Friday, June 22, 2012

Dogs and Cats.... Living together!!!

from IMDB website....
Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. 
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"? 
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff. 
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly. 
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! 
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... 
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave! 
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! 
Mayor: All right, all right! I get the point! 

.... one of my favorite part of Ghostbusters movie, they are trying to get the attention of the Mayor to approve their "help" with the outbreak in the city.

It's like what happens when working with Yoga poses sometimes. They are trying to get your attention. The poses are creating a dharana, focus point, for you to rest your mind on.

This led me to a new and interesting concept I am excited to try out later.

I woke this morning to my cat poking me as he does most mornings. I try to get mad at him and then he rolls around and purrs and is so excited to see me awake, I can't stay mad. He also helps me study by lying on my notecards and books and looking deeply into my eyes conveying that he would like to be petted now, which is always.

He can roll around and get into total relaxation, his bones seeming to turn to butter. But he sees a movement, and BAM- alert, ready to jump into action. Poised and in control of his body.

He is a dumpy, yet agile, fur ball who starts and ends the day with me and has done so for almost ten years now. :)

I visited a friend and her dog was outside the patio glass most of our visit. He performed some stretches on the lawn and also made several attempts to coax her into letting him inside with the classic puppy dog eyes! When her boyfriend came home we had a front stage view of both of their dogs just excited beyond belief at his return. They were without abandon showing their joy to be with him.  

Dogs brings a loyalty and whole heartedness to their focus. They know what they love and want more of it. 

They share our facial recognition software, allowing them to read our faces and emotions and respond.

Which brings me to my conceptual application to posing in yoga. When performing a posture it can be tough to relax, whether its your first time or you are a seasoned yogi.  It can be a task to hold a posture and clear your mind. Over time I have been able to reach the meditative quality while doing yoga, tuning into myself. This doesn't happen right away and thinking upon this concept can help you to realize this within yourself.

If I could be more relaxed like my cat, alert and fully present....feeling the fascia release from my structure, seeming to melt like butter with every exhale.  
Also, I would like to have the focus and excitement of the dog energy. The focus to wait patiently and know myself and be ready to give. To have loyalty and love something so much I am beside myself with glee when I see it. To be surprised and fully drop in, extending every bit on every inhale. Thus illustrating  the dynamic of what should be going on inside when doing yoga poses.

Many times when we are new to the practice or expecting the same result from a pose, we are not scanning the body and where it is for us right now. Today your poses will be different. Your body needs something different every day from these exercises.  You may have slept in a kink or slept too much or not at all. Your digestion may be sluggish or its hot or cold outside. Take care to factor in these things when you roll out your mat. 

Also let these things go, imagine the cat laying on the instructions like he will learn through osmosis. :) 
Then reignite your inner puppy and give yourself that extra bit of heart. Stay a little longer at the door knowing your master will return.  Go out for the frisbee one more time, just because you can :P

Dogs and Cats living together! on your mat, in your heart in your head, and maybe in your bed. <3

Thursday, June 14, 2012

the blooming of the Lotus

the lotus. 

blooming beautiful from water, muck and dirt.

symbolic meanings across the wide pond of doctrines: 

cosmic harmony.

divine ideation. 


sacred bean. 

openness and wisdom.

 strong and unbreakable. 

a miracle of beauty light and life. 

I find this picture above from Celebrate Austin's Facebook page, profound as it captures all of these aspects mentioned above and flushed out in the article below. 

I like the mirror imagery and imagine the flower above is the same as it is below and reminding us to bring to the surface the true nature of ourselves. We can mask this in ourself or not work to find the deeper meaning in many events of our lives. Glossing, skipping stones over places where going deeper could make a great day greater or show you more meaning in a not so great day.

Stare into the photo above and read over the aspects highlighted. Maybe repeat some of the words and feel them in your mouth, head and heart. 

