The Apple is Delicious!

I was raised in a Catholic house.  Not a go to church every Sunday, but a hear the stories, let’s talk about them Catholic upbringing.  You where taught to follow the ten commandments, and provided you were a “good” person you would go to heaven.  Kill, or steal and you’d be hanging downstairs being tortured by a man in the red suit. 

I love the story of Adam and Eve.  I’ve read so many variations of what the metaphoric “garden, snake & apple where. Sorry if I offend anyone just change the screen or call me a witch and picture me and Lucifer having a bottle of Merlot.  After all he was once an angle too that disobeyed the big guy.   

This is just a paraphrased version of the story.  God created a beautiful garden, full of exotic animals, and trees.  In it he created and placed man and from him Eve.  Here they could frolic, breath fresh air, eat organic sweet food from the earth that would nourish their bodes!  However right in the middle of Eden, this amazing garden, he placed an apple tree with a snake.  God told the two they could eat from any tree, except that particular one.  He gave Adam and Eve free will, and at the same time took it away.   One day Eve could no longer resist the temptation of the tree and she got close enough to have a conversation with the snake.  Yes she listened to it, she took a big bite and decided the apple was too good not to share with Adam.  Adam, who after what appeared to be a relatively short conversation, he too ate the forbidden fruit.  God returned and expressed his disappointment.  Eve owned up to her “mistake”.  When God asked Adam he turned and pointed and said “she told me too.”  They were tossed from Eden and guards where placed at the gates preventing them from returning.  Humility caused them to cover their sexual organs.   Leading many to believe that the forbidden fruit was sex.

 Here is my combined interpretation of many, many readings.  God created a beautiful garden, full of exotic animals, and trees.  In it he created and placed man (masculine energy) and from him Eve (feminine energy).  Two opposites, yet one is not whole without the other.  After all one was created from the other.  Together they bring balance to each other (Yang & Yin).  In the garden they could frolic, breath fresh air, eat organic sweet food from the earth that would nourish their body.  Their physical body!  However right in the middle of Eden, this amazing garden, he placed an apple tree with a snake.  God told the two they could eat from any tree, except that particular one.  He gave Adam and Eve free will, and at the same time took it away feeding their spiritual body (six sense/third eye/intuition).   One day Eve could no longer resist the temptation of the tree and she got close enough to have a conversation with the snake.  In many Eastern traditions and medicine the snake represents the kundalini.  Our consciousness that resides at the base of the spine.  Coiled sleeping within our root (chakra) the energetic centre directly connecting us to the physical world. There is also belief that this is where our soul resided, the “son” in the religious content.  Yes she listened to the snake,  she practised free will, and the kundalini rose up.  She took a big bite and decided the apple was too good not to share with Adam.  Adam, who after what appeared to be a relatively short conversation, he too ate the forbidden fruit.  God returned and expressed his disappointment.  Eve owned up to her “mistake”.  When God asked Adam he turned and pointed and said “she told me too.”  This story isn’t about male verses female.  It’s not about God giving orders and humans disobeying.  It’s not about the evils of sex.   They were tossed from Eden and guards where placed at the gates preventing them from returning.  

Adam and Eve where kicked out of paradise because they where no longer whole.  Eve owed her choice.  Adam denied responsibility because he on his own felt he was perfect.  The guards at the gate where placed there to remind humans of where they came from, but that we can’t go back (in time).  The leaves cover their differences, a symbol of humility.   When there is a disconnect between or physical and spiritual body, humility creates a play field for our mental body.  We can not see the effects of our mental body.  But pain is real.  I once heard that the only thing that can break without making a sound is  the heart.  That is because there is not sound that can be created to reflect the amount of pain the heart makes when it breaks.  The heart is the bridge linking the physical world and the spiritual (energetic) world.  We may not be able to go back to Eden, but we can come go back to being one, whole.  Creating our new garden.  

There are three kinds of people.  

1. people who are scared.  I respect your fear, stay safe.  I love you and don’t want you to leave this planet. 

2. people who are more scared of what will happen if they speak up then the virus itself.  I actually had a friend who thinks that those who speak up will be the first rounded up and placed in these mystery camps.  I respect your fear, stay safe.  I love you and don’t want you to leave this planet. 

