Progress, not perfection 

I grew up thinking perfection was possible. If you weren’t perfect, you weren’t trying hard enough.

That thinking can literally kill you. I tried it, it doesn’t work and more importantly, it’s exhausting. There is a horrible let down when you fall short of that mark. Shame, self loathing, you name it, I’ve felt it.

There were a lot of times where I heard, “if you would have just tried a little harder.” Today, I’m still trying to break it. I try so hard that I collapse into tears. Not just crying, shaking in the corner sobbing. 

I know I can play victim, it’s super easy! Look at what I’ve been through, I say. Look how life has kicked me when I was down. Oh poor me. But that just gets me stuck. Not progressing, just sitting in the sorrow and helplessness of self pity.

But really, I’ve come out of all that junk stronger. I actually am proud of myself and like who I am. I’m finally getting it together. Letting go of what life has handed me and looking forward to the amazing things to come.

It’s easy to look at people and think, it must be nice, they’ve had it so easy. But no one escapes life and death. Everyone looses, everyone triumphs. There’s no hard or easy, just life. No winners, no losers, just everyone trying to make it through.

I’ve got scars, I’ve had struggles. I make that very public. But today I embrace my progress. From victim to warrior, from endless pain to contentment in any situation. Not always perfect but always progressing. 

Most importantly, surrounded by smart strong people, that have been through the ringer too, who encourage and remind me, keep moving forward and making progress in each and every day regardless of circumstance or struggles. 

A day in the life of an introvert 

I’m an introvert. To some who really know me, it is not a surprise. To others, it might be. I can completely fake being social, but when ever I’m forced to chit chat, I want to run.

I avoid all social situations. I don’t talk to my neighbors. I dodge my family. I hate going to lunch with coworkers.

I have a few close friends, like I always have. I feel like I can open up after a bit of time, but only with small groups.  Really just 1-2 at a time.  The larger the group, the quieter I will become. 

Sometimes it feels like the world is social. It seems like it is glorified, and antisocial behavior is looked down on like some sort of defect. 

Maybe it only feels that way because the social outgoing people get farther in life by making those connections. Or they do high profile jobs better.

I feel like I run into outgoing, extroverted people every where but seldom talk to other introverts. Maybe it’s because neither of us make that first move. We avoid each other.

For a moment consider that antisocial isn’t a disease. It’s not a social defect of character. It’s just different. Celebrate the introverts in your life for being who they are. Introverts may be quiet, but we are thinking, observing. We might take a while to warm to, but when we do, it means you mean that much to us.

Friendship for the introvert is all in. It’s deep. Nothing is ever shallow. It’s true and real. Introverts love deeply, we are considerate and thoughtful. We avoid the surface to open up to what really matters. 

If you see an antisocial person, don’t judge them for avoiding small talk, just give them a little wave and let them be.

The nights 

The nights for me have been pretty good. Tonight the best so far.

I used my creative side to make a little ocean plate. I had a goal setting session. Both keeping me busy and motivated thanks to my amazing friends.

The fog is beginning to lift and I see more and more light. I’m so grateful to have some really close friends and family that has been checking up on me.

There can’t be enough said about the support I’ve received. I’ve been kept very busy by my friends, my business. 

  
But these nights, easier than mornings but still hard. The emptiness is always there. Like my heart has been ripped out of my chest and there’s just an empty black hole. As much as I fill the time, the empty feeling remains where ever I go, whatever I do.

The longing for what I can’t change. The guilt and ache of a mistake I can’t take back. 

But I go to bed another night, just hoping to wake up the next day and continue.

A few years ago on this day, my family lost a great man. My grandfather was amazing. His love for his God, his wife and family leaves us with a picture of true love that all of those in our family carry into all our relationships. So just a minute to remember the life of my Grandpa. 💕

Yoga Family

I had surgery this Friday.  That being said, I tried to be at Teacher Training as much as possible.  Why?  It’s my yoga family. In my town!  I haven’t been to a training here in Wenatchee but it is so cool to have so many people that I truly adore coming to my home studio.  They have become a new family, my yoga family.

I feel about them like I do my “California Cousins.”  When they come to town, life as we know it stops.  You make sacrifices, you do what it takes to spend every second you can with them.

