I Practice Ninja Yoga Because I am Awesome Like That

I suffered from an extensive brain injury yesterday. Okay, so I am exaggerating a smidge. I had a MAJOR concussion… okay that may be a falsehood. I clunked noggans with a student during Ninja Yoga and went home because I was feeling foggy, sick and tired.

For those of you who are Doctors, you know this is a sign of a concussion. I was forced to call Healthlink Alberta and talk to a nurse. She agreed with me and told me to treat it at home. Every 30 minutes someone needed to wake me up and ask me who I was. My answer “Robyn Clooney” right? Please say I am right!!! Although if they called me a liar and said NO, you are Robyn Tatum – I’d be okay with that too.

Turns out I am fine with just a MASSIVE purple welt on my head. It has me rethinking my Ninja Yoga practices though…

What My Head Feels like

What my head really feels like.

Obviously it is hideaous! I used a Tigger Ice Pack to keep the swelling down. It is purple and red. The picture does not do it justice. Feel free to send care packages. I like Blue ones with White Bows…just saying

You all know I work with preschoolers (okay, NOW you all know I do – HEY new subscribers!! Welcome to Tourist Adventures 🙂 I plan with a Team of experts to teach these little marvels everything that will prepare them for life. Ninja Yoga is an important life skill. It is my job this week to practice it with them during transition.  Transition is the time 4 year olds get into trouble because they are UNFOCUSED or BORED. This instance is between the bathroom break and snack time.

Regular Yoga is serious yoga and is practiced during circle time. Ninja Yoga is the fun time to chill with Miss Robyn while we wait for slowpokes to finish washing their hands. Ninjas are quiet and sneaky JUST like I want my kiddos to be while we are waiting. I have a little dude with a pumpkin head who is just a tad hyper, yet Ninja Pose is his favorite – go figure… Forward Fold and Warrior Pose have been adapted to be Ninja 1 and Ninja 2 pose. I was calmly forward folding 1 when pumpkin head dude does Ninja 2. Our heads collide and I am render near unconscious while the little dude is perfectly FINE! Clearly kids are more resilient than we give them credit for.

This is how I think I look during Ninja Yoga

This is how I really look during after Ninja Yoga

I was stunned – literally. I saw stars and held onto the door frame for support. The kids achieved Ninja status for the room was silent.   Tiny tears leaked down my cheeks and I could not speak. OBVIOUSLY there was something wrong because Chatterbox got her gift for gab from SOMEONE. As the day wore on, I became increasingly nauseous and sleepy. I was pale too – another sign there is something wrong. I have a rosy complexion ALWAYS!

Will this prevent me from future Ninja Yoga sessions? NO are you kidding me? Who else will teach those kids how to stealth walk? Who would then show them how to Ninja kick and pounce? I have to keep doing it!! Think of the children!! This is just one of the services to mankind that I provide. My mission? Teaching kids survival skills one life lesson at a time.

Death by Sushi

Eye death
Eye death (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

There have been two times in my life when I welcomed death and she snubbed me.

The first time was I was in labor with my first born. I don’t recall my surroundings other than bells were going off and a ton of people suddenly appeared. I feel into my pillow and thought to myself – I’m okay with dying. Then I looked over at my husband and he was worried. Then I thought, oh hell – I can’t very well leave him alone at a time like this.

I pulled through.

The second time was yesterday. I had sushi for lunch. within 10 minutes I was sick, within two hours my joints were swollen, my breathing was comprimised and I was covered in hives. I was in so much pain I thought, I’m okay with dying.

I am no a wimp when it comes to pain and sickness. I go to work with pnemonia, I walked 7km on a broken foot, I have even had a hangnail and survived. I was totally cool with dying. This poisoning business has taken a lot out of me. I am exhausted and afraid to eat. The not eating part is good and bad. I hope to lose a gazillion pounds because of this, but I know I will never get my strength back unless I do. Fresh food has me a bit scared.

