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Airport Office

img_20161230_092938290.jpgHere’s my office today. I’m back in the Kansas City Airport, where I spent the night just 12 days ago.

Today, I’ve been rerouted to Denver. To fly to Boston.

As frustrating as it is, it’s because of delayed flights and cancellations and it has nothing to do with the people handling my baggage or checking me in. These people have been extremely helpful and nice.

So, I’m here again and it’s nobody’s fault, it’s just one of those little things that life throws at you. You can’t let it ruin your day and I’m certainly not going to ruin anyone else’s day because of it!

Luckily MCI has lots of places to charge and fairly reliable wifi. Terminal B has two restaurants and a Starbucks near my gate, plus at least two of those little deli places to buy overpriced sandwiches

So, whether I’m here or whether I’m in Starbucks in Boston, really doesn’t matter that much. Unless I let it.  Tonight, I see my sweetie, after being away for almost 3 weeks. The change in flights doesn’t delay that at all, cause I was going to sit in Logan waiting for him to get off work. So, whether I’m sitting in Logan on my computer or in the air on my computer doesn’t matter at all. Unless I let it.

Looking at the big picture, this is a little inconvenient, but not all that much. I probably am going to get more work done today than I orginally planned and certainly more than if I were going to be home today. So, this will only become a big issue, you got it, if I let it.

Today, I chose not to let it.

Winter Travel

17 hours of travel so far. Being stuck in In Kansas City for 12 hours due to slick roads is worlds better than being stuck at LaGuardia for an hour delay.

It’s been a rough couple of days. I worked a 12 hour day on Friday, which means I’ve had back to back 20 hours days, my dad’s in the hospital, I lost my laptop and my ride is having back spasms so this day will be even longer. 

Last night I slept on the floor near a baggage carousel that was under construction. I had free Wi-Fi, I was warm and because I snore, I pretty much had the area to myself. I got five hours of sleep and while I need much, much more, my back feels great and I’m feeling pretty okay. 

A laptop is replaceable. While my dad is very ill, he’s feeling better and will probably go home on Monday. I got a free Bloody Mary on the plane. No one got in a car last night for a slippery ride to the airport. No one is in a ditch. I’m not at an area hospital. I’m going back to my corner to catch more sleep and maybe watch a little Netflix. 

Tired and ready to see my babies, but grateful for the little things. 

#gratitude #kci #kansas #kansascityairport #winterweather #roadadvisory

Arthritis has got my back

I love you guys. I really do. I keep saying I’m going to get better at writing more consistently and then I don’t. You keep showing up, though. I look at my numbers after being gone for so long and you’re still checking in, reading old posts and liking stuff I wrote. Thank you.

I’m going to say it again. I’m going to try to write more consistently. To be fair and cut myself a little slack, I always have the best intentions and I always have the best reasons for not writing more. This time there’s another new normal.

backA few months ago the grinding in my back was diagnosed as arthritis. Some of you may remember that I hurt my tailbone back in 2010 or so. It was when we were doing a lot of lying on our backs with our knees pulled into our chest in class. I was teaching at Be Moved and for the school district in Lawrence. We rolled our knees around in a circle giving our sacrums a little massage, then we’d switch directions. It helped my low back and tailbone pain and became a regular part of my teaching. I teach that in absolutely every class. While my tailbone eventually healed, the grinding that I used to hear in my pelvis never quite went away.

Last year I started having intense sciatic pain. Intense. Deep in my hip and throughout the femur. It felt like my bones were bruised. Sometimes I couldn’t find relief no matter what I did. Standing hurt, sitting hurt, laying flat hurt less. I was nauseated from the pain and scared. I couldn’t walk far and when I’m home in Salem I only walk, cause it’s a very walkable city.

Now, sciatic pain is one of the easiest things to heal with yoga. If I can’t help you feel better pretty fast, or if I put you in a position that makes you sciatic pain worse, it means there’s something wrong with your disc and you need to see your doctor, who will probably order an MRI. I’ve only had it happen once.

So I kept doing what I know to do and the pain wasn’t getting better. i got scared. I finally found a little relief in massage and reflexology twice a week. That’s not something that’s financially sustainable for me. The pain was ruling my life.

Finally, in my doctor’s office for another reason, it all clicked for me. I asked her to feel my back. I lay down and she slid her hand under me. I lifted my knee into my chest and the grinding did its thing. She nodded immediately. “That’s arthritis.” S

Now, I’ve had this grinding for almost six years without pain. The grinding is definitely more consistent these days. So I told her what i thought it was-Inflammation from the arthritis pushing something into my sciatic nerve somewhere other than the hip. It’s most common deep in the hip, which is why most of us feel the pain across the low back and often shooting from the hip down to the ankle. She nodded. So, I just need to control the inflammation? She nodded again. We talked about drugs and next steps and I decided that with this new information I would do what I know to do and avoid the drugs for as long as possible, hopefully until I’m way older.

