Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas fun conundrums..

Well Christmas is fast approaching and I've done exactly what I set out not to do - I've let it slip.

Yes, there have been little slips, tiny trips, when you're heart skips a beat for a moment, and there have been big comedy slips, straight up into the air and down onto the bottom, à la  cartoon banana skin stylee...

I won't go into the details but naturally, as I slip, so has my yoga practice.

I ended up going along to the class in Paddington today with Eileen, but I spent the entire practice feeling guilty... Guilty for having had one glass of red wine more than I'd intended which spiralled into a paranoia that Eileen/my mat-neighbours, who are all but 4 inches away from me, would be able to smell my mild intoxication - not that it was from last night but from the last few nights which have just been building and building.. I am so ready for a rest, for a few days off... But then it's Christmas and we're going away and then we've still got Christmas celebrations to come, and then it's New Year, and honestly - it seems not to stop, but then I love it, but then I don't want anymore.  My mind flips between feeling like a reluctant teenager who has just been dragged onto the dance floor by my uncle.. Let it stop! But the next I'm hands in the air, like I just don't care, letting looooose....

So do I just embrace it, let it go? Or do I try any reign it in...?

It's fun, okay dancing (with or without your uncle) is not necessarily fun - a sore fact which I learnt at my staff Christmas party on Thursday - I might be able to get my legs behind my head, but I have zero co-ordination. I can't dance for toffee and I feel paranoid and I don't like not being good at something, a fact which my dancing efforts showed me - I thought Christmas was meant to be fun...

But I digress.. slightly

These few weeks are what they are, after all. At least I'm doing some yoga, still managing to get some work done, walk the dog - I'm just not doing it with quite the same 'purity'...

It's like everything is tangled together in this great connected ball. When all these aspects are falling into place, and I feel connected to what I'm doing, I'm feeling productive, practising well, eating healthily, drinking less, writing my blog posts and I'm bringing all of me to it, it's like the ball rolls smoothly; when things get knotted, out of balance, the ball jumps around, unpredictably. My ball is a bit jumpy right now, but that's okay. Mostly it's happening in my mind anyway, from the outside I think my ball is rolling okay.

Christmas is fun, so I'm gonna embrace it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A great week = no posts!

Yes, I've realised my creativity feeds off bad experiences.

But this week I've been a whole new me. I've been positive, I've  taken bad experiences in my stride (locked myself out of house AGAIN! hubby has been out of town so it's been full on with Conan, and left my phone at home all day on Thursday when was due to meet people in the evening) - I mean I know these are not bad bad, in the context of life, but they're the kind of incidents that would bring out my twitchy narky side. But no, I've felt busy, productive, the sun's been a-shining. I've been hanging with my boy down the park and it's all been good.

But sadly, dear blog, it means I've not felt inclined to write a post.

Why so?

Well, I'm not going to flatter myself, oh go on, maybe I will. But they say most comic geniuses are depressives (have you seen that movie Festival about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - seriously depressing).. hahahha. BUt there's certainly something to be said for laughing at misfortune. I mean nobody made a joke about a beautiful sunny day, or the sound of children laughing without turning it, if not dark, at least a little dusky. Does this mean if I'm going to write when I'm feeling happy (and I agree it doesn't have to be funny or lighthearted) will it have to be serious, earnest prose? Gee.

Monday, November 15, 2010

the lightness of being

It was one of those days yesterday.

Well I say that, but in fact it wasn't one of those days. It could have been.

Usually when I leave the house in the morning to walk the dog, I do the checklist: Wallet, dog bags, ball, treats, keys.

But for some reason I only got to treats... So I was there in my dog bag looking for the keys, no keys.. Maybe I left the backdoor open - no, I remember locking that. Maybe there's a window. No.

For some reason, instead of going into a fizzing panic (as I'd usually do) I felt like an ocean-swimming breaststroker. Long and steady strokes, gliding smoothly through the waves. I calmly picked up the phone to call hubby, but he didn't answer. So instead of leaving a flustered 'call me NOW!' message, I laughed on the phone, said 'oops' or something to that effect and continued walking the dog.

I mean what else could I do.

Though usually when people, faced with challenges, shrug, laugh and tell me 'well, there's nothing I could do' I'm usually skeptical. I tend to think 'who really believes that? Who really feels calm, positively resigned when forced to have their day sent into chaos'

I wonder if it's a control thing. Because I tend to get my knickers into reef knot over this kind of thing usually. So I called hubby and he (sensibly) suggested I call the real estate agent, which I did. And bless them (usually I'm spiking up like an angry hedgehog even thinking about speaking to the estate agent... samskaras, eh) but they were so nice. They laughed, they said 'ah, that must have been a good start to the day for you. Come along and pick them up.' And there we were, chuckling together over my misfortune.

I mean, it took a few hours to sort it (lashing rain, ordering a $17 cab etc) but I just kept on swimming my calm breaststroke

You see, when you try and see the lightness in life, it all falls into place.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dealing with disappointment

It's not easy being disappointed is it? Especially when you're disappointed over something which you can't really blame anyone for (blame = negative emotion anyway so should not be doing 'blame') but at least with blame you can feel somewhat vindicated. That loser messed things up for me. Or I blame myself, which kind of makes the sting a little less stingy.

But in this instance there's nobody to blame - not even myself.

I was planning on going to Mysore to study at the Ashtanga Yoga Research institute. THE place to study my yoga in India. It's one of those 'must do' pilgrimages of the ashtangi and I was perfectly poised and ready to go in March (you need to give four months notice of your intended stay). Except that I logged onto the site today and they said, 'SHALA FULL' - so literally if I wanted to go 1st of March I should have  sent them an email on 1st November.... what's the date today.. 9th November. I was 9 days too late.