3. people we believe and practice free will.  We are ready to act in our best interest, and in the interest of who we love.  We are also ready to take on the burden of not listening to the voice that says don’t eat that apple. 

I’ve tasted the apple and it was delicious!  I own my choice and do encourage my brothers and sisters to take a big bite too. Because … well … I respect your choice as well, stay safe.  I love you and I look forward to having company when Im exiled from this current garden. 

Drinks with Cleopatra

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 

Rob Siltanen

Its been a month since Warrior Yoga had to spread its wings and fly on its own.  Why?  Because I’m a rule breaker!  Would I do it all over again …

“I am Adventurous!!!”  One of the most powerful tools I learned while in my 200hr training was to be true to myself.  In training we created a sankulpa and mine is, “I am Adventurous”.  It still gets me out of ruts when I feel stuck.  As well when sudden change happens, and I’m forced out of the comfortable space I’ve created, it motivates me.  My boys tease me and call me “crazy”, among other colourful, and loving names. The day after my contract had expired, with the studio I was teaching at, I had a day of pampering and came home with pink hair.  My oldest laughed and asked if I was going all emo, teasing me like they often do about loosing my mind.  For him, like the rest of my family, I was acting odd.  After all who gets fired, and is happy.  My go to response when this judgement occurs … “If I have to be crazy to be happy, prepare the padded room.”  

My game plan is sooner rather then later open up a retreat in the ghost town where I’ve started reconstruction on an old building.  Medicine Hat will be home base, with the “Happy Box” running seasonally.  The retreat will provide its patrons with a safe place to retreat too, recharge, reflect, or perhaps even reconnect with who they really are.  Originally my plan wasn’t to operate a yoga studio, largely because I wanted wings to explore.  I had this idea that I had to have roots to run a studio.  This would imply rules, but rules of the “normal studio” are made to be bent, if not broken.   

My take away from this experience … Everything happens for a reason.  I was comfortable, however my position had become stagnant.  Goals weren’t being reached because I was playing it safe.  I love to have fun, and my intention has always been to make people smile, if not laugh in the process.  I made the choice without over thinking, by listening to my heart.  Things got really scary and I still struggle with over coming the fear that this adventure is stirring up.  However I see the end game, my Happy Box!  

Would I hop into a time machine if I could?  Of course I would!  But it would not be to go change my actions.  I’d go pet a dinosaurs or have some drinks with Cleopatra.  My actions taught me something new about who I am …  I am a leader not a follower.

Cookies Not for Me

“Today I will live in the moment, unless it’s unpleasant in which case I will eat cookie!”
-Cookie Monster

Over the last few months I’ve let my physical practice, my daily asana slide. Funny fact I can actually pin point the exact moment it happened and it came down to a single cookie. That cookie (which wasn’t even very good) lead to cheesecake later in the day. Since it was close to the end of the week, I let the next few days also slide. This brought me to the weekend, social gatherings, & alcohol. Which is always another great thing to consume when your feeling like crap, physically and emotionally. Weekend is over, I’m hung over both from alcohol as well as food. Belly aching for some hangover fast food, greasier the better. Sugar cravings so bad that the thought of a detox over whelms me. When you eat poorly you always have an excuse not to attend class. After all nobody wants to be the one to fart in yoga class. Before I knew it five months and 30 pounds later here I am. My rings are so tight I’ve removed my knuckle flesh, even with the aid of soap, just to bring circulation back to my finger. I can’t even fully recall the problem that brought me to this point. I suspect it has something to do with a winter that would never end. My go to unfortunately has always been food. Food is my addiction!

