Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018

Fifty-Two Feelings:

Week 7: "A goddess is not a superwoman who does it al. A goddess is a woman who does only what she wants and desires."  

Week 6: Be humble to the situation.

Week 5: Root to Rise.             
~Blue Super Moon Lunar Eclipse~

Week 4: As conditioned receptors, rather than reflectors, the manas [five senses] direct our focus to what happens to us, rather than within us. 

Week 3:  To know one's boundaries is to know one's potential. They are buoyant and rise as you do. 

Week 2: Only we can control our actions, interactions, and reactions. By being mindful of those, we in turn are being mindful of others. We are able to cultivate sensitivity and compassion toward others without losing our true self. 

Week 1: Here’s to 2018:
Say no to give more
Less stress, more play
Do out of desire, not obligation
Seek the sun
Listen
Less routine, more adventure
Focus on passions
Release resentments
Be present
Nourish mutual friendships
Less over extending
Travel - big and small
More yoga













Light Heart. Light Spirit. Light Body. Light Mind. 

December

December for Yoga Teacher Training meant practicums! Our group of gifted, brave, and driven women laid down our yoga mats to expose and release our fears in a safe space. Calling on confidence, we instructed each other through vinyasa flow sequences that hit every benchmark of a Barre and Soul class. We sat vulnerable afterwards, huddled amongst these new friends, to receive constructive feedback of our time as the teacher. That gave us the gifts of humility, grace, and desire. Humility in knowing we have much to learn, grace in taking feedback with an open heart, and desire to do better the next time around. Thankfully, I have also been given several opportunities at the two schools I work at to practice teaching yoga classes to high school students. A few full 55-minute yoga classes on my own with novice high schoolers: a challenge I was eager to conquer. 

Halfway through the month, Yoga Teacher Training took a holiday break. With this newly reacquired free time, we were meant to develop our home practice, which has become a chance to play. This community of women in my class as well as this break is a double blessing because December is a tough month. December brings up stuff. Having a group of women to cheer me on, and having a reprieve to settle and reflect was beyond necessary for me.

Over the past 29 years, I’ve found myself to dislike my birthday and Christmas - which both fall in the month December [Hello skeletons in the closet!]. Perhaps what happens in your childhood creates too deep of an imprint in your current life. Perhaps it is the extreme lack of daylight and bitter cold days. Perhaps I’ve just trained myself to recoil inward and sit underneath a grey cloud during this month. Regardless, December is rough and I don’t usually notice it until I end up crying for no reason, fighting with the ones I love, and questioning everything.

Now that December has come and gone and welcoming 2018 cleared the slate, I’ve taken the time to truly reflect as to why this unfounded cycle occurs, and what is the stuff that comes up.  My sensitivity heightens and my normal calm wavers. While I fully embrace my emotions and allow myself to ride every wave that flows over me, I do so with awareness. So when I feel that I am not in tune as to why these emotions are coming on so strongly - whether that is apathy, confusion, exhaustion, frustration, anger, or sadness - it is unnerving. Yet, the wave is never too high or breaks too roughly for me think anything other than, it is December.

Then there are the nights where sleep is out of reach and I’m staring at the ceiling questioning my sense of purpose and direction in life. What are my short-term goals, long-term goals? Do I stay with this career or do something completely different?  Shall Blake and I sell everything and travel? How can I help others more? Why haven’t I written my book yet? Of course these answers cannot be found at 1am, or all at once. 

This December, in the wake of the waves, the question of ‘what more am I looking for?’ nagged at me. I have unconditional love from my partner, an adorable dog, a terrific job, and steadfast friends. I went to Key West for Christmas as a getaway and got a dose of sun. My blessings are many, yet I still felt unsettled.


Alas, the time of the archer rang loud and clear. Her back arched and bow drawn, taunting me with her eye on the horizon. True Sagittarian nature runs wild during December, flaring the desire to be free and summoning spontaneous thoughts. The New Moon in Sagittarius, a Winter Solstice, and Full Moon in Cancer all called for intention setting, recognizing our impact, and revealing our depths. Powerful and transformative, we’re stripped down at the end of the year to be born again in the new.




As always, I strive for balance. The pendulum swings to both extremes and eventually rests in between. I have accepted either extreme, as I know they do not last. I embrace the gentle pause and soak up the balance bliss.

