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this morning a friend posted this quote on her facebook wall:

jesus never asked anyone to form a church, ordain priests, develop elaborate rituals and institutional cultures, and splinter into denominations. his two great requests were that we ‘love one another as i have loved you’ and that we share bread and wine together as an open channel of that interabiding love.

cynthia bourgeault

first off, i googled ‘interabiding’ as it was not a word with which i was familiar. i do love the creation of words and phrases which more accurately express a concept for which we do not currently have language.

then i googled the author of the quote, curious about the context in which it was first said. and there began a wee journey to basic goodness.

i came upon an article about social distancing and julian of norwich by justin coutts on his blog in search of a new eden and was captivated by the opening paragraphs.

i was totally ignorant of anchorism and any knowledge of those who practiced it. a form of spiritual mysticism, the consecration of an anchorite (also referred to as anchoress or anchoret) involved a sort of living death ritual, reminding me of buddhist meditation practice of maranasati used to experience the nature of death. the anchorite then lived a life of extreme in a small cell-like room, referred to as an ‘anchorhold, on the side of the church/cathedral. here the anchorite lived as if dead to the world.

death. so fascinating. so relevant to each of us from the moment of our first breath. each of us unable to sustain ourselves on this earth without causing death. the nature of living is the nature of death. oh, but this is simply a digression.

today, i was more caught in julian of norwich’s thoughts around goodness and was swept up by the words coutts used to encapsulate the clarity of julian’s self-inquiry:

…she was able to see the cosmic truth that “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things of shall be well”.

by turning inward julian found god’s goodness, god’s love for all of humanity, and all of creation. out of the midst of suffering she was able to see the truth that god is in all things and loves all things and that goodness is the foundation even of those things which seem evil to us

personally, i have always had a problem with the notion of evil, with the existence of evil. we can stray — easily, deeply, horrifically — away from our basic goodness, we can bury it almost to the point of obliteration by some of our human proclivities, through our untended traumas, by way of thought and action lacking skillfulness. but are we not, always and forever, existing from a bedrock of basic goodness?

and i loved that as i read and scrolled through to the bottom of coutts’ thoughts, he had shared a youtube video of mirabai starr talking with michael petrow about julian of norwich and the current pandemic within which we now live. i had recently begun reading starr’s memoir caravan of no despair, where she bravely and openly shares the spiritual journey that began for her the day her daughter died in a car accident.

today, my day is filled with the feminine divine. julian of norwich who shared her revelation that god is feminine. green tara, the feminine buddha, watching me type from her place on my home shrine, mirabai starr sharing so much goodness.

my thoughts here today, cursory and not very well formed or chased. just a day where they can drift across my self, the synchronicities opening me. so welcome.

 

as an endnote: when i mentioned to my partner some of this trip down the rabbit hole he told me one of his colleagues’ scholarly research was on anchorites. catherine innes-parker, who i did not know well, passed unexpectedly last fall, but i shall know her better when i read anchoritism in the middle ages: texts and traditions.

106296159_598401851100672_891954685164863832_nwe have all lived amidst a wellspring of uncertainty, perhaps finding fear and darkness at the source, perhaps finding opportunity. i have traversed all the points along and beyond this lockdown acquifer choosing largely to create and live my own covideology.

the shutdown in my part of the world was sudden and extensive.  i taught my usual 3 classes on friday — adult fitness, gentle yoga, kettlebell group training — and arrived home to the email that it was shut down, as was my work with private training clients.

i spent the first two weeks prepping for the return to work. i am not sure what i was thinking, but it had not set in that this might be a longer stint than just a couple of weeks. and, it has been.  and continues to be. and the short-term future remains unknown.

after that first two weeks, i created the list of the more extensive home and yard projects that needed or wanted doing that we had not had time for. as i write this, 14 weeks later, i rest content that i have tackled none of them.

on the other hand, i have delved into many online opportunities, taking courses in the neuroscience of behaviour change, functional aging, functional programming for female clients, targeted mobility training, foundational mace and mace flow, indian club swinging, energetic alignment & intuitive sequencing, living the 8 limbs of yoga, living from a place of surrender, the flight of the swans: buddhism in north america, and a few others.  i love to learn and these weeks have been a gift for those of us who have some sort of internet connection and are lifelong students.

i have also found a workout groove which, prior to this break, had become sketchy due to my work schedule and caregiving responsibilities.  if you’ve looked at the blog before, you will notice that i have been running with quite a bit of consistency for a few months now, slowly building my weekly distances and using the running experience as metaphor for some of the personal work that has been tumbling through me.

steelsummeri also picked up some virtual studio training with Flow Shala at the end of march and have been having a good deal of fun-bathed-in-sweat learning to work with the steel mace.

