Moving!

In two days, some men with a moving truck will load up all our worldly possessions, drive the 60 miles across Houston, and unload them all in a new space.

The last month has been stressful, to say the least. Talk about uncertainty! We found a place we loved, but for a number of reasons walked away from the deal as the red flags were waving all over the place. Quickly found another wonderful place that seemed to be calling to us, and it seemed to take an eternity to get the YES we needed and to get all the paperwork squared away. It felt like those fight scenes in movies where they suddenly go slo-mo and then everything speeds back up. Totally out of control.

20170623_184003And now, as we sit among the boxes, sorting and packing, feeling the tension build and taking steps to release it ( like going out for pizza, having pillow fights, watching movies), we are so ready to be there and find the new adventures waiting.

This move, as most are, is a leap of faith. We never really know what we are getting into until we get there, right? We may love the house or apartment, but we don’t know it’s quirks. We may love the location, but we don’t really know the neighborhood, or, more importantly, the neighbors.

We take our familiar possessions with us into the great unknown, and work to make them fit into unfamiliar surroundings. And we do that with ourselves, making shifts and changes to fit into the new subculture we find ourselves in.

What people will we meet? What experiences will we have? Where will this road lead?

I am in the unfolding.

Yoga, I love you

I may have mentioned this before, but I am in love.

Since leaving my day job, I have spent more time with yoga, and this love I have for it – it is the real thing.

I was briefly introduced to yoga five years ago at a gym I belonged to. I thought it was pretty great, but didn’t have much time for it. Two years ago, we were reacquainted during my trip to the Chopra Center. The best thing I learned there is that I can have a relationship with yoga even if I can’t sit in lotus or do certain asanas (postures).

Shortly after that I discovered the yoga studio less than two miles from where I live, and began to go weekly, for a while. Then I began studying ayurveda, and since I still worked full time, it was a challenge to get to class, so I stopped going regularly. In the meantime, I began to learn more about what yoga actually is.

The word yoga means union, and is a means to bring your entire being into balance and union with the greater consciousness many people call God. A common perception of yoga is that it is about moving your body into different positions to increase physical fitness, but there is so much more to it than that.

There are eight limbs of yoga:

  • Yama – this is about our behavior, principles, and how we conduct ourselves in life
  • Niyama – has to do with self- discipline and spiritual practices and routines
  • Asana – the postures practiced in yoga, through which we develop habits of discipline
  • Pranayama – this is about the breath
  • Pratyahara – withdrawing from sensory stimulation and looking inside
  • Dharana – concentration, dealing with the distractions of the mind
  • Dhyana – meditation or contemplation
  • Samadhi – transcendence, connection with the Divine, interconnectedness with all living beings

There are quite a few flavors of yoga, and this Mind Body Green piece explains the most common. I personally prefer a very slow flow, with stretching and holding poses for longer periods, a combination of hatha, sivananda, and yin. A have a friend who is dedicated to kundalini. Others love the more workout like flow of vinyasa or the heat of Bikram. There is something for everyone.

I am so happy to have found yoga. Or, as the owner of The Yoga Institute in Clear Lake, Rae Lynn Rath says “You don’t find yoga. Yoga finds you.”

I am elated that I have the time to pursue this practice. Yoga and ayurveda are sister sciences, so it makes sense to me to be able to teach this to those who are following this path of seeking better health through greater awareness.

And so, I have enrolled in a yoga teacher training course! Namaste. ūüôā

 

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Semi-retirement and following passions

I went down to the lake this morning with a cup of coffee. It waswp-1473004970418.jpg a beautiful clear morning – birds singing, fish jumping – and it was nice for about 10 minutes. Then the humidity started creating a sheen of moisture on me, so I went back inside. It gave me enough time to decide to write a blog post.

If you’ve been reading here, you know that I recently quit my job. I decided that I would call myself “semi-retired” rather than “unemployed”. After all, I am of an age when many retire, and I do have that 401k, although if I tried to just live off of that, it wouldn’t last long. Anyway, I’m not unemployed. I am picking up some part-time hours doing medical reviews from home.

So, what’s been happening with me since I made the big decision? How does one adjust to not having the boundaries of a 40-hour-week job, after years of arranging the rest of one’s life around that box? It’s mostly mental, I think. (pun intended!)

