Monday, February 27, 2012

I Care.

So sue me.
I'm sensitive.  "Too sensitive" you say?  I say no.
I have empathy and compassion.  I'm no longer ashamed of it, and will no longer apologize for it. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I would rather live as I do, with the possibility of being deeply hurt or merely ridiculed, than live your cynical, angry, selfish, embittered existence.
I am not naive.  Or stupid.  Or an idiot.  I DO live in the real world, thankyouverymuch.  The difference is that I can still see beauty, feel joy, and experience kindness and genuine love.  You cannot.
And I'm sorry for it.
Because you're missing out on all that this life has to offer. You look for blame and wallow in your misery and self-superiority. You believe that what works for you SHOULD work for everyone.  You think that being exposed to a different opinion is the same as being brainwashed. You believe you have all the answers, the same way you did when you were 18.  You never question, you never change, and you never forgive.
And I feel badly for you.
Because my empathy includes even you.

You speak of G-d, yet you ignore His teachings.  You cast yourself as moral, yet you are full of loathing and the desire for destruction.
And I will no longer listen to you.

I can feel sorry for you, but that doesn't mean I have to like you, or value your opinion.  When have you EVER valued mine, or even truly listened to it?

The best spiritual teachings tell us to love our enemies. I don't know if I can, so I will do the next best thing: I will leave you alone.  I won't try to change you, which is simply a waste of time and energy, anyway.  I will follow the words of the great Dr. Seuss: "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
I will no longer try to convince you that my point of view is valid, as I no longer need your approval.  I do not want it, in fact. You do not matter to my life.

I do not need validation.  I am.

You cannot control me anymore.  You cannot hurt me anymore, or make me happy with your crumbs of approval.  I have a feast.  An abundance.  And I will sit at my table with those who love me and matter to me.

I will no longer shove food down my throat to stop the rage.  The tears, if they appear, will be allowed to fall. If I want to laugh, I will do so, fully and whole-heartedly.

There is no shame anymore.  No guilt.
In yoga we have Yamas and Niyamas, observances and practices.  One is non-violence.  I have been doing great violence to myself for over 40 years.  And by doing violence to myself, I do violence to my children and husband, which is absolutely unacceptable. I learned this from you.
But that's OK.  I forgive you.  You, after all, only did what you had learned.  You did the best you could.

But it's time to put it all behind me.

I care.
But sometimes I have to ignore.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Le Sigh

Our minivan has officially kicked the bucket.
We could spend $6,000 and repair it, but it would probably only run for another year, at most. Better to take that hard-earned 6 grand and put it towards a new (or used) car.
So right now we're using my in-laws' car, a 27 year-old Mercedes in mint condition that I'm paranoid about driving. But, hey, it runs well and it's roomy!
We also need to get the washing machine fixed, and earlier Hubby went out to Costco to buy a new paper  shredder.  Oh, and the kids are on vacation this week, to boot. I'm still working, but Hubby, thank G-d, took the week off.  I would have had to cancel my private clients if he'd been working.

It looks like we've been given a 30-day reprieve, as far as moving, perhaps more.  We ended up with 15 offers on the house, and we've signed off on a couple, which will now go to the bank.  The auction has been postponed while the bank decides which, if any, of the short sale offers it will accept.
I think we've finished showing the house.  Which was a mixed blessing: obviously, the more people who viewed it, the more potential offers.  But having strangers traipse through your home, while you still live there and the kids are home from school, is really not fun. And the poor dog was about to have a nervous breakdown!  She does NOT like strangers around her kids, lol!

Another decision was made this: since the acting/voice teaching thing is slow, I'm going to take an orientation for Spinning instructors.  We have an instructor email hotline for one of the gyms I work at: if someone needs a sub, they put out an email and it goes to all the instructors.  It seems that the Spin classes are the ones most often in need of subs.  I LOVE Spinning, and I figure I'll do the orientation then take as much time as I need to increase my endurance and prepare for the exam. Then I can sub, make a little more money,  AND do something else I enjoy.

