check please

Lately I sort of feel stunted. I have always felt a bit different. I have often wondered why I don’t seem to float easily along with the rest of the pack instead beating to the sound of my own drum, while dancing out of tune.

You see I don’t know and I struggle with those who think they do. Those who seem to have their ducks in line and have made it.

Since I have back here (the land of my birth) I see lots of diamonds of hands and babies in bellies. I see people I have known for most of my life. I see movement and I wonder if I am moving in that direction too? I wonder how much we perceive each other’s growth by what we see on one another’s outsides. If we do perceive this growth by our outsides then ut-oh…

I had two interactions simultaneously yesterday I’d like to share.

I will start by saying I am waitressing- not the most fulfilling of jobs but I am grateful for the money and I get to feed people healthy food. Yesterday I had these two separate tables both people I know and have met numerous times- both did not remember ever meeting me. Both of these people are involved in the performing arts. I served these people their sushi and tea and the woman didn’t even look at me. She was in a conversation and engaged in her own thing. The man was pretentious and made stereotypical snide comments. My point; both of these people are successful and creative in ways I would like to someday be- but they suck at being nice.

Why is that? That we are successful and have this drive but lose sight of what is around us? We lose sight of the people waiting on us & cooking our food that is helping us sustain this growth. Can we simply take one moment to lift up our chins and say thank you?

Lesson that these lovely folks taught me; smile more and say thank you more. I never want to be so busy being important that I don’t see all this around me working in union to keeping me alive.

At this moment..

Inspired by: partlyitstheboots.wordpress.com

What I’m lovin …. Fall, colors yellow/orange, eating squash, the flavor; pumpkin, the woods, tofu shoga, bola granola with greek yogurt, feeling home, feeling strong.

What I’m reading…. Be Here Now By: Ram Das, Courage By: Debbie Ford plus some menus, bills, food blogs, e-mails.

What I’m thinking about…. The past, forearm stands, the future, how cold it’s about to get, friends who are far away, the life that I want to have, sushi, solitude, change, here vs. there, New York, going back to school, escape routes, diamonds over rubies.

What I’m stressing about….taxes, car payments, trusting myself, this job, again more sushi, Japanese, my knees, my butt, my feet, if I made the wrong choice.

What I’m looking forward to…. it getting easier, being 27, my Saturn return, having a home of my own, theatre, clarity, working with kids, enough money plus some extra, snow, fires, new relationships.

What is making me happy…. this dog at my feet, a full belly, a morning of yoga, having plans, 5-dollar movies.

practice is sweet

Mmmm…. yoga.

I am missing my yoga studio in Portland. I am missing it big time my studio became my other home. Now back in the Berkshires I find myself bouncing around trying on new spots looking for my new home and some days simply enjoying the living room floor.

I am looking for my home here and it will take some time to find my niche but it will happen. Meanwhile truth is all I need is 1. myself 2. my mat  3. the willingness to show up on it.

The thing is yoga used to be for me something I could do like going for a hike or a run or a swim. But this has changed it is now something I have to do– to stay sane, to stay open and (this may seem dramatic)  but I do it to stay alive. You see yoga tells me what’s going on in my life- without the distraction of the world around me without the voices, it simply speaks the truth. So whatever it is that is going on- I can put the world on mute and tune into me.

I am going through a big transition and up against some changes in myself so I am taking it to the mat even more. I feel that it’s all I can do- when I don’t know what to do. So when I have a crying meltdown in the auto parts store (that has nothing to do with auto parts) or when I can’t sleep at night or when I talk to Verizon for two hours and they still don’t know what the problem is or when the people I love don’t act the way I want them to- I can let it go and not become a slave to each and every circumstance.

We all have these things we have to do and sometimes we forget they are not chores or obligations but they are there to provide a refuge amongst this storm we call life and in doing them life gets a little better.

In Memory of Douglas Brady

Douglas Brady was a kind friend  that I knew for a very short time and will remember forever. He died on August 11th 2012. Thank you Douglas. 

I met Douglas a year ago when my best friend and I were traveling across the country. I was searching for a new home now I see I was also searching for a new me. I was hoping that if I got far enough away from the old me she could disappear and the new me would be able to bounce into a life she was meant to be living.

