Sunday, 21 December 2014


I have been practicing saying this most of my life as I have strived to go against the “should” of being a female in American society: strive to educate yourself and get a job, but make sure that you still find Mr. Right and have kids, preferably a couple of them.  This will make you happy.
Little did I know how much I continued to limit myself by the notions of being a “productive member of society,” and what is an acceptable role to be productive.  I remember when I decided to go to graduate school after being a ski bum - waitressing and working at a ski resort.  My dad was so happy and he helped me pay off my undergraduate student loans.  It felt good…for a moment.  I remember my whole family’s judgment, including my own, about my brother being a bartender professionally during his 20s and early 30s.
I was fortunate enough to allow myself to commit and follow through with going to Dryden, Ontario this past September, where my yoga teacher, Prasad Ragnekar, was holding a Yoga Teacher Training along with one of my “sisters,” Carly.  It was a homecoming, to be around spiritually like-minded individuals.  I felt loved and welcomed.  It was inspiring to see what Carly was creating because she trusted and said, “I can.”  Prasad let me know that he was going to have a 300 hour yoga teacher training course in India this coming spring and invited me to join.  My first instinct was, “I would love to but there’s no way.  I can’t.  Too much going on, too expensive, my work would never let me and my partner would not be supportive.” 
When I reached home, I thought about the course and it suddenly dawned on me…who had said no?  It was me.  I just assumed I couldn’t go but didn’t ask anyone who might have an opinion.  Why not ask and see what happens?  So I did.  I started with my supervisor.  “So, I have a question and I’m not even sure if I will go, but I wanted to see if it’s even a possibility for time off.  My yoga teacher is doing the next level of yoga teacher training in India this spring for a month.   Could I take unpaid leave if it worked out?”  She immediately agreed to support me.  “We’ll make it work.”  I could hardly believe it.
I had been thinking about the financial part, which I knew I’d need help with.  I hadn’t asked my father for any financial assistance since graduate school on a basis of principle…which involved my hurt ego.  He and my step-mother were visiting in October, so I asked them.  They both agreed to support me and it opened up a whole other dialogue about my fears of talking with my partner.  I’d never received such emotional support from my father.  I guess I had never asked for it before.  Again, my own assumptions.
Then it was time to ask my partner.  It was not easy and his reaction was as I expected.  Since it was on the table, we continued to have dialogue about it and he surprised me.  He owned some of his expectations of our relationship, his need to change and to see what happens in our relationship.  He shared he fears of my dedication to yoga and myself, wondering where he fit in.  This is a conversation that will continue and we will see where things lead.  The interesting thing is he also seemed to become more comfortable talking about the future together, where, in the past, he was non-committal…fascinating what facing fears can unfold.

As for me, I am headed to India on March 7th to continue my personal spiritual growth on the yogic path.  What I’ve noticed since opening up to this possibility is more awareness of the guilt and of the fear that underlie my limiting beliefs.  I’ve been able to talk with my supervisor about it and some of my close friends.  I watch it and feel it and talk to it, reassuring it that we’ll go through it and just see what happens.  Even now as I type this, I can feel the tension in my stomach and throat…so I breathe deep and smile.  Thank you for allowing me to experience this with consciousness.  Thank you Prasadji…  

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Recommitting to writing

When I was living in India, I was filled with words, descriptions, images that wanted to flow out on the paper.  I blogged, I kept a small journal to write things down when travelling and my mind was thinking like I was writing. 
Upon returning to the US, I started back with a busy work schedule with my focus on helping others, the writing flow started to slow down from a raging river to a trickle at best.  I’m not sure why.  When I was in India, there was so much newness, awe, and discovery.  I kept myself busy but my mind was less focused.  Now, I find my mind wanders constantly to my clients and things that I might help them with on their self-development journey.  Even when sitting in meditation this will happen or when I’m out enjoying myself.  I’m starting to catch this more and allow myself to let go of the thought, but I wonder how this preoccupation has been part of the obstacle for the flow of writing. 
It’s most likely one of those things that when we feel good, everything flows and when there are struggles, it takes more effort.  When I didn’t have a 40 hour a week job to fill my time, I had more attention to be inspired by the newness in my surroundings.  Now I’m in my culture, focused on a job to help pay the bills (though it’s also one I enjoy), and it does take more effort to sit down and allow myself the time to write.
I wonder if I were to give myself a 40 day challenge of writing three sentences a day, how that might allow time for me to create space for this in my life again…
Since I’ve written this today, I guess I’ve started.  Here we go, 40 days of writing (other than the tedious part of my job…paperwork.  Hmmmm, maybe that’s also contributed to the drying up of an urge to write in a more creative manner).

Here’s to 40 day challenges!!