All I want is peanut butter toast. I did live on that in high school. I was a non eater in those days. Give me a snickers bar and a glass bottle of coke and I was set for days. I would pack a peanut butter sandwich and an apple. It is still one of my favorite lunches. The best part was, I didn’t starve to death. I am pretty sure I am not starving to death now. I am super dehydrated and very sleepy. I spent my day drinking water and sleeping. I watched a movie and slept some more.

What this experience has done for me was reflect on who is important to me. I contacted everyone who I thought should know. ChatterBox even came in my room to creep on me to see if I was still breathing. I had no idea. I was out. Thinking about the list of people may me think about my small circle and how important they are to me. I also realized I am not all that important in the grand scheme of things. Life will continue whether I am here or not. The thing is, I would be so ticked off if I had expired yesterday. I still have goals to meet.

I was goofing around with some cards I have and chose a single card to meditate on. I use these cards for focus during my yoga practice or quiet contemplation. Usually a card that pops up is about creativity or joy. The message is often about seeking a creative outlet for expression of self or it is telling me not to take on too much and slow down to enjoy the view. Yesterdays card was one that has never shown itself to me. The card is Victory. The message’s essence was whatever you have been working on will succeed. I was surprised to hear that message. I never thought I wouldn’t succeed. I am tenacious enough to plow through to get what I want even if I need to find it in unusual places. I seen the brass ring and my eyes don’t leave it until it is in my hand. Sure this is obsessive or overly focused, but some of the greatest success stories are not because opportunity fell into their lap. These people worked for it. I am working for it. I expect my education dream to be fulfilled in a years time. Possibly a year and a half because I need to take some time off to rejuvenate my mind and make me hungry again for learning. I am tired and resent having to write with managerial focus when the sun is shining and the farmer’s markets and parks are calling to me. I also expect to have a new career within the next two years. I hope it will be much sooner, but I am willing to wait. I am not that person who is waiting for the opportunity to fall into my lap, I am keeping a watchful eye and listen carefully to signs.

Today is a big day in my world. My ED announced her retirement and the new replacement will be introduced to the Board today. The rest of us will find out on Monday. I look at this with mix feelings. I am ready for change but hesitant to discover how the change will affect me. At any rate, I am ready. A newish friend of mine asked me yesterday what my plan was to do with my degree once the business of school and homework was done. I said I want to be Emperor of the World complete with cape, awesome silver boots and minions. If that fails, I want to be an integral part of a non-profit agency. Not front line but management. Eventually I want to run the agency. Not necessarily the one I am in, but AN agency. I figure it is a great shield to the world being an ED for non-profit when I am trying to rule the world. It is a perfect plan and no one will suspect it. I will gain the trust of loyal minions and have access to an office secret lair. My son is savvy enough to build me all the technical gadgets I would need, like sharks with lasers on their heads or a volcano that erupts with a push of a button.

So either my near death experience has made me delusional or very self-aware. Either way, I’m glad I didn’t die by sushi – it is a pitiful way for the emperor of the world to die. I’m think more along the lines of death by a Q gadget or squeezed to death by Doc Oct. Either way, I will make a splash because I am reaching for the brass ring.

I am a cry baby

cry IMG_9246
OMG I love him…I don’t know him but just look at him!!!Photo credit: migasun)

I was out visiting last night and consumed 3 shots of espresso. Probably not the smartest thing I have ever done. I was wide awake until close to two. Up again at six thirty. Am I tired? YOU BETCHA! Am I emotional? I cried openly in class today…you tell me.

Caffeine gives me energy – false energy – but I feel pumped none the less. I washed floors, I got things in order for a trip I’m taking and I checked my class assignments. My head blew off. I did very well and suddenly felt like my impending holiday would be super relaxing and fun….then I couldn’t sleep and my act fell apart. I no longer felt in control of my situation…that sucks.

