Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanks

I've had a lot going on lately. But today, the day of thanksgiving I want to slow down, and think of gratitude. What brings me happiness, joy, and thanks. 

People sometimes throw the word gratitude around willy nilly. Like you are a bad person if you're not greatful. But to me I feel that it is something to be earned. Like with any feeling you need to work through both the Ying and the Yang, the good and the bad to appreciate it. Or at least in my opinion. That is how I feel. And I have worked through a lot. Coming out more appreciative, happier, stronger and more sure of why I am why I am... And what I want my life to mean. 

I have never really been an advocate for saying cancer was a good thing. But it was a thing. And it is part, an integral part, of my story. Lately I've been thinking about the person I've become. And the person in trying to become by changing my situation. I mean because of cancer I have had a very different four years then the four years I imagined I would have even 5 years ago. I had to give up a lot, but I've gained a lot. A major thing that I've gained is an appreciation for my life. Truly. Someone I met through cancer posted recently how luck we are to live in a place that has such good  medical services and where the norm is to get something checked out before it becomes a huge problem. And it's easy to forget that there are people out there that don't go to the doctors until they are incapacitated. Which in the case of cancer is almost always too late. So for that I'm thankful. 

Additionally and sort of in hand with the cancer is feeling so good about what I'm doing to make myself happy in the future. I am actively creating my future as a nurse and I feel so amazingly good about it. It's been a hard couple of months balancing school, applications and work, but it will be worth it. I feel more sure about school, more sure about my opinions and the most survive ever felt about the path forward. 

Finally I'm thankful and grateful for love. The fact that I am able to love people out there fiercely and know that I am loved fiercely. It's an amazing feeling and I'm happy to have it. 

And though it's always nice to sum up you're feelings and stuff. I want to leave off with one word... Ok a few but you get the idea. 

Be greatful everyday

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pigeon practices Pratyahara

15aug15-16aug15

I went camping. Solo camping to be exact.  And it was great.

But what pray tell is Pratyahara 

Pratyahara (Devanāgarī प्रत्याहार, Tibetan སོ་སོར་སྡུད་པ་, Wylie so sor sdud pa) or the 'withdrawal of the senses' is the fifth element among the Eight stages of Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga,[1]  -wiki page

And why would this send me screaming into the woods? Because it's very natural. Everyone weather they choose to pay attention probably has a voice in their head at some point telling them that it's time to reset and renew solo. It's important because how are you ever going to hear what your soul is saying if you don't essentially slow down and shut up.  

So I did. Granted, it was only for one night but I did. And it felt good. I left my phone in the car and ventured into the woods with a flash light, a book and a lot of matches. 

The breakdown was relatively uneventful with only one night but here is some highlights, and learning. 

- You can get a lesson on how to pack from REI but don't try to go on Saturday afternoon
- one of those wood packs from the grocery store is really only enough for 1 night. 
- not bringing chemical fire starters was intentional, but hard to use natural kindling when it rains buckets for 45 min right after you set up the tent 
- your tent is sturdy enough to stay up in a rain storm, even if you set it up wrong. 
- not having something to sit in at the fire is a drag
- sleeping in the woods alone isn't as scary as you think
- rainstorms help you sleep
- you can do it and enjoy the quite with fire and a book 
- it is possible and fun to hike into a site in 1 trip...(and this was packed very poorly) 

So the moral of the story is I want to do it again. And next time I will truly hike in.. Since this time it was 0.6 miles... So still counts, sort of 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Reflections from the mat : Kripalu edition

Reflections on Kripalu 
10JUL15 - 12JUL15 
This past weekend I spent my time at the Kripalu Yoga center in Western Mass. I attended a workshop with Shiva Rea called "Prana Vinyasa Movement Alchemy tending the sacred fire" and in one word it was amazing.  The entire workshop focused on tuning into the tempo of our bodies and looking at the yoga practice through the natural elements.  It was intense and I was able to put my body into places that I didn't know I could go.  I really liked how she related everything back to a visceral feeling and wanted to have balance between the elements, earth, fire, wind and water. 

So all that being said here are some highlights.... In no particular order..... 

One the last day we did I guess you could call a full elemental practice, with components in each element.... During that we did a YOGA KRYIA which felt sort of prayer like. She played music and we closed our eyes and moved from "camel like pose" to fully extended on our bellies or child's pose.  It was so intense to open up my heart that way. And surprisingly doing the "camel like" movements didn't freak me out. I felt liberated. Immediately after we paired up and did partnered forward bending, when you sit back to back with someone and the one person goes into seated forward bend while the other lies on top of them, and it was amazing. 

The afternoon session we decided to have down on the lake, which first of all was really gorgeous.  So we went down in our bathing suits and yoga clothes and had the session. But the amazing part happened at the end. We all went in the water, including Shiva Rea, and did a floating savasana. We grouped up and held each other up in the water. During which we all om ed.  It was really good cool and relaxing in a new way to be floating in a sea of oms in a much more literal way then ever before.  Once we'd all done that we were standing and freezing because well it's Massachusetts... The water never gets hot. And Shiva started "drumming" the water.        https://youtu.be/98Xj_oLkRT4   . we all joined in a circled up. Then we started to chant. Unfortunately I don't remember the Sanskrit (I asked later what it was and it was something to evoke the earth mother goddess ) and we did sort of a round with a Sanskrit chant and "going down to the river to pray" all the while slapping the water.  The collective consciousness was INCREDIBLE.  

