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angelak: (MakeMeStrong)
The warmth of the sun shines through my office window, and I peer through it from beneath my glasses. It warms me. It’s the Winter Solstice, my favorite holiday to celebrate in a lot of ways. It’s a harsh journey to get here, to get to this day. The longest night of the year, the light waning and it feels so chilly. The clouds so grey and dull, blanketing my Seattle area world like a warm knitted scarf.
All year long I watched the wheel of the year turn, slowly, quickly, simultaneously. Life really has been something else this year. I don’t really say that every year. I had several years where life was not so exciting. Not so pivotal. Suddenly I understand the worth of those years. The worth that I thought was nothing but a source of frustration, was beyond measure and I would only come to see that now. When the converse is happening.

Change. It’s happening all over the place, it probably always is. But the last quarter of this year it has been anything but subtle for me. I started out the end of 2011 beginning my Bikram Yoga Teaching Journey. All caps to each word. I don’t even know what to say about this journey. Littered with joy and heart break. Littered with growth and things I have yet to understand about why and how it is done, what this process truly is.
I started 2012 without any clue of what was awaiting me. Friendships changed. My Grandma’s End Times started early in the year. My brother came back to the family and is finishing up the year divorcing the woman who separated him from the family. Grandma brought him back, as her last major deed, into the family again.

Court, a family divide and drama – bad people, good people. Elder abuse over the sake of money.

Walking through that door finding grandma in a state that none of us will ever forget.
That day after I taught a class Renton, we all met up for a well fare check. Ambulance ride to the hospital. I would put words to this, but I don’t think you all really need to know the nasty details. She was okay – kind of. She was never the same.
She was going to die, but that was not how it was supposed to be. Not in neglect and horror. And she didn’t die. Hardy woman. Worse yet - that Grandpa saw his wife of 60 years in this state and felt helpless to it. There no words for this kind of tragedy. But it passed, it was seen in 2012, it happened. And she recovered for a while. We kept her safe, we pulled some magic with Jill and Jeff and the court house and ingenuity and desperation to protect those who needed protection. The nasty rotting filth that found its way into the family, wormed its way into our close knit, beautiful family… well, it was dealt with. Money I had intended on going towards TT debt repayment, along with money from the Marysville people… went towards fighting this nasty, dreadful cause. Them more than me, but I did what I could.
More my time an energy would soon be drawn towards being the one that the responsibility of management of those once-stolen funds would fall into my lap. Ready or not, It was Me.

And Grandma died.
At the right time.
She was amazing until the very end. And I got to say everything - everything I wanted to say to her, before she went.
She knew what I was saying. Felt it, returned it.

"I love you more than you know," she said. An absurd woman at times, she was a gift of a human, deeply generous, spirited, beautiful. Impossible to forget her Essence, her Energy, her Love.
And this Samhain I was too busy to honor my Sacred Dead. And yet - it's better to honor them all year long, isn't it?

And then...
Being a new teacher of Bikram Yoga isn’t a picnic. Juggling it on the side of my 40 hour work week and everything else…

Whatever the case, I knew I wanted to be involved in Rite of Sol. I made it my goal. Even if I mopped the floors instead of partied on the cast. I didn’t care. I wanted to be involved this time. I sought the best person ever for my audition, Amanda. And she pulled my talent straight out of me and we made an audition. Bless her heart.
They put me on the cast. And began my journey into change. More change. The family settled. I continued to teach. I found different studios and continued to teach. My practice waned. I built a relationship with my cast mates in Rite of Sol. The Sun Shone on me. Every week I was in love with the work, but scared and unsure of myself. Always scared and unsure of me.

Regardless, I worked and learned on that show with the people who had done it before, and some of those who have not. I met new people and fell deeply fond of them.

And then we performed in the show and it was an experience that I never had before. I would go into all of it, I really would… but there’s not enough time to do that just yet. And for that period of time those people were my special family. On stage, back stage. We shared so much. Magic.
And after the show, my life was never the same. An exhausting endeavor as I took no time off work and spent the week of tech week in the theater until 10pm every day. Then the show. Then after the show, I had no lag between a double schedule of teaching.
The following 3 weeks nearly killed me. I had an ongoing cold that had caught me pretty much after August and continued through the end November. In December, finally my body fought it off. It made teaching and working and living and sorting my life so hard and draining. Coughing constantly. Stuff in my throat. And early on, losing my voice.
I didn’t feel like myself with the weird cold morphing and morphing and not getting any better.
My men had it before me, but it did seem to linger and pass along to the cast from all over. Who knows.
Goodness only knows. I had a system, a life, it worked. And then the show happened.

I wish I could write more, but perhaps not publicly, about what changed. What’s happening? But suffice to say; step by step I let life open itself up. Moment by moment I live. I just know nothing will ever be the same in my life and I am beginning to accept that change doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can be in and of itself for the best even if it means a little bud into bloom pain.

The things we aren’t looking for, are the ones we need? I wasn't looking for you, MSH.
I will write about 2013 and my focus in another post. For now I will simply say I have one philosophy, outside of BALANCE – that I intend to employ for the beginning of 2013:

• I love you.
• I'm sorry.
• Please forgive me.
• Thank you.


What's New

Aug. 20th, 2012 10:55 am
angelak: (Visualize)
It has been a long while since I had an opportunity to write in my livejournal. It has been dormant. A lot has been happening. So much unrecorded, but in truth I can remember all of it right now. It’s later on when the months pass that I will forget the things I no longer wrote it the LJ land. Since I last posted, I have been cast in Rite of Sol, I have become a sub teacher instead of a regular teacher at my home studio and a regular teacher at Bikram Yoga Redmond, as well as Bikram Yoga Kirkland.

