Thursday, December 29, 2011

Assisting V w/ Stephanie & Root Chakra Guided Meditation

Assisted Stephanie at the YMCA again last Monday. It's awesome to see how much she loves her students and how much they love her and her class. Can't wait to teach! I'll hopefully be teaching a few of her classes when she's out of town in the coming weeks, but it depends on whether or not my paperwork has gone through the corporate office yet; apparently the holidays are slowing down the processing. Ahhhh.....corporate paperwork. Anywho.....

I'm apprehensive about guided meditations. I've fallen asleep in just about every guided meditation I've done, and I have a veryyyy short attention span. However, as I was reading through Wendy de Rosa's book I realized that I can obviously use some chakra clearing and energy healing so I'm open to give it a go. I started with the Root chakra bc Wendy and I apparently have the same belief that starting from the ground up is a good way to begin and find balance. It's also a place that I very obviously (at least to myself) have blockage so..... I'm not sure what I was expecting. I have a difficult time w meditation and focus so it's a good practice for me, but I think I'm going to try the same one again and see if it makes a difference the second time. I was also lying down during the first one, so maybe I will try sitting the second go around.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Assisting IV w/ Stephanie @ YMCA NW

Finally made it up to the YMCA that i am now a substitute teacher at (!!!!) to assist Stephanie in her all levels yoga class. She's the reason that I got my first yoga job (!!!!!!!) and I owe her big time, I feel like. I don't know how I will ever repay, but the universe does it's doing and everything shall be as it shall be... =)) I'm so grateful for the opportunity to teach here as well because I feel like it is the perfect starting off point for me, and will help me to become a stronger teacher within my own comfort zone before venturing out into anything bigger and badder (it will happen! i'm so excited!) i've been told by many people that teaching at a community center like this is the best experience because if you can teach this population, you can teach anyone.

i arrived right as they were beginning the class (they don't start late around here, classes only last 45 minutes to an hour - no time to waste!) and sat in the back as stephanie led them through a brief opener of reading/reflection/breathing and then i got to do some minor assists on some of the students. she even asked me to come to the front and demo/teach how to do dancer pose - i was so nervous! i think it went ok though, and a few of the students thanked me for the help at the end of the class. at least i didn't hurt anyone! it was such an exciting experience; next time i'll be ready to teach if she asks me to!

after her class i took the advanced level class with erin. as part of my training, the Y gave me a month free of membership so i can take some of the other yoga classes and get a feel for the way everything works there. i felt confident in my practice as i took the class. for me, the fact that even in an advanced class most of the students would probably be considered beginner/intermediate in a studio is heartening for me because it makes me more confident in my teaching abilities. it scares me to teach classes to students who know more than i do! i know it will happen, but easing my way in to the whole experience is the way that i work best, so i'm happy for the opportunity!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Assisting I w/ Gioconda @ Dharma Yoga (II & III)

I haven't been very good about my journaling lately, but now there's so much to talk about i hardly know where to begin!

I've complete two more of my assisting classes with Gioconda at Dharma Yoga and it's been quite the experience so far. Although the classes are All Levels, the first class was definitely more of a beginner class. More beginners in it in general, and I think there was even one woman who had never taken a yoga class before! It was good experience to see that, just like a good teacher does, Gioconda recognized by the first round of sun salutations that she had a beginner class on her hands and continued with the class as such. i got to do some work with straps and blocks and just being a general assistant, as well as giving a few people pointers, and working with restorative poses. it's so exciting to have people thank me after a class, even when it's not my own class and i don't really feel like i'm doing much of anything. it's such a satisfying and joyful feeling, and is always a reminder that it is definitely what i love and i need to work harder toward my goals.

the second class was definitely more of an intermediate class, so there was inversion and backbending practices, which make me so nervous to assist! people ask me questions like i'm the expert because i am expected to be one now. it's a good practice in being more confident in my abilities. i've had nothing but excellent training and a wonderful, knowledgeable teacher so I know the answers to these questions, I KNOW what i know i just have to be more confident in it. people are counting on me now! it's not just for me anymore. that's what it means to be a teacher.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Doshas, My 1st Private Client, & Practice Teaching

This may seem like a weird combination of things to put together in an entry, but they're all related and I feel like I can't talk about one of the experiences without the other. It was kind of a big weekend.

I was excited to learn about Ayurveda this weekend, and was somewhat disappointed with the session when it actually came to be. It's probably just my own personal -ness getting in the way, but I have a real issue with labels as they may be. Using only 25 words to describe everything just doesn't sit well with me, and the connections that she was making for a lot of the things just didn't make sense.

I wouldn't describe water as oily unless it is, in fact, oily. Sorry, just not working for me. I understand a lot of the concepts though, like the eating times and sleeping times and things people should and shouldn't avoid. I get it, but I still don't completely buy into it. I was also taken aback when my test read Kapha but she told me she thought I was Pitta. I don't know what to say about it besides that's what the test said. Maybe I took it wrong? Although looking back at it now I was 10 Kapha 7 Pitta 6 Vata so maybe that' s a close enough order that I'm all 3? I'm going to try taking a few more tests and see what the results are. Maybe that will give me some answers.

So that was the first thing this weekend where my self kind of felt called in to question. Who am I? Like, shouldn't I know that answer better than some stranger I just met? Maybe not?

Then we did our private lessons on Saturday and I was really excited with how it went. Ashley felt "light as air" afterwards, she said I was a natural teacher and she enjoyed the session. I was very pleased. I even volunteered to teach during training the next day because I was feeling pretty confident about my abilities.

Then the next day came, I taught, and I completely screwed up my entire mandala (which I've fixed! and will post about later), I talk too quietly, I don't demand the attention of my class....I felt like I did ok until it was time for the constructive criticism portion.

Here's where I have a confession to make: I really don't feel like myself at teacher training. Granted, I am a naturally introverted personality. There's a quote that I like that I can't exactly remember word for word right now, but it speaks about holding your tongue so that when you do speak people take notice because they know what you have to say is important. That's how I feel. I'm not a naturally outgoing person, but it's not because I'm shy. I'm not afraid to speak, I just don't find it necessary in a lot of situations. I find myself reading each situation when I arrive to it, and for some reason when I arrived at teacher training I didn't feel comfortable enough to be myself....whatever that means.

I surround myself with strong personalities often, so it's not that I was intimidated. It's just that I really didn't feel like I had much in common or much to say to almost anyone at training, and I read that immediately. I feel comfortable to do my yoga with them, but I'm not comfortable saying what's on my mind because I don't think it translates to most of them. We're just in very different places in our lives, and probably will continue to be and the couple of times I have spoken to the majority of people in training, I'm often answered with blank stares and not a lot of response otherwise. That's how I felt when we were being given feedback about our teaching. Everyone had a lot to say to everyone else, but when it became my turn, Gioconda was the only one who had anything to say to me.

It's just a strange feeling, because I surround myself with people who are like me, who understand what I'm saying and don't look at me like I'm crazy whenever I open my mouth. So I've opted to stay quieter during this entire training process, but now I fear that I've made myself out to be timid and shy when that's not really the case. I have confidence that I will make a good teacher, but I do not feel 100% confident teaching at my own teacher training.

That being said, I think the feedback was very helpful because as I've been pondering over it and turning it over in my mind the last few days, I came upon a way to frame it that suits me and is positive. I've always liked the quote, yoga is like therapy without having to talk about it. I graduated with a psychology degree, and the way in which people work has always been fascinating to me. I'm all about having close relationships with people; knowing them intimately because superficial relationships just feel like a waste of my time.

Well, when it comes to yoga, maybe what I'm most suited for is private clients. I felt so much more comfortable teaching Ashley by herself than I did teaching to a room full of people. And what I really want to be able to do is make an individualized lesson plan for each person I teach so I can help them the best by catering to exactly what their needs are. So, this isn't to say that I don't want to teach some public classes too, as that's probably the way to get the word out about myself as a teacher, but probably what my focus is meant to be is private clients. I don't have to talk a lot because I don't need to, but I can get to know people better and I enjoy sequencing classes that suit an individual personality, rather than trying to cater to 20 different people all in the same class.

