My Newfound Love of Writing

I know my last post doesn’t exactly align with the peaceful, yogi tone of this blog. BUT, if any of you have read my about me page, you might remember that this blog is supposed to be about a journey. A big part of that journey for me has been rekindling my love for creative expression. I have really fallen in love with writing. Not only does it make me happy, but it is also helping me to deal with things that I could not deal with before. I feel like I may have finally found the thing that is going to make me happy for the rest of my life. It’s such an inspiring, hopeful feeling.

So, while yoga has been the main focus of this journey thus fall, a new, very big part is taking the stage. I am taking three communications classes this semester, many of which have probed me to just try to write more, exhibit A 50 Shades of Weird. I hope you enjoyed the break from all that om-ing😉.

50 Shades of Weird

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the latest erotic, guilty pleasure “literary” craze that is the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Maybe you’ve read it, maybe you’ve mocked it. Maybe you’ve read it and mocked it. But you know you know what it is. If you haven’t read it, well, spoiler alert, it is damn near impossible to endure. It is a poorly written excuse for a novel that is offensive to literary appreciators and women everywhere. I am actually embarrassed to admit that I read it (well, some of it). But, for the sake of sparing you the pain through which I have suffered, I present you with the top three (of many) reasons why this book, frankly, sucks.

1. This book is NOT creative. Yes, not many people have written well-known books about S & M, but that doesn’t make this story original! Aside from the odd premise of the story’s central relationship, the plot is as cookie cutter as you can get. Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy is crazy, and then, somehow, everyone ends up living happily ever after. Where have I heard that before…? How about every single chick flic and romance novel I’ve ever seen or read?!

Also, the girl’s name is Anastasia. Could you get any more stereotypically pornographic?

2. It is unrealistic. Sexually and otherwise. This girl has orgasms like I have coffee, frequently, quickly and unbelievably easily (I have a Keurig machine). Sometimes, she comes just from hearing the sound of her lovers voice. Umm… WHAT?! Does anyone out there actually believe that? As if that weren’t enough, she also says things like “oh my” to express her passion. I’m sorry, but the last time I heard of someone saying “oh my” in a fit of passion, I was watching the sex ed video in junior high. Get real, E. L. James. But I could go on about the sexual inexperience of this naive author for much longer than this blog post requires. If you want more examples, open the book to basically any page at all and you’ll have no problem finding them.

Anastasia, while described as plain, boring and unexceptional, still manages to attract attention from at least three different men throughout the first two books of the series. And one of them happens to be a sex-god quadrillionaire? Yeah, I believe that. Under that logic, I should be able to find one too, right? Oh yeah, that doesn’t happen in real life. I forgot.

3. It is a HUGE step back for Feminism. Anastasia is supposed to be an intelligent, responsible, proud girl. Yet she is still considering signing up for a dominant-submissive relationship? A relationship where a man will force to act a certain way and beat her when she doesn’t? Isn’t that what we’ve been trying to overcome since long before the days of suffrage? I’m all for sexual exploration and freedom, but this is about more than that. She is basically signing up for slavery, all because she finds this guy “dreamy”. As someone who considers herself a feminist – and as a woman in general – I am appalled. No woman should be so desperate for sex that she willingly gives up her freedoms. Ever. I don’t care who the guy is.

So, there you have it. Read at your own risk. You have been warned.

“New Year’s” Resolutions

Well, I am officially back at school and my senior year of college is about to begin.  I can’t stop thinking about my desire to really make the most of this year.  I love my school and my friends so much… I want to make the most of every last moment I have here.  So, I have decided to make a few New (School) Year’s resolutions.  And I am sharing them here to keep me committed and accountable.

1. Practice yoga at least four times per week.  It happens every year, classes start, and my yoga practice becomes low priority.  I am not going to let that happen this year.  Yoga needs to be a priority, too.  It keeps me sane and happy and healthy.  If it means I need to stay up two hours later, then that’s what I have to do.

2. Eat healthy!  I have just stocked my food with so much fresh healthy food.  I want to focus on maintaining this healthy eating throughout this year.  Fueling our bodies is so important and I need to learn to focus more on food as energy and nutrition, rather than something that I eat to feel better.

3. Meditate.  For someone who really appreciates the calming, energizing effects of yoga, I am very bad at meditating.  I want to mediate.  I just don’t.  I want to take time this year to learn about meditation and commit to a consistant practice.

When I started this blog post, I thought I would have more than this, but I guess these three resolutions are all I have for now.  But, hey, that’s okay.  It will certainly be plenty to work on and maybe its better to have a few goals you can really focus on than many goals that will inevitably be forgotten.

Here’s hoping to a great year!

