I try.

I try to be a good mother.

I try to be a good wife and daughter and friend and relative.

I try to be a good person.

I try to be a good student and employee and coworker.

I try to write well.

I try to entertain and delight.

I try eat well.

I try to practice yoga. Every day.

I try to exercise.

I try to breathe and meditate and be spiritual.

I try to look presentable.

I try to be compassionate.

I try not to eat or wear animal products.

I try to keep a clean house.

I try not to lie, get mad, eat too much sugar, skip meals, spend too much money.

I try to manage anxious thoughts, stave off panic and ride waves of depression without slipping back into the deep.

I try to keep my plants alive and my pets fed.

I try to support and help others.

I try to be green and heal the planet.

I try to keep my family happy and healthy.

I try to set a good example for my kids.

This holiday I stopped trying.

I took a holiday from parenting and everything else at my parents’ cottage. I ate a lot, slept a lot, relaxed, gained weight. I let my kids eat cookies for breakfast, spend the day in their pajamas and watch Star Wars.

We played a lot of Sorry! (the Rascal’s our Sorry! champ!)….

We made a (sorry) snowman….

I slid down a hill on this Spider-man sled over and over again and laughed….

We went snowshoeing….

We danced and did our thing….

And I bought a sparkly pompom hat and scarf, fell in love with Ryan Gosling, baked cookies with the Rascal, read books, coloured and went for fairy walks with the Monkey, played tons of soccer, gazed at the stars, the moon and the nearly-frozen lake….

I’ve quoted this a bunch of times here in this blog and I’ll quote it again. My wonderful former yoga teacher, Monica Voss, said this about an asana (yoga pose) during one of our classes a few years ago: Sometimes we have to collapse the structure so we can gradually rebuild. I’ve never forgotten it.

And I’ve done it again.

I’ve collapsed the structure — The Structure of Trying — in which, like a guinea pig, I try and I try and I try to attain goal after goal and I’m just running and running and time is passing, wheel is spinning, and I’m getting nowhere. And I’m still heavier than I’d like to be, getting heavier. And still anxious. And perpetually tired. Endlessly busy, and buying, and sitting, and doing, and pushing, and giving, and hungry, and full, and struggling.

I’ve collapsed the structure. And I’m very gradually building a new foundation — starting with me.

I’ve found a really gentle guide on holistic nutritionist Meghan Telpner’s website called 21 Days to Health. It’s an ebook that involves making small daily changes to your life, like drinking lemon water in the morning (Day 1), flossing every time you brush (Day 2), going to bed 15 minutes earlier (Day 3), and so on. I do a lot of these things already (like flossing!), but I’ve been feeling such a sense of accomplishment, simply because I’ve managed to drink lemon water every morning for the past 5 days — never mind the fact that I haven’t been inside a Starbucks in five days either!(!!)

That easy, daily sense of accomplishment is golden for someone like me.

At the same time, I’ve been energized enough to make all my own meals, feed my family well, eat greens, take a lunch to work, eat lunch, avoid sugar, drink more water, and stay away from Starbucks!(!!)

And, so, for my yogi readers: I haven’t been to yoga. I’ve gone from my daily, trying Ashtanga practice to effectively ZIP. But I feel good. I’ve been taking my practice into my own hands, laying down the necessary foundation of a good diet (and general self-care), on which to gradually build a proper yoga practice — and everything else. The yoga just wasn’t working: I was gaining weight, not sleeping, feeling anxious. But then again it was working. It’s now forcing me to make space for yoga in my life (as my current yoga teacher might say) by cleaning up my diet (but, as you know, he would definitely not condone not practicing to make the space…!). And cleaning up my diet, for me, has meant limiting strenuous exercise. At least for now. I will be in class tomorrow, though, and probably a few times next week. Eventually, I’ll build my practice up to where it was, but I’ll be stronger and healthier and lean enough to progress in it and, finally, to be assisted in twists without shame, crying (or laughing!). It’s worth a try.