Last week I flew from home to home, from Lawrence, KS to Salem, MA. It’s not a long flight, but enough that two days later I was in severe pain again. I got a massage. I stretched, not because it really helps, but because that’s often what I do when I need comfort. I go to the mat and when nothing else seems okay in my life, I just lie there. Sometimes lying there I’m inspired to move a bit and most often it’s into a stretch.

This week I returned to the Y. I was thinking I’d use the therapy pool and maybe explore the idea of swimming because everyone knows that’s good for your joints and great for your back. I wasn’t quite there, though, so I got on the treadmill and lifted some weights and practiced a few yoga poses. The next morning I woke pain free. Everyday since I’ve worked out and I’ve been fairly pain free.

So, I’m eating foods that help with inflammation, avoiding things that feed the inflammation. I’m adjusting to this weird thing called arthritis (and aging) and figuring out the new normal. I’ll write more, I promise.

Oh, and I lost four pounds this week!

 

Work with me, online or in person. I’m in Salem, MA until the first week of May and then I’ll be in the KC area. Online appointments available absolutely whenever they fit your schedule. I specialize in yoga for anxiety, depression and now, arthritis. Private sessions are on sale right now! $35 for 50 minutes online. mel@ayogikitchen.com, http://bit.ly/1vLO0kg. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Danielle LaPorte Taught Me To Love My HSP

anxiety3I have struggled for years accepting that I am a highly sensitive person (HSP). Some of you will laugh, because it’s so obviously me and so obviously not an option for me to be any different. HSPs have big feelings and we feel everything, all the time. Sounds exhausting right? I’m learning that being an HSP is also what makes me a kick-ass yoga therapist. 
I’m compassionate, empathetic, kind and open. People have always commented (in amazement, not less) that I’m sooo NICE. Now this sounds like only a positive, right? Not always. I’ve been too nice to date, too nice to let in on dirty little secrets and definitely too nice to invite to partake in any sketchy behavior. Now, in my 40s I’m okay with all that, but as a teen it was sort of hell.
 
Some of you know that I’m a big Danielle LaPorte fan and if there’s anyone who wears her HSP badge more proudly than Danielle, I’ve yet to meet him/her.
 
Sometimes I can kinda take or leave Danielle’s newsletter. Don’t get me wrong, she’s talented, funny and a true individual, but sometimes I gloss over the poetry or the announcements of her newest endeavor because I got my own shit. 
Today, I was cleaning up my inbox and came across this post. It spoke to me because sometimes the world’s hurts/sickness/brokenness cuts so deeply that I can barely breathe and sometimes the amazing humanity/goodness/gentleness of this world caresses and massages my heart so that it hurts.  I relate to what Danielle writes and I wanted to share. I’m finally loving my sensitivity and am slowly learning how to protect and nurture myself.
 
Sensitive people are a different breed. I am so deeply grateful/happy/honored to call myself one.

There is no behind. You’re perfect.

You all know how I like to beat myself up about stuff, right? You might be able to identify with me. You might find it charming in the same way my mentors over the years have found it. One after one throughout my 20s and 30s they get this warm, indulgent smile on their faces and shake their heads slowly. Oh, Melissa they’d often say.

girlfriendsNow, I find myself the mentor and I try to avoid that knowing indulgence. More often, I find myself smiling at myself, Still making those same mistakes years later. I have to wonder if I ever learn.

A few days ago I blogged that I had signed up for some self-care online challenges and courses and hadn’t done any of them. Of course, I’ve spent some time beating myself up about it.  I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. I’m working on it.

I signed up for Sheila Pai’s Nurturing You: Online Retreat. So instead of continuing to beat myself up, I decided that even if I was behind I could sill benefit. This is growth for me. So, I took some time to listen to the interviews and meditation that she offers weekly.  They were wonderful and I urge you to check sheilaher out.

Surprisingly, my biggest takeaway was just from what she shared in her email reminder. You’re not behind. It’s okay if you’re catching up. It’s okay to be right where you are. It’s the perfect place for right now.

I teach this ALL the time. I urge my students and to stay on their own mats. I tell them it doesn’t matter what the person next to you is doing, it doesn’t matter what they think about you-they should be staying on their own mat too. I remind them that they’re right where they’re supposed to be and the beauty of yoga is that it meets you right where you are every single time.IMG_20140527_083649_671

Yoga has this amazing capacity to bring you the lesson on the mat. The one lesson that you’re really supposed to get. I believe this is true in life, just walking down the street, but it never ever fails when you get on the mat. You open your heart and listen. and yoga helps you smack right into yourself until you get to the core or the practice that you really need.

When you think of your practice whether it’s yoga or just taking moments of quiet you can’t really be behind. Only the moment that you’re in matters and that moment is always here.

This crazy idea of being behind is my biggest  illusion. There’s so little that matters outside of this moment and this moment is always right where I’m supposed to be.

If your brain is like mine and is busy with thinking about the  future, join me in staying in the present. Breathe, a yoga group for anxiety and depression is a six week course for connection, sharing, mindfulness, breath work and yoga poses to help us manage emotions. We start in person October 14th in Salem, MA and in January online. See the schedule for more information. 

