Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!   Feeding the fish in Kathmandu.

Question to consider: How will you celebrate today?  How will you express your gratitude for your very life?


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The next adventure

I left the monastery early, not so bright.  I snapped this last photo of the lights in the courtyard, and was happy the camera had difficulty capturing the moment, not knowing whether to focus on the light or the dark.  It summed up my feelings when I was walking across the courtyard.   I chose to focus on the next adventure, spending a couple of days in the "real" Kathmandu.   I could still feel the loss, leaving the monastery behind, leaving those boys and their smiles and tears behind.  I took it all in, and walked with my friend Jiwon across the courtyard in silence knowing she could understand the mixxed up feelings in my heart.

Question to consider: Who decides what is the light or the dark?  Doesn't everything in the dark, become light as soon as we focus on it?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The different forms of excitement

I woke up yesterday so excited, not really for a particular reason.  Someone might say "unreasonably excited,"  in fact that was the response my yoga teacher Kim gave.  I was excited about life and all the things I was going to get to do that day, including a doctor's visit.

So I got out of my yoga class feeling great, super optimistic about my doctor's visit, kinda of going through the yearly check list in my mind.  My doctor and I had a brief chat about life, Adam and traveling, and then I got to put my feet up in the stirrups.  

If you have have been reading my blog for a while, then you might be familiar with Adam's and my journey with fertility treatments, and that I tend to  have ovarian cysts from time to time.  These cysts can grow quite large and can cause pain, discomfort and even affect my range of motion in yoga poses.  So I was really hoping that my doctor would not want to order an ultrasound, just to get a better idea of what was going on.  Unfortunately expectations tend to kick me in the ass.   

So I walked out of the doctor's office with my ultrasound orders and feeling scared, upset and doubtful.  My mind began to spin stories about how I wasn't good enough, how there was something wrong with me, and all the work I have been doing doesn't matter.   Luck would have it, that as I drove home there was a traffic jam and I got to sit parked in my car for about 20 minutes.   I got to sit with myself and breathe.  I was granted this opportunity to really ask myself some tough questions.  The first one is do I really believe what I say I believe.  Do I really believe that I can give things empowering meanings, that I can focus on what I have, that anything can be used to my advantage?

The next set of questions I started asking myself, was about why am I doing yoga, qigong, meditation and studying Dao?   Am I doing it to get something?  Do I wake up before the sunrise to do my physical practice only to heal my body?  

Here is what I came up with as I sat with myself.  First I don't know what anything means right now, all I know is my doctor wants a better look at my ovaries.  Who am I to say that my body isn't healing perfectly, and right on time?   

As soon as I got home I called Ashley and we signed up for a half-marathon!   Because I know that my body is healthy and strong,  because I trust the path I am on.  Because I do believe what I say I believe, this just serves as a good reminder to have trust and patience.  

In the morning I was feeling that super bubbly type of excitement, walking out of my doctor's office I felt the scared type of excitement, talking to Ashley I went back to bubbly excitement  and finally I ended the day with a passionate type of excitement to keep going, to keep walking, to find out what happens next.   

Yesterday I had to change my focus to what I have experienced in the last couple of years.  

I am happy!!!       

Question to consider:  Do you have any tips for training for a half marathon?     

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fourth workshop

I didn't get a photo with my fourth and final workshop group.  That final group, brought out my yoga teacher side.  They wanted to move, and it was a very strong group, I think I spent easily four hours teaching yoga on the full days.  I even had one gentlemen miss dinner because he ran down the street to find some more yoga classes.   (I do mean ran down the street.)   I was so happy to see someone find another type of movement that he enjoyed, to witness a little spark igniting was very special.

I went to Nepal, feeling completely terrified out of my mind about teaching, about sharing my practice, about being that vunerable.   I came home feeling so grateful for each one of my students, for how much they taught me, for creating such variety.  Immediately when I came home a lot of people asked me if I was going to keep teaching.   This question usually set my mind running, and so I said "I don't know."   

After one pretty emotional conversation with Adam, about teaching, about how it might work, about how to get started.  I took a step back, and went back to what I want.  I want to gain more experience teaching, I also love the flexiblity of volunteering.   So I reached out about a volunteer opportunity I heard about months ago.   Just like that I found a new avenue to challenge myself and teach with the flexiblity and freedom that leaves me available to still volunteer at my other jobs.  So starting in December I will get a new group of students to work with.  I am feeling extremely excited and terrifying.

Question to consider: When was the last time you witnessed someone's spark igniting for a new passion?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Full moon

I walked out of my room one night to go to the bathroom, and got a glimpse of the full moon through the clouds.  I look up at the sky a lot, no matter where I am, it doesn't matter if it is day or night.  I look for the sun, the stars, the moon, the clouds or the birds that fly through the air.  When I am in Nepal, I think about how the sun is shining on Adam when I am looking at the moon, or the stars.   There is something about  the idea that the moon glows because it reflects the sun that I adore.

Each one of us has a light, and the brighter it shines the more it is reflected in the world around us.  When Adam and I are apart, I believe we both continue to shine because we have faith in the other person's path.  We are the sun and the moon, when one of us shines the other is able to reflect it back.   We are on opposite schedules, one of us is finishing the day and the other is starting.  We are able to encourage the other person be sharing the lessons we learned that day.  

When we are together the polarity is not quite the same, however I still believe we reflect each other's light.  When we are together we also are able to see the other person's light, the sun and the moon are locked in a dance across distance; Adam and I get to dance across the whole floor, together, apart and then together.

