butterflies or pickles

5.14.13

tuesday today terrificus…

tuesday of three classes and so many smiling students and watching myself in the face of it all (of course, lol, it’s always about you stef… hmmm…) and yet really, isn’t it? not about me, but about you. for me it’s about you and for you it’s about you, and if i didn’t know me, i am unable to connect with and serve you. someone in expanding class today hit the nail on the head when they said something to the effect of, “it’s like we are all voices inside one big head.” yeah, we were talking about our multiple personalities… er uh, at least i was…

according to some philosophies that underly the practice of yoga, the manifest realm is a manifestation of a supreme intelligence, a universal reality, highest consciousness, god, whatever you want to call it, and that this physical realm that we experience in normal day-to-day life contains and is composed of this consciousness. and thus, we are all one. so each personality we encounter is like another voice in our “big” head… lol.

yeah, it’s like that. this concept helps me to be compassionate when people don’t understand something, willing when someone is having a difficult time, and curious about people i “dislike.” truly it helps me not only as a teacher, but as just a stef in day to day living at the grocery store (where i always seem to be), on my bike with lots of cars, in the car running late, talking on the phone to a woman who works for the gas company who’s simply doing her job and cares not about my crankiness and impatience.

classes went well today. i love my job.

word of the day at yogahour 11am and 415: TRUST.

The quote i borrowed it from this morning is from DR Butler’s The Course. http://www.truthofthepresentmoment.blogspot.com. he said,

“It’s not that our concepts from the past take up 75 percent of our consciousness, while awareness of the present takes 25 percent. It would be great if it were like that, but consciousness is only one, it is filled by one thought at a time. So, if we are clinging to our ideas from the past, it fills personal consciousness to the brim. This is why there must be an emptying out, a letting go, so that the past can be flushed from our psychic system, and we’ll be continuously refreshed and expanded by what is new. Of course, it helps to give up fear of the unknown. Trust that the unknown is even greater than the known.”

this paragraph stood out to me this morning. my tendency is to drop everything and discard it all to get ready for the new. LOL and throw out the baby with the bath water. (that is such a freaking hilarious saying) Some new (or recycled) thoughts surfacing are to let go of old ideas from the past rather than dismiss everything from the past… ie relationships, people, places…. there will be more to come on this…

let’s just pull on this thread for a while…

in a yoga class i taught over a year ago I demoed a standing pose sequence and pulled my hamstring and adductor. one vein of thought would have me blame and discard the practice of yoga or blame and discard the specific poses that preceded the injury. but what’s the point of that? what do we learn from that? with commitment, devotion and discernment we can place ourselves back in the same place where we got burned. we don’t step back into the fire for the sake of getting burned again or in denial of the fire’s capacity for and and high probability of destruction, but rather to learn from it and ultimately grow, to become more refined versions of ourselves. just as much as fire can destroy, fire can transform. i’ve heard it said many times by great teachers that it’s a razor’s edge. at the recent workshop with christina sell talked about how one can pull away from one edge only to fall off the other side. through our yoga practice ideally we become more sensitive and our capacity to know and take care of ourselves expands…

i tend to be overly hard on myself and yet, took a 6 weeks off of yoga. it took a long time to straighten my leg again. it’s over a year later and i’m still working, but if i had given up the practice entirely i would have missed valuable lessons. commitment and persistence pays off, but the asana practice continually teaches me that the persistence must shift approach and focus if it is to be sustained. ¬†the practice continues and persistence perseveres with sensitivity and discrimination.

the 1215 expanding class (still talking about tuesday) rickity rocked out in pincha scorpion, vrischikasana today. we used chairs as support, which was an adventure, as we only had six. so we had stations and played musical stations alternating with blocks to get our shoulders and upper backs open. we prepped with handstand booty-on-the-wall and pincha-booty-on-the-wall, virasana, supta virasana, and kapotasana work. miss christine lee’s beautiful pose was inspiring. i was pleased by the class’s overall enthusiasm and willingness. i love my students! and! i’m so grateful for my brilliant teachers. I couldn’t be doing what i do without them.