This morning, after working with my client, I did a fast-paced workout on the Reformer.  I did all the moves I usually do in an hour in 30 minutes.  Got my heart pumping AND worked my muscles, and it was really fun!  I have a half hour between the end of my session and the beginning of the next group session, so maybe I can take advantage of that more often.  Maybe I'll even work up the courage to use the jump-board...

Finally, I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed having the kids and Hubby home all weeks.  We've gone ice skating, walking, rollerblading, and taken multiple trips to the playground. And the weather has been like summer!  I'm sitting here right now wearing a tank top!
Speaking of which, we're off to the park for more playtime/rollerblading/skateboarding/etc.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Heart Yoga, But...

If you do yoga you may be familiar with everything that has happened in the world of Anusara yoga over the past couple of weeks. A scandal has rocked the community, due to the behavior of its founder, John Friend.  He stepped down a few days ago, but it may be too little too late, and Anusara has taken a huge hit.
Which is a shame, because many of the principles extolled in Anusara are valid and valuable, but anyone identifying him/herself as an Anusara instructor is losing students and his/her livelihood.
I like this style because the main focus is on proper alignment.  I've been taking classes regularly since last summer, and, as I told my instructor today, I'm not only physically stronger and more flexible, but learning something new about myself in every class. There are poses I've never before been able to do that I can do now, without pain, because of the principles of alignment set forth in Anusara.
But the scandal that has rocked this practice is serious.  Allegations of financial, sexual, and legal misconduct by Mr. Friend have been verified, and many of the senior instructors knew about it all.  Many have since resigned.  Others, who knew nothing, feel understandably betrayed.

20 years ago we learned that Woody Allen had begun a sexual relationship with Mia Farrow's adopted daughter, and it was another huge scandal.  Most of us don't look at Woody in quite the same way, but his films still do well.  At the time I was disgusted by his behavior, but loved his work.  I had to ask myself if I could separate the artist from the man.  To this day, to be honest, it's difficult. I have a hard time honoring people who behave badly, even of they're geniuses.  I don't agree that the brilliant should be given a pass, or that the rules should be different for them.  Having been in a few environments with indulged geniuses, I saw and felt the way the rest of us suffered. Not just having to walk around on egg shells lest we upset them, but the violence which they were capable of, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  And yet WE, the abused, had to coddle THEM. We watched as they were publicly praised and rewarded, while privately they treated everyone around them like crap.  They were spoiled, indulged children, and we were powerless to do anything about it.  If we wanted to keep our jobs.

So now, while I find myself once again disgusted by the behavior of a genius, I believe in the practice he created.  I also believe that others are not responsible for his behavior. Yes, the ones who knew about it and enabled it hold responsibility, but I don't believe that other instructors, those who knew nothing, should be punished.  Do we throw away the entire concept because the self-appointed guru turned out to be a jackass?
My response is a resounding "NO!"  But I'm probably in the minority.  Most of the world, even those of us in the yoga world, who like to think we're more enlightened, is stuck in high school.  When a whiff of scandal appears, we desert the ship.
But my Anusara instructor, Rebecca, is the best yoga teacher I've ever encountered.  I've loved Anusara for 10 years.  I feel good when I practice, and I believe it makes me a better person.  I can hate what Mr. Friend has done, especially as it pertains to the entire community,  but still love his creation.

Finally, I don't believe in gurus.  We're all human, and all too fallible.  When we look to another person to be all that we think are not, we're setting ourselves up for major disappointment and setting them up for major failure.  I have trouble trusting anyone who calls themselves a guru. It makes me suspicious: what, exactly, are they compensating for?

So I will continue to practice Anusara yoga.  I will stay out of the drama, and try not to let others' opinions matter too much.  Maybe if I can do that in my yoga practice it will spill over into my life.  And, ultimately, isn't that the goal of yoga, regardless of which style it is? To live a life that's beyond the everyday stuff and short-term values we get mired in?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rollercoaster...of Love!