 

 

 

i love uncertainty, the feeling of being lost. when you’re lost, you’re free.~ marty   rubin

 

 

open heart

i have been teaching this particular class — gentle yoga — for more than a dozen years.  only 3 times in those years have i taken more than 2 weeks off at a time. until, of course, this year.

we enjoyed a lovely practice together on friday, march 13th and by the time i got home there was notification that all programming in the building was immediately ended.

11 weeks later, with a new layer of safety precautions, we can again gather our energies, our hearts, and spirits, in one room, to practice.  a gentle practice to keep our joints strong, our spines resilient, our connective tissues juicy. a gentle practice to lead us out of the physiological effects of stress and into a nourishing state of being.

for 8 weeks, beginning monday june 8 and ending friday july 31, we will have practice twice a week together.  10am on mondays and fridays at Hillsborough Park Community Centre.

if you have interest or questions, please send me an email at

3oryoki@gmail.com

the class will not be able to accommodate walk-ins, but drop-ins can be prearranged.

namaste.

sometimes, you just have to start all over differently.  ~ bernard kelvin clive

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

 

 

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

 

cby1

enjoy a 60 minute practice geared toward maintaining joint health and body strength as we age, move through stress-related soft-tissue tension, arthritis, or 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 mondays and fridays at 10:30am

in the upton room at west royalty community centre.

begins on  march 1 and ends on april 29

*no classes on march 8, april 12, 22

15 classes $120

any 10 classes $85 

any 7/8 classes $63/$72

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

Senior-yoga

enjoy a 60 minute practice geared toward maintaining joint health and body strength as we age, move through stress-related soft-tissue tension, arthritis, or 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 mondays and fridays at 10:30am

in the upton room at west royalty community centre.

classes begin on january 7 and end on february 22

14 classes $112

any 10 classes $85

any 7 classes $63

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

join us. we welcome new energies.

yoga is a dance between control and surrender — between pushing and letting go — and when to push and to let go becomes part of the creative process, part of the open-ended exploration of your well-being.       –Joel Kramer

yogatree

the autumn schedule is falling in to place, though there are still a few bits and pieces yet to fall into place.

beginning friday, september 7th:

i will be guiding my GENTLE YOGA classes on mondays and fridays, 10:30a – 11:30a, and coaching GROUP KETTLEBELL classes on mondays and fridays, 12:00p – 12:45p, at the west royalty community centre on kirkland road.  get in touch with me for further information.

beginning monday, september 10th:

i will be instructing and sweating through the ADULT LO/NO IMPACT FITNESS on mondays, wednesdays, fridays, 8:45a – 9:45a, at the west royalty community centre on kirkland road, for the city of charlottetown. get in touch with city of charlottetown department of parks and recreation for information.  watch for winter and spring sessions after this fall session.

beginning tuesday, october 2nd:

i will be having a blast with the SENIORS FITNESS class on tuesdays and thursdays, 9:30a – 10:30a, at park royal church, for the city of charlottetown. get in touch with the city dept of parks and rec for info. watch for the winter and spring sessions too.

beginning monday, september 17th:

cby1i will be guiding CLUBBELL YOGA CONDITIONING on mondays, 7a – 7:45a, for upei panther recreation fitness programs. get in touch with upei panther rec for further information. register soon, numbers are limited!

 

beginning wednesday, september 19th:

KBs-in-grass1i will be coaching KETTLEBELL CIRCUIT class on wednesdays, 7a – 7:45a, for upei panther recreation fitness programs. get in touch with upei panther rec for information. register soon!

 

 

 

ongoing now ‘n’ then at now ‘n’ zen:

i will continue to share the guide  of CHAIR YOGA class on wednesdays, 10:30a – 11:30a, at now ‘n’ zen in stratford. get in touch with now ‘n’ zen for further information.

ongoing tuesdays:

the MIXED LEVEL YOGA class on tuesdays, 6:30p – 7:30p, at atlantic fitness east, continues to run. get in touch with afe for information. join us for this delicious evening practice.

beginning tuesday, october 2nd:

i am excited to be guiding the queen’s county SENIORS YOGA & STRETCH on tuesdays, 11:30a – 1:00p, at camp gencheff for seniors college. register through seniors college and watch for winter and spring semester sessions in the same time slot in the same location.

beginning wednesday, october 3rd:

king’s county gets some SENIORS YOGA & STRETCH too. on wednesdays from 1:30p – 3:00p, at atlantic fitness east. get in touch with seniors college to participate. winter and spring semester sessions will be running.

beginning thursday, october 4th:

i will be leading a queen’s county MEDITATION AND BREATHWORK class on thursdays, 11:30 – 12:30, for seniors college, at camp gencheff. contact seniors college for further information.

buddhafall

 

 

 

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.

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