August 22, 2013

On Change

Those are my hands at one o’ clock-ish…..Carol Diaz’s Triple Threat class… that’s spin, TRX - which uses suspension straps that add core and balance to every strength option — and yoga.

I believe we carry all of our significant experiences (and maybe every sunny day, too) with us, our entire lives. All the living (loving, grieving) from the beginning is embedded in our cells. It informs who we are (as does the past sacrifices and contributions of our ancestors), whether we realize it or not.

But I also know we are changing all of the time….who we are today isn’t who we were yesterday, or who we will be tomorrow.

I am a rooted sort and the change I have experienced in my life has never seemed dramatic, cataclysmic, or earth shattering (except when my dad died). I live with my mom and dog in my childhood home. I have worked at my job for 16 years. My grad school friends can tell you that we clung to one another desperately for a decade, until we were forced to move on and make new lives (some of us would have just lived together forever on a communal farm somewhere, if we thought we could get away with it).

 Most of the change I have experienced - and everything I have learned - seems to have been the product of incremental shifting. Glacially paced change. Maybe it is like plate tectonics - barely perceptible change that results in new mountain ranges or new continents over many thousands of years.

In early 2012, I experienced a shift…..and I knew I had to take better care of myself. Nothing dramatic occurred in my life. I wanted to make changes forever - day after day, I said I would make a change, but I never did.

I always knew I wanted to practice yoga. I started a practice in 1997 and then let it go - but I felt jealous when people I knew started their practices. I knew it should be me, too.

Nothing changed significantly in my life in early 2012, but I was intuitively drawn to practice. It was just time.

I am 46 this year and I am entering a new phase in my life. Serious Middle Age.  It is up to me to continue to build a present and a future, which will perhaps be different (shifting…slowly….) in this second half of life. Project Tanya is a building block. I know my health (mind-body-spirit) is essential to my creativity, productivity, ability to serve, and dare I say, ability to experience insight, perspective, and even enlightenment now and always.

I have been doing stuff - yoga, spin, some running …..for 19 months. More lately. I won’t lie: I feel a little disappointed that I have not achieved a super beach body.

I am fitter. I have more stamina. I am stronger. I look better, although I really have not lost any weight to speak of. If I ever *do* get a beach body, I will appreciate the significant work it takes to get there. Sorry to be trite, but it is true, nothing worth having comes easily. I appreciate the work it takes to be strong, and the achievement of super-fit women, because I am only one step down the path….

No matter. The journey is good. Energy. Accomplishment. Love, camaraderie, friendship, endorphin highs and chocolate milk.

I started out coddling myself…protecting my soft, sedentary body from too much stress. I wouldn’t say I am being tough on myself now (thank goodness for my teachers who push me harder than I would ever push myself)…but I am working harder than I would have a year ago, and I am surprised that my body responds to the stress and gets stronger. My body wants to be strong. It wants to be there for me.

The women who teach me and who have taught me ***Anna Barrett!!!!!**** Carol Diaz!!****Sarah Wolfgram!!**** Sarah Russell and Breathe folks! - are smart, multidimensional, committed and amazing people. And they are Beasts! If they can show up the way they do, I can at least get off my butt and do *something*. They are a freakin’ inspiration and truly keep me motivated and honest, every day. They are all significantly younger than me and have achieved so much in all realms of their lives (mind-body-spirit) and I am happy to learn from them.

There are no limits. I was never athletic as a kid (or as an adult for that matter). I was always the last one picked for the team. I wish I could have realized when I was 13 that it doesn’t even matter. 

July 21, 2013   270 notes
lensblr-network:

Dedicated to #Trayvon
Keep Climbing.
©2013 Stephen Evans
photo © 2013 Stephen Evans  (stephenevans.me)

lensblr-network:

Dedicated to #Trayvon

Keep Climbing.

©2013 Stephen Evans

July 17, 2013
I am a child of the west.
The prickly pear, buffalo grass and sumac of this high desert place tangle me in a scratchy and resilient knot.
My parents came here from Albuquerque
via Berkeley
via Riverbank
via San Antonio.
I have only lived here.
My parents were/are cultivators.
On the weekends, my dad was outside early in the morning, sometimes until dark. He came in at noon, covered in sweat and dirt, and sat at the table, sleeves rolled up, worn straw Stetson on his head. He ate Fritos and bean dip and drank his cold Budweiser…..
In my lifetime, I think it is possible that my mom has planted more than 100 trees. The silhouette of the Russian Olive she planted 30 years ago in the north yard looks like a great diaphanous ghost in the moonlight.
I marvel(ed) at the gardening prowess of my parents. I don’t know if they were taught, or if cultivating was so much a part of their lives, growing up, that they absorbed through their pores…
They didn’t teach me. Anything I have cultivated successfully resulted from trial and error. I don’t know why they didn’t teach me. Maybe they thought I would pick it up they way they did (?). Maybe they didn’t think I was interested. Maybe I wouldn’t let them teach me anything, so determined was I to figure things out on my own.
I did reap the rewards of their work, though, picking strawberries, straight from the plant, and popping them in my mouth, still covered in dirt. Iron and sunshine.