Breathe deeply and connect to the Lotus flower that you have become thru all of your hard works. The Lotus that you have bloomed from birth to now. And know that you will continue to bloom and rebirth. Picking up, dusting off, diving deeper into yourself, this world and other worlds yet to discover. 

by Rev. Sue Annabrooke Jones

    The lotus flower, a type of water lily, is held sacred among many of the world's religions and cultures.

      With its roots in the mud, the lotus rises through the murky water to blossom clean and bright, symbolizing to the Buddhist purity, resurrection and the enlightened being who emerges undefiled from the chaos and illusion of the world.

      The eight-petalled lotus that is used in Buddhist mandalas symbolizes cosmic harmony, and the thousand-petalled lotus represents spiritual illumination.

      In the iconography of the Greek and Roman Christian Churches, the Archangel Gabriel is portrayed holding a spray of water lilies in every picture of the Annunciation when he appears to the mother of Jesus.

      The Hindus of India noted that the ungerminated seeds of the lotus contain perfectly formed leaves, a blueprint for the future plant. Thus to the Hindu, the lotus represents divine ideation passing from abstract into concrete form.

      The lotus is featured prominently in Egyptian art and architecture, especially in connection with Egypt's temples. In Egyptian mythology, the lotus was associated with the sun, because it blooms by day and closes by night. The lotus also symbolized rebirth, since one Egyptian creation myth tells of the newborn sun god rising out of a floating lotus. The blue lotus was sacred to the ancient Egyptians, who valued it not only for its rich perfume but also for its narcotic ability to produce heightened awareness and tranquillity.

      To Native Americans, who found all parts of the American lotus edible, the flower symbolized the sun's power to transform energy into food. The seeds were once an especially important part of the Native American diet; in fact, the genus name Nelumbo means "sacred bean."

      The lotus is also highly esteemed by Taoists. Among the Eight Immortals of Taoism is Ho Hsien Ku, her symbol the open lotus blossom, signifying openness and wisdom.

      A feature of the lotus plant that has found its way into Chinese poetry is its stalk, which is easy to bend but difficult to break because of its many strong fibres. Poets liken this quality to the bonds between lovers or family members.

      The lotus flower is a favorite of Taoist artists, who paint it to remind us of the miracle of beauty, light and life, and to communicate an understanding of the Tao and of our place in the world.

Monday, June 11, 2012

standing with one leg in the sink

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I decided to wear a girly girl skirt. It is kind of poufy like a tutu, not overly so, but for me it just feels really girly.

I am not a frilly girl, I have always been this way. I can appreciate bows, ribbons, curls and other ruffles that are associated with little girls, but compared to my sister I never took as easily to those things. After putting on the skirt and giving a twirl in the mirror, I felt decidedly girly!

After spending some time with my year old niece the day before, I felt a freshness breathed back into my attitude. She is so gentle and naturally dainty, loves her bows and rocks cute pink shoes. She is also a poignant reminder how the little ones watch and learn so much from our actions.

My sis takes care to allow her to be recognized as a girl and also not to put stamps and identity through that, which I love :) It can be daunting to feel that girly bar raised higher and higher as you grow and so many identifiers along the way.

I had about three minutes in my morning routine before the "must be in the car" deadline.  I decided I needed a last minute shave of the knees and shins to complete my readiness and face the day complete as a girl. I have a tiny stall shower and shaving in that dark corner of a place is challenging enough, so my thought pattern goes......

"Hey I can just stick a leg in the pedestal sink and get on down the road."
...Quick spray of shave cream and so on.

As soon as I put the first leg into the sink, my memory conjured up the first time I secretly shaved in my bedroom in sixth grade with a Tupperware bowl and my mom's borrowed pink Bic (there was a little blood, and fun bonding with mom when I was discovered).

Then a quick montage flash ran the filmstrip of one Zillion locker room minutes from my stint with girls sports through high school and sportscamps: Laughing, pranking, bras, boys and hairspray....

