Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clear Channel

I posted my first yogamakesyouyou blog on February 14, 2010. It's been almost seven months since I committed to writing once a week about whatever is on my mind. I've done above average some weeks, performed sub-par others. My posting patterns reflect what is happening in my life. If I am busy, engaged, stimulated, I post less. If I have more alone time, I tend to post more frequently.

My new girlfriend Nancy has nicknamed me 'Clear Channel.' It comes from another source. My psychic told me about a year ago that I am a clear channel and I should be writing about Yoga. So I started writing, sometimes about Yoga and sometimes not, and then I started this blog. Nancy co-opted 'Clear Channel.' She frequently asks after I teach a yoga class if there were any clear channel moments. And here's the thing-- if there are, I don't remember them. The same thing often happens when I write a blog post. I can't remember twenty minutes after posting what I've written about. It's a strange kind of mid-consciousness. I am clearly conscious because I am writing and spelling and forming paragraphs, and I am really in it when I am writing, but once I'm done, it's gone from my consciousness. I press PUBLISH POST and it is out of my mind. Sometimes, months later I go back and read something and it's like someone else has written it.

When I go a few weeks without writing a post, I feel like I am neglecting some part of me. It's like winter vacations with my family. I eat crap, forget that I know how to exercise, read or participate in adult conversation. Like many people, I engage in childish family dynamics. I often wonder in those moments how I so easily abandon all of the things that make me feel good. This blog originated on one such family visit. I found that writing the blog and then posting it was incredibly grounding. It reminded me that, even when I'm mired in the dysfunction of my family of origin, I am a free-thinking, autonomous individual with a life of my own and feelings of my own. Writing the blog gave me something to give to my family. I liked who I was and found it easier to be that person instead of the weird teenager who usually shows up.

And now in my everyday life, I find that posting my blog is a way of clearing out my emotional drain. Every week or so, I feel the need to get my shit together, regroup, figure out what I need, what I want, where I'm headed. I am often resistant to the process of writing or I am dubious about my ability to locate my emotions. Without fail though, it works. I write, I read, I reread, I post and I am clear. The drain is open and ready to catch the residue that shows up in my life. In and out. Clear Channel.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Integration is on my mind. Especially this summer, I observe myself moving between radically different life experiences from day to day; I find myself feeling choppy, transitioning roughly from milieu to milieu. Mom one day, yoga teacher the next, romantic the next, triathlon trainee the next. I've found it hard to create a seamless transition from place to place.

Coming home last week from a two-day camping trip, Lucia (5 years old) went from monster meltdown to perfect princess to monster again in a period of 86 minutes. In response to her, while doing laundry, dishes, emails, dinner prep, I went through the same range of emotions. I thought summer was supposed to be relaxing, regenerating, but I am finding that it is just the opposite. I long for the expected, the known, the rigor that is school and work and exercise, a structure that is abandoned during the summer.

I need to find a way to feel integrated in my life. I wear too many hats (and scarves, and boots, and skirts.....) There is no way that there will ever be actual cross-over with all of the pieces of my life, but it must be possible to feel less like a glued-together humpty-dumpty.

Lately I've been talking a lot about integration when I teach yoga. Savasana is where our bodies and minds integrate the information that emerges through our practice. Sometimes I tell students that the breath is the natural bridge between the body and the mind. Focus on your breath and you'll find the connection, the joining, the integration. Amazingly, giving up the effort to make something happen is where it all happens in Savasana. The hard part is just being still and trusting that the integration will happen. Today while teaching, I had a clear channel moment. Maybe I am trying too hard to find the bridge, to tighten up the seams between the seemingly disparate parts of my life. I thought, "Maybe what is making me feel dis-integrated is not the multifarious nature of my life, but my focus on it."

There is no part of my life that I am willing to give up. I can't imagine a life without my daughter, my work, my health, romance, dinner parties. These pieces don't need to be integrated. These pieces are who I am. The only ingredient I need to extract from the mix is the attention I give to how many or how different the parts of my life are. If I am quiet and let all the parts co-exist, let them be what they are, I think I'll find that there is room for all of it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Land Line

I just got my first smart phone. The smart phone has changed my life. In the week I've had it, I've grown to love it profoundly.  It was a pretty big effort to not take my phone when I went running with some friends last weekend. Four of us are training for the Danskin Triathlon in August. After every run, swim or bike training we drink a beer and plan our next training session. One of the foursome, Kate, after hearing me brag about the capabilities of my new smart phone, told us she was thinking about going back to her land line to simplify her life. Now that I have crossed over to smart phone land, I cannot imagine what Kate is talking about. Simplify? What? Why?

Before saying goodbye, we took a few minutes to plan our next month's training schedule. Sara had her Blackberry, I grabbed my smart phone from my car, Amy with a brain like a steel trap needed nothing, and Kate pulled out her wall calendar from her bike bag. "Land line", Kate giggled as she held up her calendar. Land Line- concrete, simple, obvious. Smart phone- complex, multifaceted, electronic, advanced.

One of the things I talk about in yoga is simplifying. This is the point of Savasana. Being quiet and still so there is room for buried things, hidden things, latent things to make their way in or out or through, physically, mentally, and emotionally. As long as we are moving, chattering, processing, there is no space for that stuff to move.

I find myself in a constant state of contact with my smart phone. It tells me when I have a meeting. It tells me when someone is thinking about me. It tells me what song is playing in a restaurant and what the weather and time is. Last night while I was at work my phone died. It lost its juice and I had no charger. Only a week into this smart phone relationship and I was panicked. I was going to a friend's house for dinner and I couldn't call to let her know I was on my way. I couldn't text my sisters or add to my to do list. I got in my car and started driving. Even when I plugged my phone into the car charger, it still wouldn't work, so I rolled down my windows, opened the sun roof and was quiet. Usually I would take the fastest route, but it felt so good to be untethered that I uncharacteristically took a sharp left and made my way down to the lake. I drove along the water the whole way there. No phone. No music. No nothing. For those fifteen minutes I was back to a Land Line. And it felt pretty damn good.

Work Life Balance

Yesterday while I was working I thought to myself, “I could do this all day long!” And that’s a good thing because that was the plan. I rece...