What Shuts Me Down? My knee, that’s what.

The incomparable Jennifer Pastiloff has a great piece on the Things That Shut Us Down.

For me, everything could be a potential snake if I let it.

There is a parable I once heard about a tiger. A saw a tiger in a cave, and was very afraid. It terrified him. As he came closer and closer, he began to see that the tiger wasn’t real, but  was painted on the wall of the cave. But the more he stared at it, the more fearful he became, so much so that it might as well have been real. His mind and body reacted as if it were. They didn’t know. And all it takes to stop that fear, making the tigers something huge, real and tangible, is to simply erase them from the walls of our mind.

Right now I am literally shut down and I hate it. My knee aches. It’s telling me quietly “I am unhappy about something you’ve recently done”. I haven’t hurt it (yet), but have decided to give myself a few days off yoga.

It’s driving me insane.

Why is it so hard to say, “I hurt! Take care of me, comfort me, nurture me and let me heal”? Why is it so hard to listen to my knee?

I instead I am in “knee denial” trying to search for any reason…it’s the weather? my period? my emotions? surely I didn’t actually HURT my knee? …that I can totally go balls out and go to fanatic yoga tonight. [And the worst part is I cant go to yoga tonight because I have other plans!]

Truth is that it drives me crazy when something, someone else determines what I can and cannot do. I go nuts. Even though I know it’s the right thing to do. My mind starts racing, grasping, making excuses and creating tigers.

I’m not listening this time. I’m resting. Crazily. Back to the mat soon.

xoxo, peace.

Only the defeated know Love. Because it is in the realm of Love that we fight our first battles - and generally lose. #coelho Manuscript Found In Accra

Only the defeated know Love. Because it is in the realm of Love that we fight our first battles - and generally lose. #coelho Manuscript Found In Accra

Tags: coelho

Happy New Year

This year, I am marking the the occasion of my birthday by re-framing it.

It’s pretty scary, this business of getting “older”. So, in the spirit of a yogi, looking at it upside down, sideways, and sweaty, I searched for a new perspective, and  decided to consider it as a fresh start. A New Year.

My past year is behind me…I can wipe the slate clean, look back and learn, and look forward with faith, hope and love to my New Year. Year 27. Whoops, my 37th.

In that spirit, I thought I’d journal my way through this transition by looking at setting a few Intentions for my new year.

But I don’t know what they are yet. Oh there’s the usual…

I’m starting 36 by spending a day of yoga, spa, and enjoying time with a home party with my family.

And then I’ll get back to you.

YOU.

I tiptoe slowly closer inside, to the center of my heart, passing my fears, flaws, brokenness and achievements along the way as I descend like Dante into my core.

I thought I would recoil with embarrassment, fear, shame, disappointment, and remorse.

To my surprise, I’ve also been connected, reconnected and shared love, laughter, memories and all the flavors of life.

I discovered that rather than blame, love is all that matters.

I love all of you and you inspire me in so many ways.

Yes you, the friend from high school who you think I don’t remember…

You, the family member twice removed who I haven’t seen in 20 years…

You, the barista who offered a smile and a genuine “Have a good day”…while serving my wake-up coffee…

You, who died at Kent State protesting because flowers are better than bullets…

You, who I know goes home and cries because you are lonely…

You, who cuts my hair and hugs me every time and shares stories and private thoughts…

You, who I went to college with 15 years ago who no one else knew could sing, and would never remember me…

You, who cries for your daughter killed in the Boston Marathon…

You, who is struggling to lose 100 lbs and comes to the mat next to me with confidence amongst our community…

You, an actress on TV who portrays my favorite character with complexity, humor and ease…

You, with the thoughtful advice and easy smile…

You, who I knew long ago…

You, who is bristly and angry and curses like a sailor.

We all share this experience called LIFE. And if it weren’t for you, I would feel like the scary, the ugly, the unnameable, the things we don’t talk about, the things that set us off, that frustrate us, the things that make us cry - I would feel like I was experiencing them all alone.

But more and more I realize, we are all connected. It’s a quilt, a puzzle, an impressionist painting of the experience we call LIFE on “Spaceship Earth”.

Inter-relationship
You are me and I am you.
Isn’t it obvious that we inter-are?
You cultivate the flower in yourself
so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself
so that you do not have to suffer.
I support you you support me.
I am here to bring you peace

you are here to bring me joy.

- Thich Nhat Hahn

Time to write.

There is creativity locked within my center. Formed from my left-handedness, my youth, my curiosity. The need to write, to sing, to dance, to paint, to express beauty through yoga. To tattoo symbols of what has scarred me in my life, thereby transforming them to beautiful memories and stories to share. In color.

The need to drive a car where I can drop the rag top and drive fast, sing loud, and let the sun in.

But as I encounter this, I met my first blockade: FEAR. Foggy, scary, greenish telling me “get back” “no” “danger”. Every word I hear from certain people is “no”. Yet I creep closer. I peek into the green pea soup fog to see what’s there.

And it scares me.

So I keep doing yoga, singing, dropping the top and letting in the universe. opening. looking. tattooing. And sometimes crying.

So it’s time to write. You’ll find some of it here.

peace xx,

bdogmama

Across the clouds i see my shadow fly, out of the corner of my watering eye. (at 39K)

Across the clouds i see my shadow fly, out of the corner of my watering eye. (at 39K)

Beautiful sunset! My view among the treetops in #Atlanta.  (at Candler Park Neighborhood)

Beautiful sunset! My view among the treetops in #Atlanta. (at Candler Park Neighborhood)

Tags: atlanta
Someone in the office Is a prankster. Make fun of me but never, ever mock the #Cold Air Damming. #wx #temptingfate #icestorm

Someone in the office Is a prankster. Make fun of me but never, ever mock the #Cold Air Damming. #wx #temptingfate #icestorm

"The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty. The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for "the least of these". " (at Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change)

"The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty. The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for "the least of these". " (at Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change)