Flying isn’t just for dreaming

I think my yoga practice has done me a disservice in an area of of life. I don’t blame yoga, I blame the somewhat icky pursuit of balance. Different extremes perhaps being safely over explored in my yoga practice. Ok wtf am I talking about–right? I am talking about- not taking action. Yoga started out for me from a place of non-action, awaiting, meditating and grounding my oh so restless soul in a consistent practice, (or at least trying to.) We all are in need something at different times whether it’s a hug, money, home, community, health, sleep, food, god, laughter, space, closeness. So as  free bird, I came into yoga having worn my wings out. I came into yoga to chill the f*out and find space between my thoughts. On my mat, I found that- now I’m pretty chill, and grateful- and it’s time to test my wings again, safely. So I’ve decided to jot down what I would do, if I could do anything. If I could fly. What I came up with was this: 

Eat when I’m hungry. Move when I’m restless. Sleep when I’m tired. Travel when I want to see. Help where I’m needed. Cry when I’m sad. Laugh when it’s funny. Talk when I need to be heard. Listen when I need to hear. Go where I need to go. Trust money/ support will be there. Take care of myself. Take care of others. Feel healthy. Feel nourished. Feel warm. Feel rested. Feel peaceful. Love wholeheartidly. Be open to connection. Be kind. Trust my gifts are enough. Trust my intuition moment to moment as a guide leading me. Be present. Pursue that which I deeply want, deeply love, and deeply am invested in-  meanwhile releasing all the rest.

Sweetly, lovingly, patiently reminding myself over and over this is the unfolding of a life. 

Oh so I made some cookies, they are simple and yummier than regular chocolate chip cookies, gluten free so go ahead have one, hey have three with a glass of almond milk. I don’t have photos because my phone won’t upload them. But you can use your imagination. 

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these things are certain

I used to do this alot, ask myself what I knew for certain.. Usually a few things when I was completely uncertain about everything else.

1. I did the right thing, although the right thing doesn’t always feel right (or let’s say feel good.) The winter kicked my ass to kingdom come and back but it’s right, here is right.

2. I love outdoors, I need to be outdoors, dirty, wet grass, wind, water, trees. Yes, I am home here. 

3. This job I love I don’t even think I’m “working.” I work with people outdoors as we connect and discover what it is they are longing for and I encourage them to connect to themselves over and over and over and in doing so I do the same.

4. I am on retreat, all is small, all is quiet, it’s not going to be this way forever but it’s how it needs to be right now.

5. Nothing, absolutely nothing is what you think it is going to be. 

6. My dog has taught me more about love than anything I have ever had with another human being, so far. 

7.  A long walk fixes mostly anything.

8. I’m creating something as I follow the breadcrumbs step by step, it’s coming slow and with patience and it may not be grandiose or spectacular but it will still be- and it will be mine. 

9. When I deny me, who I really am, what I feel, dream, love it eats away at my insides and if I don’t catch it, it will destroy me but if I catch it it will save me.

  

gifts

I’m tight on cash.

Meaning I don’t have any.

I’m acting frugal while eating lots of lentils.

I decided to treat myself to a movie today a matinee for $4.75 and I brought my own popcorn. I arrive at the theater debit card in hand to hear the hipster behind the counter sweetly say ‘We don’t take debit, but there’s an ATM behind you.” I felt an ouch a big one. Ya see I came out early to make it to the $4.75 movie so that I could justify taking myself to the movies and now if I am to use the ATM that is behind me with its added fee I can no longer justify this expense. I take a deep breath. Wow a choke-y sort of breath and start to exit the theater with my head drooped.

I hear this voice behind me – Miss. Miss.

It’s the gentleman that had been standing in line behind me. He asks me what the problem is and I say  it’s not a problem Sir they just don’t take cards. How much is it? He asks. $4.75 I say-but Sir you CAN”T buy my movie ticket. Sure I can-he smiles hands over a five and walks away. I can hardly breath so instead I begin to cry in the middle of the theatre lobby, hard I am crying hard. I return to the register and hand the girl this five. Tears are coming down my face and I think I know why but I’m still not quite sure.

