When You’re Missing Something

It has been months since I wrote an actual blog post and I miss it terribly. Not having time to write creatively has made me realize how much I enjoy that kind of writing. And how much I miss it.

So, today, as I sit watching the first storm of April 2017 outside my office windows, I’ve decided that I am going to take the time to do some free writing. My hope is that it will be today’s blog post AND that it will spark more regular writing, and therefore more regular posts here again.

When life gets busy the natural consequence is that you have to give up some things. With a new job, finishing my yoga certification, taking some courses, having a new grand-baby, beginning to teach yoga classes. . .it’s the writing that has fallen by the wayside. Throughout the last few months I have realized that I need creativity in my life. Creativity and the space to be creative.

In recent weeks some parts of my job have become particularly challenging and I found myself falling into some old patterns of negativity and angst. Both emotional reactions that can result in an overall sense of unhappiness. I know from past experience that in order to bring stability into my life a creative outlet is necessary.

It is the habits we cultivate in life that make us who we are and we certainly can cultivate negative habits as easily as positive ones. Any habit is the result of practicing that habit, therefore I will need to get back into a routine of regular writing. It is not easy to change habits because it requires a great deal of commitment, will power, and focus. Sometimes a mantra (“Just write” ~ “You can do it”) is helpful and making the time is essential.

Starting small will allow me some feeling of success and that will be a reward in itself. This is a time to let the ‘noise’ of the world around me dissipate ~ listening to the voices that say “not good enough”, “not enough”, “no one cares” will not prove helpful, so I will practice pushing the negative noises away and replace them with affirmations like “I did it”, “every voice is important”. In this way I am creating a sense of positivity related to the habit I want to increase.

To cultivate is to prepare and use something, so in order to cultivate the habits I want in my life I will need to dig, hoe, mulch, and weed as necessary to ensure I am providing the most fertile ground for the habits to thrive in. As the words begin to take root and grow that will be the encouragement to maintain the habit and return equilibrium to my world.

The Blessings of our Children

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my youngest son as he prepares to celebrate his 32nd birthday. At a recent gathering I chatted with a young father about his toddler and what he has in store over the next few years. This young man spoke tenderly of his excitement at the creativity and inquisitiveness that he knew his young son was about to embark upon, and his musings took me by the hand and down a path of reflections of my Asa as a young child.

Over his 32 years he has given me an abundance of precious moments, but as a toddler he had me laughing with not only humor but amazement, and crying with joy and wonder. In my walk down that reflective path I recalled the period of time when I was in graduate school and writing papers often. We had an electric typewriter, which three-year-old Asa was infatuated with. In between my paper writing, Asa would want to do his own writing, so I would make a big show of putting a blank paper into the typewriter and let him ‘write’. He would tap tap tap on the keys for several minutes, and then whip the page out enthusiastically while shouting “Read it to me, read it to me!” So, I would look carefully at his page of typographical gibberish and make up a story, pretending to read it as if they were words he had actually typed on the page. He sat spellbound, listening to what he believed he had created himself. Pleased with himself, he would want to write again, and again, and again. Each time, over several days, he fell for my innocent deceptions. And then one day. . .the tables turned. Again, he sat tap tap tapping on the keys, creating a new masterpiece. On this day he excitedly pulled the page from the typewriter asking me to “Read it, read it!” Again, I began to ‘read’ his story as I made up my own silly bit of fiction to entertain him. This time, however, he chubby little face looked so disappointed. I couldn’t imagine why this story, not much varied from so many others I’d made up recently should not please him. When I asked him what was the matter he blubbered, “That’s not what I wrote!” Oh, no, I thought. Now what will I do? “Oh my goodness, I guess Mommy forgot how to read, so you will have to read it to me,” I squealed. “I can’t wait to hear your story.” He hesitated, not sure he could trust me, while I held my breath, hoping he’d fall for this new deception. After a few seconds he took the paper, smiled confidently and began to read his story.

