Monday, 23 May 2011

An End That Is The Beginning

Well, blog followers, as you may have noticed...I missed Week 7 completely.  I was out of the country at a wedding in Jamaica.  It was definitely a week of indulgance, but I did manage to do morning yoga on my room deck 3 times, so that has to count for something right?!?

I didn't find out until I got back that the final week's challege was to do Savasana for 20 mins, 5 days straight.  I know that I do NOT rock the savasana in class.  I'm usually one of the first ones to leave class, due to childcare responsibilities.  I have gotten scolded by many a teacher on staying after practice. 

I think this probably would have been a very beneficial week for me to participate in, so I am sorry that I missed out.

Having said that...I am not sorry for spending a week in Jamaica!  I had never been anywhere south (past Florida~Disney)  It was not only a beautiful, relaxing place, but to get to meet locals, visit the straw markets where they sell their wares and bartering prices, it was fun and informative!

Every now and then I got to check the internet on a friend's iPad and the emails that inundated my hotmail account were mostly from the LYM facebook page.  I missed my Moksha family!!!  I had to spend a lot of time reading back through the page, and of course catching up with the always hilarious Wendy's blog.

I really can't believe this Challenge is over!  I hope that the page stays open, or that a new Moksha Sangha page opens on Facebook, so that we can all keep in touch and continue such open communication and guidance. 

I have learned so much about myself, who I am, what I want, all from opening myself up to these Challenges. 

I just finished reading Wendy's latest blog, and agree that a year is an awfully long time to wait for another LYM Challenge.  Maybe Wendy and I will have to get together and plan some weekly challenges to keep ourselves busy!

What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself. 
Hecato, Greek philosopher

Pooh had it right all along!

I have a Happy Buddha that I absolutely love.  His smiling face, his jolly belly, his stretched out ears.  Everytime I walk by him on my landing, he makes me smile. 

As a non-religious person, I always felt more partial to Buddism than to any other religion.  I always made a blatent statement of "if I had to choose a 'religion' it would be buddism"...until I started doing some very weak research.  This started about 15 years ago, when I picked up The Tao of Pooh.  Yes, I said Pooh, as in Winnie-The-Pooh.  Benjamin Hoff uses the characters from Winnie-The-Pooh to describe and explain the many facets of Taoism.

Right at the beginning of the book he takes the time to explain the differences, as he sees it, between Confucious, Buddist, and Taoist. 

The book starts with a description of the Vinegar Tasters, which is an actual painting portraying the three great eastern thinkers, Confucious, the Buddha, and Laozi over a vat of vinegar. Each tasting the vinegar of "life," Confucius finds it sour, the Buddha finds it bitter, but Laozi, the traditional founder of Taoism, finds it satisfying. Then the story unfolds backing up this analogy.  It was in this story that made it clear to me that what I am searching for is more in the Way of Laozi, as opposed to Buddha.

I am not looking to transcend this world for something greater, as in Buddha's teachings.  I am looking to love the life I live, not fight against it, searching for more or living in the past where mistakes were made.  I want to be happy in the now, enjoy every moment that I have and learn from everyone and everything around me.  This is the Tao Way.

"We don't need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for Fate to come knocking at the door. We simply need to believe in the power that's within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us." ~ Benjamin Hoff

Sunday, 8 May 2011

LYM Challenge ~ Week Six ~ Live to Learn

Made it through Week 5.  Unfortunately I was sick from Wednesday on!  Didn't get to class Thursday or Friday, but snotted my way through Hot Fusion on Saturday and did a 60 min Power Vinyasa Flow class in my living room on Sunday.  Reach out wasn't a week of a great deal of growth for me.  Being sick didn't help, but also I just wasn't sure how to reach out!  I did make the donation to the two charities for the week, so I did give myself some stickers!

Week 6 is Live to Learn.  This week's challenge is to devote one hour a day to learning something new, either by reading a novel recommended by fellow yogis, researching online or learning from a friend/colleague/yogi on the next mat.

I read A LOT.  I read a lot of fiction, and do find time to pick up non-fiction every now and then when the topic interests me.  I also enjoy watching documentaries, as you know from a previous blog on Enlighten Me (seriously, watch it!).

I have downloaded some of the books from the LYM Facebook page question on what books have affected your life.

This week, I am going to stop reading my trashy novel and start reading THE BOOK OF AWESOME.  I mean seriously, the title alone just screams AWESOME!

I am going to supersize my challenge this week, since reading is something I would normally be doing anyway, and I am going to learn the pronounciation and meaning behind the Sanskrit names for each posture in the Moksha series.  I love the sounds of the Sanskrit names.  The way they flow off the tongue, and I know I am probably pronouncing over half of them wrong.  All 40 poses may be ambitious, but if I eventually take the teaching course as I plan to, this is going to be something I will have to learn then!

Oh and P.S. yes I was quoted on the LYM Challenge Newsletter this week :)  If you haven't read The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, pick it up, it is seriously brilliant!

