Charity in December

Happy December, Happy New Moon in Sagittarius, and Happy last month of 2018!

I’ve done a lot this year.  I’m finding myself reflecting on that, but also being pulled to the present in completing this year with optimism and encouragement for what I can achieve in 2019.

I have goals in my mind. One thing I’m going to spend time doing is to lay them out visually for me to see every day.  I will achieve these goals.  Mindset, right? Plus the visual representation of them will be there for me to unconsciously and/or consciously achieve each day.

I’m sitting in my awesome apartment in Boise, Idaho right now. I would have never thought I’d be live here, but ya I’m so happy I do.  I’ve lived here just over 3 months now and there is snow on the ground.  Mendel, my gray and white domestic long-haired cat, is sleeping soundly behind me in my old, wooden, hospital chair (that I WILL reupholster in 2019).

In not writing for anyone in particular, so I’m going to let the words just come freely and effortlessly, in hopes that I am able to capture my passing thoughts as I stroke these keys that have letters on them.

I grew up stroking keys – piano keys.  Now I have a really nice electric piano that travels with me from place to place and I play,… sometimes.  I was taking lesson’s again in San Francisco by one of the most powerful and beautiful woman I know, Charity.  She is the meditation teacher at my old home studio, Ocean Beach Yoga in San Francisco, she is an awesome creator and musician, an amazing mother to two lucky boys and an incredible kid’s yoga, meditation and mindfulness teacher mostly through the power of music (created by her).
I am so grateful to have been brought together with her one evening at a mutual friends house (also connected through Ocean Beach Yoga SF), chatting about life and somehow music popped up and boom, we decided on lessons.  They were much more than piano lessons.  They were therapy sessions.  They were friend sessions. They were needed, I think, for both of us.
It was only a short time that I took lessons from her, each Thursday morning after the yoga class I’d teach (again at OBYSF), but man what an important time in both of our lives for us to be connected on a weekly basis to practice music, to talk, to discuss, to ponder, to cry, to laugh, SO MUCH!
Charity, you may never read this, that’s fine, no expectations, right? but just so you know, I am undeniably grateful for our forever connection.  We were able to share a lot of personal things to each other, really naturally, and I find that with that much ease in sharing and listening, the connection is not only for now, but through eternity and potentially our multiple lives.
Ever hear the phrase ‘Soul Connection’? Well, thats Charity and I.
She taught me a completely different way of playing and approaching to play the piano where now I feel more confident ‘jamming’ with my honey and friends.  Not feeling like I can’t keep up and then just giving up ultimately, but feeling confident that I can approach any song, in any key and throw down some cords, notes, riffs, appropriately.  Not perfect (what is perfect, anyway?) but good enough and for me, that’s all I’m looking for when jamming. Good enough, in the moment, creating bliss through sound.
So, Charity, thank you.  Thank you for being exactly who you are and for being my friend and for being my piano teacher.  You are amazing.

 

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Blue & Gray in the Skies Today

Sitting here looking out my window, I have the gray skies of rain and fog in the distance to my right and the sun shining in blue skies to my left. There is no visible line of separation as to when the blue ends and the gray begins, or the gray ends and the blue begins for that matter.

I can’t help but think about the balance in life when observing this interesting clash. Warmth, light, happiness is presented on my left and cool, dark, solemnness is presented to my right. Isn’t this life – our every day?

Everything is a balancing act – walking, thinking, doing, speaking, wishing, hoping, dreaming. To think about the positive and the negative, but hopefully end up leaning more to the positive – the light and happy side of things.

I’ve been teaching yoga for 22 and 1/2 months now. How flipping awesome is that. I’ve made it work – my dream just keeps unfolding. I guess this is the life I’m choosing to live. Goodness it puts a smile on my face.

I have the honor of teaching 4-6 year old children at a Montessori School this afternoon, followed by, most likely taking an asana class at Ocean Beach Yoga and then I’m speaking to the teachers in training at the studio about the business side of yoga in San Francisco. I am so grateful for the owner of this studio, my friend. She is just amazing, supportive and encouraging. How could I not feel encouraged when I am a new teacher, she takes me on as a new teacher at her studio not even a year into my teaching experience and within 6 months, I have 3 of my own classes each week at her studio!

