Friday, September 30, 2011

Sept 30th

Today was filled with lots of little wins.

The habitual tidy before the marvelous Deb arrives at 12pm to give the house a once over with the vacuum and cleaning cloths (so, SO grateful for her help).  It is the most wonderful feeling leaving a tidy house and returning to a CLEAN and tidy house *sigh*.

A coffee and lunch date with one major and three mini spunkalicious women.  I think there were more toileting trips than completed conversations, but that's the beauty of having friends with babes.  You learn how to pick up where you left off 10 minutes before.  And you marvel at your skill at conducting a conversation while walking away from the person you're talking to, twisting your neck at the craziest angle, being dragged by a "busting" button, until you're no longer in eye contact - and still finding it all so very normal in the scheme of conversation with kidlets in tow.

Two luxurious hours spent in the library, reading to the point of being hoarse!  Then playing strategic games involving transporting yourself from one end of the kids library to the other stepping on only the orange squares, then only the blue and grey squares, then only the yellow squares.  I loved having an eight or nine year old boy invite his way into our game by saying out loud, in our vicinity, to no one in particular "I wish someone would give ME a challenge".  Bless.  He was giggling with glee leaping from one square to another, completing his challenge as his Dad arrived from another section of the library to collect him.  It was lovely to see the smile on his Dad's face spread as the realisation dawned on him of what was happening.  To share space with a child with such inner joy and confidence, to seek play wherever it may be found, had me smiling for hours.

Lots of sorting and boxing up of Lucy's clothes of years past.  The letting go of feeling the need to receive monies in exchange for the items.  Instead, feeling good that they will be well worn and well loved by more gorgeous girls in our community.  And I do so love seeing a button I adore dressed in an item that I loved so much on my very own button once upon a time.

The setting of the intention of an alcohol-free month ahead.  And creating an online support group, encompassing many people battling demons of their own, also seeking the support of others moving through a similar transition of giving up their poison of choice.  Support groups are twofold wonderful.  Support and accountability.  I feel this month ahead will be more difficult for me than this month past in my yoga challenge.  I will approach it as I approached yoga.  One day at a time.

I was looking at images of yoga today and the strangest sensation came over my body.  It felt wanting.  I was physically craving the postures I was looking at!  So completely bizarre!  So, while I have enjoyed not having to time-manage a practice today, I'm quite missing the physical work out.  And I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow morning, 9.30am *smile*.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sept 29th

So I'm done.
30 practices in 29 days.
I totally rock.
HUGE gratuity kudos for Ben and Lucy, for supporting me in making this happen.

It's quite possible I may be conquering my fear of commitment.  Well, if I don't put it out there, I can't very well make moves towards the reality, now can I?  Fake it til you make it and all that.  I'm not a stubborn person.  I don't tend to have a pig-headedness about anything.  I'm the kind of person that gets incredibly excited about a new idea, rush into it all cylinders firing, only to get bored, lament the loss of free time I had before and promptly discard my new activity for something else.  Or nothing at all.  With zero feelings of guilt, regret or failure.  I just decide I don't want to do it anymore and that's that.

Now, I know a lot of people that are absolutely cringing reading that statement.  How can I NOT finish something?!  Don't I feel something is missing?  Don't I lie awake at night, bothered by it?  Nope.  Easy come, easy go, really.  It did start to bother me in the last few years.  Not so much that I don't stick with anything - I don't believe in flogging a dying horse, or going down with the ship.  Let the horse die peacefully and abandon that sinking vessel while you still can!  Moreso, I was concerned that I didn't have what it *takes* to complete something.  Sticktoitiveness.  Did I quit when things didn't seem to be going anywhere, or when I lost my passion - or did I quit when things got hard?  I wasn't sure and exploring the idea scared the beezeejus out of me.  But I had to know.