On occasion, Asa the toddler would have a spell of naughtiness – or perhaps I would have a spell of impatience – and I would send him to his room. He would get as far as the stairs and begin to dawdle, watching my every move. I would catch his eye and say, “You had better get going,” in that threatening way that only mothers can do. He would move up a step or two, every so slowly, still watching my every move. “I’m going to count to 3 and you had better be up in your room by the time I get to three,” I would threaten. Then he would take another excruciatingly slow step upward or just turn away as if he couldn’t hear me. That’s when I would begin the count. . .one. . .two. . .
And honestly, it was so comical to watch him that by now I couldn’t really even remember why I’d felt the need for him to go to his room, but a parent couldn’t back down could she? I couldn’t let him think I didn’t mean it, could I? “. . .and a quarter,” I would say, adding in “I’m almost there, you better get moving mister.” Trying to sound stern, like I meant it though at this point I really only wanted to avoid laughing out loud and blowing my whole stern mother act. “Two and a half. . .” And though I’m sure he knew nothing of fractions at his tender age, whenever I’d get to two and three quarters he would race up the stairs into his room.

Between the ages of four and five years Asa had a vivid imagination which included many imaginary friends. On one occasion when we were stopping at McDonalds I prepared to close the truck door behind me when he said, “Wait, wait, my friends aren’t all out yet!” At this point I was use to his references to ‘friends’ that I knew only existed in his mind, so I apologized and waited patiently as he ‘watched’ his friends get out of the truck and chatted with each one amicably. It seemed to be taking quite a bit of time, so finally I asked, “How many friends did you bring with us today?” His matter-of-fact reply was, “26.” Wow, I thought, beginning to wonder how it might go if he insisted on getting Happy Meals for all 26. He must has sensed my concern because he quickly added, “Don’t worry Mom, they already ate.”

These are only a few of the moments that make the years of child rearing the best years of my life. For me there were countless memories of raising boys that make me laugh, and cry, and feel so much pride that I’m sure my heart will burst from my chest. I think of these precious memories often, but especially now, as I wait to hear the news of a new grandchild, likely to be born on the same day his or her dad was born. Though it’s been 32 years since he was born, my heart is no less full of love and excitement at remembering. And this year my heart overflows with love and hope for this new blessing who is sure to bring Asa his own precious moments of parenting that will be with him forever.

I wish you the happiest of birthdays Asa and baby Smedley, and much joy as you embark on this new adventure together!

Yoga Certified

Wow! This journey of becoming a certified yoga teacher has been a fantastic adventure of learning, reflection, and camaraderie. Beginning in August of 2015 and ending August 2016, a group of 18 came together for one weekend each month to delve into the world of yoga. Along with that I found myself also delving deeper into the self, striving to better understand the inner workings that led me to this wonderful experience.

the-gang

Like the transformation of caterpillar to butterfly, emerging from the safety of Heart Space Yoga and teacher trainer Andrea Thibaudeau has been a metamorphosis of sorts. We delved into the history and philosophy of yoga, anatomy, and dived deeply into ourselves, becoming more aware of all that we need to feel spiritually and physically complete.

My most powerful takeaway is that I already have within in me, as do all living things, what is needed to be fulfilled. To learn to trust your own wisdom is a compelling lesson – one that should not be forgotten or dismissed. As I move forward with newfound skills and knowledge I hope to instill this same teaching into the work I do with others. Another way of saying this is that each of us is enough, just as we are. At our core is perfection and when we take the time to look inward with awareness and a non-judgmental mind, we can see the perfection that exists within. Perfection does not mean without flaws or challenges, but rather that what we are is all we need to be. This does not mean we never change, because without change there is not growth. By looking inward we can recognize the challenges we face. Andrea often referred to this as ‘the rub’ – those things we encounter in life that make us feel a bit uncomfortable. These ‘rubs’ are the truths we want to access through self-awareness and when we treat them as opportunities to expand we can enhance our lives.

Moving toward my own expansion and a desire to bring the world of yoga and mindfulness to others, I am taking steps to creating my own studio and offering of classes. I am so excited about the possibilities, which are endless. To begin I have ordered the supplies I will need to teach my classes. . .

