Irresistible #mudra

Young Pine, December 2021

As in the writing of this blog, I am very mindful of the new year. School is a tough place to be during the continued pandemic. As such, I plan and practice in 2022 with the intent to engender and model compassion for both to myself and others, as well as seek out and build relationship with other-than-human entities without attachment to nostalgia and antiquarianism (Rasmussen, p. 21). As such, my experiences with yogic traditions and practices and its internal and external dialogues are nourished and refined infusing and cultivating these relationships through the language and process of Nonviolent Communication (#nvc). Further, compassionate communication does not occur in a vacuum, nor requires a certain religiosity or ideology or refutation, as consciousness and intent can be expressed through silence and our quality of presence (Rosenberg, p. 7). As such, I strive to cultivate this awareness and connection to moment in community as both the catalyst for and the #healing itself in all interactions and situations.

The simple ways to cultivate connection daily becomes the practice itself; these include, but are not limited to the following for me:

  1. Dancing
  2. Playing xx (e.g., music, music, climbing up a tree)
  3. Learning (e.g., a new languages, skills, perspectives)
  4. Sharing

Today’s first practice of 2022 utilizes mudra, affirmation/mantra, pranayama, movement/asana, and visualization. Please feel free to explore the readings that inform this practice and explore other offerings in platforms listed below. As always, I invite you to practice in the spirit and intention using the processes and language of nonviolent communication (more details below).  You can find a link to January’s first LIVE practice here.

Mudras in Today’s Practice

Kalesvara Mudra is dedicated to the deity, Kalesvara, who rules over time.  In this mudra, we place our middle fingers together, touching the first two joints of the index finger and thumb tips.  Bend the fingers not touching inward with the thumbs pointing toward the chest and spread your elbow widely to the outside  (Hirsch, 134).  

Benefits:  This mudra is said to strengthen memory and concentration as well as calm agitation.  It can also support new habits (like those many new year resolutions wish to encompass), helping change character traits, supporting memory and concentration, and/or eliminating addictive behavior; with this in mind, it is recommended that it is practiced 10-20 minutes each day for this intent  (Hirsch, 134). 

Suggested Affirmation:  I enjoy being xx [this] or xx [that] (Hirsch, 135).

Visualization:  Imagine a situation or scene in which you act and react in a new way. 

Pranayama:   Take 10 long deep even breaths, listening and observing your breath, and lengthening the pause after the inhalation and exhalation evenly as we progress (Hirsch, 134).

💜

Nonviolent Communication (also called Compassionate Communication) carries the assumption that we have a shared desire to give and receive from the heart.  Thus, even yoga practice can cultivate compassionate communication which fosters listening, respect and deep empathy and engenders this mutual desire to give from the heart (Rosenberg, 12) both to ourselves and the greater world (when we are ready).  Whether this meets you in disbelief or in possibility, I invite you to explore the process through our practice together or further reading.  The four components are::

  1. Observation
  2. Feelings
  3. Needs
  4. Request

💜

References for this practice:

Hirschi, G., Grimm, C. M., & Ito, J. (2016). Mudras: Yoga in your hands. Weiser Books. 

Rasmussen, Rune H. (2021). The Nordic Animist Year. Nordic Animism.

Rosenberg, Marshall B. (2015).  Nonviolent Communication:  A Language of Life. PuddleDancer Press.

💜

We invite You be part as #EMY expands.  Please visit us on our new platform or YouTube channel (links below).  Your support has made this possible, and We appreciate You!

EMY on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvMnkeD2ZpGCszoQte51a0A

EMY Blog:  https://irresistiblecircumstances.blog/

💜

Please explore more of the beautiful music (and inspiration to stay strong) on Fred Altensee’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4RM

💜

Irresistible #Connections

November Garden 2021

https://youtu.be/mTEdTbYa0I0

This 50-minute practice is the first of three in a series as the Northern Hemisphere moves into the winter months and busy holiday season.   November’s theme on EMY is connection to #moment through practices using visualization, movement in and out of familiar postures, and breathwork using the language of nonviolent communication (#nvc). Be blessed in your abundance and practice.