The nice thing about being awake all night is I could email with my friend Bokkie in South Africa. She is taking Early Childhood Courses and that is my field so I helped out a bit. I laid in the dark letting my mind go places it shouldn’t. I was doing so great with the emotional thing…this was just a bump in the road. I needed to let it wash over me.

In the morning I needed coffee like you wouldn’t believe…yes the irony was not lost on me. My niece and favorite barista was on duty this morning and she makes a damn fine latte. It helped tremendously. I did crave chocolate all day – but resisted. I am in control except for the crying part….

I need to clarify one thing. The group of students I have this year is likely the best group I have ever had. I mean EVER! I have been doing this since 1988. 24 years of this kookiness and THIS IS THE BEST CLASS EVER! I heart them! They are 4 and 5 and will be fantastic humans. Of course they are a work in progress and are not perfect. For example, the gal I consider to be the kindest with the most potential turns out to be a playdough hoarder with a mean streak. It wasn’t pretty. I caught her at it and declared my disappointment. To her credit she felt remorse – not a usual response from 4 and 5 year olds. Then….the sobs started. She cried like I ripped her heart out of her chest with my bare hands. I am a softy when it comes to broken hearts, so I wrapped my arms around her and let her cry it out. Wr eventually moved to the couch because she was so distraught. 45 minutes later, we were finally able to reach a point where we could calmly discuss the situation, make up and be friends. Her biggest worry was she let me down. I know that feeling. Disappointing my dad was the worst! It stuck with me forever, I can still see the look in his eyes…ug… Yes I cried a bit when she told me that. Only because I was sleep deprived…I am not a baby – you are. No, YOU ARE.

Anyways…

The afternoon brought another heart braking incident. I am getting too old for this.

The final event shattered me. My favorite – yes I have a favorite. All teachers do, they just won’t admit it. Fairness above all else. Anyway, we were doing pet shop yoga poses and my favorite was touching the girl’s hair who was next to him. He doesn’t speak – ever. He has a couple of words he can use when it’s require, but he can communicate with gestures, kindness and expression. Did I mention he was my favorite? He has a HUGE crush on this little girl. She is kind and sweet and always has a smile for him. It was her turn to pick a partner, he held up his hand and she walked right by him and picked a girl. I watched his heart break right before my eyes. I think I could hear it too. The deadness in his eyes was obvious. I cried and covered my face to shield me from the naked pain on his little face. I wanted to run up to him and say, “It’s okay – I love you!!!!” Of course I know from experience that when the one you love doesn’t love you back, there is nothing more painful in the whole world. You want to die right then and there. You can actually feel your heart ripping from the inside of your chest and feel it scrape around your chest cavity and end up in your digestive track where the bile eats away at it until you bleed internally and die. Then all that is left is a soulless life form wandering around until that magical day when all is better once again. Of course you think it will never happen and you beg and plead with the love of your life to take you back in that pathetic embarrassing way that makes you cringe every time you look back on it.

I could see it all in his face. He stood in line, tried not to cry and became emotionless. Four years old and suffered his first major heart break. His soulless life form drifted to the snack table where he could not eat. Food tasted like sawdust in his mouth. The agony of the situation was SHE sat at his snack table. She was across from his little body, not talking because she too is unable to speak much – only she speaks another language – English is not easy yet for her. She communicates by smiling and lighting up the world – but HE couldn’t look at her, the pain was too raw. I didn’t blame him. I understood. The best thing I could do for him was take him away to a place he had never played before. He was able to move on and smile once again.

Obviously this was a sad and painful day. I look forward to next year with the hope that this is my last year in the classroom. I love my kids but chances are I will never have a year like this one again. With my luck it will be like last years group and that is enough for me to work at Tim Horton’s and serve donuts. Clearly the caffeine has done damage to my heart and soul. I need a proper sleep and become cold hearted again and resist the sweetness that can envelop me.