They arrived this week~
theyve-arrived-2

Whew! What a load of boxes! I was so excited that I poured myself a glass of wine and went to work making a celebration of the unpacking ~ and look how wonderful my props are~

yoga-props-2

My hope is to tie nature into my yoga practices and so I went for the natural, earthy tones and hope my students will love them as much as I do. More importantly I hope I will put them to good use helping others.

I immediately invited my husband to a little restorative session with the new props and I think he appreciated my experimentation. He certainly looked relaxed.

As I move forward on this journey I will be looking for places to offer classes. I have been approached by a number of friends and acquaintances, mostly in the 50-70 age group, and I am working on developing classes for beginners as well as restorative classes for those who need more directed relaxation and mindfulness time or those who have physical limitations.

I have added “Sweetwater Studios” to my menu bar on the home page of the blog, where readers can access information about Sweetwater Studios~Fitness, or Sweetwater Studios~Photography.

There is so much to be appreciative for these days, and so many who have, and continue to support me in my journey!

Namaste to you all!

heart hands

Moving at a Fast Pace

Over the past few months I feel as though I’ve been neglecting my blog. It’s not a good feeling – I equate it to neglecting a good friend, a spouse, or a child. Blogging has been the thing that has kept me connected to regular writing and when it becomes less regular it is as though something essential is missing.

It certainly isn’t that I don’t have anything to say, it’s more that I haven’t had the time to devote to it recently. Life is so full of many exciting ventures that sometimes what is a priority at any given time becomes part of the ebb and flow of life. Like the ocean’s tide, at times certain aspects of life move closer to shore and at other times some aspects move further away. As most do, I try to ride the current that is life, and recently my blogging is ebbing while my career is flowing. That will change and I must learn to be patient and recognize how the tide is changing in my life.

Since water is the analogy today I will take the time to share some recent pictures I’d taken during a recent outing to Lake Willoughby when the lake was more intimidating than I’ve seen it before. Enjoy, and let them take you on your own journey of recognizing what may be flowing through your own life right now.

821 6 - Copy - Copy
821 21 - Copy - Copy
821 7 - Copy - Copy
821 5 - Copy - Copy
821 9 - Copy - Copy
821 18 - Copy - Copy
821 playing with water and light - Copy - Copy
821 13 - Copy - Copy
821 12 - Copy - Copy

Trees

tree swing

I have always been fascinated by trees. I notice trees often, as I’m traveling along the highway, or the back roads. Sometimes, as I look out across the field at home I can’t notice individual trees – it’s nothing like the saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” meaning one gets so caught up in the details they don’t see the big picture. For me, as I look at the forest that is my view I can’t see the details of each tree. I guess you’d say I can’t see the trees for the forest. So I often wander into that forest to get a closer look at the details.

late afternoon on sweetwater lane - Copy
Because trees are as unique as people, every one has something to offer. There are many ways to look at a tree. . .

Think first of their strength and durability. From the exotic fruit trees to the redwoods, they endure for ages.

apples and rainbows

How about their versatility? Some trees seem able to grow anywhere. It must take a great deal of tenacity to grow out of rocks.

growing anywhere

Trees, of course, are so generous as well, giving so many gifts to those in need, or in the know.

This is spring

Duck Pond 3

first fire

bird 4

Trees can be inspirational as well.

first 2015 hike - Copy (2)

Christmas-craft-for-kids-13

DSCN7997

If you’ve read my posts about the Animal Cards you may understand that different animals are associated with particular characteristics, so that if any one comes into your life at a certain time, you might understand what that means by understanding the meaning associated with that animal.

I think it can be much the same with trees. The next time you are walking near trees, try to sense if there is a particular tree that you are drawn to and ask yourself why. Why that tree? What characteristics of certain trees are you drawn to at any given time and how does that reflect what you may need in your life at the moment?

Y ?

Y ?

tree to watch week 6 - Copy

Green and orange - Copy

With this season of renewal upon us, do take time to notice the new life emerging all around you, and maybe take time to climb a tree just for the fun of it!

Or maybe just be the tree!

be the tree