When I decided to do the challenge, I just wanted to commit to trying to complete the 30 days.  I knew care arrangements had the potential to make things tricky, so I was prepared to relinquish a day if logistics were the reason.  But that only reason aside, I wanted to commit to going - ill, tired, bloated, fatigued, scared, frazzled - or not.  Once I put it out there (wrote my name on the board, told two teachers and posted my intention here), things started falling into place.  When I talked to my beloved, he offered to mind Lucy on days he could, so I could practice.  And before I knew it, every single day offered a class at a time that worked in with my life.

So, it quickly moved from intending to try, to actually doing the bloody thing.
And here we are.  With only one real moment of "I sooooo don't wanna go today".  I think I actually willed time to stand still so I could sleep for another ten minutes that morning.  Turns out I do have what it takes to finish something.  And I'm quite pleased about that.  It was a pretty good endurance test, of both the physical, mental and emotional kind.  And spiritual some would argue.  But I have no idea how to go about that part intentionally through yoga, so I'm not sure I can count it (although it most likely is happening without my conscious awareness *grin*).

I've been playing with the idea of packing the wine glass away for the month of October.  This challenge seems a little scarier than yoga for 30 days, to be honest.  But again, I want to know if I can.  So, I think I will *smile*.  Fancy joining me?

In other news, had a total cute overload today.
My studio put on a school holidays class for kids.  One set of most postures, no heat.
Minimum age was 6.  The studio owner, Jacquie met Lucy and fell in love with her, after Lucy pulled her best downward dog.  So she was given a place *grin*.  

She was so tiny next to the other nine mini yogis.  But her determination, her focus and her concentration in her practice melted my heart.  I pushed back the tears a couple of times.  I was lucky to be able to capture shots, so I'll leave you with a couple.  So much cute.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sept 28th

A most gorgeous, auspicious, magnificent day!
The fifth anniversary of the birth of my beautiful girl.

On this day, five years ago.
30 minutes old.

What a journey from then to now!

Whoever said children are your biggest teachers totally had my number.  I have changed completely and utterly, fundamentally, since the day Lucy was born.  She has challenged my view on everything, EVERYTHING!  I almost couldn't find another soul so completely opposite to me in so many ways.  The way we view the world, our first instincts in all situations, socially... I have seen a whole new world through Lucy's eyes - one I most likely would not have chosen to be bothered seeing, but have been forced to witness to help me understand the way she thinks and the way she responds to life.  As a result, I have become more empathetic, more understanding, more compassionate, more accepting.

And the people that have come into my life, directly as a result of having this wee girl, born at this time.  Magnificent people!  People I call family, sisters.  People I will know for the rest of my life.  People that treasure me, us, as much as we treasure them.  People who have enriched my life beyond measure and continue to do so.  People I would be utterly lost in this vast country, in this complex journey of parenthood, without.  People I adore with my whole heart and soul.

Birthdays are very special to me.
The day the world got that little bit more magical, because someone so amazingly special was born, is absolutely a day to celebrate!  The birth of my child is incredibly special to me.  Not only was our world blessed with another beautiful soul, it was also the day I moved from lover into mother, through the most incredibly intense and powerful transformation of my life to date.  Her birth was very primal, very raw.  I knew so much about birth, and yet nothing at all.  The experience of her birth took me to the limits of my soul and back again.  Had me escaping from my body, flying into the trees never wanting to return, then being wrenched back through the height of an intense contraction, screaming as though on fire (I was told later).  The feeling of her furry head between my fingers as she began emerging from my body is an experience I will never forget.  Alongside the sensation of birthing all four kilos of her in two pushes.

Yes, this is a day with much for me to rejoice and remember, to share with one of the most important people in my life.  And today, we did just that.  A wee ritual or two of our own was shared.  Flicking through the 100 photos of my labour and her birth is one we love to do.  Painting of her fingernails in any colour she chooses - a special ritual for birthdays only.  Today, she chose her clothes.  She loves the frou-frou my girl *smile*.  Bright, spring party dress, pink tiara and ruby red shoes.  Birthing necklace and a strand of her own dress-up necklace for me.  And a day of outings, at her request.

