ISO: Sweetness

I sniff the sweet tea steaming on the stove and decide to add more sugar. I need something with just the right amount of diabetes; something sweet enough to prevent me from raiding the eldest son’s jellybean stash. I’ve been out of control lately. So out of control that I’ve been eating gluten too. Normally I avoid gluten. I know that gluten isn’t sweet, but it is good. Foods with gluten break me out and give me a spare tire. They’re also super fucking good.

So, why am I eating sweetness that rots my teeth and gluten that clogs my digestion? I have lots of different reasons:

  1.  I want more physical and emotional space. I feel like if I eat enough, I can create a safe space for me to hide in my body where no one will find me, ask me shit or want to suck on me.
  2. Did I mention emotional space? The eldest is three. He’s going through all sorts of big emotions, working through expressing his will and figuring out how to communicate. I often spend so much time trying to help him process and work out his shit, I don’t have time or space for mine. His shit reminds me of mine. The same is true for the youngest. By the end of the night, I’m exhausted and there doesn’t seem to be space for sorting out my own shit.
  3. I’m fucking tired and my body hurts. I’ve returned to my yoga practice and that has helped. However, my body is wrecked and my eyes are red.
  4. A civil war rages on within me. There are parts of me that want to Mama the fuck out. That part needs no personal time or space. It just needs to be loving, cooking, cleaning and tending. There are other parts that want Mama-me to hold the fuck up. There are rituals to prepare for, a business to re-establish, friendships to water, herbs to care for and a whole other host of shit to do outside of fucking with my kids.
  5. Did I mention that ritual freaks me out a bit? Don’t get me wrong, it feels right for me to do and I’m excited about it. I just wish that I had more space and quiet to hear. The odd thing is that my ears are full. More so than usual. I hear my ancestors, a few old friends and other things that watch me. More so than usual. It’s nice but also…. well.. a little more intense than usual 🙂 At least my dream life has calmed down 😀

Too much discord and a lack of space to sort it out leads me to eat. I eat to remind myself that I’m not processing my life. I eat to remind myself that there is sweetness in my life, but to enjoy it I need more balance. I eat to ease the pain of abandoning myself to care for people and situations outside of myself. I need to honor more of myself than just the part of me that is mother to the boys.

I am a full human being. I deserve expression outside of cooking, cleaning and playing with children.

We’ll see how things come together <3

Take care of yourself

J

Another fucking yoga thinkpiece

My thoughts on yoga, how I feel about the practice and my experience of practicing yoga don’t quite match up. I often get angry, confused and threaten to quite teaching. But somehow I always end up back on the mat wearing tight pants and reminding folks to breathe. Life is weird.

When I think about yoga I get angry. I think about yoga as a colonized practice that is far away from it’s root. As an American I feel embarrassed because I participate in perpetuating the experience as yoga as something that is potentially less than a direct hotline to God. I could get into the latest brouhaha about whose teacher was caught fucking whom, why xyz, should not be taught in public classes and how white yoga is– but let’s not 🙂 These observations and the way they arise are more a sign of what’s going on in our culture, than an indication of yoga itself. Yoga is much more that what I capable of perceiving. I am slowly learning that.

When I teach and practice I often feel a bit of guilt and sadness, because I wish that I knew more. However the knowledge and experience that I seek is intangible. It’s more than the experience or feeling of a balanced, well rounded practice. It’s more than having a capable or authentic teacher. The thing that I most seek I imagine isn’t Stateside. Sadly, I am not going to India to time travel. Maybe next life time 🙂  Even though, I often feel something is off in the way I work, I am not quite sure how to remedy it. No amount of study or practice I’ve done makes me feel better. My moments of clarity in regards to yoga come when I yield to something larger than myself; which connects to my personal practice.

Yoga found me when I was a graduate student in Bournemouth, England. I don’t use my graduate degree–at all. But since that first class many many years ago, I’ve never stopped practicing yoga. When I practice, I feel God. I feel loved. I feel cared for. I feel seen. I feel known. I feel forgiven, empowered and uplifted. When I step on the mat, to practice or teach I feel a larger, infinitely wiser and more loving hand guiding what and how I do. In this moment, whatever I am going through fades into the background. It’s just me and my breath. All I need to do is make it to the next breath. All is well. Whenever and however I practice or teach my needs in the moment are met. Somehow, despite whatever brings me to the mat in the moment–everything is and will be alright.

Oddly enough, this is why I practice. Outside of herbalism, it’s one of the few spaces where I can surrender to a tangibly higher power and know that everything is really alright. I can actually let go of my frantic me, meld into something divine and then decide whether to reside in that space of divinity or not. Most often I flow back into myself, but its so nice to know that God is always an available option.

I guess that is why I practice and teach. It always brings me back to God.

..till next time..

Take Precious Care

J

Still in the body: Transforming nature of Emotions

So, I am still working through Peter Levine’s book: Healing Trauma. I am currently at an exercise where he asks that you track sensations in the body as preparation for sitting with your emotions. After grounding and centering yourself, he suggests that you sit with whatever emotion comes up. He asks that you observe and feel said emotion in your body without analyzing, naming or putting it into context. Levine asks that you sit with the emotion until it changes.

I want to say that I find this practice easy. That would be a lie, though 🙂 It’s challenging to do in the moment with a toddler. Sitting, feeling acknowledging my mounting anxiety while watching my son get his breakfast everywhere but his mouth hasn’t quite worked for me :).

When I am alone and feeling courageous, sitting with emotions is much easier. I find that I am sometimes even able to restrain my desire to classify and make sense of what I am feeling and why. Grounding into the sensation that the emotion causes in and around my body helps me stay present. I find the more I pay attention to my body, the more at ease my mind is. It’s like my mind becomes absorbed with the body rather than with itself.

The practice of sitting with emotions as they evolve reminds me of yoga. Even though my yoga practice occasionally makes me uncomfortable; the more I practice the more things change. Sometimes things change for what seems like something better. Sometimes, things get worse. But the more I practice, the more I feel like I can handle whatever comes up because I have space to handle it with. I love space. As long as I can have space, I can get through anything.

We’ll see what bubbles up and through next!

Take Care,

Jeannette