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and the Art of Slowing it Down
Tag Archives: Yoga
January 11, 2018Posted by on
Drum roll please? …I’ve decided not to keep my Pen Name, Princess Marksalot. Not to bore you but, while I mourn through it, I’d like to share again that it did have meaning.
One of my Grandmothers, sweet Gma Kay, was an albeit far – lol – descendant of American Indian royalty (so that makes me a REAL Princess) and in Architecture School amongst other more figurative aspects of my life – I’m an editor. As embarrassing as it is, I never mustered a professional grade balsa wood model but I was voted most poetic. 🤗
And, those that follow me closely know that I’m always neurotically editing my Social Media posts, my blogs etc.. So I’ll give you a little insight. (I love being an open book.) I don’t think anything is ever FINAL – and as a Creative constantly designing… as if life’s demonstrable motto is, and everything that I do, an ever evolving work of Art – dare I say masterpiece???
Yeah, I know that that might sound a ‘lil grandiose (I am bipolar & I didn’t sleep much last night) but am most comfortable w/ that so feel free to sprinkle rainbow fairy dust on me, will ya??? I also love using a proverbial eraser ✏️ and the lead smudges that come with it. So do you get it now? Marks a lot???
Further I’m all abt Kintsugi pottery, hence the picture here. If you don’t know, as told by the Modern Gypsy: “Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken objects using gold or silver epoxy. The Japanese believe that when something has suffered damage (and suffer mental damage I did/do) and has a history (that we all do too), it becomes more beautiful”. I see ME, my motto, really the same thing… so maybe I should have been Princess Kintsugi, always in a state of “golden repair”, but it’s kinda too late to change as I’ve been branded.
Those that matter will stay. Those that hate it will unfollow me. And that’s a-okay b/c I aim to show you that I care!! …get it marks a lot (of people). Quick – somebody call a doctor? I am delusional. 😂 😂 😂 I’ll shut up after I say this: it’s all so v personal – how to recover from Mental Illness, there is NO Cure! We’re all so v different.
Make me not belabor you but remind you of a little thing called DNA… So for those of you reading this that do not suffer, as poorly, mentally. We all suffer some IMO. We desperately need to get comfortable with this uncomfortable space.
We all really need to get past our insecurities, is that the right word, fear might be a better word… and talk abt Mental Health to bust the stigma. So say Goodbye to Princess Marksalot, with me – will ya?
I mean well. 🙏 your new & improving, Jessica Kaushik
January 14, 2016Posted by on
It’s so easy! I repeat: it’s SO easy for our loved ones to shift the focus to us; to avoid their own problem child!! I for one, as a blogger know this first hand!!! IMO because I try to honestly and diplomatically share some of my inner most feelings publicly here I get condemned for it at home!?
Everyone thinks that my husband is so gentle and tolerant but I no longer see those qualities as often as others do! :| In the beginning those were the qualities that attracted me to him but to my point I have to work hard to find other things attractive today. I trust that you can read between the lines. If my husband mistreats anyone, it’s ME!
Today, and I mean this morning; I got blamed for his disappointment with our much-needed conversation about a financial matter. One thing led to another and it was a snowball, after minute seven (7) we no longer knew what we were talking about… much to my surprise we were talking about my recent post “it’s excruciating being me” but today was the first mention of it!
Problem IMO is that my “remarkable” husband is not in touch with his inner child. Hell he is not even in touch with his brother! (Not because they are estranged but because hey do not make time for one another.) He is not in touch with the higher Spirit that brought us here today, let alone together… God bless him, he hardly has a chance to take a break to notice the finer things in life and as far as this post is concerned that includes ME! But to his credit for a few weeks last December he turned to meditation; Yoga Nidra in fact. I was hoping for the best but as life goes, those good times often fade away like ships passing in the night.
I don’t want to drown you in complaints about my husband, he’s not all bad, and all us folks in relationships can relate – we all have complaints about our better half BUT I also don’t want to bury my head in the sand… and I feel at this moment that I have no other outlet but this blog!
