Wagons and Wine

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It’s been a while. And by a while, I mean….a while. More like, a shit-ton of time. The settling down, the union of pen with paper and usually, blissfully,….some wine.

To write. To put all of the hullabaloo and the mumbo-jumbo that passes through my noggin’ on the daily into some semblance of cohesive form. Writing makes me think about my life more.  Encourages me to dig just a little bit. deeper.

Forget about the fact that I just opened a new business. It’s a valid excuse, not to write, if one were prone to accepting the bullshit we like to cover up in the name of “excuses”. I felt like somehow I had to censor myself all of a sudden. Project only a certain facet of me, because now I wear the “boss-lady” label. Who is going to read this? Is it going to affect sales? God forbid people know that I GASP/HURL/SPITTLE…drink wine.

Oh honey. I drink wine.

The truth is, my writing was always THE most truthful side of myself. And I think for any of you who might still be clinging onto the potential next “edition”; the one thing that made reading it worthwhile was my willingness to bear it all…because in our ability to be authentic, we start to realize that only semantics separates you from me.

So fuck censorship. I’m back.

There might be a select few of you who have been here since the beginning. This all started when I first did my teacher training and then continued, writing and posting every single week (until, aside from the intermittent smatterings, I fell face-mother-fucking-first off of the wagon a couple years ago).

We lose ourselves from time-to-time, don’t we?

You followed me through Central America to Kentucky and Prince Edward Island; to Montreal, Brazil, L.A. and in a 1985 tin-box Vanagon across Canada.   You followed me through some shitty relationships, and then (more shitty relationships) but always, there was yoga.

There was always yoga.

And now, I own a yoga studio. I will spare you the details of the process, (you can read for yourself) but shall we say “diplomatically”–aka—me, censoring. just. a little bit—building it was no picnic in the park.

Now this fucking studio is open and it’s so damn beautiful sometimes I can’t even believe it’s real. I can barely fathom that five years ago this was an idea in my head. A hippie at heart and definitely not a planner, not much in my life has walked the distance between pre-meditation to follow-through.

But. Here I am now.

We’ve only been open just over a month and people are coming, and they are coming back and they are CHANGING. THEIR. LIVES. They are coming every day; committing themselves privately to their own 30-Day Challenge, without pomp or circumstance, without acknowledgment or accolade—they are just showing up. They are nicer, softer, more relaxed and open day-by-day. They are sharing with me the things that they struggle with, and sometimes it’s not even in words. It’s the clenched fists in Savasana. The frenetic searching for breath while trying to find balance on one leg. It’s the gentle learning of who they are and then, the grateful gaze as they leave silently out the front door, with only understanding linking our eyes.

It is magic, being here now. And it is only the beginning.

I won’t make promises and I won’t make excuses, but I can tell you this: There will be writing. There will be yoga. And, oh yes, there will be wine.

Embedded

If there is one thing every yogi needs, it is her feet.  The feet are linked to the mysterious waters of Mula Bhanda, Reflexology, Acupuncture, Fascia and (only) the entire way we carry ourselves have implications rooted in the feet.  Ida Wolf said, “A man’s tracks tell quite a true story.”  The feet are like the gate keeper talking to the key master.  The feet are the foundation, and if the foundation ain’t straight, you goin’ feel a ripple effect up the temple, know what I mean?

So while spending 5 hours in the Emergency Room, waiting to see about my foot that seemed to have swollen up like five little sausages, all plump and pink-ey, from what, I think, was a paint chip I stepped on while stripping away all of those layers of paint gooped onto my living room mouldings last week, I began to fully appreciate my feet.   The paint chip had apparently morphed into an infection that was traveling up the front of my foot.  I watched it get a little bit plumper and a little bit redder and a little bit sorer with each passing hour that I waited in the ER, which gave me plenty of time to really start to contemplate the intricate beauties of my feet, previously considered ugly and/or embarrassing.  The occasionally hairy big toe, the scar from bunion surgery when I was 13, the non-existent, squished pinky toenail.   I don’t have pretty feet.  But suddenly my perspective changed:  who the hell cares what they look like as long as they work!