So it seems 2012 is starting quietly, calmly, privately (hence the lack of blog posts…), pensively, lightly, (somewhat) effortlessly, deliciously, healthfully, joyfully.

I brought a delicious casserole I made and an orange to work today….

Happy New Year, Gorgeouses…!

Love!

xo Haley-O


Do you hate it when people say they’re busy or tired?

I was kind of raised to be busy but never to complain that I’m busy and never to complain that I’m tired. But I’m guilty of doing both anyway — resulting in the frequent eye rolling of family members.

But, Gorgeouses, I’m busy and I’m tired and I am owning it! Are you with me? Or do you hate me right now for saying I’m busy and tired and owning it?

Here’s why I’ve been too tired and too busy to even blog lately (my bad, bygones)….

1. Halloween. You know, it’s tiring avoiding all that candy all the time. There’s a massive white bowl of it still sitting on my toaster oven in full visibility on my kitchen counter (which is too small for a big white bowl of Halloween candy).

And of course, it’s tiring dealing with two wild and crazy candy-eating monkeys. But I have to say I was pretty smart this year: I let them enjoy the candy, and let it stick around. Like most kids, they don’t want me to throw the candy out, that’s for sure. But they haven’t asked for it in days! Smart, right? Wonder if they’ll notice that big ole bowl is gone tomorrow….


The most beautiful li’l witch in the world….


Mike the Knight!

2. Quitting chai lattes. It’s been TWO WEEKS AND ONE DAY since I had my last grande soy no-water tazo chai. And I even went to Starbucks the other day with a friend and wasn’t even tempted to order the usual. Instead, I ordered juice. This chai latte addiction has been plaguing me, as you know, for years. Years! But I’ve been sick (see #3) every month since September. So, clearly, my body’s telling me I need to improve my diet big time (see #4) and strengthen my sorry immune system. I’m just a little, erm, tired without all the sugar, caffeine and daily morning drunk-like bliss….

3. I’ve been sick, again. Another cold, some pink eye (care of the Rascal), a nagging cough. I’m going to probably get it from my yoga teacher when he returns from his workshops because I played hooky all last week. As you may know, Ashtanga yogis like me aren’t supposed to miss a day of practice unless they’re pretty-much on their deathbed. But I needed to feel better before subjecting my constantly ailing bod to the heat and early morning sweat and tears…. It does feel good to be back at the yoga shala now, though — even though I’m super tired and busy….

4. I’ve been cooking good food, getting healthy and strengthening sorry immune system. So instead of blogging and going to yoga, I’ve been cooking lots of wholesome and yummy vegan meals so I don’t feel deprived of the old sugary, habitual crap I was eating. I’ll update the kitch with some of these recipes when I’m a little less tired and busy….

The kids loved last night’s vegan hot dogs, oven-baked fries, and “tarragon green beans” (from Forks Over Knives). It’s not the healthiest vegan meal, I know, but it was fun-food Sunday…!

5. Betty White. I’ve been walking Betty White a lot so both of us get a healthy dose of exercise and the outdoors. Our truly bizarre Betty White is terrified of being walked, but once she gets outside, she’s alright. FYI. Poor thing got groomed yesterday (another thing she hates), and she’s been shivering a bit outside. So I indulged my love of irony at her expense and bought her this Confessions-of-a-Shopaholic-inspired “fashion” coat (we watched the movie together the night before we bought it, last Sunday)….

Betty White loves her new pink coat with the fluffy white faux-fur collar — *cough.* I think it’s hilarious, and she’s warm and GORGEOUS.

6. MAARGE and I are busy growing four different kids of catnip. Meowww, purrrrr, MAAAARGE!

7. Jealous Minden wakes me up at 4am daily. It wouldn’t be so bad if he just meowed. But he slathers me in sloppy kisses and tries to knock things over — like the glass of water beside my bed, or my bookshelf.

