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100996223_618549779004400_365691180781928448_nthe to and fro of pine limbs, trampolining in the gusts and a morning sky gauzy with pillowy pewter-lined clouds greeted me. the gray and coral marbled asphalt, like ill-fitting jigsaw puzzle pieces strewn upon the earth, welcomed the steady chatter of my feet.  all manner of happy birds, oblivious to my presence, nooked in swaying trees, filling my body with trilly notes.

no push in my body this morning, just a presence and the ongoing peace making with the wind.  partway into the run, the draperies were drawn aside and the sun shone through. i became aware of my shadow self, running just in front of me, leading me into the places i needed to travel.

100569460_772063373534226_4537950251817893888_ni moved my awareness to the tidal movements of fluids running through the channels in my brain. brine-swelled pulses delivering oxygen to the recesses not yet fully awakened from my good night’s rest. conveying the goodness of sunshine through the complexity of vascular highways, collecting the dregs and dross from the neuronal salt mines.

this has always been my primary reason for running; the neuroprotective whatfor in my elevated heart rate is the black caviar of my efforts.  and now affixed, to run with my shadow self, partnering the purpose.

of late every day brings a stronger wind.

good timber does not grow with ease. the stronger the wind the stronger the trees.
~ thomas s monson

100598778_259263781976768_4473273679337226240_nthis morning’s chilly breeze reddened my knuckles and billowed my lungs. there was a corridor of contrails that drew me into my run, the roadside littered with bobbing robins. and so it was that when i turned east to head home, the sun relieved my hands of their chill and infinite silence existed between the bird calls of the morning.

this moment – every moment – a gift. this moment that is 13.8 billion years in the making. so many events had to happen simultaneously for this moment to be, for me to be in this moment, running in the sunshine with the kindest of intentions toward myself.

simply mind-boggling. outrageously incredible.

in every moment, the Universe is whispering to you. you’re constantly surrounded by signs, coincidences, and synchronicities , all aimed at propelling you in the direction of your destiny.       ~  denise linn

 

22.05.20

home again after the run

many times in my life i have referenced ‘the wind is not my friend.’  prone to earachesas wind rushes past them, haired fuzzed and in-face issues, and the dread of its challenges on run days; particularly this.

recent heart lessons echoed this morning as i pulled on my running togs:  if i am to be kind to myself, i must befriend the wind.

as i turned at the end of the laneway, into the stiffish breeze, the usual fight and resistance did not arise. instead, i understood that i must move into the wind, spread my long wings in a vulnerability, a welcoming embrace, in order to be lifted.

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and so, for the first half of the run, i allowed myself to soar, running with, instead of against, this friend. new friend.

at the turn around point, the whoosh fell away from my ears. i became aware of the throaty calls of ravens, the vireos’ curious insistent question: ‘where are you?’ the trees, swaying and bouncing, rhythmically sighed the songs of wind instruments. the wind at my back, pushed me into a skitter along the arc of the earth and dropped me at the laneway with a pounding heart, alive with this new day.

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this is your chance. this little, short human life that you have is your opportunity. don’t blow it . . . my teacher said that making friends with myself meant seeing everything inside me, and not running away or turning my back on it. because that’s what real friendship is. you don’t turn your back on yourself and abandon yourself, just the way you wouldn’t give up on a good friend when their darker sides began to show up

~ pema chodron

 

 

98086954_239874040673475_8335437881128517632_nout the door noonish for a run on a beautiful day.  much later than i prefer to run, but early morning today had other responsibilities.

a sun with enough heat that short sleeves were sufficient and a westerly wind with just enough ooomph in it to billow against a good-run mindset.  scarce birdsong at this time of day and some light traffic.  plenty of farming equipment rolling along the road and kicking up red dust in the fields that came in waves across my running path.

the first kilometre was that.  wind and dust. a stomach a bit too heavy with morning food. a head full of the early morning stress, looping like an old reel to reel tape player. the first kilometre was that. a story line dragging me down, sitting tight across my shoulders and ratcheting rigid my jaw, labouring my breathing, congesting in my log-heavy legs. a misery i created. the first kilometre was that.

grateful was i to become aware. i did not need to bear this burden.  these obstructions, of my own making. i could simply drop this weary load on the roadside.  i could, in fact, allow a bit of self-compassion to well up. i could be kinder to myself. and so, i was.

