the hubris of bending over backwards

the hubris of bending over backwards

Many years ago (many? errr it was long enough!), I accompanied some of the people I knew to a photo shoot for a book on yoga.

They needed some photos for back bends and asked me if I could do the modelling. I said sure! I thought I had a flexible back, (cue narrator voice, “she did not have that flexible a back“) no worries, what do you need. I thought I was helping. Helping who?

Can you guess how this ends?

I got into wheel pose, fresh, not very warmed up as practice was already a few hours ago. All fine, do this do that, ok we got the pictures. Man did I feel twingey that night! And I never had back problems so it was pretty alarming.

Pride comes before a fall but also before a backbend before you are properly warmed up. A little wordy but it gets the message across.

To this day, I don’t even know if the book ended up getting published and if the photos were really used.

I’ve learned since that jumping to attention and trying to people please is not the wisest move. You can pause and work up to it.

Something for me to laugh about.

yogawheel yoga stretching flexibility

Have you had this type of lesson?

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

In my last two posts (here, here) I have been writing about my recent adoption of 气功 practice and I mentioned a video which was available, and then unavailable, now it is available again. Below is the updated link for the video.

No more talking, time to practice!

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

I have been doing Qi Gong everyday following the videos uploaded on the channel I mentioned in the last post, by Master Shi Heng Yi. I noticed that the video I linked in my last post is not available now, hopefully not gone forever. In the meantime here is an alternative one you can use. I do this when I am very short on time many things to do, at least 20 minutes were for my practice, then I go take care of my tasks, practice some more later in the day and evening. There are many minutes in 24 hours!

Please try and let me know what you think. How wonderful if we are all practising qigong, yoga and meditation around the world.

Motivation and Dedication; aha!

Motivation and Dedication; aha!

It has been a long time and it shows. For one thing, what is grammar how does it work punctuation what is that.

A lot has happened for many of us. Some terrible and some wonderful and some terribly beautiful happenings. If you would ever like to share your past year with me, I’d love to hear from you. For now I will just leave a note on this concept about the relationship between motivation and dedication that was a moment of revelation for me.

You don’t have to be motivated but you do have to be dedicated.

In the midst of struggling with motivation to maintain healthy practices, do you ever find yourself searching for inspiration to stay motivated? Has anything been helpful in keeping you motivated for a sustained period of time? If you asked me that, I’d do the comme ci comme ça hand (or meh) gesture and shrug. Apparently Aussies are famous for habitually saying “yeah, nah1 and I’m guessing it was probably in answer to this line of enquiry.

It makes sense that we run out of motivation but what does it matter if a person is unmotivated but remains dedicated. Committing to the doing of the thing will win out in the end. Yes, perhaps I won’t be enthusiastically throwing myself at the task at hand in the beginning but if I gave myself my word that this task would be done over time, like the way waves lap at the rocks near the edge of the water, the stone becomes polished. It may take a long time but it will be more progress than before.

The last few weeks I have made a commitment to be unrolling my yoga mat at 10am (this was the gap between online school for my 4 year old) and whilst the 4 year old pranced around me and performed rain dances or played with all my yoga props (I had to ask they please leave me my mat), I would do yoga, Pilates or some combination of both. At times because of distractions I would only end up doing 15 minutes but it was more minutes than none at all. Months before that I had been working out in a frenzy in my living room, leaping about to aerobics videos, hopping on the spot for HIIT, performing squat jumps oh the squat jumps, lunging this way and that, the burpees and the burping (sometimes).

Hand on my heart, I feel like I saw more results these last few weeks of plodding downstairs with the yoga mats (I bring one for each of us but somehow we wind up squished together on the one mat) for a bit of yoga and Pilates than I did with all the other things I was doing. I’m stronger, calmer and I’m happy. I have energy leftover for creative pursuits.

I’m no longer motivated to work on things, I’m dedicated.