My Grandma died, I am still managing my Grandpa’s funds, we as a family are also taking care of Grandpa, making sure he is doing okay. This is a challenge in and of itself.
I am happily engaged in the polyamorous lifestyle. Every minute seems filled with abundance at this point. Sometimes this is the biggest bliss point ever – and other times a plate or two that I am spinning starts to tip over and I falter. The biggest challenge at the moment is to get the YOGA for myself. I went through a phase where I didn’t teach very much for a brief month, and then it came slamming back with a vengeance. Alongside my city job, all of this does take some managing. Especially given the fact I am involved with three different studios on the eastside, among other things.
The word abundance really captures how I feel. The gratitude I feel every day for the people who I am directly involved with regularly, and the studios I “work” in. Teaching Yoga is a blessing and something that while I sacrifice my own practice at times, is entirely worth the struggles I have endured to get to where I am today. I am becoming a stronger teacher, and continue to aspire to the best verbatim Dialogue that I know how. My brother is back in the orbit of the family, and we are grateful for his presence in our family again after his isolation and soon to be ex-wife situation. We are happy. It is apparent that HE is happy, too. Recently being hit with a strange virus that claimed his voice TEMPORARILY… well, he’s struggling through that.

James is a rare gift of a person. I think that is why it bothered me so much when he was no longer a part of my life, in major part due to the spite of one woman. The good news is that while Grandma’s story was ending, she brought James back into the family as she left mortality. Both of them are very important people to the family.

I am learning a lot about the family at this juncture in time, and have been all of 2012. My role has been harried to say the least.
And the rest of 2012 is going to see a lot more Yoga teaching for me – I look forward to sharing the yoga with people all over the place, and transforming my teaching more and more and more and more.

There’s nowhere else to go, here – but up. And the people who I am able to see are so very special to me! I have the most beautiful circle of friends. While I wish I had more time for things and was further at my Deacon memorization, I also realize I have limitations. And a whole life time. We’ll see what I can do. I was starting to make progress in April, and since then life has been a whirlwind.

Needless to say, Life is Quite amazing for me right now.
I work hard. I rest just enough. I need more yoga, but I am working on that constant balance of teaching and taking and living and loving! And I am more than thrilled to be a part of the cast of Rite of Sol this year. This is something I wanted to be a part of for years.

And choosing to take care of myself first - and consciously acknowledging the people that will harbor a giving and receiving nature within friendships, relationships. Particularly in the times I needed it most. Because my energy reserves waned when some serious things were going on with the family.

And all the good stuff? Well. I worked for all of that. I'm not going to lie. Product of hard work, blood, sweat, and yes - tears!

So here it is!!!!
Growth experiences abound.

angelak: (Take me away)
May is coming, and with May, time off is coming. I need it desperately. I’m sensitive right now. Easily harmed through unintended means by those around me. One could call it Moody. I don’t believe I am typically Moody, because this past 2 weeks has shown me what Moody really looks like. Jim – what you experience living with me doesn’t count ;) (It’s okay, he doesn’t read this shit I write anyway.)

So, I was all ready to be relaxed and allow myself space to memorize deacon stuff on my own capacity. The best I can do. And then a syntax – writing error caused me to think someone thought I shouldn’t even be in the OTO (I’m not pointing fingers, this is just how the moody idiot in me processed commentary) if I have a fear of memorizing.

I was quite happy and cheerful for a minute when I realized I was picking up the first collect, “the Sun” pretty quickly. My Bikram memorizing was already coming in handy! The pain staking hours of torture in and out of the Yoga room were paying off somewhere else also! My investment! My thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours were coming through for me again!!!!!!

And then I misunderstood about someone else misunderstanding me, and my heart sank and I returned for a few hours, to my usual self. Lower cased “s” in self. The self that abuses me, the self that tells me that I’m a loser – that only the real intellects deserve to go on these journeys. BULLSHIT> self imposed lies. I am worthy of this.

I am 110% worthy of it, and there is nothing wrong with what I have upstairs. This is an affirmation I will be working on as much as possible.

Speaking with Jim, again to bring him up – he informed me that MAYBE, just maybe – everyone is supportive of me and that my response, reactions, and feelings are a product of a high level of pressure on me, of STRESS. A ton of things going on, teaching, working at Issaquah, balancing my hours to try and handle social security office visits, getting my elderly Grandpa out of the house to deal with them, being told to come back more than once from those DMV flunkies, managing a reverse lookup situation with every single bill, one by one – for my grandparents. Getting to the bank, dealing with all kinds of business. Balancing a lack of time to clean my house, the messy house part is something that makes me feel out of control with my life, even if I am quite in control of my life, it's just that when my house is messy, I feel awful – simultaneously taking on way too many classes in the last 2 weeks teaching the yoga – managing a minor injury preventing me from my usual coping mechanisms. The crazy that is held at bay by working out so regularly.

And then some. More, there’s more and I can’t list it all out. A restless anger was boiling beneath the surface all last week.

And so Jim mentioned, indicated one thing: and Now? On top of all this, you want to enact more spiritual growth and you’re unsure of how this will go for yourself – and you wonder why you are reacting, being human?

It was a rather sweet moment of him, it made me realize how important his support is. He never once gives me shit for being more involved in other things outside of he and I. He is very flexible with our time.

Needless to say, May is coming.
In May, I take off for Los Angeles to visit teacher training,!!!! to be reunited with my bestie Katty from Vancouver and Lacy from Vegas (Lacy, I know her less than Katty) from May 9-12th.) Don’t burgle my house, folks, Jimmers will be home and yes, he has a Mossburg.
If you don’t know what a Mossburg is… nevermind.

Following this trip, I am driving Sunshine up across the border to meet Aussie Joel from May 21-24th or something like that, to Vancouver, with my new passport, and will also see Katty again. (Seriously. I'm stoked.) If I am lucky, the sun will be out and I can drop the top the whole way up to the border, ey?

The time off Issaquah is very needed, I am beginning to see. And my closest bit of peace will happen later this month, April.

Jim and I celebrate 6 years together on April 21st. Six Years!!! Yeay! We will be taking a long weekend to go to Mossyrock, WA to some bed and breakfast place I don’t know – I booked it through a groupon like thing. I look forward to it a lot, and I think WE, he and I - really could use a chance to get away.

Also given my new commitment to Deacon study, and life at large, I refuse to take on more than what my standard classes have been.