OK, it's not of love, but I do love that song!
This week has been an emotional rollercoaster.  We MIGHT have a buyer for the house.  Which would be awesome, as a short sale is better than a foreclosure.  I have been stressing myself out trying to get all the paperwork done for the kids' school transfer. Last night I shoveled pizza into my pie hole as quickly as is humanly possible.  Which, as you can imagine, left me feeling not-so-good.  Stomache ache, heartburn, and, this morning, a headache that felt like someone was jamming an ice pick into my left eye and then twirling it.

But looking back over the past few months (aside from last night), my eating has been pretty clean, and I'm certainly eating less than I was.  I work out a lot.  According to the conventional "Eat less move more" weight loss wisdom, I should be down by at least 10 or 15 pounds, probably more.  But I'm only down 5.
So what's the problem?

My mortal enemies: stress and guilt. And Shame!  I wrap myself up in knots to the point where it wouldn't matter if I wired my jaw shut, superglued my lips together and refused an IV. I STILL wouldn't lose weight! (Well, at least until I started decomposing after dying of dehydration.  But that's beside the point.  And kinda morbid.)
Because until I deal with my emotional crap, I could do everything "right" (and have!!!!!!) and the weight wouldn't budge.
But I'm still feeling better when I eat the stuff that agrees with me and avoid the stuff that doesn't.  When I pay attention to and enjoy my food, rather than try to stuff down my anger and sadness with it.
I've known this for a while, but it's been reinforced.  And I'm finally learning how to feed and nourish myself, physically and otherwise.
As I write this I'm listening to Robyn Hitchcock on Spotify.  Right now "I Feel Beautiful" is playing.  ("I walk through the tomatoes and I think of you.  No one's ever watered me the way you do."  Love him!!!!) And the funny thing is, I actually do!
For whatever reason, I came home this afternoon, turned on some music and have been feeling lovely and, yes, even a bit hot, ever since.  I'm not entirely sure why, but I LIKE it!
Gonna try and keep this feeling going.

I'm hooked on a feelin'...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And The Universe, Once Again, Strikes Back. With a Two-by-Four

Soon after writing my last post I threw my back out.
Which, I'm realizing, only happens when I'm stressed out.
So I did NOT teach my class, and did NOT get to go ice skating.
I stayed home and focused on standing up straight. And poked at the knot I've discovered on the right side of my lower back.
Hey, gotta entertain my self somehow!
It's feeling much better.  By Saturday I was able to teach again and even do a bit of rollerblading with LG.
On Monday I went to a yoga class with my favorite teacher at a sweet little studio in Menlo Park.  Starting the week with an Anusara class is PERFECT!!!!!  I won't get to go next week, as I'm subbing another class, but this Monday morning class will be on my agenda whenever possible.

Went to my weight loss center yesterday & we talked about stress. She gave me a great tip: instead of focusing on and worrying about all the things I can't control, I can try just asking G-d & the Universe for the outcome that is best for all of us.
SO much easier, lol!!!!!!!!!
And it's kinda nice to expand that to include EVERYONE.  As in, the entire population of earth.  And whatever other planets may hold life.  'Cause ya never know.

Tonight we're meeting with a realtor who's going to try and get us a short sale rather than a foreclosure.  Kinda last minute, but it would be better!  And maybe even buy us a little extra time.  This changing-school-districts-in-the-middle-of-the-year-as-opposed-to-over-the-summer-thing is so COMPLICATED!!!!!!!!!  I feel like I'm stuck in an episode of "Real Housewives of San Mateo County."  Except instead of wearing Prada and knocking over restaurant tables I'm just kvetching and crying and walking around in a general state of confusion.

And not sleeping.
WG graced us with another 3 AM concert today.  This time it was on her doggie guitar instead of her keyboard.
I have to remember to hide them both once she falls asleep.
But then, she'll probably start wandering around.  A least with the concerts she says in her bed.