8. The kids. Waking them up, getting them to bed, washing clothes, cooking dinners, making lunches, making snacks, making muffins (see #4), doing homework, refereeing fights, taking them to after-school programs, picking them up, getting them dressed, bathed, loving them…. Also the Rascal sleeps on my back. He’s little but he’s solid.

9. Todaysparent.com site relaunch. Isn’t it pretty? We’re still busy working feverishly to perfect it, but it’s gorj, right? And, by the way, you know how last week I shared all the funny stuff my kids say? Now you can enter all the funny stuff your kids say and win $10,000 over at our “Today’s Kids Say” contest — HERE!

Yawn. I’d write tons more reasons why I’m busy and tired but, yawn…. So tired. So busy. But happy. Being busy isn’t so bad — even if it means I’m tired at the end of the day. And I’m sure when I start to feel better, when my rock-star immune system goes platinum, and this new no-chai, healthy lifestyle kicks in, I’ll be bouncing off this web page with all the energy.

I kicked my chai addiction, Gorgeouses. And I didn’t have a single piece of Halloween candy. Tired, busy, but, omigosh, wow!

So now’s your chance. Are you tired and busy too? OWN IT right here in the comments. We promise not to roll our eyes….

Love!
xo Haley-O


Maybe it’s because I’ve been sick for 10 days with a virus that was having an identity crisis — one day a sinus cold, the next the stomach flu.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t sleep at all during the stomach flu parts.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t gone to yoga in five days because I was too exhausted from the virus to make my kids breakfast, let alone bend over backwards on my mat.

Maybe it’s because I’ve missed some of that unconditional acceptance I feel when I walk into the yoga shala every morning.

Maybe that’s not the best photo for melancholy. I wanted a picture of fall leaves, but it felt too cliché; so I went with this horribly cropped photo of Betty White looking longingly out the front window, not to go outside — hells no — but to bark intimidatingly at a squirrel or ‘nother dog from within the safety of her own home.

Whatever the reason, today was a melancholy day.

It wasn’t a bad day. It was a really good day. Which is strange because it was a melancholy day. It was definitely a strange day.

Maybe it’s because I practise yoga, or maybe because I’m extra tired, or because I’m a little introspective by nature, spiritual, a dreamer. But I didn’t let the melancholy eat me up as it easily could have had I plunged inside. I didn’t get depressed or dark and twisted, anxious as usual. I got pensive, peaceful. I accepted it. I liked it.

It was a good melancholy. The kind that gets you closer to yourself. The kind that makes you feel so alone that you can almost touch your soul. And if there is no soul, no self, then I mean you feel so alone you can almost feel — really feel.

As I wrote last week, Dr. Laura was right when she said motivation is BS. But she was wrong about just doing it. That may be enough for a skinny, shrilly radio host who could care less about feelings (as she herself would say). But for many of us who are often overwhelmed by life, doing something as massive as losing weight or quitting an addiction goes much deeper than feelings — italicized feelings, whiny, woe-is-me feelings. And if there is no depth then it’s just much subtler than that, more symbolic, abstract. Wherever acceptance is.

I’m so busy with my kids, work, a squealy-barking dog, the loud city, stress, responsibility, anxiety, that I haven’t really been hearing. I may listen, but I rarely open my ears and hear, open my wounds and feel, open my eyes and see, not just look. The melancholy opened me up with great, serene breaths to accept everything that was today. Even the Rascal, who loves a good loud whine. Even the Monkey, who loves a good loud shriek.

So even as I stood in the playground from 3:30 to 5:15 so my children could be children and play and laugh and scream, I enjoyed the silence of my own melancholy, the ease of my own breath, the silence of my own mind. When I got home, I made everyone a nice warm meal. I didn’t react when my kids ordered me to GO GET WATER as soon as I sat down, or when the Monkey rebelliously put her feet on the table, or the Rascal said “ew” at the mysterious beans on his plate. I just responded calmly, from a different place.