I am a child of the west.

The prickly pear, buffalo grass and sumac of this high desert place tangle me in a scratchy and resilient knot.

My parents came here from Albuquerque

via Berkeley

via Riverbank

via San Antonio.

I have only lived here.

My parents were/are cultivators.

On the weekends, my dad was outside early in the morning, sometimes until dark. He came in at noon, covered in sweat and dirt, and sat at the table, sleeves rolled up, worn straw Stetson on his head. He ate Fritos and bean dip and drank his cold Budweiser…..

In my lifetime, I think it is possible that my mom has planted more than 100 trees. The silhouette of the Russian Olive she planted 30 years ago in the north yard looks like a great diaphanous ghost in the moonlight.

I marvel(ed) at the gardening prowess of my parents. I don’t know if they were taught, or if cultivating was so much a part of their lives, growing up, that they absorbed through their pores…

They didn’t teach me. Anything I have cultivated successfully resulted from trial and error. I don’t know why they didn’t teach me. Maybe they thought I would pick it up they way they did (?). Maybe they didn’t think I was interested. Maybe I wouldn’t let them teach me anything, so determined was I to figure things out on my own.

I did reap the rewards of their work, though, picking strawberries, straight from the plant, and popping them in my mouth, still covered in dirt. Iron and sunshine.

July 16, 2013
Dr. Vincent Harding counsels that although this country has never lived up to its billing as a democracy, we must hope. Beyond that, he says, we must work to build a country that has not yet been. The potential is palpable.
 Trayvon Martin’s murder is a fresh wound.  I am so thankful for a community (virtual and physical) that brings passion, sensitivity, intelligence and empathy to the table in this defining moment for ourselves and our country. You all say it better than I ever could, and I am happy to have the opportunity to learn from you.
As a white progressive, I will continue to examine my own contradictions, my internalized racism and my assumptions. I will hold myself accountable and others. I also hope that we, as a progressive community, get an opportunity to engage more productively with the segment of the right that dismisses the importance of the Trayvon Martin case. We all have to face our racism and be honest about our privilege and our power. What’s so scary about that? (Don’t answer, I know).
Truly, broad based social movement happens (and real progressive change) when a broad sector of the public realize their common interest — and buy into a cause out of self-interest. Racism might be allowing us to maintain our power and privilege, but it is also hurting us. Racism is bad for people and society, and perpetuating it hurts all of us. Dismantling racism is in our self-interest, white people.
I liked will.i.am’s tweet (thanks to Jeremy Bermudez for posting on facebook): A powerful movement of the people is about to happen…purpose+values+understanding+knowledge+wellness+each1teach1+community=love
I know it is true, because I am bowled over every day by the talents, insights and action you all bring to the table. Thanks for keeping me from becoming cynical, in these trying times. Travon Martin - presente!!!!

Dr. Vincent Harding counsels that although this country has never lived up to its billing as a democracy, we must hope. Beyond that, he says, we must work to build a country that has not yet been. The potential is palpable.

 Trayvon Martin’s murder is a fresh wound.  I am so thankful for a community (virtual and physical) that brings passion, sensitivity, intelligence and empathy to the table in this defining moment for ourselves and our country. You all say it better than I ever could, and I am happy to have the opportunity to learn from you.

As a white progressive, I will continue to examine my own contradictions, my internalized racism and my assumptions. I will hold myself accountable and others. I also hope that we, as a progressive community, get an opportunity to engage more productively with the segment of the right that dismisses the importance of the Trayvon Martin case. We all have to face our racism and be honest about our privilege and our power. What’s so scary about that? (Don’t answer, I know).

Truly, broad based social movement happens (and real progressive change) when a broad sector of the public realize their common interest — and buy into a cause out of self-interest. Racism might be allowing us to maintain our power and privilege, but it is also hurting us. Racism is bad for people and society, and perpetuating it hurts all of us. Dismantling racism is in our self-interest, white people.

I liked will.i.am’s tweet (thanks to Jeremy Bermudez for posting on facebook): A powerful movement of the people is about to happen…purpose+values+understanding+knowledge+wellness+each1teach1+community=love

I know it is true, because I am bowled over every day by the talents, insights and action you all bring to the table. Thanks for keeping me from becoming cynical, in these trying times. Travon Martin - presente!!!!