Sunday, August 28, 2011

Update on the Weather Inside.

We don't have a TV at our house, so I get the weather report on Facebook. And that's also how I know who's running in the next election and who's at Starbucks in Dallas. Facebook. The absolute truth that we all have our very own chicken coop. I can also see what my yogi pal, Sonia, is up to over in Sydney, Australia. She's a single mom from Spain who loves to surf. Spanish women are overflowing with this amazing combination of passion and deep affection. I hope in my next life that I come back as one. I want a chance to lose my temper with my lover and spew out a string of Spanish cuss words like Penelope Cruz can do. To me, that's sexy. Forget high heels and lipstick. I'm talking black hair on fire, blazing dark eyes and slinging sexy Spanish cuss words all over the place.

How did I just go from the weather to the Spanish Cuss Word Throwing Goddess I long to be? Oh yea, my Chickens. Hold on, let me lasso them up. There! Oops. I pinched Patty's hip with the rope. That's okay. She needs a little rope burn from time to time.

So let me say here that this Blog situation has been a true delight in my little life. I look forward to opening the door on the coop and stepping inside and playing Barbara Walters with them. I don't have many readers yet, and that's exactly how I like it. Those of you who are enjoying the glimpse into my chicken coop have given me some really beautiful, humbling and inspiring feedback. You're telling me that what I'm saying here is affecting you. I have heard it's making you laugh and cry. It's touching you deeply. It's moving you. It's raw. It's palpable. A few of you have even reached out to me in emails to let me know that I should embrace Patty, my Addict Chicken. She's my Guardian, too, you say. She is both light and dark. All of your feedback has left me feeling so much compassion for all of us. Never have I felt so free from releasing and saying things that only a year ago I wouldn't have dreamed of writing to the public. It doesn't matter if it's 20 humans or 20 million. I AM STANDING IN MY OWN TRUTH WITH A MEGAPHONE IN MY HAND. And I am inspired to do this because I believe with all of my might (all of my chickens are making tiny fists right now) that we can heal those parts of us that feel miserable, broken, inferior and worthless. I believe we can embrace ourselves fully. I believe we can forgive ourselves and let go into a place in life where we live in the moment, just like we did as children. I believe it because I survived it, and everyday I grow into a little more love. I'm growing towards the light. We're all the same. I observe people everyday. It's my hobby. It's my research. You relate to my stories and they hit you in the heart because they are my truth, and they are our truth.

So thank you for sharing your words with me. Let's continue to share this journey.

A met a woman last summer out in Wimberley at Blue Rock Studios named Beth Wood. She was there recording her latest album, The Weather Inside. She's a brilliant song writer and has the voice of an angel. Her record is one of my favorites. It's raw and real. And the Title Track, The Weather Inside, grabbed me just with those three words.

Sometimes I reach into my heart's treasure chest and pull out my earlist memories. I picked up my baby book last time I was at my mom and dad's house, on my 41st birthday. My mother documented lots of things. I read things like "she's completely content by herself in her playpen at age one." "She makes up songs and so we sing every morning on the way to school." "She's content and peaceful." My mom saved some soft blonde hair from my first hair cut. I ran it through my fingers. It opened the old cracks in my heart. I cried really hard that night after reading that sweet book. I am still so very much that little girl, and at the same time, I miss her. I long for her. And so I keep reaching in and peeling back this ego I've created, loving and embracing the most destructive parts of me so that I can continue to heal my way through my adult life, embracing that little girl - content and peaceful, safe and trusting.

"The Weather Inside. This house, the weather inside. They've got to find some way to ride it out."

So what's my weather inside? It's like looking out at the ocean on a day when there is very little breeze. The air is thick and sweet. The sky is a soft pillowy blue. The water is mirroring the sky, making it lucid and colorless so that on the horizon, there is very little distinction between water and sky. And that's because it's inside my heart. There are no endings. There is only softness and deep, deep love.

My absolute truth is my commitment to ride it out. Whatever it is.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to Yoga and Folk!!

Octavia is calm and curious. We're not going in at full throttle, but my feet found their way back to my yoga mat this week.

Monday was a lovely day. I decided to return to Bikram's Torture Chamber, and it held true to it's name. PURE BIKRAM YOGA in Austin, Texas, delivers exactly that. My teacher, Marco, said he's been teaching for about 6 years. He taught with confidence and spoke slowly and I enjoyed the simplicity and precise method behind his teaching style. The heat/humidity combo was perfect after my 6 week absence- perfect in that way where it's hovering at the "oh shit" level, but never actually bringing me to my knees. I've done so much of Bikram's Yoga that my body has memorized the postures and the timing. So I know that the challenge in this class for these students was to endure Marco's extended second sets of each Asana.
I love watching the reaction students have when the timing has been altered a little, or the heat feels stifling. Even the most experienced Bikram Yogis will sometimes have difficulty hiding their frustration. I love practicing at Pure because I don't teach there, and haven't been a regular student since before training, so for the most part, I'm just another anonymous student. The classe are always full and the students give so much of themselves in each posture, so the energy is always high.

And so it went on Monday. Rodney was in front of me on his mat. He kept looking at me during the second set with one eyebrow raised as if he were saying "Really?? Are we STILL in Awkward Pose while Marco corrects three students' postures??" We were all feeling it. But for me, frustration gave way to compassion very quickly. And that always leaves my heart feeling lighter, my head dropping all expectations, and my humor kicking in on the last lap of postures and I push through with a beaming smile. Here's what Bikram taught us at training: "Don't ever let anyone steal your inner peace." So if Marco is successful at challenging our boundaries of inner peace because he's holding us in a posture longer than usual, then so be it. That becomes our yoga for the day: to remain present, unaffected, and still have an amazing class no matter who's teaching it, or how long you have to hold Awkward Pose.

What if we went through our days without reacting so much to the external, but rather, adjusting the knobs in our brains so that we're a little more accepting of what's going on around us, and at some point that acceptance turns into full on appreciation?
I went from feeling frustrated in class because the second sets were long, it was really hot, and I was dealing with the fact that I had stepped away from Bikram for longer than I ever have, since first finding it. I was thinking "not today, Marco. Give me a moderate to easy class, please." But Marco had another agenda. And at that point, it was up to me to adapt, accept and then appreciate it. And I did.

Towards the end, Rodney saw me smiling, even giggling, and he started smiling too. Energy is contagious, so be aware of what you're spreading. My postures weren't what they used to be, but I'm not hard on myself about that anymore. It was my mind that felt so balanced. I enjoyed the unpredictability of his teaching style. I enjoyed exploring my new limitations from my extended absence. I enjoyed watching other students around me hassle with their postures, the heat, and their brains trying to adapt, accept and appreciate it all. Some figured it out. Some left frustrated. I felt so good I could barely relax in Savasana at the end. I missed my friend, Bikram. I love what his yoga does for people. I love the challenges that come up for each of us because what lies on the other side of facing that challenge is a deeper love for yourself, and a stronger boundary around your own inner peace. Thanks, Marco, for testing me that way. I wanted a T-shirt that says "I survived Marco's second sets."

The day ended with a concert at Threadgills with Sam Baker. I was still floating on the yoga cloud, and landed in my chair with some old friends to listen to Sam's stories, songs and laughter. I watched as many musicicans showed up to listen and support Sam. Ray Bonneville, Oren Oubre, Jimmy LaFave, Raina Rose, Jess Klein, Audrey Auld... I had that moment of feeling completely content to be in this music community we have here in Austin. It's a community full of love and support. It's small and far reaching. It's hardworking and appreciative. It's inspiring.

What a day. Nothing extraordinary. Everything extraordinary. It's always my call.