Category Archives: Healing

No Yoga, No Peace: Know Yoga, Know Peace

Several months ago, I decided to try Bikram Yoga.  I had previously been a professional boxer and trained in MMA but after some life given brutality, I opted for a more peaceful and introspective work out.  I had heard many great things about the yoga but I had also heard that it was amazingly intense and not for everyone.  I knew from the latter that I would probably love it and I did.  That first day in what is affectionately called Bikram’s torture chamber by the instructors, I was pushed past any physical and emotional limits that I had.  Although being in fairly good shape, the heat combined with the intensity of the postures had me re-assessing everything in my life up until that moment.  The bottle of wine I had the night before, the cigarettes I had smoked in high school, the failed relationship that I was now out of, it was as if I was dying and my whole life flashed before my eyes as sweat clouded my vision.  For those 90 minutes, I was in an awakened state of meditation.  Thoughts flooded and attempted to distract me but my focus always came back to the room and my reflection in the mirror.

I practiced for several months at least 4 times a week and then I fell off the yoga wagon for a bit.  At first, I did not see or feel the true effects of my practice.  I went back to my typical and common way of coping.  I went out with friends all the time, drank, partied until the wee hours of the morning and began a descent into the self-destructive side of my psyche.  Sure I was having fun if that is what you would call it, I call it running away and not dealing but at a certain point it became unbearable to walk around like a zombie drone and pretend like I was fine.  After a little over a month of nothing but party monster, I had an epiphany.  Insanity truly is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Some people will always run from their problems, whether emotionally or geographically, I see it all the time and hell I even tried it but at the end of the day wherever you are, that is where you are.  The real solution resides within yourself, not a foreign country, not at the bottom of a bottle and not in someone else’s hands.

I have decided to try to put myself on a 30 day challenge of daily yoga and no alcohol.  I started several days ago and I already feel more empowered.  My instructor Erinn said the other day something that rings true in the hot room and out,”No one can steal your peace.”  In the context of the room it means that regardless of the instructor or the sweaty person next to you making weird noises, you are responsible for maintaining your own meditation and practice.  The sweat dripping down your face, the fatigue present all over your body, the heat, all of those things can be overcome and even ignored if your true focus remains on yourself.  And this is so relevant to everyday life.  That person that cuts you off in traffic, that boss that does not appreciate you, the douche that broke your heart, they can not steal your peace because once found it is yours to have and hold and cherish.  I know now that my peace is found in that 107 degree room and for 90 minutes a day, no one can steal it.  I look in the mirror and watch my body accomplish things I never thought possible and I have watched my body transform in ways I had not imagined.  My once bulky muscle is becoming lean and long, my abs are returning to a shape I only saw in them right before a fight and my skin glows as if I were in my teens again.  There is no doubt in my mind that this yoga works miracles inside and out.

I am so elated to have returned to my practice and to also be amping it up.  For many years I chose to try to numb my wild and powerful mind.  I could not control it and it seemed the only method to tame it was to dose it with some sort of substance.  Now I know that all that numbing did me no good and that I have a healthy way to cooperate with it now.  I also realized that controlling anything is an illusion, my mind is strong, I should use it to help me, we should be one.  Bikram has helped me immensely with this notion.  I can not impose myself on anyone or anything, including myself.  I can only seek a positive cohesion and in that there is peace.  During my practice, negative thoughts float through my mind but never remain.  Something will pop up and just float by, no attachment, no judgement just there it is a thought and then it is gone.  But as I lay in savasana at the end of class, my only thoughts are that of peace and accomplishment and how I can use this feeling and have it transcend into my life outside the room.  I truly love it and look forward to the next month of struggle and enlightenment.

“No one can steal your peace!”

Namaste!

 

Am I Crazy?