Extra cash is great, but not if I’m going to hate my life, and certainly not at the cost of DeaconStudy. (First and foremost the new studying,) And also, my students deserve me teaching from my heart, and not out of any other obligation. I have in the past, given a lot of thought (I overthink everything, seriously) as to why this part time teaching right now is how I do it.

The teaching for the most selfless way possible for me, is part of it. This is why I do not teach full time, and why I do not intend on, at this time, making Teaching yoga my livelihood.

As for more coverage for other teachers; not unless I am really in the mood, and then I refuse to take on more than 4 classes in a week anymore. I want to help people out so much, that sometimes I can be *persuaded* into covering a class for somebody here or there, even and in spite of the fact teaching the class doesn't actually work so well for me. This happened twice in two weeks with a couple of different classes, including causing me to take on an extra mentor class. (Not what I need, really). I won't write how I personally feel about mentorship. It wouldn't be a good public statement.

4 is my magic number for teaching on the side of Issaquah. Quite frankly, I will not be keen on covering the 830PM classes particularly for people. Maybe once in a great while. It is just too much difficulty and drains me, when I have a work day the next day. I get in to the office at Issaquah between 715-730AM. It used to 7, but then I kept pushing it back.

I am trying to get it closer to 7AM again. It all depends on my snooze button. *sheepish face*
Regardless. The last 2 weeks have taught me my teaching limit on the side of my FT job. I don’t get any time for me, decompression time, anything – when I teach as much as I have been. The paycheck will be great. I am considering getting my brother a VISA gift card so he can book a massage appointment with the most awesome masseuse ever with some of the extra cash. He needs it!!!!!

How grateful I am to have him back with the family and being true to himSelf … he is going to be such a strong guy after all this personal crap he has been facing last decade. I am proud of him. And I adore him as a person. He is a good man.

He deserves the best, and I can see he is getting closer to that every week. Happiness is important.

That is why I won’t be taking on that many 830pm classes in a row ever again. It is making me unhappy, fast.


PS. And now I know why I proof read my blog 20 times normally. Guess yesterday I squeezed it in, posted, and did not proof read. Go figure. And I doubt I will proof read this 20 times either due to working at work. Go figure.
angelak: (Make a wish)
Brilliant contrasts in my life at the moment. I can’t say I mind it. I have my city job, tech support. I have my Yoga Teaching, healing and connection to my fellow humans. Both are about connection – and yet one feels pretty disconnected until you put my personality into it. I think city government has its share of disconnection. Or maybe that’s how I feel about all the changes happening here at the city. A lot of disconnection… Stressful times here, I can’t deny – and my department isn’t even under the heat. I think it is the fact there is a new city administrator and he has now begun implementing changes that a massive 1 year long brainstorming session has brought to him.

I want to be here, that is certain. I’ll continue to roll with the intuitive sense that has given me everything, and I mean everything – I needed in the right time. I’m just here to say it’s a little bit of a stressful time to be an employee here. Layoffs, people butting their heads’ into different places, cut throat “I’m important, look at why,”s all over. That’s all I will say on this, specifically. And I feel it. I go all over the city; I touch every department in my work. I like it that way – a lot, but sometimes it has its downsides.

Drama and relentlessness. I have been here 10 years now.
When I leave and go directly to teach some yoga – it amazes me the feelings I have. Starkly contrasting. Maybe that’s where the contrast is. I just love how it feels to connect with students and I love how when I have a rough day at Issaquah, it turns around the moment I step off the podium from teaching. It erases everything, resets everything – even if the things that come out of my mouth aren’t as smooth as they could be, I find myself smiling anyway and not taking a single thing seriously – as long as my students get their yoga and I am doing my best, that is enough to make me smile, to make me relax. It takes energy, definitely – but it’s a labor of love. And when I say a labor of love, I mean all dimensions of this. There’s not quite a way to put it into words.

I’ve taught quite a few classes now – not quite as much as the full time teachers who came down from my training – but more than some of my fellow trainees also.
I’m accepting myself as a teacher and what I have to offer and my personality that shines through the dialogue and the methods that work for me when I am up there. Maybe sometimes I lose the words at times, but most of the time I find I step up there and the dialogue is behind me, ushering me forward and giving me just what I need to give my students what they need.

I love it, I love it, I love it.
This even so – I am not particularly keen on the notion of leaving my position at the City for this job. It is not the path for me right now – if ever. A lot of people think it must be all or nothing. I know I went to a more than average intensive training to do this. This was for me, and also for my students. Weekend certifications linger all over, but what good is something that you don’t work for? HIGHEST LEVEL OF QUALIFICATION - is key for me. And an actual Yoga lineage.

I can say with utmost certainty I worked harder than I’ve worked for anything to get this Bikram Yoga Teaching Certification. I gave more sweat, tears, ups and downs, self realization moments than anything else I’ve ever tried to do. I gave more of my personal time and cash, disconnection from my whole universe… I kept a few threads of ties back home, but for the most part I did allow myself the immersion of the YogaPlanet that Bikram, Rajashree, Emmy, and his staff creates at every training.

So while I did this, and it’s unusual – it was never the idea for sure to leave my day job and go do this. Do I want to drive all over this area to catch classes at 5 different studios, push push push to make it happen and earn 1/3 busting my ass doing that – 1/3 of my income than I do here? I learned for the first time ever the “push, push, push” element of life flow, is not the same as pushing in Camel pose. At all. Or would I rather be busy in the happiest, predictable ways – earning even more money than I would at Issy alone – helping me recoup the financial burden that going to training did pose? Pardon the pun there.

No, the Karma Yoga aspect of teaching without feeling I must rely on it for full time income really takes a lot of pressure off in certain aspects – and is in alignment with what I want to do right now. And in other aspects, it creates more for obvious 1.5 jobs reasons. But then again – envision that I have now diversified my skill-sets and this is one more piece of insurance for the rest of my life I carry. I have another skill outside of IT should I ever need to make it on that alone. It’s not about leaving the IT industry… it’s not about sticking with it… it’s just about taking myself where I feel is right, and right now everything is happening Right for me.