I experienced my first "Yoga Trance Dance".  This is admittedly what I had known her for but not really known what it was.  It was all about organic movement, and a different type of movement mediation.  Through dance and freedom and no structure. It took me a while to fully give in, but when I did it was incredible. I thought about the year I've had, and all the fear and anxiety and anger I have experienced and it a certain extend still hold residually.  I realized how long it had been since I felt truly free and I just let go. And dance in the dark with all these other yogis. But of course like any good yoga experience there was a savasana. We laid down wherever we were and blissed out. It was great. 

I was pleasantly surprised with my dormitory experience. All the women were nice and I really connected with a few. And good on Kripalu for sticking us together since we mostly all were in the same workshop. 

I got into the quad stretch version of half pigeon for possibly the first and only time. 

I went way farther in (foot behind head) reclined... Then I ever thought possible. 


The food was amazing. And then had a continual supply of Kitchri.  Though tummy got funny with so much ruffage. 

I realized that you can still have a powerful practice outside the powers tradition. But using the different types of salutations at different types and different purposes you had build a heck of a lot of inner heat. 

I want to learn more about mudras. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The final days and farewell camp mystery hole

07jun15 - 13jun15
Day 5 - back on the wall 
After a day of white water rafting we were back at it for some more climbing. And rappelling... We met our guides and went to a different location. This one had a much smaller parking area... Maybe less well known, I dunno. I was completely unaware of titles and stuff. So I could have been on Mars.  This area was up from the path a little, and had some cool stuff.  They set up a chimney again, which was really tight but fun once I got the hang of it. Had to jam my knees into the rock, but once I got going there was a lot of starfish action. They also had a really tricky one right next to a tree... Which I used as a boost, along with a number of people. I saw some of the guys try the actual start and it was hard. Lots of up an over lips. It was a really cool place to climb, and populare with the locals since we had some come and hang with us. 

After some climbing and lunch action.....
it was time to rappel.  So we hiked back up to the spot with the ropes. This time I went closer to the beginning or maybe first... Memories a little foggy. And Sherpa Lerpa made me stay on my feet. He even bent down and held my feet until I was in a good position to go down. Really scary but good too cause it got me in a good position. This one once I started was a bit easier and I didn't cry. I was actually able to glance around and realize maybe this was cool.  

Man salmon was at the bottom and directed me back to the group (and helped me extercate myself from all the hooks). 

After everyone repelled we went Swimming... In yoga pants. And boy was that nice. To be grimmey and gross and than go cool off. Lovely, simply lovely. 

The one difference tonight was they told us our groups for tomorrow... Clearly we needed to be organized for tomorrow's adventures.
Grasshoppa, Princess and me after a day of climbing action :) 



Day 6 - the multi - pitch graduation climb
Today was our final day... Up and out reasonably quickly cause there was lots on the schedule.  As we were driving we all prayed for the weather to stick with us... Clouds and mountains are very unpredictable. We got to our location and distributed gear.  Then my group made its way to the graduation climb... Our first multi pitch. 

Now this was different. We were climbing but we were topping out, multiple times. In totally we did 4 pitches. And they were hard.

Ending on the top of the "pinnacle"  I'm not sure if that's the official name or if that's just what they called it to us. Regardless... It was high up. And we were going to finish with a rappel off the top. Yikes!!!  We slowly made our way up 1 by 1... With a moment of feeling like were in a chain gang since we were all hooked to a rope in a row.
The Chain Gang !!! 
Navigator May have been throwing nature at me... from above 


Really funny.  I also got to try something different called aid climbing. Or I think that's it. When you use a rope in your hands to help you up. And Danger (one guide) came and visited even though it was her day off.  

We all safely made it to the top!!! And enjoyed quite the view! 
Here we are pre - rappelling :-) 

We all made it down, and very hungrily chowed down! 

Because it's actually unsafe we had to move our location mid chow down, but we were going to find more walls, so it was all good. 

After eating we went to this place called the Junkyard. It was cool. They had a really big chimney which I did and it was really fun. Hard and fun. I think the scary thing there is because it's so skinny there feels like there is too much stuff to crash into.  I made it though.  And it was pretty cool! 

After all that action we were all sweaty and tired. We packed up our gear and made it up to the cars. Said goodbye to the guides and went back to the swimming hole.  

Again cool water on tired body felt great. We paddled around and than did a FD tradition. We got pens and found rocks. One to keep, one to toss. 
One with all the good 
And Toss away the bad!  It was cool, and cathartic. The kept rock proudly rests in my living room. 
Clearly from the picture I was tired and emotionally spent. 

We went home for a really amazing evening of relaxing, dinner, s'mores, fires, candles and Baci.... 

