All About That Me-Time

I’ve sucked at blogging recently. I have to write about Angels in America, Half a Sixpence, and Once in the UK. And I saw Steve Kazee at 54 Below last Thursday but I haven’t written about that yet either. And my cousin’s wedding last week was gorgeous but where are the photos? Whoops. I’ve been lazy. Sorry, not sorry.

But I’m slowly starting to rediscover me. My passions. I’m going to pick up my guitar again (I swear goddamnit). I’ll even take out my ukulele. I’m going to volunteer more. I’m going to go to meditation events (starting with Medi Club on the 20th at MSG which will either be awesome or awful). I might go to something called Touchpoint, which my friend hosts every month and is all about sex-positive talks (and I could totally use that after the past little while). I’m trying to look up more concerts but it seems that I just missed Cage the Elephant. And Spoon, Guster, Ted Leo, and The Decemberists aren’t playing here anytime soon. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Weezer is playing at a festival in September, but festivals aren’t my thing. And Green Day just announced today that they’re playing in the Global Citizens Festival in September, too. But that’s September. That’s a whole month away.

I went to redeem my free anniversary class today at MNDFL and it was just lovely. I’m going to go to more meditation events because that’s where my heart is. Maybe I’ll eventually start teaching yoga, too.

I’m going to try to see one show per week. Or at least try. Because the past two months have been so busy that the last show I saw on THE BROADWAY was on June 1st. Which is shameful. Yes, I was away a lot and I saw three shows abroad, but come on. Who am I?!

I get to be fully myself again and I have zero persons to answer to (I wasn’t before, but there’s no one there to even comment).

Maybe I’ll make a YouTube channel? I have no idea what I’d talk about though.

I’m all about the me-time and I’m taking advantage of it. So, if I’m quiet, it’s because I’m out doing awesome shit.

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My Experience: Meditate Your Weight

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Yesterday I completed the final day’s meditation and journaling for the three-week journey that Tiffany Cruikshank offers in Meditate Your Weight. She’s a doctor who has been using this course with her own patients for years, helping them lose weight, and so she decided to publish it.

Around January, I’d become frustrated with the 5-10 pounds I’d gained over the past couple of years and I didn’t know what to do about it. I eat super healthy (or at least 80/20) and usually worked out 5 times a week. I thought I’d give a go at examining the mental side of things and see if that was my issue, as I suspected it was (because I’m really hard on myself mentally, about most things).

I love reading books like this – and one of Gabby Bernstein’s books that’s a 40 day mental work-out – because it gives me something to look forward to doing every morning. I really enjoyed checking the box of, ‘Yup, done!’ I also, and I HATE to admit this, loved the freedom from my Vedic meditation practice for three weeks. I think I just needed a break. I don’t know why, but I did. Don’t judge me.

Anyways, it’s a 3 week process to go through and unpack your mental baggage that you have about yourself as a person and the image of yourself; to discover what makes you feel good and what gifts you have to offer the world. It sounds cheesy, but it was helpful. The best day is probably day 18, which is the visualization meditation. Where you visualize (duh) yourself at your healthiest. It’s powerful. I felt really good after. I also really enjoyed the daily mantra one day of “My inner glow makes me radiant.” I might get that printed on a bracelet.  Stop it, I know it’s cheesy.

Did I lose any weight, you might be wondering. I lost a couple of pounds, but her message overall is to find your healthiest SELF, not your healthiest weight. She actually recommends throwing your scale out.

So, two thumbs up for this book. It’s good to work on your health mentally just as it is to work on it physically. I celebrated finishing it with a 5k and an iced coffee at my favorite coffee shop. #winning

Meditation for Prosperity

Five or so days before my yoga teacher training started, I was attending a ton of yoga classes, including kundalini yoga. I was still partially freaking out all the time about OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO DO AFTER TRAINING so when my kundalini teacher said, “We’re doing a kriya set for prosperity today!” I was all, “Yessss.”

She advised we do this for 40 days and then it would help bring us prosperity. I believe we’re all energy so anything to change my energy in the direction of prosperity sounded all good to me. I decided to try it. I was supposed to be done the day before Valentine’s Day, but I missed a few nights here and there so I continued doing it through last Friday. 

Now it’s over and I feel good about having done it for 40 or so days. Hopefully the ‘prosperity’ part will kick in soon. The actual meditation is past the jump!

Sit comfortably, placing your left hand over your left hand on your heart and close your eyes. For at least 3 minutes (11 minutes maximum), repeat to yourself: “I am bountiful, I am blissful, I am beautiful. Excel, excel, fearless!”

After that, flip both of your palms so the pinkie sides of your hands are touching and on your next exhale, flip the palms so the index sides of your fingers touch, and your left thumb is crossing over your right thumb under your palms. 

The word you chant, out loud this time, is “har,” which when pronounced correctly sounds like “hud.” So, for 3-11 minutes, chant “har” on your exhale while flipping your palms to face up and down. 

They say that doing this for more than 11 minutes is considered greedy, but 3 minutes is the absolute minimum.