I got to participate in the first two days of The Courage to Teach with Christina Sell and Darren Rhodes at Yoga Oasis! I love these two people with all my heart. day one Darren said, “We teach who we are.” I believe it’s a quote from the book. It calls one to walk the walk, so to speak, to live the life about which they preach. And simultaneously, the fact is that whether you live according to your philosophical ideals or not, we lead by example. As Douglas Brooks once said (paraphrased), “even not making a choice is making a choice.” We choose who we are by what we engage, how we engage it, and the company we keep. (i used to rationalize and justify this concept but came to realize through brilliant guidance from dear Scott Marmorstein and his guru, that no matter how strong you think you are on the inside, your outer company will drag you down. … side note, i’m not jesus. he hung with the lows and drank wine, so they say, i wasn’t there, but hey, i’m not jesus… so yeah, “they” say you hang around a barber shop long enough, you’re going to end up getting your hair cut… ha! or at least get a whole bunch of other people’s hair all over you… may we choose to surround ourselves with people we wish to emulate. i want to be around people who inspire me, who are happy, who smile, who giggle, who are bright, who are willing and driven….) (any wayz….tangent, sorry.) we teach who we are. we teach based on the struggles we face and overcome. the lessons we accrue are our gems with which to share and enrich the lives of others as well as our own. it goes back to the shared consciousness idea, for as i gain, so do you, and as you gain, so do i. we all struggle. we all have pain. what’s inspiring and interesting is how you face these challenges and ultimately rise out of the ashes anew. the fact that you rose from the ashes is rad, but what’s of value is the tale you now get to tell…

(I’m currently in the backseat of Miss Tanya Whitman’s car while she drives and Miss Christine Lee naps in the passenger seat. We’ve perused many topics thus far. of these tasty morsels of interest, we talked of butterfly metamorphosis, and how the catepillar is no more, how it no longer exists. once it makes the transformation, it’s not a catepillar with wings, but it’s completely new. it’s a different creature. it’s a butterfly. a dear friend recently got a tattoo of a butterfly to mark this very process. the change is permanent. the butterfly cannot change back into the catepillar. another friend said it this way, “once your a pickle you’re always a pickle, you can’t go back to being a cucumber.” ha! butterflies and pickles, whichever analogy you prefer.)butterflypic1

Saturday I was so fortunate to get to go to a dear friend’s wedding in Sedona. the wedding was so beautiful!!!! it was perfect weather with lovely white fluffy floaties drifting through the air with such perfection that it couldn’t have been professionally orchestrated any better! the company was so pleasant. this couple’s friends and family are mellow and kind and fun-loving. i felt so welcome and at ease. the music was a delightful blend of old school meets new school, but i especially loved the oldies. we all had fun dancing, but the best was how intimidating the bride’s family friends were! they ruled the dance floor! and i enjoyed the delicious food! oh the cakes! yes, cakes, plural. and then there was the serendipitous free room! the groom’s mom had a friend who couldn’t use her room so they were able to offer a free place to stay for the night. what a treat!

Sunday i spent mama day in Phoenix with my mama and twin sister and her beautiful munchkins, Elle and Patrick. they are so super cute! they call me “auntie mama.” yeah, it’s awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the whirlwind

tuesday 4.16.13

(i apologize in advance, as this one is a little abstract)

 

lies or no lies… poetry is pretty…

i remember one time, a wise person said, sometimes lies are ok if they’re in service of a bigger truth. that is of course paraphrased in my own words… something to the effect of how if the lie is teaching bigger truths, it’s fine. i can’t remember the skillful articulation of it though…

lines… all the lines…

and man, it’s really all just lines.

even the truths. isn’t it all just lines?

we’re in a big play, simply playing our roles, reading our lines, whether we like it or not! so often we are just seemingly “stuck” in our roles, reading our lines, and yet, “wait a second, how did i get stuck playing this character? and how can i get out of this character?! excuse me! director! eh hem! hello?! can i switch characters please?! yeah, that’d be great, thanks…”

one of my teachers, D.R.Butler says, “every moment we create ourselves, and in every moment we can reacreate ourselves all over again.” (yeah, it’s on a yellow post-it note on my bathroom mirror)

it sounds so simple. and yet, like so many profound truths, the simple is not so easy. and there’s a song there…

