Hello Beautiful People,
Today I meditate in my living room with a banana mango smoothie at my footstep. It's cold outside. I dress in warm comfortable cloths and begin. I am from Chicago and it is WAY colder up there this time of the year. It's so uncomfortably cold up there this time of the year that I really dread going back home for the holidays to visit. The idea of being indoors all day long or go outside and freeze seems dreadful. I don't care what anyone says, you never get used to the cold, you just deal with it. I want to visit everyone up north but wonder how I can avoid the visit and go during a warmer time of the year. I am selling my house and if there is activity on it then I will have to stay. We will wait and see. We would drive so I can decide last minute if I'd like. All I know is that I'm freezing here in Florida and I don't like it and it's way worse up there.
My partner left with his friend to visit Chicago this weekend and I am watching the kids alone for 4 days. A part of me feels betrayed that he's taking someone else back home to visit despite the cold weather. I know I don't own Chicago, but I have a lot of family there and ever since we had kids, I have been the first person to get left behind so that someone watches children while he plays with his friends. They were my friends too at one time. I also spent a lot of time with these people. Is this just my ego? If it is then I'm wrestling with it big time. I notice that when I feel hurt I retreat completely. I pull away from someone all together. That is how I've felt lately, withdrawn. I don't dwell on this long because it is out of my control and I don't see any point in it other that I have an awareness. I especially notice it because I feel myself doing it with others.
I did a thai yoga workshop at my house yesterday for some friends. One of the girls was telling me about an old partner of hers. One thing I noticed was that she said he was "mine". I think about "mine" and ownership over someone or in my situation ownership over a place. This ownership is possessiveness and in the yamas of yoga there is a philosophy called, aparigraha or non-possessiveness. This possessiveness creates suffering. What we possess, possesses us. I think about simple language tools to help our minds think more non-possessive. For example when we introduce someone we know we often say, "this is MY friend" or "MY husband" or "My boyfriend". The use of the word MY is possessive. Instead we can say, "this is Suzy, a friend" or something like that. Now, I'm now very good at this but it is something that I think about, notice in other people's language and try to incorporate to avoid that feeling of possessiveness. I'm working on using less labels, ex: husband, boyfriend as I also notice these are loaded words with a lot of expectations behind them.
I shift to thinking about pranayama or breath work in my yoga choreography. In the past I have become a fan of a challenging fast yoga flow. There is nothing wrong with this but I am noticing that when I slow down, my breath work is richer. I think about choreography that is new or interesting to me and about slowing the transitions down to find that rich breath and to be more present. As I sit in my meditation, I breath in long full breaths and exhale long full breaths. I sit tall and it feels effortless.
I didn't change the laundry. I have an urge to get up and do it immediately and then I resist thinking pratyahara, sense removal and stay focused on my meditation. I think back to the beginning of the time when I first started to enjoy writing. It was my freshman year in college. I went to University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign and an old boyfriend went to University of Iowa. He was from my home town so I knew him from high school. We dated 4 years apart and I fell completely madly in love with him. We used to write emails when the internet was just coming out and we wrote letters. I used to decorate my letters with different color puffy paint, perfume and lipstick. Inside I would write using different color ink on every like. Sometimes we would make each other tape mixes of our favorite songs and I would listen to them over and over again. He would also write me the most beautiful letters that I treasured and kept for a very long time until my parents sold their house and it was time to let go. Sometimes we would send flowers or candy or he sent me a singing gorilla on my birthday, always with a sweet special note. It was a beautiful time of my life, being in love and so happy. I loved being with him and couldn't wait to see him every chance I could get. It was the first time I expressed myself through writing and is probably still the reason why I love it so much. I don't do it now as much simply because of time and the lack of it, especially being a mother and a small business owner.
This morning I race kids off to school. I have a hard time finding Pepper's uniform and I feel irritated that her room is a mess and that things aren't organized. The kids are often crabby in the morning and Pepper wet the bed again!!! Ahhhhh! She is potty trained but she has been having issues lately. I watch her liquids before she goes to bed and make sure she goes before she sleeps but she sleeps heavy. She asks if she can sleep with me and I say no way. I don't like to wake up to someone peeing on me:). Honestly I love sleeping with the kids but if I sleep with them one time then they want to sleep with me every night and it's hard to get them back into their own room.
I love my mornings like this empty house, quiet time, creative time. Timer goes off.
Until next time...
Right before I do my meditation and the night before I start my Tantra training. I have books of the topic but instead I choose to start by watching videos to gain a grasp of the concept and then go deeper with the readings. I notice that if you think about something right before a meditation then you can focus your meditations on a particular thought. Right now I'm thinking about aligning my consciousness with universal consciousness. What does that look like? How do you go about doing that? And once I've achieved it then how do I know I'm there? They mention in the videos that the only way to universal happiness is to get into alignment with universal consciousness. Service is mentioned in the videos to reach a higher consciousness. What would be my service? What do I have to offer? Another aspect of Tantra that I learn is to control our animal instincts, our desires? I think about how this relates to the open relationship that I have been in. I think about how the attachments to people and our possessiveness leads to suffering. I see how less labels and less rules the better because these things are ways of us trying to control our future instead of living each moment in the moment. The less we try to know the unknown the better. This way things that we could not have possibly predicted become a possibility for us and we begin to find flow in our lives. As I watch the tantra videos, I notice how I am already practicing tantra through my yoga practice, I just didn't put it together. Tantra is often mistaken only for the sexual aspects but the bigger picture is often missed. Simply practicing the 8 Limbs of Yoga for example is already practicing tantra. I have so much more to learn and it is exciting. I'm learning at a faster rate than I ever have in my life because I have a real hunger and thirst for it. Adding in this meditation practice is allowing me to learn from within instead of only reading books. I see how I can tap into this inner source and allow God to speak through me, create through me and align me. All I need to do is surrender and trust and find the quiet. Learn to listen better, talk less and observe. I love how tantra says that if you don't get what you want in life then that was simply not on your path to higher consciousness. It takes the offensiveness out of life as you simply try to find your path and stop resisting the path that has been closed off to you. It's all our inner guidance.
