I can’t believe I’ve had this since I was 7. No matter the amount of times I’ve moved over the last few years, I’ve always had it close by. The people who gave it to me said it’s purpose is to catch your nightmares and bad thoughts, so that you never have them again. I used to shake it out outside in the morning when I was little. Pretty useful for meditation Id say 💭 #meditation #yogagirlchallenge #inhale #exhale #dreamcatcher @yoga_girl
I always walk away from #yoga a different person. Every day, every time. Today I learned why my hips hurt when I walk and why my knees have been sensitive lately: I have been standing incorrectly my entire life. Not just a little hunched in the back (which is actually a bigger deal than I thought) but in the placement of my feet and what I do with my thighs and back. My hips are jacked from that (and working from home for 4 months, hardly being as mobile as I should be) and as my practice has been developing, my posture isn’t able to because of the way I stand. Hence the knee pain, and the shoulder pain, and the asthma flares. I walked out of my first class today feeling like I was taking first steps, upright for the first time. Heart forward for the first time. In no pain for the first time in a long time. I fucking love this practice. @yoga_girl #yogagirlchallenge #yogaeverydamnday #upright #progress #walkingtall
Not the small spurt of mist-like drops like it has been in the past. This was a downpour. It reminded me of being a kid, when my siblings and neighbors and I would be playing outside, and almost within a blink of an eye the sky would be black, it would rain like it was the end of the world, and we ran, plastic bats and basketballs in hand, in the garage, and kicked at the ground for the rain to stop. They were so quick, those summer storms. Most didn’t last more than 10 minutes worth of rain but the rivet in our back yard flooded, a river formed at the start of our driveway and pooled at the end near the basketball net, and we’d throw things into it just to splash muddy water at each other. And then we’d keep playing.
This rain storm was like that, except Los Angeles doesn’t take drainage into much consideration when it comes to their street/city planning (why would they?) I was checking out of Trader Joes when it started. The San Fernando Valley is relatively flat, so I saw the storm clouds from really far out earlier in the afternoon before they came. (Somehow they seemed so much scarier here than they did in Jersey). My cart was full and I was on my way to the exit when I noticed the traffic had bottle-necked at the doorway. ”IT’S RAINING…OH MY GOD.” “LOOK AT THAT, THAT IS UNBLEIEVABLE” “WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW?” “ARE ARE GOING TO BE STUCK HERE ALL NIGHT???” (<—-someone actually said this, by the way). I leaned into the shopping cart and smiled as I watched what I could only describe as (without exaggeration) hysteria. People were offering to go to their homes and bring umbrellas for everyone, others were calling for a ride from their friend in the car to the front door. It was hilarious. A woman who was next to me (I later found out she was from New York) joked to me about how the roof was off of her Jeep. “Why dont you go put it up?!” “Because, I left the roof at home.” She walked into the rain.
By this point I opened a chocolate bar. I cannot explain how much I prefer non-dairy chocolate to everything I used to believe was chocolate before. it’s amazing. It ignites a pure sense of joy, not a pavlovian-induced sugar rush. Chocolate bar in hand, I weeded through everyone and made my way into the rain. I made no real attempt whatsoever to shield myself from the downpour, but instead took my time walking, smiling and eating chocolate. It must have looked insane, it probably was insane. I made it to the car, put the groceries away, and realized i wasn’t yet done with the rain. It had been too long since I had felt it. Seen a gray sky. Felt a release or a change. Not just had a rainy day, but felt a rainy day. Gotten caught in the rain - or chosen to get caught in the rain. Lifted a face to the clouds, breathed it in.
Closing the car door, gripping the chocolate bar and ditching my cardigan I shut the door and marched into the streets. Soaked immediately. Wet strands of hair stuck to my chest and neck. My jeans absorbed the rain like a sponge and clung even closer to my thighs, my hips. My Vans sunk in the poorly drained crosswalks of North Hollywood. My chocolate tasted delicious. Last week was a particularly melancholy one - the kind of week that you just need to be lonely in because in the end, you and you alone are your own comfort when days don’t feel like days, and the darkness plants itself in front of you for a while. It’s all okay, it’s just part of the cycle. I learned a long time ago not to fight it, nor to cower in fear or rebel out of naivety, rather I treat it like a friend that I know is leaving, but will teach me something I don’t know before she does. Doing something as silly as eating a chocolate bar in the rain, on a sidewalk where the rain was falling so hard that the other side of the street was blurry - reminds me that what i’m learning this year is true; nothing is final. Not your worries, not your comfort, but more importantly not your worries. Not your discomfort. Not your fears, not your pain, not your darkness, not your fear, not your pain, not your darkness - it doesn’t last. It’s just passing through.