It’s days like this one when I wonder how am I going to make it? The pain is too deep to let it go. I think of that little face with the broken heart visible in his eyes and I hurt like it just happened to me. Oh to be 3 again and be self centered an unaware of others. being 4 is too complicated. Being 44 isn’t much better.

Bring on the happy place, a full nights sleep and a dole whip…and maybe Tarzan walking around in his loin cloth…its all good.

Resolutions

Today’s post is from some new friends (Alanna and Jana – it’s great when new friends rhyme!) I met at the WordPress Conference this year. They speak my language of yoga and Chocolate, so naturally we hit it off immediately! I invite you to take a stroll over to their page Rejuvenate your Prana and tell them I say hi!

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RESOLUTIONS

Could it almost be the start of another New Year? Along with the excitement of a fresh start and new possibilities comes the dreaded New Year’s Resolution! I, like many others, have fallen prey to this tradition. I have made myself a lofty goal or two that usually goes something like; This year I will lose 10 pounds or This year I will stop drinking coffee or This year I will not buy so many clothes! I would immediately start working on my goal by setting a date on which to start it – say sometime mid-February perhaps (I would need some time to prepare myself to start this plan)! Actually, it would give me just enough time to forget I ever made that goal and to go on my merry way right into the next year at which time I could start all over again!

So, why do we do this to ourselves? I like to believe that those of us who create resolutions are doing so because we are ‘resolving’ to be a better version of ourselves in the coming year. We would like to see ourselves grow, change and evolve as the years go by. There’s nothing wrong with that right? Maybe not – but perhaps there is a different way to approach the process; a kinder, gentler and more rewarding way.

We all have what we call “guilty pleasures”, things that we love but that we believe are in some way ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. Maybe it’s chocolate or coffee or shoe shopping. When we deprive ourselves of these things by taking them away, we usually end up rebounding and eating more chocolate than ever or having two lattes a day instead of just one! Well, what if we were to take the guilt away leaving only the pleasure? Perhaps we could do the things that we would most deeply desire for ourselves, not what we think we should do or need to do!

So how do we do this? Well, I believe the key lies in creating balance and using our focus to our benefit. In yoga, when we bring our bodies into a balancing posture like “Tree Pose”, we first find our center (putting our weight onto one leg), bring our gaze to a focal point in front of us (allowing us to stay steady) and then start coming into the pose and finding our balance. This isn’t the end of the process though. To find our balance in the pose, we may find ourselves losing our balance, swaying to the right or left or needing to put our foot back down on the ground. So, we allow ourselves to rock back and forth, to sway, to lose our balance and then we just come back into the pose again, the same way we did the first time.

I believe that setting resolutions or goals for ourselves can look the same as practicing Tree Pose. First, we find our center; that is, we discover what it is we truly want for ourselves. Maybe this is more vibrant health or a more satisfying diet or to feel better in our bodies. Then we bring our focus to that goal by seeing what it is that that we can do to achieve this for ourselves. Perhaps it is by adding new foods to our diet that make us feel healthy and vibrant instead of focusing on taking other foods away. Doing this allows us to place our focus on what we want in our lives, not what we feel we must not have. Then we start to find our balance within this new way of living. We notice when the balance feels right and if it doesn’t or we lose our balance, we come back to the process by re-adjusting our focus. We may start to notice that the foods or other things that don’t fit with our true intention for ourselves start to fall away or are replaced by things that make us feel differently.

So, what do you desire for yourself in the coming year? How will you approach this intention in a way that leaves you feeling pleasure minus the guilt? We’d love to know!

Speaking of guilt-free pleasures, Jana has been whisk-deep in culinary experimentation as usual. Her obsession lately has been to create “clean” eating chocolate treats. So here is a recipe that comes directly to you from the Rejuvenate Your Prana Kitchen. We call it “Passion Pot de Creme” (a no bake version with layers of orange-mint chocolate and raw cashew cream). Sometimes life doesn’t always deliver, but this desert sure will!

