yoga.

Camel Pose

(Credit Unknown)

So in yoga there’s this pose called Camel Pose. It looks easy enough, but it’s actually super hard. And honestly, it’s more mental than physical. I’m pretty sure every instructor I’ve ever been with during this pose has said something along the lines of, “don’t give in and come out of the pose early; stick with it”. Not coincidence. While your body is probably muttering something like, “this is kind of weird…hmmn” your head is SCREAMING, “STOP THIS MADNESS; RUN LIKE THE WIND BULLSEYE; GET OUT LEST YOU PERISH”. When you’re in Camel, your heart is exposed, your throat is exposed, your hands and feet are cut off from your core, your shoulders and hips are open, you’re helpless. And most people’s brains just literally can’t even. And people who’ve been there and passed that, try to encourage others by telling them that if they don’t run from all those emotions that come bubbling up from the deep recesses that no longer have sturdy walls to hide them from everything, then they’ll make it to the other side -the rainbows and butterflies side-of Camel Pose. But here’s why I’m pretty sure the difficulty is more mental than physical: if you don’t quit the pose, all those feelings are still there waiting for you.

At first I couldn’t even do Camel Pose, tilting my head back was the most I could muster, but then I advanced a little to being able to do a slight backbend with my hands on my lower back. Basically this stage looks like you’re not doing anything at all, but let me tell you that stage is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There’s this panic that creeps over you with each millisecond that passes. You start feeling a little fight or flight, but the panic intensifies so much your brain forgets what fight even means. Then as soon as you come out of the pose there’s a wave of dizziness, along with all the emotions the panic was shielding. I came out of it crying every time I did it. Then I progressed and was able to do a full expression, and still the panic, still the emotions, still some tears. Until one day (and kudos to all the instructors, because they all said this would happen) it WAS rainbows and butterflies. I came out of a full expression feeling invincible, feeling happy, feeling strong. But not because the emotions and panic and vulnerability stopped. Somewhere along the way I became more mentally strong, my heart more open to facing the fear and the rejection and the hurt and the sadness, and once you name your fear, you steal its power. It’s still there, yes, but you can see it for what it is, breathe in its existence, breathe out its importance. It no longer serves you, so you let it go. Until today I have been quite pleased with that progress and those realizations, but tonight we did a partner Camel Pose, and something clicked for me.

In an attempt to make sure we were using core strength and our legs rather than abusing our spine we partnered up, one person practicing Camel, the other supporting. It’s a little weird to have a stranger touch you at all, and to intentionally push your hip bones into their hands seems even weirder, but it wasn’t. It definitely felt better doing the posture correctly, but after completing a full expression and coming out of the pose I realized, it felt better mentally too. Tonight I didn’t experience even one second of panic. Not one second of confusion. Not one second of convincing myself to overcome and reminding myself it’s worth fighting for. Because I was supported; I knew someone was there (literally touching me) and I wasn’t alone. My Enneathought the other day said that I “tend to cope with problems by being competent” and that my message to others is “There are a number of hidden issues here: let me think about it.” And it’s spot on. But it also challenged me to ‘expand my coping skills by expressing my feelings and adopting a positive outlook’. I like living in my head; it’s safe in there. But I have seen and experienced the joy that can come from leaning on others and practicing the same things with a positive community. Every time I go to yoga class I’m reminded to be mindfully meditative about what it is to be part of a gracious and growing community that encourages me to open my heart and live with gratitude, but tonight I got a physical reminder that I need others. And I guess I wanted to share my positive outlook and feelings. LOOK HOW MUCH MY COPING SKILLS ARE GROWING ENNEAGRAM! Life is hard; be kind to yourself. And each other. And also do yoga.

(P.S. this is an old post i never posted [when i figure out what’s wrong with me i’ll let you know], but i still believe in all these words 1 million percent.)

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Obsessed

Current Obsessions. Because you’re all dying to know what’s up with me right? (Rhetorical. Completely rhetorical).

The Enneagram. Not only do I want all my friends to take it and tell me their number so I can read about them, but I recently started getting the daily email from the Enneagram Institute and since it’s modified for your specific number, it’s like having a super encourager tell you things every morning. Except sometimes they’re really convicting things and not encouraging at all, but then you’re like “oh, hey I’m becoming more aware” and you’re all encouraged again.

Old Navy Rockstar Jeans. Seriously the best jean I’ve ever invested in. Plus it’s Old Navy which means your investment is like 20% the cost of a normal jean investment. They’re so comfortable it’s like you’re not even wearing pants, which you know is my life dream anyways.

Red hair dye. First I temporarily died my hair Ariel colored, and let me tell you, I felt invincible. Then when I did it permanently I somehow got the same red but for blondes, and since (praise the lamb) I’m not a blonde (I just don’t have the skin tone, people) it only turned my hair a slight shade of red that looked totally natural and almost undetectable. But red is red, and since they call me Ruby at work now I feel obligated to uphold this color indefinitely.

Christmas music. But let’s be real, when am I not obsessed with it? It’s not that I like to rush Christmas here, it’s that I like to listen to Christmas songs year round. Something about the bells maybe? Or that same bass riff in all the songs? Whatever, color me obsessed. Except with Faith Hill, get her out of here. Please.

