Hello blogosphere. Yeah, yeah, yeah I'm the new girl. So here goes:
Several years ago on a hike, in a wood, near a river I chatted with a friend who asked: "where'd your joie de vivre go, Baranski?" But my joy had not disappeared. I was hiking in a damn wood near a damn river, does that sound despairing to you?
To be fair, my joy had shriveled, exhausted from a poor diet and lack of growing friendships. Many of my friends escaped Seattle in succession, and the "communities" I had been near no longer appealed to me. I was a fucking hater. I was honest about that and decided to move on in my own way. But everything needs to be fed to survive, and as a part of my own fattening I introduced this blog to my diet. So, thank you Dina and Melissa for sharing your journey over the past year and accepting my arrival. Your words have nourished me and I look forward to eating my own.
Melissa welcomed me to kick-off January with a meditation practice, as outlined in her and Dina's original 12 month plan. So I have. (More on this biznahz in a few). I have also decided to tag-along on a 30-day challenge of Bikram yoga mostly because Melissa said she was “Extreme” so I feel compelled to prove that I am “Hardcore”.
Today was day 3. And I'm surprised to be looking forward to day 4. I am more familiar with the Anusara practice developed by John Friend, and, the two branches seem so very far apart. With Anusara I was only going once a week (although I could have gone more), the sequences of the poses varied, and I was rarely (if ever) told to lock my joints. I tried Bikram Hot Yoga at the behest of the Baumgarts prior to the holidays (epic). My first experience was intense (dehydrated) but I went again and immediately aimed for completing a 10-day trial (super cheap). But a cold wrentched my plans. I'm back now, committed for 30 days and drinking more water than ever. I paid for 60 days so in the interest of amortization I might see how long I can last. I'm just going with it. Holding my arms over my head and pencil-diving in.
As far as this mediation biznahz goes I can say that being raised in the Catholic and Lutheran churches I've spent a better chunk of my life practicing prayer (alone and in community) versus meditation. But, I'm willing to give mediation an honest shot. To start, I've chosen a breathing method by Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn. I'm light-hearted about approaching this stuff (if that’s what cracking yourself up means) and am doing what I can like finding space for meditation on my bus rides to work, yoga or elsewhere. Pema Chodron, a Western Tibetan Buddhist nun, said something about meditation helping us "poke holes" in our thoughts, and I could kind of feel that happening...with a subatomic needlepoint...but mostly I've been wandering back and forth in thoughts from what I would write on this blog to my many, many judgments.
In short, here we are. Me, you, the blog (and all these stuttering parentheticals). Now to Day 4. - Amy