December 2007


Some days HoneyBunny is such a better parent than I am.  And that’s OK.  Hopefully between the two of us Angus will grow up only slightly damaged by slack parentage. 

The other night our child did not want to go to sleep.  And we’re spoiled because that’s usually not a problem.  Usually our challenge is more around avoiding the destruction of our house by the Tasmanian Devil. 

We both took a turn trying to settle him down.  I tried to work my calming yoga mojo on him.  I stroked his temple.  I talked to him in my Savasana voice.  I felt like I had him.  Then just as I was about to walk away he jumped up on the bed and starting bouncing on it.  Yup, he was the picture of relaxation.  My yoga mojo is some powerful shit.

So we let him go for a few minutes and then he got really upset with unconsolable crying.

So it was HB’s turn and he went and and I couldn’t hear what was going on, but a few minutes later he came back and Angus was quiet.  And stayed that way.  I said – what the heck did you do??  He says it’s something I told him about, but I don’t remember anything about it.  I’m glad somebody did.

He calmly said, “Angus, you don’t have to be this upset.  You just don’t. You’re cozy in your Big Red Bed.  You’re surrounded by your friends.  Look, you have Puppy (and Puppy barked).  You have Frog (who gave him a kiss). And you have Mitch Monkey (also a kissy guy).  You have your friend Yellow Blankie.  Look how he likes to snuggle with you.  You don’t have to be this upset.  You’re OK.  Mom and Dad love you.  You can go to sleep now.”

And he did.

You can imagine how scary it must be to feel a force of emotions when you’re three.  Heck, it’s scary when you’re an adult.  Which is why we usually ignore our feelings any day than give them a few minutes of stage time in our lives.

If you’re anything like me you start catastrophizing – how will I do whatever upcoming task when I feel so crappy?  I make it even worse by assuming I’ll feel this way forever and making grandious assumptions that this one emotion will cripple me and cause my life to end up in the trash can.

But I *know* that it’s better to give the feelings some stage time and I *know* that once I give them their due they’ll pass.  Or at least I know it logically, now I just need to know it in the heat of the emotional moment too.

So next time I feel some heavy duty feelings I’m going to use HB’s technique.  I don’t have to feel overwhelmed by it.  I’m surrounded by people I love and comforts I cherish.  I just need to relax.  Feel it.  Let it go.  And then sleep.

So I wrote before about Bowen Therapy and my hip.  I’ve tried everything to deal with my Piriformis syndrome.  I’ve now finished 6 sessions of Bowen and in the last couple of weeks have been trying to tweak my hip.  I’ve done all the things I either avoided or was Very Careful About.  I’ve run hills.  And lots of ‘em.  I’ve amped up my speed and distance without the appropriate ramp up period.  I should be crippled – instead – nothin’.  Happy Hips.

I actually had the thought, I wonder if I should train for a Half Marathon this spring?  Now whether I do or not, I don’t care – but this is from me, who hobbled about painfully (and grumpily) when my hip acted up.

You just don’t know how happy I am about it.

And it’s had impact on my yoga too.  I’m more flexible.  I can do a full Lotus position now.  Not like “gee I should sit here for a half hour” but at least a few minutes where my foot is not completely dislodging my inner thigh.

And while I’m on that note – let me say something to yoga teachers who are naturally flexible.  Don’t be an jerk, k?  Flexiblility is mostly god-given.  Be careful about using your yoga classes as a “see what I can do!” Stuart thing from Mad TV.  Most people do not have the kind of flexibility that made you think “wow I’m good at yoga, I should teach”.  Let’s face it, yoga won’t make them a bunch more flexible unless they’re able to do it 4 hours a day.  Don’t let your ego teach your yoga.  Show the advanced version of the pose and then do the modified version.  People will feel included, instead of, well, bad. 

Whew glad to get that out.

So the other thing Bowen has done for my yoga practice is really increased the prana or energy flow in my hips.  We all have those poses that make us go “AH” right?  You know the ones – you feel the rush of energy and it Just. Feels. So. Good.

So because I’m a hip person, those poses for me are Seated Twist, Pigeon, also Reclining Big Toe pose where you cross your leg over into a twist – AH.  Except since I’ve done Bowen those poses give me 10 times the rush.  Like a total Yogasm.  Like wipe the drool, Corilee, it’s not attractive.   Not every time, but enough that it’s defiinitely helped me get to the mat more often ;-)

So Sarah the cute little naturopath who did the treatments on me said that I might need to come back in three months for a tune-up or when I notice my flexibility decreases.  No problem, I’ll be there in a flash if I can keep my hip, and me, this happy.

Before I had kids I said, “wow what a commitment, 20 years of your life”.   But now I have one.  Yesterday I was reading about a mother of a 9 year old and she said, “yeah at this age they don’t really want to hang out with you as much”.  And I know that.  My friend has a nine year old who runs out of the house to her friend’s and isn’t seen for the rest of the day except for a quick check-in call.  My friend spends the time sleeping.

It ocurred to me yesterday that next school year will be my son Angus’ last one at home before Kindergarten or Preschool or whatever it is.  I guess I’ll find out soon enough.  He’ll be halfway to not wanting to hang out with me as much any day now.  That’s crazy talk.

There are parts of motherhood that are so intense, I think I will *never* forget them – surviving them is challenging enough. 

