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21.5.800 — Definitely Off the Mat

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(Photography by Mike Hainstock)

My life has taken me to the wilds of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My fave part of living way up north is you can take a quick two-day trip and be in the midst of a green, green dream! I’ve been doing a little bog-walking, tai chi, yoga on observation decks, and have traveled the shores of Lake Superior.

This past weekend Mike and I traveled to Autrain and camped at Autrain Lake Campgrounds in the Hiawatha National Forest. I took in my first campfire of the season and sampled my first Gluten-Free beer by New Grist. It wasn’t bad, a fine light summery beer crafted for taste.

The bog walk was part of the Songbird Trail at the Autrain Lake Campground–but the trail does not go thru te bog. I ventured out carefully to take macro-captures of pitcher plants. Falling thru a bog is not fun and walking on bogs can damage the ecosystem.

This campground was well-less than an hour from my home! But I felt like I had entered a green, green, dream. It was a magical close to my 21.5.800 commitment! But the dream continues in July with new commitments (stay-tuned).

21.5.800—Day 18 and Yesterday’s Run

(roughly written)

I am in the midst of dishes, laundry and packing for an overnight camping trip in our new/used 8-foot pop-up camper. It was raining this morning, but I am hoping for good weather tomorrow. I have a 3-day weekend that starts tonight (Friday) after my 3-11pm shift. I plan to hit the Marquette Farmer & Artist’s Market and pick up some Vegan Gluten-free bread from Sinfully Seductive Sweets.

So I am finding myself all in list mode, plan mode, and Capricorn all biz-E-ness modes and the last thing on my mind is opening to a stream of consciousness writing drift.

For those of you in creative-mode, I will insert a photo.

I always pack too much, now we have a smaller camper and a smaller vehicle, and really, the important thing to me is dry clothes, memory cards and batteries. Oops hold on must load the battery charger. Be right back. (Reminder to self pack less!)

I’m back. Another set of batteries are charging for the camera.

And I am thinking I ought to do some yoga. Be right back!

Okay changed loads of laundry, took compost out to big bin, and packed shoes. Hope you are enjoying the randomly chosen photos from this week.

Yesterday, yes let’s back track now, I went for a run. It was my first run since June 3 and the 5K race that I miraculously came in third, seventh overall. It was a trail run on the south Marquette bike trails on National Trails Day.

Since this fall, my body does not do well with impact. The symptoms started sketchy at first back in September, maybe even August. I would go for a run and spend hours on the floor with fists shoved into my gut. Part of this was gastric and part was spasm.

Now, if I run on too hard of surface, too fast, or on a downhill I end up with terrible pain in my right side. A spasm that feels like it is bruised intestines and part a reacting psoas and illopsoas muscle. Needless to say I am cautious. I always fear running before a work shift. I like a good 12 hours from end of run to the next time I have anything planned just in case. And I like to have the money in the bank to see chiropractor, massage therapist and or physical therapist—just in case. But I LOVE to run!!

I had some creepy tightness last night as I attended the Healer’s Coffee at L’ Attitude in Marquette, but ti eased and today I am just dealing with neck and shoulder stiffness. I am pleased.

I ran 40-45 minutes at Lil Presque and Songbird Trails for what felt like 4 miles. But since my average seems slower than that these days it was probably only 3.5 miles. I did a fair share of cool down and I was a very relaxed gal yesterday.

I am on the mend. My intestines seem to handle impact better whether from exercise, or when I get gas attacks—the next day I do not feel so bruised.

I know most of this post fits into the RunningMarquette.com or Enjoy Life Free blogs but I am meeting my commitment and making multiple posts all over the Internet is not possible today as I have to pack. Go to bank. Hit the co-op. Fold more laundry. Pack my dinner for work.

So at roughly 568 words, I am outta here. I will be doing Yoga in the woods tomorrow! I will have Mike take photos, too! Look for updates on Blog late Sunday night or Monday.

21.5.800–Day 17, Adventures

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Today was Adventurous!

I cut my hair short!

I took photos.

I went to lunch with M. Where I peeled strawberries!

I did yoga in the woods with tourists hiking past.

I went for a run at Lil’ Presque and Songbird. Cool wind from Lake Superior and the sun heating the sands and pines. Aromatic!

I cooked a veggie-riffic meal.

I went to a Healer’s Coffee.

I had Coconut Bliss, Dark Chocolate, non-dairy frozen dessert.

I edited photos.

Now I am doing yoga, and then going to bed in a cool bedroom.

But I did not write 800 words, yet.