I can prepare for December. I can prepare for the pendulum’s far reaches by reflection and change.

What do I struggle with?
When do I thrive?
Who do I want to become?
Where do I see my self?

So naturally with the New Year, reflection and goal setting allowed me to figure out what worked and what needs working on. As I said in 2012 and will forever say, I do not need to know all the answers or where my path will take me, but I do need to stay true to myself and try to be better every day.


So for 2018 – a memorable year for me in many ways – will be a year of continued evolution to better serve me and continued release of what no longer does. 






Light Heart. Light Body. Light Spirit. Light Mind. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

calm in chaos

The first lesson I learned in Yoga Teacher Training was the following:
- Yoga is all about you
- Yoga is all about non-attachment

To think of embarking on something that is all about me and to let go of all the weight I carry with me daily is quite intimidating. Isn’t that selfish?

I’ve discovered that I have started to enter a selfish stage in my life where I am placing my own self as my top priority. Whether that is by allowing myself the time and space to do what feels right, and to honor that, or by saying no to things so as not to overextend myself. To be selfish doesn’t necessarily mean something egotistic or negative. The root of the word is self – and if our self is not whole, nothing else can be.

Self Love
Self Care
Self Reflection
Self Discovery
Self Worth

As we realize the value in caring for our self in every way, the attachment to things, thoughts, people are no longer lifelines for us. We slowly find our true self that is not clouded by societal norms, traditions, or upbringing.

A recent conversation has left me pondering how we introduce ourselves. In the moment where we are meant to express our truth, what we tend to identify ourselves with is surprising.

Do we identify ourselves by our profession? I am a manager of an international program.
Or what we used to be? I was a teacher.
Do we identify ourselves through someone else? I am Blake’s fiancé.
Or by what we have?  I have a dog named Toro.
Or where we live? I live in Portsmouth.
Or where we grew up? I’m from Connecticut.
Do we identify ourselves through experience? I lived abroad and traveled for a few years.

Even more perplexing, when questioned, do we answer with the negative?
What is your favorite music? I don’t like Country.
What type of food do you like? I’m not a fan of really spicy food.
What is your favorite candy? I hate licorice.
What do you want to do with your life? I don’t want a standard 9-5.

How often do we introduce ourselves by what we value? How we feel? What we love?

My name is Amelia and I am stubborn, crave novelty, enjoy the ritual of learning, feel lost sometimes, and believe love heals. 

I’ve found that one must accept and embrace that first lesson in order to be successful in the next: balance.

Yoga is also all about balance.
       Effort and ease
       Stillness and movement
       Lifting and grounding
       Strength and softness

Through opposition we find our solid base. We are able to twist our bodies into an intricate bind but still feel our lungs expand in our front and back body. We are able to fold forward but have an open chest. We are able to fuel our internal fire and speed up our heart rate while having controlled breath. We are able to be completely present in our practice but not be attached. We are able to meditate through movement of our bodies.

When our pendulum swings to either extreme we are thrown off course. In a weekend we can clean the house and complete every errand on Saturday, but then never leave the couch on a Sunday. We try to solve all the problems until we’re frustrated and exhausted and then resort to escapism and recluse. There is that delicate, and sometimes fleeting, space in between the two extremes where we need solid footing. When holding that space, we can confidently straddle both worlds. We can be the attentive friend and also give attention to ourselves. We nurture our creative dreams while still being practical in society.

The abrupt shift in the seasons this year threw me off kilter. It seems we are no longer eased through nature’s transitions so there is no grace period of adapting.  The Indian summer gave us an extended Fall that peaked with a bizarrely chaotic October, which exhausted my ability to find balance, and quickly led me into a solemn start to November. My mantra lately has been to find calm in the chaos.  The chaos of life is never-ending but we stay afloat by holding on to the serenity. You will struggle to hold a balancing posture in yoga without a drishti, a focal point. You will struggle to overcome the chaos with out finding a moment of peace.


This is why yoga is a lifestyle. It teaches us how to navigate this world after we step off our mats.  However, to end a cycle of scheduling and compartmentalizing to create a holistic outlook of our existence is not achieved overnight – or in a 200 hour yoga teacher training class. This twenty-something's journey of self-discovery just went down a new road, and is far from over.






Light Heart. Light Spirit. Light Body. Light Mind.