Giving and receiving... or where I will be this summer

Are you a giver or are you better at receiving?

The flow of life works best when both things exist, don't you think? But each of us is probably better at one thing than the other.

At one point in my life I did a fair amount of yoga. In fact, I'd say that yoga set me on a path of self-exploration that has made me the happy goofball I am today... and allowed me to find success in my business and my personal life.

Then about a decade ago, I stopped.

I lived in various places in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado--all small towns, all without a yoga teacher I connected with. There were times where I tried. For a few months I drove an hour and a half to a spiritual community who had a wonderful Ashtanga teacher. But the drive was too much and I stopped. When we moved to Santa Fe, I did find a yoga studio with a couple teachers I really liked. But I let my head convince me I was too busy for the time it takes to connect with things that are real. I had a business to start.

Last month I found a small studio in Fort Collins which seemed right. The names of the classes don't contain the words hot, power, or core. The teacher is young and in training and the studio is in the basement of a public space that is noisy. But it doesn't matter. I can feel myself getting stronger again and more importantly, listening to my own intuition.

Today Krista talked about giving and receiving. I find in yoga classes that often what I am learning with my body connects immediately and strongly with my life.

I am certainly on the giving end of the spectrum.
I'd far rather make sure everyone around me was happy and taken care of than admit that I need to feed myself in important ways to be able to keep giving. This is not a healthy way to live. (At the most basic, I can't possibly please everyone.)

When I was an occupational therapist, it was all about giving. But I had a network of co-workers and family who were medical people and who could provide the support a medical professional needs to continue to help people in need. Now that I am self-employed, it is so easy to work all the time. I have to learn to create my own structure for receiving the quiet joy that allows me to give to others.

This is not easy for someone who is a little bit type-A obsessive about meeting all obligations and making everyone happy as much of the time as possible.

Perhaps you see where I'm going with this.

Tomorrow I'll be releasing my new schedule of classes with some exciting information about your access to the material once you register. Along with that comes an exception.

Update 4/27/15: Unfortunately, my hike as described below has been cancelled. We will be going backpacking, but not for this long stretch. I will be available to answer questions all summer. If I am off on a trail somewhere for a few days, I'll notify the classes and make the time up by answering questions on a weekend.

I will be taking a 4-5 week hike this summer from Denver to Durango along the Colorado Trail again. I'm excited to see a couple new routes finished since the last time I did it. I originally was not going to run any online classes this summer because I won't be available for a time to answer questions. But I had so many requests for classes, that I decided to offer another set of the beginning tapestry techniques course starting in May.

I will be out hiking for about a month. The trip will start sometime in late June depending on the what the snowpack does in Colorado in March and April. And though I won't be present for your tapestry questions for a bit, you can follow my hike here on the blog. I'm bringing a Hokett loom and a camera. And I'll be back soon undoubtedly with some good stories.

Hiking long trails is yoga. Your brain stops worrying after a few days and your body learns a whole lot about strength, pain, and not giving up. It is centering and it always teaches me to keep my head up and notice what is happening around me. If I learn the lesson well, I can bring it home to the rest of my life.

McDinner for Celiacs

I'm more than halfway finished with the petroglyph piece I'm working on at my teacher's studio in Santa Fe.  Whoo hoo!  It still seems slow, but what do you expect from a 48 inch square piece.  I have learned that switching from 8 epi to 10 epi is not all that easy, that 48 inches square is a lot of square inches to weave, and that if you don't pull those turns tight around the warp or make your jump-overs snug, the little suckers will exact retribution in the end--your piece will spread like an oil slick when you take it off the loom.  Too much weft is not a good thing.

On my way home from weaving in Santa Fe tonight, I picked up a new bookshelf I had ordered at the furniture store (I know, I know--those of you who know me are thinking, well that is one step down the slippery slope to complete book take-over and we're going to find her buried under a pile of hiking books one of these days... but really it is a small bookshelf, and I needed more space for all the books about treating kids I've had to buy lately to do my job--good excuse, right?  They're heavy--maybe I should put them on the bottom shelf just in case.)... and on my way home I stopped for McDinner at McDonalds.  I was sipping on my carcinogen-laced Coke and eating my hamburger straight out of Fast Food Nation and reading, of all things, an article in Yoga Journal called "Diet for a green planet."  (Those of you who have read books like Fast Food Nation will recognize the irony in that.)

My excuse for stopping for McDinner is that I have celiac disease.  At McDonalds, you can get a hamburger served in a plastic salad container without a bun.  I usually have to tell the clerk three times, "No bun"  (You said no bun?  Huh?  "Yes, no bread please" Are you sure? "Yes, I'll go into anaphylactic shock and die in your restaurant if you as much as let a crumb touch my burger"  This is definitely not true, but putting the fear of god into someone in the food business is my last best way to make sure I don't get sick.)  I was diagnosed in 2005 and found that many things in my world changed after that.  You don't realize how much of our social structure revolves around food until you can't eat just any old thing anymore.  

For instance, potlucks are mine fields (Sally SAYS there isn't any wheat in her salad, but then she remembers later that she used soba noodles, not rice noodles and she is so so sorry), restaurants are a guessing game (can I trust this waiter who refuses to go ask the chef if the ginger sauce has flour thickener, modified food starch, or soy sauce in it?), and your elderly aunt just can't understand why you won't eat her cookies no matter how many times you shout in her good ear that you can't eat wheat (Peat?  You can't eat peat?  Who would do that?).  If you have celiac disease, you know what I'm talking about--the body's revenge for screwing up can be fierce and unrelenting--it forces you to do things like note which public places have bathrooms you can run into without anyone giving you the evil eye for not being a customer.  Just the other day I found myself running across a parking lot and ducking into Wells Fargo because I knew they had a bathroom in the lobby.  If anyone asked, I was going to tell them I was pregnant and it was an emergency.  (That isn't true mom, sorry).

So I was sitting in McD's  reading the latest issue of Yoga Journal and cutting my hamburger with silverware thinking about improving my fitness level and how eating at McDonalds probably condemns you to hell for eternity.  Maybe I can start by getting the 100 pound bookshelf out of my car.  I hope I don't give myself a hernia.  I'm a pretty spry chick, but although it is only 2 feet wide, it is 7 feet tall and made of oak (I know I said it was small, but clearly it is bigger than a bread box)...  Maybe I can store the books in the shelf in the car for awhile.  Or perhaps I can just tell my neighbor I'm pregnant and get him to carry it inside for me.