Then on returning home, an hour of her favourite cartoon, Dora and fish and chips for dinner.  A late bedtime AS WELL as the usual two stories (which can often be exchanged for an extended play and later bedtime).  She fell asleep with a smile on her face and her mama's arms wrapped around her.
A full and most joyous day for us both. <3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sept 27th

Today I am grateful for perseverance and the incredible results that it yields.
I have just finished my 28th yoga class in 27 days.  In the event the math is confusing you, I did two classes today, to make up for not being able to attend this coming Friday.  I was up at 5am to be on the mat at 6am and I left the house again at 5.15pm to be on the mat at 6pm (with my beloved as company for this one, which was nice!).  I have never completed two practices in one day before and I really wasn't sure what to expect.  I have seen people crawl out of the studio after doing a back to back (two classes with a 30 minute break in between).  But I deliberately chose these times because often, on the days I practice at 6am, my muscles have forgotten by midday.  So I figured, by 6pm, I'd be fresh as a daisy!

And I was right, mostly.
I did start to fatigue with five postures to go, but I stuck with it.  Of course.  You don't really have any other option in Bikram.  It's not like you can nip out for a breather or pause the machine you're pedaling, you know?  But something extraordinary happened!  Well, more than one thing actually.

Let me introduce you to standing head to knee.
Otherwise known as Dandayamana Janushirasana.

The posture is in three stages.  First you bend down and pick up your foot, balancing on one leg.  The standing leg is locked, thigh contracted, kneecap lifts up.  You stand here for a bit, balancing, before the next stage, which is kicking your heel out, straightening your leg, while keeping the standing leg locked.  You hold this position for a bit, pushing your heel towards the mirror in front of you.  Then you pull your elbows down towards the floor, without moving the extended leg up or down, standing leg still locked.  If you can get your elbows below your knee, you then pull your body down to meet your thigh (I'm not up to this last part yet, I'm still working on getting my elbows below my knee).  You repeat for the other leg, then you do both legs a second time.

Now, for the first time in my yoga history, I did not fall out once.  Two sets, two legs each set.  Rock solid for all four.  Astonishing.  Really, astonishing.  I couldn't quite believe it was happening.  I utterly nailed it and I'm going to BRAAAAAG like crazy, cos I have no idea when that will ever happen again.  My average fall out is once, sometimes twice in the first set and once in the second set.

The second awesome thing that happened, was in head to knee pose with extreme stretching.  Otherwise known as Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana.

Now this one looks similar to the one above, but this one is a compression posture, rather than a balancing (obviously, it's on the floor) and stretching posture.  The point is to compress your thyroid, chest, belly into themselves - roll into a ball and get your forehead on your knee.  If you have to bend your knee to do it (which I do and that's just my nose - forehead, forget it!), you end up looking a little like this guy:

I have a situation in my back, specifically my thoracic spine, called DISH.  Which stands for Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis.  Which essentially means four or more vertebrae in the middle of my back have fused flat, where there should be a curvature.  My chiro tells me there is no fixing it, as it's structural (you can't unfuse bone.  Makes sense).  So, consequently in my yoga practice, there are quite a few postures I cannot receive maximum benefit, as I cannot round my spine to get my forehead on my knee, as is often the requirement of the posture.  The closest I can get is my nose to my knee and that's on a good night.  Except tonight I did.  For the first time in over a year of practice, my forehead met my knee on both sides of this posture, in both sets.  Astonishing.

When I got over the initial shock of what had just happened, my mind started racing as to how on earth this was possible.  And a few new body sensations I've detected recently started to make sense.  A totally new (in that I've never felt it in my body before) burning sensation started about five days ago, in my middle back when I do rabbit pose, which is an all-over stretch throughout your entire spine.  

Rabbit pose.  Otherwise known as Sasangasana.

Not muscular (heavens knows, I know what THAT feels like) - very different.  Like my spine is sunburned and someone is rubbing it with firm pressure.  Just in one particular spot, very localised.  When I'm not in the posture, I feel a kind of armour-type feeling in that spot.  Like there's a hard plate pressed up against that area, keeping everything in one position - particularly when I bend my arms and point my elbows backwards, stretching the skin on my back.  And it aches a little.  The final kinda crazy thing about all this, is for the last two nights, my body has been screaming out for calcium (I get a weird feeling in my legs when I need calcium).  In fact, it's calling for it again now.