I’ve invested a long time waiting for shit to align. It was in 2007 when I first started feeling like shit fell apart and needed a course correction. So I thought I would train to enter police academy. I gave this my 120% effort. Until in 2008, early – right before I went to test and would have passed because I was a fucking workout machine (in every way you can imagine, seriously – fuck modesty, I had it going on) – the knee injury happened. April 2008. This changed everything. The real course redirection happened. 2 years of holding pattern, frustration, very slow and steady shifts that would one day take me to the notion that I should give up on later going to teacher training. Only for 2011 to come along and blow me out of the water with the opportunity of 10 years vacation time and the off chance my boss APPROVED and his bosses – the vacation from the last 10 years remaining on the books – to be taken at once, giving me the open and clear way to head to Teacher Training Fall 2011.
Now everything is referenced – as before TT Fall 2011, and After. Well! I’ll be damned!!! Rather, Blessed.
So my course re directions kept me here at Issaquah and I had no idea why, for a long time. Hind-sight, sitting in a hotel room (room 453, Radisson LAX, to be precise) I pieced together some mysteries that eluded me for months and months and maybe painstaking weeks in the years prior.

I’ve learned from this. Things are how they are sometimes – to set you up for a better deal than you could have imagined. I don’t fight for shit, but work with the flow and push at the right times, now.

Some of my friends at TT bitched and moaned, but I was just in awe of what was happening to me, in spite of some of the worst moments of TT. There were some hum-dinger shitty moments, and without my external threads, the support networks, I might have literally gone insane. Flying Jim in for weekend #4, I think it was… who knows. It was well worth the cash to do that.

At times I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself during the TT process. At times I wish I really knew how to let things go and stop worrying about how fast everyone else learned and how slow I learned… but hey, that’s a major issue I have.
I think I’m slower than everyone else. But I have some shit together and I can’t complain and now I’m a teacher and people thank me and smile on their way out the door from my class with genuine appreciation behind those smiles. I’m changing lives through bringing the yoga to people so they can change their lives through their own practices.
This is why I wanted to become a teacher. And I’m doing it.
Maybe that’s why I feel so much joy – I know I’m doing what I wanted to do, the underlying alignment behind it all. I’m growing, myself - the whole time and I can’t help it. I love being around people, I love talking to people, working with people. Sometimes people hurt me, a lot – because I care so much about people. I’m not one of these folks doing the Yoga Teaching for my aggrandizement … it’s a form of generosity that I specifically feel is my Karma Yoga.

The generosity of Bikram Yoga is that it frees people up to live their True Will, as I see it. It’s 110% this. And if standing up and giving people my energy with the dialogue and my heart with the dialogue is how I can affect people to reach their True Will………..

This is what makes me so very happy.

angelak: (AngelaSide08)
6 classes are on my schedule for this yoga teaching week for me. I am so happy about this. Last time I taught 6 in a 4 day span, my teaching changed and I stopped sounding as rough around the edges when I replayed my recording of my classes.

On Thursday - weather permitting, begins my Yoga teaching week. YogaMonday. It's equipped with an immediate mentor class, which is fitting for a Monday. One of those things that I detest. Rates up there with root canals and a punch in the face. That's okay! I'm muddling through mentor-ship. I look forward to this week, I teach a double on Saturday and a double on Sunday. It's a shitty deal that my first class of the week is the "mentor" class, but it is what it is. I tend to warm up and get words back loaded into my brain, even though I study during the week. Sometimes.

This week I haven't been studying as much, even if I was ambitious last week. I can't deny it. I fully enjoyed stepping away, 100%, last weekend. 3 day weekend, blissful.
Then Tuesday and Wednesday were hard to get back into gear.
I think my brain is struggling sometimes to stay focused on studying when I get a spare minute. It's okay though.

Been pretty happy lately... got some great friends around, having the right relationship experiences for this period of my life - not overdoing it. It seems a friend of mine said he would imagine I'd have the pick of the men I'd want. This wasn't really something that I felt I had. And yet ever since I went away to TT, it's like my clear everything (chakras, life purpose, commitment, whatever) is causing me to be more attractive than I think I have ever been in my life. It has nothing to do with the physical, but people have been drawn to me lately. I'm so unused to it, so unprepared, all of it. Men abound. This isn't bad. My fragile ego could use a boost. It's becoming less fragile, after all. Teaching, with all its perils, is changing me. TT did change me. And yet I only have time and energy for a select amount of relationship/interaction/whatever the fuck you want to call it - with men. There's my main squeeze, Jim - the wonderful, who is actually a lot less in regards of energy to maintain at times... and one other person. I'm honestly not interested, nor have the energy, focus, inclination to expand beyond this currently. I need time to study, I need time to teach, I need time to work, and while it appears I'm attractive and desirable to a number of people that I may or may not find engaging in this fashion, I simply do not have more of me to go around. Take that as nastily as you like. Also, I've always been a simple creature in this respect. This is why while I've been poly a long time, there has always been that frequent rumor about my monogamous nature. Hahaha.

*shrugs* What can I say... but who knows. I also hate that I have so much propensity for relationship access (it feels weird even writing about this in a way, but here it is, like always, out in the open) and yet Jim is kind of on the down side of that. He claims the women out there in the poly community are not nearly as attractive as the men that I have available. I'm not so sure this is true. There's me, after all..........

None the less. When you sit in your house, on your computer, for most of your off hours - rather than spending months immersed in variant communities, both poly and not poly - communities, well. You get what you get. And yet the disparity still remains. I try not to worry too heavily on this; that issue is definitely his personal issue. But it remains - I will always care, and that is the issue. I care a lot about his feelings. ;)

And while you could say my crowds are suited to this situation - I find it is also a numbers game, just like monogamous dating. Not that I play games, and not that it is about numbers. It is sheer happenstance for me, and at times I felt I would remain single'y poly. Meaning, just with my main squeeze. *(I hate the term primary partner.......I donno why).
Also, lately - I am managing to see friends that matter to me, all kinds of friends. Perhaps my study time suffers, but my heart doesn't for these friends build me a solid, contented place from which to draw my energy off of. And lastly, I am managing my workouts the best I can, trying to maintain my own practice, run a little, CT a little. Nuts. I tell you. Nuts.
So, it's been blowing my mind the number of men interested, and it is all because I am out living my life, feeling my purpose, and happy to touch the lives of others - completely preoccupied with life rather than dating. That is for certain. And what does "dating" mean anyway? Classification gets messier and messier if you get too attached to it. That's also certain.