And so I continue because I know my husband will read this post. Honey if you’re listening: EVERYTHING is not my fault! YOUR opinion about me is so very inflexible, set in concrete in fact, and that is so very damaging to our relationship! IMO you are holding onto grudges for your own inability to achieve perfection; let alone mine! It’s high time to forgive yourself, & me, and move on!
More over it occurs to me that you are incapable of reaching into the depths of your soul and sharing yourself the way I do here. You’re a man. Most men can’t! And I will try not to blame you for that any longer but in return I ask that you give me some credit where credit is due. It may come easier to ME but it’s hard work to be this open. I dare say that it’s terribly unfair of you to use it against ME!
November 19, 2015Posted by on
If your familiar with my older posts – you’ll take note that it’s been a while since I opened with a song. Hope your glad to have it back! This one touched me deep inside recently as I am working on breaking on through to the other side… Gratefully I have been coping for a long while but think I am in the final stages of gaining life long stability through introducing a daily routine and continuing with my gratitude practice. Not unlike how recovering alcoholics prey for their sobriety morning & night.
With that I will share that it was only after reading this I realized that I am just TOO HARD on myself!? http://www.mysticalraven.com/inspirational/19-signs-youre-doing-better-than-you-think/
And so I will try to take a deep breath, now and again, when life presents me with another challenge and continue! Our breath is and always has been our gift in this life!!
- I am alive; and for a Bipolar that is significant. I have contemplated suicide more than once.
- I am able to see the sunrise, alone in the comfort of my home with a cuppa joe. But a glass of wine, usually cooking at sunset?!
- I am able to hear birds sing if I pay very close attention and waves crash if I go to a beach of any significance. I have never really been a beach bum!
- I can walk outside and feel the breeze through my hair… sometimes I notice it when I don’t have my nose in my phone?! I will try to not the sun’s warmth on my skin more often!
- I have tasted the sweetness of a chocolate cake & living in macao, I miss a good chocolate cake!? Thanks for reminding me. :|
- I never go to sleep hungry, unless I am dieting, and for that I am so very sploit.
- I did awake this morning in my family bed with the roof still over our heads. My son & I try to remember to thank the Universe for this daily.
- I always have a choice re: how to express myself and for this too, I am so very sploit.
- No, I haven’t feared for my life today.
- I have overcome some considerable obstacles, however innocuous they have been and I have survived. Am still evaluating the learning curve. ;p
- I have ambition, passion, drive and thte freedom to make my own choices!
- I don’t live in China… Macau isn’t China!
- I am strong & healthy! Although you may be hearing from me more soon, I have to get foot surgery & will be strapped close to my apartment in a cast for a month!
- I have a family of nine (9) whom misses ME and is looking forward to spending some time together around the holidays.
- …uh, no. Maybe not, at 42 I don’t reminisce much yet.
- …uh, again no. The drinking water in Macau is the shit of the litter. We get everything that China doesn’t want. BUT I know what you mean, it’s clear.
- I have high quality medical care and insurance that covers most of it! This is a blessing!
- Geeze! Sadly this is a BIGGIE!! I don’t know what I do without the internet.
- I can read and I am very proud that I taught my son to read at four (4) by simply tracing sentences with my fingers.
Note to reader: I encourage you to elaborate on your own answers as I did. And I encourage you to write them down!
August 24, 2015Posted by on
So I just completed this questionnaire. http://www.the-open-mind.com/40-questions-that-will-quiet-your-mind/ You don’t have to write it & post it in your blog like I am doing but you should really take twenty (20) and try answering the questions too! Note to reader: It got hard at the end, I had to go back & think harder about some of the questions but most of them came to me effortlessly. I am glad that I made the time for it! The opening was my hook, line & sinker: “Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers … because asking the right questions is the answer.”
