Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Almost a new year...

"Sit, be still and listen, because you're drunk and we're at the edge of the roof." ~Rumi

Today is the last day of 2013 and I couldn't let it go without returning here. I have sat down to write many times over the last two weeks but could not quite figure out what I wanted to say. Those posts will have to be written in the new year - reflections of past moments. Today I reflect on this year and years that have gone before. I am quietly contemplative; I suspect that all of us feel this way to some extent. 

This has been a year of change. As I look back, I can somewhat neatly block it off into thirds. During the first three months my mom was on a decline - my time was split between taking care of her and work and life as it is. I think we all knew that it would be her time soon and then she passed away on April 3rd. I blogged every day of that month and I feel that it helped clear my mind and ease my heart. At the end of April I had my 30th birthday. This is still a wonder to me... how have I gotten to be 30 years old? Where has the time gone? 

The second third of the year (May - August) was a time of processing. Raw feelings and figuring out the pieces of my life. At the beginning of August I made a decision - perhaps it was a decision that should have been made many months or years ago but everything has its time and I'm glad that the time came for it. The last third of the year was spent putting plans into motion and setting off on adventures. I quit my job, went travelling with the cute guy and got certified as a Nosara Yoga teacher. 

This last month has been a time of contemplation, questioning, inquiry. Where do I want to go? What do I want to do? Who am I? The cute guy and I are making business plans - I wonder how these would affect our current relationship. For the first time in... ever, I have been thinking about long term career/business goals. I'm planning and thinking that a new moon at the beginning of a New Year is an awesome thing. 

We're coming down to the last half hour of 2013 (here in Trinidad and Tobago). I'm off to meditate... There's been a lot of me-time this year and it's something that I hope to carry into the new year.

Some links that I've loved lately:
And this, because I find it appropriate: 

Wishing you all that you dream of and more...

peace,
Ren

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I like going to different places.

"Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart, and I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again." ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Today I saw an article on CNN.com: 11 places to go in 2014. Number 7 on that list is Costa Rica; specifically Playas de Nosara on the Nicoya Peninsula because of the area's 'officially approved beaches'. I just got back home from there and can tell you that yes, the area is beautiful - just be sure to carry your bug repellent (and umbrella if you're visiting during the rainy season). 

I love travelling whether it is going to new places or revisiting places I've been. I love city spaces and country spaces. I love beaches and mountains (though am afraid of heights... but they're so pretty). I love travelling. Finding myself in a new space and becoming acquainted with the pulse of it; the people and their movements. 

I spent two weeks in Florida with the cute guy. It was a bit of an adventure. I'd never travelled with anyone other than family before and am really happy that we got along so well. I guess it helps that we like each other? Mark Twain once said, 'I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them'. Perhaps the stress of travelling brings out stuff in people? We had fun. He's been to Florida before and so was showing me around. For me it was a  complete tourist experience because... I like being a tourist. Went to Epcot for their Food and Wine Festival - Epcot is amazing. Went to Magic Kingdom - we both love Disney. We stayed by some of his friends and went to Butterfly World and shopping malls. We had fun the entire time... right up until the end, the almost last day, when I got annoyed with him while shopping - but then, I don't think men and women are really made to shop together. 

After the two weeks in Florida he left to come home and I went on to Costa Rica for my Yoga Teacher Training at Nosara Yoga Institute. Have I mentioned that I love travelling? Costa Rica is beautiful. It felt very similar to home yet completely different. There was jungle and beaches and lots of biting insects. There was a lot of rain as it was almost-but-not-quite the end of the rainy season. I didn't do that much adventuring... mostly stayed in the area as I wanted to focus on the YTT and my reasons for being there. Perhaps I will go back sometime to explore the different areas. Perhaps I shall take the cute guy with me. Perhaps I will never go back but will always carry with me memories of rain in the jungle, sunsets on the beach, the sound of howler monkeys and the feel of dusty roadways. Perhaps I will just have a sense of community - one cannot share a space with a group of people for a month without having some shared sense of belonging. 

I have many memories to treasure. I have many photos to sort through.This is what I gather when travelling. What do you gather? Where do you want to go? Travelling need not be very far but can be as close as adventuring in your own neighbourhood or as far as the other side of... the world.

Go places. Adventure!

Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica - Photo taken almost at sunset...


peace,
Ren

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Not enough time...

"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you." ~Khalil Gibran 

I missed posting yesterday because I was so caught up in activities that I couldn't sit long enough to write the thoughts in my head. I'm somewhat happy that it happened that way though as yesterday's thoughts tie in with those of today. Yesterday I attended the Blue Star Preschool's Christmas programme. My brother has become greatly involved with the preschool; he's been assisting with the classes, teaching the kids yoga and just generally helping out where he can. It's interesting seeing him interact with these kids as I don't recall him being so good at it and now he likes kids and they like him. For this Christmas programme he helped with the organisation and planning, with teaching the kids their parts in the Christmas skit and songs that would be performed. He sewed costumes. It is amazing.