I was excited when I came to this realization. In my mind there's a very big difference between growth and changing who you are, and it feels like a very fine line to me sometimes. I want to become a better version of myself, not become a better teacher for the sake of teaching yoga, but not being an authentic teacher while doing it. Teacher training has been such an emotional roller coaster, and I've learned so much these last couple of months I can hardly even believe where I am in my life right now but I'm so so THANKFUL for it. Must just be that time of year. xx

Chakras Pt. II - Mula Dhara

Gioconda asked me to pick one of the chakras that I talked about in my last entry and further develop a practice for the next few weeks to work with it. I picked my root chakra because even though the chakras aren't meant to be hierarchal, there's something comforting in the way maslow's hierarchy of needs and the chakras coincide in my mind, and since that connection was made i'm choosing not to ignore it but rather embrace it. that being said, i've come to the conclusion that a more balanced root chakra can only help me in my journey, even if it's not completely necessary that i balance this chakra before moving up and onward to the others.

So with that being said, I've come up with a couple of practices to help me balance my mula dhara. the first is that i've committed to the 'root to rise' principle in my asana practice. for the last couple of months the thing i've been focusing in on most is strength work, especially in my legs and back, and although i'm not perfect and i still have a lot of growth in that area to work on, it's also just as important for my practice to really ground down and root through my feet especially, in standing poses. it has to do with strength as well, as a lot of my balance issues in those poses are because my legs and hips aren't strengthened enough to keep me steady. i'm working on all of those things to keep me in to speak.

the other practice i've committed to that is not necessarily asana related is being more organized in my life. organization does not come naturally to me. my house and my car and my closet look exactly like the inside of my brain; only holds the important stuff, but it's a mess. there's just things flying everywhere and i know that i have what i need because what i need are the only things that i hold on to; it's just a matter of finding out where i put it last. this is a basic functioning necessity to me because i have 2 part time jobs to pay the bills, i want to get this yoga thing going (i'll talk more about that in another post...) and as soon as my yoga training is over, i fully intend to move on to another project to work on as well..... i'm a busy lady and i prefer it that way but in the long run i can only keep these things up in the air as lon as i can keep track of them all.

so, my first step to becoming more organized was purchasing one of those big desk calendars for the month of november so i could look at my entire day/week/month and know what i had in store. i could add things, and scratch things out and make changes as necessary, and where i found room, maybe even make a little room to see friends and have a little fun. (FUN!). So that's where I'm at with that at this point. So far, it's been going well. We'll see where it continues to take me....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I've been so excited to learn about the chakras! I'm really disappointed that I'm not going to be there on Saturday to learn more about it, but sacrifices are always being made to live the life we've set up for ourselves....

So, a funny thing happened when I was taking notes about the chakras. As Gioconda was talking about the way they were structured and kind of built upon each other, I wrote at the top of my page *Maslows Hierarchy of Needs* because I'm a psychology nerd....but then it was so interesting that she made a point to tell us that the chakras are NOT a hierarchy! Initially they sound like one to have to have the means of basic functioning (mula dhara) before you can move on to creativity....and before you move on to learning about boundaries.....or so it would seem to me. However, if that's not necessarily the case, it's a little jarring to me because it's a belief as a student of psychology that I've held for some time.

Are you saying I can be creative and intuitive but completely useless when it comes to my basic functioning?! Because that's basically my life. But does that mean I need to work on "fixing" those weaker chakras, or simply work to cultivate the stronger chakras that I've been blessed with naturally?

I immediately connected with Swadhisthana and Anja chakras the most....and probably Sahasrara, I would say. I'm in my own head a lot, and always thinking and day dreaming and not doing things like cleaning my house or always remembering to pay my bills on time.... The descriptive "watery" really describes my personality in a way. Go with the flow, constantly moving, transparent, unpredictable.....I just feel like I have more important things to fill my head space with than the things that most people my age are worrying about. Maybe.

So my initial response to this homework was to do more things to cultivate those chakras....but then what's the point?? If the point of all of this is to better ourselves with the intention of then being better suited to lead others in the practice of yoga (which to me, it totally is) then I need to focus on something that I'm not good at, and strengthen that.

I'm not a particularly grounded person. I'm up in the clouds a lot of the time, and ready to move on at any point in time. Groundedness is something that I could probably use more of in my life, because as much as I maybe am not willing to admit it yet, the nomad way of life is not going to be suited to me forever. And as far as security, well.....I could use more of it. Like, just a little bit even would be fine.

Interestingly, I'm a an earth sign (taurus) so you'd think I'd naturally be better at this but my goal for this chakra is to spend more time outside. I work inside all day and really don't know Austin well enough to know where good outside hang out spots are. I've been interested in exploring the green belt for a while but I just don't know much about it so I've been avoiding it. It's much easier to get my nature fix when I go back to the hill country to visit my friends and family because there is just so much more of it there. Red also really isn't a color that I incorporate into my life/wardrobe at all. I'm more of an earth tones kind of girl, and red is a little too loud and fiery for me. It's almost an alarming color to me, like the color of an emergency or blood...... So maybe just practicing not feeling negatively toward red would be a good start?

Vishudha is another chakra that I maybe don't feel as comfortable spending time with. I am more than comfortable writing about my thoughts & feelings because I know that not many people will hear/view it and they can choose to read it or not read it and it's not on me as much that I'm inconveniencing anyone by making them hear my opinion (something I also need to work on....that's so communication related). I have no problem speaking when I am confident about something, but the problem is that I am unsure of so much....the things that I'm not confident about come out jumbled and mumbled and not making much sense. Blue, of course, is another color I don't spend a lot of time with, but I have to think of some other way to feel empowered to speak my truth.....practice I suppose is where it's at. Practice!

Assisting I w/ Gioconda @ Castle Hill Fitness

I have to say I am super nervous about assisting classes. I hate feeling like I'm getting in the way or being annoying to people in any way, especially when they're practicing yoga which is as sacred to a lot of people as it is to me. That being said, I don't mind being assisted so I doubt other people do, but I also don't want to be assisted by someone who doesn't seem qualified to touch me....if that makes sense.

Luckily my first assisting went well and I was lucky enough to have a former trainee as my assistee (I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to be calling these people I'm assisting...) so she had good tips and nice things to say and even got me a job teaching at the YMCA! Everything works out the way that it is meant to, and it's nice to have those moments of realization about it.

Anyway, I felt more comfortable assisting her because I knew that she knew what I was up to, and I was learning so she wanted to be helpful. I also was super intimidated because she's a seasoned practitioner, obviously, and I felt like I had no business assisting someone who clearly knew more than I did. I think that's my biggest fear about assisting is that I'm going to do something wrong. I just need to get over it!

Body Types Observation w/ Iva @ BFree Yoga

So the thing I noticed most while observing the way Iva teaches to different body types, is that there are WAY more body types to teach to than just male female skinny fat which is what I was going in to this observation with the intention of learning about. However there is so much more to people's bodies than that! Of course there is men and women, who have different body types, but there's also young and old flexible people, people with good balance, people with a strong upper body/legs/core, people who are more aware of their bodies (like if their shoulders are back and their ribs are soft), bodies that are accustomed to a certain style/teacher, people who are sweaty, people who are there for the exercise vs. the practice of yoga....I could go on if I thought about it more I'm sure.

And it's so telling after watching one simple set of Surya A or B which person fits into which category, and of course most people fit into more than one category, and probably don't even realize which categories they really fit into...or maybe they do!

