AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IN WHICH I AM FEARLESS
I step outside as easily as I come back home. The phone rings, and I answer it. The cute guy at the co-op asks me if I got sun because I spent the previous day outside, not because my insecurity is showing. I know exactly what to say. I get his number or he gets mine. We live happily ever after, or for as long as it takes to finish a cup of coffee. I go to a meetup and know exactly what to say. I go on a job interview and know exactly what to say. I look up. I don’t stutter. I don’t choke. I am center stage where I belong. All eyes are on me. All ears on my throat. My passion on my sleeve. My heart is so full, it bursts. I am independent. I am wild. I am behind the wheel, windows down, red desert stretching to the horizon. I am on a solo trip to Mexico or Italy. I am ordering dinner without wondering what the server thinks of me. I am not overanalyzing. I am not curled up. I am not trying to make myself small. I am not crying, again, over nothing. I small talk. I ask questions. I lay it all out in the open. My heart only races when I’m thinking of your hand grazing the small of my back. My lungs feel light, my shoulders relaxed. I know when things have run their course. I accept endings. I welcome beginnings. I am not alone. I have my tribe. We hike to mountain tops and jump out of airplanes. We listen to live music, get drunk on vodka and guitar strings. Our souls are intertwined. We are a lifetime. I have no regrets. I am happy. My heart is full. I am free.
If you’re wondering why there’s no soul
behind my glassy glaucous eyes,
it’s because I’m utterly unsatisfied.
I’ve looked down the barrel of my life
and seen only the mundanity of cages and walls.
And ever since, I feel like I’m barely here,
just a faint wind,
fleeting morning mist,
a cloud of warm breath
exhaled in the dead of winter.
the occasional cup
of rich, caffeinated coffee.
warm & fuzzy days,
days spent immersed
in a book or a TV show
binge-watched from the couch
stacks of books,
leafy plants crawling
toward the sun.
a tribe to call home,
passion in bed,
passion in work,
passion all around.
& honey scrubs.
Wine. Lots of wine.
the right to say yes
Yoga influenced a lot of the poetry in the last section of my book, A Time for Winter, including the “Vulnerable,” a poem in which I detail the struggle between wanting to unfold and fold in.
Over the past two years, yoga has taught me focus, stillness, and how powerful the breath is. In the past year, during deep waves of depression and social anxiety, yoga has helped me get out of the house as I graduated from at-home practice to public classes.
It was in public classes that I really felt the vulnerability that comes with yoga—the vulnerability of closing my eyes in front of strangers, of breathing loud ocean waves in front of strangers, of lying flat on my back and kicking my feet up to the sky in front of strangers, of rising out of forward fold and shouting “Lumos!” in front of strangers (hello, Hogwarts Yoga!).
Continue reading A Peak Between the Lines of “Vulnerability” from Kait Quinn’s A Time for Winter
Day 7’s theme is Surya, or sun. The practice was about honoring the sun, rinsing, softening, finding clarity.
I have to be honest. I’ve had a bout of writer’s block the past couple of days. My creativity is null. And tying to write this, trying to capture the perfect yoga pose for my feature photo, trying to write a poem… It all feels forced.
Like, I want to tell you that I honored the sun yesterday by practicing before sunset rather than after. But really, I tried to practice before sunset so that I could get a picture for this post while I still had decent lighting.
I want to tell you that I’m journaling and writing poetry for myself, then sharing it on my blog. But I don’t feel like I’m journaling. I don’t feel inspired to write poetry. I feel like I’m trying to write something for my blog, which is not what I intended. It doesn’t feel like I’m doing it for me. It doesn’t feel like self-care. Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 7: Taking the Pressure Off
As usual in 30 Days of Yoga, Day 6 is all about core, core, CORE!
Fueling the Core Muscles
I LOVE core day. It’s always a good reminder to bring awareness to my core, to recognize how strong it is or that it needs tending. This year’s core day was especially exciting because Adriene added some new moves to the mix. My personal favorite was the three-legged knee hover. I love trying new workout moves and yoga poses to hit my muscles in a new way and keep fitness fun and fresh, so those new poses were a delicious treat and welcomed challenge.
I’m really proud of how well I did during today’s practice. I’ve been feeling like my core needs A LOT of work—and it does. But it’s actually much stronger than I thought it was. As is my third chakra… Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 6: Fueling the Fire
Holy moly! Today’s practice was a complete 180 from yesterday’s. I felt so much more relaxed and in tune with my body today. I NEEDED today’s slow, stretchy, yummy movement. My back needed it, my hammies needed it, my soul needed it. Today’s flow was a breath of fresh air. A much desired slowdown after yesterday’s bittersweet practice.
Today’s theme is Feel. And I f e l t. Every sensation in my body as I stretched, twisted, lengthened, and moved, slow and with love. I felt the sensation of loving my body. Of caring for it. Listening to it. Giving it the ease of movement it craved. I felt so freaking present. It was one of those practices where I couldn’t help by smile through it, thinking to myself, Yes! This is yoga!
And now, the poem I felt build inside of me during today’s yummy practice: Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 4: Feeling the Sensation of Loving My Body
I felt a bit all over the place during today’s practice. I started out strong. My breath was deep and steady. My body felt relaxed. My movements were in sync with my breath.
Then my lack of regular practice over the past few months showed up in a big way.
Observing the Struggles
The first thing that through me off was three-legged downward dog. Not any three-legged downward dog. No. Today Adriene asked us to pulse the raised leg, and… I’ll admit it. I panicked. I gave up. Even moving to all fours to pulse the lifted leg felt like too much. However, I did redeem myself when I switched to pulsing the left leg. I latched on to my breath, still going strong, deep, and steady. I re-centered, re-focused, and was able to maintain the pose and movement.
The second struggle was the rest of the practice. No, I’m kidding. Mostly I just struggled with Warrior II, side angle pose, and tree pose. I was a bit
alarmed surprised that I struggled with these poses because they’ve never been too difficult for me. This was the first time I had to keep my big toe on the ground during tree pose. I just could not maintain my balance. Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 3: Learning to be the Neutral Observer
Wow. What an amazing, transformative practice today!
I have to admit, I was a little impatient during yesterday’s practice. But I reaped the benefits of sticking with it in today’s practice. And while that impatience creeped up once or twice during today’s practice, I felt much more mindful, patient, and aware. I surprised myself by sinking deep into poses like Downward Dog and Child’s Pose—deeper than I’m normally able to. My body was r e l a x e d and open to it. My mind was hyper present and aware but not overthinking every movement.
I think that’s what they call letting go.
Day 2’s theme is Foundation. I practiced bringing awareness to my own yogic foundation. I found that it is surprisingly strong but definitely needs some tending to. Today’s practice added a solid layer to that foundation. I also stepped off the mat feeling completely blissed out, both physically and mentally. Ah, the rewards of yoga! Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 2: Building a Foundation
It took me until this evening to make my way to the mat, but I did it. I showed up. I challenged myself to stillness. I listened to my breath, letting it guide me through and calm me in the moments that I wanted to give up. I found strength. I zenned out. I went inward to discern why I showed up to this 30-day journey. I stepped off the mat feeling lighter and creative. The result was a poem full of loving intention.
of time carved out
just for me.
Because I recognize
that I am
d e s e r v i n g
of self-care. Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 1: Recognizing What Brings Me to the Mat