Some days, I am so busy. I know I am miserable when I am not busy. This also is true. And I have a lot of ambitions that are in the pike for 2012. Honestly. I'm terrified in a sense. I want to get more involved in the Mass team, I want to deacon. But also, I am really, seriously considering attempting the whole "Rite of Sol" involvement this year. I'm not sure how, what, or where in my right mind I think I can do all of this. But I actually, truly, think I can find a way to make it all happen. I keep putting that positive affirmation out there, and truly believing inside, deep down too. Does that make me clinically insane? Memorize, memorize, memorize. Memorize. Explosive things in my life. I'm sick of sitting on my spiritual journey and stuffing it into a box that is there "if I have time." When I was at TT, the first two weeks reminded me of how much I have been stuffing it into the background of my life. That is why these other two things are coming to the forefront... but how the fuck do I think I can do all this? I think I can. It's so very weird, but I think I can squeeze it all in. I guess that's my lot in life. I'm not satisfied unless I'm taking on things that are big, exciting, new, growth oriented. Sit me in a corner and leave me inside my house and I'll turn into a crazy lady. REALLY. Let me out and let me take on things that scare the shit out of me, feel above my level, and give me something to reach for... and I'm blissed out. Just don't criticize me. I'll bawl behind your back, smiling to your face. A weakness I have.

This year I am also very aware that I need to work on "getting out of my head." All the important and even some not so important people lately have been giving me the knowing eye ball look, and mentioning how "in my head," I am. Like. 6 different people in 2 weeks... look, Universe. I get it. I promise to work on it this year. 2012. Out of my mind. Get with getting out of my mind. Got it.

A big one? I'm also blown away by the quality of people in my life these days. It's been messing with my mind. I have some really amazing connections, and I am grateful for all of them. Everyday.

angelak: (Backbend Bentley)
It's been happening. It's the kind of week where every time I turn around, I'm missing, remembering, reminiscing about my friends, my experience, my life in Los Angeles, Teacher Training. Blown away it's over, and intensely full of nostalgia for my comrades – we've all faded into our regular lives and we are still a part of one another, but it is never going to be the same. It was a one shot show, once only. I miss so very much about the experience, it comes back in waves.

First I think about the classes. I miss waking up in the morning every day and preparing to hit the mat first thing, before anything else happened in my day. I miss standing around before class in the morning and the evening talking to my besties. I miss Bikram's classes more than I care to admit. I have never, ever, ever, laughed so hard in my life – all while still doing yoga. Who knew. OF course there will never be any other class like that. I miss twice a day yoga, every week. I miss the ease of getting the yoga in because NOTHING ELSE could get in the way. The jokes, the singing, the ridiculous songs. I also miss being sick of hearing the same stupid tired tune, but every time Bikram sang, I loved it. Maybe other people hated it – but I adored it. His energy from the podium was so great. I kept fighting my own feelings because I was in a sea of other people, but now I can look back and I know what I felt. Bikram is a soul that while everyone talks about him being a dick, I am endeared by.

I felt like I had to think he was an asshole because he said mean things too. But that's not how I felt. I didn't find him to be an asshole. I found him to be a master of shock value. That's it. People constantly take shit so seriously. Even me. More than Bikram being a dick to me, I took those ridiculous posture clinic teachers harder than I ever took Boss.

I even miss posture clinics, hours and hours of BS. I do not miss someone giving me crap for bathroom breaks or where I was going at any point in the day – that I certainly do NOT miss. I do NOT miss being told, that one day when my period went on for 2 days longer than normal, "why weren't you prepared enough to bring EXTRA tampons????" (To the person who said, I give you a FUCK YOU from here, right now, still. I was bleeding out of my crotch and very unhappy in that moment). I miss everyone whining and bitching about Mahabarat. I miss laughing and eating garbage food all night long. While I often felt estranged from even my own close knit group of friends, I often didn't realize I was more accepted than I thought. No one really knew me at times, but then sometimes there were moments where people did know me intimately in ways that others in my regular life didn't.

Do I miss being a snotty pile of shit in the last week because I allowed people in posture clinic to rob me of my peace and human dignity momentarily? No. Of course not. I hated that. I hated it more than anything. I felt like the only person who was a mess in those moments. Everyone could see it. There was no way to keep it from being exposed to tens of twenties of people all over. Was I snotty mess? Yes, Yes I was. Because I wasn't ready to accept that everyone is human, and no one gives a shit if you expose your weakness. I regularly do expose my weakness – but typically only in word form. Not in actual, raw expression. A lot of people followed my blog apparently while I was gone, and by the time the real juicy crap hit me, I was unable to take time to write. It's coming out now maybe.

I miss Karen and her cute, smiley self. She is a great lady, and I do know she's got a lot of wisdom. And sweet Tracy, who was often in my room when I came back during breaks from studying...

I miss Gui from Chile... I will never forget the day he asked me if I was having a good day in the hallway back to our rooms - 4th floor neighbors as it were, in the final week. When I in fact, was not having a good week. I tried to say I was okay, And then - I looked at him with his big heart and beautiful eyes, and just started bawling. He took me in his arms and held me and said a bunch of Spanish things and it didn't matter what he said. He squeezed me and it was all okay. His big heart was something that made everyone know and love him by the end of the 9 weeks.