November 1, 2021 – Connection to #moment

Irresistible #winter

November 2021

The hardest part of moving from autumn to winter is #change in sunlight. As the Sun moves further south with each passing day, I am pulled to hibernate, drawn to the warmth of a hot cup of tea, a book, a hot steamy bath, and my legwarmers. Moving into the busiest part of the year causes great conflict within, waves of uncertainty. To combat this, I use my practices to connect to the #moment, spending even the smallest moment of time outdoors in Sun, tapping into this beautiful affirmation. The familiar warmth reminds me of familiar postures that I return to again and again for grounding, balance, and hope through the pain of season, mental fatigue, and existential crisis. I know that winter will make practices like this impossible for a time and I will miss the sweet familiarity of cold mornings and warm afternoons; the butterflies will migrate or hibernate and leave only dried cocoon upon dying perennial, the Cuban tree frogs will return to warmer haunts, and our neighborhood duck families will swarm our lawns picking grubs and bugs and leaving not-so-beautiful reminders that in Spring we will have new little duck babies. The mornings would be shrill without wonder and curiosity, such as that of our last new moon and Samhain reminding us of the tenuousness but abundance of this moment; creativity through winter seasons sustained and fed by our connection to this.

November’s theme is connection to #moment through practices using visualization, movement in and out of familiar postures, and breathwork using the language of nonviolent communication (#nvc). Today’s LIVE practice on EMY’s Facebook goup is the first of three in a series as we move into the winter months and busy holiday season in the Northern hemisphere.  

For my friends in the Southern hemisphere, this practice is equally powerful. As the focus of practicing #nvc is the practice of grounding in the return to our familiar Earth, so, too, is exploring and cultivating #space where all the elements are balanced and nourish and support us.  May you be blessed in your #abundance and setting.

💜💜💜

Below are more resources for these practices, which draw upon work of Marshall Rosenberg and his student, David Weinstock (links below), and their exemplars of grounding and mindfulness practices to cultivate and sustain the language of nonviolent communication (NVC).

For more on NVC:

David Weinstein on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-What-…

Classes with David Weinstock (and so much more!)

💜

More about NVC, Marshall Rosenberg, and the Center for Nonviolent Communication

https://www.cnvc.org/node/243492

💜

EMY on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvMnkeD2ZpGCszoQte51a0A

Irresistible #messages

Dusk before the rain, 2021

The morning is cooler. I can hear Thursday’s cold front rolling in from the North. I heard it from Crow, who heard it from Mockingbird, who heard it from Cat, who heard it from another Crow, perched at the top of the Australian pine: Hawk, hawk, hawk. Hawk says not a thing, but like this great wise and winged #moment, perched upon my fence, eyeing me with #confidence. She heard it from Me, who heard it from Crow, who heard it from Cat, who heard it from Mockingbird, who heard it from another Crow. The morning is cooler. I can hear Thursday’s cold front rolling in from the North.

irresistible #algorithm

October 2021

I’m working on this complicated algorithm in my head. It fits not the rhyme or measure of my #thought and current realities, but patterns itself in #memory: the phases of the moon, the rising and setting of the sun, the taste of the morning breeze, the call of birds in neighboring trees, the traces of summer last in the garden, the footstep of my lover, and the scratch of the cat on the front mat. I can almost, almost hear this algorithm, maybe a frequency undiscovered? There’s a heaviness to it, like gravity or dense matter, but there is infiniteness, too, within its formulas. I’m working on this complicated algorithm in my head and how to write this in symbols and letters and numbers.

irresistible #planning

Elijah Clarke, October 2021

It’s Saturday, and I’m sitting down to plan. I had the opportunity for a planning day at school yesterday, away from the constant hums and bangs of the classroom; this being one of the first ones in 5 years or so that involve me carving out personal time, which–since Covid–has seemed so precious. Planning next steps felt a little easier than during the huge uncertainties of 2020, the election of Biden, my husband’s retirement, and hybrid digital format, but the “survival” line of thinking habit is so hard to break. It’s hard to shut down the necessities, self-created in a bygone error for a system that wholly operates digitally now. Learning is, indeed, all about connections, inter- and intra-personal ones. Learning with “survival” thinking–for both the student and teacher–is fodder for getting the same results, declining test scores, especially now that 2021 has brought a new set of uncertainties.

