Job and Ego. Or Pride? And Shame?

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I am a dog walker. Sometimes people look down on dog walking as a job. Like it’s beneath them. Or beneath me, which I suppose is sort of intended as a compliment. I was once calling references for a new potential dog walker, and to, “What would the candidate find most challenging about this position?”, the man said, “You’d have to be mentally handicapped to find anything about dog walking challenging”.

What a charmer. And what a reference! (She got the job and was in fact fantastic).

People in the US like to talk about following your bliss and all that, but in reality this is a VERY status-conscious society. It’s hard to have a job that other people look down on. In a sense it helps to say or believe “I’m just doing this for now, of course I’m looking for something better” – but I don’t want to have to believe that. My whole life I’ve been looking for something better. I want to be satisfied and happy where I am right now, without feeling ashamed of it.

I am trying to realize that a person’s response to my job tells me a lot more about them than it does about me.

I have succeeded in earning a(n) (albeit minimal) living doing this job – which is actually difficult to do.

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Let Gravity Do The Work

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I’m not good at this. Why? Gravity isn’t good at this!

My teacher said this in a supine twist the other day. I like to hold/pull by knee towards the floor in this pose right before savasana. It’s not important to me to reach the floor, but it is important to me to feel a twist! Gravity isn’t giving me that feeling, in this pose, and when I don’t have my hand on my knee, I find my leg just kind of uncomfortably hovering. I wind up engaging some muscle just to avoid discomfort, and I think this is not the intention of the pose either. Putting a block under my knee would remove any possibility of a twist at all.

My mind in its extreme thinking also says, “If I let gravity do the work, I’d be a gigantic blob on the floor all day long!”

Finding moderation with life’s “gravity” is challenging for me. I HAVE TO push a bit. I have to make decisions and live my life. I can’t just wait for things to happen. How much is too much initiative from me? Push too much, and I wind up in situations that really weren’t meant to be, or which are basically set up to fail … they have only evolved thanks to my initiative, but not organically. And I believe the same thing on other topics, for other people – in relationships and even things like aid projects. Obviously finding a balance is important, but how do you know?

This is something I struggle with.

It’s time: yoga teacher training

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I haven’t blogged here for a while! Today I am making the deposit for a yoga teacher training program. The next natural step for Coffee n Yoga, of course!

I thought about making a long list of the reasons why it is the right decision. In some ways that helps me validate my own choice. But I’m not going to. Yoga has had a tremendous positive impact on my life, I’d like to share it with others (particularly underserved folks who couldn’t otherwise have access), and I have the skills to do it.

I will also just enjoy the training.

The Obligatory Coffee Post, At Long Last – or – Coffee, A Love Story

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Given the name of this blog, it’s about time I shared my thoughts on coffee!

Mainly, I love it. This warm delicious beverage brings me comfort as well as energy.

I’ve always liked the smell of coffee, but I didn’t start drinking it until I finished college and went to Sarajevo, Bosnia to teach English. Coffee is an institution in Bosnia. It is everywhere, and it is very, very important.

I started with espresso with regular white sugar. I expanded to Nescafe, which I still love. Instead of Splenda, I used some kind of fake sugar in a plastic pellet dispenser. Sometimes I drank Bosnian coffee, which depending on the producing country, people may also know as Turkish coffee, Greek coffee, or muddy coffee (the last one is the Israeli variant I believe).
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Renewing

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I haven’t run more than 3 miles since my half marathon in mid-March, and it feels great.  I now go to yoga or run on any given day – but not both. I haven’t ballooned up four size or anything and in fact I fit into jeans I couldn’t before. Having a more normal activity level makes me less hungry in general. That probably shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is!

I’m moving halfway across the country next week. I am nervous but also excited about the opportunity to renew in this way too. It’s not a new year, but it seems like a good time for some resolutions:

– I will try to love my body as it is. I don’t want to need a number to feel okay, but I may need it to start. A size 6 or 8 at 5’5″ tall is thin enough. No one is perfect.

– I will be mindful of the time I dedicate to yoga and running in relation to other activities, and so I am doing these healthy, beneficial activities for their own sake, and not compulsively.

– I will pause before reacting strongly in words or actions. I will keep trying, because “failures” or “rejections” are not about me personally.

– I will be mindful that loving myself is important before I can accept the love of others.

– I will go ahead and do things, without waiting to be perfect, or to be perfectly prepared. I am ready now.

– I will take advantage of LOTS of new student deals at yoga studios before enrolling in a monthly unlimited pass because I love the first studio I attend.

Learning Something New About Yourself

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Some of my teachers start a class saying something about a specific focus – related to the physical practice, one of the limbs of yoga, or just something they have been thinking about. Today my teacher mentioned how learning about the bandhas was like learning about something powerful she had inside her that she hadn’t know about before.

I like this idea. And I’ve learned something about myself recently: I have it in me to give up something difficult. Read the rest of this entry

Survival Mode

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Watching movies from Redbox and sitting on my psuedo-couch are a few of the signs that I’ve “made it” – out of survival mode, that is. This xojane article really struck a cord – even though it’s not exactly on this topic.

I don’t mean to wallow in self pity or minimize more severe crises that others face. I am sure that some people would say that I am doing okay if I can afford $108 a month for yoga.

Being in survival mode means I pause thinking of the long term, and just get through each day. I need to focus on having a financial safety net in case I need it soon … time spent in most other ways (yoga and running are exceptions) I deem squandered unless I can connect it with networking or contributing to my safety net in some other way. This author talks about walking two hours to save $2.50 on public transport. Been there, done that.

I’ve had a lot of great experiences in my life and a lot of very hard ones, neither of which I’d want to give up. Read the rest of this entry