Personal evolution is beginning to feel like a spiritual board game.  I take several steps, sometimes leaps forward and inevitably there is backward motion as well.  I suppose that it is necessary in order to continue moving forward while truly comprehending the path that has been taken.  I began this blogging adventure as a means to process and heal from a terrible break up.  To some, that was courageous and creative. To others it is”crazy” and misunderstood. For the latter, I wish that you could  understand my motives.  I want to have a voice.  When another human being takes control of your life and makes a unilateral and highly destructive decision and actions are forced upon you, you are helpless.  You are no longer an integral part of your own fate, you are plunged into the reality of reaction.  My reactions have spanned the spectrum of human emotion but in the end, I have been pretty impressed with my progress and the way in which I maintained my personal integrity.  But, I am human and I have my set backs, like today.

When it was first brought to my attention that Will was writing a blog and had been secretly for some time, I anxiously and fearfully read it. And there is nothing worse than learning about someone who you thought you knew through their writings.  About the only thing that comes close to this sensation of removed enlightenment, is the falseness of their words.  Upon discovering that he adores making himself seem like a deep, highly evolved, spiritual and altruistic person, I decided that I had read enough.  I KNEW the truth, I had survived it.  And thus I told myself with the encouragement of my friends, that I would not read it again.  Honestly, nothing positive was going to come from it but unfortunately I have masochistic tendencies and every now and then my curiosity gets the best of me and I find myself typing those pathetic letters into google and making the same mistake that I promised myself I would not.  And this is what I found today: http://williamsabia.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/not-so-fast/

Immediately enraged and disgusted, I came to the conclusion that the only person at fault for these overwhelming emotions, was me.  I had let my curiosity overwhelm my logic.  And it is disappointing when you realize that you are the one who is hurting yourself.  I mean he is NOT going to change, he never was.  So why do I even let it bother me?  I have been asked the same question over and over again, why do I do this to myself?  Well this morning, I finally figured it out.  A dangerous combination of optimism and disbelief.

The optimism tempts me and the disbelief is constant.  I suppose I hope that at some point there will be an apology or an epiphany, something. But it never comes.  I am shockingly still amazed at his ability to learn every life lesson there is to learn except for the one he needs to learn.  Self awareness is not something that you spew forth on a blog entry and create in order to garner the acceptance and praise of others.  It is something that you work towards on a daily basis and my main reason for self-awareness is so that I do not hurt other people or myself with destructive, selfish behaviour.  That is why when my blog is read, you see the flaws, you hear the doubt and you read the truth.  When I talk about Buddha it is not some concept that I throw out because it sounds interesting and philosophical. I have been Buddhist for many years now and it is something that is dear to me so to have the one that hurt me so deeply quoting and paraphrasing beliefs, it is almost insulting.  I want to scream, “HOW DARE YOU?!?”

How dare you act like you are a good person? How dare you not take responsibility for your actions? How dare you talk about love and loss? What did you lose? You ran half way around the world and YOU are talking about loss and pain! How dare you?  I could go on forever with these but in the end this is not about him. The problem is me.

I write extremely personal and unadulterated things because it may save someone from making the same mistakes.  Yeah I guess it is “crazy” to put such things out there in the vastness of the internet.  I honestly wrote the majority of this yesterday and saved it because I was unsure if I wanted to post it.  I began fearing what it would make me appear to be.  I have been told by my sibling several times that this blog, well at least the personal aspect of it makes me look like a psycho girl and so I felt like maybe I should change the direction of it.  Perhaps solely post my poetry or begin writing the treatment for my book but then I realized what a hypocrite I would be.  Anyone can write and share the easy stuff.  The anonymous things that can self promote, it is much more difficult to share your true nature and allow for the possibility of judgment.  If people want to judge me for being hurt, then so be it.  If people want to think that I am a “psycho” because I tell the truth and am unafraid of showing myself, again, so be it.  I know who I am., perhaps for the first time in a very long time.

I am a human who has loved and lost.  I am a woman who is nearing the completion of a very long and arduous process of growth.  I am a Buddhist who is trying to remember the tenants of my beliefs.  I am a spiritual being having a physical experience. Things are not always rainbows and sunshine but they are also not always gray and dark.  This is what I have learned.  I am learning to let go of the things that are painful and remain open to the beauty in life.  I am learning to accept that the Universe is not going to give me what I want but rather what I need.  I am learning what makes me strong and unique but also the traits that are less desirable and need to be addressed.  But is this not the point of living?  I choose to do this openly and I will continue to because I will not be that which I loathe.  I will not only post things that make me look enlightened and interesting.  I hope others will be comforted in that, it is ok to be wherever you are in your process and on your path.  It is ok to have doubts and to question your actions and your emotions.  It is ok to be who you are and to acknowledge your mistakes.