An older couple sharing an umbrella laughed at their soaked clothes when they stood next to me and waited at a crosswalk. They looked at me and said “Hey honey! You want to share our umbrella? This rain is crazy!” I laughed and said “No thanks, I’m from Jersey, this is the first real rainstorm I’ve seen in 4 months.” They replied “Oh honey, we’re from New York. We should feel brave like you! Funny how you forget how to survive in the rain!’
Funny indeed. A yoga instructor once told a class I was in that yoga is the cycle of releasing old habits and welcoming in new ones. Release, welcome, release, welcome, release release release, welcome, embrace, invite. Maybe a few more chocolate bars is all any of us need to survive the next rain storms…
A friend of mine told me that he wouldn’t be able to go on Facebook for a while now that Robin Williams has died. He said that with everything going on with ISIS and the Middle East and the wars, he couldn’t bare to witness people pay a “fake eulogy to someone who was worth millions. There were real problems happening in the world.” I thought of this all night… Who said we only have space in our awareness, attention, and heart for compassion of only one thing at a time? As if giving tribute to something means you’ve dismissed another. As if you couldn’t feel compassion for day without meaning that you don’t care about night. As if professing that you care about means that you have picked a side, or a position, or a stance, or a party, or a group, or a label or a definition. Who the fuck made that rule? And furthermore, does that mean that everyone who has ever uttered a single profession of emotions towards anything in the universe has to automatically follow that up with a declaration that they also care about x,y, and z, so please don’t judge? Who the fuck do we think we owe an explanation to?
"Rest In Peace to the great Robin Williams, may your legacy ever live on. However I still care about ISIS, and the war, and animal cruelty, and poverty, and the immigration problems, and unemployed veterans, and clean water supplies, and pro-choice protests, and marching against monsanto, and fuck the republicans because..they fucking suck, and technology has replaced human interactions, and oh my god what about healthcare, and Fukushima, and corrupt banks..and…all the other shit that is wrong and important and that should be paid my attention because I’m afraid of what it will mean if I give my attention to one thing and not everything at once - someone might post a status and bitch about me and claimI don’t care enough. So I have to let you know that I care enough. Wait did I mention animal cruelty? I forget. But really, Rest in paradise Robin Williams"
Give me a break. You have been lied to. Somewhere along the way someone (or everyone) made you believe that your heart had a limit. Your compassion has a breaking point. Your spirit wasn’t strong enough to carry love beyond a certain measure. They. All. Lied. To. You. You have room to love everything. To be compassionate in all things. Yes, in all. It doesn’t happen all at once, sometimes we don’t appreciate the lesson at first, but it’s there and waiting to be welcomed into our heart.
I haven’t written in almost a month because I had forgotten this for a while. I gave up security to pursue a passion and the unknown and it’s terrifying. But empowering. I’ve had so much time alone these last few weeks to really sit with myself, hang out with myself, get to know my ins and outs, where my mind goes when there’s nothing to distract it. The content of my character and where I truly want to improve it. What I really want. What I really don’t. What I really need, and what I really don’t. And everything my heart has asked for has arrived - either in the physical or in the lessons of every day. I would see things, and want to write about them - but by the time I reached my computer I couldn’t grasp the exact meaning anymore, so I felt it wouldn’t do the subject justice if I wrote. OR I would have an unbelievable stream of thought but couldn’t think of anything when I opened up my blog. And it would shut, and stay inside of me instead of here. and I think that it’s all okay. Our lives are like that - sometimes what we learn, the truths we find, the revelations we encounter are for us to see, embrace, and apply in our lives - maybe we aren’t always meant to share it, rather just live it. Be an example in real life, not always the index at the back of an encyclopedia (I’m probably dating myself by even mentioning the word encyclopedia).
Point is, I’ve relinquished order, and foregone it for the time being. I’m welcoming the rain and the strain and the confusion and the struggle because at the end of the day - I can, and we all can. And it doesn’t last, not even the comfort. And love is always there, smiling at us, waiting for us to see it and wave when we think it’s lost. Sometimes it’s inside of us, sometimes it’s in places we never knew we could love, sometimes it’s in the beauties we choose to keep to ourselves, sometimes it’s in the lessons we share, and sometimes it’s in a chocolate bar.