The Truth of the Matter

You’re probably not surprised to hear that I’ve had writer’s block for the last couple of months. I’ve given this problem a lot of thought lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve got too many thoughts in my head, thus, making it difficult to neatly compartmentalize them and write cohesively. BUT Spring is upon us and I’m a big fan of Spring cleaning, so why not clear the cobwebs from my brain and get on with the writing already?

Six years ago, I embarked on a journey that was largely fueled by a need to reprogram my mind and body so that stress would no longer be a source of torment for me, both physically and mentally. I’d reached the point where my body was reacting very, very strongly against the amount of stress that I was imposing upon it and something had to give. When you find yourself (seriously) thinking that you’re going to be the cause of your own heart attack at the early age of 32, you know you’ve got to get off your ass and change the things in your life that are negatively impacting you.  The problem was that I spent a lot of time inside my own head – so while much of my stress was caused by a third party, a shit load came from my own self.  I found myself wishing for an OFF switch on numerous occasions, but sadly no such thing existed. Damn it! Do I have to solve all of the world’s problems myself?!  Anyway, being unsuccessful in finding the much sought after OFF switch, and not really knowing what might help alleviate all my stress and unnecessary over-thinking, I opted to try yoga. Now, I should tell you that the mere thought of yoga stressed me out. Why? Err… well I’m more of the kick-boxer type and I was seriously convinced that the act of yoga itself would stress me the hell out . When I first tried it, I hated it. It was way too slow and I saw no value in it whatsoever. I was still stressed out, still thinking too much and still assuming I’d have a heart attack ‘any day now.’  Eventually I discovered two yogis whose style spoke to me, and I decided to try yoga again. It took a while (OK, a few years) but thankfully, I  began feeling the benefits of maintaining a regular yoga practice, and I  eventually grasped the concept of letting go. It took a LONG time for me to get there – I like to be in control so ‘letting go’ was a foreign concept to me. At some point on the road to enlightenment, I learned that my need to be in control was fueled by my ego. That bastard!

Two years ago, my yogic efforts came to fruition, when my yoga practice became more about the spiritual journey and less about the pursuit of physical perfection. It’s true – while I started doing yoga to help me relieve stress, I was also (mainly) doing it to lose weight/be fit. But the more I practiced, the more I realized that yoga grounds me. It helps to de-clutter my mind and offers  me a form of clarity that I haven’t experienced before. It allows me to turn inward and reflect upon myself – whether it’s a shituation I’ve found myself in, an energy boost that I need or simply some quiet time to help me refocus.  Yoga makes me feel amazing, and as a result, my spirit is much calmer and my stress is almost non-existent (I said ALMOST people). I am grateful for discovering something that yields benefits in so many different ways – and it’s definitely more sane then a drug addiction, right!? =-D

Funny where my yoga practice has led me…. In 2011, I met a local yoga teacher that I’d heard a lot about via Lululemon. Coincidentally, we ‘met’ via the blogosphere, when I randomly came across his web site. A light went off when I saw his name – what were the odds that I’d find this guy via a Google search?  Now, I don’t believe in coincidences, so I knew that our paths crossing had to mean something.’ And so I reached out to him; Bram (who I’ve mentioned here before) has been giving me private yoga classes every couple of months for the last year or so. I’ve been learning a lot from him both on and off the mat, so when I decided that 2012 was going to be my year of change, I asked him to mentor me. I have changed a lot in the last two years; my focus is very much on the positive, on letting go of my shit and not sweating the small stuff. Essentially, if I have no control over ‘it’ then ‘it’ isn’t worth stressing over.  I am seeking enlightenment. Joy. Wholeness. So it was important to me to work with someone who had positive energy, whose vibe I felt and who could relate to where I was and where I want to go. I am in the process of examining various areas of my life – some of which will lead me to specific goals, while others involve a closer look at myself. One of the areas that has been on my mind a lot is relationships. Or specifically, my relationships.