To break out of survival thinking and #moveforward, I’ve been setting myself up with a new set of skills, trying to think away from the idea of higher certifications (although I am pursuing them currently) and into other realms. I learned to do this fluidly last year, creating realities (in this crazy hybrid virtual and realtime, synchronous S&#! show) where there were none for #compassion and #listening so #needs and wants could be heard. I also learned what NOT to repeat from face-to-face past school years, and carry this into planning for the academic school year and retiring common core standards (more to come after training on the NEW new standards once again–my third cycle).

Teachers know the realities of any regular year–the traumas we experience or observe in others, but try to ignore. Once you are aware of an injustice or a circumstance, how can we just ignore it away? The public school systems of the United States have perpetuated many injustices, which cannot be ignored or silenced. Covid laid to bare this at an alarming rate, and we just didn’t have time to argue too much about academic excellence and dress code. Nor plan.

This greater issue for me personally was, and still is, sustainability. I’m constantly looking for an even #exchange of energies here, and constantly reminded we are a business transaction, a human resource (which is smaller in my district than the money dedicated to digital infrastructure). Yet, too, as a teacher and learner, I’m reminded here that I have agency. I try, instead, to learn new skills and explore outside of the box, moving forward. We have to learn how to give and take ourselves, and how to model this #balance in a world under great change. It’s a huge step forward for me to carve out time to plan, to understand its importance, and to be focused in something I once felt a great deal of #passion for, even though its #burdens are not sustainable.

Skill-building is just a fancy way of saying #practice (in my opinion) with a little planning. Here’s some actions I’m currently using as I #plan for opportunities:

Planning – Dream, List, Break apart, Chew On, Brainstorm, Revise, Reflect, Analyze, and Stick To

Getting outside – Camp, hike, sleep, hang out, take pictures, watch the skies, dream

Building intra and interpersonal skills with the goal to be connected to others. To hold and be held in their love. There’s sustainability in this :). What’s your attachment style? – One survey for this here.

Learning a language (or two) – I wrote my first one in German (it’s Haiku–the structure provides me much without getting into my own inner patriarchy) – might share it here.

Reading, writing and creating – A blog, a book, a poem, a video, a website, a masterpiece, a doodle.

Moving – move earth, pick up things, move air, flow like water, breathe the sky, dance, shimmy, move

Learning – Take a class (even if you don’t want to) – Anything! Today’s for me are mostly for professional development but I believe there’s always something to learn and #practice. I practice #NVC in those times of ennui and complete disbelief (there are times when a sense of humor comes in handy and #abandonment is a better course of action).

Practicing with awareness, #NVC, Yoga, Meditation. Turn it into #daily #ritual.

Putting myself out there – EarthmotherYoga is transforming into a business.

Listening without Judgement and Teaching with that in mind and #heart

Here’s one of my favorite videos on how to make #connection and building skills of #listening. May we all be blessed in our #abundance and #practice done and shared in Love.

Irresistible #water

Did you send the #pain to hobble me
Take my word for what i see
Read my face, and you will know
 our ocean tide does ebb and flow
Where one begins, one dissolves;
in pain of #change, our world evolves
You watch it now, you know who
does my pain still strengthen you?
Take my word, it's mine alone
I'll claim this pain as my own.

