feel good friday

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to listen to Macy Gray. Up until very recently her music reminded me of an extremely painful time I went through a few years ago, an incident that manifested PTSD. So I look at my posting of her new video as a small victory. And I liked the title.

I taught my favorite class last night, my karma yoga at a domestic violence shelter. Despite what y’all read here about yoga economics, who signs up for workshops, yoga studio owners, whatever, it’s not all about that. I love the ladies there because they are my teachers AND they understand intuitively the true purpose of yoga and meditation. They are grateful and beautiful and amazing and we empower each other.

And…my gardens rock!

This photo is from last year. I added new prayer flags in the gardens and seeing them outside my kitchen window every morning makes me smile intensely and immensely. It’s going to be hot and steamy today and I’ll still be out there digging in the dirt because life is too short.

As for everything else….what I say, what I write, my life, my path, I can only be true to myself. This blog is a combination of the sacred and the profane just like I am. If that makes someone uncomfortable, oh well. Go read Eat Pray Love instead.

From a non-conformist business newsletter I get:

“…if what you’re doing is truly innovative, not everyone will understand in the beginning, and maybe you should just go for it. Lately I’ve been thinking about what Henry Ford said: ‘If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ”faster horses.””

From a student:

“While not everyone is ready for you, those that are will garner great experiences and make important adjustments in their life because of you and your impact.”

Yeah, I need these reminders.

Beauty in the world, yo.

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feel good friday

For those of you who want a little taste of why India is in my heart.

This video has a nice “first time in India” feel to it and the Three Dog Night song is perfect for it. Video was shot in north India where I have not been — yet. One day…..

you’ll see lots of westerners in the video, but where I go, I’m usually the only one! and that’s just the way I like it….

peace!

musical monday

My regular readers may have noticed that I haven’t written much lately about yoga, Buddhism, Tibet, or social action, the subjects that are near and dear to my heart. For whatever reason as 2007 draws to a close, I find myself pre-occupied with other things: my impending trip to India, a medical procedure I will have next week, and teaching at a new yoga studio. but the drama never ends at the studio where I used to teach.

Another teacher quit last week for the same reason I left — the alcoholic dysfunction of the owner. It so happens that the teacher who quit was the only teacher who supported me when I had my confrontation with the owner in September. it had come to her attention that the owner yet again had taught her class in, shall we say, a less than functional state, and my friend decided, enough is enough, that she could not continue teaching at a studio that is based on lies and delusions and the denial and complicity of the other teachers.

as the saying goes, all things happen for a reason. I am enjoying teaching at the new yoga studio. I live in a suburban area about 45 miles outside of Chicago — think of the stereotypes about “white bread suburbia” and that pretty much sums up where I live. But all I have to do is drive 15 minutes and I’m in the middle of corn and soybean fields, and in another 20 minutes the landscape is dotted with farms and stables and farm tractor companies. I prefer that environment much more but we live where we do so The Husband can have a quasi-sane drive to his office.

The location of the new yoga studio can be called rural small town which happens to be right next door to a small university town. So the vibe and the mindsets of the students are immediately different. For one, they are appreciative of whatever style of yoga is taught at the studio, it’s yoga for the sake of yoga. There is no yoga snobbery. There is no sense of entitlement as the students had in white bread suburbia where Tyler and Tiffany are bought a brand new Hummer for their 16th birthdays. The students don’t come in the latest yoga clothes with the hand-painted chakras, endorsed by Seane Corn, don’t cha know — many come in sweat pants and baggy T-shirts.

So I am grateful to teach in this environment and am humbled by the response to my teaching. I did a second yin yoga workshop yesterday that had over 20 students and because the first two workshops were so popular, the owner asked me to do another one in two weeks. Twelve students signed up for it immediately after yesterday’s workshop.

