Saturday, January 22, 2011

Flu Season

It is Flu Season and since I work where I work and with what I work with I usually get a flu shot.
I bypassed it this year due to timing and now I have the flu. Blargh! But on the upside I get some sleep, other people do my grocery shopping and cooking, and I get to concentrate on feeling better. I just hope it does not last longer then 3-4 days. I can only feel miserable for so long before my head explodes because I want to get out of bed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Awakening Practice

It is a lovely 4 day weekend, but I have not allowed the extended time off to stop me from Yoga. Keeping with one of my refocusing activities for 2011 I rely heavily on  to keep my focus. Jason Crandell has to be one of my favorite's at Yoga Journal. His no-nonsense approach, straight forward explanations of the poses and (of course) his soothing tone of voice is a wonderful thing to wake up to in the morning. I do wish at 3am I had the fortitude to practice, but I am lucky if I remember how I got into the shower and what I need to do while there.  So today being a holiday I was able to wake up gracefully, on my own time clock, and start my day with Jason's Awakening Practice.

Wow! I have only just started the 21 day challenge and have been relying on my old copy of Living Arts All day yoga for beginners, particularly the PM practice with Patricia Walden 3 times a week. The past weeks videos from Yoga Journal have been great, but some were a bit beyond my reach and so I decided  to save them for when my body was a little more used to moving into poses. Not to mention ready to deepen my practice and stop a rut from forming.

When I start exercising there are three agreements I have with myself: I should not do too much at once, only do what is comfortable for my body, and slowly work my way into a 90 minute practice. I start with 3days a week then increase slowly (depending on need or want) to 6 days a week. If I jumped whole hog into 90 minutes I don't think moving afterwards would be an option. Not to mention it would make the practice, which for me is a joyful experience, very unpleasant. And that in itself had been what always influenced my excuses not to do it. Thus stopping me from achieving this goal of a 6 day practice.

The awakening practice was a nice challenge for me. It allowed me to experience some new poses as well as old standbys. I used to hate Downward Dog. Hate it. It made my legs burn, my arms ache, and I was always frustrated with why I could not get my heels to the ground. Then one day as I was in down dog and wishing for the next pose I realized that I had too many expectations for myself, was competing with people who had practiced for years and sometimes decades that eventually got their heels to the ground. I let go and allowed my heels to hang where they fell. I began to enjoy the stretch of down dog and found my heels began to sink lower towards the floor.

Jason Crandell's Awakening Practice will be one I use much more often and become as acquainted with as I am with Patricia Walden's P.M  yoga practice for beginners.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

21 Day Challenge

I adore Yoga so when I picked up the February 2011 issue of Yoga Journal I was so pleased that they put together a wonderful 21 day challenge to help beginners as well as seasoned teachers deepen their practices, get out of their ruts, or just get moving! I signed up and simply planned to spend each afternoon for the next 21 days (starting January 10th, but you can join at anytime thereafter! ) doing something that I love for me and me only. Part of this is that I want my practice back. I want to feel good in my own skin no matter what my size is. I want to feel that I am doing something for my own personal development and Yoga has always been the way for me.

And for some reason when I start talking or thinking about the connection I feel with yoga the topic of Spirutality comes up. Or at least for me it does. So briefly...I am agnostic. I haven't any idea what is out there or if anything is,but I just can't possibly believe nothing is out there. It could be little green men for all I know! I was raised by folks who had been burnt by religion so my spiritual education boiled down to my fathers half cocked personality and Roman Catholic upbringing mixed with a couple of years of sunday school at a Southern Baptist church and a relic/prayers that apparently brought me from a 20% survival rating to 80% in one night when I was a kid. It was an interesting combination.

We shall see how it goes!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 in review...

 To start 2011 off right I thought to put together my 2010 achievements and lessons learned together. Something to give me hope, to nudge me forward, in my search for...I don't know what. Maybe by the time I've put this list together I'll have seen a pattern. This list is off the cuff.

(+) = Achievement
(*) = Lesson Learned / Will find time to refocus in 2011 and get better at it.

+ Organized and decorated my sanctuary/craft room/den/office.
+ Had two lovely out-of-country guests.
* Got frustrated with writing and stopped.
+/* Started having dreams and nightmares again.
+ Hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house.

+ Practiced Yoga for 3-6 days a week for about 7 weeks straight.
+ Realized that the reason I love Yoga is that it is all about me, for me, and that is OK.
+/* Started working with the body that I have rather than planning to work with the body I want.
* Made excuses to not practice Yoga at least every other day.
+ Meditated more regularly

+Read and loved Judith Lasater's Living Your Yoga
+ Learned the concept of self compassion.
* Did not practice self compassion for long.