Our list of stops included Boulder, Denver, LA, Portland and Seattle. We felt our freedom on the open road and this summer’s only mission was picking where we wanted to land. We arrived at Douglas’s house one hot afternoon in July. A mutual friend had connected us and Douglas agreed to put us up for two nights. Douglas was on his way to go swimming in a nearby creek so we followed him. As we rode up the canyons, my friend and I talked about travel and cities we had visited and loved. Douglas talked about the way a place can speak to you. He was speaking our language, and we were thrilled. At the creek I touched the water with my toes and it was colder than anything I’d ever touched so I opted out. Douglas, on the other hand, basked in the water–sat right down in that cold clear water, a smile lighting up his entire face.

After just our first meal with Douglas, I was changed. He spoke with such wisdom and seemed so comfortable in his own skin. I made a wish in my own heart that I could catch even the tiniest bit of what he had. I was unaware of how severe my chronic restlessness was at that time. My heart was longing to be anywhere besides where I was. Douglas sat with us at dinner and he asked my friend about her upbringing. She’d had heart surgery as a child, something I had never heard her talk about in detail. Douglas acknowledged her story and the pain that it must have caused. It became clear the story had been told many times but the pain part hadn’t ever been acknowledged, ever. He said this must have been traumatizing as a child. He told her it was possible to heal this and it would take work but she could do it, we all could. I listened to him, not seeing that I too could take the healing route that would in fact force me to change. I could talk the talk, but when it came to the walking part I was clueless.

These conversations with Douglas sparked more conversations between me and my friend as we continued back on the road together. We spoke about our childhoods and began to see that it’s not just the unlucky ones who have had this pain but we all have and as adults it has forced us to build walls, form habits, and have scars that we didn’t think anyone could see. Douglas helped us see deeper–and lovingly but with a truth that we couldn’t turn our backs on.

I continued to write to him as we traveled, letting him know where we were and what was calling us. We landed in Portland and began to set up our lives; it was challenging, and our friendship began to break down– until it didn’t seem repairable and we decided to let it go completely. I would write to Douglas about my challenges in relationship and how a part of me thought I was broken and I didn’t know how to be close to anyone. I’ll never forget the e-mail response from him–so simple and so clear: “These people are your teachers, Sam, that’s why they trigger you. You are here to learn.”

Life gives you gifts in all sizes and packages. Last summer meeting Douglas was the greatest gift two lost girls (with no idea they were lost) could have received. I am still a bit lost and maybe will always be in a sense–but souls like Douglas show me the right path, the one that gets me closer to finding my way again, closer and closer each day.

30 Things I Love Right Now

1. the scent of a tomato plant. 2. When I can smell a season coming especially fall– I love smelling fall in the summer it soothes me to know even this won’t last forever. 3.  ice cream  4. The phrase; You can do anything but you can’t do everything.  5.  To bask among giants (tj, laura, angela.) 6. Cat ears  literal ones and the ones you use to keep your place. 7. Jupiter (my car) that looks like a floating planet and represents Abundance. 8. Inspiration over Envy. 9. Common denominators= Me. 10. Saying “I’m sorry” and having it mean something. 11. Falafel 12. Friday book babies with Arlo- 3 days a week I sit for a 10 month old baby. I get to temporarily enter the world of motherhood. On Friday mornings we visit the local library with bunches of other babies we read sing and blow bubbles together. 13. When he sings what I can’t  put into words 14. When she writes what I can’t put into words. 15. The dog that I don’t have yet but when I do I will name him Stanton. 16. Making space  .17. The phrase a father of one of my characters would tell me daily and now on a coin I keep in my back pocket; To thine own self be true. 18. Running at night. 19. Su who brings me avocados. 20. Cat waterbeds- I was reminded today from my dad of when I was a kid and we owned a Snack Bar. There was a frozen yogurt machine and my dad would always have to empty these big plastic bags of liquid yogurt into the machines. One day he had the genius idea to re-fill these bags with water and call them cat water-beds ( as a joke.) The thing is the customers caught on and  wanted them for their cats and so my dad put them out for sale and they sold . 21. Sunshine. 22. Telling the truth. 23. My students who share with me their stories on how yoga changed their lives and I can say back to them – me too. 24. My counsel of wise women that I can call scattered around this country that let me cry over phones. 25. Geneen Roth. 26. Split shots of Clarity. 27That I never feel deprived from not dining out- because I’ve discovered I can cook anything and in my opinion it’s just as good as any restaurant- usually better . 28. Leaving. 29. Staying. 30. Not making a difference either way.

Trial & Error

Recent lesson learning through the list of don’ts and discoveries;

I don’t want to live in a city where I have to drive everywhere. I’m actually not sure if I want to live in the city at all. I’ve always seen myself as a secret country gal with a yearning for movement this usually manifests into a city. But when I’m in the country I melt into myself more.

