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

Irresistible Fragments

You belong to the Air

always pointing there

Howling at my doors

Your winds of war

Tiwaz fragment 4-12-21

This has been a fragmented school year. The familiar routines still feel uncomfortable. The ringing of bells off and on, picking up students (and teachers) in unexpected places. So many, many hurry-ups and whoopses and much profanity and bold ennui. We practice words we never knew until a year ago but they don’t help us learn. Well, maybe some of us knew the educational jargon before, but memory has been another fragmentation, and of this I write in some kind of long-awaited space, which defies education altogether. The existence of words can make them so. And each morning I study these, like some ancient map or unread dusty book (there are many this year). Literacy and learning fragmented by new words and new Science and (even) here in America, new Civics.

The nonexistence of someone’s beliefs fragment us; it can’t be done or had to be done yesterday. School language is rough and sputtering–fragmented–throughout the day until great intentions need a nap (by lunch time). Fragments of learning evidenced everywhere in my classroom closet full of 17 years of children’s books and classics and hands-on activities. But like some great wall, which may never really be built except what already exists in our nation’s head, beliefs give us comfort, a neat and tidy border from which to cross or turn and go another way. I can almost taste it in the Air. Change. For better or worse. We’ll be writing about it forever, maybe with a little humor.

And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,

When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

The Destruction of Sennacherib, Lord Byron

I wish to purge and be light again. It’s time. The long fragmented year (and a half) is coming to an end; I wish to read and remember, and empty myself of fragments, writing kennings and highlighting that something can be done, has been done, will be done, about the struggles here–in this space and time of pandemic–in its nonexistence which dictates we must push on through testing, and Saturday school, and special programs to help the learning lag and mind fragmented by impossibilities and directives (ad infinitum). I wish to regroup and find a way back to what I remember, but memories are fragmented, too.

I toyed with words early on, abandoning this blog and my journals, to add big sweeping strokes of color and narratives, upon my backyard fence. Meadow and swamp grass grow through the boards now, speckled with paint of last Spring. Reminders everywhere on my return Home from school where here hours grow and grow and grow, fragmented. And after the inevitable fight for normalcy, what will remain? Testing? Old ways of doing school? Memories? And is my stamina and strength so fragmented as not to be taped together with duct tape, my pandemic friend for fences, computers, and chargers for our learning?

Here now fragmentation gives us imperfect organizational cell called public education, splitting off into new life without mention of what worked in the old one, tidied up by memorandum of understanding and PDFs covering i-cloud assignments and on-the-spot withitness. Here exists fragmentation of all that is real: budget, time, students, teachers, learning, reading, words. Our books piled high and in misuse and border control. I miss just reading, and I know the students do, also, but…

The hour is late, and I have some fragments to sweep up and out the door and into my car so I can drive away, never really knowing what the Day is until it’s over. I wake to sleep and sleep to wake, fragmented from myself and dreams. And writing my blog has that same deja vu; a chance for irresistible circumstances to collapse in its own silence and return to unknowing and unknown as a pleasure. I’ll leave the fragments of incompleteness and ubiquity to my memory.

#irresistible flexibility

Maple at #shinglecreek
In terms of bones
i move around
needing #structure
of the ground:
a wiggle here
to hear the click
the sound of concepts
when they stick
this gentle flow
within these walls
the bigger #container
holds us all:
the woman
not of man's design
and outside the scope
of common time
the Seasons matter
to the trees
(so #blissful can be
our memories)
where words, these fall
like gentle rain
#collecting to begin
again
just as winter's red
gives in to Earth
and Spring's bright pink babies
begin rebirth
out of muddiest sand
and intensions sweet
(the pain of  this #change
on blistered feet)
a seek to #balance
within my hands
that intersection
as one
understands
in terms of bones
i move around
the #practice
is to hold
my ground
 a continued journey
round and round
💜
#loveisall #loveislove
#irresistiblecircumstances.blog

Irresistible #organization

All the Elements 
Came to play
Danced and sang
And went their way
Fire in Moon
Moon in Fire
The South whispered secrets
Of North's dark desire
Bring me your frankness
Your spices and ice
Weave in the lemongrass
Bundle this tight
Walk all the quarters
Crouch on the ground
Fill sacred space 
With a Leo's Moon Sound.
All the Elements 
Came to play
Danced and sang
And went their way.
💜
#fullmooninleo

In previous incarnations, prior to the imminently eminent momentary unknowns and everyday survival modes of 2020, I was a sloppy #yogawitch. Not a person to methodically organize my life was I, any facet, focused more on the only structure I learned: language. Going through the motions of life while learning the rules through reading and writing #teaching and #practice’s purposeful mistakes, splitting infinitives deliciously aimed at irritating my perceived naysayers. Breaking small rules was an unconscious act of intention awry–a small wickedness and hidden pleasure. Over time, I let this go, confronting and discarding these darknesses hidden to me.