1. In one sentence, who are you? I am a creative, impatient, generous soul.
2. In one word, what do you live for? Family.
3. What is worth the pain? Make up sex.
4. What will you never give up on? Love.
5. What do you always try to avoid? Ignorant people.
6. What’s something you take for granted every day? My breath.
7. What do you need most right now? Sleep.
8. What’s the best advice you have ever given yourself? Count your blessings.
9. Happiness is a ________? Cuddle.
10. What would you immediately do differently if you knew no one would judge you? Where shorts.
11. What kind of people does the world need more of? People like ME.
12. What does beautiful look like in the dark? Empty.
13. What is the most beautiful thing you’ve seen today? (This one is a little forced…) My naked body.
14. What’s one problem you’re thankful you don’t have? Childhood trauma.
15. What’s something nobody could ever steal from you? My creativity.
16. Who would you like to forgive right now? Myself.
17. What is the most valuable life lesson you learned from a mistake? We have many soul mates.
18. Happiness is not ________? Constant.
19. Love is not ________? Worthless.
20. Who are you grateful for? My husband.
21. What is something you wish for everyone you love? To see the real ME.
22. What impact do you want to leave on the people you love? An indelible impression that they matter.
23. What’s something simple that makes you smile? A wild flower.
24. Life is too short to tolerate _______? Republicans. (Drew a blank here, so took a cheap shot.)
25. What’s something negative you think about too often? Why doesn’t anyone understand me? (I am most certainly flawed but filled with good intentions.)
26. What’s something positive you try to keep in mind when negativity surrounds you? God made me this way.
27. What’s something you’ve grown to appreciate, as you’ve grown older? Listening takes time. (I really need to re-read that!)
28. What’s something that used to scare you, but no longer does? Sleeping in the dark.
29. My life would be a lot different without _______? My son.
30. What gives you hope? The sunrise.
31. What do you have total confidence in? My marriage. (It has taken me years to say that!)
32. What chance are you given every single day? To start anew.
33. What do you want to remember forever? The support I got from my parents.
34. What do you appreciate most about your current situation? That I am a pedestrian.
35. What do you always look forward to? My husband coming home after work.
36. What the world needs now is _______? More yoga.
37. What recently reminded you of how fast time flies? Seeing an application I submitted over eighteen (18) months ago.
38. If you were going to die at midnight, what would you be doing at 11:45pm? Gently resting nestled in the arms of my loved ones.
39. What’s something everyone should be able to say before they die? Don’t give up.
40. What’s something that doesn’t have an ending? Soul searching.
August 7, 2015Posted by on
The title however catching is deceiving; my goal is not sobriety. Gratefully I never hit rock bottom but I hit my bottom. If you can appreciate that, you understand that most things are relative!
My relationship with alcohol started at a young age. It started innocuously; I was just ‘experimenting’ but I grew to abuse it over the years – I used it to self medicate. As of late I have a drink everyday; sometimes as little as 1 (one) but occasionally as many as 4 (four). I’ve been in denial, for much too long that my drinking is in fact is a problem and the denial has made matters worse; not unlike the big belly Pooh got from his honey pot!
Whether your aware of it or not, alcohol is everywhere you go. It’s so very accessible that I don’t know how people entirely abstain from it! The temptations are harder than I can possibly imagine. That said however I can appreciate coming to the conclusion: “it’ s just not serving me any longer”! That was the conclusion I had until I had long discussions with my best friend, husband & psychiatrist!
In short, they don’t think that I fit the alcoholic profile. I trust that they all have my best interest at heart and we are all very well aware of the bipolar/alcohol relationship but they all have drawn the same conclusion and suggested that I start by giving myself a quota. i.e. seven (7) glasses a week. If I drink all seven (7) in one night at dinner with friends, so be it. Or if I choose, I could enjoy one (1) glass a day. Once I learn to moderate it, I can taper off. The point is not to punish myself nor go overboard and abstain forever.
There’s a famous quote that Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I may very well want different results, as I now appreciate that my self-medicating has gone on far too long. What I want now is to be restored to sanity!
And so my theory goes: Discipline can restore me to sanity, writing can restore me to sanity, more meditation & yoga can restore me to sanity! I am not going to find sanity in another glass of wine!
And so I have taken the first step and set a quota. I pray that God helps me find new & improved ways to cope with the daily grind. I trust that she will as I have opened myself to her. With that I am considering the possibility of a life coach to ensure my short term success!
March 8, 2015Posted by on
Negativity really has a bad rap!
