Friday, September 30, 2011
For those of you non-nerds, the title of this post stands for Too Long; Didn't Read, which may have been the thought in your collective heads as you looked at my last few posts. Lordy, I am wordy lately.

New goal: more posts, less words.

On on that note, here is the prettiest short film I have ever seen about something pretty darn hideous (Juggalos.) Whaddya think? Are you "down with the clown?"

Hot Yoga/hot mess

Thursday, September 29, 2011
Well, I'm not sure I have ever felt more unattractive - staring at your sweaty body in a mirror for 90 minutes is tough on the ol' ego.

For those of you who may still be unfamiliar with Bikram yoga (which is slightly different from "hot,") here's the Wiki scoop:

Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s. Bikram's classes run exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (≈ 40.6°C) with a humidity of 40%, and is the most popular form of hot yoga (a series of yoga poses done in a heated room).

So, I tried my first class at 8:30 PM Tuesday night with the plan to head home after 10PM to shower and most likely go straight to bed as I expected to be exhausted. I was super early and totally anxious, but the instructor went through the basics (reassuring, since she essentially confirmed I already knew what to expect through my research) and gave me a basic rundown on their space. I headed to the changing room to stash my stuff and then found a place at the back line of the studio where I laid down in savasana and attempted to let my body acclimate to the heat. I didn't hear many people come in and once I opened my eyes after the instructor raised the lights I was somewhat pleased to find we only had about 8 students total in the studio.

It was tough for me from the very beginning and I was sweating lightly before we even got past the first breathing exercise but I stuck it out as much as I possibly could. The standing poses seemed to be the most difficult for me...I used to pride myself on my keen sense of balance, but in class I could not seem to get my knee to lock to create the stability needed for those poses. There was quite a bit of savasana and falling over going on during that part of the series, but I wasn't the only one so it was slightly reassuring. It seems I do have a decent range of flexibility for the floor exercises (possibly left over from my cheer leading days & kept in check with my current yoga regimen) but I clearly still need to work on a lot of strengthening.

I wasn't as exhausted (or smelly) after class as I thought I might be and after I collected my gear and changed my clothes I chatted with the instructor for a few minutes before leaving. She happily told me how Bikram had changed her life, not just her body, and related a few anecdotes that left me thinking "oh hey, that's JUST LIKE ME." I made my way home and hopped in the shower before I grabbed a snack and popped a muscle relaxer (oy, my back) then settled into bed to read for a while and bring my energy level down. I slept well and woke up to find myself not really sore, but definitely feeling worked over. I'd say it's easily the best workout I've had outside of Tae Bo.

That "wow, I look gross" factor is seemingly going to work in my favor as it's an inspiration to go back and keep working on changing my body and through challenging myself, my mind. I've committed myself to going at least twice a week for the next five weeks and I suspect it's gonna hurt a little, but I can tell already I'm going to get some serious results.

Get out of my head, Rob Brezsny.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Yet another week where I'm all "how does he KNOW??" It's creepy.

This would not be a good time for you to read the book called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Enhancing Self-Esteem. In fact, it will never be the right time to read it. While it's true that at this juncture in your life story you can make exceptional progress in boosting your confidence and feeling positive about yourself, you're not an idiot and you don't need idiot-level assistance. If there was a book called The Impish Guide to Accessing and Expressing Your Idiosyncratic Genius, I'd definitely recommend it. Likewise a book titled The Wild-Eyed Guide to Activating Your Half-Dormant Potential or The Brilliant Life-Lover's Guide to Becoming a Brilliant Life-Lover.


The primary meaning of the word "healing" is "to cure what's diseased or broken." Medical practitioners focus on sick people. Philanthropists donate their money and social workers contribute their time to helping the underprivileged. Psychotherapists wrestle with their clients' traumas and neuroses. I'm in awe of them all. The level of one's spiritual wisdom, I believe, is more accurately measured by helping people in need than by meditation skills, shamanic shapeshifting, supernatural powers, or esoteric knowledge.

But I also believe in a second kind of healing that is largely unrecognized: to supercharge what is already healthy; to lift up what's merely sufficient to a sublime state. Using this definition, describe two acts of healing: one you would enjoy performing on yourself and another you'd like to provide for someone you love.

Recently, I really have been experiencing a glut of self-confidence. I feel smart, cute, desirable and that I deserve far better than an unemployed alcoholic who shot himself in the hand while cleaning his gun and lives uncomfortably with his ex-girlfriend (despite my ex trying desperately to convince me otherwise - sorry, Mr. Rock.) I feel mentally and spiritually healthy, I feel absolutely content in my cozy apartment in a neighborhood where I regularly run into friends when I go to the store, I feel I am surrounded by amazingly supportive people and ready to start dating again and all of that is good. Great, even.