This year will be about this philosophy.  I will be stronger than ever.  I will make more forward progress.  I will recognize my regressions, examine them and move on.  I will continue to work diligently on strengthening my mind and body so that when I look back on this situation, I will know that I conquered it. It may have been painful and exhaustive.  It may have even taken longer than I would have liked. But I will know that I can do anything and I did.  I will also know that I am prepared for any circumstance and that should something of this nature creep its way back into my realm, I will have the skills necessary to move through it more gracefully and more constructively.  I am finding power in my flaws because in the end, they will make me work to be the person that I want to be.

So there it is. If I am crazy then that is fine, I can conquer that too!

Reflect

The dust of chaos settles upon an uncertain foundation

bewildering situations encourage evolution

the ubiquitous amethyst haze slowly dissipating daily

kind words of strangers rest upon my ears and heart

and gently remedy the illness of insecurity

the real cure though coming from within

experiences wash over my psyche and bombard my senses

as the electricity of a touch, kiss, smile

send slight, surprising shocks down my spine

each cell crying out with relief

the future unknown,

the past abominable,

the present perfectly flawed

it is a new day, new year, new me………..

 

 

 

 

Love Comes Again

Love’s door slammed shut

And you opened my window

You shone a light into my darkest corner

A welcome reprieve from all the pain

Your smile comforts me

Your touch calms me

You warmth reminds me

Of all the possibilities

You are that which I have sought

My only hope to satisfy you

My appreciation grows daily

Thank you………

Renewal

Finally the sky is crying new life into this arid land

for months nothing but death and stagnation

all forms of life have suffered

flora and fauna expiring from thirst

fires have claimed lives and homes

but now the water births rejuvenation

I can smell and taste the purification

my own heart welcomes the release

nothing is more satisfying

then being revived.

Forgiveness and ambivalence

As I sat in the Zen den last night playing guitar and listening to the invigorating sounds of rain drops pattering my tin roof, a familiar yet unwelcome wave of ambivalence pounded me.  They say that there are 7 steps in the grieving process and acceptance being the final but I am either some alien anomaly or this process has no apodictic conclusion.  This is to say that while I have come to accept the circumstances and the actions at their origin, I am still emotionally undulatory. I suppose what is really plaguing me is that several months ago, I conjured and delivered quite possibly the most venomous email ever, well for me anyway. I had finally reached my breaking point and I felt that not only were the feelings expressed honest but also necessary. Prior to this, throughout the saga I had remained the heroine.  I was understanding, forgiving, loving, compassionate even sympathetic.  All those around me found this most disturbing given the circuitous nature of the situation but I maintained that I would not lower myself to the level on which he was operating.  Unfortunately, that email was the swift and certain end of that.

It is not that I did not mean every word of it, I did.  How could I maintain loving someone who showed me such apathy and disrespect? I could not.  I had to make a stand, or so I believed.  I had to tell him that I never wanted to speak to him again, didn’t I?  To say that my words were rooted in pride would be a fallacy, they were rooted in pain.  In those moments of fingers racing irresponsibly across the keyboard, I recall the sensation of a blatant and brusque realization.  Every action suddenly and ceremoniously slapped me in the face. All those 7 stages in one volcanic, apocalyptic explosion but unfortunately the only emotions conveyed were anger and hate.  At first, I was highly satisfied with myself.  I had taken back my power. I was no longer lending my heart to someone’s immature and erratic whims. I was taking a stand.

Then came the waves of shame.  And now they are waves of regret.  Ambivalence, the mother of all conundrums. And this is precisely the reason that I acted out of love for those first several months because that is who I am.  My ex-fiance told me this morning when I confessed that I was having a delayed reaction to all of this that I am just not capable of not caring.  He said that I never should have written all those things because I am not that person. that I will always care.  I consistently struggle with whether or not that is a negative attribute.  When does forgiving become tolerating? And when does tolerating become egregious? And when does that egregiousness become abuse?