First off and most obviously I am in awe of the kindness of this stranger that so graciously handed me a five as if I was one of his daughters. But even more moved I am that I was able to take it. It’s hard for me to accept gifts and really believe I deserve them. I felt I deserved it enough that I  took it plus I did drive all the way across town. I don’t always trust that things are going to be okay, I don’t always think I can handle everything on my own. A lot of the time I don’t know how I’m going to get by and then I receive a gift in some shape, size or form. I used to avoid these gifts they hurt my pride and inside I felt undeserving. Today I saw that this was my gift it had my name on it and I was allowed to take it. So thank- you sweet gentleman–you have probably long forgot me but I have not forgotten you.

I made some mini-cupcakes as a gift for you yes you  for being alive and filling the world with your gifts. You know how I feel about cupcakes, but these are sparkly and so tiny that they can hardly take the pressure of what it means to actually be a cupcake they are child-like and there’s nothing pretentious about them, they are just happy to be here.

Angels

Angels come in strange forms.

But I know they are angels because they come out from the cracks in the earth or through the air and pop into my bubble to rescue me or really just to wake me up.

One has a Russian accent and fixes cars out of his garage while his 4 screaming children scarf down pizza . He just smiles and patiently repeats car lingo to me that I try to understand.

One is a a temporary co-worker who I feel I have known my whole life, reminding me of the friendship I somehow forgot I needed out here.

And of course, there the two hippie angels from my Eastern soils who put the ripe bananas aside for me and ask me how my day was.

And there’s the angel who works at Sears. He attends church each Sunday and besides those hours he always picks up his phone. His mother raised him well and it’s somehow just in his bones to be a good guy.

There’s the one who fixed my broken wiper in the rain and the one who I helped carry cupcakes to his car. These angels are everywhere, they are all around us just let them get you.  It’s worth taking flight.

I think they drop in our little lives to wake us up just at the right times. Just to say — Hey you ! You don’t know everything. I love you. Let me help you. Help me. Wake up! I’m here. Just look up.

I made an Angel Food Cake to share with all them, including you. Enjoy.

Superpowers & Confetti

I struggle with moments.

I’m really bad at small talk.

I sometimes think I don’t have to abide by the rules everyone else does.

I tend to live in the gray, leaning towards a purple-ish gray.

Sometimes it’s best for me to live on the earth not in the ether where I prefer to be. I do fall for magic more often than the average Joe. I doubt I’ll ever stop, I certainly hope I don’t. I never know really how I am taken care of but I trust even if I’m not feeling it.

When I’m in the moments I tend to want the ones that have passed or I plan the ones to come. I live some days in a state of nostalgia that I can’t seem to shake fondly re-watching snap shots of an old life. Otherwise I’m hooked into this feeling that I’m waiting for my life to begin. I have this tendency to run from the moments or hang out too long in them. I fear letting them be perfect, which I hear they are. Always.

Presence. It’s actually our greatest superpower, the ability to be fully awake right now.

You know those perfect moments where everything is okay and sound and still but still moving? I want to be  living a life of those moments I do not expect them all at once. I need more practice I’m all about preparing right now. I’d just like  to know I am eventually working towards them being steadier. For now it just takes being here in today.

Simple, right?

Right… Meanwhile have some cake, it’s fun. That’s all I have to say about it.

Sukha

I don’t know what my kind is.

You know the yogurt swirl machines that give you the chocolate and the vanilla swirled together? That feels like me most of the time. I like things new and old. I like to wear lipstick and hiking boots. I like the city and the woods. I like adventure and I dream of being home. I like the pulse of people and crave being solo and silent.

I don’t know a lot of the time because I feel I am a swirl of these contradictions. I want to explore every landscape there is while planting my feet long enough to watch things grow.

Lately I want to stay still. I want badly to sit long enough to not have to move. I want to show up for people and have them know I am not just passing through. I want to bake and to kiss cheeks daily. I want holidays to come and go and gardens to grow and storefronts to move, but me to stay here. I want to get bored, and survive it. I do not know if this is possible, I do not know what will come of me in all of it. Even if I would recognize myself afterwards.

