Another Baby Holiday Birth Story

In my first pregnancy I never truly believed that I was strong enough to physically give birth.  I tried with all my might to convince myself with positive birth stories and an understanding of the power of our divine feminine physiology. As miraculous as it all sounded, well – I just never fully bought it. I was terrified of a pain I had never known.  In a sense, I played a role in manifesting Dane’s birth story.  After all, everything happens for a reason.  There are lessons everywhere if we choose to see them. After he was determined to be breach and birthed by elective cesarean, I now understand that birth takes on all shapes and forms.  All births require extreme courage, trust and love.  Dane’s birth taught me to trust.

My second pregnancy, while still colored by the incessant and debilitating hyperemesis, was also shaded by an optimistic trust.  The blinding fear of pain that I had experienced with my first faded away like the steam on my breath on a cold November night. I didn’t expect it to feel comfortable.  I knew it would be hard work.  But I also knew I could do it.  Here’s how baby Kai was born.

In my final weeks of pregnancy, not only was I really ‘over it’, but I started to measure ‘big’.  Two ultrasounds confirmed ‘big baby’ and I felt more anxious the longer he was cooking because I was already being watched closely as a VBAC.

On Remembrance Day 2015 at 10pm, 4 days after my due date, it started.  Just as we were dozing off to sleep, I felt the baby move, and with it, I felt a burst of hot fluid down my thigh. I jolted awake and startled my poor husband with “My water just broke.”

After a slightly comical period of waddling between the bedroom and bathroom gushing water all over the floor, with John finding more and more towels to sop it up, we called our midwife and doula and determined that since there was no action happening, I go back to bed to get as much sleep as possible.  Ya right – my adrenaline was pumping so hard I was twitching but sleep, yes ok let’s get some sleep. NOT.

Clearly Kai had other plans.  At 10:30pm I experience my first contraction.  I knew what it was instantly.  Like ‘oh – ya that’s a contraction’.  Funny because I had just been chatting to my friend the day before about how sometimes you don’t know what they are.  This was unmistakable.  Also unfortunately unsleepable, and their rhythm and intensity promptly increased over the next few hours.

Remarkably Dane didn’t even stir while I labored upstairs in the adjacent room.  My mom or John pushing with all their might on my sacrum with each contraction.  “Harder!” I’d ask.

John and our doula Johanna were a dream team.  They seemed cool as cucumbers (or at least that’s what I remember from my endorphin laden state.)  They were timing everything and calling our midwife Jill as needed.  They fed me water and made me go up a flight of stairs (against my will) at regular intervals to pee, puke etc. (Basic full body evac!) During each contraction, I hugged Johanna’s thighs and swayed my hips as she scratched my low back.

Leaving my mom at home with Dane, at 430am we piled into the car to head to the hospital.  (But not until after John had to rip two car seats out of the car.)  Our coping ritual continued in the back seat and all I really remember from the car ride was yelling for John to STOP THE CAR during one of my contractions (thankfully it was the middle of the night and there was no-one on the road). In spite of my hormonal fog I had a vague awareness of where we were despite never looking out the window.

We joked in between contractions and I remember leaning on our parked car, a hand sanitizing station in the lobby, the elevator, and then the check-in desk to cope with their rolling waves.  The nurses joked that I was signing away all my savings to them as I autographed something or other and then directed us towards Room #7.  Lucky number seven.  My favorite number.  Oh Universe,  you got my back.  Thanks girl.

My memory here gets kind of hazy.  Johanna claims I was sitting on a chair in the corner for ages and refused to move.  I don’t really remember that but it sounds accurate.  I requested an epidural  straight away but it would take until after 6am for an anesthetist to be available.  In the meantime I went into a trance.  Sitting on the edge of the bed I remember the contractions getting longer and more intense.  Some with double peaks. In between I sat as still as a statue and hardly breathed.  The only other time I’ve had such divine control over almost stopping my breathe was at a meditation retreat.  I remember someone in lucky Room 7 saying “She looks like Buddha she’s so still.”  And so it goes – my pranayama practice took itself to new heights.