As I am preparing for what to say and touch on at this evenings ‘class(!)’, I’m reminiscing about being in India. About deciding I wanted to go to India and take a teacher training there. I know I did that and I think its pretty flipping awesome, but sometimes its hard to realize that I did do that. That I just did it!

I hope this feeling of really being proud of myself and believing in myself always remains. Even as I recover from being a total B to my honey, my love. I want to be proud of myself that I worked through whatever emotions were arising when my reactions got the best of me and I did say or act in hurtful way. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be proud of the woman I am every day, for the impact I am making on my community as small or big as it may be!

Life is happening fast and, as my elders have always said, it will keep going faster. I wish I had more conversations with my friends and my family and was more up to date on achievements, successes, hard times, easy times, all of it. I wish some of them were more up to date on my stuff, too. But that’s life. Letting it happen and making the effort to make those things we want to happen, happen.

Its time for me to just keep on keeping on. Achieving, accomplishing and living my dreams.

Cheers to that!

Body, Mind, Spirit

This is a post I drafted on March 12, 2016.  At that time, I was in Ramjhula, Rishikesh in India.   Read on…

Its currently raining with thunder and lightening in Rishikesh! Its so nice to hear the sound of rain and the thunder. Very cooling and really settles the constant dust that is flying around everywhere.

Today is Saturday and the day began with the normal routine – waking up at 6am, clear the bowels (ha, but seriously), cold shower (yep, cold), then hot herbal tea with some natural honey, followed by nasal cleansing with the netty pot and then a shot of water with Neem Leaf power and Tumeric Powder. Life’s good, eh? Oh the healing powers of the nature.

After that, on o Yoga Hall 1, which is where I have Asana practice for 4 hours each day, plus meditation.  Within 2 minutes, one of the teachers came in a said no Asana today, we are going on a nature walk. What a pleasant and welcoming surprise. My knee was feeling a bit sensitive due to falling last night while it was raining – I swear I actually have good balance.  Trying to avoid the rain (aka water), I jumped to the floor from the third step in an unforeseen puddle and down I went. Got soaking wet, laughed a lot and came out alive. Swollen knee, whatever. Nothing broke and I’m good to go.

On to the nature walk we went –  2 hour walk up the mountain behind our ashram.  We were instructed to keep it as a silent walk and so we did – although this proved to be tough for some.  Naturally.

… This is where my attempted blog post stopped.  I can’t recall what interrupted me or if it was time for bed.  To keep it short and summarize the story from memory, I remember walking alone for a while on that walk.  Admiring Rishikesh and the small villages from afar.  I remember feeling submerged in nature, but surprised that I could still see garbage debris around us, on the sides of the trail… which the trail ended up turning into a concrete paved road.

Ultimately, we lost the leaders, our teachers’, as some of the group trailed behind.   At one point three cows started climbing the hill that lead down to the River Ganges.  They didn’t care – numb to human’s.  Then a group of us decided to walk down towards Laxman Jhula – a small village a 20 minute walk north of Ram Jhula on the main road.  To much of our surprise, there was a pack a monkey’s awaiting us to walk through.  Or perhaps anticipating us walking through their territory.  They are definitely not nice monkeys, although they look sweet.  One smaller one actually ran up to my legs and started to grab – I freaked – naturally.   Luckily, one of our teachers, Deepa’s, cousin Ravi was around (used to the little devils) and shoo’ed them away for us by banging sticks together.  One of the elder monkey’s tried to resist running away, but in the end, did and we were all just fine.

We stopped for breakfast at a nice little cafe nearby, had some real peanut butter, which was a savory treat and then the group of us headed back to the ashram.

Our classes had begun, we missed the breakfast that was served for us and we were late for what turned out to be a movie day.  We got comfy, sat and watch the yoga movie and took notes, as good students do.  The movies ended and we had our usual 2 hour break in the day before more asana and meditation, followed by dinner and me writing a snippet of a blog I wouldn’t know I’d only post a year and a half later in October 2017.

Here we are.  Its nice to reminisce about my time in India.  Especially these early days in my training when my journey just began.

More to come… now its time for me to close my computer and head to a medical corporate company to teach them yoga in their office!  Dreams do come true, you just have to put forth effort and be OK with taking risks.

What are your zendencies?
~ Namaste
J