So…

26 November, 2010

yay…something VERY cool, you can now SCAN this blog’s very own nifty-handy-dandy BARCODE into your Crack…er, BLACKBERRY phone and visit me all the time….

Wonderful!!!…

But then that means I have to write things that would attract you, right? Pen arguments that grab your attention, yes? Ok, I promise, I know I’ve been shaky over the past weeks, but I’m here for you now, it’s the very least I can do.

As I said at the beginning of this blog, one of the main reasons for its existence is to document how people go about creating sustainable life in Jamaica, everything from entrepreneurship to waste treatment…yup, the WHOLE gamut. So…

So…I’m getting right to it, beginning with a review of products and services offered here in Jamaica to support our local industries…no, there’s not really wrong with importing, but when it vastly outstrips what sweet, sweet Jamaica can produce for local and international consumption, then “Kingston…we have a problem”

So look out for it, as we swing into the merry season, I may even come up with sustainable and affordable Christmas gift ideas…cool, no?

ok, much love, I’m off to the land of Nod

SWWW

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A good friend lost her fight with cancer tonight…I feel the loss so patently, and yet so much relief that there is no more pain for her now.

This is the end of a fight fought by one of the bravest souls I’ve been blessed to know, even as the cancer overtook her body and began to take her away from us, she never focused on it, she’d answer if you asked directly, but her disease didn’t own her…her life was the ultimate expression of yoga, she “did” Life one moment at a time, as honestly as she could, though she guarded her privacy fiercely.

The last time we talked, before it became too difficult to do so, she taught me a Sanskrit chant “Anando Hum” which means quite simply “I am Bliss”…I had asked for a chant to give to a friend who also lost a relative to cancer, and this my friend gave me so freely (as she always did).

I called her my “Oracle at Delphi” for the wisdom and humility she taught me, for sharing with me that it was ok to just “be”, to process the darkness, as well as enjoy the light. She told me of Noble Silence, pain as she had never known and how she saved up Yellow Skittles and Starburst for me because I told her I loved them so. All with the same breath and love.

Her transition comes not as an ending, but as a doorway to another place, another plane of existence; she has transcended this one, and though we will miss her, and shed tears…we must also celebrate. Think not that Death is an end to life; no, death is only the opposite of birth! LIFE has no end, she knew this, she lived it, and she has branded it forever in my heart.

Words fail me here, and so I will rely on those of another, John Donne, who wrote in words equally terse and profound:

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

Death Be Not Proud

John Donne

This is my yoga as September becomes October, and as Yoga Month ends, and we return to the everyday yoga of life and the search for peace.

Always and ever love, my Oracle, I will dream of sunshine, labyrinths and yellow sweeties.

Anando hum.

swww

Each morning I go through a ritual of sorts to convince myself to get out of my comfortable bed and go practice on my mat….there are few things that make me feel more alive and aware than when I’m doing asana…but I won’t lie to you, I’m no morning person.

I practice in the morning because it is the best time for me to do so (aside from the fact that you get the clean, cool morning air, your body is stronger and you benefit from having to stretch muscles that have stiffened up during the inertia of sleep) – I work a full-time day job and teach most evenings – but for me, the biggest challenge is getting out of that perfect spot in the bed, when the room is the perfect temperature, and all is good and wonderful in the universe. I have often wondered what that means “Am I really an undisciplined person underneath?” “Do I truly love what I do?” Believe me, I LOVE to practice, and 15 minutes into it, no matter how groggy I was when I awake or how many time I think “my bed is calling me back right now”, I know for sure “This is where I’m meant to be, in this very moment”

I say all of this to say that we don’t always have the reason that we practice in sharp and clear focus, sometimes just to practice IS the reason. This is particularly true when you hit a point when a posture isn’t “working” for you; though the most immediate response may, borne of frustration, be “I don’t want to do this”, push through anyway, give it your best love and attention in that moment, but try not to tie your own worth as a human being to it. Making yoga a sustainable part of your life means two things and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (on of THE foremost treatises on the philosophy of yoga) says it best:

  1. Practice (abhyasa) – means having the attitude of persistence to find peace in the practice, practice must be done consistently and over a long period of time in order for the practitioner to reap its ripest fruit. This means you have to get up and try, even when the bed seems a better option but it also means that you should have a sustainable relationship with your practice, guilt and resentment have no place here. At the same time, your practice shouldn’t be, as Kino put it, “this all-or-nothing thing that you feel you have to do”. Assess who you are and what you feel like each day, do your very honest best and then let go of your expectation of what you think that practice should be, which leads me to:
  2. Non-attachment (vairagya) – the ability to let go of any attachments, fears, desires and delusions you might have about the practice and why you do it. This means that for however long you’re on the mat, make the effort to suspend you ego, certainly the part of it that says “I did this yesterday, why can’t I now?” or “I should be able to do this by now” and just enjoy what it is that you do. Come to your mat with no pre-conceived notions of yourself, begin with the breath and end with the breath.

I wanted to share these two principles because they underscore why I love yoga so much, and because I have dedicated my practice to a woman who gave her final breath on Wednesday night, having spent so much time in the service and love of others. She was sweet, giving and quite frankly, extraordinary. She will be missed. I will love and remember her always. RIP Aunty G.

We come into this life on an inhale and leave it on an exhale, but rarely do we pay attention to the breaths between. When we apply the discipline of practice with the ease of non-attachment, we find that our practice can soar to its highest height and plumb its greatest depth. On the days when you have doubt, fear and guilt, remember this, and let THAT be your purpose

with love

SWWW