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Posts Tagged ‘Obstacles’

Befriend the Opposite

Befriend the Opposite

Or put in more psychological terms: making the unconscious, conscious.

Or said in more spiritual terms: shining the light on our darkness or shadow side.

So, if we don’t know that we are acting or reacting to circumstances and people in our life out of some unconscious patterning from our past or childhood, how do we then become aware of it?

Here are things that give me a clue that I have gone into an unconscious pattern response:

1. I feel numb and my life energy shuts down
2. My mind seeks to blame when I hurt
3. My partner will tell me or point it out! (not easy, but a quick reminder!)
4. I don’t smile, dance, or listen to music as much
5. My voice sounds irritated
6. I get defensive
7. I get very independent
8. My partner will notice that I am not being my true Self!

What do YOU do when you are hurt or reactive?
Do you see any correlation to what you may have done in response to dysfunctional family patterns?

Bless those that mirror us even though it is so painful!

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My good  friend Pattie wrote me this today. What a great phrase. She is my biggest fan, but maybe she should be a writer, too.

Yes, it is true. I have been to hell and back…hate to admit that, but it’s true. And who hasn’t in one way or another.

It is good to be back, though. And if hell comes again, I know that I can “unlike” it or “unfriend” it, like I do on in modern times facebook. Or simply be fully with it, and experience it like I have in the past. This juicy stuff of life never ends!

Sticky, and juicy.

Stephanie Pappas, author

Christmas 2011

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stefpappasI bet you are thinking, what the hell does that title mean. Where is she going with this one?

Well, it is a long, long standing tradition that my mother must comment on my hair, for some reason, every time I see her. Even yesterday, after 3 weeks in her hospital bed, in and out of states of delirium and dementia. I hoped that maybe this time the goodnight goodbye “I love you” could just have ended at that…sweet and silent. But noooooo. It STILL had to be followed by a comment about my hair. By the way, I happen to LIKE my hair.

A month ago at my only uncle’s funeral service she just couldn’t help but toss a comment. There I was, feeling pretty and dressed up for the occasion. Hell, even my long lost cousins said I looked great (at 48 this feels like a nice compliment).

Mom turned to look at me. I thought she was going to blurt out something special, deep, or touching. After all, we were at a funeral. But nooooope. She just uttered, “You need to condition your hair.”

And I still felt a sense of shock and wonder, after all these years. Somewhere inside me I know it is coming from her love for me, but it never feels that way when it happens.

The button is still there. There is yet more work to do on my part.
This last time in the hospital I asked more. I am actually becoming intrigued by this phenomenon. It may seem like nothing to you, but it was new for me. “Why are you still so obsessed about my hair?” I asked her. “I remember how it used to be.” She replied. “But I am almost 50 years old now!” I almost shouted. I left the hospital, still astounded by her constant focus on my hair, and even more perplexed by my own reactions.

So, I wonder what the humid, wet, NJ weather will do for my hair tomorrow. I’m going to the hospital to see her.

Let’s see what she has to say.


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Heavy heart, weight of my body on the matress, nauseous, waiting for something to happen. Suspended.

Vacant, weepy, wispy, listening to my longer exhalations.

Feeling vulnerable eating alone at the cafe today. Abandoned, but by whom?

I trace the feeling inward and backward, and back, and back, but all I find is pure sensation and a few childhood memories of being home alone sick with strep throat.

Why did I stefwalkmexopt1wake up to this today? It’s just a day like any other. The kitten wants to eat, and is trying every mischievous trick he knows to distract me from my pursuit of lonely sensation.

Let the feelings be there.

No strings attached.

No thoughts attached.

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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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