I notice energetically a shift in the way people act towards me now that I've moved out on my own. I feel approval and as if things have opened up for me in a way. I feel the pressure to conform to the way that the majority of society lives. This is good, that is bad. This is the right choice, that is the bad choice. It's like I can hear the judge of society all around me. I'm the same person. I'm still a human being trying to do my best in life. I want room to explore freely through trial and error and not have to live up to others expectations. It's as if I'm playing a chess game and the strategy of my life and my game has changed simply by the change in my relationship. I think about how we learn so much from our relationships. Why is this person in my life? What am I here to learn from them, about them and most importantly about myself? I notice how I have a lot of questions and I'm trying to figure them out. This is the fun part. All of these questions point us into a direction in life. Where is it taking me? I don't know but I'm honestly enjoying the ride, the things that still trigger me and the past wounds that I have yet to heal.
I think back to that cruise ship, The Amsterdam on Holland America to a lady in her 80's or 90's named Dolly. This woman was terribly cruel to me and the kids. I remember being up on the pool deck trying to order drinks for the kids and I and I was holding River but Pepper wanted to run. She is only 3 and has an excitement for life that is insatiable. She won't sit still and runs off. I'm hoping the waiter hurries but it seems to take a long time. I turn around and see Pepper hopping from one empty lawn chair to the other, back and forth on the deck. I am alone and I have no-one to help me and feel stuck. At first I think, no-one is up here anyway except a few people and Pepper is not getting hurt so who cares. Dolly says Pepper's behavior is appalling and from that moment was very negative to us. She would often say to me, "She's not supposed to be up there", "This is not a place for kids". She would scowl at us and often talk negative and loudly about us so we could hear but pretend like we couldn't. One time when we were at port and waiting my the curb for a cab, she was on one side of us and looking for her friend. They would snicker and say go around right in front of us and loudly. I would watch Dolly hunker down like a witch and do a large half moon shape walk far around us and make it to her friends and say how she made it. This behavior was very passive aggressive and very childlike. I think it's strange to watch this older woman act so immature and consciously try to hurt someone, especially children. I hated Dolly. She was my nemesis on the cruise. It didn't matter if I tried to be nice to her, which I did often try to be the bigger person and say hello. She wanted nothing to do with me and I couldn't do anything about it. She acted like my children were germs and they could somehow pollute her. There was a part of me that loved Pepper's innocence as she wants to play and explore on the ship. Pepper happened to be an expert swimmer at only 3 years old. There was a running track around the pool and one day people stopped and screamed at Pepper diving at the bottom of the pool. Pepper would often clean the pool on the ship of all the stuff on the bottom with her diving skills. This scared someone on the running track as they thought she drowned. Of course I was limited to sitting next to the pool and couldn't go in because River wasn't allowed in the pool at 1 because he was still in diapers. Pepper had energy, lots of it and she needed to release it. If she wanted to swim in that pool then I was going to let her. I felt a protectiveness to protect her vibrant spirit as I felt the repression of people on the ship such as Dolly. Pepper was amazing and there was a certain part of me that enjoyed her infectious joy for life as she ruffled others feathers. I felt like these people would be happier in life if they weren't so rigid and repressed. Of course I see compromise and as a parent I was constantly trying to in a positive way teach her. Every mistake I simply look at as a learning opportunity. Watching Pepper grow was exciting and I wanted some of her enthusiasm in life. She was my inspiration because she wasn't worried about what anyone else thought of her. She simply lived. She lived life to the fullest and she was joyful. She had a mentor on the ship Jeffrey. He was a larger black man in his 30's who was her teacher in the kids club. He was amazing with her. He listened to her. He created with her. He loved her. I have so much love for the way that man was able to help my child. He was my friend on the ship and understood and felt compassion for the way I was being treated. Not only by Dolly but may others as well. If we really are one then how come we can't love our children as much as we love an adult. They are smarter than us. We can learn a lot from them and I want to be around people who embrace their beauty. At the end of the ship I find out that Dolly had children or knew children that she was close with who died. I know this was why she treated me and the kids the way she did. I felt compassion for her and understood but I was still hurt by her.
Anyway, I'm off to go to work. Until tomorrow.
Hello my lovelies,
Today I wake up at 7:30am and go out on my back lanai, curl up in a blanket to stay warm in the chilly Florida winter, cross my legs and get comfortable. I look out at my view and think that I'm truly blessed to live where I do. It's a modest 3 bedroom 2 bath house but it's perfect. It's on an oversized yard, almost an acre and I have it decorated just the way I like it and the back of the house is all windows overlooking trees and nature. I see so many squirrels spiraling up the trees, chasing each other and playing games. They run on the screen of my pool house and I think, how can I keep them off of there so they don't destroy my screen. I breathe and relax and close my eyes.