The candle ceremony was reflective and made me truly grateful that I still have my body, I still have my life. I know too many people that are not with us, or treatment leaves them too broken to have the ability to go outside and use their body in this amazing way and I am grateful that I can. 

The Baci was tied on by my good buddy Grasshoppa.  And a discription is below. 

Baci is a phi ritual used to celebrate important events and occasions, like births and marriages and also entering the monkhood, departing, returning, beginning a new year, and welcoming or bidding etc.[1] The ritual of the baci involves tying strings around a person’s wrist to preserve good luck, and has become a national custom.[3][4] -wickapedia


I still have it on and it makes me smile thinking back.

Once we came inside we sat on the couches for awhile... Surrounded by a lot of taxidermy and then went to bed. 


Day 7 - a farewell... But see you again 
Today was slow... We all had different departure times, so it was a quite morning as people got ready to roll.  One of the first out was my roomie for the week Cheeta.  We worked well and it was a pleasure to share the space.  

After some seating around, coffee drinking and food scrounging. (I wanted to bring lunch since my flight was at 12 something) Lil D, Furiousa and I loaded into a car and went to the airport.  We got there and through the very quick security and had a bit of time to chat... Then they saw me to the gate and I was off. 
It was an amazing ride!!!! Goodbye camp Mystery Hole!!!!!


Final thoughts and reflections 
Now almost a week out I still look back on the week with such gratitude, smiles, fondness and love. It was an amazing thing to be a part of, and I am really glad our group seemed to gel well.  And moving forward maybe Pigeon will make more appearances in every day life... Cause all you have to do is commit and try.


Camp Mystry Hole... the middle days

07Jun15-13Jun15

Day 3 - or climbing day 2 - or Pigeon takes flight

Today marked another day of climbing.  We were early up and going and made our way to a camp ground.  It was rainy so today we practiced on a bouldering wall (climbing lower routes... no rope) and learned around rappelling...which came in handy since we did it later that day.  I think if I was a bit more sure of myself I would like bouldering more. This wall was just hard but we practiced individual moves at the bottom. This made it possible to learn a few positions without worrying what comes next.

Case in point I learned to flag.


We hung out at this camp ground through lunch. Which was fun and pretty relaxing. And not too wet. All good things.



After that I think the words "we have a surprise" were used and we were off.  Today was a bit nerve wracking for the rest of the day. The surprise was a swing (video coming) climbing thing... Which looked scary, was f-ing scary but so happy I did it. And rappelling (spoiler 1st of 3)...  Eeek. My group went to repell first. So we actually had to hike back out of where we were and up on top of the cliff the swing was attached to. Smart guides, things were really close together but split up groups made things move without too much waiting. Though I'll say maybe me going last of the participants in my group was maybe waiting too much. Anyway... 

The repell was scary, I'm talking really scary.  This one was over a lip with shrubs. So you really had no chance to see anything, at all. There were some tears, and a lot of swears. But the guides Danger and Black Snake talked me through it well.  This first time I was able to lower to my knees to go over, which felt more controlled. And long story short. I did it... I didn't need the back up rope (otherwise characterized as as not dropping myself) and I only got attacked by 1 tree on the way down. Which coincidently we all discussed getting attacked by.  It was a mix of free hanging and walking down the wall. And I did it..woohoo!!! 




Once I was down there was a small matter of getting back to the group, because there was no one around...  Initially I couldn't see a path, so I put my big girl pants on and said... I'll bushcwack this way until I find something.  Me being a nervous and novice bushwacker... It was very quickly clear that I was wrong. So fortunatly Man Salmon came down about then and found the correct path.... Allowing  me to make it back to the group without completing my shrub adventure. 


Then it was on to the swing. 

This thing was the sort of thing that I would have 100% completely avoided in other situations. But actually now that I'm saying this I also probably would have avoided the rappelling too, so never mind.  And from that the video really says it all...


video



Do you think I had too much fun? 


Day 4 - Pigeon swims? 
Today was our climbing rest day. Buy you know you're with a special group of people when our rest day involved white water rafting... So it was different muscles, but still musles. 

First we had an actual slow morning to explore Fayitville. We walked around the town. Got a cup of coffee at the local shop and had lunch in the town square.  It was pretty nice. 


After lunch we made our way to the rafting place. Overall it was a really good experience though the head guide guy was an ass... A big ass. Anyway, once we got all the particulars squared away, changed and loaded up with paddles and vests,  we took a bus to meet our guides.  This was yet another thing I was nervous about but our guide was really good. She was calm and clear and though each rapid made me nervous I was in the back and could hear well.  And I stayed in the boat in all the important moments. Happy to have Drapper as my across the seat buddy. One cool thing we got to do was swim the smaller Rapids... Which actually helped a lot with the comfort level... Also helped cause it was really warm. It was a different experience getting in and floating down a rapid... But wicked fun. Also it was fun watching Man salmon and Pedro goofing around in kayaks. 

