Simply put, t’was a lovely day for a wedding!
Oh boy, what a weekend! I’m so filled with love and gratitude and excitement that I’m not even sure where to begin! But, on the flip side, I am completely exhausted from all the festivities of the last few days, so I’ll try to sum this up and make it quick.
This weekend one of my dear friends married his partner in a beautiful civic union celebration. There was love and fun all over the place!
Friday after work the grooms invited some of their friends for a casual bike ride around City Park in Denver. There was a whole group of us bikers (sorry Denver drivers, we were hogging the road and not obeying bike etiquette- a usual “no no” for me, but we were all giddy from the excitement of the upcoming wedding, so whatevs)
After a casual ride around the park, we went to the Denver Bicycle Cafe. I’ve been meaning to check this place out for a long time now, and it was awesome. They serve coffee and beer while servicing any bike needs you may have. Check, please!
They don’t serve food other than some chips and salsa, but you’re allowed to bring in food, so the grooms ordered pizza for everyone and we noshed and gulped for several hours on their outside picnic tables. Apparently they have quite the beer list as well, at least that’s what my husband told me. I’m not a beer drinker, but luckily, the Denver Bicycle Cafe had a little something in mind for me as well- they serve a red and white house Colorado wine on tap. Yes, please.
Overall, the evening was a perfect way to celebrate the upcoming wedding.
Saturday morning I had my obligatory monthly appointment with my hairstylist, hit up a yoga class and then prepped for the wedding fun.
The wedding- well, it was technically a “civil union” because Colorado still hasn’t legalized gay marriage (don’t get me started)- but I’m calling it a wedding dammit!- was held at a beautiful civic building conveniently located just a few minutes away from our house.
It was the perfect evening for a beautiful union of two beautiful souls. There was amazing wines, yummy food and a fabulous play list. I did A LOT of dancing. And this morning, I was reminded that I am not 21 anymore and cannot move my body (nor, apparently, dance in heels) the same way I could a few years ago. I felt like I had done Crossfit or something. Perhaps it was all the thrusting during “Milkshake”?
In any regard, I felt so blessed that I have these two friends in my life, and that they were able to celebrate their love in front of their families and loved ones. I wish them a lifetime of happiness and companionship!
So it’s been just over 24 hours since I graduated from yoga teacher training. It’s actually a bit surreal and emotional, which surprises me. The level of emotion I experienced yesterday (and today) didn’t match up with my overall lackluster attitude throughout the past 3 months of training. I’m not really sure what all the emotion is about. After all, I tended to downplay the entire YTT experience. It really was just “meh.” And at some point soon, I’m going to post my reflections from YTT, and the entire experience from my perspective. But I haven’t been all that inspired or pensive. I just can’t bring myself to wrap my head around it and start typing. So I’ll just save it for “someday soon.”
But what I can share is what the last day of YTT was like. Basically, all 22 of us had 10 minutes each to present our final “Yoga and Your Life” projects. Overall, it was pretty cool. Some people shared art work, others shared their research about yoga and you-name-it. A few people presented on their “self-studies.” I didn’t get this. It felt like code for “I didn’t really prepare for anything so instead I’ll just share my life story.” One girl made ghee and gave us all little mason jars filled with buttery goodness that I can’t wait to try. My presentation on “Yoga and Eating Disorders” went really well. I finally felt like I had the opportunity to really speak about what I love, what I know, what I am passionate about. It was cool to share with my trainees what I actually do all day. Afterwards in the bathroom, one of my fellow students came up to me and said, “Wow, I had no idea that you were so bad ass and did all that all day long!” It was frankly, nice validation. But moreso, I was happy for the opportunity to share my
passion and life work with others.
But I digress.
After all of our presentations, friends and family arrived and we thanked them for putting up with not having their loved ones around for 3 months. We were presented with our diplomas, and a gift of mala beads and a scarf.
Everyone else stayed afterwards for a pot luck. I high tailed it out of there, feeling only slightly guilty about my lack of desire to kumbaya with everyone. I wanted to head home to my husband and my dog. And when I arrived home, my husband had flowers, a balloon and a card waiting for me. Husband score! (actually, he ALWAYS does stuff like this. Don’t be too jealous, but it’s true).
I showed him my “diploma”. I actually was super proud and beaming. My excitement really surprised me, since I never really loved my YTT experience.
But even though I’m still “meh” about my YTT experience, what I’ve thought about is this- I had been talking about doing my yoga teacher training for 11 YEARS. Even if I never teach a yoga class ever, I can say that I did it. I accomplished something. I never have to think, “what if?” And this experience, on some level, makes me a better therapist. And hopefully a better wife, friend and human. And those are the things that are important to me.
Something really cool happens the moment you say, “I’m a yoga teacher.”
I’ve been rolling those words around my tongue all day. “I’m a yoga teacher.”
And what that means to me is this- it’s my responsibility to bring more LOVE and LIGHT into the world. That’s it. More love and light to share with the world. That is my message, that is my motivation, that is my purpose.
And starting with love, I need to thank my husband and my dog, who have both, in their own ways, been the most constant source of support and encouragement throughout this process. I share this accomplishment with them, because I couldn’t have done it any other way.
Well, I’m just sitting here licking my lips after consuming this insane salad from Angela over at Oh She Glows. Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free goodness…. with all my favorite spring goodies: asparagus, leeks, strawberries? Yes please. She’s a genius over there on Oh She Glows, I tell you.