99131829_875738756274411_2059805425410244608_nmy heartbeat and breath fell into a steady, comforting rhythm and the warmth of the sun touched my whole being.  the earth lifted to meet the regularity of my foot fall.

the run. was so good.

i came home.

 

we can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. the amount of effort is the same.

~ pema chodron

 

dreaming of roses

spring is slow in revealing its resplendence this year.  just of late, buds have attached themselves to winter bare limbs and the hummingbird feeder remains unattended, though the table has been set.

i will call today my first run of the season, though i have ventured out two other times since our world became more insular. first run because it was more joyful than i anticipated, requiring less discipline to get there and get home again.

17.05.20the sun played peak-a-boo in a cloud-dappled sky and even with a heavy frost in the early hours, the asphalt had loosened its grip on the winter chill and felt warm underfoot. birds were insistent in calling out their spring delight and the breeze, first against my left cheek as i headed out, then my right as i returned, was just right in its temerity.

 

signs of life, springing forth, among the detritus of winter and the pall of a novel corona virus.

it may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.

~ wendell berry

 

me runningin the spring, i went for a run and put up a wee post about it. as it happens, i have continued to not be a runner on a consistent basis since then.

this morning’s run was under grey skies, as seems to have been the mornings of late.  it was also later than i prefer to run as i waited for both daylight and coffee to happen first.

crickets and cicadas provided the universal heartbeat backdrop to the run.  starlings and70735714_1659574990843496_1696513074057445376_n.jpg mourning doves hung like garlands in trees.  the shoulder of the road was still littered with fallen trees, though power lines that had been broken and were hanging just a few mornings ago, all remnants of last weekend’s hurricane dorian, are now repaired, explaining the power outage yesterday.

i have been contemplating entering the pei marathon’s 10k event this year. i have done it twice before, once shod, once barefoot. i have even flirted with the idea of the half marathon. thankfully, my common sense and self care instincts kick in before i get further than a furtive wink with the 21 km demand.

i am not a distance runner, not being well suited to endurance events, except perhaps birthing labour.

years ago, when i first began training for a half marathon, i gradually added more kilometres to my week on a schedule slightly on the conservative side of most recommendations.  weeks in, somewhere around the 13/14km mark, a wisdom deep inside my right hip flexor began to arise.  i dropped back my weekly distance for a couple of weeks and then slowly began to increase it again.  this inner wisdom was not to be denied.

i am not the sort to ‘work your way through that pain’ and, observing the ultimate outcome for those who do,  i am grateful for the kindnesses, including abandoning the thoughts of half marathon training, i have offered my body as i age.

so, i continue to run. short distances which fill my senses and clear my heartmind.  having nothing to prove to myself, these runs serve me well.

onward, then.  headlamp and safety vest season is upon me.

learning to treat ourselves lovingly may at first feel like a dangerous experiment.    sharon salzberg

 

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it has been quite a while since my soles spent time communing with asphalt.

beginner’s mind.

the sky was grey above, the damp asphalt grey below. crows were repelled by my approach and bluejays screeched like clothesline reels. the return of gold finches was heralded with their singing.

the lichens hung, winter weary, from tree limbs. the fields were waiting on sunshine to green their blankets. pussy willows had already pushed from their sleepy sleeves.

beginner’s mind.

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enjoy a 60 minute practice geared toward maintaining joint health and body strength as we age; also suitable for people with stress-related soft-tissue tension, arthritis, and a variety of joint injuries. a gentle flow warm-up sets the tone for stretches, basic postures, warm laughter, and a rejuvenating final relaxation.

no yoga experience is necessary for this class.

classes are on fridays and mondays at 10:30am

in the upton room at west royalty community centre.

classes begin on november 2 and end on december 21 (no classes november 9, 12, 23, 26)
11 classes $88
any 8 classes $68

*add’l drop in for package participants $10
general drop in $12

join us. we welcome new energies.

