Wake up to a new perspective!
Saturday April 5th, 8 am – 12 pm
Soltan Banoo 4645 Park Blvd University Heights
IN THIS MINI-RETREAT, YOU’LL LEARN NEW TECHNIQUES FOR…
Releasing stress, physically and mentally
Slowing down and gaining perspective during times of anxiety
Increasing your mental clarity and function
Feeling more connected to your body
Letting go of guilt with eating, and truly savoring your food
Cultivating a sense of gratitude and joy
WHAT TO EXPECT
A gentle yoga practice, suitable for any body and experience level
Learning mindfulness practices that can be done at any time, anywhere
Mindful eating practice, followed by a wholesome lunch
Space for this one-of-a-kind event is limited. To register, please visit http://sdurbanretreat.eventbrite.com/
A large majority of my time is spent undoing some of my thinking and the subsequent feelings that arise out of that thinking. Lets call it the self-centered wheel. It’s mostly comprised of cynical thoughts from feelings of frustration and inadequacy and it loops forever. Until I get to a “present moment” place of here and now and what’s going on now. Then I can attach to happy and joy and get out of the wheel. Sometimes.
Last Monday night, I married my friend. And what I can describe adequately as one of the best days of my life. Yes, there were moments where things weren’t quite right. But overall, everything was perfect, everyone had a good time and all the planning, cajoling, hysteria went away for this perfect evening. I followed some friends advice and let it all go. I took that moment that Kevin walked up to get me to walk up the aisle and looked at him and knew this was all about us and our love for each other. And that we chose to be with each other. And that it wasn’t forever. Life is finite, it can all end tomorrow with a car accident. I remember everything, I remember each moment, and I had the best time!
It is a beautiful thing. And I have been feeling and surrounded by this love from everyone. I have yet to experience something like this and now in this feeling, in this breath, in this time I have right now, I’m choosing to stay here. In the love. In the joy. In the peace. For as long as I can.
I got spammed this morning on FB and luckily enough, removed it thank you friend.
But lately been feeling the pull to pull away from this internet thing. Not just because there’s these links to depression and spending time on the internet. But it’s a little too much. Like yesterday, there’s a local yoga studio that had over fifteen status updates on the FB thing all surrounding one event. While this is annoying, it’s an effective way of using their FB status to promote an event. But how effective is it? And how much time am I spending on looking at the FB statuses of friends, people I’ve come into contact with previously and are friends on FB, searching for things only to find stuff that is optimized better coming up first on Google search, etc. Yes, the internet is a great tool, we all communicate better, but quite frankly it’s also a sounding board for a lot of people who long to take their aggression and anger out on others. Yelp, for instance, can be a helpful tool but it also has so much griping and unsubstantiated griping that really is hard on small business owners and gives a false idea of how good a business is. One review I saw blatantly lied about a business practice and yet is still allowed online and figures into how a business is rated. We won’t even go into the online posting boards, think craigslist, and see the horror going on there.
I run into people all the time that aren’t on this internet thingy. Some are stuck in the dark ages about things. But others, well, their life doesn’t seem to be too much affected by their non-use of the internet and all things digital. They deal with humans on a one-on-one basis. They seem pretty ok and happy. Hmmm….
I just spent a great deal of time purging my inbox, sent items and trash from one of my emails. Note the term ‘one of my emails.’ I have several. And it’s all about to get a little less complex when I change my email address. You see, in attending a bridal show where you have to give your email to win prizes, etc, they give your email address to EVERYONE. So I have been getting regularly spammed by them and the rest of the wedding sites (i.e. David’s Bridal, The Knot, etc) whose “partners” are also sending me emails. I was going to change my email address anyway but this just prompts it to happen more quickly.
In my former life, we used to keep emails. We kept records of what other people sent us as it sometimes was necessary to create a ‘paperless’ trail of events that happened, find out who did what and when and why, and sometimes, letting people know that they were notified of said policy, event, etc and why didn’t they do what they were supposed to. The list is endless on why we kept emails. Some even printed them out and starting keeping files. I think now of what all of that information did. And most of it did nothing. One place in particular I can think of kept tremendous amounts of that information for naught. The players are now all gone, the people who are there could care less and everything applicable to why we kept the information doesn’t apply anymore.
