Friday, April 30, 2010

A Pit in My Stomach, A Knot in My Throat

Today is one of those days where I dont have any real pressing issues that need to be addressed. No papers to fax or bills to pay. Just a little down time. And what did I do with this "down time" you ask...I watched Food, Inc.

This is a movie that I have wanted to see for some time. I have a very hard time with these types of movies. When I went to see Fast Food Nation in theaters, I spent the last 10 minutes of the movie with my eyes shut tight as tears streamed down my face. This movie spurred in me the same reaction. By the end of it I think I cried 5 different times, and was left with the biggest pit in my stomach and a huge knot in my throat.

I am in no way perfect. While I consider myself vegetarian, I am times will eat fish and still wear leather shoes or purchase a leather bag on occasion. I often find myself buying food out of convenience instead of nutrition or impact to the environment. I feel compelled to blog only because in watching this movie I was reminded of something someone said to me in India while at a lecture on nutrition. While paraphrasing, the jest of the statement was that our energy goes into all that we do. The example he used was that if an animal is scared, in pain, or suffering, this goes into our food. The energy of the person that slaughters that animal goes into our food. We then eat this animal and absorb all this negativity.

I am sure that you can see the larger implications of this statement in most things in our lives. It is not about not eating meat, but about the energy that fuels what we put into our body and bring into our lives. I was so taken aback by the grand scope of impact that our American food culture has had. From animal abuse, to people falling ill from hyper-resistant strains of e-coli, to exploitation of immigrants, to obesity. How is this good for us? How does this help us?

At this moment I feel hugely overwhelmed. I feel like this is a topic I keep revisiting in my life and always end up falling back into old habits. I change where I shop for food only to realize that I am having difficulty affording it. I buy organic only to find out it may not make a difference. I buy one brand over another, only to find out they were bought out by some mega-company. It is so deeply confusing and hard. I am not sure where to re-start or how to do it differently this time around. Suggestions very welcome.

To be continued...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Anahata Chakra

I have been wanting to sit down and write this blog since I got home last night, but as I sank into the couch fatigue settled in. So, as I sit here with my cup of coffee and an english muffin, I write my "ah-ha" moment from yesterday.

I preface this post with a "warning." If you dont believe in healers (the spiritual kind, not the physicians we have come to regard in our culture as healers) then you might find this posting a little hokey. With that having been said, if you desire please read on.

I did not write about this during my trip because at the time the experience seemed very personal and I was still trying to place all the pieces into some kind of graspable form. I bring it up now because of the connection I made with it the other day. While in India, during my travels towards the end of my trip, I went to a healer. I, true to my nature, was skeptical. I went in expecting that he would tell me some vague generalization that could be applied to anyone's life in manipulated in the right way. While the session lasted 30 minutes, with all the details taking too long to type out here, in a nutshell, this man told me things about myself that no one but me could have ever known. One thing that he told me was that my heart chakara, the fourth one, was blocked. What does this mean? It means that I have a hard time opening up and letting people in. I am skeptical, critical (especially of myself), and at times can be distant or hard to read. He told me that I had to work on opening up this chakra because it was not good for my health. Without even telling him, he said..."this is the cause of your migraines."

I know what this healer said, all that he said, to be true. And last night, I realized why the yoga community that I practice with has such a profound place in my life. They help me to open my heart chakra.

So often I write about how important my yoga family is in my life, but I don’t think I ever had a very tangible explanation why. I just knew, somewhere deep down, that it had become part of who I am. The fellow students, the teacher, the space had all become woven into the matrix of what made me ME.

They do so much than just push me out of the bed to come to practice when all I want to do is hit the snooze button. They teach me compassion and humility. They teach me to laugh at myself. They teach me to relish in the excitement of a good book. They teach me to soften (especially my shoulders☺). They teach me acceptance by showing acceptance. They share wisdom and insight. They have taught me how to live my life and open my heart.

Two statements stand out in my mind from last night. One dear yogi said, “It is what we do off the mat. If it was just about the asanas then this practice would be no different that the cirque du soleil.” Another dear yogi said, “To manifest change there are three components. One is the sangha (community) that helps to set the example of what you want to become. How you should live. What you should aspire to.”

To these two yogis. To all the yogis I practice with every morning. To my teacher. Thank you.

Friday, April 16, 2010

At the Present Moment

Things have been very busy. There are very few constants in the equation and many variables orbiting around. Here are things as they stand...

1. I got a job!

2. We have accepted a bid on our Philly home and are awaiting the home inspection.

3. Sunday we head up to Providence, RI to start looking for houses. Very scary.

4. My practice is on its road to becoming more steady, more consistent. I am trying to take in every moment with my teacher, the studio, and especially my yoga family.

5. I got a library card! I know this sounds so mundane, but I am actually very excited about it. It has become quite costly to buy books with the amount I am reading these days, so I thought I would borrow from the library till I start my job. Its kind of exciting to have almost unlimited choices and they are all FREE! The only draw back is most of the books are hardcover...not my favorite.

6. Things for the wedding are coming together quite well. Trying to get all the ends tied up, at least somewhat, before we leave.

In the chaos I have noticed some "Small Surprises"...

1. A high-five at the end of practice from your teacher really is a nice start to the day. Amazing how something so familiar placed in an unusual setting can really bring a smile to your face.

2. I love my house. As things draw closer to moving, I realize how much I love our home, our street, our lives in Philly.

3. I love practice.

4. The house is way too quiet without the dogs and cats, and the bed now feels super huge and spacious.

5. Registering for wedding gifts is actually a lot of fun.

6. I am growing up...

Above are some pictures of the house from the listing. It looks so different without all our "junk" in it.