Buddhism is founded on compassion and forgiveness but when is enough, enough? Is it ever ok to condemn someone for horrendous and hurtful actions? Or should we constantly forgive and forget? My intellect tells me that the actions of this man were unforgivable but my heart tells me that I will always love him and that I am better than the things that I said.  I just wish I knew how to protect myself while also being the big-hearted person that apparently, I am.  I used to imagine myself as a statue with cracks, perhaps one of those Greek goddesses missing an appendage or something. Beautiful and flawed. Now I realize that I am still a wobbly ball of clay striving to take form.  I suppose there is freedom in that.

Maybe the real forgiving that is necessary is that of myself.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I5d6pa3EcE&feature=related

Language Lover

So I have been dosing my cerebrum with the works of Carlos Castaneda, Dante, Sophocles, Lao Tzu and Celine.  Surely eclectic and wonderfully written.  In recent months as my mind has been ravaged by insecurity and unanswered questions the escape into language has been invaluable.  I have always loved language.  From a very young age I was exposed to foreign languages and I am truly appreciative for this.  The private school that I attended required us to take Spanish and Latin and Spanish soon became one of my favorite subjects.  Then in high school I decided to take French as well and continued into college.  Now I am venturing into the world of Arabic.  What I truly love about linguistics is that these are the ways in which we express ourselves and I think that it is so integral for us as humans to try to understand each other.  And I mean really understand each other.  Anthropologically speaking, language is the main aspect of any culture and I would love to learn about as many different cultures as possible.  For now though I am enjoying reading all of this classic literature, some in its original language.  Words are so beautiful and the way that some manage to effortlessly string them together and create such amazing art is awe-inspiring.  Dante’s description, Castaneda’s romance, Sophocles’ tragedy, Tzu’s intellect and Celine’s mystery all breathtaking in their own right.  I have an interview with a company tomorrow that specializes in increasing the globalization of businesses and I could not be more excited.  I would love to be able to facilitate the unification of multiple countries and be able to do so with my knowledge of language.  So excited!

 

 

Words can be spoken with wisdom or wrath

sentences construed constructively as

emotions seep through the expression

I love this language of life

endless options are ubiquitous

some evoke romance and love

others more forward and clinical

all ways that we can learn about each other

unity is within our reach

how do you speak?

 

Wish me luck 😉

 

 

 

2011: Good Riddance!

As the year comes to an end, I can not help but be relieved and excited for this has easily been the worst year of my life. For most that statement would seem or actually be hyperbolic but for me, it is an entirely accurate assessment.  Other years have been difficult, often stressful with equestrian competitions, family health emergencies and work but the incidents were spread out over the course of the year and usually there was some semblance of resolution.  This year, this bastard year has had back to back tragedies and there is no resolution in sight.  Sure, I am emotionally healing from all the loss but it will never be completely gone.  It is almost as if my heart is a bone that has a compound fracture, it will heal with some surgery and some pins and screws but the evidence will always be seen.  A CSI-esque post mortem on me would have the investigators saying, “This woman had her heart-broken, as you can see on the X-ray, those prominent white lines represent the calcification.  It is an old wound, she was most likely 30 years of age when it occurred.”

