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 #rebellion

Elijah Clarke, October 2021

It’s Wednesday. I am already feeling the pull of rebellious #aquarius, providing plenty of #excuses for Thursday. I look to the #skies for #signs. Wonder about the weather, even though I’m indoors all day long. I look to the skies for signs. Wonder about the weather. And begin #practice.

To embrace the darkness, I focus on the horizon. Night distinct from morning, which creeps even now at 4 a.m. Night is set apart by urban lights, twinkling awake, like the quiet stars hidden from the moment by this process. I draw a #rune, consider the whole and then the parts. Like the #night, there is #wisdom there for me. I embrace this #stillness and say a #spell, words falling deliberately and intuitively, like the quiet stars illuminated in the moment by this process.

Wednesdays bring an awareness of how far I’ve come and how far I have yet to go. It’s a campfire kind of day; I want to sit around and stare into a fire, not really doing anything (because you know you must do something, most preferably, sooner than later).

It’s Wednesday. I am already feeling the pull of rebellious #aquarius, providing plenty of #excuses for Thursday. I look to the #skies for #signs. Wonder about the weather, even though I’m indoors all day long. I look to the skies for signs. Wonder about the weather. And begin #practice.

My Wednesday practice is full of #learning. I listen to podcasts, music, catch up on lessons in classes I’m taking, and focus on hearing other #perspectives. Like Wednesday, this reminds of how far I’ve come and how far I have yet to go.

Here’s one of my favorites. Enjoy! May we be blessed in our #abundance and practices. #loveisall #loveislove #nvc

irresistible #exchange

2015

I return again and again to habits. These turn like leaves in the fall, somewhere up North of here, exchanging one color for other ones. Colors of discipline, floundering, returning, again and again. What makes us strong? What keeps us strong? Is it the exchange of one energy for another? Is it the exchange of effort for time? Is it the compensation for the exchange or the exchange itself? Is it conscious habits, or, like turning leaves, the exchange of practice and slow return?

I could return again and again, revisiting, reflecting. Pandemic conditions have been ripe for opportunities such as these, separated from our comfortable nests of fortitude with social distancing and lockdowns. I know it wasn’t discipline and conscious habits which forged 2015; it was exchange based on #connectivity. To make it an abstraction seems sacrilegious so I’ll return to the leaves turning in the fall. Like the Grand Canyon (which I finally got to see this summer), I know if I saw these lighting up the mountainside, I’d cry. The beauty of exchange is it doesn’t really need words (or money) and it becomes invaluable, if we return again and again. I’ve never been sorry I picked up a weight because I know I can do it. I have a relationship with it, as I did with my fellow crossfitters in 2015 (#CFMDstrong).

Here’s a little different idea of #exchange that inspired me to get moving forward, but one shared in my true hippy spirit–I’m all about the magick. May we be blessed in abundance of Earth’s exchange and our healing practices.

Irresistible Productivity

Fall 2021 – Elijah Clarke State Park, Georgia

No better way to be an artist or a writer than actually writing or art-ing. You wish to do a handstand? A cartwheel? An actor? A mother? A teacher? A producer? You better start acting the part–start doing. But, wait! The falling leaves. How they catch the fading early Fall light! How they herald the change of Seasons, still sturdy with their flashes of chlorophyll and Summer’s abundance.

A recent solo camping trip–really only my second–gave me time to reflect and re-evaluate irresistiblecircumstances.blog, as school is not quite as irresistibly irresistible as our State would like to think it was. Florida legislation is tough on big Districts and their mask-mandating. The type of #inclusivity that our Governor would like to white wash by outlawing #criticalracetheory and other threats to public safety. But, then, this really shouldn’t be a blog about that, so off I went to the woods, thinking not in terms of what I could throw at my mid-life crisis, but what sub-set I could build: chopping wood, tarping a leaky tent, cooking efficiently, spending time looking out and in, and warding off Georgia ants.

During my listening and reading and doing (sometimes nothing), I made the decision to return to this space in a new way, still #practicing but with an eye on producing (for money). Not an easy decision, but one of the heart (could be purple).

I also made the decision to use this space in a more irresistible way through sharing my inspirations. The first is a book review and one of my favorite channels. May You be inspired to listen or read or both.

May we be blessed in our #abundance and continued #practice 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

irresistible #collection


ice seed
reflected in my poems
preserving, if read, a blip;
but nonetheless melts
past these Needs
abruptly and incessantly
sprouting
in the next hot minute.
#impatience:
    a turn which cuts us off at the pass
    a reversal of circumstances
    a new vista right around the corner
I am lost in the flurries of my mind
watching little seeds of dark knowing and hope grow
in the precipitation which follows Dawn

I feel better, more in myself, than in previous years. Always afraid to say my #adrenalfatigue is more manageable…more anything really. I don’t speak of this diagnosis much, only when I noticed (which is all the time) how many of my coworkers and women friends have similar experiences with the big three: #pain, #fatigue, and #mindfog. We fight these literally all day at work, and, maybe like me, at home, too, through motherhood and menopause. I’m lucky I found a clinic using hormone therapy (properly) and alternative modalities which support my quality of life. My voice grew stronger here with medication helping restore brain function (for the most part) and medical staff letting me repeat (because I didn’t think I had been heard) my list of imbalances. Shackle the last 5 years to the pandemic, school during a pandemic in a State of Denial (Florida, you suck!) and hybrid learning platforms and online conferencing 7 hours/day (I’ve mentioned this before because its really, really not healthy).