My mind wonders, I am selling my house and I think of which things to keep and which things to sell. Even though I love my house, I want to be closer into the city so I can reach a larger group of cliental. It has been a great four years. The funny thing is that I finally have the house close to the way that I like it and now I'm selling it. I hardly got to enjoy all the upgrades that I added. Doesn't life always seem to work that way, we work so hard to achieve something and once we achieve it we want something else? I breathe in the cool air and listen to the squirrels chirp. I feel nostalgic. I might be really sad leaving this house. I put a lot of energy into it, painting the inside and outside, installing tile, painting and removing shelves from the garage, swapping out light fixtures and shutters and installing wood floors, new air conditioner, new hot water heater and new screens for the garage. I always wanted a beautiful place to live. Now that I live in this house alone it feels too big, too much to maintain. I can honestly say that the house is owning me at this point. It's a lot of work to take care of a house, two kids and work alone. These are busy years for me.
I always liked to write, mostly emails and pen pal type relationships. It's only now that I write a blog for everyone to see. I never thought I was skilled enough to write. It's funny how we put limitations on ourselves. I'm really enjoying this blog. Somehow putting myself out there in a very real way feels good. I'm surprised by who has commented on enjoying it and I feel excited. Maybe I should be a writer? I don't know but I'll keep writing and see where it takes me.
I keep meeting people who go to Pagen festivals, call themselves witches or wizards and I've had visions of magic. I also have been reading angel cards and looking at all sorts of mystical things. Maybe it's a sign. Maybe I need to write about magic. How can I tap into that inner child of mine and create an imaginary world? It's so fun to think about.
Anyway, I also think about the different relationships in my life. I think about the things I like and don't like about them. Maybe this is my inner judge. Either way, it's been fun.
30 minutes and my timer goes off. Until next time.
Hello, wow I'm so tired today. Last night I taught a detox twist yoga class and there were only a few students in the class who were more advanced so I was able to make it a more challenging class. It was super fun but I was drained. My ex-husband and Tristan, a dear friend, came over for dinner with the kids and we made dinner and hung out on the lanai while the kids played with their toys. Right before bedtime, my 3 year old son, River crawls all over me. He wants to wrestle. I turn my hand into a claw and open and close my fingers and pretend to attack him. He holds my hand away and giggles with sheer joy. He lets go and I tickle him while he squeals laughter shaking his head side to side while he pushes my hand away for relief. We play this game for awhile and my little girl Pepper 6 years old, wants to get in on the giggles. She says mommy, let me see the claw. I now have two babies in my arms and two hand claws attacking them with tickles while they scream and laugh and say "no, no, no" and as soon as my hand is away they say "again". Their laughter is infectious. I see their daddy smiling, Tristen laughing and I am giggling non-stop saying "I like you and I dip down to kiss their soft plump cheeks". They are the sweetest kids, my heart is full. They like to wrestle every night and get lots of hugs and tickles every night. River gets so excited he starts screaming a little too loud. I say bedtime. He whimpers but we go anyway, brush our teeth and go to bed. River still needs a diaper at night. We cuddle in bed and they can't keep their hands to themselves. They touch my nose, my hair my eyes, River sits on me. "Please go to sleep, I say". Now I'm really tired. I finally say last hug and kiss and slither out of the room. My kids daddy and Tristan leave and I get to sleep. Hooray! I love sleep and I really want it. I have the best bed!
The next morning I over sleep and I have to get the kids to school, ahahahahaha! I have to turn my phone to do not disturb when I teach class so the music plays without interruption but I forgot to turn do not disturb off. I run around like a crazy woman getting them ready, brushing my teeth, making Pepper's lunch and getting dressed. My ex-husband comes over to take the sleeping babies to school and I have to run to work to teach a hot yoga class. The kids were difficult because they like to wake up slowly and don't like to rush in the morning. I teach a class and then take a hot yoga class and then race back to pick up River since he is in school only 1/2 days. I come home make lunch and sneak outside while River watches Transformers. I'm glad he's tired too because it give me a chance to sit on the back lanai for 30 minutes of quiet time.
I turn on the alarm, and breath in one more view of the trees while I listen to the leaves rustling in the wind and close my eyes. I'm so tired that I really struggle to stay awake. I sway side to side. I cross my legs and sit of tall. About 5 minutes into my meditation I forgot that I have the hose on to fill the pool! Ahhhh! I remember because I hear someone in the pool. I open my eyes and see the pool service man cleaning my pool. I think of pratyahara, sense deprivation, and think don't let anything disturb your meditation. Then I think of my pool overflowing and I stop the timer, get up and introduce myself to the pool man and ask about the water. He says it's fine and can run a little longer. Ok, I go back up and meditate.
My mind wanders to the farmer's market the day before. I think of the people I met up with there, our conversations, the introductions, new friends and the beautiful day. I introduced my ex-husband to a friend of mine, my friend introduces me to his friends. I think of the projects that we will work on, an assisted thai yoga workshop coming up and some possible film projects. I get excited about the work.