I guess I assumed that when you reach a certain age there are certain ways of doing things.  When you get to be this wonderful age, you have the right to say things like, “What are we in high school?” But the sad part is that this amazing, magical age when wisdom and maturity take over and all of your actions are rooted in intelligence, logic and past experience, it does not exist.  I am 3o and I have such a horrendous time of comprehending how at this age, people are still acting like children.  And it is not just the 30 year olds, it is 4o years olds and some in their 50’s. Unfortunately, 2011 brought me to the realization that maturity and virtue are absolutely not proportionate to numerical age. I thought, based on past experience that when you break up with someone, you express the reasons and it is a one-on-one conversation.  There is no peanut gallery casting dispersions, no overly dramatic scene just two people who cared for one another ending one relationship and hopefully salvaging another.  My ex-fiance and I were together on and off for seven years and lived together for most of them.  At the conclusion of our relationship, we expressed our deep love for each other but also knew that our relationship had transitioned into more of a friendship.  He is now my dearest and closest friend.  There was no yelling, screaming, name calling, no ugliness at all.  I assumed this was possible with every relationship.  I suppose my thought process is that if I thought highly enough of someone to live with them and even to contemplate marriage, why on earth would I not want them in my life? I have no idea why the general consensus is that ex’s can not and should not remain friends.  Shouldn’t we all have the maturity and unconditional love for one another, that even if one type of relationship does not work, we are still open to another type?  There will never be any resolution to this break up.  William will never tell me why or say he is sorry.  We will never be friends.  I will never see one of my cats again.  William will never see his glorious Siamese boys again.  And I will never understand why everything had to transpire this way.  This kills me.  The fact that he is over in another country and keeps blogging pontifications about American life and the cultural differences and blah, blah, blah also kills me.  No emotion, no regret, no guilt, no love, no friendship just BS.  I guess that is who he is though.  Bottom line: No resolution.

2011 also left me unemployed.  I had a great job that I loved and I was let go not because I did not do my job or because I came in late too many times. No I was fired because my boss fell in love with me and we worked for his in-laws. I knew he was in love with me because he had told me numerous times.  He sent me emails and poems, all expressing that I was his soul mate and he had never felt this way about anyone.  I found all of this hard to believe since he was married and had been for ten years.  At the time his wife was also pregnant.  I tried to reassure him that he was just having these feelings because he was stressed about everything and needed an emotional distraction but he maintained that his feelings were real.  I told William about all of this because I thought it was important to be honest, I had no idea this information would be revised and used against me later.  I told my boss over and over again that I was in a committed relationship and that I was not going anywhere and that he and his wife should get counseling, which they did.  But at some point, he was overwhelmed and decided to tell her that he was in love with another woman.  From what I understand which is second-hand, he was honest with her and said that nothing had ever happened between us but that he was still in love with me.  Apparently though, the fact that we had no physical contact whatsoever was of no relevance.  The fact that I was not in love with him was of no relevance. 24 hours later, we were both fired. This also happened to occur the same weekend that William left.  Yeah, real shitty weekend! And has my boss ever called to apologize for his lapse in judgment which cost me my job? No.  Has he ever called the “love of  his life” to see how I am doing? No.  So again, no resolution.

I suppose the worst aspect of 2011 is that it has left me questioning everything.  I was a solid Buddhist before all of this.  I believed in astrology and the Aquarian Age shift, hell I was stoked about it.  I believed that people were inherently good but that every now and they messed up.  I believed that I was in a good relationship with a good guy.  I believed that I was on my way to having a career in an industry that I loved.  I believed that you get out what you put in.  I believed that all my hard work was going to pay off.  I believed that everything works out in the end.

So 2011, good riddance.  I am so ready for this year to be over. 2012 Bring it on! End of the world? Whatever, my world already ended. Bring it on!  This year WILL be better.  This year will be what I make of it! This year I will not be naive.  This year I will not let other people interfere with my goals and my standards for myself.  This year I will not be caught off guard.  This year is going to be about me and my quest to be the best version of myself possible.  And I can not wait!

Mardi, c’est triste

In search of truth,

discovered only lies

moods controlled by outside stimuli

opinions are shackles,

leaving bruised flesh.

 

Monday was much more promising

Sunday was fooled by creativity

Mardi is perplexing and sad

 

Self-esteem resting on the shoulders of others

it is a dangerous game

one moment ecstasy

and next the inevitable fall

 

why should your apathy

be met with my agony?

why is my value assigned by your insensitivity?

 

how do I overcome this red cherry funk?