But to me it’s just one side of the coin. It’s a fact: there is joy and there is pain; just like there is day and there is night. Just like there is winning and losing – good and evil, happy times and sad times… this is life in its totality! The plus’s and the minus’s.
But not everyone sees that.
Instead everyone under this great big sun wants to dance around barefoot in the tall grass with the breeze in their hair while it is showering rose petals.
… and yet I cannot relate because this quote that I cannot quite recall haunts ME. It’s something about how one can only see light through the darkness.
And that is something that I have accepted at the core of my being. It’s not dissimilar to the faith that I have that the sun will always rise.
With this acceptance comes a dilemma, as I want my whole self to be heard. I want my whole self to be felt. But I am learning that you can’t be brutally honest with everyone because the whole truth can hurt. …this dilemma gnaws at my soul because I am desperate to give my whole/true self to someone but when I look around the only one that I think can handle it is myself!
So here’s a dose of my own medicine. Here’s a stab at being brutally honest with someone: When I have a hard look in the mirror and seen a lie; a fake!
I can’t tell you how many times that I have questioned my authenticity since becoming a yoga teacher. With the title comes a sense of responsibility – an image of a role model, no?
But I am no role model. I am not living the best yogic life. Instead, for example, I drank a fight with my sister away just before being caught plastering pictures of my family on Facebook while arguing with my husband and neglecting my four (4) year old son. And that was just yesterday!
Some yoga teacher. I don’t feel better. I feel dark. Sad even. So, I think I will crawl under a blanket and disappear until the sun finds a way to peel open my eyes!
For tomorrow I start a detox, a new exercise regime & a renewed commitment to my morning practice. I am lucky it’s Spring. It’s high time to reflect – to reinvent. …and maybe just maybe it’s high time that this yogini give some thought to why everyone under this great big sun wants to dance around barefoot in the tall grass with the breeze in their hair while it is showering rose petals!
February 2, 2015Posted by on
This is a picture of ME! Can you believe it? After all these years, I am posting a real picture of me, HERE? Caroline Myss’s snap shot, that I posted earlier today (OH wait! That was yesterday…) encouraged me to do it! So, IF you see me on the street, feel free to stop me in my tracks (I like to make tracks) and say hello? I’d love to know what you think about my blog! That said, you still might have to call ME, Princess Marksalot as I am not considering to reveal my real name to the general public until I finish my Screenplay… am thinking that that will be my real debut! Am still tossing some names around for it but it might be called “Being Bipolar isn’t EASY” or bBiE for short… That said, I do intend to share more of my crazy stories one day, they will certainly be in the movie, but as of late it’s been all these posts have been FEEL GOOD… so read on? Get to know ME more intimately?
Who are you? I’m Princess Marksalot; a.k.a. my childhood hero: Pippi! Or you could “Call ME Cliff”, that’s a private joke but I’d probably respond!
Date of Birth? Oh that’s a touchy subject, I’ll give you the year BUT people in my immediate family are super paranoid about identity theft… so suffice it to say, I like to keep them happy & will share, 1973! …I am an OX according to the Chinese Zodiac and a Virgo in the West.
Where do you come from? All over! I was born in Akron then I moved to Germanton (Memphis) at the age of three. I think after that I went to Dallas, then on to Phoenix and New Canaan. My dad was climbing a corporate ladder… which fell out from under him when I started college. During my stint in New Canaan, I was an exchange student in Lisboa… but I digress, I went to college in Cincinnati, DAAP was a great school – don’t know how it ranks today, but when I went t was in the top five (5) for Architecture Schools! During my stint in Ohio again, I was an exchange student in Kobenhaven. (The most beautiful women in the world live in Kobenhaven… note to self, I do not live there!) oh & also New York – how could I forget New York?! I spent most if not all of my co-ops in NYC… After graduating, I moved to New York close to my best friend and my older sister. I fell in love, hard, and followed Scum Lazy-ass Moron, as we will forever refer to him, back to Phoenix. When that fell apart I moved to DC, where I proceeded to loose my mind?! But I loved every second of it! Then to save myself from drowning in my own thunderstorm, I moved to Las Vegas, met my night in shining armor, had a child & begun a life as an expat in Macao (China).