In my current life, I have a bad habit of keeping emails in my inbox for a long time. It starts with it’s something I need to respond to. Then in turns into a to-do list. And then it becomes another thing I look at and wonder why I’m keeping it. So today, I purged. Deleted. Removed. Found all the things sent and deleted them too. Unless it’s something that I’m going to follow up on, then I need to follow up on it. Today. Not wait, not question, but follow up on it today. If it’s something I need to refer to later, such as an email from a film producer and I’m waiting to get a copy of said film I was in, then I file it in my “acting” folder. Some day I’m going to purge those folders too. Because someday, I’m not going to be here anymore. My stuff is going to be someone’s responsibility to clean up and get rid of. They’re going to wonder why it was important to me and what exactly did it pertain to. I’d rather not have that burden of sifting through my junk be on someone’s shoulders. Because most of it won’t matter any more.
I think of old beliefs and thoughts that come up from time to time and do some purging there. There’s a big pattern of holding on to things. Whether it’s from family or not, it’s my job to purge them. It’s my job to remove and put things in the trash. I don’t even have to examine where they come from or what they’re doing, I can just delete. Sometimes they are a little harder to delete and other times, it’s like saying goodbye to a wart, thank you for nothing and see ya! My active practice of reflection on and off the mat helps me do this. I make room for other things. Like freedom and space. In my mind, in my life. Room for peace.
So in getting “ready for the big day” there is this urgency or felt urgency to “get in shape.” And this time of year brings out the commercials of “Get in shape for summer” or “get your bikini body ready.”
I don’t really feel out of shape. In fact, I’d say that I’m in pretty good shape. My love reminds me daily of how buff I am. But somehow the chord of neurosis is struck when thinking of “fitting into my wedding dress” when, actually, it doesn’t matter what size that dress is, because, I haven’t purchased it yet! Somehow, the self acceptance and comfort that I have is replaced by the desire to get to my 17 year old self and become “thin again.” What is “thin again?” And what does that mean? To get back to my 17 year old self would be like taking up stretch pants, smoking cigarettes, bleaching my hair beyond recognition and waiting for someone to love me who probably doesn’t deserve my time, energy or my bleach blonde hair. To get back to my 17 year old self’s weight is like wanting to replace all the muscle that I have with some fat, start eating junk food that will surely send me to the gastrointenstinal specialist and create such anxiety that anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs will eventually make their way back to breakfast and after dinner mint time. Yes, been down that road thank you. I have no real desire to get back to that 17 year old self, so why would I want my body to go there? What “ideal” am I clinging to that makes this somehow desirable much less attainable?
At the end of the day, what truly matters is that the person that I am marrying knows what I look like and loves it.
At the end of the day, we’ll be married.
At the end of the day, ultimately, we need to love ourselves enough to be able to love someone else.
This is the Training Day.
As you know, the world didn’t end.
And yet, I’m very sorry for your loss.
Your loss of face, faith, trust and beliefs.
Your loss of identity, commitment and the world you lived in.
And while your pain of of this loss may seem insurmountable
the fact remains that your loss of these things
has brought you closer to who you are
and what you truly believe in.
If you haven’t been tuned into any media resources, John Lennon would have been 70 this year. Reflecting on his life has been much of the focus and I don’t want to repeat a lot of what has already been said for the sake of writing about John Lennon. But in my own reflections about it, I discover some wisdom for myself.
Back before I was born, Lennon was spending time promoting peace in a time where the concepts and his actions were largely looked at radical, subversive and even threatening to some. The concept of peaceful protest and even cultivating larger ideas of world peace are often ideas that are met with violent opposition. When I am reminded of places like Burma, China and Tibet, places where people have sacrificed their lives trying to promote radical ideas like Democracy and peace, I am humbled. In my infinite freedom here, am I doing the best I can to promote or cultivate a better life for all?
Some choose “radical” paths. Others choose to cultivate peace within. But regardless of anyone’s path, it’s only my place and my path that I get to choose. Would I rather respond with anger today or understanding? Would I rather focus on the differences in the “other” or cultivate our similarities? Am I judging someone’s actions to feel better about myself or can I put myself in their shoes for a moment. Can I spend some time imaging a better world for all or just spend some time lamenting and wailing against the “opposition?”
While I may never sing a song that inspires the world around me to cultivate some different ways of thinking, I can work on cultivating my own different ways of thinking. I too, can be a radical, but not for the sake of being a radical, but being a better human being.
Graphic Credit: Kevin Boyd