Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Pink Elephant: Fallen. Off. Wagon

The Pink Elephant: Fallen. Off. Wagon: I find it interesting that it takes 21 days to form a habit and my yoga challenge has hit an abrupt stop at day 20. I was listening to some ...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fallen. Off. Wagon

I find it interesting that it takes 21 days to form a habit and my yoga challenge has hit an abrupt stop at day 20. I was listening to some Teal Swan today and she was talking about self-sabotage. Apparently I'm guilty of it in lots of ways (stress eating a turkey melt in Costco today for example).

I do however, have an astounding ability to reframe just about everything so that I am either grateful for, or feel less guilty about whatever circumstances are arising before me. I believe that our natural state of being is one of joy. I know that when I feel most aligned with myself, my higher power, creator, etc., I feel pretty damn groovy. My nickname as a child was "bubbles." Young children tend to get everything right, have you noticed that? They don't give a hoot what anyone thinks, they wear sparkly pink princess dresses to funerals, they give people dirty looks when they're tired and hungry (something we all want to do, don't lie), they stare at the world in glorious wonder and then ask, "Mom, do we know the muffin man?" So, I figure I must have had it right as a child. Effervescence is my goal.

That being said, I always try to reach for a better feeling thought. "I have failed at my yoga challenge," or "I can't even do 30 days of a yoga," are thoughts that don't make me feel happy. I much prefer the following: I am so excited that I was unable and unwilling to do yoga for the last three days because it offered me a noticeable contrasting experience. I can say, without a doubt, that yoga subtly, and yet profoundly improves my life. It causes Well Being, and I would not have known this, not for sure, if I had drudged on and forced myself to do 30 consecutive days.

So much better.

Tomorrow is a yoga day. It's time.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pace Yourself

This morning I bought a postcard that said, "People ruin everything." At 9 am I found it hilarious. By 3:30 pm, I felt like I had cursed myself for buying it. Today wasn't the worst day of my life, not even close, but it was on the sucky spectrum. People really did, ruin everything. I feel the need to clarify that I am not one of those morons who needs the world to act right for me to be ok. On the contrary, I'm freakishly happy even when I probably shouldn't be.

Still, managing a lot of people, in a business like ours, is not easy. Lots of vicarious trauma, displaced emotion, lots of stress, systemic oppression, caregiver fatigue, and a government who either doesn't care or doesn't know how to care about mental health and so therefore pretends it's not a public health epidemic of gargantuan proportion, effecting every single one of us everyday in someway. We also, I should mention, contend with the exact same pressure every other business experiences: meet your quotas, cut costs, hold people accountable, exceed expectations, provide superior service, do more, with less. 

My mission is simple: provide the best possible behavioral health services to Native America. This is what keeps me going. This is what focuses me when I intercept an email from an employee who is addressing her colleagues in ALL CAPS with five exclamation marks at the end of each sentence!!!!!   This is what keeps me going when I walk into a meeting and I am clotheslined by the tension in the room. So much so, that I forget how to train on a very simple substance abuse screen. This keeps me going when I have to fire someone, even when I know they have bills to pay.  

So, needless to say, I did not want to do yoga today. I wanted to drink a beer. Obviously. I managed to force myself to do yoga and because I'm a freak, I chose a class that was primarily balance poses. Definitely my least favorite. There is nothing more annoying for a Gemini, Sagittarius rising, ADD girl, than standing in the same uncomfortable position for longer than 10 seconds. Just to be clear, it causes murderous feelings inside me. 

I was annoyed throughout most of it. I sent a few texts, took a video of myself (see below), just to help pass the time. I battled with wanting to quit and surrender to my bad mood. I wanted to yell at the dogs who kept licking me when I was twisted and contorted and trying not to fall over. I kept at it. My virtual yoga teacher, brilliant lady that she is, said, at just the right time, "Pace yourself. If you go too fast, you'll get frustrated and quit." For a second I forgot that she was referring to my dancer pose, and thought for a moment she might be talking about my life. Yes, I'm making yoga metaphors. Deal with it! Hearing this made me smile, laugh a little, and exhale so audibly the dogs finally gave up and collapsed beside me. Pretty groovy, I have to say. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hello, Day 13

Don't worry, my blog is not going to be exclusively about yoga henceforth. I am really into my 30 day challege though. Look, it's my yoga mat on a business trip with me. 