That Super Moon

It’s the morning after the third night of struggling with sleep. My body is exhausted and my mind is only moving with the help of Starbucks. I really just want to climb back in bed, but the cleaning people are scheduled today. I’m really scrambling trying to figure out how tonight is going to be better. I have clients tomorrow and I can’t have another day of being this unproductive because my brain is mush.

Should I buy a bottle of wine? Or a six pack? Last night’s benedryl/melatonin combo did nothing.

Organizing my day is tough. I can’t keep a thought in my head. Am I terribly dehydrated? Is that why I’m so scattered. So I decide to just walk some things over to the new yoga office. Slowly over the last few weeks I’ve been decorating and organizing and each time a regular client comes they comment on how it’s coming along and how comfy and cozy it is. This has been fun, so I think maybe I should just focus on that.

When I climb the stairs and open the door, I just want to collapse on the bolster. I drop my bags in the corner, turn on the fan and do a chest opener over the purple bolster.  As I’m lying there heartopeningIIIthinking about how I need the energy and increased circulation this pose gives me, the image of the huge moon pops into my head.

The super moon! Of course. How come I didn’t connect it earlier? Normally during a full moon my sleep gets disrupted a bit and since sleep is such an issue for me, I don’t always put it together. This has been three nights of sleeping only an hour or so at a time and then waking every 3o minutes the rest of the night. Even then I’m wide awake at 5:30 and have been starting my day. You’d think that would mean I could fall asleep early. Nope. I’m just….Exhausted.

Armed with this new information, I flip over and do a supported twist over the bolster. My favorite. The one that all my clients rave always helps them fall back asleep. Of course, for me, the person who taught them the pose it never works as well, but it does work. Then I do a supported child’s restorativepose and legs up the wall. After about 40 minutes on the mat, the creaky crankies are worked out and I feel a bit more energetic, but the beauty in these poses is that tonight I’ll sleep better.  It’s not like taking an Ambien, it’s more gentle and easy on the system. If they’re doing their job right, I’ll just sleep and not even remember that I did poses to help me sleep!

Having trouble sleeping, managing your anxiety and/or depression or have back/neck/hip/knee pain? Check out A Yogi Kitchen. If you’re in the Boston area you can come on up to Salem and schedule a session at the yoga office. For a small fee, I’ll come to you. If you’re in the KC area you’ll have to wait till November. Online classes coming soon!

 

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Intentional Sundays

orchidsSunday is that beautiful day that just feels easy and relaxed, right? Actually for a lot of 9-5ers Sunday is a fairly stressful day. It’s a day that people pressure themselves to get it all done and make sure the rest of the week runs smoothly. It’s a day that they physically get ready for the next five days.

But what about getting spiritually ready for the week? We so rarely do that, but it makes all the difference.

So what does that look like? Even though I’ve only been a 9-5er a few short times in my life, I still act as if Sunday is the beginning of the week. After all my clients are mostly 9-5ers and my love is a 9-5er, so my life is guided by them.

Sunday si the day that I get very clear about the rest of the week. I look at a calendar and see what I’ve already got lined up. Then I add the things that add flavor and interest to my life. Who am I having coffee/drinks/dinner with this week? Which yoga classes do I want to make? When am I going to hit the gym. I look at the weather for the week. This Monday it’s going to be almost 80 degrees in the winter-torn North Shore of Boston so I think I’ll skip the gym and walk outdoors.

Basically I think about my core values. Body, mind, spirit development and growth, connection, love, play and I make sure that I am investing time and energy in them during the week.  Work is a given, but I do look at when I want to blog, work on my book, etc.

Now, I won’t pretend I’m perfect at this or even fairly adept. I struggle with it, because I hate schedules and routines. They make me feel anxious and tied down, so I like to keep it loose and easy. Luckily, getting up early on Sunday morning, sipping my dark roast and planning my week feels like September and back-to-school. I love it, so I do it. During the week, though, I have to keep it light and easy. If I’d hoped to workout on Wednesday morning but my mood and productivity level say, let’s write for awhile and then go to gym, I do it. And I’m learning not to beat myself up if I don’t make it to the gym at all.

But back to planning- next is the big part, the important, it’s all worth it part. I meditate about the things I have planned; the podcast I want to listen to while I chop veggies for dinner on Wednesday, the yoga class that makes me glow, the new playlist I created for working out, the Friday client who is struggling. I get quiet and centered on my week and set intention. How do I want to walk through this week? I have my schedule, goals and plans, but how am I going to show up this week?

It differs from week to week depending a myriad of factors. The last few weeks I’ve been working on #selfcarefriday and embracing ease so I’ve looked for the softer way, the middle path in everything I do. It’s made a huge difference in how I respond to my work and how I think of myself.

I encourage you to take some time today and be intentional about your week. How do you want to walk through the week? With love and compassion in your heart? With energy and lightness? What are your core values? How do you honor them. Get on the mat, close your eyes and just get quiet.

Have a great week!