Question to consider: Where is our focus when you look up at the sky?  What do you look for?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dancing Monks

My last few days as the monastery, the monks had begun rehearsing Lama Dances for an upcoming event.  It was interesting to see how the different personalities came out while they were dancing.   I got to watch the rehearsals, I got to watch the older monks teach the younger monks the dances.  I feel lucky that I was able to watch that progression and see the evolution especially with the younger ones.   Despite missing the event itself, I was about to focus on what was in front of me, instead of being upset that I was going to miss the upcoming festivities.

There is a book I read a while ago, that talks about there being no ordinary moments in the world.  I have found when I am truly present, when I focus on what I have, on what is in front of me; all those worries and anxieties fade into the back ground noise.  Maybe I didn't get to see the costumes, maybe I didn't get to see the butter sculptures in person; I got to see so much!

Every moment is special and unique, in every moment there is something beautiful to be grateful for. Seeing people dance tends to make me what to dance! 

Question to consider: How will you dance today?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lake view

The days fly by when I am working, if I am not actively teaching, or spending time with the monks, I am lesson planning, doing my practice or working through new yoga sequences.   (Yeah for body awareness, or soreness depending on your focus)

Every Tuesday I took the time to go to Lakeside, have a meal that involved meat and to just enjoy the view of Fewa Lake.  So I went to this Arabian place every week, they had a ginger lemon tea that I fell in love with.   There were days that I had company and moments like this, where I was the only person in the restaurant and I embraced the quiet.  This was a moment when I was really aware of being alone and realized that I am totally okay with being alone.   In fact I looked forward to the moments when I was alone and my thoughts were still and calm.

As I continue my journey loving and serving others, and with gaining competence teaching, I find I have far less "free" time.  So instead of looking at the fact that I have less free time, and feeling overwhelmed with all the tasks I still get to do with "less" time I enjoy the moments of peace just a little bit more.   I find the enjoyment in being busy, how luck am I that I have the opportunity to share my passion, to share things that changed my life into something amazing with other people.   (See what I did with focus there?)

Question to consider:  What is your focus in your "free" time?  Do you focus on how little you have or simply let go and enjoy the moment?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Workshop number 3

Each one of my workshops brought out a different focus of my practice.  Each of the groups challenged me and taught me so much.  I have to say that this group really brought out my spirit, all their questions on energetics really lit me up.  To have the freedom to talk, to begin to say things out loud  and suddenly realize that people want to listen, people want to share their experiences with energetics. 

I have two degrees in Science and I still apply the scientific method to what I am learning and experiencing.  I have also learned to accept that just because science doesn't have an explanation doesn't mean that it didn't happen or doesn't exist.  (Science "discovers" things all the time, it changes the names of things and is constantly evolving.) 

Do I understand what I feel when I practice Qigong or yoga?  Can I talk about what might be happening to my physiology, yes?  Do I actually know?  No!  Which is why it helps to ask other people questions and expand your understanding.   A lot of times in yoga, we will work just one side of the body and then compare the two sides in a pose.  Robert said the most freeing statement ever, in terms of understanding the difference between sides.  "Just notice, don't try to put a language to it, the language, the description of what is different will come with time."  

Thank you so much for this group, the language just came out at the perfect time.  You enriched my language and helped me voice it. 

Question to consider: When was the last time you were asked a question, and after answering it you thought "how did I know that?" 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4th

I took this photo on Sunday, when I was doing my morning practice.  I have done a lot of different rituals in our practice space, and I have said a lot of prayers.  This moment brought tears to my eyes, my teacher told us "incense carries the wishes of the heart."   As I watched the smoke rise and dissipate into the room I began to think about November 4th.    So many things have happened in my life on that day.

So I wanted to examine the three events that came to mind as I watched the incense burn.   The most recent was last year, my Grandmother's funeral was on November 4th.  Last year at this time we were in New Mexico gathering with family to celebrate my grandmother's life, to remember and feel her contribution.  I was so grateful that I had been able to get a last minute ticket to see her, to hug her, to talk with her before she passed away.  I will always have those moments and all the other moments with her.  When I was in Nepal on the anniversary of her death, I remember having the silly thought, "would she be proud of me, of what I am doing?"  I say it was a silly thought, because she was always proud of me, she always loved me and just because she has transformed from the earthly plane doesn't change those feelings.   Those feelings are eternal!

The second one was a few years ago, I had a surgery  that morning.   Again people gathered around me to support Adam and I during the surgery and for my recovery.   There is nothing glamourous about dealing with the after effects of surgery, and I am grateful that both Adam and Ashley were there to help me.  There were moments when I didn't think I had the strength to sit up and one of their hands was there the entire weekend to help me sit up or get up.  They both held me while I cried and simply reassured me that it was okay.  I would love to go back and tell that Lenore that not only is everything okay, she will still get everything she wants.  She just needs to let go of what it has to look like.

The third event was 16 years ago.  OMG, sixteen years.  A young boy and girl sat in front of a building lit a white candle and accepted that they were in a relationship.   His hair was long, my hair was shorter, and now his hair is much shorter and my hair is long!   Everytime I light a white candle I remember the stillness and clarity of that moment.  I remember how significant, certain and connected I felt.   So Happy Fourth Love!   Thank you for walking with me for the past 16 years.    Maybe candles also carry wishes of the heart?   Or maybe that candle simply sealed a wish?  Who knows!

Question to consider: Are there any calendar days that seem to attract significant moments in your life?  What do you focus on those days?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sterling Sunday

A moment from Monday night when I got back from Nepal, well after I had showered.  Sterling is still working on forgiving me.  I was so happy and continue to be happy to spend time with my little bratty pup.