Tonight’s hot yoga, and my dream of the buhddist temple.

Hi Bloggers,

Tonight I got down to the yoga studio for some hot power flow. Man, was it hot in there. The class was packed. It was one of those sessions where I sweated so much, and it was so hot, there were moments when I thought I would pass out rising to mountain pose after a flow or a fold.

I drank plenty. I remembered the conversation I had with a lady out front before class, just breath, lower your heart rate, and you won’t sweat so much. I’ve never heard such bullshit, but it kept me going.

When I was totally overheated. When I was sweating like a stuck pig. When I was wavering, I gave in to the yoga. Cause that’s what you gotta do.

And when you give in to the yoga, you let all your shit go. With the purge of sweat, there is a release of all the negative bullshit that you’ve been hanging on to for days, or weeks, or years.

And so, to my dream. I’ll keep it short… anyway, in a scene, I was holding, hugging my daughter. She was younger, maybe 4 years old. I was hugging her and holding her and there were other people there – like family friends. They saw me as a single dad, and I got the feeling they felt that I was ‘doing the best I could do’. It was beautiful, tangible. I could feel my daughters hug. In real life she lives about 12,000 miles away. 

In another scene I was inside a Buddhist temple. There were these pipes of metal but like brass up on the walls. There was something causing a vibration from a distance, and these pipes made a sound, almost like a chant from a monk. Then I was seated. I could see someone blew smoke rings. I sat and the smoke rings went over my face. I was left with the most surreal relaxed and content feeling I could imagine. I woke up feeling so calm, so at ease.

After I woke, I called my daughter and told her about my dream. It was really nice!

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Yoga, sunshine, freezing weather, and the most important words an absent father can hear from his daughter…

Hi Bloggers, I’m writing this from a kind of make shift desk in my bedroom in my apartment. It’s an old building. There is a lot of stained wood – all the trimmings, a fireplace with mantel (the fire place is not functional), and wooden floorboards. I don’t know the age of the building, but I’m guessing it’s 100+ years old easy.

I sometimes think about the scenes that might have played out here. I’m told it was a doctors or lawyers office and more recently a quilt shop. Way back before any of that, it was a house occupied by some Loyalists (those who sided with the Brits) during the English/French territorial dispute in Eastern Canada.

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It’s been cold this weekend, like around -17C, with a wind that provides for a nasty wind chill. Walking around the city streets is frosty. I’ve lived in a lot colder, in Western Canada, but heck, -17C with a wind is fekin cold enough. The days are short. The nights are long and cold, and driving to work in the dark, feels like a grind.

So, along with the usual stuff that a guy going through a divorce deals with (money, lawyers, bills, etc), there’s been the usual life challenges. Not really important, other than to say sometimes its hard to see the bright side.

So I did my yoga on Saturday. I made it down for the 9am power flow class. It was good. I did not get really spiritual. I sweated a bunch, as usual. I’m nursing a shoulder pain so I was really testing the waters to see if it had settled down any. After class I showered and toweled off and got on with my day, which was just, hmph. I did get a swim in which was pretty decent.

So I was in bed early this morning, and I felt pretty terrible. Headache, a little nauseous. I had some tums to settle things down. I was not in a great place. Then the phone rang…

It was my ex. She said my daughter wanted to say something to me.

At this point, I felt pretty crap. I was expecting a spray, a bunch of blame, and other stuff like that, because it has been sort of normal. I have tried talking with my kids every week or so, and it has been exhausting, because often they don’t want to talk to me. That’s difficult because they live almost exactly on the other side of the planet. I don’t get to see them. Ever.

But then, as I listened, and she was upset, she said something I didn’t expect. She said “Daddy, I love you, and I miss your hugs”.

I – went – to – pieces. I sobbed. Like in the way that an almost 44 year old man who hears these words for the first time in at least two years, can sob.