I was pretty spent after that from tensing my legs a lot to stay in, but I did enjoy it and wouldn't say no to doing it again. 
My boat 
The whole crew 




Monday, June 15, 2015

Pigeon is born... As is camp mystery hole

07jun15 - 13jun15
Last week marked a momentous week. I went on my very first First Descents(FD1) trip. For those new to the program FD is :
First Descents offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same. (Firstdescents.org) 

Which is truly an awesome thing and I am so glad I got to go and hang out with an unbelievably cool group of people for a week.  

We spent a week outside, climbing rocks, swinging, rafting and having really tasty sunset porch dinners in the New River Gorge, West Virginia.  It was so relaxing and invigorating I can't wait for more adventures... The world is officially my oyster. 

Day 1 - Travel and arrival 
The travel was easy. I was able to sleep on the first flight, which was good since it was at 6am. Passed my long layover and made it to Charleston, WV without and issue. And my bag made it too!  

In the baggage claim I met up with 4 of
the 8 participants and 1 of the volunteers.  (Apologize in advance for any name botching) who will always be known as Sporty, sunshine, katniss , Cheena and Navigator. We loaded up and drove the ~90min to the New River Gorge area. This day was a rest, get to know ya day. We got settled, and ready for the week, which included meeting the rest of the crew... Dodger, Draper, Cheeta, Princess, Doogie, Pedro, Lamb Chop, Lil D, Grasshoppa, Furiosa and Man Salmon. The coolest thing was all of us sitting on the grass silently watching the sun dip below the horizon.  


Maybe not the correct day, but we had some amazing sunsets.... After that it was off to bed for an early up and at um. 

I didn't mention the owner of the lodge had a thing for taxadermey 


Day 2. - climbing day 1
We rose early or early - ish. It being when I usually get up anyway. Oops.  Had an amazing breakfast and loaded into cars. We met the guides in Downtown Fayitville (not how that's spelled) and got al Kyle legal particulars. The town is actually pretty cute. 
At least I look the part 


Then it was off for a day climbing. The two we started with today involved climbing a crack (next to a poison ivy bush) which as far as I know didn't actually get anyone. And the climbing a chimney - ish thing.   I did the crack first and had a lot of help. But that's ok, still made it up. And started to learned about leaning away from the hold to get tension. Side note: hand jams don't feel good.  The chimney was different... Considering all the gyms I'd been to in my limited experience I had never done anything like that. And I wasn't a big door climber as a child. But it was cool. Once I got the idea that is. *little did I know this would come in handy later* 
(Side ways of crack ) 

Because of park ranger rules we had to split the group. So we reunited for lunch on some rocks in the parking lot, under the bridge.

Our second location was ways different. It was much more wall - ish. Sandstone and had a lot of crimpy small holds. Interesting observation...crimpy holds in nature were easier than crimpy in the gym... Though still not easy. Odd right? 
One of many try hard faces :) 



Anyway we finished the day over there and tired loaded up for the return trip, relaxing, dinner and bed again. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Coming to a yoga conclusion

Today was a sort of big day for me. I realized and finally admitted to myself I am not a true POWER YOGA teacher. 

So what does that mean exactly.  In short I want freedom. I want to be able to explore different things in my yoga practice and in my yoga teaching. As a new teacher I admittedly tend to stick to what I learned it slight variations. But that's a comfort level. I want to be able to explore more as I grow more comfortable. To find different poses beyond the true basics or while still staying safe turn the expectations of what's going to happen on their heads. And just have fun. 

It is through a. Lot of thought that I realized that sticking to the exact same flow template every time is not what I want. And though I feel I might be turning my back on my roots a bit. I know it's the right thing. 

I will always teach and practice vinyasa but I want the flexibility to try new stuff too. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tree hits up NC

29may15 - 01jun15

This weekend was a long awaited get out town adventure. Where did the adventure take me? To Raleigh Durham, North Carolina to visit my sister Cecilie.  And in short we had a blast... But let's recount some details and adventures. 

The travel down
Getting down there was a bit messier than I would have liked. It being spring in New England equals some somewhat unpredictable weather patterns.  So after waving goodbye to my car, safely stoud at work, I comfortably took the T down to Logan. Unfortunately when I got there the flight Gods decided they had a different plan. My flight was rebooked for a direct flight (so not all bad) but I was now stuck there for an additional 4 hrs... So not all good either. But that happens. The actual waiting and flight were uneventful... Had a nice chat with my seat mate who was a  researcher at Dana Farbar. Landed, found C.C. And promptly went straight to bed. 

Day 1 : the Chapel Hill adventure
So one of the things I wanted to do, since the trip was primarily hang with C.C. And therefore had no real agenda. was that I wanted to see the UNC chapel hill campus. I have been thinking of applying there for Nurseing school and wanted to see if I liked the vibe.  
On the way we stopped at 
This place call Guglhupf. It was cute. Had an outdoor space. So we had our breakfast under an umbrella in the sun, before heading out. 