Tell me, did you already know this little secret? x

  1. https://outbackdictionary.com/yeah-nah

I Got a Friend in Me

I Got a Friend in Me

“Most people have the feeling that something is wrong with them. And it is heartbreaking.

The most heartbreaking thing is that nothing could be farther from the truth. Nothing is wrong with us. We are whole, we are good-hearted, we are beautiful and full of love.”

Here is the link

Working with the Heartbreaking Feeling That Something is Wrong with You

I was feeling a little down today. Full moon vibes? Mebbe. Change is definitely afoot and with most shifts I think certain feelings can come up. A not enough feeling or uncertainty or lack of confidence. I was looking up materials because there really is no time like feeling a little meh to do some study and I came up this website I saved a long time ago. This was the first article that caught my eye and that last line WE ARE WHOLE WE ARE GOOD HEARTED WE ARE BEAUTIFUL AND FULL OF LOVE caught my eye. It is worth repeating:

WE ARE WHOLE WE ARE GOOD HEARTED WE ARE BEAUTIFUL AND FULL OF LOVE

I can feel my heart walls soften as I read the words out loud.

There are a few ways to work with feelings of not enoughness and one of the great suggestions here is to practice looking at yourself with gentleness and friendliness.

I do this sometimes but NOT ENOUGH. When I remember to, when I am already feeling cheerful, when I am not trying to do a dozen things at once, then yes, I smile at myself in the mirror. The rest of the time? I’m pleasant enough, I suppose. A sort of shrug, hey girl, doing ok? And take off without waiting to hear. Luckily I have been getting soooooo much better about a consistent yoga, meditation and Pilates practice. Imagine if I didn’t even do that?!

That reminds me of a conversation with my mum this afternoon when I said to her how I was waiting for my tea to brew because I wanted a boost to keep up with my little one. Are you taking your vitamins? Imagine if I haven’t been! I replied.

So even though I am reading through this article I came across very late, I am certain that the timing was perfect as everything so often is. Perhaps it is for you too. We could all use a friendly face, especially when we look at our reflection. I feel so much better sitting here tapping away and sensing the warmth I am directing toward myself.

Lots of love and friendliness, be well! xox

we are enough

Happy New Us – Possibilities await in 2019

Happy New Us – Possibilities await in 2019

Just like that another year is over. I made a lot of great lists and plans, very little of it has been ticked off. Some were very small things I wanted to do and others were ginormous whopping overwhelming ideas that were extremely vague. Surprisingly more of the huge vague ideas came to fruition than the small things like “print out photos for photo album” as opposed to “new home – bigger, nice space”. 

*shrug*

Tell you what, I know I’m way more excited to be moving into our new place next year with an empty photo album than if it were the other way around. But it goes to show really amazing shifts can happen it just depends on your attitude going from an “I’m stuck” to “I dunno how but I’m excited about …”.

Here are some very vague ideas that I am excited about and going to try to flesh out in the new year:

To write more and turn this baby into a space!

To learn more

To dance more

To transform

To RADIATE with great energy

To create

To be grateful every day

HAPPY NEW YEAR! xx

Book Club: In search of my Zen (mother) nature. Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali

Book Club: In search of my Zen (mother) nature. Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali

I know I am not the only mother who tussles with the notion that she is not as calm as she would like to be. Frustrations arise and sleep is hard to come by. So are a few minutes alone to shower let alone meditate on our mental state. Meditate?! When? When there is laundry to put away or when our children need to be fed or when when when. Meanwhile it feels like the world keeps spinning for everyone else, off they go to the gym or to the shops or for a poo. Lucky.

Envy. Worry. Anger. It’s a yuck feeling to have come over you. And it hurts if you have always felt you are a naturally positive and strong person. Suddenly you feel weak and quite low. A few months ago I bought a book called Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali. I don’t have a lot of time to read it in one sitting but I keep it nearby and when The Child is happy to we dip into it and have a ponder together. I read a little more when TC sleeps.