(a cheezy one of course, you may not know, good ol’ ani difranco sings, “Would you prefer the easy way? No, well ok then, don’t cry. whoa….” (it’s very pretty)

the easy is always available. and we don’t necessarily do the “hard” for the sake of hardness per se, but rather, as cliche as it sounds, that is how we grow! wild flowers are so f-ing gorgeous and resilient because they grow out in the harsh desert! a saguaro cactus stands so steady, wise, and confidently, patient and fierce because of the intensity she has learned, not only endure, but due to which she thrives.

i hurt my back on monday doing what i love (yoga) and it rocks me to my core, to be hurt. it brings me back to feeling helpless, scared, and angry. so i ask how would i respond if a student came to me with this? i’d urge her to rest, get professional help, and take a bath! (the latter i sure plan on doing, but it’s on the list for tomorrow! lol…)

anyway, this is one of many occasions that i’ve hurt myself and i know i’m going to be better for it. that i’m going to gain new wisdom of myself, of yoga, of my practices, of how to more and more skillfully craft myself based on life’s circumstances.

For, truly if it’s all a play, it is my play. i am the writer, the director, every actor, the set, the props, the story, the key grip… lol… not like my ego runs the show as AA’s Big Book talks about, not like i’m running the show, as in the “little i”, but as in we all are a spark of the great light, we all are the creators of our lives, and i deeply believe in the wisdom spoken from a dear friend, “I am the whirlwind! I move and the world moves.”

we all have so many gifts, may we refine and use our skills for the sake of the greater good. as i’m getting older i see that that is more why we’re here than anything else… my grammy and daddy taught me when i was little and we went camping, to always leave the place better than the way we found it. i believe that’s what we’re here to do. i heard that sweet country song from randy travis this morning or yesterday… “it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it’s what you leave behind you when you go.”

i’m looking up and forward. i cannot afford to look back. i don’t regret what has come before. may i see it, the past and all that comes with it, as a blessing. “i just wish…” (the mama pets her baby’s head and comforts her.) a friend told me, “the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.” … i paid attention… words impact me. i believed… i tend to believe every word. i hopelessly hang on every word with awe and anticipation for the next wise morsel that seems to feed my hungry heart… and well, imagination. i fall in love with my imagination’s fantastic paintings… my new joke is that i paint the red flags green… lol, like alice in wonderland, right? painting the roses red! i’m painting the roses red… )

oh, and regarding past behavior and future behavior, it’s a path. my dear friend told me a long time ago, “a path is only a path, and it is no affront to you or anyone else if i decide to change that path.” the key is the decision to change. if there is no decision to change, everything will keep on rolling the way it does, cuz well, why wouldn’t it. (if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll keep getting what we’re getting.) water flows down the mountain through the deepest channel, the “easiest” path, so in order to redirect the momentum of past tendencies, a deeper channel must be dug in the direction we want them to move. deeper channel, means a lot of digging! some serious work. and yet again, work, not for the sake of work, but for the sake of cultivating something worth leaving behind.

 

i will always love love… i fall hard. may i see the good (god) in all things and love god. i intend to surround myself with people i want to emulate, because as Douglas Brooks said (and I’m sure I’ve quoted this before), “you are the company you keep, so keep great company.”

 

i’m grateful for progress

i just felt like it was time to write…

i sit here at my kitchen table with my kitterz making cute humming noises in her sleep on the chair next to me, rain pooring down outside, and i can see the reflection of the neighbors’ colorful christmas lights in the puddle growing in front of my porch. i’m sleepy, in my big, red fleece robe from Ross and old raggety baby blue fleece slippers from Walgreens, with hair pulled up in a bun like an old lady, belly full of salad and almond mild, and i should be getting to bed… i am getting back into the practice of writing with regularity… even if it’s just a few lines… i can commit to 10 minutes.

ok, go. 11:19pm, stop at 11:29…

 

i feel some awareness in my back after the week-full of practice and bike riding. it’s definitely a challenge to maintain good back alignment on a road bike… i’m excited since my recent attendance at john friend’s workshop in scottsdale two weekends ago. i feel more empowered with my yoga to heal my body, rather than feeling, clueless, victimized, and subject to whichever healer or specialist with whom i happen to be speaking. i have faith my hammy, adductor, and back will get better. they are getting better already. i’m grateful for progress.