We drove the short way to chapel hill, and the navigator C.C. found us a parking lot somewhat centrally located in the campus.  We strolled around for awhile, with a little effort finding the stadium "go tar heals" 

The quad, and the bell tower
Clearly it was sunny and nice.  I really liked the vibe of the campus, even with no people on it. 

For lunch we found this cute place on "the street with all the stuff on it". Ok I seriously don't remember the name of it. But it was really near the campus and had a number of restaurants and boutiques and stuff. 

For the rest of the day, since we were both pretty sunned out. We stopped at Trader Joes and got stuff for dinner, caught up on episodes of Sirens, made dinner and than went to "the mall". To go see Pitch Perfect 2. Hadn't seen the first but still really enjoyed it. 


Day 2: a slow start and lots of yummy
Again we had a slow morning but today was a slightly different reason. We slowly got ready because we had a reservation at 
Which for those not in the know. Is a fondue place 
We had a very slow, very delicious brunch / lunch (since our reservation was at 11:30). 

After we were done C.C. Needed to get some work done and I wanted to see her school. So off we went. Her school was so cute, and she set me to task with some filing. Since we could only stay until 4pm, we didn't have a ton of time to do stuff. But after we headed to Duke Gardens and Duke University. 
It was gorgeous, and we walked around go a bit. We found a nice bench and sat and chatted for a bit. It was so nice to have essentially quite time.  We don't get a chance to just sit together very often and I truly enjoyed it. 

Once we had had enough sun, we left the gardens in search of liquids and dinner. We also drove through Dukes campus. It was interesting to me that even driving through I got a completely different vib. And I can for sure say I liked UNC better. 

For dinner we went to Mello Mushroom (pizza). Which was near the baseball park. The amazing thing was the fact that there was a game and it was still easy to get around... Cue thinking to last time
I got stuck in Kenmore right after a game.  The restaurant and park also had a little stream and hammocks and a giant chess set.  Had. A very small town feel which I really enjoyed. 

After dinner we went home to relax and get ready for travel / work.  Watched some old episodes of Graceland and went to bed. 

All in all, very fun, very relaxing and rejuvenating trip

The return

Fortunately the return flight was uneventful.  It was mostly on time, and I actually went straight to work.  Which wasn't that bad. (I say with fingers crossed that the experiment I ran worked) 

But that's another trip in the books :-) 








Thursday, May 28, 2015

The simple things

Lately I've definitely noticed I've been complicating the shit out of everything. And I do mean everything.  So it's been creating a lot of undue or at least not quite so necessary stress. And that does nothing good for my mood or my behavior.  

Then today the universe through me a bone, in a manner of speaking. I was reading my mediation book and the last line for today's was 

It seems we always have the choice: to remain a builder of fences or to enter the stream that ignores all fences. - mark nepo 

And it was exactly what I needed to hear. I find that when I get in the cycle of stress and stuff I try to plan and organize and get AS MUCH AS I CAN POSSIBLY GRT DONE DONE. Which doesn't make me a better person, does very little to aswage the feeling of uncontrol and sort of makes me into a bit of a pushy bitch. 

So today and moving forward. I will try to breath and go with the flow a bit more, and see what, if anything changes. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Things I learned from the avon39

16may15-17may15

This past weekend I attempted to complete my first Avon 39 2 day walk.  I admittedly had a hard time getting in some training walks so I was nervous about it anyway. I mean 39 miles over 2 days is meant to be hard. So I knew it was going to be. Let's say it did not go well. At all, but in doing it I learned a few things to carry on for the next one. 

- walking with a buddy is so much more fun
- do long training walks (even if it feels weird to say training and walk in the same sentence ) 
- don't walk in 2 year old shoes... Even if they feel ok 
- change your socks way more often than you think
- drink more Gatorade
- it's ok to cancel if the universe throws you 2 unexpected things the week before
- finishing is finishing even if you take the bus

It was a hard and emotional weekend, but I'm glad I did it. And maybe one year in the future I'll do it again with a little more knowledge under my belt


And the pink tent village : totally cute even if. I didn't sleep there 

What I looked like after day 1 








Friday, May 8, 2015

If you could describe cancer as a person....

So yesterday, 07may15, just to keep our chronology correct, I saw this cancer movie. It was called "Wrong way to Hope" and documented this group of young adult patients (YAPs) has they kayaked down a river.  

It was really interesting to see their experience and know I'm doing something similar with First Descents in June. So that should be cool. One thing they did was create a focus for each day.   

One of their discussions through that was " if cancer was a person how would you describe them? " 

I liked this idea since I think of cancer both in the physical and metaphysical sense. I mean it a person or animal because it grows inside of you. But it also a metaphysical thing because it Fucks with you in a number of mental and non tangible ways. Which is harder to quantify  So here is my list with a few explainstion can  

Forcefully giving, in the way in which forces you to confront stuff early in life or probably a lot easier than I would ever do on my own.