yoga is not about touching your toes. it is what you learn on the way down.  ~ jigar gor

i have stared at this blank screen for a while and have not found a gentle, tender way to share this news.

the whole way health & fitness studio is closing. march 31, 2018 is the day.

ideally, i would like to share this news in a personal, face-to-face conversation with every single one of you who come to the studio.  that desire is not feasible.

most of you know that my life has changed quite a bit recently; there are new other  aspects of my day-to-day that I want to spend more time with. closing the studio made the most sense whenever i dared entertain the thought. the last few weeks have brought me to a place of peace with the thought.

the studio has always been about you. about each and every clientfriend friendclient who has created a space for themselves and, in the process, crafted an amazing communal space. i have had the gift and the immense pleasure of being the steward of that space.

i will not say good-bye to the collective energy of the studio quite yet. there are still kettlebells to swing and clubbells to swipe; lebarre class squats to do and so much yummy yoga to practice. there is a final a.m. ready session to grace our early morning alarms.

i look forward to spending sweaty. sweet time with you in these next months.

thank you.

closestudiopic

i recently spent a few days camping with my partner.

annually we spend 4 or 5 nights at a particular island campground. we head to the northside of up east, to a cozy place called Campbell’s Cove (if you are not familiar with the geographical directional lexicon of prince edward island, you need only know it is island-centric and, though i can say the words, it remains a mystery to me).

DCIM100SPORTour day of arrival was steely gray, blustery and wet. the ocean was churning red waves upon the shore. the clouds were low, dancing a chaos of squalls. it was pretty much perfect.

the next morning dawned drier and slight bit more calm. clouds scampered along the early morning sky and the beach seemed to invite us down for a post-coffee stroll. it was the thrice daily ritual of ours days.

DSCN4624the way the sands allowed the waves to insistently rock ‘n’ roll, build and surrender, as the horizon shifted grey then blue then cloud then sky, seduced me into the landscape. i stopped being there and began projecting myself upon/into this mirific backdrop. the outcroppings of rocks, upon which the waves released, the uptakes of the stiff breezes, the passage of time with the skuddle of clouds . . . i wanted to place myself into this beauty. i wanted to strike a yoga pose on the edge of the ocean and have it captured with the camera so i could put it on my facebook page.

only seconds after this desire came upon me, my awareness of how ego-based the desire was crashed across my mind, much like the surf upon the boulders. and i let it go.

no.

i did not.

let it go.

the next day, on one of those lovely beach strolls, i capitulated to ego and handed the camera to udo. i was heading out onto that outcropping of rocks, there, i said, and i was going to stand in vrksasana – tree pose – and would he please snap a picture.

there was still a stiff breeze arriving on shore from the atlantic ocean  and coupled with some recent inflammation in my knee, a gradual growing into tree was required. there was a measure of challenge to holding the asana under these conditions.  after i had felt one with the universe long enough for it to be captured for social media, i climbed back over the rocks toward him, asking if he had gotten the shot.

no. he did not.

what??!

and so, i repeated the above process. this time he declared his part, solicited as it was, of my ego escapade a photographic success.

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later in the day i had time to check out the pictures. there were a few of me prepping for the pose, which explained the missed shot the first time around. the second time, the frame was zoomed in, so much so that the perspective, of my lovely self in this beautiful seascape, was lost.

all this to say, my ego was defeated. not by me, but by him. he has been my ego-eradicator from the beginning.

these photos. the ones where we place ourselves into landscapes and then share them — often multiple versions of them; the ones where we take multiple shots, looking for angles on our faces, the slant of light, the one that has that feel of serenity or excitement or pensiveness or unawareness or accomplishment. our lashes, our hair, the tilt of our head, the turn of the body, the shadow defining a muscle, that oh-so-horrible duck-face evolution of lips pursed so awkwardly … the entire process, from idea to selection to adding effects to captioning … these are important. they are important as our teachers. they tell us about how attached we are to our egos and give us more stuff to work with.

he recognized my ego and he deflated it. i am so very thankful for his gurudity in my life. i have so much more work to do. i am constantly amused by and curious about it all.

all

I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lies within ~ Rumi

 

 

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