I’ll never forget the look on the anesthetists face as he came in the door.  I was buck naked and he shyly averted his gaze as he asked if he should come in or not.  I yelled and motioned to ‘get in here!!’  Once that was all done, Jill checked me again and I was only 4cm.  You’ve got to be kidding me.  I was 3cm before labor even began and now 8hours of contractions later I’m only 4cm?  I felt so defeated.  Jill had to head off to a meeting so our other midwife Julia stayed with us until Jill could return.  I feel so special to have had them both there, it was all so serendipitous.

Since there was nothing to do but wait, I was instructed to rest.  I lay there and imagined my cervix opening.  I imagined with each wave, a door opening to let this tiny person out of my body and into the world.  Two hours later (and after very little shuteye – hospitals are NOT easy places to rest!), Julia checked again.  Thinner but still 4cm.  Tears.

I had been sure this whole 9months that it was all just going to be ok.  And here we are having the discussion of a possible cesarean due to failure to progress.  John and I bawled.  Of course it would be ok.  I had done it before.  I just had this feeling that it was all going to be fine so I hadn’t even really considered the alternative other then to say ‘if I have to it’s ok but…’  The peppy little OB was called in to check mine and Kai’s vitals.  With her blessing we were given another 2 hours to wait to see how things unfolded.

More trying to ‘rest’.  I sipped hot beef broth through a straw (which while a bit gross was delicious considering I was STARVING and not allowed to eat).

Two hours later, Jill checked me again and low and behold I was 6cm!  Happy tears streamed down my cheeks.  We had just bought ourselves another 2 hours!

Two hours later, at around 230pm I measured 9.5cms!  I cried I was so proud!  It was almost time to push!  At some point during the afternoon they turned down my epidural so that I’d feel my contractions better when it came time to push.  A concerning side effect to this was sharp pain right on my scar.  A nervous nurse, side stepping Jills authority, called in the OB who raced up from another floor.  (I discovered post birth there was evidently a lot of politics going on in Room 7 that day that I was unaware of.) Concerned, but jolly, the pocket-rocket OB checked me.  Scar was fine.  It was Kai’s shoulder pressing against my pubic bone that was causing my pain.  I was free to start pushing!

Pushing was a blur.  It was my least confident part of labor because I doubted my ability to feel my contraction.  Johanna coached me to get out of my head and she was dead right.  The waves had slowed and it seemed to take forever.  A lot of different people shared the load of holding up my legs for the 2 hours of pushing.  (Though because contractions were so infrequent at 1 every 6 minutes, I guess it wasn’t really that long.) I found out afterwards that Jill had to slide her fingers around Kai’s head and pull my pelvic bones apart with each contraction to make space for his 38cm head!  Remarkably my undercarriage remained in tact thanks to her skillful hands.

I’ll never forget the feeling of Kai’s head and then his body being pushed out into the world and quietly onto my chest.  Like I’ll never forget the sensation of Dane’s being pulled out with a giant roar!  Both magic.  Both perfectly them.  And perfectly me.  The me I was at each point in my life.  We’re always changing and always evolving.  Kai’s birth was not possible without the lessons learned from Danes’.  Big brother paving the way for his little.  I’m so grateful.

Kai Christopher Andreasen was born at 4:11pm on Thursday November 12th 2015.  Narrowly missing a Remembrance Day or a Friday 13th birthday (phew!)  He was 10lbs 6oz.  I’m grateful I was unaware of his true size until after his birth.  I still can’t believe it.  VBAC.  Big baby.  The murmurs on the ward floor were spot on.  All they were missing was the glimmer of an optimistic and powerful mother.

I did it.  I still can’t believe it did it.  I am SO proud.

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How we’re overcoming life paralysis

How timely that we made our realization right around the New year.  My man was reading Brene Browns’ ‘Daring Greatly’ and nearly had himself an empathetic breakdown spiritual awakening when he recited the following passage aloud.