21.5.800–Day 16

21.5.800 Day 16

I told the story of my son coming into this world. How he and I were fighters long before he became a mixed martial art fighter. I share how we were homeless both before and after his birth. How angels surrounded us and kept us together thru a long battle. My son now fights with Michael the Archangel tattooed to his side.”

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I listen to the little voices in my head say that today your coffee needs a little ground cinnamon. The voice also reminds me to take batteries and camera to yoga class. Where I met my body on the mat and it told me many things.

It is difficult to remember to water the indoor plants when it looks like Seattle in Marquette and the rain came down heavy in sheets.

A fellow yogini told me the morning dawned with orange sky everywhere and that her dog is on robin-time. I woke to Mike closing a widow that was raining in the bedroom with winds challenging the movement of trees. They too found where their bodies were restricting and holding.

Sometimes our bodies deal with storms.

I shake my head in down dog trying to let go of tension. I arch to the left in gate pose. I thread the needle. Listening to what my body tells me.

I woke with spasm and fear in my colon and core. Thought I cannot possibly go to yoga. I thought the storm just proves the point. I cannot ride my bike. My car is on empty.

Mike said, but you seem to enjoy yoga.

So I was at Mukta.

I told the story of my son coming into this world. How he and I were fighters long before he became a mixed martial art fighter. I share how we were homeless both before and after his birth. How angels surrounded us and kept us together thru a long battle. My son now fights with Michael the Archangel tattooed to his side.

Our lives are full of miracles.

Healing occurs in the breath of a hummingbird at a red glass feeder.

I ought to thin the radish seedlings but I have a cloudy head full of storm-weather this afternoon.

I’m letting cinnamon work on me, internal.

I’m letting lavender work on me, external.

I’m letting the angels work on me, ethereal.

I want to seek a deep cave with room for art and remembrance and not rush this day.

This day I brought a life into the world.

We all have a part in creation.

How we chose to breathe.

Today I chose the yoga mat and cinnamon, to water the plants, to capture light and remember.

Word Count: 384

21.5.800–Jonathon Johnson Finds Me Again

Jonathon Johnson (and a poetic voice) Finds Me Again

(rough draft)

Today is the kind of day that I walk around with two pairs of glasses on my head and a stack of poetry books. I sit on the swing next to the pond you built camera balanced on my lap waiting for oriole or wax-wing, reading aloud Jonathon Johnson.

I get the call you are late, dealing with a mess. It’s a good thing for I almost forgot the pot of brown rice cooking, now dry, almost burring on the stove.

An ant bites my foot and it still stings, but the phone is on the hook, and I brought in the stack of library books I’ll likely have little time to read.

I am trying to grasp on to the summers of my youth. Where sand in my hair meant I laid on the tall dunes baking in the sun. Reading. Napping.  A nature child with words in her head and on the tip of her tongue.

The rice is off, placed on the back burner. Dark clouds threaten dreams of watching sunset on Solstice.

Dreams of curry chicken on hold as I sit again pond-side reciting for the gold finch, reading to the air, feet tucked under me in a camp chair.

I might even be happy that you are late as lines form to poems in my head.

Word Count: 226

21.5.800–Day 14, Summer Solstice

Sunrise on Summer Solstice, June 21, Lake Superior

Summer Solstice and the sun rose at 5:56 am (it will set at 9:45). I met the sun on the Lake Superior shoreline between Picnic Rocks and McCarty’s Cove and joined my yoga community for a circle-led session of yoga on the beach.

The night before I set out my new bike helmet, a backpack with red flasher attached just in case the predawn was too dark. It ended up I did not need the light to be safe on the bike. The day was born bright and beautiful.

I was surprised I was up with the alarm clock at 5:45 and on my Bike by 6 am. It was easy. I had set the intention that this is how I wanted to enter the second half of my year. This is how I wanted to honor the summer before me. This is how I wanted to live my life, heal, and love.

I opened my lungs to the fragrance of morning on the lakeshore. White and pink roses in bloom all along my ride on the bike path. I rooted my feet in the sands of Superior. I down-dogged and I saluted the sun. As I lay in savasana I opened my eyes to a blue sky with wispy white clouds as Mary said we should look at the art in the sky.

I could not sleep last night the moon bright and waxing gibbous at 75%. The air was crisp and cool with the bright night.  Restless dreams included me going to a yoga school where people did amazing poses and even I attempted to float in air.

I keep thinking the world is at my feet. I am open to the riches of the universe. I am thinking of fruit, fruition, bringing my wildest dreams into being.