In the meantime, I'll be sending most of the day cleaning and getting rid of more stuff. Which is hugely liberating.
Um, the getting rid of stuff part, not the cleaning.
I mean, let's face it: if housework were liberating we wouldn't have had the Feminist Movement!  Am I right or am I right?
(Personally I think we need Feminism 2.0 right about now.  But I'm not gonna get political today.  Trying to keep calm, and politics is REALLY BAD for that!  I'll think about kittens, instead.
Awwww!  Kitties!!!!!)

Going back to the, er, back:  It's also (yet) another reminder that exercising A LOT isn't always a great idea.  Doing a HIIT or Tabata workout followed by strength training or Pilates isn't gonna get the job done.  It's only gonna stress out me AND my joints.
And it's exhausting, to boot!

Finally, I'm working on changing my perspective in a lot of ways.  Instead of focusing on how tired I am all the time, maybe giving some thought to how lucky and blessed I am. And to all the things I'm able to do.  Instead of thinking of myself as old, fat and ugly, realizing I am, in fact, still young, just a bit chubby, and pretty darn cute!

Finally, realizing that I make things a whole lot harder than they need to be.  If I can let go and trust, life will play out as it's meant to. I have lots of entities looking out for me and mine.  Maybe I can trust them a bit more.

OK.  Off to start cleaning.
Have a great day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Live With Intention

Every day, every MOMENT, there is a choice. I can choose to be anxious, or to feel guilty, or to skip a tough workout, or to make myself feel badly if I'm too tired to do those tabatas.  I can choose to eat when I'm not hungry, or to honor my body's signals. I can choose to swallow my anger/sadness/opinions so that someone else, usually someone who has no qualms voicing THEIR opinions and feelings, will not be uncomfortable.
And it does seem that the more ignorant the opinion, the louder its voiced.  I can choose to remember that.

I need to remember that almost everything IS a choice.  That whatever I obsess over-er-CHOOSE to focus on will be the outcome. If I keep telling myself I CAN'T lose weight, well, then,I'm going to sabotage all my hard work and, guess what: I'll be correct!  If I stay in panic mode over all the things that have to get done in the next month, and all the stuff that MIGHT go wrong after we move, well, I'll keep procrastinating, stuff won't get done, and I'll give myself an ulcer.

This morning Hubby told me that there's no way his job at the VA will be made permanent.  So he basically has 18 months to find another one.  My first instinct, surprise, surprise, was to panic and start shrieking, in my head, that I HAVE TO FIND A JOB RIGHT NOW!!!!!!! One beyond the part-time job I already have.  Then I started wondering how the hell I'm supposed to work full time AND take care of the kids.  Then I got pissed, assuming that I, once again, would have to take on more and more until I was drowning in responsibility.
Until I got a text from Hubby (at work), telling me of some local places that are looking for admin assistants, and that he's going to update his resume and start sending it out.  Which forced me to take a step back and wonder why,once again,I assume the worst.  Why did I ASSUME he was going to be out of work again for a long time?  Or that he would do a half-assed job of looking for work?
Because I always assume that I shouldn't expect the best of people, even the ones I love and who love me.  It's my automatic, go-to response.
And that sucks!  It does a HUGE disservice to my loved ones, and makes life sorta hellish.

When I first started teaching, I realized that the higher the bar I set for the students, the higher they would reach. And I think that translates here: expect the best, and you'll often get it.  Especially from yourself.  Not the snooty, cashmere-wearing, Grey Poupon-eating, "I only settle for the best" kind of thing, but the opposite of what I do now:  That fatalistic, cute-when-Eeyore-does-it-but-annoying-in-everyone-else pessimism.

Finally, I'm realizing that, as I get older, PMS presents less ans less as hormone-induced weepiness and more hormone-induced rage.  Which actually feels pretty good: kind of a Xena-Warrior-Princess-esque-don't-mess-with-me-or-I'll-mess-YOU-up deal.

And on that note, I'm gonna go try and have a nap. Teaching a class later, followed by ice skating with the fam.  Have a great day!