Although I’m probably not as fun to be around with the melancholy, I like it here for now. And I’ll do my best to take it with me to the next big feeling.

Maybe it was because I wore the white elephant on my necklace today.

Love…

xo Haley-O


Occasionally, I listen to a radio talk show that sometimes makes me hate myself, but that sometimes makes me go hmmm….

Dr. Laura Schlessinger would not like that my kids are in public school. She would not like that my son goes to a (lovely little) morning school while I’m at work. But she’d be somewhat satisfied that I finish work at 2:30pm in time to pick both my kids up from school, and that my husband works from home. She would like that I’m married, but she would not like that I’m on Twitter and Facebook. She would not like that I had a lovely part-time nanny whom I said goodbye to last week while shedding giant crocodile tears.

She would not like that I’m fat.

I listen to Dr. Laura’s show occasionally on my way home from work, bracing myself for points of view that make me shudder, but eagerly anticipating the odd pearl of wisdom. My mom used to listen to the show in the car when I was a kid, so the familiarity of Dr. Laura’s notoriously shrill voice at times renders comfort and reassurance — and at times makes me want to put myself in the corner with a giant dunce cap on my head.

After slapping working mom after divorced mom on the virtual wrist and blaming cheated-on wives for not pleasing their husbands enough in the bedroom, and chastising others for “shacking up” before marriage, she offered one forlorn fat caller some refreshingly eye-opening advice for losing weight.

The woman was calling because her husband was complaining about her weight gain, and she gave a bunch of excuses as to why she couldn’t lose the weight — hormones, no time to exercise, not motivated. Dr. Laura pooh-poohed every one of the excuses, and nearly lost it on the caller when she asked the question I, for one, really wanted an answer to: “But, Dr. Laura, how do I motivate myself to exercise and eat well?”

“MOTIVATION IS BS,” Dr. Laura exclaimed. “Do you think I want to drop and do 20 pushups during the commercial break?” she asked. “Do you think I want to get up in the morning and workout in the gym? No. Nobody does. But it’s the right thing to do, morally, for your health, for your husband. Maybe once you get to the gym, you realize, ‘Hey, this isn’t so bad.’ But it’s much easier to be LAZY.” (I’m not sure if these were her exact words, by the way — except for “motivation is BS.”)

“Motivation is BS.” How true is this, Gorgeouses? I mean, I have all the motivation in the world to lose my excess belly fat — my kids! my husband, myself, yoga, energy, my new Lululemon clothes, him….

And then I see my friends and loved ones who’ve been on the operating table numerous times for near-death heart surgeries diving into chocolate, cookies and other stuff that put them on the operating table in the first place. Motivation is BS.

And in saying “motivation is BS,” Dr. Laura motivated me to stop waiting to get motivated. And then Theresa Albert motivated me, shortly after I listened to Dr. Laura’s show, when I read her great article in The Toronto Star about how our excess of food choices makes us “choose badly,” and then Alice came back from Italy (finally!), and David said after yoga the other day, “No lattes.”

I might be a bit quiet and cranky for the next few days while I attempt to tackle a healing macrobiotics plan. It’s quite a radical shift from what I’ve been eating lately, but if I don’t do something radical, something to “jump start” some weight loss (as Dr. Laura put it before offering the caller a free month of a diet shake program she swears by), it will simply never happen. And though I’ve been averse to macrobiotics lately (only because I’m not the greatest cook…yet), I’ve been mysteriously drawn to it for years — like I am to yoga and other ancient stuff — and I think I have to honour that. As a vegan, there are so many, too many, “diets” to choose from; I’m finally choosing this one as a practice. Done. No more emotion around it, as my friend Ruth has wisely advised me on various subjects. Just do it.