We began summer school in a hurry this year. I took the four days off and went to the beach just about every day, washing myself of the Covid-19 school year in the beautiful elements at Canaveral National Seashore. During the last few weeks of school, I was fortunate enough to complete a long-awaited PD on Restorative Practices (https://www.iirp.edu/) and expand upon this through classes and continued learning at Embodied Philosophy (see below).

As the circle is an indispensable tool for restorative practices, I begin my 10-week, 3rd grade summer camp with a circle, a safe container. I’ve been out of the 3rd grade classroom for about 6 years now, and got my one-year stint at Civics teaching (a very interesting and polarizing subject with the events of January 6th). Civics is a difficult subject for adults, let alone adolescents. The switch to third grade was welcome, and needed as I will the 7th grade English language arts teacher next year.

This summer, circles are more of a tool for me, a common ground where this new class could establish dialogue and safe sharing. Throughout June, I will weave mindfulness practice into this school world. As predicted, there are many obstacles and challenges with cultivating a space of equanimity and compassion. I continue to work on these through unexpected (but not really) outbursts and tears (there have already been a lot of them). Bandaids and ice are wonderful in the moment, but the real work starts in circle.

This blog is a place to reflect and regroup, as well as practice words of NVC. From what I have experienced in 7 days, we can all still use more compassion and time to build trust before tackling learning challenges. There is strength in our differences of #perspective. Irresistible Circumstances was (and still is) inspired by my dear friend and extraordinary teacher, Danielle, who left this world 6 years ago. Her sweet, yet fierce, perspective has sustained my professional passion in any classroom or grade level. Her friendship was and is still a precious #gift, as her work touched so many students and colleagues. Irresistible Circumstances is a blog to share #perspectives and #goodwork which bring about positive change and healing.

Below is the first in Earthmother Yoga’s June 2021 series, inspired by readings, study, and practice of NVC and restorative practices during this summer, post-Covid-19 school year, Yay, for being without the onerous and mind-frazzling requirement of hybrid learning (no live and face-to-face synchronous learning)! June’s focus continues practices for #connection drawing on the elements based upon work of Marshall Rosenberg and his student, David Weinstock (links below), and their exemplars of grounding and mindfulness practices to cultivate and sustain the language of nonviolent communication (NVC).

Last week, we began with Earth (video embedded below), our home with present, familiar footing. Here we will continue to find common ground with ourselves and others. Today, we will expand and explore Water through our #practice of stepping into the deep waters of our emotions, and then returning to common ground in continued awareness of movement and breath. Today’s practice will be posted on Youtube following our live session.

Please help EMY grow by enjoying, sharing, and subscribing my channel. And, thank you!

For more on NVC and June’s practice series:

David Weinstein on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-What-You…/dp/1973115492

Classes with David Weinstock (and so much more) https://www.embodiedphilosophy.com/

More about NVC, Marshall Rosenberg, and the Center for Nonviolent Communication

https://www.cnvc.org/node/243492#abundance#earthmother#yogawitch#safeschools#irresistiblecircumstances

Earthmother Yoga on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/669774807091487/

Please help our musicians and artists, by supporting and sharing. Here’s a favorite new discovery!

Beautiful music to #practice with:

irresistible #wounds

something else hidden in the muscles
of the face, something the throat wanted to say.

Ruth Stone, “The Wound” from Simplicity
Today
everything but
the soreness from lifting you
the rawness in my throat
quarrels captured and salty tears
everything but
triaging our afflictions
dressing words and what is not there
silence and no quick cures
unknowns romance here
except this
Tomorrow
is everything but 
alienation
your rights and rites
practiced skills
everything but
my words
once 
in allodium
i stay to suture harm
stitches say its my fault, too
(& maybe it is)
this the unraveling of that once
which opened festers
repaired itself unto
today
everything except
dusty ghosts & empty bandage wrappers
the world of gain and political correctness
true to tradition
everything but
what you ask of my days
and I ask of my days
yesterday
i plunged into trauma headlong
and wounds became
everything but
scars