It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were changing his diaper every couple of hours and now he’s slamming the bathroom door in my face because he can pee on his own thank you very much.  So I spend the time sleeping. 

When my Mom visited recently she said, “wow Angus is so busy”.  Seeing a sentimental bonding opportunity I said to her, “well us kids must have been busy too right?”.  Now let’s look at the background here – I had three – count ‘em – three brothers.  They were *all* busy.  I probably had my moments too.

And she said, “you know I don’t really remember”.  What??  How the heck do you forget something like *Busy*?  We’re not talking about an odd occasional thing.  A Busy kid is busy 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It’s only when they’re sleeping that they’re still and angelic.  The rest of the time it’s Manage the Business (wear them out) or Try to Cope (alcohol helps).  I was stunned.  And no my Mom doesn’t have Alzheimers (diagnosed).

And the crazy thing is that I do remember.  I have two little brothers 4 and 6 years younger than me.  I remember her bathing them and me and my older brother would shake our heads in amazement while we listened to the friggin’ tsunami happening in the bathroom as they splashed and back stroked and dove like whales. 

And the funny thing was that my mother had already transformed.  While she would have hung us up by our big toes, for them, she was holding her cool.  She either became alot more Zen or the alcohol was helping. And she’s transformed even more now if she can’t remember how crazy they were. 

But that’s why they make such good grandparents.

HoneyBunny and I snuck out in a snowstorm the other night because his Mom was visiting and we *always* take advantage of free babysitting.  And the thing that takes new parents a while to figure out is a) your kid is always going to be better behaved for other people, and b) if it’s a grandparent, they don’t really care anyways. 

They just don’t get too freaked about the things that drive you nuts.  Your kid is not going to sleep?  They think it’s a sign their grandkid loves them and doesn’t want to be without them.  Heck, take advantage I always say.

The fact is, Motherhood messes with your head.  What seemed like a long childhood for my kid, now seems practically over except for homework and the loud music.  Here’s hoping I’ll choose to remember the right things too.

 

I said good-bye to one of my yoga classes.  I taught a weekly lunch-time class to my co-workers for almost 3 years.  It was a great gig, paid for by the company.  We had lay-offs last week and now most of the yogis are gone.  We had our last class and didn’t even know it.

It was a weird gig too, playing the role of yoga instructor to my co-workers.  Going from working on a project with someone to adjusting them in Triangle.  It taught me alot about boundaries.  I wanted to be open.  So I would share stuff about myself and my yoga experiences which could be scary, but I wouldn’t expect the same from them.  They’re professionals, at work after all.

When I asked if people wanted a little massage during Savasana, it was the only class where they didn’t say say ‘hell yeah!’.  The touching could be tricky, but if I felt like the right thing I did it anyways.

It was odd to teach a class where I knew so much about what people were dealing with.  When the lay-offs were looming the classes got really small, but class time was a needed break.  And sometimes during relaxation I reminded people to trust.  I reminded them to trust that the right thing was going to happen in their lives.  To be grateful.  And to breath.  And the best thing is that it reminded me too.

I hear there’s a yoga studio opening in the new year near my workplace.  Maybe I’ll be able to take in some classes with my extra lunch time.  When they ask about a massage, I’ll be the one saying “hell yeah!”.

The yogis who were my co-workers have gone on to the next thing.  Some are going to travel, some are going to take some time, some are job hunting.  And I’m not saying it’s because of my class.  But they’re all calm and they’re all trusting.  They’re looking very well rested. And I hope I’ll see them in a yoga class soon.

 

 

I have been dry as dust on the blog front.  I feel like there’s nothing interesting to say, let alone anything wise or insightful.  And while my yoga practice ain’t bad these days, I’m not seeing anything new there that needs reporting.  It’s amazing how sometimes the blog post just gets pulled out of my madly typing fingers, and other times I’m like “blog?  what blog?”. 

And then the trick is to not feel stressed about it.  No one wants to read a blog post that talks about how long it’s been since the last blog post.  I don’t even look at the dates.  I try to make it part of my non-judgement practice.

I’m going to blame winter too.  Hybernating doesn’t always play well with baring yourself in your blog.   It feels a little too naked.  A little drafty for wintertime comfort.  But too much comfort is probably part of the problem too.   I need to be willing to get uncomfortable.

I’m also thinking too small about what I can write here.  So I hereby grant myself permission to write about any ol’ thing.  Regardless of what it says in the tagline at the top of this page :-)

Let’s see if that helps.

I’m reading Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture called Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.  Get it for yourself on video or transcript.  He talks about the value of playing football when he was a kid.  He says the real value is in the head fake indirect learning.  It wasn’t about the dream of playing professionally or really, about playing at all.  It was all the other stuff that had the most value – learning preserverence, teamwork and sportsmanship.

And the head fake bit is what I love about yoga too.  And that’s the challenge for the teacher.  How do you take a room full of newbies who want to ‘get fit’ or ‘touch their toes’ and help them do that as *well as* learn about mindfulness, compassion, yamas and nyamas – in an eight week session?

Well, of course you don’t.  Teaching them the poses injury-free is often a full-time job in itself. 

But the best head fake learning is what we take in from doing the yoga itself.  That a few simple deep breaths can completely alter our physiology and perspective.   That the sweet spot, the eye of the storm, is being in the moment.  That just doing the poses, whether we touch or toes or not, is its own reward.