The kids were also amazing. They are very adorable. Attentive and clever and lovable. Cute. In the same way that I am amazed at how well my brother has been interacting with these youngsters; I'm amazed at how much fun I find them to be. I guess some people like children and with others it just takes some time.

Last night I went to a company's Christmas function with the cute guy. It ended at a very late hour and I couldn't help but wonder about the families of those who stayed till the end. Did some of them have children? Were they single? Newly coupled? I've been thinking that parenting is something that becomes an integral part of one's life. If one becomes a parent then even when the children are old enough to take care of themselves the parent is still concerned about their well-being (or at least that is how I think it should be). That is how it has been with my parents and if I ever decide to become a parent this is how I will be. 

Today I went to a wedding with the cute guy and picked up a young friend. She gave me flowers which I put in my hair. She and her little sister kept coming around me and talked to me a few times. Anyone can be an example to a child I think... it's something we must be conscious of - that at any moment whether we know it or recognise it or not, someone's child may be looking at us and forming his/her own ideas of the world. 

Perhaps that will be enough for me? Setting examples of how to be in this space without having my own? I've mentioned before that when I was little I used to say that I would never want kids and that that statement made my mom most unhappy. That statement has gradually changed as I become easier with being around children. It is a possibility. It makes me think of time though as, of course, women have to be conscious of our internal clock. I don't know that there is enough time to figure out myself and to also start raising someone. I'm thirty now... it's not that late in the whole scheme of things but there is still the awareness of time passing. 

What do you think? There is the saying that 'it takes a village to raise a child'... perhaps it would be okay to have a child later on in life if there is the support to take care of it. I feel that I have that support with my brother and younger cousins and even those friends I have at the Blue Star. So. It's all a possibility.

I'm just noticing that recently I've been more aware of kids. How they interact with the world, how they relate to people. It's just something I'm paying attention to in this time where my friends are wondering whether they should have or not have kids. What're your thoughts?

peace,
Ren

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Memory-making and photo-taking.

"All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person's (or thing's) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt." ~Susan Sontag

Today the cute guy came over to help me paint walls. It's Christmas time and painting is something that a lot of Trinis do to prepare for the season. My family doesn't do it that often - there are some families who paint their homes every year, the inside and outside or maybe a wall or two... we do it when we can, or when I decide I want to as I'm mostly the one that pushes to get painting done. 

I'm making new memories. There once was a green wall in my living room - an accent wall - which my mom and I did when my dad and brother were out of the country. Prior to this green wall the only room with any major colour was mine, a sheer lilac, because my dad likes clean white (or some shade of white) at least that's the reason that I know. That Christmas when we were both home alone we decided to make one wall an accent wall and so we went to the paint store and bought a deep forest green. I painted the wall. Then, I stamped white spirals on it. It was amazing (and made my brother and my dad speechless when they saw it - my dad's been trying to get me to paint it white ever since). 

I say 'once was' because I've painted over it. It's time for new memories. Every day is a day in which I think of my mom,  of things that we've done together and things that she's said and taught me. They are cherished thoughts and memories but I know that she wouldn't want me to always be in the past. Part of going to Costa Rica was to help figure out my future... what I want to be in it, what I'd like to do. Painting over a wall is also part of the process; part of moving on and making new memories. 

After painting we looked at photos - I have had a digital camera since (at least) 2008 - I have so many photos that I've taken from 2008 to present. These photos capture moments that I'd like to remember; people, events, places - the essence of where I've been, what I've been up to and who I've shared these experiences with. When he left I started downloading all the photos I took on our trip together and on my trip to Costa Rica (I now have over 2500+ photos to sort through [help?!]). I'll continue to take photos - perhaps my new accent wall will feature in some of them as my green wall once did. 

How do you capture your memories? Do you take photos? Journal or draw? Record an audio clip or a video clip? It's important, I think, to have some way to capture them so that we can then access them when we need more than our own thoughts and memories. 

peace,
Ren

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Once more... writing.

"What things there are to write, if one could only write them! My mind is full of gleaming thoughts; gay moods and mysterious, moth-like meditations hover in my imagination, fanning their painted wings. But always the rarest, those streaked with azure and the deepest crimson, flutter away beyond my reach." ~Logan Pearsall Smith

It is almost a month since I've written in this space. It's almost two weeks since I graduated Yoga Teacher Training. There are a lot of thoughts in my head, a lot of things I want to write, a lot of possibilities swirling around. I have been making excuses... I was busy - asana practice and designing my own flow and teaching my first class, I was travelling, my dad was travelling, my house has not been cleaned in what seems like forever, my Cat child needs me! I have not been writing even though there are things that I do want to write to sort out stuff. I have not sent out emails that I've already halfway composed in my head. 

Why is that? I'm not sure. Then, I read this article: 'Move, Meditate, Write: The Yoga of Writing' and found it to be the push that I needed.  

A commitment then... every day for at least a week I shall write something here - I shall write about travelling with the cute guy and travelling by myself, of adventures in new places, of making new friends and discovering or rediscovering parts of myself. I shall write about the ordinary and the extraordinary. I will also send out at least one email (per day) that I've been meaning to send out. 

Hello World, I've missed you.

peace,
Ren