Next my mind jumps to the Amsterdam Cruise ship on Holland America. About 3 years ago, my mother took me and my 2 kids on a cruise around the world. She was trying to help me and could see my unhappiness in my marriage and with being a new mother. She believed showing me the world was a better education instead of financially helping. Plus she wanted to spend the time with me and the kids and this was something she wanted to do. She goes on world cruises every year. I appreciate all that she has done for me but honestly, I shouldn't have gone on that cruise. She wanted me to get divorced because she thought I deserved better. She took me on the cruise to separate me from my husband so that I could see another life. The cruise was beautiful but it was elegant and not a place for young kids. It was mostly older people on the ship and they did not like little kids. Actually, some of them were down right viciously mean. It only made me feel more lonely. It caused stress on my parents. River was only 1 and the cruise kids care wouldn't take him in the day care. We often set up his train set by the pool that he wasn't allowed to use because he was still in diapers and chased this cute little 1 year old all over the ship. It was exhausting to be honest. When we traveled at ports, it was also difficult because I had to push the stroller everywhere. Some cities had tons of stairs, unpaved roads, difficulty getting the stroller in and out of cabs, kids crying in the cars etc. My mother and I often got into fights and one time I was feeling so low, I went off to travel alone in Hoi An Vietnam. I went to Marble Mountain with the stroller and went up and down all the stairs to see it. I loved Hoi An. Next I went to the town and got lunch, lots of tropical fruits and strolled up and down the most adorable town filled with textile shops. I stopped in one shop and frantically tried on dresses as fast as I could while the kids slept. Finally I race back to where the bus takes you to the ship except it was gone. The taxi takes me straight to the port. I see the ship is about to leave and full out sprint with the two kids in the stroller weaving in and out of the shipping buildings and containers to get to the ship. They were about to pull up the ramp and leave and they see us. Everyone cheers "hooray" and I wave like I'm some kind of movie star. I'm so relieved to make it to the ship. As I push the stroller up the ramp to the boat, my mother charged after me like she was going to hit me and was screaming at me in front of everyone. It was humiliating. I messed up the times to return because someone told me the wrong time. I should have checked it anyway. I remember feeling so sad to be traveling alone with the kids and all the fighting with my mother and issues with my marriage and the difficulty of being a new mother that I lost sight of my self worth. My father picked up my daughter and simply hugged her. He was worried too but didn't yell, he was just happy to see us and glad we were ok. After my mother left, patrons came up to me and told me that no-one ever has the right to treat me that way, no matter what. I made an excuse for my mother saying she was worried. I don't know why she had to make a show of correcting me in front of everyone other than she was embarrassed and wanted other people to know she was doing what she could to discipline her 40 year old daughter. I felt guilty because I knew I was so privileged to even be on the ship with her but I was miserable and I couldn't wait to get off. There were formal dinners and I had a 1 year old and a 3 year old who could barely sit down for dinner let alone last a full hour. It was difficult for me because I was doing it alone and I could feel my mother's embarrassment of me struggling with the kids. I often ate in the cafeteria or in my room. I cruised with my parents for four months. I remember my father wasn't always around either. I thought he didn't want to be around me and the kids and took it personally. He was busy doing word searches, trying to reverse his Alzheimer's. He was completely frightened of death. He stopped hanging out with everyone, not just me. He stopped doing his favorite activities, the cruise lectures on the history of every port. Talks with his friends Della & Jack amongst many other people. When we traveled at port, he often with alone with the Catholic priest and many times it was only me and my mother with the 2 kids. I didn't realize it at the time how sick he was. 3 years later, I see how rapidly his disease was taking him over. I used to be mad as him, now I just feel compassion. He was just afraid and I had so many of my own struggles that it was hard for me to be there for him. I was on duty full time on that ship with barely a breath to break.
Now my mind jumps to back in Clermont, FL right after I had kids. Looking back on it all, I was so sure of myself being a mother and I was going to video myself and teach other mother's "how to do it right". Well, I realized that I was a hot mess being a new mom. I was not prepared for the lack of support, the complete loss of myself with no more free time, the changes in my body and not being structured enough to create any kind of balance in my life with getting kids to sleep or anything. Right after I had my second child, River, I went into post-pardon depression. I felt fat. I didn't have time to get ready, so I stopped caring. I wanted to nurse my kids until they weaned themself which I did but I didn't go out as much because of it. I did nurse openly in public but we moved to Clermont, didn't know anyone anyway. My ex-husband was sick with Lyme Disease and he was unhappy too. The two of us together alone in a new town, across country with little help raising a new family and having to start new careers took a toll on our marriage. When I was on the cruise I got back in excellent shape. My mother was kind enough to watch River for 2 hours for me every morning so I could exercise 1 hour and take a 1 hour water painting class while Pepper was in the kids care. My exercise and painting was my biggest break being a mother and it did help me. I am grateful for my mother trying to help. I only wish we could have gotten alone better.
When I got off the ship and came home, my ex-husband & I decided to have an open marriage with hopes of that co-parenting and outside experiences could helping things. I mostly realized how angry I was and how much I was ignoring it. When we opened our marriage, anger came bursting out of me and I couldn't stop. Perhaps I was mostly angry with myself but I didn't know that at the time. Lots of changes needed to happen and they were very painful. My biggest challenge was that I had to find myself again. Somehow I lost myself into being the good wife, supporting my husbands business and raising the two kids. I was working all the time but for everyone else and never myself. What did I want to do in case this open marriage didn't work? I didn't know. I had to re-invent myself and figure out a new life. Starting over was scary but also a time for my biggest growth. I went kicking and screaming into finding myself and recovering my soul over the next 2 to 3 years.
The timer dings, my time is up. I open my eyes. I feel like I was in a dream. I am blessed and I am willing to do whatever I need to do to come into the fullest expression of myself. What else do I need to do? What else needs to heal for me to move forward? I'm working on it. I'm opening my heart and soul to the world in hopes that maybe it helps someone who also felt the same way that I did at one time realize that they are not alone. We are all on a ride, a journey to heal ourselves and discover our soul. I am not perfect. I don't know everything but I know I'm on the right path for the first time in my life. In the past I was always driven by fear. Now I'm running into my fear, overcoming it and healing past wounds one memory at a time. I recently sent my mother a text as she is on another cruise and I told her that I love her and I know things are messed up between us and I wanted to apologize for my part in it. I want to forgive. I want to love. I want alignment with my purpose on this earth. If this touches you then I encourage you to start a meditation yourself. Don't judge your thoughts, simply be aware of them like a witness. What are they telling you? Peace Peace Peace, love love love.