 

lots of things in my noggin… want to train more…

i get to play with darren and christina sell for the new year’s intensive. i love to attend yoga trainings because they help rekindle a flame within me that can feel dim due to overworking. i lose sight of why i do what i do and how much i love it.

(christina sell and manorama are also doing a workshop/intensive march 7-10… and i’d love to attend that as well…)(and john has some exciting things coming up too…)

of course there’s all these things i want to do. we must always make choices. douglas brooks says that even not making a choice is making a choice. so what do i choose?

the yoga is to bring mindfulness, consciousness to my choices, so that my decision serves the highest good.

what is my intention? to be of service, to be of the best service i can be, to offer what serves me most fully, enriches and enhances my life and makes me feel bright, vibrant, and free.

may i gain clarity… may i feel a sense of confidence and inner solidity so i may claim my clarity, assert it and live it.

yoga teaches me a great deal in this arena of facing my own self. in yoga when i can’t do a yoga pose, it’s either because i don’t know how to manifest it, certain injuries presently prevent it, or i’m in my own way. usually, i’m in my own way. when i can connect to my inner stillness, it’s there, seemingly without effort, the pose arises. however, in day to day life, when i stand in my own way, it seems like i can fool myself much easier. the clarity is there underneath my tightly clenched hoody as i claim confusion and indecision….

heh heh… and it’s 11:37,…

and i’ve fulfilled my commitment. good night! ūüėČMG0244-M

 

waking up the callus

my blog my blog my blog

Right… commit to what I set out to do.

Tuesday today’s word of the day: repetition. ¬†Repetition warms up the body, readies it for deeper actions, poses, skills, sets the stage for insight. ¬†The same applies with our mind. ¬†The key, as it always seems to be, is mindfulness, attention, awareness. ¬†Are you awake amidst the repetition or does the repetition lull you to sleep? ¬†In various activities repetition serves to create a numbing or callusing effect. ¬†For example, in martial arts one might repeatedly kick dense surfaces to de-sensitize the area and thereby enable it to handle greater and greater intensity. ¬†Also, climbers and musicians acquire calluses on their hands so they can more do what they do for a longer period of time. ¬†Although valuable, I’m not really talking about that kind of repetition. ¬†I think of a recent workshop with Manorama in Austin, TX. ¬†There, she made a sweet and subtle display of whispering to her cells to wake up… She leans over and whispers to her knee to wake up, to her toe, “wake up! wake up!”. ¬†It’s like that. ¬†Amidst the repetition that’s always already happening, can you wake up? ¬†Can you pull yourself out of the ‘numb’ and into the present moment? ¬†Can you dig yourself out of the callus and open to new insight, depth, wisdom?

Sunday’s word of the day was abhyasa, Sanskrit for consistent practice over a long period of time, done with devotion. ¬†(Are we seeing a theme here?) ¬†Mr. BKS Iyengar says it is, “constant practice.” ¬†The beautiful part of this for me is the devotion aspect. ¬†Certain circles, like 12-step groups, assert that Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. ¬†And yet… that’s exactly what we do in yoga. ¬†Awareness is key. ¬†Even in 12-step groups their first step is admitting powerlessness and the unmanageability of their lives. ¬†They recognize where they are. ¬†A story Manorama told about her “Guruji” comes to mind. ¬†He tells a story about being lost in the subway. ¬†A sign tells him, “if lost, pick up the phone.” ¬†When he does the operator asks him where he is. ¬†He says, “I’m lost.” ¬†She asks, “Well, where are you?” ¬†He replies, if he knew he wouldn’t have picked up the phone. ¬†To go anywhere we must first recognize where we are, become aware of the place from where we begin. ¬†This beginning point shifts as we evolve. ¬†We are always beginning again. ¬†So, consistent awareness throughout the process is what transforms constant practice into revelation. ¬†Rather than banging one’s head up against the wall to no avail, (the saying, ‘banging one’s head up against the wall’ actually means, ‘to continually try the impossible.’ It’s a perfect for yoga! ¬†It’s only impossible until it’s not! ), the impossible becomes possible. ¬†Dr. Douglas Brooks says, “What a difference a difference makes.” ¬†The ‘difference’ is the degree of attention we pay to what we are repeatedly¬†doing. ¬†Through practice are we desensitizing or refining?

