Feeling the Rain

Last weekend I didn’t have many obligations, so I rolled my windows down, turned on some Bruce and drove back to my parents house. It had been 4 months since I was there last, which is probably one of the longest absences yet. Long days at work had me craving some fresh air, sun, and homecooked dinners not eaten at a desk.

I definitely got what I craved. I even went as far as to shovel pens with Dan. Oh how I used to hate that chore! It was the worst, but lately I relish any opportunity to move and be outside.

The weather was so great, I slept with my windows open and Dad and I went on a 20 miles ride on Sunday. This was my first time on the bike this season and it totally wiped me out but it was glorious. Just as we got into town, a rain cloud that had been chasing us opened up. It was the perfect spring rain, warm and quiet and I just felt the drops on my face and rode home with a huge smile.

It was a great weekend but it made me realize how much I’d been missing, and it makes the fact that I am stuck inside on an 80 degree afternoon even more frustrating. Sometimes I watch the groundkeepers out the window and wonder if HR would switch me over.

Fear of Falling and Peter Pan Syndrome

So work has been crazy. I’ve tried so long to not complain about work, but I’m going to go ahead and complain about work. I’m tired of being here 12 hours a day just to do work that is essentially spinning my wheels. I’m sick of looking out the window at the sunny weather while I sit at my computer. I’m sick of making plans that I have to cancel. I’m sick of not even being able to make plans because I have no idea what time I’m going to be allowed to go.

The bright spot continues to be the people that I work with. Their sense of humor and camaraderie is what is getting me through these past few weeks months. Since the weather was nice yesterday, we ate lunch outside. We got to talking about cartwheels and handstands and all the tricks we could and could not do in our old age.

Embarrassing truth: I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel.

A couple of the girls were still able to pull one off, handstands as well. They had done them so much when they were younger it was engrained in their muscle memory. I know I have enough strength to do one, but my body does not know how. Is it possible to learn to do one when you are 25? I’m going to try.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, how when we are kids, we are so much less hesitant to push ourselves physically. Skateboarding? Try it. Flips? Get on the diving board and see. No big deal if you fall – skinned knees are something to brag about. Wounds heal.

 

I’m not sure when this started changing for me, but I remember going skiing when I was 22 and seriously bracing myself for a crash every time some went past. What the hell happened? I used to fly straight down the mountain, my lack of braking ability be damned. Why was I so anxious and scared?

Ok, there are some legitimate reasons for holding yourself back as an adult, but lately I’ve been rebelling against all things adult-like. I don’t want to loose my sense of fun and adventure and the thrill of doing something that you aren’t sure you can actually do. I’ve got Peter Pan Syndrome.

So I’ve been working on my cartwheels and handstands and trying to learn to fall gracefully. I also got on my friend’s longboard a few days ago. These are small, stupid things, but they are helping me stay young. I don’t ever want the fear of falling to hold me back.

 

 

Niyama, the 2nd limb of Ashtanga yoga

While on my mini-vaca I’ve been doing my reading for next weeks yoga class. In our text they started discussing the 8 limbs of yoga.  I realized that I have been practicing quite a few yogi ideas in the past few years without realizing it. I was so excited to read something related to the way I’ve been trying to live my life!

One of the limbs that I most related to was niyama (observances).  There are 5 niyamas: sauca, santosha, tapas, svadhyaya, and isvara-pranidhana.

Sauca – this niyama is concerned with decluttering the mind and life. A few years ago I suddenly got frustrated with all the STUFF I had laying around.  I started being more conscious about the things I bought, got rid of the things I didn’t need, and starting being cleaner and more organized overall. This practice has made me realize how much excess is in our lives, how little we really need, and what things are actually important. Not to mention it’s saved me quite a bit of money.

I don’t need another pair of sandals when I already have quite a few. Nor do I need to waste space and money on a Keurig when a french press will do. Most fancy kitchen gadgets don’t save a ton of time, and they waste a lot of space. Owning two bathtowels is enough, and I use my one favorite coffee mug every day (I’ve got a spare one for guests). I try and keep my countertops and floors clear, my drawers organized. It’s easier when you own much less stuff.

Sauca started carrying over to my thoughts as well. It’s easier to focus when my space is neat. (Don’t you just sometimes have to clean your desk on a busy day?) I have started to identify negative unnecessary thoughts and remove them from my mind as I would throw something in the trash. I think that even removing negative people and practices my life could be considered sauca. The things that do not contribute in a positive way, they weigh you down.

The point of this post is not to sound holier-than-thou, just to talk about how a clean life and a clean mind are related. I’ve still got a lot of scrubbing to do.

I don’t have any pictures that goes with this post – and I’m not a home so I can’t take any. But what is a blog post without pictures? I’ll post one of my brother with one of his chickens that he raised. I’m missing home today, I have not been there since Janurary!

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Beach Stories

This weekend my sister and I flew down to Florida to visit my grandma. We were lucky to find cheap flights, and that Grandma has extra rooms for us to stay. After seeing her new house and sharing a pot of coffee, we headed down to the beach. I was anxious to get the sun on my skin as I have not been exposed to much in Ohio.

We’ve been to this beach quite often, and I’ve always noticed the parasailing stand, but never have actually considered doing it. I was too scared, or thought it was too expensive, I guess. But I thought about how it would be a great way to make this trip memorable, and I hinted at it to my sister and Grandma. They both said they would do it if I would!

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I am DEFINITELY scared of heights, a phobia I am trying to conquer. Parasailing actually helped because the ride was so smooth, we just floated like a balloon. We were about 500 ft up but it was hard to be scared when the beautiful, smooth sea was spread below your feet. A few times I felt a little bit panicked, but I took a few deep breaths and it was no big deal at all. I was up for 30 minutes total because they could only fit two of us at once.

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Now I have this great story to share with my sister and Grandma. My aunt told Grandma that she better not tell her friends about it because they are going to start thinking she’s lost her mind!

Other hi lights of the day: floating in the sea in shavasana, eyes closed, hearing the sand shift of the ocean floor.

Yoga Teacher Training – Week One

Last weekend was the first week of Yoga Teacher Training.  I’ve been trying to apply the things I’ve learned to my life this week. First was meditation. I’ve tried meditating a few times before, but I never knew what I was doing. After we were given an introduction to the process and benefits of it, I feel a little more confident when practicing.

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I started out at just 5 minutes a day. Some days went OK, others not so well. I once tried it in the handicap restroom at work and quickly learned that it was NOT going to happen there. I was too stressed that someone was going to thing I went in there to take a nap or something.

I struggle with letting my mind wonder too long without bringing it back. Maybe if I had a Japa that would help me focus. I’m definitely calling meditation a work in progress.

I practiced asanas Sat, Sun, Wed, and Thurs. I’ll call this my starting point.
- Comfortable with many basic poses but sometimes need to be reminded to open my chest during twists.
- Still have a hard time balancing on my right ankle, especially at EOD when it’s swollen and tired.
- Arm balances and wheel continue to be my strength. I figured out this week that I could do side crow and wheel with a leg raise.
- Working on not comparing myself to myself and to others.