I told her that I loved her too, and I want to move forward and develop the relationship. I told her that I have been heartbroken because my children have rejected me. They have their reasons, I cannot argue any different. But none the less, I see dads taking kids to the movies, or at the mall, and I would love to have that opportunity again.

So its a new day, and the pain and anguish has been released just a bit from my battered heart. I’m ready to move forward. It’s always going to be challenging. My daughter gave me a gift. When I felt like giving up, when I felt that I am working as a zombie, with no purpose, she helped me remember what’s important. She allowed herself the opportunity for some forgiveness, and I hope that she is old enough to appreciate how special that is.

Namaste. Peace and love to all of my readers.

A good afternoon for a walk around the lake….

Hey Bloggers,

This afternoon I had a lovely walk around a medium sized lake on the north side of Fredericton. Conditions were almost perfect. No, actually, it was perfect. The afternoon sun filtered through the trees, a fresh snow fall had fallen on the lake, and there was practically no wind.

It was warm enough such that some of the snow and ice was melting. People were out with their kids, and their dogs, and snow shoeing and cross country skiing. Afternoons dont come much nicer that this!

Meanwhile, I changed my computer default language to french, so when I try to make a question mark, I get a É so, um, ok. That will explain some of the punctuation missing from this piece.

Tonight, Im cooking for friends. I have an Mexican couple who are sharing with me. I was thinking today how nice it is to be surrounded by people of the world. Here I am, an Australian, living in eastern Canada, speaking french (at least part of the time), and living with spanish speaking mexicans.

Seriously, based on this pair, and some of the other Mexicans that Ive met, Im thinking theres no need for a wall!

Ok no more politics!

 

Il fait neige. J’aime l’hiver – parfois ;)

Bonjour tout le monde. Ca va bien? Je suis content. Hier après midi, j’ai fait le raquettes de neige dans le parc près chez moi. C’était bien. Très calme.
Je suis marche sur le sentier. Avant moi, quelqu’un faire du raquettes de neige, je sais, passe que son pistes dans le neige sont apparent.
Il fait beau. Il n’y pas un vent, et c’était pas froid aussi. Après quelque minutes j’ai montée le cote, et j’ai eu besoin enlevé mon manteau. J’ai eu chaud.
Ce matin, je réveille, et il fait beau encore. Partout sur les arbres, il y a givre. C’est très joli. J’ai oublie a pris une photo. Désole.

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C’est pas mon photo, mais il regard meme chose.

Après j’ai part la maison, j’ai faire des exercice. J’ai pris une class de spin sur les bicyclettes, et j’ai fais mon natation, trente tours de la piscine. C’était beau!

Maintenant, je assied a la table, avec mon l’ordinateur. Je réfléchir une peu, mais pas trop. Je me écrite cet blogue dans français. C’est une nouvelle bon chose a faire pour moi!

Cette après midi, je pense je vais faire des patin sur la glace a centre ville. Il y a patinoire pour tout les gens. Parfois je voir les familles, et la jeunesse patiner.

C’est une bonne idée pour un dimanche après-midi!

A la prochaine!

Hot Yoga Conventional Wisdom

Hi Bloggers, I have a mild shoulder injury from some other sport that I was playing recently, so I’ve made an effort not to work out to hard. Its a minor irritation but I am concerned about it becoming a major issue so I have to stop myself from pushing to hard with the weights etc.

I got down to hot yoga yesterday. There is a session that is a lighter type of work out. The room is hot, like 40 C. There are a lot of stretches, a few flows, some balance poses, and some meditation/breathing exercises as well.

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I wore my grey powermesh hot shorts over my man thong. Totally comfortable in the hot conditions. I got myself a new cork lined yoga mat too. I have an issue with slippery surfaces. I can’t get the traction with my feet or hands. I can’t say that cork is a way better option. Once I get a bit of sweat up I have to use a towel for the traction.