What do you live for? My family. My interests are Architecture, Graphic Design, Photography, cooking, party planning (I love planning a good party), Yoga, traveling & of course writing but I live for my family. One day I hope to live for something greater, …am currently learning how to be a Bipolar & Yoga advocate but my family keeps me going! I am a pretty good wife, mom, daughter & sister if you ask ME, but I am biased of course…
What project ‘s’ are you working on? Well, I have this blog that I get around to in my spare time, which is usually when insomnia strikes, and I have three (3) Facebook pages one for the blog, one for yoga and my own of course (I really love connection). I teach Yoga out of my home, I just became a teacher this year, and dream of opening a Studio one day! Then there’s my 7th Wedding Anniversary party and a Wellness Day in Macao & my Hindi lessons… but, the coolest project by far, outside my son – can I call my son a “project”? lol – is my Screenplay! That I am really proud of! It’s an autobiography & starts with ME getting handcuffed during my first psychotic break in front of Starbucks on Connecticut Avenue in Dupont circle. I am not sure how it ends – it’s about reclaiming my divine birthright; peace, joy, freedom and laughter! I started on this path with a cleanse at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali in February of 2014 and I aim to finish it!
What are your ambitions for your projects? …Ugh – I’d like to make a blockbuster! Did I just admit that? Is that a “flag”, I am Bipolar ya know… All joking aside, who wouldn’t? And in the process, I’d like to make my little sister famous! She has all the skills, as she is an actress AND looks like ME?! Do forgive me for just addressing one project here BUT that’s a pretty enormous ambition! No? My Screenplay, it’s also an insiders guide to how one woman’s hyper alert, idiosyncratic and acutely sensitive manic-depressive mind works! I hope to make what it’s like to be mentally unstable available to more people. To suppress the stigma’s – make mental illness less taboo!
Do you have any political views? All is fair in love & Yoga! And by that I mean, there are different strokes for different folks! I am finding that I mainly vote/ lean one direction but try to see everyone’s point of view and do not side with a political party. Several of my friends & relatives are political die hards and I try to reason with them. But many of you know that that’s pointless! So what do I believe? I believe that all women should have the right to abortion but hope to never have to make that decision myself! I believe that all people should have the right to bear arms but don’t want a gun in the house. God forbid, when I get depressed, I just might use it on myself?! I believe that Education is really important and wish that it was FREE in the USA but that would wreck havoc on our taxes! I am glad to see that Health Insurance is reaching more people now! #GoObamaCare I don’t know if I believe in the death penalty, I think torture is better suited for some! …I support same sex marriage, like I said “All is fair in love & Yoga” – it doesn’t matter to me if some people are born that way or choose that direction later in life! Think that about sums it up… I am really not abreast of what the main issues are! But those are a few that I can think of that are important to ME!
What are your religious views? I have written about them in this blog, but I’ll share what I recently posted about my altar on my Yoga Facebook page here. I think it pretty much sums it up: “I have come to believe that I am a Universalist and believe that our universe, in all it’s glory, is an eternal organism and from it proceeds all life, all consciousness, all creativity… in other words, I believe: ALL is God. On my altar I have a photo of Jesus and a pendant of his mother Mary. (I was raised Catholic, though left the Church shortly after I started yoga in College). You will also find Ganesha, Krishna, Saraswati and of course Buddha up there too. (My husband is Hindu. A Hindu priest married us and another gave my son his name.) I own, but have not read in their entirety, the Holy Bible, a Bhagavad Gita, the Teachings of Buddha & most recently acquired a Qur’an… a close friend and Missionary tells me that I am a Pantheist but I’ll leave that up to you to judge… I promise not to bore you with my spiritual beliefs, in class, but you should trust that they are part of my yogic journey; finding your center is part of yours! Note: that this is intentionally a “Community Page” and I am open to such discussions about God, the Spirit, the Creator of all things, as you like. One thing that I have learned from Yoga since the Summer of 1998 is that WE ARE ONE and in my classes, I will work towards reinforcing that message! Chopra is a huge role model of mine and he often reminds me that we share and are responsible for only ONE World… so kindly keep in mind, as you come to class, that we are in this together!” …imagine that you get the picture!