Also, they care for me.  I have people who really really care.  They don’t fake it, they don’t have to.  They don’t judge me or question it.  They are all completely real and completely real in their love and kindness.  They don’t have to try, they just do.  There is nothing like the relationship I have with my yoga family.  Love and respect.  Mutual understanding.  Unconditional acceptance.  If you don’t have a yoga family, you should.  And mine is pretty darn amazing.

I couldn’t make the hike yesterday, but I love these people.  Beautiful.  13411828_10100896627144203_772470144837506325_o

Ashtanga 

I was lucky enough this weekend to attend a day of Ashtanga Teacher Training.

Many people have never heard of this type of yoga. Hatha, one type of Yoga is a beginners sequence. Not an easy sequence but anyone can do the postures without risk of injury.

Ashtanga, is from a different lineage, were we get classes like Power and the sun salutation sequence often found in Vinyasa classes.  It’s very traditional and not for the faint of heart. This is an advanced class and either for the natually gifted or for the advanced student looking to push to the next level.  I’ve been practicing just a year now and I can’t make it through the first section yet. 

While Hatha is about balancing the body, Ashtanga is centered on breath. Number of breaths, movement with the breaths. It’s definitely my favorite thing about it. 

It does get into very difficult postures. Here’s a few examples:

   
    
    
    
 
It’s amazing to watch. Today, we video taped a “Mysore” class. Ashtanga is very different in its structure. In this system, it is almost an independent practice. You have a teacher that assists you of course, but the basis is to move through the postures with your breath and when you get to the place you are at, you stop and are done for that day.

Two things: I applologize for the basic explanation- I did only take a day of training. I have done a little on my own and a couple attempts in training, but was extemely happy and proud to get through the first 1/4 or so and finishing the standing sequence.

Second thing, I am the worst! But I don’t care at all. I was the beginner of the group. I’m amazed at the practice of just four days of training! This group of people are amazing. Watching a class is one crazy pose after another. Binds, handstands, it’s got it all. But when you go at your own pace, it’s less about a class and all focused on yourself. I’m proud to be in the video so people can see a beginner along side incredible yogi’s. 

The other difference is the temperature. It’s slightly cooler, about 85 degrees and no humidity machine. You sweat but it’s a different sweat. Not the pouring hot yoga sweat, more somewhere between that and a gym sweat. 

If you give it a try, be careful! This is advanced yoga, instructor lead classes are encouraged, especially at the start. But if you do dive in, you won’t be sorry.  It is beautiful and personal. It is the next level, you will be sore, you will be humbled, but you will gain strength and flexibility and a deeper connection with yourself and your practice. 

Shoulder Injury and Friends

Sometimes I can be a bit careless.  Example I touched on briefly but I tried to show off for family doing a headstand and was wearing socks at first and slipped, injuring my left shoulder.  I hate being “that girl” who always is hurt in someway or another.  Trust me, I don’t want to be that girl.  But somehow that is what my life has become, a medical mystery I like to say.

So I slipped into a chair on my left shoulder.  Today I went in to find out what is going on since it hasn’t gotten any better.  Bonus, I am learning all my shoulder parts.  (Quick apology to Kyra – I said I rather have a shoulder injury because so many knee and ankle injuries have kept me down.  FYI, shoulder isn’t better.  It hurts no matter what I do, even typing this gives me pain. So Kyra – you are a trooper! and I was just being dumb)  The doctor today told me I bruised my bones and muscles specifically injuring the Supraspinatus and the Subcapularis.  And man do they hurt.  I can’t reach behind me at all, I don’t know why I didn’t share it at first.  I just hope that it goes away and is nothing serious but here I am, over a week later still unable to move fully.

If you are interested, here’s a little picture of the shoulder muscles.

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The good thing is I still got into my little headstand for my family.  Nothing can keep this yogi down!

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In other news, I am teaching 6 poses this Friday in Leavenworth (come if you can – 9:30am) and am so excited to get another shot at it.  I was so nervous the first time.  Maybe it’s a room you NEVER speak in and all of a sudden you are the only one talking!  It was really fun though.

What I have really gotten the most from in this journey is deep personal friendships I have developed.  When you know the deepest parts about someone, there is a care, a love, a respect that I can’t describe except that I love these people.  I truly love them, care for them and would do anything for each any every one of them.  My husband said today love is for family, they are my family.  My yoga family.

Are you close with those around you?  Do you know the hardest struggles in their life?  It’s worth it, find out.  Make real connections and less surface connections.  It will change you, your relationships and the way you see people that you don’t know.

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