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Archive for the ‘Hitting My Walls’ Category

Dancing on the Edges of my Perfect Imperfections

Dancing on the Edges of my Perfect Imperfections

Dancing on the edges of my perfect imperfections, with each sweeping step I slough off a little more of the dusty, caked on layers of experience from my past to love and see my partner and my self more clearly.

Love brings up all that is in its way to clear the path back to love.

An intimate relationship with our partner, children, or family members is a perfect place to get a good look at the unconscious soot that has covered our hearts and clouded our thinking.

“Dancing on the edges of my perfect imperfections.” It sounds so poetic, doesn’t it? Yet in those brief, chaotic moments of experiencing my judgements, heart closing down, or projection of my fears on my partner, I am far from feeling elegant or Rumi-like.

Love brings up all that is in its way to clear the path back to love.

Where else could I get such a quick and thorough dose of my own medicine?

Our nervous system is hijacked (fight, flight, freeze) when we’re triggered by something deeply unconscious, or mildly or severely traumatic (I recommend books and videos by Dr. Peter Levine PhD http://www.traumahealing.com/somatic-experiencing/peter-levine.html, trauma recovery through Somatic Experiencing). It is like being pulled out to sea in an undertow. We long for the safety of the shoreline, but there we stay thrashing about for what is usually a little while, but may feel like an eternity.

Self awareness is key to coming back to shore. We can feel and sense into part of our body that feels grounded and peaceful – a technique to stay present to what is real and what is happening to us. Attention to the breath is often a wonderful place to anchor ourselves to the moment, but at these times of heightened reactivity our erratic breath may not be the best anchor.

Conscious relationship IS a daring path to enlightenment for some of us. I think it is a warrior’s path to enlightenment – not for the meek or weak-hearted.

I am grateful for all the master teachers out there that put themselves through hell to share tools for working with ourselves (Robert Augustus Masters http://www.RobertMasters.com, Dr. Peter Levine, Lorin Roche, jsut to name a few.)
I am grateful that in this lifetime, I am naturally committed to taking responsiblity for my reactions through deep reflection, meditation, or consulting with friends or therapists.

I will end with a poem by Lorin Roche (http://www.LorinRoche.com)…

“You don’t have to change yourself.
You don’t have to sit still.
You don’t have to sit cross-legged.
You don’t have to make your mind blank.
You don’t have to calm down.”

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Well, add another illness to the growing list of tropical diseases I’ve experienced here in the developing world: typhoid fever. Or at least that is what the blood test results vaguely showed. I still have my doubts. Explaining why would be too long of a story for this blog.

Since before Thanksgiving I felt dizzy, lightheaded, weak, unstable on my feet, and tired in a way that was unfamiliar to my body. In Spanish I would describe this feeling to my doctor as “borracha,”  drunk. I described it to my mother as “how you feel after having a high fever for several days.” She couldn’t relate. Drunk seems to get the point across more quickly.

I was at a Christmas party and I noticed that I kept missing my mouth when I sipped my wine. Interesting. Luckily, my summer dress was pink and burgundy.

I noticed I had to lean on the kitchen counter in the mornings while making coffee, as if I were on a fishing boat excursion for too long.

I didn’t drink anything last night on New Year’s eve; I didn’t have to. At least I didn’t spend any money!

Is this the last wall I will hit before my book Yoga at Your Wall is finally in print?

Stay tuned for more from “Typhoid Stefi…”

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No coincidences.

During the past year as I wrote Yoga at Your Wall, I experienced one of the most challenging years of my life. As I practiced yoga at physical walls in NJ and Mexico, I also found myself against emotional walls, intellectual walls, and spiritual walls. So many distractions interfered with my writing. At times, what appeared to be stumbling blocks between me and completing this book were actually starting blocks motivating me to write more. Writing and yoga, yoga and writing became the safe places to be.

And as I write this blog, I am fiercely focusing on the page to stop the vertigo that started over a month ago. What do you think? Maybe it will go away once the publisher starts printing the book next week? Is it the last of the great walls before publication?

I offer this book to you in gratitude for getting me through a challenging year. If you find yourself against the wall, hitting your wall, or between a wall and a hard place in life, know that you are not alone. As you read these pages, keep in mind that I was encountering the largest and hardest walls in my life.

At the beginning, I had no electricity in the Caribbean cabin I call home. To order to keep writing, I relied on electrical outlets at friend’s homes and internet cafes. I wrestled with menopausal symptoms, allergies, and various tropical diseases which were all exaggerated by the intense summer heat and humidity. I swatted away a variety of tropical pests between paragraphs: scorpions, spiders, mosquitoes, flies, ants and another unidentified insect that bit in its own unique way. I scratched and itched during file saves.

A few weeks after the initial concept for this book began taking shape, my mom was rushed to the hospital in New Jersey. The diagnosis was heart failure. I shuttled myself back and forth between NJ and Mexico all year. And then there was the break-up of a very intense 6 year relationship, and learning to live alone in a foreign country.

Eventually I had electricity, but so did my neighbors. As I powered up my computer, they powered up their stereo and celebrated with thunderous music and around the clock parties—some lasting for 4 days. As the walls vibrated around me, I inserted my ear plugs and wrote more.

Practicing yoga is an act of kindness toward ourselves. Even if we dedicate 10 minutes a day to our own well-being, self-awareness, and spirit in the middle of chaos and drama, it is time well spent.I hope this book inspires you to practice more yoga— wherever and whenever you encounter walls!

Namaste,

Stephanie

yogawallbooksampleadopt1

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Okay, okay. I will start a blog even if I don’t think anyone will read it.
That comment oozes doubt and low self-worth – those lovely codependent mental tendencies!

The book is finished and will be in print by February 2009.

The web site is http://www.YogaAtYourWall.com

I look forward to sharing this book. I hit all my emotional, spiritual and physical walls while I wrote this book.

I keep hitting them. You are not alone. You will read more about the walls I encountered and encounter on this blog. How could I write otherwise?

Read my blog life lessons from my 9 cats:

Brave adventures from Bat Kitty
Retreating from society from Reina
Paying attention to everyone from Pijamas
Jumping through windows from Junio
Clever entrances and exits from Cow Face Kitty (a.k.a. Gomukha in Sanskrit)
Seven Wonders from Seven (a.k.a. SIETE en Spanish)
Frolic time from Franki
Stealth from Sylvester
Cry when you need to from Little Cry Baby (a.k.a. Chilloncita in Spanish)

Editors, please write me at stefanipappas@hotmail.com if you would like a review copy.

Find me at Stephanie Pappas on Facebook.

Franki Yogi

Franki Yogi

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