Digression – the things I miss. The damn stairwells. I miss walking down Sepulveda, I miss the spanish speakers. I miss telling them things like, "I'm hungry. I'm so hungry. Hungry for penis..." In Spanish. The look on those faces. Seriously. And I miss Olga... I miss her natural charm and beauty and support. That girl knew I struggled with a sense of self confidence, I think she felt it more than others sometimes. Sniff. There aren't words for missing the people who held my thread of sanity at times. Shit, I had no idea! I also regret not having a chance to get to know more people, better. I could easily turn into a sniffly mess just thinking of these people in detail. Thomas, and yes Katty. But Katty and I have a different connection. And I can feel her proximity. I have more contact with her, so it burns less than say – Olga, Thomas, Gordon... and when we're not talking about my posse, all I can think of is Group 17 and the people who incidentally showed me more support than I think I've ever seen in my life regarding an academic endeavor. Renata, Karoline, Ula... Czech Republic, Germany, Florida... how the hell will I ever connect with these people that I feel shaped me so much, and gave me so much, every day, every week........ it gives me a giant lump in my throat, it makes my eyes water. These ladies... they accepted me and were always there for me, and when I fell apart – they never ever gave up on me. The emotions are so huge. Tangible, and I think they live and breathe on their own.

The group as a whole, screaming and clapping and cheering you on every day as we all stepped up to deliver the postures... when people ask me about TT, I have no way to put the emotions into words. They are so poignant – and most of the time, I've been avoiding them a little bit since I got home. Why would I want to think so deeply about the people I miss... I might actually cry because it's over, and there's no looking back. Actually, I've been so focused on my teaching, on being the best teacher I can be even though most new teachers have a long, maybe much lonelier journey ahead than was TT. I have my freedoms back, but the people... they're scattered all over the World and I miss them. I want to stamp my feet, fists balled up, and scream. I miss my people! Miss them so much! It makes me feel so lonely I don't know I've ever felt like this in my entire life... you know when you miss one person you're in love with intensely, like your lover or your primary life partner? It kind of feels like this, except with 20 people simultaneously.

It's a sense of longing I feel like will never really quite ease up, after all. I have a billion places on the map now that I have an urgency towards seeing, but no vacation time left, and a bunch of financial things to sort out for myself. (I'm still solid, it's going quite well, but I have to recover from that investment). And now I see why people say it is the best money they ever spent.

And now I find myself so qualified. People ask me about yoga everywhere. And I have a million things to say, it all comes out without me even thinking about it. People with their fucked up bodies everywhere....... I want them to come in. I want them to start a yoga practice, because I know. I * know * beyond a shadow of doubt that it would help ease their problem. And yet I can't even get the point across. No... I can't. It's something people have to figure out on their own and want to heal on their own. I can say 100 things and that person who scoliosis will talk about the other yoga they tried and how it made their shit worse. Well, that's because you were doing some weird yoga combined with pilates and this and that. It was not designed as a healing routine, but a fitness routine. The difference is night and day. Your hips are screwed up? You can fix this. I swear.

Most people lack the all out commitment to heal themselves, though. I hate to sound like an asshole, but fuck it. That's the truth. You'd rather try and give a half assed shot at health and do it the lazy way, instead of the hard way. I see it every day.

And Reina reminded me of how she urged me to try yoga for 2 years, and one day I went on my own without her knowing... I told Reina for a year, “no, Reina. I'm a runner. I don't do that pansy ass yoga crap.” Now she is witnessing me – today, and I'm a teacher.

Sorry, Reina. You knew what you were talking about.

There are more things I miss... of course, sure – California. But not really nearly as much as I miss the yoga bubble. And the people. I'm a people lover, and once I make some connections, well. What can I say? I really fall for people. And not just my lovers. My friends are so, so important to me too. And to the people still supporting me (Katty) while I walk the rough path of new teaching. Well, you mean more to me than you know. And so too, do those people who kept me strong through out Fall 2011 TT.

And as Bikram would say in class ....
"Are you ready? YES OR NO?!"
This time, not for a posture, but... For life on the outside?

angelak: (Silence)
A lengthy, wandering post. )

angelak: (AngelaNov09)

Focus for 2012
(I don't exactly do resolutions, per se, but I do have focuses.)

Serve my communities – focal point = Service

Yoga/OTO/Pagan communities, serve them (How? Be present. Give whenever possible in time/service.)

Leave Self doubt behind

Serve in the Mass team beyond the child role:
(First Deacon, then Priestess - eventually, in the future...)

Replace carpets downstairs in 874

Create a tidy home that is nearly always acceptable for impromptu guests

Become a strong and valued Bikram Yoga Teacher

Develop my Yoga Teaching

Digest and Teach verbatim Bikram Dialogue

Improve physical and emotional bodies

Reach the low 140lbs range solid

Lean out body the rest of the way

Shrink the hips/upper thighs

Return to Teacher Training as a mentor (not a DE-mentor).

Travel to see teacher training friends and take their classes!

Maintain a strong Yoga practice

Maintain a moderate running and circuit training schedule

Continually build strong relationships with my sweeties

Stay close with Jim

More personal focus from self to community service

Rite of Sol Involvement

Search for a late 90's Mitsubishi Eclipse for personal material items list
angelak: (Hold My Hand)
I keep wanting to write 100 Facebook posts, when realizing the real venue I need is LJ. Last week or so, I’ve been evaluating my calf muscles. They seem bigger than I remember. I’m not sure if I like this or not.
Is it from the Yoga? I mean, of course it is. Weird. I thought normally I had runner calves… hmm. Whatever. We rebuild our body every day, slowly. Or else they started getting bigger because I started running again? Confused. Great way to start out my Wednesday morning post, eh? I have so much to write and I haven’t even begun.
I taught 4 classes last week. I loved it. I typically will do 3 a week, but I had a double on Saturday and I have to say, so far, teaching a double is my favorite. Not sure how often I will get an opportunity to do this, but it sure does give me a chance to really get into refinement of a class by my second class. It’s like suddenly I’m really in a groove. Just like practicing yoga, teaching classes – every single class is different. Some days you walk in there and you feel like you rock it. Other days your tongue is tied, your brain feels a little mushy, and you just find a way to lead everyone through to get their yoga, because like it or not, the 90 minutes has begun and you have a (beautiful) job to do.