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”

Life paralysis.  Smack.  There it was.  Laid out for us as clear as day.  We had often discussed our dislike of not being good at something.  Eg – that period when you start a new job and you haven’t mastered it yet.  The vulnerability of imperfection was uncomfortable and could initiate a self deprecating spiral in either one of us.  For example, my husband is a great cook.  His homemade hamburgers taste like dreams are made of.  Ask him however and his critique of his own performance negates his very enjoyment of his favorite food.  “I put too much sriracha in them” he’ll say. (See I told you they taste like heaven.)  It’s easy to recognize our own patterns in those around us while simultaneously having our own behavior sit conveniently in our blind spots.  I know I’m a perfectionist.  Not in the traditional mindset that everything I do is perfect.  Far from it.  (In addition to perfectionism I also seem to suffer from Antirecipitis:  the inability to follow a recipe.  I am a great cook.  I’m also an awesome substituter.  You know the I-don’t-have-that-but-I-have-these kind of chef.  I can make a recipe even better then the author ever imagined it too be!  I can also make soggy muffins, unsliceable crumbled brownies and inedible chickpea curry. ) My baking falls within my comfort zone and is something I’m confident with.  Hence it appears to be shielded from my perfectionist kryptonite. Instead, my perfectionism seems to manifest in other realms in the form of life paralysis.  It turns out, you just can’t substitute chia seeds for everything and call it a day.

Life paralysis.  What does this mean?  It means that the healthy striving that leads to inevitable mistakes, learning and eventual growth and mastery, is avoided in an effort to shield oneself from the vulnerability of imperfection.  The very imperfection that is required for growth, creativity, and success.  Our family had virtually stopped trying anything new.  Though we might be interested in tonnes of different activities, we’d never consider trying them.  Not consciously out of fear of failure, but there it was before us.  We had become paralyzed.

Now as I said, conveniently this epiphany came to us in early January.  Every year our family chooses a word or two as theme’s for the year ahead.  A theme to guide how we want to feel, to steer our choices for the months ahead.  Last year was ‘vitality’, the year before was ‘connected’ etc. So with our new-found life paralysis staring us in the face, we had to take action (action being the opposite of paralysis).  It seemed so obvious.  This would be the year of the D.I.Y.  Nothing requires ACTION quite like doing it yourself.  Nothing implores mistakes, or possible failure quite like doing it yourself.  But on the flip side, the learning and growth of doing it yourself is inevitable.

We had chosen something that still felt safe (because we’re d.i.y’ing our own home) while simultaneously adventurous.  It felt creative and it felt fun.  We streamed off all sorts of ideas of what we want to build.  D.I.Y. would force us to breathe in vulnerability.  And vulnerability would breathe life back into us.

Feel free to follow along as we tackle some fun projects. Stay tuned as we start small and get our feet wet with mini bath and mini kitchen makeovers…

Self Inquiry – Do you see a perfectionist reflected in yourself?  Have you ever experienced life paralysis?  If so – what are you doing to lay down your shield.

**Deep bows to A Beautiful Mess for their ever inspiring DIY’s and Brene Brown for steering our path.

Ohana’s and Elkhorn Ferns

Last night we hosted Friendsgiving 2.0 at our place.  Anyone who chooses to live far from family knows the importance of creating your own ohana (Hawaiian word describing the family we create) – especially around the holiday season!  Not only do we nourish our lives by surrounding ourselves with the people we love but we also fill our homes with images and articles that generate those same vibes that make us feel cozy, nourished, grounded.   Since becoming a mama, I (like so many other mamas out there) have cultivated an on-again-off-again Pinterest romance.  Mostly I’ve been crushing on Scandinavian design and bright white home interiors (though it could be argued that the two are synonymous).  Anyhoo, the other fetish I’ve nuzzled up to (that goes hand in hand with any good Pinterest fetish) is DIY. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m a novice DIYer at best.  What I’ve got going for me is my ‘just-do-it’ no holds barred I-can-do-that attitude.  What I’m up against is my strong lean towards the path of least resistance and my genetic inability to follow any recipe.  (Note – this doesn’t make me a bad cook – I’m a great cook!  I’m simply a horrible do-it-this-way-er.)