When I first wrote this blog the second paragraph didn’t sound right, which is why I haven’t posted in while. In the original draft, I excused my weight gain blaming it on the winter blues. Eating to weigh myself down … to create a temporary false grounding feeling. There has an element of truth, however had I faced my fears I wouldn’t have felt the urge to run from my problems to the nearest “bad cookie”, literally and metaphorically speaking. I was playing a victim, not taking control of myself, and my choices. In life every decision we make is based on one of two things; love or fear. That first cookie which I ate was not because I love cookies. I should have kept moving forward, looking, experimenting, to find stuff that I would enjoy doing over our cold Canadian winter. Instead I became stagnate, essentially hibernated and buried myself in food. I know why I hate winter. Its cold, there is a lack of light (and energy). I really do believe that I am solar powered, I love the dirt and the sunshine. However there are all kinds of other things I could have done which I love to make the time go by. I really don’t enjoy eating myself into a comma. I actually enjoy how a green juice makes me feel. I’m not saying don’t eat cookies, and please swing by and grab a slice of your favourite cheese cake after my yoga class. This is not about how you shouldn’t eat sweets. If it brings you joy do it! If its something you love, do it! Instead of waiting, becoming stagnate physically, emotionally, and mentally do something else you love. If nothing comes to mind, think outside the box. Or go looking for that thing that you love if its not coming to you, and your tired of waiting. I always tell my kids to try something new, you never know you might like it. So this is my goal in the future: Instead of the stale cookie, I will chose something I love or I will try something new.

No more dwelling on that cookie. It may have lead to some extra weight, but it also taught me something about myself. I have acknowledged the cookie, learned from the cookie and now I will let that bad cookie go. Leaving the past in the past. I will eat another cookie. I haven’t given up sweets. I just will not eat them for medicinal purposes. Cookie Monster however loves his Cookies, and should keep eating them as much as he can.

I’m a dinosaur!

Thanks to social media the whole human race is connected more now then ever before. Yet we are more emotionally, and physically isolated, leaving us lonely. During a Reiki treatment this past week I felt the pain my friend/client was experiencing. Upon asking what the relevance of hockey might have been, which was the only symbol her energy was sharing with me, she disclosed how torn up she had been over the recent events of the Bronco’s. I don’t consider myself cold or calloused. It is a horrible event, but accidents do happen and this particular accident did not directly effect any of the characters in my life. Yet I have heard by many people and not just this particular client how torn up they are from the accident. As she talked it didn’t sound to me that her grief was strictly the loss of so many lives, but also a personal loss as she saw a country, and community morned together. She, like I, had the privilege of spending some time in a small town growing up. As she talked I had flash backs to a similar feeling that I had experienced this past summer. While visiting my favourite little ghost town the run down community hall hit me particularly hard. The hall once hosted a variety of events. I was heart broken to see how the building was falling apart. The roof had been replaced but a little too late. The inside smelled of dust, mold and wild animals. Empty raccoon traps littered the building. Apparently as the people moved out the raccoon population soared.

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” -Albert Einstein

It was never a bustling town while I lived there. But there were always a couple of things a young preteen could count on. There was the regular 4-H meetings that brought the youths into town a couple of times a week. Robsart days the annual end of harvest celebration, included judging events of local artist, seamstresses, bakers, fresh and canned perishables. Horseshoe games, ball tournaments, beer gardens, and then to finish it all off after a weekend of celebrating, a dance that everyone attended. Nobody left until after the sun showed up. Within the town lived a colourful bunch of characters. Everyone knew everyone. There was a man, Mr. Penhaligon, who came and got a bag of marshmallows nearly every day. He feed his horse, Marshmellow, the marshmallows and it lived in his house. When the horse got out and pooped on the mayors front step, rules where made and horses couldn’t stay in town. So he got himself a goat. Mr. Morrison was like the little old lady who lived in a shoe. Only HE had so many CATS, he didn’t know what to do… but man could that old guy play the piano. My sister and I would sit below his front window for probably hours listening to him play. I’m sure he knew we where there. The cats would sit on the window sill and look down at us. There were the old timers who gathered for coffee at the general store. The store was a family run business that my grandpa Bernie owned before my parents took over. The old guys always had a story to share, they were all truly fascinating, one of which was my Great Uncle Gordon. Which is how I got to know the late, and eccentric Judy Poisson. Judy and my great uncle raised my aunt (and godmother) when my grandma was to ill to return home after having her. If you have the chance to meet her, my Aunt Brenda, you’ll see that it took amazing people to raise her into such an outstanding woman. I have so many memories, and it’s sad knowing that way of life is dying. Humans have a need for connection & community.