Maybe humbled is too mild a word — blown away would be more accurate. One of my students who studied with me at the other studio lives in this town and has just gotten a job with the local paper as a free-lance writer on fitness. She gets paid $20 an article — I told you it was small town — but she is happy for it because as she says, it pays for a yoga class. She wrote a story about my first workshop that was entitled “Local Yoga Enthusiasts Thrilled as Popular Instructor Comes to Town.” She gave me a copy of the article yesterday and I got all choked up. really. wow. I felt like Shiva Rea. But you’ll never see a picture of me with my hair blowing in the wind.

Yup, all things happen for a reason.

feel good friday

One of my all time favorite bands, The Band, with one of my all time favorite singers, Mr. Blue Eyed Soul himself, Van Morrison, in one of my all time favorite movies, The Last Waltz. And Robbie Robertson ain’t too shabby either…..

I have The Last Waltz DVD and I never get tired of watching it. When you see Van The Man’s performance, it’s incredible to realize that this was a time in his life when he had severe stage fright. I went to one of his concerts in the early ’70s at the great Auditorium Theater in Chicago and he did the entire concert with his back turned to the audience. A great performance just the same.

So kick into your weekend like Van The Man kicks it out at the end of Caravan.

and tell someone you love them.

peace

feel good friday

It’s good to feel the rage dissipate…and the healing begin….

so I give you blues great John Lee Hooker and the always fabulous Carlos Santana. give a listen.

my Buddhist teacher told me rage is a good thing because you have to face it, accept it, kick through it, and let it go. it’s all good.

support
true friends
good music
sway
dance
move
mmmmmmm…….
feel it
intuit
joy
healing….

tell someone you love them, y’all.

shanti
jai bhagwan

feel good friday

Here’s another Feel Good Friday video for you, Janis Joplin singing Big Mama Thornton’s classic “Ball and Chain” from Woodstock, 1969, the year before she died. I came thisclose to seeing her in concert two months before she died but my friend Daiva and I couldn’t get a ride to the venue. I was a year away from getting my driver’s license. Sounds pretty funny now — missing Janis because I didn’t know how to drive.

I liked her last band the best, the Full Tilt Boogie Band, because the horns punched up her music. I had a thing for sax players back in the day anyway. I always thought that if I ever had a blues band I’d want horns in it to add that extra oomph. And yes, I used to sing the blues and even tried out with a band in college — I didn’t make it, but my friend who came with me for the audition ended up with one of the musicians. I ended up alone with my bottle of Southern Comfort just like Janis did on many nights.

When I was a young hippie chick in high school I loved Janis, and I still do. She was authentic and honest and what you saw was what you got. Looking back at that time of my life I knew what she going through — being misunderstood, drugs, booze, surrounding yourself with the wrong people sometimes, people who didn’t have your best interests at heart. Janis’ pain came out in her songs, mine came out in my writing. I wrote lots of poetry back in the day and even won a few awards for it in high school and college.

Some people hated Janis’ voice but I loved it. Some people thought all she did was scream but to me her voice was raw and primal. She sang with soul and passion and she wore her heart on her sleeve. In many ways Janis was misunderstood and that was her pain. A friend of mine christened me “Loba” because he said “wild women and wolves are often misunderstood.”

So rock with Janis and think about the balls and chains in your life that are holding you back from living, that keep you sleep-walking through life. I went through a tumultuous week, but in the process got rid of a ball and chain that weighed me down and kept me stuck. The negative emotions and stress that I experienced dealing with the antics of an alcoholic studio owner ended up in my body like sludge. I felt like a toxic landfill.

This old hippie chick is out of here for 10 days and my retreat can’t come soon enough. Peace, y’all, and tell someone you love them.

Cosmic Sister
for Linda

My cosmic sister walks the constellations
Laughs tip toeing in between stars
Keeps snakes
Keeps lovers at her feet to remind her
that there are no more stakes where they burn witches,
only inner mounting fires.
And when Janis sings them old cosmic blues again, Mama,
she cries.
(Daiva Karuza, 1972)