Last night my tribe noticed the latest DIY creation to grace our walls and suggested I share my creative juices with the masses.  So here she is, my stunning hanging elkhorn fern wall art!

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*Note: my walls are actually greige – not mauve!

I love how the combination of the different materials came together to contrast the wood grain against the soft leather and the shine of the metal piping.  For anyone interested in diy-ing your own version, here is a simple materials list.

 

What it took:

1 x elkhorn/staghorn fern (or whatever plant you fancy that doesn’t require crazy drainage since it’s gonna be potted in leather)

1 x large piece of leather (or pleather or other material of choice – canvas could look really rad.)  Ours was approximately the size of a placemat. (I also cut a smaller piece to line it from water damage.)

1 x piece of plywood (I got mine for free from the giveaway scrap pile at our local hardware store and then sanded and painted it with a clear coat to seal it from moisture)

1 x copper pipe (measured/cut to same width as plywood board)

2 x screws (and a powerdrill for attaching pipe to wood – my hunky hubby came in handy here).

1 x leather string (purchased from local bead store when I was gathering materials for my next DIY project – a dreamcatcher.. stay tuned depending on how it turns out!)

1 x staple gun (and extra staples)

1 x fearless spatial sense (and great communication strategy) when attempting/arguing over the best strategy to attach leather to board.

I have no idea how my man got the plant into the planter – I suspect there was a lot of delicate stuffing happening because old elky’s really packed in there.

 

 

 

 

The connection we crave

This week I had the privilege to share a night-in with a group of strong and sassy women.  Some of us have been friends for some time, but many of us are new connections.  As it goes when women get together, there was talking – lots of it.  There was laughing, (oddly no crying,) and with this divine circle there was also trampolining, port-sipping, nail painting, rainbow strobe lighting, pet smothering, and a whole, whole, whole lotta honesty.

This room wasn’t filled with ordinary ladies.  These women are real women.  They are mothers, and they are step-mothers.  They are healers, and they are givers.  They are business owners and they are wives.  They are divorced, they are married, they are sisters and they are survivors.  There was a palpable comfort in the room. A security that can only be created when all those who show up commit to being real.  Nothing efforted or uncomfortable but rather a calmly confident kind of way.  There’s something confident about humility.  The vulnerability in the room was permeable and yet was void of anxiety or apprehension.

And as Brene Brown so aptly explains, it was this groups’ willingness to be seen, our willingness to be vulnerable, that created the experience of connection with each other.  Our willingness to share our struggles with parenting, friends, loss, sex, and motherhood filled us all up with the connection we crave.

Though my days hanging with a 1 year old can sometimes feel lonely, I know there are divine goddesses who share in my journey in their own light.

Deep bows to you sexy, sassy women.  Til next time.

 

 

Baby Holiday – A Birth Story

Dane Stanley Andreasen was born on Wednesday June 19th 2013 at 10:12am.  He weighed in at a surprising 8lbs 9oz and 50cm long.

His birth story was nothing I had spent the previous nine months envisioning. Yet, as though like magic, there was a divine wisdom orchestrating the perfection of his arrival. My ability to surrender and allow his story to unfold in a way that was uniquely his own (and yet coloured by my participation) was in continuum with the surrender required of pregnancy herself, and also a right of passage into the motherhood club.

I had spent nearly 9 months wading through hormones and hyperemesis.  I had workshopped insecurities and doubts.  The Ina May Gaskin books had become my bible.  While my mind was still wrapping itself around how I could possibly push a person out into the world, something at my core kept whispering that I was built to do this.  That I would do this.  However, as often is the case, how our dreams manifest into reality, isn’t always the way we had envisioned.