That isn't to say I think I'm perfect, or that my life is. I'll admit it now (and some may have a hard time believing this) - I have pretty significant social anxiety issues. Inside me is a shy, nerdy girl who got picked on in school and I just can't seem to completely shake her. I get incredibly nervous going out by myself and uncomfortable in groups of people I don't know well. If you see me out and about at a party or event I've most likely had a drink or two beforehand to calm my nerves. The bad part of that is that I will most likely continue drinking to provide continued social lubricant and at a certain point I just get dumb. If I'm not lubed up I'll typically be a quiet wallflower and end up coming off as unfriendly, which is so not "me." So, even if I'm feeling confident, I find excuses to avoid getting out and meeting new people. I could dazzle the hell out of friends and acquaintances with an adorable dress and a bit of wit, but get me around strangers and I'm a mess.

I've come up with a somewhat unorthodox idea to work to combat this issue - hot (Bikram) yoga. What better way to work on social anxiety issues than to strip down to practically nothing in a room FULL of strangers and sweat your ass off while trying to contort your body in unnatural positions. It's intrinsically one of my worst nightmares and I've been attempting to steel myself for this experience for the past year, but if I can get used to these people seeing me struggle (and possibly fall) and all my grossly sodden imperfections I think I'm one step closer to winning the internal battle. Somehow, to me this all makes sense.

Becoming what you are.

Thursday, September 22, 2011
My Free Will Astrology horoscope this week made me think. This is what Rob Brezsny says:

Our job is to become more and more of what we are," says poet Marvin Bell. "The growth of a poet seems to be related to his or her becoming less and less embarrassed about more and more." Whether or not you're a poet, Virgo, I would like to apply this gauge to your own growth. The way I see it, your power to claim your birthright and fulfill your destiny will ultimately hinge to a significant degree on your ability to shed all residual shame about your true nature. And guess what: There has never been a better time to work on that noble project than right now.

I guess that is really what I've been striving for this past year - authenticity and being true to myself. Previously, it was opening myself up to new things and being more tolerant and patient towards others, now it's all about being real. One example: I am no longer going to even try to pretend I am interested in sports. At all. Another: if I am most likely not going to attend an event I'm invited to, I will mark myself as a "no" on the RSVP. Also: if my feelings are hurt, I will tell you why upfront.

Basically, I feel I'm old enough now that I don't need to just tell people what they want to hear so that they aren't upset with me. I gotta tell you - it feels really effin' good.

This is why most of my high school connections were left on Myspace.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - Sorry you were mean to me when we were little and I grew up to be really hot.

Convenient timing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011
It appears that Seattle's summer is mostly over, after a somewhat pathetic showing of something like 1000 minutes of temperatures over 80. This just happens to coincide with a 5 day juice fast/supplemental-based cleanse that I decided to challenge myself with and I had expected to spend the weekend hermitting at my apartment, starving and barely in control of my bowels, so I wasn't too upset about the rain. Oddly enough, I've felt mostly normal and managed to be surprisingly productive even outside of my abode. I've woken up earlyish each day and found the energy to hit up a friend's yard sale with Cec, to walk over to Westwood Village to shop for a few pieces of workout wear appropriate for my upcoming Bikram (hot) yoga classes and run other errands, do the normal weekend tidying and squeeze in an at-home yoga session. It may not sound like much, but I had anticipated being basically immobilized by hunger and bowel flushing (oooh, I know how sexy that sounds, y'all) so as Charlie Sheen would say - I'm "WINNING."

What I've found so far with the fast is that 95% of the time I'm not even hungry, despite having intense cravings for all kinds of junk food pretty much constantly. Conversely, I've been thinking about healthy food and what I am going to eat once I'm back on the solids almost the entire time as well. My first dinner will consist of the eggplant I grew in my balcony garden (most likely sauteed or roasted,) oven-baked salmon caught fresh by one of my bff's Dads and possibly rice or potatoes. Maybe a biscuit or a chunk of baguette. I really love bread and nothing about this fast has changed that. I've still got tons of fruit in my fridge from the preparation for the cleanse, a grocery list chock full of more nutritious snacks and staples and meal plan ideas that should keep me on track afterwards. Yeah, I seriously have been thinking about food unceasingly since this began.

Next up is Round 2 for the day of supplements and juice with a big 'ol dose of fiber and a quick pick up of the homestead before I try to drag the Madre to the Indoor Sun Shoppe to help me spend the generous gift card that (the brilliant and amazing) Cec gave me for my recent birthday. Later, I'm thinking Round 3, pedicure, meditation, reading and journaling: it's gonna be a juicy one - I've decided to document (as far back as I can remember and then moving forward) the specific reasons I am not with any of my exes or other gentlemen I have briefly dated, mostly because it would be far too scandalous to post it here...but sometimes a girl needs a reminder, right?