When you travel far from yourself, what brings you home? How do you keep your living authentic? And when you journey away from your soul how do you step back and regroup?
I’ve been working at moving back toward myself.
Yoga brings me to the now and I root myself to the earth and breathe. I become aware of the sensations in my body, where I am holding tension and fear. Here I can coax myself to let go.
Sometimes our gaze on the world can be rushed, skewed, fractured, but we must still ourselves to look.
There is always hope between light and shadow. Or as yoga teaches us in that small pause of breathe between inhale and exhale.
I hopped on a Midnight Blue bike wearing a Red bike helmet. My backpack cradling my camera and a soft shirt. I went down Craig Street to Founder’s Landing and rode past Pink and White Roses, and Purple blooming milkweed. The Thai Bistro’s window had glowing sun. I dedicated my yoga today to Opening, and Openings. When we Open to the possibilities we relase our fears of Lions. We let go of pain.
(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).
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 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.”
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
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.
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.)
Today’s Yoga Practice at Mukta was gentle and restorative and dedicated to Loving Kindness. I started attending Mukta a while back but in January made a renewed vow to my daily yoga. Today as I came out of final relaxation I had an image of Ganesha with fruit surrounding in large luscious piles. I researched the image and came up with, “The bowl of fruit represents the whole world is at your feet there for the asking.” Visit the link for more information on images often seen with Ganesha. To again quote the website linked, “Ganesh, is perhaps the most beloved of Hindu Gods…and with little wonder as he is the God of Prosperity, The Remover of All Obstacles (Avighna), the Lord of all Gods (Ganapati), and the Bestower of Success (Siddhivinayaka). ”
I am smiling. I am glad today I woke and went to Mukta for my Yoga practice.
21.5.800 Day Four
It’s raining, again. The yard looks wild. I’m drinking too much coffee on a Friday. Yet I had nine hours sleep. My body requested it and me, I gave-in. Allowance.
The view of the lake from my hill looks misty and haunted.
Used up the leftover chicken broth to cook white basmati rice and then snipped in some fresh parsley and I set aside a big bowl for Mike’s meal tonight.
If I am to allow certain extravagances, I must strive to use all resources available, wisely.
Like cooking up baby carrots that look to dry for salad.
It is easy to stay in today. Rain. The last day of my workweek. The last night in a string of 3-11pm shifts. If I thought this week was difficult, how will I react after next week?
I must remember to ease into each day. With Breathe. With Chanting. To Stretch.
I’ve lowered the impact on my body less running, more biking, more yoga, more sleep.
My thoughts are distracted by the rain today. It is heavy. Not in strength but it looks thick and the drops large and they fall with plunks on the deck. The traffic going by hisses with spray and the dryer in the laundry room buzzes and the snaps on my pants tap and clink.
I’m craving midnight colored skies with the orange glow of campfire and the sound of night birds.
The cat tries to seek out my lap as I type. Even he is seeking some warmth. It’s tropical out there, the pinks and whites of the roses standing out against brilliant green in the dark of a rainy day. But it is cold. Damp. Wet.
I had forgotten to cross out the days on the calendar and was stuck back on Saturday of last week. Have you ever done that? It is an odd occurrence for one who lives by day planner. I eeven missed meeting earlier this week. I must have not opened the day planner at all this week. I did not know I had missed the meeting until I walked past the wall calendar and it whispered for me to look-up, look-up.
I phoned my apologies.
I shorted myself an hour of pay by missing that meeting. But I had gained and hour of sleep. I wonder which was the more valuable. (We both know this answer).
The coffee feels good. Both the mug on my hands and the warmth in my belly.
The cat has decided to sit next to me. He is not in lion mode but in kitty mode. Trying to be cute and not a bother so I will share my spot of warmth on the couch and mabe give hs ears a rub.
Never turn on the television when home alone. I like the quiet. I long for quiet.
Even the raindrops are loud today.
And the dryer.
My thoughts are short and not fluid. I need to walk riverside. I need to dress for play and hike a trail. I need to lay on sand in the sun. I need spark. Blue. Stone. Quartz. Granite. I know I need the trails of Wetmore and Lil’ Presque.
I can take you there.