Hello beautiful people,
Today I wake up early at 6:30am. I sit on my couch on my lanai and look out at my view of nature. I’m so blessed to have an amazing backyard with lots of trees, a garden and a retention pond to buffer the space between neighbors. My house is in a sub-division but it feels like I’m out in nature as podacarpus bushes line one side of the property, there is a forest in front of the property and the backyard is all trees and a retention pond with lots of nature. I can hear the birds chirping and there is a rustle in the trees and grass. Life is all around me and I love it. The weather in Florida is slightly chilly in the morning and I wrap myself up in a blanket and close my eyes. I breath in the cool fresh air and listen to the outdoors. I sit upright on the couch with my feet touching the ground. I’m hoping that I’ll be more comfortable in this position without my leg falling asleep.
I think of all the things I have to do during the day. Clean the house for a showing, teach yoga at 9 and at 5, stop by the farmer’s market, clean, take kids to the park and do some office work. Planning definitely is a part of my thoughts. I like things orderly and organized that way I can get the most out of my day. I think of all the different ways that I can market and grow my business. Different creative thoughts sneak into my mind. I think about workshops, retreats, photos, videos and making voice-overs. I have so much to do that stopping is difficult for me. I also think about all the things that I need to do to sell my house. Should I sell all my furniture and start over or should I sell only the stuff I don’t need to downsize? How can I simplify my life? Is it a bigger pain to move and store my stuff for some time until I buy a new place? Or is it better to sell it and buy new when I’m settled? There’s so many big girl decisions to be made and honestly, I don’t want to do it. I want to be like a child again and have someone else decide for me. What if I make the wrong choice? Ugh. I love my house but I feel lonely at it. It’s on the south west edge of Clermont, FL and seems far from everything. It’s almost in the country. I gain nature but it’s not so fun to enjoy all the beauty with noone to share it with and I like to go out but I don’t as much because of the distance.
I have a desire to be around like minded people so we can co-create and find synergy. I have a lot of skills. How can I use them to serve better? I know everyone would benefit from all the healing modalities that I have to offer. How can I share them? I want to reach out to people to create an open community for everyone to share, socialize, learn and grow. I learn so much from relationships and I really love people so much. It’s part of the reason why I share my life with everyone. I want to invite you in and get to know you. I love their stories about the ups and downs of their lives. We all live so differently. There’s lots of options. How do you choose to create the happiest life possible?
My back hurts a little as I meditate. I sit up taller. The phone rings and I turn it off, 5 minutes to go. I think about pratyahara, or sense deprivation. It’s the removal of the five senses during meditation to stay focused. The distractions are a part of my work in meditation and I’m challenged but starting to learn. The alarm rings, time is up. I open my eyes, drink in the surroundings, smile and get up. Time to start the day. Peace, peace, peace. Much Love.
I'm so tired today. I stayed up till 2am talking with a friend. If I didn't have to work and teach yoga the next day at 8am then I could have stayed up all night laughing and goofing around. Responsibilities, ugh. I make it to the studio, teach a class and take the following class. It felt so good to flow in class and push myself even though I was tired. I've been slacking and I've been having a harder time taking class. I come home and ride my bike while the kids scooter to the neighborhood park and we have a blast playing on the beach, catching mini clams, watching schools of minnows and I rest. The weather is beautiful, the sun warms my body and I reminisce about all the fun times of yesterday until sand flies in my face. For some reason Pepper throws sand on me. I stay calm and explain to her that I don't like that. My sweet baby apologizes and we hug. I don't get angry because she is learning and only 6. I make a point to be present and to love her unconditionally. The kids make it over to the play ground and play imaginary Halo games for an hour. I'm amazed by their imaginations, lack of judgement and the fluidity of their imaginary games. They giggle and laugh while they climb ladders, hang on poles, slip down slides, play dead and swap imaginary Halo guns.
We make it back to the house where I feed them longan's, mangos and soup. They are calm, worn out and happy. My son says "mommy, you da best mommy. I luv you.". My heart bursts. I give him the biggest hug and kiss him everywhere while he giggles. I've been told to slow down by many people and so I do, for them and for myself. Today I rest.
I give them their tablets, River watches Halo on tv and they rest after so much active play. I sneak into my bedroom, close the door, sit in front of the window, set the timer and meditate. Bliss. What I've been dreading is now what I crave. I dreaded meditating and I didn't appreciate the value of it. In the past, if no action was taking place and then I considered it useless. I see how this precious quiet space is a vessel for God to speak through me. I have a sincere desire meditate and I respect for its importance. For me, the constant do'er, this activity of stillness has become my golden 30 minutes. The task of witnessing my thoughts and writing about them is helping me understand where my growth is needed.
With my eyes closed, I think about the wizard that I met at the drum circle last night. In a previous meditation I saw visions of a wizard and a little boy in a forest and that magic is real. Now, I meet someone who calls himself a wizard and I believe him. He knows how to read my cerebral mind and tells me to stop and find stillness. He says this is where all my growth will happen. All these distractions that I have while I meditate are my opportunities to work through the distractions and stay meditating even while they happen. For example, last time I meditated, a dog threw up and was eating his throw up. He says, instead of getting up to let the dog out, it is my work to sit through it. Ugh! Now that's a challenge. He says think of Buddha who had a mosquito biting him while meditating and he maintains his stillness. We talk for a long time but don't connect on a deep level until we stop talking and simply look into each other's eyes for ten minutes. Electricity happens and through this connection, energy flows all throughout my body. We smile at the end, because we both felt each other and are somehow bonded. I leave and go home to hang with my out of town friend who chats with me all night.