I also have a yoga mat in my office now. It's a good talking point. And even if someone doesn't ask about it, just the mere presence of it communicates, "I am a calm and centered person." That, or "I am so far from being calm and centered, I need to bring a yoga mat with me to work." Either way, it works for me. 

I find that anytime I go out of town, it is hard for me to stick to whatever "challenge" I may be torturing myself with. Luckily, I was not on a diet, as the Cubs were playing and they had my favorite beer on tap at the hotel bar. I sat next to a woman who was on a diet though, tiny as she was, and it was depressing. I'm glad I'm a bit more sane when it comes to what I don't allow down the hatchet. 

So, truth be told, there were two days during my trip that I did not do yoga on the mat. The interesting thing was, I didn't beat myself up about it, which is very yoga-esk don't you think? I tried to be mindful of my yoga practice off the mat on these two days, which I think I was fairly successful at, though I did talk a lot of shit during our long drive. I managed to only become mildly annoyed with my coworker, and when I was hiding from him at the bar, I was very mindful of my thoughts and posture. 

We do the best we can, don't we? 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

30 Days of Yoga - Day 6

30 Days of Yoga has become my appointment with myself, and since I really like Dorothy, it's working out.

I have to tell you that I attribute most of my continued motivation (I realize I'm only six days in), to my teacher. I find her irresistibly charming. I am very picky about my yoga teachers. Well, I'm picky about pretty much everything. Except food. I like all food as long as it wasn't tortured, contains carcinogens, or fibers (did you see that YouTube video about McDonald's?), is still alive and crawling (think, Thai restaurants in LA).

I digress. I love my yoga teacher. My yoga teacher, who has about 800,000+ hits on each of her videos (told you she's cute). She's the perfect blend of quirky, knowledgeable, kind, but motivating, and her timing is impeccable. By timing I mean, just when I'm about to say "Eff this, let's see what's for dinner instead," she looks at me and says, "Come on. Stay with me." OK Adrienne. Anything for you.

I think I'm going to need a better, more eclectic blend of stretchy pants. Today Adrienne wore tiger pants. Every time she did a forward bend she was eye to eye with a tiger. These are the things I find helpful when on the mat.

Unfortunately, yoga has not cured me of my shopping habit. 

Look, it's my new yoga mat at happy hour. Cheers!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 3 (was yesterday and I did yoga)

I'm not going to lie. I don't hate it.

I'm highly skeptical of course, and being a statistician (totally by accident as I always hated math), I am willing to say there is an association, maybe a correlation, but causation is going too far, for right now at least, but my interest is certainly piqued.

In the three days that I have been doing yoga (I am one of those people who works out once and thinks she's lost weight by the way), I have noticed the following:

1. My formidable morning low back pain, wherein I resemble a 75-year-old woman, groaning in discomfort, terrified I might slip a disk, has nearly disappeared.

2. Evening tension headaches. Gone.

3. Homicidal fantasies towards coworkers (one in particular) have decreased markedly.

4. The idea that I take yoga with me throughout the day, when I'm late to my meeting in Ohkay Owingeh and I'm stuck behind an RV from Oklahoma, when my child is rolling on the floor crying because she thinks that Nina (the dog) doesn't love her anymore, when I see a homeless animal, MSN somehow sneaks onto my homepage, I think of any of the thousand clients we serve and the battles they are waging. Bringing my awareness back to the present moment. Back to my breathe (I know! Seriously, I did this today). Back to my truth, which is and always has been, things are always working out and most things are not that big of deal.

5. My body is pleasantly sore.

6. Someone called me lazy yesterday. I looked at him, shocked. He looked slightly frightened at this point and then relieved/confused when I shouted, "Thank you!" (I'm about as non-lazy as you can get so I appreciated the compliment).

I don't want to get all religious about yoga. I refuse. I mean, I will buy a new yoga mat because thirty days is a long time and I need motivation, but I'm not going to start wearing beads and googling trips to India. I am merely conducting a scientific assessment of the changes in my mind and body as I progress through this journey.

There's one more.

7. I feel more comfortable in my own skin, which is manifesting in a decreased desire to exaggerate (though I do love a good story). That being said, I am not a statistician. I do statistics. Sometimes.