Yet another memory flash of clips:
Behind the scenes in bathrooms, dressing rooms, youth camps and sharing bunk rooms in adult years, and places where women are minus men.Oh how we interact and pass on old wives tales, birthing stories, makeup  and dating tips and just being girls. The flowing and flowering interactions being in proximity to women, older, younger, sharing space and time.

I am all for gender equality and realize that we are historically and genetically and cellularly all human. In my opinion, there truly is not a discernment, on some levels, between men and women. Arguably, in nature vs. nurture conversations, we have a cultural aspect to our wisdom. We learn who we are through the construct of our current culture.

Presently, the trending global connections and enhanced accessibility to other cultures we are able to expand as we age and incorporate new ideas into this cultural mishmash.

I worked hard to erase any lines of men vs. women in my makeup and found a dead end. When I choose to embrace and celebrate differences I feel more freedom.

As I put my second leg in the sink, I felt the pang of missing these interactions. I literally said, "Where are my girls at?" These events have fallen away from my life construct.  So many meetings with family or friends are big gatherings and with a number of people and more diffifcult to have those deeper and organic interactions that you have with smaller or split groups.

Recently I went to a yoga class that was for women only. I had paid ahead of time and showed up to the event as my smartphone calendar instructed me and not until I put the mat down did I realize there were no men in sight, none on campus and none hiding in the bathroom. The studio's mood was decidedly giddy (in part due to those running the class :) and also relaxed in the way that women, in my experience, are behind closed doors; a veil, mask and edge comes off as we soften into each other.

Its not that we perform for the men, I think we are just called upon by them for certain things and they desire/need specific interactions. When men are not present, we dive fully into femininity with no excuses, no barriers.

And this isn't all pretty or petty... Women can be very strong and opinionated and nervous around other women. It has taken me many years to become comfortable within my own skin and flush out relationships with other females. There were many times I was bullied, embarrassed or feeling just plain out of place.

I can recall a first experience in fifth grade, changing out for gym in the room adjacent to the stage. It was such an odd room and poorly lit and the stage was next to the cafeteria so there was this hollowness to the walls and we could hear everything happening outside.

Couple the outer noise with the activity in the room, many girls trying not lose ribbons and keep shoes straight and I don't remember anywhere to sit... it was intensely exciting; being the oldest grade at the school and such important tasks and responsibilities lie ahead. This was where we stood up for our friends, witnessed different developing bodies and could see the true nature of each other.

This year I was blessed to be in a women's circle for a time, where ladies from my community group met weekly. We had no agenda, just a designated time and place...and beautiful sharing and growth commenced.  A palpable support net was woven and we witnessed birthing of deep desires, being able to call them forward and give them voices and eyes through all of us.

  • Create a special space and time with those in your gender group or within your family to meet and just be.
  • Carve out time with yourself to recall interactions you have had in the past and how those have shaped you and your relationships you have had and are having today.
  • Heal any wounds from past experiences with a group and give them the bandaid they deserve! Think on how you might be able to interact/react differently or with new eyes.
  • Feel the support of your kinsmen and women even when they are not around you. and then seek them out and let them know they are special to you ;)
All this to say, I remembered, missed and yearned for more Girly time this morning as I was standing with one leg in the sink...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

so to begin my day at work I usually log onto STEREOMOOD, which is a very fun playlist website and I pick INSPIRE... and this song  WE ARE YOUNG by FUN comes on! I sang this song for the entire MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY recently, humming it in the kayak :) Just popped in and stayed all day. I even pulled up the video to show my friends that day. So when it played first thing this morning I had to share more in depth with y'all!

This video is very cool with its special effects and each time I watch it I see more cool stuff. I really like it as an expression of the song. It takes it to another level for me, rather than telling the story of the song it illustrates the angst, anger, and confusion of youth trying to swim upstream in the night.

First let me tell you how much I love this tune. not just the lyrics, but the actual song and beat, phrasing and music.... couple that with a great message in the lyrics which are shown here.

Then they gotta go and make a spoof which takes this song to a whole new platform and speaks to my mid life nearing heart! ENjoy!!!