I find static poses can be quite challenging. The effort required to hold a pose when your muscles are tiring can be as challenging as any big weights work out. I give kudos to a lot of the people who do yoga because its tough to hold some positions. But I also know that you get used to it and that strength improves with yoga conditioning.

Well into the session, the sweat is running from my body. I see myself in the mirror. Tattooed. Muscled. Sweaty. My tree pose is a bit wobbly. I can’t get the arms to interlink in eagle pose. I need to let my arms down after an extended warrior sequence.

At the end of the session, I am feeling hot and sweaty, yet energised. I complete the final Savasana, and as others ready to clear away their mats, I stay. After some time I find myself kneeling, legs folded down on my ankles. I take my hands to heart centre. I say a prayer. It’s more of a reflection/thank you statement than a prayer.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own ‘shit’. I find its a constant state of internal tug of war over what we think we are deserving of, what we should expect of or accept from others. I’d like to think that I have a truly balanced view in which I was not affected by my own thoughts, opinions and expectations, but that’s just total bullshit. The reality is that we should be saying where we are dissatisfied or uncomfortable, and we should also be ready to listen to others for what they have to say too. 

I am grateful for those who have helped me, grateful for my health and wellness, grateful to be alive. Mostly, just thankful. Very thankful.

Finding yourself, then losing yourself, then not really being sure….

Hi Bloggers, yah, as the title goes, this is probably going to be part coaching, part reflection and a healthy dose of bullshit. So here we go…

This year, as I mentioned earlier, has been a turn around year for me. It started very tentatively with a lot on the line and some major changes. I have made it successful so far, and will continue to do so. It’s all about attitude.Image result for finding yourself

One of the most liberating parts of my journey is that I have met and found people that have been very gracious, very kind, very understanding and empathetic. If the environment that I came from was one of judgement and criticism, it was enormously refreshing to discover that that is not the currency everywhere. I have been humbled by the way I have been treated when I set foot into the world.

So in my journey, I found a place in the world. I met new people. I was taken in, physically, spiritually, emotionally. I have been sheltered and nurtured. I have been listened to and heard. I have been given the opportunity to rebuild and heal. What a wonderful gift. I will always be grateful for this.

At a point, however, you ask yourself what your really important life values are. Are those in your world on the same page? Do they need to be? How much can you accept about the differences with others? Do you compromise your feelings to maintain harmony, or are you setting yourself up for a long term disappointment?

These are the thoughts that keep the hamster on the wheel in my mind lately. I recently heard from a friend, who referred me to the concept ‘if it’s not fuck yes, then it’s no’. Great concept I think. You could really whittle down the things in your life that are not ‘fuck yes’ and live in a very lean way. But for me, I think its a dangerous proposition, because, well, what if I’m not ‘fuck yes’ about something that is still very dear to me? Even in the ‘fuck yes’ philosophy it allows you time to gauge the situation, to adapt, to adjust, and to accept and decide.

If I said no to everything that wasn’t ‘fuck yes’, then I’d be really just limiting myself to um, I dunno, gym and yoga. Everything else is ‘ok yeah sort of fuck yes sometimes.’ But that’s life, right? It can’t be just a series of awesome experiences, like the bullshit some people post on fb.

I read somewhere else – something that probably popped up on insta or fb, it said something like ‘just let life happen,’ or words to that effect. I think that that is a good strategy, for now at least.

Having said that, here’s my outlook:

  • I’m saying no to negativity. If you want to be miserable, ok, that’s your prerogative. I will support where I can, but not at the expense of my health.
  • I am letting go of people who do not hold me dear. Unfortunately, this includes some of my flesh and blood. I will be here if and when they need me.
  • I will put myself first. I won’t do this at the expense of others, but where I have an option, I will consider myself first, and be affirmative in my choices.
  • I will continue to have an open heart and an open mind, because these are truly beautiful things.
  • I will be available to those who want my support, and value my input. I will share what I can with those who need my help.

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Hot Yoga, and other Manic Thoughts From the Yoga Mat

Hi Bloggers,

Been a while, eh?