What do you hope to fulfill in life? I hope to support my husband’s happiness and help make a respectable ‘citizen of the world’ out of my son! …I hope to follow the instructions that my Grandpa Bud gave me and do a job, any job, well! …he really haunts me sometimes, God rest his soul, often I put in the extra effort! You know, tie a pretty ribbon on the package. I could learn more from my Mom; she ties the best ribbons! Trust, I know, this list is not that “lofty” but they are the first things that come to mind!
Do you have any hobbies? Kindly see “What do you live for?” AND “What project ‘s’ are you working on?” above. ;) …the head of Human Resources at my first real job, in Rockefeller Center, told me that smart people usually answer questions before they are asked! Guess this proves that I am SMART? …I have been trying to prove that my whole life! Now my life is complete! …I might not know where Madagascar is nor who fought in the French Revolutionary War ;) but I do know some things!
In your spare time what artists do you listen to? A lot of 5 Seconds of Summer, Green Day & Pink lately! My four (4) year old son loves them… but when I get to choose it’s Pink Martini and Florence + the Machine… REM, Blondie, David Bowie, Eurythmics, Neil Diamond, George Michael & the Eagles when I am feeling nostalgic.
Any closing statements? Please note that I stole these questions from Vonj, out right! There is no shame in stealing! Everyone needs inspiration sometimes… that said, you can find his original post here! I may have just stumbled upon him but I <3 what I’ve seen… http://vonjproductions.com/in-troduction/
October 13, 2014Posted by on
I am crazy! I mean it; I must be REALLY crazy!! I have committed myself to 200 hours of Yoga Teacher Training with twenty-eight (28) twenty (20) something personal trainers, in Bali next month, and I can’t even touch my toes!? Okay… okay… so I can touch my toes & they are not all twenty (20) something & they are not all PTs but that’s how I think about ‘them’ when I read their stories, look at their FB pictures?! I try not to look at their FB pictures! Honestly, I can just barely touch my toes with my fingertips when my knees are straight of course and then sometimes, on a bad day, my legs tremble. After a good warm up it’s better, it always gets better but I cannot do the “advanced” postures like my fellow classmates can! For one, I can’t even do chaturanga off my knees anymore since I hurt my left deltoid earlier this year… I have good balance/ form and can often take a pose to an intermediate level but the fitness enthusiasts are going to erode my (asana’s) self worth!? And that’s just it as I prepare for this retreat – I know that my ego is going to get ME! I have read this article, http://www.gaiamtv.com/article/cut-comparison?cid=soc%3Afacebook%3Amyyoga, over and over again and I get it but I am preoccupied with fear that ‘they’ won’t get ME?! Gather I could always use the Bipolar card and tell ‘them’ that I am mentally ill! Maybe then they would make allowances for ME? Maybe then they would think: “Oh, it’s okay if she’s not a flexy – at least she’s doing yoga… she needs it more than me?!” But that’s small thinking. Isn’t it? You don’t have to answer that, I know it is SMALL thinking but I can’t help it! How will ‘they’, the twenty (20) somethings, see that I am calmer, nicer, happier, healthier and generally more successful if I cannot strike level 3? They have nothing to compare it to… they don’t know the younger ME, the ME that rolled out my mat every day! And I guess that’s just it. I guess that’s what I wanted to write about. If you have read any posts from my archives it’s evident that I am calmer, nicer, happier, healthier and generally more successful today than ever perhaps and for that I am very grateful! I am lucky if I “practice” three (3) times a week, today! When you get older your metabolism changes… mind you – for the worse, so I still have to get in some cardio but how are ‘they’, the twenty (20) somethings, going to understand that? Even my yoga teacher, here in Macau, he’s thirty (30) something and he thinks that I can get back into the shape that I was in in my early thirties (30’s) but I am highly skeptical! I have very grave doubts… Which brings me to this image. I feel like this cartoon?! He’s ME! I am trying to maintain my proverbial balance but I am sweating the SMALL stuff when the point is that there are eight (8) limbs of yoga!