rooster

attraction

Flagstaff’s big, mountainous arms welcomed me home so fully. ¬†It feels like such a long time since I’ve been here, and yet it also feels like just yesterday I was teaching regularly at The Yoga Experience. ¬†It’s like a big family reunion to get to see so many faces of dear friends I practiced with and taught for so long. ¬†Friday’s intermediate/advanced class was so much fun! ¬†We laughed heartily as we enjoyed good company; dug into our feet, calves, and thighs; and flipped our perceptions upside down. ¬†All Levels came in right after and we explored Surya Namaskar A & B. ¬†Today’s morning all levels class worked toward some back bends like Supta Virasana, Salabasana variations,¬†Makarasana, Dhanurasana, and Ustrasana. ¬†In the afternoon we adventured the realm of hip openers, twists, forward folds and plenty of handbalancings. ¬†I really felt the recent recent teachings of¬†Christina Sell and Darren Rhodes supporting me every step of the way, and of course the brilliance of the Anusara method as my steady foundation. ¬†The more I teach, the more I learn. ¬†The more I practice and study with great teachers, the more confidence I gain and the more I have to offer to my students. ¬†I am so grateful to be a practitioner of yoga, to be on the path of yoga, and to have the accountability of my teachers and students as I walk the path.

These feel like challenging times in the yoga world. ¬†Douglas Brooks‘s words resound in my head, “You are the company you keep, so keep great company.” ¬†I used to take this much more figuratively and figure that since your thoughts, emotions, breath, are your closest company, then as long as I keep that in check, I’m good… right? ¬†So on it went–bushwacking through life, clinging to my heart and regularly tucking my head to blow on it’s coals to kindle its delicate fire…I thought it was fine. ¬†We don’t see ourselves so clearly (use your ‘I’ statements–I don’t see myself clearly)– sometimes if there’s a gradual changing or incremental energetic leaking over time, we don’t notice because it’s not drastic. ¬†It’s like cutting a strand of hair everyday. ¬†Each day, nothing different. ¬†It’s just a hair… (Ha! ¬†Makes me think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail…”Merely a flesh wound!” lol) ¬†But someone who hasn’t seen you in a while exclaims, wow! ¬†You’re hair is so different! ¬†This isn’t that realistic because who does that? ¬†But like in weight, as another example, a pound or two a week in either direction surely adds up, and while nothing seems dramatically different to you each day, it’s a cumulated loss or gain that “all of a sudden” becomes significant. ¬†In a conversation with Scott Marmorstein he shared how Gurumai said that while this is true, that the company of your own mind is your closest company, over time one does become more and more like the external company you keep. ¬†And of course I fought to plead my case, cuz that’s what I do, but he insisted that despite my valiant efforts to stay strong, and be true to myself, if I’m surrounding myself with people that are not aligned with who I choose to be, it will pull me down. ¬†Several years later I look back at my life with gratitude for all I’ve done, the fine company I’ve kept and now keep, and my continual refining and evolving. ¬†Each yoga community has it’s own richness. ¬†As we evolve so does the company we keep, externally and internally. ¬†Like attracts like, ‘they’ say–The law of attraction. ¬†Whatever energy you send out, you tell the universe to send you more opportunities to experience the same. ¬†May we practice gratitude for the abundance in our lives, the fullness of our experiences, the deliciously excruciating lessons extracted from our challenges, and love, love, love. ¬†So much love, so much gratitude.