The thing is I guess i was hoping to 'do' this before I get too old, start having babies, whatever. The timing was perfect, but I guess these things are here to teach us that life doesn't always go according to the little plan one cooks up in one's little head.

In some ways it's quite liberating when the ball doesn't bounce where you're expecting (my head is packed full of doggy metaphors these days so bear with me) - it shakes things up and forces you to try other things, make quicker decisions, throw yourself into another path.

I've realised I don't deal with disappointment very well so this is maybe my chance to learn from it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Monday - Same same but different?

Blown the cobwebs away this morning with a great yoga practice and have come away with another little lesson.

So my lesson really started on Sunday; after the steely, determined rain during Sunday I decided to go to yoga in the evening to get out of the house. I don't often do this as it has, in the past, meant I'm quite tired and leaden for my Monday morning practice. But, I was bouncing, flying, landing softly, yet strong and consistent. So, like everything in yoga, there's the eternal capacity for surprise. I mean the surprises are not huge, but then nothing in yoga is huge, you're really operating in this subtle, oh so subtle space, where the progress is minute, and the practice evolves slowly, it's like you're watching one of those wildlife documentaries where they've slowed down a leopard chasing a gazelle. 

So, with this idea in mind I'll try and keep my capacity-for-surprise candle a-burning. It's so easy just to think about your week as if it's just another same same week. Wake up Monday, do yoga, have breaky, play with doggy, have lunch, more work, teach class.. But this Monday (like every Monday) is going to be (and should be) different. This week I'll bring a new attitude, a dollop of surrender and a lot less guilt.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So so tired

Keeping my little fella entertained, whilst teaching and trying to come up with creative ideas for some writing pieces is starting to take its toll. I'm feeling tired. Oh so tired.

I know that in my yoga practice when tiredness sets its weary sights on you and your legs feel leaden and you're ready to stop, it's a case of mind over matter and when that next knackering chataranga pops up I'm telling myself, 'stick with it, bring lightness'

But, as with so many things off the mat. It's not that easy to remember to do this in real life.

He prowls around looking for things to entertain him, and once he's tired of his toys (which takes about 3 minutes now) he sets his sight on the remote control, my shoes, the sofas, the rug in the lounge. I already took him down the park today and he's played around with all the other bigger dogs, he's had a sleep and now he's back on the trouble trail, headed for destination Deep Trouble. And he looks at me with those reproachful eyes of his saying 'You're no fun, I'm bored"

I knew that having a dog would be a lifestyle change, and down the park I'm all breezy sweetness; "oh yes, this little monkey is so much fun."

But now, in one of my more weary moments, I'm just busting for my old life back again.

Even to be working full time and having some adult stimulation.

Anyway, whinge whinge whinge. It's all I feel like i do on here.

Sorry guys. Trying to keep the yoga focus. Another chataranga coming up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Are we being over-motivated?

Earlier today I was reading a post on Copyblogger which quoted Madonna:

 Better to live one year as a tiger than a hundred as a sheep.
~ Madonna
It was a fairly rare moment for me to read an entire post, but I was catching a few minutes to myself between working,  games of ball, training and treat giving.

You see there I was lying across the sofa with my iPhone at 11am (feeling very un-tiger, Madonna - sorry) drifting vaguely through the numerous blogs and newsletters I've signed up to, and I fell upon this one. And, listen up folks, I actually read it through - start to finish.

I've noticed that my approach to  newsletters mirrors my attitude to life, albeit a quite smudgy, splattered mirror... or would that be life? I subscribe to so many websites, blogs, e-newsletter and, like a large pan of porridge bubbling over with good intentions, I have this heady idea that by signing up to this blogger's amusing insights on life, it will broaden my horizons, expand my mind, make me funny, witty, interesting and every other cliche of well-intentioned betterment.

Mostly I just hit delete before even opening the email.

And then I feel guilty, mildly ignorant. Do I not care about the world? Do I not want to improve myself?

Naturally, since I don't read that many of the many newsletters I sign up to, I pick carefully those which I do. I'm usually drawn to ones with enticing subject lines, like this Madonna one - 'Madonna's 6 Secrets to Personal Branding Mastery'. In fact Copyblogger do this amazingly well. I mean check out these for starters:

Ernest Hemingway's Top 5 Tips for Writing Well
3 Steps to Turn Yourself from Good to Great

And, for mains, my personal favourite...

How to be interesting

But that's where the crusade towards personal greatness ends. If you're lucky I'll skim one post very quickly. If you're really lucky I might read it through to the end, kind of. The most luck you're getting is that I'll read it and pass it onto someone (most likely my husband).

I will never... I repeat, never, act upon any of the advice.

You see the thing is, I think I'm getting a bit weary of being 'motivated' by everything I read.

I mean I've heard that Madonna quote a few times, though I must say I didn't realise it was Madonna who said that, and sure, she's amazing. She is a Master. She's success embodied and undressed.

She's also scary. I mean I've never met her, but I reckon I'd whimper at her feet with my tail down, rather like Conan was at the dog park today. He's learnt his place. Maybe I need to learn mine.

 I just think that there's so much focus on finding the 'answer' externally, through books, websites, seminars, inspiring lists of things I could be doing more of and better. You can marinate too long in these heavy 'sauces' of advice until suddenly you crave something light, lemony and simple.

I want to stop reading so much (and, as you know, I'm reading a fraction of what I could be reading) and start actioning at least something. I want to take nibbles rather than great greedy mouthfuls of advice, and season it lightly.

Next blog post I read I'll try take their advice rather than chew it over on the sofa for 12 seconds before going back to my sheep-like slightly flawed, but surely quite normal (?) life again.