Another thing that was interesting to me was that men naturally have more upper body strength than women, but it impressive to say the least to see a woman who has been practicing yoga for a a while to have more grace and fluidity in her upper body strength than a man who maybe naturally is still stronger than her, but doesn't know how to harness it, or use it for his entire benefit. I watched Iva assist a man into a handstand which was beneficial for me to see. Assisting men much larger wasn't difficult for her because it's more about support than lifting. If a person can't at least attempt to kick into a handstand on their own, they're not ready to do a handstand, or so it seems. At least for the safety of the instructor....assistant...

That's it for my observations! I've learned so much by watching other people teach/practice, I'm so grateful for the experience. Super nervous to start assisting!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Verbal Cues & Manual Cues Observation w/ Laurie @BFree Yoga

I went in to BFree on Saturday afternoon because I so rarely ever have a Saturday afternoon off, and I thought I might enjoy some yoga. Well, the only class they were having at that time was a Bikram class. I've taken a couple of various Bikram classes and honestly, I just don't enjoy them the same way that I love Vinyasa flow, but I figured what the heck I was already there anyway so I might as well take the class. Yoga is yoga, right?

Well, the reason I'm writing about this class as an observation when I actually took the class is because this is the first yoga class that I have taken, maybe ever, that I left feeling worse than when I got there. Not that I was feeling bad when I got there, but I count on yoga as a way to relax, rejuvenate, etc. and not to leave feeling more stretched out and uncomfortable than before I took the class. So, I felt like it was important to write about.

It's not that I think Laurie is a bad teacher as I'm aware of the massive difference between Bikram and Vinyasa Flow, but I have still taken Bikram classes where I felt like I got a good workout and felt energized and good at the very least after the class. However, that was just not the case with this class.

I guess since I'm considering this my Language observation, I'll focus on that. There were only 3 students in the class, 2 and myself, and the other 2 were a lot more familiar with Bikram style yoga than I am. I feel like she made the class a lot easier because I was in it, and was talking specifically to me while she taught the class which made me nervous and uncomfortable because I don't want to be singled out while I'm in a group class. That's what private lessons are for, and I don't prefer them.

I felt like she talked a lot just in general as well, and I realize again that in Bikram there is a script to be followed, but I think for my sake and because the class at BFree isn't technically considered Bikram, she strayed away from the script. Which is fine, except that I think the other students would have preferred a more Bikram - scripted class and she changed it up just because I was new. I think more than anything she just got discombobulated because the class was different than she was expecting it to be - with a vinyasa practitioner in the class, she was trying to hard to please everyone when, in reality the class was Bikram style and she should have just stuck to what she was there to teach.

Afterwards, I got to talk to her a little more and she is honestly a very nice lady and I'm sure she's a good teacher but the change in what she was expecting the class to be completely threw her off her game and I think that may be one sign of a "good" teacher - being able to go with the flow so to speak, but also sticking to what you know and teaching Bikram by the script if that's what you're there to do.

Sorry that this was more of a rant than an observation...but I still considered it a good learning experience, which is why I had to write about it!

2nd to last observation - complete! yay

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Inspiring Theme Topics 2 - Acceptance

I was talking to Laurie after I accidentally observed her Bikram class on Saturday afternoon (more about that in my observation journal entry) and I realized that I've still only been in Austin for a little less than 2 months! It feels like a lot longer, and at the same time, hardly any time at all. Anyway, with this realization came an afternoon of over-thinking my entire existence, which is usually what happens when I get to thinking.

A girl from work hosts parties at her apartment about once or twice a month, and she has always been nice enough to invite me, although I've always been working or had yoga so I haven't been able to attend. However, I finally had a night off so I was considering going. I even have a costume that I was intending to wear on the actual night of Halloween festivities. However, the closer it got to the time for me to leave, the less and less excited I was about going. What is this feeling? It's familiar because it happens to me way too often in new situations. My gut instinct. I wasn't make new friends?

Honestly, moving and transitioning is like a break-up. At least for me. I need time to heal and adjust from all of the relationships with friends that have so instantly changed since we no longer get to see each other every day. It's not that I haven't gone through this process...many times...before, but I've never been able to put my finger on what it is that was so aversive in me. I just need time. And people may say to me that I'll never make friends if I don't go to parties or whatever it is that most people do to make friends, but those people don't know me very well. And, to my relief, I talked to one of my best friends about it this afternoon, via facebook messaging of course, and she completely understood what I was saying. She's not the same way at all, she's super outgoing which is how we became friends, and eventually roommates, in the first place. But that's why we're such good friends; that is why our friendship has stood the test of time and distance that I eventually force all of my friendships to suffer through.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I faced the realization I had come to and accepted it. Call me a lame ass for staying home on the Saturday night of Halloween, but I don't care. I feel just a little more fulfilled having accepted this truth about myself, and knowing that friendships will come with time, as they always have and they will always continue to. So: acceptance. An excellent theme for a yoga class, as it can be linked with so many different yamas and niyamas....koshes....etc. The importance of accepting where you are in your practice, and of course coming back to the all important message of being present where you are, accepting it, and letting your practice become whatever it is you need it to be for that day.

Acceptance! Excellent.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inspiring Theme Topics 1 - Peace

So I had this theme all picked out and ready for our teaching sequence for Sunday, but when it came down to my turn to teach it didn't seem quite as appropriate as when I was daydreaming about it in my head, so I changed my mind on the spot and just went with my gut on a new theme. I was proud of myself for being able to do that, although I'm not sure how it translated to the rest of the "class". I'm excited to start getting more feedback during training because sometimes I feel like I'm doing a good job and sometimes I feel like I really have no idea what I'm doing and I'm interested in what my teaching actually looks like to other people. I feel like I'm finally starting to get used to teaching in front of our class - it took me a long time to get comfortable in that setting for some reason - but I hope that it translates during my teaching sequences! I think I'm definitely a Kafa... or however you spell it.... and I'm excited to learn more about the Aryvedas as well! But I digress....

One theme that I find coming up when I am daydreaming about themes for classes is the topic of peace, probably because it's often a topic of my daily life. This quote in particular is one that inspires me often, and then I literally just wrote down everything that came flowing out of me from there and although I maybe wasn't going to read it word for word, it felt important to have the words on the page in front of me, just in case:

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."
So, in our lives, and in our practices, there are always going to be distractions. People at our workplaces who we don't get along with, or people in our classes who are like, sitting little bit lower in their uttkatasana or their backs are a little bit straighter than ours....or in our home practices - just that internal chatter constantly going going going.... But peace, silence, stillness, is sitting a little lower in your own uttkatasana, bending your front knee a little lower in Vira 2, and feeling your quads screaming at your and getting hot with energy...and just being there, being present and being still on the inside, and maybe even smiling a little bit. Peace.

It would have been a good theme, I think! I guess I'll have to save it for another time!

Voice & Language Observation w/ Ashley

On Tuesday, my co-worker Ashley who is also an instructor, was kind enough to let me sit in on a private lesson with a client. It was an outside session, just her and the person she was instructing, so it was a totally different atmosphere than what I am used to and a really awesome experience!

I work with Ashley at a busy cafe downtown, so it was cool to get to see her in a completely different environment, and how there are mannerisms about her that change while she is in "teacher mode" although a lot of things about her that just don't change much at all. I figure that's from her years of experience of teaching (I want to say she's been teach for at least 3-5 years but I honestly don't remember...). I consider her a very genuine person, and that comes out whether she is teaching or taking food orders from customers. She has a very calm and soothing voice, and gives directions without sounding demanding, but like she also sounds like she means business.

She laid her mat beside her client while they were practicing outside. I think what struck me most as far as voice and language was concerned, was how comfortable she was doing what she was doing. She loves her practice and has a lot of experience doing it, but she gave directions and encouragement like she was speaking to a friend, and then she would stop and give a correction or physical adjustment and I was snapped out of conversation mode and would realize once again that I was watching a lesson take place. It may just have been because she was doing a private session; it would be interesting to see if her voice and language and mannerisms changed at all while teaching a larger class. Honestly though, knowing what I do of Ashley, it probably wouldn't change much. She makes people feel comfortable no matter what she is doing, which is an important trait and what makes her a good teacher!