For some time now, I have felt unsatisfied with many of my friendships (not all, but a lot). When I think about how much time and effort I have invested in people who don’t seem to reciprocate or even give a shit, it makes me tired. I’m tired of making efforts to keep friendships going, tired of doing all the reaching out, of being the event coordinator (otherwise we never each each other), tired of being understanding when they don’t have time to see me, tired of listening to one-side conversations about other peoples’ lives/problems/whatever, tired of getting little if any support for things that are important to me but not important to them. Am I the perfect friend? No, of course not.  I can be self-absorbed or negative or cranky just like anyone else. But I am PRESENT in my relationships, and I am loyal to my friends. I very much believe that relationships are two-way streets and that both parties must make an effort to nurture the friendship if it is to evolve, otherwise it will disintegrate. That said, I’m not the same person I was two years ago – but the people of which I speak have no idea because they haven’t been present. So perhaps that’s the answer; I realized a while ago that it might be time to move on from certain relationships. It looks like now is that time.

Goal #1 = Accomplished!

 

What’s your take on relationships? How do you make yours work?

 

Peace out,

A

 

 

And Now I Let Go

I wasn’t going to write about this because yesterday, when I tried to put my thoughts and experience into words, it just wasn’t happening for me.  Thankfully, today it looks like my mental block has mysteriously vanished. What a shame! 😀

As my regular readers know, I’ve been on a quest for Zenitude (Annism!) for quite some time now. Letting go of stress, and calming my overactive brain has never been easy for me, so finding inner peace and calm, and obtaining clarity is something that’s pretty important to me. That said, along my journey I discovered that you can’t just snap your fingers and miraculously feel liberated of all your crap (especially if you own a brain that is in overdrive 24/7 – fantastic!).  There are a multitude of ways to achieve Zenitude once you’ve decided you need to make a change in your life; personally, I opted to use yoga as my tool to find both physical and mental well-being. I already work out and I figured yoga could only compliment that, if nothing else. I’ve been practicing yoga for about four years now, but it’s in the last two years that I really started feeling change happening – to feel more connected and grounded. Along the way I’ve encountered people who think yoga is for hippies, people who don’t think yoga is a ‘real’ sport, and people who just don’t think something like yoga can change a person.  I beg to differ. If you want to know why I disagree with that mindset, check out this post – it talks about my yogic ‘path.’  I’ve talked about this in a few other posts but apparently I didn’t categorize them correctly so you’ll have to read ALL my posts to find them 😉  You might also want to check out and this post – written by guest blogger Bram Levinson (a yogi!). In any case, let’s get to the point of this post already.

Yesterday, I ended up staying in all day, despite my best efforts to go to the gym. In the last month, I’ve been taking a break from everything – both working out and yoga, mainly due to a neck injury that has affected other body parts besides my neck.  At some point, I decided that it was OK for me to not work out  – and it’s OK for me to take a break from yoga, and not just because I have a neck injury. HUGE feat for me, who is typically riddled with guilt each and every time I skip a workout.  Anyway, I woke up and decided that I was going to attack my spare room, which in the last year, has become a depository for anything and everything. I didn’t realize that until I started going through papers under my desk…. and they dated back to April 2009. Oops! Truth be told, I still had unpacked boxes from when I moved back into my condo, post-flooding – those boxes had been neatly piled in a corner since September 2009 so it was about time I unpacked. You should know that when I’m stressed out and/or need to think, I go into a cleaning frenzy. For whatever reason, cleaning (and rearranging furniture) helps me process my thoughts and clear my mind. So off I went, recycling bags in tow. There was nothing significant in what I threw out, or in the things that I came across while I cleaned – nothing that would cause me to whimsically look back on a person or relationship, but at some point, I felt something happening. I suddenly felt like I was letting go – saying good-bye to something. This knowledge was powerful and very clear, and on the inside, I felt blissfully happy. Sure, there were a few tearful moments – but they didn’t last very long since I had no idea why I was tearful to begin with! Even today, I’m not sure what I’ve let go of, but I can tell you that it feels bloody amazing! I feel liberated. Nuts, right? I remember thinking “I’m letting go of the past to make way for the future.”

I believe, that were it not for my yoga practice, this wouldn’t be happening at all. I truly believe that my practice has helped me find peace of mind, clarity and joy.  It has blessed me with the ability to finally let go of the useless crap – even the stuff I didn’t even realize I might still be holding on to.  Sure, I still have a way to go before achieving full-on Zenitude, but I know that I’m on the right path because I have reaped the benefits already.

I foresee a 2011 with much change… and I can’t wait! How about you?

And what were some of your defining moments?

Got something to say? Speak!

Like what you’ve been reading? Then go like us on Facebook!