Daydreaming. I can’t stop. I won’t stop. But fortunately I can catch myself spacing out before I let my mouth hang open; no drooling involved.

What sorts of things are you obsessed with? I’m just dying to know.

A Soliloquy on Paper with a little substance dispersed throughout.

Video killed the radio star. And now the internet is coming after the newspapers.
Technology is changing everything. And that’s wonderful, but for someone who loves words, pens, paper, ink, typography, punctuation and the like, it’s scary that people are beginning to prefer things tht they can look at with their eyes alone instead of things they can also touch with their hands.
Call me crazy, call me prudish, call me whatever, but I like books. I hate internet classes, sometimes I lose my phone on purpose, and I will always prefer getting a letter to getting a text.
Now here’s where it gets sticky: I think the things people are doing and creating with technology and new standards are amazing! Like this guy here: . He’s written a book full of stories that are 240 characters or fewer; and they’re good stories! Then there’s books like “6 word memoirs” which contains people saying some things that are far more impressive with a mere 6 words than other memoirs I’ve read containing 200+ pages. One of my favorite tweople I follow is “veryshortstory” and again, a meager amount of words used for maximum effect. Good things are happening.
And that’s what scares me. Deep down I want them all to fail. For people to say, I’d rather buy the book because I like the way it smells and flippping the pages makes me happy. I want authors to understand that Dickens and Twain really were genius for publishing their stories serially. I want to be Victorian I guess.

betty crocker ain’t got nothin’ on me honey, nothin’

 

 

 

 

 

(the title is a reference from one very talented Sarah Hyland whose Gail character never ever gets any less funny to me #youtubeaholic)

 

So there’s this website called Pinterest that I adore. And whilst perusing one day I found this photo and recipe from this blog

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Clearly, the color alone was reason enough to pull out those cake pans, but i also found it about a week before my birthday. need i say more? i made myself a blue velvet cake, and it was actually really really good. you should definitely click the link to the original blog if you want to try this because mine was not professional by any stretch of the imagination and you know all i did was pull up her directions and set that laptop on the kitchen counter. however, i was slightly proud of the fact that i didn’t catch anything on fire and that i used my food processor all while documenting with the phone. i’ll show you the pretty pictures.

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the beginnings of the cake batter. i'm not even going to tell you how many egg whites are featured here.

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ta-dah! it even had a blueberry glaze for the top (not pictured, sadly.)

unemployment is for craft time.

as promised i’m giving you visual entertainment this post. i currently have several work-in-progress projects going, and i thought it might be fun to show them to you know. kind of like a teaser until i finish them and give them each their own detailed post so you can be crafty too. i mean if you like that sort of thing. one of these projects is solely for me, but i am having the most fun with all three of them! i can’t wait to show more and tell you the details, especially for my selfish project because i’m not even sure it will turn out, but if it does i am going to be the most exuberant.

so enjoy, friends, and i’ll be back soon!

man getter

this post is going to be a bit off the beaten track; mostly because its central topic is one i’m not well-versed in, but i hope it’s as amusing to you as it is in my head. i’d like to converse with you dear readers on the topic of being a “man-getter” or maybe more accurately, wearing a “man-getter”.

this is what had happened, Sunday morning i decided to wear a dress with boots because it was a chilly morning, and then i added a cardigan for extra warmth. now as my cardigan was oversized and the wind was blowing, i felt it would be prudent fashionable to add a belt on top and thus complete my ensemble. now i have oft admired the belted scarf and belted cardigan looks, but i must confess that this is not something i do on a regular basis. this is clearly the biggest mistake of my single life*.

so there i was warm yet wintery walking into the sanctuary, and as i’m walking up to the door someone remarks on my outfit and tells me how cute they think my belt is. “well, well” i thought, “this belt really was worth that $3 on clearance, now wasn’t it?” and i continued on my way. again, however, i was forced to pause because yet another (of the male persuasion) said “well, you look pretty today!” [sidenote: this would naturally be flattering except i usually feel that the speaker always puts extra emphasis on the “today” part in this sort of phrasing which renders me incapable of deciphering whether or not i’m flattered or insulted] the other part of this that caught me off guard was that the speaker delivered the compliment with big eyes while pointing at my belt.

i mean, on one hand i get it, belts are usually only used functionally for guys, and my function (stylin’ and profilin’) (no i don’t really know what that means) doesn’t count for them i don’t think.  but i also feel like it’s necessary to say that it wasn’t a super funky belt or anything. it was tan. and slightly brown. like…plain. however, i still got about 2 more manly compliments before the service started. i’m not going to pretend like i get it because i don’t, but clearly the high waisted belt is a man-getter. that being said i’ve found the perfect example to follow if you’d like to try this theory out.

*please know with complete and absolute assurance that my current romantic state is precisely as i desire it, and nothing said in this post is meant to encourage thoughts otherwise. in fact i plan on taking my newly acquired information and restructuring it to maybe try to distract instead of attract. for instance, you see an undesired boy coming towards you with a complete conversation about the weather and your lack of employment, so you wait until he notices the belt and in that first few seconds of bewilderment, you change the subject and then say something about sensing a friend who needs a partner to go to the bathroom, and BAM, you’re free and have harnessed the power of the belt.