I think of the kids playing at the beach and park and reminisce about their joy while they played. My daughter walks into the room while I meditate and asks me to open her raspberry sherbet ice cream. She asks me what I am doing and I tell her I am meditating. What is that mommy? It's where I sit in a quiet room and close my eyes while staying awake. She leaves and my mind races to a memory of my father. Deja Vu. I remember walking into the basement at our old house in Schaumburg, IL and he was meditating. I must have been around 10. He was embarrassed and jumped up and stopped. I remember this was something very private for him. I remember asking him what it was and I don't completely remember what he said but I think it was something about creating happiness. My dad was a very depressed and lonely man. He never really overcame his depression. Next my mind jumps to my daughters bedroom where she has all his stuffed animals. When I would stay at his house in The Villages he had stuffed animals everywhere. He used to say that they were his friends and they would talk to him and they were watching him. He named one stuffed animal Betsy the Cow and had a voice and a personality for this stuffed animal. My mother and him used to fight so much when we grew up. Bad fights where the police were called. He used to drink a six pack a night. It was mostly my mom who would be yelling at everyone. She was over worked and tired, so was he. My mom had five children and her PHD before she was 29. The stuffed animals remind me of how lonely he was, busy raising so many kids and in a dysfunctional marriage. He escaped through this childlike play as an adult. He had so many trauma in his life and didn't know how to talk through his pain. I know he didn't know how to process his feelings because nobody in our family did. There was a lot of yelling, fighting, violence and hurt feelings. Somewhere in the middle of that was love. I love my dad so much. He did so many nice things for me. He is sick with Alzheimer's and gone on a cruise in Asia. My mother says it's cheaper than a nursing home. He is having incontinence issues and cries and my mom has her own struggling health issues has to take care of him. My heart breaks for his fear and anxiety. I wish I could take that away from him so he could find peace in his final years.
I remember more because I write immediately after my meditation. My leg tingles and I lengthen it while I sit up tall. I feel gratitude because I have been making lots of new connections in my life, meaningful ones. I feel happy that I am making new friends who are helping me process all my emotions. My 300 hour yoga teacher training is challenging me as my teacher pierces my heart with growth. She encourages me to process my traumas. I cry so much during training. I'm blessed to be able to do this, to heal. Somehow I am finding so many spiritual connections. Each one has been giving me a piece or a next step to transcend me deeper and deeper into my truth. Where does my fear sneak in? Where do I slip out of my authenticity? How can I live my life unapologetically while I fiercely search for my soul which somehow seems lost. I am loving all the colors that each of these beautiful people bring to my life. My life is developing a richness that I haven't had before. Joy. Bliss. Love.
The alarm goes off. Goodbye, besos!
I stayed at my friend's house last night to avoid driving an hour late at night because I go out with another friend for her birthday. I sit across from him in front of his window. We sit cross legged and go. At first I am distracted by his energy listening to his breathing and presence. My mind is more manic than normal, jumping from thought to thought. Maybe it's the excitement from sitting across from someone. I sit up tall and I'm surprised by how much taller I can lengthen my spine. I notice that after time my spine shrinks and I have to keep lengthening. Repeat. My leg falls asleep and my foot goes completely numb. Do I have to be uncomfortable when I meditate and just suffer through it? I adjust my legs a little and go. I think of the burlesque show the night before called Lady Guys vs Ladies. I loved the creativity of everyone's performances and how much they unapologetically owned their sexuality. Every performer was very inspiring and they encourage me to be brave. I think of my Thanksgiving day plans, will I make it back for yoga or should I go out for breakfast? I'm hungry. I listen to the silence and there are moments of emptiness. It feels good to sit here and just be. Finally the meditation is over. I have to move my leg out of the way because it is numb and I have to wiggle my toes to feel them again. I open my eyes and see the beautiful person sitting in front of me. I smile. Gratitude.
I meditate late at night this time in my airbnb house that I live in now. I moved out of Darrel's place so that I can sell the home. I sit cross legged on my bed and close my eyes, cup my hands and escape. I focus on breathing. My friend in yoga has to get her gall bladder removed and I think about our conversation. I was recommending to her not to get it done because gall stones are caused by animal products and there is a chance that if she water fasted and changed her diet to plant based then she could save her gall bladder. She says it's too late because she already paid for the surgery and is sad about missing yoga. I am sad too because she is such a hard worker. She has been coming to classes regularly and dropped her weight from 174 to 132 through yoga. I'm so proud of her and her progress. I hope she is ok and the surgery goes well. I respect her and her choices but I worry. Why worry because there is nothing I can do anyway? She has to walk her own path.
I am biking the next morning with my friend from yoga. This girl is awesome, great energy and I'm excited to go and happy to have made so many new friends since I moved to Florida. I'm so grateful for all the beautiful people in my life and all the loving support that I have been given during some very difficult times. The trail where we will bike is beautiful, lots of nature, solitude, exercise and great conversation. Life can be awesome!
I am writing this post a few days after the meditation and I notice that if I write about it right after then I remember more. If I wait my memory gets amnesia! I can hardly remember my witnessing of my thoughts if I wait. I see the importance of logging your thoughts so you can review them and see if there are any patterns or nagging thoughts. That is our intuition telling us something and I wonder how I can listen better. I get very restless at the end of the meditation checking the time almost every minute at the end. I'm so tired and I want to close my eyes and sleep. I'm exhausted from moving back into my house and happy that I was able to squeeze in a meditation today.
