Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm not simple, my life is...

I just ordered a book from Amazon called an Idiot's Guide to Simple Living. I was reading this article this couple who got tired of always being crazy busy so they bought this ridiculously cheap property out in the middle of nowhere and then built a house and farm using stuff people didn't want and began living a sustainable life with out any techie stuff except a telephone line. They read this book so I figured I'd give it a read over too. Now I know all you anti-hippies have your alarms going off and I can understand the distaste. I see that there are two sides to this idea.
The people who are against it will say we can't all just move out to the woods and live off the land. And it's true that if everyone did that it might cause a bit of chaos.
But it's hard for me not to love the idea. I understand a lot of the points they make. The people for Simple living point out that all our possessions cause us more stress and unhappiness where as having a few good things that you truly need allow you to be happy naturally.
I guess there's really two movements going on at once here. There's the people who want to be happy instantly (I think of them as the Techie movement). They want all the fastest, bestest stuff and when they get it they'll be happy. And they are, but eventually the bestest, fastest stuff gets outdated and broken and then you have to cough up more money for newer better stuff. Thus explaining why we're so greatly in debt these days.
The Simple life on the other hand is not for people that have trouble amusing themselves or aren't willing to learn self-suficiency. There's a lot of responsibility in the Simple life, you have to be willing to take care of yourself sometimes and not look to the world around you to make you happy.
But for all the work it requires the Simple life can come with bonuses. The greatest one boasted is the extra time you. I think this is the main idea that attracts me. Would I really have more time? I'm quizzical. I mean I'd still have to work right? But maybe not as hard because I'd have less "stuff" to buy. Then there's the greater community connection. Which would probably only work if you find people who want the Simple life too. Techie people aren't going to have the time or patient to help the simple people. The other thing is the idea that it's easier to be happy. That falls in line with the whole yoga idea that underneath all the clutter of our minds we are happy. So maybe under all the clutter of our "stuff" we're happy too.
I really do like the idea of living simply. I don't know how well it would work in my condo but I'll at least give the book a read over.
My only issue with things like that is that people who write these books or promote this lifestyle often make they're money off promoting their lifestyle. It's like I know a lot of yoga teachers who say they used to work high tech jobs and be miserable and now they're all Yoga teachers and they're happy. Well duh you're happy! How many angery phone calls do you get now? But we can't all be yoga teachers. Can someone be a prison guard (a stressful job) and still live the Simple life? Can they be a waiter and still find happiness? Can we live in cities and be simply living?
All worthwhile questions to consider.
I'll let you know what I learn.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Reach For It Yoga

So big news first. Having finally settled into my new job and gotten used to my new position (that is any position they decide to place me in for the day) at my old job I think I'm ready to throw myself head first into the Yoga Teaching! I've been doing lessons here and there, but it's time to put more effort into finding students. So I'm putting up posters to advertise and I finished my website which I have linked onto here... And I'm also hoping to get something arranged along the lines of teaching Seniors, which was my original plan but I just haven't had time to look into it until now. So I was thinking I might volunteer a free class at the Senoir's Centre down the road just to get started. The hard part is creating a Yoga session that's easy enough but challenging enough. But it's good to be working on new Yoga challenges.

I find myself stuck on the whole Tapas thing, the practice of Burning Enthusiasm. I brought this Niyama up a while ago but with this new job sweeping me up in it's momentum I didn't have much time for doing anything other than trying to keep up with all the new responsibilities I had to perform. The first time we went through the Niyamas in Teacher Training I was surprised at how easy I found it. At the time I was working at my desk job for the CCAC and before learning about Tapas I was having trouble convincing myself to do anything because it was just so friggin' boring. I kept thinking I need a new job, I need a new job but was having trouble finding something more interesting. One of my teachers pointed out that we always tell ourselves we'll be happy when we gain this or achieve that but unless we are happy in this moment our happiness in any other moment will be fleeting. I realized that was what I was doing in my job, waiting to be happy, but realistic I can't always choose my situation only how I respond to the situation I'm in. Once I started practicing Tapas towards my job it became easier and I moved through my work so much quicker.
Now I have a new job and I'm beginning to realize that while I can practice Tapas all the time there are always going to be situations where Tapas falters. I think that sometimes there are certain jobs that some people can't do with a sense of enthusiasm (like a vegetarian working at a butcher shop). With my new work, believe it or not, I don't mind helping patients take showers, sure you usually get sprayed fifty times and it's always a bit of a struggle getting all their 2000 body parts clean but it kind of reminds me of playing with the sprinklers as a kid and the patient always feels so much better after it's done. Then I look at handing out pills. I hate handing out pills. I hate that half the patient have 20 different pills to take and that I spend my whole day trying to make sure I give them at the right time or that I'm fighting with pharmacy to send up missing ones or I'm fighting with patients to take them all. I don't enjoy it in principle or practice.
But I've been trying to practice Tapas with my pill giving for the past month. What I've discovered in the end is that while not all activities of the day can be super fun and sometimes you have to rework your thinking to find the fun in them, but sometimes it's better to listen to your inner voice and find an alternative path that suits you better. Thus explaining why I'm putting myself more thoroughly into my Yoga teaching.
I hope you get a chance to check out my website. Reviews and opinions are always appreciated.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Natural Connection

So my computer is sitting forlorn and dusty, but I don't really feel bad for it. It's nice to be out and interacting with people. I feel like I've been hiding behind a phone or computer for the past year.
Sometimes if you've gone a long time with out talking to people you're not familiar with face to face you can get a little shy. I think everyone is shy about who there are on some level. Otherwise why would computers and cell phones be so popular.
My new job is forcing me out to do more face to face conversing. There are some days where I don't really want to go into my patients' rooms and do the face to face thing. You never know what'll happen in there and it's so easy to just hide outside. The interesting part is that the more you get talking to real people the easier it becomes. It's like when you go away for a long vacation and your first day back is sooo hard but after a few days the anxiety lifts and you forget you were even stressed about returning.
My Shaman told me last week I have to practice appreciating the connections that come naturally in my life instead of reaching out for connections that aren't there.
If you take the time to sit still and listen it's easier to see how some connections flow and some you have to force through like the lid of a jar put on too tight.
The funny thing is it's hard not to want to make those difficult connections work. I mean they're a challenge and we're programmed to think if it's challenging they must be worth having. Half the time though the reason it's challenging is because the other person just isn't that into you or because their thought patterns and your thought patterns don't really click and you end up trying to change yourself to make that not true. With all this chasing you're doing you're losing the time you could be spending with people you already connect with. Eventually if neglected long enough you lose that connection too.
So take a minute to love what you've got and maybe if you're out of friends right now don't take that as a sign you don't deserve friends but as a sign you're not giving a chance to the connections that are waiting to be made. Or maybe you need to connect with yourself first...