Be stronger

You can count on me to completely lose my shit twice a year; once in September and once in January. I call it, taking a ride on the crazy train. I know I have arrived at Breakdown Station when every little thing starts to piss me off. When my perspective turns bitter because it seems there is always something more to do and it is all my responsibility. When my usually positive and sunny outlook goes dark.

I mention this now because it is nearly September and that means the Crazy Train is approaching the station.

The September freakout occurs when summer exhaustion meets a new school year and then combines with the fact that my company is about to enter the fourth quarter of our fiscal year and I’m not sure how I’ll accomplish all the goals I set for myself by 12/31/–. These three factors converge to create a complete derailment featuring anxiety induced frustration and rage.

The January derailment occurs when holiday exhaustion meets the second half of the school year and then combines with the fact that my company just entered the first quarter of our fiscal year and I only have 12 months to accomplish all the projects we scoped.

Looking at them now, September and January seem to be two very dangerous and obvious kinks in the the railroad track. However, for the first time since embarking on my career and becoming a parent, I see and understand this pattern. More and more, I see that keeping the trains running on time, for me, is about two things:

#1–Recognizing when I need to calm the fuck down

#2–Knowing what it takes to calm the fuck down

During practice this morning, my yoga teacher said

“Notice if every little thing is pissing you off; then get stronger.”–Anna McLawhorn, Three Dog Yoga

Granted, she said this within the context of Warrior 2 (Virabhadra) which we had been holding for what felt like 3 hours, and we were all a little pissed off. But I heard it within the context of my own life and my own mental state.

“Every little thing IS pissing me off and I DO need to get stronger.” I need to get my shit together and take back the things that make my life work, like yoga and writing and sleep. Those are always the first things to go when schedules fall apart and life gets hectic. I need to calm the fuck down. I need to get grounded. I need to stay on track.

 

 

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com

 

Sell the Goat!

Settle in everyone, I’m going to tell you a story.


A villager lived in a small house with his wife, mother-in-law, six children, a cow, and some chickens. The chaos was driving him crazy. So he went to the village rabbi for help. The rabbi said he could solve the problem: he advised the man to buy a goat. The man immediately went out and bought a goat. 

Now he had a wife, a mother-in-law, six children, a cow, some chickens, and a goat. The house was even more chaotic than before. The villager returned to the rabbi and described the increased confusion. Once again, the rabbi said he could solve the problem and he told the man to sell the goat. The villager went home and sold the goat. 

Suddenly, all he had in his small house were his wife, his mother-in-law, his six kids, a cow, and some chickens. Things were positively peaceful without the goat!

*Hanson Lasater, Judith, Ph.D., PT.Living Your Yoga. 2000. Print


I share this story with you because I like good stories about perspective and when Anna at ThreeDogYoga shared it with me, I knew that I was going to need to pass it along. It also gave me a great excuse to look at goat pictures (thank you, internet).

Most of the work we do in yoga really just boils down to shaping our own perspectives. Life is going to be what it is going to be; how we see that life is the part that we control. That is enlightenment and it is a life’s work.

So go out there and sell some goats.

 

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s stop talking about gun legislation

I was all set with a BLOG post about how a salad isn’t a salad unless it has at least 7 ingredients when I realized that I was about to write about fucking lettuce rather than about what happened in Orlando last weekend and more than 140 other times already this year (Gun Violence Archive).

I know that I am not the only person out there who would rather think about food than our country’s culture of violence. And before I could write about Orlando, I had to determine why I thought it was that we, as a society, can’t look at this issue. I mean REALLY look.

I believe we can’t look gun violence in the face because we feel impotent and hopeless about our own individual chances of making any improvements in the situation. It isn’t because Americans are apathetic, stupid, selfish or suffering from attention deficit disorder.  We have been conditioned to leave the “fixing of our country” to the government; and for reasons I won’t get into here, the government is not even trying.

So, we need to stop focusing on gun legislation as a solution because it is a distraction from the real work we need to do and it gives our power away. Better gun control would be great; however, it won’t happen in a meaningful way anytime soon and the legal and illegal gun markets are so fragmented, it would be nearly impossible to clean them up in anyone’s lifetime.

Our energies would be better spent addressing the root causes of the mass shootings.

Mental illness is often the scapegoat in mass shootings in the United States.  However, a 2015 article in the American Journal of Public Health entitled ” Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms,” finds that, “Notions of mental illness that emerge in relation to mass shootings frequently reflect larger cultural stereotypes and anxieties about matters such as race/ethnicity, social class, and politics”.

The point is perfectly demonstrated by what happened at the Orlando nightclub. Cultural stereotypes around ethnicity, social class, and politics were the leading ladies in the Orlando shooting.

Cultural stereotypes and the way people feel about themselves and their place in the world boils down to the way that we treat each other in this country, and that is something that we CAN and SHOULD do something about. Right now.

Your acceptance of another person’s differences, inclusion of someone functioning on the fringes of society, support of groups that are marginalized, everyday, is how we fix what is so seriously broken in us. We don’t need the legislators in Washington to do that for us; it is completely within our power to make that cultural change now and model it for future generations.

And in the meantime, politicians and lobbyists can ride around on their high horses, stopping now and again for some good old fashioned political grand standing, procrastination, and can kicking.

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com.

  • Source: Metzl JM, MacLeish KT. Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms. American Journal of Public Health. 2015;105(2):240-249. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302242.
  • Source : www.gunviolencearchive.org