Invader 
Supreme bitch
Demanding
Life altering 
Intense 
Hard to please 
Boot camp sergeant 

The other image that always has been coming to mind is from a book "the devil wears prada" the character of Mirand. 
Who is one tough bitch, but in the shows you things about yourself. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

The sling shot

I don't know about most people but I personally think that most of the time I feel happy, relatively stress free and confident, maybe we'll call it a base line, "normal" and maybe we'll call it 75% of the time. And I think that's pretty good. I mean there are always going to be days, weeks that exist in the 25% of the time where you aren't at baseline. I'm here to say that lately I feel like I've been in that 25% a lot. And I mean A LOT.  And it's been hard.  I'm at the point where I don't know where my normal is anymore. Like seriously... 

It's been a definite challenge trying to embrace the uncertainty of everything. But at the same time that is sort of life... 

I mean no one knows what's instore for any of us. And it's actually in feeling my feelings and moving through them I've realized that, though anxiety and fears are perfectly valid feelings, it is vital to move through them because once you come out the other side it makes me realize life is pretty good. And everything  will work out 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Impatience

Ok so I have a lot of things to be impatient about. I mean don't we all.  We live in a society where I want to it all, and I want lit now is kind of the norm... And I almost forgot, I want it my way.  So it isn't a surprise to me that sometimes I get a bit testy when things aren't super smooth. 

That being said my biggest impatience (or one of... I'm not sure I want to paint myself in a corner) is with certain types of people. Who are they you ask? I can barely stand people who I perceive to be people that think they can A) very un cleverly pull a fast one on me or B) think I'm not smart enough to pick up on when they are full of shit or C) people that are so full of shit they don't realize how dumb they are.  

So yeh, it's been a interesting couple days. I've basically been dealing with A, B and C all in the same person. And it's driving me nuts. It doesn't really matter who it is, or where I know them from. But I'm baffled to wonder how someone who is technically speaking for one of my multiple employers fails to see the ridcuoulsness of saying things like "well there was a critic" and when I say what was the critic all I get is " oh just general feedback" ummm Not helpful!!!!

In any sort of employment situation I want to do good. So it is actually hard to hear well we want you to retrain but have no one tell you what the specific problem was. Or if there had been multiple complaints. I am fine with any sort of retrain, "extra" training situation, I mean I work there. They are in the end incharge. I'm not going to say no. Or I am smart enough to know that if I refuse I will no longer be their employee. But it boils down to not setting me up for success. And that speaks poorly of an employer. Really! And makes me seriously consider how long and how much association I want to have with them.  It's hard to not be offended being treated so poorly.  

Let's just say I'm practicing AHIMSA so hard these days. 


So this is my way of putting the universe on notice. If you have a critic, please tell me. If I ask for specifics please give them. And if you don't I will loose all faith in you ability to communicate and lead. And I will turn into the dragon slayer bad ass I have on my wall. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Why NPs are awesome

I had a moment today that made me realize how much I want to be an NP or I guess why I want to be a good one. 

Some people are aware of my desire to become a nurse and it was this interaction that had made me realize again the important it is to have good people to talk to in medical situations and the importance of having someone there that can "talk you off the ledge". I also know I could be that person.

  I had been sort of freaking out about a few things and in the end the reasons don't matter. But I called my Doctor to come in and be seen. And because I could see her quicker they have me an appointment with the NP.  So I went in and went through the whole rigamaroll of what had been going on and how I was feeling, and see listened attentively. And when I was done said "ok we're going to do a full exam". She did the exam and then re-read some reports. And gave her opinion about what was to be done. Everything she said was very reasonable and she gave me her idea of the plan. 

The most magical part of the experience was after she finished her "we should do this.... " speach she asked me how I felt about it. It felt so egalitarian and in asking she acknowledged my fears and legitimized the freak out. And that was great. In doing that I realized a bit more that I'm doing the right thing, I'm fine and things will work out. 

Granted it's still hard for me to feel that way. REALLY hard depending on the day, but taking the edge off was great. 

Side note : she used the words "hot mess" more then once... Which surprisingly made things better. 

So why are NP's awesome. Because she took the time, listened and rationalized my fears, but didn't allow my fears to drive her decisions. She made me feel 50% less crazy, and that I was doing the right thing.  My main hope is that someday I will be able to do that for someone else. And in taking the 45 min out of my day, help someone make it through a tense few months. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cancer friends

28MAR15

Who are on the way to being just friends. 

This weekend was the Young adult Conference at Dana Farber and the first meeting of the Boston tribe for First Descents. So it was a sort of cancer filled weekend. I say that I realize it sounds completely odd to put on paper but the other awesome part about it was that it was an extremely positive weekend or actually long day. 

The day started somewhat early with a drive over to Dana Farber. I registered and got my stuff, and found a buddy from group.  It was really fun to see a number of people that I knew and had chatted with so it felt a little like a reunion... Since we all don't make it to every group.  The day started with a key note speaker and then it had 2 breakout sessions. 

The first session I went to was about mindfulness and mediation. This isn't exactly a new topic for me because of all the yoga action but it was interesting in this context. And realizing / being reminded how much time we spend thinking ahead to things and how trying to predict good or bad isn't the best way to go. Which I agree with and it's always a good thing to have my attention brought back to.  We did some walking and seated mediation. And it was nice. 