- Yama : Universal morality
- Niyama : Personal observances
- Asanas : Body postures
- Pranayama : Breathing exercises, and control of prana
- Pratyahara : Control of the senses
- Dharana : Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
- Dhyana : Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
- Samadhi : Union with the Divine
…the real goal of ‘my yoga’ today is not to be a human pretzel anymore but samadhi. Imagine, a little girl from Akron Ohio of all places wants to reach Samadhi! Kindly, break now and read: http://yogainternational.com/article/view/meditation-is-not-what-you-think; in it Swami Rama argues that we can all reach Samadhi! Personally, I feel like I get the benefit of meditation from doing the asana’s so I am not sitting traditionally much lately but I wonder if that’s just an excuse for not doing the hard work! I highly doubt that I can reach Samadhi without the stillness that sitting affords.
October 2, 2014Posted by on
Can you have balance in warrior three (3) if the chemicals in your head are out of whack? Can you find a moment of silence, peace if you will, out of your tree pose if your mind is fettered?? Can you choose to act kindly and with compassion when you really want to lament the torture that you have been asked to endure? The answer, in my experience, is a resounding YES!
There are days that I may be more easily distracted but to clear the channels between my thoughts, I find my drishti. I focus my gaze on one spot and/or lower my eyelids once I assume a particular posture to dampen the visual noise of the teacher walking around or my son’s toys on the floor.
I have learned to do the same when the unhealthy voices in my head cloud/blur reality. In recent years, I have learned to put up imaginary blinders when outside running my errands. Often I have had to use my hands to shield my eyes, to tune in/focus, and tune out the cacophony around me. Rather than running home and hiding underneath my blanket, I find accomplishing the chores I set out to do, in the midst of troubled moments, helps me feel better about myself. It helps me feel functional when I am truly dysfunctional.
Many a years I have practiced yoga, budokon and other forms of seated and or walking meditations hypno-manic and/or moderately depressed and I have found that it helps me to go with the flow. Being present helps me to keep my shit together! Constantly opening myself to what the Universe is offering me both in the grand scheme, i.e. life lessons, and even the littlest, tiniest, everyday things like being kind to the grocery clerk when he drops my eggs allows me to walk steadfastly on the path towards spiritual growth and development.
Often I roll out my mat surrendering myself to the Universe, with the centering thought let’s see where this will lead… I practice knowing that the physical postures will rub off on my innermost being and help to make all of my endeavors easier, effortless and more natural.
The stability that I have found through a hearty yogic practice has helped me get in touch with who I really am. More recently I am incorporating the eight (8) limbs of yoga by limiting my meat, caffeine & alcohol intake and bringing my attention to moments when I might want to lie or lust after something. I feel it clearing, purifying, my mind, body and soul. I am lighter. Soon I’ll levitate. ;) Actually they are just tools, merely observations; demonstrations that cause less harm and bring me closer to the truth, my truth.
It has taken years to get closer to answering “what is my calling” but I have found that the asana’s align us to something greater; our true self… God, if you will… that help the answer become clearer! It’s a process, an exercise (pun intended) that is constantly unfolding.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Patanjali claims true yoga is a union with the Source of all things. And that is why many yogi’s consciously, or unconsciously, often begin and end class bowing to ones intention, teacher and fellow students with their hands in a prayer position reciting the Sanskrit word Namaste. Namaste loosely translates to ‘the light/divinity within me bows to the light/divinity within you’.
Many a Eastern Indian walk around every day tossing around this greeting unaware of it’s true meaning?! Further, I am finding that a great deal of people don’t know that in it’s simplest form yoga translates to union… for many it is a scared act but it doesn’t have to be. In my experience it has also been a protective measure that I have taken to harness my mental health. To suspend time, to release control, to let go of my daemons… to offer up my oh so common and not so common inadequacies of being mentally ill.