+ Restarted my practice 
* Stopped my practice shortly thereafter with more excuses

+Picked up knitting again and completed 5 hats, 1 scarf.
+Crocheted one very large couch blanket for snuggling
+ Failed to mail said blanket in December as a gift.

+Decided to apply to an MSW program to get out of my rut and start working towards what I want in life rather than settling for what I have. ( I want to be a professor at a university.)

+Walked my dog about 10 or so times
* Got freaked out by psychodog and her drunker owner
* Let fear of psychodog and not knowing how to fend her off stop me from walking my dog ( I wonder if Tazers work on dogs)
* Made more lame excuses not to walk my dog ( thank god I have a husband who walks her!)
* Criticized other dog owners for tying their dogs out and not walking them.
+ Realized I was being a big fat hypocrite.

+ Had a good cry.

+  Dental Health is on track
+  Flossing is now routine ( I still hate it)

+ Saved enough money to take a wonderful trip back east in November, met some amazingly good people, and spent some time with one of my best friends ever.

+ Decided it is time for a change

* Continued to smoke cigarettes
+ Barely drank at all.

+ Made a delicious Cornbread stuffing in the crock pot of all places.

+ Allowed myself to be uncomfortable and survived.
* Allowed my depression to affect my work performance.

+ Ordered a wonderful Hiking Book for my husband and bookmarked the trails I think we would enjoy.

+ Stood up for myself even if I spoke a little too loudly, baldly, and said things that other people just did not want to face. 

+ Taught relaxation techniques to Substance Abusers who still request it 2x a week.

* Still talking about that Mountain Bike I crave to own and ride ( god I love biking)

+ Managed to put a little more trust into my father.
* Didn't see my mom often enough.
* Realized that children may not be in the cards for me and my husband.
+ Stuck to my guns about not taking hormones to try and get pregnant.

+ Ate more veggies 
+ Saw several movies at the theaters with my husband O and our friends Beth and Sean  who have moved far far away.
+ Realized not all Indian food is good.
+ Became much more confident in my knitting.

* Didn't see enough live music
+ Made really good chili
+ Made treats for Christmas but not too many.
* Didn't take enough pictures.
*Didn't make enough phone calls to people I care about.

+ Held my tongue 
+ was impulse impaired a few times less than 2009.
+ Addressed issues in a more adult way.
+ Continued to strive toward Child-like versus Child-ish.
* Did not get any bodywork.
* Did not give any bodywork to humans.
* Did not get more than one pedicure.
+ Continued to be a person who does not share other peoples secrets.
+ Enjoyed Playtime with Em
+/* Still not sure how marriage works and sometimes feel like we're headed in different directions.
 At the start of the list I felt like I was flogging myself, but then realized that while another year has passed I am still alive, breathing, taking in sustenance, and able to make changes. To make them slowly, subtly, will be the key. And so as 2011 gets moving I have plenty of opportunity to move forward and make the slow changes that are required to make me happier , more at peace with myself, and with others.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 The Year of House and Home Renewal

I don't buy into making "New Years Resolutions" but I do make goals for myself to accomplish in the next year.

2011 seems to be the year of the House for me. Our home needs some help, updating, and replacing of old worn out things that we have held on to because they worked for us. We should be getting our window flashing replaced sometime in this new year. That's an odd thing to be vague about, but our property manager was an incompetent fool that could never give a straight answer and our HOA board seems to be as non-committal. Bad combination so the property manager was fired and we have retained a new management company that started work today! So here is to hoping that mess gets figured out sometime this spring!

Then there are my knitting and crochet projects. I usually have myself on a 2 project diet, but it got a little out of control with the holidays and now I have no idea where I stand. I know I have 2 ribbed hats on needles, one is on DPNs and I am slowly finishing that up. The other is almost ready for DPNs as well. Both are for other people and I would like to get them complete this winter so that they can be used! Another hat I told a friend I would make for her, but the yarn that was bought was complete crap and I had to buy something different. It has not made it onto needles as of yet.

I also have a swap that I am doing and now that it is after the holidays- well not quite, but it will be soon. I will need to finish her hat. It is the Fish Hat [Dead or Alive] .I love this pattern! I did not start it on DPNs as the pattern says. I used a 16" circular and I used a US size 8 rather than the 7 the pattern calls for. It is a fun pattern! I am also making one of these for my nephew, but I imagine he wont be getting it until I can get those 3 other projects completed.

And then I have a ripple throw that I am working on. It has been intended for my nephew, but Crochet kills my wrists something fierce and I had to abandon it when it was only 12 or so rows in. But I have since re-evaluated my mania for needlecraft. I love doing it and so I will go on these marathons of knitting or crochet. No more marathons and I am just working a row or two each night.  Knitting does not irritate my wrists nearly as much as the motions of crochet, but I ache just the same when I spend 4-6 hours doing it . Duh!