My best classes happen when I am super happy, not thinking about myself at all, and smile while I am teaching. I remember posture clinics. No one ever told me to smile while I taught – but every time I need to laugh at myself while teaching (I say something ridiculous or the yogis in front of me are either listening to me 100% and I told them something weird, or I just mix up my lefts and rights). Suddenly the energy in the class changes the moment I’m grinning like a loon. It’s not something you can do for 90 minutes, but I definitely learn a lot every day when I’m up there. Every experience is so new to me, I find myself learning and learning and learning.

I used to sweat the clock (ha ha) but I find that no matter what, I tend to finish on time. So I’m a little done worrying about the clock for the moment. It tends to get me to worry… “Am I on time? Am I fast? Am I slow? Am I going to have to stretch out some of this?” And suddenly I think my teaching suffers in that moment.

Friday night, I might experiment more with getting off of the podium for floor series.
Regardless, I’ve been walking on air since the weekend I taught my 4 classes. I’m relaxing. I’m not judging myself. I’m not worrying. I’m feeling strong, and I have faith that no matter what – the class will go on, everyone gets their yoga, and that the words are all up there in my head, and the moment I drop my crown chakra over-activity and move the energy out of my heart instead, everything runs So.Damned.Smooth. This is how it’s meant to be done.
I am also happy that I have had opportunities to actually practice the yoga myself. I think this is also boosting my mood. Without the yoga, I tend to get a little down. I mean more than a few days go by without the yoga, and I’m bummed out.

But I also see that the week I went light on yoga practice, I finally settled in at home, spent some quality time with Jim, and allowed myself to relax a little, decompress – for the first time since I flew home. It’s been a crazy adjustment to go back home, to be a normal person again. I thought I hadn’t learned any lessons from TT. But I realize maybe that was a little excessive. I’m different, but not entirely.
I really feel like now, I am really learning the most. But I can’t lie. Their damn process works. The whole TT process has some sort of formula magick and yes – the words are somehow cemented into my brain. Maybe not perfect, but they are there, and I know I enjoy the project of continual refinement.

Today and yesterday the words were just floating in fragments around in my head. Silent moments in my day, and I’d be hearing myself saying the dialogue in my head. Very weird. Very first-time experience for me. I normally don’t hear myself talking. Now I’m sounding nuts, but that’s what teaching Bikram Yoga does to you… you lose your fucking mind. ;)

And when you find it again, there is a 26 track recording of yourself buried inside.
My favorite part of class is the beginning, and the end, and maybe even the middle teaching ;).
No, the beginning I have some serious verbatim dialogue going on. That feels good, it makes me feel strong. Breathing exercise is coming along. I only like demonstrating it :P I decided my signature is to demo is for every new student. Why? Because I’m Miss PranaFuckingYama. Yes. That’s right. It’s the one “posture” that I look like the final expression – in. I hope this doesn’t intimidate students, that they don’t have crazy shoulder flexibility and can’t get their forearms to touch their cheeks… but at least they know what they’re going for, yeah?

Who knew I’d actually look like the final expression in anything with the yoga… I’m just a regular yogini, an everyday girl. Not like some of those rockstars I saw in training, yo. But I’m not all about ego on it. I just wanna get my health benefits, and go home – jeh!!!

I am looking forward to our Holiday party this weekend with the yoga studio staff. How awesome. People can actually socialize. It’s harder to really relax and socialize at the studio sometimes.

Hmm. There’s been a lot I wanted to write, and now a lot of it has drifted away. Needless to say, I am teaching a few classes this week, a few next week, and then I’m actually kind of sad I only teach one class for the last week in the year. How will I go without teaching more than one in a week????


Not sure what January’s schedule is. All good. I look forward to this holiday, spending it with friends and family. I need to get on my holiday gifting. Nothing obscene and over materialistic, but still.
I’ve been so teaching-centric that actually doing THESE sort of errands = had been out of my mind. Oops.

I hope these one liners I’ve been trying to stuff into my head for certain poses decide to come out on Thursday… and that I don’t say “… one more time” or any of the redundant lines too many times. Hmmm!

One more INCH works better. I like that one. COME UP ONE MORE INCH! I think the ones I will study today are

Triangle, Tree, and Locust. And maybe the head to knee with stretching…… I always get a little distracted in that one. Not sure why. I start freaking out about which side they are turning in towards… “is that their left? My left? Their right? Which fucking side are they going to turn in to!??!?!” THIS IS COMPRESSION POSTURE NOT A STRETCHING POSE!!!!!!!! Lol. Yeah.

Also happy my wrist is feeling better – and my left knee is a lil less cranky. It was cranky briefly (in a not tendon sort of way, so a new thing) last week. Now it is at least letting me get into tree pose on the left side. There was a brief 2 days where bending my left knee was giving me a “Don’t fucking do it, Angela” cue. I hate that. I’ve learned to listen to myself too. So sitting cross legged works again. Which is better to do if I choose to sit on the podium for floor series because I can’t move my legs and distract students. Yes, all of this shit. Constant pieces of “behave, teacher.” ;)

As for my wrist. I made it through training with no real ouchies. Came home, 2 days at home, I sleep on my wrist funny and hurt it. I was upset because it was delaying my opportunity to start circuit training and getting my push ups and weights in! Now I have no excuse, I think my wrist is ready to bear weight again. Now I just have to be ready to be totally sore, from head to toe, from a CT session. And to accept how few pushups my arms have in me after turning into a yogini with yoga arms…. Blah! Anyway. Enough about my self centered post here. I gotta go do my work.

angelak: (Thoughtful Angela)
Week 2 consists of 4 classes for the "week." I'm counting my teaching weeks as follows: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Those are the days that I may or may not have classes. So the teaching week begins Thursday. Today's class went a lot better. My flow was on, I had eaten good food for dinner, thus having nice steady blood sugar levels for my brain to function it's 100%.

I checked the mic before I started breathing, I was entirely certain it was on before I blathered on, I didn't cram and push my studying so hard, I just did as much as I had time for (which was less, quite honestly requests at work started coming in left and right this week - alongside my MEP project.