(by the way I am not sponsored and anyway I bought my copy off Booktopia for the Qantas FF points)

More than anything I am searching for a way to navigate evolving into a Mother whilst still maintaining everything else that I am and can be. At the same time I want to be PRESENT, and here for my child. I discover every night how important it is to be present with my child. We have a more loving, peaceful and happy evening if the day was spent in a calm manner than not. Duh. On days I look at a page or two I seem to be able to maintain a sense of insight over my feelings and practice some semblance of mindfulness.

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Chakra Can! Creating Opportunities to Realign

Chakra Can! Creating Opportunities to Realign

chakras crystals and legs

I felt the surge of jealousy the other day. It’s not a feeling I experience very often anymore but this time, oooooooh, I was so envious. I was jealous of a woman walking down the street hugging a yoga mat because she was off to a yoga class, I’m guessing. I managed to add a “Enjoy!” to the “Ahhhhh so lucky!” but there is no getting away from the fact I was jealous.

I haven’t been to a class since having my baby. I’ve done some home practice and teaching but I haven’t been to a class and felt that sensation of being surrounded with other people breathing, moving, sun saluting, chanting and so on in such a long time. The excitement of clutching your mat and padding over to the studio, flip flops slapping at the ground as you walked. Being tapped on the shoulder to be stronger in a posture. Being adjusted. I miss it a lot. Especially an adjustment. That would be so nice!

I’ve been teaching yoga for a few years but I still love going to class as a student. I think it’s really important.

I’m sure I am not the only parent who has missed something from before life changed for a long time. For the most part, I am fine with keeping up my yoga studies on my own but once in a while I feel off. Full moon, new moon, teething (the baby, not me), mercury retrograde, sleep schedule changes (everyone), jet-lag, any of the above could come into play and suddenly I find myself feeling out of sorts.

I think The Child sensed this because whenever we have been playing with our crystals I keep winding up with them being planted all over me hahaha.

Mama, check yo chakras.

Yoga, Pilates and meditation are what I always rely on to maintain myself and I loved attending a class when I needed an extra boost of encouragement so it’s tricky when I haven’t got the chance to go to a class. Most of the year we live overseas and there isn’t any kind of creche at the gym. Unless the gym has changed, I don’t know, I haven’t seen the inside of that place since having my baby hahaha.

BUT. This week I’m back in Sydney and my mum sweetly said she would take the baby whilst I ducked into class, tomorrow. I am SO EXCITED. And nervous. ???? Hahaha. Does it count as an opportunity I created? Well, I thought so hard about wanting to go experience being in a class that mum heard my brain. She’s a huge mind reader and the creator this time around. But I think the next opportunity will be created by my ASKING FOR HELP.  I know I am not the only parent who has to practice that move more. Not everyone is a mind reader like my mum. We need to speak up!

I hope you give yourself the opportunity to realign when you need to. xx

creating opportunities to realign crystals chakras

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A New Motto for Procrastinators and Perfectionists

A New Motto for Procrastinators and Perfectionists

That’s what I told myself as I put away baskets and baskets of folded laundry that had been piled up on and around our sofa. There was so much of it that when I facetimed my mum, my brother caught a glimpse of it and said he wanted to cry.

I hear you brother. Everytime I looked at that ever growing pile I was overwhelmed with where to start.

Well now I was overwhelmed and constantly reminded of my brother.

So I pulled it together after teaching today’s yoga class and started putting away pile after pile. I winced a little at how things were not quite colour coordinated and exactly as I wanted but today, they just needed to be away.

Now we have the rest of our weekend to relax on our sofa!

What have you been putting off? Is there any way you can get it done quickly?

 

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A To Do List for a Nothing is Going to get Done Day – Yoga, Meditation and Stir Fry

A To Do List for a Nothing is Going to get Done Day – Yoga, Meditation and Stir Fry

Here comes a Moon Day.