Observation 5 - Complete!

I'm excited to start assisting soon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yoga Journaling Assignment IV

Weeks 3 & 4 in the Rodney Yee book focus on Opening into Vulnerability and Allowing Receptivity, which really go hand in hand as far as I'm concerned.

Chapter 3, the Opening into Vulnerability chapter, is about doing backbends, which I have a love/hate relationship with. I'm pretty flexible, especially in my front body and back, but what I'm working on now is having the strength to back it up. My legs have gotten stronger to protect my knees and hips, but if my front body and back don't get stronger I'm afraid of hurting myself when I go too deep into a backbend, or get a little too overzealous trying a backbend or other pose that I can't safely bring myself back out of. Also, the more I think about and read over what I've just read, the more I notice how it closely it echoes the personal struggles I face, and once again finding myself amazed by how every facet of yoga has intertwined itself into my life.

In Chapter 4, Rodney Yee opens with a nice bit about how when we come up against a barrier, it is important to back up enough to observe, breathe and assess (rather than try to confront an obstacle head-on like a battering ram and create a struggle). This is a constant battle for me both in my life and my yoga practice because there is such a fine line between trying too hard and not trying hard enough, between hanging on and letting go, and I feel myself stumbling this line every day of my life, with every decision, big or small, that I am faced with. At least with my twists, I know my limits!

LAST Sequencing Observation w/ Omar @ BFree Yoga

I've still been mostly attending classes at the BFree Yoga studio, which I'm totally ok with because I just love it there for some reason, and each instructor is so different I learn new things every time I am there, whether it is observing or taking classes.

Omar is maybe only the 2nd male teacher I've ever been in a class of, and even that alone sets a very different tone for the class. It's an interesting dynamic, and the psychology major in me is conjuring up all kinds of theories about it.... regardless, I really enjoyed the class!

I've definitely been noticing the sequencing since getting that hand-out and talking about it so much at our last training session. This class wasn't any different... I found myself making notes in my head about variations and where we were in the sequence, and which things we skipped over because we had spent more time elsewhere. He even did the tripod headstand assist that we practiced last training session, so that was exciting!

I feel like I've come over a huge hump since the beginning of training (Antarayas, if you will) where I am beginning to feel more knowledgeable and things are starting to click for me in the ways of my abilities during my own asana practice, but also in my ability to feel confident enough to teach other. Obviously, I have a long ways to go, but I love learning so that's just all the more exciting for me!

Observation 4 - Complete!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sequencing Observation w/ Lauren @ Austin Yoga Festival

I was so excited to get the chance to go to the Austin Yoga Festival this year. I even got to meet up with my yoga instructor from Fredericksburg, which was so exciting! It was a very cool experience to get to practice beside the teacher who got me so excited about yoga in the first place!

I ended up getting to observe Lauren from Be Yoga at the main stage at 11:30. I've never taken any of her classes before, but Kara and Lindsay were excited to take her class there so I figured it would be great and it was! Her theme for the class was more or less that creative ideas have their own energy fields, and rather than us feeling like we have to invent the pose, she encouraged her students to search for what already exists inside of them. She compared asana practice to a Michaelangelo quote, where he stated that he as a sculptor wasn't making art, but rather uncovering the sculpture that was already hidden inside of the marble slab. It was a really cool theme, and something I kept thinking about the entire time I was observing her class.

I noticed that she didn't use much, or any, sanskrit while teaching her class and I wasn't sure if this was because it was a public Austin Yoga Festival class, or if that was just the way she normally teaches, but I found it interesting. I also found that she is much more the style of Vinyasa that I am not only accustomed to but more comfortable and most excited about. She makes asana a part of the entire yoga experience, rather than making the class entirely about the poses and work that the body is doing. She has a calming voice and a presence about her that drew me to yoga in the first place.

The thing that I found most interesting about observing her class was that as she kept reverting back to the theme, she kept saying things like "Serving the idea of down dog that already exists" or "Serve the pose like it wants to come into creation. Simply remove what is extraneous." While I like the idea of yoga being an ancient practice that we don't need to invent and can, instead, let it come into it's own creation through our bodies, I think it's really easy to get caught up in what yoga already is, and what other people are doing as far as yoga lingo, etc. and lose sight of what we can each individually bring to the practice. Especially as teachers, I think it is not only our privilege but our duty in a way to bring our own unique and personal interpretation to our practice and to our students in order to keep it growing and changing and alive. What an exciting idea!

Observation 3 - complete!

Sequencing Observation w/ Gioconda @ BFree Yoga

This observation was another exciting event for me this past week. Since I've been taking training with Gioconda, I thought that I would be accustomed to her teaching style and classes and just being in general....but I was so wrong. I am continuously impressed by her ease at leading a class of 35+ students in a tiny heated room where everyone is so clearly just so inspired by her presence that they feel empowered to do things like handstands in the middle of their sun salutations! This was new to me, so I was impressed to say this least. The thing that I kept writing in my notes was that no matter what the sequence actually consisted of, whether it was the smallest motion of lifting the leg into dog dog splits, or handstands in between tic tocs in between shoulder stands....seriously my mind was blown watching this class....but every students was just so clearly inspired and empowered to reach to a new level of asana and yoga with every movement (I'm not kidding....and I confirmed this notion with students of hers afterwards as well!).

As far as actual sequencing goes, I noticed a few key things, that we've been talking about in training. One of them is continuing to refer back to the theme, whether it be directly talking about it, an anecdote, or somehow incorporating it into a transition between poses. "No situation in life is worth leaving yourself behind." I liked that quote.

Another thing I noticed was the forward thinking - which is something we talking about in training as well. Being ahead of the movement of the class, so that the instructor is the one leading and not being drug along behind the movements of their own class. I noticed that a good time to give students who seem to be struggling a bit extra help is while the class is holding a pose for longer - like pigeon, and their heads are down so the struggling studets doesn't feel isolated or picked on. The same goes for students who are maybe more advanced and can be given extra direction, but doing it in a way that doesn't interfere with or undermine the rest of the class.

Encouragement is important throughout sequencing as well, to keep spirits lifted. Especially toward the end of class when the energy level is clearly dwindling and students are clearly no long to hold themselves up in downdog for as long or push through an entire vinyasa. I could tell that the students when getting tired when they stopped sporadically pushing up into handstands! Seriously, that blew my mind!

Talking about where you should feel the work and where you should feel the stretch in any particular pose is also as important part of sequencing, especially with poses that not everybody may be as familiar with, or in a pose where incorrect alignment or posture could be especially harmful to the body.

All in all, it was a completely different experience being the observer of Gioconda's class, after taking so much instruction from her in the past couple of months. It was inspiring and motivating and I feel truly privileged and honored to be getting so much one-on-one training and instruction from her!

Observation 2 - complete!

Building Trust Observation w/ Georgette @ BFree Yoga

I had a very interesting experience observing Georgette's BNew class for beginners. It was the first class she had taught in the series of beginner classes, which focused on breathing and alignment. I emailed Shelby at BFree and asked if there was any sort of protocol for observing classes, and she said that she was pretty sure any of the instructors would be fine with me observing, and to just show up a few minutes early to ask the instructor when I got there. So, that's exactly what I did.

I had taken one of Georgette's BFlow classes already and really enjoyed it, so I thought a beginner's class would be the perfect place to start my observations. I introduced myself and could tell she was hesitant to let me observe, as she had never had anyone observe any of her classes before. However, she obliged and I was grateful and set up in the corner of the room opposite as to where the majority of the students had laid out their mats. She introduced me to the small class, explained the situation and then continued on as planned. Having taken one of her classes before, I didn't really think that she acted much different having an observer in the class, but I could tell after a few minutes, once she realized that I was there to watch and learn and not judge and critique, that she relaxed and was enjoying teaching her class.

A couple of key things I noticed with her in particular was that she smiles a lot and uses a lot of body language to communicate with her students. I think that this is probably pretty important when building a rapport with a new class, or with anyone new in the class, because you want them to feel comfortable and you want them to find you approachable.