Happy chanting! 

When It Gets Tough

I didn’t meditate last weekend, or on Monday. I was exhausted from training, and coming down with the beginnings of a cold, and all I wanted to do was relax. 

I fell off the wagon. I felt lazy. I started to beat myself up but stopped. I started up again on Tuesday and I’ve been consistent. But I need to get back to doing 20 minutes 2x/day. Vedic meditation really works it’s magic when it’s practiced twice a day. 

Even more aggravating though: I noticed that I’m very restless during my morning meditation. Like, more fidgety than usual. (And I fidget a lot, but that’s a story for another post.) I can’t sit still and it’s probably because my future is up in the air. I’m not really sure what I’m doing next. And although I’m not losing sleep over it this time, my mind is just constantly racing with thoughts of WHAT AM I DOING TODAY, etc. 

But as they say, when it’s hardest to sit still, that’s when you need it the most. So sit I will.

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I haven’t written very much in the past month because I’ve been in my yoga teacher training intensive which means I was busy from 9am until 6pm, Monday through Friday, then another hour or so for my commute each way to and from SoHo, so between the actual class and the homework, I had zero time to write.

But it was a transformative experience. It really was. The week before the training started when I saw my kundalini teacher for the last time, she told me I’d have a transformative experience and she wasn’t lying. I truly did. We all did. Every single person in the training with me is going to be a friend for the rest of my life. There were so many tears during our closing ceremonies. 

Today felt like the first day of the rest of my new life. It sounds so cliche but I’m just free writing right now to break the silence on here. I’m not sure what exactly I want to do next, but I know that applying for every-and-any job is no longer a good option. I have savings and I don’t spend a lot, so I can take my time. I’ll teach where and when possible. I have insurance, albeit not very good insurance, but insurance nevertheless. (At least until the ACA is repealed!)

Fear can fuck off for once. I’m going to try this my way. 

Post-Holiday Hangover

Happy post-holiday hangover! The holidays were pretty easy this year. My parents hosted Christmas Eve so I didn’t have to move much. My mom’s side of the family (my dad’s side doesn’t come because they live in Maine and they’re Jewish, duh) is SO LOUD. I had to retreat to my room at one point to meditate and decompress because it was so goddamn loud. I had a lot of fun playing with my parent’s kitten, though. She’s so energetic! 

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Though my mom might be Catholic, we still pretty much celebrate Christmas like Jews. We have the morning presents and relaxing and then go to the movies and out to eat Chinese food. We ended up seeing La La Land which was So So Painfully Bad. Apologies to Pasek and Paul, but the music wasn’t memorable and the storyline, though not their fault, was horrifically cliche. The opening number really had nothing to do with anything and was so terribly awkward I wanted to shrink down in my seat and die.

I traveled back to the city with my mom on Monday and J and I met my friend Elliot and his girlfriend to see the [random] matinee of The Encounter, which was again a wonderful experience and all enjoyed it. Today I am getting back to yoga at my studio and trying to finish up a quick book. I’m allowing myself to eat and drink whatever I want this week, within reason, until New Year’s Day. Because… new year, new start? Then I’m reigning it in. Back to not drinking more than one day a week and cooking. 

And I’ll be entering lots of ticket lotteries this week with my partner in crime, @endotique. Who never posts on Tumblr anymore and really should, right guys? 

Here’s to a week of freedom before new beginnings. 

A Leap of Faith

Ever since I was surprised by a layoff in early November, I’d been contemplating doing a 200 hour yoga teacher training intensive with one of my favoriteeeee regular teachers (the inspiration Chrissy Carter!) for the month of January because it just so happened to be almost perfect timing. I just need a way, other than unemployment, to sustain myself until then. 

But then I’d been woo’ed by a recruiter to take a temp HR Generalist position at a tech start-up. The pay was pretty low, but it looked like a cool company, so I said I’d do it. The recruiter also said it had potential to be permanent and as soon as I saw the office and they gave me a bag of swag, I was like, “OMG I’M STAYING FOREVER,” and my yoga teacher training dreams disappeared faster than the color from my cheeks from the 4 AVENUE WALK from the subway to the office that the temp job was in. 

After about two weeks, I started to get pretty miserable though. It became clear that this wasn’t becoming a permanent thing in addition to the pay being stupidly low, and despite my “boss” being a lovely person who I had things in common with (meditation! rose water spray! rolfing!), she arrived late every day (her own schedule, whatever!), spent most of the day in meetings, and couldn’t answer my questions as she didn’t know a whole lot about HR – she had been thrown into her role with no flotation advice just as I had been. She gave me projects to do with no instructions and she wasn’t there to answer questions.

As I sat at my desk last night, I realized I was miserable. I knew I didn’t want to stay and I definitely wanted to have another plan, which was a surprise to everyone, including myself. Ever since college, when I interned and/or went to classes during the day and worked selling merchandise at Broadway shows at nights and on weekends, in addition to volunteering to do other production related things, I looked forward to the day when I’d be able to have a “regular” 9-5 job after which I’d be able to have my life and see shows, do yoga, and whatever else I desired. 