 

the last remnants of a lost love,

encased by cardboard on a patio

written words,

pictures,

cards,

all of them meaningless now

 

circumstances change rapidly when you are comfortable

and when fraught with confusion they loiter lasciviously

mercredi be merciful

I need the respite

 

 

 

The Healing Power of Music

For many years, I have enjoyed singing and music.  If you were to peruse through my Ipod your first thought would most likely be Wtf, who is this chick?  I have a vast array of live techno sets from Ibiza, Club Space in Miami and the now long forgotten Love Parade in Germany.  But hidden amidst the electronica you would find Erykah Badu, NIN, Etta James, Janis Joplin, the Deftones, Jay-Z, The Smiths, A Perfect Circle and many more.  I suppose my musical tastes say a lot about who I am as a person.  I am girlie, soulful, tough, vulnerable, intense, complicated, sexy and an endless well of emotional depth.  My friends usually know exactly what mood I am in by what I am listening to.  I see the expression on their faces when they come in to my house and I am jamming to Hole or riding in the car when I put on Fiona Apple.  Its one of those days is it?  I run to Dj Tiesto and when I was still fighting for a living, the boxing gym could usually overhear 36 Mafia or Pit Bull.  That is what I love most about music, no matter what mood I am in or what I am going through in life it seems someone knows exactly what I am feeling and they have put it into words.

Several months ago, I decided that I wanted to be one of those people.  I want to write down everything inside me and have it emerge gloriously out of my mouth.  I want to share my happiness and my pain.  I want to be able to sing a note and have it touch someone else the way that I have been touched by so many artists.  So I decided to seek out a voice coach, against my better judgement.  You see, all my life I have been an athlete.  I was an elite level gymnast until high school, I played volleyball, I boxed professionally and as of last year I am a five time National Champion Equestrian.  I have so much confidence in my physical abilities but when it comes to music and other arts I have hidden in the corner.  Maybe it is because I feel so much more vulnerable singing, letting people read my poetry and even writing this blog.  I suppose that I have always been afraid that I would not be as good at things of this nature as I am doing anything that requires athleticism.  For once in my life though, my passion for music and my need to purge all that lies beneath is so great that I have thrown caution to the wind and dug in.

My voice coach is the most amazing woman and I always leave feeling like I am a better person for going.  She has taught me that perfection is not only unattainable but unnecessary.  She has also taught me that I am my own worst enemy and my worst critic, not to mention that because of her I can hit notes I never thought imaginable.  The thing about singing in front of someone is that in that moment of total vulnerability you are you, at your most raw.  There is no hiding, no pretense and thankfully for me, no judgment.  I am merely told, do it this way or try this and see if it is easier and sounds better.  I relish the freedom that I feel there.  It is as if when I am there, I can feel myself growing.  More importantly, I can feel myself healing.  My voice lessons have also lead me to start a band with the help of a dear and extremely talented friend. We began working on our first track last week and it has been revolutionary.

Last night my friend and I started the production on our track as many of the lyrics had already originated from recent journal entries.  We sat and played piano and guitar and hemmed and hawed over what the base line would be and what we should do with the melody in the second stanza and so forth.  As I struggled to create, I stopped for a moment and thought how lovely it was that in that moment all the suffering that I had been feeling had dissipated. This struck me as particularly odd because the entire song was about my recent break up.  So why was I not as upset anymore?  I believe that the therapy in this process for me was that while they were my words and my experiences, I was forced to contemplate it in a more analytical way when I transitioned the emotion to music.  I felt more removed and more connected at the same time.  It was such a beautiful development.   For hours, my attention was solely on the music.  My mind was not bogged down with the events of the day or the ghosts of my past, just the music.  I finally understood why so many people enjoy this process.  It is a healing process.  It is creation from destruction.  It is a light in the darkest corner of my soul.  It is that which fills the void in my heart that has been so pervasive.  It reminds me to be appreciative.

I am so thankful to have found this new talent and to be supported by all of my friends in this endeavor.  I am so thankful to be working towards a better understanding of myself and to end an era of unhealthy self-judgement.  I am thankful for all the musical interludes to my pain.  Lastly, I am even thankful for the disaster that brought me here.  If I had not been completely broken down, I never would have had the courage to embark on this journey.  So whether I end up on a stage in front of hundreds, recording in a famous studio or singing for my animals in my living room, I am thankful that someone stripped all of my armor away and left me in such a lowly place that all I could do was be myself and try to heal.

 

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
– Buddha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3biZkA-TNvs