This will definitely be a major challenge as I continue be a darn good, responsible mom (even if I’m not Dr. Laura’s ideal), and work my soon-to-be svelte arse off with our awesome Todaysparent.com team as we prepare for our massive site RELAUNCH later this month (so exciting)! But, apparently, I’ll be thinking more clearly in no time, have that increased energy I’ve been craving, I’ll feel lighter, and I might get some glow in my skin — just in time for the BlissDom Canada conference.

Anyone going to the BlissDom Canada Conference in Toronto, October 13-16?

I’m excited to tell you I’m a Tribe Leader for the “Lifestyle Tribe.” So, if you’re going to the conference, be sure to join my tribe for a roundtable discussion Friday morning on blogging about LIFE. And, like all tribe leaders, I’ll be available if you have any questions, and to “help you make the most of your conference experience”!

By the way, my co-Tribe Leader is the awesome Ali Martell, who sums up Lifestyle writing (and our friendship) perfectly in her most recent post: “We’d love to talk with you about how writing about nothing is truly writing about everything.” Now you have to join us because Ali+Haley=CRAZY FUN, and you’ll want to be a part of that!

Love!

xo Haley-O

PS. Lord help me if Dr. Laura’s people find this blog post and she reads it on the air…! It is entirely possible. To make myself a little more likeable, then, I should state for the record here that I also have a dog. She’s a Maltese, and her name’s Betty White.


Maybe it’s because Halloween is in the air at work that I’ve noticed a little something I’ve been calling “The Veil of Fear.” I’m not sure exactly where it came from — just that one morning at the cottage, I lay down in savasana (corpse pose) at the end of my yoga practice, and I heard the words loud and clear in my head. Veil of fear, I heard. You have to lift the veil of fear. Hmmm…. So Yoda.

Even though I was supposed to be thinking about nothing (and, for sure, because I was supposed to be thinking about nothing), I relaxed into the yoga pose and started thinking about this veil of fear and how, epiphany, I live under one pretty much all the time. It’s very subtle, so I don’t always notice it; but it’s definitely there. And I suppose with the right dose of psychiatric drugs it would just fall away. But then that would be no fun, would it? And it would be bad news for the lakes, rivers, oceans — to which, bizarre as I sound today, I connect on, like, a visceral, pelvic level. I noticed that, too, the other day, as we drove home from the cottage for the last, *sniff,* time this summer.

So is it just me, or do you live under a veil of fear too? If you do, what happens when you imagine — even just for a moment — lifting it up? It’s like, ahhh…. Everything becomes clearer, no? Is it me? Or do most of us live with this? It is the age of anxiety, no? And with the kids going back to school, a huge transition, the veil’s thicker than ever….

I guess that’s one of the reasons I still can’t shake my chai latte addiction, why I can’t lose this thick veil of weight I’ve been carrying since the brutally anxious days of my pregnancies…. And it’s why I need to go to yoga every day — to wake up at a crazy hour (given how late I stay up working) and enter a room full of others, their journeys, veils. Because there it’s just breath, and being, and learning and floating, and lifting the veil as I bend my knees and fall backwards into a deep backbend, an upside-down rainbow.

Here’s the inspiring teacher who makes me do it — it’s time you guys officially met. In my 28 years of studying yoga, he’s the only teacher who’s gotten me to really practice daily and begin to transform. He is awesome, so check out his new DVD, okay?

I’ll let you know when the DVD becomes available….

I heart yoga.

I’ll be buzzing around downtown Toronto for the next week or so for the Toronto Film Festival. I’m going to the Hello! Canada Magazine red carpet Saturday night (my birthday!); the Monkey and I will be meeting Heather Graham Sunday; and we have some other interviews and fun stuff going on (like an early morning event with the Rascal that will keep me from yoga tomorrow, alas, but it’ll be fun).

In the meantime, the Monkey’s in Grade One, and the Rascal’s entering Kindergarten tomorrow. I guess that’s for another post — except to say that I shed tears, Gorgeouses, a veil of them.

Love!
xo Haley-O

 


A few weeks ago, I hurried out of yoga class to get to work and stopped to say bye and thanks to my super-amazing yoga teacher David.