Guess what? I’m not fucking dead yet! Whooo. Ok what a year. It has been a total turn around for me. 12 months ago, things were looking bleak, tentative, I was just holding on. My ex wife and kids moved back to Australia and I was embarking on a new life. Well, here I am, I am doing it, and generally speaking I pretty pretty darn good!

It’s had its challenges, no doubt about that. New job, new living situation, new friendships, its all part of the big experience. Life.

Ok, so today, I got myself down to the yoga studio for some –hot yoga– oh yeah! If you have read any of my blogs, you will know that I love hot yoga. It feeds the soul, quietens the mind, and works the body. It is spiritual. For me, it is about giving in to the pose, the position, the situation, the heat. Omg. The heat….

It wraps you like a warm blanket. It puts you in your place. It tells you to shut the fuck up, because for the next hour and ten, I own your arse. I sweat a lot. I drink a lot of water. If I haven’t been yoga-ing too much lately, I can’t hold the positions the way I want because my arms get sore, etc. I know things improve with conditioning, because that strength and conditioning returns. I do a lot of weights and swimming, but those are different uses of the muscles.

Ok, it wouldn’t be a blog from me if there wasn’t just a bit of um, ‘me’ in it. I did my hot yoga some time about 2 weeks ago, and I wore some heather grey cotton lycra bike shorts. Very comfortable, not for the shy, but gladly, that’s not me! Today, I wore some grey powermesh hot shorts, and a man thong under. They are mesh so they are a bit see through (ohhhhhhh), just a bit. That was awesome fun. Guess what? No one cares!

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Disclaimer – this is NOT me (I am way more built and handsome), but it could have been me in one of my many yoga pretzel poses. Oh, and my shorts are smaller and tighter, and grey and just a little opaque 😉

Yesterday I was working out in the gym, and a guy asked me where I got my black lycra hot shorts. He wanted to get some for himself! Right on. Wow. First time for everything, eh?

I just gotta be me.

So I’ve discovered something along the way. I talk to a lot of people. I talk to people everywhere. I’ve noticed that I find it easier to talk with men. Although at times I have thought that there can be a tension – a kind of macho chest thumping thing between guys, there is also a surprising amount of acceptance.

This has surprised me somewhat, because the reality is that I think I have spent too much time in the past not talking to men, because of my perception that they are potentially threatening, or unfriendly, or something else. What I have found is that most times, when you take the time to say hi to a stranger, they are willing to be friendly and chat. Very rewarding in itself.

I have lots more to discuss, but I don’t want to spoil you all by spilling my guts here at the moment.

Be kind, share the love. Happy holiday season.

Namaste.

Ma nouvelle Vielle bicyclette

Bonjour toute le monde, it’s been a long time since I blogged here… desole (sorry).

I’ve been really busy with work and life, and I have restored a lovely old bike. It’s a early 70’s CCM, 3 speed. They were made in Canada.

I got her from a guy who just trades old bikes and parts. I thought I was going to have to go single speed hub until he bailed me out with a brand new – unused 1974 Sturmey Archer hub from 1974 (what the ??? that’s just incredible!).

Ok, I hope you enjoy the photos, you might see me out and about on my old bike!

A plus tard!

Elles appelle ‘Vielle ecole’. Calins, toute le monde.

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Avant – before the rebuild…
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Pendant – during the restoration process.

 

 

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Pendant encore – coming together.
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Je pense elle est tres joli. D’accord, oui? J’aime elle.
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Regardez-vous. Viola!

Grand Sault, New Brunswick, a Photo Essay

Hi Bloggers, on Oh-Canada day, I was in Grand Sault (Grand Falls in English – Grand Sault is the French name). It’s quite the sight. I was up there in the spring and the falls were really flowing very heavily. Now that the spring melt off has subsided, there is a very modest amount of water over the falls. I hope you enjoy my photos.

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