Sometimes I eat a lot of sugar; sometimes I eat a lot of kale.

Sometimes I run races, sometimes I put on music and dance like a curly fry till I can feel my heart beat again.

Some days I want to bake and know that it is not the day for cake especially with all the kale I’m taking in.

Hands down the more things I eat directly out of the soil the better I am over all.

I made black bean brownies today. . Just to see what all the hype was about, and to contradict myself just a tiny bit more.

They were not good. I like beans in tacos. I like brownies with ice-cream. They do not need to be together, ever.

sibling-ly sweet

BEING back East for the holiday felt like being back in the cocoon. I loved it in a way I haven’t had access to until now. Relaxing and taking it easy does not come natural to me.  Despite my lifestyle, despite my ache to treasure these moments and just be able to sit here clueless a majority of the time whilst still being okay ; I worry more than I want to, more than I need to. I once went to an astrologer who told me a lot of things I already knew. BUT, one thing she said that I remember so clearly was that; worry was a negative pray. I guess that means each time I worry, I have to double my prayer to cancel out the worry and from there add the prayer back on.

My time spent at home gave me some space to not have to mull over my future, my bills, what my days were going to look like tomorrow, where I’ll wind up, who will be there. I was just simply  home loving these people and having a holiday.

YOU remember how we felt as kids before the scar tissue began to build? That contentment, safety, harmony and freedom? .. I know, I need to get back there.

The choice to move 3,500 miles from all that is farmilar to me, makes it now my job to create that feeling for myself. I think it might be becoming more adult, taking on this role of making good happen for yourself. Grabbing hold of that  love and sparkle with everything you’ve got and taking it with you everywhere.

How I get there can be different depending on the day; some days it’s kicking my own butt into gear and getting a job even though I want to make my money working for myself. Other days it’s watching Ted Danson movies all morning just because I need to smile more. But whatever it is, it’s listening and becoming quiet enough to hear from the inside.

I wrote out some 2012 Resolutions but used words I like better Declarations…Spirits…Movements. .I made a vow to eat more greens and less sugar, especially before bed and to love myself daily, not just on my good days.

It’s a NEW YEAR magic is about to happen. I’m pretty excited about it when I’m not scared shitless.

Okay so as for  baking I did quite a bit of that while I was home, which warmed my soul and softened my belly. I made both of my siblings a cake; My baby brother who turned 20 , twenty years old– got a butterscotch cake  …He is my most favorite person in the world to watch eat.

My sister requested a red velvet cake  which came out so red, 1/4 a cup of food coloring later.. She is still finding red food coloring around her house ( I can be a messy baker).. It’s such an elegant cake, I highly recommend it if you wanna seduce someone. This case was purely a PG family cake. I’m just saying you could.

Self Talk

I spoke to a friend last night. . I listened as she told me the things she tells herself. She’s applying for this job she really wants. She tells herself she doesn’t deserve it; she doesn’t have the skill, ECT.

Now this is a beautiful, witty, sassy, smart gal… I’m standing there listening to her give me her self talk- that abuse we give to ourselves. It is abuse; if anyone else spoke to us that way we’d be out the door. I noticed myself saying back to her that this talk was unacceptable. This was not okay; that we can no longer accept this as proper behavior. We must hear ourselves when we begin to speak this way, and we must talk back saying this is not an option; this will no longer be tolerated. I said this to her, to us, but especially to me.

Now I want to say it so loudly and so clearly that it scares the shit of me. That I hear it loud enough to make my ears ring, and once they stop ringing, I shout it out again.

We are capable of all of it; we are powerful beyond the measuring tools our parents gave us to play with as kids. We are Kings and Queens of kindness and love.  We must claim our seats and space here, while scattering all the love we can muster into every corner of our little nitche and then beyond. Touching other spaces and people and altering the way they see their own plots.

I decided a good place to start preaching from would be in the future…. In a letter of advice from a women I look up to, and who’s advice I can trust.