I am picturing my elephant self and a basket of fruit. I am dreaming of one-dollar pineapples. Free mangoes for everyone. Spicy chuntey. Mint and Lime. A community meal with music and laughter.

I water the vegetable garden and the petunia plants outfront. I am observing the garden and growth. I see where I have yet to thin seedlings. I think of my tight neck and shoulders and recognize the holding pattern as one tied to fear.

I’m breathing and letting tapas into my body. Tapas is an enthusiasm and fire , a discipline and a letting go. Simplicity. Being Present. Embracing the daily life of yoga.

Today I need to trust that I am right where I need to be. That life is unfolding on a course that embraces the whole of my spirit, and yours, too.

There is no need to swat at my fear as if I am shooing away an annoying fly. No fearing the mosquito that buzzes my ear all night. I can feel the itch and move forward. I can let go the bite of fear and heal.

Word Count: 485

21.5.800–Day 13, Calming

In My Own Backyard--Chamomile Calm

Tomorrow the goal is to get to 6:30 am sunrise Yoga on the beach. A secondary goal is to wake early enough to get there by Bike. I spent time in the garden’s this Sunday seeing the growth of the past week (but not much more than that). I took time to be easy on myself and let the tightness in my shoulder and neck relax. I over-did it last weekend with all the hoeing and shoveling the turning of the soil and the tilling by hand the potato bed.

21.5.800–Day 12, Working on the Path

May we find the right tools, nearby. May we be tender with the Earth and ourselves.

I dedicate today to working on my path with yoga, breathe and nurturing my connection to the earth with hands in soil. Today I will touch living things and honor my hands and the life that grows from my connections.

Today, I am taking a break from electronics as much as possible. I’m going offline.

(The photos were taken on 6/17 at the Marquette Community Gardens on Presque Isle. I however will be working in my own backyard gardens. Peace.)

21.5.800–Day Eleven

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What change do you desire?  It is a whisper of a question. Movement. Art-filled joy. Laughter.

Now imagine you can have your deepest desires!

I look at these photos and I already know that part of my dream for change is in progress. In fact, I am living it! Writing these words means, I am living it! Each choice I make takes me closer.

My feet are on a path. Yesterday, I kept watching through the lens of my camera at the paths opening before me. Sometimes the path was the simple framing of a photograph, a pathway in the community garden. Sometime the path appeared much more subtle–not a footpath– an angle, curve, or blossoming.

I stepped past the angry thistle to the wild iris, carefully. I saw a whole field of purple and blue wild iris open, focus and blur, bokeh and breath. The light was fading away from golden magic light to the blue of night. Would I have enough time? Enough light. To show, clearly the path I discovered on Thursday night.

I have written about the nearly back-to-back shifts of Wednesday and Thursday. A 3pm-1am shift followed by a 9am-3pm shift. Followed by a nap and a camera walk with Mike.

My sleep patterns are off. My digestive patterns are off. With Celiac Disease this is a no-no, folks. So when I think of changes I desire they come with listening to my body and not forcing it to mold and meld with the lifestyle of shift-work.

I dream of a day when I support myself fully with my creativity.

I am planning a couple of Ebooks and expanding my Etsy store. I’m in the gathering phase for a gift card series. And I am envisioning a swing-set in the backyard. Every grandmother-goddess-yogini-artist should have one.

I am cleaning out my art studio making room for my massage table. I am dusting off my books. I am offering art supplies to those who have none. I am digging in the dirt of my flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.

I am breathing, healing, and my nutrient levels are rising. With this change, I become stronger and more energized.

I have many paths open before me. Some are clear. Others have blossoms to which I must peek within, gently, tender petals, pollen, like magical dust from dreams.

Nothing to sneeze at (wink).

~Namaste

 Word Count: 400

The other 400 words will appear on one of Kim’s other blogs TBD.

21.5.800–Fenced in on Day-Ten

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Fenced in by working two shifts equalling 16-hours in one 24-hour period. I was sleep deprived did not write (much)but I did stretch, lay in savassana and I went for a camera walk on Presque Isle in Marquette, Michigan.

Sometimes when we are the most taxed for time and energy doing the activity that brings us the most joy allows us to relax our shoulders (lowering them from the ears and down the back) and deepens our breathe.

I also realized the counting of days was off (a bit)–I should really map out commitments on paper and to renew my focus I am doing just that today. I think I lost count over last weekend.

This post is for Thursday, Day-Ten of the 21.5.800 commitment.

Ask me about the photo and I will tell you what was beyond the fence on Thursday :-)

~Namaste

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