The body is always more limber second set.  It stands to reason that the body will be more limber second class in 12 hours.  But unless my flexibility is shifting somewhere else - say my pelvis for example - I do believe my spine may be healing the fusing that occurred as a youngster.  Astonishing.

Lots to contemplate.  With another spinal x-ray planned in 12 months certainly on the agenda to see if this assumption is correct.  I look forward to continuing my practice and seeing where I am in another 12 months.  I most certainly do not underestimate the healing capabilities of the body, when given the right environment and the right tools.  I'm quietly excited by the thought :o).

And on that note, I'm off to wrap some presents for a very important birthday girl I will be spending the day with tomorrow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sept 26th

It seems dark moon energy is working its magic with me, with us, this month!

A brand new business idea sparked out of pleasure and passion this morning, lying in the sun on the trampoline, sipping our morning elixir.  Very exciting.  And the funny thing is, we've already started doing it.  Next stop is opening it up to others.  More info in the new year we hope!

We arrived home around middayish, from our overnight soiree.  Ben left for work not long after our business idea revealed itself and I attended the Apples and Ovaries garden for a short time.  After that, it was out into the burgeoning vegetable garden to continue planting and finish up mulching.  The sunshine was just too irresistible and the seedlings were calling to be removed from their shallow tubs and plunged into the depths of the rich, warm soil of the beds.  A cry I could hardly deny.

Considering I wasn't working, I sent a call out to the village, to see if anyone felt spontaneous enough for a last minute catch up.  I was delighted when two families arrived not long after!  There was planting then mulching, interspersed with cake and bubbly water, alongside much nattering.  Glorious, glorious.

Company departed giving me enough time to prepare for my evening practice.
A full and rich day, filled to the brim with creativity, love, nurturing and pleasure.
A perfect synergy of spring shadow moon energy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sept 25th

We are currently thick in dark moon energy.
A time to withdraw, rest and recuperate.  A time of retreat, of healing and of dreaming the future.  The fallow time of the lunar month, a germinal period preceding an outburst of creativity and growth.  It's one of my most favourite times of the lunar calendar. Yep, you guessed it - because I like to retreat, rest and recuperate.

Two motorcycles.
Two couples deeply in love.
Long stretches of road flanked by magnificent scenery of bush and coastline.
No time restraints.
Cruise interrupted by nourishment and refreshment at the top of a very high hill, with views stretching for miles and miles, making the tiny city in the distance (the reminder of reality), seem very far away indeed.
A destination of luxury accommodation, preceded by two to three hours of soaking in mineral hot springs.  The only other thing on the agenda?  Dinner, white wine sangria and strawberry daiquiris.  And lots of talking nonsense and much laughter.  And a fair amount of lovin'.

What are you doing to rest and recuperate in your world, this shadow moon?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sept 24th

What am I grateful for today?
The blessings are far too many to number.
Instead, I will speak via some images from our day, celebrating Ostara with a collection of our loved ones (many thank yous to Sarah, for the vast majority of the captures *kiss*).

The hunt, in honour of Ostara.

The act of giving and receiving, in honour of Ostara.
The children were asked, if it felt right in their hearts, to give one of their claimed treasures and in return, receive.

The ritual of intent.
As spring is the time for renewal, for growth, for the manifestation of thoughts brewed, for fertility, we asked our loved ones gathered, to commit to paper the thing or things they wished to see grow in their lives.  They were then offered the opportunity to plant that intention in rich, organic, living, thriving soil, beneath a vegetable seedling in our garden.  The concept being, the seedling and the intent, both planted with love will grow together, supporting each other, nourishing each other, bearing fruit together. 

Many spring blessings to you and your loved ones.
May this season, rich in fertility, bring abundance into your world.