing.

the first quote was monday. the woman was polite, lovely, helpful, composed; i managed to hold my tears until after she left. the second quote was early this morning, and luckily i wasn't really awake yet when this woman arrived; i just nodded at what she said. the third was this afternoon, and i just straight up lost it while the moving company representatives were here. they went through the same topics and covered the same points that the last companies had. and, trust me, it's already started to sink in. but BAM. it hit today. (again.) the moving reps said "this is a great apartment!" they said "this is a great location!" they said "you have a lot to do before you leave!"

i gave them a bit of an evil eye. i felt the tears well up. i cried. i told them "if you are the company i choose to go with, you will get to see a lot of tears." they laughed. i cried a little more: i don't want to leave.

my life here is amazing. sometimes it even feels a bit charmed. gorgeous outdoor music festivals with friends that love to dance their little butts off? christmas parties at the opera house overlooking the harbour bridge? yeah. i know.

i told a few friends about the moving quotes experience. i got a few different responses. but my favorite was sam's: "they're just jealous," she told me, "everyone's jealous of you moving to NYC!" i don't think that's true. but i also told her that i was going to adapt my thinking toward that view. because if i envision this as a super exciting thing that's happening right now, then, well, maybe i won't be so teary over it.

there's two types of regrets: regret over something in your past, and anticipated regret about a decision or situation you're going through.


some people dwell on the past; agonizing over what decisions they've made. i'm not one of those--i'm super good at letting go of the past. i know that all of those past experiences have made me what i am today: i couldn't envision myself another way. but those anticipated regrets? eeeek. i get stuck in those. what if this? what if that? i constantly try to ensure the shiniest future for myself and those i love.

but i'm able to see that living with anticipated regret is just as bad as the other: living constantly in the future is still not living in the present.

ok. yoga time. being here. now.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I was scared of...

is the starting line of one of my fav songs. I love the lyrics of "riptide." it's all about this woman who is NOT the one coming unstuck, and the man falling in love with her. it moves my little heart. most of all I love how she's not the scared one, though--she's doing what she wants. favorite line: "there's this movie that I think you'll like; this guy decides to quit his job and head to New York City." IKR?! anyway, enough on that... but it's related. 

I'm in New Zealand. by myself. yeah that's right: it's like I grew up overnight, huh? I've never been on vacation by myself. ever. sure, conferences, yoga retreats, or even trips with people I just met. but... alone? never. 

I have friends that vacay by themselves regularly. (lisa--you're the champ here!!) I've always wondered how people did it: how they had enough self-efficacy to do that.  (and I also have friends who have drastically failed at the attempt; scary!) but I'm confident; I'm fairly street-smart; I love travelling. but... by myself? I've never even considered it.

until I had this opportunity fall in my lap. and I thought, I'll find someone to go with, and started making plans. well I didn't. let me clarify, I found someone amazing for the second half of the six days. but that still left me exploring a new country on my own for three days. and I thought, yeah, no worries, mate; I got this.

ok. the planning (or lack thereof) was scary. the day of the flight was scary. the taxi to the airport was scary. but once me and all of my liquids made it through security, I was fine. plane? cool. Christchurch earthquake arrival? cool. figuring out what the hell I'm doing the first few days? cool. (after a run and a local yoga class!)

but I'm still pretty amazed.

I still remember the first time I ate at a restaurant alone: June 2006. tamar, liz, sunam and I were studying abroad in germany for the summer. we did weekend trips together but occasionally would explore the cities we went to separately. we were in berlin, and I ate lunch in a cafe. alone. I remember being panicked at telling them "one;" thinking they would judge me.

of course no one did; of course it was fine: I had a lovely bowl of soup while writing in my journal (I didn't have a blog yet!). and I've eaten alone in restaurants at least a hundred times since.

seeing a movie alone for the first time? just after billy left: October 2012. laurel said I just HAD to see "wreck-it ralph," so I went. I felt ridiculous going to a movie aimed at kids as a single adult. but I did it.

and I LOVED it. I probably haven't seen too many more movies alone, but that's just because I don't see movies much.

I think that this super slow evolution of being able to travel alone is indicative of my perception of my self-worth: I probably didn't like myself enough to spend this much time alone in the past.

but it turns out that I'm actually pretty good company.



so. what have I learned thus far? sometimes trusting that everything will work out is a good "plan," I'm always stronger than I expect, I have amazing friends that support me while trying to get out of town (hal, chuck, bal, mish, andrew--that's you), I have super cool friends that will join me for a few days at a moment's notice (SAM!!!!), I can make friends ANYwhere (thanks for the training ground, USAF!), and, um, I kinda like travelling alone.

granted, I'm still in this. but, like I said, I got it. what was I scared of?

#butexpectmoreselfiesthanusual