About 1/3 of the way through class is when things starting getting interesting. As with any teacher instructing beginners or any new students, Georgette asked the class if there were any injuries or any other ailments she should know about before beginning. No one stated anything out of the ordinary, but after talking with her at the end of the class, she said that she could tell with one particular student that there was something not quite right going on with this woman's body. Georgette tried to give some simple direction and special attention to this student, as well as gentle adjustments. She even got up in front of the class numerous times to demonstrate what she was talking about.

It's been a little while since I've been in a beginner class, but it her simple flow series was not unlike how I remember my first classes as a new student. I thought she did an excellent job. However, this particular student who was having so much difficulty left about 1/3 of the way through the class. It was a strange feeling because I could tell that Georgette was uncomfortable, as she confirmed with me later, and felt bad because there was really nothing else she could do. In the simplest movements, this woman was having such an incredibly difficult time that she was slowing down the flow of the rest of the class. And although it was disappointing for Georgette, I'm sure, that this woman left, the mood in the class changed almost instantly as the rest of the students and the instructor felt as though it was a burden lifted off of the rest of flow class.

After class, the friend/co-worker of the woman who left explained to Georgette that this woman had suffered a stroke at some point in her life, and had almost no feeling and limited mobility and an entire side of her body. She explained that she was self conscious about it, and that was the reason that she hadn't told Georgette in front of the class. They had a short discussion about why this was unsafe and unfortunate for the woman who had left, and it was only after she and the rest of the students left that I finally got to talk to Georgette about my experience observing her class.

She told me that she felt really comfortable teaching with me observing, that she didn't feel judged or criticized, which I was happy to hear. We talked about her sequencing and the class I took, etc. and she invited me to come and observe or assist any time with her, which I will be happy to do! She also explained that in a situation like the one with the woman who left the class, it is best to report back to the owner of the studio and have her do any emailing or further contacting about concerns that either one of them may have, which I appreciated.

Then she asked me what size pants I wore, which I thought was kind of a funny question, and explained the lululemon pants she was wearing didn't really fit her quite right and she had tried them out a few times, but if I didn't mind washing them, I was welcome to have them! The funny thing about this is that I have been coveting lululemon yoga gear since I first heard about them and went into the store to get my mat. However, everything there is just way too out of my price range at this point and I have been left admiring from afar. And then, there was a pair of free pants just being offered right up to me! It was so exciting and one of those affirming moments when you feel like you're making the right choices by being in the places you're being at the times that you are there. It was one of the moments I've had in the last couple of weeks that make me feel so grateful to be part of the yoga community, and especially this one in particular.

First observation - complete!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Yoga Journaling Assignment III

I'm not exactly sure if I'm supposed to be reflecting on Week 3 or Weeks 6&7 for this next journal entry, so I'm just going to get spontaneous and crazy and talk about whatever is on my heart and in my mind at the time being.

Yoga has been such a blessing to me this past month, and especially in these past 2 weeks. The transition to living in this city by myself has been so much more difficult than I expected. I've moved a lot and don't really have roots or a place to call "home", but everywhere that I've gone I've don't ever remember feeling this unsettled or agitated for this long. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons for that, but it's not what's pertinent to this particular journal entry.

I arrived at training this past Friday after having a particularly hard day, and I was running a little late. However, as soon as I walked in those doors my mood was instantly lifted. The entire vibe of this group of people I am sharing something so intimate with, in my opinion, is so positive and so supportive and just so everything that I need right now in my life. I've been seeking this relationship in so many other places, when it was there right in front of me this whole time; yoga.

We talked about how our home practices were changing and we are molding them to fit what is right for our lives. The truth is, where I feel most comfortable isn't my apartment right now. I'm renting out a room in a townhouse until December, and it doesn't feel like my home to me, which I think is part of the reason my home practice just hasn't been happening. On the other hand, I've been taking classes at studios and observing at studios where I know virtually no one, and yet I feel more at peace than I do in my own "home" when I'm there. So for now, that's the only home practice that can happen for me, and once I accepted that it felt like I had still taken my home practice to a new level.

I've been amazed by all of the things I've learned just by taking classes and observing classes, both from teachers and other students and myself. I'll talk more about the observation classes in their respective reflection papers, but it is safe to say that I am finally starting to find myself and where I fit in to my own yoga practice, and it is both an empowering and freeing feeling, indeed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yoga Journaling Assignment II

The theme for this week (Week 5) in the Rodney Yi book is Facing the Unknown. It's interesting, because I am not often afraid of change, and, in fact, embrace it for the most part. I'm an adrenaline junkie in a different way than most, I suppose. While I enjoy things like rock climbing and roller coasters, and I would love to try sky diving or bungee jumping one day, the real adrenaline rush I get is with change. The unknown is something I embrace. I move a lot because I like to discover new things, meet new people, and make new friends.

I don't think my experience with yoga is any different. I love trying new asanas, and learning all of the layers upon layers of things to know about yoga. I'm excited to work on my inversions, but I've found that I do have a fear of handstand, sort of. Practicing on my own, or even at training where I am comfortable enough, I enjoy trying going upside down. However, in classes where I am new or where I don't feel comfortable yet, I get nervous about kicking up in to handstand or pushing up into headstand or anything really where I could mess up and fall or kick someone..... I tried a headstand in the middle of the room at a class I went to last week and fell over and almost kicked the person in front of me! Actually, it was the person off to my right in front of me....which isn't any better. Ha!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yoga Journaling Assignment I

Being present was our theme this week (well, last weekend and the following two weeks, of which are almost ending already!). I've noticed it being a theme or sub-theme of the yoga classes I've been attending lately as well. It seems everyone is focusing more on being right where they are and accepting it.

I just moved to Austin, what will be almost 3 weeks ago now. It feels like both a longer and shorter time ago, depending on what kind of mood I am in. Although, for the sake of staying with the theme, at the present moment it feels like an eternity ago that I moved here. It already feels like my city. However, with more to do comes more distraction and I've found that staying present here is more difficult than it was in the small town that I moved from. Not just in my yoga practice, although I have noticed that as well.

I've got two jobs now, which is great after being unemployed for almost a month! I've been overlapping trainings some, and it gets a little confusing because it's easy for me to confuse the information I'm learning at the two places. This is a time when I have found it extremely important for me to stay present where I am in those moments. I give better customer service when I'm not thinking about all of the other things I have to do when I get off of work.

The same goes for my yoga practice. The classes are so much bigger than I am used to, and it's easy for me to get distracted by looking around at all the other students. I'm not judging them or myself really, just being curious. I had a great teacher named Jenn at Yoga Yoga North, and I am hoping she'll let me observe one of her classes soon! Out of all of the studios I have gone to so far in Austin, Yoga Yoga is one of my favorite AND closest to where I live.....although I still have a lot of places to check out!