Currently, my voice grows stronger because I listen to it. When this first happened, something changed. No words to describe this other than I #awakened (at least to myself), and discovered even through the worst pain (whether its a loved one or yourself) some way to be safe to do what had to be done because there was no other choice or the other choices were equally abysmal. To me, this is #strength, and 2020 (and this year) have gifted me multiple #irresistiblecircumstances from which to #practice embodying it in the #goodwork of school and home.

Eventually, from the surety of knowing I have #strength to lift, hold, and carry so much, I also know the potential of other aspects of my strength: those of injury, ego, hardness, rigidity, destination fixation, and self-destruction Strength can happen so fast; it’s a beautiful thing to see in others, especially when you have felt it in your own body. As I plan my last April class with a focus on #strength, I begin here–searching my notebooks, poems, journals–a collection of words, and ruminating while I dance or make dinner (or both), allowing my Day to unfold as it needs to, so certain I am I am #strongenough to use the seeds of #strength for work and study in the evenings, now that I feel better.

heil ok sæ

Irresistible #strength

poems, music, movement, trance
gift of words to express this dance

Tonight after school I sit down to writing and schoolwork, establishing a new routine. I attempted this morning, but I think evenings will work better, just before bed, maybe to empty out my brain and start fresh again tomorrow. I also tried something different to create the space of evening flow in order to reflect upon my day’s #practice and work, and plan for tomorrow. I struggle though here. Words flow easily in the quiet of the morning, after a healthy and lengthy pranayama session and #practice. My body feels embodied and open, my mind is fresh and excited by the day’s possibilities, and there is a sweetness which lures me out of bed almost every day at 4:20.

I reflect on the processes tonight, using this time to sketch some notes, finishing up some slides for school, and upload Sunday’s live yoga session to YouTube. After a whole year of “hybrid” learning, I have a long list of skills which would come in handy both on the yoga mat and off, which is really what this blog was created for. Reflection, and some dreaming.

Sunday’s class focused on #strength. I am familiar with #strength, even built my resume on this. I can lift heavy things and I can hold heavy loads, and I hope I inspire others to do the same. I also believe that #practice is essential for growth, and so I do so every day, even when I know I am out of balance. This is a class for days like those–ones where I have low energy and fatigue, pain, disordered or scattered thinking, and NO TIME. I start by asking myself what I am willing to do to restore #balance. Strength work is beneficial in this way.

This is a 60-minute #practice for days where you seek #strength using some of those “weird” things yogini and yogi do to regain, rebalance, and ground–the ability to do this, in my mind, is a part of #strength (but more to come on that in later days). In this practice, I tap into the sensory experience (the feeling of my body in itself and in the environment) while rooting and using physicality in familiar poses.

In this way, we explore the subtleties of #strength 5 enumerated, but integrated ways: 1) in pressing into the Earth and holding the moment (as in a #handstand), 2) variations of breathwork with mudra and mantra, 3) through movement (as that of sun salutation), a strong arm meditation (this one for focus), and in deep and purposeful release.

Be blessed and #abundant​ in #strength​; you’ll never regret it. Thank you for reading (another one of my passions).

#irresistiblefutures

Love gently guides us

And we can guide #Love

Love softly whispers

#whatis is made of:

To touch on the #

As #hashtag makes so

Captures the #moment

Of just #lettinggo

https://www.instagram.com/earthmother1yoga/

I’m not going to lie (mostly because I rarely do, and when I do, it’s only to myself). I’ve been working like crazy, trying to figure out what good teaching is supposed to look like without counting the loss and the immeasurable digital brain dings we absorb in the 7.5 hours of “hybrid” learning. The sheer amount of data transferring from one live conference to the quick switcheroo in what you call that thing while combatting #adrenalfatigue and, well, you know, the pandemic. And I’m not going to lie. I’ve been pretty depressed. And, as a friend suggested, maybe that was the lie I told myself. Lies always have a kernel of #truth in them; lies which build #strength within tissues and sinew.

I could outline some reasons for depression, which is the work of #practice, and I do this, but mostly what examining my emotions through a slow process of #meditation and #self-study and #movement gifted me was #clarity. This came mostly through yoga, and when in #pain or darkest night, asking myself what could I do? So, #gratitude that this is the depth of my despair, which manifests itself in my #earthmother worry and puts me at odds with seeing any #irresistiblecircumstances in the State of Education. So, it’s time to get busy.

Our #irresistiblefutures depends on more than just #perspective, which is a delight to work with and learn #collaboration and make #connections. In truth, I draw inspiration from others’ #perspectives but for true #equinimity to bring #balance to the world, we still must take actions to make beautiful, new #realities. This includes examining our motives and deep #shadowwork, which can be triggering for those in clinical depression, and requires help. You are not alone.

For those of us, who teach, we truly walk in the past and future through our words and actions. This blog was created (or morphed) out of yoga #practices which I explored as my day-to-day struggles to do #goodwork of being a mother, wife, and teacher. I learned some things, but change happens. We need future #teachers and #lightworkers and #yogawitches.

And so here it is: Spells and Such (coming soon) – #loveisall #loveislove #safeschools