I love reading what this app tells me I am. Focussed! Alright! Yes! I’m ready! But also practical! I like that. Ambitious. Yes. Yup. I’m with you.

(I love that anyone anywhere in the world would likely read this description and think, yes this is soooooo me.)

Speaking of ambitious, are you a big list writer? I have huge lists of things I want to get done and buy and posts I would like to write. I have an embarrassingly long list of partially done drafts I need want to get through to finally post them. But as can happen wife gets in the way. That’s right, I get in my own way – I’m working on my follow through. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is those darn danging lists! They get longer and longer until I just feel totally overwhelmed. On other days I get in the “that’s it! today is the day I tackle everything I wanted done” mood and tadaaah 9.3/10 times* that is the very same day that nothing goes according to plan. Time to just breathe and go with the flow. Easier said than done when you’ve been looking forward to crossing things off a list.

As if I needed any more lists, I made a new list called My Contingency List. When it turns out nothing is going to plan I pull this out.

My Contingency List

  1. Yoga – any kind, any duration
  2. Meditation – any kind, any duration, with intention to remove obstacles and blocks

That is the list. I can add anything else to it but the only things I MUST MUST MUSTTTTTTT do is these two. Once I do the first two items I find I’m not so attached to anything else I previously thought had to be done. Life feels a whole lot easier and happier after that.

yoga reading

Even just thinking about a yoga posture can have a calming effect.

Something interesting often happens too – what I thought was stopping me from getting to whatever else I wanted to do suddenly dissolves. I end up getting more things done. For example, The Child (TC) usually has a nap around midday and I think of that time as my run around in a frenzy trying to tidy things away, shower, shave my legs, prepare lunch, prep dinner, read, relax and a million other things to be squeezed in if possible. All this requires the nap be LONGISH. But on a day like today I was out running errands and the nap was 30 minutes. Our window of time had closed for the day. Not the end of the world, I can do some things just not all the things and not to the extent I would if I were on my own. I think a lot of mums understand.

I was talking to my mum about this whole trying to let go of expectations business and THE LIST. What am I even doing? Living in the shadow of these things I need to get done or else I can’t be happy?! Again I totally think a lot of mums and just everyone in general understands this idea.

Out came the contingency list. I did some yoga for spine health with TC doing downward facing dogs that turned into roly-polys (I know, WHAT A SHOWOFF). I like this yoga set because I can do it seated haha. How quickly I go from a productive mood to lazy mood! If you have never done this set of exercises be warned, you can get a little sore afterwards!

After that I did a short meditation to clear subconscious blocks. To do this, I pick a happy song, set my intention to clear any obstacles and infuse everything with positivity, and then I sit, smiling and clapping my hands to the song. The hand clapping is partly to keep TC engaged but also it feels hard not to be cheerful when you are clapping away. I also played this track I really like for humming Om to.

sound bath meridian heart healing

After this I just felt really good about going where the day took me.

The day took me on  a walk to brunch.

And later it turned out TC wanted an afternoon nap so I even got to chop loads of veggies to stir fry when TC woke up. We make our dinner together as part of our evening routine. It is just as well because one evening I was so flat out trying to do everything that after washing the rice I was about to walk off without pushing the lever to start the rice cooker. If TC hadn’t been gesturing at the rice cooker we would have been riceless. Riceless! *shudder*

I tried out my Joseph Joseph noodle maker thingy again and again it was a just the most disappointing thing ever. Totally does not work for me. It’s just a really expensive container now.

I’ve been really into eating as many colour vegetables as possible. I keep calling my veggie stir fries “chakra stir fries”. Technically they are.

I’m pretty happy with how the day turned out.

* Not a real statistic but golly it feels that way

** Also: I did not get paid for my opinion on the Full Moon App or Joseph Joseph. I bought that noodle maker thingy with my own money and I downloaded the free version of the Full Moon App for my own use.