I’ll write more about the workshop soon. ¬†SONY DSC

fullness as perfection

Wednesday used to be my day off. ¬†Now I teach Basics at central Yoga Oasis at 6pm. ¬†So, like I do, I added more work, and massaged earlier in the day also. ¬†My favorite part of my full days, of feeling busy and overwhelmed in general, though, is that point when I come to realize that it (meaning my actual experience of what’s happening in the moment) is not what I built it up to be in my head. ¬†I’m the one who stresses me out. ¬†Today I caught myself repeating in my head, “I’m so overwhelmed… I’m too busy…I’m so overwhelmed… I shouldn’t schedule so much… I’m so overwhelmed… I’m too busy…” ¬†Until I stopped myself, sort of in awe and amazement, like “Whoa, look what I’m doing!” ¬†I thought of the brilliant forward by Elizabeth Gilbert in Meditation for the Love of It by Sally Kempton. ¬†She contrasted meditation with the mindless mantras we repeat, such as “hungry, hungry, hungry, hungry...” or “tired, tired, tired, tired, tired…” or like the one I was saying to myself! ¬†Man, this stuff works quickly! ¬†(i play–Baba Muktananda said that the world is a play of consciousness. ¬†And my understanding Tantric philosophy is that the world is as you are. ¬†So as we deepen our understanding of the deeper workings of life, we are granted opportunities to apply the teachings. ¬†This is also a teaching of Ganesh, the elephant-headedganesh diety in the Hindu tradition: ¬†He is the remover of obstacles and simultaneously may be the obstacle itself, as taught by Douglas Brooks. ¬†He stands at the threshold of opportunities, situations, and at a workshop, Noah Maze taught that he is the very thing that is in your way. ¬†Yoga teaches us to be skillful at our endeavors, and to figure out away around the very large elephant in your way is precisely the point of him being in your way. ¬†That is how Ganesh grants you his boon, by showing you the true wisdom within yourself to surmount the obstacle. ¬†(Wow, that was a long side-track, and now a parenthesis with in a parenthesis)) ¬†With lightheartedness, Gilbert says, “And although such meditations are, of course, deeply uplifting, after a while you do start to wonder if perhaps you could be putting your mind to better use.” ¬†That was a key moment for me today. ¬†When I read things or receive teachings, my mind can be quite convincing that I get it, and totally already apply that teaching in my life, when “BAM!” I see, “Oh, I guess I don’t…” ¬†mmmmmm-k. ¬†The path is always humbling. ¬†My victory lies in an enhanced awareness to catch my mental thought patterns and to choose a new focus. ¬†I’m grateful.

The massage was intrinsically rewarding. ¬†I felt pleased that I could help another feel good, and especially when he expressed so much gratitude at the end requested some yoga homework. ¬†Earlier today,¬†I spoke with Rachel Laing about her Healthy You Network. ¬†It sounds helpful and aligned with how I choose to live. ¬†She gives free consultations, so I’m delighted to get to meet with her next week.

Tonight in class I themed about cultivating a sense of wonder, curiosity, awe, astonishment for our yoga practice. ¬†In Sanskrit the word is adbuta. ¬†Anusara training teaches about the Rasas, or flavors of life, of which adbuta is one. ¬†Adbuta can be a way one transforms fear and anxiety. ¬†We worked on exploring thighs back action in various poses and lengthening side-body and moving heads of arm bones back in others. ¬†I love yoga. ¬†It offers opportunity to transform our perspective of this body we so often take for granted into one of awe, wonder, and ultimately gratitude. ¬†I am continually amazed at how profoundly my physical body, mind, and heart can shift when I practice good yoga. ¬†The alignment and actions realign me and help me to heal nagging pain in my shoulder, hip, low back, neck, knee and consequently help me to feel at greater ease in my own skin. ¬†I’m able to do all I do and enjoy my life because of yoga. ¬†I feel shifted in insights and understanding through practicing physical postures, with or without formal instruction. ¬†Usually, though, it’s through a teacher’s skillful mastery of words poetically woven throughout class that my heart shifts. ¬†This is my aim. ¬†The infamous aspect of Anusara Yoga that tugs at my heart strings and simultaneously causes me to yank my own hair out–oh yes, the heart-oriented theming. ¬†I really do love it! ¬†When it works it’s awesome. ¬†When it doesn’t, I just want the talking to stop–mine or who-ever’s teaching. ¬†I hope my trials and tribulations with the Anusara certification process grants me the blessing of skillful and effective heart-oriented theming. ¬†I believe that writing helps me a lot. ¬†Hence, the blog. ¬†Attending good classes and workshops also helps. ¬†And lots and lots of practice helps… but perfect as impeccable is not so possible or likely. ¬†The aim must be perfection as purna, or fullness. ¬†Or as Lee Lozowick has said (or rather, Darren or Christina said that Lee said), “Good enough is good enough.” sigh… or is it?

