Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks and Gratitude

I teach Yoga at a suburban Gold's Gym. Not the kind of place you'd expect for a teacher like me. Some of the other teachers (exercise class teachers) call me a 'mat girl' as in, "do you teach other classes or are you just a 'mat girl'?" But I like it because it's close to my house and I have all my props there and they let me teach whenever I want. I've also developed a pretty regular group of students who are looking for more than just a 'mat girl'. Believe me, they wouldn't keep coming back if they didn't.
Yesterday morning I taught a class with a Gratitude theme. I started by reading this great quote recently sent me from my dear friend Karen (thanks, Karen!):

We have noticed that when you are in the mode of appreciation, that is the closest physical thought process that harmonizes perfectly with the pure positive energy that comes forth from within you of anything we have seen in your physical experience.

Someone said ‘Isn’t love closer to that pure vibration?’ And we say Love and Appreciation are the identical vibration.” ~ Abraham – Hicks

Then I told a story about myself and a time when I overcame a really angry moment by focusing on what I was grateful for (let's just say it involves knives and mushrooms). The inspiration was to find small things that we're grateful for. As we went through class I gave examples of things I was grateful for in the moment, to help keep our focus and give inspiration. Here are some examples:
  • I'm grateful for my hands and fingers (all 10 of them!)
  • I'm grateful for my yoga mat
  • I'm grateful for being able to make mistakes and nobody really cares (in a good way)
  • I'm grateful I can stand up
  • I'm grateful for laughter
  • I'm grateful I can relax
At the end of class I expressed my gratitude for my students and the opportunity to share my knowledge of yoga with them. After gathering their things, one student came up to me after class and said "I'm grateful for you" and walked away. Luckily I was able to blurt out a "thank you" as she left but I have to say I was a little dumbstruck (or awestruck?). Sometimes we forget how much impact we can and do have on others. Wow, am I grateful for that moment. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shimmy, shimmy, shimmy til the break of dawn...

...Yeah! As the song goes. Regular, not 3 quarter. I just got home from Belly Dancing class and I was just going to rave about how much I love belly dancing. But now that I wrote that I need a moment to rant about the 3 quarter shimmy. A basic shimmy is a small shake of the hips back and forth (right-left-right-left). A 3/4 shimmy is 2 times at each side (right-right, left-left). Anyway, I'm a little bottom heavy. Not in general, just in the bottom. I tend to carry most of my weight in my butt and thighs. I've gotten used to it, even grown to embrace it, but there are times when it does pose a problem. Jeans would be one (too big in the waist, can't get them up past said thighs). 3/4 shimmy would be another.
When it comes to belly dancing, as my first teacher once said: "It jiggles because it's supposed to." So I'm thinking, Hey Great! I can let me butt flap around as much as it wants to and no one will be offended! But that was before the 3/4 shimmy. The problem I have is that momentum tends to take my body one way and it never has time to catch up before I'm on to the next one. I always (yes always!) feel like my butt is just one too many steps behind. Like a bad celebrity ballroom dancer.
So if anyone has any great suggestions for how to lose a little of just my butt fat, or at least trim it up so that I can shimmy like everyone else, I'm up for it. :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I always hate never

I generally avoid using words I like, to describe other words I don't like. Today I'll make an exception. I hate the word always. (I also hate the word hate but I'll save that for later). Always, and likewise the word Never, seem so confining. Isn't that funny? Words that in essence mean "at all times/forever" and "not ever" can seem confining to me. It only means one thing, and if you're saying it to me you'd better make darn sure you've got your forever and not ever straight.
My husband (yes, I'm on him again) was complaining a bit yesterday that there was food in the sink. We have a garbage disposal and we have 3 young kids. During any given meal I spend up to 2 hours straight in the kitchen (ugh, for one thing). During the course of this time I, at the very least, cut up some fruit for them, leaving the entrails behind. Or, um, I guess it would be skins, rinds and seeds. At the very most, I cook a meal involving vegetable scraps, meat carcasses, potato and carrot peelings, cheese rinds, and the aforementioned fruit entrails. I may also take advantage of my kids sitting still and the baby being contained to clean out the fridge, thereby dumping out the year-old, half-opened jar of sauerkraut my husband insisted on getting to make Ruebens that didn't happen. Lots of stuff in the sink. Now, back to his complaint. Because so much happens during this time such as yelling and barking at me to "I need more milk, mom!", etc., that I let the scraps sit in the sink until I have determined that I have no more scraps to give the disposal and then I grind it up all it once.
My husband takes offense to this. He hates seeing food in the sink. It stains the (white) sink. It creates fruit flies (where exactly do they come from?). And so his comment was "There's ALWAYS food in the sink!" To that I said, "ALWAYS? As in every single time without fail? 24/7?" The reply came back "Every night for the last 2 weeks there's been food in the sink." (I'm going to assume that probably isn't the case either).
My point is, if ALWAYS means "at all times, forever", then I would guarantee there isn't ALWAYS food in our sink. Now I wouldn't say there's never food in the sink...
By the way, he did call later to apologize for "being a butt". Do you suppose I should get literal about that too?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Husbands ? !

I've been working on my compassion lately. Funny, but I talk about it like its a knitting project or something. Yes, when it's all done I'll have this lovely angora pink compassion.

So, today it was my husband. Let's keep with the knitting analogy. I was feeling sort of olive green wool indifference about him today. Not bad, but not especially great either. I haven't had enough time to really talk with him lately and yesterday he was a bad boy (I'll save that for another day...) and I was a little perturbed at him. Today, not so much but just not lovey-dovey. Then he called on his way home from watching football and we had a good little chat and suddenly I felt re-bonded. Sort of tight knit navy blue organic cotton socks.

So I was thinking, what had changed? and How can I tap into that more often?

Today it was "challenge" that drew me closer to him. Yeah, I know, weird little things around the word. Well, I guess I can best explain by saying Circle the Wagons!? We're going through a challenging financial period. One in which (by way of my manifesting class) I KNOW things are going to be OK. We're just kind of looking at the situation to see what we can do. I guess the bottom line is we both just said, we'll do what we have to do and everything will work out. Quaint, but true. Someone once said, it's not as if the money just runs out and there will never be any more. True, true.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Another successful Halloween has passed. We are now sufficiently loaded up on candy to make the kids arm-flailing-eye-rolling-back-in-the-head episodes continue at least until the sugar high that is Christmas. Joy. Actually, aside from the gruesome candy it was a good day. After weeks of working on Sammy's costume we finally pulled it together for the big night. What a riot! I just followed him and chuckled the whole way. He's a Spinosaurus, BTW.

Then there's Anthony. My sweet boy. The kid wants to be a garbage man. When he grows up. Actually, a lawn refuse collector (he's quite specific - they have a different kind of truck, you know.) So how on earth does a person make a garbage man costume? Don't ask me, I still haven't quite figured it out. Here he is anyway...
The baby was an angel (well, is an angel) but dressed like one for Halloween. She wouldn't keep the halo on and stayed in the wagon the whole time and kept trying to eat treats IN the wrapper. Oh well, at least she's cute!