On Monday June 10th, John and I waited in the ugly mustard vinyl seats of a sterile hospital hall at Victoria General.  I was 37.5 weeks pregnant.  This environment was a chilling contrast to the inviting and comfortable midwifery clinic we had become accustomed to all these months.  The week prior, our midwife Jill,  hadn’t been able to confirm that our babies head was ‘engaged’ (aka down). Though on previous visits, his head had always been positioned downwards, due to her uncertainty on this visit, she recommended that we have an ultrasound to confirm his position.  I had been surprised and scared at the absence of her normally infectious confidence.  A confidence which had always rubbed off on me casting away any doubts I had about my ability to give birth.  John, true to form, was unwavering and maintained a steady confidence that our baby was engaged to dive out head first. But, as we waited for confirmation, my brain started spinning – I had never once felt kicks up under my ribs like most women report.

Our number was called, and it was only a matter of minutes before the ultrasound tech cooly and quickly announced that yes, in fact, our baby was ‘complete breech’ and we would need to see a specialist to create a plan.  Tears started streaming down my cheeks as I lay belly up in the dark hospital room.  Though there were maneuvers and homeopathic possibilities, I knew instantly what this news meant for me and our baby’s birth.  I felt scared and weak and yet deep down beneath it all, an innate inner calm of which I wasn’t yet aware, prevailed.

Both my sister and I were caesarean babies and the more I travelled down the natural birth highway, the more judgement I gradually attached to our births.  Had my mom been pressured into unnecessary medical intervention? Was I going to get swept along the current of a clinical birth?  I had begun to view a ‘natural’ childbirth as the only way for me to step fully into the power of being a woman.  I had begun to look at natural birth not only in terms of my own empowerment, but as the first women in my immediate family to birth ‘naturally’, the empowerment for the women of my family!  (Talk about putting un-necessary pressure on yourself!)

What I didn’t realize at the time, was that every birth story is unique and every birth story invites the opportunity for empowerment and positivity.  It’s how you choose to view your birth that colours it’s experience.  And this lesson was to be my final straw of surrender.

I knew going into pregnancy, that attachment to one outcome was only a prerequisite for pain and I had been adamant the entire 9 months, that I didn’t want a birth plan.  I didn’t want to be attached to any one particular outcome and believed that the best course of action was to ‘go with the flow’ (see What I Found At The Bottom Of The Toilet Bowl).  It seemed that, while there was wisdom at the heart of my logic, somewhere along the way, I had in fact become rather attached to a certain birth vision. I became increasingly ‘natural’ birth focused, and in doing so, had made the medical system out to be the ‘bad guy’.  My attachment and my judgement became my biggest teachers in my path to freedom.

Not many have the strange luxury of knowing their babies birthday ahead of time.  I had ten days to embrace a caesarian birth for both me and my baby.  Much like the cycle of grief, I floated through a flurry of emotions, mourning my ‘natural’ birth.  Anger, disappointment, fear, sadness, relief, guilt and ultimately longing and anticipation.  Don’t get me wrong, I was still nervous.  After all – I wasn’t getting my ears pierced – this was major surgery!

I felt a sense of excitement coursing through my veins as John and I treated ourselves to our ‘last supper’ at the fanciest shmansiest resto in town.  With bellies full of braised beef (and in my case also a baby), we headed to the hospital where I was admitted as my birth was scheduled for early the next morning.  My sleep was fitfull, due to the anticipation and the bulbousness of my blooming belly.  The next morning, on an empty stomach, I was hooked up to an IV to boost my fluids pre-surgery.  In hindsight, this was probably the most uncomfortable part of the whole process (aside from the nervousness cartwheeling around in my brain).  My midwife Julia arrived and we headed down to the OR.  John said I looked pale and quiet as we headed down the hall but all I remember is focusing on my breath and trying to exude calm with each exhale.

The surgeon was delayed due to an emergency on an adjoining ward, so I had to sit in the OR with the nurses who arrived one by one.  This turned out to be the best thing for my nerves.  Instead of rushing through the event, I was able to take in the room (which wasn’t nearly as dark and dramatic as the Grey’s Anatomy counterpart I had envisioned).  The nurses were all so cool, bubbly and calm which did heaps to settle my nerves.  We spent a good 20mins pre-surgery ‘shooting-the-shit’ as poor John waited outside in the hall alone absorbing the stress as I was letting go.