So, it’s been a busy few days for me over here in Vitadventure-land. It’s been back to work. And I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. It hasn’t been nearly as overwhelming or stressful as I had anticipated. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’ve been ENJOYING being back. It’s been confirmation that I do love my work. It gives me pleasure and purpose, as well as stress and heartache. But I’ll take it- for now.
Yesterday, we had our last Monday evening YTT class. It was titled, “Dharma Sharing” on the syllabus. Dharma, in the Hindu world, is basically the moral foundation of life. If you GTS that (that means “Google That Shit”, Mom, in case you’re wondering), you’ll get an array of the following descriptions
natural universal laws whose observance enables humans to be contented and happy
the moral law combined with spiritual discipline that guides one’s life.
“that which holds” the people of this world and the whole creation.
an individual’s duty fulfilled by observance of custom or law.
Basically, if you’ve ever been to a yoga class and the teacher gives a nice little inspirational talk at the beginning, that’s their “Dharma Talk”.
So I envisioned that “Dharma Sharing” would be a lecture on accessing your true nature, what moves you, what you love and how you share that with your students. Sounds reasonable, right? How to share your inspiration?
Nope, my friends. It was another “Sit Around in a Circle and Share Your Feelings” session. What? We JUST HAD THIS last week?
Our teacher told us to each simply share, for 3-5 minutes, whatever words or emotions presented themselves to us. And our only job was to listen.
I won’t lie. I thought, “Listen? I have been doing this for 8 HOURS TODAY!!! I don’t want to listen to anyone else!!!”
Ah, the life of a therapist. Sometimes, we just have to stop LISTENING to preserve our own sanity.
But alas, I took a deep breath and tested my patience. I listened. For 2.5 hours.
For 2.5 hours, people cried. People laughed. People took a lot longer than 5 minutes each. People overshared. People talked about their early childhood trauma, their relationship issues, their depression, their lack of self-confidence, their love of one another, their abandonment issues, their rejection from their father. I considered giving out my business card. I could have made a KILLING.
But I get the program’s point. They want us to be aware of our own shit before we start helping other’s on their spiritual journey. That makes sense. We need to be comfortable sharing our emotions and thoughts with our students. But, it was all a little too “kumbaya” for me. Everyone else went out afterwards for smoothies and tea, and all I wanted to do was go home, watch some E! and hang out with my husband and my dog.
Which makes me feel guilty, in a way. I wonder if I picked the wrong YTT program. I’m not all “kumbaya” and I never really connected with any of my fellow students. I keep thinking, “Did I miss the boat here? Am I missing something? Why does everyone love this program except for me?”
And then I realize that I am truly living my own yoga in my own way- and sharing that in my own way. I didn’t need a YTT program to prove this to me, or to become BFF with a bunch of yoga teacher trainees to become “enlightened” or access my dharma. And that’s not to discount the friendships that my fellow trainees have made with each other.
It’s just that, for me, I already have love and meaning in my life, through my marriage and through my family and friends. I chose a career that makes me an agent for meaningful change in people’s life. And being back at work this week is the reminder that I’m already living my dharma. I’m happy. I’m content. I’m creating meaningful change and helping people to heal in a small way. My way.
And that, my friends, is all I can ask for. Well, that and red wine and chocolate.
So, there’s not much happening in YTT lately. Tonight we’re doing a workshop on more inversions- specifically handstands- can’t wait! So due to the lack of adventure, I thought I’d share a few things I’m loving today.
New Old Boots!
I have the kind of mother who has super cool, super hip and stylish friends. When one of them bought a pair of Frye boots that ended up being uncomfortable, she simply handed them off to my mom and told them to send them to Colorado. When I got home yesterday, I had a package in the mail- and let’s just say, the Easter Bunny came early with these bad boys. So this morning, I’m rocking a new, old pair of Frye ankle boots. (Which is odd, because I never wear ankle boots- I have some kind of weird mental rule that because I’m 5’2, I can’t wear ankle boots without them looking ridiculous on me). But these are recycled, so they’re cool.
Last Sunday, the husband and I met some friends at the super cool, super hip Denver vegetarian restaurant City O City. I don’t usually go here because the parking can be a bitch in that area, but I’m glad I braved it. This was our second time at this restaurant and it keeps getting better. It’s healthy-living-friendly, featuring vegan, vegetarian, organic and gluten-free items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And they also have a full liquor license. Which is usually
a requirement a bonus in my book. I ordered the savory, gluten-free vegetarian waffle. (I’ve been doing some research on eliminating gluten from my diet based on some physical and emotional junk happening with me, so I’m working towards ditching it from my diet and noticing how I feel- more to come on that later probaby)
Well, this waffle was so insanely delicious, with nutrient-rich roasted butternut squash, carrots and tomatoes, that I wolfed it down without even thinking to take a picture. But it was blog worthy, and apparently other people think so as well, because there are multiple google images for the City O City Savory Waffle. It’s the Cool Kid In Town.
People, grab your forks and knives and run quickly. Trust me- it NEEDS to be in your belly. (Vegans can ditch the cheese and sub in a vegan fondue!)
The final thing I’m digging this week is all the love and support that is pouring out from Facebook regarding the Supreme Court challenge to the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. While I don’t intend for this blog to ever touch on politics, I can say that it absolutely BLOWS MY MIND that it is 2013 and we are STILL DISCUSSING THIS ISSUE. What??????? Really????? It breaks my heart to see my homosexual friends and loved ones that have to FIGHT for acknowlegement of their love and commitment. Seriously people. Love is love. We need more of it in this world.