No amount of knowledge will nourish or sustain your spirit, it can never bring you ulimate happiness or peace.  Life requires more than knowledge; it requires intense feeling and constant energy.  Life demands right action if knowledge is to come alive. ~ Dan Millman

Friday, 6 May 2011

Enjoying the view

I have a beef I want to discuss.


Some women hear this word and cringe.  Especially at my age (33).  Not me, not now.  I have finally found happiness in my singledom.  I don't feel the need to be in a relationship, or really even be searching for one.  Sure I go out on dates, yes I talk to men, but this is not in the hopes of winding up in a relationship.

Now maybe I feel this way because I have been married.  Twice.  Yup...33 and been married twice.  Kinda feel like Ross from Friends with that one!  First time was young and stupid and knew before I even walked down the aisle that it was a disaster.  I really should have taken my fathers advice he was giving me as we were walking down the aisle and "run out and jump in the car that's waiting outside the door".  Seriously, that actually happened!  The second time, I found a man who was very good to me and my daughter.  He was a great father figure and loved her as if she was his own.  This was what held us together even though it was apparent we didn't have enough in common to make it last.  Number Two and I are still good friends who should have always been just that.  Friends.

Now I'm living in Singledom again.  It's cozy here!  I own my own home, car, have a stable job that I enjoy.  My daughter is happy and healthy and well cared for by me alone (well, with the exception of the emotional support provided by my parents)  I am at a point in my life where I realize I can do this on my own.  I don't need to be in a relationship to be happy, or taken care of, or financially comfortable.  I don't have to "report" to anyone or have anyone "report" to me.  I can do what I want, when I want, without hurting anyone else's feelings.

My girlfriends, who are mostly all coupled up, married, engaged, common-law, are always saying "you're an awesome girl and you'll find someone soon", or "it's when you're not looking for it that love shows up".  Well my answer to these is "Yes!  I AM an awesome girl, and that's ENOUGH" or "No, I'm not looking, and I don't care if love shows up"

Even my daughter gets in on this and says "Mom, you need a boyfriend".  This coming from my 12 year old who has a 'non-boyfriend' (because I don't believe in elementary school kids being able to date).  I am trying to instill in my daughter that a girl doesn't NEED a boyfriend.  That I'm HAPPY on my own.  Yes, I'll go on dates, but no, they won't become a regular fixture in my day-to-day life.  I don't want her to think a woman is to be defined by the relationship she is in.

In the past, I have been the type who jumps into a relationship with both feet.  Sink or swim.  Usually I wound up drowning.  I don't want to drown anymore.  I really enjoy floating along MY lazy river and enjoying the view.

"You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose." - Jo Courdert 

"Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free till they find someone just as wild to run with them." - Sex in the City

Sunday, 1 May 2011

It's a Family Affair :)

I am so happy :)  You want to know why?  Because my sister loves yoga!!!

My sister and I have always had a very tumultous relationship.  We were not friends growing up.  I didn't have a sister that I could talk to about my problems, and I'm sure she felt the same way about me.  She moved to Toronto four years ago.  And right before she moved away we had started to build a good relationship.  Now we talk on a regular basis, I go to her when I need advice and I like to think she comes to me too.  We laugh more, we share more, we seem to have more things in common.

Well of course my Facebook and Messenger status updates have been inundated with my yogic lifestyle and recently it sparked her interest enough to give it a go!

I was ecstatic when my sister told me she was going to try hot yoga!!  She went to a studio in Toronto that used infra-red heat.  Her first class was a beginners hot yoga class.  Well after the class she said the only thing beginner about it was that the heat might have been turned down.  She felt a little lost, but picked it up quickly and loved it!  She's been going Wednesdays and Fridays since the beginning of March :)  Her status' on the social sites now include her love of yoga and we have even MORE to talk about!

I'm heading to Toronto in May and had already made a date with her to head to the Moksha Yoga Downtown Toronto.  I cannot wait to share my love of yoga with my sister!! 

I woke up this morning to a message on my cell phone "I'm going to Moksha Yoga Milton" tomorrow morning :)"

I seriously cannot contain myself!!  I can't wait to hear her response to Moksha.  I know the heat is a lot more extreme than the infrared heated studio that she's been going to, but my sister is a sun worshipper.  She lives for laying out on the beach and the summer and the heat.  I know it won't bother her.  If anything, like me, it will help her get into her poses as the heat loosens up her muscles and allows her more movement.

So this is the last day of Week 4 ~ Sangha Support ~ LYM Challenge.  I made it to 4 classes this week, and hoping to get there at some point today as well.  I met some new yoginis at the studio.  I brought a friend for free to a practice.  My dear, sweet, loving friend, Melissa got accepted into the Energy Exchange program at our studio (YAY!)...and I'd like to think my constant pestering and badgering of the lovely and AWESOME Uriel had something to do with that!!   Overall I think it was a good Week 4!  Onto Week 5 ~ Reach Out!

And as a last note....let me just say....YAY JEN!!!!  :)

Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.  ~Margaret Mead