How does one do yoga without the feet?  I researched it.  Not many people do.  It is not only my passion but my livelihood.  It was a quick and sharp reminder to not define ourselves by what we do.   That at any given moment, our roles or our labels, can be stripped away and we will be forced to redefine ourselves with new parameters.  It is oftentimes the smallest things that we take for granted.

Not having found anyone to cover my classes, I taught two classes “on my way” to the hospital.  And I hobbled around the room, increasingly frightened, but present.  Slowing down the way I talked and walked, and still with my class, supported, in fact, by them.  Sometimes it becomes hard to accept your limitations.  Those times when you find real strength in maneuvering through the things that hold you back; the things that slow you down.

The things that make. you. pause.

There is a moral to the story, but I heard this today and I think Dr. Seuss sums it up best:

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

Well, with a large dose of antibiotics and some hard lessons learned, I am just grateful to have a right and a left; one occasionally hairy big toe, a bunion surgery scar and some squished up pinkies.

Do You Believe in Magic?

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars”  —Jack Kerouac

I’ve been watching the Harry Potter films recently.  Somehow, I’ve never managed to watch more than sporadic scenes from the first two films, even in all of my days as a professional nanny and daycare instructor.  So inevitably, with all of those wizards, and warlocks and dragons and wands, one cannot help but to think about magic.

How do you define magic in modern day terms?  When something is enchanted or magnificent beyond explanation, when you are bewitched or befuddled, in awe, wonderment, or just plain stupefied?

Yoga has helped me believe in magic.  When you live in the present moment, the mundane can easily become mystical.  When you believe that everything has its place, its moment, its reason, its purpose, life becomes riddled with omens and enchantment, glamour and pizazz; abracadabra and hocus-pocus.

I remember growing up feeling like my dad was a little bit like a magician.  One year on Easter, when I was maybe thirteen, I woke up and opened my bedroom door at the end of our hallway and criss-crossing every inch of that hallway was a rainbow-colored spider web of yarn blocking the way into the rest of the house.  I mean, it was like Spiderman ate some mushrooms and just got really INTO it, you know?  My teenaged jaw dropped simultaneously in awe and annoyance, “What on Earth?”  He heard me wake up (my dad, not tripped-out Spidey) and then rushed out of his room, with a gleam in his eye that could only be described as childish delight and said, “wait, wait!”  He ducked back into his room and came out with an empty toilet paper roll.  My sister woke up to the commotion, and then my mom, both with mouth agape and sleepy-eyed eyes wide, and were each handed a cardboard roll.  We had to wind up the color of yarn that corresponded to our door and follow it throughout the house.  My dad must have stayed up FOR HOURS, because it took me at least forty-five minutes to follow my yarn to its end.  It wound through the house, into the back garden, through a key hole and a locked door (no idea how he did THAT), into a shoe, and even was frozen into an ice cube tray before finally leading to the dryer, where stashed inside was my Easter basket.

I suppose this was something we were used to by now.  He is the guy that you’d want to draw your name for the Christmas gift exchange, because he would wrap your gift in a box inside a box inside a box inside a pumpkin!  Never mind that the pumpkin, he’d been stashing in the basement since Halloween.  One year, when my sister lost a tooth, he snuck into her room while she was sleeping and hung individual candies from fishing line from her ceiling.  Imagine, being a seven year-old, who still believes in the Tooth Fairy, waking up to a cloud full of candies seemingly hung from gossamer threads, suspended in mid-air by none other than that mischievous Dental Dryad, herself.

What I’m getting at is that I think it’s important to make a little magic for someone from time to time.  Be it a friend, a lover, a child or a parent.  To go that extra effort to make something extra special, extra romantic, extra impossible, extra un-ordinary.  To sneak and plot and plan and scheme, all with the goal of imbuing an eye-popping, cheek-slapping, mouth-gaping expression of delight on the recipient.

Because, who doesn’t need a little magic in their lives from time to time?

Happy Belated Father’s Day, Bobbio.  Thank you for infusing my life with magic.

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