But after the last couple of weeks, I started to kind of admit to myself that maybe that’s not what I want to do after all. Maybe, as much as it kills me to say it, a “regular” job isn’t what’s right for me. Or maybe I was just in the wrong field. But instead of trying yet another job, I decided to sign up for yoga teacher training. I input my credit card number, submitted my application, forwarded the confirmation to my yoga teacher, and left for the day after offboarding someone.

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I arrived, as previously scheduled, at my yoga studio that night for class with my teacher and when she arrived she gave me a hug and told me congratulations. Shortly after, I received a phone call from the recruiter telling me that my assignment was over because they’d hired a generalist. The universe had my back and things all synced up. I’d found a job for the interim weeks before training and now I was free from it. 

I’m really excited for the training. It’s a big step and it’s a big commitment, for sure, but it’s better than sitting around and taking another job that I might end up hating. All of the reasons that I didn’t think I should do it are still there (I don’t really want to be a yoga teacher, per se; I’m not flexible enough; I can’t even do a handstand!; It’s expensive!; My arms are short!; I’m not fit enough!) but they’re at least fading into the background now that I clicked the ‘confirm’ button.

If you’ve done 200 hour yoga teacher training before, I’d love to hear some tips and insights, if you have any. 

Stop, drop, and meditate.

I’m going to try not to be too dramatic, or make this all about me, because it’s not, but these are my feelings right now. You know those moments in movies when the a pivotal character dies or gets a life-changing phone call? I had one of those tonight. No, I didn’t die, but I got out of a great yoga class with my favorite teacher, turned my phone on and had a text from my mother saying to call her immediately so I did. She told me that my oldest best friend in the world, who was more like my older sister than anything else, was being rushed to the hospital with multiple brain tumors.

I am still absolutely shocked beyond belief. They won’t know anything else for another day or so until more tests have been run, but I never expected this in a million years. I told Justin first and then a couple of other close friends. Because I didn’t want to sit with the weight of this on my chest (I know how self-centered that sounds, believe me) and not allow myself to confide in the people I love most.

Truth be told, there’s nothing I can really do right now but wait. I’d ask you to pray, but I don’t even pray so I’m not going to ask you to do something I wouldn’t do. But I did the only thing I know how to do which was to stop, drop, and meditate. I Googled for an appropriate meditation and found one to send healing energy to loved ones. I don’t believe in gods, but I believe we’re all energy so I believe in sending healing energy. As the saying goes, where your attention goes, the energy flows

So, if you feel moved, send some energy and positive vibes my friend’s way. 

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Election Day 2016

My polling place on the upper west side was busier than it ever has been before! I went by around 8:45am and luckily, I only had to wait around 20 minutes or so, but I hear it got bad in certain parts of my ‘hood. Hopefully everyone voted!

I spent my day in meditation, then a kundalini yoga class, then I cooked lunch, followed by catching up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, and then we went to an Urban Zen yoga class. Everything was about stress reduction and it was lovely.

This election has been awful. Donald Trump is an atrocious excuse for a human being with some (emphasis on the word some) of the most awful, racist, misogynist supporters out there. But for those supporters who aren’t the bottom of the barrel, I get it. Sort of. You want lower taxes and you don’t want the country flooded with immigrants from cultures that don’t easily or at all assimilate. I don’t agree with the lower taxes for all. I believe that the super wealthy should start paying their fair share (again). But we’ve been seeing how loads of immigrants haven’t been assimilating into European countries and so it’s understandable and reasonable that some Americans don’t want that here.

That said, I’m not giving the nuclear code to a man who is so volatile that questions about his statements regarding a beauty pageant winner send him on Twitter rants at 3am. He is attention deficit disordered narcissistic misogynist fuckwit. I know people like him because he has no experience in government, but that is not a plus for me.

So, I empathize with the other side, but truly, I hope he loses. I hope we can wake up tomorrow to a world where it is no longer unimaginable for a little girl to dream to be president one day. HRC has a ton of baggage and is not perfect by any means, but she’s what we got so I hope she wins.

Now watch your alcohol intake tonight, please. 

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Game On.

Long time, no post! Apologies if you’ve noticed; I’ve been abroad. I knew that when I was in Poland for 10 days that my meditation practice would pause. It did when I went to Scandinavia last year and I made the decision to change my expectations and not to beat myself up over it. The last time I meditated was the morning was on the flight from Frankfurt to Krakow and I was OK with that. I was a little anxious that I would have trouble sleeping without meditation. But aside from that one day when I drank three cappuccinos (damn you, caffeine), I had zero trouble sleeping thanks to walking 12 hours a day (and the mulled wine, and pierogi, etc).

I started meditating again yesterday morning and it feels totally easy to slip back into my two 20 minute meditations a day. Six to seven AM are my time to meditate, check my email, and pet my cat again.

I’ll get more posts and photos up about my travels, but if you need to see photos in the meantime, you can head over to my Instagram

(Photo is of a church in Gdansk, Poland.)