Shadows still dance in my inner realms and these, my familiars, I have learned to organize and call upon to move me past my disorganization and anxieties (I simplify here–there are many helpers involved). I can find these readily in myself and, as such, I began to see them in other places, outside my purview, in the collective. Last night’s full moon allowed these to dance and sing about us in our Full Moon circle. I hear and see those beautiful poetic birds of mystery; you can see them, too, maybe? They are here and here and here and here and here and every morning on my morning playlist (maybe you’ll find comfort and strength here, too?). The sound (not the words), as #memories fills my sight, organizes my Day and Night; my flow feels genuine and intuitively organized.

This is not to say I don’t recognize the sharp oppositions in play in the greater world–only my tiny justification of how presented before I saw my inner chaos. In those “other” roles and realms, those of mother, wife, teacher, daughter, sister, friend, employee, adult, woman, shadows pooled: a stack of dishes; a pile of laundry (clean and folded–or dirty); #practices scribbled down in the wee hours of the morning to do again (as if); a teacher closet with an #abundance of learning unused and a file cabinet of empty files which commiserates; a grocery list with items circled and forgotten; a bottle or two of lotions and perfume I’d never put on (the glass extraordinarily, iridescently filling spaces). Abundance of words and worlds I possess and reflect upon–light bouncing off every corner of my mind; the fast pace of my physicality finally caught up to me, and my body had to slow down, creating a new spaces and organizational flows.

Death is a real thing to me now. There. I said it. I wrote it. Death is a real thing to me now. Understanding comes from experience, I think. What was 2020 but one long catalog of lessons in being alright in the moment while doing what is epically needed to be done? And I understand I get confused, I get things wrong, I make typos, I run around in circles (literally) while I think of what I am doing, and I fucking procrastinate every hard task (as I am doing today), but I understand that each moment is predicated on the words I say to myself–spoken or carried within my thoughts (an element in myself). Beautiful organization takes time, and that same messiness in discovering this, carried me through 2020. Processing in new ways (and historical ways to me on Erika-Standard-Time) allowed me to handle death in the classroom.

My day-to-day as a teacher in a hybrid classroom during the pandemic is predictably challenging; we all do the best we can in our levels of awareness to #balance and ground and survive. I return to language here–mostly poetry (in all Her forms) and runes (ancient communication). And then, I enter our classroom and continue to practice the appropriateness and preciseness which convey the standards as equitably and compassionately as I am able. This is #goodwork, and this is happening all over our building–some teachers have multiple areas to teach (#gratitude for how they still do the same in separate spheres of realities). As I, too, run for the bigger classroom for my bigger face-to-face classes with my computer screen projecting my shirt and lanyard, with mouse and sheets of paper in tow, always one dropping to the floor), I’m learning to quell the words of self-doubt in mind which causes us to waffle in indecision at the most critical time for language–6th period!

I know I am not alone. I feel the energies move through me as shadows, pooling and accumulating in great abundance; warnings to be careful what type of #abundance one calls. This organization destined to fail: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre/The falcon cannot hear the falconer;/Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”. The pace is harried and my husband reminds me at home I don’t need to run to bed, and in his calm way, guides me to see my organizational spaces work both ways: to let out as well as in.

Here I linger on a blog. I let my mind get lost in those words that bounce around and catch in the shadows’ dark pools. I let the greater picture captivate my inner sight, the soft rhythm of a needed day off (one which I promised would involve grading). I am no longer a sloppy #yogawitch; today’s plans include my abundance of #dreams and #goals. This, the continued practice of letting Death’s presence remind of Life’s import, helps create and maintain #irresistiblecircumstances wherever I go.