For me being stable is really about having balanced lifestyle: a little bit of medicine, a little bit of sunlight, healthy eats and exercise. A yogic mindset is my partner in crime that helps me battle everyday depression, stresses and anxieties. It reminds me to return to the breath; to find calmness over calamity. I find if I do not fuel my paranoia but rather fuel my core muscles and incidentally spiritual being – I am stronger… fitter to cope with life’s challenges!
The jury is out if Yoga can be a panacea but Chopra, Harvard University and other teams are working to find out if it can be… In the mean time, don’t just listen to me but read these two articles below. They may encourage you to roll out a mat of your own or to sit quietly to make your mind a better place!
September 17, 2014Posted by on
So I am no longer writing a Play. I am writing a Film, a Movie… a Screen Play. Trouble is I have never read a “Screen Play”. (Insert grave doubt.)
In the short span of twelve (12) pages I learned that painting the picture is more important to ME. My resident expert, my younger sister and actress, pointed that out and has helped me understand that Plays are driven through language and dialogue… Movies through images.
I am a visual person; I need images. I speak in images. And frankly, if it’s going to be an autobiography and therefore about being Bipolar, there was little dialogue, outside that with my therapist, about my neurosis’, my psychosis’… for years mind you I hid my conspiracy theories, delusional thoughts and paranoia to the best of my ability!
… I thought that I would write it backwards; from my current, some would argue, ‘perfect’ and stable life to the unforeseen calamities, sudden and serendipitous distress, that they Universe dropped on my doorstep ten (10) years ago this month. But then I woke in a fright a few days ago thinking “backwards is all wrong” and realized: “I need more feedback”! So I sent my logline & synopsis to my nearest and dearest soliciting their criticism.
My Mom, of all people, said “Well written kiddo” full stop.
That’s it?! I mean that’s all my MOM is going to share about these dedicated steps/adventure that I have begun to better understand myself? That’s’ it? I mean C’mon, really??
In the most unapologetic way possible, I have to say that she’s the deluded one! She is most certainly unaware of how cathartic telling one’s story is… my hope is the the act of writing my story, possibly producing it, will change ME, deeply… perhaps proFOUNDly?! Maybe, just maybe, this time I will find myself?
After some prodding and in reference to the title and synopsis of my, now, Screen Play she said: “I think that the title is a work in progress. You will need to work through whether or not people will “get it”. It may be perfect in the end-you don’t have to keep it if something better presents itself.”
And she’s right. I have only just begun. I need to bring my yoga practice into my writing and work at being flexible.
Before it turned into a movie, my older sister said: “That seems like a great starting perspective to begin to write. I just wonder whether by not simply writing but rather creating these artificial constraints (it’s a play, it has a summary, it has a title) that you will more easily get in the way of what you would like to accomplish – figuring out your story.”
A-ha! She is so very right! Much of the “how to write a play” books that i read last year, when this project started, directed ME to write a log line & synopsis to help ME get started. And I gather that I have to look at it just as that! It’s only a beginning. (Note to self. Archive that draft!) Already since her note I have realized that, although she lived part of it, she doesn’t know the whole story. She doesn’t know, nor really truly understand, my experiences from my perspective but more importantly nor do I. I need to allow the story to unfold. That’s a sure fire way to find something.
Then the resident expert, my younger sister, said: “Keep telling the story. That’s at the crux of it all, the storytelling you are trying to do. That’s why we, the audience, care…we’re intrigued by the story. I just read your blog post, Just stop it already, and what popped out to me was this: “Who’s gonna steal an idea about a crazy woman finding herself?” Specifically the “a crazy woman finding herself” Is this your story? It’s actually very compelling. I want read it, I want to go on that journey.”
Aha – she got it! Before I did. (Insert the wise words from my older sister.) That is what my story is about, today!! It is about being on this never ending path of finding myself; it is a spiritual journey… I am writing it, whatever it will become, as if to imply that each of our ‘beautiful’ lives are fated. And to do that I need to let go to see the message better. In his new book “Growing into Grace” Mastin Kipp, the founder of the dailylove.com, is trying to communicate: Life doesn’t happen to us. Life happens for us!
If I do nothing else; I am now on this journey, I am going to let this happen to ME!