Once all the team had assembled, it was go-time.  The spinal (which I had been most nervous about) was done in a flash.  It was such an intimate and connected moment to have my midwife forehead to forehead with me whispering reassuring yogic mantras as the spinal was administered.  (I later found out, it was John who had told her to remind me to breathe and say all those sweet things!)  From there it was game on – my toes began to tingle as I somehow transitioned to lying down.  I remember the calm of surrender washing over me as soon as the spinal was completed – the last straw in letting go.

A catheter was administered and the anesthesiologist checked that everything was numbing as normal (it was).  I had a few waves of extreme nausea as a reaction to the medication and threw up a couple times as they adjusted my drugs.  Luckily I was a pro at puking at this point in my pregnancy (always a silver lining!) In sanskrit this would be finding the sukkah (sweetness) in the dukkha (suffering)!

John was right next to my face as soon as the ‘curtain’ was set up.  (Which, might I add, is more like the size of a napkin than a curtain. Poor John, who is already weak in the knee’s when it comes to blood and guts, happened to ‘see-too-much’ and then his head was between his knee’s as the midwife snapped up the camera to catch baby’s first breath on camera.)

I had been forewarned to expect tugging.  No pain, but a lot of tugging – not unlike a trip to the dentist, just on a way bigger scale.  I expected tugging but this was WAY more tugging than I anticipated.  Go figure, they were pulling an almost 9lb baby from a small incision in my abdomen.

Tug tug tug.  Tug tug tug.  And then it happened – weightlessness.  It was as though the bowling ball that was pressing down on my abdomen all this time, was lifted.  And then I heard him – a tiny newborn cry.  Soft and innocent.  Likely inquiring – “what the heck just happened?!”  And then we saw him as he was passed to the pediatrician to our right.  As she turned him to face us for the first time, he opened his eyes straight away and as if knowingly, looked directly at us.

Our eyes flooded with awe.  Everyone says you’re going to fall in love at first sight, but I disagree.  The first few days with Dane, I was in AWE.  Absolute awe.  Awe and how perfect he was.  Awe of the divine intelligence at work outside of my brain (which took no part in his creation) to create such perfection.  He was so much more perfect than I ever, ever could have imagined.  And looking back 6.5 weeks later, I can say with confidence that my love for him grows out of that awe more and more each day.  You really can’t grasp the miracle of childbirth until you meet your child.  And you really can’t understand the profound love your parents feel about you, until you have a child of your own.

The phrase I remember hearing most often throughout pregnancy was “Oh it’ll all be worth it in the end when you have that beautiful baby in your arms.”  The trouble is, when it’s your first baby, you really can’t fathom just how ‘worth it’ it will be until you are staring into the face of your precious bub.  Birth is all about learning to trust, with every fiber of your being.  Trust that there is something divine orchestrating the whole process.  Trust the invisible power of the Universe and allow her to cradle you in her arms throughout your journey – be it pregnancy, birth or life.  Trust that both you and your babe will arrive out the other side of the pregnancy-birth tunnel.  Trust, especially when you don’t understand how, that you will be alright.  And trust, that “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” (Max Ehrmann – exerpt from Desiderata 1929)

And so even though it went down in a way I initially hoped it hadn’t, it was perfect.  The  Caesarian Club really ain’t a bad club to be a part of after all!  I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Cheers to you Baby Holiday.  I love you more and more every day.  We are going to have some epic adventures together.  I can’t hardly wait.

spin it dj yogi

For the most part, I rarely teach yoga to music.  We’re bombarded by so much noise pollution in the outside world and we have the opportunity, with our time on the mat, to create a sacred space to tap into and become aware of our inner world – free from distraction.

yoga-music-artSimultaneously, there can be something tangible and soul opening about music can’t there?  We’ve all been on our mat (or our cars or the public bus), when ‘that’ song comes on the that sets our foot-a-tappin, and warms our hearts to glow just a little bit brighter.  Music that vibrates at the right frequency, can create a visceral response in the body.  There is music that has the power to move mind blocks and emotional scars from our hips and from our hearts. Music can be the catalyst for letting go of tears and fears in Eka Pada Raja Kapotanasana (pigeon pose).  And so, by request – here is a list of my Top 10 Favorite Heart-Glowing Savasana Songs. Some are in sanskrit, some are in english, some are just plain instrumental.  All are guaranteed to make your heart shine. Enjoy.