Today I'm up at 6:30am, I sneak into the living room to meditate. I unroll a yoga mat, cross my legs, sit upright and close my eyes. I try to be present up I hear a buzzing distracting me. I swat my hand all over my head and look around. Is that my imagination or is there a mosquito trying to bite me? I keep hearing the mosquito and I keep swatting from time to time. I think about my Airbnb. I have a house that I use as a vacation rental and I'm getting pressure from my neighbors and the condominium association to end it. I worked with a realtor to list my home. Now I am trying to see if I can get the people who have already booked the place through the holidays or not. I think about different towns to live in or if I should stay close. I think about moving back into my Airbnb. It scares me because I am not making very much money teaching yoga. I think about business, how to grow mine. In a weird way, moving back into my house is scary and also a relief. The universe is pushing me into this direction and I'm going to trust that this is what is right for me. It's also exciting to think about so many changes about to happen. I hear a dog throwing up in the other room. Are you kidding me? I hear him trying to eat it so I rush up to let the 4 dogs we have today out and pick up the vomit. I go back to my seat, the mosquito is gone now. Almost all my thoughts are about the future. I have some anxiety over it but make an effort to trust. It's time to create an even more beautiful life than I'm living now. I dream about all the beautiful things that I want in my life. Time to get them:) . Maybe life becomes exciting now.
I meditate sitting up in bed today. The house is quiet and I don't want to wake anybody up. I think about people I connect with almost the whole time. Friends, lovers, potential lovers, ex-lovers, family, people I work with, peers, etc. I think about them all but especially lovers. Who would be fun to go out with? Who have I had fun with? How did I feel with I was with this person or that person? I think about intimacy and how much I want it. Why do we like the people that we do and not others? I think about controlling my desires because they can cause a lot of suffering. Can I get to a place where I am simply present all the time and there is nothing to desire because whatever it is that I want is right there in front of me, in the moment? This meditation almost feels like a dream, especially since I just woke up and I'm still sitting in my bed. The time flies...meditation over.
Wow, it feels like I've been meditating forever and it's only day 11. I wake up at 6 today because the dogs are whimpering so much. My partner is a dog trainer and he left for the night to go to his girlfriends house so I'm on dog duty. We have 3 dogs at the house. 1 is his demo dog, Cosmo and 2 are client dogs. I have an open relationship and this is a part of it. We often alternate who goes off with another partner. It feels so vulnerable to share this part of my life but it's real and authentic. It's a really long story on how it all started, how we became comfortable with opening our relationship after 9 years of monogamy. I sometimes wonder if I ever really got comfortable with it or if it was a bandaid for our broken relationship. Yes something had to change in our relationship because we both became so unhappy. I was willing to try anything to find peace because the route we were on was not working. We have 2 babies together and we figured if we got divorced we would be dating other people anyway. If we open our relationship then we can support each other through this change and help raise the kids together. We have had an open relationship for about 2.5 years now. I have to admit, I do like some of the alone time and it has been a relief to our relationship to spend some time apart. We did everything together and became very co-dependent. Opening things up has pushed us into re-claiming our independence.
I let the dogs run in the yard for about 45 minutes, go back to sleep and then let them back in and begin to meditate. It's cold outside so after letting the dogs back in I hide under my covers to warm up. I'm freezing at 48 degrees out. I'm from Chicago and my friends and family would laugh at me because it gets really cold up there. Snow. Ice. Sleet. Below freezing, etc. Either way, it's too cold for me to go outside and meditate right now. I have my 2 kids in the house, Pepper 6 years old and River 3 years old and I want to be around in case they wake up. I sit up on my bed, covers draped all over me, I close my eyes, sit cross legged, set the timer and go. For the first 15 minutes, one of the new dog whimpers the whole time. I feel my body tense up at each whimper and I can't fall into my meditation. Honestly I get really mad and angry. I just want quiet and I already let this dog out for a long time. I go in and out of a dream state with each whimper. Then my phone dings 2 times. I turn it to do not disturb. I simply realize how distracted my life is. I'm trying to do a simple task like meditate for 30 minutes a day and I struggle so much to do it. I'll be way more successful if I wake up before the kids to do it but I wrestle with dog distractions. Ugh. I go to the dogs cage and bang on it and say quiet. The dog stops. In the dog training world, if I let the dog out of the cage, knowing that it just went out because it was whimpering then I just untrained the dog. The dog learns that crying equals getting out of the kennel. You only let the dog out when they are quiet and calm. Then they don't associate crying to get what they want.
I can't help but to think about moving out and getting my own place as I listen to these dogs all morning. I'm tempted but I'm afraid. There is convenience and financial benefits with us living and raising the kids together. My job isn't really enough money to support myself at this time. I need to keep growing my business, it's only been a year. I could live off my savings but that really scares me. We do love each other very much but is that enough? The dog finally stopped whimpering. Peace. The last 15 minutes my mind wonders about all the different choices I can make in my life. If I did move out then where, how would my life change? What do I need to do to prepare myself? Is this the right decision or am I reacting emotionally because this dog is upsetting me? I simply notice how much these thoughts consume me, exhaust me, drain me. I think about new possibilities. Trust. Meditation. Can I trust my meditation to guide me on the right path? Right now, I'm so distracted it's hard to even think.
I am listing my other airbnb house. It's different from the one I live in. I think if I should sell or keep the furniture and all the things I can do to downsize and simplify my life. I think about setting up a sound room. I used to do voice-over in Chicago. I want to set that up. I haven't done it because where I live there is constant noise and I can't record with background noise. I need the house quiet. Wow, I just realized something that I need that I'm not getting. I am not going to go home to Chicago or Wisconsin for the holidays because of my Airbnb. I have people moving in and out and I have to be there to clean it. Part of me is bummed out for this and another part of me is happy to avoid the cold weather. I do like being alone in a quiet house.