“My twists are terrible,” I told him as I slipped on my crocs.

“Awful!” He laughed.

“Terribly awful,” I insisted.

“How’s your diet?”

How’s my diet? At first I was excited that he asked because it meant that some good, motivating diet advice from my super-amazing health and spirituality guru was about to come. But, then I realized, gratefully, what an incredibly brave question that was for him to ask me. As my yoga buddy Jeff pointed out, it really shows the depths of a teacher’s compassion and investment in his students — that he’s willing to risk a slap in the face from overweight female straggler. Super amazing.

“It’s bad,” I told him. “Too many soy-chai lattes, sugar, bread, peanut butter. No time to cook for myself, blah blah blah.”

“That’s not good,” he told me. “You need to feed yourself.”

Feed yourself. My gosh. Once again, super-amazing yoga teacher has triggered epiphany. Feed myself. My gosh, I don’t feed myself. I eat, but I don’t feed myself. And I totally 100% eat to numb my emotions. I figured it out on my vacation over the last two weeks in cottage and farm country — i.e., miles away from STARBUCKS. A whole bunch of emotions (even happy ones!) surfaced as a result of not starting my days with a Starbucks sugar rush, and I had no idea what to do with them other than face them head-on or continue to stuff them down unsuccessfully with the sweetest cinnamony syrup I could find.

Practising yoga every day helped. Emotions arose and then vanished after a few poses. And I survived, incredibly.

I kayaked alone almost every day, and I noticed my emotions as I braved some big waves. Emotions ebbed and flowed. Seriously. It was meditation on water. And I survived, incredibly.

I tried to feed myself, as David advised. And I didn’t do that great. I ate chips (which I never eat), the kids’ vegan gummy bears, dark chocolate, peanut butter bagel sandwiches. I wasn’t feeding myself. I was eating.

And now that I’m back from vacation, I’m back on chai lattes.

So today’s the day, Gorgeouses. I’m going to start officially to feed myself. And I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m going to face my emotions head-on without food: anxieties about the kids, the stresses of feeding my family every day, responding to demands, tantrums, needs, wants (never mind my own needs and wants…). I can’t be a perfect parent because there’s just no such thing — I know that — but the stress of doing my best every day takes its toll. And sometimes at the end of the day I just want to veg — lay like broccoli, rather than eat it. I know this now.

Just breathe.

My body is supposed to be my temple. I believe that. And I want to move faster, feel lighter, look better.

I’ve been noticing lately that some women wear scarves around their necks to adorn their bodies. Others ink themselves with awesome tattoos. Others twist shiny strands into intricate ‘dos just to go to work.

I wear makeup — not to adorn my temple, ahem, but to cover up the results of not feeding myself: zits, dehydration, exhaustion, need I go on? As for my hair, I’ll always wash and go….

But I took the kids to the grocery store today. We stocked up on veggies, fruits, all good organic stuff. And when we got home, I took the time to wash and chop everything up instead of letting it all rot untouched in my fridge, as usual.

David suggested that I don’t do anything extreme to feed myself. No raw diets, low-carb diets. Definitely a vegan diet, of course. He likes the macrobiotic way of eating. But he said that if, for example, I can’t find time to make a macrobiotic breakfast (i.e., porridge and blanched greens, blergh…) after yoga practice, that I should have fruit and nuts — “just feed yourself!”

So I’m going back to basics, with the help of this book and this new book…. And then we’ll see about getting macro-fancy. I just need to feed myself, and not eat so much. Know what I mean?

By the way, David did say that I can allow myself my favourite drug drink on moon days — so, I’m looking forward to Sunday….

How about you? Do you feed yourself? How?