Top Savasana Songs

Krishna Das – God is Real (Hare Ram)
Bliss – A Hundred Thousand Angels
Wah! – Heart Sutra
Invocation – Angel’s Prayer
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Over the Rainbow
Sacred Earth – Om Namaa Shiviya
k.d. Lang – Hallejulah
Alexi Murdoch – Orange Sky
Miten & Deva Premal – So Much Magnificence
Krishna Das – Mere Gurudev

For those looking for something to spin during their practice, here’s an honorable mention to my Top 3 fave albums that I can play start to finish – sukhasana to savasana over and over and over again.

Favorite Albums to Practice Yoga

Garth Stevenson – FlyingDJ Drez – Jahta Beat (The Lotus Memoirs)
One Giant Leap (What About Me) Soundtrack

And finally, when you need a little somethin’ somethin’ for your monkey mind during meditation.  Nothing beats the ethereal vibrations of these tracks:

Meditation Music

Holosync 3rd Eye Meditation (Centerpointe)

David Hickey Chakra Music

Big Om of Tibet (Tibetan Monks and Nuns)

Then again – there’s always the blissful sound of your own breath.  The drum of your own heartbeat and the stillness of silence.

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what i found at the bottom of the toilet bowl

It seems there might just be some truth to the whole “you never fully appreciate what you had until it’s gone”.  We desire, push, strive, and aspire to be more, stronger, better, and thinner.  In doing so, little appreciation is paid to what’s ‘right’ about right now.  We fail to see our existing beauty, our imperfect perfection because our sights are set so firmly on the horizon, that sunny land where everything is better than it is right here.  Don’t get me wrong, there is massive value in the pursuit of our highest selves.  The elevation from a place of mediocrity to greatness is not in vain.  But I think there’s something profoundly flawed with the pursuit.  Our sights are so fixated on the shiny, glowing, acne-free future that it makes the present out to be everything less than par.  So you don’t think you’re successful ‘enough’.  Is this belief blinding you from all that is right in the present moment?  Seek out the practice of gratitude.  Dig deep to appreciate the mediocrity you’re running from within yourself.  What if it was all taken a way from you in an instant?  What if instead of getting closer to that golden horizon, you moved further from it?

Perspective.  And in it, dwells gratitude. 

The realization that you spent so much time berating yourself, making yourself wrong for all these things that weren’t really so wrong to begin with.  Your thighs weren’t really that fat – they were strong.  Your skin wasn’t all that flawed, it was clear.  Your productivity wasn’t less than enough, it was exemplary.  Your routine wasn’t as confining as you had thought.  Could you have been free all this time and not ever realized?

perfect20 weeks ago, a little seed planted itself deep inside of me.  It has been growing bigger and stronger everyday.  Not without sacrifice.  For 3 loooong months I was forced from my unknowingly blissful wanderings to a lonely nausea driven existence somewhere between the fetal position and the toilet bowl.  There is little or no reprieve for the hyperemisis gravidarum sufferer. Now ‘severe’ morning sickness is not the herculean adjective I would choose to describe the incessant nausea that consumed my world 24/7 for the past 80+ days. Unable to work or function at even a basic level, my muscle mass, strength and soul were slowly flushed along with my breakfast.

The art of suffering can sprout some insightful seeds of her own.  Compassion and acceptance out-powered perfection and judgement.  Gratitude met hindsight.  The fog of my blind-spot lifted.  I hadn’t been weak or ‘not strong enough’.  I was so much stronger than I had ever let myself see.  The perspective this seed has provided, has been all the yoga I need. Mat not included.

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