My “boyfriend”

In high school, I was “that girl”.  You know the one, clingy, jealous, insecure.  And my boyfriend at the time was probably the root of all of these unhealthy, unproductive, and frankly, unflattering traits.

We dated for years, and let me tell you, we did not have a good relationship.  Everyone knew it.  My friends and family tried to convince me to leave him over and over again.  I was a bright student, on her way to the Ivy League, ready to reach for the stars, and he, well, wasn’t.  We couldn’t be on more opposite paths.  I wanted to change him, because I loved him so much, but knew he wasn’t the type of partner I needed.  He was constantly annoyed by my nagging.

And then somehow, I got away.  We split shortly before I left for my first year of college.  I have grown into myself since then.  I have flourished in my new environment and am much happier than I ever was in high school.  I feel accomplished, proud of my self, at peace.

But somehow, this summer, I have gotten involved with him again.  Now a college dropout, living at home with his parents, I know with every fiber of my being that I do not belong with him.  Could not belong with him.  He already has me resorting to more destructive ways.  I have been less committed to my yoga practice since his reappearance.  I have been blogging less.  A myriad of other equally disappointing habits have resurfaced.  I could not be more disappointed in my back-slide.  But I “love” him.  Or at least, I thought I did.  I think I may be confusing the joy of having someone care for me again with true love.  In fact, I know it.

But honestly, the longer I am spending back in my old relationship, I’m finding that I do not want to cling onto this comfortable, reliable thing just for the sake of having someone around.  I want to find the someone.  Doing all of these things with the wrong person just doesn’t feel right.  It isn’t comfortable or reliable at all.  I thought I would be happy just to have someone to hold.  But I was wrong.  It feels off.  Unbalanced.  And there is nothing more taboo to a yogi than being unbalanced.

So I have learned an important lesson.  This person is not the be all or the end all for me.  What I have known for ages has finally been accepted in my fickle heart: he is not the one for me.  No amount of love or comfort can change that.  I am finally ready to say goodbye to this man.  And if this little rendez-vous with my past was what it took for me to learn this, then for that, I have gratitude.

If you let it, the world can teach you powerful lessons.  They may not be the lessons you were looking for, but they are usually the lessons you need.  Just putting all of this down in writing, I know that to be true.  I hope you all will learn the lessons to help you let go of the things that are holding you back.  It is a freeing experience.  It gives me hope and excitement for the future, like I am finally ready to really live.

One

I do not know
what lies ahead for us.

I cannot say
if we will be together
for five minutes,
five years
or five lifetimes.

But, regardless of any of that
you will always be
my first big love.

The one people tell stories about
and spend forever trying to replicate.
The one everybody else
is compared to.

Or, if we’re lucky,
maybe just the one.

Self-judgment

Self-judgment and yoga are arch enemies.  In my experience, they are also neighbors.

I used to be a victim of self-judgment in my yoga practice.  It was a severe affliction.  Any time I would catch a glimpse of my body in the mirror, I would criticize the way it looked.  Start adjusting my clothing to look “better”.  It took me completely out of the pose.  It was as if I was no longer even practicing yoga.  Suddenly, my mind knew nothing of breath or mindfulness or peace.  It was as it I had subconsciously reentered middle school and I was worried about what the “cool kids” would think of me.

But there are no “cool kids” in yoga!  And that affirmation was all it took to begin my journey away from self-judgment (I’m still working on it… it’s hard for a girl to most past her body insecurity!).

I have learned that I am not really judgmental of myself.  At my home yoga studio, there are no mirrors.  I believe this has it’s pros and cons, but is truly something special to experience.  So, I “grew up “- with respect to my yoga practice – having no idea what my body looked like while practicing yoga.  I thought I was the most beautiful yogini in the world (and I am… And you are… We all are)!

In reality, my “self-judgment” is just a fear of what others will think of me.  I take on their hypothetical criticisms.  And here lies the beauty of yoga: practitioners of yoga are not going to criticize your yoga practice.  They are generally caring, compassionate and kind.  They are supportive of your physical and spiritual growth.  They are excited to be sharing the magic of yoga with you.

I know this is true because this is the way I feel towards others who are practicing yoga with me.  I want to befriend each and every one of them.  To hear what brings them to the mat every day and how yoga has affected their lives.  To learn from them and to grow with them.  I have never once thought a judgmental thought about the way my neighbor practices yoga.  Really.  This is why I love the yoga community.  We are all there for each other, even if only for an hour or ninety minutes a day.

SO – whenever I am feeling my insecurities creep up on me, I will remember the words I just wrote.  I will close my eyes, breathe deeply and feel the love around me.  And maybe some day soon this compassionate aura will infiltrate the rest of my life.  Hey, everyone has to start somewhere.