All of these options, not just with yoga studios but with everything now that I am living in the city, is great practice at staying present for me. I get so easily distracted and overwhelmed by all that i COULD or feel like I SHOULD be doing, that it is important for me to be grateful and blessed by all that I've accomplished so far, and stay present in every moment that I am given.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

it's a new day

i woke up this morning thinking, on day 3 of looking for jobs i guess, eh? i'm getting worn out and discouraged that i'm not going to find a job here. and then i read an article about the wonderful lady who is going to be teaching my yoga training beginning this weekend, and i got excited. but there was a little stanza in there about how austin has the largest teacher-to-student ratio in austin over any other city! great, is what i thought to myself. i'm never going to get a job teaching here, and i don't want to leave in december already, i just got here!

my days have been exhausting so far..... i moved in sunday evening and stayed up for a while with my new roommates and one of them's brother and dad who were staying over for a few days due to the fires....they had to evacuate. luckily their homes are both ok. but it was a full house for a little bit there!

on monday i got up early and did an 8am bikram yoga class in celebration of free day of yoga. it was wonderful, but bikram yoga really just isn't for me. i don't like being so hot! and it seems unnecessary when it's already 111 degrees outside!

i then went on the job hunt, and found a great little cafe where i think i would fit in perfectly! i had an interview with one of the managers and she liked me, so she scheduled me for another interview with another manager the following afternoon. i was excited, and figured that it was a sign that's the job i was going to get, so i pretty much quit my job search for the day, went to one more yoga class that afternoon, then went home to do some bonding with my new roomies.

i slept in and just hung out the next morning because i was so sure i was going to get that cafe job. however, even though i left almost 30 minutes earlier than i needed to, i got lost and was late. the manager was already gone and i was so discouraged. =( luckily, they rescheduled the interview for thursday afternoon, but now that means i've got another full day of job searching ahead of me..... i feel lucky for my options, but honestly i hate having so many choices. i pride myself on following my gut instinct on things, and it's starting to get foggy because i'm such a desperate state for a job.....

after missing out on that opportunity i figured it was time to put in a few more applications places..... then came home to relax after what felt like another long and exhausting day. i wouldn't call myself a person who gets homesick very much any more, although i used to BAD when i was little. but i have a friend who lives in austin who i keep trying to meet up with and it just doesn't work out. more than anything i just want to see the face of someone that i know in this city full of strangers.

i did get to talk to some friends from back home (which now includes fredericksburg, apparently) and it was absolutely lovely to hear her voice, and hear about what they're all up to. it makes me smile to know that they're thinking of me too.

but like i said, i woke up this morning feeling exhausted just thinking about the day ahead of me. i have no plans.....just a job to find. i was already starting to get discouraged thinking of driving all over this city again.....but two of my lovely sisters wrote on my fb wall this morning, and without knowing how discouraged and tired and missing my friends i have been up and down on this roller coaster of emotions (jeez) it was so wonderful to hear from them, and that for just that minute, or maybe many minutes during the day, they were thinking of me.

it's those little things that are going to help me get through this rough transition period.....i have faith that i'm making the right decisions, so now i just gotta get my ass out there and go make them...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

antsy pants

i think maybe the reason i haven't hung anything up on my walls yet is because i'm not ready to stay. i have one piece of street art i've purchased since i moved here, and a collage of some pictures from a magazine i adore, because i couldn't sleep one night and i like projects. i'm not ready to stay, and i don't know if that means this apartment or this town or texas.....

will i know when it's time to stay and settle down? i sure feckinggg hope so.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

tell the truth.

let's all be honest with ourselves for a minute.

just try.

how do you feel right now? what are you thinking about? or should i ask......who? why is it that you're thinking about that person in particular? or event? or thing that you have to get done tomorrow morning before work.......

i'm going to try to be more honest. with myself. i have no problem telling people what i think. but i am a fucking liar to myself about how i feel sometimes.


people fuck around with me a lot because i'm a very trusting person once i decide that you are worthy. the problem is, i have yet to meet one person who hasn't proved me wrong. but i refuse to give up hope that those people are out there. i'd rather be hurt a million times (and counting....) than live the rest of my life bitter and never trusting anyone.

i just want everyone else to hold themselves to the same standard that i hold them to.

i'm as guilty as the rest of you fucks.

you know the saying

"truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." -bob marley

well, i think that's bullshit.

why do people hurt each other? disappoint, with no regard for others? certainly they know what they are doing, by some point in their lives. perhaps we can forgive the young. they're still learning as, arguably, we all are. i should be the last one to preach about responsibility and commitment, but honestly, the more good people i meet who do shitty things to each other (and by each other, i mean me) the less i believe that it's just part of a free-spirited existence, and more about people always and only seeking to fulfill their own selfish needs.

i can't lie and say that i don't do it too......i'm as guilty as the rest of you fucks. the difference is that i recognize it. you can't hurt people who you care about. i mean, you can. but fuck you for doing such a horrible thing. why would you put people you care about through so much disappointment and pain? i admittedly need to work on this, and i wish everyone else would do the same.

so like i was saying....... bob marley said some wise things in his short life, if you care to believe them. but i think he got this one wrong. i truly honestly believe and hopehopehope and pray that there are people out there who will not hurt and destroy me. and i won't stop until i find them.

i won't. ok??

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

what kind of fuckery is this?

the truth is an interesting thing. it's sets you free, some say. it holds you down. it keeps you back. i'm on the fence, which is not much of a place to be when it comes to truth.

i got a tattoo when i was 19 that says "belief". people were confused by this. they questioned me, asked didn't i mean "believe"? did the artist spell it wrong? and what the fuck is that supposed to mean anyway? while the only learning experience i gained from this bullshit is not that people will tell you you're wrong when you're not, and people will not understand when, in your mind, it makes perfect sense. people will be confused by you, and rather than understand, rather than ask a question that actually merits an answer, they will tell you that you've got it wrong. getting a tattoo is a great way to find out the kind of stupid shit people will say, as if a tattoo is a like a pregnant belly, on display for the world and open for questions comments and concerns. people think that their opinion matters to you, but let me tell you; it doesn't. anyway, this is not the only lesson that i have learned since i started getting tattoos. it's an important one, but i digress........

i got the belief tattoo for one/two reasons: there are two songs that i know of with this is by john mayer, the other, gavin degraw. both of these artists have essentially had every ounce of their talent raped and pillaged by the media since they started getting regular play back in the early part of the century..........shit. not the point. the song by gavin degraw is about a female, i'm assuming (whoops) who he loves in some way; his best friend, his girlfriend....whatever, it doesn't really matter. this girl came to his rescue.....she believed in him when no one else would. it is a painful realization when you find yourself in that situation, who believes in you. WHO IS THERE? sometimes no one......sometimes only yourself, and that must do. but he had some chick telling him that she believed in him; even more, she stood up for him in the face of whatever asshole was telling gavin degraw he wasn't worth shit.
whoever this woman is, gavin degraw recognized that she loved him so deeply she would put aside her bullshit....whatever it is....whatever your bullshit is........ and put her belief in him. and he wanted to shout from the rooftops how grateful he was, how supported he felt, how he now knew he could do ANYTHING....anything. because of the belief this one person put in him. it's a beautiful idea and it's a beautiful song....

on this other side is the john mayer song. john mayer is kind of an arrogant, liberal asshole but i can put my feelings for him aside to recognize that he's kind of a musical genius.......anyway the john mayer song about belief is the dark side. everything has a dark side. there's some truth for you. the dark side of belief is how ugly people can be to one and other in the name of their belief. has an athiest ever suddenly changed his mind about the existence of a god because he saw a billboard that said you're going to hell if you're not giving the church 10% of your annual income? fuckkkkk nooooo. did a 15 year old girl ever change her mind about getting an abortion because there was a mob of angry virgins screaming in her face about how evil she was while she walked up the steps of the clinic? she probably cried for weeks and was probably emotionally scarred by the entire experience for the rest of her life. did those people change her mind about the choice she felt like she had to make? if anything, they shamed her and guilted her and made her feel so awful about her own existence that she fled.

people destroy one another with their beliefs because everyone knows their right. right? i mean, you can't hold a belief, preach it, live it, whatever the fuck you do when you say that you believe in have to believe that it's true or it isn't yours to claim. the problem is that no one else can see through their whatever walls they've built up around them with their own life experiences, to recognize that there are sooooo manyyyy people in the world who believe their own beliefs just as strongly as you do yours.

so who's right? everyone? no one? christians? i, personally, don't have a fucking clue. there is factual evidence; there are things that you can point to as being true. "that bitch just left me a two dollar tip after she made me cut up her food and feed it to her my fucking self" can be witnessed and experienced by enough people that it is accepted as truth. but everything else......and there's so much more of that.....everything sooooo the opposite of black and white.