We then got a complementary lunch, which was delicious. And songs from a group from Berkely College of Music. Which meant there was a lot of really interesting arrangements of pop songs to  violin and gutair. We also pushed a bunch of tables together and had a good visit talking about everyday and cancer related thing.  It was so cool to talk to awesome people and have it feel normal.  It was like we were kids at school. 

After lunch we listened the couple that started the Andruizzi foundation, who also is a former Patriots player (pretty neat) he battled cancer and then started this foundation to help people pay bills during and after treatment.  

The final seminar was about dealing with uncertainty. And it was an ok seminar.  I felt that because the panelist were all in similar stages of their cancer experience it maybe focused a lot of the medical aspects of uncertainty, and didn't do a lot to assuage my fears. In fact the discussion made me more nervous. But it was still a good topic. In general, I could have appreciated a Better focus on the topic. 

After the conference I hoped in the car and drove up to Nahat. Nahat for those playing the distance game is an island on the north shore. 

Next to the beach.  The event was the first Tribe Event for the Boston First Decents group. 

FD is a group that runs trips for young adult cancer patients and survivors. And they send people to do adventure stuff, rock climbing, surfing, kayaking. For a week. This group is an off shoot of that, and they are trying to get more stuff going in the Boston area. 

The people I met there were REALLY awesome and it was so great to meet se other peps like me, that are doing there thing and dealing with cancer. And being awesome. A number of the awesome people from Dana farber were there. And it was amazing to talk to people in a house, and not a hospital setting.  It ended up being a really long day but the sign of a long day is you only notice how tired you are until you get in. The car. 

That's what happened, so I boogied home, had a final date with my couch and called it a night. 



Monday, March 23, 2015

Feedback and week of sunrises

23mar15

This is going to be a week of sunrises I think. Starting today I was up well before the Sun to have my first experience with Prana Power Yoga's "Pre-Dawn" class. I was addmittedly curious how my brain and body were going to feel about the 4am wake up call, but it wasn't too bad. 
I decided to try this class because I knew I could go and come back to my apt to get ready. Showering at my own house is quite the novelty these days. And I'm trying to figure out more ways to get on a yoga practice. 

The cool thing about this class is it's not taught. Just people, darkness, silence and your mat and you. And I actually liked it. I started by reading today passage of "A Book of Awaking" and then moved into the physical practice.  It was not super fancy (and I don't think it ever will be) but felt good and blessed out. The one thing I would have changed on my end would be to set my fitbit so I would make sure to have enough time for savasana. The one thing I would change about the class would be that I would have appreciated the owner mentioning that she om'ed at the end of her practice.  Nice to know in advance but I guess I'll know for next time. We wrapped everything up at ~5:50.  

And this is where the learning point came for me. The owner asked if I had a minute. after we were done and silly me I assumed she wanted to catch up and check in... Not exactly.  She had feedback... Constructive critic... Good stuff. From a class I had subbed the previous Sunday. And though I usually do appreciate feedback done in person, I learned I do not receive feedback well at 6am.  It was nothing to major but still not the best time for me to hear that.  And the worst of all.

It totally killed my yoga buzz. 

So note to self next time, say no to stupidly early feedback. 



And now that I've had time to think about the feedback, I have other thoughts. One of the complaints was a supposedly 12 min savasa... What I say to they is a) ok that's long but not ridculous b) I felt the room needed it, it's not all about you buddy c) if you are timing things in savasana man you got issues... So though I will take some of the other stuff to heart ish... Work on confidence and assuradeness.. Sure that's always good things.  I don't think I'll go to the wall again for awhile until I work out the kinks.. At least not in a true vinyasa class. But otherwise poo on you... It's my flow and I'm sticking to it

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Contemplations, Actions and stuff

Its been a busy time.  Lots of things and lots of thoughts.  Health wise things have been ok.  I mean I'm over the main hump of cancer related issues and now just deal with normal yet really irritating stuff.  Like thinking I may have herniated a disk and wishing my sinuses would stay clear for more then five minutes at a time.  The only addition with that stuff is of course that the normal stuff brings a slight background paranoia voice of "you have cancer again" " something is wrong" really.  But I'm following all the necessary protocols and I have to beat that voice down with a stick.  I personally call it the fine art of distraction and it works great 95 - 98% of the time.  I'll take it.  If I can keep the crazy away at least most of the time then that is a win.

On to the fun stuff.  With the improved health I've been tossing lots of vacation ideas for this year.  If you have any thoughts on the matter let me know. I'm open to suggestions.

And lastly I started doing something really cool.  As I've sort of mentioned before


I've been rowing and it has been awesome.  After the Crash B's international comp we switched to prepping for the water.  Unfortunately because of my neck / elbow issues my PT told me I could row.  But I am going to Cox for the military program at CRI and its going to be awesome.  We are starting on the water this tuesday morning.  So I'll make sure to update after that.  I am so looking forward to flying through the water and the awesome sunrises over the charles.  Its going to be a GOOD week.