Out with the old and in with the new. Evolution is a funny thing, and is defined as “a process of gradual change that takes place over many generations, during which species of animals, plants, or insects slowly change some of their physical characteristics.” I’m sure many would agree that evolution goes beyond organic beings, and is what is also happening to our physical world. There are still communities. However, I don’t feel they carry the same strength or emotional ties as the community of a small town would bring. These temporary and digital communities, leave us feeling lonely, and emotionally unbalanced. These days our kids play sports, and we converge with other parents. More recently I have found a happy group of IG individuals that share the same zest for life as me. These are the communities we link ourself to now. I will likely never meet my digital family members in person. And at the end each sports season our communities of swim parents, hockey families, baseball, soccer… will disappear until next season. Our connections have become short and disposable. We fit them in where we can, instead of the old way of living within a community. Yoga is a way of life. Much like a community should be. When we are alone perhaps turning on the TV or radio to produce background noise helping to reduce the “lonely” effect. The noise numbs that loneliness, eventually though we need to have a conversation with someone other then ourself. The level of connection that humans require grows, greater and greater each time we obtain little more. This is healthy. Ugly crying, being unable to function because of something seen on on social media…not healthy. View it, learn a lesson if there is one to take from another persons experience, then move on. Fill that need to connect with people in close proximity so that the energy exchange is a equally give and take. In the digital world we hear many more negatives, for every positive. We will always feel a greater connection of community through human interaction. Maybe I’m a dinosaur, and humanity is evolving to extinction.

Humble Beginnings

Some where along my journey I thought I lost my way.  It could have been the decision to fall in love and not got to Europe when I completed high school.  It could have been the decision to go to University to prove I was smart, and more then a curvy blonde.  To prove to myself?  I didn’t even know what I wanted to “become”.  I know now that it wasn’t anyones fault I didn’t follow my dreams.  I truly believe that I needed to take the long way, not the wrong way so that I would completely appreciate life.

I rediscovered and started practicing yoga regularly in 2010.  I had two boys eighteen months apart.  That would have been okay, however baby boy two was born in October.  Postpartum in combination with seasonal depression resulted in a very exhausted, grouch, blue mommy.  I found myself in a yoga studio with a friend one March evening because anything was better then being at home.  Proof that yoga finds you when you need it.  I had practiced yoga before that evening, but until that point it was just a workout.

Fast forward through the years.  My relationship with yoga has had many ups and down.  Another baby . . . kidney disease and a lot in-between.  Yoga was alway there to help me get through whatever life through at me.  Prior to my complications with kidney disease I nearly completed training with a very powerful women in 2014, trained in Baptiste Yoga, but fell too ill to complete.  In spring of 2017, after my kidney had been removed and I was healed,  I had the opportunity to train at a local studio and complete my 200 hour yoga teacher certification.  The teaching style combination of two more unique, but equally powerful  women.  This time the training would go far beyond the mat.  I would take a mental and spiritual (emotional) trip to the point I felt broken.  The course was stretch over a few months, which gave me time to process and grow before more information was thrown at me.

The fall of that year I rented my first “space” in the cafeteria of a local high school.  It was cheap, warm, and you could feel the energy of youth still in the air.  It would be here that I would start to connect with people through the universal energy that connects us all.  For the next few months, I run bi-weekly karma classes to raise money and help a young lady in the Philippines.  A child, of only 20 years, who needed a life saving surgery that her family couldn’t afford.  I want to be clear … I don’t hear voices!  But I can see how people might get confused.  It was the first time I listened to my intuition.  It sounds a lot like an extra voice.  Instead of “hearing” its a feeling that sends tingles all over.   The feeling of what I needed to do, was a clear to me as it would have been had I heard someone say, “Raise money for Alyssa’s heart surgery.” I knew I needed to help this young lady, it felt right!  Since then I have continued to add to my tool belt so that I can help others. 

“God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worth while.”      -Max Lucado.

I will always have a strong connection with Alyssa and her family.  Even though we still have not met in person.  Our story isn’t complete.  Alyssa will be going for her heart surgery as early as next week and I hope to travel to see her and her family one day.  I can feel it in my bones.