So, busy work week at Issaquah, but I woke up this morning and slowly found that my worries were starting to shift. I started seeing (as Jim said I would) things differently. Instead of forgetting the simple beauty of the fact that I am on the podium, that a crapload of dialogue IS coming out of my mouth, even if things aren't perfecto - is a reality I can't deny at the moment. It doesn't matter what any other new teacher is doing, and talking with more people - it seems that I am definitely not alone with the transition of being a new teacher.

Today, I felt that my first half of the class was really quite strong. Standing series, just like practicing standing series, teaching it provides its own set of challenges to me. I really get over-excited with the two specific ones that are to be held 60 seconds: Standing Head to Knee and Standing Bow. Today, both were held longer than my first few classes, but I am still struggling to keep them in. I just get so excited, and then I see them working so hard and falling out that I know I pull out too soon. It is these two postures that tend to cause me to get a bit "confused" as it were. Especially if I feel like I said 100% dialogue.... but maybe I said it all too fast and it was only 40 seconds and not 60. Some people appreciate the short posture.

Regardless, I don't feel compelled to beat myself up. Getting up on the podium was easier, I also did two perfect SPINE twists. No messing up lefts and rights on it. My lefts and rights were surprisingly spot on tonight. I had 4 newbies, and all of them wanted to know when I teach next. I will take some flattery. Tonight was the first night that as everyone left, I felt like a normal teacher, and not someone that was just an imposter or something! The students were all polite, couple people really liked the class, one more brazen student said I was great but "you gotta hold the standing postures longer." Something I knew, I let it go. Students aren't aware of the myriad of learning curves it takes for newb teachers to get timing down. At least it felt like the timing in general was enough so no one was dying. I did see people REALLY PUSH in floow bow and full locust. When you hear the collective grunt on the way down and everyone held to the last second - you know they were all doing amazing. It was inspiring, there was some strong yoga focus going on tonight in this class. No one was fidgeting, wiping, the new girls were rocking out in the back - everyone was awesome in triangle, it was the kind of class that witnessing from the podium, reminded me that everyone in the room really DOES work together, including the teacher in the whole mix. The experiences are things I should be remembering, no matter how hard the coming set of weeks teaching come. I also found out Jessica has taught a total of 20 classes (she teachers at another studio as well - my studio owner was quick to let me know, which was obviously very sweet - she must not have wanted me to think I was less important, she is pretty much the best studio owner in the area if I dare to say so myself).

So, seeing as this was my 4th - I'm a full time city employee... I can't really use her and me as anything alike in this arena.
Heidi did mention one thing that knocked me over a little. In a good way...
From the beginning, I tend to use a lot of my own words. A lot of dialogue, but I naturally make the class my own sometimes. She said the only other teacher she has really seen start doing that so early on was Brenna. Brenna used to teach for Renton, and she was my absolute, all time FAVORITE teacher of all time. When she left, I was so sad. The idea that I could be compared to her at all really is a big deal to me. Can't deny it. I miss her still, and if I can become a great teacher like her one day, I'll definitely do all that I can to get there. She taught from her heart, there's no doubt. I can't even remember what I said in my first class that was so much "making it my own" anymore, because it feels like ages ago. I better go to bed. City of Issaquah is my fate early tomorrow, and I have a handsome dude waiting for me, slumbering, in bed. And 2 Dachshunds that would prefer the body heat of 4 instead of just 3 creatures. Maybe if I can get someone to practice, use a stopwatch, and hold Standing H2K....

We'll see. Tonight I am spent.

angelak: (Deep Thought)
I should be studying more dialogue, pouring over the words, saying them out-loud over and over. This is the only way to get it into my brain so that it comes out when I'm actively in front of a class, real time. Even if I don't, at this point it comes out anyway.

I make everything complicated. I read into everything. I read into my fellow trainees. I read into all the feedback, I read into what I might look like, what I don't look like. I just don't have a lot confidence from the inside, and it feels like this has been a battle I've had my whole life. Now it's amplified when I step onto the podium and lead a class. I hide it behind humor - I hide it behind the mask of someone who appears strong. But inside I feel like it's obvious to everyone that I don't know about myself at all.

The teaching is about the students, not me. I know that - people said this in training 100 times. So when I teach, I make it about the students. When I come home, I make it about me. My second week of teaching begins this Thursday. I've heard a lot of feedback already honestly more than I was ready to hear, and I struggle not to compare myself with the other girl who came back and makes it look easy. She's so shiny and positive. But that's not me. I think back to the days when I was a kid and I had to pep talk myself just to make it through the day at school. Never cool enough, never smart enough, never anything enough. Does it mean I'm left to feel this way my whole life? What made me this way? What would it take to really leave it behind? I've been working on it very hard the last few years. I make breakthroughs, and sometimes I take steps back. It seems others are willing to pretend they are what they aren't. But I never claimed to fake a damn thing in my life, frankly I'm no good at it and it feels awful to my spirit.

Instead I'd rather just hurt my spirit just as much by not respecting the hard work and accomplishments I've created for myself. I'd spend half a minute appreciating myself, and 10 minutes cutting myself down.

A lot of people say they have these amazing lessons in training. What were mine again? The same exact realizations I've had about myself for the last 15 years. Nothing new.
I'm supposed to have become confident? I'm the same girl I was when I stepped on the plane to go to LA. The difference is I am certified, and I can teach a class. How does this change me as a person? I'm the same. So much lack of self realization.

And no, I'm not afraid to admit it. I can look anyone in the face and say, "we're all fighting something. The difference between me and you, is possibly that I'm not afraid to pick up a microphone and tell everyone what my problems are." What's the point in "saving face"? For who? My teaching reputation? I'm real. If you want a teacher who pretends to think they're Captain Awesome, it's not me. A little tired of reading so many one sided self proclamations. I won't say that I'm not doing okay for newbie. I'm doing okay. If Okay suits you, then it isn't a problem. I've never been okay with okay, anyway.

I'd prefer to pick up a microphone and teach yoga from my heart and become a teacher that people know they'll get what they need out of themselves when they take class. I don't know if I'm even close.



angelak: (Default)

April 2016


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