 

hit by a karma

Today was a big day.

I started the morning off well with pranayama and meditation in my new meditation, yoga, and massage room. Love it! ¬†I’m so grateful. I biked to the downtown Yoga Oasis to teach my back-to-back Yogahour classes. It’s a pretty good ride and I left on time so I didn’t have to rush, just peddled at a good tempo, jamming out to Krishna Das on my ipod (yes, I am that yoga dork), enjoying the out-of-the norm cloudy sky, greeting anyone I saw with a pleasant smile and a sweet “Good Morning!” (Yeah, I’m that dork too). When from out of nowhere, my elated perception dove into the gutter when a car hit me before he moved into the turning lane and drove off. I hollered a couple of curse words when I realized what happened. I was confused, enraged, and offended. I grabbed the u-lock hanging from my handle bars and started to throw it through his rear window, when I caught myself (thank goodness), and deepened my breath. In my pause I tried to muster up a higher perspective… Higher perspective reached or not, the pause saved the guy’s window and my integrity. Peddling on, I wrestled with the ethics in this case. A big part of me thought I’d be totally justified to smash his window and hope he got out of his fancy, expensive car so I could give him a piece of my mind lathered in expletives. The higher part of my self reproached me (i sound like a mental case), reminded me of my intentions to be kind and loving, reminded me of the teachings of karma. Continuing deep full breaths, I strove to put myself in his shoes, and recognized that I can certainly be a space cadet, and I’ve backed into several things–yeah even large things like my sister’s truck or a big phone pole–by mistake. ¬†Admittedly, I never hit anyone, but ¬†at least¬†I felt a sense of common ground between us and convinced myself that the incident was unintentional. ¬†I thought of my students… In one of my current readings, D.R. Butler, in his Truth of the Present Moment, teaches to pay no attention to the bad, to only focus on what feels good. ¬†This echoes a teaching I heard just the other day from Mira Shani where she explained that it serves no one to focus on “the bad list.” ¬†D.R. Butler explains how once we discharge the emotions attached to the memory, it’s best just to forget the bad memory altogether, and instead choose to focus on something positive. ¬†Onward I peddled and used my time with my Krishna Das soundtrack to transform what happened into an offering. ¬†Before leaving the house, I chose the word of the day, discrimination, and conveniently, I easily tied what happened into my teachings for the day. ¬†My students got a good laugh and the classes went well.

“What goes around comes around.” ¬†teaches Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally and Michael Gordon in¬†Karmic Management.

I enjoyed ¬†a nice day– had a delicious XOOM Juice smoothie with banana, peanut butter, blueberries, and almond milk; practiced with beautiful Bridgette and great friends like Travis and Mike at The Practice from 130-330; and had a good conversation and a nice salad with beets and mandarin oranges with Brigette and her yummy hummus plate in Sparkroot a couple doors down from the studio. ¬†I am grateful for good people in my life, an intrinsically rewarding career, the teachings I’m blessed to read and hear, and the ability to choose how to respond in the moment. ¬†I could have reacted so poorly and out of alignment with who I wish to be, but I didn’t and I had a great day.

On my ride home in the nice Tucson drizzle–nice because it’s rare– I stopped by my love’s work. ¬†I rode around with him as he made some of his work deliveries and we exchanged the day’s happenings. ¬†Our views on the topic of karma, and even right and wrong, differ sometimes, and I suppose that’s just fine. ¬†I’m no authority on the matter, I’m just working to implement these teachings in my life and I enjoy it. ¬†He repudiates the concept of karma based on his witnessing good things happening to bad people and vise versa. ¬†(Challenge!–i joke)¬†I’m not really sure about this. ¬†I know I’ve heard Douglas Brooks and Noah Maze speak about the deep order of life called¬†karma and the divine play, or chance, or even “shit happens” as lila. ¬†(That’s my summary, not their words)¬†I said how we can’t always see the bigger picture, and we may never understand it. ¬†If someone does something wrong I don’t feel it’s right to do something wrong in retaliation and feel justified. ¬†That person’s karma will take care of them, just as mine takes care of me.

Happy Sunday.  Sweet dreams.