Thats all for now

Later Gators



Friday, February 20, 2015

Living in fear

I actually had a few different titles because of the many ways I've thought of this. 

It's been an emotional week. This time last year I found out I had cancer again. And this year I DO NOT have cancer, but at least for now I have been unable to escape the fear. One of the grisly scary things about Breast cancer is the fact you can have true breast cancer aka a lump in your boobies. And there are NO symptoms, none. And if you are symptomatic usually there is a PROBLEM involving an organ that is less forgiving of having a growth on it.  I would imagine that this is something a lot of cancer patients encounter. And I the abcense of overt symptoms what are you supposed to do. Nothing. And that is fucking scary. Especially since I've been there twice. 

I mean I've always been a bit of a hypochondriac so that didn't help things either. And it's frustrating to feel afraid most of the time.  I know I put a brave face on to the world, and for the most part I Believe it at least in some percentage. But the other percentage is fear and there is only so much breath you can send to that. 

My hope is that through time, yoga and mediation the sensation will get less, in sort of a water spilling out on a larger surface. The actual volume of water might be the same but it's not nearly as deep. And I have to focus on that.  And ask for some help with that. But it's a challenge lemme tell ya. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Omnipresence, self awareness, and hypochondria

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. I've been in a bit of a turmoil of feelings, emotions and actions to a certain part.
First off the fact that Boston is experiencing record breaking snow fall on basically ever, it makes it hard to function on a very basic level. Getting anywhere is ways more challenging and I think it's making everyone a lot more irritable.....

Ok who I am kidding, a lot more irritable. 

The second thing going on is the fact I've had a bit of a sense of foreboding. And really the foreboding and the hypochondria sort of go hand in hand. We are coming up on a year since I discovered the second lump in my right breast and the entire shit show of the last year transpired.  For some reason this week has just been feeling very eary. I'm definitely not ok with this feel. Umm yeh give me a huge dose of foreboding... Thanks but no thanks.  But that has not helped the feeling I've had that something just isn't right. Initially I tried to shake it and just play it off as true crazy. But it just wouldn't go away. 

That is the good thing about being a yogi. I can tell when something isn't right. Granted the plague of all winter colds has been going around so of course I initially thought that was what was going on. I mean I had pneumonia this year so I think my lungs are having a disagreement with my body. But I know when something is just a cold or when things aren't resolving. Or at least I think I do. 

I should mention, I'm also extremely impatient when it comes to health things. I admittedly have NO gauge about what it means to be sick, so I never know if though I am not getting better. It's a normal not getting better or if it's an actual problem. And let's just say this inability is ANNOUYING.  It was brought to my attention just now that it might not be impatience so much as anxiety. And no matter what you call it it pisses me off that my mind goes there. 

The shroud that surrounds the medical profession as a whole has been removed and I am not always that impressed by what I see.  It makes me want to take charge of my health care and to a certain extent I do. The limitations I've encountered have some to do with my time constraints and some with medicine as a whole. I get frustrated that I can't devote unlimited resources to determine if and when I have a problem and the best course of treatment. And the fact that medicine had limitations. We power things with wind. We send people to the moon. We should be able to answer why my lungs feel funny. 

Unfortunately the plan and simple fact is that it is not that simple. I am doing everything I can and now I have to wait and see how things play out. I'm fortunate enough I can see specialists without much of an issue. So that might happen. More tests might happen, and I will get to a point where I feel at peace with the answers. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wow the memories

I don't know how many people use the time hop ap. And I realize I'm a bit of a late adopter. Hey whatever. But as someone who really like nostalgic moments I sort of like it.... Sometimes it may be wrong. But today I got this 

And I can't believe it's been a whole year since I met all the amazing people and learned some amazing things.crazy and I can't wait for more to come

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Puerto Rico weekend


16jan15-19jan15

What a weekend. For the 2015 MLK weekend extra long weekend I met Andrea, Christina and Allicia in San Juan PR for some wonderful beach relaxation. And that's exactly what happened. 

The travel overall was long and for the most part uneventful. Though I have to say I think I'm getting to old for long layovers unless we're talking a HUGE price difference. I spent close to 5hrs together in the Phillidelphia airport. It was boring. And like I said uneventful. But I really could have enjoyed a direct flight. Live you learn! 

Our Airbnb was super cute. I had to get there via cab late at night, which was interesting. Cabbies are very vigorous in their driving. But we were in the top apt so we had a roof deck. It was soooo nice. And so relaxing. We spent a large chunk of every night chatting on the roof, staying up later then I think anyone intended to.  And that's the great part of vacations.... It doesn't matter. 

Our neighboorhood ended up being amazing. With lots of cute cafés and the public beach 5 minutes away. 

One day we went to a different beach to the east. It was nice there cause there was less waves. And it was only about an hr away.  And we went to old San Juan one evening. Which was also interesting because we came on the weekend of the last festival of the Christmas season, and though I never made it to New Orleans for Marci gras, it sort of felt that it could be similar. Let's just say we caught a cab at 9pm. 

Overall it was extremely relaxing and fun to just hang with the girls, and be in a swim suit.