I don’t really care about amazing coffee. I secretly think I’m fine with bad coffee… I may be de-friended for this one; I squeal a little at the mention of a dunkin donuts.

I don’t want the career path I’ve recently started- so I have to go back.

I don’t want to live in the PNW. I can’t possibly experience everything, I remind myself sometimes every five minutes; you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. This could mean not moving so much regardless of how much there is out there and there is a lot.

I don’t want to not get to see my mom for 6 months and not be able to meet my dad for Indian food at least once a month.

I am no good with roommates it is just something I do not do well. I want to live solo for a while well with of course my future dog who I have named- Stanton.

I do not want to ever go as long as I did this past year with my head and my heart misaligned.

I am not very liberal this used to be stated on my facebook profile! I’m learning I’m actually quite conservative. I have learned that living in Portland, OR. You see I’m not into sleepovers with people I don’t love. I’m not into the constant go with the flow- no direction let’s ride skateboards to work barefoot scene. I kind of feel pot should be illegal. I’m more into clarity and day planners. That said I am liberal in the Obama-way just not the let’s all share groceries and partners and visit nude beaches on our days off kinda way. Maybe I am boring or maybe I am just growing up or both.

I don’t want to attract myself to things that aren’t healthy but are familiar. I think humans do that well.We keep going back to what we know despite how bad it is for us.  I know what’s good for me and I’m afraid of it most of the time, it looks boring and doesn’t keep me on my toes but ultimately it is peaceful and peaceful I’m seeing is not so bad in fact I’ll go as far as to say it’s all I’ve ever really wanted.

I do not actually enjoy being so temporary I used to love the feeling but I’m starting to hate it. An example – house sitting. What a luxury. I loved it. I wanted to do it for everyone all the time. I liked to play pretend and stay in other’s spaces. Thing is I am no longer six. And playing pretends it not as fun.  I want my own house, or at least my own studio.

You can; cut your hair, dye your hair, move across the country, lose 15 lbs, gain 20, change careers. You can do all these things but YOU will still be you and you are actually quite amazing.

Life is good

It’s summer and it’s hot. It’s heaven here actually. Something strange though about the heat, I am not very  hungry. I can live on watermelons, lots of them. Which is odd because I am not normally not hungry. I experience hunger very well.

So I was inspired today to make nachos, alas but the heat! I thought more along the lines of kale and fresh corn. The thing is kale and corn will not sustain me through hip-hop boot camp later.

So this is what I did. I tossed a delicious salad; kale, spinach, fresh corn, green beans, carrots, and cilantro. Then in the oven I baked some chips, with cheddar, and baked beans and wala ! Nacho salad.

Okay so there is more to this. . I tend to think in blacks and whites like you have to have either health; salad. or splurge; nachos. I am seeing it’s nicer to mix things up, not have to jump from highs to lows. Like it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, it can be more tranquil possibly? So I am practicing this behavior with nachos and salad. Mixing things up, I’m enjoying the beauties summer has to offer without having to abandon work. It is this idea that everything doesn’t have to be so strenuous and most importantly it is enough to simply live in the middle of these things.

Breath, relax and let go. love you.

Home

This Martha Graham quote has followed me for the past 10 years. I end up tacking it to whatever walls I inhabit as my temporary home.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.  You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU.  Keep the channel open… No artist is pleased…  There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

I relate to this divine dissatisfaction. But there are parts I don’t entirely agree with; that there is no satisfaction whatever at any time. I think there is satisfaction everywhere, around us all the time. But I do love reading this and I do agree that we cannot stay still in the satisfaction; there is a duty as artists to keep us marching. That part I dig.

I love being an artist but I have judged saying that I am one especially during the times I am not doing it for a living.  I am doing everything else; off exploring, stretching, baking, searching, writing, healing, climbing, struggling & healing. But making art is what I want to be doing & what I want to be close to. These other things I do are my life lessons and they help me to be better in understanding myself and then I think I can understand all of us more.

I am turning in to surrender. This city is the sort of place I have dreamed of living- but I am not happy here. There have been some tears and a lot of rain and some serious life lessons through batter. I would not give back this past year for anything. I have had relationships with people I will never forget people who have been the catalyst for some much needed growing up. I’m making the choice to come back to the soil that is not so wet. Back to the bitter and the not- so friendly eastern drivers. Back to the place of beginning to begin yet again. Back to the lake I can swim across and the woods I know like the back of my hand. Back to drinking crappy coffee. Back to those people who I’ve come to learn are irreplaceable. Back to the known having seen the unknown. What a journey all this is, and the learning has just begun.