I check the time, 5 more minutes. I check again 1 minute over and I'm done. Until next time, peace and love everyone.
Today I wake up early, 6:30 and sneak into my living room as quiet as I can so I don't wake the 5 dogs that we have at the house. If I wake the dogs then they wake the babies and I'm on duty. Ssssshhhhhh. Quiet. I don't do anything to make myself too comfortable other then sit on a yoga mat as I stealth like sneak into my seat. I set the timer and I'm off to La La Land.
It takes a little time to settle into the meditation. I can hear the dogs rustle and whimper a little. I tense up a little and hope they settle. I don't move a muscle other than focus on my breathing. I start to relax. My mind wanders all over future plans of moving, selling furniture, new school for my kids. I have an airbnb and I had two tenants who threw parties and upset my neighbors. I'm getting pressured to take the listing down. I have to make big decisions about the place and like a chess game I think of all my possible moves and the possible outcomes for the different choices that I can make. Do I simply sell the house? Do I long term rent it and move the furniture out? Do I try to rent it fully furnished? Or do I move back into it? Sometimes I don't like being an adult having to make big choices. Can someone else decide for me? The curse of being a Libra sinks me into indecision. Breathe. My friend says don't worry everything will be ok. Ok, then. Can it be that simple? Is all my worry wasted energy? Simply take an action, any of them and stop thinking. If one doesn't work then try another until the best decision arrives to me. I go back to my breath. Deep inhale. Hold it at the top for a beat. Long exhalation. I want to sell it.
I wish I was outside but it's chilly outside and I don't want to move around too much to wake up the house to bundle up. Breathe. I think about sitting up tall and rolling my shoulders down and back so that I can line up my chakras. Peace. I like the quiet. I like the stillness. I check the time, 11 minutes to go so I go. I check the time again, 3 more minutes. I check the time again, 1:14 over time and I'm done.
Hello my lovelies, today I drive to a different lakefront nature spot in Clermont Florida. It is a beautiful little lakefront picnic area and the time of the year is perfect to be outside in Florida. The nature and beauty of this area is something that I am truly blessed with. I unroll my yoga mat, sit cross legged, close my eyes and breath. The air is softly chilly and I get goose bumps up and down my arms and legs. I open my eyes and notice the grass and they way the sunlight hits it. There are so many different shades of green. The richness of the color takes me in. The water is softer, more calm this morning with smooth bumps coming toward me. I close my eyes again. I think about Ohso's Courage book, "the old is dead, always choose the new". He says this because the new is an opportunity to grow, to learn to experience life. What old things do I need to let go of so that I can move into the new?
A lady shows up with her big chocolate lab as an older gentleman walks his husky. She asks him if she can let her dog go so they can say hello as her dog might knock her over. He politely says no and I think, thank God! I tensed up as I imagine that huge chocolate lab walking over the wet grass and jumping all over me on my white zip up. They distract me and then they leave. I open my eyes again and I notice the light changed and it almost looks like a different view. It's darker now as the sun moved behind a cloud. I check the time, 13 more minutes. I want to get up more today even though I am enjoying the meditation. I have to go to the bathroom, where the heck can I go, there's no public bathroom and a lady in her car pointed right at me. I think that this is just my mind playing tricks on me and I can hold it. I move into my breath and somehow my urge dissipates. Calm. I think about creativity, I want it. I want to move into my authentic power and create. What can I do? I think of my voice, I want to express it. I feel like I've keep quiet for a long time so that I don't ruffle the waters. I have different ideas, creativity and a quiet voice that wants to be heard. Is that through my writing? Geez I love all this writing. It reminds me of the times when I used to act. I read sooooo much good literature through theater plays. Maybe the creativity wants to come out through public speaking or through music, I'm not really sure. All I know is that there is room to explore and find out. Breathe. My 30 minutes are up. I stand up and appreciate my beautiful view and hurry back to my car so I can finally relieve myself. Many blessings.
Today I drop off my daughter at school and go to the lake and meditate on the pier. The wind blows ripples in the water and the sunlight shines down on the water painting waves that seem to smile at me. I squint my eyes a little and think about the book Siddhartha and the water laughing at me. I sit on the bench and meditate. This is after a very very intense yoga teacher training weekend. Many breakthoughs happen. I recognize old wounds buried deep that have never healed and reconnect with relationships that have been broken. So much healing happened and so much more is coming. As I meditate I burst into tears like 3 or 4 times. I finally feel the pain of the past that I stuffed down an avoided through alcohol, keeping busy or some other avoidance mechanism. Grief. I didn't realize how deep the wounds were. Every tear that rolls off my cheek is a relief, a release. Finally I get to move through my wounds, deal with them, create awareness and let them go. A warm wind breezes past my face and I feel the warm Florida sun heat up my face and body. It feels like nature is hugging me and telling me that everything is going to be ok. Life is just beginning, joy is in my heart. Yesterday I went to a Kundalini meditation and sang and chanted my heart out with 2 beautiful friends. The room was vibrating at such a high level of joy, while we sang to the divine. Liquid consonants buzz in our mouths and vowels roll over out tongues. The energy was so powerful that everyone was swaying and thumping with the music. I smile as I reminisce about the amazing time that I had the night before. Connecting with the divine becomes one of my top priorities in life because through that alignment is a life of bliss. I think about creating more of those memories for myself and how to create a life full of that joy. I grieve over all the anger that I had for so long and think that life can be lived with happiness and I'm starting to learn how. This time it is more authentic, more powerful, more real because of my awareness. I've been humbled as I feel like God has brought me to my knees and pierced my heart.
My meditation is over, I look around, stretch, pick up my things and walk back to my car. Yes, I think I can love to meditate.