"my boyfriend wants to have a threesome or he's going to break up with me" could be looked at as truth in the appropriate situation. however, maybe if you think about it, the truth is that your boyfriend really looooooved the sex yesterday, but it's not enough for him today. or this afternoon. or tonight. so maybe the truth is that you're just not quite good enough. the truth could be that he really loves your best friend and your sister, too. the truth just might be that your boyfriend is a piece of shit. but who's to say?

i had a friend who i loved for a little while.......beyond the physical and the sex and drugs and sneaking around........i just cared about him so much that it ached sometimes to be near him. when i care about someone like this, i don't know how it happens but it's such an intense experience. i just want to be filled with them. to be near them and breathe the same air. to feel the heat rise off of their bodies. i have a bad habit of finding these people and loving them too intensely from too far of a distance. some revelation will suddenly reveal it's malicious face and my entire world will crumble......and when all is said and done the same EXACT THING is said to me each time.

i didn't even know you liked me that much.

i get angry and i cry and i move across the country, and he didn't even know that i "liked him that much?" how can this be? to me, i feel like my entire soul is oozing out of my eyeballs. that every time i speak, every time i breathe, every person within a 30 mile radius of us can feel how much i love someone when i love them. except for them? wait......nobody knows? is what i feel......that intense emotional ache of just caring about someone way tooo it even true if i'm the only one who knows that it exists?

it's a problem that i have, not telling people how i feel until it is far. too. late. it's interesting because you would think that because i can pinpoint the exact location of where i go wrong everysingletime, that i would be able to fix it. the problem, however, is that i must be insane. you know......insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? that kind of insane. i don't know how to fix it because i don't even realize that i'm doing it. i am convinced, it is the TRUTH in my mind that how i feel must be so blatantly obvious to everyone that i shouldn't have to tell anyone how i feel. the problem is that people cannot read my mind. i used to be such a disaster of a human being (even more than i am now! i'm serious. it's scary but it happened...) that at some point i looked at myself in the mirror (maybe, or maybe i'm exaggerating) and told myself to get with the fucking program.

the last time i threw myself at someone, i remember it so clearly it still makes me nauseous thinking about it. i was so distraught that this boy new that i loveddddd him, and he was telling all his friends and when things started to go bad EVERYONE KNEW. everyone. i hate that feeling that anyone knows, but every one knows. everyone knew. so i decided in that moment that i was going to have to be a different person. i could no longer care about anyone, i could no longer give a fuck about anyone or anything because being that attached just makes it hurt so much more when it's gone.

so i went back to school for my senior year of college with that i don't give a fuck attitude worked. it sort of worked. people knew who i was. people i didn't know talked about me like they had any business in mahhh business. i felt like a celebrity. the mind is a powerful thing, and if your mind is telling people to fuck off and leave you the hell alone, most people are going to do it. except the exact opposite. people didn't approach me. i had a small group of friends that i actually considered friends. that i trusted (mistakes). everyone else was just a party. the less information you give people, the more they want to know.

i learned these things, i took them to heart i studied them and practiced them and watched the other people who i looked at and wondered about......what made these people so different from everyone else? maybe it's the tattoos or the piercings or weird hairstyles.....but maybe not. because there's plenty of people who do those things and nobody really gives a fuck. i'm talking about the people who get stared at as they walk down the street of their neighborhood. who get run into at grocery stores because people are literally STARING at them. what is it about these people? i am convinced it's all a mind's an ATTITUDE. ok?

if your belief is, not that you're better or smarter or prettier than everyone else in the whole entire world......that's not it at all. but just that you're better than their petty bullshit. and you know better than to just believe anyone who tries to tell you anything. if you know that being beautiful is a trick......that's the people i'm talking about. they don't give a FUCK what you think, and yet you still try to tell them. sheep want to make those people a part of their world. they want to make sense of those people because they are senseless.

anyway, that was my truth. that i didn't give a fuck about nothing or nobody, i was just going to do my shit and fuck everything and everyone. and for a while, it was so awesome. but the problem was that as much as i didn't care what anyone thought of anything that i did. ever. there was always someone who i cared about. i would find people to love because i just needed to love. my heart literally feels like it will burst completely out of my chest cavity and make a huge fucking mess because there are just some people i can't help but love. and those were the people i couldn't not give a fuck about. but i tried to anyway. i pretended i didn't.

and the fucked up thing is, that seemed to work. guys love a girl who doesn't care. it's a fun game, and i get it. i am excellent at that game for a while, but the problem is that eventually i always lose. i lose interest, fast, in most people. usually before i even really gain interest in the first place. in which case i just drop all contact with said parties until i just don't have to deal with the situation anymore. sometimes i worry that i hurt people's feelings but the problem is that most of the time i don't really worry much at all.

i have one friend who i would like not to matter anymore. usually i'm pretty good at this part; just cutting them out of my life until i can get over how much i care about them and just be a regular friend. i'm good at that too. getting over shit. but if it's so easy to just let those feelings go.......were they even real? if he cared, maybe, but met someone else who helped him get over those feelings so easily, where THEY even real? what the fuck are we even talking about when we say that we have feelings for someone? is it only truth in context or is there really something to be said when a person finds "the one"? is it truth, or just another distraction? another excuse for..........whatever the fuck we're doing around here.

so call it karma, but the people who actually matter to me, matter. a lot. and when i don't matter as much to them as they do to absolutely fucking crushes me.

so what's the truth, then? do i, in fact, give a fuck? have i been pretending to be this hard person for so long that i've forgotten what's even real? or am i going to have to go through the rest of the my life being wary of every person i befriend, for fear that they will crush my soul?

Monday, July 25, 2011


you have to put yourself out there. YOU HAVE TO! otherwise what reason do i have to believe that you ever ever will..........

i may have found out recently that one of my very good friends has more feelings about the feelings of our friendship situation than i have been willing to..........accept. i can't say i didn't know, although that's absolutely what i'm claiming to alllllll of my other friends trying to get themselves in the middle of this hot mess..... i wasn't willing to accept it because i think i feared impending danger. i still do. i always do.

the question is, is it worth it? is the fear of the unknown, of a lost relationship with a friend, and not just that friend but the entire social network that connects it worth the risk? sometimes, i suppose it absolutely is. i've heard those happily ever after stories. i know they exist. but this kind of relationship is already equipped with the added pressure of everyone else expecting magical things to come of a union that is.....or may seem to "meant to be."

so i denied it. and i said things to drive the point home that if this was in fact what i suspected it might be, it wasn't something i was aware of.......or interested in? but now i fear i've done the wrong thing. you don't realize what you have until it's gone.......or until somebody else gets it. like a fabulous dress for prom that you see in the store window, but decide to wait give it some time to think it over. next thing you know, some bitch from your 8th period english class has her boyfriend hauling that shit potato-sack style out of macy's. fail.

and this is what i fear........that i've waited. that i've done the wrong thing. that it's too late for me say what i think now that i know what i have probably known all along. i should've done something. something. ANYTHING.

so the question isn't really whether or not the risk is worth it; it always is. ALWAYS. the real question it too late?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

we call truth.

the older i get the more i realize that i am my father's child. my mother has always told me this; i have his attitude, his biting sarcasm.....even the cleft in his chin.

last week my parents went to visit my dad's family in north carolina. we don't see much of them because my dad doesn't really get along with his brothers and sisters, and both of his parents have passed. however, i've spent the majority of my life believing that it was everyone else's fault that i didn't know an entire half of my family. not because i believed everything that my father said, or that he was the most upright and truthful man i have ever known - believe me, he is not. but it's the only perspective i've ever known, and i never really bothered to find out more.

it wasn't until the past year when i've begun to physically and emotionally and spiritually feel myself growing into an adult, that i've been so curious as to what my patriarchs are all about. so......back to north carolina. our entire family was invited to the wedding of one of my dad's cousins, who i have never met and my mother has never met and my dad hasn't seen since his parents were the only ones to attend, and i'm so disappointed in myself for not taking the opportunity.