ME (. . .at 85 years old )

My Dear-

You are doing better than you think you are. I know you are in a rush to get somewhere, but enjoy this, you are safe now you can  live this .

Love more. I know you think you love a lot; you do, but there’s always more.

Give it up; those things you think you can’t let go of. Give them up too.

Stop saying you can’t stop thinking you can’t. Stop it. Do it. Live this day. It’s not going to last forever.

Love your body, your butt especially (because you hate it). . It’s a family heirloom, it’s not going anywhere.

Do what you love. Do all of it! Dabble and dance in it all, don’t turn on yourself. You will create things. I’ve seen them.

Take it easy. Drive slower. Sip your coffee. Chew your food. Hug people. Listen more. Breath. Be patient with your learning.

Say yes. Just say yes.

Trust me, it’s all unfolding.

prayer helps

I’ve been praying a lot. .

I sat next to a lady with her kids today , two  boys, at Whole Foods, eating turkey dinners.. It  took ages for her to get them settled and eating. Each time she tried to eat, they needed something. I sat there finished with my tofu soup  just in awe.. Awe of how little I know.. She had to wait so long to eat herself. How does she do it? be so unselfish?

It made me pray hard, to be less selfish myself, so that someday maybe I can be like this lady.

Then when I got home I prayed again, I prayed  for a successful cake… reason?

I had my very first cake sale !

Boy was this a lesson-full day. A friend needed a birthday cake to say some funny little inside joke and somehow show an Romanian flag. I immediately went to this place of needing to do some ace of cakes extravaganza , and how I can’t possibly do this. . and how much I hate writing on cake . . blah blah. . I made a chocolate cake using a new recipe . bad idea . . it was not particually successful. Luckily my mother taught me about freezing stuff. She loves to freeze things; soups, half loaves of bread, cassaroles. My new thing; freezing my cake flops. (AKA my cakes that don’t come out so great)  but that I also don’t want to just throw away. Cakes that I will happily mend some day in the future.
So after freezing the first one. I prepared to make another one with an old trusted recipe. Topped it with some buttercream. And then I was stuck . . I didn’t want to use the crappy colored tubes for cake writing , but I was unable to think myself out of this dilema . . and I was displeased  with my Romanian m&m flag and my chicken scratch attempt, which I will not post photos of.

Luckily and possibly due to my cake prayers, I had an artistic angel come to my rescue. I love angels in the form of people.

Together we made this cake look a lot better .

So My lesson in all this was; I needed to expand my thinking around this cake. As an artist I need to think outside the box. . I can get an assignment like this, and filter it in a way that works for me and feels creative and fun. This project wound up being fun , once I asked for help and got creative. All it too was some colored paper and paper clips!

I was also on a pretty big sugar high yes I ate the leftovers…

Day of the Dead

We are celebrating life and death this week. The mystery of it all. My thoughts were who knows if we’ll be around tomorrow? So might as well eat some cake and smile a little. We are also celebrating the ending of tukisweet and the beginning of the yoga of cake. Ya dig?

This is monumental, this is divine, and it’s going to involve lots of frosting.

Really it’s still me baking cakes, talking about life, standing on my head , loving it all up as best I can.

So Day of The Dead ! It was third Thursday on Alberta and my friend Rachael was playing music at The Guardino Gallery.

I was asked to make a cake!

I made a simple yummy chocolate cake with buttercream frosting .. I could tell who was eating my cake because their mouths were blue from the icing.

I stood around and tried not to smile, because I was supposed to be dead.

That part was really hard…

I had fun and met some other nice dead people.

 My mentality around this cake was eat it , who knows if there will be another chance? Let’s enjoy our time here, it’s precious.

Alright, BUT seriously some days?. . some days are hard. Some days you lose your job, some days you spend chasing your tail and never catching it , some days you feel more uprooted than you did before you began to root, some days are just days and you don’t have the answer to anything. So instead of indulging in this rat race and running full speed ahead, letting it crawl under the skin, tickling every single tail feather..We have the option to crawl (usually my mode because I’ve worn myself out pretty good) or walk our way back to the here and now. Simply to just being alive.