Day to day life is great. Robert and I continue to find ourselves compatible and happy together, which is such an amazing blessing.¬†I’ve¬†started going to yoga class four times a week, and spend regular quality time with my grandchildren. I love getting to eat at home, preparing simple meals of grains and fresh organic vegetables from the farmer’s market.

Then there is the following of my passion, what I really care about. I am an Ayurvedic Practitioner, and have the intention of introducing those who want better health to a new way of living. (and being paid for it!) There are simple changes in lifestyle that can make a huge difference, that can help with stress, anxiety, digestive and weight issues, insomnia, and overall health management. But I find that I am a bit of a procrastinator, a little stuck. I know that I have something of value to offer, and it is just a matter of finding the clients who want to be committed to making positive changes.

So I decided to get some help to move me in the right direction, and am taking a course with Brian Whetten called Selling by Giving. The premise is that it can “transform the way I relate to my fears and inner doubts, and shift from judging them as problems to seeing that they are reliable course indicators showing me that I am heading in the right direction.”

And I’m not finished being a student. I am studying¬†Ayurvedic Spiritual Counseling with New World Ayurveda. I’ve got skills and knowledge about how to make diet and lifestyle changes, but most people¬†are resistant¬†to change. So in this course, I’ll learn how to “help my clients understand what is truly at the root of their obstacles and have the inner transformational skills needed to permanently overcome those blocks.” ¬†I need this for me, first, because I am as resistant to change as anyone I may try to help. Change always has to start with me!

Sounds like a lot when I put it on paper! And it is, but not too much. I’ve found time to paint, to take walks, to have wine with friends. In the midst of all these plans and possibilities, I remember that what matters most is this moment – am I being kind, compassionate, and loving to whomever is around me, and to myself?

Cars and twins

The week started with my car overheating on Monday. Again.

Well, actually, it started with a yoga class at 9 am Monday morning. It was wonderful. And I’ve gone to four yoga classes this week, and definitely feel more balanced.

But back to my car situation…

wp-1469367557487.pngI’ve been driving a 1997 Chrysler Sebring for the last 3 1/2 years. My father bought it brand new when he was around 70, but when he was 85 decided he needed something new so I was blessed to get the car at a time that I really needed it, and it has been good to me. It only had 52,000 miles on it when I got it. I’ve doubled the mileage on it, and I think its got a few more on it, but decided it was enough for me.

wp-1469283408635.jpgSo Tuesday I bought a 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback with only 10,000 miles on it. I had rented one the last time my car was in the shop, loved it, researched it, and when I found this one I knew it was mine. I had been saving money every month in lieu of a car payment, so was able to pay cash, which was a great feeling! Now I have a reliable car to drive across Houston to see my grandchildren.

And just in time, since  twin boys arrived on Wednesday! wp-1469283351766.png

And babies make three grandchildren for me, all in the Houston area, but an hour across town.  I met them on Thursday, and they are adorable. I will be spending some time with them and their parents next week as they settle in at home. Doing the Grandma thing!

Now what?

Friday¬†was my last day doing the job I’ve been at for the last six years.

wp-1468765867052.pngPeople have been asking me what I am going to do. What comes out of my mouth first is “sit in the sun”. ¬†I haven’t been doing much of that, so I am going to start today!

What else do I want to do? More yoga, for one. I’ve already been going to the yoga studio down the street, and plan to step it up from 1 or 2 times a week to 3 or 4. I’m considering a week long yoga retreat in Austin in October, and maybe even yoga teacher training.

I am going to write more, paint more, play more, relax more, dream more.

I am going to continue to open myself up to whatever is out there for me to do. I will go to social and networking events and have opportunities to talk about what I love. Perhaps some clients will arise from this.

I will update my resume and work on a new website.

I will connect more with my family, and welcome twin grandbabies into the world.

I’m going to re-open The Artist’s Way and see where it takes me.

I’ve looked back at some of what I wrote in the early days of this blog, two years ago, and am really amazed at the journey. Starting this blog and putting myself and my inner world “out there” was a huge step, and I have no doubt that because of continuing to allow myself to be vulnerable in this way I have become more willing to take chances and face fear.

Here I am, world!