Love yourself, even when you’re a basketcase

Lately I have been an absolute basket case.  

I want to be happy so much, but can’t figure out how to do it.  I waffle back and forth between trying to be happy, and verging on tears.  I put on the smiling face – following that maxim that if you physically smile and act like you’re happy, then you’ll make yourself happy.  Physically smiling releases the same chemicals even if you don’t really mean it, and you’ll start to feel happier. It hasn’t worked all that effectively. I try to smile and be cheerful around people at work, and I just feel like a paper cutout of myself. I have nothing to be sad about, I have a stable job, great friends that really care about me, I live in an exciting fun city, my life is pretty good. Except that it all feels hollow. 

Why can’t I kick this feeling? Its so easy to focus on something external, to blame it on the outside forces in my life.  But I know the reality is that this void won’t be filled by anyone else, friends, family, a lover.  The feeling of emptiness is coming from somewhere deep, deep inside me.  Lovers will come and go, but this unhappiness will stay whether they’re there or not. Until I do something about it.  

I have to learn to love myself before I can expect anyone else to love me. 

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Letting Go

How do you know when to let go?  

Enjoying the grass on a summers day….60 minute Asana Sequence

“Rest is not idleness and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day, listening to the murmur of water or watching the clouds float across the sky is hardly a waste of time.” Sir J. Lubbock

Supta Baddha Konasana

Baddha Konasana (legs long/away from body)

Wide Angle Pose

Mualasana

Adho Mukha Shavasana

Surya Namaskara A x 3

Surya Namaskara B x 2

Plank extensions

Side Plank

<High lunge

<Cresent Lunge

<Twisting Lunge

<Parivrita Lunge

Vinyasa

<Cresent Lunge

<Virabhadrasana 2

<Trikonasana

High Lunge –> Parsottonasana x 3

Vinyasa

<Trikonasana

<Parivritta Trikonasana

<Virabhadrasana 3

Malasana

Baddha Konasana

Wide Angle

Marichyasana

Reclined Twist

Savasana

 

Hip Openers: 60 minute Asana Sequence

Balasana

Bhujangasana x 3

Balasana

Cat/Cow

Thread the Needle shoulder opener

Suray Namaskara A x 2

Surya Namaskara B x 3

Garudasana

<Lunge

<Down Dog Splits

< Knee to Nose

<Down Dog

Vinyasa

<Crescent Lunge

<Lizard

<Vasisthasana variation

<Lunge

<Hanumanasana

Vinyasa

<Virabhadrasana 2

<Parivrita Virabhadrasana

<Trikonasana

<Pursvottonasana

<Parivritta Trikonasana

Vinyasa

<Uttanasana

<Standing Splits

<Malasana

Baddha Konasana

Marichyasana

Garudasana Crunches

Setu Bandhasana x 2

Reclined Twist

Savasana

 

Remember this…. being close to success

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Femininity vs. Masculinity and your deepest desires

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. We were talking about what things we desire out of a relationship, both physically and emotionally, what things our partners do to make us feel a certain way.  It was interesting because when you talk about what you ‘desire’ it automatically seems physical.  While that was part of the conversation, it was mostly mental/emotional.  I realized some things that I regret. 

One of the things that I recently realized that I desire is to not have to be tough, to be sweet and kind. I’m so tired of being tough and strong. I associate those things with masculinity, being tough.  At my day job, I don’t feel I can be very girly or feminine. I have to be smart and analytical and logical and tough to be taken seriously. I have to suppress any sexuality, essentially being asexual, in my job. I don’t think that’s a positive or holistic way to live your life.  And I think that has spread out into other areas of my life. I desire to let the femininity take over completely, let go of the masculinity.  Let someone else have the masculinity completely overtake them, and then those two opposites come together. Like yin and yang I guess.  I’m not trying to say that being feminine means being not being strong or tough, I know some very strong women.

My friend responded that he loved unbridled, unashamed femininity.  This open femininity strengthens and masculinizes him.  The two opposites meeting and melding and playing off each other. The openness and intimacy and trust are what makes him feel very masculine. When a woman trusts him that he will hold her heart sacred for what it is, that he won’t abuse or toy with her emotions, it allows him to fully express his own desire and masculinity.  That in those two opposites they are completely present, mentally, physically, emotionally.  And she gives herself to him completely, just like he gives himself to her completely, letting the joy and playfulness of two open, loving hearts that are unafraid of judgment or rejection fulfill them.. His significant other is a lucky woman.  The give and take of the two opposites, and letting those opposites take you, are what make us feel energized.  

When we were talking about this, it made me so sad to realize that there was a person that I love very deeply, who desperately wanted this, and I was too scared to give him that.  Too scared to let go of the toughness that I had accumulated and had become such a part of my professional life. I was scared that by giving in to that desire, I would lose myself.  In the end I lost myself anyway. I literally felt my heart sinking when I realized this. I’m so sorry I couldn’t do this, in a way I can’t possibly convey. 

Applied Meditation attempt 1

After trying unsuccessfully to get a meditation practice going for over a year, today I caved.  I went to a meditation class through a meetup group I joined. The class was focusing on applied meditation, following your heart rhythm, which I’m not familiar with. I was very impressed. The theme we focused on was a desire or need that was unfulfilled in our life that we would like to bring into our life.  

I was able to quiet the monkey mind!!  

We did two rounds of meditation exercises.  We began by sitting in chairs, feet on the ground, hands on legs, sitting up straight.  After closing your eyes, you focus on your posture, noticing how your spine feels.  If it feels straight and long, or hunched over.

After focusing on that, then you move on to your breathing.  You concentrate on how your breath feels moving in and out of your body, where its going, if its smooth and even, if its shallow.  You begin to deepen your breathing.  

Then you concentrate on your heart, try to feel your heartbeat. This can be difficult, especially at first. You can put your hand on your heart, solar plexus, or fingers on wrist to feel your heartbeat. How does your heartbeat feel?  How does your heart feel? 

The final step is trying to deepen and synchronize your breathing with your heartbeat.  If you can’t find your heartbeat, you count slowly and synchronize your breath that way.

During the first exercise, I had a hard time finding my pulse.  I couldn’t just feel it, I had to put my fingers on my wrist. I felt my heartbeat very slow and steady. When we timed our breath with the heartbeat, my pulse became erratic and discombobulated. The rhythm was off.  That was a bit strange to me. After that I lost the hearbeat all together, and I might have drifted off a bit… At the very end, I felt a small twinge of pain behind my heart, which I also found to be a bit disconcerting.

The second time around went much better, I was able to keep the monkey mind at bay.  The main reason I think I was able to do that though, was because I had this very strong, intense visualization.  When we were focusing on the breathing, and then on the expansion and contraction of the breath, I had this image in my mind.  A heart, almost cartoon-like, in my chest, and as I breathed in and out, the rib bones opened from the red heart into beautiful blue butterfly wings with the rib-bones as the frame of the wings.  The heart was expanding and contracting with my breathing, and the wings were opening and closing in rhythm with my heart.  It was very macabre, Dia de los Muertes, but still very cool.  

 

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