I want people in my life who offer warmth and cheer. Who are genuine. Who find blessings in ladybugs and dragonflies. Orange daylilies. The value of an apple tree with a dead branch. Birds perched in song. A sleeping mourning dove on top of a birdfeeder.
I can take you there, too.
Have I ever told you that I want to open a healing center. Not in the coty. But where yards open on lush gardens with birds. Where hummingbirds visit for nectar while massage is received?
Have I ever told you this space would have daily soup and smoothies?
That here people would meet for tea and chat?
Tai Chi next to the pond. Yoga in the yard. Laughter.
I can take you there.
Word Count: 662
I just finished doing the dishes, again, and I was certain that I was coming to the keyboard this morning with something vital to say about life, yoga, and my pursuit of happiness. But it escaped me somewhere between washing out the blender pieces and tossing a heavy wool blanket over my lap. I even closed the kitchen window this morning the hot dishwater did nothing to keep a chill off my arms.
Happiness is a white-peach from Farmer Q’s blended with banana, and raspberry yogurt made with coconut milk. I am realizing youthful co-workers do not understand phrases and references I make. But you remember, don’t you? Happiness is a Warm Puppy. Charles M. Schultz and the Peanuts.
Last night at work, I sang old commercial jingles to pass thru the “loudness of the night.”
Today I am thinking of Linus and his blanket. Cold. Gray Day. No Rain, just overcast skies and a cold breeze thru the little kitchen window above the sink where the amethyst and quartz crystal sit in a bowl of water between fern and aloe.
This window centers me. As does the view of the crabapple tree with maroon leaves that blooms hot pink that has waxy dried up fruit for the birds when they return early spring and the snows of the Upper Peninsula still shock us all. Nourishment. This happiness at the sink. This happiness under blanket at keyboard on sofa. Happiness of home.
It is true that the promise of a weekend spurs me on thru the workweek. The nights away from Mike are hard and I am not home to nurture him with vegetables roasted on cold evenings. I know he pushes himself too hard and eats too late.
So today, I am thinking about nourishment and nurture.
Red and gold new potatoes tossed with onion, garlic, parsley and olive oil baked in a glass casserole dish. Some for me. Some for Mike. I dream this up while washing dishes. Clean counter. Get rid of clutter. Make the space a reason to smile as you come home to an empty house after a long day.
Happiness is a clean counter and no dishes.
Happiness is roasted veggies.
Happiness is a long slow stretch and a foot massage with oils.
I remember evenings with the news. Listening to Mike’s day massaging his feet with oils. It is clear I am missing him. I come home from work needing to sleep but he is next to me in bed and I want to visit. I want to dream with him in awake mode. I want to go for a long walk under starlight on a beach and learn to take night photos. The last thing I want to do is sleep. But I must sleep.
I am healing. I am nourishing my body.
They tell me I have Celiac Disease. Damage to the small intestine kept much needed nourishment from my body. I no longer ingest gluten, corn, dairy/casein, oats or egg. I avoid soy.
I am beginning to absorb iron into my body. My blood will be more oxygenated. I will have more energy. I will heal faster and faster.
Happiness is ample iron stores in my body.
Happiness is raising vitamin D levels.
Happiness is a healing small intestine.
Let’s not talk about the fears today. No worries. No anxieties.
Today will be a day for OM.
A day in the studio with crayons and pencils lined up in glass vases. A day with begonias and palm. A day with Traditional Chinese Medicine posters and books. These are some items in my studio. Art. Healing. Growth.
Happiness is 30 plus houseplants.
Happiness is sheets on the massage table in retro prints and fuchsia hearts.
I am healing. I will be able to offer the same.
To me happiness is healing.
Stretch and open.
The kitchen window does not have to be open for me to receive the healing vision of the centering crab tree that blooms pink.
I hear a Starling as I type this and the cat who wants to be a lion is nowhere to be seen, now.
The roses are wild and pink. And there is magic beyond the thorns. In the garden there is always magic. Wonder. Growing. Worms. A Black and White Cat who crouches low to the ground and is ready…
Word Count: 743, unedited.
For information on 21.5.800 – 21 days of writing 800 words a day and doing yoga 5 days a week, click here.