Love!

xo Haley-O

 

 


Watch for old patterns.
Consistent effort is the path to transformation.
See you tomorrow! David Robson, email, July 10, 2011

I don’t think I’ve said enough about my yoga teacher David Robson lately. *Cough.*

The thing is in the midst of all the crazy stuff I’ve had going on lately, he’s actually managing to help me get grounded (which is really hard to do for me whose feet are perpetually, though extremely wide, hovering floaty above the ground, laaaaa). Well, so far. I DID show up to yoga this morning.

At first he didn’t say too much when I stopped showing up to daily early-morning Mysore practice — except that if I had to let anything go in my life, it shouldn’t be my yoga practice. “You’ve worked so hard,” he said. I didn’t know how badly I needed to hear that. See? Brillers teacher.

After he said that to me, I went back a few times, and then I stopped showing up again. So I emailed David at the shala . I wanted to let him know that my intention to practice was still there and that I just had a lot going on. I guess he realized that what I was really doing was asking for an extra push from him, and that’s when he emailed me that little GEM quoted above.

“Watch for old patterns.” Hmm…, let’s see….

Old pattern #1: Not only have I not been waking up early to go to yoga, but I’ve also been going to bed late. Really LATE.

Old pattern #2: I’ve been starting my days not with yoga but with Starbucks soy no-water tazo chai. Grrrrr…..

Actually, I start every day with a heavy, blond, very round head on my lower back, and a white, fluffy, furry head on my feet. PINNED. And then my CAT couldn’t be more excited when I finally do wake up. It’s like Dino and Fred Flinstone. Wiiiiiiiiiilmaaaaaaaa!

Old pattern #3: I’ve been eating and drinking NOTHING after my chai — until the evening…. Eeeeeek, I know! And apparently I have hypoglycemia, to make matters even awesomer.

Old pattern #4: I’m a nervous stress case.

Old pattern #5: I stopped cooking for myself. Good thing it’sgrandma makes a mean salad at the cottage….

Old pattern #6: Let’s just say my house has seen tidier days….

So I don’t know what happened. Or, well I have a theory: school ended for the kids; they started camp; I took on a few too many assignments at work; I went to New York, ran around a lot…; and then I slipped — like Cinderella did, but all the way down the stairs, only not as graceful, and like I said, wide feet, phoom phoom phoom. I slipped off the wagon (many wagons) and just stopped taking care of myself. Yoga wasn’t the first to go. But, as David wisely, and possibly psychically, pointed out in that email, my skipping yoga was a signal that I was falling back into old patterns.

Addiction. Comfortable there.

It was a good thing he sent me that email. The timing was impeccable. Because it was that same day that I actually convinced myself I was going to DIE from the chai I chugged that morning. My anxiety was at a record high….

So I’m just about to do my “drop backs” this morning. David takes his usual place in front of me, looks me in the eye so there’s no looking away, even though (for me) it’s obscenely early in the morning to be socializing in any capacity, and reminds me that I “need a practice.” Because it’s the one thing that will keep me grounded and going, that will “push me through” all the changes so I don’t get lost in them and all overwhelmed.

Like an empty water bottle lost at sea, toxic and carried by endless waves of change.

Today I didn’t have a chai latte. This might explain any incoherence, rambling, typos or bizarre, out-of-nowhere metaphors in this blog post. Instead I made a simple green smoothie. And, as my team (nay, family) at Today’s Parent reminded me to do, I brought my lunch to work — some simple miso brown rice and vegetables and hummus. I’m building new patterns.

I’ll never forget what my teacher Monica Voss said years ago when we were discussing a yoga pose: sometimes you have to “collapse the structure so we can gradually rebuild.”  And it looks like that’s what happening here.

So, huge thanks to David Robson for nudging me so perfectly to rebuild. As he himself said, “It won’t be the last time.” Ha! But at least I know I have him and my friends at the shala to catch me when I slip or, better yet, to pick this toxic water bottle out of the ocean and plant some flowers in her. Yikes?

So, Gorgeouses, what are some old patterns you slip into when life gets overwhelming? And do you have some kind of “practice” or hobby to keep you steady and grounded?

Love!
xo Haley-O

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