For part of my very early childhood years, my home was a dangerous place. Without going into details, there were often violent scenes. I learned a survival strategy which in psychological terms is called ‘hypervigilence’, and it carried over into my adult years.
I was adept at scanning my environment for perceived threats, whether they were sights, sounds, people, behaviours, or smells, and I would do this even when there was little likelihood of danger. […]
I’ve had it in mind for years to write my life story. I suppose I lot of people have the idea of recording their memoirs. I actually did have a go at composing my story, but for the time being it remains just an inactive file in my computer.
I do have a first paragraph for you to read, though:
I don’t know how someone younger than 60 odd years can write about herself with any objectivity, and I’m not even saying that I can. […]
One of my first yoga teachers wanted his school to be called ‘Awareness Yoga’. Training peoples’ awareness to notice what they were up to, he reckoned, was what yoga was all about. He was a good teacher, but appeared to be moody and, to my mind, he wasn’t aware of how his angry moods impacted people. Publicly he was inspiring and wise, but privately he could be quite petty. I’m shocked myself at how often I go on automatic and say things that are thoughtless or my behaviour is self-serving. […]
At various junctures in my life, I’ve been ‘forced’ to do more reflective practices. Illness, medical conditions, surgery, even emotional upsets have done that to me – and I have no regrets. I seem to have to learn things the hard way.
During one of these periods in my life, I discovered the healing audio recordings of Richard C. Miller. […]
I’ve been a member of a book club for a couple of years now. It’s the first one I’ve ever been a part of. I had high hopes. At our first meeting, we went around the table and everyone had a chance to say what they wanted to get out of belonging to the club. Over time, I’ve noticed that I haven’t gotten what I wanted – that is, more enjoyment of reading because of the synergy and stimulation of the group. […]
I’d be hard-pressed to tell you what I mean by the term spiritual. Maybe I mean soulful. Maybe I mean the stuff in my life that invisible but vital to my happiness. In defining the word, a distinction is often made between physical, material things and things of the spirit. That is such a broad umbrella that it’s almost impossible to hold it up. More confusion occurs when individuals talk about how they understand what spirit or spirituality is, and there is also such a wide range of experience we humans have. […]
Recently I’ve been contacted through my presence on the internet by some classmates from grammar school and high school. This is good, as these connections sort of fell away, but not because I intended them to.
These reunions got me thinking about who I was at these different stages in my life and my family situation at the time. I feel like I’ve become an entirely different person, not just grown-up, but someone who has reconciled with past issues and healed emotional wounds.
Of course this is just a subjective experience. […]
There are many yoga practices: mental, physical, emotional, physical. One sort of yoga practice I do is letting go of certain ideas I believe to be true, for instance the notion that I’m not any good at speak off the cuff in front of a camera.
Here’s an example from today:
We spent a little time this afternoon making some videos that will probably find their way onto one of my websites. The purpose is to educate people and perhaps sell things.
I don’t feel comfortable in front of cameras. […]
I am klutzy when it comes to getting around on a computer. It doesn’t come naturally to me. However, maybe like you, I find myself spending an increasing amount of time in front of this screen and keyboard.
On some level I know that I choose to be doing this, but probably at least once a day, I get annoyed with this machine.
Today I spat the dummy. For other than Aussie readers, this is a term that implies overreacting to a situation in an angry or frustrated manner. That’s a pretty accurate description of my disposition. […]
I have a friend who is doing SEO research relating to the topic of meditation; she was surprised to discover that huge numbers of people google “Why am I here?”
I get that. It’s a pretty fundamental question, but probably not one that arises often, unless one is of a philosophical bent, depressed, a spiritual seeker, or at a crossroads in life.
Another friend of mine has been searching for how to express his purpose in life and not been altogether successful to date. […]
In relatively recent times, I’ve experienced friends and family go through upheavals, such that their lives have been turned upside down. When someone close gets rocked, you feel the aftershocks, too. Suddenly your nose is pushed up against your own vulnerability.
The most recent person to have suffered upset is my sister-in-law who had to undergo major surgery. She and we are grateful that the surgery was successful, that is, life-saving. However, she admits her life has changed irrevocably.
All our lives are changing gradually day by day. That describes the drip, drip, drip of ageing. […]
There is an attitude these days of lionising elders especially when they have managed to avoid falling into decrepitude. This is especially true about women who “look good for their age”. What does that mean anyway? I saw a photo of B.K.S. Iyengar posted on Facebook praising him for looking pretty all right at 93. Aged yoga teachers are often singled out for kudos when they have achieved ripe old age in reasonably good health of body and mind. My octogenarian friend Collyn likes to say he is good for any age. […]
Here a couple of poses for your yoga tool kit whenever you are plagued by hay fever or sinusitis.
The first one comes via the California-based yoga teacher Donald Moyer and is a version of savasana. In the photo, you see Heather lying on a long double-folded blanket, with a triple-fold blanket under her shoulders. A tightly rolled yoga mat is covered with a soft cloth and supports the occiput (base of the skull).
The second pose pictured shows me in sarvangasana supported on a bolster placed about 25 cm. from the wall. […]
Half way through autumn and we’re feeling the kind of cold snap that wakes us up out of summer dreaming. As proof, the fireplace is stoked tonight, and I’m comfy on my iPad in front of it.
It never occurred to me when I first started doing yoga that regions, weather and seasons might have such a big impact on how, when and what practice you do. […]
Okay, I did say the other day that I’m a tribal person. You can see that for yourself when you look at my living situation (described on the Shedders page): three couples under one roof who are not related by blood, only by friendship.
We have an amazing house design that lets us all share communal space – kitchen, dining, lounge and decks. […]
One of the things that you just have to surrender to when you move to the country is travelling huge distances. (Other things to let go of: seeing art house films near-by and having interesting eateries to choose among. The solution – subscribe to Netflix and eat at home!)
When I lived in Sydney, it took me 30 min. at peak hour to travel from Mosman to Crows Nest, a distance of 5.5 km. It takes me about 10 min. […]
An article on the news today pointed to a problem that is troubling so many people in society these days – osteoarthritis.It’s not just my imagination. Statistics say that two million Australians currently have the disease. However, within 10 years that number is expected to double to four million.We think that osteoarthritis is just what happens as we get older. We call it wear and tear, but in actual fact, osteoarthritis is not inevitable with ageing. […]