the stories my mother told me about the interactions and conversations she and my father had with his family almost made me weep. i am them, i thought finally. this is where i come from; this is where i belong. i consider myself to "have a brain" as my close friends and i call it. untrusting of the media, disillusioned by the government, unbelieving of the so-called "american dream". we are out of patience with the majority of the world, who follow popular culture like sheep, and have no free-thinking cell in their body. it's terrifying, and when it's time that the revolution time finally arrives, there is going to be a very, VERY small majority of people who will be physically, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to fend for themselves. what some call a conspiracy theorist, or just plain cooky off my fucking rocker, i call truth. we call truth.

so it came as less of a surprise and more of a revelation when my parents came back from their weekend in north carolina, telling me tales of my cooky "conspiracy theorist" cousins...... they're pretty crazy, is what my mother told me. they are mine, is what i told myself. it's like knowing your whole life that you are adopted, and finally meeting a part of your birth family for the first time. i felt refreshed; invigorated. like what i believed and the path that i was on was not by mistake - this was, in fact, who i was born to be and my very own father had pried me and my family as far away from those "nuts" as he could. but he couldn't hide them from us forever. and not that i know.............oh, just like every other piece of knowledge one acquires........once you know the truth, how do you ever live your life the same way again? you can't.......that's the answer. you cannot go on any other way. you have to speak the have to SPEAK UP. even if your voice shakes. even if no one wants to hear must speak. no one will hear your silence. ignorance is poison.

Monday, May 30, 2011


the one and only night i've let someone sleep in my bed since i started this new life of mine, i think that i had my first lucid dream. and by first, i really just mean first that i remember because i know the feeling was all too familiar........

i was sleeping on the edge of my bed and i kept rolling over. even though i didn't feel like i was falling, i would start awake to the feeling of him grabbing me, so as not to fall out of my bed. every time i would over at him, he would be wide awake with a crazy/terrified look in his eyes at the thought of me falling.

this happened maybe three times and on the last time i didn't look at him, just asked him why he kept waking me up. he said to me, "i just want to either of to fall hard and get hurt." that's when i knew it was a dream and i slept soundly the rest of the night.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ladies and gentlemen

‎"If more females would sit down & be ladies, more males would stand up & be gentleman."


go after her. fuck, dont sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because thats what you should do if you love someone, dont wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come, dont let people happen to you, dont let me happen to you, or her, shes not a fucking television show or tornado. there are people i might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at 4 in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and i always thought id be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on 4 days notice because you cant just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyones idea of love but it is the way i can recognize it because that is what i do. go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.

Friday, April 15, 2011


learning when you've learned all you were meant to take away from a situation is a piece of wisdom the universe imparts on us. it could be a week or a month or nearly a year, but you'll wake up one morning and realize that the place that you are is no longer the place you are supposed to be. it's time to move on. and it could be down the street or across town; to another state or a different country. whatever lesson the universe has next for you... it's time to take that step. it's time to make that move. when it's time, you will know. but only if you're paying attention. only if you have attuned yourself to the journey. otherwise you could miss it. and then you become too comfortable to learn... life begins to feel stale, to taste sour. and what a shame to resent the life you are living because you were too busy thinking about what you thought you had to do, what you thought you were supposed to do, rather than flipping the coin and going with your gut, no matter where it lands.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

Sunday, April 10, 2011

death of me.

i can buy you time while you try and pretend that your problems don't exist. i'm the perfect shiny new play thing to keep you entertained just long enough to forget about what's really on your mind. i can smile and make you laugh and for a moment you may even believe that it was me you have been looking for all along.

but she'll send you a text, you know. something real generic at first. "can you pick up the dog?" you know. your child. and you can pretend that you're not fooled into thinking it's really all about the dog, or whatever. but now you're thinking about her. again. i can see the panic you try to push back behind your eyes. the impending implosion of all things beautiful for all your shit that's so painfully real. it's ugly and it's foul but it's all you've ever known and my kind words, my understanding... the smell of my shampoo, my tattoos... are all so foreign. so uncertain. i am but a mystery, always, never getting close enough; never staying far enough away. and so you go back, fall back into what's easiest for you; what you've known for so long to be the only thing to ever be true and constant in your life. because your afraid.

and trust me, i understand fear. but you are weak and i am tired. it is exhausting to live with the notion...the theory, as it has yet to be proven wrong, that all you will ever be is a distraction. a resting place. something you "needed". and thank you. what if the only purpose of your life is to be - ONLY - for the purpose of others. i will grow old, and alone, and all those who have known me will speak kindly about my genuine sympathy for others. how much i could care and how hard i could love.

just once, i would like to be loved. violently.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

decadent lifestyle

no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. if we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power.
pj orourke

if the words life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the declaration of independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on.
terence mackenna

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

different times.

there it was right in front of me. the reason i didn't make an effort whatsoever to make friends when i moved. i purposefully, without even knowing it, subconsciously, left all of the bullshit and horrible people behind me to set out on a new quest. and i wouldn't let anyone in. i vowed to myself to stay away from anyone or anything that would hurt me. that would make me feel....anything. all i wanted was a simple life where i could work and dance and laugh sometimes and hang out with some people. sometimes. when i was feeling really ready. but the truth is that i'm not antisocial. just smarter. with experience i've learned how shitty people can be. how no one can be trusted because everyone is looking out for themselves. ONLY looking out for themselves and their best interests. and hell, i had done my share of fucking people over too. but once it happened to me... i knew how it felt. the nauseating, stomach crushing feeling of being disappointed. and so i kept to myself and let so few people in i was practically a hermit. but i had a feeling. an inkling. i'll just give it a try. just see what happens. that's what one of the few friends i still had left had told me, one of the few people i still trusted in my life had told me. just see what happens. and so i had. and i thought, shit... maybe things really could be different. but let me tell you something. they can't.

people are going to hurt each other. mercilessly. with no reason for any of it. i refuse to believe that i'm the only person left on earth who shows any compassion for others. i refuse. so i tried to give one person the benefit of the doubt. jesus... in 8 months the first person i decided could possibly not fuck up my world. again. but deep down i knew. I KNEW. but i put the voices out of my head cautioning to be careful. not to do it. that they'll hurt you too just like almost every other person in your life had ever done. but i refuse to believe that there won't be one other person out there who isn't going treat me like a rental car like other guys (gavin degraw reference there. look that shit up.) fuck you for not being that person but even though i'm disappointed in people still. i'm still wrong. i have to hope that i can't be wrong forever because god... if that isn't just the most depressing thought in the world. that no one will ever not hurt you. disappoint you. there's nothing left to live for. no hope. and without hope there's nothing. so that fucking hope is all i've got.

i know a lady wouldn't say suck my dick. but i've never been much of a lady. i've never been so good at following everyone else's rules. it's like playing football on a basketball court, when everyone else knows the rules except for you. like they forgot to tell you which game they were playing, so they just went on around you, letting you think you knew until you went in for a layup and got tackled by the entire defensive line. and do you put up a fight when you don't even know what's coming?

winter months

and when i looked at her just then, it was the most vulnerable i had ever seen her. her big shiny eyes, usually filled with a sparkle. a spark. a something. they were just sad. like a puppy. and she had lost so much weight in the last 3 1/2 days that they protruded like a little lost puppy. like her big puffy lips. and when she inhaled a puff of her marlboro smooth, i could see her ribs stick out the back of her baggy tank top. had she gotten more sun, maybe they wouldn't have been more noticeable. but it had only just begun to get warm after the long winter months, and her frail thin body looked more like a corpse than a supermodel or a ballet dancer or whatever she claimed to be that day. whatever the boys compared her to when they sat around their bowls and video games at night, talking about how hot she was. how mysterious. how they couldn't understand why no one had "gone for it" yet. because they were all too intimated. and then, later, like now, how bad they felt that she had gotten so fucked up. so played. she deserved better than that. they all knew it, even if they barely knew her. she was too cool. too good. so certainly, something must be wrong with her. but no one had figured it out yet. not quite yet.