Sunday, September 25, 2011

Over Scheduled - Again

Recent text conversation between me and my sister:

Sister: How come u dont write ur blog much anymore?
Me:  I'm too f'ing tired
Sister: Oh. Maybe need to make some changes?
Me: Should I quit work or quit kids first?
Sister: Go to bed Jennifer. You need sleep.

I do need sleep.

I also need a housekeeper, cook, chauffeur and personal assistant.

I know anyone who reads this who is also a mom is thinking "suck it up buttercup". It's part of being a mom, quit your bitching and do what you gotta do.

And most of the time that's my attitude too.

But lately, I don't know. I'm overtired and a bit overwhelmed.

Part of it - as usual - is my own doing. I just can't say no to new work opportunities. A constant theme in my life is saying I'm not going to work as much at night. And then I continue to work an average of 4 nights and 6 days per week.

Well now I've got 3 kids playing soccer, 1 in hip hop dance and 1 playing rugby. That's a lot of practices to get to and of course the practices are in the evenings - evenings when I'm working.

I was so frustrated last week over how to get everyone where they needed to be I seriously considered letting kid #1 get his license before our previously agreed upon date so that he could help with the driving logistics. I soon came to my senses and realized that wasn't the best solution.

Most nights I'm teaching more than one class. So I'm gone from after school until after the kids should be in bed. That means we've been doing a lot more drive thru dinners. So our nutritional standards have plummetted and my checking account has taken a negative hit too.

Many in my small but close circle have asked me lately what's wrong and encouraged me to take a break. Last week I was talking about all this with my close friend and mentor Wanda and she also said I need to slow down and stop making 26 hours in every day.

Me: But if I'm not working what will I do?

Wanda: Anything you want.

Me: No, seriously, if I'm not at work am I supposed to sit home and eat bon bons all day?

Wanda: If you want to. Or maybe you could just be you for awhile and not super woman?

Me: But if I'm not super woman who am I?

Wanda: Well won't that be interesting to find out?

UGH! I hate when I get my own yogic teachings get thrown back in my face. Although I'm actually quite grateful I have people to remind me to slow down when I get moving too fast.

However, I'd also be very grateful to a housekeeper and personal assistant.

Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodhah
Yoga is the restraint of the modifications of the mind.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.2

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yoga Bitch: My Elephant Review Post

Reasons why you should read my latest Elephant Journal post:

A Yoga Bitch Interview and Review

  1. How can you not love a book called Yoga Bitch?
  2. After talking with the author so much, I'm pretty sure she's the kind of person me and my friends would be friends with.
  3. Have you ever drank your own pee? Sound gross? Read the book.
  4. Of all the yoga journey books out there now, this one is the most real.
  5. I don't get paid to write the YogaLifeWay blog so if I'm saying a book is worthy, than it's worthy! (Note: I'm willing to entertain offers to write for pay)
  6. Support independent journalism and after reading my posts on Elephant Journal, check out the other cool posts by even cooler writers than me.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Sea of OM's - Salutation Nation 2011

What a beautiful morning I had today.

The sky was blue, the temperature was warm but breezy and I drove down to Shelby Park and rolled out my mat with about 50 other Memphis yogi's as part of Salutation Nation 2011.

Sponsored by Lululemon, Salutation Nation is an event all across the country where communities gather in a local park and offer a free yoga class.

I'd never been to Shelby Park before and wasn't sure where to go. So I stopped in at the Visitor's Center hoping for some info. As I was walking in, I saw a man with a yoga mat who also looked a little lost. We got our directions and hopped into my car together to drive around the lake to where the other yogi's were meeting.

Nowhere else in my life would I let a strange man in my car to drive through the park except at a yoga event. A man with a yoga mat thrown over his shoulder can be trusted.

I rolled out my mat on the grass in front of the lake and lay back to enjoy the warm sun. Soon I felt some taps on my shoulder and there was fellow yoga teacher and blogger Sondra!

Sondra and I never get to take a class together, we both are too busy teaching ourselves or subbing for each other. What a treat to place my mat near hers and flow our vinyasas together. Not only is she a delightful lady and awesome yoga teacher, but her blog has the best title: Sweet Tea and Sanskrit.

The class started off with meditation and then moved through some gentle yoga. I was really torn between just enjoying the yoga or taking pictures of the beauty around me. But since the settings on my camera were off and I couldn't see anything through the view finder anyway, I decided shooting blind wasn't worth it and focused all my attention on my mat.

About halfway through the morning, I looked up and there was Wendy! Maybe once a year or so Wendy and I run into each other at a yoga class or workshop.

New friends, old friends, yoga in the park. Could this get any better?

Yes, in fact it could. After savasana we all sat up facing the lake and began a sea of OM's. Each person in their own time began to OM, with no set count to finish. I don't know how many rounds we did, but just as it spontaneously began, it ended perfectly in sync.

Salutation Nation Memphis may not have been as big as it was in other parts of the country, but I'm confident our OM's were heard throughout the park.

Me, Sondra and Wendy
Salutation Nation 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Please Don't Feed The Ego Monster

I had a bit of an ego flare up tonight. Thankfully it was only temporary, but it hit fast and furious.

Just so you realize how ridiculous of an ego episode this was, picture the setting: I'm propped up in bed with my MAC on my lap, wearing pajamas with chocolate stains down the front, a pint of Ben & Jerry's on the nightstand and reruns of America's Got Talent on TV. Pretty glamorous scenario right?

As I was browsing through Facebook a post caught my eye. Well, actually it made me gag on my Ben & Jerry's. Here's the funny thing about Facebook. No matter how pure and holy and respectable you make your posts, I remember you from high school. And I remember when you... well, you know what you did.

I'm so flummoxed over what I read that I have to click the link that goes with the post. I quickly realize there are some truths being hidden and some qualifications being stretched - a lot. This post in no way affects me personally, but for some reason I'm feeling indignant and righteous.

So what does a yoga teacher striving for enlightenment do in this situation?

Well I texted my sister of course and told her quick get on Facebook!

My sister, who always has my back, agrees that yes this post is a big load of manure. We then not-very-maturely spend some time texting barbs back and forth to each other about the post. My sister is very funny and some of her comments had me literally laughing out loud. But I won't reprint them here because this blog post is my attempt to improve my karma.

I looked at the post one more time and realized who cares? It's Facebook, after all.

This post has no power over me other than what I give it. This post can't take away the good work day I had. This post doesn't take away the progress I made with my clients today. This post doesn't negate the years of work and dedication I've put into my field.

This post is not about me.

This post, truthful or not, is hers and her karma to deal with. My reaction to it is my karma to deal with.

Thanks Facebook, another lesson learned along the yogic path.