Recipe:

For the chocolate pot de crème:

8 oz. of good quality semi-sweet chocolate (I used Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate chips – use your favorite kind)

2 tsp of orange zest (other options: ground coffee, cinnamon, etc.)

1 C of plain almond milk

½ C finely ground almond

1 tsp of vanilla extract

For the cashew cream:

1 C raw cashews (soaked in water for 30 minutes)

3 oz dates (soaked in water for 30 minutes)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Water as needed (use soaking water from the dates)

Directions:

  1. For the pot de crème: melt chocolate in heat proof bowl (e.g. I placed the bowl in a shallow pan filled with water to create a double boiler)
  2. Mix orange zest in melted chocolate. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the almond milk, vanilla and ground almonds. Pour mixture into melted chocolate and whisk until evenly blended.
  4. Pour into 4 small ramekins. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The pot de crème should be thick and rich like pudding after refrigeration.
  5. Make the cashew cream: Drain water from cashews and place in a blender, add with dates and the soaking water and the vanilla (the amount of water added should be just enough to cover the solids). Taste and add more sweetener if desired (remember that the chocolate will be quite sweet so the cashew cream should have a milder taste).
  6. To assemble: Dollop cashew cream on top of chilled chocolate.
  7. Garnish with berries or chocolate shavings and serve chilled.
  8. Enjoy!

Happy New Year from Rejuvenate Your Prana!

Shameful? Yes…So fix it!

Shame :

noun

1. 

the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.
I have felt this emotion a few times in my life. Who hasn’t? Often one just wants to sweep it under the carpet or hide from it. I know I usually do.
I had a ton of time on my hands this week because it was Spring Break. For a change of pace I did not travel anywhere, not that I didn’t want too…but I am spending a lot of money lately trying to finish my degree. So, travel is just not in the cards for me…Yet, I wrote two term papers, went shopping, swam everyday and yogafide my body. It was the most relaxing week I had in a very long time.
Swim time for me is usually after work, this is peak time at the pool. Filled with swimming kids for lessons. As you can imagine it is loud, filled with kids laughing and screaming. It is hard for me to tune out all the noise, but somehow I manage. Thursday is Yoga day. I practice Yoga every morning, but my class is Thursday and I love the relaxing feeling I get from the silencing of the mind. I often can meditate on a question I have and find the answer. Yoga = Peace for me. Friday back at the pool, lessons are done so it is also quiet. It is a wonderful way to end my week.
Spring Break found me at the pool every morning. Often I was the ONLY person in my lane. Sweet, glorious heaven! I had time to reflect and ponder the jumble of junk that lives in my mind. I have been thinking a lot lately on shameful things I have done. I made the decision to no longer run and hide from them, but face up to them. Confront them head on in the best possible way that I am capable of.
So I did just that.
Do I feel better? Kinda…It is nice to have it out in the open. But it’s that kind of thing you want to squint your eyes at and deny. Dealing with the pain is just part of my Edmonton Tourist Journey.
When I started this journey on my birthday in August, I really never thought it might be painful. I was expecting excitement , joy and happiness. I found some of that, but I also found sorrow, regret, and shame. Facing it, owning it, admitting to it makes me accountable. It is helping me evolve.  I am determined to start living  my life here on earth with purposeful intention. Being present for my life.
Being present for my life
It is easy getting caught up in the fantasy that plays in your head, or the pretend game you can play. In my class today we talked about goal setting. Purposeful, intentional, achievable goals. I will stop running and hiding. I will face my demons. I will be present for my life.
Now I need to make it into a “Smart Goal”  Here it is:  I will reflect on my actions everyday, take the necessary action to love self and others.
Specific? Yes
My Goal? Yes
Acheiveable? Yes
Realistic? Yes
Time Frame? Yes
I will be present for my life…doable